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Old October 14 2012, 04:38 PM   #25
Re: exterior surface markings of Kirk's Enterprise

That there is a list of crewmen that take turns to go into the ion pod
...To prepare it for each sortie into an ion storm - a sortie that never lasts long enough to involve multiple crew.

The task falls on a qualified person who isn't tasked with something else at the time; the duty roster exists for that very reason. The alternative would be to have a dedicated pod-preparing person, which would be really silly if the task calls for the expertise of a Lieutenant Commander or even a Lieutenant. You don't tie down somebody of that caliber with a single duty; you rotate your personnel resources.

And inside the pod they take readings
...They prep the pod so that as the end result, readings are in progress, and will continue to do so throughout the flight of the pod.

And the ion pod must be jettisoned in an emergency
...It must be jettisoned before an emergency. If there's an emergency, then it's almost too late, and there's no time to ensure that the preparations guy gets out - the skipper has to trust that he follows the procedure relating to Red Alert.

Are you also claiming "Yellow Alert" and "Red Alert" was also the mission?
Certainly. The crew knows exactly what to do when Red Alert is sounded in these circumstances, and it's a procedure specific to the circumstances. For Finney, it means "get out of the pod, we're launching regardless of whether you're ready or not", a meaning it will not have in any other circumstances.

For Kirk, the special mission involves configuring his console in a very specific manner, with just three functionalities out of five keyed in. These are in a specific order dictated by the nature of the mission: fly in, press Yellow Alert, fly deeper in, press Red Alert, press Jettison Pod, get the hell out of Dodge.

It's pretty obvious that the jettison button there is because only the Captain has the authority to eject the pod.
Indeed. So, solid proof that the mission is all about firing the pod into the storm.

...if the emergency created by the pod in a force 7 ion storm was that great, it would make sense to cut out the middle guy when hitting the eject button.
If the emergency were that great, there would be no pod in the first place.

It's not as if the pod is detrimental by default. Nor is it likely that it becomes detrimental at any specific point, because the person in charge of the jettison button has no access to data specifying the point.

Kirk says they began encountering "difficulties": "variant stress, Force 7, the works". Extremely vaguely put if he's discussing the approaching of a preset cutoff point. Then he adds that "finally" he had to signal Red Alert. It's fuzzy logic through and through, not a preset point of any sort.

In contrast, if we assume that Kirk's mission was to deliver the pod, he'd do that exactly when Finney was ready, storm status be damned. Only if the storm got worse would he cut and run, launching a semi-prepared pod for at least partial scientific return (because at the very least the readings on the ion plates were in progress) and then saving the ship in a completely separate maneuver that might still utterly fail despite the pod having been jettisoned.

Nothing in the dialogue explicitly indicates that the pod would be a danger to the ship. So that silly idea is best dropped regardless of what interpretation we choose.

If the ion pod was being "launched" then why not use the word "launch"
Because the pod would be an unpropelled rather than a propelled device, simply dumped overboard to begin its mission. You just "let it loose" and allow the storm to carry it away.

Timo Saloniemi
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