Orion’s Hounds Annotations

Titan: Orion's Hounds

This document explains the continuity references, allusions and scientific concepts contained in Orion’s Hounds (OH).   I assume that the reader is familiar with the basic characters and background of the Trek universe.  The novel is a sequel to the first two Titan novels, Taking Wing and The Red King, both written by Andy Mangels & Mike Martin.

Be aware that this document contains spoilers for the whole of Orion’s Hounds and for numerous episodes, films, novels and comics from all Trek series, particularly the A Time to… series of TNG novels.  I would also recommend not reading it until one has completed the novel, due to the spoiler content, and so as not to ruin the fun of trying to figure out the references for yourself.

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


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) TTN — Titan
NEM — Star Trek: Nemesis TW — Titan: Taking Wing TRK — Titan: The Red King

Chapter Annotations

3-4 “Starpull” is gravity in star-jelly parlance.  “Lifewarmth” is energy.  “Coldstuff” is matter.  “Fluid-ice” is how the jellies would interpret water, a substance which, as spacegoing organisms, they would encounter mainly in solid form.
Chapter One
5 Imzadi is a Betazoid word meaning “beloved,” established in “Encounter at Farpoint.”
Shinzon’s telepathic assault on Deanna was depicted in Star Trek: Nemesis (NEM).  The name Vkruk was established in J. M. Dillard’s novelization of the film.
6 The assault by Jev was shown in “Violations.”
“A bit of undigested chocolate”: Deanna is riffing on Ebenezer Scrooge’s rationalization of Jacob Marley’s ghost as a bad dream resulting from undigested beef or cheese, in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  She substitutes her own favorite vice, chocolate.
“Eyes in the dark”: From “Night Terrors,” a recurring phrase Deanna heard in a telepathic dream.
7 Titan‘s first mission to Romulus was established in NEM and depicted in TTN: Taking Wing (TW).  The subsequent journey to the Small Magellanic Cloud was depicted in The Red King (TRK).
Beta Stromgren is the star where the living spaceship Gomtuu was encountered in “Tin Man.”  Given its relative proximity to the Vela Association ecosystem depicted in OH, Gomtuu and its kind may well have evolved there.  Kappa Velorum is a real star in the vicinity with no Trek-universe significance.
The Olympia survey of the Beta Quadrant was established in DS9: “The Sound of Her Voice.”
8 Riker’s ordeal on Tezwa was depicted in A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal by David Mack.
9 Willard Decker’s Enterprise experiment of a century before:  Established in TOS: Ex Machina (ExM) by me.  Decker’s loss on his maiden voyage was depicted in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
10 The Ba’ku planet was seen in ST: Insurrection as the site of an unethical Starfleet plot.
11 “…after a hesitant start and a little prompting from Deanna, he had proven a gregarious captain”: As seen in TW.
12 Caitians were established in the animated series (TAS).  Betelgeusians are from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP) and ExM.  S’ti’ach are original to TTN.  “Chelon” is the name for the “sabertooth turtle” Rigellians seen in TMP publicity materials.
14 Efrosians are the species represented by the Saratoga helmsman in ST IV and the Federation president in ST VI.  The name was used only by the films’ production staff, as an homage to unit production manager Mel Efros.
A Selkie is a half-human, half-seal creature from Earth mythology; the term is used as a nickname for the Pacificans.  Pacifica was established in “Conspiracy” and “Manhunt,” though its natives were never seen onscreen.
16 “the Betazoids I’ve known have been rather flexible about [marriage]”: Unbeknownst to Deanna, one of the Betazoid women Ra-Havreii has known is her own mother, the irrepressible Lwaxana Troi (a liaison established in TW).
Panyarachun is a Thai name.
Chapter Two
19 Melora Pazlar was introduced in DS9: “Melora.”  The name of her homeworld and its crystalline composition were established in the TNG: Gemworld duology by John Vornholt.
20 T Tauri stars are newborn stars which are still in a turbulent state, blowing off much of their atmospheres.  See http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/T/TTauri.html.
The Gum Nebula is a real astronomical feature, named for British astronomer Colin Stanley Gum.  See http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/G/Gum_Nebula.html.
