In my last post I talked about Star Trek: Deep Space 9. One of the strengths of DS9 is that it knew when to reference the greater Trek canon and when not to. That allowed them to have fun with old ideas, such as the delightful episode Trials and Tribble-ations, without getting bogged down in a history that is at best inconsistent. By keeping the main story arc more self-contained it gave it greater strength and weight.
Still, as Star Trek fans, it’s our Prime Directive to wonder what might have been. Given that it is April 1st, I thought I’d have some fun and throw out some of the story ideas that came to my mind. Who knows? They might make good adventure fodder for a Starships & Spacemen campaign. Or my next foray into Call of Trekthulhu.
As a side note, I don’t read fanfiction. I’m not averse to it, it’s just not something I’ve ever gotten into. However, if any of these ideas have turned up in fanfiction already I would be interested in reading the stories.
A Tangled Web: The Federation Alliance is outnumbered. Even with the Romulans entering the war, the combined forces of the Dominion and Cardassians is too large for the allies. To compensate, a diplomatic team has been trying to organize a joint fleet composed of ships from several smaller empires. Tensions are already high as they try to forge an understanding among Gorn, Ferengi, and Kzinti warriors.
Then the Tholians arrive.
Tholian technology and tactics prove to be so alien that they put their allies at risk, and their motives for participation are suspect. Why have they emerged from their jealously guarded isolation? And are they really allies against the Dominion?
Before you Go: Keeping with the “alliance seeking” concept, a Star Fleet ship is dispatched to seek aid from the First Federation, the child-like alien beings encountered in The Corbomite Manuver. The Federation and the First Federation have maintained distant but cordial relations since Lt. Bailey spent time serving on board one of their vessels. It is Star Fleet’s hope that they will consent to bring their powerful and hyper-advanced ships into the war against the Dominion.
The First Federation welcomes the Starfleet delegation, but are reluctant to provide aid. Their species is on the cusp of apotheosis, and soon they will begin the process of transformation. Once complete, they will leave behind the mortal realm and explore the universe as cosmic beings. It is the culmination of millions of years of development and they are eager to proceed.
The Starfleet delegation needs to convince them to delay their ascendancy in order to join the fight against the Dominion. Or, failing that, maybe they could be convinced to leave behind a few of their gigantic starships.
Doomsday Revisited: Their search for a new weapon has driven Star Fleet to a desperate gamble. They have thrown all their resources into reverse-engineering The Doomsday Machine. They have installed living quarters, a bridge, secondary systems, and bolted on controls that they hope will allow them to manually direct the planet-shattering vessel. However, they admit that they cannot completely understand the mechanisms and there are those who warn that the ship might revert to its original directives, complete with the knowledge of how it had been stopped previously.
Still, the Alliance’s lines are crumbling under the Dominion’s assault. Thousands are dying, planets are falling, and all that remains is to rekindle the Doomsday Machine’s blazing heart.
The Ultimate Reboot: A variation on this theme would be Star Fleet revisiting the M5 system, seen in the episode The Ultimate Computer. As bad as the loss of starships has been, the loss of veteran crews is even worse. Ships can be rebuilt, but training new crews to command them takes years.
Decades ago the original starship Enterprise was able to engage three Constitution class battlecruisers while under control of the M5 computer system. The system was scrapped after it malfunctioned and became an uncontrollable killing machine. Still, advances in artificial intelligence have made some think that corrections to the technology are now possible. Adding elements from positronic brain designs should allow for a new generation of M5 systems to be mass produced, complete with enough mental stability that they can be trusted to control starships once more.
Unfortunately, there are only two positonic brains available to the Federation, and Commander Data needs his. That only leaves his brother Lore’s brain…
Plato’s Grandchildren: A mysterious team of specialists arrive at Deep Space 9 and Dr. Bashir is called in to tend to their needs. The team wear sealed encounter suits at all times, with the exception of when they are in verified clean rooms. The reason for this is that their immune systems have been completely destroyed.
This is the result of massive doses of kironide, an element that grants them amazingly powerful telekinetic abilities. This is the same substance found in the episode Plato’s Stepchildren, only more refined. The specialists are reaching the point where they can crack a starship open with their powers, but the toll it is taking on their bodies is destroying them.
Each of them is a volunteer, someone who knew the risks when they signed up, but the self-destructive process is difficult for the Doctor and the DS9 crew to accept.
Where Few Men Have Gone Before: Star Fleet has assembled a group with powerful ESP potential. This group will soon leave from DS9 on a specially designed starship. Their destination is the barrier at the edge of our galaxy.
In its first mission under command of Captain Kirk, the Enterprise made contact with the mysterious barrier. The results badly damaged the ship, but more importantly gave godlike powers to two of her crewmembers, people with a high rating for ESP potential.
The powers grew at an exponential rate, but their minds were overwhelmed by the transformation and their humanity slipped away. In the end they destroyed each other.
Now, faced with defeat by the Dominion, Star Fleet plans to replicate those events. With luck, the rigorous psychological training the volunteers have gone through should let them hang on to their humanity, if they survive the transformation. At least, long enough to win the war.
As a bonus, one of the team members would be played by John de Lancie, and recognized by members of DS9’s crew. Is this really Q? Is he observing? Sabotaging the mission? Or is this the birth of the Q Continuum?
Well, those are my flights of fancy. What have you got? I’d love to hear more ideas.