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Old March 11 2014, 04:47 PM   #28
Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

I'd wager every GO includes a full range of punishments, only most of those aren't applicable in the circumstances of a given day. But every now and then, something emerges that prompts Starfleet to activate the death penalty as regards the General Order about quarantining planets, specifically under circumstances X and Y, and specifically in the case of Talos. Or the right to torture next-of-kin as regards the General Order about time travel, specifically under circumstance Z, and specifically in the case of Captain Gearloose.

It's not specific as such - GO7 isn't about Talos, but about quarantine. It's just a matter of unlocking certain options at a time of major crisis, something only an exclusive club of really big Starfleet bosses can decide on, without having to explain themselves to anybody.

No doubt GO7 carries a penalty about going to the Klingon homeworld, or bothering the Metrons. But it's a different penalty, and can be waived on different conditions. As regards Talos, it was waived ex post facto in "The Menagerie", and for reasons that should have led to its complete and categorical waiving soon thereafter: the quarantine had already been proven completely ineffective, even with the death penalty deterrent, and apparently this did not matter (either because the Talosians weren't all that evil, or then because they already took over the Federation and nobody noticed, nobody could notice, and so it wasn't Starfleet's concern any more).

General Orders exist, but they are general. Captains apply them on specific cases. And sometimes the application involves not having to explain anything to anybody else.

Timo Saloniemi
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