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EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]  

[ Aisha S'Iti | Captain's Ready Room | Deck 01 ] Attention: Captain Ives

The Cardassian helmsman stood at attention as she looked to the Captain.  "I apologize if this is a bad time but I felt that it was necessary to speak with you regarding my own actions during the mutiny."  She said as she contemplated how she would explain her actions and more importantly how she would present to him a proposal she had no clue if he would even consider approving. 

Given the circumstances though she knew that she had to at least try.  She had friends on the Harbinger and didn't know exactly how willing the Captain would be to try and welcome them onto his crew.  Still she had to try; it was all she could do to try and undo the damage that had been dealt to them.

OOC: This thread is for a brief interaction between Aisha S'iti and Captain Ives  the reason for the thread being separate from the epilogue thread is because this scene takes place between Thread 07 and the scene in Ives Ready Room going on within the epilogue thread.

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #1
Seated behind his desk, Captain Ives watched the Cardassian where she stood - leaning forward with his fingers steepled underneath his oaken eyes. When the request had come, Jien had read the woman's file, realising that with her defection, she might be a candidate for the vacancy of a Chief CONN Officer. Winterbourne had been too young and lacking the rank, despite his prowess and experience at the helm, to hold command over the other helm officers and the pilots in the shuttle bays.

The outlying matters were, however, plain in the wake of the mutiny. Aisha had stepped over Cale's body to take his place readily and able, and it was unknown to Jien whether or not she was an opportunist and a turncloak, or if her motivation to join the Theurgy's crew had sprung earlier than anyone realised. Given her being a Cardassian, it might not be under the influence of T'Rena's mind-meld that she had acted the way she did, but as it were, Jien knew too little. He had not received her report in writing, since Chief S'Iti had more or less just left the helm, but he was ready to hear her verbal report. In fact, he was very much interested to hear what she had to say.

"Understandable. At ease, and please, go ahead. I want to know your motivations and whatever measures you took, but since Stark and Tovarek have vouched for your actions, you needn't think yourself on trial. Just tell me plain and true what you want to say, and I will ask my questions afterwards."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #2
She nodded, "I guess I should start by explaining a little bit about myself.  I'm unsure how much of my service record you have read but I want you to understand what my motivations were before the mutiny, during it and my reasons for attempting to aide in retaking your ship."  She paused.  "First and foremost ever since I have been a member of a crew that was considered an enemy of the Federation I have considered myself no longer a Starfleet officer but have viewed myself as a member of the Maquis again.  That may seem odd to you but given the more running and hiding actions we done on the Harbinger and the lack of adherence to certain Federation regulations, the comparison wouldn't seem nearly as odd as it initially sounds"

She sighed thinking back knowing she had a lot to explain about her actions in the mutiny, "When the mutiny was presented to me.  I was in full agreement of the general concept.   That said it was presented to me by T'renna herself when she informed me shortly after the briefing that many of the crew of the Harbinger felt that you were forcing them to join along in a suicidal mission.  As such the side I chose was one chosen because of a desire to make sure that my fellow crewmen were not forced into a path that lead to death based on the decisions of a captain who had a death wish.  Clearly I was being lied to, the Vulcan was using my emotions, my sense of sympathy towards others as a means to gain my support without relying on attempting to mind meld with me.  Needless to say, I was not expecting that the side I had chosen was headed by a lunatic with a god complex, and that the Vulcan whom had elicited my support based on ethics of the rights of an individual to choose their own paths had absolutely no value for individual life and the very people who she used as examples for me she had already brainwashed into the ones who until recently had free run of your ship.  Given the choices I knew my only real option now was to do what I could to assist in assuring that no one other than Winterborne had to die because of my inaction.  Frankly it came down to my own ethical beliefs.  Should I side with someone damning everyone to die, or someone damning everyone into a life as brainwashed sex objects?  In the end I felt being forced to die with our own minds still intact was the more ethical of the two so I decided that I would do what I could to assure you got your ship back."

