Star Trek: Our Sacred Honor--A Tale Of Captain Ezri Dax

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Rush Limborg, May 23, 2012.

  1. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    My point is that even while not intending to destroy the ship on the first few shots, that still might have ignited something in their cargo holds-- whatever explosives they were intending to use on the colony. Ezri's testimony merely reiterates that all necessary precautions were taken before needing to take the ship out.

    Gleer's line of questioning did answer a lot of important questions, as well as point out that because communications could not be established does not necessarily follow that the intent was hostile. This newest testimony clarifies that Ezri came to the correct conclusion.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  2. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    And now...the continuation.

    Star Trek: Aventine
    Our Sacred Honor
    Chapter 19

    “…The next day,” Ezri said, sitting there in the Council chamber, “We were summoned back to Earth, for immediate de-briefing. When we arrived, I was informed of the—complaints of the Confederacy. Immediately after that, I was placed under arrest, to face this hearing.”

    T’Latrek nodded, slowly, as though contemplating the testimony Ezri had given. After a moment’s pause, she said, “Thank you, Captain—that is all from this councilwoman.”

    No sooner had she said this then the light flashed on for Councilman Gleer.

    President Bacco seemed to hesitate for a split second, but composed herself, and said, “The chair recognizes Councilman Gleer, of Tellar.”

    Ezri Dax mentally prepared herself, gathering all her courage. All right…let’s get this over with.

    “Captain Dax,” the man said, in a tone of surprisingly methodical calm, “As the Council has previously established…there isn’t much of a need to go over the actual incident. We have both the recordings from your ship, and the testimonies from your officers.”

    Ezri nodded carefully. “All right…?”

    “However, I feel the need to return to a previous event—namely, your initial receiving of the orders.”

    “What…about them?”

    “Well, you told this Council that the president instructed you to—I believe you reported her exact words to be, ‘Do what you have to do.’”

    “Yes, but—as I said, I did not take that to mean—”

    “My question, Captain, is simply this: what did you take it to mean?”

    “I don’t…understand.”

    The Tellarite shrugged, “Well, she said to do what you had to do—what did you think that meant?”

    Something’s not right. This was nothing like what I expected from him.

    Ezri shook her head in bewilderment. “I took it to mean just what she said, Councilman.”

    “Indeed. And how would you define ‘do what you have to do’?”

    “Councilman, I don’t understand what you mean.”

    Gleer leaned forward a bit. “Simply, Captain, what limits you saw in her order.”

    “Limits? Councilman—as I said, I did not take that to mean I could violate the law.”

    “So…you took it to mean, ‘Do what you have to do, legally’?”

    “Of course. Look—Councilman,” Ezri said, “Regardless of the realities of the field, every Starfleet officer knows better than to quibble with things like that.”

    “However—and your first officer seemed to concur—surely, as far as you are concerned, there comes a time when the rules are…unnecessarily limiting.”

    Ezri blinked, “Excuse me?”

    “If, during an assignment, the necessity comes to ‘bend’ the rules, in order to prevent a greater evil…?”

    “Councilman, if that kind of need arose, Captains are as a rule allowed that kind of discretion.”

    “To bend the rules.”

    “Of course. And to be honest, Councilman—we wouldn’t need a word from the president for that kind of discretion.”

    Gleer leaned forward even further. “What about breaking the rules? Not ‘bending’ them—actual, honest violations? Would you require authorization to do that?”

    “Councilman, I don’t think that’s relev—”

    “Kindly answer the question, Captain.”

    Ezri stiffened. “Of course we would need authorization, for that. But—”

    “And wouldn’t that authorization often be given in wording somewhat like the directive you received from the president?”

    Ezri stared at him in a brief moment of silent hesitation—brief, but it felt like an eternity. She felt as though something in her vision were clearing up—something…some secret blurred to her until now, about this whole thing.

    “This just all seems wrong—forced, I mean. It’s like…something’s going on here we don’t know about.”

    “There’s an agenda, you mean?”

    “I don’t know…but that’s what it looks like.”

    After that brief moment, she forced herself back to the present. “Councilman—something that important, involving an authorization to violate either the law or Starfleet policy, would require both me and my superior—in this case, the president—to acknowledge what was being waived.”

    “Would it? I would imagine, Captain, that you have left out of this testimony various details deemed to vital in their secrecy to be revealed to the public.”

    She had, of course. Though Ezri had had to conjure fully the memories of the events—the communique from the president, the senior staff meeting, and so on—she had not informed the Council on the conversations concerning the weaknesses of Starfleet, or the Federation’s borders.

