TP: Rough Beasts of Empire by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Dec 22, 2010.


Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire

  1. Outstanding

    38 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    60 vote(s)
  3. Average

    25 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    13 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    9 vote(s)
  1. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread


    On that note--let me run an idea by everyone:

    What would you say to the possibility that the Section 31 of the 24th century is not the 31 of the 23rd century--and the latter is not the 31 of the 22nd century?

    By that I mean that Section 31, having "overreached" and made a significant amount of screwups, is regularly "taken down" (say, by the Kirk Cabal or SI)--and "re-built" by new faces, or lower-ranking agents who escaped the purge. After a short period of being underground, in which it effectively restarts.
  2. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Eminently logical.
  3. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

    Jul 7, 2006
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Like a self-replicating minefield.
  4. Bishop76

    Bishop76 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 7, 2009
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I like the idea, but I also tend to like shadowy conspiracy groups, secret organizations, and the like. I think Section 31 is one of the coolest ideas Star Trek has tossed out there in a long time, but it was never really dealt with in a truly fascinating way. Even the DS9 episodes involving them were pretty ridiculous. Though I haven't read any of the S31 novels so I can't speak to those yet.
  5. DS9forever

    DS9forever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Oct 3, 2007
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I think both "Inquisition" and "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" are among DS9's best episodes. "Extreme Measures" is definitely not as good; sort of like a less complicated Inception.

    The Section 31 novels Abyss (DS9) and Rogue (TNG) are also excellent.
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Thank you, BrotherBenny. :vulcan:

    Agreed. Remember, the show's writers had intended for 31 to be an extention of Sisko's now-famous line, "It's easy to be a saint in paradise." They had intended for 31 to basically be one of the major reasons the UFP had it so good.

    Interestingly enough, "Inter Arna..." was intended to be Julian's coming-of-age, his own "In The Pale Moonlight," as it were. But his speech at the end unfortunately came across wrong, and ruined that plan.

    "Inquisition" and "Inter Arna..." were pretty good. I was pretty disappointed with "Extreme Measures"--such a dissapointing, rediculously easy capture of Sloan.

    As for the books: Cloak starts off excellent--but then we're supposed to accept that--
    --somehow a brilliant scientist--and Section 31--somehow they missed something Spock managed to point out immediately after looking at the scientist's notes--that Omega is inherently unstable.

    That was a major dissapointment, to be frank.

    Abyss is pretty good, but again...the "reveals" about Section 31's alleged past actions are pretty eye-roll inducing to me.

    The other two I haven't read that much from. I did read a scene from Rogue in which Hawk points out all the times Picard's bent and broken the rules to do what was necessary. But of course...just when Picard begins to do some soul-searching--Hawk gives him a loophole, and a groan escaped my lips.
  7. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    My suggestion of that didn't seem as persuasive. :wtf: Possibly because it was suggested in the context of Daniels and his affiliations. But I can see that 31 keeps its numbers small while growing the organization in times of major crisis-- Terra Prime, the Augment Crisis, the Romulans use of cloaking technology, the Dominion War.

    Only read Abyss in its entirety. But I'm not sure I buy the premise of the Voyager edition of the S31 series. Yes, the events of "Dark Frontier" would be cause for concern that Seven of Nine would still be a threat. But she'd also be an ideal agent because of her willingness to do what Janeway wasn't (see "Prey").

    This episode of Star Trek: Odyssey sums it up. "It's people like us that let them have their ideals."
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I'm not sure what you mean here. The point is simply that good and bad people can share a vice, and yet still be good people and bad people. Sharing a vice doesn't mean that all people are actually bad people -- or that bad people are actually good people.

    There is no evidence of any sort of system for accountability for its agents, and Section 31: Rogue by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin made it very clear that Corwin was going to get away scott-free. Which you would know if you read that novel.

    Because that's how they've been depicted time and again in the novels and in the canon. It's how Sloan describes how they operate in "Inquisition" itself.

    Rush, read the damn book.

    Yes, Picard was aware that Corwin had been had. Picard had no way of reporting it to anyone. Corwin got away with his own incompetence.

    No, it's an indication that Section 31 is motivated by paranoia and is incompetent.

