Spoilers TP: Zero Sum Game by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Oct 21, 2010.

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How would you rate Zero Sum Game?

  1. Outstanding

    41 vote(s)
    22.8%
  2. Above Average

    83 vote(s)
    46.1%
  3. Average

    46 vote(s)
    25.6%
  4. Below Average

    8 vote(s)
    4.4%
  5. Poor

    2 vote(s)
    1.1%
  1. Almost Unique

    Almost Unique Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I keep it close to my kidneys.
     
  2. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I wonder when Bashir will snap out of it and realized that Sarina is USING him?

    When all this is over...he owes Ezri a big apology for Chapter 6. (Well, she owes him one, too--but him, first.)
     
  3. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread


    This is what's wrong with Modern Trek, too talky. You'd finish making that speech, Kirk would do a running kick into your chest, give you a couple of jabs to the face and then throw you in the brig.
    ;)
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Is she truly, though? It seems she may indeed love him back. There doesn't have to be a conflict between her personal feelings for him and a dutiful using-the-relationship-as-an-assignment from 31. She may think the two are perfectly compatible. And 31 may be hoping that Bashir will come to share in that blended outlook. Right now, Bashir thinks Sarina = all that is good, Section 31 = bad. But one day he'll find out Sarina = Section 31. What happens then? It won't be easy to break a bond like the somewhat desperate one he has with Sarina; it seems more likely to me that Bashir will conclude "Section 31 = not so bad after all" than he will "Sarina = bad". Which is what 31 want. They are determined to break him down and have him accept his place among them. So Bashir finding out Sarina's loyalties is, it seems to me, the whole point...only he mustn't find out just yet...
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    :guffaw::guffaw: Too true!
     
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Shucks, if that's what'll happen...than Julian's more maleable, and stupid, than I thought, to be maniplulated like that, and not feel betrayed by her.

    If that's him...than he deserves not to be reunited with Ezri....
     
  7. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Hey, what makes you think he'll disappoint us if or when that day comes? :) Surely we're hoping he'll stand true and prove himself a better man than Section 31 anticipated.:techman:

    Our hero has reached a low point and is being tempted by the antagonist (though he doesn't know it yet). Whether he "falls" or remains true to his ideals is for future novels to show us...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  8. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^Well...as I said, my prediction is that when he finds out, and discoveres that, one way or another, Sarina's been decieving him, duping him--and yes, using him--he will leave her in disgust, leaving Sarina to do a LOT of soul-searching.

    And then he gives Ezri a big apology for dismissing her warning, and storming off. Ezri apologizes in kind for her attitude in that scene, too...and the two start on the path to reconciliation.

    (And Sloan shows up, back from the dead. :evil:)
     
  9. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^ Whatever the outcome is, ZSG has influenced where I could go in terms of the on-again off-again romance between Julian and Ezri in my fanon. In my War Aftermath story that's still in progress taking place in 2378, they are broken up and even Worf is saying WTF. By 2380, they're married despite the rough patches in the DS9-relaunch novels and my current story. But that's not the end of their problems. He's willing to commit treason to prevent another Dax host from being murdered in cold blood. Things go south after he serves his sentence. He's been blackballed out of Starfleet, which Section 31 has seen to. The mission to Salavat and later missions for SFI/S31 leave him very cynical and jaded. So by 2384 in my fanon, having learned of Sarina's affiliation with Section 31, his life takes one of two turns.

    1. He wants nothing to do with Sarina. He's living in seclusion trying to stay one step ahead of The Bureau. This is complicated when circumstances force him to work with both Ezri and Sarina during a major galactic crisis.

    2. He feels sorry for Sarina, thinking they've manipulated her more than she's manipulated him and they're both living in seclusion trying to stay one step ahead of The Bureau. This is complicated when circumstances reunite him with Ezri during a major galactic crisis.
     
  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    It's one thing if someone is trying to kill you, and especially if they're trying to kill people who can't defend themselves. If someone chooses to lay down their own life rather than be violent in return--as long as by doing so they are not running away from the defense of others--then I can respect that position. But I cannot respect failure to defend others. That's moral cowardice. In the latter case, failure to act puts the blood on the hands of the person who should have acted and did not. Cowardice makes one an accessory to the crime; to just stand there and let something happen when you have the power to stop it, just because you want YOUR hands to be clean, is pathetic. But to just kill with no reason...that IS wrong and unnecessary.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    A question to ponder.

    Let's say Iran is developing a nuclear weapons plant. Let's say that the vast majority of workers there are unarmed civilians who merely want a good job and want to make sure their country has the kinds of weaponry it needs to deter the threat of aggression from other countries. Such as, for instance, the United States, whose Army happens to have occupied both countries on either side of Iran's border this decade.

    And let's say that the CIA decides to send someone in to Iran to blow it up before it becomes operational.

    And in the course of that endeavor, said CIA agents kill several unarmed civilians, either not knowing that they were unarmed (as Bashir did not know the engineers in the Operations Center were unarmed before he shot them as a pre-emptive safety measure), or killed hundreds of such workers upon blowing the plant up.