She paused as she got to the part she had wanted to get to, "As for my real reason to want to see you.  Now that you have your ship back, I would like to request a crew of 2-4 including myself, and the use of your yacht for a mission to seek out and attempt to recover the evacuated crew of the Harbinger.  According to the ships manifest the yacht is an advanced prototype based on the talon class scout ship and aside from the Theurgy herself has the most advanced sensors on this ship and therefore would be best suited for a recovery mission of this sort.  Ideally the crew would be Myself, as pilot, One of the Vulcans, who are capable of reversing the mind meld, a Science, operations, or tactical officer, capable of operating the sensors on the ship to their full capabilities, and a security officer capable of handling a weapon capable of firing Lexorin darts to subdue any rescued personnel who attempt to react violently to our attempts to rescue them.  If necessary, the sensor and security role could be filled by the same person, or the Vulcan crew member and I could potentially split all duties between us if only the two of us are available for the mission.  Once again though I must stress that I feel a 4 person crew would be the ideal situation."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #3
Captain Ives listened to the Cardassian before him whilst just sitting there, unmoving.

Aisha S'Iti was of odd origin compared to a lot of the crew, and what struck him first was that she was only so much Cardassian as her genes dictated her to be. None of her behaviour suggested anything towards her native people's traits, just like her file had suggested. Having fought in the Dominion War, Jien did know enough to make the comparison, even if it was a crude generalisation for a whole species. Given her disposition to side with the Harbinger crew and to look after their interests to live rather than die under his command, Jien paused, keeping himself from jumping to conclusions about her nature as an officer since he had never heard what T'Rena an Vasser told their crew about him and the nature of the mission to SB84. Even though she had been Marquis, there was no telling in what manner she meant to serve under his command. This, he needed to know, and was about to ask her this.

Yet when she said she wanted to take the yacht out to locate the escape pods that had been jettisoned from the Harbinger - after saying that she had resorted to her Marquis ways of thinking since leaving Earth - it made Jien raise from his chair... watching her as he slowly stepped around his desk. Eyes unblinking, he appraised her as he moved - movements measured by necessity and clearly of a man who knew how to carry himself. The mark of seamless grace that martial artist wore, unseen by the untrained eye.

"Let me put this in my perspective for you, Chief S'Iti," he said quietly as he came to stand at arm's legth before the woman that had been at the helm when they fought the Calamity. "You tell me you think like a Marquis again, and the crew around you could cloud your judgement to the point of supporting a mutiny that almost led to this whole ship being destroyed when the Calamity found us. You jeopardised this whole ship and crew because you wanted to save everyone from the mission to Starbase 84. You were not prepared to sacrifice yourself either, as far as I know. Then you defected from Vasser's and T'Rena's command when they showed you how far they were willing to go to make their tactical retreat. You said that when Ensign Winterbourne was killed, your motivation was that you did not want anyone else to die, even if you had supported a mutiny that very well might have meant resistance and fighting."

The rationale ought to have become plain to her already because she appeared to Jien to be a resourceful officer, but the issues at hand were her former and current dispositions. " So what should I make of your request? Should I let you gather what is left of the Harbinger crew, help you cure them from the indoctrination they were subjected to, just so that you may have the perfect means to escape with what is left of your old crew, and once more avoid possible death under my command? Given what you have just said, why should I entrust you with this possibility, when I might not only loose one hell of an officer at the helm, but everyone else that may set foot aboard the yacht?"

Staring into the Cardassian's eyes, Jien had not been hostile in his tone, but merely pointing out that unless she had more to add, his judgement of the situation was not yet in favour of her request to be a part of the SAR operation. "Make no mistake. I will not leave your old crew behind, but from where I am standing, I would be taking an unnecessary risk to let you leave your post at the Theurgy's helm and give you the means to escape the very same mission that made you support the mutiny."

Falling silent, Jien let her speak once more - perhaps offering him some more input to consider in the matter.

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #4
She listened understanding every one of his points.  Frankly if she were the captain in this scenario she would have to think twice about handing over such a capable auxiliary craft to someone who has been so recently involved in a mutiny.  To be truthful with you, I can give no guarantees against your fears but if you wish to know my personal intent I intend to bring the ship back along with as many members of that crew as I can.  The scout ship is part of this ship and I would not deprive this ship of an auxiliary craft that could prove useful to its tempting as running for the hills might be as the saying goes."  She paused.  "No I intend on returning, but I would make one further request.  During the mission I would like to make a long range sensor sweep for habitable worlds.  I would request that I be able to at least seek a possibility for a means by which these people may choose to avoid a mission I was lead to believe they objected to.  These people aren't the crew you know.  They aren't the crew that would follow you into the fires of hell that your crew has become willing to trust that you will bring them through.  The harbinger crew isn't like the Theurgy crew. Which reminds me, I didn't tell you the other half of the reason I believed in the mutiny did I?

