Archive for November, 2012


“Bliss”-ful Quotes

Naomi Wildman: [To Seven of Nine] “Can’t we make first contact? Or get into a space battle?!”

Tom Paris: “Yeah? Can’t we?”


Chakotay: “It’s perfectly natural for you to resist the unknown. But you’re in good hands! Resistance is futile.”


 

~Bliss

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The Universal translator is a device known to every series in the star trek world. It was originally introduced to make the show-watching experience less confusing and easier to grasp. The UT allows everyone (with some exceptions) to speak in English, even though they are acting out the role of an alien.

The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual says that the Universal Translator is an “extremely sophisticated computer program” which functions by “analyzing the patterns” of an unknown foreign language, starting from a speech sample of two or more speakers in conversation. The more extensive the conversational sample, the more accurate and reliable is the “translation matrix,” enabling instantaneous conversion of verbal utterances or written text between the alien language and American English / Federation Standard.

A new language could quickly be translated in person-to-person encounters by having one speak his or her language until the universal translator gathered enough data to build a translation matrix. There are certain universal ideas and concepts common to all intelligent life, and the translator compares the frequencies of brainwave patterns, selects those ideas it recognizes, and provides the necessary grammar.

The device speaks with a voice, or the approximation of one, that correspond to the identity concepts it recognizes.

The universal translator’s capabilities are focused on interpreting the brain patterns of humanoid lifeforms. For entirely non-Human lifeforms, such as the cytoplasmic lifeform which attached itself to B’Elanna Torres, the universal translator was completely stymied (“Nothing Human”).

The Emergency Medical Holographic program contains the universal translator technology built-in to his program. The Doctor was able to communicate with Noss when Tuvok and Paris’ universal translators were offline (“Gravity”).

I don’t know everything. I did a bit of research before creating this article. If you want a more extensive explanation, click here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Universal_translator , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_translator

 

Explanation of the EMH

Have you ever wondered how the Doctor works, or why he is able to interact with real objects even though he is only a hologram? The Doctor, like all other holograms on the ship, is actually just a combination of photons and holo-matter held together by forcefields. A photon is a subatomic particle responsible for the transmission of electromagnetic energy. Holo-matter and forcefields are projected by holo-emitters, usually found on the holodecks and sickbay. Holograms can be manipulated by advanced computer programs, allowing the holograms to interact with real-life objects, and visa versa. Programs such as the EMH have been known to develope personality subroutines; the longer they are kept active, the further this personality developes. The Doctor, therefore, is said to be a sentient hologram because he is a form of intelligent life. Sentience basically means that the beholder is an intelligent, self-aware, conscious entity deserving of rights, respect, and freedom. This is the main reason the Doctor was soon regarded as a member of the Voyager crew, not just a hologram.

I don’t know everything. I did a bit of research before creating this article. If you want a more extensive explanation, click here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Hologram

 

With Janeway finally out of the Hirogens’ “spell,” she and Seven go on a mission to end the holodeck program causing all this mayham. Now the entire ship has become one huge holodeck, with holo-soldiers pouring out constantly. What’s worse, most of the crew is still convinced they are part of the WWII program.

Janeway manages to plant some explosives – courtesy of the holodeck program – into sick bay. When they are set off, the neural interfaces in all the crew are terminated. Everyone wakes up in the middle of WWII, not knowing what is going on. B’ Elanna wakes up with a holographic baby in her womb which even kicks, and Neelix wakes up among a bunch of Klingons. From there, things only get worse.

Captain Janeway is kidnapped by the Alpha Hirogen on the ship, where they have a rather long conversation on why all this is happening. As he explains, the whole pan was to use Voyager as a prototype for a new future of Hirogen society. All he wanted to do was keep his species alive by discontinuing the need to spread out in hunting parties. Their thirst for the hunt could be met on holodecks, and, with the safeties off, there would still be that risk that made it interesting. Keeping his people together would keep them alive. As he points out, no species survives by refusing to change. Janeway tells him that she can see his point of view, and proposes a compromise. She will give him the technology to create their own holo-imaging devices, as long as he leaves Voyager alone. The Hirogen agrees, but his “buddies” aren’t so keen on the idea.

