Welcome to the "Star Trek: Athena" website, my contribution to the ever-expanding world of "Star Trek"-related websites. This site could be categorized as an original-character fan fiction site inspired by "Star Trek." As is fairly common with Star Trek sites, especially the fan fiction ones, the "Star Trek" universe presented here in "Star Trek: Athena" is not exactly the same one that is presented in the television shows and the movies. It is based on those television shows and movies, but in reality, it is in a universe all of its own.
I have been writing "Star Trek"-based fan fiction since I first started watching the original shows in the mid-Seventies. Watching those shows after school, I could not help but to get my own ideas for stories, but rather than adding to the exploits of Captain Kirk and company, I decided from an early age that it was much more interesting to create a new ship with new characters, since I could write stories and let the characters evolve and change in ways that were not possible using characters already known. Since that time, I have written four series of "Star Trek"-based stories, with "Star Trek: Athena" being the fourth one (and the only one posted on the Internet). Two of those series are based on Federation ships, and the other two are based on Odonan ships. As you can tell by reading the stories in "Star Trek: Athena," the Odonans play a major part in my version of the Star Trek universe. Not only was it possible to create my own ship and characters, but it was also possible to create an entire alien civilization, complete with a roster of planets, an outline of history and mythology and a detailed treatment of the primary language. The first series of "Star Trek"-based stories was called "Starflights," and this series was the one I started in 1977 and continue writing to this day. It features an Odonan crew, and spans the era from before Kirk's first television adventures to twenty years after "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." The second series started in the mid-Eighties and continues through today, and this one was based on the Federation starship Alexandria and its commanding officer, Captain Claude Parouge. The fifteen years of Parouge's command of the Alexandria starts at about the same time as "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." One of the characters from that series, Chan Chi, made a guest appearance in the two-part "Athena" episode "Staring Through the Gates of Hell."
Both of those series were based on the original series, but the more recent "Star Trek" universe as shown in "Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine," introduced all new situations that prompted new story ideas that would not fit in the original-series stories that I had been writing. Thus, I came up with a new Odonan-based series, "Starflights: The New Era," based on the Odonan starship Al Rashid commanded by Tron Chiang. Chiang also made a cameo appearance in "Staring Through the Gates of Hell (Part Two)," and a full cross-over with "Star Trek: Athena" is a possibility, although nothing was planned yet at the time of writing. Finally, there is "Star Trek: Athena," detailing the voyages of the starship Athena under the command of Captain Leonard Thorpe. The Athena is an exploration ship that has often found itself with the Federation's struggles, starting with the battle with the Borg (from "Star Trek: First Contact") and continuing through the Dominion war, which is a large part of the final seasons of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." The war occupies many of the stories, but the original mission to explore, to seek out new life and new civilizations, is still there, and once in awhile, Captain Thorpe actually gets to carry out those fundamental orders.
Although based on "Star Trek," there are differences between "Star Trek: Athena" and the established shows. One problem I have always had with the concept is the lack of canonical maps. It is not even clear what is the Alpha Quadrant. Based on a throwaway line in an episode before the quadrant system was even established (a line along the lines of "we're the only ship in the quadrant"), some individuals have established that the border of the Alpha and Beta quadrants goes through Earth, which makes no sense at all. In fact, the shifting relative positions of stars makes it impossible to precisely define borders, and it seems silly to divide explored space into two quadrants like that. Therefore, "Star Trek: Athena" relies on my interpretation, based on a comment early in "Next Generation" that about twenty-five percent of the galaxy had been explored. It seems most logical to me to take that twenty-five percent that is explored, with Earth likely in the centre, and call that the Alpha Quadrant. The Beta, Gamma and Delta quadrants thus remain largey unexplored, but of course, of the latter two, a great deal has become known.
Another key difference between "Star Trek: Athena" and the conventional television shows is that the Athena has an Odonan warp drive system. Why an Odonan warp drive? Well, this goes back to my university days, when, based on the original series, the early movies and my own stories, I came up with the imaginary physics behind the warp drive, a physics which I called "subetheromagnetics.". This theory explained what dilithium was, what warp speed meant, and how things like the sensors and the shields and even the photon torpedoes worked (the transporters escaped all attempts at explanation, and the theory allowed another form of spatial transport which is suspiciously like the Iconian gateways and even more suspiciously like the portals of "Stargate"). Naturally, "Star Trek: The Next Generation" came along and scrambled the whole theory, especially with that warp ten nonsense. In the theory, "warp ten" represents the theoretical maximum speed of the warp converter, and not "infinite speed and occupying all points of the universe at once." Thus that mean that if the ship is an infintisimal slip from warp ten, it is occupying ninety percent of the universe at once? By using the Odonan warp drive, I do not have to resort to technobabble to explain how the engine works and what it can do. I already know. I know the limits of the engines and the technology around it, and so do not have to come up with a technobabble explanation for something that I thought was impossible at the time.
