Star Trek Hunter
Episode 21: The Enemy of My Enemy
Scene 16: The Sleep of the Just
The Sleep of the Just
“Not easy, being an agent for Section 31, is it?” Chief Justice Julian Bashir’s suave voice managed at once to be soothing and menacing. It was something about that cultured, posh British accent. It was the voice of a hero. It was also the voice of carefully planned, deliciously intractable evil.
Justice Minerva Irons realized that she had fallen asleep at her desk - a glass of Scotch in her hand. She had recently replaced her office chair with something more comfortable. The old chair had gotten a bit hard for her aging derriere. Unfortunately, the new chair was just a bit too comfortable. She remembered her last communication with the shadowy Director of Section 31 and was at least momentarily heartened that she appeared to have a mouth.
Irons felt a deep sense of foreboding. It was an unpleasant feeling. “What have I become?”
“A war criminal," the Director of Section 31 replied. "A death force. A destroyer of worlds. A defiler of sacred soil. You have become what the Federation needed you to become. What the romulans needed you to become. And that is nothing compared to what I have become. I thought Slade was a monster when you and he recruited me into this organization, ostensibly to reform it. To help lift the cloak of secrecy and evil deeds done in the name of posterity. You two encouraged me to become the Director of Section 31 and in so doing you turned me into a monster.” The years clearly weighed heavily on Julian Bashir’s shoulders. Instead of picking up middle age weight, he had grown thin – his once handsome face had a gaunt, haunted look to it. He needed a shave.
Bashir laughed grimly. “Do you think for a moment that anyone would have braved the journey through romulan space into the Dead Zone to learn the doom that hangs over us all if Admiral Scumuk hadn’t concocted that weaponized virus designed to exterminate the bolian people? I have a bullpen of geniuses working for me who knew otherwise. Scumuk was in the early stages of Bendii Syndrome. He had been rattling on about that library for a decade. No one was listening anymore. No one believed him. Ancient library of the progenitors? A broken hulk? Vague talk of gamma radiation? The ramblings of a madman, gradually coming unglued.”
He leaned forward in the chair across from the captain’s desk and thumped his forehead with his index finger. “Did you really believe that I allowed Chief Justice Scrivax to poison my mind to hide his genocidal rampage against the half-trills? My own son is half-trill!!”
“So it was Scrivax?” Irons asked.
“Of course it was Scrivax," Bashir said tiredly. "All because the doctor who could not save his wife was married to a half-trill. It drove him mad. He went through the kohlinar - the priests thought he had purged his emotions. It only drove him further into madness."
Bashir leaned forward again in his chair, becoming more animated. "Who do you think programmed that half-vulcan, half betazoid serial killer to help him do his dirty work? He bred her to do his dirty work! She was his daughter! I allowed their murderous rampage to go on because I needed Scrivax to condition Scumuk to do something even worse. It was the only way I could get your mission authorized. Not that I knew Scumuk would go after the bolians." He sat back again, looked down to his left. "I didn't make any of these things happen - I just allowed them to happen.”
“Julian, what have you become?” Irons was horrified, but at the same time she just felt tired. Exhausted. Completely spent. Ancient. This was not sleep. This was just more work.
“What have I become? Nothing less than what you must become," Bashir replied. "A monster. Our work is not yet done, Minerva. We still have to ensure that the romulan people, the klingon people, our people – all of our people – have a chance for a future. You don’t yet know what the price for that future is. But a guilty conscience and not being able to sleep the rest of your life – a few billion deaths – the destruction of entire species – none of that compares to the real price. Your Doctor Carrera will discover what that real price is soon enough. And he will pay it. Because the alternative is annihilation for all of our people."
"You and me – we’re just tilling the soil. Doctor Carrera will be the one to sow the fields. And my successor – the next Director – will reap what Carrera sows. He will become an even greater monster than I am. It is quite a shame, you know. He really is a very nice guy. Charming. Smarter than he looks. Like I was once – full of the best intentions. That’s why I know he’s the right man for this job.”
Bashir got up from the chair across from Irons’ desk and started to pace. “Did you know that including Section 31 in the Federation Charter was a Vulcan requirement? It sounds like such a human idea but Earth Gov resisted including it. The vulcans won out. 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few'..."
He became even more animated, almost snarling. "I used to spit at the words ‘the greater good.’ Classic villainy – everything justified because we were ‘doing it for the greater good.’ I didn’t know then the doom hanging over us and I didn’t realize then just how high the price would be to save not just untold trillions of lives, but the entire future of life in this part of the galaxy."
Bashir paused, his back to Irons, his voice much softer. "There is much worse to come, Minerva. Section 31 has protected the Federation from its greatest threat - humanity - for generations. I am withdrawing that protection. I will stand by and let human nature take its course."
The Director of Section 31 turned and faced Irons again. “You must face Sela. You must prevent a war. And then you must escape. Your job is not done. I told you that you must unleash a monster on another world. I did not tell you who that monster would be.”
“You intend for it to be me." Irons was nearly in tears. "I don’t have it left in me, Julian. I can’t do this anymore.”
Bashir walked around the captain's desk, squatted to his haunches and took her hands in his. Irons was crying freely now. For a long moment, he simply allowed her to cry.
"Minerva..." His voice was soft - the voice of one of the Federation's most celebrated doctors, famous for his bedside manner. She looked up. Took a deep, shuddering breath.
"You have always been a monster, Minerva. A glorious monster. In 90 years you have killed more than any other captain in the history of Star Fleet. More klingons. More cardassians. More humans. Far more romulans. What is hurting you so badly isn't any guilt over that trail of bodies. What's hurting you so badly is the pretense that you don't love doing it. I am giving you this assignment not just becuase you're the best person for the job. I am giving you the opportunity to finally set yourself free. To be what you truly are. What you were born to be. Without pretense or remorse. The apex predator."
Bashir released her hands and stood up slowly. He took a seat across from her. “Becoming the Monster of Saketh will not take any further effort on your part, Minerva. You’re already there. Your name will terrorize romulan children for the next thousand years. Supreme Commander Sela is seeing to that right now. She is doing our work for us. She thinks she wants revenge. What she desperately needs is an ally. You. To become the savior of Saketh you must become the Monster of Saketh – the only thing that can convince a billion romulans to uproot from paradise, dismantle their entire world and move it a thousand lightyears away from the oncoming gamma sterilization."
"Romulans always take the easy way out," Bashir mused. "It is so much easier to do nothing in the face of environmental disaster and leave the next generation to cope with the consequences of your failure to act. So it is up to us to make sure that next geenration gets a chance to grow up. Only you can ensure their survival."
As the dream began to slowly fade, Bashir's voice became even silkier, his enunciation even more precise. "And only you can convince Sela to escort the U.S.S. Ark and its sister ships into the Romulan Star Empire, where it will take forty years of ceaseless work and violence to complete the sack of Saketh. Every scrap of life must be removed from that world. And the riches of that superplanet must be seeded in romulan space as far from the Dead Zone as possible. Which means the Federation will need to gift the Romulan Star Empire two planetary systems on our side of the Neutral Zone – two star systems – at great strategic threat to the Federation. Because those planets are the best candidates to receive those riches.”
All had faded to darkness in the dreaming mind of Justice Irons - only the voice of the Director of Section 31 remained: “You, Minerva. You are the only one who can convince Sela… And Ushi. Before you go to Vulcan, you must talk with your son…”
21 – The Enemy of My Enemy