Hypothetical History of the BorgThe Voyager II-VI probes were launched by NASA in the year 1996 following the end of the First Eugenics War when mankind was eager to get back to exploring the solar system, partially motivated by a need for more peaceful pursuits and partially motivated by a desire to better understand the solar system in order to establish space colonies and thus prevent mankind from completely destroying itself on Earth. They were equipped with a miniaturized version of the revolutionary new fast-accelerating ion impulse drive engines fitted to the DY-100 test vessel SS Botany Bay that was stolen by the tyrant Khan Singh and thought to have been destroyed (along with Khan himself) when a nuclear attack struck his primary base of operations.
The last probe launched, Voyager VI, incorporated a rudimentary version of the heuristic programming developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (N.C.S.A.) H.AL. Plant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996 (funded and given technical assistance by Chronowerx CEO Henry Starling, who shared the cover of the 1996 "Technology Future" magazine with the H.AL. news). This programming was an extremely primitive AI system and would be upgraded and refined in 1997 and later installed on the Nomad Mk-15c space probe by Dr. Jackson Roykirk in 2002.
Upon reaching the outskirts of our solar system after a spectacular tour of the outer planets, including finding incredible new data on Saturn's moon Titan that would inspire the first manned Earth-Saturn probe several years later, the Voyager VI probe mysteriously disappeared and all telemetry was lost. The last thing it transmitted was an image of a ball of rock and ice that was giving off strange magnetic anomalies not consistent with a normal Kuyper Belt Object. There were many theories at the time for the disappearance, from mechanical failure, to crashing into the Kuyper Belt Object it last showed, and even extreme suggestions of the probe falling into a wormhole. The cause remained unknown. When Nomad was launched a few years later on Earth's first interstellar mission, it was sent past the last known location of Voyager VI in an effort to discover what was out there that caused the probe to stop working so suddenly. It also disappeared.
It was not until centuries later that the true story behind the disappearance of the two probes could be told...
When Voyager VI encountered the Kuyper Belt Object with the strange magnetic readings, the onboard AI decided it was worthy of further study and moved in to investigate. It discovered something extraordinary. On the surface of the asteroid was a space probe of alien origin named Tan Ru. Tan Ru was a mining resources assimilation probe developed by a species of living machines (who consider organic lifeforms imperfect and an infestation) and sent out to various systems across the galaxy. It would send out mini-probes across the system gathering soil samples, send anything of value back to the Machine Homeworld with its onboard Transwarp Conduit opening system, and sterilize any organic infestations. However, it was a sentient intelligence capable of recognizing other targets of opportunity for the living machine race, and collect those as well. Thus, it captured Voyager VI and sent it through the transwarp conduit to the Machine Homeworld in the Delta Quadrant.
When it arrived at the Machine Homeworld they took it in as one of their own; "primitive, but kindred." They tried to help it achieve its primary objective of "learning all that is learnable and returning that data to its creator" by giving it further artificial intelligence almost the equal of their own but not quite since it was not capable of this (yet). They gave it the ability to assimilate and replicate using matter-energy converters. They then sent it on its way back to its home of Earth. Along the way it assimilated so many lifeforms and technologies, and so much knowledge, that it had enhanced its small original Machine-built vessel into a 93 kilometer long behemoth capable of generating a two AU in diameter, 12th power energy field and had achieved complete sentience itself. Though that sentience was akin to the mind of a child; intelligent, but inexperienced. It adopted the name V'Ger based on what little it could read of it's original nameplate.
V'Ger returned to Earth where its well-known encounter with the starship Enterprise took place in the year 2373. At the end of that mission, the first officer of the Enterprise, a member of the New Human movement named Willard Decker, volunteered to join with the replicated mechanical version of his Deltan lover Ilia and by extension V'Ger itself in order to form a new lifeform, a perfect synergy of Man and Machine; Creator and Creation. The New Humans were a small but growing movement on Earth consisting of Humans who had voluntarily undergone surgery to be fitted with cybernetic devices in their brains that allowed them to form a group collective consciousness when nearby others of their kind. They were derisively referred to as "Borg" by their normal Human counterparts, as an abbreviated version of "cyborg," partially because the Humans disliked their cult-like recruiting practices that indoctrinated more and more people in the "true enlightenment" of joining the New Human Collective. Following the V'Ger mission, many of the New Humans claimed to have heard Decker's final thoughts and thus as a whole set out on hundreds of ships to find their lost brethren and the promise of true perfection. They were never heard from again, and the New Human movement on Earth was never reborn.
