General order 24, were Kir kand Scotty bluffing?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by JT Perfecthair, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There were plenty of other times when the command team or various members were held hostage in TOS and no-one ordered General Order 24. Particularly in "Bread and Circuses". Kirk ordered nothing was to be done. although I don't know why they couldn't beam just Spock up as he wasn't human (sorry beside the point).

    Kirk was using the right order (bluff although it might have been implemented) for the right situation. He knew that the guys were terrified of destruction so he used that against them by explaining the execution General Order No. 24 in detail.

    And Scott would have to go along with Kirk's order. For all he knew Spock was dead, the Emanems had a Nemesis type Doomsday device aimed at Earth. He wasn't there. He had to go along with Kirk in the heat of the battle. Although I think he would have given them a chance to surrender after the hour was up.
     
  2. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Why do they have to spell it out? They don't want visitors. None. Zero. Zip. Full stop. If you put up a No Trespassing sign on your property do you have to post an addendum as to why you don't want anyone there? Isn't a simple "No Trespassing" enough? They made their wishes quite clear.

    No circumstances whatsoever seems pretty clear to me. Perhaps Code 7-09 means Approach this planet only in life threatening emergency. Code 7-01 could mean "Come on in. Let's put a cephalopod on the barbie" However, as Kirk says, it's their planet. I can't imagine that the inhabitants of Eminiar and Vendikar have signed any sort of treaty with the Federation, especially one that would require them to offer aid.

    Fox talks about the thousands of lives lost in this quadrant, not near this system. Apparently the Federation is too cheap to establish an outpost or space station or Starbase of their own and want to offload responsibility onto the Eminians whether they want it or not. Tehy have no interest in the rest of the galaxy. As Spock says, they've never left their own system.
     
  3. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly, the Feds were in the wrong for violating their territory to begin with but the story never really focuses on this very much beyond the start.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk went in under protest. He was fully prepared to turn around and leave Eminiar and Vendikar to their fucked up ways. But Kirk is overridden by Fox. That puts Kirk in the clear.

    And Kirk isn't responsible for Eminiar's treaties particular since the Federation was never part of those agreements. So any attack on Kirk, his crew or his ship puts him in the right to defend himself. If the Eminians had simply asked Kirk and his landing party to leave and he had done so then everyone is happy. But Anan 7 orders them taken and to be killed---that's now unwarranted aggression. And so Kirk gives them a lesson: I was willing to be fair, but fuck with me and the Federation and you're toast.

    If anyone is really to blame for the ensuing events it's Fox. Maybe another Ambassador would have agreed with Kirk and heeded the Eminians' warning to stay away. But Fox is obviously a pompous ass who has no clue what he's getting himself (and Kirk's crew) into.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  5. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree its not Kirk's fault but Starfleets through Fox. Kirk has to do the best he can under the circumstances.

    If say Nero's ship started orbitting Earth I think Earth defenses would be in its rights to shoot it down regardless of any treaties. So Eminiar has a perfect right to attack Kirk's ship IMO.

    However that doesn't mean Kirk has to lie down and take it. Since the ruling council started playing with Kirk and his crew, instead of just saying get lost then they sort of deserved being threatened with General Order 24. However, I don't think that gives Kirk the right to destroy the entire planet either.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The ending scene on the bridge pretty much sums it up. Kirk gambled on the Eminians not having the stomach to wage real war particularly with the Federation. Anan thought they were badass until Kirk threatened him with what one Federation starship could do.

    And Kirk was ultimately right. He did put a stop to it all with one simple disruptor. The Eminians were so focused on thinking in conventional terms and worrying about what the Enterprise would/could do they couldn't imagine what just one man could do.
     
  7. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Kirk went in prepared to defend his ship against a conventional threat. He had no way of defending his ship against an imaginary one, when he and his crew didn't know they'd stepped into somebody's murderous game and hadn't been informed of the rules. He wasn't about to volunteer his crew to step into disintegration chambers to go along with said game.

    I never said that they had to, that there was any obligation. I specifically said that it wouldn't have hurt.

    Your arguments seem very informed by 24th century, politically correct Trek. That crap didn't fly in Kirk's time.
     
  8. RPJOB

    RPJOB Commander Red Shirt

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    Kirk and company weren't counted as "dead" until Vendikar targeted the Enterprise. They were treated as visitors but warned again to stay away. It was a valid target according to the inhabitants of the system. But Starfleet doesn't see themselves as subject to local laws. They can go where they aren't wanted, interfere in local affairs that do not concern them, totally upset the society they find there and then wander off to the next planet with hardly a backward glance.

