Future Past - Part 4 "The Bold and the Righteous" (Flashback)
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: Kalandra Sector Command HQ, Betazed
Timeline: 2419, A Future That Was
[Previously in Right Choice]
Raising an eyebrow, Chrys said "Ah the future, such a nebulous thing for us. The smallest thing could change anything." She smiled. "You knew me in the future?"
"You can say that." Came the ambiguous response. Leaning back into her chair, she continued. "As you know, Lieutenant, I can't divulge too much, temporal protocols and all, but it suffices to say that you and your contacts in the criminal underworld were a great asset to the war effort. You understood that the war must be won and that the Federation must be defended, at all cost. You were willing to take the necessary actions, actions that your captain was unwilling to even consider. And for that I have always admired you."
Ishikawa had spoken only the truth, even if not the whole truth. What was left unsaid was that Capulet was one of those officers who had sided with Bolanus after the Bolian's coup d'état; she and her operatives had caused no small headache for Oliver as he prepared to march on Earth and put down the mutineers, delaying the 7th Fleet's departure from Betazed by nearly a full week through sabotage, which allowed Bolanus the necessary time to marshal his forces and put up a defense that nearly derailed the entire operation. In other words, they had been on the opposing sides of the brief - and fatal - civil war. They had been enemies.
But as it turned out, Capulet and Bolanus had been right all along. They could have saved the Federation from the Dominion. What was that Grazerite saying? The gods favor the victorious, history the vanquished. She had been on the wrong side of history by helping Oliver put down the coup; she would not make that same mistake again. She just hoped that Capulet was still the same realist that she had been, or rather would be. If Oliver ever found out what the Themyscira's true mission was, they could use an ally or at least someone sympathetic on the Arcadia.
::26 Years from Now, Security Complex, Kalandra Sector Command HQ, Betazed::
The thing about torture was that it didn't work on a person who was used to that sort of thing. A person who had been beaten and raped for years had a resilience, an inner well of fortitude. That was the situation the security and intelligence officers found themselves in. They had a prisoner. One who had that well of fortitude. One who laughed at them when they put their best methods to the fore.
Chrysanthe Capulet had long ago learned to segregate her mind, shutting out the pain and discomfort. She had learned that her body was temporary and pain would fade and she never let it touch her sanity. And she merely let loose with a laugh after one used a baseball bat on her left arm. Compared to her father's actions, these tickled. "You swing like a 6 year old girl" She taunted him, knowing her arm like other parts of her body, was broken.
"Shut her up!" Snapped an other. "I think we should knock her teeth out!"
"Pity she needs her tongue to be able to tell us everything!" sneered yet another.
She stuck it out at him. Blood seeped down her face from cuts on her scalp where hair had been ripped out or cut out. She was strapped to a stool, her ankles chained and her arms also. Pain suffused her entire form but she ignored it. Dressed only in her underwear of boy shorts and tank top, she knew they were probably aiming for the ultimate indignation. Not that she cared. She had been raped before. She had used her body to seduce. Sex, rough sex, rape did not affect her as counselors thought it would. She merely blocked it out.
"Once we get the information..." one warned "That tongue will be the first thing to go!"
"Well maybe" Another grumbled. "Without her tongue she won't be able to clean up the blood she is leaving everywhere."
They laughed and another picked up an old fashioned taser.
Chrys smirked slightly. "Oh now boys, electrical play will cost you more." she taunted.
A hand cracked across her cheek. "Shut up, slut!" the leader of their group snarled.
"Oh, is being a slut a bad thing?" Chrys replied innocently spitting out blood. He had loosened several of her teeth over the past hours.
The sneers that followed that comment were the warning before they shot the taser into her stomach. She screamed as her body convulsed and shook in its bonds.
::Corridor outside of the Interrogation Room::
Captain Nami Ishikawa quickened her pace to catch up with the gray haired admiral and signaled the four Marines to follow suit. She had warned Mendez not to go overboard with the interrogation, but he apparently ignored her warning. It's not that she disagreed with his methods - she did not - and the way the war was going, most sector commanders would concur that desperate times called for desperate measures. But Oliver Antoninus Lee was not your average sector commander. The man's sense of morality only grew more rigid as the military and political situation outside of his own sector deteriorated. So she had warned the newly appointed security chief, who had been hand picked by the vice president himself, to be more restrained when he questioned his suspects because once Oliver found out that "enhanced" interrogation techniques were being practiced in his own headquarters, heads would roll, and not even the vice president could shield the poor bastard from his fury.
Of course, she couldn't care less about Mendez's career or his fate, but she wanted to spare Oliver the wholly unnecessary moral vexation that would inevitably ensue. The last few days had already been stressful enough for him as he prepared to march on Earth and put down Bolanus' little coup de'tat; he could do without someone so bluntly testing his moral fortitude - or obstinacy, depending on whom you asked. Sure enough, as soon as the commander of the Kalandra Sector burst into the interrogation room, fire flared in his eyes.
