|ENT -- Enterprise
||TOS -- The Original Series
||TAS -- The Animated Series
|TNG -- Next Generation
||DS9 -- Deep Space Nine
||VGR -- Voyager
|TTN -- Titan
||TLE -- The Lost Era
||SCE -- Starfleet Corps of Engineers
|NEM -- Star Trek: Nemesis
|OH -- Titan: Orion's Hounds
||AotF -- Articles of the Federation
||RES -- Resistance
|QA -- Q&A
||BD -- Before Dishonor
||ExM -- Ex Machina
|Prologue||Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3|
|Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6||Chapter 7|
|Chapter 8||Chapter 9/10||Chapter 11||Chapter 12/Epilogue|
|The previous installments in the post-Nemesis
TNG series were vague about their chronology, and I have attempted to
clarify their placement here. In doing so, it was necessary to reconcile
them with Articles of the Federation, a novel chronicling the career
of Federation President Nan Bacco over the course of the year 2380. That
book's six sections take place respectively in January, March, May, August,
October, and December. The events of RES, QA, and BD thus had to take
place between those months, to explain why they were not referred to during
AotF. I chose to assume BD took place in early June 2380, since the
May section of AotF asserted that the currently graduating Starfleet Academy
class had gone its entire term while the Federation was not at war --
a claim that would be hard to make in the wake of a massive Borg attack
on the Sol System. Thus, I ended up placing RES in April 2380, between
Parts 2 and 3 of AotF, and QA in May, between Chapters 16 and 17 in AotF
|Why does GTTS pick up three months after BD
and span three and a half months in itself? Because my mandate was to
provide a transition between BD and David Mack's Destiny trilogy,
with the latter taking place in early 2381, after the conclusion of AotF.
BD could not take place earlier than June, but could not take place
much later either, since RES seemed to be only a few months into the year
(it stated that the ship had been back in service for months, but without
a permanent first officer, second officer, or counselor) and BD could
not take place too long after RES (since it's doubtful that Admiral Janeway
would have waited too long to visit the supposedly dormant Borg supercube).
|The gap also gave me room to bring about certain
key transitions for the characters, which will be discussed later.
||The USS Rhea, NCC 80110, is a Luna-class
vessel, the same class as the Titan from the novel series of that
name (including my own Orion's Hounds).
|As I stated in the book's Acknowledgments,
T'Ryssa Chen is based on a character I created for a role-playing game
a friend and I engaged in back in 1996. Called Dragon Trek,
it was a two-player e-mail game in which I played a Starfleet officer accidentally
transported into a Dungeons and Dragons world that my friend ran.
There, the character was named T'Lyssa Chen; I changed it because
the name was too similar to T'Lana, the name of the Vulcan counselor from
the previous post-NEM novels. The change also gave me the nickname
"Trys," which seemed appropriate for a character who retreated from her
Vulcan half. I was able to transplant the character's backstory
and personality pretty much intact to GTTS, and even borrowed a few lines
I wrote for the game here and there, although I needed to move the key
events of her life forward seven years and make adjustments for the change.
Also, the game character wasn't quite as neurotic as Trys turned
out to be.
||A "jg" is a lieutenant junior grade, the rank
between ensign and full lieutenant, designated by one solid pip and one
hollow pip on the uniform collar.
|As established in the TTN series, the Luna
class is known for emphasizing crew diversity. Since the post-NEM
Enterprise command crew is dominated by human characters,
I chose a Luna-class ship to let me work more aliens into the story.
||"Biosigns" is a term that was used in VGR
and ENT to replace the formerly more common "life signs." Though
it sounds technobabbly, it's actually close to the formal scientific term,
||"Cosmozoan" is a term I employed for spacegoing
life forms in OH. See my OH notes
for discussion. The confirmation half a year back refers to the
events of OH.
|NGC 6281 can be seen in this map from
An Atlas of the Universe,
just left of center at the bottom, labeled "N6281." Note that this
map is oriented "upside-down" relative to the maps elsewhere on my site
(adapted from Star Trek Star Charts), with the bottom of the map
being toward the center of the galaxy. For comparison, the star
labeled "α Sco" on this map, just below the innermost circle and left of
the centerline, is Antares (Alpha Scorpii), which is just right of the
upper centerline on my Buried Age
map. The orange circle just outside Cerberus on that map, corresponding
to a 500-light-year radius from Earth, matches the innermost blue circle
on the Atlas map.
|(Note: industrious readers who check this
map against my Orion's Hounds map will find that its positioning
of the Vela Association differs greatly from mine. The distances
to astronomical bodies are difficult to compute, but my estimates are
based on what I believe to be more up-to-date information than what was
available when the Atlas map was created.)
|My information on NGC 6281 comes mainly from
page at the WEBDA database.
