A Time To Kill/Heal

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JD, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I finished the A Time To Kill/Heal books eariler this week, and all I can say about them is...WOW. Those books are just incredible in every way. Great work David. They get a wholehearted score of 10/10 from me.
     
  2. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    ^ Thanks, JD. Glad to hear you enjoyed them. They were my first full-length novels (as opposed to Wildfire, my first solo work of professional prose, which was a short novel -- ca. 52,000 words).
     
  3. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, I didn't realize that. IMHO that just makes them even more impressive in my book.
     
  4. thribs

    thribs Commodore Fleet Captain

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    Just finished it. After reading Control I wanted to see what the big fuss was about about this Zife scandal. Looks like it’s Star Trek’s version of the Iran-Contra affair. They should know better than to follow America’s example. :)
    So Picard will probably be fine. All he did was keep the secret. He wasn’t aware that they were killed afterwards.
    I get that they were afraid that this leaking would lead to a war with the Klingons but couldn’t they just hand over Zife and his crew to the Klingons? That could have also avoided a war.

    I felt bad that Nathon Fillion’s character was killed. That’s what I imagined who was playing Fillion. :)
     
  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I hadn't thought about that, but yeah, Zife's arming the Tezwans was very Iran-Contra, though his invasion of Tezwa was of course very Iraq War.

    Well, no. Picard actively conspired with his fellow Starfleet officers and a Federation ambassador to have the legitimately democratically-elected President forced out of office at gunpoint. There's a word for that: coup.

    Now, we as readers can see into Picard's heart and know that he had nothing but genuinely pure intentions, only made the choice he did because of extraordinary circumstances and his sincere belief that any other action would result in billions of deaths. We have that ability, because we are not characters within the story. We have knowledge other characters can never have.

    But if I'm a Federation Councillor, or the Federation President, or even just a regular Average Joe Federation citizen? I do not have that knowledge. I do not have that certainty.

    Sure, I'll know Picard's history: captain of the flagship, liberated Betazed during the Dominion War, saved the Earth and the Federation on numerous occasions. But I'll also know other parts of his history: That he was assimilated by the Borg into leading their assault on Wolf 359; that he refused to infect the Collective with a virus that might crash their entire system two years later; that he protected a crewmember who concealed his Romulan heritage; that he thwarted a Federation special operation to try to literally curse death; that he installed the last Klingon Chancellor, Gowron; that his protege, Worf, installed the current Klingon Chancellor; that he abducted the Governor of the Alpha Centauri Concordium; that he has a history of putting Federation colony planets under States of Emergency without regard for the wishes of the civil authority;
    that he got the last Federation President Pro Tempore arrested and removed from power.

    And now, it turns out Baras wasn't even the first Federation President Picard had removed from power.

    And he claims he didn't know that his first presidential target was assassinated after he conspired to have him removed at gunpoint?

    Yeah, no. If I'm a senior official in the Federation government, I'm going to want, at best, for Picard to be given a dishonorable discharge. I really don't see how I could possibly view Picard as anything other than a potential threat to Federation democracy.

    Picard and company never seriously considered this possibility, apparently viewing it as either too damaging to Federation sovereignty or as being likely to be perceived by most Federates as damaging to Federation sovereignty.

    Of course, there are other possibilities they never considered -- everything from, exposing Zife's crimes to the public and allowing the judicial process to play out; to, only revealing Zife's crimes to the Federation Council or to the Federation Security Council, and allowing the Council to decide the situation; to, revealing Zife's crimes to a Federation prosecutor empowered to investigate and empanel a grand jury.

    I love Picard. You love Picard. We all love Picard. But the man made a choice to subvert Federation democracy and the rule of law -- and now, 14 years later in real time and 7 years later in book time, he's going to have to pay the price one way or the other.
     
  6. thribs

    thribs Commodore Fleet Captain

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    I think the majority of the public will side with Picard. His intentions were noble and his actions led to peace. He may be aware of what happened but he wasn’t the one who decided to go forward with the plan. It’s Ross who will get the book since I’m pretty sure he knew what Section 31 were going to do.

    It’s all irrelevant anyway since who is in control the Enterprise controls the Federation. The President is just a figurehead. :)
     
  7. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Isn't Ross already out of the picture?
     
  8. thribs

    thribs Commodore Fleet Captain

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    I believe so but I don’t remember. Is he dead or just retired.
     
