Friday, February 1, 2019

Solar Trek: The Archon's Return

The discovery of the long lost generation ship Archon by Enterprise in 2263 underscored to the General Assembly of United Federation of Sol why sophont AI was to be feared.

Though records of the its launch are nonexistent (either destroyed in the chaos of the third World War or lost in the rapid changes in data storage formats that followed), its design, computer systems, and the cybernetic implants among its passengers suggest Archon (ICV-189) was a generation ship launched toward Proxima Centauri b in the early 21st Century. Its habitat areas were home to several diverse communities, among them some religious minorities, including a (ironically) technology-rejecting traditionalist Christian sect.

Archon would never reach Proxima Centauri. Federation forensic teams have been unable to determine what calamity happened first: the death of a number of crew in an accident, a breakout of hostilities among the colonists, or a malfunction in the vessel's artificial intelligence. Whatever the cause, several habitat regions were lost and others became isolated, armed camps. One of the crew took radical action that restored a semblance of peace, but at a cost. Programmer Nicholas Landru put the computer in charge.

At some point, the course of Archon was changed. It re-entered history again in the Sol System, where it was intercepted by Enterprise. What they found in the only functioning habitat area was a society resembling a late nineteenth century agrarian community with the inhabitants completely unaware they were on a vessel. Despite appearances, the members of the community were extensively managed and condition by cybernetic implants controlled by ship's AI, whom they referred to as "Landru." There were dissidents among them,  individuals presumably for whom the neurochemical conditioning was inadequate, who looked to the return of the "Archons" (a distorted memory of the vessel's crew) to save them.

The Enterprise crew in the habitat
Unconcerned with cultural contamination, Captain James Kirk of Enterprise destroyed Landru. He was criticized in some academic circles, but both Space Fleet and Federation inquiries absolved the Captain and his crew of any wrongdoing.

The Archon's passengers have been resettled in a protect area so that a Federation team can slowly work on integrating them into society and undoing Landru's conditioning.


Laura Jane Adams said...

Just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog. It's always entertaining and stimulates ideas. Loving this retro space opera reimagining of classic Trek.

Trey said...


Brian Wille said...

This is so good! You got Metamorphosis Alpha in the re-imagined Star Trek, and it is delicious.