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Walking on Glass

Posted on Wed Jul 1st, 2015 @ 10:24pm by Lieutenant Commander Rosaleen O'Donnell & Senior Councilman Deklan O'Donnell & Commander Jey Cleh & Commander Eliana Masters & Commander Andrew Matheson & Lieutenant Commander Adria "Tempest" Desoro & Lieutenant Commander Maurelle Valentine & Lieutenant Commander Ethan Mackenzie & Master Chief Petty Officer Allison Wilshire

Mission: Paradise Lost
Location: Earth: Federation Council Chambers

*Starfleet Headquarters - Council Chambers*

The council had only been convened for a short time, but now things were taking a change as dissolution of Starfleet, and the Marine Corps is proposed...

Near the far side of the council seating, a Vulcan male, Surak, sat calmly amidst the confusion. "Dissolution is certainly not the logical answer here." He said simply. "It will leave many worlds, and outlying bases unprotected."

"Then maybe we recall our troops, and abandon them!" An Andorian female shouted out. "We're spread too thin as it is!"

The Human woman sitting in the center council chair banged her gavel, the sound echoing through the room. The yelling was more than Ellen could take, and she aimed to stop it.

"Order!" she called. "We will have order!" As the room quieted down, she set the gavel back in it's place. "Now then... Let's try to have a civilized conversation, and get this sorted out."

Deklan O'Donnell was busy taking notes as fast as he could, and praying that he would be allowed to leave with them. Everything was moving much too fast now. Somehow this 'New Order' as they called themselves had managed to gain the majority in the Council, and would soon hold the Presidency as well. Centuries of progress was about to be wiped out. But for what? Why were they doing this?

The councilor from Betazed rubbed her forehead as she surveyed the room. The Andorian female had shouted on more than one level, and she was not alone in having very strongly held opinions that were not being very well restrained. Rising to a point of order, she said quietly, "Betazed agrees with Vulcan's position on the continuation of Starfleet and the Marine Corps. Given the recent history of violence spanning the quadrant, it makes no sense to dissolve our defenses at this time. Further, it is morally and ethically reprehensible to leave portions of our membership undefended in direct contravention of the Federation Charter - which would be the direct result of the proposed dissolution. A proposal which violates our charter is necessarily illegal, and I move that the proposal be dismissed on those grounds of legality."

Tshealu was watching the proceedings closely now...things were starting to get out of hand quickly. She and the rest of the Protectorate present were under strict orders to not allow the 'minority' that they knew would be vocal to cause any undue interruptions in the proceedings. This was going to happen, whether they liked it or not. She was already taking names...

Though she was newly appointed the chairman of the council meetings, Ellen still represented Earth in Council proceedings. "Earth is in agreement with the Andorians." She said. Like Tshealu, she wanted to silence the opposition. "The cost in resources to defend all these outlying colonies is just so great that we can't even properly defend ourselves. Lest you forget the Borg attacks that nearly resulted in the decimation of the Alpha Quadrant."

The Andorian woman, Lorna sat there with a somewhat smug look on her face. She knew what was coming, and she didn't care who was aware of it.

Surak sat in silence. If this continued in the direction is appeared to be going, he would not be allow his people to be involved.

"Just as a clarification to where we all stand," a new voice joined into the discussion, "the Humans and Andorians are in favor of withdrawal while our compatriots from Betazed and Vulcan stand in favor of continuing Federation support in the region, including but not limited to economic, social, and military support provided by those represented here by a seat on the council, yes?"

No immediate objections were voiced in dissent and in politics, silence was everything.

"Very well. I am Kala Anjar, the representative from Bajor. Allow me to begin by promoting our sincerest thanks to the heartfelt words and gestures extended by all with regard to the tragic passing of Ambassador Lenaris. He was a truly great man, irreplaceable, and we would all do well to cherish his memory as our discussions continue."

