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A Vinculum was a piece of technology that was created by the Borg Collective.
Its purpose was to serve as a processing device and, as such, was located at the core of every Borg vessel. Through its effect, it was able to interconnect the minds of all drones through their neural interlink frequency. In addition to this, it helped empower the hive mind by purging individual thoughts and helped in the dissemination of information throughout the Collective. They were equipped with a variety of safeguards designed to prevent it from being deactivated. Similar to the Borg themselves, the Vinculum was also able to adapt to new threats presented against it.
- The term Vinculum is a Latin word which meant "a means of binding".
The first encounter with this type of technology was in the year 2375 where it was discovered by the USS Voyager which was lost in the Delta Quadrant. The crew of the ship under the command of Captain Kathryn Janeway found a Vinculum amongst a debris field with the device itself attempting to establish a link with former Borg drone Seven of Nine by use of her cortical implants. However, this Vinculum was malfunctioning and began sending erratic information to her which caused the neural patterns of previously assimilated individuals to manifest in her consciousness. Thus, the effects of this damaged Vinculum were resulting in symptoms that were similar to a multiple personality disorder.
The crew of the USS Voyager discovered that the device had been infected with a synthetic pathogen created by Species 6339 and was designed with the purpose of attacking the Borg. They were eventually able to deactivate the device by targeting its transneural matrix through the use of a dampening field after which they beamed it into space. This was to allow Species 6339 to recapture it and return it to the debris field where it expected to infect more Borg ships that encountered it. (VOY episode: "Infinite Regress")
A year later in 2376, the USS Voyager was stranded in a dead zone in space due to the actions of the Vohrsoth who stranded many vessels in an area known as the Forge. One of the trapped ships was a Borg cube which contained Isodesium that the Starfleet vessel needed in order to survive. Beaming over the Hazard team onboard the ship, they journeyed to the centre of the vessel where they encountered the Vinculum. Once there, force fields engaged around the team and the Vinculum possessed Seven of Nine where it offered them a deal - destroy an infestation of Species 8472 on the ship in exchange for the isodesium. After they completed the task, the Borg attempted to assimilate the Hazard team but Hazard team member Austin Chang detonated an explosive that was placed near the Vinculum which damaged it. In the chaos that followed, the Hazard team managed to escape the Borg craft. (VOY video game: Elite Force (game))
- Depending on the choices made in the game, the Vinculum may not possess Seven of Nine and instead the deal is offered by an assimilated Les Foster.
In the Alpha Quadrant in the year 2380, a task force of vessels consisting of Federation, Klingons and Romulans assembled to destroy the menace presented by the rogue Vulcan T'Uerell who was attempting to assimilate known space and impose her logic and order onto other races. After defeating the Borg under the command of T'Uerell, the task force targeted and destroyed her vessel. After leaving the battlefield, they failed to notice that a Vinculum for her ship had managed to survive its ship's destruction and was floating in space. It was not active at the time the task force scoured the debris field for remnant of the Borg which meant it evaded their search through sensors. Once they departed, the Vinculum became active and began glowing with energy. (ST video game: Legacy (game))
- Though T'Uerell was believed to have been killed by the destruction of her ship, the fact that the Vinculum survived possibly means that she survived as well.