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Old June 9 2009, 04:30 PM   #1
Xerxes1979
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In defense of children on starships

I don't think people realize how big the Federation is in terms of size. When Riker turned down command of the Aries it was scheduled for a mission to the remote Vega-Omicron sector, an area requiring months of high speed warp to reach. Cassidy Yates said her brother on Cetus III was two weeks subspace radio from DS9, a considerable distance. Modern starships are very well provisioned for deep space exploration. Besides repair and perhaps taking on settlers, the need for prolonged layover at starbases is ficitious.


When and where are you going to meet a civilian that would be centrally located to a starship's homebase? If you become involved with a member of another ship how do you coordinate leave and ensure that ship is not on the opposite side of Federation territory? When are young people supposed to start families in Trek? If you graduate from the academy at 21 and serve aboard a starship you are greatly limiting yourself and potential choices if you devote yourself completely to Starfleet for a period of 3-5 years. If we demand that starfleet avoid families, then serving aboard starships is much closer to the age of sail then say the U.S. Navy.


Why are we worried about potential civilian casualites when the children might not even have been born in a more restrictive reality? Space is the big empty, despite what dramtic plot requires every week the death rate of mapping and traversing the interstellar void is extremly low.



Also if starships are represenative of the Federation do we really want only people who place career above all serving aboard them? Do we want only the young or only empty nesters serving a crew?
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Old June 9 2009, 05:33 PM   #2
Phily B
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Re: In defense of children on starships

I think the problem stems from when you have the Enterprise patrolling the Neutral Zone, investigating a distress call, engaging The Borg etc
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Old June 9 2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: In defense of children on starships

When the Odyssey went into the Gamma Quadrant on the rescue mission, it did leave it's 'non-essential' personnel on Deep Space 9. Is this standard prodecure when the nature of the mission is likely to be dangerous, or was this a one off kind of thing?
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Old June 9 2009, 06:25 PM   #4
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Re: In defense of children on starships

SilentP wrote: View Post
When the Odyssey went into the Gamma Quadrant on the rescue mission, it did leave it's 'non-essential' personnel on Deep Space 9. Is this standard prodecure when the nature of the mission is likely to be dangerous, or was this a one off kind of thing?
There were times when that just wasn't an option though.

The Last Outpost - Enterprise is severely damaged by an ancient weapon while chasing Ferengi who raided a Federation outpost.
When the Bough Breaks - the children of the Enterprise are kidnapped.
The Arsenal of Freedom - Enterprise is almost destroyed by automated weapons.
Contagion - Enterprise warps into the Neutral Zone after the destruction of the Yamato.
QWho - the Enterprise is flung into the path of a Borg Cube.
The Survivors - The Enterprise is attacked by a Husnock Battlecruiser in Federation Space.
Booby Trap - Enterprise's crew are exposed to radiation and nearly killed in an asteroid field.
The Defector - Enterprise goes into the Neutral Zone and is surrounded after taking aboard a Romulan Defector.
The Wounded - after the Phoenix and in Cardassian Space.
Night Terrors - radiation nearly causes the crew to go insane.
In Theory - Enterprise enters a nebula with null space that causes crewmen to phase out of existence.
Disaster - Enterprise strikes a Quantum Filament and is nearly destroyed.
Generations - the Enterprise is attacked by Klingons and essentially destroyed.

Those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I'm sure that there are more.
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Old June 9 2009, 06:49 PM   #5
Xerxes1979
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Re: In defense of children on starships

nx1701g wrote: View Post
Those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I'm sure that there are more.
I always wondered why Jake and Jennifer didn't leave the Saratoga before Wolf 359. That was just boneheaded. They could have taken a shuttle.
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Old June 9 2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: In defense of children on starships

How many kids are actually on the spacecrafts and on which series'?
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Old June 9 2009, 07:32 PM   #7
BenRoethig
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Re: In defense of children on starships

SilentP wrote: View Post
When the Odyssey went into the Gamma Quadrant on the rescue mission, it did leave it's 'non-essential' personnel on Deep Space 9. Is this standard prodecure when the nature of the mission is likely to be dangerous, or was this a one off kind of thing?
The big question is, did the compromises in design required for "non-essential personnel" help lead to its destruction?
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Old June 9 2009, 09:09 PM   #8
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Re: In defense of children on starships

Phily B wrote: View Post
I think the problem stems from when you have the Enterprise patrolling the Neutral Zone, investigating a distress call, engaging The Borg etc
That's not the problem as much for dramatic story purposes our heroes can't spare the time to leave part of the crew in the rear only protected by the shuttle's phasers until follow up starships arrived.

