Some solutions come to mind. The hull has proven itself capable of blocking the effect on the shuttles as long as they are in the hull, so keeping the hull between the shuttle and nacelle to keep the shuttles in shadow should have the same effect even with the shuttle outside. If a shuttle quickly whips around the hull to the shadow side it should maintain enough power to act as a tractor, assuming the degradation effects are gradual under constant exposure, not instant, and preferably non-permanent outside the exotic radiation.
Alternatively, the ship should have cold gas thrusters like the Space Shuttle, many rockets, and the Enterprise-D. If it has them then there is nothing which can foil them, they’re too simple. The ship can detach the nacelle, the ship can rotate to put the shuttle bay in shadow, and the shuttles can safely disembark to tow the ship away. Simply rolling the ship portward might be best, in order to exploit the small shadow of the protruding deck of the shuttle bay. It avoids hitting the nacelle with the saucer, and avoids putting the saucer closer to the nacelle, which risks the crew. Attach the cables inside the shuttle bay to keep things simple so space walks are not required. Such thrusters might be usable directly for a limited linear thrust, avoiding the need for shuttles.
Or, the shuttles powering the ship idea has the best bet since it would allow use of the impulse engine, if it can run on nothing but electrical power, which might not be the case.
My guess is our would be hero might regain power once he is far enough from the altered nacelle, at which point he can call for help, or return to the ship from a safe heading.
Neither the Space Shuttles, nor the E-D use cold gas thrusters. The Shuttle orbiters reaction control uses hypergolic (the ignition occurs when the propellants come in contact) rockets that use hydrazine. The E-D and most other Star Trek ships seem to use fusion-powered rocket thrusters for maneuvering, and I don’t know if they’d be useful here.
I was thinking of that scene in TNG with the power sapping asteroid trap. Picard swings around the gravity well of one asteroid using a thruster which, uniquely, produces a huge plume of white exhaust. I took that to mean it is a cold gas thruster, or more likely as you rightly point out, a hypergolic thruster. The episode is “Booby Trap”.
That thruster was located in a weird position anyway in that episode and the effect the FX people chose to use looks very much like Shuttle orbiter and Soyuz spacecraft RCS thruster firing plumes.
Also, in “Boobytrap” the E-D uses her main impulse engine briefly to overcome the inertia and start moving, then shuts down except for the reaction control thrusters, which were used to steer around the asteroids with the Menthar acceton assimilator devices in them, and then later on used to do singleshot maneuver around a large asteroid to regain some lost momentum.
But that episode is a perfect example of what could be done by the Hood crew in doing a saucer sep, letting the force of the explosive bolts separate the two hull sections before the damping field kills the energy reaction and the crew can ride away with some shielding from the saucer hull. The shuttle that our enlisted strawman was in still was able to get momentum enough to make what looked like several tens of meters per second of velocity, so why couldn’t the Hood’s saucer section? At least it would still have power.
They just have to hope that the effect deceases with the inverse square of the distance, like light or sound does, and things get better as they get further away.
I wonder if explosive bolts or explosive decompression would work……
That might disconnect the nacelle but probably wouldn’t generate enough momentum to get it away from the ship to either escape the field or safely detonate it. Assuming they have the capability to launch a torpedo.
Well, it worked for the E-D by using explosive decompression on all Shuttlebays to avoid the USS Bozeman, so theoretically it should work to get the ship away from the nacelle…
All these responses are why I fucking love Star Trek.
Canonically, according to “The Apple” and “The Savage Curtain”, jettisoning the warp nacelles or doing a saucer separation should be possible and in doing so it might give them enough inertia to get away from the effect’s influence.
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