A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Brendan Moody, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The simple fact is, cloaks wouldn't work on most Starfleet ships. The more power a ship puts out, the more powerful the cloak needs to be to conceal it, so there's a point of diminishing returns. Cloaks are only practical on ships that keep their power use to a strict minimum: stripped-down, no-frills warships. No holodecks, no science labs, no arboretums, not a single luxury. So a ship like the Enterprise or the Titan couldn't practically use a cloak anyway. If you ask me, that's the real reason the Federation agreed not to develop cloaking tech.

    What I've always had trouble believing is that the Klingons would use cloaks. I mean, if Starfleet wouldn't "skulk around," why would the Klingons? Wouldn't they consider it dishonorable to sneak around and hide? Sure, you can somewhat rationalize it on the grounds that warriors value stealth, and that you have to decloak to fire so you're still facing your enemy openly. But the whole idea of Klingons using cloaks is basically an unfortunate artifact of Harve Bennett originally writing ST III with Romulan villains and then failing to change the technology when he changed the species.
     
  2. shanejayell

    shanejayell Captain Captain

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    Which is why the only federation ship that has it is a Defiant class. Makes sense.

    (I'm ignoring the novel Crossover, which had Scotty bootstrap a cloaking device onto a Constitution class ship)

    I always figured Klingons got the cloak as part of their alliance with the Romulans, and couldn't honorably refuse the technology without offending their ally. :klingon:
     
  3. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was the cloak from "Enterprise Incident", though, and we know from that very episode that that model of cloak could conceal a Constitution-class starship.
     
  4. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Didn't Enterprise use a cloack in "Resistance" - the TNG Relaunch novel? Powering down holodecks, science labs, etc is relatively easy - just turn off the switch.

    And the klingons - they sure like to talk about honor.
    Their deeds speak differently. Either that, or the only tenet of their honor code is to be courageous in battle.
     
  5. Vastator

    Vastator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Really though its not like all Klingons are honourable. I mean consider Gowron or Duras or Toral and quite a few others. Seems to be that some Klingons are more concerned with just winning and fighting then worry about things like honour.

    Plus I like to go with what Worf said in regards to Klingons cloaked and lying around in ambush in battlefields:
    "In war, there is nothing more honorable than victory." :klingon:
     
  6. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. The Klingons talk about honor constantly, but they are also practical. The Federation is, arguably, the strongest and best equiped power in the AQ. Since they were the Klingons main adversary in the 2200's, any tech that helps you against your enemies, is good tech. When the two nations became allies, the Klingons ended up making enemies of the Romulans, and at that point, getting rid of cloaking tech would have been foolish. Ships like Birds of Prey are perfect for cloaks as they are as Christopher said: "stripped down no-frills warships."
     
  7. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    What's the most ubiquitous Klingon salutation? Not "honor": it's "Q'Apla!" Success!
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But it wasn't a Connie running at full capacity. IIRC, he was running it on full automation and was the only person aboard. So its power systems would've been down to bare minimum and the cloak would've been viable at least to a limited degree.


    At least it could briefly. And again, maybe the power systems were cut down to minimum. I'm not saying it's physically impossible to cloak a Starfleet vessel, just that the intended functions and mission profiles of most Starfleet vessels are incompatible with the use of cloaks, that you have to trade off so much functionality to make the cloak viable that it's just not worth the trouble to have a cloak as a standard component.
     
  9. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    ^Just because they have a cloak doesn't mean they have to use it very often. If they use it only in emergencies or situations that call for it, there shouldn't be a problem. SF wouldn't use it routinely, only as a defensive tool when in a hostile area/situation. All they need to do is make sure any non-essential systems are on standby. For example...When the cloak is engaged, things like holodecks and high powered labs would be shut down to minimum so they can get the most out of the cloak.

    We know it's against Starfleet policy as they are explorers by trade and not spies. But this is a different Quadrant than it was in 2311 (I can't believe I wrote that :rolleyes:), and any defensive tool should not be discounted because of power constraints...
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, if the Treaty of Algeron didn't exist. My point is, I assume the reason the UFP was willing to agree not to develop cloaking tech was because they could live without it, because it would rarely play a major role in the operations of their ships anyway.

    Perhaps. But that depends on what happens to the treaty.
     
  11. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    In peacetime the cloak has, indeed, only limited usefulness.
    During war, it's a decisive advantage.

    After the Dominion War, The Borg Invasion (and a rather large number of minor wars and skirmishes in recent trekverse history), I would think that the Federation decision makers lost their naivete and see the value of the cloaking technology.
     