Rumors had been circulating for weeks since the former Bajoran counselor's death. The investigation had fallen under much scrutiny, but time sensitive evidence had evaporated by the time the lead detective was questioned. There was an uneasy feeling in the room as the tall Bajoran stood and began to walk the floor. His movements were obscured by a body length cloak which provided the illusion as if he was gliding from place to place. For Anjar, discussions were not a static exercise, requiring movement and freedom of expression to fully develop.

"Perhaps a brief look into our collective history will provide a measure of guidance. Now, I'm speaking for myself as a Bajoran, but in half a million years of history, there has to be some precedent set when it comes to just about everything. I do not mean to imply that every scenario can be judged by this criteria - no, in fact, each and every circumstance is unique and careful examination is required if the correct decision is to be made," Anjar came to a rest, using the back of his chair to lean forward towards the assembled counselors.

"When Bajor first went to the stars," he continued, "a period of colonization quickly followed. Many of your civilizations share a similar history. It seems logical. Exploration leading towards expansion and colonization. As natural as any force in the universe. Many of the early settlements were lost. Not by lack of effort, oh no, not a lack of effort at all. Instead, it was a simple case of too small a quantity of resources being spread over too large of an empire. You all know how this ends."

A few sets of eyeballs shifted towards the Cardassian representative who, to her credit, remained remarkably unfazed.

"My point is this, yes, in an ideal world, the Federation would be able to provide the resources to these fringe worlds. There is no denying that membership is a major step in the progression of these worlds and civilizations, but the question that must be answered is this. Do we have the resources? Or is this a case of overstepping our means? I do not mean to question the council's motivations, far from it, but a comprehensive view of the facts leaves only one conclusion. Bajor votes for dissolution. Thank you chairman. Counselors." Anjar bowed to each in turn.

"Nothing is an ideal world," Zhar shouted. Up until this point the male Tellerite had been silent. He was getting impatient with proceedings yet didn't believe anyone had a good solution one way or another.

They all began to see it... This meeting was going down hill, and those who would stop it were not going to be enough. It was Surak who reacted first by standing up from his seat to face the others.

"I am sorry, but what you are doing is not only illogical, but completely immoral." He told them all simply. "Vulcan withdraws it's Federation membership. Good day." With that, the Vulcan simply turned, and left the council chambers.

The Betazed councilor just sat there in shock. Considering Bajor was one of the farthest removed points in the Federation, they had to figure abnormally high on the list of places whose protection was going to take a hit if the Fleet and Marines were curtailed, wormhole or not. She owed it to her planet to see this through to the bitter end, if only to know who their friends were going to be at the end of this. She also had to wonder what in the Holy Rings the Cardassian representative was doing at an internal policy discussion - but then, given everything else that had devolved into a mockery, pretenses of security were just as likely to be on that list as anything else.

O'Donnell sat in shock as the Vulcan Ambassador made his statement and exited the room. 'This can't be happening. This absolutely cannot be...and what the hell is the Bajoran Councilman thinking? They will be the first to suffer if this goes the way it appears to be headed.' "Mr speaker...if I may. Just what are you hoping to accomplish by this? Everything we have spent centuries to are throwing it all away."

"Don't be naive Mister Ambassador," the Bajoran riposted. "There is hardly anything left to throw away. The level of protection and service provided is anemic compared to where it should be. I am surprised to see the Vulcans are unable to see the logic in this. Helping a smaller number of worlds thrive is a far better use of resources than watching multiple potential Federation members go by the wayside. As for Bajor, a full eighty percent of the standing defense force is made up of Bajorans. It was never the Federation's plan to leave such a large task force behind in this area. These resources could be better used elsewhere, and we are willing to do our part in order to see this done."

