The News-Review

A Service of the News Bureau of the Government of the Twelve Colonies

Carbetta taken into custody, charged with sedition and resisting arrest

Posted by Fleet News Service on September 16, 2007

CELESTRA, September 16, 2007 – After Capri Carbetta’s attempted self-appointment to the Vice Presidency Wednesday evening, the Quorum Chamber aboard 7th Heaven became a veritable who’s who of military, civilian and political heavy hitters.

Among the first summoned to the Chamber to hear the news were Civilian captains Tanya Halberd and Starbuckk Serapis, whom Carbetta continues to allege are operating their corporation, FTL Enterprises Inc., as an “illegal bank.” As previously reported, Carbetta made sure to haul another 25 percent of the current Quorum membership along with her (Rep. Soral Merlin, of Picon). And of course, it would have taken a squadron of Centurions to keep the News-Review out of the room.

But things really heated up when Commander Nephilim and her CAG, Major Heidi Stiglitz, arrived to assess the situation, flanked by myriad pilots and Colonial Marines. Crowd control and security requirements aside, it was clear that many in the room were there to answer for themselves the question on the lips of every civic-minded citizen in the Fleet:

“What in the Gods’ names will Carbetta try next?”

Carbetta, still believing she’d left last month’s Fleet Economic Summit with sufficient latitude to call a four-person Quorum “complete,” insisted her new position was “the rule of law.” Even more boldly, she stated that the move had been discussed previously – and apparently in private – with President Vargas.

While the civilian personnel in the room scrambled to contact the President aboard Colonial One to confirm this statement and to request her presence in the Quorum Chamber, the Commander and the CAG tried – diplomatically, at first – to prepare Ms. Carbetta for an up-close-and-personal look at Pacifica’s brig.

Carbetta, however, was unintimidated.

Ignoring the question of an illegal Quorum action, she shouted, “Halberd and Serapis want their monopoly to continue, so they are orchestrating this [chaos in the Chamber]. They have been voted an illegal bank, and you, Commander, are upset because you want their monopoly to continue.”

Commander Nephilim shot back, “The votes, from yourself and Rep. Merlin, are null and void as they were carried out illegally. You should consider yourself charged with sedition, and you’ll be held in my brig while we carry out your due legal process.”


And so the debate continued, for nearly an hour – one side claiming a legitimate overthrow of a system in which the executives take their orders from civilians and the military, and the other urging an honest and knowledgeable reading of the Articles’ electoral mandates. It was an exercise in democratic discourse of the type that should have occurred when the hare-brained idea to “elect” herself Vice President first crossed Ms. Carbetta’s mind.

But despite warning after warning, she refused to go quietly. Guns were drawn and holstered, insults spat and returned, cruel jokes met with petulant cries and angry flipping of braids…but progress had clearly halted.

Then, a very interesting switch in allegiances occurred – and this reporter gives the new Representative from my homeworld of Picon a great deal of credit for his courage. Realizing he’d been sold a bill of goods from Carbetta, Rep. Merlin asked for a private audience with the Commander; the two excused themselves to the front of the Quorum Chamber while the arguments continued at the rear of the room.

Within a few minutes, a compromise had been reached: Merlin had surrendered quietly, prepared to take his medicine and confident in his ability to plead his case. He’d simply picked the wrong mentor, and allowed himself to become convinced that extraordinary circumstances allowed for emergency powers – whether or not they were explicitly allowed in the Articles of Colonization. New to political office, he had taken for granted that Carbetta’s motives were pure, and had nearly paid a heavy price.

Then, President Vargas arrived.

Are all of you, as I was, expecting a masterpiece of juris prudence from our former Secretary of Science? An earthshatteringly creative, innovative and somehow profoundly truthful interpretation of the Articles of Colonization, to tame Carbetta as one would a Gemenese gamehound?

The news is even better.

All it took to take the bite out of the Representative’s formidable bark was a calm, diplomatic restatement of the previous hour’s key argument. Four people does not a quorum make…and when you’re the only Rep left in the room, squaring off against Zarta Vargas and the bravest pilots of the Twelve Colonies…there ain’t much sense in continuing to bark.

Perhaps hinting at a forced replacement of Caprica’s voice in the Quorum, Ms. Vargas said quietly, “Representative Carbetta, your work as a Quorum member has been appreciated, but as the president I cannot allow this action. I do not believe a decision was made in the best interests of the people, nor do i believe it was a fair voting process,” said the President, all traces of frustration or bemusement absent from her face.

And then, as if on cue, the final arrow in Carbetta’s quiver snapped like a twig. Having been reached on ship-to-ship wireless and transported to 7th Heaven on a special-use transport shuttle, Representatives Pazzo Pestana (Leonis) and Gibley Goldblatt (Sagitarron) arrived in the Chamber. Excerpts of key conversations between the Representatives and the President follow below:

Pazzo Pestana: Ms. Carbetta, what are you trying to do?

Capri Carbetta: Mr. Pestana, do you deny that I contacted you on several occasions [with information about my intention to meet about the Vice Presidency]?”

Pazzo Pestana: You did write me, but did not specify a time or agenda. Since you called the meeting, I was expecting you to follow up with a time/place in advance of said meeting.

Gibley Goldblatt: And you did contact me, and I responded… but received no answer.

Zarta Vargas: I should add, that while in “normal” circumstances a vote could be taken if some members of the Quorum failed to show at a meeting, a vote cannot be taken if there is not a full Quorum of Twelve. And, as has been pointed out, there are not twelve members at this time.”

Pazzo Pestana: Matters of the magnitude of the election of a VP need to be posted so that all can know about it and provide input to their reps. How do you presume to enforce your authority?

Capri Carbetta: I was mandated by the president to get the Quorum running.

Zarta Vargas: I approved a meeting, yes… And rep. Pestana and I spoke of this recently… but this meeting was not approved, as it has been described to me tonight.

Pazzo Pestana: I think the current disarray is due to the fact that we are still trying to bring ourselves together amid difficult circumstances.

Gibley Goldblatt: Ms. Carbetta, in front of everybody here, it might be good if we set a time/place for a meeting, an agenda, etc.

Pazzo Pestana: And, Ms. Carbetta, rather than election of a VP, which I think is a bit hasty, I’d like to discuss elections for the Reps from colonies as yet unrepresented. The broader the concensus for VP, the more acceptable and stable the outcome.

Capri Carbetta: I say we, the legislators, meet tomorrow and as the equal third branch of government, we will decide what we want to do.

And so, once in danger of corroding to immobility, the wheels of justice in our Fleet creaked forward once again thanks to the diplomacy of two recently-rescued Representatives. As for the charges of sedition, Commander Nephilim asked for a ruling from the President: since Carbetta’s plot had been defused and her power-grab overruled, would the charge of sedition stand?

Or, in a show of clemency, would her misdeeds and Rep. Merlin’s mistakes be chalked up to an object lesson in civics?

This bit of exclusive News-Review video should help answer the question – note Ms. Carbetta’s extensive military guard. Regrettably her parting comment is inaudible, so we hereby inform our readers that someday your children may in fact see the Caprican Representative pictured in the history books next to this dubious quote:

“I go to prison a servant of the people! Good day to you ALL!”



The wheels of justice (and a transport Raptor) carried Ms. Carbetta to the brig to contemplate her next move. When she makes it, rest assured — we’ll be watching.

Dean Steadham
The News-Review


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