    But naturally, Ezri was not authorized to even imply the existence of those conversations. And even if she were, she wouldn’t have. And so, she said, “Councilman, I don’t have to remind you that I can’t either confirm or—”

    “Oh, no, I’m not concerned with that, per se, Captain—you don’t have to worry about revealing things that have to be kept secret. But let’s be honest, Captain Dax…the sort of thing I’m looking for is not a matter of Federation security.”

    Ezri narrowed her eyes slightly. The blur was clearing even further, now. “And what would that be, Councilman?”

    “Simply this: did President Bacco authorize you to violate, if you so deemed it necessary, the restrictions of Interstellar Law?”

    That was it. The blur had vanished. Ezri’s mental vision was clear. With that question…everything became clear to her, about this hearing.

    “Councilman,” she said evenly, “I seem to recall you having the same kind of conversation with Commander Bowers—”

    “You will please refrain from dodging the question, Captain—”

    “With all due respect, Councilman,” Ezri said, her voice hardening, “I’m not dodging anything. And to be honest, Councilman Gleer…it seems to me that the one dodging things around here is you.”

    There was a brief murmur around the chamber at this. Gleer froze, and narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me?”

    Ezri rose to her feet, and leaned forward, hands pressed against the podium. “Councilman,” she said evenly, “I’ll save you the trouble. You’re trying to bribe me with a way out, if I’ll serve your agenda. I won’t do that.”

    Agenda?” Gleer’s nostrils flared. “I have only one ‘agenda’ here, Captain Dax! I intend to get the truth from you about this incident, one way or another—and need I remind you, you’re under oath?”

    “You don’t—have to remind me of my oath, Councilman,” Ezri replied, her eyes narrowing again. “But to be blunt…I don’t think you give a darn about the truth.”

    Silence fell across the chamber. All froze at her words, looking either at her, in shock—or at Gleer, to see what he would do, in response to this.

    Gleer stiffened, and said in a dangerously reserved tone, “Could you…repeat that, Captain?”

    Ezri felt a small hint of a smile. “You heard me,” she said. “I don’t think you care about what really happened, with that ship. You don’t care about whether I was justified in what I did—or whether the Breen had set me up—set all of us up.”

    “Really?” said the Tellarite. “Then kindly tell me what I do care about….”

    Ezri leaned a little bit further, palms pressing against the podium, as she replied, “I think you want to focus on what the president said to me for one reason, and one reason alone—to put the blame on her. This entire mess—everything. You tried your best to make what I did look bad, and unwarranted, and illegal—and now, you want to take all of that, and pin it on President Bacco. Well, I’m sorry—”

    “Captain, this is very amusing, but if you don’t mind answering—”

    “The answer’s ‘No,’ Councilman—no, she did not tell me to go out there, and violate the Law.”

    “So you did it without her permission?”

    Ezri’s grip tightened on the podium, as she struggled not to let the full extent of her contempt and anger show. “I did not consider my actions to be illegal, Councilman—I didn’t, then…and I don’t, now.”

    “Because of what the president said?”

    “With or without what she said. I’m sorry, Councilman…but I won’t give you what you want, all right? What happened, with that ship—that was my call, it was my crew, it was my order. And I will not tolerate—”

    “Captain Dax—”

    Ezri’s voice rose, “I will not tolerate…your trying to blame our president for what you think I did. You want to tell me it was wrong? Tell it to me—and take it out on me! But I will not let you—”

    “Captain Dax, you are out of line—”

    “So are you, Councilman! You want to lecture me on acting ‘above the law’? I’m not the one trying to disgrace the leader of the Federation, by making her a scapegoat for the Breen, instead of me—!”

    “Dax, I have put up with your disgusting—”

    The sound of three hard, firm strikes from President Bacco’s gavel stopped them both. Ezri and Gleer turned to the older woman.

    Bacco’s lip had tightened, her eyes blazing. She somehow managed to keep her composure, as she said in an even tone, “In the future…I’ll expect things to be conducted in a rational fashion. Is that understood?”

    Gleer was so stiff at this, he seemed to shake. Finally, he nodded, and leaned back in his seat.

    Bacco turned to Ezri…and small smirk of bitter amusement appeared on her face. “Frankly, Captain,” she said, “I can fight my own battles, thank you very much.”

    A slight chuckle was heard throughout the room—at the sudden diffusion of the great tension that had been simmering and building up within its walls.

