Updated: Mar 18
The Valley Forge visits an alien colony world after rescuing one of their ships, but this civilization may not be as benign as it seems...
Keliaya@anncarise FX | Four days have passed since the Valley Forge left the Quaternary star system. Following the Forli Expeditionary vessel, the Valley Forge drops out of warp on the outskirts of their colony. Keelah@crystyll | Lennie: "Reading one major concentration of lifeforms and technological development on a small land mass, Captain" Keelah@crystyll: "Let's take a look, not often we get to visit an ocean world" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise: "There's a lot of technological readings in orbit. One looks like a station, the rest are smaller satellites and a few ships." Keelah@crystyll: "Estimate of their development level?" Keelah@crystyll FX | https://i.imgur.com/X6QS8x9.png appears on the viewscreen as they approach Keliaya@anncarise: "A few decades behind us in general, but they have more advanced weapons than we did back then. Not to mention their shielding technology." Keelah@crystyll: "Scientific advancement as a direct result of conflict..." she notes with a sigh Keliaya@anncarise FX | Hiln's vessel hails the VF. Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Incoming hail from our escort, Captain" she puts it on screen after a nod from Keelah Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln appears on the viewscreen. His bridge now has lighting restored and shines blue light on him. He and the rest of the crew are glowing a warm shade of yellow. Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "Please hold position here while I approach further and contact the Defense Agency." Keelah@crystyll: "Of course. Helm, all stop" Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Aye aye, Cap'n." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Valley Forge comes to a stop as the Forli ship continues onwards. Two smaller Forli vessels approach and scan it before moving on, holding position by the VF. Keliaya@anncarise: "These are definitely warships. Roughly equivalent to a Defiant class from the size and armaments." Keelah@crystyll: "Understandable, given the events which shaped their development" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Their shields are raised, Captain. It appears to be the same technology as the one seen on the vessel we rescued." Keelah@crystyll: "Weapons?" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Not currently powered up." Keelah@crystyll nods, "Stand easy for the moment then. Remember that we our outsiders here to a culture shaped by a need for devensiveness" Keliaya@anncarise FX | Another ship slowly comes into view on the screen, approaching from the planet's orbit and soon looming in front of the research vessel. Keliaya@anncarise | https://cdnb.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/008/052/685/large/ansel-hsiao-inex50.jpg?1510162163 Keliaya@anncarise: "I'm reading dozens of phaser cannons and torpedo launchers on that vessel. Evidence of carrier-sized hangar bays." Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "It's about the size of a Reman Scimitar. Similarly armed, too." Keelah@crystyll: "Like rolling out the Enterprise to welcome a new arrival to the Sol System..." Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Definitely one o' their flagships..." Keelah@crystyll: "Clearly making a statement that they are able - and if necessary, willing - to defend themselves" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Something's happening...I'm reading a change in their shields..." Keelah@crystyll: "Stand by" she leans forward a little, watching closely Keliaya@anncarise examines her readings as well, "They've just made the alterations we gave to the research vessel. And boosted its strength by 200%." Keelah@crystyll leans back a little, smiling, "Good for them" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The research vessel veers away and one of the smaller escorts turn from the Valley Forge to their flagship. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "The smaller vessel is charging weapons and...locking on to the flagship." Keelah@crystyll: "Have to test their new upgrades!" Keliaya@anncarise FX | A burst of cannon fire erupts from the escort as it spins into a similar maneuver to Rianni's. The fire hits the shields and bounces back, a few shots hitting the escort's shields, which - Keliaya@anncarise: - causes bright orange flashes around the entire shield as it disperses the energy using the old configuration instead of reflecting it. Keliaya@anncarise: "Looks like a success to me." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The flagship hails the Valley Forge. Keelah@crystyll looks over to Rianni with a knowing smile, "And so your legacy lives on in our new friends, Cadet" Keelah@crystyll | TQ smiles at Rianni too as she puts the hail through, chuckling at the deep flush on the young girl's cheeks Keelah@crystyll stands proudly, hands folded at her back and with a warm smile to greet their hosts Keliaya@anncarise FX | A Forli appears on a much larger bridge, this one with yellowish lighting, and all the aliens glow red. On this bridge, the aliens appear clothed in tight suits of armour. Keelah@crystyll | Lennie quietly continues to note her observations on the hue and colouration variations witnessed in the Forli so far Keelah@crystyll: "Greetings. I am Captain Se'Lai of the Federation starship: Valley Forge" Keliaya@anncarise | The Forli at the centre speaks: "I am Field Marshall Caid Fel Dahn of the Defense Agency. I understand our research vessel gave you the specifications of our shielding systems." Keelah@crystyll: "It was necessary in order for us to develop an effective means of bypassing the defense in order to effect a rescue. I understand that they had to do so in breach of the