Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Enterprise

"Carpenter Street"

*1/2

Air date: 11/26/2003
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Mike Vejar

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"This gonna take long? I don't want to miss Conan." — Guy in apartment (a programming alternative far better than this episode)

In brief: Did you enjoy this turkey for your day before Thanksgiving?

There's only one thing I demand in a story that claims to tie together the Xindi arc and the Temporal Cold War plot, and that's an hour that commands my interest. No such luck. "Carpenter Street" is a mediocre time-travel bore with barely enough plot for me to accuse of not making sense.

And to be sure, the little bit of plot we do get here doesn't make sense. It's more of the same Temporal Cold War wave-of-the-hand nonsense, where logic and motivation take a vacation and we're supplied explanations that pretty much go like this: We don't know how the Xindi went into the past or where they got their information or what they're intending to do, but don't worry about any of that because all that matters is that we stop them now, now, now!

I don't know about you, but my patience with some of this temporal nonsense is wearing thin. I'd like at least an inkling of (1) where the Xindi are getting their information about humanity's supposed future attack upon them, (2) why they believe it, (3) how the Xindi have access to time travel, and (4) why they are dead-set on destroying all of us. These are questions that go to the heart of Xindi motivation, and you'd think a story that delves back into this morass of timeline goofiness would at least try to tackle these questions, but "Carpenter Street" doesn't have a clue about any of it. The Xindi, as a result, ring as hollow here as ever.

Also, this comic-book notion of Archer basically saving the human race week after week (or at the very least the stakes of such being invoked in dialog) is really starting to get old. Are Berman and Braga convinced that the only way this series will hold our attention is if humanity's entire existence (ostensibly) hangs in the balance every week, while Archer chases the villain across rooftops? Star Trek is supposed to be about ideas, not about whether or not the captain can save the world.

Then there's time-traveling Daniels, who represents the ultimate contrivance when it comes to Those Crazy Timelines. He can see just enough to know that timelines are being altered in a direction away from where they "should" be, but not enough information to be particularly useful to Archer. According to Daniels, three Xindi have traveled back to Earth in 2004 where they are doing ... something. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Something Bad.

(Wouldn't it be interesting to have our assumptions proven wrong for a change? What if Archer went back in time to find the Xindi doing Something Good that was actually preventing some other Xindi from doing Something Bad in a future timeline? But I suppose that's one original idea that might prove too difficult amid a time-travel plot that already makes so little sense.)

Let's just say that Daniels' level of knowledge strikes me as less than convincing, to say the least. It's too simultaneously/conveniently complete and incomplete to come across as anything more than an obvious device to get Archer and T'Pol into the year 2004 with no information about what they need to do, other than look for the Xindi bad guys. (This series makes about as much sense of its timelines as The X-Files made about possible alien conspiracies — which is to say, none at all.)

My dissatisfaction with the lack of new insight into the Xindi role in the Temporal Cold War might've been mitigated had the plot in 2004 been interesting or fun, but it's not. It's bland and perfunctory, and ends with a painfully routine action climax. The plot holds just enough of our interest to keep us from changing the channel leading up to the story destination. To be fair, the story is able to build a reasonable sense of mystery surrounding the human collaborator, Loomis (Leland Orser), who is being paid to kidnap people who have donated at the blood bank where he works. The Xindi are using these victims, who all have different blood types, to develop a bio-weapon, which they intend to take back to the future, I guess. Archer and T'Pol must track down the Xindi and stop them.

Of course, if you really stop and think about any of this, you will see that this is clearly a Swiss Cheese Plot.

