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Anath G'Renn

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Everything posted by Anath G'Renn

  1. The ships created by the major powers of the galaxy each have their own unique characteristics and design schemes that identify who they belong to. The Romulans, Cardassians, Klingons, and Ferengi all have very distinct styles of ship design. However, most ships share the same essential elements. There is almost always a bridge, some form of energy and projectile weapons, both warp and sublight engines, and basic living spaces for the ship’s crew. All of these features come standard for starships all over the galaxy. Beyond unique design styles, most factions also have their own special technologies that are seen as trademarks of their fleets. Both the Romulans and Klingons equipped their ships with their own versions of cloaking devices. The Breen were feared for their unique energy dampening weapon that turned the Second Battle of Chin’toka into a decisive defeat for the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. There were also non-standard features that were unique to certain classes of ship. The USS Prometheus had a revolutionary new multi-vector assault mode that could turn one ship into three built on older saucer separation technology. If you were designing a starship, you would have to include all of the standard features in the design. But no ship has room for all of the optional extra technologies that are seen on starships across the galaxy. A ship that was transwarp-capable, cloaked, multi-vector assault mode equipped, and armed with special weapons would likely never hold together. Ships like the USS Defiant show that an over-specialized ship stuffed with advanced technology was an engineering nightmare to keep running. If you were designing a starship, which non-standard feature would be at the top of your list? Let us know what your first choice would be below!
  2. Of all the famous Starfleet captains, there are few who have made as many controversial decisions as Captain Jonathan Archer of the NX-01. Archer’s Enterprise was the first Warp Five starship built by Humans. It was Earth’s first deep space explorer, and Starfleet itself was still a fairly new and inexperienced organization. Captain Archer did not have any of the benefits that future Starfleet captains enjoyed. He had access to less data, was a member of Starfleet when the organization was relatively weak, and didn’t have the experience of previous Starfleet captains to call on as he was the first to go out into the unexplored reaches of space. Archer would eventually serve as a role model for his successors, teaching them both what to do and what not to do. Mistakes, even major mistakes, have happened with every captain. Some have even acted in a criminal manner. Some of Captain Archer’s decisions do make some sense given the lack of precedent and his limited experience. However, there are some decisions that seem to indicate a simple lack of good command skills. The use of an airlock to torture a prisoner is just one example. We’d like to know what you think of the command decisions of one of Starfleet’s earliest captains. What do you think is the worst thing that Captain Archer did?
  3. If you are looking for something to eat on a ship with replicators there is no shortage of options. Starfleet replicators have a massive library of recipes from across the Federation and beyond. It doesn’t matter what a Starfleet officer could want. Whether as simple as a piece of toast for breakfast or catering a dinner party for members of a dozen alien species, the replicator can provide. Simply push a button and ask for whatever dish is desired. And if on the off chance there is a food not already in the database the replicator pattern can be created and uploaded to the database. However, everyone has their own preferences for food. Everyone has foods that they prefer not to eat if they can at all avoid it. It is unlikely that many people could go through the entire replicator database and not find some foods that they would dislike. This week’s poll asks you what dishes would not be found on your character’s table. What types of food can your character not stand? Be sure to cast your vote!
  4. In the distant past, Romulans and Vulcans were one. Romulans did not exist for centuries of Vulcan history. Only during the Age of Surak did the Romulans begin as their own people. They refused to adopt Surak’s philosophies about logic and emotion. These Vulcans who “marched beneath the raptor’s wings” left the planet on a long odyssey. Eventually, these wayward Vulcans would find their way to Romulus and form the Romulan Star Empire. For the longest time Vulcan and Romulus remained separate. They went on divergent paths of history and developed their own unique cultures. The Vulcans joined the Federation and continued to follow the logical path of Surak’s teachings. Meanwhile, the Romulans became an expansionist military power built on extreme paranoia and mistrust. Despite their common roots the two civilizations didn’t seem to have much in common. This hasn’t kept people on both sides from desiring a unification between the Vulcans and Romulans. What form would this reunification take? For most Vulcans, the idea was to have peaceful diplomatic discussions with the Romulans. The Romulan Star Empire saw the goal of reunification as the conquest of Vulcan. Reunification remains a dream for many Romulans and Vulcans despite the barriers to unification. What do you think about the prospects of a reunion for the two powers? Could Vulcan-Romulan Reunification work? Let us know your thoughts and cast your vote!
