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Literature / Star Trek: The Genesis Wave

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A series of books in the Star Trek Novel 'Verse. They're set in the late 24th century, about a year after the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but featuring the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation and building on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Originally two books, a third novel was then released (usually considered a lot weaker) and a tie-in entitled Genesis Force was later written.

The titular Genesis Wave is a weapon of mass destruction based upon the infamous Genesis device from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is now being used by a race of mysterious aliens to reconfigure entire planets into potential colonies. Basically a Star Trek Disaster Movie.

This series contains examples of:

  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Farlo Fuzwik on Aluwna, in the end.
  • Abandon Ship: The Enterprise crew are forced to do this at Aluwna, when their warp core is sabotaged.
  • Action Survivor: Mr. Mot. He's the ship's barber, and not really suited to life-or-death situations. He keeps surviving, though, and manages to save his elderly parents as well.
  • After the End: The majority of Genesis Force, which explores the aftermath of the wave's passing on the planet Aluwna.
  • Anti-Villain: It's eventually realized that the Lomarians who stole the Genesis Device aren't Galactic Conquerors but desperate survivors trying very hard to avoid extinction by any means necessary. They also deliberately avoided creating other forms of sapient life on their new worlds to avoid the power-madness that destroyed their old one.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The Boneyard.
  • Blame Game: Angry survivors of affected worlds need to find someone to blame. A particularly good example is Regent Karuw in Genesis Force, who berates Leah Brahms for being a scientist in the employ of the Federation. She assumes Brahms was one of the people involved in creating genesis technology. Brahms calls her out on it:
    “No, I'm one of those scientists who lost her husband, all her friends, her homeworld, and everything I hold dear when the wave wiped out the planet of Seran. We didn't save nearly the number of people you saved - we had two survivors from our entire population, and I was one of them. If you want to be noble and pretend that this didn't happen anywhere but Aluwna, that's fine...but it's also wrong”.
  • Boarding Party: The Romulans board the Lomarian asteroid headquarters just as Maltz and Carol Marcus blow it up.
  • Cassandra Truth: Leah Brahms and Paldor, trying to warn worlds in the Wave's path in book one.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Stephen Klisiewicz, a character whose name is attached to the Genesis Report in book one, later shows up in Star Trek: Vanguard, a series which features the initial discovery of what eventually becomes genesis technology.
  • Continuity Nod: Few in here as such, but the events of this series are frequently mentioned in other Trek books, most notably Star Trek: A Time to..., which also mentions ongoing relief efforts.
  • Decadent Court: Aluwna has aspects of this, as noted by Regimol (a Romulan agent):
    Regimol: A quite delightful planet it was. They weren't without their political intrigue, of course, and their class structure wasn't fair by Federation standards. Still it reminded me a lot of Romulus, if you could turn the Romulans into a peaceful, insular people.
    Picard: Their overseer was recently murdered.
    Regimol: See, reminds me of Romulus.
  • Doomed Hometown: Aluwna, Myrmidon.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Krussel's method of informing his fellows of a supposed threat from the Genesis Wave is to cry "DOOM!" at the top of his lungs.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Vilo Garlet turns out to be this when he murders Overseer Tejharet on his own initiative, undermining Regent Karuw's plan of action. Now, instead of easily manipulating Tejharet, she'll have to work with far less controllable leaders.
    Marla fought the temptation to use the tool in her hand to bash in his head. "I know you hate our hereditary system, and so do I - but did it ever occur to you that I had control over Tejharet? And I don't have any influence with Padrin or Jenoset."
  • Drunk with Power: Marla Karuw in Genesis Force, who eventually succumbs to megalomania after being appointed regent of Aluwna. She was formally in prison, but was pardoned and given power in a desperate attempt to save Aluwnan civilization during the crisis.
    “Ambassador, you sent me that story...about the ancient Terran named Noah. You didn't think I would read it, but I did. You were right - it did give me inspiration, because it was about a lone person who listened to his inner voice, the Divine. That voice told him to build the ark, and he ignored everyone else on the planet, all those who thought he was a fool. Single-handedly, he brought his world through turmoil and saved all the species on the planet. One person! Yes, I could identify with Noah. Now we are finally at the end of the storm; the clouds are parting, and the flood waters are receding. I can't believe that anything will stop me from my victory”.
  • Due to the Dead: In Book Two, two of Leah Brahms' Klingon crew sacrifice themselves to save her from an abduction. When Leah confirms that the two made a heroic last stand and their bodies were destroyed in the subsequent blast, Maltz and others of the crew issue the Klingon death cry to announce the fallen parties coming to Sto-vo-kor.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Lomarians (the Plant Aliens responsible for unleashing the wave) have one. It's justified in that the ecological devastation on Lomar has forced their people underground.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: A common trait of the swamplands left in the wave's wake, a consequence of its insanely over-active effects.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Maltz helps Carol Marcus do this.
  • Fantastic Caste System: On Aluwna, genetics determines status, with women of the upper class taking multiple husbands supposedly to prevent overpopulation, but clearly in fact to prevent lower class women producing "genetically inferior" babies.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The chromasynthesis technology Regent Karuw was hoping would "restore" Aluwna and undo the damage inflicted by the Genesis Wave. It ends up causing almost as much damage as the wave, in relative if not absolute terms.
