In "Q Who?," the Borg are seen using a laser to cut out a section of several decks of the saucer section which they try to retrieve with a tractor beam.

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WORF: A type of laser beam is slicing into the saucer section.

RIKER: Carving us up like a roast.

TNG: Q Who?

As a result of an earlier scene where two Borg drones interfaced with a computer in engineering, it's reasonable to assume that the Borg have access to detailed schematics of the Enterprise, so it's reasonable to assume there was something in that section which the Borg wanted.

What was in the section of the ship that they removed?

  • I'm not sure why it is a 'reasonable' assumption that the Borg have a detailed schematic. This is the first time they have met, the Enterprise is shielded, and the Borg might want the general information on Federation technology, the exact structure of the ship would not be terribly relevant to the Borg. Dec 10, 2023 at 17:36
  • 2
    @Xavon_Wrentaile My question originally pointed out that the borg drones teleported into engineering and interfaced with a workstation. We can't know for sure why they did that, but it was likely for information given they were on a reconnaissance mission.
    – Ian Newson
    Dec 10, 2023 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


Based on the Rick Sternbach Star Trek: The Next Generation Blueprints, we can take a reasonable guess at what the Borg managed to grab, assuming the beam cut through the ship cleanly from its point of entry on Deck 4, down to its exit from Deck 14. In short, they helped themselves to a nice cross-section of a variety of systems, but it's not obvious they were targeting one specific system.

Based on what we know of the Borg, the items of highest value to the Borg were probably going to be some bodies (for biological testing) and the Stellar Cartography Suite and Computer Core Memory Modules (for identifying planets that would be ripe for assimilation).

  • Deck 4 - Crew Quarters
  • Deck 5 - More Crew Quarters
  • Deck 6 - Environmental Systems
  • Deck 7 - System Monitoring Suites
  • Decks 8, 9 & 10 - Stellar Cartography
  • Deck 11 - Banquet room
  • Deck 12 - Biohazard ICU
  • Decks 13 + 14 - Main Computer Core Memory Banks

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  • 14
    What the Borg really wanted was the banquet room.
    – JK.
    Dec 10, 2023 at 4:08
  • 7
    @JK. - In hindsight it seems so obvious
    – Valorum
    Dec 10, 2023 at 10:39
  • 3
    Thanks. I think stellar cartography and the memory banks makes a lot of sense.
    – Ian Newson
    Dec 10, 2023 at 18:51
  • Wait, stellar cartography spans 3 of the biggest decks?
    – Helena
    Dec 11, 2023 at 10:49
  • 2
    @Helena We get a glimpse of it in Generations, it's the massive holographic room where Picard and Data track the Nexus's route. Sternbach designed the Enterprise-D and these blueprints were his creation, so presumably that lab was always onboard and they just only had the budget to build the set for the movie.
    – Idran
    Dec 11, 2023 at 16:29

I suspect it was a sample of the Enterprise's materials technology, and also personnel to assimilate and gain knowledge that way.

  • 4
    Do you have any evidence to support your answer? Dec 9, 2023 at 19:09
  • 6
    Yes. It seems completely obvious it's just a core sample with no need for further motive. But maybe I'm biased from being around core samples my whole life. Dec 10, 2023 at 6:32
  • @lucasbachmann - Yes, but I think we can assume there was a motive for picking that spot, as opposed to one elsewhere. The Borg are a pretty logical bunch
    – Valorum
    Dec 10, 2023 at 10:30
  • 3
    @Valorum I'm not sure why you can assume that. A good core sample is often at a random spot, because you want a representative sample of the thing you are sampling.
    – Yakk
    Dec 11, 2023 at 0:45
  • 2
    @Valorum Sure - my point is not "it must be random", but rather it isn't safe to assume there was a motive for that specific spot. It is reasonable for it to be a "sample a random piece of a fancy ship they own" protocol; we cannot safely assume it is random, nor can we safely assume it isn't random.
    – Yakk
    Dec 11, 2023 at 14:03

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