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Promoting from Within

Posted on Tue Jul 14th, 2020 @ 9:47pm by President Lukiz Raikan & Vice Admiral Kirsten Clancy & Elizabeth Carter & Director Winston Hastings

Episode: Dark Days Lay Ahead
Location: Ra-ghoratreii Room, Presidential Office
Timeline: Day 2 at 0200

[Hastings Residence, Belfast, Ireland, Earth]

Hastings exited the front door of his property, he was met by a gaggle of Starfleet Security officers, all heavily armed, all looking very serious. His son, who had previously entered the property to inform him that he was being summoned to Paris, left his side and proceeded across the small garden towards an awaiting shuttlecraft.

Hastings followed closely, as he progressed the Security Officers moved in to flank him on either side. The now small convoy of people, took around one hundred and fifty steps to the aft hatch of the Shuttlecraft and bundled the former Starfleet officer into the back.

Seated along benches on either side, the small contingent sat in silence. Hastings looked each of them in the face, before his eyes settled on his own son, who's face bore the face of a young man grieving. The whirr from the shuttles engines broke the silence, as they departed the ground and set a course of Paris.

[Presidential Suite, Floor 15, Palais de la Concorde, Paris, Earth]

The journey to Paris had been short. Hastings had arrived within 10 minutes of stepping out of the front of his home. The shuttle had landed, and within minutes he was escorted through back corridors of the Palais and to the turbo lift to the Fifteenth floor. As he entered, Hastings was immediately struck by the cast list for this meeting, Vice President Raikan, Security Advisor Elizabeth Carter and Starfleet Commander in Chief Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy. Approaching the vee-pee, he extended a hand, "Mister Vice President. An honour to meet you."

"Actually, its Mister President now," Lukiz greeted the man as they exchanged the briefest of handshakes and he gestured for all in the room to take their seats in the 'round table' of comfortable seats. "Earlier this evening, President Iden was attacked at the celebratory function, and was declared dead a short while later. We had no choice but to invoke the twenty-fifth, and I was sworn in as President," Raikan informed his first official guest as President. It would no doubt be a surprise to him, even if it wasn't to the others in the room.

Elizabeth smiled and extended her hand to the director, "Deputy Director; it is a pleasure. I am sorry we have to meet under these circumstances. Given the current climate, we wanted to get everyone on the same page and try and make this transition as smooth as we can for everyone. So that we can ensure the confidence of the people." Elizabeth stood back, "Things will be moving fast in the short term and we need to ensure we are all running together."

Hastings glanced over at the Starfleet Commander-in-Chief who to this point had not said a word. He noted the fury, mixed with grief on her face. Turning his view back to the President, “Elevated to the highest office in the Galaxy, but also witnessing the the death of one of your closest friends in the process...” the Deputy Director paused for a second, “Mother of God. Talk about mixed emotions Sir.”

Taking a moment to compose himself, he took the hand extended by the Secretary. “Miss Carter. Nice to meet you... Given the current situation,” Hastings had let go of the Security Advisor's hand and looked back to the President, “Mr. President, shouldn’t Director Winfell be at this meeting? If you’re discussing steps forward, you’ll need her input for the Security briefings.”

Hastings was suddenly asking himself lots of questions, like any good investigator would do when trying to put the pieces together in his head. Just why wasn’t the Director of the Federation Security Agency in this meeting? Had they been involved in the incident also? If that was what happened, then why was he called to this meeting, and not one of the other Deputy Directors.

"Director Winfell has been relieved of her position, effective immediately," President Raikan revealed as he got comfortable in his chair and looked across at Fleet Admiral Clancy. "Until further notice, I have agreed to hand jurisdiction over the Palais, the Administration and the Council to Starfleet Security," he advised, with a nod to Kirsten, before looking back at his guest.

"President Iden was assassinated after a security breach at the highest level possible. Winfell paid the price with her job, but her Agency must now be thoroughly scrutinised before security is handed back," Clancy added, looking between the President, Elizabeth and the Deputy Director. "I will have to be satisfied that there are no further risks before I will do that."

