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Old November 14 2010, 02:07 AM   #76
rfmcdpei
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

SicOne wrote: View Post
I'm thinking Occam's Razor might be at work here...we're speculating about meta-super-ultra-Earth-shattering-kaboom!-weapons, when this is a more simple, perhaps more realistic, and more elegant solution that does not involve the other Quadrant powers feeling the need to invade Romulus to keep these metaweapons out of the hands of the Empire.
::nods::

If the Romulans are known to have these weapons, and it's widely known that they have these weapons, it could be that either the RSE is sufficiently stable in other ways for these weapons not to be an issue, or that it's seen as far too dangerous to go after the RSE on account of these weapons--compare Mao's China, or unfortunate North Korea now. If the Romulans are sufficiently subtle in their foreign dealings, they might not be that big of an issue.

(Given Romulan foreign dealings since 2364, that's expecting to much.)

The other possibility is that they might not be known to have these weapons, or maybe not widely known. North Korea tests its nuclear bombs only a few hundred kilometres from large Chinese cities (the Chinese don't seem to be happy about this), but the RSE has huge volumes of space. If the RSE's isolationism is sufficient and counter-intelligence good enough, it might be able to build up an arsenal without anyone knowing. Or, a portion of the RSE might be able to build an arsenal of metaweapons without many people within the RSE necessarily knowing. The Tal Shi'ar's offensive against the Founder's homeworld may have been as much a surprise to the Senate and the other branches of the Romulan polity as the Obsidian Order's was to the Cardassian Union.

It might just be that the Romulans are just better positioned, not only by virtue of mentality but because of the way their technical base is set up, to metaweaponize their existing military technologies. It's been said that if Japan wanted, its civilian nuclear and space technology was such that it could become a nuclear weapons state in a few months. The other Alpha/Beta Quadrant powers have the same technological ability as the Romulans, the singularity drive being the main factor unique to the Romulans, but maybe the Romulans just have somewhat unorthodox technical manuals and classes at Grand Fleet Academy for engineers and commanders? If we're going by the novelverse, the suicide attack on Coridan had metaweapon-like effects even if the technology used was well-understood by everyone around.
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Old November 14 2010, 02:09 AM   #77
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

Christopher wrote: View Post
A quantum singularity is microscopic, extremely low in mass. It can only "draw in" things that get extremely close to it. You could probably send a quantum-singularity "bullet" clear through a Borg cube, but the damage would be little worse than a micrometeoroid would inflict, just a bunch of small puncture holes. And that's assuming a comparatively large quantum singularity, large enough to be useful as a power source (assuming the power is generated by dumping stuff in and harnessing the resultant x-ray emissions -- which calls for a singularity large enough to draw in more than the occasional subatomic particle that gets too close).
Hmm. What about Hawking radiation? Maybe a Romiulan singularity-equipped warbird's self-destruct routine would mean that the warbird would stop feeding the singularity with the result it would explosively decay?

Last edited by rfmcdpei; November 14 2010 at 02:10 AM. Reason: typos
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Old November 14 2010, 06:15 AM   #78
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

^That would be a significant burst of energy, but it's basically the same principle behind a quantum torpedo, I think. I don't think it would be sufficient to destroy a whole Borg cube.
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Old November 14 2010, 05:32 PM   #79
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

The Verithrax was destroyed defending Coridan, right? A Federation planet? Very noble of them. However, there are some improbabilities at work here.

The Borg were destroying everything in their path, including Romulan worlds. While the Romulans assisted with defense of Federation worlds (or at least one), we don't know if that warbird stood alone or fought in conjunction with other ships, whether Federation or Romulan (or Klingon...). We don't know what weapons it used, meta or otherwise. We don't know if it was a D'Deridex-class or Valdore-type. We don't know if, perhaps, other ships kept it busy while it maneuvered for a suicide run as was depicted by some other Federation ships; perhaps by then that strategy was the only thing working, and I can see said tactic being more successful in the highly-maneuverable Valdore-type than the lumbering D'Deridex. Right now, I don't even remember if this incident was depicted in the Destiny trilogy or spoken of in one of the follow-on novels. The author was intentionally vague on specifics of the battle. Perhaps the full story is being saved up for some future "Tales Of The Destiny Event" anthology...

