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

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Old February 8 2014, 05:17 AM   #151
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

I finished the first Typhon Pact book by David Mack. Another solid book. It did an excellent job of fleshing out the Breen from being a one note Boba Fett joke. I particularly loved that all the conflicting info about the Breen was explained by them being a collection of different species. Also nice to see Bashir doing his super-human thang.

So, I just realized something about the Destiny Trilogy. Where the hell was Section 31?!?! The Federation was about to be destroyed by the Borg they didn't do anything! I mean sure they were caught completely off guard but didn't they have SOMETHING ready to use, some illegal super weapon? It would have been nice to at least have a scene of a Section 31 officer lamenting the fact that they can't do anything. It's an odd omission given that the three David Mack non-Destiny Trek books I've read have all involved Section 31...
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Old February 8 2014, 05:51 AM   #152
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

^Section 31 isn't all-powerful just because it's secret and amoral. I don't see any reason to think they would've been able to have any more effect on the Borg than Starfleet could. The version of S31 that existed in the alternate-timeline 2250s was big with the superweapons, apparently, but the 24th-century Prime-timeline version seemed to favor more subtle and long-term strategies. Keep in mind, after all, that the alt-timeline S31 was exposed as a result of Admiral Marcus's actions. If you want to maintain a super-secret organization, high-profile, resource-intensive activities like building superweapons are a pretty dumb way to go about it. The fact that the Primeverse S31 stayed secret for more than a century longer suggests it succeeded in keeping a lower profile.
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Old February 8 2014, 09:54 AM   #153
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

I suppose the alternate Section 31 decided that the total destruction of one of the Federation founding worlds (and the attempted destruction of a second) required them to step up their game and change tactics. No more being subtle and low-key; they're becoming proactive. In a strange way, perhaps that makes them more honest? We've been shown the uneasy tension between their two main goals - protect the Federation by any means they see fit, and conceal their own existence. Often the latter seems more important to them than the former, as I believe several characters have noted. It seems the alternate Section 31 has resolved that tension in favour of the supposedly more important goal. It cost them their secrecy, of course.
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Old February 8 2014, 11:09 AM   #154
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Plus, the head of Starfleet was seemingly also the head of 31 in the AU, thus giving them resources on a scale they could otherwise never dream of.
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Old February 8 2014, 01:36 PM   #155
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

If the Federation is about to be completely obliterated, who cares about secrecy?

Picard decided to build a thalaron weapon in Destiny. Why didn't S31 already have one of these cooked up?

I'm just saying, it would have been nice to have had one throwaway scene where an S31 guy says damn I wish we had something to do about this.

Okay, I have a spoiler question. In the books does anyone ever find out that Section 31 assassinated President Zim? Just a yes or no, no context please
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Old February 8 2014, 03:32 PM   #156
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Mr Light wrote: View Post
If the Federation is about to be completely obliterated, who cares about secrecy?

Picard decided to build a thalaron weapon in Destiny. Why didn't S31 already have one of these cooked up?
Why would they? Why assume a secret organization must automatically have possession of any desired resource? They may have wanted to, but that doesn't mean they had the resources to make it happen.

Fiction conditions us to expect secret conspiracies to hold unlimited power and resources, but that's an absurd contradiction; the more active and far-reaching they are, the more impossible it becomes to keep them secret. The only plausible way Section 31 could have survived is by doing as little as possible. For the most part, their resources seem to be people, intelligence assets. Occasionally they've been shown to have access to other resources when it served a specific need, but it doesn't make sense to assume they have some giant secret vault containing some vast arsenal.
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Old February 8 2014, 03:34 PM   #157
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Okay, I have a spoiler question. In the books does anyone ever find out that Section 31 assassinated President Zim?
Zife, not Zim. He's Bolian, not Irken .

It does give me the amusing image of President Zim (with GIR Azernal engaged in random antics behind him) screaming "HAVE YOU THE BRAIN WORMS?!!" at foreign diplomats.

The answer is no, by the way.

If 31 were smart, they would have arranged for Zife to be listed as a casualty of the Borg Invasion. It's what I'd have done.
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Old February 8 2014, 04:34 PM   #158
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

^^

Are you saying that S31 knew about the Borg invasion before it happened? That they caused it to happen? THAT THEY CREATED THE BORG in the first place?!?!?!?! That they created the Caelair in pre-history????? That S31 is really God???????

