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Thread: The Orville

  1. - Top - End - #91
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    It's starting to feel feel like the tone and feel they're going for is "Star Trek: TNG but with a ship full of people who don't take themselves as seriously as those stuffy Enterprise people do".

    I liked TNG when it was on, and it'd be nice to have a space show that wasn't trying to do a big complicated arc with deep secrets that the writers will get around to deciding on the answers to if they get renewed again, but I'm not quite sure The Orville has figured out where to go with this, either. I kind of worry it'll turn into "Star Trek: TNG Season 8, but with a token rude joke in the teaser each week". (Which I suspect I would still watch, but...)

    I'm hoping it settles into something with kind of the relationship shows like Due South or Castle had to "regular" cop shows. (Not that those shows were particularly similar to each other, but they each were different than a typical cop show in their own way and didn't take the genre as a completely serious thing.) (I'd find it particularly amusing if they went the full Due South route and eventually threw away all attempts to make sense in favor of basing entire episodes around Stan Rogers songs, but that's a pretty specific thing to want and it's probably just me and a few of my closest friends rooting for that.)

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    On the contrary, after this week's episode it feels like they're actually going for a long arc in a way that TNG never did. Recall all the setup for this, starting from Bortus' very first introduction: The show has hammered the fact that the rest of the Union doesn't know all that much about Moclan society or biology in all the episodes so far and this week it bit them in the behind. I've seen people hold this up as an example of why Mercer shouldn't be in command because surely they teach this at the Academy, but nobody else on the bridge crew knew Moclans lay eggs either, nor that they treated female births the way they do, even to the point of being willing to casually threaten the life of a Union captain on his very own ship over it.

    In TNG, Picard would have given a speech and convinced them to abandon their centuries-old cultural mores and the whole thing would be wrapped up by the end of the episode. This wasn't, and what's more they went to a good amount of trouble to emphasize that the Moclans were willing to fire on a ship of the Planetary Union of which they are a member over said cultural mores. I will be shocked if it doesn't come up again in some way.

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    Personally, I'm wondering how much of that "once every 75 years" statistic is true; that we came up with three Moclans of the, like, seven named/speaking ones confirmed born female (Klyden, the old woman they found in the mountains, and of course the baby), it's possible that they're actually a sexually dimorphic species and simply regularly do sex changes on female infants. Considering Klyden didn't know until he was examined by a Union doctor, we don't know what the actual rate is, considering they have an extreme taboo against discussing the subject. You can make a fairly strong case for supposing that they might actually be naturally multi-gendered and have simply been surgically "correcting" this for generations. Either way, it's obviously extremely screwed up.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    On the contrary, after this week's episode it feels like they're actually going for a long arc in a way that TNG never did. Recall all the setup for this, starting from Bortus' very first introduction: The show has hammered the fact that the rest of the Union doesn't know all that much about Moclan society or biology in all the episodes so far and this week it bit them in the behind. I've seen people hold this up as an example of why Mercer shouldn't be in command because surely they teach this at the Academy, but nobody else on the bridge crew knew Moclans lay eggs either, nor that they treated female births the way they do, even to the point of being willing to casually threaten the life of a Union captain on his very own ship over it.

    In TNG, Picard would have given a speech and convinced them to abandon their centuries-old cultural mores and the whole thing would be wrapped up by the end of the episode. This wasn't, and what's more they went to a good amount of trouble to emphasize that the Moclans were willing to fire on a ship of the Planetary Union of which they are a member over said cultural mores. I will be shocked if it doesn't come up again in some way.
    There actually was an episode of TNG about encountering a race of humanoids with a culture aggressively dedicated to preserving their androgyny. Picard's "Defend individuality or take a hardline pro-Prime Directive stance" coin landed Prime Directive side up that episode.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    There actually was an episode of TNG about encountering a race of humanoids with a culture aggressively dedicated to preserving their androgyny. Picard's "Defend individuality or take a hardline pro-Prime Directive stance" coin landed Prime Directive side up that episode.
    I remember it. So far as I know, the J'naii weren't members of the Federation. And the Prime Directive shouldn't have applied either way, since the Directive is to not interfere with pre-Warp drive societies, which the J'naii apparently were not. (If they were they were already breaking the Prime Directive every day and twice on Sundays just having some on the ship.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    There actually was an episode of TNG about encountering a race of humanoids with a culture aggressively dedicated to preserving their androgyny. Picard's "Defend individuality or take a hardline pro-Prime Directive stance" coin landed Prime Directive side up that episode.
    I prefer Purple/Green argument on Babylon 5 if we are going withculture aggressively dedicated to preserving their beliefs:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcBTOU7RvbU

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    I found the issue strange in that both sides were so totally hamfisted that the whole thing turned out muddled.