  1. Why does Daniels send Archer and T'Pol back in time to a point where the Xindi have already been working on Earth for two months? Why not send them back earlier, at a point where the Xindi are not as close to completing their mission? For that matter, why does Daniels say that the Xindi have "already" been working on Earth for two months? In time-travel terms, hasn't this "already" happened centuries ago? Maybe the passage of time in past, present, and future all moves forward simultaneously, like different people in different time zones. Or maybe Daniels needs to go back to Time Travel School. (Daniels says it "takes time" for changes in the timeline to "ripple through the timeline" and reach his century. Huh?)
  2. Just why do the Xindi need to run tests on all these different people to create a virus capable of killing all of us? Since when do bio-weapon toxins have to be coded to your blood type to be lethal? Surely the Xindi have enough information to know how to kill everybody with a single toxin/virus. And why would they have to develop this toxin from scratch? Lethal substances can be found anywhere.
  3. If you're going into the past, why pick 2004 as your place to "hide"? Humans would be a lot more likely to discover aliens hiding in 2004 than in, say, 1404. Granted, the obvious answer is that so we can use a current-day backdrop for the setting, but the Xindi have no reason to pick this year. Then again, maybe they didn't pick it. Maybe it was picked for them by the Timeline Gods who obviously are in charge of this whole Temporal Cold War thing.
  4. And just who are the Xindi "hiding" from if they are indeed using Earth in 2004 as a hiding place? And what about the events of "Rajiin," where it was implied that the Xindi had everything they needed to make the bio-weapon? Are these Xindi working in conjunction with or separately from those who decided in "Rajiin" to create the bio-weapon? Or are these the same guys? Does it even matter since the Xindi seem to be capable of being wherever and whenever a given episode needs them to be?

Again, logical scrutiny is less important if I'm having a good time. The main problem with "Carpenter Street" is that it's tired, predictable, and unimaginative. It's about as by-the-book as these things can be. Basically, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen what this episode has to offer. There are no twists and no particularly entertaining fish-out-of-water gags. When Archer and T'Pol steal a car to drive around the city, for example, one would expect a comic payoff (or perhaps a payoff of any kind). Nope. The "wry" observations on 21st-century human greed aren't wry enough. Even the parody on the fast-food drive-thru is lame and obvious. Wasn't that joke old a decade ago? (Time to break out the DVD for Star Trek IV, incomparably better than this.)

The one thing I did like was T'Pol's dry contempt for Loomis, which was Vulcan disdain done well and aimed at an appropriate target.

All this eventually brings us to the literal run-and-jump climax, which is mostly yawn-worthy, as Archer and T'Pol chase down a Xindi ("He has the virus!" ["And we have a trailer line!"]), who goes running and jumping across rooftops, etc., trying to release the virus and wipe out half of Detroit, etc. Archer jumps and clings desperately to the pipes on the side of a building, etc. (Will he fall and be killed? Now that would be a twist.) Sometimes I wonder if television producers can watch scenes like this and not see them as the hopeless cliches they so obviously are. If so, it's time for retirement. Forced retirement.

The consolation here, I guess, is that Archer gets three Xindi prisoners (or corpses — I'm not sure, to be honest) out of this adventure, no doubt to be the source of future stories in this Xindi arc — stories that, no doubt, will continue to make no sense and offer no conclusive direction or meaning.

Interestingly, the hopelessly tepid "Carpenter Street" comes on the heels of the surprisingly ambitious, if misguided, "Similitude." I wasn't exactly a fan of "Similitude," but I respected its spirit. As a story, at least "Similitude" put up a fight. "Carpenter Street" is waving a white flag.

Note: This episode was re-rated from 2 to 1.5 stars when the season recap was written.

Previous episode: Similitude
Next episode: Chosen Realm

Season Index

34 comments on this review

Mikey - Tue, Dec 16, 2008 - 6:18pm (USA Central)
I have to disagree on one vital point here.There was a moment of key interest to me and that was that learning that my tricorder at home can be a very effective carjacking tool...soon as I work out the bugs.otherwise,I have to resort to my standard theory which is that all the temporal damage done to the space-time continuum has collectively rotted the integrity of spacetime to the point that it no longer has to make any semblance of logical,rational sense!
indijo - Sat, Jan 31, 2009 - 8:05am (USA Central)
Let's face it, these Star Trek time-travel episodes are always interesting the first time around, no matter how well they are done, as long as they follow the action-intrigue formula. Admit it, once you started watching it, you had to stay with it to the end, no matter how ludicrous it seemed. That's hollywood! Question is, did you buy any of the products they advertized during the commercials?
Stefan - Mon, Feb 2, 2009 - 7:05pm (USA Central)
To expand on Jammer's review, this episode reminded me of DS9's third season "Past Tense" two-parter. In both, the United States is portrayed in a negative light. In "Past Tense", it was the interment of the poor in "Sanctuary Districts." In this episode, it was T'Pol's commentary of humanity based only on one criminal. Why did the writers and producers feel the necessity to negatively portray the United States?
Ian Whitcombe - Mon, Feb 2, 2009 - 8:54pm (USA Central)
Honestly, given the quality of this episode, I doubt that Berman and Braga were attempting to make any sort of social commentary at all. Likely it was just scripted filler dialog to fill up the hour.
Stefan - Mon, Feb 2, 2009 - 9:18pm (USA Central)
When I remember "Past Tense" I have trouble believing that. Fortunately, T'Pol's comment was in this terrible episode.
Chris - Sat, May 2, 2009 - 8:08am (USA Central)
I normally agree with these reviews, but I think you're being harsh here. Granted the plot was routine, but this episode got the pacing, feel and performances spot on. Leland Orser convinced me that his character would have behaved in exactly this way, and the threat was not just to Detroit, but actually to three-quarters of humanity. It certanly kept me watching.
David - Mon, Nov 2, 2009 - 1:48am (USA Central)
I think you're spot on with your criticisms here. Daniels is a frustrating character that serves only as a convenient plot device. Still, the change of setting was nice.
lost4 - Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 12:53pm (USA Central)
"It takes time for changes in time to ripple through the timeline"

