• As of the real life 2015, there are still no Major League Baseball teams other than in the United States and Canada. In fact, the closest thing to any international competition is the World Baseball Classic, a […]

  • It absolutely does. That lesson has been imparted throughout the Star Trek universe in rather clever ways. More to the point, what one side in a conflict says about the other side should be taken with a grain of […]

  • Thumbnail

    Now that Season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones has concluded, I have to say I was a bit less that impressed with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine cast member Alexander Siddig’s role as Prince Doran Martell, not because […]

  • In reply to: jespah wrote a new post, Focus on Andorians, on the site Barking up the Muse Tree Focus on Andorians Focus A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) […] View

    Nice look at the Andorians, who are among the more enigmatic alien races of the Trek universe, who I’ve delved into with my own fanon.

  • This seems to be the most hot-button issues among the fan-bases of Star Trek and Babylon 5. The simplest answer is often that Deep Space 9 was on the air first, and therefore, the premise of Babylon 5 was pirated […]

  • ThumbnailActress Alberta Watson has passed away at the age of 60 after a long battle with cancer. She was best known for her role on 24 as CTU boss Erin Driscoll and Nikita as Senator Madeline Pierce.

    I had […]

  • In reply to: enterprise1981 wrote a new post, Boldly Speculating: A Brief History of the Klingon Empire’s political structure, on the site NCC-1981: A Fanficcing Enterprise Even as their empire expanded to the stars, the […] View

    I kind of think of the High Council as a Parliament without the House of Commons. And I think that Vulcans and Klingons are the most complex alien species featured in the Trek universe.

  • Klingon_Empire_logo

    Even as their empire expanded to the stars, the Klingons have maintained a feudal social structure. Under such an arrangement, each of the Great Houses are represented on the Klingon High Council. Such a government structure is far from a representative democracy, as only the interests of the highest social class are represented. As a warrior culture, the warrior class is the highest social class.

    In the 9th century AD (by the Earth calendar), the three major nations of Qo’Nos were united under the banner of Kahless after he slew the tyrant Molor and conquered the Fek’Ihri. As the first emperor, he established a code of honor roughly similar to the Hamurabic code that became the basis of Klingon society and culture. Prior to Kahless’s rise to power, emperors rose to power through subversion and conquest. The most prominent instance of such an occurrence was the rise of Emperor Sompek and the Sack of Tong Vey (“Rules of Engagement” [DS9]). In early modern times, however, each emperor was descended from Kahless in much the same way that the earliest Islamic leaders were descended from Muhammed up until controversies over the true line of succession arose. Similar controversies likely took place in Klingon history during the interceding fifteen centuries. Furthermore, civil wars were once again commonplace, especially when an emperor left no male heirs. Among the most prominent of power struggles was the execution of Emperor Reclaw I and his entire family. Through succeeding generations, official historical accounts posited that such an uprising never occurred to prevent the Empire from descending into anarchy the likes of which hadn’t been seen since before the time of Kahless, when in fact, members of the first ruling family of the Third Dynasty were given the names and titles of the old royal family to create the illusion of an unbroken line. While such information was readily available by the 24th century, even Lady Sirella, Mistress of the House of Martok, still believed herself to be a descendant of Princess Shenara, daughter of Emperor Reclaw I. (“You Are Cordially Invited…” [DS9])

    Over the centuries, the High Council gradually gained political power in much the same way Great Britain’s Parliament grew in political power. By Earth’s late 21st century, the position of emperor had been abolished (“Rightful Heir” [TNG]). Perhaps, at some point, the Empire had experienced a conflict similar to the First English Revolution when the drawbacks to monarchical succession became more and more apparent. Succession, more often that not, falls to the monarch’s closest male heir, and if that monarch is incompetent, his people suffer for it for the rest of his natural life (barring the occasional assassination or coup d’etat) .

