Anath G'Renn

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Poll of the Week: Starfleet Retro Revival

When it comes to Starfleet ship design, there are always new designs in the works. When it launched, the Galaxy-class was considered the safest, most advanced ship in Starfleet and assignment to one was an honor. Within ten years of its launch, the more powerful Sovereign-class was designed, built, and put into service to take its title as the most advanced class of ship in the fleet. The 2370s also saw new designs tested in the form of the dedicated warship Defiant-class, the Intrepid-class full of new technologies, and the Prometheus-class with an experimental multi-vector assault mode. However, this constant change of what design is the most advanced of the moment doesn’t detract from how dependable Starfleet ships designs can be. Some ships, like the Excelsior-class and Miranda-class, were still seeing regular use a century later. Starfleet ship classes are routinely refitted with new technologies to extend their useful lifespans. Even the Oberth-class remained in regular service for decades.

This week, we’d like to know if there are any older models of ship that could be a valuable asset to Starfleet if they were just updated to modern standards with new technology. Do you think that a Constitution-class redesigned and rebuilt from new components could hold its own against modern explorer designs? Would you like to see the Miranda or the Excelsior revisited and retooled to see that they remain on the front lines of the final frontier into the 25th century? Or maybe you think that Starfleet should be trying new designs and new ideas rather than remaking old ships?

Which older class of ship would you like to see redesigned and reintroduced into the fleet?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Modern Conveniences

Future technology is nothing if not incredibly convenient. Technology helps make the life of Starfleet officers easier and more enjoyable every day. Turbolifts can take someone almost anywhere on a ship in a minute or two. Replicators can create almost anything imaginable. Holodecks can take you anywhere from a historic battle to a peaceful park for a walk. The cultural and scientific knowledge of hundreds of worlds is compiled within Memory Alpha. Keeping in touch with friends and family is no issue with transporters able to take you halfway across the world in a second, real-time subspace video calls, and easy and convenient travel through the Federation.

Of the modern luxuries in the 24th century, everyone has those that they use most frequently. But there are others that could easily go unused. Turbolifts may be faster, but the jefferies tubes can get to just as many places. Some people swear off ever using replicators and only eat real food. Others might never call home over subspace and just rely on letters back and forth to keep in touch with people back home. A few officers in Starfleet history were terrified of transporters and would use shuttles whenever possible.

This week, we want to know which technological convenience your character would be least willing to go without. Would your character be completely lost without a food replicator? Is being able to talk face-to-face with family the only thing that makes life out on a starship bearable?

Which 24th century comfort would your character be least willing to give up?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: KLIN – Hit Klingon Operas of the 2370s, 80s, and 90s

In the 24th century, older forms of entertainment like television and radio seem to be obsolete and no longer in use. Entertainment like holonovels and live performances by the crew have become more prominent. Additionally, the Starfleet database contains music from across the galaxy going back centuries. There doesn’t really seem to be much need for the radio anymore.

However, it’s hard to believe that music just stopped being made. There have to be aspiring musicians out there creating new music. Commentators from Bajor to Vulcan no doubt would like to share their opinions on current events in the Federation. Radio stations today often struggle with falling audience numbers and the resultant drop in advertisement revenue. In a post-scarcity economy, radio stations could make a comeback and serve a niche audience.

What kind of music would your character listen to after a long day to unwind? Would they choose the greatest hits of the 20th century or is the indie music of the 23rd more to their liking? Maybe your character would prefer to listen to talk radio shows and keep up to date with current events. With commercial viability being a lower barrier for entry, even radio dramas could make a resurgence.

If Starfleet had radio stations on the ship, what would your character listen to?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Advice From the Past

The computer on a Starfleet ship is an excellent resource. The database contains star charts, logs of everything that the ship has encountered, and a reference library including literature from hundreds of worlds, historical data spanning thousands of years, and information from dozens of fields of study from astrophysics to microbiology. In addition to the raw storage capacity, the ship’s computer can assist in analyzing data and simulate just about anything given enough data.

