Places of Exile Annotations

Myriad Universes Infinity's Prism

This document explains the continuity references, allusions, in-jokes, and scientific concepts contained in Places of Exile (PoE).   I assume that the reader is familiar with the basic characters and background of the Trek universe.  The reader is advised to consult the Memory Alpha Star Trek wiki for further background not explained here or in the book’s Acknowledgments.  For canonical Voyager crew, see Memory Alpha’s Voyager personnel list.

Be aware that this document contains spoilers for the whole of Places of Exile and for numerous episodes, films, and novels from all Trek series, particularly VoyagerI would also strongly recommend not reading it until one has completed the novel, since many of the notes contain spoilers for things not revealed until later scenes or chapters.

Episode and book titles are VGR 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
TTN — Titan SCE — Starfleet Corps of Engineers

Chapter Annotations

176 From The Rebel, Part 5, “Moderation and Excess” (1951)
Part One: January-February 2374
Corresponds to the late third and early fourth season.
Chapter 1
179 The first four pages retell a scene from the penultimate act of “Scorpion, Part 1” by Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky.  At this point, we are still in the “main” series timeline.
180 The name for Kes’s department was rendered in scripts as “airponics,” but “aeroponics” is the more correct spelling, and the pronunciations are close enough to be ambiguous.
Kes’s hair grew out quite suddenly between “Favorite Son” and “Before and After,” because Jennifer Lien stopped wearing a short-hair wig in favor of her own long, wavy hair.  This is not the first abrupt change of hair length in the show (Janeway goes short-haired in “Parturition” before going back to long hair the following week), but it can be justified as a function of Kes’s rapid metabolism.
182 The lines that form in Chakotay’s mind (in italics) are his actual lines from “Scorpion.”  Since in the episode there’s almost no pause between Janeway’s “right here, right now” and Chakotay’s riposte, I needed to assert that he was weighing responses “Even as she spoke.”
183 By a nice typographic coincidence, the timeline diverges exactly at the top of this page.  Everything from this point on is new.
185 In the original timeline, Voyager rendezvoused with the Borg in this system before the 8472 attack.  Janeway’s greater caution changes the timing and outcome of events.
A Xindi planetkiller is, of course, the Earth-destroying weapon featured in ENT’s third season.  Since blowing a planet apart is so difficult to do, I chose to postulate a single distinctive mechanism for it in both cases.  The concept of a strong-force reversal field bears some similarity to the Nova bombs of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, which reversed gravity to blow a star apart.
186 The wave-motion gun was the planet-cracking weapon used in the anime series Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers.
188 I may have fudged the physics here.  The overpressure shock from an impact of this magnitude may actually be sufficient to kill the occupants of the room. Contrary to what movies and TV show us, the atmospheric shock wave from an explosion, not the fireball, is the really deadly part.  And an enclosed space can concentrate such a shock wave, making it even deadlier.  This is an impact rather than an explosion, but the forces would be comparable.
Also, I’m not entirely sure if the ceiling support beams of Voyager‘s bridge are heavy enough to crush someone beneath them.
Why kill Tuvok and Paris?  For one thing, I didn’t have room to use the entire regular cast.  For another, the fatalities showed that all bets were off, that anything could happen.  Also, I didn’t want this timeline to be unambiguously better than the main one, so there had to be a serious cost.  Why Tom and Tuvok specifically?  Because they were the least affected by the change and thus gave me the least to work with storywise.  Tom was happy flying a ship regardless of where it was, and had no real ties back home.  As for Tuvok, the only arc I could think of involved knowing he wouldn’t be home in time for pon farr, but the show dealt with that, however cursorily.  Also, killing Tom let me take B’Elanna to a dark place and let Harry emerge as his own man. Similarly, killing Tuvok left Janeway without a key advisor while letting Kes outgrow her apprentice role and come into her own.
Chapter 2
190 I wanted to include a sequence in which the crippled Voyager used impulse drive to accelerate itself to relativistic speeds and head for an inhabited system under high time dilation.  The short-novel format required me to abandon that part.
191 “Real Life” told us nothing about the Vostigye except that they had a science station that was destroyed.  I chose to expand on this and make them a space habitat-based civilization, both to tie into the refugee theme and to let me borrow from the worldbuilding I’d done for a similar civilization in an original novel I’ve been working on.  The configuration of Kosnelye is similar to a large Bernal sphere but has its own distinct attributes.
The Porcion are one of several species names glimpsed on a Nyrian computer graphic in “Displaced.”  Since the graphic was not meant to be clearly legible, it used barely altered or unaltered English words such as Acacia, Bowsers, and Niacin.  PoE references several of the less ridiculous names, including Calentar, Quitar, and Porcion.
192 Since the Vostigye have four-fingered hands, and thus a base-eight numbering system, “sixty-four” is to them what “a hundred” is to us, the square of their numerical base.  Rosh is therefore using the number as a rough figure for rhetorical effect rather than a precise one.
193 Megon is loosely based on a certain prominent American politician of Irish descent who condemns immigrants in the same terms that were used in the past to condemn Irish-Americans, apparently without recognizing the irony (or hypocrisy, as the case may be).
195 The “Groucho Marx” body plan I describe for the Vostigye is based on one that was once proposed in Scientific American as an “improved” anatomical design for humans, one better adapted to bipedal locomotion, less stressful on the skeleton.  Since humanoids in the Trek universe are generally not built this way, I chose to make it a high-gravity adaptation.
