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The Borg Collective is a pseudo-race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek universe. No truly single individual existed within the Borg Collective (with the possible sole exception of the Borg Queen), as they were linked into a hive mind. Their ultimate goal was perfection through the forcible assimilation of diverse sentient species, technologies, and knowledge. As a result, they were among the most powerful and feared races in the galaxy. Whereas cybernetics are used by other races in the science fiction world (and in recent times the real world) to repair bodily damage and birth defects, the Borg voluntarily submit to cybernetic enhancement as a means of achieving what they believe to be perfection (they also force their idea of perfection on others).

Characteristics

Unicomplex

A Unicomplex is a location in the fictional Star Trek universe that is used as a Borg central base. The unicomplex is located in an unknown area of the Delta Quadrant. It is a center of all processing activity for the Borg collective, and is the home of the Borg Queen. The Unicomplex resembles a patchwork-like collection of thousands of cubes, connected by assorted conduits and transportation hubs. Borg cubes frequently cross into and out of the Unicomplex on their way to other parts of the galaxy, using transwarp conduits. The Unicomplex is an aspect of Star Trek respective to the Voyager series, primarily in the end. The unicomplex was destroyed in 2378 after the Borg Queen assimilated a neurolytic pathogen from the future Admiral Kathryn Janeway, who had traveled back in time. The Queen activated a self-destruct order in the unicomplex to prevent the pathogen from spreading, but it had already spread through most of the Borg Collective by the time the Queen acted.

Physiology

 The physiology of each Borg drone varied according to the species from which it was assimilated. Drones were typically humanoid, although the Collective demonstrated a willingness to assimilate non-humanoid life forms. Upon assimilation, a drone ceased to grow body hair and developed an ashen, grayish skin coloration, ignoring original skin pigmentation. Cybernetic implants were either surgically attached to the body or grown internally by nanoprobes injected into the bloodstream. The nature of these implants varied from drone to drone, depending on its intended function, but basic nodes of interlink for communications with the Collective and myo-neural cortical array to control movements, were implemented in every drone. In certain cases, parts of the body such as an eye or an arm were amputated altogether to make room for the cybernetics. The implants of a fully assimilated drone allowed it to function for extended periods without shelter, food, water, or even air. A drone's only requirement was a supply of energy to maintain the implants that in turn maintained its biological functions. This energy was supplied during regeneration cycles within a Borg alcove. Upon receiving damage, a drone would return to the cove for assessment of the damage. Severely damaged drones were disassembled and scavenged for reusable parts. Borg infants were not accepted to the collective until they matured to a certain age. Upon reaching this age, assimiliated infants and youths were placed inside maturing chambers. Borg drones were equipped with a myriad of technologies integrated into their bodies which enabled them to perform their duties within the Collective, several of which were universal to all drones. A neural transceiver kept them connected to the hive mind. A personal force field protected each drone from most energy-based attacks. As of 2373, each drone possessed a pair of assimilation tubules embedded in one hand for the purpose of instantly injecting individuals with Borg nanoprobes. A cortical processor allowed a drone to rapidly assimilate visual information. Borg drones were also equipped with a neural processor, which kept a record of every instruction that particular Borg receives from the collective hive mind. Captain Picard used this processor to discover that the Borg were attempting to use the deflector dish of the Enterprise-E as an interplexing beacon to contact the Borg in 2063. Drones also contained failsafes designed to deactivate and even vaporize their own bodies, thereby allowing the Collective to eliminate damaged or dead drones without leaving remains to be exploited by outsiders. The captured drone Third of Fivealso made comments indicating that this vaporization may have been a form of resource re-absorption. One of these failsafes was intended to automatically deactivate drones experiencing strong emotional states, which the Borg interpreted as a sign of disconnection from the hive mind.