When it comes to "Star Trek: Athena," I have to decide what I consider canonical in its version of the "Star Trek" universe. First of all, most of the television shows are canonical, and all the movies except for "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" are canonical. Some of the television shows have serious flaws, but the events that happened in them are approximately canonical. An example of this is the DS9 episode "One Little Ship." The Jem'Hadar takeover of the Defiant did happen, but the shrinking of the runaabout into this tiny little ship did not. Also impossible in the "Star Trek: Athena" universe are hybrid aliens like Spock, Troi and Torres. In the "Star Trek: Athena" universe, these characters are fully of one race (Spock is a Vulcan, Troi is a Betazed; nothing about the shows would suffer from this, but Torres is more a problem since both parts of her heritage are played up, but then Voyager is in the Delta Quadrant and I do not have to worry about it). One concession that is made on the website is the prefix to the starship name. In all my other stories, I use the prefix "U.F.S.," for ":United Federation Starship," which is a far more reasonable prefix than "U.S.S.," which means nothing and clearly shows the American origins of the original television show.
There are some non-canonical television episodes. Someday, I might compose the entire list, but three examples are from "Voyager.". The first is "Distant Origins," which fails on several counts. First of all, nobody can seriously believe that a technologically advanced culture can evolve on Earth and then be destroyed by an asteroid without leaving a solidary clue. Second of all, nobody can seriously believe that parasaurolophus could evolve into something intelligent. Third and most important, it contradicts one of my favourite stories, "What If?" which postulated that an intelligent race of dinosaurs (based on troodons) did arise on Earth. The fundamental question explored in this story (an Alexandria story) is whether or not the Prime Directive applies to ancient Earth history, when the power to send or deflect that asteroid is in the hands of mankind. Another non-canonical episode from "Voyager" is "Threshold," which has more of that warp ten nonsense with rapid human evolution and all kinds of DNA silliness. Finally, there is "Tuvix," which contains scenes of transporter impossibilities. Can two masses be combined into one? What about the conservation of mass and energy? Contrary to what some writers might believe, that basic physical law still applies in the "Star Trek" universe.
As for other non-canonical sources, the various novels and comic book stories are non-canonical as well. Included in the canonical sources are the various stories I have written, although some of the early ones are not all that great and tend to be ignored. The recent stories, including the "true" "Starflights" stories and the other two series, are all considered canonical. Of course, since those stories are not posted on the Internet (since most of them were written by hand, or the computer files have long been deleted after the story was printed out), readers of "Star Trek: Athena" will not know about them. However, other than a few character cross-overs and the basic theory of the engines and the arrangement of the various races, knowledge of those stories are not important. Where necessary, events from those stories are explained almost as if I had just created the event for that story. One episode, however, where the previous stories have a large influence is "Q As In Quadrant (Part One)," so large that I do not know if I had assumed too much in that story or alternatively wasted too much time explaining things.
Despite the seriousness of the tone of the above, I have included this introductory article just so that anybody who reads the stories on this site will know where I was coming from, and why certain things are not the same as they would be in the regular "Star Trek" universe. I have my own ideas and my own interpretations. I hope that you will enjoy this site. I have looked at many other original-fiction sites, and adapted what I think are the best ideas in terms of what to include. This site is presented as complete as possible, so there are no dead internal links. All the parts of the site that you see are available now, without any of these "coming soon" or worse, "this page not found" messages. I have attempted to edit the stories to remove the grammatical errors and the unclear pronoun antecedents, but I admit that editing is something that comes with difficulty to me. Another possible criticism of the series is the large number of characters. Although the eight main characters are the featured ones, the simple logic of life on a starship implies that the secondary characters (especially the second-shift bridge officers) must play a large role. The second-shift bridge officers are as established as the regular characters, so people like Lorne Hathson, Sandra Ochi, Mark DeWillis, Sal Hakamura and Jules Torin (after "Omega") appear in story after story.
It should always be remembered that "Star Trek" is a licenced property of Paramount Pictures. I believe that gives Paramount Pictures the right to market the property and profit from it. However, Paramount really cannot stop fans of the series from writing their own stories. The Internet is simply a way for fans to exchange stories, whereas in years previous, they would exchange paper. No copyright infringement is intended by this site, since the majority of it is original content, and access to this site is open to all. This is a non-commerical, hobby site that shows one person's fascination with a particular series of television shows. However, the creator of the site encourages the visitors to the site to watch the shows (they really are the best of "Star Trek" shows right now, despite the occasional clunker from "Voyager") and to see the movies. Only as long as "Star Trek" is popular is this site possible. I hope you will enjoy your stay here.
You can use the following links to see the various sections of the "Star Trek: Athena" website:The crew of the Athena
or return to the Star Trek: Athena homepage
Contents of this page copyright (c) 1998 White Tornado Publishing. "Star Trek" and all of its versions are licenced properties and trademarks of Paramount Pictures, and commerical use of the trademarks by others is prohibited. "Star Trek: Athena" is a non-commerical, hobby site composed mostly of original content. Do not post the contents of this page on any other website without permission of the author. Page created October 1998.