Secretary of Defense Cassandra Monroe was not usually a participant or observer of the council proceedings. However given the importance of the matter at hand the President requested she be allowed to observe and provide advice to the councillors. Having recently retired as the Chief of Starfleet Intelligence, her years of experience had told her the selected councillors were already botching the mission. Pushing the minority aside through oppression would not achieve their purpose. This move would require a gentler touch. She arose to address the remaining councillors. "Members of the council good day. As the Secretary of Defense I must implore you reconsider your positions. While I agree our resources are spread thin and Starfleet is barely managing to hold the lines. However dissolution is not the answer. What we need is to consider looking to expand our military capabilities beyond Starfleet. If we cannot expand our capabilities from within then we must look to both our allies within and from beyond to create the necessary security required to fulfill the oath of protection we took when these worlds joined our Federation. Am I saying we won't have to abandon some worlds? No. But we cannot abandon our promise to our members. Therefore may I suggest we consider the possibility of the creation of another military entity to work in cooperation with Starfleet to defend our borders."

Ellen looked at Cassandra. Her next words would probably come as a surprise to the woman, as well as most of the minority members in the room. "We already have a new Military entity ready to step into place called the Federation Council Protectorate, who will be taking over such military matters." She said, then gestured towards Tshealu. "Allow me to present the Protectorate's Captain of the Guard."

Tshealu stepped forward and nodded. "I thank you for your confidence, and I can assure you that we will remain vigilant throughout this process and beyond."

"Welcome Captain. It is a honor to have you here in these proceedings as our guest. Could you please humor those on the council whom may not be aware how it is you will assist the current Starfleet in ensuring the protection of all our worlds?" Cassandra said turning the over to Tshealu.

The sudden outburst from the Vulcan delegate raised the tension in the room to another high. She watched as the Vulcan delegate left the chamber. The driving force behind the move appeared to be emotional one. It was very illogical for the Vulcan to act in such a manner. At least she thought to herself as she took in the wonderful aroma of her Raktajino. She took another sip with a smile on her face. It was strange, she thought. She never used to drink coffee before but ever since being joined with Yintrix it had quickly become one of her guilty pleasures.

The appearance of Captain Tshealsu brought her back to reality. She placed the mug back on the surface in front of her gently, and silently. She once again leaned back in her seat looking upon this individual. The idea of introducing another military force besides Starfleet and Marine Corp was a dangerous one. Starfleet and Marine Corp has been around since before the Federation. A lot of people would be upset but truth be told she didn’t care too much about the outcry from public she was more intrigued in this new force, Federation Council Protectorate

The argument was that Federation could not honestly support all of the planets within its borders due to lack of resources yet there were enough resources to build an all new force? How was that possible? She wondered. She choose not to say anything at this time. She wanted to hear what this person had to say. She was sure that by the end of this her voice would be heard loud and clear but for now she observed.

"Our roll is simple." Tshealsu began. "Quite simply we are here to relieve Starfleet of the burden of enforcing the Council's directives. And as we work closely with the council, there will be no...misinterpretations of the Council's directives. And as we fall directly under their chain of command, it lessens the amount of time...and people...necessary to accomplish our goals. Clarification of Council directives will no longer be necessary."

Watching the progression of the meeting Zhar just let out an irritated huff. Letting the noise escape his lips but that was it.

"So you all see. The will of the people will no longer be interpreted by others but will instead be carried out and our enemies will not dare stand against us. Once again the people will control the destiny of the Federation and not have to rely on the un-elected but will instead have a voice in our progression. Starfleet has proven it's inability to protect our members as a lone entity. It is time we look beyond the box and fulfill our promise to our people." Cassandra preached.

Blind zealotry, thought the Betazed councillor. Promise them everything now and remove the means for them to do anything about it before they figure out they've been had. One of the older tricks in the book, but it was disgusting how often people could fall for it. With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied – chains us all, irrevocably. This would not end well.

“Excuse me.” Called out the female Trill from her seat. Her trademark coffee mug was now in her hand as she looked around the room before stopping at Cassandra. “By the sounds of it you are proposing that this council rule with an iron fist and use this new organization as the means to enforce.” She paused for a moment. A smile appearing on her lips. “Correction, persuade the public into going along with the decisions made at the highest level of government within Federation.” She brought her mug to her lips. “Am I correct in my assumption…?” She asked right before taking a sip of her coffee.

