All right, folks. It's been a long time since I've posted a tale in this forum. I hope the delay will prove to be worth it.
This story has been burning in the back of my mind for a long time. Some of it has had to undergo rewriting, due to changes in the TrekLit universe. A nice sequence involving Empress Donatra had had to be rewritten, and the villains had to be changed. In addition--and this is embarrassing--I had actually finished the story in December, but due to a computer crash, the last 1/3 of the story was lost, and I had to write it all again!
(I had to take a long break to get my creative juices running again.)
Anyway, enough self-pity. This story is set some time after Zero Sum Game
, and after my tale "Serenity Prayer
" (my "epilogue" to David Mack's book). Other tales of mine important to this story are "The Cleanest Food To Find
" (my account of Ezri's first encounter with Dr. Simon Tarses), and "A Rendezvous With Destiny
" (my "quintissential Ezri tale"). There's also a reference to "From Risa With Love
This is probably the most ambitious fanfic I have ever written. It is not just an Ezri tale--it is just as much a President Bacco tale, a Section 31 tale--and even a Dr. Julian Bashir tale...though not in the way we might be used to.
The scope is wider, the implications more far-reaching. It could in a way be considered a "prequel" of sorts to DRGIII's upcoming novels, I don't know. We'll let fate decide.
Special thanks to Nerys Ghemor
, for having beta-read a scene about halfway in.
I hope you all enjoy!
And now...let us begin:
Star Trek: Aventine
Our Sacred Honor
Ezri Dax was alone.
Escorted by a team of Starfleet security officers—all stone-faced, and in strict adherence to protocol—she walked down the halls of the Palais de la Concorde, the seat of government for the United Federation of Planets…her hands cuffed in front of her.
They approached the entrance to the great hall of the Federation Council. The doors opened before them, and they went in.
The entire Council was in session. All turned to her in silence, as she walked up to the center of the chamber, the guards leaving her, standing at the entranceway in case they were needed.
Above the doors from which she came, there was the seating for the spectators. In the front row sat her senior staff—there was Sam Bowers, her first officer, his face blank; there was Simon Tarses, her Chief Medical Officer, his eyes narrowed, his lips tightened in barely-contained rage at the whole thing; there was Helkara, and Kedair, and Leishman, and Mirren, and the rest…. Hopefully, more would come—her friends from Deep Space Nine…in time.
Across the room, across the rows of seating where there sat the members of the Council, was a podium, where stood Nan Bacco, President of the Federation—who, Ezri guessed, hated her job right now. She didn’t dare show it—not here—but Ezri could imagine. They were both being watched…both being screened with the eyes of all.
The president spoke up. “This Council is now in session.”
Not a mutter, not a whisper was heard. Bacco stared Ezri in the eye—and the Trill could see the pain, and the regret. She met her gaze, mentally willing support. I can take it, Madame President…don’t worry about me.
“Identify yourself for the record.”
“Ezri Dax—Captain, U.S.S. Aventine
“Captain Ezri Dax,” Bacco said, “You stand before this hearing…accused of the following charges: First, of willful and knowing violation of the Starfleet Rules of Engagement, and Interstellar Law; Second, of willful and knowing breach of the peace between they Typhon Pact and the Khitomer Alliance; Third, of conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet Officer; Fourth, of conducting an unauthorized attack upon an non-hostile vessel of a foreign power, destroying the vessel in question; and Fifth…” the president paused for a moment, and resumed, “Of the unauthorized destruction of civilian lives thereof. How do you plead?”
Ezri stood still, keeping her gaze firm, her voice steady as she gave her answer.
“Not guilty—all charges.”
Bacco nodded, and announced, “Let it be so noted in the record. The hearing will commence tomorrow, at 0900.”
* * *