A good (but very large) color photo of the cluster is available
||You can read more about carbon planets at
The article contains a link to the original Marc Kuchner paper
that I based my descriptions upon, as well as an artist's impression
of what such a world might look like.
||For more on Noh masks, see http://www.kasrl.org/noh_mask.html.
|The Noh Angels are inspired by two different
anime creations. The first is No Face
(Kaonashi) from Hayao Miyazaki's film Spirited Away, a mostly silent,
ghostly figure with a Noh mask for a face. The second are the
Agents from Digimon Tamers, the third and most adult-oriented
(well, teen-oriented) season of the Digimon franchise, whose
head writer was Chiaki J. Konaka (best known for dark, psychological dramas
such as Serial Experiments Lain). No Face captured the sense
of gentle, silent mystery that I wished the entities to have, while the D-Reaper
Agents reflected their multiplicity of design and their nature as created
extensions of a single entity.
|Trys is also making a pun on the movie title
||The Einstein was a science vessel assimilated
by the Borg in BD. The final chapter of BD revealed that it had
survived, cut off from the rest of the local Collective as a backup, and
was heading out to seek out strange new worlds and assimilate them.
||Borg transporters have often been shown to
be capable of penetrating Starfleet shields. The more aggressive
behavior of these Borg was established in the previous post-NEM books, and
their "evolved" assimilation technology and anticipatory behavior come from
||Here, I reconcile my depiction of Saurians
from Ex Machina with David Mack's version from A Time to Kill
and Vanguard: Reap the Whirlwind. I assumed, based on their
large eyes, that they were nocturnal and needed filtered contact lenses
to function in daylight. Dave postulated the inner eyelids which gave
them infrared vision. My assumption here is that infrared is part
of their normal visual range at all times, but the eyelids filter out everything
except infrared to let them focus more specifically on that range of the
spectrum, perhaps because its lower-energy emanations tend to be drowned out
by visible light. ExM referred to their great endurance as established
in production notes for ST:TMP, but Bazel's formidable combat abilities, as
well as his name, are inspired by the Saurian security officer Razka from
Dave's novels (although "Bazel" is also an homage to Bazzle, a pseudodragon
from the Dragon Trek game, and I assume it's pronounced the same way).
were briefly glimpsed in TAS: "The Eye of the Beholder." Given
their lack of legs, I assume here that they must be aquatic creatures.
The sequoia-tree setting is based partly on the backgrounds in
that sequence of the episode (although dialogue referred to a rainforest
environment), and partly on the setting of T'Lyssa's initial Dragon
||"a hundred sectors
away": Star Charts defines a sector as 20 light-years
across. Thus, she is roughly 2000 ly from where she was. NGC
6281 is an estimated 1800 ly from Earth, give or take.
||Okay, a lot of you are probably upset that
we skipped over the wedding and went right into married life. I was
originally going to have Picard resisting marriage until the Borg crisis
was resolved and have the wedding at the end. Editor Margaret Clark
convinced me that it was better to begin with the marriage as a fait
accompli, an understated event in contrast to the big Riker-Troi wedding,
and center Picard's arc on the issue of fatherhood instead. And
she was right, although I do kind of regret missing the chance to write
as big an event as the wedding of Jean-Luc Picard.
|Nude Betazoid weddings were established in
"Haven." The Betazoid wedding ceremony for Troi and Riker was upcoming
as of NEM, and Lwaxana's preparations for it were depicted in A Time for
War, A Time for Peace (ATFW,ATFP).
||The Borg supercube was first seen in RES,
although the term "supercube" makes its debut here for ease of reference.
|The collapse of the Borg transwarp network
was seen in "Endgame," the VGR series finale. That episode offered
ambiguous information, stating at one point that the Borg had six transwarp
hubs around the galaxy, but otherwise implying that destroying the one hub
encountered by Voyager would cripple or destroy the entire network.
For the purposes of the books, my colleagues and I have assumed that
the "Endgame" hub was the only one providing access to the Alpha and Beta
Quadrants (or at least the vicinity within a decade or two of the Federation
at high warp). Thus, it doesn't matter in story terms whether the
other five hubs survived.
|The assimilation virus and the deranged admiral
are from the VGR post-finale novels Homecoming and The Farther
Shore. These events took place in early 2378, two years before
|The reawakening of the supercube and its assimilation
of Admiral Janeway were depicted in BD.
||Wesley's lack of clothes at Riker and Troi's
Alaska wedding occurred in ATFW,ATFP.
||Picard's "There's something I've been wanting
to--" line echoes the running gag in TNG where Beverly would deliver the
line and get interrupted.
|I'm assuming it took the Enterprise about
three days to return to Earth.
||Picard provided Bulerian canapés, watercress
sandwiches, and Earl Grey tea for Admiral Nechayev as a peace offering
in "Journey's End."
||Picard's reference to becoming a rogue agent
in recent years refers to Insurrection as well as RES and BD.
|The mutiny and T'Lana's resignation were seen
||Seven of Nine was depicted in the VGR Relaunch
novels as becoming more humanized (following the lead of the show's final
season), allowing her aunt to call her Annika, and taking a job at a civilian
think tank. BD portrayed her as a Starfleet Academy instructor who
was just as rigid and cold as she was in her early years on Voyager.
