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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Soulmate, Myself:
The Perfect Mate

Rishon and Kevin



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The Survivors is the third episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the 51st episode overall, first broadcast on October 9, 1989. Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the crew of the Federation starship Enterprise. In this episode, the Enterprise reaches a Federation colony where all but two of the 11,000 inhabitants have been killed by a mysterious attacker. The two survivors, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge, an elderly couple (played by John Anderson and Anne Haney) refuse assistance and do not want to be rescued. The crew of the Enterprise must determine why only two survivors remain on an otherwise obliterated planet. The episode is inspired by concepts from "The Society of Friends" colloquially, Quakers. The phrase "Special Conscience" is part of Quaker theology, referring to the idea that there is a fragment of God within each person. The pacifism, the ethics, the lack of action portrayed in the episode are also part of the theology.

The Federation starship Enterprise-D, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, responds to a distress call from a Federation colony on Delta Rana IV and discovers the planet to be devastated and devoid of life, save for a patch of land containing a house and vegetation. Transporting to the surface, the away team meets the human occupants of the house, Kevin and Rishon Uxbridge. The android Lt. Cdr. Data relates personal information about the couple, impressing them. They witnessed the attack that destroyed the colony, but are unaware that they are the only survivors. Though Kevin would rather have the Enterprise leave them in peace, Rishon allows the team to check the house for any reason why they might have been spared. The team, finding nothing of interest save for a small music box, insists that the Uxbridges return to the Enterprise for safety, but they refuse. Aboard the Enterprise, Counselor Troi hears the music from the music box in her mind on a never-ending loop, which begins to slowly drive her insane. Eventually she is reduced to hysterics, resulting in being medically forced into a coma.

An unknown spacecraft appears in orbit and starts to attack the Enterprise, then turns and leaves at high speed. The Enterprise gives chase but is unable to overtake the spaceship; eventually Captain Picard orders the ship to return to the planet. Picard transports to the surface with Worf to visit the Uxbridges; Kevin suggests they were spared because they are pacifists. Upon the away team's return, the spaceship appears in orbit again, but Picard orders the Enterprise to leave the system first, believing that the crew is being toyed with.

When they return to the planet, the ship is nowhere in sight, and Picard transports to the surface to plead that the Uxbridges leave with him as well as to tell them about Troi's dementia. After being refused again, Picard tells them the Enterprise will remain to protect them as long as they live, and returns to the ship. The alien spaceship appears again and destroys the Uxbridges' home. Picard orders an attack on the craft; unlike the previous encounter, this time the ship is easily destroyed by the Enterprise's firepower. Playing on a suspicion, Picard has the Enterprise move to a higher orbit and continue scans of the planet; after a short time, the Uxbridges' home reappears.

Picard orders the Uxbridges beamed up to the Enterprise and confronts Kevin with the details he has deduced: Kevin and Rishon's house was destroyed in the attack and Rishon was killed, but Kevin, who is not human, has recreated them both. The alien warship is a device of Kevin's to make the Enterprise go away: in the last attack, it seemed to destroy the Uxbridges because then the Enterprise would no longer need to stay and defend them. Kevin admits the truth, and the illusory Rishon disappears. He goes to Troi to remove the torturous music that he had placed in her mind to prevent her from telepathically identifying him.

Kevin reveals that he is a Douwd, an immortal energy being with vast powers. While traveling in human form, he met Rishon, fell in love, and settled with her on Rana IV. When the planet was attacked by an aggressive, destructive species called the Husnock, he refused to join the fight in accordance with his species' pacifism. Rishon actually did take up arms to defend the colony - and was killed in the ensuing battle, lost to Kevin forever as bringing the dead back to life is something beyond even his extraordinary abilities.

Stricken with grief and wanting revenge, Kevin lashed out with his vast powers and wiped out the entire Husnock species - over 50 billion. Horrified by his crime, he chose self-exile to the planet, creating the replicas of Rishon and their house with which to spend the rest of eternity and using a recreation of the Husnock ship as intimidation to keep their privacy. Picard states that they are not qualified to be his judge and they have no laws to fit the magnitude of this crime. The Enterprise leaves Kevin and his illusion in peace, and Picard confirms he will issue a warning not to visit the planet.


Kairissi. In The Wedding Song we discussed the invasion of “Silicon Barbie,” a “Blade Runner” partner. That’s pretty much what Kevin ended up doing. He lost his true love and created an illusion-girl to be with.

