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Old July 14 2012, 09:42 PM   #91
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

My condolences, hadd001--I hope your wife is doing well.
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Old July 17 2012, 12:20 AM   #92
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

All right, folks--now, the final statements begin.

BTW--let me state for everyone that Gleer's basic points may not be in the wrong, in and of themselves.


Star Trek: Aventine
Our Sacred Honor
Chapter 23



Nanietta Bacco, President of the United Federation of Planets, knocked three times with her gavel. “The Council is now in session,” she called.

All were silent. All were seated as before. Up there was the press box, with the new kid, Jake Sisko. Over there was the visitor’s box, with the crew and certain friends of Captain Ezri Dax. The captain herself sat at her stand, beside the podium…where Bacco herself stood.

“Day of reckoning” indeed, she mused. It certainly feels like it.

“As of this moment,” Bacco continued, “The session will be devoted to statements to be made by any member of the Council who so chooses—or the captain, if she so chooses.”

She herself wasn’t really supposed to make a statement. It wouldn’t “look good”, or something. Besides…she’d probably come to regret what she would say. Politically, at least.

Another silence. Many in the Council looked around…waiting.

Gleer in particular seemed qute tense. Despite herself, Bacco didn’t blame him—the captain’s smack-down of his antics probably didn’t help his image, any. Ezri had accused him of twisting facts and ignoring the truth, just to get at the president. And knowing Gleer…there was no way he was going to let that go unanswered.

However…Bacco knew all too well the value of having the last word. And she knew that Gleer would not speak unless he was sure no one else in the Council would.

No one spoke. And no one seemed to be preparing to speak—all attention was focused on the Tellarite. Bacco saw Gleet lock eyes with the captain…as though daring Ezri to speak first.

Ezri met his gaze evenly, with what Bacco wagered was the patience of eight past lifetimes.

Finally, Bacco spoke up. “Are there no statements?”

At last, Gleet rose.

Bacco nodded. “The chair recognizes Councilman Gleer, of Tellar.”

The Tellarite returned the nod. “Madam President,” he began, as he stepped down to the floor, “Members of the Council…and all within the Federation’s borders…we are all gathered here, this evening, to discuss and deliberate over questions of the rule of law—and matters of justice, all the while looking for a solution to preserve the piece, such as it may be….”

Bacco kept her sigh internal. Bera chim Gleer had a reputation among the Council for being a master of the filibuster—using as many words as possible, not moving on to the next point until every element of his current one had been made. Bacco wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d tried to “run down the clock”, driving Ezri Dax out of much time to make her statement.

Fortunately, he apparently wasn’t in that much of a “filibuster” mood, tonight.

“…And let me state for the record,” Gleer’s gaze intensified, “That nothing I have said or done during these hearings—no matter how controversial or unsound my methods may be—have held any other motivation, other than this, and this alone: the best interests of the United Federation of Planets, and the ideals for which it stands.”


That’s not saying much, Gleer, Bacco mused. As far as you’re concerned, embarrassing me could darn well be in what you call “best interests”.

“Let me state—let me make myself clear and certain,” Gleer said, raising his forefinger (such as it was) up in emphasis, “It is my firm and sincere desire that no one view my words, and my actions, as an attempt in any way to discount or deny…the great service that Captain Ezri Dax has, in many previous events provided for the Federation. No one can discount or deny the role that she has played, saving all our lives. No one can deny her devotion to the protection of the Federation—that, alas, is not, nor has it ever been, the issue at hand.”

He tread the floor of the Council, meeting gazes of many a colleague. “The issue at hand, fellow members of the Council, is merely this: the rule of law, and the values and principles upon which we base our common society. When Starfleet was chartered, re-organized into the service of the newly-formed United Federation of Planets…its first rule of conduct—its Prime Directive, as it was so named—was clear…”

He went on, going into the need for, history of, and applications of the Prime Directive, following it with: “Over the years, various captains have felt and expressed the need to violate that directive—on no more grounds than this: ‘It’s the right thing to do.’

“In the 23rd century, one captain in particular—one James Tiberius Kirk—became the archetype of this trend. While constantly expressing his desire to uphold the Directive, in spirit, he also expressed the need to violate it in cases of extreme need—such as when a culture was facing destruction. Often, Starfleet Command, after analyzing the situations at hand, came to agree with him that that time, an exception was warranted, so as to prevent a greater evil.

“But, of course…when you give in a little, you are tempted to give in a little more…and a little more…and a little more, until one day—if you allow yourself to continue, that long—you find that the rule you had been assured would survive in spirit…means nothing, now. And, of course…we all know of the record of James T. Kirk, disobeying not just the Prime Directive…but the chain of command, not being above circumventing the wishes—no, the demands—of his superiors, so as to achieve some ‘greater good’. As many of you know, one of the most blatant examples of this was when he had stolen his ship from spacedock—sabotaged a fellow Starfleet vessel—disobeyed orders—violated an established quarantine…all to possibly save one man.”

Bacco saw Ezri stiffen at this, her eyes blazing. Of course…what Spock told me—his friendship with her. This has to be hard for her to hear.

