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Old 07-12-2019, 09:46 PM
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Nate the Great Nate the Great is offline
Knate airrant
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Another late entry, sorry about that.

July 10th, 1989, "Peak Performance"

No fiver
Transcript
Memory Alpha

The Episode

WORF: Despite their reputations, this Zakdorn does not appear to be a very formidable warrior.

This raises the question: at this point (i.e. no Jem'Hadar yet) who besides the Klingons rigorously train in hand-to-hand combat? (If the novels are to believed, the Vulcans do. I refer you to the novel Sarek). And Zakdorn are as capable as anyone of using ship's controls to fire on another ship, right?

KOLRAMI: Captain Picard, it is my understanding that you initially resisted Starfleet's request for this simulation.
PICARD: Yes.
KOLRAMI: May I know why?
PICARD: Starfleet is not a military organisation. Its purpose is exploration.

Cue SF Debris rant. I'll just repeat one of Chuck's arguments: BEING READY FOR COMBAT IS STILL YOUR JOB!

RIKER: I think it's a waste of effort to test our combat skills. It's a minor province in the make-up of a starship captain.

IT'S STILL YOUR JOB!

(He seems to be building a matchstick ship, The door chime makes him break a stick.)
WORF: Enter!
RIKER: Am I disturbing you?
(Worf sweeps the wreckage off the desk)
WORF: Just finished.

Poor Worf. One wonders if he's built a ship in a bottle yet.

WORF: If there is nothing to lose, no sacrifice, then there is nothing to gain.
RIKER: You mean besides pride.

Exactly. While I can buy that Klingons don't believe in simulated or "safe" combat (they probably never invented laser tag), I can't buy that "pride" is the only thing to gain. I can't think of anything else at the moment, but there must be something...

RIKER: You're out-manned, you're out-gunned, you're out-equipped. What else have you got?
WORF: Guile.

The mind is the best weapon any of us will ever have. That's why the Borg keep losing, that's why the Dominion lost.

LAFORGE: So you're going to beat him?
RIKER: Nope.
LAFORGE: Well, then it's going to be a close one.
RIKER: No.
LAFORGE: But you have got a chance?
RIKER: Nah.
LAFORGE: Are you going to bother to show up?
RIKER: Sure, Kolrami is the best ever at Strategema. Just to get to play him is a privilege.

Understandable, but I feel this time Riker's priorities are a bit misplaced. Kolrami already doesn't like you, you don't want to give him more ammunition to use against you. At least challenging Spock to 3D chess won't result in him insulting you when he wins.

PULASKI: Against an opponent of approximate skill, Strategema can last well over one thousand moves.

Sheesh. Why do humans play this game? If Paul Stubbs is to be believed, BASEBALL is too slow to be enjoyed anymore!

WORF: I have wagered heavily in the ship's pool that you will take him past the sixth plateau.
RIKER: And if I don't?
WORF: I will be irritated.

When we have a game like Stratagema that the writers know will never be revisited, the number of made-up terms to be used should be limited. What is the "sixth plateau"? Just say X seconds or Y moves!

PULASKI: Maybe you should challenge Kolrami to Strategema.
DATA: Why, Doctor?
PULASKI: Because when someone is that smug, you occasionally have to deflate them just a little.

Oh yeah, these people are perfect alright. They don't believe in mourning, but the desire to crush a smug person's ego is perfectly alright. Money doesn't exist but gambling still does. It's a good thing I'm not a psychologist or I'd have a field day with this nonsense...

RIKER: (offers him the First Officer's seat) Mister Worf.
WORF: Sir, Lieutenant La Forge is a superior officer. The honour should be his.
RIKER: Worf, this is a battle simulation. You're my Tactical Officer. I've discussed this with Geordi and we agreed. You need to be at my side.

Why is this here? Worf should be at Tactical, and we don't need a First Officer in this case, nobody's going to be hurt!

RIKER [OC]: Now, what are the possibilities of warp drive?
LAFORGE: Not good. There are only a few dilithium fragments left in the holding clamps. Even if we had crystals that were intact, there's no anti-matter to fuel the drive.

It occurs to me that the warp core was designed to aim the matter and antimatter streams at a specific point which corresponds to a critical nexus point within the chunk of dilithium. If all you've got are chips, are they going to split the matter and antimatter streams into multiple smaller streamers, each aimed at a specific chip in a way that will ensure that the resulting plasma streams will coalesce into a proper stream to send to the nacelles? I'd want Data on hand to calculate that sort of thing!

RIKER [on viewscreen]: What's the Zakdornian word for mismatch?
KOLRAMI: Challenge. We do not whine about the inequities of life. And how you perform in a mismatch is precisely what is of interest to Starfleet. After all, when one is in the superior position, one is expected to win.

I have to agree with Kolrami on this one. The Borg are a big reason why we're doing this, and they proved that we need to learn how to improvise in battle conditions.

KOLRAMI: Play against a machine. Why should I wish to?

We've seen plenty of "android's aren't really sentient beings with rights" sentiments in TNG, but I'm surprised Kolrami would be among those voicing them. Wouldn't he have examined the combat records of the entire senior staff in preparation for this mission?

NAGEL: (a lady officer) But what about the viewscreen?
WORF: If I am successful, the computer will project a false image of the enemy ship on the main viewscreen.

The image on the viewscreen is already an image, Worf is just hacking it. Are there still people who think the thing is just a window?

KOLRAMI: I saw no sense in Riker choosing him anyway. Just a non-commissioned child.

While Wesley might not be a "senior officer" yet, he's definitely a bridge officer, and Kolrami should've read his record.

DATA: In the present context, what did she mean by bust him up?
TROI: In her own way, Doctor Pulaski was instructing you to take the shortest route to victory.
DATA: As opposed to what?

No, Pulaski was saying to decisively defeat Kolrami, humiliate him. Win by ten points instead of one. If we're going to act like Data doesn't have all metaphors memorized by now, we should at least use correct definitions when teaching him.
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