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S01.E04: Absolute Candor

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I understand the symbolism of the khaki safari outfit, but if Picard was on Vashti as Starfleet, shouldn't he have been in uniform? It's not like he had to go incognito to abide by the Prime Directive or something, everyone knew who he was.

Edited by marinw

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22 hours ago, starri said:

He's Australian.

This show streams via amazon prime in Australia, and their “x-ray” thingy says Elnor is played by Casey King, and the reviewers who seemed to have had screeners credit Casey King, but it is obviously not Casey King, it doesn’t look like him and he’s American, it’s the more alliteratively named Evan Evagora. 

9 minutes ago, marinw said:

I understand the symbolism of the khaki safari outfit, but if Picard was on Vashti as Starfleet, shouldn't he have been in uniform? It's not like he had to go incognito to abide by the Prime Directive or something, everyone know who he was.

I heard Patrick Stewart hates wearing the uniforms. 

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1 hour ago, marinw said:

I understand the symbolism of the khaki safari outfit, but if Picard was on Vashti as Starfleet, shouldn't he have been in uniform? It's not like he had to go incognito to abide by the Prime Directive or something, everyone knew who he was.

Maybe it was decided during the relocation-and-resettlement process that given the centuries of distrust between Romulans and Starfleet, it would be better to avoid uniforms where possible - approach the refugees as a civilian rather than with the appearance of military might.

50 minutes ago, kokapetl said:

This show streams via amazon prime in Australia, and their “x-ray” thingy says Elnor is played by Casey King, and the reviewers who seemed to have had screeners credit Casey King, but it is obviously not Casey King, it doesn’t look like him and he’s American, it’s the more alliteratively named Evan Evagora.

Yeah, I have no idea how Casey King's name got attached to the character here, given that Evagora has been widely publicised as playing Elnor, took part in the whole publicity tour in that guise, and was credited on-screen.

Edited by Llywela
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2 hours ago, Llywela said:

Maybe they never took on the Tal Shiar, at least not en masse. Individuals may have bound their swords to lost causes against the Tal Shiar, but if the warrior nuns as a wider movement kept themselves to themselves, the Tal Shiar would have no reason to move against them - their sights were set elsewhere.

"JL" said the "Nunjas" were the antithesis of the Romulan Establishment...like Sybok was a Vulcan dissident. Eradicating them and their values in the name of order would seem to be the Tal Shiar "raison d'etre"

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15 minutes ago, paigow said:

"JL" said the "Nunjas" were the antithesis of the Romulan Establishment...like Sybok was a Vulcan dissident. Eradicating them and their values in the name of order would seem to be the Tal Shiar "raison d'etre"

I dunno. Tal Shiar were secret service and the Way of Absolute Candour seems almost like a religious sect, so what you're suggesting is like if the US government decided to charge the Secret Service with wiping out the Order of Poor Clares for setting themselves apart from everyday capitalism. Why would they bother? Honestly, we don't know nearly enough about Romulan society to understand how the intricate politics of all these sects and cabals played out over the centuries. Enough to know that this sect exists and adds a new dimension to what we already knew of Romulan society.

Edited by Llywela
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Well, IMDb has fixed their error and now shows Evan Evagora in the role of Elnor.

Also, he’s very cute, and I feel like a cougar for saying that 👀😄

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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

I dunno. Tal Shiar were secret service and the Way of Absolute Candour seems almost like a religious sect, so what you're suggesting is like if the US government decided to charge the Secret Service with wiping out the Order of Poor Clares for setting themselves apart from everyday capitalism. Why would they bother? Honestly, we don't know nearly enough about Romulan society to understand how the intricate politics of all these sects and cabals played out over the centuries. Enough to know that this sect exists and adds a new dimension to what we already knew of Romulan society.

When Troi was Undercover Romulan, even the military was afraid of the Tal Shiar...so they had unfettered power. But then nobody expects the Zhat Vash….

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12 minutes ago, paigow said:

When Troi was Undercover Romulan, even the military was afraid of the Tal Shiar...so they had unfettered power. But then nobody expects the Zhat Vash….

Everyone is afraid of the Tal Shiar, to be sure, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that people engaged in military and political machinations have more reason for fear than a bunch of nuns minding their own business and binding their swords to lost causes only. In a society built on secret cabals and shadowy dealings, I just can't see that a religious sect preaching honesty would register that highly on the Tal Shiar's watch list, even if they are great warriors. No doubt the two groups have crossed swords over the years, as it were, but I can't see any reason for the Tal Shiar to want to wipe them out entirely if they aren't actively working against Tal Shiar interests. There's far bigger fish to fry.