“Now,” Gleer quickly added, “Let me again be clear: I am all too aware of the service Ambassador Spock has provided for the Federation, in these many decades since his revival. However…my point involves the aftermath of such. Let it be remembered, my colleagues…that Admiral Kirk himself offered to stand trial—before the Council, as Captain Dax stands, here. Not only that…but he had also offered to plead ‘guilty’. He—the noted maverick, the rebel, the man to whom rules and protocol came second to ‘what was right’—he offered to fully bear the consequences of his actions. He understood—or at least, he had come to understand, by that time—that no one…is above the law.

“And—what happened? Then-President Hiram Roth dismissed all the charges but one—and for the remaining charge, what was Kirk’s punishment? He was ‘demoted’ to captain…and given command of the next Enterprise! A punishment? Hardly…never mind that, again, Kirk had proved willing to accept the consequences of his actions.

“But—after all, Kirk was a hero! And heroes, it would seem…are above the law.”

He went on, bringing up other examples—of Starfleet heroes who, by his argument, violated the law. He went on, to include the present day—including, interestingly enough, a violation committed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard simply to save the son of a member of his crew—“Again, this is not to deny his great service to the Federation”—and even violations committed by the then-captain of the Voyager, the late, lamented Admiral Kathryn Janeway—“And this is said, with all respect for a fallen hero—but remember, again…was she above the law?”

“All of this, fellow councilors, prove one important and undeniable fact: toleration for bending of the rules, if left unaddressed, gradually increases over many years…until toleration for bending the rules, becomes toleration for breaking the rules. And allowance for exceptions—and more exceptions…becomes a new established mindset. The exception…becomes the rule.

“Some may say, now, that I am making this situation into a test case—a challenge for us to prove that no one is above the law. To that, I say—yes…it is a test case. However…I think you will all come to agree it is not I who made it that.

“But even besides this question—the rule of law—we must decide another one. Namely this: our values…our principles…the standards of conduct that make us who we are—are they simply words to us? Or should we live by them, and hold all within our borders—even our heroes—to them? After all, shouldn’t our heroes come to embody those values and principles we claim to hold dear? So if they refuse to abide by them…should we continue to hold them as heroes?”

He went on to discuss the value of life—innocent life being precious, above all else. He argued that whenever innocent life enters the equation, restraint must always be exerted. “And how dare anyone contend otherwise? I don’t think anyone will, here, tonight.”

He spoke of the need to maintain the peace—“and I don’t have to remind you all of how vital the fulfillment of that need has become.” He noted that, in these turbulent times…one spark could light the proverbial powder keg.

Finally—after all these points had been laid out, in such excruciating detail…Gleer straightened up, and said, “I solemnly ask of all of you—each and every one of you, members of the Council—to consider all I have said, and take nothing for granted. You all know the facts—consider them well, and let your own minds form a conclusion. But as far as I am concerned, there can be only one conclusion: the past is the past—we must deal in the present. Regardless of past heroism, or service…no one is above the law. And regardless of what anyone may say…our values and principles—they, my friends…are what make us what we are. We are not our enemies—we have the values we do, to set ourselves apart. If we are to dare make exceptions to them, in the name of what is ‘necessary’—set aside what is right, for the sake of ‘convenience’…then, we must conclude, those values mean nothing!

“And so, my colleagues…we must always be vigilant—vigilant to preserve our principles, and hold them to be true. If we abandon them, or justify those who abandon them…we abandon all within us that is…the United Federation of Planets.”

He inclined his head, and declared, “Thank you…that is all.”

And he walked back up to his seat, sitting down, looking, from what President Bacco could see, very pleased with himself.


* * *
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Last edited by Rush Limborg; July 17 2012 at 12:32 AM.
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Old July 17 2012, 08:26 PM   #93
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Gleer's closing statements sound like an allegory to watching out for judicial activism. As he continues on, though, he seems to be trying to confuse the issue now that we know what really happened.
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Old July 18 2012, 12:50 AM   #94
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Basically. In part, I wanted to show that his side of the issue does have a point--if applied in the proper context. He's right about the rule of law, I suppose--but the question is: is that really the issue at hand? In claiming that it is, and using the examples he did...he's assuming something--something very vital.

Certainly, I doubt many people can disagree with the words of his basic points...but there are certain premises that he's basing them on--premises that, to be honest, have taken part in defining various debates taking place today, just as much as they're defining the debate at the center of this tale.

Look closely at the second half of his closing statement, where he goes of on the subject of "values and principles"...and see if you can figure out what the problem is.
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Old July 18 2012, 12:51 AM   #95
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Okay, folks--now...Ezri Dax makes her statement. Now, the lines will be drawn--the "day of reckoning" comes....


Star Trek: Aventine
Our Sacred Honor
Chapter 24



Ezri Dax sat silently, waiting her turn, as she listened to Gleer’s speech. It was unsurprising—the sort of thing she was expecting, on values and common standards, and the rules. Still…she had been put off by the reference to Spock—her friend, almost a mentor for the spans of about a week, who had helped her through an emotional trial. Had James T. Kirk not…

But that was the past. Now, Gleer was done.

