Updated: Mar 8
The Latenter stalks along some months behind the Valley Forge on it's rimward journey. It's first stop is Decen where the Valley Forge left a landmark peace treaty in place between the Five Families.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The Latenter is on approach to the Decen colony world of Drasca, seat of the Drasca Family.
Mischa@crystyll enters the CIC, approaching T'Lana, "What is our status?"
T'Lana@anncarise stands, vacating the chair for Mischa, "We are five minutes and sixteen seconds away from arrival in the Drasca System, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll occupies the vacated seat, "Any last minute thoughts regarding these people?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "According to what I gathered from the reports, the Drasca Family is known for their skill at deception."
T'Lana@anncarise: "That means everything we think we know of them may be worthy of scrutiny."
Mischa@crystyll: "And their penchant for favouring underhand tactics makes this like dealing with the Obsidian Order"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Indeed. They have supposedly agreed to make peace with the other Decen, but I suspect they either have more to gain from such an alliance than the other families, or possess an ulterior motive."
Mischa@crystyll: "I have to confess that even knowing Keelah as I do, I am somewhat surprised at the level of ease she managed to broker the peace in this generational conflict"
T'Lana@anncarise: "There have been many renowned peacemakers among Vulcans. But I do not expect the situation to be be resolved so easily either."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Ten seconds to exiting warp."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | And sure enough, the Latenter drops out of warp almost exactly 10 seconds later.
Mischa@crystyll straightens in her seat, "Alright, show time then. Open a channel"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daurant: "Ma'am, I'm reading debris in several areas around the system. If I'm not mistaken, the Valley Forge prevented a battle going on here and saw no debris during their last visit."
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Fel: "There are functional Decen ships as well. Over two dozen in orbit of the planet."
Mischa@crystyll: "Belay that channel. I want a full analysis on that debris before we reveal ourselves"
T'Lana@anncarise steps up to T'Fel's console to observe.
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Fel: "The damage is consistent with disruptor fire, patterning a match for Decen pulse weaponry."
Mischa@crystyll: "What of the debris itself, can you match it to one of the other Families?"
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Fel: "The ones that can still be identified are Valeni Family."
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Bee: "I am reading energy discharges suggesting large amounts of particle weapons being used in a concentrated area on the surface."
T'Lana@anncarise: "A battle on the ground?"
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Bee: "That would be my conclusion as well."
Mischa@crystyll: "Let's take a closer look. Put it up on screen, maximum maginification"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Image of the surface shows a damaged city with plumes of smoke arising from certain buildings. Individual people cannot be discerned, though some of the larger vehicles can be made out as -
T'Lana@anncarise: - gunships.
T'Lana@anncarise | Daurant: "The ships in orbit, the intact ones that is, seem to be a mixture of Drasca and Valeni Family ships. But they're not firing on each other."
Mischa@crystyll: "Interesting. No signs of debris from non-Decen vessels?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daurant: "None at all, ma'am."
Mischa@crystyll: "Something is definitely not adding up here..." she leans forward, attentively watching the action unfolding on the ground
T'Lana@anncarise FX | On the screen, three shuttlecraft attempt to break away from the city. Two are taken down by gunships, but the other gains altitude quickly before suddenly being struck by three red bolts.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | It explodes in a flash, with tiny specks of its debris raining back down onto the surface.
Mischa@crystyll: "Which vessel fired on that shuttle?"
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Fel: "A Drasca ship in orbit, Commander. Even though the shuttle was departing a Drasca city."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daurant: "A Valeni ship is transporting reinforcements outside the city. It appears they have set up a transporter-disrupting field inside the city to delay reinforcements."
T'Lana@anncarise: "A wise measure, though the odds still seem heavily against whoever is defending that city."
Mischa@crystyll: "The Valeni would know this too. They must have a very strong incentive to be occupying the city like this, at the heart of Drasca territory"
T'Lana@anncarise | T'Fel: "I am not so sure the Valeni are the occupiers. The reinforcements appear to be joining the forces already attacking the city..."
Mischa@crystyll: "If not them, then who? With no signs of a third party"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I suspect this may not be a question we can answer with observation alone. One moment."
T'Lana@anncarise taps at a console, "Impressive. Drasca encryption is surprisingly advanced for a civilization of their technological stage."
Mischa@crystyll moves over to see out of curiosity, "Impressive"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Fortunately, the Valeni are using a less complicated system. I believe I can tap into their military communications channel."
Mischa@crystyll: "Let's see what we can see then"
T'Lana@anncarise nods. Suddenly, voices begin coming through on the ships audio system (First Contact comm listening style).
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "...taking heavy losses, requesting extraction."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Extraction underway. Do you require medical teams inside the dark zone?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Negative, they'll be slaughtered. Anyone we cannot extract is gone now. What we need is Andrake support."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Acknowledged, we are deploying two Andrakes to your location."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Team Venadan reporting in, we have secured Point Huran."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Requesting reinforcements at Point Gourat. Two squads pinned down by enemy fire."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Team Venadan, redirect to Point Gourat. Support friendlies under fire."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Understood."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Team Balan here, we have captured one of the rebel leaders. One Daan Drasca."