    Ezri sighed, and nodded to her president. And then, she sat back down…keeping her gaze locked on the Councilman from Tellar.

    Bacco’s voice changed in tone to a mild challenge, “Are there any further questions of Captain Dax?”

    Silence. There were more than a few glances in the direction of Gleer…who just sat there, saying nothing.

    Ezri couldn’t help but feeling a small triumph inside. She had thwarted an attempt to smear the president, and use her as a pawn.

    But, of course…in the end, that was only a small victory for her. As far as she was concerned, it was all back on her shoulders—the question back to, whether she would take the fall.

    Bacco waited for a response from the Council, and got none. And so, she said, “We will declare a midday recess, and will resume at 1400, for final statements.”

    Ezri stepped down, walking to the guards. As they escorted her back to the cell, her mind raced. She went over all that had happened—from the orders from the President…to the firing on the Breen ship…to this whole trial, every part of the process—everything that had happened, the arguments, the questioning—everything.

    And with this, she developed an outline in her mind—an outline, for her last word to the Federation, before the verdict tomorrow.

    * * *​
  4. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    An intriguing, and disturbing, turn of events. One wonders if Gleer's agenda was simply opportunism on his part, or part of a much wider scheme.
  5. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network, back to Sarina and Julian.

    To the question of why L'Haan is so willing to "open up" to Sarina regarding her lines of reasoning...well, the final scene of Zero Sum Game, I think, gives precedent to it.

    Star Trek: Aventine
    Our Sacred Honor
    Chapter 20

    “She has to be cleared!”

    On the computer screen in the hotel room, L’Haan’s face was completely unreadable. “Agent,” she said, “That is not your assignment.”

    Sarina Douglass was alone in the suite. Julian was out—checking up on his parents, he’d said. She swallowed, and said, “I know, but…”

    “Nor is it your place to presume to question your director.”

    “I’m not. But ma’am—if I could speak freely, Director?”

    L’Haan paused for a moment, and nodded, “Yes?”

    “I…you read my report.”

    “I have.”

    “You read my conclusions, my profile of her—”

    “Agent Douglass, I have read it, and I agree with your conclusions.”

    Sarina blinked. “Then…you’re agreeing with me now, too?”

    “Agent, again I feel the need to remind you to not presume a thing.”

    “But, Director—”

    “I also read your concerns regarding Dr. Bashir. With that, I also agree.”

    “What…” Sarina’s blood ran cold. “You—you’re not—”

    “Mind your tone, Agent.”

    “Sorry, Director…. But—am I to gather that…you’re considering withholding the evidence?”

    L’Haan seemed to stiffen. “You presume, once again.”

    Oh, right. L’Haan had never told her—Sarina had just deduced it, from “reading” her director during their last communique. “Director,” she said evenly, “If we are able to clear Dax…”

    If we are—which I will not confirm or deny—whether we would or not would be at my discretion, not yours.”

    “But…by why wouldn’t we?”

    Judging by the look in the director’s eyes…had L’Haan come from an emotional race, she’d have given a tired sigh. “Agent…surely you remember the extent of your assignment?”

    “Well, yes, but—”

    “And surely you recall the need to remove potential obstacles. And as you yourself pointed out…the captain has become a potential obstacle.”

    “I-I know, but…”

    Sarina’s voice trailed off…as suddenly, a thought occurred to her.

    “Director—won’t this just make things worse?”

    L’Haan frowned. “Agent?”

    “If—well, we know Julian is…upset by this. A conviction would make it worse. He—it might cause him to reflect on…on the past, and—”

    “Surely, Agent, you are stretching in your reasoning.”

    “Am I? Director, I’ve been watching him, the past few days—I know how much all this is affecting him. Believe me, Director…I don’t think we can afford to make it worse.”

    “Perhaps. However, it must be obvious to you, Agent Douglass, that acquittal—leaving her free—would allow for an increase in visitations, from either side. The doctor’s interaction with her, unfortunately, makes it illogical for us not to anticipate such things.”

    “But if he’ll see her there—just thrown to the wolves…Director, I’m afraid this whole thing has caused him to…well, it’s conjuring up a lot of regret, from him. Her conviction could well cause him to have second thoughts, and…and we can’t have that—”

    “Naturally. Were I emotional…I would feel relief, Agent Douglass, that you concluded your line of reasoning in that manner. Otherwise, I would be of the impression that you were allowing your…emotions to compromise your dedication to your assignment.”