Hopefully I've managed to reconcile the two.
||"without a transwarp
network to boost interlink communications": An arbitrary assumption
on my part to explain why the Borg in RES, BD, and GTTS are out of touch
with the rest of the Collective in the Delta Quadrant.
||Quantum slipstream drive and Arturis were
introduced in VGR: "Hope and Fear." That the Borg already possess
slipstream technology is a reasonable extrapolation from their assimilation
of Arturis's species; it is unlikely he could have invented it on his
own. Thus, I needed to explain why they didn't use it to replace
the transwarp network.
|The difficulties maintaining a stable slipstream
vortex were seen in VGR: "Timeless," but the explanation for that instability
is my own.
||For more on the Aventine, see the Destiny
||The "Project Endgame" computer virus (no relation
to the VGR episode "Endgame") was seen in BD. It was a modified
form of the invasive program devised by La Forge and Data in "I, Borg,"
Anomaly 4747" in graphics in the episode. The program was meant
to force the Borg into an insoluble logical paradox; in effect, it was
a more advanced version of the James T. Kirk/Harry Mudd method of destroying
computers with simple contradictions.
||Transphasic torpedoes and ablative hull armor
(popularly known as "Batmobile armor") were technologies brought back
from the future in VGR: "Endgame." Note that, although the Borg
adapted to the ablative armor, it should theoretically still be available
for use in other situations. My guess is that it's too inefficient
to use in most situations.
|What does the explanation of transphasic torpedoes
mean? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. I'm assuming the
phase states are like the old "out of phase" gag seen in "Time's Arrow,"
"The Next Phase," and VGR: "Deadlock," allowing things to pass through
other things (such as shields). As for a "subspace compression pulse,"
I assume it's a spacetime distortion that has a disruptive effect on matter,
like an intense space warp ripping things apart gravitationally.
This passage is pretty much a compromise between my working theory of transphasic
torpedoes and Dave Mack's; since he began writing Destiny before
I wrote GTTS, there were a few cases of duplicated effort or conflicting
assumptions that we had to reconcile in revisions. For the most part,
though, we coordinated closely.
||The hormonal formula, the "royal jelly," and
the revelation that some drones are androgynous come from RES. I
chose to identify the androgynous drones of RES with the TNG version introduced
in "Q Who." In that first appearance, Borg drones were implied to
be artificially incubated from embryos; the concept of assimilation was
not introduced until "The Best of Both Worlds." Even in "I, Borg"
and "Descent," most Borg drones were portrayed as having no prior identity,
unable to function as individuals when severed from the group mind and highly
suggestible as a result. This differs considerably from the version
of the Borg seen in First Contact and VGR, in which all drones were
portrayed as assimilatees who regained their own memories and identities
upon disconnection from the Collective. The concept of incubated drones
as a distinct class allows me to reconcile these two versions of the Borg
and the version seen in RES.
||The war with Species 8472, seen in VGR: "Scorpion,"
makes a handy explanation for why the TNG-style incubated Borg seemed
to give way to the FC/VGR assimilated style. Species 8472 is explored
in greater depth in my short novel Places of Exile.
||The Royal Protocol was established in Homecoming/The
Farther Shore as the program that turns a drone into a Queen. Physically,
a Borg Queen is just another interchangeable drone , one specialized to function
as a repository for the Collective's guiding will, the Protocol. This
explains the Queen's response to Picard in FC when he expressed bewilderment
that she was still alive: "You think in such three-dimensional terms."
The Queen is the mind and will of the entire Collective, and thus
does not reside in a single body. She would see any given body as
merely an appendage, enabling her to cast it off and "relocate" herself
into the next body. Thus her awareness is not fixed to any location
in three-dimensional space.
||Jarem Kaz and Admiral Covington are from Homecoming/The
Farther Shore. Basically, the multivector agent combines anti-Borg
weapons from H/TFS, RES, and BD. I initially included the neurolytic
pathogen from "Endgame" as well, but it proved incompatible with my later
choices in the book.
||Zelik Leybenzon was introduced in QA. He
was a native of Gault, the world where Worf's foster parents initially
|The metal thingy Worf wears over his uniform
is generally referred to as a "sash," but "baldric" is a more accurate
term (used onscreen in Insurrection).
||The terrorist attack on the Federation embassy
was seen in ATFW,ATFP.
||Beverly Crusher's departure for Starfleet
Medical was established in ATFW,ATFP and Death in Winter (based
on a cut line from NEM), and reversed at the end of DIW.
||Worf's transition from temporary to permanent
first officer was seen in RES, as was T'Lana's arrival aboard ship. Nave
and Battaglia are also from RES. Kadohata returned from maternity
leave in QA, which also introduced Joanna Faur.
||Picard's musings about restructuring his crew
in the wake of BD reflect my own deliberations when I was tasked with
bringing in a new character to replace T'Lana. I didn't want just
another counselor, and didn't see one human credibly filling all of Data's
roles, so I decided to go a different route.