    After the last emperor’s passing, the head of state for the Empire has seemingly changed in name only. The Chancellor of the High Council holds the position for life. He can overrule a majority vote of the Council at his leisure. Because the Chancellor is the head of an autocracy, he is also known as Supreme Commander of the Klingon Empire. (“Reunion” [TNG])

    As of the late 24th century, the Klingon High Council consists of representatives of twenty-four noble houses. That number has fluctuated over time depending on Houses that have gone extinct, have been disbanded or dishonored, and Houses that have been elevated to nobility. The House of Mogh and, possibly, the House of Duras are examples of disbanded or dishonored Houses. (“Redemption, Part II” [TNG], “Past Prologue” [DS9], “Firstborn” [TNG], Star Trek Generations, “The Way of the Warrior” [DS9], “Soldiers of the Empire” [DS9]) On the other hand, the House of Martok rose to noble status through the accolades of its patriarch, a common warrior from Ketha Province who eventually became a general in the Klingon Defense Force and potential successor to Chancellor Gowron. (“Apocalypse Rising” [DS9], “Once More Unto the Breach” [DS9], “Tacking Into the Wind” [DS9])

    One can rise to the position of chancellor in three ways:

    1) Challenging the sitting chancellor to a fight to the death. If victorious, the challenger can accept the position or turn it over to someone else, usually a member of the High Council (“Tacking Into the Wind” [DS9]).

    2) Be named heir to the chancellor, as was the case when Azetbur succeeded her father Gorkon in 2293 following his assassination (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).

    3) If the chancellor leaves no heirs, as was probably the case with K’mpec at the time of his death in 2367, a member of the High Council or other prominent warrior can stake a claim to the chancellorship, which is won by Rite of Succession. (“Reunion” [TNG], “Redemption, Part I” [TNG]) By the latter half of the 24th century, this was probably the most common method of succession outside of assassinating an unfit leader. In some cases where the chancellor did leave an heir, an Arbiter of Succession may reject his or her claim on the basis of having “won no battles, or shed no blood for his people.” (“Redemption, Part I” [TNG])

    As a general rule, women may not serve on the High Council, nor may be named leaders of their Houses (“Redemption, Part I” [TNG], “The House of Quark” [DS9]), except under one of two notable circumstances.

    1) A chancellor’s daughter is his only heir, as a result of having no sons or all his sons having died in honorable combat. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) General Chang, theoretically, could have challenged Azetbur for leadership of the Council. Yet, to avoid exposing his role in the Khitomer Conspiracy too soon, he opted for a more stealthy approach—see that the assassination of the UFP President was carried out in the hope the Federation would retaliate and declare war on the Empire. As one of Chancellor Azetbur’s advisers said, “Better to die on our feet than live on our knees.”

    2) If a House patriarch has no male heirs when he is killed in honorable combat, his widow or a female relative may assume leadership of that House if she chooses not to marry the victor in said honorable combat (“The House of Quark” [DS9]). Grilka, Mistress of the House of Kozak, had initially chosen to marry Quark, a Ferengi, in order to prevent rival House leader D’Ghor from laying claim to House Kozak’s assets. This marriage served the secondary purpose of allowing Quark to dig up proof of financial malfeasance on D’Ghor’s part. Once D’Ghor was expelled from the Council by ritual discommendation, Grilka was granted leadership of her House.

    Because Duras died in disgrace as a result of Worf, Son of Mogh, having claimed Rite of Vengeance, Lursa and B’Etor were most likely barred from representing the House of Duras on the High Council. And despite tradition that a Great House carries the name of its living patriarch, the name House of Duras remained after his death. Again, this was possibly because of the circumstances of his death or because of the lack of a male figurehead leader. Similarly, the House of Mogh still carried that name after Mogh’s death due to the lack of a single leader coupled with Worf’s service in Starfleet and the Council’s use of the House of Mogh as a scapegoat for the Khitomer Massacre. The second born son of Mogh, Kurn, was eventually granted a seat on the Council after the House of Mogh was formally exonerated. In the interceding years, leadership possibly belonged to a nephew and cousin of Mogh.

