What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

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What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-01-24 11:12pm

In Star Trek, godlike beings abound, a lot. Sometimes it feels like you could throw a stick and hit two or three of them, that's how many there are. So, with a force like the Borg around, what happens when they meet? Whether it's something like Apollo, Charlie X, ascended Kes, the Douwd, the Metrons, etc.

What would happen when such forces meet something that wants to conquer the universe?
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-01-25 01:31pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-01-24 11:12pm
In Star Trek, godlike beings abound, a lot. Sometimes it feels like you could throw a stick and hit two or three of them, that's how many there are. So, with a force like the Borg around, what happens when they meet? Whether it's something like Apollo, Charlie X, ascended Kes, the Douwd, the Metrons, etc.

What would happen when such forces meet something that wants to conquer the universe?
Pretty sure it's never been covered in the canon (such as it is). In the old Pocket Books EU, I seem to recall at least one incident where Q runs into the Borg, he basically stands there and laughs while they poke at him before poofing them away. The El-Aurian aren't godlike but they do have some interesting abilities and knowledge (unless Guinan is just unique), and the Borg assimilated them just fine; at least they destroyed the El-Aurian civilization, TNG era Borg probably wouldn't have much scrupled just blowing them off the face of their planet.

Also, a lot of the godlike beings are basically one-offs. Apollo was singular, Charlie X was some kind of freak occurrence, Trelane was probably a baby Q... the Borg would have little interest in them outside of any advanced technology they might have, as it's unlikely they would be able to assimilate them.

That said, outside of the Metrons establishing a temporary peace between the Federation and Klingons, most of them simply don't seem interested in greater galactic affairs. If the Borg showed up in their neighborhood, they'd either just vanish the Borg or vanish themselves by ascending or shifting dimensions or whatever. If they're the sort of divine being that actually takes an interest in the universe such as the Q, they're usually the sort who prefer to sit back and see how things play out (Q's fault was more or less in hurrying up the state of affairs). Likely this has to do with functional immortality and the ability to remove themselves from the material universe, if things went galactic-South it really doesn't much matter to them on the greater scale of things.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2019-01-28 03:23pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-01-25 01:31pm


That said, outside of the Metrons establishing a temporary peace between the Federation and Klingons, most of them simply don't seem interested in greater galactic affairs.
That was the Organians. The Metrons were the ones who tested the Federation and the Gorn. Although the Organians never showed up after imposing peace so we have no idea what they're doing, their rationale for intervening (self determination is insufficient justification to permit a war that could potentially destroy hundreds of worlds) does suggest they might stop the Borg if they could.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-28 04:08pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-01-24 11:12pm
In Star Trek, godlike beings abound, a lot. Sometimes it feels like you could throw a stick and hit two or three of them, that's how many there are. So, with a force like the Borg around, what happens when they meet? Whether it's something like Apollo, Charlie X, ascended Kes, the Douwd, the Metrons, etc.

What would happen when such forces meet something that wants to conquer the universe?
How do you know they haven't already, and that their goal of assimilating everything in sight isn't some "holy mission" from said entity(-ies)?

If that isn't the case, the Collective will either:

1) Avoid a species that's clearly more powerful than they can adapt to.

2) Be removed from the Universe with an airy wave of a celestial hand, if the Borg decide to be an irritant to the godlike being(s) in question.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-01-28 04:08pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:
2019-01-28 03:23pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-01-25 01:31pm

That said, outside of the Metrons establishing a temporary peace between the Federation and Klingons, most of them simply don't seem interested in greater galactic affairs.
That was the Organians. The Metrons were the ones who tested the Federation and the Gorn. Although the Organians never showed up after imposing peace so we have no idea what they're doing, their rationale for intervening (self determination is insufficient justification to permit a war that could potentially destroy hundreds of worlds) does suggest they might stop the Borg if they could.
Correction duly noted.

As to 'if they could'-- IIRC the main reason the Organians got involved between the Federation and the Klingons is the fighting got into their backyard and they got sufficiently annoyed. The peace seems to have lasted well enough, but considering that there was at least occasional conflict between the Federation and Klingons after that point, certainly the Organians weren't actually enforcing it all that much. That suggests their reach is somewhat limited, and/or it was only ever intended to be a temporary peace. (Bear in mind I have never seen the TOS episode in question so my knowledge is limited)

