Jump to content
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

[2008: NOV-DEC] * WINNER* The Cost of the Greater Good


Toni
 Share

Recommended Posts

The Cost of the Greater Good

©2008, Clinton Michael Williams, all rights reserved

“It should have been a foregone conclusion to any student of the history of any number of worlds that within every beneficent governmental structure there are the seeds of tyranny and repression. The United Federation of Planets was no different. In the end, it was weighed in the balance and found lacking…Lacking in liberty, while proclaiming itself to be the pinnacle of free thinking societies. And yet it was flawed to the core by the very axiom it valued most. How many countless individuals and societies have suffered in the interest of the so called “Greater Good”. How many sacrifices have been demanded so that the needs of the many could prevail? “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one…”, such an elegant quote, etched into the very foundation of the Federation. Well that’s all well and fine, if you happen to be one of the many making the decision, but its nothing more than an imposition of mob rule upon the poor souls deemed to be the few. No, my friends, freedom and self determination are for all, or they are for none. There is no middle ground. Those brave freedom fighters, the Maquis, had been vilified as terrorists because they dared to stand up to Cardassian tyranny following the Federation’s abandonment of their colonies. We, the members of the Starfleet Marines had been tasked with “peacekeeping” missions on one planet and countless others, and what did we find? Destruction, degradation and destitution amongst colonists that WE as a society made a sacred vow of protection to. A vow WE broke in the name of the “Greater Good” The very hills we sought refuge in following our fateful actions were once sites of other battles between the UFP and the Cardassians, AND WE BEAT THEM BACK. Our brothers and sisters in arms bled and died there so that those people could be free! If the Cardassians were honorable, and had held the territory with fairness to those who have lived and died here for generations, well, we wouldn’t have been holed up in those rocks. What crime had we committed that demanded such a fateful decision as to send our own troops against us? We saved a village from massacre. There were no Maquis present, no signs of any seditious activity at all. And yet the village council, and virtually all adult males were herded into the town square and summarily judged by the Gul in charge to be terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. What were we supposed to do? When we were ordered to stand down by the Cardassian authorities, told that this was an internal matter, told by Starfleet command itself that for the “Greater Good” we could not take any action to defend those people, that’s when it became clear to us that we needed to say ‘To hell with the greater good. Today we fight and die for the needs of the few or the one who dares to do nothing more than breathe the sweet air of freedom.’

It’s been said that historical events are often as much the result of unforeseen consequences as they are planned executions of will. We were trying to save a village, not start a revolution. And yet it is my good pleasure to announce to you, the free peoples of the Union of Confederate Planets that today, the remnants of the old United Federation of Planets have formerly surrendered, unconditionally. So on this momentous occasion, let us re-affirm our commitment to Liberty and Justice for All!”

General Leahy,

CIC UCP Star Command

Addressing UCP Mobile Infantry troops

Occupying UFP Starfleet Command HQ

General Leahy adjusted his uniform as he waited outside of the now deposed Federation President’s office with the UCP delegation which would be assuming power. There was the Andorian Nirel, the Bajoran Toral Ran, and the Pakled General Enari, along with a delegate from the Bolian and Telarite governing councils as well. The door opened and the military leaders were met with the appropriate military courtesy by Loyalist members of Starfleet Command and the Commandant of the Starfleet Marine Corps, then the entire group was ushered into the presence of the dignified but weary looking President of the United Federation of Planets.

“Mister President…” Leahy began.

“Jim, before we get too far along, let me say that I am happy to see you alive, despite the best efforts of some in this room, under my orders, to make you otherwise.” The President stated with a melancholy but sincere smile.

Leahy, focused on the task at hand, took in a breath, and smiled coldly.

“Thank you, Bill. They did their best. No one in this room should be ashamed with their efforts.”

