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Old December 16 2012, 08:01 PM   #3
Re: Did the Auto-destruct partially malfunction in TSFS?

There is some merit to the famous backstage rationalization (printed e.g. in Shane Johnson's Mr Scott's Guide to the Enterprise) that scuttling near planets is normally done gently (by verbally selecting "Destruct Zero", the otherwise nonsensical phrase we hear Kirk use), because blowing up the entire ship and its antimatter powerplant ("Destruct One") would result in too much damage to the planet. Remember how just a tiny part of the ship's antimatter stores ripped half the atmosphere off a planet in "Obsession"?

Especially ST3:TSfS would call for the velvet gloves because Kirk hoped to make use of the planet afterwards! Of course, this supposes that "Destruct Zero" involves not just a limited use of explosives but also a controlled ejection of all the antimatter before the ship otherwise disintegrates, either from the scuttling charges or from atmospheric impact. But this is a good supposition to make; those warp core ejectors and whatnot don't seem to work too well in saving ships from destruction, so perhaps they are actually optimized for destruction scenarios?

Timo Saloniemi
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