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In an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise TV series, a cloaked mine damaged Enterprise in Romulan space, which limited Enterprise to a maximum speed of warp 2.1, with which it'd have taken a decade for them to reach Jupiter Station for repair. So, they decided to broadcast distress signals for help. And they got help from an automatic repair station, which was able to convert energy into mass & vice versa.
Later in this episode, Mayweather died in an accident. But, Doctor Phlox discovered that the dead body was just an exact copy of real one. Finally, Mayweather was found alive and saved. In fact, the repair station had kidnapped him just to use his brain for computer processing.

My Question: The dead body of Mayweather was an exact copy at even quantum scales. In fact, the doctor identified it as a fake because the repair station didn't care about a parasite that lived in Mayweather's blood. So, why did the repair station need real Mayweather when it was able to create his exact copy with 100% accuracy? It was able to create even thousands of such biological machines (or, even real digital computers) to improve its processing power. But still it was using an array of kidnapped aliens for this task. Why?

  • Any chance you can include the name of the episode in question? – Tango Jan 22 '12 at 20:16
  • No luck as I barely read those episode names.. :( Plus, microscopic details are hard for my year-long memory as I am not Vulcan.. :) – I Love You 3000 Jan 22 '12 at 20:42
  • Is there anyone else to tell episode name? – I Love You 3000 Jan 22 '12 at 20:43
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    I've full series in my home media server. Enterprise damage with cloaked mine happened in S02E03 (Name - "Minefield"). Repair station appeared in S02E04 (Name - "Dead Stop"). – user11147 Jan 22 '12 at 21:25
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It couldn't recreate Mayweather with perfect accuracy, otherwise those things in his blood would've still been alive.

Based on what we know of replicator technology in TNG/DS9/VOY, and the fact that those things were dead, the repair station was most likely unable to create living matter - just a very good replica. And without a living brain, it's unlikely the replicated body could be used as a processor.

As for why it couldn't replicate a computer and use that... We'd have to ask the original creators, who don't seem to exist anymore. I'd guess that it simply wouldn't be efficient enough given the size, or flexible enough to deal with any type of ship.

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Obviously, the station COULD have simply replicated more computer equipment to increase it's processing ability BUT there are many examples in Star Trek where people managed to outwit A.I. systems (Nomad, M-5, Landru, and the androids from "I, Mudd" come to mind). I would say therefore, that the living brains of the people abducted by the station must be superior to any inorganic systems that could be replicated.

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    It doesn't make sense.. Living brain has a limit. If it can outsmart array of 5 supercomputers, the 6th supercomputer in the array would beat the brain.. – I Love You 3000 Jul 2 '12 at 10:55
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    @SachinShekhar He is saying that since the human brain was superior to the inorganic system they used it because it was easier/smaller/less expensive. I could mow my lawn with a push mower or a tractor, but I choose the lawnmower because it is easier, less expensive, and takes up less space. – NominSim Jul 2 '12 at 16:23
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    @SachinShekhar Uh...yeah. The mass-energy equivalence concept (E = M(C^2)) tells us that it takes massive amounts of energy to create even a kilogram of matter. Given the massive space that a supercomputer would need to take up, it seems much easier to kidnap someone. Heck I could kidnap someone right now, I can't convert energy into a supercomputer, can you? – NominSim Jul 2 '12 at 17:09
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    @SachinShekhar Do you have a source to back that up? Also, it isn't "designed with an assumption that c is ultimate speed limit", it implies that in order to reach the speed of light you need an infinite amount of energy. I believe that the use of warp "technology" gets past that, not that it doesn't apply. – NominSim Jul 2 '12 at 17:19
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    @SachinShekhar That's only true if the energy flow only went one way. Tetryon radiation is one example of energy being drawn from subspace. – Izkata Jul 3 '12 at 20:47

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