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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old December 26 2012, 05:34 AM   #1
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Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

I was thinking about the deadliest conflicts in the history of the Alpha Quadrant and two came immediately to mind - the Dominion War and the Borg Invasion of 2381.

The Dominion War's often referenced as one of the bloodiest conflicts in history, bringing down one of the Quadrant's major powers (the Cardassians) and with catastrophic death tolls for all parties involved. Though no hard numbers of total casualties for the Dominion War were ever given, in "Statistical Probabilities" the genetically engineered think tank estimates 900 billion casualties if the war continues - a huge number, even if just a future projection.

The Borg Invasion of 2381 destroyed 40% of Starfleet's forces and resulted in 63 billion killed, not to mention the devastation to entire planets and destruction of the Borg Collective.

What's crazy to me is that these two events happened within six years of each other! The two (to my understanding) deadliest conflicts within six years of each other. I mean, especially for the UFP, that's just a lot to take.

Has there ever been anything even coming close to these two conflicts in Alpha Quadrant (or, for that matter, galactic) history?

Last edited by Odo; December 26 2012 at 07:39 AM.
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Old December 26 2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

In terms of levels of devastation, my thought is -- compare the Dominion War to World War I and the Borg Invasion to World War II. Nothing like them before, and probably nothing like them afterwards.
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Old December 26 2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Sci wrote: View Post
... and probably nothing like them afterwards.
That is quite the optimism, Sci.
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Old December 26 2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

The DS9 Millenium Trilogy's War of the Prophets deserves a mention, even if it was undone at the end. The Grigari came along and basically ended the Dominion War (by ending the Alpha Quadrant Dominion), wiped out the Klingons and Earth, destroyed many other worlds and fleets with an insane variety of tactics (from hiding in the mirror universe to using nanites to Red Matter-like singularity bombs)...

Also the devastating alternate-timeline Second Romulan War alluded to in Watching the Clock (from the unmade animated series Star Trek: Final Frontier), where much of subspace in the Federation was destroyed by Omega detonations rendering warp drive useless.

There was also Diane Duane's Second Romulan War in The Empty Chair, in which almost the entire Rihannsu military was wiped out by the Federation and enourmous Rihannsu civilian/colony craft.
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Old December 26 2012, 10:22 AM   #5
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
... and probably nothing like them afterwards.
That is quite the optimism, Sci.
I share it. Let's hope we are smart enough to stay away from such insane behaviour as we have proven we are capable of.
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Old December 26 2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Mage wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
... and probably nothing like them afterwards.
That is quite the optimism, Sci.
I share it. Let's hope we are smart enough to stay away from such insane behaviour as we have proven we are capable of.
Real world - while I think it borders on wishful thinking, I share your mind-set; I find it the only useful mind-set.


Trek lit universe - . Darkness and destruction are the trendy thing to do.
Daniel already named a few conflicts on par with the dominion war/borg extermination. Chances are the upcoming 'The fall' will add to the bodycount; 'Cold equations', 3rd book already featured huge red-shirt destruction; etc.

But it's more than that - when it comes to Sci.
For example - not so long ago, he was vocal regarding Data remaining dead - in order to keep the ~'integrity of the trek lit line'.
Now, if asked, Sci would almost certainly say bringing back Data was a good idea. And would come up with excuses such as ~it's not really Data; it was a well done resurrection; etc - excuses are easy to conjure; I, you or anyone else can come up with a multitude if we really want to. And Sci REALLY wants to - frankly, I don't understand his compulsion to incessantly play the apologist for the trek lit line.
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Old December 26 2012, 05:35 PM   #7
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
But it's more than that - when it comes to Sci.
Ah, here it comes. A discussion about the size of various Trekverse conflicts turns into your personal dislike of me.

For example - not so long ago, he was vocal regarding Data remaining dead - in order to keep the ~'integrity of the trek lit line'.
Now, if asked, Sci would almost certainly say bringing back Data was a good idea.
Nope. I've read The Persistence of Memory, and while I quite liked it, I still disagree with the idea of bringing Data back. I also disagree with the idea of bringing Janeway back, though I haven't yet had the chance to read The Eternal Tide.

I have always maintained that a resurrection can be done well and plausibly yet still be a bad idea simply by virtue of undermining the verisimilitude of the shared universe by making death seem temporary. While I quite enjoyed The Persistence of Memory, I also think it is a perfect example of exactly that.
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Old December 27 2012, 12:36 AM   #8
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The DS9 Millenium Trilogy's War of the Prophets deserves a mention, even if it was undone at the end. The Grigari came along and basically ended the Dominion War (by ending the Alpha Quadrant Dominion), wiped out the Klingons and Earth, destroyed many other worlds and fleets with an insane variety of tactics (from hiding in the mirror universe to using nanites to Red Matter-like singularity bombs)...

Also the devastating alternate-timeline Second Romulan War alluded to in Watching the Clock (from the unmade animated series Star Trek: Final Frontier), where much of subspace in the Federation was destroyed by Omega detonations rendering warp drive useless.

There was also Diane Duane's Second Romulan War in The Empty Chair, in which almost the entire Rihannsu military was wiped out by the Federation and enourmous Rihannsu civilian/colony craft.
Hmm, interesting about the Empty Chair. And yeah, the DS9 Millennium trilogy conflict was huge! It seems though that the Dominion War and Borg Invasion of 2381 are the biggest conflicts in the main Pocket Book timeline - and both, in my opinion, among the best Star Trek stories done ever.

