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Marienborg - Part Four

Posted on Sun Jun 12th, 2016 @ 9:28am by Magnus Temple
Edited on Sun Jun 12th, 2016 @ 9:36am

Location: Marienborg Manor, Denmark, Earth
Time: 2385 (Three Years Prior)

Magnus felt a sinking feeling of dread as this madman turned the rifle towards his mother. He couldn't help but wonder if this wasn't Sargent Johnson's plan all along. He realised the confession and confrontation were merely a pretence to this crazed ex-soldier's real intentions. He wanted them all to suffer together. That's why he had waited until his mother Brigitte, father Spencer, brother Nicolas, and his wife Emilie, were all together to witness this. That's why he went out of his way to attack them in this location in the Danish countryside, at the heritage Marienborg manor that had meant so much to them.

Just capturing the Temple family together was never going to be enough for him. He wanted revenge.

"It won't solve anything!" Magnus found himself talking, surprised by his own words.

The ex-Marine swivelled his beady, blood-shot eyes up to the landing where Magnus, Nicolas, Emilie and Thurston stood. An evil smirk curled onto his lips, but the rifle remained pointed menacingly at his mother.

"You're all about the problem solving." He sneered in reply. "Look at the good job you both did to my planet. Really solved that one, didn't ya?"

Magnus sighed, "I admit it was a bureaucratic decision. A... a mistake. A bureaucratic mistake."

"FRELL YES IT WAS!" He shouted.

Magnus and Nicolas tensed, but security officer Thurston ducked his head and whispered, "Keep him talking."

"So... so... Well. What should we have done?" Magnus asked, his voice quivering.

The Marine laughed loudly, so in disbelief at this Federation desk jockey's ignorance.

"YOU SHOULDN'T-A GIVEN IN TO THE CARDASSIANS!" He shouted, as if he was saying the most obvious comment in the galaxy.

"Right, right." Magnus nodded, as if he was agreeing. "But if we weren't given a choice?"

The Marine laughed maniacally again. "CHOICE! CHOICE? WE weren't given a CHOICE!"

While the madman was getting frustrated by Magnus' questions, Officer Thurston had slowly moved his foot over to the phaser on the ground. He'd been forced to drop it there by the Marine earlier but was now positioning it back to where he could quickly grab it again at the right moment.

"A vote?" Magnus asked, realising he sounded desperate now. "Would your people have voted?"

"Oh yeah that's what you bureaucrats are all about. Ticking boxes and discussions. You don't get people like me. People like me don't debate and discuss. We kill the bad guys and leave the good guys alone. You bureaucrats would have us make peace with our enemy at the cost of your own people's homes!"

Magnus knew he was supposed to be calming the guy, distracting him, but he just couldn't take his rhetoric anymore. Perhaps the life Magnus had lived; a life that included summers in Marienborg and interning at Federation Diplomatic Corp, had lead him to this very different mindset than Sargent Johnson, but it also meant that he wasn't holding a phaser rifle at innocent people's heads.

Magnus scoffed, "You know who kept your colony alive during the war? People like me."

Sargent Johnson turned bright red with rage at the Diplomat's response. "WHAT?!"

"Ja, you heard." Magnus replied with sufficient attitude.

"What are you doing?" Thurston hissed.

"Magnus..." Nicolas warned.

"No, I've listened to your insane ramblings," Magnus continued, "But the thing you seem to keep missing is that if it weren't for the work of the Diplomatic Corps keeping your colony relatively protected, even during a full scale war with the Cardassians, your people would have been wiped out entirely. I was in the Commission's office, remember. We worked round the clock to keep settlements and colonies out of the theatre of war as much as possible, on both sides."

"NONSENSE!" Johnson screamed, his body shaking now with anger.

