why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Seed

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Khan 2.0, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    i think Spock knew CA VI was gonna go boom but though ' meh f**k em'

    in fact he probably chose it for that very reason!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    So should the death penalty... :eek:
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se


    That's a good one. :)
     
  4. trekshark

    trekshark Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    Khan did had a legitimate grievance with regards to no one from the Federation coming by to check on them though.
    Did Kirk not tell Starfleet what he had done?
     
  5. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    In "The Menagerie," Commodore Mendez says that violation of General Order 7 -- the prohibition of any contact with Talos IV -- carries the only death penalty left on the books. Considering what the Talosians were capable of, I'd say there was a pretty good reason for that.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    OTOH, when we next hear of General Orders and death penalties, the punishment has jumped over to GO4. For all we know, the constant discoveries of unimaginable horrors in deep space force the UFP to create specific death penalties (and possible other cruel and unusual punishments) almost monthly, and then abolish them as soon as the heroic Starfleet officers sort out the mess in question. Although never mind that - Starfleet officers have the mandate to kill wrongdoers without much in the way of due process, as demonstrated over several episodes, environments and eras. Khan would certainly fall into a category warranting deadly response, considering the villain himself used deadly force against Starfleet heroes (and let's forget for this once that Khan never actually killed anybody - he did appear to wish for Kirk to die in the depressurization chamber for real). Assembling a firing squad might be against regulations; pushing Khan out of an airlock with or without a pretentious "Oops!" demonstrably would not be.

    Putting Khan back in the box faces technical and ethical hurdles, yes, but also tactical ones. Remember that Kirk found Khan. Now how likely is that? He's drifting in a spacecraft so difficult to detect that Kirk's capable sensors keep him misinformed about every important detail until the very end of the teaser. The only reason Kirk homes in is because Khan has turned on the ship's come-and-get-me beacon! We should ask ourselves whether a clever and desperate fugitive hoping to reach a destination undetected would do such a thing... And whether a clever and desperate supervillain hoping to lure in victims would. We never heard of any "destination", but we did see a supervillain in smooth action against a victim successfully lured in.

    Putting Khan on a planet would thwart his nefarious plans all right. As for going to check on him... Why? Starfleet never checks on colonies. Sure, (government-sponsored?) researchers get an annual health check even though they always complain and sometimes shoot to kill, but "civilian" settlements prefer to be left alone, and typically are not heard of for decades, if ever. Heck, even the apparently prominent Deneva, well past "settlement" status, could remain absolutely silent for a year and not warrant a visit.

    Khan bitching about Kirk not bothering to write was just another symptom of his blaming Kirk for his own shortcomings and woes, real and imagined.

    As for Kirk not telling Starfleet what he had done, well, nobody does that in the Federation. Again, just review those cases where Kirk eventually does pay a visit to a Federation colony, installation or outpost, and stumbles upon something that has gone utterly unreported for ages. Clearly, keeping of truthful logs is at the captain's discretion...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    In light of some of what the Enterprise encountered later on, though, this seems either overblown or too uniquely applied. How about hands-off/no visit for Organia? Or Triskelion? Or the world of the Metrons, which they did have an exact location for while pursuing the Gorn ship?
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    I'd wager every GO includes a full range of punishments, only most of those aren't applicable in the circumstances of a given day. But every now and then, something emerges that prompts Starfleet to activate the death penalty as regards the General Order about quarantining planets, specifically under circumstances X and Y, and specifically in the case of Talos. Or the right to torture next-of-kin as regards the General Order about time travel, specifically under circumstance Z, and specifically in the case of Captain Gearloose.

    It's not specific as such - GO7 isn't about Talos, but about quarantine. It's just a matter of unlocking certain options at a time of major crisis, something only an exclusive club of really big Starfleet bosses can decide on, without having to explain themselves to anybody.

    No doubt GO7 carries a penalty about going to the Klingon homeworld, or bothering the Metrons. But it's a different penalty, and can be waived on different conditions. As regards Talos, it was waived ex post facto in "The Menagerie", and for reasons that should have led to its complete and categorical waiving soon thereafter: the quarantine had already been proven completely ineffective, even with the death penalty deterrent, and apparently this did not matter (either because the Talosians weren't all that evil, or then because they already took over the Federation and nobody noticed, nobody could notice, and so it wasn't Starfleet's concern any more).

    General Orders exist, but they are general. Captains apply them on specific cases. And sometimes the application involves not having to explain anything to anybody else.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    About Kirk never going back to check on Khan.

    Wouldn't Marla McGivers' family ask Starfleet to go back and check up on HER at least, or try to appeal against Kirk's decision to leave her with him? I mean sure, she was utter treason what she did (and for pretty lame reasons to boot) but you'd think there'd be some objection to it from her family.

