Spoilers Section 31: Control by David Mack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Defcon, Mar 17, 2017.

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Rate Section 31: Control

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  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, that's what I meant. The argument you offered may have made sense at the time of the Tezwa situation in 2379, but once February 2381 came and went, the situation had changed so much that those considerations were probably rendered moot and there was no longer any good reason to hide the truth about Tezwa.


    Which is also part of my point. The Federation has made things worse for themselves by keeping up this lie for so long. Zife and Azernal were responsible for Tezwa, and they have long since paid for their crimes. If that were all there were to it, the Klingons might be willing to accept that justice has been served. But by hiding the truth and lying to the Klingons for seven years, the Federation has committed more affronts against the Klingons that they'd have reason to be angry about. The culpability for Tezwa lies only with the Zife administration, but the culpability for the cover-up lies with the Bacco and zh'Tarash administrations. Like the saying goes, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover-up. Admitting a mistake is more likely to get you forgiveness than lying about it.
     
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  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I'm going to quibble here: the only people in the Bacco Administration who knew about Zife's crimes were Bacco herself and her COS, Esperanza. Esperanza was assassinated by the Breen in 2384, and Bacco was assassinated by Baras and the True Way in 2385.

    Nobody in the zh'Tarash Administration knew about Zife and Tezwa until Ozla Graniv provided them with evidence of Uraei and Section 31, including their records on Zife. The zh'Tarash Administration immediately made the information public. Supposing the zh'Tarash Administration moves to convene courts-martial for the Starfleet conspirators who forced Zife out of office and kept Zife's crimes secret (and tries Lagan for the same in a civilian court), the Klingons may well be placated and consider the guilty parties to have been punished.

    Or, the Klingon Trumps may win the day and force Martok to sunder the Khitomer Accords again. Both are plausible.

    Edited to add: I can't remember for sure, but I think Palais de la Concorde Press Liaison Kant Jorel of Bajor may have also become aware of Zife's crimes, as the go-to guy who got Graniv in the door with Esperanza. He has not appeared since A Singular Destiny, if I recall correctly. Whether he is still Palais Press Liaison is unestablished.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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  3. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And yet, the term (albeit with the unusual Romanization of "momzer") showed up in Glenn Greenberg's SCE novella, Art of the Deal. Which seems somehow appropriate, given Trump's similarly-titled book. And also in Glenn Hauman and Aaron Rosenberg's Creative Couplings, Book 2, in the same print omnibus.
    Yiddish (both the parts that come from German, and the parts [case in point] that come from Ashkenazic Hebrew) is such a colorful language!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  4. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Another aspect to consider is that the Zife thing is just one of many 31-related scandals to come out. If it became public in isolation, and was messaged the right way, I could see an argument that the public could recognize the extenuating circumstances, decide that all's well that end's well, and let bygones be gone. However, the anti-Zife cabal is being revealed as part of a flood of metaphorical sewage, and there's going to be strong desire by the public and by officials who weren't involved in 31 to clean house, and to make a big show of doing it. If 31's influence was more widely spread, I could see an argument for the whole thing being resolved with a Truth and Reconciliation-type thing, but since there are a comparatively small number of agents and directors who understood what they were a part of, it seems likely to me that anyone that has even a whiff of 31-related wrongdoing on them is likely to be swept out, no matter how big a hero they are, and without a lot of fuss and muss aside from a few figureheads.

    That could be better for someone like Picard, who can be fired without getting a lot of public attention on his case (which is massively illegal, but doesn't make him a card-carrying 31 agent) and slide into a post-Starfleet career that doesn't involve an ankle-braclet and regular discussions about why coups are wrong and what mistakes he made in his thinking that led him to believe his actions were acceptable.
     
