Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Star Trek Discovery Drastic Measures

Go To
An unthinkable crime

Drastic Measures is a Star Trek written by Dayton Ward. It is the third volume in the series of Star Trek Expanded Universe novels set in the Star Trek: Discovery novel continuity. It is a Prequel to the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, The Conscience of the King

It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony's governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.


While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It's hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they're too late – Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony's besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand "Kodos the Executioner"

It was published in February 2018.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Kodos is a broken beaten down man, wracked with remorse in the TOS episode. The Kodos of the book is only concerned with his escape and survival. It's also shown that he was a mysterious, terrifying figure with a Cult of Personality before he carried out his massacre.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptational Origin Connection: Captain Georgiou is the Starfleet officer leading the relief efforts to Tarsus IV.
  • All for Nothing: As in the episode. The massacre that got Kodos the moniker 'The Executioner' happened when the colony he governed lost most of its food supply. The remaining food wasn't enough to hold until ships bringing food relief were expected to come, so he killed half of the 8,000 colonists according to personal eugenics theories, making a hard decision so that at least some colonists would survive. And then the first of the relief ships (the Narbonne in this case) arrived early, meaning nobody had to die at all.
  • Big Bad: Kodos the Executioner is the instigator for the plot and the subject of a massive planet-wide manhunt.
  • Black Shirt: The Federation citizens following Kodos appear to be the 23rd century equivalent of this, lionizing Kodos and his extremist eugenics views.
  • Busman's Holiday: Of a sort. Lorca is an experienced Starfleet Security officer who took the posting on Tarsus IV as a chance to relax a bit and do some career broadening. After a few years on the colony, he ends up leading the manhunt for Kodos and his followers, being the most trustworthy and experienced security specialist on the planet.
  • Call-Forward: At one point, Georgiou's team considers using a stolen ship's command prefix codes to seize control remotely.
  • The Cameo: James T. Kirk and Thomas Leighton both appear in a scene as teenagers. Kirk's depiction implies that he is very clever and quite a bit for his mother to handle while his father is offworld.
    • The un-named Constitution-class starship also racing towards Tarsus IV is eventually revealed to be the USS Enterprise, commanded by Captain Robert April.
  • Cold Equation: Kodos believes executing half the colony will allow them to avoid a famine. His followers are a little too eager to carry out his plans, though.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Lorca is deeply disillusioned with the Federation at the end due to how quickly its citizens resorted to mass murder.
  • Death Faked for You: Kodos hacked into the colony's medical records to swap his DNA sample for that of one of his followers. By random chance, that follower is nearly incinerated in an explosion, leaving the Starfleet investigators nothing to identify the remains by but those medical records. The narration implies that the assistant wasn't going to survive long either way.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The efforts to find Kodos invoke the manhunt for Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War. It also has elements for the hunt for Osama Bin Ladin.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who has watched "The Conscience of the King" will know that Kodos escapes the manhunt, the only question is how.
  • The Faceless: Kodos is only known to a handful of people as he did a coup with the help of his followers but avoided public attention.
  • Framing Device: The Four Thousand: Crisis on Tarsus IV by Samantha Moulton is a history text about the events.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Lorca. Georgiou is vocally concerned that Lorca might be tempted to stop being good altogether, but can't afford to keep a man of his experience off the case.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: While Lorca is implied to have never been exactly fun or laid back, it's clear that the events of the book could be a Start of Darkness for him, making an implicit comparison to the Lorca of the Mirror Universe we saw on the show. Some of the idealistic Starfleet officers end up making some very questionable ethical calls as the manhunt continues and the casualties rise.
  • It's Personal: Lorca lost a number of friends to Kodos' attack on the lost Starfleet outpost.
  • Karma Houdini: Kodos gets away in the end, see Saved by Canon.
  • The Laws and Customs of War: It is mentioned that the use of landmines and explosive booby-traps have long since been outlawed in the Federation. When Kodos's followers kill a Starfleet officer with one, the Starfleet team responds by making one of the prisoners take point to help them find any other traps.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Surprisingly averted for most of Kodos' followers. They are only interested in avoiding prosecution and fully willing to fight the Federation to survive. The handful interviewed years later as part of the Framing Device are considerably more remorseful a decade after their arrests and convictions.
  • Never My Fault: Kodos and his followers are ruthless murderers who don't take any responsibility for their actions, at least not until after they are arrested and convicted for their part in the tragedy.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Kodos executes half of the colony of Tarsus IV in order to stave off a famine. Then Starfleet arrives with relief supplies, literally, the next day.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Much of the problem could have been averted if Starfleet had been more open about the possibility of getting relief there.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lorca is Red, wanting vengeance for the murders of his girlfriend and two of his subordinates, while Georgiou is Blue, seeking to stabilize the situation and allowing the justice system to run its course. Both are perfectly aware of this dynamic, and discuss Lorca's emotions and intentions when he's leading the manhunt against Kodos.
  • Retcon: This deals with a number of Technology Marches On issues for the original episode like why no one knows what Kodos looks like when, presumably, he would have ID in the Federation on file. Also, why they couldn't do DNA testing on his remains.
  • Saved by Canon: Kodos is destined to escape and live on the run for decades after. His story is a Karma Houdini Warranty one, though.
  • Social Darwinist: Kodos and his followers select those who will die based on their usefulness to the colony and health.