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21 June 2009 @ 14:12
loneraven's In Service is an absolutely awesome Scotty & McCoy friendship story, as they are sent off in a runabout to do their jobs while Enterprise does Enterprise things.

In other news, I am trying to mentally reconcile Number One's background in Vulcan's Glory with what we know about Eugenics in Trek canon (for the purposes of me and Star Trek, Only What Airs Is Canon). Which is to say, any kind of Eunegics other than correcting birth defects were outlawed in the Federation, in relation to the Eugenics Wars, the 22nd century Augment Crisis, and the 24th century stuff with Bashir and his illegal DNA resequencing on Adigeon Prime, and the Jack Pack.

Basically, the only bits that really go into detail about Number One's background are Pike's line to Spock:

"Some officers have had a difficult time dealing with the fact that she is a genetically perfect being. On her planet, Ilyria, excellence is the only criterion that is accepted. She is technically designated as being the best of her breed for the year she was born."

and then some description during the Null-G game with Cait:

Physically, she had no need of tension release; her musculature and stamina required only a minimum of rest to remain at peak performance level for long periods of time. It was her curious, probing mind that needed the action. Number One liked to lose herself in the strategy and physicality that null-G ball demanded so she could relieve the boredom of too many hours of simple routine. It was an odd "failing" her perfectionist genetic creators had overlooked.

Genetic engineering was common on several planets, but it was normally used to correct potential birth defects and other errors of nature. Number One, however, had been completely "designed and engineered," with an emphasis on intelligence, even temperament, strength, and a pleasing appearance. She was the product of someone else's idea of what a perfect woman should be.

Since I'm cherry-picking from the extended universe (for example, the "I can't pronounce your name" thing actually comes from The Rift and I'm ignoring all that Morgan Primus and Eunice Robbins silliness) I'm trying to think how to keep the "Genetically Perfect Woman" thing, without actually having Ilyria violating the law with their genetic engineering and selective breeding. Cos NO WAY would she have been allowed in Starfleet otherwise. So now thinking that, inside my head, it may be that no actual manipulation of her genes was done, but that it's all strictly through a voluntary breeding programme where the genes of every child are studied at birth, and she was given a blue ribbon and the Ilyrian Stamp of Approval like a damned prized Corgi for having the best genes--higher than average intelligence, stamina, motor skills, needs less sleep than humans and even most other Ilyrians, etc. And I think I want to address what that does to a person, being told over and over again that it's her duty to Live Up To Her Extraordinary Potential.

(Currently, I'm picturing her running away to join the circus Starfleet at age 14 and royally pissing off the entire Ilyrian Scientific Community who expected her to stay [and eventually breed with another sooper-geenus], not unlike how Spock and Sarek stopped speaking for a decade over his joining Starfleet instead of the Vulcan Science Academy.)

Lastly, Trek Novel Fest prompt Submission ends today. So I highly recommend reading through the current prompts and adding your own. I'm stupidly excited by the fic challenge, as you may have noticed.
A work in progress: Trek Beam Me Upancarett on 21st June 2009 19:34 (UTC)
I like your take on her Ilyrian background that this isn't some Eugenicist dreamworld, but another take on producing children.

It might also be considered that Ilyrians don't conceive children between couples in a personal relationship but "match up" the genetic potential and "shore up" the genetic weaknesses of one parent by turning to a genetic bank. So a couple who wants a child puts in to have the sperm or egg of one parent matched up with a "best possible" fit, thinking this is the best way they can counter the otherwise random and possibly debilitating effects of the parents' genetic potential coming together and leading to problems. (All of the above, just free-wheeling from the idea of the Ilyrian back-story on my own.)

I really like the idea that Number One runs away from all of this pressure to Starfleet, though. 'Cause I think there's something of a rebel in her perfect make-up!

Thanks for the story rec -- always looking for more of those, too!
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 21st June 2009 19:58 (UTC)
What I love about the Pike/Number One storyline in VG is how the perception of her "perfection" is limiting, and how it stands between the two of them actually forming a relationship. Because if she's perfect, she's not supposed to be awkward about forming clsoe personal relationships, and if he thinks she's perfect, then he thinks why the hell would she be interested in a less-than-perfect dood like him? And then by the end, they've both adjusted their expectations and started to relate to each other (even that tiny bit) as people, rather than being intimidated by "ideals".

Edited at 2009-06-21 19:59 (UTC)
A work in progress: Smile Iron Man Pepper Skyancarett on 21st June 2009 20:03 (UTC)
Yes, it would have to mess with your head to believe that you had to be relentlessly perfect. I think that Pike could be a lot better at getting past that blockage in their relationship than Number One, given how it would have been drilled in her from early on, but, still. . . .
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 20:12 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cmdr_zoom on 21st June 2009 22:00 (UTC) (Expand)
SLWalkersl_walker on 21st June 2009 19:37 (UTC)
That or, you could say that her planet wasn't a part of the Federation and she left of her own accord -- she certainly could have gotten into Starfleet if she had asked for amnesty at a young age. I would imagine that an enlightened Federation wouldn't bar her from having a life, building a career; maybe, if you don't mind there being a slightly darker tone, to her actually even being encouraged to it, as she would be quite an asset to Starfleet.