lol.

How much time? 20 minutes? 150 years? If we go back in time will it catch up with us sooner? What if we go forward in time? Can we stay ahead of it? Even out pace it? If we go forward in time fast enough maybe we can overtake ALL these ripples and discover the ORIGINAL timeline!

whatever. stay away from time-travel, star trek.
lost4 - Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 12:57pm (USA Central)
I guess that means if Archer fails it's no big deal. Because Daniels will still 'have time' before the ripple reaches the 31st century. Maybe with someone in the 24th or 26th century. They could have a stab at it. Why does this need to be Archer's problem? Oh yeah, Daniels doesn't have his permision slip yet.

I guess he should go forward in time a couple of weeks and pick it up. Or, I don't know, just f'ing do it regardless. It's only the fate of humanity.
Josh - Fri, Oct 29, 2010 - 10:37pm (USA Central)
Well, there were some things that I enjoyed about this and some that were not so consistent.

When T'Pol stunned Loomis... it was at short range. Was it not told in ST:IV that a phaser on stun at short range would kill? Maybe I'm looking too close.

There is one thing I thought was pretty funny about the episode. I only noticed this because of the date and you can probably guess what movies I've been watching recently.
The kidnapper's name was Loomis. The man that wanted to watch Conan, his name was Strode.
Just thought that was in interesting. I'm guessing this episode was written at about this time of year.
Carbetarian - Sun, Dec 26, 2010 - 10:18pm (USA Central)
This probably only bothered me because I'm originally from Detroit. But, why did they bother claiming this whole adventure is supposed to be taking place in Detroit when they were so obviously in LA? I knew they weren't in Detroit from the get go, but that last shot of Archer and T'Pol on the street was too much for me. There are no hills or valleys in Detroit! I mean, they could have edited around that obvious shot of the hills of LA. It made a lame episode that much lamer for me.

And, good lord, this episode WAS lame! Archer got surly and punched someone in the face - AGAIN! Daniels showed up and said something that made no sense - AGAIN! The last half of the show was all phaser fights and no plot - AGAIN!

Honestly, I wasn't even watching during the phaser shoot out at the end. I looked up right around the time that Archer grabbed for The Weapon, only to see the skyline of LA seconds later. These actions scenes are so boring. They're exactly the same in every episode. At this point, I find myself only watching the first three acts of most episodes and then jumping over here to read the review during the final shoot outs at the end. For all of Similitude's faults, I would take that mess of an ending over a phaser shoot out any day.

Also, "changes take time to ripple through the timeline"?!? Don't even get me started on that one!
Marco P. - Sun, May 1, 2011 - 3:51pm (USA Central)
Jammer wrote: "Star Trek is supposed to be about ideas"

Yeah, when B&B are involved... BAD ones. Case in point: another pile of trash of an episode.
Jeremy Short - Wed, Aug 3, 2011 - 12:06am (USA Central)
In addition to your question of why 2004 when it would be easier to hide in 1404, why hide in Detroit? Why not pick a place where people disappearing would be much more unnoticed, someplace like Mumbai or Juarez.
Jasper - Tue, Nov 8, 2011 - 9:27pm (USA Central)
"It takes time for changes in time to ripple through the timeline"

Oh, come on. Sure, you can do some wave some things away when talking about time travel. Yes, you can get away with some things which seem utterly impossible or even have stories that have internal conflicts in time travel when it's not too obvious.

