Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by kes7, Jul 18, 2009.
Okie dokie, can't wait to read what you have planned.
Transphasic Torpedoes here we come! XD
Shhh. Maybe, maybe not. I neither confirm nor deny your prediction.
"Kazon vessels, this is Captain Oyugo of the USS Tesseract. On behalf of the United Federation of Planets, I strongly encourage you to cease fire and withdraw. I have been dispatched to this quadrant to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And... Maje, be fairly warned... I am all out of bubblegum."
Funny enough - I automatically started picturing the Bridge as that of the Enterprise-D, but when the description of the communications console was given ("buttons above her head") it made me amalgamate the E-D with Voyager though I was wondering if we were supposed to be imagining the NuEnterprise stylings.
What kinds of weapon systems does the Tesseract have anyways? O.o I'm very curious about this too.[/QUOTE]
I'm really glad you like it. Regarding any speculation regarding romances and character development, I'm keeping my mouth firmly shut so as not to spoil the fun. Regarding weapons systems .... we'll get to that. Suffice it to say for now that they're about as well armed as it gets for Starfleet.[/QUOTE]
Like my girl Fiona (of "Burn Notice") says: "IF it seems too good to be true, you better shoot it to make sure!"
Ha! I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking that if things go pear shaped the council might try to push the envelope on what exactly its powers are and the remit of its authority. Follwoing what happened at the meeting as related by Icheb and Adele I'm more convinced than ever that Berkley cannot be trusted and your witch of a one is either in league or being manipulated by the Admiral. All bodes bad in my book.
And Icheb getting 'jealous' about John with Maran. Hmm ... I had thought too of the love triangle possibility - certainly complication - but then I'm shipping your crew already and that's not something I ever do in a fan fic - just something struck me with this. I guess it the potential for interpersonal dynamics with a seven year mission.
Great interaction and character moments here. Captain and No.1 trying to meet on common ground on a matter of issues. Trying to feel out their command relationship so vital to a working ship and crew harmony. Very good, nicely grounded and top notch characterisation.
Lieutenant Commander Martha Stinson looked up from her desk outside the admiral’s office as Eleanor Gentry strolled into the room.
“Hello, Miss Gentry. What can I do for you?” she asked politely.
“I’m looking for Admiral Beckley. I have a few questions I’d like to ask him.”
“You’ll need to make an appointment.”
Eleanor pursed her lips tightly together and folded her arms impatiently. “Please, spare me, Commander. What else is he doing? They’ve got us all cooped up here on this mission just sitting around at Oyugo’s beck and call, and you’re telling me he’s too busy? He’s probably in there taking a nap or watching porn, or maybe both.”
Martha eyed Eleanor coolly and reiterated, “I’m sorry, Miss Gentry, you’re going to have to make an appointment.”
“Fine,” said Eleanor in a patronizing tone. “How’s five minutes from now?”
Martha brought up the Admiral’s schedule. It was, in fact, largely empty, given the isolated nature of their mission. Eleanor didn’t need to know that, even if she seemed to have caught on anyway.
“I have tomorrow at 09:00,” said Martha. As Eleanor opened her mouth to argue, a voice piped up from the back of the room.
“No, Commander, right now would be just fine. Please come in, Miss Gentry,” said Admiral Beckley, as the two thirty-something women in front of him turned in surprise to see him standing in the now-open doorway. Martha quietly set her teeth on edge while Eleanor beamed triumphantly.
They were too much alike, his aide and the lawyer, the admiral realized with detached amusement. Both wanted power and influence, and acted like caricatures of hardened men to try and get it. Both were petite and physically attractive, but their personalities utterly destroyed their sexual appeal. It was of no consequence to Admiral Beckley, as he had given up bedding subordinates decades ago. Martha and Eleanor were both exactly what he needed them to be -- wholly convinced of their own shrewd superiority, and stunningly easy to manipulate.
As Eleanor followed him into the large office, he chastised her under his breath, “Watching porn, Miss Gentry? Should I be insulted?” That elicited a blush from the tow-headed attorney.
The admiral settled in behind his meticulously clean desk and smiled at Eleanor. “What can I do for you?” he asked.
Eleanor remained standing and got right down to business. “I was hoping you could shed some light on a few questions I have regarding Command.” Admiral Beckley raised an eyebrow.
