…Were in no condition to mount a rescue.
Those words were spoken by Captain John Harriman in response to the distress call the Enterprise-B received on her “quick run around the block”. The reply was that they were the nearest ship.
What really bugs me here is that the Enterprise had just been launched from Earth and had just cleared the asteroid belt, so why was she the only starship in range?
I don’t know about you, but if I were Starfleet Command, I would have a fleet of starships to protect Earth from any possible incursion, either from known threats such as (in this time period) the Klingons or the Romulans, or from unknown threats such as V’ger and the whale probe.
Earth is the homeworld of the Federation and as such should be afforded the protection it deserves, so why the lack of starships anywhere near Earth.
Maybe, on that particular day, the Enterprise-B was the only ship in range, maybe the others were out on patrol, or on exercises, but surely the fact the ship had no tractor beam, medical staff or even photon torpedoes, Starfleet Command would have sent out another ship from Spacedock, one that was fully equipped to deal with any situation. Imagine the Lakul was under attack, how would the Enterprise defend her?
There must have been other starships in Spacedock. In the Voyage Home, the Excelsior was docked, along with one, maybe two other ships (one was definitely a Miranda Class), maybe undergoing repairs, re-supply of crew and or supplies, maybe the crews were on a little R & R, nevertheless, there would almost certainly be other ships in a better condition than the Enterprise.
The motion Picture showed Epsilon 9 and a couple of starships being vaporised by V’Ger, if Epsilon 9 had a ship at her disposal, surely Earth would have had several?
I’m talking in-universe here, I know the real world reason was to have Harriman look like an idiot, Kirk taking control one last time before he is killed on Veridian III.
Would like to know your thoughts!