“That’s very kind of you to say, General. Now, to the business at hand. Please, continue…”

“Mister President, as of this moment your forces have unconditionally surrendered, and the Federation Council has formally petitioned the Union of Confederate Planets for a complete and unconditional cessation of hostilities. The war is over, Sir, pending your signature on the document which they have presented to you to be handed over to this delegation."

The Federation president nodded, and accepted a PADD from his chief of staff. He read it over carefully, perusing silently. Taking an electrostylus he scratched his name in the appropriate area and turned it over to Leahy, who also read it and signed it as well.

“What now, Jim?”

“As of right now, Bill, you and the members of your cabinet, the Commandant of the Marines, and the entire Starfleet Command Cadre, along with the members of the Federation Council are to be escorted by neutral Ferengi vessel to Parliament where you will live out your years comfortably, but in exile. The old Federation will be dissolved in name, however much of the infrastructure and way of life that Federation citizens have enjoyed for centuries will continue. Starfleet will be subsumed into the UCP Star Command, and those members who choose to continue to serve will be offered opportunities to do so, once their loyalty to the UCP Constitution can be vetted. They will be needed as the Bajoran and Klingon offensive against the Cardassian Union has become bogged down in several sectors.”

“So you will take us from one war into another one?” the now deposed president asked.

“The Colonies along the border are free. We offered a cease fire agreement to the Cardassians a year ago, and they refused to give up their claim to them following the colonists Declaration of Independence. Now that the Bajorans have returned in droves from their Diaspora, and the Klingons have committed, its just a matter of time until we are victorious there as well.” Leahy returned. “In addition, we have opened negotiations with the Romulans to assist us with our Breen problem. In the end, we should be in a much stronger and stable relationship throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.”

“And who will be sitting in this chair?” the tired former president asked.

The Andorian delegate stepped forward.

“The UCP Duma has unanimously voted to make General Leahy the first President of the Union of Confedrate Planets. This formal surrender marks his final duty as a member of the military.”

The former Federation president smiled grimly, “Mother and father were proud to have one President in the family, now they’ll have another. It’s too bad that they didn’t live to see it, but your attack on Tycho city saw to that.”

General Leahy gave the order to clear the room, leaving he and his brother alone to come to terms.

“We attacked the Starfleet base, not the civilian city. It was a legitimate target.” Jim Leahy stated flatly, eyeing his brother with a steely gaze. “You were given the opportunity to surrender that base without a shot being fired, Bill. They were Starfleet personnel, and you ordered them to hold to the last.”

“But you gave the order to attack, knowing that your own parents were in harms way. And for what? Because the greater good of YOUR cause was deemed more important than your loyalty to what few family you had? On and on you railed against the needs of the many doctrine, and yet you killed our parents adhering to your own twisted interpretation of it. Dad died quickly, but Mom, she suffered for hours before she died. I just thought you should know that before you sit in this chair.”

“And let me remind you Bill, that you took that office AFTER the civil war started. And you chose to put our family in harms way, hoping that I would be persuaded to abandon such a necessary objective. You should have known me better little brother. I may have ordered the attack, but you could have saved them.”

Bill Leahy’s shoulders slumped, “You’re right, of course. There is enough blame to go around. I understand that you captured Robert early on. Mom was so worried about him, but I told her you’d never let anything happen to him. Was I right?”

“Robert is fine. He’s been well taken care of, as all POW’s were, on both sides. I do have you to thank for that.”

“We are not the exploitative monsters you made us out to be, Jim.”

“Oh, I think that the 60 member systems of the UCP might disagree with that, Bill. You know, the Marines used to be called the iron fist beneath the velvet glove of the UFP. When your predecessor ordered that iron fist to hit us, the velvet glove didn’t make it sting any less. You really have no idea just how much some of these systems have historically given up ‘for the greater good’. The Federation Council’s myopic policies, coupled with an abandonment of the one thing that kept most of the systems in the fold, the commitment to a common defense are what made this day inevitable. When systems chose to support us, your retributions were swift and memorable. Free people, supposedly granted autonomy with regard to internal matters don’t take kindly to occupation. And neither do officers and crewmen serving in your Starfleet and Marines who were suddenly rounded up because of nothing more than their planetary origin. No, Bill. Whatever good thing the Federation might have once been, you tore it to shreds in your effort to defeat us. We offered you a truce, remember?”

