I was brainstorming on police work, and ended up with this little sketch of an event. Unfortunately, after doodling it, I find it depresses me. The politics is all-TOO-familiar, and not even the fact that the Feds were intending to and almost capable of resolving the situation without loss of life, it's still too blunt for my taste. It's too realistic!
Perhaps that's only because I just cover the rough events, though, from an outsider's perspective. A focus upon the characters involved, emphasizing just who got saved, and how the characters demonstrate and stuck to their ethics, and so on, might save it. I mentioned Shirow before - Dominion is a grim setting but a hilarious story, and the original Ghost in the Shell is full of jokes. But at the moment, this hostage rescue is a sad little tale that needs improvement.
I'll try to draw something funny for next time. - Shadowjack, 23 Feb 2009
Here's our cast of characters for this shindig: Cardassians, Federales, Bajorans, and civilians of various national origins.
Also some vehicles: an armored car, a police car, and an aero unit. The police car's supposed to look retro, but I'm not sure I like that armored car; it should be spacier.
Because of high volume, and for ease of access, the Federated Worlds Passport Office on Cardassia Three was placed outside the Embassy grounds. This appears to have been a mistake, because Bajoran terrorists have just seized the building.
The building had low security - mainly a privacy screen. They activate it and scramble the codes (inside help?)
The Feds' Security Detachment is already being mobilized.
The first Cardassian police on the scene discover the hard way that the suspects have military weaponry.
Exactly whose jurisdiction this falls under is an interesting question. The Cardassians press for a joint hostage-rescue operation, but they have notoriously twitchy trigger fingers — the Federated officer in command declines, at risk of a diplomatic incident.
Which relegates the Cardassian police to support and traffic control, in the summer heat.
Complication: the terrorists timed their strike to occur during street protests in the city.
The terrorists issue their statement: Federated support for the removal of all Cardassian settlements on Planet Six, or they'll start executing hostages. A hostage negotiation team gets on the job.
A Horta from Justice Department volunteers to burrow under the building, and place a hardtap on their computer node. This is successful, and the Fed regains control of their privacy screen. Now it's MUCH easier to figure out what's going on inside.
A rec room on the space station is converted into a practice room for the Security Detachment's HRT. Physical layouts based on the architectural plans, with holographic overlays based on the latest intel. They drill and drill while waiting on standby.
Remote drones are infiltrated through air vents, sewer openings, and holes in the ground, getting up close footage of the suspects and hostages. Due to the presence of non-human biochemistries, among both sides, the use of sleep gas is ruled out.
Further wranglings over jurisdiction. Does the Office count as part of the Embassy or not? What if we trade a favor for involvement? The Fed is worried about biasing the next round of Badlands Peace Talks, while the Cardassians would LOVE to get some bias going their way. And so on. Pressure is placed upon the Hostage Rescue Team to get the situation resolved quickly, before this becomes a full-fledged diplomatic incident.
The negotiations seemed to have been going well, but then the terrorists suddenly switch representatives, forcing the Fed to start over. Maybe they have a psychologist with them, or maybe they have an inside line on the state of the governments' negotiations, or maybe they just got suspicious. The HRT is placed on high alert, and begins moving into position.
The whole world is watching this in various media, and packaged versions go out on every ship to leave the system. The Cardassians are trying to censor and spin what they can, which is a real trick when everyone carries a camera in their pocket.
The Cardassian police suppress the protests with their usual thoroughness and lack of reserve. The Feds are under strict orders to not even APPEAR to interfere, but they keep the doors open and accept asylum applications all day and into the night.
Suddenly, another statement from the terrorists.
There are two main points of physical entry - a diversion through the front, and an assault through a breach in the roof - and three transport entries planned, using both transporters on the space station, and one on a Fleet starship that was in the system. (At this point, the Feds didn't even ask if the Cardassians would permit use of their network.)
And the firefight ensues. Stun bolts fly everywhere. Shrapnel from an errant disruptor burst takes down one of the agents.
One of the suspects was Gorn, a species fairly resistant to normal stun bolts, so the Feds had loaded their drones with appropriately drugged darts.
For whatever reason, one of the transported teams "bounces", and ends up in the wrong building entirely! They improvise.
Not everyone is armed with a phaser rifle. Some have air-powered shotguns, to fire special munitions, like the door-breaching shell used above, or these expanding slugs used to fire through walls - bullets penetrate better than beams.
Some of the Cardassian marksmen, "acting without official sanction", open fire upon some of the captured terrorists, hoping to execute the ringleaders.
They are interrupted after killing one man…
…but in the confusion, some of the terrorists make a rush and break the cordon. That makes them the locals' problem, and the ensuing chase and arrest makes for gripping video. But it's not the Feddies' concern.
The building mostly secured, they discover a bomb in one room: a high-yield warhead, already armed and counting down. It's impossible to guess how long they have, and the situation is already volatile.
So, a classic Federated Worlds engineering work-around. They beam down the components of a semi-portable, single-use transport pad, and assemble them around that part of the building. It's the work of minutes to remove the danger, and send it to uninhabited territory several kilometers away.
The building is severely damaged, plus several acres of parkland, but this can be repaired. Lives can't. The Feds are furious about the death of the one terrorist, and blame the injuries to their people and hostages upon the Cardassians' interference. The Cardassians blame the Feds for letting terrorists escape the cordon to threaten the city.
Subsequent investigation reveals that the Bajoran team had come through on a Federated passenger transport! The space station A.I. had Bajoran sympathies, and deliberately overlooked the shipment. The A.I. was relieved of duty and peripherals and placed under arrest, and backup systems activated.
The Cardassians agree to overlook this, as their police had attacked several Federated citizens during the street protests, in some cases intentionally - and they must reluctantly admit the Feds did save the city from the bomb. So both sides agree to wipe the slate clean.
Final count: 3 hostages injured, 2 agents injured, 1 suspect killed, 4 suspects injured, 12 arrests, 4 escaped. All those injured make full recoveries. Of those who escaped, three are arrested by the local police, and the last successfully disappears.
Those arrested inside the Passport Office were finally agreed to have been on "Federated Soil", and thus are charged in Federal court; most never come to trial, instead being exchanged as part of the next round of Badlands peace talks.
The three arrested outside the Passport Office, by the Cardassian police, are never seen or heard from again.
Some of the Federated agents received immediate psychiatric first aid per S.O.P., as they'd never experienced first-hand killing before. They successfully escape serious mental trauma.
The Fed pays for all the damages without complaint. The Cardassian marksmen who opened fire "receive official reprimands" and get a few months off with pay. The F.W. Embassies in the region beef up their security, and the Diplomatic Corps continues to reevaluate the relationship with the Cardassians - is it worth the trouble, especially when the FW tends to favor Bajor anyway?
The story fills the regional news cycle for a few weeks, and then fades for new stories…