  5. In Star Trek, the characters often reference art from their respective cultures. This could be as simple as a passing reference to a novel or something as complex as playing out scenes from a play on the holodeck. Data was a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Worf was known for being well-versed in all things related to Klingon culture. Multiple members of the Enterprise-D senior staff played parts in classic plays from Earth during their down time. Star Trek is full of references to classical music, Shakespeare, and literature. However, one aspect of culture seen much less frequently is the modern-day literature, art, and music of the Federation. Whether it be Worf’s Klingon opera or Data and Picard playing out a scene from Henry V, most of the culture from the Federation that we see is historical and not current. With art from Earth it makes sense for producers to reference well-known classics like Shakespeare. But even when dealing with alien art we always seem to see art from that world’s distant past. While a few episodes do give us glimpses into the bestselling holonovels and popular culture of the 24th century, it seems that most people are content to stick with the classics from centuries ago. What do you think about the lack of modern culture in the Star Trek universe? Is it just a trick to limit production costs or a major missed opportunity for worldbuilding? Cast your vote and let us know what you think!
  6. The command department is a very important department to the ship, but most people don’t start there. Captains and first officers all start somewhere. Everyone was an ensign once. With time and experience officers climb up the ranks and may one day find themselves sitting in the center chair. You can never know which department your commanding officer worked in before they were in command. Perhaps they were an engineer, or maybe a medical officer. Maybe they bounced between multiple duty posts before going into a command role. There are several skills that someone commanding a starship requires. Of course, good leadership skills are required. A commanding officer will have to take care of overseeing the ship’s mission as well as delegate tasks to different departments and officers. Each department head acts a specialist in their field while the command division oversees everything and keeps the ship running smoothly. It also helps to have at least a basic familiarity with the different departments under your command so that you can delegate work effectively to the right specialized group of officers. There are captains who have come from every Starfleet background imaginable. Captain Picard was originally the flight controller aboard his first command, the Stargazer. Before serving on the Enterprise Captain Kirk worked on a phaser crew. Captain Janeway was a science officer during her early Starfleet career. This week’s poll asks for your opinion on which duty post you think would best prepare a person for a command role. Is there a specific duty post that provides unique experience that would be useful to a member of the command department? Maybe experience with multiple departments is better and makes for a more well-rounded skill set? Do you think that no department holds the advantage? Let us know which duty post you think best prepares officers for command below!
  7. The Kobayashi Maru Scenario is the most notorious test at Starfleet Academy. This test is the famous no-win scenario that tests the character of a Starfleet officer as much as it tests the technical skills of command. The scenario is famously impossible to beat. No matter what course of action you take the outcome is always the same. Only one Starfleet officer ever beat the Kobayashi Maru, and it’s only because he cheated. While the exact elements of the simulation have changed from era to era the basic setup remains the same. The version that we are most familiar with strands the civilian freighter Kobayashi Maru in the Klingon Neutral Zone after striking a mine. Once the cadet’s ship enters the Neutral Zone multiple Klingon battle cruisers converge on them and attack. It’s considered impossible to both survive the attack still intact and save the crew of the Kobayashi Maru. In a possible variant in the 24th century, a Ferengi transport and an ambush by Romulan warbirds are used in place of an attack by the Klingons. It is obvious that there is no “right” answer when it comes to facing the infamous scenario. That’s why it is considered unwinnable, and what makes it an excellent tool for teaching command-track cadets. How the cadet chooses to proceed is more important than finding a path to a complete victory. This week, we’d like to know what you think is the best answer to the no-win scenario, if there is one. While you might not be able to win, do you see a strategy that is superior to the others? What do you think is the best approach to the Kobayashi Maru scenario?
