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Old July 7 2013, 09:52 PM   #136
zDarby
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

I don't see a single Romulan system as being any kind of threat to the Federation.

The feeling of the Romulan encounters in TOS is one of controlled fear: they're a serious threat, even if the BAT-BOP was no match for the Enterprise, a war with them would be protracted and costly... and any miss-step on Enterprise's part would cause such a war. That's not the attitude Kirk would project for a one system species, as such a species simply would not have the resources or manpower to be a threat.

I would make similar arguments about a non-FTL Romulan Empire.

And I don't see the Federation sitting back and doing nothing while the Romulans are effectively occupied by the Klingons.
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Old July 7 2013, 09:53 PM   #137
blssdwlf
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The same could be said for the Klingons in TOS as well. A single Klingon Battlecruiser wasn't a match for the Enterprise as well.
Of course it was a match. They just lost.
LOL. If they were a match they would've just charged in on the crippled Enterprise in "Elaan of Troyius". Instead they played it safe by testing the waters to be sure she was crippled. And at least 8 Klingon ships couldn't take out the Enterprise, allowing her to escape in "Errand of Mercy". Yeah, quite a match.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Between 1949-1969:
"The United States cut off trade and orchestrated an international embargo of China."
I seem to recall that embargo was ignored by just about everyone, including -- ironically -- the United States.
Uh huh...
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Old July 7 2013, 10:14 PM   #138
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The same could be said for the Klingons in TOS as well. A single Klingon Battlecruiser wasn't a match for the Enterprise as well.
Of course it was a match. They just lost.
LOL. If they were a match they would've just charged in on the crippled Enterprise in "Elaan of Troyius"
Which they eventually did.

You're forgetting that the whole point of sabotaging the ship in the first place was so that Enterprise' destruction would look like an accident. Shooting them down with disruptor fire was an unavoidable plan-B.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:16 PM   #139
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

And at least 8 Klingon ships couldn't take out the Enterprise, allowing her to escape in "Errand of Mercy".
While it's true the Klingons or the Romulans never dared challenge the Enterprise with worse than 3:1 odds, I wouldn't use the above example as evidence. The Klingons had little motivation to prevent the hero ship from fleeing in that episode; a cowardly flight would be a victory for them, both tactically and psychologically.

You're forgetting that the whole point of sabotaging the ship in the first place was so that Enterprise' destruction would look like an accident. Shooting them down with disruptor fire was an unavoidable plan-B.
Here I'd argue that the Plan B was a desperate and doomed attempt at containing the damage from the failed sabotage plot, and that it never had a chance of success. Except of course the Klingons didn't really know the sabotage had failed, not until the Enterprise fired back - at which point the Klingons immediately cut and run. So the idea that no Klingon would dare challenge a Constitution without having at least two wingmen still stands.

The feeling of the Romulan encounters in TOS is one of controlled fear: they're a serious threat, even if the BAT-BOP was no match for the Enterprise, a war with them would be protracted and costly...
...But possibly only because the midget nation full of evil was more committed to fighting than the UFP was. North Korea isn't a military threat to anybody but the citizens of Seoul, really, but that doesn't make it any less a threat to world peace. So what if ultimate victory against the threat is completely and automatically assured? The devastation of the first strike is still too much of a deterrent for bringing the imbalance of power to bear against the threat.

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Old July 7 2013, 10:27 PM   #140
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

zDarby wrote: View Post
I don't see a single Romulan system as being any kind of threat to the Federation.
Neither do I. That's kinda my point.

The feeling of the Romulan encounters in TOS is one of controlled fear: they're a serious threat, even if the BAT-BOP was no match for the Enterprise, a war with them would be protracted and costly... and any miss-step on Enterprise's part would cause such a war.
And yet this has been true of North Korea for almost 50 years despite that country's incredibly small size and its complete lack of ability to actually attack America with anything more substantial than harsh words. It is also true of Iran, in similar ways and for similar reasons.

Rather than being a large and powerful empire that could actually threaten the Federation, Romulus appears instead to be a dangerous and unpredictable rogue state that cannot be trusted to play nice unless they are fully and decisively contained.

That's not the attitude Kirk would project for a one system species...
Kirk, for one, has overturned whole civilizations for less.

I would make similar arguments about a non-FTL Romulan Empire.
FTL is a simple enough technology that I doubt the Romulans would be unaware of it or unable to manufacture it themselves. But in Balance of Terror, they don't seem to be using it all that effectively, and it's probably because the entire episode takes place within a single solar system.

