In Star Trek: First Contact, Picard hears the collective and orders the fleet to fire on an area of the cube that seemed low priority.

What did he hear? Not to be "illogical" about it but was the collective screaming "hay gaiz we've got a hole in our shield down here in the garbage chute. Lucky these Fed noobz can't hear our thoughts" And how does this reflect when the Borg adapts to Federation phasers/torpedoes?

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    I believe, if you can listen closely, you can hear the phrase "thermal exhaust port...it's ray shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedos..."
    – Tango
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 4:20
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    Great question, but I'm more interested in how he heard. Weren't all the implants removed? Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 8:29
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    U can haz plot hole? Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 12:19
  • @Wikis: Residual probes?
    – bitmask
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 12:21
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    @Wikis - Maybe even though the large bionic implants were removed, some tiny bits of Borg nanotechnology remained in his brain?
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 22:57

3 Answers 3


The Borg Collective seems to be able to transmit more than thoughts with their connection, from Memory Alpha:

In 2367, Lieutenant Commander Data was able to establish a neural link with Captain Picard, who had been assimilated into the Collective. Utilizing this link, Data successfully planted a command into the Borg collective consciousness, misdirecting all the drones on a Borg cube attacking Earth to believe it was time to regenerate, effectively putting them all to sleep. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")

This indicates, that you cannot only hear the collective but also access some of their (non-hybrid) systems, including their database (how should Data have figured out the right command otherwise).

I don't recall that particular scene, where you hear the Borg from the movie, but I can imagine that this can be explained in two ways:

  1. off-universe: To tell the audience that Picard is using his Borg connection to gain vital information.
  2. in-universe: A side effect of him accessing their systems. Maybe he has to establish a small (temporary) re-integration of his with the collective in order to be able to probe them.
  • Just a small sidenote; in The Best Of Both Worlds, it was Picard, who was wrestling himself free from the Borg's influence, who hinted Data at the command to 'shut down' the Borg.
    – Tom Lint
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 13:10

Within the film itself, it's made pretty clear that Picard can indeed hear the Borg. We see him tilting his head to hear the voices in his head, then he immediately orders an attack on a non-obvious weakness.

In the film's Paramount-licensed novelisation, the incident is made even more explicit:

In the millisecond before the android replied, Picard realized that he inexplicably knew —

knew—the information he had requested, for his question had already been answered by a whisper in his own head—a voice that was one, yet many; a voice that evoked the ghost of a half-remembered feminine face.

Without thinking, he rose, entranced, and moved toward the viewscreen where the image of the massive and unlovely vessel hung. They were there; he could sense them, hear them speak. For an instant, he felt as though he had only to reach toward the screen, and he would touch them.

The whisper of the one and the multitude grew briefly louder.

"critical damage to shields at power sector one-one one. All drones coordinate repair immediately...."

The mental whisper died abruptly, as if the speakers had realized he was listening. But it was too late; he had already experienced a revelation beyond the mere words he had detected.

They were wounded. They were vulnerable, and he knew beyond all reason the precise spot.

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    You could lock me in a room and force me to describe Borg vessels 16 hours a day for twenty years before I would come up with the adjective unlovely. Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 5:46
  • @ThePopMachine - I don't think anyone has ever accused this novel of being well-written. It's better than the Nemesis novelisation though...
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 9:48

I have the answer! I listened to that VERY closely with headphones several times. The Borg very distinctly said "Save the Queen"!

What was the second whisper after the sphere ship left?

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    Welcome to SFF:SE. A couple of issues: first, your answer would fare better if you could come up with some supporting evidence (a sound clip, a script excerpt, creator interviews) to back up your finding. Second, your question at the end goes against policy - answers are not for asking followup questions. Have a look at the tour for more tips.
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 4:22

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