Non Starfleet Personnel on the Defiant

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by votd, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. votd

    votd Commander Red Shirt

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    I always wondered why Kira and Odo always seem to be on the Defiant when it goes off on a mission away from the station; it's a Starfleet ship and they aren't starfleet personnel.

    Surely Kira shouldbe commanding the station and Odo station security, they always seem to have enough Starfleet security on board.

    Can anyone think of a reason why they're on board? :vulcan:
     
  2. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    Apparently the Defiant's status was a bit different from the usual Starfleet starship. It was assigned to the station for use by its command personnel when they needed something with bigger guns than a runabout, especially for incursions into the GQ. That is, the command structure of DS9 extended to the ship rather than the ship having a separate command.

    In other words its used as a glorified runabout with huge teeth.

    Robert
     
  3. cwalrus2

    cwalrus2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Technically, if Sisko wanted to be a jerk he could have probably limited access to the Defiant to starfleet personell but that would certainly have alienated the Bajoran government, which would have conflicted with his mission. I think that once the Defiant was given to him to command, it was up to him to decide a command structure for the ship and decide whether or not to include Bajoran militia in that command structure. Notice that Cmdr Worf was first officer on the Defiant and Major Kira was first officer on the station.

    Since the Defiant was assigned to DS9, it only makes sense that members of the Bajoran militia would join in on its mission. Keep in mind that the original purpose was to explore the Gamma Quandrant and be able to defend the station against a Dominion attack. Since the wormhole is in Bajoran space, I think Sisko would have a hard time if he decided not to include Bajoran militia in the Defiant's command structure.

    On a side note I know there is one continuity error in "Tears of the Prophets" when Sisko left to go to sick bay and Kira took command even though Worf was on the bridge. That's the only time I remember that happening. Since Worf was 1st officer on the Defiant he should have taken command, but I suppose Kira just beat him to the punch and there was no time for an argument over who should lead the mission.
     
  4. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    ^Who was the XO of the Defiant before Worf came along?

    Robert
     
  5. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    It didn't have one. The Defiant does not have a permenent crew; which is why Worf was able to live there all alone. And Worf's status is obviously in addition to his vaguely defined 'Chief of Strategic Operations', aka 'meaningless bueraucratic title to make it look like Worf is on the payroll for a reason'.

    The Defiant's status is ambiguous. It's a Federation starship assigned to a Bajoran station in Bajoran space, it posesses a Romulan cloaking device on the condition its discoveries in the Gamma Quadrant are relayed to the Romulans. Presumably, the fact that it's assigned to a Bajoran station and is thus under the jurisdiction of that station's command crew is what gives Kira and Odo whatever authority they have on the ship.
     
  6. Terra Pryme

    Terra Pryme Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But there were limits to when they could use the Defiant, particularly when Sisko and Worf were away from the station. In "Shadows and Symbols", Kira could only command a small fleet of Bajoran battle ships against Romulan warbirds when she learned they were housing weapons on one of Bajor's moons instead of hospitals as they claimed. Since this situation was primarily a Bajoran matter, the Defiant couldn't be used.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yet in "Sons of Mogh", Sisko readily loaned out the Defiant for Kira to use so that she could show the minelaying Klingons the hot end of the phasers. That was a clear political gesture: "We in Starfleet fully support our Bajoran friends on this, so back off, my Klingon... friend."

    Essentially, Kira has enjoyed unprecedented access to Starfleet hardware and technological secrets from day one. Probably Starfleet didn't intend it quite that way, but Sisko may not have taken his instructions too literally. Out there in the frontier, he wouldn't have to.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    Okay so we have the reason as to why Kira might have to be on Defiant most of the time, but what about Odo. I mean his position is Chief of Station Security, meaning he's in charge of security on DS9. I think realistically if Defiant really needs a Security officer then it should be the Senior Starfleet Security officer in stead of Odo, who should stay on DS9 to mind the fort, so to speak, unless he's on the Defiant for other reasons which just don't make sense.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There would be certain rationale in taking Odo along for the ride whenever the Dominion and the Founders were involved. However, the plot in "The Adversary" (IMHO the worst "Odo aboard" offender) hinges on the fact that the heroes believe their mission is completely unrelated to the Dominion!

    Odo could also legitimately attend missions that deal with the Cardassians, what with him being the resident intelligence expert on them. Unless one counts Garak, whom Starfleet would prefer to keep off the ship even more desperately...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And Odo can also be present at the explicit request of the Bajoran government (as he was, nominally anyway, in "The Search").
     
