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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!


Poll of the Week: Space Entrepreneur

Beyond Starfleet and the Federation government, there are plenty of career paths that citizens of the Federation can follow. Entrepreneurs like Quark and Joseph Sisko can start their own businesses and hone their skills in the field of their choice. The galaxy is a big place wand provides opportunities for everyone to partake in what the Ferengi call the Great Material Continuum. Major Federation space stations like Deep Space Nine are a promising site for future business owners of the Federation.

Deep Space Nine had the Promenade, home not only to Quark’s bar but also a variety of other stores, dining establishments, and other centers of civilian life on the station. Whether you were looking for a few alterations to your dress uniform or a nice meal at the Replimat, you could find what you were looking for on the Promenade. Our very own Starbase 118 has its own center of commerce and civilian life, the Commercial Sector.

This section of the starbase has been well-documented on the wiki, where you can see some of the establishments that have opened on the starbase over the years. It’s always good to have career back-up plans. Perhaps if a career in Starfleet doesn’t work out, your character could try their hand at starting their own business on the starbase. Perhaps your character has always wanted to be a restaurateur or a tailor.

What kind of business would your character run in the Starbase 118 Commercial Sector?

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: Monster Mash

Halloween approaches! The forum is full of Halloween avatars. It’s a great time to watch scary episodes of Star Trek and enjoy all things Halloween. One thing that Halloween and Star Trek have in common is monsters, especially the original series. Whether it be the ghost of Jack the Ripper, the first appearance of the Gorn, or the M-113 creature featured in the very first episode of Star Trek, there is no shortage of monster of the week style aliens.

A few of the aliens seem to take some classic Halloween creatures. The M-113 creature is a kind of sci-fi vampire that drains its victims of salt instead of blood. Kirk and his crew faced off against a telepathic ghost of various serial killers throughout the ages. And Voyager had its very own zombie who just couldn’t seem to stay dead, Ensign Harry Kim. Legends of vampires, ghouls, goblins, werewolves and other monsters have been with us for a very long time. Frankenstein arguably created the entire genre of science fiction. Surely there’s inspiration for a new alien of the Trek universe in these classic monster stories. This week, we want to know what you think!

Which Halloween monster do you think would inspire an interesting alien?

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


Neelix cooking in the USS Voyager's mess hall

Poll of the Week: Bon Appétit

On a Starfleet ship or station – especially in the days before replicators and advanced food synthesizers – one of the most valuable members of the crew is the ship’s chef. The crew works best if there are a variety of quality dishes available in the mess hall. Just take a look at Deep Space Nine: The promenade was full of restaurants for the crew to choose from. Whether you would rather join Bashir and Garak for lunch at the Replimat, visit Quark’s, or make your own meals like Captain Sisko, there is a dining option for you.

Even in the age of replicators, creating ready-to-serve meals out of thin air there is still a preference for food made from scratch. People are willing to forgo the convenience of a replicator for a home-cooked meal. A real chef and a dining establishment to supplement a mess hall full of replicators can still benefit a 24th century ship or station. But who would you pick to be your ship’s chef?

There are no shortage of chefs with culinary experience, both Starfleet and civilian. Some of them are restaurateurs full-time, while others just see cooking as a hobby or skill. If you had your own ship, who would you ask to keep the galley on your ship running smoothly and producing good food? Do you think that your crew is tough enough to survive Leola Root everything? Maybe you would prefer to see Sisko’s Creole Kitchen open a location on your ship.

Who would you choose to run your ship’s mess hall?

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: Non-Canon Ships

One of the most impressive things about the Starbase 118 community is the wiki. It provides an extensive record of the group’s history going back years, having been online since early 2004. You can find hundreds of character biographies as well as a list of ships in the fleet, both active and inactive.

When it comes to the various classes of ship in the Star Trek universe, everyone has their favorites. Ships range from the pride of the Federation fleet like the Sovereign-class or Galaxy-class to the very fragile Oberth-class. Many of the “official” starship classes have been used for PC vessels in the fleet at one time or another. However, starship classes from sources outside of the main shows have also been used. Simming on a new class of ship provides exciting opportunities to expand on the locations and bring to life ships that we didn’t get to know over several seasons on-screen. This week we’d like to know which of those non-canon ship classes you think deserves a promotion. Information about any of the classes that you haven’t heard of before can be found on the wiki.

Which non-canon ship class would you most like to see featured in a future series?

Click here to head to the forums and cast your vote now. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread!


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