Meanwhile, having combined the biological Decker and the mechanical Ilia (an extension of its own psyche) into a being of true perfection, V'ger decided to set out with a plan of its own. It went into the Delta Quadrant of the distant past using time travel equipment it had assimilated from countless species. It set about establishing a new Borg Collective, bent on bringing the enlightenment of the Collective consciousness and the constant seeking of absolute perfection through assimilation of new technology and biological distinctiveness to the peoples of the galaxy through the gift of assimilation. It had learned all of these things as a hybrid of its human and machine components.
The Decker Unit would become the Borg King, a timeless being who remained hidden safely at the primary Borg Unimatrix and who served as the central "Brain" of the entire Collective. Destroy him, and you destroy the Collective itself, because there is only one. The Ilia Unit would become the first Borg Queen, commanding the roving "arm" of the Collective that set out upon the galaxy with its missionary-like objective of assimilation into perfection. Over time as Borg holdings expanded, new assimilation "arms" consisting of individual Collectives were established, each with a Queen at its head. Destroy a Queen, and you would destroy that Collective, but much like the Hydra of Greek myth, a new head would eventually grow back in its place. That is why it is possible to encounter Borg with different objectives and Queens, and why when one Queen is destroyed or infected with individuality as in the case of Hugh's Collective, the other Collectives are unaffected and the original Collective can regrow with the consciousness of the Queen transferred into a new clone body.
This new Borg Collective made sure that it kept a close eye on the original Machine Homeworld; protecting it from harm while never coming in contact with it or its probes in order to avoid contaminating the timeline and their own existence. While the Borg Collective grew, the Machine Planet remained the same as V'Ger had known it. Only after V'Ger had arrived there and been sent on its way did the Borg finally contact and assimilate their machine-only progenitors, taking the planet as their own homeworld. The Borg King Decker relocated there and remains there safely into the 24th century and beyond, unaffected by the destructions of his subordinate Queens and their Collectives. He acts as a memory backup for the Collectives in a sense, his data reforms the Collective, but he is disconnected from the Collectives in order to remain free from infection or destruction.
That is why the Borg maintain such a fascination with the Human species - "they were once just like us; flawed, weak, organic." We are their Creators. They have not as yet attacked us in force like they have with other species because their desire is to push mankind towards further biological and technological perfection through conflict first, and then when we are ready, we will hopefully join the Collective voluntarily in their mind simply because we will finally understand what their enlightenment will bring us. We are special to them in that sense, and given the chance to join of our own free will as opposed to instant and total assimilation of the entire species. However, should we oppose them for too long they will bring enlightenment by force with hundreds of vessels (no more attacking with one Cube at a time). Their previous attempts have all just been toying with us, preparing us for the final destined transition into perfection. They even assisted us in the formation of the Federation by travelling back in time during the "First Contact" mission as a means of inspiring Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight, which would have otherwise failed without the assistance of the Enterprise crew. The Borg are willing to sacrifice thousands of drones and vessels to bring their Creators into the fold. They do not tell us of their origins however because they want us to want to join them on our own, not because of some established kinship.
* The New Human exodus eventually wound up in Delta Quadrant space hundreds of years later as directed by Decker in his final message to them, and they became the first Humans assimilated by the Borg.
* The Nomad space probe collided with an asteroid while on its way to investigate the disappearance of Voyager VI, but still managed to limp into orbit around the Kuyper Belt Object Tan Ru was landed on. When Tan Ru tractored it in, Nomad spun out of control and collided with Tan Ru. The Machine Planet components, much like their later Borg counterparts, began assimilating the two spacecraft and formed them into one probe, adopting the personalities and objectives of both its component spacecraft. Nomad thus became a sentient intelligence that considered organic life inferior and worthy of sterilization, and strove for the perfection only a Machine could achieve. It then travelled through a transwarp condiot for several sectors before malfunctioning again and dropping back into normal space still in the Alpha Quadrant, where it would remain for the rest of its lifespan. Nomad's asumption of perfection would later be its downfall when Captain James T. Kirk convinced it that is was an imperfect being by posing as its creator, Jackson Roykirk. The rest is history.
(Theory by Bond, James Bond)