REP TOS-AU, Lombard Street, PG13, Finnegan

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gojirob, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Going Super Diclonius 4...
    Summary : Sean Finnegan has career plans - but so do those he once betrayed. The Order Of The Ancient Destroyer never forgives or forgets. Can the trickster stay ahead of their games?


    Lombard Street

    by Rob Morris


    Prologue - A Simple Inquiry


    MAY, 2264


    It was one of the Federation's premiere colony worlds, despite its dark, fetid little secret concerning distribution of labor. It had the best schools, the newest facilities, and all the best émigrés.


    In theory, anyway.


    The eight-year old boy lying in a pool of his own blood was from a fine family, really one of the finest. The adults around him stared dumbly, and they were good at this. A classmate had called both the police and an ambulance when the shots rang out. In twenty years time, the boy would be able to locate his attacker, gain every last secret from them, and wipe them out of existence even if they hid in a starship with raised shields. But twenty years had yet to pass, and for now he was merely a little boy.


    In theory.


    From that same pool of his own blood, the youngster rose up. Some gasped. They would later swear and then still later recant swearing that the shots had taken the top of his head off. But the top of his head was still on, and he, confused, looked around.


    "Who shot me?"


    A month's worth of meals was sent home to the boy's parents, so they wouldn't starve in his absence. All medical studies were stopped by order of Starfleet Colonial Affairs. Two men would be sent to find out why the boy was shot, and possibly who did it.


    The inquiry would become sidetracked.


    ------------------------------------------------


    STARFLEET COLONIAL AFFAIRS, SAN FRANCISCO, ON LOMBARD STREET


    It was called the crookedest street on Earth, maybe in the Galaxy. Located on it was the headquarters of Starfleet Colonial Affairs, a place where the careers of many officers either came to go to warp speed or to simply die unnoticed.


    Sean Finnegan had no intention of dying unnoticed. He had taken this thankless job of processing impossible demands from nearsighted colony governments as a favor to his Commander-In-Chief. It was a favor he now called in. Nogura sat in disbelief as Finnegan made his request.


    "You've got to be crazy. The man hates your guts, Commander."


    Sean shrugged.


    "And I hate his. But I know for all that he's a superior CO and he knows I can charm a crew as well as bite down when it's called for. Jimmy Kirk and I don't have to like each other, Admiral. We won't. But I'd like knowing that the man gives a good goddamn about his ship and crew. Some of these fools as The Hall's promoting I can say honestly check the location of all the ships' escape pods before they even acknowledge their XO. Jimmy's a stiff, and a mope. But he'll know that my pranks'll be buckets of manure and hand-buzzers. I'll give him a safe ship and a crew that'll follow orders."


    The Irishman smiled.


    "Besides, you need me, Admiral. It's well known that you don't want Jimmy pullin' a Jack Kennedy on you. Gary Mitchell will be his Bobby. Keep him honest. Put someone in that'll challenge him as often as support him. I'll keep him from mischief, and breaking things. When five years are all done, we'll give each other the finger and be on our way."


    Nogura looked at some data chips.


    "Chris Pike's Vulcan Science Officer is another good candidate. I might consider him."


    "Except Chris Pike is in no shape to recommend him. Without that, The Hall will have its excuse to use their bigots' veto. I know some of those folk, from when I joined and quit their hateful jamboree. You try and put a Vulcan in with the son of the man who founded The Commodity, they'll fly in the slackers from The Council in Paris to put your head in a guillotine--sir."


    The Council was of course The Federation Council, which was all too happy to never hear from or about Starfleet. The Hall was Admiralty Hall, where many of Nogura's subordinates, including people he wouldn't allow to become Commanders, sat and made vaguely nationalistic chit-chat. But they promised The Council a quiet Starfleet, so their power grew at Nogura's expense with every passing year. The Commodity was an ironically-named group of career-stalled Senior Commodores, mostly Starbase CO's, founded by George Kirk to oppose The Hall and all its works. Of late, they had been coming into their own.


    "The Commodity might support it. They've been talking of making an open constitutional challenge to The Hall's authority. You should contact them if you want to serve on Enterprise as XO. Their power is growing, Sean. With me and them on your side, The Hall would have real trouble opposing you in a snit of petty revenge. We both know that's exactly what they'll do. Even with 'Consultant' Gill's disappearance, those crass xenophobes mark you as a permanent target."


    Finnegan nodded, glad to hear that his career might finally take him away from Lombard Street. Yes, serving with Kirk would be trying. But it would almost certainly be a ticket to his own ship. The little weasel was a rising star, and Sean had no trouble seeing that.


    "I'll talk to them, Admiral. But the lot of them are big-talkers. Stiffer than Jimmy and not a one of them have half the balls Jimmy's old man did. You served with him, so you should know."


