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Star Trek and Cthulhu Mythos

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Discussion' started by Andrela, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    After talking about this with some people via PMs, I have decided to make a thread for this.

    Recently I got this idea:

    Cosmic Terror - Star Trek / H.P. Lovecraft crossover.

    That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even the final frontier may die. The world of Star Trek in Cthulhu Mythos.

    Now, this isn't a plot bunny, but rather me wanting to discuss the entire concept of crossing these two universes.

    Star Trek is ultimately an optimistic tale. Going boldly where no man has gone before, exploring new worlds and meeting new races, promoting unity. There is a greater purpose.

    The world of Lovecraft mythos on the other hand paints a pessimistic picture. Humanity is an accident, perhaps even a joke. There are dark, elder gods which don't even notice us because we are so small. Humanity is doomed and its existence has no meaning.

    This strong contrast is what made me think of a crossover. How would the Can-Do, optimistic and friendly Federation fare in a dark, horrible, eldritch universe?

    CheddarTrek mentioned that reconciling the existence of the Q-continuum with entities such as Nyarlathotep, Azatoth or Cthulu may prove difficult.
     
  2. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I don't know much about the Cthulu mythos. I never read it, because after reading one short story by Lovecraft I decided I hated his prose. I should probably try it again though, as it's been a long time.

    But yeah, as Xandrel mentioned, I think the Q would somehow come into any crossover with Great Old Ones. Let me quote some wiki here...

    The Q aren't actively evil towards mortal races (usually). They just don't notice or care about them most of the time (with the character "Q" being an exception).

    So to me, for a crossover, the only way to make it interesting and still be remotely Star Trek is to mix them up somehow.

    Idea #1: The Great Old Ones are Q who went insane, and were put into a deathlike sleep by the non-insane Q (who are known to dislike the idea of killing other Q). Plot Bunny = They wake up.

    Idea #2: The Great Old Ones were a race in competition with and/or at war with the Q continuum. In Star Trek canon, the Q won (aeons ago). But perhaps the Enterprise travels to an alternate dimension where the Great Old Ones won instead, while the Q are either dead or slumbering. Plot bunny = AU travel, where the crew seeks out any remaining Q to help sort things out.

    What I don't think would work well is pretending that something like the canon Federation would have evolved to exist in a world filled with true cosmic horrors around every corner.

    I know you say this isn't a plot bunny, but I am not really sure how else to think about it. I assume when you say you want to consider a "crossover" that you want to talk about putting characters like Kirk, Picard, Sisko, or Janeway into a Lovecraftian universe, and my mind only thinks of that in terms of plot bunnies.
     
  3. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Maybe you could involve the Borg somehow? In their quest for perfection and their fiddlinv with temporal tech they come across energy signatures from the above alternate timeline where the Q list the war and were subdued.

    Their messing causes one of the Old ones to partially bleed over and curbstomp a fleet of cubes. It'd serve to give the Federation an idea of the powers these guys wield
     
  4. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Not an expert on either but know a bit on both.

    Don't really see much potential there, though. You can't really make a true fusion, the Federation can't exist as it is in the Lovecraftian universe. You could have the old gods and whatever creatures wake up, though. Whether they are insane Q or another race, doesn't really matter.

    Could have someone find a book, or a telepath species being corrupted by being near a sleeping god, like, a ship was close to one for a bit and well, it starts there. They try to dig up old lore, find old rituals, which exist in the histories of all species and start dredging them up.

    And then it kinda snowballs from there. You could have it be a point of discussing Free Speech and Freedom of Religion or whatever vs the insanity of cults worshipping evil gods.

    You kinda get into the "magic vs technology" aspect though. Humans go insane when looking at lovecraftian beings, but how do AI play into this? Andorids/Cybors? Other aliens? And you can run away from their sphere of influence and well, spaceships and teleporters kinda make that also a non-problem. Bombing from orbit is also an option and I feel like military solutions should not be part of a Lovecraftian story.

    If your spaceship can kill C'Thulu with phasers and photon torpedoes, you're not writing a Lovecraft story.

    So, you could write a story on how the nearly utopic Federation descends into madness and chaos, crumbling like a house of cards, but would be a bit of a downer.

    You could have a small fleet, like, 3-4 ships be somehow transported into the lovecraft universe, though. Some wormhole/Q shenanigans (although that would make Q really vicious and I'm not sure that's an okay interpretation of him). and have them deal with this.