“At the cost of half of the Federation’s territories breaking away? Borders skewed literally from system to system between us? Half of the Federation’s loyal systems were completely enveloped by the territory you claimed because your faction had systems extending like insurrectionist tentacles everywhere! The Andorians, Bolians, Pakleds, and all of those little systems with vast resources necessary for sustaining life as we knew it within the Federation? I was supposed to just hand them over to you?”

“Four million lives later, that’s exactly what you did just now.” Jim Leahy observed. “You think we wanted to blockade Vulcan? That we wanted to lead an attack on Sector 001? You forced our hand. We wanted peace, with freedom. Now look at the state of affairs. Jupiter Station, gone. Half the shipyards on Mars, gone; destroyed by your own forces. We’re going to need those ships. We’ve had to mine the Bajoran Wormhole because a newly discovered Gamma Quadrant power known as the Dominion were discovered to be planning an imminent invasion of the entire Alpha Quadrant. The Cardassians have apparently made some kind of agreement with them. If we don’t crush the Cardies now, or if we fail to hold the Bajoran system, the entire Quadrant might fall! But we could have formed an alliance against them, and the ships that you forced us to destroy on both sides would have been better used to shore up our defense of the wormhole. So don’t talk to me about resources, Bill, because from where I’m sitting your deficit is staggering compared with mine.”

Bill Leahy came around the grand oaken desk and sat on the corner. Taking a decanter of Irish whiskey, he poured a glass and offered it to his brother. Jim Leahy took it and sat in an overstuffed chair while the holographic fire in the hearth crackled pleasantly, belying the tension in the room. Raising his glass to his brother, the former president waited for a reply.

“What are we toasting?” Jim Leahy asked.

“Irish stubbornness, Jim. Unfortunately it’s in our Celtic nature to never know when we’ve been defeated. In fact our people have been more defined in the last thousand years or so by our response to defeat than by our response to victory, because historically, we’ve seen very little of that. We’re s[...]pers. We never stop fighting. Can’t help it, I suppose.”

“To Irish stubbornness, then.” Jim rejoined, raising his glass. Both men tossed down the whiskey with vigor.

“Oooh,”, Jim commented, “That is the good stuff.”

“A gift, from Mom and Dad on my inauguration.”

“The ’56? Sweet mother of… Remember when we used to sneak shots of it when Dad was stationed in Cydonia?”

“Remember how he defied Federation corporeal punishment laws and tanned our hides with a switch he ‘requisitioned’ from the arboretum?”

“He told me later that that was because Robert puked all over Mom’s hydrangea bush. We’d corrupted her baby, and she laid into him for it.”

“And we all know it rolls down hill from there…” Bill laughed dryly, pouring his brother another one; then one for himself. “To Mom and Dad, and Robert. May they all forgive us for our actions.”

“Robert won’t.” Jim Leahy confessed quietly, sipping his whiskey. “I spoke with him after the Tycho City attack. He blames both of us for our parent’s deaths. I gotta be honest with you, Bill, when I said he was fine, I meant physically. Psychologically, he’s… well, he’s not doing well.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I tried to have him posted away from the front, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He was so angry with you, but he thought that if he could get to you one on one, he’d change your mind about all of this.”

“He tried. I’ll give him credit for that. He turned out to be a helluva commander, but he could never beat me in wargames when we were kids. You’d think he would have remembered that.”

“Jim, he wasn’t as cold as you or I. I tried to have you killed, my own brother. You ordered the attack that killed our parents, but I put them in harms way. In all honesty, he idolized you, far more than he ever did me. It doesn’t surprise me that he couldn’t get beyond that.”

