Author Topic: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden  (Read 1930 times)

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Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #120 on: October 15, 2020, 03:59:56 pm »

Katra Station - Promenade - Near a Migrating Volume of Ferengi

Parson's voice joined the pleading of his face.  "Sir," he said, "Something's got them... riled up."

Outside, it seemed like several dozen datapads or communicators were sounding at once.  It was like a melody played by a child banging on a music synthesizer.

One voice shouted above the din, "What do you mean, dismissed?  We leave you in charge for five minutes, and this is what happens?!"

Someone else cried, "But we have a contract!  And a contract is a contract is a contract!"

Another voice responded, "But only between Ferengi!"

A screech, "You don't say the quiet part out-loud!"

On top of all this shouting, a communication came in.

=/\= "This is Lieutenant Grom in Engineering.  The power outage you've experienced is related to a routine lighting fixture maintenance cycle..." =/\=

There was a pause, which the cacophony outside was happy to fill.  Then:  =/\= "Odd.  The lighting elements being replaced are not expected to reach end of lifecycle for 120 days.  This is inefficient.  I do not normally associate Starfleet with a lack of efficiency." =/\=

For an instant, in all the din, it sounded as if Catherine Goodspeed was laughing, and that her laugh had somehow reached across the light-years to echo in Wessex's ears.  Just a trick of sound due to the Volume of Ferengi, of course.




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Offline Beja

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #121 on: October 15, 2020, 04:46:35 pm »
Katra Station - Promenade

Beja had made her way down to the promenade area as she had heard that the President of Meridian, Tarin, would be giving a speech. She was curious like the rest of the people milling about what he would say. Though all thoughts of the Meridian President were drowned out by the near deafening roar of a multitude of Ferengi speaking, and yelling at once. Just what in the galaxy was going on?

There were shouts about contracts, dismissals, power outages, and it went on for what seemed like hours but was of course just a matter of minutes. Beja doubted that anything violent was going to take place, after all these were Ferengi. But one should never underestimate others, that is something that Beja knew first hand about. Never judge a person by their race or species

Beja did her best to stay away from the main mass of Ferengi and people. She waited to see what would happen. If she needed to step in and help keep the peace she would of course, but she still didn’t think it would come to that. From what she could tell it all really appeared to be some kind of work issue. Maybe the Ferengi were finally organizing and forming a union? Something the humans made famous many years back.

Maybe there were working conditions they wanted to change, after all they did most of the work for Meridian. This might be what Tarin was going to talk about. She hoped the Meridian President would help to defuse the clearly agitated Ferengi and help to bring calm to the area once more.





Offline Paul Wessex

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #122 on: October 15, 2020, 05:18:38 pm »
<Katra Station - Security Office - Promenade>

Quote from: Solluk
Parson's voice joined the pleading of his face.  "Sir," he said, "Something's got them... riled up."

Wessex was about to sympathise and suggest Parsons find out what the situation was, when it was made immediately clear: for reasons Paul was not yet sure of, it would seem the employment of the Ferengi had been abrogated. Perhaps it was due to the fact that they were all in the middle of an investigation into corruption, trafficking and conspiracy to commit murder.

Which was a little harsh on those he had deemed innocent of such.

Still, he had far enough on his PADD to add employment tribunals to his list of woes; in fact, he felt mildly sorry for the Meridian Government when they'd receive a significant amount of wrongful dismissal lawsuits, breach of contract penalities, and a raft of other legal headaches that he neither knew - nor wanted to know - of.

Dram, still sat before him, looked even more panicked as his unquestionably prestigious hearing caught the conversations far better. As part of the interview protocols, all communication and information paraphernalia had been confiscated while they occupied the room, and this lack of information flow troubled the Ferengi greatly. He opened his mouth, needle-teeth an uneven row of alarm, but Paul held up a finger as his combadge chirped.

Quote
=/\= "This is Lieutenant Grom in Engineering.  The power outage you've experienced is related to a routine lighting fixture maintenance cycle..." =/\=

Great, thought the ex-NavPat officer. Nice to be in the loop. He reached to his chest, ready to close his combadge after acknowledging the update and regain momentum of the investigation.


Quote
=/\= "Odd."

That word drew him up short. He had quite enough of 'odd' over the last few days, but recent experience had told him that nothing could be dismissed right now. The Klingon engineer continued, and Paul waved a near-distraught Dram quiet, and a near-breakdown Parsons to close the door, as Wessex struggled to hear the remainder of the message.

Quote
"-eplaced are not expected to reach end of lifecycle for 120 days.  This is inefficient.  I do not normally associate Starfleet with a lack of efficiency." =/\=

Paul rose from his seat at such a speed that Dram's virtually hysterical response to unemployment was momentarily replaced by a shriek of terror.

" =/\= Sir" he yelled in reply, trying to be heard over the commotion as he vaulted over the desk, flinging the door back open to the wall of noise. "I believe the station and its residents are still in danger. I request that the location of the works be traced and EM-barriers be erected to contain whom I believe to be responsible for the series of sabotage events; I am on foot and ready to be directed =/\="

As he neared the exit to the Office, fighting his way through undulating waves of ex-embassy employees who grasped at him for hope, for aid, for financial support, he forced himself to reduce his pace from a run to a brisk march; the Promenade populace had had enough scares and panic for the moment, and seeing one of their Zone Constabulary running across the deck would only add to their tally of concernment.

And he certainly didn't trust transporters at this time...
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 05:24:21 pm by Paul Wessex »

Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #123 on: October 16, 2020, 12:37:33 am »

Katra Station - Promenade


There was scarcely a pause at Wessex's surprising announcement.  The cyborg-enhanced Klingon seemed to take the information almost in stride, and began processing the request without further commentary or apparent consideration.  The information came through the coms in regular beats, as Grom accessed the relevant data.

