PNPC LTJG Dukul Nibar — Slings and USS Arrows

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Isaac Bresnick

Nov 27, 2023, 2:18:05 PM11/27/23

((Captain’s Ready Room, Deck 1, USS Arrow))

Captain Shayne had been pretty tight-lipped in the meeting to discuss the assignment of a troublesome Ensign to the ship. Well, tight-lipped in the ways that mattered to Lieutenant Junior Grade Nibar. He had some outbursts related to Starfleet, but none that were binding on him, or what he'd need to write.

Shayne: First, I will vouch for Mr. Dewitt’s conduct during those events as I would for any other mission he was a part of. He has served with extraordinary distinction, and more to the point- he was acting under my orders, either generally or specifically, and no officer I can recall has been charged for a crime he was ordered to commit. Secondly, when and how did Starfleet glom onto the notion of sabotage? 

Cardassians weren't known for getting flustered, and Dukul was no exception. But he was known for being forthright, both relative to his species and his profession. And this JAG officer wasn't about to shy away from an uncomfortable truth, especially when it already came with considerable ethical questions.

Nibar: That... would be me, sirs. I was assigned to report on theories for criminal culpability, based on the facts as I had them. ::beat:: I also strongly urged Starfleet to leave the matter be. I felt the case would be a challenge to prove, with minimal deterrent effect even if it were successful.

Dukul recognized the predatory smile on the Captain’s lips. He'd seen it a time or two when Mother handled her Starfleet minders. He'd never been in the unfortunate position of having it directed his way, before. A chill ran down his neck frills.

Shayne: So I suppose we can thank you for this situation, at least in part?

Commander Adyr admirably attempted to keep the Captain’s temper in check, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Nibar forced a smile. 

Adyr: We all have a job to do.

Shayne: And what a job he’s done with it, too. 

Dukul was no stranger to angry officers. In truth, he’d grown quite happy supporting treaty negotiations, but the duties of a lawyer in Starfleet were much more wide-ranging than that. His background in criminal defense made him a wise and careful prosecutor, but not a thoroughly satisfied one. He inhaled and separated himself from any sympathy he might feel for the Arrow and its crew, and any indignation he might feel toward its Captain. The man was entitled to be angry; he was in a bad position.

And Dukul knew he didn’t put the Captain there, despite the man’s fleeting rage. Nibar didn’t deploy actual drive plasma in a simulated war game. He didn’t kill seven cadets and a Captain. Nor did he actively fight attempts to save the prototype starship, or cause it to be lost completely. There were mitigating circumstances, of course, and defenses to be raised. There was a fog that Dukul knew couldn’t be pierced with any reliability, and that every account would have its own subjective slant. None of it was simple or straightforward, and nobody liked to see themselves in the worst possible light. That responsibility fell to defense attorneys. His job wasn’t to reach an absolute truth, it was to define the vague boundaries of what a hypothetical Court Martial could reasonably conclude, ranging full exoneration to conviction and confinement, and describe the landscape accordingly.

Nibar: ::tongue clicking softly:: Take your time, sir, think it over.

Shayne’s mouth worked itself into a popping rhythm. Dukul got the impression he wasn’t currently thinking over the question of whether to accept or reject the assignment of Ensign Lacy.

Adyr: We have 36 hours?

Dukul realized he’d somehow become trapped in a staring contest with the Captain, and eagerly took the opportunity to forfeit. There was enough pride in the room already without squeezing his in.

Nibar: Yes, sir, I can manage that. I’ll begin writing the report in the morning. I'll take a few extra coffee breaks.

Adyr: I think we could have an official answer by then?

Dukul glanced back, and discovered with some discomfort that the Captain hadn’t opted to take his victory, and was still attempting to burn holes in the Cardassian's face with his eyes. Eventually, after a dramatic pause, Captain Shayne nodded to his XO.

Shayne: Thank you for the information, Mr. Nibar. ::his tone was scalding yet icy.:: You’ll have our response shortly. You’re dismissed. 

Lieutenant Nibar nodded and rose from his seat.

Nibar: Thank you, sirs. 

As Commander Adyr rose from her perch on the Captain’s desk, Nibar hesitated as he began to leave. He still needed to collect the Arrow’s disciplinary reports and investigatory updates from the duration of its most recent mission. But, he decided, this was the precise wrong time to mention it. He could get that before they shipped out again. As he headed for the door, however, the Captain set up an inevitable parting shot.

Shayne: Oh, and Mr. Nibar?

Nibar: ::turning:: Yes, sir?

He stared into the face of a man who hated anything and everything he could see at that precise moment.

Shayne: We shall call upon you frequently for the duration of this exercise. 

Again, the Captain clearly meant to imply one thing while he said another. But, especially when strong feelings were involved, Dukul found a kind of joy in these confrontations. A cousin to "malicious compliance," he liked to call it "militant good faith."

Nibar: ::upbeat:: Excellent, sir. I'll look forward to it.

NT/End for Nibar


Lieutenant Junior Grade Dukul Nibar

JAG Officer

Deep Space Thirty-Three

as simmed by 

Lieutenant Junior Grade Nolen Hobart

Engineering Officer

USS Arrow (NCC-69829)


Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages