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Old August 25 2014, 01:40 PM   #1
magnusprime
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Destiny Question

Hey folks, new poster after just starting a bunch of ST nvels.

I have a question about Destiny plot that I can't figure out. (Spoilers ahead)

I understand how the questions regarding how the borg were in federation space lead the Aventine on the path to discovering the portals which tie in the Caelier. The thing I don't understand, is that it seems the Titan seems to pick up some readings (leading them to the Caelier) at the exact same time.

What am I missing about these readings and their miraculous timing? Why were these mysterious readings discovered and followed by the Titan exactly when the Caelier and their worm holes became relevant (when the borg started using the wormholes)? Were these signals sent out due to some plot point (that I missed) that explain the timing, as opposed to 10 years before, or 10 years later?
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Old August 25 2014, 03:04 PM   #2
lvsxy808
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Re: Destiny Question

Storytelling convenience.

The Caeliar signals weren't "sent out" as you say. They were probably always there, it was just that the Titan had only just got close enough to detect them. It was pure luck that the Titan happened to be that far beyond the Federation borders, and in the right general direction, to find the Caeliar.

(Unless you want to say that it wasn't luck but rather the Federation's general new-worlds-and-new-civilisations exploratory ethos, encapsulated in the Luna class, that put them in the right place at the right time to be saved.)

Sometimes in fiction, you just have to accept that some stuff happens because it happens, or else the story could never exist.

.
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Old August 25 2014, 04:54 PM   #3
magnusprime
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Re: Destiny Question

Thanks. That's really a bit disappointing. After 800 years in hiding two different ships discover them at the same time within a day of each other by coincidence. It's just hard to believe an otherwise good writer couldn't have made a reason since it wouldn't have been difficult.

The story could still have happened since the Aventine did have a good reason to make their discoveries at that time.
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Old August 25 2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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Re: Destiny Question

The Titan just happened to stumble across them. The Aventine specifically went looking for them, based on Dax's memories from the time the Defiant found the Columbia.

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Old August 25 2014, 06:56 PM   #5
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Re: Destiny Question

Really, a great deal of fiction is driven by coincidence. Look at Doctor Who. How come the random wanderings of the TARDIS always happen to land the Doctor on a planet at exactly the moment when it's being invaded by aliens or when its internal conflicts are just about to come to a head? (Neil Gaiman actually retconned a bit of an explanation for that in "The Doctor's Wife," but the fact that it needed an explanation underlines how coincidental it was.) And Trek has its share too. What were the odds that McCoy's random leap through the Guardian of Forever would land him in the one spot where he'd prevent the entire future from existing?

One way of looking at it is that if Titan hadn't been there to discover the Caeliar, the Federation would've been lost to the Borg and there would've been no one to record the history. So the only timelines in which the story even exists to be told are those in which Titan did discover the Caeliar.
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Old August 25 2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Destiny Question

The Titan detected the hidden Caeliar city because the Caeliar were reacting to the Borg's recent use of the Caeliar's "tunnels." The Caeliar were trying to diagnose the problem in order to protect themselves and their privacy.

Titan detected their activity because some of the "test" signals they were generating were directed toward the Federation, which brought it to their attention.

From Gods of Night, Chapter 7:


And, from Mere Mortals, Chapter 18:


The investigation of the Aventine and the Titan's discovery of the Caeliar city were both instigated by the attacks of the Borg; it's just that the connection wasn't immediately obvious. It was not merely a coincidence contrived to serve the plot. They were both effects from the same proximate cause.
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Old August 25 2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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Re: Destiny Question

^Ah, okay.

Still... kind of a coincidence that it was Will Riker's ship that detected the signals rather than Captain Nobody U. Everheardof's ship.
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Old August 25 2014, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: Destiny Question

*Sigh.* Yes, well, as you said, a certain degree of coincidence is endemic to serial storytelling.

