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We know that ships in the Star Trek universe can travel very fast, but this is still generally limited by the technology of the time. Sometimes travel is accomplished by instantaneous travel using wormholes. Q teleporting, or slipstream travel.

The Caretaker used his array to pull Voyager across the universe. From the way it was depicted in the show, this was essentially a wave of energy that pushed Voyager across space - it didn't transport them immediately, place them into a corridor, or open any kind of 'shortcut' through another dimension.

Assuming that the wave simply accelerated the ship to way above warp-10, how was the entire crew (not to mention the ship itself) not liquefied by the forces? I would assume that the inertial dampeners and whatever other technology was in place could easily handle speeds that the ship was intended to travel at, but Voyager hit speeds exponentially higher than what it was capable of managing on its own. I can't imagine that safety technology of the day could simply mitigate any arbitrary amount of acceleration - surely it had upper limits just like any other tech of the time.

  • Don't know that it was ever addressed but perhaps some sort of "on-demand" wormhole technology was employed. After ships in DS9 went to the Gamma Quadrant all the time without any of the negative effects of hyper-acceleration. – Emsley Wyatt Feb 13 at 3:00
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    In a horrible episode that I won't name, Tom Paris hits warp 10 in a shuttle and later "evolves" into a lizard. Too bad this episode didn't liquefy before airing. – Ham Sandwich Feb 16 at 21:41
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We've seen this kind of hyper-acceleration before, with even greater distances - the Enterprise-D was flung to another galaxy in Where No One Has Gone Before.

Given that inertial dampeners are a requirement to prevent turning the crew into warp soup, it does make both the Enterprise and Voyager incidents a bit difficult to reconcile.

The fact that both ships survive their rapid travel, we can only assume that part of the phenomenon causing the hyper-acceleration also somehow protected them. Some curving of space-time which moves the ships without actually accelerating them (which, in point of fact, is how the Alcubierre drive - a theoretical real world radio engine - would work), or some kind of wormhole. This would have been intentional in the case of Voyager, since the Caretaker wanted living specimens.

  • bit difficult to reconcile?? I wouldn't say so - both times (TNG's Where no one has gone before and VOY's Caretaker) there is thecase of pure will of the powerful being at play. I would actually liken them to all the times Q moves starships instantly (as patience isn't his forte) and same thing as Caretaker's bringing Voyager to Delta (albeit on smaller scale), happened to it later, in The Gift... I'd say convenient plot device, but definitely not without precendent. And it's definitely not warp-speed travel, transwarp or warp-11 – AcePL Feb 22 at 14:02

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