Pat the Bunny came about as a strange left-turn style answer to a writing prompt. Hence, in order to write about natural or artificially created disasters, I chose a scenario for the Mirror UniverseBorg where they would be defeated by the oddest of foes. And to make it even more interesting, this foe would be about as opposite to a warrior as you can get in the animal kingdom.
Furthermore, it would hearken back, just a little bit, to Hugh and the Borg, the canon episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where a young Borg boy is returned to the collective and starts a sort of individualistic revolution. And it would also be a call back to the canon episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where Icheb is introduced (he was conceived and became Borg as a means of implanting a virus into the collective. Icheb’s own parents considered him expendable).
As an earlier mission for Rick (and one where he does not seduce anyone), I wanted a short mission where he and a historian would get in and get out, but there would be one, big, kind of crazy consequence of what they had just observed. Temporal shenanigans aside, history is often strange.
So I liked putting Rick into a new and exceptionally weird situation. And I also enjoyed the opportunity to shout out to the Sika family, a clan of Xindi sloth I had created in The Puzzle and then followed through with in Achieving Peace. After all, it isn’t only Lili‘s family that makes it to the deep future.
9/11 was (and still is) too close in time, and felt wrong. But this event isn’t too much better, and I can understand if a reader finds it a distasteful topic for Star Trek fanfiction, still.
For anyone who does not know the musical, the title of the piece refers to Oklahoma! And so the story line can only be about one thing.
A lot of writers, when tackling a subject like this, focus on the Kennedy assassination. But I wanted something more contemporary. And this particular terrorist act is even worse, given the high number of lost innocents.
This is the last of the stories in the Complications subsection of the HG Wells timeline (the first part is Repairs; the last part is Unravelings).
As Rick recovers from meeting Milena (and falling for her), the Perfectionists, an opposing faction, pull off their most audacious act so far. But preventing the Oklahoma City bombing means that a number of people will live who aren’t supposed to. And this includes several preschoolers. Hence the timeline becomes horribly damaged.
At the same time, in an effort to distract musician time traveler HD Avery, the 1977 plane crash that killed half of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd is also averted.
And as a third piece of the temporal shenanigans puzzle, the 1983 assassination of Benigno Aquino is prevented.
Hence due to the ever-present Borg threat, the Federation obtains rather expensive help from Dawitan, Otra’s home world. Tribute is paid every year, and the masses are kept appeased with generous daily rations of fortified wine.
But protesters, including Anthony Parker, break into the USS Saint Eligius in order to destroy the wine casks (they’re behaving a lot like real-life temperance advocate Carry Nation). However, in the largest of the crates they smash open, they find an emaciated Otra, who has been kept imprisoned by the Perfectionists. Upon the eventual restoration of the timeline, Otra is returned to prison but retains a phaser that Anthony has given her.
I liked putting this one together, as it’s quite a puzzle. Daniel Beauchaine‘s actions have to be accounted for, and I had to research and write dialogue for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. As a piece of the Complications subsection of these stories, the book lives up to the idea of being complicated all right. But it’s probably overly so.
Hence there are a lot of strands, from the three temporal alterations, to all of the consequences that have to be corrected. But it’s a lot for a reader to follow, and I admit I probably rushed through this one too much.