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Old May 30 2010, 03:53 AM   #16
Nerys Ghemor
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Location: Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
Re: May Challenge--The Sisterhood

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
Terrific work, NG!

I loved the oppositional camaraderie on display here between the vessels, each seeing something of itself in the other, while acknowledging their differences. I especially liked the part about Picard's 'touch' being colder than Data's to the Enterprise.

Thanks. I was actually worried about how that part would go over, given that I make no secret about how I feel about what Picard meant to TNG, or what he embodied. But I always saw Picard as a politician...though I think Kirk saw it too and tried to warn him against it, in Generations, which may well have affected him somewhat after he lost this ship and moved on to the E.

(As a side note, I could never get a good read on LaForge...I think his character was underdeveloped by the writers. So O'Brien was a safer choice to represent Engineering, given that on DS9 we REALLY got to see him work and see what he would bring to the table.)

The Enterprise and Trager may have been designed by different peoples, but the irony is that they are getting along far better than their respective commanders do in the end.

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I just discovered this. I need to check this forum more often!

Great work as always, NG. The exploration of hypothetical ship ethics is fascinating, particularly to someone who knows the essential importance you place on the concept of choice and the responsibility of such (and as you say a ship can't work quite like a non-ship being in that regard). I like how you handle this alternative way of demonstrating personal responsibility and nobility.
In a way, I've actually drawn on what I suspect about animal souls, given that for a very different reason, animals cannot make informed choices in the same way that we do. If a ship were ensouled, I think the only way it could work would be something more like an animal.

I also particular like the Enterprise's acknowledgement that it does not know its purpose, what it is built for exactly...and the unanswered question of whether that matters. It doesn't know its place in the scheme of things...but does it need to, because in the Federation it might not work like that?
The Enterprise's confusion reflects what I see as mission confusion in Starfleet. Starfleet does not truly know its purpose either. And at least to me, I think that has had disastrous consequences at times.

That's quite unlike a Cardassian ship, which is less flexible (it has one clear purpose) and seemingly less "questioning", but with a strong sense of duty and honour within that more narrow framework. The Trager seems to me to reflect your view of the Cardassian psyche- on the one hand strongly hierarchial and somewhat instinctively "rigid" (if you'll forgive that clumsy term), but also demonstrating how individual outlook and personal moral beliefs work within that framework just like in any other race. The ship seems to work in a manner similiar to how you represent Macet- as unable to change his circumstances yet working to be the best he can be regardless, and making the most of it.
When the Cardassians build something, it seems to me they are very clear on what they mean that thing to be. (Even if people might not be able to see it, if it's a spy device, there's a very specific purpose.) The Trager is made for combat--for war and defense. That ship might engage in other tasks occasionally, but they are always secondary to that first reason to exist. (Even if she escorted a science ship or ferried scientists, that would not be HER mission...hers would still be defense.) I figured that clarity of purpose in the crew and the design would transfer into such a ship's consciousness, if it were able to be self-aware.

If Trager is Cardassian, then Enterprise must be human (among others). A suggestion that humans might not fully have a sense of their purpose or role either? Hmmm, that gets me thinking a little of Iain Banks' Culture, and the "utopian" society presented there (particularly the motive for their war with the Idirans, if you ever read those books).
I'm afraid I haven't read those books. And as I mentioned above...I think that Starfleet and possibly humanity do not have a full sense of purpose or role in the Trekiverse, either.

I also find it interesting that Trager offered prayers. Did she have any particular belief system in mind- Oralian, say? Or something unique to ships, not shared with organics?
As I mentioned...I actually see their situation as more similar to animals than to beings capable of making their own active choices. Given that, I didn't want to describe their experience of deity too deeply, since I think that an animal's experience is fundamentally different from anything we would know. I think that for animals it is far more intimate, and possibly not recognizable as what we know as religion. (By that I mean the hierarchy and rituals, which I think serve a purpose for us.) I think "immediate, intimate experience" is the best description.

Also, Trager comes across as an actual soldier, rather than just a "warship". You've done a good job of personifying it, and given your current avatar it's clear you have the subject in mind right now. So I'll just say you do a good job as usual of presenting the role of soldier with dignity. Trager is a soldier in the best sense of the word, I feel upon reading this, encapsulating what a soldier should be (I bring this up in part because something here resonated with a conversation I had with my grandfather not long ago, who as you know spent a lot of time in the army and thus had a strong opinion on this).
Thanks. The Trager's personality was easier to catch on to, because it was much stronger than that of the Enterprise, which to me came across as very tormented and diffident. You'd never think of it looking at them...I mean, in "The Wounded" we see that in terms of armaments and size, the Trager could never take on the Enterprise alone. But I don't think that would matter very much to sentient ships, under the conditions I postulate.

And yes...the sacrifices made by those who serve are very prominent in my mind, especially as we go into Memorial Day.

Really good work, overall, which is of course usual for your fan-fic.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Are you a Cardassian fan, citizen? Prove your loyalty--check out my fanfic universe, Star Trek: Sigils and Unions. Or keep the faith on my AU Cardassia, Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius!
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