||The "contact specialist" designation is one
I coined for The Buried Age (TBA) and also referenced in "Friends
With the Sparrows." I recognized that Deanna Troi's role went beyond
normal counseling duties; she also functioned as an advisor on diplomatic
situations, alien culture and psychology, and so forth. Thus, I
postulated that she was trained as a contact specialist in addition to
being a counselor. As it happens, I've felt for a long time that
if I ever created my own Trek book series or something comparable, I would
include a character whose primary role was to be an expert advisor on alien
psychology and contact protocols. Here, I was able to put that into
||Gaanth is a character who has never appeared
in any Trek novel, including this one. I created him purely to explain
why Picard was still searching for a contact specialist three months
after his decision to revamp the crew. Rhaandarites are from ST:TMP
and ExM, and I'm building on what I established about their psychology
||Jasminder Choudhury was created by Dave Mack
for Destiny, but Dave allowed me to come up with the bulk
of her backstory and characterization. Her name would be pronounced
pretty much like "Jass-min-der Chowd-h'ry".
|Captain Zimbata of the Victory was
established as Geordi's previous commander in "Elementary, Dear Data."
TBA established his first name and the fact that Tasha Yar had
also served under him (not necessarily overlapping Geordi's service).
|The First Battle of Chin'toka occurred in
2374 and was seen in DS9: "Tears of the Prophets." The Timur
is my own creation, perhaps one of the unnamed Excelsior-class ships
seen in the battle. The Nosgoh and the incident at Starbase 103 are
not from any prior work.
||My initial intent was for T'Ryssa to be the
main science officer character, but Dave had already created Dina Elfiki
||The "tube grub incident"
is an homage to the "noodle incident" which was a running gag in the
Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. This was apparently
a monumental prank or act of misbehavior that had gone down in infamy among
Calvin's parents and teachers, but whose details were left to the audience's
||The destruction of the Odyssey was
seen in DS9's second-season finale, "The Jem'Hadar." The evacuation
of nonessential crew was established in the episode; no reason was given
for why the Galaxy-class ship didn't just leave its saucer at DS9
and take the battle section through the wormhole. (The behind-the-scenes
reason was that the only miniature with saucer separation ability was too
cumbersome to work with.)
|"call me Ishmael":
This, of course, is a reference to the first line of Moby Dick,
rather than to the TOS novel by Barbara Hambly.
||Janeway's funeral occurs toward the end of
BD, in the same chapter where T'Lana's resignation is established. This
flashback scene occurs shortly thereafter.
||The name "Happy Bottom Riding Club" was established
in RES and explained in QA.
||Guinan's "interstellar wanderlust" was implied
by her presence on 19th-century Earth, a quadrant away from her then-extant
homeworld, in "Time's Arrow." It was established more clearly as
an aspect of her character in TBA. Her 23 marriages were established
||This chapter begins about a week after the
previous scene. We're now into October 2380.
||Rennan Konya was a character I created for
SCE: Aftermath. Although he was a recurring character
in SCE from then on, this is only my second chance to write him. With
SCE ending this past year, I took the opportunity to keep the character
"employed" and finally get to do more with the first original Starfleet
character I created (not counting T'Ryssa). As it happens, I believe
this is the first time his hair color has been specified. I always
envisioned him with sandy hair, but I believe I neglected to specify that
in Aftermath. I named Konya after a city in Turkey, as a play
on Deanna Troi (Troy).
||The Artha Shastra (Treatise on Material
Gain) by Kautilya is the classic Indian text on the practice of conquest
and rule, basically a how-to guide for kingship. It is essentially
the Indian equivalent of Macchiavelli's The Prince. (Come
to think of it, Treatise on Material Gain could also be translated
as Rules of Acquisition, couldn't it? Hmm.)
|Though I found no place to mention it, I'm
assuming that Enterprise is passing the edge of Romulan territory
when this scene occurs, so that Choudhury's discussion with Picard could
have been part of their security briefing for the day.
||Trys's joke refers, of course, to the Miranda
class of starships, including the Reliant, Saratoga, etc.
||The survey of Gorsach IX was in QA.
|Kadohata was shown as resenting Leybenzon in
QA, but much friendlier with him in BD; it now becomes clear that the strain
of her workload and the resultant marital tensions were the cause of that
||The Mabrae were introduced in TBA. It
wasn't my intention to use them in two consecutive Picard-related novels.
But I picked NGC 6281 as the destination here because it was in
the direction of Borg space, and subsequently realized it was coincidentally
in the same direction as Mabrae space (see the TBA map linked above).
||Aoki is Miranda's 5-year-old daughter, as
the next chapter makes clear.
|The preponderance of women in the current
command staff is accidental. Working independently, Keith R.A.
DeCandido created Kadohata and Faur, I created Trys Chen, and Dave Mack
created Choudhury and Elfiki. However, there are still a number
of supporting male characters, including Taurik, Konya, and Hegol.
||I had originally intended Worf's speech about
his growth over the years to be directed at Trys, so that she could respond,
"It's good to hear you're not a static Klingon." I deeply regret
being unable to work that line into the book. That's right -- I have
|The Atlas of the Universe offers a map of
the Orion Arm and its neighbors at http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/nebclust.html.
