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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 987
# 114
02-28-2013, 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
If you go by logic, as one poster used to argue, any one shuttle could be used to annihilate a planet with a warp impact.
You can. You don't even need to go to warp. Just release the antimatter.
The reason why that doesn't happen has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with writers who, if necessary, would invent rules to keep that from happening or make it an isolated occurrence because it would destroy dramatic storytelling if any ship with shuttles could destroy any target.
Alpha quadrant species don't do that for various reasons: Its unethical to the UFP, the Klingons probably view it as dishonorable, the Romulans might find it overt or lacking finesse (or something), the Cardassians don't do it because it doesn't fit with their Machiavellian mindset. The Dominion probably would do that (they *did* try to blow up Bajor's Sun), but that they didn't was probably an oversight.
Likewise with the scarcity of replicators thing, which the writers have tried to have both ways on. Not for any kind of sound in-universe logic (replicators already violate mass-energy conversion routinely) but so they can have them just effective enough to be cool and just ineffective enough so that people can't just use replicators in place of shields to replicate physical barriers around ships to absorb kinetic weapon impacts. That is, until somebody with the budget thinks it will be a cool visual and then it will happen, consistency be doggoned.
If you want to argue from a story teller's prerogative, that's fine. And probably within reason if only TNG were being considered. But Star Trek canon did expand with DS9 and Voyager (I hate on Voyager, but I sadly have to accept its bad with its scarce good when debating Star Trek canon), and this solidified technological boundaries (though unnecessary because TNG already defined the finite nature of replicators.)
At the end of the day, Star Trek is more allegory than simulation. But the boundaries and limits have always and will always bend to whatever somebody thinks would make a cool plot.
I don't disagree with the ideals of Star Trek and how it tells stories. But good story telling only breaks what is necessary. Having inconsistent rules is always bad. Either Replicators and all sorts of technology are magic, and the Federation (writers) are mind bogglingly stupid, or they have consistent, finite rules.
If a writer wants to say human beings or soong-type androids can't be replicated, they'll do that.
They're currently unreproduceable because Soong (and his ancestors) are/were geniuses far beyond their time. Eventually Data will be an off the shelf product, but the Federations communal knowledge of cybernetics isn't there yet.
They'd just have to replicate viruses or living DNA or physical barriers that make their fortress replicate and regenerate faster than orbital bombardment can penetrate its walls.
Its highly implied, if not out right stated, that replicates can not make large, complex molecules. Its why a lot of people prefer real food. So I don't think bio-weapons are replicatable. As for Barriers, unless they have antimatter powering them (which they would need antimatter production facilities, which would have to orbit stars), then any warp capable ship would simply have more power (the time rate of energy use).
Or you'd have someone hack the replicators on a ship and have them produce water continuously until it drowns all the crew on one deck of a ship.
Cut main power; I doubt replicators are tied the backup system.
And personally, I regard DS9 and Voyager as doing a lot of cheating to make future technology and future humans more relatable to modern audiences whereas TNG under Gene deliberately set out to make them difficult or impossible to relate to.
If it truly is technology, it must be logical and consistent; Replicators are unrelatable because people can't go to a slot in their wall and order food or a new shirt, but it would have definite limits. If it didn't, it wouldn't be technology, it'd be magic (and no, I do not use magic condescendingly, but to mean something which does not have to follow physical laws, but the flaws with that, as I have pointed out, are if it is Magic, then its not being used to its logical extent).