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Old May 13 2013, 01:50 PM   #32
Jeyl
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Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Episode of the Week: 2x15 "Pen Pals"

Timo wrote: View Post
Why not, if he knows the answer to Worf's question? He's the XO - he is at the center of things, receiving more, and more varied, reports than the Chief of Security. Surely he would have the authority to declare "this is geology" when the Geology Department tells him so!
That hardly gives Riker good cause to brush off Worf's speculation since, as you put it, Riker knows but the rest of the crew doesn't. Plus, what Riker says just after declaring this to be all about Geology is just stupid. Here's his refutal.

Riker: This is geology, not malevolence. These planets live fast and die hard. The question is, why?
If Riker and the Geology Department don't know why these planets are dying, how do they know with certainty that the cause is a geological phenomenon and not malevolence? Wouldn't a better response be something like this?

Worf: Is there any indication that this is the work of an unknown intelligence?
Riker: So far the Geology Department's findings haven't uncovered anything to indicate a malevolent force is behind the short life spans of these planets. What we do know so far seems to point towards a harsh but natural occurrence that we just haven't documented yet.
With this, Riker fills Worf in on what he knows without coming off as condescending. And without making the conclusion that this is in fact a geological phenomenon, he's not outright dismissing the possibility that a malevolent force may be involved.
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