Destiny: Lost Souls by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by nx1701g, Nov 16, 2008.

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Grade Lost Souls

  1. Excellent

    72.1%
  2. Above Average

    19.1%
  3. Average

    7.1%
  4. Below Average

    0.5%
  5. Poor

    1.1%
  1. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    A thoughtful review, Trent. I don't agree with all of it, but along the way you've hit all the major problems I had with the trilogy, particularly the irrelevance of the characters and the thinness of the plot.
     
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Thank you again, Trent, for your very detailed and carefully considered review. I'm very sorry you found Lost Souls and the trilogy overall to be such a disappointing reading experience.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Trent, while I understand what you're saying, I thoroughly disagree with some of the values that underlie your evaluation of the trilogy. The Borg invasion didn't constitute failure, because failure implies that there was ever a real possibility of success on the primary characters' own merits. But the Borg have always been so powerful as to render our heroes powerless when faced with power of such magnitude.

    I suppose the whole issue is encapsulated in your objection to the bit at the end where T'Lana accepts what she cannot change. You object to this because to you, it equals submission to failure, a celebration of impotence. I see it fundamentally differently. Accepting what you cannot change is not the same thing as submission -- it is the act of a responsible adult who has learned to accept that there are limits to his/her power and authority, that they are not the center of the universe, and that this face should not prevent them from finding happiness in life. That T'Lana was able to accept her own imminent death was a sign of great growth and maturity; she went from a borderline clinical narcissist incapable of accepting the idea of not having the right or ability to control other people, to a person able to look her own inevitable death in the face without falling into despair.

    And, yeah, ultimately Star Trek: Destiny is a story about learning to accept your own limits. In an interview on The Chronic Rift, David Mack said:

    That's not a bad value, and it's something that's well worth exploring in Star Trek literature. Humanism only goes so far -- at some point, humanism has to meet up with the fact of human imperfection and human limitation. It's all well and good to believe in the fundamental decency of the human race -- and I do mean that; I'm not trying to dismiss the idea that people are basically decent and that a better world than ours today is possible. But canonical Star Trek under Roddenberry (like many fundamentalist religions) took it too far. The fact of human imperfection and weakness, the fact that even good people fail, was downplayed or disregarded.

    I understand that you want to see the heroes of the Trek Universe defeat the Borg through their own agency, but ultimately it's an unrealistic expectation. At some point in life, to be a mature adult, one has to recognize one's own failures and limitations. Optimism that does not account for human failure and limitation blinds us -- imbues in us ethnocentrism at best, and moves us to justify horrors committed in the name of "the greater good" at worst. (Just look at American history for the full spectrum of what untempered optimism and faith in own's own inherent goodness can accomplish, both good and bad: The creation of a great power... and the oppression of millions.)

    In Destiny, we see characters having to confront that moment of surrender both in practical terms and in more thematic terms. The Borg Invasion is not merely about an invasion. It is about facing one's own imminent death. That's why the Borg kill rather than assimilate -- not because the intent of the trilogy is to un-do all of the hope and optimism of the Trekverse, but because the mere assimilation of the Federation (which canon has rendered so easy to un-do as to no longer feel threatening) would not allow for the point of the story, which is learning to face the fact of one's own imminent death and to accept it.

    That's not a bad thing. The refusal to accept own's own mortality -- which is another way of saying, a refusal to accept one's own weakness, malice, or failures -- is a fundamental source of immaturity and conflict. It is the refusal to accept their own mortality (in the form of a literal desire to become immortal and cast off the need for biology, reproduction, and innovation) that led the Caeliar to become a stagnant, dogmatic culture incapable of coping with outside cultures without using horrific force or eternal imprisonment. It is the refusal to accept their own mortality (in the form of imprisonment) that led the MACOs to perpetuate mass murder upon the Caeliar. It is the refusal to accept his own mortality that has consistently caused Picard to screw up in dealing with the Borg, to the point of being willing to use a thalaron weapon in violation of his principles. It is the refusal to accept her own mortality that leads Sedin to decide to disregard the rights of others and create the first Borg. (And, yes, I hold Sedin responsible for that action -- she made the choice to do it long before her mind degraded, and I promise you that Lerxst did not escape Ghyllac's fate.)

