Data and killing

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by The Overlord, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    You'll have a hard time convincing anyone that this "power" justified Fajo's death.

    First of all, Data first insisted that Fajo turn himself over to the authorities. Hardly the act of someone who thinks that an execution is the only possible option.

    Secondly, Data had the means of incapacitating Fajo. He had lots of options. Force him into the escape pod that was sitting right there. Disable the escape pod's computer and seal it shut. Then Data can easily force the crew to take him somewhere. Given Data's skill with computers, he would be able to overcome any lock outs Fajo had. Even if he couldn't, Fajo couldn't have EVERYTHING locked out. What's he going to do? Input his security code every time one of his crew wants to make a course change, or open a channel to a nearby vessel?

    By the way, if Riker can figure out how to send a secret message from a Ferengi ship, Data can figure out a way to send a message from Fajo's ship.

    And Data was limited limited to execution or surrender. He could stay at a stalemate. it;s not like Data needs to sleep or eat or go to the toilet or anything. he can stay there with Fajo at gunpoint until Fajo finally cracks.

    I assume you meant decalred war on Data.

    Do you really think Starfleet doesn't train its officers on how to escape captivity?
     
  2. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    I have no problem with the way the episode played out with Fajo seemingly talking Data into killing him. I just thought that the "something happened during transport" line was so out of character and eyeroll worthy. I feel that Data could have worded that a lot better than an outright lie. He could have gone with several things with the most believable reason being "I was currently engaged in a fucking escape attempt and shit got real."
     
  3. The Librarian

    The Librarian Commodore Commodore

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    How can Data force Fajo to do anything? His only option is to shoot him, and Fajo has just declared he doesn't believe Data can do it. Not won't do it - physically can't because of his programming. Meanwhile, Fajo has said that he'll start killing people if Data doesn't cooperate, and given that he just murdered an unarmed woman and had previously committed a terrorist attack that poisoned tens of thousands of people for the sole purpose of capturing Data this is a credible threat.
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Precisely.
     
  5. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    When someone who has murdered says they will murder more, a sensible person will take seriously that claim. When someone has the ability to kidnap & hold in captivity possibly the most able bodied & resourceful person in all Starfleet, AND still has almost all those abilities, it's fair to treat them as though the threat is not idle or negligible
    We can figure from past experience with his character that his process of reasoning is sound enough that he's not the kind of person to execute someone without the need, HIM least of all.
    It's a wonder you can manage to enjoy Star Trek at all. It's not a show known for an absence of plot holes & contrivances. (What show is?) I notice you skipped my point about Worf only getting a reprimand after a full blown murder, & Riker getting outright released after covering up a mutiny that led to loss of ship & crew, and conspiracy to violate a treaty. Ultimately, you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. I could do that with every episode
    On board & in command of his own starship full of technology & personnel is hardly helpless. He isn't just a threat, he's an indiscriminate threat. Data doesn't know enough about the man's personal defenses, ship's capabilities or potential strategies to risk giving up this singular advantage

    Kill this one man now & it's a certainty that no one else will be killed by him, or don't and risk the possibility that there was some way for him to do so. You are in the position of having to prove to me that Fajo is helpless & not capable of carrying through is threat. Can you do it? He is on board his own ship. Knowing almost nothing about his defenses & capabilities, in what way is he helpless? He has a ship full of help

    Data has nothing to his advantage but a disruptor in his hand & a narrow window of opportunity that is closing, plus an enemy who doesn't even think he can use it, which actually makes the situation more volatile
     
  6. Tom Riley

    Tom Riley Commodore Commodore

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    All I have to say about this is, how exactly are you supposed to force someone to do something if you have no power over them? Data could not physically touch Fajo, so he couldn't push him into the escape pod. And if Fajo doesn't believe Data would shoot him, why would he do what Data asked under threat of being shot? No one is going to do something against their will without a reason to. If Data couldn't shoot Fajo and couldn't physically touch him then he has no way to force Fajo to do anything.

    As for fighting the crew, at that point, Data couldn't shoot any of the crew any more than he could shoot Fajo, the disruptor would be useless. Yes, Data is exceptional at hand-to-hand combat but Fajo had a total of four of those disruptors. Data had one, another was on the floor, and two more were off somewhere on the ship. While Data was fighting off the crew Fajo would undoubtedly call in, Fajo could grab the one off the floor or go find one of the other two. Who would the crew obey, Data who could only physically attack them or Fajo who was his disruptor? But then once Fajo had his hands on another gun Data would have had to comply with Fajo's demands given his threat to kill more of his crew and wouldn't be able to put up a fight against the crew. I am not convinced that Data could have persuaded the crew to join him when Fajo had his disruptor. The crew would basically be hearing "definitely die at Fajo's hand right now or possibly maybe be killed by Fajo at some unknown point in the future." Data really only had one choice and he made it.
     