196 Lyssa Campbell is a character from Christie Golden’s VGR novels.  Chief Clemens, the hangar deck crew chief, is from String Theory: Cohesion by Jeffrey Lang.  Since Voyager had a limited crew size, I didn’t create any crewmembers who hadn’t been mentioned before.
In retrospect, I’m not sure Chakotay’s “adapt to survive” viewpoint really fits the Maquis mentality.  But the Maquis existed because the Cardassians wouldn’t let the settlers in the demilitarized zone simply adapt to their society, seeking to eradicate them instead.  The DMZ colonists were initially willing to adapt, voluntarily giving up Federation citizenship to keep their homes.  It was only when the Cardassian military made that impossible that the colonists fought back.
In my “Frontiers in World History” course in college, one of the key ideas that emerged in seeking a definition of a frontier was that it is a region where established power structures (at least one’s own) are unavailable and adaptation is required.  Frontiers are regions where fascinating, complex processes of cultural blending, adaptation, and compromise occur, because it’s often the only way to survive.  VGR never really explored this idea, so I chose to put the crew in a position where they had no choice but to compromise and adapt.
Part Two: August-November 2374
Corresponds to the late fourth season.
Chapter 3
201 its smoothness so unusual for those of her heritage: “Juggernaut” showed us that B’Elanna’s back lacks the pronounced ridges seen on Worf’s back in TNG: “Ethics.”
202 B’Elanna is clinically depressed here, as she was in “Extreme Risk” in the main timeline.  Clinical depression is often a genetic predisposition, so it stands to reason that B’Elanna would be susceptible to it in any timeline.
203 Voyager saved the Nezu from the Etanians in “Rise.”  The Casciron are my own creation.
In the name Voenis, the “oe” is pronounced as in “Joe,” as distinct from the short o in “Vostigye.”  Presumably Morikei rhymes with “Kay.”
205 The Pralor APUs were seen in “Prototype.”
207 The Doctor’s new state of being is similar to that of Andromeda from Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda.  Rather than becoming more human, I wanted to have the Doctor fulfill his AI potential more fully.
Chapter 4
212 Yes, the plural used in “Darkling” was “Tarkan” rather than “Tarkans.”
213 The idea that prenatal Ocampa absorb knowledge from their mothers is my own.  I felt it necessary to explain how they could gain enough knowledge to function in such a short childhood.  It also helps explain how Kes, who was barely a year old when we met her, had such wisdom, such an “old soul,” as Chakotay put it in Chapter 1.
214 The “original” timeline discussed here is from “Before and After.”  This will become important later in the novel.
216 The suggestion that multiple births are common among Ocampa comes from (scroll to the bottom).
217 Serotonin was linked to Ocampa telepathic activity in “The Gift.”
My original intent was for Kes to hook up with Zahir permanently.  However, in reviewing “Darkling,” I realized Zahir was very dull.  I also realized that a more powerful Kes shouldn’t be limited in her life choices by the dictates of biology.
Chapter 5
221 “So many excuses to throw an anniversary party”: This is meant as a rationalization for “Homestead,” wherein “First Contact Day” (April 5) is celebrated late in the season, which should be around December according to the chronological assumptions generally followed by Pocket Books.  The idea is that Neelix may have thrown that celebration using a different calendar than ours; there may have been multiple “First Contact Day” parties, or multiple parties for other holidays or birthdays, thrown by Neelix at various times throughout the year.
The Bourget are another race mentioned in “Displaced.”
In the main timeline, Lyndsay Ballard (“Ashes to Ashes”) was killed by a Hirogen hunting party on stardate 51563, some 2-3 months before this chapter.  Since Voyager never reached Hirogen space in this timeline, Ballard got a new lease on life, becoming the new chief engineer after B’Elanna left.
222 Lauren McTaggart and her singing ability were established in “Talent Night” by Jeffrey Lang in the Distant Shores anthology.
223 It’s actually fairly unlikely that abandoned skyscrapers would stand for centuries.  Had I written this scene after the recent slew of shows and books about what would happen if humans suddenly disappeared from Earth, I would’ve depicted the city differently.  As it is, just assume their construction is extremely sturdy.
226 The subspace erosion problem is from TNG: “Force of Nature.”  Although never stated onscreen, the behind-the-scenes explanation for Voyager‘s pivoting nacelles was that they somehow compensated for the damage warp drive caused to subspace.
The Aeroshuttle (or Aerowing) was a support craft which Voyager‘s designers integrated into the ship, but which was never used on the show.  Here I attempt to explain, not only why the Aeroshuttle was never used, but why the Delta Flyer was created instead.  “Extreme Risk” establishes that Tom had proposed the new shuttle many times before, so he could have already had the idea as far back as the third season.
229 The “wise man” Chakotay quotes here is John Lennon.  His song “Beautiful Boy” includes the lyric “Life is just what happens to you / While you’re busy making other plans.”
Chapter 6
231 Presumably Voenis isn’t saying “thirteen,” but “eight-and-five.”  I’m translating for convenience.
235 Chakotay’s comparison of the Voth to Ming China echoes that made by his main-timeline self in my Distant Shores story “Brief Candle.”  I was already developing the outline for PoE at the time I wrote “Brief Candle,” and what I set up about the Voth there was meant to pay off, or at least be revisited, here.  Unfortunately, the short format kept me from delving into Voth civilization as deeply as I would have liked.
