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Cptn Corizon

Sleeping Dog
Whatever Happened to Mr. Corizon

Hong Kong rose in the distance as a maglev carried Ah-Windu Corizon along the shores of the South China Sea. An international city for decades, the once major trading center had remained an important fixture on Earth in the days since their Third World War and the founding of the Federation, becoming home to many intergalatic corporations, especially trading and shipping companies. As the speedy train finally deposited Corizon on a platform just outside the Hong Kong Park in the Central District of Hong Kong Island, he considered whether nor he was going to particularly enjoy an hour and half train ride on a regular basis and whether or not he should consider purchasing an atmospheric shuttle to make the commute more tolerable.


He stepped off the train and onto the solid ground of the platform. Taking a very deep breath he continued to consider the situation. Wearing civilian clothing shouldn’t have bothered him -- it never had before and he didn’t frankly care for the fit of the current Starfleet uniform anyway, but maybe it had never bothered him before because he could always go back to the uniform when he was done with whatever mission he’d been on. Pushing the thought to the back of his mind, he glanced around the platform before meeting eyes with a young, twenty something human male of Asian decent standing a few feet away from him, dressed in a dark black suit with a crisp tie and holding a small placard with Corizon’s name on it.


Taking another very deep breath, Corizon straightened his own charcoal suit jacket before heading over to the young man. “Kusanagi, I presume?”


The young man blinked, “Yes,” he said. “Though feel free to call me Hiro, Dr. Corizon.”


Corizon hesitated for a moment. Doctor. That was going to take some getting used to. “Just Corizon is fine,” he finally settled. “I never been one to stand on formalities.”


“Of course,” Hiro said. “If you’ll follow me, we have a grav shuttle waiting.”


Corizon nodded and followed Hiro to a side exit from the platform where a small land-based shuttle waited for them. Sliding behind the controls, Hiro smiled to the Dameon. “We’re very excited to have you aboard, sir. Chief Anaso has spoken very highly of you.”


“That’s very kind of him,” Corizon said as Hiro pulled the small craft out of its berth and merged into traffic along the busy street that led away from the Hong Kong Park station and deeper into the central district that had housed many of Hong Kong’s tallest sky scrapers. One of the largest, and by far the oldest still standing was their final destination -- International Finance Center.


Pulling into a subterranean garage, Corizon and Hiro were quickly inside the building and on their way to the 76th floor.


“I think you’ll like your office,” Hiro said, breaking the silence of the elevator. “It has a gorgeous view of Victoria Peak.”


“Does it?”


Hiro nodded. “As I said, Chief Anaso has spoken very highly of you. I think he’s very excited to have you with the company.”


A small smirk crossed Corizon’s thin lips. “I am... pleased to be going back to work.”


“After all that time in the Fleet,” Hiro said, “I am sure you’ve enjoyed the last months though, yes?”


“To be honest,” Corizon said flatly. “Not really. I’ve never had that much time to just sit and think, without anything driving me. It was... strange. Not that you care.”


Hiro did his best to smile. He wasn’t entirely disinterested, but he also didn’t want to make the situation awkward on his new bosses’ first day. “Ah, here we are.”


“You have what, five -- six floors?”


“Seven,” Hiro said.


They stepped out and into a spacious, modern lobby where a receptionist sat behind a large desk with the soaring view of Hong Kong behind him. “Ah, Dr. Corizon,” he said. “Welcome. Mister Anaso has asked me to inform you that he will be delayed and so he will meet you in your office when he arrives, my apologies, Hiro but I just found out a few minutes ago.”


Hiro nodded. “Of course, I’ll show him to his office.”


“Very well.”


Hiro lead Corizon into a large, expansive office with floor-to-ceiling windows that gave a panorama of Hong Kong. “Here you are, sir.”


“Thank you,” Corizon said. “This is a little nicer than my office on the Excalibur.”


Smiling, Hiro nodded. “If you need anything, I’ll be right outside. There’s a replicator...”


“Behind the bookshelf?”


Hiro nodded as Corizon grinned widely before tipping his head respectfully and heading back out to his presumably his desk.


