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Old August 24 2014, 07:37 PM   #31
T'Girl
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?



Here's an example of a neutral zone that separates Spain from Morocco. Neither nation "owns" the strip, although Spain put up a couple of thirteen foot barbwire fences up several years ago on the strip to keep illegal migrants out of the EU.

Some thing like this could explain the situation between the Federation and the Romulans? Their mutual borders only come together for a limited distance, and not along a broad front.

Federation in green, the Empire in orange.

The areas of blue (here being the Straight of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea) could be outside both of their territories. The parts of the Romulan Empire that doesn't touch the Federation, is none of the Federation's concern.

There's no attempt to encapsulate the entire Romulan Empire.

Maybe?


Last edited by T'Girl; August 24 2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old August 24 2014, 08:17 PM   #32
Anwar
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Originally, the Neutral Zone was supposed to isolate the Romulans from the rest of the Galaxy (Kirk says so) and the Romulans were supposed to be a one-system foe.

Obviously, this changed after "Balance of Terror".
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Old August 24 2014, 08:27 PM   #33
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

It's not quite clear what was supposed in the original episode. On one hand, the Romulans are said to be contained; on the other, they are considered a formidable foe for our heroes, and thus shouldn't be belittled in terms of implied backstory or whatnot. There are bits and pieces that could be interpreted either way: Romulan characters are veterans of countless campaigns despite only campaigning behind that NZ, indicating there's a good-sized playground back there - but OTOH, the physical action with the sublight chases, the implied travel times, and the concept of an extremely low number of fixed fortifications (or was the use of single-digit Outpost identifiers a cosmic coincidence?), all point towards a tiny sandbox, just with very angry kids.

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Old August 24 2014, 09:24 PM   #34
Anwar
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

BoT seems to imply that the Romulans weren't considered a big deal by the Feds (in fact, the episode implied it was a conflict between Earth and the Romulans since the Federation was more less just an Earth Empire in early TOS) and that this new cloaked ship made them a potential big deal.
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Old August 24 2014, 10:45 PM   #35
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Originally, the Neutral Zone was supposed to isolate the Romulans from the rest of the Galaxy (Kirk says so) and the Romulans were supposed to be a one-system foe.
But as Timo points out, the Commander and the Centurion are supposed to be veterans. They were surely not supposed to be veterans of going around in circles in a strictly confined territorry. If the Romulans were isolated at this point by the Neutral zone, they would have abandon any serious space travelling because it would have been boring OR they wouldn't have waited for 100 years before attacking the Federation.
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Old August 25 2014, 12:02 AM   #36
Anwar
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

That's probably just holdover from the original "Enemy Below" WWII movie the episode was based off of. There, the enemy was a German U-Boat Captain who also fought in WWI (merely 20 years earlier).

The sci-fi equivalent was having the Romulan Captain be a veteran from the first Romulan War 100 years ago, as silly as that may sound.
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Old August 25 2014, 12:16 AM   #37
Hartzilla2007
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Anwar wrote: View Post
uivalent was having the Romulan Captain be a veteran from the first Romulan War 100 years ago, as silly as that may sound.
Except Vulcans were later established as living over a 100 years, so a Romulan Officer who fought in the Earth/Romulan War still being around probably wouldn't be that surprising.
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Old August 25 2014, 12:33 AM   #38
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Well, we don't know when the Klingon Neutral Zone was established. It didn't get mentioned until Wrath of Khan
Other fans have debated this, but the TOS canon seems pretty clear to me. The Romulan Neutral Zone was a "no fly" zone between Federation and Romulan space, to be entered by neither party ("Balance of Terror").

The "neutral zone" between the Federation and the Klingon Empire was imposed by the Organians, and is open to both parties. "Errand of Mercy" did not spell any of this out. In fact, the episode implied that the Organians would (and obviously could) neutralize both fleets "wherever they may be."

"The Trouble With Tribbles" picked up the idea and detailed it into an actual zone—so that neutral zone did appear in TOS. Franz Joseph's STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL contains the treaty. (The MANUAL is not "canon," and fans have highlighted the many errors in the volume.)

So, at least based on TOS episodes, the Kobayashi Maru scenario in THE WRATH OF KHAN was in error by having the Klingon Neutral Zone be a no-man's land (yet patrolled by the Klingons).
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Old August 25 2014, 04:25 AM   #39
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Originally, the Neutral Zone was supposed to isolate the Romulans from the rest of the Galaxy (Kirk says so) ...
But when Kirk uses the term "the galaxy" it's clear that he is referring to a much smaller area the the entire Milky Way, basically the Federation and the space immediately around it..

Also consider when Spock in ST: Eleven says that a supernova in Romulan space threatens "the galaxy."


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Old August 25 2014, 02:40 PM   #40
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Anwar wrote: View Post
Eh, the Romulans let the Feds get away with violating the Neutral Zone, stealing a cloaking device and capturing one of their Ranking Commanders without any repercussions.
The difference I notice is that the Romulans get away with treating the NZ as part of their space. They fly through it and there is no Federation thought of calling that an act of war, OR of intercepting and attempting to capture those ships. When Fed ships enter the NZ, they're fair game to be captured and boarded, or destroyed.
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Old August 25 2014, 02:56 PM   #41
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

IIRC the recent Star Trek non-ficiton book "Federation: The First 150 Years" also uses the notion that the Klingon Neutral Zone was set up after Errand of Mercy (and then gone after TUC) too

Not canon but just saying.
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Old August 25 2014, 03:00 PM   #42
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
They never seemed to have trouble policing the zone in TOS. Within 60 seconds of the Enterprise crossing the zone they seemed to be on to them. Like there were 3 ships a couple of km apart all throughout the zone.
You need to remember, Starfleet wanted the Enterprise to be caught in Romulan space, that was part of the mission. Kirk aimed the Enterprise directly at those three ships.

That may be true but there's also the 'Deadly Years' incident. Maybe there's some explanation here as well. Even if they have spy satellites thingys across the entire border of the zone sending pictures/sensor readings to a central monitoring area, how could ships get there so fast? Just coincidence?
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Old August 25 2014, 03:10 PM   #43
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Skirting along a long section of the zone to get to Starbase 10 perhaps? The Romulans farther down the zone could respond and intercept.
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Old August 25 2014, 03:17 PM   #44
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Ithekro wrote: View Post
Skirting along a long section of the zone to get to Starbase 10 perhaps? The Romulans farther down the zone could respond and intercept.
Actually come to think of it why would they need to cross the NeutralZone to get from one part of the Federation to another?
Is there a kink in the Neutral Zone? I thought it was straight or slightly curved?
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Old August 25 2014, 03:31 PM   #45
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Re: What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

We see it as curved in "Balance of Terror". But if the zone is to seperate the Romulan Star Empire from the United Federation of Planets, than it could be jagged depending on where the stars are that are controlled by either side.

If the Neutral Zone is parces wide in a band between the position of USS Enterprise and Starbase 10, that it would take time to go around. It is just lucky that they didn't decided it was shorter to just go through Romulan space.
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