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  • 1. USING STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION IN TEACHING COMMUNICATION Presented by Alan D. Winegarden Marilyn Fuss-Reineck Lori J. Charron Concordia College St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 2. A paper presented to the 78th Annual Convention of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, IL, October 29 - November 1, 1992. STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION % INTRODUCTION More than thirty years ago Newton Minow, then chariman of the Federal Communications Commission declared that television was a "vast wasteland of mediocre programs" which were providing a diet of "dulling sameness" (Defleur, p. 205). Television programming has changed considerably in the three decades since this statement. No longer are viewers restricted to one, two, or even three network channels. No longer are viewers required to stay by the television set at the very time a show is broadcast. No longer is the television program instantly gone while it is being watched. Today independent companies, new networks, and cable transmission of television programming have made the choices of what to watch almost unlimited. Video recorders have made it possible to record a show and watch it at a time and place convenient to the viewer. Video technology has made reviewing portions of a television program possible and easy. Most importantly this change and technology is readily affordable to many viewers. It would be futile to argue that television is not a pervasive force in our society. According to A. C. Nielsen, by the time a child reaches high school graduated, he or she will have watched at least 15,000 hours of television which will have included some 350,000 commercials and 18,000 murders (Waters, 1977). There is clearly some disagreement over what effect television viewing may have on viewers of various ages, but most would have to admit that something is probably happening. A number of efforts to utilize movies for instructional purposes have been reviewed by Proctor and Adler (1991). Others have utilized a variety of analytical and critical approaches to examine television program content and modeling. Dreibelbis
  • 3. (1990), Larson (1990), Flayhan (1991), K. Leeper (1991), R. Leeper (1991), and Bohlken and Braden (1991) critically examined various aspects of The Simpsons. Analyses focused on family interaction patterns, transitions, self-reflexivity and intertextuality, discourse and social power, language, and Bart Simpson as a charismatic hero. Getz (1992) examined racism and military suspicion in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Spaeth (1992) and Waldow (1992) utilized a cultural and social values approach to analyze two other episodes of the same program. Aden (1990) applied the concept of myth to the Bundy's of Married . . . With Children. Hart (1990) looked at The Tracey Ullman Show and Dilley wrote about the lessons of Molly Dodd from a feminist reading. The list could go on, but the variety of work done on specific television programs indicates the wealth of content available to media critics/analysts. Television programming is more than valuable for critical analysis at academic presentations and for publication. Popular television programs are also a repository of instructional materials for a variety of subject areas especially those allied with the field of communication. In other words, while various uses of media should be critically analyzed, these same media offer excellent teaching tools in themselves. Popular television programs can be used as instructional tools in themselves. The purpose of this paper is to provide a rationale for the use of popular television in the classroom and to provide selected examples and applications from the syndicated television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. The paper will first list some advantages as well as disadvantages of using television in the classroom, in particular, the advantages and disadvantages of using Star Trek: The Next Generation will be presented. Then two particular episodes in the series will be used to demonstrate how concepts in the programs themselves can be used in classes in persuasion, family communication, and communication ethics. Finally, several classroom activities based on the two episodes will be discussed. POPULAR TELEVISION IN THE CLASSROOM Advantages Today's students, and many of their teachers, are products of the television generation. Those under forty probably cannot even remember not having a television in their home. Many have more than one television and some probably cannot remember black and white television. Students are very accustomed to watching television with its living color and fast paced action. Some advantages of utilizing popular television can be listed.