    In effect, the Klingon political structure still follows feudal traditions, albeit far more complex than most feudal societies on Earth. For example, the notion of fighting and dying for one’s own nation did not arise in western Europe until early modern times. In the Klingon Empire, however, the noble Houses control their own armies (those who fought the most recent civil war) while a single entity that is loyal to the Empire as a whole comprise the bulk of their military forces (the Klingon Defense Forces). To what extent these political traditions remain in the near future is uncertain since as an outside observer suggested, “The Klingon Empire is dying, and I think it deserves to die.”

  • While not a military organization, as Jean-Luc Picard suggested, Starfleet is still an organization steeped in present-day military traditions. That is obvious from the traditional military parlance, the uniforms, and the rank insignia. More on that later.

    A very sore subject, especially among those who don’t acknowledge Enterprise as part of the canon, is the existence of a pre-Federation Starfleet vessel called Enterprise and whether that is considered a continuity error. James Kirk’s ship was the first Federation Starfleet vessel to bear the name Enterprise. At no point during Enterprise (as far as I can tell) was Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise ever referred to as USS Enterprise or Starship Enterprise, but rather Earth ship Enterprise. Similarly, there’s been a first seafaring vessel named HMS Enterprise, a first seafaring vessel named USS Enterprise, a first aircract carrier USS Enterprise (the eighth US naval vessel of that name overall), a first space-shuttle Enterprise, etcetera. There was even an interstellar XCV class Enterprise that probably predated the NX-01–seen only in artistic renderings. In any case, we can safely say there was a Starfleet before there was a United Federation of Planets. The year of Starfleet’s founding is unknown, but perhaps can trace its origins back to the 2030’s when the NASA-owned explorer ship Charybdis, under the command of United States Air Force Colonel Stephen Richey, was launched . With that in mind, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the 2030’s was one of many organizations under the jurisdiction of other various nation-states (i.e. Great Britian, Russia, China) that pre-dated Starfleet and the United Earth Space Probe Agency (UESPA).

    UESPA was a name first used in the original series episodes “Charlie X” and “Tomorrow is Yesterday”–before the writers had settled on the name Starfleet. While not heavily used in subsequent dialogue of this series or its spinoffs, UESPA is certainly a significant government entity founded shortly after the launch of Zefram Cochrane’s first warp-powered space vessel. One of its earliest contributions was the launch of the Friendship One probe in 2067, two years after the assumed launch of SS Valiant (back when the franchise implied we’d be part of an interstellar community by the 1990’s just like in 2001: A Space Odyssey).

    In effect, by the mid 22nd century, when the first Warp Five capable starship was launched, Starfleet was the space program and the MACO‘s were the military. Those differences were reflected in their respective uniforms. The MACO uniform resembled Army combat fatigues while the Starfleet uniform resembled a NASA flight suit, right down to the mission patch. Following the Xindi attack on Earth in 2153, a unit of MACO’s was assigned to the Enterprise, an arrangement analogous to Marine detachments assigned to US Navy ships and aircraft carriers.

    How the Xindi Incident and the Romulan Wars influenced Starfleet’s mandate in the UFP’s early years is uncertain. Federation politicians were understandably spooked by these conflicts, and that was reflected in the hierarchyl of Starfleet as the Federation’s military arm. By the 2230’s, however, with these threats having waned, Starfleet shifted most of its focus back towards exploration. During this era, the uniforms closely resembled the casual attire of crewmembers on the International Space Station (different color polo shirts to indicate affiliation with either STS-131 or Expedition 23, as well as differing mission insignias). The latter was practiced through most of the 23rd century with each starship having its own insignia. Uniform design had also begun to emphasize certain military designs starting with stripes denoting rank on the cuff of the sleeve, as seen on a US Navy service jacket.

