What exactly is the Neutral Zone?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Shat Happens, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC the recent Star Trek non-ficiton book "Federation: The First 150 Years" also uses the notion that the Klingon Neutral Zone was set up after Errand of Mercy (and then gone after TUC) too

    Not canon but just saying.
     
  2. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That may be true but there's also the 'Deadly Years' incident. Maybe there's some explanation here as well. Even if they have spy satellites thingys across the entire border of the zone sending pictures/sensor readings to a central monitoring area, how could ships get there so fast? Just coincidence?
     
  3. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Skirting along a long section of the zone to get to Starbase 10 perhaps? The Romulans farther down the zone could respond and intercept.
     
  4. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Actually come to think of it why would they need to cross the NeutralZone to get from one part of the Federation to another?
    Is there a kink in the Neutral Zone? I thought it was straight or slightly curved?
     
  5. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We see it as curved in "Balance of Terror". But if the zone is to seperate the Romulan Star Empire from the United Federation of Planets, than it could be jagged depending on where the stars are that are controlled by either side.

    If the Neutral Zone is parces wide in a band between the position of USS Enterprise and Starbase 10, that it would take time to go around. It is just lucky that they didn't decided it was shorter to just go through Romulan space.
     
  6. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    for reference:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  7. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From that chart, I suppose the issue of the single digit outspost could be explained by them being the "Sector Z" outposts, perrhaps with additional sectors having their own "Outpost 4", etc.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ So in addition to a sector Z-6 outpost four there would be a sector M-36 outpost four. And so on.



    :)
     
  9. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    Z could refer to the XYZ system of coordinates.

    This particular chart (Z6) could show a plane (or horizontal slice) 6 (or 60) lightyears above the galactic plane.

    I'm certain Starfleet Academy alumni can easily make sense of these conventions.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yet the Romulan who was a veteran was the exact likeness of another Vulcanoid who was only a hundred years old at the time of the episode... Would those looks "hold" long enough for this man to have become a veteran? That is, could the Romulan be, say, 130 while looking like the Vulcan who was 100?

    (Or would Sarek look like a typical 130-150-year-old, due to his early if secret onset of Bendii?)

    A long-lived species might regard promotion with certain restraint, so the Commander might not yet have been an officer during such old campaigns, but that isn't really a requirement in the backstory...

    Umm, it's highly doubtful the Organians imposed anything on anybody. They were sworn noninterventionists, and furthermore they certainly didn't keep the Feds and Klingons off each other's throats beyond the end credits of "Errand of Mercy".

    The Organian Peace Treaty is probably the doing of the Feds and the Klingons exclusively. And the Neutral Zone they created was never mentioned before ST2: the tribble episode carefully excludes any reference to buffering between the two powers, so that they can openly compete for the same spot in space and nothing except gentlemanly behavior stops them from firing at each other, throwing punches or plotting mass murder.

    Well, physically speaking, that is the most natural colloquial equivalent to today's "the world" (which also normally refers to a tiny subset of planet Earth).

    In "The Deadly Years", Kirk was doing an open survey of a location next to the NZ; there would have been plenty of time to amass forces for an ambush in the hopes that he'd enter the Zone. I mean, why not prepare for that eventuality? It's not as if the Romulan ships would have anything better to do!

    In "The Enterprise Incident", Kirk in turn wanted to be caught, so he'd no doubt similarly attract attention, even if we don't witness him loitering. "The Practical Joker" in turn has the Romulans actively hunting for ships on the UFP side of the Zone, further reinforcing the impression that they have nothing better to do and are eager to challenge Starfleet and confident that this will not backfire. "Balance of Terror" should bolster their confidence in that respect...

    As said, it's "slightly curved", by virtue of essentially being two straight lines joined by a kink. This was used as an excuse to portray it as an ovoid in Star Trek Star Charts, with the "BoT" map highlighting a tiny corner thereof.

    However, there are more kinks to the map when we see it as a mosaic on the Senate floor in ST:Nemesis. While that doesn't invalidate the "ovoid interpretation" (because even in the Star Charts, the scale of things was such that the small kinks would not really be all that noticeable), it sort of drops it from preferred status.

    Very much agreed. Also, TNG refers to "Outpost Sierra 6" and "Starbase Tango Sierra". It would be natural to assume that the RNZ is divided into letter-coded sectors, including Sierra, Tango and Zulu plus probably all the rest of the letters in the Starfleet phonetic alphabet. There'd be a few dozen Outposts per each letter sector, and an occasional Starbase between sectors...

    Some novel writers have taken this idea and run with it: David George's Serpents Among the Ruins makes use of Foxtrot Sector in this exact manner.

    The XYZ coordinate idea might also work, but would fail to integrate the tidbits about Tango and Sierra into the whole. (Unless it's a cylinder coordinate system, with Z denoting the "vertical" but T and S standing for the two angles for some reason.)

    Timo Saloniemi