  • 4. First, popular television programs are current. One of the disadvantages of using films provided by commercial producers is that the become outdated very quickly. Those fine films produced by McGraw-Hill CRM films, Barr Films, Phoenix/BFA Films, and GPN/UMA during the late seventies and early eighties draw laughs and snickers from students whent hey see the hair and clothing styles. Popular television programs are aired weekly and rerun frequently. Star Trek: The Next Generation is in its sixth season and has over 130 episodes. It is also set in the future which keeps hair styles and clothing styles from becoming outdated too quickly. Issues dealt with in the show's content are issues that currently confront individuals and society. Technology and special effects are continually updated so that the show can grow with its audience. This popular television series has been and remains current. Second, popular television shows, by their very nature, are dramatic. That is to say that they get and keep the interest and attention of their audience as well as any media can do. Since students are used to high intensity and action packed programming, this quality is highly desirable in any visual media used in the classroom. Star Trek: The Next Generation is very dramatic and weaves the main plot with a B-plot, and sometimes with a C-plot. Several lines of action are going on at the same time. This leads to a third advantage of using popular television in the classromm, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. The quality of the production and writing is usually very high. Very often the main plot and the subplot(s) deal with the same issue or concept, thus, reinforcing the primary thrust of the episode. Acting is very good, variety of themes is great, technical production is fine, and special effects are just enough to keep the show interesting without detracting from the storyline. A fourth advantage is that popular television programs are usually quite familiar to students in college classrooms. Star Trek: The Next Generation. According to Coit (1989), the new Star Trek has "reached across class, age, sex, and race into the hearts and souls of many Americans" (p. 88). The new Star Trek reaches a larger audience than the original. Davis (1991) pointed out that Star Trek: The Next Generation is second only to L.A. Law among males 18 to 49. It has also appeal to more women because it has changed its sexist preamble and given more authority to women. If students have not seen the show, they have certainly heard about it. In addition, episodes can usually stand alone. Viewers do not need to be followers of the series to understand the plot of a single episode. A fifth advantage of using popular television in the classroom is that unlike feature movies, television shows are, for the most part, less than an hour long. In fact, most hour
  • 5. long shows are only about 45 minutes long without commercials. This is true for Star Trek: The Next Generation. With the exception of the two-part programs, these episodes run approximately 45 minutes each. With skillful editing of the plots, a complete subplot can be reduced to about 20 minutes. these easily fit into a standard class period and also allow for introduction and discussion. A classroom instruction aid would be of little use if it were not available. A Sixth advantage is that current episodes are readily available for off-air recording and immediate classroom use. Later use will require some investigation into copyright observance. More importantly, however, is that episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation are coming out on home video for purchase at video stores. As of October 1, 1992 the first 18 episodes have been released for sale to the public. The purchase cost leads to the seventh and final advantage of using this popular television series in the classroom: cost. As episodes are released, the cost runs about 15 or 16 dollars per tape. This is less than the rental rate of most films available through university film rental libraries. It is also possible that video rental stores will begin stocking titles in the series for rental use. Cost will clearly not be a hinderance to the use of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the classroom. Disadvantages However, few innovations come without some pitfalls and drawbacks. The list of disadvantages can get quite long. First, and probably most important is copyright infringement. It is quite illegal to record programs off the air and continue to use them in the classroom without getting permission to do so in a reasonable amount of time. On the other hand, episodes are being released at the rate of more than one per month. At this rate many very appropriate episodes will be avialable for purchase and legitimate classroom use. The question of using current episodes will probably require writing the copyright owners for permission to use them. More difficult may be getting permission to edit subplots out of episodes for use in the classroom. A second disadvantage of some popular television programs for use in the classroom is that many porgrams contain considerable violence, sex, and language which can be a problem for church related schools, faculty whose values preclude their use, and students who might be offended by their use in required classes. Fortunately, Star Trek: The Next Generation is, by almost any standards, mild in its approach to violence, sex, and language. Some values expressed may offend some but can also serve as springboards for discussion. A third disadvantage is that some students just do not