    Heichiaro Nogura suddenly looked like a man fighting back tears. George Kirk and Robert April had sacrificed their careers to see their young friend brought up in the ranks. But what he had to say next seemed to lighten him a bit.


    "I am convinced that if current circumstances are allowed to fully develop, The Commodity's challenge will displace The Hall. The Hall's power has no legal basis. The Hall and all its agents and up-and-comers would have nowhere to turn."


    Finnegan moved in.


    "Then I'll be annoying Jimmy-Boy and leaving this sloping nightmare, sir?"


    Nogura shook his head.


    "Not quite yet. There's a matter to be resolved. The Colonial Association will not tolerate an interim Chief Of Affairs handling it. The Hall has its hand in here, too. You'll be assisted in this inquiry by--Gary Mitchell. Sean, I'm sorry."


    "Don't be, sir. The Hall has a sense of humor, just as twisted as my own. I like that. I don't like Mitchell, though. When I'm Kirk's Number One---that Eastern Money xenophobe stays away. Period. Jimmy I can tolerate. But Mitchell's a pure weasel."


    Nogura turned arch.


    "Defend that statement, Mister."


    Sean smiled, about to lay out a good one worthy of his best.


    "Mitchell was brought into The Order by one of his lovers. A much older woman. Old enough to be his mother--or the mother of his best friend."


    The older man sat back, stunned.


    "Brianna Kirk? George always said she had a few loose. But she stood in my office and shushed her grandson while Jim accepted Enterprise with her congratulations. Could she be that Janus-faced?"


    Finnegan didn't answer that question.


    "Sir--what am I to investigate that is so important as to delay my accession?"


    The Admiral pointed a finger in his face.


    "Watch that tone, Mister. I mean it. Sean, you did me a favor when you took this place. But Jim is gonna have a coronary when I inform him-and then mine will follow. So keep it even."


    "My apologies, sir. Of course. But what is it I'm inquiring about? And where?"


    Nogura pulled out a picture of an eight year old human boy.


    "This boy was targeted by a sniper in the Capital City of his world. He survived, no one is sure how. The sniper used an ancient US Army Ranger Rifle. The weapon was stolen from a museum in Dallas. This museum-you may have heard of it. It was once a school book depository."


    Finnegan's jaw dropped.


    "So someone stole Oswald's weapon to go and kill a small boy on a distant colony world? That's a bit much, don't you think?"


    "That's hardly the finish of it, Commander. The name of the boy who was shot?"


    Finnegan sat in rapt attention. Nogura said words that were clearly painful to him.


    "Peter Claudius Kirk. Sean, someone tried to kill my godson. I take that very personally. You dig this thing through to China, if need be. Now get going. You and Mitchell are leaving for Deneva 3 to interview the boy. Jim hasn't been informed. He is NOT to be informed. We need him focused on assembling a crew. If you want to be a part of that crew, you keep your mouth shut. Also, no and I mean No medical tests are to be performed on any member of The Kirk family. The assassin or assassins may be able to use the knowledge gained from them to strike more subtly. Got me?"


    Finnegan actually seemed offended.


    "Sir--I'd never taunt Jimmy about his nephew's health. There are lines."


    Nogura gave him his full orders.


    "That boy was born the day we lost George. To find out who did this, you may have to cross many other lines. Dismissed."


    Finnegan left for his apartment to pack for Deneva 3, and there found a recorded comm-call from Gary Mitchell.


    "We don't like each other, but since a kid's life is at stake, I say we put it all aside. Besides--Finnegan, I've just come across information that says there are forces within The Order that do not wish to see Jim's nephew grow up. We'll talk more on the transport. Mitchell out."


    Was Mitchell out of his mind, thought Finnegan? The Order Of The Ancient Destroyer, after all, was just a bunch of less-than-spaceworthy bigots that did nothing more than sit around and agree with each other while stewing in pointless hate.


    In Theory, Anyway.


    Chapter One - That's What 'They' Say....


    IN ORBIT OVER DENEVA 3, 2264


    It had to be Mitchell, thought Finnegan. It couldn't have been Jimmy Kirk himself. At least Kirk was an honest stiff. At least Kirk would have told him he hated him to his face, without euphemism. But not Gary Mitchell. It was said that Kirk thought he was God. It was said that Mitchell knew this for a fact about himself.


    Sean decided that he couldn't wait any more.


    "Alright, Lt. Cmdr. Mitchell. Before we left on the first transport, before we hooked up with the Essex, and before we got stuck in this tin can traveling within ten feet of each other, you saw fit to go and make noises. Now why would that anti-alien social club and smoker as calls itself The Order care one whit about Jimmy Kirk's eight-year old nephew?"


    Mitchell smiled that smile that put even his best friend on guard. To most, it had more than a tinge of arrogance.


