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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old December 13 2012, 08:35 PM   #1
Ro_Laren
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Location: The Badlands
Ques. Re: Tal Shiar & Obsidian Order After Botched Gamma Qaud. Mission

Today, I rewatched the Season 3 episodes Improbable Cause and The Die is Cast. While Odo and Garak go on a mission to try to figure out who was trying to assassinate Garak, both end up being captured by the Romulans. They learn that, the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order work together on a mission to destroy the Founder’s homeworld in the Gamma Quadrant. Garak decides to flip sides and help Enabran Tain, who was leading the Obsidian Order mission with the help of Colonel Lovak of the Tal Shiar. However, the mission was a trap. The Founders were no longer on what was thought to be their homeworld. When the the 20 Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order ships uncloak to attack the planet, a Jem’Hadar fleet of 150 ships exit a nearby nebula and decimate the joint Romulan – Cardassian fleet. At the end of the episode, we see Garak trying to help Odo escape when they run into Colonel Lovak. The following dialogue then takes place:

Lovak: You will need this in order to get access to your runabout.

Lovak hands a Padd to Odo.

Odo: Why are you doing this?

Lovak: Because no Changeling has ever harmed another.

Garak: You are one of the Founders.

Odo: Of course! This whole plan was the Founders plan in the first place. You wanted the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order to combine forces and come into the Gamma Quadrant so you could wipe them out.

Lovak: Not exactly. [Enabran]Tain originated the plan. And when we learned of it, we did everything we could to carry it forward. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order are both ruthless, efficient organizations - a definite threat to us.

Odo: But not after today?

Lovak: After today, the only real threat to us is the Klingons and the Federation. And I doubt that either of them will be a threat for much longer.
I thought it was interesting that Odo thought that the destruction of 20 Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order ships would wipe out both organizations. Lovak seemed to agree that their destruction would eliminate the threat of the Tal Shiar and Obsidian. But, IMO, not everything in this dialogue makes since. First of all, of course the destruction of 20 Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order ships wouldn’t be welcomed by either, but surely they had more than 20 ships. We saw in the Season 3 episode Defiant, that the Obsidian Order was illegally building ships in the Orias System (the Obsidian Order isn’t supposed to have any ships). Do you suppose that they built less than 20 ships, but that all of them were destroyed in this failed Gamma Quadrant mission? Or perhaps that almost all of the ships had been confiscated by the Cardassian Central Command, but some escaped the grips of the Central Command and were then destroyed in the failed Gamma Quadrant mission? Regarding the Tal Shiar, I can’t really recall any TNG or DS9 episodes that said whether or not they have any ships or if they do, how many. Second of all, I guess it could be argued that this failed mission would so discredit the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order, than they would lose their power amongst the Romulans and Cardassians. But, can it really be argued that if the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order lost their ships and lost their reputation, that both the Romulan Star Empire and the Cardassians would no longer be a threat to the Dominion??? How can Lovak say that only the Klingons and Federation would be a threat to the Dominion after this mission? This seems a little far-fetched to me. But, then again it has been a while since I have watched Season 4 – 7 of DS9. Perhaps they give / show a good explanation as to how Odo’s and Lovak’s theory is plausible.
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Old December 13 2012, 11:51 PM   #2
DS9forever
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Re: Ques. Re: Tal Shiar & Obsidian Order After Botched Gamma Qaud. Mis

I think the Dominion were also counting on the loss of Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order personnel and the political fallout on Cardassian and Romulus to also contribute to their downfall.
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Old December 14 2012, 06:55 AM   #3
Jono
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Re: Ques. Re: Tal Shiar & Obsidian Order After Botched Gamma Qaud. Mis

The Obsidian Order lost more than just 20 ship. Tain was systematically culling the Order to clear his way for his return to the top and these two events so close to each other would have gutted the organisation. The Cardassian military seemed more or less contained by the Federation and also in decline in stature and couple that with growing civil dissent you have a power that would have more worried about internal matters.

As for the Romulans, a culling there might have also gone about or maybe it was a long game and the Dominion was using the Tal Shiar to shift pieces in the Romulan Senate so that people like Vreenak would have the power when it mattered to keep the Romulans as isolated as possible. Plus in theory they are meant to be the "furthest" power from the wormhole and their position might negate the somewhat as a direct threat to a Dominion invasion.
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Old December 14 2012, 08:38 AM   #4
Timo
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Re: Ques. Re: Tal Shiar & Obsidian Order After Botched Gamma Qaud. Mis

First of all, of course the destruction of 20 Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order ships wouldn’t be welcomed by either, but surely they had more than 20 ships.
Since neither organization apparently was supposed to have any ships, scraping together this number might already have beggared them.

Also interesting is the fact that there appear to be way more than 20 tachyon emission sources on Dax' computer screen when the cloaked fleet approaches the wormhole. Perhaps 20 is merely the number of Romulan warbirds commandeered by the Tal'Shiar, while the sixty or so Cardassian ships are not mentioned in dialogue? Or vice versa? Tain is said to command 20 ships manned by combat veterans - perhaps the rest are crewed by rookies?

Visually, we never see even 20 ships, but OTOH the fleet does manage to destroy one-third of the planet's surface even when we see a teeny weeny spot on one side of the planet being hit. Other ships from the fleet firing at other parts of the planet, perhaps?

However, I think this is a fairly academical aspect of it all. Even if the intel organizations lost just one ship, it would be the public humiliation of the loss that would totally destroy the organization's ability to resist the Dominion.

Regarding the Tal Shiar, I can’t really recall any TNG or DS9 episodes that said whether or not they have any ships or if they do, how many.
"Face of the Enemy" implies that they just commandeer regular Imperial vessels at will... It's not explicit, though.

But, can it really be argued that if the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order lost their ships and lost their reputation, that both the Romulan Star Empire and the Cardassians would no longer be a threat to the Dominion???
I don't think so. But then again, neither did the writers. Only the two spook organizations were supposed to be ruined; the total destruction of Romulans and Cardassians as interstellar powers and as species would follow later, as remarked offhand by the Vorta in "To the Death".

How can Lovak say that only the Klingons and Federation would be a threat to the Dominion after this mission?
Makes sense, as the Romulans and the Cardassians never seem to attack outright. If the sneaky approach fails them, they are very likely to simply stay back and watch.

In contrast, the Klingons are obligated to try brave frontal assaults by their honor code, while the Feds do that because of their high moral obligations or whatnot. These two cultures of fanatics will remain a military threat even after their many underhanded schemes are thwarted and their operatives and organizations humiliated.

Timo Saloniemi
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