Database: The Borg Discussion

The Borg were a humanoid species, similar to humans, till they developed sophisticated bio-tech and began a process of aggressive benevolence. Borg have a distinct DNA and are a distinct species. Not all Borg on cubes have been assimilated.

The Borg see themselves as Benevolent: "Why do you resist us? We only seek to improve the standard of living for all species."

The process of assimilation is three fold and we have seen examples of this occurring.

1. Injection: Nanites enter the body and rapidly take over the central nervous system. the victim becomes unable to control their own body and will walk passively with their new Borg masters and obey the dictates of the collective. During this time they are still able to converse and call for help or communicate normally. If they are outside the effects of the collective the nanites may go dormant. This process activates almost instantly but can last for hours or days.

2: Surgery: This requires an assimilation table and involves the removal and replacement of limbs, organs, etc. after this time the Borg is still cognitively themselves but unable to talk or act in any way that is contrary to the collective. This process can take many weeks to complete. At the end of it some victims are so badly transformed that recovery is never fully possible.

3: DNA replication: The Borg DNA begins to overwrite the native DNA of the drone. This is what gives the Drone the pale collection it has and can often remove distinctive racial traits such as Klingon Brown, Vulcan ears, etc. At the end of this process the Drone is indistinguishable from other drones. all trace of its original personality is lost to the collective. recovery form this point is virtually impossible (7 of nine not withstanding). This process can take months, though in some cases it is a matter of hours.

Cannon establishes that long term drones can never be permanently liberated from Borg implants; their organs are now dependant. And it would be easy to say that only a very small proportion of long-term drones (generally younger ones) can survive the return to individual life without permanent debilitating psychosis. A one-in-100 survival rate removes the realistic option of "liberating" Borg, without contradicting the survivors we've encountered so far, including Hugh, Lore's rogue Borg, Chakotay's survivors from "Unity", Seven of Nine, etc. Each of those might have been either lucky one-offs, or the survivors of a much larger population, most of whom died when liberated.

The Borg have heard about the trick of coming on board and blowing up the vinculum. It doesn't work any more. Earlier cannon concept that a Borg ship is effectively uniform in design. The vinculum was a retrofitted modification specifically to counteract psychic attacks from species 8472, introduced shortly after their invasion in 2373. They were outmoded and replaced with a more distributed ship-wide technology shortly after voyager encountered one in 2375, either in response to Species 6339's synthetic pathogen attack, or simply because the Borg adapted / assimilated a more suitable (less vulnerable) technology to do the same job.

Borg do sexually reproduce, (ST:TNG S2E16 “Q Who”). In Voyager: 'Revulsion': Seven of Nine stated that the Borg opt for assimilation and do not require sexual reproduction, but that was the Alternate Voyager reality. (Cannon Weight is given to Rodenberry's actual involvement. So TNG and DS9 take precedence over Voyager). The Borg have a very strict population management system and have clearly defined growth parameters. The Borg referenced in Voyager had just gone through a healthy period of species assimilation and had not needed to augment their numbers sexually during this period (hence the statements about them not doing so or not needing to). During a time between species assimilation or when unusual casualties are suffered, sexual reproduction is still used. Perhaps ‘inbreeding’ is seen as inconsistent with their desire for species diversification, or perhaps it is simply less efficient than taking a fully formed adult. It should also be specified that this would be unlikely to involve any actual sex, more likely the reproductive cells are harvested from drones, and combined in tanks, possibly offering a partial explanation to Seven's comment about "Sexual Reproduction".

The Borg is the hive mind. Very strongly established in the earlier cannon is the fact that the Borg are a single mind - in a way, there IS only one Borg. A single galaxy spanning individual entity who's drones are no more individuals that the cells of our body are. The queen is not an individual that controls other Borg as slaves. She's an interface which the Borg gestalt mind periodically constructs in order to negotiate or engage with particularly powerful enemies or unique individuals of particular interest. Drones freed from the collective find life as an individual confusing and alarming. They've largely lost the ability to think independently, from having been one cell of a massive whole so long.

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