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Ship-to-Ship DistancesEdit

Name Distance Light Lag Notes
docking range <1 AU up to 8m20s This is much too close for comfort unless docking procedures have been initiated. At this distance a Starfleet vessel is permitted to engage weapons systems to deal with a threat, whether warning transmissions have been made or not.
visual range 1-2 AU 8m20s to 16m40s "Visual range" is so called because at this distance the light lag is short enough that a standard telescope will reveal a target as it was only a short time ago. It is not standard for vessels to approach this close under normal circumstances; standard procedure dictates moving to an alert status. At this distance a Starfleet vessel is to transmit a final proximity warning message and cease communications; if no reply is received, the vessel is permitted to open fire.
close range 2-5 AU 16m40s to 41m30s If a vessel is this close and not engaged in direct interaction (trading supplies, for example, or engaging in extensive diplomatic actions) then caution should be exercised. In response to vessels on a collision course at this distance a Starfleet vessel is to begin transmission of a standard proximity warning message loop. The outer limit of close range is also the furthest extent of transporter range.
medium range 5-5000 AU 41m30s to 4 weeks Vessels this close should be noted in case of hostile activity, but no direct action should be taken.
long range >5000 AU 4 weeks or more No action need be taken about vessels at this distance at all.

Light lag refers to visual analyses only, and is thus mostly for informative purposes only. Shipboard display readouts, including the main viewscreen, are a computer-generated aggregate of standard and subspace sensor readings which allows the computer to compensate for relativistic effects and the like and present the illusion that space is Cartesian.

AstrogationEdit

It is not useful or practical for the ship's computer to store the ship's galactic position and motions as a curve of arbitrary complexity. Instead, a simplifying assumption is made - that a vessel is at all times en route to a location as part of a defined mission.

As such, a vessel's motions are recorded as a sequence of waypoints corresponding to whatever location (planet, installation, phenomenon) is the target of its current mission. When the mission is updated due to a new mission or a change in mission parameters, the mission log is updated with the new information and a new waypoint added to the navigational logs. The location of the ship when the mission update was received (in galactic coordinates, calibrated to known astronomical markers) is also recorded.

This data allows forensic analysts to correlate the ship's logs with records from starbases, monitoring stations and the like to ascertain the actual movements of the ship should this be needed. This gives the astrogator free reign to choose whatever route around intervening objects they deem most useful.

TransapienceEdit

In our reality, transapience (or transhumanism) as a topic of discussion is chiefly confined to futurists who seek to attempt to break down and analyse the way society will be affected by the availability of cybernetic or genetic treatments to cure long-standing issues such as death and improve the ability of humanity to live in the universe and adapt it to the challenges it will face as it expands itself beyond the surface of one planet.

Genetic transhumanism never really got off the ground; geneticists had too much trouble ensuring that their modifications weren't sabotaged by simple autosomal genetic alterations resulting in cancerous tumour growth. Anything that results in an increased chance of cancer isn't the guest of honour at the medical table in any century, and by the 2020s it became obvious the future was in robotics.

Transapience remains a lively concept of discussion in the 24th century, all the more so when a lot of the technology which futurists today can only think about theoretically become real and available. The medical applications of the ongoing march of technology are accepted almost without question - a person who receives what would be to 20th-century medicine a fatal wound to the heart can receive a cybernetic implant which seamlessly bonds with the body's own cellular energy-production mechanisms.

In civilian life, however, the major conflicting force is simple reticence; people inherently think in the short-term, and reason that if they have a replicator on one side which provides good food on demand, a computer terminal with an acceptably usable interface and access to a large repository of data allowing them to do their job well, a comfortable working space to do it all in and a holodeck on the other side when they need a chance to unwind, there's not a huge impetus to receive what is ultimately a time-consuming medical upgrade which builds that computer into their arm.

Transapient augmentations nonetheless exist, and tend to be a fashion item. In general the trend is towards subtle internal modifications, not ones resulting in an extremely artificial appearance; robo-tech subcultures are a despected minority. Toying with the brain tends to be offlimits since as a procedure it carries a higher degree of risk. Augmenting individuals incapable of giving consent is frowned upon, while non-consenting augmentation is illegal.

Full uploads are unheard of - the only example currently known to exist was constructed by respected cyberneticist Noonien Soong, and intended only as a theoretical tool, potentially to host an AI without falling into the usual personality-based traps of the field. When he fell into a coma his mind was imaged with a replicator and the pattern loaded into the emulation systems of the prototype. The result was partially successful - the individual created had the personality of Noonien Soong, but none of the memories, and elected to name himself after the first thing he saw - a folder labelled "DATA".

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