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Old October 2 2011, 07:47 PM   #16
blssdwlf
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

So you're basically cherry picking on what supports your argument and discarding the rest on the grounds that it doesn't fit your world view of Star Trek? Okay.

As I've pointed out before, in TOS, that's what we get. It's got less to do with the VFX and more to do with the time of dialogue.

"Roiling orange fireballs" might just be what a Romulan Plasma weapon looks like. Have you considered that?

"Lighting of ships in TOS" again, have you considered that in the Star Trek universe that's how bright it is?

"Ultra dense nebula" again, have you considered that in the Star Trek universe that phenomena exists? Anyway, not an FX issue.

"Ships shown a few lengths away when they are much farther away by dialogue" - that came with TNG and afterwards and I'm not pointing to TNG. The original TOS FX got that part right.

If you insist that TOS warp drive works in the way you think it works, can you support your argument with the evidence in the show?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Come on, you can't seriously take differences in visual effects as concrete evidence, given how many different, unrelated creative teams are responsible for their creation and how little systematic thought is put into them. Not to mention how many complete impossibilities are included for the sake of aesthetics, like roiling orange fireballs in the vacuum of space, ships that have bright key and fill lights in the depths of interstellar space, nebulae that are millions of times denser than real nebulae, ships that are shown to be only a few ship lengths apart when dialogue explicitly puts them thousands of kilometers apart, etc. It's impossible to take visual effects literally as concrete evidence of anything. To say warp drive is slower near planets just because the folks at ILM who did the shot of the BoP warping away from Earth made it move slowly across the screen -- I'm sorry, that's just not reasonable. It's only evidence of an inconsistency in how different artists choose to interpret the story, not of an in-universe inconsistency.
sojourner wrote:
^Yeah, I tried to tell him that earlier. What can you do?

This is purely conjecture as there is nothing seen/heard onscreen stating the ship does not reach lightspeed. If we were to rely on interpreting the visual effects then we would have to admit that most of the time we never saw ships going faster than light speed in all of Star Trek.
How about specific evidence that supports your statement?

We see that the BOP takes about 2 minutes of dialogue to go from the atmosphere to just about leaving orbit in "The Voyage Home" at "warp speed".

What other episodes of TOS would you point to that qualifies for "If we were to rely on interpreting the visual effects then we would have to admit that most of the time we never saw ships going faster than light speed in all of Star Trek"?

Last edited by blssdwlf; October 2 2011 at 07:57 PM.
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Old October 2 2011, 08:19 PM   #17
sojourner
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

^Anytime we see the ships moving at warp speed and the camera is not "pacing" the ship.
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Old October 2 2011, 08:21 PM   #18
blssdwlf
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

sojourner wrote: View Post
^Anytime we see the ships moving at warp speed and the camera is not "pacing" the ship.
How do you know how fast the camera is traveling at when it is not "pacing" the Enterprise since you've got no reference point like a planet or starbase?

Last edited by blssdwlf; October 2 2011 at 08:41 PM.
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Old October 2 2011, 08:45 PM   #19
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
^Anytime we see the ships moving at warp speed and the camera is not "pacing" the ship.
How do you know how fast the camera traveling at when it is not "pacing" the Enterprise since you've got no reference point like a planet or starbase?
Man, everyone on this site is on-edge right now, aren't they? At least it's nice to see that someone besides me is taking artillery right now...

I have my own perspective on some of this. But it'll piss off the fans of Abram's flick, who'll label me a "hater" or something for bringing it up. Ah, well, who cares?

See, the ship's main viewer is not a window. It's a computer monitor.

Most of what we see on the main viewer is not real imagery, but rather computer-augmented representations. We can say much the same for what we see on our TV sets, especially during the TNG era.

We see brightly-lit ships in interstellar space. In reality, you'd be able to see almost nothing. But that wouldn't be very useful, so the image on the main viewscreen (and on our TV sets) is "augmented" to let us see something useful. It's not a "real" image, it's an ICON.

Similarly, in the TNG-era combat shots we see many cases where ships "millions of kilometers" aparts seem, on-screen, to be less than a kilometer apart.

Again, we're not seeing "reality," we're seeing computer-generated ICONS representing those ships, portrayed in a way which shows you what's going on far more easily than seeing distant, faint pinpricks of light.