And I don't see the Federation sitting back and doing nothing while the Romulans are effectively occupied by the Klingons.
Prime Directive sucks like that.

Of course, considering Ambassador Nonclus' presence in the President's office, I doubt they DID sit back and do nothing. Nonclus probably represents a government-in-exile that the Federation has been hoping to install there if and when Klingon occupation comes to an end, enlisting Fderation support in liberating Romulus with the understanding that the newly victorious government would bring Romulus into the Federation (hence the President treats Nonclus almost like a Federation member and even lets him sit in on Colonel Wests' "clean their chronomters" briefing) That the Ambassador was later implicated in the Cartwright Conspiracy would neatly explain why that deal ultimately fell through.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:37 PM   #141
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Or Nanclus could simply be bringing promises of Romulan aid (cloaking devices for rescuing Kirk from the heart of the Klingon Empire?) to one side of the upcoming war, or at least promises of neutrality in such a conflict - thereby facilitating the conflict in the first place.

After all, for some reason, the Feds and the Klingons had failed to launch into an open war in the decades following Organia, but also in the decades preceding Organia. A balance of terror probably existed there, then, and the Romulans taking sides (or abstaining) might be the one thing that could upset the balance. Nanclus would promise the Federation certain victory, while some other Romulan would promise the very same thing to the Klingons; war would come; and after the dust settled, Romulans would win.

Remember that in this three-party conspiracy, everybody must have believed that their side would win and the other two would lose - but the cabal could only be held together by everybody claiming that at least one of the others would triumph in addition. A third party would be an utterly vital element here, as it would be rather impossible for Cartwright to convince Chang that the Feds would help start the war so that both sides could win! (Sure, there's that universal fear of soldiers that peace will make them unemployed, but that wouldn't be enough to drive the conspiracy; a hope of victory must have been an ingredient there.)

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Old July 7 2013, 10:44 PM   #142
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

feek61 wrote: View Post
A big problem with the theory that the Romulan Star Empire is small (confined to a system or two) is what happened in "The Way to Eden." The space hippies divert the Enterprise into Romulan space and they seem to travel a ways in there and stay a bit yet there is never any sign of a Romulan ship or patrol or any sort of reaction to some sort of early warning system. You could almost believe that the RSE was small with all prior contacts that we saw in the show because every time they went into the neutral zone they almost immediately made contact with the Romulans. The lack of contact of ANY Romulans in "The Way to Eden" seems to indicate a much larger area than just a few systems.
I don't see how that would be a problem. Even with warp drive, space is very big; if the Romulans had detected the Enterprise penetrating the zone it still would have taken them a couple of minutes to get a patrol ship to investigate, and Enterprise wasn't in Romulan space for nearly long enough for them to make the interception. The other "quickly intercepted" encounters were probably more dumb luck than the Romulans' being incredibly savvy at border control (similar thing happens in TAS, where the Romulans take quite a bit of time to intercept the Enterprise despite the fact that they knew ahead of time that their spy was getting ready to lure them in there).

Speaking of TAS, there's one other point to remember: Carter Winston, disguised as Kirk, orders Enterprise to lay in a direct course for Ratar-III, through the neutral zone. This would seem to imply that Carter had picked a location on the other side of it and that in order to follow his orders Sulu would have to plot a course that takes the Enterprise directly through the zone and then out the other side.

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Plus, later episodes in the spinoffs (including the immediate TAS) reinforce this impression; there's even a star system inside the actual Zone, between UFP and Romulan spaces, in "All Good Things.." - the Devron system, out of limits to both Picard and Tomalak until they mutually agree to ignore the peace treaty.
By TNG, though, we'd be seeing the Romulans after over half a century of modernization and expansion having come out from the Klingon Empire's brutal umbrella. By that time they would have claimed dozens or hundreds of star systems and the new neutral zone would be redrawn along a mutual compromise between Romulus and the Federation for a list of worlds that neither side will try to annex. In the 24th century, particularly, the neutral zone doesn't seem to actually enclose all of Romulan space the way it does in the 23rd and it's entirely possible to reach Federation space by simply flying around it (which they seem to do in "Face of the Enemy").