  • He Knows Too Much: Marla Karuw says this of Candra in Genesis Force.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Carol Marcus and Maltz ultimately sacrifice themselves to stop a second Wave being sent out.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Maltz has spent the last century or so since the original Genesis crisis brooding over his dishonor, but the realization that Genesis has been recreated inspires him to get back into action and once again actively seek to reclaim his lost honor.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Wave is designed to do this, transforming planets into new homes for Lomarians, ie swampy hellholes. They even go as far as to program their own genetic profile into the genesis matrix, combining colonization with reproduction by having new Lomarians spontaneously generated on transformed worlds.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Vilo Garlet in Genesis Force, after using his controversial chromasynthesis technology. Under the orders of Regent Karuw, he activates it in an attempt to "undo" the damage the Genesis Wave has inflicted on Aluwna. When the experiment goes wrong, he pleads to the planetary overseer along these lines as their ship crashes, insisting he did "what I had to".
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Played with. The Bolian colonists on Myrmidon fight the Lomarians in the planet's terraformed forests by setting the trees alight, becoming frenzied and desperate. Mr. Mot sadly reflects that they've sunk to the level of the enemy: single-mindedly destroying an entire environment and those who call it home. However, while he acknowledges that they've become "just like" the foe, and is saddened by it, he doesn't actually condemn his people or say they were wrong. In this case, at least, becoming "like him" is seen as a sad necessity, for all that Mot agrees with the trope.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: A Lomarian, fleeing the Romulans with a portable Genesis Device in book three, gives it to a Bajoran monk before dying. Using the Lomarian Mind Control abilities, it convinces the monk it is actually Kai Opaka, and is bestowing upon him the "Orb of Life".
  • Interstellar Weapon: The Genesis Wave is fired from a base in the Boneyard asteroid field, and reconfigures any star system in its wake.
  • Kill It with Fire: The colonists on Myrmidon end up attacking the Lomarians (and the entire forest) with fire.
  • Microts: Aluwnans use the rather uninspired "instants" and "units" in place of minutes and hours.
  • Mind Control: Part of the Lomarians' influence over their humanoid slaves.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Carol Marcus, even through the Lomarian mind-control.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Romulans call the Federation out for creating Genesis in the first place and for allowing Carol Marcus to be abducted.
  • Organic Technology: The transporter satellites in which the Aluwnans save a tenth of their society use bioneural systems, making them as much lifeform as machine. This proves unfortunate when some of the satellites become infected with the Lomarian fungus.
  • Plant Aliens: The Lomarians are essentially sapient moss, with a symbiotic fungal growth incorporated into their physiology.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Lomarian moss creatures use other beings as mounts, and control them through a Mind Control fungus. They usually make use of animals, but sapient beings like Humanoids will do...though as it turns out the Lomarians who actually stole the device were trying to avoid that on their new worlds.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Mot and the Myrmidon colonists destroy the Lomarian forest - but this is after the Lomarians have destroyed Myrmidon's civilization to create it. The planet is left uninhabitable.
  • Revenge: Part of Maltz' motivation for tracking down those behind the Genesis plot. The same is true of Leah Brahms.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The Genesis Wave transformed worlds into swamp planets, mimicking the original environment of Lomar.
  • Starfish Aliens: Lomarians. They're essentially ambulant moss, with a symbiotic fungal growth that allows them to influence other beings through hallucinatory spores.
  • Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom: The Orb of Life.
  • Swamps Are Evil: All the planets hit by the Genesis Wave are reformatted into copies of Lomar at its prime-wet, muddy, heavily jungled Death Worlds filled with both hungry predators and body-stealing Lomarians.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Sort of, as La Forge communicates with the Lomarians through, essentially, an induced day dream.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Romulans, Klingons and Federation, although the teeth aren't being clenched as tightly as usual, for two reasons: the Genesis Wave is such a grave threat, and also this is not long after the end of the Dominion War, where the three nations were allied.
  • Teleporter Accident: In Genesis Force, the Aluwnans manage to save 10% of their population from the wave by storing them as transporter patterns in a series of satellites. When it comes to rematerializing them, the process is delayed when one individual comes out as a bloody heap of flesh - contaminants in the system were responsible.
  • Terraform:The Genesis Wave terraformed - more accurately Lomarformed - dozens of planets pretty much instantly. The problem is that many still had people on them at the time...
  • Throwaway Country: Several. It's difficult to care about the Pellean Principality; they were mentioned once on a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, but never actually seen.
  • We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future: Averted. Romulan agent Regimol applies rubber prosthetics and simple dyes to disguise himself. It helps that the race he’s impersonating is genetically related, to the point where medical scanners are usually fooled anyway.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Genesis Wave is intended to completely transform other worlds, wiping out existing civilizations in the process.