    "They never forgave you, Finnegan. For quitting The Order. For stopping Brock Cartwright from beating Jim up."


    "From beating the two of you up."


    Mitchell shrugged.


    "I'm sure that's what it looked like."


    Another thing Finnegan had never liked about Mitchell. Unlike Kirk, he was a big-talker with few resources to back up his braggadocio. He loved those times when Kirk fell flat on his face. But unlike Mitchell, the little plebe offered no excuses. Yes, Kirk was a mopey, stiff nightmare genius eager beaver cadet who somehow lucked into more women than a man should be allowed to have. But he was for real, Finnegan knew. With Gary Mitchell, one just never knew.


    "Talk, boyo. Don't half-talk."


    "All right, I will. When you're a Cadet, The Order seems like just what you said. An off-center club that dwells on the differences between the species. But when you graduate, you find out. The Order isn't the recent result of one too many first contacts. It's old. Way Old. It has hands in every pocket. People positioned strategically all over The Federation. They're waiting, Commander. Waiting for him to come."


    Finnegan asked the obvious.


    "Who? Are they waiting for John Gill to show his fat face again?"


    "Order-Master Gill is gone. They're grooming someone else, now. He will be The Fourth Head Of The One True Deity."


    Sean Finnegan looked straight ahead, and recited a darkly humorous childhood limerick.


    "The Slither Ghidree rises from the cosmic sea; His three heads gulped my three friends, but they all missed me; No, you'll not feast on me, ye Slither Ghid----"


    Mitchell chuckled.


    "So it ends, and we're supposed to think Ghidorah got him, right?"


    Finnegan was silent.


    "So he got him---right?"


    Mitchell shook his head, got up and spoke right in Finnegan's ear.


    "Hey, I said, he got him--right---"


    Finnegan back-fisted Mitchell against the wall then drew his sidearm to warn him back.


    "You are a shit-talker, Mister Mitchell. The Order likes to say it's this big bad wolf. Well, I no more believe that than I believe in Section 31, that Cochrane was aided by time-travelers, or that we have secret invisible ships seeking to violate the Quadrant Expansion Treaty! Sit down and keep quiet for now. Report me to who ye like, when we're done."


    Mitchell wiped himself off, then sat back down, shaking his head as though he had expected Finnegan's reaction.


    "You did ask why they were interested in Peter Kirk."


    "Yeah. And that's a question you never saw fit to answer as you played amateur conspiracy theorist."


    "Okay. Here it is. Whatever sane people believe, The Order's inner circle believes firmly in the existence of King Ghidorah. But belief in a demon requires a belief in angels. Archangels. Archangels like Michael."


    Old school stories and folk legends crept up on Finnegan yet again.


    "Michael was the one who cast Satan, that old dragon, down. So they believe the boy is an angel? Cause no blood-kin of Jimmy Kirk's is remaining virginal and pure too much past 13. I don't concede him a lot. But with the likes of Marcus, Uhura---Ruth---all after his one true talent, it's quite obvious that his nephew will not want for his chosen sort of companionship. Hell, if the nephew ends up liking seagulls, he'll get those with no trouble."


    Mitchell raised a finger.


    "Words of warning before we go in. Peter Kirk is a snotty, spoiled brat. His own grandmother likes to avoid him, whenever possible."


    Perhaps the crazy hag will like him better when he's old enough, thought Finnegan. Once, he'd breached the seal on Jim Kirk's personal records. A mere glimpse at Brianna Kirk's behavior had Finnegan laying off his favorite plebe for a week.


    "Anything else?"


    Mitchell nodded.


    "Yeah. His Mom is kind of open, if you get my meaning. 'Nephew' is a nice neat euphemism, vis-a-vis his relationship with Jim. The brother, Sam? He shoots blanks. I overheard them discussing the whole thing, after the kid was born. The jerk even knows it's Jim's. Isn't that a laugh?"


    Finnegan's blood ran cold. Kirk often never saw his pranks coming. But could he be so blind as to think that this man was his friend?


    "In my presence, you do not disrespect another man's family. That's first and final, to the likes of you."


    Mitchell slammed his hand down.


    "You? You talk to me that way? You've kicked Jim any number of times."


    Finnegan wanted to punch him again, but couldn't see the point in it.


    "Only when he wasn't looking. Never when he was down. Family is sacred."


    Mitchell folded his arms back up.


    "I wasn't lying about The Order, Sean. They haven't forgotten or forgiven you."


    "Then, Gary--let me be on the posters at bigoted post offices. Myself, I haven't the time to worry about who Terry Bunson is recruiting while she's bopping them. Your friends' Hall is going to be a footnote. And when it's razed, I'll bet good money the Cadets all cheer it."


    "But there are things that go on there-- infant sacrifice---"


    "Fall silent, Mister Mitchell. That is a direct order. Small-O type."


