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Old June 23 2011, 04:36 AM   #16
ngc7293
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Re: The Prime Directive

It seems that the Prime Directive was thrown out the window in favor of plot like starship designs were kept because of their cool design, not because there was a good reason for them to exist.

That probably made no sense, but I hope you get where I'm coming from.
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Old June 23 2011, 04:54 AM   #17
T'Girl
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Re: The Prime Directive

You gotta ask, who exactly is going to be bringing the Commander up on charges?

In order to be courts martialed, the Commander's reporting authority (her Captain) has to prefer charges against her in the first place. Then someone else, like Starfleet JAG corp, has to do a independent investigation. It's also possible that someone at Starfleet command will read about the incident in the Captain's log and figure out the sequence of events.

So, how big an asshole is this Captain who managed to get him self kidnapped? Will he bring her up on charges, will he leave the fact out of his log, if for no other reason than it makes him look like a fool.
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Old June 23 2011, 05:55 AM   #18
Kelthaz
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Re: The Prime Directive

the_shark wrote: View Post
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.
I'm leaning towards death penalty.
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Old June 23 2011, 06:44 AM   #19
Captain Verata
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Re: The Prime Directive

^LOL. I think probably kicked out of Starfleet with possible time in a rehabilation colony.
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Old June 23 2011, 10:30 AM   #20
the_shark
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Re: The Prime Directive

fireinthedust wrote: View Post
That is a HUGE violation of the prime directive.

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?

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.
The species where warp-capable but the war has destroyed all of that technology a very long time ago.

The planet is constantly ravaged by storms and so transporter technology could not cut through it, however both Group A and Group B have a piece of technology that can cut through the interference which Group A offer to the Commander to save her Captain.

a) How did her crew get captured? The Captain and away team were captured as the ascended into the planet via shuttle, to investigate a small island for a certain element. They were shot down by Group B and 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? The culture does not care about the Federation only their own war, they were aware of other beings being out there and so just see the away team as a bargaining chip to get weapons out of the ship to help them defeat Group A

c) Is the point of the novel her getting in trouble? No the point of the story was the capture and how they escaped back to the ship and how the Commander deals with being in command of the ship for the first time. The subsequent Court Martial will be for the way she dealt with the situation
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Old June 23 2011, 12:22 PM   #21
T'Girl
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Re: The Prime Directive

If she is the rank of Commaner, and the position of first officer, it's almost impossible that this is her first time in command.

Have you considered have her be a more junior officer? Maybe a young Lieutenant, the third or fourth officer in the chain of command?

Then she could be more inexperienced, and unsure of how to handle the emergency that's confronting her. During TOS they were always sending the senior officers down to a planet.

Especially if it's a relatively small ship, there might only be a small compliment of officers to start with.

Last edited by T'Girl; June 24 2011 at 01:24 AM.
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Old June 23 2011, 10:31 PM   #22
Kelthaz
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Re: The Prime Directive

Alright, serious response time.

Your officer messing with a war by giving one side absolute power is the most severe violation of the Federation's laws and principles. Yes, the Prime Directive can be violated at times based on extenuating circumstances, but your scenario is very black and white. I can't imagine a worse crime that could be committed by a StarFleet officer outside of treason. I would expect being kicked out of StarFleet at the very minimum and life in prison as the most likely outcome.
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Old June 23 2011, 10:56 PM   #23
BillJ
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Re: The Prime Directive

Kelthaz wrote: View Post
Alright, serious response time.

Your officer messing with a war by giving one side absolute power is the most severe violation of the Federation's laws and principles. Yes, the Prime Directive can be violated at times based on extenuating circumstances, but your scenario is very black and white. I can't imagine a worse crime that could be committed by a StarFleet officer outside of treason. I would expect being kicked out of StarFleet at the very minimum and life in prison as the most likely outcome.
I'm not so sure. If you evaluate the tactical and supply situation, you could make the case that the fall of the leader (if he was in a poor position) was pretty much a forgone conclusion. Did the actions actually shift the balance of power on a planetary scale? Or is the action likely to be no more than a blip in the grand scheme of things?

Then you have the "what's worse?" scenario. You have a group of Starfleet officers being held that have not only high-tech trinkets with them but also the "know how" to basically shift the balance of power if conditions become dire enough. Or you help someone else, creating a possible shift in power, but leaving the technological status quo in place.

They try to show the Prime Directive as a clear-cut law when in fact it is very murky based on the evidence we've seen across the various shows.
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Old June 24 2011, 06:29 PM   #24
T'Girl
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Re: The Prime Directive

the_shark wrote: View Post
The species where warp-capable but the war has destroyed all of that technology a very long time ago.
This sentence, all by itself, basically throws the Prime Directive out the nearest window.

If this is a star fairing species, even if they have no warp drive "at the moment," then one of the biggest reasons the PD exist, to protect primative species from the certain knowledge that intersellar life exists, is void.

Also, this star fairing species (one faction) has taken a Starfleet captain prisoner, maybe even hostage, after shooting down a federation shuttlecraft. That's an openly hostile act against the united federation of planets. Possibly even an act of war.

Their technology, and their knowledge, can't have fallen to far if they can still shoot down a 23rd/24th century Starfleet shuttlecraft.

The Commander is now on much firmer legal grounds for her actions.