=/\= "Acknowledged.  The maintenance technician conducting the replacements is identified as Gregory Pell, a seventy-eight year-old human member of the civilian service corps."  =/\=

=/\= "Based on a current power-routing request, he is currently in section 15-B.  The installation he is servicing is in a tall ceiling, most likely requiring antigravity boots." =/\= 

=/\= "I am erecting EM fields as requested over his prior work areas in 15-C and 15-D.  Based on the fact that his work is indicated to include lighting elements, I have selected opaque fields for this purpose." =/\= 

=/\= "Ensign, I should caution you that a laser torch appears to be part of the standard civilian maintenance toolkit, with a lethal range of fifteen meters when used as an improvised weapon.  They can cause blindness at significantly greater range.  These torches are not configured for remote deactivation."  =/\=

=/\= "The power in his immediate vicinity has been rerouted manually, on-site.  I can not erect forcefields to protect you." =/\=

=/\= "I believe his com-badge has been modified to provide interference, preventing a transporter lock."
=/\=







Gregory was floating about 2 meters off of the ground, inserting one of the adulterated lighting elements into a ceiling fixture, when he spotted a Security Ensign speed-walking in his direction.  He frowned, wondering if he was the reason for the Ensign's presence.  Had his work been detected, identified as being out of the ordinary?  Or was the Ensign heading this way for some reason related to the President's speech?  Or the disgruntled Ferengi? 

He dropped his hand to his belt, where he kept his laser torch. 

Just in case.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 12:38:35 am by Solluk »
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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #124 on: October 16, 2020, 12:44:18 pm »
Cmdr. Tess t'Lhoell (7 months pregnant)
[Katra Station - Deck 11 - Meridian Embassy - President Tarin's office]


Katra Station - Meridian Embassy - Presidential Office

Rather than be upset at Tess' remarks, Tarin merely smiled as he extended his arm so that she could attach the armband.

"I'm afraid you are a tad too innocent to understand the political situation here, Commander," he said, somewhat condescendingly.  "I can't fault you for it.  You have a background in medicine, and it seems to me that Starfleet does not encourage social maneuvering.  But let me tell you, despite being on a stranded colony of only just over 30 people, politics has been my whole life. 

You can't begin to imagine how much harsher a group of 30 can be, than a group of 3 million.  People see us, and they assume a friendly tribe of fellow survivors.  But it is more like 'Jagunda Island.'"


He saw a hint of confusion on her face, and tried again, "Lord of the Flies?"   

Finally, he shrugged, "The point is, a small group can invoke harmful policies that change the entire course of a civilization overnight.  The former President Keshara smiled well enough, but she failed to grasp the precarious position we were in as a people.  That made her dangerous.  I do not suffer her limited vision.  And neither should you."

He eyed the armband device.  Such a small thing.  Such a big impact.

"Thirty people aren't typically allowed to own a whole world.  Never mind a solar system.  A powerful and capable administrative order had to be invoked immediately to protect ourselves.  That meant the Ferengi.  They were here, they were capable, and they were ready.  But they were never to be trusted.

This illness began as a danger to us.  But it has become an opportunity.  A good leader does not hesitate to seize an opportunity.  The tourism infrastructure on Meridian is already in place.  And now, this transporter theory gives me all of the excuse I need to break my contracts with the Ferengi.  This is good for the Federation, too.  I know you don't trust the Ferengi any more than I do.  And now, they are no longer necessary.  We have a much more trustworthy work force on their way to Meridian.  A grateful work force already accustomed to service.  What the Ferengi built, the Etrosians will maintain. 

And so, no more Ferengi in critical affairs.  With the loss of such an important contract, Daimon Sorq will likely lose his monopoly on Sector Commerce within the alliance, increasing competition and lowering the cost of those products and services any Ferengi still provide in this area.  The so-called 'Meridian Plague' is just another step in our independence, prosperity, and security.  I could not have done better had I engineered the illness myself.  Keshara would never have seized this opportunity.  She would have found the firing of the Ferengi distasteful.  The scapegoating of an entire people would have smacked too much of bigotry to her.  And that is why I am the better President for my people.  I will always put Meridian first."


He stood, and Tess' communicator beeped.

=/\= "Commander.  This is Chief Engineer Grom.  I have completed my simulations.  Everything confirms your supposition.  We can stabilize the entire Meridian population by beaming them up to the station, using the armbands to enhance quantum stabilizations in transit.  This time, the stabilization should be permanent.  The modifications to the transporter are entirely software based.  I should have them ready to go in minutes." =/\=

Tarin smiled, "Well, there is the confirmation that so troubled you, Commander.  I hope you will join me as I speak to the Katra citizenry.  We can beam up my people as the finale to the speech, proclaiming the illness ended.  And then life can return to normal... only better."



Tess listened with a stoic face to the Meridian President. Had she thought of him as a difficult man to deal with, that changed now to an even different view on him. His condescending comment about her 'innocence' and therefore inability to 'understand the political situation' was an insult to her. It wasn't new to Tess. People underestimated her more than once in her life. She used to be discouraged by it, but those times were over. The fact that she was standing here as the Executive Officer of this station told a different story. So she let him think what he wanted. Her jaw stiffended as he continued speaking, drawing a comparison between the Meridian people and the novel 'Lord of the Flies', written by William Golding. That he thought to see confusion on her face and him believing she didn't know that novel amused her.

When he spoke about the Ferengi it became clear how clever Tarin thought of himself to be. The man thought he new so much about the world, a huge world that existed outside of Meridian. They still had much to learn. Tarin probably unintentionally admitted to a mistake there - had he known beforehand like everyone else - that the Ferengi were not particularly trustworthy in general - he could have spared himself the pain of it from the very beginning. But now he made it look like it was his amazingly sharp observation and cunningness that 'freed' the Meridians from the Ferengi contract. The man really was a politician, she gave him that.

The fact that Tarin was indicating to let the Etrosians work for them alarmed her. She was not sure how determined he was with this, but to Tess it was not a good idea. He seemed to make the same mistake all over again.

Tess agreed that Daimon Sorq's trading influence in the Trialus Sector might decrease significantly with the canceling of the contract. It would be especially bitter for the Ferengi once he would realize that it had been a mistake of his own people on his ship that had cause for all of this to happen.

Even after Grom confirmed her theory which should have made her feel better than she actually did in this moment and Tarin once more told her about his speech, the man's words echoed in her mind. 'I will always put Meridian first.'

