NuTrek's Starfleet

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Crazy Eddie, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I covered that in the first couple of chapters. In the first place, it isn't "space" that you're exploring, it's the various things IN space. Solar systems, planets, asteroids, comets. Gravity tends to pull those things into little knots that aren't too expansive in themselves, but the space BETWEEN them is incomprehensibly vast.

    For a given cluster of stars (say, 8 or 9 systems gravitationally bound) a single starship could explore the entire cluster over the course of a year, bouncing from one system to the next at a modest warp 3 or 4. For that entire year it might be the only starship in that cluster, or indeed, the only starship within a dozen light years in any direction. Other more "lively" areas along known trade routes or in the vicinity of populated colonies would get a stronger presence, but even that would be a ratio of perhaps one starship per solar system, IF that.

    This doesn't change all that much even in the 24th century; the Federation simply controls a lot more systems and planets and the fleet is expanded accordingly.

    A "network" would imply sharing of resources from a single point, distributing it out to its end users on the frontier. That is decidedly NOT how Starfleet does things, nor could they afford to with the distances involved.

    Fleet support comes primarily from the Starbases, which in turn depend on the colonies and civilian population centers built around them. The starbases keep the fleet stocked and supported using materials, food and fuel produced locally; very little gets shipped out to Starbases from Earth, although quite a bit gets exported from the colonies TO Earth.

    The reason for this is twofold. First, it makes a lot more sense economically to rely on the local industry to support the fleet, as that strengthens the colonies' own local economy (giving everyone something productive to do). Second, relying on local resources shortens the supply chains dramatically and allows each starbase and its adjacent colonies to act in "Standalone" mode in the event of war. So a war with, say, the Klingon Empire wouldn't necessarily involve a situation where the Klingons start raiding Federation shipping between Earth and the Frontier, because most of that shipping is civilian in nature and has very little strategic value. Instead, the Klingons would have to try and take the entire colony: the dilithium mines, the metal works, the factories, the farms, the hospitals, the labs, the motor pools, the dry docks, the shipyards, the power plants, the pubs, the stadiums, the schools, the local militia. The whole kit and caboodle. The orbiting starbase and its ground facilities would almost be their own pocket Starfleet and could still operate independently (for the most part) even if the entire rest of the Federation had burned to the ground.

    What little shipping and support DOES take place is handled by robot freighters (the Woden et al) or by the Earth Cargo Service aka the "Merchant Marine" mentioned in TOS. There's also the civilian privateer freighters unaffiliated with any government service, from various Federation races, who would be happy to take a high-paying commission from Starfleet on the rare occasion they need something they can't manufacture themselves.
     
  2. robau

    robau Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This is amazing stuff that I only just now found out about. Can't wait to dig in.
     
  3. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    One central point?

    I wasn't viewing this network in those terms. Not with the way the UFP is scattered across the nearspaces of the Arm, as you've observed (and I agree). It's a distributed multi-hub network. Not unlike the Net itself.

    And the ECS would not be the only component of the UFP's merchant marine. Every member world would have a service akin to ECS, and many of the older colonies not yet graduated to full-member status would be building such as well.

    Liking how this discussion's going. It's productive. Stirs the brainpower.
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that's a much bigger topic than either of us probably realize.

    Starfleet is a very important organization for reasons that have nothing to do with its size, which isn't huge. In a lot of ways, trying to keep unity among a dozen disparate civilizations -- some of whom used to actually hate each other -- requires a lot of sensitivity and compromise over who is allowed to do what and when and where.

    Starfleet gets the best exploration targets because they were founded to open up the resources of space to the benefit of ALL Federation members and they have earned a lot of credibility on that issue. They are tasked with interstellar security too, for the same reason: they are trusted to be impartial in conflict disputes and exercise tremendous patience not to resolve those conflicts by simply gunning down one side or the other.

