The 100 infant changelings

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by at Quark's, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    So, the 100 infant changelings are distributed throughout the galaxy, presumably in fairly spread pattern, as the purpose of the great Link was to learn about the galaxy. So, given that the Borg are reported to control a huge chunk of the DQ, wouldn't it stand to reason at least one of those 100 would have ended up somewhere in Borg territory? What would have happened to that infant changeling? Would the Borg have researched it like the Cardassians did, and if so, wouldn't the Borg be compelled to find out more about this mysterious changeling species?
     
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wouldn't Changelings be simply able to expell Borg nannites ?
     
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Space is pretty big so the chances of encountering the Collective are slim.

    Had a Cube come across an infant they may not class it as being worthy of assimilation, not understanding that it was a sentient life-form--after all Odo wasn't able to change shape for some time after being discovered and it took even longer before Dr Mora realised he was sentient.
     
  4. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    I in fact do agree with that. Then again, Odo was still found in space so apparently it is not that unlikely. Perhaps these infants are still sent to locations in likely inhabited solar systems to increase the chances of being found.

    Frankly I think most charts of the galaxy, and even descriptions given in the series, make Borg territories (and other territories of other empires for that matter) ridiculously huge. Frankly I think a lot of these descriptions (including in canon material itself upon which such maps are often based) do not take into account the humungous size of the galaxy.

    However, for the purposes of this thread I'm assuming they really hold such a large chunk as you can find on many popular galaxy maps, for example like in the map you can find in this thread:
    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/travel-times-galaxy-maps-and-voyagers-mission.305220/

    (actually, that's still one of the more modest ones). If that truly would be the size of Borg occupied territory, I would expect at least one infant changeling to end up there. It would of course be a different matter if it just meant areas where they can conveniently reach / project power. (But then again, they also easily reached into the AQ and very nearly assimilated earth so the map can't mean that).
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  5. Leviathan

    Leviathan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Fact checking that....





    ...so...yes space is big however you need to account for improbability, which can expand to fill any plot hole needed.
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We know that Laas could swim through space and home in on tiny spacecraft. We don't know how exactly the 100 moved around, but mere "drifting" at sublight can't work because it would take tens of thousands of years before any of them ever reached another star system; swimming around at warp sounds more probable, given Laas.

    So the 100 have a plausible mechanism for finding interesting things, even if we don't know the details (of, say, how a Changeling turns into a warp engine or a long range FTL sensor). But finding the Borg is hard work for everybody, and the 100 might not be any better off than the Hansens. The Borg in turn might not be particularly interested in finding stuff unless it comes to bother them. But they might well assimilate a Changeling out of the Borg variant of curiosity, should one bump onto a Cube. Or at least attempt to do so.

    "Borg occupied territory" might be, if not an oxymoron, then at least a misnomer. We don't hear much about the Borg occupying territory. They did occupy Earth at one point, and had a few planets to lose to Species 8472, but generally they appear to lurk in empty space, in those vast cities of theirs. And they appear to be absolutely everywhere, even if they choose not to show themselves. But it's not as if they would hog space, or patrol it, and a Changeling might well swim through the galaxy without ever meeting the Collective.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Possibly ... but when Odo was found, in the Denorios belt, he didn't even know how to shapeshift yet, if I recall correctly. So that would suggest a kind of 'delivery system' independent from the infant changeling itself, unless Odo was an exception and took the short route through the wormhule.



    You mention the Hansens, which brings up an interesting Voyager paradox. The Hansens traveled to the Delta Quadrant, and had great trouble in finding Borg. Voyager ran into them and found it next to impossible to avoid them.or their territory until they were thrown 'safely across Borg space' by Kes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Remember also that the Founders were surprised Odo came back so soon and it was only because he made his way to the wormhole. Without a DQ wormhole it’s possible none of them made it that far yet.
     
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  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Drifting at sublight is still out: even if delivered by a starship right next to a star system, a drifter might take millions of years to actually hit something there.

    Warp swimming might be instinctual and natural for infants (and perhaps even a skill a Changeling loses when growing up, and has to relearn, much like diving is for humans). Or then some sort of a teleportation or time travel mechanism helps out the infants in their quest to reach places in less than geological timespans.

    (The other obvious alternative is that none of the 100 were ever deployed in empty space: all were sneakily left on front porches or stuffed in jars on the back shelves of kitchens, and were expected to move around by exploiting the vehicles and means of Solids. And Odo was the odd blob out, for unknown reasons ending up floating in space and doomed to rest there for the next hundred million years, but then fate intervened.)

    Then again, the Hansens knew something about the Borg. Janeway demonstrably knew less (at least on issues that got a mention, such as different types of Drone). The Hansens were not mistaken in their belief that the Borg were difficult to find. Perhaps Janeway was mistaken in hers that they were a threat to trespassing ships?

    Janeway never was intercepted by the Borg: she threw herself at them in "Scorpion" instead, after having been ignored by a whole fleet of them.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Well, given that the reconnaissance probe they sent ahead was intercepted and dissected, presumably without provocation, I can't blame her for that assumption (of course combined with the info she actually had on them). And the fact that they were ignored by the entire fleet was, of course, most likely attributable to the Borg being on their way to combat species 8472 and therefore being in a great hurry.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sending out a probe is another case of tugging at Superman's cape: it would be the probe that made contact with the Borg rather than vice versa, by the very job description of the device.