Think of how modern naval "fleet command" boards are done. They may show the entire Pacific Ocean, or perhaps the Persian Gulf. They'll have little models of the ships in-theater, if we're talking about a classical map-board... or they may have pictographical icons which look like those ships, or they may have symbological icons, and often these can be switched between in real time.

The trick is not to see "reality" but to see the most-easilly interpreted representation of reality.

The stuff we see on-screen in Trek fits that bill far better than it fits any practical "realistic" model, doesn't it?
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Old October 2 2011, 09:27 PM   #20
Patrickivan
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

ngc7293 wrote: View Post
If a BOP can make warp speed around a star, (a large gravity well) then it should be able to go to warp near a planet.
Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Patrickivan wrote: View Post
ngc7293 wrote: View Post
If a BOP can make warp speed around a star, (a large gravity well) then it should be able to go to warp near a planet.
I recall McCoy asking Spock if he factored in the added mass and weight of the water and whales in TVH... So there must be some issues with it as far as warp speed goes...
I thought that was to compensate for their time-warp calculations, not simply warp travel.
Now you're just splitting hairs!
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Old October 2 2011, 09:30 PM   #21
Patrickivan
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
^Anytime we see the ships moving at warp speed and the camera is not "pacing" the ship.
How do you know how fast the camera traveling at when it is not "pacing" the Enterprise since you've got no reference point like a planet or starbase?
Man, everyone on this site is on-edge right now, aren't they? At least it's nice to see that someone besides me is taking artillery right now...

I have my own perspective on some of this. But it'll piss off the fans of Abram's flick, who'll label me a "hater" or something for bringing it up. Ah, well, who cares?

See, the ship's main viewer is not a window. It's a computer monitor.

Most of what we see on the main viewer is not real imagery, but rather computer-augmented representations. We can say much the same for what we see on our TV sets, especially during the TNG era.

We see brightly-lit ships in interstellar space. In reality, you'd be able to see almost nothing. But that wouldn't be very useful, so the image on the main viewscreen (and on our TV sets) is "augmented" to let us see something useful. It's not a "real" image, it's an ICON.

Similarly, in the TNG-era combat shots we see many cases where ships "millions of kilometers" aparts seem, on-screen, to be less than a kilometer apart.

Again, we're not seeing "reality," we're seeing computer-generated ICONS representing those ships, portrayed in a way which shows you what's going on far more easily than seeing distant, faint pinpricks of light.

Think of how modern naval "fleet command" boards are done. They may show the entire Pacific Ocean, or perhaps the Persian Gulf. They'll have little models of the ships in-theater, if we're talking about a classical map-board... or they may have pictographical icons which look like those ships, or they may have symbological icons, and often these can be switched between in real time.

The trick is not to see "reality" but to see the most-easilly interpreted representation of reality.

The stuff we see on-screen in Trek fits that bill far better than it fits any practical "realistic" model, doesn't it?
I would like to agree on it being a monitor (NOT A HATER OF THE MOVIE!) but there was a scene where we saw into the bridge from the exterior of the "Enterprise".
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Old October 2 2011, 10:21 PM   #22
sojourner
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
^Anytime we see the ships moving at warp speed and the camera is not "pacing" the ship.
How do you know how fast the camera is traveling at when it is not "pacing" the Enterprise since you've got no reference point like a planet or starbase?

Agreed, how do you know?
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Old October 2 2011, 10:33 PM   #23
blssdwlf
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

sojourner wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
^Anytime we see the ships moving at warp speed and the camera is not "pacing" the ship.
How do you know how fast the camera is traveling at when it is not "pacing" the Enterprise since you've got no reference point like a planet or starbase?

Agreed, how do you know?
The speeds that can be derived from those specific camera motions, absent of planet or starbase is any speed from stationary to somewhere less than the stated speed of the ship in dialogue to allow the ship to fly by.

If you pick zero or stationary, then are you ignoring the dialogue if they say they are going at "warp speed"?

@CLB - I believe Sojourner is speaking of the exterior VFX shots where we see the Enterprise zip by, not shots from the interior looking at the viewing screen.
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Old October 2 2011, 11:05 PM   #24
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
@CLB - I believe Sojourner is speaking of the exterior VFX shots where we see the Enterprise zip by, not shots from the interior looking at the viewing screen.
I know... but if you look at what I said, I applied the same rule to "what they see on the main viewer" and "what we see on our TV screens."