All we appear to know (and no, I'm not gonna leaf through the Destiny books until I find the relevant dialogue) is that this particular ship was destroyed in glorious battle defending a Federation world.

Therefore, I am disinclined to believe that metaweapons were involved for the following reasons.

(1) The Verithrax was destroyed in the encounter, which would suggest that a suicide run was involved. I can't think of a metaweapon installed on a ship that would require the destruction of the ship upon firing it or detonating it. Even the Defiant, a "metaship", so to speak, has a last-ditch weapon of several photon torpedo warheads in the deflector pod, as stated in the DS9TM; the pod can be ejected at an enemy and possibly save the rest of the ship. Yeah, I know, the metaweapon might have been damaged and couldn't be fired or activated without affecting the Verithrax, but again, Occam's Razor applies.

(2) Unless the ship was just meandering through Federation space at the time, just happening to be in the vicinity when the Borg came screaming out of the Azure Nebula, the Verithrax would have had to receive orders to venture into Federation space to intercept the Borg. And quite frankly, I don't really see the Romulans sending a metaweapon-equipped warship in harm's way just to defend a Federation planet. To defend a Romulan world, yes; Federation world, no. "Well, SicOne, maybe EVERY Romulan warship carries metaweapons!". That's indeed possible, but unlikely. In fact, I can see that possibility existing pre-"Nemesis", but after the coup and schisms in the military (like the one that led Donatra to aid the Enterprise-E), I could see them pulling all metaweapons off ships-of-the-line, with the exception of a few ships kept in close vicinity to Romulus and other very important worlds and sites in the Empire. Which leads me to...

(3) With the Borg-unchained action going on, ANY ships equipped with metaweapons would in all likelihood been ordered to Romulus immediately, to form a metablockade against the Borg. Romulus appears to certainly be very, very important to the Empire; I would imagine the Empire could exist without Romulus, but it would, I think, be akin to the old Soviet Union without Moscow. The dinosaur still lives, but it's brain is destroyed and it's still thumping around without motive or direction, but moving nonetheless. But a Romulan Star Empire without Romulus itself would be unacceptable from at least a military point-of-view, and they'd pull out all the stops to defend the planet. Therefore, if Verithrax were so equipped, she would probably have been ordered to defend Romulus, or at least Borg targets in Romulan space.

(4) Finally, if no other great power in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants used some kind of metaweapon, the Romulans' use of metaweapons would lead to some very serious questions at the end of it all. Granted, everyone was in for the fight of their lives, but if you're fighting a conventional war and some third party decides to go nuclear, well, that third party's gonna get grilled pretty severely when it's all said and done. A "balance of terror" works only if there's a balance. If one side has metaweapons, I don't believe that another side would allow that imbalance to remain unaddressed... and I don't believe the Klingons would allow the Romulans to possess metaweapons, even if the Federation did. Raid on Osirak, anyone?
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Old November 15 2010, 02:33 AM   #80
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

SicOne wrote: View Post
The Verithrax was destroyed defending Coridan, right? A Federation planet?
It was Ardana.

Right now, I don't even remember if this incident was depicted in the Destiny trilogy or spoken of in one of the follow-on novels. The author was intentionally vague on specifics of the battle. Perhaps the full story is being saved up for some future "Tales Of The Destiny Event" anthology...
The Verithrax was described as being destroyed in Ardana's defense in the third Destiny book, in the same passage where Admiral Akaar mentioned that the da Vinci made Troyius disappear, as the only two good news items coming from the front. A Singular Destiny went into more detail about the effects of Verithrax, with mention being made about the new popularity of Romulan military haircuts among the surviving Ardanans and the logistical problems caused by every other refugee settlement's decision to name itself after the Verithrax. The only detail we got out of the battle was that the extended firefight between the Verithrax and the Borg attacker did cause significant collateral damage to the planet.

(1) The Verithrax was destroyed in the encounter, which would suggest that a suicide run was involved. I can't think of a metaweapon installed on a ship that would require the destruction of the ship upon firing it or detonating it.
Agreed. The Verithrax incident seemed relevant to the Romulan metaweapon question mainly since it's described as the single ship responsible for the attacker's destruction. That's impressive for a single ship, especially since neither Romulan state was given the specifications for transphasic weapons. That, I think now, is probably also irrelevant.