"When T'rena told me of my role to help secure the bridge she mentioned a few other things.  She talked how logically there was no way that a crew that had been through what yours has could possibly stick to the regulations of Starfleet protocol as yours did.  I guess even without a mind meld she was capable of some kind of Vulcan hypnosis or something because I believed every word she said to me, or perhaps I was just so jaded that I was willing to believe it.  I can't really tell the difference any more.  I could see no alternative other than to think that you must be a dictator who ruled over this ship with an iron fist and who no one dared to oppose you.  I could only think that the signs of possible deviation from how your word was law were mere plants to create the illusion of freedom.   But your crew..." she took a moment to pause as she couldn't help but smile at the thought and the hope that it rekindled within her.

"When the mutiny began they never flinched from knowing who their ship's captain was.  Vasser was never the captain to them.  He never would be either.  He may have taken the bridge but to them you were the captain and if you were dead your corpse would still be more deserving of that chair than him.  A crew who fears their captain does not do this.  What I saw, that confidence, that trust, that faith in them.  It wasn't an illusion; it wasn't false.    I for one would be honored to join in this mission even if every member of my former crew wanted to hide.  As I said my crew, my family and friends, don't know you, I didn't know you and i still don't know you.  But I can say I know your crew.  And if they trust you then I will trust their trust.  You can count on me to stay."  She said confidently, "The only thing that will pull me from that helm is a medic prying me way for emergency treatment or the cold vacuum of exposed space."

She paused them looked up at the captain before adding, "But, if they, if my old crew, wanted to run, I would have to aide their escape in any way I could.   They have been my family after all, and some of them... They aren't officers and crew anymore.  They look the part of Starfleet but make no mistake, they are refugees that merely wear a Starfleet uniform.  I had seen it in several of their eyes for weeks.  I've seen refugees caught in the crossfires of a Cardassian occupation, and I've seen Starfleet officers who accompanied marquis-defector captains crack upon seeing real war.  The look is the same.  Some of my crew will fight, some like a few of our fighter squadron pilots, they devolved into mere bloodlusting combatants.  Integrating most of them back into a proper squadron would be impossible save for a few.  Same with the security forces.  Sure there are a few rare examples of some amongst the crew that have retained some sense of their old Starfleet wits and beliefs.  But most, I believe they just want to run.  There is no more fight there is no more resist.  There is only run, or hope death comes in your sleep." 

She paused for a moment hoping what she was telling the captain would sink in for a moment, "Refugees don't belong on a Battleship heading into a war.  They need to be dumped off on the nearest safe place and pray for the best for them.  My personal opinion, If no planet side drop is available then I say we lie to them. Sell them on some story that we aren't going to go after the starbase until we drop them off somewhere safe but while we look for an appropriate location they will need to be sedated and placed into an induced coma, in quarters, stasis, in order to conserve rations while we find a suitable location.  That way at least when we head into battle, and if we fail and die,  then they die at least with their last memories being of hope for escape from this hell they have been living instead of awake and scared wallowing in a pool of their own feces, tears, and hopelessness.  I've seen the look of terror on a refugees face as their ship explodes around them knowing all hope was lost.  Can you understand where my concern is placed Captain?  Even Thea, a machine that is still learning to be human, couldn't just let her family die, could she?  What would I be if I didn't try to do the same for mine."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #5
Having listened in quietude to the CONN Officer when she spoke of her motivations and fears, her assumptions and her suggestions, Jien did not raise his voice until the Cardassian mentioned Thea and what she had done. Then, he broke the silence with his jaws clenching. "Of course I can understand concern, but concern alone does not validate going rogue and disobeying orders," he said to her, some iron to the timbre of his voice, "If we all acted on our whims and emotions, we would have died before we even left the Sol System. Personal motivations aside, Thea did aide the Lone Wolves with the data she pulled from the Reaver's computer, but as forgiving as circumstances may be, her actions may become an example for others, undermining the chain-of-command aboard this ship. Everything you have just lauded our crew for would fall apart... so you would do well to not use Thea as your example."

If Thea was listening, Jien did not know, yet quite frankly, she needed to hear it.

"I have a few amendments to the SAR operation you have suggested," he said, and changed... to her female form as she turned away from Aisha S'Iti and paced towards her desk. "You will not lead it, but function as the bridge between the crews. Instead, Lieutenant Commander Stark will accompany you on the away-mission, because she has the ability to store those of the forty missing Harbinger crewmembers that oppose you in the yacht's transporter buffer. I said 'we will not leave anyone behind', yet you misread me, for the sentiment is not merely out of benevolence. We will not leave anyone behind for the enemy to find, and to torture, and to allow intel about our ship and the mission to Starbase 84 ruin our element of surprise. Stark proved that she could save more than a hundred people on Theta Eridani IV by storing them in Thea's transporter buffer, and she can do it again."

