Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: Guest Quarters, USS Arcadia
Timeline: 1946 Hours, MD 2 (March 4, 2393)
[Previously in Future Past - Part 14 "Treason, They Cried", Prologue: Inner Voice, and Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way]
. . . . .
"Admiral Oliver Lee, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Goss of the Presidential Guard." The officer introduced himself. After a hesitant pause, he continued. "I'm sorry, sir, but I have been ordered to place you under arrest and to take you to Camp Lansin immediately."
Nami reached for her side arm, but was stopped by Oliver.
"To hell you are!" Terri shouted, but was held back by T'Pel.
Theo grabbed Terri's other arm, and asked defensively, "Whose orders?"
Goss turned to the woman and said, "The President's, ma'am."
"And the charges?" Oliver asked calmly.
There's another hesitation in the Marine's voice. He still couldn't quite comprehend what he was about to say. "Acts of terrorism, collusion with enemy agents, and . . . high treason against the United Federation of Planets."
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
Captain Nami Ishikawa took the PADD and glanced through it. "Good work, Lieutenant." She said. "You dad would be proud." Noticing a slight doubt in the girl's eyes, she assured her with a smile. "I knew your dad well, Terri, so trust me when I say he would be proud of you."
"I hope so." said the girl. After a moment of hesitation, she asked, "Captain, what's Project Medusa exactly?"
Nami's brows tightened slightly at the question. "Karim talked to you, didn't she?"
Setting the PADD down on the desk, the Trill captain snorted. "I guess she's still bitter about not getting the command of the Themyscira. She thinks just because she was the ship's XO and because she fought with your dad in Operation Heimdall, that entitled her to its command. But you and I know better: the Themyscira was your dad's ship, it was where you grew up, and it was where I found a family. The Themyscira is family, Terri, and we always keep family together."
Terri nodded earnestly. "Always."
Nami nodded in kind. Leaning forward from her chair, she clasped her hands on the desk. "As for Project Medusa, it is an essential component of Operation Catalyst, just like the chrono-generator, but I'm afraid that's all I can tell you; the rest is classified on a need-to-know basis. The Federation might be gone, Terri, but we are still Starfleet officers, and as your dad used to say, protocols and rules might be cumbersome, but they are there for a reason. And in this case, the classification is there for very good reasons." After a pause, she added, "But I can assure you, everything we are doing here is for the greater good. You have my word."
Terri nodded. If she couldn't trust family, whom else could she trust? "Thank you, Captain." She said before turning and heading to the door.
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
Shaking his head, Oliver decided that he had had enough argument for the day.
"Captain Ishikawa, you are under arrest for murder and attempted genocide. You have all rights udner Chapter 31 Article 12(c) of SCMJ, including, but not limited to, the right to remain silent and the right to a defense counsel. Do you understand those rights?"
A small smirk crossed Nami's lips.
"Are you going to court-martial me, too, Oliver?"
The man did not answer. Instead he repeated his previous question.
"Do you understand those rights, Captain?"
"Crystal." came the defiant response.
"Lieutenant Dash," Oliver turned to his chief of security, "please escort the captain to her brig."
"With pleasure, sir. Captain?" he motioned to the door, his colleagues flanking.
. . . . . .
::Present Day, Guest Quarters, USS Arcadia::
As doors closed behind the Arcadia's second officer, Terri groaned and kicked the plant next to her, shattering the pot and covering the carpeted floor with soil. "Ugr!!"
She was furious, that much she knew. But what was she furious about, or whom, that she couldn't say. One moment she was chowing down an entire plate of cheeseburgers in the heaven that was Big Belly Burger on deck 4, the next she was confined to their quarters with Alenis. How dare they interrupt her sacred burger time? She would have introduced her fists to those security douche bags if Alenis had not held her back.
And Project Medusa, Elbrun kept asking her and Alenis about Project Medusa. They told her everything they knew about the project, that's to say they told her nothing. So the Betazoid proceeded to explain to them what it was. Now why would she ask them about it if she already knew what it was? What kind of stupidity was that?
