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Drizzt March 30 2010 08:21 AM

"Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Hello, friends of Trek! SPOLIERS BELOW, in what I am about to discuss.

I just got done reading the short story "Revenant", in the new Trek short-story compilation "The Seven Deadly Sins".

I have a number of questions for anyone else who has read this story, or for the author, or both, whoever cares to respond.

1.) It was rather vague towards the end of the story, just who it was that put Carson and Walsh up to using the Celtic's crew members as 'test subjects'. Was this left deliberately vague? Are we to infer that this was possibly an experiment undertaken by Section 31? Or, maybe a foreign power?

2.) Whoever the unknown party was that I asked about in the first question --> what was their ultimate goal? Were they trying to create, as the story put it, a 'weaponized' version of Borg drones, usable as disposable soldiers?

3.) Are the events of this story what led to the more aggressive/violent disposition of the Borg encountered in "Greater than the Sum", and later TNG novels? The end of the story tells us that Reed, Locarno, and Massey voluntarily underwent assimilation, with the intention of finding out who it was that put them in this situation to begin with. Is it this events that cause the new and aggressive disposition of the Borg encountered later?

4.) Why in the sam-heck would these people have voluntarily undergone assimilation? There were several points in the story where many of the characters completely reviled being assimilated, and I believe that they even referred to becoming a drone as "worse than death" at some point. I guess they figured that since they had already been infected by nanoprobes, that assimilation was a foregone conclusion. But, I would think that, given their earlier attitudes, they would be more likely to commit suicide, instead of voluntarily submit to assimilation. This confused me greatly.

Anyway, overall I thought the story was a great thriller. It definitely kept me turning the pages, and on the edge of my seat. Very scary stuff! But, as a 'Borg' story, it left me with several questions. Usually, the community here has about a million thoughts and insights that I never considered, so I thought I would put my questions here and see what you guys came up with. Plus, I have only one friend who is a Trek fan, and he doesn't even read Trek books. So, please help a brother out! Thanks guys :bolian:

Christopher March 30 2010 12:56 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

Drizzt wrote: (Post 3958128)
3.) Are the events of this story what led to the more aggressive/violent disposition of the Borg encountered in "Greater than the Sum", and later TNG novels?

Haven't read it yet, but I don't think so. Resistance introduced the more aggressive Borg behavior and explained it as a defense reaction of an isolated Borg population that was in the process of growing a new Queen. Since the Queen was vulnerable, the drones had to be extra-aggressive to ward off any threat. The Borg seen subsequently in Before Dishonor and Greater Than the Sum were offshoots of that same isolated population, so they continued the same behavior pattern. It's unlikely there could've been influence from any other source.

The aggressive tactics of the Borg in Destiny had a different origin. This was the core Collective back home in the Delta Quadrant, which had been isolated from other Borg populations since "Endgame." They had decided that the Federation was too great a threat to their safety to tolerate and thus mounted a campaign to eradicate it once and for all. Again, it's unlikely anything going on in the Alpha Quadrant subsequent to "Endgame" could've had any influence on their behavior, since there was no known mechanism for contact.

Drizzt March 31 2010 06:17 AM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Thanks for the reply :) I guess I kind of figured that, but was wondering how this small story tied in with the events of those larger, later books. I guess it's just me trying to make connections that aren't there. The story, in and of itself, is a great, suspenseful read.

Thrawn March 31 2010 03:25 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Yeah, I was a little weird on some of the details too. Add to the list:

5) Since these Borg are, like, pseudo-Borg, a small isolated collective still retaining some individual identity, are they subsumed into the Caeliar too? Or might they still be out there?

Drizzt April 1 2010 10:06 AM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

Thrawn wrote: (Post 3961154)
Yeah, I was a little weird on some of the details too. Add to the list:

5) Since these Borg are, like, pseudo-Borg, a small isolated collective still retaining some individual identity, are they subsumed into the Caeliar too? Or might they still be out there?

Whoa! I hadn't even thought of that aspect. That's a VERY good question. It does seem that this little pocket of Borg was driven by additional, or completely different, directives. Thus, it does beg the question...are they still out there? *shivers*

Thanks for giving me the creeps! lol. Good point man.

lvsxy808 April 10 2010 02:27 AM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

Drizzt wrote: (Post 3958128)
1.) It was rather vague towards the end of the story, just who it was that put Carson and Walsh up to using the Celtic's crew members as 'test subjects'. Was this left deliberately vague? Are we to infer that this was possibly an experiment undertaken by Section 31? Or, maybe a foreign power?

