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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-22 01:03am
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Let's suppose Q decided to swap a single Federation ship, suppose a Galaxy Class ship, and a Victory Class Star Destroyer. Deposited them in the opposite universe with the same technology as when they were in their own universe. Now sure, the Galaxy Class ship will be hopelessly outclassed, and the Victory will be the most powerful vessel in the entire galaxy. The question is how the two will react to their given situations, and what the long-term ramifications will be?

Basic Assumptions:
Galaxy Class ship has standard provisions for a full cruise and full crew compliment, including mixed alien and human crew.
The Victory Star Destroyer has a full compliment of fighters and crew, with full hyperdrive functionality.
Both ships have ways of generating spare parts and replacements via onboard replicators and/or machinery.
The crews are non-replenishable unless they recruit new members from other planets in their travels.
Universal translators work so communications are fully enabled.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-22 01:11am
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The most likely action on both sides is trying to scan the immediate area and see if there are any civilizations that are there that might be able to send them back.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-23 12:14am
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Which era? Republic? Imperial? Kirk's time? The Dominion War?

But yes, they'd probably try to get home first. Failing that, the Star Wars ship would probably try to gather local allies and build up a power base, and the Federation ship would do the whole exploring thing until they broke down, then settle on some random world.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-23 07:42am
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The Romulan Republic wrote:
Which era? Republic? Imperial? Kirk's time? The Dominion War?


I said Galaxy Class so I'm going to say around Dominion War era. Militant Federation and all that.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-23 10:42am
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Quote:
Now sure, the Galaxy Class ship will be hopelessly outclassed, and the Victory will be the most powerful vessel in the entire galaxy.

Hardly. There are good arguments for a Galaxy Class ship being the most powerful ship in the new galaxy it finds itself in, and the Star Destroyer finding itself distinctly outclassed. However, leaving that aside for another debate...

I think that the assumption that the Star Destroyer will be able to generate spare parts does not stand up because they do not have anything like replicator technology as in Star Trek TNG onwards. In order to be able to keep going they will have to rely on trade. But they do have something very trade worthy which is hyperdrive technology which does not exist in the Trekian galaxy. So I think that they will settle down to a very successful and lucrative career in the Milky Way selling hyperdrive technology. The implications of this will be an enormous increase in the ability to travel across the Milky Way which would lead either to an era of unparalleled increase in trade or conflict. Either way, no one would forget their impact which would change the Milky Way for ever.

I do not think it will work out so well for the Star Ship. They would carry on doing what Star Fleet does and explore the new galaxy while working on a way to return home, a la Voyager. They will be able to generate spare parts using their replicators, so could keep going a lot longer. But, in a galaxy dominated by the Empire I think that they would attract attention before too long and the Empire would want to gain access to their warp drive technology which does not exist in the Warsian galaxy. A Star Fleet captain could not agree to share this technology with a regime such as the Empire, so the Imperial Fleet would try to take it. Even with the enormous advantage in combat the Star Ship would have they would eventually be defeated and rather than allow warp drive technology to fall into evil hands the Star Fleet crew would destroy their ship, gallantly sacrificing themselves to protect the peoples of Warsian galaxy. This would of course be hushed up by the Empire and the Star Ship and its noble crew would be forgotten.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-23 01:02pm
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mutanthamster wrote:
Quote:
Now sure, the Galaxy Class ship will be hopelessly outclassed, and the Victory will be the most powerful vessel in the entire galaxy.

Hardly. There are good arguments for a Galaxy Class ship being the most powerful ship in the new galaxy it finds itself in, and the Star Destroyer finding itself distinctly outclassed. However, leaving that aside for another debate...


Should be insightful, perhaps you should start a new thread on the matter.

Quote:
I think that the assumption that the Star Destroyer will be able to generate spare parts does not stand up because they do not have anything like replicator technology as in Star Trek TNG onwards.


Yes, they do

They're called Duplicators and they function nearly the same way as Trek Replicators


Quote:
In order to be able to keep going they will have to rely on trade. But they do have something very trade worthy which is hyperdrive technology which does not exist in the Trekian galaxy.


