Ex Machina Annotations

Star Trek Ex MachinaThis document explains the many continuity references, allusions and in-jokes contained in Ex Machina (ExM), as well as the various scientific ideas addressed therein and the reasoning behind many of my conjectures and extrapolations . . . along with corrections or rationalizations for various errors and continuity glitches.   I assume that the reader is familiar with the basic characters and background of the Trek universe.

The two main reference sources for this novel are Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP) and the original series episode  “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” (FTW).  Since ExM contains so many allusions to the events of these two works, I have not specified most of them.  For the most part, the relevant information is explained in the text, and summaries are available at www.startrek.com and elsewhere.  However, I have built on many subtle details and background materials of TMP, some of which may seem odd to the reader, and I do explain these here.

ExM is based on the Director’s Edition (DE) of TMP, and time references are taken from the DVD of that edition.

Be aware that this document contains spoilers for the whole of Ex Machina and for numerous episodes, films, novels and comics from all Trek series.  I would also recommend not reading it until one has completed the novel, because I explain a lot of the in-jokes and allusions, and that takes the fun out of figuring them out.

Episode and book titles are TOS unless otherwise indicated.  Episode and short-story titles are in quotes, while film and book titles are italicized.

Other abbreviations:

ENT — Enterprise TOS — The Original Series TAS — The Animated Series
TNG — Next Generation DS9 — Deep Space Nine VGR — Voyager

SCE – Starfleet Corps of Engineers (e-book series)

p. ix

We all create God in our own image: Spoken by Will Decker in the extended edition of TMP, though cut from the Director’s Edition.  Where discrepancies occur between versions, ExM assumes that the DE is the “true” version of events; but it’s possible Decker said or wrote the line somewhere else, perhaps in his journals (see p. 358).


p. 1

Yonada was rising in the western sky: Since Yonada orbits faster than Lorina rotates, it is seen to rise in the west, as do the moons of Mars.  As a recently captured artificial satellite, Yonada could have been placed in any orbit, but I assume it was placed in a conventional west-to-east orbit.

p. 2

Fedraysha: “Federation” rendered in Fabrini phonetics.  I treated Fabrini as a syllabic language like Japanese, made of units consisting of one consonant and one vowel; however, the name “Fabrini” required making an exception for blends containing “r.”

konari: A draft animal resembling a small ceratopsian dinosaur (see p. 97).  Presumably a native Lorinan species, recently domesticated.  Yonada’s austere ecosystem (see p. 61ff) could not have sustained herds of large grazers, and it is questionable whether frozen embryos could survive for ten thousand years.

Commissioner Soreth’s nose visibly wrinkled: The Vulcans’ olfactory sensitivity was established in ENT: “Broken Bow.”

Sociologist Lindstrom (Christopher Held) appeared in “Return of the Archons,” and was given the first name Christopher in SCE: Foundations, Book 2.

p. 3

In Starfleet we’re taught that it’s our first duty: As established in TNG: “The First Duty.”

Chapter One

p. 7

Opening quote: From TMP.

p. 8

Starbase 22: Named for the 22 years between the theatrical release and Director’s Edition of TMP.  The starbase’s personnel are named for members of the team that produced the DE.

little left of the original ship beyond the bare skeletal framework of the saucer and forward secondary hull: Necessary to explain the changes of proportion between the TOS & TMP versions of the ship.  See http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/articles/constitution-refit.htm for further discussion.

as much as possible of the original material had been recycled into the new structural members and bulkheads: I asserted this to help explain how it can be considered the same ship.

most of the cells in his body at the time he’d first taken command of the starship had been replaced by now: Conventional wisdom is that it takes seven years for all the cells in the body to be replaced.  The truth is more complex; some types of cells in the body regenerate far more frequently (the gastrointestinal lining is replaced about every three days) while other types of cells (significantly in the heart, brain and spinal cord) can’t regenerate at all.  For what it’s worth, Kirk took command in 2265, eight years before these events.

Don’t you ever get bored?: A nod to those viewers who find TMP’s flyby scenes tedious—although I disagree.

p. 9

Fein and his staff had done a superb job of fixing up the ship, making it less austere and more comfortable: Another homage to the DE team.  Most video transfers washed out the film’s original colors, making it appear bland and cold.  The DE restores the original, more vivid colors, as well as completing or correcting many rushed effects shots.

the Trojan-horse code with which Romulan spies had infected the computers during the refit: As depicted in Enterprise Logs: “Night Whispers” by Diane Duane.

p. 10

twenty thousand crystal-tritanium plates phase-transition bonded into a single, nearly seamless whole, each plate with its grain aligned differently so no crack in the hull could propagate too far: My rationalization for the use of tiles in the hull, when futuristic techniques should make it possible to construct a single, seamless whole.  Phase-transition bonding was established in the Next Generation Technical Manual (TNG TM) by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda; its name suggests that it’s related to transporter technology and essentially “beams” two plates together.  Tritanium is a (fictional) metal 21.4 times harder than diamond (“Obsession”).  “Crystal-tritanium” is my own conjecture.  The technique and usefulness of crystallizing tritanium are unclear to me, but it sounds cool, and fits with the pearlescent gleam of the ship.  The reference to the hull being left unpainted was suggested by Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise by Shane Johnson.

Enterprise had left port with a minimum standard crew of 431: As established by comm chatter in TMP (see the text commentary on the DVD, time index 1:52:05).  The 500-person crew complement comes from David Kimble’s TMP Blueprints, and gave me an excuse for adding crewmembers not seen in the film.

p. 11

a ship the size of Maui: V’Ger was 78 km long, approximately equal to the widest dimension of the Hawaiian island of Maui.

p. 13

main gangway hatch: Located on the port side of the saucer rim, between decks 6 and 7.  Presumably Kirk ascends to deck 6 via a ramp (as suggested in Mr. Scott’s Guide).

The Constellation was lost in “The Doomsday Machine,” Intrepid in “The Immunity Syndrome,” Excalibur in “The Ultimate Computer” (see p. 29 note), and Defiant in “The Tholian Web.”  The crew of Exeter was killed in “The Omega Glory,” and that of Sphinx in Section 31: Cloak by S. D. Perry (see p. 31 note).  Zheng He and Ashoka are my own coinages; their fates must have been among those rare twenty-third-century events that the Enterprise wasn’t directly involved with.  Zheng He was the Muslim eunuch who commanded the Ming Dynasty’s mighty exploration fleet—known, in fact, as the Star Fleet—in the early fifteenth century.  Ashoka was a great emperor from India’s history, a conqueror who sickened of violence and strove to rule benevolently.

a smattering of light cruisers too weak to make a difference: The presence of light cruisers was suggested by an early draft of “In Thy Image,” Harold Livingston’s pilot script for the abortive Star Trek Phase II series, which was in development for months before being turned into TMP.  This script is reprinted in ST Phase II: The Lost Series by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.  Nothing in the film suggests their presence, but it’s highly implausible that the Enterprise was literally the only spaceship anywhere near Earth.

Admiral Nogura was established in dialogue in TMP, and fleshed out more fully in the novelization.

interesting (in the Chinese sense): “May you live in interesting times” is a well-known Chinese curse.  The Chinese have always been very concerned with history, and historians traditionally find times of strife, turmoil and devastation quite interesting.

p. 14

Not another spacewalk, I trust?: Referring to Spock’s unauthorized spacewalk to meld with V’Ger.

p. 16

mesiofrontal cortex: Established as the seat of Vulcan emotional control in VGR: “Meld.”

The specifics of V’Ger’s journey as presented in TMP are ambiguous.  Spock described V’Ger’s databanks as spanning the universe and containing representations of entire galaxies; the images seen during his spacewalk bear this out.  Kirk later said V’Ger’s journey merely crossed our galaxy.  But Kirk is only a tertiary source, having learned about it from Spock, who learned about it from V’Ger.  Thus, Kirk is the least reliable of the sources in the film.  His line does represent the filmmakers’ original intent, but an intergalactic journey is more consistent with the evidence in the final film itself.  Also, I wished to capture the filmmakers’ deeper intent of making V’Ger’s journey truly vast and epic.  In the wake of VGR, a trip across one galaxy seems relatively mundane.

Vulcan neurologists had learned millennia ago that even the most logical, abstract decisions engaged the emotional centers of the humanoid brain: This was also discovered by human neurologists in the early 2000s.

p. 20

I never say that: This exchange is a replay of one from McCoy’s first episode, “The Corbomite Maneuver.”  “I never say that” was apparently being set up as a recurring mannerism for McCoy, though it subsequently vanished in favor of “I’m a doctor, not a _____.”  But since “Corbomite” was my first ST episode and still a favorite, I hereby resurrect the mannerism.

constantly falling for distant, undemonstrative men: Before Spock, Chapel was in love with Roger Korby, whose personality seemed to adapt readily to existence as an android in  “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

p. 21

The Zaranites are the bald, breathing-masked aliens from the TMP rec-deck briefing scene.  Two were visible in that sequence.  (The best front view is at time index 29:52 on the DVD.)  Robert Fletcher’s notes, reprinted in The Making of ST:TMP, establish them as fluorine-breathers, though I have modified that to something more biologically feasible.

p. 22

The TMP uniforms’ belt buckles were intended to be “perscan” units transmitting the medical status of all crewmembers to sickbay.  However, the plot of “Night Whispers” overlooks this in favor of a long-range life-signs scanner in sickbay.  I reconciled the two by assuming the scanner was in fact for reading the perscan units, and that the units were passive until scanned, functioning much like the RFID microchips now being increasingly used to track inventory, pets, children and the like.  Interestingly, after this novel went to press I read of a proposal to implant people with RFID chips containing their medical histories, drug allergies and so forth so that medical personnel could more readily obtain it in emergencies.

Presumably McCoy’s campaign to eradicate the perscan buckles in the next uniform design was successful, since they were never seen again.  The commbadges in TMP, DS9 & VGR could track the wearer’s position, but apparently did not transmit health status.

p. 24

“Journey to Babel” established that Sarek and Spock had not spoken as father and son for eighteen years due to Spock’s decision to enter Starfleet rather than the Vulcan Science Academy.

p. 25

Minister Tasari was modelled on one of the stuntmen who attacked Kirk, Spock and McCoy early in FTW.  In the episode, he wears a blue-purple-green tartan, and is visible over Kirk’s shoulder when Kirk says “I can’t say I think much of your welcome” (at about time index 9:30).