While collaborating with the ship’s computer is very helpful, some people do not like talking to a disembodied computer voice. Many Starfleet officers have turned to the holodeck so that the computer has an avatar to communicate through. When Voyager’s EMH needed to learn exobiology, he created a consultant program modeled on an infamous Cardassian doctor. Data consulted with a holographic recreation of Sigmund Freud to help interpret his dreams and Barclay called on the expertise of hologram Einstein to discuss physics and cosmology. Even holoprograms like Vic Fontaine and Leonardo da Vinci would sometimes give advice to the crew in times of need.

Everyone needs advice now and then. When confronted with a problem, why not get the perspective of someone who has been there before? The famous captains of Starfleet have seen it all in their various missions across the galaxy. Their service records, appearances, and personality profiles would all be easily accessible to the computer. What would Captain Kirk make of the Borg? What better way to work through a complicated conundrum than sitting down and enjoying a cup of Earl Grey with a holographic Picard?

Which Starfleet captain would your character most want to receive advice from?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: CSI: Starfleet

Star Trek has varied in tone and style over the years. An individual series can be more hopeful and with a retro science fiction style, or more dark and morally complex. It could even be live-action or animated. But in general, each main Star Trek series is of the same basic genre. What if the franchise decided to branch out in a big way for a new spinoff?

The launch of the new Picard series and the various projects related to Discovery have left plenty of options for spinoffs. Most of these proposed spinoff projects would be focused on particular characters. However, the Star Trek universe is full of characters, technologies, and alien worlds to explore. There could be room to explore that universe through a series that is in a slightly different genre from a traditional Trek series.

A police procedural or a medical drama set in the Star Trek universe would have a lot of options and more than fifty years of reference material to draw on. These other television genres might be unusual for the Star Trek universe, but they could certainly be an interesting look into various corners of the Trek universe.

Which television genre would make for an interesting Star Trek spinoff series?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: I, Robot?

The Star Trek universe is home to all kinds of sentient life. The various humanoids that populate the galaxy are only the beginning. There are also the members of the enigmatic Q Continuum, giant crystalline beings, spaceborne animals, energy spirits, and a living nebula or two. But what about the androids, holoprograms, and computers of the galaxy?

Advances in the field of artificial intelligence produce artificial intelligences that are more and more lifelike and capable of things that would never be expected from the computers of previous generations. Even technology not typically treated as actual beings, such as the Enterprise D computer, have demonstrated the ability to develop a mind of their own with repeated use. The status of artificial beings such as Lieutenant Commander Data or Voyager’s EMH have been the central conflict in multiple episodes.

While Data and the other Soong androids are a unique case, there was nothing particularly exceptional about the EMH on Voyager until prolonged activation and accumulated experiences as the ship’s doctor caused him to expand beyond his original programming. If the Doctor could become a sentient being, is every hologram capable of the same transformation? Holoprograms such as the Doctor or Vic Fontaine appear to be the exception rather than the rule. What would the effects on life in the Federation change if every holoprogram and computer had the same rights as any other sentient being? How is sentience in an artificial being determined, if it is possible at all? That is the question we’d like to pose to you this week.

Do you think androids, holograms, and computers should be considered sentient beings?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: The Case of the Duplicate First Officers

The transporter has always raised interesting questions in the fields of science and philosophy. The inner workings and technical limitations of the transporter have been thoroughly explored in numerous episodes before. And between degrading patterns, faulty equipment, and the horrific results of attempted transporting gone wrong, it’s hard to blame someone like Lieutenant Barclay from being afraid of using the transporter.

However, one bizarre type of transporter accident, duplication such as that experienced by William T. Riker, is a great example of how transporters can change our perception of personal identity. Transporter twins put this issue front and center by sparing the officer on the transporter pad from dematerialization, but still materialize them on the surface. This week, we present to you a similar hypothetical scenario with a twist.

