How did the Borg actually take note of humanity?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Sarxus, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. Sarxus

    Sarxus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think there's some controversity regarding the continuity between the (inofficial) first contact between humans and the Borg in ENT ("Regeneration") and in TNG ("Q Who"). It's been a while since I watched the ENT Borg episode and the TNG Borg episodes, but if I remember correctly, "Regeneration" ended with the Enterprise crew discovering that the Borg they defeat send information about humanity to the collective. It's stated that this information will reach them probably in the 24th century and might lead to an invasion.

    So, this is actually what we see then in TNG. In the 24th century, the Borg know about humanity and invade them. So you could think that this ENT episode was intended not to break the continuity set up already in TNG. However, if I remember it right, it was presented in TNG as if the Borg took note of humanity because of the encounter with the Enterprise in "Q Who", not because of the information they received from those Borg from the 22nd century in "Regeneration".

    Since both events are presented in ST shows and are thus canon, what do you think made the Borg discover humanity? Both version actually seem to contradict each other, either they took note of humanity because of the encounter with Archer's Enterprise or Picard's. Or could it be that both events (the Borg encountering Picard's Enterprise and receiving the information from the 22nd century Borg) took place at more or less the same time so both played a role?
     
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  2. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    It's like comic books; the history of kryptonite on Superman is even more confounding in its inconsistent use over the decades too, but changed if it makes the story do something new or perceived as better... especially early on when trying to find their way with the shiny new character and what could be done. :D And all that's even before kryptonite got different colors (probably to sort out the discontinuity once and not for all... but when the bulk of an established fan base agree mostly on one use, that seems to become the standard of which everything following needs to adhere to for consistency, or to one-up if it can be done compellingly as a new standard for which the wheel keeps spinning as a result... )
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which of course is different from the actual first contact between the Borg and the humans. That is, the former might have met the latter millions of years ago for all we care, assigning them a Species number and all, and then keeping tabs on mankind's progress down from the trees and back up to space again. They are very good at remaining unseen, after all.

    Which is an extremely odd thing for them to claim. Sure, they noticed some sort of a signal being sent in a certain direction. But how could they tell when it gets "there"? They have no idea whether "there" ought to be fifty thousand lightyears away, or just five lightyears; all they have is the direction. And they have no idea about the recipient, and do not know about any "Collective" - although they can guess the message reaching its recipients might result in trouble in the future.

    Do they? We see Borg invasions in VOY, and they involve numerous Cubes and are guaranteed to succeed.

    We also see the Borg "tickle" their victims with sorties by single ships, deliberately leaving them alive and capable of producing all sorts of delicious defenses, to be assimilated at a later date ("Child's Play"). This seems the closest analogy to what we see the Borg do in TNG.

    This would be a natural misconception for our heroes to hold, because they know nothing about the Borg. Yet we have good reason the Borg know everything about the heroes, and have known for thousands of years.

    What our heroes believe shouldn't be related to the truth much, and indeed it would be pretty bad drama if the heroes knew what they were talking about. It's a learning curve for them. Originally, they seemed to think the Borg had no interest in people, and grew babies out of cells in boxes. Turns out they just had no interest in the specific heroes at the time (how humiliating!) and tend to assimilate babies when such things happen in their way.

    One of their ships charting the Sol system around 45,000 BC. They found a potentially assimilable species, and decided to let it grow. But they also kept sampling it, and around the 2360s they decided it was starting to ripen, so they launched their long series of tickling missions, intended to culminate in assimilation in the 27th century or thereabouts. And then they got bored and left humanity to its own devices.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  4. Finn

    Finn Bad Batch of TrekBBS Admiral

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    Let me say this. Just because Picard, Data and the Enterprise's computer didn't know about the Borg at the star of "Q-Who" doesn't necessarily mean the Borg was completely unknown to the Federation. It just means Picard and Data wasn't aware of them and that the information wasn't put in the Enterprise's computer. Data and the computer core doesn't have all of the Federation's knowledge. It was kept from them.
     
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  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The intent behind the signal in Regeneration is to signify why the Borg had a presence in the Alpha Quadrant in the 2360s. The signal led them to the Neutral Zone, they checked out the Federation and Romulan colonies there, as per the episode The Neutral Zone and decided to head back to the Collective, not finding anything to get too worked up over. The the Enterprise encounters the cube in System J-25 courtesy of Q which possessing the Federation's newest technology makes it worth investigating. Then a fight ensues, and right when the Enterprise is moments away from being destroyed, it's instantly transported back to Federation space. The Borg don't realize it's Q who did this and think the ship possesses some manner of unknown technology, and thus assimilation of the Federation becomes priority and the cube turn back around and we meet up with it in TBOBW.
     
