Caretaker

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RedImperator
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Re: Caretaker

Post by RedImperator » 2012-12-24 11:35pm

Diverball wrote:Except that modern Trek doesn't. TOS may have been radical, but even it's radicalism was constrained - Chekov was Russian, but he wasn't a Communist, and his nationalism was portrayed as Atavistic; Uhura was a black woman, but she was in a relatively lowly post. Sisko and Janeway weren't ahead of their time, but lagging behind it, and both characters had issues. Trek still has not managed to deal with homosexuality. Modern Trek has far too much commercial baggage behind it for it to be truly radical any more.
I'm not trying to match modern Trek, though. I mean, to be fair, I don't know if I'm trying to make any sociopolitical statements, either, but I don't feel constrained by the economic or PR concerns of Paramount in the mid-90s.
I could see Trek introducing a main character of Arab descent, but it's questionable whether you could play up the Muslim aspect without clashing with the secular humanist values that have dominated Trek for the last 25 year. One thing that I don't think that Trek has ever really done is deal with a major and consistent clash of values between main characters.
He was never explicitly identified as such, but Dr. Bashir had an Arab name and was played by an Arab actor. To my knowledge, his religion never came up.

I'm an atheist and a secular humanist myself, so given the opportunity to run a Trek series, I doubt I'd try to roll back the "secularism won, and we're all better off for it" vision of the future that was created for TNG. On the other hand, I think introducing more intellectual diversity to a Trek crew would be worthwhile, and I definitely think part of why Voyager seemed so stale was that that diversity didn't exist; even characters who explicitly rejected Starfleet subscribed to its ideals. I did notice that the explicitly religious protagonists on canonical DS9 and VOY tended to be either Bajoran (Major Kira) or Maquis (Chakotay, Torres), and at one point I actually toyed with the idea of playing that up, but I think there's too much religious diversity for the Maquis as an implicitly or explicitly religious organization to really work (just among my characters, Seska worships the Prophets, A'sha is Muslim, Torres believes in the Klingon warrior-honor cult even if she's not practicing, and Chakotay probably practices some syncretic fusion of traditional Mayan beliefs and Roman Catholicism, though I haven't ruled out making him a member of a breakaway group which attempted to purge the European elements and practice a "pure" form of the religion; at any rate, I don't know nearly enough about Mayan religion to write sensibly about it, so I largely plan to avoid the issue in "Caretaker"). It would also be potentially problematic, I think, to take "Trek's" first practicing Muslim character and make her an insurgent with religious motivation.
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The Duchess of Zeon
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Re: Caretaker

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2012-12-25 12:54am

I don't think the Maquis would have a religious motivation. I do however, think that there is nothing particular in a lot of things like Sufism that prevent them from being part of a secular humanist order... SD.net is filled with empiricists who believe that empirical knowledge is the deciding factor in how we view the world. I would say however that, just as you note the difference between German Idealism and Utilitarianism, there could be huge philosophical differences within a basically secular humanist order. Someone who essentially regards religion as having no power over life and doesn't believe in god or an afterlife could still use a meditative sect like Sufism as a way of approaching the unknown and of reconciliing the smallness of their own place in the universe. One can even believe in an afterlife while being an atheist, and construct logical justifications for it. They are just ones completely divorced from SDN's preferred empirically based humanism.

I'd also have to say that Islam is an incredibly culturally linked religion so just in the same way people who are basically atheists in all functional terms could nonetheless still observe many of the cultural practices of Judaism. In the same way, a lot of Islamic cultural practices will probably still persist in an humanist post-Islamic society because they provide a sense of shared heritage and identity.

And as a final note I wouldn't personally believe Bashir was intended to be Muslim. Bashir is not a typical name for an orthodox Muslim and it was always used in the form of a last name. Most Muslim "last names" aren't surnames but rather refer to parentage, locality, etc. Julian is emphatically not a given name for an orthodox Muslim. The combination does however exist and is a quite common name--in Lebanese and Syrian Arab Christians.
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Re: Caretaker

Post by Simon_Jester » 2012-12-25 02:49pm

Diverball wrote:Even a TOS cloak might be overkill, given the Kazons' paucity of subspace sensor technology. You'd have thought that the basic principles of cloaking technology would be covered in the standard engineering syllabus, given that Starfleet engineers in the field occasionally have the need to try and penetrate cloaking fields.
A cloak that gives them a great advantage against the Kazons might not help them much against someone more advanced (like, obviously, the Borg). And against the Kazons, Voyager still faces the weakness of being greatly outnumbered, and individually no stronger than one or two of the many Kazon battleships.

They're in pretty much the same situation then as a U-boat against a World War One navy: the enemy lacks reliable detection technology IF you go full-stealthy, but you have a limited supply of torpedoes, and those are the only real threat you have to the enemy's dreadnoughts. Surface and get into a head-banging match and... Voyager would fare better there than a U-boat against a WWI cruiser, but since any small damage to Voyager could make it much harder to get home, they can't afford to take chances.
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Re: Caretaker

Post by RazeByFire » 2012-12-25 05:04pm

So happy to see this going again.