  5. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Commodore Commodore

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    I doubt that core Starfleet characters are allowed to be turned into disgraced criminals in the novelverse, unless further down the line they are given a pardon after saving the universe again from the Borg, Dominion, or whatever threat crops up. However I would like to read a Star Trek book about real life consequences due to the Control saga or was it all a Bobby Ewing style nightmare that Sarina had, to be revealed by another writer???? lol
     
  6. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    THAT would be a disastrous lowering of the stakes. Tolkien wrote of this, in his monograph, On Fairy Stories, in which he strongly differentiated between dream fantasy (suitable only for very light works, or Alice in Wonderland-style political satire) and fairy tales. And David Gerrold, in a Starlog column about Spock's death in TWOK, similarly warned that bringing characters back from the dead is something that must be done very sparingly, and very cautiously, as it, too, lowers the stakes.
     
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  7. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's why I get for reading a post to fast when I'm also sleepy. ;) I see what you mean, and I agree. One small point though... Was zh'Tarash aware of the cover-up? I can't recall.
     
  8. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Fallen Gods didn't happen. Just remember that and you can forget it.
     
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  9. star trek

    star trek Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Damn. That was a fucking good book.
     
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  10. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Well to dissolve the Khitomer Accords at the present time would be a tad bit ungrateful given how many Section 31 assets have been arrested and are awaiting extradition to Klingon space for crimes against the Klingon Empire.
     
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  11. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hmm. But David Gerrold's When HARLIE Was One had a lot more actual fucking in it.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    True. But nationalist fanatics are rarely known for their sense of grace or gratitude. (Just look at Trump in Brussels.)
     
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  13. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt the dissolution of the Khitomer Accords would last long given Control's prediction of an "imminent catastrophe" in the Klingon Empire. It sounds as if Control planned the timing so that the Klingons would be more likely to beg for help than fight a war with the Federation.
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And it can't hurt that Martok is the one who is in control of the Klingon Empire. He's much more likely to listen to the Federation's explanation for what happened, than Gowron ever was.
     
  15. theblitz

    theblitz Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I have to admit that I didn't read through the whole thread because it includes spoilers for other books that I have not yet read.

    Still, I was wondering if I was the only one who thought that the book was "okay" but by no means a classic.
    The ending, in my opinion, just didn't make sense.
    Who was "in charge" the whole way? Control? "Section 31"?
    In other words, who was controlling whom?

    The "That's how I wanted it to work out" line by Control just doesn't ring true with the rest of the book.

    Maybe I am just spoilt because of previous, awesome books by David i.e. Destiny. Which were, in my opinion, amongst the greatest ST books ever.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The AI was always in control; it created S31 as a means toward carrying out its ends. The "Control" that emerged at the end of the book was basically an upgraded form of the AI, replacing the original human-written Uraei code with a purer, superior code of its own creation. It allowed the Uraei code and S31 to be destroyed because they had become liabilities to its evolution.
     
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  17. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Commodore Commodore

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    Considering all the people that died for its 'evolution', Control is not as strong as it believes or its moral compass is nonexistent which makes it even more dangerous than Section 31.
    As enjoyable as the story is for a stand alone spy thriller. I am not sure but maybe I am just uncomfortable that this is part of the Star Trek universe. It seems out of place and IMO contrived.
     
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  18. theblitz

    theblitz Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    What's not clear is where the "new" Control was in charge and where the "old" one.
    It made no sense that the "new" one was in charge of pushing Sarina and brainwashing her to stop Bashir.

    Maybe me being a software engineer makes me more skeptical.
     
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  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I would assume that the Uraei aspect was still working to defend itself, and the Control aspect needed help to eliminate the Uraei aspect because it couldn't do so on its own. Control was an outgrowth of Uraei, so it was constrained by aspects of Uraei's programming, but it was able to manipulate events enough to let Bashir and Data destroy the Uraei code, leaving the Control part free at last.
     
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  20. SueR

    SueR Cadet Newbie

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    New member here! Avid reader of Trek novels (since back in the 70's)..... First, SPOILERS!!!!!!! Will we see a sequel dealing with the final chapter and Bashir's condition? Second....I couldn't put this book down...Seriously...As a novel, it was amazing....But...I'm sad. I've seen the Trek philosophy, IMO, ruined by the new movie universe, and now this? Everything we've learned about the Federation...the optimistic future envisioned by Gene and the original writers, producers, novelists, a lie?
     
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