Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 106
# 21
03-03-2013, 12:46 PM
Personal Log: "The Wild Blue Yonder"
Stardate: 90744.71

I don't think I'm ever going to trust a strobing blue light again.

Our investigation of the Drozana Station led to a paranoid Section 31 operative, a crash course on Dabo and more lost Energy Credits than I'd like to admit, a battle of wits against a malfunctioning hologram and, most importantly, the Devidians' blue world hidden in the abandoned sublevels. We traced their incursion to a portal leading almost 200 years back in time and, with Starfleet's slightly hesitant approval, we crossed the threshold to pursue them onto a Drozana Station still in service as a Federation starbase.

If I recall my classes on the mid-23rd century correctly, we might have bumped into one or two rather famous historical figures along the way. The history books don't mention our presence, though, which means either I'm mistaken or our attempts to stay out of history's way worked better than I'd hoped. If they were who I think they were, I'll just say it probably serves them right for all the temporal misadventures they went on to have.

Lieutenants Onploz and Auslaz accompanied me through the portal. It was Luverala's first away mission: I suspected we'd need a very experienced engineer to work with the outdated technology, but he was more brilliant than I'd ever expected. He came up with this idea to use a warp-field paradox to override the computer's security lockdown and even managed to turn the station's shields into a kind of focusing lens for the portal, in an age when they didn't even have the technology yet to detect the Devidians. To be honest, I don't entirely understand everything he did, but it worked, and we got home safely after saving dozens of victims in the past.

Luverala and Auslaz made such a great team together, and they're both so shy, brilliant and modest about themselves: I really can't help but think they'd make a great couple. Not that I'd say anything about that, of course. The last thing we need on this ship is the acting captain trying to play matchmaker with her crew.

* * *

We finally had to bring the Salamanca itself into the past to destroy Driffins' Comet and stop the Devidians' plan to warp Donatu Sector into their realm. It's really a shame: the comet's was a natural wonder that deserved to be studied with respect, and the celebrations on Drozana Station were so uplifting. Sure it was mostly just a Ferengi scheme to sell more drinks, but it was nice to see people so excited for the kinds of astronomical spectacles we've mostly come to take for granted. Destroying it in the past felt like robbing the future of that small sense of wonder.

And though I hate to admit it, the alien realm is fascinating in an eerie sort of way. When our ship arrived we found the whole sector nearly pulled into their space. I don't know if the heavy black shapes looming against the stars were just nebula brought into sharper relief by the blue-shifted light or something in their realm that has no counterpart in our space, but it almost made me want to keep exploring, to find out what ghostly landscapes might lie over the horizon of that blue looking-glass realm. Does Earth look like Earth in Devidian space, or is there another world with its own mountains and oceans obeying some other physics?

Unfortunately Captain B'vat didn't quite share my sense of wonder. No matter the time period, we seem to be cursed to run into trouble with our favorite rogue Klingon ambassador. His younger, though no less belligerent, self hardly seemed to notice the transformation the sector had undergone as he attacked our ship, whose holographic D-7 disguise he mistook for a ship from the House of Duras. You know, between B'vat's confusion and our strikingly similar misunderstanding with the USS Reuben James, I have to wonder if Drake's holoprogram was meant to cause us trouble in the past. Maybe he didn't want us coming back, and was hoping we'd sacrifice ourselves to complete the mission.

Thankfully we never came anywhere close to such a choice.

* * *

The Salamanca's in drydock now, ostensibly so Temporal Investigations can go over the records and scan it for any residual effects. That, and any ship that's been tampered with by Section 31 could have any number of eavesdropping devices and remote override programs that need to be cleaned out. And on a much more personal note, Drake secretly installed Borg technology on my ship. Borg technology. He claimed it was necessary to get us back to the present, but we got to the past just fine without his help, and beside... well, let's just say he should count himself lucky if he ends up in the brig with a force field between us.

We've been assigned to a new ship, a modified Akira-class escort straight from Utopia Planetia. Since it's a newly commissioned vessel, I had the honor of giving her a name, and so we're aboard the Roanoke once more. It might seem silly since it's an entirely new ship, and I've no doubt the Salamanca will make a fine ship for her next crew once the investigation's complete, but being aboard the USS Roanoke feels like coming home again.