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So, I have to just jump into this topic/board to say how much I thought this episode rocked!    I love the slow build of the series so far, but the Romulan diaspora was something I didn't expect to appreciate so much.  I thought the whole Vashta scenario was fabulous world-building. 

The thing that got me on this board, though, is the concept of a boy raised by Romulan ninja nuns joining Picard's ragtag crew.  That is a trope reversal I never thought I needed, but that I now can't get enough of.  How many times have we seen warrior women raised by collectives of warrior men who didn't traditionally train girls?  Now, we get a gender reverse that totally intrigues me.

Also, I love the whole radical honesty conceit.  I think Elnor (which I kept hearing as Eleanor, which just made him better 🙂) is going to be a great addition to the crew.

And then Seven!  I have totally been waiting for Seven and she did not disappoint.  I know I'm in the minority, but I loved Voyager so much and Seven was the best character on it.  And Jeri Ryan is an amazing actor.  So I cannot wait to see how she fits in.

Oh, and as to Seven using the moniker "Seven of Nine" as opposed to "Annika Hansen," I think that was addressed, although not explicitly, in Voyager.  Annika Hansen was the terrified, ignorant six-year-old girl assimilated by the Borg. Seven of Nine is the former drone who reclaimed her individuality and humanity.  Seven chose to be Seven.  

Anyway, I love this show so far, and can't wait to see next week.

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Elnor is being described as a Samurai Space Elf. He would not be out of place in a Lord Of The Rings remake.

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3 hours ago, mtmjr said:

 I loved Voyager so much and Seven was the best character on it.  And Jeri Ryan is an amazing actor.

I hated Voyager, but agree with the rest of your thought...

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I was undecided about this for the first three episodes, but now I love it, and I'm so scared that they'll do something to make me un-love it before the season's over.

I also went into it with zero spoilers or knowledge of what was going to happen, so it was a super happy surprise when Seven showed up at the end. Very excited to see a new take on that character.

On 2/14/2020 at 3:02 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Enjoyed this episode, even though it kind of is starting to feel like an RPG, with Picard have to acquire all of his party members first, before he can take on the big threat (and I'm sure he has a few side missions and quests to get through, so that he can get that XP and level up!) 

I particularly enjoy how he needs to recruit party members who hate him. That's kind of what happens on all the rag-tag misfit shows, but the fact that they deliberately spelled it out this time makes me laugh.

On 2/14/2020 at 3:02 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Narek's still trying to work Soji, but is still going to slow, so Rizzo is doing what most siblings would do in this situation: slink into his bed and be all creepy.  Yep, they really are the Trek version of the Lannisters.

This is my least favourite story line. I think parts of the Narek/Soji Romance of Deception work okay but also belong on a different show. The sister stuff doesn't need to be here at all. Like, why not just make her his girlfriend and create the love triangle that way? Why do they need to be related?

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Picard: I'm ready to go.
Rios: We'll pick you up in seven minutes.
Picard: I've got seven minutes to kill so let me go stir some shit at the local cafe!

On 2/14/2020 at 8:48 PM, pootlus said:

Agnes could be *really* irritating and it's only the skill of the actress that keeps her on the side of quirky and interesting.  When she interrupted Rios I wanted to smack her for him.  You *never* interrupt someone when they're reading (or doing anything else that they're absorbed in) unless it's an emergency.

Heh, glad it wasn't just bookworm me who got annoyed on behalf of Rios when she kept talking while he was clearly trying to read. Girl, you've got eyes in your head so you can see he's reading a book. Run along and find someone else to bother. It's rude to interrupt someone's me time.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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43 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

It's rude to interrupt someone's me time.

How else would we discover her daddy issues...

Speaking of odd book based dialogue....

Picard 14 Yrs ago: Elnor, I brought this book for you.

Elnor: Can I read it?

Picard [Internal monologue]: WTF??

 

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1 hour ago, paigow said:

Picard [Internal monologue]: WTF??

Netfoot [Aloud]: WTF?

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On 2/14/2020 at 3:02 AM, thuganomics85 said:

I'm glad she has finally arrived and can't wait to see what she brings to the table: especially since it is clear she and Picard have some kind of history.

