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In the episode "Collective", the Voyager crew encounters a mostly abandoned Borg Cube. Previously, the crew went to a lot of trouble to steal a Transwarp coil from a Borg sphere. Why didn't they take advantage of this opportunity to steal another one?

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The Borg ship was shielded from transporters for almost the entire time that Voyager was in its vicinity.

TUVOK: Their shield generators are too deep inside the vessel. Our weapons can't reach them.

It's only after Voyager overloads the cube's power systems that the shields drop. The cube is evidently in such dire straits that it's within seconds of exploding.

LEADER: Their feedback pulse is overloading the induction grids.

SEVEN: This vessel will be destroyed. We must evacuate.

Which leaves us with two possible outcomes;

  • Either Seven was right and the cube did eventually explode (off-screen) in which case there would have been no useful salvage or
  • The cube didn't explode and a salvage mission was conducted but the damage from the power system overload was so severe that there were very few salvageable parts (such as the partial database she was able to extract).

Either way the transwarp coils are liable to have been damaged beyond repair.

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  • Sorry, what evidence is there that the cube exploded off screen? When Seven says the vessel will be destroyed, she means because of the feedback pulse overloading the induction grids. That's only happening because Voyager is trying to take down the shields by sending a defector pulse down the tractor beam. In the episode, once they turn off the shields, the cube stops shaking and the electrical discharges indicating that the ship is under strain stop. – Daniel B May 12 '20 at 23:08
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    @DanielB - "This vessel will be destroyed" seems pretty definitive to me – Valorum May 12 '20 at 23:15
  • There is a clearly implied "if you do not drop the shields" in there, given that is what she is trying to get him to do — and what she prioritizes doing after he dies. – Daniel B May 12 '20 at 23:25
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    @DanielB - The warning lights that kicked in are still flashing after Seven lowers the shields (albeit the shaking stops and the sirens turn off). It's clear that the cube is still stricken. Even if it wasn't destroyed, presumably the pulse overloaded all of the good stuff worth pinching – Valorum May 12 '20 at 23:28
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    @DanielB - I've edited to express the options. The transwarp coils are either exploded or fried. Better? – Valorum May 12 '20 at 23:36
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The damaged cube kept the Delta-Flyer and multiple crew members hostage and held Janeway and Voyager off for hours mostly by bluffing. The crew never really had a chance to explore the cube.

See the Memory Alpha page on the episode for more information.

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    I don’t see the problem: at the end of the episode, they successfully rescue all the hostages and the abandoned Borg teenagers, leaving the cube open to plundering. – Daniel B May 12 '20 at 16:28
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    @DanielB - The cube explodes at the end. Off screen – Valorum May 12 '20 at 20:14

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