The ramblings, rants, and observations of an Orthodox Reactionary. Feel free to look around!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Challenge: Make Voyager Good

I was on Rumbles, and noticed that there was a thread with this title on it. Now, as you know, Star Trek: Voyager was quite possibly one of the worst shows of all time-- with a few good moments. It was the "Twilight" of Star Trek shows. So the idea of making a good show out of the what is an interesting and workable premise intrigued me. Here's my shot:

Of couse, I strated from scratch-- first by removing the murdering, morally autistic Captain Janeway.

First, make Voyager not a scout ship, but a larger cruiser. Poor engines, not very fast, but tough and beefed-up. They have to destroy the caretaker array-- they travel for awhile, making allies (In no small part to the new Captain and First officer-- the Captain is a bit of a hot head, but Number one compliments him perfectly-- being a calm, able negotiator and diplomat.) Then, their engines start to fail. Like, irreversible failure. According to the engineer, Something happened with the array-- it introduced instabilities into the structure of the warp core itself. They've got weeks of warp power left. After that, well, it will be the galaxy's most expensive paperweight.

So then the scramble begins to find a suitable Class- M planet. They manage, but its inhabited by a dwindling race that used to travel the stars; their empire didn't collaspe, it just fizzled out. Their population is way past the sustainment rate, and falling. The welcome the new visitors, saying "We're on our way out. You can have this planet when we're gone-- and until then, you'll give us comfort in our final hours" etc. Some of the crew want to go home, but they realize its pretty well impossible and, in classic Federation fashion, have a generally optimistic outlook on this "adventure"-- after all, when you sign up for Starfleet, you're saying "I wanna boldly go": and building a society on the other side of the universe is pretty bold. The First officer starts by managing the minutiae and day-by-day stuff; and soon finds herself pretty much de facto laeder of the new society. Eventually they have elections, and she is chosen as Prime minister. The Captain- more out of inertia than anything else- runs against her, and ends up in her cabinet. He quits after a year.

They begin using the tech on this planet to replicate all the materials needed to build shelters, factories, farming, etc. The ship stays in orbit, running on impulse power, with a rotated skeleton crew every 90 days. Its purpose is trading post/star fort/space station, though the trading post role gets filled up in a few years when some new immigrants bring along their engineering skills.

Ah, the immigrants. There's a trickle at first-- Voyager picked up quite few their first year and a half traveling, as many hands make for light work. When the Starfleet ship settled down, others began arriving. Soon the trickle becomes a flood, as thousands of refugees, entrepreneurs, and other free spirits show up to make what they can of this new society. No space communism here; the only system that has any hope of working is a free-wheeling, barely regulated free-market, in which anything of value is currency. Issues arise with some of the ex-Starfleet types; Most manage to dive in with both feet and keep their head above water, some—having been disarmed by a lifetime of “For the Greater Good” silliness back in Federation space, can’t compete and begin to complain—these types coalesce with a small group of elitists who resent the newcomers. They call for a stronger central government, a control on immigration, and for this new government to pay them the pension- or its equivalent in wealth- due them by Starfleet at their retirement.

Also at this time begin the first stirrings of discontent among the original inhabitants of the planet. You see, they thought they were on the way out, so it really didn’t matter if these lost Federation types wanted asylum- in a few generations it would be their planet, whole and entire. But then something odd happened: The dying species- Lets call them the “Elves”- the Elves saw all this creativity and what not happening in front of them and rather than spending their time in sad contemplation and singing dirges to their lost race, started to get up and interact. And they found that their lust for life, for glory and adventure, was still there ready to be kicked into a steady flame. So the younger elves especially want to get in on this Federation thing. But the elders resent this. They were supposed to die with dignity. How many races get the chance to expire in a fashion that isn’t genocide or degeneration into barbarian savagery or self-annihilation? Furthermore, there’s a whole slew of lesser races invited in by these Feddies. How dare they? Is our beautiful homeworld, cradle and casket of the Elvish race, to become a polyglot paradise?

There’s a local bully, around this time- perhaps the Kazon?- who is terrorizing nearby systems. Stories are told by the refugees. At first, most Feddies- except a militant faction led by Captain Robards- want to stay out of it. But soon the stories- told by their neighbors, friends, and eventually wives and husbands- prick the conscience of the Alpha Quadrant types. So an ad hoc fleet is assembled—the parliament, mostly Starfleet types who can’t fend for themselves in the new society, hence the time in politics- vote the Captain to be fleet commander. They sally forth, and whip the Kazon something fierce. Almost overnight the Captain goes from being mostly irrelevant to local hero, and returns to take up the mantle as “The Hero of Karne Expanse.” A series of local planets submit requests to join the newcomers, and the “Confederacy of Worlds” is born. There are series of overhauls in government, and they end up sticking with a parliamentary system of government, with local worlds being almost autonomous—save for being unable to declare war or make treaties, etc. That’s the job of the Confederacy.

Number one is still the Prime Minister. But the Captain is enjoying his newfound fame, and undermining her at every turn. She is exasperated. Doesn’t he realize that she is trying to get this thing off the ground? Yet he shakes hands with the “Alpha-Firsts”, the “Restorationists”, and what’s more, the newcomers don’t seem to care! They too are enamored of the “Hero of the Karne Expanse”! Slowly, their once strong friendship—to the point that when the re-settled the crew had a running bet on when the Captain and the First Officer were going to become an item-- begins to dissolve.

Will they survive? I dunno.

Season Two: The election, and the building of the subspace array. Whispers of secession.


Would you watch it?


The desire to rule is the mother of heresies. – St. John Chrysostom

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