Or, your theory, which works fine as well. ;-)
ljc: star trektaraljc on 21st June 2009 19:46 (UTC)
From what I recall, the whole reason Julian keps his augumentation a closely guarded secret was because he would have had to have resigned his commission. Because he'd been somewhere on the autism scale as a child, but then his parents not only had him "corrected" but he was then part of a programme that had every single aspect of his development and physicality altered for extreme excellence. And the Federation is so frightened by the spectre of another Khan, they woul never have allowed an Augment in Starfleet. I need to rewatch the DS9 Augments eps again, tho. Cos from the ENT Augment eps, I remember the Denobulans engaged in genetic manipulation, and they were Fed members. So there must be some sort of rule or guideline that says 'up to here is fine--anything beyond this is illegal".
SLWalkersl_walker on 21st June 2009 19:49 (UTC)
Well, Julian might have had to keep it a secret because you can get booted from Starfleet for lying on your application (ala TNG), not necessarily for the augmentation itself. And there may, indeed, be some kind of guidelines -- Number One might have skirted in. I imagine they probably do have some genetic capacities for deformities and that, or diseases.

But really, your theory's fine. I was just tossing out another idea.

And if you're in the mood for Scott and McCoy, here ya go: http://community.livejournal.com/fic_simplicity/25370.html (Me? Shamelessly self-promote an older story? Never.)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 20:28 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sl_walker on 21st June 2009 20:40 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 20:48 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sl_walker on 21st June 2009 20:51 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 21:27 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sl_walker on 21st June 2009 21:33 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 21:38 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cmdr_zoom on 21st June 2009 22:03 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 22:20 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cmdr_zoom on 21st June 2009 22:30 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 21st June 2009 22:38 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - liviapenn on 22nd June 2009 03:04 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - budclare on 22nd June 2009 10:10 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 22nd June 2009 13:54 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cmdr_zoom on 23rd June 2009 00:56 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - budclare on 23rd June 2009 08:21 (UTC) (Expand)
adn_heming: fly boy and girladn_heming on 22nd June 2009 12:25 (UTC)
And the Federation is so frightened by the spectre of another Khan, they woul never have allowed an Augment in Starfleet. I need to rewatch the DS9 Augments eps again, tho. Cos from the ENT Augment eps, I remember the Denobulans engaged in genetic manipulation, and they were Fed members. So there must be some sort of rule or guideline that says 'up to here is fine--anything beyond this is illegal".

This is idle thinking, but: how non-kosher genetic manipulation and genetically-enhanced folk are might also depend on cultural shifts and dialogues that occur within the Federation. Every generation has their own cultural panics after all. The Federation might have been more relaxed about letting in a genetically enhanced woman in Starfleet, particularly if she was defecting from a culture that is founded on it. The reemergence of Khan (twice!) might have contributed to a renewed cultural panic about augments and to stricter regulations by the time Julian was old enough to want to join.
Fizzix Rat aka The Admiral aka The Colin Avenger: spock brain hurtsfizzixrat on 21st June 2009 22:20 (UTC)
Wait...so what you're trying to say is that Number One was a Nietzschean?

Sneaky, sneaky Gene.
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 21st June 2009 22:22 (UTC)
It wasn't Gene--it was Majel Barrett and Dorothy Fontana. But since that novel was first published in 1989, I imagine Gene would have had to have signed off on the proposal adn the finished manuscript. So he must have been aware since his wife and one of his oldest friends and co-workers were involved.

Edited at 2009-06-21 22:39 (UTC)
Tori Morris: dalek loveskywaterblue on 21st June 2009 23:14 (UTC)
This is why the books aren't really canon. At best they're secondary canon. (Ugh, when I found out about that Immortal junk I wanted to thwap Peter David upside the head, but when don't I, recently?)
ljc: star trek (pike/number one sexy)taraljc on 21st June 2009 23:19 (UTC)
I've always adhered to "Only What Airs Is Canon" with Trek because that was the party line from the start.

But when you're dealing with a character with only an hour of screentime total, I'm pretty much adopting my fave bits from fanon as I see fit. And I adopted Vulcan's Glory as part of my eprsonal canon a long time ago, along with Fontana's animated episode, "Yesteryear". So now I'm just trying to make the pieces fit.
Tori Morris: blue buffyskywaterblue on 21st June 2009 23:44 (UTC)
I think it might be more productive to just scrap it all and start over, but yeah.
(no subject) - fizzixrat on 22nd June 2009 01:09 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skywaterblue on 22nd June 2009 01:39 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 22nd June 2009 04:20 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 22nd June 2009 04:19 (UTC) (Expand)
Kernezelda: star trek tos logokernezelda on 22nd June 2009 00:01 (UTC)
According to Memory Alpha, genetic enhancement was outlawed on Earth, but several colonies were founded to carry on that kind of research before the UFP banned it. That law might not apply on Number One's planet, and she could have been designed and engineered from scratch. That seems a more reasonable cause for Starfleet officers to feel uncomfortable about her rather than selective breeding, which, while deliberate, is still a natural way to reproduce.
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 22nd June 2009 04:21 (UTC)
But Starfleet wouldn't allow a genetically enhanced eprson to serve, even if genetic enhancement was legal on their homeworld.
Kernezelda: star trek tos logokernezelda on 22nd June 2009 12:10 (UTC)
According to the transcript of "Doctor Bashir, I Presume", there hasn't been a case dealing with 'any of this' (DNA resequencing/genetic enhancement) in a hundred years. (Judge Bennett says two hundred but refers to that leading to the Eugenics War, which was actually three hundred years before.)
Since Arik Soong was two hundred years previous in the 22nd century, maybe there was a lot of flux in the laws between then and the 24th. And it could be possible that Number One was the/one of the cases in the 23rd century - maybe she won the right to serve? An exception that hardened the anti-genetic engineering faction into toughening the law so no more exceptions were allowed?