Topic: Star Trek: Venture  (Read 7630 times)

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Offline Rat Boy

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Star Trek: Venture
« on: June 26, 2008, 11:11:33 am »
Sorry for the delay in any new updates, but aside from real-life issues, two things happened.  First, in a way to recharge my creative juices, I embarked on writing a screenplay for a fan film.  It most likely won't get made given the cost involved, but it was worth the exercise.  Second, I found myself not liking how the series was turning out; elements and characters weren't developing the way I liked.  What started as an editorial effort turned into a massive rewrite; major plot points, ships, characters, even the title were transformed into something that hopefully both I and you the reader will enjoy.  This will teach me to release details before everything's set in stone.

An ancient menace...

An ambitious renegade...

Only one ship stands in the way...

From the author of Star Trek: Yorkown...

Star Trek: Venture is the latest fan fiction based on Gene Roddenberry's epic saga.  Follow the crew of the USS Venture as they endeavor to unlock the secrets of a powerful yet extinct species.  Watch as they struggle against those who seek to exploit this terror for their own purposes.  And witness what must be sacrificed in order to prevent the fires of chaos from engulfing the new era of peace.

Keep an eye on this thread for the debut of the first story, "Chaos Theory" on Tuesday, July 1st.  If you haven't already, be sure to check out the complete Star Trek: Yorktown series while you wait and thanks for your patience.

Image Credits

USS Venture by DJ Curtis
Rendered in Star Trek: Bridge Commander by Totally Games and Activision
Produced in Adobe Photoshop by M.F. "Rat Boy" Kidd

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 10:23:15 am »

Well, as promised, today's the day.  Download Star Trek: Venture's first episode, "Chaos Theory" now.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 12:37:52 pm »
To both give the readers some insight into the long creative process for Star Trek: Venture and "Chaos Theory" in particular, I've prepared the following series of annotations discussing characters and plot information.  Hopefully, in addition to giving you an idea on how many twists and turns this series took before it was released it can also serve as a useful learning tool for those aspiring writers out there.  Obviously, the following contains spoilers, so it's strongly advised that you read "Chaos Theory" first before taking a look at the annotations.

Acronym Key:

TOS: Star Trek: The Original Series

TAS: Star Trek: The Animated Series

TNG: Star Trek: The Next Generation

DS9: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; also refers to the titular space station

VOY: Star Trek: Voyager

ENT: Star Trek: Enterprise

NF: Star Trek: New Frontier, the novel and comics series from Pocket Books, Wildstorm Comics, and IDW Comics

TTN: Star Trek: Titan, the novel series from Pocket Books

VAN: Star Trek: Vanguard, the novel series from Pocket Books

AOTF: Star Trek: Articles of the Federation, a Pocket Books novel by Keith R.A. DeCandido, which features the Venture

SFB: Star Fleet Battles, a series of pen and paper starship strategy games from the Amarillo Design Bureau

SFC: Star Trek: Starfleet Command, a series of starship strategy games from 14 Degrees East & Taldren, published by Interplay and Activision, based on SFB

BC: Star Trek: Bridge Commander, a starship simulator from Totally Games, published by Activision

YORK: Star Trek: Yorktown, my previous series

VEN: Star Trek: Venture, my current series

CT: "Chaos Theory," the first VEN story


Obviously, this is meant to illustrate the Venture's arrival at Kathos III and Strassman's betrayal of the Romulans from Chapter 8.  The title of this story obviously refers to the field in mathematics discussing the behavior of dynamical systems (states that evolve over time) that may be sensitive to its initial conditions.  "Chaos Theory," in this case, also refers to several plot elements including Strassmann's attempts to bring order to a chaotic galaxy and Henderson's evolution from first officer to captain.  This is the first of a planned three-story arc; I felt it was important to give the crew of the Venture a prolonged mission and not have everything wrapped up immediately at the end of the opening tale, similar in some respects to the third season of ENT.


Page 3

A rather famous line from Trek's Great Bird of the Galaxy that I've seen repeated a few times, but I've never heard exactly when he said it.


Page 4

Near the end of finishing up CT, my dog Sparky was put down due to health complications.  He was my faithful companion for nearly sixteen years and the Brody family's dog was named in his honor.  However, my Sparky was a Beagle and since Captain Archer's dog Porthos was also one, I made the fictional Sparky's breed a Lab.

Historian's Note:

Page 5

Those who read the preview circulated with the complete Star Trek: Yorktown series should immediately notice yet another difference between that and the final copy, aside from titles.  The setting has been moved back a year to 2380, mostly to avoid conflicting with the forthcoming Destiny trilogy set in 2381.  Naturally, the Venture plays a role in Articles of the Federation and those events will be touched on in future stories.


Another difference from the preview is the absence of the frame story set thirty years in the future.  This element was eventually dropped in the final draft since as I was plotting out future stories, I noticed that the frame stories were essentially telling the same series events over and over again.  Captain Vasquez meets with someone, discusses the Trinity missions, then he leaves to go find someone else to get more information.  Since this was so repetitve, was only told essentially in two small sections in each story, and boxed me in on what I had to tell over the course of this first story arc, I dropped it.  And yes, to those of you who are curious, Sara was intended to be the daughter of who's now the character Mark Henderson.

Page 6

Thirty years ago: Back when there was a section set thirty years in the future, setting this part of the prologue thirty years in the past (2350) felt blanaced.  Many of the details of where they are and what they are doing is deliberately left vague.

As he paced about nervously, Commander Warren Stanley fought the urge to check his holstered phaser one more time to make sure it was charged: Other than his name, Stanley's character has changed little over the development of this story.  Here, he's depicted as a young officer on the cusp of his first command, meant to parrallel with his future XO, Mark Henderson.

Lieutenant Commander Savok, the chief of security: Another character who's been in almost every draft from one version to the next.  Due to being a Vulcan, I hope to use him in future projects set in the past.

Doctor Hans Strassmann: This character was added around the fifth draft or so (the final product being around the eighth, but I've lost count), obviously meant to eventually become one of the antagonists.  Named for Nobel Prize winning German chemist Fritz Strassmann, one of the co-discoverers of nuclear fission and the fictional character Dr. Hans Reinhardt from the Walt Disney film The Black Hole, portrayed by actor Maximilian Schell.

Project Trinity: Named for Trinity, the test of the first atomic bomb in 1945.

Page 7

“The final connections are complete,” Strassmann concluded: One of the things that continually changed from draft to draft was how Strassmann's machine worked.  In order to indicate just how much his technology advanced in thirty years, a simple computer console was chosen.

“You two are just along for the proverbial ride.  We will proceed at a pace that I deem necessary:” This was another detail that changed, in that whether it was Strassmann rushing or if he was pushed into rushing.  Obviously, it made more sense for him to have this sort of reckless abandon about the whole thing.

“The containment field for that thing is unstable.  If the reactor continues to power up, the field could fail and it’ll breach:” One of the things I had trouble with figuring out was just how Delta Corranis IV would be destroyed.  Obviously it had to be for many reasons, but the how changed over several drafts until I figured out that the reactor core for the Xentarian station could have been damaged in the bombardment of the planet, thus when activated, it would fail.

Page 9

The corridors were narrow and cramped; the Ticonderoga was an old Excelsior-class starship commissioned towards the turn of the century: The name and class of the vessel at Delta Corranis IV changed several times over the course of writing CT, from an Ambassador-class ship to a Constellation-class ship, to finally this class, which of course debuted in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, becoming one of the most frequent guest star vessels in the franchise's run.  It was chosen to both illustrate just how powerful the reactor explosion would be while at the same time not being one of the most advanced starships of the time period.

Captain Eliza Thorne: Another character who's survived over almost every iteration of the series.  Her involvement has ranged from the cameo you see here to being one of the principal characters.  Her relationship to Juliet Logan was something established midway through the writing process.

Lieutenant Bippen Chawla, ship’s helmsman: His last name is an homage to space shuttle Columbia astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who perished when the orbiter broke apart on reentry on February 1, 2003 due to damage sustained during launch on January 16.  This occured a day after my 23rd birthday; both the Apollo 1 and Challenger disasters happened within that same period so you'll understand if I don't readily accept a space flight for a birthday present.

Page 10

“Captain, I am picking up a subspace shockwave coming up from astern,” the Vulcan announced: The concept of a subspace shockwave was introduced in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country to explain how the explosion of the Klingon moon Praxis could affect the USS Excelsior light years away in Federation space.

Page 11

Captain’s Log: Stardate 57027.3: Special thanks to the Daystrom Institute Technical Library for their stardate calculator, which allows one to convert Gregorian calendar dates to the preferred measure of time in the 24th Century and back again.  Might as well also thank a few other reference sites I used in the creation of this work, including Wikipedia, Memory Alpha, Memory Beta, Star Trek Expanded Universe, and Ex Astris Scientia.

Captain Bippen Chawla of the starship Faraday: Another change in the final draft was to make Chawla the commander of the ship to Kathos III, since it was logical to send a ship captained by someone who was previously involved with Project Trinity.  The Faraday went through a number of name changes,  the final one in reference to Michael Faraday, an English physicist.  The ship's class also changed repeatedly until finally being settled on an Intrepid-class ship, the same type as the USS Voyager from, of course, VOY.  The fact that the television series Lost introduced a new character with the last name of Faraday is merely a coincidence.

Page 12

“Sir, we’ve just lost our telemetry feed to Trinity Station,” he stated with concern: Like VAN's Operation Vanguard, Project Trinity is based out of a space station, though since Trinity hasn't progressed as far or as rapidly as Vanguard, Trinity Station isn't a full-fledged starbase.

“Oh my God,” he breathed, momentarily freezing on what to do next: The ambush by the warbird and Chawla's reaction to it is an homage to a similar sequence from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Page 13

“I’ve lost helm control,” hissed Crewman Zorix, the Saurian pilot: Saurians were first referenced by name from their namesake brandy in "The Man Trap" (TOS).  The actual species was not pointed out on camera, but later non-canon works identified one of the background aliens in Star Trek: The Motion Picture as a Saurian.  For more, see this article from Memory Alpha.

“No power to the weapons, Captain!” warned Assad: Another line referencing a Trek feature film, this one from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, albeit delivered here not as calmly as Spock.

As quickly as the “battle” had begun, it ended just as fast as the Federation ship exploded on the bridge view screen of the Romulan warbird Teramnus: The Teramnus is named for another Romulan vessel I used in one of my earlier stories set in the SFC universe.

Commander Alidar Nelveth relished such victories: Nelveth's last name, likewise, comes from another Romulan antagonist from my SFC works.  His first name is an homage to Alidar Jarok, a Romulan character from "The Defector" (TNG).

In spite of the Teramnus’ massive size, her command center was quite cramped, at least in the commander’s view: The size of the warbird's bridge is derived from both "Face of the Enemy" (TNG) and "The Die is Cast" (DS9).  Though clearly both shows didn't have a budget to produce a large command center, the fact that their ships are among the largest in the franchise yet their bridges are so small seems odd, though I suppose the Romulans have a tradition of working in confined spaces, as evidenced by the control area in "The Balance of Terror" (TOS).