Tugging her uniform jacket straight after seating herself behind her desk, Jien continued. "Preferably, Doctor Maya will not only aide the mission with her Vulcan abilities, but also serve in her capacity as a medical officer. If she is indisposed," said Jien, remembering how she had finally been told that Maya was the one who had been raped during the Festival of the Moon, by the late Phantos Killinvoss no less. "...then Ensign Cir'Cie will be accompanying you. Lastly, for reasons made obvious, I feel that I must have some form of guarantee that your motivations are what you say they are. I must ensure that the mission isn't compromised, so I need a security officer that can preserve the mission objectives and look out for the Theurgy crew's best interests."

It might have been obvious whom Jien was going to suggest before she did, opening her computer console.

"Deputy ThanIda zh'Wann will be on the yacht as well, and while she may have been fighting your former crew in order to achieve what she did at the end of the battle, and they wouldn't like the sight of her in your company, I can think of few others that would ensure the success of the operation. If that was all, I will notify the candidates myself."

Pausing, Jien glanced towards Aisha from her computer console. "Do you have any objections, Chief? Otherwise, the four of you will be launching at 1200 hrs. tomorrow."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #6
She listened to the captain's decision taking in every word of it every carefully chosen statement before nodding, "Understood Captain, no objections at all, though I would like to elaborate on something I said earlier."  She paused waiting for his permission before continuing. "You seemed displeased when you acknowledged that I mentioned thinking like a Maquis.  Perhaps it would be best that I try and explain what to me being a Maquis is.  First is the name and the circumstances of it.  The name comes from a group during occupied France during Earth's second world war called the Maquisards or as they were also called the Maquis.  Their more well-known name though was simply, The French Resistance.  Like the Maquisards the Maquis were formed under similar circumstances.  Hitler wanted more land and threatened to make war if he didn't get it.  So the French and British let him conquer much of Europe.  They were tired of war after all they didn't want war again.  Then he invaded France, he began to turn France into part of his Third Reich started imposing his law on their land.  The French didn't like it and they fought back.  Essentially they were the last resistance in their country against a powerful warmongering evil.  Now let's look at the circumstances that lead to the Cardassian/Maquis conflict.  First take a group of Native Americans, a culture who has been given a new reservation of territory countless times only to be told, "You have move again to your new smaller shittier reservation.  Finally they find an out of the way place to make their new home and guess what.  A race of lizard people assholes come in and say hey... yea we agreed that is Federation territory but we want it now, and if you don't give it to us we will start a war again.  So the Federation in its infinite wisdom goes and lets the scaled Hitlers annex what they want.  Then they start to impose dominion on us.  They start imposing Cardassian law on us.  Why should we have to be the ones to leave when we didn't sign a treaty to give our homes to the Cardassians?  How were we supposed to feel about this; were we just supposed to leave our new sacred homes.  Are we supposed to allow ourselves to be kicked around by a group of scaled bullies?  No...We fought back and you, and the rest of the Federation vilified us for daring to fight back.  Maybe we should have picked up and left because it's logical or some bullcrap like that but that wasn't the point.  We had moved before we called it a trail of tears.  Why should we walk another one?  So the rest of the Federation can be comfortable and claim you are keeping some fake peace that anyone with half a brain knew wouldn't last.  The Maquisards are what we were.  We were freedom fighters, "le resistance." We were the last free people existing under tyranny.  And I am one of the last that remain of them."

She smiled remembering the time fighting for what she believed in well, "When the Harbinger went Broken-Arrow I knew I was a Maquis again.  I was a member of a rogue element, a resistance against evil.  I was outnumbered and outgunned but that was nothing new.  What is thinking like a Maquis?  Thinking like a Maquis means knowing that in the face of tyranny and hopelessness you will resist and fight to the last breath.  Being Maquis means when the higher ups give you an order that flies in the face of morality and sensible judgement you question it and if required oppose it.  As far as I am concerned this resistance is the Third Iteration of the Maquis.  The first fought Hitler.  The second fought the Cardassian occupation of our land and all but died when the dominion showed their might.  The third Maquis.  I guess we will find out if it will become a raging wildfire fire or die out before it even becomes a single spark.  To me a Maquis ship don't mean one without rules.  It means a ship willing to go to battle for what's right in a place where all that is just and good in the world has been declared criminal.  As far as my thoughts go Captain, you are as Maquis as it gets."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #7
When Aisha S'Iti wanted to make an addendum, Jien looked away from the computer console and gave her full attention to the other woman, folding her calloused hands on the desktop after nodding her permission to proceed.

