A time to reflect
The Trial of Cor Cordale
Location: XO's Quarters
Elijah strolled through the hallways on Deck 2. The Captain had opted to allow his Away team some repreave, after all they had just witnessed the destruction of an Advanced Station and several thousand people.
He worried about the mental state of one man in particular. His XO. The tough Betazoid who didn't like to wear red yet was forced to do so because of his role. Elijah saw him on the Bridge and how it affected him and so it was best he checked with him.
Elijah pressed the chime outside his quarters and waited.
"Yes, what!" came a terse reply.
Elijah stepped inside the Room and it was shocking to see what state it was.
There was a sound of hasty shuffling and possible a movement of furniture before the door opened to show Bertrand.
He was a mess, more so than usual. His uniform was undone, his hair was wet as if he had just run it under water and his breath smelt strongly of alcohol.
"Sorry, Captain," His mumbled. "I wasn't expecting anyone. Come in."
He stepped aside to let the CO through.
The room looked as disheveled as the man. There were piles of stuff brought in and dumped just inside the door. Old uniforms were piled next to the reclamation unit, next to a pile of plates, just left on the floor. There was a bottle of some clear coloured liquid on the table, but no sign of a glass. through the open door Elijah could see his bed was unmade.
Bertrand made a spirited attempt to pick up a pile of PADDs which had been on the floor. Looking around he could find no where else to put them, so rested them on the nearby couch.
"Please. Have a seat. Can I... get you anything?"
"You look like shit." Elijah commented he blunt as ever. "I mean I knew things were bad but not to this extent."
Bertrand laughed, "Don't hold back. Tell me what you really think."
He slumped into the couch and picked up the bottle, "Four million people are in extreme distress, and I can hear every one of them. Only with this, he takes a long pull, "they aren't so loud."
He motioned for the Captain to take a seat, "Unlike the rest of the crew, I am not having any crisis of conscience. We did the right thing by adhering to the Prime Directive. That is what it is there for. Our policies and procedures have been refined for over two hundred years; best practice and all that."
Elijah sat by Bertrand and watched. "And yet you're still drinking like Alcohol is going out of fashion?" He asked as he took the bottle out of Bertrands hand and smelt it. "Urgh Rigellian Whiskey...."
"Cheap but effective," Bertrand mused. "Betazoids aren't evolved from Monkey's like you guys. We're frogs, so we can drink like fish. You want I should find you a glass or something?"
"I'm good Bert honestly." Elijah said to him, behind closed doors they dropped ranks.
"Bertrand, if you don't mine, Eli," the XO hiccuped.
"How are you holding up?" Bertrand asked. "Normally I can tell, but I am trying to drown it all out."
"I'm better than some." He responded. Half in response to the others but half in response to his XO. "What the hell happened? We almost had a Shipyard and a new ally then it got swept from under us."
Elijah felt the burden of Command. He made the decisions overall and it was his choice to respect the wishes of the Nironese. "Now what have we got? Millions dead, a Shipyard in ruins and crumbling into the atmosphere of a Planet."
Bertrand straightened, "We have what we have always had; an ideal. The United Federation of Planets is a unification of divergent ideologies under a single banner. It is only by adherence to that common ideology that we can function."
"Did you ever have Su'gath for Philosophy at the Accademy?"
"No never heard of him." Elijah commented as he tried to recall the name.
"That's right. I keep forgetting you are still a kid. Grumpy arse Vulcan who taught philosophy. He didn't believe the Prime directive was strict enough. He advocated a complete hands off approach in all things. If growth comes through overcoming obstacles, every time the federation steps in they deprive a culture for the opportunity to grow. He believed we should not let any culture join Starfleet till at least 18 generations had past since their acceptance to the UFP. He would feel that our providing medical aide was unhelpful to the long term development of the Nironese. It is only because he agrees to the Prime directive that he and you are able to work on the same team."
"Interesting perspective I must say." The Captain responded.
"As for the ship yard and the millions dead... I saw the Federation fleet reduced to three ships at Wolf 359. Three ships. And in the space of only five years we had rebuilt to original strength. Imagine how quickly the Nironese will recover with their technology. And when they do, they will come looking for us. Long term this is probably a better outcome. Certainly Su'Gath would think so."
Elijah nodded. He couldn't have agreed with Bertrand more after all they were able to use the Dominion War and all the Ships in mothball to rebuild the Fleet.
"Can I have my bottle back?" He gestured to the brandy. "I am not drinking to block out my own feelings, but all the stuff around me which is very loud.
He shook his head. "I can't give it to you Bertrand you know that." He said as he held the bottle. "As your Captain and as your friend I can't allow you to drink this much even if it helps block things out."
Bertrand groaned and fell back into the couch, "Haven't we had enough moral grandstands for one day? I'm off duty and my head hurts. I promise I won't drink more than that one bottle."
Elijah pondered it for a second. But then he shook his head. "I'm sorry, my friend. I can't do that."
Bertrand snorted, "Fine. Whatever. Did you want something else from me or are you just here to make my life more miserable?"
"You are an arsehole at times you know that?" Elijah commented. "Get cleaned up we'll be departing soon."
"Always," Bertrand countered. "Just sometimes you don't notice it so much."
He followed the captain to the door. When it had shut he turned to survey the room.
"Where did I put..."
He moved over to a pile of clothes and began to throw them around till he found the small box he was looking for. Opening it he pulled out a bottle very similar to the one the Captain had confiscated.
"Hello, beautiful," Bertrand purred. "You doing anything tonight? Want to come back to my place for a drink?"