Assimilation

In the Star Trek fictional universe, assimilation is the process by which the Borg integrate beings and cultures into their collective. "You will be assimilated" is one of the few on-screen phrases employed by the Borg when communicating with other species. The Borg are portrayed as having encountered and assimilated thousands of species and billions to trillions of individual life-forms throughout the galaxy. The Borg designate each species with a number assigned to them upon first contact.When first introduced, the Borg are said to be more interested in assimilating technology than people, roaming the universe as single-minded marauders that have assimilated starships, planets, and entire societies in order to collect new technology. They are discriminating in this area, finding certain races, for example the Kazon, to be technologically inferior and not worthy of assimilation. (A Borg infant found aboard the first cube introduced suggested that they reproduced as well as assimilating life-forms.In their second appearance, "The Best of Both Worlds", they capture and assimilate Jean-Luc Picard into the collective by surgically altering him, creating Locutus of Borg. After this, life-form assimilation becomes much more prominent in their overall behavior.The method of assimilating individual life-forms into the collective has been represented differently over time, only consistent in that infant and fetal humanoids have been grown in an accelerated state and surgically receive implants connected directly into the brain, as well as ocular devices, tool-enhanced limbs, armor, and other prosthetics. In Star Trek: First Contact, the method of adult assimilation is depicted with the more efficient injection of nanoprobes (nanites) into the individual's bloodstream through a pair of tubules that spring forth from the drone's hand. Assimilation by nanoprobe is depicted on-screen as being a fast-acting process, with the victim's skin pigmentation turning gray with visible dark tracks forming within moments of contact. The individual is then taken away for complete assimilation by drones; the individual has all traces of individuality removed and implants are attached to the new drone so it can fulfill its new role in the collective. This method of assimilation is also shown to be much more surgical in nature; In The Best of Both Worlds the Borg essentially 'overlay' the body with cybernetics. In First Contact, a captured crew member is shown to have a forearm and an eye physically removed and replaced with cybernetic implants.Because assimilation depends on nanoprobes, species with an extremely advanced immune system such as those dubbed Species 8472 by the Borg are able to reject assimilation, but thus far Species 8472 are the only race capable of this.Nanoprobes are microscopic machines that inhabit a Borg's body, bloodstream, and many cybernetic implants. The probes perform the function of maintaining the Borg cybernetic systems, as well as repairing damage to the organic parts of a Borg. They generate new technology inside a Borg when needed as well as protecting them from many forms of disease and virus. Borg nanoprobes, each about the size of a human red blood cell, travel through the victim's bloodstream and latch on to individual cells. The nanoprobes rewrite the cellular DNA, altering the victim's biochemistry, and eventually form larger, more complicated structures and networks within the body such as electrical pathways, processing and data storage nodes, and ultimately prosthetic devices that spring forth from the skin. In "Mortal Coil", Seven of Nine states that the Borg assimilated the nanoprobe technology from "Species 149".Though used by the Borg to exert control over another being, reprogrammed nanoprobes were used by the crew of the starship Voyager in many instances as medical aids. In one instance, the probes were used to revive crewman Neelix 18 hours, 49 minutes and 13 seconds after death by repairing his body, and are used to treat various visitors' ailments.The capability of nanoprobes to absorb improved technologies they encounter into the Borg collective is demonstrated in the Voyager episode "Drone", where Seven of Nine's nanoprobes are fused with the Doctor's futuristic mobile emitter, creating a 29th century drone with capabilities far surpassing that of current drones. Fortunately for Voyager, this drone's enhanced capabilities are not disseminated throughout the collective; the drone was isolated from the collective and was never able to transmit its technology.It's a common misconception that the Borg will immediately try to assimilate any being that it comes to contact with. In fact, Borg drones will sometimes completely ignore beings that it identifies as too weak to be a threat as well as too inferior to be worth capturing. Captain Picard and his team walk safely past a group of Borg drones in a scene from the film First Contact because they are unarmed, while the drones fulfill a programmed mission.

