Updated: Mar 18
The Valley Forge must once again divert course from her diplomatic escort mission when the services of the diplomat they are ferrying are requested to arbitrate a dispute between the Sheliak Corporate and the Ferengi Alliance. However, there are forces at work beyond a simple legal claim as an old enemy moves its pieces from the shadows...
Mana@anncarise FX | Keelah's terminal flashes with an incoming call from 'Sector Command.' Keelah@crystyll sets down her PADD and turns to the console, brow quirking slightly at seeing the sender as she answers the hail Mana@anncarise FX | On her screen, the image of an old man appears in the background of what looks like a station ops room. Unlike the man from the Jericho colony, who was broadly built with wild white hair, - Mana@anncarise - this man was almost the complete opposite, with a frail look, dark skin and a head with no hair remaining. He wears the uniform of a flag officer with the pips of a Vice Admiral. Keelah@crystyll looks to the man on screen, "Vice Admiral...? I do not believe I've previously had the pleasure" Mana@anncarise | The admiral speaks. His voice doesn't match his body at all, where one would normally expect a coarse, aged voice, his resonates not only with power but a mechanical ring. Mana@anncarise | Admiral: "Vice Admiral Abhishek Arishan. You are the commanding officer of the Valley Forge?" Keelah@crystyll nods curtly, "Captain Keelah Se'Lai, Sir. How may I be of assistance?" Mana@anncarise | The old admiral narrows his eyes and leans in to his side of the screen, "Se'Lai?" Keelah@crystyll: "Correct Sir" she answers, already knowing the connection of familiarity that is coming Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan cracks a small smile, "It is good to hear that name again, and in another prominent position within our fleet." Keelah@crystyll: "I take from that Sir, that you are familiar with my mother" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Familiar?" He gives a chuckle that sounds more machine than human, "I owe my life to her. I was a Petty Officer on Starbase 191 during the first war with the Tzenkethi." Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Lost both my natural lungs when the station was hit, along with a few other bits. But without T'Lia's intervention I would have lost much more." Keelah@crystyll nods slowly as the connection reveals, "I see. Then Sir, I can only hope to serve you now to the same standard she did back then" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "I am sure you are every bit as capable as her. But it is not your services I seek today. Your ship is carrying a diplomat, correct? An Enelya Vix?" Keelah@crystyll: "That is correct Admiral, we are escorting the ambassador to the new Orion colony" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "I am afraid I must ask you to divert course momentarily. There is a matter which your ambassador must assist with." Keelah@crystyll: "Is... this a request, or an order Sir? For the Ambassador I mean. She strikes me as the sort to want to know..." Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "A request, of course, but one I hope you and the ambassador are capable of meeting. You see, our diplomatics are engaged in talks around Bajor and Deep Space Nine. - Mana@anncarise - it is a delicate situation which must not be disturbed. However, another, less expected matter has arisen and the ambassador is the only diplomat in the region who we may divert." Keelah@crystyll: "I understand Admiral, and am sure she will be amenable to assisting however she can. Would you prefer to brief her directly?" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Do you believe she will take more kindly to me or one of her own from the diplomatic corps?" Keelah@crystyll: "There is a colleague of hers we can rendezvous with for a full debrief?" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Unfortunately not, or her services would not be necessary. However, I may request that the diplomatic corps provide her a briefing over communications if that is preferable." Keelah@crystyll: "I suspect she would be more content getting the facts on the ground, so to speak. Very well, I shall brief her based on whatever information you can provide me" Mana@anncarise | The Admiral nods, "Are you familiar with the Ferengi Alliance or the Sheliak Corporate?" Keelah@crystyll restrains a sigh at mention of the Ferengi, "I am... familiar with the Ferengi Sir, yes. Not so much this corporation" Mana@anncarise | The Admiral leans back in his chair. Apparently having gauged Keelah's emotional reaction, he gives a few more nods of agreement, "The Ferengi will be the least of your concerns." Keelah@crystyll: "That... is not as reassuring as I assume it was meant to be, Sir" she says, a slightly quirked look in her eye Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "It was not meant to be. The Sheliak are far more difficult to deal with. The Corporate is the only public face we know of this reclusive people." Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "The Federation does not hold regular contact with the Corporate, but from the information we have from the Ferengi we understand that the Ferengi Alliance holds a trade - Mana@anncarise - agreement with the Sheliak." Keelah@crystyll: "I assume that this trade agreement has come into a form of dispute then. What is the Federation's interest in this affair?" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "In usual circumstances, we have none. But a few hours ago we received a call from a Ferengi representative seeking the Federation's diplomatic assistance with the dispute." Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Before the dialogue could finish, Starfleet channels across the sector was bombarded with the following message." Mana@anncarise FX | A message begins playing over the terminal: "Federation creatures. By Paragraph 1498 of the Ferengi-Sheliak Regulated Trade Agreement, the Ferengi Alliance has requested you to be - Mana@anncarise - the third-party arbitrator in a dispute. Refusal to paricipate or failure to respond within four days will result in the agreement considered violated by the Ferengi Alliance and appropriate - Mana@anncarise: - consequences will follow." Keelah@crystyll quirks a brow, "...'appropriate consequences'?" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "For the Ferengi people. We do not know the specifics of what that will entail, but given the Ferengi representative's desperation and the Sheliak's history of violent reactions- Mana@anncarise - we have reason to believe it will be more than trade tariffs. Command wants this handled as quickly and quietly as possible. The quadrant is in enough disarray as it is." Keelah@crystyll nods her agreement, "We will do all we can to assist, Sir. If we have anything on the quoted trade agreement, or this corporation; I'm sure it would all serve to help prepare the Ambassador" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "We do not know the nature of this dispute, but we have an archive of this agreement as it was in 2401. I will have this document forwarded to you, as well as what little - Mana@anncarise - information the Federation archive has on the Sheliak." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you Admiral. I will report back as soon as we have news" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Excellent. I hope you and the Ambassador will be able to resolve this with minimal conflict." Keelah@crystyll: "As do I, Sir" Mana@anncarise | Admiral Arishan: "Arishan out." Rayna@drcrippler strides onto the bridge, and stands by the turbolift, looking around the bridge Keelah@crystyll exits her ready room, looking straight to the flight team at the front, "Chag, Fisher; lay in a new course for the Sheliak system" Keliaya@anncarise glances back curiously, "Sheliak?" Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, we have received a request for assistance. Or... the Ambassador has, to be precise..." Sharpe@falconecoose glances at the Captains one of them exits the turbo and the other the ready room, her cybernetic eye adjusts it's zoom back and forth as she does so Keliaya@anncarise: "By the Sheliak? Since when do they ask for Starfleet help?" Rayna@drcrippler makes her way to the Captain. "Captain. Commander Phoenix reporting," she says officially Keelah@crystyll: "They didn't. The... Ferengi did..." she clearly can't believe it herself as she looks up, "Commander" she smiles, "Along for the ride?" Rayna@drcrippler 's accent is hard to place, but one might hear a familiar northern overtone Rayna@drcrippler: "Yes, we were in the area and I thought it would be prudent to offer my assistance. The Zulu will not be accompanying us, but she will be in range if needed," Keelah@crystyll FX | Fisher reports the new course laid in and the stars blur on screen as the VF adjusts course Keelah@crystyll: "Good to know, Commander" she smiles, looking her up and down curiously at hearing the vaguely familiar accent Keelah@crystyll taps her intercom, "Ambassador Vix, please report to the Captain's Ready Room" Rayna@drcrippler: "You are transporting an Ambassador? May I ask whom, and where?" Keelah@crystyll: "Ambassador Enelya Vix. We are escorting her to the new Orion colony on the border. However this request has come from Command upon receipt of this message..." she taps away, calling up the recording Keliaya@anncarise FX | A message begins playing over the speakers: "Federation creatures. By Paragraph 1498 of the Ferengi-Sheliak Regulated Trade Agreement, the Ferengi