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Old May 12 2013, 05:24 PM   #20
Re: Episode of the Week: 2x15 "Pen Pals"

How is that better than telling the truth?
It avoids all the hassle of wading through planetary resistance when saving the primitives, for one thing. If Picard told them he'll be firing biblical-level weapons at their world, he'd quite possibly be facing a wall of human(oid) shields waving placards saying "Aliens go home!" in various degrees of misspelling...

My gripe with the "solution" is more with its unlikeliness of lasting success. A powerful natural phenomenon was blowing up planets left and right in a relatively quick and recent wave of destruction. Picard's team stopped this from happening on one world by "reducing tectonic stress". Well, supposedly this phenomenon is building up tectonic stress somehow - such stress is not a prevailing state on the planet, as its civilization is unaccustomed to it. Picard has not stopped the phenomenon, nor investigated it properly. He has reduced the susceptibility of Drema IV to it by fiddling with local dilithium deposits, but clearly the phenomenon has destroyed other worlds as well, worlds whose level of susceptibility or status of dilithium deposits Picard does not know.

I could see Picard and pals going for such a feel-good "solution" if they unthinkingly "saved" planets left and right for a hobby. But they thought this one through, in a conversation that sort of suggests they routinely think through things like this. Why go for instant satisfaction if there's no proper plan on how to proceed from there? The Dremans did not die on Picard's watch, but Picard would be a fool to be satisfied with that. It'd be like Kirk's inexplicable decision to divert an asteroid from meeting a planet in "Paradise Syndrome" when he fully well knows that another rock is already coming, and then another, and another...

Of course, we can speculate that plans were made, reports were written full of recommendations, etc. Surely the Federation would want to contact this species that sits on a wealth of dilithium ASAP...

Timo Saloniemi
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