Security Minister Tasari

Chapter Two

p. 27

Opening quote: From FTW.

M’Ress and Arex were the two nonhumanoid crewmembers from TAS, a felinoid Caitian and a tripedal Edoan (called a “Triexian” in Peter David’s New Frontier series).

What’s next, Hortas and talking spiders?: An homage to Diane Duane’s Trek novel sequence consisting of The Wounded Sky, Spock’s World and the Rihannsu series.  Her recurring characters included K’t’lk/K’s’t’lk, an alien physicist resembling a glass spider, and Naraht, the first Horta in Starfleet.  These books’ interpretation of Trek continuity differs from the modern shows and books, so I have not used them as direct story references; however, Duane’s diverse multispecies Enterprise crew was a strong stylistic influence on ExM.

p. 28

In VGR: “Q2,” the character Icheb stated: “Though it was a blatant violation of the Prime Directive, Kirk saved the Pelosians from extinction, just as he had the Baezians and the Chenari many years earlier.  Finally, in the year two thousand two hundred and seventy, Kirk completed his historic five-year mission, and one of the greatest chapters in Starfleet history came to a close.”  I thus concluded that the Pelosian rescue was the final event of the five-year mission, and used the Prime-Directive controversy to explain why Kirk was promoted to a desk job.  (The story of the end of the five-year mission has been told in three incompatible ways already, in J. M. Dillard’s novel The Lost Years, DC Comics’ Star Trek Annual 2 (first series) by Mike W. Barr, and DC Comics’ Star Trek issue 75 (second series) by Howard Weinstein.  Reconciling ExM with any or all of these prior interpretations is left as an exercise for the reader.)

The danger of ecological devastation from an interstellar dust cloud blocking a planet’s sun is genuine.  See Fred Hoyle’s 1957 novel The Black Cloud.

the new plague: Presumably the mass die-offs resulting from the climatic catastrophe, leaving many rotting corpses lying around, would promote the proliferation of disease organisms.  Also, famine would weaken the immune systems of survivors.

Between that and the species’ total extinction, it had seemed the only sane choice to make: Clearly Kirk sees things differently from the Starfleet of a century later.  For that matter, so do I.

p. 29

the M-5 debacle: In “The Ultimate Computer,” a computer placed in command of the Enterprise went rogue and attacked several other starships, resulting in the complete destruction of the Excalibur crew.

The machinations of Nogura and Ciana (pronounced “chee-ah-na”), and McCoy’s resignation in response, were described in the TMP novelization.  One possible version of these events was depicted in TOS: The Lost Years by J. M. Dillard, although that version is not fully compatible with this one.

The TMP novelization also established that the woman killed in the film’s transporter accident was Lori Ciana.  In fact, the actress was wearing the uniform of an enlisted crewmember, but this is unclear on screen, and I chose to go with the novel’s interpretation.

p. 30

the medical mission to Daran IV: The TMP novelization stated that “McCoy had become something of a recluse while he researched applications of Fabrini medicine among surface dwellers” (p. 84-5).

Edith: Sister Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), whom Kirk fell madly in love with and had to sacrifice in  “City on the Edge of Forever.”

Miramanee (Sabrina Scharf): Preserver-transplanted Native American whom Kirk married during his two amnesiac months as “Kirok” in  “The Paradise Syndrome.”  Stoned to death in her first month of pregnancy with Kirk’s child.

p. 31

The layout of McCoy’s quarters is basically the same as Kirk’s in TMP.

Daran IV: FTW did not specify Yonada’s destination, but certain conclusions can be drawn from the episode.  When first encountered, Yonada was 396 days from colliding with Daran V.  It used primitive fission rockets, so it had to be at sublight speeds; and it was said to be passing through the outskirts of “this system.”  Therefore it had to be in the Daran system already, and travelling slowly enough that it would take more than a year to cross it.  At the end, only a day or two later (unless McCoy’s therapy took much longer than it seemed), we were told Yonada was 390 days from its destination — a difference of four or five days.  Clearly the unspecified destination world also had to be in the Daran system.  But it couldn’t be Daran V itself; the numbers don’t add up.  Since Yonada was under thrust so close to planetfall, it had to be decelerating toward rendezvous.  It was off course because of a “weakness” in one of its thruster tubes, which means it wasn’t decelerating hard enough.  Once Spock fixed the thruster tube, Yonada would’ve slowed down more.  If Daran V had been its destination, it would’ve therefore taken longer to get there.  Since it actually took several days less, the destination had to be a different planet within the Daran system, one whose point of intersection with Yonada’s course would be a bit closer than Daran V’s would’ve been.

the Fabrini word for ‘promise’: FTW referred to Yonada’s destination as the World of the Promise.

the Kettaract affair in the Lantaru sector: Established in VGR: “The Omega Directive.”  Section 31: Cloak by S. D. Perry depicted the incident, and established that it occurred just before FTW.

p. 33

that doe-eyed innocent look: One of Kirk’s favored mannerisms in TOS.

p. 34

The Dramian plague was depicted in TAS: “Albatross.”  Spock contracted choriocytosis in TAS: “The Pirates of Orion.”  It is reasonable to assume that the animated series took place in the year following TOS’s final season.

p. 35

scared as a long-tailed cat in a room full o’ rocking chairs: By coincidence, Margaret Wander Bonanno had McCoy use essentially this same down-home aphorism twice in The Lost Era: Catalyst of Sorrows—although there he’d shortened it to “rockers,” presumably because at his much more advanced age he had less time to waste.

p. 37

Chief Sternbach: An homage to Rick Sternbach, a production artist on TMP (best known for his later work on TNG, DS9 & VGR) and a valuable source of information for this book.

There’s a contradiction here that I overlooked:  If Scotty has the horizontal intermix shaft partly disassembled, how can the matter and antimatter reactants be swirling within it?  Presumably the reaction is only occurring in the vertical shaft in this scene.

dilithium swirl chamber: This term comes from Rick Sternbach, who explained to me how the TMP engines were meant to function.  The thickness of the shaft walls is my own conjecture.

Chief Ross (Terrance O’Connor) was the crewmember in TMP who asked Scotty why the captain ordered self-destruct (DVD time index 1:51:15).  She was referred to as Chief Ross in the screenplay, although her uniform epaulets do not bear the trapezoidal pin of a chief petty officer (as seen on Janice Rand’s epaulets). Although I identified her in the book as Theresa Ross, I did not intend to identify her with Yeoman Teresa Ross of “The Squire of Gothos.”


Chief Petty Officer Theresa Ross

p. 38

the vapor-deposition process: This may have been an error on my part.  Based on Rick Sternbach’s explanation that the walls of the swirl chamber are lined with dilithium which regulates the reactions within, I concluded that vapor deposition was the most natural way to make such a coating.  However, vapor deposition would allow growing new dilithium crystals, which apparently contradicts The Voyage Home’s assertion that the technology for recrystallizing dilithium was unknown prior to that movie.  Perhaps the swirl chamber’s dilithium matrix consists of natural crystals embedded in a vapor-deposited layer of a similar compound.  Or perhaps the kind of dilithium crystal structure produced by vapor deposition is not useful in the kind of warp drive seen in TVH, which we can assume is the “pulse” model used in TNG rather than the “swirl” model used in TMP & VGR.

Nicholson and Longbotham: Homage to Sam Nicholson and Brian Longbotham, creators of the kinetic lighting effects used in the engine shaft and the Voyager 6 complex in TMP.

p. 39

The classified nature of the Kettaract incident was established in VGR: “The Omega Directive.”  The Enterprise command crew’s knowledge of the true events was established in Section 31: Cloak.

Chapter Three

p. 40

Opening quote: From TMP.

Chief DiFalco (Marcy Lafferty) was the replacement navigator in TMP.

Sulu’s extensive travels in his youth have been an accepted part of his backstory in the novels since Vonda N. McIntyre established them (along with his first name) in TOS: The Entropy Effect.

p. 41

Uhura is the only TOS character to have no canonical first name, but William Rotsler’s coinage of Nyota (Swahili for “star”) as her first name has long been accepted in fandom and many novels, and by Nichelle Nichols herself.  (Interestingly, ENT communications officer Hoshi Sato’s first name also means “star.”) (Edit: Of course, the name Nyota was made canonical for Uhura in the 2009 movie.)

voder: Also “vocoder.”  A term for an electronic speech synthesizer, coined for the first such device built by Bell Labs in 1939.  Introduced to the Trek universe in TAS: “The Infinite Vulcan.”

The Trill were introduced in TNG: “The Host” and developed further in DS9.  We know that Trills have been involved with the Federation for centuries, but their nature as a joined species, humanoid hosts carrying vermiform symbionts, was secret until “The Host.”  McCoy learned this secret from Emony Dax in The Lives of Dax: “Old Souls” by Michael Jan Friedman.  The Trill seen here is unjoined, although it never came up in the novel.  Since she doesn’t really have a secret to keep, perhaps she just doesn’t like Chekov after all.

p. 42

Ensign Zaand is based on the “alien ensign” played by Billy Van Zandt in TMP.  In the first bridge scene, he is the crewmember who stands up for Decker after Kirk leaves the bridge.  Although initially seen working at the science station, he spends most of the film at internal security and is wearing security-gray epaulets and insignia.  The name and characteristics of his species were established in Robert Fletcher’s production notes for TMP.


