Literature: Star Trek: Federation
Star Trek: Federation
is a 1994 Star Trek Expanded Universe
novel by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.Federation
tracks three different timelines. In the 2060s, a fascist movement
called Optimum is sweeping across Earth, and a physicist named Zefram Cochrane is caught in the crossfire between Optimum's dragon
Colonel Adrik Thorsen and La Résistance
in 2267, Captain James T. Kirk
of the USS Enterprise
(NCC-1701) receives a distress signal from Zefram Cochrane, whom he met earlier that year (TOS: "Metamorphosis"
).99 years later
in 2366, Captain Jean-Luc Picard
of the USS Enterprise
(NCC-1701D) acquires an apparently Borg artifact from a rogue Romulan ship, containing a computer entity that rapidly takes over the Enterprise
As the two crews struggle to fulfill their missions, destiny draws them closer together until past and future merge — and the fate of each of the two legendary starships rest in the hands of the other vessel...note
If you're looking for the trope, see The Federation
Star Trek: Federation contains examples of the following tropes:
- Big Bad: Colonel Adrik Thorsen is technically The Dragon to the unnamed Optimum leaders, but he serves as the effective Big Bad of the 2060s story and the actual Big Bad of the other two timelines.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- The Enterprise is trapped in the subspace black hole, out of power and about to be crushed, when they see two brilliant blue lights...from the Lexington and Excalibur, who heard the Enterprise's distress call and got there just in time to tow them free.
- Meanwhile the Enterprise-D, after exiting the black hole, comes under attack by Commander Tarl's warbird IRW Tears of Algeron, seeking to avenge her mate Traklamek whom Picard killed with his crazy-ass ramming attack below. Another Starfleet ship that Thorsen-as-Data had ordered out of the area earlier blindsides Tarl and blows her away.
- Clarke's Third Law: Referenced by Zefram Cochrane when he's brought aboard the Enterprise-D. The Ent-Nil's systems were familiar enough that he could at least take a guess at how they worked, but the Ent-D is so far advanced from his home level of technology that it's indistinguishable from magic.
- Call Back: Many of the 21st century characters and concepts are Call Backs to Star Trek's established history of the future. The Optimum Movement is led by Colonel Green from "The Savage Curtain" and uses the symbols seen in the "post-atomic courtroom" from "Encounter At Farpoint". Cochrane's friends include Flint the Immortal from "Requiem for Methuselah" and John Burke, the astronomer mentioned in "The Trouble With Tribbles". The storyline also features the technology of the Preservers, previously seen in the original series episode "The Paradise Syndrome". The New United Nations were first mentioned in "Encounter at Farpoint", having made a human rights declaration in 2036 and from context having collapsed around 2079 (established in this book as due to the Optimum).
- Call Forward:
- The Ferengi ship is called The 62nd Rule. Since it's still season 3 of TNG, no-one on the Enterprise has any idea what that means. (In case you're curious, the 62nd Rule of Acquisition is "The riskier the road, the greater the profit", quite an appropriate motto for a starship.)
- Cochrane draws a diagram to try and explain warp drive to Thorsen, showing the speed of light as a star, the energy required under Einsteinian relativity to reach lightspeed being a parabolic curve to infinity over the top, and the energy required by warp drive to be a smaller asymmetric curve beneath it. When he finishes drawing the diagram, the result looks like the Starfleet arrowhead symbol, suggesting this is where it comes from.
- Continuity Nod: While being held by Thorsen in Battersea Stadium, Cochrane finds photos of several baseball players, including somebody named Bokai. Buck Bokai was first mentioned in DS 9: "If Wishes Were Horses" as one of the stars of the final World Series, which by this book's chronology was held about twelve years before the Optimum took over.
- Continuity Porn: Dear God. Understanding the little references sprinkled liberally about isn't really necessary to enjoy the book, but did the Reeves-Stevenses ever go to town on it.
- Crossover: Between Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul / Grey Goo: Thorsen was implanted with Grigari nanomachines to repair the wounds inflicted by Cochrane and La Résistance at Battersea Stadium. He becomes obsessed with revenge against Cochrane as the nanites gradually replace his body when the immune system rejects them. By the TOS timeline he's more machine than man. By TNG, he's become little more than a computer entity.
- Deadly Euphemism: Optimum foot soldiers like "contained", as in "containing a plague".
- Distant Finale: Two of them.
- First, a chapter that takes place just after the Enterprise-D's destruction in Star Trek: Generations, whereas the rest of the TNG storyline is set between "Sarek" and "Ménage à Troi" several years earlier. Picard receives a time capsule from Starfleet Archives containing a message from Kirk that explains the whole story to him.
