The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

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The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Zor » 2018-01-23 03:41am

In this scenario the Enterprise D is boldly going when it comes across a star which due to reasons emits a field around it for about a few lightyears in which a stable warp field is very difficult to form and subspace radio does. Their drives, among the best in the fleet, can just putter through it at low speed allowing them to get to said star to investigate in a couple days' time after some rejiggering. What they find is shocking.

The planet has one habitable planet with a few small settlements on it's surface. But more notable is the vast web of spaceborn construction. There are hundreds of thousands of huge cylindrical habitats over forty kilometers long, each one home to millions of people as well as many more smaller stations. The population of this system is 1.5 Trillion. Vast solar power arrays more than a thousand kilometers across orbit near the sun while the system's five gas giants have thousands of cloud-scoops sucking up fuel. Tens of Millions of ships ranging from 50 to 1,500 meters fly at sunlight speeds from on routine circuits between these. Several moons have been mostly disassembled for raw materials and vast shipyards are constantly recycling and building new craft. In short, the industrial infrastructure of this one system has an output slightly greater than the entire Federation.

From what can be gleaned from radio chatter from this civilization has had spaceflight capacity for more than a thousand years. They gradually moved into space over a period of four centuries. Warp theory was proposed but as it did not pan out was dismissed by their scientists as a false positive. Instead they focused on building up their own Star System. They made their homeworld a nature preserve with a few buildings deemed architecturally significant, built their vast habitats and focused their efforts towards utilizing everything in their system. While they lag in some areas, in others they are well ahead of the Federation by all appearances.

Interestingly enough, they're not united. There are three power independent states (The Kingdom, the League and the Technocracy) each controlling a certain number of habitats. Each of them has a fleet of several hundred thousand warships ranging from single man fighters to 900 meter long dreadnoughts and there have been some wars between them. While they never pursued Warp Drive technology their weapons technology is not to be sneezed at, they possess megaton antimatter warheads, high energy plasma and particle weapons and shields and armor which can take such fire. One of their dreadnoughts could beat the Enterprise in a shooting match and each side has about a thousand of them. They also are beginning to react to the Enterprise's presence even with them warping from place to place around the outskirts of their system and sending probe through.

What would be the appropriate response for Starfleet to this new system and it's massive civilization?

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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2018-01-23 03:54am

The usual first contact protocols for dealing with advanced space faring civilizations. These are the guys who send out starships to go seek out new civilizations, after all.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-23 04:09am

Imperial Overlord wrote:
2018-01-23 03:54am
The usual first contact protocols for dealing with advanced space faring civilizations. These are the guys who send out starships to go seek out new civilizations, after all.
Technically they are pre-warp. So by the letter of the prime directive contact maybe a no-no. They'll probably hew to the spirit, or observe, back off and send a report higher up the chain to go take a look.

Pretty sure to join the Federation you have to have warp drive and a united planetary government at the least but again letter/spirit difference. The lack of world government is going be more of a problem than the lack of warp drive.

Just imagine if they could refit all those ships with WD and enlisted them in the dominion war or whatever.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2018-01-23 05:30am

These guys only count as pre-warp if you use a particularly narrow interpretation of pre-warp since they actually have warp theory they just discarded it as a dead end because it doesn't work in their neighborhood. They'll dig it up pretty quick after seeing the Enterprise.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-01-23 05:41am

That's why I said talked about Technicalities and letters of the law as opposed to spirit.

But yeah, they either initiate negotiations themselves or at worst send back to the Federation for instructions and a specialised team. Likely they will try to open communications with as many of the nation states as possible or whatever UN equivalent they have.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-23 12:35pm

I suspect that if a civilization is high-tech enough, there's some leeway for interpreting the Prime Directive. It's not like Earth was at a particularly high technological level when Cochrane launched the Phoenix, after all.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-23 01:21pm

They've made contact with single system civilizations before (Taste of Armageddon). Such decisions are the purview of the Federation Council or its directives can override the Prime Directive (Encounter at Farpoint). So... no ethical dilemma here.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Iroscato » 2018-01-23 01:27pm

I would almost certainly say they'd engage the usual post-warp protocols. From a military perspective, I would guess Starfleet would be extremely hesistant to give over warp drive technology to a civilisation that is so advanced and powerful in every other way - thousands of ships retrofitted with warp capability and able to expand the interests of their nations would be a disquieting prospect.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-01-23 01:36pm

The nations thing reminds me of Starfighters of Adumar (RIP Allston). It kinda makes sense for the Federation to draw the line at giving this civilization higher technology and, especially, weapons, until they manage to unify themselves. That's what the Republic was doing in that book-- Adumar was divided along nation-state lines, and the Republic didn't want to take them in until they unified. Something along those lines-- they wanted a single planetary state that would speak for all its citizens, not just some.

So once first contact is disposed of, there's probably going to be diplomats from the Federation going, "Ah, about this thing you guys have going on with the three states... we need to talk..." and unscrupulous elements such as Ferengi traders trying to exploit their differences for profit.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-01-23 03:43pm

When it comes to the Prime Directive it seems to almost like how leeway there is depends on the timeframe so between the end of ENT and early TNG prime directive was treated as strict rule that could be bent or broken if needs of the federation dictacted so, but from later TNG onward the prime directive became essentially a divine edict the letter of which had to be obeyed even to its most absurd extent.

For example the Galactic Republic/Empire from SW would be deemed to be not valid for first contact due being a "pre-warp civilization"(they haven't developed warp drive yet thus they're a pre-warp civilization) even though they have FTL that isn't warp drive based and more systems then the UFP has.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by tezunegari » 2018-01-23 05:23pm

Lord Revan wrote:
2018-01-23 03:43pm
For example the Galactic Republic/Empire from SW would be deemed to be not valid for first contact due being a "pre-warp civilization"(they haven't developed warp drive yet thus they're a pre-warp civilization) even though they have FTL that isn't warp drive based and more systems then the UFP has.
The Republic/Empire has FTL... when the Prime Directive was written the only known FTL was Warp technology.
So I'd think the Republic/Empire would be actually considered a post-Warp civilization as their Hyperdrive is magnitudes faster than Warp.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-01-24 12:27am

tezunegari wrote:
2018-01-23 05:23pm
Lord Revan wrote:
2018-01-23 03:43pm
For example the Galactic Republic/Empire from SW would be deemed to be not valid for first contact due being a "pre-warp civilization"(they haven't developed warp drive yet thus they're a pre-warp civilization) even though they have FTL that isn't warp drive based and more systems then the UFP has.
The Republic/Empire has FTL... when the Prime Directive was written the only known FTL was Warp technology.
So I'd think the Republic/Empire would be actually considered a post-Warp civilization as their Hyperdrive is magnitudes faster than Warp.
"post warp civilization" clasification doesn't really exist for UFP as they don't know if there's a theoretical cap as to how fast a warp drive can go.

The sane defination for "pre-warp" civilization is to ask "is this civilization capable of developing and using a warp drive" and if the anwser to that question is "no" then it's a pre-warp civilization. The Galactic Republic/Empire is certainly capable of developing functioning warpdrive as far as UFP is conserned and thus would be clasified as "warp capable" civilization by UFP and a valid candidate for first contact.

My point however was that during late TNG and especially VOY the Prime Directive was read like a divine edict. So the question became "Has the civilization developed warpdrive" with "no" causing the civilization to be deemed to be "pre-warp" even if developing warpdrive was just a path that civilization didn't take and have FTL that's just as good if not better as warp drive.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-01-24 01:00am

Imperial Overlord wrote:
2018-01-23 05:30am
These guys only count as pre-warp if you use a particularly narrow interpretation of pre-warp since they actually have warp theory they just discarded it as a dead end because it doesn't work in their neighborhood. They'll dig it up pretty quick after seeing the Enterprise.
So we need to ask the question: Why did the Federation set warp drive as the line that decides if they can be contacted or not ?

My guess is that the Federation set that line because it's the point where first contact becomes unavoidable. The point where a civilization can leave their own star system, fly to Federation space and cause first contact.

If that's the case, an advanced single-system civilization would still count as one the Federation isn't allowed to make contact with. But a civilization with a non-warp FTL (eg, Star Wars) would be one they can make contact with before it makes contact with them.

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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-24 01:18am

The Federation as a whole would probably decide to contact them. The main reason for non-contact with pre-warp societies, under Federation doctrine, is the threat of altering a prewarp society, which is vulnerable and malleable in the face of advanced aliens' superior technology.

That is not, to put it mildly, going to be a problem here.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-01-24 02:44am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-24 01:18am
The Federation as a whole would probably decide to contact them. The main reason for non-contact with pre-warp societies, under Federation doctrine, is the threat of altering a prewarp society, which is vulnerable and malleable in the face of advanced aliens' superior technology.

That is not, to put it mildly, going to be a problem here.
Yeah that's how it suppose to work and does work for TOS, TAS, early TNG and (as far as we can tell) DSC, but in later TNG, VOY and possibly DS9 (though I don't remember much discussion about the Prime Directive there) the Prime Directive became this practically divine edict that you were suppose to follow to the letter.

