Meet the Artifact, Star Trek: Picard’s Decommissioned Borg Cube

The Artifact.
The Artifact.
Image: CBS All Access

In the new status quo of Picard’s modern timeline, the Borg, for our protagonists, at least, aren’t an immediate threat. But they are certainly a presence. Meet the Artifact.


In a new featurette, the creators and cast behind Picard catch you up on the status and history of the decommissioned Borg Cube, a wrecked, disconnected portion of the Borg Collective that’s become a hub for high-security scientific research. Part rehab for former Borg, part harvesting site for the incredible technology that fuels the Collective, it’s one of Picard’s most striking settings, a place of horror turned into something sterile, familiar. Maybe too familiar.

It’s an inspired idea, and one the staff talk about with a clear amount of excitement. It’s a look at the Borg, not just as a threat, but as a fact of life that has reshaped the Federation and beyond. Sometimes the monsters are out there, but they don’t stay out there, and they became a part of us, instead. For better and worse.

Picard airs on CBS All Access. 

For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.


Arcanum Five

Are Romulans going to end up creating the Borg? It’s all bit bootstrappy paradoxical, but that could be the ugly secret that the Zhat Vash keeps hidden.

Time travel (both intentional and accidental) is a thing that definitely exists in the Star Trek universe. Picard-era Romulans could go dinking around with Borg technology to build a better Romulan (despite the best intentions of the Zhat Vash), and the end result could be the first Borg.

Upgraded Romulans could evade the modern Zhat Vash by escaping into Delta Quadrant in the distant past. Maybe they aim for it or maybe they just punch the warp engine at the same time a Warbird fires a disruptor blast and technobabbles a time-space rift into existence that dumps them there. Either way, the Romulan cyborgs could spend the next several hundred thousand years building a new empire in the Delta Quadrant, adding to their collective to the point that they forget they were Romulans to begin with.

In this scenario, the ancient Zhat Vash would have been formed thousands of years ago when some Romulans ran across the Borg, realized what they were, somehow made it back, and the Romulan leadership immediately decided “we should never let anyone know this is our fault.”