True. But even so, on the scale we're talking about, a few isolated pockets of habitation wouldn't make Borg territory any less of a vast, yawning desert, any more than the occasional Bedouin caravan in the Sahara makes it a lush temperate zone. Paris's characterization of the territory as a whole is probably quite accurate, even if there are occasional, widely scattered exceptions. Those few populated worlds would probably be thousands of light-years from each other and from anyone else. In the alternate timeline we glimpsed in First Contact after the Borg Queen's sphere went back into the past, we saw that Earth was still a Borg-populated world over 300 years after its assimilation. That proves that Borg don't just strip planets bare and abandon them, but live on them for considerable lengths of time. The key factor I've been taking for granted and failing to spell out explicitly is that there's a difference between what's usable to the Borg and what's usable to conventional life forms. The Borg were a cybernetic race based on nanotechnology. Give them sufficient raw elements and they can technologically synthesize whatever materials they need to sustain the life functions of their drones. Therefore they can convert the entire surface of a planet to technology, killing off all plant and animal life. But after the Caeliar ascension, all Borg technology was turned to dust. So those planets that were able to sustain billions of Borg technologically are now completely dead. They have no water, no plants, no animals, no soil, just barren rock that's been stripped of the technology that used to cover every millimeter of the surface. Any residual oxygen in the air will soon chemically react with the rocks and be removed from the atmosphere. Those worlds that were able to support the Borg are now totally incapable of supporting organic life. Sure, but they're the same base elements you can find everywhere else in the universe. Why quest hundreds of light-years into former Borg territory to obtain raw elements that you can mine from any of the millions of asteroids within your own star system? Exactly. Exactly. Assuming that the former victims of the Borg would be eager to rush in and reclaim the Borg's former territory is like assuming that European Jews would've wanted to build luxury resorts at Auschwitz and Sobibor. Former Borg territory is probably the last place that anyone who'd been victimized by the Borg would want to go anywhere near for centuries to come. Since the Voth live in spacegoing cityships, their territory could easily interpenetrate the territories of other, planet-dwelling civilizations, yet still rarely interact with them directly. So they could be spread over a huge swath of the Delta Quadrant. Still, the region where Voyager encountered them (and the Kazon, Vidiians, and everyone else in the first three seasons) is way, way out on the far outer edge of the DQ. So I don't know if the fleet would have any reason to go that far. Though on the other hand, that would be the location of the Mikhal outpost where the writing recognized by Captain Eden was found, so maybe she'd want to go that far.