That massive size also made this engagement completely one-sided; the barrage of plasma torpedoes set to full yield ensured that few enemy vessels could survive, let alone a mere light cruiser like the one whose debris now drifted on the screen: It may seem striking to some that the sister ship of Voyager could be so easily and quickly defeated in battle.  Honestly, there were times I did as well, which resulted in using several different classes of ship in this situation.  However, I decided to simulate this encounter in BC using the Kobayashi Maru modification.  I, as the warbird, immediately cloaked and loaded my torpedo launchers with high-yield plasma torpedoes.  Once I was in a position to strike without being fired on too much, I de-cloaked and fired off the torpedoes.  The Intrepid-class vessel's shields were gone almost immediately and she sustained heavy hull damage.  A few follow-up disruptor shots and she was gone just as quickly as the Faraday was, so there's at least some evidence that can support how this battle played out.

Page 14

He was one of the empire’s greatest strategists; able to anticipate every possible outcome of a battle and adjust those plans as the fight progressed: Nelveth's character has undergone many changes over the course of developing this story.  In the very first drafts, he wasn't even Romulan; he was a Cardassian named Pirok during the Dominion War, forced to work (somewhat unwillingly) alongside the Vorta and Jem'Hadar.  Later, he became Nelveth in the post-Star Trek Nemesis era and instead of working alongside the Dominion, he was reluctantly allied with the Tal Shiar intelligence agency.  In the final draft, his alliance with the Tal Shiar was dropped and he was made commander of a small task force.  Also, instead of being firey and tempermental, he became cool and calculating, primarily inspired by the villain Grand Admiral Thrawn from the Star Wars universe.

the Demetrius: Named for the vessel used by Starbuck and several other pilots in the fourth season of Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica in the quest for Earth.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 12:41:15 pm »
Chapter 1:

Page 15

Vierra Prime: Named after my maternal grandmother's maiden name.  The setting of the following scene has varied from planets like Vierra Prime, Earth, Bajor, even to the ship's holodeck in different drafts.  In every case, this scene was meant to introduce/reintroduce us to the principal characters in a relaxed setting.

Well, there was also the modest sized yacht he was sitting at the stern of, rocking gently as he dangled a fishing line in the water while occasionally taking a sip from his bottle of beer or a puff from his half-finished cigar: The activity being enjoyed shifted primarily between golf and fishing.  Fishing was finally settled upon since the golf versions of the scene made it look like the characters had the abililty of Tiger Woods.  Stanley's beer drinking and cigar smoking harkens not only to my tastes but that of Captain John Kincade from YORK.  In many ways, Captain Stanley is like an older version of him; plain-spoken, blue-collared, and a bit quicker to lock phasers, which is meant to contrast with the sort of man Henderson is.  Stanley's last name originates in the TNG/X-Men crossover novel Planet X by Michael Jan Friedman.  Memory Beta's personnel listing for the USS Venture places Stanley's tenure of command between 2374 to 2380; his first name, gender, and background were all developed by me.

As if on cue, Stanley heard the unsteady footsteps of his first officer, Commander Mark Henderson, emerge from the main cabin of the boat he had rented for the day: Obviously, if you have read the entire story like I told you to before hand or you've read AOTF, you'd know that Henderson assumes command of the Venture some time in the same year as the series begins.  Henderson's first name and background were developed by me, based on the implication in AOTF that Henderson wasn't an experienced captain during the novel since he and his ship were replaced for the second visit by the Trinni/Ek by Captain Robert DeSoto and his USS Hood.  DeSoto, first mentioned in "Encounter at Farpoint" (TNG) and later seen in "Tin Man" (TNG), would have, assuming he's been commanding the same Hood all this time, have had more experience in command of that one ship than Jean-Luc Picard had in two Enterprises.  Therefore, it's my assumption that by March, 2380, Henderson hasn't been in command of the Venture for that long and we'll see just how that comes about later on.

In many ways, Henderson reminded Stanley of what he was like at that age; serious and dedicated to duty: Henderson is, as you'd assume, the central character of the VEN storyline.  I felt it important to distinguish him from his "predecessor," Kincade, from the get-go.  As mentioned later on in this chapter, he views himself as an explorer; in many ways he's a younger Jean-Luc Picard.  Like the captain in TNG, Henderson may come off as reserved when on duty, perhaps a bit Vulcan-like as Ambassador Spock commented on Picard in "Unification, Part II" (TNG).  However, like Picard, he's deeply passionate and can become quite emotional when put to the limit ("The line must be drawn HE-YAH!") and certainly in CT, he will be.  But, he's also young; he hasn't had the command experience that Picard or even Kincade has had.  As VEN progresses, he'll be learning a lot about what it takes to be a starship captain and sometimes asking himself if he's cut out for it.  Sometimes, he'll hesitate; other times he'll commit himself to a solution while at the same time second-guessing his decision.  Henderson by no means is as roguish as Kirk, Kincade, or certainly NF's Mackenzie Calhoun; he believes in the rules of Starfleet and if finds himself being forced to bend them, it'll be the ultimate last resort.  To sum it up, Kincade in many ways was a reflection of Kirk, whereas Henderson is a reflection of Picard.  If the two leads from YORK and VEN meet, don't expect them to get along so well.

Page 16

“Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the water?” Henderson's distaste for water activities harkens to my own similar phobia.  Given how Henderson, as we'll learn, grew up on starships and space stations, he wasn't often near large bodies of water.

“They’re offering you command of the USS Essex:” The Essex was one of many various names for the central ship in the series, back when it was set aboard an Akira-class starship.  The name itself comes from many vessels of the US Navy and UK Royal Navy, along with a Daedalus-class starship from "Power Play" (TNG).  When the Venture was settled upon, the Essex became the name of the ship being offered to Henderson.  This was meant to parrallel William T. Riker being offered his own command during the first part of "The Best of Both Worlds" (TNG), a ship he ultimately turns down because he has his eye on the Enterprise.  Like Henderson (who isn't all that thrilled about commanding a border patrol ship) later, Riker did get what he wanted, though not in the way he did.

Page 17

“If you play your cards right, inside of five years they could bump you up to a Galaxy or even one of those new Sovereign-class ships:” Blatant foreshadowing, I know.

“The way things have been going lately, it may not be long before patrol ships like the Essex are allowed to carry families on board:” The subject of starships carrying families has been a somewhat controversial subject, given the dangers faced in the final frontier.  It's been generally assumed in licensed Trek media and fandom that there was a ban on it after Star Trek Generations, something by the time TTN began was lifted.  Families aboard the Venture open up many storytelling possibilities, which is presumably why they did it with TTN.

The Venture had been tasked with following up on initial discoveries made by the starship Io, which was headed deep into the Alpha Quadrant: The Io was first mentioned in the design notes for the Luna-class published in the back of Taking Wing (TTN) then later played a role in AOTF.  It was the ship that made first contact with the Trinni/Ek, the same species that Captain Henderson and the Venture escorted back to Earth.  The reference to the Venture being in the same general area as the Io will help explain why she'll be later reassigned to that diplomatic mission in March.  The Alpha Quadrant reference is an inference on my part; TTN states that the titular starship and her sister ship Ganymede are exploring the Beta Quadrant, thus I felt that the Io and another Luna-class starship would be boldly going in the opposite direction.

Pages 18 & 19

The object was unmistakably a Starfleet shuttle of the newer Type-11, with a long, sleek body and large, low-slung warp nacelles: This type of shuttle was featured in Star Trek: Insurrection, though its class name is from licensed works.

“This better be somebody’s idea of a really bad joke:” Every iteration of this scene ended with the main characters being interrupted.  All the fishing versions ended in much the same way, with the captain and XO getting drenched by Vasquez's showboating.  During the golfing versions, the shuttle would land on the green just as a character was making a critical putt and thus ruining it.  Whenever the sequence was set on the holodeck, the characters were merely interrupted from the bridge.  This version was picked mainly for its humor value.

“Somebody’s bucking for a captain’s mast:” A captain's mast is a naval term for a form of nonjudicial punishment.  Under Article 15 of the US Uniform Code of Military Justice, it allows commanders to discipline their subordinates without a trial.  Whether there's an equivalent in Starfleet isn't known, though most likely Stanley's joking in this case.

“I’m…Ensign Antonio Vasquez, sir:” Obviously, in losing the frame story in the future, we miss the insight into the man Vasquez will become.  However, he'll move on from this gaffe and take steps towards perhaps becoming a captain of his own ship in the future.  His last name is an homage to Vasquez Rocks, a filming location in Southern California made famous not just in Trek but in many other films and television programs.

Page 20

Starbase 514: Mentioned in "Hero Worship" (TNG), the Star Trek Star Charts by Geoffrey Mandel place this facility in the Alpha Quadrant near the edge of Federation and Breen space.  That it's located in the Vierra System is an invention of the author.

The music of a species told much about whom they were and how they thought, which gave him valuable insights into his potential adversaries: Another homage to Grand Admiral Thrawn, though he studied an alien species' visual art rather than music.

Few other species in Nelveth’s experience had such a myriad of genres and styles of music: Most of the species encountered in Trek appear to be monocultured; one language, one religion, one style of architecture, etc.  This section was in reference to that and my way of possibly explaining it by saying that humanity is unique in the galaxy in that regard.

The Seladus was of the same class as the Teramnus and also served under Nelveth’s command: It's also the name of the commander of the Teramnus from the same SFC story.

Late last year: Most of this paragraph is a rehash of the events of Star Trek Nemesis from Nelveth's point of view.  That Suran was in command of a fleet was implied in the film and confirmed in both Death in Winter (TNG) and Taking Wing (TTN), though obviously Nelveth being one of his subordinates is my idea.

It was quickly filled by the only surviving senator, Tal’Aura (also one of Shinzon’s co-conspirators), who unilaterally declared herself praetor in the wake of the clone’s death: Again, mentioned in Death in Winter (TNG) and Taking Wing (TTN).

The two of them sided with Admiral Braeg: Referred to in Taking Wing (TTN) and later depicted in Death in Winter (TNG).

Tal’Aura then called upon the Federation: Most of the remaining of this paragraph and the next relate events from Taking Wing (TTN).  Suran's death took place in The Red King (TTN).

Page 22

the Jovian Run: Mentioned in "Chain of Command, Part II" (TNG) as being prior assignments of Geordi La Forge and Edward Jellico.

Page 23

‘Titan’s Turn:’ Also from "Chain of Command, Part II" (TNG).  Apparently Geordi and Jellico were better at covering their tracks than Vasquez.

Jupiter Station: First mentioned in "Tuvix" (VOY), later seen in "Life Line" (VOY).  That the Jovian Run originates there is something I came up with.

Academy Flight Range: Reference in "The First Duty" (TNG) as being near Saturn.  I infered that this area is one of the stops on the Jovian run.

Page 24

shuttlecraft Samson: Named for Brock Samson, the bodyguard of the Venture family from the Cartoon Network animated series The Venture Bros.  No, don't ask if we'll be seeing a shuttle named Monarch or Dr. Girlfriend.  In all liklihood, the in-universe source of the shuttle's name is the mythological figure Samson.

The Venture was supposed to be part of the initial batch of six ships, but construction was halted and her frame was put in storage: Referred to in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, though the Venture wasn't specifically named.

After the Yamato was destroyed: As seen in "Contagion" (TNG).