“Questions? I’ll answer whatever I can, Miss Gentry.”
“Thank you,” she replied. “I’m wondering if you can tell me why Command assigned an ex-drone as executive officer of such a critical mission, especially when it’s possible we’ll have dealings with the Borg.”
Admiral Beckley smiled. “I noticed your cross-examination of the young commander at our meeting the other night. I take it you have a problem with him serving on this mission?”
“I don’t know what I think about it, to be perfectly honest, Admiral,” Eleanor replied stiffly. “The obvious security risks alone make me uncomfortable, and his answers to my questions regarding his Borg implants didn’t allay my concerns. By his own admission, what happened at Aris 4 could happen again, and we’re depending on some tiny piece of improvised technology that two officers cooked up in half a day to mitigate the risks? It seems reckless. And quite honestly, it doesn’t help matters that the commander looks like he should still be cramming for exams at the Academy,” she added disdainfully.
“Indeed, he’s quite young, isn’t he, Miss Gentry? Younger than he looks, even. Quite remarkable how much he’s been able to achieve in such a short time.”
“Maybe so,” said Eleanor, raising her eyebrows skeptically, “but he hasn’t inspired my confidence. And you haven’t answered my question.”
“Ah, yes. You want to know why Command assigned him to this mission.”
Eleanor nodded, looking expectantly at the admiral.
“Well, I suspect it has something to do with that fact that he was one of the few crewmembers from the Voyager mission who expressed interest in returning to the Delta Quadrant, and of those few, he was the one with the most navigational knowledge of the quadrant, not to mention the most experience with the Borg. He’s also a native.”
“Right ... Brenari?” Eleanor asked, trying to remember the name of Commander Icheb’s species and homeworld.
“Brunali,” Admiral Beckley corrected her. “Interesting people, really. Stubborn to the point of stupidity, but extraordinarily gifted in genetic science. You should check out the files on their world before we pass by it.”
“I will,” promised Eleanor. “Can I ask you a personal question?”
The admiral smiled. “I suppose that all depends on what it is, Miss Gentry.”
“I thought I saw you smiling during my questioning of Commander Icheb at the board meeting. I’ve been wondering why.”
Admiral Beckley smiled again. “I was simply enjoying the show. You’re a formidable interrogator. Frankly, Starfleet Intelligence could use more people like you.”
“Did you think my questions were valid?”
“I’m not in the business of deciding what is and isn’t a valid question. Sometimes the seemingly irrelevant questions turn out to be the most meaningful. And sometimes, neither the questions nor answers are relevant -- sometimes it comes down to how the subject holds up under the pressure. I have to say, I was impressed with the commander in that regard.”
“He was patient and thorough,” Eleanor grudgingly admitted.
“Indeed, he was, and you didn’t make it easy for him,” replied Admiral Beckley. “I believe your assignment to the advisory board was a good thing. If anything, you’ll keep everyone honest.”
Eleanor looked pleased with the compliment, and the Admiral wanted to laugh at how easy it was to flatter egotists like her into submission. He had, indeed, enjoyed watching her questioning of the young ex-drone Starfleet had assigned as Adele Oyugo’s second-in-command. Every hard-hitting, probing question the aggressive lawyer had asked had put doubts in the minds of the rest of the advisory board, he was sure of it, and such doubts could be very useful later. He was pleased that he hadn’t needed to say a word -- with Eleanor taking the lead, he could remain neutral, even encouraging, and as a result, be taken more seriously by the others if and when the time came to speak up.
“Is there anything else I can do for you, Miss Gentry?” he asked.
“Yes,” she replied, “As a matter of fact, you can answer one more question.”
“What’s that?” asked the admiral.
“Why were you selected for this mission?”
Interesting question, thought Admiral Beckley. He had a planned answer for it, of course, but he was still surprised she had asked.
“Well, I still have my youth, comparatively, and I’m a confirmed bachelor. Both of my parents are dead, and I’m an only child. In other words, I have no attachments. Put that together with my experience in SI, and I was the perfect choice. Besides,” he added, “no one else wanted the job. By the time you make admiral, not too many of your peers are interested in seven year missions to the other side of the galaxy. They might miss a dinner party or something.”
Eleanor snickered at this. “So, you’re braver than most?”