However, I did strive for more than "he just happens to discover the Caeliar at the same time as Dax finds the tunnels." I did make an effort to think out for myself the hows and whys of the elements of the story. I just didn't connect all the dots at once. Because I knew I was writing a trilogy, I spread my revelations across three books.
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Old August 25 2014, 08:16 PM   #9
magnusprime
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Re: Destiny Question

David Mack wrote: View Post
The Titan detected the hidden Caeliar city because the Caeliar were reacting to the Borg's recent use of the Caeliar's "tunnels." The Caeliar were trying to diagnose the problem in order to protect themselves and their privacy.

Titan detected their activity because some of the "test" signals they were generating were directed toward the Federation, which brought it to their attention.

From Gods of Night, Chapter 7:


And, from Mere Mortals, Chapter 18:


The investigation of the Aventine and the Titan's discovery of the Caeliar city were both instigated by the attacks of the Borg; it's just that the connection wasn't immediately obvious. It was not merely a coincidence contrived to serve the plot. They were both effects from the same proximate cause.
Thank you so much! That's exactly what I was looking for! Great set of books.
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Old August 25 2014, 08:46 PM   #10
Enterprise1701
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Re: Destiny Question

David, so if you term the Caeliar's transportation network "subspace tunnels", then would it be appropriate to call the Bajoran Wormhole and Barzan Wormhole "space tunnels"? And regarding subspace tunnels, are they supposed to be anything similar to the subspace corridors of "Dragon's Teeth" and "E^2"? Christopher's The Buried Age implies that at least Underspace was engineered by the Manraloth.
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Old August 25 2014, 08:53 PM   #11
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Re: Destiny Question

^Wormholes pretty much have to pass through subspace, or hyperspace, depending on what terminology you prefer. After all, they don't pass through normal 4-dimensional spacetime, so they have to pass through another set of dimensions, and in Trek we call that subspace.
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Old August 25 2014, 09:31 PM   #12
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Re: Destiny Question

It's been several years since I wrote Destiny. I don't remember the technobabble about what defined the "subspace tunnels." It's in there, in either book one or book two. Maybe someone else will have the time and inclination to look it up for you.
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Old August 25 2014, 09:40 PM   #13
Stevil2001
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Re: Destiny Question

Thanks, Dave, for the explanation. That had always bugged me, and I had never noticed that before.
Christopher wrote: View Post
Really, a great deal of fiction is driven by coincidence. Look at Doctor Who. How come the random wanderings of the TARDIS always happen to land the Doctor on a planet at exactly the moment when it's being invaded by aliens or when its internal conflicts are just about to come to a head? (Neil Gaiman actually retconned a bit of an explanation for that in "The Doctor's Wife," but the fact that it needed an explanation underlines how coincidental it was.) And Trek has its share too. What were the odds that McCoy's random leap through the Guardian of Forever would land him in the one spot where he'd prevent the entire future from existing?
Surely the Doctor Who explanation is that the weeks where the Doctor doesn't land on a world on the verge of revolution aren't turned into episodes? And the "City of the Edge of Forever" explanation is given within the episode itself!

SPOCK: There is a theory. There could be some logic to the belief that time is fluid, like a river, with currents, eddies, backwash.
KIRK: And the same currents that swept McCoy to a certain time and place might sweep us there, too.
One way of looking at it is that if Titan hadn't been there to discover the Caeliar, the Federation would've been lost to the Borg and there would've been no one to record the history. So the only timelines in which the story even exists to be told are those in which Titan did discover the Caeliar.
You could use this to excuse pretty much any improbable coincidence, and it is pretty bad, to be honest, Christopher.
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Old August 25 2014, 10:43 PM   #14
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Re: Destiny Question

Stevil2001 wrote: View Post
Surely the Doctor Who explanation is that the weeks where the Doctor doesn't land on a world on the verge of revolution aren't turned into episodes?
Perhaps, but that doesn't work so well in the early seasons where every adventure's end led directly into the beginning of the next one, so there wasn't really any room for any uneventful visits between the life-threatening ones. The novels and audios have managed to cram a bunch more adventures in there somehow, but they've just added even more dangerous visits to the mix.