T'Lana@anncarise | Comm: "Team Balan, move to nearest extraction point immediately. Secure Daan at any cost."
T'Lana@anncarise looks to Mischa, "It seems to be a local insurrection."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "So it would seem. That would certainly fit the evidence, and was anticipated to occur"
T'Lana@anncarise dials down the volume of the comm chatter, "It is a civil affair between the Decen. We have no obligation to intervene."
Mischa@crystyll: "Perhaps, but it is a civil conflict brought about by Starfleet involvement. That makes us responsible"
T'Lana@anncarise: "But without Starfleet involvement, the Decen would be warring with one another regardless, would they not?"
Mischa@crystyll: "They would, but it was largely a cold war with the dominant powers in a stalemate. This is different, with uprisings occurring within a Family's domain"
T'Lana@anncarise: "That is true. The conflict appears rather one-sided for the rebels, but it is open conflict nonetheless."
T'Lana@anncarise: "What do you suggest we do, Commander?"
Mischa@crystyll hrms, "I am not yet certain on the best course of action here, I just know that leaving them to it is not an option. If Command do send an envoy out here to assist these people, they can not walk +
Mischa@crystyll: + into the middle of a warzone else all deals will be off"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "But at the same time, we do not wish to become embroiled in their civil war. As evidenced by the Valley Forge's experience, Federation technology, or perhaps even presence, will change the -
T'Lana@anncarise: - balance significantly."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yes, if we announce ourselves to the local powers they will undoubtedly attempt to draw us in to reinforce their lines"
T'Lana@anncarise: "The cause of the allied Decen may be just, but it does not seem appropriate to use our foreign influence to solidify their power."
Mischa@crystyll looks sidelong to T'Lana with a smirk, "I don't know about you, but frontline combat always felt so uncivilized"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "I agree."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | On the screen behind them, the battle continues to rage in the city, and the now much quieter comm chatter reinforces this.
Mischa@crystyll: "We need more information, and the only way to get that is on the ground"
T'Lana@anncarise: "But without revealing our presence, as in taking on the disguise of Decen?"
Mischa@crystyll: "It's one possibility, though that is likely to get us shot at by either side. No, we still need to be outsiders to maintain neutrality in cover"
T'Lana@anncarise: "The only other outsiders we know the Decen have encountered are the Nausicaans and the Carrans. Though by knowing Underworld, it is likely they are familiar with more species in the region."
Mischa@crystyll: "Perhaps a simple 'out of uniform' looks will suffice. We can get in covertly and make contact with the insurgents and find out from them what's going on"
T'Lana@anncarise: "We will still have to make it through the fighting. We cannot transport into the city with their inhibiting field active."
Mischa@crystyll: "Hence the covert insertion. We find a secluded spot to put feet on the ground and slip in through the cracks in their lines"
T'Lana@anncarise thinks for a moment, "I believe I have identified one such point."
Mischa@crystyll: "Let's see"
T'Lana@anncarise taps the console to display a different view of the field showing the density of lifeforms.
T'Lana@anncarise: "As I suspected."
T'Lana@anncarise points, "This area has a heavy concentration from both sides. I believe this is where the rebel leader from the communications channel is being extracted."
T'Lana@anncarise: "If we enter away from the centre of the fighting, but not from the other side of the city. we should be in a region where most of the forces have been rerouted to either protect or capture the -
T'Lana@anncarise: - leader, and as a result have the least amount of fighting."
Mischa@crystyll: "Then we get in quick and quiet and make contact with this leader. Use their extraction as our way in to talks"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "A sensible plan."
Mischa@crystyll: "Let us only hope the Decen feel the same. Alright, let's gear up and get down there asap before our window closes"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I will not need long, Commander."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The two beam down just outside the walls of the city. As expected from the chosen beam-in point, this area appears to be largely deserted, though a number of bodies by the gate and a few -
T'Lana@anncarise - hanging from the walls indicates that there was a hard-fought battle for this entrance earlier.
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, stick to cover and check your fire. Stun settings only if we have to defend ourselves"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "Understood, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll moves to a covered vantage point to scope the route ahead
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The road ahead is similarly filled with bodies. A small patrol moves through and quickly rounds a corner, disappearing behind some buildings.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Two gunships zoom overhead into the city, firing at something in the distance as they fly.
Mischa@crystyll gestures for them to move forwards
T'Lana@anncarise moves forward, alert and checking her surroundings as she does.
T'Lana@anncarise checks her tricorder as they find more cover, and motions in the direction they need to go.
T'Lana@anncarise quickly jumps behind some rubble as more troops rush ahead, going in the same direction they are.
T'Lana@anncarise keeps an eye on her tricorder and nods to Mischa once the Decen troops are out of range.
Mischa@crystyll takes cover, a nod of confirmation to T'Lana as they proceed
T'Lana@anncarise FX | They soon reach a plaza where there appears to be heavy fighting. A downed gunship lies smoking in the centre as a line of soldiers in purple and red escort a cuffed prisoner, likely Daan.
T'Lana@anncarise | The group they are up against include regular soldiers in gold and white armour, but standing in front of them are a wall of troops in far more ceremonial looking gear, holding large tower -
T'Lana@anncarise: - shields with the emblem of the Drascas. Most of the shields are charred from the fighting, but the material is somehow strong enough to hold back repeated disruptor shots.