“Starfleet gravity stators emitted virtual gravitons which could be calibrated to decay at short distances”: To explain how it is possible for personnel walking on the hull of a ship to be in free fall even though the people just one deck below them would feel full gravity (as, for instance, in ENT: “Minefield”).
Assumptions about the geography and size of the Federation and known space are based on the book Star Trek Star Charts by Geoffrey Mandel.
21 Excelsior‘s Beta Quadrant survey was established in the opening scenes of ST VI, which showed the ship returning from that survey.  Captain Sulu’s log entry claimed they had spent three years studying gaseous anomalies, but we can assume they looked at some other stuff while they were there.
“Coreward” and “rimward” mean toward the core and rim of the galaxy, respectively.  Coreward is toward the top of the page on the relevant Star Charts maps.  (Many Star Charts readers like to refer to this as “north,” which is inaccurate, since the galactic north-south axis is perpendicular to the page.)
HII regions are nebulae of electrically excited hydrogen, including the familiar reddish/purplish nebulae like Orion and Trifid (and presumably the fictitious Mutara Nebula).  OB associations are clusters of young stars, containing a large percentage of superhot white O stars and blue B stars.  These hottest spectral types are the shortest-lived, and thus are mainly found in regions of new star formation.  Cometary globules are clumps of interstellar gas and dust with “tails” blown off them by the radiation pressure or stellar wind from nearby bright stars.
24 “During the crisis on her homeworld four years ago”: Refers to the events of Gemworld.
29 “It reads over a kilometer in diameter”: “Farpoint” established the star-jellies as being twelve times the Enterprise-D’s volume.  Using water displacement to measure the volume of a miniature of the ship, I estimated the full-size ship’s volume as approximately 5.8 million m3.  Twelve times that is about 70 million m3.  A star-jelly is roughly lens-shaped, so half of it can be treated as a spherical segment of volume V =πh((c2)/8 + (h2)/6), where h is the height and c is the length of the chord (which is the diameter of the jelly).  From a side-view screencap of the star-jelly, it looks to me like half its height (i.e. the height of our spherical segment) would be about 0.09c, or c = about 11h. So V = πh((121/8)h2 + (1/6)h2) =πh((363/24)h2 + (4/24)h2) = (367π/24)h3 = 48h3, roughly. Since this is for half a lens, the volume to use is half of 70 million. So h3 = 35×106/48, giving an h of about 90, making the diameter of the creature about 990 meters.  Presumably different jellies vary in size, though.
I am indebted to the defunct TrekPulse.com website for “Farpoint” screencaps which I used as photo reference.  The album is now available at its successor site TrekCore.
36 The name “skymount” is meant to evoke “mount” in the sense of a steed and the sense of a mountain.  Which of those it represents in the Pa’haquel’s own language is something I left deliberately ambiguous.
37 Captain DeSoto (Michael Cavanaugh) was established as Riker’s former captain on the Hood in “Farpoint,” and seen in  “Tin Man.”
Riker’s “promise” to disregard his first officer’s advice to stay behind was seen in NEM.  He acted on that promise in TRK.
Chapter Three
47 The second line should read “Qui’chiri’s teams were hard at work….”  Mea culpa.
50 Astrocoelenterate: Coelenterates are the order of life that includes jellyfish, hydras, sea anemones, and corals.  The term “astrocnidarian” (with a silent c and a long i in “cnid”) might have been more specific, but also more awkward.  Finding a good name for these creatures was difficult, which is why they ended up with several.
51 Christine Vale made her debut as Enterprise security chief in SCE #1: Belly of the Beast by Dean Wesley Smith.  Her hair color was inconsistently described in her first several appearances, which was easily enough remedied by assuming she liked to change it.  To learn her original hair color, read SCE #54: Security by Keith R. A. DeCandido.
The Syrath were first seen in TW.  Zaranites were seen in TMP, TVH and ExM.
54 The evacuation of Oghen was part of the events depicted in TRK.
55 I guess a Trill would know: See p. 152 note.
56 the horrific costs of ex-President Zife’s clandestine interference on Tezwa: Depicted in A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal.
