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Old January 11 2013, 04:25 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Mapping/logistics question, spoilers for DS9

tenketsu wrote: View Post
I'm ok with leaky borders to some extent, for the exact reason you say--it's mostly empty space, and difficult to guard. It was the distances involved that bothered me. But you're absolutely right--I was looking closer, and on one of the zoomed in maps it's clear that the distance is only about 3 sectors (60 LY).
By my ruler, the smallest separation is 2.4 sectors, or 48 ly. But the borders are fuzzy enough that I rounded it to 50.

According to the Warp chart, that would only take 15 days at Warp 9.
As I said, the actual onscreen evidence consistently indicates warp velocities far, far faster than the published charts suggest. I don't understand why the show's technical people even chose such low values for the warp factors in the published charts, or why they didn't revise the charts in later editions once it became clear that the shows were consistently depicting much faster warp velocities. As it is, the charts have no useful correspondence to what's actually onscreen. "According to the warp chart" is about as useful as "according to these tea leaves I just read."


Even assuming that there's nothing useful above/below Federation space, that's a short enough time to go up/down long enough to be out of sensor range, cross, then come back down, without having supply issues. Combined with the cloak, that explains things pretty nicely.
It's best not to think in terms of "above" and "below," since those have no meaning in space. Territories are 3-dimensional blobs, not flat ones, and their nominal borders are the 2-dimensional surfaces that encase them, like the membranes of amoebas or the rinds of misshapen fruits. Any monitoring posts would be positioned along the entire border, not just along that arbitrary cross-section shown on the 2D map. No matter what direction you go, you'd be circling around another nation's territory. As long you stay outside the border, you're in unclaimed (or your own) space.

Think of it like swimming. You're scuba-diving underwater and there's a piece of coral reef jutting out in your path, between you and the place you want to go. It would take too long to swim around it at your current depth, but since you're in the water, you can easily swim over or under it. At no point are you inside the reef; you're just going around its edges. But since you can move in 3 dimensions, you have more options for how to go around it.
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Old January 11 2013, 05:14 PM   #17
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Re: Mapping/logistics question, spoilers for DS9

In my head, I just place Cardassia "above" the Federation's core instead on the opposite side from the Klingons/Romulans. But you can't easily show that in 2D.
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Old January 22 2013, 12:09 AM   #18
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Mapping/logistics question, spoilers for DS9

I like this explanation: basically, most of the stuff that happens in Trek (at least the major political stuff) is fairly close together (at least in galactic terms), while there are colonies/major population centers much further out. Besides, Earth is only four days away from Qonos at warp 5
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Old January 22 2013, 11:29 AM   #19
C.E. Evans
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Re: Mapping/logistics question, spoilers for DS9

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
I like this explanation: basically, most of the stuff that happens in Trek (at least the major political stuff) is fairly close together (at least in galactic terms), while there are colonies/major population centers much further out. Besides, Earth is only four days away from Qonos at warp 5
Which matches onscreen material more often than not, when you think about it. For example, in TMP, V'Ger cut through Klingon space and then was mere days from Earth at that point. And given how frequently our heroes ran into Klingons in TNG and DS9, the idea that Earth and Qo'noS are only days apart at medium warp really isn't that implausible. The territorial disputes between the Federation and the Klingons in TOS could also be a result of the two sides being so close to one another.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:27 PM   #20
Dale Sams
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Re: Mapping/logistics question, spoilers for DS9

Re: Balance of Terror

While the subspace issues seem to suggest they are far apart, the map they show has Romulus at least close to the Neutral Zone. Given the events of Reunification and First Contact, I always imagined Romulus and Earth (and Vulcan) to be relatively close to each other despite the rest of their sprawling empires. Like Richmond and Washington DC in the Civil War.
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Old January 22 2013, 03:35 PM   #21
Timo
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Re: Mapping/logistics question, spoilers for DS9

Makes sense both in the original context and in the later one. Earth's dominion wasn't that big in the "ancient" times a century before the TOS episode - by implication and writer intent as regards TOS, by explicit storytelling as regards ENT. Any enemies they made back then would be close neighbors, and if the enemies weren't turned into allies, they'd become encapsulated dangerously close to the ever-softer heartlands of the UFP as the tough frontier moved outward.

Klingons aren't explicitly "ancient" enemies in TOS in this sense, but they become such in later stories. TOS movies still speak of just seventy years of open animosity in the 23rd century, but TNG episodes speak of "first contact centuries ago" and the like. Heck, it's quite difficult to establish any of the adversaries as not being ancient... Thankfully, at least the Cardassians were immediately associated with mid-24th century "border wars" rather than ancient core scuffles!

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