Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Unimatrix Q, Oct 24, 2019.
Sorry, had to do this...
Occupation involves massive forces. The Dominion seems to work by controlling the local government and telling them to keep control or else.
In some ways that's similar to the Terran Federation of early Blake's 7, where individual worlds could be quite liberal if they weren't a problem to the wider order.
And that's why the Jem'Hadar are invisible. You don't have to actually send in the Secret Police or the National Guard, because they can never be sure they aren't there already, listening and making notes on their invisible little padds... Or aiming and quietly cocking their invisible rifles.
Earth might well warrant three actual invisible garrisons, only listed as three hundred and three invisible garrisons.
The Dominion would have wanted to appear to be keeping their word. So they’d use the same tactics they did on Bajor, “They’re just gotta facilitators!” Then if there was any real resistance, they’d use that as an excuse to ramp up the violent suppression.
There would be civil war in the Federation before any joining, the Vulcans might see the logic of joining over a long war that kills billions, the Humans and Andorians might fight to the death for freedom (why assume only humans value freedom in the Federation?), the Tellarites might capitulate while insulting the Dominion, the Risians might side with the Vulcans, the Denobulans are no stranger to war so might side with the humans. The Klingons will invade Earth before letting their allies capitulate to the 'dishonorable' Dominion. And if the scientists of Section 31 are still around any subjugation of the UFP will be shortlived cos the Founders would all be dead, the Jem Hader might start slaughtering each other once the Dominion coke runs out and as for the Vorta they might just swap sides to save their asses. So the invasion of the UFP by the Dominion was the start of the Founders signing their own death warrant.
^ I always thought it stretched the bounds of believability a bit that a splinter group like Section 31 (although probably with some very powerful individuals involved) was able to engineer both such a virus and the cure, whereas the best specialists of the Dominion could not. Isn't the Dominion supposed be further along in concepts like genetic engineering than the Federation? Or is designing a cure fundamentally easier if you also designed the virus ?
A group like Section 31 almost certainly has access to technology, medicine, etc. much further along than the rest of Starfleet and the Federation because of all the dark things they have probably found over the centuries with all the covert missions and such. They probably have this stuff as a means of defense for the Federation. So I buy it that they had the means to engineer something like this that the Dominion might not have found a cure for. The Vorta even refer to Starfleet engineers as magicians turning rocks into replicators. The same fan be said about their research and medical side.
Plus, the Vorta may have found a cure eventually, but by the time they did the Founders could have all been dead. If the Female Changeling was any indication, the more time passed, the progression of the disease got exponentially worse.
To paraphrase Mr. Garibaldi from BABYLON 5, "If everyone else has a gun, I'm going to make sure I have the biggest and best one on the block to defend myself with."
While I can buy section 31 having slightly more knowledge than the 'general' public of specialists, they can't be "centuries" ahead. They seem too fragmented and "underground" to maintain or consistently improve upon an existing knowledge base over the centuries of their existence, too. After all, this organisation is so secret that even the government at large doesn't know about its existence, so it cannot be compared to even a real-world secret service, which still enjoys structural governmental support.
The reverse seems also true. Bashir wasn't able to cure the victims of the Teplan Blight - engineered by the Dominion, or the Ketracel White dependency of the Jem' Hadar. That he failed initially, on tight time constraints is no surprise, but we do know for a fact that Bashir continued his research into the Teplan Blight later on. Also, pursuing the Ketracel White alternative almost certainly would have been a very interesting medical project for the Federation, with important or possibly even vital military applications. Yet we never hear about success in either of those two directions for the rest of DS9 anymore (only a mention of the Teplan Blight in Enim Arma Silent Leges, if I recall correctly).
I think it would end up like the Volians in the Stargate SG1 episode "2001".
I didn't say they were centuries ahead. I was saying that over the centuries of their existence, they found technology and medical things that are possibly more advanced than the Federation, and they would use that and expand on it.
^My apologies.... it wasn't my intention to suggest you said that. I probably should have omitted the " " around 'centuries'. Simply wanted to indicate that even with some "secret knowledge" gained by covert missions, that knowledge would most likely be very fragmentaric, and couldn't be too far ahead of the "public" knowledge level.
No apologies needed.
I think of Section 31 the way I think of the government and public technology... whatever we have on the market, the government is AT LEAST a decade ahead. I think the same is true of Section 31 and the Federation.
And as ruthless as Section 31 is, I have to figure it's a good possibility that they have committed genocide before. They went toward the genocide solution a little quickly after the Dominion threat was discovered, given that they infected Odo in the midpoint of season 4. By then, the Dominion was a threat for only a year and a half. Genocide is more a desperate final solution, and the Federation was nowhere near that point in that moment in time.
Though one could say, since they dealt crippling blows to the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order at the same time, Section 31 may very well have figured genocide was the safest solution.
Something I have always wondered... could Section have their own exploration division whose mandate is specifically getting more advanced technology, possibly raiding dead worlds for ancient superior stuff? Sort of like Interplanetary Expeditions on BABYLON 5.