Ensign Vaylin Zaand

The particulars of Zaand’s status report are based on the layout of the internal security station as depicted in Lee Cole’s Enterprise Flight Manual, a document created to instruct the actors in how to work their stations.

p. 43

The cartographic information here is a mix of real astronomy and Geoffrey Mandel’s ST Star Charts.  For more on the Sco-Cen Cluster, see p. 56 notes and http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/06jan_bubble.htm.

p. 44

The idea that the actual speed associated with a given warp factor varies based on cosmic conditions was initially proposed in the 1980 Star Trek Maps in order to explain the contradiction between the warp formula in The Making of ST and the speed-and-distance information provided onscreen in  “That Which Survives.”  The idea is also mentioned in the TNG Technical Manual (p. 55), and is necessary to explain the large discrepancies between the published warp tables and the actual travel times seen onscreen, which almost invariably require much higher velocities than the “official” tables suggest.  (Fans often complain about the four-day trip to Qo’noS in ENT: “Broken Bow,” but it is no more problematical than the TOS Enterprise’s repeated trips to the edge of the galaxy – the nearest face of the galactic disk being at least 1000 light-years away, which would be a year’s trip at warp 10 by the Making of ST’s warp formula – or the Defiant travelling from DS9 to Earth in a few days in DS9: “Paradise Lost.”)

The upheavals in the Klingon Empire are a reasonable conjecture, given the abrupt disappearance of TOS’s humanlike Klingons in favor of the “bumpy” Klingons seen ever since.  There are many fan theories to explain this change, but no official explanation had been offered as of the writing of ExM; thus the novels have had to remain vague on the issue.  The taboo against discussing ethnic matters with outsiders is my interpretation of Worf’s evasion of the issue in DS9: “Trials and Tribble-ations.”  The execution of the anthropologists was meant to be my interpretation of Picard’s reference to a “disastrous first contact with the Klingon Empire” in TNG: “First Contact” (the episode, not the film).  Picard’s statement is difficult to reconcile with what we’ve seen in ENT, so I chose to interpret it as a reference to the first organized Federation effort to get to know the Klingons.  But what Picard specifically said is that the contact “led to decades of war.”  I’m not sure my anthropologist bit really ties in with that, but it can still stand as a separate incident.

the different types of Klingon: The diversity of Klingon types goes beyond just the “smooth and bumpy” dichotomy.  The Klingons seen in TMP were distinctly different from any other Klingons, with just a single row of vertebrae bisecting the cranium rather than a full bony plate.  The Klingons seen in ST IV, V, & VI (makeup by Richard Snell) seem to have a different ridge structure from the Michael Westmore Klingons of the 24th-century shows and ENT.  Also, the ST VI Klingons had pink blood while Westmore Klingons bleed red.  For that matter, even the “smoothies” of TOS came in two different types: the swarthier kind with bifurcated eyebrows seen in “Errand of Mercy,” “A Private Little War,” “Elaan of Troyius,” “Day of the Dove,” and “The Savage Curtain,” and the more ordinary humanlike kind seen “Friday’s Child” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

p. 45

DiFalco’s crush on Kirk is an in-joke based on the fact that the actress who played her, Marcy Lafferty, was married to William Shatner at the time of TMP.

p. 48

My course calculations were assisted by the Sky3D celestial mapping program, allowing one to view the known stars from any position in space and to “fly” among them.  I assumed for the purposes of my calculations that Daran is the F7 star HD 99310, located some 350 light years from Earth, near Pi Centauri.

T’Hesh is based on one of the foreground extras in the TMP rec deck mission briefing scene, a Vulcan in a white jumpsuit with security-grey insignia, played by fan JoAnn Christy. (She is barely visible in the DE at time index 30:11, front row, left of center, but is most clearly seen in the 1979 Theatrical Version Trims, time index 1:05, front row, far left.)

Specialist 2/C T'Hesh

Specialist 2/C T’Hesh

the temperature differential: Since Vulcan is a hot planet, Vulcan crewmembers tend to set the environmental controls in their quarters to high heat.  In retrospect, since T’Hesh was moving out, it might have made more sense for her to have reset the thermostat already; but perhaps she was saving that for last.

p. 49

The meditation flame and keethara blocks were meditative aids used by Tuvok in various episodes of VGR.

The V’tosh ka’tur (“Vulcans without logic”) were established in ENT: “Fusion.”  Contrary to T’Hesh’s assumption, they sought the same goal Spock does here, to reconcile emotion with logic rather than abandoning logic altogether.  However, their efforts met with questionable results.

p. 50

The tauntings directed at Spock by the Vulcan children were seen in TAS: “Yesteryear.”

the Surakian salute: This is perhaps inaccurate, since Vulcan’s Soul: Exodus by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz establishes that the split-fingered salute was already traditional in the days before Surak.

p. 51

Enrique Mercado: Based on the engineering ensign assisting Chekov in the first bridge scene.  He is standing just behind Chekov when Kirk orders the crew assembled on the rec deck.

Ensign Enrique Mercado

Ensign Enrique Mercado

Starbase 22 appeared on-screen, a modular structure of branching cylinders: Inspired by a Mike Minor concept design for ST Phase II, as seen on p. 168-9 of The Art of Star Trek and insert pages 8-11 of Phase II: The Lost Series.

The description of the starscape on the viewer is thanks to Sky3D again, based on the view looking toward Pi Centauri from the vicinity of Regulus.  The fictitious Azure Nebula was established in VGR: “Flashback,” and its position (along with those of Klingon and Romulan space) was established in ST Star Charts.  In reality, there are no nebulae within several hundred light-years of Earth; indeed, most of Federation space as established in Star Charts would fall within the Local Bubble, a zone of unusually low interstellar-gas density blown by the wave of supernovae which has passed through this region of space over the last 20 million years (see p. 56 notes).  The nearest nebula to Earth is the Helix Nebula, some 450 light-years away.  Either the night sky in the Trek universe has always been far more colorful than our own, or a large number of nebulae somehow formed suddenly within the Local Bubble between our era and that of the shows.  (These nebulae couldn’t have simply been blocked from view by dust clouds, since such clouds would be detectable by radio or infrared telescopes, and would block the light from more distant stars behind them.)

p. 52

The new impulse engine design used a low-level warp field to reduce the ship’s inertial mass: Established by the TNG TM as a feature of that century’s impulse engines.  I postulate that the TMP refit introduced this feature, in order to explain why the impulse engine is fed off the warp reactor shaft, and why Sulu used fractional warp factors for impulse speeds.

Now that they’re properly calibrated, there’s no risk of field disruption from local gravity sources: My attempt to explain why the ship in TMP waited until it was far from the Sun to engage warp drive, while later productions have shown ships engaging warp anywhere in a star system.  Note that DS9: “By Inferno’s Light” suggested that it was still a bad idea to engage warp in a star system, but this can be explained due to the risk of collisions with other ships and intrasolar bodies – which, though slight given the vastness of space, is also quite serious due to the immense energies which would be released in such a collision.

The “throttle” lever Sulu used in TMP was described in the Enterprise Flight Manual as a manual-override lever.

p. 53

creating the precise patterns of mass and energy required to knead three dimensions of space and six of subspace into unnatural, improbable, and very useful shapes: General Relativity tells us that any large concentration of energy – including mass, by far the “densest” form of energy – alters the geometry of spacetime in a way that affects the movement of the bodies within it.  We call this gravity.  A sufficiently complex arrangement of masses and energies could theoretically reshape spacetime into warp bubbles, wormholes and other oddities.  However, this would require more energy than the observable universe contains, and the use of some unknown form of exotic matter to keep such space warps from collapsing.  M-theory suggests that the universe contains seven compactified dimensions beyond the four of regular spacetime, “curled up” too small to detect.  In my conjectural model of Trek physics I allocate six to subspace, reserving one as a second dimension of time (which might be useful to explain Trek’s bizarre temporal physics).  The theory states that changing the geometry of these “subspace” dimensions could alter the physical constants (as we have seen “subspace fields” do in TNG: “Deja Q” and DS9: “Emissary,” leading me to conclude that a subspace field is a region whose subspace geometry has been altered), thus perhaps enabling a spacewarp to be created with less energy, or allowing the creation of exotic particles which could stabilize a spacewarp.  See SCE: Aftermath for further examination of these ideas.

Gravity-lensed starlight erupted in a prismatic burst once the warp field was fully formed, then appeared to streak backward impossibly fast as the field cycled and played with the light: The speeds at which Trek starships apparently travel are far too low for any significant stellar motion to be observed on a timescale smaller than hours or days.  Thus, the appearance of stars zooming past must be an illusion.  Some have conjectured that the “stars” are actually cosmic dust particles being vaporized by the navigational deflector, but they have been referred to onscreen as stars (by Hoshi Sato in ENT: “Fight or Flight”).  My theory is that the warpfield periodically cycles and sweeps the light from the same stars across the ship over and over, like a rotating prism.

Chapter Four

p. 54-5

Megarites are a species created for TMP and described in Robert Fletcher’s notes.  In the film, a Megarite is visible in the Starfleet HQ scene, crossing the screen from right to left just as the air tram comes to a stop (time index 13:19).  No Megarites are seen in the Enterprise crew, but I found Fletcher’s description so interesting that I created Spring Rain and had her come onboard at Starbase 22.

Specialist 2/C Spring Rain on Still Water

Specialist 2/C Spring Rain on Still Water

I decided that the Megarite homeworld would be called Megara.  Since Megara was Hercules’ first wife in Greek mythology, I made it the fourth planet of Chi Herculis, an F9 star 52 light-years from Sol. Star Charts places Denobula (homeworld of ENT’s Dr. Phlox, not to be confused with the real star Denebola) near Chi Herculis (see Star Charts p. 44 and foldout map 1), hence my decision that the Denobulans were Megara’s first contact.  At the time, I hadn’t noticed that Star Charts already shows a Megara much farther from Earth, in the lower left corner of foldout map 3.  Presumably this is a different Megara.

two sixty-fours of years: I’m assuming Megarites have four-fingered hands (their hands were not clearly seen onscreen) and count in base eight.

p. 56

the science complex that occupied the forward quadrant of Deck 7: My own conjecture, since available sources are unclear on the location of the science department.

the kind of cross-disciplinary communication which Mr. Spock believed was essential for scientific progress: In reality, scientists tend to be specialized in their interests, knowing little about other fields.  This can sometimes delay the kinds of discoveries and insights which become evident when different disciplines compare notes.  Starfleet science officers are always portrayed as generalists, experts in everything, and I believe the role they would play in coordinating and correlating different specialists’ studies could be valuable in promoting scientific progress.  It’s something we could use more of in the real world.