    Them noticing weird things on this earth, that make no sense historically, trying to research it, understand it and then, that one crew gets influenced, people turn insane and the other ships have to figure things out.

    Then you can either go C'thulu, and they just die/are corrupted or more Star Trek and they find the way home, because there is some technological whatever that can withstand it, recalibrating the shields or whichever technobabbel you want to go with.
     
  5. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Star Trek meets Lovecraft... so, Mass Effect.
     
  6. Agayek

    Agayek Dark Lord

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    Well, before Walters came in and shit all over everything Karpyshyn was going for anyway.
     
  7. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Meh, the core difference is that Mass Effect is more generic and inherently flawed, whereas Star Trek is a more/nearly utopian society. Otherwise, you could get away more easily with sci fi meets Lovecraft (as Mass Effect does, kinda, then again, there, you can blast the old ones with military might and lasers, so, meh?)
     
  8. Celestin

    Celestin Half-Blood Prince

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    Stealing some of concepts already mentioned in this thread and various others I got this.

    A Tale of Two Universes/Schrödinger's Universe

    Star Trek and H.P. Lovecraft Universes aren't two different worlds. They're the same in two states of existence that soon enough will collapse into one deciding which one will continue.

    While ST-verse is pretty much as in the canon, HPL-verse is somehow like the Mirror Universe, but not. It's history is the same as in the original (major events at least), but its people are a more disturbed versions of the originals. Especially Picard and his crew. Every adventure they had with Q in ST-verse has it's twisted version in HPL-verse that drives them more and more mad. The finale that in the original was about the humanity's potential, was about them being a cosmic joke.

    The twist is that when both crews discover that one of their universes will cease to exist, the fight between them about who should survive is a little different that you may expect. ST-verse characters want both universes to keep co-existing while HPL characters are doing everything they can to ensure it's their world that disappears. It's a bright optimist versus insane pessimism.
     
  9. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    There's plenty to say about the ending we got, but Karpyshyn's ending was in no way better.

    Not that I put much stock in that word, but more than Star Trek? Lol.

    Don't I recall Cthulhu getting KO'd by a steamboat?
     
  10. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Generic was a dumb word to use. I meant more like, Star Trek might a lot of vague space/sci fi stuff but it is very distinctively Star Trek in its portrayal of humanity, whereas Mass Effect might have its distinct aliens and worldbuilding, but a more generic space humanity, which would be easily exchangeable with other sci fi humans.

    Was he? Don't remember. Then again, not every Lovecraft story was a home-run, so, there's that as well.
     
  11. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I haven't actually read The Call of Cthulhu but I'm pretty sure I picked that up somewhere. And maybe it's just me but if big bad Cthulhu can get held off by a steamboat, even if it regenerates, then it stands to reason that space weapons are at least going to have an effect on it.

    Anyway, Mass Effect was just what came to mind. I guess an actual Star Trek/Lovecraft crossover would be a lot different than something that's just inspired in part by both, so knock yourself out.
     
  12. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, a sailor rammed him in the head with his boat and it exploded.

    In fairness to the big guy he started growing a new head straight away...
     
  13. Tasoli

    Tasoli Headmaster

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    Are you guys are familiar with Cthulhutech? I believe it is revelant even if original work is subpar other than core book and Vade Mechum.
     
  14. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Tasoli

    No, but I am aware that this exists:

    Behold, Cthulu mixed with Cyberpunk!

    [​IMG]

    What better place to tell stories about Eldritch Abominations than the Dark Future of Mega-Corporations?
     
  15. LittleChicago

    LittleChicago Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Hmmm....

    I like the idea of awakening sleeping giants. But the idea of the two worlds actually co-existing just doesn't seem explainable. If these abominations are truly sleeping under the surface of Earth (or a bunch of other planets) why have they never been found?

    I think crossing to another universe is the only way to make it work. If this is an ancient war... well, remember that TNG ep where everyone was racing around the galaxy and discovered that all modern humanoid races shared a common ancestor? Well, in 'our' universe, the seeding was done in the hope of leaving a legacy; what if in the other universe, it was done to raise armies?

    The Seeders, (I have no actual term for these guys, though the Star Trek Online game tries to make them into the Preservers, who we never saw in the TNG era), being the first intelligent mortal species to come into existence in the galaxy, are noticed by the Eldritch, and find themselves in a war for survival. The old gods don't like the idea of something popping into existence without their say-so, or maybe they don't like telepathic noise or insert-your-reason-here. The Seeders plant their seeds as part of a long-term plan to overwhelm the old gods with sheer numbers. Before this plan can truly work, the Q intervene, and both the Q and the Eldritch end up slumbering.