“It’s a moot point now.” Jim responded, looking at the ancient style clock on the wall of the Presidents office. “We really should wrap this up, Bill. The clock stops for neither of us.”

Bill Leahy shook his head and set his glass down on the desk. He looked at his brother without malice, but with some trepidation. There was one more matter to discuss.

“What about Carole?” he finally asked.

“How is my wife these days?” Jim asked guardedly.

“My wife, actually…” Bill answered cautiously “She divorced you in-abstentia a year into the war. Married me shortly thereafter. We have a daughter, Shannon.”

Jim Leahy nodded approvingly, “Good Irish name. Take her. Take her with you to Parliament, and your daughter, with my blessings. To be honest, after a few years I… well, we’re Leahy men, we’re not monks… I never stopped loving Carole, but I learned to love another woman in her absence. I guess by the old ways we’re still living in sin, but at least not adultery, which would make mother very happy I suppose. At any rate, if you love her and that makes her happy, you’ll have no problems from me.”

Jim Leahy stood and extended his hand to his former enemy, his beloved little brother. Bill Leahy took it stiffly, formally at first, but then gripped it hard. Jim returned the grip as tears welled up in both men’s war weary eyes. With a jolt, the former president pulled the new president close and the men embraced in a crushing bear hug.

“I love you, Jim. I’m so sorry. Sorry for all of it.”

“I love you, Bill. I’m sorry too. For everything.”

The two men stood holding each other, knowing that it would most likely be the last time either of them ever spoke face to face. Minutes went by as they cried and shook with emotion that had been suppressed by the long years of war, then they separated. Bill Leahy wiped his eyes on his coat sleeve.

“I’m going to leave you the ’56, Jim.”

“No, you take it. I don’t want to be reminded where it came from.”

“That’s why I’m leaving it, brother. To remind you of the cost that comes with sitting in this chair, and to remind you to not make the same mistakes I did.”

“Fair enough. Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. President?”

“Get our people through this. Re-unite the Federation, Confederation, whatever you call it. Make us strong and safe again. That’s what I ask of you, Mr. President.”

“I’ll do my best.” Jim answered with conviction. “Are you ready?”

“I’m good. Really. Let’s just get this over with.”

The two men walked to the doors, and Bill Leahy, former president of the United Federation of Planets was escorted with his cabinet to a waiting hover car to take them to their transport site. Jim Leahy closed the doors and stripped off his UCP military jacket and tunic and tossed them aside. Wearing his regulation Class A trousers and a UCP undershirt, he poured himself another whiskey and sat down behind the Presidential desk, staring into the holographic fire as he slowly sipped his drink and quietly wept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you wish to include your story in the contest, it cannot be Copyrighted. Per our terms of service, all works which pass through SB118 properties (incl. but not limited to the Yahoo! Groups, and anything on the SB118 servers) are automatically licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which is not a copyright. Your original post must be amended to be included in this contest, or it will be deleted immediately from the server.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Cost of the Greater Good

