Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by rfmcdpei, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Folks, let's keep in mind what the subject matter of this thread and this forum are supposed to be. If you want to debate the specifics of the 2009 Star Trek film for the fifty gazillionth time, there is an appropriate forum for that elsewhere on the TrekBBS. This is the Literature forum and the topic of the thread is about the Romulans' role in the Lit-verse in the wake of Destiny.
     
  2. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Saying vulcans are romulans is much like saying that cold war russians were americans. With the difference that the cultural gap between these two nations was FAR FAR smaller.

    Also - countries generally have a population far below 50 million people. That does NOT mean their survival is biologically endangered in any way, shape or form.

    AKA, as I already said "When they wrote the script, the scenarists' intent was to have the vulcans be an endangered species (10000 of them) and the 24th century romulans be all but extinct.

    Of course, that does not really make sense when one considers the capabilities of an interstellar trek civilization.
    Which is why many interpret the movie as "Nero was emotionally compromised and his words are not to be taken at face value" or "Spock was emotionally compromised and his words are not to be taken at face value".

    Of course, this hand-waving interpretation does not really fit the events as presented in star trek XI, is forced - and it shows.
    Nevertheless, it may be preferable."

    The current lit continuity borrowed some snippets - names and a few concepts - from the rihannsu books.
    It did NOT - at this point, it can't (I already gave relevant examples) - borrow the books' plot and most of the concepts presented therein.

    Generalising from borrowing those snippets to ~'everything from the rihannsu books that's not already contradicted is part of the lit continuity' is a poor argument, based on a logical fallacy.

    Do you actually doubt I could come with 2-3 different explanations for this (for example, the federation was trying to obtain romulan neutrality, the relevant information given at the meeting being general enough that it was common knowledge)?
    Or that you could find counterarguments that I could, again, refute, generating a lenghty discussion that will never go anywhere, being, essentially, a waste of time?:evil:

    Rihannsu 5 - the book that ends with the romulans and the federation being friends - was written AFTER star trek VI was filmed.
    Meaning there is no chance star trek VI was meant to incorporate ideas from the rihannsu 5 (see romulan-federation friendship).

    In star trek V and VI, the scenarists imagined half-hearted attempts at rapprochement that are orders of magnitude below what rihannsu 5's friendship would imply.
    You are trying to connect the two in a way that was not intended by their creators; the result is, inevitably, a forced interpretation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  3. Nick M

    Nick M Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Back in Desert Storm I was with a unit where the radio operator needed another Soldier with him to translate. No biggie right? What he was having trouble with was comms between a Field Artillery unit from Arkansas and the British 1st Armoured Division. Yes, both speak English, but the accents were so thick that it was, at times, very hard to understand.
     
  4. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Sure, but we're not talking about cultures, but about species. Vulcans and Romulans belong to different cultural groups but not to different species, at least if we're not using the most common definition of a species as "a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring." Vulcans and Romulans are interfertile, as one would expect given that they've the same homeworld and were separated only two millennia ago, hence they belong to the same species.

    Earth has almost seven billion people. I kill all but seventy million of these. This doesn't threaten the survival of the human species.

    Which is irrelevant since the writers have now clarified that line, stating explicitly that refers to the total number of Vulcans saved on-planet.

    Of course, that does not really make sense when one
    It would be a logical fallacy if I said that the Rihannsu books were incorporated entirely. I didn't. Instead, I said that where possible authors were taking major cultural, historical, and other facts re: Romulan civilization as according to Duane's novels and explicitly incorporating them into the novelverse. Romulan history, culture, and language as presented in the novelverse is basically as Duane wrote them.

    Sharing highly specific plans with the Romulans seems rather risky.

    With respect, if you don't like having your arguments disproved with specific citations, you don't have to make them. I'm the person providing citations, including URLs. And you?
     
  5. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    OK, sorry.

    So. The two Romulan states may have gotten off relatively lightly compared to the Federation because the Federation core worlds were the main targets of the Borg invaders, and plausibly even relatively lightly compared to the Klingons because of the use of the numerous metaweapons that the Romulans have built and deployed whenever possible. Subspace weapons and thalaron projectors would be likely. The Romulans have probably taken note of what happened with the Tomed, and suicide runs into Borg cubes or nearby objects at warp speed could take care. The Phoenix class of Romulan starships described in the game Star Trek Armada--doomsday weapons to be used only if Romulan civilization was threatened, ships that would rip the fabric of space-time--would be used, et cetera.

    If a relatively successful Romulan defense against the Borg in 2381 was based substantially on the use of metaweapons, what would the reaction of Romulan neighbours be? Presumably many of these weapons would be barred by interstellar treaty. How would the Federation and the Klingons react to the fact that the Romulans have been stockpiling these weapons anyway?