For all that, the Q and maybe one or two of the Voyager species are the only godlike beings you really see travel much. All the rest are strictly limited to their own planet, as far as I can recall. So it's quite possible that the Borg *have* met godlike beings in the past, got burnt, and simply make a policy of avoiding them from then on. And these beings, for whatever reason of their own, shrug and leave the galaxy to its own devices.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-28 04:11pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-01-25 01:31pm
That said, outside of the Metrons establishing a temporary peace between the Federation and Klingons.
That was the Organians, in "Errand of Mercy," the first-season finale. You're thinking of "Arena," where the Metrons had Kirk and the Gorn captain fight to the death, and decided to spare both, because Kirk showed mercy toward his opponent.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2019-01-28 04:11pm

There was that time Q was apparently afraid of the borg and was pissed off with his son for provoking them, but that was a bit of an outlier.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-28 04:29pm

Note, in both of those cases. the Organians and the Metrons only intervened after the Feds, the Klingons, and(in the case of the Metrons) the Gorn had become irritants to them.

Also, the Melkotians, in "Spectre of the Gun," and the First Federation* in "The Corbomite Maneuver," both only attacked the Enterprise crew, after Kirk had decided, in both cases, "we're the Federation, so your warnings obviously don't apply to us."

And, Kevin Uxbridge only acted out, becuase the Hunsock had murdered his wife.

If the Borg leave them alone, they will leave the Borg alone. If the Borg are collectively stupid, they will die collectively stupid.

*Who aren't gods, but had hellishly advanced tech in the TOS era, and probably goddamn near god-like levels of tech in the TNG and STO eras.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by PREDATOR490 » 2019-01-28 05:35pm

The Short Answer:

As a God like being: The logical extrapolation is that they do not have the power and / or the will and / or the opportunity to engage the Borg.
If all elements align to create an engagement, the fight is going to ultimately end in the god favour UNTIL or UNLESS the Borg pull something tricky or special from their hat.

Voyager may have shit on the Borg but the basic principle of them being methodical is still consistent. Given the opportunity they would assimilate a God being and throw resources at it if they thought they had a chance of doing so.
However, if they do not have the means to do so, the Borg may apply a long game approach. They will take the lumps from the God being until they finally get the muscle to try something.

As far as the series is concerned, that is never going to happen so the engagement is always going to end in God favour.
Anything else is the realm of fan fiction and speculation / writers fiat.



The Fun and Long Answer:

Before S8472, the indications are the Borg have never been seriously challenged by anything or anyone to give them pause. The basic pattern of behaviour has always been.

A) See something we want > Assimilate it otherwise ignore it.
B) Is it a threat > Assimilate / Destroy it otherwise ignore it.

Depending on the engagement, a Borg ship may not survive long enough bumping into a powerful entity to really understand what happened.
Assuming they even do, such engagements are likely to be exceedingly rare.

These God beings are often one-shot wonders that are busy doing their own thing or obscure enough that finding them is going to be insanely difficult. That said, it would not be too hard to assume the Borg have directives about what to do if they encounter those kind of entities.
The real issue is that such an encounter is going to be so rare and the learning curve difficult for each God being.

From the Borg perspective, they could easily have eternity and plenty of time to just pass by the centuries on these encounters until they find the solution which allows them to capture, kill or assimilate God beings. That would appear to be the methodology they applied to testing with the Omega particle.

Q said the Borg were relentless and that depiction is consistent even with Voyager. If they see a god being they will continue to study / pursue it until they either get wiped out or succeed. The only thing the God being can do is genocide the Borg or stay away from them as much as possible.

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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-01-29 11:47am

Looks like we all pretty much agree: godlike beings could probably defeat the Borg with ease, writer's fiat or Borg persistence notwithstanding. However the godlike beings, with a few exceptions, are unlikely to pursue such conflict, and are few and far enough between that it's possible the Borg simply haven't encountered any and/or choose to avoid them when encountered (that's taking the TNG pragmatic approach though, not VOY assimilating everything in sight).
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-29 04:59pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2019-01-28 04:11pm
There was that time Q was apparently afraid of the borg and was pissed off with his son for provoking them, but that was a bit of an outlier.
There's two ways to interpret that:

1. (and I think the more likely) is that the Q have their own rules about not interfering with more minor species (which De Lancie Q regularly breaks), and that they're not worried about what the Borg will do to them, but what the Borg will do to "lesser" species if provoked.

2. They're afraid of the Borg eventually growing to the point where they are an existential threat to the universe, due to their modus operandi of assimilating more "advanced" life forms and adding them to their collective. The Q might even have foreknowledge (indeed, they almost certainly do) of alternate timelines where the Borg became powerful enough to threaten the Q. They might not be there now, but in a few millennia? Sort of like how the Time Lords in Doctor who send the Doctor back to destroy the Daleks in Genesis of the Daleks because they foresee that they will eventually become the ultimate threat.