    Unless she was an orphan or something.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    Her family was likely told she was missing in action. Starfleet wouldn't want anyone to know that 80 supermen had been deposited on a world somewhere.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    ...Especially if all of them were as fond of Khan as Kirk seemed to be. "He's a cool guy who could teach us all a thing or two, but the stupid peasants fear and hate Augments, so we have to stay mum."

    But it might just as well be that Kirk thought Starfleet consisted of stupid peasants and would not understand his own desire to let Khan live and thrive. It would be Kirk's choice what to tell both Starfleet and the putative McGivers family; the only ones who might contradict him would be the trusted fellow officers at Khan's "trial", and the redshirts involved in beaming him and his wife down, and we know redshirts don't like to rock the boat (see e.g. "Turnabout Intruder").

    Whether it's Kirk lying to the family, or Kirk lying to Starfleet and the family, or Starfleet lying to the family, we have precedent, sort of. Kirk clearly hid what really happened to Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner, and later to Will Decker and Ilia, using the very "missing in action" method of obfuscation. His motivation in the former would be to protect the professional reputations of his friend and the woman who saved his life, thus he'd hide the truth from Starfleet as well as from the general public. In the latter, the peasants might again be better off not knowing that Starfleet officers can become gods or better, but this time Starfleet might well be told.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    if Ceti Alpha VI had never exploded Khan and his people would've built an empire...then developed spaceships/used them to hijack Federation ships...then tried to overthrow humanity again
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    I sort of doubt that. Relying only on basic 20th century technologies, the sort of stuff Kirk would be willing to give him, would get Khan nowhere in building an empire - they couldn't even build an interstellar transmitter to lure somebody in to take them to another star system. And "Space Seed" makes the point that nobody (but Kirk) goes to the area where the Botany Bay was found, and Ceti Alpha probably wouldn't be far from there for a number of reasons. ST2 only reinforces that: Ceti Alpha is not far from the Mutara Nebula, a place suitably remote for a secretive research outpost, and a region where our heroes are very surprised to meet a fellow starship.

    Even on a paradise planet, Khan himself would be long dead before any empire would arise, and his great-great-great-grandkids wouldn't be much better off yet, either. Ceti Alpha V before the calamity was supposed to be harsh rather than paradisaical, too.

    Add the part Kirk probably didn't consider: a couple of dozen Augments on the same empty planet is likely to create a couple of dozen fighting factions in no time flat...

    As regards the explosion of Ceti Alpha VI (or what Khan believed was an explosion, and never mind how he could tell), there's no need to assume it would have been predictable by the means at Spock's disposal. Our heroes did not have any knowledge of spontaneously exploding planets in "Doomsday Machine", so such things probably aren't natural phenomena: either they happen because an intellect is involved (might have been the case with CA VI, too), or then they do happen spontaneously but so seldom as to count as "unnatural".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    Khan was starting with sticks and stones and no scientific research or manufacturing base to speak of. Plus there was only 80 of them. Given about a thousand or two thousand years, they may have become a problem for whatever interstellar power controlled the area at the time.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    This is full of holes.

    In each event Kirk is making log entries as things happen. We can assume other officers are as well. You're suggesting that Kirk and his command crew are routinely going back and falsifying records in a way that makes what Ben Finney did look like, "Oops, sorry. Made a boo-boo." It's nonsense.

    The official records describe what had been happening to Mitchell and Dehner. All we heard at the end is that Kirk wanted their official records to end as them giving their lives in the performance of their duty. It doesn't automatically mean Kirk falsified how they died. Dehner did actually die trying to save Kirk's life and possibly the rest of the Enterprise's crew.

    Kirk can still report to Starfleet what he did with Khan and then they can decide what to do with Khan: go get him or leave him where he is until they decide what to do, if ever. Starfleet might even order Kirk not to go back there. It's now out of Kirk's hands. If nothing else Kirk has bought Starfleet and the Federation time to decide what to do. He certainly has no reason to falsify his records. This includes the status of McGivers where it's now Starfleet's concern to do what they think needs to be done.

    Kirk and his officers don't have to falsify their logs in regards to Decker and Ilia since they don't really know what happened to them. They report what they saw as well as their own opinions/conclusion that Decker and Ilia might not actually be dead, but missing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  16. Shon T'Hara

    Shon T'Hara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    Why? A general order is just an order issued to all personnel within a command. The punishment for disobeying should be the same as the punishment for disobeying any other order, unless otherwise specified.

    Did we ever hear the exact wording of the order? Maybe GO7 is a whole list of forbidden planets that's periodically updated.
     
