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Old February 25 2011, 11:39 PM   #349
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

flandry84 wrote: View Post
While it is lovely to hear everyone advocating peaceful coexistence and the recognition of the TP's aspirations it seems everyone is forgetting one thing.
In the opening pages of ZSG,yhe first book to carry the TP banner,the TP inserted a cloaked Romulan warbird into Sector 001,there to facilitate espionage,sabotage and murder on a UFP facility.The very first act we've seen by the TP was an act of war.Fact.
No, not fact. The first acts we saw by the Typhon Pact were in A Singular Destiny, which took place nearly a year before the opening of Zero Sum Game. And while individual members of the Pact including the Tholians and Kinshaya were engaged in aggressive moves in that book, the very first official, public action taken by the Pact after declaring their existence was to rein in those acts of aggression and formally apologize for them.

And it's irrelevant what order the Typhon Pact books were published in. ZSG came out first because it was finished first. Chronologically, it's the third of the four volumes under that banner title. And the chronologically first book of the four, Rough Beasts of Empire, shows a side of the Typhon Pact that favors stability and moderation. Each book shows a different facet of the Pact, some more disturbing, some more encouraging. The essence of the Pact is that it isn't just one thing.

The one problem that I've had from the start has been the roster of the TP itself.It just seems unbalanced,too weighted in favour of old "threat races".Perhaps as the TP's influence and scope grows they might gain some respectability and credence but so far I find the TP hard to accept as anything but a threat.
Well, naturally the Pact is meant to serve as an antagonist for story purposes. But look around at what universe you're in. This isn't Star Wars or Power Rangers where the bad guys are blatantly, simplistically evil. In Star Trek, antagonists have routinely been portrayed with nuance: they're misunderstood, they can be persuaded to see reason, they have the potential to become future allies, etc. In ST, diplomacy usually works and war is usually averted -- or if conflicts do start, they're often resolved through acts of diplomacy or compassion. Antagonists may not become fast friends by the end of the episode, but they can at least be persuaded to accept grudging coexistence or to take their toys and go home, with the hope of improved relations in the future.

And yes, pretty much all the Pact's members have a history of antagonism toward the UFP or the Klingons -- which is only reasonable, since if they were friendly toward the UFP they might've joined it instead of forming a competing alliance. But aside from the Romulans and briefly the Breen, none of them has ever been portrayed as a major threat or enduring foe. And as a rule, they tend to be more reactive, more concerned with defending their own territory against intrusion, than aggressive or expansionistic. That describes the Gorn, the Tholians, the Kinshaya, and the Tzenkethi at the very least; and I'd say that Romulan history over the centuries since contact has consisted mostly of entrenched isolationism with only intermittent bouts of outward-oriented aggression.

So yeah, they're not exactly friendly to us as a rule; but overall, their psychology seems to be weighted more heavily toward "We just want to be left alone" than "We want to conquer your home and kill your children." So they'll probably only be a threat to the Federation if they perceive the Federation as a threat to them. Which is why I keep saying that the Federation needs to avoid provocative moves like pre-emptively arming for war. Engagement and diplomacy probably won't make friends of the Pact, but should at least avoid making them an active enemy.
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