12

In the TNG episode "Cause and Effect", we are treated to the following line of dialogue...three times.

"Captain's Log, Stardate 45652.1. The Enterprise has entered an area of space known as the Typhon Expanse. We are the first Starfleet vessel to chart this unexplored region."

This strongly suggests that no Starfleet ship has ever actually been into this part of space.

Yet the very end of the episode shows that a Starfleet ship WAS in this section of space, Specifically the USS Bozeman, years ago. Proven when it emerged from a temporal loop just in front of the Enterprise.

How do we account for this inconsistency - saying that the Typhon Expanse has never been charted, and yet there clearly being a federation ship already in the Typhon Expanse?

  • 3
    I haven't seen the episode, but is it possible that they were trapped in the time loop too soon after entering the Typhon Expanse to report back to Starfleet? Thus Starfleet records would list the Typhon Expanse as uncharted, probably with a footnote that they lost contact with a ship in the area, but no confirmation on whether or not it ever entered the Expanse. – numaroth Nov 20 '14 at 15:54
  • 1
    @numaroth By the episode's own timeline, they'd have to be at least a half a day's worth of travel into that sector - possibly a whole day depending on when during a Starfleet 'day' the officers hold their poker game. And at the very least, the people heading out to chart that sector ought to know about any missing ships that were headed that way - it's a bit like sending someone from Florida to Mexico on a plane without any warnings about the Bremuda Triangle. – Zibbobz Nov 20 '14 at 16:10
  • 1
    @Zibbobz That does sound like they should have sent at least one report. – numaroth Nov 20 '14 at 16:16
  • 6
    I suppose that technically, charting the region could be considered separate from a brief look at it. Like charting the Amazon river is different from traveling up it to see what's there. I don't remember anything in the episode that suggested that they didn't know about a missing starship there, they just didn't mention it. – Jaydee Nov 20 '14 at 16:24
  • 2
    I'm with @Jaydee. USS Bozeman might have been in the expanse for reasons other than charting it. It's obvious that the expanse is known to Starfleet (it has a name after all.) It's also quite possible that the dangers are known due to at least one missing ship, which is why they sent in their flagship for the otherwise boring charting mission. – Chahk Nov 21 '14 at 20:26
11

Like so many things military, it may have simply been that the Enterprise was the first "official" Starfleet vessel to chart this unexplored region. Since this region was near Klingon space, it is possible there were few, if any, official explorations of Typhon space and none that were on record.

  • Depending on how well known the phenomenon of the Tyhon Expanse was, it may simply have been a region marked by probes and thus known but unexplored.

  • Remember it was not unexpected for the Federation to scout the borders of their territory unofficially. The TOS Enterprise spent quite a bit of time scouting and even occasionally crossing the Romulan Neutral Zone, unofficially, of course.

  • The starship, the USS Bozeman was the ship discovered inside of the Typhon Expanse. It was there for ninety years, though from the perspective of the crew inside only a few weeks had passed.

  • The simplest explanation is either the Bozeman was not meant to be in that region and thus it was considered lost and its location was unknown, or there was the possibility of being an off-the-books operation, since Typhon space is near Klingon territory.

  • Given the Soyuz-class starships were super-destroyers or attack frigate size vessels, it is unlikely it would have been there on a purely scientific mission, it may have been gathering intelligence on Klingon ship movement. The Bozeman was lost in 2278 and the Khitomer Accords aren't signed until 2293, so there may still have been border disputes between the Klingons and Federation during that time.

  • Reasonable assumptions, though do we know for sure that the Typhoon Expanse is located near Klingon space? – Zibbobz Nov 20 '14 at 16:46
  • From the perspective of the crew, the transition was instant. They were unaware of the temporal loop. – Valorum Nov 20 '14 at 16:49
  • 1
    Yes. It was considered near the Beta Quadrant which is near Klingon space. – Thaddeus Howze Nov 20 '14 at 17:00
5

The Enterprise-D had been travelling within the Typhon Expanse (described as "huge") when they literally stumbled over the temporal rift:

WORF'S COM VOICE : We are getting unusual readings -- twenty thousand kilometers off the port bow.

Picard and the others ENTER the bridge, take stations. Riker stands near Data, at ops.

PICARD : Report.

RO : Sensors didn't detect the phenomenon until we were almost on top of it, sir.

WORF : It is a highly localized distortion in the space-time continuum.

Bateson's description of the phenomenon suggest they'd had even less time to respond :

BATESON : Our sensors detected a temporal distortion. Then your ship appeared... we nearly hit you.


Given the size of the Expanse, the relatively short time they'd spent inside it and the sudden close proximity of the phenomenon, it seems likely that the rift was strongly attracted to the two ships, giving them insufficient time to relay their location, a distress call or any of their scientific readings back to Starfleet.

We know from watching Star Trek TOS that it wasn't part of their standard procedures to check in continually, relying on Log Buoys to relay information when the ship was placed in danger.

  • Granted they wouldn't have time to send out a distress call, but what about records of their last location and destination? – Zibbobz Nov 20 '14 at 17:16
  • 1
    @Zibbobz - Their location was "mooching around, somewhere within a 50-100 light year radius of Starbase". – Valorum Nov 20 '14 at 17:18
  • Someone should tell them to get off the couch and find a job then. ;p +1 though, for the edited-in info on how it would be unlikely for their last known location to be reported accurately. – Zibbobz Nov 20 '14 at 17:37
5

There is a book called "Ship of the Line", which explains the events you are looking for. It describes how the Bozeman helped to stop a Klingon invasion force that was hiding in the expanse, which was still on the Klingon side at the time. The Bozeman herself, was a border cutting vessel, much like that of the United States Coast Guard.

A diversionary tactic was used by the Klingons to panic a task force into thinking a Klingon fleet was massing somewhere else, when in reality they were in the expanse. Since Kozara, the leader of the Klingon Fleet, had a personal vendetta against Bateson and the Bozeman, he made it a point of honor to detroy the Bozeman before it could warn the fleet. According to the Kozara's XO, both ships were still at least 3 hours from Starbase 12 at Warp 5. Communications were blanketed by the Klingons and the attack began.

The Bozeman, heavily damaged made a run for it and found a system to hide in, which also gave them time to launch a "hardshell" beacon, set to go off 30 minutes after launch, giving it time to get far enough away from the Klingons and to warn to fleet of where the Klingons were actually staging. The Bozeman found an area of space that was described as a "hazy globular mass" which gave them a good place to hide. This was the phenomenon the Enterprise-D came across and encountered the Bozeman.

The ploy worked. The beacon sent the message to the fleet and Starfleet was able to stop the Klingons, but there was no sign of the Bozeman. Because the expanse was still on the Klingon side, it's most likely that starfleet labeled the ship as missing. It's also likely that since Kozara presumed the ship was destroyed, that he didn't bother with trying to find too hard where they went when they realized back up was on the way. Chances are that the message sent was short and to the point, and since in the book the crew of the Bozeman figured this would be a suicide mission, they figured what was most important was getting the message about the Klingons out, and less about themselves.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.