“No, not really,” said the admiral. “Just less attached to creature comforts, I suppose. Starfleet asked me to accept this billet, and I figured it would be more interesting than sitting around reading reports on Romulans and the Q Continuum for the next seven years.”
“We spy on the Q?”
“We analyze the Q. Their nature makes it nearly impossible to spy on them.”
“Right, of course,” said Eleanor.
“In any case,” said Admiral Beckley, “Starfleet called and I answered, same as any of us. I assume your reasons for being here are similar.”
Eleanor tried to keep her face neutral. In fact, her reasons were not so honorable. She had been an up-and-coming star in the Federation legal community when she had stupidly fallen for a prominent and very married politician. For the first time in her life, she had let herself actually fall in love, with an utterly unsuitable person. When his wife caught them in the act, she had threatened to take it public unless Eleanor went far away. Her lover had stood by his wife. He loved his career and influence more than either woman, and would fight to preserve it at any cost. Eleanor had heard rumors about the opportunity on the Tesseract and thought the Delta Quadrant sounded like a good place to ride out the next seven years, building a name for herself on Starfleet’s biggest mission while letting the flames die down at home. Her impeccable credentials and record, plus her reputation as a rising star had sold the Starfleet brass on sending a civilian lawyer. She got the spot.
“Yes, sir,” she replied quietly. “Starfleet called, and I answered.” Admiral Beckley assessed her with a critical eye. He knew the entire story about Councilman Urizar and Eleanor Gentry, and he knew it was the reason she had sought a position on the advisory board. He was surprised to see that she wasn’t a very good liar, at least not about this topic.
“Indeed,” said the admiral. He was silent for a long moment, staring at her. “Well,” he finally said, “it was lovely to chat with you, Miss Gentry, but it’s getting late -- ” he was interrupted by the power flickering briefly and a strange, high pitched, rumbling whine. Eleanor looked around anxiously. “Inertial dampers,” Admiral Beckley observed. “We’re out of slipstream.”
“How do you know?” asked Eleanor nervously. She was actually fairly inexperienced with space travel, other than uneventful short trips via Runabout to and from core Federation member worlds. She wasn’t sure she even knew exactly what an inertial damper was, let alone what it meant to hear one make that awful sound.
“They make that noise when the ship maneuvers too sharply or quickly. If we turned like that in the slipstream, we’d all be dead instantly,” he stated matter-of-factly. Eleanor blanched at this.
“Not to worry, Miss Gentry. I’m sure the bridge crew has it under control. Now, go get some dinner and some rest,” Admiral Beckley instructed her. “Thank you for the chat. If you ever have more questions, feel free to stop by again,” he added invitingly. “And don’t mind Martha, her bark is worse than her bite,” he said, referring to his irascible personal aide.
“Your aide doesn’t scare me in the least, Admiral,” Eleanor said levelly.
“Funny, she scares everyone else,” replied Admiral Beckley, smiling. He hoped Eleanor did stop by again, if for no other reason than so he could observe the entertaining pissing match between the two women.
“Have a good night, Admiral. Thank you for seeing me on short notice,” said Eleanor, and turned to leave.
“You’re welcome. Good night, Miss Gentry.”
When Eleanor had gone, the admiral sat back in his chair and closed his eyes. Over the next several minutes, he would commit their entire conversation -- every word, every glance, every facial expression -- to memory. Later, he would analyze it and try to extract motives and hidden meanings, but for now, he just sat back with his eyes closed, painstakingly memorizing every moment of the last twenty minutes.
Wow.... That Beckley is one creepy dude. I want to say that he makes me think that there could be a bit of the (cy)borg (SI, Section 31, II, TalShiar, Obsidian Order--they all put hardware in their operatives' skulls) to the most enegmatic person on the Tesseract. The only reason I'm not conjecturing further about what the mysterious Admiral (and this is so very much a person you think of as "THE ADMIRAL," like you know Worf will always, no matter his rank, think of Picard and Sisko as "The Captain") is that I'm likely to be wrong, and sound like a jackass. I mean, you've done this set up so well that you could go in any fifty directions with this guy--ahem!... I mean The Admiral.
Even if The Admiral turns out to be in the employ of the angels after all, you've lent him so subtle (yeah, like a cloaked, delayed-detonation mind-screw of a transphasic torpedo) a sinister quality that I am reminded that sometimes angels can be just as dangerous as devils.