  17. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    You see, Kirk was a big fan of frozen pizza, so he loaded up the Botany Bay with it, talking it in tow for a long time afterwards. Thus Khan and his crew just had to resettle on Seti Alpha V (or was it VI?) as their "ride was hijacked."

    In an amazing coincidence, Kirk later re-fought the "Fight at the O.K. Corral" in Tombstone. Of course, Tombstone was Kirk's favorite frozen pizza.


    SORRY!:drool:
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    Naah, that's canon. We hear Kirk promise to keep things secret after an episodeful of compromising log entries in, say, "Amok Time" or "Metamorphosis". That necessarily calls for forging of records...

    ...Or, rather, omitting of compromising entries. It's not as if Kirk would dictate on every second hour sharp or anything, so nobody would notice six entries missing simply by looking at the logbook contents or following the narrative. (Spock would take care of any anti-editing safeguards in the log program itself, supposedly.)

    Add to this the fact that many log entries appear dictated well after the fact, basically as scripted narration on visual records. Kirk has the authority to decide what to tell and how to tell it. Does he have the authority to decide what to show, too? Well, visual records would have solved many a whodunnit, but they aren't available for such purposes, not in TOS; the only time they are shown available without anybody expressing "The Menagerie" style amazement is when a court of inquiry presents them. So, are they in a locked box Kirk can't tamper with? Possibly.

    But they clearly don't cover the whole ship, or else Finney's going-to-hiding plot would have been exposed by the cameras. Kirk erased McGivers from existence in the briefing room, not on the bridge, to be sure. ;)

    Nevertheless, bridge visuals alone should reveal the whole "Space Seed" story to an inquiring court. But "Court Martial" also revealed that Kirk has the legal authority (or the skill, but that's unlikely) to do what Finney did; so does Spock (well, he could have the skill, but sharing the authority with the skipper sounds logical as well). The box should not be locked for Kirk or Spock, then.

    How so? If he's the lone neo-Augment in Starfleet (well, he and his top officers), his career will be over when it becomes public knowledge that he has acted on his widely condemned political views by aiding and abetting Khan. And even if there are whole hordes of neo-Augments back in San Francisco who just hide their armbands beneath their sleeves, Kirk must keep up a deception for the sakes of those comrades of his, because the peasants do still hate Augments.

    No contradiction there. The more general the order, the more specifics there have to be built in for the order to be applicable in practice. Any GO comes with a range of conditions, and any given condition could have a matching sanction. Say, if GO7 is about "planetary quarantine" or "making contact", things definitely warranting a low GO number, then there are probably dozens of types of quarantine and hundreds of scenarios for making contact - and a violation in one scenario might kill trillions at the very least while a violation in another might offend a clerk at the very most, so certainly the sanction chosen as the deterrent should be different.

    Say, there's a law against assaulting a person. It comes with nuances, and those come with an allowed range of punishments (say, limits on jail term length), and then you enter the judges and the lawyers who decide what sort of an assault that was exactly. Today, we don't need a law that covers "assault on one's previous identity" or "postmeditated assault", but a world with time travel would need those; the UFP and Starfleet should have plenty of weird subcategories stashed "just in case", and never really seeing action, until something like Talos comes along.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    ^^ A lot of the log entries come across more as tools of storytelling exposition rather than actual log entries particularly when they're revealing things the recorder can't possibly know as things are happening.

    You are twisting this way out of proportion. In the examples you cited Kirk and crew have no reason to falsify records. In "Metamotphosis" Kirk might or might not have been blowing smoke when he tells Cochrane he'd keep Cochrane's existence secret. He doesn't really have to keep it secret from Starfleet High Command.

    "Amok Time" is the only one which gets dicey and then again T'Pau gets him off the hook.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Re: why didnt Kirk put khan back in the freezer at the end of Space Se

    Which is certainly realistic, as Kirk couldn't dictate logs apace with the events of his full-throttle adventures. Real-world combat logs are masterpieces of abbreviation, managed by officers dedicated to the task; in contrast, skipper-dictated "memoirs" or "dear diaries" necessarily involve an element of hindsight, and probably nevertheless serve a valid function in helping Starfleet find out what the heck the skipper was thinking when doing X. Whether he tells the truth or lies is probably immaterial in that respect - lies often give more insight than plain dull truths.

    Dunno about that. I only said Kirk promised to lie, despite logs existing. Perhaps that was a filthy lie and Kirk is not to be trusted in general - but if so, whenever a real motivation pops up for him lying to his superiors, this means this pathological liar of a character will lie to them. For example in "Space Seed".

    Timo Saloniemi