I'm re-watching ST: First Contact and just saw the scene where they're attaching an ocular device to an implant on a newly assimilated Borg. The former Enterprise crewmember was just lying there while the procedure was being performed--no screaming or obvious flinching.

The Borg Queen obviously understands pain and pleasure, as evidenced by her treatment of Data. But do the Borg actually feel physical pain during/after assimilation?

  • 4
    Pain is irrelevant.
    – Valorum
    Oct 23, 2016 at 11:52
  • 4
    Except that I could see drones being all "Why is this drone-to-be flailing around during the assimilation process? It is causing damage to its organic components." And eventually concluding that blocking pain receptors would be a logical step in the assimilation process.
    – miltonaut
    Oct 23, 2016 at 14:06
  • Perhaps it's fair to say that your pain is irrelevant to the Collective.
    – Valorum
    Oct 23, 2016 at 14:09

1 Answer 1



SEVEN: Do you think I'm disgusting?

IKO: You've been nothing but kind to me.

SEVEN: You asked me earlier if it hurt when my occipital implant was installed. I told you I didn't remember. But the truth is, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

IKO: Why did you lie?

SEVEN: It's difficult for me to talk about, because I forced others to undergo the same procedure.

IKO: Why?

SEVEN: I was compelled to do so by the Borg Collective. I wasn't in control of my actions, just as you weren't in control when you took a life. My nanoprobes have given you control. You're a different person now. You don't deserve to be executed.

Voy: Repentance

As for the Borg after assimilation, I'd say again yes. The Borg wouldn't care if a Drone is in pain as long as it does its job (no local anesthetics here)

EDIT as for them not 'flailing around', remember they don't have control after the nano-probes are injected. Think being operated on while you're paralysised but still awake (Picard managed to shed a tear in TNG:Best-Of-Both-worlds. Drones is a good word, the Borg don't care as long as the Drone functions

  • The question asked for during and after assimilation, and it stands to reason if they don't care during, they wouldn't care after. I can't find any reference to after either way in regards to pain. They think people would 'want' to be borg too, so some painkillers would be given if they cared. Only reference close is when 7 says the Borg wouldn't care if drone remembered being individuals VOY:Instinct. If pain was an issue then it would help them get 'followers' watching peaceful assimilation's not horrifyingly painful ones. And thanks for the edit (That's what I was trying to do)
    – Matt
    Oct 23, 2016 at 17:41
  • That's fair. I was mostly looking at the title rather than the specific wording. You have my +1 for addressing the bit before full assimilation.
    – Valorum
    Oct 23, 2016 at 18:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.