What is an "ion pod?"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Jeri, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    It doesn't matter. It is simply a plot device.
  2. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    ^ There ya go, being all sensible and logical and shit...
  3. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    It's what I do.
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Why is this "clear"? From the four-compass-point scorch marks that "always are characteristic of explosions"? If that's enough to make it "clear" that this was an explosion (rather than a set of four rockets firing, say), then we can easily come up with other equally "clear" things.

    Anything could have happened at that location, including a space dragon breathing on the latch bolts. The odds of four built-in devices undergoing something exothermic by design are the highest of all, though. It would be pretty unlikely for them to explode against design intent: one accidental explosion would be possible, perhaps two, but not four simultaneous and symmetric ones. Explosion according to design intent, but perhaps at an unfortunate time, is likelier. What possible explanation would cover those four marks if the thing being replaced were just a running light? Four symmetrically placed power leads blowing simultaneously? As said, low odds - why the symmetry, why the simultaneity, why four?

    Four latches for something intended to be unlatched at command is a higher-odds hypothesis, because intent explains symmetry and simultaneity, and the need to latch explains the quadruplicity.

    Is that intended as an insult?

    It's certainly better than ignoring facts in evidence, or lying about them. Such as falsely claiming that the hole is too small...

    Yeah, I assume facts not in evidence - when I'm constructing a fictional chain of events or some other fictional whole as an interpretation for onscreen oddities. I may ignore a few "facts not in evidence" in the process, too. But once I'm done, I'll be certain to note (to my best ability) if there are facts actually in evidence that weaken the model, and I'll then try to come up with something better if I can.

    Well, it would almost have to be, now wouldn't it? I mean, the starship we're shown should be capable of easily dealing with anything non-magical we might call an "ion storm". Kirk's ship nearly flounders, though. And our heroes seem to display a scientific interest in the storm, while they are already deadened to may a thing we must consider magical. Spatial storms elsewhere in Trek have displayed magical properties, such as the ability to move FTL or sweep ships lightyears off course.

    Magical qualities would certainly make sense here. Subspace magic, for example. Perhaps the storm messes up with the futuro-electronics of the ship big time, much like the electronics of a modern ship might become suspect or useless in a hostile EM environment, and communications with certain outer extremities become difficult. Perhaps backup communications means are not worth the effort when the easiest backup of them all, manpower, can be made to substitute for the futuro-electronics? Manpower is established elsewhere to be rather resistant to subspace magic (which is only logical, because if it were susceptible to that, we'd have observed subspace already here in the 21st century and it wouldn't be magic to us).

    So, yeah, I'm all for giving ion storms enough magical qualities to make them maximally analogous to an Earthly storm and its effects on an old sailing vessel. Whatever magic works as the howl of wind that makes the yells of the lookout in the crow's nest to go unheard is appropriate for the plot.

    ...Not that all interpretations of the ion pod would require those exact qualities of magic. But appealing to magic in this case is certainly perfectly valid.

    Timo Saloniemi
  5. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 20, 2001
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    I opened a can of ionic worms with this topic.
  6. StarryEyed

    StarryEyed Commodore Commodore

    Jan 7, 2008
    Florida Keys
    That you did. I didn't expect it to last this long.