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It Begins: Faithful Shepherds

Posted on Sun Jan 6th, 2019 @ 6:33pm by Lieutenant Commander Anje Brett

Mission: Season 2: Episode 3: Determination is not always a good thing
Location: Vulcan/Federation HQ
Timeline: during the Cortic Crisis

Anje Zhukov got up early that morning, putting on one of her best dresses and a short jacket over top, making sure to pin all of her medals on it, she wanted Grogan, who she didn't expect to get past this morning, to remember exactly who he was talking to. She looked to her left to see Tate entering, dress uniform, ribbons, and medals galore, "Looking good, Kerri." The Ambassador smiled, "Ready to face Grogan?"

"General Clusterfuck?" Tate laughed, "Sure. Not as ready as I am to get out of this uniform, though." She tugged at the collar of the 'monkey suit' and got mad at Grogan, ~He's the one got me into this.~

"Well, let's start this luau." Zhukov sighed, putting the call through to the Office of the President of the United Federation of Planets, waiting an almost interminable amount of time to receive an answer from an official Ambassadorial channel, "Son of a bitch put us on hold already."

"Probably." Tate chuckled, "His colon probably hasn't unkinked from your last call."

The UFP logo vanished, replaced by the Presidential seal, then by the face of Susan Jones, Grogan's secretary, "Good morning, Ambassador Zhukov." Susan began politely, she did respect Anje Zhukov, though she questioned the wisdom of her incessant crusades to right the wrongs of the past, ~Not very forward thinking....~

"Good morning, Susie." Zhukov smiled, "Looking lovely as usual. So, what's the deal? Tom doesn't have the decency to personally tell me to frack myself anymore?

Susan snickered at that, the Ambassador's wit was still caustic and as sharp as a razor, "Chief of Staff Grogan wanted me to extend his regrets that he couldn't have this meeting with you this morning and that he couldn't arrange a conference with the President for you, Madam Ambassador...''

"Hey, not a problem, Sus..." Zhukov smiled, "I'll just talk to them both face to face. I'll grab a ship headed to Earth, be there in a week or so. Colonel, could you get in touch with... Who's the new girl we got to replace Little Anje?"

"Lieutenant Merriweather, Madam Ambassador." Tate answered.

"Yeah, her!" Zhukov continued, "Can you have her prepare a press release announcing my intention to come to Earth to petition the council regarding the Turkana IV situation for me? I want to make sure that we've got full media saturation..."

"As you wish, Madam Ambassador." Tate replied, about facing and leaving view of the screen, laughing silently. Poor Susan didn't know that Lt. Merriweather only existed in the shared bluff between herself and the Ambassador, 'Little Anje' had never been replaced ~Nobody wants to be that crazy woman's aide...~ Once outside of the main office she entered the kitcheen, grabbing a pair of bacon and egg sandwiches for herself and the Ambassador.

"She's great isn't she?" Zhukov said, indicating Tate's former location, "Anyway, Sus, we'll see you soon. Lunch, okay?"

"Of course, Madam Ambassador." Susan replied nervously; she could never be sure what the 'Mad Russian' was going to pull, "I'll inform Chief of Staff Grogan you're coming."

"Thanks, Susan." Zhukov nodded, "See you soon." With that she turned off the screen and turned her back to it. She was soon greeted by Tate coming through the double doors, carrying breakfast, "Is that a macrobiotic, gluten free, vegan breakfast, Colonel?"

"Not a chance in Hell, ma'am." Tate laughed, "This is bacon, eggs, white bread, mayonnaise, butter, and a few sliced jalapenos."

"Hell yes." Zhukov laughed, reaching her hands out greedily for the high calorie, high fat sandwich, taking a quick bite and murmuring "Thanks." through a mouthful of it.

"You're welcome, Ma'am." Tate nodded, sitting across from her boss and tucking in to her own breakfast, "So, how long do you think before Grogan suddenly becomes available?"

"Oh, I give it about three... two.. one." Zhukov predicted, pointing behind herself to her console, which was now ringing from Grogan's office.

"And the lady nailed it again." Tate nodded approvingly, the Ambassador was supernaturally good at predicting the speed at which panicking idiots would try to intercept her, "What do you want me to do, ma'am?"

"What do you think, Kerri?" Zhukov answered through her sandwich, "Put the son of a bitch on hold, we're eating."

"As you wish, Madam Ambassador." Tate laughed, walking over to Zhukov's desk and hitting the hold button on her console, "Get comfy, Jackass."

"He better." Zhukov added, "Because I think I'm going to want seconds. And coffee."

{Half an hour later}

Her stomach full after eating two of the breakfast sandwiches and drinking two cups of strong coffee, Ambassador Zhukov turned to her Security Director and shrugged, "Okay, I guess we can take General Grogan off hold now."

"Yes, Madam Ambassador." Tate replied, trying hard not to bust out laughing as she took the hold off of the console and Grogan's sweaty, red face appeared on the screen.