  7. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I can think of several ways for Data to force Fajo to do things

    First, he can shoot the deck at Fajo's feet. If someone shoots the ground at your feet, you're going to jump away from it. Using this technique, Data can force Fajo into the escape pod, where Data can shoot out the control panel and seal Fajo inside.

    Secondly, Data's in a cargo bay. There's all sorts of things he can just pick up and throw at Fajo to render him injured or unconscious. Break both of Fajo's arms by throwing crates or other cargo at him, and he won't physically be able to use the disrupter, rendering his threats of further violence meaningless.

    Thirdly, Data can fire the disrupter at the door to the cargo bay, sealing it closed and leaving Fajo trapped.
     
  8. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Firstly, I'd find Fajo's threat more serious if he hadn't just thrown his weapon away. At the time, Fajo was an UNARMED man trying to intimidate Data.

    Secondly, the only way that Fajo was able to capture Data was with a sneak attack to incapacitate him. Data isn't going to let ANYONE on that ship close enough to do that again.

    And there was no need to do it in this case.

    Unless your point is that since Worf and Riker got away with it, Data should as well, I don't see what your point is.

    Anyway, the circumstances are different. I'm not talking about why Data should get away with "Perhaps something happened during transport." I'm saying that it never should have happened in the first place. Both Worf and Riker's action can be logically explained by the circumstances. Worf was acting in accordance with Klingon culture, Riker was an inexperienced junior officer who was blinded by loyalty to his captain. I've already given my arguments that Data's actions were not justified.

    Yes, defending everyone from a man who was so shocked at what he'd done that he'd thrown his weapon away and left himself unarmed.

    So? You think Data was going to let Fajo activate some control panel? Call for help from his crew? There are many other ways of stopping Fajo from using his ship as I've already explained.

    lol, I think we need a role play thing here. You suggest something that Fajo could do, and I'll play Data and try to stop you.

    But in any case, a ship full of help? Come on, his crew has just seen him murder one of his closest associates. You really think they're going to help him? More likely, Fajo's going to get a good old, "Screw you. What are you going to do, whip me with harsh language?" And then they'd beat the crap out of him. Killing Varria ensured that his crew would be DISloyal to him. Fahjo would need a weapon to get them to do what he says - and he just threw it away!

    And as I've said, Data can use the disrupter in non-lethal ways. And he has more assets than just a disrupter. he has the entire contents of the cargo bay he's in!
     
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I've already explained the many options Data has. Shoot the floor near Fajo's feet, that will get him moving. Pick up big heavy things and throw them so Fajo has to move to avoid injury. Hell, Data could probably throw someting accurately enough to smash the anti-android thing on Fajo's belt! You saw how good he was with the dice in "The Royale"!

    As I've said, Data has other methods to incapacitate Fajo.

    This depends on Fajo getting his disrupter.

    All of which depends on Fajo getting his hands on another weapon, something which Data can prevent.
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Tiberius, your little idea of shooting the floor at Fajo's feet has already been refuted in this thread.

    The main problem is that Data doesn't know all the means that Fajo has at his disposal. Data has already been surprised. What we do know is that once he recaptures Data, he will increase his security. The more chances Data takes at that moment, the worse his position.

    Fajo believes that Data will not harm him. Firing warning shots will therefore have no effect; Fajo will believe that the threat is empty.

    On the other hand, if Data fires in proximity, he could accidentally hurt Fajo. Knowing he could get hurt accidentally, Fajo will simply activate one his failsafes, which we can assume he has based on his pattern to date, to recapture Data.

    Or, it could ricochet and kill Fajo or someone actually more innocent.

    Fajo is vulnerable only because he is gloating in this moment when he believes Data will not fire. Change any of that, and it's Data who becomes vulnerable.

    Finally, how much charge is there on the disruptor? Can Data be sure that there is even enough to fire it more than once or just a small number of times?

    Your little idea depends on being able to fire the weapon a large number of times, and it offers too many chances to Fajo. Data was never going to have a better opportunity in the foreseeable future to neutralize this brutal danger to the galaxy.
     