However, this is where I draw the line. That sentence has no meaning. Okey, time travel may not be easy so it may not be the easiest to write about, but at least you can think about what you are doing. Heck, this thing makes so little sense that I am having trouble coming up with an equivalent sentence that does not involve time. I'll find it, though. Be warned, the sentence is going to make no sense at all.

"It takes distance before me moving a piece of paper affects the other side of the paper."

I have no clue what "distance" in "it takes distance" would mean. And that's the idea, as "time" in "it takes time" makes equally little sense.
Nathan - Tue, Nov 22, 2011 - 8:39am (USA Central)
Re: "It takes time for changes in time to ripple through the timeline"

Think of it like what we saw in "Year of Hell" but with time rather than space. In other words, changes in 2004 will first be felt in 2005, then 2006, and so on. If I remember correctly, Asimov does this in "The End of Eternity" ("Eternity" there is a sort of timeless structure that is not affected by changes, much like the timeship in "Year of Hell", so an observer has a frame of reference from which to see changes rippling). Argue about plausibility all you want, but it's not nonsense.
Nathan - Thu, Nov 24, 2011 - 3:58am (USA Central)
"Heck, this thing makes so little sense that I am having trouble coming up with an equivalent sentence that does not involve time."

Say you're on a train and you release poison gas at one end. Now it takes distance (traveled by the train) for the gas to reach the other end of the train. You're dealing with two different frames of reference for measuring distance/time.
Jasper - Sun, Nov 27, 2011 - 4:13pm (USA Central)
@Nathan:

I would like to read "The end of Eternity" some time. However, wore than just a frame reference, Eternity seems to add an entirely new time, which is independent of normal time. And that is what makes the concept possible.
Such an idea is very well possible, but only if you present it as such. However, Enterprise never does such a thing.

More so, Daniels is not talking about such a parallel timeline, but talking about not being able to view it from the future. He is never suggesting he looks at it from some different time stream, and oftentimes does suggest that he is just from the normal future. As such, the statement he makes is still nonsense.

Your example with the train and the gas feels quite wrong to me (in the sense that it can't quite compare to the time travel thing), but I am having trouble putting my finger on just what is wrong about them. I have some ideas, but before I make a claim, I want to make sure it isn't a bogus claim, so let me get back to that later.
Eric - Sun, Feb 12, 2012 - 9:47pm (USA Central)
Man, Jammer is Jaded. He needs to stop watching television.
Jammer - Mon, Feb 13, 2012 - 2:30pm (USA Central)
I'll stop watching TV when it stops entertaining me. Just because this episode was lame doesn't make me jaded. So there.
Elliott - Sun, May 27, 2012 - 12:54am (USA Central)
For the first 3 minutes, I thought Loomus was being played by Braga--then I thought, "hey, this guy seems to know a lot about how hookers behave when they get picked up," then I thought, "that actually makes a lot of sense." All that was missing in the teaser was Loomus taking a hit from his bong...as someone who grew up near Detroit, however, I can say the backdrop (gratuitous or not) is pretty accurate.

DId anyone else guess long before this that the Xindi War was never supposed to happen?

I would like confirmation that Daniels is a member of the same Time monitors from VOY's "Future's End" and "Relativity."

I think, as a series, Enterprise should demonstrate that continuity and story arcs do not constitute quality writing. As I have stated in the comments to numerous DS9 and VOY reviews, it is a METHOD of storytelling. It can be really fun (and it has been on DS9 and ENT) but it is no guarantee of good stories, an explanation of good or bad storytelling, or a requirement of good storytelling.

This has been a series of running comments, so let me close with an actual reaction to this episode :

It's quite palatable on its own, "fun" in context of the continuity with the TCW and largely forgettable. In comparison with its look-a-likes from the other series ("City on the Edge", "Time's Arrow", "Past Tense", and "Future's End") it ranks last (big surprise), but I don't think it is as deserving of the lambasting it gets on this page either. It deserved to keep its 2 stars at least.
TMLS - Tue, May 29, 2012 - 4:10am (USA Central)
"I thought Loomus was being played by Braga--then I thought, "hey, this guy seems to know a lot about how hookers behave when they get picked up," then I thought, "that actually makes a lot of sense.""

