Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 1 to 10 of 10 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2018-06-20

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TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

DATA: Radiation bursts from the star's surface are making precise sensor readings difficult. It seems to be exhibiting gravitational instability.


DATA: Sir, I am detecting a transmission... emanating from within this system

RIKER: What kind of signal?

DATA: It is self-repeating... of unknown pattern.

PICARD: Where is it coming from?

DATA: A small moon orbiting the fourth planet.

PICARD: Life signs?

DATA: Indeterminate. I am attempting to screen out sensor interference ... readings are still inconclusive; however, the moon's atmosphere is capable of supporting life.

Sensors: stellar radiation can interfere with the Enterprise's sensors even though it is many tens of millions of kilometres away. They can pick up the Borg transmissions from the fourth planet in the system but they can't pick up much else.

Since I know some Trekkies will immediately assume that the star must have been astronomically remarkable, I would like to point out that Geordi Laforge, Dr. Crusher and numerous others were able to walk around safely on the fourth planet in the system, so there are limits to how intense the radiation could possibly be.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

BEVERLY: He suffered massive internal injuries. We've got the hemorrhaging under control, but some of the implants in his brain were damaged. I may have to remove them.

PICARD: The Borg will die if they're removed permanently. Their brains grow dependent on the biochips.

The Borg: according to Picard, Borg implants eventually create a dependency which makes their removal impossible. This would explain why 7 of 9 is still partly Borg, while Picard was able to make a full recovery. She was a Borg for most of her life, while he was a Borg for only a few days, presumably not long enough for his brain to become dependent on the implants.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

PICARD: If we could get to the root command, we could introduce an invasive programming sequence through its biochip system, and then return it to the hive.

GEORDI: The Borg are so interconnected it would spread like a virus.

PICARD: Until it infected the entire Collective. We could disable their neural network in one stroke.

The Borg: this tactic remains a mystery. It remains to be seen whether it would have been successful, although it is interesting to note that Picard knows the Borg quite literally from the inside out, and he seems to think it will work.

Some have asked why they never tried it in subsequent encounters, but an obvious explanation is that it's not easy to capture a drone and then return him to the Collective without alerting them.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

GEORDI: If I'm gonna figure out his command pathways, I have to learn how he processes information. The only way I know to do that is to give him perceptual tests. That means getting his cooperation.

BEVERLY: So he can participate in the destruction of his entire species.

GEORDI: Doctor...

BEVERLY: I know, I know. We're at war.

Culture: I find it interesting that Beverly describes the Borg as a "species" even though they're nothing of the sort. They've assimilated many different species and cultures, therefore, they have none of the genetic and structural commonality that is required in order to be a "species".

Is it possible that they've gotten into the habit of describing nation-states as "species" even when they obviously aren't? Perhaps the word "species" is perverted before the 24th century, so that it actually refers to national citizenship rather than biology.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

GEORDI: It's funny... when I first started out, I had no problem with creating this invasive program, but the more I work with Hugh, the more I --


GEORDI: That's the name we gave him.

GUINAN: You named a Borg.


GEORDI: And now I'm having second thoughts about what we're doing. Programming him like a walking bomb, sending him back to destroy the others.

GUINAN: This "kid's" big brothers are going to hunt us down. They won't rest until they have him back. And they'll destroy us in the process -- without any of this soul-searching you're going through.

GEORDI: Maybe you should go talk to him. It might not seem so clear cut then.

Culture: Geordi spouts a load of politically correct garbage. When soldiers shoot at the enemy, they know perfectly well that they're shooting at other young men, who have dreams, aspirations, loves, hopes and fears just like anyone else. That's tragic, but that's war. No one said it was pretty.

Only a soap-opera writer would depict professional soldiers getting all touchy-feely in this situation. Hugh is the enemy, and he's also a potential superweapon in the war against the Borg. The Borg are perfectly willing and able to obliterate the Federation way of life, and they've shown an utterly ruthless disregard for any remotely humanitarian conventions of war. A failure to respond in kind is not only stupid, it's suicidal.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

RIKER: We've picked up a vessel on long range scanners, headed this way.

PICARD: Analysis.

DATA: The vessel is traveling at warp seven-point-six. Mass: two-point-five million metric tons, configuration: cubical.

RIKER: The Borg.

DATA: Its dimensions indicate that it is a scout ship similar to the one that crashed.

DATA: Interference from the star's radiation will shield us from their sensors. We should remain undetected until they enter this system.

PICARD: How long do we have?

DATA: At present speed they will arrive in thirty-one hours, seven minutes.