    So the not-klingons think being female is a birth defect which they correct at birth. Their correction somehow so completely cured the innate genetic weaknesses of the defect to the point where those who have undergone it never know. They still discriminate against people if they know they had the procedure despite being shown no differences at all. These views are so engrained that the race will risk war with a major ally to avoid chsllengeign them, unless they watch a catchy children's movie - then they were clearly wrong.

    To make it worse, the species is set up to have no need of multiple genders - making the whole thing even weirder.

    The other side is no better - unable to see past their own hangups, they never offer any real justification for why they are so opposed to it. The only character to grapple with the issue is Bortas who once again feels like a character from a much better show who would up here l by accident (complaint about Rudolph not withstanding).

    The show is frustrating in that there is great promise but instead of actually dealing with genuine emotional conflicts that they bring up - they play those moments for laughs and then ignore the implications of it.


    As such this doesn't feel like Star Trek where everyone takes themselves less seriously. To me it feels like Star Trek but everyone is immature, incompetent, and jerk, and idiot, or all of the above. It breaks my immersion to have the plot turn completely on the idea that Bortas got that engrossed in the story of Rudolph. Epsiode 2 did the same thing with "your a Jerk sir" okay I'll change my mind to make you like me "now you are smart and we will reward you" ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperPanda View Post
    I found the issue strange in that both sides were so totally hamfisted that the whole thing turned out muddled.

    So the not-klingons think being female is a birth defect which they correct at birth. Their correction somehow so completely cured the innate genetic weaknesses of the defect to the point where those who have undergone it never know. They still discriminate against people if they know they had the procedure despite being shown no differences at all. These views are so engrained that the race will risk war with a major ally to avoid chsllengeign them, unless they watch a catchy children's movie - then they were clearly wrong.

    To make it worse, the species is set up to have no need of multiple genders - making the whole thing even weirder.

    The other side is no better - unable to see past their own hangups, they never offer any real justification for why they are so opposed to it. The only character to grapple with the issue is Bortas who once again feels like a character from a much better show who would up here l by accident (complaint about Rudolph not withstanding).

    The show is frustrating in that there is great promise but instead of actually dealing with genuine emotional conflicts that they bring up - they play those moments for laughs and then ignore the implications of it.


    As such this doesn't feel like Star Trek where everyone takes themselves less seriously. To me it feels like Star Trek but everyone is immature, incompetent, and jerk, and idiot, or all of the above. It breaks my immersion to have the plot turn completely on the idea that Bortas got that engrossed in the story of Rudolph. Epsiode 2 did the same thing with "your a Jerk sir" okay I'll change my mind to make you like me "now you are smart and we will reward you" ...
    Yes its a ludicrously ham-handed 'message' about transgenderism that doesn't even make sense in context, much less as a moral message. Pretty typical for McFarlane.

    I mean Seth McFarlane is generally funny and entertaining but Family Guy has always been at its worst when its trying to preach.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperPanda View Post
    The other side is no better - unable to see past their own hangups, they never offer any real justification for why they are so opposed to it.
    ... How about basic, self-evident sapient rights? The Moclan argument falls apart at denying it should be the decision of the child.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    ... How about basic, self-evident sapient rights? The Moclan argument falls apart at denying it should be the decision of the child.
    Considering how rare it is, I don't even know why they would refer to it as two separate sexes rather than some other named condition. One born every 75 years over a whole spacefaring races' population is INSANELY low. Unless theres some explanation of them originally having two sexes and it somehow changed to one after all the sex selection that went on, something that rare would just be treated exactly as a birth defect to be corrected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Considering how rare it is, I don't even know why they would refer to it as two separate sexes rather than some other named condition. One born every 75 years over a whole spacefaring races' population is INSANELY low. Unless theres some explanation of them originally having two sexes and it somehow changed to one after all the sex selection that went on, something that rare would just be treated exactly as a birth defect to be corrected.
    I was assuming that the one every 75 years was a lie to support the practice. Families might be suspicious if half their children were female, but they would be too ashamed to say anything to anyone about it. Doctors would know the real rate. It is a weak link that no doctors would say anything about it and it would remain a secret, but given the society, eh, I'll allow that as a great medical secret. And I'm not going to concern myself with that much because I don't think the show did. However, they maybe could go there in the future.

    Thinking of the mentioned TNG episode, though, maybe the mixing of the metaphors in the Orville episode is a little bit of a feature rather than a bug. The TNG episode doing basically a reversal of what was "normal" with regards to sexuality had a cringey implication in the conclusion of "what a tragedy it is for her to not be allowed to be binary heterosexual like us and enjoy Riker's penis" haunting the message. The Orville taking some from column A and some from column B avoids falling into that trap exactly.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Apart from the Doctor they don't really make that case. Also the show goes out of its way to show that the operation is so safe and successful that a person can go their whole life without knowing they had it.

    Without going too far into real world, the show brings up circumcision and actually lets that be a smart comparison. Negligible benefit, measurable harm that many are unaware of, outside of specific religions exists as a norm only because it is currently a norm, and the one who undergoes it almost never has a choice in the matter.

    The show goes out of its way to establish the procedure having 0 physical side effects. We get a sample of 2 - one who had it as is emphatic that this was good and one who did not and is emphatic that this is good. We are shown no downsides to having it in the stupidly arbitrary society of the Moklans. We are shown serious downsides to not having it in the stupidly arbitrary society. The reason for it existing is naked sexism and the Orville crew is unable to address that issue in anything like a smart way. They exclusively rely on anecdotes from obvious outliers - which actually reinforces the Moklan argument because it suggests that there is no good data which shows them wrong about the differences "on average."

    I don't disagree that there are good reasons the Moklans are in the wrong here - it's just that the show went out of its way to discredit them for this hypothetical. It felt more like a deconstruction of Federation moralism in TNG while also feeling like a justification for it.

    In the end we are left with "Moklans are wrong because they're culture is icky and Union is right because they are the heroes." There are smart things to say but the show carefully avoided saying them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Considering how rare it is, I don't even know why they would refer to it as two separate sexes rather than some other named condition. One born every 75 years over a whole spacefaring races' population is INSANELY low. Unless theres some explanation of them originally having two sexes and it somehow changed to one after all the sex selection that went on, something that rare would just be treated exactly as a birth defect to be corrected.
    I put this in spoiler tags a couple of days ago, but I seriously doubt it's actually that rare. The show tells us that's what the Moclans say, but it shows us that the wider Planetary Union doesn't actually know that much about Moclan society or biology (one can only assume intentionally on the part of the Moclans), and also shows us about half the named/speaking Moclan characters on the show that we know anything about to have been born female. It isn't that difficult to infer that the Moclans are in fact naturally sexually dimorphic and simply hide the fact for ingrained cultural reasons.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    I put this in spoiler tags a couple of days ago, but I seriously doubt it's actually that rare. The show tells us that's what the Moclans say, but it shows us that the wider Planetary Union doesn't actually know that much about Moclan society or biology (one can only assume intentionally on the part of the Moclans), and also shows us about half the named/speaking Moclan characters on the show that we know anything about to have been born female. It isn't that difficult to infer that the Moclans are in fact naturally sexually dimorphic and simply hide the fact for ingrained cultural reasons.
    I mean that's possible but you'd think this would have been a good episode to dig at that with. Realistically I'm pretty sure the writers just didn't think through the logical consequences of the number they spouted out.

    I also found the court scene absolutely ridiculous. How is showing that a different race's males/females had different aptitudes or lack thereof, provide ANY proof to the Moclans? She should have been laughed out of the court. I mean in the end if kinda worked since Moclan females were clearly not completely different and inferior to Moclan males, but there's no inherent reason that was the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    ... How about basic, self-evident sapient rights? The Moclan argument falls apart at denying it should be the decision of the child.
    They answer that by saying that waiting until the child is able to decide for themselves makes it too late. In short, regardless of decision, you are deciding for the child via action or inaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Considering how rare it is, I don't even know why they would refer to it as two separate sexes rather than some other named condition. One born every 75 years over a whole spacefaring races' population is INSANELY low. Unless theres some explanation of them originally having two sexes and it somehow changed to one after all the sex selection that went on, something that rare would just be treated exactly as a birth defect to be corrected.
    As shown, it does not actually seem to be that low. We have three confirmed instances, and at least two are by happenstance(parent and child). They *believe* it to be that low, but they clearly believe a long of gender related stuff that is...inaccurate. This may be another such case.