“But we’ve also seen whole worlds die because we refused to help them”: See “Pen Pals” and “Homeward.”
Chapter Four
59 “Cosmozoan” is not my own coinage, though I have broadened the term from its original context, the theory that Earthly life was seeded by microbe-bearing comets/meteoroids from other star systems (known as panspermia).  It is indeed possible for certain airborne bacteria to survive hard vacuum and radiation when encased in spores, and to be accelerated into space by a planet’s magnetic field.
60 The Three-Kiloparsec Arm is the nearest arm to the Central Bulge of the galaxy, and was the region Voyager occupied from VGR: “Dark Frontier” through the end of the series, according to Star Charts.
61 The nebular life-form was seen in VGR: “The Cloud.”  The “Grendel” entity was seen in “Heroes and Demons.”   The Komar were seen in “Cathexis.”  (All episode titles for this scene are VGR unless otherwise indicated.)
“I’d discount your ‘Grendel’ as a cosmozoan… We have no evidence it could exist in interstellar space”: In fact, the “Grendel” creatures travelled space in a “photonic lattice,” a fact I’d forgotten when I wrote this scene.  However, Jaza’s statement is still valid, since the fact that they needed the lattice as a kind of spaceship implies that they couldn’t exist in space naturally.
62 The flagellate organisms were encountered in “Elogium.”
63 The 2000-km telepathic “pitcher-plant” creature was seen in “Bliss.”  The life form from the J-class nebula was seen (mostly in flashback) in “The Haunting of Deck Twelve.”  The dark matter entities were seen in “Good Shepherd.”
The Devore Imperium was established in “Counterpoint.”
64 The OB association between Kazon and Vidiian space is my own fudge to fit VGR’s first-season cosmozoans into my theory.
A subspace “sinkhole” was seen in “Gravity.”  A subspace “sandbar” was seen in “Bride of Chaotica!”  Chaotic space was seen, not in “Bride of Sandbara,” but in “The Fight.”
65 For more on the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association, see the ExM annotations, p. 56.  It and the Vela Association can be considered  as the two ends of a long corridor of star formation.
The Intrepid‘s survey of the Sco-Cen Association was established in ExM.  Its destruction by a giant amoeba was seen in TOS: “The Immunity Syndrome.”
The Orion Association is the OB cluster including most of the bright stars in the constellation of Orion, and is close to the Orion and Horsehead Nebulae.  The Taurus Dark Cloud is directly behind the Pleiades cluster from Earth’s POV, and is the near end of a larger star-formation corridor with the Orion Association at the far end.
Titan‘s wide-band sensor net was established in TW.  Sean Tourangeau’s winning design for the Titan establishes that it is contained within a dedicated sensor pod mounted above the saucer.  OH was written before the contest officially opened, so I had no opportunity to incorporate elements of the winning design into the narrative.
70 Torvig’s wager with Eviku was seen in TRK.
71 The Incompleteness Principle is actually a pair of theorems formulated by mathematician Kurt Gödel in 1931.  Torvig is either misremembering the term or using an equivalent Choblik term.
73 The exclamation point in K’chak’!’op’s name represents an alveolar-palatal click, made with the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth.  It is one of the four clicks used in the !Kung language of southwest Africa, and was also an element of Tenctonese language in the Alien Nation television series.  In fact, the name “K’chak’!’op” is only an approximation of a series of clicks, scrapes and pops that would require a set of percussion instruments to replicate more exactly.  Given the Pak’shree’s use of gestural language, without technological help it would require six interpretive dancers and a percussionist to converse with a Pak’shree.
74 Though I created Chaka and her species, Andy Mangels & Mike Martin established the decor of her quarters and her “silk”-spinning ability, as well as her reluctance to leave her quarters.  My original concept was mainly a cross of crustacean and beetle with a bit of squid, but Andy & Mike apparently chose to inject some elements of a trapdoor spider.
76 Alexander of Platonius (Michael Dunn) appeared in TOS: “Plato’s Stepchildren.”
78 For more on Zaranites’ special environmental needs, see ExM.
Chapter Five
80 Fred Hoyle’s The Black Cloud was published in 1957.  His cloud creature was much like what I describe here, only sentient.