More generally, I agree we shouldn't be saturated by epic wars, but I'm glad the ones we have were done well.
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Old December 27 2012, 01:13 AM   #9
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

I've no problem with lots of epic conflicts as i like those kind of stories but i agree that it becomes repetitive and depressing when they are placed to close together in the trek timeline. The established trek timeline stretches across several centuries so there’s more than enough room to have lots of these kinds of stories without giving the impression the federation is in a constants fight for its existence
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Old December 27 2012, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

I think that, the bigger the Federation became, the bigger its infuence on interstellar affairs, and the bigger Starfleet became, so much more of a threat it appeared to its neighbours, and the bigger the resulting conflict would be.

Say, a lot 22nd Federation, with only a small number of members and not that big of a fleet, would require less of mobilisation of ships from, say, the Klingons, then it would in the late 24th century, where the Federation consists of over a 150 members and a huge fleet.

So, that way, any conflict will appear to be much bigger, if that makes any sense.
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Old December 27 2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

vorador33 wrote: View Post
I've no problem with lots of epic conflicts as i like those kind of stories but i agree that it becomes repetitive and depressing when they are placed to close together in the trek timeline. The established trek timeline stretches across several centuries so there’s more than enough room to have lots of these kinds of stories without giving the impression the federation is in a constants fight for its existence
Actually, the epic nature of the conflicts depicted in the books is perfectly in line with what was stated on TV.

Remember in Q Who, before Q flung the Enterprise into the Delta Quadrant, Q himself stated that the humanity/The Federation was expanding much faster than expected. They were moving into parts of the galaxy where they had no experience dealing with the sort of lifeforms that they would find out there. He specifically said..."you compare yourselves to the pitiful adversaries you've already encountered, the Klingons, the Romulans...they are NOTHING compared to what's out there." Picard brushed that aside so Q introduced them to the Borg. This of course was before the discovery of the wormhole to the Gamma quadrant or before Voyager and the Equinox managed to make lots of enemies in the Delta Quadrant.

TrekLit has only taken Q's comment to it logical conclusion. The Federation cannot expand forever without encountering some resistance. The late 24th century has shown the Federation expanding its reach even faster by touching parts of the galaxy that do not even border its space. Now in the books, the Federation has the ability to cross the galaxy in a short time. This should bring them into conflict with more species even faster.
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Old December 27 2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
vorador33 wrote: View Post
I've no problem with lots of epic conflicts as i like those kind of stories but i agree that it becomes repetitive and depressing when they are placed to close together in the trek timeline. The established trek timeline stretches across several centuries so there’s more than enough room to have lots of these kinds of stories without giving the impression the federation is in a constants fight for its existence
Actually, the epic nature of the conflicts depicted in the books is perfectly in line with what was stated on TV.

Remember in Q Who, before Q flung the Enterprise into the Delta Quadrant, Q himself stated that the humanity/The Federation was expanding much faster than expected. They were moving into parts of the galaxy where they had no experience dealing with the sort of lifeforms that they would find out there. He specifically said..."you compare yourselves to the pitiful adversaries you've already encountered, the Klingons, the Romulans...they are NOTHING compared to what's out there." Picard brushed that aside so Q introduced them to the Borg. This of course was before the discovery of the wormhole to the Gamma quadrant or before Voyager and the Equinox managed to make lots of enemies in the Delta Quadrant.

TrekLit has only taken Q's comment to it logical conclusion. The Federation cannot expand forever without encountering some resistance. The late 24th century has shown the Federation expanding its reach even faster by touching parts of the galaxy that do not even border its space. Now in the books, the Federation has the ability to cross the galaxy in a short time. This should bring them into conflict with more species even faster.
^ True but Star Trek has always been a more optimistic view of the future and the idea of the federation in constant conflict doesn’t exactly fit with that, there has to be some room to show it in a state of peace and I’ve always taken Q’s comments to mean that they re going to run into life forms unlike anything they have experience with but not that they are all going to be enemies. Besides aren’t most of the conflicts in the 24th lit with re-established enemies rather than new races. (bit new to trek lit so not sure)
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Old December 28 2012, 01:48 AM   #13
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

For me, the optimism of Trek isn't due to lack of conflict, so much as the way that those conflicts are resolved. In Trek conflicts aren't solved by wiping out an enemy, but by finding a way to come to some kind of an understanding.
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Old December 28 2012, 03:43 PM   #14
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

JD wrote: View Post
For me, the optimism of Trek isn't due to lack of conflict, so much as the way that those conflicts are resolved. In Trek conflicts aren't solved by wiping out an enemy, but by finding a way to come to some kind of an understanding.
For an optimistic, positive view of the future, this is a pretty shallow one, rather superficial:

The method of resolving the conflicts changes absolutely nothing to all the death, suffering and destruction endured through the wars.
And the next large scale war/disaster/etc is always around the corner in trek lit these days.
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Old December 29 2012, 09:46 PM   #15
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Re: Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
For me, the optimism of Trek isn't due to lack of conflict, so much as the way that those conflicts are resolved. In Trek conflicts aren't solved by wiping out an enemy, but by finding a way to come to some kind of an understanding.
For an optimistic, positive view of the future, this is a pretty shallow one, rather superficial:
Wait.

Waitwaitwait.

Choosing to eschew more pointless war and instead choosing to try and understand your opponents and compromise with them, to understand them... is shallow and superficial?!

I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.
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