What followed was a lecture, of a sort, in what the Marquis of old and recent history were. Few if any explanations that came up were news to Jien, yet she did not stop the Cardassian from having her say. It was spoken from the heart, and she managed to emphasise the point she was trying to make by giving that lecture. That she spoke at all was because she had espied Jien's reaction to her stating she was Marquis again, and she was astute in addressing the matter right away instead of letting doubt fester despite how it was without cause for concern. When she had made her comparison between the Theurgy and the nature of Marquis, Jien knew what she had to say, and she did not delay in need of thought.

"As far as I am concerned, we are Starfleet officers," she said in the wake of Aisha's final statement. That being said, Jien then explained her reasoning.

"What you think is your prerogative, but I advise that you keep your idea close to heart. Branded traitors as we have been, and in the interest of making people out there listen to our word, it would not aide our cause if we proclaimed ourselves to belong to a faction as infamous as the Marquis. They might have been regarded as freedom fighters, yet to others, they also betrayed the Federation and Starfleet by jeopardising the peace for the entire Alpha Quadrant. Just or not, true or false, the peace with Cardassia benefited billions of other Federation citizens, despite how poorly as the compromises were negotiated and how badly the support for the DMZ planets was enforced. You were victims, and the Federation did not do right by you, but now - here - we cannot risk any such affiliation because the enemy can use it against us and undermine our position even more."

Rising from her chair, Jien did not want to alienate the woman before her, or make her think she had misspoken. She smiled faintly to her, feeling that it was a weary expression but earnest nonetheless. "I am sure you have come to terms with the irony that you are a Cardassian Marquis since a long time, perhaps for the majority of your life, but I can also appreciate how difficult it might have been for you. Please do not think I belittle what you and the Marquis stood for, because I don't. I merely have to preserve the course of our mission, and avoid confusion about the message that we will deliver. We can't be Marquis, even if you may regard me and this crew as such, because we have to be Starfleet and enforce Starfleet regulations."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #8
Aisha understood what the captain meant but part of her was filed with the anger of what he had said.  Not anger at him but at the citizens of the Federation and the officers of Starfleet.  Knowledge that she already knew and thought she had shoved to the back of her mind.  the fact that because the Maquis were nearly all killed off in one action there was hardly anyone to stick up for them in the official records.  As such, since the dead can't complain the Maquis remained in the official records nothing better than  terrorists.  Sure her crew was exonerated but that was only because none of her crew had ever been Starfleet.  Still in the records her records she was never listed as a member of any military.  No the marks of her Maquis service were not much different than those of the Bajoran staff of Deep Space Nine in fact for commanding such radicals she was listed as simply a "member" of 'a terrorist resistance cell operating against a former enemy of the Federation.'  Her official record didn't even say that she had been Captain  of a small Starship, in the Federation's eyes her past made her too inferior to be one of them.

For now she would just have to assume that the way her people were still viewed was merely a symptom of this enemy they now faced that hid itself within the Federation.  "Of course," she said.  "Whatever you need to do to make sure the truth isn't ignored."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #9
Chief S'Iti was not an easy woman to read, but given the short and overly polite reply, Jien thought that she might have been disappointed with Jien. How could she not, having been raised like she'd been and not prone towards seeing things like Starfleet might? As it were, however, that was not something Jien could do anything about. She could not adjust herself to all of her crew, but simply hope that they would come to understand the nature of the task at hand. The mission did not leave room for much leeway in regard to how the people of the Federation would receive the truth. Risking everything by abandoning the conviction that they were Starfleet and instead being something else and so deeply misunderstood as the Marquis, that was simply not an option.

