Starfleet Injustice: Duty and Betrayal in the Delta Quadrant
By Kara West
This book is dedicated to my brother. He is an amazing father and an honorable man;
To Connor, love your father for the man you know, because that’s the man he is;
To the men, women and children who lost their lives during the Tilver incident and to the fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers who lost family to this tragedy.
In honor of their memory, half of the proceeds of the sale of this book go to the Devu Relief Fund.
Table of Contents
By Devu Governor Thomas Bateman
In my last days as commander of Camp Hunter, a young woman came to my office looking for answers. Her brother was Cameron West, and I’d just sent him to prison. At the time, the only answer I could give her was the one Cameron had given me: he’d done everything he was accused of.
There were things I didn’t know; things that Cameron didn’t know, that would change his case dramatically. Starfleet had been involved in the operation from its early inception all the way through to its cover-up, and Cameron West was the final piece they needed to bury. They used me to dig the hole. To cover up their misguided experiments, Starfleet had sent one of their own—a dedicated Marine—to a brutal prison world.
Thanks to some exceptional investigative work by Kara West, the truth can finally be known. Without her work, Cameron would still be incarcerated at Tirrus, and Starfleet would still be continuing its mind-control experiments. One wrong has been righted—Cameron is now free. But Starfleet still needs to be held accountable, and this book is the beginning of that accountability.
People often ask me what’s wrong with Starfleet. I point them here, to the story of Major Cameron West.
Introduction: The Call to Duty
Cameron’s life in Starfleet began the day we got the letter. Cameron was helping me plant a tree in the front yard of our Wisconsin home when the officer came to the door. I remember thinking it was too early to be the postman before my stomach dropped. Cameron just went quiet. I think he knew what that letter said before we even realized it wasn’t the postman. Our mother was Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth West, Chief Science Officer on board the USS Ambrosia. She was killed in action on October 22, 2393. We still don’t know how it happened.
Cameron was fifteen when our mother died; and as the death of a parent does, it changed him. He lost his interest in biology and chemistry, in all the things that reminded him of her. I still don’t know that he’s completely over it. Our mother’s death is what drove him into the marine corps. He felt they should have been there to protect her, that he should have been there to protect her. He became a marine because he wanted to protect people, to keep them safe.
His career as a marine began the day he left the academy. Starbase Horizon was trying to fight off the Kzin and he arrived on a marine transport vessel in the middle of the conflict. John Henry Bearkiller sent him to Devu II’s surface to help coordinate defenses planetside. I may not have been there, but I do remember the conversation we had not too long afterwards. I never have gotten over just how dumbstruck he was by the senselessness of the violence. He may not have known the men and women that were either killed or injured during the Kzin attack on Devu II, but he cared about them regardless. Every once in a while he brings it up. I think he’s still mourning for those people the way he’s still mourning for our mother.
Cameron’s military career flourished from there. On Starbase Horizon, he was promoted to Marine Captain before being transferred to Mendas III. He served as the marine commanding officer at Camp Franklin for nearly a year before returning to Horizon. He was promoted to Major and became the marine commanding officer at Camp Hunter.
He used to talk about Mendas III like it was the best time of his life. I know he loved it there; and, I know it was because Athena was with him. Cameron is a hopeless romantic and he was completely devoted to Athena. He used to tell me that Mendas III was the best time of his life, but being on Devu, on Horizon and around the crew and the corps was where he belonged. My brother has only cried three times in his adult life. The first time was when our mother died. The second time was when he returned to Horizon, to find Horizon had been destroyed by General Vas Karn. The third time was when he was cured of Tilver’s mind controlling serum and the full weight of the tragedy came down on his shoulders.
Cameron was dishonorably discharged by Starfleet on November 4, 2405. He was a dedicated marine, serving the corps with loyalty, honor and pride. He’s always believed that a commander should be the first into battle and the last to retreat. He believed that a commander of men must hold themselves accountable first because all great leaders lead by example.
The pathogen and Cameron’s actions while under control of the serum ruined a sterling career and devastated a man who had devoted his life to service. The purpose of this book is not to posit excuses. The purpose of this book to provide new insight into the events leading up to this tragedy, to reveal the true manipulations behind the event, and finally, to hold accountable those who were truly responsible for letting Ralon Tilver come to power.
“No man is perfect. But a man takes responsibility for his imperfections.” My brother told me that when he was twenty years old and still in marine training at the Academy. His platoon had been ‘killed’ during a holodeck training simulation. He has always believed that people should take responsibility for their actions instead of making excuses for them. That is the man I know, the man I love. That is my brother.
Chapter One: A Series of Unfortunate Events
After General Vas Karn destroyed Starbase Horizon, it seemed like Starfleet Intel lost all interest in the officers that once wandered her corridors. Perhaps it was just their luck. Perhaps it is because men like Commander Odan and Admiral Griffen run intel in Starfleet. Whatever the reason, the events surrounding the rise and fall of Ralon Tilver could only be deemed a series of extremely unfortunate events.
