Star Trek and Vampires

It’s cold, unhealthy it’s snowy, and we’re not going anywhere today. Yesterday I came across the greatest two questions ever, and so in honour of this very quiet, lazy day, I thought they would be great questions for the Cheese-Wearing community.

Here they are:

Could the Enterprise beam a vampire into a house she didn’t have permission to enter?

Could the Borg assimilate a vampire into the collective?

What do you think?

  • No to the first question. I think regardless of transporter technology, as soon as the vampire’s molecules were assembled inside the house they would be forced out.

    If a naturalistic alternative to Vampires was formed in Star Trek, then vampires would certainly be susceptible to the Borg, but as “magical” beings I don’t think they would be able to be assimilated.

    As a fan of both True Blood and the Star Trek franchises this is a super fun question to think about.

  • I’m working with Whedonverse vampires for my answers (read that in Andrew’s voice. VamPIREs).

    Question 1. The force that keeps Whedonverse vampires out of homes manifests as an invisible physical barrier at the entrance, and is spiritual rather than psychological in nature (so a vampire could not be forcibly flung into a home against their will… they would bounce off the barrier). Beaming a vampire into a home without permission would therefore be similar to beaming a human into a structure that was protected by a shield. In most ST episodes, attempts to beam through a shield would simply fail, and the transporter would not operate. This might have been an integral safety feature that clicks in when a shield is detected, or might be due to the failure of sensors to “lock” on the destination. If beaming was attempted anyway, the energy stream would be deflected by the shield (that’s what shields do, after all). IIRC, we are never told what the result of this would be; so a blocked transport beam might be scattered and lost, or might rebound and cause the passenger to rematerialize in the original transporter (the first seems more likely to me).
    Assuming that the Enterprise’s sensors cannot detect a spiritual barrier (that’s the disadvantage of having a starship designed by an atheist), the transporter would operate and attempt to beam the vampire to the destination. The question now becomes whether the curse (or whatever it is) that prevents vampires from entering uninvited functions when the vampire has been converted into an energy stream, or if the vampire must be rematerialized first. There has been much debate among Trekkies over the years concerning the soul of someone being transported (this is only a problem if we assume a Platonic/Cartesian dualist position on the soul, but the Whedonverse operates on dualist principles, so I’m rolling with that), but the general consensus is that transported humans retain their souls. If the soul of a human travels with the energy stream, then the demonic “soul” that animates a vampire would do the same. If the soul is intact (being neither matter nor energy) during transport, then the barrier would prevent the vampire from entering.
    So it seems most likely to me that attempting to beam a vampire uninvited into someone’s home would result in the vampire’s pattern being scattered and lost.

  • Question 2. A Whedonverse vampire is a corpse that is animated by a demon. In the DS9 episode “The Magnificent Ferengi”, a dead Vorta is made to stand and walk using a cybernetic control system similar to the one used in the TOS episode “Spock’s Brain”, so it might be possible for the Borg to incorporate a similar device into their implants. However, their practice of disintegrating dead Borg shows us that the Borg have no use for corpses. It might be that dead nervous systems break down so quickly that cybernetic implants would only interface with the biological host for a few minutes, making it not worth the effort of keeping dead Borg around.
    The Buffy plotline involving the chip in Spike’s head shows us that vampires continue to have functioning brains, and that those brains can be influenced by technology. The human/demon/cyborg named Adam also shows us that (physical) demon parts can be integrated with cybernetic parts.
    So I’d say that Whedonverse vampires could be assimilated into the Collective. However, this would produce a Borg drone that must be kept away from crosses, holy water, and sunlight (“poof” go the biological parts, leaving a pile of implants on the floor), and can’t be beamed into someone’s home without permission. Since Borg drones are already stronger than humans, and have personal shields to protect them (making vampires’ resistance to injury less of an advantage), I’m not sure that the Collective would actually WANT a vampire. They’d probably rather assimilate a Fyarl demon.

    • Wow, Chuck. This is why I love you! You’re so weird!

  • I did an informal Facebook poll and the general consensus from the tiny percentage of my friends that have knowledge of both “Star Trek” and “Buffy” (I know you didn’t specify Buffy, but we all know that the only REAL vampires are Whedon’s vampires) agree that while the Borg COULD probably assimilate a vampire, a vampire could NOT be transported into a house that she has not been invited into.

    @Charles: Loved your observation about Whedon’s dualist principles regarding the soul.

    • ..”.but we all know that the only REAL vampires are Whedon’s vampires…”

      Absolutely!

  • Okay, random thought…
    What if the person working the transporter controls owned the house? Would ‘beaming’ the vampire to the house’s coordinates be a form of permission?

    Second random thought…
    We know that (in the Buffyverse anyway), motels and hotel rooms are not ‘private’ and so a vampire can enter. Would quarters/bunks on the Enterprise be private dwelling spaces or would they function more like hotel rooms?

  • I would just to say, I think your blog truly illustrates what a unique person you are. 🙂

  • studenttheologian

    Hmm.. I’ve not gotten far into Buffy yet, but were dorm rooms considered private or not? Dorm rooms would equal quarters/bunks, so we ought to have an answer there…

  • Chuck, your answer is epic. Epic. Someday, archaeologists will find this and conclude it formed part of the sacred scriptures (or an important commentary thereon) of those primitive 21-st century north Americans.

  • wolfe

    i realise this comment is a bit late but oh well. I’m going to go against everyone and say yes to the first question a vampire could be transported into a persons house without permission because of the way a transporter works, it transforms matter into energy then back to matter again therefore when the vampire crosses the barrier she would be nothing more than pure energy.
    Could the borg assimilate a vampire into the collective? Yes in fact vampires would make excellent drones as they are already immortal and have superhuman strength as for the sunlight issue a drones personal shielding should stop any uv rays. Also if you really think about it the borg are like 23rd century technologicaly enhanced vampires.