"Truth." Magnus shrugged. "Our Marines, not the crazy ones like you, but real Federation Marines, dedicate themselves to protecting innocent lives and upholding humanitarian values. Likewise, diplomats work their butts off to ensure entire planets, races, and even colonies are protected during war; we were in constant negotiation with Cardassians on this matter. We had an agreement. Marines use guns, we use words, but our goal is the same. You disrespect the name of the Star Fleet Marines by turning on innocent people!"

Finally the madman had heard enough. He turned his rifle away from Magnus' mother and quickly raised it up to the landing where Magnus stood. However, Thurston used this moment to reach down and grab the phaser by his feet. As the ex-Marine fired up at Magnus, Thurston fired down at him, hitting him square on his rifle hand first. The marine's shot went wide as his hand burnt from the phaser fire, causing him to drop his rifle.

In that moment, Magnus' father Spencer, who everyone believed had been knocked unconscious on the floor, suddenly leapt up and grabbed the marine from behind, wrapping his arms around the former Sargent. He turned the madman towards Thurston, who quickly fired another shot, hitting Johnson square on the chest. The ex-Marine slumped down in Spencer's arms.

The group on the landing quickly ran downstairs, as Spencer let the madman drop to the floor. He turned to Brigitte and comforted his wife. Officer Thurston apprehended Lieutenant Johnson as Magnus let out the biggest sigh of relief. Nicholas and his wife exchanged hugs, as did the entire group, relieved the ordeal was over.

"Nice shooting," Magnus exclaimed to Thurston.

"Marine trained," Thurston replied with a wry smile.

Magnus put his arm on the security officer's shoulder, "You saved us."

Thurston shrugged, "Protect the innocent. Like you said, sir."

[Later....]

Magnus was sitting in the formal lounge, where he had been when this whole mess had started. Security forces had arrived and taken the intruder to hospital, under custody, while the family were each giving statements. Ex-Marine Johnson was going to have a charge list a mile long, but thankfully no one had been killed. Marienborg's staff had been found locked in the old basement wine cellar, the other security officers were unconscious out in the stables.

One man had caused so much chaos, in such a usually quiet place.

On a PADD, Magnus was watching the confession tape Sargent Johnson had recorded. He re-listened at the admittance to their bureaucratic failures, but also his own speech about the importance of diplomatic work. As he watched, his mother walked into the room, rubbing her neck.

"They'll be questioning you soon," She announced, sitting down next to Magnus on the soft sofa. "Why are you watching that?"

Magnus sighed and turned it off. "To see if he had a point."

"He was insane," His mother replied flatly.

"Driven there by a sense of abandonment by us." Magnus added, "Well, he probably had some insanity to begin with. But he did have a point, mother."

She looked to him with all the sense of care a mother usually gives her to child. "Magnus darling, you try to see the purpose in everything. Sometimes bad people just make very bad choices."

"I know," He smiled, "But he's right that we can become a little detached here on Earth. There's still so much war in the galaxy, people are suffering, we're not always making the right choices. And it's become a little too easy to make those choices when you're lightyears away from the reality of your decisions. I love working for the European Council, but the real work is out there amongst it in the galaxy."

Brigitte Temple smiled at her boy, leaned over and kissed him on the forehead. "You want to rejoin Star Fleet, don't you?"

Magnus smiled, "Yes. I want to go back out there and do everything I can to ensure something like this doesn't happen again."

She sighed, "You can't fix the whole Universe, Magnus. And you can't change what happened to that colony."

"I know, I know. It's just..." He shrugged, "I believe we have a responsibility to always try to do better. And that's what I want to do."

He stood and walked over to the big bay windows, overlooking the calm and quiet Danish countryside. The old windows still had a brass latch and Magnus ran his fingers over it. "When the States Minister dissolves parliament for elections, I'm going to announce my departure from Earth politics. I'm going to re-enlist in Star Fleet as a Diplomatic Officer."

Magnus looked back to his mother, who suddenly had a proudly serene expression on her face.

"You sound like your father," She replied. "That's exactly what he was saying to us before."

"I know," He smiled, "After today, I think I've seen enough of Marienborg for now."

OFF

 

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