With that version of the Prime Directive I could see UFP doing things like actively avoiding contacting civilizations that have non-warp based FTL drives even if the technology level of said civilizaton is equal or greater to the Federation and other equally stupid things.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-01-24 03:07am

Lord Revan wrote:
2018-01-24 02:44am
I could see UFP doing things like actively avoiding contacting civilizations that have non-warp based FTL drives even if the technology level of said civilizaton is equal or greater to the Federation and other equally stupid things.
What would the Federation do when one of those civilizations shows up at a Federation planet ?

I will point to the episode For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky for an example of that happening with a slower than light ship.

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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-01-24 05:09am

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-01-24 03:07am
Lord Revan wrote:
2018-01-24 02:44am
I could see UFP doing things like actively avoiding contacting civilizations that have non-warp based FTL drives even if the technology level of said civilizaton is equal or greater to the Federation and other equally stupid things.
What would the Federation do when one of those civilizations shows up at a Federation planet ?

I will point to the episode For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky for an example of that happening with a slower than light ship.
of course then they'll make contact, they got no choice. It's more of a case of keeping your distance for as long as possible.

Don't think of it as logical set of directives, but think of UFP following the Prime Directive like fundamentalist follow the word of the bible, strict to point of absurdity until it becomes inconvinient.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-24 11:04am

I'm going to be honest, my natural inclination is to dismiss any blatant stupidity along those lines in the latter episodes of TNG as bad writing, and in VOY as being the result of a single captain and a few of her senior officers being out of touch with Starfleet's legal department for several years, and groupthinking themselves into a shitty interpretation of General Order One.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by NecronLord » 2018-01-24 11:31am

Lord Revan wrote:
2018-01-24 02:44am
Yeah that's how it suppose to work and does work for TOS, TAS, early TNG and (as far as we can tell) DSC, but in later TNG, VOY and possibly DS9 (though I don't remember much discussion about the Prime Directive there) the Prime Directive became this practically divine edict that you were suppose to follow to the letter.

With that version of the Prime Directive I could see UFP doing things like actively avoiding contacting civilizations that have non-warp based FTL drives even if the technology level of said civilizaton is equal or greater to the Federation and other equally stupid things.
We see this in Voyager a LOT though; the Federation, or at least Janeway gives no shits about what kind of FTL you use. The obvious example is the Caretaker himself. He doesn't use a warp drive, but something far more advanced, and she doesn't shy away from contact with him.

So, no, it's FTL travel, not the specific type, that matters. There's no grounds to think if they found a civilization who used say, soliton waves, to travel, they'd avoid them on that grounds.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-24 11:04am
I'm going to be honest, my natural inclination is to dismiss any blatant stupidity along those lines in the latter episodes of TNG as bad writing, and in VOY as being the result of a single captain and a few of her senior officers being out of touch with Starfleet's legal department for several years, and groupthinking themselves into a shitty interpretation of General Order One.
It can all be explained away as some time in TNG there being a case where a captain was hauled up before a court martial in a contentious Prime Directive case and the court really threw the book at her/him, and it scared the likes of Picard and the others somewhat into overreacting.

IE call it a temporary pre-Dominion War crisis of confidence among Starfleet officers. Sure, it doesn't fit the image of Picard that we have that he'd care about his career that much, but he's only human.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-24 11:47am

Picard is also a true believer. He might well start following the Prime Directive to irrational extremes not out of fear of punishment, but because of a genuine conviction that he needs to check his post-warp civilizational privilege or something.

Among other things because Picard had committed Prime Directive breaches, or at least bent the rule, in the past- saving Wesley from the Edo, interfering to stop a planetary disaster or two. He might well experience a real crisis of conscience over such a thing.
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Re: The Enterprise finds a advanced single system civilization (RAR!)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2018-01-25 06:58am

NecronLord wrote:
2018-01-24 11:31am

It can all be explained away as some time in TNG there being a case where a captain was hauled up before a court martial in a contentious Prime Directive case and the court really threw the book at her/him, and it scared the likes of Picard and the others somewhat into overreacting.

IE call it a temporary pre-Dominion War crisis of confidence among Starfleet officers. Sure, it doesn't fit the image of Picard that we have that he'd care about his career that much, but he's only human.
It doesn't even have to be the court martial. Say ten years before TNG someone really fucked up a Prime Directive case by erring on the side of intervening. It would be natural to be gun shy after that. "Captain Anderson had the best of intentions as well. I don't think that matters much to the people of Omicron Persii Six, what's left of them."
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