Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 1 to 13 of 13 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2014-11-27

Page 1

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: To all Maquis ships -- call off your attack or we will be forced to engage you.

WORF: No response.

PICARD: You are Federation citizens. Your actions are in violation of our treaty with the Cardassians. Call off your attack.

...

PICARD: Are we in firing range?

WORF: Not yet, sir.

PICARD: Arm phasers and photon torpedoes and stand by.

RIKER: I never thought we'd be firing on our own people to protect a Cardassian ship.

Culture: Picard still addresses the Maquis as "Federation citizens" even though he had previously told them they would no longer be Federation citizens. Furthermore, this attack is taking place in the Demilitarized Zone between the Federation and the Cardassian Empire, so it's not in Federation space.

Think about it: Captain Picard is taking a Federation warship into the DMZ in search of independent people who are conducting a private war that is none of his business. He intends to arrest them for violating Federation treaties which they are not beholden to, and he is even willing to fire upon them in order to achieve this goal!

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: Starfleet does not condone the Maquis' actions in the Demilitarized Zone. Any more than your government condones paramilitary actions by Cardassian civilians.

GUL EVEK: We have taken measures to deal with our colonists who have armed themselves.

PICARD: Considering that they destroyed a Juhryan freighter less than a week ago, I'd say your efforts have met with limited success.

Culture: the tables have turned. Where once Kirk was the sabre-rattling soldier trying to protect the interests of the Federation from the stupidity of bureaucrats and naive diplomats, now Picard is the bureaucrat and naive diplomat who tries to stand in the way of the sabre-rattlers who would arm the Maquis.

This would be like an American soldier trying to stop the United States from arming the Afghan freedom fighters when they were fighting against Soviet invaders. Mind you, it would have been nice if the US had also supported the Taliban government's opposition afterwards in order to oppose Pakistan's meddling, but the politicians obviously didn't care about anything but their war against communism.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

NECHAYEV: Evek manages to make the Cardassians sound like helpless sheep being preyed on by Federation wolves. The truth is, we caught the Cardassian government supplying its colonies in the Demilitarized Zone with weapons.

PICARD: Gul Evek assures me that practice has stopped.

NECHAYEV: Ah. How comforting.

...

NECHAYEV: ... the Maquis are moving beyond self-defense. Their ranks are growing... they've acquired ships, weapons... they seem to be preparing for a more aggressive military posture. We have to put a stop to them, before the entire Demilitarized Zone ignites.

Culture: even after discovering Cardassian interference in the DMZ, Captain Picard and Admiral Nechayev both agree to crack down on their own side in this little skirmish, rather than levelling the playing field by playing tit for tat with the Cardies.

There is only one conceivable explanation for such spineless behaviour, and that's fear. They must be so afraid of a possible escalation with Cardassia that they'll do anything to prevent it. They'll even attack and imprison their own people. Although individual Federation ships appear to outclass Cardassian warships, the Cardassians must have a military advantage of some sort. Perhaps their society is so heavily militarized that they have a much larger military than the Federation, thus compensating for inferior starships.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

MACIAS: I lived on Juhraya... the colony suddenly found itself in Cardassian territory when the treaty was signed. Some of us chose to stay and take our chances. One night I was dragged from my bed and beaten. The authorities clucked their tongues and agreed it was an unfortunate incident... and did nothing.

RO: I'm not surprised. The Cardassians intend to make life so unpleasant for Federation citizens that they'll leave.

Culture: Ro Laren agrees with Picard that these people are still "Federation citizens". They're just a special class of citizens, who are bound by Federation edict but not entitled to Federation aid.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

KALITA: How do you plan to get out of the Demilitarized Zone without being searched at one of the checkpoints?

RO: We're going to cross the border here.

KALITA: There are sensor buoys all along the border. If we cross anywhere other than a checkpoint, Starfleet will send a ship to investigate.

RO: With the right security codes, we can disable the proximity detectors on the buoys.

KALITA: Starfleet changes those codes all the time.

RO: I know the encryption algorithims. If I can access the bouy's protocol subsystem I should be able to figure out the codes.

Design: the encryption algorithms must be severely flawed if Ro Laren can break a key simply by knowing how they work. Even the author of a solid encryption algorithm wouldn't be able to arbitrarily break a key because encryption keys, whether private or secret, are generated randomly. There shouldn't be any way to quickly figure out a key unless the algorithm contains a built-in "backdoor".

Such a "backdoor" would be similar to the "Clipper chip" that the US government tried to push on crypto software at Al Gore's behest during the mid-nineties (yes, Al Gore, the same man who claims to have created and then promoted the Internet, even though he spent years attacking the cryptographic technology that lies at the heart of e-commerce). If the Federation's encryption routines contain backdoors like this, it's no wonder people can casually break through encryption in a matter of minutes or hours.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

KALITA: How do you plan to get out of the Demilitarized Zone without being searched at one of the checkpoints?

RO: We're going to cross the border here.

KALITA: There are sensor buoys all along the border. If we cross anywhere other than a checkpoint, Starfleet will send a ship to investigate.

RO: With the right security codes, we can disable the proximity detectors on the buoys.

KALITA: Starfleet changes those codes all the time.

