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the_shark June 22 2011 05:58 PM

The Prime Directive
Hi, I am new to the forum and have a query in regards to the Prime Directive and the breaching of it.

I am currently writing a story, within which a Commander breaches the Prime Directive when rescuing her Captain from kidnappers.

She breaches the Prime Directive by allowing one side of a warring planet gain an advantage and subsequently kill the leader of the other side, she does this knowingly and trading letting them gain access to this area in exchange for information on how to rescue her Captain.

Obviously this person needs to be Court-Martialled but what would you expect to happen to her, demotion to Luitenant Commander or just Luitenant or something more severe?

Thank you and hellllloooooo! :bolian:

Scrambo June 22 2011 06:08 PM

Re: The Prime Directive

I would say look at the amount of times Characters from the Tv show breach the prime directive. I would imagine it all depends on the outcome of your story.

Prob not much help. Otherwise it depends on how severe a breach it is seen.. possibly a court martial would indeed be the correct course of action. Be interesting to see other people opinions

BillJ June 22 2011 06:32 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
Tough call. Depends on if there are any extenuating circumstances beyond the rescuing of the Captain.

Is it a technologically less advanced culture?

Maybe the TNG episode Too Short a Season might help.

the_shark June 22 2011 06:45 PM

Re: The Prime Directive

BillJ wrote: (Post 5052575)
Tough call. Depends on if there are any extenuating circumstances beyond the rescuing of the Captain.

Is it a technologically less advanced culture?

Yes the culture is technologically less advanced - the captain and a few more crew. Basically if the Commander had been less paniced about being in command of the ship for the first time, it wouldn't have happened.

She struck a deal with the leader of the A group (lets say B group has captured the captain) to use some of their unique technology to get to where the captain is and in return the Commander would open the area and let group A in Group B's domain, like a surprise attack! and of course Group A then kills a good chunk of Group B.

I can't decide wether the Commander will be demoted, moved to another ship effectively ending their run on the ship in question and bringing in a new Commander or being sent to a detention camp with the same result as above.

I currently do not have an ending to my story :lol:

BillJ June 22 2011 06:57 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
I'd have to imagine that conspiring with one leader to assassinate another leader would probably be frowned upon by Starfleet. What was the mission to begin with? Simple exploration? Did these people know about starfaring civilizations prior to your gang showing up on the scene? Did the Captain violate the Prime Directive to begin with by not taking proper precautions to cover their identities?

Definitely going to be trouble for the officer. But I imagine that intent and the ramifications of the violation will play heavily in the punishment.

Scrambo June 22 2011 07:01 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
Ah i guess you could argue that the commander did not forsee that group A would kill group B's leader and had agreed to the deal with the idea that Group A would possibly "capture" Group B's leader.

Has another albeit at this time unknown alien species interferred with the progression of Group B and helped in some way to enable the commander to have to breach the prime directive as seen in TOS "A Private Little War" but with klingons?

If this is the case then i guess the commander will not need a court martial and would have been seen to be acting within regulations as another species has interferred with the planets' native race......

BillJ June 22 2011 07:01 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
Plus, is this the 23rd or the 24th century? That will play heavily on how the violation is viewed.

Mr Silver June 22 2011 07:15 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
If someone who is bound by the prime directive, knowingly does something that will greatly affect a civilisation, then the prime directive is breached.

The prime directive is also open to intepretation. If you look at TNG's "Two Short A Season", Mark Jameson supplied both sides in a war with the same amount of weapons, figuring that he had given both sides equal dominance. However, by knowingly supplying a less technologically advanced civilisation with starfleet weapons, he had in fact interfered with their society and caused a major change in the tactics of a war.

So you could argue that your commander used her interpretation of the prime directive to quickly end a conflict whilst saving her captain. In the long term saving many lives. However morally questionable this may be, it certainly gives you an idea of the kind of motivation a starfleet officer may use to justify a breach of the prime directive.

T'Girl June 22 2011 07:16 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
In the episode Tomorrow is Yesterday, Captain Kirk was considering "disappearing" a man from the twentieth century. One of the factors was that he didn't immediately seem to have contributes significantly to his society.

