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Old February 2 2012, 09:43 PM   #1
Frank Force
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A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

Hi all, just a little idea I've got half-formed that I'd like some input into with a view to writing a story - or even creating the groundwork for something others could contribute to if they wish.

The 'pitch' if you will is basically the Black Hills Gold Rush in space.

Deep in uncharted territory, six months beyond Federation space is a vast asteroid-field where a valuable material, dilithium or the equivalent is found in abundance. As word of this find spreads thousands of people on the lower-levels of society pack up and head out, hoping to make their fortunes by discovering a large deposit and claiming it.

Soon the asteroid field is filled with small ships prospecting, and settlements begin to emerge on the larger asteroids much like frontier towns like Deadwood - lawless places catering to the needs of all these people who are so far from their homes.

A spacegoing race also inhabits the region - a species analogous to the Sioux native Americans who object to this sudden influx of aliens into their territory but is largely powerless to stop or curtail it, other than small-scale sneak attacks or opportunistic raids.

At least to me this sounds like an interesting sandbox to tell stories, but I'd love everyone else to throw in their ideas if they have any!
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Old February 2 2012, 09:51 PM   #2
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

It does sound like an interesting concept, though who would be the main focus? A prospecting ship? One of the settlements/outpost? A small Starfleet ship sent in to act as sheriff? Or a combination of many different groups to tell a larger story?
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Old February 2 2012, 10:02 PM   #3
Frank Force
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

I'd imagine the best way to 'tackle' it would be to have a few different protagonists - I think the setting lends itself to that sort of approach.

Taking Star Trek's original 'wagon train to the stars' mantra and running with it a little - I'm visioning lots of small ships like runabouts making the voyage out as groups for the sake of protection (presumably having a few adventures along the way) and upon reaching their destination being amazed by how 'rough and ready' life there is. The field would be awash with like-minded people, tough preying on the weak, precious equipment and supplies being bartered and stolen since resources are so finite and so on.

Each of these ships would have a tale to tell.

One story might follow two young men arriving in what is essentially an oversized shuttlecraft (possibly someone with a larger ship is bringing these low-warp shuttles out from the Federation for a fee) with virtually nothing to their name other than their little ship.

Another story might follow a larger, more well-funded mining ship and its crew.

Another could deal with the man who is in de facto 'charge of one of the asteroid settlements, keeping order and dealing with the people coming and going - perhaps one of these hundreds of people is murdered while at the settlement and he has to track down the perpetrator out amongst the asteroids - perhaps he rounds up a posse!

Last edited by Frank Force; February 2 2012 at 10:21 PM.
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Old February 2 2012, 11:52 PM   #4
Lazarus
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

Painfully intriguing!

It's a wonderful setting that evokes that whole 'gold rush' period of American history and on the surface of it it seems to transplant well into the Star Trek universe.

What's your intention then? Set up the universe and let everyone have at it?
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Old February 3 2012, 12:26 AM   #5
Admiral2
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

Frank Force wrote: View Post
Hi all, just a little idea I've got half-formed that I'd like some input into with a view to writing a story - or even creating the groundwork for something others could contribute to if they wish.

The 'pitch' if you will is basically the Black Hills Gold Rush in space.

Deep in uncharted territory, six months beyond Federation space is a vast asteroid-field where a valuable material, dilithium or the equivalent is found in abundance. As word of this find spreads thousands of people on the lower-levels of society pack up and head out, hoping to make their fortunes by discovering a large deposit and claiming it.

Soon the asteroid field is filled with small ships prospecting, and settlements begin to emerge on the larger asteroids much like frontier towns like Deadwood - lawless places catering to the needs of all these people who are so far from their homes.

A spacegoing race also inhabits the region - a species analogous to the Sioux native Americans who object to this sudden influx of aliens into their territory but is largely powerless to stop or curtail it, other than small-scale sneak attacks or opportunistic raids.

At least to me this sounds like an interesting sandbox to tell stories, but I'd love everyone else to throw in their ideas if they have any!

This is a great idea.

