Meeting of the brass
Posted on Wed May 17th, 2017 @ 11:21pm by Captain Elijah Michaels & Lieutenant JG Elliot Keller & Commander Bertrand Cuprum & Commander Cor Cordale & Lieutenant Commander Ziyal Tajor & Lieutenant Hel Samedi & Lieutenant Valeria Mordin
The Trial of Cor Cordale
Location: Presidium Command deck
The Diplomatic team were led along a short corridor to a lift, which took them rapidly up to the command and administration level. Many of the Niponese had their gills exposed, but it was not uncommon for them to wear scarves or high colars to hide their gills.
When they stepped out the view they held took their breath away. Large wide glass windows displayed the Presidium spread out below them like a giant web of glass and steel. Thin arms connected all the repair and refit docks to the central core, supported by the giant Gravitational Stacks. Far below the surface of the planet glowed with reflected light and they could just make out the vast city below the station that supported all of those who did not live on the station itself.
They were greeted by a small group of Niponese, all in scarlet and purple with gills bright blue. They approached with hands up and palms towards the guests.
"Bright morning to you, representatives of the United Federation," said one with gold braiding on his uniform. "I am Ambassador Ar-mig-at."
"I am Captain Elijah Michaels." Elijah said as he bowed to the Ambassador. "This is Lieutenant Keller."
Elliot nodded and bowed in respect.
Ar-mig-at turned his palms to each of the guests as they were introduced and then back to Elijah, "I am authorized to answer your questions and provide whatever you require for a satisfactory report to your superiors. I am sure you must have a mountain of questions. Would you like to take refreshments, or would you prefer to meet immediately?"
"I think it would only be right to sample refreshments and administer full diplomatic protocol." Elijah said smiling.
"Splendid!" the Ambassador trilled, lowering his hands and gesturing towards a large buffet table. "We have a selection of local produce for you to try. We have also had some of the specifications of your own dishes, but our replicators, I fear, are not as sophisticated as yours, so we have attempted to construct them by hand, using local equivalents."
The local food had a large amount of vegetable matter, though there were several fish dishes as well. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, seafood seemed to be a strong cultural influence. There were also attempts at Federation food. The Sushi was excellent, but the Steak (made from some local insect) was rather tough and unappetizing.
Another of the officials confided to Keller as he was enjoying the view, "I have often thought that the true sophistication of a culture can be witnessed in their food. To lavish, suggests debauchery. Too simple suggests poverty or to strong a focus on things like industry or finance and not enough on investing in its people. What do you think?"
The Lieutenant nodded. "I agree, human culture is rife with such examples and even now it is prevelant in some advanced cultures."
Ar-mig-at was still talking with the Captain, "I am a very strong supporter of integration with the Federation. I have been reading up on the way you have supported cultural diversity, and I am amazed at what you have achieved. I only hope we will be able to unify our own culture enough to secure admission."
Elijah nodded as he took a piece of the Sushi. "The Federation takes pride in the equality and diversity it has promoted." The Captain smiled. "Achieving such things was never easy for he first Humans to explore the Stars but with our determination we persevered."
"Not easy, no," Ar-mig-at agreed. "We still have factions that feel we should remain isolationist; avoid contact with alien powers. For the most part they are extremist fanatics, but there are some sympathizers in key positions. We suffer from a xenophobic outlook as a culture. You should see the lists of rules we had to agree to to even get you on the station. 'No discussing technical specs', 'No alien involvement in Station affairs'."
"In fact it was your own Prime Directive that swayed the Balance. We felt that a race that had 'Non-interference' as it's governing rule was one that may be worth opening our doors to. Even so, the vote was not unanimous. We are not ready to be part of your Federation yet, but it is my hope that this involvement will encourage my people towards it."
"Well from what I have seen of your culture so far Ambassador." The Captain held out his hand in the formal greeting common to Humans. "You would be more than welcome."
There was a shudder in the station. As Keller watched through the window a large orange plume of flame appeared at one of the gravity stacks. Apart from that nothing happened immediately.
"What was that?" Keller asked as he pointed to the Gravity Stack.
"I... don't know," the official said, his gills tinging white. "It... it has never..."
A siren sounded, and a voice came across the comms.
"All personnel to evacuation stations. This is not a drill. repeat, all personnel to evacuation stations. This is not a drill."
Ar-mig-at pressed his comms device, "Ar-mig-at. What's happening?"
"There has been an explosion in the gravity stacks," the voice came back. "We are loosing orbital stability."
"Where are the engineering crew?"
"They were all on site. Security is in situ but it looks like there are no survivours."
"What? None?" Ar-mig-at was incredulous.
