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Old August 18 2013, 07:20 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Picard has taken on proteges in the past, such as Data, Wesley, and Ro. He's always been portrayed as a teacher of sorts, and he's often taken junior officers under his wing when he felt there was potential there to be developed. I created Trys to fill a similar role to Ro's -- a character who'd shake up the status quo with her attitude, but who'd become Picard's next protege to be shaped into a better officer and person. And to be a sort of surrogate daughter to prepare Picard for his impending fatherhood.

I don't quite remember the details of T'Ryssa's role in Silent Weapons, but my impression is that she was just minding the store at a point when things were expected to be quiet, and then circumstances forced her to stay in charge when things got serious, and she just had to bluff her way through.
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Old August 18 2013, 07:35 PM   #17
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Nathan wrote: View Post
I just annoyed how she's introduced as the contact specialist, then she becomes Picard's aide/adjutant, then she commands the ship on a mission that is probably uber-critical to the UFP. And YES!!! She is the annoying little sister with LOTS of room to grow.
She's become a plot device just so she can get a few bit lines in the book. Yeah, even the main cast can be used as plot devices as well, but it just so friggin' obvious.
Heck, if Picard has taken a shine to her, then she's become the teacher's pet...with the rest of class despising her!
How the heck are you supposed to become a versatile officer if you're constantly stuck doing the same old thing. The reason Picard has her doing various jobs, is to become a seasoned and experienced officer capable of more then just one job.

Look at Worf, for example. Started of as a junior officer, manning different stations on the bridge. Spent a few years in security, switched to command and specialized in Strategic Operations. Then was asked to become a diplomat, which ultimately helped him when he returned to Starfleet where he can draw upon lessons learned in diplomacy when dealing with others in his duties as a XO, and probably one day as captian.
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Old August 18 2013, 11:16 PM   #18
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

If she was meant as sorta the latest person Picard taken under his wing (since Ro, Wesley, & Data were cited). Guess its Picard's choice to pick the whiny, bratty, pain the @$$ personality type this go around.

Mage, I get your point about being versatile, I suppose Chen is dabbling too much and becoming the Jack of All Trades/Master of None. Worf had several years to move around. Chen's hardly been around (it may be years in Trek Lit, but really she's only been featured in a handful of books)....and yeah going from Contact Specialist -- to Captain's aide to being a VERY JUNIOR officer in command of the ship, is just a big pill to swallow.

Yeah, she may be the Officer of the Deck at the time when she took command, but really there shoulda been a more senior person on the ship (LT CMDR or CMDR). There wasn't the need for ALL the senior officers be on the planet's surface), and when the bulk of the senior guys are down below, there SHOULD Be a senior guy as Officer of the Deck.

Trust me, on an aircraft carrier or destroyer US Navy ship, you may have an LT as the Officer of the Deck, but when serious shit is happening, you have more seasoned guys....and if you have an LT during serious shit, you have an LT with LOTS of experience bridge experience.

In regards to switching roles...I still annoyed that Kim is now security instead of Command track or Enginneering or sciences. When has he ever even MENTIONED a desire to be a security guy. And then he is the HEAD of Security, AND leads some ground attack....PULEEZE.

It like the US Navy guy in charge of security on an aircraft carrier is helluva lot different than conducting some ambush.....and even if someone had those skill sets, I doubt, he'd have been PRIOR to that working in Engineering/Sciences for awhile all while being an Ensign/LT...but Kilm was sent to Seucrity for plot device....it just even MORE BLATANT with obnoxious CHen.
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Old August 18 2013, 11:54 PM   #19
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Nathan wrote: View Post
Yeah, she may be the Officer of the Deck at the time when she took command, but really there shoulda been a more senior person on the ship (LT CMDR or CMDR). There wasn't the need for ALL the senior officers be on the planet's surface), and when the bulk of the senior guys are down below, there SHOULD Be a senior guy as Officer of the Deck.
It's a decades-old conceit in Trek to have the command crew beaming down on landing parties. It's a bit late to complain about it now. Heck, the animated episode "BEM" had Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and Sulu all beam down to the planet so that Uhura would be the one left in charge on the bridge (though the animators didn't show her sitting in the captain's chair that time). These things happen in Trek.

Anyway, I think what's more interesting about that part of the book is that the bridge crew Trys is commanding consists entirely of female personnel.


