Star Trek: Defiant

"Stereotypes Broken" - Part 1D

Written by Valas Maerret

Maerret sits in the small interrogation room of the Defiant, Commander Hardin and Commander Matute looming over him wearing faces of malice. In the background, similar visages can be made out; T'Mal, Barak, K'larn, several other crewmen and officers, and the Captain. It had indeed been a long night.

His thoughts filled with hopelessness, Maerret started thinking of escape, somehow to flee this barage of stares. No, he thought. That would be the Romulan thing to do.

How he had tried to put his life together. For over six years now he had strived to break those stereotypes that had dominated other's views of him. But all that work seemed to be fading away now. He could see it in their faces as clear as day - he was the enemy.

"You are finished, Ensign," Matute flares in his direction. "You might as well spare yourself the agony and admit it. You deliberately sabotaged the main reactor."

Maerret, for the ninth time, states calmly, "I did not."

Hardin continues the barage, "We have several reports of you being in engineering, sometimes even without supervision, at odd hours of the night. Do you tend to get lost 14 decks away from your division on a regular basis, or do you just do a nightly sleepwalking tour of the ship whenever it suits you?"

"I thought I had thoroughly explained every encounter in engineering."

"I don't buy those explanations, Maerret," Matute interjects. "Perhaps you recall about two weeks ago, on Stardate 60913. The ship had been docked at Archer 4 for most of the day receiving our last antimatter refill. Most of the crew was enjoying a brief leave on the station, while at 0300 hours, you were seen leaving engineering, according to crewman Clark. The only person on duty in engineering at the time was Ensign Davis, who was between decks working on an EPS conduit, so there could be no else to testify for your actions there. How convenient."

Maerret just kept silent. He had explained himself more than enough. He looked again at the many faces in the room. K'larn wore a wicked sneer... or was it a smirk. Evidently Maerret's dealings in sabotage came as little suprise to him.

T'Mal displayed a look of confusion, revealing an inner turmoil. She had had less than pleasant past experiences with Romulans. It was indeed difficult when she had met Barak, but she had come to consider him a freind. And she was even beginning to feel comfortable working with Maerret these past few weeks, apparently starting to get over those unpleasant memories. But now those experiences were rekindled in full.

Barak's expression was one of betrayal. He had worked long and hard to gain the enormous anount of credibility he had for himself. But now it was if this treachery had taken something from that. Having seen enough, he walked out. K'larn followed suit.

Maerret's eyes then made there way to a man who had all of the other's feelings mixed within a visge of simple disappointment - the Captain. Maerret owed him so much. He would never have been able to serve aboard a vessel like this without Bridge's recommendation. So much he had put at stake for Maerret. And now it seemed, so much that was wasted.

After a few more minutes of discussion, it was decided that Maerret be confined to quarters until such time when hard evidence is found. Two crewmen from security were beginning to escort the traitorous Romulan away when the Captain halted their progress for a brief word.

"I won't forget what you did for me, Maerret." He stands for a minute looking into the eyes of this sabatour. "But the circumstances don't look good for you."

"Captain, I didn't sabotage any reactor."

"I wish I could believe you."

With that, the Romulan is escorted away, leaving the Captain standing next to Counsellor Jannik. "What do you think?" he asks evenly.

The Betazoid displays a skeptical look. "Its hard to tell. If he were a human I'd say..." She shakes her head doubtfully, "Well, it's just hard to tell."

* * *

Bridges had just entered one of the labs in Sick Bay when the intercom signaled.

"Lebin to Bridges, the Yamato reports they have engaged the pirate vessles near the Antarus Maelstrom."

"Very well. Keep me informed." The Captain makes his way to the station Dr. Rael is working at. "You called?"

"Yes, sir," she responds emotionless. Her formality led Bridges to consider that she probably isn't bearing the best of news.

"Security sent down a sample of DNA they found on various areas of the reactor," she continues. "Beth has analyzed it and, as expected, several people have been in contact with the reaction chamber in the past week, most of them engineering personnel. Maerret's DNA is also present."

The Captain looks to the ground, considering his next course of action.

Laine states "You know, this still isn't enough evidence to convict him."

"Yes, but it is enough to have him thrown in the brig. And it will be enough to settle the issue as far as most are concerned."

"So what are you going to do?" Laine asks.

"Follow procedure." The Captain taps his comm badge. "Security, escort Maerret to a detention cell."

He takes a deep breath. "I had high hopes for that one."

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