Ralon Tilver’s attacks on Camp Hunter were cold, calculated and Camp Hunter responded two steps behind and a few photon torpedoes short of a full volley. And all of that can be attributed to Starfleet’s decision not to share valuable intel with the crew at Camp Hunter.
Ralon Tilver was a wanted criminal. He’d manipulated and schemed his way across the Delta Quadrant, considering nothing but his own ambition. He was a dictator, a criminal, and a monster. Twice, he was held in Federation prisons for crimes he’d committed. Twice, they let him go free.
The second time he was arrested it was because of suspected involvement in stolen research on a chemical agent believed to have potential mind controlling abilities. Two junior security officers, fresh from the Academy, bumbled through the investigation and Starfleet was left with no choice but to let him go free. Three months later, a band of terrorists began attacking Devu City and the Federation. The elementary on Devu II was hit first, followed by the Capitol Building.
The attempted assassination of Captain Marney Robinson soon followed. Robinson was meeting Commander Bateman at the site of the Capitol Building bombing when his transport was attacked. One of the marine officers protecting Captain Robinson died when the land rover rolled. The other one died in the fire fight. Robinson was transported to safety and sustained minor injuries.
Three weeks later, Ralon Tilver led an attack against Camp Hunter. His army consisted of between five hundred and one thousand troops and included air support, assault vehicles and heavy weaponry. Reacting in full force, Major Cameron West led a counterattack. The battle lasted for several hours. It seemed like Camp Hunter’s forces would not only be victorious, but would return home with few injuries. Tilver responded by sending an assault vehicle with a plasma bomb to the center of Hunter’s forces. Major West called the retreat, but recognized the danger too late. The explosion decimated everything within a hundred yards. My brother almost died on the battlefield. He sustained radiation burns, major lacerations and cuts from debris, and phaser burns. It would take several months of rehabilitation and regeneration before he was healed.
It would take Camp Hunter’s security officers even longer to piece together everything that happened, but they did…and all the events, from the school bombing, to the militia attack, could be linked directly to Ralon Tilver.
Chapter Two: The Rule of Madmen
By offering invaluable intel on the terrorist faction, Ralon Tilver used the attacks on Camp Hunter to earn the trust and support of the officers serving there. Using this close proximity to the senior staff at Camp Hunter, he injected several officers, including the Chief Medical Officer, with the serum. My brother, Camp Hunter’s MCO, was one of those officers. Captain Marney Robinson, CO of Camp Hunter, was another.
The events that followed were tragic. Requests for aide sent to Starfleet Headquarters in the Alpha Quadrant were ignored. The officers that remained unaffected by Tilver’s serum were junior officers, uncertain and untested in a situation as dire as the one they faced. They were thrust into battle without guidance. The doctors and scientists at Camp Hunter were forced to create an antidote to the serum without any information because Starfleet considered the data classified.
Under the influence of the mind controlling serum, Cameron West divulged troop compliments, base schematics, and other classified tactical information to Ralon Tilver. He was given regular injections of the serum to ensure that he would remain under Tilver’s influence. It was while he was under Tilver’s control that he organized the bombing of Camp Hunter’s armory, wing, and the destruction of several other vital sections of Camp Hunter.
Cameron West went AWOL after his final dose of the serum, leaving his duties as a Starfleet Officer and his family to be Tilver’s puppet. He organized the Devu Planetary Guard and attacked the men and women he had nearly died to protect several months earlier.
The tragedies that occurred during General West’s time as CO of the Devu Planetary Guard and Ralon Tilver’s reign were just that, tragedies. Innocent men and women lost their lives to senseless violence and one man’s wish to control the Devu system.
The crimes committed are atrocious and unforgettable, the people lost irreplaceable. However, Cameron West was not responsible for the actions he committed. Cameron West was a good man, a loyal soldier, under the control of a powerful mind controlling serum. General West was a monster of Ralon Tilver’s creation. The actions Cameron took were not of his own free will. Ralon Tilver was responsible for the atrocities committed on Devu. And the Federation was responsible for letting a known criminal go free.
Chapter Three: A Three Ring Circus starring Men in Dress Uniforms
Cameron West pled guilty to dereliction of duty, gross negligence and conduct unbecoming a Starfleet Officer. He was sentenced to no less than one year at a Federation penal colony and three years of community service on Devu II. Commander Tom Bateman presided over the trial.
The trial itself was over before it began. Unable to fully comprehend the nature of the serum, or the antidote, and without a proper psychological evaluation, Cameron West entered a plea bargain. The prosecution accepted the terms of the proposal and Cameron West was sentenced and removed from the court room.
I don’t blame the officers presiding over the trial. At the end of the day, they were just doing their duty, completing the job that Starfleet assigned. What I want to know, is were was Cameron’s psychological evaluation? How do they know that he was mentally fit to give the responses he gave?
