Well, 'difficult' as in 'it's difficult to invent FTL travel' . You don't think it up on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It may take time, but most races will apparently do it, eventually. The photon torpedo seems to be a weapon that's not exactly rare among races. I was talking about the human penchant for weapons. I'm convinced they would have developed their own version on their own, eventually. On these points, we agree. Except that the plan was extremely risky and highly likely to fail -. as it in fact did - due to the strong inner moral convictions of the crew they could not overwrite or block. I'm not sure it follows they are so hard to produce. It doesn't appear these warheads were extremely heavily protected, those security devices were easily disabled. (Then again, we know in Trek all security is so easily cracked ) And perhaps the Maquis were simply 'lazy', as in 'if we're going to steal stuff anyway, we might as well steal the finished product'. Also, Voyager fired more photon torpedoes than they had, which would either mean they traded for them (meaning that several Delta Quadrant races have photon torpedo technology too, making the technology more ubiquitous), or that they acquired the ability at some point to manufacture them themselves (despite their statement very early in S1 they couldn't replace them). If the latter is the case, it would mean you don't need top-notch large-scale industrial machinery to produce them. I'm not sure if that has to do with the degree of restriction of the items, or with the fact that the Federation very much wants the Maquis issue to be ended and is therefore hot on its tail. I still have the feeling that acquiring photon torpedoes may be closer to illegally obtaining high-yield explosives in considerable quantities in our world than to obtaining nuclear warheads. It's probably quite doable if you have connections and you aren't already on the international terrorist watchlist. Do you happen to have a list of such arms deals on DS9? There might be something to that theory, yes.