Just exactly how loyal are the Vorta to their founders?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by at Quark's, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On the one hand, they really believe the Founders are gods, and don't hesitate to execute any order by them, no matter how appalling (genocide for example). We also see Weyoun 6, who sacrifices his own life to save that of Odo, whom he believes to be a god (and admittedly for the future of the Dominion).

    On the other hand, some Vorta do not seem above twisting the situation a bit to suit their own ends, [SIZE=4][COLOR=rgb(20, 20, 20)]even if it that results in a suboptimal solution for the sake of the Dominion (for example wasting Jem;'Hadar in useless attacks and agreeing to give Starfleet important information so that he can spend the rest of the war in a comfy Federation cell). Weyoun 7 agrees to keep silent towards the female founder about trying to simply shoot the shuttle that carries Odo and Weyoun 6. Weyoun 7 (I think) looks distinctly less than happy when the female founder discusses with the breen she would terminate him if only the clone facilities are operational, and he looks like he could be induced to take steps to prevent that from happening.

    So, just how loyal are they, exactly? And how much do the Founders care about it/ trust their Vorta administrators?[/COLOR][/SIZE]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  2. kkt

    kkt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's clearly variation from one individual Vorta to another. Keevan was an outlier on the disloyal side - although he was in a situation of more stress than most Vorta will face, running out of white and no communications. It does seem like part of their training to kill their Jem Hadar if they are going to run out of white, rather than wait for them to go berserk. Keevan sending his Jem Hadar on a suicide attack was just a way to kill them, as he didn't have poisoned white available to give them. (I call him an outlier on the disloyal side not for ordering the suicide attack, but for not committing suicide himself at the same time, thus making himself available for Starfleet Intelligence for debriefing.)

    The Founders seem to look at both the Jem Hadar and the Vorta as useful solids, but feel no regret if they have to be killed in their service.
     
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  3. Abi Smith

    Abi Smith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The Vorta are the administrators of the Dominion; diplomats, clergy, civil servants etc their loyalty is not one of drug dependency or bought through privileges or power but of religious devotion.
    Do people lose faith? Definetly. Especially when they witness their gods acting in particular ungodlike ways.
     
  4. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    People (i.e. real-world humans), yes. But in the case of Vorta, that belief has been hardcoded into their genetic makeup (don't ask me how), losing their faith might be harder for them.
     
  5. XCV330

    XCV330 Commodore Commodore

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    There is a dystopian "biopunk" novel called The Windup Girl where the title character, a genetically altered plaything that's been discarded and put into a terrible situation, has loyalty and obedience built into her genome. Dhe hates the degradations and pain she's put through and longs for escape but she puts up with it. She later discovers her creators used the genetic factors from a dog to keep her that way. There is no way for that to be fixed.

    I see the Vorta as kind of like that. If you cant change your basic self, might as well play the part and just keep on believing.
     
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  6. Abi Smith

    Abi Smith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Faith; the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.
     
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  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Vorta have loyalty to the Founders, as a concept, but they have a selfishness in their interpretation of loyalty that Gem Hadar do not have.
     
  8. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    The Vorta aren't entirely without a sense of self preservation-religious devotion and obedience is encoded into them but their self preservation occasionally overpowers or at least counterbalances their loyalty to the founders.
     
  9. Kytee

    Kytee Commander Red Shirt

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    The genetic coding for loyalty is not infailable , I recall one of the vorta saying that's why the white exists . We also saw jemhadar revolt in the Iconian gate way episode .

    I always figured vorta and jemhadar had the same genetic coding ; they added the white for jemhadar but the Vorta just got the better job instead
     
  10. feral.cherub

    feral.cherub Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I believe they were loyal to the Founders in a deeply devotional sense, but something always seemed off kilter and disengenous about it.

    The one Jem'hadar was able to free himself from the white and they were even harder wired than the Vorta. I always imagined the Vorta as a species to have some secret treachery up their sleeves. They were definitely opportunistic, so I could see a strong potential to rebel by whatever means necessary, including treachery when it would be less likely to fall back on their own heads. They would sell each other out without a doubt and would always have two things handy: an alibi and a scapegoat.
     
  11. BobR

    BobR Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm not convinced that the Vorta even have the ability to reproduce naturally. For all we know they are created as a sort of sterile "mule" through hybridization, the more successful products of that being cloned for as long as the line maintains genetic integrity. The parent species may not even be what we'd recognize as sentient.

    This is pretty stock stuff when you look back at classic science fiction. Somebody could probably provide a bibliography of examples.

    If so that alone would make them entirely dependent upon the Founders for existence. Even if they hadn't been manipulated at the genomic level and through post-cloning indoctrination they probably could never stage a practical revolt anyway.

    But we can try to argue this sort of thing 'till the cows come home. Do the details really matter? It doesn't take a lot of thought to contrive possible answers without guessing "the" answer even if the writers indeed had fully-formed thought on the matter. It's a trope, nothing to see here. Move along.
     