    But Finnegan hadn't given this command because he wanted Mitchell to stop. He gave it because he wanted him to continue. Some part of him was still brash and utterly reckless. The head-shrinkers had told him as much. His maturity was a recent thing, vulnerable to thoughts of high adventure on horseback. He wanted and needed to be the hero who saved the day at the very last minute. But the urge was uncontrollable, once he let it go. The thought of confronting and destroying the entrenched evil of The Order as Mitchell described it was as tempting to him as a recovering drunk would find passing a bar.


    He got back to stability, and reality. If Nogura kept his word, then surely being Jimmy Kirk's First Officer would fill his adventure quota for a lifetime or two.
     
  2. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Going Super Diclonius 4...
    Upon landing, the odd pair made for Deneva's beautiful Capitol City. Finnegan looked around.


    "A lot of young volunteers to keep the place clean, I see."


    Mitchell chuckled.


    "Those aren't volunteers. Deneva's only a paradise if you're an adult--and have kids of a high-school age you can hire out. The younger ones do the cooking and cleaning."


    Its Henry The 2nd, Cromwell and Longshanks all over again, thought Finnegan. Slavery was renamed and shipped somewhere else.


    "Wait. Does the Kirk boy have to do all this?"


    Mitchell shrugged.


    "Yeah. Why?"


    Finnegan turned and looked at him.


    "Then just how is it he's a spoiled brat?"


    Gary had no answer, and kept quiet till they reached the school.


    For the interview, the boy had been brought to an empty classroom near the school's back exit. But the two investigators did not go unnoticed.


    "Mister?"


    Finnegan's questioner was a 10-year old girl, amid a seeming gaggle of variously aged girls.


    "Yes, kiddo?"


    "Is Peter going to be alright?"


    Assured that he was, the group walked off smiling. Sean grabbed his head. It was too early in life for that nightmare to begin, wasn't it?


    "Please, Lord--let those girls all be his first cousins or something."


    Inside the room sat a boy with intense eyes, a strong-looking frame and a bearing that told Finnegan whose son this was without the need of foreknowledge. But surely he was just an ordinary boy, right? No angel or such. It was just the awkward setting that made him look this way.


    In Theory, Anyway.


    Chapter Two - The Young King


    Personal Journal, Sean Finnegan, Commander


    They've robbed him of a childhood. A boy's lot shouldn't be all chores done for worthless parents. But I could see in Peter Kirk's eight-year old eyes that this was all he knew. Whether he liked it was another story.


    "Hello, Peter."


    "Hello, sir."


    Stiff as a board. Yep, this was Jimmy's boy, all right. Mitchell then waved.


    "Hi, Peter. Remember your Uncle Gary?"


    The small boy developed a man-size sneer.


    "You're not my Uncle. I don't like you."


    Mitchell shrugged.


    What is his game? Is he defecting from The Order? Is he their man? Is he trying to protect the boy by playing at being all nonchalant?


    "You don't like me? Well, do you like this?"


    I'm stunned that he would even contemplate slapping the boy in front of me. But what really amazes me is the boy himself. He stops Mitchell's hand an inch from his face, seizes it---and then throws the bum back. It's a pity Jimmy never learned the same, while preening at the feet of this so-called ladies' man. I warn old Gary off, for his own good.


    "Stumble on out of here, Mister Mitchell. Try that fool stunt again, and I'll tell Jimmy till he believes me."


    That seemed to sober the bastard up. He may have Jimmy fooled. But Kirk scares him. Hell, the way he took Cartwright's pounding back when, he scares me.


    "Peter, he's gone. Now, can I ask you a question?"


    "Yes, sir."


    Where do they breed these automatons?


    "What automatons, sir?"


    "No, no lad. It's just a figure of...."


    A figure of speech. But I hadn't spoken a blasted word. I have to try something.


    *Peter, who shot you?*


    Neither of us says a word, but he answers me, surely enough.


    *Grandma. Only Dad says it wasn't. So I guess I don't know.*


    "Mister Finnegan?"


    He's speaking again, and I dare to imagine that things can't get any eerier.


    "Yes, Peter?"


    Things go---wrong.


    "This isn't Peter. My name is George Kirk. I'm the boy's grandfather. I can only speak for a second. Sean--don't trust anything that Mitchell has to say. Not a bloody word."


    The boy swoons, and I call the session done with. I am glad to do so.


    I know what the ghost told me. But Mitchell seems to know things. I'm in an investigation to find out why a telepathic ghost-channeling boy who thinks his own grandmother wants to kill him was shot but didn't die. As we depart the school with the boy under care I suspect he doesn't need, I ask what I should not.


    "The Order says he's an angel? What kind of angel, and what kind of devil was he made to fight? Say Ghidorah and I'll pop you again, but good. Everyone knows that The Ancient Destroyer is only a myth."


