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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: How would you rate Zero Sum Game?
Outstanding 38 22.22%
Above Average 78 45.61%
Average 45 26.32%
Below Average 8 4.68%
Poor 2 1.17%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 15 2012, 10:23 PM   #631
Sci
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
As for the split of the Romulan Empire being split into two entities, that didn't necessarily follow that civil war would erupt in the near future with one side achieving total victory over the other. Outside of the Korean War, the north and south have remained at peace for what's now almost sixty years.
To be fair, I wouldn't exactly describe the situation that has existed between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea since the end of the war as "peace." More like a "not-actively-shooting-each-other-just-at-the-moment."
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Old July 15 2012, 10:55 PM   #632
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Outside of the Korean War, the north and south have remained at peace for what's now almost sixty years.
As Sci says, "at peace" isn't a good description, since the delcared state of war between North and South Korea has never been formally revoked. Technically the Korean War has been going on for 62 years and counting.

Of course, with the RSE being part of the Typhon Pact and the IRS possibly being part of a greater Khitomer Alliance, that creates a very tense powder keg.
That's where the Korean conflict is a pretty solid analogy. Neither the US nor the People's Republic of China wanted to go to war, since they were both still recovering and rebuilding from WWII (and if you count the Japanese invasion of China and the Communist Revolution, China was recovering from a much longer and more recently ended state of war than the US was), but their alliances with the two Koreas ended up dragging both larger powers into the conflict despite themselves.

So maybe it's true that reunifying the Romulans resulted in a more stable situation. That certainly seems to be what the Tzenkethi believed in RBoE when they worked to bring it about.
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Old July 15 2012, 11:41 PM   #633
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Outside of the Korean War, the north and south have remained at peace for what's now almost sixty years.
As Sci says, "at peace" isn't a good description, since the delcared state of war between North and South Korea has never been formally revoked. Technically the Korean War has been going on for 62 years and counting.

Of course, with the RSE being part of the Typhon Pact and the IRS possibly being part of a greater Khitomer Alliance, that creates a very tense powder keg.
That's where the Korean conflict is a pretty solid analogy. Neither the US nor the People's Republic of China wanted to go to war, since they were both still recovering and rebuilding from WWII (and if you count the Japanese invasion of China and the Communist Revolution, China was recovering from a much longer and more recently ended state of war than the US was), but their alliances with the two Koreas ended up dragging both larger powers into the conflict despite themselves.

So maybe it's true that reunifying the Romulans resulted in a more stable situation. That certainly seems to be what the Tzenkethi believed in RBoE when they worked to bring it about.
It's a good analogy and could have been the potential storm on the horizon for the Khitomer and Typhon powers. Too bad the cliche reset button push had to cross over into the books. It wasn't even all that convincing. But what's done is done and yeah, just amazing how stable the RSE is after annexing a rebellious state.
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Old July 16 2012, 06:31 AM   #634
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
Outside of the Korean War, the north and south have remained at peace for what's now almost sixty years.
As Sci says, "at peace" isn't a good description, since the delcared state of war between North and South Korea has never been formally revoked. Technically the Korean War has been going on for 62 years and counting.
Three countries were partitioned in the Cold War: Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. Of the three countries, only the Germanies avoided entering into outright conflict, that because the European continent had already been devastated, had heavily rearmed, and had enough nuclear weapons in central Europe that--as the joke went--each German village was ten kilotons apart. In both Korea and Vietnam, bloody war drawing in multiple great power ensued.

If the underlying theme of the Typhon Pact era is cold war, then a divided Romulan civilization would be a good way to undermine this theme. This is especially true since Romulan civilization is militaristic to an extent found in none of those divided Cold War countries, and the leaderships of both Romulan states explicitly aimed to take their competitors down.

R. Star wrote: View Post
It's a good analogy and could have been the potential storm on the horizon for the Khitomer and Typhon powers. Too bad the cliche reset button push had to cross over into the books. It wasn't even all that convincing.
Why wasn't it convincing, exactly?

But what's done is done and yeah, just amazing how stable the RSE is after annexing a rebellious state.
Stable? The multiple attempts to take slipstream from the Federation against the express wishes of the praetor suggest a fair bit of instability.

