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Old July 6 2009, 10:31 PM   #615
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Location: Hoping for a left-wing Westminster on 7 May
Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Santayana said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting different results. By acknowledging the failure of brute force and finding a better option, the heroes of Destiny took the sane course. They rose above repeating the same endless conflict with the Borg and found a whole new paradigm for dealing with them, one that finally resolved the problem once and for all. I don't see how that can be seen as an undesirable outcome.
Because, apparently, the main characters of a story should never ask for help, because then they aren't "heroes."

And if they get help, then that renders them subservient to the people who help them.

Trent Roman wrote:
Sci wrote:
Some people want Utopia, and others want something closer to home. I want something closer to home. I welcome the changes that the Destiny trilogy have brought to the Trekverse. I like seeing a galaxy that more closely resembles our own world, and a Federation that more closely resembles our societies.
With all due respect, but isn't that most every other sci-fi universe out there?
No, it's actually more like a return to the Star Trek of the TOS era: A more realistic universe, but with an underlying optimism lacking in most every other sci-fi universe out there.

Why wreck this one, too, for what is readily available elsewhere?
Because it's not wrecking it. Trek was actually wrecked when Roddenberry tried to Utopianize it in TNG; this is more a restoration of Trek to its best and strongest form, the completion of a task undertaken, arguably, by DS9.

Genuine utopian fiction (or rather, near-utopian) is a rarer breed of animal,
Because Utopia is a lie. It's a fundamentally dishonest portrayal of humanity and its potential; for Utopia to function, it would have to be a dictatorship. There is no Utopia and never will be, and the pseudo-Utopian elements of Trek always gave the Federation a very sinister and dishonest edge.

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
So you're admitting that the specs for the grey goo were not in the collective's data banks.
No one was claiming that the specs were in the Collective's database. The claim that Christopher and I made was that if one cube, denuded of drones, could adapt to its situation by inventing the absorptive technology, all cubes have the potential to adapt in that manner.

Christopher then went on to point out that even if that particular adaptation is not utilized, the controlling artificial intelligence of the cubes remain, and the cubes remain capable of operating and of exterminating the Federation as they had previously been doing whilst crewed, which I hadn't considered. The thalaron weapon would quite literally be useless -- it wouldn't even delay the extermination of the Federation.

Trent Roman wrote: View Post
If this is salvation, it is mutual salvation.
Are you kidding me? This isn't remotely proportional. You're speaking as though this was an interaction of equals, when the power is clearly, disproportionately on the Caeliar's side, and their role in the story is clearly disproportionate to the impact any of the characters have.
I also think you vastly overestimate the impact the Federation had on the Caeliar. Hernandez convinced a slight majority of of the gestalt to reach out and touch someone for a change.
From pages 405-407 of Lost Souls:

Then it was time to open themselves to the sentient minds they had set free, which they welcomed into the gestalt. IT was a decision motivated partly by mercy; after all that Sedín's victims had endured, in light of all they had lost, the Quorum concurred that the gestalt had an obligation to alleviate their suffering and offer them a safe haven, a new beginning.

A more honest accounting of the situation demanded that the Caeliar admit the truth, however: They needed the emancipated drones as much as the drones needed them.

Hernandez had persuaded the gestalt to aid her by appealing to its own sense of self-interest. Standing before them only a short time earlier, she had argued her point with passion.

"Your obsession with privacy is killing you," she'd said. "You made these catom bodies of yours, and you figured you'd live forever in your invulnerable cities, on your invisible planet. You never thought about what would happen if you had to procreate. It never occurred to you that your whole world could get shot out from under you and take ninety-eight percent of your people with it. Well, it did. And the law of averages says this won't be the last time something bad happens to you.

"How many more losses can you take and still be a civilization? What if another accident happens? Or a new, stronger enemy finds you? The Cataclysm nearly exterminated you. Haven't you ever stopped to consider that all your efforts on the Great Work will be lost if you die out?

"If you want to explore the universe, you'll need strength, and the best place to find that is in numbers. I don't know if there's any way for you to get back the ability to reproduce, but it's not too late for you to learn how to share. You need to bring non-Caeliar into the gestalt. You need to teach others about the Great Work--before it's too late."

Her proclamation had provoked a schism in the Quorum and sent shockwaves of indignation through the gestalt. The debate had been swift and bitter, but in the end, it had fallen to Ordemo Nordal to persuade the majority that Hernandez was right. It was time to expand the gestalt or accept that it was doomed only to diminish from this moment forward. The Quorum and the gestalt had to choose between evolution and extinction.

In the end, it proved not so difficult a choice, after all.

As the gestalt embraced the freed and bewildered drones in its protection, Inyx appreciated at last how right Hernandez had been. The Caeliar had granted to the Borg all it had sought for millennia: nearly unlimited power, a step closer to perfection, and the secrets of Particle 010. In return, the legions of drones who flocked into the warm sanctuary of the gestalt had given the Caeliar what they had most desperately needed: strength, adaptability, and diversity. In one grand gesture, the Caeliar had become a polyglot society with an immense capacity for incorporating new ideas, new technologies, and new species.

For the Borg, it was the end of aeons of futile searching.

For the Caeliar, it was the end of an age of stagnation.

The lost children had come home. The gestalt felt whole.
By spreading to the Caeliar the values of diversity, of sharing knowledge, of equality, of mutual partnership -- by spreading to the Caeliar Federation values -- Hernandez saved the Caeliar from extinction.
Democratic socialism is the hope of human freedom.
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