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

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Old November 7 2013, 03:04 AM   #1
rfmcdpei
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What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

So. in A Ceremony of Losses, wherein Bashir gets access to the entire Shedai meta-genome, Sarina Douglas warns him that if Section 31 suspects that the meta-genome might get out it will not only kill anyone who might possibly have accessed the data, it would also probably commit genocide against the Andorians and blame it on the Tholians.

The idea of mass murder on such a scale isn't shocking to me. Section 31 was shown in the television series as being willing to commit genocide against the Founders, while Martin and Mangels' Rogue did establish that certain potential threat civilizations that the Federation had fleeting contact with did, well, disappear under unusual circumstances, to say nothing of the willingness of L'Haan to destroy Tezwa if needed. (I also don't see any reason to be suspicious of Sarina's statement, since we can probably take her to be reliable.)

I am taken aback by the idea that Section 31 would likely commit genocide against a species that was literally in the heart of the Federation. That is altogether different from committing mass murder against distant peoples of whom practically nothing is known. It's the difference between having your military go out beyond the frontiers and start massacring foreigners and having your military come into your cities and start killing everyone in sight.

This is astonishing recklessness. Am I wrong in thinking that a secretive organization ready to undertake such radical actions without authorization is set for a hard fall? Martin and Mangels, again, did establish in the early 24th century that Section 31 and its crimes had been revealed thanks to Bashir et al. I wonder what Mack's upcoming Disavowed will describe.

Thoughts?
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Old November 7 2013, 04:37 AM   #2
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Well, as anyone who's read The Good That Men Do knows...

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Old November 7 2013, 05:47 AM   #3
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Well, as anyone who's read The Good That Men Do knows...

That's what they want you to think
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Old November 7 2013, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
So. in A Ceremony of Losses, wherein Bashir gets access to the entire Shedai meta-genome, Sarina Douglas warns him that if Section 31 suspects that the meta-genome might get out it will not only kill anyone who might possibly have accessed the data, it would also probably commit genocide against the Andorians and blame it on the Tholians.

The idea of mass murder on such a scale isn't shocking to me. Section 31 was shown in the television series as being willing to commit genocide against the Founders, while Martin and Mangels' Rogue did establish that certain potential threat civilizations that the Federation had fleeting contact with did, well, disappear under unusual circumstances, to say nothing of the willingness of L'Haan to destroy Tezwa if needed. (I also don't see any reason to be suspicious of Sarina's statement, since we can probably take her to be reliable.)

I am taken aback by the idea that Section 31 would likely commit genocide against a species that was literally in the heart of the Federation. That is altogether different from committing mass murder against distant peoples of whom practically nothing is known. It's the difference between having your military go out beyond the frontiers and start massacring foreigners and having your military come into your cities and start killing everyone in sight.

This is astonishing recklessness. Am I wrong in thinking that a secretive organization ready to undertake such radical actions without authorization is set for a hard fall? Martin and Mangels, again, did establish in the early 24th century that Section 31 and its crimes had been revealed thanks to Bashir et al. I wonder what Mack's upcoming Disavowed will describe.

Thoughts?
Honestly I think it pretty much kills any justification for Section 31 and/or their actions.
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Old November 7 2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

^ No such justification ever existed.
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Old November 7 2013, 08:19 AM   #6
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Hm. I honestly don't remember the part where Section 31 threatened genocide against the Andorians; my interpretation was that Section 31 was threatening to blow up Deep Space 9 to make sure that the Meta-Genome data didn't get leaked. Where did I miss this?
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Old November 7 2013, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Blow up DS9? I didn't see that anywhere in the novel.

For what it's worth, in STO Section 31 is more represented as loveable rogue. The missions one is coerced to undertake in their name are typical "save the world" and one might wonder why we didn't receive the order from SI instead. Btw, in the Yesterday's Enterprise timeline, S31 appears to fall with the Federation.

We're probably going to learn a lot more about them in Disavowed next year.
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Old November 7 2013, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Sci wrote: View Post
Hm. I honestly don't remember the part where Section 31 threatened genocide against the Andorians; my interpretation was that Section 31 was threatening to blow up Deep Space 9 to make sure that the Meta-Genome data didn't get leaked. Where did I miss this?
Well, I'm just wrapping up A Ceremony of Losses and I know what he's talking about. It isn't that Section 31 said that they'd do that or threatened to do that. Sarina and Bashir are talking before they commit to taking the route that they do and Sarina suggests the lengths Section 31 may go to to protect their secrets. I'm not quite finished yet. I have about 40 pages to go but I don't think anyone other than Sarina suggests this.

The conversation takes place in chapter eight on page 79 or 80. She says



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Old November 7 2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

^ That's a mighty big "probably".
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Old November 7 2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ That's a mighty big "probably".
Agreed. I'm pretty sure she was speaking of an extreme hypothetical. I think Bashir may have even asked her what her worst case scenario was.

Again, at no point did anyone from Section 31 say they were going to do this. This was all someone else saying what they felt they may do.

Also, I agree with rfmcdpei. If they would go to this extreme, and past history from the show and from previous novels seems to indicate they might, they're definitely setup for a fall, and I suspect one is soon coming.

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Old November 7 2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ No such justification ever existed.
True but they do have fans who try to justify their existence, I'm just saying if Section 31 is willing to fry an entire planetary population (and a federation one at that) just to keep their secrets then those fans can't really come up with a justification for it this time.
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Old November 7 2013, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

^ But as we just said, there is absolutely no evidence Section 31 IS willing to do that. There's only the paranoid rantings of one person to go on. And that's hardly reliable.
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Old November 7 2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

I'd imagine "exterminate the Andorians" in this case probably isn't planetary scale genocide, but just sabotaging the projects involving the metagenome to the point where they go extinct. Which, honestly, isn't any worse than what Ishan was planning to do for his electoral gains.
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Old November 7 2013, 06:54 PM   #14
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ But as we just said, there is absolutely no evidence Section 31 IS willing to do that. There's only the paranoid rantings of one person to go on. And that's hardly reliable.
1. It's not paranoid if they really are out to get you. Section 31 has been shown in the novels to have been ready to commit genocide, both by implication and by direct statements, to say nothing of the television shows. Why not genocide against the Andorians?

2. Is Sarina Douglas really unreliable? So far the reader has been given no evidence to suggest that she isn't a credible source of knowledge of Section 31 procedures.
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Old November 7 2013, 06:56 PM   #15
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Re: What next for Section 31? [SPOILERS]

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I'd imagine "exterminate the Andorians" in this case probably isn't planetary scale genocide, but just sabotaging the projects involving the metagenome to the point where they go extinct. Which, honestly, isn't any worse than what Ishan was planning to do for his electoral gains.
I'm not sure. "Blaming the Tholians" seems to me to imply something more than "the Andorians don't get the data and become extinct".
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