What Awaits Us - Part 1 "Hindsight"
Posted on Sat Sep 26th, 2015 @ 3:40am by Captain Oliver Lee PhD
Edited on on Sun Feb 18th, 2018 @ 3:02am
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Marine Corps Camp Entock, Benzar
Timeline: Mid 2416 (Alpha)
Etana N'Verix was not the kind of person who would dwell endlessly on regrets, but ever since all hell broke loose three days ago, she had begun to re-examine some of her career choices in life. She was a rather successful business consultant in Tucson when she decided to run for the mayor's office, which had just been vacated after its previous occupant was kicked out in a recall referendum. Like most people in this North American city, she was fed up with the corruption and nepotism of the city hall, but unlike most people, she believed that there was still hope and that all her city needed was an outsider, a non-politician with management experience to fix the fiscal morass and restore confidence. So she ran. And she won.
She left her business before taking the oath of office and never went back. From Tucson, she went on to serve in state, national and planetary governments until the then Federation President-elect Jiv'ek approached her and asked her to join his cabinet. The Hakaran had run and won on a platform of honesty and accountability; in him she saw herself when she first stepped into politics. Just like in Tucson, she was dismayed by the corruption and incompetence of the previous two administrations, and just like in Tucson, she saw an opportunity to make a difference so she took the offer and was immediately put in charge of the Department of Transportation.
In retrospect, it seemed that she had been so eager to believe in the possibility of salvation for the Federation that she convinced herself to overlook the muddled records of Jiv'ek throughout his political career. It didn't take long for her to realize that Jiv'ek was just as bad, no, he was far worse than his predecessors. Sleazy, vindictive, and self-absorbed, he was the epitome of everything that was wrong with today's politics. But not in her wildest nightmare could she have imagined that the President of the United Federation of Planets would sacrifice an entire star system and its billions of inhabitants just to settle a decade-old grudge against a personal enemy. It seemed that there was no salvation for the Federation after all, at least not in the Place de la Concorde.
Yet, she hesitated, until her mother's illness gave her the excuse she had been looking for to leave Earth so that she could clear her thoughts and decide what to do. On her way to Benzar, after much struggle and vacillation, she finally made up her mind: she would resign from her post as the Secretary of Transportation and retire from politics all together. She had had enough of it. But then the coup happened, and as soon as she landed on Benzar, she was immediately arrested for corruption and a host of other charges that she was too stunned to process, although treason was probably mentioned there somewhere.
They first put her in a detention center just outside of the capital city and then moved her to a marine barracks somewhere less accessible to prying eyes and protesters, some of whom cheered as she was being led to the transport shuttle.
They told her a ship would be here in four days to take her back to Earth so that she could stand trial for her "crimes against the Federation." In the first two days, as she sat in her cell, she agitated over how to defend herself in court against those ludicrous charges, but this morning she woke up to the realization that perhaps those charges were not that ludicrous after all. Perhaps after serving in the Jiv'ek cabinet for more than four years, she was indeed guilty of being an accomplice to a President who had treated the Federation like his personal fiefdom. She could, after all, have resigned a long time ago, but she didn't.
At that thought, the Ktarian woman sighed. Falling back against the wall, she looked up at the ceiling from her bed, but before she could ponder further, the lights in the holding cell flickered several times and then gave out completely. As the emergency lights kicked in, she could hear a rush of commotions just outside the brig, followed by what sounded like phaser fire and, was that an explosion? Then everything was eerily quiet for a brief and unsettling moment before the doors to the brig slid open and a team of three fully armed and armored commandos rushed in with their weapons raised while another three secured the corridor just outside the entrance.
Having quickly made sure the rest of the brig was empty, one of the commandos approached the holding cell and deactivated the confinement field. Raising the visor on his helmet, the Rigelian lowered his weapon and said, "Madam Secretary, I'm Lieutenant Commander Gaelan. We are here to free you. Please come with us."
"Where are you taking me?" Asked the Ktarian, visibly alarmed.
"Somewhere safe and away from here, ma'am, and please, we must leave now." Urged the commando.
With a hesitant nod, N'Verix gave her consent. Did she really have a choice?
"Emerald to Indigo," Said Gaelan to someone on the other end of the comm link. "Axiam has been secured. Proceeding to the extraction point." Then with a hand gesture, he signaled the other two commandos in the room to fall into defensive formation around the Ktarian.
As the commandos escorted N'Verix out of the brig, she couldn't help but wonder what awaited her. She was ready to resign to her fate, but what did fate have in store for her?
[To be continued . . .]
Secretary of Transportation
United Federation of Planets
(NPC - Oliver)