FTW established that the Fabrini’s language and history were known in the Federation, but did not explain how.  I chose to postulate space probes as an explanation (perhaps inspired by TNG: “The Inner Light”), and the Intrepid’s discovery of them gives another starship something to do for a change (besides being destroyed, though that happened to the Intrepid later on).

The Scorpius-Centaurus OB association is a zone of active star formation.  The “OB” refers to O- and B-class stars, the hottest, shortest-lived kind, which live mere millions of years or less before going kaboom quite spectacularly.  Thus, they are usually only found in zones of recent star formation.

Initially, I attempted to identify Fabrina with a real supernova, and considered using the star whose supernova 11,400 years ago created the Vela Supernova Remnant.  But this star was about 815 ly away (give or take 100), which is too remote by Star Charts standards.  Unable to find a real supernova which happened in the right time frame within a few hundred ly of Earth, I made Fabrina an imaginary star in the Sco-Cen association, on the principle that new supernova remnants are still being discovered.

p. 57

Betelgeusians are another species described in Fletcher’s TMP notes.  The description of their two mouths is my own interpretation of the makeup design.  Three Betelgeusians are seen in the mission briefing scene, one on the floor level, two on the balcony.  Uuvu’it is the one on the floor, wearing a brown jumpsuit with science-orange epaulets (best view: time index 31:46, in back, right of center) — the same one used to illustrate the Memory Alpha article linked above.

Specialist 1/C Hrrii'ush Uuvu'it

Specialist 1/C Hrrii’ush Uuvu’it

Since Betelgeuse itself is a vast red giant unlikely to have ever supported life, I assume that “Betelgeusians” merely come from a small main-sequence star system somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse (to paraphrase Douglas Adams), rather than from Betelgeuse itself.  Essentially they’re named for the Betelgeuse sector, which is now their “home” since they abandoned their native planet well before Federation contact.

the Sargonian Diaspora: In “Return to Tomorrow,” Sargon stated that his humanoid species had colonized worlds across the galaxy until their destruction 600,000 years ago.  They may thus be the ancestors of most of the humanlike aliens seen in TOS.  However, Spock said that Sargon’s tale might explain discrepancies in Vulcan prehistory, suggesting that they may only be the ancestors of the Vulcans and similar species like the Mintakans (TNG: “Who Watches the Watchers”) and the Rigellians (“Mirror, Mirror”).

Only that some race settled across space, built livable worlds around young giant stars like Rigel and Altair, then lost their technology and had to start over again: My conjecture for why so many inhabited worlds in Trek are found around stars too young to host naturally evolved life.  The problem is that SF tends to use well-known stars, which are usually the biggest and hottest, and thus the shortest-lived.

Most of the science-section characters are named for old school friends of mine (approximately, since I don’t like borrowing real names verbatim).  Some of them are also based on TMP extras seen in science colors, although Bolek must have come aboard at Starbase 22, since no Tellarites were seen in TMP.  I assume Jade Dinh is the Asian woman seen in the mission briefing scene, time index 30:35, forward right.

Miscellaneous crew

Miscellaneous crew

p. 59

Yonadi vs. Yonadan: The former refers to the people and the culture, while the latter describes other things like the geology.

The technique used for creating Yonada’s diamond-coated collapsed-matter core is based on one described by the late Robert L. Forward in his story “The Singing Diamond” and his book Indistinguishable from Magic.  To quote from the former: “You merely take a large rotating asteroid as big as an office building and hit it from all sides with a spray of antimatter.  When the shock wave passes, you have a small, rapidly spinning plate of glowing compressed matter that is trying desperately to regain its former bulk.  Before it does, you hit it from twelve sides with a carefully arranged set of accurately cut chunks of nickel-iron lined with pure carbon.  In the split-nanosecond that the configuration is compressed together into an elastically rebounding supersolid, you coat it heavily with another layer of antimatter and let it cool for a week.”  The Fabrini would have had to do this on a far greater scale, but it’s the only way to explain how an asteroid of its size has significant gravity at all without artificial gravity generation.

If Yonada’s core takes up half its volume, it would need a density of nearly 400 grams per cubic centimeter to achieve the desired gravity (mentioned on p. 60).  This is 16 times denser than osmium, the densest natural element.  However, this is far less dense than the degenerate matter found in a white dwarf star.  Therefore I’ve fudged a little and called it “collapsed matter” rather than degenerate.

p. 60

FTW does suggest that the Fabrini knew for certain what Yonada’s destination world was and that it would be habitable.  Given the technological level I assumed for them, it’s unlikely they could’ve determined that through telescopic observation alone.

p. 61

The Shesshran are a species I created for an original SF project I later abandoned.  FTW established nothing about the natives of Daran V aside from their population, so I was free to create them myself.  Certain fan references have postulated that Daran V was a Federation colony consisting mainly of humans, Deltans and Tellarites, and was the only major Federation port in its sector.  However, this is inconsistent with FTW, in which Kirk didn’t even know Daran V was inhabited until Spock told him.  Had it indeed been the only friendly port in the region, no competent starship captain would have been ignorant of it.  And again, I didn’t think the Fabrini could’ve known there was a suitable world in the system without help from an indigenous species.

Here’s an illustration of a Shesshran I made long ago using a very old, low-resolution paint program, attempting to show how its silvery skin diffracts the light:

Shesshran art by Christopher L. Bennett

Shesshran art by Christopher L. Bennett

Since Daran V is farther from its star than the Earthlike Daran IV, it would presumably be too cold to support life, unless it had a very dense atmosphere with a pronounced greenhouse effect.  Such a dense atmosphere suggests a high-gravity planet.  You might think that high gravity would make a flying species less likely, but in fact atmospheric density is more important, since buoyancy goes in direct proportion to gravity.

The radiation from a supernova would be devastating even 32 ly away, or farther.  Nearby supernovae can trigger mass extinctions – which is why some theorists believe extraterrestrial life is unlikely to exist in active star-formation regions such as galactic arms.  The fact that we’re still here after the Sco-Cen star-formation wave swept through our neck of the woods suggests otherwise, to me at least.  Still, there is evidence that some of those nearby supernovae triggered climate changes on Earth, such as the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition of 2 million years ago.

p. 63

The line about Sulu’s bad luck with workplace romances is an oblique (and anachronistic) allusion to the TOS comics published by DC (set during the era of the later movies).  On several occasions, characters introduced as ongoing romantic interests for Sulu had to be written out due to the strict limits then imposed on tie-in continuity, one of which was that there were to be no ongoing characters beyond the TV cast.

p. 64

a spat between a Caitian and an Eeiauoan: Caitians are a felinoid species introduced in TAS, and Eeiauoans are a felinoid species featured in Uhura’s Song by Janet Kagan.  My first draft had Uhura refer to a “catfight” between them, but the line was nixed as too cutesy.

p. 65

Sulu’s staying on Earth and working as a test pilot was established in Traitor Winds by L. A. Graf.

The fact that Nogura reassembled Kirk’s original crew just before TMP was established in the novelization.

Uhura’s role in recruiting nonhuman crewmembers is an homage to Nichelle Nichols’ longtime work recruiting women and minority astronauts for NASA.

The question of who Decker’s first officer was before TMP has never been resolved.  Frankly, I failed to consider it at all while writing ExM, except to establish that it had been neither Sulu nor Uhura.  My guess is that Scotty was his acting first officer during the refit.

p. 66

The reference to Decker treating his crew as a family is probably an homage to Stephen Collins’ most famous role as the father on Seventh Heaven.  However, I’ve never watched that show, and I don’t recall for sure whether I intended that.

Sulu’s statement that he took command training to see if he could echoes a similar comment he made in The Kobayashi Maru by Julia Ecklar.

p. 67

Reiko Onami is based on the crewmember played by Momo Yashima in TMP.  She is the first person to speak in the first bridge scene, a baby-faced Asian woman in a white jumpsuit with medical-green epaulets bearing triangular insignias (perhaps denoting a petty officer second class — no definite sources are available on this).

Petty Officer 2/C Reiko Onami

Petty Officer 2/C Reiko Onami

p. 69

The Saurians are one of the species seen in the TMP mission briefing scene, although they (or at least their brandy) had been alluded to in TOS.  The Saurian I dubbed R’trikahi can be seen at time index 29:52, way in the back right, or more clearly at http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/gallery/artoftrek/saurian-tmp.jpg.  Fletcher’s notes established their physical toughness, but their large eyes suggested to me that they must be nocturnal.  David Mack established in A Time to Kill that they also have the ability to see in infrared.

Petty Officer 2/C R'trikahi

Petty Officer 2/C R’trikahi

p. 71

I have the greatest respect for Captain Kirk: In her bridge scene, Momo Yashima’s attitude toward Kirk appeared downright reverent.

I don’t give a tribble’s eye: Like hen’s teeth or horsefeathers, a nonexistent anatomical feature.  See “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

p. 72

molecular synchronization readouts: Another tidbit from the Enterprise Flight Manual.

p. 74

Heisenberg compensator: A term coined by Sternbach & Okuda.  Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that you can’t measure a particle’s position and its momentum to arbitrary accuracy at the same time.  The more accurately you measure one, the more uncertain the other measurement will be.  This is a serious impediment to the idea of teleportation, since it would require measuring every particle’s position and momentum exactly in order to reassemble the subject intact.  Sternbach & Okuda postulated the Heisenberg compensator as a “black box” based on unknown future tech.  Since then, quantum teleportation theory has proposed an answer.  Quantum-entangling the target object and the receiving station with a reference object allows an “end run” around the Uncertainty Principle: simply put, by only measuring the differences between the two objects’ positions and momenta, you don’t need to measure the actual quantities.  Quantum entanglement is generally done using a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.  I have assumed that the Heisenberg compensator works off such a principle.

The tricky part was figuring out why Rand would have beamed personnel aboard while the transporter circuits themselves were undergoing maintenance.  A false “green light” signal seemed the most likely explanation, short of gross incompetence—which Rand’s continued presence at the transporter later in the film would seem to rule out.

p. 75

Lt. Cleary (Michael Rougas) was the gray-haired engineer who was working on the transporter circuits when they sparked, and who announced “Redline on the transporter, Mr. Scott!”  Oddly, he always managed to be moving quickly, out of focus, or facing mostly away from the camera, so that Cleary was never seen clearly.  I was tempted to make his first name Un.