"Quite the opposite." Cassandra said addressing the trill council member. "For so long, Starfleet has acted upon the will of the highest levels of military authority within the federation including my predecessor. While both he and I were appointed by the people, there was still a break in communication between the will of the people and Starfleet. For too long, the federation has expanded while Starfleet has remained the same. The protectorate shall act as an auxiliary to ensure the continued prosperity of the federation and it's members. The council and the protectorate will not rule with an iron fist. They will both represent the citizens of the federation and their will. Elected officials representing the true interests of it's citizens, not of those placed in power by the few."

"I am curious." Selena De'la Verdi spoke before any of the speakers supporters had an opportunity. She was an Earth Representative and the Federation Secretary of Agriculture. "Where exactly are the Starfleet and Marine council representatives today? Shouldn't they be a part of any discussion that involves their dissolution?"

The female Trill sat in her seat listening carefully to the explanation that came from Cassandra. Additional comments and questions immediately came to the foreground in her mind but before she could ask someone else spoke up. The question that Selena asked was a very valid one. She wanted to know the answer to the question, so she said nothing more until Cassandra answered it.

"Unfortunately, they have been detained, pending an internal investigation." Ellen spoke up in reply, before Cassandra could. It had been her that ordered their arrest under cleverly forged charges of treason. Their fate would be decided later... after their respective branches were dissolved. "The nature of the investigation prohibits the release of more details than that. As everyone present knows, Council members, or any other authority figures who are under investigation get their authority stripped, and are not allowed to participate in official proceedings."

Isina Yintrix, the female Trill wasn’t surprised by the answer given in this situation. After everything that has been said so far in the Council Chamber she had expected nothing less. “When should we expect the investigation to come its conclusion…and the results be made public…at least to the Council members?” She asked. A half-smile shaping her lips.

"It's hard to tell at this point, but I'd say at least several days." Ellen replied. She didn't want them to have even the smallest chance of stopping what was coming. "In the meant time, we have important matters to discuss. The purpose of the Federation Council Protectorate isn't to rule with an iron fist, and then wrongly enforce such. Since the council represents the will of the people, the job of the Federation Council Protectorate is to remove the need for interpretation of that will. Unlike Starfleet, or the Marines, the Protectorate will answer directly to the council."

“I am sure that you realize what you ask is no small thing. Starfleet and Marines have existed since before the birth of Federation. For centuries they have served this council. They have served the people of the Federation. They have fought battles to protect the Federation way of life. Given the ultimate sacrifice to protect that and now you simply propose that we dismiss them and appoint this new group as the face of the Federation.” Yintrix paused for a moment. She gathered her thoughts then with a sigh looked across the room at Ellen.

“What is being dismissed here is that we all are appointed officials here to represent each of our own worlds…to act in the best interest of not only our world but the Federation as a whole…On a daily basis we interpret the will of the people and act based on those interpretations. You ask us to dissolve Starfleet and Marines because they on occasion are exhibiting the same practices that we do. That’s ludicrous.”

"We ask to dissolve them, because we no longer have the resources to support them!" Jenava, the female Andorian representative shouted yet again, tossing a PADD to the center of the table. the contents of which was a summary of the urgent request for help on Taranok IV. "Look at us! We can't even defend our own worlds, and yet we are also being asked to defend worlds that are not even members!"

"I haven't seen anything in this proposal that explains how the Protectorate intends to defend us without requisitioning all the resources currently in use by the fleet and the corps. That requisitioning and transfer of resources will NOT happen overnight; some of those resources are three months away. And while the transition is in process, we will be even more defenseless than we currently are." The Betazed Councillor rubbed her temples. "And if there are already alternate resources in place to address that argument, I submit that those resources would have meaningfully alleviated the major problem that this realignment is theoretically supposed to solve. Which probably means that the real reason behind this rearrangement has nothing to do with resources and everything to do with ideology - ideology in the vein of former Admiral Leyton. I fail to see how the Council could loathe his ideology then and worship at its altar now."