    The late 23rd Century saw a change to a more militarized style of uniform jacket, resembling a standard US military service jacket. At this time, the Federation had neither fought in any major wars nor stood on the precipice of war. Perhaps the narrowly averted war with the Klingon Empire in 2267, along with a re-emerging threat from the Romulan Star Empire, put Federation politicians and Starfleet brass on alert. With the Klingons vowing that “there shall be no peace as long as Kirk lives”, the Federation Council had every reason to suspect that either peace or war was on the horizon. Peace did come in the form of the Khitomer Accords of 2293, but the Starfleet brass still remained on high alert out of concern that weapons of great destructive potential would fall into the wrong hands (as was feared after the Cold War ended) and that the Romulans would make every effort to undermine a possible Fedeation-Klingon military alliance. Such a situation did come to a head during the Tomed Incident in 2311. The result was the Treaty of Algeron, which redefined the Neutral Zone and imposed a prohibition on the Federation developing cloaking technology (a seemingly one-sided agreement, but the Romulans most likely gave up something big in return, not mentioned in canon–metagenic bioweapons, singularity explosives).

    Even with possible conflicts with these perennial enemies defused peacefully, the Federation faced the possibility of all-out war with the Tholians, the Cardassians, and the Tzenkethi. Over time, hostilities remained confined to the border regions of these hostile empires and Starfleet could start to shift more of its focus back towards exploration. And by the latter half of the 24th Century, Starfleet uniforms once again resembled NASA flight suits, albeit composed of a thinner fabric. This style remained in place until Q’s warning that the Romulans and the Klingons were nothing compared to what awaited humanity came to pass.

    By 2373, the Federation was faced with a second Borg incursion, coupled with the prospect of war with the Dominion. These crises saw a return to a more militarized style of uniforms, that has remained in place after the war’s end. Federation military policy of the near future is uncertain, but in light of the very first major conflict where the very existence of the United Federation of Planets hung in the balance, the powers-that-be will remain far more alert than at any other point in UFP history. At the same time, UFP politicians have taken to heart President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning of a growing military-industrial complex.

    Starfleet’s prioritization of interstellar exploration and militarization can be simplified down to the most basic explanation of opportunity cost. A nation’s economy devotes its resources to producing guns, butter, or some combination of the two. Producing more guns means sacrificing butter and vice-versa. So far, Starfleet has been very adept at deciding on the right combination of guns and butter.

  • The idea of a group of surviving members of the Maquis being part of the crew of a Starfleet vessel fighting in the Dominion War first came to mind after reading the novelization of Voyager’s series finale. This […]

  • I had to look back through the blurbs of most of my works that I have published to the AdAstra Archive over the last five years. They are mostly summaries I had composed to remind myself of what the story is about. In most of my stories, such as in Star Trek: Lambda Paz, I have largely kept summaries very concise, usually one, two, or three sentences. That is fairly easy with flash-fiction since it is usually just one scene. “Doctor Julian Bashir sees something not quite right with the new Defiant, is quick and to the point. These quick and to the point statements are especially important where the narrative involves a lot of details leading up to that point. For instance, with “Moral Dilemma”, a lot happens leading up to Captain Limis Vircona using “extreme interrogation methods” on a prisoner. There is plenty backstory leading up to that all-important event. In addition to the summary, what ropes readers into this story is a teaser similar to that of Deep Space Nine episode “In the Pale Moonlight”, where the central character reveals in a log entry the major plot of the story—“ I was going to bring the Romulans into the war.” –or—“I may have become the enemy I seek to destroy.”

