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
Come to think of it, I mean. Look at the “first human warp drive” thing in the movie. That was… Not how Vulcans would have done it.
you know what the best evidence for this is? Deep Space 9 almost never broke down. minor malfunctions that irritated O’Brien to hell and back, sure, but almost none of the truly weird shit that befell Voyager and all the starships Enterprise. what was the weirdest malfunction DS9 ever had? the senior staff getting trapped as holosuite characters in Our Man Bashir, and that was because a human decided to just dump the transporter buffer into the station’s core memory and hope everything would work out somehow, which is a bit like swapping your computer’s hard drive out for a memory card from a PlayStation 2 and expecting to be able to play a game of Spyro the Dragon with your keyboard and mouse.
you know what, I’m not done with this post. let’s talk about the Pegasus. the USS Fucking Pegasus,
testbed for the first Starfleet cloaking device. here we have a handful
of humans working in secret to develop a cloaking device in violation
of a treaty with the Romulans. they’re playing catchup trying to develop
a technology other species have had for a century. and what do they do?
do they decide to duplicate a Romulan cloaking device precisely, just
see if they can match what other species have? nope. they decide, hey,
while we’re at it, while we’re building our very first one of these things, just to find out if this is possible, let’s see if we can make this thing phase us out of normal space so we can fly through planets while we’re invisible.
“but why” said the one Vulcan in the room.
“because that would fucking rule” said the humans, high-fiving each other and slamming cans of 24th-century Red Bull.
must be like twenty different counselling groups for non-human
engineering students at Starfleet Academy, and every week in every
single one of them someone walks in and starts up with a story like “our
assignment was to repair a phaser emitter and my one human classmate
built a chronometric-flux toaster that toasts bread after you’ve eaten
Humans get mildly offended by the way they are presented in non-human media.
Like: “Guys, we totally wouldn’t do that!” But this always fails to get much traction, because the authors can always say: “You totally did.”
“That was ONE TIME.”
There’s that movie where humans invented vaccines by just testing them on people. Or the one about those two humans who invented powered flight by crashing a bunch of prototypes. Or the one about electricity.
And human historians go, “Oh, uh, this is historically accurate, but also kind of boring.” To which the producers respond: “How is doing THIS CRAZY THING boring????????”
There are entire serieses of horror movies where the premise is “We stopped paying attention to the human and ey found the technology.”
reblog for new meta. RE that last line: McGuyver.
“MacGuyver” is the equivalent of Vulcan vintage human horror television.
Just imagine what the Vulcans would make of ‘Girl Genius’.