Tess' gaze dropped down to the man's armband after she had adjusted it to him individually. She had a lot to say and she needed to choose her words carefully - though Tarin probably wouldn't put much weight on her words in terms of politics anyway given his attitude towards her.

Eventually she smiled, but it was not the genuine open friendly smile she was known for. It was a calculating, business-like one for someone she felt no sympathy for. "I might not be a politician, but frankly it is naive of you to believe the politics going on on this station is a mystery to me. Just like people should not regard you and your people and only think of you as a friendly tribe." She paused to let that sink in. "Politics might have been your whole life, the world you live in now is not. There is much to learn, President, even now. And it's not easy to see through all of it clearly. What is the real symbol of power? A conch? Or Piggy's glasses? In the end the strong leaders reverted to that what they really were - children, who needed guidance and assistance. The bitter realization in the end was that there was a party that had been there long before them."

"You put yourself into the Ferengi debacle. Now you have found a way of winding yourself free of them, something we could have prevented from the very beginning. Not to control you or patronize you, but in a friendly exchange of experience. As for the Etrosians ..." Tess for some reason felt protective over them and that Tarin planned to - or rather decided over everyone's head that the Etrosians would be working for them left a bad taste in her mouth. Now the fact that Tarin had agreed to grant the Etrosians asylum on their planet - which Tess had thought of as a generous gesture - made it appear in a different light. "The Etrosians are a people that lived without technology their whole life. Just like your people used to. If they agree to work for you, they will need training - that takes time. There are specialists out there that are readily available to do the job." Tess was pretty sure Tarin was not interested in her opinion, but that didn't keep her from telling in ayway. "Or something else ... your own people could be trained to do the administrative work. Have specialists do administration for you temporarily while training your own people."

"Scapegoat the Ferengi. They will be fine. But I just ask you to not do it publicly. Call it innocence or an inability of social maneuvering but to my understanding it is not necessary for the public to know who was responsible for causing the illness. It just is important for them to know that the station's medical team has been able to find a cure. I won't call out people." She looked directly at Tarin. "Something you can be sure of. Besides which, I'm sure rumours will find its way around the station anyways, I just don't want it be part of the official statement."

She paused again. "Just let me know if you would like to have me here to corroborate your statement that the illness has been cured. Or not. I can always do my own announcement."

While she waited for Tarin to reply, Tess made two calls.  =/\= "t'Lhoell to Lt. Grom. Thank you, amazing job, Lieutenant. Please prepare everything for the transport up to Katra and let me know when you're ready." Leaving the comm line open she opened a new one to a person on Kir'Shara outpost.  =/\= "Ensign Ta Li Yo-Na. We have found a permanent solution to stabilize the quantum phase of the Meridians by beaming them up to Katra. I will need you up here on Katra to check them over. I would like to have brain scans in our files." =/\=
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 01:27:57 pm by Tess tLhoell »

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Tess' biography (updated Nov 14th, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno
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Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #125 on: October 16, 2020, 01:31:12 pm »

Katra Station - Meridian Embassy - Presidential Office

Tarin inclined his head in appreciation that he had not been alone in studying the literature of the cultures that now inundated his universe.  He knew that she was from her own mostly isolated planet, and when she spoke references from the novel, he felt a fleeting moment of kinship with her.  They had both been forced to absorb a great deal in order to understand.

But the fleeting kinship did not seem to swell into any genuine appreciation of her character.  His condescending tone resumed.

"The Etrosians are already accustomed to working for the technologically sophisticated Atrosians.  They will learn quickly.  Besides which, I cleverly acquired a number of holo-interfaces from the Ferengi last week, at the suggestion of the Dord.  The units can manifest virtual clerks, which will fill any gaps in the quality of service.  Not as efficient as flesh-and-blood employees, but good enough for a transitional period. 

Contrary to your flawed observations, Commander, I have been ahead of the curve this entire time."
 

It was clear that Tarin had never actually seen Ferengi 'virtual employees' in operation anywhere.  Tess would know from the reports she received about arrivals to the station that the Dord had invested a great deal of effort in getting their holographic servants to work properly.  They had hired multiple holographic programming experts from beyond the wormhole to fix various glitches that continually cropped up.  Seven different programmers had arrived over the course of two months.  Presumably, they hadn't thought to mention this difficulty to the President.

If Tarin expected plug-and-play functionality, he might be disappointed.

"Now.  In deference to your delicate sensibilities, I will not ask you to incriminate the Ferengi.  Simply confirm the cure.  In fact, you can even open the speech yourself, giving all the medical jargon and commending your brilliant staff.  Then we can get the skittish locals off of our collective backs and repair the damage that this incident has done to the Meridian tourism industry."

He stood, gesturing for her to accompany him to the Promenade.



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Offline Paul Wessex

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #126 on: October 17, 2020, 08:24:52 am »
<Katra Station - Promenade>

The relentless, yet useful, information flow from Grom caused Paul to pause in his march. Through limited peripheral vision, and a modicum of self-restraint not to look directly - which would have surely given the game away as surely as bioluminescence at the lightless depths of the oceans, Wessex located the suspect  - Gregory Pell - as detailed. As he was unable to risk a full visual inspection, he was also not a position to confirm the laser-torch was in easy reach of Pell's hands, but it was in all likelihood to be. 2 metres off the ground. 15 meter lethality. Vision risk at greater range if directly applied to the eyes.

Paul's mind whirred as he thanked Grom for his assistance with an easy general conversational tone and then tapped his combadge again, while attempting to act as nonchalant as possible. His expression moved towards one of light-hearted exasperation as he spoke, and turned slightly in time - with gesticulating with his hands, both palms narrowing and expanding as he did so - so not completely to face away from Pell; that would have been an equally obvious signal, but ensuring that only the side of his face was presented - Pell may, at his age, have hearing difficulties if he had not opted for aural readjustment, and so lip-reading was a possibility; sidewards, Paul would have a greater chance of obscuring his contrasting actions.

That done, Wessex closed the combadge and mentally counted the steps towards Pell's 15-metre range, adding an extra one for good measure. He counted down from 10 in his head, waving and nodding politely to several members of the public as he stood as relaxed as possible, arms folded in his now-familiar pose, as he was simply observing the tos-and-fros of the tidal flow of people in the vicinity. Fortunately, it seemed the location selected by the civilian contractor was done so to limit exposure from passers-by as much possible. Only one person was within range and so Wessex forced himself to wait until they were safely out of immediate harm.