Mischa@crystyll looks around the plaza for any suitable high vantage points to take up position
T'Lana@anncarise | There are many lower buildings around the plaza. Almost all are damaged, but a few seem intact enough to enter and traverse.
Mischa@crystyll watches the group's actions after deciding there is no sniper nest worth climbing to nearby
Mischa@crystyll: "It appears we couldn't have arrived at a worse moment"
T'Lana@anncarise: "They will be quite difficult to reach..."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Another gunship attempts to approach the plaza, but is shot down from a turret somewhere. It crashes into the plaza once again, exploding and sending a plume of smoke into the air.
Mischa@crystyll: "We can't interfere and risk exposing our presence. Your thoughts?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "Perhaps we can extract the leader quietly. Allow the attackers to extract him on a shuttle or gunship, and transport them off the moment they leave the inhibited zone."
T'Lana@anncarise: "It still risks being discovered, however. Unless we somehow sabotage the craft as well."
Mischa@crystyll: "You would have to, else those on board would know he was taken"
T'Lana@anncarise: "We could take them all, and then cause the craft to be destroyed."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Perhaps in the chaos of the fighting, they will think it has simply been shot down or sabotaged from within."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | A squadron of specialized fighters swoop overhead and target a skyscraper in the distance with a turret atop it. Despite the turret's best efforts, the fighters easily destroy it.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | A third gunship follows the fighters to approach the plaza without being hit.
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, we beam out everyone on the shuttle as it departs the inhibited zone. Isolate Daan's pattern and only materialize him on the pad"
Mischa@crystyll: "If the Latenter can get in close enough to the ship that we saw shooting things down from orbit, she should be able to decloak for a quick simulated burst to shoot down the empty shuttle as we beam +
Mischa@crystyll: + them out. Then we materialize the rest of the occupants back at the crash site after a little dosing and dressing to make them look and feel the part"
T'Lana@anncarise nods and relays the instructions to Latenter.
Mischa@crystyll draws her rifle and lazes the target shuttle for tracking
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Meanwhile, the gunship fires a missile, breaking the shield-wall before spraying the area with a disruptor turret, forcing the survivors to retreat.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Its back doors open as it lands and several Valeni soldiers push Daan Drasca inside. It lifts off, with the rest of the Valeni continuing to hold the area.
T'Lana@anncarise checks her tricorder, "The shuttle is approaching the edge of the inhibitor field."
Mischa@crystyll: <C> Latenter; target coming into play. Beam and burn then standby for extraction
T'Lana@anncarise: <C - Latenter> Understood, Commander.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | As the shuttle exits the inhibition zone, the inhabitants are beamed out and a shot from the Latenter sends it spiralling back to the surface.
T'Lana@anncarise: <C - Latenter> We have them!
Mischa@crystyll: <C> Good job. Now isolate Daan and prepare to return the rest to the crash site coordinates. We will secure them there before extraction
T'Lana@anncarise: <C - Latenter> We're on it. Relaying crash site coordinates to you now. It should be just outside the west of the wall, a little north to where you beamed in.
Mischa@crystyll: <C> Acknowledged
Mischa@crystyll looks to T'Lana with a silent nod that it's time to move out
T'Lana@anncarise nods back and begins moving towards the gate they entered.
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The crashed shuttle lies in a smoking ruin a little distance outside of the wall.
Mischa@crystyll: "Alright, setup out of sight. As they materialize we will stun them, then set about safely integrating them with the wreckage"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, readying one of her phasers. Soon, the Valeni troops begin to materialize near the wreckage.
Mischa@crystyll waits for the group to just about materialize before quickly firing a series of stun shots
T'Lana@anncarise joins in, rapidly stunning the people who were in the gunship.
Mischa@crystyll waits a moment after the last drops to be sure of no interference. Then moves in to start the cover up
T'Lana@anncarise helps Mischa move them to appropriate positions, scattering their weapons and equipment around at times to make it look more natural.
Mischa@crystyll: "Tell me something T'Lana; the nerve pince. It produces quite the sore headache after someone awakes from it, correct?"
Mischa@crystyll talks like she's making idle chit chat whilst casually dragging one of the shuttle crew into some wreckage by his ankles
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "It depends on the being, and there are also ways to apply it to intentionally cause more disorientation if necessary."
Mischa@crystyll: "Right. But I am curious; would the effect still be applicable if the victim is already unconscious?"
T'Lana@anncarise: "That may depend on the nature of the unconsciousness. If applied to an individual stunned like these, most likely, as they will wake when the effects of the nerve pinch have not worn off."
T'Lana@anncarise: "Applied to someone in a coma for example however, and by the time they wake the effects of the pinch would have long worn off."
Mischa@crystyll smiles, "In that case, might I suggest that a few well placed pinches here could go a long way to achieving the desired effect. At your discretion, of course"
T'Lana@anncarise: "A sensible measure."
T'Lana@anncarise begins applying pinches to those she moves, to make it feel more authentic.
