Coming July 2013: STAR TREK ENTERPRISE — RISE OF THE FEDERATION

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Christopher, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I for one see no reason to assume that "NX" has the same meanings in the Federation vs. United Earth Starfleets. For the UESF, "NX" was a class of ship -- NX-class ships receiving a numerical designation in order of production. Presumably, other classes of UESF ships had other letter designations -- perhaps there's a YF-class starship, for instance.

    So the paradigms -- NX-class vs. [Ship Name]-class; numerical registry for a particular class in order of production vs. general registry of "NCC" and testbed ship registry of "NX" -- seem completely different between the FSF and UESF.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's just it -- the Federation is a different nation from United Earth. Different nations use different vehicle registry prefixes. NCC is for Federation ships. Simple. (True, some of the Daedalus-class ships in the Romulan War books were referred to with NCC numbers, but they were also given the anachronistic "U.S.S." prefix, so the given designations may have been erroneous.)

    However, I recently saw Doug Drexler say something on Facebook about how the intent was for Enterprise to remain NX-01 because it would always be a testbed for new technologies, so even though it was used as the class name, apparently the creators' thinking was that it did represent the experimental/testbed designation even at the time.
     
  3. flavaflav

    flavaflav Captain Captain

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    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a quick question and don't want to start a new thread. In preparation for the new book, I've started a rewatch of 'Enterprise'. I was watching "Minefield" and became a little confused when the Romulan ships decloaked. In the Enterprise books, I thought the Romulans weren't able to cloak ships yet, just objects like mines. Yet in this ep, they can cloak their ships just fine. Am I remembering things incorrectly?
     
  4. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think those ships are described as experimental prototypes in "The Good That Men Do". There's somekind of catastrophic failure because of the power requirements IIRC. It might explain why the Romulan heard over the hail, seemed so concerned about espionage and the prospect humans might be spying on them.

    Another idea to make these cloaks consistent with TOS "Balance of Terror" could be what those flea-like Drones were shown doing in Season 4. Maybe they're using somekind of holographic technology across their hulls... projecting what's around, instead of another starship design. Leaving what we understand to be cloaking technology in later Star Treks, something a lot more complicated? Involving something not possible any earlier, like shifting a profile into subspace beyond any ability to see it. Enterprise occasionally slipped cloak into its dialogue, but more often went out their way to use less futuristic terms like stealth technology or camouflage. Yeah. Not perfect, I know...
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    What really happened was:

    -"Balance of Terror" establishes that cloaking devices were known only to the Federation as "theoretically possible" prior to being seen in the episode.

    -Enterprise ignored the above, and made cloaking devices common a century before TOS. We saw the Xyrillians, Suliban and Romulans using them.

    -The post-Enterprise novels tried to reconcile ENT and TOS, and IMO did so very very badly.

    The concept of invisible ships was amazing and new according to TOS. Even with this novelverse "fix" cloaked Romulan ships should have been a suprise to nobody in 2266, let alone Spock.
     
  6. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Meh, I think it's perfectly plausible that 1) Spock really wasn't up to speed on the historical importance of cloaking devices, and 2) The Romulan vessel in "Minefield", the ChR Praetor Pontilus (which is a really cool name, BTW) was obviously malfunctioning already - notice how it cloaks and decloaks at random moments - until finally it blew itself to pieces from the power overload.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    For what it's worth, Braga has admitted Romulans cloaking in Minefield was genuine continuity error and has even apoligized for it.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I've said over and over again: Logically, there would be an ongoing arms race between cloak and sensor technologies, so there would not be just one kind of cloaking device, there would be many different ones coming and going. And canon itself gave us indisputable proof of this long, long before ENT came along. In "Balance of Terror," the cloak was detectable by motion sensors, but by "The Enterprise Incident," the Romulans had a cloak that couldn't be detected that way. In ST III, the Klingons had a cloak that created a visual distortion, but they'd overcome that problem by ST VI. In said movie, they had a cloak that surmounted that problem and allowed a ship to fire while cloaked, but Spock devised a way to track it. Yet by the TNG era, Starfleet couldn't track cloaked ships and it was again necessary to decloak in order to fire -- so clearly it's a totally different technology by that point, a replacement cloak that got around Spock's detection technique at the cost of undoing the fire-while-cloaked advantage. And we've seen later instances where means of detecting cloaks were devised, and yet in later episodes we were still seeing cloaks that couldn't be detected.

    So it should be indisputable, both from common-sense reasoning and abundant canonical evidence, that cloaking technologies are constantly being rendered obsolete by new detection technologies and then replaced by new cloaking technologies devised to foil those detection technologies. So there's no continuity error here. Or rather, the discontinuities that exist actually help make things more plausible, because they accidentally create evidence of the kind of back-and-forth race between stealth and detection that logically should exist.
     