- The actual epilogue takes place centuries in the future, as the Federation has united the entire galaxy and a ship equipped with "sidewarp" drive has travelled beyond it, finding another Preserver beacon out in deep space and opening a new era.
"In the language of the time, the ship's name is Enterprise."
- Explosive Decompression: Played surprisingly realistically for Star Trek when the Thorsen entity takes over the Ent-D and decompresses the shuttlebay where the main cast is. The cast remains conscious and have to be treated for vacuum exposure injuries later. (Wesley's worst off, having tried to hold his breath, which is a no-no in hard vacuum.) Data, not requiring oxygen, manhandles everyone into a shuttle and pressurizes it.
- Eye Scream: Thorsen gets John Burke's laser cane shone into his eye, permanently damaging it. Later, as a Grigari cyborg, he is shown extracting his own eye and replacing it with machinery.
- Fictional United Nations: The New United Nations in the 21st century storyline apparently replaced the original. Some NUN peacekeepers have the misfortune to become Red Shirts at the hands of Thorsen's Black Shirts in the prologue, and the entire organization is destroyed by the Optimum during their rise to power.
- Floating Head Syndrome: As seen above, the dust jacket for the original hardcover has Kirk and Picard from the shoulders up and not much else.
- Foreign Cuss Word: Picard's first words on finding out that the chunk of Borg ship has a Preserver artifact inside it?
- Framing Device: The prologue and epilogue. An old, tired Admiral James T. Kirk visits the Guardian of Forever and asks several meaning-of-life-type questions to no response, finally asking it, "Why?" Cut to the epilogue, and it seems the entire book has partly been the Guardian basically telling him, "Yes, you mattered, and all the pain and loss you endured were worth it." Kirk is noticeably more optimistic as the book closes.
- Grand Theft Me: Thorsen does this to Data, though luckily for the android his personality is only suppressed, not erased.
- Insane Admiral: Admiral Kabreigny. She becomes almost as obsessed with Cochrane and the theoretical warp bomb as Thorsen did, and Spock has to pinch her to get her out of Kirk's hair so he can save the Enterprise. When she wakes up offscreen, she apparently realizes what she was doing and doesn't press charges.
- Interquel: The TOS timeline starts with Kirk recuperating from the assassination attempt in "Journey to Babel". The TNG timeline picks up right at the end of "Sarek".
- Living MacGuffin: Zefram Cochrane in the TOS and TNG storylines. Thorsen is obsessed with revenge against Cochrane, and Kirk wants to protect him. Picard was mostly an innocent bystander dragged into it by Thorsen.
- Meanwhile, in the Future: The story jumps between three different time periods, eventually tying them all together.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Optimum are basically Nazis, though they claim they're not making the mistakes of past fascist movements (the Nazis, Khan Noonien Singh, etc.).
- Precursors: In the TNG storyline, Thorsen masquerades as the mysterious cube created by the Preservers.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Romulans claim that a Borg artefact they're giving the Enterprise was retrieved when a Romulan freighter collided with a Borg cube and managed to break a piece away by pure mechanical force. Subverted, as it turns out the artefact is a fake.
- Although Picard, Data, and Geordi speculate that the only way someone could make such a good fake Borg artifact is by disassembling an actual one, duplicating all of its parts, then reassembling the duplicates. So it's somewhere between possible and likely that the Romulans did have a real Borg artifact, which may have in fact been obtained by the awesome means described.
- Oppressive States of America: In the 2060s storyline the Optimum takes over much of the world, including the United States. There the Constitution has been suspended and only the fifteen states with Optimum majorities are allowed to send representatives to Congress.
- Ramming Always Works:
- Par for the course with Star Trek, but the TNG storyline features a pretty spectacular instance when Picard rams a Romulan D'deridex-class warbird under difficult-to-duplicate conditions. Picard even phrases the order as "Ramming speed!" and angles the Enterprise so the saucer acts like an axe blade to cut the warbird's "head" off. The Enterprise comes off damaged but serviceable thanks to her structural integrity field, while the warbird, having been hit by a massive object traveling at a substantial fraction of c, is reduced to pieces no larger than a computer chip. Worf is so impressed he loses his English for a few moments.
There are several reasons this shouldn't have worked. If the Enterprise's warp core hadn't been forced into an emergency shutdown, if all available power hadn't been diverted into the SIF, if they weren't covered by a boundary-layer cloaking effect from yet another Warbird, if everybody hadn't been at relative rest, if the target Warbird hadn't had their shields set for combat conditions rather than simple navigation (which would have at least diverted an Enterprise-D-size rock)... you get the idea. It was a one-in-a-BIG-NUMBER occurrence — which is lampshaded as "not being in the manual". Riker says he's not sure whether Starfleet Command will commend or court-martial Picard; Picard says he'll settle for a refit. The narrator soon remarks that it would be easier to list the parts of the Enterprise that weren't damaged.
