When Tuusan and professor Greely arrived at the meeting that Thursday, Tuusan was a little nervous. After all, the professor had said that one of the admirals attended the meeting. He wasn't really sure what that meant. Perhaps he was simply there to offer advice. Of course, there was another part of his mind, the almost feral instinct he had acquired living on a pirate vessel. That part of him was screaming that it might be a trap, and he had to constantly remind himself that this was Starfleet, not the Tal Shiar. Eventually they arrived at a corner coffee shop, and went through the main room to a private room at the back.
Most of the participants were already there. There were two Med students, someone from special ops training, an admiral, as promised, Two other professors, and a man at the back of the room wearing a standard uniform, but all in black instead of the usual red, gold, or blue.
"Tuusan," Greely said, "I'd like to introduce you to some friends of mine. the that's Tom and Joseph, they're third year medical students. Jason there is in Covert Ops training. This is Vice Admiral Jacobs, and I believe you know Professors Talinar and Sirtis.
"And I," came a voice from the back, "am Drake, Franklin Drake. The man stood up with a faint grin. "and you are the one who wrote a masterpiece defense of assassination. Or should I say, 'Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Times' an interesting title to be sure, and one that grabbed my attention. How many of you read the copy of this paper?" He asked, looking around the room. They all nodded including, to Tuusan's shock, Vice Admiral Jacobs. "What did you think?" Drake asked the room at large.
"Well... " one of the med students shifted in his seat before going on. "it seems to me that while the paper is pragmatic and logical in its approach to the issue, it ignores the ethics, or lack there of, of assassination, which is, at its root, nothing more than a well planned murder. To shoot and kill a man on the battlefield is one thing, to stalk him, and relentlessly pursue him even into his own home, and then to shoot him as one might hunt and shoot a dangerous animal is something else entirely. There's a certain measure of decency that wouldn't allow it, at least in most federation citizens."
The other med student sat up straight in his seat. "On the one hand that may be true, but what is proposed isn't the removal of morality and decency, it is rather the willful abandonment of higher ideals, for the good of the whole. As federation citizens we take pride in our ideals, they have sustained us through tough times. They inspire us, but in some few cases, they are not enough; they are too constricting to be of use. it is in those instances when a man or a woman who is willing to sacrifice those ideals, could change the course of history for the better. the timely removal of a dangerous foe is hardly the downfall of the Federation. It could, in fact, be its salvation.
"Personally," began the Covert ops trainee, Jason, Tuusan remembered, "I can see where it might have merit. but an assassin would need to have a good handler. You can't train someone in that kind of work and not put a safeguard in place. Even if the chance of him turning were very small, it would exist. Even the remotest possibility of that would be enough in my mind to justify never using it as a means of warfare."
Vice Admiral Jacobs nodded. "I'm inclined to agree on that. The very idea of such a weapon becomes more sinister, when you realize that it would have to be either someone we know would never turn, or someone we could get rid off if he ever became a liability.
Greely thought for a moment than nodded. "I suppose that that would be the major practical concern. In essence to create such a thing would be to make a weapon out of living flesh. it would have all the inherent weaknesses of a man. Passion, concern, love, joy- those things would have no place; however, it is not only the good emotions that must be surrendered. One would also have to surrender hate, anger, and jealousy." Both of the other professors nodded at Greely's words, and Tuusan noted that Drake was actually taking notes.
One of the med students stood up. "Um... well, Tom and I, we were wondering... what's it like? Neural programming I mean."
Tuusan thought for a moment. "Well, I suppose it's similar to genetic engineering, only quite a bit more limiting. for instance, I can't make a man stronger, but I can make him think better. Mostly it's used to repair neural damage. You see..." For the next hour or so he covered the basics of neural programming theory. eventually the meeting broke up, and he made his way back to the cadet barracks and sleep.