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Teaser for Tuesday, December 4, 2007 -- "The Rashomon Effect", Part Two

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  • G. Garcia
    “Governor Ertas.” Gregory Trevor came from around the side of his desk to greet the austere-looking woman dressed in a full-length black dress, including
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2007
      “Governor Ertas.”  Gregory Trevor came from around the side of his desk to greet the austere-looking woman dressed in a full-length black dress, including a small, non-descript hat with a veil.  Two of her Betazoid aides accompanied her, one male and one female, each dressed in appropriately dark shades of gray, yet Captain Trevor could not help but notice how extremely well-tailored each of their outfits were. 
      Trevor extended his hand for the governor to shake.  Amaryllis Ertas gave it and him an icy stare as if she would rather lie in bed with a Jem’Hadar soldier before she waved a hand.   The female aide handed her a PADD.  “Is this the extent of the investigation you intend to do into my husband’s murder?” She threw the PADD with no considerable amount of force and contempt onto the ground at Trevor’s feet.
      Feeling his temper rise, Trevor knelt down and picked the PADD up, reading its contents.  “This is our final report, yes.”
      “For all of its inane pondering and vapid conclusions, it may have well been written by a simpleton -- or someone seeking to cover-up yet another of Starfleet’s crimes against Betazed.”  Trevor stood up and gave her a look, about to protest, but she continued on.  “Tell me, Captain; did you send some of your own officers to sop up the blood of my late husband from the Betencourts’ immaculately clean floors? Will they be sending you the cleaning bill for the rug that was so unfortunately marred by the unkind way my husband decided to bleed upon it as he was killed by Marcus Betencourt’s mother?” Venom and sarcasm dripped palpably for her words, and her gaze was full of hatred and something slightly more venal.  Trevor did his best not to flinch.
      “I’m sorry you don’t approve of our investigative abilities, Governor.  I’ll be sure to pass on your displeasure to my superiors.”
      “Don’t bother; I’ve already written to Admirals Nechayev, Pine, Nakamura, and Paris myself.”
      “Then to what do I owe this --” Trevor had been about to say ‘pleasure’, but was sure such a bald-faced lie could be easily seen by the governor, and would only seek to antagonize her further.  So, he said, “Visit?” instead.
      Ertas made a gesture with her hands, and both aides nodded sharply, then turned and exited Trevor’s office.  Once the door had closed behind them, she took a step towards him.  “I’m here to give you an order.”
      Trevor couldn’t help but scoff.  “I’m sorry you’re confused on the hierarchy here, Madam Governor, but I report to Starfleet Command.”
      Ertas shook her head, smiling cheerlessly.  “I’m not making a request, Captain Trevor.  You do know the difference between a request and an order, don’t you?”
      Trevor spun around, walking behind his desk and taking his seat.  Pondering summoning security, he looked back up at the governor.  “What I know is you have just suffered a terrible loss and may not be fully responsible for your behavior at the moment.”
      “I assure you, I am perfectly in control of my faculties.”
      “Then you are acting like an incredible fool, coming in here and trying to give me orders.  I’ve never known you to be a fool before, Madam Governor.”
      Ertas’s eyes blazed as she stepped forward, pounding a hand on Trevor’s desk.  Her large marriage ring rang out as one of its diamonds smacked the top of it.  “I will thank you to watch how you speak to me, outsider.  I am well within my gubernatorial rights to expel you from this system immediately.”  Ertas gave him a simpering smile.  “You can be the first battalion commander forbidden to step foot on the planet.  I wonder how long you’ll last like that.”
      “Governor, this conversation is getting us nowhere.  Perhaps you should come back at a better time, when you’ve calmed down.”
      “I won’t be calm until you do what I am about to tell you to do,” Ertas said calmly.  “I want you to get rid of Marcus Betencourt.”
      Trevor gave the woman a look, shaking his head and laughing nervously.  “I’m sorry, you want me to do what exactly to --” Trevor couldn’t believe she was asking him what he thought she was.
      Ertas sighed, rolling her eyes.  “You are even a bigger fool than I thought previously, Captain Trevor! I want you to have Betencourt transferred to another position post-haste! I am not asking you to assassinate him.  Of all the stupidity! Do I look like Mareena Salean? I am no killer.”
      Trevor frowned.  “Why would you want Marcus Betencourt transferred off Betazed so quickly? Why are you taking an interest in the second officer of the Betazed Battalion?”  Remembering something Bal Tobrin had told him a few days ago, Trevor asked, “Could this have something to do with his bolstering Starfleet’s image with the Betazoid public?”
      Ertas’s eyes narrowed as she hissed, “This has nothing to do with politics, you idiot! Marcus Betencourt is complicit in my husband’s murder!”  She paused, standing up straighter.  “Or at least, his mother is, if we’re to believe your investigation.”
      Trevor rubbed the bridge of his nose with two fingers, closing his eyes as he tried to weather the emotional storm the governor was buffeting him with.  “Governor, I’d need a good reason to have him transferred.  Starfleet Command would no doubt have questions.”
      “That’s when you invoke my name.  You tell them that I have made it clear that the murderous family responsible for the death of my husband, the late Federation Ambassador, is to be removed from Betazed immediately.  I don’t care if Marcus Betencourt pulled the trigger or not; his mother having been the killer is close enough for me.  I’m confident that neither he nor his precious wife Marzia lifted a finger to stop it, or care that he was dead.  Especially not her.”
      “And if Starfleet decides that isn’t a good enough reason to move Marcus Betencourt to another posting?”
      “Then you let them know I’ll be signing an executive order to have all Starfleet personnel removed from the planet immediately, pending the conclusion of my government’s independent investigation into the death of my husband.  And if that won’t convince them, tell them that if Betencourt is still on Betazed in thirty days, I will bring forth a bill in the Ruling Assembly to officially withdraw Betazed from the Federation, making clear that the cover-up of my husband’s murder is merely the latest of injustices and lies told to the Betazoid people as a whole.  Your elaborately fabricated tale that a woman who was killed at Wolf 359 decided to pay a visit to Betazed more than a decade after her death in order to kill the current Betazed Ambassador to the Federation is ludicrous!  The Betencourts’ claims of sympathy ring hollow and false.  As far as I am concerned, until we figure out the truth of what happened in that house, this will simply go down as yet another example of how Starfleet takes care of its own.  Just like how you’ve done nothing about the various illegal actions of your Section 31, the Federation’s own Tal Shiar.”
      Trevor couldn’t think of a response as the governor’s barrage of words overcame him.  The woman before him wasn’t the picture of madness; she was the perfect embodiment of cold, calculated vengeance.  And presently, anyone with a Starfleet uniform would make for a fitting target unless she got her way with her orders about Marcus Betencourt.
      Ertas spun on her heel and headed for the door.  Over her shoulder she said, “You tell Starfleet Command that either Marcus Betencourt is gone, or you all will be.  And if you think I can’t whip up enough public support by utilizing the mysterious, calculated murder of my husband -- you are sadly mistaken.  And you underestimate just what I will be able to do.”
      The human captain remained at his desk long after the doors had closed on Governor Amaryllis Ertas, but the feeling of dread and the chill her venality had brought to the room lingered for quite some time.  Not even the sunlight seemed able to penetrate it. 
      All at once, Captain Gregory Trevor became very aware that he needed to get Marcus Betencourt off Betazed and into another position as soon as possible.

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