I considered Section 31 aswell. But then Carson referred to "the Feds," which I didn't think a S31 agent would do since they consider themselves part of the Federation. So I guess not.

Quote:

2.) Whoever the unknown party was that I asked about in the first question --> what was their ultimate goal? Were they trying to create, as the story put it, a 'weaponized' version of Borg drones, usable as disposable soldiers?
Which was why I though S31 - they tried to do the same with the Jem'Hadar, sending Ethan Locken to try to reprogram them. It didn't work with them, so they tried another bad guy.

Quote:

3.) Are the events of this story what led to the more aggressive/violent disposition of the Borg encountered in "Greater than the Sum", and later TNG novels? The end of the story tells us that Reed, Locarno, and Massey voluntarily underwent assimilation, with the intention of finding out who it was that put them in this situation to begin with. Is it this events that cause the new and aggressive disposition of the Borg encountered later?
As Christopher said, I don't believe it's related. Which makes me question why the story had to be placed at this particular point in time, if it had no relation. But I do believe they would be absorbed by the Caeliar gestalt.

Quote:

4.) Why in the sam-heck would these people have voluntarily undergone assimilation? There were several points in the story where many of the characters completely reviled being assimilated, and I believe that they even referred to becoming a drone as "worse than death" at some point. I guess they figured that since they had already been infected by nanoprobes, that assimilation was a foregone conclusion. But, I would think that, given their earlier attitudes, they would be more likely to commit suicide, instead of voluntarily submit to assimilation. This confused me greatly.
Well, it's certainly not a perspective I can empathise with. But as I understood it, they saw it as the only possible way to survive. They knew that Starfleet had standing orders to destroy this ship no questions asked. These are not Starfleet officers, they are people who are used to taking chances and wheedling their way out of every situation. I don't think they're the kind of people who would think it was better to die than surrender.

DevilEyes May 30 2010 12:05 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

lvsxy808 wrote: (Post 3985496)
Quote:

4.) Why in the sam-heck would these people have voluntarily undergone assimilation? There were several points in the story where many of the characters completely reviled being assimilated, and I believe that they even referred to becoming a drone as "worse than death" at some point. I guess they figured that since they had already been infected by nanoprobes, that assimilation was a foregone conclusion. But, I would think that, given their earlier attitudes, they would be more likely to commit suicide, instead of voluntarily submit to assimilation. This confused me greatly.
Well, it's certainly not a perspective I can empathise with. But as I understood it, they saw it as the only possible way to survive. They knew that Starfleet had standing orders to destroy this ship no questions asked. These are not Starfleet officers, they are people who are used to taking chances and wheedling their way out of every situation. I don't think they're the kind of people who would think it was better to die than surrender.

Plus the nanoprobes had already been working on them for some time, and it had been hinted in the story that they had felt their influence subconsciously.

I've just finished the story and was wondering about questions 1 and 2 and whether it can be answered based on the other Borg-related fiction of the recent years, since I haven't read TNG relaunch or Destiny... apparently that's not the case?

Quote:

lvsxy808 wrote: (Post 3985496)
Quote:

Drizzt wrote: (Post 3958128)
1.) It was rather vague towards the end of the story, just who it was that put Carson and Walsh up to using the Celtic's crew members as 'test subjects'. Was this left deliberately vague? Are we to infer that this was possibly an experiment undertaken by Section 31? Or, maybe a foreign power?

I considered Section 31 aswell. But then Carson referred to "the Feds," which I didn't think a S31 agent would do since they consider themselves part of the Federation. So I guess not.

I don't think that Carson talking about the "Feds" proves anything. Carson was not a Section 31 agent in the real sense of the word, and not someone who worked for the goals of Section 31, so she wouldn't consider herself a part of the Federation Starfleet (one of the "Feds"). She was a private mercenary who was contracted and paid by someone to do a job, and it was clear that she was only working for the reward and didn't care for her employer.

ProtoAvatar May 30 2010 12:17 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Whoever was behind this operation to weaponise borg has a very unpleasant surprise heading his way.
Of course, if he has the means to forcibly control this minicollective, the operation was a startling success from his POV.

In any case, the directives this minicollective follows have significant differences from standard borg imperatives - this was proven by the starfleet ship NOT being assimilated at the end.

DevilEyes May 30 2010 12:31 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

ProtoAvatar wrote: (Post 4123297)
In any case, the directives this minicollective follows have significant differences from standard borg imperatives - this was proven by the starfleet ship NOT being assimilated at the end.

