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

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Old April 30 2014, 02:15 AM   #1
Mojomoe
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Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but a preliminary search turned up nothing.

Do we know the point at which the Star Trek Online timeline diverged from the Prime (Lit) timeline?

This came up in discussion with a buddy of mine. We're both huge STO and trek lit goofs, and we began discussing where that divergent point might be.

Taking into account the differences - Data, Borg, Janeway, etc., and knowing that Destiny never happened, I would wager the divergence was somewhere around Resistance/Before Dishonor.

Thoughts on what it could have been?
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Old April 30 2014, 02:32 AM   #2
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

I believe 2381 where the Novel Timeline and the STO Timeline split apart.
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Old April 30 2014, 02:34 AM   #3
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

It's not a divergent timeline. It's a work of fiction that makes different assumptions than another work of fiction. When STO was created, it borrowed a few ideas from the novelverse but also contradicted quite a few of them, including pretty much the entire DS9 continuity in the novels. Its interpretations of a number of alien species, such as the Gorn, Species 8472, the Iconians, and the "Silent Enemy" aliens (which I call the Vertians and they call the Elachi), are fundamentally incompatible with the novels' interpretations. Given that those species evolved over millions of years, one can't pretend there was a divergence from a common timeline in recent (future) history.
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Old April 30 2014, 02:44 AM   #4
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Hmm... Point taken, Christopher. I hadn't considered all the smaller incompatibilities.

I suppose though that one could see those as sort of "soft" incompatibilities if they're primarily focused on Federation or primary AQ political timelines. For example, I knew about the Elachi and their place in STO, and I still forgot they were there or that they were incompatible with the primary lit timeline. I suppose I'd toss those in the bin of mid-1970s-80s TOS novels when it comes to lit-canon - the primary events may be harder canon than some of the smaller details, which have since (or had even at the time) been invalidated. My Trek bookshelf is still arranged (in-universe) chronologically, despite those minor errors . And I love seeing it as one large continuity, even if some parts play a little rougher with others.

(James R. Kirk, anyone...?)

That said, (taking a hugely soft-canon approach), is it possible to pin down the divergence for the primary AQ powers and their late 24th century histories? Does the 2381 timeline hold up?
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Old April 30 2014, 02:50 AM   #5
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

...Out of curiosity, which elements from the DS9 relaunch does STO ignore?

Or, more aptly, what does STO state that specifically invalidates the DS9 relaunch? That could point to an earlier divergence.

Again, admitting that a pure divergence, in the Trek sense, is not specifically what we're dealing with. At least, not in the sense that a Trek Lit author could, in future, rectify these two universes satisfactorily.

Unless something happens post-divergence involving time travel that allows the divergence of the other minor races to come about only in the STO timeline.

...Nope, nothing ridiculous about that
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Old April 30 2014, 03:48 AM   #6
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Mojomoe wrote: View Post
...Out of curiosity, which elements from the DS9 relaunch does STO ignore?

Or, more aptly, what does STO state that specifically invalidates the DS9 relaunch? That could point to an earlier divergence.

Again, admitting that a pure divergence, in the Trek sense, is not specifically what we're dealing with. At least, not in the sense that a Trek Lit author could, in future, rectify these two universes satisfactorily.

Unless something happens post-divergence involving time travel that allows the divergence of the other minor races to come about only in the STO timeline.

...Nope, nothing ridiculous about that
The Path to 2409 starts at 2379. The game really doesn't contradict too much in the DS9 novels from 2376-2379. Ro Laren doesn't return to DS9 until 2382.

The number of examples given really dont diverged that much.
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Old April 30 2014, 04:14 AM   #7
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Interesting.

That would put us in the immediate post-Nemesis timeframe. Since Captain Riker's USS Titan is part of the STO timeline, it must be after Taking Wing.

2379-2381 still seems like a likely culprit.

Any speculation what the event was?
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Old April 30 2014, 04:36 AM   #8
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Mojomoe wrote: View Post
...Out of curiosity, which elements from the DS9 relaunch does STO ignore?

Or, more aptly, what does STO state that specifically invalidates the DS9 relaunch? That could point to an earlier divergence.
Well, looking at the "Path to 2409" summary on Memory Beta:

Ro Laren is tried and sent to rehab in 2379, rather than being pardoned in 2376. She doesn't become DS9 security chief until 2382. Bajor isn't admitted to the UFP until 2393, rather than 2376. Those are the main differences I can see.
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Old April 30 2014, 04:54 AM   #9
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

That's a good reading of events.

