In the episode Scorpion: Part II Seven of Nine is separated from the collective when Chakotay uses a temporary neural link to sabotage the console she is using, permanently destroying her neural link.

Later, in The Gift

[Seven] is not used to being an individual and she repeatedly demands that she be returned to the Collective. Janeway refuses, and asks her to help with removing the Borg technology in Voyager's systems.

Seven threatens to kill Janeway when the Captain enters her cell in the brig intentionally unarmed. Seven even physically strikes her out of anger.

Why didn't Seven assimilate Janeway using nanoprobes when she was within striking distance? She had her tubules and her nanoprobes at that point and is shown using them for the rest of the series.

For example:

A couple of years after the above in the episode Inside Man; Ferangi hijack a hologram of Reginald Barclay in an attempt to send Seven's dead body through a geodesic fold so that they could harvest and sell her borg nanoprobes.

Also, in Body and Soul the Doctor is forced to upload his program to Seven's borg implants to hide from photonic (hologram) hunters. She uses her borg tubules to interface with his mobile emitter.

Further, the Memory Alpha entry on the Borg states:

Cybernetic implants were either surgically attached to the body or grown internally by nanoprobes injected into the bloodstream.

As she had these nanoprobes, what is the in universe reason that she gave up so easily and why didn't she attempt to assimilate the captain when she had the chance? She was enraged at the thought of not returning to the collective and reacted violently, why only that?

  • 15
    You mean other than Bad Writing?
    – thedaian
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 17:03
  • 12
    Voyager was a good show. Harrumph. Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 17:51
  • 10
    I think Voyager was a good show in spite of the writing, not because of it. Which doesn't really make sense. But that's just the way it goes.
    – erdiede
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 18:10
  • 13
    If she'd assimilated Voyager, she would have been a part of Neelix. Or, at the very least (if they shot him and dumped him out of an airlock) been one with someone who touched him. The cost was too high.
    – Jeff
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:56
  • 4
    I think Voyager improved a LOT when Nick Sagan got more involved. That's when you hear Neelix tell Tom Paris, "You can't scare me with your technobabble!" and that's when we were given the miracle of a truly character based show withOUT technobabble.
    – Tango
    Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 4:18

3 Answers 3


Two reasons.

First, in Dark Frontier the Borg Queen says she allowed Seven to be "liberated" and the long range intent was to recapture her later and use her and what she had learned. With such a plan, the Queen would have made subtle programming changes to keep Seven from assimilating the Voyager crew and to, instead, observe them. I think this is the strongest argument against her assimilating humans as fast as she can.

Second, it wouldn't gain her any tactical advantage. Two Borg in the brig would not gain much over one Borg in the brig. Whether Seven intended to work with the Voyager crew or not, if she assimilated Janeway at that point, she'd lose any possibility of being left unguarded or let out of the brig. It would be a bigger tactical advantage to gain trust (which would be part of the Borg Queen's programming with the first point), then to try to fight from a trapped position with no likely way out. She'd be much better off assimilating someone after she's released from the brig than while she (and her target) are inside the brig and under complete control of the Voyager crew.

@Plutor also has a good point, too.

  • The tactical advantage assimilating the people in the brig would have given her would have been a renewed neural link to the collective in the new drone. With your first quote from the Queen, though, I think this is moot.
    – Kalamane
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:20
  • 3
    It would alert the Borg to her capture and they could come reclaim her and assimilate Voyager.
    – Kalamane
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:25
  • 1
    Ah -- forgot that would also connect to the Borg collective. In all honesty, I paid much less attention to details by the time Voyager came along than I did to other shows.
    – Tango
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:41
  • 1
    In the TNG episode I, Borg they were able to block the sub space signal Borg use to communicate with the collective. I'm sure if they didn't have this signal blocked while Seven was in the brig (as a precaution) they could have activated the dampening field in short order on demand.
    – Xantec
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:54
  • 5
    Was the Borg Queen telling the truth when she told Seven she'd allowed her to be liberated? She doesn't strike me as being completely honest...
    – Wallnut
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 12:59

At the very end of "Scorpion, Part II", shortly after her connection to the collective has been disabled, Seven of Nine is unconscious in sickbay. It's likely that the very first thing The Doctor did was rendered her assimilation tubules unusable.

Just because she still had nanoprobes in her bloodstream (besides your mention, they were used in the episode "Someone to Watch Over Me", for instance) and the tubules could be used as a data connection doesn't mean they could still be used for injection purposes.

  • 4
    I'm pretty sure there was at least one episode where an alien harvested nanites from her tubules, so they were still function in that regard at least partially.
    – Xantec
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:49
  • 4
    Functional for extraction. No reason to think she can still inject nanites though.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 18:56

The Collective is everything to drones, it subsumes their wills completely. As shown in Survival Instinct, a drone who has just lost their link to the collective loses almost all direction and will; They are timid, indecisive, and afraid. Acting rationally to achieve a goal is the last thing you would expect from them.

  • In that episode, Seven of Nine did exactly that - inject her Borg colleagues with nanoprobes to re-assimilate them into the Collective. So I don't see why she wouldn't have tried to make the whole Voyager crew a mini-collective.
    – Wallnut
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 12:57

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