And then he took several small steps to port and began to circle the imaginary circumference. Anti-gravity boots were not the most agile of footwear and his plan was to keep moving in a motion that would frustrate a bearing. It was only then he looked directly at the civilian engineer, tracking the senior gentleman as he walked as if turning a capstan. He noted a hand was hanging to his belt in readiness."Mr Gregory Pell" he yelled out, his voice clear and piercing from his years as a Principle Weapons Officer in the Naval Patrol, yet reasonable in tone. "Please stop what you are doing, descend quietly, and come with me. I also advise you to immediately release your tool-belt to the floor and refrain from taking any actions that will only serve to place you in more trouble."
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 09:43:08 am by Paul Wessex »

Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #127 on: October 17, 2020, 09:14:50 am »
Cmdr. Tess t'Lhoell (7 months pregnant)
[Katra Station - Deck 11 - Meridian Embassy - President Tarin's office]


Katra Station - Meridian Embassy - Presidential Office

Tarin inclined his head in appreciation that he had not been alone in studying the literature of the cultures that now inundated his universe.  He knew that she was from her own mostly isolated planet, and when she spoke references from the novel, he felt a fleeting moment of kinship with her.  They had both been forced to absorb a great deal in order to understand.

But the fleeting kinship did not seem to swell into any genuine appreciation of her character.  His condescending tone resumed.

"The Etrosians are already accustomed to working for the technologically sophisticated Atrosians.  They will learn quickly.  Besides which, I cleverly acquired a number of holo-interfaces from the Ferengi last week, at the suggestion of the Dord.  The units can manifest virtual clerks, which will fill any gaps in the quality of service.  Not as efficient as flesh-and-blood employees, but good enough for a transitional period. 

Contrary to your flawed observations, Commander, I have been ahead of the curve this entire time."
 

It was clear that Tarin had never actually seen Ferengi 'virtual employees' in operation anywhere.  Tess would know from the reports she received about arrivals to the station that the Dord had invested a great deal of effort in getting their holographic servants to work properly.  They had hired multiple holographic programming experts from beyond the wormhole to fix various glitches that continually cropped up.  Seven different programmers had arrived over the course of two months.  Presumably, they hadn't thought to mention this difficulty to the President.

If Tarin expected plug-and-play functionality, he might be disappointed.

"Now.  In deference to your delicate sensibilities, I will not ask you to incriminate the Ferengi.  Simply confirm the cure.  In fact, you can even open the speech yourself, giving all the medical jargon and commending your brilliant staff.  Then we can get the skittish locals off of our collective backs and repair the damage that this incident has done to the Meridian tourism industry."

He stood, gesturing for her to accompany him to the Promenade.


Tess took a step back when Tarin rose to his feet before she moved to follow him. It somehow surprised her that he preferred artificially generated clerks over his own people, or just any people from flesh and blood. And she was curious how the elders of the Etrosians would react to a request like that.

"I will join you shortly, President Tarin", Tess said as she stepped out of the office while she walked beside him. "There are some things I have to tend to first." Tess politely nodded her head at him - no smile - and then turned on her heels as she headed for the nearest turbo lift.


Tess let out a deep breath as soon as Tarin was out of sight. She would need to reflect on that conversation later. How much she wished Rayek was here. He would have the right words to help her through it and build her up again.

Having a moment to herself, Tess used it to call Noh'ves and fill him in on everything that had been happening - that they had found the cause and the cure to the illness, a summary of her conversation with Tarin and that she intended to give a speech with Tarin on the Promenade within the hour to inform the station's population about the successful solution to the illness.



[a little later ...]
[Katra Station - Promenade]


Once more Tess found herself facing the citizens of the station. She expected them not to be in the best of moods. There had been a red alert not that long ago, which always meant stress for everyone. An interruption of the routines of the day, shop owner had to close their shops. Which meant profit setback. But at least Tess had some good news for them.

After she received the information that everything had been set up Tess glanced briefly to Tarin, recalling that he had offered for her to open the speech. Taking a step forward, Tess spoke up.

"Thank you for your time to be here and listen to this statement. As most of you are aware, times had been unsettling and worrying to not only the Meridians, who have been suffering from an as yet unknown 'disease', but also you who were concerned for your own health.

It is my pleasure to inform you that the cure for what we had thought of as a disease has been found. As it had turned out the problem was a discrepancy in the quantum phases of the affected individuals. The stabilization of their quantum phases eroded over time, which caused the it to disrupt to a point that it created neural disfunction and seizures - which in turn caused the phase to stabilize and the circle started again. We are now working with the Engineering department to realign the quantum phases of the affected Meridians permanently and cure them with it. I want to mention the new arrived Ensign Ta Li Yo-Na who has been the one to get us on the track to be able to discover that."


Tess was not keen on going too much into detail how that destabilization had been created in the first place, she hoped they just would be happy with that explanation and simply the fact that the whole pandemonium was over - Tess for sure was.

"I give the word now to the President of the Meridians, Tarin." Tess stepped back to make space for the man while she let her gaze wander over the crowd.

Species: Ba'ku
"You explore the universe. We've found that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself."
Tess' biography (updated Nov 14th, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno
-Academy Commandant-

Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #128 on: October 17, 2020, 11:18:58 am »

Katra Station - Operational Control Center



"I have never seen anything that fast," H'Rel remarked, his eyes wide as he tracked the craft on his station.



"I think maybe you have," M'Kai interjected from the Security console.  She had been monitoring a situation on the promenade, but always seemed to have time for a cutting quip.

At that moment, a communication came in from Commander t'Lhoell.  Noh'ves, who was sitting in the Command chair, listened to her update, then tapped to respond.



=/\= "Well done, Commander," he said, "I must update you on a situation here, as well.  We have been tracking two items of interest.  The first is a vessel of some kind, approaching the Trialus system at incredible speed.  It will arrive in minutes, but I do not think a lone vessel will pose much of a threat.  It may simply be a ship from a local, sophisticated power coming to do routine business with us.  However, we are watching it carefully. 

