This months’ first prompt, from SLWalker:
To AU or not to AU, that is the question!
Do you like writing alternate universes? Branching your characters off and seeing where a different path goes? Where do you start, and how do you go about it?
So! Alternate Universes! Seems easy enough, right?
Eh…not really so much. If for no other reason than I’m lazy and I like my characters right where they are, in their own little protected universe…
Except, if you look at things technically…most of us write in alternate universes. We *claim* they’re in the prime or the AU or the MU or Universe 1729 but, really, we write in separate, alternate takes on what we feel should be explored in Trek. United Trek would be the largest single universe I’ve seen around here so far, but then again, I’m still pretty new on the scene myself.
Along with that, I write for Star Trek Online’s universe. This is a video game; it would be the epitome of alternate universes. Why? Because every character (so far, until they change the tutorial next week or so) has gone through what Jessica did in Blood Red Dawn. Every character has stopped the Devidians in Ghost Ship. There are a finite number of missions, and just about every character has ground their way through those set missions.
Is it feasible to say five million captains all received their commands following a Borg attack? Not really…
I’m working to do something similar to United Trek, in that at least one other STO writer and myself are going to be syncing our timelines up so that we are writing in, virtually, the same universe. You’ve been getting a taste of his characters, and they’ll be larger players in my next story to help introduce them properly to the community, and it should hopefully encourage other STO writers to throw their hats in the ring as well. At least, that’s the goal. BUT, that is, again, just one more alternate universe to add to the pile.
Now, going back and looking at AU as alternate to my universe…well, that’s a bit different. Again, I like my characters right where they are, but I have explored this possibility, somewhat off-handedly, in Merrily Merrily Merrily, where I explored the “what if” of Jessica telling her friends what her first posting was. If you haven’t, go read it before continuing, because there will be spoilers.
Back? Ok. So, as I said, Jessica tells her friends where she goes. Vega still happens; Bridget and Justine’s knowledge of her posting isn’t going to change the fact that the Borg are returning, nor the fact that Rafale gets caught in the middle of the charlie-foxtrot. I presented the story as a dream to assure people that things were still the same, but I ended it intentionally with a shift back to that reality, in the spirit of the theory that for every decision point in history, a new universe is created. Somewhere, there is a Bridget who is utterly alone; somewhere else, I’m sure, all three of the girls made it out of that alive.
Other than that foray, I’m not sure I’ll do more of it. It could be interesting later on, but I have enough ideas for stories to keep me busy for a while.