The innermost blue circle on this map corresponds to the outermost
blue circle on the map referenced in the Prologue notes, so that NGC 6281
would be the yellow dot just below and to the left of the "M6" at the
bottom of the innermost circle. What Star Charts refers to
as the Carina Arm is labelled here as the Sagittarius Arm. (The
arm is sometimes called the Sagittarius-Carina arm, with Sag being its
inner half and Car its outer half; this is the practice employed by Star
Charts and therefore followed in GTTS.) Again, the center of
the galaxy is beyond the bottom of the page, upside-down compared to Star
Charts. The Trifid, Lagoon, Omega, and Eagle Nebulae are in the
Sagittarius Arm just to the right of the centerline.
|I used the Celestia space simulator to see
roughly what those nebulae would look like from the approximate position
of the ship at this point, about 12-1300 light-years from Earth, or a bit
over 2/3 of the way to their destination.
|On June 3, 2008, NASA released a new map of the
galaxy's structure based on data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, revealing
that instead of four major spiral arms, our galaxy actually has only two major
arms, like many barred spiral galaxies. The Sag-Carina arm turns out
to be a secondary arm. However, it is still a much larger arm than our own
Orion Spur, so I felt no need to push for any last-minute revisions to the
text here. The Star Charts version of the galaxy is still
reasonably accurate in the shape and position of the arms, if not their relative
size. The news release can be found at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-094
||Strictly speaking, Geordi's bionic eyes shouldn't
let him see most radio wavelengths, since those wavelengths are longer
than the diameter of their irises or retinas. However, extremely
high frequency (EHF) waves shorter than a centimeter are commonly used
in radio astronomy, so Geordi's ability to see radio waves from interstellar
dust clouds is within the realm of possibility, although he might see them
rather faintly due to the limited collection area of his eyeballs. Going
from the larger VISOR to bionic eyes probably reduced his visual range at
the microwave/radio end of the spectrum.
||The Federation Judiciary Council heard the
case of B-4's right not to be disassembled in Chapter 23 of AotF, with
the verdict being handed down in Ch. 24. This scene takes place shortly
thereafter, in late October 2380.
|B-4's initial disassembly aboard Enterprise
was seen in RES. There, it was implied to be permanent, even though
it came before the hearing in AotF. This discussion reconciles
that little discrepancy.
||Dina gets to ask the questions I've been wondering
about for many years. If Geordi's eyes are full-spectrum, why the
hell can't he filter out the other stuff and see like we do? As
I implied here, I assumed it was because the information had to be compressed
in order to fit the "bandwidth" of his brain and optic nerves. For
instance, he might see everything from red to yellow as a single color.
Heck, the visible spectrum is such a tiny swath of the EM spectrum
that he might see everything from short infrared to long ultraviolet as
a single color, but then I couldn't have him distinguishing the reds and
violets of the HII emission nebulae earlier in the scene.
||It's now close to two weeks later, in early/mid
November. This chapter covers about five days.
See my spoiler notes for Aftermath, specifically the second paragraph.
||According to Kuchner et al., carbon planets
would tend to form in star systems with high metallicity (heavy-element
abundance, keeping in mind that for astronomers "metal" or "heavy element"
means "anything other than hydrogen and helium"). However, in reality,
the stars of NGC 6281 have metallicity close to our own Sun's. After
all, I chose the cluster for its position in space, not its spectrography.
So I had to put in a bit of dialogue to explain the discrepancy.
||Astronomers believe that planets might often
be ejected from systems within young clusters due to close encounters with
other stars -- and that such planets could theoretically retain habitable
temperatures (at least below an icy crust) for tens or hundreds of millions
of years thereafter if they had sufficiently radioactive cores. The
ENT episode "Rogue Planet" was inspired by this hypothesis.
||Quantum entanglement is a connection between
particles that allows one to react instantaneously to a change in the other,
regardless of distance. In fiction, it is often the basis for faster-than-light
communication. In TBA I asserted that telepathy is a form of quantum
entanglement, so the reference to entanglement here implicitly ties into
the cluster entity's telepathic abilities.
in two varieties, p-type and n-type. Both types are necessary to
make transistors. It has been known since at least the 1980s that
diamond can be made into a p-type semiconductor by doping it with boron;
but the creation of p-type diamond semiconductors doped with phosphorus
did not occur until the early 2000s.
||The idea of a planetary diamond core becoming
a naturally evolved computer is one that first occurred to me around
1990 or so, from combining the idea of diamond semiconductors with the
possibility that Jupiter might have a diamond core. I used the idea
in a failed TNG spec script in 1992. When this project came along,
I wanted to do something different than I'd done before. I'd been
wanting to write something about carbon planets for a while, and once my
research turned up the fact that they would have diamond mantles, it struck
me that I could resurrect my old idea on an even larger scale.
