What's with the protocol prohibiting any relationships between ship AIs and crew? Isn't that infringing on the AI's rights as a sentient being?
It's the ultimate form of fraternization. It'd be like shagging the ship's first officer, chief engineer, CPO and deck chief at the same time.
Exactly that. No-one on board is supposed to make the sexing with other crewmen. It doesn't seem like a big deal in principal, but think it through.
Any military style system is based on people being told to do dangerous or life threatening things by those in charge. Now, assuming everything else is order the grunts follow orders, because while they probably aren't too keen to go to their deaths, the system is normally fair and shares the danger out. They trust their commanders not to risk lives unnecessarily.
Now when love starts to get into the mix, you don't know what priorities the commander has. Are you going out to risk your life AGAIN instead of the CO's girlfriend ?
And what happens if you break up and suddenly your missions get more dangerous or obviously suicidal ?
Now take that to the extreme of the actual battleship having non-combat priorities. The ship is never just risking its own life, its risking thousands (the crew) and potentially millions or billions if it decides to go all nova-bomby.
Basically you need to know that everyone is going to follow their orders (to the death if needs be) and aren't going to start dicking around or screwing up the chain of command just because they have tingly feeligns.
All demonstrated by what happened in "The Mathematics of Tears".
In other words, they have the same right to pursue romances as much as anyone else, but as part of the military, they have the same restrictions as anyone else in the military.
What, exactly, is Dillon trying to accomplish in the first season? Maybe his goal of a restored Commonwealth makes a bit more sense when the Magog are coming, but all the planets already seem to have varying degrees of functional governments, trade, and communication. The worst thing we've seen about living in this time is that the prison system sucks, and why should we expect the new Commonwealth to be any better at that? To take it a step further, it seems to be mainly the planets that are already decent places to live that are signing on. What the hell are they getting out out of this? And to get even more irritating, lets assume for a moment that creating a new Commonwealth really would be as awesome as Dillon thinks: why is he necessary? Somehow no one on any of these planets had even considered the possibility of an interplanetary government, but once Dillon brought it up, none of them could think of any real objections, and instantly signed on? That's not how politics works!
They all suspect that the biggest warship in the galaxy will throw in with their rivals instead of themselves, but by joining together they all get Rommies services? Maybe it's really Rommie they care about rather then Dylan and they only care about him because she obeys him.
Then too, and related, none of the governments can afford to surrender any of their sovereignity unless there is an impartial party with enough force to umpire between them.
The prison system sucks, slavery is rampant, easy-to-cure but highly fatal diseases are commonplace, and the mail system is sub-par. Dylan wants to restore the Commonwealth because it had the capability to combat all these social ills and was very successful at it in its day. And interplanetary governments do exist. The Than-Thre-Kull is doing the best out of all the old governments, the Drago-Katsov runs several hundred slave worlds, and one of the people they tried to recruit actually did form a 20-world alliance before they were attacked by the Kalderans. However, what Dylan is offering is the lost knowledge of the Commonwealth and some of the biggest guns in the known universe. I think part of the problem is that we mainly view it from Dylan's perspective, and yes, things are a lot worse than it was when the Commonwealth was around, the galaxies recovered a lot better than he thought, though people are a lot meaner about it.
I think banding together all these different worlds is a good idea in itself. Think about it, the Commonwealth was a Utopia - as far as we know anyway - and all these different worlds, cultures and people banding together once more is pooling all their resources and moving away from individual worlds fighting and scrapping with each other over the remnants of civilization, and moving towards that end once again. I'm sure that's Dylan's rationale. He's just come from a society where all the crimes and slavery he's introduced to are monstrous to him. With his character, he would want to correct that, and the best way to elicit galaxy-wide change is with a unified front. There's also the fact that for the first year, it's something for him to do. If you'd just lost everything you'd believed in and all your family and loved ones, trying to make even little steps towards getting some of that back would probably stop you going insane.
Can someone explain to me why in "It Makes A Lovely Light" where Becka is trying to pilot 46 slip stream jumps to Taarn Vedra, why didn't she just go to sleep for a good 12 hours when she got tired or drained? Why was she trying to keep herself sharp by taking flash when a good night's sleep would have done the job. It wasn't like there was a time limit or you couldn't stop in real space and take a couple days recuperation (I know the routes are dangerous and take them near to galactic gravity wells, but there were spots where they could stop, and planning ahead for rest stops wouldn't have been an issue). I just don't understand why Becka doesn't even try going to sleep or just lying down and resting for a few hours when she first gets exhausted. She's a seasoned pilot so she has to know that rest or sleep is necessary when you hit your limit. If it turned out that doing all those jumps in close proximity was taking a toll that a couple days rest wasn't fixing, then it would be reasonable, but despite all her bad experiences with it, she decides flash is a good idea without even trying to rest or find other ways around her exhaustion (a jug of caffeine does not bloody well count). I mean, we know Becka is good, but I sincerely doubt that Dylan or Tyr couldn't have taken the helm for a couple of jumps to give her a break, even. Does anyone have an explanation, please, because the more I think about it, this really looks like an Idiot Plot?note if it turns out this was meant to be some character episode giving us insight into Becka's mentality and her unwillingness to have other people seeing her as weak or incapable given her disenfranchised background and drive to prove herself, one of the writers needs to be shot.
EDIT: and Trance being the reason she's using Flash doesn't make sense either. If it was the gravity wells making Trance sick, then getting away from them should have meant she would get better. If it was the constant exposure to slip stream that was making her sick, then Becka using flash so she can do more slip stream jumps makes even less sense. If the latter was the case, stopping for a couple days in real space would have been the better idea.
Trance's motivations aren't always clear. Sometimes she fakes fear, anger and illness simply to manipulate the others into reacting in a certain way. Maybe Becka taking flash and doing so many jumps was the best possible scenario for Trance's overall goals?
It's not mentioned in-universe, but it is possible that some of the slip-routes are only accessible at certain times; and the individual cycles may synchronize very rarely. This sort of thing has (may have) been mentioned in other works that use the same/similar sort of FTL system - Heinlein's "congruencies" from Starman Jones, Alderson Points in the Motie universe by Niven and Pournelle, "Jump Points" too numerous to mention. It's possible that Beka was trying to make the transit during the one short period in a century that all of the slip-routes were available simultaneously.