|Special Investigations Division: Christmas Lights
Author: Loki's Son PM
The SID team and extended family settle in for a pleasant Christmas gathering but while the chestnuts are roasting a particularly persistent assassin arrives. Can the holiday be saved?Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,526 - Published: 05-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8156494
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek or its related properties. All such rights and considerations belong to CBS/Paramount.
This is the Special Investigations Division Christmas Special. I hope you enjoy!
The scene aboard the SS Obsidian was a festive one. Streamers and garland filled the corridors. Festive lights, exhibiting colors in and beyond the human spectrum, were festooned in the common areas such as the Team Room, Rec Room, and even the gyms and even the briefing rooms. Stenciled art had begun to appear tracing the outlines of cabin doors. The decorating within those spaces was private and shared only with friends.
Macen saw the joy in the eyes of his crew and once again he thanked Deity that T'Kir had been driven to resurrect Christmas within her own circle twelve years ago. He was even more thankful that Ro Laren had bought into the holiday. Their Maquis cell had desperately needed the light of the Christmas spirit to remind them that there was more to life than killing and dying.
Since then their celebrations had been interrupted by the Jem'Hadar slaughters of the Maquis, the Dominion War, and T'Kir's being institutionalized. That Maquis family had been scattered across the galaxy. Most were dead. A few were fugitives, still living a life of bravado. Having lived with the gun, they could no longer set it down for any reason.
Macen had moments of dark humor when he wondered if he fell under that last category. He had gone from a respected Starfleet officer to a notorious terrorist/freedom fighter. That career had ended in disgrace as well and now he and his crew were privateers. Licensed by Starfleet to wage antipiracy campaigns and conduct scouting missions the Outbound Ventures group, that Macen had founded, also handled private investigations on Starfleet's behalf.
He found the allusions to his having become a "hired gun" disturbing. He was no mercenary. Mercenaries were paid to fight for anybody. Privateers served a sovereign government generally regulated by that nation's military forcers. Macen was regulated by Starfleet. His orders came from Starfleet. His Letter of Marque was issued by Starfleet and the Federation Security Council. He essentially was Starfleet…just with fewer rules.
Still, Macen mentally winced, it'd be nice not to be remembered as a monster.
Macen's fears, while quite real, hadn't actualized yet. He was thought to an extremist. He was seen as being willing to do anything in the name of his cause.
Alternatively, he was viewed as being too scarred emotionally and psychologically to correctly interpret reality anymore. This was the favored view of Admiral Edward Jellico and his brood. Frankly, the feud between Jellico and himself had begun to bore Macen to tears. It was time for more productive matters.
The reason behind their feud was simple: both were idealists. Jellico saw the universe through his own ideological lens and everything was colored by that paradigm. Although this was common enough, this time it was coupled with the ways and means to literally reshape the physical and intellectual world into his way of thinking. He'd gone far and fast in Starfleet with this attitude because he had the political and personal will to doggedly pursue his agendas without equivocation or apology.
Macen was the same way. The problem was that their paradigms differed so they were in constant conflict. Another distinct difference lay in the fact that Jellico generally quailed at certain application of force to accomplish his means. Macen had no such compunctions.
Macen saw the means just as justifiable as the ends. Both had symbolic and real value behind them. The actions would dictate the shape of the new worldview and that worldview would be a product of its birth pangs. They were inexorably drawn together and could not be separated. It's just where Jellico and Starfleet wanted honesty and light in every dealing, Macen saw a necessity for occlusion and secrets as well. He had more in common with Section 31 then Starfleet Operations.
Macen also recognized what he saw as the necessity of force in revolutionary action. His years on the Border Wars and with the Maquis and taken a severe toll. He now saw active resistance as the most viable ways of accomplishing great political turnovers in history. Yet at the same time, he knew his viewpoint was flawed on so many levels as to be untenable.
As for intellectual revolution, discussion, explanation, dissertation, and debate were the way to achieve his goals. Religiously spreading the mantra would sway people used to sober debate. This "firebrand" approach would first play to the crowd's emotions and then the bulwark of reasoning would be relayed as the new adherents demanded new information and education.
Education was everything. Academic freedom and the absolute freedom of thought were the linchpins to the Federation that had made Macen, Guinan, and hundreds of others decide to migrate to the Federation after the loss of their culture. Sadly, less than a hundred had made it. Within the welcoming embrace of the Federation, they could share their culture, sciences, history, and philosophies. The liberality of Federation society made them the perfect choice for resettlement. The UFP was also big enough to get lost in if you just wanted to blend in and disappear.