|Does the idea make sense? Very probably
not. The ratios of boron and phosphorus would have to be just right,
located in just the right places, and all sorts of coincidences would
have to happen to allow the right kind of circuits to develop... all in
all, it's probably my most implausible idea ever to see print. But by
Trekverse standards, it's passable. And I've been waiting to use
it for over 15 years.
||A bodhisattva is a person who has attained
Buddhist enlightenment but remains on our plane of existence to guide
others toward enlightenment.
|As Picard says, Choudhury is paraphrasing
the Four Noble Truths, the core teachings of Buddhism.
||a whole star system
that was a single life form: The Proplydian from OH.
||Gambling would be against Elfiki's religion
if she's a practicing Muslim. I chose to keep that vague, however,
to give Dave the freedom to run with it or not as he chose.
|The anecdotes about "Act like this is my hair"
and the literacy argument are based on experiences from my own childhood,
both involving my next-door neighbor at the time. My thanks and/or
apologies to her if she's reading this and recognizes the incidents in
||Beverly spent the second season of TNG as
the head of Starfleet Medical (in order to explain Gates McFadden's departure
from the show for that season).
||Particle synthesis was introduced in "Hope
and Fear" along with quantum slipstream drive, and was also used by Species
8472 in "In the Flesh." Neither episode postulated that it was related
to quantum slipstream in any way, but I chose to assume that for the purposes
of this story, and to postulate that it involves virtual particles.
||"It wouldn’t be the
first time that directed dreaming has been used for communication with
telepathic aliens": Beverly is presumably referring to the events
of VGR: "Waking Moments," as well as TNG: "Night Terrors" to some extent.
||Jasminder Choudhury is a Punjabi name (from
the linguistic/ethnic/cultural group native to the Punjab in what is now
northwest India and southeast Pakistan). Phulkari is a common
style of embroidery in Punjabi culture. The Golden Temple is the
chief holy site of the Sikh religion native to the Punjab. A mandala is
a circular diagram representing the universe, particularly in Buddhism.
Axanar crystal topiary was previously mentioned in ExM. Surak's
writings were identified as the Analects in the Vulcan's Soul
trilogy. The title of Cochrane's book is based on the discussion
of warp physics in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual,
and the title of Galen's is consistent with his researches as discussed
in "The Chase" and TBA.
||ENT: "Broken Bow" established that Vulcan
females have an acute sense of smell.
||The name "cluster entity" has a double meaning,
for it is itself a cluster of bodies as well as inhabiting a star cluster.
||The temporal fragmentation Worf refers to
occurred in "Timescape."
||The asymmetrical design of the Borg ship is
similar to the "Borg Type 03"
vessel seen in "Descent."
of your months ago": How come it's always the aliens saying
"two of your months" or "you now have ten Earth minutes?" How come
we never see Picard saying, "We'll beam you aboard in twelve of your wibzloks?"
Aliens are so much more accommodating than we ugly Earthicans...
||No, the Liberator does not look like
The name is an intentional Blake's 7 homage, however.
||Rebekah Grabowski was mentioned in passing
in QA as one of the 18 crewmembers assimilated in "Q Who," a lieutenant
with a husband and daughter aboard ship at the time.
||Kadohata's discussion sums up the inconsistency
between TNG and VGR depictions of Borg technology, and offers an explanation
||Laura, played by Joanne
Heimbold, was a human drone in "Unimatrix Zero," said to be assimilated
at Wolf 359. Here I try to explain how that is possible.
||In this battle scene, I've attempted to convey
some of the complexities of orbital maneuvering, which are totally unlike
the usual "dogfight" or "armada battle" maneuvers seen in SF TV and film.
At close range, such maneuvers might be possible, but on a larger
scale, with ships hundreds or thousands of kilometers apart and thus in different
orbits, they would be hampered by orbital mechanics. I'm assuming
that the ships remain fairly far apart, which means I may have fudged the
times and speeds somewhat in order to express the mechanics of the situation.
A ship thrusting constantly with arbitrarily powerful engines (of
the type most Trek starships do possess) could probably overcome these orbital-motion
difficulties, but it would be inefficient to do so.
||"rise up from below":
Although TV has conditioned us to think of an orbiting ship as being
"beside" the planet it orbits (see any TOS orbit shot), it's important
to remember that the planet is always down from any orbiting
ship. Wider orbits are literally higher up.
||The iron moonlet around an icy planet is a
bit of a paradox -- one would expect it to be icy as well. Perhaps
it came from the inner system, within the "snow line," and lost all its
volatiles before shifting farther out and being captured by this planet.
||The Bhagavad Gita
(Song of the Lord) is a portion of the great Hindu epic the Mahabharata.
In the words of Embree's Sources of Indian Tradition (see
Acknowledgments in the text), it "may be considered the most typical expression
of Hinduism as a whole and an authoritative manual of the popular cult of
Krishna in particular" (p. 276).