The new neutral zone also seems to have a larger number of outposts than the old, and Romulan space is now large enough that it shares a border with Klingon and Cardassian space at two different points. Even if you don't buy the interpretation that the 23rd century empire was confined to a single (maybe multiple star?) system, it's just as apparent that the Empire was quite a bit larger and ALOT more powerful by Picard's time.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:51 PM   #143
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
Or Nanclus could simply be bringing promises of Romulan aid (cloaking devices for rescuing Kirk from the heart of the Klingon Empire?) to one side of the upcoming war, or at least promises of neutrality in such a conflict - thereby facilitating the conflict in the first place.
True, but then he wouldn't be standing there in the President's office giving legal advice while the Klingon ambassador barking about the extradition of Kirk. That would earn him at least one pointed "What the fuck are YOU doing here?" remark.

What's significant is that nobody thinks it's odd for Nonclus to be in that office or to be present for that confidential briefing. Relations between the Federation and Romulus were never THAT good.

Remember that in this three-party conspiracy, everybody must have believed that their side would win and the other two would lose - but the cabal could only be held together by everybody claiming that at least one of the others would triumph in addition. A third party would be an utterly vital element here, as it would be rather impossible for Cartwright to convince Chang that the Feds would help start the war so that both sides could win! (Sure, there's that universal fear of soldiers that peace will make them unemployed, but that wouldn't be enough to drive the conspiracy; a hope of victory must have been an ingredient there.)
Makes sense either way. Nonclus would have wanted the Klingons to get the hell off of his planet one way or the other and having the Federation crush them in a one-sided war is a good way to accomplish that. More importantly, it would have exhausted the Federation to the point that Romulus' long-awaited coming out party would be that much sweeter.

As it stands, they were able to break out anyway after the Klingon Empire fell, but by all accounts they were never able to really threaten the Federation until the Tomed Incident many years later. It wasn't the decisive victory they'd hoped for, but it DID result in the Federation abstaining from using cloaking technology.
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Old July 7 2013, 11:24 PM   #144
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

the new neutral zone would be redrawn along a mutual compromise between Romulus and the Federation for a list of worlds that neither side will try to annex.
And indeed ENT "These Are the Voyages" confirms that the RNZ was renegotiated as part of the Treaty of Algeron in 2311.

However, ST:NEM then indicates that the particular region of the RNZ shown in the "BoT" map remains unaltered in a late 24th century floor mosaic, for the relevant part. That is, the thickness of the RNZ relative to the dot-to-dot distances on the original map has not changed. All respect to preservation of ancient art and whatnot - but would it be plausible that the Romulan Senate would continue to feature artwork depicting a political situation that is significantly less advantageous to Romulus than the true, current one?

This sort of suggests that the dialogue-confirmed renegotiation did not actually alter the thickness of the RNZ, and that it could always have accommodated entire star systems even if it did not necessarily yet accommodate Devros in TOS.

flying around it (which they seem to do in "Face of the Enemy")
It seems to me the Romulans have a way of flying around it in episodes like "Tin Man", "The Next Phase" and "Paradise" and perhaps "Eye of the Needle" as well, since Romulan presence outside the RNZ goes unexplained there. But in "Face of the Enemy", Romulan penetration out of confinement is actually discussed, and Troi claims Tal'Shiar codes will make it possible to avoid detection within UFP territory. This is never put to a test, because the Romulans already meet the E-D before launching deeper into UFP space - so the indications are that the Romulans had previously successfully escaped from the RNZ into UFP space where the E-D now justifiably dwells, and that this was all due to nothing but good cloaking discipline.

The idea that the RNZ is made impenetrable by tachyon-beam sensors is thus actually refuted in the very episode that people generally attribute it to!

True, but then he wouldn't be standing there in the President's office giving legal advice while the Klingon ambassador barking about the extradition of Kirk. That would earn him at least one pointed "What the fuck are YOU doing here?" remark.
Hmm... Generally, visual communications don't reveal much of the surroundings. And in any case, the President would probably cut communications for the duration of consulting Sarek and Nanclus. After these consultations, the Klingon impatiently says he's waiting for the answer - a phrase consistent with various cases of temporarily cut communications.

That is neither here nor there, though, as Nanclus could quite plausibly use his diplomatic position as a cover for his presence, hiding his actual political role. There may well be Romulan diplomats, even ambassadors, in the Klingon Empire as well; that alone is no indication of a close alliance. Indeed, even the mutual hatred between the Cardassians and the Breen didn't stop the former from having an embassy on the homeworld of the latter (unless that was some sort of perverse humor by Dukat in "Indiscretion", considering the complications of the whole Breen homeworld thing).