I don't really see the Romulans sending a metaweapon-equipped warship in harm's way just to defend a Federation planet. To defend a Romulan world, yes; Federation world, no.
Agreed. Any Romulan ship in Federation space from either empire was probably in transit, either to its state of allegiance or to the Azure Nebula.

In fact, I can see that possibility existing pre-"Nemesis", but after the coup and schisms in the military (like the one that led Donatra to aid the Enterprise-E), I could see them pulling all metaweapons off ships-of-the-line, with the exception of a few ships kept in close vicinity to Romulus and other very important worlds and sites in the Empire.
What happened with "Nemesis" was a worst-case scenario so far as WMD use goes. Regardless of the canonicity of the Rihannsu novels (or the degree of their canonicity, et cetera, whatever), the idea of trying to launch a decapitating attack on Earth while you're involved in a war versus the Federation and trying to hold of the Klingons makes a certain amount of sense. Trying to launch a decapitating attack on Earth while you seem to have a friendly relationship with the Federation and are in the middle of negotiating a closer alliance makes no sense at all. I doubt it made anyone feel better that this wasn't the action of the "legitimate" Romulan government, but rather the action of coup-plotters. Oh, everyone concerned with Romulans is going to be twitching for years ...

If metaweapons, or metaweapons capability, was fairly common in the Romulan fleet, I'm not sure that the metaweapons or the metaweapons capability would have been pulled uniformly. The schisms in the military, mapping onto who knows what sorts of political and cultural fault lines, would make it difficult to ensure that an order to pull the metaweapons would be followed.

Metaweapons might be illegal, but they're great deterrents. Metaweapons might even be popular as threats against other Romulan factions: The Romulans came from a Vulcan that had nuked itself into near-oblivion.

(3) With the Borg-unchained action going on, ANY ships equipped with metaweapons would in all likelihood been ordered to Romulus immediately, to form a metablockade against the Borg.
Romulus, Achernar Prime, et cetera, agreed. If the Verithrax was in Federation space at all, I think it'd be because it was in transit back to the IRS. The other mention of the Verithrax, five years ago, had it being positioned in the RSE's occupied Cardassian territories. Presumably it was trying to make its way back home in time when it got a distress call from Ardana.

(4) Finally, if no other great power in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants used some kind of metaweapon, the Romulans' use of metaweapons would lead to some very serious questions at the end of it all. Granted, everyone was in for the fight of their lives, but if you're fighting a conventional war and some third party decides to go nuclear, well, that third party's gonna get grilled pretty severely when it's all said and done. A "balance of terror" works only if there's a balance. If one side has metaweapons, I don't believe that another side would allow that imbalance to remain unaddressed... and I don't believe the Klingons would allow the Romulans to possess metaweapons, even if the Federation did. Raid on Osirak, anyone?
Agreed that the situation would make for huge complications afterwards, but I don't think that either Romulan state would have been considering the afterwards scenarios. The Romulan mentality would seem to lend itself towards the use of metaweapons in the case of a conflict with an enemy threatening to destroy Romulan civilization. The united RSE had at least as long of a history of conflict with the Borg as the UFP, and the Countdown-suggested existence (in 2387, granted) of the Vault suggests that after 2364 the Romulans continued to experience conflicts with the Borg, suggesting both Romulan states would see the Borg as an existential threat before the Acamar and Barolia attacks.

And why not Osirak-style raids? I imagine that the IRS might be happy to help out the Klingons take down their rival ...
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Old November 18 2010, 04:49 PM   #81
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

^ Hmm...your last line, now THAT'S food for thought!
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Old November 18 2010, 05:54 PM   #82
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

About metaweapons:

Remote controlled ships are just ships equipped with standard weaponry aka they're useless.

Kamikaze attack runs
- at impulse or warp - have limited usefulness.

We know this because Starfleet officers/ships had no problem comitting suicide during the borg invasion. There are at least 3 established cases of a Starfleet ship engaging in a suicide run: in "Destiny", above Kithomer and above Deneva; in 'Full circle', Voyager.

