Vela Kurv Considers Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek TNG’s “The Battle”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


How to prepare for being blindsided? Captain Picard is offered a gift from Ferengi Daimon Bok, the hulk of Pickard’s former command, The U.S.S. Stargazer. What begins as a gift becomes the tool for revenge. Bok uses this gift as an elaborate ploy to gain revenge on Picard for killing his son in the Battle of Maxia. Bok tries to put a nail in Picard’s coffin by falsifying the ship’s records of the battle laying blame on Picard instead of a documented self defense maneuver. Finally, Bok physically injures Picard by using a mind-control device to change his perception of reality and set him up to be destroyed aboard the Stargazer by Picard’s present commanding ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D.
In the end, Bok’s falsified records begin the unraveling of the truth. However, rescuing Picard from his own demise now becomes Riker’s (Picard’s second-in-command) objective as well as his duty. I believe it is Picard’s own logic and presence of mind that enables him to push through the fog of mind-control and free himself from his impending plight. But probably the additional contributing factor is the respect that he’s earned to push Riker and the rest of his crew, Counselor Troi and Doctor Crusher to dig deep for answers.

In the end, not only is a leader responsible for the constant oversight of their own balance of senses but the richness of the relationship they foster with their crew. In order for subordinates to have your back, they have to first want to. Engendering this type of loyalty has to be an aspect of the commander’s character. Talk about working on the internal humanity, this is truly the challenge of responsibility.

Signing off, Lorabella.

Vela Kurv Examines “Ex Post Facto” with the Starship Voyager

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


Another curious episode drawing from Latin for its title “from a thing done afterward”, which refers to the concept of retrospective? A law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. Chief Helmsman Tom Paris is accused of murder on a planet occupied by the Banean people and instead of being sentenced to death; their new punishment is the implantation of memories of the murdered victim into Paris’ mind so that he regularly relives the murder through the eyes of his victim.

 

Janeway is determined to prove his innocence, a commander standing by her pilot that she desperately needs to get her crew home, so Voyager flies in to investigate this conviction. Tuvok determines that Paris is innocent, a pawn in a warzone between the feuding Banea and Numiri. The Banean doctor is proved guilty. Paris is released, and the doctor arrested along with Ren’s wife who was complicit in the murder of her husband. Voyager leaves the Banean homeworld and continues its journey.
Janeway’s strength is shown and proven by Paris’ innocence. Her judgment is also proven to be of good merit, another lesson for a leader (me) building her chops of command to draw from.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Explores “Eye of the Needle” with the Starship Voyager

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

 

This is a curious analogy of science and faith. The title reminds me of a bible verse: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24. Similar verses are in Mark 10:25 and Luke 18:25). Two questions occurred to me: what an eye of the needle analogy on a show all about science and what relevance does it have to Janeway and the Starship Voyager trying to find a way home? Home that is 70,000 light-years away, even?

 

 

In the bible verse, the reference is all about whether or not a rich men can enter Heaven; they can get in but only if they put their faith in God rather than in their riches. Well the relevance answer is that the message is all about the persistence of a young Ensign (Harry) Kim who believes he can find a way back home; it is his perseverance that uncovers a decaying wormhole which may allow Voyager to transport home to Earth. Janeway encourages Chief Engineer B’Lanna Torres to investigate her discovery of piggy backing the ship’s transporter to the relay inside the wormhole in order to transport the entire crew back to the Alpha Quadrant and find their way home.

Foiled again, the ship doesn’t find its way home; it turns out the wormhole traverses some 20 years into the past and Starfleet prohibits against the altering of timelines. The test becomes how the leader Janeway expands her new relationships with her new crew and learns to build camaraderie and trust. Yet and still, the adventures of Janeway’s command continue, Voyager’s crew is grossly disappointed by their inability to transport home; nor are they given the satisfaction of notifying Starfleet that they’re alive but lost. Chief Tactical Officer Tuvok reveals that the Romulan scientist Telek R’Mor (who received Voyagers broadcast for help through the relay) dies before he can transmit the crews messages to family, friends, or Starfleet notifying them of their plight and location (lost in the Delta Quadrant). Here is where the Captain must grip the reins of command and find a way to lead when hope is at its lowest.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Assesses Star Trek TNG’s “Justice”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Captain Picard has to choose between justice for the Edos or justice for Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher. Wesley commits an unknowing transgression, but Edos local authorities on the planet Rubicun III impose a death sentence in accordance with their planetary law. Picard chooses to violate the Prime Directive of noninterference by violating laws to secure Crusher’s release.

Picard knows that Crusher can’t be allowed to be killed, this was not the Prime Directive’s intension, so he tries diplomacy but in the end, these negotiations fail. Instead he and Riker (Picard’s second-in-command) convince the Edos god, a powerful noncorporeal spaceborne entity, that laws cannot be absolute. Circumstances of the infraction must be evaluated.

This is a tall lesson for any leader, justice is truly about weighing the scales of inequity after evaluating all information and making an educated assessment of what’s right. It’s all about doing the right thing. So in this case, Picard’s judgment for the sake of Wesley’s justice must prevail.