"I am glad you understand, and it is not just me. It is everyone aboard. We need to pull in the same direction. Otherwise, we fall apart. This mutiny has showed us what may happen then," she said and turned away from Aisha, returning to her desk, "Vasser wanted us to be different and act outside the principles of Starfleet for the sake of his personal benefit. His closest associate happened to have abilities that could turn two crews towards his ends. Yet even without mind-control, as frail as crew morale is at this point, they do not need much convincing to abandon their brittle belief in this mission. We, as the Senior Staff, must show a united front and boost their morale. Remind them of what is at stake, and that redemption in the eyes of their friends and family may come at a cost. It may not be just or right that we have to fight for our survival and to restore the truth about ourselves and the fleet's leaders, but it is a necessity. We have no other recourse but to fight for our survival, and we will only succeed if we fight alongside each other - not amongst ourselves."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #10
She smiled softly, "I understand, Its just now that I have seen our enemy. I cant help but wonder if it is that enemy that makes Starfleet abandon its own rules in favor of taking a shadier path that sometimes forces those of us harmed by it to swim against the law's current.  I just want my people, myself to be looked at as the equals that the Federation defectors to our cause saw us as.  I don't know if you knew any of the Federation captains and commanders who defected but I knew several.  Several of your own contemporaries Captains like you.  My fellow captains in the Maquis.  Your Federation viewed them as traitors to me they were brothers and sisters in a fraternity of Captains like the one you belong to.    My ship I tried... I knew your Federation's rules well.  I learned them from the defector captains.  Some of them kept the ways of the Federation despite the circumstances.  It was always for the better.  They were the best among us, Those who were like you. It was an example that I strived to follow on my ship even."  she said her voice faltering between sentences clearly on the verge of tears of mourning... sadness that she rarely showed to anyone.

A bit of moisture began to well up and she wiped her eyes clearing them as she looked up to her captain, "And, those who died, those who were brutally massacred by the dominion I just want them to be recognized as what they were.  There were captains, commanders, lieutenants... officers and crew all of them. They were the first casualties of the Dominion war.  Yet there are no memorials to the Maquis who were slaughtered.  It's as if with almost all of us are dead and they try and sweep us survivors under the rug and pretend our families aren't equal to the Starfleet lives that were lost.  Instead when I look for the epitaphs of my friends and official statements say that they died not as valiant protectors of the innocent.  No not even a proper statement of KIA.  Their obituaries note they were Cardassian citizens executed by the Cardasssian union for the crime of terrorism.  That's what their Federation obituaries read about my friends.   That's what it says about my fellow captains."  By now she was holding back tears less of sadness but of anger.  "We weren't even casualties of war, We were dogs put down by an angry master! Good people don't cry over a stranger's rabid dog that got put down, ya know!  If I could change one thing about the way the Federation views the Maquis it would be this.  I just want to us be viewed equally to the Bajoran resistance  we both were citizens of the Cardassian union treated as lesser beings and who fought back weren't we?   I want my friends to be listed as KIA instead of rightfully-executed!  Is that really too much to ask for?  A decent memorial?  But no, some bulshit about terms of the Dominion/Cardassian surrender say we can't say bad things about the damned cardie bastards cause we are at peace and they were "victimized" by the Dominion." 

She calmed herself and adopted a more somber tone, "Guess the job of the Maquis is to be a nameless and unprotected scapegoat for every problem the Federation has had for the last 5 years.  Not like anyone's gonna complain.  Not like those of us who still live haven't been given very very good incentive to make sure we keep our traps shut.  And by incentive I mean made to know what happens to people who don't.  as for me I bet you notice that all it says is that I commanded a small Maquis vessel and that my record was transferred as the equivalent noncom rank.  It shows I chose to not want to command or be an officer again.  Let me tell you a secret.   As I said I was a captain, the former Federation captains treated me as a fellow captain.  my ship was of equal make to Chakotay's ship the Val'Jean.  If we were to follow Janeways model I would have been Ranked a provisional Commander.  No...I was forced into this career an example that other former Maquis should follow.  do what they say or I and my crew get tried as the traitors to Starfleet they meant to try us as.  And for what being caught trying to come to Earth's rescue when the Borg tried to attack it.  The record says that it was that fact and us not being former Federation that spared us.  No they intended to prosecute us as traitors to Starfleet, even though we had never been Starfleet.  That was the plea bargain for me enlist and don't ask to keep your rank in any way.  Don't even ask to be made an ensign.  I was told in no uncertain terms that if I ever chose to go ensign from CPO or Warrant officer from SCPO that I would regret straying from the path they wanted me on.  Be a damned dog of the military and at best get to sit in a helm chair on a bridge of a fair sized ship if you are lucky.  Or you and every single one of your former crew either disappear or get transferred to a ship at the front of the battle lines." 

