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Fanfic / A Changed World

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"...a good command-track Starfleet officer is supposed to be a scientist and a diplomat, not just a soldier, but my field of expertise was always violence, killing, no matter how much I hated it."
Captain Kanril Eleya

"A Changed World" is a Star Trek Online fanfic by StarSword, starring Captain Kanril Eleya of the Federation Starship Bajor.

A month after the end of the Iconian War, Eleya and her crew are delivering supplies to a refugee camp when they detect a distress signal from a Bajoran ship trapped in the gravity well of a black hole. Eleya is forced to confront her own species' ugly past, and an even uglier side of herself.

This fic provides examples of the following:

  • As the Good Book Says...: In response to Colonel Shad Yima's remarks about Eleya working above her caste, Eleya retorts that the caste system was abolished before she was born, and that its abolition was predicted in the Ohalu Prophecies, and she quotes the relevant passage.
    Eleya: (narrating) I normally find it annoying when people quote scripture at me but let's just say this isn't the first time I've heard this load of bull.
  • Brown Note: Downplayed. Eleya describes a sense of utter wrongness about being in proximity to a black hole: space is supposed to be studded with stars, not completely and utterly black.
  • Call-Back:
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Subverted. Biri can't help giggling at Eleya's crack about Kirk's sexual habits once the fact he contracted a Bajoran STD due to them is explained to her.
  • Epigraph: "Invisible" by Black Violin and Pharaohe Monch.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Bajoran D'jarra from "Accession". It's revealed that Kai Opaka from DS9's first season was the one who abolished it, since the Cardassians were using the D'jarra to play the Bajorans off against each other and hamper resistance to their rule (something that came up in Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves and is based on the British use of the Hindu caste system to control India). Eleya's family is ancestrally of the Ke'lora (workers), while Gaarra is Mi'tino (merchants and landowners) and Shad Yima's crew are mostly Va'telo (pilots and sailors).
  • Fantastic Racism: By the traditional Bajoran caste system, Eleya and her family are Ke'lora, the tradesmen, laborers, and lawmen. Shad Yima's crew are Va'telo (spacers, pilots and sailors), higher-caste than Eleya, and Shad criticizes Eleya for working above her station. Gaarra, Eleya's significant other, is higher still at Mi'tino (merchants and landowners), and offscreen Shad's XO apparently made some derogatory remarks about their inter-caste relationship. Shad also throws a Bajoran-on-Bajoran racial slur of some kind at Eleya, "Kendra shak'tet". Eleya later realizes she's become a racist of the General Ripper variety against Klingons.
  • Fashion-Based Relationship Cue: The story briefly mentions that Eleya and Gaarra have exchanged chain links from their earrings, which the later story "Alls Fair In Love And War" clarifies to be the Bajoran equivalent of wedding rings, confirming that they got married off-screen.
  • Heel Realization: Eleya realizing she's about to order a shipload of Klingons killed simply for being Klingons, rather than because they're a genuine threat.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: The usual Klingon patronymics: Krell, son of Mok'tar, and Korlok, son of Yonko.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!:
    Eleya: So why in the Prophets' unknowable names do I want [Krell] dead so bad? ... Duty, or bloodlust? ... Phekk me. I'm as bad as [Colonel Shad] is. As bad as them. ... No. No, I refuse to be that person.
  • Klingon Promotion: Invoked. Eleya points out to the Klingon first officer, Kurlok, that Captain Krell is being an ass, with the intent of provoking Kurlok to challenge Krell for command. It works.
  • Language Equals Thought: Eleya is shown speaking directly-translated Bajoran to Colonel Shad Yima and vice versa. She notably introduces herself as "Colonel Kanril Eleya of the Federation Spacecraft Bajor".
  • Large Ham: The mighty Krell, son of Mok'tar, Conqueror of Neural, warrior of the Klingon Empire!
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: Eleya and Gaarra explain that "Bajoran" is the species, while "Bajora" is an ethnic or cultural group that conquered the others. Eleya is Kendran, while Gaarra is half-Dahkuri. The modern Bajoran language, Bajor'la, is a simplified version of the Bajora tongue Bajor'ara that the Bajora taught to their conquests.
    Gaarra: It's like... Well, like Lieutenant Park here being Korean.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Eleya realizes that her wanting the Klingons dead merely for acting like Klingons makes her A) no better than Shad hating her for defying the caste system, and B) no different than the Klingons being Klingons.
  • Orwellian Retcon: There was an earlier version of the story where Eleya did kill the Klingons, but it was taken down and rewritten after another author pointed out the Broken Aesop.
  • Pardon My Klingon: In addition to Eleya's customary "phekk" and "sher hahr kosst", she calls Krell "targh puqloD" ("son of a targ").
  • Sacred Language: Bajor'ara (Old High Bajoran) used to be the language of the Bajora, but is now apparently only used by priests.
  • Shown Their Work: The black hole, in stark contrast to how Star Trek normally portrays them. The gravitational redshifting of EM radiation, interference caused by the accretion disk, and Time Dilation caused by a real black hole are plot points. The black hole is also said to be 37 solar masses in size and the event horizon is described as "the size of a small moon", which jibes with the mathematical event horizon diameter of 219 km.
  • Spraying Drink from Nose: Eleya's crack about Jim Kirk's sexual reputation makes Gaarra spray a mouthful of cola out his nose.
    Bartender: Thanks, Commander!
  • STD Immunity: Averted.
    Eleya: Well, let's say Dr. McCoy's the reason there's a cure for banta fever. (Gaarra sprays cola out his nose)
  • Teleporter Accident: One of Shad Yima's crew is reduced to a pile of goo during Bajor's attempt to beam them off the ship. In all fairness, being able to beam even some of them off safely took a lot of effort.
  • Time Dilation: Of the gravitational variety. USS Bajor is able to use the warp drive to shield itself from the worst of it, though they still apparently lose a few hours. The Bajoran and Klingon ships aren't as fortunate: they've been there since 2271.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: As they arrive at Deep Space 9 at the end of the story, Shad Yima comments to Eleya that "You handle your ship like a born Va'telo" (after spending most of the story criticizing Eleya, worker caste, for commanding a starship).