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Be Careful What You Ask For

by Michael Shea, Designer

30th December 2020

Mark Jameson

"It wasn't my golden oratory that saved them, Captain. I gave Karnas the weapons he wanted. ... I gave exactly the same weapons to his rivals. My interpretation of the Prime Directive. Let them solve their problems with those arms on an equal basis." - Admiral Mark Jameson, "Too Short a Season."

One of the principle themes we wanted to explore in Shore Leave was the act of giving. This could mean giving in the literal sense, as in giving a "gift" to the player. Or, it could mean giving in the broader sense reative to Second Edition, as in givingĀ  "gift" to an affiliation or faction. With today's card, Mark Jameson, Senior Mission Specialist, we explore the more literal of the two meanings.

Mark Jameson, a supporting character in an otherwise forgettable first season episode of The Next Generation, is a Starfleet admiral with a rather unique interpretation of the Prime Directive. As mediator between two warring factions in a planet-wide civil war, Jameson reasons that the best way to secure the peace is to give one side the weapons they've been asking for and then he gives the other side the exact same weapons. But, rather than secure the peace, these "gifts" only intensify and prolong the war resulting the deaths of millions over decades. Towards the end of his life, Jameson as an old man - perhaps well past the time when he should have retired - sees an opportunity to try to atone in some small way for his role in the civil war but dies before he can do so.

Thus, the life of Mark Jameson - at least the small part depicted in "Too Short A Season" - can be viewed as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask for, for you may get it. But, also, take care in what gifts you give and why you give them, lest you cause unintended pain. This might seem a bit heavy for a holiday set, but it's a lesson of which Charles Dickens himself would probably approve.

Now, a little about the card. We chose to make a card of Mark Jameson for several reasons. There is no version of this personnel in either First Edition or Second Edition. Also, Jameson stands out as one of the earliest treacherous admirals of the TNG era. And, the story - about giving to both sides - fit this set perfectly. When you play Mark Jameson, you must name a card type and then each player may choose to download a card of that type. His 2 Diplomacy and Law make him an attractive option for the TNG player, but his 4 Integrity and lack of a command star keeps him from being an auto-include.

We hope you enjoy using this card in your next TNG deck. Stay tuned for more from Shore Leave.

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