In the book trilogy, Star Trek: Destiny, the Borg are first created when two injured, dying, and slightly deranged Caeliar unnaturally merged/assimilated two humans that were with them when their ship crashed in 4527 BCE as a means of survival. Humans from the 22nd century had inadvertently came across the highly advanced and xenophobic Caeliar. An accident ensued, and a few humans and Caeliar got slung back in time on the other side of the galaxy.

The newly formed Borg's devastating, insatiable appetite continued on from there until the Borg were finally taken care of in 2381 AD/Stardate 58100 (about 16 months after the events of Nemesis).

If the Earth humans are the first ones to be assimilated, why aren't they Species 001 (or 002/003 depending on how/if the Caeliar/Borg are catalogued)?

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    Because the books aren't canon? – Stop Harming Monica Apr 30 '16 at 20:33
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    I thought some were? I get confused what is/isn't considered canon between Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR, Disney, HP, etc etc ad nauseum etc. – iMerchant Apr 30 '16 at 20:35
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    @iMerchant - Some books (especially the technical manuals, encyclopedia and writer's guides) are considered to be canon. Almost none of the fiction books are considered canon though. – Valorum Apr 30 '16 at 21:38
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    Perhaps they are assigning the identifier arbitrarily, not sequentially? Maybe their database does page-level locking and they want to avoid hot spots? – Greenstone Walker May 22 '16 at 22:54
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    @GreenstoneWalker: sequential numbering is also a security risk. – Paul D. Waite Mar 11 '17 at 12:46

Maybe they were known as Species 001 or 002 (as Caeliar should be 001) at that time (5th millennium BC) and we just do not know.

But you have to understand that this was the first iteration of the Borg Collective. As per Star Trek Voyager episode 6x07, "Dragon's Teeth", we find out that during the 15th century AD the Borg controlled only a handful systems and the Borg memory from before that time itself is fragmentary. So we can postulate that the numbering currently in use (in the 24th century) must originate from a time after. By the time the 2 human drones must have died off and as such humans gained a new designation when encountered anew.

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    This is a worthy in-universe answer. Kudos! – Lightness Races with Monica May 1 '16 at 1:02
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    This is pure speculation. – Stop Harming Monica May 1 '16 at 6:50
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    as stated in this answer that things are fragmented. Perhaps due to this or some other reason they decided to re index all species? Maybe reindexing current and more local species to their neck of woods was "more efficient"? – Forward Ed May 1 '16 at 10:11

From startrek.com:

As a rule of thumb, the events that take place within the live-action episodes and movies are canon, or official Star Trek facts. Story lines, characters, events, stardates, etc. that take place within the fictional novels [...] have traditionally not been considered part of the canon.

Therefore the events of this book series don't fit in with the TV series because they're not canon. There's no need for any other Star Trek works to acknowledge or be consistent with this version of the Borg's origins.

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    @iMerchant - Except the information referenced in your question. :) – Adamant Apr 30 '16 at 20:52
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    @OrangeDog - Just about everything is contradicted by JJ Abrams' movies (2 Spocks, Nero, red matter, Khan's escape & brain bugs, no Vulcan, etc). It's an alternate timeline. If you asked how Khan escaped his imprisonment, you will get two different answers. Which one is more valid? Well, they both are equally valid. You wouldn't dismiss the events of Wrath of Khan simply because of the 2009 reboot. My point is something that contradicts 2009 film doesn't necessarily mean it's not valid. – iMerchant Apr 30 '16 at 22:35
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    @iMerchant I assume it means the original timeline stuff - i.e. Romulus being destroyed in 2387, etc. – Stop Harming Monica Apr 30 '16 at 22:48
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    @OrangeDog - I really didn't want this to be a canon vs non cannon discussion. I will grant that Destiny isn't cannon. Nevertheless, questions about non-cannon, EU, Legends, etc have always been deemed appropriate on SFF. I really like the answer below by Martin, as his explanation does a good job of tying into other Star Trek storylines and is a plausible explanation I hadn't considered before. – iMerchant Apr 30 '16 at 23:21
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    Technically, anything in the Abrahmsverse would invalidate anything from the Prime Star Trek timeline, so while it may be canon, it is only canon for events which happen once the timeline comes into existence. Anything else written in books, unless otherwise revised is considered to be non-canon and thus events in which the Borg exist for example must in some way be reconciled with the actual events in the Star Trek televised and movie canon. Since we don't have a complete history of the Borg, a redesignation of species numeration is possible and even likely given their longevity as a species. – Thaddeus Howze Apr 30 '16 at 23:54

The Borg were first introduced in the "Q Who?" episode of STNG. During a conference is the following dialog:

PICARD: Guinan, how much more can you tell us about these creatures?

GUINAN: Bits and pieces.

PICARD: Anything would help.

GUINAN: They're made up of organic and artificial life which has been developing for thousands of centuries.


Thus it seems that the Borg first became cyborgs hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Could the Borg have been a more recent combination of organic and mechanical elements that had been been developing separately for hundreds of thousands of years before combining recently? NO! it took billions of years for the first multicellular life to develop on Earth and hundreds of millions more for the first intelligent life to evolve. It would be impossible for the biological component of the Borg to evolve tens of thousands of times faster than Earth life.

The writer of Star Trek: Destiny obviously forgot to check "Q Who?" to see what it said about the origin of the Borg. If he had he would have seen that his origin date of

4527 BCE

was falsified.

The same is even more true for the popular fan theory that the Borg were created as a result of Voyager VI/V'ger encountering the machine Planet.


The memory of the Borg being fragmented before 900 years ago is canon and is stated in the Voyager episodes dealing with the Vudwaar by Seven of Nine!

As for Q's stated origin date of 4527 BCE, as Q would say, "Oh, you're assuming linear temporal progression, how quaint!" We need to know how Q defines 'origin' and also keep in mind that the Borg are a combination of both technological and organic components and a good degree of assimilation.

  • The stated origin date of 4527 BCE didn't come from Q. Rather, it came from a novel trilogy called Star Trek: Destiny, which goes into things such as the Omega Particle and the origins of the Borg. But as others have stated, Star Trek novels are not considered cannon; they're just EU. – iMerchant May 6 '16 at 4:47

I haven't read Star Trek: Destiny but I'm going to leap into this here:

The creation of the Borg was not a planned event. For all intents and purposes, it just happened.

Survival was the first priority. Expansion -- by assimilating other species -- came later. It was at that point numbering was introduced, starting with species 001 as the first species assimilated from that point forward.

  • Could you clarify your answer as to why Humans weren't species 001 if they were the first assimilated? – Edlothiad Mar 11 '17 at 12:13

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