    It's not a matter of celebrating impotence as much as it is a matter of learning to accept that one is not -- and should not be -- all-powerful. It is through this acceptance that one retains, or regains, one's moral and intellectual integrity. This is, in essence, what the trilogy is about -- looking death (or your own limitations) in the eye, and learning not to succumb to the temptation to think life so precious as to be worthy of disregarding the things that make life worth living. Learning to accept that everybody dies -- and that only by accepting this can we truly live.

    I don't see this as a bad and depressing thing. True, it's not so utopian as TNG Roddenberry Trek was. But there again, I never found Utopia all that inspiring -- because Utopia is and always will be a lie. As Joss Whedon said in his commentary for Serenity, it is the "sins," the things that are traditionally seen as "bad," that are also great sources for the best parts of humanity. "I'm gonna show you a world without sin:" A dead world. Utopia is a lie and always has been; you can't make people "better," because people just are. Good and bad are two sides of the same coin, and without it, the best parts of humanity cannot shine through. If this is so, then Destiny serves as the story of the Federation (via Picard and Riker) learning to accept this fact in order to retain its moral integrity.

    And, again, I don't think that the story's attempt at a hopeful ending is uncalled for or dishonest. Because the other point of it is, the Federation will recover. It will rebuild. Its citizens will build a better Federation (hopefully one less spoiled, less insensitive to the outside galaxy, less ethnocentric, less prone to its own self-delusions and lies about its own moral superiority over others) -- just as we, in the real world, will recover, will build, and will eventually create a better world for all of us. Not a perfect world, not a Utopia, not a land where no one suffers -- but still a land better than this.

    That's why Star Trek: Destiny is, to me, one of the greatest Star Trek stories ever told. It's the story of looking into the most shameful aspects of one's self, accepting them, and then moving past them.

    And lest you think that there was absolutely no agency on the part of the Federation in the redemption of the Borg, just remember this: It was through contact with Hernandez, who tries to live her long life by the values of United Earth and the Federation, that the Caeliar come to realize how much they have erred, and to realize the necessity of destroying the controlling intelligence of the Collective and redeeming its slaves into freedom. It's Federation ideals that save the day.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    How wonderfully put, Sci :)
     
  5. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    It's not only that the characters failed to stop the borg; it's that they didn't even try - that was their failure.

    Between Picard's passivity, La Forge's (and others) so-called "moral" arguments, the fact that many personages thought a psychotherapy session was more important than actually trying to save the Federation and the rest of the alpha and beta quadrants and the ending when the situation was saved by "God", I agree with Trent that the "destiny" trilogy betrays the optimism and confidence in one's abilities that used to characterise Star Trek.
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    "Didn't even try?" ?? What do you mean? 40% of Starfleet was wiped out trying to stop the Borg, to say nothing of the Klingons, Romulans, Talarians, etc. The main characters spent the entire trilogy trying to stop the Borg. Picard was "passive" because he was pretty much having a breakdown, understandable as the Borg are the one thing he cannot face and remain stable; this was established onscreen. He is traumatized, and now facing the imminent annihalation of his civilization and unborn child by that which traumatized him. He's not suddenly incompetent- he's never been fully competent when the Borg are involved, and this is, to repeat myself, an observation from canon. Also, sorry to pick hairs :), but La Forge's arguments were moral whether people agree with that morality or not.

    The situation was saved, I would suggest, not by "god" but by Erika Hernandez. It was her convincing the Caeliar to be more than what they had become, to find purpose once again by embracing their lost and traumatized children, and help the galaxy rather than hiding away from others, that was the salvation of explored space. I thought it was 100% in keeping with Trek's optimism- and with faith in one's ability to make a difference, united with his/her fellows. :)
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Of course they tried. They tried everything that they could that didn't violate their own set of ethics. But everything that they tried didn't work, and at a certain point you either confront your own powerlessness and accept it or you don't and find yourself using methods that violate your own ethics.

    (Yes, I agree that claiming the thalaron weapon is inherently immoral makes little sense, but that prohibition was introduced by the canon. Sometimes, one has to accept that another culture will have moral prohibitions that make little sense to one -- and that when the point of the story is to not lose your ethical integrity in the face of imminent death, it's really besides the point why this or that is regarded as unethical.)

