Danai Dona Ferentes
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Kalandra Sector Command HQ, Betazed
Timeline: Mid 2416 (Alpha)
Her hands clasped behind her, Nami stood beside Oliver at the head of the rectangular conference table as they waited for the last attendees to make their way inside the spacious briefing room, where all the senior commanders of the Kalandra Sector were gathering; some were there in person while others attended through holographic projection. Once Vice Admiral Harrison Wells, commanding officer of the 3rd Fleet, took his seat, Nami signaled to Oliver, who was conversing with his deputy sector commander Lieutenant General T'Lir, that it was time to start the meeting.
Clearing his voice, the sector commander turned his attention to the rest of the room. "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining me. As you must have all heard from yesterday, Secretary N'Verix has assumed the office of the President in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act of 2359."
"Unfortunately General Bolanus has refused President N'Verix' offer of amnesty in exchange for his surrender, which, while disappointing, was not unexpected. Regrettably it also means that we now have no choice, but to resort to force." Turning to Nami, he said, "Commander?"
At the prompt, Nami turned on the holographic display detailing the current strategic situation. "As of this morning," She said, highlighting several sections of the map. "General Bolanus has under his effective control approximately 52 percent of Federation territory and 48 percent of Starfleet assets, including both combat and support elements. Three sector commands have not made clear their intentions so we cannot reliably depend on their support. In terms of effective combat strength, that leaves us outnumbered 3 to 2, ."
"Thank you, Commander." Said Oliver with a nod before turning back to the others. "I know we are at a slight disadvantage here, but by the direct order of the President, our primary objective is the restoration of the proper constitutional order. We are to retake Earth and . . . . . ."
"Proper order?" Hsina lashed out in a rage. "You think installing the secretary of bloody transportation as the president gives you legitimacy, for what? To restart shuttle service?"
"Excuse me?" Oliver turned to the marine with a raised eyebrow.
"No Oliver, I won't excuse you. You can't go rescue some pansy transportation manager and expect anyone to look at her as the rightful president. I thought you knew what was at stake here, but I guess I was mistaken" Hsina was standing, fists clenched and her gaze locked onto that of Oliver Lee. She could break him like a twig if she got too worked up.
Oliver stood up from his chair and took several steps toward the marine. Looking up at the taller woman, he said coldly. "What's at the stake is your career, Brigadier Amman. Insulting the Commander-in-Chief is punishable by court-martial so stand down and return to your quarters. I'll decide what to do with you later."
"That bus dispatcher is no Commander-in-Chief" Hsina shot back, now standing only inches from Lee.
"Let me remind you, Brigadier, insubordination during war time is a capital offense, and trust me when I say this time the court-martial would not end in your acquittal like the one after Mercadia III. Or do you think you can count on Bolanus to come to your rescue? Oh, yes, I know about that little treasonable talk you had with him before you left Earth. Not that I was surprised, people as narcissistic and unprincipled as you make perfect bedfellows with Bolanus."
Hsina punched him so hard his entire body spun around as he fell backward and sprawled out on the deck in front of her. "Who I share my bed with is none of your damned business."
With that Hsina headed for the door as Ishikawa reached for her phaser.
"I'd suggest you either put that toy away or make sure it is set to kill" Hsina said as she walked past the admiral's chief of staff and out the door.
Oliver winced as Nami applied 2 ccs of lapritoxa with a hyperspray at the base of his neck. It was for the lingering pain; his doctor had already mended the more serious injuries. The medicine was quick and effective, but the initial sting that surged through his body was rather unpleasant.
"Thank you, Commander." He said to his chief of staff with a small smile. Then he turned his head and looked up at the hulking marine before him. "You know, when I said you should punch me in the face for realism's sake, I had in mind a little pain, maybe a little bruise, not a full-on dislocated jaw."
"Realism Ollie, if I'd just given you a love-tap nobody would have bought it" Hsina said truthfully. "Besides, its not often one gets to deck an admiral WITH permission, had to make the most of it."
Oliver shook his head with a soft chuckle. "Well, if you enjoyed it, I guess it's all worth it." Pausing briefly, he waited for Nami to return with a small device with an obviously non-Starfleet design. Taking the device from her chief of staff, he looked at it for a second before handing it to Hsina.
"This is an El Aurian long-range communicator, courtesy of Zax. Starfleet has never been able to tap into his comm link so hopefully it will keep all your communication secure from Bolanus, too. We have also prepared a cover story for you." He turned to his chief of staff. "Commander?"
Nami had never liked Amman. She still remembered how the woman threatened Oliver during a heated altercation after the Mercadia III incident, and she would never forgive her for that. But Oliver trusted the marine, and as his chief of staff, she would make sure that trust was not misplaced.
"The USS Tigris is ready for you in hanger bay 5C, Brigadier." She said. "You will be able to access it with your security codes. The runabout is equipped with a Type V cloaking device, and the defense grid's tetryon sensors will be running a level 2 self-diagnostic between 2315 and 2345 hours during a snap inspection. Tomorrow morning we will release a statement announcing your escape and declare you a wanted fugitive."
"Sounds like fun" Hsina replied truthfully.
"Commander Ishikawa will join you on Earth later." Continued Oliver. "She'll be there to help organize local resistance. All three of us will have the same long range communicators to stay in touch. Hopefully you will have weakened Bolanus from within by the time I reach Earth with the 7th Fleet." He paused before adding. "You can also use the communicator to reach Zax. He has quantum displacers on board his ship, and he can help you get into the most secure facilities if need be. And yes, I did ask him to lend me a quantum displacer or two, but he couldn't, something about user compatibility."
"I'll keep that in mind, but probably I'll just use the front door to wherever I want to go, probably with an invitation."
"I hope so." Said Oliver as he stood up from the couch. "Remember, when the time comes, Bolanus is to be apprehended unharmed. He will answer for his treason under the laws that he has trampled on, but he is still a Starfleet officer and a patriot, an utterly misguided one, but a patriot nonetheless."
"I know him. Once he figures things out, he won't let anyone take him unharmed, not even me."
Oliver nodded and extended his arm for a farewell handshake. "Very well. See you on Earth, Hsina. Oh, and use the back door please."
"I'll try to remember that" Hsina replied as she shook his hand.
Admiral Oliver A. Lee
Commanding Officer, Kalandra Sector
Commander Nami Ishikawa
Chief of Staff, Kalandra Sector Command
Brigadier General Hsina Amman
Commander Special Operations Forces, Kalandra Sector