    Fast forward a few eons, and the eldritch are waking up. Somehow, they spread, along with the Seeds, and are secretly under the surface of many planets we know: Betazed, where their presence created a race of paranoid telepaths; Vulcan, where they provoked war and hatred and violence, which was only held in check when the Vulcans purged themselves of all emotion, in this alternate case, perhaps through forced brain surgery; Qo'Nos, where the Klingons aren't that different from what we know, but even more bloodthirsty and unimpressed with 'honor' or anything that holds a warrior back; and of course earth, where a fractured and mentally unstable humanity is struggling to gain purchase in the stars as they slowly destroy their planet beneath them.

    Enter the crew from our universe, confronted with a bunch of near-insane, barely-functioning parallels to the people and species they know, and a desperate attempt to find a counter to these all-powerful monsters that treat planets like futons.
     
  16. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    You're approaching this all wrong. The real horror of the Lovecraftian universe isn't in its giant monsters, it's in the casual corruption of things that should be good. It's in the atmosphere of creeping dread upon realising just how unimportant you (and mankind in general) are in the grand scheme of things.

    If you want a Star Trek crossover it shouldn't be about shooting Cthulhu with photon torpedoes, it should be about visiting alien worlds that are just slightly off in a way that being merely alien can't explain. Picture the town of Innsmouth on a planetary scale, or a world where Nyarlathotep is worshipped as the Herald of Azathoth, and hope is held as meaningless. Imagine a civilisation that designs everything without corners so that the Hounds of Tindalos can find no foothold, only for one to arrive by hitching a ride on the Enterprise.

    It's that kind of 'everything went wrong so long ago that hoping for better is futile' type atmosphere that is crucially important to Lovecraft, and that's what you should focus on more than Great Old Ones and Elder Gods. After all, humans aren't important. Why should they get involved?
     
  17. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    ^ And that is why it's good to hear from people who are familiar with Lovecraft. I had no idea that it was a concept of 'everything went wrong so long ago that hoping for better is futile' that helped make Lovecraft, well, Lovecraft.

    On the plus side, that clashes in almost every way with Star Trek, which in many ways is embodied by hope for an (even brighter than the near utopia they have) future. Would make for fun storytelling, but holy shit would that require a skilled hand to write.
     
  18. blogwraith

    blogwraith Squib

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    Lovecraft's influence leaves a long tail.

    The Original Series episode "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" deals with a telepathic alien so ugly that to gaze upon drives men mad, science bringing people past the limits of their understanding, and a blind telepathic human women who tries to kill Spock because she's jealous his ability to mind-meld with the alien. Verbiage aside, its a very Lovecrafty tale.

    The Deep Space Nine episode "Dramtis Personae" deals with a telepathic virus and time being a loop that can't be escaped. Also very Lovecrafty. The Founders and the Prophets are both alien races that slide seamlessly into a Lovecraft tale.

    Despite the general feeling of dread in most of Lovecraft's work, the stories never end with the destruction of the Earth or the universe. As noted, Cthulu gets knocked unconscious by a steamboat and lies dreaming to be awaken again when the stars or right. Human extinction may be inevitable, but its imminence is always delayed.

    The crossover's already happened because Lovecraft has already influences/infected all long running science fiction.

    Kirk et al don't try to make the universe better because they already think the universe is on their side, they do it because in doing so they make themselves better. And when they face off against things eldritch and uncaring, they beat them back and go back to not caring about them. They call a truce of mutual apathy in the future. Hope triumphs over despair in the last act and if it doesn't then whatever Star Trek protagonists you're using are acting out of character. A good god doesn't show up and tell them they're on the right track, it's just that when a bad god shows up to tell them otherwise they ignore him.

    You can tell a despairing story in the Star Trek universe or with Star Trek technology, all you need are protagonists prone to hopelessness.

    Or fuck, just name check a bunch of Lovecraft stories and put a tentacle monster in there and call it a day like most Lovecraft pastiches.
     
  19. Tasoli

    Tasoli Headmaster

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    Speaking of Hounds of Tindolos it is funny how every space ship has curved hull. At lest in Federation.

    Almost like someone was trying to protect it.
     
  20. Oddball8

    Oddball8 First Year

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