I assume they met at some sort of former Borg Drone support group! "Hi, my name is Picard, and I am a former Borg Drone. Its been five years since my last desire to assimilate all life in the universe..." 

I really liked this episode, its fun to explore more of Romulan society and see more of what happened with Picard and the Romulans. Elnor was an adorable kid and seems like a kick ass adult. Truth Loving Ninja Space Nuns! The first few episodes were very strong on setting the story up and getting us caught up on everything that has been going on, and that was really important, but I am excited to really get going into the real meat of the story, especially as Picard gathers up his ragtag bunch of randos. 

I think Picard really did mean well and wanted to help these people, but circumstances beyond his control stopped him from fulfilling those promises. The fact that relocation couldnt continue, because Starfleet has this other disaster happening closer to home and there were a lot of complicated political things happening, wasnt Picards fault. However, it seems like a bigger mistake that Picard makes himself, something that he is increasingly aware of, is that he gave up. His big moral outrage filled quitting of Starfleet  seemed quite noble at the time, but in retrospect, maybe he could have done more to help still in Starfleet, or at least he could have come back himself to explain the situation. Him quitting in protest kind of ended up screwing a lot of people over, as right as it probably felt, and he is just now really dealing with that. Instead he was so angry about what happened that he kind of just checked out until now, and while its understandable that he was terribly angry and hurt by Starfleet, an organization he has given most of his life to and truly believed in the innate goodness of, and was a much older man than the Picard of TNG, it seems like he checked out too soon, when there was still more he could have done. So now he is trying to make up for lost time, but thats easier said than done, especially when it comes to the people who kept waiting for him to come back, and he never did. 

As others have said, its clear that some of the Romulans thought that the Federation ditched them on purpose, which led to even more resentment. That they lulled them into a false sense of security and didnt double down on their own efforts to relocate, and then deliberately abandoned them to deliberately destory what was left of their empire. Now I dont think thats what happened at all (there was a lot of things going on in that that time and the Federation prioritized some things over others, and right or wrong I dont think it was part of any greater plan) but I can certainly see how the Romulans, who are famously secretive and distrusting of everyone, would see it that way, so now they are even more bitter. 

Seven is here! I have been so excited to check in with her and see her interactions with Picard, and I am so happy that its happening so early! I was afraid that we would have to wait forever. She even got a badass intro and is looking fabulous!

"Anyone else think that the Way of Absolute Candor sounds potentially annoying?" 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Warrior nuns? I support it.

So great seeing Amirah Vann as the leader of the Qowat Milat. She is great in everything. Also, I need the Qowat Milat spinoff.

Picard never had kids, but in his old age, it looks like he's going to be dad to several orphans (Elnor, Soji, maybe even his ragtag crew?) I dig it.

I got Cersei-Jamie vibes from Narek and his sister (and I only ever watched one episode of Game of Thrones!)

I like Rios, and it is fun to see Picard try (sort of) to restrain himself from assuming the ship's captaincy.

Next week looks good! Classic let's-dress-up-and-go-undercover ep. 

Edited by Gillian Rosh · Reason: Added a comment about the Qowat Milat
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2 minutes ago, Gillian Rosh said:

I like Rios, and it is fun to see Picard try (sort of) to restrain himself from assuming the ship's captaincy.

That apologetic look after he preempted Rios and asked Raffi to open a channel was EVERYTHING.

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1 hour ago, starri said:

That apologetic look after he preempted Rios and asked Raffi to open a channel was EVERYTHING.

And to be fair to him, Rios is being very patient about Picard automatically assuming command and barking out orders. He was very patient with Agnes when she disturbed him, too. We'll see if that character trait continues as the reality of suddenly having five passengers on his previously nice private ship sinks in!

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2 hours ago, Llywela said:

And to be fair to him, Rios is being very patient about Picard automatically assuming command and barking out orders. He was very patient with Agnes when she disturbed him, too. We'll see if that character trait continues as the reality of suddenly having five passengers on his previously nice private ship sinks in!

Well, he seems to channel all his rage into dealing with his holograms 😁

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12 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Well, he seems to channel all his rage into dealing with his holograms 😁

😄 Although even there, we're not actually seeing rage. He seems to dislike most of the holograms (note that the tactical one was the only one to get a name, so far) but he seems to treat most of them with weary disdain and exasperation rather than outright hatred...except for the brown-nosing hospitality one! I wonder how much of their various base personalities are pre-programmed and how much tinkering he's done.