Borg Collective

Also referred to as the "hive mind" or "collective consciousness" , this is the term used to describe the group mind of the Borg civilization. Each Borg individual, or drone, is linked to the collective by a sophisticated subspace network that ensures each member is given constant supervision and guidance. The collective is broadcast over a subspace domain similar to that utilized by the transporter. Being part of the collective offers significant biomedical advantages to the individual drones. The mental energy of the group consciousness can help an injured or damaged drone heal or regenerate damaged body parts or technology. The collective consciousness not only gives them the ability to "share the same thoughts", but also to adapt with great speed to defensive tactics used against them.[1]

Culture

The Borg Collective was made up of at the very least trillions of humanoids referred to as drones. Through the use of their cybernetic implants, the Borg interacted by sharing one another's thoughts in a hive mind. Upon assimilation, these trillions of "voices" would overwhelm the drone, stifling individual thought and resistance to the Collective's will. To some drones these voices could eventually become a source of comfort, and their absence a source of pain. Borg philosophy was governed by a primary directive to add the biological and technological distinctiveness of other species to that of the Borg. In this manner the Collective sought to achieve its definition of perfection; all other pursuits were deemed irrelevant. Accordingly, Borg drones did not engage in any activities except their duties and regeneration. Having no regard for individuality, Borg drones were identified with designations rather than names. A drone's designation typically described its position within a group, e.g. "Third of Five." To more specifically identify a drone, its function could be appended to this designation, e.g. "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01." In the same manner, the Borg refer to alien species by number rather than by name. If a drone was sufficiently injured or otherwise in distress, other drones would offer assistance. However, if a drone was deemed irreparable by the hive-mind, the Borg would deactivate it and redistribute any salvageable components throughout the Collective. The Borg did not procreate; they added to the Collective's population only by assimilation. Assimilated infants and juveniles would be placed in maturation chambers until adulthood. The Borg typically operated in an atmosphere with a constant temperature of 39.1 °C (102.38 °F), 92% relative humidity, an atmospheric pressure of approximately 102 kPa, and trace amounts of tetryon particles. These conditions were presumably conducive to the operation of their cybernetics. Borg drones ignored alien species until they demonstrated the potential to be a threat or a suitable candidate for assimilation. When addressing a small number of individuals, drones would simply attempt to assimilate them without comment. Before assimilating a larger population, such as a starship or an entire culture, the Borg would collectively transmit a standard announcement of their purpose and the futility of resistance. Species the Borg found unremarkable would be deemed unworthy of assimilation. As of 2374 the Borg considered the Kazon beneath their notice, and by 2376 they only took interest in the Brunali if they detected sufficiently relevant technology. On the rare occasions that the Borg were willing to open a dialog with individuals, they chose a single drone to speak for the Collective. Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated and given the name Locutus in the misguided assumption that such a representative would lower the Federation's resistance to assimilation. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds") When Kathryn Janeway successfully negotiated a truce with the Borg and refused to discuss the terms via a neural transceiver, the Collective agreed to communicate via Seven of Nine. The Borg Queen also spoke for the Collective, acting not as a mere liaison but as a physical manifestation of the hive mind. The exact nature of her role is unclear. The Borg possessed a near-reverence for particle 010, which they considered to be an expression of perfection. The Collective's fascination with assimilating this molecule has been compared to a religion. ==Technology {C}  == Borg technology was a combination of technologies assimilated from other cultures and technology developed within the Collective in order to overcome obstacles to its goals. When confronted by a problem it could not solve with its existing resources, the entire Collective would work in concert to consider all possible solutions and implement the one determined to be the most efficient. By applying the unique skills of each drone to a task, the hive mind could engineer new technologies at a pace that would astound an individual. ==Spacecraft == Borg vessels were highly decentralized, with no distinct bridge, living quarters, or engineering section. Each ship was collectively operated by its complement of drones, under the general direction of the hive mind. Owing to the Collective's disregard for aesthetic considerations, the architecture of Borg ships took the form of basic shapes such as cubes and spheres and they were made from Tritanium alloy. Borg ships were capable of regenerating from damage. Each Borg spacecraft was equipped with a vinculum to interconnect its crew, which was in turn connected to a central plexus that linked the ship to the Collective. In addition to warp drive, vessels were fitted with transwarp coils that could achieve even greater speed by opening transwarp conduits. When critically damaged or otherwise compromised, a Borg ship would self-destruct to prevent outsiders from studying Borg technology. However, USS Voyager encountered several damaged Borg vessels, notably including the cube carrying Icheb, Mezoti, Azan and Rebi, and a sphere carrying a transwarp coil, which Voyagerstole.