  8. The United Federation of Planets is a union made up of hundreds of member worlds. Starting as an alliance between Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites, the Federation grew outward as more and more worlds joined. Planet by planet and sector by sector the United Federation of Planets expanded its reach across the Alpha Quadrant. Hundreds of species live in harmony and cooperate together to operate the Federation and its military arm, Starfleet. Many governments of varying attitudes and governing styles call the Federation home. However, there are some governments that might not make that transition so gracefully. Some governments just aren’t well-suited to giving up their autonomy and becoming just one part of a larger whole. They may be too paranoid or too independently-minded to give up their power to a higher organization. Others might consider some of the core ideals of the Federation too restrictive. Joining the post-scarcity Federation without a strong unified currency would be a hard sell for the business-friendly Ferengi. Many of the enemies and allies of the Federation probably wouldn’t smoothly transition from autonomous government to Federation member. This week’s poll asks you which government you think could make the change easiest. Would the Klingon Empire be able to set aside their more aggressive military policies and merge together with Starfleet? How much work would have to be done to reform Cardassia’s government until it could be accepted? The change would be difficult for any of them, and some might not be able to do it. Which government do you think would make the easiest transition into Federation membership? Let us know what you think below!
  9. Happy Halloween everyone! Previously, a poll of the week asked what your favorite scary episode of Star Trek is. This week we wanted to envision what a pure horror story would look like in the Star Trek universe. Typically, when an episode tells a horror story it is usually through a monster or strange anomaly haunting the crew. However, horror is not traditionally focused on powerful characters in an advanced military ship. Horror is about the characters being forced to overcome an unknown superior force, be it a masked killer or a ghost haunting their home. One of the most important parts of a horror story is the location. Often these places are secluded, dangerous, or associated with bad history. Haunted mansions, abandoned hospitals or asylums, and isolated places out in the woods are all popular choices. If Star Trek ever produced a standalone horror story, what would be a frightening or secluded setting? Space provides no shortage of hazardous environments that could make for threatening settings for a story. Perhaps a ghost-like anomaly could haunt the two-person crew in the cramped quarters of a relay station or some alien monster of the week could try to drive a group of colonists off of its planet. What location in the Star Trek universe do you think would make the best horror story setting?
  10. In Star Trek most members of the crew interact off duty as well as during their regularly assigned duties. Entire stories can be based around the interactions between the crew when there isn’t a Romulan warbird or an exploding star driving the action. While some members of the crew are simply colleagues or may even dislike each other, others share a much stronger bond. Aboard Deep Space Nine, if you see Doctor Bashir it’s a good bet that Chief O’Brien is nearby. Whether they are storming the Alamo together or playing darts in Quark’s the two are almost inseparable. Meanwhile, aboard the Enterprise D, Captain Picard could always turn to his old friend Guinan for advice. In the 23rd century, Captain Kirk and Commander Spock went through a lot together. They stuck together throughout their historic mission of exploration that saw them encounter all manners of hostile aliens, new civilizations, and even sent them back in time on multiple occasions. These trials forged a strong friendship between the two that went far beyond colleagues or even captain and first officer. This week’s poll asks you to look back at the friendships between characters that developed throughout the franchise and pick your favorite. Let us know which was your favorite friendship below!
  11. The transporter was originally invented out of necessity. With away teams going to and from alien planets regularly, the team behind Star Trek needed a way to get them to the ship and back again. They had shuttles that could solve this problem. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a feasible option. Landing a shuttle every episode would have been too much for the show’s limited budget. Instead the transporter was born. In the years since the transporter has remained, but small craft of all kinds have gained a more prominent role in the series with new shows. Starfleet has access to more than just the normal shuttles used to ferry landing parties from the ship to a planet. They also have larger runabouts for longer trips, attack fighters for combat, and workbees and other maintenance craft to name a few. The runabout did play a major role in Deep Space Nine, but attack fighters and workbees rarely play a part beyond appearing in the background. Both the Enterprise-D and Voyager featured special auxiliary craft (the captain’s yacht and the aeroshuttle respectively) but neither were ever used. Are the small crafts of Star Trek underutilized? Would you like to see shuttles and fighters used in new and interesting ways, or do you like them the way they are? What do you think of the way Star Trek uses small craft?
