|Justifying The Means
Author: PadawanMage PM
Set during 'In The Pale Moonlight', we see what Garak was thinking when he sabotaged the Romulan senator's shuttle.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Sci-Fi - E. Garak & B. Sisko - Words: 2,098 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 5 - Published: 02-18-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3402135
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: "Justifying The Means"
Spoilers: Up to 'In The Pale Moonlight'
Summary: Set just after Senator Vreenak finds out the data rod is a fake, we see what happens after he leaves and right before Captain Sisko finds out about his ship being destroyed.
Author's Notes: After watching the episode, I was interested in writing a filler story that dealt with what happened after Vreenak left and just prior to when Sisko heard about his assassination. I also wanted to look into the mind of Garak to see how he justified his actions.
But Vreenak merely held it tightly and said, "A fake!" through clenched teeth. He'd said the same thing moments earlier with considerably more venom. In a span of a few seconds, his rage had cooled but a fire still burned in his eyes.
"Did you honestly believe that such a clumsy, inept attempt at luring the Romulan Empire into war with the Dominion would actually succeed?" he hissed.
Sisko could say nothing to the accusation. What could he possibly say? The damnable thing of it was…it was the truth. The Federation and the Klingon Empire were in dire straits with the Dominion winning in almost every front of this war. The only other superpower with the resources to possibly turn the tide was the Romulan Empire. Unfortunately, the Dominion was canny enough to think ahead and forge a treaty on non-aggression with the Romulans. Sisko had thought up the idea of trying to find evidence of a Dominion plot to invade Romulus. In the end, though, it was the Cardassian exile, Garak, who had come up with an even simpler plan: make up a believable forgery and secretly present it to the senator.
It was, of course, easier said then done. Sisko had to compromise almost every ethical and moral value he cherished in the hopes of saving the Federation. He'd kept telling himself that it was for a good cause. And so, in the end, when Senator Vreenak secretly arrived at Deep Space Nine, Sisko had presented the fake holographic recording of Weyoun and Damar discussing the invasion of Romulus. He'd been sure the forgery would have held up to scrutiny.
How stupid he must have looked when the plan had blown up in his face.
"This," Vreenak held up the data rod, "vile deception will not go unanswered, Captain Sisko. I will personally make sure the entire Alpha Quadrant is informed at how low the Federation had to go to garner allies. It galls me to think you actually tried to plunge my people into a conflict you originally started," he spat out.
With that, he stormed out of the conference room with his two bodyguards in tow.
Sisko stood there in stony silence, his mind and heart churning with emotions. Finally he sighed and walked out of the room and towards the hangar deck where Vreenak's shuttle was docked. He got there just in time to see the shuttle recloak and take off.
He continued to watch the now empty landing pad for several long minutes. Sisko heard movement behind him but didn't bother turning since he already knew who it was.
"I take it you weren't caught?" he asked Garak.
"Believe me, Captain," the Cardassian said, "you would have heard of it if I had."
Sisko grunted but said nothing else. While he'd talked with Vreenak, Garak had offered to slip into the senator's shuttle to find any intelligence that might be useful.
"I take it…things did not go quite as planned?" Garak quietly asked.
"No, Mr. Garak, they did not," Sisko said tiredly. Part of him wanted to blame the whole thing on the Cardassian, but he knew that wasn't fair. He'd come to Garak first to see if it were any way to infiltrate Dominion headquarters and find plans detailing an attack on Romulus. "What I just gave Vreenak is the biggest propaganda coup the Romulans could ever hope to find. I wouldn't be surprised if Vreenak actually convinces his government to start helping the Dominion or worse, start attacking Federation targets near the Neutral Zone." He rubbed the bridge of his nose as the beginnings of a headache throbbed.
"A pity, though I must say it was a worthy attempt," Garak said.
Sisko looked over and frowned at his co-conspirator. "Attempt? Mr. Garak, you said there was no one more than yourself who wanted to see the Dominion destroyed. Now it looks likely that I've just hastened the destruction of the Federation, instead."
Garak actually looked annoyingly thoughtful as he said, "I'm reminded of one primary rule the Obsidian Order impressed on all it's agents: Every problem has at least two solutions."
"You're talking about what humans call a 'Plan B'," Sisko said. "And we just used it up. There was no way to get real evidence to show to Vreenak so we tried your idea at making it up. Now I have to contact Starfleet Command and give them the bad news. They did give the plan their blessing, now I have to tell them that it failed."
Garak checked a chronometer on a wall. "May I suggest you wait till morning? The senator's shuttle won't arrive on Romulus for another two days and you do look like you could use some rest before delivering the news to Starfleet."
Sisko pondered and reluctantly nodded. "I suppose so. Bad news doesn't always have to come at night." He then sighed and tiredly walked off towards his quarters.