Tarri Agreement, I hope that+ Keelah@crystyll: + this action will not cause any problem for them - or you - and am willing to assist however I can to levy your concerns" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "No need. Normally, these researchers would be investigated and reprimanded for their actions, and you will be made to surrender our information. But you've done with this information - Keliaya@anncarise: - what my people has not managed, have never even thought to do. If you can do such a thing, you likely understand our technology well enough to make taking away the data useless. So consider it a - Keliaya@anncarise: - gift, from my people to yours. Thank you for these adjustments, and for rescuing our researchers, of course." Keliaya@anncarise | The corner's of Caid's mouth curl in a very alien smile. Keelah@crystyll bows her head a little, "Understood. I am simply glad we were able to get them out of there, and seeing your successful test implementation of the upgrade is further endearing" she smiles a little + Keelah@crystyll: + in remand too Keelah@crystyll: "I assume by now; your researchers have relayed our message of peace and friendship as reason for us being escorted here?" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "They have indeed. For your contributions to the Forli, you are welcome to all the amenities of our worlds. We have Trade Agency centres on every colony should you wish to stock up on - Keliaya@anncarise: - supplies or arrange more permanent economic connections. We only ask that you do not get in the way of any Defense Agency business." Keelah@crystyll: "Naturally, that is a most gracious invitation, thank you. Is there a particular point of contact if we wish to discuss other matters; diplomatic relations, education about your society and the like?" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "Our Trade Centres handle all friendly relations with foreign entities. We have only one major Cultural Centre on this colony, but I am sure its personnel are more than capable of - Keliaya@anncarise: - answering anything you may be curious about." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you, that should more than suffice. One final thing; in order to best accommodate your request not to get in your way; we have a number of damaged systems resulting from the rescue of your + Keelah@crystyll: + researchers, and so if there is a preferred region where we can hold position and effect repairs while engaging with your colony, please do let us know" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "Simply remaining in orbit will suffice. If you require any supplies or assistance, you may contact our orbital spacedock. They will provide you with anything you need. It is the least we can do.” Keelah@crystyll bows her head again, "Thank you, we shall do so. If there is nothing further then, I do not wish to keep you from your duties" she raises her hand in a Vulcan salute, "In the custom of my own people+ Keelah@crystyll: + live long, and prosper Field Marshall" Keelah@crystyll: Live Long and Prosper. Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "Remain bright and strong, Captain Se'Lai." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The channel cuts as the conversation ends. Keelah@crystyll looks to the front, "Ms. Carter, take us into a geosync orbit in range of their spacedock. Tee, tie up with the colony and have transport coordinates ready in the transporter room" Keliaya@anncarise FX | On the screen, the flagship moves out of the Valley Forge's path and the escort remaining by the VF's side follows it. Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Movin' into orbit now." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The colony provides transport coordinates and Chief Oliver soon reports ready. Keelah@crystyll: "Kelly, while we're down there you have the conn... and apparently license to engage the locals for engineering support. I suggest you capitalize on this to learn more if nothing else" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Will do, ma'am." Keelah@crystyll looks to Lennie, "Well Commander, you started this... lets go finish it" she smiles, gesturing to the turbolift Keelah@crystyll | Lennie grins and signs her station over before joining Keelah to leave Keelah@crystyll engaged Lennie in hypothesizing about the varying colours of the Forli during their walk to the transporter room so now also shares any current theories Trenick@annpc#5570 joins them in the transporter room along with Silvestrie and the team beams down to the surface. Trenick@annpc#5570 FX | Their arrival area appears to be a port, on one side a beautiful ocean, on the other golden beaches and pristine white structures up a mountainside, culminating in a tall white spire at the - Trenick@annpc#5570: - very top of the land mass. Glowing Forli walk across the docks and beaches and the city streets. Three greet them at the beam-in point. Keelah@crystyll | Lennie marvels at all the glowing Forli Trenick@annpc#5570 | The central Forli, a glowing female, steps forward. The two beside her appear armoured in the same manner as the ones on the flagship bridge, probably guards just to be safe. Trenick@annpc#5570 | Female: "Greetings. I am Tas Elan Foss of the local Cultural Centre. I've been assigned as your guide to our colony." Trenick@annpc#5570 | Her voice is calm and has somewhat of a soothing echo effect to it. Keelah@crystyll raises her hand in a Vulcan salute, smiling gently, "Captain Keelah Se'Lai of the Valley Forge, it's a pleasure to meet you. This is LCDR Lendaria, and LT's Trenick and Silvestrie" she introduces, + Keelah@crystyll: + gesturing to each in turn Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "It is a pleasure to welcome you to our world. The Defense Agency has informed me of your contributions to the Forli