Lorabella

Vela Kurv Finds Expression in Star Trek TNG’s “Lonely Among Us”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

This episode centers on trust for me. Captain Picard shares his consciousness with an entity found inside an energy cloud. The entity becomes a kindred spirit after it causes a series of malfunctions in the computer system while the starship Enterprise-D is on a diplomatic mission transporting delegates from planets Antica and Selay to an interstellar conference.
Picard expresses concern about the ship’s malfunctions before he is invaded by the entity. The Enterprise is a new vessel, right out of space dock and the major series of malfunctions seem unrealistic. Data confirms this to Picard. The transformation of Picard after the entity shares his conscious is what tips the crew off that something is terribly wrong with him, that and Counselor Troi’s Betazed intuition.
The leader’s lesson here would seem to imply the need to have a trusted crew. One that will take extraordinary and needed measures to rescue the Captain but also recognizing the concerns for the safety of the crew and its mission. Hopefully, my choices will prove as prudent.
Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Finds More Than “The Cloud” Covering Crew Individuality in Star Trek Voyager

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Captain Janeway has to determine when individuality is a help or a block for both the Doctor and Neelix aboard the Star Trek Voyager starship. Exploration of an unusual nebula reveals a discovery of a spaceborne life-form injured by Voyager’s entry. Also revealed is “the Doctor’s” injustice of circumstance, a hologram with an attitude and under consideration of reprogramming to adjust his attitude for a bruised crew’s feelings. Kes points out the inequity of this assessment because Holograms deserve to evolve too, so Janeway listens…
Neelix learns to adjust his fearful perspective for the good of repairing the injured life-form and Janeway grants “the Doctor” the ability to evolve. He is given the ability to expand his programming, he can turn himself off and on and put together a list of needs in order to best service the crew’s medical needs.
Military leaders need to be able to adjust their assessment of justice in order to balance the scales correctly. Our first determination of what’s best may not be accurate and listening before acting may be the adjustment that equals the fair answer for the best solution.
Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Journeys with Captain Picard “Where No One Has Gone Before”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Intelligence isn’t measured or merited always by time or age; such is the case with U.S.S. Enterprise-D’s Wesley Crusher in the episode “Where No One Has Gone Before”. Wesley is young, curious, and determined to get Captain Picard’s attention. He is able to recognize the truth before all of the ship’s engineers and scientists who stare right past “the Traveler” and miss his energy phase that propels the ship past galaxy M33.

It is Wesley Crusher’s efforts in working with the Traveler that encourage him to return the Enterprise to the Milky Way galaxy. Picard does the honorable thing; he grants Wesley the rank of “acting ensign”, after a one-on-one conversation with “the Traveler” convincing Picard of Wesley’s talents with time and propulsion.Despite Picard’s self proclaimed inability to communicate or relate to children, he does so with a young 12-year old Crusher. It is precisely his nobility of rank that draws in this child’s desire to work and learn from Captain Picard. Taking off the blinders and embracing what we fear as leaders can be the challenge and the blessing that enables us to conquer more than our fears, as military leaders. Breaking through these bindings may allow us to save the crew we are entrusted with leading.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv on Star Trek TNG’s “The Last Outpost”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


Determining where the greater threat lies, when all factors are not evident? U.S.S. Enterprise-D is in pursuit of Ferengi spacecraft, while attempting to recover a T-9 converter. Both ships become trapped by a powerful energy beam emanating from an outpost on the planet and from the long-dead Tkon Empire.The true enemy was not detected by the Enterprise crew until Picard orders a surrender and the Ferengi interpret his offer as a call for them to surrender to the Enterprise. Now the investigation begins and in the end diplomatic efforts are successful in freeing both ships, and retrieving the energy converter from the Ferengi Daimon Taar.

In the end, the true enemy becomes a friend, impressed by reason and a logical assessment of philosophy. The true test for a new leader, such as me, will be the ability to use reason when a soldier’s first response is always to fight.

Good night all, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Weighs in on Star Trek TNG’s “Code of Honor”

 

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Captain Picard must employ respect and nobility to Ligonian leader Lutan on  planet Ligon II and what begins as a diplomatic mission to establish a treaty quickly turns into a kidnapping. Picard must walk a tactical line between befriending this planet to acquire a rare vaccine needed to treat the plague on planet Styris IV or use the Enterprise-D’s technological advantage to secure Security Officer Yar back aboard ship from where she was taken.

When to exact might in a power struggle? Picard has to patiently acquire more information on this abduction to direct his next move and secure the needed vaccine because his medical staff is unable to replicate the formula. Further investigation reveals the abduction is an internal power struggle between Lutan and his own ambition. Non-action until a course is determined is Picard’s winning move.

In this scenario, mind instead of might reveals the successful move. The vaccine is acquired and a more nobile leader is determined without much interference from Picard. My lesson here is clearly to investigate, examine, and then act. Force is not always the answer.

I’m tired now, going to sleep, good night, Lorabella.