Politics, Not So Usual
Shore Leave: Drama At Arcadia
Location: Command Tower, Starbase Arcadia
Timeline: Stardate 2263.212
"With all due respect, Ambassador, there was just an attack aboard one of our Starbases! This is a military matter!" The Andorian ambassador slammed his fist on the table. "Starfleet should not be forced to abide by the meandering decisions of a civilian body, where politics can dictate their actions. I move to grant Starfleet Command autonomy to allow them to deal with this threat in the most expedient manner."
The Vulcan ambassador looked as close to visibly disturbed as a Vulcan of her training allowed. "It is logical and prudent to keep Starfleet under the oversight of the civilian government. A military force without oversight is a mistake that has occurred repeatedly throughout each of our species' pasts. Let us not repeat such mistakes."
"Please, members. Starfleet is not a military force," the Rigellian member began to interject, before being swiftly interrupted.
"Like hell, it's not!" The Trill representative stated. "They have warships, uniforms, military ranks, and they are currently fighting the damn war! Can we dispense with any nonsense please?"
The Tellarite rep nodded. "Agreed, we were discussing what was to be done with the Akaidian saboteur, the one who had been the exchange officer on the USS Defiant. He is currently being held aboard Arcadia."
"I say he hangs!" A particularly rowdy Hakaran shouted.
The Denobulans responded next. "Ridiculous! We do not use such vial punishments. Beyond that, the captain of the Defiant still maintains his innocence."
"Captain James is not one to avoid leveraging his own political capital," remarked the Hakaran. "I would be skeptical of his opinion. And of his coziness with the Denobulan delegation..."
"That is an unfair assertion!" The Denobulans spat back. "You and you're..."
The older human woman seated at the center seat of the curved room slammed a gavel down on her desk, an silence fell as she rose to her feet. Though past her physical prime by quite a number of years, the woman held a commanding presence in the chamber. A retired Admiral, former diplomat, and an experienced politician in every regard, Federation President Maris Okoye immediately called the room to her attention.
"Ambassadors, that is enough. We are not here to argue every petty distinction. The question at hand is whether or not this bombing constitutes a violation of the treaty we are currently in with Akadia. We will take a brief recess and reconvene with a testimony from the Federation Bureau of Planetary Treaties." She didn't need to waste additional words. Everyone in the chamber nodded and began to file out for their brief recess. Everyone, that is, with the exception of a small group who glowered angrily at her. An Andorian and the Hekaran delegation in totality. After the President leveled her gaze at them, they finally dispersed, but their statement had been made, whatever it was.
As the transmission went to its holding screen as recess began, leaving Chris in a room bathed in the pale bluish hues of the Federation logo. Had the circumstances been less than dire, he'd probably be a bit pleased with himself for getting yet another mention in a Federation Senate session. Clearly, the Hakarans were not over the little stunt he had pulled a few months back to block their nomination to the Central Bureau of Penology. Their tendency for unreasonable punishments had been something Chris felt passionately against, and he had pulled some strings to help the Vulcans get the votes to block them. That same tendency had aired its head again here.
However, the situation was dire. An explosion had rocked the starbase yesterday, claiming several lives. Luckily, it hadn't been as successful as had originally been intended. A power conduit near the initial explosion had survived the blast and failed to cause secondary explosions. Had it blown, the damage would have been catastrophic. The entire station could have blown. So in theory, he should be counting his blessings. Unfortunately, he didn't have that luxury.
The primary suspect in the explosion was his diplomatic officer. Station security was firm in their belief of that. But Ian had professed his innocence and Chris was inclined to believe him. The problem was proving that.
"It's not just me, right?" Chris asked. "Our Chief Diplomatic Officer implicated in a bombing just before we depart on an urgent Diplomatic Mission. The one officer on my ship whose participation in a bombing would spark immediate political outrage. You see the writing between the lines here."
"It's not just you," Jerry assured his friend. He added, "Something does seem... 'off' about this."
Summer was silent for a moment. "Rotten indeed."
"Regardless, I'm not confident in a single investigations ability to navigate this issue. One side might have reason to find him guilty. The other might be so desperate to prove him innocent, it will call the investigation into question. So we're going to perform one of our own," Chris said. "Jerry, it'd probably be a good idea for you to perform your own full examination of Ian. Look for traces of drugs in his system, hypospray marks, obvious wounds from a struggle, whatever you think seems inconsistent. In the meantime, I'll have the crew split off and look into some other potential leads."
Jerry nodded to Chris after he listened to his orders, "Agreed. I'll get right on it. I'll run every test imaginable."
"I'll get my team onto the less known angles." Summer said softly. "I think I can dig some stuff up."
Chris nodded in approval. "Good. I'll be here for a little while longer. I think one of the Ambassadors is going to request my testimony again. With any luck, I'll be able to remind people that we establish judgement of guilt in the actual trial, not before hand."