Tolec has also reported detecting a mass of subspace distortion moving into the system from the opposite direction.  It is non-localized, but it appears to be heading in the direction of Meridian.  This is much more a concern to me.  Tolec reports that the distortion may be a transient subspace wave."
  Whatever that is.  "But it could be a great many other things, as well.  It will soon pass within the perimiter of our tachyon detection network.  We will know more, then.  I have launched increased patrols and raised shields as a precaution.  I will not be raising our alert status until we are certain of a threat, in accordance with Starfleet protocols." =/\=

He said the words 'Starfleet Protocols' with a hint of bitterness, suggesting he would have taken very different actions as a member of the Klingon Defense Force.








The Security officer who had been approaching Gregory seemed to lag in his pace.  He turned, seeming to be speaking.  His posture was relaxed.  No longer the pose of a man on a mission.  Slowly, he meandered about. 

Diplomatic Security precautions, no doubt.  For the President's speech.   Already, several dozen meters away, Gregory could hear the station Commander speaking.  She was too distant for him to hear the details, but it certainly meant that the President's time of announcement had arrived.  Momentarily, random people on the promenade would begin seizing, and that would create quite the panic.

Gregory's hand moved away from his laser torch, and he resumed work on the lighting fixture.  Best to get done before the action started.

Then, suddenly, a loud voice gave him a start.

"Mr Gregory Pell, please stop what you are doing, descend quietly, and come with me. I also advise you to immediately release your tool-belt to the floor and refrain from taking any actions that will only serve to place you in more trouble."

Damn it.

But... it didn't matter.  The other lighting elements were in place.  It was time to die.

Lowering one hand to his belt, he moved slowly, as though reaching for his buckle to release his tool belt.  As he did so, he smiled down at the comparatively young Ensign.  A good man, no doubt.  Just doing his job.  He almost felt bad for him, given the panic that was about to descend.

"A bit too late," he said, a kindly, apologetic smile on his features.  His littlest finger touched a small, unobtrusive button on his belt.  It would begin the sequence.  The power was still out at this location, but the other two lighting elements would now begin to flash the flickering sequence that would set random brains alight with seizures.

He had no way of knowing that Ensign Wessex, formerly of the Naval Patrol, had already taken precautions.   

"Don't be alarmed, Ensign.  This isn't what it looks like."

His kindly smile became a somewhat elated grin.

"I'm going to live forever."

With that strange declaration made, he moved as quickly as his elder limbs were able.  His hand went to pull the laser-torch, put it to his temple, and press the firing stud.


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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #129 on: October 18, 2020, 07:33:55 am »
Cmdr. Tess t'Lhoell (7 months pregnant)
[Katra Station - before the speech on the Promenade]


Katra Station - Operational Control Center



"I have never seen anything that fast," H'Rel remarked, his eyes wide as he tracked the craft on his station.



"I think maybe you have," M'Kai interjected from the Security console.  She had been monitoring a situation on the promenade, but always seemed to have time for a cutting quip.

At that moment, a communication came in from Commander t'Lhoell.  Noh'ves, who was sitting in the Command chair, listened to her update, then tapped to respond.



=/\= "Well done, Commander," he said, "I must update you on a situation here, as well.  We have been tracking two items of interest.  The first is a vessel of some kind, approaching the Trialus system at incredible speed.  It will arrive in minutes, but I do not think a lone vessel will pose much of a threat.  It may simply be a ship from a local, sophisticated power coming to do routine business with us.  However, we are watching it carefully. 

Tolec has also reported detecting a mass of subspace distortion moving into the system from the opposite direction.  It is non-localized, but it appears to be heading in the direction of Meridian.  This is much more a concern to me.  Tolec reports that the distortion may be a transient subspace wave."
  Whatever that is.  "But it could be a great many other things, as well.  It will soon pass within the perimiter of our tachyon detection network.  We will know more, then.  I have launched increased patrols and raised shields as a precaution.  I will not be raising our alert status until we are certain of a threat, in accordance with Starfleet protocols." =/\=

He said the words 'Starfleet Protocols' with a hint of bitterness, suggesting he would have taken very different actions as a member of the Klingon Defense Force.


At the news that an unknown vessel was approaching the station in incredible speed and would arrive in only minutes, all of kind of alarm bells were going off in Tess' head. Noh'ves vague speculations had Tess being taken aback. It didn't seem to match to his usually more aggressive approach - not that Tess wanted Noh'ves to be aggressive. But Tess didn't feel too well to just see who or what they dealt with then it was already knocking at their door. Maybe it was the Klingon Captain's attempt to chasten his usual way to approach such a situation. Tess tried not to sound too concerned, but she was cautious. =/\= "Regarding the unknown vessel, Captain, I suggest to try and contact it. Maybe we can find out who they are before they get closer. I agree to not alarm the station's population. Additionally I would recommend silent yellow alert given that we are dealing with not one but two unknown factors here." =/\= She was glad Noh'ves had taken the precautions regarding the patrols and shields, and she was admittedly nervous to find out what that 'transient subspace wave was.

Species: Ba'ku
"You explore the universe. We've found that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself."
Tess' biography (updated Nov 14th, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno
-Academy Commandant-

Offline Paul Wessex

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #130 on: October 18, 2020, 09:49:12 am »
<Katra Station - Promendade - Section 15-B>

Paul Sebastian Wessex was a man of his word.

That word was that, under his purview, no firearm would be discharged in the Civilian Zone without it being a situation so dire that loss of life would result if reason or restraint be shown; that civilians should be free to follow their own path, be it on an honest path or one that would bring it in direct conflict with enforcement, without a constant fear of immediate unconsciousness or tyranny from streaks of orange energy. It was a rule that he brought over from the Naval Patrol and it was one that he had spent more time enforcing elsewhere than in Starfleet.

It wasn't that he was a pacifist. Certainly, Paul had taken many lives in his career; most completely faceless beneath the gelid depth of some alien ocean - a fact he, even to this day acknowledged the sober responsibility. But he wasn't a soldier; he had always been a man of principle. Today, he was a Starfleet Officer.