(I'm joking, obviously.)
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Old February 8 2014, 05:25 PM   #159
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

^The claim upon Zife's assassination was that he had gone into retirement. But that wouldn't hold up to any scrutiny, since people would get suspicious when nobody could find him. So I think the suggestion is that, in the wake of the invasion, they could've tied off that loose end by listing Zife among the casualties.
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Old February 8 2014, 06:05 PM   #160
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Yes, that's what I meant - sorry if I was unclear. In Articles, only a year after his ouster, people were already finding it odd that no-one could locate Zife. It wouldn't take long for enough people to start comparing notes and for the Federation to realise that nobody knew where he was (and a missing former president isn't a good thing). By grim good fortune, though, in February 2381 Section 31 is handed a convenient means of writing him off and covering their backs. They'd be able, I'm sure, to insert enough little pieces of evidence into the records so that those investigating Zife's whereabouts would conclude he was sunbathing on a beach on Deneva when the Borg came, or something.
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Old February 8 2014, 07:53 PM   #161
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

I did find that to be unbelievable when it came up in "Articles". Nobody can find the former President of the Federation and nobody finds that suspicious? Doesn't the "Secret Service" (whatever it's called) continue to protect him for the rest of his life the way the USA does? Regardless of how unpopular he is, surely the press would follow and hound him?

If President Bush resigned over the Iraq War and abruptly disappeared from the face of the Earth and no-one could find any evidence of his existence, don't you think there'd be a bit of notice?
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Old February 9 2014, 08:59 AM   #162
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I did find that to be unbelievable when it came up in "Articles". Nobody can find the former President of the Federation and nobody finds that suspicious? Doesn't the "Secret Service" (whatever it's called) continue to protect him for the rest of his life the way the USA does?
Personally, I like to presume that Section 31 arranged for a surreptitiously-projected Zife hologram to make some public appearances to throw people off their trail up until the Borg Invasion, whereupon they would have made sure to plant Zife's name in a casualty list.

As for presidential protection:

Until Destiny, Starfleet Security was depicted as being in charge of protecting the President. (This is presumably how Admiral Ross and Section 31 were able to get Zife and company away from their protection agents -- as an admiral, Ross could just order the Starfleet Security officers to leave the Palais on the pretense of other officers coming to relieve them.)

In Gods of Night, President Bacco was now being protected by a then-unnamed civilian agency (perhaps stemming from her mistaken belief that Ross had been directly responsible for Zife's assassination, and that preventing too much power over the person of the president from concentrating into the hands of one organization would better protect presidents in the future?). In Silent Weapons, this agency was established to be known as the Protection Detail, a specialized division of the Federation Security Agency (which seems to be more or less the Federation's FBI, or a combination of MI-5 and MI-6).

We have no information on how long after leaving office Starfleet Security used to provide protection, nor for whether this applies to the Protection Detail.

Interesting side-note #1: During the Clinton administration, President Clinton signed into law a bill mandating that, after him, former U.S. Presidents and their immediate families would receive Secret Service protection only for a period of ten years after leaving office. President Obama, during his first term, signed into law a bill restoring lifetime protection to former presidents. As given these sorts of real-life precedents, it is possible -- though of course not necessarily true -- that former Federation presidents only receive protection for a limited time after leaving office.

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Old February 9 2014, 10:29 AM   #163
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

Sci wrote: View Post
In Gods of Night, President Bacco was now being protected by a then-unnamed civilian agency (perhaps stemming from her mistaken belief that Ross had been directly responsible for Zife's assassination, and that preventing too much power over the person of the president from concentrating into the hands of one organization would better protect presidents in the future?).
Good point, Sci; I hadn't actually thought of that. It would make sense that Bacco thought it wise to distance the president from Starfleet's direct protection, wouldn't it?

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Give them a break; it's their first administration!
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Old February 9 2014, 03:53 PM   #164
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

I've established in my novels that a civilian Federation Security Agency has existed as far back as the 23rd century, and they were shown protecting President Bacco in Watching the Clock. Really, why would Starfleet be responsible for protecting the president? The US President is protected by the Secret Service, a civilian agency, not by the military.
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Old February 9 2014, 10:27 PM   #165
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Re: The Past Decade of Trek Lit

I'm halfway through reading the third Typhon Pact book, and I'm having a real problem with its portrayal of Sisko.

As I was reading it, I couldn't believe how they were showing the Sisko that I remember from the tv show. The one with a sense of humor and fun in addition to being a commander. This guy is morose and depressed and is abandoning his wife and baby girl. As I went along I was reminded I had this same problem with Harrison in the Lost Era book I read... and it turns out they're written by the same person!

Now, I haven't read any of the DS9 Relaunch books after the first couple. I didn't even know Sisko had returned to the world of the living until I read this book. Did other people have a problem with Sisko's characterization here?
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