Mission: Paradise Lost
Denaria Brax made her way through the busy corridors of the Federation headquarters to meet with a councilman O'Donnell. To the untrained eye it was another day at the office with politicians and bureaucrats moving about like ants in a hill. Denaria knew better then this. Maurelle Valentine, an old friend of hers had reached out with information of a possible coup within the federation council regarding the area known as the Frontier, most notably the planet Ba'Ku. This would not be the first incursion the Federation attempted on the planet. The first was foiled by Captain Picard and the Enterprise.
She had heard rumors of a 'New Order' seizing control of the council, this would be the first step in proving it and seeing how far this corruption had spread. Maurelle's message, cryptic as it was said she could trust this O'Donnell. Arriving at his door and pressing the chime, she would soon find out.
It was quiet for an uncomfortably long period of time before the door opened a crack. And eye peered out at him through it. "Who are you? What do you want?"
Brax leaned in. "Councilman my name is Ambassador Denaria Brax. I am here because Commander Maurelle Valentine of Starbase eighty said I could trust you with a matter of great urgency." Her voice was soft so only the two could hear.
The door closed again, and for a moment Brax thought that he was not going to admit her. But in due course, the door opened allowing her to enter. The lighting was dim but manageable. "Please...have a seat. I apologize for the greeting, but...well, one cannot take chances given the current circumstances."
Danaria bowed her head respectfully to the councilman maintaining eye contact as she entered. "No apologies necessary councilman. If what I am hearing is true your precautions are quite necessary." she said as she walked by him and took a seat before his desk. She waited for the councilman to sit before she continued speaking. "Commander Valentine mentioned suspicion of a group seizing control of the Federation council with intentions of abandoning the frontier. She also mentioned there would be an incursion on the planet Ba'Ku none unlike the one experienced by Picard and the Enterprise. Is this true?"
Deklan sighed. "The problem is nobody has seized control of anything. Everybody was voted in by their respective worlds. But it's like some type of underground group has been building and recruiting. All of a sudden, the new elections bring in all new members, and all are on the same page." As he turned to look her in the eyes, the sadness was evident. "Centuries of work and cooperation, all going down the drain. And as for Ba'Ku...I have no solid evidence, but I'm betting that is one of their hit list items. That worries me very much, because if I know my little girl, she is already headed there."
"Man has been searching for the fountain of youth for hundreds of years. Ba'Ku provides the prize to this obsession. As for the council this is all too much of a coincidence. If I have learned anything from being around politics it is that everyone is never on the same page. Democracy is too easily tampered with as noble as the idea may be. While it is improbable, it is certainly not beyond the realm of probability that these candidates were plants and the elections have been fixed on a wide scale. History speaks of a group, the illuminati. Although myth, many have attributed numerous conspiracies from sports to election results as the work of these illuminati. The group was said to be masters of the shadows possessing earth's greatest secrets and power. Perhaps we have found our illuminati." Brax responded.
Deklan snorted. "More likely we just found a bunch of greedy, self-serving politicians of old. How they managed to get the representatives from other world to fall in line, I have no idea."
"This is what we must find out. Our first step would be to find out who the players are and then the roles they play. Once we have determined this their end game should become more prevalent. Their actions will betray them. Their words will paint us a map to their goal. Politics is like a gym, the more you flex the more intimidating you become. The bureaucracy is filled with sycophants, sheep will to follow any who declare themselves shepherd. Anonymity is their power now and to be them we must strip them of it. The people will be their undoing." Brax replied.
"Well it's worth a try. I'm definitely not willing to let this go without a fight." He was silent for a moment...his mind a hundred miles away. "I...I need to get my wife out of here. The danger to her is extreme given the circumstances. I want to get her out to Starbase 80 at the earliest time possible. Can you assist with this, and keep it quiet?"
"Of course." Brax stated with a slight nod. "One of the perks to the diplomatic corps is the immunity to search without cause. By the time anyone realizes your wife is missing, if they ever even figure it out she will be safe on Starbase eighty. I am saddened to report this is a task I have performed in the past." Her tone became more somber as if to be ashamed of the state of Starfleet affairs and the need for such measures to be taken.
"I hate to ask, but..." Deklan looked almost ashamed. "...I would like to see Commodore O'Shea's family given passage as well."
Brax smiled. "I would be happy to." she said reassuringly. "I would be just as heartless as those we wish to undermine if I did not take the Commodore's family. However they will be all I can take undetected. Any more would reveal those to whom I care and would subject them to scorn of the protectorate guard. I cannot risk their lives, for that I apologize."
A look of relief washed across O'Donnell's features. "Thank you. Now, as I don't believe that we can stop this, we need to find a way to salvage what we can. We will need a base of operations. Someplace safe. Only two places exist that I would trust. One is the Krelluand Expanse. There are a great number of worlds out there that will be affected by this, so finding an agreeable host should not be an issue. The other is the Frontier. That area is extremely volatile, but...that could work to our advantage, couldn't it?"