Wait..."Trekian"?

Quote:
So I think that they will settle down to a very successful and lucrative career in the Milky Way selling hyperdrive technology. The implications of this will be an enormous increase in the ability to travel across the Milky Way which would lead either to an era of unparalleled increase in trade or conflict. Either way, no one would forget their impact which would change the Milky Way for ever.


Optimistic and possibly the approach a Victory Class in Republic colors would take, Overall it's more likely they'd use the ship's tactical and strategic superiority to subjugate a small empire and expand ever outward (like the Son'a), the VSD would guarantee victory and serve as deterrent until a fleet can be outfitted with turbolaser/shield/hyperdrive tech. Once that happens nothing will stop the "[inset name of Star Destroyer] Empire."

Quote:
I do not think it will work out so well for the Star Ship. They would carry on doing what Star Fleet does and explore the new galaxy while working on a way to return home, a la Voyager. They will be able to generate spare parts using their replicators, so could keep going a lot longer. But, in a galaxy dominated by the Empire I think that they would attract attention before too long and the Empire would want to gain access to their warp drive technology which does not exist in the Warsian galaxy.


First off, you don't need to add -ian, "Trek galaxy" and "Wars galaxy" are sufficient, if you find Milky Way and GFFA are too clunky.

Secondly the Empire wouldn't have much interest, a GCS is a snail compared to Wars ships (it takes 70 years for a Trek ship to cross a quadrant, a Wars Civilian freighter can cross an entire galaxy in days,) if the Empire had any interest they can with ease intercept it.

Even if we disregard the FTL disparity, Imperator Class Star Destroyers (the 25,000 ship strong core of the Imperial fleet) sublight max acceleration is 2,300G, and Super Star Destroyers (i.e. Vader's 17.6km long flagship) sublight max at 1,250G. The Galaxy Class has a design goal sublight max of 1,000G.

If the Empire really wants it (God knows why), only auto-destruct can stop them.


Quote:
A Star Fleet captain could not agree to share this technology with a regime such as the Empire, so the Imperial Fleet would try to take it.


The Empire is very good at putting on a good face to outsiders, only the Rebellion and its sympathizers are fully aware of the evil. Since the Empire is a Galaxy spanning civilization the Prime directive doesn't apply (consequently if they meet the Empire first the PD would disincline them from helping the Rebellion, since the Galactic Civil War is "by definition an internal matter of the Empire.")

Given the situation, the Feds would trade everything not bolted to the hull for a used hyperdrive and enough credits to start a plucky one ship transport business. The Wars galaxy revolves on money, outside the outer rim trade alone won't get you very far.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-23 06:33pm
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Fedrebel
You make some good points, but I won't argue about technical details. The reason I like my post is the idea of the noble Star Fleet crew standing by their beliefs until the end, and the Imperial crew turning their back on evil making it good in another galaxy. It could be an episode of Star Trek.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-23 07:37pm
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mutanthamster wrote:
Fedrebel
You make some good points, but I won't argue about technical details. The reason I like my post is the idea of the noble Star Fleet crew standing by their beliefs until the end, and the Imperial crew turning their back on evil making it good in another galaxy. It could be an episode of Star Trek.


Who says they have to be Imperial? They could be Republic or Rebels for all we know.

And the reverse situation is possible as well- the Federation crew decides that they may as well go evil or whatever since they might not have a way to go back (maybe join the Imperial Fleet or become pirates) and the VSD goes on to wreak havoc for the Empire in the Trek Galaxy.

It's an interesting idea, but there are a lot of variables to this. Are the crews loyal to their governments and stick to their guiding principles? Will they after coming into contact with an alien race decide to befriend them or fight?



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 03:58am
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Who says they have to be Imperial? They could be Republic or Rebels for all we know.


Or just a common planetary government or corporation or a random Jo Smith in his personal space yatch. What’s the chance you’re just going to bump into the federal military at random in such a huge and highly populated galaxy? Planets like Alderaan would probably be quite friendly places for Starfleet to turn up at.