"What happens when that blows up in your face when there is no one to protect you because you dissolved the very entities that are sworn to that very duty," the Tellarite representative snapped. None of it made any sense.

"There is something else you have not even thought of including in this equation." O'Donnell spoke up once again. "There are a lot of assets that are around and on various planets currently belonging to the Federation. A lot of these, by treaty, will be forfeited if we back out. That isn't even discussing the logistics of trying to deactivate all of the bases and stations out there that we have the rights for."

"You speak as if Starfleet is of an entity of it's own. Starfleet serves at the pleasure of the Federation." Cassandra began speaking to O'Donnell. "Any treaty, bases, troops and the likewise are by right property of the Federation. Their would be no forfeiture, just a change in command. For the short term many of the core operations will be unaffected as Starfleet will be required to continue operations until the protectorate is able to relieve them. Some may even find themselves in the service of the protectorate in continuance of the oath they took to the Federation. Starfleet is a warm feeling of the past, it's time we let it go vice suffering a slow cold death."

"You signed a treaty two hundred years ago with us." The Deltan Representative shouted as he and his aid stood. "You want to break that agreement, you had better be prepared for a fight. We have nothing further to discuss here." They both turned and exited the room swiftly. A dull roar was rapidly growing as more and more of the assembled member representatives began to have their own private discussions in small groups. Several stood and exited without word within a few seconds of the Deltan departure.

Cassandra eyes followed the Deltan delegation with disgust. Once they had departed she turned her focus back upon the crowd. "Let me say this once and never again. "The Federation and Starfleet are NOT synonymous with one another. Starfleet SERVES the Federation. Those who swore an oath to Starfleet swore it to the Federation. The agreement the Deltan delegation speaks of was signed by the United Federation of Planets and the founding worlds, not Starfleet. The two groups are mutually exclusive."

With the noise level getting louder, and things starting to get out of hand once again, Ellen slammed her gavel to instantly get everyone's attention back to her. "I called for order, and I will have it!" She snapped at pretty much everyone. She glanced around the now silent room to see that the number of delegates present who supported this dissolution outweighed the number of those who either didn't, or were considered unknowns... Now was the time to finalize this. "The time for debate, and argument is over. Let's put this to a vote. As per our normal voting procedure, there is a PADD in front of each of you. Please make your selections, and submit them to make the votes final."

The language used to detail the choice before the Betazed councilor was by no means detailed enough to express her true opinion on the matter. After reading through the options to make sure there actually WAS a choice that would vote against the dissolution of Starfleet and of the Marine Corps, she selected that choice and finalized it. She then took a sip of her raktajino and rubbed her temples. There were still a few legal tricks she could have tried to continue forcing the issue, but the mood of the room seemed like none of them would have gotten anywhere.

Kala Anjar, for his part, remained in silence as the others continued to discuss the vote amongst themselves. Allies and rivals alike were playing a cosmic game of chess as Anjar submitted the Bajoran vote and took his stand. The dissent in the room was almost tangible. Even if the vote went against dissolution, which was unlikely, the seeds of a new order had been planted.

For their parts, both Jenava, and Ellen both voted for the dissolution of Starfleet, and the Marine Corps. As far as the Andorian representative was concerned, this would be like taking candy from a baby.

Selena walked over to Deklan and sat, where they whispered back and forth for a few moments before Deklan stood again. "I make a motion for this matter to be tabled pending further discussion into the legal aspects of such a decision. In my opinion, this action goes against numerous Federation laws and Council rulings. To proceed without such investigation is reckless and criminal." He looked around the chambers waiting for somebody to second his motion.

"Are you blind, Deklan!?" Jenava called out. "The longer we wait, the more danger we put ourselves in! Starfleet doesn't have the military power to keep our own people safe! The Borg, the Dominion, and the Kzinti are all perfect examples of why we need to do this now, instead of putting it off, and leaving ourselves open for more attacks!"