- The TOS storyline produces an accidental collision between the Enterprise and a Klingon D-7 battle cruiser. Both ships' sensors were impaired by their proximity to a black hole, and both had the same idea to hide from the other ship inside a particularly strong distortion (the Klingons intended to ambush the Enterprise, while the Enterprise was trying to evade them). The Enterprise suffers severe damage including a cracked dilithium crystal, but the Klingon ship is destroyed.
- The Romulans also say the Borg artifact was the result of it being separated from a Borg cube by a ramming attack. They're lying: the Borg ship fragment is fake.
- Snipe Hunt: Apparently while Picard was running around with Vash in "Captain's Holiday", Riker sent Data on one. Wesley Crusher is another victim.
Data: I was not successful, although I did hold the bag and call for the snipe exactly as Commander Riker had instructed me. Snipe appear to be exceptionally well evolved for remaining unseen. Even the ship's computer has no record of— (Riker bursts out laughing.) Captain?
Riker: I'm sorry, Data. It's just that, well, there are no such things as snipe.
Data: Have you also hunted snipe, Wesley?
Wesley: Geordi told me—
Riker: Eyes on the board, Mr. Crusher!
Wesley: Aye, sir.
Data: At least that would explain why no one has ever seen one.
- Space Battle: A couple of nice ones.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Reflected on by Picard when studying a Preserver artefact with unusual mathematical symbols on it. His crew manage to identify the very first set of symbols as another way of depicting the energy curve required for warp drive. He wonders what all the later ones, describing things humanity has not discovered yet, could mean...
- Teleporter Accident: Make that Teleporter Did-It-On-Purpose. Once the Ent-D has gotten Thorsen out of Data and back into the Preserver object, Picard orders it beamed off the ship at "maximum dispersion, maximum range."
- Teleporters and Transporters: Cochrane gets transported and is initially depressed, because he thinks it's the kind of teleporters that were being speculated about in his own time (where you effectively make a copy of the person somewhere else and then destroy the original). He has to have it explained to him that transporters convert you to energy, shift the energy then convert it back to matter, so you're still the same person you were to start with.
- Temporal Paradox: The Enterprise-D crew see Kirk's ship, but are paralyzed with indecision as they don't know from when in their past it comes from and thus don't know if saving it is the correct course of action or will cause a paradox. No one on the ship can remember precisely when the original Enterprise was destroyed or under what circumstances (and with both Data and the library computer off-line they have to rely on memory). Once Worf recalls reading in one of Admiral Chekov's books that the Enterprise self-destructed without Kirk aboard do they know it's safe to respond.
- Time Police: Dedicated Time Police don't appear, but when the original Enterprise meets the Enterprise-D, Kirk immediately orders the viewscreen to be pixellated to avoid contaminating the timestream with knowledge of the future.
- Picard later commits a minor breach of regulations by "accidentally" laying his hand on a companel, sending an automatic hail to Kirk's ship identifying themselves as the Enterprise-D.
- Trouble from the Past: Adrik Thorsen in the TOS and TNG timelines.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: The Kabreigny Object (as it's called in the TNG timeline) is something called a subspace black hole, consisting of three singularities orbiting each other faster than the speed of light. Anything that crosses its event horizon from any time period exists in all time periods for as long as it remains inside, allowing the TOS and TNG Enterprises to meet. Lampshaded in that Spock tells Kirk, "I cannot pretend to understand how such a thing could possibly exist."
- We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future: At the start of the TOS storyline Kirk is recovering from an assassination attempt by an Orion Syndicate hitman surgically altered to look like an Andorian.
- Weaponized Exhaust: Inverted. While fighting an Orion ship at warp speed Kirk abruptly drops the Enterprise back into realspace and wipes out an incoming torpedo volley against the shockwave from the collapsing warp field.
- World War III: Starts mere weeks after Zefram Cochrane escapes from Earth near the end of the 2060s storyline. Nobody really knows who started it, but when the smoke cleared 37 million people were dead.
The inevitable cry went out: This must not happen again.
And this time, on the colony worlds, that cry was finally heard.
Something changed in humanity with that last war, because for the first time it was clear even to the masses that no human conflict, even one that could consume a world, could ever be allowed to overshadow or assume more importance than the human race itself.
- Only trouble is, Adrik Thorsen is a relic of that prior age, and never learns.