85 Betazoids’ inability to read Ferengi minds was established in “The Last Outpost” and DS9: “The Forsaken.”
87 The “Gaia principle” was formulated in the 1960s by Dr. James Lovelock, who proposed that all of Earth’s life forms functioned together as a single self-regulating superorganism.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_theory_(science).
90 Kestra Troi and her fate were established in “Dark Page.”
91 “the small-eared female”:  Small-eared by Ferengi standards, that is; still large by human or Selkie standards.
93 The Ferengi expletive frinx was established in DS9: Millennium by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, although I am not sure whether its literal definition was established clearly in any prior work.
95 Kazarites were established in costume designer Robert Fletcher’s background notes for TMP.  His notes stated that Kazarites could “transport [them]selves mentally.”  This is sometimes interpreted as teleportation, but I chose to interpret it simply as a limited levitation ability.
Chapter Six
102 Betelgeusians are from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and featured in Ex Machina.
109 A magneton pulse was established in DS9: “Hippocratic Oath” as “a burst of polarized magnetic energy… usually produced by a damaged warp core.”  Since I described star-jelly energy stings as plasma-based and therefore electrically charged, it stood to reason that a magnetic effect could alter their courses.
114 “The attempted genocide of the Founders”: Revealed in DS9: “When it Rains,” “Tacking Into the Wind,” and “Extreme Measures.”
The Borg attacks are those from “The Best of Both Worlds,” “Descent” and First Contact.  The Klingon conflict and the Dominion War occurred in DS9.
115 The Cardassian border wars were established in “The Wounded.”  The conflict with the Tzenkethi was established in DS9: “The Adversary.”
117 The events on Delta Sigma IV were depicted in A Time to Love and A Time to Hate by Robert Greenberger.
Chapter Seven
119 Lt. Eviku is a member of the Arkenite species, first seen in ST IV.  Their name and aquatic ancestry were established in FASA gaming materials.
121 The vampire cloud that destroyed the Farragut was established in TOS: “Obsession.”  The similar creature encountered by the Klingons is my own conjecture.
“which had the ability to change mass and composition, implying that they extended into higher dimensions”: An object could only change mass by extending some of that mass into higher dimensions outside our universe’s plane. This is the behind-the-scenes explanation (devised by DS9 producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe) for how Odo and other changelings could alter their mass.  The vampire cloud could also alter its elemental composition; short of nuclear fission and fusion, such transmutation might only be possible if the cloud contained all the necessary elements but could shift them in and out of our dimension.  Alternatively it could have been made of some kind of gaseous programmable matter, able to mimic the chemical properties of different elements at will.
125 “I think it’s a form of display”: Why would a species totally nonviolent amongst itself need to have a non-aggression display in the first place?  Perhaps the display behavior evolved before their nonaggression did.  Perhaps it evolved for interaction with other species.  Perhaps Deanna is wrong.  Or perhaps the author just failed to notice the contradiction until it was too late.
127 Tuvok’s brainwashing by a Maquis operative was revealed in VGR: “Repression.”  The “telekinetic accident” was inflicted by Kes in “Cold Fire.”  His meld with Betazoid sociopath Lon Suder occurred in “Meld” (see p. 244 of the book).  His infection by the dormant memory virus was revealed in “Flashback.”  His brain damage from neuroleptic shock occurred in “Riddles.” His Borg assimilation occurred in “Unimatrix Zero, Part I.”  His fal-tor-voh was revealed in “Endgame.”
128 Tuvok’s imprisonment and torture by the Romulans were depicted in TW.
140 “It’s being stored inside one of the jellies”: In retrospect, the amount of dirt beamed out to accommodate the corpse would have to be comparable to, if not greater than, the mass of an entire star-jelly.  Storing it inside a star-jelly would be difficult.  More likely only part of it is stored.  The rest is probably beamed inside the hollow portions of the corpse, to shore it up against ground collapse.
Chapter Eight