    The relative impact of the Borg invasion on the two Romulan states is also worth noting. Judging by the indications we've gotten about the borders of the RSE and the IRS, a case could be made that the RSE was substantially more exposed to the Borg than the IRS. If--my guess from the maps provided earlier--a quarter of RSE space was wrecked, versus a smaller fraction of IRS space, the RSE economy would be faring even worse than before. Might RSE:North Korea::IRS:South Korea?

    The division of the RSE into two successor states might also reflect long-standing cultural divisions within a Romulan civilization that's relatively diverse even if we're talking about the Romulans of Vulcan background, never mind the various subject species. The RSE Romulans might be more conservative and xenophobic, as a rule, than the IRS Romulans.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, by that definition, pretty much all Trek humanoids are the same species.

    Still, even by Trek definitions, you're right that Vulcans and Romulans are the same species. The populations only diverged 2000 years ago, and even by Trek's wonky genetics, that's not enough time for speciation.
     
  7. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

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    Yes, rfmcdpei, this does not threaten the survival of the human species. 70 million people is MORE THAN ENOUGH for the species not to be biologically endangered.

    If these 70 million people belong to only one culture, though, all other cultures will be extinct. But this one culture is under no threat of disappearing.

    Apropos this, since, apparently, I have to spell this out: When I say vulcans, I mean vulcan species&culture as in NOT romulan species&culture. When Spock, in star trek XI says 'vulcans' he means vulcan species&culture aka the same thing.

    In star trek, the vulcans and the romulans are treated as two separate entities, despite their kinship; when trek characters use the term 'vulcan species' they include in this concept only the vulcans and their culture; similarly 'romulan species' is referring only to romulans.

    Hardly irrelevant. Like any retcon, this is to some extent forced, it doesn't quite fit with the movie.

    rfmcdpei, generalising from a few snippets (and I mean snippets - they don't even cover 1% of the concepts introduced in the rihannsu books) to everything that isn't contradicted is an obvious generalisation (a rather large one, too) aka a logical fallacy.
    Do I really need to post a link detailing how generalisation is a logical fallacy?

    Actually, it is - I don't like having my time quite so pointlessly wasted.

    About your 'citations' - they are quite useless, as well; at least the ones addressed to me are:
    For example, a repeat of your generalisation about the rihannsu books is really not needed.
    Or you trying to be pedantic about species/culture, when it's obvious there is no confusion about the concepts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    We don't know that. We do not know that at all. The Narada was at least a century more advanced than anything the Federation had -- if not more, if it was made from Borg technology -- and if it survived one trip into a new timeline, there's no reason to think it can't do so again.

    And do recall that Nero declared his intention to continue combat with the Enterprise if they attempted to rescue him.

    No, it's akin to shooting an enemy who's about to walk into a village with an AK-47 and shoot someone.

    Dude, killing your enemy in a firefight he started when he has not yet surrendered, has not been captured, and represents an immediate threat to innocent life, is not a war crime.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, if you guys want to debate stuff about the movie that has nothing to do with the topic of Trek Lit Romulans post-Destiny, why are you doing it in this thread?
     
  10. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Means but doesn't say. Maybe. Shall this be inferred where other thngs aren't supposed to be?

    Anyhow. I'd like to apologize for my role in taking this conversation downhill. I do think you are dewmonstrably wroong, but I wish I had the basic smarts not to take the conversation in the direct that I did. I'm sorry.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    One of the persistent problems with ST's approach to aliens is that it usually treats "species," "culture," and "nation" as interchangeable terms. And that simplistic thinking leads to errors like defining Vulcans as a "species" instead of a cultural and ethnic subdivision of the greater Vulcanoid species that includes Vulcans and Romulans.

    And really, going around in circles arguing about the meaning of one sentence in a movie can't be the most meaningful way of exploring that subject. Surely there are larger and more interesting questions to be examined within the context of the thread topic.
     
  12. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    OK, makes sense.

    Might I ask what you think of the topic nominally at hand?
     
  13. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Because it helps with our insommnia.
     
  14. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the tip for "Serpents", which I have but have not read yet.

    Not to turn this into a discussion that should be moved over to Trek Tech, but since it's been stated in canon that Romulan ships are powered by an artificial quantum singularity (I am operating under the assumption here that somehow they have "harnessed" an artificial black hole), could it simply be that the Verithrax just got close enough to the cube to ram it and that the cube was drawn into the mini-black hole?

