I may be diverging slightly from the attested plot of the original episode here, but (a) Riker’s clearly hung up on this Opaka sitaution, and we gotta like acknowledge that and shit, but, yes, and, so (b) I think there are some interesting questions that got left on the floor in this episode anyway. So, some dalliances. I intend to dally.
But also that Kira thing was for real kind of a, huh, really? moment for me watching the episode. She just straight up decides to bring the ceiling down. Not to say that she shouldn’t have in-character decided to do it or that it wasn’t even tactically defensible in some terms, but, man: let’s COLLAPSE THE CEILING OF THE CAVE WE’RE IN WITHOUT WARNING is a little bit hardcore. It’s a heck of a play.
I’m thinking it could be a sort of PTSD processing exercise for her after that mess in the Chula game. Maybe fake-her should talk to real-Troi about it some time.
Sorry for the super late post today; it was merely going to be late-ish but as noted in a post earlier I was having some webhost disk issues. They seem to be resolved now! Okay.
Not sure what’s up exactly but DH/WP is throwing a terse error when I try and get the comic uploaded. Looks like it may be a disk issue of some sort, but who knows. Put in a support ticket, will get the comic up when I can.
Spoiler alert: Riker is kind of a dick.
I totally cribbed the rewrite conceit from the Memory Alpha entry on Battle Lines; reportedly the writers of the episode made the same call, though hopefully while anticipating slightly less embarrassing reactions from viewers.
Sweater Trek might turn into a full-fledged joke strip at some point. Between Bloody Cardigans and the shit that Wes and Geordi liked to wear, I think there’s a fair amount of material to work with.
Maybe fish in sweaters, I don’t know. It’s been a long week.
Man, guys, it is just not happening today and I was torn between posting nothing and posting a weird dumb thing I made, and so here we are: a weird dumb thing I made. Whether you want to consider this non-canon like Carp Trek or just imagine this represents the polite 30 seconds people gave Data after Monday’s strip before things get rolling again is entirely up to you as a reader.
We will enfranchise that decision as a liturgical schism hereonafter and use it as the fulcrum for terrible religious conflicts as necessary.
First off: the alt text is basically half a strip by itself, but I decided it should stay as alt-text stuff because as much as I’m fond of our extra-fictional Ensign Kimberly Beethoven I’m not sure I want her slipping past the membrane separating alt-text dalliances from full-on Larp Trek Canon. Forever in the margins and the comment slashfic, our Kim, as it should be.
And speaking of Larp Trek Canon, I feel like I’m gonna need to once again invoke the Golden Rule: if it didn’t happen before mid season 3 of TNG, it hasn’t actually happened. And might never happen. So when some of you are getting ready to be all “but Data does have tear ducts, he cries in Generations when it turns out Spot isn’t dead and he’s got the emotion chip and ergo pistols at dawn etc etc”, just stop and tie that pony up outside the Didn’t Happen, Might Never Happen Saloon and have a nice glass of paranarrative rotgut with me instead.
Besides, a lot of things happened in Generations. William Shatner happened in Generations. I’m not sure Generations should be a role model, exactly.
I’m enjoying letting Riker be a pain in the ass about this, because why not? I don’t even think he doesn’t know that it’s a little unreasonable for Bashir to be so monomaniacal about this Opaka’s-a-baddy thoery — I’m sure he’s self-aware enough to get that everyone thinks its silly — but I think Riker’s the kind of guy who likes to play the long odds, likes to reach, likes the idea of pulling off the underdog move more than he likes a safe, mild return on his investments.
What if Opaka really did pull a heel turn? What if it was all some conspiracy by Bajoran muckymucks to undermine or subvert the Federation presence near Bajor? What if the leader of Bajoran spiritual society — arguably the single most influential person on the planet — was plotting not in the interests of Bajoran/Federation cooperation and peace but rather for their own dark purposes? Corrupted by greed and avarice and hidden influences, misled by hubris and dogma?
Some of this may sound familiar, basically.
Geordi, man, you’re really not getting on the big Jay El’s good side with this whiplash stuff. Hmm.
Totally unrelated to anything Star Trek (other than I guess the wormholes and antimatter condensors you can eventually invest in) but there’s this ridiculous little web game I’ve been playing the last few days called Cookie Clicker and it’s silly and ridiculous and you shouldn’t play it and also you should totally go play it.
No “no strip Friday” post Friday, sorry about that. I went camping! That’s not a normal obstacle to updates, but there you go. It happened. I camped.
On the one hand, DMs railroading there players into some little bit of plot can be annoying in a “where is our freedom to explore and roleplay” sense; on the other hand, it’s not like you don’t sit down at the table knowing that your DM’s prepared something, so you kind of need to be willing to at least follow the breadcrumbs a ways. Neither of these things seem like totally established etiquette to our neophyte tabletoppers, though.
Miles, man, you play with fire you’re gonna have to roll a d20 to save against 3d6 burning damage.
This necklace moment in Battle Lines, I want to complain unfairly about it.
As a little note in setting up the opening conceit of the episode — that Opaka knows in her prophetic way that Something Is Up and she keeps signaling this during the first act in various ways (distraction, fatalistic statement about prophecy, giving away possessions) — it’s totally fine. One more little moment.
But it also feels so odd and conspicuous that it’s hard not to think they’re going somewhere with that whole necklace thing. And yet, she drops it in Miles’ hand, he looks at it, we get a nice closeup, and then…never again does it come up. Not in the episode, not, as far as I can tell, ever again down the road. It’s an unfired gun on the mantle, a distracting detail that I’d say was put in there just to give Miles a little bit of character time in the episode except that he gets a ton later on anyway.
Anyway, I’m being unfair. It’s not some egregious problem with the opening act. But I wonder if there was every anything more on paper or in someone’s head there to provide a skosh of closure to that odd little moment.
Confession of laziness: it occurred to me that Earth/Starfleet could plausibly be a culture that had lost any sort of contemporary touch with the concept of organized labor, what with the whole post-scarcity thing making the concept of traditional labor disputes basically totally immaterial. It’s a bit sloppy to not make sure people would even know what a strike is, yeah? I considered having someone be like “you’re doing a what? Like, a tactical strike?”, just on the basis that maybe that’d be defensible.
But not being lazy would mean searching several hundred episode scripts for possible references to strikes, unions, etc, and that sounded like a lot of work. And besides, I’m betting I wouldn’t come up empty, because:
It’s Star Trek. It’s a world built on morality plays and direct allusions to contemporary and historical social/cultural/political events and conflicts. The chances that in even the first three seasons of TNG they wouldn’t have had some sort of episode where the worker class on some outpost Federation world or alien colony was in conflict with the owners of the means of production or whatever seem pretty slim. Star Trek will always find a way to shoehorn a familiar social dilemma into a future setting, even if it means contriving a future space situation that’s a little too conveniently similar to something in Earth history.
So I went for the media studies jargon aside instead, because, okay.