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In the episode there are a small amount of Borg that are able to go to Unimatrix Zero and are able to retain their individuality while regenerating.

ST Voyager "Unimatrix Zero":

AXUM: You used to come here, before you escaped the Collective. You have the recessive mutation, too. Don't you remember any of it?

SEVEN: No. What mutation?

AXUM: Only one out of a million drones has it.

Later we see it's only one or two or maybe three drones on a Borg ship that gets disconnected when they introduce the virus to free the Drones with the recessive mutation from the collective.

ST Voyager "Unimatrix Zero":

QUEEN: Yes, a lot of damage. Spatial grid nine four, cube six three zero. Complement sixty four thousand drones. But I can no longer hear three of them. No doubt they've joined your resistance. Are they trying to sabotage the vessel and liberate others? I don't know, because I can no longer hear them. Initiate self-destruct. (The Cube goes KaBOOM!)

QUEEN: An effective solution, don't you agree? Spatial grid zero nine one, sphere eight seven eight. Complement eleven thousand drones. Only one is silent. But I have no choice. I must silence all of them. (KaBOOM) I know how this must upset you, Captain. As a Starfleet officer, you value all life. Even drones. How many more are you willing to sacrifice? Thousands? Millions? You can put an end to this. I want you to go on a diplomatic mission. It's one of your primary functions, isn't it? Negotiations?

So on a ship of 64,000 drones there's 3 drones resisting, on a ship of 11,000 drones there's one resisting.

ST Voyager "Unimatrix Zero":

PARIS: A transwarp conduit just opened off our port bow.

NEELIX: Lieutenant?

KIM: They're on an intercept course.

PARIS: Evasive manoeuvres. Battle stations.

NEELIX: They're hailing us.

PARIS: Open a channel.

KOROK [on viewscreen]: Starship Voyager, I am General Korok. This vessel is now under my command. We've come to join you in battle.

So Korok takes control of a Borg Sphere. Please take into consideration that almost all of the other Borg or 99.99% of them are still connected to the collective controlled by the Borg Queen.

Taking into consideration it's one in a million, and assuming that a ship of 64,000 would have three in the resistance, and a ship of 11,000 has one drone resisting, how was Korok able to take control of a Borg Sphere?

  • The Borg share data openly with other drone, if a new drone doesn't know how to fix a transwarp drive that data is given/downloaded to him, if a rogue drone 'asked the collective' something like 'how do i take local control of this ship?' that information would probably be freely given to him (he is Borg after all), combine that with that Borg security doesn't work on other Borg it would be easy. Imagine hacking a computer if you just had to ask for the password - he could easily take over the ship by just 'asking how to do it and for any codes needed'. – Matt Apr 22 '18 at 14:06
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Having rewatched the episodes, they don't provide a canonical answer. Here's what I've pieced together that's plausible.

Like the Queen said, she can no longer hear those drones. This is such an enormous threat that she is willing to self-destruct entire vessels. It's played as a ploy to influence Janeway, but the Queen also treats it like a deadly infection with no cure; the only solution is to destroy it and everything it has touched.

No matter how they accomplished it, the Borg Queen obviously views a single rogue drone as a threat.

QUEEN: Yes, a lot of damage. Spatial grid nine four, cube six three zero. Complement sixty four thousand drones. But I can no longer hear three of them. No doubt they've joined your resistance. Are they trying to sabotage the vessel and liberate others? I don't know, because I can no longer hear them. Initiate self-destruct.

Why are a few independent drones such a threat? In short, Borg internal security sucks.

The rogue Borg are still Borg. They still have Borg technology. They have the full knowledge of the Borg. But they're acing independently, no longer as part of The Collective. As Seven demonstrates repeatedly, The Borg have few defenses against their own kind. The idea of Borg fighting Borg is inconceivable. This is made far worse by their total trust of other Borg and complete sharing of all thoughts. If you are Borg, everything is wide open. This is demonstrated in Unimatrix Zero by...

  • Every Borg ship has a Central Plexus which can be used to inject a virus into the entire fleet with relative ease. No firewall.
  • The Borg Queen just assimilated the Voyager crew and puts them to work as drones. She fully trusts the assimilation process even with such cunning opponents.
  • Tuvok and B'Elenna are able to walk through the Plexus's shielding simply because they are now Borg.
  • B'Elenna, without even so much as a Tricorder, is able to bypass the Plexus's access codes fairly quickly indicating they're perfunctory.
  • Nobody is guarding the Plexus.
  • The Queen knows Tuvok is having independent thoughts, that he's a threat, yet she does not sound an alert. No extra defenses go up around the Plexus. She cannot seem to act until she gets information from a drone (Tuvok).
  • Once Tuvok is assimilated, the Borg Queen goes right back to trusting him.

