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section operatives


a secret government agency


Intelligence agency

Established in Starfleet charter


Section 31 was the code name of an officially nonexistent and uncondoned rogue agency within Starfleet Intelligence that claimed to protect the security interests of the United Federation of Planets. The group's historical precedent derived from the 22nd century, when an ancestral organization within the Starfleet acted covertly in the interests of United Earth.

Little information is available about the activities of the organization; one of its operatives claimed that Section 31 dealt with threats to the Federation that others did not even realize existed. Section 31's actions were autonomous and were neither controlled nor acknowledged by Starfleet Command or the Federation government. They have been described as the "Judge, Jury, and Executioner" of the Alpha Quadrant.


Section 31 was a sparse agency. It had no physical headquarters or base of operations. A select few are chosen to carry 31's near limitless knowledge of their operations. (DS9: "Extreme Measures")

Recruitment of new agents had to be done in secret. One method that Section 31 used to accomplish that involved kidnapping potential agents and putting them on a holodeck without their knowledge. (DS9: "Inquisition") No matter what, if potentials refuse or accept, they are in Section 31 for life. (ENT: "Divergence")


22nd century origins

Section 31 took its name from Article 14, Section 31 of the Starfleet charter, which allowed certain rules of conduct to be "bent" during times of extraordinary threat. At some point before 2151, a young Ensign Malcolm Reed was recruited by Section 31 or a predecessor of that organization. By the time Reed was posted to the starship Enterprise, he was no longer actively involved in covert operations.

However, in late 2154, when Reed was investigating the kidnapping of Dr. Phlox, he was contacted by Harris, the control operator to whom Reed had previously reported. Harris's organization had entered into a secret agreement with Klingon Admiral Krell: the Klingons abducted Phlox and forced him to aid them with a deadly plague, and Starfleet turned a blind eye.

Harris ordered Reed to slow down the Enterprise's investigation until Phlox could develop a cure. Reed complied, but his tampering was discovered by Captain Jonathan Archer and T'Pol, and Reed was thrown in the brig.

T'Pol reconstructed Reed's communication logs and discovered that he had been in contact with Harris. When confronted with this information, Reed confessed that he had been following Harris's orders. Later, Harris contacted Archer (as per Archer's earlier request of Reed). Later, Reed told Harris not to contact him again. Harris suggested that his organization's "recruitment policy" did not permit agents to quit, but Reed retorted that he had only one commanding officer: Jonathan Archer. (ENT: "Affliction", "Divergence")

In 2155, the organization agreed to provide intelligence on the Earth-based Human terrorist group Terra Prime to the NX-01 crew when it was discovered that Terra Prime was attempting to disrupt the creation of the Coalition of Planets and to drive all non-Humans out of Earth's star system. (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime"). Agent Harris implied to Reed that this information would come at a price to be exacted at a later time.

It may be presumed that when the United Federation of Planets was founded in 2161 and the Federation Starfleet established, the agency later known as Section 31 either transferred its purported loyalties to the UFP or was founded as an off-shoot of its Earth Starfleet predecessor – and, possibly, any potential Vulcan, Andorian, and/or Tellarite – counterparts.

23rd century activities

Section 31's activities in the 23rd century are largely unknown as the organization was not revealed to non-31 personnel until a century afterwards. There were however some significant events of the 23rd century with which Section 31 may have been involved. 24th century machinations

In 2358, Captain Erik Pressman of the USS Pegasus was assigned the task of testing an illegal interphase cloaking device which, according to William T. Riker, had been developed by a "secret section of Starfleet Security". (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")

''Although Section 31 was an invention of Deep Space Nine writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle in 1998, and therefore could not possibly have been intended by the writers of "The Pegasus" in 1994, it is likely that Riker's line in 2005's "These Are the Voyages..." was meant to suggest Section 31's involvement.''