    WTF? Of course he was. Have you read A Time to Kill? Do you not remember the part where he illegally armed a foreign planet, violated treaty by not informing the Klingon Empire of what he'd done, committed an act of criminal negligence by getting thousands of Klingons killed by the Tezwans, committed an act of aggressive warfare by ordering the U.S.S. Enterprise to conquer Tezwa, and then entered into a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice and frame the Tholian government for the plasma cannons' placement, all the while getting thousands of his own citizens and millions of Tezwans killed?

    I mean, how on Earth is any of that not "behaving in the asshole manner" I described?

    Yes, but you tend to frame your possibilities in terms of inevitability or high probability. That's what I'm objecting to. I make no claims about how probable my scenario is; you, on the other hand, constantly use language that implicitly discounts other possibilities.

    Why on Earth would you ever think anyone would not want the worst to be prepared for? That's not the issue.

    So far as we know, none of the Typhon Pact states save the Romulan Star Empire lost any of their planets (though plenty of independent worlds near the Klingon/Romulan/Federation border did). This, again, is not the point, though -- the point is simply that the Typhon Pact states were hit hard by the Borg, too, by virtue of losing so many of their ships at the Azure Nebula, and that as such there's no reason to think they're in a better position to launch a war than anyone else. Indeed, this is explicitly established in Rough Beasts of Empire, where it's noted that none of the Pact states have the resources or inclination for a war.

    I'm sorry, did you just argue that the decision to kill a Federation President makes them not hopelessly corrupt?

    I'll happily concede that they're not pure mustache-twirling supervillains. Clearly, they're driven in part by empathy towards their fellow Federates. That does not mean that they are not hopelessly corrupt. Bernie Madoff gave a lot of money to charity; doesn't mean he's not hopelessly corrupt.

    Then I'd start to wonder when Section 31 turned into the Sith Order and when Starfleet became the Jedi. ;)

    More seriously -- I do not for one second believe that if anyone could take Section 31 down, that they would not have spread the word far and wide about this horrible thing that existed in the heart of the Federation. Saying that Section 31 could be brought down and then rebuilt, all in secret, is a bit like saying that the Mafia could be brought down and then rebuilt in secret. It's just silly -- no one who brings them down would ever allow them to be secret. They'd be part of the history books, and every Federate would know about them. Bashir would never have been surprised by the idea of their existence.

    Admiral Ross did not appear in Section 31: Rogue. Nor did Janeway, as Rogue was set in 2372, during Season Two of VOY.

    Absolute malarkey. I've read the DS9 Companion, I've read the interviews, and not once do the writers claim that Section 31 is the reason the Federation has it so good.

    It was intended to be Julian's moral compromise, Julian's realizing that evil lives within everyone and that there's no such thing as a perfect person who never does wrong. It was supposed to be Julian's chat with Satan.

    Behr says in the DS9 Companion that he feels that Julian's speech to Ross at the end of "Inter Arma..." undermines the idea of Julian's own moral culpability -- that he just comes across as self-righteous. Personally, I think the idea of Julian realizing that evil is within us all is preserved by his line at the very end. Sloan appears to him one last time, and he contacts security. Odo replies, but then Julian cancels the alert. "Nevermind," he says. He's realized evil lives within the very heart of the society he loves dearly, and trying to fight it today would be useless.

    "Inter Arma," therefore, becomes about Julian learning that, one some level, the Federation itself is corrupt. That's his loss of innocence -- learning that, one some level, his country is evil. It plays nicely into his growing cynicism about the very legitimacy of the Federation seen at the beginning of Zero Sum Game.

    But in no case was the idea that Section 31 is the "real" reason the Federation has it so good. Section 31 is the corruption that lives within the heart of even a good society. Section 31 is the Federation's equivalent to, say, the giant multinational corporations that practice wage slavery and oppression against Third World countries today. You might also compare Section 31 to the CIA when it did things like overthrow legitimately-elected governments and replaced them with military dictators in South America.

    Ah, yes, yet another reason to conclude that Section 31 is fundamentally incompetent! I'd forgotten about that one, thank you, Rush.
    Their role in arranging the New Beijing Massacre in order to manipulate Locken into joining them, their role in attempting to create their own army of genetically-engineered slaves, or their role in conspiring with the Son'a to forcibly relocate the Ba'ku?

    And that same book notes that Picard, at the end of the day, always submits himself to democratic accountability, whereas Section 31 does not.

    Further, Picard tends to break the rules when they become oppressive. Section 31 tends to break the rules designed to prevent oppression.

    Utter hogwash -- the delusional self-justifications for tyrannical, corrupt behavior used by people who never really believe in liberty, equality, justice, or the rule of law in the first place.
  9. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Which...I do not contest.

