After a standard debrief
was held before the admiralty, consisting of testimony by myself and my crew relating to the destruction
of the ISS Voyager
and the death of that universe's Admiral Janeway, I was "invited" to an additional interrogation by that same tribunal, in order to determine whether or not I was fit for promotion to captain
and continued command of the USS Murgatroid.
These questions covered the entire span of my service upon the Murgatroid
; and although they did mention (for the record) the various exceptional deeds of the crew and myself (such as the fact that we have saved their lives on more than one occasion by finding, escaping, and ultimately dealing with the threat of the alternate-Janeway), they seemed more concerned with dwelling upon other non-regulation behaviors ("crimes" was the term used by Nechayev) for which the Murgatroid
and I were allegedly guilty… Or, to be more precise, that small subset of our "crimes" for which we had actually been caught.
Granted, most of these events occurred under the command of the late KY Jellico, but Admiral Edward Jellico (his uncle) made it plain to me that he would not accept as a defense that I was simply "following my captain's orders", unless I could produce further, extenuating circumstances in my defense.
I inquired of him as to whether or not he would accept, as an additional defense, the fact that I was also following his orders. Confused, and unsure as to what I was implying, he agreed to accept that following his orders was a valid defense – otherwise, he would have had to concede, on the record and in the presence of his colleagues, to the possibility that he himself might have given me illegal orders.
I then reminded the Admiral, and informed the rest of the panel, of the orders I received after Kenton Jellico had seized control of the Murgatroid in the first place. In order to save his nephew's career, Admiral Jellico had retroactively assigned command of the Murgatroid to Kenton Jellico after the fact, and after giving the now legitimately "captain" KY Jellico a stern lecture about future behavior and responsibility. He then took me, the partner in Kenton's crime of stealing a starship, aside for an additional lecture, and set of orders. He commanded me to "protect Kenton" and "keep Kenton out of trouble" as much as humanly possible. (I did not protest, at the time, the usage of the term "humanly".)
I informed Admiral Jellico and his peers that I had, indeed, protected my former captain to the full extent of my ability. It was only after he left the ship and retired that he was killed
by the alternate-Janeway, I reminded them; and even before that, the most harm that he had received was the brainwashing
by alternate-Janeway which was performed with Admiral Jellico's knowledge and consent. (This was an issue upon which Admiral Jellico did not wish to dwell; so he conceded this point to me.)
The rest of my defense rested upon the second half of the Admiral's orders; to "keep Kenton out of trouble". The only way that I could have stopped Kenton Jellico from committing dangerous and/or illegal and/or clinically insane actions would have been to remove him from command and place him under permanent restraint – a solution of which I did not believe the Admiral would approve, and furthermore, a solution which would have inevitably done the captain harm and violated the "protect Kenton" directive. The only logical way in which I could resolve all of my orders was to participate in the captain's schemes, to make sure that he was not harmed in the execution thereof, and that he was not caught either (protecting him shame and prosecution). I was forced, by the combination of orders from both Jellicos, to be an active partner in all of Kenton's "crimes", and to ensure their success.
This was not, strictly speaking, completely accurate; after all, I had participated in the initial seizure of the Murgatroid
before the Admiral gave those orders. However, my explanation was accepted; this was not the first time that the common misconception about the Vulcan inability to lie had worked in my favor.
I easily dispatched a number of other queries about the activity of my crew and myself over the course of KY Jellico's command. The only other major issue revolved around the actions of the Murgatroid and myself after Kenton's retirement; that is to say, the conflict between us and the alternate-unverse Admiral Janeway. Our success in this mission was met with mostly complimentary comments, as well as the announcement that commendations for Murgatroid personnel would be forthcoming; but Admiral Kathryn Janeway (the Starfleet officer from my universe, as far as we know) did have one concern.
"I have seen the reports," she began, "from you, your duplicate Evil Storvik,
and Vulcan Science Academy about the syncronicity
between a person from this universe and their doppleganger from that universe. You and the so-called "Evil" Storvik received nearly identical wounds, simultaneously, from completely different causes while you were light years apart. Weren't you afraid that if you killed the alternate version of me, that you would also be causing my death?"
"No," I responded, with complete honesty.
"Ah," she said, "because you knew, somehow, that I wouldn't be affected by an attack on my duplicate … due, no doubt, to your extensive experiences dealing with your duplicate, and from visiting his universe
and interacting with more duplicates there?"
"I think he means," said Admiral Nechayev, "that as a Vulcan, he couldn't have been 'afraid' in any event."
I allowed them to believe whatever it was that they chose to believe. For my own part, I did not have any concern about the safety of either Admiral Janeway; it was merely through chance or unknown circumstances that the one in front of me survived, not due to any knowledge or action on my part.
After this I was dismissed, and told that I would be called before them again later to receive their decision. So, as they conferred amongst themselves and prepared to vote upon my rank and fate, I left … and shortly thereafter left Deep Space Nine altogether in pursuit of my kidnapped daughter and duplicate, at Admiral Nechayev's orders. It was only now that I received confirmation of my promotion in an extremely offhand way.