Sensors: they are able to track the incoming Borg vessel while it is still 31 hours away at warp 7.6. Once again, we see that approaching warp-driven ships are remarkably easy to detect even at very long range, when compared to impulse-driven ships or even departing warp-driven ships.

In this case, they can detect it at much longer ranges than other approaching warp-driven ships in previous episodes, perhaps because of its large size or the storm of subspace communications that always emanates from a cube.

Note that they expected to be safely hidden from the Borg long-range sensors by the solar radiation even though they were still in orbit around the fourth planet at that time. They didn't have to hide in the star's chromosphere until the cube arrived in the system.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

GUINAN: If you're going to use this person-

PICARD: It's a Borg, damn it, not a person!

GUINAN: If you're going to use this person to destroy his race, don't you think you should look him in the eye once before you do it? Besides... I'm not so sure he is Borg anymore.

PICARD: Because he's been given a name by a member of the crew doesn't mean he's no longer Borg. Because he's young doesn't mean he's innocent. He is what he is and in spite of the efforts to turn him into some kind of pet -- I will not alter our plans.

GUINAN: Fine. But unless you talk to him -- at least once -- you might find that decision harder to live with than you realize.

Culture: Guinan joins Geordi in spouting PC nonsense (which is all the more amazing since her entire civilization was obliterated by the Borg).

Hugh developed the beginnings of an accessible personality, and he even showed sympathy for Geordi, calling him a "friend". That's all well and good, but he's still a POW.

Therefore, they should either imprison him indefinitely, find a way to permanently separate him from the Collective, or send him back with the invasive program. Each one of those alternatives has merit, but the solution they eventually chose (simply letting him go) has no merit whatsoever.

There is no conceivable reason to render medical assistance to an injured enemy soldier, show him around your finest starship, and then release him back to his side with knowledge of your hiding place in the star's chromosphere. It was only blind luck that Hugh somehow managed to corrupt the programming of his cube instead of simply giving them away, which is the fate they truly deserved.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

GEORDI: Then... you've reconsidered the plan?

PICARD: Yes. If we used him in that manner, we'd be no better than the enemy we seek to destroy.

Culture: these people seem to have no concept whatsoever of the purpose of war. War is the means by which nations defend or increase their power and prosperity. Morality doesn't enter into it.

Military strategies aren't designed to demonstrate superior ethics! They are designed to achieve victory over the enemy, or in this case, to defend your nation against a ruthless, implacable aggressor. How much are your ethics going to be worth if you're dead, or your society has been obliterated?

After this episode, I was struck with the conviction that the Federation deserved to be assimilated by the Borg. Their brand of high-minded preaching should never be rewarded.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

BEVERLY: What if he doesn't want to go back?


PICARD: Hugh... a Borg rescue vessel is approaching. It will be here within three hours. We can return you to the crash site, where they will find you and take you home. Or... if you wish, you may remain here with us.

BORG: What I wish... is irrelevant.

GEORDI: It's not irrelevant. It matters to us.

BORG: No Borg leaves the Collective. If they find I am missing -- they will come for me.


PICARD: We would grant you asylum.

BORG: Choose ... what I want ... I would choose to stay with Geordi. But it is too dangerous. They will follow. Return me to the crash site. It is the only way.

GEORDI: Hugh... think about this... are you sure?

BORG: Yes.

Misc: Hugh actually turns out to be a decent guy. But since his newfound personality should be absorbed into the Collective, I still fail to see the merit in sending him back without the invasive program. His personality will eventually be destroyed either way, but the invasive program would represent an opportunity to make Hugh's selfless sacrifice actually mean something.

As an aside, Hugh and the Enterprise crew are morons for not considering the obvious third option: obliterate the crash site with a massive barrage of phasers and photon torpedoes. The Borg  are too impersonal to seek revenge, they wouldn't know that Hugh is missing if the whole area is destroyed, and they're undoubtedly accustomed to people attacking their disabled ships. They'd probably just leave.

TNG Season 5, Ep# 123: "I, Borg"

PICARD: We'll beam him down and take position in the star's chromosphere. Its interference will hide us from their sensors.


DATA: We are now entering position. Radiation levels are rising.

PICARD: Increase power to the shields. Hold us here.

RIKER: Status of the Borg ship?

DATA: Solar radiation is rendering our sensors inoperable. At last known course and speed, the Borg vessel will enter the system in three minutes.

Sensors: the Enterprise's sensors are useless when the ship is in the star's chromosphere (the thin region between the photosphere and the corona, which is filled with relatively cool, highly dispersed gases).

Also note that Picard expected them to be undetectable while in this region.

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