After making himself a cup of coffee and a light pastry for breakfast, Corizon found himself watching out a window when Kasumi Anaso finally arrived. Turning as Anaso entered, Corizon was surprised to see how little his old friend had changed since he last saw him. The short-statured human still had the same neatly cropped, jet-black hair he’d had all those years ago, and he still wore the same somber, but somehow disarming smile. The only thing that had changed, as far as Corizon could tell, was how he dressed.


“Ah-Windu,” Anaso said, “I am glad you’re here.”


“I am sure you are Kasumi. You’ll forgive me if I am not exactly excited about being a civilian.”


Anaso nodded considering Corizon. It had been nearly ten years since they’d actually seen each other in person and it was striking to him how different Corizon appeared. He’d always been so confident, despite always seemingly wearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. Sure, his physical appearance remained mostly unchanged; his silver hair belied any aging, and only the very beginnings of crows feet had started to form around his deep yellow eyes; but the bravado was missing.


“Always direct,” Anaso said. “I guess somethings never change.”


“I was never good at small talk.”


“Your only weakness as an agent.”


“Only?” They both smirked. “It’s been a long time, Kasumi.”


“It has, but I am glad you’re here now.”


“Like I said, I’d rather not be, but as civilian options go...”


Anaso waved his hand. He knew Corizon wasn’t happy about his situation, he couldn’t blame him either, but he also knew that his old friend needed something to give him purpose again. “I hope you like the office.”


“It’s nicer than I expected,” Corizon said honestly, taking a drink of coffee. “Thank you.”


“Of course, you’re my new chief of security. Though you won’t honestly be spending that much time here.”


Corizon nodded. He’d known that he was once again signing onto a job that left him little time to become sedative. “So what was so important that you’ve kept me waiting.”


Anaso lifted his brows for a moment before shaking his head. “Kept you waiting? I thought I was your boss now.”


Corizon grinned. He knew Anaso was going to enjoy the role reversal. “I was supposed to meet you when I got here. Instead, I’ve been sitting around, drinking coffee and eating pastries while you no doubt were shopping for a gift for your wife.”


“Oh,” Anaso said, with a wry smile. “Such a terrible inconvenience for you, I am sure.


“Besides, I wasn’t shopping for my wife. I already have our anniversary gift -- though kind of you to remember. No, I was meeting with a client.”


“I see,” Corizon said, leaning against the window. “Anything interesting.”


“Yes, though you’ll find out about that soon enough...”


“Spare me.”


Anaso smirked and looked towards the lanky former Captain. Always in a hurry. “Why don’t we talk about it over dinner … with the client. I suppose I should introduce you two anyway, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with him.”






The trip home seemed longer than usual today. Corizon glanced to his chrono. 1900. Of course he was about to cross time zones -- something he’d always found inconvenient. Sighing, he leaned back into the chair as the magtrain whizzed along the South China Sea. Work had been rather tiring.


It had been some months since he’d ‘retired’ from Starfleet and three weeks since he’d started working once more at Cerberus Freight and Shipping. The work, thus far, had been rather routine; Cerberus handled a wide range of cargo across the Federation. Primarily they took on cargo missions from smaller companies that found themselves unable to complete a contract, typically because it required a larger organization than they could provide. His job was to make sure that those cargo deliveries happened, safely. By his standards, it was all rather mundane. Beyond petty piracy here or there, it wasn’t as if the Alpha Quadrant was littered with dangers for the average freighter Captain delivering a shipment of stem bolts.


Once he arrived at his small, provencal home on the outskirts of Tokyo, he quickly fell into his routine. It was strange -- having a routine. Even when he’d been on the Excalibur he’d not fell into an easy pattern. His training had always discouraged routines. Routines, he’d always known, were the best way to become compromised.


As he begun to prepare his rather simple evening meal, he was almost alarmed when a knock came to his kitchen door. Placing his knife down, as his ears perked to attention, he wondered just who was coming at such a late hour. He rarely had visitors, and even then, they knew to use the front door. For the first time in months, he was actually concerned. He’d made any number of enemies over the years, and now that he was well outside the protection of Starfleet, perhaps they’d decided to take their revenge?