Chapter Five

p. 77-8

The discussion in the second and third paragraphs is derived from the theoretical papers published at http://www.if.ufrj.br/~mbr/warp/, particularly Hart et al., “On the Problems of Hazardous Matter and Radiation at Faster Than Light Speeds in the Warp Drive Space-time.”  This is actually a highly flawed, self-published paper by a group of theorists blessed with more enthusiasm than care; for instance, it confuses velocity with energy in its discussion of the behavior of photons passing through the warp bubble.  However, for the purposes of reconciling Trek and real physics, its basic ideas proved useful.

The problem with the navigational deflector in Trek is that it’s assumed to be a beam extending out far forward of the ship, pushing oncoming matter aside.  At impulse, this works fine, but at warp, it makes no sense for the deflector beam to extend beyond the warp bubble, for then it would not be travelling FTL ahead of the ship.  Based on the Hart et al. paper, my explanation is that at warp, the navigational deflector actually modifies the shape of the warp field to produce the decelerating/redshifting effects described here.

p. 79

three of Kachissat’s years: Kachissat is the Shesshran name for Daran V.  It orbits Daran at a distance of 2.115 AU and has a year length of 2.69 Earth years.  This tracks with Spock’s comment on p. 56 that the Intrepid’s survey of the Sco-Cen Cluster took place nine years before.

the creatures called Vulcans: “The Immunity Syndrome” established that the Intrepid had an all-Vulcan crew.

railgun: A linear accelerator which magnetically propels a projectile to high speeds.  One of the space-based weapons proposed for the Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s.  It also has non-military uses such as propulsion and cargo launching.

p. 80

the Vulcans had been a type of life form better suited to the weak gravity: Weak in comparison to Kachissat’s gravity, that is.

a large, powered asteroid had been detected on the far edge of the system: As explained in the p. 31 note, Yonada’s destination had to be closer to Yonada than Daran V was.  But Daran IV is closer to the star than Daran V; therefore Yonada must have been heading toward Daran V from the opposite side of the star system.

p. 81

too great a distance for easy parallax: Parallax is the change in position of a body against the background stars resulting from a change in the observer’s position.  The more distant a body is, the smaller its parallax becomes.  In fact, measuring the parallax of a body within one’s own star system isn’t that hard, since it’s relatively close.  But until Yonada fired its missiles at the Enterprise there was no reason to see it as a threat, and determining its parallax was a low priority.

p. 82

Yang Liwei was the first Chinese “taikonaut,” who made China’s first manned spaceflight a few weeks before I wrote this scene.

p. 83

After the shakedown, he would propose returning the station to something closer to its original position: Which is where it was in The Wrath of Khan (TWOK).

Perhaps the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves?: Paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene ii, l. 140-1.

p. 84

its arms split at the elbow into two forearms each, giving it a total of four three-taloned hands: The Shesshran’s legs are similarly designed, though it never came up.

p. 85

My ideas about the Shesshran’s social structure were influenced by the late SF novelist Poul Anderson’s Ythrians (see The Earth Book of Stormgate and The People of the Wind), another species of winged predators.

p. 87

Nizhoni is based on one of the extras in the TMP mission briefing scene, a Native American in a beige uniform with security-gray insignia, and wearing braids and a necklace (best view 30:26, second row left).  Also visible in the scene is another long-braided Native American woman (30:20, fourth row, left of center), possibly the sister Nizhoni refers to on p. 116.

Ensign Mosi Nizhoni

Ensign Mosi Nizhoni

p. 88

Lorina orbits Daran at a distance of 1.62 AU and has a year length of 1.81 Earth years.  (Note that when Lorini characters in ExM refer to “years,” the universal translator is presumably converting the numbers to Earth years.)  Its day is 26.2 hours long.  An axial tilt of 14 degrees gives mild seasons, and the average temperature is 21 degrees C (70 F).  The planet’s land-to-water ratio is a bit less than Earth’s.  And this is more than you needed to know.

p. 89

UV laser principle: See p. 281 note.

p. 90

Vulcan mosaics: established in TWOK, where we saw a large mosaic of an IDIC emblem on Spock’s wall.

Axanar is a world mentioned in “Court-martial” and “Whom Gods Destroy” and a species seen in ENT: “Fight or Flight.”  Topiary is the art of trimming bushes into artistic shapes (see Edward Scissorhands — really, see it, it’s a good movie).

Tellarite erotic abstracts: See DS9: Millennium, Book I: The Fall of Terok Nor by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, p. 146-50.

The Efrosians are the species of the Saratoga’s helmsman in ST IV and the Federation President in ST VI.  They were never named onscreen, but the makeup designers coined the name in honor of ST IV’s unit production manager Mel Efros.

The Andorian flabjellah, a combination musical instrument and weapon, was established in Fletcher’s TMP alien notes.

p. 92

Ensign Perez (Joshua Gallegos) was named onscreen in TMP.  He was the security guard at Ilia’s quarters when the Ilia-probe arrived, and needed McCoy to explain to him what “carbon units” meant.

Ensign Joaquin Perez

Ensign Joaquin Perez

Federation Commissioner for Aid and Reconstruction: In TOS, we saw High Commissioner Ferris (“The Galileo Seven”) and assistant Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford (“Metamorphosis”).  Exactly what the title meant was left vague, but one meaning of “commissioner” is the head of a government commission.  So I decided that Soreth heads the Commission for Aid and Reconstruction, which is responsible for helping colonies get established, providing disaster relief, and sometimes giving assistance to alien cultures such as this one.  We can assume the CAR also got involved in cases like Miri’s planet (“Miri”), Beta III (“Return of the Archons”), and the like, so Soreth and Lindstrom may have met before they came to Lorina.

p. 93

the Avrosians that Commodore Wesley liberated: An unchronicled adventure.  After all, Kirk can’t be the only starship captain that ever does anything.  Commodore Robert Wesley (Barry Russo) commanded the Lexington (“The Ultimate Computer”), although he later retired to become governor of the remote planet Mantilles (TAS: “One of Our Planets is Missing”).

p. 95

Gamma Trianguli VI was home to the computer-“god” Vaal in “The Apple.”

Chapter Six

p. 97

Opening quote: From “Patterns of Force.”

a local species of draft animal: The konari (see p. 2).

p. 99

Parrises Squares: A popular game in the 24th-century Federation (established in TNG: “11001001”); there’s no reason why it couldn’t have existed a century before.

p. 100

Kirk recalled seeing few Yonadi who looked younger than forty: The extras in FTW did mostly seem rather old.

p. 102

Deus ex machina: Literally “god from the machine.”  Originally a term from ancient Greek theater, referring to the use of mechanical rigs to lower “gods” onto the stage.  Figuratively it means an arbitrary plot device which miraculously appears out of nowhere to resolve a story.  Hopefully I avoided using any such devices in ExM.

p. 108

Soreth’s recollections reflect the historical events depicted in ENT, at which time Soreth would have been in his early sixties.  Soreth’s views reflect those of the Vulcan establishment at the start of ENT, and do not acknowledge the changes brought about in the ENT trilogy consisting of  “The Forge,” “Awakening” and “Kir’Shara.”  This is because I wrote this before those episodes were made, but it can be explained as a selective interpretation of history on Soreth’s part.

p. 109

The minority status of “melders” was established in ENT: “Fusion” and “Stigma.”  However, “Amok Time” established the mind-touch as a part of traditional betrothal rituals.  In this passage I attempt to reconcile the two.  ENT: “Awakening” established that melding ability is more common than Soreth’s generation believed; again, Soreth’s interpretations here could reflect a reluctance to let go of preconceived notions.

p. 110

Vulcan’s first ambassador to Earth had been Sarek’s grandfather: In The Search for Spock, Sarek called himself “Child of Skon, child of Solkar.”  ENT: “The Catwalk” established that Solkar was Vulcan’s first ambassador to Earth.

T’Pol’s “experiments” with emotion were seen in the third season of ENT.  The consequences to her reputation were shown in ENT: “Home,” though that episode aired after ExM went to press.

p. 111

Spanla is based on one of the crewmembers in the mission briefing scene, a lanky Vulcan in a white jumpsuit with medical-green insignia (29:25, third row, left of center; see group shot in p. 57 note).  He was played by Scott Dwek, a son of Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand).

p. 113

Nancy: the future Mrs. Nancy Crater (Jeanne Bal), an old flame of McCoy’s from “The Man Trap.”

Jocelyn: McCoy’s ex-wife, named by Vonda N. McIntyre in Enterprise: The First Adventure.

Tonia: Yeoman Tonia Barrows (Emily Banks), love interest for McCoy in “Shore Leave.”  Since she was never seen again, we can assume their relationship didn’t last long.

Chapter Seven

p. 115

Opening quote: From Embree, Ainslie T., Sources of Indian Tradition, Volume One, Second Edition (Columbia University Press, 1988), p. 448.  Al-Hasan ibn Abi al-Hasan Yasar Abu Sa`id al-Basri was the great Imam of Basra in the first century of Islam, the leading Muslim scholar and ascetic of his day, and one of the early Sufi mystics.

p. 116

In fact, we haven’t seen Kirk trapped in many caves.  He’s occasionally been held prisoner in caves or cavern complexes (for instance “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and “By Any Other Name”), but that’s not quite the same.  He deliberately trapped himself and others in a cave in “The Cloud-minders.”  He was beseiged in a cave by robotic monsters in TAS: “Once Upon a Planet.”  And no doubt he’s been cavebound in the occasional novel.  But his statement here does seem to be something of an exaggeration – or an error on the writer’s part.

p. 117

under my armor: TMP security personnel were shown to wear armored chestplates and helmets.  Why these were not retained in the subsequent century – along with the seat restraints seen in TMP – is unknown.