With her upgraded armament and her history, the Venture was sometimes regarded as a “black sheep” among the Galaxy-class; a vessel repurposed as an instrument of defense rather than exploration: Time for a little bit finally on the ship that the series is named for.  The Venture was first seen in "The Way of the Warrior" (DS9).  She was a redress of the four-foot model of the Enterprise-D, though for some reason she sported warp nacelles modified with phaser arrays likely left over from her appearance in the anti-time future from "All Good Things" (TNG).  That sequence was recycled as stock footage in future episodes of DS9.  However, apparently she was made into a CGI ship for battle scenes during the run of the series and that computer model lacked "bumps" on the warp nacelles.  Allegedly, the ship seen in the sequence of images at the bottom of this page from TrekCore is the Venture, though one can't clearly see the ship's name and registry and the angle she is in obscures the top of the nacelles, so either that's not the Venture or it is and we just can't see the modifications.  I assume said modifications are unique to the Venture or rare, hence the "black sheep" line.

As mentioned before, the Venture was referenced in AOTF, first with the Trinni/Ek debacle in March of 2380, then later in December taking the Federation president to admit a new world in the Federation (one just wonders why the president picked her, eh?).  The word "Venture" is a synonym for "Enterprise," which was probably the reason this name was given to a Galaxy-class starship.  Her name, her references in both canon Trek and licensed fiction, her different appearance than the Enterprise-D, and all the story-telling possibilities instantly made her appealing to me; I was struggling with what ship to pick, bouncing around from various classes and names.  The final thing that sold me on the Venture was this beautiful model for BC created by modder DJ Curtis; an accurate recreation of the four-foot Galaxy-class model.  I hope you'll enjoy as much as I have putting the Venture and her crew through their paces.

Page 25

The Galaxy-class, like the Constitution-class and NX-class before her, was the mainstay starship of her generation: Another inference by me, given how many we've seen of them in all the Trek series set in the 24th Century.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 01:31:25 pm by Rat Boy NCC-71854 »

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 01:31:45 pm »
Chapter 2:

Page 26

It had been something he had dreamed of since he was a child growing up on starships with his parents (who also used to serve in Starfleet): This portion of Henderson's background is based primarily on one of the potential backstories for the character of Commander Shepard in BioWare Corporation's video game Mass Effect.  It also parrallel's Wesley Crusher's history and in another coincidence, both he and Henderson are roughly the same age.

At this point in his career, he was within the window of when he’d either be given command of a starship or get stuck commanding some outpost for several years until the chance came around again: An assumption on my part, since many other Trek characters like Picard, Kirk, and Riker either got or were offered commands around that age.

With the losses sustained in the Dominion War and new ships being slowly churned out of the shipyards since the need for them diminished in peacetime, Henderson wondered if he’d ever get offered a command: Another assumption, but a logical one.

Page 27

Since coming on board the Venture four years ago, he and Brody had become fast friends: This is meant to echo Kirk's relationship with Gary Mitchell in "Where No One Has Gone Before" (TOS) and Kincade's with Texal Brenz in YORK, though obviously in those two examples, the two friends had known each other for quite longer.  Henderson and Kincade would do well to avoid any unnecessary trips across the Galactic Barrier for the sake of their friends.

something might have come along to change that: If this scene feels slightly truncated to you, then there's a good reason for it.  In previous drafts, at this point, Henderson and Brody would bump into four characters that didn't end up making the final cut: the Cardassian Crewman Pirok and three exocomps, which are the robotic drones from "The Quality of Life" (TNG).  Other than a few deus ex machina appearances in what I've planned for the first story arc, it was hard to give them all "screen time."  Let that be a lesson when it comes to characters: sometimes less is more.

Page 28

It was generally the same style as most other Galaxy-class starships, though with a few enhancements since the class’ debut over twenty years ago: Think like the Enterprise-D in Star Trek Generations, only with a few more bells and whistles and decorative changes.  I left said bells and whistles intentionally vague for the reader to picture, though if I come across something I like, I'll let you know.

Page 29

Alexandra Logan: A character who obviously will play a more important role in the stories to come, she's introduced here so that her promotion in the final chapter doesn't come out of nowhere.  She's undergone many changes (even at one point gender) during various drafts, along with positions and ranks.  Her role began to crystalize around the fifth draft, when her Maquis backstory was introduced.  I liken her a lot to earlier portrayals of Major Kira Nerys on DS9; a former terrorist turned officer, someone who'll butt heads with her superiors over Starfleet procedure and protocol.  Her prior association with Henderson is meant make her appointment as the new XO feel more natural, though unlike John Kincade and Texal Brenz (or Amber Haswell, for that matter) in YORK, they're only professional aquaintances and not friends.  She is Henderson's foil; whereas she's seen Starfleet and the Federation at their worst, he still believes in the fundamental good that both organizations do.  She's quick to distrust and lock weapons on target, whereas he prefers to resolve situations through diplomacy first.  He tends to play it safe; she is more apt to take risks.  In that final regard, the relationship between them is like between Riker and Shelby in "The Best of Both Worlds" (TNG).

the Aries: First mentioned in "The Icarus Factor" (TNG) as one of several ships that Riker turned down a promotion for.  Later referenced in "Brothers" (TNG), "Identity Crisis" (TNG), "Redemption II" (TNG), "Second Chances" (TNG), "Whispers" (DS9), and Star Trek Nemesis, albeit mispelled as USS Aires.

the Maquis: First introduced in the two-part DS9 episodes of the same name, who'd play a prominent role in VOY.

their homes were swapped with the other side as part of a peace treaty: First mentioned in "Journey's End" (TNG), which took place prior to the formation of the Maquis, of course.

which was brought to a tragic end thanks to the Cardassians joining with the Dominion: Cardassia's joining of the Dominion was first introduced in "By Inferno's Light" (DS9) and ran up until the final episode of the series.  The slaughtering of the Maquis was depicted in "Blaze of Glory" (DS9) and touched on in "Hunters" (VOY) and "Extreme Risk" (VOY).

Logan used to live on Setlik III and probably was drawn into the fight because of the massacre: The Setlik III massacre was first mentioned in "The Wounded" (TNG) and later referred to in "Tribunal" (DS9) and "Empok Nor" (DS9).

Amnesty was extended to those Starfleet officers who resigned their commissions to join the Maquis to become reinstated in Starfleet for the war against the Dominion, as Logan apparently had: Referenced in the VOY novel Homecoming.

In fact, most of Voyager’s Maquis crew elected to remain in Starfleet even if they had never been a part of it after the ship returned to Earth three years ago: Again from Homecoming (VOY).

"Unless you were lucky enough to be on Voyager, some in Starfleet still think of us as criminals:" An invention on my part, meant to explain why Logan was still where she was and why she still harbored bitter feelings towards Starfleet Command.

Chapter 3

Page 34

the Kumari: Named for Shran's ship on ENT, which was in turn named for the first ice-cutter to circumnavigate Andoria and was destroyed in "Babel One" (ENT).  Well, if they keep naming ships Enterprise...

Page 35

Ashley Moreno: Her presence in the story is mainly to show that Henderson has (or had) some semblance of a normal life.  But, what fun what it be if I didn't turn that normal life upside down?  Her first name is a reference to the Mass Effect character Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams.

She had gotten used to being kept out of the loop: Obviously, on a ship that has civilians, not everyone is privy to the activities of the Venture.

Page 36

It certainly had a bad sense of timing today: "Good grief, it's a running gag" - Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Movie.

Dr. Vakarian: Another reference to Mass Effect, this time to Garrus Vakarian, a turian agent.

Page 37

Doctor Janell Senara: Her name's undergone a few minor changes, but the core of the character's remained intact.  Given the age of the symbiont, she's a source of advice along with a love interest for Vasquez.  Saying more would spoil future stories.

Page 38

Lieutenant Commander Jesse Brody, III: Of all the characters of VEN, he has changed the least from what you see here.  The only major change is that when the setting moved to a Galaxy-class ship, his family came with him.  That he's the third Jesse Brody is an homage to Charles "Trip" Tucker III from ENT.

Lieutenant Commander Elios Pret: The science officer underwent a major change in the final draft.  Before, he was a human named McBride, but he was still the high-strung snob you see in the Bolian.  When everything was moved over to the Venture, I decided to give him a spouse, a husband, in fact.  However, one thing I noticed when I was looking at my cast of characters was that there were few truly alien aliens; those that weren't human merely had spots or nose ridges.  I wanted something distinctive and since I couldn't bring myself to fiddle around with anyone else more than I had, McBride became Pret.  Naturally, one problem that came up was his husband.  It's hard to write in a homosexual character naturally without making it look like he or she was merely added in to stay politically correct, so to speak, and I considered dropping the whole thing outright.  But, I hit upon an idea thanks to a brief reference in "Field of Fire" (DS9); turns out Bolians are polygamists, at least Bolian females might be.  That opened up a lot possibilities for the future.  How do the interpersonal dynamics work when there's one wife and two husbands?  Are all three involved together or does the wife split time between the two?  Should be fun to explore later on.

Lieutenant Shanen (pronounced like “Shannon”) Tenari: Another character that bounced around a bit, it was always intended that she be the security chief/tactical officer, as I thought it would be interesting to see the last person anyone would think would have that job.  Tenari's racial history has shifted from being half- (or quarter) Vulcan to being half-Betazoid, half-human.  However, I'd already done a Betazoid character in Texal Brenz in YORK and Tuvok was the security chief on VOY, so I felt both territories had been mined.  I liked her name as it stood in previous drafts, but didn't really want to make her totally alien and thus necessitating a name change.  However, I hit upon the idea of making her Bajoran and her given name sound like Shannon.  The fact that her name's inverted from most other Bajorans seen in the franchise is based on a throwaway line in "Ensign Ro" (TNG), where the titular guest star states that Bajorans who had immigrated to the Federation had placed their given names first and family names last as a means to assimilate.  Being descended from immigrants to the United States, who came over in the early 20th Century from Portugal, I immediately cued in on that.  My generation doesn't speak a lick of Portuguese and the only time I ever eat linguisa is if it's served on a pizza, mainly because my grandparents and great-grandparents wanted their children to fit in with American society.  Tenari is just like that; a lot of her Bajoran customs have gone by the waistside to adapt to the Federation.  That's why her name's reversed and why she doesn't wear the earring.  To her, Bajor isn't home; it's no different than Earth or Vulcan is to any other Bajoran.  This aspect of her background will be expanded upon in later stories.

Page 39

Counselor Arvax: Both his name and his species are homages to Lieutenant Arex from TAS.  At one point during the last couple of drafts, the entire counselor character had been dropped.  Even though I had studied psychology in college (and it wasn't just to meet women), I've always found it hard to give a counselor something useful to do in a story unless they had some kind of special talent like Troi on TNG.  But, obviously TNG establishes the role of counselor as being very important, so I struggled on how to fit one in.  Finally, I hit on the way to do it.  Aravx is VEN's version of Morn, the allegedly talkative barfly on DS9 who in reality never said a word during the run of the whole series.  Many references will be made to advice Arvax has given to the main characters, but he won't actually speak within view of the reader.

Lieutenant Commander Valentina Koroleva: Her first name is an homage to Valentina Tereskova, the first woman in space.  Her last name is an homage to Sergey Korolyov (transliterated as Korolev), the scientist who oversaw the Soviet Union's Sputnik and Vostok space programs.  Both names were chosen to recognize the former Soviet Union's contribution to space exploration.  The story of her and her Klingon husband-to-be will likewise be expanded upon.