Nevertheless Terri had questions. As much as she hated the Founders and the Dominion for everything and everyone they had taken from her, genocide was . . . it was pure evil. But who was to say that Elbrun had told her the truth about Project Medusa? It wouldn't be the first time someone lied to her. Captain Ishikawa, on the other hand, was family. She must have an explanation for all of this. There was, of course, only one way to find out, but Elbrun had refused to let her talk to Captain Ishikawa. She wouldn't even tell her where the captain was being held.
"Ugr!" she groaned again and stomped on the already shattered pot. Then she felt the soft touch of Alenis's hand in hers.
"Come, Terri, I replicated some cheeseburgers for you." said the Bajoran as she led the short-haired blond to the table where five hot juicy cheeseburgers were neatly stacked on a plate with Cardassian yamok sauce on the side.
Still grumbling, Terri followed Alenis to the table. She took her seat, but didn't touch the burgers.
Alenis sighed quietly and put on a small smile. "I know these are not as good as Big Belly Burger, but I checked, and the Arcadia's replicators are some of the best in the quadrant, so I'm sure they are not bad."
Terri's eyes lit up suddenly. "That's it, the replicator."
"What?" asked Alenis with a confused look on her face.
"So they have just limited our computer access, right?" Terri explained as she walked over to the replicator, "but I can tap into their secondary computer core through the replicator interface. I'll then have access to the internal sensors. Once I know where Captain Ishikawa is, I'm gonna ask her about Project Medusa."
Terri stopped in front of the replicator and held out her right arm so that her wrist-mounted diagnostic tool could interface with the replicator's control panel. Once connection was established, she went straight to work on the tool's small holographic interface.
Alenis seemed a little worried. "The Arcadia's AI was pretty sophisticated even by our standards. Wouldn't she know if you are in her system?"
Terri brushed off her concern with a shrug. "Nah, don't worry. I was bored last night so I read up on their AI. Apparently she's still in version 1.3, which means she's vulnerable to a backdoor access bug that they are not even aware of yet. Navi wouldn't know a thing."
"I thought the AI's name was Jesse."
"Yeah, that's what they call her. NAVI is her official designation, Nexus Advanced Virtual Intelligence. It's a better name anyway. Annnd I'm in. Let's see. Hmm, internal sensors . . . override . . . there she is."
Alenis walked over next to Terri and watched as the holographic display showed a live feed of what appeared to an interrogation room somewhere on deck 19. The room was rather spacious with a single rectangular table in the middle. Captain Nami Ishikawa, commanding officer of the USS Themyscira, sat on one side of the table while the Arcadia's CO and XO sat on the other. It looked like the questioning had been going on for a while.
::Meanwhile, Maximum Security Holding Facility, Deck 19::
"You are wasting your time." said Oliver from across the table. There was a slight hint of impatience in his voice. "We know you have an outside partner, Captain. According to the Themyscira's own database, before it was shut down in 2415, Project Medusa had failed repeatedly to synthesize a virus that was stable enough to be weaponized. Even after you retrieved the research data after the war, you still couldn't make it work. That was until someone provided you with the necessary know-how and equipment. But the Klingons found and attacked the Themyscira before he could deliver to you the last piece of the virus's dispersion mechanism, and without it the virus could only affect a few Founders at a time, not exactly genocide-ready. But we also know that your partner has somehow traveled back to 2393 on his own, and you were supposed to rendezvous with him at some point. Who is he, Captain? When and where were you supposed to meet him?"
Nami laid back into her seat and looked amused. "Come on, you don't really expect me to just give you the answer, do you? What's the fun in that? You used to say that half of the fun is in the chase." Leaning forward, she added, "But when you do find out who he is - if you ever find out - oh, my dear Oliver, you will be so surprised."
Oliver frowned and exchanged a glance with I'lien before turning back to Nami.
"You said you knew me well, Captain. You said that where you are from, we had been close and you had stood by my side till the very end. Then help me now. Help me end this. This is not who are. We are not mass murderers, Nami. We are Starfleet. We are Federation."
Nami sneered at the mention of the Federation.
"They charged you with treason."