The present said, “Thank you, Councilman. Are there any further statements to be made?”

Ezri waited for a moment. Not surprisingly, there were no takers.

She rose to her feet, turning to President Bacco. “Madam President,” she said, “With your permission…I would like to address the Council.”

Bacco nodded. “Of course. The chair recognizes Captain Ezri Dax…of the starship Aventine.”

“Thank you, Madam President,” Ezri replied, as she stepped down from her stand.

She walked to the floor, a short distance from the president’s podium…her hands clasped behind her back, to keep them from shaking. She surveyed all—the Council…and the visitors—her crew, her friends…and Julian Bashir, Sarina sitting beside him. All were watching her, in silence.

She looked up at the press box—Jake was there, with his crew. She knew all too well…she had an idea how many others were listening.

She gathered up all her courage—all her training, all her will, all the experience of Lela, and Curzon, in all the times they were called upon to speak before so many others—and, releasing her hands, mentally instructing herself to relax…she began.
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Old July 18 2012, 12:51 AM   #96
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

“Ever since I was born,” she said, “I have been a daughter of the Federation. That’s how my parents raised me—no matter where we lived. They raised me with the principles on which the Federation was built—the principles of freedom, tamed by personal responsibility. They raised me to be true to who I was—to be true to myself, to hold my honor as sacred…and my integrity as my greatest possession, never to be taken for granted.”

She paused for a moment, swallowed, and continued, “And when I was old enough, I enrolled in Starfleet Academy. When I did so, I swore an oath as a cadet, telling myself, and everyone around me, that my first duty was to the truth—that I would hold myself to the highest standards of honesty…and integrity. And believe me—throughout my career, as a counselor and a commanding officer, I have tried with all that I have—all that I am—to stay true to that promise I made…the pact I made, with Starfleet, and the Federation.

“In this hearing, I gave you all my word that I would tell you everything—however disturbing it might be, however hard for all of you to accept. I came here, not knowing what would happen because of what I’d say—but I took that oath as a cadet, to tell the truth, for a reason…and when I raised my hand before this hearing, I took another oath to tell the truth—and I have done so, no matter how painful it would prove to be, for me or for anyone else—because I have never forgotten that lesson of my parents…to hold true to myself, and the principles I hold dear.”

She found herself easing up a bit, more comfortable in herself as she went on, as she looked about the room, “But more than that—all my life,” she said, “I have been taught that these principles were worth defending, no matter the cost, and that they should never be abandoned for the sake of convenience—that the lives and the freedom of those who live among us are to be protected from all enemies. That was why I put my life, and the lives of my crew, on the line, a year ago—when the Borg came to destroy everything we hold dear. And that is why I’m here, standing before you all, right now.”

Ezri paused for a moment, for effect. Satisfied, she continued: “Two hundred and twenty-one years ago…five worlds—five powers, united in these principles of honor and freedom—came together, after a long, terrible war with the Romulan Star Empire. Those five worlds—Earth, Vulcan, Alpha Centauri, Tellar…and Andor—they came together, with the promise that they would protect one another, and stand together as one power, one United Federation…and with that, the promise that it would be a beacon of freedom for all people…shining a light to the rest of the galaxy.”

With the last sentence, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of melancholy—a sadness shared by many others in the room…as many in the Council stole a glance at an empty seat among them…an empty sear of one of those founding worlds, now no longer alongside them…no longer the friend, ally, and member it once was.

“Since then,” Ezri went on, “This United Federation has now grown to almost two hundred members strong…and to the best of my knowledge, that promise has never been overturned—not legally. That promise—that the Federation would hold true to itself, and to its principles of liberty and justice for all; that it would preserve, protect, and defend those principles, no matter what happened—that promise, more than anything else, is why Starfleet was entrusted with the duties it has: to explore the stars…and show those ideals to anyone who’d see them—to be that shining light, to inspire others to follow our example—and to defend those ideals, and show to all who watch us…that our ideals are worth protecting, and worth fighting for.

“Everyone,” she said, “It’s because of those ideals, that I’m standing here, today.”

Ezri stiffened, and her lip tightened, as she took a few steps forward, “I’m standing here—right now—because I took action to defend those who couldn’t defend themselves. Is it wrong to do that, now? Is it wrong to take action against a ship who is heading towards the homes of millions of innocent lives, refusing to stop, refusing to explain themselves, refusing to show how noble their intentions are? Everyone—ask yourself…why am I standing here for that, when captains throughout history have done far worse than I have, and gotten little more for it than a slap on the wrist?

“Well,” she said…her tone turning bitter, “I’ll tell you. I’m standing here—right now, before you all—because that day, I saw what so many people, today, refuse to see—that so many in the Typhon Pact wish to do us harm, one way or another—and that they want to break us, any way they can.”