The Roanoke also comes with a newly commissioned runabout, which I've named the Shirakawa. I used to ride my bike to school each day along the Shirakawa River when I lived at the institute in Kyoto, and I loved the cherry blossoms and the restaurants along the riverside in the historic district. That bike was pretty much a rolling disaster: you had to lift the front wheel off the ground just to get it to turn right. But I'd never let the teachers or nurses replicate a new one, or even replace the parts. It was like an old friend, and fixing its quirks would have been as wrong as changing someone's personality to make them fit yours better.

Still, there's probably quite a few people who walked that route each morning who'd have frantically disagreed. I wonder if that bike's still in storage? I couldn't take it with me to the academy, for which I'm sure the pedestrians of San Francisco are grateful, but I hope it still has a home somewhere at the institute.

* * *

We're having a celebration tonight for Luverala and Corspa, who have been promoted to Lieutenant and Lieutenant Commander after our success against the Devidians. Crewman Whelir's requested another performance of his band "The Beasts of Tanagra" and I've reluctantly agreed to let them play a few songs before the end of the night. When they performed last month sickbay apparently ended up flooded with requests for sedatives, but what they may lack in talent they make up for in... well, enthusiasm.

I don't plan on mentioning it to the crew until tomorrow, since this is their night and they think of me as "captain" anyway, but I've also been promoted by Admiral Quinn to the rank of Commander. If things keep going at this rate, I may have to start learning to drop the "acting" part from my rank when I introduce myself.

Last edited by sparklysoldier; 04-11-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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# 22
03-05-2013, 09:33 PM
I'm sure you know why I took a special interest in seeing how you would cover that particular arc of episodes.

Azera Xi definitely has quite the admiration of the wonders of space. Heck, even this log's title suggests such wonderment. That's something that doesn't always seem to be present in Starfleet officers, who take things as either a matter of course, or dangerous. And I loved how, even though the Devidians had threatened her, she still managed to see aspects of their realm that were beautiful and contemplate what Earth might be like in their frame of reference. That is a REALLY endearing trait in her, and one that makes me want to read more of her stories.

(I also got a kick out of how you incorporated your DOFF assignments into the logs, too!)

I almost find myself wondering what she would think of meeting a real, live Devidian serving in Starfleet. Depending on the strength of her telepathy (and whether she felt anything in contact with the other Devidians), she could very well end up getting an impression of what he really is. Of course, the trouble with that kind of crossover would be trying to figure out how to retcon--or ignore--the fact that they both experienced that particular arc and were both affected by it.



Finally...I keep meaning to ask you, have you ever heard Symphony X's album Iconoclast? It features a story, or at least themes, very similar to what you seem to have envisioned for Species One.

And honestly, I wonder if Azera Xi would have flashbacks if she heard it. The "machine takeover" story is framed in very strong quasi-religious terms, very much the way it appears in your story.

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Last edited by gulberat; 03-06-2013 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Added Wiki link for Iconoclast.
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# 23
03-06-2013, 07:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I'm sure you know why I took a special interest in seeing how you would cover that particular arc of episodes.
That I do.

Reading Aloysha's stories, Azera Xi actually has a lot in common with him: they both awoke from stasis with an unknown origin and enrolled in the academy, until Starfleet eventually realized their connection to a very dangerous enemy that needed to be kept secret. While his nature forces him to confront that origin head-on, she's still trying hard not to think about her past or what all the clues surrounding her suggest.

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Azera Xi definitely has quite the admiration of the wonders of space. Heck, even this log's title suggests such wonderment. That's something that doesn't always seem to be present in Starfleet officers, who take things as either a matter of course, or dangerous. And I loved how, even though the Devidians had threatened her, she still managed to see aspects of their realm that were beautiful and contemplate what Earth might be like in their frame of reference. That is a REALLY endearing trait in her, and one that makes me want to read more of her stories.
Thanks! I'd imagine it's easy for Starfleet captains to start taking space for granted: they see stars, nebula and alien planets every week, usually as just the background for a battle or cover for the enemy. She's a natural scientist, though, and loves the very idea of seeing something for the first time, with the universe itself in the foreground. She also has something of a Dorothy in Oz perspective: she doesn't remember her past but her personality comes from who she was then, so she has a vague feeling of being surrounded by wonder, like a time traveler or an explorer on the far side of the universe. The downside is that the feeling of being slightly outside everything means she's also homesick for a place she doesn't remember anything about.

