Help me think of ways to abuse Star Trek tech.

A friend of mine is deeply into the star trek fandom, and I derive a great deal of amusement from thinking up things that should be done in the Star Trek continuity with the given tech, if anyone had any brains at all.
My personal limitaion is to aviod effects created in particle-of-the-week scenarios, as this would make things too easy (as if transporters and warp drives didn’t do a good enough job).

Poor Man’s Planetbuster:
1 Rock (large)
1 Warp core
1 Spaceship.
(optional) 1 cloaking device.
Attach warp ore to Rock. Tie rock to spaceship. Fly on intercept course to target planet. When suitable velocities have been acheived, detach rock, activate warp engine on asteroid. To remove possibility of detection, activate cloaking device.

Rich man’s missle system: Torpedos that fail to hit their target should be reclaimed with teleporters, hopefully in such a way as to put them directly in line with the opposing ship, in multiple directions.

Park a large replicator hooked up to a solar collector near a star and mass produce weapons, starships, replicator/solar-collector units, etc.

Hostile planets can easily be destroyed by teleporting a large chunk of the planet’s core to the surface.

I’m not an expert on Trek tech, but I came up with these fairly quickly. If you have tech on par with Star Trek levels, what would you do?

I dunno about you, but my fantasies about abuse of Trek tech have always centered on the holodeck, and… ahem… customized programs.

two words: sytha-heroin.

“Computer, inititate 19th century Chinese opuim den program vibrotronica alpha one. Enable multiple concubine option.”

Copying the transporter’s pattern buffer and cloning people for kicks.

Oh, and having a big, shiney red button on my desk labelled ‘RESET’ I can push on a whim.

Dunno if it was ever done in an episode, but given how transporter tech works (disintegrates one copy of you, creates an exact duplicate somewhere else), why not create an army of your best and brightest by disabling the disintegrate feature?


Won’t work. The planet will enter the warp bubble, at which point the rock will appear to be moving at only a few kilometers per hour, if even that. That’s the whole point of warp… the ship doesn’t move faster than light, space itself does.

“But wait!” you say, “just turn off the warp drive just before impact!”

Won’t work. Among Star Trek’s infamous technobabble is a feature they call “mass-lightening” or somesuch. It shunts the mass of a ship into subspace, so that the ship needs to expend less energy to get the ship up and running. Shunt all that mass back into realspace, and the ship will slow down.

Remember the laws of thermodynamics? Can’t break those. Can’t get more energy out of an equation than you put into it.

Teleporters have too limited of a range, and require the shields to be down. Lowering your shields in the middle of a fight is idiotic.

Y’know, you’d THINK they’d do that, but the capabilities of replicators are very inconsistent. In one episode, an alien ambassador can’t tell that food has been replicated, but in the next episode, a crewman complains that replicated food doesn’t compare to the real thing. Add to that the fact that they can’t replicate certain materials or complex devices (why don’t they just replicate Data, for instance), and you’re left scratching your head thinking, “What good is a glorified Shitty Cake Maker?”

Except transporters are blocked by heavy elements. Hell, sometimes, harmless air will block a transporter. The things are so useless it’s a wonder that they still use 'em.

'Sides, the larger the object you want to transport, the more energy you need.

Using a transporter to transport something into space (‘wide field dispersal’) works so well (the few times they actually remembered to do it), that it should become standard protocol when dealing with baddies…

Beat it with wire hangers?

Lock it in a closet for a week with no food?

Smack it around when it doesn’t have dinner on the table by eight?

I would be one dangerous SOB if I could replicate antimatter at whim.

As far as I know, Star Trek replicators CAN’T replicate antimatter at whim.

In fact, there’s a lot that replicators can’t do. At least, so says Voyager, but then, Voyager was a streaming flow of explosive diarrheal vomitous mass, so who gives a crap about what they say?

Anyway, the best way to abuse ST tech would be to dump the phasers, give every ship a deflector dish that’s ten times bigger, and just automatically route everything through it whenever they’re engaged in combat.

Can you use the transporter to beam a vital organ out of somebody’s body?

On a somewhat less serious note, I would find it highly amusing to mess with a modern politician. For example, you could beam a sleeping George Bush from his bed to an indistinguishable holodeck version of the White House bedroom, wake him up by yelling at him with a simulated God voice, use the voice to convince him all of his policies are evil and need to be changed, and then knock him out and beam him back. Hilarity results. Sort of a “Ghost of Politics Present” scenario.

If you did a Section 31 series, this could be one of the standard tactics of the Black Ops division to make sure first-contact missions go smoothly. Naturally, Picard would be horrified, so you wouldn’t tell him. :smiley:

Take a shuttle, override whatever sensors you’d need to, crank that puppy up to warp 10, and aim at an enemy planet. Bingo, bigtime mess. Also, what kind of cool atmospheric effects would be caused by flying over a city on warp?