    In subsequent stories, I kept true to this approach by providing a clear and concise statement—a mission statement, if you will. During the course of my undergraduate college years, I had mastered the craft of writing five page term papers and even a ten-page term paper. In order to fill up that many typed pages, the writer must say a lot, give a lot of background information about various topics covered while still remaining true to the thesis statement. That thesis statement is that all-important sentence or opening paragraph that outlines the major point being made in that lengthy term paper. When writing works of fiction, as with expositional works of non-fiction, the longer the work is, the broader the thesis statement or topic sentence. That’s not to say a story summary should open with “a bunch of stuff happens leading up to this big event.” That’s way too vague. Rather the summary should make general statements that are open to interpretation such as major characters facing “their biggest challenge to date”, or a reference to “the Federation’s darkest hour.”

    In certain cases, a very lengthy and complex story require a more lengthy and complex summary, but at the same time, the author should get to heart of what that story is about. In the case of my longest stories, with regard to word count and chapter count, I try to make a good opening statement and a good closing statement. For instance, the summary of “Omega” opens with an explanation of the major adversary at the beginning of the story and closes with what the stakes are for the heroes when their actions reveal a grand conspiracy within their own government. In the case of “To the Bitter End,” the overall story takes place on four different starships, so four quick statements of what is in store for each of the four groups of characters. On the other hand, while not a very lengthy and complex story, “Across Two Universes” required additional exposition. Anyone who knows the grander details of my Lambda Paz series knows that Year Two is concurrent with Deep Space Nine’s final season (2375). Opening the summary with, “In 2387…” should be enough of an attention grabber. “Hmmm, is one of those reset button alternate future stories?” An effective closing statement must therefore address the effect of the parallel reality featured in the two most recent Star Trek films has had on the Dominion War a century later.

    In terms of what grabs my attention in a summary, that rarely ever plays into whether or not I read the story in its entirety. These summaries are merely an idea of what to expect in the forthcoming narrative. When the story summary does factor, I look for clear and concise (and sometimes broad) statements about what I will be reading. What is most likely to grab my attention is tie-ins to televised episodes.

  • In reply to: enterprise1981 wrote a new post, Boldly Hypothesizing: The Ancients, on the site NCC-1981: A Fanficcing Enterprise Very little is known of the Iconians outside of what was established outside of The Next […] View

    And throw in the Stargate franchise’s premise that aliens masqueraded as gods in mostly ancient Egyptian mythology.

  • The second novel-length has been a fun read so far even if it isn’t finished yet. Good luck with that, and hope you channel enough of your inner John Quigley to getting it finished.

  • ThumbnailSo many to choose from. I’ll include a full list in a later blog entry. But one of the complex characters I’ve enjoyed writing is the often socially challenged Doctor Aurellan Markalis (named for James Kirk’s […]

  • Borg-symbol

    The exact origin of the Borg is a source of great mystery and of speculation of non-canon authors. These accounts, as outlined on Memory Beta, are largely contradictory.

    Intelligence provided by Erika Hernandez during in the Borg Invasion of 2381 suggest the Borg have a definite point of origin from a crashed and temporally-displaced Caeliar cityship, Mantilis, in 4527 BC. However there has also been evidence of Borg activity much earlier, such as the assimilation of the Hirogen homeworld around 110,000 BC, and possible Borg-Preserver conflicts dating back to billions of years ago.

    All we do know in canon, is that the Borg have existed as a blend of the biological and the technological for “thousands of centuries”, as Guinan put it (“Q Who” [TNG]). Taking into consideration these contradictory accounts of the origin of the Borg, one can assume that various iterations assimilated one another to become the Borg Collective that spans the Delta and Beta Quadrants of the Milky Way galaxy.

    There’s also the matter of why the Borg Queen is traditionally a member of Species 125. Why not Species 1? Furthermore, the version of the Borg Queen played by Susanna Thompson in the Voyager two-part episodes “Dark Frontier” and “Unimatrix Zero” claimed to have been assimilated as a child roughly a decade earlier. One possibility is that Species 1 through 124 belonged to one of those earlier separate iterations of the collective. Additionally, “The Origin of the Borg” segment of the Star Trek: Legacy video game suggests that in their quest to achieve perfection, the Borg discovered that the females of Species 125, “displayed a mental prowess, enabling them to sift through thousands of thoughts and bring order to chaos.”