Oh, the blue realm really is intriguing, and the Devidians are so mysterious, and part of a whole different reality with its own laws and ecology, that she doesn't really see them as purposefully evil: they're more like tigers or sharks to her, predatory beings living in their own environment that can be fascinating and beautiful, so long as you keep your distance. If she were to see Aloysha's true form, she'd probably be panicked for just for a moment or so before her curiosity takes over and she starts doing things like waving her hand through his body and asking questions about how he perceives linear time, a bit like Medtech Anene.

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(I also got a kick out of how you incorporated your DOFF assignments into the logs, too!)
Oh, I love the DOFF assignments in the game - they really do feel like the B stories in Trek episodes! My very first failed assignment was the band that tried to perform in the mess hall, and that was just so absolutely perfect for Azera Xi's character and crew. I could just see her sitting there with a pained expression, listening to them wailing on the instruments and trying so hard to look diplomatically patient...

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I almost find myself wondering what she would think of meeting a real, live Devidian serving in Starfleet. Depending on the strength of her telepathy (and whether she felt anything in contact with the other Devidians), she could very well end up getting an impression of what he really is. Of course, the trouble with that kind of crossover would be trying to figure out how to retcon--or ignore--the fact that they both experienced that particular arc and were both affected by it.
Her telepathy's very untrained and mild, but there might be enough to make her sense him indirectly: a vague feeling of wrongness and dread, the color blue keeps drifting into her thoughts, something seeming troublingly familiar about him that she can't place. I don't think she'd sense his exact nature or true form, but it might become strong enough that she'd actually whip out a phaser with a wide-eyed "who are you really," certain that there's something wrong here. That might actually make a fun story, along with the similarities she discovers once she lowers the weapon and they start talking about themselves.

I think the best way to handle things like that is vagueness: they were both separately involved in the Donatu Sector incident, they both played a pivotal role in stopping the Devidians and they both dealt with Drake, with the details left up in the air. Though the idea of everything happening in one continuity, so the poor USS Khitomer just keeps getting into trouble with the Borg over and over again, and giving up every last one of its ensigns to the horde of rescuing ships that comes along, does have its appeal...

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Finally...I keep meaning to ask you, have you ever heard Symphony X's album Iconoclast? It features a story, or at least themes, very similar to what you seem to have envisioned for Species One.

And honestly, I wonder if Azera Xi would have flashbacks if she heard it. The "machine takeover" story is framed in very strong quasi-religious terms, very much the way it appears in your story.
Not yet, but I'm intrigued... it's downloaded and ready for listening.

Last edited by sparklysoldier; 03-06-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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# 24
03-06-2013, 11:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklysoldier View Post
Reading Aloysha's stories, Azera Xi actually has a lot in common with him
Yeah, I can definitely see that, though I suspect there are some differences in their personalities (though not the kind that I think would get them at each other's throats). I think Alyosha is more cautious, and quieter. Part of this owes to how he has been treated at certain times in his life, because unlike Azera Xi, he knows how toxic his secret could be (and has been) with certain people. :-/

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She's a natural scientist, though, and loves the very idea of seeing something for the first time, with the universe itself in the foreground.
You definitely got that across well.

Quote:
She also has something of a Dorothy in Oz perspective: she doesn't remember her past but her personality comes from who she was then, so she has a vague feeling of being surrounded by wonder, like a time traveler or an explorer on the far side of the universe. The downside is that the feeling of being slightly outside everything means she's also homesick for a place she doesn't remember anything about.
That's interesting, that there may still be some residual effect of her old personality and knowledge in there, even if she can't access it.

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Oh, the blue realm really is intriguing, and the Devidians are so mysterious, and part of a whole different reality with its own laws and ecology, that she doesn't really see them as purposefully evil: they're more like tigers or sharks to her, predatory beings living in their own environment that can be fascinating and beautiful, so long as you keep your distance.
That's interesting...though I imagine I would've only drawn that kind of comparison in the case of non-sentient beings.

Ironically (given that he is much closer to the matter), Alyosha judges the other Devidians quite a bit more harshly. As Earth-raised, I think he would be quick to compare them to the absolute worst humanity has had to offer--the most twisted societies that became the most callous and inhumane towards others. Total depravity. His opinion has only worsened since his two direct encounters with them, and the contemptuous exchanges that passed between him and the Devidian leaders.

