Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 1 to 21 of 21 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2018-09-18

Page 1

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

DATA: Apparently there were no starships available at Starbase one five three. The emissary is aboard a class eight probe.

RIKER: A class eight probe is just over two meters long!

PICARD: True, Number One. But if the sensors and transmitters were removed and life-support installed, there would be just enough space for one person.

RIKER: And those probes are designed to go warp nine.

Size and Scope: they were forced to resort to this drastic measure due to a lack of starships.

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

O'BRIEN: I believe we can beam the probe aboard while we're still travelling at Warp Nine.

RIKER: Quite a trick.

GEORDI: Right -- at warp speed it's nearly impossible to get a solid transporter lock. But if we caught the probe with a tractor beam...

RIKER: We could use the tractor beam to focus the transporter.

Transporters: they can transport at warp speeds, but the relative velocity must be near-zero. In fact, they must lock onto the other vessel with a tractor beam.

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

TROI: I didn't know it was possible for a human and a Klingon to produce a child.

K'EHLEYR: Actually, the DNA is compatible -- with a fair amount of help. Rather like my parents.

Misc: the DNA of Klingons and humans is so close that a bit of tweaking can allow mating (and she was able to conceive a child with Worf with no help whatsoever).

Some trekkies have interpreted "a fair amount of help" to mean that the DNA is totally incompatible beforehand, but the biological process of reproduction requires a very high degree of genetic and biochemical commonality or it won't work at all. If Klingons and humans actually had vastly different DNA, it would be impossible to cross-breed them, regardless of any amount of genetic engineering. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, it would be no less ridiculous than a genetically engineered mating between a man and a petunia.

This leads to the question of how the two "species" could be so incredibly similar despite having supposedly developed separately. The statistical probabilities of such a thing are ridiculously small. Some trekkies would no doubt point to the aliens from "The Chase" who supposedly seeded many worlds with DNA to start the evolutionary process, but the probability of billions of years of evolution resulting in a similar outcome on separate worlds, even given identical "seed" DNA, is so ridiculously low as to be completely laughable.

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

TROI: I know exactly what you mean. My father was human... and my mother was Betazoid.

K'EHLEYR: Really! It was the other way around for me -- my mother was human. You must've grown up like I did -- trapped between cultures.

TROI: I never felt trapped -- I felt fortunate. I experienced the richness and diversity of two worlds.

Culture: more of the racial separatist nonsense that permeates Trek. Torn between two worlds: it's the return of the Star Trek Cliché That Won't Die.

The only people who can experience more than one culture are those who genetically inherit them, eh? It's either a curse or a blessing? What a load of bullshit.

One's knowledge of other cultures comes from experience or study, not genetics. My father came from Hong Kong and my mother came from Taiwan. No matter what some rednecks might think about how all asian countries are the same, Hong Kong and Taiwan have vastly different cultures. But did I feel torn between the two? Not at all, and I belong to neither. I'm a Canadian.

Someday, I would like to think that people will grow beyond cultural stereotypes based on race, but Star Trek is a bit more pessimistic. In Star Trek, they're still doing it in the 24th century, and they're proud of it. They even go so far as to call it "paradise." How nice.

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

(After doing the wild mambo and then rejecting Worf's attempt to make her his wife afterwards).

K'EHLEYR: Worf, it was what it was! Glorious and wonderful and all that, but it doesn't mean anything.

WORF: That is a human attitude.

K'EHLEYR: I am human!

WORF: You are also Klingon!

K'EHLEYR: And that means we should bond for life?

Culture: so K'ehleyr believes in non-commital sex, and Worf calls that a "human attitude", eh? I had no idea that all humans believed in non-commital sex. Again, we see how race and culture are inextricably mixed together in the world of Star Trek.

It's not surprising that the Klingons are racist; their empire is racist to the core, with the word "Klingon" referring to both race and nation in a manner that evokes some of the European ethnic, tribal and religious quasi-national divisions that have caused conflict in that part of the world for centuries. But the "enlightened" Federation claims to be above that sort of thing. Clearly, they're not.

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

PICARD: Can you find them?

GEORDI: I think so. Those old shields weren't a hundred percent efficient at blocking gamma-ray output. If I can tune the sensors to a particular band of...

