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Old June 25 2013, 12:37 PM   #1
TheWriter
Cadet
 
What sounds better?

I'm writing a story about a space pirate the idea is that he use to be a member of Star Fleet before becoming a criminal. Now the idea is that him being a former member of Star Fleet get's held over his head a lot like in the middle of a battle an enemy Captain will say "You were once one of the honored Captains in Star Fleet now look at you. You've become a disgrace to your family name."
and "It's sad you could have been one of the greatest Star Fleet captains."

Now here's my problem. What's better for him to have been an ex-captain that fell from grace or a fallen ex-recruit that once showed a lot of promise?
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Old June 25 2013, 01:17 PM   #2
rabid bat
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Re: What sounds better?

It's impossible to tell from the small amount of information you've provided.

I would also suggest, in the thick of battle, it's not likely that he'd be continually reminded of his past. Instead, he and his fellows would be busy either shooting or defending or dealing with casualties.
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Old June 25 2013, 01:22 PM   #3
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: What sounds better?

The premise is similar to the Maquis, particularly as seen in Chakotay from Voyager. (The Maquis were ostensibly more honorable than your garden-variety pirate, and thus more palatable.)

I would want to know why a once-respected Star Fleet captain turned to piracy. It seems to be a total 180 degree turn considering that pirates are pretty much the scum of the universe. Explaining such a change would make for an interesting story. Is he/she truly a bad guy? Is he/she actually working for Star Fleet Intelligence or other covert agency? Or, perhaps he/she is seeking someone/something and piracy was the only avenue for finding it?

Just my two credits.
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Old June 25 2013, 04:30 PM   #4
The Badger
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Re: What sounds better?

The time period is important too. In 'The Cage', Captain Pike seriously considers quitting the Fleet to become a trader of Orion Animal Women. Going from that to piracy, whilst still unlikely, seems at least vaguely plausible.

The idea that, by the TNG era, a Fleet officer could turn to piracy purely for profit is pretty unbelievable. As TheLoneRedshirt says, there would have to be a very good ulterior motive.
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Old June 25 2013, 04:34 PM   #5
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: What sounds better?

TheWriter wrote: View Post
Now the idea is that him being a former member of Star Fleet get's held over his head a lot like in the middle of a battle an enemy Captain will say "You were once one of the honored Captains in Star Fleet now look at you. You've become a disgrace to your family name."
and "It's sad you could have been one of the greatest Star Fleet captains."
I'd say that rather than taunting your character in the middle of the battle, its this kind of thing that leads your pirate to do a Han Solo and take the first shot.

TheWriter wrote: View Post
Now here's my problem. What's better for him to have been an ex-captain that fell from grace or a fallen ex-recruit that once showed a lot of promise?
I'd say go for someone who was at most a Lieutenant Commander, though destined for a captaincy, before whatever event saw him/her kicked out of Starfleet. That way you could have old rivals from the fleet referring to them by their old rank rather than 'Captain'.

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
I would want to know why a once-respected Star Fleet captain turned to piracy. It seems to be a total 180 degree turn considering that pirates are pretty much the scum of the universe. Explaining such a change would make for an interesting story. Is he/she truly a bad guy? Is he/she actually working for Star Fleet Intelligence or other covert agency? Or, perhaps he/she is seeking someone/something and piracy was the only avenue for finding it?
You should listen to this old Border Dog, he knows a thing or two about pirates

Knowing the reason behind your character's departure from Starfleet would be of benefit. Was it because of something they did: disobey orders, punch their CO, get caught doing the deed with the sector commander's daughter, neglect their duties that led to the deaths of others. Or was it more a reaction to events: they resigned in protest to the actions of others, forced into it to save face, suffered a personal loss that made them question their choices.
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Old June 26 2013, 01:10 AM   #6
TheWriter
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Re: What sounds better?

jespah wrote: View Post
It's impossible to tell from the small amount of information you've provided.

I would also suggest, in the thick of battle, it's not likely that he'd be continually reminded of his past. Instead, he and his fellows would be busy either shooting or defending or dealing with casualties.
True though this information is brought up before the battle.
TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
The premise is similar to the Maquis, particularly as seen in Chakotay from Voyager. (The Maquis were ostensibly more honorable than your garden-variety pirate, and thus more palatable.)

I would want to know why a once-respected Star Fleet captain turned to piracy. It seems to be a total 180 degree turn considering that pirates are pretty much the scum of the universe. Explaining such a change would make for an interesting story. Is he/she truly a bad guy? Is he/she actually working for Star Fleet Intelligence or other covert agency? Or, perhaps he/she is seeking someone/something and piracy was the only avenue for finding it?