    Mitchell points up at the sky.


    "You wanna talk angels; you don't talk to a servant of Hell, Mister Finnegan. You go up to Heaven--albeit Heaven In Exile."


    So it was that we made a steep course change. Starbase 50, headed up by Commodore Janeway. The HQ of the 'True Starfleet' that calls The Hall for usurpers, and may soon take it all back.


    "Set course for The Commodity, Mister Mitchell."


    Chapter Three - The One True Thing


    STARBASE 50, EARLY 2255


    "It's time The Hall learned its lesson!"


    "It's time we became The Hall!"


    "This frontier life makes us tougher and smarter than those easy-living bigots on Earth could ever hope to be."


    Commodore Janeway stood up. The other Commodores fell silent as he did.


    "Gentlemen, this group, working together, or separately, if need be, must go to Earth. We must, if needs be, storm The Federation Council in Paris, and demand an end to the peril-in-waiting that is Admiralty Hall! John Gill has played Janus long enough. I have obtained a recording of some of his fascist speeches. I have spoken to Heichiaro Nogura, the Commissioner For Colonial Affairs. He will support us. With the man most call for our next CIC in tow, the Councilors in Paris will have no choice but to turn the monsters out of this fleet, once and for all. Now who is with me?"


    A chorus of voices went up, all over the room. But one voice was silent. Janeway looked over.


    "Commander Kirk? Surely you of all people wish to sign on to this effort to regain the True Starfleet?"


    George Kirk shrugged.


    "You're a fool, Commodore. All of you are. You come out of the Wilderness, and you force The Hall into the Wilderness, and they will kill you. The day will come to strike. Today is not that day."


    Most present felt that this man should have been a peer, if not an Admiral. Many had been trained by him. So they listened.


    "Well, George, what would you have us do? Put Earth in the hands of a growing and rapacious power whose proponents whisper lightly to themselves of galactic genocide?"


    George stood tall, like a warrior locked in a never-ending battle.


    "Earth is already theirs. My ex-wife is theirs. My boy Jim's best friend is theirs. You gentlemen have the power to put out their eyes and kick them out. But they are prepared to sink however far they have to, if revenge is called for. There will be no lines. Merely Starfleet's first civil war. Let them keep what they've stolen. Because we here possess a Commodity they cannot take: Our Beliefs. They think that they are rulers, and that they are invincible. But their hideous fortress will one day be knocked down by the throw of a single Rock. Let the real Starfleet be maintained here, where the explorers are. Here, on the final frontier, let us keep well the one true thing: Justice. For that is The Federation Way."


    Commodore Janeway could have sworn at that moment he heard the peals of harps and horns.


    "To The Commodity! And George Kirk!"


    "Say! Where'd He Go?"


    Janeway shrugged.


    "I have a feeling he'll be around--if we need him."


    No one saw young Harriet Janeway staring out the space-port window, waving to---someone?


    ------------------------------------------------


    2264


    Finnegan sat and stared.


    "Well, Commodore. That tale was just...super. But what has it all to do with Peter Kirk, George's grandson---not to mention the focus of this investigation?"


    Janeway leaned forward.


    "That boy is a symbol to The Commodity. He was born the very day we lost George to The Ancient Destroyer."


    Sean Finnegan shook his head.


    "Sir, Commander Kirk's ship was lost searching Vulcania sector. There was no mythic beastie about, then."


    "Oh, really? Mister Finnegan--take a look at this latent telemetry The Constitution sent us, just before the end occurred."


    Finnegan stared at a sensor shadow.


    "Sir, no disrespect, but this looks like a TransVid Fake of Bigfoot or Ole Nessie. Plus--it still tells me aught of Mister Mitchell's suspicions that The Order wants an eight-year old boy dead and destroyed."


    "Mister Finnegan--Ghidorah is real. It is a threat to all that live. Your former friends in The Order know well that Peter Kirk is the only one that can stop him--if he's inherited George's abilities, that is."


    Finnegan now felt on safer ground.


    "His---command abilities, Commodore Janeway?"


    "Well, those too, of course. But I was more referring to George's super-powers. George, you see, could, without exertion, lift a large transport, leap kilometers in a single jump, and nothing short of a bursting phaser grenade could even make him wince."


    I've stepped in it now, thought Finnegan.


    "Ahhh...it must have been those thick temporary spectacles that Jimmy uses, that made me not notice that about him. So, its super-powers? Heh. Mister Mitchell says that the boy is held by some to be some kind of angel."


    Janeway looked askance at this.


    "An angel? Hardly."


    Finnegan breathed.


    "That's good to know, because this whole thing has left me...."


    "No, not a mere angel. Our very young friend is The Messiah. That's why they want him dead."


    Besides the religious implications and offense, Finnegan winced at who Peter Kirk being The Messiah would make Jim.