There! Got 'em! Transferring coordinates to helm.

Power: since the plasma exhaust of a cloaked ship is its only form of energy dissipation, and since it isn't energetic or dense enough to glow visibly (which would make detection ridiculously easy), it is possible to rule out certain over-optimistic estimates of cloaked starship power generation (particularly the ubiquitous ultra-large figures typically bandied about by Trekkies).

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

PICARD: Can you find them?

GEORDI: I think so. Those old shields weren't a hundred percent efficient at blocking gamma-ray output. If I can tune the sensors to a particular band of...

There! Got 'em! Transferring coordinates to helm.

Cloaks: they must trap internally generated radiation in order to keep the presence of the ship a secret, for obvious reasons.

However, for other obvious reasons of thermodynamics, this also means that there are strict limits to the rate of energy generation on a cloaked ship. If it does not dump energy to its environment in any form other than its plasma exhaust, we can determine that a cloaked ship must be generating the same amount of power as it dumps into its environment in the form of plasma (or it would rapidly heat up inside its cloak, and be destroyed in short order).

TNG Season 2, Ep# 46: "Emissary"

DATA: The T'Ong is now on a heading of four-one mark one-one-three ... accelerating to warp five.

RIKER: They're making a break for it.

PICARD: Overtake. Warp eight.


PICARD: Put us right in their path and come to a full stop. Full power to shields.

TACTICAL CREWMAN: Full power, sir.

PICARD: We've thrown down the gauntlet ... let's see if they pick it up.

DATA: They are slowing to impulse --

(The T'ong fires on the Enterprise)

TACTICAL CREWMAN: Phaser hit on forward shields. No damage.

DATA: The T'Ong is attempting to flank us.

PICARD: Compensate.

Naval Tactics: the Klingon battlecruiser drops out of warp in order to fire on the Enterprise. This isn't a surprise, but some Trekkies keep insisting that it should be able to "warp-strafe", which entails firing on the Enterprise in spite of relative velocities exceeding c, in spite of the ensuing targeting difficulties.

We also see that it attempts to "flank" the Enterprise, and Picard's response indicates that gaps in the firing arc of Federation starships have not changed much from the days of Captain Kirk. Without gaps in its firing arcs, there would be no point to a flanking maneuver.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

SISKO: Sir, Admiral Hanson has deployed the Gage, the Kyushu and the Melbourne...

CAPTAIN: Move us to position alpha, Ensign...

CON OFFICER: Aye, sir...

CAPTAIN: Load all torpedo bays... ready phasers...

EXT. SPACE - THE SARATOGA (OPTICAL): fires phasers and photons as the Borg ship sends out a cutting beam at the Melbourne... when the Melbourne's shields fail, there is a massive explosion. The Borg ship immediately turns its attention to the Saratoga... sending out another tractor beam...

Naval Tactics: The battle at Wolf 359, tantalizingly hinted at in the TNG episode "Best of Both Worlds", is finally shown. And what a disappointment it is; rather than co-ordinate their 37 ships to focus-fire at a single point on the cube or attack in any kind of pattern, they attack individually, with no apparent inter-unit co-ordination whatsoever.

Ships simply charge at the cube either individually or in groups of two or three, firing randomly at spots on its surface. No orders are given regarding co-ordination of firing targets or movements with other ships.

It also goes without saying that the engagement range is extremely short, with starships engaging at ranges of only a few dozen km at most:


The two ships in the foreground were visible in the previous scene approaching the cube (without firing) and then banking to port to attack.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

SISKO: We would've transported aboard if we'd known you were having problems, Chief... A Bajoran supernumerary manually closes the door behind them as O'Brien leads them down the corridor...

O'BRIEN: That wouldn't have been possible either, sir. We've got some stray nucleonic emissions that have to be tracked down before we can safely reinstate transporter operations.

Transporters: "Stray nucleonic emissions" can disrupt transporters.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

QUARK: I intend to. This is outrageous... my apologies friends... a minor misunderstanding that will be rectified shortly...

(People start to leave... Quark sees the Cardassians with all the gold before them... to one of his female croupiers...)

QUARK: Give them something to put their winnings in...

