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A race of hybrid beings, humanoids enhanced by cybernetic implants, who are joined together in a group consciousness known as the Borg Collective. Believed to originate in the Delta Quadrant.
Since the Federation's first encounter with the Borg (2365), fragmentary knowledge of their organization, technology and intent has been gathered. (Little is known of their activity prior to 2365. Guinan, an El Aurian, related to Capt. Jean-Luc Picard that the Borg destroyed her planet and scattered its people in the 23rd century.)
The Federation's first encounter with the Borg. Federation starship U.S.S. Enterprise-D was transported (by Q) to a point some 7000 light years off course, deep in the Delta Quadrant, where it confronted a hostile Borg vessel.
The Borg entered Federation space heading for planet Earth. (While this attack was anticipated by the Federation based on reports of the Enterprise encounter of 2365, it came months sooner than Federation strategists predicted, and defenses were not fully prepared.) The Borg first invaded the starship Enterprise-D and kidnapped its captain, Jean-Luc Picard. Picard was surgically altered into an entity which identified itself as Locutus of Borg. Locutus, being connected to the Borg collective consciousness, provided guidance for the Borg's subsequent attack on the massed Federation armada at Wolf 359, destroying 39 starships and costing 11,000 lives. Subsequently, an Enterprise away team captured Locutus on the Borg vessel and brought him back to the Enterprise. Utilizing Locutus' contact to the collective, Data was able to plant a disabling command (the equivalent of a "sleep" command) in the Borg, which resulted in suspension of the attack. When the Borg became aware of Data's tampering, they initiated self-destruction of their vessel to prevent Data's further access.
Two Borg vessels were known to be in Federation space. First, wreckage of a small Borg craft was discovered on a moon in the Argolis Cluster by U.S.S. Enterprise. A young injured Borg was rescued from it, the sole survivor. He was healed/repaired through the combined efforts of the ship's Chief Engineer and Chief Medical officer. Being disconnected from the Borg collective, he began to exhibit signs of individuality. This individuality was encouraged by the crew, who named him Hugh. (He had previously identified himself as "Third of Five.") He was eventually returned to the crash site, and was picked up by another small Borg "scout ship."
Answering a distress call from the outpost at Ohniaka 3, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D confronted an unidentified vessel orbiting the planet, which later proved to be a previously unknown type of Borg ship. Upon transport to the colony, the away team found massive destruction. Hostile Borg encountered on the planet behaved significantly different from all previously known Borg, moving more sharply and decisively, appearing to follow individual initiative, referring to themselves in the first person, and to each other by name. One of this Borg group was captured, but eventually persuaded Lt. Commander Data to escape with him and defect to their Borg group. They proved to be a renegade band of Borg that had been "infected" by the sense of individuality that Hugh gained while previously in the care/custody of the Enterprise crew. Their command structure had been destroyed, and they wandered aimlessly until they found leadership in Data's "brother" Lore, who promised to guide them to a new era of leadership among lifeforms. (The Borg appear to venerate both Data and Lore as more perfect than themselves, being fully artificial lifeforms.) Data shot Lore with an energy weapon, effectively killing him, and the Borg group continued together, cut off from the collective. Since that time,the activities and movements of these non-collective Borg are unknown.
The Borg collective appears to operate on a group-mind principle, with many individuals linked through a type of subspace communications network. Neither the decision making process, nor any central source of command, is known. The exact method of distribution of tasks is unknown. Command structure is known to be divided into three major subcommands, Communication, Navigation and Defense, which cover the range of necessary actions. A high degree of redundancy has been observed in the Borg command structure, eliminating dependency on any individual, so that even if significant percentages of the collective are damaged or destroyed,it will not effect overall performance. The individual units of the Borg are cybernetically enhanced biological lifeforms, and are technologically differentiated for various functions.
The Borg appear to have acquired their numbers and their vast technological capabilities largely through assimilation of other species and cultures.
Little is known of Borg technology other than what has been observed in confrontation, since virtually all encounters have been hostile.
They possess the ability to travel through vast distances at speeds appreciably faster than our practical warp limits. Of their vessels, we have usually confronted the cube-shaped vessel, believed to be their archetypal design. The renegade Borg group encountered in 2370 utilized a very different design, asymmetrical and highly unusual, and not possessing the typical outward attributes of Borg technology. It is not known whether or not this vessel was of Borg origin.
Their weaponry is highly advanced and very powerful. Their defensive capabilities adapt quickly to all forms of weaponry we have used, including adaptation to weapons whose operating parameters are changed constantly, e.g. automatic phaser retuning has had some limited effect, but they have been able to adapt their defenses against it before cumulative damage becomes significant.
The personal technology resident in each Borg unit seems similarly advanced, allowing them, for instance, to function as both fighting units and computer terminals virtually simultaneously.
Virtually nothing is known of Borg culture in the usual sense. All Borg are apparently interconnected with all other Borg, and the concept of individuality is apparently destructive to this organization.
Their only known pursuit or intention seems to be the assimilation of other cultures and technologies, and the perfection and export of their form of organization.