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Introduction to Temporal Mechanics: Incidents

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

Written by Dan Carlson

The First Time Travel Incident | The Air Force Incident | The Guardian of Forever | Gary Seven | The Atavachron | The Whale Probe Crisis

The First Time Travel Incident (Date: 2266)

“The Naked Time” [TOS]

Due to intense gravitational fluctuations in orbit of the disintegrating planet Psi-2000, the Enterprise was thrown approximately three days back in time. This incident finally proved to Federation scientists that time travel was possible, and Starfleet immediately assigned researchers to investigate its possibilities. These studies soon led to the founding of the Department of Temporal Investigations.

The Air Force Incident (Dates: 2267, 1969)

“Tomorrow is Yesterday” [TOS]

The Enterprise accidentally travelled over 300 years into the past after a near-collision with a black hole at warp speeds. The ship was flung into low Earth orbit over the old nation-state of the United States of America. The USA military investigated this Unidentified Flying Object (UFO), and therefore made the first confirmed documentation of an extraterrestrial vehicle, almost 100 years too early. Captain Kirk ordered a tractor beam locked onto the atmospheric fighter which was observing them; unfortunately, the plane broke apart due to the severe stresses on its hull. The pilot was beamed aboard, but this resulted in cultural contamination, since no 20th century human had seen a starship before. Furthermore, the pilot was identified as Captain John Christopher, who would eventually become father of one of the foremost space explorers of the early 21st century.

Captain Kirk took a landing party to the surface in order to remove the evidence from a military base, but he was apprehended by Air Force personnel. After Kirk was rescued by the Enterprise, the ship attempted an untested maneuver which would later be called the Lightspeed Breakaway Factor. While in a state of temporal flux, the Enterprise returned Captain Christopher to his proper place in time, thereby eliminating any noticable changes in the timeline.

The following reprimands were inserted into Captain Kirk’s permanent record for his actions during the mission:

The following reprimand was entered into Commander Spock’s permanent record for his actions during the mission:

The following reprimand was inserted into Transporter Chief Kyle’s permanent record for his actions during the mission:

The Guardian of Forever (Dates: 2267, 1930)

“The City on the Edge of Forever” [TOS]

In late 2267 the Enterprise discovered a region of intense temporal and gravitational distortions, and traced the source of those distortions to an uninhabited planet and a mysterious device. The device was apparently sentient, and referred to itself as the “Guardian of Forever.” The landing party attempted to analyze the device, but it defied all attempts at scanning.

Doctor McCoy, who was suffering from delusions associated with a cordrazine overdose at the time, fled through the portal and inadvertantly altered history. In this altered timeline, the Enterprise did not exist, and therefore the away team (which had somehow been protected from the change by the Guardian) was stranded. Captain Kirk and Commander Spock attempted to follow McCoy back in time, and arrived in 1930’s Earth. Mr. Spock managed to construct a crude temporal scanning device, and managed to find the focal point which changed history: a woman named Edith Keeler. In the altered timeline, McCoy had inadvertantly prevented Keeler’s death in an automobile accident, and she eventually became an important peace activist. Her movement kept the United States of America out of the Second World War for a sufficient length of time to allow Nazi Germany to develop the atomic bomb and conquer the world.

Using this knowledge, Kirk and Spock were able prevent McCoy from saving Keeler, and the timeline was restored to its original state.

Following this discovery, Federation scientists attempted to study the Guardian, but even in the more than one hundred years of study, they have made absolutely no progress in deciphering its mechanisms.

The following reprimands were inserted into Captain Kirk’s permanent record for his actions during the mission:

Doctor McCoy was absolved of all wrongdoing, due to the fact that he was under the influence of a cordrazine overdose at the time.

Gary Seven (Dates: 2268, 1968)

“Assignment: Earth” [TOS]

The Enterprise, assigned to a historical research mission to 1960’s Earth, intercepted a mysterious transporter beam which originated from several thousand light-years away. A human male, named Gary Seven, claimed that he had been sent by an advanced race to help Earth survive the Nuclear Age.

Captain Kirk doubted these claims and ordered Seven held in the brig, but he managed to escape custody and beam to the surface. Kirk and a landing party attempted to pursue, but eventually discovered that Seven was in fact working in the best interests of Earth by preventing a massive nuclear arms race. However, during the pursuit, the crew nearly prevented Seven from carrying out his mission, and could possibly have caused a nuclear war.

After this incident, the DTI decided to halt all historical missions into the past to prevent any possible contamination of the timeline.

The following reprimand was inserted into Captain Kirk’s permanent record for his actions during the mission:

The Atavachron (Date: 2269, 2731 BCE, approx)

“All Our Yesterdays” [TOS]

While investigating the planet Sarpeidon, whose star was about to go nova, the Enterprise found a facility equipped with a temporal portal which was used to send the entire planet’s population back in time. Two Enterprise crew members were accidentally sent approximately 5,000 years into the past by the “librarian”, a Mr. Atoz. Fortunately, this problem was rectified before the Sarpeidon sun went nova.

The DTI investigation concluded that no action was necessary after this mission, as contact with the past was very limited, and those inhabitants who had been contacted were already aware of time travel.

The Whale Probe Crisis (Dates: 2286, 1986)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

In 2286 an alien probe approached Earth broadcasting an unintelligible message. The probe’s technology wreaked havoc with Earth’s atmosphere, and threatened to upset the planetary ecosystem. The crew of the destroyed USS Enterprise, aboard a captured Klingon Bird-of-Prey dubbed HMS Bounty, analyzed the probe’s transmissions and determined that it was meant as communication to an extinct species, the humpback whale.

Captain Spock suggested that the ship travel back in time to the 20th century and obtain two humpback whales to bring to the future. While the mission was ultimately successful and the whales established communication with the probe before it destroyed Earth, the crew created several temporal incidents along the way. They interacted with numerous individuals from the 20th century and frequently using advanced technology in full view of the public. Moreover, Kirk revealed his true identity and mission to a native of the time period, Doctor Gillian Taylor. However, while the incidents were numerous, the DTI determined that no temporal paradoxes were created during the incident.

The following reprimands were inserted into Captain Kirk’s permanent record for his actions during the mission:

Captain Spock was reprimanded for the following:

Doctor McCoy was reprimanded for providing advanced medicine to a hospital patient, curing her of kidney failure. McCoy’s protests on humanitarian grounds have been logged; however, when dealing with the stability of the timeline, the greater good must come first.

Captain Scott received a reprimand for providing one Doctor Nichols with the formula for Transparent Aluminum, an advanced substance unknown to 20th century Earth.

Commander Chekov was reprimanded for revealing his true identity to Earth military officials aboard the naval carrier USS Enterprise. However, Chekov’s report indicated that the officials did not believe his identity, so it is likely that this specific transgression caused no cultural contamination.

This page was last modified on Wednesday, July 04, 2012.