It would be remarkably uninformative to see clouds of tiny dots, occasionally with one flashing bright before disappearing, when seeing a DS9 "dominion war" battle, from the audience's standpoint.

What we, as the audience, see is, as far as I'm concerned, not intended to be a scientifically accurate representation of "what's really happening," but rather an "iconified" representation to let us see what's happening in a way that's a lot easier for the casual viewer to grasp.

This is why dialog will say "ten million kilometers" when the defiant is practically brushing hulls with its target on-screen. The "reality" is that the defiant is doing what we see, in terms of maneuvering and firing, but it would be an infinitesimally small pinprick if we saw everything "in-scale."

WE ARE SEEING A REPRESENTATION, just like the "real people" on those "real ships" would be seeing a representation on their viewscreens.

Make sense?
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Old October 2 2011, 11:25 PM   #25
Christopher
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
So you're basically cherry picking on what supports your argument and discarding the rest on the grounds that it doesn't fit your world view of Star Trek? Okay.
No, I'm pointing out that none of the information offered in VFX shots can be taken literally. That's hardly "cherrypicking."


As I've pointed out before, in TOS, that's what we get. It's got less to do with the VFX and more to do with the time of dialogue.
I don't know what you're referring to here, but no Trek series has ever been consistent when discussing warp factor vs. travel time. It's "speed of plot," period.

"Roiling orange fireballs" might just be what a Romulan Plasma weapon looks like. Have you considered that?
That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how explosions in space are always depicted as the same kind of explosions we're used to seeing in TV and movies, like the destruction of the Enterprise in ST III or of the E-D in "Cause and Effect," or for that matter the explosions of Alderaan and the Death Star -- explosions which are made by setting off a pyrotechnic charge or liquid-fuel container in a studio and filming the results. Explosions in vacuum don't look the same way. The big poofy orange fireballs that we think of as explosions are the result of the expanding gases mixing with the atmosphere they expand into, creating turbulence, which gives the fireball its roiling, cloudy appearance. Also the oxygen sustains the flame and keeps it bright. In vacuum, neither of those would be the case; you'd just get a quick flash and a spherical expanding cloud with no turbulence. So the way explosions in space are always depicted in TV/movies is imaginary.

(For that matter, even most film/TV explosions in atmosphere are unrealistic. They're generally made using low-power liquid-fuel explosives that produce a lot of flame and very little force. Whereas the high-powered explosives they're usually representing would have much smaller fireballs because they'd burn through or disperse the reactants far more quickly, and they'd produce a lot more shrapnel and smoke.)


"Lighting of ships in TOS" again, have you considered that in the Star Trek universe that's how bright it is?
You can't seriously be asking that.


If you insist that TOS warp drive works in the way you think it works, can you support your argument with the evidence in the show?
I'm not "insisting" anything. I'm merely describing what real physics says about the questions raised in the thread. Make of it what you will. (But don't take it so seriously, okay?)



Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
I have my own perspective on some of this. But it'll piss off the fans of Abram's flick, who'll label me a "hater" or something for bringing it up. Ah, well, who cares?

See, the ship's main viewer is not a window. It's a computer monitor.
There's no reason why that should upset fans of the Abrams movie, because the Abrams movie is explicitly set in a parallel timeline, portraying a different incarnation of the Enterprise that is much larger and has different technology. Nobody disputes that the main viewscreen in the Prime universe's Enterprise NCC-1701 was a monitor. But the different Enterprise of the alternate reality has a different bridge design in which there is a window at the front with a heads-up display "viewscreen" projected on it. Two different ship designs, two different realities, so no reason for conflict.
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Old October 3 2011, 12:19 AM   #26
sojourner
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post

How do you know how fast the camera is traveling at when it is not "pacing" the Enterprise since you've got no reference point like a planet or starbase?

Agreed, how do you know?
The speeds that can be derived from those specific camera motions, absent of planet or starbase is any speed from stationary to somewhere less than the stated speed of the ship in dialogue to allow the ship to fly by.

If you pick zero or stationary, then are you ignoring the dialogue if they say they are going at "warp speed"?
Nope, not at all, just not reading anything into it. So, how do you know?