  6. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

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    This could just be due to out lack of knowledge about how such signals work. Perhaps subspace messages are most efficient when somehow tuned to match their intended distance of travel. Sort of like focusing a beam of light. If you can measure the angle of the edges of the beam you can calculate how far away they will converge into a point.
     
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  7. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The original signal was supposed to be Remmick's ;)
     
  8. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's the timeline as far as I understand it:
    2063: Zefram Cochran's first warp flight is nearly foiled by time travelling Borg
    2152: a few surviving Borg are revived and send a homing beacon before being defeated; Archer recognizes them as aliens Cochrane told stories of when drunk
    2353: following rumours of the first 2 incidents, Annika Hansen's parents went off with their 3 year old daughter looking for these "Borg" (they were very bad parents)
    2364: late in the year outposts along the Romulan neutral zone were being wiped out by exploratory Borg ships
    2365: Q formally introduces the Federation to the Borg; despite the casualties this may have been Q's way of warning us
    late 2366 or early 2367: Wolf 359
     
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  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    None of this precludes the Borg from having been aware of humans for thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of years already. No Borg action suggests sudden awareness, not in light of later revelations about Borg behavior. And the "Neutral Zone" scooping precedes the "Q Who?" encounter anyway, so the meeting that Q arranged would at most make the Borg curious about this new teleport-at-snap-of-fingers technology.

    But their actions in "Best of Both Worlds" do not really suggest such curiosity. The heroes never escape using this gone-in-a-flash method again, and the Collective probably realizes why not, after having assimilated Picard. Yet the Borg travel to Earth anyway, not in search of knowledge (they already got Picard) nor in order to terminate life on Earth (why should they when Earth doesn't have Q-fingers?) since they never get around to doing so despite reaching Earth without problems and well ahead of our heroes.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  10. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Borg wouldn't be aware of humans for too long. In "DRAGON'S TEETH", the Vaadwaur scientist tells Seven that during his time, the Borg only had a handful of systems. That was about 890 years prior to the episode. I think, at best, the Borg were around for about a century before that. So at best 1,000 years in total for them to exist. Certainly not more millennia.

    I really do wish we would get an origin story on the Borg. But I suppose it might better it's left to the imagination. (Plus, some things in STAR TREK should remain a mystery, like the ending of "PERSISTENCE OF VISION".)
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is more a case of the Vaadwaur not being aware.

    The Borg don't "have systems" in the general case. Having them would mean not having anybody to assimilate, and the Borg survive by assimilating. They can be everywhere and nevertheless not be seen, as per the Bigfoot Hunt that the Hansens had to undertake to get a glimpse.

    The much more knowledgeable Guinan and Q seem to agree that the Borg are "hundreds of millennia" old, and big galactic players. Even this is not any sort of a limit; they might be millions of years old and nobody would notice.

    Agreed that we don't really need an origin story. And that there should be mysterious aspects to the Borg for spinoffs to come. The heroes simply couldn't credibly know much yet, when even Seven of Nine can be fooled by the Collective or the Queen.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  12. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Seven did say early records of the Borg are fragmentary at best.

    I wonder if DISCOVERY will ever encounter them.
     
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  13. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Read the novels. The first Borg were Canadian;)
     
  14. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ...Is that something we should be proud of?
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I know I am.
     
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  16. Swedish Borg

    Swedish Borg Commodore Captain

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    I think the Borg noticed humanity in TNG but they didn't know where they came from, since Q just threw them there and then took them back. So the location of humanity had to be a signal sent from the Alpha Quadrant... So the ENT episode is justified.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, they did hack into the Enterprise's computer and the 18 personnel who went missing could have been assimilated, which would provide the Borg all the necessary know how to determine where the Enterprise came from.
     
  18. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Commodore

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    Before Archer and pals made contact with be Borg the Enterprise-E crew had already had a contact with the Borg in 2063.

    Although as I'm a TNG fanatic the first official first contact with the Borg happened in 'Q Who', 2365, season 2 of TNG.
     
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  19. Colonel Midnight

    Colonel Midnight Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Please, Dear God, noooooooooo... That well has been tapped so much, it’s drier than the Sahara.

    Cheers,
    -CM-
     
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Garth of Algar Premium Member

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    Not a Voyager fan?