Thursday, 18 August 1994

Inauguration - Chapter Nine

The time for the inauguration drew near. The chamber was beginning to fill up with the V.I.P. guests dressed in their ambassadorial robes and dress uniforms. IN his quarters Watt was making his final preparations when the door buzzer sounded.
    “Come in.” called Watt.
    The door opened and Thomas Leacock entered. Leacock was fully dressed in his robes. He smiled when he saw Watt.
    “Aren’t you ready yet?” he asked.
    “We have plenty of time left Tom.” said Watt.
    “Not that much. They’re beginning to gather in the chamber. Ben Adams is beginning to look a trifle impatient.”
    Watt completed the final adjustments to his clothing and then looked at himself in the mirror. He paused for a few moments.
    “I remember when I first met you.” said Watt. “Magus introduced you to me as his adopted son. The thing that annoyed me was when you called me Sir all the time.”
    “I was merely being polite James.”
    Watt turned towards Leacock.
    “A hell of a lot has happened since then.” he said. “Come on. Let’s get going. We’ve got a Federation to start running here!”

    Magus walked slowly alone down the corridor towards the chamber, garbed in his ambassadorial robes, robes he had not worn since ages ago. He was looking forward to the forthcoming events, and he was pleased for Watt because after Thomas Leacock Watt was the nearest thing he had to family, not that Watt felt like a son to him, more like a favourite nephew. Magus was soon at the entrance to the chamber. That sight that greeted him pleased him greatly. There were literally hundreds in this chamber. Starfleet dress uniforms could be seen all around, as could the robes of many ambassadors. Magus stood in the entrance for a few moments just looking around. Nearby he saw Garibaldi and Ro. He approached them.
    “Mr. Garibaldi, have you managed to detect the cavourite source yet?” he asked.
    “No Ambassador.” Garibaldi replied. “We haven’t found a trace.”
    “It would probably take ages to adjust the internal sensors.” said Ro. “If someone has developed a new strain of cavourite we won’t even know what to look for.”
    As they spoke Commander Sinclair, Captain Picard, Captain Watt and Lieutenant Commander Date made their way towards the exit. Sinclair was about to leave when he saw Magus.
    “What is wrong Commander?”
    “Captain Picard has told me that the long ranger sensors on the Enterprise have picked up two unknown vessels on the other side of the jump-gate. No vessels are meant to arrive until after the inauguration.”
    “It may be nothing, but I think it would be wise to check it out.” said Watt.
    “May I accompany you Commander?” asked Magus. “I may be of help.”
    “Certainly Ambassador.” said Sinclair. “We were just on our way to Ops. Mister Garibaldi, you keep an eye on things here.”
    A short time later they stood in Ops looking at the sensor screen.
    “I am afraid this is all we can find.” said Data. “The sensors are not powerful enough to get an accurate reading on the vessels.”
    “Is there no way of comparing their configuration with the files?” asked Watt.
    “No.” said Sinclair. “the only way we could do that is if they enter the jump-gate, and I’m hoping they won’t do that.”
    Picard was about to speak when he noticed Magus looking slightly uneasy.
    “What is it Ambassador?”
    “I don’t know. I just have this strange feeling about those ships, I can’t tell what though.”
    Sinclair turned to one of the other officers.
    “Keep all long-range sensors on the jump-gate.” he ordered.
    “It may be a good idea to use the sensors on the Enterprise as well.” said Data. “And the Valkyrie.”
    “Agreed.” said Picard. “But until they enter the jump-gate we can do nothing. May I suggest gentlemen that we return to the chamber. Events will be starting soon.