DS9: "Field of Fire" established that Bolian families may include "co-husbands"
|Lt. Taurik was introduced in "Lower Decks"
as an ensign, and is now the assistant chief engineer. The actor,
Alexander Enberg (son of TNG/VGR showrunner Jeri Taylor and sportscaster
Dick Enberg), went on to play Vorik on VGR; Vorik was originally intended
to be Taurik, but was renamed because the producers felt "Taurik" was
too similar to "Tuvok" (not to mention "Torres"). Since both Vorik
and Taurik appear as recurring characters in post-series novels, it seems
likely that they are twin brothers.
|The neurolytic pathogen was used by the future
Admiral Janeway in "Endgame" to infect the Borg Queen's Unicomplex and
destroy it and her. "Neurolytic" means "acting to dissolve neurons,"
which sounds rather ghastly. But then, an inordinate number of VGR
and ENT technobabble terms included the suffix "-lytic" for some reason.
||This scene in engineering occurs two days after
the battle. It took that long for the Liberator to catch up
with the big E.
||The old friend who helped Geordi overcome
his career misgivings was Montgomery Scott in ATFW,ATFP.
||"Bloody, bold and resolute" is a line from
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene i. I included it as an homage
to Patrick Stewart's acclaimed turn as Macbeth on the London stage, which
was ongoing at the time this manuscript was written.
||This chapter covers about four days.
|Guinan's proficiency on the phaser range was
established in "Redemption."
|There's that number 47, which seems to crop
up with unusual frequency in the Trek universe. (Cf. the "Topological
Anomaly" program mentioned in the Ch. 1 notes.)
||"Q Who" established that Guinan had been away
from her homeworld when it was assimilated by the Borg. That episode,
"The Neutral Zone," and "The Best of Both Worlds" established that the
Borg would dig up entire cities and assimilate their technology (and, in
retrospect, probably their occupants), leaving craters behind. It
is unclear whether a single cube would be capable of doing this to every
city on a planet; more likely it requires multiple cubes to do it if the
planet is fully inhabited with hundreds or thousands of cities. Otherwise,
perhaps some of the cities are simply destroyed rather than assimilated.
||The details of the El-Aurians' migration are
extrapolated from GEN, and elaborate on what was mentioned in TBA.
||The idea that a resurgent human immune system
will cause rejection of Borg implants was established in VGR: "The Gift."
||The Land of the Lotus-Eaters in The
Odyssey was an island containing addictive lotus flowers, causing Odysseus's
crew to abandon their ship for lives of drugged complacency until he forced
them to return. Basically the same story as TOS: "This Side of Paradise."
||The cube that Rebekah's "special someone" was
killed aboard was probably Cube 630 in spatial grid 94, which the Queen
destroyed in "Unimatrix Zero" because it had three liberated drones aboard
||Worf's adoption of Spot was established in
a deleted scene from NEM, and in ATFW,ATFP. His change of heart
toward cats was alluded to in Orion's Hounds and depicted in "On
the Spot" in The Sky's the Limit.
||"Data's Day" established that Andorian marriages
include four partners. The DS9 post-finale novels have expanded
on the four-sexed nature of the Andorian species.
||Any resemblance of the names "Lyton" and "Telos"
to proper names from Cyberman episodes of Doctor Who is purely
||This chapter begins the day after the previous
scene. We're now in late November.
||Assume that Trys managed to put her boots on
between the bridge scene and the briefing.
||Picard's "ritual" of walking among the crew
as they prepare for battle was seen in NEM. His discussion of Henry
V with Data occurred in "The Defector."
||"If a man believes he's going to die tomorrow...":
Guinan is quoting herself from "The Best of Both Worlds."
||Picard's mindmeld with Sarek occurred in "Sarek"
(oddly enough). That a remnant of Sarek's personality remains within
his own mind was established in the comics miniseries Perchance to
Dream by Keith R.A. DeCandido.
||Here as before, the manifestation of the cluster
entity is based on both Spirited Away and Digimon Tamers.
The dragon form is inspired by Haku/Kohaku
from Spirited Away and Azulongmon
(known as Qinglongmon in the original Japanese version) from Digimon.
It's hard to tell from the available online images, but Qinglongmon/Azulongmon
is an immense Chinese-style dragon with a body made of clouds wrapped in
||Encounters with the Bajoran Wormhole aliens
(Prophets) were seen in multiple DS9 episodes starting with "Emissary."
