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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 817
# 28
08-16-2012, 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by rustychat View Post
As for why the Borg only send a single cube, I always figured that it must have something to do with the lack of infrastructure. Only a basic connection could be maintained with the main Borg hive, hence the requirement for a Queen to be sent with the cube. Can't send more than one ship, because that would require more established resources in order to maintain the control and direction of all the drones properly. Of course, then you get the question of 'why not just send a Queen with each cube?' to which I can only answer dunno. Possibly a concern about having too many Queens to too few drones.

But that would also explain the Borg's general rate of expansion. If they could simply assimilate and move on, then they should be able to expand far, far faster than they were shown to. Having to stop after each expansion phase to build unimatrix connections to keep the entire collective as a unified collective would slow them down considerably and explain why some species can stay on the border of borg space for long periods of time without quickly being crushed by the borg. It would also help explain the movements of the first Borg cube when scooping up the colonies beyond just intelligence gathering. Moving to an area where it can transmit the data learned from the colonies back to the main hive without interference. If it could maintain a complete, proper link, then presumably the cube could have simply continued on its course without much care.
It's been pretty well established that subspace transmissions travel much faster for the first few dozen light-years of their journey, then start to slow down (the distance traveled before the slowdown becomes significant depending on the initial signal strength). This is why Starfleet was unable to communicate with Voyager until they used this huge communications array to bounce the signal off of a pulsar--aside from the loss of signal strength, it would have taken the signal too long to get there. Also note that in the Enterprise episode with the Borg, they said it would take "two hundred years" for the subspace signal to reach Borg space.

The usual work-around for this problem is to put relay stations everywhere that act like cell phone towers to re-boost the transmissions. Note how the NX-01 Enterprise placed several of these relays during its travels. However, with no relays in place, one has to resort to heroic measures to get the signal to travel faster, like diverting your ship's entire power output to boost the signal, or bouncing it off of a pulsar.

The Borg don't have a lot of relays stationed in or near the territory of the Federation and its neighbors, so they can not maintain the near-zero-signal-lag necessary for keeping their drones fully integrated into the greater Collective mind. Thus, any fleet sent out this way needs to carry its own network infrastructure (a Queen and support gear).