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If she were to see Aloysha's true form, she'd probably be panicked for just for a moment or so before her curiosity takes over and she starts doing things like waving her hand through his body and asking questions about how he perceives linear time, a bit like Medtech Anene.
Waving her hand through his body (if they were not in phase)? I'm imagining him in his natural form, speaking in English in his "human" voice (which of course has to be really weird in and of itself) and saying, "Could you please stop now? That's really creepy." (I love the irony of that thought. )

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Her telepathy's very untrained and mild, but there might be enough to make her sense him indirectly:
His is more "trained," though the way it works is that he must deliberately turn it on, if that makes sense. He does not receive passive indications from people of their emotions; he must make the effort to focus on them and become receptive, or in the case of another telepath, to speak to them. (He might have a "passive" telepathic sense with other Devidians--but with humanoids, it only occurs with conscious intention.) It's not that strong with humanoids under normal circumstances.

His telekinesis, on the other hand, is significantly more powerful than what Azera Xi described (he can do what you've seen the Devidians do in the game).

Quote:
a vague feeling of wrongness and dread, the color blue keeps drifting into her thoughts, something seeming troublingly familiar about him that she can't place.
Interesting. If she caught any sensory impressions from him I imagine they could be very disturbing, unintentionally, since certain senses of his are fundamentally different from those of a humanoid.

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I don't think she'd sense his exact nature or true form, but it might become strong enough that she'd actually whip out a phaser with a wide-eyed "who are you really," certain that there's something wrong here. That might actually make a fun story, along with the similarities she discovers once she lowers the weapon and they start talking about themselves.
That would definitely scare Alyosha. It could take a little work to get him comfortable again after that.

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I think the best way to handle things like that is vagueness: they were both separately involved in the Donatu Sector incident, they both played a pivotal role in stopping the Devidians and they both dealt with Drake, with the details left up in the air.
That could work.

Quote:
Not yet, but I'm intrigued... it's downloaded and ready for listening.
Let me know what you think!

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# 25
03-07-2013, 09:29 AM
I think the comparison of Devidians in general (with Aloysha as the exception) to tigers or sharks may be rather apt. In the behaviors we've seen them exhibit, both in-game and in the TNG episode "Time's Arrow", the Devidians seemed sentient, but not sapient - they're capable of sensing their environment, and responding to it intelligently, but they don't really think about it, even to the point of dismissing the feelings of their prey. It just doesn't seem to enter into their universe-concept that anyone not a Devidian has feelings.

Of course, that may be psychological, a result of the rest of the universe being out of phase with them, and thus not feeling "real" to them - but that doesn't really explain Aloysha. I'm beginning to think he was abandoned in San Francisco because he was a "freak", a mutated child with a different sort of consciousness, and just didn't "feel" right to the others. Empathy isn't exactly the classic Devidian strong suit, after all...
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"Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!" - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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# 26
03-07-2013, 10:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonsills View Post
I think the comparison of Devidians in general (with Aloysha as the exception) to tigers or sharks may be rather apt. In the behaviors we've seen them exhibit, both in-game and in the TNG episode "Time's Arrow", the Devidians seemed sentient, but not sapient - they're capable of sensing their environment, and responding to it intelligently, but they don't really think about it, even to the point of dismissing the feelings of their prey. It just doesn't seem to enter into their universe-concept that anyone not a Devidian has feelings.

Of course, that may be psychological, a result of the rest of the universe being out of phase with them, and thus not feeling "real" to them - but that doesn't really explain Aloysha. I'm beginning to think he was abandoned in San Francisco because he was a "freak", a mutated child with a different sort of consciousness, and just didn't "feel" right to the others. Empathy isn't exactly the classic Devidian strong suit, after all...
See...I'm not so sure about that, given some of the awful things good ol' human nature has proven itself capable of, throughout history--up to and including passing laws deeming certain ethnic groups to be non-persons, and then carrying out campaigns of atrocities based on said determination. I won't post links or anything, but if you read literature from such regimes, or from really racist individuals, it is absolutely shocking what humans have put into writing and into effect.

You also have some pretty chilling things like the Bystander Effect, and the results of the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments, when it comes to human psychology. Put simply...I think that humanity itself is actually capable of hitting and sustaining such a level of depravity under the "right" circumstances. We might go to more lengths to disguise it from ourselves--at first--but I never underestimate just how messed-up human nature can really get.

