In DS9: Extreme Measures, Section 31 operative Luther Sloan seems to be able to travel great distances in short periods of time. It appears he can travel at faster than warp speeds.

Some commentators write that Section 31 in Star Trek Discovery possibly has access to unconventional transportation methods and there are certainly a number of 'faster than warp' transportation methods seen in Star Trek.

What transportation method is employed by Section 31 operative Luther Sloan in Deep Space Nine?

  • 1
    What about his appearance in that episodes implies his ability to travel faster than warp speeds allow?
    – Valorum
    Oct 22, 2017 at 11:14
  • 1
    If you take the TNG Where no man has gone before numbers requiring the old Enterprise-D at maximum sustainable speed (warp 8.2) taking 300 years to get home from the M33 galaxy, this means the Enterprise-D could travel the meager 60 light years to Bajor in 3 days. The show features ships which are 50 times as fast as the old lady. Is it thus unreasonable to expect that a hardcore spy working for the highest developed super villainous spy agency who is not in the least concerned about energy consumption or damages to the time-space fabric or other trifles could do the trip in a few hours?
    – Damon
    Oct 22, 2017 at 15:28
  • @Damon - Assuming he turned up later the same day, that means that he'd be traveling five times faster than the Voyager at top speed. Not an impossible speed (per se), but a speed not available to Starfleet.
    – Valorum
    Oct 22, 2017 at 22:23
  • @Damon - That episode has always bothered me. They hand-wave the massive speed difference in the TNG manual by pointing out that in the intergalactic medium, warp speeds are dramatically different
    – Valorum
    Oct 22, 2017 at 22:25
  • @Valorum: Overall, I'm not much bothered. If you take the numbers in the Voyager tech manual, although it is complete bullshit like all warp speed figures, the Voyager would do that trip in about a week. So that's within line of what you said (5 times faster). If you look at e.g. the Defiant, which is basically a cannon connected to a warpdrive with a firepower that rivals ships which are easily 15 times as large, why not build a saboteur/assassin vessel that is 5 times faster than Intrepid-class ships? Sloan does not go on peaceful exploration missions, after all. Environment, energy, ...
    – Damon
    Oct 23, 2017 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


It's not confirmed in the episode what method he uses to travel to the station since his arrival is (as always) mysterious and sudden. We can reasonably assume it was a ship/transporter combo since Odo's security teams would undoubtedly be looking out for Sloan if he came through a main airlock but there's no indication that whatever method he used was notably fast.

You may wish to note that in the original script Bashir states that he sent his message to Starfleet Medical (the one that inspired Sloan to come to DS9) multiple days earlier, giving Sloan ample time to have received the message via channels and then come to the station via normal warp travel, possibly on a cloaked Section 31 ship or perhaps on a simple chartered vessel.

BASHIR: There came a point where I had to admit that my research was going nowhere. I wasn't going to find a cure in the lab. So, the chief and I decided to look for it in Section Thirty-one itself. A few days ago, I sent a false message to Starfleet Medical announcing that I had found a cure.

Your confusion might come from the fact that Bashir only tells Sisko about it after the plan is well underway.

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