Last edited by rfmcdpei; July 16 2012 at 06:31 AM. Reason: typos
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Old July 17 2012, 08:22 PM   #635
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
But what's done is done and yeah, just amazing how stable the RSE is after annexing a rebellious state.
Stable? The multiple attempts to take slipstream from the Federation against the express wishes of the praetor suggest a fair bit of instability.
Stable in the sense that the RSE is now whole again. But considering the Breen's efforts to withhold important details about slipstream and the Tzenkethi meddling in the politics suggests a lack of stability. Of course, this shows the rest of the Pact values the Romulans as an ally, but don't want them to be the leading power.
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Old July 18 2012, 01:21 AM   #636
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I've often reflected on this forum that, were it to be ever exposed that the Tzenkethi were meddling in the politics of the other members of the Pact...twisting and molding to suit their agenda...

Well, it wouldn't be pretty, next meeting of the alliance leaders.
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Old July 21 2012, 04:32 AM   #637
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
But what's done is done and yeah, just amazing how stable the RSE is after annexing a rebellious state.
Stable? The multiple attempts to take slipstream from the Federation against the express wishes of the praetor suggest a fair bit of instability.
Stable in the sense that the RSE is now whole again. But considering the Breen's efforts to withhold important details about slipstream and the Tzenkethi meddling in the politics suggests a lack of stability. Of course, this shows the rest of the Pact values the Romulans as an ally, but don't want them to be the leading power.
Different values of stability, I suppose.

The Imperial Romulan State wasn't a puppet state of a foreign power, and doesn't seem to have been the result of a long-repressed separatist movement. Rather, the split of the IRS from the RSE was a consequence of profound personal differences between Donatra and Tal'Aura, part of a general atmosphere of crisis and legitimacy hitting Romulan civilization after its government was decapitated. The IRS and the RSE each laid claim to being the inheritor of Romulan civilization, Donatra drawing on her personal appeal and perhaps a certain amount of reformism while Tal'Aura could point to the RSE being the default for Romulan civilization.

The scenario for Romulan reunification described in Rough Beasts of Empire--Donatra is personally discredited, fatally weakening a government and military that depended on her for their legitimacy, while Tal'Aura calls for reunification and (I'd bet) doesn't persecute returning individuals and worlds visibly--is the sort of scenario that would enable the fairly easy return of the IRS into the framework of Romulan civilization, with a minimum of regret and controversy.

The Romulan Star Empire's instabilities have mostly related to conflicts at the top, within its various political and military elites. For the time, at least, these instabilities have come to a halt, not least because most of the most strongly contending factions have exterminated each other.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I've often reflected on this forum that, were it to be ever exposed that the Tzenkethi were meddling in the politics of the other members of the Pact...twisting and molding to suit their agenda...

Well, it wouldn't be pretty, next meeting of the alliance leaders.
Sure, but who's going to do it?

The Romulan characters believe the deaths of Xarian Dor and Tal'Aura to have been natural, with the only unsettling possibility being the chance that one transmitted the brain-hemorrhage illness to the other via an intimate liaision. The Tzenkethi know, but they're not going to tell anyone. Who else could find out?
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Old July 21 2012, 04:11 PM   #638
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^Well, were the Tal Shiar to find out--and they'd be in the most promising position to do so--it's a good bet they (and the Praetor, assuming they'd tell her) would want to keep it under the table, so as to avoid "revealing" to the other Pact powers that the Empire could be played like a flute.

That being said, the Romulans would subsequently seek to work behind the scenes to weaken the Tzenkethi's influence--even, perhaps, to the point of ejecting them from the alliance.


NOW...if one of the Allies were to find out (say, Section 31 or SI, or Klingon Intelligence)--exposing it, with proof, for all to see would be a shocking blow to the stability of the Pact.
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Old July 21 2012, 07:56 PM   #639
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

[QUOTE=Rush Limborg;6674552]^Well, were the Tal Shiar to find out--and they'd be in the most promising position to do so--it's a good bet they (and the Praetor, assuming they'd tell her) would want to keep it under the table, so as to avoid "revealing" to the other Pact powers that the Empire could be played like a flute.

