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Brian S>
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

So let me see if I have this right...

1) Union policy for First Contact is to respond and reveal themselves to any culture with the mere capacity to send radio transmissions into outer space seeking other life....even if those civilizations lack the ability to travel faster than the speed of light....even if those civilizations lack the ability to even break their own orbit?

Our first radio transmissions were right around the turn of the 20th century. We sent out the first message specifically intended for aliens in 1974, but theoretically, we had the capacity to focus and amplify a signal for such a message decades earlier.

So Union policy is to reach out to Earth c. mid-20th century civilizations? With absolutely no research on their culture, or anything about them, or what impacts the discovery of alien life might have on such a comparatively rudimentary society that possesses little more technological aptitude than mere radio waves?

I'd be shocked if the Union had ANY positive First Contacts with that policy.

++++

2) Orville can't retrieve their kidnapped officers because the Union wants only a diplomatic approach that doesn't involve force because.....something.

If I had to guess--and I have to guess because no explanation is given for why it's okay to send a diplomatic envoy to an extremely primitive society for a First Contact, but its not okay to defend oneself during said diplomatic mission, nor to justifiably retrieve one's diplomats who have been forcibly kidnapped--I would guess that the Union doesn't want to leave a world's first impressions of the Union being a gang of murderous thugs...not even if the new world is one of murderous thugs that acts first.

So it seems the Union has a potentially noble-ish fundamental policy that the Union values a positive first impression with new worlds above even the lives of its own officers--no matter how bad or violent the new society proves to be--except apparently neither Commanders Grayson or Bortus got that crucial memo, as they are willing to violate this non-aggression policy and kill dozens of Regorians, even though their lives are not in imminent danger (they are jailed, but being treated relatively the same as every other inmate).

And so Capt. Mercer, to avoid violating this unexplained policy of not using justified force to retrieve several kidnapped officers because such a display presumably might harm future relations with the Regorians, opts instead to screw with their entire 3,000-year-old religion--a ruse that will inevitably fall apart the moment that this civilization with radio technology and newly discovered knowledge of interstellar alien species learns how to build sub-light interplanetary satellites and/or spaceships--in the hopes that this betrayal and tinkering with a critical fundamental element of their entire society will be met with a more favorable understanding in the future than a simple military extraction involving stunning a few dozen guards with non-lethal force would have (and, oh btw, Grayson and Bortus killed more guards in their failed escape attempt than a trained Orville security force armed with stun phasers would have).

++++

3) And so Mercer and the Orville crew went to all that trouble to plan to deceive the Regorians by creating a star that they, ummm.....they HOPED someone *might* notice?!

I can buy the premise of an astrological-adherent civilization. I can buy the premise that the disappearance of a star led to some crazy astrological religious beliefs.

But the Orville crew spent hours pouring over historical data from the planet, and they had to indirectly deduce that the disappearance of a star from that constellation *might* have been the impetus for that religious belief, but it sure didn't seem like that specific astronomic event thousands of years earlier was something any of the current Regorians were aware of (otherwise, there would have been a lot more data confirming that in the Orville's research).

So the Orville makes one small point of light appear in the night sky--one that should be relatively indistinguishable from the thousands of other points of light in the night sky--and with the naked eye a bunch of people instantly see it (thankfully the internment camp was subjected to neither light pollution nor clouds) and they all have such a detailed memory of the night sky that they instantly know that this one out of thousands of point of light wasn't there before....and that this one isn't simply a meteorite, or a comet, or an aircraft.....and all this so that the Regorians see it AND believe it means something AND then it's a 50/50 shot that the Regorians decide that it's a GOOD thing (instead of an even more bad thing for which the Jelliacs should be completely exterminated)

.....and then, that the Regorians believe it to be such a good sign that they simply decide on an instantaneous whim to reconsider their millennia-old beliefs that people born under the Jelliac sign are maybe not violent beings and that Grayson and Bortus should be released......even after Grayson and Bortus just straight violently massacred over a dozen prison guards

......and then, after all that, hope that the head prison guard who just saw dozens of his friends and co-workers murdered by a pair of violent aliens wouldn't have just completed the execution anyway, good omens from a strange new light in the sky, be damned.

This episode required my logic and disbelief to be suspended so much, they were pronounced clinically dead on sight.
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