    Sarina stiffened at this. “I assure you, Director, my dedication’s as strong as ever.”

    “I know. Nonetheless—whether or not he has ‘second thoughts’, I am certain you will take care to remedy that.”

    “Yes, Director…if I can.”

    “You doubt that you can?”

    “I…I’ll try. But—with all respect, Director, I think it’d be easier for me to…” she smiled bitterly at herself, “…to keep him on a leash, if I didn’t have to compete with that kind of—inner turmoil, on his part.”

    “I see. And yet, were she convicted…you will not need to contend with the—direct competition.”

    “Director,” Sarina replied, “I’m afraid she’d be worse of a threat for me, indirectly.”

    “Agent…it is fortunate that that is not for you to determine. Frankly, you are too…close to the situation, to make that sort of judgment.”

    “Director, I don’t think—”

    Sarina cut herself off, as she heard something: the sound of steps coming towards the door. His steps.

    “I have to go,” she said.

    L’Haan nodded. “Understood. You will await further instructions. Out.”

    The screen darkened—just barely in time for her to turn to the door, as Julian Bashir entered.

    Sarina rose to her feet, putting on a warm smile. “How’d it go?”

    Julian shrugged. “All right, I suppose. Father’s working on the Atlantis project. He—I don’t suppose you know about that…?”

    Sarina quickly nodded. “I’ve heard of it—they’re making a new continent, or something?”

    “Something like that. Anyway, Father’s got a nice assignment—he recently won the bid for the landscaping design contract….” He smiled, looking off at nothing in particular, “He tells me it’s making him feel quite…”

    Sarina’s smile grew. “Godlike?”

    Julian nodded, with a chuckle. “He’s come quite a long way…that’s for certain.”

    Sarina nodded, thoughtfully. “And…you mother?”

    “Well enough, I suppose.” He turned to her, and added, “She says she’s looking forward to meeting you.”

    Sarina chuckled nervously. “Well! Talk about fast….”

    “Well, they want a good look at you—see what you’re like.”

    “Am…am I supposed to be tested for approval, or something?”

    “Oh, no—nothing like that. Just…well, they’ve heard from me about you, and—”

    Sarina grinned. “All good, I hope?”
    Julian returned the smile. “All good. Call it a ‘meet the parents’, if you will.”

    “Oh! Have you done this before?”

    “Only once. I mean…well, I was never really too close to them. We only started reconciling shortly before the War broke out—and…” his gaze fell, “And that was only because he…”

    Sarina nodded. “I know,” she whispered.

    Julian shrugged. “Anyway—the only girl I ever ‘brought home’, as it were, was—”

    He froze…and gave a sad, pained sigh.

    Sarina lowered her gaze for a moment, and walked up to him. She then met his eyes, and said, “Julian…thank you.”

    He blinked. “For—for what?”

    “For…bringing your mother’s…invitation to me.” Her warm smile returned. “It—it means a lot to me.”

    Julian tried to return the smile—and managed it, somewhat. “Well, um…I doubt now’s the best time for that.”

    Sarina nodded. “I understand. But still…thank you.”

    Julian looked off for a moment, and sighed. “Well…I suppose we should get ready. The final statements begin within the hour.”

    Sarina nodded again. “That’s…probably a good idea.”

    And as they stepped away from one another, Sarina’s fears continued to simmer—and she was now more uncertain then ever of how she would be able to handle whatever was to happen between the two of them…“competition” or no.

    * * *​
  6. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Wow, these last two chapters are building towards what should be a thrilling ending.
  7. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network up...

    Star Trek: Aventine
    Our Sacred Honor
    Chapter 21

    “A most fascinating hypothesis.”

    L’Haan managed to suppress any emotions of irritation at the all-too-familiar voice. She turned to him, and simply replied, “Director Sorak.”

    Sorak nodded, and took a seat of his own. “I find it most fascinating, L’Haan…that Miss Douglass would so soundly agree with my sentiment.”

    L’Haan met his gaze. “You have overheard our conversation.”

    “Yes…however, perhaps you yourself are entitles to a slight share of responsibility. After all—you did seem to choose this location for your conversation, as opposed to one of your own.”

    “I see,” L’Haan replied evenly.

    “I must admit, L’Haan,” Sorak went on, “That her line of reasoning is most intriguing. Were one an emotional being…one could easily find one’s self wishing that he had invoked such an argument.”

    “You find it sound?”

    “I find it intriguing. However…surely she is not the only one—‘stretching’, I believe is the term you invoked.”

    “You find my concerns…unsound?”

