Summary: How Hoshi Sato, cunning linguist, bad cadet and bad ass, was dishonourably discharged from Starfleet Command School and what happened when she was drafted back in. (Part of the Bad Ensign Stories collection.)
Characters: Sato, Hernandez, Archer
Codes: Hernandez/Sato, Archer/Hernandez
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Star Trek universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: The ‘Bad Ensign’ game is played in dorm rooms across Starfleet Academy, spanning generations … but how far back in Starfleet history does the tradition go?
This is not exactly an origin story, but it does go to show that Starfleet officers have been very, very bad for a very, very long time.
1. Bad Conduct
“Cadet Sato, you have been charged with illegal gambling, profiteering, assaulting a superior and conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet officer.”
Hoshi Sato, backbone ramrod-straight, glare fixed on the Ex Astris, Scientia plaque hanging on the wall behind Commander Erika Hernandez’s head, snapped out, “Yes sir.”
“Do you understand that the penalty for a single one of these offences, let alone a combination of all of them, almost always means automatic expulsion from the academy?”
“Actually, Commander, technically the gambling is an honour violation –”
“Cadet! Do you understand?”
“Yes sir, I understand.”
“And do you have anything to say in your defence?”
Hoshi straightened until she felt her spine might snap. “No sir, I have nothing to say to you.”
“Hoshi,” came the gentled voice of the commander, “at ease.”
Reluctantly, Hoshi relaxed her stance by degrees, feet shoulder-width apart, hands neatly clasped behind her back.
“You’ve barely been in school for two months,” Hernandez reminded her. “And Starfleet has – I have high hopes for you. Are you really prepared to throw your career away over a poker game?”
Hoshi gritted her teeth. “Haven’t I thrown it away already? I broke Commander Paris’ arm, sir. He’s not going to just let that go.”
Hernandez sighed. “Paris is a hothead,” she admitted, “but he’s not an idiot. If you’d be willing to make a public apology, have a formal reprimand placed on your record, I could –”
“No thank you, sir. I don’t need you pulling in favours for me.”
“It’s not a favour. Starfleet needs language specialists –”
“Starfleet isn’t for me.” Hoshi let her hands fall to her sides, allowed her weight to shift from the at-ease position into a casual, hip-cocked pose. “I knew it before Commander Archer convinced me to enrol. I should have listened to my instincts.”
“Then I’m afraid you leave me no choice.” Hernandez came out from behind her desk, standing almost toe-to-toe with the younger woman. “Cadet Hoshi Sato, you are hereby discharged from Starfleet Training Command Academy for bad conduct. You will be escorted to your dormitory, where you will pack your personal belongings and immediately leave the grounds. Starfleet reserves the right to investigate and prosecute further charges with regard to this incident in future, or to request and require your return to active service should it be deemed in the interests of United Earth and its allies. Do you understand?”
Hoshi swallowed convulsively, but unclipped her badge without a word and laid it in Commander Hernandez’s outstretched palm. She nodded once, turned on her heel and stalked toward the door, where two security officers waited to march her from the premises in disgrace.
Erika Hernandez was leaning against the edge of her desk, hands braced on it lightly, a faint smile gracing the corners of her mouth. Hoshi frowned. She couldn’t think of anything worth smiling about –
“If you think you’re the first elite smartass ever to wash out of command school for a spectacularly idiotic decision,” Hernandez drawled, “I hate to break it to you, but you’re not that elite.”
Hoshi’s frown deepened.
The commander laughed. “Put it this way; Jonathan Archer told me you remind him of himself as a cadet. And, seeing as I’ve known him since way back then, I can vouch for it.”
“Somehow, I can’t picture Commander Archer getting kicked out of school for gambling,” Hoshi said, disbelieving.
“Oh no,” said Erika Hernandez. “He did much worse than that. He was a very bad cadet. And, come to think of it, a very, very bad ensign indeed.”
Chuckling to herself, she turned away just as Hoshi felt one of the security guards catch her elbow to hustle her out of the room and away from her notorious and short-lived Starfleet career.