The Origin of Seven of Nine

By Michael Hinman
Posted at April 11, 2000 - 11:10 PM GMT

Seven of Nine, since her introduction to Star Trek: Voyager in 1997, has become one of Star Trek's major mainstream celebrities, joining the likes of Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and Scotty. Her popularity continues to grow leaps and bounds, and for many different reasons: beauty, talent, and great storylines just to name a few.

But the big question is how the heck did we get Seven of Nine? Why is it that her existence seems to contradict everything we know about Star Trek and the Borg? When are we ever going to get any answers to these questions?

It's simple. The answer is right in front of you. Simply look at Modern Trek events and extrapolate the effect those events had on the overall Star Trek universe.

Still having difficulty?

We know from Star Trek: The Next Generation that virtually no knowledge of the Borg existed before Q flung Capt. Picard and the Enterprise-D into unchartered space and put the two factions head to head. In that same episode, we learn from Guinan that her people were scattered across the galaxy because of a Borg attack on her homeworld, and the soulless creatures should not be taken lightly.

Now, some of what we learned in "Q Who?" can be compared to the Voyager episode "Dark Frontier" where we learn that nearly 10 years before the Enterprise encountered the Borg, a small research ship known as the U.S.S. Raven set off to the outskirts of the Alpha Quadrant looking for a mystical race known as the Borg. Annika Hansen (who would later become Seven of Nine) is seen in the Voyager episode playing with a replica of a Borg cube, and the Hansen's knowledge of the Borg seems to be much more than what Picard had when he ran into them some time later.

Since we know that Guinan and her fellow El Auriens were rescued by the Federation after a Borg attack and were brought to Earth in "Star Trek: Generations," it is somewhat safe to assume that the people tried to debrief Starfleet Command on as much of the Borg as they possibly could.

The attack on the El Auriens, and their later integration and debriefing of the Borg upon their entry into the Federation does seem to be valid and could actually hold up to some close scrutiny, but I am one to believe that there would never have been a Seven of Nine, a U.S.S. Raven, or anything else of the such before "Q Who?" if the events of "Star Trek: First Contact" never took place.

Now before you go any further, please note that none of this has ever really been explained in canon except for a brief line in the Voyager episode "Relativity" which implied this speculation to have some type of merit. So, please, don't come after me asking to prove that what I am about to say is canon.

When the Borg sphere and the Enterprise-E landed in 21st Century Earth, we know quite well that Zefram Cochrane and Lily had major interaction with the Enterprise crew as they readied Earth for its first warp flight and its first step into the future. Cochrane knew the truth about the Enterprise crew, as did Lily, who actually got to roam the ship and see the Borg face to face.

And if you notice, when the Enterprise returned back to its own time at the end of the movie, Lily and Cochrane were left behind, quite obviously with their memories intact.

If you had a run-in with a major enemy such as this, would you keep it to yourself? Likewise, if Lily was aware of the Borg, would she really keep something like that to herself, especially after becoming a major celebrity alongside of Zefram Cochrane following the first contact with the Vulcans?

Several months ago, I spent a considerable amount of time debating the possibilities of how Dark Frontier really doesn't contradict current canon with other Star Trek fans on the net. The biggest counter to my theory is that if Lily did share the information she had about the Borg with others, why don't we see a totally diferent Starfleet than the one that we have now? Instead of preparing to explore the galaxy, we would be getting ready for a Borg invasion. Instead of building scientific vessels to take us to strange new worlds, we would be developing weapons and defenses against the Borg than building starships. Sharing that kind of knowledge with anyone would completely destroy everything we know of Star Trek according to these people, and create an alternate reality that would be more closely related with "Yesterday's Enterprise."

I disagree.

I think it is quite plausible that Lily did share the information she had of the Borg with different people. Reports were possibly written during the formation of the United Federation of Planets, but not much else was done. By the time we reached the 24th Century, the Borg reports become more legend than anything else -- much like the early explorations of the fountain of youth -- and it's that legend that eventually sends the Hansens out to find the Borg and study them.

So, why wouldn't Starfleet, during its formation, take considerable action to prepare for a possible Borg incursion? I can tell you many reasons why, but for this column, just sit back and imagine for a moment that Star Trek (okay, Modern Star Trek) doesn't exist.

You come face-to-face with a race called the Borg. Talking with your guide from the future, you learn that they are cyberorganisms who look for technology and to assimilate anything they find. You know that people of the future consider them to be enemies. You know that they can adapt to different kinds of weapons.

Now based on that knowledge, and that knowledge alone, tell me -- in complete detail -- using 20th Century technology, how you could defend yourself against the Borg? It's not like Capt. Picard gave Lily a PADD with all the details, specifications and such of the Borg with a note that says, "open in 100 years." Based on Lily's experiences on the Enterprise, the new Federation could no more create the holodeck and forcefield that Lily experienced on the Enterprise than they could in creating defenses for the Borg.

Plus, a detailed analysis of the situation would show that although the Borg are a threat, they are not a current threat. Any preparation the Federation could have made regarding the Borg would quickly be shoved aside when they have more immediate problems with the Romulans and the Klingons. From what Lily saw, the Enterprise defeated the Borg and seemed more than capable to hold their own against the tough enemy.

Being able to do nothing with any fragment of knowledge they had on the Borg, the reports of them simply become nothing more than dusty collections to the Federation library. Will they become forgotten? Of course. There are many more things to worry about than stuff that will happen hundreds of years from now. But since anything from the future would hold people's intrigue, and since everyone likes a good story, I think it is completely plausible to assume that the stories of the Borg could most definitely be legend by the time the Hansen's set sail.

The bottom line? No "First Contact" ... no Seven of Nine.

Hmmmm. A boring life on Earth, or 18 years as a Borg drone only to be rescued by a ship that is more than 50 years from home at maximum warp. I wonder if there are any times that Seven of Nine wonders whether she should thank the galant crew of the Enterprise-E, or give them and the Borg a swift kick in the ass.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Michael Hinman is the webmaster of SyFyWorld.