“Trust in Allah but tie up your camel” is an old Arab saying.

p. 119

For she is our sister, and though she walks alone, yet she is forever with us: Any similarity between Nidra the Deceiver and the Lone Power in Diane Duane’s Young Wizards universe is an intentional homage.

p. 124

Parthian shot: The Parthians were Central Asian horse nomads who battled the ancient Greeks.  Like most horse nomads, they mastered a tactic in which they would appear to retreat from a battle, then turn and fire arrows backward from their horses.  Thus a Parthian shot is a final attack launched while in retreat.  In modern times the saying is usually rendered as “parting shot,” but I’m a classicist at heart.

p. 129

destroying the munitions dump on Organia: In “Errand of Mercy.”

blasting the Eminians’ computers and disintegration booths: In “A Taste of Armageddon.”

p. 130

the blinking husk of Fabrina: Indicates that the Fabrina supernova left a pulsar as its remnant.

Chapter Eight

p. 132

Opening quote: Courtesy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.  A saying traditionally attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, though there is no definitive source.  “Peace be unto him” is a blessing spoken after the Prophet’s name by Muslims, or by those wishing to show consideration for Muslims in their audience.

Do I sound like the computer to you?: Majel Barrett played both Christine Chapel and the Starfleet computer voice.  Actually the TMP computer does not have her voice, so in this context she’s right to complain.

p. 133

a “remote control” for Spock’s body: As seen in “Spock’s Brain.”  Although the gadget which allowed McCoy and Kirk to puppeteer Spock’s body was not one of TOS’s more plausible ideas, it could be an antecedent of the motor-assist bands seen in TNG: “Transfigurations” and “Ethics.”  I like to think McCoy reverse-engineered it from the unfinished android bodies left behind by Sargon, Thalassa and Henoch in “Return to Tomorrow,” but including that part made the sentence even more unwieldy than it already is.

p. 134

Do I look like somebody’s mother?: Majel Barrett also played Lwaxana Troi, mother of Deanna, on TNG & DS9.  I was in a screwier-than-usual mood when I wrote this scene.

The officers’ lounge seen in TMP was meant to have actual windows looking into space.  However, budgetary limitations required the set to be recycled from pieces of the rec deck set, and its windows do not match the lounge windows seen on the Enterprise miniature, or in the miniature lounge interior seen in the shot where Spock’s shuttle is approaching the docking port (time index 49:49). TMP production artist Andrew Probert attempted to reconcile the set with the miniatures in a production drawing (reproduced on p. 165 of The Art of Star Trek) treating the set as a separate room with viewscreens instead of windows.  The TMP DE digitally added a shot of the nacelles from the angle of the rec deck windows, but I could see no way to reconcile the lounge set with the rec deck set.  Thus, I decided to go with the Probert interpretation, with the addition that the screens can display a view from any sensor location on the ship (explaining the angle of the DE shot).

p. 136

I destroyed Landru and Vaal: In “Return of the Archons” and “The Apple.”

Ended the Eminians’ computer war: In “A Taste of Armageddon.”

Freed the slaves on Triskelion: In “The Gamesters of Triskelion.”

helped bring down the Reich on Ekos: In “Patterns of Force.”

set up a syndicate on Iotia: In “A Piece of the Action.”

Saved… the Chenari, the Pelosians: Alluded to in VGR: “Q2” (see p. 28 note).

Armed Tyree’s people: In “A Private Little War.”

p. 137

Dr. Marcus or her son: Drs. Carol and David Marcus from TWOK.  A version of Kirk’s discovery that Carol had borne his son is depicted in Faces of Fire by Michael Jan Friedman.

p. 138

I know… the kings of England and can quote the fights historical: A line from “The Major General’s Song” in The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan.

p. 140

their frontal lobes were so underdeveloped: According to www.neuroskills.com: “The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality…. The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior.” Given the Rhaandarites’ bulging foreheads and their marked capacity (described in Fletcher’s notes) for obedience, I decided that they would have enlarged frontal lobes, resulting in an advanced capacity for social organization, self-control, language, memory, problem-solving and the like.  Normally there would be no reason to assume that different species’ brains evolve the same anatomy, but in Trek, since all humanoids seem to spring from a common genetic root (TNG: “The Chase”), it’s a valid working assumption.

p. 141

I based the Escherite species on creatures seen in M. C. Escher’s engraving Trappenhuis (House of Stairs).  They were originally from the same abandoned novel project for which I created the Shesshran.

Here is my old illustration of an Escherite (or actually Escherician as I originally called it, but the design is pretty much identical):

Escherite art by Christopher L. Bennett

Escherite art by Christopher L. Bennett

p. 142

The floor of the rec deck could be reconfigured into multiple forms: This explains why the furniture and conversation pits seen in the later rec-deck scenes were not present in the crew-briefing scene.  Note that even with this ability, it is still physically impossible for the set as built to fit inside the saucer section of the ship, since the concave shape of the saucer underside would require the forward two-thirds of the set’s floor to slope upward.

Aurelians are a winged species seen in TAS: “Yesteryear.”  Arcadian is the name given in FASA gaming materials to a pointed-eared, big-eyed species seen on the Federation Council in The Voyage Home; in the gaming materials the species was portrayed with a walruslike body.

the image of Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise had been inadvertently replaced with that of an unused prototype based on Vulcan ships of the same period: To explain why the display of early Enterprises in the TMP rec deck did not include Archer’s ship.  The Matt Jefferies “ringship” concept painting used in the film was created as a potential Enterprise design and later recycled in an unproduced Roddenberry series proposal called Starship.  The Vulcan ships seen in ENT were inspired by the “ringship” design, and the Jefferies painting (or one based on it) was seen on a barroom wall in ENT: “First Flight” and a Starfleet HQ wall in ENT: “Home.”  (Unfortunately, this passage fails to explain the absence in the display of Richard Branson’s “VSS Enterprise” spaceplane prototype, whose construction was announced after the text of ExM had been locked down.)

p. 143

Sulu’s fascination with D’Artagnan (from The Three Musketeers and its sequels) was established in “The Naked Time.”

Chapter Nine

p. 151

Opening quote: From Spock’s World by Diane Duane.  The title Analects is from Vulcan’s Soul: Exodus.  (These two books give somewhat contradictory versions of Surak’s life story, but Surak’s writings as described in either work could still be accurate even if other elements are apocryphal.)

simulated volcanic vents: As seen in FTW.

ropy black plants: Described in James Blish’s adaptation of FTW, though not shown onscreen.

p. 152

kelbonite: A refractory metal which blocks life readings (TNG: “Silicon Avatar”).

victurium: A component of an alloy which blocks transporter beams (TNG: “Hero Worship”).

p. 154

memes: Basic units of knowledge or ideas, which replicate, compete and spread through a culture like genes through a population.

p. 156

the Academy courses Kirk had taught as a lieutenant: Established in “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”  According to Gary Mitchell, cadets were told, “Watch out for Lt. Kirk.  In his classes, you either think—or sink.”

The temple doors, formerly triggered by biometric scanners: On second thought, biometric scanners should not have opened the doors for Spock when he waved his hands before them in FTW, since he was not authorized for access.  Perhaps his Vulcan-human life signs confused the sensors somehow.

black-bereted Federation Security guards: The tour guides of the Star Trek Federation Science museum exhibit (including me, when the exhibit came to my town) had to wear black berets with the UFP logo.  I liked to imagine it was the uniform of some civilian security unit for the Federation Council, or some such thing.  This is presumably what Federation Security is: a nonmilitary security force attached to the Council, Federation commissioners, embassies and the like.  However, the FS guards seen here would have had to wear an earlier version of the UFP logo than the TNG-era one on my beret (which I got to keep).

UFP beret

My Federation Science beret

p. 161

le-matya: A fierce, catlike Vulcan predator, introduced in TAS: “Yesteryear.”

p. 162-3

Lindstrom’s recollections are based on the events of “Return of the Archons.”

p. 164

Landru’s reawakening was depicted in SCE: Foundations, Book 2.

Chapter Ten

p. 171

IDIC: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, a Vulcan philosophy introduced in “Is There in Truth No Beauty?”

p. 172

mini-culottes: Culottes are shorts with front and rear panels to make them look like skirts.  The “miniskirts” of TOS women’s uniforms were actually mini-culottes.

Be seeing you: An homage to an homage.  This was a catchphrase of the dystopian Village in the cult series The Prisoner.  On Babylon 5, Walter Koenig played the sinister Psi Cop Bester, and occasionally used the same phrase.

p. 173

clothing transporter: Seen in the Ilia probe’s “shower scene” in TMP, when Kirk beamed a robe onto her. Since the technology was never seen again, it must not have worked very well.

p. 174

Mud, mud, glorious mud: Alludes to the refrain from “The Hippopotamus,” one of the best-known novelty songs by the old-time British comedy duo Flanders and Swann.  The full refrain is:

Mud, mud, glorious mud,
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!
So follow me, follow
Down to the hollow
And there we will wallow in glorious mud!

Argelian exfoliant: Argelius II is a peaceful, hedonistic civilization seen in “Wolf in the Fold.” Presumably they would know a thing or two about luxury and pampering.

p. 175

Sulu turning into an awkward schoolboy: This scene was cut from the DE (though it can be viewed in the deleted scenes), but it could still have happened, and I wanted to acknowledge that it did.

Nehru University: A real institution in New Delhi.  Ilia’s time there might explain why she spoke with an Indian accent.

The backstory about Ilia’s father comes from the character notes in The Making of TMP.

p. 176

she would’ve been a great therapist, with that empathic ability: Originally, in Phase II, Ilia would have been a regular character who would have functioned as a sort of ship’s counselor.  TNG’s Will Riker and Deanna Troi were based on Will Decker and Ilia.

p. 177

Deltans believe that before and after life, they exist as pure love pervading all things: This was established in the Phase II teleplay “The Child” by Jaron Summers & Jon Povill, reprinted in Phase II: The Lost Series (and later rewritten into a TNG episode).

p. 180

Gerry Auberson is based on the crewmember played by writer David Gerrold in the mission briefing scene (29:25, front row, far left; see group shot in p. 57 notes).  The protagonist of Gerrold’s novel When HARLIE Was One is named David Auberson.  I would’ve liked to make Auberson the ship’s historian, as an homage to Gerrold’s self-referential character “Specks” in his Bantam Trek novel The Galactic Whirlpool; but Gerrold wore an Operations uniform in TMP, and a historian would probably be in Sciences.  I made him a communications officer because I had room for one in the story.

p. 181

In retrospect, metals can be toxic, so perhaps Chapel should have considered the earrings as a possible cause of Spring Rain’s reaction.  On the other hand, the symptoms of metal poisoning are different from the kind of anaphylactic shock Spring Rain experienced, so it was reasonable for Chapel to rule it out.