But more than that, he remained an officer of the Federation.

And the Federation believed in the sanctity of its long-standing principles. Violence should never be blasé, or simple.

So when Gregory Pell made his move, Paul did not pull his phaser from its holster and stun the man; not because it was easy, but because it was hard.

There were always options when part of a team.

There was always another way.

And that way came upon Mr Pell like an Antedean slink-eel, a slender, swift flash of liquid motion. The blur dropped upon him from an angle yet above, knocking the laser-torch from his temple, and then his hand, as it descended his aged body, releasing the fastener to his tool-belt in a whir of motion that defied even the keenest of eyes, continuing to slide down one leg like a controlled waterfall and raking an anti-gravity boot with an angry red laser.

Then, releasing its grip on the ankle, the meteoric artist dropped the remaining 2 metres to the deck, rolling with the impact with consummate and well practised skill into a standing position, belt, torch and harness still within their steel grip.

It had taken Senior Chief Petty Officer Veirla Solen less than five seconds to negate the threat of the civilian engineer. She was a soldier, but today she was more than that: she was part of Paul Wessex's team; and his instructions had been clear.

Spinning like a sycamore seed freshly dropped from its branches, Pell's boots could no longer keep him aloft, the twirling motion giving him scant opportunity, or presence of mind, to effect some kind recovery. As he neared the floor, Wessex had crossed the divide and was waiting for him as boots touched ground.

An arm was manipulated behind his back, and a hand upon his shoulder. Firm. Unwavering. Final. "Gregory Pell. By the authority permitted to me by StarFleet Security and Katra Station, I am taking you into custody to answer questions on the suspicion of willful sabotage. You do not have to say anything; but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on at a judicial hearing. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."

Paul then looked over to Solen, and grinned. "Senior, it seems once again I owe you my thanks. And my admiration at your prowess."

She smiled lightly - an expression she was somewhat unused to, but that made it all the important. "No sir" she replied, "this is all you."

Nodding his appreciation, he drove Pell, with Solen in watchful tow, towards the CZC Security Office - perhaps the tempestuous sounds unemployed Ferengi would be motivation enough to rattle the truth free from even the most stubborn of prisoners.

Offline Solluk

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #131 on: October 19, 2020, 05:08:03 am »

Katra Station - Operational Control




"All right, let's reach out to that ship, as the Commander has suggested." Noh'ves ordered.



"And what about the 'transient subspace wave'?" M'Kai lifted her gaze from her console as she spoke.

"We can not be sure what that is, yet," Noh'ves replied.

"We all know exactly what it is," M'Kai said somewhat sharply.



"Not with absolute certainty," Tolec interjected.

"And when near-certainty proves out?  What then?" M'kai demanded.

"Then we do our duty." Noh'ves replied simply.



"You don't mean we should fire on our own people?" Vilka spoke up.

"I mean exactly that," Noh'ves said, turning in his chair to look at Vilka as a slight growl entered his voice, "If we perceive any hostility, we will defend this station and the Trialus system with all the knowledge and vigor at our disposal."

"Hailing frequencies open," Tolec interjected, perhaps hoping to relieve the tension.

Noh'ves turned back to face the main viewscreen, "Attention unidentified vessel.  I am Captain Noh'ves of Starfleet, the United Federation of Planets' Exploration and Security service, in command of space station Katra.  We have noted your hasty approach.  Identify yourselves and your intentions."






Katra Station - Promenade



President Tarin stepped up to speak once Tess completed her announcement.  In a different part of the promenade, there was some brief activity, but it was not close enough or loud enough to draw attention away from the event.  People from all over the station had heard that Tarin would be speaking, and the Meridian illness had been very much on everyone's mind. 

"Citizens of Katra, the Meridians are jubilant, today.  As we receive this good news, the Meridian people wish to thank Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets for their assistance in this difficult time.  As you may well imagine, not knowing the reason for the recent illness has been troubling to my people..."






Katra Station - Operational Control


"We are receiving a reply," Tolec announced.

Noh'ves gestured to the massive display along the bulkhead, "Put it on screen."

Suddenly, the entire control center was bathed in red light, and alert saxons sounded.

"The tachyon detection grid has been triggered," Vilka announced, "A massive fleet is decloaking!"

"On-screen," Noh'ves ordered.  Tolec, who was manning Operations, shifted the display to a split-screen.  In the new screen area, a fleet of Klingon ships larger than any Noh'ves had ever seen twinkled into view.



"How many," Noh'ves asked. 

Vilka shook her head, "Hundreds.  They really did it.  This is so much bigger than I imagined."

"And sooner than I expected.  Vilka, use the defense grid to target the oldest ships first.  If they present any hostility, we will wish to remove as many of them as possible from the fight with our opening volley.  Prepare to open fire on my command." Noh'ves issued the orders he had been dreading for days. 

"They should not be hostile," Tolec reminded the Captain.

"We have been out of the operational planning for some time." Noh'ves said, "We don't know what their intentions are.  Not really.  Lofty ideals seldom survive long after the launch of a new political movement.  Someone could have made the decision that Katra Station would be a valuable asset.  They may even have decided that Meridian is a better home than the one they'd initially planned.  We must assume the worst, and do our duty as our current role in Starfleet demands."

Tolec nodded, "Frequencies open."

Noh'ves lifted his chin, putting forward a defiant expression, "Klingon fleet.  This is Captain Noh'ves of the Starfleet space station Katra.  Declare your intentions, or we will assume that hostility is your goal."







Katra Station - Promenade


"Regrettably," Tarin continued, "It is my duty to tell you what the Starfleet investigation uncovered, and to reveal who is to blame for all of the fear and suffering that has plagued my people.  It will perhaps come as no surprise to those of you who have been involved in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, but it was a horrible surprise to those of us who until recently lived in isolation on the planet Meridian.

It turns out that the culprits to blame for everything are-"


His words were interrupted by a red alert klaxon.  The station citizenry in the crowd looked around in momentary confusion, but this was hardly their first encounter with alert conditions.  They quickly began to disperse, while security personnel helped to guide them away. 









