Tag Archives: Warp Drive

Spotlight – Dark Matter/Energy Drive

Spotlight on Dark Matter/Energy Drive

The dark matter and energy drive works to advance canon.

Background

Spotlight – Dark Matter/Energy Drive

In order to hop between the two main universes, I needed a semi-mysterious means of getting around. Without having to be dependent upon a worm hole, or cranking the engines up to crazy numbers like Warp 50, I needed something else.

Thought Experiment

In order to fix this problem, and to add some drama and, admittedly, some technobabble to the HG Wells series, I hit upon the idea of a dark matter or dark energy drive. I have called it both, although I realize the terms, in truth, are not interchangeable.Spotlight – Dark Matter/Energy Drive Because dark matter and dark energy are a large percentage of our universe (our current understanding), fuel would be abundant. A time traveler would be able to gather it pretty much whenever and wherever he or she needed, so long as the collector was working properly.

I also gave it a bit of a fun spin, the sort of thing that engineer Kevin O’Connor in particular would love. I decided that the encroachment of dark energy was a byproduct of the aging of the universe (the graphs at right would seem to support that hypothesis), but that using the drive would, in a slight way, reverse it. And that would put off the eventual destruction of the universe by a few seconds or so.

How it Works (Kind of)

The concept is, essentially, that the time traveler creates a mini-worm hole at will. The ship then flies through it and enters the other universe. In Multiverse II, Levi Cavendish mentions to Maren O’Connor that it’s possible to travel to other universes by simply adjusting the radiation band being aimed at. This would include #49, the home of the best pumpkin pie in any universe.

Upshot

This bit of technology will be back. I guarantee it.

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Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

Origins

This Star Trek canon character is seen in both Enterprise and the movie universe.

Portrayal

As in canon, Zef is played by actor James Cromwell.

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane

I enjoy this actor’s performances and respect the casting decision 100% for my Star Trek fanfiction.

Personality

Abrasive and capricious, Zef is grounded by Lily. In a ruined post-World War III landscape, she helps him focus on what will become not only the greatest achievement of his life, it will likely be one of the greatest achievements in all of human history – the invention of Warp Drive.

Relationships

Lily Sloane

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane
Lily and Zef

This relationship is hinted at in canon, but never fully realized. In my fan fiction, I have decided that they marry. He is eventually widowed, in A Single Step. With her dying breath’s encouragement, she tells him to make his life out in the stars.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Zefram Cochrane
Mirror Zefram Cochrane

A Mirror Universe version of Zef is canon, and he shoots the first Vulcan he sees, on First Contact Day.

I haven’t written him yet (and the actor in the image isn’t even Cromwell), but I bet he’d be a kick to write. He would probably descend more or less completely into alcoholism after killing the Vulcans and stealing their ship and its technology.

Quote

“Don’t be getting no weapons! I will defend what’s mine!”

Upshot

I am hoping for a chance to write him again, possibly in a Mirror Universe scenario.


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Spotlight – Witannen in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Witannen

Background

Witannen were a fun creation. Back when I was writing a non-Star Trek time travel series, I had an idea for an alien who would be helping the group.

She would be a member of the first species ever to make contact with humans, and her name would be Otra (she didn’t get a last name until later), and she would be the girlfriend of the leader of the group, the rather non-charismatic Levi Cavendish. She was supposed to be a bit out of proportion to humans, in that she’d have longer legs than we normally do. Otra would also be a light lavender color.

Things have changed

About the only thing she really had which transferred over to what became the Witannen (Wit-ah-nin) is that her hair would be replaced with green vines that would move independently of her. She would be unable to control the vines, and they would be in some sort of a symbiotic relationship with her. The species did not have a name, but their first contact had been preceded by an odd form of prepping the Earth for their arrival – they had sent broadcasts for a good year beforehand, including a popular soap opera. Hence when the aliens arrived in that older series, they were more or less known to humans, and were famous.

Then the species was added to my Star Trek fan fiction, and it got even more interesting.

What Happened to the Witannen

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Otra | Witannen
Otra, a half-Wittanen. Drawing by SL Walker.

When I began writing Together, I wanted a villain who would be more of a business person than an actual evil being. Ferengi had already been seen in canon Enterprise, so I felt that would be a bit much, to have a second encounter with the Ferengi, without that name being known in the Starfleet database.

Hence they were out. I remembered my strange alien, so I performed some modifications on her.

First, the character in Together would not be Otra at all, who I reserved for a time travel series, Times of the HG Wells. But I really liked the idea of having the character be female, so I created Quellata (Kell-uh-tuh) instead. Quellata would be full-blooded, whereas Otra would be half-human, and so she would get a surname.

Differentiation

To differentiate between the full and half, I decided that full-blooded Witannen would have little vestigial wings. It isn’t until Multiverse II that it becomes clear that Otra just has long lines on her back, where her wings would have been.