Minocycline is a real drug used in stroke patients to reduce ischemic damage to the brain (see p. 218).

p. 185

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth: From the King James Bible, Genesis 6:5.

p. 187

Guardian of Forever: An ancient time portal discovered in “City on the Edge of Forever.”

p. 189

Some of the negative effects of Vulcans embracing their emotions have been seen in ENT: “Fusion” and “The Seventh.”  When referring to those obsessed with fanatical beliefs, Spock is presumably thinking of his exiled brother Sybok from The Final Frontier.

I simply believe that, when Surak said we must govern our passions lest they be our undoing, he did not intend for us to deny them completely: This “saying” of Surak’s is a paraphrase of a line of Spock’s in TWOK.  This passage was intended to reconcile that line with Spock’s acceptance of emotion as portrayed in this novel.

Chapter Eleven

p. 194

Alexander M. Brack: Meant to be Flint the immortal from “Requiem for Methuselah.”  “Brack” was an alias of Flint’s established in that episode.  Flint claimed to have known Alexander the Great.  The “M.” is an homage to Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens’ novel Federation, in which Flint (implicitly) appeared as “Micah Brack.”  It could also stand for Methuselah or Merlin, two figures that Flint rather implausibly claimed to have been.

p. 195

It is written that those of the People who sin or speak evil will be punished: This must be a well-known saying, for Natira used it verbatim in FTW.

p. 200

Edward Logan, a burly human ecologist with a clean-shaven head: One of the crewmembers in the mission briefing scene, in a white tunic with sciences-gold insignia (29:25, front row, right of center; see group shot above).  He could’ve been Deltan, but he just didn’t look Deltan to me.

p. 208

His accent, admittedly, may have been something of a muddle thanks to a Lithuanian mother and a well-traveled nanny: Chekov’s onscreen accent was not quite a normal Russian accent.  Since Walter Koenig’s parents were Lithuanian, I assume they were an influence on the accent he used.  The “well-travelled nanny” was meant to explain his use of W’s for V’s, something Russians don’t do as a rule, since they have no W sound in their language.  I couldn’t find an actual language that fit, so I left it vague (wague?).  However, I found references to speakers of certain languages which have a V but no W (including German and Hindi) reversing W’s and V’s Chekov-style when speaking English, as a sort of overcorrection: since they substitute V for W, they figure W should be substituted for V as well.  I could have used this as the explanation for Chekov’s accent, but the book’s long enough already….

Chekov’s relationship with Irina Galliulin was revealed in “The Way to Eden.”  Walter Koenig has complained that Chekov’s stiff, conservative characterization in that episode clashed with his earlier characterization, and I have attempted to reconcile them here.

Chekov’s attempt to retake engineering from Khan’s forces was first suggested by Allan Asherman in DC Comics’ Who’s Who in Star Trek.

p. 209

Chekov’s leave of absence explains why he was not seen in TAS.  In reality, Koenig was left out because Filmation could only afford seven of the eight regular or recurring cast members of TOS.  (Arex was played by James Doohan, and M’Ress by Majel Barrett.)

with the ship in drydock awaiting its turn in the refit schedule: TMP established that Kirk had been Chief of Starfleet Operations for 2.8 years, but that the Enterprise had been undergoing refit for only eighteen months.

The backstory of Chekov’s security training is based on Traitor Winds by L. A. Graf.

p. 210

Li Kwan: Or Lee Kuan, a dictator/conqueror of unspecified vintage, mentioned in “Patterns of Force” and “Whom Gods Destroy.”

p. 211

Trotskyites: Trotsky was a political rival of the Soviet dictator Stalin.  In the 1930s, Stalin embarked on a reign of terror, purging all imagined enemies of the state, often on trumped-up charges of being Trotskyites.

p. 212

Worene: An alien character designed and portrayed by actress/stuntwoman/Trek fan Paula Crist.  Robert Wise was impressed enough with her makeup design to use her in TMP, but only briefly in the mission briefing scene (30:26, second row, far left, next to “Nizhoni”).

Crewman 1/C Worene of the Thorwor Clan

Crewman 1/C Worene of the Thorwor Clan

Shantherin th’Clane: Homage to uber-fan Ian McLean, aka Therin of Andor.  The Andorian naming convention was established in the post-finale DS9 novels. I identify th’Clane with the Andorian seen in the mission briefing, 31:43, third row left (and 1979 Trims, 1:21, third row right).

Crewman 1/C Shantherin th'Clane

Crewman 1/C Shantherin th’Clane

p. 213

Chekov’s musing about a telepathic security force is another in-joke reference to Bester, Walter Koenig’s Babylon 5 character.

Chapter Twelve

p. 217

Opening quote: From FTW, obviously.

p. 218

McCoy has been pushing Kirk to eat salads since “The Corbomite Maneuver.”

the cells themselves are programmed to take in only a certain amount of antioxidants, to prevent overdose: This is true of human cells as well as Megarite.  You can never have too many antioxidants.

p. 219

ship’s discussion boards: The use of online discussion boards on the Enterprise was depicted in Spock’s World by Diane Duane.  This line is an homage to Duane’s work, and to the boards which brought me into contact with Pocket’s Trek editors and began my Trek-writing career.

p. 223

Edith Keeler: See p. 30 notes.

p. 224

Cochrane: Zefram Cochrane, inventor of warp drive.  Introduced in “Metamorphosis” (played by Glenn Corbett), and seen in ST: First Contact and ENT: “Broken Bow” (played by James Cromwell).

p. 231

The circumstances of McCoy’s father’s death were depicted in ST V: The Final Frontier.

Chapter Thirteen

p. 234

Opening quote: From “What Pragmatism Means,” in Pragmatism, pp. 60–61 (1931).  Courtesy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.

p. 238

the Yonadi hadn’t practiced burial: In FTW, Kirk referred to whole generations being buried on Yonada without ever knowing it was a spaceship.  However, at that point he had no actual knowledge of their funerary practices.

p. 239

The Hamlet quote is from Act IV, sc. iii, l. 27-28.

Chapter Fourteen

p. 251

Opening quote: From “The Mark of Gideon.”

p. 253

Risk is our business: One of Kirk’s most-quoted lines, from “Return to Tomorrow.”

p. 254

Howard: Meant to be the same Michael Howard seen in Howard Weinstein’s The Covenant of the Crown and L.A. Graf’s Ice Trap.  Graf’s portrayal of Chekov’s adjustment to security informed mine.

Sh’aow: Based on my cat Shadow.

Swenson: Name taken from Livingston’s “In Thy Image” draft in Phase II: The Lost Series.

retractable floor: An intended feature of the hangar/cargo bay design as seen in TMP.  The matte paintings in the film show the bay with the floor halves fully retracted, their edges serving as walkways over the sides of the bay’s lowermost level.  See The Art of ST, pp. 166-7 and http://www.probertdesigns.com/Folder_DESIGN/CargoBay-3.html.

The use of a forcefield over the bay doors is implicit in the TMP matte shots, which show the doors open to space while normally attired personnel move about inside.

p. 255

The Zhang Sui is based on Matt Jefferies’ unused shuttle design for Phase II.  See p. 21 of the color insert of Phase II: The Lost Series.  Zhang Sui (683-727) was a great Chinese astronomer of the Tang Dynasty.

p. 267

The description of Fabrini writing is based on the symbols that appeared in FTW, although the actual symbols used probably aren’t diverse enough to work according to the hangul-based model I employed.

p. 268

“Metamorphosis” established that universal translators worked by scanning brain waves, although this idea has not been explored further onscreen.  For more of my translator theories, see SCE: Aftermath.

Chapter Fifteen

p. 275

Kirk’s mountaineering hobby was established in ST V.

p. 281

The tetanizing laser is a real nonlethal weapon currently in development by the US military.  The Oracle’s shock in FTW was described as electrical and shown to have a paralyzing effect, so it seemed reasonable to assume it worked in this way, although the real weapon’s effects would not look anything like those in FTW.  Lightning works in a similar way, travelling along an ionized path through the air.

Even Vulcans still acknowledged the need to grieve: As in the expression “I grieve with thee,” first used in “Amok Time.”

p. 282

The events on the Roman planet were seen in “Bread and Circuses.”  The episode attributed its existence to “parallel planetary development,” but seeding by the Preservers (introduced in “The Paradise Syndrome”) seems a more likely origin.

p. 284

the ergosphere of a black hole: A massive rotating body such as a black hole will “drag” spacetime around it in a region called the ergosphere.  In 1974, Frank Tipler calculated that a path through such a region of twisted spacetime could theoretically send a body back in time—an idea which Star Trek had anticipated seven years earlier in “Tomorrow is Yesterday.”

Von Neumann machines: These are more accurately referred to as von Neumann probes, since “von Neumann machine” has another meaning as explained at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann_machine.  Another term for such devices is “auxons,” which I used in my original novelette “Among the Wild Cybers of Cybele”.

ancient globular cluster: Globular clusters were produced during the earliest phases of galaxy formation, and have little in the way of mechanisms for new star formation, so they consist mostly of very old stars.  Since all heavier elements are produced in stellar cores and released by supernovae, older generations of stars have fewer of the heavy elements required for planet formation.

p. 285

V’Ger then turned its scanning matrix on itself: This was spelled out in the screenplay, in dialogue cut from the final film:

V’ger plans to literally meld
to reduce both itself and the
Creator to patterns…
… and then to reassemble itself
combined with the Creator. The
most certain way of obtaining
all the Creator’s answers.

p. 286

our dimensional brane: In M-theory, a “brane” is the basic unit of matter.  The original theory defined particles as vibrating 1-dimensional “strings,” but then was expanded to include 2-dimensional membranes and higher-dimensional entities called “3-branes, 4-branes” etc. by extension.  Some models define our universe as a 3-brane existing within 11-dimensional spacetime, perhaps with other n-brane universes alongside it.

p. 287

hyronalin: Established in “The Deadly Years” as a standard treatment for radiation poisoning.

p. 290

Kirk’s interest in horseback riding was established in ST V and ST Generations.  William Shatner is an accomplished rider and breeder of horses.

p. 292

In the first draft, after Uuvu’it said “looks like a pretty hefty plasma cannon,” Perez objected that it was more of a large Gauss gun, and Uuvu’it replied, “Let’s not argue over the definition of ‘cannon’!”  This was a jab at the endless fan debates over the meaning of “canon” in Trek (and the constant misspelling of the word), and it gave my editor and me a good laugh; but I decided it was just too contrived and cutesy to leave in.

p. 293

The danger posed by the collapsed-matter core is a plot point I cannibalized from an unsold non-Trek story of mine.