And even if it didn't happen every time, the point would still stand: Fiction tends to focus preferentially on those events where coincidence takes a hand, because the events where it doesn't come into play are often less interesting or less dramatic. When a detective hero arrives at a vacation resort the day a murder takes place, there's a story there. When the detective arrives at a vacation resort and no murder occurs, there's no story. So stories are frequently biased toward coincidence.



And the "City of the Edge of Forever" explanation is given within the episode itself!

SPOCK: There is a theory. There could be some logic to the belief that time is fluid, like a river, with currents, eddies, backwash.
KIRK: And the same currents that swept McCoy to a certain time and place might sweep us there, too.
Which is just a handwave for a very coincidental setup.



One way of looking at it is that if Titan hadn't been there to discover the Caeliar, the Federation would've been lost to the Borg and there would've been no one to record the history. So the only timelines in which the story even exists to be told are those in which Titan did discover the Caeliar.
You could use this to excuse pretty much any improbable coincidence, and it is pretty bad, to be honest, Christopher.
It's actually a variant on the "quantum immortality" hypothesis: That if there's a timeline in which you survive a dangerous event and one in which you die, then naturally the only timeline you'll be aware of will be the one where you survive. So it would seem to you that you had a charmed life, that you always manage to avoid death until you die peacefully of old age (well, unless you get killed by something that gives you a 0% chance of survival). Strictly speaking, this would apply only to Schroedinger's-Cat-style circumstances where the threat to your life is triggered or not triggered by a quantum-mechanical event such as a particle decay, but it can be generalized somewhat for a fictional discussion. So under this model, it can be concluded that the reason fictional heroes seem to lead such charmed lives is because we're following the timeline branches where they survive the danger rather than the ones where they die.

I'm not saying I prefer that interpretation, simply that it exists. And given a situation where the heroes survive by an extremely unlikely twist of fate, it could simply be that that's the only way they could have survived, so that's the version of events we get to see simply by the process of elimination. Whether in many-worlds quantum-physics terms or simply storytelling-preference terms, the scenario where the heroes survive against all odds is selected for over the alternatives where they don't defy the odds.
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Old August 25 2014, 11:50 PM   #15
Stevil2001
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Re: Destiny Question

Christopher wrote: View Post
Stevil2001 wrote: View Post
Surely the Doctor Who explanation is that the weeks where the Doctor doesn't land on a world on the verge of revolution aren't turned into episodes?
Perhaps, but that doesn't work so well in the early seasons where every adventure's end led directly into the beginning of the next one, so there wasn't really any room for any uneventful visits between the life-threatening ones. The novels and audios have managed to cram a bunch more adventures in there somehow, but they've just added even more dangerous visits to the mix.
But in many of those, it's not like the later seasons where the Doctor showed up at the exact right time; rather, the presence of the Doctor usually precipitates a situation that wouldn't have taken place without him. (At least in the cases of The Daleks and The Aztecs. It's not always the case, I admit. The show usually works to justify itself, though: during the third Doctor's era, the Time Lords send him on missions, and by the seventh's, he's sending himself!)

And even if it didn't happen every time, the point would still stand: Fiction tends to focus preferentially on those events where coincidence takes a hand, because the events where it doesn't come into play are often less interesting or less dramatic. When a detective hero arrives at a vacation resort the day a murder takes place, there's a story there. When the detective arrives at a vacation resort and no murder occurs, there's no story. So stories are frequently biased toward coincidence.
There's a Doctor Who novel with a Miss Marple expy who, unbeknownst to herself, broadcasts a telepathic signal compelling those around her to commit bizarre murders, thus explaining why wherever she goes on vacation, a murder takes place for her to solve.
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