The Borg are a race of half-human, half-machines which originated in the Delta Quadrant (close to where the USS Voyager is). A Borg's single purpose in life is to try and assimilate the technology and beings of other cultures. The Borg speak as "We" because they are all connected to a collective which controls them in every thought and movement. The Borg travel in different kinds of ships, the most common being the Borg Cube (as seen on several Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes involving the Borg). These ships are heavily armed with the most advanced weaponry, and can easily annihilate ships. Perhaps the most deadly weapon is the cutting beam, in which a tractor beam is locked onto ships until a laser cuts right through shields and hull (as seen in DS9's Premier episode: "Emissary").
In Star Trek: First Contact, we will see that the long process of assimilating a being (as we see in TNG 2 Part Episode "Best of Both Worlds" when Captain Picard is being assimilated) is now shortened to an "instant assimilation" in which the Borg carry around devices which implant into the skull of the "assimilatees" (if that is even a word) causing the face to become full of small grey lines. The process, as you can quite imagine, is extremely painful.
The Borg are said to have originally been a race of humanoid lifeforms who eventually became extremely dependant on computers. They became so dependant that they practically lost their humanoid qualities and are now mostly machine. As a race of machines, they are constantly searching for new technology in order to survive. As their system parts become overrun and obselete, the Borg feel a desperate need to assimilate more technology to keep themselves viable. Instead of peaceful relationships between other races, the Borg will often kill for the technology from other races.
The Borg have become the most powerful race of beings in the Delta Quadrant, dreaded by most races dwelling there. The Borg are personified by a "queen". Although 'her' role is not completely understood, her purpose seems to be one of control; bringing order to chaos. With constructions of dreadfully powerful ships such as the Borg Cube, which have the ability to re-generate and self-repair, resistance has become futile.
The "First Contact" (no pun intended) with the Borg happened in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Q-Who" when Q (played by John DeLancie) threw the Enterprise-D into the Delta Quadrant where they faced a single Borg Cube. After the Borg Cube locked on a cutting beam to the saucer section of the Enterprise and extracted a piece of it for examination, the Enterprise fired phasers at the cube, destroying nearly 3/4 of it. The ship easily re-generated and fired a new kind of weapon which affected the shields of the Enterprise. Even though the Enterprise fired torpedos at it, the Borg Cube was still in excellent condition and putting up a good fight. Finally, Q gave in and let the Enterprise escape. Unfortunately, Picard and the Enterprise crew (along with the rest of the Federation) couldn't begin to comprehend how big a threat the Borg was to them and the human race.
"Underneath those high-tech implants they're just monkey-boys with bad fashion sense who need to get a little more fresh air and sunshine."
- Mark Kolb (commenting about the Borg vs ID4 Grudge Match)
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Last updated: November 29th, 2000