One of the other Hirogens has taken the Nazi philosophy to heart, and believes that there should be no change. He kills the Alpha Hirogen out of spite and hate, and plans to capture the entire Voyager crew. His only goal is complete domination. Just as he is about to have the Voyager crew executed, a band of Klingons come in to save the day. Turns out, Neelix and the Doctor managed to merge the two programs, unleashing a Klingon army on the Nazi soldiers. It was definetly one for the history books.

Harry manages to finally end the program by overloading the holodeck, so all the Nazis are gone. Fortunately for the Voyager crew, the other Hirogen are not as radical as their friend. They accept the technology Janeway offered, leaving Voyager alone. With that, Voyager heads towards home, with a new truce between them and the Hirogen.

Voyager is met by possibly the most terrible thing in all the quadrants combined: the Omega particle. In the beginning, Voyager is jolted by a far-off explosion, which did not cause any damage. Rather, it caused a lock-out on all the sensors, leaving the image of Omega (Ω), the last letter in the greek alphabet, on every screen. Janeway assures the crew that everything is alright, but won’t tell them what just happened. Janeway cancels the lock-out and orders the computer to send all sensor data to her ready room. During all this, she doesn’t tell a soul what is going on.

Janeway soon calls in Seven of Nine, still not revealing any information. When the door is safely sealed behind Seven when she enters Janeway’s ready room, Janeway finally speaks. She tells Seven that the explosion was caused by Omega particles, and that she will have to initiate the Omega Directive (to learn more about this directive, look under Misc.-Directives on this site). The only reason she told Seven was because the borg had encountered Omega before, and knew that of which it was capable. Janeway requests that Seven join her on a shuttle with the intent of destroying the particle. Seven reluctantly agrees.

Before leaving, Janeway calls a briefing, so as to inform the crew she will be leaving. She tells Chakotay that he will be in command, andexplains the only thing she feels she can: “can tell you this: One of two things is going to happen… either Seven and I will succeed on our mission, and return within a few days… or your long-range sensors will detect a large explosion in subspace. If that occurs, you’ll have less than ten seconds to jump to warp, and get the hell out of here. Head for the Alpha Quadrant and don’t look back. Understood?”

Of course, Chakotay doesn’t understand, and neither does the rest of the crew. He is just short of demanding an explanation when Seven urges Janeway that it would be best to include the rest of the crew in this situation. So, Janeway explains. The explosion was caused by the omega particle, a particle that all Starfleet Captains and Admirals are ordered to destroy. Omega is very unstable and even the destruction of one particle can nullify subspace for many light years around it, rendering faster-than-light travel impossible. Only Captains and a special Omega Team are educated on the particle, because if anyone else knew, word could get out and someone may try to create Omega, causing disasterous effects. As Janeway explains to the crew, becuase they are a long way from starfleet and therefore lack an Omega team, the Voyager crew will have to do.

The crew agrees to aid Janeway in fulfilling the Omega Directive, and Tom sets a course for the coordinates at which the explosion occured. There, they encounter the alien race which caused the explosion. As one of the survivors explains, they were trying multiple methods to stabilize and harness Omega, so as to save their people from economic downfall. Janeway sympathizes but explains that she will have to destroy it. Seven, however, is interested in the methods the alien was using. She believes the particle represents perfection, the one thing the borg were always trying to achieve. With infinite parts working together as one, Omega is like the Borg God, a symbol of perfection. It is for this reason that Seven constantly tries to persuade the Captain to stabilize, rather than destroy, the particles.

All the particles are safely collected in one location, where they are to be sent out and detonated, thus destroying them. Seven puts off the detonation as long as she can, trying to stabilize Omega. Chakotay tries to stop her, but hesitates when Seven explains, that if Chakotay had a way to contact his spirits, wouldn’t he do everything he could to do so? Chakotay gives Seven a few more minutes. Soon, Janeway comes in, and orders the detonation. Seven had somehow (she could not later explain how) stabilized Omega just before it was destroyed, and she got her chance to  “witness perfection” for 3.2 seconds.

