Tactics of a First Impression
The Deuterium Argument [Rebooted]
Location: USS Highlander, Captain's Ready Room
Tim led the way into his ready room, and moved direct to the couches beneath the view ports. "Anything to drink before we start?" he asked his guest as he moved to the replicator, tapping the console just above it to add his order; just a simple black coffee with added sweetener.
Melony smiled “I’ll have a green tea please.”
After the replicator had materialised the drinks, Tim moved them to the low table near the couches. He took his coffee and sat down in one of the seats facing away from the view ports, leaning back casually to get comfortable. "So, going by Voyager's reports, we're in a region of space that has far more smaller powers and individual systems than we're used to. Their technology, for the most part, is quite far behind ours too, or at least it was in the 2370s; so transporters, replicators and holodecks are likely going to be as alien to them as a Bolian's backside. Any ideas for how we can start making peaceful contact with people here without seeming like hyper-technological conquerers come to take over?"
“Well to start with I think we need to look at how much we could retrograde some of the things on the ship, just aesthetically I mean,” she paused to take a sip of her green tea. “If we could replicate the look of how our technology was when we first began venturing in to space we might have a good jumping off point”
Tim nodded as he thought the idea over. "I'm all for keeping our technological capabilities secret for now, but wouldn't being blatantly deceptive backfire on us? A lie of omission is one thing; if we go through the effort of making the systems on the ship look less advanced, and later they find out that it was all faked, they're not likely to be very willing to continue working with us."
“I wouldn’t say it’s a blatant lie it’s more playing in to assumed perceptions of what advanced technology is and how it appears to others. It’s a lie of omission for not saying that we have the technology available to us and have changed how we chose to present ourselves to them” Melony offered.
"True," Tim conceded, taking a sip of his coffee as he thought the suggestion over. "I can see that working for our away teams, and potentially one of our shuttles, too, especially if we take one of the older ones anyway. We can get the replicator to create some new casings for our phasers to make them look more like the older models, and we could even bring down some of the old-style communicators to use instead of our combadges. But if we start modifying the way the inside of the Highlander looks, well... I think we should keep some sort of consistency with our dealings with people out here, and if we have to redress the ship every time we come across someone new, then that's going to be a lot of work. If we don't do that for someone later and they end up talking to someone we did do it for earlier, then that's going to cost us a whole lot of our credibility."
"How about we change our away team uniforms to something a little less... clean and regulation, have the replicator come up with something that will make our phasers and communicators look like older models, and we go down in one of our older models of shuttle. Then we can choose whether or not to invite them aboard the ship later, once we've had a chance to get to know each other?"
"That could works as it's far more subtle and again works off assumptions they make and it is something that's far easier to maintain and easier to explain as standard away team procedure if we need to bring them back to the ship." She paused for a minute looking in to the bottom of her cup, hesitating. "You know it could still come back to bite us, the away team needs to be seamless in using the old communicators and the phasers still need to be functional. The old communicators aren't as reliable and they are easier to lose, I think this could work or go really badly." She sighed and looked over at the Captain "Any better ideas?"
"Well the phasers and communicators only need to look the part," Tim mused, thinking through the problem. "In the end it's all still just circuitry in a metal case. We can keep the modern circuitry and just fit it into a casing that's a little more retro so we get to keep the reliability. You're right though, we'll need to be careful not to seem like we're willfully deceiving them. There's only so retro we can go before an explanation of 'standard away team procedure' isn't going to fly, but if we go for just the right amount of retro, then we can play it off as wanting to play a low profile while we're away from the ship." He shrugged. "I don't have any better ideas right now, anyway. At least until we come across someone who has already dealt with the crew of Voyager out here, in which case all of this goes out the airlock."
Captain Tim Williams
Counselor Melony Taylor