He was being paranoid. Chiding himself, he wiped his hands on a cream colored hand towel and headed for the door. Opening it, he blinked.


“I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time. I know this is when you usually eat your dinner...”




“Thank you for dinner,” Tauris Dalton said. “Your hospitality is greatly underestimated.”


Corizon smirked despite himself. “The legendary hospitality of the Daemons...”


“I thought your people were known as cannibals?”


“We were,” he said with a wicked grin. “So, are you going to tell me what you’re doing here Taury?”


Dalton placed his napkin on the table and nodded. “Unfortunately, I am here on business.”


“Give me some credit,” Corizon said doing the same. “I haven’t been out the game that long. Why else would you be here? The last time I saw you, you were deposing me...”


Dalton frowned. He’d hoped not to talk about that, though he supposed it was unavoidable. “I am sorry that had to be so unpleasant.”


“I understand,” Corizon said honestly. since he’d ‘retired’ from Starfleet, he had plenty of time to rethink the past several years of his life and had come to the conclusion that sulking over it wouldn’t help the situation. “You did what you had to.”


“Mmm,” Dalton said. “Anyway, as I said I am here on business.”


Sensing Dalton’s uncomfortableness, Corizon let the subject pass and nodded. “Yes,” he said taking a drink of herbal tea. “What do you need?”


“I hear you’re working for a freight company as a their chief of security?”


His ears perked, turning to either side. “Yes, but...”


“I’ve been asked by counsel general to remind you that despite your retirement, certa..”


“You’re joking, right?”


Dalton was caught off guard. “Huh?”


“You really came here -- to my home -- to remind me that classified means classified even if I am not wearing the uniform anymore?”


Pursing his lips, Dalton nodded.


“They really told you, the Pitbull of Internal Affairs, to come down here and lecture me? Your joking, right? Nevermind, you never had that good of a sense of humor.”


“I am sorry.”


“No your not.”


“I am.”


“Whatever,” Corizon said, a bit angrier than he wanted to admit. “What do they think I am going to sell my secrets to highest bidder? Those sons of...”


“To be honest,” Dalton said, “There are still a lot of questions about your … about how you handled somethings back in the Gamma Quadrant.”


“Oh,” Corizon said, clenching his teeth, ears pinning back. “Their still questioning my loyalty.”


Dalton, never a man known for his sympathies, did his best to soften things. “Listen Ah-Windu, there’s just a lot of... uncertainty. You know how that makes people in our line of work.”


Corizon looked away. He’d dedicated his entire life to the Federation, to Starfleet. He had never once wavered in his fealty, even if he hadn’t always played within the rules. He thought those questions were long past him. “Whatever...”


“You have to understand,” Dalton said. “As we’ve started doing a more extensive rev...”


“A more extensive review,” Corizon challenged. “What do you mean, a more extensive review?”


Dalton pursed his lips. There wasn’t going to be an easy way to around it. “In light of everything that has happened out there, the President authorized a complete review of Gamma Quadrant operations dating back to before you arrived.”


The Dameon nodded. He hated politics. “I see. And I can imagine that there would be a number of … questions about some of my actions.”


“Yes,” Dalton said. “Among other people, you were a central figure in daily operations for nearly four years.


“At some point you’ll likely be asked to take part in a series of hearings, but until then, we wanted to make sure that you could be...”


“Trusted?” Corizon said tightly. “I see.”


“Like I said, you have to understand. There are a lot of questions...”


“I know,” Corizon said, “It doesn’t make it any easier to accept.


“Damnit, Taury. I spent thirty years serving the Federation -- I sacrificed my career...”


“Not everyone sees it that way,” Dalton said honestly. “There are a number of people who think you should be in jail.”


“Maybe I should,” he admitted. “But not for being a traitor.”


“Treason is subjective, you know that.”


Corizon looked away. It wasn’t what he wanted to hear. He’d always told himself that he was doing what was right, and that was all that had ever mattered. Even if it meant breaking the law -- he was on the high ground, wasn’t he? “I thought justice wasn’t an arbitrary concept.”


