Star Trek Voyager "Relativity":

BRAXTON: For some reason, I always think you'll remember. I'm Captain Braxton. This is Lieutenant Ducane. You're aboard the Federation Timeship Relativity.

SEVEN: I'm no longer in the twenty fourth century?

BRAXTON: No. For you, it's almost five hundred years later. We've brought you here to help us solve a mystery. Someone, we don't know who, has planted a weapon aboard Voyager. It's designed to fracture space-time within a radius of one hundred and fifty metres.

SEVEN: Why do you need me?

DUCANE: Your ocular implant. It can detect disruptions in space-time better than our sensors.

BRAXTON: You're more familiar with Voyager and her crew, less likely to arouse suspicion. So far, you've been quite useful.

SEVEN: So far?

Pretty self explanatory question.

Seven is transported into the 29th century aboard a Federation Timeship that is designed to track anything and everything temporal. We know more about them from the show "Enterprise" and Lt Daniels.

After 7 of 9 is brought to the 29th century, they tell her that her 24th century Borg ocular implants, albeit the Borg are more advanced technologically than the Federation, are better at detecting disruptions in space-time.

How is it possible that 500 years into the future, that a timeship, equipped with transporters that can transport people through time, and can read timelines and changes in them, has sensors that are less accurate or less "better" than what a standard drones ocular implants from the 24th century is equipped with, to detect disruptions in space-time?

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    TBH I think it's just a plot point - it was a good reason to get 7 onto the timeship. If they didn't have a good reason like that it'd be a bit creepy... Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 4:06
  • @N_Soong you would think they would want to do it themselves instead of having people from the past know about them and pollute the timeline even furthers. Enterprise was the same way. I don't know why they need Archer to keep traveling back or forward in time. Why not just have daniels and his cohorts do the dirty work?
    – JMFB
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 4:33
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    Because if they didn't there would be no show?
    – Alarion
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 6:27
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    @Alarion you could write this under most questions. And it's exactly ZERO useful. Often, like in this case, there is a good answer instead.
    – o0'.
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 10:53
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    @Lohoris I wasn't answering the question. I was responding to JMFB's comment directly above mine. The reason Braxton and crew didn't handle the situation themselves is because the show is about the Voyager crew. If they weren't involved, we would never know about it because the Voyager crew is our only window into that world. If it doesn't involve them, there's nothing to watch.
    – Alarion
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 18:38

3 Answers 3


I think you're misreading the scene. They're planning to send her to the ship which means that her implant will be able to detect the fractures better than their sensors because she's only a few meters away from them and they're hundreds of kilometers away.

Even if we assume that their sensors are 1000 times more powerful than her ocular implant, that won't give them the advantage if they're 10,000 times farther away from the weapon.

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    Compare Hubble (16 megapixels) with New Horizons (1 megapixel) and you'll get my drift
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 6:45
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    Exacty. The wohle point is that she can be on-site.
    – Petersaber
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 8:12

It's a matter of advancement. We saw in "Dragon's Teeth" from Voyager that the Borg had already assimilated a few systems in the 15th century. In the 15th century, humans were pooping in buckets and throwing it out the window. So in the 15th century, the Borg were over a 1000 years more advanced than we were. Assuming that pattern continued, the Borg probably achieved in the 19th century what we would achieve in the 29th century. Technology miniaturizes frequently; so it's completely believable that by the time they hit the 24th century, they would have miniaturized it to the scale of an optical implant.

In summary, the Borg had over a millennium of technological headstart.

There's another valid explanation. As of the 24th century, the Borg had a fairly accurate knowledge of the Krenim and their technology. This means they probably either assimilated a vessel near Krenim space, or a Krenim vessel. If it was a non-Krenim vessel, they would have been intrigued enough to assimilate at least one Krenim vessel for their fabulous temporal technology. The Borg showed in "The Omega Directive" that they will assimilate if they're curious, based on other assimliations. Either way, they probably assimilated a Krenim vessel at some point. The Borg would have thus gained temporal technology. The Borg probably would have combined this with their other technological advantages to scale the technology to the size required to fit in an optical sensor "since the most efficient way to use sensor technology is the way that will gain the most data, thus on every drone and vessel".





  • But this doesn't necessarily mean the Borg would continue to enjoy such an advantage. For one thing the Federation doesn't use money and by the 24th century has over 150 member worlds who are together sharing technologies and resources... and there's a matter of exponential development. The Borg may be advanced yes, but the Federation is a similar beast on another level whose technology would have advanced rapidly. Humanity alone was able to nearly close the gap between themselves and other space-faring races by the time they built the NX-01.
    – Deks
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 21:37

Her Ocular Implants are Borg.

The Borg are more advanced generally than the Federation.

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    Are they more advanced than the Federation 500 years into the future?
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:08
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    @Richard given they were a spacefaring race at least 600 years before humans I don't see why not? The evidence is in the episode, the ocular implants where better than the scanners.
    – user46509
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:13
  • as I said in my answer, I think this had been misread. They're better because they're closer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:15
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    @Richard and I think you're wrong. I'm not the kind to downvote because my opinion differs though
    – user46509
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:16
  • You may also want to note how advanced human tech is in the 29th century based on Janeway's upgrades from just 50 years later (in the Voyager finale) and from Daniels in Enterprise.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 19:24

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