“It should have been a foregone conclusion to any student of the history of any number of worlds that within every beneficent governmental structure there are the seeds of tyranny and repression. The United Federation of Planets was no different. In the end, it was weighed in the balance and found lacking…Lacking in liberty, while proclaiming itself to be the pinnacle of free thinking societies. And yet it was flawed to the core by the very axiom it valued most. How many countless individuals and societies have suffered in the interest of the so called “Greater Good”. How many sacrifices have been demanded so that the needs of the many could prevail? “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one…”, such an elegant quote, etched into the very foundation of the Federation. Well that’s all well and fine, if you happen to be one of the many making the decision, but its nothing more than an imposition of mob rule upon the poor souls deemed to be the few. No, my friends, freedom and self determination are for all, or they are for none. There is no middle ground. Those brave freedom fighters, the Maquis, had been vilified as terrorists because they dared to stand up to Cardassian tyranny following the Federation’s abandonment of their colonies. We, the members of the Starfleet Marines had been tasked with “peacekeeping” missions on one planet and countless others, and what did we find? Destruction, degradation and destitution amongst colonists that WE as a society made a sacred vow of protection to. A vow WE broke in the name of the “Greater Good” The very hills we sought refuge in following our fateful actions were once sites of other battles between the UFP and the Cardassians, AND WE BEAT THEM BACK. Our brothers and sisters in arms bled and died there so that those people could be free! If the Cardassians were honorable, and had held the territory with fairness to those who have lived and died here for generations, well, we wouldn’t have been holed up in those rocks. What crime had we committed that demanded such a fateful decision as to send our own troops against us? We saved a village from massacre. There were no Maquis present, no signs of any seditious activity at all. And yet the village council, and virtually all adult males were herded into the town square and summarily judged by the Gul in charge to be terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. What were we supposed to do? When we were ordered to stand down by the Cardassian authorities, told that this was an internal matter, told by Starfleet command itself that for the “Greater Good” we could not take any action to defend those people, that’s when it became clear to us that we needed to say ‘To hell with the greater good. Today we fight and die for the needs of the few or the one who dares to do nothing more than breathe the sweet air of freedom.’

It’s been said that historical events are often as much the result of unforeseen consequences as they are planned executions of will. We were trying to save a village, not start a revolution. And yet it is my good pleasure to announce to you, the free peoples of the Union of Confederate Planets that today, the remnants of the old United Federation of Planets have formerly surrendered, unconditionally. So on this momentous occasion, let us re-affirm our commitment to Liberty and Justice for All!”

General Leahy,

CIC UCP Star Command

Addressing UCP Mobile Infantry troops

Occupying UFP Starfleet Command HQ

General Leahy adjusted his uniform as he waited outside of the now deposed Federation President’s office with the UCP delegation which would be assuming power. There was the Andorian Nirel, the Bajoran Toral Ran, and the Pakled General Enari, along with a delegate from the Bolian and Telarite governing councils as well. The door opened and the military leaders were met with the appropriate military courtesy by Loyalist members of Starfleet Command and the Commandant of the Starfleet Marine Corps, then the entire group was ushered into the presence of the dignified but weary looking President of the United Federation of Planets.

“Mister President…” Leahy began.

“Jim, before we get too far along, let me say that I am happy to see you alive, despite the best efforts of some in this room, under my orders, to make you otherwise.” The President stated with a melancholy but sincere smile.

Leahy, focused on the task at hand, took in a breath, and smiled coldly.

“Thank you, Bill. They did their best. No one in this room should be ashamed with their efforts.”

“That’s very kind of you to say, General. Now, to the business at hand. Please, continue…”

“Mister President, as of this moment your forces have unconditionally surrendered, and the Federation Council has formally petitioned the Union of Confederate Planets for a complete and unconditional cessation of hostilities. The war is over, Sir, pending your signature on the document which they have presented to you to be handed over to this delegation."

The Federation president nodded, and accepted a PADD from his chief of staff. He read it over carefully, perusing silently. Taking an electrostylus he scratched his name in the appropriate area and turned it over to Leahy, who also read it and signed it as well.

“What now, Jim?”

“As of right now, Bill, you and the members of your cabinet, the Commandant of the Marines, and the entire Starfleet Command Cadre, along with the members of the Federation Council are to be escorted by neutral Ferengi vessel to Parliament where you will live out your years comfortably, but in exile. The old Federation will be dissolved in name, however much of the infrastructure and way of life that Federation citizens have enjoyed for centuries will continue. Starfleet will be subsumed into the UCP Star Command, and those members who choose to continue to serve will be offered opportunities to do so, once their loyalty to the UCP Constitution can be vetted. They will be needed as the Bajoran and Klingon offensive against the Cardassian Union has become bogged down in several sectors.”

