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Old August 25 2013, 11:41 PM   #125
Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

But we don't know if "transwarp" is the name of the technology itself or the scientific concept it makes use of.
Trying to argue that the scientific concept behind the various Borg drives is one and the same is pretty futile already, as they behave so differently. That the Excelsior drive would be part of the same family is even more difficult to accept, or our heroes wouldn't be so flabbergasted by the Borg achievements, or would bring up their own achievements in "Descent" already.

In "Descent", transwarp conduit is accepted as the name for a system that gives the ship "extremely high warp velocity". That's what all transwarp drives so far are credited with, and that's basically the only thing in common for all of them.

The first time Scotty mentions transwarp beaming, he's discussing an attempt to beam living objects from one PLANET to another. The second time it is ever even used, it is used by Khan to beam from Earth to the Klingon homeworld; no "at warp" involved.
But obviously there's warp involved, or people would die of old age while hopping from planet to planet!

Anyway, when Scotty describes what he did with the beagle (namely, interplanetary beaming in the Earth to Mars category), he isn't describing what he thinks was possible with transwarp beaming - he's describing what he thinks was easy with transwarp beaming. His real aims appear to be much higher.

Moreover, he seems to be specifically describing subspace beaming, which is different from standard beaming somehow: a 2250s expert is quoted as thinking a grapefruit can only travel about a hundred miles that way, even though our TOS heroes frequently did what looked and sounded like thousands of miles with their (supposedly non-subspace) transporters. So Scotty is talking about a subset of a subset of an achievement, and not giving us a very clear idea about the transwarp beaming concept at all.

Excelsior's transwarp drive could very easily be a full-scale application of Scotty's invention, which would explain why Admiral Morrow wanted Scotty to take over Excelsior's engineering department.
Excellent point! Although your idea only means that Scotty's transporter ideas and the Excelsior drive are related, not that the other examples of transwarp drive would be part of the same family.

Interestingly, Voyager's "Threshold" also claims that they made the first Transwarp flight
More specifically, they speak of "breaking the transwarp barrier", but that could well be but a moving goalpost: back in Henry Archer's time, it was Warp 5, then it became Warp 7, and in Janeway's time it's Warp 10 (on the newest scale).

Indeed, barrier-breaking was part of "The Cage" already, as we well remember...

During the failed attempt to reach transwarp, the computer announces: "Transwarp Drive maximum velocity in five, four, three, two, one." The fact that such a notification would be given indicates that speeds, or at least certain speeds, will have SOME interval of acceleration and will not be achieved instantly.
Umm, the countdown is conducted while the ship is essentially immobile. So it could easily mean that at zero, the ship jumps from standstill to "transwarp drive maximum velocity" instantaneously. It would have been possible for Styles to choose an instantaneous jump from standstill to "transwarp drive 20% velocity" as well, I guess, hence the need for the wording.

As for what this "transwarp drive maximum velocity" might be, we have no idea. It's probably specified in the manual, and is different for every transwarp engine, the way e.g. "ramjet drive maximum velocity" would be today. "All drives available through transwarp drive" doesn't necessarily mean everything from zero to infinite, either - just from zero to maximum, whatever that happens to be. It's a diagnostics message, after all: if it didn't say what it did, it would say things like "speeds from X to Y not available through transwarp drive today - awfully sorry 'bout that, boss".

Timo Saloniemi
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