    "Sir, I must ask you in all honesty..."


    But just then, Janeway's aide walked in.


    "Yes, Anton?"


    "Sorry to bother you, sir. But there's a message from The Hall."


    Janeway's face turned arch.


    "They know about our plans?"


    The aide fired, erasing The Commodore.


    "I can guarantee that they do."


    He aimed at Finnegan, but never fired. A cutting tool from behind severed the assassin's phaser-arm cleanly. The wielder was Cadet First Class Harriet Janeway.


    "I never trusted you, Krycek."


    Shaken and choosing to withdraw amidst the chaos, Finnegan shook his head at Mitchell.


    "So The Hall wanted him dead. Why? With all that blather about the boy, he's who I'd want to represent the other side."


    Mitchell shrugged.


    "Maybe he was too wild, you know? The Hall was maybe afraid that he was so crazy---people would believe him. Or maybe..."


    He trailed off.


    "Go on!"


    Gary smiled.


    "....maybe our child-shooter came from The Commodity. I mean, doesn't a real Messiah need to be martyred? Right before a big legal campaign against The Hall?"


    Finnegan dreaded what they would have to do next.


    "We have to find the one Commodore allied with neither The Commodity nor The Hall. And pray that he is of a mind to speak with us. Mister Mitchell--we need to locate Christopher Pike!"


    Problem was, and both knew it, that Pike was said to be a giggling maniac after The Vulcanian Mission.


    Finnegan prayed that he wouldn't drown in his mission. But while all prayers are heard, their answer is sometimes very much in doubt.


    Chapter Four - The Fall of Uther


    USS HATHAWAY


    "Commander Sean Finnegan: Personal Log--Commodore Pike must have recovered some, after Vulcania. Why else would they have let him oversee this training mission? Though, I am greatly uneasy. This lion of a man was one of the few subjects Jimmy and I agreed fully upon. But The Vulcanian Mission ate something inside of him, and I don't merely mean in the loss of his wife and Number One. Now, she was a tough one. But yet she died, white-haired and screaming. How does her husband keep on in such a state?"


    ---------------------------------------------------


    The great man shook his head.


    "Mister Finnegan, the difference between The Hall and The Commodity is like Carlin's ancient observations about drivers and pilots: There are maniacs, and there are idiots. The maniac eventually crashes, while the idiot never quite gets where it is they're going. Problem is, the maniac usually causes a multi-vehicular accident, and the idiot impedes the progress of everyone else."


    "Aye, sir. But The Commodity believes The Hall wants an eight-year old boy dead. In short, the maniacs want to kill the idiots' young prince."


    Pike's face looked like he had walked through Golgotha itself.


    "I've seen the Kirk boy. He is special. But he's no Messiah. I do know just what he really is. I can see through all manner of illusions-a gift from some friends of mine I'm not at liberty to discuss."


    Mitchell shrugged.


    "Commodore, this is a fully authorized investigation."


    Pike looked at Gary Mitchell like he would a bug.


    "Well, I could tell you, Mister Mitchell-- but then I'd have to kill you. General Order Seven, and all that."


    Finnegan said nothing about that comment, but smiled broadly.


    "Sir--since you rate yourself outside of both circles, allow me to ask you. Did either one order the shooting of young Peter Kirk? The Hall, perceiving a threat? The Commodity, needing a martyr?"


    Pike continued his inspection tour, nervous cadets shaking as he passed.


    "The Commodity won't ever kill the heir of their founder. The Hall needs the boy to have a wedge against their pet dragon's feeding habits. It was The Hall. They knew a gunshot wouldn't kill something like the Kirk boy. It was never their intention to try. Somewhere---they wanted someone distracted by it. Probably Janeway. Then again---"


    Pike turned, and now looked a little crazy.


    "...It's probably you, Finnegan. Those bigots don't like ex-members. I mean, they really don't like them. You'll probably die just like my wife---giggling like a fool, singing some half-remembered song. That's just how they like to arrange it."


    Finnegan tried and failed to keep things even.


    "Sir, my sincerest condolences on your wife's passing. But you and Mister Mitchell here are turning a policy dispute within Starfleet and the shooting of a small boy into the prelude to The Book Of Revelation!"


    Pike now looked more than a little crazy.


    "These are those days, Mister Finnegan. Those dreadful days, come round at last, those days of wrath, as in the past! Wider and wider does the gyre spin---and what Rough Beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Blessed Terra, waiting to kill all? Is it Ghidorah? Is that what I and my wife saw, out at Vulcania?"


    Finnegan turned and walked away.


    "If I hear one more word about dragons, we'd best be on Berengaria when it happens."


    What came next was over quickly. A power-conduit breached. Finnegan was spared. Fifteen cadets were killed. What was once a lively man named Christopher Pike was rushed to Sickbay. Mitchell shook his head.