    Re-write the story but remove the code 7-10 and you could make a case that they acted correctly. However, once Kirk decided to follow Fox's order then they are in the wrong. Kirk had command of the vessel. If he had ordered the helm to turn 180 degrees and leave them alone none of this would have happened. Kirk probably would have been brought up on charges but I can't imagine that he would be convicted. Any government that would start diplomatic contact by ignoring the wishes of the contactee to be left alone is not one I'd want as a neighbor. And let's not forget that the Federations stated purpose was a treaty port, established at gunpoint if necessary. They had no respect for the rights of the Eminians at all.


    So Kirk is saying that Starfleet/Federation orders supersede the wishes of the wishes of an inhabited planet to be left alone.

    The Federation talks a good game but they tend not to respect the territory of others. We saw this in The Corbomite Maneuver as well. Even in Arena there were rumors of another race being in the area so rather than investigate they established an armed outpost, staking a claim as it were. At least a ship can simply turn around and leave if they encounter someone. A base indicate that you're planning on staying and an armed base means that you're willing to fight for it.

    Even the Defiant was in space claimed by the Tholians.

    "Generic Alien - I have heard of your Prime Directive. It's said that it's your highest law.

    Starfleet Captain - Nah, that's just a line we use to cover our ass when things don't work out the way we want them to. We usually just threaten to exterminate everyone. You'd be surprised how well that works."
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  9. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    I think this sums it up quite nicely. :techman:
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Code 7-10 was only triggered by the Enterprise's attempts to communicate. So it still boggles the mind that they don't make exceptions when a vessel that isn't their own wanders into their system.

    I do agree that the Federation has never respected the borders and wishes of other powers. It's a theme that runs through the entire franchise.

    Kirk was in the right all the way up to the point he destroyed the Eminians ability to play their game. At that point, neither him, his landing party, Ambassador Fox or the Enterprise were in any real danger. It makes the audience all warm and fuzzy inside (me included) but it represents one of the few times in the series that I thought Kirk was flat wrong.
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk's orders supersede his preference, which was to stay away from the Eminian system. The Federation Council ordered Starfleet to go there and Starfleet Command assigns Kirk the job. Kirk might---well, likely---have handled things differently except that Fox (representing the Federation Council) throws his weight around.

    Kirk is basically being passive, until Anan 7 declares his crew is to be killed and his ship destroyed.

    Whoa! You want to be left to your little game war, fine, but I and those I represent didn't sign any of those agreements. At this point if Kirk and the Enterprise had still been left to leave then it all would have been fine. But by taking Kirk and his party captive and condemning them to death as well as demanding the Enterprise and crew surrender to the same fate a line was crossed. That action was an overtly hostile act to the Federation and extremely arrogant for the Eminians to expect Federation citizens would docilely accept it. Can you imagine if they had tried that with the Klingons or Romulans? They'd have laid waste to the planet without giving the Eminians any ultimatum or time to think about it.

    The Eminians prided themselves on finding a way to deal with their inherent aggression, but they misjudged thinking humanity would just accept the Eminian's logic.

    Make no mistake: the Eminians fully intended to kill Kirk and his crew. No where is it written Kirk has to meekly accept that.


    I also wonder what happened to the Valiant's crew fifty years earlier. It's possible the Eminians got in some likely shots that disabled or destroyed the ship (like they tried with the Enterprise and then any of the Valiants's crew on the planet were eventually put to death.
     
  12. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which doesn't change that the Feds knowingly violated a foreign powers' sovereignty out of what was basically laziness and ignored repeated warnings that they'd be in danger if they did enter.

    The Feds aren't innocent in this if they knowingly entered a warzone when warned otherwise, especially if it all because they were there to bully guys who had done nothing into doing what they wanted.

    If we weren't seeing this from Kirk and co's POV, they'd come off as just as villainous as Anton 7.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Probably not, though. If you walk on somebody's lawn, saying "I never signed those STAY OFF THE GRASS signs and never paid for the barbed wire, either", and that somebody punches you, it's you who will get jailed for punching back and hospitalizing the somebody. It's no more self-defense than a bank robber firing at the armed guard who shouts "Freeze!".

    I don't see any laziness there - the Federation very actively breached the borders of the locals with the highly deliberate intent of twisting their hand. They had obviously decided upon all of this beforehand. They just hadn't informed Kirk...