Mischa@crystyll: "And a few bumps and scrapes should make the icing on the cake"
Mischa@crystyll kneels next to the soldier she just position, "I do apologize. Nothing personal, you understand" she comments before swiping the butt of her rifle across his jaw, just enough to show injury
T'Lana@anncarise lifts a piece of debris easily with her Vulcan strength, laying it over the legs of one soldier to make him pinned down beneath wreckage, though making sure the piece isn't too heavy to actually -
T'Lana@anncarise: - damage his bones.
Mischa@crystyll watches in admiration, "Nice attention to detail. Well I think that should about do it"
T'Lana@anncarise looks up as a gunship begins moving in the direction of the wreckage, "We appear to be out of time either way."
Mischa@crystyll: "A good show isn't a good show unless it runs to the final curtain" she smiles, tapping her combadge under her jacket once more, "Latenter; two to beam back"
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The pair are beamed back to the Latenter...
T'Lana@anncarise FX | After returning from the wartorn city on the surface of Drasca, the pair make their way to the brig to find out what is happening from the prisoner they extracted...
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan Drasca is behind a force-field in a typical cell.
Mischa@crystyll looks to their guests demeanor as they enter, gauging his frame of mind before approaching
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan seems rather calm and collected, but not in a relaxed state; more like a resigned man who has accepted his fate.
Mischa@crystyll approaches the cell, "Welcome to the Latenter. I apologize for nature of your recovery, but it seemed rather prudent given the circumstances."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan looks up, "More aliens? You must be their new allies."
Mischa@crystyll smiles a little, "Must be. Funny choice of word; allies. Since you and your brethren seemed to be anything but down on the surface"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "We are most certainly not. Do not mistake me, I have nothing against your species. Or...coalition of species? Anyways, it is not your kind I resent, but the scheming minds of my own."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yes, we got the distinct impression down there that some of you are, perhaps... not completely content with the arrangements set in place" she gestures an open hand, holding a relaxed posture, "Why +
Mischa@crystyll: + don't you fill me in? The last we saw of things here, the planet was healed and all Families collaborating"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Yes, the Decen League. There is talk of a formal coalition and transformation of the recovering Hallon into a glorious new capital. But 'peace' is always built on the back of many bodies."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Innocents killed for causes they will never see. Justice ignored for the sake of a greater good. Freedoms sacrificed for diplomatic compromise."
T'Lana@anncarise: "And what, exactly, do you believe is too costly about this peace?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Our former Patriarch, Beno Drasca, was more old fashioned. He agreed to this entire peace conference idea to protect himself. When Guscei returned actually proposing to cease hostilities,-
T'Lana@anncarise: - Beno was outraged. I do not agree with the old man myself, but it is no excuse for what Guscei did."
Mischa@crystyll: "What exactly did Guscei do that is so heinous? Besides returning from a conference and presenting his feedback from it to Beon?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "He had Beno assassinated and took his place. When a subordinate Family found out, he had them silenced as well, but not before the information reached my mother. She rallied the troops -
T'Lana@anncarise: - loyal to her against Guscei, and she too was killed in the fighting."
Mischa@crystyll: "Fledgling diplomacy at it's finest..."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "I do not disagree with Guscei's cause, only his methods. Would you rather live in peace enforced by a tyrant, or rise up for a more just world?"
Mischa@crystyll: "A philosophical debate for the ages, and one more societies than not end up facing at some point. Regrettably, the answer is seldom developed without bias and moreso in favour of the victors after +
Mischa@crystyll: + the fact"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Very true. Guscei has the support of the other Decen Families, the Valeni especially. Our rebellion is at quite a disadvantage, but I cannot simply allow my mother's death to be for -
T'Lana@anncarise: - nothing. I had to do all that was in my power to stop Guscei."
Mischa@crystyll: "...'had' to. I can't help but notice you speak in the past tense" she folds her arms, making it more of a casual observation
Mischa@crystyll is not impressed.
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "There is not much I can do from this cell, is there? Unless you plan to return me to somewhere safe on Drasca colony?"
Mischa@crystyll gives pause for thought, holding a firm but sympathetic gaze on him, "I have not yet decided on the best way to proceed from here"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan smiles, "Then you are thinking, and not blind supporters of the League. That is hopeful, at least."
Mischa@crystyll: "You will remain here for the moment while we assess the situation, but I see no reason for you to remain incarcerated" she waves the brig officer over to have the field dropped
Mischa@crystyll looks to the officer, "Have an escort show our guest to some... appropriate quarters"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Thank you. I am not foolish enough to attempt to escape, knowing the superior technology your people possess."
T'Lana@anncarise | Brig Officer: "I'll have secure quarters prepped for him, Commander."
T'Lana@anncarise | The brig officer taps his console to call a security escort.
Mischa@crystyll turns back to Daan, "I believe you are no fool, so I know that you would not attempt to betray this show of faith as you know that doing so would sully any sympathy we may hold to your cause. Your+
Mischa@crystyll: + escort will remain on station outside your quarters, but will be able to take you to public areas of the ship on request. We will come back to you with a resolution as soon as we can"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan nods, "Very well, that is a suitable arrangement. Thank you again."
T'Lana@anncarise | As the security escort enters, Daan gives a farewell bow before moving to follow them.