    Certain aspects of the Borg are perceived as continuity errors. For one, the whole concept of a Borg Queen completely contradicts the idea of a collective consciousness. When you think about it, how is it that the Borg Collective is always in a state of consensus? The possible explanation is that each individual Borg is merely a drone subservient to the will of the Queen just like the hierarchy of an insect colony. That arrangement adheres to the TNG producers’ original plans for the Borg to be an insectoid race when the final episode of the first season was originally intended to introduce the Borg—with the events of “Conspiracy” serving as a precursor episode. The Queen is the one who brings order to chaos. If a single drone has any inklings of embracing their individuality and who they were prior to assimilation, the Queen swoops in and puts a stop to it. As the Queen put it in First Contact, “I am one and many.” In response the question of whether or not she was the leader, she said, “I am the Collective”–an answer Data found “interesting, if cryptic”.

    Haters of Enterprise have pointed out that the Borg did not use their traditional greeting—“We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile”—in “Regeneration” In fact, for some technological reason, the first sentence of their so-called “traditional greeting” was not heard. This complaint is based on the expression that “haters gotta hate” since the Borg have not always used this greeting. Others have included:

    “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” (Star Trek: First Contact)

     

    “We are the Borg. Existence as you know it is over. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” (“Scorpion, Part I [VOY])

     

    “We have analyzed your defensive capabilities as unable to withstand us. If you defend yourselves, you will be punished.” (“Q Who” [TNG])

     

    Wait a minute. Nothing about assimilation?

    Even with the information Guinan provided about the Borg, as far as Starfleet was concerned, assimilation did not appear to be part of their plans for galactic domination. “The Best of Both Worlds” was the first episode to introduce assimilation as part of the Borg’s strategy to attain perfection.

    Shelby: I thought the Borg weren’t interested in human lifeforms, only our technology.
    Picard: Their priorities seem to have changed.

     

    This “change in priorities” was never addressed in future episodes or movies. In fact, possibly because the events of “Regeneration” were not public knowledge or had not happened in that timeline, Magnus and Erin Hansen (Seven of Nine’s human parents) were the first humans the Borg assimilated in 2356. (“Scorpion, Part II”, “The Gift”, “Dark Frontier [VOY]). One possibility is that, at some point in their history, the Borg Collective decided that assimilation of humanoids was more efficient than procreation. Perhaps the Borg cube the Enterprise-D encountered in 2365, for whatever reason, was following some older programming directives. The away team’s visit to the “Borg nursery” would seem to contradict Seven of Nine’s statement that the Borg have no need for procreation (“Revulsion [VOY]). Perhaps Commander Riker’s conclusion that the Borg were born a purely biological lifeform was incorrect and the infant Borg were assimilated infants. Or they were a branch of the collective that still procreated rather than assimilated.

    The idea of multiple branches was suggested in the Shatner-verse novel “The Return“. Captain Picard is certain the Borg have been defeated after the events of “Descent, Part II”. Commander Shelby counters that he and his crew only defeated one branch among many. Each of these branches may have its own queen with the exact same agenda, all of whom fall in line with an “uber-queen” (Stargate: Atlantis character Rodney McKay’s description of the Wraith Queen known as the Primary).

    In spite of the Borg having been completely eradicated in the 2008 Star Trek Destiny novel trilogy, they are still a source of intrigue for fan-fiction writers and creators of other non-canon media. In fact, the Borg are still a major threat in the Star Trek Online universe. But as Pocket Books author Christopher Bennett suggested in a TrekBBS forum discussion, the writers backed themselves into a corner by creating this nearly invincible enemy. They were featured fairly infrequently in The Next Generation, only to be “ruined”, as many fans often complain, by their more frequent appearances on Voyager.