"I'd have to agree with the Andorians, Councilor." Ellen piped up. "As it stands now, I don't think the Federation can handle another invasion, or large scale military action against us, unless we take this option. Too many lives are at risk to just sit around, and waste more time."

Deklan, you brave, brave fool. "Betazed seconds Councilman O'Donnell's motion to table the motion under discussion pending a report from the office of the Judge Advocate General on the legality of the proposed motion."

The Betazed councilor turned to her aide and handed her a PADD with diplomatic documents. "Get this to Councilman O'Donnell before the pending votes close. This PADD is protected by diplomatic privilege and is eyes-only for the Councilman." As the aide hurried away, she looked over the floor and kept an eye on O'Donnell. Granting him a position on her consular staff was the most political protection she could give him at the moment; at the very least she could make sure he got off-planet if needed.

"You do realize that JAG has no precedence in a council vote, don't you?" Ellen replied frankly. With things taking this turn, she decided to work her magic in an attempt to coax the votes to be closed. If that happened, then JAG could be completely bypassed, and the matter would be done. "A collective majority vote by the present members of the council creates a standing, legally binding decision... And there is nothing illegal about dissolving Starfleet, or the Marine Corps in favor of a stronger, more protective military presence for us, and our member worlds."

"And legally binding decisions can be appealed to the Federation courts." If Ellen wanted to push the point, there were definite advantages to sucking a few more minutes off the clock for the Betazed councillor. "Since the JAG would be responsible for presenting Starfleet's case in said appeal, I see no harm in waiting for them to present their opinion on the legality of what you are doing today." Her aide reached Deklan and she decided to turn the screws. "Let me be frank. I cannot imagine a reality where Starfleet's response to their termination in this fashion does not involve a very, VERY public challenge to the Federation courts about the legality of dissolving named entities of the Federation charter. I would ask why you didn't try to end-run that by proposing an amendment to the charter, but we both know that would require a public referendum - which takes time. Time that you haven't proven we don't have."

She took a deep breath, knowing this was going to piss off a majority of the room. "We have a choice here. We can do this right, or we can risk doing it over in the courts. Now, which plan do you all think is going to be faster and less embarassing for you when your constituents hear about it - taking the time to sort it out behind closed doors, or letting the Federation News Service splash a holovid about the Fleet Admiral seeking an injunction against the Federation President? And which result is more likely to convince the Romulans, the Breen, the Gorn, the Tzenkethi, the Tholians, and the Kinshaya that the time to come in and destroy us is sooner rather than later?" A pause for effect. "In your haste to solidify our defenses, you have lovingly presented a plan that will remove our defenses and provoke very public dissemination of that fact. Are you sure you don't want the extra time to think this through?"

"The Judge Advocate General's office has no jurisdiction in this matter. That department serves solely as an entity within Starfleet to ensure it's governance is done so within the confines of the Federation constitution and it's very own charter. Councilor you are confusing the Judge Advocate General with the Attorney General. If you cannot correctly identify legal jurisdiction how can we take your legal advice seriously? How can you even know how involved the Attorney General already is?" Cassandra responded sternly towards the Betazed councillor.

"Considering that your motion makes no reference whatsoever to any analysis of legality, you're right. I don't have any idea how involved the Attorney General is in this matter. But if you and yours had done your job properly when this motion was presented, I wouldn't have to ask the question now, would I?" The Betazed councillor wasn't giving an inch. "And as to the Judge Advocate General not having jurisdiction, you're the one who is confused. Jurisdiction is the official power to make legal judgments and decisions. The Judge Advocate General is expressly empowered to make legal judgments and decisions on matters pertaining to the Starfleet charter. Your motion would dissolve the Starfleet charter and clearly pertains to it; therefore, they do have a degree of jurisdiction. I admit that ultimate jurisdiction does not lie with the JAG in this case - but the Attorney General doesn't have it either, since both groups will have to live with whatever decision comes out of the Federation courts. So the courts, not the JAG and not the AG, have ultimate jurisdiction." She gave Cassandra an absolutely withering look. "So whatever trump card you think you're sitting on with the Attorney General, you're still going to wind up in the courts on an even and VERY public playing field if you rush this through. Are you and yours so certain of your peoples' support that you're willing to risk your seats on the Council in the next election when they find that you tried to scuttle Starfleet and the Marines?"

