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By Unohoo

 

 

 

 

Foreword: I've attempted to examine some clues we've had about Peace Keeper culture in a little more detail. I've created all new individual characters for this. The two exceptions are Scorpius and The Peace Keeper Organization (as its own character).

Ficlet: Death of a Peace Keeper, Part 1

Disclaimer: They're not mine, I don't own 'em, just please let me use your characters for a little while and I promise to return them as well as they began this ficlet. Thanks in advance.

Commander Ricard Banks hated this part of his job. Especially when they awakened him from a peaceful, dreamless sleep. Now he had to look at some poor Officer who probably took her own life.

"Officer Marlie Sandler didn't show up for duty, sir. My unit commander sent me to get her. This is how I found her." Peace Keeper Sturn was visibly shaken. He had to wait for Banks by the corpse. The body was sitting in the dried blood that pooled from the open wound in her chest, blank dead eyes staring at nothing. "Captain Day should be notified. We were supposed to leave this solar day under his command."

She had been dead for at least six arns, rigor mortis kept her in position on the bed. *What held her there before* Banks wondered as he examined the body. He forgot about the Peace Keeper waiting in the room, and was startled to hear a moan from behind him. *Serves him right for getting me out of bed.* Banks thought, and then immediately regretted the thought. He was kneeling by the body, to get a clear look at the wound. He felt his knees as he stood. "I'm sorry for making you stand here. You can go to your quarters; I will want to question you in more detail later. My assistant is speaking to Captain Day. No one is to leave base for now."

"But you already have my statement. I don't know any more than what I've already said."

Banks studied the young man. He could see he wasn't yet battle hardened. Still, this was different. They expected to die and see death in battle, not here. Here it was supposed to be safe. "You may think of something. The littlest detail, anything. Were you close to her, friends?"

"No, not really. She was with this unit a long time. I got assigned two monens ago. She was always very kind," Sturn kept his eyes away from the body.

"Go to your quarters, I will talk with you later." Banks said.

_____________________________

Once the body was removed, Banks was able to search the small area thoroughly. Nearly everything in the room was standard PK issue. Except for one very unusual item, he found a small book with hand written entries. He took this item and left everything else for forensics.

======================================================================


Ficlet: Death of a Peace Keeper, Part 2

His sleep was shattered. Banks did not try to get more; instead, he went to the mess and got something to take back to his office. He decided to read the book while he waited for the autopsy.

_____________________________

Journal Entry, First entry:

I still can't accept my best friend Suze has been dead for a monen. I can't talk to anyone about it. We were raised together. We were always in the same unit, helping each other when we needed it, and competing with each other for its own pleasure. We were so close, inseparable. When she got a different assignment, I didn't see her for nearly a cycle. She changed so much when I saw her again. She was under arrest because she followed her heart. Guards surrounded her. I didn't understand what happened, I wasn't allowed to see her. I was able to convince a guard to sneak me in. I still can't get over what she told me. Suze was assigned to some planet side duty to protect a small colony of miners. She fell in love with one of the miners. It happened so quickly. She kept it a secret from everyone. He was only half Sebacean, but looked Sebacean. Suze didn't know at first. It was too late when she found out. She would have kept the secret, too, but she became pregnant. Suze didn't know until it was too late to do anything. My best and closest friend was contaminated, and her unborn child was contaminated. She was not given the living death to save the baby. They were executed one weeken after I saw her.

Banks was interrupted. "Captain Day is here to see you, sir." The assistant said.

"I'm not ready to interview you, sir." Banks said.

"I'm not here for that. You have all our statements. We must leave on our next assignment within five arns. Commander Scorpius will not tolerate any delay." Day said.

"Scorpius does not have jurisdiction here. I will have Command contact him. He can either get someone else, or wait. You can expect to be available within a weeken."

======================================================================


Ficlet: Death of a Peace Keeper, Part 3

Before Banks could continue reading Marlie Sandler's journal, the medical technician asked to see him. Banks put the journal away and walked over to the laboratory.

_____________________________

"Here is my preliminary report. I thought you would want to see it now." The technician said. "The wound could have been self inflicted, but it isn't conclusive. Did you know she was pregnant? I'm running the DNA on the fetus now."

Since reading the first journal entry, Banks was quite surprised by this revelation. "No. Let me know the father's identity before anyone else. Can you tell me how long?"