    Sci, unfortunately, not all of us have total access to all information at all times. I have hundreds of Trek novels--and half of them I haven't read yet. You can inform me of what I'm not aware of--fine. But please do not patronize over such matters. As I recall, you do not appreciate it when I appear "condescending".

    You are assuming that Picard's superiors--whom he would naturally have reported to--were not being accessed by Section 31.

    Absolutely, I have, Sci.

    Absolutely, I do.

    The fact that the conspiracy was done in secret, without the Empire's knowledge.

    Perhaps I do, Sci. But wording does not change the fact that we are, in the end, both doing the same thing--conducting theoretical scenarios, which are not necessarily supported or disproved by the "facts".

    Isn't it?

    I see. Frankly, Sci, that last line of explanation was all I needed to answer my question. Thank you.

    I did not just argue that the decision makes them not hopelessly corrupt. I just argued that it does not make them hopelessly corrupt.

    Furthermore, I'd hardly think dealing with corruption "permanently" makes one hopelessly corrupt.

    You are assuming he gave out of the goodness of his heart. One could easily argue he was giving in order to secure a "respectable" air on his own part.

    First, that actually helps those who would secretly bring them back. The fact that it's been publicized for all it's worth that "they've been taken down", leads most to conclude that they could not be brought back.

    Second--consider the political implications of the widespread news that Federation citzens--an element of Starfleet Intelligence, "conveniently" claiming autonomy, mind you--conducted such illegal activities. It would damage relations with allies, and cause even more suspicion among enemies.

    Third, if Section 31 really were as incompetent as you claim here:

    It leads one to wonder why the scenario you devise--of their destruction, followed by mass publicity--never in fact took place. How could an orginization so incompetent, without any structure or chain of command, as you point out Rogue indicates--how could such an orginization somehow manage to evade such exposure and destruction?

    From the article on "Inquisition", first three paragraphs:

    It would not have been so 'complicated' as Behr would have it, had he not meant what he says there about 31 "watching over" Earth--and therefore, the Federation.

    Moving right along...

    This all begs for the question, Sci: Why do even good societies have such dark sides? Why do they neglect to deal with them, and purge them?

    If it is really true, that there are no "pure" societies, without such dark sides, the question is why not?

    Both. You're quite welcome, although I'm not sure you'd want to thank me, as I often point out that Julian, again, only assumes Cole and 31 had orchestrated the massacre. And all we have on the Ba'ku scenario is Vaughn's word that "We know better!"

    Both Picard and 31 would claim the same reason for their actions, oppressive or non-oppresive: "Because it was the right/necessary thing to do!"

    Those words, beautifully demagogued, do not change the theory behind Enterprise1981's point: the theory that, like it or not, this is an indifferent universe which does not care about "values and principles".

    As a political scientist, Sci, surely you are aware of the theories in Machiavelli's The Prince. Values and principles seem well and good, but "if one considers everything carefully, doing some things that seem virtuous may result in one's ruin, whereas doing other things that seem viscious may strengthen one's position and cause one to flourish.

    (BTW...contrary to popular belief, a careful reading of Machiavelli's works--even including The Prince--indicates a love of freedom and justice. Note his advice to rulers to basically leave the people alone to run their own lives.)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  10. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    How do you conclude that? Awareness of government death squads in authoritarian/totalitarian Argentina and Poland, et cetera hasn't led modern-day people living in democratic Argentina and Poland to believe that government death squads couldn't exist or to stop being careful about controlling their police and military forces, never mind make their recreation more likely.

    That's pretty much unavoidable. Or are you suggesting that the Romulans, the Cardassians, and the other foreign powers Section 31 has likely been acting against haven't noticed anything untoward?

    Christopher's suggestion earlier in this thread that Section 31 is normally a dormant organization, but stimulated recently into hyperactivity by the slew of existential threats that the Federation faced from the 2360s on in the forms of the Borg and the Dominion, fits the facts.

    Machiavelli's The Prince isn't especially relevant to modern political science save as a source document; political science has moved beyond that.

    24th century human psychology might not have changed to the point where multigenerational conspiracies are viable. Human politics has changed to the point where the particularly cut-throat politics of the city-states of 16th century Italy are no longer, well, all that useful in determining contemporary policy-making. And looking at the online versions of The Prince, I'm a bit struck by the lack of passages which would suggest that Section 31 would be a good thing, unless you're talking about chapter 18 where Machiavelli writes about the need for princes to appear to be good so as to persuade people.

