Randal Shayne

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Poll of the Week: Cloaked Intentions

The Borg probe proceeds onwards, unaware that you have laid a trap for it. As it crosses your weapon’s crosshairs, you give the order. Your ship decloaks, unleashes a fusillade of fire, and renders the cybernetic horrors inert.

Now imagine the tables are turned. Your vessel is in desperate straights. The pirates are closing fast, and you’ve already suffered damage. Even with your superior weapons, the fight would be theirs in a matter of moments. Instead, you activate your handy-dandy cloak, and try not to smile as you imagine the confused looks on the faces of your pursuers.

Or perhaps a more subtle application is required. Sneaking behind enemy lines is made far easier when the enemy has no idea you are there. With the proper care and patience, war-ending intelligence could be gathered, simply by staring through a viewscreen.

We’ve all seen instances where cloaking devices have been used to great effect. However, countless dangerous situations encountered by Starfleet crews throughout the ages might have been mitigated, or completely avoided, if the Federation had continued to pursue cloaking technology. Instead, the Federation signed the Treaty of Algeron in 2311, effectively promising the Romulans that cloaking technology would not be implemented on any Starfleet vessel.

Cloaking technology certainly has it’s advantages, and their use would solve a great many problems faced by Starfleet. However, would it have been in the Federation’s best interest to employ cloaking devices on ships? In the wrong hands, it could wreak devastating havoc. Additionally, the moral implications of its use are less than clear.

This week’s poll asks you for your input on this difficult subject. Would you approve of the Federation using cloaking technology (of its own), or would you eschew it, preferring more traditional methods? Submit your vote here, and explain it in the comments section, if you have the inclination.


Poll of the Week: Holo’d Halls

It has become one of the most universally recognized staples of Star Trek, not to mention the solution to – and cause of – many problems faced by the crews of the Enterprise-D, Voyager, and Deep Space 9. I am, of course, referring to the holodeck!

Despite what seems like the incredibly dangers of this device, it seems that a magic room that can accommodate any wish within the blink of an eye is too good of an offer to pass up.

From the holographic decoys used by Voyager to escape the Kazon, to the creation of a whole new form of medical instrument (namely the Doctor), to the inadvertent rise of a sentient Professor Moriarty, holodeck technology has provided fantastic material. This week’s poll asks you to choose which usage of holographic technology stood out to you the most!

Join us on the forums to mark your favorite, or tell us which ones we missed. Click here.


Poll of the Week: A Selection of Shuttlecrafts

There’s no denying that transporters are nifty bits of machinery. They can transmit a person or thing hundreds of miles, to arrive safely (usually) at a given destination. However, it seems like these transporters can be easily beaten. Ion storms, power surges, combat shields and dozens of other factors have been known to render them inoperable. When they inevitably go wrong, there’s only one way to travel: Yes, I’m talking about shuttlecraft.

Say what you will about them, they’re handy to have aboard in a pinch, and can be used for so many different tasks. Need to be towed out of a nucleonic particle nebula? Or how about rescuing stranded crew on a Class-L planet? Over the years, different designs have come forth, each with their own spirit and legacies. This Poll of the Week asks you to think back, and choose your favorite small Starfleet crafts. Was the relatively primitive shuttlepod from Enterprise a winner in your mind, or do you prefer the beefy functionality of a runabout?

Head on over to the forums and give us your take!


Poll of the Week: Not-so-normal tactics

Starfleet’s primary mission has always been to explore uncharted worlds and civilizations. Over time, however, it became obvious that the Federation was faced with a great number of threats. When phasers and torpedoes don’t work, Starfleet crews must find unconventional strategies in order to defend themselves and the Federation as a whole. Adversity breeds innovation, and flexibility has been shown to be more of an asset than firepower. Throughout six series, numerous examples of this theme have been enjoyed. From the technologically sophisticated tactics of Voyager’s outboard holographic imagers, to the simplicity of latching onto a chunk of the opponent’s hull and pulling, as seen in Enterprise, there has been no shortage of brilliant maneuvers and awe-inspiring creativity.

This week’s poll asks you to give your favorite examples of unconventional tactics in starship combat. Did the artificial solar flare in “Shadows and Symbols” capture your imagination? Or did you find the extensively modified deflector dish of “The Best of Both Worlds” more to your liking?


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