"Right now, I'd say about three monens. I'll know exactly after completing my analysis." The technician said.

_____________________________

Banks returned to his office and told his assistant he was not to be disturbed except for emergencies. He needed a better understanding of the person Marlie Sandler was before he started his interviews.

Journal entry, Second entry:

Frell! I have to stay behind because they have me breeding again. I hate this. I've already had four little peace Keepers to add to their ranks. Why can't I go with my unit again? I could have kept Suze out of trouble if I had gone on the mission that time. Why didn't they hold her back like they did the other times? It was fun then. It was like a vacation for us. We enjoyed having babies for the organization. I'm so bored. They won't let me do anything, and I don't have Suze anymore. I miss her so much. I tried to talk to the other women here, but no one wants to talk, or have fun, or even keep quiet company. They are all doing their duty. No one wants to get attached, make a friend. I never knew, but what Suze and I had was rare. Frell, this is going to be a long cycle. Maybe I can make it the last I'll ever have to do it.

======================================================================


Ficlet: Death of a Peace Keeper, Part 4

*They certainly didn't waste any time letting Scorpius know* Banks thought. Scorpius was outside his office waiting to speak to him now. *Why did he need that Command Carrier? And why couldn't he wait a weeken? I suppose I shouldn't delay speaking with him any longer* Banks called out to his assistant, "Send Commander Scorpius in please."

_____________________________

"Commander Banks, it is good of you to see me on such quick notice. I need Captain Day to begin his mission immediately. I really needed him to leave twenty arns ago. You stopped him from leaving. Why?" Scorpius spoke in his most benign voice.

"One of his crew may have been murdered. You will have your Command Carrier and crew as soon as I establish what happened and can make the appropriate charges if necessary. But why do you require this Captain, and this Command Carrier?" Banks asked.

"I cannot divulge that information. But suffice it to say, Captain Day and the crew are the only suitable candidates for this mission." Scorpius said. "I will have to report this to Command. They will not be pleased that you are holding my mission up for the death of one Peace Keeper."

_____________________________

Banks continued to read through Marlie's journal. He scanned through many entries that were all of the tone of the second entry. Marlie had turned to her journal for company during her breeding time. As he read she had given birth to a healthy boy, and was elated to be going back on active duty, assigned to Captain Day, Banks was interrupted.

"The autopsy is complete. You can pick up the final report now." The medical technician informed him over the com.

____________________________

"You are not sure if it's suicide? It's possible?" Banks was trying to interpret the report.

"The angle of the wound may indicate a sudden movement before the pistol fired, and there are pressure points on her shoulders that show someone may have held her in position when she died. There is something else. The fetus is not completely Sebacean; it has about twelve percent Sykaran DNA. She was in trouble, so she may have taken her own life, or someone who found out, a lover, perhaps, may have killed her. Another indication that someone was with her is the position the body was found. It is not consistent with the wound, and she would have sagged more, or fell over before the rigidity set in. Also, a copy of this report is being distributed now."

======================================================================


Ficlet: Death of a Peace Keeper, Part 5

Journal Entry, third from last entry

Thankfully I got a good assignment since giving birth. Captain Day is a respected and good captain. I'm lucky to be in his command. I think he has noticed me. Everyone here is new to me. I like my bunkmate; she is competent and friendly. This is her second stint with Captain Day; she is very helpful.

_____________________________

Journal Entry, second from last entry

This is my second stint with Captain Day. He is the best Captain I've ever served under. He really cares about everyone serving with him. I've never had a leader like him. I can feel his effect all the way through the ranks. I'm pretty far down, only an Officer, but I can feel a difference in the way we are treated, and the way everyone reacts compared to any other assignment I've had. I hope I will always be assigned here.

Journal Entry, next to last entry

We went to Sykar. The planet is desolate. The Sykarans were supposed to grow tannot root for us, but stopped over a cycle ago. They claim they can no longer grow the root. The soil gave out. They aren't docile since they stopped eating the Tannot. I got separated from the rest of the unit. We were facing some of the rebels. They outnumbered us, but we have the superior weapons. I did something I should never have done. I investigated a noise by myself. I was captured by a small group of Sykarans, their leader looked Sebacean and I learned he is part Sebacean. They didn't hurt me in any way. They were very nice. We would not do the same. The leader, Jake, took me aside to talk to me. I think he wanted to use me as leverage, to get the Peace Keepers to leave them alone. I'm really not sure. Nothing like this ever happened to me before. We became lovers. We didn't think. I was with him for only a weeken. My unit rescued me and killed all the Sykarans I was with. Jake is dead. We are going to our next assignment. I now understand what happened to Suze.