237 “We still don’t know whether they came here on their own or were brought here before they evolved intelligence”: Dialogue in “Distant Origin” assumed the former, but it really doesn’t make sense; any past technological civilization on Earth would have left discernible geological evidence of worldwide changes on the atmosphere and climate, “sunken continent” or not.  Also, “Distant Origin” establishes Voth history as no more than 20 million years in length.  Minister Odala’s power base was predicated on the Voth being superlatively ancient, so if even she can’t justify claiming they’re older than 20 million years, there must be irrefutable evidence that they aren’t.  If they were already sentient upon leaving Earth, that 45-megayear gap before reaching the Delta Quadrant is hard to justify.  Personally, I like to believe they were taken from Earth by the same Preserver-like race responsible for rescuing the ancestors of Clan Ru, a sentient raptor-dinosaur species from TOS: First Frontier by Diane Carey & Dr. James I. Kirkland.
238 The Doctor did make the joke about the vicarious pleasure of regenerating hair in “The Gift.”
Did I choose to make the composer a Quitar because it looks like “Guitar?”  Perish the thought…
240 This scene more than any other makes me wish I’d had more room in this novel.  I always wanted to do a Danara Pel followup dealing with the Doctor’s memory loss from “The Swarm;” indeed, I developed a pitch for the show, but was unable to use it once the ship jumped 9,500 light-years beyond Vidiian space in “The Gift.”  I also pitched such a story to the Distant Shores anthology.  Ultimately, I was left with this brief revisit in an alternate timeline.  But I structured the scene in such a way that it could be referring back to some as-yet-untold “Swarm”/Danara sequel in the main timeline — just in case I ever get the chance.
Chapter 7
243 Why does the Voth ship drop out of transwarp at the border and proceed at normal warp?  Because I needed time to assemble the allied fleet before the climactic battle.  The rationalization, however feeble, is that Haluk wants to intimidate the Vostigye and give them time to lose heart and surrender.  Perhaps it’s also a way of showing that the Voth don’t consider the Vostigye important enough to warrant haste.
249 As far as I know, this is almost the longest speech Lt. Ayala has ever had.  Onscreen, his previous record was 17 consecutive words in “Renaissance Man,” 19 in the entire episode.  Altogether, he spoke only 29 words onscreen (33 if you count the time-travel replay of “Stop where you are!” in “Fury”), and he speaks 27 words in this paragraph alone.  The only other work of professional prose fiction I’m aware of in which Ayala gets to say much is String Theory: Evolution by Heather Jarman.
252 Ensign Jenkins (played by Mackenzie Westmore, daughter of makeup creator Michael Westmore) was not given a first name onscreen.  “Tricia” is an homage to the actress’s great-aunt Patricia “Pat” Westmore, a hairstylist on TOS.
Part Three: June-September 2375
Corresponds to the mid-fifth season.
Chapter 8
261 In “Hunters,” Chakotay refers to the Dominion merely as “a species from the Gamma Quadrant” that allied with Cardassia, implying that he had never heard of the Dominion.  But first contact with the Dominion (or specifically the Vorta and Jem’Hadar) occurred in DS9: “The Jem’Hadar” several months before VGR began.  Therefore, there would have been time for Janeway and Harry to become familiarized with Jem’Hadar ships before “Caretaker.”  Presumably Chakotay and B’Elanna didn’t learn about them because they were fighting for the Maquis at the time and were thus not getting up-to-the-minute Starfleet briefings.
262 Originally, when I thought this novel would be full-length, I devised a subplot in which a convoy of Caretaker refugees came to demand that Janeway be turned over and tried for destroying their only way home (a plot point I ended up conflating with the Voth/8472 confrontation).  This was also one of my pitch ideas abandoned due to the 9500-ly jump in “The Gift.”  I always felt the show should have followed up on this issue in some way.
263 As with many things in this novel, the timeframe of Janeway’s search for refugees is more compressed than I would have preferred.  Unfortunately, I felt constrained to fit the tale within a reasonable timeframe for the Borg/8472 war.  In retrospect, perhaps I should have found a way to make that war last longer instead.
The Carnelians are a civilization hinted at in TNG: “Legacy” and developed in my TNG: The Buried Age.  Vomnin and Shizadam are from TTN: Orion’s Hounds.  S’paaphonn are… well.
264 Nemulye was presumably the Vostigye seen at ops in Chapter 7.
266 The Vidiian Phage was eventually cured in the main timeline by Kurros’s group in “Think Tank.”  In this timeline, the Phage was cured nearly a year sooner, or about six months before this scene.
267 According to A Vision of the Future: Star Trek: Voyager by Stephen Edward Poe, “The justification for the design” of Seven of Nine’s catsuit “was that it was a dermal regeneration device, a technological means of allowing her human body to heal from all the scarring after the Borg armor and implants were removed.  The notion is similar to the full-body wraps applied to severe burn victims.” (p. 349)  I adopted and elaborated on that explanation a bit in “Brief Candle,” and go into more detail here.  The suggestion that her high heels contain cyborg components of some kind is not original to me, though I don’t recall the source.  We can assume that by this time, her scars are pretty much healed, but she still needs the sheath for other reasons.
Chapter 9
275 Neelix carrying Kes’s lung was a story I wanted to follow up on practically since “Phage” first aired.  Given the shorter life expectancy the organ was adapted for, it always struck me as a temporary solution at best.
278 Kes’s monologue here reflects my own internal debate about whether pairing her up with Neelix again would be a step backward.  It’s also a bit of vicarious wish fulfillment on my part, since I’ve been in a position similar to Neelix’s post-breakup relationship with Kes.
281 The hidden data chip inside the globe of Earth was revealed in “Brief Candle.”  There was no indication of its presence in “Distant Origin,” but it always seemed to me that it should be there.  “Brief Candle” established that what’s happened here with the Voth also happened similarly in the main timeline.
Chapter 10
286 Again I may be fudging the physics; it would probably take more confinement than described here to achieve the scale of the reaction described.  However, it can be assumed that the bulk of the damage is done by the “ignited” drive plasma, whatever that means.