"We have contacted the surface and the college is sending up their students, but by the time they are gathered and on their way, it could be hours before they arrive."
"Ar-mig-at!" the delegate next to Keller called, pointing out the window.
As they watched one of the furthest arms of the Docking array began to buckle and shift. Metal fragments began to fall off towards the city below.
Elijah and Keller watched in shock at the situation. It was not something they expected to see.
Ar-mig-at turned to Elijha, "Captain, I must request that you rejoin your crew and get back to your ship as soon as possible. We cannot assure you of your safety here. If it can get back to Docking port 38, we can escort you there. It is inside the Well and should be stable for another half an hour or so."
"Understood." He said with a nod.
Elijah's comms crackled to life, "USS Victory to Away teams. We have detected explosions in your vicinity. Please advise of your status."
"Michaels to Victory, we are alright here Victory but the Station is in bad shape." He said pressing his comm.
The team were hurried back towards the coking area, Ar-mig-at explaining as they went, "For your won security we need to be able to say all of your team were monitored at the time of the incident and returned to the ship before they could influence anything. It is very important to my government that we do not involve outsiders."
"Understood." Elijah with a nod.
The group arrived at the same docking bay. Through a window they could see the Victory trying to move into position when Ar-mig-at received a call.
"Sir, First Respondent Lu-Chif here. Some of the Aliens are trying to force access to the incident scene. We are requesting they return tot heir vessel but they are refusing."
Ar-mig-at frowned at the Captain, "I... do not understand. Why would your people be so... difficult?"
"Who are they? Can you identify those Officers?" Elijah asked.
'Your engineering team. Your third officer, I believe?"
Elijah nodded. Cordale would only interfere for the right reason.
They arrived at the docking port only a moment before the first runabout form the USS Victory. Kevin, his Security teams and Sara with her medical teams stepped onto the station and met up with the CO and the Diplomatic Officer.
"Captain, Lt Keller" Kevin nodded in greeting as he approached the two officers "Are we any further forward in what's happening?" he asked.
"Only that there was an explosion and the Stations Engineers are dead." Elijah commented.
Ar-mig-at was becoming quite agitated, "Captain, you and your crew must board your craft quickly."
"We cannot leave until my Engineering Crew is safe." The Captain said. "Kevin I want this position secure, we do not leave until the last possible second."
"Aye Sir" Kevin replied. He assessed the area around them within moments and had his Security teams take up positions that allowed them to both defend themselves and the Victory crew, but also create an area where they could attack anyone coming towards them.
"Right now we need to get to Cors team." Elliot commented.
Ar-mig-at gestured down a corridor, "No need it seems."
At that moment they could see the engineering group approaching, escorted by Station security and a very anxious Ara-te. As they approached, Ar-mig-at called to them, "Where is First Engineer Cra-dich?"
Ara-te just shook her head.
Cordale and the rest of the away team came down the hall at a brisk pace. When they met up with the Captain and the primary away team, Cordale slowed to give his report, "There was an explosion in the Gravity Stacks. I..." a pause, "I was ready to offer aid, based on my engineering background, but it was refused. No offense, but sitting idly by and watching folks get hurt, or worse... doesn't quite sit well with me. I was insistent, so were they. My team here..."
Cordale motioned to the others.
"... reminded me that while I have a Thux's heart, I'm an officer first. At their council, I acknowledged their request for non-interference and we moved here at good speed." a pause from the cobalt-blue weaseloid, "My apologies if my insistence made things tense." Cordale said.
"Got a hell of a team to pull me back."
"No offense was intended, and we're still entirely willing to help in any way we can." Opined Hel. "Least we can do is try and shoot down the falling debris, reduce it to dust. It'll cause a nuclear winter below, but that's a damn sight better than cratering cities."
Ziyal followed Cor and nodded in agreement with what he and Hel said. She scanned the officials, seeing what their reaction was to Cor and Hel reporting. Hopefully someone here would have the authority to tell security to let them in and the engineers to cooperate.
The station shook, and Ar-mig-at hurried forward, "Please, Captain. You have your crew. We must get you to safety. I do not want an incident where Federation Emissaries died due to Nironese terrorist action."
He indicated back towards where the Runabout was still docked.
Hel took off on a jog in the indicated direction.. "Time's wasting, people! The sooner we de-ass the area, the sooner they can get to work not worrying about us!"
"Alright everyone lets get on the Runabout." Elijah signalled as he watched the Nironese depart. "Those poor bastards."
Kevin and his Security teams, backs to the away team, covered their return to the runabout. He was in no doubt that anyone who could cause such catastrophic destruction could also think of taking out the Victory away team. He steadied the line, making sure their withdrawal was a safe one. Once onboard, he sighed quietly to himself.