If the political leader's or military leader's death ultimately made little difference, someone with in their own warring faction simply took their place and the other side didn't win the war from this one event, then the damage the Commander caused to the planet's society might not have been significant. The leader's "disappearance" would have been of no more importance that Captain Christopher's.

If the Commander acted with malice, say she personally didn't like the leader (was he political or military? Doesn't really matter, just curious.), then her being a contributing cause of his death takes on a different light. Conspiracy to commit murder.

Did the commander have other options to obtain her Captain's release, but she choose this one because it also would give the Commander to personal satisfaction of the leader's death?

There's also the apparent fact the Starfleet, certainly in the TOS era, has a creed of "no man left behind." The Commander's standing orders would include rescuing superior officers.

It's relevant if this all happen during TOS or TNG time periods. During TOS, the Prime Directive was shaped from soft clay. During TNG and later, it was more craved in granite.

There might not be a formal courts martial, a court of inquiry might suffice.

Mr Silver June 22 2011 07:20 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
Janeway broke the prime directive too. She reasoned that Species 8472 would be a real threat to the entire Galaxy once the Borg were out of the way and therefore she gave the Borg an advantage in exchange for safe passage.

If the prime directive was upheld, Janeway would have turned back and left them to it.

BillJ June 22 2011 07:45 PM

Re: The Prime Directive

Captain M wrote: (Post 5052707)
Janeway broke the prime directive too. She reasoned that Species 8472 would be a real threat to the entire Galaxy once the Borg were out of the way and therefore she gave the Borg an advantage in exchange for safe passage.

If the prime directive was upheld, Janeway would have turned back and left them to it.

Not sure that it would've been seen as a Prime Directive violation as the Federation, as well as all the worlds between it and the Delta Quadrant, had a stake in the outcome.

The Wormhole June 22 2011 08:31 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
All the captains with the exceptions of Sisko and Archer broke the Prime Directive with no consequences. And really, that's only because Sisko was hardly ever in any situations where the Prime Directive applied, though the whole Emissary thing was cutting things close. And there was no Prime Directive in Archer's time.

Hell, wasn't said in The Drumhead that Picard ahd the most Prime Directive violations for captains currently serving?

Bottom line: there are no consequences for violating the Prime Directive. Unless you're the Crazy Evil Captain/Admiral of the Week.

the_shark June 22 2011 09:35 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
The idea is set within the beginning of the 25th century

MacLeod June 22 2011 10:05 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
Well the Prime Directive of the late 24th century, seemed to indicate you could not violate it in order save starfleet personal lives or the ship. Though there does appear to be some scope for correcting a previous violation of the Prime Directive.

Though what sort of unique technology to they have, that prevents the ship from simple beaming up the Captain,. Had the civilisation once been warp capabale and gave it up at some point in the past.

fireinthedust June 22 2011 11:50 PM

Re: The Prime Directive
That is a HUGE violation of the prime directive.

1) She took sides in a war
2) Her actions resulted in the death of a living being
3) That living being was the leader of a large group in a war time situation
4) her actions involved a political shift.

Now, if the leader was a sonofagun bad guy, I could see it sliding by.

a) How did her crew get captured?
b) How affected by knowledge of the Federation was this culture? Ie: are they a technological civilization or a bunch of barbarians who now worship the ship?
c) Is the point of the novel her getting in trouble?

Obviously there are situational things. If you want to take the novel in the direction of a court scene, then focus on the parts where her actions devastated the other culture. Group B is massacred, Group A is really brutal about it, and the Captain is not pleased. Group B isn't really as bad as they were described by A, and A does all the stuff that B was said to have done.

If you want this to be just a blip, ignore the process.

HOWEVER: I do have to ask: if they're not as technologically powerful as the ship, how come the Commander doesn't just beam her Captain and crew back using the transporter? It's not like they have shields to block them, right? Unless the transporters were destroyed when the Captain was captured...

But yeah, if the crew was being ransomed, she's got a replicator and other resources to trade. ie: trade whatever is needed, get the crew back, then beam back all the gear that was traded for. Done.

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