Which would put the point of divergence somewhere near 2376 instead of 2381.

Considering this list of events in 2376, the first one catches my eye:

"While on a mission on the USS Enterprise-E in the Badlands, Commander Elias Vaughn discovers the Orb of Memory on a dead Cardassian freighter."

...Is it possible, in STO, Elias Vaughn never found the Orb of Memory? Wouldn't that be interesting....?

Perhaps his conversation with Picard about his impending retirement went a little differently, keeping him from going on the away mission aboard Kamal. Nor Orb discovery, no Unity in 2376.
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Old April 30 2014, 05:08 AM   #10
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Interesting. A little more digging shows no sign of Elias Vaughn in STO. (Which admittedly means little)

Here's another proposal: what if Vaughn didn't survive the Tomed incident?

Are there any number of mental gymnastics possible to get from Vaughn dying during Tomed to the drastic changes in the ancillary races that are problematic in STO? (Elachi, 8472, etc)
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Old April 30 2014, 07:27 AM   #11
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Not really. It's not that the STO Timeline and the Destinyverse Timeline are divergent from one-another -- it's that they were always separate, same way the Mirror Universe was always separate. Instead of thinking of them as branching rivers, think of them more as parallel rivers that follow similar courses but never actually intersected.
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Old April 30 2014, 08:02 AM   #12
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Mojomoe wrote: View Post
Interesting. A little more digging shows no sign of Elias Vaughn in STO. (Which admittedly means little)

Here's another proposal: what if Vaughn didn't survive the Tomed incident?

Are there any number of mental gymnastics possible to get from Vaughn dying during Tomed to the drastic changes in the ancillary races that are problematic in STO? (Elachi, 8472, etc)
Or the devs just hasn't put him in yet. They have Calhoun, the Vesta, the Luna, the Fleming from the Comic, Countdown.
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Old April 30 2014, 09:48 AM   #13
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

The three species Gorn, Species 8472 and Vertians aren't incompatible Imho.

The loss of the Gorn hatching world could've led to a genetic adaptation of the Gorn castes. There are visually distinctive types of Gorn in STO, with no backstory to contradict the novelverse.

Species 8472 was manipulated by the Iconians (or at least an extremist branch of them) into believing the Alpha Quadrant species regularly invade Fluidic Space. Plus, the Borg actually do invade Fluidic Space. Keeping in mind there's only one Fluidic Space among a sea of divergent primary universe timelines, there might be multiple fake invasions all the time.

The Vertians hail from Gamma Vertis IV and have high ethical standards in the 22nd century. They only violated other species because they didn't acknowledge their sentience.
But societies can change. By the late 24th century, the Vertians, called Elachi by the Romulans, now also operate bases in subspace and have begun to abduct people to use them for procreation. It is also implied they have been made a servitor race to the Iconian Empire in the meantime.
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Old April 30 2014, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Although STO was conceived as a wholly different take on post-Nemesis Trek and is thus packed with fundamental continuity issues versus the novelverse (case in point: the Iconians), the STO novel The Needs of the Many does reference the novelverse as an alternate timeline and mentions an STO version of the Typhon Pact (IIRC, a mere trade alliance in that universe).

It can be fun to look at the bits which are compatible and wonder what choices or events may have separated them. I remember wondering if Admiral Batiste from VOY: Full Circle was a relic of the planned Species 8472/Undine invasion, which occurred in STO but was abandoned in the novelverse.
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Old April 30 2014, 03:58 PM   #15
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Re: Star Trek Online timeline divergence

I just don't see how something with all the breaks from reality necessary to enable gameplay can possibly be treated as a "real" timeline in any way. I mean, the ship interiors are all absurdly huge to accommodate the camera angles. Every officer is the captain of a ship, and every player acts out the exact same missions as one another, so it's impossible to say who performs a given mission. And I'm sure there are the usual MMO conceits about magic healing and resurrection and the ability to carry impossible amounts of supplies and so forth. I have the same problems with the pretense that the Defiance MMO takes place in the same reality as the TV series. At most, I could buy these things as simulations loosely based on real events.

Then again, Roddenberry suggested in the introduction to his TMP novelization that TOS was an inaccurate dramatization of the Enterprise's real missions. So maybe that's the justification beyond the "soft canon" thinking you guys are talking about. Maybe STO is a holodeck simulation in some other timeline based on events from its history and taking some liberties with the specifics. Kind of like how the novelverse has interpreted "These Are the Voyages."
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