My own investigations into the serum only confirmed my suspicions that he was not in the right state of mind to enter his guilty plea. The effects of the serum on his brain were not only damaging, but irreversible. He was exposed to high doses of the drug and it irrevocably altered the chemistry in his brain, affecting his ability to make decisions, understand the repercussions of his actions and made him extremely susceptible to suggestion.
The files I’ve uncovered reveal that the Federation understood the full extent of the drug and were experimenting with it for interrogation and infiltration purposes. They’d done extensive research on its effects and also on several antidotes. Camp Hunter’s scientists weren’t allowed to access any of that information when they developed the antidote given to the CMO, Captain Robinson, and my brother. I can’t help but wonder that if they’d had that information, they might have been able to diagnose the problem sooner, that both Devu and my brother would have been saved a lifetime of remorse.
I believe that my brother plead guilty to take responsibility for the crimes committed on Devu. I also believe that he was not in the right state of mind to make that plea, and can not be held responsible for the crimes of Ralon Tilver. I know that Starfleet used my brother as a scapegoat for the Tilver incident.
Chapter Four: My Thanks to Devu
I will never forget April 1, 2405.
My brother was transferred to the Tirrus Prison Colony shortly after his trial ended. On April 1, 2405, I arrived at the Tirrus Prison Colony and saw firsthand the effects of the physical, emotional and psychological abuse that he suffered while he was there. When they brought him from the cell blocks to the mess hall, he looked near death. He was a shell of a man. The way the guards sneered at him still makes me sick to my stomach.
I can’t even begin to describe the things he suffered as an inmate in that prison, but I can say that no one, no matter their crime, should have to suffer what he did. He was brutally abused, denied the basic necessities, including medical and psychological care, and spent the majority of his sentence in solitary confinement.
This was a Federation Penal Colony.
The Federation prides itself on its message of universal suffrage and sentient rights. Where were my brother’s rights when the guards beat him and the warden looked the other way? He may have been a convicted felon, but that didn’t give those guards the right to treat him like an animal.
The neglect and violence lasted for eight months. Starfleet failed my brother when he wasn’t given a proper psychological evaluation before his trial. He was failed again when they refused to share the information they had on the nature of the serum so the doctors could treat him properly. They failed him when the refused to listen to my petitions, refused to investigate the situation at Tirrus. They failed when they turned a blind eye to what was happening.
To this day, he still bears the scars of what happened at Tirrus. He won’t talk about it, won’t say anything. Any time I’ve tried to get him to open up, he talks like those eight months never existed. I like to think that he’s trying to protect me.
I owe a great debt to Tom Bateman. Governor Bateman didn’t turn a blind eye to the damage being done in the cell blocks of Tirrus. Without Tom’s support, Cameron would never have received his early release from prison. I know that helping Cameron didn’t make him a popular man on Devu. I know he caught some heat for what he did, it was all over the news. But in the end, he was doing what was right…and I think Devu understood that.
In the end, Governor Bateman saw the distinction between Cameron West and General West. One was a man, one was a monster. The monster was a creation of Ralon Tilver’s, a body without a mind going through actions he was coerced into under the control of a powerful serum.
This is my thanks to him, and to the people of Devu for letting him do what was right.
Chapter Five: A Broken Life
In an order handed down by Admirals’ John Macalbin and Nathan Hamilton, and General Taylor Deacon, Private Cameron West was dishonorably discharged from the Federation Marine Corps on November 4, 2405. The review of the case included information regarding the physiological effects of the mind controlling serum.
Regardless of the evidence supporting Cameron’s innocence in the Tilver incident, he was stripped of rank. All of his commendations and medals were taken. My brother will never be able to build a life in the Federation, his discharge and imprisonment are black marks that will forever affect his daily life.
But none of this hurts my brother more than knowing what happened to the people of Devu. Although he was under the control of the serum, he still has memories of what was done, and that most of it was done through him. I don’t know if he will ever heal from the traumatic events on Devu, or the months of imprisonment afterwards. I do know that he has quietly suffered alongside Devu, that he has taken the torment of his prison sentence without concern for himself, not because he is guilty, but because someone must take responsibility for what happened on Devu.
Because the Federation has chosen to sweep it under the rug, my brother bears the burden.
Postscript: A Sister's Plea
I was there the day Governor Bateman dedicated the memorial for those that had lost their lives. Cameron was with me. We stayed for hours, long after everyone else had dispersed. He was silent the entire time, he’s never had the words he’s wanted for Devu.
He returns to the memorial every day. Every day he stands before the names, reading them aloud, honoring them, and praying for both the dead and their families. As tragedy changes all, it has changed him. I know he would trade places with every single name on that wall if he could. Free from the control of Tilver’s pathogen, he bears the weight of General West’s actions with a quiet anguish.
Just as Devu will never be the same, Cameron will never be the same.
I won’t ask for forgiveness, or even understanding, but I do ask that you join me in my prayers for the people of Devu, for the crew of Horizon, and for my brother. I pray that in time we can heal.
Devu Sun Times