Tesseract hasn't even bumped into any DQ aliens yet, and I'm already feeling anxious. Hells, the most dangerous aliens might just be from the AQ.
Thanks again, Kes. This is terrific stuff.
Beckley’s a cagey one, all right. As a former SI operative, he’s clinical, calculating, and there’s obviously more to him than meets the eye. He’s good at manipulating people, and it appears he’s already got one other member of the advisory board eating out of his hand. One wonders what his relationships will be to the remaining membership.
Quite right about Beckley and his fellow spooks. I'm thinking of Lt. Comdr T'Pryn from The Vanguard series, Sloan and Zweller of Section 31, and of course the one and only Elim Garak of the Obsidian Order. They all share some of the same core, requisite characteristics.
But I'm also thinking of former SI special operative, DS9's 1st officer, Commander Elias Vaughn. There's a mention in one of the books that despite Vaughn's deep involvement behind the scenes in so many quadrant shaping events in his 80 years in Starfleet, his first-name basis with more captains and flag officers than you can shake a stick at, and with a higher security clearance than many an admiral, SI/Command has kept him at the rank of Commander to avoid making him to tempting a target of interest/observation by enemy intelligence services.
The Admiral strikes me as someone who is a very, VERY good, accomplished spook. Now, if the rationale for Cmdr. Vaughn's "low-key" rank makes sense in the "Kes7-Trek" iteration, I wonder what that bodes for Beckley that he was promoted to the admiralty, and relatively early, if I recall correctly.
There's genuine intrigue here. I'm on the edge of my seat.
Kes. Yes, I'm back already. Couldn't sleep.
A thought occurs: What about an encounter between Bashir and The Admiral?
One of your readers mentioned appreciating a more seasoned Julian Bashir. Well some of that seasoning is spice of the Cardassian variety, I'd say, since Bashir was practically mentored in the art of linguistic legerdemain as warfare by my favorite spook of 'em all: Elim Garak! After the Dominion War, Section 31, and Garak, Dr. Bashir is also very cagey, and might handle The Admiral better than The Captain, and certainly better than Icheb. (Let's face it, Icheb is probably spoiled by the ever stalwart forthrightness of Admiral Janeway.)
Maybe The Captain and Bashir really hit it off, and she lets on a bit about her feelings about The Admiral. I bet Bashir's genetically enhanced ears would perk right up. Then would come the peppering of questions from Bashir as he sights on a new puzzle: catnip for the Tesseract's chief medical officer, amateur spy, raconteur, and interstellar man of mystery.
Besides, doesn't the Captain need a confidant. Bashir is a genius, affable, fun, has a pretty high security clearance, and is acknowledged by Starfleet as quite talented in the area of tactics.
Hee hee. Gotta love the mystery of 'The Admiral'. I'm with Diogenes on the title thing. This is our first significant insight to the man and it seems to offer light on his character and yet it actually doesn't. It merely ups the mystery and gives the man more shades of grey. Thoroughly engrossing as there's nothing better than a mystery figure who with each new reveal becomes that little more shadier and mysterious.
So we learn that ok the Admiral might not have put the bloodsucking and ambitious Eleanor onto Icheb's case but he sees how she can ultimately serve his cause - whatever that may be. His analysis of her is creepy in how he views her in terms of weaknesses and strengths and her potential usefulness to him. :shudder: Not a nice guy - even though his motivations are unclear and maybe not all bad there is so much ambiguity about him it will be hard to ever trust him. He's obviously got mysterious connections - Starfleet intelligence being one - but what or who else is he involved with. Certainly lots more going on than meets the eye.
Certainly, this character is going to provide lots of intrigue and character plottings. He's going to mix things up regardless. And mention of Starfleet monitoring the Q. Like little touches like that - Is it a lead? A red herring? A nod to TNG and voyager episodes with Q in them? Or does it prove that there's something more to this man? Something very dangerous?
It'll definitely make it more interesting if we NEVER find out which side The Admiral is on! I agree Bashir is an inspired choice in light of the intrigue that could ensue. This has the making of a first rate mystery as well as a cracking good read! Has onyone discovered any DBs(dead bodies) yet or have they been too cleverly disposed of?
As ever - a wonderful addition to my day - thanks!