  12. Due to declining ratings for season two of the original Star Trek, it was rumored that NBC was planning to cancel the series. This prompted a letter-writing campaign that kept the show on the air for one more season. While not every Star Trek series was faced with such an early ending, no television show can go on forever. One by one each new Star Trek series told its story, aired its final episode, and the franchise moved on to new things. The staff behind these shows did their best to wrap things up well. However, that doesn’t stop us from asking what they would do with another season on the air. The upcoming Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind hopes to share the original plan for the story of a hypothetical season eight. For the most part it is up to the imaginations of fans to guess how future seasons of Star Trek could have unfolded. We may never know for sure what any particular series would have done if it stayed on the air longer, but it is interesting to envision what could have been nonetheless. We want to know which main Star Trek series you would have most liked to see be given a little more time to tell its stories. The possibilities are endless. Deep Space Nine left the galaxy recovering from an incredibly destructive war with all the possible stories that situation could spawn. Enterprise could have gone on to give us our first real look at the war between the Romulan Star Empire and humanity. Which series do you think had more incredible tales to tell? Which Star Trek series would you want to see have one more season? Tell us what your choice would be below!
  13. On September 8th, 1966 the original series of Star Trek premiered on NBC. Despite being intended as a later episode in the series, the episode “The Man Trap” was chosen to be the premiere episode for its horror-like plot. As the anniversary of Star Trek’s US premiere approaches, we reflected on how much the franchise has grown over the past fifty-one (a few days away from fifty-two) years. Star Trek has expanded to include a handful of television series, fourteen movies, and countless other spin-off works. The franchise has many fans across the world, presumably including the members of this group. Each of us got our love of Star Trek from somewhere, and we all have our own reasons for liking it so much. Why anyone is a fan of a particular series is a matter of personal feelings and how they look at the series. We want to hear from you about why you love Star Trek. Given how personal the answer to that question will be for everyone, this week’s poll is going to be a bit different. There are no answer choices. There is only the question. What is Star Trek to you? Let us know what the series means to you and why you love it below!
  14. The looks of many visual elements in Star Trek have changed over the years. One of the most prominent and famous changes is the design of the Klingon species. At first, Klingons were barely distinguishable from humans. This stayed the same throughout the first series but first changed in the original Star Trek movie. This was when the original change was made and Klingons got their trademark forehead ridges. The look of the Klingons remained mostly the same from that point until the movie Into Darkness. This movie changed the look of Klingons but retained the basic design scheme. The next change came with Discovery, where the Klingon species went through a major redesign. That brings the current count of Klingon makeup designs to four. These sudden changes in the appearance of a major species did not go unnoticed. A few episodes even tried to explain where these sudden forehead ridges came from. The question of visual continuity is a complex one. Each series of Star Trek has made changes and introduced its own visual style, but for the most part major elements of Star Trek remain relatively visually similar. Special effects and prosthetic makeup have improved since Star Trek first aired. Some people might argue that these innovation should be used, while others would prefer that the vision of Star Trek’s original creators be preserved. This poll of the week asks you what you think. Do you care about the visual continuity of the Klingons? Let us know what your take on the issue is!
  15. So often, Starfleet officers are asked to do the impossible. Life in Starfleet is full of daunting challenges that would push anyone to their limits. At any moment a temporal rift or a surprise attack by the Borg could test the worth of the crew of a Starfleet ship. You could fill a book with strange encounters and difficult missions just by following the career of a single ship. Across the entire organization of Starfleet the impossible happens every day. While these herculean tasks often test the entire ship, they can also be the responsibility of a single officer. There is perhaps no greater example of this trend than Scotty. Every other week he was being asked to pull the Enterprise from the jaws of defeat to victory. Scotty truly earned his reputation as a miracle worker through the countless times he saved the day at the last minute with his technical skill and unbelievable luck. This week’s poll presents several scenarios that would challenge the best of the best and asks you to choose which you would find to be the biggest trial. The challenges included cover a variety of different specialties from the nightmares of catering for a galactic diplomatic reception to packing the punch of a Galaxy-class into a vessel that's well over a century old. Which do you think is the most difficult to handle? Let us know your thoughts below!
  16. When a new Star Trek series is on the horizon, the question of what the show will look like is always at the forefront of speculation. Will the show borrow visuals from previous shows or carve a new direction for itself? Recently the divergent design aesthetics between The Original Series and Discovery have been a topic of great debate among fans. Changes to sets, props, costumes, and makeup have given Discovery its own unique visual style rather than embracing the visuals of the Kirk era. With seven television series and more than a dozen movies, there is no shortage of design aesthetics as the various directors and artists have taken the direction of the show’s visuals in new and interesting directions. Everyone is bound to have their personal favorite look for the show. Today's poll asks you which design aesthetic you liked the most. Is the original still the best, or do you prefer the new changes made by Discovery? Let us know what your favorite Star Trek design aesthetic is in this week's poll!