152 The Trill’s past secrecy regarding their joined nature was established in “The Host,” when that secret was exposed.  The concealment of the percentage of the population fit for joining was discovered in DS9: “Equilibrium.”  The ancient genocide was revealed in Worlds of Deep Space Nine: Trill: Unjoined by Mangels & Martin, which also portrayed the chaos resulting from these secrets’ exposure.
153 The death of Keru’s lover Sean Hawk at Worf’s hands was seen in First Contact.  Keru was introduced and established as Hawk’s lifemate in Section 31: Rogue by Mangels & Martin.
Picard’s liberation from Borg assimilation was seen in “The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2.”  Annika Hansen, aka Seven of Nine, was liberated by the crew of Voyager in VGR: “The Gift.”
156 “it hadn’t been a full hour”: If Haaj’s premature cutoff of the session is reminiscent of the Monty Python “Argument Clinic” sketch, this is perhaps not coincidental, any more than Haaj’s own resemblance to the professional arguer in said sketch.
172 The existence of naturally occurring tachyon streams and their ability to propel a solar sail at warp were established in DS9: “Explorers.”  Though the idea seems fanciful, there is a certain logic to it.  Normal matter cannot travel faster than light, while tachyons cannot travel slower than light.  If tachyons struck a surface they could not penetrate, this would create a paradox.  The only way to resolve it would be if spacetime itself stretched behind the sail, allowing the region of spacetime containing the sail to move forward faster than light while the sail remained motionless relative to the spacetime within that region.  This is essentially the same thing as a warpfield.  The kinetic energy of the tachyon/sail collision would be the source of energy for the warp.
176 Note that I mention nothing about a sensation of extreme cold when Che’sethri is beamed into space.  Contrary to popular belief, freezing is the least of one’s concerns if one is exposed to hard vacuum.  As any thermos-bottle manufacturer could tell you, vacuum is a superb insulator.  With no matter to conduct or convect heat away, the only method of heat loss is radiation, the least efficient one.  Astronauts generally need to worry more about overheating than freezing.
177 Titanomachy is Ancient Greek for “war of the Titans.”  Or, if you prefer, “Clash of the Titans.”
Chapter Nine
179 The date of Riker’s promotion to commander is unknown.  “Second Chances” established that his promotion to lieutenant commander came aboard the Potemkin in 2361, and he was a full commander by the time he transferred to the Enterprise from the Hood in “Farpoint,” set in 2364.
180 a sort of localized ekpyrotic Big Bang: The ekpyrotic Big Bang theory proposes that our universe is one of several “branes” (membranes generalized to more than two dimensions) existing side-by-side in higher-dimensional space, and that the collision of two such universe-branes could have triggered the Big Bang — making it not so much the birth of the universe as the beginning of a new phase in its existence which eradicated whatever came before.  For more, see http://www.npl.washington.edu/AV/altvw111.html and http://www.npl.washington.edu/AV/altvw115.html.
182 The Riker/Vale ready-room scene is a flashback that actually takes place several hours before the Interlude.
190 Autism is now understood to be a spectrum of neurological conditions which, at its milder, high-function end, simply represents a highly rational and orderly, if not very empathetic or social, way of thinking and behaving — not so much a disorder as simply a different way of processing experience and interacting with the world, only detrimental when taken to an extreme.  Essentially the behavior of high-function autistics is not unlike the Vulcan ideal.
Keethara blocks are a Vulcan meditation technique introduced in VGR: “Flashback,” a set of building blocks requiring great focus and precision to erect into the desired shape.  Kal-toh is a mentally challenging Vulcan game introduced in VGR: “Alter Ego.”
Deanna’s involvement in counseling the returned Voyager crew was depicted in VGR: Homecoming by Christie Golden.
194 The Kobliad were introduced in DS9: “The Passenger,” but did not exhibit Fo Hachesa’s grammatical oddities.  Perhaps they were relying on universal translators.
The impact event and its consequences depicted here would most likely take several minutes to occur, and the shock wave would take hours to travel around the whole planet.  The entire combat would unfold very slowly, given the scale on which it takes place.  Assume that the crewmembers are watching dumbstruck for long stretches.