    A few minutes later Sinclair, Watt, Magus, Picard and Data returned to the chamber to find Ambassador Adams getting rather impatient.
    “Ah, gentlemen, I’m glad you’ve come back. We are almost ready to begin.”
    “Really?” said Magus, looking around. “I see that the President and Vice-President are not here yet.”
    “They are on their way.” said Adams. “Now please, gentlemen, take your seats.”
    Not wishing to offend the Terran ambassador they quickly took their seats in the second row whole Adams made his way to the podium. A guard had had been stationed near the door peeked round. He then signalled to Adams that they were approaching. Adams in turn signalled for the music to begin. Formal ceremonial music began to sound as President Watt and Vice-President Leacock entered the chamber and approached the podium. As they walked they received an ovation from the audience. They then took their seats on the podium as Adams rose to his feet, the signal for the music to die down.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to this historical event, for it is here on Babylon 5, this fine station, that the inauguration for President Watt and Vice-President Thomas Leacock will take place.”
    Adams’ speech went on for a number of minutes. Basically he was praising Watt and Leacock to the heavens. It was at the end of this speech he asked Watt and Leacock to approach him at the main podium. Raising his hand, Watt placed his other hand on a four hundred year old bible, and he began to take the presidential oath. Never before in his long life had he been so nervous. The last time he had been nearly this nervous was his wedding day in the year 2000. This was perhaps the proudest moments of his life. As he spoke the final words of the oath a huge smile appeared on his face, and when Benjamin Adams officially announced him as the President of the United Federation of Planets his smile got even bigger. He turned away from Adams and towards the gathered dignitaries and raised his arms aloft. One by one those gathered began to rise and applaud him loudly. Watt was receiving a standing ovation, Watt gloried in the applause he was getting. As the noise rang out through the chamber nobody noticed Tarak Queeg leave.
    The standing ovation lasted for some five minutes, and it would have lasted a lot longer had not Watt asked them to stop. If he hadn’t he would not have been able to give his inauguration speech. Adams vacated the rostrum so Watt could take up a place behind it. It was a very emotional moment for him, and he had to wipe away the tears of joy before he reached into his pocket and took out his speech.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, this is by far the proudest moment of my long life. I never thought that four hundred years ago I would become one of the most powerful men in the known galaxy. I never thought that I would be following my good friend, the late Simon Kennedy, into politics. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not going to use my first speech as a slanging session for my predecessor, President Santiago, because he accomplished much during his reign, but I feel I can accomplish more.”
    As Watt spoke a call came through on Sinclair’s communicator.
    “Sinclair here.” he whispered. “What is it?”
    “I’m sorry to disturb you, Commander Sinclair, but the two ships have just left the jump-gate and are nearing the station.”
    “It’s okay.” said Ivanova. “I’ll handle this.”
    “Lieutenant Commander Ivanova is on her way. Sinclair out.”

    A few minutes later Ivanova entered Ops. She walked over to her station.
    “Have you tried to contact them?” she asked.
    “On all channels and in all languages, but with no results.”
    Ivanova began to operate her computer.
    “I can find no match with any of the ships in the files. Try hailing them again.”
    Suddenly Ivanova turned as Queeg entered. Queeg had a phaser in his hand and it was pointed at Ivanova.
    “Do not try to contact them!” he ordered. “Let them achieve an adjoining orbit with this station.”
    “Captain Queeg? What are you doing?” asked Ivanova.
    Ivanova went to move close to Queeg but he raised his phaser. A second later and three of the Eldars, including Tyrell, arrived behind him.
    “I said do nothing Commander. Let the ships arrive. And no one here tried to contact anyone outside this room, or they will perish.”

    Those in the chamber were oblivious to what was happening in Ops. They were listening intently as Watt continued with his speech.
    “My first few months in office will be taken up with two things. Firstly I propose that we dismantle the Psi-Corps. For far too long they have tried to control telepaths in the way the old Earth governments tried to control mutants in the twenty-first century. Their methods can be most brutal at times. My new bill, if passed, will see the setting up of an academy on Betazed. I believe that the Betazoids are more than capable of helping train telepaths from Earth.
    “My second proposal may have far greater ramifications. This station will very shortly play host to a peace conference between the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire. Babylon 5 was designed as a neutral station, and it’s purpose was to promote peace between worlds. I believe this will be the prefect place to start talks between our two peoples. There has been tension between us for far too long, and this tension nearly led to war on many occasions. Now is not the time for war, now is the time for peace. Many, many times during my life I have used force to combat a threat, and many of those times force has been needed, but I can see no reason why we cannot talk to the Romulans. Peace between us must start somewhere, and it will start, here, very soon, and soon after that the Neutral Zone will become a thing of the past!”
    More noise rang out throughout the chamber as those gathered agreed with what Watt had just said. But one man was not clapping. Magus looked towards the ceiling as if he could tell something was happening.

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