Worlds. Is there anywhere you would like to visit in particular, or - Trenick@annpc#5570: - anything you wish to know?" Keelah@crystyll smiles knowingly, I am certain that my science officers here have a wealth of curiosities about your society and people. I however, would like to explore trade options" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas smiles in return, "I shall lead you towards the Trade Centre, then. It is only a short walk away and should not require transportation, unless your people are not comfortable travelling on - Trenick@annpc#5570: - land, or in our planet's gravitational pull?" Trenick@annpc#5570 FX | The gravity feels quite normal and doesn't make anyone particularly heavier compared to usual. Keelah@crystyll: "We are suitably well acclimatized. Please, lead on" she smiles Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "Excellent! I will answer any questions you have along the way." Trenick@annpc#5570 | She turns and begins leading the way, the two guards following beside the group. Keelah@crystyll | Lennie wastes no time diving in; "I take from that instint to prepare for ill-suitedness to land travel that your people did not evolve on land?" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie is apparently letting her UT do the hard work today as she focuses on learning. For now at least Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "We did, actually, but we have had encounters with species who did not." Keelah@crystyll: "No surprise I suppose, given the proportion of land mass on this world" Trenick@annpc#5570 FX | As they walk through the city, they see a number of Forli strolling around going about their day to day business. Several of them slowly shift colours as they exit an interior location with - Trenick@annpc#5570: - a different type of lighting. Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "This world was actually a source of conflict with the Gaton in the seventy-ninth year of the Colonial Age." Keelah@crystyll: "The Gaton? I'm not familiar with this species name" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "They are one of the members of the Trinity Alliance, a group we have had difficult relations with in our past." Keelah@crystyll: "I see. Given that we have not yet encountered them, it may be prudent for us to learn what you know of this Alliance too as we may encounter them further along our journey" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "As their name suggests, they are an alliance of three species. They have developed in parallel with us for some time and we have come into conflict on multiple occasions over various - Trenick@annpc#5570: - matters. The Gaton are the most militaristic of the three, and the other two Trinity species rely on them for conflicts." Keelah@crystyll: "I'm sorry to learn of yet more conflict in your people's past. Evolving through such things is never easy" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "They are not the only issues we face, though by far the most persistent throughout our history, and the closest to home." Trenick@annpc#5570 | Silvestrie: "Like the Klingons or Romulans for the Federation." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed" Trenick@annpc#5570 | The group passes through a plaza with a holo-statue of a Forli in different armour from the modern Defense Agency members. Keelah@crystyll | Silvestries notices this; "Can I ask what the significance is of the different armour worn on that statue to that of those we met here earlier?" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "That is Grand Marshall Fel San Kost, hero of the last Trinity War. The armour he dons is an older variant that has since been phased out." Keelah@crystyll | Silvestrie nods thoughtfully, "Thanks" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "His son, Caid Fel Dahn, currently serves as a prominent member of the Defense Force, holding the rank he did during the war before his subsequent promotions." Keelah@crystyll: "The Field Marshall we met in orbit..." Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "You are familiar with him, then? He has not had a chance to rise to prominence like his father did, but he is still well-loved by the people of the Forli Worlds due to his father's - Trenick@annpc#5570: - reputation. Unfortunately, the Grand Marshall was killed shortly after he took control of the Defense Force, in what we believe to be an act of sabotage by the Chlasi, another Trinity species." Keelah@crystyll: "I see" quietly perks a brow at the growing intrigue Trenick@annpc#5570 | They continue through the plaza following Tas' explanation, "You are not curious about our luminescence? Most foreigners tend to be quite intrigued by it." Keelah@crystyll smiles, looking to Lennie Keelah@crystyll | Lennie: "Naturally curious" she chuckles, "But honestly, I was just trying to figure out how such a trait might evolve. Please, enlighten me" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "It is a form of biofluorescence. Our people evolved on a world orbiting a red dwarf. All life on our world evolved such mechanisms to cope with the ultraviolet radiation, absorbing them - Trenick@annpc#5570: - and re-emitting them on harmless frequencies." Keelah@crystyll | Lennie: "All life? Goddess, tha's gotta be beautiful beyond describin'!" Keelah@crystyll: "Is that the basis for how your people developed your shielding technology? I can't help but notice great similarity in it's behaviour to what you describe" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas smiles, "It is quite a spectacular place. Unfortunately, I suspect life that has not evolved to cope with such environments will need additional protection to survive." Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "And I believe our latest military developments are indeed inspired by our own biology, but I am not aware of the details of such designs." Keelah@crystyll: "Fascinating" she notes with a Vulcany quirked brow Keelah@crystyll | Lennie smiles, "Ya may well be right on tha', maybe ya'll got art depictin' tha' home or somethin'? I'd-a sure love to get a glimpse!" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "We have visual records and even a holo-room of our homeworld in the Cultural Centre. We may visit after the Trade Centre, if you like." Keelah@crystyll | Lennie turns a hopeful grin to Keelah who chuckles and nods, "I'm sure we will be able to make the time" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "Speaking of the Trade Centre..." Keelah@crystyll takes the diversion of Lennie's conversation with Tas to speak quietly with Silvestrie, "Interesting observation you found in that statue, lieutenant" Keelah@crystyll | Silvestrie: "Thank you, Captain. Just sort of stood out, you know?" Trenick@annpc#5570 | She leads them into one of the larger buildings and one of the guards hold the door for the team. Keelah@crystyll “Indeed. You know the last place I visited where a great military commander's statue stood out like that?" Keelah@crystyll | Silvestrie shakes his head Keelah@crystyll: "Qo'nos" she looks around, continuing in a slightly more hushed tone, "Keep making observations, lieutenant" Keelah@crystyll | Silvestrie gives a single nod in understanding as they follow Keelah@crystyll thanks the guard with a polite smile as she enters the building Trenick@annpc#5570 | The guard gives a silent nod to Keelah in return and steps inside after everyone else has entered. Trenick@annpc#5570 FX | The main lobby of the Trade Centre is filled with various screens displaying all sorts of data. Another Forli awaits them in the centre of the chamber and smiles as they approach. Keelah@crystyll looks to her team, "If you wish to continue the cultural exchange with our gracious host, Malcolm and I can see to trade negotiations" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie smiles, "Sure Cap'n. I trust ya not t'barter away th'ship!" she laughs Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "I can lead them to the Cultural Centre now if-" Trenick@annpc#5570 | She pauses as she notices all the screens flicker... Keelah@crystyll chuckles at Lennie, noting the shift in Tas, "Is something the matter?" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas: "This must be an official announcement. We have not had one since the last war." Trenick@annpc#5570 | The various streams of data all change to show the glowing form of Field Marshall Caid Fel Dahn. Keelah@crystyll shares an uneasy glance with her team as they all watch and listen Trenick@annpc#5570 | Caid: "People of the Forli Worlds. I am Field Marshall Caid Fel Dahn. Four days ago, one of our research vessels was rescued by an alien craft. In the process, they gave us an enhancement to our - Trenick@annpc#5570: - technology like this galaxy has never seen before. I have conferred with the Board of Marshalls on this development...and it is my pleasure to announce the beginning of a new age- the Expansion Age!" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Caid: "Our first target should be no surprise to any of us. Family, friends, comrades, all of us here have lost something to the wretched Trinity Alliance." Trenick@annpc#5570 | Caid: "I say no more! We finally have the advantage we need. The Trinity worlds will be the first of many to fall in our new conquest. Rally behind me, and we shall march to victory!" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie: "Is he f'real?" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Silvestrie: "I think you were right, Captain..." Trenick@annpc#5570: "I'm afraid he sounds quite serious, Commander..." Keelah@crystyll: "This is one occasion, Lieutenant... when even a Vulcan would prefer to have been wrong" Trenick@annpc#5570 FX | Keelah's combadge chirps. Keelah@crystyll steps away from the group, tapping her combadge, "Se'Lai, go ahead" Trenick@annpc#5570: <C> "Kelly here. Tee just picked up a disturbing open broadcast from the Forli flagship, and now it's gone to warp, along with most of the warships in the system." Keelah@crystyll: <C> Yes, we saw the broadcast down here. Track the fleet and stand by Trenick@annpc#5570: <C - Kelly> "Understood, Captain." Keelah@crystyll turns back to Tas, "Apologies, but this new development must cut our visit short. we have to return to our ship now" Trenick@annpc#5570 | Tas nods, "We hope to host you again sometime. You are welcome to return whenever you wish. Hopefully, this new war will not touch this world." Keelah@crystyll: "Hopefully... quite. Thank you again for your hospitality" she bows her head, turning sharply to her team and gesturing to step outside for beamout Keelah@crystyll FX | The team exit the building and promptly beam back to the VF Keelah@crystyll FX | After returning to the ship, Keelah has called a meeting of the senior staff to discuss their next move Keelah@crystyll: "Alright, so now everyone is up to speed... thoughts?" Keliaya@anncarise: "These new shield adjustments won't make them invincible. As we demonstrated at the quaternary stars, enough damage and they'll collapse like any other. But being able to reflect all the damage in - Keliaya@anncarise: - the meantime, even at slightly lower energy levels..." Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Could be all that is needed to sway many a battle in their favour." Keelah@crystyll: "Which seems from the Marshall's broadcast, to be their intent" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "It's certainly a game-changer. I thought such adjustments might have defensive applications, but I never imagined they'd use it to spark an invasion..." Keelah@crystyll: "Now I know you all share my distaste for the way this has transpired, but we must choose our next move very carefully here as we stand on a knifes edge of being drawn into a local conflict" Keelah@crystyll: "So; /do/ we attempt to stop them. If so, how?" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Even without these shields, the Valley Forge would be hard-pressed to take down their flagship. The Valley Forge may have had upgrades, but the design was still created alongside - Keliaya@anncarise: - the Sovereign, and we all know how the Enterprise-E fared against a Scimitar. And they had assistance from Romulans." Keelah@crystyll | Lennie: "We can't let 'em run off an' start a war wit' tech we gave 'em. Even if it is technically jus' a tweak to their own; they start killin'; tha's innocent blood on our hands... on mine..." Keliaya@anncarise nods, "That's what I was thinking, too." Keelah@crystyll raises a hand to Lennie, "Nobody is placing - or taking - blame here. I stand by your decisions in helping the research vessel, this was unforeseeable. As for how we could prevent this, what about + Keelah@crystyll: + shield data we have from them. Any way to further utilize that to nullify their upgrade?" Keelah@crystyll: "If we could cancel out their perceived advantage they may think twice about starting a war" Keliaya@anncarise shakes her head, "We know it would be more effective to continuously target one shield facing, but the shots at that facing would still be reflected while it's active." Keliaya@anncarise: "There's no way to undo their upgrades, not from the outside at least." Keelah@crystyll: "What about sharing the attack manouvre with this Trinity Alliance? A means to effectively counter the shield, as demonstrated already" Keliaya@anncarise: "That could work. We've managed to extrapolate the destination of the Forli fleet. They're cruising at Warp 6; if we go faster, we should be able to beat them there." Keelah@crystyll: "I was counting on it. From what we know of the Forli - and the Field Marshall - speculation on his response to a challenge from us if we threaten to share this data?" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "I do not think he will back down. From what you have learned on the surface, he is a warrior living in the shadow of his father. This is his one opportunity to make his own name - Keliaya@anncarise: - remembered. He will press his attack regardless. Or at least, a Klingon in his situation will." Keelah@crystyll leans back, steepling her fingers and staring back at Vrolmacht, "Something told me you were going to say that..." Keelah@crystyll: "What if... we provide him a more tempting opportunity. One not just to rival his fathers, but succeed it?" Keliaya@anncarise | Silvestrie: "One more tempting than his people's long-time enemies, and the ones who killed his father?" Keelah@crystyll: "The Horde" she looks around, "The Forli are spacefaring in this region, they must be aware of them" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "It may be worth a try, but Silvestrie is right. This could be more than ambition. He is a man out for vengeance as well." Keelah@crystyll: "Well, we'll call those plans B and C then. You all have from now until we reach the Forli fleet to give me a better plan A. If not, then we will attempt to talk him down first, and resort to sharing+ Keelah@crystyll: + his shield tech data with the Alliance if all else fails. Whatever happens; I will not see the Valley Forge drawn into someone else's conflict, keep that in mind" Keelah@crystyll taps her intercom, "Ms. Carter; lay in a pursuit course on the Forli fleet and engage at maximum warp" Keliaya@anncarise: <C - Ann> "Aye aye, Cap'n." Keliaya@anncarise: "We'll try to come up with other plans in the meantime." Keelah@crystyll: "Alright everyone, let's get to work. Cover your bases; go back over every scrap of data on the Forli - cultural and technological - for an advantage, anything that might help. Dismissed" Keliaya@anncarise | Everyone nods and heads back out to the bridge. Keelah@crystyll waits for the last to leave and taps her intercom again, "Tee, open a secure channel to Hiln's research ship and patch it through in here for me, would you" Keelah@crystyll holds a firm gaze on the screen, "One question; does the Field Marshall speak for the desire of all Forli? I find it hard to believe that a species so dedicated to be researching star systems is + Keelah@crystyll: + also so eager to run off and start a new war" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "You refer to his recent declaration? Most Forli are not fond of the Trinity, we have had a tumultous history. But from his talk of conquest, it doesn't sound like he'll stop at just the - Keliaya@anncarise: - Trinity. And there's plenty of us concerned with that idea, I suspect." Keelah@crystyll leans in, holding a calculated tone, "Then help me stop him before this goes too far" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "Stop him? He's a Field Marshall. Interfering with his campaign would be treason." Keelah@crystyll: "If you are unable to act directly, I understand. But there must be cause for protest against this declaration? Grounds to appeal to your government to reign him in perhaps?" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "He is the child of our people's greatest hero in recent memory. I could speak to my contacts in the Defense Agency, but he has far more important friends. Rumour has it that he is - Keliaya@anncarise: - a favourite of the current Grand Marshall." Keelah@crystyll: "I'm not asking you to lead a coup or anything so dramatic. But none of us want the blood of innocents on our hands - Trinity or Forli. And if he wages war with what he wrongly believes is a shield + Keelah@crystyll: + upgrade, that's exactly what we'll have; catastrophic losses on both sides, and a Forli fleet left in ruins. I don't imagine he'll be much of a favourite then, do you?" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln nods, "I'll make an argument that the shield is not as much of an advantage as he claims. But I am just a scientist, and it would not be the first time a scientist's rational ideas are - Keliaya@anncarise: - ignored in favour of more popular beliefs." Keelah@crystyll: "I understand; it is a difficult balance that we all contend with. We have to at least try to make them see reason, I'd appreciate any efforts you can make" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "I'll do my best. I've heard of things in my travels, stories of beings and civilizations far more powerful than us. The shield may give us an edge over the Trinity, but if Caid continues - Keliaya@anncarise: - advancing...I fear we may eventually make an enemy our technological advancements are useless against." Keelah@crystyll: "It would not be the first time warmongering has ended so. And you are right, they are out there and they are coming this way..." she taps on her screen, "I'm sending you all the data we have on them+ Keelah@crystyll: + to support your claim. They are called the Horde of the Primevals, and even the Nuhar constructs your people know of are unable to stand alone against them. If any of us are to survive their + Keelah@crystyll: + arrival; it will be united, or not at all" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "I will present this information to our Boards. Hopefully, it will assist our case." Keelah@crystyll: "All we want is for the Field Marshall to stand down long enough to comprehend all of this, and to understand the true nature of his shield alterations. A decision made in haste is not one logically + Keelah@crystyll: + balanced out" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "A wise statement, though it is not easy to make our soldiers think like scientists. I'll do all I can." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "That's all any of us can do. Good luck to you, and stay safe" Keliaya@anncarise | Hiln: "And you as well." Keelah@crystyll gives a single nod in closing as she taps and ends the hail, leaning back with a heavy sigh before pacing to find herself staring thoughtfully out the window Keliaya@anncarise FX | After a while at high warp, the Valley Forge manages to catch up to the Forli fleet... Keelah@crystyll: "Tee, open a channel to the Marshall's flagship" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The flagship accepts the hail. Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods, "Patching them in now" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The red-glowing Caid appears on the viewscreen again, "Captain. I thought your ship needed repairs." Keelah@crystyll: "Nothing so drastic that it can't be postponed" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "What brings you to postpone it? You've already seen your work in action twice, while rescuing the research vessel and during our test when you arrived at the colony." Keelah@crystyll: "The need to stop you from making a terrible mistake in what you are seeking to do here because of our influence" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "A mistake? We finally have an opportunity here. The opportunity of a lifetime, no, of an Age! Perhaps all our spacefaring history!" Keelah@crystyll: "Field Marshall... I emplore you; do not let the past cloud your judgement in the present. I know about your plight to shine on your own from your father's shadow... I relate to it. But this shield + Keelah@crystyll: + technology is not the answer. It is not the tactical advantage you are seeing it as; it is a weakness that may doom your fleet" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "I am not a fool, Captain. Simply because your people were the ones who came up with the idea of this modification does not mean we cannot understand it." Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "We know its power, you cannot trick us." Keelah@crystyll: "This is no deception... look, the modification does reflect directed energy, of course it does. But it also isolates your shield generators; this was not an improvement made on your research vessel,+ Keelah@crystyll: + it was a workaround to get past already superior shielding. Your advantage does not logically outweigh the cost of exposing your shield faces the way this does" Keelah@crystyll: "Especially when it can be countered with strategic flying" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "There's always a counter. War has no perfect weapon, but this will allow us to strike a blow against the Trinity Alliance. By the time they develop a strategy to counter it, we will have - Keliaya@anncarise: - other strategies, other technologies, or will have perfected this one. Or perhaps they would have fallen by then. Plans must be adapted when put into motion, and I will adapt when the time comes." Keelah@crystyll: "And what if I force that time on to you now by telling the Alliance all they need to know to counter your upgrade? They would cut through your shields before you even have a chance to revert it" Keelah@crystyll: "Please, Field Marshall; don't throw your fleet away in haste. There are greater enemies out there, greater battles to be won. In the days ahead your tactical knowledge and leadership may prove vital" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "Do not force my hand, Captain. This is your only warning. The Forli people cannot prosper while the Trinity Alliance exists. Once they are dealt with, I can move on to other threats. - Keliaya@anncarise: - I can use your gift to our people to deal with your enemies, but first I must deal with my own." Keelah@crystyll: "They are not presently your enemies, you are making them so. Starting a war for personal glory is no way to surpass your fathers legacy, it only shames it. This isn't worth