Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
There's no indication that when Hugh's cube was cut off from the collective, it 'provoked' the Borg. Indeed, by definition that is impossible, since it was *Hugh's* group who were individuals and prone to such things. The Borg, by excising that cube, were merely sterilizing an infection - that's how they'd look at it.
No specific indication, true, but it's still a sound logical premise, whether they made a purposeful reference to it being the cause of the 2nd Borg invasion, or not. Alerting the Borg to your presence is provocation enough, for them to begin assimilation procedures, as is evident, following the events of Q-Who.
Within a year, The Borg attempt to assimilate Earth, and fail, because Data hacked their system. Following that outcome, there is an absence of Borg activity, until they discover Hugh's scout ship, a couple years later. It stands to reason that, a primary motive for not immediately sending another Borg invasion force, after their 1st attempt, was because that 1st conflict ended with them being seriously compromised. Good reason to stand off the invasion
All I'm saying is, if you're looking to avoid being stung, you don't kick the hive. Taking a Borg onto your ship & then releasing it to infect its mothership, whatever the infection, is undue provocation. It's a second instance of the UFP dismantling a Borg cube, & interfering with the collective, in an attempt to destroy the collective
Just look & listen to them at the beginning of I Borg. They all know they are making a big mistake taking that Borg from the crash site.... everybody but Crusher, who is too busy thinking like a doctor, instead of an officer, & right from the start, Picard's only thought was to use the drone against them. Provocative
, especially for a group that stands against that kind of behavior, & Picard knows exactly what he's done at the end of the episode. He calls it "Pernicious". Too bad it wasn't 100% effective, because the result is that they may now see you as active threat, trying to dismantle their collective = bad times for you