She looked around at the members of the Council, and her hands spread a bit in honest exasperation. “Is…is it wrong for me to say that, here, right now? Well, then—why don’t you look at all they’ve done, this past year? Taunting us—smearing us—trying to paint everything we’ve done as an ‘insult’, or some permanent outrage to them. Each and every one of you has noticed that—” Her voice steadily rose, to a near shout “—but instead of taking a stand, and refusing to be bullied by their cries of ‘You are insulting us!’ and ‘Do you want to start a war?’—you all seem content to appease them one more time, and put me here, in a show trial, open for everyone to see, to make it clear to them that we don’t want to start an incident—that we don’t want to offend them, and give them an ‘excuse’ to start a war—”

Gleer shot to his feet at this, “Dax, I will NOT—!”

Bacco’s gavel gave a loud slam. “The Councilman will allow the Captain to speak!”

The Tellarite’s nose flares…but he sat down.

Ezri’s heartbeat was racing at the outburst…but she managed to calm herself down enough to go on. Please…let that be the last time. I—I don’t know if I could handle another.

The voice of Spock came, once again. Be strong…Ezri Dax….

She nodded, her inner will restored…and looked for a moment at Gleer. “Look,” she said, in a quieter tone, “I think the problem is more than that. A lot more.”

She turned, to look at the others, pacing the floor slowly. “Everyone…I’m standing here, accused of violating our ideals—the ideals that I’ve lived my life by. Now…at first, I couldn’t understand. Was I guilty of that—did I betray myself, without realizing it?

“But then…I thought about it. And finally, the answer hit me.”

Ezri stopped her pace, still surveying the Council. “I’m being accused of violating our ideals…simply because, I think, we’ve forgotten what they really mean. I think the problem is—over the years, we’ve started to take the meaning of those principles, and the reasons for why we have them, for granted. So what happened? We’ve added to them…and turned them into a complicated, twisted code—a code which has taken what we were, and transformed it into something else: something shapeless, and terrible…and dangerous, to ourselves and to others.

“Our founding principles told us to not start wars—that we should use our power only for our defense, and the defense of our allies. The code, however, tells us to go out of our way to not look aggressive or forceful in any way—to prove to everyone else that all we want is peace, at any price. Well—ask the former members of the Maquis how that turned out.”

She saw a handful of members stiffening at this. She knew which worlds they were from…worlds once on a long-contested border with the Cardassian Union.

With this, Ezri turned to the direction of the representative from Bajor—a former general, Krim. She walked toward his side, and added, “Our founding principles told us to not interfere in the internal development of a foreign culture. The code tells us to stay out of any incident that doesn’t directly involve us, even if it’s between one power and another. Apparently, we’re not even allowed to stop another power from interfering in another’s development—which means the Prime Directive only applies to us!

“Well…” her gaze hardened, “Let me tell you that when we follow that code, we spit in the face of the things we claim to hold dear. How many cultures could we have saved from invasion—or destruction—from a foreign power…but didn’t, because it ‘wasn’t our affair’? Oh—you think I’m being extreme? Just ask the Bajorans, and see if they think I’m overstating my case!”

It worked. Krim’s gaze fell…doubtless remembering those long, terrible years of the Occupation—and that terrible time, when he had temporarily fallen prey to the propaganda of The Circle…out of nothing less than bitterness towards a Federation that had neglected to help his world when they could have…not coming in to help, until long after it was too late.

Ezri hated having to bring up such a wound, with all the pain and trauma of the past…but she knew, all too well, that it had to be said. This wasn’t just about her—or about Krim.

She turned to survey the Council again, as she resumed her pace. “Our founding principles told us that life is precious—and that we must protect the lives and freedoms of those under our protection. The code—well, look where it’s brought us, right here, right now. It’s told us to view the lives of our enemies as more precious than our own. It’s told us to give rivals the benefit of the doubt, until you’re backed up by them against the wall. It’s told us to put the gun down first—even if the other side hasn’t given any indication that they’ll do the same. Trust, but don’t verify—” Ezri smiled bitterly, “That would just ‘insult’ them.”

Her smile faded, as she went on, “Our founding principles told us to respect other points of view—not agree with them, but respect them. And the code? It tells us to go out of our way to make sure we don’t offend others—and thus…it tells us to be perfectly willing to suppress the truth—for them, and for ourselves.”

Ezri stopped, and felt her voice rise again, “Well, let me tell you all something that we all—including me—should have figured out, a long time ago: that code…is destroying us! It’s a cancer—eating at us from the inside, in a way that the Dominion, or the Borg, or the Typhon Pact could never hope to do. I see it…and I believe with all my heart that the president sees it, and is fighting that cancer, wherever she does.” She paused, and looked around, her voice a plea. “Don’t you see it?”

Silence. All watched her, saying nothing.

Ezri nodded slowly. “I think you do…but to be honest—many of you don’t want to admit that it’s there. Many of you want to cover your eyes, and tell yourselves that nothing is wrong—that we’re not corrupting ourselves, that we’re just staying true to our values and principles. And I don’t blame you—believe me, I didn’t want to accept it, either. I didn’t—I couldn’t, not until a few days ago…when—when someone warned me of what might happen, here.

“I don’t blame you, but…the truth is, because of this denial, you can’t bring yourselves to admit that the code we’ve adopted is destroying what our principles truly are—and that in order to follow that code…we have to abandon our ideals.”

