What would have happened to Earth and the Human race if Vulcans never made first contact with Humani

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Acenos, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Tim Zombieson

    Tim Zombieson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    O'Brien is already the Hero of Setlik III. He's the living embodiment of a romanticized view of a military campaign. Setlik III was an invasion by Cardassians. The canonical holoprograms that O'Brien and Bashir engaged in were the Alamo, Battle of Britain, Clontarf, and Thermopylae, all one-sided invasions or attempted invasions by an opposing force. Ezri saw these as annihilation fantasies, although that doesn't strictly fit Britain or Clontarf, and it seems that O'Brien was the driving force behind these, with Bashir just wanting to be a dashing hero in general (see his unrelated James Bond programs).

    O'Brien wants to relive Setlik III, maybe work through some issues, but he doesn't want to do it directly or openly. He has also strived for historical accuracy, so the Alamo is probably not John Wayne's version or even Billy Bob Thornton's. The Mexicans won the Alamo, but the Texians won the war. The Persians won Thermopylae, but the Greeks ultimately fought them back. Clontarf was barely won by the Irish, with High King Brian Boru (who O'Brien was set to play) dying in the process. Britain was arguably very close to losing to the Nazis in the Blitz. The Cardassians seemed to have met their military objective at Setlik III, even if fought back by the Feds later on, but they ultimately lost their overall objective in the Federation-Cardassian Wars.
     
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As regards Setlik III, my old hobby-horse rears its uglier end...

    When O'Brien drove away regimentfuls of Cardassian regulars at Setlik III, this appeared to be a total Federation triumph, with no leg for Cardassian propaganda to stand on afterwards. But when O'Brien saved his away team from annihilation by Cardassian militia at Setlik III, this seemed to be a humiliating retreat for the Federation overall, from a location the Cardassians argued to have been a just target, or justly mistaken for one.

    So, the same location, one clearly worth fighting over, but apparently two totally different engagements, at two different times. The first? In 2347, giving O'Brien his first-ever lessons in both transporter repair and killing. The second? In 2362, allowing the veteran to do good, perhaps even get Mentioned in Dispatches, even if he also lost Boone, and probably had little to do with Maxwell or the Rutledge afterwards, either.

    Which one would O'Brien want to relive? The one where he became the man he didn't want to be? The one where he did good for the good guys? I guess the point is that he relived neither - Setlik III was never the setting of his holotainment... And none of his scenarios reflected First Setlik, where he would be the cavalry that arrives way too late and is beaten back, or the Second Setlik, where he would be the avenging force taking back what was rightfully his.

    If O'Brien has issues with having been a soldier, those seem to be pretty generic. Survivor guilt is not readily associated with either Setlik, and OTOH the scenarios we get aren't observably altered when O'Brien gets to process these things for real in "Empok Nor".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  3. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    I think Trek gives the impression there were a significant number of such pivotal moments, and they all had to go in the right way in order to arrive at the "prime timeline" future. There's the first contact moment, yes, obviously one of the most important ones, at least as both Picard and the Borg see it. But there were enough other moments that could mess up the entire timeline. These include moments as early as pre-WW2 (Edith Keeler), the 2020's (Bell Riots), which could have been conditions for the First Contact moment to occur in the first place, but there are also such moments significantly after that, even as late as the 2150's (ENT: Shockwave), though in the last instance, we only know for certain the 31st century is wrecked, and it could be that it was ruined as the result of a deliberate, concerted, coordinated effort rather than a simple screw-up of one single moment. So probably First Contact gone right was a necessary but not sufficient condition.

    And of course, there could have been many, many more of these moments that were never explored because time travel never touched on them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, the destruction of the alien mining colony in Shockwave was not supposed to happen, according to Mr. Daniels. And even at the end of Shockwave, the colony's destruction is not undone, rather Archer and his crew are cleared of the responsibility of its destruction. Combined with the later revelation from Mr. Daniels that the Xindi attack was never supposed to happen, which also was never undone, it seems to suggest Daniels was himself not from the Prime Timeline.
     
  5. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Quite possibly. But even so, it shows how fickle the timeline is and how easily apparently the ideal future of Trek can be on pivotal moments other than the FC moment.
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've seen complaints that the Federation must be incredibly fragile in a temporal sense if any change in the 20th or 21st centuries can result in it never existing.
     
  7. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then there's the theory that came out of Star Trek 2009 that the universe /timeline will self correct itself. This is how the Abrams universe is significantly altered from the Roddenberry universe, yet our "hero crew" all still end up on a ship named Enterprise, and not scattered across half a dozen different ships.

    Even though Pine-Kirk is just a third year academy cadet, the timeline essentually "installs" him in command of a major starship.

    Shatner-Kirk had to climb his way through the ranks for over a decade in the Roddenberry universe.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Time in Trek does tend to self-correct: whenever our heroes engage in a mission of undoing what once went wrong, all the collateral damage they add to the pile in the process gets negated somehow.

    Predestination is but one possible explanation. Another is sheer statistics: just as Gabrielle Burnham puts it, time is savage - because it literally personifies human(oid) savagery, by being the direct result of it. Humans assuredly can travel in time and meddle with it. It follows that they will. And since there are lots of humans and they have a lot of time (especially with those machines of theirs), there will be infinite meddling, which will average over, gyrating towards one criterion only: that of the humanly desired outcome.

    So do the heroes get born despite smacking their ancestors with butterflies? They sure do. But is this because a zillion time travelers intervened on that very issue? Probably not. Rather, the constant time travel kills the butterflies as a matter of averages: every personally motivated intervention is countermanded by another out of sheer jealousy, so the end result is one of seeming altruism, which is synonymous with status quo.

    ...That not everything always immediately clicks back in place just goes to show that the camera follows a specific iteration of the infinite struggle, rather than the ultimate outcome. But the ultimate still exists as a limit-in-infinity and forms the big background of time, against which the individual adventures show as colorful glitches.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    What happens? Well, Zephram Cochrane doesn't get to whip out a shotgun, blast their envoy, and steal their technolo... oh, sorry, never mind. Wrong universe.
     
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  10. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    The mathematics of that would be interesting, to say the least. A kind of temporal psychohistory. Perhaps that's what has been developed in the 29th century, allowing these timeships to guard the timeline, even though that 'lmiit-in-infinity' is supposed to be stable.
     
  11. Oddish

    Oddish Fleet Captain Red Shirt

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    For some reason, that makes me think of the movie "Sliding Doors". The first 85 or so minutes suggests that our lives are managed by chance and free will, and a change in the timeline can lead our lives in a very different direction. The last 5 minures kind of undoes that.