290 Cortical node error: “Human Error” established that Borg cortical nodes are designed to shut down drones who become too emotional.  I’m assuming that function isn’t fully engaged in Annika’s case, perhaps due to the damage that led to her awakening in Unimatrix Zero mode.
291 Seven of Nine’s thoughts are in italic small caps, Annika’s in normal italics, the Doctor’s in italics within quotation marks.  When Borg-ish thoughts are expressed in normal italics, that represents Annika herself internalizing Borg though processes, succumbing to their influence.
292 “I am large, and I contain multitudes”: The Doctor is paraphrasing Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” (51st stanza).
Seven assimilating humans was suggested in “Infinite Regress,” in which she refers to Ensign Stone of the starship Tombaugh as “one of my victims,” strongly implying that she was personally involved in the assimilation of that vessel.  The Tombaugh was assimilated 13 years before the episode, or 2362, three years before the Enterprise‘s official first contact.  It must have been a deep-space vessel that disappeared without explanation.
A ring singularity is the type found within a rotating black hole, and can potentially serve as the terminus of a type of wormhole.  Thus, it is the logical category for Species 8472’s “quantum singularities” to belong to.  However, I think it’s unlikely that a quantum black hole could have a ring singularity.
Chapter 11
295 In “Scorpion,” Kes said of Species 8472: “They come from a place where they’re alone. Nothing else lives there.”  The presence of their bioships in the same episode argued against that being literally true.
296 “Cosmological constant” is a fairly antiquated term for what’s now called “dark energy” (well, actually they’re distinct but somewhat overlapping concepts).  However, “dark energy” itself is a fairly new idea that may not withstand the test of time, at least not under that name.  So I chose to hedge a bit by using a term with a longer history.
Both the cosmological constant and dark energy refer to a pervasive antigravity force resisting the collapse of the universe.  In the case of dark energy, it actually appears to be increasing over time, leading to the gradual and accelerating expansion of our universe.
300 An orbifold is a type of topological transformation used in string theory.  Don’t ask me to explain it in any depth, since it’s beyond me, and I think I used it incorrectly here anyhow.
Chapter 12
This Boothby is the same one seen in “In the Flesh,” which established their metamorphic abilities and their attempt to infiltrate Starfleet (as well as Janeway’s love of roses).  This is my second work of fiction featuring Boothby, although of course the first, Aftermath, featured the genuine article.
310 When I decided to use Species 8472 in this novel, I had to decide how alternate timelines and parallel universes would interact.  Would the timeline split extend to fluidic space as well, or be limited to our own universe?  The physics of fluidic space suggested the latter, as explained on the next few pages.  This gave me an opening to tell an alternate-timeline story that actually resolved threads from the main timeline (specifically, explaining why Species 8472 did not return after “In the Flesh”).
The discussion of quantum physics on these pages is all essentially real, or at least is my own best interpretation of the decoherence model of quantum mechanics.  Many physicists believe the Everett-Wheeler “Many-worlds” interpretation of quantum physics to be the correct interpretation, but to me it has the coherence problem I describe here; I believe that the multiple particle states are more likely to average out to a single reality.
312 Injecting “subspace” into the discussion allows me to rationalize the Many-worlds model for the purposes of this story, but of course in doing so I’m no longer discussing real physics.  Indeed, in Many-worlds, each of us has only one physical form that’s in multiple states of existence simultaneously, so there’s no way for two copies of oneself to interact.  Also, these parallel timelines cannot affect or interact with one another, or else physics would break down. Subspace works as a fudge factor to allow the interaction of timelines as seen in ST.
The fact that all quantum copies of an individual are actually facets of the same physical entity, combined with the subspace fudge factor allowing interaction, helps explain why different Trek timelines tend to contain the same individuals leading similar lives, even though it’s highly improbable.  In principle, if history diverged, many couples would never meet and conceive children, or if they did, the children would probably result from different combinations of gametes; so within a few generations of the divergence, you’d expect the populations of the two timelines to consist of entirely different individuals, not copies of the same ones.  But the physical connection across different timelines means that there can be a sort of quantum resonance: the shared “inertia” of different quantum facets of the same being causes their lives — and their genetics — to develop along similar lines.  This isn’t so much an issue in PoE, which covers only two years following the divergence; but it helps to explain the parallels in other Myriad Universes installments, the Mirror Universe, and other alternative time tracks.
Was it really necessary to go to such lengths to explain why fluidic space doesn’t have alternate timelines?  Maybe not.  But I didn’t want it to seem like an arbitrary story contrivance.  And I like my writing to be informative.
313 It didn’t occur to me to rename Species 8472 “Groundskeepers” until I wrote this scene.  But it’s just so perfect.
314 “Extroverted suicide” is a line from Monty Python’s “Piranha brothers” sketch.
315 Though it’s not clear yet, the first timeline Boothby describes (where the Omega molecules were detonated) is the “Before and After” timeline, arguably the original one (since Kes lived an entire life there, then went back and started over in late 2373).  The second timeline he describes is of course the main Trek timeline, encompassing “Scorpion, Part 2” and “In the Flesh.”  But of course these characters would not think of it as the “main” one, which is why I didn’t put it first.  In this chapter and the next, when comparing timelines, I mostly place the B&A timeline first and the main timeline second, reflecting the order of their creation.
