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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old August 6 2008, 10:24 PM   #1
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

I was watching "The Defector" today and I noticed something that I've also noticed happen in other episodes, but I'll use the episode as an example.

Okay.. Picard has the ship illegally go into the zone to the planet, which is in the zone and therefore owned by neither side. After finding nothing he does a U-turn but before he can get out two Rommie ships decloak..

WAITAMINUTE.. those two Rommie ships then also entered illegally, obviously they were waiting for the big D, but even if they weren't they still entered the zone illegally at about the same time as the D. Why aren't they held accountable for treaty violation? Why is treaty violation even an issue if both the Feds and Rommies entered to watch over each other?
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Old August 6 2008, 11:19 PM   #2
zephramc
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

The two Romulan Warbirds would have destroyed the Enterprise (or severely crippled it anyways). Any survivors would have been picked up by the Romulans then tortured and probably executed afterward.

I'm sure that Romulans would have said long range sensors picked up the "rogue" Federation starship in the Neutral Zone on it's way to invade their territory. The two Warbirds intercepted Enterprise in TNZ and were forced to destroy it. Considering everybody that was abord the Enterprise was either dead or in the process of being tortured, who would say otherwise?
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Old August 7 2008, 05:53 PM   #3
Doug Otte
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

Those situations always bugged me, too. Both sides would have been prohibited from entering the zone.

Doug
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Old August 7 2008, 09:39 PM   #4
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
Those situations always bugged me, too. Both sides would have been prohibited from entering the zone.

Doug
Yes, that's what I meant.. the Rommies are always already there...in fact Riker even said in the Defector that he expected a fight before arriving at the planet.
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Old August 8 2008, 12:45 AM   #5
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

Both parties illegally entered the zone the difference is the Romulans were trying to start a conflict and Picard was trying to avoid one. Accusing the Rommies of violating the zone even though it was true would only serve to provoke a conflict, Picard being Starfleet's greatest diplomat knew this hence he didn't make the accusation.
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Old August 8 2008, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

It's a bit funny how the Romulans are always so willing to promote conflict in the RNZ, even though they are also said to be intent on orchestrating things so that everybody else has conflict with each other. They seem to be undermining themselves there. Or is it just the typical discord between Romulan factions that we see here?

Out of the times our heroes intruded into the Zone, or planned to, Romulans seemed to be there with malicious intent in all but one. In "Balance of Terror", Romulans were making a cross-Zone assault. In "The Deadly Years", they were intercepting the intruding starship so swiftly and in such great numbers that they probably had been lying in wait. Ditto in "The Enterprise Incident". The early TNG involved the Romulans coming across the Zone under various pretenses, until in "The Defector" they lured the Feds in while both pretending to be in the Zone already, and really being there.

In "Contagion", we can for the first and perhaps last time give the Romulans the benefit of doubt on whether their single intercepting vessel were merely reacting to UFP intrusion from a legitimate starting point on the Romulan side, rather than lying in ambush within the Zone.

Of course, one wonders how there was so little reaction to the presence of Romulan ships far outside Romulan space in, say, "Tin Man" or "Paradise". Then again, in "Tin Man" the action took place so far outside "civilized" space that political posturing would have been meaningless: Picard knew the Romulans would shoot to kill if he tried to argue the finer points of the treaty. But by DS9, Romulan presence outside the Zone seemed to be a regular occurrence unworthy of mention. Perhaps the Feds were granting visas or something?

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Old August 9 2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

Doug Otte wrote: View Post
Those situations always bugged me, too. Both sides would have been prohibited from entering the zone.

Doug
The show was notoriously inconsistent about this. In the episode "The Neutral Zone," for instance, it's shown that there were actual Federation (and Romulan) settlements there, which were the first to be assimilated by the advancing Borg.

I actually used this in the Borg Spotlight issue that I wrote for IDW, and yet still heard from people who'd thought it was impossible. I'd say that it's best to regard the Neutral Zone as a territory whose rules grew steadily ambiguous over the decades in which the Romulans and Federation had no formal contact.
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Old August 9 2008, 07:18 PM   #8
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

In the Original Series, the "Romulan Neutral Zone" is treated often as an "exclusion zone".

That is, the Federation is prohibited from entering it while everything inside the zone is territory of the Romulans.

In the ST:TNG era, the "Romulan Neutral Zone" is treated as a "demilitarized zone" (like between North and South Korea) where neither side is supposed to enter it (though both sides do from time to time).
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Old August 11 2008, 04:46 AM   #9
James Wright
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

Why didn't the Federation & Romulans divide the neutral zone equally and agree to stay in their respective space? Every time we see the Romulans they're closer to the Federation side of the zone!

JDW
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Old August 11 2008, 08:00 AM   #10
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

...Which is because they violate the treaty and penetrate the Zone. Rearranging the specifics of the zone wouldn't help with that.

I wonder if the camera just chastely turns away when the Feds do their equal share of violating? (cough"Contagion"cough)

In the episode "The Neutral Zone," for instance, it's shown that there were actual Federation (and Romulan) settlements there, which were the first to be assimilated by the advancing Borg.
Naah. The Federation outposts that the Borg have scooped up are only said to be "in this vicinity", not within the Zone. During the episode, Picard never actually moves into the Zone. The Romulans do (Picard: "Commander, you have crossed the Neutral Zone. This is Federation territory."), but it is all forgiven when they explain themselves.

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Old August 11 2008, 02:50 PM   #11
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

Timo wrote: View Post
In the episode "The Neutral Zone," for instance, it's shown that there were actual Federation (and Romulan) settlements there, which were the first to be assimilated by the advancing Borg.
Naah. The Federation outposts that the Borg have scooped up are only said to be "in this vicinity", not within the Zone. During the episode, Picard never actually moves into the Zone. The Romulans do (Picard: "Commander, you have crossed the Neutral Zone. This is Federation territory."), but it is all forgiven when they explain themselves.

Timo Saloniemi
Aha! This is exactly what I'm talking about. The Enterprise arrives at the edge of the Neutral Zone, and then, finding the first outpost missing, presses on in toward the second one (with much tension-filled music, in case we weren't following along).

Geordi even says it right at the beginning: "Captain, those coordinates will take us right into the Neutral Zone," which Picard then confirms after an ominous exchanging-of-glances between everyone.
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Old August 11 2008, 03:42 PM   #12
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Re: Questions about the Romulan nuetral zone (I.E. "The Defector")

But a path from outpost to outpost should skirt the Zone, not penetrate it.

And LaForge's original comment about Picard's secretive orders doesn't mean the ship would actually be plunging into the Zone. After all, Picard only gives a direction, not a destination. So of course maintaining that course would take them into the Zone, through the Romulan Star Empire, and out from the other side, but they halt long before that.

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