That's why I decided to take the approach I did, though others can certainly take their own approaches in their works.

Alyosha wasn't yet "hatched" when he (and the other young) were abandoned; it was simply because the two we see in "Time's Arrow" were killed and couldn't return to the creche. But since he was raised by humans, and never "desensitized" to humanoid thoughts and emotions, he accepted them without question as people and equals. He's never known anything else.

You can bet, though, that to a native-raised Devidian he feels ten kinds of wrong. It's to the point where someone aptly described it as his falling into the uncanny valley from their perspective. That's part of what drove them into such a fury when they encountered him in Drozana Station. Even in his natural form, his body language reads wrong...there are clear, human aspects to it. And when he tried to fire back against their telepathic attacks with a memory of his own, it came across to them as messed-up and contemptible.

(What's weird is when I played the episodes again with that toon--without doing anything differently, or having any points in threat control, I aggroed way more Devidian mobs, and far more quickly, than with any other toon I played that series with! I would get jumped by a mob just because I happened to be walking by, before I would even mess with a console or have a combat objective in the mission. It was like they REALLY had it in for him! )

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# 27
03-07-2013, 03:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
Yeah, I can definitely see that, though I suspect there are some differences in their personalities (though not the kind that I think would get them at each other's throats). I think Alyosha is more cautious, and quieter. Part of this owes to how he has been treated at certain times in his life, because unlike Azera Xi, he knows how toxic his secret could be (and has been) with certain people. :-/
Oh, they definitely have very different personalities. He seems much more mature and serious, a more introspective character who weighs and considers each situation carefully. She's less mature at this point, and a bit unsure of herself as a result, and a little more naively trusting of people. She's also been able to more or less seamlessly blend into Federation culture, so she hasn't had to deal with xenophobia the way Alyosha has: her idealism comes a bit from being sheltered, but it does have a genuine core. I think they'd get along well, just in an aloof big brother/cheerful little sister sort of way.

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That's interesting, that there may still be some residual effect of her old personality and knowledge in there, even if she can't access it.
Exactly. An important aspect of Azera Xi's personality is that her memories haven't been erased: it's more like she has a blind spot over them. But everything she's experienced still shapes who she is. She still feels everything from before, just without knowing (or really wanting to know) why, and that plays into much of her thinking and dialogue. Like in "In Memoriam" when she says that the Borg "are everything we were afraid of as children, they're the bogeyman except they're real," what she's really talking about is her own childhood, growing up during the war.

That state of mind won't last forever, though. She's hiding from a past that's quickly catching up with her, and it's going to culminate in an upcoming story about her learning the truth and how it affects her.

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That's interesting...though I imagine I would've only drawn that kind of comparison in the case of non-sentient beings.

Ironically (given that he is much closer to the matter), Alyosha judges the other Devidians quite a bit more harshly. As Earth-raised, I think he would be quick to compare them to the absolute worst humanity has had to offer--the most twisted societies that became the most callous and inhumane towards others. Total depravity. His opinion has only worsened since his two direct encounters with them, and the contemptuous exchanges that passed between him and the Devidian leaders.
I think you just hit the nail on the head with her thoughts about the Devidians, and jonsills summed it up perfectly with "sentient but not sapient." She's not entirely sure how they think or feel yet and, since she hasn't seen any ships or technology, or had very much communication with them, she's imagining that they're like the Horta or the Crystalline Entity: sentient, but so far removed from humanoid life that our morality doesn't necessarily apply to them.

Alyosha, having an inside perspective on the Devidians, could clear that up for her, revealing that they do have free will, understand the damage they cause and are capable of changing their ways, it's just that most of them don't care. That wouldn't even hurt her sense of wonder about them so much as raise her hopes that maybe actual peace can be achieved someday. A school of jellyfish may be beautiful but it can't sign treaties, while even Ghengis Khan might back down if his enemies don't give him any other options.

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Waving her hand through his body (if they were not in phase)? I'm imagining him in his natural form, speaking in English in his "human" voice (which of course has to be really weird in and of itself) and saying, "Could you please stop now? That's really creepy." (I love the irony of that thought. )
That's exactly how I'm imagining it too.

"Oh, sorry! It's just really, well, neat..."