They were a finely tuned machine: The main reason I started the series aboard a ship with an established crew was to avoid the repeated convention in both licensed Trek fiction and fan fiction alike of documenting a crew from the day they all set foot on the ship together.  Yes, I am also guilty of this with YORK.  My goal with VEN was to have a group of officers who already worked well together, had developed a routine together, and shake all that up completely.

Page 41

“however we’ve been having problem with the latest update for LCARS.  Seems the geniuses at Starfleet neglected to fully test the new operating system’s compatibility with ships with older model computers like ours:” A not-so-veiled jab at the Windows Vista operating system.

“they got Klingon gagh instead of kibble out of the replicator:” Gagh, which are Klingon serpent worms, was first introduced in "A Matter of Honor" (TNG).  It is always best when served live.

“Considering the risks this mission entails, we’ll be leaving the civilian contingent back at the starbase.” As interesting as it was to have all these officers with family members, it made for good character drama in seeing them all yanked away.

Chapter 4

Page 43

the 602 Club, named for the 22nd Century bar frequented by the earliest pioneers in Starfleet: The 602 Club was first mentioned in "Shuttlepod One" (ENT) and later seen in "First Flight" (ENT).  What happened to it between then and when VEN takes place is unknown.  The naming of the Venture's bar after a popular haunt of space explorers echoes the Enterprise-E's main bar lounge being named for the Happy Bottom Riding Club, a real-life bar frequented by test pilots and early astronauts, in the TNG novel Resistance.

Page 44

“All I said was that the hard science had yet to support such a conclusion,” Pret continued, his voice laced with indignation: Here's one of those points that may be controversial to some.  As you probably know, the whole situation regarding warp pollution was addressed in "Force of Nature" (TNG), but barely mentioned again afterwards.  The obvious real-life parrallel was automobile and industrial pollution and by extension global warming/climate change.  Pret's stance, obviously, is a contrarian view to what is generally accepted as truth.  That isn't to say either side is right or wrong; Pret merely believes in the scientific evidence pointing towards a conclusion other than what the general public believes.  This discussion was rather fun to write, since it feels so un-Trek for a science officer to rail against environmental policy that's generally seen as beneficial.

The conclusion that this is a galactic problem is the result of a lunatic Hekaran ‘scientist’ who thought the only way to prove her ridiculous theories was to kill herself and doom her planet to near destruction.  That isn’t science; that’s fanaticism: While his choice of words in describing Dr. Serova's suicide to prove she was right about warp fields damaging subspace may be a little extreme, I feel there's an element of truth to it.  Imagine a scientist intentionally punching a hole in the ozone layer to prove that pollution was damaging it.  Oh wait, it's been done; see Star Trek The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 2.

Page 45

They fell victim to the same kind of hysteria that all fear-motivated science does: The term "fear-motivated science" is borrowed from the controversial novel State of Fear by Michael Crichton.  A line from the book that I was highly tempted to use in Pret's diatribe was "I am certain there is too much certainty in the world."

It’s the global warming crisis on your Earth all over again, or your geocentric universe myth, too: Another extreme generalization, but fitting based on Pret's feelings.

Just look at your Galileo or Patrick Moore: Galileo Galilei, of course, was the Renaissance scientist who revolutionized astronomy, technology, physics, phyics, and mathematics.  His heliocentric universe theory ran afoul of the Catholic Church's geocentric universe belief and he was placed under house arrest until his death.  However, the likes of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking consider him to be the father of modern science and Pope John Paul II expressed regrets over the church's handling of Galileo and acknowledged that the Earth was not stationary.  The Patrick Moore in question here is a Canadian environmentalist and one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, though he later quit the organization.  He has run afoul of environmentalists by speaking out against alleged scare tactics and fear-mongering, saying that the environmental movement has become less about environmentalism and more about political activism.  He believes that consensus, not confrontation, should be how people deal with environmental problems.  Thus, somewhat like Galileo or Pret, some environmentalists view him as a pariah; someone who supports the very things they are against.  As I researched Patrick Moore, parts of his biography found their way into Pret's.  True, these references are rather geocentric (if you'll pardon the pun) and are holdovers from when Pret was McBride, but I left them in because I felt Pret would have invoked them for the benefit of Vasquez's understanding and thus the reader's.

Activists, lawyers, and politicians never admit when they’re wrong: Unfair, perhaps, but this is Pret's view, mind you.

Page 46

Mount Oraidhe on Trill: A reference to the TNG novel Intellivore.

Page 48

“Two Jim Beams, Black:” Another joking reference back to YORK, where Captain Kincade's preferred borboun was Jack Daniel's.

Operation Vanguard a century ago: Obviously a reference to the ongoing program in the VAN novels, which like Trinity studies the remains of an ancient and powerful species.  That the details of Vanguard are semi-public knowledge by the 24th Century is an assumption on my part.

Page 49

the Poseidon: Named for the Greek god of the sea.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2008, 01:33:43 pm »
Chapter 5:

Page 50

Their other spouse was a hair stylist in the ship’s barber shop: Divot's profession is a tip of the hat to Mr. Mot, the Bolian barber aboard the Enterprise-D.

Page 51

parisses squares: A popular sport first referenced in "11001001" (TNG).  Apparently it can be very dangerous, but the exact nature of the sport has yet to be revealed.

“Rumor has it that Admiral ch’Thanek was the captain of the academy team that beat Minsk:” Captain Picard and Starfleet Academy groundskeeper Boothby reflected on this match, occurring in 2324, in "The First Duty" (TNG).  Ch'Thanek, therefore, would have been in the academy at the same time Picard was if the rumor is true, of course.

Page 52

“And next time you kids feed him gagh, you’re going to be the ones swabbing the deck when he starts hacking it up:” I've seen dogs eat plenty of strange things in my day, so I don't think it's that unusual that one would try to eat gagh.

Page 55

In his mind, he could hear the music from a few Starfleet holo-storybooks he had played while on the ship’s holodeck: We all know those scenes where the main hero ship leaves port, usually filled with sweeping shots of the starship with the score building up to a creschendo.  It's hard to recreate that in prose, but I hit upon the idea of Jesse IV hearing all that in his mind while watching the Venture leave the starbase.

Page 56

and hadn’t “bumped his boat:” A reference to a piece of advice (probably more like an order) my father received from his captain when he first conned the destroyer he was serving on into port.

At that speed for that long, we’ll be putting a lot of strain on the warp field coils, even with all the upgrades we have: A vague reference to "The Chase" (TNG), where after the Enterprise-D zipped around the cosmos at high warp, Picard mentioned in his final log they had to stop to make repairs.  It's also meant to convey just how seriously Savok wants to get to Kathos as fast as possible.

Page 57

“What is it?” asked the voice of his frequent companions during quiet evenings, Bravel: The physical relationship between Nelveth and Bravel wasn't in earlier drafts of CT, but was an element present in drafts of the second story.  I decided to bring it up here as part of the transition from now and to the later parts of the story.

Chapter 6

Page 59

three-dimensional chess: One of the more enduring elements in Trek, it was first introduced in TOS' second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before."  Though there are a variety of rules circulating, I left the actual details of where the pieces were on what board intentionally vague.  I also intended this to also further differentiate Henderson from Kincade, who preferred poker or tongo.

Page 60

Located on port side of deck eight, Brody’s cabin was one of the largest officer’s quarters on the ship, even slightly larger than the captain’s quarters on the forward side of the same deck: The locations and descriptions of the quarters are based on the Star Trek: The Next Generation USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Blueprints, as are many other reference to locations on the ship.  One of the advantages of picking a Galaxy-class starship was all the reference material available to me.

the Rabin:  Allegedly an Akira-class starship seen on DS9 and VOY, though its canoncity is uncertain.

Page 61

Brody tried to ignore Sparky, but when he did, the Labrador’s tail stopped wagging and he started to whine: This happened to me a number of times during the writing of CT.

Sparky’s owner ordered it to take them to the arboretum, the section of the ship dedicated to growing a variety of plant life, perfect for a dog eager to relieve itself: Which just begs the question as to where Archer's dog Porthos went on Enterprise.  I can't imagine the crew being too fond of occasionally finding a yellow puddle on the deck.

Page 63

With sweat pouring all over his body and his muscles numb from the blissful strain: This rather titilating scene was added only in the final draft.  My original intention was to play out the relationship between Vasquez and Senara over a longer period, but rather than go for the typical romantic subplot, I decided to speed and spice things up a little.

Page 64

It’s just that…joined Trills don’t often have the kinds of relationships you humans do: This statement is based on something from "A Man Alone" (DS9), where Jadzia Dax explains Trill relationships to Dr. Bashir.  Obviously, Dax didn't exactly practice what she preached later in the series, so perhaps this was an exaggeration on her part to let Julian down gently.  Whether Senara's being truthful or slightly deceptive remains to be seen.

Page 65

the observation room of cetacean operations on deck fifteen: Cetacean ops were first mentioned in a general announcement in "Yesterday's Enterprise," ironic since the Enterprise of that timeline was a battleship.  Its existence in the "normal" timeline was confirmed in "The Perfect Mate" (TNG).  The location of this area is based on the aforementioned TNG blueprints.

Don, Mercury, and Bob: The nicknames of the dolphins are homages to players Bob Griese, Mercury Morris, and head coach Don Schula of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.  In the 1972 season, the Dolphins went undefeated in the regular season, playoffs, and Super Bowl.  Said feat was almost duplicated this past NFL season, but if I renamed the Venture's dolphins after the New England Patriots, there goes the joke.

the computer’s Universal Translator could decipher what the dolphins were saying into English: Another invention on my part, since the UT seems to be able to instantly translate any other language in the galaxy.

Occasionally, they’d happen across a pod of dolphins around prime fishing areas and be forced to turn back lest they snag one of the sea mammals in their fishing lines: One would figure that fisherman of the 24th Century would be a tad more environmentally friendly.  Well, except to the fish.

Before he could become too lost in the simplicity of the dolphins’ swimming, the door behind him opened: Had the exocomp characters remained, at this point one of them would have entered ahead of Savok.  It would admit (since it had been adapted with a vocal processor) that it "enjoyed" conversing with the dolphins and even demonstrate that it could speak in their language.  Savok's entry proceeded mostly as you see here.

Science rarely finds more than one sentient species inhabiting a planet: Another commentary on Trek, where there tended to be only one sentient species per planet save for the obvious exception of the Xindi from ENT.  Perhaps Earth's more unique than we thought.

Chapter 7:

This entire chapter was interesting to write due to it's jumping back and forth between the Venture and the Teramnus as both crews discuss the same subject.  Any time Savok prevents Stanley from saying something about the Xentarians, we jump to Nelveth saying to Bravel what Stanley wanted to say.  In very early drafts, each scene in the entire story had a location header like the ones in YORK, but considering the number of cuts made in this chapter and how cluttered it looked, I dropped the concept all together for VEN just to make things look cleaner.

Page 67

fire falls of Gal Gath’thong: Mentioned in "The Defector" (TNG).

Unfortunately, the planetary shield generator has been completely obliterated: Convienent, eh?

