Nov 8, 2015

Star Trek: Galactic Core

New Star Trek?
conflict of disinterest
My biases as a science fiction fan are clear. Science fiction as a new literary genre began with tech-savvy people such as Isaac Asimov who were interested in technology and the impact that science can have on people's lives. I prefer science fiction stories that are written by people who understand science and who enjoy creating imaginary technological futures that are full of wonder, exploration and adventure.

There are many dystopian genres such as cyberpunk, military science fiction and horror that prefer the dark side, but when a science fiction story veers away from the positive then I have a huge conflict of disinterest.

In the 1960s, Star Trek was revolutionary because it brought Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future to television. Through that television program, millions of people were captivated by an imaginary future in which all the people of Earth could put behind us the petty squabbles of history, work together and go on to explore the universe.

But it was the 1960s. Roddenberry had to fight the Hollywood execs just to get one half-alien and a female officer on the bridge of the starship Enterprise.

cast of Star Trek: Galactic Core
Admiral Archer and Temporal Analysis Team 5
TNG gave us an officer who was an artificial life form and eventually there was more diversity even at Starfleet command ranks. But along the way, the people who took over the Star Trek franchise lost sight of Roddenberry's vision. The exploration of strange new worlds was abandoned and instead Hollywood gave us its dreary lack-of-vision: endless wars between the stars.

Thus, I was underwhelmed when I recently heard that there are plans for yet another Star Trek television show. I'd love to see the folks at CBS do something dramatic in 2017 such as bring Gene Roddenberry back as a CGI character, possibly as an artificial life crew member of the Enterprise and member of away teams. Every episode of the new Star Trek show should be a trek and deploy an away team and seek out new life and civilizations. My ideas for a pilot are below...

Star Trek: Galactic Core
Pilot episode.
Scene 1.
A very old retired Captain Archer is at home, among the mountains of upstate New York. He sees an aircar land in his yard, and what appears to be a man exits from the car and is let into the house by Archer. The man is a reporter (he uses the name "Gene") who had arranged to interview Archer.

Archer is then interviewed about his time as Chief of Staff at Starfleet Command. Archer soon realizes that the reporter is not a man, but rather an artificial life reporter that is using the physical form of Gene Roddenberry (Archer has no idea who Gene Roddenberry is since they are from different timelines).

The reporter asks a series of pointed questions about Archer's involvement in a cover-up of the existence of a functioning temporal conduit that is rumored to be secretly maintained by Starfleet. At first Archer denies the rumor, but the reporter shows him evidence from Earth's new L5 Neutrino Detector which has located a powerful source of neutrinos deep under Starfleet headquarters. Archer suggests that Starfleet knows what it is doing.

Just then, the four members of Temporal Analysis Team 5 sneak out of Gene's aircar and enter Archer's house. They ask Archer to come with them to view the data they have collected pertaining to a temporal anomaly.

Then a Suliban Starfleet officer beams into the room and advises Archer to keep his mouth shut. The Suliban tries to place the Temporal Analysis Team members under arrest for treason. The reporter is a shape-shifter, a nanorobotic artificial life form that can take on any desired shape. As soon as the Suliban arrives, the reporter melts into the carpeting. A fight breaks out during which the Suliban is killed by the reporter emerging from the carpet, Archer is stunned into unconsciousness and one of the Temporal Analysis Team members is seriously injured. The dead body, the invalid and Archer are dragged to the airship with the reporter issuing orders that nobody and no blood can be left behind (the reporter sucks the Suliban's blood out of the carpeting). With everyone aboard, the airship lifts off.

Scene 2.
Time Portal of the Guardians
Archer regains consciousness and finds that he is aboard a spaceship. He learns that their destination is the planet of the Time Guardians. The trip will take many weeks and Archer admits that Starfleet does have a temporal conduit that is linked to the planet of the Guardians, but he claims that nobody has been able to learn how to use the conduit.

During the long trip through space, Gene manages to create a new nanorobotic replica of the Suliban which retains some of her memories.

Based on evidence in those memories, the members Temporal Analysis Team 5 conclude that they are now considered criminals by Starfleet. They admit to Archer that they stole the spaceship they are in, which is an experimental prototype ship and the only existing Starfleet ship that can reach their destination in less than a year.

Gene also helps the injured team member grow a nanorobotic arm to replace one that was destroyed in the fight with the Suliban. During the trip, a problem with the ship's engine develops, but Archer is able to keep them moving, albeit at a slower pace than they would like. After nearly a year, they finally go into orbit around the planet of the Time Guardians.

