Romulan warbirds forced quantum singularity as alternative to Starfleet warp drive (dilithium)

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by GeneralMartok12, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. GeneralMartok12

    GeneralMartok12 Ensign Newbie

    Nov 29, 2020
    Hi to all. :)

    Since this is my first entry on the TrekBBS forum, I hope you won’t mind if I write something wrong or incomprehensible.

    I'm from Croatia, and I've been a fan of Star Trek and science fiction in general for many years, so I follow Discovery regularly.

    One of the dilemmas that bothers me with the plot of the third season, which I failed to logically resolve, is the question of the propulsion system used by the Romulan D'deridek class warbirds. That is forced quantum singularity, as an alternative to the classic warp drive. Therefore, it is not clear to me why the Federation, in the absence of dilithium, did not turn to the mentioned technology?

    Or simply the answer lies in the fact that current Star Trek screenwriters do not know enough about Star Trek mythology?

    Think likes this.
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maryland, USA
    Welcome to the forum.

    I can try to answer that question, but it would involve spoilers:

    The Romulan Empire hasn’t existed for centuries. The surviving Romulans eventually reunified with the Vulcans hundreds of years ago, so there doesn’t seem to be any more Romulan ships. Perhaps the technology they once had has been lost over time.
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  3. GeneralMartok12

    GeneralMartok12 Ensign Newbie

    Nov 29, 2020
    Thanks, I don't mind spoilers, ecpecially because I watched everything related to Trek. :)

    I agree with your point to some extent, but on the other hand it is hard to believe that everyone forgot this type of technology ( excluding Kurtzman & Co)
  4. Midquest

    Midquest Captain Captain

    Sep 22, 2017

    Here's my question: we know that the Romulans used artificial quantum singularities to generate energy for propulsion. Do we know that they didn't use dilithium as some kind of regulatory component, though? They did, after all, have a significant mining operation on Remus. Maybe they were just trading dilithium, but certainly the fact that they did mine it opens the possibility that they used it.
  5. GeneralMartok12

    GeneralMartok12 Ensign Newbie

    Nov 29, 2020
    Yeah, it is quite possible, we don'know, just as we don't know is dilithium only power source for warp drive, or maybe a flow regulator.
  6. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 27, 2009
    USS Discovery-A
    The Romulans were mining dilithium on Remus, so it seems highly likely that they used dilithium in their warp drives somewhere.
  7. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    I would guess the Romulan singularity drive use dilithium in some important way, meaning their fleet was destroyed also.

    Whether the original intent or not, it's the only way to make sense of it all in the conext of current Trek. Having just seen "Unification III", which renamed planet Vulcan after a poem in a Star Trek fanzine from 1967, I'm not gonna doubt their knowledge of Trek mythology.
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  8. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Maybe they use dilithium on ships that didn't use forced quantum singularity as power sources and they could be using it for trading. Plus dilithium may have other uses outside of regulating M/AM reactions.

    I would surmise that when we saw the Romulan Warbirds in TNG, it may have been the first instance of Forced Quantum Singularity as a power source appearing.

    Obviously, all Warbirds would be using them... but perhaps not every single ship in the Romulan fleet (for example, we don't know if their scout ships use the same technology... and who knows how many other classes of ships they had - so, apart from the D'Deridex class warbirds, maybe no other ship was using Quantum Singularity as a power source).

    The Narada for example wasn't mentioned that it has forced quantum singularity for a power source - but the 2009 movie wasn't that big on giving us technological details (sans the Transwarp beaming which Scotty managed to get working in late 24th century... but of course, that also doesn't apparently exist in the 32nd century - or at least we hadn't seen it in use yet).

    Each Warbird needs to come with an engineering manual to allow the chief engineer to help repair it - and I doubt the Romulans lost all their D'Deridex class ships or simply phased them out of service given how massive (and as such useful) they are.

    We also don't know if the Warbirds from Star Trek: Nemesis movie used FQS or M/AM.

    Though, the technology could have been suppressed by the Tal'Shiar (which could have kept it for itself) when Shinzon took power, and after the events of Star Trek Picard, it may have faded into history - plus with the reunification with Vulcan in the next few centuries, the Romulans may have decided to 'let go' of their empirical aspects and technology (leave it behind).

