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Spirited Away

Posted on Sat Jun 13th, 2020 @ 1:11pm by President Lukiz Raikan & Eniara Pol & Elizabeth Carter & Councillor Idris Kizak & Director Jack Colter

Episode: Dark Days Lay Ahead
Location: Archer Command Suite
Timeline: Day 1 at 1950

Patience was not the strong suit of the recently elected Vice President of the United Federation of Planets. He knew it, his family knew it, and everyone in his office knew it, so waiting around for news was like hell on Earth for the Trill as he paced the floor of the Archer Command Suite. Located on Floor C, below the planet's surface, the suite was a secure facility with communications access to the entire Federation. Most importantly though, it was used in the event of major incidents that required a more secretive approach to dealings. Given that the entire Palais was on lockdown, and Starfleet Security had begun a lockdown of streets nearby, this probably counted as a need for secrecy at this point.

With the room deep beneath the surface, the only light came from the illumination in the ceiling, or the various holographic consoles that adorned the walls and desks around the rooms periphery. It was not a place the Vice President liked, or desired to be holed up in for a significant amount of time, so he hoped for news and fast.

"How much longer?" He queried as he paced, looking up at the two protection officers that were with him.

"I'm sure we'll hear something soon, sir," the lead officer tried his best to reassure the President.

Councilor Idris Kizak had paced a few times, he'd watch his husband Jozan resting, seated at one of the vacant stations, Izzy had been standing by. Sometimes it calmed him down, though creepy. His Starfleet training and inability to relax in times of great chaos continued to war inside him as he approached Raikan. "Mister Vice President, please calm yourself, I understand the need to know but you will be the first to be informed of anything." He contemplated should he tell the Vice President that he smelt poison on Iden or leave it to the investigators to tell. "What should we do next?" He asked hopeful that the question could help the Vice President focus on helping getting the Federation government working again.

Stopping in his tracks, the Vice President glared at the Councilor from Betazed. How could he possibly think of such things at a time like this? They had just seen their President apparently incapacitated by some sort of weapon, and he wanted to think about getting the government working again? Then it hit him. It didn't hit him like a drop of rain at the start of a storm, but like a damn meteorite falling from the heavens. If Iden was, in fact, incapacitated to such an extent that she could not carry out her duties, then she had just completed the shortest Presidency in history and now, the responsibility would fall on him.

Huddled in the far corner, slumped on the floor, Eniara Pol had been in her own little world since being swept up in the drama following the attack. She, as the President's senior advisor, had been dragged away at the same time as the Vice President, so that she could offer the advice and support he might need in their time of crisis. But right now, offering advice was the last thing she felt like doing. Tear stained cheeks were the only physical sign of her reliving the trauma she had just witnessed. She had played the scene over and over again in her mind, only stopping when she heard the Councilor's question.

Watching as the Vice President slumped into his chair, the Chief of Staff to President Iden pushed herself to her feet, rubbed down her now dirtied frock and wiped her eyes. "Mister Vice President," she began as she took a step or two towards Lukiz, "we must ascertain the status of the President. If she is unable to carry out the duties of her office, then we must invoke Article 3 of the 25th Amendment."

"There hasn't been a recorded use of the 25th Amendment in centuries," the Vice President responded quietly as he looked across at the Chief of Staff. "Are you sure it still stands?"

"It stands," Eniara responded in a matter of fact tone, "and if we are going to invoke it, we need to get the Attorney General in here."

Raikan glared at Eniara for a for a few moments as he silently contemplated her words before standing up slowly. He adjusted his tie, buttoned up his suit jacket and gave the young Bajoran a nod. "See to it," he agreed, and then glanced across at Kizak. "Without an appointed Chairperson for the Council, I'm going to need you to get in contact with the Chamber officials and arrange a special session. I want to address them before word gets out."

"As you wish," Izzy replied and stepped away to do as the new new President, by all probabilities, asked of him. He pulled out his Council-level authorised communicator, activated it and spoke into it. =/\=This is Councilor Kizak to all Council members and officials, I am with the Vice President and he has requested an emergency council session immediately. I strongly suggest you all make your way to the chamber, time is of the essence at this point. I will be there shortly.=/\= He knew that the council communications room would have picked that up and relayed it to all councilors and other officials that were supposed to be present at council sessions.

After the longest day of his career Jack found himself at the doors to the Archer suite, his Director having taken the best part of his time going over what had happened, what he had ordered, who he had ordered where and when. Jack was tired, he was emotional and more to the point not for the first time in his career he was angry and heartbroken. He'd lost one other under his protection and like this time he'd been powerless to do anything about it. As he stood at the entrance to the Archer Suite his Directors words rang in his ears. 'You did everything you could.' Hollow words made to make him feel better but not having the desired effect for either of the people who had been present when they were spoken.

"Jack." He heard being prompted from behind him. Taking a deep breath he pressed his access code into the PADD beside the door. Whatever stress he was feeling or distress for that matter, as he entered the room his face was the picture of calm and sincerity. Years of training had indoctrinated into his mind the need not to allow people to read him. "Mr. Vice President, Eniara, Ms Carter." Jack said. There were others in the room including his own men and women. The minutest shake of his head to his deputy expressed what he wouldn't say until he spoke to the VP himself and out of respect to Eniara and Ms Carter. Protocol meant a lot but he had kept the chatter of the comms for a reason. He could expect professionalism from his team but he could not expect them to keep this quiet.