She paused for a moment, and added, “When I fired on that ship, I was protecting our people—I was defending our lives—I was defending our freedom—and our principles, our ideals. But in order to do that…I had to break the code. And that is why I’m here—because right now, we’re struggling not to accept that you can’t have both—that you can’t continue with this code, and expect the Federation to survive.”

She shook her head, bitterly. “We don’t want to accept that—and so, you put me here, and tried to smear my name, and the honor of my crew—because my decision was proof that we can’t stick to this code, and expect to preserve who we are. The truth is…”

Ezri stiffened, almost afraid to go on. She knew if she said it…there would be no turning back.

Well…I’m at that point, already. I have to go on.

She said, “The truth is—I am not the one on trial. You are. The Federation is on trial—and the verdict you pronounce on me, when this is over…will be reflected on all of you. If I’m to be found guilty—that guilt will be yours, not mine. And believe me…my conviction will be the final proof for everyone to see—that in order to stay ‘safe’, this once great society will give up anything, even the freedom of a Starfleet Officer whose only real crime…was to take seriously her oath to protect the lives of those in the Federation who can’t protect themselves.”

Ezri tightened her lip for a moment, and added, “It has to be said. The Federation is dying…and if we refuse to see this, and refuse to fight to bring it back…it will deserve to die.”

Even President Bacco reacted to this—her eyes widening, her body tense.

Ezri nodded sadly, as she looked to her president. “I know. Believe me…I hate saying that, as much as all of you hate hearing it. But it is dying. It’s dying, because we’ve forgotten what brought it to life in the first place—and what made it the great empire of freedom it once was…and, I believe, can be, again.”

She took a few steps towards President Bacco. “But…if we are so far gone, that this Federation would be willing to convict me, and punish me, for doing what I could to keep it safe—if this Federation would rather allow the Breen, and their allies, to have their way with us—if it would rather be comfortable in its self-imposed ignorance, than take a stand and fight for the ideals it was founded on—well, then…” Ezri fought not to close her eyes, “…then this is a Federation I can’t permit myself to live in. If all that’s true—then the Federation I knew…the Federation I loved…is already dead.”

Bacco’s lip tightened…it looked as though she were fighting a quiver.

Ezri took another step, and her voice rose again. “But even if it is dead: I refuse to believe that it can’t be brought back. I know it can! And that’s why I’ll continue to fight—to preserve, protect, and defend the United Federation, as I knew it, and remember it.”

She turned, to face not the Council, not even her crew…but the camera of the press box, as she spoke, now, to all who would listen. “And…and even if that fight is hopeless, I’ll press on, as my tribute to what it once was, in defiance of what took its place. And I’ll gladly accept whatever penalty you wish to give me…and take it, in memory and in gratitude of what the Federation gave me, all my life—a chance to live, and to hold true to myself.”

She surveyed the room one last time, and said, “It will be my tribute to those heroes of the past—to Jonathan Archer, to Erika Hernandez, to Christopher Pike, to James T. Kirk, and all the rest. To my father…now dead…who—who used the freedom he was given to the best of his ability, inspiring others to do the same.”

Her vision blurred, and she blinked back the tear…as she found herself hoping, praying, more than anything else…that he could hear her.

She went on. “To those heroes still alive, who’ll continue this fight, with or without me: to Nan Bacco…my president...whom I know loves the Federation as much as I do, and has led it with honor and dignity such as I have rarely seen…and who deserves our greatest support, in these troubled times.”

She didn’t toss a glance at the president—she knew, as Bacco knew, that it would be too much.

“To Admiral Janice Rand,” Ezri continued, “My mentor, who guided me through the Academy. To Benjamin Sisko—my dearest friend, who has been through more than any of us can imagine—” she felt a smile, “And to his son, a new voice of honesty and truth.”

She could sense his flinching a bit, up in the press box, while the others in his team smiled at him.

“To Ambassador Spock—whom I hold to be a second father…and without whom, I would have never had the courage to speak as I have.”

This time, it was harder to suppress the tear, but she managed to, somehow.

“To my fellow captains, beside whom I’ve been proud to serve—William Riker, Jean-Luc Picard, and all the rest.”

Ezri smiled again, and went on, “To my crew…my friends, Sam Bowers and Simon Tarses, and those others under my command. To my friends from Deep Space Nine, who believed in me, when I couldn’t even believe in myself—Kira Nerys, Miles O’Brien, Worf, Quark…and a man that I know doesn’t want to be named…but I know he is listening, right now…and knows that I’m speaking of him.”

She could feel his gaze…and his acceptance of that. But that didn’t make it any easier, as she fought to suppress a quiver.

“For all of them, and for countless others…” her voice broke, “And for all of those who can sleep safely tonight, because of what I, and all those others, have done for them…” her eyes blurred, and this time there was no suppressing it, “…for all of them, I dedicate my acceptance of whatever ruling you give me—” she felt a tear escape “…and I pledge, to all of them, my life…my fortunes…and my sacred honor.”

She stopped, there, and her gaze fell, with a second tear trickling down her cheek.

She nodded, and said in a near whisper, “Thank you.”

