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Old 02-08-2020, 01:40 AM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
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February 5th, 1990, "Deja Q"

Once again, good character work, but the Treknobabble needed another rewrite. Those episodes are always annoying...

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Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

Captain's log, Stardate 43539.1. We have moved into orbit around Bre'el Four. With the assistance of the planet's emergency control centre, we're investigating a potentially catastrophic threat to the population from a descending asteroidal moon.

Data will say that this is a satellite with a deteriorating orbit. Therefore this is a moon, not an asteroid. I'd almost prefer it if this was specified as a double planet system and a passing asteroid knocked the moon out of orbit.

PICARD: Won't the moon disintegrate prior to impact?
SCIENTIST [on viewscreen]: No, it has a ferrous crystalline structure and it will be able to withstand tidal forces, Captain.

This is a moon, not an asteroid! Furthermore, the audience wasn't asking this question, so this exchange doesn't need to exist.

LAFORGE: We'd need to apply a delta vee of about four kilometres per second. Even with warp power to the tractor beam, it would mean exceeding recommended impulse engine output by at least forty-seven percent. It'd be like an ant pushing a tricycle. A slim chance at best.

Luna travels at about a kilometer per second. Assuming a falling moon goes a bit faster, 4 km/s pushing outward actually seems reasonable. What a shock!

RIKER: Lieutenant Worf, contact all ships in this sector to rendezvous and join us in relief efforts.

All ships? Even the tiny freighters and couriers? Every starship that could reach this planet in time should already be on the way!

DATA: Delta vee is ninety two metres per second. The mass is too great. We are having an effect but it is negligible.

The problem here is that what we really want is an acceleration. The desired 4 km/s change is the final velocity outward compared to now. You can't really use such terms in the interim. While the tractor beam is in effect velocity is fluctuating. I guess I'll have to take away that gold star after all.

LAFORGE: Impulse engines passing safety limits. We're seconds from automatic shutdown.
PICARD: Reduce engine power. Tractor beam off.

This is extremely petty, but I have to wonder if shutting the engines down seconds before automatic shutdown is less damaging than waiting until automatic shutdown.

Captain's log, supplemental. We are no closer to finding a solution to the deteriorating orbit of the Bre'el Four moon, but with the arrival of Q, we now have a good idea of the cause.

I call this a farfetched notion. What amusement would it give Q to kill people via a "natural disaster?" Furthermore, we've yet to see the Q interested in lesser species except as harmless amusement. The locals aren't remotely advanced enough to warrant Encounter at Farpoint-style judgement.

LAFORGE: We need more time or more power, and we're short on both.

I'd wonder why they don't wait for other starships to arrive. Then again, if the numbers earlier are to be taken as correct, they need over forty more starships of comparable power to the Enterprise, i.e. Galaxy and Nebula-class vessels. I'm not sure there ARE forty other such ships at this point, even without wondering how they could get here in time.

Q: Since I only had a fraction of a second to mull and I chose this and asked them to bring me here.
TROI: Why?
Q: Because in all the universe you're the closest thing I have to a friend, Jean-Luc.

I find that either the biggest joke ever or extremely depressing. Aren't there other species between human and Q in power that would actually be friends with Q?

TROI: I am sensing an emotional presence, Captain. I would normally describe it as being terrified.
Q: How rude.

Wouldn't this be one of the final reasons to believe that Q is now human? Or are you going to tell me that Q would send fake telepathic messages? That seems like a lot of work for just a joke.

Q: What must I do to convince you people?
WORF: Die.
Q: Oh, very clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately?

Always a classic exchange.

Q: Would I permit you to lock me away if I still had all my powers?

If his master plan involved a good enough lesson or joke, yes he would.

DATA: Sensors are showing broadband emissions, including Berthold rays.

This is a reference to "This Side of Paradise." I guess either the no-TOS ban has been lifted or this reference was obscure enough to get past the higher-ups.

PICARD: If you are human, which I seriously doubt, you will have to work hard to earn our trust.
Q: I'm not worried about that, Jean-Luc. You only dislike me. There are others in the cosmos who truly despise me.

Nice foreshadowing, but also a little depressing when you think about it.

DATA: I was considering the possibility that you are telling the truth, that you really are human.
Q: It's the ghastly truth, Mister Data. I can now stub my toe with the best of them.
DATA: An irony. It means that you have achieved in disgrace what I have always aspired to be.

Nice character work. It's a shame the Trek writers forgot how to do that.

Q: Humans are such commonplace little creatures. They roam the galaxy looking for something, they know not what.

Too bad he didn't hang around Sisko more. "It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching--not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions."

LAFORGE: The moon will hit its perigee in ten hours. Now, we match its trajectory, increase emitter coolant rate so we can apply continuous warp-equivalent power nine to the tractor beam. We can push it for nearly seven hours and I think that just might do it. But, there's a problem.

Warp-equivalent power nine? [URL="https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Cochrane_(unit)"]Okay, just call this a warp field of 1.5 kilocochranes. Which can be generated for 12 hours of high warp. Frankly I'm surprised that the tractor beam can channel over half the power that the warp coils can.

Q: This is obviously the result of a large celestial object passing through at near right angles to the plane of the star system. Probably a black hole.

And that sort of thing wouldn't be detected by planetary or ship's sensors...why?

LAFORGE: You know, this might work. We can't change the gravitational constant of the universe, but if we wrap a low level warp field around that moon, we could reduce its gravitational constant. Make it lighter so we can push it.

Yeah...no. The gravitational constant only alters the acceleration of object near the moon's surface. What they're talking about is reducing effective mass. I think they mean that they're using a warp field to make the matter of the moon straddle the boundary between space and subspace. As long as part of the mass is no longer resisting being accelerated, it might work.

DATA: Although I do not require sustenance, I occasionally ingest semi-organic nutrient suspension in a silicon-based liquid medium.

Semi-organic? Is Data supposed to have tech that's the precursor of bio-neural gel-packs?

DATA: The replicator can make anything you desire.
Q: How do I know what I desire?

Seriously, Q? You've never tasted human food before while impersonating us? I refer you to the novel "I, Q."
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