    Now, I'll accept as a valid complaint that Picard didn't seem to be willing to try any of Capt. Dax's tactics against the Borg -- and I'd then point out that the point of that is that he was not behaving like he should have been, because he is so erratic when it comes to the Borg. It is once Picard confronts and accepts his failures with regards to the Borg that he gets over that.

    And as I noted above, the Federation is not without agency in the final resolution. It's Federation values that persuade the Caeliar to take responsibility for their errant Sedin, after all. They are not so much saved by the gods from on high as they are people who persuade the "gods" to stop being asshats and take responsibility for their obligations to help other people -- which is, I'd remind you, exactly what Sisko did to the Prophets in "The Sacrifice of Angels."

    And anyone worried that Picard is rendered terminally passive need only read Losing the Peace, wherein
    he kidnaps the Governor of Alpha Centauri to force him to confront the refugee situation in the wake of the invasion and stop being a navel-gazing, ethnocentric asshat using refugees as an excuse to secede from the Federation.
    Nothing passive about him there! :bolian:
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  8. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Sci? The spoiler tag on this thread is for Destiny, not LtP. kthx.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Fair enough. I considered that a minor enough subplot that it didn't warrant a tag, but I just put one up.
     
  10. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Picard, Riker and the rest of the federation "pretended" to try to stop the borg.
    To be more exact, they were content to trade transphasic torpedos with the borg, knowing that the collective will adapt. And when the borg finally adapted, thay just grabed their heades and screamed in desperation - as dignified as possible, of course.
    Where was the creativity that permeated almost every Star Trek episode? Well, I guess Data was responsible for it. So much for the myth about machines having no creativity.:evil:

    And for the first time in his career - as depicted on-screen - Picard was an incompetent cry-baby. Before - even when he faced the borg - he always managed to pull himself together.

    And about the ending - I dislike not only the fact that it transformed humans into the playthings of the gods, second class citizens of the universe, but that it also made the star trek universe a much darker place.

    For example - In "A singular destiny", The Typhon Pact is introduced - an alliance of powers who were always hostile toward the Federation - and still are.
    And, Sci - in "Losing the Peace", I doubt Picard was kidnapping governors because the situation was so rosy.

    Deranged Nasat
    La Forge's view is moral only for someone following an amish-like morality.
    But, you see, both Picard and La Forge are in Starfleet - they swore to protect the Federation even if that means using deadly force against the aggressors - like in the Dominion War. By refusing to use deadly force against the borg, Picard and La Forge betrayed their Starfleet oath; they betrayed the Federation.
    If Picard and La Forge were following an uncompromisingly pacifistic philosophy, they should not have enlisted in the first place - they were not fit to be Starfleet officers.

    And Erica Hernandes may have beeen human once; not anymore. Now she is a Caeliar, a transcedental, "perfect" being, part of the rulling class of the universe. So far above "mere humans" that they should start praying to her.
     
  11. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    First, I apologise as I know this was directed at Sci, but I must object to the idea that the Trek universe is a darker place thanks to "Destiny". First, trillions of Borg drones have now been liberated from slavery and restored to their individuality, while the newly expanded Caeliar Gestalt is apparently going to travel the universe working for peace. This is surely a good thing. 63 Billion dead is terrible, but trillions more have now gotten their lives back. Second, the Typhon Pact is not necessarily hostile. Only one of the six members has shown itself motivated by hostility so far. Two others have reasonably good relations with the Federation. One has no prior relationship at all. What about six nations joining together in peaceful unity, many discarding xenophobia for the first time, is "dark?". Whether there are negative consequences for the Federation or not, for the Pact nations things are looking up, surely? Anyway, this could be the first step towards the "Pax Galactica" "The Good That Men Do" suggested characterized the 25th century. :)

    As for deadly force when necessary, deadly force does not necessarily equate to "building outlawed genocidal superweapons that will lead to war with the Romulans and Klingons even if it works, and disrespects Data's memory either way". Plus, blowing up Borg ships with transphasic torpedoes is certainly using deadly force- La Forge and Picard both do this.