“So you will take us from one war into another one?” the now deposed president asked.

“The Colonies along the border are free. We offered a cease fire agreement to the Cardassians a year ago, and they refused to give up their claim to them following the colonists Declaration of Independence. Now that the Bajorans have returned in droves from their Diaspora, and the Klingons have committed, its just a matter of time until we are victorious there as well.” Leahy returned. “In addition, we have opened negotiations with the Romulans to assist us with our Breen problem. In the end, we should be in a much stronger and stable relationship throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.”

“And who will be sitting in this chair?” the tired former president asked.

The Andorian delegate stepped forward.

“The UCP Duma has unanimously voted to make General Leahy the first President of the Union of Confedrate Planets. This formal surrender marks his final duty as a member of the military.”

The former Federation president smiled grimly, “Mother and father were proud to have one President in the family, now they’ll have another. It’s too bad that they didn’t live to see it, but your attack on Tycho city saw to that.”

General Leahy gave the order to clear the room, leaving he and his brother alone to come to terms.

“We attacked the Starfleet base, not the civilian city. It was a legitimate target.” Jim Leahy stated flatly, eyeing his brother with a steely gaze. “You were given the opportunity to surrender that base without a shot being fired, Bill. They were Starfleet personnel, and you ordered them to hold to the last.”

“But you gave the order to attack, knowing that your own parents were in harms way. And for what? Because the greater good of YOUR cause was deemed more important than your loyalty to what few family you had? On and on you railed against the needs of the many doctrine, and yet you killed our parents adhering to your own twisted interpretation of it. Dad died quickly, but Mom, she suffered for hours before she died. I just thought you should know that before you sit in this chair.”

“And let me remind you Bill, that you took that office AFTER the civil war started. And you chose to put our family in harms way, hoping that I would be persuaded to abandon such a necessary objective. You should have known me better little brother. I may have ordered the attack, but you could have saved them.”

Bill Leahy’s shoulders slumped, “You’re right, of course. There is enough blame to go around. I understand that you captured Robert early on. Mom was so worried about him, but I told her you’d never let anything happen to him. Was I right?”

“Robert is fine. He’s been well taken care of, as all POW’s were, on both sides. I do have you to thank for that.”

“We are not the exploitative monsters you made us out to be, Jim.”

“Oh, I think that the 60 member systems of the UCP might disagree with that, Bill. You know, the Marines used to be called the iron fist beneath the velvet glove of the UFP. When your predecessor ordered that iron fist to hit us, the velvet glove didn’t make it sting any less. You really have no idea just how much some of these systems have historically given up ‘for the greater good’. The Federation Council’s myopic policies, coupled with an abandonment of the one thing that kept most of the systems in the fold, the commitment to a common defense are what made this day inevitable. When systems chose to support us, your retributions were swift and memorable. Free people, supposedly granted autonomy with regard to internal matters don’t take kindly to occupation. And neither do officers and crewmen serving in your Starfleet and Marines who were suddenly rounded up because of nothing more than their planetary origin. No, Bill. Whatever good thing the Federation might have once been, you tore it to shreds in your effort to defeat us. We offered you a truce, remember?”

“At the cost of half of the Federation’s territories breaking away? Borders skewed literally from system to system between us? Half of the Federation’s loyal systems were completely enveloped by the territory you claimed because your faction had systems extending like insurrectionist tentacles everywhere! The Andorians, Bolians, Pakleds, and all of those little systems with vast resources necessary for sustaining life as we knew it within the Federation? I was supposed to just hand them over to you?”