Quote:
They're called Duplicators and they function nearly the same way as Trek Replicators


The only source for them appears to be Han Solo and the lost Legacy, they don't appear to function at all like ST replicators but rather as automated fabrication units. They are also described as being hugely expensive so I'm not sure you'd find them on run of the mill warships.

Quote:
If the Empire really wants it (God knows why)


There are a host of technologies the Empire or anyone else in the SW galaxy would kill for! ST medical tech has far more advanced elements than Star Wars and replicators, transporters and holodecks would be highly valuable too. And that’s ignoring the simple curiosity/paranoia of where this strange alien ship has come from and why its crewed by humans from another galaxy.

A Star Destroyer would rest on the temperament of its captain; if he’s a stereotypical murderous lunatic he’ll probably blaze a trail of blood and burned out planets before running out of supplies and being dissected for technology by the Borg. Or he’ll ask politely for Star Fleet to fiddle with the main deflector to send him home. If he has an unavoidable need to do the empire building thing he’s much better off allying with an existing power, exchanging his tech and short term firepower for positions of authority/wealth in the regime. Alternatively he can do what the Sona did and restrict himself to some low level pre-warp civilizations that can still be controlled once the Star Destroyer runs out of fuel and becomes nothing but a space station in orbit.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 10:25am
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Darth Tanner wrote:
Quote:
Who says they have to be Imperial? They could be Republic or Rebels for all we know.

Quote:
They're called Duplicators and they function nearly the same way as Trek Replicators


The only source for them appears to be Han Solo and the lost Legacy, they don't appear to function at all like ST replicators but rather as automated fabrication units. They are also described as being hugely expensive so I'm not sure you'd find them on run of the mill warships.


According to this description, they work much akin to how replicators function, being able to fit inside of a few crates, and to synthesize materials out of 'raw constituents.' That seems almost undeniably as if it describes replicators or some such thing very near in function thereto.

Quote:
Quote:
If the Empire really wants it (God knows why)


There are a host of technologies the Empire or anyone else in the SW galaxy would kill for! ST medical tech has far more advanced elements than Star Wars and replicators, transporters and holodecks would be highly valuable too. And that’s ignoring the simple curiosity/paranoia of where this strange alien ship has come from and why its crewed by humans from another galaxy.


Hologram technology on par with holodecks isn't unknown in the GFFA, and replicator-like devices already exist on a far grander scale, as well as other common stuff that Trek uses based on subspace. There may be some stuff though like transporters and dermal regenerators which could be deemed worthwhile for exploitation by the Empire, but besides small things such as those, there really will not be much that the Federation could offer to a star destroyer which might enhance what they have already.

If the star destroyer's captain deals his choices out wisely, he could make a huge profit for himself and his crew by joining one of the minor powers in the Milky Way and upgrading its technological base up to SW levels. Conquest is out of the question however owing to the small size of a VSD's crew.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 10:59am
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Has no one considered onboard machine shops? Onboard smelting, perhaps? It's certainly not out of the question that a starship as large as a star destroyer couldn't have a machine shop to fabricate pieces such as pipes, bolts, gears, anything really. You're not going to create something that's very very large, but you can't do that on a large starship anyway, I don't think. Well you could I guess if you took it piece by piece and just grafted it onto the end, but still. A ceramic pot with enough heat can produce ingots of metal that you can then shape and form. Asteroids are rich in mineral deposits just waiting for exploitation.



And on the subject of converting a minor power, the question would be why? Why would they necessarily go with a minor power? Assuming the crew is mostly human, wouldn't they naturally be inclined to join the Federation? Now sure, there's the whole money thing, but who knows? A Star Destroyer showing up with amazing firepower and the ability to go anywhere in the galaxy would be a great asset, and I'm sure the Captain of the ship would be well received. He might balk at their socialist state, but would he teach the Federation the value of money? Or would he become a convert to a money-less society?