"Your precious Federation charged you with treason, Oliver." Nami repeated herself. "About a year after you put down Bolanus's coup, there was a bombing in the Place de la Concorde. President N'Verix and most of her cabinet were killed. You were injured by the bomb yourself, but they pinned the blame on you anyway. You were charged with high treason, and the court-martial reached its guilty verdict in less than twenty minutes.
"Then President Flanigan surrendered, and as he negotiated with the Dominion for the terms of surrender, he ordered Starfleet to lay down its arms. Most of the Fleet did, but not the Seventh. In fact, they wanted to break you out of prison and continue the fight. But I knew you would never let them do that. You would tell them . . . you would convince them to follow their order and lay down their arms. And I knew the Seventh would listen to you, however reluctantly, they would listen to you, and then there would truly be no hope for the Federation. I also knew that despite its betrayal you loved your precious Federation and you would never want to see it fall. But you were too weak to do what was necessary to save it. Instead you stood in its way to salvation. So I did what I must. For you."
A dreadful silence filled the room for what seemed like an eternity.
"What did you do?"
::Prison Transport SS Fox River, 2420, In A Future That Was::
Admiral Oliver Antoninus Lee, former Chief of Starfleet Operations, now convicted traitor, had just finished his breakfast when the ship convulsed violently, almost knocking him down onto the deck. He steadied himself against the small sink as the lights in the brig flickered on and off for a brief moment. He could hear weapons firing in the corridor outside. Then everything quieted down again. Moments later, the doors to the brig slid open to reveal his former chief of staff and two fully armed commandos with what appeared to be Jem'Hadar plasma rifles in their hands.
In full combat gear herself, Nami stepped inside the brig, leaving the two Marines to guard the doors. As she walked over to the brig's control station, she could hear the symbiot in her head. She knew how close the symbiot's last host was with Oliver, but this was not the time for sentimentality. Once she got to the control station, she lowered the containment cell's force field
Oliver frowned. "What are you doing here?"
Nami did not answer his question. Walking over and into the containment cell where he stood, she said, "Flanigan has ordered Starfleet to lay down its arms. He's surrendering to the Dominion."
Oliver's heart sank, but at the same time a sense of relief washed over him. The war he had helped to start sixteen years ago was now finally over.
"The Seventh has refused to obey the order, and the McCain is on its way to break you out. They should be here in about five minutes."
"To continue the good fight, of course, and who's more qualified to lead the resistance than you?"
"Is it? You drafted several operational plans to continue the fight in the event the Dominion took Earth. A Dominion fleet is on its way there as we speak."
"President N'Verix approved those plans. But Flanigan is the president now, and he has made his order clear. We are Starfleet, Nami. We don't have the luxury of disobeying a lawful order whenever we feel like it."
Fire suddenly flared in Nami's eyes.
"Oh, spare me the platitude, Oliver. If you had obeyed Ji'vek's order to retreat from Cylon II, we would never have recaptured the Tollen sector. You always found a way around the politicians' inane orders." A pause. "It's because of her, isn't it? It's because of Michaela."
Oliver sighed, but didn't say a word. And his silence only aggravated Nami's fury.
"It is because of her then. So for sixteen years, no matter how bad the odds, no matter how few ships you had, you always fought on, you never gave up. Now that the bitch is dead, and all the sudden you are done fighting?!" Nami shook his head. "She was never there for you, Oliver. She was not there when Korra died. I was. She was not there when we lost the Bunker Hill. I was! She was not there to take that phaser blast for you when the Dominion sent their assassin, Oliver! I was!"
There was little outward emotion on Oliver's countenance as he stood there and listened. Nami was right, of course. She was right about everything. All those years, from the Bunker Hill to the Themyscira, from Seventh Fleet to Kalandra Sector Command, Nami had always stood by his side. She had always been there. He owed her too much. She deserved better.
But the war was over.
Letting out a sigh, he said, "I'm sorry, Nami, you deserve better. Much better. But the war is over, and I can't leave with you and sabotage the peace negotiation. There has been enough deaths and suffering already. Go back to the Themyscira and contact the McCain. Tell Captain Karim and the rest of the Seventh to stand down. Tell them it's an order. My order. They will listen."