To put it a different way, in the traditional shot of Enterprise zipping past, do you think the VFX people:

A) thought "ok, lets have the ship go by at warp 8 and imagine the camera is pacing at warp 7.999999999 so the ship appears to move by really fast while still being visible".

or

B) thought " we need a shot of the ship moving past the camera, we can speed up or slow the shot down as necessary to represent different speeds"
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Old October 3 2011, 12:46 AM   #27
blssdwlf
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

sojourner wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post


Agreed, how do you know?
The speeds that can be derived from those specific camera motions, absent of planet or starbase is any speed from stationary to somewhere less than the stated speed of the ship in dialogue to allow the ship to fly by.

If you pick zero or stationary, then are you ignoring the dialogue if they say they are going at "warp speed"?
Nope, not at all, just not reading anything into it. So, how do you know?

To put it a different way, in the traditional shot of Enterprise zipping past, do you think the VFX people:

A) thought "ok, lets have the ship go by at warp 8 and imagine the camera is pacing at warp 7.999999999 so the ship appears to move by really fast while still being visible".

or

B) thought " we need a shot of the ship moving past the camera, we can speed up or slow the shot down as necessary to represent different speeds"
Actually I imagine the VFX guys think of the same thing when filming a German fighter buzzing the gunner of a B-17 (camera) during a WW2 movie. If there is nothing but the gunner of the B-17 and the German fighter in view, all we have to work on is the relative speed of the fighter to the gunner. It would be impossible to tell how fast the bomber is going without seeing the ground.

So, if you look back at those TOS external VFX shots that have no planets or starbases as reference points they are remarkably flexible in depicting the ship at any speed.

And if the camera can be at any speed with no reference points, how can you pin down the speed of the Enterprise?



Christopher wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
So you're basically cherry picking on what supports your argument and discarding the rest on the grounds that it doesn't fit your world view of Star Trek? Okay.
No, I'm pointing out that none of the information offered in VFX shots can be taken literally. That's hardly "cherrypicking."
You're saying on the TV show to ignore the VFX shots. The VFX shots that you claim shouldn't be used because they differ from your world view. How is that not cherrypicking?

Christopher wrote: View Post
As I've pointed out before, in TOS, that's what we get. It's got less to do with the VFX and more to do with the time of dialogue.
I don't know what you're referring to here, but no Trek series has ever been consistent when discussing warp factor vs. travel time. It's "speed of plot," period.
If you watch "The Voyage Home", between the point where the BOP goes to "warp speed" and the time we see the BOP break orbit at "warp speed" two minutes of dialogue take place. That's got nothing to do with time travel. The time travel bit came up on a different part of the discussion about factoring in the mass of the whales and water.

Christopher wrote: View Post
That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how explosions in space are always depicted as the same kind of explosions we're used to seeing in TV and movies, like the destruction of the Enterprise in ST III or of the E-D in "Cause and Effect," or for that matter the explosions of Alderaan and the Death Star -- explosions which are made by setting off a pyrotechnic charge or liquid-fuel container in a studio and filming the results. Explosions in vacuum don't look the same way. The big poofy orange fireballs that we think of as explosions are the result of the expanding gases mixing with the atmosphere they expand into, creating turbulence, which gives the fireball its roiling, cloudy appearance. Also the oxygen sustains the flame and keeps it bright. In vacuum, neither of those would be the case; you'd just get a quick flash and a spherical expanding cloud with no turbulence. So the way explosions in space are always depicted in TV/movies is imaginary.
The only cheesy explosion I recalled in TOS in space was the Klingon Battlecruiser in "Day of the Dove". The rest of TOS didn't have much going on for external shots other than just flashes of light. Although I would expect some cloudy gas from atmosphere igniting.

Christopher wrote: View Post
If you insist that TOS warp drive works in the way you think it works, can you support your argument with the evidence in the show?
I'm not "insisting" anything. I'm merely describing what real physics says about the questions raised in the thread. Make of it what you will. (But don't take it so seriously, okay?)
I'm with you if you don't take Star Trek's lack of physics so seriously either

And to the OP's question:
Does a ship's total mass affect Warp drive? Let's say I have a freighter and I load the hull full of stuffed teddy bears and my warp drive's maximum speed to Bajor is Warp 5. Let's say I then pack the hull full of Bajoran granite counter tops. Will I need bigger warp engines to go warp 5 to Bolarus? Will it consume more fuel? Do I only loose acceleration? If mass has no effect, what stops someone from warping a proton mass into a planet? Are Warp engines sizes strictly dependant on ship volume? Is the Warping of space and the forward movement of the ship separate functions?
Star Trek's Warp physics has nothing to do with "real physics". You can preface your argument with "Real Physics" says "a theoretical warp drive would have these parameters..." but how Star Trek warp physics works is a whole different ball of wax depending on which series you want to pull the information from and how one interprets it.