Alliance has requested you to be - Keliaya@anncarise - the third-party arbitrator in a dispute. Refusal to paricipate or failure to respond within four days will result in the agreement considered violated by the Ferengi Alliance and appropriate - Keliaya@anncarise - consequences will follow." Keelah@crystyll looks around the gathered officers as it concludes, "And so, being the only available members of the Corps in range; Ambassador Vix is being asked to attend" Rayna@drcrippler: "Seems serious. A threat from the Ferengi is often a death sentence," she says dryly Keelah@crystyll: "And apparently the Sheliak are even more severe, which is why this threat is being taken so seriously even it's aimed at the Ferengi and not us directly" Keelah@crystyll: "Command does not want any further unbalance in the region at present, not with everything going on around Bajor" Rayna@drcrippler nods. "Indeed," she says in an uncannyily similar way to an ex Fleet Admiral. "It is our duty as peacekeepers to keep the peace. It will be interesting to see how this dispute unfolds," Keelah@crystyll nods, turning to Sharpe, "You'll forgive me for saying I hope your services are not required on such a delicate mission" she chuckles lightly Sharpe@falconecoose laughs softly "No it is fine, I perfectly understand." Keliaya@anncarise | T'Quila: "Captain, we are receiving a hail from the Sheliak." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "Well... we have-..." looks to T'Quila, "Put them through. This should be interesting..." Rayna@drcrippler looks to the viewscreen expectantly Keliaya@anncarise FX | The viewscreen remains blank as the message comes through audio-only, "Federation starship. Halt your vessel at five hundred thousand kilometres outside the perimeter of the Shelia system. - Keliaya@anncarise - Your sensors will detect the lone Ferengi vessel. Proceed towards it." Keelah@crystyll: "Acknowledged" she replies curtly, nodding to Chag who's totally down front where he should be... Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Valley Forge drops out of warp. Keliaya@anncarise: "Picking up a Ferengi D'Kora-class ship and an unidentified vessel matching Sheliak signatures." Sharpe@falconecoose adjusts her belts and pouches slightly "I have a bad feeling about this..." Rayna@drcrippler: "Terribly polite creatures are they not?" she carefully tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed..." She remains purposely vague as to who she's concurring with, likely both Keliaya@anncarise | Chag: "Heading towards the ships now." Keelah@crystyll: "Bring us within range per our instructions. T'Quila, hail the D'Kora and advise them to stand by for contact from the Ambassador" Keliaya@anncarise | T'Quila: "Yes captain." Keelah@crystyll looks around again, "We have a... dated copy of this trade agreement. I'll be in my ready room trying to make sense of it. Kelly, let the Ambassador know to join me when she gets here" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Will do, captain." Rayna@drcrippler takes this time to have a wonder around the bridge Rayna@drcrippler asks a few questions as she moves around...almost looking...important? Keliaya@anncarise FX | The viewscreen image displays the two ships they are approaching. The Ferengi ship looks typical for a D'Kora, while the other ship appears to be slightly larger than the Valley Forge. Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Sheliak ship has a clear militaristic aesthetic. From the front two long prongs extend like bayonetes, but upon closer inspection they are visibly large weapon extensions, like oversized - Keliaya@anncarise - variants of cannon mounts on Klingon bird of prey wings. Even further, on top of the vessel are two long torpedo tubes and various smaller armanents across the ship. Sharpe@falconecoose watches the view screen as she studies the two ships Rayna@drcrippler: "Interesting," she comments whislt tapping the console reviewing the tactical specs of the VF. Enelya@crystyll fiiiiinally exits and looks to the ships on screen, "Well, that is an inviting sight now isn't it" Keliaya@anncarise: "It's a Sheliak warship, the first one the Federation's seen in years. They've certainly made many improvements since the 23rd century." Enelya@crystyll looks to T'Quila, "How about we let our friends introduce themselves. Would you be a dear and open a channel with both ships" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise | T'Quila: "Channel opened." Keliaya@anncarise is also adding the newest Sheliak specs to the intel database. Rayna@drcrippler after reviewing the specs, she makes her way towards the centre, off screen, to watch how this plays out Rayna@drcrippler is not impressed. Rayna@drcrippler is actually indifferent, but I like the stance so... Enelya@crystyll: "Esteemed representatives of the Sheliak Corporation and Ferengi Alliance. This is Ambassador Enelya Vix responding as 3rd party arbitrator" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Sheliak appear on screen first: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/1/18/Sheliak.