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Old March 9 2013, 01:05 PM   #13
Re: Episode of the Week: 2x06 "The Schizoid Man"

The "touch and go" transporting stunt makes a weird sort of internal sense. In "Best of Both Worlds", our heroes dropped out of warp on the outskirts of the Sol system - and then had to spend almost half an hour crawling towards Earth, even though we know warp drive can safely be engaged in low Earth orbit or even within Earth atmosphere! It could well be much like landing an aircraft in the Antarctic or on a soft jungle strip: it's a poor idea indeed to stop for any length of time, let alone shut down the engines... You can usually get airborne again, but the more you "relax", the harder the return to air.

Nothing the writers intended, of course. But Trek has plenty of examples of warp being incredibly slow within star systems. Not necessarily impossible, or even risky, but slow as molasses. Usually, these are not by design: the writer just wanted a long chase or a desperate run towards a goal, and ignored the fact that the distances involved were extremely short. But if we assume star systems are indeed made of molasses, as far as warp drives are concerned, then we need

- touch-and-go downwarping
- shuttlecraft rides from the outskirts of systems to inner planets and back, even when there would be a perfectly good mothership available
- extreme emergency interplanetary trips that take hours
- etc.

Timo Saloniemi
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