Wolf 359 is the fourth closest star to Earth, located approximately eight light years distant, in the Leo Constellation, it is near this star that the Starfleet armada draws its line of defense to prevent a Borg invasion of Earth in 2367.
On Stardate 44001.4, having kidnapped Captain Jean Luc-Picard from the USS Enterprise NCC1701-D and begun the process of incorporating him and his intimate knowledge of Starfleet into the Borg collective, the Borg set course for Earth. The crew of the Enterprise devise a jury-rigged deflector dish weapon of immense power, but fail to destroy the Borg ship and are unable to continue their pursuit due to the engine damage. They report their failure failure to Stafleet, warning them of the Borg`s impending arrival, and are left to finish their repairs as they vainly pursue the speeding Borg ship towards Earth.
Starfleet assembles an armada of ships under the command of Admiral J P Hanson, Hanson has been in charge of Starfleet Tactical`s efforts to develop effective defensive and offensive weapons against the Borg threat but, unfortunately, the attack comes sooner than anticipated and Starfleet remains unprepared; the new weaponry is still on the drawing board. The Klingon Empire sends a number of warships to help with the Federation`s defense, and the situation is considered so dire that there are discussions about opening lines of communication with the Romulans.
Picard, now Locutus of Borg, leads the assault against the Federation forces at Wolf 359. The battle is as furious as it is deadly and swift. Although the starfleet crews fight bravely and valiantly, their ships and weaponry are no match for the far superior Borg technology; the Borg ship is able to drain the shield capabilities of the Starfleet vessels. When the ship`s attempts to modulate the frequencies of their shields prove ineffective, they are rendered helpless, easy prey for Borg`s tractor beams, cutting beams, torpedoes, and other deadly weapons.
The battle takes a heavy toll on Starfleet, both in terms of personnel and ships. A typical example is that of the USS Melbourne NCC-62043, an Excelsior-class starship. The Melbourne`s destruction is brought about by complete shield failure under the stress of the Borg`s deadly cutting beam. Commander William Riker had only recently declined and offer to captain the ship; he had a lucky escape.
Other ships fare no better; the USS Saratoga NCC-31991, a Miranda-class starship, is destroyed due to a warp core failure brought about by massive battle damage. The Rigel-class USS Tolstoy NCC-62095, the New Orleans-class USS Lalo NCC-43837, and the Apollo-class USS Gage NCC-11672 are also among the 39 ships lost to the relentless Borg attack. Most of their crew die with them; 11,000 lives are lost during the battle, many of them civilian. Admiral Hanson is among the dead.
THe battle is finally ended when a brave attempt to rescue Captain Picard from the Borg is successful; back on the USS Enterprise, he is able to give Starfleet the information they need to destroy their attackers. On Picard`s advice, and using the technology implanted in him to communicate directly with the group mind, Picard`s colleagues implant a suggestion to `sleep` within the Borg hive, causing the ship to shut down, the ship then self-destructs.
Following the Borg cube`s destruction, Starfleet begins a massive rebuilding program. Many of the ships which have not been destroyed are nonetheless badly damaged; the Enterprise puts into Earth Station McKinley for five to six weeks of refitting.
Starfleet begins new strategies to prepare for future Borg attacks. Lt Commander Shelby is assigned to Starfleet headquarters, where she becomes part of the task force assigned to reassembling the decimated fleet. Shelby predicts that the fleet will be back up to full strength in roughly a year.
The aftermath also causes Starfleet to reassess
many of its operational procedures. One of the major policy decisions is
the Starfleet must undertake a research and development program to produce
a new series of starships with increased defensive and destructive capabilities
- the first time Starfleet has developed ships specifically for war rather
than exploration. One of the first of these new experimental warship designs
is the USS Defiant, a Defiant-class starship, Starfleet registry number
NX-74205. This ship is designed under the supervision of benjamin Sisko
at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars, following the Battle
of Wolf 359. Ironically, the ship has since seen more action against
another Federation enemy every bit as deadly as the Borg; the Dominion.
The Defiant has gone into battle against the Borg only once, playing an
important part in Starfleet`s successful defense of Earth in 2373.