Page 69

‘the bringers of hope and despair:’ A tip of the hat to the line "the givers of pain and delight" from "Spock's Brain" (TOS).  An odd homage, I know.

two million years ago: This figure was chosen so as not to interfere with past events in the Trek universe and give a plausible explanation as to why the ruins of the Xentarians had generally degraded to the state they're in now.

Page 70

merely a communications beacon and a small data cache: Another Mass Effect reference, this time to the discovery of similar ruins on Mars that allowed humanity to develop faster than light travel.

It was found as part of our first major exploration push that far out when the old Constitution-class was first introduced: That'd be around the 2240s and 2250s, back when the Enterprise was under the command of first Robert April and then Christopher Pike.  Who knows?  Maybe one of them found the first Xentarian ruins.

Page 71

I believe that is sufficient information to alleviate your concerns: Savok's secrecy harkens once again to VAN, where the ships assigned to Starbase 47 and sent out to explore the Taurus Reach while seemingly not fully in the loop about what they're looking for.

Were it up to me, I’d just as soon turn the surface of Kathos III to glass and be done with it: Odd talk for a Starfleet captain, but given Stanley's character and what he went through the last time he ran into the Xentarians, it's understandable.

Page 72

“…allow us to take control of the empire from Tal’Aura’s hands:” Ironically, the character of Thraketh from YORK had similar ambitions in the two-part finale, "The World Turned Upside Down," though Nelveth's reasons aren't as altruistic as the ambassador's.

Nelveth’s father, Jarron, was once a prominent senator in the Romulan government before his retirement: Jarron's another character I hope to use in projects set in the 23rd Century, maybe even in a tale describing why he retired.

He, like I, believe that the praetor sits atop a crumbling throne; sooner or later, the empire will decay into a state of civil war: As seen in AOTF, by the end of 2380, the empire's getting pretty darn close to it.

Page 73

“You can be that symbol, Alidar!” Bravel said excitedly: Here you see her channeling her inner Lady MacBeth.

Chapter 8

Page 74

Arvax was not on the bridge, as he had once told Stanley the last thing the captain would want in a crisis was someone criticizing his feelings while the ship was being fired on: Well, would you if your were captain?  My feeling is that not all counselors are necessarily bridge officers.  Like doctors, most of them would be elsewhere in the ship during a crisis.

Page 76

“Ready attack procedure,” the commander ordered: The Romulan equivalent of going to red alert, as seen in "Face of the Enemy" (TNG).

Page 78

“Hull breach on deck forty-nine!” Varik shouted: Unfortunately, there are no deck plans for the D'Deridex-class, so this is a guess on my part.

Page 79

This is damn peculiar: An homage to Kirk's line in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan just before falling into the titular antagonist's trap.

Page 81

“As much as I’m tempted sometimes, I’ve never amputated a head before,” the doctor remarked dryly: The only reason I put Senara on the away team was for her to give that line.

Page 82

a crewman named Mack: Named for author David Mack, who gave me a shout-out in the acknowledgements for Reap the Whirlwind (VAN), so I decided to return the favor.  Among his other novels are Harbinger (VAN), Warpath (DS9), and the forthcoming Destiny trilogy.  He also received co-writer credits for "Starship Down" (DS9) and "It's Only a Paper Moon" (DS9).

Up the ladder came a humanoid, a man with dark hair and a beard streaked gray and white.  He wore a red civilian suit jacket and trousers: Strassmann's appearance is based on the aforementioned Dr. Hans Reinhardt from The Black Hole.

Chapter 9

Page 84

Lieutenant junior grade Joseph Carlton: His first name is for a poster on the TrekBBS whose handle is "Shatmandu."  His last name is an homage to "Carl Spock," a running gag that formed in a TrekBBS screencapture caption contest, where an image of Mr. Spock was Photoshopped with sunglasses and an afro wig by a poster who goes by the name of "Nerys Myk."  Shatmandu gave Carl his name in a previous contest.

Page 87

After all, they did have one thing in common: they were regarded as pariahs among their peers: I thought this would be a natural connection to make to justify Pret's defense of Strassmann.

Page 88

“It also says he has two sons, both in Starfleet, both killed in action during the war:” This was added in the final draft in order to give Strassmann's actions a bit more compelling motivation.  Instead of being the generic mad scientist, now he's a grieving father trying to prevent what happened to his children from ever happening again.  In a way, this parrallels anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who after the death of her son in Iraq has gotten progressively bolder and more sensational in her protests.  Ending the war in Iraq has become her life's mission; her devotion to that end has progressively made mainstream politicians distance themselves from her.  While she probably wouldn't go to the extremes that Strassmann has, it's an interesting commentary on what the death of a child in war can do to a parent.

we lost one hundred and eight people: A reference to one of the recurring numbers on the TV series Lost.

Page 89

the Watraii Invasion: Depicted in the Vulcan's Soul novel trilogy.

“It is from a long time ago, back when I was only a lieutenant:” I suppose this is pre-shadowing on my part, if that's the proper term.

Chapter 10:

Page 94

The machines were originally automated laborers but were quickly converted to a greater purpose: The origins of the Xentarian war machines are based partly on the origins of the Cylons from Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica and the geth from Mass Effect.

Page 96

“The Xentarian transporters have the ability of moving even starships across short distances:” A concept borrowed the Andromedan species from SFB.

the legendary terracotta army of Imperial China: The terracotta army were a series of funeary statues buried with Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who in life united the Chinese empire in 221 BC.  The image of the Xentarian peacekeeper drones lined up in the storage area reminded me of the statues and thus this reference.

the combat drones: The design of the Xentarian peacekeepers is a blend of similar combat robots from science fiction.  One of the prime influences is the modern Cylon Centurion from Battlestar Galactica and the B2 super battle droid from Star Wars, particularly the cannons built into their hands.  The avian features in the legs and head are borrowed from the basic geth soldier from Mass Effect, which in turn was likely based on their quarian builders.  The three orange eyes are meant to make the head of the peacekeepers unique and were based on the goggles worn by Sam Fischer in the Splinter Cell series of video games.

Page 97

“The peacekeepers, while advanced compared to our sciences, have little more than predatory, animal instincts.  The Xentarians feared that their machines, if left to develop artificial intelligence independently, might be impossible to control:” More from Battlestar Galactica and Mass Effect.

They called it the Master Coordinator: The idea of a central AI controlling the war machines is based mainly on Skynet from the Terminator franchise.

Our best artificial intelligences can only coordinate the systems of one starship, not an entire fleet: A vague reference to the M-5 from "The Ultimate Computer" (TOS).

“The Xentarians offered these worlds a choice: to either let their conflicts destroy them or to disarm totally and accept the protection of the machines.  Those species that did would also receive many of the technological advances of the Xentarians; those that didn’t risked extinction:” This concept of the Xentarians' behavior is based on the film The Day the Earth Stood Still (helmed by Star Trek: The Motion Picture director Robert Wise) and the short story it was based on, "Farewell to the Master."  Obviously, the Xentarian machines are essentially like Gort (called Gnut in the short story); constructed to serve as enforcers of the law and keepers of the peace.  One of the core issues of this first story arc is the difference between order and peace.  As you can see, Strassmann harps on bringing order to the galaxy while Stanley and Henderson counter that order doesn't bring peace; it's essentially slavery.

Now, compare that with The Day the Earth Stood Still.  Klaatu, like the Xentarians might have, came to Earth and offered them a choice: either end your wars or machines like Gort will destroy you.  Movie critics and philosophers claim that the film's message is one of peace, but I look at it from a different perspective, having come of age in this era as opposed to during the height of the Cold War.  Klaatu stated that his people and other spacefaring worlds created the robots and gave them absolute police power over them.  Am I the only one who finds that just a little disturbing?  Would you want to essentially surrender your freedoms and place your safety in the hands of a police force that answers to no one?  What if the robots' interpretation of the laws are such that a simple scuffle in a bar is punishable by death?  That isn't peace; it's a form of enslavement.  Freedom means being able to make the wrong choices; Klaatu and the Xentarians essentially deny other species that.

Look at it this way.  If Captain Kirk beamed down to a war-torn world and told them they had to stop even without the threat of destruction, it'd be a gross violation of the Prime Directive.  What gives Kirk, let alone Klaatu, or (brace for it) George W. Bush to go into a foreign land, tell them that their way is wrong and if they don't stop, there will be serious consequences.  Doesn't The Day the Earth Stood Still look different if viewed from those perspectives?  That's how characters like Stanley and Henderson see the Xentarians, just as Strassmann sees them as the filmakers intended one to view the movie.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2008, 01:37:43 pm »
Chapter 11:

Page 104

An isomorphic projection: An advanced form of hologram, it was first referenced in "Revulsion" (VOY) and an even more advanced one was used in "Think Tank" (VOY).  This is my way of explaining how it read as human on sensors and how the projection was able to be beamed aboard the Venture without arrousing suspicions.

Dr. Strangelove: An obvious reference to the titular character in Stanley Kubrick's classic film.  Brody likely cued in on it both due to their similar names and their similar accents.

Page 105

the Cytherians: This and the explanation that follows refers to "The Nth Degree" (TNG).

Sitting in the chair with was the real Strassmann: How the doctor linked with the Xentarian computer varied from draft to draft until I hit on the idea of plugging him in like Reginald Barclay in the above episode.  His appearance while strapped into the chair is a reference to The Matrix trilogy.

Page 106

It constructed a vessel equipped with the communications networking hub and a back-up of its primary systems: The concept of a hub is based on the ressurection hub from Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica.

Page 107

“Is it the right of sentients to butcher each other in pointless wars?!” the projection roared: This line is similar to one uttered by Ayelborne in "Errand of Mercy" (TOS).  The Organians in that episode did something similar to what the Xentarians did in forcing an end to a war, albeit by far less violent means.  It's also a play on the line "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" uttered by Optimus Prime from the Transformers franchise.

Page 108

Hearing a quick snap of energy: I figured the Xentarians' transporters would work faster than Starfleet's.

Page 109

The Essex, or any other vessel he would someday command, would be in good hands: More foreshadowing on my part.

Velocity: A game involving the use of phasers to knock a disk at an opponent, like handball with guns, first seen in "Hope and Fear" (VOY).  Practicing how to hit a moving target came in handy here for Stanley, though he probably should have learned how to duck faster.

Chapter 12:

Page 112

“Death occurred at nineteen fourteen hours:” As I've said quite often in these annotations, I wanted to differentiate VEN from other series; canon, licensed, and fan fic.  In most other Trek series, the captain is assigned to their position rather than inheriting it (Picard did take over the Stargazer after his captain died, but that was long before TNG started).  Dramtically, I thought it would be interesting to see how the main character handles taking command after the death of his captain; how it would affect his command decisions and how he'd have to live with it going forward.  The time of Stanley's death varied from many drafts; sometimes it happened in the prologue in a separate incident from the main plot, other times he didn't die and just left or was promoted.  For the biggest punch, I decided to put Stanley's death at the climax; to have all the action building up to this point and leave Henderson in command in the middle of a crisis.  One of my inspirations was "The Best of Both Worlds," where Riker is forced to take command of the Enterprise after Picard was assimilated by the Borg.  Riker had a hard time coping with it, made all the worse by the fact that Picard was technically still alive but a Borg and that Riker tried to kill him without hesitation.  Personally, I feel this is the point in the series where Riker started to come into his own, no longer defined as just Picard's Number One.  We even got to see in an alternate timeline in "Parrallels" (TNG) what life on the Enterprise had been like had Picard died and Riker remained in command.