    The Romulans had several major events which upset the balance of power against them:
    1. Shinzon coup and the Scimitar (which was a ridiculously overpowered ship - not impossible to make given what Trek technology is capable of mind you, just that because of how powerful it was, it would have been able to go against small fleets of ships and win... which means that Shinzon could have crippled the Romulan fleet more or less - and the Scimitar being built in secret on Remus, likely used Dilithium and M/AM).

    2. Supernova which destroyed Romulus star. This would also push the Romulans to the brink... especially if most of their production facilities were that star system (although, this makes little sense for a space-faring species that calls itself an EMPIRE - which implies they would need to have production facilities throughout their empire).

    As for why Starfleet never used it... writer choice... and beats me.
    There are multiple power sources they could have pursued over M/AM and dilithium right after Voyager got back, but apparently, this never happened (probably for the purpose of 'drama' to make the Burn work).

    Even the fact that Starfleet knew during TNG already that FQS technology existed (they knew Romulans had it) they should have been able to make it themselves in the next few decades (maybe 50 to 100 years maximum given their level of technology and overall knowledge).

    This is likely the case of writers not paying enough attention to Trek history (even though its not that difficult to look up), and then taking into account the fact that 930 years (after mid 23rd century) is a ridiculously long amount of time... time enough that Starfleet would have been gone beyond dilithium and M/AM by late 25th century realistically.

    I'm sure though the writers will undoubtedly say that FQS also needed dilithium to regulate energy... which doesn't make sense because dilitihum was specifically mentioned that its needed to regulate M/AM reactions... FQS wouldn't need that.

    I'm also from Croatia. :-)
    And good question, but honestly, Trek writers, consistency, and viable explanations seldom go hand in hand.
    GeneralMartok12 likes this.
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 11, 2014
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    Nope. In Trek, it's not a bug-it's a feature.
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  10. USS Excelsior

    USS Excelsior Commodore Commodore

    Jun 16, 2004
    Alpha Quadrant
    Perhaps they could have developed that displacement wave thing we saw once on TNG.
  11. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    You mean the Soliton Wave?
    That's just a form of FTL... Starfleet needs a different method of generating power without dilithium and M/AM to travel at FTL.

    Though, it could be argued that the Soliton Wave was NOT generated through use of dilithium and M/AM... it could be that simple fusion was enough.
  12. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

    Oct 24, 2012
    Or manufacture Synthetic Dilithium that is compatible with existing M/A-M reactors.

    Maybe the UFP was too slow on doing the R&D for Synthetic Dilithium and by the time they realized it, it was too late and then "The Burn" happened and alot of people died, ergo draining alot of the Brain Power within the UFP.
  13. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The writers know all about Trek mythology. They have even mentioned the slipstream stuff that was in one VOY episode.

    They may decide to intentionally ignore the Romulan warp tech, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually gets mentioned. But reading posts here it may not even need to be addressed, based on what has happened to Romulans and that they may have used dilitium too.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
    Muji likes this.
  14. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    With due respect, they don't seem to know all about Trek mythology (shouldn't it be 'history' instead?).

    They mentioned Slipstream yes, but what they completely failed to take into account is the V1 of Slipstream from Arturis ship (the fake Dauntless) which didn't use dilithium or M/AM, nor did it use Benamite crystals (and the Voyager crew familiarized themselves with the ship from stem to stern).

    V1 of Slipstream required minor modifications to the Warp core, but otherwise, quantum energy was directed through the deflector dish which created the Slipstream... and a maximum velocity of 300 Ly's per hour (for a sustainable speed, the crew would need to maintain a slower velocity which would require of them to remain in Slipstream for 3 months to travel through 60 000 lightyears... or about 714 Ly's per day.
    This version of the QS drive meant that Voyager couldn't stay in Slipstream for more than 1 hour because the quantum stresses were hammering the hull (but otherwise, it worked).

    The V2 of QS was the one which Voyager crew developed 4 months later and based off the fake Dauntless and they came up with a Quantum Matrix, Borg technology and benamite crystals... this version top speed was 10 000 Ly's per minute... with a major shortfall appearing in the form of phase variance during formation of the slipstream threshold in the first 17 seconds of flight... also, the Benamite crystals were mentioned they could be synthesized again, but that the process would take years.... and they apparently degrade relatively quickly.