“Four million lives later, that’s exactly what you did just now.” Jim Leahy observed. “You think we wanted to blockade Vulcan? That we wanted to lead an attack on Sector 001? You forced our hand. We wanted peace, with freedom. Now look at the state of affairs. Jupiter Station, gone. Half the shipyards on Mars, gone; destroyed by your own forces. We’re going to need those ships. We’ve had to mine the Bajoran Wormhole because a newly discovered Gamma Quadrant power known as the Dominion were discovered to be planning an imminent invasion of the entire Alpha Quadrant. The Cardassians have apparently made some kind of agreement with them. If we don’t crush the Cardies now, or if we fail to hold the Bajoran system, the entire Quadrant might fall! But we could have formed an alliance against them, and the ships that you forced us to destroy on both sides would have been better used to shore up our defense of the wormhole. So don’t talk to me about resources, Bill, because from where I’m sitting your deficit is staggering compared with mine.”

Bill Leahy came around the grand oaken desk and sat on the corner. Taking a decanter of Irish whiskey, he poured a glass and offered it to his brother. Jim Leahy took it and sat in an overstuffed chair while the holographic fire in the hearth crackled pleasantly, belying the tension in the room. Raising his glass to his brother, the former president waited for a reply.

“What are we toasting?” Jim Leahy asked.

“Irish stubbornness, Jim. Unfortunately it’s in our Celtic nature to never know when we’ve been defeated. In fact our people have been more defined in the last thousand years or so by our response to defeat than by our response to victory, because historically, we’ve seen very little of that. We’re s[...]pers. We never stop fighting. Can’t help it, I suppose.”

“To Irish stubbornness, then.” Jim rejoined, raising his glass. Both men tossed down the whiskey with vigor.

“Oooh,”, Jim commented, “That is the good stuff.”

“A gift, from Mom and Dad on my inauguration.”

“The ’56? Sweet mother of… Remember when we used to sneak shots of it when Dad was stationed in Cydonia?”

“Remember how he defied Federation corporeal punishment laws and tanned our hides with a switch he ‘requisitioned’ from the arboretum?”

“He told me later that that was because Robert puked all over Mom’s hydrangea bush. We’d corrupted her baby, and she laid into him for it.”

“And we all know it rolls down hill from there…” Bill laughed dryly, pouring his brother another one; then one for himself. “To Mom and Dad, and Robert. May they all forgive us for our actions.”

“Robert won’t.” Jim Leahy confessed quietly, sipping his whiskey. “I spoke with him after the Tycho City attack. He blames both of us for our parent’s deaths. I gotta be honest with you, Bill, when I said he was fine, I meant physically. Psychologically, he’s… well, he’s not doing well.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I tried to have him posted away from the front, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He was so angry with you, but he thought that if he could get to you one on one, he’d change your mind about all of this.”

“He tried. I’ll give him credit for that. He turned out to be a helluva commander, but he could never beat me in wargames when we were kids. You’d think he would have remembered that.”

“Jim, he wasn’t as cold as you or I. I tried to have you killed, my own brother. You ordered the attack that killed our parents, but I put them in harms way. In all honesty, he idolized you, far more than he ever did me. It doesn’t surprise me that he couldn’t get beyond that.”

“It’s a moot point now.” Jim responded, looking at the ancient style clock on the wall of the Presidents office. “We really should wrap this up, Bill. The clock stops for neither of us.”

Bill Leahy shook his head and set his glass down on the desk. He looked at his brother without malice, but with some trepidation. There was one more matter to discuss.

“What about Carole?” he finally asked.

“How is my wife these days?” Jim asked guardedly.

“My wife, actually…” Bill answered cautiously “She divorced you in-abstentia a year into the war. Married me shortly thereafter. We have a daughter, Shannon.”

Jim Leahy nodded approvingly, “Good Irish name. Take her. Take her with you to Parliament, and your daughter, with my blessings. To be honest, after a few years I… well, we’re Leahy men, we’re not monks… I never stopped loving Carole, but I learned to love another woman in her absence. I guess by the old ways we’re still living in sin, but at least not adultery, which would make mother very happy I suppose. At any rate, if you love her and that makes her happy, you’ll have no problems from me.”