It's debateable whether or not this is easier for Henderson than Riker; Stanley's dead, not transformed into an enemy.  Like Riker, he'll have to set aside his grieving until after Strassmann and Nelveth are dealt with and then he'll find time to mourn.  It'll be difficult for him to see the Venture as his ship and not Stanley's.  Similarly, Riker took command when he thought Picard had died in "Gambit" (TNG) and what was his first act?  Trying to take revenge against the people he believed murdered his captain.

“I am officially notifying you that I am exercising my option under regulations as a Starfleet captain,” the Vulcan said weakly, “and am hereby assuming command of this vessel as of now, nineteen sixteen hours:” Paraphrased from a similar line from Commodore Matt Decker in "The Doomsday Machine" (TOS) when he similarly took command of the Enterprise from first officer Spock.

Page 113

Under Starfleet Order 104, Section C, Dr. Senara can have you declared medically unfit for command: Another homage to the power struggle in "The Doomsday Machine" (TOS).

The doctor pressed the hypospray against his neck and it hissed as it injected him with something: I bet McCoy wished he thought of that.

Page 114

“Excuse me?” the science officer replied, clearly not paying attention to the conversation: Pret's behavior is meant to show that not everyone reacts to traumatic events the same way.  Some people charge on ahead while others freeze in place.

“A lot of people are counting on us and I need you to act like an officer, Commander!” This would be Henderson being pushed to his limits, as I've mentioned before.

He hesitated; sitting in it now when its occupant had just died in front of him felt wrong: This is an example of Henderson having trouble to accept that he's in command now.

They were indeed small and numerous; shaped like flat ovals My main inspiration for the Xentarian fighters was pumpkin seeds.

Chapter 13:

Page 117

“Something’s trying to access the main computer!” I figured that it'd be possible to hack the Venture's computer wirelessly, not unlike a battle tactic used by the Cylons in Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica.

Page 118

He got up from his chair and looked at Stanley’s empty seat, mentally asking, What would you do?: Riker asked the same thing of Picard's empty desk chair in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" (TNG).

the tetyron reaction: Tetryon reactors were first mentioned in "The Voyager Conspiracy" (VOY).  How they operate and their similarity to atomic power is an invention on my part.

“So we use explosives to destroy the conduit:” In earlier drafts, the containment field was disrupted by the now cut exocomps, similar to their only appearence in "The Quality of Life" (TNG).  Although a little more crude, the deletion of the characters necessitated a change in how the reactor was overloaded.

Page 119

“Sir, I have an idea:” Vasquez coming up with the solution might seem a little too much like Wesley Crusher doing something similar on TNG, but was done to show what he was capable of and give him a more prominent role in resolving this crisis than merely saying "Aye sir" and "Yes sir."  In previous drafts, both involving the exocomps and later the explosives, the Venture separated in two to divide Strassmann's attention.  While dramatic, I decided to save using the saucer separation for a later story so it wouldn't look like I was repeating myself.  Vasquez's plan existed in previous drafts when the central ship was of a class that couldn't split in two.  This also allows the Venture to reach the planet without taking a beating from Strassmann's ships, a bit more logical when you think about it, especially since the saucer section would have been heavily damaged since it doesn't have the power of the warp engines to draw on for its shields.

“The Picard Maneuver,” Henderson realized: First mentioned in "The Battle" (TNG).  It's also the informal name for whenever actor Patrick Stewart straightens his shirt upon standing up.

Just hope his reflexes aren’t as good as an android’s: In the above episode, Data was able to counter the Picard Maneuver.

With problem solving skills like that, Vaquez could have a long career in Starfleet ahead of him, assuming his strategy worked, of course: This was originally a foreshadowing to the dropped frame story where Vasquez indeed had a long career.

Page 120

but the order of gods had to be implemented by organic minds.  Their laws were bent to their will, twisted to fit their personal interests and beliefs: A reference, of course, to organized religion, where every sect seems to have their own interpretation of the teachings and laws of their deity(s).

Then they sought order from within, believing themselves to have their own divinity to promote order in their societies: A reference to the ethical philosophies of humanism, that morality and ethics come from within each person rather than a supernatural being.

Some might claim that the Borg sought such order, but clearly thanks to their partially organic nature, they too were susceptible to the flaws of all organic life forms: My attempt to differentiate the Xentarian machines from the Borg.  I doubt the Master Coordinator would send only one ship to attack Earth, for example, or just continually focus on Earth with the obssession the Borg seem to have with it.

Page 121

bosun’s whistle: Also called a boatswain's call, it's used as a signaling device aboard naval vessels.  The high-pitched sound you heard whenever Uhura contacted Captain Kirk on TOS is a recreation of a bosun's whistle.  Futuristic looking ones have been seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country while old-fashioned ones have been seen in multiple episodes in multiple Trek series.

Page 122

Damn them!  Damn them all to Hell!:  I must have been in a mood for homages that day, since this is in clear reference to the late Charlton Heston's breakdown at the end of the original Planet of the Apes.

Warp engines generally couldn’t be engaged within the gravity well of a planet or other large stellar body: The prime exception being that the captured Klingon bird of prey managed to go to warp in Earth's atmosphere in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  I assume that the bird of prey is somehow designed to do that, whereas other starships can't.

Henderson was thrown from his chair and tumbled over to Vasquez and Brody’s stations: The traumatic shaking on the bridge was inspired by the wild ride the Enterprise-D's bridge crew went on in Star Trek Generations.

Chapter 14

Page 125

“This is Commander Mark Henderson of the Federation starship Venture,” the human stated: I wanted this part of the showdown between Nelveth and Henderson to be viewed from the antagonist's side.  I always find it interesting in Trek literature when we view a faceoff with Picard from Q's perspective, or Dukat versus Sisko.

He would have to adjust his strategy accordingly, though absent of any knowledge of his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses: Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Page 126

“Perhaps I am not like other Romulans you know:” Another example of how Nelveth has changed from previous drafts.  This time he's taking this calm and cool, trying to lull Henderson into a false sense of security.

Page 127

“He’d probably say ‘When I find Romulans guilty of destroying a Federation starship, I shoot the bastards,” Henderson said angrily, the invocation of his late commanding officer clearly incensing him: A reference to a similar line from Dirty Harry.  Actor Clint Eastwood served as a model for writing Captain Stanley.

Romulan ships were designed to inflict massive firepower from their forward firing arcs, like a stiletto instead of an axe: Another inference on my part, based on depictions of Romulan vessels in games like SFC and BC.

Page 128

And reset the plasma torpedoes for medium yield: Another element lifted from BC, specifically the Kobayashi Maru mod.

Page 129

Load quantum torpedoes into the aft tube: That the Venture has a limited supply of quantum torpedoes is based on the model made by DJ Curtis, which logically follows that Starfleet would eventually start equipping more ships with their more advanced warhead.

Chapter 15

Page 131

It contained the captain’s last orders to be viewed by the first officer in the event of his death: As seen in "The Tholian Web" (TOS).

Page 132

Your greatest strength has been to identify the problems facing you, weighing all possible strategies, and firmly dedicating yourself to a solution: Riker said almost the same thing to Picard in "Time Squard" (TNG).

Page 133

Torpedo casket, bagpipes, that sort of thing: Like Spock's funeral in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  That it's traditional in Starfleet is my assumption.

“You know, I heard a rumor once that Arvax plays a mean set of pipes,” the second officer said: Scotty played the bagpipes at the aforementioned service for Spock.  Arvax's model Arex played a lute in "Mudd's Passion" (TAS).  Coincidentally, James Doohan played both Scotty and Arex.

watching as the ship’s warp field refracted the light of the stars over and over again: The refraction of light in the warp field is a simplistic summation of the theory postulated by author Christopher L. Bennett in his novel Ex Machina (TOS) as a means to explain that starships traveling at warp can see distorted starlight even though they are traveling faster than the speed of light.

Page 134

Christopher Pike Medal of Valor: Named for the captain of the Enterprise in TOS' first pilot episode, the award was first mentioned in "Tears of the Prophets" (DS9).

Vasquez took a deep breath to calm himself as he stood with his fellow officers in the forward torpedo room: The Galaxy-class torpedo bay was only seen in the TNG episode "In Theory."  The set for it was smaller than the ones used in the second, third, and sixth films, so I'd imagine that it'd be rather packed in there for the funeral.

Page 135

draped with the blue and white flag of the United Federation of Planets: The flag of the Federation was first seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and a slightly different version was seen in later series.  However, that later flag was seen aboard the USS Defiant of the 23rd Century in the ENT episode "In a Mirror, Darkly Part II."

“We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead,” the captain intoned, his voice carried across the ship via intercom to those members of the crew presently on duty: The opening line to the service is identical to Kirk's at Spock's funeral in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, later echoed by Captain Janeway in a flashback from "Latent Image" (VOY).  The event being broadcast around the ship is a reference to "Balance of Terror" (TOS), where a wedding was available for viewing for personnel unable to attend in person.

Page 136

“Amazing Grace:” Traditional funeral song, also used in the oft-mentioned second film.

he noted that Senara had already left and thus could have been anywhere in the ship: Senara's odd behavior during the funeral and around Vasquez will of course be elaborated later on.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2008, 01:40:34 pm »
Chapter 16:

Page 137

Acting Captain’s Log: Stardate 57073.7: That it only took the damaged Venture eight days to return to the starbase is a stretch on my part, but I'm dealing with a time constraint from AOTF.

blue Andorian ale: First seen in "Meridian" (DS9), it's ironically the same color and apparent potency as the illegal Romulan Ale.

“To absent friends:” A traditional toast to the deceased.  Kirk said that of Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Picard of Data in Star Trek Nemesis.

Page 138

“What you two should have done was work together,” ch’Thanek said sternly: A reference to the board of inquiry scene in Crimson Tide, where the characters played by Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington were similarly criticized for their actions during a nuclear crisis aboard their submarine.

“You are aware, Commander, that the Eminiar Amendment to the Articles of the Federation clearly bans the destruction of entire planets:” The Eminiar Amendmant was mentioned in A Time to Kill (TNG), based on the events of "A Taste of Armageddon" (TOS).

The spirit of the Eminiar Amendment applies to inhabited planets, not dead worlds like Kathos III: An assumption on my part.

Plus, I doubt that Starfleet Command would enjoy seeing Project Trinity being exposed by a public inquiry by the Federation Council: That such a critical and dangerous project would be classified from the Federation's legislative branch is a reference to the Manhatten Project, the World War II era program to develop the atomic bomb.  This operation was so secret that even Harry S. Truman was unaware of it until after he was sworn in as president after the passing of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.

Since you did not officially accept your promotion, Starfleet Command had no choice but to assign the Essex to someone else during your absence: A vague reference to Riker almost losing command of the Titan due to his abduction in A Time to Kill (TNG).

“Captain Savok, also based on your recommendation, I’ve persuaded Starfleet to forego any formal legal proceedings into the loss of the Faraday in lieu of your retirement:” That commanding officers in Starfleet were put on trial for the loss of a ship was established in "Measure of a Man" (TNG).  That Savok, who wasn't captain of the Faraday but in overall command of the operation is a reference to Harbinger (VAN), where Commodore Diego Reyes was court martialed after the USS Bombay was lost with all hands.