Garak watched him go until he rounded the corner and disappeared. He then looked over once again at the chronometer and made some calculations. Given the speed Vreenak's shuttle would normally go, plus how far it was to the Neutral Zone…Garak nodded to himself in satisfaction.
He believed he timed it just right.
One Hour Later – Somewhere Within the Neutral Zone
Senator Vreenak leaned back in his chair as he sipped from his glass of authentic Romulan Ale. The replicated swill he'd been served on DS9 really didn't do it justice. He set down his glass and opened up a small box. Taking out the data rod, he rolled it this way and that, letting the lights in his cabin play on its surface.
Like the drink Sisko had given him, this recording also was a good replica. It actually had him convinced – but only for a moment. Being Vice Chairman to the Tal Shiar – the Romulan intelligence service – had taught him a thing or two about forgeries.
While he loathed the Federation and had a low opinion of Starfleet officers, a small part of him actually had a grudging respect for Benjamin Sisko. To go so far as to try and trick him showed, well…almost Romulan tendencies in the man.
Be that as it may, the Captain had tried to lure the Empire into the war. That was a slight on Vreenak's honor. Countless millions of his people could also have died over a lie. And while some in the Senate might voice some concerns over the treaty – especially those who wondered what exactly the Dominion would do after they defeated the Klingons and the Federation – Vreenak knew that the Senate would demand some form of response to Sisko's act. Actively supporting the Dominion might even be in their best interest. He didn't trust the Dominion, but so far, they have been abiding to the terms of the treaty. Perhaps actively helping them would cement better relations.
He turned to a console and began drafting a resolution to be presented in his next meeting with the Senate. It might meet some resistance, but he definitely had enough influence to bring around enough votes for it to pass.
Halfway through the writing, the intercom chimed. Vreenak frowned. He'd left specific orders not to be disturbed until they arrived at Romulus.
"Yes?" he snapped at the receiver.
"Sir…" the pilot started, sounding uncertain.
"Well, what is it?"
"Senator, we're getting power fluctuations across the board! Warp power is failing…!"
The shuttlecraft suddenly shuddered violently as the telltale star streaks of warp speed, seen through a viewport, suddenly snapped back to normal. So fierce was the drop to normal space that Vreenak was flung across his cabin to smash into a nearby bulkhead. Lights dimmed and went out as the ship tumbled through space. Power conduits blew out with fires and smoke rapidly spreading everywhere.
The last thought Vreenak had before everything erupted before him…was how badly he'd underestimated Benjamin Sisko.
Garak tsked as he fixed yet another ripped seam in an expensive shirt Quark had brought over. Blood covered a good portion of what Garak's practiced eye could see was a tear made by a knife. He knew already what had happened between the Ferengi barkeep and Grathon Tolar – the man Garak had recommended to make the holographic forgery for Captain Sisko in the first place.
Tolar's debauchery and subsequent fight with Quark over a Dabo girl had almost exposed the entire operation. The former Obsidian Order operative could not abide such sloppiness, especially with something as important as what Sisko and he had been planning. At that moment, something told him that Tolar was not going to be up to the task at creating a believable forgery. Any person who couldn't focus on a mission or task invariably made mistakes in their work. Garak had no doubt that's what must have happened when Captain Sisko presented the recording to Senator Vreenak.
Hence his own 'Plan B'.
A small, undetectable microdetonator at one of the main power junctions leading to magnetic containment for their power core was all it took. Romulan ships ran off an artificial black hole and the containment fields were extremely delicate. One good surge and the singularity ran amok.
Garak paused in his sewing and looked at his chronometer. Yes, it should have happened by now. Close enough so that the Romulans would be able to salvage any wreckage that remained. If Federation Intelligence was as good as he thought it was…the news would come out in several days.
He really would have preferred that the recording passed muster, but he also understood the stakes involved. If the Romulans didn't enter the war, the Federation and the Klingons would eventually be defeated. Which, in turn, meant that not only would the whole of the Alpha Quadrant fall, but any hope of having Cardassia freed also die as well.
Garak truly wanted to see the Dominion off his planet and destroyed. And he'd do whatever it took to make that happen. He had no malice towards the senator, but his passing was simply a means to end. 'Focusing on the big picture,' as he'd heard humans say before.
Captain Sisko would eventually find out what had happened and Garak had no illusions of what would happen then. Sisko would storm into his store and demand to know the truth. He would spout his Federation morality, yell and bluster at how wrong it was…but in the end, he would see that the final result was the same: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion. Sisko would get what he wanted, and Garak would eventually get what he wanted as well.
For all the years he'd spent as an exile on DS9, deep down, Garak loved his planet dearly. He would do anything to preserve the safety of his world, and if that meant sacrificing anything – or anyone – for that cause…well, so be it.
Because in the end, if freeing his planet cost the lives of one Romulan senator, one criminal (Poor Tolar. The drug induced heart attack must have been extremely painful), and the recriminations of one Starfleet officer, then it was no problem to Garak.
He could live with it.