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Old December 29 2012, 09:54 PM   #21
Re: Caseless Torpedoes

The fireball effect propagates too quickly and is too brief for it to have been that; at the scales we're talking, the blast wave would have traveled at something like forty times the speed of sound, spread to an area sixty kilometers wide, then dissipated immediately without leaving any visible long-term effects.
Nothing wrong with forty times the speed of sound as such; speed would just be a function of explosive yield, even if in a somewhat complex manner. Although a nicely spherical blast wave would be preferable to the broccoli shapes of the "gasoline explosion" we lamentably once again witness...

Perhaps these gasoline explosion things are how antimatter actually behaves in high concentrations - being at first dispersed by the initial "core" annihilation, then compressing to annihilation densities again in random directions at random distances? So we get multiple overlapping spheres and wavefronts, much as with the expanding gases of classic Hollywood fireworks.

I wonder if the "long term effects" here would include removal or significant thinning of the atmosphere of Vagra II, considering the dialogue of "Obsession"? We've seen how "painless" something like that is in the terms of Star Trek visuals, in "Homeward".

OTOH, it was targeted against a shuttlecraft, not a city. How many megatons does it really take to demolish a thirty foot shuttlecraft?
Considering that the danger of collateral damage was less than zero (that is, if any bystanders were killed, everybody would be very, very grateful, including said casualty!), overkill sounds preferable here.

It IS, actually, considering the same torpedo that finished off the USS Grissom -- presumably even through its shields -- did little more than disable the unshielded Enterprise. Seems evident that if you hit the wrong part of a starship engine -- or even just damage it indirectly -- the ship will probably explode.
Kruge's torpedo doesn't seem to be all that similar to photon torpedoes, as it causes an "electric crackling" effect rather than any of the blast types traditionally witnessed. Plus Kruge fully expects it to create disabling damage rather than destruction. Possibly he's deliberately packing the ideal weapon type for a cloaked commerce raider (that is, an evil German submarine in spaaaaace!), not so ideal in a fight against proper ships of war.

But unshielded ships being just one very light misstep away from blowing up is certainly a valid concept, reinforced by the likes of "Cause and Effect". Doesn't undermine the idea that shielded ships can shrug off multiple torps in basically all situations.

But when we see hits with the shields DOWN, what do we see?
An assassin firing his Derringer?

Chang had customized weapons for the task of damaging the ship serving as Kronos One and making it look like a Starfleet job. That'd presuppose low yield for multiple reasons:

a) Real Starfleet would fire low yield torps if intending to do light damage in support of boarding action.
b) Cartwright would make sure to supply Chang with the perfect low yield torps for the job, and only the perfect low yield torps...

That's what I always use as an excuse for Chang's melodramatic ranting. He isn't really a crazed sadist who enjoys killing his victims piecemeal even if this means risking the total collapsing of his great plans. He just plays one over the comm lines, to hide the fact that his only weapon is a peashooter capable of nothing more than piecemeal damage.

And there's also the case here the Equinox matches Voyager's shield frequencies and hits it with two different photon torpedoes, somehow failing to destroy it with either shot.
Neither before nor after Burke's mutiny did the Equinox pursue a campaign of actually wanting to destroy the Voyager. Burke himself just wanted to escape Janeway into a nebula moments before firing those torpedoes through her shields. So, disabling shots are a distinct possibility once again.

That, of course, begs the inevitable question of just how it is that a physical projectile powered by an impulse engine is supposed to be able to match a shield frequency. How does that even work?
That's quite a mystery, but probably related to how shuttlecraft pass through air-containing forcefields.

Have we ever seen something "passive" (like a villain?) thrown through an atmosphere containment forcefield? Or can we continue to postulate that this trick requires at least a special transponder aboard the departing object, and probably some sort of intricate shield-shield interaction, in addition to brute physical force?

Sulu isn't the one who says "too late" though. That's Spock, who is sharp enough to understand what the approaching torpedo signifies.
Oops, my bad.

Timo Saloniemi
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