  • image001Very little is known of the Iconians outside of what was established outside of The Next Generation’s “Contagion” and Deep Space Nine’s “To the Death” but are still a source of fascination for various expanded universe media. The mysterious Iconians relied upon a network of hyperspace gateways that allowed for instantaneous interstellar travel. During their empire’s peak two-hundred thousand years ago, they were an interstellar Roman Empire that might have spanned as far as the Gamma Quadrant, whose influence is felt to the present day. Their language is a root language from which Diwaan, Dinasian, and Iccobar are derived. Whether the Iconians were conquerors is unclear. An alliance of worlds, perhaps fearing that the Iconians were conquerors, leveled the planet believed to be Iconia. During to a visit to that planet, Captain Jean-Luc Picard became skeptical of the ancient accounts of the “demons of air and darkness”, indicating that history is often written by the victors. Anything beyond that is left up to the imaginations of authors of licensed non-canon media, fan fiction writers, and fan film producers.

    In the universe of Star Trek Online, the fears of the Iconians’ enemies were well founded, as the Iconians were a force devoted sowing seeds of dissent among their inferiors. They bear a strong resemblance to the Shadows of the Babylon 5 universe, who sought to incite wars among the lesser races out of a belief that strength was built from chaos. Other non-canon sources from the Pocket Books novels to the online fan-film series Star Trek: Hidden Frontier portrayed the Iconians as a benevolent technologically advanced species. In my future fan-fiction works, I will be taking this notion a bit further through the introduction of alien races whose religious beliefs are consistent what is known about the Iconians—godlike figures who manifest themselves from out of nowhere, progenitors who left behind advanced technology meant to protect their planet from invasion, but that the natives don’t know how to use. This would make the Iconians similar to the Babylon 5 universe’s Vorlons, who presented themselves as benevolent godlike figures to lesser races, but were also found to be astonishingly arrogant.

    Perhaps the Iconians had influenced the various species most prominently featured in the Star Trek universe—humans, Vulcans, Klingons, Bajorans, etc.—to provide some explanation into certain universal themes of various religions such as the Klingons having their own versions of Adam and Eve, or instances of mythic characters from Greek mythology to Christianity to the Pah-Wraiths of the Bajoran faith “losing the battle for heaven”. Furthermore, certain facets of Vulcan culture and history mirrors the stories of the ancient Greek god Hephaestus, “god of fire and the forge”. His counterpart in Roman mythology was named (hold on to your hats) Vulcan. Just as the name “Earth” derives from varying ancient mythologies, perhaps the name Vulcan derives from a similar mythos. When original Federation starship Enterprise encountered Sargon and other surviving members of his race, Spock speculated that Sargon’s people may have colonized Vulcan based on ancient historical accounts (“Return to Tomorrow” [TOS]).

    If an ancient race did colonize both Earth and Vulcan half a million years ago, a pre-Surak creation myth may be something like this. When the Creators formed all the planets in the universe, the Mother Goddess (Hera in Greek mythology) cast away Hephaestus (“the Ugly One”). This part of the legend would seemingly ring true, as Vulcan is a harsh desert planet, which is also the home to a thriving humanoid civilization. In the one of the ancient Greek accounts, Hephaestus sought revenge on his mother by trapping her in a magic throne. In return for her release, he demanded Aphrodite’s hand in marriage. In the Vulcan mythos, others sought Aphrodite. To prevent all-out war, the Father God presided over ritualistic combat to the death where the victor would marry Aphrodite. This combat was the first koon-ut-kal-if-fee, a tradition dating back to “the time of the beginning,” according to T’Pau (“Amok Time” [TOS]). Such a ritual may seem out of place for such a logical and unemotional race. But when a Vulcan is going through the pon-farr, he or she is hardly motivated by logic.

    This is only a sampling, but more on this subject is to come in future fan-fiction works with indications that Iconian colonists on Earth became the basis for ancient Sumerian, Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology.