Chapter Ten
207 Deanna visited the Mintaka system in “Who Watches the Watchers?”  Mintaka is Delta Orionis, the star on the right end of Orion’s belt (when the constellation is viewed “right-side up”), and is about 900 light-years away.  We know the Federation must have visited this region before 2267, because in TOS: “City on the Edge of Forever,” Kirk was aware of a novelist living on “the far left star in Orion’s Belt” (which would have to be Alnitak, Zeta Orionis).  This is why I assume they found the region “irresistible to travel to,” since by the assumptions made in Star Charts and used in this book, it’s considerably beyond the Federation’s borders.
208 Presumably, cosmozoan ecosystems can be found in most of the thousands of star-formation regions that define the arms of the Milky Way galaxy.  (The arms are concentrations of gas, dust and bright young stars, essentially pressure waves in the interstellar medium.  The spaces between the arms are not devoid of stars, just devoid of nebulae and the brightest, short-lived stars.)  We can assume that the star-jellies have spread to many more such regions than just the ones mentioned here, and that other branches of Pa’haquel civilization have followed them to at least some of those regions.  Also we can assume that there may be other cosmozoan-hunting societies elsewhere in the galaxy.  But it’s a very big galaxy, beyond the scope of even an ambitious tale like this one.
211 James Cook arrived in Hawai’i at a time when the indigenous people were celebrating an annual ritual commemorating the arrival of a conquering god from overseas.  The Hawai’ians incorporated him smoothly into the role of the deity and treated his crew well for the duration, then sending him on his way.  But when Cook’s crew was forced to return some time later, the ritual was over and it upset the balance of things for the god to return at that time.  So the Hawai’ians killed him.
James Kirk’s experience on Miramanee’s World was depicted in TOS: “The Paradise Syndrome.”
“I refuse to let arithmetic decide questions like that!”: Declared by Picard in “Justice.”  Contrary to my recollection when I wrote this scene, Deanna did not hear the line firsthand, since it was in a private conversation between Picard and Data.  However, either one of them could have told her about it afterwards.
213 Mok’bara is the Klingon analogue of T’ai Chi, a martial-arts exercise form, established in “Birthright, Part 2.”
Deanna infamously defended herself by breaking pots over heads in “Qpid.”
215 The Crystalline Entity and its destruction of Data’s homeworld were established in “Datalore.”  Its subsequent destruction of the Melona IV colony, and Carmen Davila’s relationship with Riker, were established in “Silicon Avatar.”
218 Dr. Marr and the graviton beam were seen in “Silicon Avatar.”
Chapter Eleven
230 Twentieth-century humpback whale expert Gillian Taylor was introduced in ST IV.
242 “Only Soval could go to Andoria”: Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) represented Vulcan during the time of ENT, when Vulcans and Andorians were bitter enemies.  The human “translation” is Spock’s line “Only Nixon could go to China” from ST VI, which he cited as a Vulcan proverb.
244 “when Mr. Neelix and I were… joined into Tuvix”: In the VGR episode “Tuvix,” surprisingly enough.
247 Picard’s meld with the Bendii’s Syndrome-afflicted Sarek was seen (again surprisingly) in the TNG episode “Sarek.”
Chapter Twelve
249 The RCW-33 region is an HII region in the Vela association, containing the T Tauri association Vela T2.  In other words, a stellar nursery.  See http://www.astro.uu.se/~bertil/research.html.
250 The Enterprise‘s mission to Dokaalan was depicted in A Time to Sow and A Time to Harvest by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore.  The Dokaalans lived in low-gravity conditions in an asteroid field, and thus required assistance in the Enterprise‘s gravity field.