What's significant is that nobody thinks it's odd for Nonclus to be in that office or to be present for that confidential briefing. Relations between the Federation and Romulus were never THAT good.
There's nothing odd as such about him being present when the Klingons call the President, though. The secret briefing in turn is secret. And that IMHO is well explained by the Romulans falsely providing aid to the Feds, and possibly to the Klingons, as part of their plot to ruin both.

Interestingly, ST:INS would have us believe that Romulans went from "thugs" to an "empire" around this time; since nothing much else is known to have changed about them, the "empireness" might come simply from them engaging in open diplomacy with their enemies for the first time.

Also interestingly, Kor would in "Blood Oath" boast of a victory against the Romulans in a timeframe preceding this movie; if there ever was an alliance between the Klingons and the Romulans, it would seem to have gone sour in the mid-2270s, making it plausible for Nanclus to bring messages of goodwill to the UFP in ST6.

Final intrigue comes from the fact that Nanclus and Sarek share a sash color and a seating sector at Khitomer. Also, the background colors of flags are telling: UFP flag corresponds to the blue UFP sash, Klingon flag (the Nazi-alluding red-white-black one is seen here for the first time, I think) corresponds to their red sash, while both the Romulan Bird of Prey and the Vulcan IDIC are seen on yellow background in flags and banners. Is there something going on with a political block involving all Vulcanoids, despite Vulcan's supposed continuing membership in the UFP?

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Old July 8 2013, 01:45 AM   #145
blssdwlf
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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Of course it was a match. They just lost.
LOL. If they were a match they would've just charged in on the crippled Enterprise in "Elaan of Troyius"
Which they eventually did.

You're forgetting that the whole point of sabotaging the ship in the first place was so that Enterprise' destruction would look like an accident. Shooting them down with disruptor fire was an unavoidable plan-B.
If you're calling the two meek high warp passes at the Enterprise to test whether she could fight "charging in" then, No. They did not.

The Klingons clearly didn't want to go head-to-head with a fully-powered Enterprise. They didn't get their courage to charge into the Enterprise to destroy her until they were certain she couldn't fight back.
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Old July 8 2013, 02:05 AM   #146
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
However, ST:NEM then indicates that the particular region of the RNZ shown in the "BoT" map remains unaltered in a late 24th century floor mosaic, for the relevant part. That is, the thickness of the RNZ relative to the dot-to-dot distances on the original map has not changed. All respect to preservation of ancient art and whatnot - but would it be plausible that the Romulan Senate would continue to feature artwork depicting a political situation that is significantly less advantageous to Romulus than the true, current one?
The other thing to consider is "The Enterprise Incident". If we're talking about the BOT Map as being of inside a star system and it only being several AU across (because of the comet) then when the Enterprise scans out across a whole Parsec (and found nothing) it should've picked up Romulus/Romii as well.
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Old July 8 2013, 02:49 AM   #147
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
However, ST:NEM then indicates that the particular region of the RNZ shown in the "BoT" map remains unaltered in a late 24th century floor mosaic, for the relevant part.
It's a mosaic, not a strategic chart. It was probably installed on the senate floor a hundred years earlier when Romulus was finally unified enough to try to break out of isolation again.

All respect to preservation of ancient art and whatnot - but would it be plausible that the Romulan Senate would continue to feature artwork depicting a political situation that is significantly less advantageous to Romulus than the true, current one?
There's something to be said for nostalgia, especially when you consider that most of those senators were probably youngsters when Balance of Terror went down. It wouldn't be ancient to them, it would be a reminder of how far they've come in their own lifetimes.

flying around it (which they seem to do in "Face of the Enemy")
It seems to me the Romulans have a way of flying around it in episodes like "Tin Man", "The Next Phase" and "Paradise" and perhaps "Eye of the Needle" as well, since Romulan presence outside the RNZ goes unexplained there. But in "Face of the Enemy", Romulan penetration out of confinement is actually discussed, and Troi claims Tal'Shiar codes will make it possible to avoid detection within UFP territory. This is never put to a test, because the Romulans already meet the E-D before launching deeper into UFP space - so the indications are that the Romulans had previously successfully escaped from the RNZ into UFP space where the E-D now justifiably dwells, and that this was all due to nothing but good cloaking discipline.
Actually, "Face of the Enemy" mentions the Federation's border protection grids which are designed to detect cloaked ships. It doesn't seem they were worried about the neutral zone so much as the security perimeter around the Federation itself. That suggests to me that while the neutral zone is a POLITICAL buffer before the two powers, it's not actually an obstacle to the Romulan fleet who can easily circumvent it if they need to. The TACTICAL obstacle in that or any other case would be the Federation's (apparently automated) defense grid that can detect a cloaked ship before it gets in striking range. I would imagine those missiles from the Mars Defense Perimeter would actually be pretty effective against a Romulan Warbird.