    With all respect, if you are ever (essentially) raped and enslaved, then your oppressors swarm in and begin annihalating your entire civilization, would you want me to label you an "incompetant crybaby" if you break down? :)

    Lastly, Hernandez never suggested anyone should view her as a superior being. In fact, she condemned the Caeliar for their isolationist, dismissive and xenophobic views, if I remember correctly. Yes, she is now a Caeliar- but one who brings a uniquely human understanding into the Gestalt. Human and Caeliar united, the best of both as the Borg were the worst of both.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Yes, that's right, people who tried everything they could think of to save lives and then died for it just "weren't even trying." :rolleyes:

    True. But, there again, Picard was never facing the Borg Collective at its fullest, either -- nor facing the imminent destruction of his civilization and everything he holds dear at their hands.

    It did no such thing; the "gods" were following the will of the Humans, if anything.

    The end of the Borg Collective and the liberation of millions makes the Trekverse a much darker place?

    I'm assuming you're referring to the destruction of so many worlds in the Federation. The problem with claiming that the ending to Destiny made the Trekverse a darker place is that, well... the destruction of all those worlds came before the ending to the trilogy. It came about two-thirds of the way through it, actually.

    Besides, part of the point of the Destiny trilogy was that the Borg have done this before, to thousands of worlds across the galaxy. Having them trash the Federation, too, doesn't make the Trekverse any darker than it was before -- it just forces the audience to confront the darkness that already existed in the Trekverse instead of saying, "Well, it's over there, so we don't have to worry about it."

    And, yes, the Federation will recover. That's far more inspirational and optimistic than a Federation that never faces real hardship.

    And as was noted in the ASD thread, it's not clear at all that the Pact will just be hostile to the Federation, nor that it will inevitably lead to war. The Pact is comprised of six different cultures with six different agendas, from the Romulans under Tal'Aura who are just trying to regain their interstellar prominence, to the Tholians who are trying to screw over the Federation, to the Gorn, who want to become stronger but are not antagonistic towards the Federation.

    You are moving the goal posts. I cited that as evidence that Picard is not passive, not that the situation is rosy.

    No one claimed the situation is rosy. But I don't think that a rosy situation is all that optimistic or inspirational. As I said above:

    Utopia is a lie.

    Right, because your morality is Absolutely Right (TM) and if another culture diverges from that morality, they're wrong and Amish-like. (Nice disrespect for another culture there, BTW.)

    They also swore not to issue or obey illegal orders. By their culture, using thalaron weapons would constitute an illegal order -- which would be, y'know, a betrayal of the Federation and its values.

    They never claimed or depicted her as transcendental or perfect. When she identifies herself as Caeliar, she's referring to culture -- she's emigrated and become integrated into Caeliar culture, and has had such a profound impact on them by prompting them to finally start changing and disregard their old stagnancy that she has an obligation to stay with them for its consequences.

    It's a change of culture, not an ascension to a higher plane. The Caeliar are as saved by the Federation as the Federation is by the Caeliar.
     
  13. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    First,if one is to sell their ethics for survival,ensure your survival first.The Borg controll an entire quadrant of the galaxy-no weapon,legal or illegal,woul have saved the Federation from defeat.Laforge may as well have made a slingshot for all it would do.It's part of a universal theme to allthe players in the novel:technology cannot exclusively save you from defeat.
     
  14. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    There was a discussion on this forum about the morality of using thalaron weapons in the situation described in "Destiny".
    What were the arguments on your side of the debate? Let's see:
    -It's genocide against the borg - I strongly disagree. Every borg killed in this manner is an an enemy soldier on a genocidal mission. In other words it's pure self-defence.
    -It would lead to an arms race in the alpha/beta quadrants - which, even if it happens, is a much better outcome than these two quadrants being sterilized, than trillions dying.
    -Using thalaron weapons is an illegal order - Not really; President Bracco authorised the use of anything that could stop the borg.
    -The borg will just bring more reinforcements from the other side of the galaxy - No they won't; they can't - not for the next 70-100 years or so - the subspace tunnels were destroyed, remember? 100 years is a long time in which to prepare, to evacuate beyond the Milky Way, if necessary. If the borg failed to destroy humanity in "destiny", they failed to destroy humanity (and the other species in Alpha/Bata). Period. They won't get a second chance.
    -It will never work - well, we'll never know now, will we?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    And yet her Secretary of Defense refused to use the weapon.

