Posted on June 14th, 2017 by T'Lira
In the audience at the hearings, a small group had gathered towards the back, watching and hoping this didn’t go sideways.
“Ten says Smith makes a fool of himself.”
“I’m not betting against you, I know better.”
“Shush, both of you. Some of us are actually interested in this.”
Elena Garson and Edward Harrel both looked apologetic, but Vice Admiral Nadel Teralyn just rolled her eyes. T’Lira was content to allow her friends to be chastised by their old commanding officer, she was curious as to how this would play out and if it would end peacefully.
Elena and Eddie were quietly murmuring again when things did indeed go sideways.
“Through a bloody raid on a Starfleet facility. Captain Harper is a murderer!”
Elena blinked, “Oh, he did not just say that.”
“And this is why I wasn’t taking that bet,” Eddie muttered. Nadel was gazing at Smith, as if daring him to say anything further. T’Lira stayed silent, glancing around the room to see the reactions. They ranged from shocked to angry, it seemed. For a moment, she was grateful that Kyrembril was not here, the Betazoid would likely have been overwhelmed by the emotional feedback.
She missed the next part as Nadel suddenly tapped out a message on her PADD and showed it to the rest of the group.
‘Please tell me at least one of you is armed in case shit hits the fan.’
Elena scoffed, “What kinda question is that? I’m security.”
Eddie just tapped his boot, “Knives are useful as a surgeon, in case you need to work with minimal supplies.”
“I’m not even gonna ask,” Nadel muttered, “Well, I forgot my favorite pistol, so it’s martial arts for us, huh kid?”
Years ago, T’Lira might have been annoyed at having been called “kid”, but she’d known Nadel far too long now to be annoyed by such a trivial thing.
“Perhaps this may yet resolve peacefully,” she said calmly. The others seemed skeptical.
Smith’s comment about Romulan lives derailed their attention again as all four were suddenly annoyed.
“Please let me run into him in a dark alley,” Elena murmured.
“I feel like you’re going to have to get in line,” Nadel joked. T’Lira just gazed at Smith, dearly hoping that he couldn’t possibly be serious.
They continued to watch in silence, and then Eddie craned his neck to see the back of the room, “Who the hell is that?”
The others peered over and T’Lira’s eyebrow went up, eliciting a snort from Elena.
“Commander Vallero,” she noted, “I would say I am surprised, but somehow I suspect it was his intention to be here all along.”
“Wheels within wheels,” Nadel muttered, “Something Jon’s been saying a lot lately.”
“More like bullshit covered in more layers of bullshit,” Eddie retorted.
Elena added on to their conversation, but T’Lira didn’t catch it, she was focused on Commander Vallero’s testimony. To have been ordered to force a confrontation with refugees… what could possibly come from such a confrontation, unless the refugees had something of import that could be potentially dangerous… or if it was to specifically avoid a treaty.
As the Section 31 operatives gave their testimony, T’Lira noticed Nadel making notes on her PADD, likely for future investigation. Elena was fiddling with the cuff of her uniform tunic and Eddie suddenly seemed very interested in the operatives and what they had to say, particularly the one who survived the attack on the black site.
After the last operative got done speaking, Nadel went to say something, but was stopped by the doors in the back opening again.
All of them turned towards the newcomers and were stunned.
“I’ll be damned,” Nadel gaped.
Elena blinked several times, as if she thought she was imagining what she was seeing, “Holy shit. Is that…”
“It is…” Eddie replied, eyes wide.
“This is most fortuitous,” T’Lira noted, her eyebrow going sky high, surprisingly not drawing any comments from Elena.
They stare in silence as Admiral Zuriyev gives his testimony and as Aennik takes the stand.
When the motion is carried to restore Aennik as President, it’s hard to tell who was on their feet first, but all four are on their feet. Nadel is cheering, Elena gives a whoop, Eddie settles for loud clapping, and of course T’Lira doesn’t go much further than polite clapping. After they’re seated, they listen to Aennik’s speech, and the passing of his motion.
“As for the next… Will all members of the Atlantis crew, along with Admiral Zuriyev, Colonel McKnight, and their escorts please stand?”
“Oh, honor time, the grand political tradition,” Nadel chuckled as Elena tapped T’Lira’s shoulder and said, “You know that means you, right?”
“I am unsure of what I would do if I did not have you to remind me of such things, Elena,” T’Lira replied.
“Look at our Vulcan, learning how to make jokes,” Elena snickered as T’Lira rose with her crewmates.
As Aennik commends them and Blackthorne replies, there is a sense of relief in the small group. As soon as the session is announced as over, Elena snaps to her feet and reaches over to pull the others into a group hug.
“It’s finally over!” she laughed, smiling. Eddie pats her back gingerly, wincing.
Nadel snorts, “Alright, enough of this touchy-feely stuff. I’m going to get to Analytics and see if they can dig anything juicy up about our known conspirators… and anyone else that comes across the board. Elena, take Eddie and get back to the Hoffstaad, wait for my orders, I may wind up needing you guys to shuffle through stuff for me and make some house calls. As for you, T’Lira… I dunno, do whatever. Talk to Taril, he’s bored and asks way too many questions. Shari wants to chat as well, and I’m almost seventy percent sure that you might get ambushed by my kid at some point, she keeps escaping the daycare center. Now shoo, all of you! There’s work to be done and years of conspiracy to bust up!”