    From the particular context, though, this looks to have rather more to do with 24th century Romulan politics than anything in the more idealistic, more open, and more pluralistic Federation.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  11. TenLubak

    TenLubak Commander Red Shirt

    May 10, 2003
    Baltimore MD USA
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I am almost at the end of this novel and like it very much! I am confused only by how the Sisko of the past scences link to the present.....but i am sleepy many nights when i read and may not be giving it enough thought, or missing something. But i very much enjoy the writing style of George III. I love reading Star Trek books. They help me with my attempts at staying clean if that makes any sense. Stay in....away from the city bad people....look to people who are better than me....the more evolved humans in Star Trek.

    Overall i very much like this book. But am sleepy and will comment more when i finish it! :)
  12. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Perhaps not--but the question must be raised as to whether they do still exist. Suspicion is one thing. Proof leading to action to retain suppression is another.

    I understand that theory--but still, the fact nonetheless remains that 31 is an expert at covering its tracks, even if they made such embarrasing blunders as the novels let on.

    Not particularly. He may have grounded his ideas to his "present-day", but it's amazing how relevent they still are--for example, he lays out in Chapter 16 the problem of government "generosity".

    While literally, that is true, one cannot honestly look at the politics of today--especially in the US--and not call it "cut-throat", in one sense or another.

    That's one part. But I'm also referring to Chapter 15, in which he lays out the idea that values and principles can be a detriment to the greater good of a society. Some excerpts:

    Not really. The Romulans seem to take an exaggerated view towards "Machiavellian" politics, and were he alive to observe them, he would doubtless shake his head in bitter amusement at their amateurish tendencies.

    He focused first and foremost on practicality. The Romulans seem to enjoy the game for the game's sake, as opposed to the goal--in Machiavelli's case societal stability, security, and (as The Discourses indicates) freedom.
  13. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Why "doubtless"? Whatever their political orientation, Romulans have had a clearly articulated goal of maximizing their civilization's scope for expansion and power relative to other galactic superpowers for centuries. In terms of political economy, Romulus is rather more similar to medieval Italy, with their clan wars and their international implications and their secret polices, than with a securely democratic post-capitalist Federation.

    So. Why is Section 31 supposed to survive everything intact?
  14. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Well, we know from Cloak that they exist in the 23rd century. Nonetheless, as a broader answer to your question, even in the instances we see, the only evidence remaining of 31's existence in the end is our heroes' experiences with them. This was emphasized to full dramatic effect in the end of "Inquisition" and the beginning of "Inter Arna..."--the scenes where Sisko informs Bashir that 1) there are no records of 31, and 2) Starfleet has not conducted any investigations at all regarding Sisko's reports on it.

    I agree with that--however, the point was that the Bureau was successful in staying in the shadows, with only our heroes' memories as evidence for their existence.

    Ah...I don't particularly agree with that. But that is for another debate.

    Exactly. The rules remain. The conflict may be differnet. but the rules of the game remain.

    It depends. Machiavelli was dealing also with dictators which were decidedly not accountable to the people.

    Also, all we know about how 31 would treat Bacco is Ross's fears. He isn't exactly an expert--just a man who works with them a lot.

    Furthermore, if 31 were to assasinate Bacco, that would increase the threat of their exposure. And considering how she is nothing like the corrupt and unstable Zife, 31 has no reason to assasinate her. ('s worth noting that KRAD has stated that he made it deliberately vague whether Bacco knew of Section 31. It would be interesting to see her conversing with, say, L'Haan....)

    It is most like the medieval Italy that Machiavelle was criticizing. Perhaps he would hail the late, lamented Empress Donatra, and her society, for her plans which led to order in her state. (Though he would take her to task for naively trusting Tal'Aura in Rough Beasts.) But he would see Romulus as being in a state of breakdown, with no rules of the game to follow.

    I did not say "intact"--simply that remnants would survive, re-build over time, remain underground until paranoia dies down, while growing bit-by-bit, until they finally are restored.

    Frankly, I would be most fascinated to see how the Federation undergoes this "cleaning out" of Section 31. I would like particularly to obeserve how they would presume to know that they've gotten them all.

    Again, even Jake only hoped they were gone for good. He didn't know for sure.
  15. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    That wasn't the point I was making, about the extent to which Section 31 had to have mutated over centuries--we've got one data point from the mid-23rd century, suggesting that Section 31's scientists made silly mistakes regarding the Omega Molecule, and that's it.