Admiral Oliver Antoninus Lee had seen with his own eyes the horrors of war, but the woman whose blood-soaked tank top had been torn to pieces, barely covering her battered and bruised body, was not a victim of war; she was a victim of savage barbarity that far exceeded even the necessities of total war. What had they become? What had the Federation become?!
Enunciating every word with vehemence and fury, he shouted at Commander Mendez, who had set himself atop his victim. "What do you think you are doing?!"
Chrys was barely conscious but she heard the voice and bit back a sarcastic report. She lifted her head and focused on the tall man before her. She knew the face. "Admiral Lee" She got out, her throat raw from screaming. "Welcome to the party. You are just in time it seems for the grand finale. Or is rape a too soft an option? Will you be joining them? I warn you, expert though I am.. more than 3 at a time stretches my limits.. you may have to draw straws."
One of the security officers who didn't really care there was an admiral in the room, lashed out with his foot, connected with her chin. A crack echoed and the pain caused the blond woman to pass out finally.
"Sorry sir, the slag has been talking trash all session." He said by way of explanation.
The commander, however, knew he was in deep shit. He climbed off of the now unconscious blond and gave Lee a salute. "She still has not give us anything of use, Sir."
For a brief moment Oliver was struck speechless by the woman's retort; it was defiant, it was morbid. His initial dismay turned to bewilderment, and bewilderment soon gave way to rage. What had they done to her to bring out such madness?
"Sergeant Prenar," he bellowed his order to the Cardassian Marine behind him. "disarm Commander Mendez and his men, and throw them in the brig where they will never see the light of day!"
The lieutenant who had just kicked the Chrys unconscious was visibly shocked by the order, and as the Marines moved in with their weapons drawn, Mendez opened his mouth to protest, but was not even given a chance.
"Shut it!" Oliver cried. "You are a disgrace to this uniform. All of you! Now get them out of my sight! And where's the medic?!"
Nami frowned as she watched the Marines remove Mendez and his men from the interrogation room. The last time she saw Oliver this angry . . . well, she had never seen him this angry.
::Later, Medical Center, Kalandra Sector Command HQ::
Chrys had come around, slowly and found herself in a medical bed, in clean clothes and with a lot less aches and pains than she had, had when she had last been conscious.
With Captain Nami Ishikawa in tow, Admiral Oliver Lee paused a few steps from Recovery Suite 44-6 and sighed. What he had witnessed in the interrogation room this morning was unconscionable and it had happened right under his nose. When did it go so wrong? He asked himself. Another sigh, he shook his head and proceeded to enter the room. After quietly dismissing the two security officers on guard, he stepped over to one side of the bed where Chrys laid.
"Commander Capulet," he said, "how are you holding up?"
Her brown eyes raised up from her silent contemplation of the medical blanket that covered her. She studied the man beside the bed and tilted her head to the side. A number of comments flitted through her mind, but for once she chose to filter them. "Ah Admiral Lee. I see I am still at the... tender mercies of the opposition." She commented. "I am a lot better than before. I am sure your medics have informed you of that. Will I be returning to the tender mercies of your questioners now that I am in better physical shape? After all, they never got their answers." She was sure this was a softening up stunt.
Oliver's brows tightened at the apparent sarcasm in her voice - at least he would like to believe that it was sarcasm in her voice.
"You have my sincerest apology for what Mendez and his men did to you, Commander. They have been relieved of their duty and will be court-martialed accordingly." Pausing briefly, he continued, "Of course, I can't just let you go free. After all, you and your associates did cause some significant damages to the shipyards. But from now on, Captain Ishikawa, here will be in charge of your interrogation, and I assure you, Commander, what happened to you earlier will not happen again."
Chrys highly doubted that, but she didn't comment on that. "I am sure the captain will be much nicer." she said with a slight sarcasm. "And for the record, where is your proof?"
Oliver exchanged a look with Nami, who responded with a roll of her eyes. Turning his attention back to the other woman, he pulled over a chair nearby and sat down.
"Commander, one of your associates has already confessed and given us a thorough account of your sabotage operation from the beginning to the end. He has also provided us with enough hard evidence for conviction in exchange for leniency. There is no need for further denial, Commander."
She laughed softly at that. "Oh, please any lawyer would sink any so called confession. If they were 'questioned' the way I was, it is not able to be used. In fact, I know I have a case against those officers and their command line under Federation law. Assault, Battery, Sexual assault, grievous bodily harm. Your people, Admiral, screwed up and now you want me to 'confess' so you can cover their arses. Because it all reflects."
Chrys had grown up in the darker side of the Federation and her work in SI had prepared her for the darker things in life. She looked a lot younger than her 51 years of age and it often threw people off. She had a lot of knowledge.
Calmly the gray-haired admiral retorted, "Presidential Order 13765 permits the use of 'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.' In fact, it allows sector commanders the discretion to admit evidence obtained under EIT in a court-martial if necessary. And in any case, under the Preservation of Public Security Act of 2413 I can detain you indefinitely as a clear and present danger to Federation security without ever sending you to a court-martial. So I suggest that you cooperate, Commander."
