It should be no problem for the shuttle to hit at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light given impulse, and probably warp drive, but with no deflector it would probably have to stick to a very low fraction. Still, it doesn’t take much to hit with equal or more than your own mass in TNT, which is important since if the reactor is dead he won’t have anything to detonate like in The Doomsday Machine. The real problem is counting on the enemy ship not moving out of the way, or blasting the shuttle to atoms, there will be more than enough time to react, and if the ship is dead in space then it either needs to be right in the center of the dead zone, or at least bigger than the radius so it overlaps the center.
But Josh; you are assuming that the sensor blip was an “enemy ship “. I’m guessing that there is another vessel and it is not hostile. It doesn’t have all dam day though, so it better get busy.
BTW: good you mentioned The Doomsday Machine since this all ties back to that TOS episode.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m writing more from his perspective. It’s always been a possibility there is nothing, that the effects are just the after effects of the weapon; it could be a ship in distress and their wacky distress signal method is slowly destroying the starship and crew; it could be a random space god; or any number of things.
He barely got outside the ship before he lost power. He’s not going fast at all. The ship is a slow moving rock at this point.
With Trek engines even a couple seconds would be enough to hit a fairly extreme speed, I seem to remember accelerations in thousands of g’s. He would need to go at least 3km/s to impact with the energy equivilant of the shuttle’s own weight in TNT. The only weight I can find is non-canon, which is 17,000 kg, so that’s a 17 ton explosion which is nothing as far as Trek defenses go (big in real life, remember those explosions in China?). At best, the explosion might be visible from the ship and enough to derive a distance, all assuming anything is hit.
Even if there is something out there. his chances of hitting it are slim to none. Here’s why.
At a distance of a measly 40km (about 25 miles) a 100m spherical ship would occupy only 0.14 degrees of arc, less than a third that of the Moon in the sky from Earth, which means it would be easily spotted with the naked eye if not cloaked or painted black. Now assuming this bullseye is a perfect circle, what are Calhoun’s chances of hitting it? His course would have a to be precise within .07 degrees of the target center, based on a single blip seen in a sensor blind spot. If his “spook” vehicle isn’t a sphere and some weird looking thing like the Hood or a Klingon ship, the actual volume of that .14 degrees of target is going to be mostly empty space. In short, even if it’s there and even if he’s very precisely got a bead on its relative bearing, his chances of hitting it are itsy bitsy teeny tiny.
Um, a little fan input here. We need this guy to be absolutely wrong in his baseless claim that there is an alien out there. And Captain Barrett needs to come out ahead. Why? Because this is the first time anyone has placed the Old Number One in a story beyond the early voyages with Pike, and it would not be good for her to be shown as anything but rational and correct.
But good job on these comics! Keep them coming.
I’d have to agree, I loved Number One and, though I love these comic strips, she doesn’t come off very well here–or at least not what I have in mind she’d be like.
I have to agree with you, Bry. Her behavior here is really nothing at all like the brief glimpse we got of her in The Cage/Menagerie. Look at the way she handled taking command during the Talos IV crisis and then look at how she acts here. It almost literally is two different people, which is why I entertained the notion that something about this phenomena is causing behavioral changes to people.
As for tying all this back with The Doomsday Machine episode, the effect here is far more extreme than what was shown in the canon; the Enterprise, for example, didn’t lose her warp drive because of the general damping field the berserker was putting out, but from the damage caused by its anti-proton beam. The only time we heard of inert fuel was in regards to the Constellation’s antimatter, but her deuterium matter supplies appeared to be just fine as Scotty was able to repair it and get the ship moving, and he got a phaser recharged to boot.
Finally, the only reason the Enterprise was losing power was because she could only maneuver on impulse power and she was being chased by the machine, and was expected to exhaust her fuel in 7 hours, and when Decker stole the shuttlecraft, it did not lose power at all as far as was shown.
So what is really happening here?
– The Hood is disabled, power being drained or very suppressed, with all fuel going inert.
– The ship has damage to one nacelle bussard ramscoop hemisphere.
– Something is slowly cooking the crew.
– The crew is acting… weird to say the least.
The phenomena here is in some ways closer to the one created by the giant Space Amoeba seen in The Immunity Syndrome.
