Future Past - Part 3 "Dispatch from 2418" (Flashback)
Posted on Sat May 20th, 2017 @ 12:56am by Captain Oliver Lee PhD
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Timeline: 2418, A Future That Was
MEDARA, BETAZED (Cardassia News Group)
Federation Transportation Secretary Etana N’Verix, who had been under confinement on Benzar after General Bolanus seized power on Earth nearly a week ago, re-appeared on Betazed. Flanked by Betazoid Chancellor Elbron and Admiral Oliver A. Lee, commander of the Kalandra sector, Mrs. N’Verix made the following announcement from the Chancellery:
"Seven standard days ago, Arlon Bolanus and his followers trampled on the Federation Constitution they have sworn to defend and seized the organs of the Federation government on Earth. Due to this hideous act of treason, President Jiv'ek, Speaker LaFleur, Chief Justice Tovel, and most of the cabinet secretaries are now unable to discharge the duties of their offices. As such and in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act of 2359, the powers and responsibilities of the President have fallen to me."
"It is with a heavy heart and a determination to restore the proper constitutional order that I accept these responsibilities, and I call upon all members of Starfleet and all patriotic citizens to resist the illegal and unconstitutional regime of Bolanus. And to those who might seek to violate the territorial integrity of the United Federation of Planets or otherwise to do it harm during this most unfortunate crisis, make no mistake, we will respond with any and all necessary measures."
A spokesperson for General Bolanus dismissed N’Verix’ announcement as a “treasonable charade.”
“Let me remind you,” Said Captain Valerie Muravyov in reply to a reporter’s question. “Etana N’Verix was part of the Jiv’ek regime’s inner circle and was arrested on charges of corruption and high treason. She is a fugitive, and she will answer for her crimes against the Federation.”
There is no official confirmation as to how Mrs. N’Verix escaped Benzar and ended on Betazed, but according to multiple sources, who all requested anonymity, it was one of Admiral Lee’s special ops teams that took Mrs. N’Verix from her confinement and brought her to Betazed.
Whatever the truth is, this was the first time a sector commander openly opposed Bolanus and his new government. It is almost certainly the beginning of a civil war that most analysts agree the Federation cannot afford as the Dominion has made slow, but steady gains in recent months against Starfleet.
Shortly after Mrs. N’Verix’ announcement, Castellan Erim’s office released a statement urging the two sides to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis and offered Cardassia Prime as a neutral ground for negotiation. So far neither General Bolanus nor Mrs. N’Verix has responded to the offer.
Cardassia as well as the Romulan Republic dissolved its alliance with the Federation 12 years ago when the Federation, against the advice of its allies, unilaterally launched preemptive strikes against Dominion positions in the Gamma Quadrant, thus commencing the 2nd Dominion War. But despite the Union’s official policy of neutrality, successive polls showed a plurality of the public held positive to very positive opinion of the Federation. There were even rumors of Cardassia possibly abandoning its neutrality and joining its erstwhile ally in the conflict.
All that changed after the Artelian Massacre on Delia II, in which nearly 1500 Dominion prisoners of war perished at the hands of retreating Federation forces. The Union condemned the atrocity and reaffirmed its policy of neutrality. Public opinion also turned sharply against the Federation in the aftermath of the massacre.
It is still unclear how this looming civil war will play out. While General Bolanus has a clear numerical advantage at the latest tally, forces under Admiral Lee’s command are among the most experienced and successful in Starfleet. But whatever happens, the Federation stands to lose the most while the Dominion is almost certainly the biggest beneficiary of the civil strife.
Patina Gurak reported from Medara, Betazed. CNG writers Sver Tah in Lakaria, Cardassia and Agnes Wang in San Francisco, Earth also contributed to this report.