Jim Leahy stood and extended his hand to his former enemy, his beloved little brother. Bill Leahy took it stiffly, formally at first, but then gripped it hard. Jim returned the grip as tears welled up in both men’s war weary eyes. With a jolt, the former president pulled the new president close and the men embraced in a crushing bear hug.

“I love you, Jim. I’m so sorry. Sorry for all of it.”

“I love you, Bill. I’m sorry too. For everything.”

The two men stood holding each other, knowing that it would most likely be the last time either of them ever spoke face to face. Minutes went by as they cried and shook with emotion that had been suppressed by the long years of war, then they separated. Bill Leahy wiped his eyes on his coat sleeve.

“I’m going to leave you the ’56, Jim.”

“No, you take it. I don’t want to be reminded where it came from.”

“That’s why I’m leaving it, brother. To remind you of the cost that comes with sitting in this chair, and to remind you to not make the same mistakes I did.”

“Fair enough. Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. President?”

“Get our people through this. Re-unite the Federation, Confederation, whatever you call it. Make us strong and safe again. That’s what I ask of you, Mr. President.”

“I’ll do my best.” Jim answered with conviction. “Are you ready?”

“I’m good. Really. Let’s just get this over with.”

The two men walked to the doors, and Bill Leahy, former president of the United Federation of Planets was escorted with his cabinet to a waiting hover car to take them to their transport site. Jim Leahy closed the doors and stripped off his UCP military jacket and tunic and tossed them aside. Wearing his regulation Class A trousers and a UCP undershirt, he poured himself another whiskey and sat down behind the Presidential desk, staring into the holographic fire as he slowly sipped his drink and quietly wept.

--------------------

(PNPC) Ensign T'Lar

Acting Ship's Counselor

USS RONIN

simmed by

Lieutenant (Jg) Iolo Madoc Llewelyn

Ship's Counselor

USS Ronin

1999 TOSMA I

Edited by Iolo Madoc Llewelyn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you wish to include your story in the contest, it cannot be Copyrighted. Per our terms of service, all works which pass through SB118 properties (incl. but not limited to the Yahoo! Groups, and anything on the SB118 servers) are automatically licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which is not a copyright. Your original post must be amended to be included in this contest, or it will be deleted immediately from the server.

Also, I have repeatedly sent requests to you to update my status so that I can have greater flexibility in amending and posting, as I was promoted to Lt. (jg) a couple of months ago. I cannot of my own accord ammend the "original", but Have reposted the story with the changes you requested.

thank you,

Clint Williams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you wish to include your story in the contest, it cannot be Copyrighted. Per our terms of service, all works which pass through SB118 properties (incl. but not limited to the Yahoo! Groups, and anything on the SB118 servers) are automatically licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which is not a copyright. Your original post must be amended to be included in this contest, or it will be deleted immediately from the server.

Also, I have repeatedly sent requests to you to update my status so that I can have greater flexibility in amending and posting, as I was promoted to Lt. (jg) a couple of months ago. I cannot of my own accord ammend the "original", but Have reposted the story with the changes you requested.

thank you,

Clint Williams

Where did you send the requests? I did not receive any of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you wish to include your story in the contest, it cannot be Copyrighted. Per our terms of service, all works which pass through SB118 properties (incl. but not limited to the Yahoo! Groups, and anything on the SB118 servers) are automatically licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which is not a copyright. Your original post must be amended to be included in this contest, or it will be deleted immediately from the server.

Also, I have repeatedly sent requests to you to update my status so that I can have greater flexibility in amending and posting, as I was promoted to Lt. (jg) a couple of months ago. I cannot of my own accord ammend the "original", but Have reposted the story with the changes you requested.

thank you,

Clint Williams

Where did you send the requests? I did not receive any of them.

I sent them to your email I believe, and I think I even hit you up on yahoo messenger. Several of us have been having problems with Yahoo lately which may account for you not receiving them. Thank you for your attention to this...

Respectfully

Llewelyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.