    The rules remain, but is anyone playing that variation of the game in the Federation?

    If someone who works with Section 31 isn't an expert ...

    Expecting subtlety of that kind from Section 31 may be a bit much inasmuch as their backup plan if all else failed was to destroy Tezwa. Blowing up a class-M planet with a population of billions that had fought a bloody war with the Klingons isn't exactly low-key. How much more so the quiet death of a newly-elected head of state?

    And again, the possibility that Bacco might not know about Section 31 underlines this agency's problematic nature. Who died and made it God in its domains?

    Machiavelli was criticizing Italy for its disunity, not the tactics. He'd have preferred these tactics to be displaced, deployed against the "barbarians" then invading Italy.

    Donatra wasn't naively trusting; she didn't think she had any choice after Sisko informed her that the Federation wouldn't support the IRS militarily.

    But he would see Romulus as being in a state of breakdown, with no rules of the game to follow.[/QUOTE]


    I did not say "intact"--simply that remnants would survive, re-build over time, remain underground until paranoia dies down, while growing bit-by-bit, until they finally are restored.[/QUOTE]

    You're making the argument that fragments of an illegal organization, founded on a decentralized cellular model, would be able to regenerate into its previous form after it was exposed, taken apart legally, and its secret archives made into holoprograms two old friends could watch one evening in a Terran bayou home. One might as well expect Communists to take over most of Eurasia and restore the Soviet Union. It's dead, Jim.

    Organizations don't do that. The cells which survive the sweep aren't going to be typical, being likely to be relatively quiet and isolated cells with their own priorities. Again, remember the Triads' mutation from political resistance cells to organized crime networks. Why is Section 31 supposed to be invulnerable to similar mutations?

    Section 31 seems like it might not be a very good organization: from what we know of it, it has a record of success that's decidedly mixed. An organization that lurks in the shadows might be cool, but it's also an organization that doesn't have any external oversight, doesn't have any clear source of funding or support, doesn't have a particularly effective bureaucratic structure (how does one cell discipline another?), and doesn't have any explicit legitimacy. The Obsidian Order was protected by its position in the Cardassian constitutional structure until it overreached and launched the fleet to the Omarian Nebula as part of a failed effort to take over. What protection does Section 31 have?

    Section 31 can do things, but there's good reason to think it can do fewer things than the late Obsidian Order or the present Tal Shiar, which at least have these things clarified. And going back to the suggestion that started this tangent, there's no reason to think that Section 31 would have been able to discover the Tzenkethi assassinations on Romulus: it would have had to penetrate two xenophobic societies, using what assets, to determine that one possible explanation for recent political chaos of very many is the right one, to say nothing of finding documentary evidence of this that could be used as proof to the skeptical Romulan government.
  16. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I have a feeling that if any members of 31 remained at large after the the organization was taken down, they would be smart enough to realize that 31 obviously didn't work. If they did decide to continue their work, I have feeling it would probably take a very different form from the 31 we know in the books present.
  17. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Not in the mainstream--which frankly, is part of the problem. Had the Federation not been as naive and "idealistic" as it is, it quite probably would not need Section 31.

    That is precisely why 31 is so confident in "using" him. He doesn't really know that much about how they work, so he can't do anything to one-up them.

    Except the presidential assasination would be the second in a row. Once is an incident. Twice is a pattern.

    The Federation did--when it absorbed naive idealism into its psyche. As the Samuel Cogley tale The Case Of The Colonist's Corpse makes clear, the reason Section 31 existed in the first place was to be paranoid for the Federation, so our heroes wouldn't have to be.

    Which says what about the Federation? Bacco was planning to bring the IRS into the Alliance. Apparently, Sisko is claiming that the UFP would turn its back on an ally....

    But even aside from all that--what reasoning led her to go to Romulus without anticipating and preparing for a trap?

    Because, as you said:

    Romulan politics is similarly chaotic and unstable--leading to Shinzon, and eventually Tal'Aura vs. Donatra...and in turn, the Tzenkethi scheme.

    Looking at Prime Minister Putin, I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions on that....

    Relatively quiet...or relatively clever? Both, perhaps?

    And you mentioned organized crime networks. That goes to show that they could well re-organize after all.