In 2374, Section 31 attempted to recruit the genetically-engineered chief medical officer of Starbase Deep Space 9, Dr. Julian Bashir, after putting him through psychological testing on the holodeck of a ship to which he had been abducted. The commanding agent of that operation was a man known as Luther Sloan, who described Section 31 as an autonomous agency created as part of the original Starfleet Charter.

Bashir, appalled at the thought of an agency accountable to no one that regularly violated the principles upon which the Federation was founded, rejected Sloan's offer, though Section 31 continued to regard him as a potential asset. The agency then sedated him and returned him to Deep Space 9. Bashir alerted the command staff of Deep Space 9, including his commanding officer, Captain Sisko, and the officers of the Bajoran Militia, Constable Odo and Major Kira Nerys, assigned to DS9, of Section 31's existence and its attempt to recruit him. Odo likened Section 31 to the Federation's equivalent of the Cardassian Union's Obsidian Order or the Romulan Star Empire's Tal Shiar – the Federation secret police. Sisko and Bashir planned to use any future contacts with the organization as opportunity to expose the group and shut it down. (DS9: "Inquisition")

In late 2375, Director Sloan appeared to Bashir again, assigning him to diagnose the health of Koval, Chairman of the Tal Shiar, during an upcoming conference on Romulus. In the course of his efforts to expose Section 31, Bashir discovered that he had actually been manipulated by Sloan into convincing Romulan Senator Kimara Cretak to access Koval's personal database, on suspicions that Section 31 planned to assassinate Koval.

This gave Koval sufficient evidence to have Cretak arrested and charged with treason, which assured his own seat on the powerful Continuing Committee. Bashir learned that Koval was an agent of Section 31 after discovering Starfleet Admiral William Ross' complicity in the scheme.

It seemed Section 31 had been planning for what it regarded as a likely war with the Romulan Star Empire following the Dominion War. The agency projected that the Dominion was likely to end up confined to the Gamma Quadrant, the Cardassian Union occupied and left in shambles, and the Klingon Empire to spend at least ten years rebuilding from the damage left by the Klingon-Cardassian War, the Federation-Klingon War (2372-73), and the Dominion War. Section 31 regarded Cretak as a potential threat to the Federation in the post-war quadrant, as her primary loyalties were to the Star Empire's interests, while Koval could be counted on to influence Romulus in Section 31's favor. (DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")

Later that year, while researching the disease ravaging the Great Link and Odo, Bashir discovered that Section 31 had engineered the deadly morphogenic virus, infecting Odo during his time on Earth in mid-2372 in a preemptive attempt to neutralize the Dominion by committing genocide. Bashir lured Sloan to Deep Space 9 with false claims of having developed a cure. There, he used a multitronic engrammatic interpreter to link his mind and that of Chief of operations Miles O'Brien to Sloan's, allowing them to discover the real cure. Sloan committed suicide in an attempt to prevent the cure from being discovered, nearly killing Bashir and O'Brien in the process, but he was unable to prevent them from discovering the cure. He tried to lure Bashir with the one thing he couldn't resist: files on all of Section 31's operations, files that could expose it forever. Though it was tempting, O'Brien convinced him Odo needed him more. (DS9: "Extreme Measures")

The Federation Council later voted not to share the cure with the Founders as long as the war continued, even while Odo was fully cured. This appears to have been part of a systematic attempt to cover up Section 31's existence – Bashir's and Sisko's 2374 reports had prompted an inquiry at Starfleet Command that was quietly stonewalled within one year, indicating that someone at Command was protecting Section 31. The cure was later given to the Female Changeling by Odo so that she would surrender her forces. These events had ruined the organization's plan to eradicate the Founders. (DS9: "The Dogs of War", "What You Leave Behind")


Agent Harris (2150s)

Agent Luther Sloan (2370s)


Section 31 agents include the following characters:

Luther Sloan.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Enterprise

Malcolm Reed.
Star Trek: Enterprise


Star Trek: Enterprise

Although produced later, these episodes come chronologically before the below Deep Space Nine episodes.

"Terra Prime"

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges"
"When It Rains..."
"Tacking Into the Wind"
"Extreme Measures"

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