Katra Station - Operational Control Center

The image of a Klingon bridge filled half of the viewscreen.  A man whom Noh'ves recognized was sitting at its command chair.  They had attended meetings together.  Shared bloodwine.  Made vows and oaths side by side.  But there was no telling whether he was still an ally.

"This is General K'orto, hailing you from the Republic of Kahless Flagship ghu'mey."

K'orto leaned forward in his chair, and uttered words which had been seldom spoken by any Klingon throughout the history of the Empire.

"We come in Peace."

Meanwhile, on the left side of the screen, a different figure had appeared, momentarily unnoticed in the heat of the moment.



"This is Commander Thirula, of the Celestial Harmony Diplomatic Cruiser 'Salutation'.  We have arrived to make formal diplomatic contact.  I believe you were told to expect us, but... have we come at a bad time?"

Noh'ves blinked in surprise at the juxtaposition of the two statements, and then burst out into raucous laughter.

"Welcome to Katra Station," he said at last, once he'd restrained himself, "to Both of you.  You will receive approach instructions presently."

Noh'ves nodded to Tolec, and the screen switched off momentarily.  Then all of the Klingons looked at one another, and the laughter resumed.  The infectious sound of relief filled the control center. 

Today was not a good day to die.


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Offline Paul Wessex

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #132 on: October 19, 2020, 08:58:16 am »
<Katra Station - Promenade>

Quote from: Solluk
His words were interrupted by a red alert klaxon.  The station citizenry in the crowd looked around in momentary confusion, but this was hardly their first encounter with alert conditions.  They quickly began to disperse, while security personnel helped to guide them away. 

It had already been just a few days, and Paul had experienced more alerts, assaults and suspects than perhaps in a single month in NavPat; either Starfleet was an organisation that attracted danger like electromagnetic radiation to a Breen razor-barracuda or Katra was an especially troublesome posting.

Handing Pell over to Solen with instructions to keep him secure for questioning at a later time, Wessex left them both to marshall the Security response to the alert, instructing all teams present to navigate the public, who had gathered to hear President Tarin (what a day!), to designated safe-zones. If there was a risk of being boarded, he presumed the OCC, and M'Kai, would notify team leaders in due course and order the deployment of defensive forces.

Offline L'mar Camili Rhade

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #133 on: October 20, 2020, 02:26:30 am »

[ Ensign L'mar Rhade ] | [ Katra Station ]

His mother and father were back in guest quarters after some more shopping, Rhade made his way back to Main Engineering when he had Commander t’Lhoell comm him, with news of turbolift shaft 1 being sabotaged. The transporters suffered disruption as well, Rhade had acknowledged the order and after he grabbed a toolkit from a maintenance locker on the way to the core of the station where shaft 1 was.

Rhade arrived at the turbolift control room for the core shafts, since there are a few and used non-stop, a control room was needed to be dedicated to them. He ran several diagnostics on the various connections throughout the shaft and the lifts themselves. Nothing seemed to be erroneous, that in itself was wrong if the First Officer reported that it wasn’t functioning.

He pulled out his tricorder, linked it with the station’s internal sensors, and began scanning the entire shaft, and all lifts, with different parameters. It was a very long shaft, and many lifts throughout the station, so Rhade put the tricorder down on the console and extracted the padd from the kit and accessed the transporter network while he waited.

Transporters were definitely crippled but only a limited radius, which appeared odd. Rhade watched the readings for a minute or two. It moved a few times, so the system wasn’t actually impaired just blocked by an inhibiting device and a mobile one at that. Did they have hostiles on board and the intruder alert didn’t go off? Rhade brought up the video feed of the area the disruption was, it appeared to be affecting the feeds as well.

Rhade hoped Security was dealing with that, he heard the chirp of his tricorder and picked it up to read it. There were unknown devices between decks, they were moving. That meant that the lifts themselves.

”Rrhade to t’Lhoell, I found unknown devicesss on all turrrboliftsss, I have to redirect one at a time to maintenance and check them, I don’t know what it may do if we attempt to trrransssporrrt the devicesss out.”
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 02:34:37 am by L'mar Camili Rhade »

Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: S2 - M9A - Katra - Snake in the Garden
« Reply #134 on: October 20, 2020, 06:50:56 am »
Cmdr. Tess t'Lhoell (7 months pregnant)
[Katra Station - a couple of hours before]


[ Ensign L'mar Rhade ] | [ Katra Station ]

His mother and father were back in guest quarters after some more shopping, Rhade made his way back to Main Engineering when he had Commander t’Lhoell comm him, with news of turbolift shaft 1 being sabotaged. The transporters suffered disruption as well, Rhade had acknowledged the order and after he grabbed a toolkit from a maintenance locker on the way to the core of the station where shaft 1 was.

Rhade arrived at the turbolift control room for the core shafts, since there are a few and used non-stop, a control room was needed to be dedicated to them. He ran several diagnostics on the various connections throughout the shaft and the lifts themselves. Nothing seemed to be erroneous, that in itself was wrong if the First Officer reported that it wasn’t functioning.

He pulled out his tricorder, linked it with the station’s internal sensors, and began scanning the entire shaft, and all lifts, with different parameters. It was a very long shaft, and many lifts throughout the station, so Rhade put the tricorder down on the console and extracted the padd from the kit and accessed the transporter network while he waited.

Transporters were definitely crippled but only a limited radius, which appeared odd. Rhade watched the readings for a minute or two. It moved a few times, so the system wasn’t actually impaired just blocked by an inhibiting device and a mobile one at that. Did they have hostiles on board and the intruder alert didn’t go off? Rhade brought up the video feed of the area the disruption was, it appeared to be affecting the feeds as well.

Rhade hoped Security was dealing with that, he heard the chirp of his tricorder and picked it up to read it. There were unknown devices between decks, they were moving. That meant that the lifts themselves.

”Rrhade to t’Lhoell, I found unknown devicesss on all turrrboliftsss, I have to redirect one at a time to maintenance and check them, I don’t know what it may do if we attempt to trrransssporrrt the devicesss out.”