Elenchus. Rishon is a very advanced “Silicon Barbie.” Kevin and Rishon offer an important metaphor to explore certain brave-new-world options in Summerland.

K. I know what you’re thinking. In the “holodeck-worlds” you can create anything you want. Think of that little boy jumping into mud puddles of early youth, and not just that, but with his old chums in the neighborhood. If you can authentically – “to the finest detail” -- recreate your playpals of long ago, then you can make a perfect “Blade Runner” girl, too.

E. So, let’s have a little thought-experiment. Are there any circumstances under which this might be a moral thing to do? We’ll make this question specific to Twins. Let’s say, in the ubiquitous and common “out of phase” awakening, Twins cross over, but because of “overdue homework,” they can’t be together for a while; possibly, in hard-core cases, a long time. Should the more-advanced mate wait alone for the laggard Twin, or should he create a “perfect mate” in a holodeck-world, for aid and comfort, in her absence? I already know what I’d do, but I’d like your thoughts.

K. I would say… there’s no right or wrong in anyof this. The android “girl” is certainly not harmed, and if the fellow needs to be with “someone,” then he does. Twins, if they have any degree of awareness, realize they can’t just go out and be with “another fish in the sea.” That would be a violation of natural law, as everyone involved – four people -- would be damaged and suffer by this unauthorized liaison. A “Blade Runner Girl” would be the only option available to the more-advanced Twin.

E. But, of course, he could do as did Robert Benson and Ruth. They had a very close friendship and working relationship, one that did not cross the line into sexuality.

K. That would be ok, if sexuality is not an important factor. Ellus, in The Wedding Song I asked you, hypothetically, if you’d ever consider being with a “Silicon Barbie,” and you said no as this knowledge would eventually cause me suffering. But how do feel about a fully human-like “Blade Runner Girl” in a holodeck world?

E. If one of us, for any reason, found him or herself in a dark place, we already know what to do. We can leave the first day, so it’s no big deal.

K. Ok, and that’s good for everyone to know, but in some cases we also know that people can get stuck in the Dark Realms for a long time. Would you consider an android-mate under that circumstance?

E. Let’s define “long time.” Time over there, many tell us, seems to pass more quickly than Earth-time. I would say that anything up to 100 years, or a bit more, while not a joy to endure if one’s true love were to be missing, would feel manageable.

K. Ellus, we know that what we’re talking about here is no purely hypothetical concept. The story of Clarice and Frederick speaks to this; and Spirit Guide Margaret has a friend whose Twin is trapped in a dark place. And there are other reports, too. If you say that 100 years could feel “manageable,” Father Benson tells us that some poor souls get trapped by their anger and self-pity and might stay in a dark place for hundreds or thousands of years. What would you do then?



E. Well, that’s not going to happen to us. The cases you refer to I would say relate to hard-core situations. We might have things to work on but we’re not hard-core and we’re not maliciously evil.

K. Alright, I’m pressing the point, but I’d just like to know your thoughts on this.

E. If, let’s say, it appeared that you might not emerge from “detention” for a very long time, and if in my sorrow and grief I felt the need for a companion, then I might consider a “girl in the holodeck” as an option. But even then, I’m not so sure. I’d want to keep my wits about me to see if there’d be anything I might do to help you, as Frederick did for his mate, rather than “getting comfortable” in an illusionary world of Kevin’s making. I’d be checking out “specialist Guides” on a higher level for this situation to see if they had any ideas on how to reach you.

K. Assembling a team of experts.

E. Theoretically, people can do anything reasonable in Summerland, and there’s no condemnation, but, in a practical sense, I just can’t see myself mentally and emotionally blocking you out.

K. We are adding this a few years after the above discussion.

E. Since then, the country and the world has gone from bad to worse and now seems to be on the verge of civil war. My purpose for stating this is that, when we transition we may find ourselves in a heightened state of trauma. And if one’s Twin “goes rogue,” so to speak, delays her coming for a long time, the “surviving” Twin may in fact need an extra degree of emotional healing.

K. This could indeed be the case for those of us living in “an end time,” the end of one of many cycles of the rise and fall of human kingdoms in this world. We’re not used to this, but it’s the norm of history.

E. I don’t think we can avoid this fortified level of calamity now. And so, those who transition after having lived through a break-down of society will require emotional rehabilitation. And if a solitary Twin requires augmented “aid and comfort,” he might very well opt to live, for a time, as Kevin did, in a fiat thought-world, specially designed to restore his feelings of normalcy, by interacting with a simulation of the absent beloved.