    I'm thinking Occam's Razor might be at work here...we're speculating about meta-super-ultra-Earth-shattering-kaboom!-weapons, when this is a more simple, perhaps more realistic, and more elegant solution that does not involve the other Quadrant powers feeling the need to invade Romulus to keep these metaweapons out of the hands of the Empire.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No way. A quantum singularity is microscopic, extremely low in mass. It can only "draw in" things that get extremely close to it. You could probably send a quantum-singularity "bullet" clear through a Borg cube, but the damage would be little worse than a micrometeoroid would inflict, just a bunch of small puncture holes. And that's assuming a comparatively large quantum singularity, large enough to be useful as a power source (assuming the power is generated by dumping stuff in and harnessing the resultant x-ray emissions -- which calls for a singularity large enough to draw in more than the occasional subatomic particle that gets too close).
     
  16. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    ::nods::

    If the Romulans are known to have these weapons, and it's widely known that they have these weapons, it could be that either the RSE is sufficiently stable in other ways for these weapons not to be an issue, or that it's seen as far too dangerous to go after the RSE on account of these weapons--compare Mao's China, or unfortunate North Korea now. If the Romulans are sufficiently subtle in their foreign dealings, they might not be that big of an issue.

    (Given Romulan foreign dealings since 2364, that's expecting to much.)

    The other possibility is that they might not be known to have these weapons, or maybe not widely known. North Korea tests its nuclear bombs only a few hundred kilometres from large Chinese cities (the Chinese don't seem to be happy about this), but the RSE has huge volumes of space. If the RSE's isolationism is sufficient and counter-intelligence good enough, it might be able to build up an arsenal without anyone knowing. Or, a portion of the RSE might be able to build an arsenal of metaweapons without many people within the RSE necessarily knowing. The Tal Shi'ar's offensive against the Founder's homeworld may have been as much a surprise to the Senate and the other branches of the Romulan polity as the Obsidian Order's was to the Cardassian Union.

    It might just be that the Romulans are just better positioned, not only by virtue of mentality but because of the way their technical base is set up, to metaweaponize their existing military technologies. It's been said that if Japan wanted, its civilian nuclear and space technology was such that it could become a nuclear weapons state in a few months. The other Alpha/Beta Quadrant powers have the same technological ability as the Romulans, the singularity drive being the main factor unique to the Romulans, but maybe the Romulans just have somewhat unorthodox technical manuals and classes at Grand Fleet Academy for engineers and commanders? If we're going by the novelverse, the suicide attack on Coridan had metaweapon-like effects even if the technology used was well-understood by everyone around.
     
  17. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Hmm. What about Hawking radiation? Maybe a Romiulan singularity-equipped warbird's self-destruct routine would mean that the warbird would stop feeding the singularity with the result it would explosively decay?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^That would be a significant burst of energy, but it's basically the same principle behind a quantum torpedo, I think. I don't think it would be sufficient to destroy a whole Borg cube.
     
  19. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    The Verithrax was destroyed defending Coridan, right? A Federation planet? Very noble of them. However, there are some improbabilities at work here.

    The Borg were destroying everything in their path, including Romulan worlds. While the Romulans assisted with defense of Federation worlds (or at least one), we don't know if that warbird stood alone or fought in conjunction with other ships, whether Federation or Romulan (or Klingon...). We don't know what weapons it used, meta or otherwise. We don't know if it was a D'Deridex-class or Valdore-type. We don't know if, perhaps, other ships kept it busy while it maneuvered for a suicide run as was depicted by some other Federation ships; perhaps by then that strategy was the only thing working, and I can see said tactic being more successful in the highly-maneuverable Valdore-type than the lumbering D'Deridex. Right now, I don't even remember if this incident was depicted in the Destiny trilogy or spoken of in one of the follow-on novels. The author was intentionally vague on specifics of the battle. Perhaps the full story is being saved up for some future "Tales Of The Destiny Event" anthology...

    All we appear to know (and no, I'm not gonna leaf through the Destiny books until I find the relevant dialogue) is that this particular ship was destroyed in glorious battle defending a Federation world.

    Therefore, I am disinclined to believe that metaweapons were involved for the following reasons.

    (1) The Verithrax was destroyed in the encounter, which would suggest that a suicide run was involved. I can't think of a metaweapon installed on a ship that would require the destruction of the ship upon firing it or detonating it. Even the Defiant, a "metaship", so to speak, has a last-ditch weapon of several photon torpedo warheads in the deflector pod, as stated in the DS9TM; the pod can be ejected at an enemy and possibly save the rest of the ship. Yeah, I know, the metaweapon might have been damaged and couldn't be fired or activated without affecting the Verithrax, but again, Occam's Razor applies.

    (2) Unless the ship was just meandering through Federation space at the time, just happening to be in the vicinity when the Borg came screaming out of the Azure Nebula, the Verithrax would have had to receive orders to venture into Federation space to intercept the Borg. And quite frankly, I don't really see the Romulans sending a metaweapon-equipped warship in harm's way just to defend a Federation planet. To defend a Romulan world, yes; Federation world, no. "Well, SicOne, maybe EVERY Romulan warship carries metaweapons!". That's indeed possible, but unlikely. In fact, I can see that possibility existing pre-"Nemesis", but after the coup and schisms in the military (like the one that led Donatra to aid the Enterprise-E), I could see them pulling all metaweapons off ships-of-the-line, with the exception of a few ships kept in close vicinity to Romulus and other very important worlds and sites in the Empire. Which leads me to...