Macen had arrived with a mission. He'd spent the first ten years as an immigrant learning about his new government and its people. Afterwards he headed for the organization that was the most energetic in bringing about change: Starfleet. At the Academy his training as a cultural researcher came to the fore and he was given a billet in Starfleet Intelligence upon graduation.
Macen found SI to be ideal for his intentions. He wanted to shape the Federation's perception of the greater galaxy and SI was the best place to do so. He wanted Starfleet to be able to react to the discovery of the Borg with appropriate concern and caution. Once the link between the Borg and the El-Aurians had become general knowledge, they had all been interviewed by SI.
Rather than devote his life to the study of the Borg and of mounting a defense against them, Macen returned to the species that had captured his attention for the better part of fifteen years. He worked the Cardassian desk. The Borg weren't within Macen's technical grasp and his emotional issues clouded his judgment. The Cardassians were just within his reach and he understood them all too well.
The doors to the Rec room opened and the sound of laughter jarred Macen back to his current "Mission": retrieving T'Kir. The Obsidian had docked with Serenity Station twenty minutes ago. It was time to go back to their cabin and pack a few things. They were spending the holiday on the nearby planet of Barrinor. They had a house there and they had rented out a lodge so that their holiday guests could stay in one location. The couple would be staying there as well.
The guest list was a who's who of Starfleet. Admiral Alynna Nechayev had managed to steal away from her desk. Admiral Amanda Forger was also running away from Starfleet HQ. Coming along were Admirals Edward Noyce and Robert Tavar Johnson. Between them they represented the Heads of Starfleet Intelligence and Security, the Director of the Special Investigations Division, and Starfleet's Diplomatic Liaison. This party would present a tempting target to the unwise.
The crew of the USS Intrepid frequently shuttled Johnson about so he'd extended the invitation, at Macen's request, to the ship's command staff. James McKinley, Jonathan Striker, Robert Caplan, Andreja Sikorsky, Ian Delaney, Elizabeth Liefers, and Alessandro Pedrossi were all coming as well. Macen's team and theirs had forged enduring bonds under fire. It was always pleasant to meet one another without an impending crisis overshadowing the event.
The last three guests were also Starfleet luminaries. Calling by way of Starfleet Special Operations Command came Stan Guthrie, a sore sight for Joachim Dracas' eyes. From Deep Space 9 came Elias Vaughn and Ro Laren. Vaughn had been a friend to Macen for decades and Ro had been his Maquis commander. Ties had been made between Macen and Ro that could never be broken. Vaughn, on the other hand, had nearly sacrificed their friendship on the altar of duty. Macen respected Vaughn's near decision but kept a weather eye on his friend now.
Such had been the price of the Maquis Rebellion and the DMZ Treaty that spawned it. The single most divisive act in Federation history had been done on the name of "Peace." Colonists and colonies had been ceded over the Cardassian Union. Maps had been redrawn and settlers that had defended their homes against the Cardies for decades now found themselves inside of Cardassian space. And the Cardassians wanted them gone.
Despite the DMZ's ostensible purpose, the settlers began arming themselves to fight when and where the governments refused to do so. The final straw for the settlers came when the Federation sided with the Cardassians against their own citizens. Branded as outlaws by both governments, the Maquis rose to fight for their independence from all parties.
The "official" problem with the Maquis from the Federation's point of view was that they employed terrorist tactics. These negated their legitimate complaints and made them outlaws in the UFP's book. The fact that such revered heroes as the American Revolutionaries and the French Resistance had also employed terrorist tactics upon occasion was overlooked.
Macen sighed as he stepped into the Rec room. Those issues were long dead in everything but discussion and debate. The fortunate thing of the Maquis rebellion was that it had introduced him to his wife, T'Kir. He saw her across the room enjoying a round of egg nog with Celeste Rockford and Hannah Grace. He felt the feather touch of her telepathic query as her eyes met his across the way and his heart skipped a beat. Even after thirteen years, she still had that effect upon him.
I'd better, she thoughtcast into his mind.
Macen grinned, You know you do. Are you almost ready to leave?
`Course. I w's just waitin' on ya. She replied.