she paused letting her words sink in the truth of her past.  Her previous command though not Stafleet proper sink in the way she had been forced to serve as an example of servitude rather than of a proud former rebel.  "I think you can likely imagine what happened to my crew since the harbinger went rogue... I am sure that being a member of that crew alone will have damned them all.  I'm tired of being their example of a proper reformed Maquis.  That's why i feel like I am a Maquis again.  At least... at least its something I can be proud of Captain.  Just know that the best of us Maquis. They were like you.  The best of us, even through the worst, ran their ships like they were still proper fleet ships."  she said no longer with tears at the corners of her eyes but a burning resolve in them instead.  "And as a captain I could only hope my ship held half the standards they held.  it was not just something to be be proud of seeing it was something to be idolized.   Something you do every day, and Vasser never had the will to try. Something he would have called weakness.  Something he was dead wrong about sir."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #11
Hearing Aisha speak of her past made Jien also wonder just how long their current enemy had hid in the shadows. However, even if she did not doubt the Cardassian woman in her convictions, Jien wondered if her feelings about her brothers and sisters fuelled her anger towards the Federation, and that she saw blame and persecution where there was none intended. Had threats been made, or had they been perceived where there were none? In short, Jien knew too little to make any judgement of her own in either regard, but it did make her wonder just how much mistreatment the former Maquis had suffered during and after the Dominion War. Intelligence about that part of the war effort had not been privy to Jien since she had already left Starfleet Intelligence by then. The stories of the Voyager, which were better known to her, held forth an entirely different redemption of former Maquis and illustrated just how well they could adapt to life in the fleet. Then, at the same time, most of the surviving Maquis that hadn't wound up on the Voyager had been put to trial and serving time in penal colonies.

Regardless how much blame the Federation deserved, and considering how thorny the issue of the Maquis was, there was no use dwelling on the past when the Alpha Quadrant was about to crumble apart from the rot that had set in at the core. As much, she said to Aisha.

"Thank you, Chief. I am glad you see the difference high standards can make. I hear both the blame and the praise, and I appreciate your candour. Regarding the past, we won't settle what is true or not - what happened and didn't happen - inside these walls. Not now. Yet know this, Chief S'Iti," she said where she sat, looking at their new Chief CONN Officer, "that as much bitterness as you hold over the fate of the Maquis, you are right here - now - on a ship with a mission dedicated to the restoration of Starfleet and the Federation. We will do whatever we can to bring things back to what they once were, and perhaps even make it better than before. You may never be able to forgive Starfleet or understand some of our priorities, nor accept military judgement in times of war. As your new Captain, I can accept your misgivings and the fact that you have been a victim, I can understand that you may sometimes doubt the general rules and the regulations that we uphold on this ship, but I will always have my door open if you want to question our present course-of-action. That being said, I will never tolerate open insubordination on the bridge. The state of the crew is too frail to be a victim to further doubt. The mission and the future is more important than your doubts about the past. If you let it shackle you, you can hold back the rest of us as well, and we will never be able to go as far as we need to. Fancy yourself Maquis behind the rank of your collar if you so wish, but don't let it be your detriment when we gaze ahead, for you will be the one that set our new course."

She hoped that the woman at their helm would understand.

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #12
She nodded, she understood his side and knew what he was going at, though not expressed she had always had her own opinions on Chakotay's crew of Maquis and that opinion had been ever since they got back.  'That's why it pays to be friends with someone who gets put on the fast track for Admiral.'  not that she resented Janeway's rank or Chakotay and the Val'Jean crew's redemption in Starfleet's eyes.   Hell if there was an Admiral in the fleet she felt that could be trusted even before this mess it was probably the crafty lady who had more experience with Maquis/Starfleet relations than anyone else in the fleet aside from possibly the now late Benjamin Sisko, not to mention there was a certain adoration for someone who had on more than one occasion back-stabbed the Borg collective.

There was something else on her mind though.  "The thing with this rank though... I'm pretty much at the top of how far I can go and I only chose not to go officer because of coercion.  What do the regulations say about Noncoms wanting to pursue a career path as officers once they have advanced past the rank of CPO; or do the regs say that if a noncom don't take the officer path at CPO then they are pretty much screwed out of ever advancing further than what I am at right now?"