“The FSA is not bent!” Hastings snapped at the Admiral, “If anything, Admiral, you should be looking inside your own house! We act on intelligence provided to us by Starfleet. Do you think I came up the Seine, in a bubble, Admiral?” Winston’s genetic northern Irish personality seeped through a normally calm exterior. “The Federation Security Agency, will not be used as a scape goat!”

Winston Hastings paced around in a small circular path, no wider than body span. “Sorry, Mr President. Please excuse the outburst. Out of interest, who will be put in charge of satisfying the Admiral?” He spoke with little effort to hide his feelings towards the military commander. He glanced over to the Security Advisor, and offered her a very pointed questions, “I can’t believe you’re advocating martial law, Miss Carter.”

"Sit, Mister Hastings," came the stern response from the President as he glared at the rather emotional Deputy Director. "A sitting president has been assassinated and whether you like it or not Winston, it happened on the FSA's watch. The Agency is... was... entirely responsible for security in the Palais, regardless of intelligence gathered from any other source, including Starfleet Command," Lukiz barked at the Terran in his first display of even moderate anger since the assassination. "No one has even mentioned the prospect of martial law, so we nip that in the bud right now, Deputy Director. Is that clear?"

Elizabeth's fists were clenched and an edge came over her tone, "Deputy Director, You forget whom you are speaking to," Pointing her hand to the president, "This is the president of the Federation not some street thug, you might not like it, you might not like his decisions but you better conduct yourself in a professional manner or you won't hold your position long. The President, in conjunction with Starfleet and the Security Council, has made a decision in what we believe is in the best interest of the president and the people he serves to ensure this incident doesn't happen again. As such, temporary oversight has been given to Starfleet Security. The keyword temporary; a great many things in the coming weeks will be temporary actions to ensure the flow of governance and keep the confidence of the people. These are tough times and pointing fingers will get us no where." Elizabeth glared daggers into the man.

"The optics of Starfleet Security roaming the streets of Paris is not good. And your opponents, regardless of the time of crisis, will compare it to when Jaresh-Inyo implemented martial law on Earth. I would have expected any savvy operative to consider that in their recommendation. It should be FSA on the ground." Hastings continued, "but I'm only a civil servant, so as you wish."

"Now," as calmer heads prevailed again, the President answered the mans original question. "You'll be the one overseeing the review of the FSA as the new Director," Raikan told with a smile.

Hastings found a chair and sat down, a bit shell shocked at the latest announcement to come from the President's lips. "The new Director."

He paused for a moment, looking down at his hands before back up again, "I'm honoured Sir, I really am. I do apologise. We'll find out what happened, but I remain adamant that the FSA played no part. The agents assigned at President detail level, go through years of screening and service."

"No one is saying that the FSA played a part," Lukiz responded as his frown let up, "but something, somewhere was missed. THAT is the fault of the FSA, accident or not."

Elizabeth looked at the Director, " Your agency's job was to protect the president and something went terribly wrong. We need to know where the device came from and how it got past all the security measures the department was responsible. The president is giving you an opportunity to show your house is clean while we put in measures to ensure it doesn't happen again while you do it. Life will be different for a short time to ensure we can return to normal quickly. If you don't want it to be seen that Starfleet Security is cleaning up after you, find out what happened quickly. After all, if you can't satisfy not just the president, but the Council, that you can keep them safe then perhaps your entire organisation needs to no longer exist and a new, fresh Department created to do it right," She knew she was being inflammatory but she only trusted one person in his organisation and it wasn't him, so to her, he needed to prove he was one of the good ones and his continued fight against that which was already happening made him more and more suspicious to her. You could take the girl out of intelligence but it never leaves you, apply pressure and see what happens. Shake a tree and fruit might fall out.

The now Director of the Federation Security Agency shot a glance over to the Security Advisor. "We do much more than protect the President," Hastings turned his attention back to the President, "Mr President. We will find who was responsible for the assassination of President Iden, however, regardless of that result, I'm dismayed that before any investigation even begins you're all ready to place the blame at the foot of the FSA. There could be any number of factors. It is possible to do everything correct, and still fail."

"That is for you to prove, Mister Hastings," President Raikan coldly retorted as he rose to his feet, and signalled an end to their meeting. The time for talking was over; the time for action was at hand.


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