WARNING: Book Spoilers Ahead!
One thing I’ve always loved about Star Trek is its contemporary social commentary, and that is as true with most of the novels I’ve read as it is with most of the T.V. series and movies.
Revelation and Dust is the first book in a new series of novels titled “The Fall”, where a singular event signals the possible downfall of the Federation and its Khitomer Accords allies with the opposing Typhon Pact, a fall into war, a fall from grace.
The novel starts with the dedication of the 2nd Deep Space Nine (a Starfleet Frontier-class station), some two years after a terrorist attack by rogue members of the Typhon Pact destroyed the original, killing some 2,000 Federation citizens. Members of the Khitomer Accords alliance, such as the Klingons (whose Klingon Qang-class warships have been in conflicts with the Typhon Pact), Ferengi, and Cardassians arrive on the station. Surprisingly, even members of the Typhon Pact, the Romulans and Gorn, arrive for the dedication as well. Just before the dedication of the new station can be completed, the Federation president is assassinated, and evidence eventually implicates the Typhon Pact as the perpetrators.
The storyline, in some ways, vary obviously parallels the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In a previous post, I commented on some of the moral and ethical struggles the United States and Federation have faced and continue to face in light of these attacks.
The Federation now faces a choice, will it fall from grace and declare war on the Typhon Pact, when never in its history has it ever declared war first? Will doing so make a mockery of the peace and principles that the Federation so espouses, the very reason for its creation in the first place? By the same vein, the United States faces similar moral, ethical, and even legal questions, such as: What actions are justifiable to protect itself? Spying on one’s allies (even though those same allies spy on it as well)? Violating the Geneva conventions when it interrogates captured suspected terrorists? Spying on one’s own people, in violation of its own laws?
At what point do our actions to protect ourselves lead to the destruction, the fall, of our core principles, those tenets that we value above all else, those virtues that make us who we are? John F. Kennedy once said, “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” Is America at the edge of its “fall”, or are we merely at a “stumble” in the continuing road that is history? I had a long talk with a fellow lover of history the other week, in which we both discussed how our very conversation on this and other matters may have been paralleled over a century ago by two British gentlemen in the years before the Great War, when the British Empire reined supreme over the world, unsurpassed by any other contemporary nation …