    And despite what George W. Bush might have you think, Presidents do not have carte blanche to issue any order they want, even in time of war. The President has no more right to issue an illegal order than does a ship's captain. An illegal order is an illegal order no matter where it comes from.

    And then in 70 to 100 years, you're facing the destruction of the Federation again when the Collective's even larger armada reaches local space, and this time the Borg will have adapted to the thalaron weapon.

    What's the use in betraying your ethics if doing so doesn't even achieve its objective? There's no point in making an "ends justify the means" argument if the means don't actually achieve the ends.

    Thankfully, no.
     
  16. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    Star Trek IS a much darker place after "Destiny".
    Sure, a gazillion borg were liberated, but we'll most likely never hear from them again. What we'll read about is the situation in the Alpha/Beta - after 64 BILLIONS died. Can you even understand the immensity of the loss? I can't.

    Erica Hernandez didn't call herself superior? The Caeliar saved half the galaxy? But of couse. They are, after all, benevolent gods. Perfect. Not encumbered by "human imperfection and human limitation".


    Quoting...mysely - read it this time:
    "Where was the creativity that permeated almost every Star Trek episode? Well, I guess Data was responsible for it. So much for the myth about machines having no creativity."

    Aren't we awfully eager to use the racism card?
    For your information, the expression "amish-like morality" has nothing demeaning about it. It describes a morality that refuses any taking of lives, regardless of the circumstances.

    Quoting myself...again. Read my entire post!
    "-The borg will just bring more reinforcements from the other side of the galaxy - No they won't; they can't - not for the next 70-100 years or so - the subspace tunnels were destroyed, remember? 100 years is a long time in which to prepare, to evacuate beyond the Milky Way, if necessary. If the borg failed to destroy humanity in "destiny", they failed to destroy humanity (and the other species in Alpha/Bata). Period. They won't get a second chance."
     
  17. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    IIRC the Borg sent thousands of cubes to the Alpha quadrant.Assuming a 75% loss on the part of the Borg,that still leaves 2000 cubes that are practically indestructable by every weapon available including transphasic torpedoes.If the thalaron weapon took down 90% of the 2000 cubes left that still leaves you with 200 indestructible cubes roaming free ,and the Borg only need one cube to destroy a planet.

    See,we do know what would happen:with the Thaleron weapon Starfleet has 3 days to anihilation instead of 12 hours.
     
  18. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    I thought the Caeliar's story arc was realizing they have stagnated and withdrawn from life when they should be bettering themselves and others? They are not perfect (apart from in Sedin's twisted mind). It is humanity which restores the Caeliar, or more specifically, Hernandez. :) I for one share an immense dislike of "Human inferiority/limitation" philosophies, but these books didn't offer one (no Trek does, in my view) and there's nothing wrong with asking others for help when you need it. The Federation couldn't win the war. It required help, the Caeliar offered it. This does not shame humanity, surely?


    But why equate such a morality to Geordi? Geordi is not a complete pacifist. His objection to the creation of thalaron weapons was not due to an unwillingness to fight Borg. It is also moral whatever our- or anyone's- moral preferences, as he was motivated by his own personal sense of ethics. :)

    Seven insisted there was no escape- the Borg would hunt them down wherever they went. Into intergalactioc space isn't an option, anyway. No supplies...
     
  19. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    There would be no evacuation,as to do so the Federation and allies would have to destory the cubes present in the quadrant already.

    But let us indulge in the fantasy for a second.Tech advancement cuts both ways:it's much easier for the Borg to find a way to get to the Alpha Quadrant in less tha a century than for a war-depleted Starfleet to come up with a weapon capable of destroying thousands of cubes at once.
     
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Star Trek: Destiny Book 3: Lost Souls - (SPOILERS)

    You said it's a darker place after the end of Destiny, implying that the scene in which the Caeliar dissolve the Collective and liberate its slaves made the Trekverse darker. I'm contesting that concept.