    “Not necessarily. I would assume, then, that you are reserving judgment until the final statements? Logically, one may anticipate that Captain Dax will make one of her own.”

    “Director Sorak—”

    “However, I am most curious as to what you would presume to deduce, that Miss Douglass had not. Need I remind you, of course, of her decided advantage in that area…?”

    “Director Sorak,” L’Haan replied, once again summoning her disciplines to retain her control, “I previously requested that you not question my motivations.”

    “I have not. I am simply inquiring as to what you would presume to have over your agent, regarding such matters.”

    “Sorak…as brilliant as Agent Douglass admittedly is—nonetheless, she feels, and I do not.”

    “I see. But—surely, an emotional compromise on her part would yield her desiring a conviction—for purposes of, as you said, removing competition. As it stands, I hold her reasoning for ‘indirect’ competition as sound.”

    “Perhaps. Nonetheless, there is also the matter of conscience.”

    Sorak paused, staring at L’Haan, his face unreadable.

    “Surely, L’Haan,” he finally said, “If you felt her conscience were a potential liability, you would not have assigned her as you did.”

    L’Haan said nothing.

    “Unless…” Sorak’s gaze intensified, “You are coming to experience the same concerns I have—regarding her loyalties…?”

    “Sorak,” L’Haan replied, “That will be enough.”

    Sorak paused a moment longer, and nodded. “Of course.”

    He turned to the screen, and added, “The statements are to be made quite soon. It would be appropriate for the two of us to view them, here.”

    L’Haan nodded slowly. “Of course.”

    * * *​
  8. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Indeed. I'm looking forward to seeing how you finish this, Rush, particularly given the amount of time you spent on this fic.
  9. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Wrapping up for the week...a lead-in to next week....

    Star Trek: Aventine
    Our Sacred Honor
    Chapter 22

    This is an FNS Special Report:

    “Greetings, everyone—once again, I’m Verna Talkon. In a few minutes, we’ll go straight to the Federation Council chamber of the Palais, where final statements are expected to be made. Here with the latest, reporting from the press balcony of the chamber, is our man on the field, Jake Sisko. Well, Jake, what do you have for us, so far?”

    “Well, Verna, I’ve spoken to various members of the Council. Very few have been willing to state where their leanings are in this case—the exception being Councilman Bera chim Gleer, or Tellar, who expressly stated his intentions to speak on the floor. T’Latrek has stated that she does not intend to speak—she feels that, quote, ‘The facts, I feel, have been satisfactorily established, here. They are as they are, and no rhetoric can change them,’ unquote. As far as we can tell, only Councilman Gleer is established as speaking on the Council’s end.

    “However, Captain Ezri Dax has also expressed her desire to speak—it is believed it will be after the councilman’s statement. Jake Sisko, FNS News, Paris.”

    “Thank you, Jake. Do you feel these statements will affect the final votes in any way?”

    “Well, Verna, it’s hard to tell at this point—all I can predict is that it will establish the ‘battle lines’ for either side of the issue. With Councilman Gleer’s hardline stances against the captain’s behavior, it’s doubtful whether they can establish any middle of the road.”

    “And—now, we can see the members of the Council all taking their seats, and the audience with them. And…there is Captain Ezri Dax, taking the stand, beside the president’s podium. Jake, what do you make of the captain’s accusation towards Councilman Gleer, of having an agenda to humiliate the president through this incident?”

    “Well, Verna, it would seem the Councilman gave her that material to work with, with his questioning following the captain’s report. Regardless, it is uncertain whether either one will bring that up, in their statements.”

    “Thank you, Jake. And…here comes President Bacco, taking the podium. FNS is covering these proceedings live, for your convenience—and…the president is calling all to order. We’ll be back after the final statements. Once again, FNS would like to thank our viewers and listeners for making this one of the highest-rated days in our operating history. This…is FNS News….

    * * *​
  10. hadd001

    hadd001 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Aug 1, 2009
    Wow! Been away because of my wife having surgery. The story has really progressed. Looking forward to next week's installments.
  11. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    My condolences, hadd001--I hope your wife is doing well.
  12. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    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.

    * * *​
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  13. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    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.
  14. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    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.
  15. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    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.
  16. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    “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.

    * * *​
  17. hadd001

    hadd001 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Aug 1, 2009
    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.
  18. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    ^ 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.
  19. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Wow...thank you, sir, very much.

    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 would be only appropriate that she would come to do the same, for the Federation.
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    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.

    * * *​