True, but then he wouldn't be standing there in the President's office giving legal advice while the Klingon ambassador barking about the extradition of Kirk. That would earn him at least one pointed "What the fuck are YOU doing here?" remark.
Hmm... Generally, visual communications don't reveal much of the surroundings.
They do when the ambassador is physically standing there IN the office, openly talking to the guy, asking him things like "What is the position of the Romulan government, ambassador Nonclus?" and "You can't seriously believe that James Kirk assassinated the chancellor of the high council?!"

What's significant is that nobody thinks it's odd for Nonclus to be in that office or to be present for that confidential briefing. Relations between the Federation and Romulus were never THAT good.
There's nothing odd as such about him being present when the Klingons call the President, though.
That's mainly because the Klingon holocom never shows anything BUT the president.

I'm talking about the pissed off ambassador who physically goes there to insist that Kirk and McCoy must stand trial in a Klingon court.

Interestingly, ST:INS would have us believe that Romulans went from "thugs" to an "empire" around this time; since nothing much else is known to have changed about them, the "empireness" might come simply from them engaging in open diplomacy with their enemies for the first time.
It could, sure, but even you can see that this would ALSO be consistent with their finally expanding far beyond their own solar system and becoming a major galactic power.

Also interestingly, Kor would in "Blood Oath" boast of a victory against the Romulans in a timeframe preceding this movie; if there ever was an alliance between the Klingons and the Romulans, it would seem to have gone sour in the mid-2270s, making it plausible for Nanclus to bring messages of goodwill to the UFP in ST6.
I was remembering "Blood Oath" when I made the above posts. That's why I had believed that the Romulans had stopped cooperating with the Klingons and went from being a semi-willing subject of the empire to an occupied (and resistant) territory. Klingon governance is apparently harsh enough that rebellions against the empire are not uncommon, even among Klingons.

Final intrigue comes from the fact that Nanclus and Sarek share a sash color and a seating sector at Khitomer. Also, the background colors of flags are telling: UFP flag corresponds to the blue UFP sash, Klingon flag (the Nazi-alluding red-white-black one is seen here for the first time, I think) corresponds to their red sash, while both the Romulan Bird of Prey and the Vulcan IDIC are seen on yellow background in flags and banners. Is there something going on with a political block involving all Vulcanoids, despite Vulcan's supposed continuing membership in the UFP?
As I said, a government in exile. I'd be willing to bet the Romulan Emperor sought asylum on Vulcan after Klingon control of Romulus turned into a war of occupation. If nothing else, that might explain how the Vulcans managed to repair a captured bird of prey that they had otherwise never seen before: maybe those weren't really vulcans?
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Old July 8 2013, 02:53 AM   #148
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
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LOL. If they were a match they would've just charged in on the crippled Enterprise in "Elaan of Troyius"
Which they eventually did.

You're forgetting that the whole point of sabotaging the ship in the first place was so that Enterprise' destruction would look like an accident. Shooting them down with disruptor fire was an unavoidable plan-B.
If you're calling the two meek high warp passes at the Enterprise to test whether she could fight "charging in" then, No. They did not.
Only the first charge was "meek" and the intent of that was to get Enterprise to engage its warp drive and thereby blow itself up.

ALL of the other passes were attack runs; the Klingons fired at them every time, chipping away at their defenses. Kirk was able to overcome them by playing possum and then smacking them with torpedoes when they dropped their guard.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:19 PM   #149
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

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It's a mosaic, not a strategic chart.
Granted. But it's worth pondering that it looks very much like the strategic chart we saw in the TOS episode - it just happens to cover a bit more ground, or perhaps a different part of the RNZ, or from a different viewpoint. We can't assume it to be "abstract art" or to be taking major liberties with directions and distances, as e.g. the ratio of the RNZ thickness to its distance to the Earth outpost triangles or to Romulus (the likely compass-rose centerpiece) is the same as in the map.

There's something to be said for nostalgia, especially when you consider that most of those senators were probably youngsters when Balance of Terror went down. It wouldn't be ancient to them, it would be a reminder of how far they've come in their own lifetimes.
Ah, that's a plausible way to look at it. And yes, we sort of hear in "The Defector" that Romulan leadership revels in its past losses against the Federation, this humiliation and hatred being a driving force in politics.