251 fringe effect: Note that gravity pulls inward in all directions, not just down.  An observer in the middle of  a large gravity plate would feel no imbalance because the pull from all sides would cancel out.  Toward the edge, however, one would feel more of a sideways pull from one side than the other, and one’s sense of “down” would become slanted toward the center of the plate.  Someone just off the edge of the plate would also feel pulled toward it.  The rapid decay of virtual gravitons which I postulated on p. 20 would tend to minimize these edge effects, since gravitons from more than 2-3 meters off to one side would not reach the observer.  We can also assume the gravity plates are polarized in some way so that the gravitons are emitted mainly upward.  (Apparently they emit nothing downward, since they seem to be on every deck; otherwise, being between two gravity sources in floor and ceiling would leave one more or less in free fall.)  However, in this case we can assume there’s a bit of sideways leakage, enough to exert a slight pull on Melora.
254 Risa is a famously uninhibited resort planet introduced in “Captain’s Holiday.”  Argelius is a hedonistic society introduced in TOS: “Wolf in the Fold.”
264 “a species of predatory cloud creature”: See p. 121 note.
Chapter Thirteen
269 The Kasheeta are one of the nonhumanoid species glimpsed in background scenes of ST IV.  Their name and herbivorous nature come from FASA gaming materials.
270 Grazerites were established in DS9: “Homefront,” though their name was never mentioned onscreen.
273 Kyle, in honor of his recently deceased father: Kyle Riker’s demise is depicted in A Time to Hate.
277 For more on the Local Group and its members, see the SEDS Local Group page and An Atlas of the Universe.
Chapter Fourteen
293 “An alien energy being impregnated me”: In “The Child.”  Deanna named her “son” Ian Andrew Troi, after her father.
297 [Keru] had tended the symbiont pools for a few years: As seen in Worlds of DS9: Trill: Unjoined.
Chapter Fifteen
The spinners are an homage to the jawanda, a species of extragalactic predators created by Alan Dean Foster in Star Trek Log Eight.  They also incorporate elements of my ramjet starship Arachne from “Aggravated Vehicular Genocide.”
316 Curie point: Magnetic materials have their atomic structures aligned so that all the atoms’ magnetic axes point in the same direction, adding up to a strong field.  Heating the material makes its atoms vibrate harder, and eventually a point is reached where the vibration is enough to break up the alignment of the axes.
Chapter Sixteen
330 For more on proplyds, see http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/P/protoplandisk.html.
The concept of using magnetically manipulated stellar flares as a form of jet propulsion was proposed in Larry Niven’s 1974 essay “Bigger than Worlds” (available in his collection A Hole in Space).  His proposal was to use the method as a propulsion system for a Ringworld.  As far as I know, the concept of a cosmozoan using such a method of propulsion is original to me.
Chapter Seventeen
344 The specifics of the graviton-beam communication method are the same as in “Silicon Avatar.”
346 “Datalore” showed Lore appearing to converse with the Crystalline Entity over subspace radio, but “Silicon Avatar” suggested that conventional communication was ineffective (which is why the graviton-beam method was needed in the first place).
349 “They’re generating a lambda hyperon field.  Transporters won’t work.”: “The Ensigns of Command” established that hyperonic radiation interfered with transporter function.  Hyperons are unstable baryons (the class of “heavy” subatomic particles including protons and neutrons) which are more massive than neutrons.  Lambda hyperons are the least massive and nearly the longest-lived class of hyperons; I therefore figured they would be the easiest ones to generate and use as an anti-transporter field.  Hyperons decay swiftly into protons (aka hydrogen nuclei); therefore, we can assume that the skymounts generating these “hyperon fields” were surrounded by diffuse clouds of ionized hydrogen (somewhat denser than the surrounding medium), and leaving tails of it behind them as they moved.  This is a detail I wish I’d thought to include in the text.
354 The restraint harnesses on bridge seats are a feature established in TW, following the suggestion of the deleted finale of NEM.
370 To a Vulcan, to rest was to rest, to cease using energy: Apparently a common saying, since Spock said it word-for-word (aside from tense) in TOS: “Shore Leave.”
373 “The woman who inspired me to join Starfleet”: The events Vale describes are seen in flashback in SCE #54: Security.
377 “the ruins of my mother’s house on Betazed”: The destruction of the Troi estate during the Dominion invasion of Betazed was depicted in “The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned” by Keith R. A. DeCandido, in the Tales of the Dominion War anthology.  The invasion of Betazed was established in DS9: “In the Pale Moonlight.”

