Thanks, everyone! I can only hope I can succeed in meeting your expectations....
Okay...now, I suppose this tale is also something of an experiment. With that in mind, I took a cure from KRAD himself, and his use in A Singular Destiny
of transcripts from (among other news sources) the FNS--and I couldn't resist throwing in everyone's favorite Trek-universe reporter.
(Note: the character of Verna Talkon was actually created by me in a kind of prompt/game by another poster in this forum, some time back. He's no longer with us, as it were, but...a nod of thanks to Garm Bel Ibis
--I think that's how the name was spelled--for that "Federation News Service" thread....)
After that, a formal "introduction" to Madame President himself, along with a good friend of hers we've known since KRAD's A Time For War, A Time For Peace
Star Trek: Aventine
Our Sacred Honor
“This is an FNS Special Report:
“Greetings, everyone, I’m Verna Talkon. In an absolutely
shocking turn of events, a Starfleet living legend is now under arrest, and being held before the Federation Council. Here to comment is our man in the field, Jake Sisko. Jake?”
“Thank you, Verna. If reports from the Palais are to be believed, Captain Ezri Dax, one of Starfleet’s rising stars, is being held for allegedly attacking an unarmed Breen vessel at the border of their space. There’s been a lot of grief from them about this, and their allies in the Typhon Pact, needless to say, are
not happy. The Breen Confederacy has labeled this, quote, ‘A disgraceful act of war, which the Federation must take action to remedy immediately, lest we and our allies resolve to do so ourselves,’ unquote.
“Ezri Dax, captain of the
U.S.S. Aventine, has made a name for herself in recent years—first, through becoming the youngest captain in Starfleet history, due to the death of the
Aventine’s captain and first officer; and second, through her heroic actions contributing to the final defeat of the Borg, last year. Since then, she has been hailed by many as an inspiration. This story, however, some fear may prove to become the proverbial bloom falling off the rose.
“Now, this hearing is a curiosity, in that it will be conducted by the entire council, rather than the Judiciary Sub-Council. Sources tell us that this controversy has been deemed far too important to limit to a smaller committee. There are, however, voices which have
accused the Council as simply wanting to make a ‘show trial’ out of the entire incident. The president has no comment so far, but we expect word from her in the press conference tonight.
“Whatever the reason…this will be open to the press, and you will hear more from me on this as the story unfolds. Jake Sisko, FNS News, Paris.”
“Thank you, Jake. And you can count on FNS to cover this debacle from start to finish. This…is FNS News
* * *
“…and I’ve said that I will not comment on this hearing, other than to make it absolutely
clear that a full-scale investigation is being held as we speak, and that the rule of law will be followed to the letter.”
Nanieta Bacco, President of the United Federation of Planets, barely got the words out before another reporter spoke up.
“Madame President—what about the claims that this trial’s being held in public to appease—?”
, I will not comment further about this hearing. I don’t know about any claims, and they’re probably false, anyway—don’t read too much into them. As I said, due process is being conducted, and I will—”
A flurry of noise as the reporters all spoke up at once—
Bacco raised her voice even louder, “And I will tell you
more as the facts are revealed. Now—”
“Madam President—one thing: some people are speculating that you had ordered Captain Da—”
“I said, I will tell you more, as the facts are revealed. That’s all. Thank you.”
Bacco left, amid the flurry of reporters, Federation Security agents in tow.
I feel like I want to
kill Dax right now, for all the trouble she’s putting me through. I
sincerely hope for her sake it’s worth it—because if it’s not…
“What was that woman thinking, anyway?”
Bacco turned to acknowledge the younger woman, her chief of staff. “Espy.”
Esperanza Piņiero nodded in response, walking alongside her president and mentor. “Madam President…”
“You were saying something?”
“I was asking what on Earth that woman was thinking.”
“I wouldn’t jump to conclusions, all right?”
“Well, it doesn’t look good, Madam—”
“Skip the ‘Madam President’ for a minute.”
“All right…Nan. The Council’s surrounding this thing like wolves—”
“Look, I don’t give a darn about the Council, or their bloodlust. Ezri Dax is not
a murderer. Whatever she did…she had to do, as far as she’s concerned.”
“With all due respect, Nan—”
…you’re honestly going to tell me that this
woman—who’s one of four good reasons we’re still alive to bicker like this, in case you’ve forgotten—that she’s capable of going back on everything she’s ever fought for?”
“Madam President…with all due respect, that’s what everyone said about Ben Maxwell—or Admiral Ross, for that matter.”
The second name made Bacco stiffen a bit. William Ross’s resignation had caused something of a controversy—and Bacco was the only one to whom he’d given any indication of his reason. He had implied that he was responsible for the disappearance—and, allegedly, the assassination—of her predecessor, Min Zife.
To this day, regardless of how she felt about Ross—and she certainly didn’t have a high opinion of the man—still, only a fool would honestly believe that he had somehow
pulled off the death of a president without any questions, any evidence—alone, anyway. The admiral was a proverbial “fall guy”, and she knew it, and she knew he’d have known she’d know it.
But still…it was just a curious mystery, at best. It had no bearing on anything to come….
Bacco shook her head. “Espy…have you ever met
“Well, I may have caught a glimpse of her at DS9, back when she was a counselor, but…we never talked.”
Bacco stopped walking, and turned to her old friend. “Well, I
have. I gave that girl a medal a year ago, for saving all our necks—and from then on, I’ve made it a point watch her closely—and let me tell you something, right
Piņiero said nothing, waiting for her to continue.
“That woman—whatever else she is—is a person of honor
. I’d say she’d give most Klingons a run for their money. She is not
the kind to go around starting wars, because she ‘feels’ like it. She knows what her duty is. She had
to have a legitimate reason…you understand?”
The other woman sighed, and nodded.
Piņiero cleared her throat. “Madam President…be that as it may, you may not have a choice on this.”
“Whether she’s guilty or not…the last thing we need is to give the Pact an excuse for war—”
“Let me deal with that, Espy. For now…we have more important things to worry about.”
The woman nodded again. “As you say, Madam President.”
“Now…I’ll be off for the night. You can handle things for that long, can’t you?”
Piņiero nodded, and walked off.
As Bacco headed for the presidential shuttle, she found herself praying that her trust was well-founded.
* * *