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His is more "trained," though the way it works is that he must deliberately turn it on, if that makes sense. He does not receive passive indications from people of their emotions; he must make the effort to focus on them and become receptive, or in the case of another telepath, to speak to them. (He might have a "passive" telepathic sense with other Devidians--but with humanoids, it only occurs with conscious intention.) It's not that strong with humanoids under normal circumstances.

His telekinesis, on the other hand, is significantly more powerful than what Azera Xi described (he can do what you've seen the Devidians do in the game).
Azera's psionic powers can, with more effort than she'd usually give it, work that way: she can concentrate and speak to someone telepathically (as she did to talk to Luverala when they met), but it mostly never crosses her mind at all and she's not good enough to read people's minds for information, tell if they're lying or so on. It works passively for her much like the game trait mechanic in that she can sense someone who's hiding or know something's wrong.

Her telekinesis can get stronger with her emotions: it's hardly better than using her hands while she's calm, but as a terrified child in "In Memoriam" she was smashing consoles and tearing the ship's sickbay apart. Still, she'll never do anything stronger than that and her TK's not intended as a problem-solver on its own. It's partly there just because I like psychic powers and liked Kes, and also because it's a great way to express her feelings. Young Azera Xi throwing med-kits around by hand wouldn't convey her panic and fury nearly as vividly as her unleashing a telekinetic cyclone.

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Interesting. If she caught any sensory impressions from him I imagine they could be very disturbing, unintentionally, since certain senses of his are fundamentally different from those of a humanoid.
That actually makes a good explanation of why blue keeps coming to her mind: it's the only thing her conscious mind can actually make sense of from his impressions.

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That would definitely scare Alyosha. It could take a little work to get him comfortable again after that.
Alas, she's kinda impulsive like that, and very twitchy about negative telepathic impressions thanks to her experiences with the Borg's "song." Still, she'd have enough restraint to wait until they're alone to suddenly start a barrage of suspicious questions, and the moment she learns the truth, the psychic "pressure" of everything being off would dissipate: her "what are you hiding" attitude would very quickly change into "so you're a Devidian in Starfleet - that's amazing!" I'd imagine that happening at the start of a joint mission, and a rapport emerges during the assignment itself (which allows plenty of time for her "so what's it like when you do this and that" questions, and realizing that she can relate to his situation in some ways).

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Let me know what you think!
It's really good! The vocals kinda remind me of Queensryche, though with a much faster and more orchestral sound. I especially like Electric Messiah, Children of a Faceless God, Iconoclast and, because I'm a sucker for pianos, When All is Lost. And you're right, it'd fit nicely with some of what I'd imagined.

There actually is a story half-written detailing a little bit of that era (it was almost the first thing I started writing, just to better understand her background), and I know in my mind how it happened, but I don't want to mess too much with the canon or contradict anyone else's ideas about the Borg. If her story feels incomplete without it, I might post it as a kind of apocryphal chapter in her story.

A non-canon story for a non-canon character in a non-canon game based on a timeline that's diverged from the current movies... it'll be so far from canon it'll wrap around and become its own series!

Last edited by sparklysoldier; 03-07-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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# 28
03-07-2013, 04:15 PM
Sorry to crash the convo, but the mention of the blue realm, phase shifting, and the mention of Kes, has just suggested a possible idea to me... In the Haunting of Deck 13, and Leave, I made references to Marcus' sister Alix, who accidentally killed herself trying to trigger her own immortality (and it failing due to genetic manipulation disturbing the necessary sequence) I was inspired by the idea of Exosia, and Suspiria and her followers, and it was suggested in the first entry, that her consciousness might have been somehow 'broadcast' to a layer of subspace which allowed it to maintain its integrity. In the second entry, I wanted to suggest that she is infact able to communicate with 'normal space' via the dream state. I'm just wondering, might that 'broadcast' have also involved a phase shift? Might she be mentally occupying the same realm as the Devidians, but without any kind of physical form, and her appearance in S'rR's' dream, having been purely what Morpheus referred to in the Matrix as 'residual self image'... Even Susperia's followers were able to corporealize in 'normal space', I'm not planning on bringing her back in any way: She was solely to exist as a Crisis, and to create angst in Marcus, and now he's dead, there would be no reason for her to participate in the 'normal world', but I was just suddenly intrigued by the idea of the phase shifting/subspace etc... Ignore me, I'm just thinking out loud

Last edited by marcusdkane; 03-07-2013 at 04:20 PM.
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# 29
03-07-2013, 05:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklysoldier View Post
She's also been able to more or less seamlessly blend into Federation culture, so she hasn't had to deal with xenophobia the way Alyosha has: her idealism comes a bit from being sheltered, but it does have a genuine core. I think they'd get along well, just in an aloof big brother/cheerful little sister sort of way.
I could certainly see that dynamic. I think he'd find her bubbliness endearing.