The wings would be vestigial, far too small to propel anyone. Hence Quellata would be grounded, and the wings would be more decorative than anything else. This also made it possible for her to wear more or less recognizable clothing.

The proportions were also corrected for human sizes, so that a human actor could conceivably ‘play’ a Witannen. I also dropped the idea of a light lavender complexion, preferring to make them a little less alien in exchange for making them an easier species to picture an actor or actress playing.

Characteristics

A bit brittle, with a superiority complex, Witannen are from the Delta Quadrant. They have good reason to feel good about themselves, as they’ve had Warp Drive for centuries. This makes it easier to look down at Johnny-come-lately species like humans. Quellata refers to her human captives as slime molds, but then again, she’s nasty to everyone.

Their language divides into formal and conversational, both written and oral. Witannen writing is unknown, but their speech is a click language, much like Khoisan and Xhosa on Earth. Their species name does not have a plural, e. g. one Witannen, two Witannen. I’m not sure if I’ll give them any plurals.

Like humans and Vulcans, they are monogamous. And like Vulcans, their pregnancies last longer than ours do.

Business

A lot of them have heads for business. Apart from Quellata, Otra’s own mother, Chefra, also works in the commercial realm, as a dealer in star ship parts. Otra herself is more of a philosopher and missions specialist. An opera singer, a male named Paj Terris, is briefly mentioned in the HG Wells stories.  The only other Witannen I have written so far is Adeel, a female athlete in the upcoming Barnstorming series.

The other main characteristic of Witannen is their symbiotic chavecoi (chah-vuh-COY), which evolved from being vines to being more like flowers. They can change color with mood, a fact that makes them rather inconvenient. A Witannen would make a lousy spy. The chavecoi also drink some water on occasion. Hence a character like Otra will sip tea while her chavecoi will dip into a nearby glass of water. The chavecoi are alarmed by caffeine if they accidentally taste tea or coffee, and they can become drunk if they intake alcohol. Their purpose is survival; in the event of a drought, they can photosynthesize in order to keep their host alive. Further, according to Multiverse II, they can be adversely affected by radiation, but they can be cured (as can their host) by stem cell growth accelerator.

Upshot

I loved creating them, but the best-realized character is Otra, by far. How well-realized will the others ever become? I don’t know, or maybe another character will be created, perhaps another male.

The species will return, particularly as I continue to explore the Otra-Levi dynamic, but I’m not so sure about going beyond that, as of the writing of this blog post.

Whither Trek? And whither me? AKA where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?

Whither Trek? And whither me? AKA where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Whither Trek? And whither me? AKA where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?
Gaguin – Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Gaguin – Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

When I set out to first write this little trilogy of blog posts about Star Trek fanfiction, I thought about this particular painting quite a bit. I have told you who I am, and where I (and, to some extent, Trek) come from. But where are we going?

The Cloudy Crystal Ball

Of course I have little to no idea of what’s going to happen next.

Whither Trek? And whither me? AKA where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?
Cloudy crystal ball

And that has never, ever stopped me from speculating.

After all, Star Trek itself is dreams and visions of the future. Some, like communicators and desktop computers, have been scarily accurate.

Others, like tricorders and bio beds, are close to accurate, or are within reach.

And then others, like warp drive, the Third World War, the Augments, etc.?

Not so much.

What’s Next?

For Star Trek, there is likely to be a third film in the JJ Abrams universe, and it will likely come on or around 2016 as that is the 50th anniversary of the TV series. Abrams will not be directing it. It will be interesting to see who gets it. For me, the JJ Abrams universe means more Eriecho.

As for a new series, I imagine there will be one, and it will likely be in the post-Nemesis future, but closer to the JJ Abrams style. It will depend on budgets and audience tastes. Enterprise was given a fairly large budget, but it was still difficult to get across everything that needs to be done and shown within financial restrictions.  At the time, their ratings were not considered to be good. Now, they would be perfectly acceptable.

Any future television series will likely have an even bigger budget than ENT did, and will likely depend more upon green screen technology in order to cut some special effects corners. What is troubling about that is that large budgets mean that ever larger audiences are needed in order for a show to make money. But television audiences are becoming more and more splintered all the time.

Unless this speculative future show has a lot of network brass (and money) backing it, it could very well be set up for failure, much as ENT seems to have been. Science fiction on TV these days is generally not big, beautiful ships. Even Firefly (which is a decade old, by the way) had a lot of set pieces that took place on the ground. It saves money.

So I would expect to see, and would actually hope to see, a series more character-driven and more plot-driven. A series where makeup and costumes and sets matter. A series where acting and writing are top-notch, not only because they are beloved and respected and say something meaningful and win awards but also because, for real, they save network money. A series where the effects exist but don’t overpower the story line and are not the engines that drive character and plot arc decisions.

A girl can dream, can’t she?