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Old June 2 2013, 01:12 AM   #93
Paper Moon
Commander
 
Re: Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

Regarding the probably two biggest "game-changers" of STID, the transwarp transporter and Khan's Blood:

Remember, we have seen exactly two instances of transwarp beaming happening successfully and exactly three instances of Khan's Blood working. From any perspective, science, medicine, engineering, that's not enough examples to come to any conclusions.

Transwarp transporter:

Given the lines in BoBW about matching velocities (as well as what longmagpie has said about Scotty's last depicted moments in Indistinguishable From Magic, in terms of TrekLit), it's pretty clear that the equation for transwarp beaming was developed after 2367, and probably after 2379 (since we never see anything from Starfleet like transwarp beaming in canon Trek before ST09) but before 2387. So we're already dealing with technology that's 120 years ahead of its time. And it's worth reiterating, as others have, that technology that can beam you from Earth ultimately to Kronos is not unheard of, in concept anyway, in Trekdom, just outside of Starfleet. Reverse-engineering?

Anyway, it's pretty easy to imagine how transwarp beaming across 100+ lightyears has an exponential energy cost curve; beaming one person takes a lot of energy, but beaming even ten people takes a LOT of energy, such that it becomes unfeasible. This would mean that transwarp beaming would be pretty useless for exploration: you just can't explore strange new worlds with a single landing party. (And what about needing a sickbay, for one?) Unless the writers want to radically change the way our characters get around the galaxy (and maybe they'll have good reasons to do so!), a thus far unique instance of this incredible technology isn't going to be a major game-changer for Star Trek.

(As for what happened in the movie, it seems pretty clear to me that it was TPTB's intention that Harrison beamed pretty much directly from Earth to Kronos, so I tend to go with that over ADF's interpretation in the novelization. I might mitigate my interpretation slightly by supposing the he routed himself through some installation's massive power source [like, maybe, S31's Jupiter station].)

Khan's Blood:

First, one of many gripes I've had with people nitpicking the film: McCoy didn't unfreeze one of the other Augments and just use their blood because he had zero evidence that their genetic enhancements would lead to their blood having similar regenerative properties. Khan was alive at the time and he knew Khan's blood worked in at least one case (I don't think he knew about Lucille Harewood), so that was the route he took. Any good scientist or doctor would've come to the same conclusion.

In any case, I don't think Khan's Blood is necessarily the miracle drug we might think it is. We know it could repair Kirk's radiation injuries, we know it could revive an apparently dead Tribble (I don't know how it died, since I haven't read the comics) and that it could heal a decidedly not-dead young girl. We can put aside the Harewood case, since she wasn't dead.

So we're left with a dead Tribble and a dead human who died hours earlier of radiation injuries. If you think about it, that's actually a pretty specific medical use. Khan's Blood can apparently be used to repair cellular damage, even after death if it's done relatively quickly in humans. (I assume Tribbles are much simpler biologically, given them a longer "shelf-life".) Very easy to believe that it wouldn't work after, say, 48 hours, or wouldn't cure gross-level injuries like a broken neck or spine.

In short, I don't think any story teller needs to worry about either of these things making it impossible to have drama in their narratives.
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