  12. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, yeah, but that is ultimately true for a lot of (plot) elements, fictional technologies and other things in Star Trek. I still love to discuss them, even though it doesn't really matter. It's the reason I'm on this board, after all.
     
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  13. Farscape One

    Farscape One Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Regarding the topic question, I look to "THE SHIP" as a barometer.

    That Founder died. When that happened, ALL the Jem'Hadar in that incident killed themselves because they believe they failed. The Vorta ended up being the sole survivor.

    By that example alone, I say the Jem'Hadar's loyalty is much stronger and deeper than the Vorta.

    And looking at the roles both serve in the Dominion, it makes sense. Vorta are essentially upper management, and a vast majority of management cannot be trusted. Jem'Hadar are soldiers... duty and loyalty are big components of a soldier's mindset. I would trust a soldier far more quickly than someone who was upper management. In fact, it is precisely what Sisko says to Ramat'iklan in "ROCKS AND SHOALS", when he says the Vorta's word has no weight with him. But a Jem'Hadar can be trusted with their word.

    The Jem'Hadar were always very interesting to me. They were basically a calmer, more efficient version of Klingons. The Jem'Hadar were not really brutal... they were efficient. They were portrayed to be the perfect soldier, and I think that's exactly how they came across.
     
  14. feral.cherub

    feral.cherub Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The Vorta may or may not reproduce after the manner of naturally evolved humanoids but I find it interesting that there were both male AND female Vorta.
    Interesting.
    Never saw a female Jem'hadar though.

    According to 'Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Companion, the Founders Engineered and Cloned the Vorta but the Vorta did the actual work of spitting out all the Jem'hadar so they probably knew enough about cloning to reproduce themselves if they said 'screw you guys, I'm going home' and gave the finger to the Founders for greener (and freer pastures)

    They may have had loyalty hard wired into them, but in real life, people in dangerous cults become hard wired through repetitive dogma. Same with people raised in cultish religions. If a child is exposed to a cult experience while still in the formative years, those teachings become literature hard wired into that person's brain. It's difficult to overcome but it can be done.

    One thing going against the Vorta freedom fighting is the lack of anything resembling desire (other than pleasing the founders) and lacked a sense of aesthetics, but they seemed self aware of that and seemed to view it as a lack in themselves from time to time.

    I dunno, there were just times when it seemed that some of the Vorta 'went to church because it was a habit' and had nothing to do with faith or belief and perhaps hard wiring.

    Aaaaand. All of this comes from the imaginary world so I don't see any reason why a person shouldn't speculate for shits and giggles. There are many interesting threads to peruse here.
     
  15. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    A curious question arises if the founders went extinct how would the Vorta react? The Jem Hadar would likely commit mass suicide or die for lack of ketracel white. Would the Vorta all activate their death button on their necks? Or could the Vorta live without the founders?
     
  16. Kytee

    Kytee Commander Red Shirt

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    I could see the Vorta hiding the founders extinction from the Jem Hadar and carrying on the dominion in the name of the founders. I think the Vorta are involved in the production of the ketracel white , so they could continue to control the Jem Hadar that way while telling stories about why the Founders are no longer being seen,
     
  17. Paradise City

    Paradise City Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's a good reading of it, yeah. Vorta seem to be designed to be ninja diplomats & schemers but have a full spectrum blind devotion to the founders. It's actually a flagrant collision of character traits within the one person.

    Keevan seems to have been hatched with his diplomatic scheming skills more pronounced than his devotional urge. So he knows just enough to look after his own hide.

    It's actually Weyoun's remarks when we first see him during the Iconian episode were he admitted that the loyalty of the Jem Hadar was exaggerated that stuck with me anyway. It's almost as if they are weakest link particularly as they have to be specifically addicted to the white in a way that wasn't the case with the Vorta.
     
  18. Longinus

    Longinus Commodore Commodore

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    This is really interesting discussion and I wish the show had done more with it. In fact I wish that the main characters making (at least some) Vorta and Jem'Hadar to realise that they do not have to be slaves would have played central role in defeating the Dominion.
     
  19. Farscape One

    Farscape One Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, there are no female Jem'Hadar, according to Virak'ara (I think that was his name.) In "TO THE DEATH".

    I think having female Vorta makes sense, despite the fact they don't seem to reproduce sexually. And here is why.

    A lot of people respond better to a woman, either because of the softer tone of voice or they may be perceived as a little less threatening. And some species just respond better to women. Having a variety of negotiators is a good thing. This goes in the line 'carrot or stick' mentality the Vorta have. They will be nice and offer the carrot... but walk past the line, and you'll get the stick (Jem'Hadar).
     
  20. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    Thinking of female Vorta and their roles-Vorta can be used as spies, diplomats and assassins.

    Kilana does actually flirt with Sisko in The Ship.

    I could see female Vorta being used in a manner like that-either for diplomatic manipulation or perhaps outright seduction and manipulation of species and individuals targeted by the founders.

    I don't think the founders would balk at using female Vorta in such a manner to manipulate people, obtain information, or gain allies/pawns.