And Captain Ezri Dax turned, and walked back up to her stand, where she sat down, meeting no one’s gaze.

Silence filled the room. No one spoke for what seemed like an eternity. At long last, the voice of Nan Bacco called out, “Are—will there be any further statements?”

Silence, again…and this time felt even longer.

“Thank you,” Bacco replied, sounding a little relieved. “We will assemble tomorrow, for the verdict.”

The gavel rang out—and many in the Council seemed to rush out, to get out of there as soon as possible.

Ezri remained seated for a while longer…her gaze focused on one man, as he slowly got up, and walked down…and out, Sarina close behind him.

With this, Ezri looked up to President Bacco. The older woman met her gaze, and seemed to swallow. No words…just a moment of silence.

At last, the president stepped down from the podium, and Ezri rose, and walked to the security guards, to be escorted back to her cell.


* * *
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Old July 18 2012, 09:55 PM   #97
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

You have wonderfully captured what is actually happening in our own society right now. It was not what I expected to read. But it is what I needed to read. Thank you.
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Old July 18 2012, 11:13 PM   #98
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

^ Yes, it was quite a speech.

The line between compromise and appeasement is thinner than most of us think. Gleer made a valid point that even heroes, who are all but deified, shouldn't be considered to be above the law. But given what the reader knows about the provoking incident, his words don't seem relevant to this case. As for Ezri, as she pointed out, for her to (figuratively, of course) get the chair is positively idiotic considering those who have gotten just a slap on the wrist for far worse.
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Old July 19 2012, 02:30 AM   #99
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

hadd001 wrote: View Post
You have wonderfully captured what is actually happening in our own society right now. It was not what I expected to read. But it is what I needed to read. Thank you.
Wow...thank you, sir, very much.

Enterprise1981 wrote: View Post
^ Yes, it was quite a speech.

The line between compromise and appeasement is thinner than most of us think. Gleer made a valid point that even heroes, who are all but deified, shouldn't be considered to be above the law. But given what the reader knows about the provoking incident, his words don't seem relevant to this case. As for Ezri, as she pointed out, for her to (figuratively, of course) get the chair is positively idiotic considering those who have gotten just a slap on the wrist for far worse.
Thank you, my friend. Yes--with Gleer, I made a concious effort to put myself in his shoes--make his statement sound as rational as possible, while still giving elements of unlikability (his apparent dismissal of Kirk's sacrifices to rescue Spock, for example).

With Ezri, I took a hard look at the many faults I and others (such as my friend, Nerys Ghemor) have noted to have taken hold of the Federation by the TNG era. There is a hypocrisy and self-righteousness among many in what we've seen in its leadership which, I felt, stem from one basic central problem. And as hadd001 pointed out, it is very relevent to our society, today.

Anyway, considering how Ezri's insight--and sense of idealism--led her to basically deconstruct for Worf the problems of Klingon society...it would be only appropriate that she would come to do the same, for the Federation.
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Old July 19 2012, 02:40 AM   #100
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

And now...back at The Ranch...


Star Trek: Aventine
Our Sacred Honor
Chapter 25



Sorak leaned back in his seat, relaxing a bit—merely a bit, so as not to stun L’Haan with the “emotionalism” of the act. On the screen, Verna Talkon of FNS was discussing the statements with a panel of experts.

L’Haan turned off the screen, her features unreadable.

Sorak let her. All was said that needed to be said. Except…

“Might I remark,” Sorak offered, “That Captain Dax has, as far my own grasp of logic suggests…proven her usefulness.”

L’Haan rose to her feet, gathering the series of padds she had apparently laid out prior to her communication with Sarina Douglass.

Sorak tilted his head. “After all…she herself has effectively articulated—”

“Sorak,” L’Haan turned to him, straight and rigid—clearly, as far as Sorak was concerned, struggling to suppress a…“feeling” of disgust, “In the future, I would be most appreciative if you would kindly refrain from interfering in the activities of my division, from this moment forward.”

Sorak’s eyebrow rose. “Have I?”

“Nor will I take kindly to your presuming to dictate to me how to conduct its affairs.” L’Haan paused, and added, “Do I make myself clear?”

Was she conceding defeat? Or…or was this a means of preparing him, in her own way, for a refusal to assist Dax, and leave things to the Council?

At any rate, he had done what he could. Sorak rose to his feet, and nodded. “Perfectly clear, L’Haan.”

L’Haan nodded. “I am grateful. Now you will kindly allow me to my own undertakings.”

Sorak returned the nod. “Of course.”

He walked to the transporter pad, but stopped…and turned to his fellow director.

“I can assure you, L’Haan,” he said, “All of the efforts I have engaged in—disquieting to you though they may be—have all been conducted only for the security of the Federation.”

“And I can assure you, Sorak,” L’Haan replied, “That I have never conducted my affairs with any other motivation. I have respected you, deeply. I had thought that you viewed me in the same regard.”

Sorak stared back at her, meeting her gaze. He said, “I had, L’Haan.”

“I can also assure you, that rhetoric notwithstanding—my decisions will be grounded in nothing less.”