  • 6. like the televison series being shown. Even Star Trek: The Next Generation does not appeal to everyone. There is really no way around this anymore than there is a way around dislike of an instructional film or course unit. However, the disadvantage is real. Other disadvantages include preparation time, if editing, quantity of episodes, costs if buying several episodes, electronic equipment, expertise in video, and last, but not least, storage. Just like the small computer disks, video cassettes beging to add up in number and require storage space. Fortunately, selective screening and purchase can reduce the costs and storage problems. Electronic equipment is usually available and editing equipment is often available on university campuses. For smaller institutions, a small video editing unit, if desired, can be assembled for less than $5000. While there are some significant disadvantages to STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION % utilizing popular television in the classroom including copyright, violence, sex, language, disliking, preparation, costs, equipment and storage, there are many more significant advantages to using popular televison in the classroom, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. These include timeliness, high dramatic quality, familiarity, time frame, availability, and low cost. APPLICATION Use of popular television in the classroom clearly has some great benefits to the teacher. Specific applications of Star Trek: The Next Generation to communication studies will be discussed next followed by specific activities for two episodes. Family Communication Star Trek: The Next Generation offers many possibilities for teaching family communication concepts. This section focuses on family patterns, family roles, and the impact of ecosystems on family life. Family communication applications will focus primarily on Episode Number Sixty-Four: "The Offspring" which is summarized in the Appendix. Family Patterns A family interaction pattern is "an ordered and repetitive sequence or connection of events" (Stierlin and Simon, p. 260). A communicaiton pattern is "an organized
  • 7. repetitive sequence of communication exchanges that tends to be repeated" (Yerby et al. 1990, p.318). Patterns are important because they provide a means by which families regulate themselves and maintain equilibrium. They provide significant clues for understanding and interpreting behavior (Galvin and Brommel, 1989, pp. 37-38). Learning to recognize patterns is an important analytical skill for family communication students. When students gain an outsider perspective of positive and negative effects of patterns in families, they can then identify and explore consequences of patterns in their own family systems. One way an instructor can facilitate development of pattern recognition is to make comparisons across a number of family systems. For example, the family systems depicted in two films probably familiar to most readers, The Great Santini and On Golden Pond, look quite different on the surface. The enmeshed and rigid family in The Great Santini runs according to the military model. The family in On golden Pond is less structured and less cohesive. One of the patterns that both systems share is a pattern of mother explaining and justifying the father's behavior to the child. Comparing systems that might look very different on the surface can aid students in recognizing underlying patterns that are similar. Star Trek: The Next Generation provides a rich source of different types of family systems. Abord the "new" Enterprise, the crew have their families on board, creating a large colony ship. For example, Dr. Beverly Crusher (human), Worf (Klingon), and Data (android) are all single parents who are challenged when their children do not "fit" with their peers ("The Offspring," and "New Ground"). Students can compare the parent-child interaction in each of these systems and look for similar/dissimilar patterns. Other episodes depict interaction between crew members and their families of origin. for example, Picard ("Family"), Data ("Brother"). and Worf ("Sins of the Father") all have conflictual interactions with their brothers. In "Haven," Deanna Troi experiences conflict between her Betazoid mother and potential in-laws over a Betazoid or Earth style wedding ceremony. Comparisons can be made of the conflict between these two family systems and the Irish and Jewish system depicted in the "The War of the Worlds" episode of Brooklyn Bridge (1992). The setting and circumstances are different, but the loyalty to traditions is similar. After identifying patterns, students can discuss what behaviors are functional or non-functional within the systems. Family Roles Yerby, Buerkel-Rothfuss, and Bochner (1990) define family roles as "describing a set of behaviors that family members of
  • 8. particular positions are expected to perform in relationship to each other, based on the rules established for specific relationship" (p. 327). In the family, roles emeerge from and are sustained by patterns of social interaction. Family members negotiate their mutual expectations of each other and make adjustments. However, family members do not learn roles solely by interaction, but also learn roles by observing and imitating role models. sources of role expectations include the media, daily life within a community, cultural groups, significant and complementary others, and each person's self understanding regarding a "fit" with a role (Galvin and Brommel, 1989). The varied family systems aboard the enterpreise provide an excellent opportunity to explore the influence of cultural groups on family role expectations. For example, in "New Ground" (Episode Number 110, 1/6/92), Worf's parental role expectations are shaped by Klingon beliefs that harsh discipline is good for a child. These beliefs influence his decision to send Alexander away to a Klingon school. This decision is modified by his interactions with others, most notably, Counselor Deanna Troi and Alexander. Data and Lal in "The Offspring" (Episode Number 64, 3/10/90), provide an example of how they learn parent and child roles by imitating humans. A touching example of this is shown in the scene in which Data discusses the struggle to be human and suggests that the struggle is what is most important. The scene ends with Data and Lal holding hands, an action Lal has observed humans associate with expressing affection. Data also discusses