Canopus Station
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A Gunboat By Any Other Name

Posted on Sat Aug 17th, 2019 @ 5:18pm by The Narrator

Mission: S1E4: Upon A Darkening Tide
Location: Landersfall Landing Field
Timeline: MD1 1000AM

The two flatbed crawler’s baked in the morning sun of Carpathia, their once pristine yellow paint jobs now dust-dulled and sand scoured in place. Their crew’s waited in the cab, where no doubt the environment system was cranked as low as it would go. Even this early in the morning the temperature was creeping towards 30C, with every indication it would fly past it before noon.

Colony Coordinator Maksim Babbish took a moment to sip from a bottle of water he had with him and then cast his eyes to the pale blue sky overhead. Most of the stars did not shine through the night sky, not with Tangerine Dream’s candy confection of a sphere glowing brightly. But a few did. And in the morning sky, the only star remaining was that of Canopus Station.

A dull thunder of a sonic boom rattled the dunes around the impromptu landing field. Babbish had been around enough starports to know the sound of a ship decelerating from orbital velocities. And soon enough the chisel nosed bow of the stations support ship came into view.

Surrounded in a cloud of steam from its landing thrusters, the small interstellar craft could still have flattened all of Landersfell with a single burst of its main drive. And it was nice to see that the pilot was bringing the Resolute down on a glide path away from the settlement. Dust was an ever-present guest in the small community, and have 70 thousand tons of starship whip up a miniature sandstorm would not endear the fleeters to anyone.

Babbish turned from the spectacle and retreated to the cab of one of the cargo crawlers his men had brought out to the landing field. No sooner had he dogged the hatch closed, than the glass and laminate frame had begun to rattle with sand whipped up by the final landing burn of the ship.

With a howl the Resolute came to rest on its landing leg, the nacelle’s held out on their long ponton folding in flight to support the after section as it settled into place.

“Haven’t been this close to a Feddie gunboat since the DMZ,” the driver of the cargo crawler said, reaching up to scratch as the sand scarf around his neck. As he did so, it pulled out enough to show off the top half of the FL logo tattooed there.

“Long way since the Cardassian Neutral Zone,” Babbish chided and offered the man a sip from his bottle. He noticed the driver wasn’t armed as per his instructions, which was a good sign. First impressions were important.

It took a long time for the sand to settle down to the point where Babbish could see clearly, but soon the Norway class light cruiser was baking in the sun like all of the metal on Carpathia. From the underside of the ship, a large hatch opened, and a cargo lift descended carrying an advanced party of Starfleet officers and…

Babbish leaned closer against the glass, just in case his eyes were seeing a mirage.

“Not that far apparently,” the driver said as he scratched absently at the Freedom’s Legion tattoo. “A Cardassian?”

“I...I’ll sort it out,” Babbish said, looking to the driver and smiling. “Don’t worry.”

“Oh I’m not worried,” the man called Pallas Cant said with a smile. “I'm just here to move cargo like we discussed Coordinator Babbish. Nothing more, nothing less. Unless of course..."

He nodded towards the waiting Starfleet officer's and their Cardassian guest.

"I understand," Babbish said, his skin paling a little before he opened the door to get out.

"And relax!" Pallas beamed, slapping him on the shoulder. "After all, we're all friends here. wouldn't do to spook anyone right? Because that would be bad for everyone concerned."


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