Nami took a deep breath and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, the steely look had returned.
"Oh, I know they will, and I can't allow that."
Oliver shook his head.
"I'm not the Federation's savior, Nami."
Nami stepped forward and closed the little distance between them.
Looking into his eyes, she said, "No, you are not."
Suddenly Oliver felt something piercing through his abdomen. Grimacing, he looked down and saw a Jem'Hadar combat knife buried deep inside him.
"But you are the martyr the Federation needs." said Nami as she twisted the knife still inside him.
Oliver looked back up. A wry and pained smile cross his countenance as blood began to gush out of the wound. So that's what death felt like.
Nami held him and gently set him down on the deck. She could hear the symbiot's anguish in her head. It mourned for him. As she caressed his cheek, tears rolled down her own. Were they the symbiot's? Or were they hers?
Just then her XO's voice came through the comm link
=/\=Hekoa to Captain Ishikawa, the McCain has just jumped out of warp. Captain Karim and her team is beaming over right now.=/\=
Steadying her resolve, Nami took off her gloves and slid them under her front armor plate. As she stood up, she heard the familiar sound of transporter beams behind her. Turning around she found Captain Fatima Karim, two Marines, and . . . Terri? She had not expected the girl.
"Captain Ishikawa, what happened?" asked Fatima.
Nami didn't respond. Instead she turned to the young lieutenant next to her. "I'm sorry, Terri." she said and stepped aside.
Terri's eyes opened wide in horror when she saw the body lying inside the containment cell. "Dad!" She dashed over and fell on her knees. She cradled her father in her arms as tears streamed down her cheeks. "Dad!!"
Oliver strained as he turned his head toward the voice that called out to him. Gathering the last bit of his fading strength, he tried vainly to wipe the tears off her cheek. He could barely held up his hand. But Terri was here. And Korra, too. He was not alone. A smile. "You . . . you are strong . . . just . . . just like your mom. . . I . . . I think I see her now . . . I . . . I'm sor . . ."
"No, don't say that. Please, don't say that. Dad!!" Terri cried as her father's hand fell down from her cheek and the last glimmer of light faded from his eyes. "Dad . . ." she sobbed and buried her head in his chest.
Fatima's phaser rifle dropped onto the deck as Terri's muffled cries echoed in the containment cell. It took a few moments for her to regain her composure. Turning to Nami, she saw the tear that still lingered at the corner of her eyes. Were they even real?
"What happened?" she asked, almost growling.
Nami was calm with a hint of melancholy in her voice. "We received intel that the Dominion was planning to attack the transport and assassinate the admiral. But we were too late. By the time we got here, the Jem'Hadar were already gone."
Fatima frowned. "And you didn't bother to tell me about the intel?!"
"Time was of the essence, Captain." said Nami. Looking down at Terri, she shook her head. "Not that it mattes now."
What mattered now was the Seventh would never stop fighting. Until their last breath they would fight for the Federation. They would fight for his fallen dream. For him.
::Present Day, Guest Quarters, USS Arcadia::
On the holographic display of Terri's diagnostic tool, Nami sighed. "I'm sorry." she said to the man sitting across from her.
For a brief few moments Terri didn't say a word as she stared at the live feed. Then she broke. Ripping off the device from her wrist, she flung it across the room. Groaning, she stumbled backwards and would have tripped over herslf if Alenis had not caught her. Instead, she fell onto her knees with Alenis' arms around her.
"No. No!!" she cried and slammed her fist on the coffee table next to her, breaking one of its glass corners. As blood trickled down her arm, she looked up at Alenis, her eyes wet. "How could she? She was family. She was family! . . . We . . . were family . . ."
Captain Oliver A. Lee
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Captain Nami Ishikawa
USS Themyscira NCC-85430
(NPC - Roger)
Lieutenant Terri C. Lee
Chief Science Officer
USS Themyscira NCC-85430
(NPC - Roger)
Captain Fatima Karim
USS McCain NCC-82936
(NPC - Roger)
Lieutenant Laren Alenis
USS Themyscira NCC-85430
(NPC - Roger)