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20161121022939&path-prefix=en Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "Has the Ferengi informed you of the nature of the dispute?" Enelya@crystyll: "No, in order to maintain neutrality in my role I have refrained from independent communication with either of you up to this point" Rayna@drcrippler is not impressed. Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "As per Regulation Zero-One of mediation procedure, we will present our grieviance, and then the accused will offer their perspective." Enelya@crystyll dips her head, "But of course. Please proceed" Enelya@crystyll signals T'Quila to mute comms and looks to Sharpe and Rayna, "If you two may be so kind, I believe your invovlement here may be beneficial" she gestures for them both to join her Sharpe@falconecoose raises her eyebrow slightly as she approaches Rayna@drcrippler does so Enelya@crystyll: "The Sheliak will - I believe - be more responsive to to the word of a MACO, while the Ferengi can be more easily manouvered by the authority of a CO" Enelya@crystyll holds an attentive gaze on screen to the Sheliak's speech while addressing the others Keliaya@anncarise | The Sheliak continues: "Four days, 21 hours ago, a trade vessel of the Sheliak Corporate was destroyed along the Ferenginar trade route." Rayna@drcrippler smiles very briefly as she touches her pips. "The Ferengi will be more easily manoeuvered by the thought of gold. Lucky for e these pips were given to be by a friend, and they are exactly that," Rayna@drcrippler: *me Enelya@crystyll smiles lightly, "That they can, but be mindful not to dangle the carrot under their nose; lest they see that you want something from them. Let them want it from you first, then find a way to earn Enelya@crystyll: it from you by co-operating" Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "Paragraph 45, Section A of the Ferengi-Sheliak Regulated Trade Agreement states that the segment of the route outside Corporate space is to be patrolled and secured by the Ferengi - Rayna@drcrippler nods. "I apprieciate the advice, Ambassador," she smiles Keliaya@anncarise - Alliance. Any losses suffered on the aforementioned segment will be covered in full by the Ferengi Alliance and with additional reparation." Enelya@crystyll turns her attention to Sharpe as she continues to listen attentively, "You saw their ship. These are a regimented and militaristic people; use that - but be mindful that they must first recognize + Enelya@crystyll: your authority before they will respond to it" Sharpe@falconecoose shrugs lightly "I may not be the best example of a militaristic officer, get told I am a bit too laid back a lot of the time. But I will see what I can do." Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "However, the Ferengi Alliance is refusing to accept their negligence and make the appropriate reparations." Enelya@crystyll smiles at the response, giving T'Quila a nod to unmute Enelya@crystyll: "The complaint is heard. Do you wish to add any supplemental information before we speak with the Ferengi?" Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "No. We do not." Keliaya@anncarise | The Sheliak feed cuts abruptly, and the image of a Ferengi pops up to replace it. Enelya@crystyll smiles lightly at the 'efficient' comms, turning and gesturing for Rayna to take the lead with this one Enelya@crystyll folds her arms over the back of Keelah's chair as she quietly observes Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "Greetings! I am DaiMon Dagg of the Ferengi Alliance. You're here to help, yes?" He offers a toothy smile. Rayna@drcrippler steps forward. "I am Commander Phoenix. I will certainly do all I can to assist," she nods Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "Excellent! Excellent!" he clasps his hands together. "So you know what the Sheliak is accusing us of, right?" Rayna@drcrippler: "They have informed us, yes," Rayna@drcrippler: "I take it you do not agree with them," Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "Well, I'll say one thing for the Sheliak- they are always precise! If they say they've lost a ship then they've lost a ship. But you see, the thing is..." Rayna@drcrippler raises her eyebrow Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "These Sheliak are /too/ precise. Yes, the agreement says we're supposed to be responsible for that route. However, where that ship was lost, that's not on the route of our patrols." Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "That space we relegated over to /you/. Decades ago, in fact, but our limited contact with the Sheliak means we never rectified the terms." Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "And now they're holding us responsible for reparations." Rayna@drcrippler looks to T'Quila to mute the comms. Turns back. "Can we confirm that statement?" Enelya@crystyll quirks a brow at hearing the Ferengi being lax in reinforcing a contract Enelya@crystyll nods, "That is correct" Rayna@drcrippler nods once, before looking back to T'Quila to reopen comms. "What is it that you propose then?" she asks the Ferengi Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "Well, you see...there's no way for us to get out of making this payment to the Sheliak. But since it's technically your responsibility, you can pay it to us first, because the Alliance- Keliaya@anncarise - isn't willing to claim responsibility for this." Rayna@drcrippler: "And how much is this payment exactly?" Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "They're asking for the equivalent of ten thousand bars of gold-pressed latinum." Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "However, by Paragraph 45 Section A Subsection C, reparations are not the only way to resolve this." Sharpe@falconecoose raises her eyebrow slightly at the sum Rayna@drcrippler folds her hands behind her back. "Oh? How exactly did they arrive at such a number, and what else does Paragraph 45, Section A, Subsection C suggest this could be resolved?" Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "I've examined their formula and there's nothing wrong with it. They keep a strict record of all the resources used to built their ship, all the cargo on board, the value of the crew - Keliaya@anncarise - and convert it to how much it would be worth in latinum, then add the 10 percent reparation fee on top and they arrived somewhere near ten thousand bars." Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "But, like I said, that's not the only way. Reparation is their /preferred/ method, but they take two more." Rayna@drcrippler: "And these are?" Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "The words translate roughly to 'Retribution' and 'Justice.' In the case that payment isn't possible, they take something of equal value away from you- retribution." Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "An ear for an ear, as you humans say." Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "Now obviously we won't let them shoot down one of our ships. So the third option is finding someone more responsible for the damage and making /them/ pay. Justice." Rayna@drcrippler mutters something very quietly under her breath that could perhaps have been translated as "that's not what we say at all" Rayna@drcrippler: "So that would be, the people who destroyed the vessel in the first place, if I am not mistaken?" Keliaya@anncarise | Ferengi: "Exactly! You're a bright human. If you can find who destroyed the vessel and either convince them to pay or blow up something equivalent to the Sheliak vessel..." Enelya@crystyll stands up straight, stretching her back a little, "I think we have enough for the moment. We'll be in touch shortly" she gives T'Quila the nod Rayna@drcrippler nods. "Very well, is there anything else you would like to inform us about?" Enelya@crystyll: "So... thoughts?" Rayna@drcrippler turns. "Well we're not paying that much. And I'm not entirely convinced that they haven't levied a Ferengi tax on that sum, to skim a few bars off for themselves before they pay the actual + Rayna@drcrippler: reperation amount. But since it was in our territory, we are ultimately responsible so tracking down the offenders is our prime target it seems," Enelya@crystyll: "That may be. But remember that we have no such contract with the Sheliak. That is still the Ferengi's and they know this perfectly well. What about you Lieutenant?" Sharpe@falconecoose turns slightly as she starts to speak "It's Captain, Ambassador. And as far as it seems to me, the Ferengi want a way out for them self no matter what we do, we pay them they make a quick buck or > Sharpe@falconecoose > we hunt down the attacker and the Ferengi still get a way out no matter what the outcome is. So it is a win-win for them either way...and I am just a simple solider but my senses are telling me > Sharpe@falconecoose > if we do go after the attacker we may be walking into a trap..." as she shrugs slightly as she finishes speaking Enelya@crystyll: "Ah, apologies! The lighting on these modern bridges can play tricks with the pips from some angles!" she chuckles Enelya@crystyll: "And you make quite the astute assessment. So the Ferengi know they are contractually bound, and they know that we are morally bound due to the political climate