  9. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In "Articles of the Federation", President Bacco discovered that Adm. Ross - who was serving as the Starfleet Liaison to the President - had forced Zife and his Chief of Staff and Secretary of Military Intelligence out of office at phaser-point before killing them (she was unaware that Section 31 existed and Ross would rather take the blame for Zife's death rather than expose S31 to her fearing that she'd try to dismantle them and they'd stop her with extreme prejudice) and told him to immediately retire rather than resign (as his resignation would leave people asking questions, while with retirement he could end his career with honor before fading into an anonymous civilian life never to have anything to do with Starfleet or Federation politics ever again).
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So it is possible he could be tracked down and arrested then.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Ross will almost certainly be arrested by the Federation Security Agency or Starfleet Security and then face indictment. Does anyone know if former military officers who are arrested and tried for crimes committed while commissioned as officers are tried by a court-martial or by a civilian court?

    I can buy the idea that a majority of Federates might be willing to forgive Picard and not favor time in a Starfleet penal colony. But I just don't see how a rational Federate could favor keeping a man who conspired to force a democratically-elected President to resign at gunpoint in a position of power.

    What happens to the next elected official Picard decides needs to be forced out of office at gunpoint in the name of the greater good?

    IIRC, Kill/Heal and Articles together establish that Ross, Picard, Lagan, and the other admirals all consented to and helped develop a plan to force Zife, Azernal, and Quafina out of office on pain of violence, but that Ross was the only one who knew that Section 31 would kill them after their resignations.

    Either way, Picard did more than just "was aware" of the plan. He consented to it, and helped develop it.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. thribs

    thribs Commodore Fleet Captain

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    I don’t think Picard was aware that he was removed by gun point. If he did I would agree.
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, he definitely knew. That was the entire point of his conversation with the admirals, and with his assertion that it might be the darkest moment in the Federation's history.
     
  14. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    From my understanding of modern (American) military law (consisting 95% exclusively from JAG), a retired officer can be recalled to active duty by the Secretary of the Army/Navy/Air Force, the Secretary of Defense, or the President of the United States to stand court-martial for crimes committed while in uniform (assuming, of course, that the statue of limitations hasn't run out). JAG dealt with this issue at least twice in the ten years it was on the air.

    I also know about a real-life example of a four-star general who was reprimanded and reduced in rank to Major General for sexual harassment of a female subordinate, but he couldn't be court-martialed because of the statue of limitations (see List of active-duty United States four-star officers page for more information).

    So yes, in theory (and assuming that in the six years between "Articles of the Federation" and "Control" that Section 31 hadn't already tracked him down and killed him), Admiral Ross could stand court-martial for his part in the removal of President Zife from office and his subsequent assassination. Of course, being such a high profile case, I could also see him being tried in front of the Federation Council like Rear Admiral Kirk and his crew in Star Trek IV rather than in a Starfleet courtroom.
     
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  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Works for me!

    Thanks for this! Yeah, the blurb for Dayton Ward's next book make it sound like Ross is still alive, so it would make sense if he were recalled and court-martialed.

    For the record, the complete list of non-Section 31 conspirators consists of:
    • Admiral William Ross (retired)
    • Admiral Alynna Nechayev
    • Admiral Owen Paris (deceased)
    • Admiral Edward Jellico (former Starfleet C-in-C, resigned after Borg Invasion)
    • Admiral Tujiro Nakamura
    • Captain Jean-Luc Picard
    • Federation Ambassador Lagan Serra
    So Ross and Jellico would both have to be recalled, and then they along with Nechayev, Nakamura, and Picard could be court-martialed.

    I imagine Ambassador Lagan would be arrested by the Federation Security Agency and then indicted by a Federation grand jury.

    EDITED TO ADD:

    There is at least one more Starfleet admiral who somehow became aware of Ross and co.'s plan to force Zife out at gunpoint; he shared this with Esperanza Piñiero when she was still serving as Nan Bacco's campaign manager during the 2379 Special Election, and Piñiero then shared it with Bacco. Both Bacco and Piñiero are deceased, but I wonder if that other admiral (whose name I can't recall now) might be court-martialed as an accessory.

    Ironically, Ozla Graniv, the journalist who helped expose Section 31, could also be hypothetically be charged, since she made a deal with Bacco that she wouldn't expose Ross's actions if he were to be forced out of Starfleet and out of politics.
     
  16. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not that this may or may not sway the argument either way, but that passage in Articles also makes the point, IIRC, that what Ross et al did doesn't strictly speaking rise to the definition of a 'coup', because he did not install either himself or his chosen successor to Zife in the office of the presidency. He only removed a criminal from the office and then let the democratic process play out to select Zife's replacement by popular election. Whether that would be taken into account in this hypothetical court martial is another question.

    .