The story begins shortly after the events of
What You Leave Behind
The final episode of
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Dominion war was over, It officially ended when the Founders of the Dominion signed their surrender three days ago aboard the United Federation of Planets station Deep Space Nine and although the Federation won, the cost was high; the loss of Starfleet personnel either dead or still unaccounted for numbers in the hundreds of thousands and continues to climb.
It could be decades before Starfleet is anywhere near back to pre-war strength in personnel, while the count of ships lost stands at 800 and while the personnel at the Utopia Planetia and the other shipyards are working overtime building new ships it won’t help matters in the short term as races not involved in the war seek to take advantage.
Earth Date: July 23rd, 2375
At the headquarters of the Federations General Assembly in Paris, France President Larenka, a Bolian who is eighteen months into his four-year term is called to a meeting though he has not been told why he has been summoned Larenka walks into the council chambers to find all member world’s representatives are there waiting.
“Why have I been called to this meeting?”
Russell Burton a distinguished Ambassador who has served on Vulcan, Andor and Kronos among others and the highest-ranking member of Earth’s delegation stands up to talk.
“Mr President, your presence has been requested here because a majority of the assembly members feel the way in which you handled the Dominion war and the handling of the situation with the Dominion leading up to the war were at best questionable, at worst grossly negligent.”
“Which is why we all feel that it would be in the best interests of the Federation if you stepped down.”
The President was stunned and stood quiet for a moment before he began to reply.
“How dare you speak to me in such a manner I have given and will continue to give my all to this job and I don’t believe that any other president could have done anything to prevent the war. As for how you feel about my actions and the decisions I made during the war well.”
“I would like to point out that it is easy to criticise in hind sight decisions made under pressure. However, none of you were in my place so what gives you the right to question me like this ambushing me and making accusations that stain my reputation.”
Russell Burton got back to his feet. “Mr President you’re right, perhaps my tone was too aggressive and my choice of language harsh for that I apologise”
“You think your tone was aggressive, I tell you that no one be they President, ambassador or assemblyman should be greeted in the manner you felt it ok to unleash on me.”
“Again my apologies for that and again, you’re right to say that no one who ever they were and whatever their service to the Federation, had they been President could have prevented the war.”
“However, my point remains valid that you and several people before you who’ve held your position have simply not been up to the task.”
“On what evidence are you making these accusations, Ambassador Burton,” Larenka asked his anger rising as he spoke all the while clenching and unclenching his fist.
“On statements made by both you and two of your predecessors, all three of you have publicly admitted that you did not seek to become President that you were quite happy with your roles as Ambassador for your respective worlds and in my, sorry, our opinion that isn’t good enough.”
“The role of Federation President is the most important, yet it too often it has been given away cheaply to someone simply because of his or her loyal service or because the elder members of the council want someone who won’t rock the boat.
“Who’ll be a nice safe choice someone they’ll be able to persuade if not actually outright coerce and control into making the decisions that best suit them.”
“Frankly, I’m not surprised to see you leading this charge Ambassador Burton you’ve long been a critic of mine and Jaresh Inyo before me and Ty’ve Bro'la before him”. Larenka said.
“It is clear that you seek the position yourself and are merely using alleged mistakes on my part as a means to gather support for your own efforts to get this job”
“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I want to become Federation President nor do apologise for it, I have been consistent with that and my opinion that the Federation as it is now is badly run and has been for a long time.”
“I must make clear to the assembly members that my criticisms are not intended as personal attacks against the sitting President or either of his two predecessors. They were and continue to be excellent Ambassadors representing their worlds with integrity, I simply say what all three have themselves publicly admitted either after or while still in office that they didn’t seek the position and as a result, I feel were inadequate to the task and I know I'm not alone in believing that.”
“Your point about our not seeking the role of President is true, but I completely disagree that it meant either myself President Inyo or President Bro’la weren’t up to the job, all three of us have been appointed at difficult times. Bro’la coming in just after the war with the Tzenkethi and serving three consecutive terms. Even though he only served for one term Jaresh saw the beginnings of our problems with the Dominion and the dissolution of relations with the Klingons, oh and an attempt to depose him by a group of renegade Starfleet officers.”
“In all I’d defend all three of us our appointments and the decisions we made”.
“That is another complaint I want addressed” Burton said, the way Presidents are chosen it used to be that they were nominated by the council that two, three, sometimes even four candidates were put up for selection then put to a fair and democratic vote in the general assembly.