    As for the above... That doesn't make the Trekverse darker, that makes the stories that take place in local space darker. Why is it that if the Borg assimilate or exterminate a civilization in the Delta Quadrant off-screen, that doesn't make the Trekverse a darker place, but it does if it happens to "our" characters? That's a bit of a Federation-centric POV.

    It certainly makes the situation for the Federation darker. But it's also an opportunity to rebuild a Federation that's much less arrogant, much more sensitive to cultures that do not exist in states of abundance, much less prone to believe in its own propaganda about how much more "evolved" it is than other cultures. And, as A Singular Destiny points out, it's also an opportunity for the Federation to react to its trauma by reaching out and building closer ties of friendship and mutual sacrifice with its neighbors.

    The immensity of the Federation's loss should not be understated. But by the same token, it's a mistake to say that that trauma alone defines the Federation and its future now. It's like Europe after World War II -- yes, Europe was left in ruins, heavily dependent on foreign aid, with 42 million dead. That's horrible and the tragedy of it cannot be over-stated.

    But by the same token, Europe rebuilt. And I don't think a reasonable person can look at Europe today and say that the Europe that grew out of the darkness of World War II is not a better, more moral, more peaceful Europe than existed before. Even in the wake of the most horrific war in human history, there was reason for hope -- and that hope grew and flowered into the beacon of democracy and prosperity that is the European Union and its member states.

    Europe after World War II was darker than Europe before, certainly. But it's a much brighter Europe that grew out of World War II and the Cold War than ever existed before.

    Circular logic. "Hernandez and the Caeliar are benevolent gods, and they do not call themselves superior only because they are benevolent gods."

    There's nothing particularly god-like about the Caeliar other than mere physical power -- but if we hold them to be gods, we'd have to do the same for the Q, or the Metrons, or the Organians. (Funny how no one complains about the Organians stopping the Federation-Klingon War even though they bitch and moan about the Caeliar stopping the Borg invasion.)

    And as I noted above, the Caeliar only saved the Federation because they realized that their own culture was stagnant, suffocating, and dying. They saw the values of the Federation up-close in Hernandez and on a macro level in the Federation, and realized that they needed to evolve and change, that their dogma was insufficient. By dissolving the Collective, they saved themselves -- by inspiring them to dissolve the Collective, the Federation saved the Caeliar.

    If this is salvation, it is mutual salvation. The Caeliar convert to Federation values and save the Federation from imminent destruction in return. I can't say that fits the "we should just submit to the will of the benevolent gods and abandon human progress" message you're claiming Destiny sends.

    It bloody well sounded demeaning to the Amish.

    But all preparations would be futile. You are talking about a power so technologically advanced that there is no reasonable hope of ever finding a way to destroy/disable them through your own efforts, especially when they come en masse. And 100 years is also a lot of time for the Borg to prepare -- to, for instance, rebuild their transwarp network.

    First off, the idea of evacuating known space is so absurd as to be laughable on its face. People just don't move that easily. They never will. Hell, we can't even evacuate New Orleans in time to avoid hundreds and hundreds of people dying in hurricanes. In real life, mass migrations like that tend to lead to massive death counts. You're going to tell me that they can evacuate billions of people from hundreds of planets in less than 100 years, without an unacceptably high death count?

    And go where? Even without transwarp, Borg ships are far faster than Federation technology. Seven of Nine rather memorably argued that the Federation needed to escape beyond the Borg's reach -- but there is nowhere beyond the Borg's reach that the Federation can access. The Borg would find them. It would only be delaying the inevitable destruction of the Federation and its societies. As she put it, "They know where you are, and they are no committed to your annihilation.... They will come. And when they do, your civilization will be eradicated. All that you have built, all that you have labored to preserve, will be erased from history. You cannot stop them, ever. As long as they exist, you will never be free."

    If I'm understanding what you're saying -- that if the Federation had used the thalaron weapon in Destiny III, the Borg would have failed to destroy humanity and would not have had a second chance:

    Absolute nonsense. The Borg would have nothing but second chances. The only thing the Borg would ever need is time. The only way to defeat them, in the end, would be for a far more physically powerful civilization to intervene on the Federation's behalf, and that was always a fact.