A Charismatic Pirate In The 24th Century

I’m not sure what to think of Vash, a recurring guest character in Star Trek The Next Generation (2 episodes) & Star Trek Deep Space Nine (1 episode). Vash, played by Jennifer Hettrick, is a human who cheated, stole and sold items of archeological & historical importance for profit. A Human archaeologist and former member of the Federation Archaeology Council in the 24th century and considered by many to be a profiteer. Vash’s primary goal was not to gain knowledge about ancient cultures, but to sell their artifacts for a profit. To this end she frequently used methods that were considered unscrupulous by the scientific community, including visiting many archaeological sites that were barred to outsiders.

Her shady ethics, and consistent sale of priceless artifacts, twice got her dismissed from the Federation Archaeological Council. Her professional choices were also the reason she was not welcome on several worlds. She was banned from some places and there was even a Alive or Dead reward on her on one alien world! She doesn’t need money being from the 24th century earth yet risked even her life & limb in “acquiring” said merchandise which she’d then sell to make a buck. What did she gain from it? Was it the thrill of her adventures, bucking the trend and not following Federation rules & ethics. I think her character was created to showcase greed and humans pursuit of possessions & wealth, despite having almost everything you could ever need.

Yet she is a fascinating character and I guess that’s a lot to do with the actress herself, who plays the role with charisma & charm. She is an adventurer and thrill seeker, like a 24th century pirate and she even fascinates Q, so much that he offers to have her travel the universe with him because as he puts it, “But it’s not going to be the same without you. When I look at a gas nebula, all I see is a cloud of dust, but seeing the universe through your eyes I was able to experience… wonder. I’m going to miss that.” Q finds her nature more exciting than humans who try to better themselves with knowledge, science & exploration, mostly because he can manipulate her but not the average human.

I just find it fascinating that Vash, a very intelligent person, chooses to spend her life in the pursuit of profit when she has everything that a human could ever want while staying on earth or with the Federation. Maybe she didn’t want the stay within the rules. What fun is that, she might be thinking?

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