Diogenes, I hope it wasn't creepy Admiral Beckley keeping you from sleeping!
I think the shipper count on Julian and Adele is up to two readers, and we've still not seen them interact.
As for Julian's history as a part-time amateur spy ... well, you'll just have to wait and find out whether that's going to be relevant.
Miranda Fave, and Gibraltar, thanks for the comments. You're right, the Admiral, whatever his motivations are, is not a "nice" person. He sees everyone and everything around him as a possible means to an end. He's definitely a "gray" character. Time will tell if the gray is closer to charcoal or mist.
ETA: Cross posted with oldstredshrtevr -- thanks for the comment!
The last chapter was the first time that I didn't think the advisors were superfluous to the plot - it gave some good insight into them as characters and showed they're interesting in their own right.
Hopefully this will continue.
MirandaFave: Hey there. I cant believe I just glossed by the Admiral's mention of the prospect of surveillance of the Q. I mean, I just dont think that this man mentions anything by accident. I think his every word is tasked toward a specific purpose. He could have said any number of things to the litigious Ms. Gentry, but he CHOSE to mention the Q. What the hells might Starfleet have been up to vis a vis the Q. For all we know, they made contact with the Calamarain and have the dirt on that one Q in particular.
I love interactions with Admirals in Trek. We've never known very much about them, and some of them seem to have lives as interesting and machiavellian as a member of the Klingon High Council. Remember Admirals like Nogura, Cartwright, Kennely, Dougherty, Batanades, Nakamura, Ross, et al?... Talk about complicated lives. And let's not forget my favorite Admiral of all: Fleet Admiral Alynna Nacheyev, who has moved Captains like Picard, Riker, and Calhoun around like 3d chess pieces. I find the professional and interior lives of Starfleet brass to be as interesting, maybe more so, than any nifty space battle. It's a peculiar person who wants to be among the admiralty, when you consider the fact that officers like Kirk, Spock, Picard, and Calhoun have demonstrated varying degrees of potential anaphylactic shock over the prospect of promotion beyond the center seat of a starship. (Janeway is one of those characters that was made for the admiralty, I think. She was born to tell people what to do. I love her for that.)
And there's always the possibility that Beckley is a member of Section 31. I cannot believe that 31 would allow a ship like the Tesseract to return to the DQ without some heavy duty "assets" on board. Voyager wound up in the DQ by accident (we think!), and even then, Luther Sloan had Section 31 agent Roberta Luke on board.
I cannot wait to see what the Admiral might be up to. And we haven't even gotten to the two retired captains on the council yet!
I'd love to have a scene where Bashir has one of those verbal fencing matches with the Admiral, while the doctor uses his enhanced senses to analyze Beckley, as he did when he confirmed a diagnosis of Tuvan's syndrome after meeting former TalShiar chairman Koval just once.
All Command officers, especially captains, but sometimes even admirals, seem put out by Starfleet's chief medical officers, who, regardless of rank, have the power to relieve any superior officer of duty if said superior is deemed to be intellectually and emotionally impaired. I wonder if Beckley will display even an hint of such a chip on his shoulder. Or, might the Admiral swat Bashir like a bug?
Oaky, one more random thought... I would love it if the Tesseract makes a stop over with Neelix and his Talaxian community. Afterall, Neelix is the only person in the DQ with a formalized relationship with the Federation. Neelix used to annoy the hell outta me, but he's good for a few things, like bugging the heck outta serious minded officers. I mean, Neelix is, in his own irretrievably avuncular fashion, as cagey, perceptive, devious, and obdurate as an admiral. Janeway saw beyond the Talaxian's sartorial outlandishness, and recognized the man's talents.
must. stop, now... Godsake, Kes, what are you doing to me?!
That was a very interesting though still mysterious insight into our Admiral here. As well as some info about Miss Gentley. I do too wonder how Julian will take on Beckley as well, somehow I can see a power struggle happening at some point as well. I think he's got a card up his sleeve. =3
Also, any chance of the Q stopping by for a round? XD
The Talaxian colony is on their flight plan.
As for the Q ... one never knows when they will show up. Q Junior considers Icheb a friend, so it's not out of the question. I can't speculate as to how Icheb would react to that, though. It almost didn't turn out so well for him the first time he met the Q.
Separate names with a comma.