Where We Stand - Part 2 "Allegiance"
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Kalandra Sector Command HQ, Betazed
Timeline: Mid 2416 (Alpha)
Tags: romance, relationships
[Previously in Part 1]
. . . . . .
"If you insist on obeying that order then I don't know how I can help you. You could always send me to the Gallian system to attack it from the inside. Not every mission needs to go all the way through channels."
"I don't suppose they do." Said Oliver. "But that's not going to be enough to win us the war."
"No, it won't win the way, but it might buy you those eight months."
Oliver shook his head, but before he could say anything, the door chime rang.
"Enter." He said, downing the rest of his glass' content.
Nami stepped through the opening doors. "Sir, you have to see this." She said.
. . . . . .
Walking over to the wall-mounted holographic display, Nami pressed a few controls, and the display flickered to life, showing a live news feed.
". . . not clear. All communication with the Place de Concorde, the Federation Council, and even Starfleet Command seem to have been severed. Reports of firefights and explosions have been pouring in from all over the planet, but most of the fighting seems to concentrate around government offices and military installations. When reached, T'Lel, a spokesperson for the United Earth Government, urged calm, but had no further comment. Rumors of a Dominion raid have cause panic in some parts of . . ."
Suddenly the feed was cut off and replaced with an image of Marine General Ardon Bolanus standing before a lectern with a Federation flag hanging behind him. The Bolian was composed and stern as he spoke.
"My fellow citizens, in the past few years, as you have all witnessed again and again, the politicians have failed their duty as elected officials. Their corruption, their incompetence and their shameless disregard for the welfare of the Federation and its citizens have brought us to this deplorable state of affairs that we find ourselves in. Every day, the Dominions advance, every day they seize more star systems, and every day they massacre those who resist and enslave those who surrender, and yet the politicians continue to bicker among themselves, not for the greater good, but for their own selfish interests. The Federation Council debates while the Federation burns!"
"My fellow officers and I have sworn to protect the Federation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And to defeat the Dominions, we must first rid ourselves of those traitors who have sacrificed the common welfare for their personal gains. As such I hereby declare the dissolution of the Federation Council, the Office of the Federation President, and the Federation Supreme Court. Until we cleanse the Federation of the Dominion menace as well as the venom that has crippled it from within, my fellow officers and I will assume the responsibilities of government."
"I urge all patriotic citizens to join us and safeguard our beloved Federation from anyone who might wish to do it harm. At the meantime, please remain in doors and remain calm. There will be a press conference at 2030 hours at Starfleet Command, and any questions you might have will be answered then. Bolanus out."
At that the screen cut to black momentarily before regular news feed resumed.
"This is an incredible development, Chris." Exclaimed the Tellarite news anchor on the screen. "There has only been one other coup attempt in the entire history of the Federation, and the Leyton Affair did not even come close to what we are witnessing here today."
"Indeed, Gral." Said the human co-anchor. "And if you ask me, it's about time that someone did something about . . ."
With a wave of his hand, Oliver signaled Nami to cut off the feed. Dismayed, he said nothing as he considered his options. He had drafted several operational plans for just such an event ever since he first received intel about a possible coup attempt more than three months ago. But he had hoped that an officer as respected as Bolanus would not in fact be part of such madness, much less at the very head of it. He was indignant.
Hsina watched the whole thing, and just as much watched Lee's reaction. She sat quietly, took downed the rest of her drink and quietly refilled the glass.
"Not bad" she finally said as she put the glass down and licked her lips.
Oliver turned to the marine with a raised eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"I meant the whisky, its really not bad."
"You seem awfully calm."
"I'm always calm? I would ask how you could be surprised, but I already know your morality requires it."
"Let me guess, you don't agree with it"
"No I do not share it. Would it surprise you if I said that Bolanus and I had lunch last week?"
That was indeed a surprise. Oliver had not expected to hear that from Hsina, but again, should he really be surprised? "You knew about what Bolanus was going to do, and you didn't think it was necessary to tell me about it?"
"No, he didn't come right out and say it, but I understood the message nonetheless"
"What did you talk about then?" Oliver asked coolly as Nami watched the two engaging in an all too familiar argument.
"What did we talk about? Really?"
Hsina downed her third glass, amounting to somewhere just north of six shots.
"We talked about people, two people to be specific. Our spineless turd of a president, and you."
Oliver set down his glass on the table between them and leaned back into the couch, his arms crossed before his chest. "I'm flattered. And do share."
"He wanted to know if I thought I could take you out, and then if I would."
"And your answers?"
"Well for the first question, it wouldn't have been hard" Hsina said as she pulled the 30-century-old bronze dagger out of her boot and dropped it heavily on the table. "That little wimp in the front and this little twig here certainly wouldn't have been able to stop me."
Nami un-holstered her phaser as soon as the dagger was out of the boot. Ammam left the Bunker Hill not long after she was rescued so she didn't know the woman all that well personally, but her reputation of being a nut job preceded her so her little charade didn't take Nami entirely by surprise. The marine's callous display of sheer impudence and arrogance, however, disgusted her nonetheless.
Oliver calmly raised his hand and signaled his chief of staff to stand down.
"Would I? Now that was the difficult question, but seeing as you are still breathing I'd say you already know the answer."
With an uncharacteristic sneer, Oliver said, "Well, I suppose I should be flattered that you found the question difficult at all, considering both you and Bolanus believe in winning the war at any cost. With him in charge, you would have all the operational latitude you want, the kind of reckless license that you knew I would never give to you, or to anyone else under my command."
"You also knew very well that I would not allow the coup to stand unchallenged. Take me out, either the entire sector falls in line behind Bolanus, or at the very least confusion reigns and he has considerably less opposition to contend with. So tell me, Hsina, what in the universe could have stopped you from ending this miserable life of mine? Don't tell me you were moved by my 'morality' because then I would really be flattered."
"25-years-ago you asked me if I had allegiance to anything besides myself. Do you remember what I told you?"
Oliver unfolded his arms and ran one hand through his graying hair. "I'm getting old, Hsina. Even my gray hair is growing gray hair." He said, paraphrasing Theo's words. The truth was, he did remember what Hsina had told him 25 years ago, but he wanted her to say it herself, for Nami's benefit, if not for his.
"Well I told you that I'd skin you alive if you eVer called me Muffin, but I also told you that I swore my allegiance to Starfleet, and that I had never disobeyed an order, not even from Enright. Nothing has changed. My oath wasn't to Bolanus, you or anyone else, it was to Starfleet, and whether they deserve it or not, they have always had and still have my loyalty."
Oliver smiled wryly at the mention of "muffin". That was his endearing nickname for Michaela; at least it used to be. Now she wouldn't even talk to him, much less let him call her "muffin" although if he was honest with himself, she had never seemed too enthused about the nickname; she seemed to have just tolerated it like she did with many of his antics.
A frown stretched acrossed Nami's face as the word "muffin" spilled out of the marine's mouth. She had always hated muffin, both the pastry and the nickname, but especially the nickname. It reeked of Michaela, that wretched woman, who for the last ten years had brought nothing but misery to Oliver. He deserved someone better, someone who cared for him, someone like Korra, someone like herself.
"That's all I need to hear." Said Oliver. Standing up from the couch and with a small smile, he offered the marine his right hand. "Welcome to Betazed, Hsina. We have a coup to put down."
"Yes we do" Hsina replied.
Vice Admiral Oliver A. Lee
Commander, Kalandra Sector
Brigadier General Hsina Ammam
Special Operations Command Kalandra
Commander Nami Ishikawa
Chief of Staff, Kalandra Sector Command HQ
(NPC - Oliver)