Her voice became calm as a smirk crossed her face, "You see, if I am going to fight these bastards I would love to fight them as the one thing they used threats as a means to prevent me from becoming.  I want to fight them as an officer, not as a soldier.  I know it sounds like a stupid and unorthodox thing but its all about the symbolism.  They used this patch on my neck like a leash.  It was a leash that I wore because I wasn't allowed to try and earn pips.  I was scared of their consequences and kept wearing this I turned down the chance to go ensign even though one of my previous CO's recomended it.  I was scared to disobey my masters' orders.  Scared of being disciplined like an unruly dog.  I want to show our enemies I am no longer scared of their threats.  I want them to look at me and see what they didn't want to see more than anything.  A former Maquis turned officer that didn't get their pips cause of the "Janeway-pass."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #13
When the Cardassian woman spoke of her current rank and her promotion to Ensign having been denied her, Jien felt that she was pushing it a bit, symbolism or not.

"We have just come out of a battle and a mutiny, the ship is in need of repairs and we have your former crewmen spread across many light-years worth of distance. While some immediate promotions need to be done in the interest of preserving the chain-of-commmand, this is not the time to speak of promotions and officer training. The time for that will come, but we will at least perform the memorial services for our dead first."

Leaning back in her seat, Jien continued. "There is also the need for perusing the individual reports  that everyone will be submitting to their superior officers. Whether or not someone qualifies for a promotion is fully depending on the way he or she handled themselves during the mutiny and what kind of decisions they made given the circumstances.  The same applies for enlisted personnel wishing to become officers, perhaps especially so."

Not done, Jien rubbed her temple in thought before continuing. "You will have time to write your personal report before your departure, and since I do not know you well enough, I will ask that your companions on the away-mission evaluate you for a rank in the officer program. Ensign Maya, Lieutenant zh'Wann and Lieutenant Commander Stark are people who's words I trust, and should they not see cause for worry, then I will see what I can do."

Falling silent again, Jien wanted to make one thing perfectly clear. "Do not misread me. Your desire for symbolism is not in any way due cause for a promotion. If you are to be promoted to a Line Officer, vengefulness has no room in the decision, it is rather an argument against it. To grant you a promotion for that reason is to defile what the rank you'd hold stand for. Based on what you say, the only reason I am considering it is because that you were denied the opportunity when you were promoted from Chief Petty Officer. Do I make myself clear?"

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #14
"Of course, sir."  she said astutely, "And I understand your reservations.  I must request that you review my service record when i was onboard the Rapier as wel as The entirity of my time as a CPO and my promotion to SCPO occurred at that time.  In addition if I recall the captain on that ship praticially tried to shove me into officer training.  I really don't want to know what he must have assumed were my reasons for declining.  Guy literally nagged me after every mission to put in for officer training when it was availible.  He really had no idea how much I wanted to take his advice too."

SHe then added, "By the way, I apologize if I come off as a bit...against regulations at the moment.  It isn't that I am against regulation.  I'm against hypocrisy with regard to regulations.  I will try not to make assumptions.  We all made poor decisions recently it seems.  Some poor by hindsight and others poor by regulation.  But you can understand that I find it hard to blindly trust those in positions of command right now when so many of them seem to pick and choose what rules they want to follow.  Speaking of those rules and the results of breaking them, one of those bad decisions is sitting broken down in the engine room after being sabotaged.  So, we going to space the darn thing and use the phaser array to rectify the mistake it fully?  Or are we going to fix it and put ourselves right back where we started before my former captain initiated operation ruin everyone's day."

Re: EPILOGUE [Supplementary: Making Amends]

Reply #15
"No need to make apologies," said Captain Ives when Aisha put nuances to her reluctance towards¨Starfleet doctrine. It was a boon to hear, but at the same time, she brought up something that the Senior Staff had yet to weigh in on. The decision about the Phasing Cloak had yet to be made, but Jien was adamant in his conviction about the fate of that contraption.

"Make no mistake," she said to the Cardassian, vowels cut in stone, "I mean to destroy that thing before we travel ten feet away from our current coordinates. I will let the gravity well suck up the smithereens and I will rest assured that the contraption will not be used again so that it may endanger the people of the Federation - the Romulan answer unpredictable because of their civil war. I made a mistake, and some of the Senior Staff may try to convince me to keep it, but we are still alive, so we might just as well use other methods to get by undetected. We are a resourceful crew, and I have faith in the means we have managed to stay alive so far."

Sorting that matter, Jien promised to look at Aisha's file again. "You should go and prepare the survivors of the CONN department to stand ready while you are gone on your mission. We will have time to speak again upon your return. Dismissed, Chief S'Iti."


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