316 I believe PoE is unique among Myriad Universes installments in that its events actually pose a danger to the main-timeline galaxy.
Chapter 13
318 Once I realized that “Before and After” fell into the timeframe of the Borg-8472 war and would thus be one of the timelines they visited, I wanted to figure out how the events of “Scorpion” had gone differently in that timeline.  Additionally, I needed to explain the inconsistency created by “Year of Hell”: given that Kes had evolved and pushed the ship 9500 light-years forward, something that wouldn’t have happened in the original “Before and After” timeline, shouldn’t they have bypassed Krenim space and avoided the Year of Hell altogether?  Conversely, if Krenim space was so far beyond Borg space, how did Voyager get there if Kes didn’t evolve?  The salvaged transwarp coil provides an answer.
320 Just to clarify, what Harry’s thinking of as the “Year of Hell” timeline is the one from “Before and After” which encompassed a version of the Year of Hell, not the main-series timeline encompassing the “Year of Hell” 2-parter.  Confusing, yes.  Sorry.
321 “something special about you, your function in the hive”: I originally intended to suggest in Greater Than the Sum (written right after this) that Seven was being groomed as a potential replacement Queen.  This passage was meant to foreshadow that.  Although the idea didn’t make it into GTTS after all, I still consider it a valid explanation for her differences from other drones.
322 As someone with a family history of clinical depression, I was always bothered that B’Elanna’s depression was never followed up on after “Extreme Risk,” as though it were something temporary rather than a long-term condition.  The best I could do to address that was to imply that B’Elanna in both timelines needed medication to treat the condition.
325 Neelix’s death and revival are from “Mortal Coil,” and I’ve used that resurrection to explain why Neelix’s Ocampa lung never became a problem in the main timeline.
Chapter 14
334 The concept of “field density” increase preventing travel between universes comes from TOS: “Mirror, Mirror,” although there it refers to travel between timelines.  (Despite being called the Mirror Universe, it is still a different timeline of the main universe by the definitions used herein.)  Assume that a similar principle applies in both cases.  I confess I have no scientific excuse for this bit of technobabble, but at least there’s a Trek precedent.
Chapter 15
338 Again I’m using the Voth as an analogue for China.  If European envoys had been willing to kowtow to the Chinese emperor, if they had recognized it merely as a ceremonial gesture, then Sino-Western relations over the centuries would have gone far more smoothly.  Imperial China prided itself on its generosity, on being wealthier than anyone else and thus always giving more than it got.  A nation that offered the pretense of subordination to the emperor would be richly rewarded.  But the nationalist pride of the British and other Europeans made them unwilling to offer even token submission, costing them considerably in the long run.
342 Kilana’s choice not to kill the Voth crew of the ship proves moot, as it turns out.
The Voth’s arbitrary decision to make Kilana come to them is necessary to justify giving the protagonists enough time to stop Kilana.  As a rule, I don’t like relying on the antagonists’ stupidity to make things easier for the heroes, but I think it makes sense in light of the Voth’s pride and ossified worldview.
347 In case it isn’t clear, the rest of the crew isn’t in Starfleet uniforms anymore, but in Delta Coalition uniforms.
352 Kilana’s fate is a bit cruel by my standards, don’t you think?  Not to mention those poor Voth crewmembers.  But then, I prefer to look at this as a tragedy rather than a comeuppance.  Like Voyager the series, Kilana got too caught up in the pursuit of home and lost sight of more worthwhile goals.
Epilogue: February 2376
Corresponds to the early sixth season of VGR and the period between the end of DS9 and the first post-finale DS9 novel.
359 Technically, the location heading is incorrect, since the scene is from the perspective of Janeway, who’s still physically in Coalition space.  But I didn’t want to give that away too soon.  And arguably her awareness is “in” her holographic body at Starfleet HQ in the same sense that B’Elanna’s was “in” her hologram in Voyager‘s engine room in Ch. 15.
360 Starfleet needed to build a relay station because, as seen in “Message in a Bottle,” the relay network’s far limit was outside the border of Federation space, so that only one starship far out in the reaches could receive its signals.
Shannon Sekaya Janeway is named for Janeway’s ancestor Shannon O’Donnell (“11:59”) and Chakotay’s sister Sekaya (named in the Christie Golden post-finale VGR novels).
According to “Brief Candle,” the Distant Origin Theory has not gained as much acceptance in the main timeline as in this timeline, since Voyager and the Coalition are not present to exert influence on the Voth.
361 The Breen attack on San Francisco was in DS9: “The Changing Face of Evil,” and some of its long-term effects were seen in SCE: Aftermath.
The Starfleet doctor who discovered the Founders’ disease was DS9’s Julian Bashir.  In the main timeline, the Breen-Dominion alliance held, so the Federation was in too vulnerable a position to be willing to offer the cure in exchange for ending the war (although Odo’s sharing of the cure, along with his decision to return to his people, did end the war, but only after a longer, bloodier conflict).  Despite being in a state of civil war, Cardassia is probably far better off here than in the main timeline.
362 In the main timeline, Morjod also staged a coup, but against Martok rather than Gowron, as seen in DS9: The Left Hand of Destiny by J. G. Hertzler and Jeffrey Lang.  In DS9, the Breen’s energy-damping weapons affected all the allies except the Klingons, and Gowron exploited the situation to wage reckless battles for personal glory, leading Worf to unseat him and erect Martok in his place.  Here, with no Breen involvement, those events never occurred and Gowron remained chancellor.
The Federation, or rather Section 31, actually did infect the Founders with the disease, but Janeway doesn’t know that.