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 11:32am
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Baffalo wrote:
Has no one considered onboard machine shops? Onboard smelting, perhaps? It's certainly not out of the question that a starship as large as a star destroyer couldn't have a machine shop to fabricate pieces such as pipes, bolts, gears, anything really. You're not going to create something that's very very large, but you can't do that on a large starship anyway, I don't think. Well you could I guess if you took it piece by piece and just grafted it onto the end, but still. A ceramic pot with enough heat can produce ingots of metal that you can then shape and form. Asteroids are rich in mineral deposits just waiting for exploitation.


I have, and I agree with your line of thoguht. I will be utterly shocked to learn that a warship from a galaxy-spanning civilization like that of SW has no capability to create additional supplies on the spot from the natural resources available to it in space. Of course, I don't mean that they could reproduce complicated mechanisms like the ion drives and hypermatter-reactors of a starship--just only parts and gears of smaller systems which don't need scarce resources and complex maintenance from some kind of deep-space facility suited to maintaining and repairing the more complicated equipment on board a dedicated warship.

Even if SW didn't have replicator-like tech, that does not necessarily mean that they will jump at the chance to take it for themselves upon first glance. Star destroyers are likely to have some kind of manufacturing capability as you've described, and if they can create things at a lower opportunity cost than by using a replicator, the SW guys will not be using the replicator--or so I like to believe.

Quote:
And on the subject of converting a minor power, the question would be why? Why would they necessarily go with a minor power? Assuming the crew is mostly human, wouldn't they naturally be inclined to join the Federation? Now sure, there's the whole money thing, but who knows? A Star Destroyer showing up with amazing firepower and the ability to go anywhere in the galaxy would be a great asset, and I'm sure the Captain of the ship would be well received. He might balk at their socialist state, but would he teach the Federation the value of money? Or would he become a convert to a money-less society?


I guess that it all hinges upon whether the captain can present himself as some one with whom the Federation could bring itself to begin dealings. If the captain offers to provide technology to the Federation which will be used for war and destruction, the Feds might choose to take the moral high ground and decline his offer of business. Whereas others like the Romulans and Klingons would jump for joy that such a deus ex machina just showed up on their 'doorstep.'

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 01:32pm
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It would make sense for the ST ships to be able to go a lot longer without resupply simply based on the technology and type of mission they perform. In SW, you have the ability to cross the galaxy in days or hours. SW capital ships are backed by a massive galaxy-spanning technological infrastructure. They're probably never more than a few hours away from resupply and repair depots. There's not much need for them to be able to perform major repairs or produce their own fuel or ammunition. SW capital ships are also generally dedicated fighting machines, and you'd expect them to dispense with anything not necessary for their primary combat role. You would expect then that they'd be a lot more dependent on frequent resupply.

In ST, you have the relatively very slow warp drive, and supply coming from a small and widely spread Federation. ST routinely go for months-long missions without resupply, and so would benefit from having the ability to repair and resupply themselves in the field. Most of the major capital ships we've seen in ST are also vastly more multi-role, used for exploration and scientific research and ambassadorial duties as well as combat. The ability to fabricate equipment in the field to deal with unexpected situations has a higher priority than it would for a SW capital ship, whose job is mostly just to blow shit up.

So I would expect a ST ship alone in an unknown galaxy to be able to operate on its own longer than a SW ship would. Of course, the SW ships are vastly more durable and able to deal with or escape from trouble, so it may matter more what each ship runs into.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 02:34pm
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Ellindsey wrote:
It would make sense for the ST ships to be able to go a lot longer without resupply simply based on the technology and type of mission they perform. In SW, you have the ability to cross the galaxy in days or hours. SW capital ships are backed by a massive galaxy-spanning technological infrastructure. They're probably never more than a few hours away from resupply and repair depots. There's not much need for them to be able to perform major repairs or produce their own fuel or ammunition. SW capital ships are also generally dedicated fighting machines, and you'd expect them to dispense with anything not necessary for their primary combat role. You would expect then that they'd be a lot more dependent on frequent resupply.

In ST, you have the relatively very slow warp drive, and supply coming from a small and widely spread Federation. ST routinely go for months-long missions without resupply, and so would benefit from having the ability to repair and resupply themselves in the field. Most of the major capital ships we've seen in ST are also vastly more multi-role, used for exploration and scientific research and ambassadorial duties as well as combat. The ability to fabricate equipment in the field to deal with unexpected situations has a higher priority than it would for a SW capital ship, whose job is mostly just to blow shit up.