(The croupier acknowledges, moves a short distance away, reaches under a table and pulls out a knapsack... As the Cardassians begin to load their gold into the knapsack, we may catch a glance passed between Quark and a deadpanned Kira and O'Brien...)

Culture: Gold is apparently still a valuable substance in the TNG era, despite the widespread belief among Trekkies that they can just replicate it cheaply and at will.

This is but the first of many references to precious metals and gemstones in DS9 which will resoundingly disprove the aforementioned idea.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

EXT. SPACE - RUNABOUT (OPTICAL): coming out of the other side of the wormhole... which disappears behind them...


SISKO: Can you get a fix on our coordinates... ?

DAX: (checking) There's a star just under five light years away... no M class planets... Computer, identify closest star system...

COMPUTER VOICE: Idran... a ternary system consisting of a central supergiant and twin O- type companions...

SISKO: (reacts) Idran... that can't be right...

DAX: Computer, basis of identification...

COMPUTER VOICE: Identification of Idran is based on the hydrogen-alpha spectral analysis conducted in the twenty-second century by the Quadros-One probe of the Gamma Quadrant.

SISKO: (stunned) The Gamma Quadrant. Seventy thousand light years from Bajor? I'd say we just found our way into a wormhole...

Realism: If I recall correctly, there are roughly one hundred billion stars in our galaxy. In any case, even if this figure were a million times too large, it would be exceedingly unlikely for every star system in the galaxy (including parts which no starship has visited) to have been given a nice-sounding name (as opposed to a cryptic alphanumeric code), never mind for Starfleet officers to have memorized them all and be able to recognize them upon hearing the name.

It's pretty difficult to think of a way to rationalize this particular error, although you are, of course, welcome to try.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

INT. CARDASSIAN WARSHIP - CLOSE ON THE KNAPSACK: being carried by a Cardassian officer down a corridor...

CARDASSIAN OFFICER #1 (O.S.): ... because we were winning too much, of course... Group laughter...

CARDASSIAN OFFICER #2 (O.S.): Leave it to Starfleet to ruin a fine day... We never see who's talking as the knapsack is placed...

INSIDE THE LOCKER (OPTICAL): And the door is shut... a beat later the knapsack begins to lose its shape...

INT. CARDASSIAN SHIP - ON THE LOCKER (OPTICAL): Panning down to the floor to see an odd substance, the same color as the knapsack, oozing out of the cracks of the locker... a pool of it forming on the floor and then...

ANGLE (OPTICAL): the pool reshapes and grows into Odo... who looks both ways and moves quickly down the corridor...

Realism: Founders such as Odo can change their shape and apparently even their mass.

One can sort of understand why "mass-lightening" is employed by the writers, because some form of quasi-magic technology is necessary for relativistic travel (which is in turn necessitated by short interplanetary sublight travel times). But there was really no reason to extend this to natural biological life forms, and it smacks of plain old writer laziness.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

SISKO: (thoughtful) Major, there's a Ferengi legal tradition... it's called Plea Bargaining.

Culture: Interesting. Plea bargaining is a Ferengi legal tradition? This implies by omission that it is no longer in use in the Federation.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

SISKO: Let's get the civilians to the escape pods, Lieutenant.

Culture: This scene takes place after Sisko's ship has already been critically damaged by a Borg attack, and they still have to offload civilians such as his wife and his son.

In other words, they went into battle against a known superior foe with all of their civilians aboard, even children. What does it say about their society that such a thing could happen? Why couldn't they find time to evacuate them before the battle, when they were able to do so in mere minutes during the battle?

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

DAX: What do you know about the Denorios Belt?

SISKO: Your basic charged plasma field... nobody gets anywhere near it unless they have to...

Shields and Forcefields: Yet another reference to naturally occurring plasma in interplanetary space being a threat to a starship.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

KIRA: (beat, to O'Brien) What would it take to move this station to the mouth of the wormhole?

O'BRIEN: This isn't a starship, Major. We've got six working thrusters to power us and that's it. A hundred-sixty million kilometer trip would take two months.

KIRA: It's got to be there tomorrow.

O'BRIEN: (reacts) That's not possible, sir...