  • To be perfectly candid, I have been a bit lax in my blog reading the last year and a half. From my perusing of the adastra.net blogs, I would have to say I enjoyed jespah’s blog entries the most. For one, I enjoy […]

  • To start off, what’s the hardest story I had ever had to write?

    In the grand scheme, I’d say that Star Trek: Lambda Paz “To the Bitter End” was the hardest. This story was meant to tie up many of the loose ends that had built up in several of my previous stories in this series. I had slowly come to realize as I introduced these story and character arcs that the Year Two finale would not to be a simple two-hour episode-length narrative.

    The biggest challenge was working in the various character subplots with expansion upon the end of the Dominion War as established in the Deep Space Nine series finale “What You Leave Behind…” and The Dominion War Sourcebook. All of the characters, on both sides, experienced so many different kinds of hardship during the previous two years, and so composing this narrative was an exercise in tying those two facets together.

    The Sara Carson-Rebecca Sullivan romance has reached a companionate love phase as they try to live each day as if it is their last. And throw in that they have to coexist with Sara’s ex, Mandel Morrison. During a shipboard crisis, those three reach a “we can all try to be friends” type of agreement.

    Shinar sh’Aqba is pregnant by her non-Andorian lover Erhlich Tarlazzi, and this has been cause for all sorts of emotional baggage. She even goes so far as to manually close an emergency bulkhead in an area of the ship where she could die from radiation poisoning or suffocation before succeeding in that venture. This suggests to Doctor Aurellan Markalis that she is suicidal, who has her briefly confined to sickbay. As those two are becoming fast gal-pals, Doctor Markalis is in a romantic relationship with the ship’s Emergency Medical Hologram. She is gradually falling in love with him, while grappling with the question of whether a holographic image can genuinely reciprocate that love. Finally, Captain Limis Vircona is  driven to taking insane risks to win a major battle. And that’s just one ship and crew being featured in the whole novel-length epic.

    That all played out very well in the end, along with writing space battles. The most difficult part about this trying to find variations in describing “this ship blowing up that ship”, “Fire phasers”, “Fire photon torpedoes”, “Shields down to X percent.” In writing these battle sequences, I started borrowing elements from the universe Babylon 5, where the battles are focused more on the strategy of how to best use ships of varying size and weapons arsenals.

    By the time all is said and done, the characters are faced with great tragedy. Lives are lost and entire cities are destroyed. How the characters cope with these situations will set up future stories. But four months and twenty-seven chapters later, it was all well worth the effort.

    What was the easiest to write?

    I would say Star Trek: Lambda Paz “Moral Dilemma”. This story was meant to be episode length and loosely based on the Deep Space Nine episode “In the Pale Moonlight” and Enterprise‘s “Anomaly”. The story begins with another costly defeat in the early phase of the Dominion War and Captain Limis contemplating her actions over the previous two weeks. From that point, the plot closely follows that of “Anomaly”, but I was careful not to make such an adaptation too obvious (where I was less successful in regards to “The Tides of War”, loosely based on Enterprise‘s two-parter “Shockwave”).

    Aliens thieves board the ship and steal valuable equipment. The ship pursues and discovers a concealed sphere of an unknown alien origin. In the process of retrieving the pilfered equipment, an away team discovers that the thieves have been hired by Romulans who are also in possession of the means to synthesize the narcotic ketracel white. Concluding that this equipment was stolen from the Dominion, Limis interrogates a captured Cardassian by placing him in an airlock where life support has been turned off. Contrary to “Anomaly”, this prisoner dies from suffocation after breaking.

    Though I added an additional chapter roughly three years after its initial publication, the story mostly wrote itself. Completing the original cut took less than a month after having completed a longer pilot episode where I was unconcerned with length and that took nearly a year to complete.

  • Very concise response. I’ve only seen snippets of your Riker-Troi stories, but the premise of your AU is rather intriguing. I’ll definitely be looking forward to your future stories.

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