So I would expect a ST ship alone in an unknown galaxy to be able to operate on its own longer than a SW ship would. Of course, the SW ships are vastly more durable and able to deal with or escape from trouble, so it may matter more what each ship runs into.


There are Imperial vessels which can likely go for long periods of time without refueling- they're meant in the same way that a Feddie explorer vessel would. They chart out paths and explore random areas of the GFFA. It just depends if the VSD is one of those ships.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 03:09pm
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Their is another thing to consider on the resupply issue: design.

The Federation GCS is built as an explorer, the successor to the venerable Constitutions that went on five year missions beyond the Federation.

The VSD is built as a warship, built to operate in a galaxy filled with resupply and repair yards. I would not expect them to have anywhere near the supplies aboard. I recall a quote from somewhere to the effect that an ISD has a year's worth of consumables. One-fifth the probably Federation number.

To quote the Duchess of Zeon's fanfic, one admiral said of the Imperial Fleet: "I have a fleet of monsters with short legs."



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 03:19pm
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It hinges mostly upon what a particular mission asks for. A VSD expected to make multiple transgalactic hyperjumps and to go forth into battle will quickly spend most of its energy-reserves, and will have to refuel almost certainly afterwards.... Whereas the same class of ship doing essentially nothing whatsoever besides patrolling a small area of space could go without refueling for nearly a decade and perhaps even longer, given that it is under no need to carry tasks out which demand a large consumption of fuel. Look into the ICS(es) and the dreadful Jedi Academy Trilogy for further information.

The same also applies to Starfleet vessels. Voyager had to halt its journey for refueling on more than occasion, at times being on the verge of shutting down entirely if it weren't for fuel rationing.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 07:13pm
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Um-VOY was facing a seventy year trip to get home. I'm not sure that's exactly comparable.

Also, no can do on bringing up any AQ level power to Wars standards. The SD is designed and outfitted to interface with with a Wars level infrastructure, not to create one essentially from scratch. Do modern day warships carry a library with step-by step instructions on how to go from flint axes to AEGIS cruisers? They may be able to provide a small amount of Wars level tools...the AQ can't make proper use of because they don't have the Wars technological base needed to use them properly.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 10:33pm
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If those tools can't be made use of, why are they on the ship to begin with?

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 10:56pm
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Cesario wrote:
If those tools can't be made use of, why are they on the ship to begin with?


Because Q totally wanted to spite the Trek Galaxy powers by putting technology on a ship that they might capture and then find out they can't use it at all due to it being lightyears ahead of anything they've seen, obviously. :wink: :roll:



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-24 11:13pm
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Just seems stupid for Imperial ships to keep tools onboard that they can't use without access to a full shipyard. Why don't they leave those things at the shipyard?

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-25 03:23am
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Just seems stupid for Imperial ships to keep tools onboard that they can't use without access to a full shipyard. Why don't they leave those things at the shipyard?


The star wars ship can make use of them obviously, Trek tech would not be compatible with most things. You can't maintain a nuclear reactor with the tools from a coal shed, and the tools for a nuclear reactor alone don't give you the ability to upgrade a steam engine into a nuclear one. I seriously doubt the engineers tasked with maintaining a nuclear reactor would know enough to design a new one either, especially if they only have access to maintenance level tools and a Victorian era steel mill.

Quote:
Has no one considered onboard machine shops?


I don't think we have to worry about then running out of simple metal pipes, although can you simply smelt down some ore for a high capacity power cable or a high pressure coolant pipe ? The problem is going to be how are they going to fit a circuit board factory on the ship? Or a droid factory or any of the thousands of highly complex things that they will start to run out of once their cut off from their supply lines and engaged in running battles with the natives.

Quote:
According to this description, they work much akin to how replicators function,


Really from that description and the fact it only mentions black market counterfeiting as a use it would appear to be a scanner and printer for making fake money. We don't see these things doing anything that could be reasoned to be a ST style replicator.