"To hell with it..." Ellen said as she looked between Deklan, and the Betazed councilor. She had wanted to wait until the vote had been placed, but they were forcing her hand. "I am holding you in violation of the law for blatantly interfering with a vote that has already been placed on the table during a critical council meeting. The Federation Charter regulations page 56, paragraph 16, sub-section 4 expressly prohibits this action. You and your comrades are being placed under arrest." She banged the gavel to signify the order, then gestured to the Captain of the Guard. "Captain, please take them into custody, and place them in the Brig under guard."

"So critical that members of foreign allied powers are permitted to be in attendance." The Betazed Councillor looked coolly at the Cardassian representative. "Point of order. The esteemed councilor from Earth contributed to the interference with the vote by participating in the debate instead of invoking the aforementioned clause at the first opportunity. I would remind this body - and its guards - that all violations are to be treated equally."

Before any further reply could be made, a disturbance broke out just beyond the doors to the council chamber. The shouting grew louder and louder, until it was suddenly punctuated by phaser fire. The doors burst open, and a large number of Starfleet Marines began to pour into the chamber, led by a...

A Klingon? How very odd...

The Marines continued to pour in, quickly outnumbering the Protectorate members in the chamber. They quickly surrounded them and proceeded to disarm them. The Klingon walked to the middle of the chamber floor and addressed the speaker.

"This meeting is baktag'. are without honor." he turned to address the room. "Any of you requiring safe passage off this worthless world come with me now. You will be safe. You do not need these bIHnuches anymore."

The Betazed councillor was as surprised as everyone else when the Klingon started speaking. However, the diplomatic security that came with a Klingon ship of the line was far more than anything she could immediately lay hands on. With a quick thought to her staff, she rose and headed for the Klingon.

As she walked towards her way out, she looked over to Deklan. The look in her eyes clearly implied that regrouping seemed prudent and that having him along would put her much more at ease.

Deklan had already come to the conclusion that they would not win this fight. Now was the time for survival. Hopefully the deal struck earlier was already done, and those that he loved were safe. He stood and made his way to stand with those who had chosen to go with the nameless Klingon. A Klingon rescuer...could this day turn any stranger...

Cassandra turned staring at the Klingon usurper first then looking to the Starfleet Marines. "Well I certainly cannot speak for the representatives you so claim to be saving but I can speak FOR these marines you have brought with you. As the operational commander of Starfleet I do hereby order every marine whom has sworn an oath to Starfleet to stand down or be faced with charges of desertion and treason. If you leave with this klingon, you will be sentencing yourself to death."

"Let them go." Ellen said, then turned to look at the Klingon. "Just as she has stated, any of these Marines who follow you are guilty of treason against the United Federation of Planets. You may win this battle today, but know that you are now wanted criminals."

Without another word, the Klingon gestured to the remaining Marines to follow, all of which chose to do so. After they left the room, sealing the doors back the way they'd been, the remaining members of the UFP Council sealed the deal, voting unanimously to dissolve Starfleet, and the Marines in favor of the new Federation Protectorate. Their next task would be to send out representatives of the Protectorate to inform, and enforce this new change.

Joint Post by

Kala Anjar
Bajoran Counselor
Written by Masters

Betazed Counselor
Written by Matheson

Human Counselor
Written by Cleh

Andorian Counselor
Written by Cleh

Vulcan Counselor
Written by Cleh

Deklan O'Donnell
Senior Council Member
Written by O'Shea


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