From History’s Shadow…..what if?

This morning, I received an e-Mail touching on a point I’ve made here and there in the run-up to the publication of From History’s Shadow and interviews I gave shortly after the book started hitting shelves. The e-Mailer asked me about the story’s origins, and how at one time I had not Captain Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise featured in the novel’s “present day” scenes, but rather Captain Sisko and his merry band from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Cover for From History's Shadow
How different was the story in my original version of the proposal? Well, some things were rewritten wholesale to accommodate the original series crew, whereas a lot of the stuff set on Earth during the 20th century changed to varying degrees. Some things in my original outline didn’t make the revised version, or were streamlined or condensed as needed, and a few new things were added. Without doing a side-by-side comparison of the two outlines, I won’t remember every difference. But, just for fun, and since the story is such that I’ll likely never have need to reuse certain portions of the original outline, here’s a tease of the story proposal in its original form:

June  2, 2005
Dayton Ward

Stardate 49xxx.x
Quark, Rom and Odo have returned to Deep Space Nine after ferrying Nog to Earth and following their time-traveling side trip to 1947 (“Little Green Men”), and the Department of Temporal Investigations has dispatched two agents to the station to interview the wayward travelers (these would not be the same as those who will later be seen in “Trials and Tribble-ations”). This is the second time that DTI has dispatched agents to interview someone on DS9, the previous occasion being after Sisko, Bashir, and Dax were stranded on 21st century Earth (“Past Tense,” though I’m theorizing that such a debriefing actually took place).

While one of the agents conducts his interview with Quark, Rom, Odo and Sisko, His partner oversees the inspection of Quark’s ship by Chief O’Brien and an engineering team. The engineers make a startling discovery: The body of an alien stowaway.

The alien, essentially humanoid in appearance, is identified as a native of Certoss Prime, a peaceful people known for their rich devotion to the arts. What was the alien doing on Earth in 1947? Were there others? Given that the Certoss were not known to be a space-faring people in the 20th century, was this person on Earth as a result of time travel? If so, what impacts did he have to Earth during that period?

Dr. Bashir, examining the body, determines that the alien was killed by a coolant leak in the vessel’s faulty warp drive. He also finds two pieces of interesting technology. The first is too complex for him to figure out, but his tricorder identifies the second as a kind of compact transmitter, which appears at the moment to be nonfunctional. The doctor calls Chief O’Brien to come and examine the alien technology, and after a few minutes of tinkering with it the chief determines that there is some sort of temporal phase variance preventing the device from functioning. With aid from the station’s main computer, O’Brien is able to alter the phase variance and the unit activates.

At the same time in Ops, Jadzia Dax is manning the science console when sensors detect the abrupt formation of a subspace fracture inside the station. She tracks it to the infirmary at the same time sensors record a subspace burst transmission. It is quickly surmised that the device retrieved from the alien is the culprit, programmed to transmit its signal the instant it’s activated. The questions now are: what did the message say, and who was the recipient?

The first answers come from an extraordinary source, in the form of a middle-aged human female who materializes in Ops as the result of a massive energy beam that appears to have crossed the galaxy to DS9. The woman identifies herself as Roberta Lincoln, a member of an organization called the Aegis. DTI is aware of the group, just as they’re familiar with the other occasions that members from the organization interacted with anyone from the Federation or Starfleet.

Lincoln informs Sisko and the agents that Certoss Prime, while peaceful and unassuming now, at one time – a different time – was a key faction in a massive conflict that played an integral role in a chapter of human history that virtually no one knows about: the so-called “Temporal Cold War.”

Duh duh DUH!!!!!

So, there you go.

3 thoughts on “From History’s Shadow…..what if?

  1. In my opinion, (only) I think that the book, From History’s Shadow has a lot of descriiptive fluff in it, (just filling pages). Avid Star Trek readers ( TOS) do not need all of that. And the meanderings of the characters and their insights of each other seem out of place at certain critical junctures in the story. I did not finish the book. Although I have been a Trekkie since 1966, and love the topic of the story there was, (no disrespect ) to much blah, blah, blah.


Lay it on me.

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