Mischa@crystyll nods, "We'll speak again soon" turning to T'Lana and gesturing to the door
T'Lana@anncarise moves to exit as well, "This is quite a complicated affair, as most civil conflicts tend to be."
Mischa@crystyll: "Indeed, there is a lot to be said for military discipline. I am not unsympathetic to the cause here, but the situation is delicate to say the least"
Mischa@crystyll comments as they walk & talk, heading back to the ready room to discuss properly
Mischa@crystyll enters her office, moving straight to call two drinks from the replicator
Mischa@crystyll returns, offering T'Lana her preferred beverage while nursing her own cup of tea as she takes a seat
T'Lana@anncarise: "Thank you."
T'Lana@anncarise takes a seat as well.
Mischa@crystyll: "Your thoughts on the matter then?" she asks with a smile, enjoying the debate as much as her tea it seems
T'Lana@anncarise: "Knowing the ways the Drascas operate, there is a possibility Daan may not be telling the entire truth. I believe it may be prudent to speak with their current leader, Guscei, and obtain his side of -
T'Lana@anncarise: - the story as well. Perhaps by doing so we may be able to arrive at a more diplomatic solution."
Mischa@crystyll nods, her smile broadining some, "My thoughts exactly. Still, it doesn't hurt to weigh all the options"
Mischa@crystyll: "Firstly; we could simly return Daan to the surface and let things play out as they will. Though we already know that would be contrary to our initial action here"
Mischa@crystyll: "Second; we could turn him over to Guscei. Not my natural inclination, but a possibility nonetheless"
Mischa@crystyll: "Third; we could detain him indefinitely and simply remove him from the equation"
T'Lana@anncarise: "That is a possibility, but I am unsure whether resolving the situation will be as simple as removing him."
T'Lana@anncarise: "From my recollection of the Decen communications chatter, they called Daan 'one of' the rebel leaders, not their definitive leader. It is likely such an uprising will have multiple cells in -
T'Lana@anncarise: - multiple locations, and from what we have seen, Daan's cell is already defeated."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "But given that this rebellion rallied to the call of his mother, it stands to reason that he is at least a more prominent figure"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "Quite likely, yes. There is also probably a reason Guscei and his allies wish to capture him alive."
Mischa@crystyll: "Likely not wanting to make a martyr out of him"
T'Lana@anncarise: "It would stand to reason. I believe it would be best to not decide hastily and confront Guscei first, though that would necessitate exposing our presence to them completely."
T'Lana@anncarise: "If we were to simply return Daan or retain him on board, we still have the option of leaving a minimal impact."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yes, but I think you already know I'm not going to do that" she smiles, "As for revealing our presence, I had a thought on that..." she grins a little
Mischa@crystyll: "Well we know from Captain Keelah's reports that she intended for a diplomatic corps visit"
T'Lana@anncarise: "And you are planning to approach Guscei as members of the diplomatic corps?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Well it may be ethically questionable to outright pose as another Starfleet division"
Mischa@crystyll: "He should be expected their contact, and with our contrasting uniforms I would wager that it would be his natural assumption. I propose we simply allow him to believe as such"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "A fine plan, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll: "We'll see. If push comes to shove, I am not above revealing our presence here as a show of force. But such crude methods should be a last port of call, not the first"
Mischa@crystyll: "Well if we're all settled here, shall we give our friends down there a call?"
T'Lana@anncarise stands. "Agreed. We will attempt to raise Guscei Drasca."
Mischa@crystyll smiles, moving over to settle behind her desk
Mischa@crystyll comms the active Comms Officer to raise a channel with Drasca and route it to the ready room
T'Lana@anncarise FX | After a few minutes, the call connects and the visage of Guscei Drasca appears on the ready room computer.
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei performs the formal greeting bow, "Ah, Starfleet. We were expecting to hear from you again."
Mischa@crystyll bows her head, "Aah, hello there! You must be Beno, it is a pleasure to finally meet you!" see sounds oddly chipper to T'Lana being accustomed to normal Mischa, clearly playing her part
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I am Guscei Drasca, the new Patriarch of the Drasca Family. And you are...?"
Mischa@crystyll gasps, clasping her hand to her mouth, "Oh, do forgive me! We were not aware that there had been a change in Drasca leadership so soon. You were the representative at the conference, yes?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I am indeed. Unfortunately, Beno took ill from his advanced age and died from the disease."
Mischa@crystyll feigns empathy, "Oh dear! Do accept my deepest sympathies for the loss. Is there anything we can do to assist? One can only imagine the impact this must have had on the newly founded alliance there!"
Mischa@crystyll taps on a PADD on the desk with one hand, out of view of the comm feed but T'Lana would see it read, "Trace for transport lock?"
T'Lana@anncarise nods and steps over to a console to begin tracing.
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "The alliance is going quite smoothly, though local matters are more...troublesome. Upstarts on Drasca have gotten violent in their opposition to peaceful relations. I am afraid that -
T'Lana@anncarise: - generations of feuds are not so easily subdued, and hatred can often override rationality."
Mischa@crystyll leans in, folding her hands on the desk in front of her as she appears super serious, "Oh my, that is troubling news indeed. I do hope you are coping well there; it can't be easy stepping up to +
Mischa@crystyll: + succeed Beno under such circumstances?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "It is a bigger task than I expected, yes. But fortunately, our new Valeni allies have been very helpful in quelling these uprisings."