"Oh, good morning, Thomas!" Zhukov greeted, her voice dripping with the element of 'frack you.' She took another sip of her coffee before saying, "You look like Hell."

"There's nothing I love more than having to deal with you and," Grogan turned his head, searching for, the finding, Kerri Tate, "of course, Colonel Tate first thing in the morning. While I so look forward to our talks, ladies, I wonder if there's a point to this."

"Of course, straight to the point, you're a very busy man." Zhukov nodded, polite and agreeable; that alone should've told Grogan she was toying with him, "No doubt preparing for your career after the President leaves office next year."

"I'm mulling my options, Ambassador Zhukov, though I don't understand your interests." Grogan replied venomously, that woman knew damn well he planned to announce his candidacy for President in the weeks ahead, ~And the first thing I'm going to do after I'm elected is reexamine some of the Ambassadorial appointments...~

"Well, I always like to keep up with things, you know, especially with old friends like you." Zhukov jabbed, "Anyway, I'm sure you've been keeping up with the Jessica Clarke situation..."

"Of course.' Grogan nodded, holding back his anger, "And I'm sure you had nothing whatsoever to do with all those cameras people kept putting on her. What of it?"

"If it's all the same, I think I'd rather take that up with the President himself." Zhukov shrugged, "Though Col. Tate does have something for you to review. Colonel, if you will..."

"Ambassador Zhukov, I have no desire to hear another word about Faithful Shepherd." Grogan blew her off, "It's not going to happen. Ever. Let. It. Go."

"And abandon how many of our citizens, General?" Zhukov fired back, using his military rank to remind him that she was just as capable of a fight as he was.

"None, Admiral." Grogan sneered, "The Federation abandoned the Turkana colony, any citizens who remained behind chose their own fate."

"That's horseshit and you know it, Thomas." Zhukov laughed, "You know we've still got a responsibility to those people."

"That exists only in your mind, Anje." Grogan hissed, "And, in respect to your century plus of faithful service to the Federation, I implore you to disabuse yourself of that delusion. Nobody shares it and nobody is going to stick their neck out to ease your guilty conscience. Let this go, Anje, before the powers that be decide you're a liability and start looking for your replacement. And yours, Tate. How much longer do you think the Council, or the general citizenry, are going to indulge the twin pariahs?"

Tate clenched her jaw and her fist; she'd expected Grogan to take a shot at her and her brother, still pissed her off, though.

"I may be a pariah, Thomas. Hell, I might really be just as crazy an old woman as you believe, maybe everybody agrees with you. Not likely, but it's possible." Zhukov shrugged, "But Jessica Clarke is no pariah. She's a victim. A kindhearted, photogenic victim. You know, the kind that makes people feel sympathy and go along with stuff that might otherwise consider crazy?"

Grogan lowered his head and swore unintelligibly, "You know, it would be a crying shame if that pretty, broken child, who came here illegally by the way, was to be sent back to Turkana IV..."

Zhukov and Tate both threw their heads back and laughed at that statement, Zhukov wiping tears from her eyes before replying, "And if you think I've put cameras on her now, wait until you try to deport her back to a certain death. I'll have every news crew and humanitarian group in the Federation on that story, then you can kiss the Presidency good bye, Thomas. Oh, and before you say something stupid like 'I'll have intel move her and you'll never know,' please remember that I either trained those people or the people who trained them, so they're not your people, they're mine. We know the same people, and they all like me better. Now, is there anything else I can clarify for you, Thomas?"

"No, you've wasted enough of my time, Anje.' Grogan groaned, he knew he was beat, but he wasn't going to give that maddening bitch the satisfaction of a white flag, "I will review Faithful Shepherd again and your request that Ms. Clarke receive asylum and citizenship..."

"She's already a citizen, born that way." Zhukov cut him off, "We just want it recognized."

"Ms. Clarke need not fear deportation." Grogan replied, "For humanitarian reasons, I've decided to endorse your request that she receive asylum, Madam Ambassador."

"Well, that's very nice of you, Thomas." Zhukov grinned, she was a cat kicking back a large mouse now, "And that's going to keep me busy for a couple days, waiting to hear back from you. Sadly that's going to delay me forming my Presidential exploratory committee..."

"Well, that's a true loss to democracy, Ambassador Zhukov." Grogan sneered, self satisfied, "I'll be waiting to receive Faithful Shepherd. Grogan out." With that he vanished from her screen, fuming on the other side of the galaxy.

"Well, that was rude." Tate laughed, unbuttoning her jacket.

"That's okay." Zhukov joked, "Tired of looking at him anyway."

"Think it's going to work?" Tate asked, "I mean, this is beyond a longshot, Boss."

"I know." Zhukov sighed, "But now Grogan just gave the voice of the Turkanians safe passage. No way they can cover this up any more, Kerri. It's time to pay the piper."


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