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Old March 26 2012, 02:34 PM   #25
Re: How big is Starfleet in men and ships?

"Only ship in the quadrant/sector" is easily explained by the vast scope of their area of operations.
Quite so - but this also establishes that Starfleet is powerless to fight the issue, and thus colonies are lost to disasters that could have been averted had a second or more proximal ship been available. If the situation can be remedied in war where resources necessarily are concentrated and diverted, why not in peace where they are available in abundance and the enemy does not dictate their application?

There you go again, trying to substitute your "unique" notions for canon fact. You do that a lot.
Why not? It's not as if the canon facts add to anything much: they're only a thin spiderweb pretending to be a solid canvas of art, with the audience filling in the gaps and tying together the ends flapping loose.

Canon never said how far Kirk went in "Where No Man" or "By Any Other Name" or "Is There In Truth". All we learned was that he went to the strange barrier at the rim of the galaxy in the first two episodes, and entered "a space-time continuum" in the third that looked quite a bit like that barrier. There's no particular reason to think that this would have taken place beyond Picard's 8,000 ly figure - or that at least some of it (the "In Truth" bits) wouldn't have happened millions of lightyears away from Earth and the Milky Way. No reason other than trying to keep some sort of consistency for the warp speed, distance and travel time references that form our spiderweb.

Those ship readings are supplemented by automated probes, unmanned high-power sensor arrays, etc, all of which are canonically established.
...And still amount to a pitiful 11% ("Where No One") or 19% ("The Dauphin") of the galaxy explored, a far cry from a full quadrant. The percentage actually visited by landing parties and away teams may be anywhere between 11% and 0.0011% as far as canon goes.

Not to mention that in Kirk's time, at least a hundred years after Earth began using warp-speed starships for other things besides battling the Romulans, many of the nearby stars were still unknown quantities, full of wonders that only Kirk would uncover. We don't have to speculate about the reach and thoroughness of Earth's or the Federation's exploration effort, when we can directly see it comes to just about nil even in Picard's time.

Actually, it's the other way around.
Apparently not necessarily in Starfleet, though - Kirk would carry 400-500 fellow spacemen and -women on exploration missions, but ships lost to combat at Wolf 359, each of them larger than Kirk's, would be listed as having gone down with an average of only 250.

On the other hand, we have the alternate timeline E-D with 5,000 people aboard in wartime, as opposed to the mere 1,000 on Picard's peacetime voyages. And DS9 "Field of Fire" lists a supposed Excelsior as having been lost with some 1,250 personnel. A wartime increase to operating crews - or evidence of troops being shipped? Difficult to tell.

Interestingly, the wall chart onboard DS9 would list casualties on a day-to-day basis, and these would always seem to be a trickle, with at most dozens per starship (regardless of whether we looked at the chart in detail or satisfied ourselves with the unfocused artwork available without screencaps or backstage information)...

Timo Saloniemi
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