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At the end of ST:DIS 2x14, Spock recommends that

all officers remaining with knowledge of these events must be ordered never to speak of Discovery, its spore drive, or her crew again

in order to prevent the experienced series of events from unfolding again.

This left me deeply confused.

I understand that the data

gathered from the Sphere

was instrumental in

Control gaining self-awareness

Thus, the plan was to send

the ship along with the data, which is magically locked to the ship, off into the far future where it is out of reach.

So, what in the world is Spock's recommendation supposed to achieve in-universe?

Given that various methods of time travel are known in the 23rd century, it is conceivable no-one should know the data is on Discovery. But about the rest - surely, Starfleet cannot just deny the existence of the Discovery's crew. And what does the spore drive have to do with it, anyway? As far as I remember, it played a significant role during several events of the Klingon war, which are definitely noted in Starfleet's historical records, but it was completely irrelevant to Control's rise.

4

It prevents people from asking deeper questions

There's no evidence it exploded (hence the intense questioning). We're not told everything they told Starfleet, but let's assume they omitted the Sphere data debacle. Starfleet knew about Control but would be puzzled why Control was so focused on Discovery. Maybe someone would boot Control back up to ask. If they had notified them of the Sphere data, it would have been presumed lost. By pretending that Discovery was lost, in the absence of other data, Starfleet would stop asking questions (we've seen this elsewhere when convenient lies are used to cover up things)

It stops this Section 31 program

Only Ashe Tyler in Section 31 knows about the time travel program now (presumably, since Control purges the leadership of Section 31, the only other people to know outside of Pike's Enterprise) and he knows what's at stake if he chooses to pursue it as its leader. It's also safe to assume that this stops the Klingons from pursuing it as well, knowing that it could reawaken a monster. If they said "Oh, Burnham flew her Time Suit and Discovery to the 32nd Century", someone would say "Really? We need one of those" and then you're back in the same mess, with people trying to steal time crystals and a temporal cold war looming.

  • "Starfleet knew about Control but would be puzzled why Control was so focused on Discovery." - if that's the case, wouldn't Starfleet be extraordinarily interested in probing deeper and thus see any ban on mentioning the events again as highly counterproductive? I see why some parts of this ban (not mentioning the spore drive still seems completely arbitrary to me) could help Spock and the others maintain their cover story, but Spock cannot base his recommendation to Starfleet on this reasoning. – O. R. Mapper Apr 22 at 18:32
  • @O.R.Mapper But if Discovery were destroyed, how would you do that? You can't find the ship and booting Control back up could be dangerous. Moreover, how do you know Control didn't destroy Discovery because it was in the way? It did that to all the Section 31 crews. I agree it was awkward, but the idea was that, if they presented a united front, in the absence of other evidence, they wouldn't go looking for Discovery – Machavity Apr 22 at 18:37
  • It also stops Control from simply playing the long game and going into hiding until Discovery shows up again in the future. – Brian Ortiz Apr 22 at 18:51
  • @Machavity: From Starfleet's point of view, the Discovery is assumed to have been destroyed, but a few question marks remain (no debris etc.). In the best case, it has indeed been destroyed, in the worst case, it has been taken over by Control and gone into hiding. It seems vital for Starfleet to make sure said worst case has not happened, and the best way to ensure any trace of a surviving Discovery is immediately correctly identified and reported to Starfleet appears to be to widely circulate the knowledge about the ship and its special capabilities. I agree "if they presented a united ... – O. R. Mapper Apr 22 at 20:46
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    @sabbahillel: That's a rather unlikely twist (could Control really be so stupid to make a (slightly upgraded, yet still comparably fragile) human body a single point of failure?), but even though it's probably true as per the writers' intention, there is no way for Starfleet to know that. – O. R. Mapper Apr 23 at 23:09

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