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I have to admit that I'm really enjoying this show but I find the pacing problematic. There's always one or two scenes in every episode where I think to myself "This should've ended at least 60 seconds ago. In this one is was the floor sliding with Narek and Soji. (Or actually all the scenes with Narek.) 

I was so sick of Seven of Nine on Voyager. Never would I have believed that one day I'd be so happy to see her. Thumbs down to CBS for putting her name in the opening credits and ruining the surprise.

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Puzzling on the question of why the Romulans would want to sabotage their own rescue fourteen years ago. I think the show is going to great lengths to point out that there are no "the Romulans" -- that is, no one culture with a single motivation. If Raffi's hunch is right (and of course it is), it was Zhat Vash within Starfleet Command who programmed the synth uprising that had two huge consequences: (1) Starfleet scuttled the Romulan rescue operation, and (2) the Federation halted research and development of synthetic lifeforms. 

The Zhat Vash is a self-ordained, possibly messianic elite that may have been willing to sacrifice the great majority of the Romulan home population in order to annihilate synthetic life. (To some Zhat Vash, was that cataclysmic loss seen not as a sacrifice but as an expediency: a culling of mere civilians?) Their hatred of AI is probably powered by the prophecy that one of two twin synths, the Destroyer, will summon the End of Days.

Perhaps this Is even why the Zhat Vash was created, centuries before the time foretold. But is it because of the prophecy that the Zhat Vash is convinced that Dahj and Soji are two of many, or do they also have intelligence confirming that there are others? And does the Zhat Vash believe that only Romulan civilization will be destroyed in the apocalypse, or do they believe that they are acting on behalf of all organic life?

End of days. How we deal with the knowledge of our own certain death as it draws closer -- no matter how we lived, or how we live -- is what Rios is reading and Picard is experiencing. It's what the Romulans addressed in the myths they call the news. It's old news; it's always present.

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:54 PM, Capricasix said:

I was going to call him NuChance, but I didn’t know if there were any other Preverts in this topic 😄

Life got in the way of continuing to be a Prevert, but if that still counts you're not alone!

On 2/13/2020 at 10:29 PM, kokapetl said:

But when are they going to get to the fireworks factory? 

It’s all a bit slow moving for me.

This is what I wanted when the show was announced. Space battles bore me. I wanted a character-based show and I'm thrilled I'm getting one.

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:26 AM, paigow said:

Truly abandoned = Supernova incineration...so is your angry cup half-full or half-empty?

This seems to me like a mischaracterization of the source of their resentment.  Their anger at Picard’s abandonment is richly deserved, as Picard himself acknowledges.  

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19 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

"Anyone else think that the Way of Absolute Candor sounds potentially annoying?"

Reminds me of a line in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy about a species that developed the ability to read everyone else's thoughts and ended up murdering each other to the point of extinction.

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19 hours ago, Gillian Rosh said:

I like Rios, and it is fun to see Picard try (sort of) to restrain himself from assuming the ship's captaincy.

Kirk almost did the same thing in Generations... but he eventually volunteered for a trip to the Nexus...

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Really enjoyed this episode and I agree that things are definitely picked it up.  

Enjoyed the story they are building up here.  I LOVE the planetary design.  Today's FX is so far ahead of what the 80s and 90s Star Trek had to work with when it came to designing planets and it enhances the experience of watching.

I also enjoyed the Elnor character and his interaction with Picard.  I also thought this was the first episode where I felt like Stewart WAS Picard instead of just playing Picard.  Especially the scene where he chewed out Elnor for killing the Romulan senator.  I know I shouldn't have been surprised by her appearance as she has been advertised for months but wasn't expecting Seven of NIne there.  

The world-building might be a little forced for Star Trek but it's definitely getting interesting.

Not really impressed with the Romulan villains although Peyton List was a little more interesting.  I'm mixed on Picard's crew other than Elnor.  Raffi is still annoying.  Rios character is still ripping pages out of the BSG bible to develop his character and I'd like to slap that cigar out of his mouth.  Not an anti-smoking  thing but because it REEKS of TV cliche.  I was liking Allison but find her character to be another annoying manic pixie girl.

