Except Vulcans were later established as living over a 100 years, so a Romulan Officer who fought in the Earth/Romulan War still being around probably wouldn't be that surprising.
Yet the Romulan who was a veteran was the exact likeness of another Vulcanoid who was only a hundred years old at the time of the episode... Would those looks "hold" long enough for this man to have become a veteran? That is, could the Romulan be, say, 130 while looking like the Vulcan who was 100?
(Or would Sarek look like a typical 130-150-year-old, due to his early if secret onset of Bendii?)
A long-lived species might regard promotion with certain restraint, so the Commander might not yet have been an officer during such old campaigns, but that isn't really a requirement in the backstory...
The "neutral zone" between the Federation and the Klingon Empire was imposed by the Organians, and is open to both parties. "Errand of Mercy" did not spell any of this out. In fact, the episode implied that the Organians would (and obviously could) neutralize both fleets "wherever they may be."
"The Trouble With Tribbles" picked up the idea and detailed it into an actual zone—so that neutral zone did appear in TOS. Franz Joseph's STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL contains the treaty. (The MANUAL is not "canon," and fans have highlighted the many errors in the volume.)
Umm, it's highly doubtful the Organians imposed anything on anybody. They were sworn noninterventionists, and furthermore they certainly didn't keep the Feds and Klingons off each other's throats beyond the end credits of "Errand of Mercy".
The Organian Peace Treaty is probably the doing of the Feds and the Klingons exclusively. And the Neutral Zone they created was never mentioned before ST2: the tribble episode carefully excludes any reference to buffering between the two powers, so that they can openly compete for the same spot in space and nothing except gentlemanly behavior stops them from firing at each other, throwing punches or plotting mass murder.
Also consider when Spock in ST: Eleven says that a supernova in Romulan space threatens "the galaxy."
Well, physically speaking, that is
the most natural colloquial equivalent to today's "the world" (which also normally refers to a tiny subset of planet Earth).
...how could ships get there so fast? Just coincidence?
In "The Deadly Years", Kirk was doing an open survey of a location next to the NZ; there would have been plenty of time to amass forces for an ambush in the hopes that he'd enter the Zone. I mean, why not
prepare for that eventuality? It's not as if the Romulan ships would have anything better to do!
In "The Enterprise
Incident", Kirk in turn wanted to be caught, so he'd no doubt similarly attract attention, even if we don't witness him loitering. "The Practical Joker" in turn has the Romulans actively hunting for ships on the UFP side of the Zone, further reinforcing the impression that they have nothing better to do and
are eager to challenge Starfleet and confident that this will not backfire. "Balance of Terror" should bolster their confidence in that respect...
Is there a kink in the Neutral Zone? I thought it was straight or slightly curved?
As said, it's "slightly curved", by virtue of essentially being two straight lines joined by a kink. This was used as an excuse to portray it as an ovoid in Star Trek Star Charts
, with the "BoT" map highlighting a tiny corner thereof.
However, there are more kinks to the map when we see it as a mosaic on the Senate floor in ST:Nemesis. While that doesn't invalidate the "ovoid interpretation" (because even in the Star Charts
, the scale of things was such that the small kinks would not really be all that noticeable), it sort of drops it from preferred status.
From that chart, I suppose the issue of the single digit outspost could be explained by them being the "Sector Z" outposts, perrhaps with additional sectors having their own "Outpost 4", etc.
Very much agreed. Also, TNG refers to "Outpost Sierra 6" and "Starbase Tango Sierra". It would be natural to assume that the RNZ is divided into letter-coded sectors, including Sierra, Tango and Zulu plus probably all the rest of the letters in the Starfleet phonetic alphabet. There'd be a few dozen Outposts per each letter sector, and an occasional Starbase between sectors...
Some novel writers have taken this idea and run with it: David George's Serpents Among the Ruins
makes use of Foxtrot Sector in this exact manner.
The XYZ coordinate idea might also work, but would fail to integrate the tidbits about Tango and Sierra into the whole. (Unless it's a cylinder coordinate system, with Z denoting the "vertical" but T and S standing for the two angles for some reason.)