Timeline Comparison Chart

This table compares events in the three timelines featured or referenced in Places of Exile, including some extrapolated events not depicted in the novel (and concentrating on events relevant to PoE or to the timeline comparison).  It therefore contains MAJOR SPOILERS.  I have placed “Before and After” first because it represents the original Voyager timeline, a life that Kes lived through before going back in time to late 2373 and creating an alternate timeline which the series followed from then on.  Places of Exile diverges shortly after that.  The months are estimates, and may disagree slightly with conventional timeline assumptions.

Date “Before and After” timeline Main ST: Voyager timeline (post-11/73) Places of Exile timeline
2373 (Main series timeline prior to 11/73)    
Aug Borg  penetrate fluidic space; Species 8472 begins to retaliate; Voyager has initial encounters with Borg presence (“Blood Fever,” “Unity”)
Sep Kes meets Zahir (“Darkling”)
Oct Kes lets her hair grow out
Nov “Nothing unusual happened today.” Start of divergence: Kes jumps back from the future (see col. 1, 2/79)
Dec Professor Gegen discovers Voyager, Voth quash his discoveries Gegen discovers Voyager, Voth quash his discoveries (“Distant Origin”)
Jan Borg alliance against 8472 proceeds as planned; Seven not liberated by Voyager Borg alliance against 8472 begins; 8472 senses plan thru Kes, destroys cube; Seven beams to Voyager, alliance broken; Borg don’t get nanoprobes (“Scorpion”) Start of divergence: Voyager crippled in 8472 attack, Paris & Tuvok killed; Seven has no contact with Voyager
Voyager gives nanoprobes to Borg after passage through their space, but is double-crossed and escapes during an 8472 attack; Kes doesn’t evolve and stays with ship Seven joins crew; Kes evolves and leaves; Kes sends Voyager 9,500 ly past Borg territory (“The Gift”) Voyager drifts through space for weeks
Feb Paris, Torres hook up; caught in Borg/8472 conflict, Voyager finds transwarp coil in Borg wreck and jumps past Borg territory Paris, Torres hook up (“Day of Honor”); 8472 leaves this timeline alone for now due to lack of attacks Voyager rescued by Vostigye;  Voyager crew must spread out to different jobs to make their way; Doctor begins spreading self through Vostigye medical net; Kim, Torres join Ryemaren crew, get involved; 8472 continues fighting Borg
Mar Ongoing 8472 war prevents Borg from assimilating Arturis’ people Astrometrics lab goes online; brief encounter with Krenim (“Year of Hell” — see notes); the Borg, no longer weakened by 8472 war, assimilate Arturis’ people Ongoing 8472 war prevents Borg from assimilating Arturis’ people
Apr Borg Cooperative planet (“Unity”) assimilated; Kes, Zahir become involved
May Year of Hell begins: Janeway, Torres are killed by Krenim; Doctor goes offline; Voyager is crippled and makes little progress through space Neelix killed, revived by nanoprobes; his Ocampa lung is regenerated as a result (“Mortal Coil”)
Jun In Alpha Quadrant, Prometheus is successfully captured by Romulans; Hirogen relay network remains intact Discovery of Hirogen relay network; contact with Starfleet; rescue of Prometheus by EMH (“Message in a Bottle”); relay network trashed (“Hunters”) Harry saves Morikei Voenis at Calentar; Kes begins work at Moskelar Station; in Alpha Quadrant, Prometheus is successfully captured by Romulans; Hirogen relay network remains intact
Jul Kes, Paris become involved Lyndsay Ballard killed; Voyager encounters 8472 survivor hunted by Hirogen (“Prey”) Lyndsay Ballard supervises rebuilding of Voyager‘s engines
Aug Kes, Paris marry Hirogen capture Voyager, use holodecks for training B’Elanna quits Vostigye service to help Casciron; Kes initiates Tarkan peace process; Annika liberated from Borg in 8472 attack, with Unimatrix Zero memories/persona intact
Sep Kes enters elogium Voyager crew defeats Hirogen (“The Killing Game”) Kes uses her growing powers to defer elogium, leaves Zahir
Oct Kes gives birth to Linnis Voyager encounters Omega molecules (“The Omega Directive”) Annika, other Borg survivors found; Doctor avatar reaches Vidiian space, meets Danara
Nov Voth city-ship confronts alliance and is destroyed by 8472; Voyager relaunched
Dec Arturis tricks Voyager with fake Starfleet slipstream vessel to avenge the loss of his people (“Hope and Fear”) Doctor, Danara cure Vidiian phage