    I do agree that some of the arguments made were seriously weak. Extrapolating from another species entirely? Ehhhh. I viewed that as mostly a deconstruction of the "heroic speech changes everything" trope. The heroes *are* working mostly from the standpoint of a gut level reaction, and everyone has a remarkable amount of difficulty in getting the other entrenched side to swap over to their view which is....honestly pretty realistic. People make dumb arguments in real life, and make emotional reactions, and generally very few people are swept up en masse by a singular speech from the opposition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    As shown, it does not actually seem to be that low. We have three confirmed instances, and at least two are by happenstance(parent and child). They *believe* it to be that low, but they clearly believe a long of gender related stuff that is...inaccurate. This may be another such case.
    Now that I think of it its necessarily untrue, unless Moclans have incredibly long lifespans. If the one in 75 years was correct, the father here would need to be at least 75 and the writer at least 150.

    I do agree that some of the arguments made were seriously weak. Extrapolating from another species entirely? Ehhhh. I viewed that as mostly a deconstruction of the "heroic speech changes everything" trope. The heroes *are* working mostly from the standpoint of a gut level reaction, and everyone has a remarkable amount of difficulty in getting the other entrenched side to swap over to their view which is....honestly pretty realistic. People make dumb arguments in real life, and make emotional reactions, and generally very few people are swept up en masse by a singular speech from the opposition.
    I'm at least glad they didn't change their minds after the ridiculous "trial". It would have felt much worse if those arguments actually convinced them. I wonder if it was just a throwaway episode or if they'll delve deeper into things here. Presumably it'll be something if they manage to get more than one season of the show.

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    The whole trial felt like they were doing a parody of bad feminist arguments, which is kind of a shame because there was a potentially interesting thing here. For starters they are clearly not a single sex species, or at least they haven't always been. Did that happen naturally or was there a great big purge of female moklans centuries ago? Because sometimes people are born with monkey tails or things like that as a evolutionary throwback, it's called atavism. If we're talking about something like that the discovery of one or two people who didn't have the tails removed at birth who ended up having a meaningful life and even use them to their advantage would not make the tails anything else than a birth defect and the crew is wrong and applying the standards of their species to a different one. On the other hand if the whole race had a deep dark secret of discovering they could reproduce without females (also, by which definition is a creature that lays an egg not a female?) and killing all of them that's something else entirely.
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    It could have been an interesting discussion of genetic engineering if they had revealed that was the way this was done. We have a lot of series which show the hazards of genetic engineering but its rare that we have ones that show the benefits. The only sci fi like that I can think of is the Culture novels where even very invasive genetic engineering is commonplace. The Eugenics wars of Star Trek only occurred because they dictated that the Augments also became aggressive and egotistical. Those aren't inherent characteristics that necessarily follow from genetic engineering.

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    The show may have cut it, or may have not thought of it (don't want to give them too much credit), but the different species problem isn't one in a way. If you want to find an individual contemptible for the genetic accident of their birth, does it make a difference if it's sex or species? What are they going to argue? "That doesn't count. She's only stronger because she was born that way. That means nothing!".

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    Well, what argument was Commander Grayson supposed to make apart from the one she did? The Moclans were clearly not going to accept the basic sapient rights argument; it had already been summarily dismissed. Challenging their conceptions was the only route to take at that point.
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    Finally got to see it. I like the informal speaking of the crew, a nice change from Star Trek/Babylon 5, but Lieutenant Malloy is starting to get on my nerves the informality can become a nuisance. I don't mind the humor, but sometimes I feel like they're trying too hard. When I feel that it's Malloy who's doing the talking. I'm wanting him off the screen as soon as he appears. Mr. Slime (Yaphit?) is the same way, but at least he's one a one joke shtick then he's gone for the rest of the show.

    Obligatory: Took the third episode for a male and female crewmember to spar with each other and of course the female won to prove a point.
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    Haven't watched the show yet, but I found this kind of interesting:

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    That's quite a gap, for both of them.
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    Weird, those critic ratings.