Or, for a futuristic ninja effect, have throwing stars that automatically teleport themselves inside any nearby warm bodies (with a temperature-changing doodad for yourself, of course.)

DS9’s Life Support brought up the intriguing concept of replacing damaged portions of a person’s brain with positronic implants—the same technology used in the brain of Data the android. In fact, Dr. Bashir replaced half of Vedic Bareil’s brain…and apparently had to ability to replace the entire brain, if he’d been willing.

This gives new meaning to the term “meat puppet.” But I believe the proper “cyberpunk” term would be “bioroid”…a created being with a (more or less) organic body, but a (more or less) cybernetic brain.

You wouldn’t even need a positronic brain, if you wanted to create a sentient artificial lifeform. Holodeck programs/characters, can be made self-aware with surprising ease. Even preexisting characters, who weren’t intended to be true A.I.'s.

And on an episode of Voyager, The Doctor was able to transfer his program into Seven of Nine’s neural implants…and inadvertantly gained control of her body.

So if you wanted to bring an A.I. “to life,” just make a clone body—or kidnap some poor schnook and ream out his or her skull—put some decent computer equipment in the skull, and transfer the A.I. into the new body. Voila, you’ve officially ‘tampered in god’s domain’!


  • beam away people’s clothing using site-to-site
  • put poisonous objects in enemies’ bodies
  • take money from banks, ATMs or people’s wallets/purses
  • go into sorority houses


  • mass produce DVDs
  • create money or precious metals


  • sex fantasies

I think the offical explanation is that the computers don’t have enough memory to store a person’s transporter patterns.

The real reason is that it would ruin the storytelling. Think about it: if the characters could create transporter clones on demand, then why would anyone ever take any risks? Just beam down a clone of yourself, and if he or she dies then who cares? Just send down another one. Or send down ten more, and when the problem is solved then just use the transporter to disintegrate them again.

There’s also the fact that it’s heartless and cowardly.

Well, it is possible to store such a pattern, but it takes a HUGE amount of memory.

There was a DS9 episode, Our Man Bashir, where four (I think it was four) crewmen’s patterns were routed from the transporter…but it ate up almost all of DS9’s computer power, plunging the station into darkness.

Hey, actually, now that I think about it…it was just the neural patterns that ate up some much space. The physical patterns were all squeezed into a second-hand holodeck memory core.

I keep trying to think about all that fantastic technology and the terrible things you could do with it… but I just keep coming back to those shimmery sheets.

For those of you who are unaware, Star Trek the Next Generation portrays a wonderful future. Poverty and crime are eradicated, and shimmery silver sheets adorn every bed. It is those sheets that will forever haunt me.

They appear to be highly reflective. In the fantasy wasteland of my mind, I’ve speculated about whether or not a phaser might reflect off the surface of one of those sheets. You could set up some pretty sweet trick shots with those babies.

Secondly, the sheets are a Halloween costume waiting to happen. You wrap a few of those things around you and you can go as the liquid metal Terminator. Which would be the coolest thing ever.

Finally, imagine the toga party possibilities.

Since artificial intelligences are ridiculously easy to create, you could simply install one in a starship and turn it loose to perform its mission by itself.

Landing party duty would be performed by holograms with mobile emitters (except I’d put the emitter INSIDE the hologram, where it would be protected from casual impacts!)

Let’s see how those Dominion troops react to a Federation assault team composed of holographic Godzillas who breathe phaser blasts!!

Oh, how about using the transporter to repair injuries?

Just dematerialize him, then take his current cerebral algorithm pattern and edit it into the body configuration pattern from his PREVIOUS transporter trace, which has been saved on detachable media.

In fact, saving transporter traces should be standard procedure. Right after your physical exam from the doctor, they dematerialize you and save the trace on the 24th century equivalent of a zip drive.
If you get messed-up later, they just overwrite the trace, keeping your memory patterns.

Take a LOT of the aforementioned technology, find a nice little Iron-age planet on the fringe of Federation space, and set yourself up as a god.

Or, do the same thing, but with an Atomic-Age planet, and set yourself up as a superhero. (You wouldn’t even have to lie about your origins, with that one)

Using salvaged Borg technology, see what happens when you assimilate a telepath.

Use the holodeck for pitching fictional characters against each other in combat.

Better yet, download fictional characters into mobile emitters, and set them loose in downtown San Francisco. (“Wolverine” might be fun to use for this.)

Take bets on how long it takes Starfleet/The Federation to backslide on ethical issues when they become inconvenient. (Like with civil rights for A.I.s, applications of the Prime Directive, etc.) Then watch as the Fed’s try and justify their actions with really tortured rationalizations.

Two words: Genesis Device.