Viewed in that light, Q introducing the Federation to the Borg in Q Who might have been a move in a very long chess game by the continuum to contain or destroy the Borg.

Edit: Granted, this begs the question of why the Q don't simply finger-snap the Borg out of existence before they become such a threat. Unless they're operating under some sort of temporal prime directive (this again seems to fit what we know of the Q), and need the Borg around for now to fulfill some future role in history.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Tribble » 2019-02-17 09:09am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-29 04:59pm
Crazedwraith wrote:
2019-01-28 04:11pm
There was that time Q was apparently afraid of the borg and was pissed off with his son for provoking them, but that was a bit of an outlier.
There's two ways to interpret that:

1. (and I think the more likely) is that the Q have their own rules about not interfering with more minor species (which De Lancie Q regularly breaks), and that they're not worried about what the Borg will do to them, but what the Borg will do to "lesser" species if provoked.

2. They're afraid of the Borg eventually growing to the point where they are an existential threat to the universe, due to their modus operandi of assimilating more "advanced" life forms and adding them to their collective. The Q might even have foreknowledge (indeed, they almost certainly do) of alternate timelines where the Borg became powerful enough to threaten the Q. They might not be there now, but in a few millennia? Sort of like how the Time Lords in Doctor who send the Doctor back to destroy the Daleks in Genesis of the Daleks because they foresee that they will eventually become the ultimate threat.

Viewed in that light, Q introducing the Federation to the Borg in Q Who might have been a move in a very long chess game by the continuum to contain or destroy the Borg.

Edit: Granted, this begs the question of why the Q don't simply finger-snap the Borg out of existence before they become such a threat. Unless they're operating under some sort of temporal prime directive (this again seems to fit what we know of the Q), and need the Borg around for now to fulfill some future role in history.
IMO the former is a lot more likely than the ladder, especially given his own history with the Borg. After all, he was the one who was responsible* for provoking the Borg into invading the Federation far earlier than they were supposed to originally**.

Also, Q's next appearance afer "Q-Who" was "Deja Q", where he was stripped of his powers as punishment for his misdeeds. I don't think that was a coincidence. He could have been warning Q Jr. that messing around and provoking species like the Borg would end up getting him in trouble with hte contiuum (which indeed it idid).

*Riker and Picard deserve equal credit for provoking Q with their arrogance then repeatedly refusing both his advice and Guinan's.

** Going via Guinan's statement that Q had set things into motion and brought up first offical contact with the Borg far sooner than it should have been. Also while the Borg may have been aware of the Federation due to the events of ENT "Regeneration" apparently they weren't that impressed after assimilating the outposts along the Neutral Zone, seeing as they left. IMO the E-D suddenly appearing on the scene at J-25 then disappearing right before they could be assimilated was likely the immediate cause for the invasion in BOBW.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Q99 » 2019-02-17 07:05pm

If something is too powerful to assimilate, I assume 'avoid' or 'write off cubes that contacted them.'

EVERYONE in Trek probably has 'here be dragons,' spots on their maps.

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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Batman » 2019-02-17 07:08pm

Everyone except the Federation it seems
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-02-17 08:23pm

Yep.

You know the cliche that every civilization in Star Trek has a single cultural stereotype they all conform to? Ie Klingons are warriors, Cardassians are fascist, etc.?

Evidently the Federation's is that it just doesn't know when to walk away. ;)
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-02-17 10:01pm

Batman wrote:
2019-02-17 07:08pm
Everyone except the Federation it seems
Someone has to make the maps.

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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Q99 » 2019-02-17 10:10pm

I think even the Federation has a few, but others looking at their maps have got to boggle at some of the stuff marked down ^^

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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by NecronLord » 2019-03-29 07:00am

The Borg have been developing for thousands of centuries. A few run-ins with an enraged Metron or smitings by angry Organians probably explain why despite this head-start they're not able to easily outmatch the Federation pound for pound.
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Re: What happens when the Borg meet godlike beings?

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2019-04-06 11:57pm

My head canon is that the reason the Borg changed from only caring about technology to assimilating the carbon units is that they ran into one too many godlike beings and realized they had more to assimilate than just machines. Sifting through their data brings up one Jean Luc Picard, a magnet for one such being, and whose first officer was once granted godlike powers by said being, and the Borg decide to make Locutus.

Miffed godlike beings, psi capable pregods and time travel effects can explain how the Borg became progressively less sensible and more incompetent as Voyager continued. Enterprise is its own timeline as far as I'm concerned.
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