    I haven't seen second Enterprise episode because it is behind a pay screen/online, but Orville was much better overall so far.

    Maybe that hidden episode is very very amazing, but I can't see how.

    I mean, they (well, the number 1) are so unprofessional in Discovery:
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    She knocks out one, she punches another, she backtalks her commander, etc. Number 1 is not cut out for it. Her behavior towards the captain—lying, physical assault and usurpation of command is a way not allowed usually.

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    As I understand it, the second episode, among other things, involves the Feds desecrating the dead, the XO coming up with a plan to capture the head Klingon, then just murderizing him (but deliberately waiting until he kills Michelle Yeoh first).

    The real kicker? The first two episodes have nothing to do with the series. They're just a TV movie in the same setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Weird, those critic ratings.

    I haven't seen second Enterprise episode because it is behind a pay screen/online, but Orville was much better overall so far.

    Maybe that hidden episode is very very amazing, but I can't see how.

    I mean, they (well, the number 1) are so unprofessional in Discovery:
    Spoiler
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    She knocks out one, she punches another, she backtalks her commander, etc. Number 1 is not cut out for it. Her behavior towards the captain—lying, physical assault and usurpation of command is a way not allowed usually.
    Not just 'unprofessional' and 'not allowed'. In any world that made sense she would have been court martialed and thrown in the brig, probably for years. She DEFINITELY wouldn't have been allowed to just quietly transfer to another ship. But no. No consequences exist for the Chosen Ones!!! I guarantee they'll still make her a captain in a year or so.

    Remember this is the same Star Trek that included a Deep Space Nine episode where Worf chose to safe his wife's life over completing the mission and Sisko told him it would mean he would never be offered starship command because of it.

    Discovery's little golden girl effectively tries to stage a mutiny for far, FAR more petty reasons and by the end of the episode has zero consequences she has to worry about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    Not just 'unprofessional' and 'not allowed'. In any world that made sense she would have been court martialed and thrown in the brig, probably for years. She DEFINITELY wouldn't have been allowed to just quietly transfer to another ship. But no. No consequences exist for the Chosen Ones!!! I guarantee they'll still make her a captain in a year or so.

    Remember this is the same Star Trek that included a Deep Space Nine episode where Worf chose to safe his wife's life over completing the mission and Sisko told him it would mean he would never be offered starship command because of it.

    Discovery's little golden girl effectively tries to stage a mutiny for far, FAR more petty reasons and by the end of the episode has zero consequences she has to worry about.
    No consequences? Did you see the end of episode 2? The punishment actually seems MORE severe than I'd expect for the Federation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    Discovery's little golden girl effectively tries to stage a mutiny for far, FAR more petty reasons and by the end of the episode has zero consequences she has to worry about.
    Say Waaa???

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    Life imprisonment is *zero* consequences?? That's basically *the worst punishment* the federation would hand out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Say Waaa???

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    Life imprisonment is *zero* consequences?? That's basically *the worst punishment* the federation would hand out!
    Since we know her punishment is waived immediately so she can be assigned to the Discovery as its XO, yes, she has no consequences.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Renegade Paladin's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Since we know her punishment is waived immediately so she can be assigned to the Discovery as its XO, yes, she has no consequences.
    ... That's ridiculous. And people have been saying Mercer's conduct breaks suspension of disbelief on The Orville (to bring this back around to topic).
    "Courage is the complement of fear. A fearless man cannot be courageous. He is also a fool." -- Robert Heinlein


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    Olinser's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    Say Waaa???

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    Life imprisonment is *zero* consequences?? That's basically *the worst punishment* the federation would hand out!
    You must be joking.

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    Yeah. Life imprisonment! Never mind, no need to actually do that. Now go be the 2nd in command of a starship and we'll just forget about it.

    Seriously i wouldn't trust her peeling potatoes in the kitchen, much less as an XO.
    Last edited by Olinser; 2017-09-26 at 05:21 PM.

    ALL HAIL THE GREAT RAK!!

    I use the same name in every game I ever play or forum I join (except the pretender on PSN that forced me to be RealOlinser). If you see an Olinser in a game or on a website, there's a high chance it's me, feel free to shoot me a message.

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    I have to assume that Olinser was equally outraged when Kirk stole the Enterprise and then blew it up, and instead of a court martial, he was made captain of a new, better ship.

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