Monday, August 13, 2012

The New Security Chief

A couple of days ago Sylvia walked in to find me watching "The Neutral Zone," the last episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, on our ginormous new TV. Near the episode's climax, marooned man-out-of-time Ralph Offenhouse gets on a turbolift and heads for the bridge to make demands of Captain Picard.

"Hey, wait a minute!" Sylvia said. "How come the elevator lets him go to the bridge during a red alert? He's just a civilian, they don't know who he is. That's a huge hole in their security!"

"But, but," I stammered, "Just a few minutes ago they showed that Federation starships don't work that way. Offenhouse wasn't supposed to use the ship's communications system earlier in the episode and Picard comes down and lectures him for it, saying people in his time have enough self control to make the need for locks and passwords obsolete. This is just an extension of that philosophy -"

"That is B.S. I found a flaw in your crazy show. There's no way that guy should have gotten anywhere near the bridge especially when the green bug is out there!"

(The "green bug" is Sylvia's catchall term for any Klingon or Romulan spaceship.)

"I...but...from the future people's point of view no one would dream of coming to the bridge without permission, so the computer just obeys all requests...it's...you're supposed to...uh..."

"I should run the ship. This is nonsense."

I have to admit my explanation seems a little lame. But there are solid grounds for my objection to Sylvia's perceived flaw! On the other hand, she'd probably make a pretty good security chief. Better than Tasha Yar, anyway.

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