    "Delta Radiation. Poor bastard would be better off dead. Ready to call it quits, Seanie? I mean, we'll never find out who shot Jim's boy--unless you want to head Iowa way and interview his Grandma."


    Finnegan was now locked in his investigative adventurer mode. No way could he let this go, now.


    "The Hall wants me dead--that I understand. But why not just kill me? They have the means to shut it all up."


    Gary Mitchell now took off the mask of alliance he had barely worn.


    "Because your investigation made The Commodity think we were serious, Finnegan. That means that those xenophilic bastards are keeping their meeting tomorrow. All of Jim's friends who want to give our laws and our lands away to alien trash are set up like ducks in a shooting gallery. Humanity Prevails. Largely because of you. You who left and betrayed The Order. Irony is nothing if not ironic, eh me boyo?"


    Finnegan stood, lost for all speech. Just how far had he been sucked in? How much further could he sink into this quagmire?
     
  3. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Location:
    Going Super Diclonius 4...
    Chapter Five - At All Costs


    Finnegan walked with Mitchell back to the transport, and then grabbed the other officer's sidearm.


    "Alright, Mister X. Now how about ye cut the crapola? We don't like each other, Gary. But we've worked together well enough, here."


    Mitchell smashed Finnegan in the gut, recovering both weapons, which he held to Finnegan's head.


    "Oh, Sean. We were NEVER working together. And it's all true. The Order is vast and large. It set you up. It set you up to help pave the way for The Ancient Destroyer."


    Finnegan tried to shift up, but Mitchell kicked him straight in the

    head.


    "Aren't genetic accelerants wonderful, Finnegan? My Esper rating has gone straight through the roof. My strength and my speed....."


    Finnegan shoved him over. Gary Mitchell's head hit the floor. Finnegan belted Mitchell more than a few times.


    "So you scum see fit to distract The Commodity by shooting a little boy?"


    Mitchell laughed, despite his bloody nose.


    "That thing can't be killed by a bullet. He's a little boy like I'm a virgin. And if he had been killed? So what? This is war, and in war, children often die."


    Not holding back, Finnegan slapped Mitchell close to twenty times, then shoved his head against the floor.


    "War? What war is it, Mitchell? Orange vs. Green? Catholic vs. Protestant? Irish vs. English? We humans have had more than a few wars in our history, doncha know."


    Mitchell got up, his strength nearly Vulcan-like. He now caught Finnegan's every blow.


    "The War. The war of the true Terran humanity against things---things---that look nothing like us and do not share our values! The war of racial identity. Of knowing who and what your neighbor is. People like you and Jim want to trade it all away for some alien tail! They aren't like us, Finnegan. They never will be. War with all those monsters is inevitable. As is our victory over them."


    Finnegan felt worse than he had in his entire life. He tasted blood more often than saliva.


    "Its genocide--a slaughter of innocents you're speaking of. You've had alien friends, Mitchell. That was not pretense."


    Mitchell seemed already lost.


    "I-I'm doing them a favor. What you call systematic genocide is better than death by warfare. Some of them may even be kept around. We humans will be like gods to them. But it all begins with the mercy killing of those weaklings back at Starbase 50. They'll never see it coming. A transport full of eager young cadets will be the catalyst. We've arranged so that a very reliable delivery-man will pilot our mobile bomb. You'd never guess who it is, Finnegan. Never. For you dwell in a godless realm of no identity. You are a cipher in front of the gods!"


    Finnegan howled, seized Mitchell by the boots, and began to twirl him around.


    "Tell me, my godlike young officer--did your divinity classes include lessons--on how to fly?"


    On a hard arc, Mitchell flew up as Finnegan released him. His descent was anything but godlike. He struck the wall nearby and fell unconscious with a loud thud. But Finnegan did not celebrate.


    "Have to stop that transport---warn the Commodores."


    Exhausted but alive, Finnegan entered his own transport, ignoring bay doors that closed too late to stop him. The Hathaway was soon a distant spot on the horizon behind Finnegan.


    "Cadets--are herded into Desoto Class Transports."


    After a half a day of frenzied travel, Finnegan caught sight of Starbase 50-- and what had to be the bomb-delivering vessel.


    "Cadet Transport---this is Starfleet Colonial Affairs Commissioner Finnegan! Do not---I repeat--do not come any closer to Starbase 50. That is an order."


    "This is Cadet Cruiser Ben Franklin. Pilot, is this a joke? Clear away, and let us proceed."


    They're all of them in on it, thought an exhausted Finnegan. All of them.


    "Like Hell!"


    The small ship Finnegan used had five single pulse-bursts available to it. He used three on the docking transport.


    "Pilot, are you insane?! We have Cadets aboard this ship, to bear witness to The Commodity's legal challenge to The Hall firsthand. Please do not fire again--we can barely hold this ship together. I now repeat---we have CHILDREN aboard this ship!"


