Greatest Alpha Quadrant Conflicts?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Odo, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Odo

    Odo Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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: Dec 26, 2012
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That is quite the optimism, Sci.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  5. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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 - :rofl:. 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.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, here it comes. A discussion about the size of various Trekverse conflicts turns into your personal dislike of me.

    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.
     
  8. Odo

    Odo Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  9. vorador33

    vorador33 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    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
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  11. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. vorador33

    vorador33 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    ^ 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)
     
  13. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  15. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    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.
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    As far as the claim that the novels are depicting the Federation as facing too many violent crises...

    For the record, TNG and DSN very firmly established that between 2293 and 2369, the Federation:

    • Was the victim of the Tomed Incident, in which thousands of lives were lost and in which the Romulans were involved (TNG: "The Neutral Zone," "The Defector," "The Pegasus")
    • Was embroiled in a series of border wars with the Cardassian Union that lasted decades, ending only in 2367 (TNG: "The Wounded," "Journey's End," "Chains of Command," et al)
    • Was embroiled in a war with the Tzenkethi Coalition (DSN: "The Adversary")
    • Suffered an attack from the Tholian Assembly that destroyed a Federation Starbase in 2353 (TNG: "The Icarus Factor")
    • Suffered a breakdown in relations with the Klingon Empire that would have resulted in a Federation-Klingon war were it not for the sacrifice of the Enterprise-C to protect Narendra III
    • Was attacked on several occasions by the Ferengi Alliance, both before and after official first contact (TNG: "The Battle," et al)
    • Found itself embroiled in a new cold war with the Romulans (TNG: "The Neutral Zone," "The Defector," "Face of the Enemy," et al)
    • Was targeted for assimilation by the Borg Collective (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")
    • Became involved in the Klingon Civil War (TNG: "Redemption")

    Mind you, this is just what's established in the canon for the TNG era.
     
  17. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Next time, do try to read my entire post - including the 'why so' part - instead of ignoring what you don't want to read and assuming some "wait [...]" will cover up the fact you failed to even address my point:

    "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."

    This was TV TNG - and yes, it did depict a positive, optimistic future.

    Now - do name the conflicts/disasters/etc portrayed in 24 century trek lit.
     
  18. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    No, I read it all. It just doesn't matter.

    Death happens. The optimism of Trek is that despite the death, suffering, and destruction, the Federation holds true to its principles, and tends to not let death beget more death if it can possibly be helped.

    I find that to be neither shallow nor superficial.

    I stand by my original post.
     
  19. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Until the next major war/disaster that inevitably arises almost immediately afterwards in trek lit.
    Through this, trek lit nullifies any gain from holding true to one's morals and principles.
    As such, it nullifies any pretentions of the presented optimism as being more than shallow and superficial.

    You could just as well watch a Sisiyphus being beaten half to death, but always turning the other cheek for the inevitable next beating.
    Again and again.
    And thinking this an optimistic vision because he always turns the other cheek.

    With regard to this dictum of yours, a saying saying comes to mind:
    'You can call it a cow, but you can't milk it.'

    No matter how much you - or anyone else - affirm support for such dictums, they remain hollow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  20. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    So, just to sum up:

    The canon establishes horrific acts of terrorism, numerous small battles, four or five major wars, ongoing cold wars, and an existential threat from the Borg.... and that's an optimistic future.

    The novels establish one truly exceptional atrocity in the Borg Invasion, and an ongoing cold war which nonetheless carries the promise of eventual peace -- and they're doom and gloom and full of nothing but death and subvert the premise of Star Trek.

    'Cos that makes sense?