The World Devastators, where such a tech would be of most use does not work on that principle. The molecular furnace melts matter down into raw materials and internal factories make ships and weapons out of those materials the old fashioned way – on robotic assembly lines.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-25 09:28am
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the Federation crew decides that they may as well go evil or whatever since they might not have a way to go back (maybe join the Imperial Fleet or become pirates)

At first I thought no way would a Star Fleet crew behave that way, but then I remembered that episode in Voyager when another Star Fleet crew harvested aliens for faster speed, so may be. Perhaps the Imperial crew would settle down to a peaceful live of trade and the Star Fleet crew become pirates, becoming the opposite of themselves in their new homes, and perhaps not wanting to return.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-25 01:26pm
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Regarding machine shops and such:

I'd imagine Star Destroyers and Starfleet craft would have the ability to create basic parts as needed; gears, for example (assuming they still use gears... perhaps on walkers?). Something more difficult like, say, a TIE fighter reactor, or a shuttle's warp core, on the other hand, would have to come from stores, or consume extra resources in creating them from scratch.

I have no doubt that they could be made from scratch provided all the tools and material necessary, but that's the thing-- will they have element X that's necessary for coating the fusion whatamacallit, or the equipment to tool out the antimatter doohickey?

As such, I would expect either ship to try and make trading contacts any way they can almost immediately, whether it be "Hey, we can share this technology if you'll give us this and that" or "You will give us this or we shoot you apart". Perhaps an artificial restriction could be made to allow the ship to control the galaxy's supply of that technology and give them something to bargain with-- pulling all the spark plugs out of the hyperdrive cores, for example, and only giving a few with each hyperdrive they sell.

Conquest won't be the first priority of either ship; without supplies, they'll die, regardless of how long it may take.



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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-25 08:01pm
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Voyager is a reasonably instructive example. They were a shittier ship for this kind of mission than the Galaxy posited by the OP. (Assuming they work out that warp core detonation problem the early Galaxies had.)

Yet lost in an utterly alien part of space, with people who's tech that, while based on the same fundamental physics principles, did not share any common designers, developers, engineers, or development history, managed to consistently find or make compatible replacement parts.

I have a far easier time believing replicators really are just that good than believing that Voyager's initial cargo included warp cores for ten times the shuttle fleet a ship of that class would be expected to need.

Whatever becomes of the Imperial ship, the Starfleet ship is likely to be capable of being self-sufficient for a very long time. Long enough to get a feel for where they've ended up and who the bad guys are anyway. From there, it depends on the preferences of the crew, whether they throw in with the Rebel Alliance, deliberately isolate themselves, or just ditch their ship and quietly assimilate into mainstream Imperial culture.

Most likely scenario, they go exploring, find this part of space is unbelievably boring, and then put all the combined knowhow of their science departments into getting a wormhole that'll get them back to earth constructed.

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 Post subject: Re: A Single Warship in either universe PostPosted: 2011-10-25 08:34pm
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Cesario wrote:
Voyager is a reasonably instructive example. They were a shittier ship for this kind of mission than the Galaxy posited by the OP. (Assuming they work out that warp core detonation problem the early Galaxies had.)
Yet lost in an utterly alien part of space, with people who's tech that, while based on the same fundamental physics principles, did not share any common designers, developers, engineers, or development history, managed to consistently find or make compatible replacement parts.

All of which nevertheless worked with the same materials, within the same broad performance parameters, and on the same working principles.
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I have a far easier time believing replicators really are just that good than believing that Voyager's initial cargo included warp cores for ten times the shuttle fleet a ship of that class would be expected to need.

Since when do shuttles have Warp cores? Some of them have Warp drive. Not the same thing. As early as Kirk's time the Romulans had Warp drive despite being restricted to 'impulse power'.
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Most likely scenario, they go exploring, find this part of space is unbelievably boring, and then put all the combined knowhow of their science departments into getting a wormhole that'll get them back to earth constructed.

Because that's exactly what VOY did. Oh wait.



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