Canopus Station
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Posted on Tue Feb 18th, 2020 @ 2:32pm by Captain Benjamin Ingram Dr & Warrant Officer Aerv tr’Lhozen & Lu'kat & Commander Calida & Sera t’Jo’rek

Mission: S2:1: Into The Drowning Deeps
Location: Canopus Station, Pier 4 Egress
Timeline: MD 3 15.00

As long as a Sovereign-class starship, but nearly five times its mass, the SS Constantnoga looked like a seed that had begun to germinate early. Heavy hull plates didn't quite meet up at the seams, revealing the inner hull and the intestinal guts of the space frame. She was a ship designed to transport a tremendous amount, and then provide itself for the use of its new world: a ship ready to fall apart to become schools and homes to a new frontier.

And somehow the sight of a Starfleet Delta alongside the rakish claws of an Romulan eagle did not seem out of place it.

Ingram hurried along the pier to the embarkation airlock that was only just then cycling open to allow the party from the colony ship across. He'd come from the classified Starfleet briefing directly, and thus his mood had not improved one iota even with time to settle his rage to a low simmer.

"Sorry I'm late. Engineering work on the Circle Line," he said by way of explanation to the Federation Diplomate in a box and it's Cardassian Union guest.

"You are right on time," Calida said through the vocalizer on her containment pod. More privately, she pressed her thoughts against Ingram with whom she held a latent familiar bond from their past service together. ~Curious that you objected to the Xilosian ingress but not a Romulan one, Benjamin. What are you plotting?~ The question was, of course, a rhetorical one, as Medusans were not only highly telepathic, but also viewed the universal construct of existence from a higher dimensional purview than standard humanoid life. The infinite variations of Ingram's numerous schemes had always stretched out before her like a strobe light on a Jackson Polluck painting. Perhaps that was why she had always favored him so.

~You assume I did not object. Underestimation has never been one of your failings, best not to advertise it as a new hire.~ Ingram sub vocalised as he worked his combadge to a correct and proper alignment.

So that was the track they were on. Calida hummed peaceably, choosing to keep her thoughts to herself.

"Given the short notice given to their arrival, it's a miracle any of us are on time," Ingram said blithely. "I truly do not understand the Federation Council or the Long Jump Project. We have surveyed a grand total of one habitable world, and to even use that word is to stress the meaning of habitable to its breaking point. I have sympathy for the plight of the Romulan diaspora, I do-"

He did not.

"-but shoving them through a one-way door into the greater universe smacks of over-ambitious pen pushers placing a problem into someone else's In Box," Ingram finished before looking at the Cardassian Lu'kat. "You can feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong? After all the UFP and the CU are happy partners in this enterprise, are we not?"

There was a very slight exchange of glances between Speaker Sera and her military counterpart for the Romulans, Aerv. She did not speak up and instead waited for an appropriate address or opportunity. It was interesting that the solidarity and preservation of Sovuur village was seen as the Federation's forced will. The direction of the conversation would dictate whether she would comment on that or not.

Lu'kat was surveying the scene in front of him, contemplating what bringing another faction into play would mean for the already crowded Messier 4. Returning the Captain's look, Lu'kat answered: "Quite so, Captain Ingram, quite so..." At least that is what it said in the fine print. "Do tell me Captain, how many more homeless communities does the Federation Council intend to send over? With the Carpathian Colony, the Xilosian pet project, the Carcosian system and ourselves, we seem to be recreating a miniature Alpha Quadrant so to speak, with all the blessings (and troubles) that come with it."

"Miniature? Quadrant?" Calida queried aloud. Her trilling tone was almost ominous without the face to personify it. "Our galaxy has enjoyed a cradle which has shielded it from forces beyond conventional reckoning. While Starfleet exercises its Prime Directive, the whirligig of the universe spins onward with players large and unfathomable, and we now stand in the first footprint outside the galactic umbrella. Unity of former enemies provides hope that the peoples of the Milky Way are ready to encounter such diverse Else Ones as pass through this outer cluster, rather than be swallowed up in their wake."

Testing whether the Cardassian could sense her thoughts, Calida projected toward Lu'kt as well. ~You could stand to gain more allies, Son of Hebitia~

"Let's hope this Unity lasts and strengthens our brotherly bands in face of powers like the Myriad and the Concordance, then...", Lu'kat replied.

Calida's voice in his head took Lu'kat aback, but nothing more than a flicker of the eyes made it noticable to anyone. ~My concern is for the success and survival of our mission, Ambassador. Now, kindly remove yourself from my mind, it is the one thing I have which was never taken, nor shared...~

Rather than reply, Calida allowed her essence to linger on Lu'kat just long enough for him to note its sudden absence. "Well said." She roiled in amusement at her double meaning.

Lu'kat felt much relieved when his mind was his alone again, though he made a mental note of what had happened for future reference. He shifted his attention back to the conversation unfolding in front of him. One might say that a historic event was unfolding right in front of Lu'kat's eyes. History would tell.




Eventually the conversation turned to the Romulans and Sera smiled in acknowledgement.

"And as always, thrilled to welcome another to our table," Ingram said and extended a hand. "Colony Coordinator Serat Jorkek I presume?"

The female Romulan smiled politely, albeit with a bit of mom-like 'stop being silly' in her face. "It's Sera... tuh-joh-rek." She put emphasis in for the phonetics, while not trying to be condescending. She was usually good at this sort of interaction. "I am referred to as Speaker Sera in most circles, the closest translation to my role for Sovuur."

