Monday, December 13, 2010
Strict ethics poll
Are strict ethics a compass for a sound society?
I am surprised at the response for I wasn't too sure that the question would be understood. The idea came to me when I was watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation..."Face of the Enemy" [Season 6, #140].
The point to be noticed is the ethics of the Romulan civilization whereby swift and decisive [execution] is provided for an infraction of the Romulan judicial system i.e., anything against the state politics is treasonous and harsh justice applied. Thus, N'Vek is vaporized on the spot. I suppose that there are real life examples in man's history like the Third Reich, King Henry VIII, the Khmer Rouge, the Spartans. It just appears that a strict ethical structure does not allow for mitigating circumstance and a just system of ethical employment but does perpetuate convenience and political repression.
Troi awakens in an unfamiliar room, surgically altered to appear Romulan. Subcommander N'Vek soon enters the room and tells Troi that she is on the Romulan Warbird Khazara and is to masquerade as Major Rakal of the Tal Shiar, the Romulan intelligence service and secret police. N'Vek tells her that her assistance is needed, and that her only chance of survival is to listen to him. Troi agrees for the time being and goes to meet the ship's commander, Toreth.
Toreth has an extreme dislike of the Tal Shiar and is unhappy about the clandestine nature of their mission. Troi is initially taken aback by Toreth's constant questioning, but settles into her role as Rakal, threatening Toreth with interrogation unless she follows orders. Troi informs Toreth that she is to take the Khazara into the Kaleb sector once they have finished loading their cargo, as N'Vek instructed her.
On the Enterprise, Ensign DeSeve transports on board. DeSeve defected to Romulus, but returned to the Federation. While the Federation plans to arrest DeSeve for treason, Picard listens when he says that he is delivering a message from Ambassador Spock. A Corvallen cargo ship will arrive in the Kaleb sector with a cargo that is important to the Federation. He requests that the Enterprise meet it.
On the Khazara, N'Vek shows Troi that the cargo is Romulans in stasis. Vice Proconsul M'ret and two of his aides are defecting to the Federation. N'Vek is providing an underground railroad for them, which could potentially allow a means for thousands of Romulan dissidents to escape the Empire. Troi deduces that he works for Ambassador Spock but wonders whether a Romulan might be better suited to the plan. N'Vek insists that a Starfleet officer may be needed.
The ship meets the Corvallen freighter, but Troi senses that they do not plan to keep their promise to deliver the cargo. N'Vek fires on the freighter, destroying it. When Toreth demands to know why he fired, N'Vek responds that he was obeying Major Rakal's orders. Troi informs Toreth that she identified the freighter captain as a Federation spy. Toreth informs her that she will make an official record of the incident. Troi orders Toreth to cloak the ship and hold position.
The Enterprise, not knowing that N'Vek's plan has failed, does not find the freighter. Picard asks DeSeve what happened but DeSeve does not know. It is determined that the freighter has minimal speed, and cannot be more than fifteen light years away. Picard orders a search.
N'Vek tells Troi that they must go to the Federation starbase on Draken Four, finally revealing why he needed a Starfleet officer: only they can provide the access codes to get into Federation space. Returning to the bridge, Troi informs Toreth about the plan to bring the Khazara into Federation space. Toreth is against the plan, knowing it is dangerous. The crew sets course for Draken Four, but suddenly detect the approaching Enterprise.
Toreth admits that the presence of the Enterprise vindicates Troi's earlier action and that they are obviously looking for their missing spies. She initially decides to leave, but N'Vek cautions that the radiation from the destroyed freighter could make them detectable to the Enterprise if they engage their warp engines. Toreth orders the ship to move clear of the debris field before going to warp.
The Enterprise discovers the remains of the Corvallen ship. Data concludes that the ship was destroyed by Romulans. On the Khazara, Troi tells N'Vek they should get a message to the Enterprise. N'Vek has the chief engineer, a sympathiser, create a small imbalance in the engines that renders the ship detectable.
Furious that her ship is being tracked, Toreth decides she has no option but to attack. DeSeve warns Picard that the Romulan commander may attack if it becomes clear they cannot escape undetected. Toreth orders the ship to move toward the Enterprise, reasoning that if the Federation ship can detect them, they will move to avoid a collision, at which point Toreth will destroy the Enterprise.
The Enterprise backs away when DeSeve can give no explanation for the collision course. Before Toreth can order her crew to attack, Troi relieves her of duty. Troi orders the crew to decloak the ship and open a channel.
The Enterprise responds to the hail and the bridge crew is shocked when Troi appears on the screen but give nothing away. Troi apologises for the incident with the Corvallen ship and offers to beam aboard to sort everything out. Picard acknowledges Troi's offer, and asks Worf to put a transporter lock on Troi and prepare to beam her aboard.
On the Khazara, the crew reports that the Enterprise is lowering its shields. Troi orders N'Vek to fire on the Enterprise. The ship takes a direct hit but suffers no damage. Instead, the three Romulans in stasis appear on the bridge. The crew on the Khazara report that the disruptors were using minimal power and were used to disguise transport of cargo to the Enterprise. Toreth understands that Troi and N'Vek are traitors. N'Vek reaches for a weapon but is killed by the helmsman. Toreth orders the crew to cloak the ship and set a course for home. She vows to interrogate Troi and possibly execute her, but before she can take action, the Enterprise beams Troi away.
Back on the Enterprise Troi gets her own face back and is reassured by Picard that N'Vek's sacrifice was not in vain.