Jan After over a year fighting Borg invasion of fluidic space, 8472 uses Omega molecules in Borg space, crippling Borg; Seven of Nine most likely killed; Arturis’ people probably destroyed or stranded at sublight Voyager enters Void
Feb Doctor back online by this point With Borg defeated in other timeline, 8472 works to infiltrate Starfleet, blaming them for nanoprobe weapon Delta Coalition founded; 8472 leaves Coalition relatively alone due to being busy in other timelines
Mar Voyager leaves Void (“Night”) Voyager begins Caretaker-refugee search
Apr B’Elanna diagnosed with depression (“Extreme Risk”); Voyager makes peace with 8472, “Boothby” (“In the Flesh”)
May Voyager leaves Krenim space; Year of Hell ends (note that Voyager is now approximately 1 year behind its progress in main timeline) “Boothby” tries to convince 8472 leaders to keep peace w/ Starfleet
Jun Neelix’s Ocampa lung fails; Doctor devises replacement lungs 8472 hardliners push for eradication of galaxy in all timelines, but “Boothby”’s politicking gets this timeline left alone for now Voyager encounters Kilana
Jul Voyager remains unaware of slipstream technology New timeline divergence occurs due to Voyager‘s slipstream experiments (“Timeless” — see notes) Neelix’s lung fails in Casciron attack; Kes regenerates his Talaxian lungs; Kes & Neelix get back together; B’Elanna turns herself in for arrest
Aug Discovery of Hirogen relay network; no contact with Starfleet since Dominion War keeps its ships elsewhere (thus Project Pathfinder never exists) Chakotay negotiates with Voth; 8472 escalate attacks on this sheaf of timelines; Annika accesses Borg memories to help devise anti-8472 tactics
Sep “Boothby” makes contact with Voyager to negotiate peace; Voth, Kilana attempt to collapse fluidic space; Voyager stops them
Oct Think Tank cures Vidiian Phage (“Think Tank”) Kes gives birth; Janeway gets pregnant
Nov Breen attack San Francisco, become powerful Dominion ally Breen attack San Francisco, become powerful Dominion ally (DS9: “The Changing Face of Evil”) Kes travels to Earth, repels Breen attack; Breen retreat from alliance, weakening Dominion forces in AQ
Dec Dominion War ends
Jan Dominion War ends Dominion War ends (DS9: “What You Leave Behind…”)
Feb Voyager travels through Void, but is too late to save its natives from extinction at Malon hands Voth observed showing the flag in distant territories (“Brief Candle”) Delta Coalition makes contact with Alpha Quadrant
Apr Voyager leaves Void through Malon subspace vortex, but without slipstream or Borg transwarp, it will remain in Malon territory and vicinity (between Carina and Crux arms) indefinitely Contact regained with Alpha Quadrant (“Pathfinder”)
Jul Voyager rescues Borg children (“Collective”) Janeway gives birth
Oct An aged incarnation of Kes attacks Voyager (“Fury” — see notes)
Dec Regular contact with Starfleet established (“Life Line”)
Jan Seven learns of her past in Unimatrix Zero (“Unimatrix Zero”)
Jan Voyager returns home (“Endgame” — see notes)
Jul Linnis gives birth to Andrew
Feb Kes enters morilogium; bio-temporal chamber begins her jumps back through time

Notes on other timelines

“Year of Hell”:
I didn’t get into the YoH timelines in the novel because they’re just too big a mess.  It seems easiest to think of the entire episode as being in an alternate reality from the rest of the series, or simply to regard it as an apocryphal story, because it is inconsistent with “Before and After” (in that Janeway has no memory of the Krenim despite being told of them by Kes), and because, aside from the inauguration of Astrometrics (which could’ve happened much the same in a different timeline), it has no further impact on the series.

Thus, I offer the following hypothesis: Despite the order in which events were depicted onscreen, I submit that the entirety of Voyager (and thus the 23rd/24th-century Trek universe as a whole) takes place in the timeline seen at the end of “Year of Hell,” in which Annorax’s timeship had been wiped from existence.  After all, there is no explicit mention in “Before and After” of Annorax, a timeship, or any kind of historical alterations; the only thing mentioned is that the Krenim exist and use chroniton-based torpedoes to penetrate shields.