Now that you mention it, it probably was Section 31 who contracted Carson. The Starfleet ship was not assimilated, and note that no Starfleet members were harmed in the operation - only private mercenaries, people that Section 31 probably consider disposable scum.

ProtoAvatar May 30 2010 12:52 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

DevilEyes wrote: (Post 4123312)
Quote:

ProtoAvatar wrote: (Post 4123297)
In any case, the directives this minicollective follows have significant differences from standard borg imperatives - this was proven by the starfleet ship NOT being assimilated at the end.

Now that you mention it, it probably was Section 31 who contracted Carson. The Starfleet ship was not assimilated, and note that no Starfleet members were harmed in the operation - only private mercenaries, people that Section 31 probably consider disposable scum.

You assume that the minicollective follows the directives they were intended to follow by the ones responsible for their creation - S31 or someone else.

However, the end of the story strongly implies that this is not the case - this minicollective seems to be out for revenge against whomever created it (definitely NOT part of S31/someone else's plan or implanted directories).

DevilEyes May 30 2010 01:42 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

ProtoAvatar wrote: (Post 4123340)
Quote:

DevilEyes wrote: (Post 4123312)
Quote:

ProtoAvatar wrote: (Post 4123297)
In any case, the directives this minicollective follows have significant differences from standard borg imperatives - this was proven by the starfleet ship NOT being assimilated at the end.

Now that you mention it, it probably was Section 31 who contracted Carson. The Starfleet ship was not assimilated, and note that no Starfleet members were harmed in the operation - only private mercenaries, people that Section 31 probably consider disposable scum.

You assume that the minicollective follows the directives they were intended to follow by the ones responsible for their creation - S31 or someone else.

However, the end of the story strongly implies that this is not the case - this minicollective seems to be out for revenge against whomever created it (definitely NOT part of S31/someone else's plan or implanted directories).

Well, it's pretty unclear what 'directives' exactly will drive them. They retain their memories and, it seems, some of their earlier attitudes - which is why Thayer only wanted to kill Carson and didn't want to assimilate her and make her a part of their new mini-collective. But I doubt that they can remain basically the same as they were, psychologically, only united in the mini-collective, without wanting to assimilate anyone further. If that was how the Borg assimilation worked, then it actually wouldn't be as horrible as it is made out to be, and the greatest strength of the story is the sense of horror and dread that was missing in on screen portrayal of the Borg since at least The First Contact. (I can't say how well the literature has done it, though I guess from what I've heard Destiny probably did it well.) If they don't have the urge to further assimilate (the hunger, as the story puts it, in order to try and loosely fit into the theme of the anthology), if they are missing the basic Borg imperatives and urges, then they aren't really Borg, are they? Which would defeat the purpose of the story.

ProtoAvatar May 30 2010 02:45 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
It is certain that the group from 'Revenant' did not become standard borg - their behaviour is significantly different from the main collective's.

Of course, they did not remain "basically the same as they were, psychologically, only united in the mini-collective, without wanting to assimilate anyone further".
They still felt that hunger.

But it's also true that their main objective (which appears to be even above assimilation) - revenge - would be instantly qualified as 'irrelevant' by the main collective.
And their unusually pacifist behaviour from the end is further proof of their uniqueness.

In my opinion, making this mini-branch of the collective exhibit a behaviour different from the borg proper (perhaps more ambiguous, morally-wise, than the pitch-black borg) has much more potential - essentially, is more interesting - story-wise.

captcalhoun May 30 2010 05:34 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
i thought it was a good haunted house/slasher type story, but otherwise it was a bit pony.

Dancing Doctor May 30 2010 05:39 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
Quote:

ProtoAvatar wrote: (Post 4123446)
It is certain that the group from 'Revenant' did not become standard borg - their behaviour is significantly different from the main collective's.

How is "standard borg" being defined, though? Standard, as in pre-Endgame? Standard, as in Greater Than The Sum/Destiny?

CaseyF May 30 2010 11:59 PM

Re: "Revenant" Questions/Discussion - Spoiler Alert
 
I very much enjoyed the Alien (as in the Ridley Scott film) vibe of the story, but did feel a bit lost at times. Not having read Greater Than the Sum yet, I figured some of the details I was a bit hazy on were probably touched on in that novel. It seems that's not so much the case? I did enjoy it overall, though, and felt it was successful at creating a really creepy feel throughout. I also liked that Marc D. Giller used Locarno, although I sort of was hoping he wouldn't even have mention the events of "First Duty" directly, just to be even more subtle with his inclusion.


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