KIRA: That wormhole might just reshape the future of this entire quadrant. The Bajorans have to stake a claim to it...

KIRA: (beat, character movement) And I have to admit that claim will be a lot stronger if there's a Federation presence to back it up.

DAX: (calm, to O'Brien) Couldn't you modify the subspace field output of the deflector generators... just enough to create a low-level field around the station... A beat. O'Brien begins to get her logic...

O'BRIEN: So we could lower the inertial mass...

DAX: (nods) If you can make the station lighter, those six thrusters would be all the power we'd need.

O'BRIEN: (a beat, it might just work) This whole station could break apart like an egg if it doesn't work...

Propulsion: DS9's real-mass accelerative capability is quantified. If it takes two months to cover 160 million km, then its six thrusters must be capable of accelerating it at roughly 0.012 m/s² (roughly 0.0012 G). If we had a rough estimate of DS9's mass, we could determine the actual thrust of each thruster.

However, with the subspace "mass-lightening field" on, they can apparently make the trip in roughly 1 day on the same thrust, which implies acceleration of well over 4 G. This, in turn, means that the "mass-lightening subspace field" must reduce the effective inertial of the station to less than 1/4000 of its actual value.

O'Brien's concern over the station breaking apart indicates doubt that its structure can handle accelerations on the order of 0.001G (note that the assisted acceleration of 4G would not increase the structural stresses beyond what the station would experience at 0.001G without assistance, because the reduced mass would reduce the inertial accelerative forces in the structure).

It also bears noting that this incident confirms that deflectors and warp drives both work on the same principle, since the deflectors were used in order to generate a "mass-lightening field" similar to the one generated in "Deja Q" by the E-D's warp drive.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

DAX: They're flooding subspace with anti- lepton interference... it'll cut off our communications with Starfleet...

Communications: Subspace "anti-lepton interference" can be used to jam Starfleet long-range subspace communications.

Examples of leptons are electrons and neutrinos, but for the purpose of extreme long-range communication, neutrinos seem a more likely candidate than electrons.

This implies (interestingly enough) that Starfleet subspace communications technology is based on the transmission of neutrinos through subspace, and that they have some kind of magic radiation which interacts strongly with leptons or impedes their movement through subspace.

Note: thanks to Winston Blake for reminding me that neutrinos are not the only kind of lepton.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

BASHIR: I can't believe the Cardassians would ever attack a Federation outpost...

O'BRIEN: Doctor, you ever studied your military history of the border wars? Ever heard of the Setlik Three massacre?

KIRA: I assume, Mister O'Brien you would agree that surrender is not a preferable option...

O'BRIEN: You know what they do to their prisoners, sir...

Culture: I find it incredible to imagine that a medical doctor in the Federation (who should obviously be fairly well-educated) would be unaware of a large civilian massacre which was committed against his own nation-state during his own lifetime. This does not speak well of the Federation's education system.

It also does not speak well of their military procedures, since one would think that a Starfleet officer being sent to a border post would have received some briefing on the political situation and the behaviour of their enemies in the region.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

JASAD: What are their defenses... ?

CARDASSIAN OFFICER #3 According to our scans, an estimated photons... integrated phaser banks on all levels... He hands Jasad a padd with information on it...

JASAD: When did they receive these armaments? How did they install them without our knowledge? Jasad throws the padd across the room... the officer reacts...

JASAD: Somehow they've created a massive illusion of duranium shadows...

CARDASSIAN OFFICER #3 But if it is not an illusion...

JASAD: It is!

Sensors: It would appear that "duranium shadows" can be used to fool subspace sensors. Of course, this leads to the inevitable question of what duranium shadows are; perhaps photon torpedoes and phaser banks are normally shielded in sensor-proof materials (such as duranium), so a duranium shell of the same approximate shape would be good enough to fool their sensors.

DS9 Season 1, Ep# 1: "Emissary"

CARDASSIAN OFFICER #3: Why risk a confrontation? The Fourth Order can be here in a day...

JASAD: And so can Starfleet.

Propulsion: Apparently, the nearest Cardassian reinforcements are roughly 1 day's travel away from DS9 at maximum cruising speed, as are the nearest Starfleet reinforcements.

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