  17. The unlucky day of Friday the 13th is almost upon us, and that has brought to mind the subject of bad luck. There are many ways people say you can find misfortune. A black cat crossing your path is a popular sign of bad luck. It’s said that breaking a mirror will bring you seven years of misfortune. Walking underneath a ladder or opening an umbrella indoors are both considered unlucky actions, not to mention just plain unsafe things to do. If you want a real example of bad luck, you need only look at some of the fates that befall Starfleet officers. You could fall out into space through a hull breach. Some unlucky souls have been infected with rare alien viruses that are uncomfortable at best and downright horrifying at worst. Time travel or transit through different dimensions could strand someone in any number of unusual realities. There is also always the looming threat of everyday risks from combat with hostile aliens to transporter accidents. There’s no shortage of misfortune that can happen to a member of Starfleet, especially if said officer isn’t named and is wearing a red shirt. However, fate seems happy to pile the misfortune on to some main characters more than others. It would be bad enough to be abducted, be tormented by a clown, or constantly fail to get a well-deserved promotion. All three, and more? It might seem like the universe just has it out for you. Some Star Trek main characters have even been killed, only to find out that not even death can end their streak of bad luck. This week’s poll asks you which character you think always seemed to be dealt the worst hand by fate. Who do you think was the unluckiest main character in Star Trek?
  18. Sometimes a change in scenery can be a welcome bit of variety in a life so often controlled by routines. Life on a Starfleet ship is certainly a life with many routines and schedules. While ships often have shore leave, even this takes place at a nearby port of call. Sometimes a Starfleet officer just needs to take extended leave and get away from everything. Even the most dedicated of officers like Jean-Luc Picard needed to take a vacation every once in a while. Luckily when it’s time to plan a trip the galaxy offers no shortage of potential destinations. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to an ideal vacation. One person might prefer a quiet, uneventful trip while another might find a short stay in the crowded metropolis of the Klingon First City much more enjoyable. Planets like Risa are incredibly popular destinations, but they aren’t for everyone. There are those who would pick touring historic battlefields or museums over a trip to the beach every time. If your character had to take extended shore leave, where would they go?
  19. Starfleet has a wide range of vessel classes at their disposal. There are large, top-of-the-line ships like Galaxy-class and Sovereign-class vessels. The Intrepid-class is a lighter long-range explorer. When going into battle a Prometheus-class or Defiant-class ship would be a welcome addition to any fleet. If you are on a scientific mission to investigate some strange phenomena you’d want to bring a Horizon-class, and an Olympic-class flying hospital is the go-to ship for a medical emergency. The Starfleet ship class lineup can adapt to a wide range of situations, but it won’t stay the same forever. Technology is always improving both for the Federation and other states. What was the newest technology available a decade before could already be surpassed by new technology. As the current ship classes go the way of the Miranda-class or Constitution-class new ship classes will need to take their place. If Starfleet came to you and put you in charge of designing the newest addition to Starfleet’s vessel classes what kind of ship would you bring back to them? Perhaps you think there’s a shortage of ships built to defend the Federation. Others could favor smaller ships as opposed to building larger and larger explorers that outclass the current flagships. If given the chance to design a new class of starship, what kind of ship would you design?
  20. Every series of Star Trek has taken the same basic premise and put its own unique spin on it. The show follows a crew of Starfleet officers as they carry out Starfleet’s mission of exploration, scientific discovery, and defense of the United Federation of Planets. There is a captain, a first officer, a senior staff made up of the senior officers of each department, and oftentimes a ship named Enterprise. Each new entry into the Star Trek franchise usually tries to do something new from the same starting point. Deep Space Nine placed its crew on a space station out on the frontier as opposed to the Federation flagship. Voyager cut the ship off from all support and left it to fend for itself. Enterprise gave us a look at the earliest days of Starfleet. Despite these changes there is still a great deal of similarity in the basic structure between shows. Every series is unique and tells its own stories, but they all branch off from the same general starting point. However, there’s nothing to say that every Star Trek series has to follow the usual Starfleet crew on their adventures. There are several alternative perspectives that a new series could explore, both inside and outside the United Federation of Planets. If a new Star Trek series decided to depart from the familiar setting of a Starfleet ship or starbase what would you be most excited to see?
