RECENT INSIGHTS INTO TECHNOLOGY OF SONA SPACECRAFT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FEDERATION AND STAR FLEET.
The Sona Command Vehicle design offers an intriguing look at Sona spacecraft technologies as well as their cultural design influences.
SON'A COMMAND SHIP IN THE "BRIAR PATCH"
Based on the information provided by the Sona during their tentative and brief membership in the Federation alliance reveals a very small yet powerful humanoid species subgroup that has taken advantage of several other off world species for subjugate roles in their society. In addition, the degree of technological innovation and advancement the Sona have demonstrated in barely one century of existence is impressive, even if its equally foreboding.
Recently there have been comparisons of the Sona with the regime of the Nazi fanatics on 20th Century Earth and the genocidal Ekosian society that flourished for about eighty years. However, two key differences exist. The Sona subjugates; the Tarlac and Ellora appear to be very willing subjects of their Sona masters, despite their status as captives. Further, there is no evidence that these people are mistreated and in many cases it appears they are often treated extremely well. In the case of the attempt to re-locate the Baku to another planet against their will, it is still obvious that they had no great desire to enslave or physically harm the Baku people until one of their race lost control of his faculties and attempted to destroy them.
Critics of the Sona point to their tendency to deal aggressively with incidental encounters with unknown or uninvited guests, especially since they refined their Federation banned isolytic weapons. Still, one cannot deny that in the space of one hundred years, the Sona have developed some very special and unique technologies, along with unusually impressive designs in interstellar craft design.
Star Fleet probes and starship have managed to gather a great deal of intelligence on Sona spacecraft technologies. Of special interest is the flagship of the Sona fleet. Although this craft is much smaller than the massive Sona battleship, it incorporates the latest in Sona technology. Except where noted, most of the technologies presented here are based on scans of the Sona flagship/command craft.
Due to the unstable nature of the real-time and subspace matrix in the area of space inhabited by the Sona, called "the briar patch", Warp engine cannot be used safely. In response to this imitation, Sona vessels, most of which are warp capable, have highly responsive impulse engine designs which gives them a tactical advantage over similar unmodified vessels. One very interesting aspect of Sona impulse propulsion technology is the development of magnetic fields to focus and adjust impulse engine output characteristics. The virtually instantaneous response of these field to commands from the ships pilot(s) gives Sona craft excellent maneuverability at sub-light speeds.
This technology is currently being retrofitted on a number of mid-sized Star Fleet war craft for Phase III field testing. There have been problems with the diversion of such a large number of EPS conduits and containment areas that are required of retrofit vessels, but most of these issues have been resolved and we expect to complete this final phase of field testing within the next two years or less. Assuming such testing validates the full production version of this system, we expect to see these retrofits on most Star Fleet Vessels as well the introduction of the technology to newly designed and built starships.
Sona craft are also equipped with more or less traditional design shielding with the addition of chronodynamic field generators to limit the untoward physical effects of thermolytic radiation which is one of the hazards of unstable Sona space. Despite Sona engineer statements to the contrary, we find that the chronodynamic shield paradigm is one that fails to take into account the multiple hull shapes and composite densities efficiently, resulting in areas of the ship that are not shielded as completely as others. Our work with similar technologies is on-going, and has been quite successful to date, a full powered prototype to be introduced here at OutPost 070 within the next six months.
Unlike the larger Sona ships, the command vessel 354 meters in length) is equipped with a relatively small number of turbo-lifts, the designers opting for the more space conscious design of access tunnels and ramping, Much like the city of Paris on Earth, all "roads" (corridors & turbo-lifts) lead to the bridge, the vessels command center as is the current theme with Star Fleet vessels. Like most modern starship class vessels, the consoles throughout the bridge and the rest of the ship are multi-functional and fully re-programmable dependent on the level of ones security & command level.
An interesting footnote is the unique artistic flair of the Sona as evidenced not only by their tastes in Fashion and their virtually narcissistic personal esthetic, but in key design elements through out their ships. Not only are such elements as room shapes and corridor design, but even such items as touch-screen and knob and raised button based consoles throughout the craft but clustered in areas with direct tactical and IS links to the bridge.
There is a tactical command center immediately behind and adjacent to the bridge area. Although this can be compared to the captains ready room design on most Federation Starships, this Sona command ship area contains a large number of devices and technological resources not common to their Star Fleet counterparts. This includes small holographic scenario simulators and holographic tactical planning-command oversight systems. In fact, in many tactical situations the vehicle commander may prefer to orchestrate his tactical strategy here, instead of on the bridge immediately adjacent.
There is very little hard data available on the isolytic weapon used by Sona craft as an offensive/defensive system. While it is believed by many that it is powered by an artificially generated quantum singularity, its also been postulated that the weapon may be supported via tachyon enhanced burst generators and sub-space isolytic reactions between two as of yet to be identified quantum energy emitters.