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Old October 3 2011, 01:58 AM   #28
sojourner
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

And if the camera can be at any speed with no reference points, how can you pin down the speed of the Enterprise?
Exactly, how can you? Neither of our points of view have concrete evidence.

If you watch "The Voyage Home", between the point where the BOP goes to "warp speed" and the time we see the BOP break orbit at "warp speed" two minutes of dialogue take place. That's got nothing to do with time travel. The time travel bit came up on a different part of the discussion about factoring in the mass of the whales and water.
Christopher said "travel time", not "time travel".
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Old October 3 2011, 02:33 AM   #29
blssdwlf
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

sojourner wrote: View Post
And if the camera can be at any speed with no reference points, how can you pin down the speed of the Enterprise?
Exactly, how can you? Neither of our points of view have concrete evidence.
What was your point and what was mine?

sojourner wrote:
If we were to rely on interpreting the visual effects then we would have to admit that most of the time we never saw ships going faster than light speed in all of Star Trek.
Your point was that the external VFX shots of TOS show the ship never traveling faster than light most of the time. Since you're unable to tell how fast the camera is traveling at, then how can you claim that point? If you're asking me, I think you can't. All you can do is look at the VFX with the dialogue and see if they mention how fast they are going.

blssdwlf wrote:
In TOS, there isn't anything specific to mass or volume and warp speed. But, warp drive is affected by large masses/gravity. The times we see the Enterprise go to Warp inside a star system, her "actual" speed is alot slower than if she was flying between star systems. The effect is seen the greatest in "The Voyage Home" where at Warp 2, the Klingon BOP is no where near the speed of light as it breaks orbit. (So in TOS at least, warping into a planet would make the ship slower than light by the time she impacted.)

I haven't watched enough of TNG/DS9/Voy/ENT to give you a better answer other than in ENT one of the episodes it had hinted at a modified freighter with souped up engines was necessary to haul large cargo.
My point was that the times we do see VFX+dialogue of the TOS ships near a star or going from Earth to the sun, the actual speeds are a lot slower than if they were flying between systems. "The Voyage Home" is a good example of warp next to a planet and the result is slower than FTL. (And I consider that a TOS movie.)

sojourner wrote: View Post
If you watch "The Voyage Home", between the point where the BOP goes to "warp speed" and the time we see the BOP break orbit at "warp speed" two minutes of dialogue take place. That's got nothing to do with time travel. The time travel bit came up on a different part of the discussion about factoring in the mass of the whales and water.
Christopher said "travel time", not "time travel".
Ah. Then I'll amend that to:

If you watch other TOS episodes that involve warping around inside a star system, the ship's actual speed is consistently slower than if they were warping around between systems. Perhaps it is just coincidence, but those "speed of plots" line up for those episodes in TOS.

How TNG and later productions hold up, I haven't watched enough to guess.
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Old October 3 2011, 04:10 AM   #30
UncleRice
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Re: Mass, volume, and Warpdrive question.

Ok, when I say proton mass, I don't mean proton particles, I'm thinking something akin to a proton star. Something maybe 6 inches in diameter and with the mass of a star because it's just protons(and maybe some neutrons to keep it from flying apart). It's small enough to fit in a suitcase, but will seriously mess up a planet if someone warps one into the neighbourhood. If warp drive can do that, then warp drive is an "I win card" for the first person to find a proton mass. I was looking for some rules for warp drive that vaguely agreed with real world physics that wasn't addressed in an episode or movie. What I've come up with is:

1: Gravity complicates warp fields, but competent engineering can over come it.
2: Mass will make a ship sluggish and unresponsive even if you have the throttle wide open but you can still reach speeds that break the fabric of time, so be prepared to back up and get a run at it.
3: Just because a proton mass fits inside a warp bubble, doesn't mean you can make the extra mass move.

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