Some people have assumed that the Prophets chose the forms they took,
but evidence in "Emissary" (the fact that entire memory settings rather
than just people were duplicated, the fact that Sisko and Dax saw different
things at the same time) suggests that the observer's own mind superimposed
familiar imagery on the alien input from the wormhole realm.
||In Chinese astronomy, the constellation we
call Scorpius is indeed considered the tail of Qing Long, the Azure Dragon
of the East (the mythological being that was the basis for Qinglongmon/Azulongmon
and one of the Four
Symbols of Chinese constellations). This is one of those marvelous
bits of coincidence that look like intentional planning on my part (until
I destroy the illusion in my annotations). I wanted to base the dragon
on the Spirited Away and Digimon characters. When I
decided that the dragon would be explicitly addressed as Qing Long, I did
some research and discovered that, entirely by chance, it happened to overlap
Scorpius, the constellation where NGC 6281 is located. Therefore I
was able to give the name an in-story justification. I love it when
a non-plan comes together.
||The Noh Angels attached to the tips of the
dragon's whiskers are a reference to the D-Reaper Agents from Digimon
Tamers, all of which were attached to the central D-Reaper entity
by red tendrils.
||The way Qing Long ripples through the air as
he flies is based on Haku's flight in Spirited Away, which is just
about the most gorgeous thing ever depicted in animation.
||"Out here, in interplanetary
space, the mechanics of planetary orbit did not hamper their trajectories":
Of course, they are still in orbit of the system's sun, but that orbital
radius is so great that the distances between the ships are trivial in
comparison, so that the differences in their orbital velocities don't "pull
them apart" the way they would in tighter planetary orbit.
|I'm not sure if quantum torpedoes have been
shown in the past to have the capacity for elaborate maneuvering. But
it's a logical ability for any long-range projectile weapon in space combat,
given that ships are able to dodge. If you're not willing to accept
that torpedoes have always had this ability, just assume it's a recent upgrade.
||Some Trek episodes have postulated the existence
of "reverse impulse;" however, I can't see how that's supposed to work,
given that impulse drive is based at least partly on conventional rocket-style
thrust (albeit with the use of spacetime driver coils to reduce the inertial
mass of the ship and amplify its acceleration). So I've disregarded
it here. If that's a problem, assume that reverse impulse is only
feasible at low speeds.
||There's that number 47 again...
||Hugh's designation as "Third of Five" is from
"I, Borg." The rest is my own coinage, extrapolated from Borg nomenclature
used in VGR.
|Konya's battle with a Jem'Hadar soldier was
in SCE: Malefictorum.
|Konya's pain-numbing trick was introduced in
SCE: Aftermath. Corsi's interest in developing it as
a weapon is based on a line from SCE: Remembrance of Things Past.
||Fembots were recurring villains in the original
The Bionic Woman, androids (actually gynoids) designed to
impersonate human women. The term has been adopted in other fiction,
||Dr. Tropp is the Denobulan assistant CMO, introduced
in A Time to Sow.
|My description of the EMH Mark IX's appearance
is meant to suggest that she's modelled on Haley, Dr.
Zimmerman's holographic assistant in VGR: "Life Line."
||Thirty years before, Picard was in command
of the Stargazer, so presumably Bazel attempted to poach
members of that crew from Picard. At the time, Picard would have
still had most of his hair.
||Although two consecutive scenes are set in
sickbay, they take place a day apart. We are now two days past the
||The Othello reference is from Act III, Scene i.
||As stated in the text, this scene takes place
roughly a month after the previous one, on Christmas Day 2380.
|I originally intended Guinan to rejoin the
crew full-time, but that conflicted with Dave's plans for Destiny.
As it turned out, it works better this way.
||It's now the first week of January 2381.
|This scene was written nearly two months before the
assassination of Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, but shortly after an earlier
unsuccessful assassination attempt. My intent in naming the ship was
to honor a courageous peacemaker, but it turned out to have a more somber
||Admiral Haden's advice to Leybenzon was referenced
|Star Charts places Barolia in the Beta
Columbae star system, a type-K1 III giant about 86 light-years from Earth.
||President Bacco's summit meeting and the formation
of the Imperial Romulan State occurred in the December portion of AotF.
|The Barolian freighter captain arrested for
child labor is implicitly the same one who hired T'Ryssa 19 years ago.
This is another unplanned convergence; the Barolian captain was part
of T'Lyssa's Dragon Trek biography since 1996, but I had
no memory of it when I chose Barolia as the site of this attack. I
chose it simply because of its apparent proximity to Acamar, listed in Dave's
Destiny outline as a Borg target. (At least, they seemed
close together in Star Charts' 2-dimensional maps. In fact,
Beta Columbae is over 100 light-years from Acamar.)
||Captain ch'Regda makes a return appearance
here after his introduction in The Buried Age. His two appearances
are over 17 years apart in-universe.
||Aenni was Leybenzon's supervisor prior to his
assignment to the Enterprise in QA.
||Chi'iot would be a Betelgeusian, a race from
ST:TMP and ExM.
||The Antares Nebula
is a real formation around the star Antares, formed as the aging, swollen
supergiant sheds its atmosphere into space. It's part of a gorgeous region
of nebulosity that also includes the Rho Ophiuchi nebula, the setting
of the TNG novel Gulliver's Fugitives. The Antares Maelstrom
referenced by Khan in The Wrath of Khan may be a portion of this
nebula or simply another name for it.
|About the Author
||Okay, okay... the references, in order, are
to The Six Million Dollar Man, The Adventures of Superman, Star
Blazers, Gilligan's Island, Star Trek, The Dead Zone, The Twilight Zone,
Quantum Leap, The Incredible Hulk, The Outer Limits, and The Prisoner.