Just a note on the aliens: The problem the Sioux had was twofold: the greater technological base western settlers could draw from and the military and economic power of an expansionist United States Government. Your native race wouldn't have these problems. If they're spacefaring, they already share at least technological parity with the settlers. Plus, the territory's location outside Federation space, the fact the settlers are effectively illegal emigrants and the Prime Directive all mean the Federation couldn't do much if the aliens attacked en masse and the settlers found themselves completely screwed.

That makes them a real threat. Hardly "powerless."
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Old February 3 2012, 05:53 AM   #6
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

one recommendation: the 'souix' aliens would have to be at the technological level of 22nd century ENT-era otherwise it wouldn't make sense that they can't protect their territory from the intruders

i like the idea over all otherwise.....
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Old February 3 2012, 10:13 AM   #7
Sandoval
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

Everyone writing their own little story for this certainly sounds more interesting than half the challenges I've seen recently.
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Old February 3 2012, 11:04 AM   #8
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

What time period would this be set in? TOS, Movies, Lost Era, TNG/DS9?

For some reason I think it would slot nicely into the 23rd century, but that's just me.
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Old February 3 2012, 12:23 PM   #9
Sandoval
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

I wouldn't place it in the Picard-era 24th century, somehow I can't see hundreds of thousands of people having any sort of motivation to leave the safety of Federation space to seek their fortune in the unknown. Realistically (I use the term loosely) it should be set in the early days of the Federation when money as we understand it is still an issue, or perhaps just abandon all mention of a time-period and leave it deliberately ambiguous.
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Old February 3 2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

I don't think you would need to leave it ambiguous. The Federation has gone past the need for a monitary economy (though they do use 'credits' and there was the Bank of Bolarus), but private businesses and enterprises would still work with some form of payment (The Tigan mines were still very concerned with balancing the books and had money to pay Mrs Bilby).

Anyone who would head out on a venture such as this would be leaving the UFP and their system behind, they would therefore need to adapt to the economy of the area and work with latinum or whatever currancy was used. They would need to cover the expense of fuel, crew, supplies, repairs, docking fees, bar bills and whatever other costs arose. All of which I would think would fit in better with a 23rd century setting, when the universe was still a little more uncharted and Starfleet didn't seem as expansive as it was by TNG era.
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Old February 3 2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

The intervening years between the ENT portions of 'These are the Voyages' and the start of TOS seem to be the most suitable - little has been established about that era so there will be little to contradict anything seen on screen.
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Old February 3 2012, 09:36 PM   #12
Mistral
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

A fascinating idea with many possibilities. No one mentions telling the tale from the viewpoint of the "Sioux" aliens, though. That would be interesting, I think.
And Starfleet might not be involved-except in the form of Border Dogs.
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Old February 4 2012, 03:12 PM   #13
Sandoval
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

I'd say you need to more-or-less get Starfleet out of the equation, or at least hamstring them so they weren't massively involved. Perhaps Starfleet is unable to officially sanction this 'gold rush' due to it taking place in "Sioux space" but is unable to legally stop Federation citizens from going out there.
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Old February 4 2012, 11:57 PM   #14
The Badger
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

An interesting premise, with great possibilities for drama. I'd think this would best suit an early-ish period, certainly no later than TOS. Perhaps at a time when the UFP is facing troubles along the Klingon borders, so Star Fleet can spare very limited resources to help out. I do think they should have some presence, as that allows stories featuring the Fleet, but not enough to ensure safety for civilians.
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Old February 5 2012, 12:45 AM   #15
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: A (hopefully) interesting fanfic discussion topic!

If it was TOS era-ish (2250s-60s), I would think that an Archer-Class ship (the 50m long scout from Vanguard) would be assigned to the region. It's outwith Federation space and Starfleet jurisdiction, but seeing as how there out be UFP citizens heading out there, I would think that the Fleet would want to make sure they were alright--whilst also scouting out the immediate area as well, as a site for possible future exploration.

A small ship like an Archer would make sense to me. But then again, I love small ships.
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