Star Trek Online timeline divergence

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Mojomoe, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  2. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I believe 2381 where the Novel Timeline and the STO Timeline split apart.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    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 :p. 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?
     
  5. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    ...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 :lol:
     
  6. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  7. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  10. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    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)
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or the devs just hasn't put him in yet. They have Calhoun, the Vesta, the Luna, the Fleming from the Comic, Countdown.
     
  13. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  14. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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."
     
  16. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    Exactly, it's a fun mental exercise to see if you can trace the source events. Even though it would end up being a hypothesis that is neither testable nor disprovable :). I'm still keen to trace a single source event as the start, if that's even possible. Not having read the Mirror U books, but didn't ENT paint Zephram Cochrane as the divergent agent in the primary Mirror Universe? Though I never understood his need to shoot poor Solkar.

    ...so wait, fluidic space is a constant across all multiverses...? That's... interesting. Meaning there's only ONE 8472/Undine, invading all the timelines...? That's a lot to wrap my head around.

    As for the Gorn, is the planetary loss you discuss the one in Seize the Fire? You're suggesting that might have caused the genetic discrepancies we see by 2401?

    Also, Markonian - how far back would you need to draw a divergent event to explain the Elachi?
     
  17. Mojomoe

    Mojomoe Commander Red Shirt

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    Christopher, you bring up further good points about the nature of game narratives in general.

    It's long been my assumption, playing strongly narrative based games (Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted) that there are "canon" events within the game's story, and player-driven or game conceit events that should be ignored. If its not mentioned when you get to the next cutscene, it didn't "really happen" within the game - as in, were a book written about the game's story (which many have been), the player hopping around in a corner, or carrying several hundred items, would be omitted.

    That's the way I look at STO, which admittedly would be giving it too much credit if it didn't also manage to create a reasonably compelling game universe and continuity all its own. To speak to your points, I'd assume *someone*, possibly multiple someones l, completed all those in-game missions. Ships are normal-sized and officers don't have massive inventories. However, much like NuTrek, there is a rash tendency to promote officers young (perhaps not AS young as shown) and the fleet is a little more slapdash and cavalier - a return to the 'wild west' of TOS maybe?

    It certainly can't be looked at as 100% hard canon, to be sure. That's silly. But, just as Mass Effect creates a very compelling narrative if one ignores all the small player mistakes or game conceits, so does STO create a reasonably compelling vision of the 25 th century that is at least internally consistent, and fascinating in the amount of canon and soft-canon research put into making it so, which is what intrigues me :).
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, that wasn't the point of divergence. Phlox's dialogue in Part 2 of "In a Mirror, Darkly" made it clear that Mirror Earth had a more violent history at least as far back as Shakespeare, and implicitly far longer. The Cochrane scene was just meant to show how the more violent humans of Mirror Earth reacted differently to First Contact.



    See Myriad Universes: Infinity's Prism: Places of Exile by yours truly.

    And in my take there's only one Species 8472/Groundskeepers being invaded by Borg from many different timelines, and reacting defensively. STO's more violent interpretation is one reason I'm reluctant to accept it as an alternate timeline of the novelverse.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Sounds like my parents in bed." - Arnold Rimmer :D
     
  20. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    STO and the novelverse can't be considered different realities within the same multiverse unless you also potentially consider pre-1990s Star Trek novels, the DC comics, etc as different quantum realities within the same multiverse. Just think of all the ways that physics, species, etc are different between STO and the novelverse such as how it would be impossible in STO for fluidic space to be a multiversal singularity or for the progenitor humanoids to be the Preservers in the novelverse. The way I see it, The Needs of the Many's reference to the Borg Invasion of 2381 is only a reference to a timeline similar the novelverse in the STO multiverse. Heck, is The Needs of the Many even compatible with the game? It doesn't even have anything about the Iconians!

    Now if you do consider the novelverse and STO to be in the same multiverse, here are some other things to consider:
    The Iconians in the novelverse and STO are totally different. In the former they are 2.5-meter tall haired humanoids who may or may not have been despotic conquerors. In the latter they are human-sized, have glowing blue skin, and have been plotting all 24th century and possibly even earlier to re-conquer the Milky Way Galaxy. So that probably puts the divergence at least before circa 200,000 B.C.E.
    The Tholians in STO are technology-hungry and steal ships from other realities and the future because apparently the Tholian Assembly's space has weak walls of reality. In the novelverse the Tholian Chronological Defense Corps has been patrolling the timeline for centuries. And I don't see how STO could integrate the Shedai into the Tholian backstory.
    In STO the Na'kuhl contacted the Klingons at some point and told them the location of a "doomsday machine" in failed hopes of gaining their loyalty. That's how B'Vat got his planet killer.
    In the novelverse Antaak's son (ordinary 23rd century Klingon) was the one who devised the cure for the Qu'Vat virus. In STO it was the temporally-displaced Miral Paris whose blood provided the cure.
    According to The Needs of the Many, MACO still exists in the 25th century. In the novelverse MACO was integrated into the Federation Starfleet upon its inception.
     

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