Additional Story Notes

Much of this novel was adapted from earlier ideas of mine.  As mentioned on the introduction page, the main plot was expanded from my Strange New Worlds submission “Spirit of the Hunt.”  The plot of that Voyager story corresponds essentially to Part One of the novel, though without the Titan-crew character scenes or the visit to Kestra, and with less detail.  Much of Ree’s discussion in Ch. 11 about the predator-prey relationship was originally part of the same scene as the Riker-Vale ready-room debate in Ch. 6, except it was between Janeway and Chakotay.  Tuvok’s confessions to Deanna in Ch. 11 were also part of the original story (directed to Janeway).  In all, roughly 4000 words of the original 7500-word story ended up in OH (which is about 105,000 words in all).

“Spirit” ended with Voyager being asked to leave the region, with the Pa’haquel’s fate being left in the hands of a convenient race of friendly herbivores called the Venconi (a partial anagram of “convenient”).  In writing OH, I decided I wanted one of the Pa’haquel’s allies to be a “variant Venconi” — whence the Rianconi.

The Irriol (Orilly), Choblik (Torvig) and Pak’shree (K’chak’!’op) were all species I created for my original SF universe some years ago.  I had plans to do a Trek-like novel or series about a starship with a diverse interspecies crew, exploring the challenges of making that work.  Those plans have been on the back burner for some time, and these particular species had been sidelined as well due to conceptual flaws or simply a change in my focus.  When Titan came along, offering me an opportunity to revive aspects of those plans within the Trek universe itself, I recycled these characters and species, while revising aspects of their design and background.

Originally Orilly’s empathic nature, her exile status and the reasons for it were part of K’chak’!’op’s character; but I decided that all that combined with Chaka’s other attributes was too complex for one supporting character.  So I gave them instead to the Irriol, a species which I hadn’t established anything about beyond their name and their use of trunks for arms.  The nature of my exile character’s crime was one that I originally intended to leave vague, something truly alien that had no translation into human terms; but when it came time to actually write about it, I decided I needed to establish something more concrete.

The Choblik originally had an entirely different appearance, a compact, radially symmetrical form with four stout legs.  But since I had already used that design as the basis for the Shanial in Aftermath, I borrowed another one of my alien designs, modified it a bit to make it more credible, and stuck cyborg parts on it.  Torvig’s culture and mindset are essentially the same as my original Chorvigg character, although I made him less of a cold fish and more of an amiable nerd.

The Fethetrit are another recycled species, left over from an abortive galactic-war epic I once had plans to do, until I realized I had no interest in writing a war story.  The Shesshran and Escherites from Ex Machina sprung from this same project.  The tale involved a conflict against a race of ruthless destroyers, and I liked the idea of having one of humanity’s allies be a race that would itself have been a malevolent scourge in other circumstances.  I’ve changed the Fethetrit only slightly from that concept, giving them red fur instead of white and one tail instead of two, and making them somewhat more overtly menacing to their allies than I had originally had in mind.  As it happens, the first novel in that planned galactic-war trilogy was to be called Orion’s Sword.  I didn’t even remember that until after I’d worked the Fethetrit into Orion’s Hounds, so it’s pure coincidence.

A bit more on the Pa’haquel: My thinking was that they evolved from avians that were also brachiators, with pterosaurian wings that never fully lost grasping capability.  They were marsupials, gestating young for a brief time, then holding their neonates alternately in marsupio and in nest structures made from leaves cemented/infused with secretions from the marsupium.  This minimized the amount of time for which the females were grounded during pregnancy; however, there was still something of a division of labor, with males hunting to provide for their offspring while females guarded the young.

Eventually they came down from the trees, evolved into walkers, lost their wings and became hunter-gatherers.  The females’ physiological investment in childbearing was not great, so there was a flexible division of labor and gender roles.  Still, hunting was primarily a male role, so the modern hunting society is patrilineal.  I based their social structure essentially on that of the Mongols and other horse nomads, built around patrilineal clans, but with females still playing an important role.

Deanna’s interest in having a child was not something I had planned out in advance.  It just happened to come up when the star-jellies possessed her; I realized that given their wild animal-like mentality, they wouldn’t understand the concept of delaying procreation.  Then it came up again in Deanna’s scene with Qui’chiri, and later when she talked to Qui’hibra about grandchildren.  So I just decided to follow where the story was leading me.  I wasn’t sure Paramount would approve such a major step, but it went through without a hitch.

Alien crew: Author’s conceptions

Here are my sketches of the three nonhumanoid characters I created for Titan‘s crew.  Whether these become their official appearances remains to be seen, but they should help give the basic idea.  The Torvig sketch includes an inset showing what the Choblik would have looked like in their natural form.



chakaK’chak’!’op (Pak’shree species)

Orilly MalarOrilly Malar (Irriol species)

TorvigTorvig Bu-kar-nguv (Choblik species)

Map of Titan‘s route

The following map, adapted from the Known Space map in Foldout 2 of Star Charts by Geoffrey Mandel, shows Titan‘s route in Orion’s Hounds, as well as the Enterprise‘s route in TOS: Ex Machina.  (Click thumbnail to enlarge.)

Ex Machina/Orion's Hounds map

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