11 The Inquiry Bell: Tip of the Spear
TIME INDEX: 19:42:04
EXAMINER: Toloruk, Rima, UFP Justice OLC
Thoughtfully rubbing his cheek pouches – a vestige of the heavy-gee Zakdorn homeworld – the stocky, intransigent, conspiracy-minded legal strategist Counselor Rima Toloruk of the Federation Justice Office of Legal Counsel addressed the Assembly.
“The Maquis fear the Federation’s development of quantum slipstream drive technology. It would in one fell swoop reduce the vitality of the Bajoran sector. As such, they used an inside agent to plant a Cardassian bomb to destroy the USS Perseus, in the hopes of either deterring Federation development of the technology, or in making it the tip of a spear in a new interstellar conflict; between the Maquis, the Cardassian Union, the Bajoran sector, and – the Federation.
“The Maquis no longer fight for freedom and independence from totalitarian oppression. They no longer act with righteousness. They are not the freedom fighters of yesterday. Now, they have become a bunch of self-serving, power-grabbing terrorists
“But why B’Elanna Torres? The answer is very simple: she has strong ties throughout the Bajoran sector and the DMZ – after all, she is a former Maquis; her hatred of Cardassians is well-documented. If the Federation develops quantum drive technology, sectorwide support for Bajor, Deep Space Nine, and the Bajoran Wormhole diminish, as well as its status as a vital port between quadrants. With such loss of interest, it would only be a matter of time for Cardassia to start throwing their weight around the Demilitarized Zone – and how much longer for them to turn their eyes to Bajor? Or so may think the hate-filled former victim society, and sympathizers like Commander Torres and Chief Grifahni.
“Perhaps this is not entirely my own assessment, or yours, or the distinguished members of the Board’s - but it is
a natural extension of Commander B’Elanna Torres’ view – Starfleet officer, former Maquis, and Cardassian Military Technology expert, currently suffering the ill-effects of exposure to trellium radiation.”
“For someone like her, the mere possibility of a return of Cardassian aggression is absolutely unacceptable – particularly if the Maquis were neutered as a force by the new Reaffirmation Charter with Bajor. With the Charter vote coming up, the Maquis would be under a time constraint to take dramatic action as quickly as possible – in the form of generating incidents between the Federation and the Cardassian Union. This would solidify their most compelling argument for autonomy – the belligerence of Cardassia. The Maquis would take action while they still could, and before the Cardassians even knew they were still at war. The Maquis would start a war they could win this time, in the cause of preventing a war they couldn’t win. This tactic, learned by Zakdorn schoolchildren, is known as ‘Shelling the Tents and Arming the Dead’.
“If the bomb device were truly
Cardassian, it would not have been of Cardassian manufacture – for the chance of discovery would be too great. If it were truly Cardassian, the fusion actuator would have been of Bajoran
design! Or perhaps even a Maquis device. Cardassians aren’t exactly known for their ability to strategize, as they’ve proven time and time again; but even they are not so stupid as to implicate themselves in a random, treaty-violating terror attack in the heart of the Federation, and trust in Federation investigative capabilities. Cardassians do not trust, even in their own judgment. As for motive? We have nothing.
“But take a look at what we do
“Commander B’Elanna Torres – a “former” Maquis, whose sympathy apparently never left the terrorist group, who had the means, motive and opportunity to plant the terror device – and the resultant effects of radiation exposure to establish her personal contact with the technology.
“Commander Tom Paris – a former Maquis, but a failed one, unfortunately involved only through loyalty to his wife. Yet another of his questionable decisions in a long line of them.
“Petty Officer Grifahni Jace – Whose father, the cryptic Grifahni Gage, despite the Board’s willful blindness, was a Maquis commando from the upper echelons of the Bajoran Resistance – and on Admiral Valxaen's most wanted list, if memory serves – and it does. In fact that
Grifahni managed to ire the Bajoran Provisional Government with some revolutionary acts of his own, that fortunately failed. His son – an exemplary Starfleet security officer, according to his academy instructors and commanding officer Captain Hanara – turned down several postings on Starfleet tactical cruisers, to waste what could be an almost respectable career by working security at a shipyard? Does that make sense? Today – I'm afraid it does.
“And then there's Sublieutenant Vexa – A young high-flyer, even for a Vulcan, with no visible ties to the Maquis. However, there can be no denying that it was she who instigated the security lockdown which prevented command access that would make short work of that actuator problem. Yes, and she also saved the ship and the lives of hundreds of people, not to mention the surrounding vessels, and prevented radiation fallout that would have devastated Mars’ ecology. That is, if she didn’t already know how to disarm the device
. Is she the hero she appears to be? Or is she an agent of an invidious conspiracy? We will be conducting a thorough investigation into her heretofore unblemished career; as well as a background investigation of this brilliant young woman – and
her family and known associates present and past.
“It is the Maquis who stand to gain by the discovery of the Cardassian signature on the terror device – regardless of who actually set the bomb. The answer to a hesitant United Federation of Planets that doesn’t want to upset relations with a struggling Cardassia; to a preserved Bajoran power, the Alpha-Delta Wormhole – the Maquis come out as the clear leaders of the sector. If the Perseus were destroyed, the Maquis mission to preserve the vitality of the Bajoran Sector would be accomplished. If the ship were saved, the Cardassians would take the blame, thus rationalizing more Maquis preemptive aggression against the specter of Cardassian expansionism. Either way, the Maquis would cement their position as a political and military force with increasing influence – before peace neuters them completely.
“By implicating Cardassia, the Maquis could hope to shore up Federation presence in Bajoran space and the DMZ; to help the sector rebuild, by diverting its limited resources away from defense and onto domestic reconstruction - as the nullified Dominion threat has reduced Starfleet presence there. They would no doubt become the political saviors of the sector. They would also have a handy excuse to do what they do best: kill Cardassians.
“The Maquis as a sector power have diminished; bereft of their once-righteous force; and as history has taught, they who have tasted power do not surrender it in times of peace.
“With the growing tensions of the Reaffirmation of Allegiance Charter controversy at home, perhaps their motives are ultimately political; with designs on the DMZ, the Cardassian Union, Bajor, and perhaps even the United Federation of Planets itself. Now there’s
a pleasant thought. For now? At the very least fear and the loss of military assets; and at most, the wholesale deaths of innocent people suffices to serve their interests.
“I strongly urge this Board of Inquiry to vote for the immediate General Courts Martial of these four officers as merely the beginning of a serious investigation into - a conspiracy for war.”