in the region. Obviously simply Enelya@crystyll: handing out latinum is not in the Federation's best interests, nor is potentially waging war against an unknown assailant" Enelya@crystyll: "How then, do we proceed to a mutually amenable solution?" Rayna@drcrippler: "I would say finding the people who did destroy the ship is within our own interests as well, as it would seem that they are in our territory. Next time, it could be our own vessels," Enelya@crystyll: "And what if it transpires that it is an allied ship that was being provoked by the Sheliak?" Sharpe@falconecoose shrugs lightly "As I said I am a simple soldier but you never go looking for the hunter when it could be a trap, as you simply become the prey..." Rayna@drcrippler: "If it was provocation, it gives us something we can use to confront the Sheliak with," Enelya@crystyll: "Very true. Perhaps we need to learn more about what happened. Captain?" Sharpe@falconecoose sighs softly "I assume you want me to speak to the Sheliak now then." Enelya@crystyll smiles, "It seems a good opportunity, wouldn't you say" Rayna@drcrippler steps to one side. "The stage is yours Captain," Sharpe@falconecoose shrugs slighly, a small grin on her face "Sure, may as well get this over with." as she adjusts her belt and chest strap Enelya@crystyll also steps back to observe Keliaya@anncarise FX | T'Quila puts the Sheliak on. Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "Have you reached an understanding with the Ferengi?" Sharpe@falconecoose stands with her arms crossed behind at her back as she stands at ease "I am Captain Eve Sharpe of MACO Team 12, and we have spoken to Ferengi and they have told us their take on the matter, now > Sharpe@falconecoose > what is yours?" Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "We expect proper payment from the Ferengi creatures. Failure to do so will bring further consequences." Sharpe@falconecoose nods lightly "They have told us of a second possible way as per paragraph 45, Section A, Subsection C - something of equal value may be taken or action be taken against." Sharpe@falconecoose: "They refer to it as Justice or retribution." Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "Those are acceptable forms of compensation for the destroyed vessel. If the Ferengi wish to pursue these courses of action they will be subject to the same time limit of twenty-five - Keliaya@anncarise - days, twenty of which are remaining." Sharpe@falconecoose nods lightly "It is good to know that you are open to that solution, however you must be aware of the position that we are as well. As I am sure you have experienced yourself in one form or > Sharpe@falconecoose > another, when you are given a choice of bad orders and objectives you choose the lesser of the evils commited by either. So if possible would you be able to come to some sort of comprimise?" Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "The permissible methods of compensation are as listed in the agreement. The Ferengi have three choices. One must be taken." Sharpe@falconecoose: "I understand but you must be willing to come to some sort of comprimise that makes it more favourable to all parties involved are you not?" Keliaya@anncarise | Sheliak: "We have already provided three options of compensation. That is more options than most Corporate negotiations. Further conversation is not required." Sharpe@falconecoose brows darken slightly as she frowns, a hint of the anger of the older Sharpe surfacing as she speaks "Then I see no reason for this conversation to continue." as she motions to the comms officer > Sharpe@falconecoose > cut the channel Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Sheliak is one step ahead of T'Quila and cuts it just before she does. Sharpe@falconecoose still frowing as she turns around with a shrug "Well that went well..." Rayna@drcrippler: "Well it looks like we have our three options then," Enelya@crystyll: "We can at least investigate the incident and see what we can learn. Perhaps our findings there will help guide us towards a resolution" Rayna@drcrippler: "We have a nice margin of twenty days. If not, the poor Ferengi will have to suffer "the consequences"" Keliaya@anncarise | Chag: "We can reach the site in 5 days and make our way back in 5. We should have more than enough time to investigate, if anything is to be found at the site that is." Enelya@crystyll: "That sounds good to me. I will speak with the Captain then regarding the arrangements." she pauses to smile looking between the pair, "Good work today, both of you" Rayna@drcrippler: "Well I should make arrangements for the Zulu to intercept to accompany us. Please, forgive me," she nods politely and departs Sharpe@falconecoose shrugs lightly "Just doing my job...I'm really not cut out for these things."