Nami raised a slight eyebrow as Oliver spoke. There was not a hint of dismay in his countenance, but she knew that it must have disgusted him to mention either the presidential order or the PPSA, - the former of which was, in his words, "an abomination born of fears and moral capitulation" and his assessment of the latter was only slightly more generous - but Capulet had information that they needed, and Oliver was not above deceptions. In fact, he never shied away from them and had used them to tremendous success throughout the war, even gaining for himself the moniker of "Lee the Illusionist" after he had bluffed his way onto DS5 with only a few dozen ships and retaken the station from the much larger Dominion garrison without firing a single shot.
But something told her that Capulet hadn't come to Betazed without having first studied the man whose ship yards she was going to sabotage. She was, after all, one of the best field agents Starfleet Intelligence had ever had. In fact, it was only by pure luck that they had caught her at all. If she was half as good as reports suggested, she must have read Oliver little speech after Delia II and know that as unpredictable as he was on the battlefield, he was entirely predictable when it came to questions of a moral nature. A rarity these day, but a predictable rarity.
"So do so, Admiral" Chrys replied with a small smile. "Lock me up, throw away the key. I have nothing to confess to. Though I do find it very hypocritical of you to quote regulations when your people are guilty of such worse crimes and they got away with it." She examined her fingernails. "My lawyers are on earth, London, Firm of Cyran and Buttler. Do make sure to call them this time before you question me, Captain... Ishikawa, was it? The last time your people refused to do so. Oh and you might want to let Starfleet Intelligence know I am here." She gave them both a bland look. "I am going to enjoy this little... holiday."
"Starfleet Intelligence?" Oliver raised a small eyebrow. "I thought you worked for General Bolanus. Isn't that why you came to Betazed? The general knew that I had been ordered to retake Earth, so he sent you to sabotage the ship yards and buy him some time to bring the 2nd, the 5th, and the 11th Fleets back to Earth to mount a defense? You certainly have succeeded in your mission, Commander, but let's not pretend that you still works for Starfleet Intelligence. Or the Federation, for that matter."
"General Bolanus is a great man, one of the best flag officers we have ever had in this war, but the moment he took up arms against the very Charter and Constitution that he had sworn to protect, he became a mutineer, and so is everyone who made that same oath, but continues to stand with him. I have a direct order from President N'Verix to bring him in so that he can stand trial for his acts of rebellion, but the President's offer of amnesty still stands, Commander. Cooperate with us, and you won't be tried for any criminal acts committed prior to this point. You have my word."
"But this is about more than just you, or me, Commander. We can't afford fighting a costly civil war while the Dominion continues to press against our front lines. Too much is at stake. So, please, Commander, help me end this with as little blood shed as possible so that we can go back to what we are supposed to do, pushing back the Dominion and finishing this damned war."
She gave a soft laugh. "The Dominion will never be defeated if you keep pussy footing around Admiral. Keep playing the political game and yes you will go far. But unless you are willing to get your hands dirty, You won't beat them. You are too naive. They will be beaten back, as they have before, but they will come again, and again. Sometimes, the only steps to take are the ones that give people like you nightmares." She focused on him. "I do what I have to for the survival of the Federation. I swore that oath. And I uphold it. I don't need to help you Admiral. I am willing to die for my convictions, how many will die for yours before you see the point that your convictions have done this?"
Oliver's brows tightened slightly. "We are Starfleet, Commander. We follow the chain of command, and the President sits on the very top of that chain. We can't just remove the government whenever we feel like to, or we would be no different from the Praetorian Guard or the Tal Shiar. The Federation stands for something, and if we give up the ideals that make the Federation Federation, we would be fighting for a mere husk, we would be fighting for nothing. Like too many people you have lost family and friends in this war, Commander, do you want their sacrifices to be for nothing?"
"We shall see who is right in the end, won't we, Admiral? History is the real judge." Chrys replied calmly.
Oliver let out a quiet sigh. History had always been one of his passions - in fact, he had dreamed of becoming a historian before his grandfather pushed him into the Academy - but now instead of studying history he was preparing the 7th Fleet to make it. Indeed, how would history judge him? He wondered.
But perhaps he should leave that to history itself and focus on the task at hand.
"Yes, we shall see." He said as he stood up from the chair. "I hope you would change your mind, Commander." Another sigh, he smiled wryly. "Maybe in another life we would be serving together rather than against each other, but . . ." Shaking his head, he said, "Let me know if you need anything, Commander."
Chrys stopped the rather bitter laugh she wanted to give escaping her lips. "Let me know when you see sense, Admiral" She replied instead.
[To be continued in Part 5 . . . . . .]
Admiral Oliver A. Lee
Commander, Kalandra Sector
Captain Nami Ishikawa
Chief of Staff
(NPC - Oliver)
Commander Chrysanthe Capulet