  11. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    Of course the real world explanation for Odo being on the Defiant is he's a MCC (Main Cast Character), they want him involved in the story even when it's on the Defiant away from the station. In-universe, in addition to the reasons already put forth, generally you could say he's considered part of the "hero" team. He has unique insights and points of view in situations and Sisko might tend to like having him around for that reason.

    As I said the Defiant was assigned to DS9 to be used by station personnel for high risk or hish security missions. DS9 is a joint operation run by Starfleet and Bajoran Militia personnel. Barring the Bajorans from the ship would defeat the purpose of its assignment to the station.

    In the episode "The Ascent" Odo found out the reason he was transporting Quark to wherever they were going was connected to the Orion Syndicate. I seem to recall Odo said if he'd known that before they left he would've used the Defiant to transport Quark. I'm too lazy to dig out my DS9 tapes, can anyone confirm or deny this?

    Robert
     
  12. cwalrus2

    cwalrus2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    ^ In the Ascent, Odo didn't know why Quark was being summoned to trial until Quark revealed to him that he was going to testify against teh Orion Syndicate. Odo mistakenly thought that Quark was finally caught for one of his petty crimes and therefore didn't need high level security. Had he known that the Orion Syndicate was involved, he would have requested that the Defiant be used to transport Quark instead of a runabout.

    Technically, Odo is the chief of security on the station, making him a department head. I guess a good in-universe explanation might be that Sisko merely wanted his department-heads involved in most of the Defiant's missions. They could have just explained it with a small line in the dialogue, but of course they never did. They also never showed much of Odo's Bajoran subordinates. Before Eddington defected, I suppose Eddington simply took charge of both Starfleet and Bajoran security when Odo was away, but after Eddington defected there was never anyone below Odo who was seen taking charge when Odo wasn't there.
     
  13. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    ^Thanks. Then if Odo had known beforehand that the Orion Syndicate was involved and used the Defiant to transport Quark, even I have trouble imagining Odo being in actual command of the ship. I'd imagine maybe Worf would be commanding the ship but Odo would be in charge of the overall mission which was simply to get Quark from point A to point B safely.

    Robert
     
  14. cwalrus2

    cwalrus2 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    ^exactly. Odo isn't a command officer so barring an extreme dire emergency he would have never commanded the Defiant, but he would have been in charge of overall mission in the Ascent had he known that he would need the Defiant. Worf would have commanded the ship while Odo would have taken charge of the actual prisoner transfer
     
  15. Crewman47

    Crewman47 Commodore Newbie

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    Wouldn't Odo asking for the Defiant to do the prisoner transfer, just for protection, be similar to the Police asking for a Navy warship to take one of there prisoners from one country to another. I mean that's all Odo is, a civilian Security authority for the Station.

    Or I am wrong in making this analogy?
     
  16. -Brett-

    -Brett- Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Real world analogies can be useful for understanding surrealistic fiction like Star Trek, but there's such a thing as taking it too far.

    You're Odo. You need to transfer a prisoner, and it's likely that there'll be an attempt on his life. You have runabouts, whatever civillian ships happen to be there, and the Defiant. Which would you rather use?
     
  17. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    Well, in your analogy your civilian policeman is the head of security of a military base. I thought Odo was a member of the Bajoran Militia but then he didn't seem to have a rank, none that I recall anyway.

    Robert
     
  18. Wil has a posse

    Wil has a posse Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Starfleet has occasionally been known to allow non-Starfleet personnel to assume officer positions. Kurn, for example, was not a Starfleet officer, but was appointed to the position of First Officer of the Enterprise-D, with the same authority as Riker had in that position.

    Obviously Kurn was part of an exchange program, which isn't exactly the same, but at least there's a precedent. I don't think it's that much of a stretch to assume that Starfleet had a similiar agreement worked out with the Bajorans, considering the joint nature of their mission on DS9.

    I always considered him to be their equivalent of enlisted.
     
  19. Steven

    Steven Admiral Admiral

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    It could be as simple as Starfleet allowing access to the Defiant for training purposes. After all, the only reason Sisko and co. were there in the first place was to prepare Bajor for admission into the Federation. Training Bajoran Militia officers, especially Major Kira, on Starfleet rules and procedures would certainly fall within those preparations.

    As for Odo... well, it's always handy to have a changeling around. Never know when you might need one. :p
     
  20. CDP

    CDP Commodore Commodore

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    Kira was the named XO in 'The Adversary' when she gave command codes for auto destruct.