“Now they are appointments made in secret by the council with no recall for the people they are supposed to represent we need to go back to the old process the Presidency must be accountable to the people it serves.”
“You, Mr President were not selected by me or by any assembly member nor were you elected by a majority in open and accountable elections, simply because there were none and because of it aren’t answerable for your mistakes, and that has to change.”
“In your opinion, it really is just your opinion isn't it Mr Ambassador you say that there are others among the council who feel the way you do but why then are you the only one stood here speaking. If as you claim you have the backing of a majority of the assembly then let them stand before me and make their complaints public.”
“I happen to think the Federation is strong and the way it is now works perfectly well if anyone else besides Ambassador Burton wishes to disagree then let them.”
“Come on, stand up and make yourselves known tell me what exactly you think I'm doing wrong”
No one stands up leaving Ambassador Burton as the sole dissenting voice
"Exactly as I thought there is no dissatisfaction with how I've run the Federation nor should there be it's just the sole ranting of a man who wants my job and is trying his hardest manufacturing problems and create the impression of a rebellion about to rise up and overthrow me and throw the entire Federation into chaos"
“You’re wrong, Mr President and that you can’t see what’s wrong is all the more reason why you should stand down and let someone else take the job.”
“As to my colleagues, we agreed beforehand that I would be the one to stand and address you, as I am the one who wants to take your place, so it was natural that I am the one to challenge you.”
“As to why they're not keen to stand up and be counted, that’s easy fear of reprisals should this all fail, they're worried that angering you may well mean you taking revenge against them in trade agreements or in any number of other political ways."
“I love the way you say someone else should take over when clearly you mean for yourself to be that someone and I've already seen that whoever you have backing you in private clearly isn't going to do it in public. Because you say of fears of retaliation that are completely ridiculous, so it's just you a political opportunist out to get my job.”
“Well, I tell you what you want it so badly when my term expires, I won't stand in your way and if you get enough support you’ll get what you want, how does that sound now maybe we can all get back to work”
“You keep harping on the fact that I want to be Federation President like it’s a bad thing, believing that you’ll convince the other assembly members of that in the hope that it will deflect attention away from your failings.”
“It’s not a bad thing to want the position it shows that after years of neglect and apathy someone who sees what a privilege it is to be elected to the office of Federation President is willing and even eager to take on the responsibilities of the role.”
“As for your offer, I'll take you up on it because I believe your term is going to end a lot sooner than you think"
"Well, I don't think it will and whatever you believe I will stay here doing the job I was given until my time comes to a natural end, I will not go before then and will certainly not be forced out by some arrogant and power crazed Human who only wants the position probably to feed his own ego.”
“You, Mr Ambassador will fail to get rid of me and you say others won't stand against me for fear of political reprisals.”
Well, what makes you think I won't take any revenge on you, after all you have me painted as some kind of megalomaniac likely to use my position to settle a score for even daring to speak out against me what makes you so brave?"
"Simple I don't have that fear because yesterday I resigned my position as Ambassador and my seat in the general assembly both were accepted.”
“As of 06:00 this morning, I am officially no longer an Ambassador or a representative of the Federation in any capacity I’m now free to pursue my aim of getting you out and building support not just for my aim to become President, but to continue gathering support for my calls for there to be an election so that the people can see who they place in charge of the decisions that will affect their everyday lives”
“You did that without my knowledge you resigned both your seat in the assembly and your Ambassadorship without me hearing about it, that just goes to prove what I’ve been saying you are sneaky and manipulative you are power crazy and in it for your own gain and I will not let you succeed”
“Mr President if that’s what it takes I will call for a vote of confidence in your leadership and I sincerely believe that I’ll win, I’m giving you the option to go quietly and resign and you can return to your role as an Ambassador, or you can call the election yourself and stand against me in a fair democratic vote.”
“If you lose and I win I’ll make sure you receive a position of your choice. If you win and I lose, I will be out of your life for good the choice is up to you, and just so you don’t think we’re putting undue pressure on you, you have a week to decide.”
“Well, I’ll give you a third option, then shall I, I will round up all my supporters and crush any opposition to me then I’ll stay in office and make sure you can’t even get a job working as the Ambassador to an uninhabited moon, how does that sound.”
“Right now this session is over as I have a very important gathering to attend which I’m sure some if not all of you will be going as well.”
Larenka storms down off the stage, walking out to the transporter pad and gives the tech at the controls the order to beam him out.