  11. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    ITT people make unwarranted assumptions about disruptor technology.

    Viewing the episode as a piece of drama, what it wants to do is force Data - the implacable, flawlessly logical, unbiased and emotion-free sentient machine - to a position where he must kill an unarmed man. Where he is ethically compelled to do so.

    There are arguable flaws in the episode's depiction of that crux. For example, if nothing else, Data could destroy himself (we know from Nemesis that he's prepared to die to save others - it's possible to argue that his actions there were emotionally driven but I'm not inclined to accept that). Currently Fajo is threatening the lives of others in order to gain control over Data. If Data were dead, Fajo would then no longer be in a position to threaten the lives of others because of Data. But it would still leave Fajo in a position to threaten others. We know he has wilfully endangered the lives of others to get what he wants, has tortured to get what he wants, has killed to get what he wants.

    We might ask if Data should attempt to convert Fajo's employees. Given that Varria explicitly says that "[Fajo's] rewards for loyalty are lavish", we can reasonably say that it is possible that such an attempt would not succeed. Since, as we said at the beginning, the episode wants to force Data to fire, these objections can be neutralised quite simply: We imagine that Data attempts to convert the crew. But he fails. They are simply too greedy, too terrified, too whatever. And we imagine that Data tries to whack-a-mole Fajo into a confined space by throwing things at him. But Fajo simply closes his eyes. He can no longer see what's being thrown at him and will not jump where Data wants him to. We imagine that Data throws things at Fajo with the intent of injuring him - and we imagine that Fajo dodges the first shot and runs straight out of the cargo bay to the nearest panic room (one of many on the ship), far from Data's reach.

    As I said earlier, for the sake of discussion, I'm happy to interrogate the specifics of situations like this. But I think there's a golden rule that when judging the episode, you have to meet it half way. I don't think there's a show in the series that doesn't require that kind of 'good faith viewing' - Why isn't the anomaly there when the Pasteur first arrives in All Good Things? How much does Odo weigh? How can Data get drunk? "I'm fine, Sir"?!?! Are you conscious during transport or aren't you? Why aren't Starfleet soldiers in the Gamma Quadrant surgically altered to look like Founders? Is Mirror Bashir also genetically enhanced, and if so, how, and if not, why isn't he mentally deficient?

    All of these are potentially fun discussions, and they're just a tiny sample. And if some of them simply don't have proper answers, well what then? Is the episode ruined forever?

    If the only objection to 'The Most Toys' is that it doesn't depict Data exhausting all his options, then that's no objection at all. What it wants to do is show the consequences of all Data's options being exhausted. As long as it shows something that looks like Data exhausting all of his options, it achieves that.

    We hear clocks chiming in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. But clocks didn't exist in ancient Rome. Does this destroy the play? If you think so, I think you're doing it wrong, even though there's nothing wrong with pointing it out.
     
  12. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sorry, where?

    And are you telling me that Fajo isn't going to jump if a lethal disrupter blast hits the floor a centimeter away from his feet?

    Data should act on the information he has at that moment, which is that Fajo is unarmed and incapable of harming anyone.

    Rubbish. If I throw a bowling ball at your head, and you know for a fact that the ball is attached to an unbreakable cable that will stop the ball a centimeter before it hits you, are you going to flinch anyway? Of course you are.

    Such as...? You're assuming that he has failsafes, and you're assuming that he is in a position to use them. All speculation.

    You think Fajo is going to use a bullet?

    How so?

    As I've already said, Data is surrounded by a cargo bay of things he can throw at Fajo.

    No it doesn't. I've already said in this post and my previous posts that Data has a cargo bay full of things he can use.

    I fail to see how an unarmed person is going to be able to defeat Data, even if Data loses the weapon and is unable to physically get close to Fajo.

    Like I said, Data picks up a big crate, throws it at Fajo, breaks Fajo's leg or arm. Fajo is incapacited, and is unable to harm others.
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Is that all?
     
  15. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    I think this all might be enough.
     