You mentioned in the comments a counter-point that...

Janeway, B'elanna, and Tuvok were all assimilated with Borg technology. They were on a Borg Vessel. They were independent. And the Borg had no problem taking them all captive in a short period of time. That was Borg attacking Borg.

I would answer that they were fully trusted up until the point the Queen realized they were disconnected from the Collective, it was a trick. It took a special intervention by the Queen to have them captured. You don't defeat the Borg by fighting them, you defeat the Borg by tricking them into trusting you. This is how the first Borg cube was destroyed in Best Of Both Worlds with the "sleep" order. Once that trust is lost, once you're no longer considered Borg, you're doomed.

This all makes sense given how the Borg consider all drones part of a single entity. Drones are assimilated enemies; using the Voyager crew as drones is situation normal. Only the Queen is able to make the conscious choice to kill a drone, analogous to cutting out cancerous cells.

I don't understand how a regular rogue Borg who is one in a million can influence or take over that many drones... How does that independent drone have power to override the entire collective?

As argued above, The Borg's weakness is their collective link. Trick the Borg into thinking you're Borg, and they have no defenses. Presumably rather than subduing tens of thousands of Borg, General Korok took command of the ship by taking control of the local consciousness, possibly a local equivalent to the Central Plexus, probably by knocking a few Borg heads together just to keep things Klingon. As I argued above, The Borg would have no defense against him.

How does that drone have more influence then the queen?

The Queen isn't psychic, she still relies on technology. Korok presumably subverted that technology with his local access to the hardware on the ship, analogous to hacking a computer by having physical access to it. If one plugs your computer into their corrupted network, they can do a lot of damage. It's been demonstrated before that Borg can lose their connection to the Collective. Pick any one, or make up a new one, Korok did that and then took over local command.

As to the ratio problem between the declared "one in a million" and the demonstrated one in ten thousand, I would suggest that means only one in a hundred Borg ships have a drone with the mutation.

  • Janeway, B'elanna, and Tuvok were all assimilated with Borg technology. They were on a Borg Vessel. They were independent. And the Borg had no problem taking them all captive in a short period of time. That was Borg attacking Borg. I don't understand how a regular rogue Borg who is one in a million can influence or take over that many drones. How does that drone have more influence then the queen? How does that independent drone have power to override the entire collective? This really didn't answer my question. If you'd like to restate your answer w/quotes addressing the issues I welcome it. – JMFB Aug 9 '15 at 7:59
  • @JMFB I'd have to rewatch the episode(s?) to do better. – Schwern Aug 9 '15 at 17:57
  • @JMFB The collective was massively distracted at the time of Korok, dealing with thousands/millions of individual invaders spread on outposts and ships across the entire universe. – Jonathon Aug 10 '15 at 18:37
  • @JonathonWisnoski The Borg always have a lot going on because there's a lot of them. This could hardly compare to the invasion by species 8472. My question is pretty simple. How does a loan Borg severed from the collective (kind of how seven is) take over a Borg ship of thousands that are getting their instructions from a collective made up of billions and get all those drones to follow him/her? – JMFB Aug 10 '15 at 21:48
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    If Janeway can beam abroad a borg vessel, loaded to the teeth with high explosives and weapons, and then proceed to set these explosives in key systems (without the borg noticing her), then Korok can fiddle with some key systems to take control of the ship and shut down his borg shipmates. – Jonathon Aug 11 '15 at 1:14
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Consider the idea of non-Collective Borg members as a virus. In rare cases the virus doesn't affect you. What will you do? A normal person, surrounded by thousands of drones, would wander around ineffectually. The queen doesn't destroy those cubes to eliminate the threat, she does it to influence Janeway.

But Korok isn't a normal person. He realizes that the other Borg are the ones "infected," and he sets about "curing" them. Once he's released one drone from the Collective, he can cure two at once, then four, then eight. Assuming the process takes an hour, he could free a ship of 11,000 in fourteen hours (do the math).

It's true that a few members of this crew might refuse to follow him. Korok, as a general, would be accustomed to giving orders and punishing disobedience. The crew, as former Borg, would still know everything about running the ship. So Korok is more than a virus, he's a cancer.

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The General would not have been surprised to wake up as an individual and probably had a plan in mind to sever the link to the queen.

Imagine drones (who had the mutation but it was not active and never visited Unimatrix Zero) waking up, they would be confused and terrified, and have no idea what to do, easily allowing the queen to trigger the self destruct.

She was frightened about the contagion spreading, so that is why she did not just kill the drones and risk other drones coming into contact with them; rather taking the drastic measure of destroying the ship.

This is all speculation as there is nothing in canon to suggest any actual answer AFAIK

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