    Finnegan wiped the caked blood from his mouth.


    "This is war. In war---Children die."


    The engines were targeted. Finnegan sobbed mightily as he fired the last two bursts. The transport exploded.


    "Oh--God!!!!"


    He had to tell them, he reasoned. He had to tell The Commodity what The Hall had tried to do. Waiting at the passable energy vacuum-shielded dock were the stunned Commodores and a few supremely angry security guards. One Commodore that Finnegan didn't know cried out.


    "Commissioner Finnegan! Have you lost your mind? Do you know what it is you've done? We were to greet those cadets you just murdered in cold blood!"


    Finnegan dropped to his knees.


    "It was a bomb! The Hall had placed a bomb inside that transport! I had to do it, don't you see? I had to stop The Enemy."


    One of the guards nodded.


    "Sir--we are detecting traces of highly volatile molecular explosives in the debris. I think Commissioner Finnegan called it right. Wait---we are detecting another bomb?"


    In utter horror, Finnegan looked over at his transport. He got up, and hobbled over. He opened the back, and viewed the access panel. Taped in there was a note. He read it out loud.


    "To a very reliable delivery man. Love and Kisses, Me Boyo--- Gary Mitchell."


    The guards tore out the access panel. The entire transport was a bomb. Finnegan broke inside, and began to laugh wildly.


    "Oh--I started a joke; which started the whole world laughing---ahhh, but I couldn't see---that the joke was on..."


    --------------------------------------------


    GALACTIC NEWS NETWORK -- BREAKING NEWS


    "Starbase 50 has been obliterated by a bomb. This bomb was delivered right into the very heart of the Starbase by a loner renegade Starfleet Officer named Sean Finnegan, late of Starfleet's Colonial Affairs office. He also shot down a transport full of Cadets, issuing this cold statement as he did."


    'This is war. In war--children die.'


    "On this day, The Commodity was to have issued a legal challenge to the authority of the controversial Admiralty Hall. A spokesperson for the Hall said that in light of this, old differences should be put aside."


    'We merely want to see that whoever was pulling Finnegan's strings gets what they so richly deserve. The Commodity had its point of view--and we have ours. Now is the time for Starfleet to come together. Let Sean Finnegan's name be now and forever justly reviled as that--of a traitor.'


    "Our sources mark Finnegan as having once belonged to some manner of racist group that kicked him out. He was also said to be delusional, believing that he was to be First Officer of The Starship Enterprise, a notion that has been denied by both incoming Captain James Kirk and Grand Admiral Heichiaro Nogura."


    'Well, Jim Kirk and Sean Finnegan were like oil and water. Why would anyone put those two together? As Grand Admiral, I concur with The Hall. Let Starfleet be one fleet.'


    "More now: Finnegan was present at both the recent assassination of Starbase 50's late CO, Commodore Janeway and the 'accidental' crippling of Commodore Christopher Pike. Vague indications have been made about the shooting of a young boy a crime that Finnegan insisted on investigating himself. From all over Starfleet comes word of this man's love of sadistic practical jokes. Well, Mister Finnegan--the joke was on you. The Federation will endure such acts of cowardice as yours. In a related story, a brave young officer named Gary Mitchell who nearly gave his life to try and stop this madman will recover--and it has been announced that he will be First Officer under Kirk--who is his best friend. Now for a profile of Finnegan. Monsters are made, not born......


    --------------------------------------------


    PERSONAL AND SECURE LOG, GRAND ADMIRAL HEICHIARO NOGURA


    "May George Kirk's spirit forgive me. But I had to do it. The Commodity would have split Starfleet in two. If they had forced The Hall and its ilk out--there would have been a war. I've already directed that Mendez, Stone, Stocker and others be raised up in rank and start to rebuild The Commodity. But no legal challenges. The Hall can be contained. But we are one Starfleet. We will remain one. I will not preside over a civil war. No matter the cost to my soul. I had Brianna's home raided. I can't believe she shot her own grandson. I once thought she was beautiful. Now, I wonder how George could stand her."


    "The new Commissioner for Colonial Affairs is a man with a checkered past. But The Hall wanted him. With this man's record, it's as high as he'll rise."


    "I hope."


    "Poor Finnegan. Against these jokers--he never even stood a chance."


    --------------------------------------------


    LOMBARD STREET


    "Yes, we are moving Colonial Affairs into Admiralty Hall itself, though I do not hold the rank of Admiral. I want to get this office off 'the crookedest street in the world'. Away from Finnegan's taint of this office. Now--our good work begins."


    Brock Cartwright smiled as the building was razed.


    His work had only begun.



    THE END


    The plot for this story was loosely based on the 1999 film ‘Arlington Road'