  12. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless one can devise a way to keep shields up and fire weapons while cloaked, I don't see the cloak as being particularly useful in combat--not at the speed at which weapons exchange takes place. It's use would be primarily one of mobility: getting your ships to location XY undetected, concealing your ship movements from the enemy, etc; all of which falls apart as soon as the enemy finds a new way to detect cloaked vessels.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  13. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't that a bit back to front? The search for spock pre-dates TNG Klingons by about 3 years - while they are visually the same, I don't think the "honor" aspect of their culture was around then was it? Those were TOS klingons updated for the big screen... or maybe not - I haven't seen the search for spock in over ten years so could completely misreading how they were in that film....

    Now that still leaves the question of where the cloak comes from - I just chalk that up to them stealing one and retro-engineering it into their ships, but there isn't anything wrong with them having a cloak as they are shown on the screen.
     
  14. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    About detecting cloaked ships - the Federation had problems detecting klingon/romulan cloaked vessels for centuries - and it still has. It's a cat and mouse game - you build a better trap, the other side builds a better mouse.

    But a cloak doesn't have to be perfect to be efficient.
    Nowadays, stealth tech is far from perfect; and yet, it gives its possesor a significant advantage. That's why USA and other countries spend billions on developing such technologies - an enemy that can't see you reliably until it's too late is a defeated enemy.

    As for the edge a star trek cloak can give you:

    You can hide the position of your fleet from your enemy at all times - which gives you a gigantic strategical advantage;

    As you said, you can assemble a large invasion fleet and mantain the element of surprise until you fire the first shots - too late for an unprepared enemy;

    You can also attack key bases deep in enemy territory with only small forces;

    Cloak even gives you an edge in ship to ship combat: The "vulnerability window" between full cloak and full shiels is only a few seconds - with inspired piloting, the chances of you being hit by a surprised opponent are minimal - on the other hand, you are prepared, your weapons target a critical area of the enemy ship, enabling you to deliver a devastating first strike. In "Star Trek 3" and "DS9:The die is cast", this is exactly what happened.
    Even more, apparently the latest generation of cloaks allows you to fire - and activate shields - while your ship is hidden - I'm referring to "Nemesis";

    When your ship is damaged or inferior to your opponent's vesel - when your fleet is outnumbered - you can engage cloak and escape death or defeat;

    And then there are the obvious intelligence gathering possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, that's true. I was speaking in retrospect, not claiming that Bennett overlooked anything previously established so much as saying that what was later established about their honor would make more sense if Bennett hadn't grafted Romulan concepts like cloaking devices onto Klingons. And partly I'm just griping because cloaking devices are overused, and because I really hate the Klingon Bird of Prey, another Romulan concept grafted onto Klingons when Bennett changed the species name in his script but neglected to change anything else.
     
  16. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    ^That happened a lot in the movies. It was also originally supposed to be the Romulans in the Kobayashi Maru simulation at the beginning of Star Trek II. (This is reinforced by the lingering references to Gamma-Hydra, which is nearer to the Romulan Neutral Zone than to any portion of Klingon space, and to the fact that, "Klingons don't take prisoners," which is more in keeping with how the Romulans fought because their ships were too small to accommodate prisoners.) It was only changed to the Klingons to match the Klingon ship footage that they were recycling from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
     
  17. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Perhaps, but it seems rediculously 1-sided for the Federation to agree that only they are prohibited from using cloaking devices while the Romulans can cloak to their hearts' content. I mean, my god, was the Romulan War going THAT badly for the Federation that they would concede to that point?!

    While I agree that a cloaking device would not be at all practical for something like a Galaxy-class exploration vessel/luxury hotel in space, they could at least outfit their smaller, more combat-focused ships with it. Perhaps they could even develop a new class of larger, more heavily armed warships comparable to a Klingon Negh'var-class battlecruiser or a Romulan warbird. It may seem somewhat antithetical to the Federation's peaceful intentions but it would also seem a necessary evil after the cataclysms of the Dominion War & the Borg invasion and uncertainty of this new era of the Typhon Pact.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There were no cloaking devices used in the Earth-Romulan War. The treaty in question is what I suppose you'd have to call the second Treaty of Algeron (since some later episode writer confused it with the one that ended the Romulan War, thereby retconning an earlier one into existence), which came about after the Tomed Incident of 2311. I believe Serpents Among the Ruins addresses the factors underlying the treaty.

    And as I've already said, that could indeed happen if the treaty ceases to apply. After all, the lines have been redrawn, and it's questionable whether the Romulan government that was a signatory to the treaty can even be considered to exist anymore. For that matter, we don't know if the treaty is even still binding at all, since the Romulans allied with the UFP during the Dominion War and allowed the use of the cloak on the Defiant. So it's possible that the question is already moot.
     
  19. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which episode established a previous Treaty of Algeron?
     
  20. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Furthermore, I wonder if there's a possibility of Starfleet sharing cloaking technology with their current ally, the Imperial Romulan State. (BTW, never call the Imperial Romulan State by its initials or they'll take all your money.)
     

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