Mischa@crystyll: "Oh bless them! Well I am glad to hear that the alliance is holding true in support of things there. What of the other Families?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "The Lorena have pledged to assist in repairing infrastructure after the fighting has finished, though they are more focused on rebuilding Hallon at the moment. Many among the Medan -
T'Lana@anncarise: - still have animosity towards the Valeni and after a few incidents have decided to let the Valeni handle the situation here while they focus on their own territories. The Satri isolate themselves -
T'Lana@anncarise: - as they have always done, but they have ceased their raids now, and I believe they're helping resettle quite a few Halloni."
T'Lana@anncarise looks to Mischa and gives her a single nod to silently let her know that the trace is successful.
Mischa@crystyll: "Well at least it seems like things are progressing well, why I-... but of cour-..." she frowns, "...Gusc-... -ding me, I-..."
Mischa@crystyll waits for his confused reaction before pointing a finger to give T'Lana the go ahead
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Is there something wrong with the comm lines? This better not be rebel sabotage again..."
T'Lana@anncarise gives the order to the transporter room to beam Guscei up.
Mischa@crystyll closes the comm, leaning back with a satisfied - almost mischevious - smile
T'Lana@anncarise turns to Mischa again, "Excellently done, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll: "I couldn't resist" she grins, "Now then, how about we have beamed directly in here?"
T'Lana@anncarise nods, "Materializing Guscei Drasca now."
T'Lana@anncarise FX | Guscei Drasca appears in Mischa's ready room.
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "What is the meaning of this? If you wanted to speak in person, you could've just asked!"
Mischa@crystyll sits back, relaxed with one leg crossed over. She folds down the console they were talking through as she slowly turns to face him, "And give you the opportunity prepare, maybe even line up some _
Mischa@crystyll: + espionage whilst at it? I think not. Besides, where's the fun in waiting. Please" she gestures for him to take a seat across from her
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei takes a seat, "You know the Drascas, I'll give you that. I presume your Captain Keelah filled you in on us?"
Mischa@crystyll: "We are aware of your nature" she confirms, without actually confirming anything, "Would you care for some refreshment? I do much prefer a civilized conversation like this" she offers, keeping a +
Mischa@crystyll: + cordial tone
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Why not? I imagine if you wanted to get rid of me, there are far easier and more effective ways to do it than snatching me up and then poisoning me."
Mischa@crystyll: "Oh quite, yes. So rest assured our intent is nothing so vulgar" she moves to the replicator past T'Lana, making a point of serving the drink herself, "I don't suppose you have tried Human beverages +
Mischa@crystyll: + yet, how does ' tea' sound?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I have not. We have variants of teas, if the word means the same thing that is, but I'm sure yours will be quite the different experience."
Mischa@crystyll: "Oh there is nothing quite like the experience of this, I assure you" she says confidently, calling up a fresh cup of her favourite Prince of Wales blend which she delivers to him
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei accepts the cup, "Thank you."
Mischa@crystyll leans casually against the desk, drawing her own cup across and taking a sip with a refreshing 'aah'
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei takes a sip as well before looking up to Mischa, "So...might you enlighten me as to what is so secretive it must be discussed in private here?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Why my dear Guscei, you disappoint me. Every bit of information is valuable, it is just a question of to whom. Ergo, everything to be discussed should be done so confidentially. I would expect +
Mischa@crystyll: + much greater understanding from the head of a spymaster family"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "A fair point. Though sometimes I feel more like I'm running a pack of Desha these days..."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yes, this little uprising of yours. Quite troublesome by the sounds of it" she nods, sipping some more, "And quite the coincidental timing too I might add"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Some seek to capitalize on the death of the previous Patriarch to seize power for themselves. Others...are simply unhappy with the new alliance. It is a tumultuous time for my people, -
T'Lana@anncarise: - as all times of change usually are."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "There's usually power struggles when a leader dies, but they're generally far more subtle. Add in all the hate, and this happens."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yes, the timing of Beno's departure was rather unfortunate; creating this instability at such a time" she sips again, holding a casual tone, "You will forgive my ignorance, but I am unfamiliar with +
Mischa@crystyll: + Decen physiology. This illness that struck him down, tell me about it"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "It's an old disease, genetic in origin. It's something we developed a cure to long ago, but Beno had some sort of mutation that caused it to surface in him."
Mischa@crystyll: "Most unfortunate indeed" she notes, idly commenting, "Strange that he showed no indication of illness when the Valley Forge visiting recently..."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "The body can be very unpredictable. His particular variant of the illness apparently acted up unusually fast."
Mischa@crystyll: "There seem to be a lot of abnormalities culminating around this situation, don't there"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "You think it was not a natural death, don't you?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Don't you? A man in your Families line of work; I'd expect to see full of suspicion around such circumstances"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I suppose there's no use in hiding to you that I knew what exactly happened to Beno Drasca. It is not something we like to publicize, mind you, but it is our way."