Scene 3.
Spock's crude mnemonic memory circuit
(early 20th century)
Gene instructs Archer and the members Temporal Analysis Team 5 on how to wear their 20th century clothing. They protest and ask many questions about why they must wear these old-fashioned garments.

They take the airship down to the surface of the planet and talk to the Time Portal. It is decided that in the future, when Captain Kirk and his fellow crew members from the Enterprise use the Portal, they will actually alter the history of Earth by leaving behind the mnemonic computing circuit that Spock constructed using "stone knives and bearskins".

The Tesla Q17 quantum computer
This technology contamination of 20th century Earth leads to an acceleration of technology development on Earth that ultimately allows Earth to survive the Temporal Cold War. However, it also leads to faster development of nanotechnology and a "gray goo" catastrophe on Earth.

Gene tells Archer that he is from an alternate timeline of Earth, a parallel universe, one where humans successfully learned how to harness nanotechnology without destroying their own civilization. His mission is to alter the timelines of parallel universes and save as many Earths as possible from catastrophe.

Archer does not trust Gene, but he is forced to enter the Time Portal along with Gene, Temporal Analysis Team 5 and the nanorobotic replica of the Suliban Starfleet officer. They arrive in the 20th century, on Earth, and Gene morphs the Suliban replica into human form. They witness the death of Edith Keeler and the return of the Enterprise crew members to the future.

After some comical maneuvering around the police, Temporal Analysis Team 5 manages to find Spock's mnemonic memory circuit. However, they also have to contend with some Na'kuhl agents who are searching through time for the person who originally got his hands on the circuit and used it to accelerate Earthly technology. In a confrontation with the Na'kule, Gene sacrifices the shape-shifting nanorobotic Suliban replica. Also, Temporal Analysis Team 5 learns that the 20th century Earthling who learns how to use Spock's circuit is Nikola Tesla.

Scene 4.
planet of the Time Guardians
After making sure that neither the Na'kuhl or Tesla can benefit from Spock's mnemonic circuit, Gene reveals that they must return through the Time Portal that sent them into the past, but in the newly created timeline, the Na'kuhl are now aware of the planet of the Time Guardians. When they return through the Time Portal, sensors indicate that a Na'kuhl war ship is waiting for them in orbit.

Using the aircar, the team from Earth reaches their spaceship in orbit, but Na'kuhl agents are already aboard. However, the Time Guardians have placed on Earth a temporal conduit that is now used to allow Archer and Temporal Analysis Team 5 to move their ship through the conduit and back to Earth. They appear inside a huge chamber under Startfleet Headquarters, at a point in time that is actually before Archer is kidnapped.

chamber built under
Startfleet Headquarters
to hold the temporal conduit
The Na'kuhl agents are placed under restraint while Archer and Temporal Analysis Team 5 are debriefed. Soon, the Starfleet command staff seems to know everything that Temporal Analysis Team 5 will do in the future. The members of Temporal Analysis Team 5 are placed under arrest and charged with kidnapping Archer, theft of the spaceship and treason. The members of Temporal Analysis Team 5 meet their earlier selves, who after hearing rumors that time-traveling copies of themselves are being held at Starfleet Headquarters, arrive at the underground chamber to investigate the temporal conduit. They learn from themselves about their future trip to the the planet of the Time Guardians.

Archer does not think that the members of Temporal Analysis Team 5 should be prosecuted. He explains to the Startfleet Admiralty why Gene's mission to the Planet of the Temporal Guardians must be allowed to take place. He helps Gene return the team to the spaceship and activates the conduit controls to send the spaceship back through the conduit and into Time. Having served its purpose, the conduit nexus explodes, killing Archer.

Galactic Core
Uncertain where they are in time and space, Gene reveals to Temporal Analysis Team 5 that he was the one who told Starfleet about everything Temporal Analysis Team 5 has done in the future. He explains that he wanted to make it impossible for the team to return to Earth because he has another mission for them, out in deep space. He names the spaceship Evoraca and sets it on a course away from Earth and towards the Galactic Core.

The episode ends with a video montage of scenes from future episodes, showing the members of Temporal Analysis Team 5 visiting new planets and meeting "new life and new civilizations".

In my imagination, each episode of Star Trek: Galactic Core would involve the Evoraca reaching a new planet, often adding new passengers (members of various different humanoid species) who join the search for the ancient civilization that Gene is trying to reach and make contact with. The closer they get to the Core, the more the local residents know about the Ancients. Using his advanced communications device, Gene stays in contact with Earth.
jump to Star Trek in 2017
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