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Old September 2 2012, 07:14 PM   #14
C.E. Evans
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Re: What is a Neutral Zone?

Space is big and Neutral Zones likely don't extend into infinity.
...Although the dialogue introducing the concept did specify that the RNZ was "between the planets Romulus and Remus and the rest of the galaxy", supposedly leaving no openings through which legitimate Romulan excursions to the galaxy could take place.
Given that neither Earth nor Romulus (supposedly) owns the entire Galaxy, such a claim can't be taken too literally. At best, the Zone extends until it reaches territory owned by third parties. But it could very well be that the Zone only covers where Federation space meets Romulans space.
Yet after the first few seasons of TNG, such excursions did take place. I think it was first in "Tin Man" that the presence of Romulan vessels in the same space with our heroes wasn't automatically considered an act of war. Thereafter it became commonplace, in "The Next Phase" or "The Pegasus" or basically every Romulan-related DS9 episode.
Which could support an idea that there are limits to how far the Neutral Zone extends if those encounters take place in territory claimed by neither the Federation nor the Romulans.
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