    The way I'm seeing it is that Starfleet is a smaller piece of a much larger picture and a lot more happens "behind the scenes" than we have ever had a reason to see. As a consequence, there isn't really a sense of "government issue" in their equipment: they have a standardization (for the most part) for what they use and how it's configured, but they still have to obtain that equipment from suppliers or obtain the parts needed to manufacture it themselves. They build their own weapons, they repair their own ships, assemble their own shuttlecraft from scratch. What little they don't make themselves they have made for them at local machine shops at starbases and use the parts to make the final product themselves.

    The result is that most starbases and even some starships (flagships in particular) are almost totally self-sufficient for their operational needs. Smaller cruisers and scout ships have to rely on the larger facilities of starbases and civilian colonies and will occasionally have to put in to a port somewhere to use a dry dock, but the flagships have their own industrial fabricators with enough capacity and engineering equipment to practically rebuild themselves if they have enough time and raw materials. Ironically, this means that Starfleet technology is only as advanced as its crews have the capacity to repair: they wouldn't install anything so cutting edge that only a handful of people know anything about it. Quite the opposite: a lot of what goes into a starship is practically "open source" and common enough that anyone in the engineering department will be thoroughly familiar with every part of it by the time he leaves the academy, and even well versed on planned improvements (just in case Starfleet emails them specs for an in-situ retrofit). The rather infamous down side of this is that most visiting aliens on a starship are seeing technology that, to them, might be ten years old or more, and so sabotaging the ship turns out not to be all that difficult... :vulcan:



    The ECS: I consider the term "merchant marine" to be a term that was used only because M5 inheritted Daystrom's penchant for anachronisms. The Merchant Marine is the ECS inasmuch as Starfleet is UESPA. No doubt Earth is also served by a variety of non-governmental agencies -- corporations, freight lines, tour companies, charities, privateers, etc -- who also operate rather successfully in space: couriers, freighters, ore ships, people movers, grain ships, etc. By the late 22nd century, the Jehovas Witnesses have started wandering the stars, looking for centers of suffering and deprivation and offering relief in exchange for "a few minutes of your time." (Yes, they're kind of annoying, but feeding five thousand people with a loaf of bread and a fish is a lot easier when you have replicator technology). Meanwhile, the Vulcans have their own shipping companies, private merchants and trading families, as do the Andorians, the Bolians, the Tellarites and so on. There are probably a few hundred thousand distinct corporate entities alone that have large footprints in the commercial space industry and a few million people involved in interplanetary and interstellar commerce on one level or another.

    As you can sort of see above, I'm trying to get away from some of the "monoculture" portrayals. Even in the 23rd century, even at its presently small size, the Federation is ALOT bigger than Earth, and the Federation members are much more than people who happen to be following Earth's lead. Everyone is contributing in their own way, and their various contributions are what help keep the Federation together. Earth's contribution is this huge exploration fleet that allows them to share resources peacefully without fighting over who gets access to what or fighting pointless wars over "Which one of us is going to have to marry that Elaasian bitch?" etc etc. Other races contribute in other ways we haven't seen because they don't usually involve deep space exploration, each with a specialty (or two) that the Federation could barely function without.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lots more sheets here. Big update, so it's going in two parts.

    Planning to do a lot of edits to these later as I am not entirely happy with them, but not sure how to fix it. Really looking for feedback on this one.:alienblush:


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  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Second part of today's update.


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  7. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Pictures or profiles that don't work for me:
    The SIG-14 -You're showing the Vengeance's torpedo tubes there. Why not use the designation for the Gattling Phasers?
    SIG-5 - Is that a Halo screencap? It takes me out of the whole "this is nuTrek" vibe when you've got something that's so not in keeping with the universe's aesthetic.
    AEG-37 - Is there any real reason it's a Federation/Starfleet weapon?
    HG-79 - I don't get the connection between the K'Normians and the Bajorans, nor why the gun was considered a peace offering.
    Peacemaker - Do you want a screencap from the game? I could get one for you from the customization menu.
    "Galactic Peace" - For the love of god, swap that picture out for something else. There has to be something more obscure you can use than a Mass Effect gun.