Defensiveness, L’Haan? That hardly becomes you. Surely you are not preemptively defending an action you feel I would disapprove of?

On the other hand…

Sorak shrugged internally. He would know, soon enough. And so, he simply replied, “For the Federation.”

L’Haan nodded. “For the Federation.”

And Sorak stepped onto the transporter pad, and the beam enveloped him…to leave L’Haan alone with her decision.


* * *
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Old July 20 2012, 06:44 PM   #101
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Heroes shouldn't be above the law. No one should be above the law, which is why I disapprove of Section 31, even if their motives are sound. But what defines a hero? Surely it is the doing of good deeds. Not just great deeds, for that can simply mean major or significant ones, but good deeds. Moral ones. A law that restricts heroism is an unjust one.

As usual, Rush, well written and compelling. And expressing world views that even this bleedin' heat liberal can agree with.
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Old July 20 2012, 10:07 PM   #102
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Thank you very much, Badger!

I think this tale, more than anything else, shows a vast spectrum of this debate. The Breen, Gleer, Bacco, Ezri, 31...all sides have a vested interest in what is effectively a battle for the Federation's soul.

I love your line, "A law that restricts heroism is an unjust one." I think that defines things quite nicely.
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Old July 20 2012, 11:24 PM   #103
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

I'll be honest with you Ezri has never been my favorite character. And in the novelverse she was my least favorite Captain. And at times I think there is a lot of Erzri worship in your stories. But after reading this I have a couple of things to say.

This was a great story. The only critic I have is that you may have tried to tie Ezri to too many characters that are unrelated to Ezri. For example Spock. I don't remember her ever having any interaction with him so that connection felt forced to me. I think that in this case the use of Sisko may have been a better character to encourage Ezri when she needed it. After all Dax is his best friend and your story could have easily fit within the one the novels have for him. He feels all his friends are suffering because of his actions. Maybe, irrationally of course he would feel responsible and at least be there for the trial. Another option was instead of "hearing" Spock encourage her it could have been one of her former hosts.

That being said everything else is awesome. You've tied in a lot of the threads from the novels and I actually felt that this could have been Star Trek Typhon Pact: Our Sacred Honor. I know you constrained at the moment since you are using the novel universe for your story. But after thinking about it I kinda would like the idea of Julian and Ezri getting back together. Great use of Section 31, President Bacco, the Federation Council. Rush, I didn't think anyone could do it. The professional authors couldn't do it...but you've made me a Ezri fan. That speech she gave was brilliant. And now you've won a fan of your writing.

Thanks for sharing this gift freely. Definitley a 5 out of 5 stars story. Well done.
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Old July 20 2012, 11:51 PM   #104
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Well, Halliwel...the story's not over, yet. Still, I'm glad you're loving it.

As for Spock--well, that's a connection to my previous story, "A Rendezvous With Destiny". If you haven't read it, yet--I strongly recommend it, to get an idea of the source for their deep friendship. Everything here, flows from there.

As for Sisko...I feel that's grounds for its own story--and I don't want to write anything to conflict with what the writers will do with him in the future. Also...I personally wouldn't have been able to "buy" Sisko being confident enough to give Ezri any stength or wisdom, what with what he's going through, as of the period this tale's set. I basically imply, in the beginning of Ezri's sequence with Julian, that Sisko's in his period of isolation. I doubt he's do much more than lock himself in his ready room to watch the proceedings (as he does, here).

All that being said--I am extremely grateful for making you an Ezri fan--and a fan of my work. Again, I strongly recommend "Rendezvous," if you want to get a "feel" for her friendship with Spock. (Note--I am a BIG shipper for Julian/Ezri, and a major element in my tales is arranging things so they possibly can come back together, some day...)

Thanks for reading!
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Old July 21 2012, 03:50 AM   #105
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Re: Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

And now...let's close the week, with a heart-to-heart.

I'm pretty sure everything will be concluded by the end of next week. In the meantime...


Star Trek: Aventine
Our Sacred Honor

Chapter 26



Nan Bacco stepped into the hall where lay the cell of Ezri Dax. The girl was sitting there, in silence, looking deep in thought…looking not at all confident of a victory. She didn’t look like she expected a failure, but…she sat on the edge of her cot, her posture tense, staring intently at the wall across from her in the cell.

Poor girl, Bacco mused. Not deserving any of this…and yet, here we are.

Ezri turned to see the president—and once again shot to her feet. “Madam—”

“At ease and as you were, kiddo. We’re going to sit right back down anyway,” Bacco smirked.

Ezri nodded, no more at ease than before, as she looked off, pursing her lips. She didn’t sit down—still clearly in “respect mode”.

Bacco turned to her guards, with a quick nod. “Beat it.”

The two muscle men snapped to attention, nodded, and walked out of the hall.

Bacco walked up to the panel, and deactivated the force field. She entered the cell, and sat down on the cot. With a smile, she patted beside her. Ezri nodded slowly, and sat down.

“How are you faring, now?” Bacco asked.

Ezri sighed. “It…took a lot out of me.”

“I can imagine. Ezri—I’ve seen quite a bit in my lifetime, but…” Bacco grinned, “It was one heck of a speech.”