The Borg cube was extremely large in size, measuring 28 cubic kilometers in volume, with each side measuring more than three kilometers. In 2366, Commander Shelby estimated that a cube could remain operative even if 78% was destroyed. Borg cubes were capable of both warp and transwarp velocities, in part, thanks to their network of transwarp corridors and hubs. When a Borg cube enters a transwarp conduit it projects a structural integrity field ahead of the Cube to compensate for the extreme gravimetric shear. To compensate for the extreme temporal stress while traveling through these corridors, and remain in temporal sync, a chroniton field was also projected through specially designed conduits.  The main tactic employed by Cubes when engaging another vessel was to seize it with a tractor beam and render its defenses useless by draining its shields. Thus, the cube could perform any type of action, ranging from destruction to assimilation, on the defenseless ship. Following the failure of enemy shields, the cube usually engaged a cutting beam to slice sections of the ship for assimilation. In a combat situation the Borg sometimes further used the tractor beam itself to destroy the target vessel. The cutting beam could also be used as a weapon to destroy vessels showing resistance. During the Battle of Wolf 359, the Excelsior-class USS Melbourne and the Miranda-class USS Saratoga were annihilated by cutting beams, after their shields had been drained by the tractor beam. Another tactic used to disable vessels fleeing a cube was to fire a type of shield neutralizer weapon. Three shield neutralizer missiles were capable of disabling a Galaxy-class's shields. A hit from the weapon at an unshielded target could disable its warp drive. The cubes could also use dispersal fields to disrupt the sensor and transporter function of enemy vessels. In addition, a Borg cube's weaponry also included other destructive beam and projectile weapons. During the 2366-2367 incursion, a cube obliterated three ships of the Mars Defense Perimeter with projectiles. Similar projectiles were used to destroy a Steamrunner-class and a Saber-class starship during the Battle of Sector 001. The concentrated fire of three beam weapons was able to reduce USS Voyager's ablative generator-deployed armor hullintegrity, a highly advanced future Starfleet defense technology, to 40%. ==Infrastructure == Borg structures were located in deep space, in planetary systems, or on planets themselves. Each planet the Borg modified showed a typical climate and assimilated infrastructure adapted from the previous inhabitants. Buildings were simple shapes, similar to the geometrical ships, and rather than being single structures they were annexed together and added to when needed. By joining new structures to existing ones, they would form a uniformed complex. These buildings were gargantuan in size, with structures that could house Borg spheres docked inside. The Borg also constructed structures that had special functions, like the Transwarp Hub. There were six known Hub locations in the galaxy that allowed Borg vessels to deploy rapidly to almost everywhere in the galaxy. These transwarp hubs had many portal opening structures on them, and inside their corridors were Interspatial manifolds which supported the transwarp conduits. Several of these manifolds that led to the Alpha quadrant were destroyed by USS Voyager via transphasic torpedos and collapse of the conduit itself on the vessel's return to the Alpha Quadrant.

