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The Butterfly's Wings

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When a recently warp-capable planet under Federation observation is detected to have technology far advanced than it should have, the Independence is sent to investigate the possibility of cultural contamination.


Memorable quotesEdit

Is this like the butterfly's wings? That one flap of its tiny proverbial wings could create tiny changes in the atmosphere that would ultimately cause a hurricane to appear three continents away? Or, for that matter, prevent the hurricane from appearing? Could one mislaid device change the course of a whole civilization?
There were too many maybes.
But Bill Ross knew there was only one thing he could do that he was sure of. Frowning, defeated, he shut the instrument case, and never mentioned a word of this to anyone again.
- "Past Participle (Part 2)"
"Alyn'ah, I may be foul-mouthed and heaped you with every insult in the Klingon language - and such is the way that I am. But if you go through with this, you would truly prove yourself taHqeq. I would pity you."
"Wait, K'nera! What would you have me do?"
"I would stand up and face my enemies, Alyn'ah. I would die on my feet, by the hand of my foes, and bring honour to my house."
- K'nera and Aly, "Death Right"
"They want to control everything in their citizens' lives... including how they think."
"Despite understanding the sociological process involved here, I do wonder about the punishment."
"Unduly harsh. Smuggling contraband and armed crime I can understand, but death for spraying graffiti on walls?"
"It's a form of sedition. They used to publicly flog vandals on Cardassia Prime, after all."
"That's idiotic! Freedom of speech is one of the ideas that allow societies to improve their living conditions. Critical assessments of the truth are not signs of treason! Killing your citizenry for expressing an opinion isn't about good governing. It's about exerting absolute power. It's a form of mental illness on a grand scale."
- Gunther, Moasi and Dejan, "In a Strange, Mad Land"

ReferencesEdit

Cardassia; Excelsior-class; Ou'dona; Starbase 264; Sovereign-class; Starship Independence; Admiral William Ross

Background informationEdit

  • This episode (and the next) tips its hat to TOS "period" episodes "TOS: A Piece of the Action" and "TOS: Patterns of Force". The episode was based on the premise that an industrial-era society was contaminated by Federation culture and technology twenty-eight years ago, which included a copy of George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984. Ensign Bill Ross (such as he was then), on his first away mission, was the inadvertent culprit.
  • His starship, the Excelsior-class Kamehameha, was named for the Benjamin Franklin-class submarine, which was in turn named for the first Hawai'ian king who united the various tribes on the islands.

External linkEdit

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