I Pity The Fool
Module BI-22T: Don’t Be Fooled By The Exceptions
Remember these alien life-forms? Worf, Seven-of-Nine, Quark, and Data? What’s up, you say? These humanoid-type beings are our friends. Why are they the topics of a “known threats” training module? Individually, they may be friendlies, but, unfortunately, as a whole, they are deceptive representatives of species who have, at one time or the other, been antagonistic to humans. In fact, they’re so unrepresentative, in some extreme cases, they are nothing like their species at all.
Now, the dangers they present are obvious. They lull you into a false sense of security, even when you’re vaguely familiar with their species. Think of the threat this poses. For example, while traveling aboard a starship, having befriended a reassigned Seven of Nine, and never having met a Borg in your short un-beleaguered life, how initially relaxed you’d be, especially after drinking some of Neelix’s teas she’d brought along with her. Judging by Seven you might think they were all push-overs.
But what if the Borg came back? You’d be too relaxed to put up much of a fight based on this she-Borg. And don’t believe those rumors about Captain Janeway putting an end to their collective existence because she killed the Borg Queen in some distant quadrant somewhere. The Borg will never die.
And that phony Ferengi, Quark. Still greedy, yes, but he actually attended a wedding where the Ferengi bride kept all her clothes on. Blasphemer! Despite the interstellar chatter on Ferengi women’s rights to wear clothing, I’m sure the tradition of naked brides continues. And let’s not talk about Quark’s cross-dressing. I’m speechless.
Even Quark’s greed didn’t extend as far as it should. Such as his acquisition of, for a Ferengi, a multitude of friends who, gods-forbid, he wouldn’t sell out for all the gold-pressed latinum in the universe. What kind of Ferengi is that? Because of his atypical behavior, when you meet other finagling Ferengi miscreants, you’ll neglect to hide everything you value in this world and end up broke investing in this nonconformist.
Now remember. It’s perfectly fine to cast your cares when associating with representatives of friendly aliens, as long as you know who you’re dealing with. But even among our allies there are exceptions, like T’Pol, Spock and Tuvoc, whose behavior makes for a bad time in Shi’Kahr. How so, you might ask?
Have you ever met “a real Vulcan?” An artic breeze would be warmer. Ice wouldn’t melt in their mouths. Most Vulcans view humans as barely sentient with the limited capacity of a Neanderthal. They believe Zefram Cochrane was an idiot savant who accidentally invented warp drive.
So, how did a laid-back unintelligible human like Commander Charles Tucker get T’Pol to warm up to him? It’s surmised that it had something to do with tea. T’Pol’s experiments with this beverage may have precipitated, even acted as a catalyst for her interest in Tucker. After all, she did refer to intimate relations with him as “a science experiment.” That’s one way to strengthen a guy’s ego. Though, because of her penchant for eccentric curiosity and other unfortunate personality traits, she contracted Pa’nar Syndrome from the Vulcan, Tolaris, during one if her thrill-seeking impulses. The Vulcan High Command should have stuck to their decision to recall her when they had the chance. Something was seriously wrong with that alien.
As you can see, even friendly exceptions can present a problem, but exceptions from species known to be hostile, are definitely problematic. The worst of the bunch was Data. Now in another module, I alluded to a couple of pesky bipedal AI, one whom Captain Kirk loved and who broke his heart, another who tried to squeeze the life out of him by breaking his bones. But up till now, you were woefully uninformed of those synthetics who wanted to obliterate all human existence.
Borg? Nada. Borg are not, in the purist sense, synthetic lifeforms. They are cyborgs. An amalgamation of organic and left-over machine parts who want to assimilate you, not obliterate you. In fact, all Borg start out as organic lifeforms in one quadrant or the other. But not so with Data and his lot. From his positronic neural net down to his bioplast sheeting, he was all synthetic. And what was the problem with this happy-go-lucky, goody-two-shoes? Just that. You will never, ever again meet another android who skips merrily through life happily mimicking the stupid behavior of humans. Never. Oh, gods, I forgot about B-4, whose behavior is stupider than Data’s (who knew it was possible), who lives to this day.
In any case, what typically happens when you meet androids? They try to kill you. Data’s “brother” Lore even formed a pact with disgruntled, footloose and fancy free, Borg; he and Data calling themselves the Sons of Soong, after the evil genius who created them. And, yes, these AI Son-of-a-Soongs wanted to, not only, take over the whole damn planet, but their lofty desire was to see the demise of the Federation as a whole and an end to all biological lifeforms. Now that takes balls which their creator so generously supplied. Thanks to the crew of the Enterprise-D, Pinocchio finally woke up and stopped Lore, and his entire adopted family of troublemakers.
Isn’t all of this species-bigotry, you might be asking? Tell that to the next non-Worf Klingon you meet. Walk up to him or her, smile broadly, and say how glad you are to meet them. Be nice to them. If you come back with your head intact, I think species-bigotry will be the least of your concerns. Then you’ll finally understand why you should never apply human concepts to alien beings, organic, synthetic, or any combination thereof.
So, the object lesson here is that associating with most friendly aliens (except for those immortal bastards) is not a problem. But fraternizing with members of species that have presented a clear and present danger to us in the past and, most especially, in the present, is challenging. So associate with these exceptions wisely, eyes wide open. Though likeable, never let them dull your sense of self-preservation or lower your defenses. Recall that they are not representative of their species, which is a threat in itself. Worf, Seven of Nine, Quark, and Data’s idiot brother, B-4. Befriend them, speak to them and, yes, even have a cup of tea with them, but never, ever be deceived by the exceptions.
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