I have a hard time buying Picard becoming a neutered recluse that he's been since Starfleet told him no.  It's the same problem as Luke in The Last Jedi.

Edited by benteen
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21 minutes ago, benteen said:

Rios character is still ripping pages out of the BSG bible to develop his character

I honestly have no idea what you mean by this. I never watched BSG. If you mean that the character draws on some standard archetypes, you are right - and I daresay the BSG characters you refer to do as well. Lots of characters are based on standard archetypes - Picard is, as well. What matters is the individual twist you put on that archetype to develop the character beyond that base, and after only one-and-a-bit episodes on-screen, Rios already has plenty of individual quirks to develop him beyond the archetype he is based on.

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[Interior: Romulan Senate evacuation area]

Aide: Senator,  please go to shuttle bay 3. I will meet you there after I collect some food.

Senator: No. Get my swords now. Now I tell you!

Edited by paigow

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6 hours ago, marinw said:

Elnor will always bring his sword to a phaser fight.

Elnor and Picard at Vashti.

Elnor and Picard on the ocean...together.

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On 2/15/2020 at 12:08 PM, paigow said:

But then nobody expects the Zhat Vash….

 

be4.jpg

Edited by HotRats2112
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On 2/18/2020 at 10:36 AM, benteen said:

  It's the same problem as Luke in The Last Jedi.

But Picard did not have to find friendly aliens that would allow themselves to be milked....

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On 2/16/2020 at 6:38 PM, Pallas said:

Puzzling on the question of why the Romulans would want to sabotage their own rescue fourteen years ago. I think the show is going to great lengths to point out that there are no "the Romulans" -- that is, no one culture with a single motivation. If Raffi's hunch is right (and of course it is), it was Zhat Vash within Starfleet Command who programmed the synth uprising that had two huge consequences: (1) Starfleet scuttled the Romulan rescue operation, and (2) the Federation halted research and development of synthetic lifeforms. 

If the Zhat Vash infiltrated Starfleet like HYDRA did to SHIELD, then keeping synthetic R & D active would allow them to understand survival protocols instead of driving the synths to ground. 

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On 2/15/2020 at 11:05 AM, Capricasix said:

Well, IMDb has fixed their error and now shows Evan Evagora in the role of Elnor.

Also, he’s very cute, and I feel like a cougar for saying that 👀😄

Even my husband said "whoa, that guy's amazing looking". 

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I'll say this for her: Seven knows how to make an entrance!

I continue to be intrigued by this show, even as it morphs into an adventure which is not fundamentally a Star Trek show (sworn swords, quests, Bene Gesserit Nun-jas, Kwisatz Hadera -- er, qalankhkai, cigar-chomping space mercenaries...) It's not a non-ST show in the way of, say, Discovery, which, if you ask me, is the anti-Trek show, but I digress...

But as Gandal -- er, Picard is gathering his merry cross-genre band, I'm in. 

On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 4:48 PM, Llywela said:

I wonder how much of their various base personalities are pre-programmed and how much tinkering he's done.

… whereas I just wonder why, if he's so annoyed by them, are they all based on him? Is he working out some self-image (geddit?) issues?

Edited by Sandman
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Not sure if anyone has mentioned it but really how sure is the Zhat Vash that there is a "nest" of androids?  Odds are that Maddox was only able to create the two.

Are they going by a theory or by the Romulan tarot cards or did Miss Cleo tell them!?!?? 

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2 hours ago, greekmom said:

Not sure if anyone has mentioned it but really how sure is the Zhat Vash that there is a "nest" of androids?  Odds are that Maddox was only able to create the two.

Are they going by a theory or by the Romulan tarot cards or did Miss Cleo tell them!?!?? 

Pretty sure we don't know yet! But maybe when Picard & co get to the cube, we might start to find out.

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1 hour ago, Llywela said:

Pretty sure we don't know yet! But maybe when Picard & co get to the cube, we might start to find out.

Maddox likely copied himself...the copy built the nest...

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Maybe the Zhat Vash's distaste for synthetics makes them consider that one is too many, and any number more than one constitutes a "nest."

(Someone on the ST writing staff really likes the sound of the syllable /vash/. Vash the Archeologist, the Zhat Vash Super Extra-Secret Police, and the planet Vashti? Somebody move the refrigerator magnet Alien Poetry set out of the writers' room, already. Vash, vash, vash. I have to go vash out my brain. Vash!)

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