Such attacks only worked when there were special circumstances involved - for example, the starfleet ship was out of phase or the borg cube was heavily damaged.
Suicide runs at warp are equally ineffective as impulse ones - if they had worked, half of Starfleet would have used them against the borg.

If the Verithrax managed to destroy a cube with such a kamikaze run, then either that cube was already damaged by other means or the romulans carried an exotic weapon on board.

Thalaron weapons - "Nemesis' established that the romulan military didn't have them. Also, if the romulans had used thalaron against the borg, some federation official or Picard/Geordi would have comented on it during their hypocritical/treasonous posturing.

Sunseed - not part of relaunch continuity. Until a book establishes it as part of this continuity, it's just fanon.

Subspace weaponry - a plausible candidate.
'Insurrection' shows the potency of such weapons - and their danger: unpredictability.
'Serpents among the ruins' establishes that the romulans have such weapons and used them at least once before.


About repercussions resulting from the romulans using metaweapons:

All other powers already knew the romulans had metaweapons (subspace weapons, for example).
All other powers had metaweapons of their own (for the Federation - Genesis, Thalaon, TOS, TNG establish half a dozen more).

This means, of course, that no one should be alarmed about the romulans using metaweapons - and planing to invade Romulus or something alarmist like this.
There could be accusations of breaking the various treaties forbidding the use of such weapons - of course, considering the situation in 'Destiny', I doubt they'll be too loud.


About a cultural division existing in the romulan empire:

Prior to the division of the romulan empire into 2 states, there was never any intention on the part of the scenarists/writers of depicting the romulans as being culturally divided on a large scale.
After this division - I guess such a cultural division can be retconed in.
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Old November 19 2010, 03:30 PM   #83
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
Subspace weaponry - a plausible candidate.
'Insurrection' shows the potency of such weapons - and their danger: unpredictability.
'Serpents among the ruins' establishes that the romulans have such weapons and used them at least once before.
No it did not the ship that used the subspace weapon was who the Romulans were fighting, the Romulans also baned use of these weapons after the planet they were defending and it's possibly billions of inhabitants were destroyed by the weapon.

About repercussions resulting from the romulans using metaweapons:
All other powers already knew the romulans had metaweapons (subspace weapons, for example).
All other powers had metaweapons of their own (for the Federation - Genesis, Thalaon, TOS, TNG establish half a dozen more).

This means, of course, that no one should be alarmed about the romulans using metaweapons - and planing to invade Romulus or something alarmist like this.
There could be accusations of breaking the various treaties forbidding the use of such weapons - of course, considering the situation in 'Destiny', I doubt they'll be too loud.
and since the treaty banning them is the same one that keeps cloaks out of Federation hands, the feds get cloaks and subspace weapons so win win for them.
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Old November 19 2010, 04:02 PM   #84
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
Subspace weaponry - a plausible candidate.
'Insurrection' shows the potency of such weapons - and their danger: unpredictability.
'Serpents among the ruins' establishes that the romulans have such weapons and used them at least once before.
No it did not the ship that used the subspace weapon was who the Romulans were fighting, the Romulans also baned use of these weapons after the planet they were defending and it's possibly billions of inhabitants were destroyed by the weapon.
The ending of 'Serpents among the ruins' shows a subspace weapon in action - it was a singularity with assorted subspace technobabble; all of romulan design.

About repercussions resulting from the romulans using metaweapons:
All other powers already knew the romulans had metaweapons (subspace weapons, for example).
All other powers had metaweapons of their own (for the Federation - Genesis, Thalaon, TOS, TNG establish half a dozen more).

This means, of course, that no one should be alarmed about the romulans using metaweapons - and planing to invade Romulus or something alarmist like this.
There could be accusations of breaking the various treaties forbidding the use of such weapons - of course, considering the situation in 'Destiny', I doubt they'll be too loud.
and since the treaty banning them is the same one that keeps cloaks out of Federation hands, the feds get cloaks and subspace weapons so win win for them.
Just because no one would blame the romulans too loudly for using subspace weaponry against a genocidal borg fleet does NOT mean the treaties forbidding these weapons are abolished.

Also - the federation already has the tech for cloaks and subspace weapons; treaties it signed just forbid it from using them; in the case of subspace weaapons, it most likely has no interest of using them anyway - too unpredictable, too 'immoral' etc.
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