different societal expectations for the parental role, reporting that his reading revealed much confusion over appropriate parenting. He suggests that there are two major philosophies: a traditional "Spare the rod and spoil the child"; and a more liberal attitude. Data allows Lal to choose her own gender and appearance and displays a fairly open and supportive parenting style. Data's approach to parenting contrasts sharply with Worf's philosophy in "New Ground." Students could discuss the consequences of these different parenting styles and also find examples of them in television programs depicting human families. The major controversy in "The Offspring" revolves around family definition and whether Data and Lal constitute a family. One way of evaluating this argument is to have students assess whether or not Data fulfills parental functions. In the episode, Data teaches Lal about her environment and social skills, praises her when she learns, corrects mistakes, works with her motor coordination, sends her to school, and to Ten Forward to interact with other systems. he even displays a loss of patience with Lal's relentless "Why?" questions. In class discussion, students could evaluate whether Data fulfills
  • 9. Coleman's parental role responsibilities of "providing love and acceptance, supplying structure and discipline, encouraging competence and self-confidence, presenting appropriate role models, and creating a stimulating and responsive enviornment: (Pearson, 1989, p. 192). Students can develop their own role descriptions of what it means to be a parent. Ecosystems and Family Life Family ecosystems refer to the hierarchy of syustems which both comprise and surround the family, including subsystems to macrosystems (Yerby et al.). The family units aboard the Enterprise are expected to follow both the ship's and the Federation's regulations, illustrating the interdependence of systems. When the various systems interface, conflict can result, as depicted by the family definition controversy in "The Offspring." Data considers Lal his child and says to her, "We are a fimily, Lal." Picard, the ship's captain, is initially bothered by the parent-child relationship aspect and criticizes Data for not consulting him prior to creating Lal. Data responds that he had followed Starfleet instructions and had not observed others on board requesting permission for procreation. Admiral Haftel, the Federation representative, does not recongtize family ties between Data dn lal, viewing her as an object needing his own supervision at Galor Four. He not only questions Data's judgment as a parent but insists that since the two androids are the only ones in existence, they should not be kept on the same starship. Students can discuss implications of family definitions held by members of the different ecosystems (See Exercise in Defining Family Communicaiton, Appendix ____). "The Offspring" can also be used to discuss responsibility associated with mutual dependence between the family and other social systems. Data makes a passionate speech (for an android) in which he explains his motivations for parenting. He explains that he has received so much from Starfleet that he wanted to give something back. Even though Admiral Haftel is telling him that he should give up Lal for her own good. Data insists that he cannot give up his child. It is his duty to guide and support her as she learns to contribute to society. He states that "No one can relieve me of that obligation." However, when Admiral Haftel directly orders Data to turn Lal over to him, Data immediately rises to comply. Family patterns, family roles, and family ecosystems have been presented to illustrate family communication applications from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The program's varied and culturally diverse family systems as well as their environmental interactions facilitate many more applications. Communication Ethics
  • 10. Communication ethics is another area in which Star Trek: The Next Generation can be used for pedagogical purposes. There are a number of episodes which can be utilized, but two episodes are espcially pertinent to communication ethics. "The Offspring" and "Ethics" (Episode Number 116, 3/2/92) both present ethical dilemmas in which all sides are presented. The focus here, as in the previous section, will be on "The Offspring" episode. This episode can easily be used to investigate various ethical perspectives. for example, Johannesen (1990) presents seven ethical perspectives. Each perspective can be applied to the episode to present a variety of issues. Johannesen's "political perspectives" uises one's political system's ideologies and values as the base for ethical reasoning. For example, in the United States the democratic philosophy undergirds many ethical decisions. The use of a "political perspective" to analyze this episode would challenge students to not only delineate key democratic values and ideals, but also to investigate the intercultural implications of this perspective. That is, what if the ethical struggle involves two different political systems? How does one decide whether to act against one's own value system when within a different political value system? Condon (1981) addresses some of these issues. This type of discussion is especially pertinent within intercultural as well as interpersonal and mass communication classes. This perspective might also utilize Karl Wallace's (1955) four "moralities" or guidelines that are within the framework of a democratic political perspective. Within Wallace's perspective, the "habit of respect for dissent" is supported. A discussion on Captain Picard's decision to go against Admiral Haftel's orders to release Lal could be disucssed as a possible utilization of such a "habit." Wallace also promotes a "habit to prefer public to private motivations" which may justigy Picard's dissent. During such a discussion, it is important that students discuss and understand the possible consequences of Picard's decision. The "human nature" perspective could bring about a different kind of discussion than that of the politcal perspective. Within these perspectives, a key factor is that the characteristics of human beings be utilized and respected when making an ethical decision. having androids as key characters within this episode allows for an interesting discussion on what attributes make a "human" person. Wieman and Walter (1957) present the characrteristics of being human as having symbol-using capacity and a unique need for needing one another. Would one then describe data and Lal as human? Is it important that they are or are not human? Analyzing human