You are the captain of a Starfleet ship, patrolling through a relatively calm sector. Your ship receives a faint distress signal from a research facility on a nearby planet. An explosion of some kind has disabled their systems and injured several staff members. When you arrive, an atmospheric anomaly is interfering with communications. Your first officer, Commander Jones, volunteers to lead an away team down to the surface to provide assistance to the injured scientists. Most of the transporter beams reach the surface, but the transporter chief is worried Commander Jones’ signal didn’t make it and is able to cancel dematerialization at the final moment. Relieved to have narrowly escaped death, Commander Jones returns to the bridge and waits for contact to be re-established with the away team.

The away team manages to get a message through the interference reporting that the situation is under control and they will begin beaming up survivors. Everything seems to be fine until the away team rematerializes in Transporter Room One with Commander Jones. However, Commander Jones is sitting right next to you on the bridge. It would seem that the transporter chief was mistaken in thinking that the transporter signal wouldn’t make it to the surface intact.

When the second Commander Jones returns to the bridge, both commanders realize what has happened and claim themselves to be the “real” Commander Jones in unison. According to the Commander Jones who stayed aboard the ship, cancelling dematerialization was the proper thing to do and that the effects it would have on his duplicate are unknown. He believes that he should remain the executive officer. His transporter clone counters that the transport was successful and that the other Commander Jones only exists because of the transporter chief’s error. He is entitled to the position of first officer and the commander who remained on the ship is the “copy”. Both officers look to you to settle this case of duplicate identity.

How would you handle the dispute between Commander Jones and his transporter duplicate?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: The Perfect Gift

Whatever the occasion, gift-giving can be a difficult endeavor. Gift-giving means anticipating what someone else might want or need and determining what would be appropriate for the circumstances. Finding a good gift for someone isn’t only something that happens with distant friends or relatives. Even with our closest friends and family there are those who we struggle to shop for. The Star Trek universe can add further complicating factors to this.

There are some species, like Vulcans, who are more practically-minded and utilitarian. Finding a present for an artificial lifeform like Data has its own challenges. Some people are also just private people whose tastes might be difficult to discern. Lieutenant Reed wasn’t exactly the most social of his crew, and Garak’s life is so full of lies and disguises nobody really knows what his true personality is. This week we’d like to know who you would struggle to find a good gift for the most.

Which character would be the most difficult to shop for?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Anti-Borg Strategy

The Borg Collective has been one of Starfleet’s most dangerous enemies. A single Borg cube destroyed 39 Starfleet ships and was very close to assimilating Earth. In a later encounter, the crew of the Enterprise-D had an opportunity to infect the Collective with a logic virus but did not carry out the plan. Some in Starfleet held this against Picard, but did he make the right decision?

Ever since, any sighting of the Borg has been met with a response of overwhelming force from Starfleet. So much as a transwarp conduit opening is enough to provoke every ship in range to assemble. This week we put you in charge of Starfleet’s strategic planning when it comes to the Borg. Is the automatic assumption of hostility and throwing ships at the problem the best approach? The Borg Collective is different from most of the other enemies that have faced the Federation over the years.

Are the Borg beyond diplomacy or change? It’s previously been shown that the Borg will make and break alliances as soon as they’re no longer getting what they want. But movements like Unimatrix Zero prove that the Borg can change. Does the involuntary nature of Borg drones change anything when it comes to destroying Borg ships and killing drones? Dealing with the Collective also brings up questions about the Prime Directive and whether they should be treated like any other alien power.

What would be your strategy to defend against the Borg?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


Poll of the Week: Are We There Yet?

Starfleet captains face no shortage of challenges. At the end of the day, the fate of the ship and their crew are their responsibility. A commanding officer has to be good at juggling multiple responsibilities at once and managing the ship’s daily activities. Keeping a starship with a crew in the hundreds under control can be a daunting task. But which captain is best equipped to handle the challenges of planning a road trip?

Your answer might vary based on what kind of trip you would want to go on. If a quiet trip touring monuments, museums, and national parks is something that you would want to see, perhaps a road trip planned by James T. Kirk wouldn’t be your first choice. A road trip with each captain would also have its own unique challenges. Taking a road trip through the Delta Quadrant could take decades stopping at every tourist trap and road stop along the way.

Which captain would plan the best road trip?

Click here to head to the forums now and vote in this week’s poll. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


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