    (3) With the Borg-unchained action going on, ANY ships equipped with metaweapons would in all likelihood been ordered to Romulus immediately, to form a metablockade against the Borg. Romulus appears to certainly be very, very important to the Empire; I would imagine the Empire could exist without Romulus, but it would, I think, be akin to the old Soviet Union without Moscow. The dinosaur still lives, but it's brain is destroyed and it's still thumping around without motive or direction, but moving nonetheless. But a Romulan Star Empire without Romulus itself would be unacceptable from at least a military point-of-view, and they'd pull out all the stops to defend the planet. Therefore, if Verithrax were so equipped, she would probably have been ordered to defend Romulus, or at least Borg targets in Romulan space.

    (4) Finally, if no other great power in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants used some kind of metaweapon, the Romulans' use of metaweapons would lead to some very serious questions at the end of it all. Granted, everyone was in for the fight of their lives, but if you're fighting a conventional war and some third party decides to go nuclear, well, that third party's gonna get grilled pretty severely when it's all said and done. A "balance of terror" works only if there's a balance. If one side has metaweapons, I don't believe that another side would allow that imbalance to remain unaddressed... and I don't believe the Klingons would allow the Romulans to possess metaweapons, even if the Federation did. Raid on Osirak, anyone?
     
  20. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    It was Ardana.

    The Verithrax was described as being destroyed in Ardana's defense in the third Destiny book, in the same passage where Admiral Akaar mentioned that the da Vinci made Troyius disappear, as the only two good news items coming from the front. A Singular Destiny went into more detail about the effects of Verithrax, with mention being made about the new popularity of Romulan military haircuts among the surviving Ardanans and the logistical problems caused by every other refugee settlement's decision to name itself after the Verithrax. The only detail we got out of the battle was that the extended firefight between the Verithrax and the Borg attacker did cause significant collateral damage to the planet.

    Agreed. The Verithrax incident seemed relevant to the Romulan metaweapon question mainly since it's described as the single ship responsible for the attacker's destruction. That's impressive for a single ship, especially since neither Romulan state was given the specifications for transphasic weapons. That, I think now, is probably also irrelevant.

    Agreed. Any Romulan ship in Federation space from either empire was probably in transit, either to its state of allegiance or to the Azure Nebula.

    What happened with "Nemesis" was a worst-case scenario so far as WMD use goes. Regardless of the canonicity of the Rihannsu novels (or the degree of their canonicity, et cetera, whatever), the idea of trying to launch a decapitating attack on Earth while you're involved in a war versus the Federation and trying to hold of the Klingons makes a certain amount of sense. Trying to launch a decapitating attack on Earth while you seem to have a friendly relationship with the Federation and are in the middle of negotiating a closer alliance makes no sense at all. I doubt it made anyone feel better that this wasn't the action of the "legitimate" Romulan government, but rather the action of coup-plotters. Oh, everyone concerned with Romulans is going to be twitching for years ...

    If metaweapons, or metaweapons capability, was fairly common in the Romulan fleet, I'm not sure that the metaweapons or the metaweapons capability would have been pulled uniformly. The schisms in the military, mapping onto who knows what sorts of political and cultural fault lines, would make it difficult to ensure that an order to pull the metaweapons would be followed.

    Metaweapons might be illegal, but they're great deterrents. Metaweapons might even be popular as threats against other Romulan factions: The Romulans came from a Vulcan that had nuked itself into near-oblivion.

    Romulus, Achernar Prime, et cetera, agreed. If the Verithrax was in Federation space at all, I think it'd be because it was in transit back to the IRS. The other mention of the Verithrax, five years ago, had it being positioned in the RSE's occupied Cardassian territories. Presumably it was trying to make its way back home in time when it got a distress call from Ardana.

    Agreed that the situation would make for huge complications afterwards, but I don't think that either Romulan state would have been considering the afterwards scenarios. The Romulan mentality would seem to lend itself towards the use of metaweapons in the case of a conflict with an enemy threatening to destroy Romulan civilization. The united RSE had at least as long of a history of conflict with the Borg as the UFP, and the Countdown-suggested existence (in 2387, granted) of the Vault suggests that after 2364 the Romulans continued to experience conflicts with the Borg, suggesting both Romulan states would see the Borg as an existential threat before the Acamar and Barolia attacks.

    And why not Osirak-style raids? I imagine that the IRS might be happy to help out the Klingons take down their rival ...
     

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