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Old January 30 2009, 06:07 AM   #533
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Granted that the Queen is capable of responses that aren't entirely pragmatic. My point is that you can't assume she's being honest about what her feelings and motivations actually are. When she tried to seduce Data and Picard in FC, she was clearly working toward a goal, manipulating them with lies.
The problem is that Picard's suppressed memory of the real reason the Queen wanted him as Locutus is revived. It's a memory formed when he was already Locutus, when there would have been no reason for the Queen to be dishonest about her goals towards Lotcutus since he was already a part of the Collective. He distinctly remembers that she wanted Locutus to be a partner, an equal -- which implies loneliness.

Add to that her absolute fury at Data for betraying her, and we have what is clearly an emotional being.

I also don't think the books portray the Borg as "evil by intent."
No, but they do portray them as being deliberately malicious, enjoying causing harm and desiring power.
I think that's anthropomorphizing them.
It's really not. Even if we didn't have the Queen's urging Seven to take pleasure in the assimilation of others, as she does, in "Dark Frontier," there are these passages from Destiny that clearly depict an emotional Queen experiencing pleasure at harming others, and experiencing anger when that harm is disrupted (I'm afraid I'm referencing the eBook edition and so have no stable page numbers to give you):

From Chapter 13 of Book III:
The Queen had emerged from her chrysalis with two mandates coded into her being: Destroy Earth, and crush the Federation.

For too long, we have obsessed over Earth, she had directed her trillions of drones, attuning the Collective's will to her own. It has lured us, tempted us, thwarted us. No longer.

She had projected her murderous fury to the drones and adapted them to the lightning pace that she and the Collective now demanded of them. We offered them union. Perfection. They responded with feeble attempts at genocide. Earth and its Federation are not worthy of assimilation. They would add only imperfection. Since they offer nothing and obstruct our quest for perfection, they will be exterminated.

It was all coldly logical and mechanically precise, but none of that mattered to the drones. They would follow the will of the Collective and execute the Queen's dictates without question or hesitation. No justification had to be given to the drones. The Queen, however... she made different demands.
From Chapter 19:

She [Hernandez] had expected it to be more like the gestalt, but its similarity was only superficial. Many voices had been fused into a single consciousness, but not willingly. Unlike the Caeliar, who had united their minds for the elevation of their society as a whole, the Borg Collective subjugated sentient minds and then yoked their hijacked bodies to serve its own aims.

The deeper she delved into the Collective, the more she realized that it was nothing like the gestalt. It was darker, almost primordial in its aggression, brutally authoritarian, and utterly domineering.....
From Chapter 29:
She [Hernandez] felt the Caeliar gestalt reassert its primacy in her mind and body, and then it landed its own first blow against the Collective, dredging up fragments of an ancient memory--bitter cold and empty darkness, loneliness and despair, fading strength and dwindling numbers. And, above all, hunger.

Paroxysms of rage shook the Collective, and Hernandez knew, intuitively, that the Borg armada was firing en masse at Axion, unleashing every bit of destructive power it could marshal. All of the Collective's hatred and aggression was erupting, and the Caeliar had become its sole focus. As the bombardment hammered Axion's shields, however, there wasn't a glimmer of distress or even concern in the gestalt. At best, the Caeliar reacted to the fusillade with equal parts curiosity and pity.

So much sorrow and anger, opined the gestalt. Such a desperate yearning... but it doesn't know what it seeks, so it consumes everything and is never satisfied.


The Caeliar gestalt beheld its savage reflection.

The Collective looked back, hostile and bewildered, like a wild thing that had never seen a mirror nor caught sight of itself in still waters. ....

The gestalt was overwhelmed with pity for the primitive and autocratic posturing of the Collective. Like a child that had never been disciplined, it laid claim to all it surveyed, seized everything within reach in rapacious flurries of action, and never once questioned if it had the right to do so.
If the evidence from the canon wasn't conclusive enough, the evidence from Destiny is: The Borg experience emotion and lust for power. It's more than just a guiding paradigm -- it's an emotional act when the Borg seek power.
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