T'Kir had come a long way in thirteen years. When he'd met her, her mind was fractured. Her previously uncharted psionic abilities had been pushed to their maximum by the associated trauma of discovering she was the last survivor of her native colony thanks to the Cardassians. Added to this she was a Vulcan trained in the Sybokian way. Her emotions were rampant and her mind was ablaze.
Having nearly unlimited telepathic abilities, she absorbed everyone's thoughts on a planetary scale and hadn't known how to shut them out. Macen had become her mentor, her protector, and her friend. After she had been hospitalized after a particularly violent episode, he'd devoted every spare moment outside of his duties during the Dominion War to seeking a cure for her. His researches with the Vulcan Science Academy had paid off and she was given deliverance from her own abilities.
In the interim though, she'd learned to kill with just a thought and had grown addicted to the rush of power. Now every effort was kept to keep her powers below the required levels that were needed to indulge her dark whims. Macen worked with her on bolstering her impulse control and everyone was safer with her abilities pared down.
Macen moved to his wife's side and drew her in for a kiss. She smiled as he noticed that her tongue and lips were still sweet from her drink. Not as sweet as her… he ruminated as she cleared her throat.
Her olive complexion was slightly more jade as she blushed but her sapphire eyes twinkled at the thought. "Aren't you a sore sight?" she asked with a throaty laugh.
"Am I interrupting?" he asked with mock innocence.
"Of course you are." Grace chuckled, "But we forgive you on T'Kir's behalf."
"Why thank you, Hannah. You're far too kind." Macen remarked.
The four of them made an interesting sight. T'Kir was obviously Vulcan, but the other three appeared human yet none of them were. El-Aurians had long passed for human. Rockford was an Angosian and Grace was a Kelvan. Rockford's purple scar on her right temple attested to her non-Terran modifications as an Augment. Grace's alien origins were betrayed by the fact that she was a natural blonde with brown eyes, a combination not naturally found on Earth.
"If you'll excuse us, I have to steal T'Kir and prepare for our trip to Barrinor." He declared.
"They know, silly." T'Kir lightly replied, "They're comin' with, remember?"
"No, I don't. When was that decided?" Macen asked, slightly perturbed.
T'Kir's eyes impishly danced, "I musta forgot t'tell ya. They're ridin' with in the Idiot's Delight to Barrinor."
"Would they be staying in our rooms at the Barrinor Arms?" Macen dryly asked.
T'Kir's eyes lit up, "No. They'll be stayin' in their assigned rooms."
"Except I'll be joined by Ian." Grace delightedly announced. She and Ian Delaney had been actively involved for over a year now. Their schedules rarely allowed for face to face meetings but when they did meet, it was as if they'd never parted ways. Three days together with no interruptions or hindrances was sheer joy.
T'Kir had known that her friend would prefer things that way so that had been the way she booked the rooms. Dracas and Guthrie would be sharing a room as would Tom Riker and Lisea Danan. Rab Daggit and his wife Parva would also have a room together. She'd almost paired off Caplan and Liefers as well but she wasn't certain where those two stood. No one was. Not even them. The same was true for Radil Jenrya and Kort. Separate rooms just seemed to make sense for those situations.
"Then I suggest we disembark as fast as possible." Macen said, "Traffic Control has us cleared for departure and a run to Barrinor in two hours. The next window will be several hours away."
T'Kir snapped off a sloppy salute, "Yes suh!"
"We'll be ready." Rockford assured him.
Macen didn't doubt her. He never had. He never would. Trust had been another matter.
When Macen and T'Kir had first met Rockford she went under her birth name of Annika Ryst. She'd been a mercenary in the employ of the Orion Syndicate. Under the Syndicate's orders she'd tried to kill them on repeated occasions. Finally she abandoned the Syndicate and started over using her long time alias of Celeste Rockford, Private Investigator.
Macen had bumped into Rockford and come up with idea of hiring her. He wanted a professional investigator on his staff so he purchased her agency as a subsidiary of Outbound Ventures and put her on personal retainer. She now served as an integral part of his SID investigative team.
Rockford had overcome many obstacles and even won friends amongst her peers. Macen and T'Kir first and foremost among them. The earlier conflicts weren't forgotten but they were forgiven and that made all of the difference with Rockford. She'd never willingly turn on them or betray them again.
The quartet exited the rec room, gathered their things, and joined the queue to exit the ship.