U.S.S. Nimrod NCC-16104, named for the famous Polar exploration ship HMS Nimrod of Ernest Shackleton fame. Part of the Third 'Northern' Fleet of Starfleet, exploring coreward towards the Delta and Gamma Quadrants. The mission is sposored by Starfleet Intelligence to peek over the 'next hill but one'. The mission is to back-track the route of the El Aurian refugees from 2293. They spoke to the Borg, a race of cybernetic assimilated lifeforms that inveaded their world and drove them all the way to Earth in headlong flight. The details given by the El Aurians match exactly an encounter on 1st March 2153 by Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of Enterprise NX-01 chasing after a freighter that had been altered by cybernetic lifeforms found in the Artic. One of the Enterprise crew, Doctor Phlox, was partially assimilated by nanobots injected by tubules from one of these cyborgs.
Phlox was able to use Omicron radiation to kill the nanobots. Samples of the technology, and other pieces from the assimilated freighter, were later recovered from Starfleet Intelligence Section 31. The samples, whilst decades ahead of anything Starfleet or the Federation possessed, has been analysed since recovery. Several advances in technology, including medical, are attributable to this captured technology. Senior Admirals in Starfleet Headquarters are aware of the Borg threat and the magnitude of what was recovered from Arctic One and other items kept hidden away. As the threat lies distant in the Delta Quadrant, signalled by the Borg in 2153, the Borg are dismissed as a problem for another day. Nimrod is the mission that is to determine where the threat is and to monitor it from afar. Not to engage. The UFP population is not to be terrified unnecessarily by this distant danger when there are very real threats from Romulans, Klingons and Tholians.
Borg bodies were also retrieved by Section 31 at a top secret, remote research base Hurley One. The two assimilated Tarkaleans had been blown out into space by Archer were located using sensors configured with Borg technological conversions gained from the Engineering section of NX-01. The base is located far coreward of the Federation, the Nimrod is assigned to call there first for re-supply of the base and to gain classified sensors for the second part of their mission. Borg technology, incorporated into a Phantom class Opera sensor suite, is attached to the Nimrod to act as a long-rang scanner for the Borg. It is hoped that the additional technology will aid in scanner range as well as conceal the true nature of the source of scans from the Borg.
Research base Hurley One is located in an asteroid field with sensor-blocking minerals. The base is the latest distant, off-the-grid station for Borg studies. This latest base came online in the 2290s, relocated using long-range starships, to avoid the encroaching Federation colonies from being anywhere near the secretive base. Hurley One is protected by a destroyer squadron and a Belknap class strike cruiser. If a regular coded signal is not received from the base, or if the base is known to be compromised, the tactical vessels are under standing orders to totally destroy the base. Given the fate of Arctic One, Section 31 knows not to underestimate the Borg technology and its ability to assimilate both the base and the crew.
The scientists and Starfleet personnel on Hurley One are given the most detailed security assessments before being even informed about the project work, let alone taken to the base. Only dedicated transports and Oberth class starships are allowed to the base, along with Constellation class starships perfoming the same mission as Nimrod. The station has a relatively small population of around 80 personnel split between scientists, engineers and a high-trained security detail.
Author notes: Research station Hurley One is named for Maurice Hurley, who created the Borg for Star Trek: The Next Generation. This villain, that was planned for in season one and hinted at in the final episode 'Neutral Zone', but was first seen in season 2 'Q Who'. They went on to become the top villains for Picard and his crew.
1 – Shackleton - named for Ernest Shackleton.
Borg in the Interim Years?
Yes. And all because of events in the CANON Star Trek universe.
The Borg story really has adapted to service story needs ever since they were created by Maurice Hurley. The first encounter was in 2364 when in TNG season one finale episode The Neutral Zone the Romulan and Federation border colonies had been scooped off the surface of their worlds and taken away – indicating the Borg were close by. As the Borg were not ready to be introduced, and as the Ferengi had been disappointing as ‘the new Klingons’, the Romulans were brought back as a main villain species.
Q Who introduced the Borg when Q sent the Enterprise-D to System J-25. This cube would then make it all the way to Sector 001 and is defeated, only after destroying 39 starships at Wolf 359 and the freighter Lalo. The Borg were then encountered in I, Borg with Hugh, Descent and finally in Star Trek: First Contact. In that film the Borg go back in time to stop Cochrane meeting the Vulcans. They fail to change history. Or do they?
1 March 2153 is when Starfleet first believed the stories from Zephram Cochrane and Lily back in 2063 of the “Swedish-sounding” cybernetic organisms that Archer had just experienced overwhelming Arctic One science team and a Tarkalean freighter. I presume that the drunken demeanour of Cochrane dampened the whole idea and that Lily could only remember they sounded Swedish, since the name of the Borg wasn’t known (not that it would actually matter).
For the next 140 years, Starfleet Intelligence Section 31 studied the Borg wreckage and recovered borg bodies. (You’d go back for them, wouldn’t you? You don’t leave a unique lifeform and threat floating in space when you can contain and study them properly?) The United Federation of Planets makes technological improvements in many fields, attributed to scientific discoveries. Many of them could well be from Borg parts including duotronic or isolinear technology or transwarp drive. We might not understand the Borg technology, but it would no doubt inspire breakthrough discoveries earlier than originally happened.
It was when Starfleet met the El Aurian refugees with the S.S. Robert Fox and Lakul that they first officially became aware of the Borg species and opened a file on them on stardate 9521.6. The stardate was mentioned in an Okudagram seen in "Scorpion". 9521.6 is the same stardate mentioned by Captain Sulu in his captain's log in the beginning of ST:VI.
