May 26 2009, 06:43 AM
Location: Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
Re: Sigils and Unions (Timeline B)--Cardassian Sunrise (SPOILERS!)
Author’s note: Hopefully I will have solved a few mysteries with this story—a throwaway line about a race the Federation should never have had contact with in the 23rd century and Christopher Pike’s willingness to listen to a stowaway Kirk despite the wildness of his theory, to name a few. Forward from this point, though…this is where we really get to see the first effects of Vulcan’s destruction: a Spock who feels pushed by the loss of his mother to find peace with the human side of his heritage, and a Federation willing to entertain alliances it would never have contemplated before.
Observant readers may also have noticed the reference to the eye color of certain members of the Pike family—this is kind of an Easter egg related to the eye-color change between TOS and Abramsverse Pike. It helps that those same pale eyes also run in the Berat family. ;-) Another note about Pike: this presumes the destruction of the
Kelvin occurred in his senior year at the Academy. He wrote his dissertation in a year, then graduated. The
Challenger is therefore Ensign Pike's first posting, and this may well be his first major away mission. As to why ch'Maashan would choose him--listen to the word used to describe what Pike wrote at the Academy. This guy crammed a
doctorate into four years at the Academy! He's probably every bit as much of a genius as Kirk is--though much more controlled as a person.
The desert uniforms are...kinda based on what we saw in "Image in the Sand" during
Deep Space Nine. But, I liked the idea of acknowledging a non-Western culture in their design, hence the choice to go with what's basically a
salwar kameez, an outfit worn in areas ranging from Afghanistan to Pakistan to India. As to making Pike a redshirt...well, we don't know WHAT his specialty really was, but I admit I couldn't pass up a bit of dark humor about the very redshirtish fate he escapes in this timeline.
For Cardassian-watchers...I didn't want to get into just how similar or different the Cardassian uniform might be to what's seen in the 24th century, but the rank insignia worn on the sleeves of the cuirass are in fact the same ones seen in "The Wounded" on a different sort of uniform. The
Verkoun-class can be seen as a sort of early ancestor of the
Gălor. You will also notice that neither Federation nor Cardassian translators work with the efficiency of 24th-century translators...therefore they actually hear each other speak in their native languages, with the mechanical voice of the translator relaying what's said. Finally...you'll also notice that the Detapa Council still exists at this time. But the interaction between Macor and Telor should serve as a warning sign of things to come...
To readers of
Sigils and Unions, Varec Berat is indeed the grandfather of the man who would become Gul Tayben Berat. I’ll be interested to know if any of you recognized the relation before the “big reveal” at the end, and if so, how early!