Mischa@crystyll sips her tea, smiling politely, "You know, that sounds like a wonderful idea. So why don't we try this again"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "If you must know, Beno's pattern was ever so slightly rewritten during one of his trips through the teleporter. This activated the illness which has not been seen among Decen since -
T'Lana@anncarise: - before we left Hallon. A very deadly affliction that kills quite rapidly."
Mischa@crystyll: "Quite the freak accident, but nothing so subversive as to warrant the secrecy knowing the civil unrest that would follow. Unless of course the pattern integrity failure was no accident"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "No, it was not. Beno and his outdated mentality needed to go. It's how we've always done things, to prevent rulers who has lost their touch from destroying what we've built."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: Very few of our leaders ever die a natural death, and I fully expect to be betrayed by one of my proteges in the future. But I'd prefer I had a chance to finish my life's work, and -
T'Lana@anncarise: - that they don't devastate our cities while trying to get rid of me."
Mischa@crystyll sips her tea, quietly listening and nodding along, "Mmm... it was quite unfortunate then, a minor Family's head learned of this. So then they need to be silenced too, but then more grow suspicious +
Mischa@crystyll: + and before you know it, everything snowballs into. Well, I think you know the situation on the ground as well as anyone"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Impressive knowledge. I admit, it was not the smoothest transition. But I could not let Beno ruin this opportunity. Imagine, if his old ways got us cut out of this alliance, or worse, -
T'Lana@anncarise: - he joins for the express purpose of stabbing them in the back, as our Family has become quite infamous for doing. It might be the end of Drasca if the other Families formed /real/ bonds with each -
T'Lana@anncarise: - other except for us!"
Mischa@crystyll raises a hand, "You need not justify this to me, I am well aware of the stakes in this game and fully advocate the Decen League. As - you may be more surprised to know - do the rebellion leaders"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I suspected as much. And they are not so ignorant as to believe I have transgressed on some sacred moral law. I have done the same thing all my predecessors have, and these rebels -
T'Lana@anncarise: - merely wish to take advantage of the chaos to seize power for themselves."
Mischa@crystyll: "Perhaps. Oh, do excuse me a moment" she leans back, tapping the comm panel on her console, "Hassan, please have your escort show our guest in would you"
T'Lana@anncarise | Hassan: "Right away, Commander."
Mischa@crystyll looks back to Guscei with an innocent smile, silently sipping her tea
T'Lana@anncarise FX | The doors open and the security escort brings Daan Drasca inside.
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Daan! So that is what happened to the Valeni dropship."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "You are quite good at this. You've managed to get Guscei as well, I see."
Mischa@crystyll: "Quite the unfortunate turn of affairs that" she nods to Guscei, "Lucky that the crew all got out of the dropship unscathed really. Miraculous, one might venture"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Indeed, thank you for the very timely rescue."
Mischa@crystyll turns a smile to Daan, gesturing for him to take the empty seat next to them, "Naturally. Now all that remains is the matter of bashing your heads together. Metaphorically, one would prefer..."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan looks to Guscei: "Well, this is where your Valeni friends would fight a duel to the death for leadership, is it not?"
Mischa@crystyll holds her position, and relaxed posture. Quietly sipping her tea while she observes the opening dialogue between the two
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I'm not so foolish as to face you in a duel. Besides, you and I both know that's not the Drasca way."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "The /old/ Drasca way. For someone who advocates so strongly for change and progression, you seem rather set in carrying over our less tasteful traditions."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Oh don't pretend you care about Beno. Your mother died a glorious death in combat."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Says the one who calls her a traitor."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "What else am I supposed to do? Name you Patriarch?!"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "You could start by admitting the truth."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Everyone already knows the truth! Or suspects it, at least. You just want this opportunity to rule, because if I confess everything, you'll be able to rally even more to your cause."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "My /cause/ is not so different from yours, Guscei. My quarrel is with you."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Does your rebellion not prey on anti-alliance sentiments, recruit the bloodthirsty to your cause?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "We don't have a choice. How else can we stand against the Valeni army /and/ yours?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "You think I had a choice doing what I did? Everything I've done is for the good of the Drasca Family, and you know it!"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "Then why are you so afraid to admit it all?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "You know what the people can be like, the lesser Families. You're the ones who rile them up! Most of them don't understand the intricacies of politics. They don't know what's best."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "I'm sure our foreign friends here do," he looks to Mischa and T'Lana, "What do you think?"
Mischa@crystyll: "I think this is an internal affair, and we have no cause to tell you what to do. I can however tell you that I do see where both of you is coming from, and sense a desire in you both not to continue+
Mischa@crystyll: + hostility for hostility's sake. Those are /your/ people down there; fighting and dying every minute the two of you continue to deliberate"
Mischa@crystyll: "Now politics aside, is that something either of you wants on your conscious, or something you want to see in any future leader?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "No, I suppose not."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "It's what I've been saying from the beginning. Assassinate me if you must, but don't make the people suffer for it."
Mischa@crystyll: "And so the cycle will continue, with your advocates then seeking vengeance against Daan?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Or the Valeni invading the capital and seizing total control. As much as I prefer peace, I am not so blind as to deny the nature of the Valeni."
