Vows every Starfleet captain should take...
I will design my ship's tactical systems so that I do not have to personally direct every single shot fired.
I will put surge suppressors in the circuitry of my ship, so that a shot striking some distant portion does not cause a control panel on the bridge to explode.
I will design my ships so that command and control functions cannot be hot-wired from a wall panel in the recreation bay.
I will design redundancy into all ship systems, so that the loss of one component will not cripple the entire vessel.
When combat is imminent, my ships' computer will be programmed so that enemy troops that beam aboard will be immediately beamed into empty space, or the originating ship's reactor core, if that is accessible. It will also deliver a kilo of antimatter to the bridge of the ship in question.
When the enemy ship decloaks and is arming weapons, I will immediately open fire on it, instead of waiting for it to fire three or four times.
When a comrade defects to the enemy, I will have all passwords changed, and as soon as it is practical I will have the computer disconnected, its memory flushed, and the approved software reloaded from the original secured CD-ROMs.
Anyone who cannot be entertained by books, music, a good game of cards and a well-stocked bar will not be allowed to crew my ship. Hence there will be no need for a holodeck on my ship.
After capturing a space station from an enemy, I will have the enemy's computer systems completely removed, melted down into slag, and dumped into the nearest stellar object. A new computer will then be installed.
If a crew member is a sanctimonious coward who continually gets us all into trouble through his greed, I shall, after the third or fourth episode of this behavior, act to preserve myself and other comrades only, and let him be destroyed by the mess he made for himself.
Under no circumstance will I agree to not develop or employ any particular technology.
If I have a technologically superior foe who is intent on eliminating my whole civilization, and I am offered a means of utterly annihilating this foe for all time, I will use it.
I will install seatbelts in my space vessels, and have pressure suits and pressure locks at regular intervals.
Technology that chronically malfunctions will be removed from my ship.
To prevent my on-board computer from being reprogrammed by every Tom, Dick and Harry that sneaks on board, its software will be stored in ROM chips that are soldered to the motherboard; RAM will be reserved for data only.
I will design the greatest possible degree of manual back-up into my space vessels, so that when my on-board computer begins to act strangely, I can power it down via a switch located next to my seat on the bridge, and yet not be left totally helpless.
I will never allow someone to read the technical manuals and blueprints of my ship unless they work in engineering or operations and therefore have a need-to-know. All personnel will be properly cleared prior to assignment to engineering or operations. The technical manuals and blueprints of totally fictitious craft will be freely available.
If my starship's drive or weapons systems require lengthy charge times between uses, I shall research and develop equipment that can handle a heavier duty cycle.
My ship's computer will have a clock rate of at least one megahertz and be programmed in C or assembler so that important calculations take a few milliseconds instead of an hour or so.
If a member of my crew can perfectly mimic my voice giving the commands to take control of my ship, additional security measures they cannot mimic will be added, such as palmprints or retinal scans.
If my ship is constantly being bugged/robbed/invaded/taken over, I will replace my security officer, no matter how cool a character he is.
If knowledge of the operating frequency of a ship's system aids in efforts to disable that system,
I will employ an arcane development known as "frequency-hopping."
Before allowing crewmembers to take leave on a planet, I will ensure that they are welcome and that its government recognizes legal precepts like The Rule of Law, Trial by Jury, Presumption of Innocence, and so forth. I will also learn all of the local laws so that one of my crewmembers doesn't end up on death row for scratching his nose in public or some other stupid thing.
If one of my crewmembers is unjustly imprisoned and/or condemned, and the officials with whom I speak express a marked disinterest in his actual guilt or innocence, I will not waste time trying to gather evidence that will exonerate the crewmember. Instead, I will immediately mount a rescue mission.
When beaming into hostile territory I will instruct my transporter chief to beam me into a defensible position, with the landing party facing outwards in a circle. I will have my weapon in my hand (not my pocket) before I beam down.
If I beam off of a vessel that is still hostile, I will arrange to leave behind as large an explosive device as I can obtain.
I will not have both rotating and non-rotating sections on a ship. If I need rotational gravity, I will spin the whole ship. Any navigational computer that cannot deal with this will be replaced with one that can.
I will follow the advice of my Chief Medical Officer. If I am not at 100% of my usual level of physical fitness, I will stick to desk duty unless the fate of something genuinely important hangs in the balance.
I will assume that all super-weapons are operational until proven otherwise, especially if they appear to be unguarded.
All critical data and software will be backed up in off-line storage.
A random alien's claims about his/her/its race's cultural values and attitudes will be given no more credence than a random human's claims about human cultural values and attitudes.
My crew shall be trained in the fine arts of tactical combat, such as dispersing assets, walking point, advance guards, flank guards, rear guards, etc.
I will not throw infantry into close-quarter combat with creatures of leviathan stature, but shall turn such affairs over to the artillery crew.
If my ship is whisked to the far side of the galaxy, leaving us with a seventy-year journey home, and a super-being offers to take us home instantly in exchange for having his baby, I'll agree and ask what we can get for two babies.
If anyone beams down and their personal communicator drops carrier, all life forms within ten meters of the last known location shall be beamed directly to the brig. A large well-armed security detail will be waiting.
The people in charge of Sick Bay, Engineering, and R&D will not be the only people staffing those functions, nor shall they accompany away teams.
I will not ask "What does God need with a space ship?" and then order a torpedo strike. I will order the torpedo strike first, and ponder theology on the trip home.
My people will be assigned duties commensurate with their skills. I will not task pilots with leading a ground assault, infiltrating enemy camps, etc.
If I board a derelict ship, and it appears that the former crew and passengers all died in some horrible fashion, I will immediately leave the ship, destroy it, and toss the wreckage into the nearest stellar object.
If I am in red alert status and discover that it was a false alarm, I will stay in red alert for a while before standing down.
Anyone I imprison will be stripped, scanned, and given a prison uniform. This will prevent them from assembling weapons from pieces hidden in their regular clothes.
Any crew member who begins to act strangely will be immediately relieved of duty and confined to the sick bay, pending a complete screening to determine if their personality has been subverted.
I will not let the Whiz Kid conduct research aboard my ship. If he's got a theory that he's itching to test, I will deposit him on an uninhabited planet in friendly space, and make sure that I'm out of the system before he's done unpacking.
I will not depart the starbase unless my complement of Marines are on board.
I will hold repel-boarders drills on my ship. These drills will be held at random hours so that everyone learns what they're supposed to be doing, no matter what the circumstances.
My junior officers will be notified that Academy cadets cannot be field-commissioned, and should they come upon a ship crewed entirely by such, they will immediately take command and return them to where they can receive adult supervision.
I will never send the infantry down on missions that are better suited for orbital bombardment.
If the issued zap guns have "stun" and "kill" modes, they will be set to the former only when the user is about to fire at something that is wanted alive.
If my opponent can adapt to various forms of attack, rendering them useless, I will use some imagination and start attacking in as many radically different ways as possible.
© 2002 by John VanSickle from http://enphilistor.users4.50megs.com . Permission to quote for non-commerical use is granted, provided that this copyright notice is included. Permission to link from non-commericial Web pages is granted. All other rights reserved.