    Also, put the last picture before the entries about the nuTrek movie phasers, because they make little sense without the context provided by that pic.
     
  8. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Wasn't the AIG-37 the one the VFX team on ST XII called the "Boolean Gun"?
     
  9. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because
    1) WHAT gatling phasers?
    2) Near as I can tell, the turrets on the Vengeance would have been phaser banks either way. This is such, because Into Darkness depicted a range of beam weapons of various sizes, all of them being large gun-looking things that emit Star Wars style energy bolts. Photon torpedoes, on the other hand, are depicted for the first time as not actually requiring any sort of highly sophisticated launch hardware; you can stick a torpedo tube anywhere and cover it with a hatch. Which -- if the intention had been for Vengeance to fire TORPEDOES at the Enterprise -- is exactly what we would have seen there.

    Placeholder until i find a better one. Nice eye, though.

    What I'd very much like to see are some better closeups in high-res of Vengance's forward phasers (firing from the docked battle pods) or better angles of the Kelvin/Newton types where said weapons would probably be housed. There's A LOT of imagery in the IDW comics, but the artwork leaves something to be desired for this project and I might have to work out something from scratch (which will take time because I suck at drawing).

    It definitely isn't a Klingon weapon. To begin with, all Klingon weapons in the film use a green glow while the big gun fires orange. More to the point, it's in about the same power class as the D4's cannons, so it's probably Starfleet's equivalent.

    Supplemental materials also suggest that Khan was on Section 31s payroll for a substantial length of time before he went rogue. Setting up a Starfleet/Section 31 weapons cache where he (and/or his people) could get at it would have been par for the course.

    In "Countdown to Darkness" Mudd's daughter is (strongly implied to be) half-Bajoran and has evidently been in the gun running business for the better part of a decade. The film, however, identifies her ship as a "K'Normian Trading Vessel" and the novelization goes a step further by suggesting that the K'Normians themselves are not actually Federation members and would have "a lot of explaining to do" if the Klingons found out who was behind the shootout in Ketha Province.

    When you combine this with what we know about Pre-occupation Bajor -- that they already had space travel and probably star travel as well, that they have the technical know-how to build modern-style weapons and fighter craft (in a cave, with a box of scraps), that they operate a rigid caste system and are very accepting of outsiders, I get that the K'Normians (who may or may not be entirely Bajoran) recently made contact with the Federation, much to the delight of their arms traders.

    Couldn't hurt, but I've been fiddling around trying to get high-res action shots that dont look too cartoonish. Settled on concept art, again as a placeholder.

    The funny thing is, I'm having trouble with the Nimbus-III rifle. On the one hand, its hard to find any real images of it anywhere that aren't sloppy-looking reproductions made out of super soaker parts. On the other hand, the ORIGINAL looked pretty damn sloppy and I probably wouldn't use it if I could find it.

    Basically, I'm getting to the point where I need to start shopping around for art work. Until then, rough draft is rough.:klingon:

    Please elaborate...
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Haven't heard that before, but that has a nice ring to it. Reminds me of the "Binary rifle" from Halo 4, though I wouldn't be surprised if that was intentional.

    I'm assuming that would refer to that one golden-eyed ensign on the bridge whose (poorly-delivered) line was cut from the theatrical version. Always assumed he was some kind of TOS-style binar or something, but this works too.

    Not sure if "established" is the right word, though, since the actual species name was never made canon. OTOH, we could always assume some kind of Trill-style retcon (Odan vs. Dax) or else assume, as I do, that the K'Normians are at least partially multi-ethnic. Either way, they're almost certainly NOT Federation members; the Novelization mentions a number of times that Kirk and Spock have a little trouble with Mudd's ship because they keep having to use their translators just to read the flight controls properly.
     
  12. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Those phasers in the weapons pods. A bunch of them seem to be coming in directions with a circular rotation of the emitters, although the arcing of the pulses makes a bit harder to see.