(Incidentally, his strongest feelings of love, he always frames as being like siblinghood, since he cannot feel physical attraction to humanoids. He does love--it's just platonic. He's too alien for that, even beyond, say, a Cardassian, where it has been established that they are still similar enough for a physical relationship to develop.)

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Like in "In Memoriam" when she says that the Borg "are everything we were afraid of as children, they're the bogeyman except they're real," what she's really talking about is her own childhood, growing up during the war.
Now that line makes more sense. For a moment I had wondered if she was having a flashback of sorts, or if it was tales of the Borg from her growing up on Earth.

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Alyosha, having an inside perspective on the Devidians, could clear that up for her, revealing that they do have free will, understand the damage they cause and are capable of changing their ways, it's just that most of them don't care.
It's extreme desensitization in my stories. Think of the way the citizens of the Capital acted in the Hunger Games trilogy--how inured they were to the fact that they were casually torturing children and betting on their lives. Or what has gone on during periods of genocide on Earth. Imagine adding into that mix a society where there is no taboo on the consumption of sentients, and you've got a really horrible society on your hands.

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That wouldn't even hurt her sense of wonder about them so much as raise her hopes that maybe actual peace can be achieved someday. A school of jellyfish may be beautiful but it can't sign treaties, while even Ghengis Khan might back down if his enemies don't give him any other options.
Genghis Khan isn't a bad comparison, though I suspect Alyosha himself would throw out a far more incendiary name or two, to compare with.

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Azera's psionic powers can, with more effort than she'd usually give it, work that way: she can concentrate and speak to someone telepathically (as she did to talk to Luverala when they met), but it mostly never crosses her mind at all and she's not good enough to read people's minds for information, tell if they're lying or so on. It works passively for her much like the game trait mechanic in that she can sense someone who's hiding or know something's wrong.
If they got to discussing very personal matters (i.e. Alyosha's secret), he might react more positively than Luverala to using telepathy. He'll feel better knowing he's not going to be overheard.

But he can only pick up any impressions from a person if he deliberately tries. Unless her body language or voice tips him off beforehand, or a spike in neural energy suggests she's getting agitated, he will be completely blindsided when she turns on him. He won't pick up any empathic cues at all without intentional effort.

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That actually makes a good explanation of why blue keeps coming to her mind: it's the only thing her conscious mind can actually make sense of from his impressions.
Yep...that could be true. Hearing would actually be the most "relatable" sense that he has, though. And my goodness, he does love music...even to the point where he wonders if there is something innate to him as a Devidian that makes him SO passionate about it (the vocal structure to me suggests a "sung," cetacean-like language).

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Alas, she's kinda impulsive like that, and very twitchy about negative telepathic impressions thanks to her experiences with the Borg's "song." Still, she'd have enough restraint to wait until they're alone to suddenly start a barrage of suspicious questions, and the moment she learns the truth, the psychic "pressure" of everything being off would dissipate: her "what are you hiding" attitude would very quickly change into "so you're a Devidian in Starfleet - that's amazing!" I'd imagine that happening at the start of a joint mission, and a rapport emerges during the assignment itself (which allows plenty of time for her "so what's it like when you do this and that" questions, and realizing that she can relate to his situation in some ways).
It's good things would quickly become more positive. I think that if negativity stayed too long, he'd seem much moe cautious and closed off.

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It's really good! The vocals kinda remind me of Queensryche, though with a much faster and more orchestral sound. I especially like Electric Messiah, Children of a Faceless God, Iconoclast and, because I'm a sucker for pianos, When All is Lost. And you're right, it'd fit nicely with some of what I'd imagined.
I could imagine Alyosha accidentally giving her this album as part of a collection. One of the things he often wants to do when he starts to get along well with a new person is to trade music. It would be done totally innocently, though...I figure he'd pick out a big collection of albums and genres and eras.