SUBMITTED: Stardate 94424 FILED BY: CAPT K Se'Lai SECURITY: Level 1 - Open
LOCATION: Sheliak-Ferengi border
MISSION: SUPPLEMENTAL: Investigate disappearance of Sheliak freighter, in order to defuse tensions between the Sheliak and the Ferengi Alliance as third-party mediator in the dispute.
OUTCOME: Destruction of the Sheliak freighter has been confirmed, and its wreckage has been recovered. Culprits identified as a group formerly belonging to the True Way. Data exchange with a crew affiliated to the Branded Lady organization revealed new informations. Independent smuggling operation shut down as by-product of the investigation.
CAPT Timoreev (USS Attar) CAPT Se'Lai (USS Valley Forge) CAPT Cynis (IKS Daramar) GUL Ghemor (CDR Restoration) CMDR Phoenix (USS Zulu) LCDR Eunbi LCDR Keliaya LCDR Knight CWO K'Timac CPT Sharpe AMB Vix (NPC) VADM Abhishek Arishan USS Honnington (NPC)
NARRATIVE: The main report in this file from Captain Timoreev pertains to the task force action carried out as a result of our requested diversion to allow Ambassador Vix to respond to a request for mediation from the Ferengi in the aforementioned dispute. The request came to us from Vice Admiral Abhishek Arishan who advised that due to the existing volatile situation presently consuming the region; our passenger was the only experienced and capable member of the Diplomatic Corps. in a position to respond to the message requested aid.
Seeing that the Sheliak had imposed a time constraint on the Ferengi, the Valley Forge immediately diverted and the Ambassador was briefed en route. Upon arrival, it became apparent that the Ferengi had got themselves into a bit of a situation and the Sheliak were rightfully calling them out on it. Following consultation with the senior staff on board however, the Ambassador agreed to assist them in this matter by invoking a seldom used clause in Sheliak contracts allowing the 'debt' of the lost ship to be repayed by finding those responsible. This was later confirmed to be of the mindset that whatever the situation between the Ferengi and Sheliak; there was - at the time - an unidentified force posing a threat to the region and this in itself warranted investigation to safeguard the Federation's interests.
Given the nature of the investigation - and unknown capacity of the foe we were investigating - the decision was made to pool available resources in the region as a matter of course, before proceeding with the investigation. This of course culminated in the task force action detailed in the main report. Further to this however, was one particular avenue of investigation which saw the Valley Forge and Zulu intercept an unidentified freighter passing through the region. Allowing Commander Phoenix to pursue the lead that her ship first detected, it was deemed necessary to board the freighter after identifying inconsistencies with their presented information; and given that the Valley Forge was better equipped to handle said action; I ordered the Zulu to rejoin the Attar while we saw to the freighter.
Our boarding party quickly learned - following some apt investigation by MACO Captain Sharpe - that the Yridian vessel was in fact smuggling contraband and we adhered to the Captain's determination that it's command crew be placed into custody - pending a detailed investigation - and the vessel seized.
RECOMMENDATION: I concur with Captain Timoreev's assessment of the standoff with the Branded Lady's 'scavanger ship'. Though I did not have the luxury of serving as witness to his testimony, I - and the Valley Forge - have had multiple encounters with this ship and it's unstable commander, and know that whilst conflict is likely with this ship - it is far from a guarantee and it has in some form at least, proven to operate as much as an ally as a foe in the past, depending on their own needs.l
Regarding the impounded freighter and it's crew; the boarding party reported that the Yridian captain pleaded for amnesty on behalf of the civilian families on board his ship. I also concur with Captain Sharpe that this should be honoured if the full investigation shows that their claim to innocence is just.
Finally I have recommended to Ambassador Vix that the Diplomatic Corps. make a priority of reviewing the stated trade agreement as there is at least some founding in the Ferengi's claim that some degree of responsibility may have inadvertently been passed to the Federation when the Ferengi Alliance signed this region of space over to Federation control. Though I doubt there is any enforceable clause to enforce against the Federation in this - or any other 'inherited' agreement, it is best to be prudent.