  • 11. attributes in this manner will allow students to understand the importance of the differences of opinions within each perspective as well as the perspective itself. Another possible application using this perspective might be Immanuel Kant's (1949) "categorical imperative" in which he posits that human beings inherently possess the ability to judge moral laws. Within this perspective, as Johannesen points out, a lie is always a lie because "the moral imperatives are right in themselves, no because of their consequences" (p. 45). Kant presents two forms by whci to assess an ethical decision. One form asks whether the decision is one that should become a universal code. Students learning this perspective might be asked what would happen if all Starfleet captains disobeyed direct orders. Also, what is Starfleet had the power to make decisions which counteracted all individual's rights? Kant's other form of his "imperative" is that communicaiton should never be used solely as a means to an end. One might ask how Data and Lal are being used as a means to an end within the episode? Could Picard also be described as using them as means to an end? Once again, utilizing a variety of theories within a perspective can yield a fruitful classroom discussion. The "dialogical perspective" is most often associated with Martin Buber's (1970) philosophy which promotes an "I-Thou" relationship that focuses on being "present" in communication. With its focus on empathic interpersonal communicaiton, discussion could focus on examples of observed dialogical communication or how one listens with empathy to all sides of an issue and still stays committed to one ethical decision. The empathic ship's counselor, Deanna Troi, can present some interesting insights into this perspective. How does one fully empathize with Captain Picard and Admiral Haftel and still come to a clear cut conclusion? For a thorough and interesting discussion on this idea, Keller's (1981) article, "Interpersonal Dissent and the Ethics of Dialogue," could be assigned reading for students as a catalyst for discussion. The "situational perspectives" focus on the idea that codes and rules cannot be used to make ethical decisions because the situational elements are, in and of themselves, the key determinants. These perspectives have interesting applications to Star Trek: The Next Generation because of the plethora of "situations" the starship encounter! However, it is important to remember to present the perspectives in a manner that allows students to examine how well the situational ethic works when appliying it to their own lives, as well as to the starship crew. A discussion or paper could focus on Rogge's (1959) situational persepctive in which he suggests that ethical criteria change according to the person's leadership style and
  • 12. persuasive goals as well as other communication elements. In this perspective, communication tactics which are usually identified as unethical, such as lying, using excessive emotional appeal, or name-calling, in certain situations, may be ethical. Students may be able to discuss what other persuasive tactics could have been used by Captain Picard, Admiral haftel, or Data to persuade one another, but were not. A discussion of the consequences of those other choices would probably prove to be beneficial. Fletcher's (1966) situational ethics, which focuses on a Christian ideology, could also be used to facilitate learning about this perspective. Fletcher's idea, presented simply, is to analyze the situation and choose the most "loving" response. Students, after learning about this perspective, could then ask themselves how one would make the decision whether or not to transfer Lal under fletcher's approach to ethics. What specific situational elements are the deciding factor in the decision? How does one decide what is "loving?" In doing so, students may be able to understand the benefits and drawbacks in utilizing a situational ethics perspective. Other perspectives that Johannesen presents are "religious," "utilitarian," and "legal." Each can lend itslf to analysis using Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Veenstra dn Kooi's Christian perspective could be used to draw attention toward what they term the "genuine needs" of those involved. J. Vernon Jensen's (1990) stress on the importance of analyzing religious perspectives in communication ethics classrooms should be remembered whenever selecting ethical perspectives for use in the classroom. A "Utilitarian perspective" may prove to be quite interesting when one promotes the idea of "the greatest good for the greatest number." Perhaps Picard is wrong in his conclusion in trying to keep Lal on board ship. What is the ship were, as the Admiral suggests, to be unexpectedly destroyed? Using a legal perspective may, again, allow for an intercultural perspective to be integrated. As one can see, the possibilities of application and extrapoloation of the concepts within communicaiton ethics are endless. All one needs is a video player, time, and creativity! One word of caution should be presented, however. There is concern within the area of communication ethics that the insight and knowledge students receive in class be directly applicable and relevant to students' lives and not only focus on the abstract (Flint, 1924; McCaleb and Dean, 1987; White, 1990). Although the character's emotional and psychological states are ones to which students can relate, there is a degree of "non-realness" to Star Trek: The Next Generation. (It seems unlikely that students will encounter a Klingon within the next few years.) Therefore, it is imperative that this tool be used