Just my two credits.
Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
TheWriter wrote: View Post
Now the idea is that him being a former member of Star Fleet get's held over his head a lot like in the middle of a battle an enemy Captain will say "You were once one of the honored Captains in Star Fleet now look at you. You've become a disgrace to your family name."
and "It's sad you could have been one of the greatest Star Fleet captains."
I'd say that rather than taunting your character in the middle of the battle, its this kind of thing that leads your pirate to do a Han Solo and take the first shot.

TheWriter wrote: View Post
Now here's my problem. What's better for him to have been an ex-captain that fell from grace or a fallen ex-recruit that once showed a lot of promise?
I'd say go for someone who was at most a Lieutenant Commander, though destined for a captaincy, before whatever event saw him/her kicked out of Starfleet. That way you could have old rivals from the fleet referring to them by their old rank rather than 'Captain'.

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
I would want to know why a once-respected Star Fleet captain turned to piracy. It seems to be a total 180 degree turn considering that pirates are pretty much the scum of the universe. Explaining such a change would make for an interesting story. Is he/she truly a bad guy? Is he/she actually working for Star Fleet Intelligence or other covert agency? Or, perhaps he/she is seeking someone/something and piracy was the only avenue for finding it?
You should listen to this old Border Dog, he knows a thing or two about pirates

Knowing the reason behind your character's departure from Starfleet would be of benefit. Was it because of something they did: disobey orders, punch their CO, get caught doing the deed with the sector commander's daughter, neglect their duties that led to the deaths of others. Or was it more a reaction to events: they resigned in protest to the actions of others, forced into it to save face, suffered a personal loss that made them question their choices.
He became a pirate as a result of circumstance he was framed for a crime he didn't commit and then he went on the run eventually one thing led to another and to get out of some trouble with a mob boss he agreed to captain a ship. Ironically it was right after this that the mob boss's empire collapsed and the Captain ended up stuck with a ship.
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Old July 28 2013, 10:17 PM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: What sounds better?

The Badger wrote: View Post
The time period is important too. In 'The Cage', Captain Pike seriously considers quitting the Fleet to become a trader of Orion Animal Women. Going from that to piracy, whilst still unlikely, seems at least vaguely plausible.
Going from a slaver to a merely a thief (while still wrong) would be a ethically upwards move.

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Old July 29 2013, 12:15 AM   #8
HoserTrek37
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Re: What sounds better?

Where are you hosting the story? I don't see a link to a fic site. What's the name of the series? What era is this series set in? You're not being horribly forth-coming with details. General patrol area of the Alpha / Beta Quadrant you're covering? I want to read this work-in-progress story but you've left a lot blank that would further compel me to want to see this project through to the end.
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Old July 30 2013, 05:12 PM   #9
Mysterion
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Re: What sounds better?

"You coulda been somebody! You coulda been a contenda, instead of a bum. which is what you are!"

Hey, it worked for Brando, right?

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Old July 30 2013, 05:59 PM   #10
The Badger
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Re: What sounds better?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Going from a slaver to a merely a thief (while still wrong) would be a ethically upwards move.

A pirate is not a 'mere' thief. Whilst some, historically, did have codes of conduct, many did not so much 'steal' stuff as 'brutally murder the owners, then steal'.

And, of course, many pirates trafficked slaves as well...

So, I see your , and raise you a .
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Old August 1 2013, 09:54 AM   #11
DarKush
Rear Admiral
 
Re: What sounds better?

To the OP's original post...I think attacking your main character's 'fall' or dishonor works best if he/she is a captain. I don't know if other pirates or thieves would see the Federation as all that noble or have that much respect for Starfleet. Granted their insults could just be needling or a distracting ploy, but if this is going to be a running thing in your stories then I think your main character should really fall from a tall height.

That being said, like others have already recommended, really explore and explain-if to yourself before the rest of us-what would push a Starfleet captain to take such drastic actions. The time period matters a lot in that estimation, IMO. It seemed like the 22nd and 23rd centuries might have been more open to that kind of thing than the 24th, but that's more of my perception than something I can find on a show to substantiate it.

If it were me, I would probably go with a lower ranked officer. That way they can catch guilt and shame about losing their Starfleet posting and the missed potential. Plus I think it could be more fluid dealing with a lowered ranking officer. And even a Starfleet Lieutenant, for example, might have more experience or know-how than the average spacer.
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Old August 1 2013, 04:03 PM   #12
Darkwing
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Re: What sounds better?

Wel, there's always Commodore Norrington...
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Old August 1 2013, 07:14 PM   #13
Sgt_G
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Re: What sounds better?

Do remember that a ship's captain need not be a full-bird Captain. A ship with a crew of less than 250, such as a destroyer, would have a Commander in charge, and a frigate with a crew of less than 175 could have a Lieutenant Commander in charge. Ergo, you can lower the rank and still have him as a "fallen captain".
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