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Old June 26 2011, 02:57 AM   #25
Paradon
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Re: The Prime Directive

Look at how our government is acting. They install regimes to power in other countries all the time, so they will make policies that benefit the U.S. and nobody gives a shit no matter how many people die in the process. It seems all the government, even the U.S., are always corrupted because that's what happen when you give that kind of power to people; the kind of power which gives them the authority to determine the outcome of people fate. Absolute power corrupts absolutely! More than likely, the Fed will look the other way if it benefits them.
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Old June 26 2011, 03:25 PM   #26
The Badger
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Re: The Prime Directive

T'Girl wrote: View Post
the_shark wrote: View Post
The species where warp-capable but the war has destroyed all of that technology a very long time ago.
This sentence, all by itself, basically throws the Prime Directive out the nearest window...

...Also, this star fairing species (one faction) has taken a Starfleet captain prisoner, maybe even hostage, after shooting down a federation shuttlecraft. That's an openly hostile act against the united federation of planets. Possibly even an act of war...

...The Commander is now on much firmer legal grounds for her actions.
I concur. Given the Federation's nature, there'd probably be some sort of investigation. After all, a foreign leader was killed. Perhaps even an official Board of Inquiry. But the Commander's actions certainly would appear to be justified in these circumstances.
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Old June 27 2011, 06:14 PM   #27
MacLeod
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Re: The Prime Directive

The PD also forbids Starfleet officers from interferring in the internal politics of another race. i.e. The Klingon Civil war.
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Old June 28 2011, 12:04 PM   #28
The Badger
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Re: The Prime Directive

^ Yet another example of how the directive has changed over the years. In TOS it only applied to pre-warp civilizations, and was to prevent cultural contamination. "No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space, other worlds, or advanced civilizations.", McCoy, Bread And Circuses. Interference was allowed as long as it was done 'behind the scenes', without the planet's population learning about it.

By the time of TNG, the directive had changed to become a catch all excuse for inaction.
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Old June 28 2011, 12:50 PM   #29
antiquityscion
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Re: The Prime Directive

I say first, re-watch TOS "A private little War," (and it's quasi sequel TNG's "Too short season," if you imagine Jameson is actually Kirk ), TNGs " The Vengeance Factor," "Attatched," Enterprise's episode "Shadows of P'jem," and 'Detained." These episodes have elements similar to what you are writing about.

The Badger wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
the_shark wrote: View Post
The species where warp-capable but the war has destroyed all of that technology a very long time ago.
This sentence, all by itself, basically throws the Prime Directive out the nearest window...

...Also, this star fairing species (one faction) has taken a Starfleet captain prisoner, maybe even hostage, after shooting down a federation shuttlecraft. That's an openly hostile act against the united federation of planets. Possibly even an act of war...

...The Commander is now on much firmer legal grounds for her actions.
I concur. Given the Federation's nature, there'd probably be some sort of investigation. After all, a foreign leader was killed. Perhaps even an official Board of Inquiry. But the Commander's actions certainly would appear to be justified in these circumstances.
The follow up questions I have are:

1. Exactly how advanced are the aliens? Warp capable? Subwarp capable? 20-21 century space travel equivalent? Obviously they are not pre-20th century equivalent, otherwise they couldn't shoot down a shuttle. If they are aware of extra terrestrial life, and even had FC with the federation and other races, space faring, and just aren't as technologically advanced as the Federation, the Prime Directive is not so hard and fast, IMHO.

2. Was the leader that was killed the leader of those holding the Captain hostage? If so, like someone else said, that could be an act of war against the Federation, and they could be justified in taking proactive action.

3. Which side in this war on this world is the villain? The hostage takers or are both sides equally villainous because they have been at war so long? If so, then it seems that one side or the other would eventually gain the upper hand, anyway, so it sounds like it doesn't matter which side wins the war. In fact, you could even argue by allowing one side to win, the federation helped their society. If you have 2 tyrannies at war for years, a lot of people die. If you only have one tyranny ruling, less people die. Machiavellian for sure, but sounds like the lesser of 2 evils.

Bottom line is this: Is the concern that there is true hindrance to the development of the society, or is it just a moral dilemma because one side of the two (both sides being equally bad) gained the upper hand, and some Starfleet admiral is wringing their hands because this first officer assisted one side, to gain the freedom of the captain?

If the former, then that is more serious. That really is up to you, as a writer to decide, really. But you have to make clear why and how it affected this society negatively. If it is basically a situation where 2 sides, one just as bad as the other are warring, and the feds get caught in the middle, and the first officer is a sympathetic character, you are going to really have to make a case why she needs to lose her commission and do jail time, otherwise your readers will be angry with the result. Unless that is your intent to begin with, then that is different.

If it is the latter, I would say the first officer actually had a no win scenario, did the right thing, and shouldn't be kicked out of starfleet. Reprimanded for sure, for breaking protocol, possibly even demoted, maybe even 30 days in the ships brig a la Tom Paris, but no dishonorable discharge and\or jail time on a penal colony. But if the Captain actually punishes the first officer for saving his\her life, then the captain is going to be seen as an a-hole by the reader.
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Old June 28 2011, 02:14 PM   #30
Anwar
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Re: The Prime Directive

MacLeod wrote: View Post
The PD also forbids Starfleet officers from interferring in the internal politics of another race. i.e. The Klingon Civil war.
The PD won't allow them to interfere with anyone's internal politics without permission, yes. When Km'pec asked Picard officially for aid he had to do it.

Also, keep in mind the greater context of the Civil War: Gowron was not recognized as the official Klingon leader at the time and for a culture as martial as the Klingons if he won the leadership because of Federation aid it would've weakened his stance after the war was over. Once it was proven the Duras were getting outside aid it destroyed THEIR position too.
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