Looking for a Third Option
Posted on Saturday, 16 October 2021 - 2:09pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant JG Maximus Mackenzie
Operation: Mirror of Madness
Location: USS Standing Bear
News of Captain Stillwater's sudden departure had travelled through the ship at warp speed, as gossip was want to do. Equally, few people on board were unaware of what had transpired on Vulcan. Given his position in Starfleet, news outlets seemed to be giving a somewhat disproportionate amount of attention to the speech her husband had delivered ahead of the vote. Had he spoken in favour of Vulcan remaining part of the Federation it would not, of course, be newsworthy.
But no, he had stood and spoken of how Vulcan could be better served by leaving the Federation. His speech had not, however, convinced enough and for now Vulcan would remain as a founding member. Yet there was discord. It would perhaps only be a matter of time for the issue to arise again and those in favour of a new path to gather enough support.
With both their commanding officer and first officer gone, it left the Standing Bear temporarily under the command of Lieutenant Kingsley. A science officer presently without a department while it was decontaminated and rebuilt and, presently, without her husband. How long for, remained to be seen. His actions would have repercussions but he had known that.
Sitting in the ready room, in almost total darkness, the science officer's thoughts were far away when the door chime rang out. It brought her attention to the present and with a sigh she turned her blue eyes towards the door. "Come in," she called out. As the doors began to open she added, "computer, raise lights to normal."
Mac had seen the videos that had been all over. Soral's passionate speech. He knew Soral was in favour of an independent Vulcan, knew he wrote about it using his pen name but now he'd not only reveled himself to be Shar of Vulcan, the controversial philosopher but also had spoken against the Federation. Things didn't add up. Yes this was Soral's thought process but he'd never risk Alex's career or his. He always said the separation of Vulcan from the Federation and Starfleet needed to be done properly and this, this did not qualify as properly.
As the doors slid open Mac walked in. "Got a minute boss?"
“Everything okay?” She asked, gesturing for him to sit.
He sat down. "Depends on the subject. More importantly I came to check up on you. Soral...is quite the media bug as of late."
“Quite the understatement but I am fine,” she assured him. “Overseeing repairs and making sure the ship is ready for our new CO is keeping me busy. I thought you and Haru would be still enjoying your honeymoon. Or is a puppy underfoot cramping your style?”
He smiled. "Haru adores Bones. He wants a dog now." He sighed. "Been updating tactical and have those reports for you," He said sliding the data PADD to her. "Fine...Somehow I doubt it. Alex this is me. I can imagine what your feeling now. What I can't understand is why he did this...this isn't like him. I mean I know he wants Vulcan to leave the Federation...anyone whose read his writings knows this but he would never a, reveal himself as Shar of Vulcan, and b, never do anything to hurt you or betray Stillwater."
“Bones can stay as long as he likes,” Alex offered. “As for Soral, he would have had his reasons. I have to believe he was doing what he thought was right. And as for what happens next, I guess early retirement to be a full time mother and wife is highly likely at this point. I don’t imagine our new captain will be thrilled to have me on her senior staff let alone as second officer.”
"You could always file for divorce." Mac said.
“Or not,” she countered.
"Here is the thing...Can I be honest here?"
She fixed him with a look, “you usually are.”
"Something is wrong. Soral would never blow his cover as Shar, he wrote under a pen name for a reason. Yeah, he thinks Vulcan should leave but not like this. Honestly, I think he's sicker then he's letting on. He wouldn't do anything to hurt your career, hell, you're why he wants to stay in Starfleet."
Alex took a deep breath as she leaned back, “which was why he was staying on Vulcan. And honestly some things are more important than the uniform. Soral wants what is best not just for Vulcan but our family.”
"Yeah but...Listen Alex I know that you dislike Hamura but Hamura has talked to me. They're convinced something is off."
Alex groaned, “enough! I am so tired of Hamura and their drama convincing everyone I dislike or hate them! I haven't hated anyone since Sean Evans stole my toy unicorn when I was four. I am his wife. What, does she think I don’t know my own husband?”
Mac sighed. "Listen, I disliked Hamura in the past too. Always jealous of the weird psychic thing they have. As far as hate, no I don't think you hate them, neither do they, but you have an aversion to them which is fine. Any who... Now that Hamura has said this there is a bigger issue."
“I have an aversion to people making my friends believe I dislike someone,” Alex sighed, her anger obvious. “Besides, Soral is already with the healers.”
"True, but that's not the issue. Tal is gone, he's gone to wait for Stillwater and that means the ranking officer is Haru. Hamura has expressed, in a professional capacity, to Haru that something is wrong with Soral. Haru, in turn, has had to document that in his tactical logs."
“I helped book Tal’s transport, I know he is gone,” Alex pointed out. “Soral is not aboard, so what do you propose? Stillwater left me in command so he could go to Vulcan. What more can we do? Or is Haru wanting to have a little mutiny and go after him? I’ll save him the trouble because even at a star base the paperwork is a nightmare.”
"Well, here's the thing, Starfleet has read the tact logs, they are keeping an eye on the Bear since Soral's … press conference. They want Haru to do a John the Baptist. They want an investigation and they want Soral's head on a platter with the insane label stamped on it."
“A witch hunt,” she concluded, shaking her head.
"Yup. This can go one of two ways, they prove Soral is insane he gets medical discharge and is Vulcan's problem and you get a pity promotion to XO or..."
"Or he's sane, he's made this decision on his own. He gets booted out, possibly even court martialed."
“Then he will need a third option,” she said simply. “He is not insane.”
Mac sighed. "I hear ya. But anyway you're on the … interview list. Haru will be by to talk to you so I thought I'd give you a heads up."
“Then let the witch-hunt commence,” she sighed.