In regards to switching roles...I still annoyed that Kim is now security instead of Command track or Enginneering or sciences. When has he ever even MENTIONED a desire to be a security guy.
Chekov had no prior experience or interest in security before he became security chief in TMP. Worf had no evident security experience before being made security chief on Tasha Yar's death; frankly his only qualification was the screenwriters' racial profiling, assuming that as a Klingon he was automatically the fighting guy. And La Forge was being groomed for the command track before the second-season producers decided to swerve him into engineering. (I still say TNG would've been more interesting with Geordi as the security chief and Worf as the chief engineer.)

Not to mention that Sulu went from astrophysicist in the second pilot to helmsman in the series, and Rand went from yeoman in TOS to transporter chief in TMP. You could even make a case for Nurse Chapel becoming a doctor. Nurses aren't just doctors in waiting, but a distinct and parallel medical profession. So it's a lateral career move rather than an upward one.

The bottom line is that, again, this is fiction rather than reality, and characters get moved to new jobs based on what works for the story.
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Old August 19 2013, 01:29 AM   #20
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Yeah, I get it in the TV Show Kirk & Company/Picard & Company all beamed down, cuz no one wants to watch an away team of people you never met before (well, in Lower Decks could be a exception to the rule).

But in the books, there is a little more latitude, yeah...a lot of readers want Kirk & Company, but don't force some character to have scenes when it just a plot device.

Chris, I get your point how you created Chen, but maybe having her start out as Contact Specialist limited her to begin with since the crew wasn't really interacting with Strange New Worlds...

For example, I'd say the same thing if Chen started out as Stellar Cartography, if in the first book they were really mapping stars, so don't make her a medical tech in the next book cuz mapping stars is not part of the plot, and then running engineering when Geordi and the other engineering crew are down on the planet cuz nothing in the book calls for scenes in sickbay......if she's gonna be mentored by Picard, dat one thing, but don't cram it down our throats.

You cite Chapel as an example...but lots of episodes went by for Chapel to grow + it makes more reasonable sense for Chapel to be nurse to Doctor....unlike Contact Specialist to Adjudant to Officer of the Deck. I'd have a bone to pick with Chapel if all of sudden Chapel became a helmsman then a security officer.

Lastly, you say, "The bottom line is that, again, this is fiction rather than reality, and characters get moved to new jobs based on what works for the story. "

Agreed, the use of Chen is more plot device than anything else and so people don't want to buy into her character (except for being the annoying pre-teen younger sister!)
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Old August 19 2013, 02:24 AM   #21
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

As I've established in other books, "contact specialist" is basically what Deanna Troi's job was when she wasn't being a counselor. It's an officer who's an expert in alien societies, xenobiology and xenosociology, diplomatic protocols, and the like -- not just for first contacts with new species, but really for any diplomatic interaction with non-Federation cultures. I don't see how that's limiting. (And part of the fun of T'Ryssa's character is seeing someone so basically undiplomatic having to learn to be better at diplomacy.)

It's just that the TNG books post-Destiny have tended to focus more on politics, either within the Federation or with well-understood neighbors. Which is a somewhat atypical focus for TNG, at least when it's such an exclusive focus. Yet even so, T'Ryssa did get to do her job properly when she went to the Kinshaya's (new) homeworld in The Struggle Within, and as part of the contact mission to the Machine in Cold Equations Book 3: The Body Electric. She played an important role there in keeping with her specialty, since she was the one who identified the Machine's origins based on her knowledge of Starfleet history.


Agreed, the use of Chen is more plot device than anything else and so people don't want to buy into her character (except for being the annoying pre-teen younger sister!)
By "people", you mean yourself. Please don't be afraid to own your individual opinions for what they are. Over the years, I've heard more praise for T'Ryssa Chen than criticism, although not overwhelmingly more. There's nothing in Trek fandom that "people" as a whole uniformly agree upon.