A cynical observer might question you on that, Elliott - how do YOU know know that it's accurate for how hookers behave? ;)

Anyway, Carpenter Street. Loved the look of Detroit, I'm English and went to LA on vacation last November - amazing how similar it looks ;)

Oh, and sure there was an episode there somewhere...
Scott of Detroit - Thu, Aug 30, 2012 - 8:26pm (USA Central)
Wow, this episode stunk. It stunk even worse for me as I live in the suburbs of Detroit and work in downtown Detroit.

First, I'll tear apart the plot. So why the hell are they trying to get the virus back to the future? Wouldn't they just release it right there in 2004? Killing all the humans in 2004 would be better than killing them in 2154 when they're scattered about the universe in space ships.

I totally agree that it makes no sense that Archer would be sent to 2004 two months into the Xindi mission. It would make more sense for them to be sent right on the heels of the Xindi and to spend the episode right on the heels trying to predict their next move and stop them.

Also, I totally agree that it makes no sense whatsoever that they need to make this virus specific to all blood types. There are very few things on this Earth in present day that are specific to a blood type.


OK, now I've got to tear apart the "Detroit 2004" part.

First off, apparently in 2004 Detroit had very few black people. In fact, Detroit now only has two black people, a cop and a hooker.

Secondly, not a single scene was from Detroit. The shot of the skyline was LA! I mean, c'mon, you couldn't even throw in a shot of the Detroit skyline?

Thirdly, on the radio there's an advertisement for a monster truck rally at the "tri-city" whatever. There is no "tri-city" in Detroit. There's the "tri-county" area of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb. There is no tri-city.

The only thing they got right were the police cars which were either actual Detroit police cars, or extremely similar.

If you're going to say that a plot is in a certain city, you actually have to make an attempt. You can't say "Detroit" and show the LA skyline.

The only thing that seems accurate about the setting is:

1) There is a Carpenter Street in Detroit\Hamtramck (I think they just got lucky on that one)
2) Detroit did exist in 2004 and had hookers


Sucky plot. No attempt made at depicting Detroit. More time-travel wizardry.
CeeBee - Fri, Aug 31, 2012 - 8:27pm (USA Central)
The ripple in the timeline took effect immediately in Shockwave. Daniels had breakfast in the morning, got Archer from the turbolift when Silik was pestering Enterprise and found himself in the ruins of the future he just left. Why didn't the writers keep tabs on their own stories? If idiots like me see this, why don't they?

Well, I found it to be a nice episode considering the way Archer and T'Pol worked together. And I found Loomis to be a fantastic creep. That's a much better villain than those latex Xindi's.

And Daniels should try to find another barber. Really.
Cloudane - Mon, Nov 26, 2012 - 6:41pm (USA Central)
Hah...
'twas alright. I didn't hate it quite as much as Jammer.

Teeny bit of ST:IV borrowing. Good thing they were in the US (of course - rest of the world doesn't exist unless you have a French captain) and he didn't have to deal with the clutch and manual gears we have over here :)

T'Pol says something like, great, the first person they interact with has the qualities of "greed, violence and moral corruption" - why you so surprised SubCmdr, the guy you work for represents two of those qualities...

Not sure how "things taking time to ripple through time" works, but as Janeway always said, don't even try to think about temporal mechanics.

Wouldn't mind a tricorder. Same function as a sonic screwdriver (magic wand), but much prettier.
CJ - Thu, Jan 17, 2013 - 10:12pm (USA Central)
I was able to suspend disbelief on the technical issues and enjoy the show. It was much, much better than Similitude; I couldn't figure out all that episode asked me to believe. DNA can do anything, and you just had to watch and wonder what it would do next. In this one they laid out some rules for how time travel worked, and they stuck to it. Since time travel isn't a phenomenon in the real world, I could accept Daniels having ability to send them back in time without having details on what they were looking for. One you accept that, the story is nothing amazing, but it was an interesting hour of television.
mark - Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - 6:49pm (USA Central)
The worst failing of this episode was that it gave us Archer and T'Pol in 2004 and it couldn't mine that fish out of water idea for even a single entertaining scene. Yes, the overall plot was dumb (for instance: why doesn't Daniels and his crew simply stop the Xindi themselves? Aren't they supposed to be policing the timeline? They're from the 30th century and three 22nd century Xindi are too much for them to handle?) but I could've forgiven the plot if Archer and T'Pol's reactions to the year 2004 were at least entertaining. Unfortunately they weren't, at all. City on the Edge of Forever managed to tell the best Trek story ever while still making room for a few wonderfully humorous scenes with Kirk and Spock adapting to the 1930's ("stone knives and bear skins"), while Carpenter Street gives us the bare bones of a story and still can't find room for any entertaining scenes.

