The "Matt Decker" Moment

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by BillJ, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In fact, up to the point where he knocked out the security guard and stole the shuttlecraft, Decker didn't even do anything that violated regulations. He was, as Spock agreed with, entitled to assume command of the Enterprise. And was within his rights, as commander, to order an attack on the planet killer. That may have been a mistake in judgment, but it wasn't against the rules.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He was also on a short-leash. Just as Kirk was on a short-leash as the events of Obsession unfolded.
     
  3. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    What actually seemed to tick Kirk off was another character risking ''his'' ship. ''Not with my ship, you don't!'' A commander is responsible for the lives of his crew, Decker said. One year previous to that, Kirk said on the record: ''Nothing is more important than my ship.'' Granted, Decker lost 430 or so of his crew in one pop. Kirk lost 60 or so in several years. Kirk eventually lost his own ship AND Decker's.
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Decker was entitled to command Enterprise, but he was clearly not fit to be doing so. I'm surprised that Decker wasn't immediately taken to Sickbay when he was brought aboard; that would've given McCoy a chance to certify him unfit to command, seeing as he was "emotionally compromised" by the mission (if Regulation 619 existed during the time of TOS).
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You trying to raise the ire of the luddites? :guffaw:
     
  6. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    The much-dreaded Medical Log Entry capable of removing Captains seemed to originate with OBSESSION, which of course, came after DOOMSDAY MACHINE. This M.L.E. actually makes McCoy the most powerful person on the ship despite not being able to take command.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Well, surely the medical officer must have the right to make an examination of all officers if he or she doubts the fitness for duty. Making McCoy say that he hadn't had a chance to examine Decker, and therefore preventing McCoy from relieving Decker of command, is a catch-22, isn't it? He can't relieve Decker of command without an examination, but he can't examine him without relieving of him command. On the face of it, it makes McCoy powerless.

    There must be a regulation, even if TOS, that would allow an officer to be relieved due to medical unfitness without necessarily examining him or her first.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not really. He still had to have another senior officer present. It doesn't seem too different from what went on in The Doomsday Machine. Just a different name.
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Tracey did not seem particularly traumatized by what happened. He didn't appear to even CARE what happened to his crew, or if he did, merely shrugged it off and continued his massacres of the Yangs. That's not something a good man does.
     
  10. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    The difference is that Decker was found almost immediately after the incident that killed his crew. Tracey was encountered after 6 months on his own.
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not a psychologist but after such a traumatic event, regardless whether it just happened a couple of days ago (Decker) or six months ago (Tracey), I'd say that you would still have the urge to talk about the loss of your crew and how you really feel about it with an equal starship commander. I.e. if you cared about your crew in the first place. ;)

    Bob
     
  12. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    You may then be surprised to know that the first urge is to really say nothing at all and to stew a bit. Eventually, you will likely talk about it - and as you mention above, it will likely be with a peer - but there are still people who just snap.
     
  13. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Then why do you assume you would know what a starship commander would do?
     
  14. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    MERIK: He commands not just a spaceship, Proconsul, but a starship. A very special vessel and crew. I tried for such a command.

    There are other places across Star Trek that points to how only a very carefully select few make the captaincy aboard a starship in Starfleet. There's inevitably a thorough psychological screening involved as well. But... it's imperfect. Buried deep within the psyche of a man can be a primal response that will come to the surface under the right circumstances.

    * Commodore Decker -- became obsessed with trying to destroy the doomsday machine when Spock presented infallible logic on how one starship could not destroy it (without destroying itself in the process), possibly because of all the stress he had been through.
    * Captain Tracey -- a notable officer who had a fine record for a long while, but when trapped on a planet with his starship stuck in orbit hosting a fully dead crew, he lost perspective and... his inner greed welled up to the surface, compelling him to exploit what might have been the fountain of youth. Driven so madly for this, to kill his own kind without hesitation and attempt to murder a fellow captain.
    * Captain Garth -- his physiological condition probably warped his mind, allowing his super ego tendency to take hold and cause him to blatantly violate Starfleet regulations.
    * Captain Maxwell -- lost his family to Cardassians and the revenge urge came to the surface at the breaking point, of driving him to do things no sane captain would ever consider doing (running silent from Starfleet and attacking Cardassian ships at will).
    * Admiral Pressman -- Pursued a cloaking technology that would give a serious advantage to Starfleet over the Romulans... enough to convince himself that it's OK to ignore Starfleet regulations.

    While any man has his breaking points, some are more adept at keeping them at bay. James Kirk is such a man. In Obsession, he did begin to cross a line and violated higher priority orders to make an unauthorized pursuit. While it was a kind of "Matt Decker moment", it wasn't nearly as risky. Kirk wasn't that reckless a captain.