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Vianca
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Re: Caretaker

Post by Vianca » 2012-12-29 06:35am

Following from this post onwards, story is now tracked.

As for the cloak, it explains how Voyager could use her shields to do this, the Raven did something similiar in the beginning of their Borg study.
Will we see some day of the week tech from TNG appear, like certain teleporter systems?
It would explain how they beamed true Borg shielding, among others.

If I were them, I would see about recovering as much tech as I could from Neelix his junk-yard.
They should have enough empty room to store it all.
Main focus should be on any tech from their own side of the universe, should up their empty sparepart stores, while explaining why Neelix stayed onboard, in the end.
Nothing like the present.

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Re: Caretaker

Post by Mr Bean » 2012-12-29 12:39pm

Vianca wrote: Main focus should be on any tech from their own side of the universe, should up their empty sparepart stores, while explaining why Neelix stayed onboard, in the end.
That would make a great deal of sense, Neelix being kept on board as their in native so they could buy and sell stuff around the area and he steer them to places he knows they can get parts. Except instead of being incompetent he's just greedy and shortsighted. They could find out he comm ahead so that part they need cost twice as a much and Nelix got a cut of the extra plus a cut for negotiating the deal on Voyagers behalf. Or he neglects to mention the fact he's wanted on the Moon of Tal Ceti 5 for trafficking trusting Voyager can scare off the locals. Or him being a wanted for war profiteering.

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Re: Caretaker

Post by Star Empire » 2013-01-04 04:50pm

Fantastic story. Just started reading the updated version yesterday and am now caught up already.
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
I'd also have to say that Islam is an incredibly culturally linked religion so just in the same way people who are basically atheists in all functional terms could nonetheless still observe many of the cultural practices of Judaism. In the same way, a lot of Islamic cultural practices will probably still persist in an humanist post-Islamic society because they provide a sense of shared heritage and identity.
Very good point. I think one of the big things often missed in looking at societal issues is that religion and culture very overlap with many viewpoints that are seen as religious being more cultural and vice versa and this is especially true with Islam. I tend to avoid these conversations on this site as I'm coming from the opposite perspective than most here (for separate reasons very religious and a self identified strong libertarian/conservative), but that's a point I can definitely agree with.

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Re: Caretaker

Post by Vianca » 2013-01-05 06:39am

In TNG you had a teleporteur that could beam you true shields, only your DNA becomes damaged because of this, but it works fine with tech-objects.
If they have the data, maybe something for teleportation bombs?
Would explain how they destroyed a couple of Borg ships with such ease.

They need extra medical personal, for one.
Start up the Doctors control program and set it to work, short term, a couple of nurses and so, long term would mean updating their matrix-en and developing a couple of research holograms.

One tech update for the Voyager to look into, seeing if they can tie internal/external sensors to a transpoteur and then rebuilding that transporteur into a replicator.
They could use the teleportation inside another object overlap as a form of welding.
Would let them do fast hull repairs while in battle.
Nothing like the present.

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Re: Caretaker

Post by MondoMage » 2013-01-05 08:53am

One thing (among so many) that Voyager lacked IMO was the gritty, "this is all we have so we need to make do and get creative" feel that the original premise hinted at. The ship was always so pristine and neat. I can see where you'd want to keep things tidy and all, but if you're stranded 70-odd years from home and have to scratch and scrounge and make do, there will be patches and jerry-rigging and Goldberg contraptions that look like hell, but work. EPS conduit blown apart? We've got something to replace it, but it's twice the size and needs additional shielding. Corridor lighting shorted out? We've got some stringers we can hang up instead. The down-and-dirty engineering inventiveness to keep things working, no matter how inelegant the method. That would make for a rather definitive change in atmosphere, if nothing else.

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Vianca
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Re: Caretaker

Post by Vianca » 2013-01-05 09:14am

Something like how the USS Equinox appeared in the serie, I believe you mean to say.
Which is why I said they should she what else Neelix has to offer in ship-parts and get as much as they can.
A good part of the crew is dead, so they could ad their rooms to storage or food creation.
Part storage is more important right now.

Heck, some of those wrecks could work quite well as fireships.
Wonder if there are originaly slipstream capable ships in between the wrecks.
Or maybe ships with a warp-folding FTL drive.
Nothing like the present.

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Re: Caretaker

Post by Diverball » 2013-01-06 03:40pm

Vianca wrote:Heck, some of those wrecks could work quite well as fireships.
Wonder if there are originaly slipstream capable ships in between the wrecks.
Or maybe ships with a warp-folding FTL drive.
Slipstream/Transwarp drive implies a substantially higher technology level than the average in the Alpha quadrant. I would imagine that ships so equipped either managed to avoid the displacement wave entirely, or survived the journey in much better shape (tunnelling through subspace seems to require stronger and more robust design), and thus departed under their own steam in short order. I can't imagine such ships falling prey to the Kazon unless they were near-destroyed by the time they arrived - in which case there would probably be nothing worth salvaging.
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Darth Reza
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Re: Caretaker

Post by Darth Reza » 2013-02-12 05:20pm

I fear he has abandoned us again :(

Hope you don't leave us hanging on such an amazing story!

Thanks for uploading it here.

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