“It’s never that simple,” Dalton said. In some ways, he pitied Corizon. The man had given himself over completely to his mission; and had lost virtually everything, for essentially doing what he thought was right. “Like I said, I didn’t come here to indict you, just remind you. Whether you like it or not, the jury is still out on just how loyal you were to the Federation. To be honest, you were lucky to get off with forced retirement. Just the incident with the Romulans alone would have been enough to ship you off to a penal colony.


“And that’s not even getting into some of the more sordid affairs of the Gamma Quadrant. Damnit, you just can’t go off riding cowboy like that and expect people not to question you over it. You basically ran that quadrant like it was your own personal playground; this isn’t the old days anymore.”


“I never said I was a saint.”


“No, you most certainly didn’t; but you sure as hell are trying to paint yourself as a martyr.”


“What’s that quaint human phrase about shoes fitting?”


Dalton stopped himself from saying whatever was about to come out of his mouth and took a very deep, very long breath. “I am going to be utterly blunt with you,” he finally said. “If you think that being self-righteous about all of this is going to one day vindicate you and get you back into the good graces you’re only going to make this harder for yourself.”


Almost indignant, Corizon snarled. “Who said I am trying to vindicate myself? That implies that I somehow think I was wrong. I wasn’t. I did what I had to do because no one else would. If the price was my career, so be it, but at least those bastards you and the rest of ‘Fleet were protecting have been exposed and that bloody operation is over. Sorry if I thought that a few treaties -- treaties that the Romulans only seem to care about when it suits them by the way -- were a little less important than saving the damned Quadrant from getting dragged into another war with the Dominion.”


Dalton blinked, then started laughing. “It’s also so simple now. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.”




“You think that you’re the righteous one. That all of those people’s lives you risked, that war with the Romulans was justified because the rest of the galaxy didn’t stop and help you with your holy crusade? You’re not James Kirk, Ah-Windu.”


“Yeah,” Corizon said bitterly. “All they did to Kirk was demote him.”


“You can’t be serious,” Dalton said in stunned astonishment. “You really think you should still be wearing the uniform? After everything you’ve done?”


“Oh, so now we’re making this an indictment of my career,” Corizon said harshly.


Dalton stopped himself from responding with what came to his mind first. After a moment he opened his mouth. “Will you get over yourself?


“This isn’t just about you. Or what you’ve done. This is about ATAG, about SI, about the entire damned clandestine service. I’ll be the first to admit that back during the war, and even before, things were a little grey . But this isn’t then. This is now. Things have changed, and we aren’t running the wild west anymore.”


Corizon looked away. “This isn’t about me. It’s about Starfleet. It’s about the politicians. You can’t expect me to stand and watch, while the same people preaching about procedure, policy, and proper channels, protected people willfully endangering the Federation. Like don’t get me wrong -- I most certainly agree with their goals. No one in this quadrant benefits from a strong Dominion, but dammit there are better ways...”


“And those people are paying for their crimes too, same as you. And if you’d just been, I don’t know, a little more patient. If you hadn’t been so damned … so damned self-righteous … you’d still be wearing the uniform.”


For a long moment, Corizon said nothing. Then finally, looking towards Dalton, he shook his head. “Would I? If I hadn’t done what I had done, would anything have ever been done?”


“Of course. No one wants to see the Federation endangered by a bunch of rogue...”


“Think about it Taury. This was going on for months, and not a single review had made it to the desk of the director of Starfleet Intelligence. Tell me, just who was going to do something?”


“There you go again.”


“You know I’ve already had this debate a thousand times with myself, right? I have asked myself this same question hundreds of times since and hundreds of times before. Was I doing the right thing? Was there another way? Was there some way for me to accomplish the goal without having to sacrifice my career, without having to risk everyone under my command?”


Dalton looked at Corizon quietly. For the first time, he began to see doubt in his eyes. “And?”


“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know if I could have done something different, but even if I could, it can’t be changed now and there’s nothing that arguing over it now will solve.”


Corizon paused and looked away, before looking back to Dalton. “I stand by my record, if they want to have a hearing.”


Dalton winced. “They do.”


Indifferent, Corizon shook his head. “I’ll be happy to tell them everything. I have nothing to hide anymore.”


“You don’t,” Dalton said, a little surprised. “I’d very careful.”


“Would you?”



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