    Clearly, the "treaty port" thing was just an excuse, and not something the UFP actually needed in that exact spot (even if perhaps in that general neck of woods). As per his opening log, Kirk is under the mistaken assumption that he's there to assume friendly relations with random locals (of whom the Eminians and Vendikans are now on the itinerary) - but Fox is there to avenge the Valiant! note how he tries to stop Kirk from beaming down to hear what the Ambassador will actually be "discussing" with the locals...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Isn't fifty years a long time to wait to go looking for revenge?
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Not really, if we consider how long it took Starfleet to respond to such things in general (say, the Archon). There's probably a long queue on starships to be avenged, and the ghosts of the ones that were lost far away will just have to wait for their turn at justice.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    As with a lot of sci-fi some things don't bear close scrutiny. It's never really explained what exactly has been going on in that sector of space to have caused the loss of "thousands of lives" over the years. And if you have advanced interstellar travel and other related science and technology why does it have to be that particular system to have a treaty port? Is it because it's the only Class M planet in the sector? That's possible particularly given that now it seems Earth like planets seem relatively rare. Setting up base on an already hospitable planet is a lot easier than fabricating a massive space station/habitat or setting up on a world where you need to build facilities to protect you from the environment. Maybe it has little to do with having a port and facilities at all but with having a political ally there so you can claim it as being under your sphere of influence.

    But in the episode none of this is remotely explained or referenced.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    True that. But it isn't in any way outside the general Trek parameters that a fairly low traffic load would already put thousands at risk: individual transports supposedly carry that many people already. And "Errand of Mercy" consistently suggests that the ownership of a Class M rock is strategically significant, completely regardless of what sort of industry, culture or lichen may be growing on that rock.

    "Armageddon" doesn't stand out in this respect, then - nor in the respect of giving very thin exposition at the beginning and then never really returning to it. Which IMHO makes speculation all the more fun, as the cues and limitations really come from elsewhere in Trek: the works of unrelated, often disagreeing authors must be rather brutally meshed together and then molded to all-new shapes to provide the answers.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If the nutjob next door tells you "I will kill anyone who treads on my grass" and your two teenage sons ride their bikes on his grass just to irritate him, has he the right to kill them? I mean after all he's warned them and you.
    Look Balok and the Gorns just fired on the Enterprise and Federation outposts without discussing it with anyone. McCoy may have come to think the Federation was in the "wrong" but I still think the Gorns were. They didn't give the people on the outpost a chance. Sure it may be Gorn space, it may be free space, if in doubt don't kill people use Fox and his like to negotiate treaties. Fox may be a pompass ass but his intentions are honourable.
    In the end the Federation may have accepted that they weren't reall wanted near Eminiar or Vendikar but for all we know the Vendikarians were keen to speak to the Federation
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk does the same thing in "Spectre of the Gun". The Melkotian warning buoy says this is our place, leave now, we're not going to tell you again. But Kirk has orders to establish contact and heads further in.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Certain courts have famously judged "yes" to the above. OTOH, I'm not aware of any court judging in favor of an armed intruder who uses his weapons in "self-defense" against the property holder.

    ...That is, they shot at trespassers. The Eminians took steps to ensure they didn't; and even the Vendikans apparently didn't target the Enterprise specifically - she just got in the way. So they were a bit more civilized than Balok and the Gorn in this respect, from a certain point of view. But if shooting at trespassers is the universal standard, then heavily armed and aggressive trespassing will soon become standard as well, and for Starfleet this appears to already have happened...

    OTOH, it was the Vendikans who killed the starship! Fully knowing that the fake kill would result in the very real deaths of the crew or an interstellar incident probably amounting to annihilation, one would surmise. So did they do it on purpose after all? If there was intent behind it, then this sort of disproves any intent to open a dialogue and deal peacefully with the UFP, I guess.

    Perhaps it's significant that in both "Armageddon" and "Spectre", the culture the Feds want to forcibly approach is not a first contact situation by a long shot - it's a case of the culture having long resisted any approaches, and the Feds having decided they want to change the state of affairs. There's no room there for Kirk's own snap judgements in whether to approach or not, and nothing surprising about the obstacles to approach.

    In contrast, "Corbomite" suggests there are standing orders there to defy such obstacles: Kirk doesn't know there's a First Federation there, isn't aware of do-not-approach signs in advance, and still presses on when encountering those.

    Timo Saloniemi