The Borg Queen was the name given to the entity that existed within and served as a central nexus for the Borg Collective. The name was given to this entity by the Federation scientists Magnus and Erin Hansen, who discovered its existence. It is unknown when a Borg Queen first appeared within the Collective,but it is known that she was assimilated around the age of 7-8 and was already present in 2354. A Borg Queen defined herself as, "I am the beginning... the end. The one who is many. I am the Borg." Although this might suggest she would be an individual within the Collective (while addressing them, she referred to drones as "my drones"), she was not. The purpose of a Borg Queen was to bring order to chaos. Her appearance was that of a humanoid female of Species 125. In accordance with the Borg pursuit of perfection, a blending of the organic and synthetic, very little of her original humanoid form remained. Her face and upper torso were organic while the rest of her body, including her skull and spinal cord, were synthetic. Because of her disembodiment she saw herself as the epitome of perfection. The Queen had her own chambers within the Borg Unicomplex from which she could oversee the Borg. Whether she had her own ship or not was unknown, but she used different Borg vessels to travel, such as a Borg cube, sphere, or diamond. When her physical presence was not necessary her organic part resided above this chamber while her synthetic parts were stored below it, under the floor. If she desired to do so both could be brought together and in doing so create a humanoid form for herself. In Human terms, a Borg Queen could be characterized as ruthless. She would do anything to protect the Borg Collective. Where drones showed no emotions, the Queen herself did. When necessary she would employ psychological tactics, like extortion or plain intimidation to get what she wanted. The Queen even displayed self-preservation when she was held at gunpoint by Captain Janeway, who threatened to kill her. On a personal level she considered Seven of Nine her favorite drone, because the Queen considered her to be unique. This had to do with Seven's experiences as an individual when she served aboard USS Voyager. The Queen's goal was to re-assimilate Seven into the Collective to enhance the Borg's, and so her own, perfection. She launched her vessel and followed the Delta Flyer into a transwarp conduit. The attempt failed, but she survived. The death of a Borg Queen did not seem to affect the Collective or its hive mind. When a Borg drone died, its memories would still be within the hive mind. There was no evidence that a Borg Queen would be more than a drone. Borg drones were capable of functioning without a queen for any length of time by forming a hive mind of their own. It was thought by Federation exobiologist Erin Hansen that the Borg Queen functioned like the queen of an insect hive, to coordinate the drones. Evidence of this was later seen when the Queen countermanded the Collective's judgment about assimilating Voyager. While the Collective felt that assimilation was warranted, the Borg Queen countermanded them justifying the decision due to the fact that Voyager didn't compromise their security. The Queen, while providing coordination for the drones she commands, also provides other functions such as regulation of the Borg's transwarp hubs and interspatial manifolds. She effectively brought "order to chaos" for all things.

Borg drones made up the population of the Borg Collective. A drone was an assimilated individual augmented with Borg technology and capable of assimilating others, be it an individual or technology, into the Collective. After assimilation a drone possessed no sense of individuality and served only the Collective. Although both male and females of any susceptible species could be assimilated, Borg drones themselves were neither male nor female in a reproductive sense. The physiology of Borg drones varied because various species were assimilated into the Collective. Their organic bodies were enhanced, and some parts completely replaced, with cybernetic implants. The nature of these implants was determined by the drone's intended function, such as a tactical or medical repair drone. Every drone was equipped with a homing device, which had its own unique translink frequency, by which it was kept in contact with the Collective through subspace transceivers, thus forming the hive mind. original species of a drone was often considered by the Collective when assigning a function. Via nanoprobes, which were uniquely encoded for every drone, a drone was capable of assimilating others into the Borg Collective. Drones could assimilate an entire starship, replicating components to interface with local technology. After assimilation, a drone possessed greater strength than before assimilation. The exoskeleton of a single limb could withstand a power surge of five million gigawatts (VOY: "Revulsion") and its body was covered with exo-plating, protecting it from the rigors of space, among other things. (Star Trek: First Contact) Its organic cardiopulmonary system was reinforced. When equipped with an eyepiece, a drone had the ability to see everything within the EM spectrum (similar to a Federation VISOR), as well as view the nanoscale (the size of molecules), analyze every facet and dimension of any object in perfect detail, and save perfect representations of those objects in physical memory. A drone's eyepiece was capable of directly observing the geometry of multi-dimensional space-time. A drone also had a personal force field which protected itself from particle beam weapons such as phasers. However this force field was unable to protect a drone from projectile weapons, for example, conventional firearms. The force field could adapt itself to counteract the threat the drone was experiencing. A drone even had the ability to survive after being frozen for at least eighty-nine years. A Borg drone needed to periodically regenerate in specially fitted alcoves to "feed" its organic and cybernetic parts. The organic components of a drone were fed by their implants, which synthesized organic molecules. The implants, in turn, received energy from the drone's alcove during its regeneration cycle. However, if necessary, a drone could go without regeneration for at least two hundred hours. When there was no alcove at hand, a Federation power conduit could be adapted to feed a Borg drone. When regenerating, Borg drones shut down all non-essential bodily systems, such that their entire metabolism became integrated with the power system and distribution network aboard their ship, thus merging their life signsinto their vessel. 

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