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Old May 20 2009, 02:24 AM   #16
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

^ Agreed, but an entire people do not change their ideology or character as a civilization just because of one act of murder or indeed because of a climate shift. I think there must have been a corruption and decline of the people of what would become Cardassia and I think that you have very expertly alluded to said degradation. Why else would they embrace such a system that ultimately proved open to abuse and led to near genocide?

In a way the Cardassians are a warning to us Terrans, if we abuse the Earth and ourselves we could end up in the same position as the Cardassians, with the same results.
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Old May 20 2009, 05:52 AM   #17
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Well...what I'm saying is that basically, the Cardassians in Future #1 threw the baby out with the bathwater.

The one murder wasn't the entire change, of course. But it was the example. Akleen pioneered violent action against authority. He became, through that act, a pack leader of sorts and that gave others a way to act where their instincts might have held them back before. (Just the same as Vetar led people into a less violent sort of protesting.)

They were also desperate because of the horrible things happening to their planet. Though I WILL make the point that I am not necessarily in agreement with all that some say about global warming. The Cataclysm was actually a natural event along the lines of what we experienced on Earth during the Permian-Triassic extinction (the Great Dying). The Cardassians just had the horrible luck to be alive to understand what was happening to them during this period in their planet's development that may well last for as long as their race lives.

The Great Dying on Earth is the time when Earth's therapsids died, all but the direct ancestors of mammals. It is no accident that I chose this to be the form the Cataclysm took: I classify the Cardassians as therapsids--neither reptile nor mammal.
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Old May 23 2009, 10:29 AM   #18
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Very interesting: especially with the alternate histories.
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Old May 23 2009, 02:24 PM   #19
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Very nicely done--I liked the choices. I chose number one, but I'll admit to "cheating" and read number two as well. While I will agree that a civilization will not usually change its character because of one act of murder, I do think that a massive climatic change or some other environmental distress such as the Permian-Triassic extinction can result in a rather dramatic shift in the character of the survivors--assuming there are any survivors.
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Old May 25 2009, 02:40 AM   #20
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Thanks for reading, guys!

In the end it would've been a snowball of personal shifts--but the hierarchical instinct does mean the chain-reaction effect either way is more pronounced than it would be with humans.

I'm actually kinda glad you read both versions...now you've seen the seeds for both universes that I write. Tiny seeds at the beginning, of course--but there, nonetheless.

And yeah...what happened to Cardassia Prime (and may still be going on for as long as the Cardassian race lives, given how long it takes such severe cycles to play out) is devastating. But since unlike Earth's therapsids, the Cardassians are intelligent and spacefaring, it made sense that they could survive something I'm not even sure early 21st-century humanity could weather.
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Old May 26 2009, 09:38 PM   #21
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

I had to read both versions! After reading one, I really wanted to know what would happen if I chose the other future.

Wonderfully well-written story, and a believable action to cause such divergent futures.
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Old May 27 2009, 12:50 AM   #22
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

trampledamage wrote: View Post
I had to read both versions! After reading one, I really wanted to know what would happen if I chose the other future.

Wonderfully well-written story, and a believable action to cause such divergent futures.
Thanks! And now you know how both of my main universes were formed!

In fact...you even know the background to all four. Since this predates the events of Star Trek XI, Future #1 also applies to the universe seen in my latest story, "Cardassian Sunrise."

So...which future did you choose first?
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Old May 27 2009, 01:11 AM   #23
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post

So...which future did you choose first?

The second one. Not saying that's what I'd do if it was me in that situation but it's what I wanted him to do
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Old May 31 2009, 11:55 AM   #24
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

A very compelling and powerful story. You used the second-person-perspective very well. I also like the multiple endings. (I chose future #1 first , but I read the other one, too.)
I found both futures to be plausible. Once you have a charismatic leader with simple answers while the other side has not, all sorts of terrible acts might happen.

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Old May 31 2009, 03:41 PM   #25
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Thanks...and you describe exactly what Akleen is like. If I recall your location correctly, then I imagine you must have had a fairly in-depth analysis of Earth historical precedent, and I am glad to know you feel it rings true, in light of that deeper study.
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Old May 31 2009, 08:09 PM   #26
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

You're right about my nationality but that doesn't mean we're all experts on the Third Reich. Actually, people are as ill-informed as everywhere else. Since I'm interested in history and a little obsessed with the Third Reich you're right in this case, though.
However, I was thinking more abstractly when I wrote that. I'm not sure I would describe the Nazis' rise to power in that way.
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Old June 1 2009, 07:00 AM   #27
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Oh, I wasn't thinking in terms of "expertise" like a historian. More like...how we in the US are taught about the injustices committed against the Native Americans, and slavery, since those occurred on our home turf. Given the prominent roles those things played in our history, we had to cover the causes and effects in detail.
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Old June 1 2009, 12:29 PM   #28
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

Yes, that's true. But let's just say I don't have a particularly high opinion of the way history is taught here in school in general. I had very good teachers and classes for the most part but that doesn't seem to be the rule.
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Old June 1 2009, 05:06 PM   #29
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

That's a shame. I also benefited from some extremely good teachers, some of whom I'll never forget. My high-school American history teacher in particular was wonderful.

I wonder, maybe when your country has only 250 years or so as a nation, and 400 with British colonies (you can go back even further to the Spanish, of course, if you want more details of contact between Europe and our future territores), maybe you get more depth.

I cannot imagine having to memorize all the royal lineages that must come with German history (the Hapsburgs and everybody else!). I had to do some of that when I took Spanish history, and--YIKES!
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Old June 1 2009, 06:12 PM   #30
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Re: May Challenge Entry: Point of Divergence

You might have a point. History class starts with Antiquity (sometimes with Ancient Egypt and even sone prehistory if you're lucky), so there isn't that much time to go into details and to move beyond Europe, sadly (exceptions: the USA and Colonialism). We usually don't have to memorise royal lineages, though, the emphasis is more on analysis and understanding than memorisation.
But yeah, about 2500 years of history cramped into 6 years of school - there's a lot not taught.
I've thought about how to teach history in a different way (more emphasis on everyday life and enabling the pupils to analyse texts and sources for themselves) but it's not easily done with the time constraints there are.
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