TNG Cold Equations Book 2, Silent Wpns Nic-Picks -- SPOILERS

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Nathan, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    First off, Mack is one of my favorite writers, so i guess I raised the bar for books that are cranked out by him.

    Almost finished with Silent Weapons...I got two nitpicks...

    1) I can't believe Tyressa Chen is in the book and at one time she was commanding the Enterprise. She grated my nerves when she was first introduced. Yeah, I get it that she half vulcan, half human and embaraces her human side. I know HUNDREDS of people who are 100% human and ain't that annoying. Yeah, I know she had some unique knowledge when she was introduced. Then when she had nothing to do as a contact specialist, she was a sorta Picard's aide/adjudant in the Typhon Pact book that dealt mainly with Andor.

    Now, when Picard and most of the senior officers are on the planet surface, she's running the show on the bridge. WTF?!?!!?!? Did Picard run out of Lt Cmdrs and Cmdrs? And yeah, it one thing if the ship is on shore leave, but it was a tense situation.

    I suppose Mack had to figger out how to incorporate her into the book....UGGGH....first contact specialist then Picard's aide, then in charge of the ship as an LT. PUL-LEEZE......and she's annoying as hell to boot!!!!

    2. Second gripe, Bateson is in the book and it mentions that the crew is a skeleton crew...UGGHHH...The UFP Prez is on the surface....hey, if you want to make it appear that nothing is going on, then send non-essential personell to the planet, ie. perhaps the CONTACT SPECIALIST!!!!! not the head of security.

    3. Lastly, I would think the security detail for the UFP Prez would be more high speed....it seems that they were made to look like idiots when compared to Worf & company.

    Like I said, I expect more from Mack, cuz his stuff kick's @$$, but I guess everyone occasionally has a lapse in judgement. By the way, did I mention I can't stand Tyressa Chen....at least she ain't as annoying as she was in previous books.
     
  2. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    I have to disagree with you. Chen being in command on the bridge was my favorite part of the book. And it's not like there haven't been lower ranked officers in command. Harry Kim had the bridge on the night shift so it's no so hard to see Chen there in charge. Reading the scene in question you actually feel what she feels in her conflict with the Atlas. It makes you wonder what you would do in her place.

    I love that character. She's my favorite of the new additions post Nemesis. She's reminds me of early Tom Paris, the one who always pushed his luck the most with Janeway and Chakotay.

    I think Mack did great with this story.
     
  3. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Halliwell,

    I get your Harry Kim example, but the difference, Kim is working the NIGHT SHIFT whereas Chen was in command of the ship when it was orbiting Orion --- the motherland of doing shady things -- and that the main crew and UFP Prez was on the planet to boot.

    When working the night shift when nothing expected was to happen is one thing to have a junior guy working the bridge (Yeah, I suppose all hell could break loose), but my point is I'd want at least one member of the varsity squad commanding the Enterprise when the rest of the team is on the planet surface and not just leave it to the JV team.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  4. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Captain Captain

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    What I didn't understand was why the Atlas was taking orders from Chen.
    They on the Atlas knew the Captain and first officer, so if I would get such an order I would check it.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Picard has left the Enterprise in the hands of the Chief Medical Officer during an incident with the Borg. So nothing surprises me as far as his command decisions go.
     
  6. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    BillJ,

    I think that time they needed almost every available body for the search teams (but I may misspoke), but didn't Bev already have some command experience and kinda jonesin' to be in command + she prolly holds the rank of Cmdr or at least Lt Cmdr and has experience running sickbay and leading triages during mass casautlites...my point being WTF is Chen doing on the bridge let alone running the show.

    The assistant Engineer or the assistant OPS officer, or perhaps get someone from Night shift to cover....not the obnoxious contact specialist.

    Yeah, again Picard can pick who he wants, but the CONTACT SPECIALIST ain't exactly in the command structure.
     
  7. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Every commissioned officer is part of the command structure. When all senior officers are unavailable, usually the highest ranking officer takes command, whatever his position. But this may be more of a guideline, rather than a strict rule. We've seen Sulu in the chair with McCoy standing by. :vulcan:
     
  8. PKS8304

    PKS8304 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think also it is in Picard's character to find and nurture potential. His relationship with Chen in a way reminds me of Ro Laren. He saw there was more to her than what everyone else sees. Picard might see the qualities of leadership in her and with everyone else occupied with the mission felt this would be an opportunity for her to get some experience. As a contact specialist she is trained to be prepared for unexpected situations and her outgoing personality lends towards quick thinking on her feet which are attributes essential for someone in command.
     
  9. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Markonian,

    I see you point about the command structure, I just doublt that the contact specialist is actually gonna be in charge of ship once the senior guys leave the ship. And I doubt she has any command experience...unlike Harry Kim, who had some experience working the night shift....guess it was never stated that Chen had a desire for command + with her being obnoxious (errr...i mean embracing her human side) I just don't see it.

    I see when Sulu in the chair and McCoy standing by, it more like Sulu the Officer of the Deck,....yeah i guess the same could be said for Chen, but with the Senior guys on the planet below with the Fed Prez, I'd leave someone more experience in charge.

    And yeah, PKS8304, I could see Picard wanting to nurture Chen, but I betcha it more a plot device to give Chen some scenes....I just uber-annoyed wit her (and find it hard to believe Picard would have soft spot for her.

    At any rate, I still want to toss Chen out the nearest air lock.
     
  10. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    It's been established that, in lieu of any actual contact missions, T'ryssa has been helping out other departments as needed. She's spent some time in Engineering, and I have no trouble imagining that she's also been taking some command training, probably under Picard's recommendation.

    Also, I never understood why people find her annoying. She's my second favorite TrekLit-only character, right behind my boy Elias Vaughn ohgodimisshim, and she's in my top five favorite Trek characters overall.
     
  11. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Same here, I love Tryss.
    As for her taking command, I swear I remember them saying somewhere that anybody who worked on the bridge needed to be able to take command if necessary.
     
  12. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Fair enough, even tho' I think it a bit of stretch that Chen is ready for command situations (and not the night shift, either)....Guess cuz I abhor the character (I wonder if I'm alone then) since she comes off so immature.
     
  13. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I love the character of Tryss, and her actions in Silent Weapons make perfect sense to me. She's been growing as a person ever since we first met her, and I really like her quircky (spelling??) character.

    If, at the moment, she was the most senior officer on the bridge, it makes perfect sense she took command.
     
  14. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I can't really understand the hate towards Tryss. I've liked her since Christopher introduced us to her in GTtS, and i've enjoyed her character development (what little there has actually been) since then. Is it because she's the 'anti-spock' by exploring her humanity first as opposed to her Vulcan side? Maybe she's just a little annoying because she may remind someone of their little sister sometimes? She's young and has lots of growing to do.

    People have mentioned Harry Kim. He could be a little hard to appreciate when he first showed up on Voyager, but by the end, he was one of the most interesting and most fleshed out of all the main characters. Tryss has only been around for 11 books (including 3 Destiny books), and she's been one of the main focus characters for only tiny bits. We need to give her more time to grow. Just look how far Ro and Harry have come :)
     
  15. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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!
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  17. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.
     
  20. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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!)