I’ve been puzzled about the timeline for Annika Hansen’s meeting with the Borg. In tonite’s episode of Voyager, Janeway says to Seven that the Borg took away 20 years of her life and it was punishment enough. How is this possible if it was Q who brought the Enterprise and Picard to first contact with the Borg 10 years ago?
There are two theories. One is that the Borg time travel in Star Trek: First Contact mucked up the timeline so that the first contact between human and Borg occurred before “Q Who” and that this episode didn’t happen at all.
The second theory, which I’m sure others have developed as well, is this:
Starfleet knew about the Borg from the late-23rd century. The evacuation of the El-Aurian homeworld was the first clear sign, the number of El-Aurian refugees heading to Earth showed that something major was afoot. Starfleet intercepted what El-Aurian refugees they could, debriefed them about what happened to their homeworld, and learned of the threat of the Borg.
However, not all of Starfleet knew this. This information was classified at the highest levels. Section 31 knew undoubtedly, Starfleet’s Commander-in-Chief and his inner circle knew as well. But the rank-and-file didn’t know. (I postulate Starfleet sent a ship, the Excelsior under Sulu’s command, to investigate what happened to the El-Aurian homeworld. I suspect Sulu might have been the first in Starfleet to make contact with the Borg. I think what he found scared Starfleet intensely.)
Then, after the Tomed Incident in 2311, the Borg fell upon the Romulans.
The Hansens I suspect were part of Section 31. Assigned to survey the Borg, trail one of their ships. Boom, they get assimilated.
When Picard stumbles across the Borg in System J-25, he doesn’t know anything of the Borg; they’re classified far above what he needs to know.
After the first Borg assault on Earth, Starfleet levels with its officers about what it knew about the Borg. Not how it knew it, but what it did know. Even what Section 31 knew, but not revealing how they knew it. Thus did Janeway have the logs of the Raven. So, there’s a bit of revisionism in the history of the Borg and how Starfleet encountered them.
A possible history.