No buddy snuggles with the dominion, You strap yourself in and feel the 'G's'
I'm willing to buy that.
However, what I'm saying is that Section 31 cannot be compared to that. "The government" is large. The CIA is large too, with dedicated offices and scores of specialists and divisions. Though it works with secrets, its organisation and existence are not a secret. The government can afford to spend billions on them because its existence is known.
Section 31, by necessity, must be very small. I mean, every extra person "in the know" increases the risk of someone going public and reveal the existence of this organisation in the first place - which apparently hasn't happened in all those centuries. So section 31 is being depicted as scouting extremely carefully before including someone (and in the case of Bashir, still not carefully enough). The "feel" I get from section 31 is that even Sloan himself would know no more than a few other contacts and perhaps even only code names at that (*) - to decrease the damage that could be done should anyone apprehend him and use an (illegal) Romulan mind probe or some such device on him. They have no headquarters - this is also established (unless of course Sloan is lying). A lot of information they have even only exists in their minds since record-keeping is too dangerous.
In my opinion, you can't have it both ways. You can run an extremely secret "cell" like organisation in which every member knows only how to contact the next cell -almost like a resistance movement-, or you can run an organisation with a lot of specialists, an extensive knowledge base and efficient knowledge dissemination methods. But not both at the same time.
(*) Though this is counterindicated by the remark of Bashir "Section Thirty One. I kept thinking just how many people had to be involved in the conspiracy to infect him with the disease. Computer experts, doctors, security officers, admirals, clerks. In the end, I came up with at least seventy three people."
Considering the economics of the Federation, comparing Section 31 to the CIA, NSA, etc. is a moot point, since those organizations require large sums of money to keep going.
And never underestimate the stupidity of people... Section 31 has centuries of knowing how to manipulate people, either by threat, bribery, sense of duty, blackmail, or just finding people naive enough to think they are someone else, like actual Starfleet Intelligence.
And Starfleet may very well be sending scores of resources to them. Using STARGATE SG-1 as an example, the SGC was classified and the public never knew about it. Most of the government and military doesn't know, either, yet billions were funneled to them every single year. So I can see Section 31 getting loads of help.
Sisko indicates that Starfleet Command is aware of their existence in "Inquisition," which means they are protected and probably are supplied with resources, but just like RW intelligence agencies, they probably have all sorts of their own ways of generating revenue (or whatever the equivalent is in their era).
They seem to be able to tap into any Starfleet department when a need arises. Their numbers are probably small, but their clearance could be unlimited.
Of their access to technology, I don't think of them as ten years ahead, but all the different technologies that we come across in the different series get sent back to Starfleet for research. We don't see those technologies again, but if we take this to its logical conclusion, what do these people have access to? Not to mention things we haven't heard about. They might be able to time travel at will, or monitor the future, phase-cloak, travel in subspace, and travel faster than Warp, or perhaps live forever?
It makes wonder when we see Sloan pop in to DS9 and leave without a trace. They can't detect a ship or transporter, or anything. Did he come in through some kind of portal? Transwarp beaming? He pops in like Crewman Daniels pops in.
Lastly, how could they possibly know that the virus would work? Maybe Odo isn't the first changeling Starfleet has encountered. And was the virus meant to kill them, or just disable their ability to shapeshift? It clearly didn't prevent the war, as it took many years to start working.
Well, in DSC, Section 31 is quite possibly about one full century ahead of the rest of Starfleet, as the writers try to indicate with the James Bond badges that have this amazing secret communicator function.
At that point, S31 is 100% government. Perhaps they aren't so much ahead as the rest of the Federation is behind? That is, the government (as advised by S31) suppresses knowledge of discoveries and encounters, and so few are informed about the potential of mind transfer machines and the like.
Would that change when S31 goes into hiding? The UFP might still have a standing policy of not moving ahead any faster than absolutely necessary, chiefly because it doesn't pay - some are far, far ahead of them anyway, but encouraging the closest competition such as the Romulans is not a good idea. Likewise, the Royal Navy in the 19th century deliberately held back on innovations, hoping that its enemies would refrain from making the investment, too, until the time came - and at that that point, the conventional lead of the RN would mean more than the unrealized potential of superweapons not yet produced.
What remains of S31 at this point is unclear. "Inter Arma" milks the theory that it was the mad rantings of a single if well-informed SF Intel agent, and the rest of DS9 might in fact agree; its SFI doing the bioweapon with full government backing, not this long-dead S31 doing it without. But S31 might retain its 23rd century status, too, just under somewhat deeper cover. It being starved of resources is an option we need not choose.
Good example. Britain deciding not to start a naval arms race allowed them to continue their naval superiority longer and at much lower expense than building ironclads would have.
A lot less people would have died.
Well, everybody but Kevin Uxbridge dies. Whether during the war, or perhaps a bit after... The one thing I could see the Dominion practicing is population control in all its forms, including surreptitiously cutting down on procreation or life expectancy. Just a few extra lines in the global replicator system, and Bob's no longer your uncle.
Separate names with a comma.