Not What But Who Is Section 31?

Jessica Dodge
TV Star Trek
TV Star Trek

The new alternate reality of Star Trek has us quivering with excitement. We can’t wait to see more. We want to see how the events unfold for this new Enterprise crew. But this specific crew isn’t dealing with the adventures we have come to love in the original timeline. Its path takes us in a whole new direction. So, how is it that some events, like “The Mudd Incident” and “Trouble with Tribbles,” are being played out behind the scenes? Is there a secret covert operation that is occurring beyond the view of the audience? If so, who, or what, is leading these universe-altering missions?

How do we know?

There are events that are occurring without the direct influence of the Enterprise crew. The events that I am referring to are, for lack of better words, “fixed points in time.” These occurrences must happen to further the story. But who is doing it? Who is conducting these missions? How does that person know which events must happen?

Section 31 is not a “location,” it is a secret department within Starfleet. This departmental section has various offices around the world. That is how secret things work. To remain secret at this level, each department is made of a production crew that tackles a different component for a production, and each crew installs that component. Building in this way keeps the selection of people who “know” very small. It secures information and technology from espionage or terrorism.

Section 31 isn’t just for building secret warships. Section 31 also contains data gathered by time travel. Section 31 has a “police force,” Temporal Investigation Agents, that maintain the timeline to the best of its ability. These agents and the “black ops team” has reared their ugly heads more than once throughout the franchise. They always asked the same question: “How do we know you didn’t change history?”

temporal agents

Good question. There isn’t any way for anyone in Starfleet to know if the crew of the Enterprise changed history. There was no set precedence. There was no way to check for it. There was no way anyone in any power structure to know anything to the otherwise. Starfleet didn’t sit on its rump, powerless. They have been working on a way to create some form of database to ask these questions. But how can a database work like that? How can a computer be created that can’t be touched by time? A computer can be as fallible as a person. If timelines get altered, everything gets altered.

How do we secure time?

This computer would have to exist in its own pocket of space, not touched by outside time or events. This computer would have to be secure. It would have to have its own, secure and “off grid” power source, in a Faraday cage of epic proportions. And it could only be manned by a person with impeccable character and super engineering skills.

There is only one man in the Star Trek franchise that qualifies for this position. And it so happens that it was he, who accidentally, discovered the static wrap bubble necessary to accommodate the requirements. This man is Wesley Crusher.

Wesley and the traveler

Wesley Crusher had to have created the computer and the database. Wesley has the ability to time travel without a ship. He knows the equation, and the additional skills necessary to operate the static warp bubble. This bubble operates like a “pocket-of-extra-dimensional space untouched by time” required to house the main computer and database. Since this database holds the events as they should have occurred, Wesley can determine the “fixed points in time” necessary to realign the flow of time in the direction for the most positive outcome, without directly interfering with the current timeline.

Khan’s attack on the department of Section 31 under the Kelvin Memorial Archive did not destroy the time computer database even if that computer was at that location. As I said, the computer in question would have be in a super Faraday Cage, with its own power source. If the computer was under the Memorial, the explosion would not have touched it. Section 31 departments may have access to the information from the main database. But it is unlikely that the physical computer was actually located on Terra (Earth).

The Access of Information

Having access to the information, Admiral Marcus was able to investigate the timeline after the Romulan attack on Vulcan. The information he got was so frightening that he resurrected a long “dead,” King of Eugenics super being, to build a giant warship beyond what the Defiant was built as, way before anything was supposed to be. What did Admiral Marcus find in the database that scared him that much? Being the head of Section 31, he had loads of information regarding many races and civilizations, including the Borg. He also would have known that the Borg, held no threat to Terrans, because of the how the timelines played out. So the threat he discovered, is worse than the Borg threat. The threat is also far into the timeline, that Admiral Marcus risked everything the Federation had been accruing for a couple hundred years, just to get a jump start on that threat. A timeline, the audience has not seen yet. Is this new reality that timeline?

Even after all of that, there is a larger question that hovers in the room like a giant, white elephant. “Where is Wesley?” Is he helping by directing top brass to cover the events that should have been covered by the Enterprise crew? Is Wesley behind the scenes, trying to set straight what Marcus screwed up? Or did Marcus find out about Wesley, the static bubble, and the physical main frame and steal it? Relocate it? Did he close the door?

Wesley Crusher is there, somewhere. He is a time traveler. His character is no longer linear. And just like Marty McFly, Wesley during all of his adventures would eventually end up in this alternative reality and try to fix it. So, just because Wesley has yet to be “born,” does not mean that he isn’t in this reality. Wesley still exists within the all the timelines as an adult.

Time portal

The database is in a computer outside of time. That means the computer is accessible to all time periods and realities. The door of this room or section wouldn’t be a “door” we would normally think of. It would be like a temporal transporter, portal, or device, which are scattered throughout the franchise. “The City on the Edge of Forever,” “We’ll always have Paris,” “Time’s Orphan,” “Relativity,” “Cold Front,” “Shockwave,” “Carpenter Street,” “Azati Prime,” “Zero Hour,” and “Stormfront.” Some of the episodes explain the temporal doors as “advanced technology of an ancient civilization” but really, it could also just be future Starfleet creating temporal bases or platforms in the past.

This computer would also be crucial in not only to police temporal anomalies or distortions in the Federation. It would also protect the timelines from other species who fiddle with time, Romulans, Suliban, Borg, and many others. Starfleet can’t trust enemies not to sabotage or exterminate entire species or civilizations. Starfleet would also need to track the unnumbered amount of effects of temporal radiation found in space on accident. There is no telling what shenanigans can occur if there isn’t some type neutral force tracking these occurrences. What is built must be maintained. Who better than the person who understood and developed the equation for the Static Warp Bubble that protects it from outside forces, Wesley Crusher.

Who is Section 31?

If Wesley Crusher is truly gone, it still remains that the computer and the database is not. Section 31 still has the information locked away somewhere. And it is the department that is conducting the required missions for the Enterprise Crew. It may not be for the audience to know that they are pulling strings. It is important to know that it is going on, otherwise, the story doesn’t make much sense. “The Mudd Incident” is a perfect example, as well as “Trouble with Tribbles” — events that rippled the pond of the universe. Kirk was not a part of that in the new reality. Someone had to do it for him. So, who is Section 31?

Jessica Dodge
I love all things Pop Culture and Myth. You can find more about me and my ramblings at
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