In any case, the sub-space tear that accompanies the explosive detonation of the weapons system is a long term phenomenon, presenting a temporal/gravitational hazard to shipping and transport vehicles in the area for upwards of 800 years. For this reason, Star Fleet has agreed, along with all other member planetary systems of the Federation to forbid the planning, manufacture and/or deployment of such isolytic weaponry. Once a signing probationary member of the Federation, the Sona hid their isolytic weapons systems from Federation inspectors, although their use in several encounters with other species and non-federation members uncovered their attempted ruse within short order.
The Sona command ship also evidences signs of one or more installed phaser technology based systems installed on a parallel power grid, providing a high level of automated system redundancy. This is one area where the command craft differs dramatically from the Sona battleships. The larger ships are bristling with both phaser and disrupter beam based systems. In fact, our sensor studies indicate that both systems remain single phase emitter based, despite the readily available multi-phase technology that Star Fleet provided all Federation members when the Sona were participants in such proceedings.
Another area where the Sona appear to be somewhat behind current Federation standards is in the complete reliance on isolinear based automated information systems. The lack of any neural-mimetic technologies for their computer systems presents a distinct advantage to the more recently constructed starships in Star Fleet, although intelligence indicates that until about one year ago the Sona engineers were aggressively pursuing the implementation of such technologies in their current systems. However, as far as we know, the command ship represents their most recent development, and its computers are fully dependent on isolinear chip technology.
There is another area where the Sona command craft is quite different that any Federation vessels to date is its vastly proportioned and well equipped medical services areas evidenced on their battleships and scientific craft as well. While there does not seem to be a single entity like an EMH or other fully automated medical support system, the medical areas are populated primarily by Elloran females, either as assistants, technicians and physicians.
The only other regular visitors to the area are the Sona crew members and the occasionally injured/ill. However, the advanced design of these medical facilities is not for the purpose of healing the sick & wounded. It is instead designed to provide the Sona with advanced methods to reduce or even reverse the effects of aging. The oldest members of the Sona society are well over a century old, yet physiologically, they should not greatly outlive the typical Terran. In fact, physiological studies indicate that the Sona should have shorter life spans than the typical Terran subject. Their highly refined cosmetic and life span enhancing procedures and therapies are, up to a certain degree, effective.
This nearly fanatical obsession with longevity and vanity is evidenced in most of the Sona but is even more evident in the older members of Sona society and its political/tactical leaders. Federation studies indicate that this is essentially an inbred genetic trait of the Sona. While this seems to be completely accepted by the servant races, the obsession with such selfish diversions are somewhat frowned upon by most outsiders, making the Sona the object of ridicule and scorn throughout their area of space. For this reason, the Sona have tended to keep to themselves and their servant races. The request to join the Federation was completely unexpected, as the Sona have exhibited their xenophobic behavior for many decades.
Still, to the life sciences engineer the medical technology of the Sona is fascinating even if somewhat gory at times. The device that allows for the near instantaneous application of artificially generated skin tissue replacement is unlike any similar device in Federation inventories. Its potential in treating large areas of epidermal and sub epidermal injuries, such as those from wide beam phaser burns, is being studied carefully for the prospective permissions to authorize the production of line quantities of this system for further humanoid trials.
Also the object of intense interest is one component of the Sona skin grafting system, the silenium hexatetroxide discharge that causes organic tissue to both shrink and when properly configured, conform itself to the cell structure of the hosts epidermal sub-structure. This offers tremendous potential both as a field and facility based medical device, although all of its potential applications have not been adequately explored and documented to date. Still, the relatively low power requirements of the technology make it of great interest at the moment.
Finally, theres the development of the artificially manufactured trilithium dislicate crystals as a power source for both the ships systems and its warp capable engines is unique among known spacecraft, Federation or otherwise. While the disadvantages of this matter-antimatter catalytic conversion power technology is well known, the advantages of such a potentially clean and efficient source of energy conversion is intriguing enough that the hypothetical application of such technology has been the focus of over seventy five Federation supported studies.
To date, the Federation has not been able to address the problems of quantum field distortions and containment control issues with an adequate degree of success. Obviously, the Sona have developed a solution for this problem, but our engineers have not been able to completely unravel the secrets of the Sona power-plants technology.
In summary, we feel that except for their unique design style, larger structural layouts and the above noted technical accoutrements, the Sona craft are similar in many ways to craft designed for similar roles in Star Fleet, the Klingon Defense Forces, the Romulan Fleet and that of most other Federation members. Withthe exception of the Federation banned isolytic weaponry which poses a grave threat to commerce and tactical operations, when measured up against similar role craft in other fleets, the technologies of the Sona fleet are not overly unique or exceptional.
SON'A COMMAND SHIP BRIDGE TACTICAL STATION
Access to all data contained herein requires a Level Four, Sigma 6B security clearance and a Need To Know authorization from Star Fleet Command. Failure to follow this directive can result in severe fines and imprisonment