Actually, "Face of the Enemy" mentions the Federation's border protection grids which are designed to detect cloaked ships.
Quite so - but I thought it worth pointing out that the dialogue does not establish that the grids seal off the RNZ, as often claimed. Instead, they stand a good chance of catching ships that have violated the do-not-cross-the-RNZ rule, after the fact.

What you say about the political nature of the border must be true. What raises eyebrows here is our heroes meeting Romulan ships outside the RNZ every so often - but only shouting at them for implicitly having violated a peace treaty in "The Enemy", while never challenging this casus belli violation in cases like "The Next Phase" or even "Tin Man".

I would imagine those missiles from the Mars Defense Perimeter would actually be pretty effective against a Romulan Warbird.
FWIW, since they were so easily targeted by the Borg, I'd think they could be easily targeted by a Warbird, too. And if they indeed are flying bombs, then hitting them probably stands a good chance of detonating them, even at the supposed lower firepower of the Romulans as opposed to that of the Cube.

Which leads me to speculate that such things have been built chiefly to prevent the likes of the Space Amoeba, the Doomsday Machine or the "One of Our Planets is Missing" cloud from destroying the Sol system. That is, they can demolish opponents that are too stupid to defend themselves but way too resilient to be stopped by mere starships and orbital fortresses...

They do when the ambassador is physically standing there IN the office, openly talking to the guy, asking him things like "What is the position of the Romulan government, ambassador Nonclus?" and "You can't seriously believe that James Kirk assassinated the chancellor of the high council?!"
True enough - goes to show one shouldn't check these things from transcripts but from vidcaps or actual videos. But there the "Romulans have every excuse of having an Ambassador present, even if he carries a secret agenda" rationalization holds.

I was remembering "Blood Oath" when I made the above posts. That's why I had believed that the Romulans had stopped cooperating with the Klingons and went from being a semi-willing subject of the empire to an occupied (and resistant) territory. Klingon governance is apparently harsh enough that rebellions against the empire are not uncommon, even among Klingons.
Then again, it's possible that there never was any sort of an alliance between the Klingons and the Romulans, thus not any sort of falling out or subjugation, either.

Given how secretive the Romulans are, and how secretive the Klingons are revealed to be in TNG where they have been supposed allies for almost a century, it's quite possible that the two go back a long time, allying, fighting, again allying, again fighting, with the UFP none the wiser.

Since later evidence would seem to go against the idea of the "Balance of Terror" Star Empire being just a single isolated star system, but the dialogue there does claim the Romulans are isolated from the rest of the galaxy, I think we do have to assume a completely, three-dimensionally englobing RNZ from the get-go - but that doesn't mean Earth or the UFP would actually control every segment of that RNZ. Unknown to them, the far side of it may actually overlap with Klingon claims and be subject to constant fighting even back in the 22nd century...

As I said, a government in exile. I'd be willing to bet the Romulan Emperor sought asylum on Vulcan after Klingon control of Romulus turned into a war of occupation. If nothing else, that might explain how the Vulcans managed to repair a captured bird of prey that they had otherwise never seen before: maybe those weren't really vulcans?
I agree this is a cool idea. But if Romulans aren't independent players capable of pulling their weight at this point, they can only play the Starfleet side in the cabal to get the war started. Yet given Chang's involvement, somebody must be playing the Klingon side, too, and it can't be Cartwright and the Feds. A subjugated Romulan Star Empire couldn't cast the balance vote needed to get the war going; only an independent one, capable of applying military power or withholding it, could.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old July 8 2013, 09:24 PM   #150
Timo
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

ALL of the other passes were attack runs; the Klingons fired at them every time, chipping away at their defenses. Kirk was able to overcome them by playing possum and then smacking them with torpedoes when they dropped their guard.
But the thing is, the Klingons were only able to "chip away" because of the sabotage and the subsequent playing possum ruse. We got no evidence that this would have been possible against a non-sabotaged ship.

Basically, there are just three times a single battle cruiser opts to challenge an unhurt Enterprise. The first is in "More Tribbles", and hinges on the use of another dirty trick, the stasis field. The second is in "Time Trap", but only because the lead ship springs a trap later involving two others. The third is in ST6:TUC itself, but in a situation where there are no other options left (and where the challenge is actually part of the greater plot - the Klingons hope to lose their ship to Kirk!).

That a small BoP challenges Kirk on (at least) two occasions (as the "Errand of Mercy" teaser is a likely third case) nevertheless is probably more an indication of such a ship being more expendable than a battle cruiser than of such a ship having better odds.

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