Star Trek Hunter
Episode 22: Sacrifice
Scene 9: An Imperial Request
An Imperial Request
“It seems you have rolled up the Andoria First movement across most of your empire.” Federation Councilmember Emory Ivonovic was in his new office near the top of the Federation Council Building. He easily had enough support to take the leadership position for the Homeworld Coalition - now the largest coalition in the council - but he did not want it. He had become a reliable vote wrangler for Council Leader Chelna Yaalleiysei. “What kind of assistance are you looking for from Star Fleet?”
Unlike Ushi Irons’ enormous, sparsely furnished, sun-drenched office, Ivonovic’s office had the warm, classic look of a 19th Century manor. There was a sofa set near an artificial fire, a conference table with a number of chairs, his desk dominated another quarter of the room and a small group of plush chairs organized near several bookcases that were filled with books. Ivonovic and Emperor Sin IV were seated in two of these chairs - clearly Ivonovic’s favorite corner of this large, comfortable office.
The blind emperor was dressed in a hand crafted dark blue 3-piece suit with gold pinstripes - which looked weird on a pale, blind andorian - his antennae moving sharply, deliberately - he looked like a strange white bug in a suit. “We are looking for Star Fleet to aggressively enforce the Gagarin Treaty. The only significant Andoria First group remaining within the Andorian Empire is on Weythan, which, as you know, is also a vulcan colony and a stronghold for the rebel Vulcan Nativist movement. This, along with the system’s proximity to Vulcan, makes Weythan a prime target for romulan aggression. Weythan must be kept in the Andorian Empire, in the Vulcan High Command in Exile, and within the Federation. When we move to re-take Weythan, we will be vulnerable to the Praetorian Guard. We need Star Fleet to watch our back.”
“I am concerned about Star Fleet’s ability to face any of the romulan war birds with their current fleet,” said Ivonovic. “The Ark would make short work of one - probably five or more. And the Milky Way. Three more of the Ark class and five more of the Milky Way are under construction, but what we have now is about 40 of those Prowler class.”
“A bug in a suit…” Emperor Sin IV laughed. “You underestimate bugs. You should talk to your friend. He has been flying one of those bugs.” The emperor stood up. “I am quite pleased with this suit. A human fashion, but reinvented for my build. It is the most comfortable clothing I have ever worn. Andorians are built differently from humans. I have engaged Gillano and Sons to re-design my imperial robes. If they could do so well making a human suit fit me, maybe they can make my robes fit properly as well. I would never have expected such excellence from the Colony of New Hope. I think you fail to adequately appreciate the resources at your disposal, Esteemed Councilmember.”
“I meant no disrespect, Emperor…” Ivonovic rose.
“I do not hold you responsible for your passing thoughts,” said the emperor. “I will go so far as to admit you would find mine no more flattering. If we do not allow ourselves this indulgence, we would take out the hate we have been taught to lavish upon ourselves on others who are different from us – so different that all we can see is reflections of ourselves.”
“The selves we have been taught to hate?” Ivonovic smiled. The emperor was well known to speak in riddles – a part of the charisma that held his people in such sway.
“If we loved ourselves too well, we could not function as social animals,” Sin IV mused
“And so we are taught to hate ourselves?” Ivonovic asked.
“When have you ever known something that must be done not to be done to extreme excess?" the blind emperor responded. "I remember your thoughts when I had Premiere Saoron arrested to save his life from the Romulan Senate. It was your plan, including all the embellishments. And it was a brilliant plan. But you were sickened by it. Sickened by my people – by our antennae – but that was only a reflection of how you felt about yourself. It was a devious plan and you are a devious man. Now I have one for you.”
Ivonovic smiled. “A devious plan?”
“Alas, the plan is not mine,” Emperor Sin IV replied. “I am not so devious a creature as advertised. This plan comes from the master of secrets, Ushi Irons. It appears Minerva Irons is convinced that we must provide the Al Donovos and Al Jenova star systems to the Romulan Star Empire to prevent the sack of Trillus Prime and Betazed. More importantly, her children believe her. And so do I.”
“We cannot do that!” Ivonovic nearly exploded. “Never again! We cannot retreat before the romulans - we would be ceding half of the Neutral Zone!”
“Your response was accurately predicted by our great friend, Ushi, the puppet master.” The emperor laughed. “I will provide the votes to make it happen from the Federal coalition. Your job will be to fire up the Homeworld coalition against it. Rise to great heights. Ride the wave. This is the moment created for you.”
“This will destroy Ushi. I will see to that,” said Ivonovic.
“He expects nothing less,” said Sin. “Did you know that he considers you the greatest internal threat to the future of the Federation? You are not a hereditary tyrant, like I am. You are a demagogue. A rabble rouser. A common man who has risen to create a cult of personality. The greatest threat any democracy faces. And this will be Ushi’s legacy. He considers it quite the irony.”
“He’s wheeling and dealing behind the scenes to give Federation space to the Romulan Star Empire and he considers me the threat to the Federation?” Ivonovic was nearly apoplectic.
“I will leave you with this, Emory,” said Sin. “You stand within a breath of realizing your greatest ambition. And you are angry with the man who is handing it to you on a silver platter. Along with his own head. Ushi asked me if you can handle this. If you are smart enough… If you are humble enough…” Emperor Sin IV’s antennae were focused intently on Ivonovic. Ivonovic could almost feel the emperor rooting about in his head. “Are you?”
The Andorian Emperor exited Ivonovic’s office, leaving the councilmember seething inside. He stopped at Joanna Trevor’s desk. Ivonovic’s personal secretary looked up with apprehension. She had seen the emperor a few times and was terrified of him. She had never spoken to him. She was used to Ivonovic having many dangerous and increasingly strange friends, but the newly legendary tyrant of the Andorian Empire was by far the strangest and most terrifying to her. The blind emperor leaned in close to her. His odd, blind eyes looked directly into hers - the irises and pupils of his eyes only partially formed. She felt a chill run up her spine. A nightmare creature in a blue pinstriped three-piece suit.
“Emory is in a bad mood," the emperor said to Joanna. "But he knows that I speak the truth. Thank him for me for this suit. It is quite an amusing gift. Your idea, if I am not mistaken?”
Sin IV paused as Joanna nodded - then smiled as an expression of confusion crossed her face as she remembered that he was blind.
“Um, I mean…” she started.
“Thank you. It has provided me a valuable lesson,” Sin interrupted. He briefly touched her forehead as if giving a blessing. Considering how thin, pale and… well… bug-like he was, she was surprised at how smooth and warm his hand was. “Good night, Joanna.”