Causality: the description of the relationship between one event- the cause- and another - the effect in which the latter is the direct result of the former.

Star Trek plays fast an loose with Time and the travel therein. On the one hand we have multiple depictions of time lines being "broken" and some iteration of our stalwart heroes moving to fix the break. Timelines in Star Trek get broken and mended on a reasonably regular basis. While this approach makes for some incredibly good stories (City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday's Enterprise, etc.) it has two drawbacks IMO.

1) It gives writers easy outs when they can simply reboot a "broken" line, thereby erasing the consequences of the events we just witnessed (A Year in Hell 1 and 2 ). That sort of thing rubs a lot of fans the wrong way (and I am one of those fans) because it means you essentially just wasted hours or days on an episode or book. Sure none of these stories are "real" but we've suspended our disbelief enough to buy in. Erasing the events feels like a cheat to a lot of us.

2) It implies something is true, i.e. it being possible to break and fix timelines, which is in direct opposition to so-called Many Worlds Theory which is another concept employed by not a few Trek writers.

As a subscriber to the latter, I find it impossible to accept stories in which timelines are "broken" and subsequently "restored."

When discussing the time travel aspects of SoD, Marco Palmieri and I decided very early on that there would be no rebooting and no "fixing" of broken timelines. There would be no miraculous saves or reprieves. Everybody who dies, dies. Everything you see happens and remains true even after the temporal chaos is righted.

What I set up vis a vis the planet Orisha and the Eye of Erykon was essentially a causality loop. As this has caused some trouble for some readers (MY fault entirely, of course as it's my job to make sure there are no problems) I would like to spell it out here so there's no confusion. What follows is a massive spoiler so, if you don't like that sort of thing, stop now.


I'm not joking.

Last chance.

Okay. You were warned.

1) At some time in the distant Orishan past the Eye of their deity Erykon appeared in the sky as a sort of glowy oscillating sphere floating above the surface similar to the way Earth's Moon does ours.

2) at some later date, the Eye "opened," changing the visual effect ("fire" appearing in the sky, etc.) and creating massive siesmic disturbances on the planet in the form of quakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions. These cataclysms were so terrifying that the fear of them began to dominate Orishan thinking and, ultimately, their expression of their faith in Erykon.

3) Assuming themselves to have been found wanting by their deity (hence the destruction) the Orishans re-imagine and reconstruct their civilization multiple times in hopes of finding one that will please. Of course they never do. The Eye "opens" at random centuries long intervals, invariably destroying nearly everything on the surface and deeply traumatizing the Orishans themselves.

4) The Orishans, hoping to hide from Erykon's eventual wrath, begin to build downward, tunneling cities instead of building upward as they had done. This seems to work and the Eye "sleeps" for an extended period.

5) During this period the Orishan society evolves. They are smart, inventive and, under normal circumstances, would probably have become a planet of explorers except for their almost genetic fear of the sky.

6) Eventually the Orishans, in an attempt to both protect themselves from any further eruptions and to finally get a handle on the Eye's actual nature, build the Veil network and the Vessel.

7) The Veil is a giant cloaking device meant to hide the entire planet by folding the space around it. In fact one of the massive Veil Spires would be enough to cloak the planet but, due to their impossible paranoia, the Orishans opt for overkill, building multiple fold projectors all over the planet in a network.

8) Nothing happens for centuries. The Veil devices fall into decay. They are still operable but nowhere near as reliable.

8) The Vessel is sent to make contact with the Eye and, if possible, learn how not to anger their God in the future. Still nothing happens.

10) TITAN shows up, freaks out the Orishans, causing them to activate the Veil. The broken network fails, causing the many space folds to collapse in upon themselves to form a four dimensional object called a tesseract or hypercube. The collapsed Veil network also creates unpredictable effects, disrupting the quantum states of "particles" in expanding rippling waves around the planet. These ripples are literally folds of space-time and wreak havoc with just about anything with which they come into contact. As we saw.

11) Inside the tesseract, Orisha bounces in and out of space-time at random, ultimately causing the original destruction the Orishans believed to be the work of Erykon's Eye. It is only when TITAN's crew manages to safely de-activate the Veil network that the "Eye" finally vanishes form the Orishan sky and the society beneath is spared further cataclysm.


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