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Chapter Notes: To quote Spock in response to how he and McCoy escaped Oxmyx's henchmen in "A Piece of the Action": "Irrelevant, since we are here."

Chapter Six

Vice Admiral William Ross sat at his desk reviewing the latest casualty reports from the Tyra System. The hardest part about reading these reports was looking over the names of those who were unaccounted for. So many ships were lost in these battles, so the families of those missing people were left in limbo on whether they were dead or alive. He welcomed any kind of distraction from this difficult duty, which came in the form of his office door chiming. “Yes,” he called.

Rear Admiral Edward Jellico entered holding up a padd. “What’s the meaning of this, Bill?” he asked, raising it.

“I beg your pardon?” Ross innocently answered.

Jellico entered a command on the padd to call up the relevant information. “”On the recommendation of Vice-Admiral William Ross’,” he said, reading the padd’s contents, “’no disciplinary action will be taken against Captain Limis Vircona at this time.’ Why the hell not?”

“She was able to acquire vital information that could give us even a minor victory,” Ross stated, rising from his chair, “which our troops could certainly use right about now.”

“She tortured a man, and he died soon afterward,” Jellico snapped back.

Ross took a few deep breaths to keep this discussion from becoming a knockdown-drag out shouting match. He then circled around the desk and sat in one of the guest chairs. “I didn’t expect this kind of reaction from you, Ed,” he said, calmly. “Your style of command is one that demands results. You’ve had plenty of dealings with the Cardassians during your career.

“This is war, Ed. We can’t be distracted with penalizing someone for a petty violation of protocol.”

“’Petty violation of protocol’?” Jellico repeated, sitting in the other guest chair. “That’s what you call torturing a man? By letting this slide, you’re basically giving all Starfleet CO’s unlimited freedom to use whatever methods they may deem necessary. And to blazes with the Seldonis Four Convention.”

Ross was at a loss for words. Jellico then stormed out of the office without another word, leaving the more senior admiral with a lot to consider. By reinstating Limis, he put an officer willing to make the hard choices back in command of USS Lambda Paz despite his earlier insistence that none of the surviving Maquis be given starship command. If that set a precedent for more atrocious acts, he would have to cross that proverbial bridge upon arriving there.

 

Stardate 51196.32

Limis Vircona sat behind the desk of the ready room sipping whiskey from a shot glass. As a result of Ross’s recommendation, her command was reinstated. The downside was Limis witnessed the Battle of the Tyra System, where nearly a hundred ships were lost to the Jem’Hadar. While awaiting full damage reports, Limis retired to her ready room to reflect on the events that led to the death of that Cardassian. The cataclysmic confrontation had just brought her back to that incident. Would the information obtained through such extreme measures culminate in a reversal of a demoralizing trend?

“I was off the hook,” Limis stated in her personal log. “I’ll bet Jellico was furious. Kozar was not too happy either. He said the JAG office was setting a ‘dangerous precedent.’ As much as I wanted to gloat, he was right. At some point, we have to be willing to stand on principle. Even if we do defeat the Dominion, they’ll still achieve a philosophical victory if we started to behave too much like them.

“Even so, I have done things I am not proud of. I sold sexual favors to high-ranking Cardassian military operatives. I killed more Cardassians than I would care to count, including civilians either to achieve mission objectives or in acts of petty revenge. People die in war, and Mirren is just one more casualty of war. I may hate myself for some of the horrible things I have done. But I can learn to live with that guilt.”

Limis stood up from her desk, paced over to the replicator, and ordered another shot of whiskey. After downing it in one gulp, she returned to the desk. “Computer,” she said stoically, “erase that entire personal log.”

###

“Sacrifice” by tAtU

Two weeks after the Battle of Tyra, Admiral Ross sent Captain Benjamin Sisko and the senior officers of the USS Defiant on a daring mission into the heart of Dominion territory using the information Limis had obtained by way of torturing and inadvertently killing Mirren. Using a captured Jem’Hadar fighter, Sisko and his crew were able to destroy the ketracel-white manufacturing plant, putting the enemy in a difficult conundrum for months with its supply line to the Gamma Quadrant cut off.



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