  16. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Data is already IN captivity. He is a prisoner on someone else's ship, & no one, least of all you or Data know what his capabilities on that ship are. While aboard that ship he is still in a position to threaten lives.
    Thank you for not responding to the character point I made. Do you watch every episode as though we have never seen these characters before?
    My point is that Riker & Worf actually did something wrong according Federation law, & because of extenuating circumstances were only minimally reprimanded. Data actually didn't do anything except pull a trigger while in captivity, & yet you began your whole argument by saying
    My point was to address the 3rd part of your statement as being unwarranted, seeing how everyone else has torn down both of your other points
    He wasn't shocked at what HE had done. He was shocked by what the weapon did, because he'd never seen it work before on someone. He pointed out shortly after that he had no remorse about it nor any repulsion from doing similar again if he didn't get what he wanted
    And every method you've suggested has been put down or can be. Control panel? You've seen TNG before right? You're aware that voice activated technology exists? None of us know what level of control he still has. So throwing cargo containers at a guy who even has his own forcefield is ludicrous
    Ok, wtf. "Computer... Activate a maximum strength containment field around Data"

    The only reason he maybe hasn't already said it is because he's stupid enough to think Data won't even shoot him, or because if Data tried to use the disruptor in some other fashion, a blast inside a containment field would damage Data... A.K.A. Fajo's rare property
    So apparently you don't know much about fear coercion. All his crew are already in fear of him. They likely know better than Data how much control he has, & damage he can do. This is why they already follow his orders. A disruptor in his hand is not the only power over them he holds. Varia was clear about that
    Throwing furniture at the guy? That's you're big master plan for sparing the life of a murderer who is still a threat? The man has a forcefield of unknown design around him, & is standing aboard a 24th century ship he commands, full of crew who fear him. Seriously, you explain to me how that guy is helpless in the single moment Data has to stop him

    Edit: Oh I forgot the point about non-lethal disruptor use. I'm not thinking your plan of firing an energy beam at the bulkheads beneath his feet like bullets in the dirt from a pistol, in some old western is such a good idea aboard a space ship
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  17. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah... you're probably right
     
  18. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    While Data takes the point of being emotionless, he does show emotion at times. I'll never forget him in Gambit Part I&II, when he was in command and was being challenged by Worf in front of the crew. You could see the restrained anger in Data's demeanor, regarding Worf's behavior. If he was truly emotionless, he's be very plain and matter of fact, without any other expression. This showed itself again in another episode, when Data was in command and had some extra as his first officer (can't remember the episode name off hand), who clearly demonstrated prejudice against Data, claiming he was making decisions without regard for people's lives. Data appeared visibly angry with him... and at first I wasn't sure if he was exercising "anger" as a means to an end without feeling it, thinking a human being who is stubborn needs to be shown anger to gain awareness. But when the XO was dismissed, it looked like Data was rather satisfied for having unleashed his harsh tone.

    With Fajo, it seemed like Data had an emotional moment there as well, though very slight. Did the weapon have stun capability? Could he use a lower setting to maim him and allow justice to be dispensed according to Federation law? If not, why didn't Data merely throw himself at Fajo and knock him unconscious? I believe there was an underlying emotional response. Fajo was goading Data on... about how he can't feel rage or anger. And in essence, Fajo's experiment worked--he got Data to do what he wasn't supposed to--attempt to kill an unarmed being.
     
  19. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    From the script...

    69 WIDE (OPTICAL)

    Fajo holds the disruptor on Varria... they look at each
    other... he sighs, shrugs, fires. She screams a
    horrible scream... slowly DEMATERIALIZES... the scream
    echoes after she's gone. Data is stunned. Stares at
    Fajo. Fajo himself is a little shaken by what he's
    done.

    FAJO
    This is your fault. You knew the
    price for disobedience. And so
    did she.

    Fajo tosses his weapon away, repulsed by the violence
    he has committed... trying to walk away from it.
    Calming himself down. Nods to himself. Yes, it was
    the right thing to do.

    FAJO
    Well, there's always another
    Varria.

    It's quite clear that Fajo is shocked by his own actions, not how the weapon worked.

    And in the second or so that it takes you to say that, Data would be able to pick up some lose bit of equipment and throw it at Fajo's head to knock him unconscious.

    Data's reflexes are certainly fast enough.

    Actually, it isn't a forcefield. Fajo describes it as, "It's a proximity-actuated field that impedes positron flow. Not good for your brainpaths in the long term." So if Data picks up a container or something and throws it, it will hit Fajo just fine.

    Why not? Guinan once fired an energy weapon at the ceiling in Ten Forward. And there have been lots of other times people have fired energy weapons at bulkheads on ships.
     
  20. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Or there was no loose equipment around. Or there was, but it was all either too light to knock Fajo out or too heavy to avoid killing him. Can't throw the disruptor because they're very unstable (wouldn't you know).

    None of them were Varon-T disruptors, though. They're special and it would be incredibly dangerous. :)