    The Order doesn't seem to abide by the Cardassian constitutional structure. Remember Dukat's line that the Order answers to no one, running its own affairs. So, then, they are every bit as autonomous as 31 is, having no external oversight.

    I think the general thing we can all agree on is that there has been no established resource for describing the extent of the structure, ability, and authority of Section 31. A novel on this would frankly be ideal.

    As for the Tzenkethi...they clearly would have had to have infiltrated Romulus, in order to carry out their plans. Therefore, as 31 showed its ability to infiltrate in a similar manner, with the possible assistance of their counterparts in the Tal Shiar, it's not too far a stretch to allow for 31's knowledge of facts which would point towards Tzenkethi involvement.
  18. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Do we know this?

    And you know that 31 is using Ross and that he doesn't have an accurate perception because ... ?

    Was it an ally? Donatra was as reluctant to enter into talks with the Federation and Klingons as anyone, while the Federation, in turn, is justified in being suspicious about entering into an alliance with the weaker half of Romulan civilization. I'd also add that Donatra's willingness to starve her future subjects into submission is worrisome.

    She clearly had her reasons.

    Russia isn't a Western-style democracy, but Russia isn't a Communist state. Russia has a mixed economy, with a floating currency and active foreign trade, a reasonably active civil sphere, dynamic mass media, et cetera.

    That's not what I or Christopher have been saying. We've been saying that a smashed network is going to reorganize into something notably different. Cf. Russia, if you would. Even with many prominent people from the Soviet era involved, you've still got a very different Russia now than you did a generation ago.

    It's own affairs, yes. The Order was recognized as having its own affairs by the Cardassian constitutional settlement, with certain limits (i.e. not maintaining fleets of warships). So long as it obeyed those restrictions, it survived. When it tried to overturn these restrictions and failed, it got crushed.

    What place does Section 31 have in the Federation constitutional structure? How many people on Vulcan or Betazed or Alpha Centauri accept its chosen methods as legitimate?

    Agreed. Expecting Section 31 to be capable of miracles is a bit much.

    [i[Why[/i] would the Tal Shiar help out Section 31? How would Section 31 pick out some very particular facts--a handshake, in the case of Dor's infection by Alizome--and give them their actual importance and make the case convincing? Is it plausible to imagine Section 31 to have penetrate the upper echelons of Tzenkethi civilization?

    As others have said, political instability is common in Ki Baratan at the best of times. Picking out particular patterns must always be tricky. It would be amusing if Section 31 picked the wrong facts out of the noise and managed to frame someone else. :-)
  19. o'brien's scotch

    o'brien's scotch Captain Captain

    Jan 24, 2002
    In Quark's Bar
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I spent the first half of the book just being depressed over Sisko's new life and despair, but at least it tracked back to what the Prophets told him about being with Kas. Not surprised by Kira's new religious lifestyle, but I hope something happens to spur her back to action. With the original command crew of DS9 (Sisko, Kira, O'Brien, Dax, Bashir, Odo) being spread out all over the place, hopefully we'll get some kind of mission that will get the band back together. It would be really cool to see them reunite after all the changes that have occured.
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    For the most part. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on the Federation...buts its intense desire to avoid conflict has the distinct danger of leading inevitably to giving other powers the benefit of the doubt.

    As I said, killing two presidents in a row is inneficient, self-defeating, and completely asinine. Ross automatically assuming that Bacco's life would be in danger is...innacurate.

    I simply said that 31 can easily use the fact that Ross doesn't really know how to "deal with" 31 to manipulate him--much as they did with Bashir in "Inter Arna..."

    "Future subjects"?

    Anyhow--what would be wrong with supporting the weaker half? The stronger half wasn't exacly interested in peace any time soon.

    Which would be...?

    I was pointing out, of course, Putin's past career in the KGB, which frankly gives me pause. But that's for another time....

    Have you and Chris been saying 31 would reorganize at all?

    It got crushed when it got duped into attacking the Founder Homeworld.

    Section 31 was part of the original Starfleet Charter--

    Now, BEFORE everyone jumps on that line, and points to Article 14, Section 31 only giving powers to Starfleet to bend the rules in time of crisis--

    Read the novel Cloak. As Kirk points out, the Federation Starfleet Charter has a Section 31 which allows for "an autonomous investigative agency" with broad powers, etc.

    Never did I do so.

    But not impossible.

    As Spock unwittingly did.

    On that--I find it amusing the logical Spock would make such an assumption. Perhaps there's a story there....