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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Invaders from Dimension X (part one)

Ever since Mirror Mirror, the fascination with a villainous version of our heroes (or even ourselves) has captured the Star Trek imagination. The Mirror Universe is by far the most captivating, and covered, parallel universe Star Trek has dealt with. Star Trek Online has revitalized the Terran Empire as more aggressive faction intent on conquering our reality, reasoning aside, perhaps it was thrown in a little too fast, with little or no reasoning behind the initial invasion. As Mirror Tucker commented about a parallel universe “So what? How does this help us?”. Hopefully a new episode series will clear this mystery up for us. Perhaps the crudely referenced “Mirror Universe” has used up it's resources and seeks to exploit our own in order for it's empire to flourish, maybe they just see a personal profit in the Prime Universe, or maybe there is something more sinister or simple. Either way, it's something STO needs to clear up for us Star Trek Lore buffs, and they have ample opportunity to do so. Alas, I feel that we have to go through a few Romulan, Reman, Borg episodes before Cryptic decide to clear this hole in the plot up. For now, the Terran Empire is back, its angry at us, and wants to conquer us. That in itself is threat enough alone to keep us Federation types on our toes.

So how can we utilize the concept of alternate realities into the UGC? How many different versions of ourselves can we encounter, and what constitutes the differences between and Alternate time line and a Parallel universe?

Well first of all the UCG is likely to become the perfect place for you or encourage others to play out situation alternate to their own character, parallel and alternate universes could cover anything? A Federation dominated by the British Empire? Done. What if the Roumlans and not the Humans formed the Federation and Earth opted out as the isolationist enemy with self interests. Easily done. You don't even have to place the Prime Universe in the story at all. Just allow the player an opportunity to understand the scenario of the universe he is in and his place in it and play his counterpart. This can be done with computer consoles giving briefly detailed history and background of the universe their character is in. Sometimes allowing the player to explore scenarios they normally wouldn't engage in can be the most rewarding. Not every Alternate Universe mission need involve any contact with the prime universes, and how many of us have donned those Mirror Universe uniforms and played bad guy in STO? UCG gives you an opportunity to actually be the bad guy in the universe they we meant to be.

Okay cool. We have established that we can indeed of outside the parameters of Established Star Trek lore without “breaking the lore” as it were. No doubt their will be quite a few Mirror Universe missions for us to play in UGC, I for one am looking forward to them. But what if the Mirror Universe is to “cliche”for many of us. Surely we've established through DS9 and the TNG episode “Parallels” as well as the New Star Trek movie that there are countless possibilities and countless realities. Where does one start creating their own reality?

Well first of all it's a good idea to note the primary factors that make up what we will call Prime Universe. What elements and hallmarks in history make it stand out? Were do they fit in with your idea of an Alternate Universe? Iron out the similarities and where they differ first. For example, how did first contact take place? (see Enterprise: “In a Mirror Darkly” for a good example). Also, and this is important, determine whether this Universe is an “alternate time line” or a parallel time line. Whats the difference, you might ask? Well lets take a look at the Mirror Universe, the new movie time line and the Prime Universe and how they differ as well as they compliment each other.

In the first encounter with the Mirror Universe, the crew of the Enterprise are a tyrannical mob driven by self interest and instinct to stay on top of the cannibalistic food chain the Terran Empire has produced. Advancement is not procured through peaceful gesture of an open hand, but the closed fist of brutality holding in it's tight grasp the dagger. Loyalty is less the asset of friends as it is the investment of allies that would sell you out to the highest bidder. How this came about has been open to the debate of Star Trek Scholars for decades, but one thing has been established thanks to the Enterprise episode “In A Mirror Darkly” that the Universe is not so much an Alternative time line, where it's history branched off to another destiny, but a timeline parallel with our own, but with a darker more sinister twist. Major examples would be how First Contact took place with and the consequences that followed, to the more subtle overlooked examples where McCoy points out an acid stain on his counterparts lab table, a mark he notes exactly the same to the on in his own reality. Even after Kirk's “Interference” with the Mirror Universe, the crew DS9 cannot hep but see frightening similarities to their own universe in a Universe without the Terran Empire. It seems that even the most drastic of changes find away to match their twisted reality with the Prime Universe. What could be the consequences if one universe becomes so drastically different that no similarity can be established. Perhaps this is the reason why the dimensional barriers are collapsing all around us. But I digress, I'll save the theories for the scholars. Suffice to say, the Mirror Universe may not be the only Parallel Universe out there, but it is to date, the one Prime Universe has had to contend with the most an certainly the most frightening. Seeing what we could be is perhaps the most frightening reflection we could experience.

Alternative Time lines are a different kettle of fish however, but no less important. These can occur in many ways but the two most popular are, the choice event and changing the time line directly. The first is a simple premise, for every decision, an opposite one is made creating a new reality. Imagine thousands of realities, thousands of new possibilities, some so vastly different you would hardy recognize them, and others with differences so tiny, you'd take a lifetime to notice any difference whatsoever. A good Episode to watch for how this works would be TNG's “Parallels” in which Worf finds himself thrown into different choice realities. Another way an alternate time line can come about is direct interference with the time line, referenced all to well in the New Movie. Whatever a certain person may or may not have been in the present has been irrevocably changed in the past, thus changing the destiny of said reality, a reboot as Abrhams would put it. Of course the Alternative Time line is pretty self explanatory and one can easily determine the differences between Parallel and Alternative from these to paragraphs, do with them what you will.

(To be continued: How to make your own reality)

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