After all, as I said, we've seen the same plot device used with Sulu, Chekov, Worf, Geordi, and others, and yet that didn't keep "people" from buying into those characters. (Spock too -- he went from science officer to captain to ambassador.) So your statement here doesn't even make sense. If you don't like her, fine -- you're entitled to that opinion. There's nothing wrong with that. But it's your own opinion, not a universal law.
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Old August 19 2013, 02:26 AM   #22
Elias Vaughn
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

She's the contact specialist and they were in orbit of an alien planet. Her job is, as far as I understand it, to research the alien cultures the ship encounters and advise the captain accordingly. Why wouldn't you want the person in charge of the ship to be the one most versed in whatever alien world you're orbiting?
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Old August 19 2013, 07:36 AM   #23
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Nathan, you make it sound as if people are not aloud to change their minds and do something else with their lives. I'm 31, and still trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. Some people realize this at 20, others at 50. Perhaps Chen is one of those from the latter category.
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Old August 19 2013, 01:15 PM   #24
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

^No, T'Ryssa's still mainly a contact specialist; like I said, we've been getting to see her do her job more often in recent books. But it's not uncommon for Starfleet officers to cross-train. On a starship, you want the crew to be able to tackle multiple jobs in the event of an emergency. You never know who'll be incapacitated/killed and who'll be left behind, so it makes sense to train the crew to do each other's jobs. In addition to the permanent transfers discussed above, we've seen a number of cases of personnel shifting between tasks as needed -- for instance, Uhura taking over navigation in "The Naked Time," Scotty and Spock operating the transporter, Sulu and Chekov going on landing parties, Mr. Leslie jumping among security and helm and engineering and maybe even medical, etc. On Voyager we had Tom Paris double as a nurse from time to time, ops manager Harry Kim serving as de facto science officer, Neelix branch out into security, and the like.

As far as Trys goes, she came onboard as a contact specialist with some helm training, she's helped out in engineering, and there was one time when she happened to be holding the conn at a time when a crisis erupted and the senior staff was unavailable. That's not excessive compared to what we've seen from numerous other characters over the years.
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Old August 19 2013, 03:36 PM   #25
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

"Losing the Peace" specifically says that because there was no need for a 'contact specialist' given the current mission Chen was helping with engineering & maintenance.
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Old August 19 2013, 04:02 PM   #26
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Elias Vaughn wrote: View Post
She's the contact specialist and they were in orbit of an alien planet. Her job is, as far as I understand it, to research the alien cultures the ship encounters and advise the captain accordingly. Why wouldn't you want the person in charge of the ship to be the one most versed in whatever alien world you're orbiting?
And its not unreasonable to expect her to have other duties when not acting in her primary role. I can't imagine a first contact specialist being busy first contacting all of the time...
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Old August 19 2013, 04:08 PM   #27
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

^But as I said, she's not a first contact specialist. She deals with any interspecies contact or diplomacy, whether it's with a new species or an established one. Again, "contact specialist" is my term for the non-counseling part of Deanna Troi's responsibilities. I was referring to Deanna as a counselor and contact specialist in my books well before I created T'Ryssa Chen. Trys's job is Deanna's job minus the psychology and Betazoid senses.
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Old August 19 2013, 07:53 PM   #28
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Chris, I not trying to get in a pi$$ing match with you. I'm just sayin the Chen character really didn't work for me. And yeah, all of it is my opinion. And yeah, I know LOTS of people that she is a turn off for. And yeah, I know a lot of people who thinks she is really a plot device.

And you said...."Over the years, I've heard more praise for T'Ryssa Chen than criticism, although not overwhelmingly more"

So, YOU must know people who don't like her too...and no, I don't want another pi$$ing match on how many people ya know that like her or dislike her.

Thankfully, it appears unlikely that she'll ever have a major role in a story, so if she's given some throw away lines, well then, I'll speed read through it. And yeah, if she has some big scene, I'll set my the speed for my eyeballs to read at maximum warp.

Not trying to hurt your feelings Chris or get you worked up, she just didn't work for me.
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Old August 19 2013, 08:04 PM   #29
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

You're allowed to type pissing - we don't have naughty word filters.
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Old August 19 2013, 08:32 PM   #30
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Re: TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Yes, I've heard from people who don't like the character, and I've heard from people who love the character. And that's perfectly fine with me. In my experience, anything that evokes a strongly positive reaction in some people is bound to evoke a strongly negative reaction in others. The only way to offend no one is to delight no one, to produce something so bland that it inspires no particular emotion of any kind. So I'm glad I created a character that evokes strong reactions.

But the point is that the reason you dislike the character is not that she's doing a variety of jobs. She's far from the first character to do so. Rather, it's the other way around: you dislike the fact that she's doing a variety of jobs because you dislike the character. That's just the way our minds work: when we dislike someone or something, we react negatively to things about them that we'd be fine with in someone/something we did like. It's guilt by association.
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