Tremendous explosion: This was meant to be an homage to the Chuck Jones cartoon masterpiece “Now Hear This,” a surreal film involving a hearing aid that magnifies every sound to a ridiculous degree, culminating in a gigantic explosion, with the words “Gigantic Explosion” filling the screen.  Unfortunately I got the wording wrong.  I would’ve just had Uuvu’it say “Kaboom” or something along those lines, but it didn’t seem like something a translator/voder would render, even one as astoundingly adept with idiom as Trek translators tend to be.

p. 294-5

The Kobayashi Maru simulation was introduced in TWOK.  The events of Sulu’s Kobayashi Maru test (and his knowledge of origami cranes) were depicted in—wait for it—the novel The Kobayashi Maru by Julia Ecklar.

Chapter Sixteen

p. 296

Opening quote: From “Return of the Archons.”

p. 298-9

The dual shield/forcefield system was alluded to in TMP.  The specifics here are based on a memo reprinted on p. 50 of Phase II: The Lost Series.  The deflector grids are depicted on David Kimble’s TMP Blueprints.  Presumably later designs merged the benefits of the two systems into one, since TNG-era defensive fields are called deflector shields but appear as full englobements like TMP’s forcefield.

torpedoes would set them off, and that could pose a radiation hazard to the people: This (along with Spock’s “Everyone will die” on p. 297) is misleading, since I greatly overestimated the danger of orbital nukes to a planet’s surface.  In fact, high-altitude nuclear explosions would generate massive electromagnetic pulse effects which would devastate the planet’s electronics, but wouldn’t pose a direct threat to living beings on the surface, since they would be too far away to cause thermal damage and their radiation would be absorbed by the atmosphere.  This can be remedied by assuming that Spock was referring to the broader threat posed by Yonada’s destruction (in which case you’d have much greater thermal effects plus debris impacting the surface at high velocity), and that Uuvu’it was concerned with the hazards an EMP would pose to a technological civilization (e.g. knocking out hospital life-support systems or the electronics of planes in flight), as well as the damage the explosions would inflict on the planet’s ozone layer, creating the long-term risk of excessive ultraviolet exposure.

p. 300

I’m assuming here that the forward deflector shield is distinct from the navigational deflector beam generated by the forward dish.  The forward shield would thus have to be generated by the grids on the top and bottom of the saucer, as seen in the Kimble blueprints.

p. 301

The gravitational basis of Trek shields and forcefields was established in the TNG TM.

The true appearance of the Zaranite face can be seen on p. 135 of The Making of ST:TMP.  I wish I had found a less awkward place to mention it in the novel.

p. 302

Scott first told Sulu “You have an annoying fascination for timepieces” in “The Corbomite Maneuver.”

Odanga and his team of weapons specialists, “The Ineffables,” were mentioned in “Night Whispers.”

Hawkins and Bandar are character names from “In Thy Image.”

The location of the forcefield coils is established on the Kimble blueprints.

p. 309

The history of conflict between the Vulcans and Andorians was established in ENT: “The Andorian Incident” and subsequent episodes.

p. 313

“Captain, I’m frightened” is Uhura’s second-most infamous recurring line, after “Hailing frequencies open, sir.”

p. 314

Spock usually seemed to require little time to prepare for melding, while Tuvok on VGR needed to meditate for hours.  I decided this could be explained by a difference in natural ability.

The bridging of minds was established in VGR: “Unimatrix Zero.”

The Nomad/Tan Ru probe was encountered in “The Changeling,” whose plot is often considered an inspiration for the plot of TMP.

p. 315

Spock’s failed attempt to meld with a Mudd’s Planet android was seen in “I, Mudd.”

Spock was subjected to the Klingon mind-sifter in “Errand of Mercy.”  The mind-sifter was never mentioned again; perhaps Spock broke it?

p. 316

the oculomotor, olfactory, and trigeminal nerves, the closest neural access points to the surface: These were suggested as the optimal contact points for melding in the DC comic “The Last Word” by Diane Duane.

Had he experienced such before?: Yes, in “Spock’s Brain.”

p. 317

The prefix code was established in TWOK.

Pauli-exclusion blast: The Pauli exclusion principle states that no two fermions (which includes protons, neutrons and electrons, the constituents of normal matter) can share the same quantum state—simply put, they can’t be in the same place at the same time.  If two atomic electron shells overlap, causing too many electrons to try to occupy the same quantum states, Pauli exclusion will force some of the electrons into higher energy levels—essentially creating a mutual repulsion forcing the electrons apart (this is in addition the electrical repulsion between two like charges).  Now, the problem is that matter is mostly empty space, so even if you did beam two or three bodies together, fairly few of the particles would actually overlap.  There would be a lot of disruption of the electromagnetic bonds between them, which could cause them to go flying apart in random directions, but that’s not a Pauli-exclusion effect—and it probably wouldn’t be nearly as large a blast as implied here.  Perhaps this can be remedied by assuming that the transporter, in its confusion trying to process three signals at once, would be trying to put most of the particles from one body into the same places and quantum states as their counterparts in the other bodies.  Also, the transporter would have to pour more energy into the system in its attempt to force the particles into the same states, further intensifying the blast.  Still, there’s a fair amount of poetic license involved here.

Chapter Seventeen

p. 319

Opening quote: From “This Side of Paradise.”

p. 322

when old Tetsuo had died: As seen in the novel The Kobayashi Maru.

p. 323-4

Rand’s backstory here was established in The Captain’s Daughter by Peter David.

p. 327

The last two Sarek quotes are from Vulcan’s Forge by Josepha Sherman & Susan Shwartz, pp. 263-4 (softcover edition).

p. 331

I am not programmed to respond in that area: Stated by the Mudd’s Planet androids when faced with a request beyond their very limited abilities.

Chapter Eighteen

p. 336

Opening quote: From the song “Someone in a Tree” from Pacific Overtures.

p. 338

The description of Ganidra’s death throes is based on the behavior of a star between nine and ten times the mass of Sol.  This is the smallest size of star which would undergo supernova.  I chose the smallest possible star to help explain why it isn’t associated with a known supernova remnant or pulsar; presumably its remains are small and haven’t been discovered yet.  Above ten solar masses, core fusion would proceed all the way to iron, at which point it would cease (since the fusion of elements heavier than iron uses up energy rather than releasing it – those elements give up energy through the reverse process, fission).  At that point, the supernova would proceed pretty much as described here, though a star above c. 30 solar masses would collapse all the way into a black hole.

p. 344

The scholar-priests had reduced their educational system to a set of tests that taught nothing but the ability to pass the tests, and had no connection to real-world issues: This kind of thing brought about the stagnation of the Chinese civil service under the Ming and Qing Dynasties, diminishing China’s ability to innovate and compete with the West, so that it lost its standing as the most advanced and powerful nation on Earth.  Currently, America’s educational system is becoming increasingly like this.

Chapter Nineteen

p. 350

Opening quote: From TMP.

p. 352

we’ll always have Paris: A famous line from Casablanca.

p. 353

suspended in the hyperbaric chamber: The original Enterprise’s hyperbaric chamber was seen in “Space Seed” and “The Lights of Zetar.”  In the latter case, we saw that it apparently suspended its occupants in weightless conditions.

Vasodilators and adrenergic inhibitors are both common methods of lowering blood pressure.

p. 354

VGR: “Message in a Bottle” established that Leonard McCoy did, in fact, write the book Comparative Alien Physiology.

p. 355

Spring Rain Upon Still Water, I / Disturb the smooth and staid, and make / More interesting sounds: This passage demonstrates how perfectly her name fits her character; however, I had nothing of the sort in mind when I coined her name.  It just sounded cool.  Isn’t serendipity grand?

p. 357

I had to notify her of her husband’s death: Commodore Matthew Decker, killed in “The Doomsday Machine.”  A novel called Decker by David A. Goodman was planned at one point to expand on these events, but was cancelled due to Goodman’s other commitments.

p. 358

The description of Decker’s backstory and hidden spiritual side is based on character material developed for TMP (and alluded to in the novelization) but left out of the final film.

p. 360

ceremony in the torpedo bay: As seen in TWOK.

arboretum: Located inside the large windows at the base of the secondary hull.  It was not seen in TMP, although it was the original intended location of the rec deck (which is why the rec deck set was too tall to fit in the saucer where it finally ended up).

p. 361

Second officer is a position rarely if ever mentioned in onscreen Trek, though it has been used in other novels.  Since Sulu was consistently third in command in TMP, appointing him second officer is really little more than a formality; but I needed some sort of climax to Sulu’s arc.


  1. December 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Still so thrilled to have Shantherin th’Clane named for me. There were two Andorians in the rec deck scenes, one of them a Trek fan friend of Bjo Trimble’s, named John Watts, who coincidentally was known for cosplaying as an Andorian (and other blue characters) at her conventions, and he was in her charity clowns troupe. (We assume the other Andorian was from the Screen Extras Guild.) When I first met Bjo in January 1984, she said, “You should meet John Watts! You two have lots in common.” She had briefly mentioned John in her book, “On the Good Ship Enterprise”. I wrote to John a few weeks later, but never got a reply. I’ve never managed to meet him, but I did find him online a few years ago, we emailed back and forth. He was unaware of “Ex Machina”, but I and was able to confirm that, yes, this was definitely him, now known to be playing me! And, of course, other Trek authors have now tied this character to Therin Park and New Therin Park, and the Andorian warship, the “Therin”.

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