Paul Gadzikowski


In Thy Image


"You can't do this," said Admiral Paris.

"We can, and we'll probably win," said the Doctor. The Time Lord's new manner lent itself well to the effective pleading of legal briefs, Janeway decided. "There's the precedent of the Louvois ruling -"

"No, you can't do this," said Paris, singling out the Doctor of the the line of visitors to the Starfleet JAG's office: the Doctor, Captain Janeway and the EMH. "You can't plead a case in front of a Starfleet court-martial. You're not a Starfleet officer."

The Doctor smiled while the Starfleet JAG sighed.

"No," said Kirk.

"You can't stop me!" insisted the Doctor. The imperiousness of the time-traveler's first body and personality was showing, spoilt by the petulance of his new persona.

"What you're contemplating is a violation of the Federation Prime Directive," Kirk stated for the record; all this was going into the mission log in the tricorder of the landing party's yeoman. "It is my duty to stop you or to prosecute you if I fail to stop you."

"You tried both, last time we met, on Sihpis," the Doctor reminded him. "We agreed it's a matter of conflict between consciences!"

"You did," said Kirk, "after you'd acted on your conscience quicker. This time it's my turn.

"Under the Emergency Powers Amendment of the Starfleet charter, I hereby conscript the time-traveler known as the Doctor into the Starfleet reserves, at the rank of commander, as situational specialist. I hereby activate his reserve commission for the duration of the Enterprise's mission on this planet. I hereby notify you of same, Doctor, and that you now possess all the privileges and responsibilities thereto under Federation law."

A comic expression of horror had grown steadily on the Doctor's face during Kirk's speech, actually drawing a giggle from someone in the surrounding crowd of Kirk's landing party and the Doctor's traveling companions. "Do you really think," the Doctor blustered now, "that drafting me will keep me from doing as I believe right?"

"Not really," said Kirk. He took a step toward the Doctor. "So I will require your word as a gentleman that you will abide by all Federation laws and Starfleet regulations while on this planet. Right now. Or by the authority I've just exercised I'll lock you in the Enterprise brig for mutiny, right now."

The Doctor stared at Kirk stupified while his companions expressed outrage, the new kid with an accent just like Engineer Scott's. But the time-traveler hushed them with great wide hand-motions, and turned back to Kirk. "Very well," he huffed with ill grace, "I give you my word that I'll abide by your rules."

"Thank you," said Kirk, trying a conciliatory smile. After all, solving the present puzzle without violating the Prime Directive really was going to take all the help Kirk could get.

"You're not even a citizen of a Federation world," objected Admiral Paris.

"Legally he doesn't have to be," said the JAG.

"By what precedent?"

"He is the precedent. His case was most recently cited by Nog of Ferenginar's sponsor in Nog's Academy application packet."

"Anyway," the Doctor continued his story, "Captain Kirk and I settled that difficulty to the satisfaction of both of us. True to his word, Captain Kirk deactivated my commission when we were done. But a Starfleet reserve commission isn't something that expires. On my way to this meeting I reactivated my commission at a self-service terminal in the reserves office here at Starfleet HQ.

"Moreover - as per automated procedure - when I did so, my default length-of-service promotions were all grandfathered to the Starfleet personnel database.

"Not only am I a Starfleet officer but, reservist or not, right now I'm the senior Starfleet officer on active duty alive."


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