Odyssey was a special case because the only way to sail into danger was to ge through DS9 and pick up more of our heroes while they were at it. Perhaps if she was in hot pursuit she could have just detached the saucer before going into the wormhole.
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Old June 9 2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: In defense of children on starships

In case you invent a cloaking device that's not big enough to cover the saucer section, you've got a spare crew left to take over command of that section, if you can find a commander with a twenty-one minute Kobayashi Maru time. And then they can defeat a Cardassian warship and carve "I was beaten by a bunch of kids" on its hull in phaser.
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Old June 9 2009, 11:41 PM   #10
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Re: In defense of children on starships

I suspect that in general there really isn't a lot of action going on most of the time, and things are probably pretty routine and boring. It probably takes days or weeks just to get from one place to another and most of it is pretty safe travel, so families are actually a bonus.
Face it, if every starship went through what every crew did in every series as frequently as they did on tv, you'd get entire crews all suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
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Old June 10 2009, 12:32 AM   #11
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Re: In defense of children on starships

Would it be appropriate for there to be children aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln? Or the nuclear submarine USS Ohio?

No?

Then it wouldn't be appropriate for there to be children aboard a Starfleet starship. Period.

Putting them aboard is child endangerment.
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Old June 10 2009, 01:23 AM   #12
Star Wolf
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Re: In defense of children on starships

Sci wrote: View Post
Would it be appropriate for there to be children aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln? Or the nuclear submarine USS Ohio?

No?

Then it wouldn't be appropriate for there to be children aboard a Starfleet starship. Period.

Putting them aboard is child endangerment.
On the other hand what was the initial sales pitch? "Wagon Train, to the stars" I believe. Women and children went along with the wagon train. The crew is aboard a science and diplomatic vessel which also carries phasers and torpedoes the military mission was secondary to a crew full of exobiologist.
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Old June 10 2009, 02:07 AM   #13
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Re: In defense of children on starships

Star Wolf wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Would it be appropriate for there to be children aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln? Or the nuclear submarine USS Ohio?

No?

Then it wouldn't be appropriate for there to be children aboard a Starfleet starship. Period.

Putting them aboard is child endangerment.
On the other hand what was the initial sales pitch? "Wagon Train, to the stars" I believe. Women and children went along with the wagon train.
Except that you're confusing settlers with explorers. The Enterprise on its 5-year-mission wasn't the equivalent of civilians settling the Wild West, it was the equivalent of Lewis and Clark (both members of the US Army) exploring the Louisiana Territory. And they did not set out with children in their company (though they later acquired one with their Native guides).

Besides, Roddenberry's pitch was misleading. TOS wasn't Wagon Train to the Stars, it was Captain Horatio Hornblower in Space.

The crew is aboard a science and diplomatic vessel which also carries phasers and torpedoes the military mission was secondary to a crew full of exobiologist.
It's not secondary. It's co-equal -- which is why the Enterprise could find itself suddenly pulled out of an exploratory mission and assigned to peacekeeping duties on Planet X, or commanded to go to the Neutral Zone to hunt down a hostile Romulan ship.

And for the record, the world's navies used to engage in exploration, too. They didn't bring families along with them (though I understand that they sometimes used what we would today refer to as child labor).
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Old June 10 2009, 02:12 AM   #14
Xerxes1979
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Re: In defense of children on starships

Sci wrote: View Post
Would it be appropriate for there to be children aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln? Or the nuclear submarine USS Ohio?

No?

Then it wouldn't be appropriate for there to be children aboard a Starfleet starship. Period.

Putting them aboard is child endangerment.
Thats what I want to compare and contrast. People can and do have families in the navy today because they are deployed for only six months at sea. i don't think starfleet operates in a similar deepspace/starbase manner.

How do you start families in starfleet? Do you put in your time in a deepspace assignment then rotate to a starbase?
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Old June 10 2009, 02:56 AM   #15
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Re: In defense of children on starships

One might argue that the "more evolved" people of the 24th century, including children, recognize and understand the risk they undertake by having the children aboard, yet do so because they value their time together more than the risks that may occur. Also, since "children in space" started with the Enterprise-D, it's important to note that part of the idea behind that ship (which was never fully realized) was that it would be something of a small city in space, going further than past, "ordinary" ships.

That said, I agree that there are certain ships there should just not be civilians/children aboard - those likely to engage in combat with known Threat forces, namely: patrol ships and the like.
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