Voyager self destruct autorization

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Trekboy1993, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here are the list of people responsible for a self-destruct sequence in Star Trek:
    * Captain KIrk, Commander Spock, Lt. Commander Scott - Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
    * Admiral Kirk, Commander Scott, Commander Chekov - The Search for Spock
    * Captain Picard, Commander Riker - 11001001 & Where Silence Has Lease
    * Captain Sisko, Major Kira - The Adversary
    * Captain Janeway - Deadlock & Dreadnought
    * Captain Picard, Commander Crusher, Lt. Commander Worf - First Contact
    * Captain Picard - Nemesis

    One thing to note about this: 10 of the 11 people here have a high Starfleet rank (at least Lt. Commander - with Major Kira of the Bajoran Militia the sole exception). Is it possible that the auto-destruct sequence must be accessed by someone granted at least Lieutenant Commander rank by Starfleet Command? On Voyager, Tuvok started out as a Lieutenant (negating production inconsistencies), and Chakotay was only ever granted a provisional rank. Both were promoted at Janeway's discretion, with no outside agency possible (until the last seasons). Kira (as the equivalent of a Lt. Commander) would have been granted this authority over perhaps only the Defiant by Starfleet.

    Worf in First Contact, and perhaps all of them in The Search for Spock (they're mutineers, and assigned to the Academy, the Excelsior, and the Reliant, respectively), still held authorization from Starfleet to destruct a ship that they do not belong to, leading credence that Starfleet authorizes all (command-level?) Lieutenant Commanders authority to at least concur in a self-destruct sequence in an emergency. The Captain (or Admiral in one case) has always been the necessary initiator, with only Janeway's (and Picard's "Omega" sequence in Nemesis) being the only instance of no concurrence necessary or perhaps possible. And, with the exception of Admiral Kirk in TSFS (Admiral's discretion? carry-over from his authorization in The Wrath of Khan?), all Captains were the permanent, assigned CO of that Starfleet.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see why Starfleet would restrict auto-destruct to specific ranks. What if there are none left alive on the ship? Lower ranked officers have to be able to engage the destruct if all of their superiors have been killed.
     
  3. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Scotty identifies himself as Chief Engineer, and Chekov as Acting Science Officer, to the computer. It seems more like the accesses hadn't yet been reset since Enterprise docked and was slated for decommissioning than that the Enterprise would let any rando blow it up.. Worf was probably logged in to the E-E computer off-screen when Picard asked him to take over at tactical.
     
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  4. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With all the sensitive equipment in Engineering, they'd better hope no deranged crewman has a "death wish."

    I mean, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
     
  5. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought maybe it was just a command responsibility given to Lt. Commanders. In Voyager's situation, there are no LTCs (other than those given a provisional rank or field promotion), and the Captain has sole purview for the first time in canon over the Auto-Destruct. I think that might be related.

    It's possible that the Captain has discretion in determining how the concurrences shall work (Kirk wanting two senior officers, Picard trusting his XO, Janeway opting to decide herself). I assume the Computer AI can determine complex contingencies based on lifesigns or lack thereof of whomever is onboard and maybe the situation at hand.

    Captains generally leave someone in charge, and I believe in a Stargazer/Enterprise-C scenario, the Computer tracks who has taken command and accepts actions accordingly (although it might not play ball with mutineers/boarders, STIII excepted).
     
  6. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just rewatched 11001001 (TNG S1). In it, autodestruct can be set, but only at a 5 minutes interval (this is explicitly stated in the dialogue between Picard and Riker). In Where silence has lease (TNG S2 ), a time interval can be set. So it seems the introduction of that little feature was between S1 and S2 of TNG. Keeps me a bit wondering though, it seems like something that would be important to have and probably not difficult to create, so it should have been there from the earliest days of the auto-destruct feature.
    I know I'm going very offtopic here, but who actually was the third person in the authority hierarchy on DS9? Would that have been Dax?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
  7. Farscape One

    Farscape One Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm thinking it might go to Eddington, as Security Chief, or O'Brien, Chief Engineer.

    I lean toward O'Brien, given the importance of such a post.
     
  8. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it was Dax until Worf came along.
     
  9. Farscape One

    Farscape One Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ordinarily, you could be right.

    But in that episode, at the time he was setting the auto-destruct, Dax was incapacitated. I was referring to that specific situation, as I thought that was what the question was geared directly toward.
     
  10. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was Eddington while he was there. The Defiant only need two people to self destruct, right?

    O'Brien isn't in the chain of Command. Even Nog outranks him.
     
  11. Farscape One

    Farscape One Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was looking at it from a position perspective, not a rank one. Besides, with the exception of O'Brien, every Chief Engineer we've seen holds at least Lt. Cmdr. rank, except for season 2 Geordi.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    O'Brien is an odd one, as he has positional authority being Chief Engineer of the USS Defiant and Chief of Operations on Starbase Deep Space Nine.
     
  13. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's possible that there's some sort of points-based system, so captain and first officer pass the threshold (Picard and Riker), but captain and chief engineer need the support of another officer (As in ST3). With the actual score needed possibly changing over the decades, and definitely to match the crew size and number of senior officers aboard.
     
  14. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Janeway's a control freak.
     
  15. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Was it the first time for a Captain to have the sole control of auto-destruct? Since other Trek has been brought up in this thread what about Lorca destroying the Buran?
     
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    But do we know he was soley responsible for that? AS Captain of the ship we would say Kirk blew the Enterprise up in TSFS even though two others aided him in hat action.
     
  17. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Admiral

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    That's probably just the nature of field testing such hardware. You don't need it until you need it, so it's not fully implemented until necessary.
     
  18. at Quark's

    at Quark's Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can't really believe that. I mean, so we already have a device/mechanism that is capable of triggering an explosion in exactly 5 minutes, but we can't simply tell the computer to wait an additional 15 minutes before kickstarting that device/mechanism to get to a total of 20 minutes? That wouldn't even be a challenge to program today. It might be a different story if I wanted that explosion to occur sooner than those 5 minutes though (depending on how the triggering mechanism would work)...
     
  19. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Admiral

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    It's the Star Trek universe. Bridge consoles still explode when the ship's hit. Being at the helm is practically a death sentence.
     
  20. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the episode, they don't even say intervals. It can only be 5 minutes. I can't think of a practical reason for this. Owing to the story, maybe it's so whoever has seized the vessel won't have time to disable it. Also, Picard and Riker set the thing with no intention of blowing up. They set it, then formulated a plan to try and take back the ship within 5 minutes.

    Also kinda neat and unhollywoodlike, they deactivate after 3 minutes(with 2 remaining) which coincides exactly with the screen running time. And they have to do another fingerprint scan, but this time on the bridge.

    The second time they use it, which is only about 10 episodes later, they proceed to set the auto-destruct in the exact same manner(Picard and Riker need to go down to engineering and do a fingerprint scan), the computer says "how long," they look a little surprised. Riker looks at Picard and says "Short and sweet or let the crew mire in agony?" They decide on 20 minutes because it's "a nice, round number." Picard deactivates it from the bridge, this time not needing a fingerprint scan, and in the final 10 seconds, ensuring that all 1,000 crewmember got to have their life flash before their eyes, "knowing" that they are about to die.

    I wonder what the crew were thinking during and after this, knowing nothing of Nagelum, or what was going on.