=/\= "Acknowledged, Ensign. Please do so as quick as you can. Assemble a small team to assist you if needed. Safety first. But we need to know everything we can about these devices. Please copy in the security chief in your report so he'll be kept in the loop for his own team's investigations on the matter. t'Lhoell out." =/\=



[later...]
[Katra Station - Promenade]



Katra Station - Operational Control




"All right, let's reach out to that ship, as the Commander has suggested." Noh'ves ordered.



"And what about the 'transient subspace wave'?" M'Kai lifted her gaze from her console as she spoke.

"We can not be sure what that is, yet," Noh'ves replied.

"We all know exactly what it is," M'Kai said somewhat sharply.



"Not with absolute certainty," Tolec interjected.

"And when near-certainty proves out?  What then?" M'kai demanded.

"Then we do our duty." Noh'ves replied simply.



"You don't mean we should fire on our own people?" Vilka spoke up.

"I mean exactly that," Noh'ves said, turning in his chair to look at Vilka as a slight growl entered his voice, "If we perceive any hostility, we will defend this station and the Trialus system with all the knowledge and vigor at our disposal."

"Hailing frequencies open," Tolec interjected, perhaps hoping to relieve the tension.

Noh'ves turned back to face the main viewscreen, "Attention unidentified vessel.  I am Captain Noh'ves of Starfleet, the United Federation of Planets' Exploration and Security service, in command of space station Katra.  We have noted your hasty approach.  Identify yourselves and your intentions."






Katra Station - Promenade



President Tarin stepped up to speak once Tess completed her announcement.  In a different part of the promenade, there was some brief activity, but it was not close enough or loud enough to draw attention away from the event.  People from all over the station had heard that Tarin would be speaking, and the Meridian illness had been very much on everyone's mind. 

"Citizens of Katra, the Meridians are jubilant, today.  As we receive this good news, the Meridian people wish to thank Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets for their assistance in this difficult time.  As you may well imagine, not knowing the reason for the recent illness has been troubling to my people..."






Katra Station - Operational Control


"We are receiving a reply," Tolec announced.

Noh'ves gestured to the massive display along the bulkhead, "Put it on screen."

Suddenly, the entire control center was bathed in red light, and alert saxons sounded.

"The tachyon detection grid has been triggered," Vilka announced, "A massive fleet is decloaking!"

"On-screen," Noh'ves ordered.  Tolec, who was manning Operations, shifted the display to a split-screen.  In the new screen area, a fleet of Klingon ships larger than any Noh'ves had ever seen twinkled into view.



"How many," Noh'ves asked. 

Vilka shook her head, "Hundreds.  They really did it.  This is so much bigger than I imagined."

"And sooner than I expected.  Vilka, use the defense grid to target the oldest ships first.  If they present any hostility, we will wish to remove as many of them as possible from the fight with our opening volley.  Prepare to open fire on my command." Noh'ves issued the orders he had been dreading for days. 

"They should not be hostile," Tolec reminded the Captain.

"We have been out of the operational planning for some time." Noh'ves said, "We don't know what their intentions are.  Not really.  Lofty ideals seldom survive long after the launch of a new political movement.  Someone could have made the decision that Katra Station would be a valuable asset.  They may even have decided that Meridian is a better home than the one they'd initially planned.  We must assume the worst, and do our duty as our current role in Starfleet demands."

Tolec nodded, "Frequencies open."

Noh'ves lifted his chin, putting forward a defiant expression, "Klingon fleet.  This is Captain Noh'ves of the Starfleet space station Katra.  Declare your intentions, or we will assume that hostility is your goal."







Katra Station - Promenade


"Regrettably," Tarin continued, "It is my duty to tell you what the Starfleet investigation uncovered, and to reveal who is to blame for all of the fear and suffering that has plagued my people.  It will perhaps come as no surprise to those of you who have been involved in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, but it was a horrible surprise to those of us who until recently lived in isolation on the planet Meridian.

It turns out that the culprits to blame for everything are-"


His words were interrupted by a red alert klaxon.  The station citizenry in the crowd looked around in momentary confusion, but this was hardly their first encounter with alert conditions.  They quickly began to disperse, while security personnel helped to guide them away. 









Katra Station - Operational Control Center

The image of a Klingon bridge filled half of the viewscreen.  A man whom Noh'ves recognized was sitting at its command chair.  They had attended meetings together.  Shared bloodwine.  Made vows and oaths side by side.  But there was no telling whether he was still an ally.

"This is General K'orto, hailing you from the Republic of Kahless Flagship ghu'mey."

K'orto leaned forward in his chair, and uttered words which had been seldom spoken by any Klingon throughout the history of the Empire.

"We come in Peace."

Meanwhile, on the left side of the screen, a different figure had appeared, momentarily unnoticed in the heat of the moment.



"This is Commander Thirula, of the Celestial Harmony Diplomatic Cruiser 'Salutation'.  We have arrived to make formal diplomatic contact.  I believe you were told to expect us, but... have we come at a bad time?"

Noh'ves blinked in surprise at the juxtaposition of the two statements, and then burst out into raucous laughter.

"Welcome to Katra Station," he said at last, once he'd restrained himself, "to Both of you.  You will receive approach instructions presently."

Noh'ves nodded to Tolec, and the screen switched off momentarily.  Then all of the Klingons looked at one another, and the laughter resumed.  The infectious sound of relief filled the control center. 

Today was not a good day to die.




Tess' anger flared when Tarin, despite him saying before he would respect her 'delicate sensibilities' (whoch now doubt was meant condescendingly too) and leave the incrimination of the Ferengi out of the public announcement, was about to do exactly that in this very moment.

Before he could actually say the words though, the klaxon of the red alert - the second one within a couple of hours - made Tess flinch. Red alert? She had suggested silent yellow alert, did the red alert now mean things got worse quicker than they all thought? Surely, the people on the station would not be amused to be made to close their shops, interrupt their plans a second time. But it couldn't be helped. Safety came first.

The crowd quickly dispersed while the experienced security machinery was doing the job quick and effective. Tess on her part made her way up to the OCC, preparing herself to deal with the next difficult situation, supporting her temporary Captain as best as she could.

Species: Ba'ku
"You explore the universe. We've found that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself."
Tess' biography (updated Nov 14th, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno
-Academy Commandant-

 

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