  9. flavaflav

    flavaflav Captain Captain

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    Thanks for the replies! Things make more sense now. Enterprise era Romulans don't exactly come across as the brightest bulbs. Testing out ship cloaks, which they know are on the fritz, in a cloaked minefield... alrighty then :lol:
     
  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Not in this case. The idea of an invisible starship was new in "Balance of Terror", it certainly wasn't depicted as just the latest part of an ongoing evolution of stealth technology and countermeasures.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Okay, okay. It's fiction. It's a bunch of people making up different stories decades apart. Of course not everything is going to fit. That's why we can use our imaginations and gloss over the discrepancies and make them fit, instead of just whining about it incessantly. Why waste energy on something so negative as complaining when you can use that same energy to do something creative and constructive?
     
  12. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Who says I'm doing that? I'm fine with the changes between the shows. There's a difference between pointing them out and complaining about them.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, I acknowledged in my last paragraph above that discontinuities did exist but could be easily resolved, and you said "not in this case." That sounded like you were rejecting the idea that a resolution was possible.
     
  14. 8of5

    8of5 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It could still be both. We already saw in Enterprise technology used that could penetrate Romulan and Suliban cloaks (albeit not the cloak used on the Bird of Prey). If such sensor technology became part of the standard set of sensors on ships in the mid-22nd century, and there were no major jumps in cloaking technology for the next century, then the idea of a successful invisibility cloak would be alarmingly new by the mid-23rd century.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, exactly my thinking. If the technology was moribund for over a century until a new method was devised, then its revival could come as a surprise.

    Anyway, what Spock actually says is, "Invisibility is theoretically possible, Captain, with selective bending of light. But the power cost is enormous. They may have solved that problem." So I'm sorry, King Daniel, but you're dead wrong when you say that "The idea of an invisible starship was new" at the time. Spock was fully aware of the idea, familiar enough with it that he knew not only how it could potentially be done, but what the practical impediments were. Which suggests that Starfleet did have prior knowledge of experimentation with invisibility.
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    KIRK: I don't see anything. I can't understand it.

    SPOCK: Invisibility is theoretically possible, Captain,
    with selective bending of light. But the power cost is
    enormous.
    They may have solved that problem.

    http://www.chakoteya.net/startrek/9.htm

    Spock is impressed that the Romulans have solved the power cost issue. Flashback a century and the Romulans had small invisible mines (with small power sources, yet they worked) and large invisible starships. Later we saw Romulan starships with holographic projectors coving their hulls, which also worked to fool rival ships. The Enterprise NX-01 even had a cloak-equipped Suliban ship on board for months, and used it in a rescue mission, not to mention their prior enounter wth the Xyrillains and their invisible ship. Kirk "can't understand" how a Romulan ship is invisible when the idea of invisible ships, including Romulan invisble ships, is old hat by the 2260's? No way does that fit without extensive loud coughing and fudging, unless they just don't teach history at Starfleet Academy.

    The way I look at it is, the TV audience of the 1960's wasn't as knowledgable about all the sci-fi concepts we take for granted today. Kirk and Spock were basically explaining to the audience that there is some scientific basis for invisible spaceships, that it's not just some magic.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You're doing it again. You're just restating an inconsistency we all know about already and don't need to be lectured on, instead of applying some imagination to solving the problem, which isn't at all hard to do if you just try it. As several of us have already pointed out, there can be multiple different ways of achieving the appearance of invisibility. What they had in the 22nd century could've been a holographic camouflage rather than "true" light-bending invisibility.


    You just can't solve it because you don't believe you can. I find it quite easy to resolve. NX-01 was able to penetrate the type of cloaking technology the Suliban and "Minefield" Romulans used, thanks to information from Daniels. It's easy enough to assume those sensor protocols were eventually made standard on Starfleet vessels, so that NCC-1701's sensors would've penetrated that kind of cloak so effortlessly and automatically that it wouldn't be worth mentioning. So to all intents and purposes, it wouldn't be "invisibility" anymore, not as far as a Starfleet ship of the line was concerned. So what Kirk wouldn't understand was how the Romulan ship could be invisible to Starfleet sensors, which should be able to automatically penetrate all known forms of stealth technology.

    Yes, it's a fudge. But it's a very, very easy fudge if you just think it through.
     
  18. iarann

    iarann Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Seriously, Star Trek contradicted itself a lot over the years, the appearance of the Klingons was a pretty obvious one for decades until someone created an explanation. I don't understand how someone can be a Star Trek fan without being able to gloss over this stuff, it happened every series from TOS all the way to Enterprise.
     
  19. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It's a YMMV thing. In this case I think its easier to just pretend a few things happened slightly differently in "Balance of Terror" rather than to twist the meaning in the exact words to better fit the other shows. Each to their own.

    Although my opinion has changed since, back when Enterprise was on the air my belief was that the Suliban and Romulans got their cloaking technology from Future Guy, and it was an alteration in the timeline.

    The way the lit reconciles the myriad contradictions in canon is one of the things I enjoy about it. It doesn't mean I have to agree with every single solution offered, nor is my disagreement intended as a personal insult to others.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that you're the one who's projecting a meaning into the BoT lines that simply is not there. The characters are not as completely dumbstruck by the very concept of invisibility as you claim. The exact words they speak make it clear that Starfleet understands the concept quite well and knows exactly how it could be done in theory, but simply never expected it to be made practical. So your interpretation is farther from the exact words than ours is.