Spirit of the Enterprise
I’ve been watching the run of Star Trek: Enterprise for the last little bit, as I didn’t really watch it when it originally aired. Last night I watched “Vox Sola” (season 1, episode 22), and there was a scene that smacked me in the face: the tactical officer invents force field technology.
Seriously, the guy whose training involves how to shoot things with various personal and ship weapons invents technology critical to the future Federation. Not even the chief engineer (who was in peril at the time), but this guy.
The situation is set up to create some faux-drama: Reed, the aforementioned tac officer, says that there are some experimental force field schematics in the Enterprise database, but no one’s been able to get them to work. And he’s been eager to “take a crack at it” (to paraphrase). In what’s likely a couple hours of fictional time, he creates a working prototype that’s able to hold a threat in the cargo bay from attacking more crewmen.
So, he, having primary expertise elsewhere, has done what dedicated scientists back on Earth couldn’t do, and he did that in short time and under the pressure of saving lives?
At first, I rolled my eyes at the writing. And then I had another thought:
The Enterprise’s spirit is that of inspired technological innovation. And that’s why it’s a tactical officer can invent critical new technology.
After all, look at other things invented on the Enterprise over the decades. Now, you’d think that maybe “exploration” or something else would be the vessel’s spirit, but I find it interesting if the spirit isn’t totally in sync with the crew’s mission.
So, let’s imagine that vessels have spirits (or, if you will, schiffgeists) that have their own agenda and affect crews in different ways. The Enterprise has the Innovation schiffgeist. Perhaps the Defiant has the Survivalist schiifgeist. Suddenly, there’s a new and fascinating angle to the “lone space vessels doing their thing” genre.
What other schiffgeists are out there? What affects do they have on their chew?