When the Enterprise-E destroyed a Borg cube in the 24th century, a small part of it travelled back in time (2063) to stop first contact of Humans with Vulcans. During the fight with Picard, two Borg crash-landed on Earth in Arctic ice.

They became active again in the 22nd century.

They found a non-perfect intelligent species. They also informed their home world about it over subspace radio. So, there wasn't any point of carrying the information physically to their home world.

Why didn't they start assimilating the human race straightaway? Why did they run from Earth?

  • 3
    Having not seen the episode, it's entirley possible they didn't want Earth to know about The Borg yet, and fled to avoid giving the Earthlings even more of an advantage in preparing for their arrival. It's also possible that, separated from the Collective, they developed independent thought and formed their own strategy. In fact...
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:23
  • @Zibbobz: nitpicking here :) but I think sachin is referring to the movie imdb.com/title/tt0117731
    – bic
    Nov 6, 2014 at 23:13
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    @bic The question contains events of Star Trek: First Contact movie and Star Trek: Enterprise TV series.
    – user931
    Nov 6, 2014 at 23:51

4 Answers 4


They had been separated from the Collective for a long time, and likely were attempting to return, which is what Borg tend to do when separated.

We've seen this before (Or is that in the future?) when Hugh was found. Despite his desire to assimilate, he did not try to mount a suicidal attack on the Enterprise D. When some of his individuality returned to him, and he realized he could no longer feel his connection with The Collective, his desire to return to it became very strong, and when given the opportunity he immediately left to re-join them. Though he and his fellow borg in his Cube were eventually separated from the Collective, this was a decision of the Collective, and did not occur until after he was re-united.

Likewise Seven of Nine, immediately after being 'rescued' from the collective, and even after having her implants surgically removed, had an intensely strong desire to be returned, stronger even than her imperative to assimilate the crew. It took the collective efforts of the rest of the crew to help her fully regain her individuality.

Even Picard during his tenure as Locutus was strongly affected by the assimilation, later admitting to his Brother that it had been all too comforting and tempting to remain with the Borg, even for the brief period of time when he was assimilated.

It seems like being part of The Collective instills an incredibly strong desire in the individual to remain a part of that Collective, and when separated they do everything in their power to return to it.

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    Except the Borg have been shown to be content in a local collective - a few dozen. I really wish they wrote the race more consistently.
    – Tritium21
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:36
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    @Tritium21 Wasn't that Hugh's collective though? The very same collective that was only formed because they were split off from the main Collective after Hugh 'corrupted' them with his individuality?
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:43
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    @Tritium21 Interesting...I admit I haven't seen Voyager in its entirety. If I'm recalling correctly though, they have a much stronger presence in that quadrant than in the Alpha Quadrant. That combined with the transwarp slipstream (again, haven't seen all of Voyager) might account for them being able to 'connect' to the Collective without feeling that strong urge to return to it as a whole. That, or the presence of Borg Queens.
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:51
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    @user973810 First of all, 'that's a dumb thing to say' is not a good way to introduce an argument if you want to convince someone of your point (you have a valid one, but you've started with an insult, which immediatley puts him off from it and makes us less likely to listen to the argument itself). Second, of all the races you could be making this comment about, the Borg are perhaps the last race that we need to consider "individuality" towards.
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:37
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    @user973810 Actually, THAT point is where there is a piece of truth. Each individual 'unit' of the Borg, when separated from the rest, has a unique reaction to that separation, due to either the length of time that they were assimilated, their own personal nature, or the way in which they were 'removed' from the collective. Picard, Seven and Hugh all react very differently, yet their motivation is consistent while still being affected by their nanoprobes, because as Tritium is pointing out, the Borg are unified, even when separated by distance.
    – Zibbobz
    Nov 6, 2014 at 21:09

So specific to this episode, I believe the reason that the drones continued on their course to the collective is because they want to warn the borg/share their advanced knowledge faster than the speed of their message. We see they send a subspace message to the borg, but enterprise states that they think it'll take 200 years to reach the borg, aka it will arrive in the 24th century.

The drones are working with 22nd century Earth technology that isn't yet advanced enough to do much good, but if they should encounter a vulcan ship, or another more advanced race they could improve the speed of their subspace signal or reach borg space faster. They might even use a wormhole since the borg regularly travel through transworp/wormhole conduits.


You are correct that Self preservation is not a goal of the Borg. But they are efficient little buggers. Having not remembered every line of dialog from that episode, I am reduced to speculating that the Borg were building up their forces for a much more concerted assault. We do see, in Voyager, that the Borg assimilate planets with huge fleets.

This has problems though. Namely, the Cube from the Battle of Wolf-359 being a solo cube, tasked with assimilating the entire federation.

Sadly, the real answer may simply be that the writers ran out of talent.

  • 1
    the point of the episode was more of an origin story for why the borg invade federation space in the 24th century to begin with even though they still havnt fully conquored their quadrent yet. basicly a, these humans are a threat and we need to prepare a fleet to handle them. and i assume that the drones themselves could have a more advanced version of the borg nanites, which they wanted to bring to the collective.
    – Himarm
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:10
  • @Himarm Yes. That is the point, and the reason I concluded that the writers ran out of talent. I can think of a number of more logical and more interesting ways to accomplish this in a story.
    – Tritium21
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:14
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    true, though the subspace message they sent was supposed to take 200 years to reach its destination, aka the 24th century, so i assumed that they were trying to find a faster means of reaching the borg quadrent ahead of the message.
    – Himarm
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:22
  • That sounds the the beginning of an answer.
    – Tritium21
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:23

There were only 2 Borg drones which were retrieved from the wreckage (who probably achieved neural connection to each other upon regaining consciousness). They only managed to assimilate a small/unsuspecting research team at the Arctic along with the Arctic transport. The Borg were described to not do anything single-handedly... besides, they tried to assimilate the Enterprise-E... which ultimately failed.

Its possible they re-evaluated that going up against an entire planet in such a weakened state (even a mid 22nd century Earth) was a bad idea.

So, they may have decided to use the Arctic transport to leave Earth, allow themselves to grow in numbers (along with changing the Arctic transport) and reach their fellow Borg in the mid 22nd century (with knowledge and technology of the 24th).

They would have likely returned to Earth in force by that point.

If they had no transports available to them, then the more likely thing that would have happened was that they would have remained at the arctic, assimilated/salvaged what they can and try to assimilate Earth instead.

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