Review – Demotion

Review – Demotion

Background

I wanted a story that would nicely bridge between Star Trek: Enterprise canon and the beginning of both E2 kick backs in time. There was a prompt about going AWOL, so the opportunity presented itself, and I decided to dovetail with the canon Hatchery episode.

Heroes and Villains

Review – Demotion
Corporal‘s insignia

There have been so many slash stories written about Major Hayes, it’s not funny. But I have never seen him as gay, so I wanted to riff on that a bit, and see what it would be like for Hayes to be mistakenly confronted with homosexuality. Furthermore, I wanted the person doing the confronting to be nasty about it. It wouldn’t be a little question, gently asked. Instead, it would be accusatory. It would be like an inquisition. In short, I wanted it to be like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Review – Demotion

The story opens with Corporal Daniel Chang combing his hair and otherwise getting ready for an assignation with Sandra Sloane. He’s guarded T’Pol, and he’s fine with that, but then he’s asked to guard her again and he decides he’s had enough. Ignoring Hayes’s orders, he instead goes to Sandra’s quarters, and is close to the door but hasn’t hit the chime or knocked yet.

Review – Demotion
Private’s Insignia

Hayes, nearby, calls him by name and tells him to report to the galley for KP duty as a punishment. Lili and Jennifer are walking by, and they see what’s happening, so they turn to go a different way. They come back quickly, though, when they hear the sound of fabric being torn.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

It’s a quick story, with fewer than 800 words, but I feel it nicely conveys what I wanted. I had to establish Chang and Sloane as problem children before either kick back in time, and I think Demotion does that.

11 thoughts on “Review – Demotion”

      1. Eek, well, it shows how little I really know about the chain of command in the military! It is, though, in the middle of the Expanse, and they have few options. And in the E2 stuff I write, that happens not too long after that, and so Hayes is really stuck – what do you do with a guy like this? Short of dumping him on a rock, there aren’t a lot of ways to go with it. The timeline would be breached if Chang were to be sent to Earth or Vulcan, and so, where do you go with it? The Brig? Then it turns into a story similar to how Voyager dealt with Len Suder. Or do you just kill Chang?

        For the E2 stories (Reflections Down a Corridor is the first one, of four, at http://www.adastrafanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=1442), Chang and Sloane are back. And they are not nice people.

        Oh and the link to Demotion in case anyone else is curious – http://www.adastrafanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=1228&chapid=5890

        Thank you for pointing this out. This was something I had done in response to a weekly prompt and so it didn’t get any research. But I can see I need to research such things more.

        1. Well, I think that even within the Expanse, you have to maintain order. Voyager did deal with that with Lon Suder, but Tuvok worked with him like hell to get him to a point where he could contribute to the ship. Plus, he paid the ultimate price in the end (the last full measure of devotion, as Lincoln defined it). Honestly, I think if I were Hayes and given that they were out of touch:

          1) Haul him before a Captain’s Mast per regulation.

          2) The Captain might’ve demoted him and confined him to quarters when he was not on duty for a period of six months.

          3) Chang wouldn’t see Corporal for at least 3-4 years due to his neglect and the judgment against him.

          I think I would use the time to make Chang figure out what he wants to do: Is it within his character to redeem himself? What’s more important to him: his career or his selfishness?

          Let me take this a step further and point out that Chang had to have worked pretty hard to make it to Corporal in the first place, because Corporal is an NCO rank which gives him a lot of authority over Privates. If Chang intended on a career with the MACOs, he just killed it. So now does he recognize that he just set himself back after spending months working so hard at getting there, or does he decide to take his lumps and learn from it?

          1. Huh, interesting. I have a bit of an aftermath story in Shell Shock (http://www.adastrafanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=1347), where Chang is a known troublemaker and is skirting the line much of the time. For me, he’s not too terribly repentant and is on the road to perhaps perdition. I can see where you’re saying that it was hard work to make Corporal. For me, he’s on the road to really tanking it and has stopped giving a damn. Hence he’s tossing away his hard work – and is maybe suffering from some low grade depression.

            For me, the chain of punishments, from mildest to worst are – KP or other dirty work (e. g. scrubbing plasma conduits and the like), then confinement to quarters, then the Brig, then (in the E2 universe) possible banishment and then a death sentence. I wanted it to start with KP, partly as a tie-in to Lili as she is Chef’s assistant and Chang has implicitly insulted her and Jennifer, so he’s put under he to try to mend his ways and also because I wanted Hayes to have somewhere to go in terms of an escalation of punishments.

            As for the rank issue, I imagine it could be confirmed by the captain or even with a report to a higher-up at MACO HQ in Atlanta (e. g. a confirmation of a field demotion versus a field promotion).

          2. I just addressed this in Reflections Down a Corridor – it’ll be dealt with in 1 or 2 chapters from where I currently am. It also gives me a small plot bunny for an intervening scene.

  1. So, I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to give you feedback here in your blog rather than on the archive, because I dislike using the archive for something other than a positive review. I tracked down this story after you wrote about it in your blog. 🙂 I’m actually in the middle of an arc the involves the administration of justice aboard a starship and I was curious to read this one in particular.

    I’m not too familiar with the characters outside of Hayes and Chang on screen. and I think your take on Chang is far beyond the scope of his portrayal in Hatchery, from which I think this story is taking place within (before Phlox can determine what happened with Archer).

    I like the premise of the story and I can see how you’ve kind of taken a bit character and expanded on your interpretation of his portrayal on screen. And you’re right, there are all kinds of people who serve within Starfleet, and not all of them are good. I think you do a great job of putting together a right villian in the sense of the word in that he’s got selfish motives and tends to keep that as a higher priority than his duty.

    That being said, I feel that there’s a fall-off point for me with the credibility of the story. This probably has more to do with my own personal understanding of how military organizations work.

    Chang wasn’t AWOL, he was derelict in his duty, which is a far more serious charge. Absent Without Leave means he left his assignment (ie: Enterprise) and did not return to report at an appointed time. Dereliction of Duty would apply in this case, as he failed to execute his orders. Chang should have been hauled before a General Court-Martial and sent to a penal colony for a while after being busted to Private.

    And I lost respect for Major Hayes on this one, because having someone like this under your command is a poor reflection of your leadership ability. A light slap on the wrist (only KP duty) is an imbalanced approach to discipline to this huge violation. Additionally, Hayes can’t unilaterally bust someone to private without an Article 15 session (non-judicial punishment, also known as a Captain’s Mast) under the Uniform Code… and to do so without letting Chang defend himself means he has no rights in Starfleet, which we already know that he does (“The Drumhead”). If I were Hayes, I would’ve relieved him of duty right then and there and confined him to quarters.

    Like I said, I like the premise, but you lost me about halfway through the story.

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