    So, Version 1 of QS drive was still perfectly usable if Starfleet overcame the quantum stresses on the hull (which weren't noted to be a problem with Version 2)... and we know that Structural integrity (which is crucial to maintaining the hull) can be enhanced with more energy, or can be redesigned entirely to be adaptive for certain situations.

    Starfleet at least would have been able to use Version 1 by researching what kind of modifications are needed to SIF systems so their ships could at least use the slower V1 of QS (which was still much faster than Warp 9.9).

    They also ignored a different power source which the Federation was interested in the 24th century such as:
    Krieger Waves (which they had the information on from ground computers to reproduce on the holodeck and absolve Riker - they couldn't do that without understanding how the technology to date worked).

    Voyager also encountered (and had scans of) Tetrion reactor technology (from the Caretaker array) and from Tash's catapult (this reactor was powerful enough to transport ships thousands of lightyears away in less than hour - definitely more powerful than M/AM and dilithium).

    Also, Soliton Wave technology (while form of propulsion) did NOT seem to need the use of dilithium and M/AM.

    Yes, the initial experimental test had problems... but realistically, you end up LEARNING from these mistakes to see what needs to be improved upon.
    And also, this technology was about 450% more efficient than Enterprise-D Warp drive.

    Thermionic Generators are another technology which Species 8472 used in their Starfleet recreation and Voyager probably gained access to - and by the end of the episode, Voyager did establish a truce and exchange of technologies (the 8472 got access to borb nanoprobes and Voyager got access to other 8472 technology).
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  15. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    As far as I recall, Synthetic dilithium had 0 practical purpose... but I agree with you that the Federation should have been able to develop a usable version that worked.
    Also, similarly, dilithium recrystalization technology would basically render the issue of having to mine large quantities of dilithium in the first place... well, unnecessary.

    This would alleviate the shortage, however, would it have stopped the Burn?
    Granted we don't know WHO initiated the Burn or WHY (could have been BECAUSE the Dilithium was running out and was predominantly used by the massive Federation).

    But again, I don't buy the notion the Federation would stay with dilithium and M/AM for 1000 years as primary means of generating large enough means of power or Warp drive for FTL.
  16. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

    Oct 24, 2012
    In my Head Canon set at the start of the 26th century, they have diversified to have multiple Power Source Types per StarShip.

    Every StarShip within my StarFleet set in the 26th century has long since diversified. Even down to the smallest StarShip, the Defiant Class Mk.8

    Every Full Size StarShip has a combination of:
    - Fusion Reactors
    - Tetryon Reactor
    - Matter/Anti-Matter Reactor
    - Artificial Quantum Singularity Reactor

    And store a ALOT of excess power in the Condensed Energy Matrix Batteries that are spread throughout each vessel.

    All StarFleet Shuttle Type vessels have moved away from M/A-M reactors due to it being a inefficient use of space/volume on board and the Synthetic Dilithium Crystals are better used on StarShip sized Reactors.

    Now Shuttle Type vessels use:
    - Mini Fusion Reactors
    - Mini Tetryon Reactors

    Those are space efficient and have the best Power Generation for their small volume along with Condensed Energy Matrix batteries
  17. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Well at least your head canon is better than what we got on-screen.
    Then again, we also have no idea of the inner workings of 32nd century SF ships... so for all we know, they MAY be using all 4 types of power generation on a starship, but with M/AM being in the mix, it would have still been susceptible to the Burn - in which case, if they REALLY were using all those power generators... they would have removed M/AM (and dilithium) from the equation and just carried on... but this doesn't seem to be in effect.
    The writers are proceeding with the idea that M/AM and Dilithium are the main/only means of how to power a ship (next to fusion of course - unless they discarded that too).
  18. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

    Oct 24, 2012
    I wish they had somebody on Staff who knew all of Star Trek Lore as well as the equivalent of the Star Wars Lore Keeper on that side.
    Somebody they can use as a reference guide.
    publiusr likes this.
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Cartoon Premium Member

    Nov 4, 2001
    Vasquez Rocks, Bajor
    They'd be ignored as often as the science advisors were in the past. If they can get a good plot out of the "X drive" they'll bring up. As I've said before, checklists make for boring drama.
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 11, 2014
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    Yup. The writers will do what is needed to tell story, lore or no lore.
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