One star at best, and for everyone who says season three was the savior of this series, I'm not really seeing it. Sure, there's urgency, and the changes to Archer's character are welcome, but this season seems to be giving us the same number of lousy episodes as season two did, and now we have the obligatory Temporal Cold War Tedium episode to add to the list.
Patrick - Sun, Apr 28, 2013 - 1:34pm (USA Central)
Leland Orser was the only good thing about this episode. He was also a highlight in VOY's "Revulsion". He's a very underrated actor.
Lt. Yarko - Tue, May 21, 2013 - 3:50am (USA Central)
"Leland Orser"

The poor guy only ever plays deranged jerks, it seems, although I think I saw him in some movie in which he was a sympathetic character. I really like him as an actor.

I hate time travel in movies. It's never done right. People who write time travel stories never seem to be clever enough to think the damn thing through properly. (Primer is the only good one I can think of right now.) But setting my hatred for time travel aside and also setting aside the car door unlocking tricorder, I liked this episode. I'm glad they didn't get into silly fish-out-of-water stuff and just stuck to the story.
Jeffrey Bedard - Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - 5:47pm (USA Central)
Rick Berman once said that he loved time travel stories. Which, I guess, is why TREK had an overabundance of them from TNG on (although there aren't that many TNG ones). I know Braga said they came up with the TCW because UPN told them ENTERPRISE needed to be more sci-fi, but something tells me Berman had this idea for a while. But time travel is not, in my opinion, what TREK is about. It's OK to do one once in a long while, but DS9, VOY, and especially ENT went way too far with it. It's "Star" Trek. Not "Time" Trek. That being said, this is a pretty useless episode. You would think the drive thru scene could have had some good comedy, but the scene is played straight. We're just watching the three of them order burgers. It's a wasted opportunity.
navamske - Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - 10:40pm (USA Central)
@Mark

"The worst failing of this episode was that it gave us Archer and T'Pol in 2004 and it couldn't mine that fish out of water idea for even a single entertaining scene."

It would have been cool if they had run into Mestral, the guy from "Carbon Creek."
Jack - Tue, Nov 26, 2013 - 4:47pm (USA Central)
How many times in Star Trek have we seen dialogue similar to this:

Character X: Have you ever operated a vehicle from this period?"

Character Y: I've piloted a starship.

It's an absurd exchange. Just because you've learned how to fly a starship doesn't mean you've learned how to operate anything and everything that's ever existed.
Captain Jim - Thu, Feb 6, 2014 - 4:10pm (USA Central)
Personally, I've always been a sucker for ST time travel stories. Was this one of the better ones? Certainly not, but I still enjoyed it. Sometimes I think people think to hard about these episodes. I just sit back and enjoy the ride.

And Jack (comment above mine), you're taking seriously a remark that's supposed to be humorous.
Elliott - Mon, Feb 17, 2014 - 11:55pm (USA Central)
Jammer wrote :

"I don't know about you, but my patience with some of this temporal nonsense is wearing thin. I'd like at least an inkling of ...why they are dead-set on destroying all of us. "

Not that I disagree, but can't one say much of the same about the Founders? I mean a vague back-story is offered (and never corroborated) to basically say "Changelings hate solids." That's it. I don't seem to remember reading that complaint anywhere...
Jasper - Tue, Feb 18, 2014 - 5:36am (USA Central)
That was actually explained. The changelings used to live among the solids, but they were always treated as outcasts and shunned by the solids. They withdrew and decided the best way to protect themselves was to conquer those around them.

In time, their empire grew and their hatred was aggravated as they started considering solids as less than themselves and "unable to understand something as great as the great link". Moreover, they started considering anyone outside their influence as a major threat to their existence.

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