Ezri chuckled. “I’m not—well, I don’t want to get my hopes up that it’ll make much difference.”

“It’d better—you had me convinced the Federation was on trial!” Bacco snorted. “What in the Bird’s name made you pull that out of a hat?”

Ezri shrugged. “I don’t know. It…well, just all that I’ve experienced, these past few days…everything…”

Bacco shrugged. “Well, speaking for me—after that little thing? If they take you down, I’m certainly doing some soul-searching. You know how many dang times I’ve been saying, ‘Sometimes…I wish I never had this job’?”

“I…can’t imagine.”

Bacco put a hand on the girl’s shoulder. “Ezri…word of advice: if you’re ever convinced to run for this office…?”

Ezri blinked. “Ma’am?”

“And you actually win.”

“Um…”

Kill—yourself!”

Ezri chuckled. “I—I don’t have any plans for that. Any of that.”

Bacco gave a firm nod. “Good.”

“Besides…” A mischievous glint appeared in Ezri’s eyes, “You’re not going anywhere, from what I hear.”

Bacco lowered her hand. “Now, listen, kiddo—you’d better not be insolent.”

Ezri’s gaze lowered. “Sorry, Madam—”

“Ah, forget about it. I’m just throwing a barb out.”

Ezri nodded. “Noted.”

“In all seriousness…” Bacco leaned to her, putting an arm around her, “It’ll work out, Ezri. If there’s any justice in the universe, you’re walking, tomorrow.”

Ezri sighed…and to Bacco, she seemed every bit as small as she felt, in the president’s arm. “I…I hope so, Madam President,” she whispered.

Bacco nodded, her eyes closed. “Me too,” she quietly said.

After a moment of silence…a moment of connection far deeper than words—Ezri turned to her. “Madam President?”

“Yeah?”

“I…well, I was just wondering…”

Bacco chuckled, “Oh, spit it out, kiddo—I don’t have all night.”

“Well—why do you…I mean, you’re here, and you’ve been here, over and over…”

“Why do I care so much?”

Ezri nodded.

Bacco looked off, staring at nothing in particular. Finally, she turned to the girl, staring deep into her eyes, and said, “You know…you’re so young…”

Ezri blinked. “Ma’am?”

“Late twenties, or something?”

Ezri chuckled. “Well, depends on how you look at it, I suppose….”

“Uh-huh….” Bacco hesitated for a moment, and added, “You know…I have a few grandchildren, myself.”

Ezri smiled warmly. “Really?”

“Mm-hmm. Come to think of it…they’re not much older than you, I reckon.”

Ezri’s smile grew. She understood.

Bacco tightened her hold a little…and Ezri leaned against her, like a child…a child, with the protection of a loving parent…or grandparent….

She’s so young…but, for whatever reasons, she’s had to grow up, so early. And—and to face all this, now…the weight of the universe on her shoulders, like this—it should be me! I’m the one with all the years, all the trials under my belt. Politics is my business. I play the game. She shouldn’t have to. And yet…

And yet, today…there was so much that I needed to learn from her.

Bacco sighed once again, and whispered, “So help me, Dax…if they don’t let you go, I’ll…”

Ezri straightened up. “Ma’am?”

Bacco released her, and shrugged. “Oh, I don’t know—but I’ll do something. Dang the consequences—I won’t stand for it. Can’t I issue a pardon? I’ll do it—and a statement, along with it!”

Ezri calmly raised her hand, smiling sadly. “Madam President…you don’t have to worry about me. If I have to go down…I’ll go.”

“I won’t—”

“Madam President—I can’t order you; you’re my commander. So I’ll beg you—” her eyes moistened, “Please—let me accept it. Whatever it is—I’ll have to accept it.”

Bacco’s lip tightened. “You don’t—have—to face it.”

Ezri took the president’s hand. “Please…let me.”

Bacco stared at the girl, saying nothing.

Ezri blinked back the tears, and whispered, “I don’t want a pardon, Madam President. That wouldn’t change what has to be changed.”

Bacco shook her head. “So you’d rather be a martyr?”

Ezri snorted. “I’d rather be acquitted. But one way or another, something has to change. And it won’t if we cause more headaches with the Pact without gaining anything.”

“We’d be ‘gaining’ your freedom.”

“And where will I go? I can’t just go back on the Aventine, like nothing happened. That’ll just make things worse, on your end. And to be honest, Madam President—anything less would be a punishment, anyway. I’d rather have it honestly.”

Bacco sighed, spreading out her hands. “Fine, fine…it’s your neck.”

She rose to her feet, looking down at the captain for a moment. “Still…don’t think I’d just let it lie. If you’re thrown to the wolves, I won’t let them hear the end of it.”

Ezri nodded, with a smile. “Thank you, Madam President.”

Bacco returned the nod. “Get some rest, Captain. Big day tomorrow.”

Ezri nodded again. “See you there.”

Bacco turned, and left, closing the field behind her.

I’ll find some way—somehow or another, I won’t let her go down, without a fight!

But for now…all she could do was wait…and pray that Justice still had meaning, in the government of the Federation.
* * *
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