What exactly did we see of Number One in The Cage? Well, we saw her react viscerally to comments made by Pike but not verbally engage him about them – this was right after doing her best smiling secretary impression to ease Pike about her Yeoman choice for him. We saw her make some strong but dispassionate command decisions after Pike was abducted based on the advice of her department heads. We saw Yeoman Colt stand at ridged, military attention by her side most of the time, even while the officers were sitting. We saw her rattle off mathematical calculations to Vina while in captivity. We hear the Talosian state her unemotional behavior is a facade belying deep passions. Finally, she interrupts Pike’s negotiations and chooses mass murder/suicide in a brave but rash attempt to halt the Talosian breeding program. So the conclusion is she’s a cold, hardcore soldier who is prone to recklessness, sometimes smiles, sometimes does math, and commands absolute obedience from the enlisted. It comes down to the individual to extrapolate a full personality from this limited glimpse. Obviously not everyone will agree and that’s OK. Add to that the fact that the stakes are much higher here than in the Cage. Right up until the final landing party the Enterprise was free to forget Pike and go. The Hood is disabled, hot as an oven, and on a countdown to complete destruction.
Number One sets her laser to overload when she sees the negotiation is going no where. Pike sees what she does and is completely cool about it, telling the alien what is going on when asked, that they rather die if the alien doesn’t comply. She didn’t act rashly or out of line, she saw how things were going, coolly took action, and if Pike contradicted her she could have reversed it, which she does once ordered some minutes later. She obviously knew what he would want considering he went along with the decision. That she wasn’t stopped by psychic pain also shows she had quickly picked up the trick of using violent thoughts to cloud her mind.
Considering the characterization of the episode, we have someone who acts logically, but is not emotionally cold. She has decent enough socialization (she doesn’t smile only reflexively, but also at the transporter operators) doesn’t take rash action, but doesn’t shy away from risk either considering she could have left Pike behind. She takes the lead in such danger just like Pike. She doesn’t treat the yomen unfairly, there were two men on the bridge who were standing the whole time, one with a clipboard, one near the turbo lift; the yomen simply wasn’t part of the meeting, she was there if anyone needed her.
Minor quibble: Number One barely lets Pike finish what he was saying before she sets the phaser to overload. There is no negotiation “going nowhere” yet.
Otherwise I appreciate your take on the character. I understand a lot of people have formulated what kind of person she is over the past fifty years – much of it from extended universe publications. Like the Eugenics War in the previous story I’ve chosen to read her differently. There isn’t enough to go on in the episode proper to say one way is “wrong”.
Doesn’t matter if she “comes out ahead” or not–she lost her command over what the modern-day navy likes to call “loss of confidence in ability to command” the instant she dropped out of warp within knife-fighting range of a small boat* and got a good portion of her crew killed in the process.
A crew which, as a matter of record once the board starts inquiring, counts less than her career (assuming the XO speaks up).
A crew which mutinied pretty much entirely due to her method of command and lack of respect for the enlisted ratings that make her ship go. The fact that she’d treat technically trained personnel as “grunts” is indicative in and of itself.
She’s already been shown to be (more or less) rational and correct–sometimes, though, that’s not enough. Technically correct is not the best kind of correct, sometimes.
* It doesn’t matter that she wasn’t told that the ship was carrying a weapon. Going by the IRL example of USS Cole and the in-universe fact that everything’s powered by fusion and antimatter, ships /are/ weapons, and Starfleet ships tend not to have CIWS.
Barrett hasn’t done a single thing Kirk hasn’t done in the past. Kirk has disregarded danger and crippled or risked his ship in the process (Where No Man Has Gone Before, Spectre of the Gun, Obsession, many more). He’s yelled out hysterically in reaction to criticism during a moment of crisis (The Corbomite Maneuver). And he’s pulled up along side unknown and/or hostile vessels (Space Seed, Mudd’s Women, The Way to Eden) and even brought one into the hangar deck (Let This Be Your Last Battlefield). He even let the Reliant come right up close without raising shields even though he knew they were going rogue and not communicating in TWOK. I can’t be bothered to do the same research on Picard, but I know he’s as guilty of all of the above.
Edit: I was just reminded that in “The Outrageous Okona” Picard actually lowers the main shields in just for the lulz when he learns an approaching hostile is armed only with lasers.
And there he goes.
See you in Ultima Thule, Cally.
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