After all the particles are successfully destroyed, the Voyager crew continue their journey home, with Seven’s mindset drastically impacted by the memories of Omega.

700 years in the future, Voyager’s meeting of the Kyrians in the 24th century has been twisted and distorted like a fish story. As Quarren, the Kyrian curator, shows students at a museum their versions of events, things are more than just a little off.

For starters, everyone (including Neelix, by the way) is wearing black turtle necks, black gloves, and lack rank insignias. Janeway’s hair is like that of a man, Chakotay’s tattoo has spread to half his face (and everyone mispronounces his name), Tuvok has a sense of humor – a sinister sense of humor, the Doctor is an android, and Seven is a full borg. In addition, Janeway and the whole crew is convinced that “the star fleet way” revolves around violence. All of this is the exact opposite of the real Voyager crew.

Quarren, and many other Kyrians like him, believe that Janeway agreed to help the Vaskans win a war against the Kyrians because Daleth (a Vaskan) promised her a way home. This is the belief that Vaskans deny and Kyrians avidly believe. All this comes into question when Quarren discovers another artifact from some Voyager rubble – a back-up of the EMH.

The Doctor comes into the Voyager “reenactment,” saying it’s all wrong. He creates his own program, as a way to tell what really happened. His story is very different. As the Doctor explains, Janeway did meet with Daleth, but not about war. The Captain had agreed to provide the Vaskans with medical supplies in exchange for dilithium crystals. The only mention of war in that meeting was Daleth cautioning the Captain to make the trade quickly, becuase “war could break out any day” between the Vaskans and the Kyrians. Within minutes of that meeting, Janeway hear that a Kyrian ship is firing at them, and one of them has boarded Voyager.

This Kyrian was Tedren, a “martyr” amoung his people, was not as humble as Quarren’s reenactment portrayed him. He tried killing one of Janeway’s crew because he believed Janeway was aiding Daleth in an attack plan. Of course, this was not true. In Quarren’s story, Tedren died by Janeway’s hand, and she had previously kidnapped him in an attempt to make him surrender. At that time, she had already committed countless  cases of genocide, and Tedren refused to surrender.

The Doctor’s story makes a lot more sense, showing that Daleth shot Tedren with his own gun. In both stories, there is one constant: the Doctor (whether it be the cyborg or hologram) scanned Tedren’s dead body with a tricorder, just to see if he was indeed dead. That tricorder held the weapon signature of the gun which ended Tedren’s life. Fortunately, that same tricorder was found among the Voyager artifacts, and was on display at the museum. The Doctor explains that, if he can re-activate the tricorder, he could prove his story. Unfortunately, he might not get his chance.

The locals (both Vaskans and Kyrians) got word of the Doctor’s appearence, and riots instantly broke out. The Kyrians thought the Doctor was a mass murder, and should be “killed” (in the hologram sense of the word, terminated), whereas the Vaskans believe the Doctor’s story, as it finally lifts the blame from the Vaksans for the war. One of the riots took place in the museum, destroying everything. The museum turned to shambles, and the Doctor begins to wonder if it would be worth it to find the tricorder, or if he should just commit holographic suicide by terminating his program. Quarren explains the importance of finding it, and expresses that he believes the Doctor’s story, and that his version of events could lead to a necessary revolution. The Doctor finally agrees, saying, “let’s find that tricorder.”

This is where the camera shifts, showing yet another group of students, lead by one Kyrian peering through the Voyager window. Turns out, the whole episode up to that point was part of a history presentation some hundreds of years later, telling about how their two species finally found peace. For a while, the Doctor stayed on the planet, serving as a surgical chancellor for many years. Eventually, he heads for the Alpha Quadrant on his own shuttle, saying he “had a longing for home.”