    The Borg certainly go after starships in the general case, including noncombatants that are unlikely to be suicidally curious (the Lalo, say). But the general case no doubt consists of varied special cases, there always being a specific reason why the Borg choose to act (on the Lalo, say). Eventually, Janeway might have made herself such a special case. But the idea that you can't fly through Borg space is likely to be folly, as towards the end of the show it becomes more and more evident that the entire Milky Way is Borg space in the fullest sense, there being major Borg forces at every location when needed.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Not necessarily. It could have received instructions in the vein of "do low intensity scans for resources, populated areas, warp traffic lanes, etc to get a general picture, but try to hang back a bit to avoid contact with the locals". Reconaissance missions are often a bit stealthy.

    I still think there's a significant difference between Borg core territory and the areas they easily can project power to. The territory they have to cross is described by Janeway as 'It includes thousands of solar systems, all Borg.' based on the scans they have of the area. If I were on the 'wanted list' of the FBI or CIA, even in the knowledge they could project their power nearly anywhere in the world if they really wanted to apprehend me badly enough (undercover or not), I'd still have a distinct preference for non-US territory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I rather doubt the means by which a mere probe could conduct studies from afar: it's likely to be more of a penetrator, spying from a distance conductive of getting the info but impossible for the mothership due to her greater signature. To boot, it would apparently have been programmed specifically to spot and warn of the Borg, as a response to the events of "Unity" - Janeway never sent probes for such scouting-ahead purposes in the previous adventures. A lot may have gone conceptually wrong with the launching of that probe, there being more harm done than intel gained.

    The capturing of the probe need not have bitten back on Janeway as such. But probing on the Borg would be a way to gain their attention all right, while probes studying local stars or asteroids never might arouse Borg interest.

    This is at the very least possible. And for some unknown reason our heroes do believe in Borg core territory on Delta: Janeway here, Crusher in ST:FC (without any awareness of Janeway's findings), even T'Pol in "Regeneration" where she sees a direction at which the Borg aim a comms beam, and for mysterious reasons surmises it has a set distance that establishes the recipients as being in deep Delta. They may well know more than the audience does.

    Or then they just happen to be mistaken, and every one of the "Endgame" style hubs in the Milky Way is surrounded by lots of Borg activity and Earth just happens to be located somewhat distant from both of the nearest hubs.

    Scanning a thousand star systems is a novelty in "Scorpion" to begin with, FWIW. Previously, Starfleet has had to send starships to take a look to establish the status (or even the continuing existence!) of systems, save perhaps for cases where a single system a a time could be studied by pointing a special subspace telescope at it. Is Janeway's data even correct?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Is it a possibility that a changeling got intercepted by the Borg?
    Yes.
    What would have happened?
    1. would have been scanned to see what they are.
    2. would have tried to be assimilated.
    3. Assimilation either A. Worked, or B. Didn't work
    A. Worked. has no memory, so it just a fancy drone.
    B. Didn't work. Probably destroyed then.
    Either way they know of the species, and possibly a vector towards there home world. Few cubes sent to the area to see if they can find the homeworld. assemitalte some jemhadar, learn of the founders and the dominion. Since there far away there classified as an inert element until something happens.
     
  15. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Something just occured to me. The 100 would not be able to find the Great Link after the Founders moved from the Omarion Nebula.

    The Female Changeling said the infants had an instinctual need when they saw that nebula. But Odo was the first to find it because of the wormhole. And events forced them to move.

    So how would the 100 know where to go if they ever did go to the Omarion Nebula and find it empty?

    I doubt they left a beacon there... that defeats the entire purpose of keeping hidden.
     
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  16. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    ^ that's an interesting question. I'd assume the location itself isn't hardcoded into them (in that case, they'd run into the difficulties you describe) but that it's a kind of 'long distance signal' the Great Link emits. (Doesn't perhaps really make sense, but there is so much about that Great Link and the capabilities of shapeshifters that doesn't).
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Link might have considered the risks, considering that their "home" at any given timepoint is likely to be a mere temporary hideout*, only good for perhaps a few measly centuries or at best millennia. But they wouldn't have needed to worry much. So what if only 4.7 out of the 100 return? They were expendable in the first place. As long as those doing the sending don't directly kill any of the infants, their consciences are clear. And there can always be another Hundred at another time, coded to return to another hideout.

    Timo Saloniemi

    * The Omarion spot appeared to be on the very edge of Dominion territory, close to the wormhole which was not part of that territory. An actual "homeworld" in the sense of a place of origin the Link doesn't want to give up and wants to exploit as the official capital would probably be centrally located, with the Dominion gradually expanding around it in every direction. But since the Founders don't rule from a capital, but from behind a curtain of anonymity...
     
  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd argue that's a genius maneuver on the Founders. Having their homeworld not even really in their space. No one would anticipate that.
     
  19. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    So, how do you reconcile that with the Female founder statements that Odo (or bringing Odo home to the Great Link) means more to them than the entire Alpha Quadrant? Were they lying to him? Or was he only valuable because of his experiences in the Alpha Quadrant, having started out worthless?
     
  20. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Possibly because Odo is a fully developed Changeling (with lots of experience to enrich the Great Link).
    The Infants they sent out might actually be the equivalent to an early fetus.
    Barely more than simple stem cell clusters that need a lot of nurture and dedicated development time before transitioning to actual Changeling status.
    In fact that sounds like a valid reason to use "infants" for this task.
    Risking a fully grown Changeling is deemed to risky, because even losing a single one is a great tragedy.
    losing a few samples split off like a sperm donation is not something you lose any sleep over nor really expect more to come off it.
    Did we ever get any mention of how many the Founders reasonably expected back?
     
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