"My apologies Speaker t'jo'rek, as you can imagine Starfleet's explorative mandate is a little lacking in the area concerning Romulan cultural idioms," Ingram said and withdrew his hand. "Something I hope you and your companion can help with us in the coming months of your acclimation to Messier 4."

"Ah yes, this is one of our heroes, in a way." Sera motioned to Aerv, barely noticing the proffered hand, feeling bad for not accepting it.

Aerv merely nodded, noticeably not liking the accolades. "Warrant Officer Aerv," he replied plainly. "You new Raptor Squadron commander." His chest might have puffed up at the mention of the squadron name. "Sir," he added, with another bow of his head.

"Yes," Ingram said giving Aerv a wide eye before turning his head to full appraise the man. "Yes, the all-volunteer Romulan starfighter program. I heard about similar programs and initiatives being preformed back in the Core systems, we'll have to see how well you do out here on the ragged edge. I don't know if anyone's told you, but we have something of a resource collection issue. This system is home to two rather rich fields of asteroids, the Unicorn A & B Belts. Duranium, tritanium, and other more common elements vital in both shipbuilding and infrastructure improvements."

He held up a hand to forestall questions.

"How soon do you think your fliers can be mission ready Warrant Officer Aerv? I expect our two corporate partners from the Space Mining Guild will be eager to get to work and earn their keep," Ingram said with a smile. "The sooner they get started, the sooner we can address some of the quality of life issues facing the Carpathia colonies, both Landersfell and Sovuur."

Aerv cocked his head. "We are ready now, sir. It's the craft that need uncrated first. We need to pilot a couple of our Romulan Scorpions down to the surface, and then we'll return and do a full squadron check of the Javelins we've been allotted." He seemed unphased by the plans the captain mentioned regarding the elements and ores.

"Scorpion attack fliers?" Ingram asked, a raised eyebrow looking at Aerv and then to the Speaker. "I know that the Colonial Administration is a little laxer when it comes to the prohibition of personal weapons on frontier colonies, but I am not sure that clause covers the use let alone the stationing of such assets on a colony. I think the largest gun the Landersfell contingent has is a five-inch plasma cannon for point defence. A ground attack craft seems a little...severe. I can't possibly imagine what the neighbours will say."

Yes, he could imagine what Babish and his rabble of malcontent misfits would say: 'Where's ours?'

"They uh," said Aerv with a pause. "The Scorpions are not in the best shape. They will serve more as patrols than anything."

"A legacy of sorts," added Sera. The advanced fighters were leftovers from war and the Hobus rescues. They were not 'advanced' or 'fighters' much anymore, but definitely had that Romulan look and feel.

"On that point, I would like to arrange a formal meeting between yourselves and the community leaders of Landersfell," Calida piped in. "To date they have had the entire world of Carpathia to themselves, despite utilizing only a fraction of it. While the Federation has pledged to treat the Carpathian colonies with protectorate status, Landersfell is no more of a Federation colony than Sovuur. It would do well to establish a compact in favor of formal relations between colonies on Carpathia."

Speaker Sera nodded at the suggestion. "I like this idea, lhhei [madam]. I would look forward to that very much." The Sovuur prefabs would be set quite a ways from Landersfell, but they would indeed need to work together.

"An excellent idea. Where would you think, as head of the Diplomatic Mission, be the best place to host such a gathering? Landersfell isn't exactly a tourist destination at the moment," Ingram said. He was still mulling over the implications of an armed Romulan enclave. The Rish barnacle of a colony of Cargo Reef, the Xilosian neighbourhood growing within Canopus Station.

Starbase Mixing Bowl would not become a thing.

An open book did not quite describe Calida's relationship with Ingram's mind. It was more like an antique Victrola. The very grooves of Ingram's brain screamed disdain at the thought of hosting peace talks among transients aboard his station.

"Canopus Station might be too turbulent of an environment at this time to host a political summit, but there is another suitably neutral location at hand." Calida paused in order to press a strong but subtle empathic prompt to encourage subconscious agreement. "The USS Resolute is on standby. It is small, secure, and can be placed in a geosynchronous position over the colonies, to provide a full view of both Carpathian colonies during the negotiations."

"A capital idea. The Norway class was designed as a diplomatic transport and patrol vessel, and she is outfitted to serve as our ambassador to the cluster," Ingram said with a smile. "That is, of course, if your Romulan guests agree that such a meeting would be ideal?"

"Of course, Captain, Lieutenant," replied Sera with a slow nod and smile. "We should get New Sovuur situated in the next couple weeks but we could tear away at almost any time." She motioned to the bodyguard, who was always with her, and the couple other Rihannsu that were with her at their disembarking.

"As I am sure we can as well. I'll send a message to Colony Coordinator Babish at Landersfell, tell him of the news of new neighbours. I'm sure they will enjoy the chance to relax, and look to the future," Ingram said brightly.

Lu' kat took no cue in particular as he decided to speak up. "This is a bold move, Captain Ingram, however, the potential in bringing all our parties together is too great to be ignored. Despite my earlier misgivings, I support the plans that have been proposed, and will do my best to convince my superiors of the same."

"Good, good. I'll make sure my office sends out all of the invitations," Ingram smiled and then looked at his wrist, where a small holographic reminder was blinking. "Now, if you'll pardon me I have some business of my own to attend to. Speaker, Warrant Officer."

 

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