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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 10 2012, 11:21 PM   #1
Cadet49
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Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

I was just watching Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan a few weeks ago at a special screening, and something suddenly occurred to me:

If Genesis was potentially so dangerous - David Marcus was worried it could be turned into a weapon - why wasn't there more protection for the project, like armed starships and defensive measures and personnel to protect it? I know David says at one point, "We're all alone here... they waited until everyone was on leave.". But come on ... for a device that had the potential to wipe out all life on a planet, the Genesis project seemed ridiculously unprotected. I understand Starfleet and the Federation would not want to draw attention to the project with a fleet, but surely they could put in more support and protection for the scientists?

... and how did Khan learn so quickly how to operate Genesis to set it to detonate? I understand that he is a genius, but surely there would have been major firewalls and security encryptions protecting such a device. He could have got the access materials from the scientists ... but Terrell said "Khan went wild ... he tore the place apart ... but they (the scientists) would tell him nothing.". So, how did he bypass the security and learn how to operate Genesis so quickly???
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Old August 10 2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Having a heavily armed station with starships patrolling nearby might draw too much attention to the station.

Perhaps the device had little or no security measures, or in the rush to get Genesis away from Kahn they simply forgot to initialise the security protocals.
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Old August 10 2012, 11:49 PM   #3
R. Star
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

I would assume that it would be highly classified(Kirk had to go through security checks to even access the basic information), and that the less people that knew the less likely a leak would be.
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Old August 11 2012, 02:49 AM   #4
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

I also tend to think that the Reliant was assigned to Regula-1 once the Genesis Project entered its final stages. It also seemed the laboratory (and perhaps the entire Mutara Sector) was relatively deep within Federation territory and within easy range of Starfleet vessels in an emergency.
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Old August 11 2012, 03:10 AM   #5
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Cadet49 wrote: View Post
I was just watching Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan a few weeks ago at a special screening, and something suddenly occurred to me:

If Genesis was potentially so dangerous - David Marcus was worried it could be turned into a weapon - why wasn't there more protection for the project, like armed starships and defensive measures and personnel to protect it? I know David says at one point, "We're all alone here... they waited until everyone was on leave.". But come on ... for a device that had the potential to wipe out all life on a planet, the Genesis project seemed ridiculously unprotected. I understand Starfleet and the Federation would not want to draw attention to the project with a fleet, but surely they could put in more support and protection for the scientists?
?
Assigning heavy starships to guard an unremarkable station orbiting a "giant rock in space" would raise eyebrows;it would be like a diamond exchange in an office building being guarded by two guys with M4 rifles. The front door might look like an ordinary office, but the presence of men with weapons means *something* valuable is inside. It would be no different with a fleet of ships orbiting Regula for no apparent reason.

Starfleets policy regarding Genesis was to keep the project *very* low key. The less people involved with the program, the lower the possibility of compromise by either a blabbermouth fleet member or a Romulan/Klingon intelligence agent.
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Old August 11 2012, 02:28 PM   #6
Mr Silver
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Regula I was top secret, even Spock (a Starfleet captain and scientist who knew Carol Marcus' work quite well) didn't know about Project Genesis. The knowledge of the project was strictly confined to those who were involved and Starfleet captain. They simply didn't need the starships, since it would attract unnecessary attention, to anyone not in the know, it was simply a boring research station that was probably researching the nearby Mutara nebula.

When the Genesis planet was created though, that was when pretty much everyone knew about the project. It caused a "galactic controversy" and data relating to the project was leaked into the black market. It was at this point that the sector should have been filled with a strong Starfleet presence in order to ward off unwanted and unauthorised attention. The fact that a damaged, 40 year old starship was able to make it to the planet without any problems, is evidence that there was none.
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Old August 11 2012, 02:31 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Kirk had to go through security checks to even access the basic information
...And he knew what he was looking for, as he supposedly was the goddamn boss of the project! Or at least Carol readily believed that Jim would be the man behind the orders to confiscate Genesis. If even Spock didn't know about this facility, then the theory of it being well hidden is all but confirmed.

It also seemed the laboratory (and perhaps the entire Mutara Sector) was relatively deep within Federation territory and within easy range of Starfleet vessels in an emergency.
This would tend to be supported by the chain of events. In "Space Seed", Khan is found in space supposedly previously frequented by Earth traffic but later more or less abandoned - suggesting it's too close to be of any interest any more, and lacks any attractions of its own. Kirk then tows Khan's ship for a while towards SB 12 - and data in the Memory Alpha entry for SB 12 suggests the base would be an old facility, fairly close not just to Earth but to many "local" sights such as Pollux or Risa, in the "Conspiracy" invasion corridor, etc. That is, about the closest thing there is to Earth without actually being at Earth...

Khan hijacks the starship but is fairly quickly overcome. And then Kirk maroons him - but the act remains unpublished until ST2:TWoK. It thus seems Kirk never deviated much from his original flight plan, or else his forging of the official log would have to be extensive to explain the detour. Quite possibly, Ceti Alpha thus lies close to the location where Khan was found, i.e. in a seldom visited sector fairly near Earth.

Now, Kirk takes a joyride aboard a training ship for his birthday, and ends up being fairly close to Regula. Khan gets from Ceti Alpha to Regula more or less in synch with Kirk. Now, Kirk is specifically summoned, yes - but it doesn't appear that there would be other starships closer by (well, perhaps the Reliant, but her mission might have been secret). So our heroes and villains again appear to be in a seldom visited sector within short travel times. Which also fits the later evidence from ENT "Twilight" where Ceti Alpha makes another appearance.