  21. Imagine if you knew the secret of how to travel through time. Only you have the information and the know-how to travel anywhere through time. You could take a tour of ancient Rome in the morning, have lunch with a long-dead historical figure, and get back to your own time five minutes before you left. What would you do with this technology? Fiction is full of examples of time travel. Entire stories revolve around time travel, or at least serves as a plot point. So many of these stories seem to tell us all about the dangers of time travel and how we shouldn’t try to change the past. There are so many unknowns about time travel, including if it is even possible. If the decision were in your hands what would you do? Would it be worth the risk of using at all, and if so who would you trust with the technology? If you possessed time travel, how would you use it?
  22. Are you a science fiction writer looking to add some new object to your fictional universe? Maybe a culture in your story needs some kind of unique dish that is mentioned in the story to help flesh out that world. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to create a long list of names for objects in a story that are completely alien and that are at least somewhat decipherable. This leads to a common theme in many science fiction franchises with an alien species that gets explored in great detail. Eventually you’re likely to see something along the lines of [Species Name here] [Human Noun here]. Star Trek has created a long list of original names for things in the many alien cultures that exist in its universe. In fact, Star Trek boasts one of the most comprehensive languages featured in fiction, Klingon. Still, it is quite easy to see examples of this simple formula all over the Star Trek universe. Romulan ale, Saurian brandy, and Bolian soufflé all being examples in terms of foods and drinks. There’s also the difficult-to-acquire Tholian silk, Cardassian pinochle, and all kinds of variants on Earth diseases such as Ankaran flu or Rigelian fever. This week’s poll asks you what you think of this common naming convention. Is it just a simple trick used by writers that is understandable, or does it break your immersion? Coming up with an entire alien lexicon is a worldbuilding task that not every writer or author will find to be worth the cost. What do you think of the [Species] [Noun] trend for naming things in science fiction?
  23. Among Starfleet’s many uniform styles over the years we all have our favorites. There are so many versions to choose from! Ranging from the original uniforms of Kirk’s Enterprise to the winner of our poll on Starfleet uniforms, the First Contact style, Starfleet has gone through more than their fair share of uniforms. With each new series we see new uniforms for our heroes as well as for the major powers Starfleet often encounters. They may not have as many variants as Starfleet uniforms but Star Trek has quite the collection of alien uniforms. If you had to pick a favorite out of the alien uniforms of Starfleet, which would it be? The Klingons have gone through multiple uniform changes over the years. The Romulans have also changed their uniform designs as well. Perhaps you like the color-coded uniforms with multiple variants of the Bajoran Provisional Government. Are the checkerboard Romulan uniforms the best in your eyes? What is your favorite style of non-Starfleet uniform?
  24. The Borg Collective is a terrifying force in the Star Trek universe. The thought of facing the Borg can even strike fear in the heart of seasoned Starfleet officers. They do not negotiate, they do not worry about diplomacy, and they have no respect for the rights of the individual or other civilizations. They exist to assimilate new drones and resources in order to further expand their Collective. Everything they do is meant to bring them closer to perfection, including the forced assimilation of others into their hive mind. However, what if this was no longer the case? How would you feel if the Borg stopped assimilating people without their consent? As crazy as it sounds there are some people who might see the benefits of joining the Collective as outweighing the cost of entry. Borg drones are in a sense immortal, have access to knowledge from across the galaxy, and find a sense of purpose in the hive. They only ask that you surrender your individuality in order to be a part of the Collective. Perhaps there are some willing to take them up on that offer. The Borg Collective may have many problem, but assimilating others is what has gotten them the universal hostility they currently face. If they approached the Federation having sworn off assimilation of the unwilling, would you be more receptive? The Klingon Empire is one of the Federation’s closest friends on the galactic stage and they certainly have their own problems as well. Is this reformed Borg Collective a possible ally or do good fences make good neighbors? Would you be open to working with the Borg Collective if they stopped assimilating through force?
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