So: “First,” in the Annorax timeline, a version of Voyager encounters Annorax’s timeship and destroys it, resetting the timeline back to the 2170s and creating the timeline seen in TOS, TNG, DS9, and early VGR, in which Annorax never invents his timeship.  Two centuries later, in May 2374 in the B&A timeline (six months after B&A), another version of Voyager encounters the Krenim Imperium, which does not engage in rewriting history, but is aggressive in defending its territory.  A Krenim ship attacks Voyager without provocation, Janeway and Torres are killed, and the B&A version of the Year of Hell occurs.  Four years later, a dying Kes jumps back to 2373 and creates the timeline seen in the series from that point on, telling Janeway of her future experiences with the Krenim.  Later, in March 2374 (64 days before Janeway’s May 20 birthday), the final bridge scene of “Year of Hell” occurs: Voyager is hailed by a different Krenim ship, one whose commander is more talkative and warns them to bypass their territory.  (By arriving two months earlier, they may have encountered the Krenim before their military status had escalated to the point of firing without warning.)  Janeway readily follows their advice, because she remembers Kes’s warnings about the Krenim from the end of B&A.  (Why else would she so unquestioningly agree to bypass their territory, rather than negotiating for passage as she normally would?)

Thus, since the divergence between the Annorax timeline “sheaf” and the others occurs 200 years before the Borg invade fluidic space, we may assume that the Groundskeepers are simply unable to access that sheaf (see p. 327).  Thus, the Annorax timelines have no bearing on Places of Exile.

So why didn’t the Borg invade fluidic space in the Annorax sheaf?  Maybe they simply never discovered it.  Any one of Annorax’s alterations could’ve prevented the conditions that led the Borg to discover fluidic space in the main timeline.  Maybe “our” Borg discovered fluidic space upon assimilating the knowledge of a civilization that Annorax wiped from existence in his sheaf.

The problem is that Seven is aboard Voyager and Kes is absent in YoH.  How could that be if the Borg-8472 war does not occur there?  Well, “Dark Frontier” alleged that the Queen had intentionally arranged for Seven to be seeded among the humans to gain information that could help the Borg assimilate them.  She could have found a different excuse to do the same in the Annorax sheaf.  As for Kes, she could have left to travel with Zahir.  This again creates the problem of how Voyager reached Krenim territory without a push from the evolved Kes, but the Queen’s gambit to seed Seven aboard could have involved the acquisition of a transwarp coil as well, so the crew could think they’d safely escaped.  Or else the geography of Voyager‘s journey and Borg and Krenim space could have been different in the Annorax sheaf.  (So why wasn’t Seven similarly seeded in the B&A timeline?  Perhaps once the Queen in that timeline got the nanoprobe weapon, she decided that battling Species 8472 took priority over infiltrating a Starfleet vessel.)

This is much easier to deal with.  Again we have a B&A-like situation, where the original timeline advances for some years and then a time travel back to the date of the episode creates a new, altered timeline that is followed from then on.  In this case, Voyager is destroyed in a failed quantum slipstream experiment, but Chakotay and Harry survive and eventually travel back in time to save the ship and its crew.  This is part of the second “sheaf” of timelines discussed by the characters in PoE.  However, since the divergence comes after the Groundskeepers have agreed to leave this timeline sheaf alone, it is never visited by them, and thus remains unknown to the characters in PoE.

Only minor temporal variations occur, all either in 2372, before the Borg invade fluidic space, or in late 2375, after fluidic space is cut off from our universe.  Thus the episode has no effect on PoE.

This turns out to be the first alternate timeline created in VGR (aside from the one-day time loop in “Time and Again”), since aged Kes goes back to very early in the series’ run and interacts with people there, leading to the events of the slightly revised timeline in which Janeway and Kes prepare for her future self’s attack and prevent its recurrence.  In this case, the timeline split occurs two years before the Borg enter fluidic space, so it might not be relevant; however, the two timelines are virtually identical, so it stands to reason that the Borg in both would have invaded fluidic space around the same time.  Perhaps they did, but the timelines were so much the same that the Groundskeepers counted them as part of the same sheaf.

This is very difficult to make temporal sense of.  How could the time distortion be sending the characters to Voyager at times when it was tens of thousands of light-years away?  In my later DTI fiction, I use quantum entanglement (a connection between correlated particles independent of distance) to justify such things.  Yet only one of the timeframes visited in the episode falls into the window of the Borg-Groundskeeper conflict (August 2373 to September 2375), namely the “Scorpion” timeframe while the Borg occupied Cargo Bay 2 (although the Captain Proton holodeck sequence might also fall into this period).  At most, this would create another infinitesimally different timeline within the main-series sheaf.

And of course, this timeline divergence occurs nearly two years after the end of PoE, and thus has no bearing on it.

Other timelines:
The timelines of the other eight Myriad Universes novels diverge anywhere from years to centuries before the Borg invade fluidic space.  All other alternate timelines seen onscreen in ST diverge either before or after the Borg-Groundskeeper conflict.  Therefore, none of these timelines are known to the Groundskeepers.

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  1. July 5, 2019 at 7:50 pm

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