Mischa@crystyll: "Then it is in your mutual interests to end this while you maintain control of your own province, yes?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "But what of the Drasca Family? Will there be two Families now?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Indeed. Would this not divide our people even further?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Does it have to?" she asks, letting the question hang as she lowers her empty cup to the desk and paces the room before settling to gaze out of the window
Mischa@crystyll: "Gentlemen, you will have to forgive my crude comprehension when it comes to the intricacies of Drasca politics, but let me lay this out as I see from what you've both said..."
Mischa@crystyll: "Daan, your primary goal is to restore your mother's honour, as it were. This would be achieved by Guscei publicly speaking the truth of what transpired"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "That is correct."
Mischa@crystyll: "Guscei, you believe that doing so would serve this purpose, but further destabilize the already fragile lesser Families and plunge your province into irrecoverable chaos"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Indeed. And such chaos would mean the end of the Drasca Family, whether by our own hands or by the Valeni seeking to resolve things by force."
Mischa@crystyll: "Hypothetically then; what if you were to both appear and speak publicly. Together. With Guscei simply restoring the honour to Daan's mother who - if I recall correctly - you yourself said died +
Mischa@crystyll: + honourably and in the finest tradition of your Family. And with Daan at your side advocating the mutual settlement in this, to the satisfaction of said lesser Families"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I suppose so..."
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan: "And what of myself? Am I expected to bend the knee to Guscei, after all he's done?"
Mischa@crystyll: "Guscei, when Beno was Patriarch you served as his right hand, yes?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Yes, I did."
Mischa@crystyll: "Then you know the importance of such a pivotal role, and the need to have someone there who understands the consequences you all face if you fail as a collective leadership"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "And I suppose Daan has more than enough experience to serve in such a capacity."
Mischa@crystyll: "As a passionate advocate who would fight to the bitter end for his people, and one who has seen first hand; the death and destruction that can fall upon you should you fail. Yes, I can think of no +
Mischa@crystyll: + better candidate" she turns to face the pair, "And Daan, what better way to ensure the maintained integrity of Drasca leadership than at the figurehead's side?"
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan nods, "That would be an amenable position."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Just don't assassinate me until /after/ we've solidified the Decen League."
Mischa@crystyll smiles, "There is a saying from ancient mythology among my people; 'better the devil you know'" returning to her seat
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan smirks, "You have my word. Besides you will find that I support this alliance as much as you do."
Mischa@crystyll: "Now this is sounding much more like the bold leadership I would be proud to have Starfleet officers stand beside"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Let us return to Drasca then, and stop this needless fighting."
Mischa@crystyll: "Yes, this will be no quick fix as you both have casualties and suffering to deal with. Those bring negativity and many will be reluctant to accept an armistice. But I am confident that if you both +
Mischa@crystyll: + hold your ground with even half the conviction you fought each other with, you will come through this with the Drasca Family standing as proud as it always has"
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "I hope so. Thank you for your assistance, Starfleet. It seems we are in your debt once again."
Mischa@crystyll raises a hand in objection, "What assistance? All I see here is two proud Drasca gents acting like bold leaders and sorting their differences out, we did nothing" she smiles
T'Lana@anncarise | Daan smiles back, "Of course."
T'Lana@anncarise | Guscei: "Now, if we are permitted to leave..." he moves to the door, "There is much work to be done."
Mischa@crystyll nods, "Gentlemen, do not let me keep you from your momentous day" she gestures to the door, waving the escort officers forward
Mischa@crystyll: "My officers here will show you back to the transporter pad"
T'Lana@anncarise | The officers escort the pair out of the ready room and towards the transporters.
Mischa@crystyll leans back, swiveling in her chair to face T'Lana while wearing an unashamedly proud grin, "Well, given how the day started I'd say that went rather well"
T'Lana@anncarise looks to Mischa as they leave, "Excellently done, Commander. Your field work skills are quite impressive but expected. Navigating politics however, is a great accomplishment."
Mischa@crystyll: "A benefit to having served in a Command function on board frontier exploration vessels"
Mischa@crystyll frowns a little, mockingly, "And... 'quite' impressive?" feigning hurt
T'Lana@anncarise: "From what I have seen so far. I have not witnessed you in every possible situation yet, but I am certain you will be able to handle any future challenges."
Mischa@crystyll chuckles, getting to her feet and patting T'Lana on the shoulder, "I'll take that as a Vulcan complement then"
T'Lana@anncarise: "I do hope though, that you will not need to demonstrate your skill much further through the remainder of our travels across Decen space. Knowing their currently complex political situation however...
Mischa@crystyll: "Oh don't you worry, our next stop is Carr and from what I understand of it from Keelah's reports, we're going to be right at home there" she grins
T'Lana@anncarise: "Ah yes, Carr. That is bound to be a most interesting visit."
Mischa@crystyll: "Indeed. But for now though, I think we've earned a little R&R for the day. We'll maintain position in discrete surveillance of Drasca to ensure the ceasefire holds. Meanwhile, I have a holographic +
Mischa@crystyll: + horse beckoning for a ride!"
T'Lana@anncarise raises a brow, "A curious pasttime. But do not allow me to keep you from it any longer."
Mischa@crystyll: "You really should join me one of these days you know, find out what you're missing" she flashes a grin, turning to head out