That being said, the Romulans would subsequently seek to work behind the scenes to weaken the Tzenkethi's influence--even, perhaps, to the point of ejecting them from the alliance.

NOW...if one of the Allies were to find out (say, Section 31 or SI, or Klingon Intelligence)--exposing it
How?

For the Tzenkethi manipulation of the Romulans to be known by anyone but the Tzenkethi and Romulans would require either a remarkably effect penetration of Tzenkethi society, or remarkable intuition in the workings of Romulan society (how would this be ascertained?), or, possibly, both.
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Old July 21 2012, 08:41 PM   #640
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Well, considering the prior "relationship" 31 had had with the Tal Shiar, I wouldn't put it past someone to have a mole somewhere. If the Tzenkethi were so clever to have moles in Romulan society, why not someone else having moles in theirs?
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Old July 21 2012, 11:32 PM   #641
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Well, considering the prior "relationship" 31 had had with the Tal Shiar
You mean in Rogue? That novel suggested Section 31's relationship with the Tal Shi'ar was decidedly one-way and not in the Romulans' favour, its leadership willing to take problematic lists of alleged Romulan agents and look the other way almost long enough for the Tal Shi'ar to weaponize a subspace singularity.

Going by Rogue, Section 31's ability to penetrate Romulan civilization is controlled entirely by the Tal Shi'ar. Whatever Section 31 knows about the Romulans is what the Tal Shi'ar lets it know.

If the Tzenkethi were so clever to have moles in Romulan society, why not someone else having moles in theirs?
Good point. Tzenkethi society, though, seems, more xenophobic than Romulan, so that creates all manner of problems.
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Old July 21 2012, 11:34 PM   #642
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Well, considering the prior "relationship" 31 had had with the Tal Shiar, I wouldn't put it past someone to have a mole somewhere.
The first problem with this idea is that Section 31 was duped; they thought Koval was a double agent who was working for them, but he was actually (as revealed by his duplicity towards Section 31 in Section 31: Rogue) a triple agent still working for the Tal Shiar. So there's no reason to think Section 31 is particularly good at penetrating the Tal Shiar.

The second problem is that the Tal Shiar doesn't know about the Tzenkethi's operations on Romulus. Indeed, the Tal Shiar was amongst the organizations being so manipulated.

If the Tzenkethi were so clever to have moles in Romulan society, why not someone else having moles in theirs?
Except the Tzenkethi didn't have moles in Romulan society. They simply manipulated Romulan political actors without anyone realizing it.
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Old July 22 2012, 12:30 AM   #643
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

I don't see how other races could inject moles into Tzenkethi society. No normal humanoid could impersonate a Tzenkethi, and Tzenkethi social order is so regulated and restrictive, with everyone literally bred to fill a specific function in society, that I don't see how there'd be room for outsiders to infiltrate anyway. The only option would be turning real Tzenkethi, convincing them to spy for outsiders, but they're so xenophobic that that seems unlikely.
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Old July 22 2012, 03:48 PM   #644
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

^ I'm sure not every single one of the Tzenkethi is an absolute xenophobe. There must be some variance in the way they think. Even the Borg, a collective hive-mind, had rebels. Painting a whole civilization with the same brush is not always a good idea...as history has proven.
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Old July 22 2012, 05:16 PM   #645
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Re: TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Paris wrote: View Post
^ I'm sure not every single one of the Tzenkethi is an absolute xenophobe. There must be some variance in the way they think. Even the Borg, a collective hive-mind, had rebels. Painting a whole civilization with the same brush is not always a good idea...as history has proven.
I'm sure Christopher didn't mean that there aren't some Tzenkethi who would be willing to spy for foreign governments -- but their society is so tightly regimented that just getting in the position to find Tzenkethi dissidents is likely too difficult to be a plausible option. Same thing with the Breen and Tholians, really.

If the Federation wants spies in the Typhon Pact, its best bet is probably to focus on recruiting Romulans, Kinshaya, and Gorn.
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