THE CALLING: Part 3, Chapter 6
A Work Of Star Trek Fan Fiction By Richard Paolinelli
© 2021 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. This is a work of fan fiction based in the universe of Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It is not intended to be sold, to be used to aid in any sale and is not to be copied or used in any other way by any other party.
Office of the President of the Federation, Paris, Earth. Five years later…
Bari Forelni looked out the window at the iconic Eifel Tower from an office he never expected to call his own. It was still raining outside, had been for three days now, but no one out on the streets complained. For the past six months since the Dominion War had ended, no one on Earth complained about anything. They were just happy to be alive and at peace again.
If only they knew how close we came to losing it all, he thought.
“You seem unusually quiet today, Mr. President,” Counselor Bokerah Brumley observed from behind him. He turned from the window and regarded her for a moment. She was seated next to his desk watching him quietly. This week she had chosen to weave in blue and purple highlights into her jet black hair.
Initially he’d been reluctant to have a counselor, a practice only recently instituted by Starfleet and within the Federation’s administration. But the Earth woman assigned to him had proven to be a valuable asset in his first year as Federation President. He’d come to appreciate her advice and found her affinity for all things chicken-related to be an endearment.
“I find myself becoming more and more reflective these days, Counselor,” he admitted, cupping a clear crystal – hung from a chain around his neck – in the palm of one hand. “When I took this job I honestly thought I’d be the last person to hold this position.”
“And yet many credit you for saving the Federation,” she noted.
“Hah,” he waved a hand dismissively, letting the crystal settle gently against his light tan tunic, and returned to his desk. “That credit belongs to the officers on the front lines, not to me. Whatever happened to Ben Sisko out there he’s the one who saved the Federation from the Dominion and I daresay the Klingons and the Romulans. If he were still alive I’d have had him shipped home and plastered him with so many medals he couldn’t move without an anti-grav belt on.”
He sat down in his chair and let go a soft sigh.
“Now, I wonder, can the Federation be saved from itself?”
“I have been placed in a rather… delicate… situation by the Council,” he explained. “I’m about to give an order that I do not agree with.”
“You could always refuse to give it,” she pointed out.
“I could,” he agreed. “And I would be impeached by the Council and removed. My replacement would be brought in with the understanding that he or she will give the order that I refused to issue.”
“Is it that odious?”
“It is ill-conceived,” he replied. “I understand why they made the decision, and for the short-term it even makes a kind of sense. But the long-term harm it will do…”
He shook his head and leaned back.
“I’ll be 275 years old in a few months,” he remarked. “If I make it another half-century I’ll have lived longer than my father did. I’d like to hope there will still be a Federation after I am gone.”
Before she could formulate a reply, the President’s Chief of Staff, Jim McCoy, entered. While not an empath or telepath, she always sensed amusement from the President whenever the man entered the room. She’d never worked up the courage to ask the President why this was so before.
“Why do you smile like that every time your aide walks into the room?” she asked quietly before the man got too close.
“Because since the first day I arrived and discovered that he’d been assigned to me,” he explained, “he reminds me, Counselor, that the universe has one hell of a sense of humor.”
“Mr. President,” McCoy stopped in front of the desk. “Mr. Glassey is outside. He says he has the information you asked for.”
“Let’s not keep the man waiting, Jim.”
Collin Glassey, a lieutenant in Starfleet Intelligence, was shown in and waved tone of the unoccupied chairs.
“If I need to leave…” Brumley offered.
“No need for that, Counselor,” he replied. “Just taking care of some family business. Well, Lieutenant, what have you found?”
“We’ve confirmed the rumors,” Glassey replied. “He’s still alive. We’ve reason to believe that he is en route to Deep Space Nine. As for the whereabouts of his wife, we are not absolutely certain, but her last known location was the Dominion prison camp on Nigassi.”
“Isn’t Nigassi a Federation planet,” Brumley asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” Glassey replied after the President nodded assent for him to answer. “But they sold out to the Dominion, along with four other planets, and agreed to house prisoners of war taken by the Dominion forces and their allies.”
“Jim,” Forelni said. “Contact Admiral Necheyev. Tell her to proceed to DS9 and intercept my son there. Tell her she is not to take no for an answer when she recalls him to duty in Starfleet. Then arrange transport for me to Etalya. I want to be en route by tomorrow evening at the very latest. Thank you, Lieutenant.”
“Yes, sir,” McCoy replied, collecting Glassey on his way out.
“Your son?” Brumley asked. “Why would he say no, especially if you are the one asking…whatever it is your asking him to do?”
“Because my eldest son, Paulo, is under the mistaken impression that I am angry at him for leaving Starfleet and joining the Marquis. I suppose it does not help that his brother Marco remained in Starfleet and was killed in action.
“Before you ask, Counselor,” he continued, once again holding the crystal. “I am proud of both of my sons and always have been. Unfortunately, my eldest son inherited one of my lesser traits: He’s as stubborn as a Trilanian Mule. And the sad truth is, that trait is what he is going to need most on the mission I’m about to send him on.”