_____________________________

Journal Entry, last entry

Ever since I was restored to the unit, Captain Day has seen me at least once every solar day. At the beginning, it was to learn if I knew anything that would help. It very quickly became more. I don't know what he wants. He has been such a good commander that I must think it can only be out of concern for me. Still, I'm hesitant. I don't know how much he can help me. We've been on base for two weekens, getting ready for our next mission. Captain Day isn't happy about this one. We are supposed to go on a mission for Commander Scorpius. I've never seen him, but I understand he is half Scarran. This really puzzles me. Why would they execute Suze for being pregnant with someone who is half Sebacean while letting Scorpius live? Aren't Scarrans our enemies? And now I'm scared. I'm pregnant by the Sykaran, Jake. It doesn't matter that he is only a quarter Sykaran. I am seeing Captain Day later. I'd like to confide in him, but I don't know if I can. I don't know what to do. I would rather take my own life than be executed and stigmatize the children I already have. And even if they allow the child to be born, I will not be able to raise the baby. I never cared before; all my other pregnancies were for the Peace Keepers. They decided when I should bear, and by whom. This time it was my passion, my choice. I wont' let them have the baby. I'm trapped.

======================================================================


Ficlet: Death of a Peace Keeper, Part 6

"Commander Scorpius is here to see you sir." Banks' assistant said.

"I've seen the autopsy. Does it matter whether she was murdered? She was carrying a child out of breeding." Scorpius said.

"Why do you say that?" Banks was very curious. How did Scorpius get to where he was if Peace Keepers did not allow their breeders to go outside of ranks?

"She would have been executed anyway, her unborn child would not have been allowed to live." Scorpius said.

"That may be, but murder is murder. Tell me, how is it you are a Peace Keeper when you are half Scarran?" Banks asked.

"My mother, herself of rank, was raped by a Scarran. Her family had enough pull to keep her from being executed, even after they learned she was pregnant with me. She hid her pregnancy long enough that she couldn't have an abortion. I never knew my mother. I was raised with a group of children bred to be Peace Keepers. I was not allowed to take her family name." Scorpius quickly summarized his own background, without emotion. *Banks is very interesting. He is not afraid of me. He should be* he thought. "I want you to consider transferring to my staff. I think you will find it interesting and rewarding."

"The answer is no. I have what I want here. Do you think she should have been executed? If your mother had been executed, you would not exist." Banks was disturbed by the lack of emotion in Scorpius's reply.

"I haven't thought about that for a long time. But I like my life now. I'm where I want to be, doing what I want to do. Which means I want that Command Carrier released now." Scorpius growled the last to intimidate.

"I will contact you when I can release the Command Carrier." Banks replied simply and stood up to indicate they were done talking.

_____________________________

"Captain, I think you saw Marlie Sandler the night she died. Two people I interviewed reported you were not available at the time of her death, and you were seen in the general area of her quarters. She also kept a journal. Did you know that? You were mentioned in her Journal." Banks said.

Captain Day sat down heavily, put his elbows on the table and folded his hands in front of him. "Yes I was with her when she died. I tried to stop her. I've been worried about her ever since she was a hostage on a planet called Sykar. I also knew about the journal. I'm digressing. I will tell you about the events as best I can.

I got to Marlie's quarters about a half an arn before she expected me. She had been acting very despondent lately, and I was concerned. She was holding a pistol to her chest and was pulling the trigger as I walked in. I tried to stop her, but only managed to deflect the pistol so she didn't die instantly. It was too late for medics. It took her only a few microts to die. I stayed with her, holding her body for a long time. I've lost men before, but never by their own hand. Finally, I stopped holding her and saw her journal and read it. I don't know if I could have helped her. I would have tried. She didn't have to end it like this.

Commander Banks, there is something terribly wrong with our society. We punish innocent people. We crush creativity. We don't allow for personal feelings. I sense you are a good person. Further, if we are to survive as an organization we have to make some changes. Will you help?"

"Yes. Thank you for your candor. You know there was nothing I could have done against you. You were safe. But what can I do? Banks said.

"As a start, say this was an accident. This will protect the children she does have, not taint her name."

end

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