Things start to look much less probable if we assume that any one of the locations involved here would be distant from Earth. Kirk would have trouble reaching the area on a short birthday cruise; OTOH, the longer the cruise, the greater the coincidence that Kirk's ship would end up being the one closest to Regula when Carol calls.

There are also some problems with assuming that everything lies close to Earth, though. Mainly, there's the issue of crowding: how to fit the four or five important locations close to Earth so that none of them is near regular shipping lines to that central world?

FWIW, if we assume Khan had a sublight ship that traveled for three centuries (1996 to 2266 or thereabouts) but spent just two centuries doing so, the minimum speed would be 0.45 times lightspeed; only at that speed, time dilation would change the travel time experienced onboard to less than 250 years. Which means Khan ended up about 150 lightyears from Earth, which doesn't sound too bad for an area humans would have explored but stopped visiting "years ago" as indicated. It's also an area Kirk could reach on a modest joyride, yet does take the action so far out that various adversary territories might be as close to the region as Earth is (judging by travel times to Romulan, Klingon or Cardassian space in the other shows). Perhaps a good place to go low key for security, rather than draw attention with protective arrangements that still might fail to stop a cloaked opponent or whatnot.

Dunno. It would be easy to argue that the arrangements were risky and unlikely - but as long as it's also easy to argue they were smart and effective, why not do so?

It was at this point that the sector should have been filled with a strong Starfleet presence in order to ward off unwanted and unauthorised attention. The fact that a damaged, 40 year old starship was able to make it to the planet without any problems, is evidence that there was none.
Or that Starfleet really wasn't sure it wanted to stop Kirk by force.

If we go by the assumption that Regula and later Genesis were deep within UFP space, then security might have been ramped up on the "wrong" side of the system - that is, between it and the Klingon border, not between it and Sol.

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Old August 12 2012, 03:14 AM   #8
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Even the most secret of bases would have some sort of failsafe in case things went bad. You don't just have some base tucked away and cross your fingers that nobody will find it.
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Old August 12 2012, 03:27 AM   #9
R. Star
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Use of Time wrote: View Post
Even the most secret of bases would have some sort of failsafe in case things went bad. You don't just have some base tucked away and cross your fingers that nobody will find it.
Like say... a starship on station like Reliant to stay in the area and run it's errands?
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Old August 12 2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Given Carol and David's feelings on Starfleet even having the marginal involvement they did have they may not have even wanted or allowed more security/starships than what they were already given.
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Old August 12 2012, 01:35 PM   #11
Use of Time
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Given Carol and David's feelings on Starfleet even having the marginal involvement they did have they may not have even wanted or allowed more security/starships than what they were already given.
I'm not sure if that would be their call. If they are being allocated the funding and resources i.e. a space station and a Federation starship to assist them, not to mention the extremely volatile nature of the research, then the Federation would most definitely have a say in the overall security. Maybe the Reliant was enough for Starfleet. Maybe they were in communications range with reinforcements that would answer some sort of far off perimeter alert well away from Regula I that would give them time to reach the station first.
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Old August 12 2012, 03:15 PM   #12
Pavonis
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Well, if the Marcuses petitioned the UFP for resources to build their Genesis device, then maybe Starfleet would dictate the security measures to them. But if the UFP government recruited the Marcuses to build some kind of fast terraforming technology, then perhaps they could negotiate with Starfleet as to the security measures they were comfortable with.

Either way, if you want to keep a secret, the best way to do it is not by proclaiming that you have a secret, la la la. No, it's by acting normally. For all we know, many such Regula-type station are operating throughout the UFP doing typical, unclassified scientific research, with occasional support from a nearby starship, too.
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Old August 13 2012, 08:05 AM   #13
R. Star
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Also, maybe this is just my youthful imagination still carrying over from when I watched the TOS movies and TNG as a child, but I got the impression early on that, most of Starfleet wasn't -in- the Federation at all.

They were all out exploring and charting the unknown and that's why so often there were only one or two ships in any given area of the Federation, and certainly why only a few dozen ships could be rallied at Wolf 359 when we later see fleets of hundreds of ships.

The same principle could be applied to Regula and the whole movie timeline and why Enterprise was the only ship around to send to investigate this potentially bad problem.
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Old August 13 2012, 01:18 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Remember that Kirk was almost shocked to find the Reliant where he did - that is, near Regula. This could be read to mean that the mission of the Reliant was secret, and entailed surprising the hell out of foreign intruders as well.

It also seems Kirk believed there should be no starships anywhere near Regula (since his ship was declared the closest), and we know that this was not true because in a scene following Kirk's departure from Earth but predating the SOS, Chekov said the Reliant was just three days away from the lab. So there clearly were security arrangements of sorts in place that not even Kirk knew about - namely, a starship doing a months-long survey of known nearby desert worlds but also capable of pouncing back in a few days.

Regarding Starfleet's defensive failures in the later shows and movies, it would make sense that a dispersed fleet would be calculated to be capable of regrouping for defense as long as the intruding enemy moved at a certain speed (say, the known maximum speed of Klingon invasion fleets). Any enemy capable of higher speed, such as the Borg, would throw such a defensive arrangement to chaos by not leaving time for the regrouping.

It sounds reasonable that Starfleet would also calculate that a starship a couple of days away could get to the laboratory quickly enough after the first warning of an approaching intruder. If clever spies managed to stealthily sneak in, there'd be no such warning, of course - but a starship wouldn't be able to do much about clever spies anyway.

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Old August 13 2012, 01:31 PM   #15
MacLeod
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Re: Why wasn't there security/starships @ Regula station?

Perhaps Starfleet tried to contact the Reliant and when they couldn't, dispatched the Enterprise as the next closest ship. Or perhaps they felt it would be better to send in another ship in case what had affected Regula had also affected Reliant.
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