  • 13. in conjunction with some realistic, relevant, and "earthly" situation. This will allow students to understand and be interested in communication ethics through the use of popular television while also applying it to their own lives. EPISODE SIXTY-FOUR: "THE OFFSPRING" Written by Rene Echeverria Directed by Jonathan Frakes Guest Cast: Hallie Todd, Nicolas Coster Air Date: 3/10/90 Data has been working on something in private ever since he attended a cybernetics conference. He unveils it to Troi, Wesley and Geordi: he has built an android like himself, which he has named "Lal." Lal, a humanoid without distinct features, calls Data 'father' and chooses the form of a young human woman for her permanent appearance. Picard is a bit perturbed not to have been informed, and finds the father/daughter aspect of the androids' relationship a bit disturbing at first. Despite this, he takes Data's side when a Starfleet Admiral expresses his intent to remove Lal from Data's care and take her away for study, going so far as to contradict a direct order from the Admiral. He feels that the Admiral is not recognizing or respecting the rights and liberties that the androids possess as sentient beings in the Federation. Ironies build up: Picard himself has never had children, but the Admiral, who is a father several times, seems, at least outwardly, to be quite heartless in this matter, and promises Picard that his stand may cost him dearly. Lal is learning more daily, both from experience and from a series of neural transfers from Data's brain, and she is becoming more and more aware of her difference from other beings. There are signs that she has, in some ways, surpassed her father. One is her self-developed ability to use contractions in her speech, something Data cannot do. The other change becomes evident when she realizes that the Admiral intends to separate her from her father and the Enterprise. She runs to Deanna's quarters -- not to Data's, as her programming would have her do in times of malfunction -- and reveals that she is actually feeling fear. She has achieved real emotion, but only as her systems begin to fail. Data and the Admiral strive to repair her, but her neural pathways shut down faster
  • 14. than Data can restore the. the Admiral is shaken by the experience, realizing much too late that there was more involved here than mere cybernetic devices. Data informs Lal that he must shut her down permanently; she thanks him for her life, and tells him that she loves him. Data cannot truly tell her the same, for he cannot feel love, but love is evident in his actions even though he does not realize it. In the end, Data transfers all her memories to his brain; Lal, whose name means "beloved" in Hindi, will remain with him forever (Van Hise, pp. 114-115). EPISODE FIFTY: "THE ENSIGNS OF COMMAND" Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass Directed by Cliff Bole Guest Cast: Eileen Seeley, Mark L. Taylor, Richard Allen Air Date: 9/30/89 After 111 years, the Federation receives a communication from the mysterious Sheliak. They have discovered humans on Tau Cygna V, a planet ceded to them by a treaty, and demand their removal so they can colonize. The Federation has no knowledge of humans on that world. It is blanketed by heavy hyperonic radiation, which is fatal to humans. It is possible that humans could adapt, however, and the Enterprise is sent to investigate. The Sheliak regard humans as inferior beings, and will exterminate them if their deadline is not met. Sensors, affected by the radiation, do sense life forms, but transporters and phasers are completely useless. Data, who is unaffected, shuttles down, where he finds a thriving community of 15 thousand settlers. It would take over four weeks to shuttle them all up to the Enterprise, and there are only three days until the deadline. Even worse, Data cannot convince Gosheven, the colony leader, that there is a threat. Gosheven is proud of the colony and its accomplishments, especially its water system, and will not consider leaving these monuments. Ardrian McKenzie, a young woman interested in cybernetics, offers to help Data. They discover that not everyone agrees with Gosheven, but still, few are interested in leaving. Picard hopes to find a loophole in the treaty, which required 372 Federation legal experts to negotiate, but the Sheliak refuse to talk. With a Federation colony ship three weeks away, Picard decides to intercept the Sheliak colony ship
  • 15. and delay it. Gosheven calls a meeting, which Data attends. the android uses various arguments, which provoke much thought, but Gosheven rallies his people again. Still, there are dissenters, and they meet at McKenzie's house. Gosheven intrudes, and shoots Data with an energy weapon. The meeting breaks up. With McKenzie's help, and his diagnostic circuits, Data revives, and decides that words are not enough. He rigs his phaser, using parts of his neural processor, to work despite the radiation, and sends a message to Gosheven telling him that he plans to destroy the acqueduct. Data finds the area protected, but stuns the armed guards, and sends a maximum-power phaser burst up the waterway, demonstrating his power. If one android can do this, he tells them, think what the Sheliak can do. This finally convinces the colonists that evacuation is a good idea, and preparations begin. Picard manages to stall the Sheliak when he finds a clause in the treaty which enables either side to call in a third-party arbitrator in any dispute. As arbitrators, he chooses a race that won't emerge from hibernation for nearly six months. Faced with this, the Sheliak cede Picard his requested three weeks. Data returns to the Enterprise, as the evacuation begins (Van Hise, p. 103).
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