    (For the purposes of this thought experiment, let us presume that the operation took place at a sufficiently early time in the plant's construction process that blowing the plant up did not release huge amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere or otherwise hurt the general Iranian populace.)

    Now.

    Tell me.

    Is that a truly immoral thing?

    People often use the term "ambiguous" to refer to acts that are really not ambiguous at all; they often use the term to refer to acts that are clearly immoral. But one of the reasons something is consider "ambiguous," after all, is that it's not clearly immoral.
     
  12. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^I myself would say it would be necessary. As for the question of morality, I would say: what would be the alternative, in allowing the reactor to exist?

    Assuming the government is the same as it is now...the alternative is either 1) genocide by Iran's government (remember, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly expressed his desire to destroy Israel), or 2) international nuclear war, heralded by the US fighting to prevent this genocide.

    Thus...this is a situation of "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".

    Would it be "moral"? Decidedly not--as you said, as far as those workers are concerned, they are just working to help "defend" Iran.

    But it would not be "immoral", either--as, again, the alternative is to result in even more lives being lost.
     
  13. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    As the only country to have used nuclear weapons and chose to use them against civilian targets I don't think America is in any position to be deciding what's moral in this matter.

    Add to that the fact that Israel has a nuclear program that is one of the worst kept secrets in the world and I wonder just what constitutes morality in this case.

    Israel does have a right to defend themselves but so does Iran. Who is more likely to use nuclear weapons first? Neither country has been open about their programs.
     
  14. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Perhaps Bashir was thinking the same thing as Garak aboard the hijacked Jem'Hadar fighter in "When It Rains..." As Garak said then, "We can't afford to be burdened by prisoners." And that was the right move in retrospect since installing the Breen weapon on that ship took longer than expected.

    And while on the subject of "What if this was Iran?", what would've been a diplomatic solution since that was even being considered? Saying to the Typhon Pact, "Please give us back the slipstream schematics, pretty please"? I'm not sure the Pact would agree to something to the SALT treaties to prevent any new nuclear powers from emerging.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Actually, one of the reasons I chose Iran is that the intentions of the Iranian government are not nearly so clear as what you're claiming.

    Just like the Breen's.

    The Breen clearly intend to try to start out-competing the Federation. Does that mean they intend to actually start a war? Or to actually act in an aggressive manner against Federation citizens, territory, or otherwise threaten Federation security?

    The Federation clearly believes the Breen intend to share slipstream technology with the other Typhon Pact members. Yet we know for a fact, from their internal politics scenes, that the Breen intend to monopolize the slipstream to compete with their fellow Pact members.

    Similarly, Iran's intentions are not clear. Ahmadinejad has said what he's said, but Ahmadinejad is not the actual ruler of the country -- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the real power in Iran, and he's been quite a bit less belligerent over his twenty-one years in power. I'm not going to say anything else about this, other than that the Iranian government's intentions are not clear.
     
  16. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^Well, that begs the question: if Ali Khamenei is the one in charge, and he doesn't sanction Ahmadinejad's words...than why is that nut still going around, speaking on behalf of his country? Why doesn't Khamenei, at the very least, tell him to Shut The Heck Up--You're Making Us Look Bad?

    Still, as you said, that isn't here nor there--but the arms race does demand struggles to maintain the balance of power. And remember...the UFP's economy isn't doing so well, thanks to the Borg. Thus...espionage and sabotage is an absolute necessity, on a large scale. In the meantime, Bacco needs to get extremely busy on her economic and trade policy.
     
  17. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    Let's do keep in mind the Breen already killed many Federation workers and heavily damaged a major Federation shipyard, which should factor into your scenario I think.

    What bollocks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  18. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    I'm over half way through this book and think it has been outstanding so far. I love the fact that finally we get to see who the Breen are and that revelation has been extremely interesting. I made the mistake of skipping to the end of the book (I do that from time to time) and interesting to see Sarina's career choice...and manipulation of Julian. It seems Section 31's desperation to recruit Dr. Bashir has become a personal task of their new director now. When I started reading the book and Sarina revealed her SI connection I couldn't help think like Bashir did that Section 31 was somehow involved. Interesting dynamic in their relationship. Also loving Captain Dax and the crew of the Aventine.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    A country may well want its enemies to think it more dangerous than it actually is. Former President Reagan rather famously wanted the Soviets to be afraid that he really be willing would be willing to start a nuclear war if the Soviets pushed him hard enough. And that's to say nothing of a basic fact of political life -- that empty threats made against a well-hated enemy can buy a politician political capital from his base, even if he has no intention of acting on such threats.

    Which is not to say that Iran would not act on such threats, either. The point is not that it would or would not. The point is: We don't know.

    True. But that's not the same thing as being set on a policy of hostile expansion into Federation territory. Which is not to preclude it, either. Again: We don't know.
     
  20. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

    ^We don't know yet. :)