    Having rewatched the scene on Youtube, there's nothing pointing either way. That said, reading and preferring the novelization has colored my perception of those weapons towards torpedo launchers, given their description in the novel.

    I never got any connection between the Bajorans and the K'Normians, since we do know that people can just buy ships from other species in Trek. I also don't get why the Federation would contract with them, even if they made some pretty good guns - it's one thing to contract with a vendor headquartered in an allied nation (like the US did with the M9 pistol), it's another to contract with people you have no real relationship with.

    I hope that turns out well.

    I got a lot of pics of real and fictional guns, if you need any inspiration. Try looking on Forgotten Weapons for some obscure, low maintenance designs too.

    Basically, when it comes to writing, it's generally a better idea to fully explain what something is the first time you mention it, rather than just loosely associate two concepts, like you do in the phaser carbine entry (especially when some of your readers are vaguely aware that the K'Normians are a separate species from the Bajorans). All it would literally take is the line about the K'Normians being the Bajoran spacer caste from the Peacemaker entry and putting in where the K'Normian Alliance is mentioned in the Magnum Phaser entry.
     
  13. anh165

    anh165 Commander Red Shirt

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    Great stuff on the phaser technology. Interesting concept that a phaser is a combination of signals that breaks down the target mass as effectively as possible rather than some fancy beam of light.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Been freeze-framing that scene, but I'm not seeing any circular motion there. Might show up on Blu-Ray, tho...

    Like I said, the only connection is Mudd's daughter. She's the arms merchant who was working with Robert April on Phadeus-IV; her ship is the one used in STID, which suggests that when Kirk is pretending to be a K'Normian arms dealer, he's basically trying to impersonate Mudd.

    It's not the weapons that the Federation buys, it's the technology. MAKING things is trivially easy: you tell the computer what to do and it either manufactures the device or it manufactures the parts for YOU to assemble. So when someone comes up with a superior design for a piece of technology you already use, buy the rights from the original designer.

    Noted.
     
  15. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Back to the Constitution-class hangar bay for a moment: the freeze-frame "King Daniel" gave us of the wireframe visual of the hangar seems to confirm your thinking re: that class having on average 24 shuttles...
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I had originally based it on the view from the shuttlebay in the 2013 videogame, which showed landing pads sufficient for 16 shuttlecraft; the same bay had 4 unused landing pads next to the clamshell doors with room for 4 additional shuttles, plus some elevator-like structures leading to what I assumed was a hangar below decks (probably Shuttle Bay 2 that launched Mudd's ship in STID). That would make for 24 shuttles maximum.

    The video King Daniel linked to shows a reconfigured bay somewhere longer than the game depiction and knocks out the decking between the main hangar and the lower level. So the shuttles here are in four rows of six (port, starboard, upper, lower) instead of four rows of four, making 24 in the main hangar alone. The lower level is now a cargo bay, but obviously has a large exit hatch for visiting spacecraft and/or short range shuttles that shouldn't need to use the big door.
     
  17. Marion85

    Marion85 Ensign Newbie

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    I absolutely love this manual, but are you going to get get into the USS Vengeance specs at all, or not get into it further because it was a section 31 ship which technically didn't exist as far as starfleet was concerned?
     
  18. Marion85

    Marion85 Ensign Newbie

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    I like your explanation for how the flagship Enterprise is able reach the velocities it seems to make in these movies, but just to be a pain in asymmetric photons, why don't there seem to be ANY transwarp ships in the TNG era or beyond? Voyager would have a much shorter series if starfleet could have just sent a transwarp flagship out to pick up the crew...
     
  19. gerbil

    gerbil Captain Captain

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    I'm not sure if they ever established how starfleet intended to use "transwarp" or what it actually was in that context. It may be incorporated into later designs (hence the realigned warp scales) or the crews might have all turned into salamanders and the project was scrapped.
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Commodore Commodore

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    Hello there!
    I know this is bumping a thread, but this project is great and wanted to offer any help the author might need in continue this project.

    Please keep up the good work!