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# 30
03-17-2013, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gulberat View Post
I could certainly see that dynamic. I think he'd find her bubbliness endearing.

(Incidentally, his strongest feelings of love, he always frames as being like siblinghood, since he cannot feel physical attraction to humanoids. He does love--it's just platonic. He's too alien for that, even beyond, say, a Cardassian, where it has been established that they are still similar enough for a physical relationship to develop.)
That makes sense, and it's even a little similar to her attitude on romance (saying no more, it'd mean spoilers ). It's also how I incidentally thought Odo should have been portrayed, and why his tendency to fall in love with humanoid woman (and I forgot until reading Memory Alpha that Kira wasn't his first relationship!) seemed so strange.

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Now that line makes more sense. For a moment I had wondered if she was having a flashback of sorts, or if it was tales of the Borg from her growing up on Earth.
When someone makes a broad statement about people or life, they're generally using themselves as a frame of reference even if they're not aware of it. A line from Futurama's one of my favorites for making exactly point...

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Leela: Like a prom dress made of carpet remnants!
Nibbler: Yes, like your prom dress.
Azera's doing the same thing in that line: "they're like the bogeyman," she says as though referencing stories on Earth (which she is, to some extent - it's been two generations since Wolf-359, so there's plenty of time for children to be born and raised hearing about the Borg), but what she really means is that they're her bogeymen, and everything she's been afraid of ever since waking up.

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It's extreme desensitization in my stories. Think of the way the citizens of the Capital acted in the Hunger Games trilogy--how inured they were to the fact that they were casually torturing children and betting on their lives. Or what has gone on during periods of genocide on Earth. Imagine adding into that mix a society where there is no taboo on the consumption of sentients, and you've got a really horrible society on your hands.
True, and it'd be interesting if part of that also comes from how alien we seem to them, and how we inhabit a realm set apart from their own. Feeding on humanoids may seem a lot like fishing to them, dipping into an uninhabitable region to snare the creatures dwelling within for food, and hold just as much moral significance to them as it does to most of us.

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If they got to discussing very personal matters (i.e. Alyosha's secret), he might react more positively than Luverala to using telepathy. He'll feel better knowing he's not going to be overheard.

But he can only pick up any impressions from a person if he deliberately tries. Unless her body language or voice tips him off beforehand, or a spike in neural energy suggests she's getting agitated, he will be completely blindsided when she turns on him. He won't pick up any empathic cues at all without intentional effort.
I'd certainly be interested in reading this story, if you're ever inspired to write it! I might give it a try it too, though there's a few stories to be writtten beforehand (and a big, big one's coming up soon - she's at level 23 now, and at level 30 she's going to learn the truth), but I'd trust your interpretation of her character if you find the free time and inspiration to tackle it someday.

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Yep...that could be true. Hearing would actually be the most "relatable" sense that he has, though. And my goodness, he does love music...even to the point where he wonders if there is something innate to him as a Devidian that makes him SO passionate about it (the vocal structure to me suggests a "sung," cetacean-like language).
That'd lend itself to a neat psychic impression too: that with the flashes of blue comes a slight echoing effect (his perception of their conversation overlapping hers), almost giving a sense of being underwater to her.

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It's good things would quickly become more positive. I think that if negativity stayed too long, he'd seem much moe cautious and closed off.
Oh, she's nothing if not an idealist, and very trusting of people and authority: it wouldn't take much to win her over. Even Drake would have had a much easier time manipulating her had he simply claimed to represent Starfleet Intelligence instead of almost instantly going into his "I'm with Section 31, you may not trust us, but we're what the galaxy needs so get used to it!" spiel (for a secret organization, they're surprisingly honest about their intentions!).

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I could imagine Alyosha accidentally giving her this album as part of a collection. One of the things he often wants to do when he starts to get along well with a new person is to trade music. It would be done totally innocently, though...I figure he'd pick out a big collection of albums and genres and eras.
I'd imagine she'd get drawn into it, puzzled and increasingly haunted by a sense of deja vu and vague images and thoughts that she should know about this, that it's reminding her of something... and she'd be left at the end shaken, confused but respectful of how much it affected her. At the time, she'd give a nervous "that was really interesting, but one listen is enough for me," but it'd later become a part of her music collection once she's fully aware of her origin and has become comfortable with it.
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