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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old May 4 2014, 11:28 PM   #1
Enterprise1701
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What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

So as I presume we all have read in Greater Than the Sum by Christopher L. Bennett and the Destiny trilogy by David Mack, Starfleet finally deployed the transphasic torpedo technology acquired by Voyager in "Endgame" for vessel combat in the face of an apocalypse by the Borg. Though it turned out to be a disaster since the Borg adapted to the torpedoes, the Borg Collective was dissolved by the Caeliar, obviating the prime purpose of the transphasic torpedo. Its obvious power, however, remains. But afterwards in the post-Destiny novels, the Typhon Pact only sees the quantum slipstream drive as the Federation's notable unique tactical advantage. What happened to the transphasic torpedo?
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Old May 5 2014, 01:29 AM   #2
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Not much, it was really only ever described as being effective against the Borg and their adaption techniques. From the way the weapon was described to work in the novels, it seems it wasn't particularly more effective then a photon torpedo in terms of destructiveness, it just had the ability to detonate a series of weak charges at different frequencies so the enemy could not adjust their shields.
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Old May 5 2014, 11:53 AM   #3
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

With all the tech that Voyager brought back from "Endgame", Starfleet kind of mothballed it for study, plus as I recall, Starfleet really only touched the transphasic torpedoes as a last resort. Besides the transphasic torpedoes, Starfleet still has that cool nanotechnology-shielding tech that could also be deployed.
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Old May 5 2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Count wrote: View Post
From the way the weapon was described to work in the novels, it seems it wasn't particularly more effective then a photon torpedo in terms of destructiveness, it just had the ability to detonate a series of weak charges at different frequencies so the enemy could not adjust their shields.
Well, not "weak," just not substantially more powerful than the yields of existing torpedo classes. Transphasic torpedoes weren't just a bigger boom, but a better way of penetrating Borg defenses.

Of course, a weapon that can penetrate the best shielding in the galaxy certainly seems like a useful thing, but maybe it's too useful, the sort of weapon that would be so destabilizing that it's banned by treaty. Although, of course, such a weapon would only be effective until somebody invents a new way to shield against it.


tomswift2002 wrote: View Post
Besides the transphasic torpedoes, Starfleet still has that cool nanotechnology-shielding tech that could also be deployed.
Not "cool" so much as "completely ridiculous and impractical." Surrounding a starship in a thick coat of armor is a terrible idea on many levels. It would block sensors and thrusters, restricting a ship's performance. It would prevent the ship from radiating waste heat into space, so it couldn't be used for long. It would actually increase the radiation hazard to the crew from high-energy weapons fire due to cascading particle reactions within the dense material. And the energy demands of replicating all that matter would be excessive. The only reason the "Batmobile armor" was remotely useful against the Borg was because they'd never seen it before -- probably because nobody in the galaxy was dumb enough to use it before. And the Borg adapted to it during "Endgame," so it was useless against them after that.
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Old May 5 2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Could a transphasic torpedo be programmed to damage a phase-cloaked vessel, which the Romulans (and so potentially the Pact as a whole) now possess?
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Old May 5 2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Could a transphasic torpedo be programmed to damage a phase-cloaked vessel, which the Romulans (and so potentially the Pact as a whole) now possess?
Only if it serves the needs of the story.
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Old May 5 2014, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Could a transphasic torpedo be programmed to damage a phase-cloaked vessel, which the Romulans (and so potentially the Pact as a whole) now possess?
Only if it serves the needs of the story.
Okay, fair enough.
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Old May 6 2014, 12:20 AM   #8
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Was this somehow related to weapons by the Jem Hadar that ignored shields early on?
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Old May 6 2014, 12:39 AM   #9
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

The Borg adapted to them in the Destiny trilogy, rendering them as useless as any other Federation weapon.

There was some puesdo "debate" about the use of them that ultimately wasted good pages, Picard signed off on giving the plans to all ships in the fleet for mass production, they worked for a day, then nothing.

One of our resident mods has already given a sound and reasonable explanation as to the Scimitar using twin shields with an anionic barrier based off a TNG episode that meant she was protected from them, which in turn means Romulans have adapted defences to them too.

They're paper weights 4 years into their use, about 20 years earlier than their discovery in the non-Janeway-fuckedup-timeline.
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Old May 6 2014, 12:46 AM   #10
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
The Borg adapted to them in the Destiny trilogy, rendering them as useless as any other Federation weapon.
Against the Borg, sure, but that's a non-issue post-Destiny anyway. I think the issue on the table is more about why they aren't in use as a weapon against other foes.
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Old May 9 2014, 01:14 AM   #11
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

I don't quite understand the "banned by treaty" limitation. If the Federation signs a treaty promising NOT to use certain weapons (transphasic torpedoes, thalaron radiation-based weaponry, cloaking technology, what-have-you), surely the Starfleet folks in charge of warplanning don't assume a threat isn't going to hit them with any of the above?

A simplistic explanation is that the Federation wishes to be perceived as trustworthy and honorable, hence treaty-compliant, but doesn't that then force the UFP to expend more resources to devise ways to defend against weapons and devices that they have banned themselves from using? But, as the Klingons say, in war there is nothing more honorable than victory...
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Old May 9 2014, 03:28 AM   #12
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

SicOne wrote: View Post
I don't quite understand the "banned by treaty" limitation. If the Federation signs a treaty promising NOT to use certain weapons (transphasic torpedoes, thalaron radiation-based weaponry, cloaking technology, what-have-you), surely the Starfleet folks in charge of warplanning don't assume a threat isn't going to hit them with any of the above?

A simplistic explanation is that the Federation wishes to be perceived as trustworthy and honorable, hence treaty-compliant, but doesn't that then force the UFP to expend more resources to devise ways to defend against weapons and devices that they have banned themselves from using? But, as the Klingons say, in war there is nothing more honorable than victory...
^Television contrivance for storytelling maybe......?

I hope that when post-Hobus Supernova fiction comes, the Romulan Star Empire qualifies enough as "nonexistent" so that the Treaty of Algeron is void. Or something like that so that the Federation can legally have shipboard cloaking devices.
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Old May 9 2014, 04:12 AM   #13
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Sometimes treaties work, because the various nations involved agree that a weapon would be too dangerous or destabilizing for any of them to use. And we've seen at least one such treaty: according to Voyager: "Time and Again," the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans agreed to a ban on polaric ion power in 2267, barely a year after the Romulans came out of seclusion and launched an attack on the Federation. It must've been really scary to bring the three hostile powers to the table so quickly.
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Old May 9 2014, 03:49 PM   #14
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

I'm not sure why the Romulans and Klingons get to use cloaking technology but the Federation doesn't. I mean, clearly there's a treaty in force that says something to the effect that the Federation won't use cloaking technology, thus Picard's outrage speech during TNG's "The Pegasus", but I don't know WHY the Federation would agree to such a unilateral limitation in the first place. Seems rather naive from a real-world perspective. Surely this situation is addressed in a book somewhere, along with some suitable explanation?
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Old May 9 2014, 06:08 PM   #15
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Re: What happened to transphasic torpedoes in the novelverse?

Isn't the backstory of the Treaty of Algeron depicted in the novel Serpents among the Ruins?
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