Page 139

Jarron is a known associate of the conservative bloc headed up by former Senator Durjik, who only grudgingly supported her in the interests of keeping what’s left of the empire intact: A reference to "Taking Wing" (TTN)

Page 140

and I know for a fact that you’re the youngest officer to ever command a Galaxy-class starship: This is based on the fact (exclusing Riker's temporary commands of the Enterprise-D in the main timeline) that captains of Galaxy-class starships tend to be in their fifties and sixties.  Earth years, of course.

I’m not about to sanction a mission of de facto revenge; this is Starfleet, not the Klingon Defense Force: That the Klingons forgive revenge even against prominent officers was referenced in "Reunion" (TNG).

Page 141

To Captain Mark Henderson: The transfer of command ceremony is based on "Chain of Command" (TNG), later seen in "All Good Things" (TNG) and "The Dogs of War" (DS9).

“This is the captain,” Henderson stated: What follows is loosely based on the speech given in Mass Effect by Commander Shepard upon taking command of the SSV Normandy, though how that speech played out is entirely up to the player.

Page 142

The sitting room was in the center of the circular-shaped main house: The design of Jarron's house follows my tradition started in YORK of older houses on Romulus being modeled after the Senate building seen in Star Trek Nemesis, which I assume is one of the oldest structures on the planet.

In the center of the room were four quarter circle shaped couches and an open fire place: Another style used in YORK.

We still have the mole on Trinity Station who told us of the discovery at Kathos: This was meant to set up further developments in the first arc.

Page 143

the Continuing Committee: A prestigious governing body in the Romulan Star Empire, its first and only reference was in "Inter Arma Eninem Silent Leges" (DS9).

Captain John Kincade of the Federation starship Yorktown: Obviously, the central character of YORK, first appearing in the first story "Preserve, Protect, and Defend" and appeared throughout the series' run.  This scene and the next are meant to serve as a "passing of the torch" of the last series to the new one, a tradition first started by DeForrest Kelley's cameo in "Encounter at Farpoint" (TNG).

his pregnant wife, Dr. Michelle Evans Kincade: Michelle first appeared in "Dancing with the Devil" (YORK) and their relationship began at some point during the one year jump in that story.  They were married in "The World Turned Upside Down Part Two: Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" (YORK).  Her pregnancy was hinted at in the finale's epilogue, as she wasn't feeling well during their wedding reception, meaning that she became pregnant at some point prior to their nuptiuals.

This ship’s turning into one big nursery: A reference to two other senior officers raising a child aboard the Yorktown.

Page 144

a provisional commission in Starfleet: Based on the fact that Kozinski from "Where No One Has Gone Before" (TNG) and Dr. Lewis Zimmerman (multiple VOY episodes) wore the uniform but bore no rank.

“Not much save for what Tex and Shrel told me,” he replied, referring to the fact that his first officer and chief engineer, respectively, served on the Venture during the war: Chy'lek Shrel's service aboard the Venture was first established in "Ghosts" (YORK) and Texal Brenz's in "Blowback" (YORK).

“Same age as you were when you took over here, right?” As established in "Preserve, Protect, And Defend" (YORK), meant both to compare and contrast the two captains.

“Two, actually,” she said with a smile: Back when CT was set in 2381, the twins were already born.  Additonally, back when the future frame story was in CT, we would have discovered that one of Kincade's children was Captain Vasquez's chief engineer along with Henderson's daughter and Jesse Brody IV serving as first officer.

“Dr. West just told me this morning:” A reference to Dr. Grant West, the Yorktown's first chief medical officer debuting in "Preserve, Protect, and Defend" (YORK).  He left the ship in "Eye for Eye" (YORK) for family reasons, replaced by Dr. Paul Carter starting in "Blowback" (YORK) before retiring in the finale.  Obviously, Dr. West's family issues had been resolved and he's returned to the Yorktown.

“You were the one who forgot to take you injections during our honeymoon,” she reminded him in a teasing manner: "The Dogs of War" (DS9) established that in the future, the male's also responsible for birth control.  Apparently Kincade's as forgetful as Sisko in that regard.

“Bridge to captain,” announced the voice of Lieutenant Commander Jrree K’Doss, ship’s second officer: K'Doss was first introduced in "Preserve, Protect, and Defend" (YORK) and remained on board throughout the series.  Like Arvax in VEN, the Caitian is an homage to another character from TAS: M'Ress.

“The runabout Delaware reports it’s ready to depart,” the Caitian stated: Runabouts are traditionally named after rivers.  Given that the other auxiliary craft on the Yorktown are named for figures from the American Revolutionary War, it made sense to name this runabout after the body of water George Washington crossed before the Battle of Trenton on December 25, 1776.

Page 145

“We’ve been getting some reports of more Breen harassing some of our survey ships in the Prolmar Sector,” he replied: The Yorktown's patrol area near Breen space was established in "The World Turned Upside Down" (YORK).  The Prolmar Sector is yet another reference to Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica.

“It has something to do with a dig I was on a few years ago, before I met you,” Michelle explained.  “Grinar Prime.  Hard to believe it’s that important:” Earlier drafts had used Manaaran V, the planet where Kincade and Michelle met in "Dancing with the Devil" (YORK), as the Venture's destination.  However, given that it's in the Beta Quadrant, traveling across the length of explored space would have taken too long, so Grinar Prime was invented to take its place.

“I’m sure the senior staff will allow me to sit on the tongo game for the next few weeks,” he joked: That the senior staff played tongo was first established in "Ghosts" (YORK), as a play on the characters of TNG playing poker.  Kincade's interest in it was mentioned in "Eye for Eye" (YORK) and the characters mutual skill in that game played a major role in that story.

Page 146

Commander Texal Brenz: First introduced in "Blowback" (YORK), he was later made the Yorktown's XO in "The World Turned Upside Down, Part One: Divided Houses" (YORK).

Lieutenant Commander Chy’lek Shrel: First introduced in "The Road to Hell" (YORK) as an assistant chief engineer, he was promoted to chief engineer in "Ghosts" (YORK) and later made a lieutenant commander in "Eye for Eye" (YORK).

The Battle of Chin’toka: Depicted in "Tears of the Prophets" (DS9).  Visual effects personnel report that the Venture was there, however in my entry for Chapter 1, Page 25, I noted that it was difficult to make out the registry on the Galaxy-class ship in question.

Page 147

during that dust-up with the Tholians a few years ago: The "dust-up" in question refers to the Tholian-Selelvian War mentioned in After the Fall (NF).  The Yorktown's participation in that conflict is derived from "Eye for Eye" (YORK) and "Blowback" (YORK).

“You know, I realized a while back that if something ever happened to Ad…Captain Wallace, I’d probably be feeling the same way you do now:” Steven Wallace, Kincade's former CO, was first introduced in "Preserve, Protect, and Defend" (YORK).  His demotion came in "Ghosts" (YORK) due to actions he took in "The Road to Hell" (YORK).

Page 148

Considering the apparent bad blood between them, hearing Kincade say that about Wallace sounded odd to his ear: Said bad blood was partially settled in "The World Turned Upside Down, Part Two: Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" (YORK).

Hell, when I got command of the Upholder: A Defiant-class ship Kincade commanded during the final year of the Dominion War, destroyed in the prologue of "Preserve, Protect, and Defend" (YORK).  It was named for a vessel from my SFC stories.

Chapter 17:

Page 149

Their departure date was now only four days away as opposed to a few weeks: Amazing how fast you can get things patched up when you have all hands on deck.

having taken part in the effort to drive the Jem’Hadar out of the Neutral Zone when the empire first entered the war: Mentioned in the DS9 episode "In the Pale Moonlight."  Obviously, why they joined the war wouldn't be known by Henderson.

For one thing, Henderson didn’t want to suddenly shake up the command structure again; they had all served admirably at their current posts during the crisis at Kathos and he would have to rely on them during the coming mission: Riker used the same logic in passing over Data and Worf for the job in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" (TNG) in favor of Shelby.

Page 150

Though it was tempting to think that if Henderson had forced Stanley not to beam down to Kathos he’d still be alive, he couldn’t consider that: In spite of his trying to shove this thought to the side, Henderson's simmering guilt over Stanley's death will continue to grow in future stories.

Page 151

He had to see this mission through and bring Nelveth to justice…or at least justice to him: A reference to a quote from President George W. Bush speaking in regards to the Global War on Terror.

I’d like you to consider Commander Logan for the job: Yet another attempt to make sure that her promotion doesn't come out of nowhere.

Page 153

You are technically next in line, right?: Henderson passing Brody over in favor of Logan will play a role in the next story.

Page 154

he had vowed to his wife that at the end of it, he’d resign his commission or take a transfer and they’d move back to Earth: This, too, will be another plot point as the first arc unfolds.

Page 155

Even though Admiral ch’Thanek was technically in command of the Kumari, Lieutenant Commander Alexandra Logan was only a passenger at best: This scene underwent many rewrites due to its importance to how it will pertain to the rest of the series.  I liken it to Picard speaking with Riker in the observation lounge in "Encounter at Farpoint" (TNG), establishing a long-standing relationship between captain and first officer.  I found it difficult to get the tone and the words exchanged between the two of them to feel right; on the one hand, I didn't want them to be too amicable off the bat, but on the other hand, I also didn't want them arguing and bickering, either.

When the attack occurred nineteen years ago: Despite the fact that the Star Trek Chronology and the Star Trek Encyclopedia place the Setlik III massacre in the late 2340s, Sisko's statement in "Tribunal" (DS9) provide a firmer date of 2362 and that is where I've chosen to place the time of the attack.

Eleven years ago, Setlik suddenly found itself in the middle of the Federation-Cardassian Demilitarized Zone: Setlik being in the DMZ wasn't mentioned on screen and was derived from Geoffrey Mandel's Star Trek Star Charts.

too much of a “boy scout:” Ironically, David Marcus thought that his father James T. Kirk was a boy scout.  Logan might find out she's just as wrong.

that an invasion by the Klingon Empire a year after Logan left Starfleet broke the back of the Cardassian military: First reference in "The Way of the Warrior" (DS9).

there were rumors among the various Maquis cell leaders that they were on the verge of declaring the colonies as an independent nation: Based on Maquis leader Michael Eddington's comments in "Blaze of Glory" (DS9).

Page 156

a dish of French vanilla: Meant to counter Counselor Deanna Troi's obsession with chocolate.

fresh produce the colonies were able to grow: Another "Blaze of Glory" (DS9).  Whole Foods and Trader Joe's would have cleaned house in the DMZ.


Page 159

The cloud of gaseous matter was halfway between Romulan territory and the Kathos system near the Kzinti border: Author Larry Niven's Kzinti were made a part of the Trek pantheon in "The Slaver Weapon" (TAS).  Their placement is based on their location in the Star Trek Star Charts.

Fvadt,” he cursed quietly: A Romulan epithet developed by author Dianne Duane.

Page 160

“Before Kathos was destroyed, Dr. Strassmann transferred his memory engrams into an artificial intelligence program,” whatever it was that had appeared on the Teramnus’ bridge replied: In earlier drafts, the actual Strassmann escaped Kathos III, driven even more mad by his defeat.  In the final draft, I hit upon the idea of letting Strassmann die and creating this AI character to take his place, opening up some more story telling possibilities later in the arc.  It also makes more sense for Nelveth to enter into a deal with the avatar after being betrayed by the real Strassmann.

