Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles,
tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they
don’t really understand. Endlessly frustrating if you have to fight
them, because they can pull an effectively unlimited number of bullshit
space-magic countermeasures out of their arses - but they’re as likely
as not to give themselves a lethal five-dimensional wedgie in the
process. All those rampant holograms and warp core malfunctions and
accidentally-traveling-back-in-time incidents? That doesn’t actually
happen to anyone else; it’s literally just Federation vessels that go off the rails like that. And they do so on a fairly regular basis.
So to everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.
Aliens who have seen the Back to the Future movies literally don’t realise that Doc Brown is meant to be funny. They’re just like “yes, that is exactly what all human scientists are like in my experience”.
THE ONLY REASON SCOTTY IS CHIEF ENGINEER INSTEAD OF SOMEONE FROM A SPECIES WITH A HIGHER TECHNOLOGICAL APTITUDE IS BECAUSE EVERYONE FROM THOSE SPECIES TOOK ONE LOOK AT THE ENTERPRISE’S ENGINE ROOM AND RAN AWAY SCREAMING
vulcan science academy: why do you need another warp core
humans: we’re going to plug two of them together and see if we go twice as fast
vsa: last time we gave you a warp core you threw it into a sun to see if the sun would go twice as fast
humans: hahaha yeah
humans: it did tho
vsa: IT EXPLODED
humans: it exploded twice as fast
I love this. Especially because of how well it plays with my headcanon that the Federation does so much better against the Borg than anyone else because beating the Borg with military tactics is nigh-impossible, but beating them with wacky superscience shenanigans works as long as they’re unique wacky superscience shenanigans.
Yeah, I love this.
Reminds me of the thing I wrote a while back about Humans in high fantasy realms - they’re basically Team Fuck It Hold My Beer I Got This.
Impulsive, passionate to a fault, the social structures they build to try and regulate this hotheadedness ironically creates even greater levels of sheer bull-headedness. Even their “cooler” heads take action in months or weeks.
All their great heroes of the past were impossibly rash by galactic standards. Humans Just Go With It, which is their great flaw but also their greatest strength.
klingons: okay we don’t get it
vulcan science academy: get what
klingons: you vulcans are a bunch of stuffy prisses but you’re also tougher, stronger, and smarter than humans in every single way
klingons: why do you let them run your federation
vulcan science academy: look
vulcan science academy: this is a species where if you give them two warp cores they don’t do experiments on one and save the other for if the first one blows up
vulcan science academy: this is a species where if you give them two warp cores, they will ask for a third one, immediately plug all three into each other, punch a hole into an alternate universe where humans subscribe to an even more destructive ideological system, fight everyone in it because they’re offended by that, steal their warp cores, plug those together, punch their way back here, then try to turn a nearby sun into a torus because that was what their initial scientific experiment was for and they didn’t want to waste a trip.
vulcan science academy: they did that last week. we have the write-up right here. it’s getting published in about six hundred scientific journals across two hundred different disciplines because of how many established theories their ridiculous little expedition has just called into question. also, they did turn that sun into a torus, and no one actually knows how.
vulcan science academy: this is why we let them do whatever the hell they want.
klingons: …. can we be a part of your federation
Humans: so, uh, funny story
Vulcan Science Academy: Let us guess - you’re not here to return the two warp cores we loaned you for experimentation, and you’re here to tell us that both of them were destroyed at once while you were trying to turn a sun into a torus again
Humans: well, half right
VSA: Wait, what is this
Humans: This is sixteen warp cores
VSA: How is this
Humans: Turns out that at the center of the stellar toroid there was a subspace anomaly that—
VSA: PLEASE don’t
Humans: —caused a refractive tachyon emission that—
VSA: This is literally impossible in every sense of the word
Humans: — depolarized the warp fields and in short—
VSA: Just no
Humans: — the warp fields got cloned and we ended up with four.
VSA: But you brought back sixteen
Humans: We had to repeat the experiment a couple of times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke
VSA: What about the “stellar toroid” of yours
Humans: It’s now a stellar triquetra
(snicker) Sold. :)
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