Armed with the full knowledge from the El Aurians, coupled with the logs and experiences from Phlox and Archer, Starfleet Intelligence pressed upon Starfleet Headquarters at the highest level to gain more information on the Borg. Although the El Aurians will have pointed out the Borg were in the Delta Quadrant, Borg wreckage had already made it to Earth from the future. The best way to face the threat is to understand it and to develop a defence against it. I added a borgified Phantom class opera sensor to the Nimrod as a Macguffin as to how we could peek a look at the distant Borg without tipping them off to our presence.
Is the timeline altered? Yes. The presence of Borg bodies and technology in 2063, re-discovered in 2153 and studied thereafter has altered the flow of events from the last time around. Chronologically and on a large scale there will be no visible differences but there will be subtle ones. Maybe tech incorporated in uniforms or small modifications with warp drive. The big difference is that we know the Borg are out there. Perhaps a lack of resolve in Starfleet Headquarters to face up to the Borg danger. That might explain why the Hansen family are left to go it alone with the Raven in 2354...
The Borg timeline for the Interim Years:
2340s - Magnus and Erin Hansen study the Borg from El Aurian testimony and other recovered artifacts.
2353 - Magnus and Erin petition Federation Science Council, Exobiology department to follow up the rumours and sensor shadows of the Borg. The mission: the study the Borg up-close using bio-dampening technology. Despite the security issues (Starfleet Intelligence knew of the El Aurian testimony) and the distance and astrography in the way, the council approves them to use the Raven.
2354 - 2356 – The Hansen family onboard the U.S.S. Raven travel for a year, strying off their assigned course and even crossing the (Romulan) Neutral Zone. There they encounter the Borg. They study them for about two years before a failure in their systems exposed them and they are assimilated.
2362 - U.S.S. Tombaugh is assimilated by the Borg. (This may be the old Doppler class tug NCC-3853, sister to the Hirayama).
2364 – Federation and Romulans border colonies ripped away.
2365 – Enterprise-D encounters Borg in system J-25.
2366 – Best of Both Worlds.
2368 – I, Borg
2369 - Descent
2373 – Borg return and go back in time.
2063 – Borg sphere destroyed and falls on Earth. Cochrane and Lily’s stories dismissed.
2153 – Arctic One team assimilated and Enterprise/Dr Phlox partially assimilated. Salvaged materials saved by Section 31 sent to the first of their secret science bases.
2293 – El Aurians meet transports Robert Fox and Lakul and warn Federation about the Borg. Section 31 sees an opportunity to gain more Borg technology and safeguard the Federation by learning how close the nearest Borg are to us.
2312 – USS Nimrod sets off to backtrack the El Aurian path to locate the extent of Borg exploration towards us...
Over the next hill but one.
So why not reveal to Starfleet and the Federation that the Borg are out there? In 2312 the Borg are known about and they are considered to be ‘over the next hill but one’; far enough away from the Federation to be left for another day, as the technology is so far ahead of us as to render Starfleet technology helplessly ill-prepared. Starfleet – especially the shadowy Section 31 – have taken the Borg threat seriously. The biological parts (Including recovered Tarkalean-Borg bodies) from 2063 and 2153 are being examined in an undisclosed location under level 7 bio-safety (we know the body parts are contagious – nanobots - so medical protocol above current level 4 used). The technology is being examined separately for medical, scientific and security reasons. Some of the reverse-engineered technology is aiding in the development of new Starfleet technology – for example on the Ambassador class project.
Revealing the Borg threat would cause unnecessary panic amongst the population. The Metar had been bad enough in 2288 – 2292. Starfleet Intelligence wants ‘probes and preparation’ to be the mantra for readiness. The probes can scout ahead for the Borg and research can upgrade and modify Starfleet technology accordingly. It’s entirely feasible that the whole of the Interim Years etc are different from the TOS 1966 episodes etc. as the events of First Contact, and the Temporal Cold War, have changed history.
Crew: 535 [Maximum: 600]
Cruising Warp: 6.
Maximum warp: 8.
Phasers: 12 Turrets.
Torpedo Launchers: 3 [2 Foward, 1 Aft].
Torpedo Compliment: 100.
Warp Engines: MARA
Impulse Engines: Standard
Computer System: DCLD - Duotronic Computer Library Database [Author's Note: Later upgraded to LCARS]
Expected Duration: 100 Years
Time Between Resupply: 3 Years
Time Between Refits: 5 Years
Shuttlecraft: 5 [Various types]
Starship primary mission: Planetary and Deep-Space Exploration.
Designation: Heavy Cruiser
This consists of 15 decks that can be summarised thus:
1 Main Bridge, Ready Room, Observation Lounge
2 Senior Officers Quarters, Junior Officers Quarters
3 Executive Mess, Junior Officers Quarters, Crew Quarters
4 Crew Quarters, Stellar Cartography, Main Computer
5 Transporter room, Dorsal Phaser Batteries, Aft Crew Lounge, Impulse Reaction System, Torpedo Bay, Main Deflector
6 Cargo, Laboratories
7 Main Engineering, Engineering Computer, Shuttle Control
9 Sickbay, Cargo
10 Shuttlebay, Shuttle Storage, Cargo
11 Environmental Systems
12 Ventral Phaser Batteries
13 Turbolift Storage
14 Antimatter Storage, Antimatter Generator
15 Sensor Pallets
The above artwork is © Star Trek Fact Files. All rights reserved.