"The fringe worlds would be a great start as they will be the first to feel the effects and the easiest to bring onto 'the cause' if you will. While I don't believe we can stop this I believe we can reverse it. Like I said before anonymity is their greatest ally at this time. We need to reveal the true nature of these people and turn the masses against them. They will try and convince the electorate that Starfleet is weak and they are the strong arm needed to protect the members of the Federation. It's a classic scare tactic." Brax retorted.
Deklan was quiet for a long minute, trying to decide just how much he could trust Brax. Finally he decided to test the waters. "Kathleen O'Shea...the CO of Starbase 80. She has a lot of friends out in the Frontier. Across the fleet as well, especially out in her region. And she has access to a of of assets. Assets that would be very handy if this turns violent. I believe that she holds the capability to hold off any action that could be carried out against her." He sat for another long moment, knowing that he could be throwing everything out the window if Brax turned out not to be who she said she was.
"The COs of the Merlin, the Chesapeake, Starbase 221, the Voltair, and the Yggdrasil are loyal to her. They will do as she asks, especially given the circumstances. They, in turn, have a span of control over numerous other vessels and bases in the region. She can consolidate power rapidly and efficiently if needed. And there are others as well, but those are the capital ships under her influence. That.." He added for effect. "...is a lot of firepower. Plus, there are a lot of supply and cache bases all over the place out there, plus several ship yard, logistics facilities, and even scrapyards. Plus there are a lot of Marines stationed out there, and they won't be happy about being told that their services are no longer needed."
Brax nodded approvingly. "This is a good start and we will need to get word to the Commodore immediately. I will contact Commander Valentine and have her confer with Commodore O'Shea. I worry that if world gets out to our enemies of a civil war we will be left vulnerable to attack. We need them to realize the error in their judgement."
Deklan sighed. "There's more. Myself and 2 other Earth Representatives wish to leave here. They and their families will require safe passage. We all have our own craft. What we need is a cover story to allow us to leave with no suspicion."
Denaria rubbed her chin for a moment as she thought. "Perhaps it is time to practice a deception. Councilman if the protectorate believed you an ally rather then a foe they may consider you a great asset. Chances are they have already established you have family on the Frontier. Fear is their greatest ally and they will use it to attain their goals. They rely on the cowardice of the minority and this will be your passage to the frontier. Offer them a deal. You will bring Commodore O'Shea and with her the frontier, in exchange you will receive safe passage to retrieve your daughter and return to earth. Of course, you won't be apprehending O'Shea, and of course you will never be allowed to return to earth and deemed a fugitive of the Federation." The plan wasn't perfect, but there was a chance it could work.
"It's a thought, if we can pull it off. A big if. But hey, that's what they pay me for I guess." Deklan looked around his office briefly. "I'm going to miss this place. It took me a long time to get it right." A sigh. "All good things...well, I guess we had a good run. Not it's time for the next chapter."
"Then we must make haste. I will prepare our travel arrangements. Please send word to the Commodore's family as well as your friend. I will speak with you again once our vessel is ready." Brax stated.
"This afternoon's session is supposed to be an important one, and all Council members have been asked to be present no matter what else may be going on. Maybe I'll have more information for you afterwards." He held out his hand. "Thank you. Your assistance in this matter means more to me than I can ever repay."
"Payment is not necessary. Just ensure you attend the meeting so as not to arise suspicion." Brax retorted.
For the first time a smile made it's presence known on Deklan's features. "A figure of speech, my friend." Then he became somber again. "You know, there is one thing I can see positive here. The Federation has become too big as a political entity. Corruption was only a matter of time, and has been building for a while, led by the Earth members. Maybe..." He paused for a moment, choosing his words carefully. "....maybe this isn't a completely bad thing. Maybe smaller alliances working together might be a better approach. Too many of our members individuality have become lost in the system."
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It has been a plague that has infected humans ever since the first civilizations. No matter how far they believe they have evolved, their lust for power has not. Humans live to control. Their instincts have not evolved, only the way in which they strive to satisfy them." Brax responded.
"A lot of people may leave the Sol system because of this. I wonder where they will all end up?" Deklan wondered allowed.
"It's hard to say. Perhaps they will form new colonies, perhaps they will join existing ones. They will find their way, if one thing humans are good at it is finding a way to survive." Brax replied.
"I need to speak with Kathleen as soon as possible. If anybody can organize this mess, she is the one."
"Very well, then I suggest we make haste." Brax stated walking towards the exit. "I will make the arrangements immediately. I will be in contact when the transport is ready."
Deklan walked with her to the door. "Again...for my family I thank you." He waited until the woman exited the room, then engaged all of the security systems once again. As he looked around, he wondered if it might be for the last time. Oh well, at least it would give him a chance to redecorate...
Senior Councilman Deklan O'Donnell
Lieutenant Commander Maurelle Valentine
Chief Intelligence Officer