RO: I know the encryption algorithims. If I can access the bouy's protocol subsystem I should be able to figure out the codes.

Culture: the security "backdoor" exploited by Ro Laren is the sort of thing that's designed for one reason, and one reason alone: to allow the authorities or the software developers (who are one and the same in this case) to spy on supposedly private communications at will. No wonder techies in Star Trek can always break through encryption in a matter of minutes or hours.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

RIKER: We picked up a request for emergency assistance from a Federation science ship in the Topin system.

PICARD: Are there any other ships in the vicinity?

RIKER: We're the closest.

PICARD: Helm, set course for the Topin system. Signal the science ship that we're on our way.

DATA: It is unlikely that they would receive our communication. The Topin system contains an unstable binary-star. It generates significant subspace interference.

PICARD: Will we be able to use our sensors to find them?

DATA: Most of our sensor systems will be ineffective, although our directional array may be able to cut through the interference.

RIKER: But that array has such a narrow scan field, we might as well break out the palm-beacons and try to find them that way...

Misc: "subspace interference" is not necessarily an artificial phenomenon. Natural phenomena such as an unstable binary star can also generate subspace interference, which suggests that any sufficiently intense electromagnetic activity can generate subspace interference.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

RIKER: We picked up a request for emergency assistance from a Federation science ship in the Topin system.

PICARD: Are there any other ships in the vicinity?

RIKER: We're the closest.

PICARD: Helm, set course for the Topin system. Signal the science ship that we're on our way.

DATA: It is unlikely that they would receive our communication. The Topin system contains an unstable binary-star. It generates significant subspace interference.

PICARD: Will we be able to use our sensors to find them?

DATA: Most of our sensor systems will be ineffective, although our directional array may be able to cut through the interference.

RIKER: But that array has such a narrow scan field, we might as well break out the palm-beacons and try to find them that way...

Communications: Communications are negatively affected by the natural emanations of a binary star system.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

RIKER: We picked up a request for emergency assistance from a Federation science ship in the Topin system.

PICARD: Are there any other ships in the vicinity?

RIKER: We're the closest.

PICARD: Helm, set course for the Topin system. Signal the science ship that we're on our way.

DATA: It is unlikely that they would receive our communication. The Topin system contains an unstable binary-star. It generates significant subspace interference.

PICARD: Will we be able to use our sensors to find them?

DATA: Most of our sensor systems will be ineffective, although our directional array may be able to cut through the interference.

RIKER: But that array has such a narrow scan field, we might as well break out the palm-beacons and try to find them that way...

Sensors: Sensors are negatively affected by the natural emanations of a binary star system. A directional array would have longer range under these conditions (which is perfectly understandable, given the theoretical differences between directional and omnidirectional sensor systems).

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

KALITA: How are we going to beam through their shields?

RO: We can't -- if we're going to get those medical supplies, we're going to have to take this ship through their shields.

...

RO: The Enterprise shields have a weak point... When the ship is at impulse, the thrust destabilizes the shield configuration right at this point.

(she points to a spot behind the impulse engines, between the warp nacelles)

RO: I'm going to try to punch through there.

KALITA: Won't they detect us?

RO: They'll know something's penetrated the shields, but with all the interference it'll take them a few seconds to find us. We'll have to beam the medical supplies aboard and get out fast.

Shields and Forcefields: according to Ro Laren, there is a weak spot behind the saucer and between the warp nacelles. Of course, she might be trying to bullshit Kalita. However, since a strikingly similar weakness was eventually seen in a Jem'Hadar ship, it seems likely that this is a real vulnerability of warp-driven spacecraft, albeit perhaps exaggerated somewhat by Ro. There may be some kind of interaction between shields and warp nacelles that opens up a weak spot.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: We've come up with a plan that has the potential to seriously curtail the Maquis. We want to give them a target so threatening -- that they'd be willing to commit as many people and ships as possible to destroy it.

...

RO: And when the Maquis attack it, Starfleet will be waiting for them.

PICARD: We'll station our ships in the Hugora Nebula to avoid detection.

Sensors: Captain Picard expects to be undetectable when his ships are sitting in the Hugora Nebula.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD: We've come up with a plan that has the potential to seriously curtail the Maquis. We want to give them a target so threatening -- that they'd be willing to commit as many people and ships as possible to destroy it.

...

RO: And when the Maquis attack it, Starfleet will be waiting for them.

PICARD: We'll station our ships in the Hugora Nebula to avoid detection.

Culture: Captain Picard is so eager to arrest the Maquis that he's willing to lay a trap for them.

TNG Season 7, Ep# 176: "Pre-emptive Strike"

PICARD VO: Captain's Log, supplemental. We have received word from Commander Riker and Lieutenant Ro that the Maquis will be attacking the convoy as planned... our ships have taken up position in the Hugora Nebula to wait for them.

DATA: I have established a relay-link with the sensor probe we left on the perimeter of the Nebula. This is the convoy. We are expecting the Maquis attack force to cross the border from the Demilitarized Zone here.

Sensors: once inside the Hugora Nebula they are sensor-blind, so they have to use a probe left on the outside of the Nebula in order to see what's happening out there.

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