Page 163

I’m sorry, Mark, but I can’t deal with all this anymore.  Goodbye: And say goodbye to the last sense of normalcy in the life that Henderson had when this story started.

Page 164

“Would you mind not doing that again?” asked Henderson as he briskly walked up to the command deck and took a seat in his chair: One last attempt to differentiate Henderson from Kincade, who even four years after taking command of the Yorktown still has his officers announce his prescense, though he mainly does it because he enjoys irritating his crew.

Page 165

And don’t call me ‘sir,’ Ensign: A reference to Captain Janeway preferring not to be called "sir."

verterium cortenide: The material that a starship's warp coils are made out of according to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual.

On that note, we've come to the end of both "Chaos Theory" and these annotations.  I've hoped you've enjoyed both and keep an eye on this thread for more details about the next story in the Star Trek: Venture saga.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 12:36:35 pm »
Sorry for not keeping you all abreast of what's been going on, but finally I have something to share.  Rather than drag this out any further, allow me to present...

The hunt is on for the key to the most lethal force in history...

One man to destroy it...

Another man to use it...

Charged with finding the Master Coordinator hub before it can be activated and unleash an armada of Xentarian war machines upon the galaxy, newly-promoted Captain Mark Henderson of the starship Venture and his crew begin their quest.  It will lead them to an isolated section of the galaxy, cutoff from all civilization.  Inside, they will discover potential allies and potential enemies in their hunt and a complication that could derail their mission completely.

Meanwhile, Commander Alidar Nelveth also pursues the hub, though not to destroy it but use it as a weapon to conquer the Romulan Star Empire.  Reluctantly teamed with the avatar, a creation of the late and insane Doctor Hans Strassmann and the only thing that can activate the hub, they launch an audacious strike to steal the information they need to find the hub's location.  But how far can Nelveth trust this AI and will his plans for glory unravel before his very eyes?

The Star Trek: Venture saga continues...

Cover image credits:
USS Venture by DJ Curtis
Foreground from Star Trek: Bridge Commander by Totally Games and Activision
Produced in Adobe Photoshop by M.F. Kidd

Download "Chaos Theory, Part II" from Filefront (Adobe Acrobat reader required).  Also available are this story's annotations, though be warned it contains spoilers and is highly recommended you read the story first.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 02:49:09 pm »
Since everyone's all a twitter about trailers these days, I thought it'd be only appropriate that I'd do one.  Since I lack the time and tools to do a video, this will have to suffice:

The final chapter in Star Trek: Venture's opening saga begins...

As if in answer, there was the sound of a steady thrum.  Light returned to the chamber, though it was in a reddish hue, casting a similar blood red glow over the Starfleet officers and the Romulans as the one from the Barrier of Storms.  Almost like the sound of a heartbeat, the noise around them grew louder.

“Whereas I was like you, a fragile life form of momentary existence in the cosmos, I am now immortal..."

Seething with rage, Henderson started to get up, but heard the click of primitive projectile rifles being readied to fire if he made the slightest provocative move.  As much as he wanted to take action, he was helpless...

"You are still a slave to your primal nature..."

Kulmarin suddenly walked up to Henderson and struck the captain in the chin with the back of her closed fist...

"I have evolved beyond those instincts..."

“My co-parents told me it’d end like this for me,” complained Pret as their executioners raised their rifles.

"I am beyond man, I am beyond machine..."

Logan sat uneasily in the captain’s chair on the battle bridge.  Whether or not her plan would succeed would be decided in the next few minutes...

"Before my power, you are nothing..."

"This insane idea of galactic conquest ends here!" Henderson shouted...

Just outside of the window, the massive form of a Romulan warbird passed by, slowing as it appeared to be approaching a berth inside the Sanctuary...

“We can’t afford to have Henderson’s people interfere with our plans!” Kulmarin said sharply...

“We’re going back to Tssar’s Sanctuary," said Logan.  "I’m not about to leave Captain Henderson and the others behind when we can still help them.”

Henderson climbed up the Jeffries tube ladder as fast as he could to keep up with Tenari, who seemingly was racing up through the interior of the saucer section...

“Do not try to deny to me that you don’t still feel something for the man,” Kulmarin said sharply...

Shuvane quickly grabbed Henderson by the sides of his head and drew him in for a long, passionate kiss...

“What nonsense, woman!” High Admiral Voltin barked.  “How dare you try to dictate how we should behave..."

The doors to the stardrive conference room opened and two armed security guards entered.

“As acting head of security," said Carlton.  "I hereby place you under arrest for intent to violate Starfleet General Order One.”

“Fall back!” Nelveth roared.  With the Romulan soldiers providing covering fire that didn’t seem to deter the Xentarian war machines, Henderson and his team followed the commander and his officers down the opposite direction of the corridor...

"Are you sure you can really trust the avatar to obey your wishes?” asked Henderson...

“I grow tired of your protests, Captain,” Nelveth replied.

Orange phaser beams and bluish-white quantum torpedoes from the stardrive.  All salvos converged on the warbird, impacted against its shields.

“FIRE!” added Voltin enthusiastically.

The torpedoes struck against the forward section of the warbird near some of the ship’s weapons, causing explosions to rip through the warbird’s forward hull...

“This is your last chance," said Kulmarin as the soldier walked over to the Bajoran and aimed her rifle at her head.  "If you do not tell me where the stardrive is on the count of ten, Lieutenant Tenari will die..."

“Please state the nature of the medical…” the EMH said before glancing over to the armed guards and pausing briefly.  “…emergency.”

“There was a prophecy among my people that I thought was merely a myth until now,” Shuvane stated as she turned away from the window.

The wave continued towards the radiation cloud, towards the Barrier of Storms.  All matter in its path was consumed as fuel...

“It said that someone would return from the Realm of the Goddess and lift the Barrier of Storms," added Shuvane, "allowing us to join with Tssar and those who dwealt beyond."

The barrier that encompassed the Cole Cluster and isolated the Tssara Combine and Ryssara Directorate from the rest of the galaxy was sucked in by the force of the wave, pulling it away like rapidly removing a red cloak...

"I guess that someone is you” Shuvane concluded.

Another vessel closed in on the hub at high warp speeds.  It was the Venture, now with its saucer section and stardrive combined...

“It’s a lot more fun being on the Venture than being stuck in a lab," said Pret,  "people pointing large guns at me not withstanding, of course.”

“I’m just hoping that this isn’t how the rest of our missions will go, sir,” Logan stated...

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 11:47:50 am »
Every thing's locked in now, so here's something to hold you over until it's released:


“Connection established,” the avatar reported. “I am beginning the transfer of my program…”

...the end of the Chaos Theory trilogy begins...

On the far end of the chamber, several peacekeeper drones materialized, large bipedal machines with three glowing sensor eyes and with their arms raised and their weapon ports glowing...

“I hate being right all the time,” said Pret.

“Helm, plot a course back to the hub, best possible speed,” ordered Logan...

“We can’t risk the safety of the entire Federation on account of three people,” said Carlton bluntly...

“Why are you so eager to tuck your tail between your legs and run?” asked Vasquez...

“Why are you so eager to trust the judgment of a terrorist?!” hissed Carlton.

The alarms and sirens wailed even louder over the beating the stardrive was taking.  The battle bridge glowed orange from a small fire from one of the aft stations...

Every ship in the battle continued firing on each other, setting the screen alight as barrages were traded and more Directorate ships were destroyed in the exchange...

“So what do we do now?” asked Brody.  “Throw rocks at them?”

...the doors to the transporter room opened and four Combine soldiers stormed in with their rifles raised.  Reflexively, both he and Tenari reached for their phasers, but the enemy soldiers moved so fast that he couldn’t entertain the notion of even drawing his weapon....

“I will not allow anyone to interfere with the activation of the hub,” said Kulmarin.

Kulmarin quickly turned and brought her pistol around to aim at Henderson...

“We’re executing the prisoners,” ordered Kulmarin.

“This will be a difficult struggle,” Nelveth said as he turned to address his crew, “but our lives are already forfeit...”

“An instructor I had at the academy once told me, ‘Don’t set out to be the best captain in Starfleet, just the captain of the best crew,’” said Henderson.

“We will find honor in death and victory!” shouted Nelveth.

“I think after today no one will argue that you all are among the best in the fleet,” Henderson concluded.

“I hate it when captains get preachy like that,” commented Logan

“He doesn’t think he’s coming back,” Shuvane said.

Both the Romulans and the Starfleet team opened fire down the corridor, lighting up the darkened hallway with green and orange weapons fire, revealing three peacekeeper drones with their weapon arms raised...

Carlton saw something flicker through the window out of the corner of his eye and he turned to see a massive D’Deridex-class warbird de-cloak and immediately fire an intense blue beam at the stardrive...

Both teams flattened themselves against either side of the corridor and returned fire.  One drone was felled and then the other, but as Henderson checked his weapon again, it was nearly empty...

The battle bridge pitched backwards and Logan was pushed hard into her chair.  The lights started to flicker and the deck continued to vibrate...

Then the phaser beam started to fade; Henderson’s phaser was overheating and about to shut off because of all the times he had shot it in this battle...

“...if something happens to you, your wife’s going to kill me,” Henderson said.

“Hell, she’d probably kill me if something happened to you,” Brody joked...

...the phaser stopped and the drone lifted one of its arms and was about to fire...

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Rat Boy

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 09:43:57 am »
The thrilling conclusion to the first Star Trek: Venture epic begins...

Trapped aboard his own ship with the Xentarian hub on the verge of activation, Captain Mark Henderson must find a way to stop an apocalyspe before it is unleashed.  But with the fanatical General Byrash Kulmarin continues her endeavor to engage the hub with the help of the renegade Romulan Alidar Nelveth, time is running out.  While Lieutenant Commander Elios Pret and an injured Lieutenant Shanen Tenari help to plot an escape, Henderson's only other recourse may be to seek the aid of the woman who betrayed him.  Meanwhile, Commander Alexandra Logan leads the remainder of the crew aboard the stardrive, not to seek safety as her captain ordered, but to attempt a rescue.  Some, such as Henderson's best friend Lieutenant Commander Jesse Brody III, are eager to return, but some are vehemently against it.  However, with Nelveth, Kulmarin, and the mysterious avatar on the verge of success, they may be too late.  The fate of an entire species, if not the whole galaxy, hangs in the balance.

The Star Trek: Venture saga continues...

Cover image credits:
USS Venture by DJ Curtis
Romulan warbird by LC Amaral
Acclamator vessels by EvilleJedi, Stealth, and Leto Atreides
Background and some weapon effects from Star Trek: Bridge Commander by Totally Games and Activision
Produced in Adobe Photoshop by M.F. Kidd

Download "Chaos Theory, Part III" from Filefront (Adobe Acrobat reader required).  Also available are this story's annotations, though be warned it contains spoilers and is highly recommended you read the story first.

"Chaos Theory, Part II" now available.

Offline Andromeda

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Re: Star Trek: Venture
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2008, 07:52:24 pm »
Hmm.  *heads off to download this*
this sig was eaten by a grue