Elizabeth looked up from the console she had been using to gather information on the legislation on the ease of the vice president transitioning into power even if it was just temporary and also communicating with her contacts to see if there were any vibrations in the web of contacts to tell her who had wanted to do this. It was troubling that someone was able to get something this close to the president and harm them without anyone noticing prior, it did smell of being an inside job which made it even more uncomfortable in the room for her.

"Director Colter," the Vice President took a few steps towards the head of the Administration's protection units. They had worked together a few times, but never under such circumstances. "Have you got any news?" Lukiz asked of the Terran.

"I'm sorry Mr. Vice President, the president was pronounced dead a little while ago. We have yet to ascertain with any certainty what killed the President at this point. Besides a fast acting poison, the priority at this stage is to ascertain what that poison is and also to find out who put it there." Jack said quietly. He may have spoken calmly but that was the last thing that he was. He'd lost the president, he was angry but there were rules and procedures in place now and the moment the woman was declared dead his focus switched. As callous as it sounded until someone fired him for this mess, he had to ensure the safety of the living president. "We've already started to interview the delegates and are reviewing the surveillance footage leading up to and during the event for anything out of the ordinary. As is procedure, we are doubling your security, once that is in place and we are certain that the threat level is acceptable we can move you back to the Palais." He knew that every body would be listening to him but when he finished he addressed the others. "Ladies and Gentleman, I'm going to need you all to meet with starfleet security and my own team to discuss your movements and take DNA to remove you from the list of suspects. I don't expect this to be anything more than routine but it is necessary at this point." Jack finished.

"Dead?" Raikan collapsed back into his chair amid the gasps from others, especially from Eniara who had to hold on to a nearby console to stop herself from falling to the ground in shock. The rest of the Director's words were muffled noise as the reality of the situation sunk in. Considering invoking Article 3 had been bad enough, but now the situation was significantly worse. "I... uh... we, ummm, we need to get Phillipa in here..." he stuttered, trying desperately to calm himself.

Izzy approached the Vice President, "With your permission I must go to the council chamber to prepare it for your arrival sir?" He asked though spared a glance at Jack. "I suggest you do all council members and officials before anyone else, we have a lot of work to do." He turned back to Raikan as Jozan came up behind Izzy but didn't speak just waited.

"Sir in these circumstances and in the middle of the lock down, its not the Vice President who will be able to let you leave. Sir the Attorney General has been notified and is being brought here. I hope to be able to allow you all to leave in short order, Starfleet security is currently running sweeps of the council chambers and off the banquet hall and the Palais. It simply isn't safe enough to allow any of you out of this building just yet." Jack said to them then he turned away from the group speaking into his communications device. =/\=Start talking to me people.=/\= The protectees weren't the only ones in the room feeling the locked in syndrome. He felt like he wasn't fully in control of his situation they were in. That was not a sensation he was used to or one he liked.

Elizabeth stood up and moved to the man she had not known long and knew he must be feeling it, she had lost informants when she was in intelligence but this must be worst as it was possibly one of the most important people in the universe. She moved to the man and put her hand on his shoulder, "Can I get you anything?" She offered knowing he would most likely reject the request but she needed to let him know that she saw him.

"What did we miss Elizabeth? What did we not see?" Jack asked her. "There was no chatter, no warning no imminent threats." His frustration showing. He was angry, no he was upset. A good woman had died today on his watch, his job was to protect her and he had spectacularly failed on that front. Oh there was many people working under him but the blame game stopped at him did it not, it was his meticulous plans, his orders and his teams.

Keeping her hand on his shoulder reassuringly Elizabeth said, "Sometimes there are no signs if it was done by a small team or a team that new our protocols they wouldn't make waves. Sometimes events are not foreseeable from where we are looking. Trust me I know." For a moment her expression went blank as she flashed back to her time in prison where the Dominion and Cardassians tried to break her. Her hand reflexively gripped his shoulder before quickly relaxing, "Right now Jack we don't have time for guilt. We need you to stow that away, right here and now we need you to think clearly because we need to make sure the Vice President gets ascended safe and sound. Then we can move to find out who came into our house, we need to ensure the government doesn't break down here. So deep breaths Jack we have jobs to do, later when this is done we can drink our sorrows but right now we don't have the privilege."

She knew her words were harsh but she served in wartime and people might not see this as a war but they were under attack but had a clear mission goal, ensure the VP safety, get them into the big chair, stow them safely then investigations can run at full speed. That was her thinking at least, she knew she was being harsh but she knew in situations like this blunt and direct tended to snap people out of things. It was also for her benefit too, the calmer and more in control others were the better she felt and the better she was able to perform her job. She knew if things got out of control her mental health might plummet back to those dark times after the dominion war and she did not want that to happen again, she was not sure she could climb out again.

Idris agreed with Elizabeth, they had to ensure there was a stable government. Though he knew until Security cleared him he couldn't go, there wasn't much he could actually do. He turned and pulled Jozan to his side. "I guess we wait for due process." He said to his husband.

"Indeed, we must always keep order," Jozan said repeating things Idris has said to him time and again over their relationship.

Izzy smirked. "Well aren't you wise." He said and the two hugged, then he led Jozan back to the where they had been before.

For now, all the group could do was wait...

 

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