all the innocent lives + Keelah@crystyll: + you'll be throwing away on both sides, Field Marshall. So I'll ask you again; stand down before this goes too far and give us a chance to carve you a real legacy of your own instead" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "You don't know what my people have gone through. You don't know what we've lost in our past wars, what restrictions have been placed on us as a result of treaties with the Alliance. How - Keliaya@anncarise: - could you? You are not Forli. /I/ understand our struggles, and I will bring an end to them!" Keelah@crystyll: "No, Field Marshall. You won't. Don't you see? The cycle of blood for blood only results with same thing. You speak of losses from past wars, well what about losses from the war you're about to start+ Keelah@crystyll: + - how will those deaths offset the deaths of their predecessors. Will their families take solace in their loved ones' deaths because the Field Marshall got his vengeance, or will they despise him + Keelah@crystyll: + for sending their loved ones to an early grave and drawing more destruction on your society - more restrictions and an ever tightening noose" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "The only noose this time will be cast around the Trinity. My people have lived with war for many generations, Captain. You think my father did not lose soldiers? He made sacrifices, many - Keliaya@anncarise: - of them, and we were /still/ forced to sign that treaty! Everyone who falls in this war will be to ensure a better future for all Forli. They know that. Their families know that." Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "That's what it means to be a soldier. And if you don't have the stomach to make the hard decisions, I suggest you stay away and leave the professionals to it." Keelah@crystyll: "No they don't, Field Marshall. I have talked with them - not your soldiers, but the innocents of the Forli. Your people are scared of you... that's no legacy! As for a soldiers sacrifice; it's one + Keelah@crystyll: + thing to make a noble sacrifice in defense of their homes, it's something else entirely to make that sacrifice on another man's quest for vengeance" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "Sometimes, the best defense is to strike the enemy first. Vengeance is only an extra benefit, and I assure you I am far from the only one in this fleet who would like payback. - Keliaya@anncarise: - One warning, Captain. Courtesy of the gift your people have given us, that is all I offer you." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The channel cuts. Keelah@crystyll scowls at the now blank screen, "Helm... bring us into weapons range. Mr. Vrolmacht; make ready to prove this weakness to the good Field Marshall. Red alert" Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Aye Cap'n, movin' into range." Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Shields online, weapons powered." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The bridge transforms to red alert lighting. Keelah@crystyll: "Take us past them and line up a loop to circle back on an attack vector. Park us right in their path" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Valley Forge loops around the fleet and stops right in the middle of the flagship's path. Keliaya@anncarise: "They're raising their shields." Keelah@crystyll stares at the image on screen intently, "Your move, Field Marshall..." Keliaya@anncarise FX | On the viewscreen, two of the smaller escorts move towards the VF before stopping as if someone called them to halt. The entire Forli fleet freezes, with just the flagship advancing forward. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Challenging us one on one? Stubborn fool as this Marshall is, he has some sense of honour..." Keelah@crystyll: "I'm not so certain. Tee, are you picking up any communications in the region?" Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "The flagship's closin' in. 200,000 kilometres. Hundred thousand. Fifty..." Keelah@crystyll | TQ Shakes her head Keelah@crystyll: "Perhaps he is taking it as a solo challenge then." shakes her head, "...a stubborn fool indeed. Fire a warning shot across his bow and standby for evasive manouvers" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht nods and fires a warning shot by the flagship. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "They are charging weapons." Keliaya@anncarise: "More ships are appearing on long-range sensors, opposite approach vector from Forli space. From scans at this range, they don't look like Forli signatures either." Keelah@crystyll: "Prepare to return fire... Helm, stand by to execute our attack manouver" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Forli ship fires a burst of phaser cannons, The Valley Forge breaks into evasive, managing to dodge half the fire while the rest shakes the ship. Keelah@crystyll: "Tee, hail the inbound vessels and advise them to withdraw lest they get drawn into the Marshall's war" Keliaya@anncarise: "Shields at 80%!" Keelah@crystyll: "Bring us about and line up our attack vector. All phaser banks ready for firing pattern on their rear shield" Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "No response, Captain" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Weapons ready to fire on your mark." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The VF spins around to the flagship's rear. Keelah@crystyll: "Keep repeating it, Tee. Tell them we are trying to prevent a war here" Keliaya@anncarise: "The ships are...speeding up. Warp 8, 9, 9.7." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The bridge shakes again as turrets along the back of the flagship open fire. Keelah@crystyll watches on screen for the moment, "...attack pattern Tierno-1... now!" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Valley Forge executes Rianni's maneuver as all phaser banks return fire. A few reflect back into the VF's own shields but the ship manages to evade much of the reflections, being more - Keliaya@anncarise: - familiar with how to compensate for these shields now. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "The flagship shields are at half strength!" Keliaya@anncarise: "Ours aren't far from it!" Keelah@crystyll: "Keep it up... just a little more... Kelly, take auxiliary from everything but critical systems. We can't let up" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The flagship continues firing back as the Valley Forge finishes its attack run. The rest of the Forli fleet stand by, shields raised but not engaging. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Their shields are at 25. They are significantly stronger than the research vessel's." Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Should I line us up for another run, Cap'n?" Keelah@crystyll: "Do it. We have to stop that ship" Keliaya@anncarise | The VF turns around to strike again. Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Ready for second go o' attack pattern." Keelah@crystyll: "Let's make it count then" she nods forwards to proceed Keliaya@anncarise | The Valley Forge begins to close in to the flagship again, weapons firing before the bridge shakes and then stabilizes and they are suddenly held in place. The phasers do not manage to cease - Keliaya@anncarise: - firing on time and one beam is reflected head on. Keliaya@anncarise: "Shields at 30%!" Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "They have us in a tractor lock." Keelah@crystyll: "Quantums! Emergency power to the facing shields" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie attempts to break the tractor lock through the usual means; frequency rotation, polarization etc Keliaya@anncarise: "Routing additional power to shields!" Keliaya@anncarise | Lennie manages to break the lock, though the progress on the attack pattern is lost and additional fire would be harder to dodge. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Quantums standing by!" Keelah@crystyll: "Fire. Take that shield generator out the old fashioned way, it's still isolated after all" Keelah@crystyll: "Helm bring us about, keep our weakened arc away from them" Keliaya@anncarise FX | A flashing torpedo flies from the Valley Forge, impacting the flagship and its shield facing fizzles out! Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "Cap'n, we have other ships droppin' outta warp!" Keliaya@anncarise FX | Ships appear all around the Valley Forge, opening fire on the flagship, which takes a few hits along its hull before it manages to turn an undamaged facing to the new attackers. Keliaya@anncarise | The attacks bounce back at the new arrivals, causing one of the attacking ships to explode. The rest of the Forli fleet joins in, focusing on the arrivals and not the VF. Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Incoming hail from the newcomers Captain, putting it through!" Keliaya@anncarise FX | A visage appears on the viewscreen... Keliaya@anncarise | https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/8/8f/Aric_Jorgan.png/revision/latest?cb=20160406171639 Keliaya@anncarise | New Alien: "Unidentified vessel. You are granted sanctuary in the territories of the Trinity Alliance. Retreat behind our lines. We will cover you." Keliaya@anncarise | LAST TIME ON ST:TTV... Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "People of the Forli Worlds. I am Field Marshall Caid Fel Dahn. Four days ago, one of our research vessels was rescued by an alien craft. In the process, they gave us an enhancement to our- Keliaya@anncarise: -technology like this galaxy has never seen before. I have conferred with the Board of Marshalls on this development...and it is my pleasure to announce the beginning of a new age- the Expansion Age!" Keliaya@anncarise | Lennie: "We can't let 'em run off an' start a war wit' tech we gave 'em. Even if it is technically jus' a tweak to their own; they start killin'; tha's innocent blood on our hands... on mine..." Keliaya@anncarise | Keelah: "Field Marshall... I emplore you; do not let the past cloud your judgement in the present." Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "Do not force my hand, Captain. This is your only warning. The Forli people cannot prosper while the Trinity Alliance exists." Keliaya@anncarise | Keelah: "Helm... bring us into weapons range. Mr. Vrolmacht; make ready to prove this weakness to the good Field Marshall. Red alert" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The Valley Forge executes Rianni's maneuver as all phaser banks return fire. A few reflect back into the VF's own shields but the ship manages to evade much of the reflections. Keliaya@anncarise FX | A flashing torpedo flies from the Valley Forge, impacting the flagship and its shield facing fizzles out! Keliaya@anncarise FX | Ships appear all around the Valley Forge, opening fire on the flagship, which takes a few hits along its hull before it manages to turn an undamaged facing to the new attackers. Keliaya@anncarise | TQ: "Incoming hail from the newcomers Captain, putting it through!" Keliaya@anncarise: | New Alien: "Unidentified vessel. You are granted sanctuary in the territories of the Trinity Alliance. Retreat behind our lines. We will cover you." Keliaya@anncarise | AND NOW THE CONTINUATION... Keliaya@anncarise: "One of the new ships is reinforcing our shields with a deflector beam!" Keelah@crystyll: "This is Captain Se'Lai of the Federation starship; Valley Forge. Whilst your efforts are appreciated, you do not fully grasp the situation here. Please, disengage and give the Forli a chance to + Keelah@crystyll: + depart peacefully" Keliaya@anncarise | New Arrival: "Good, you understand me. I was hoping you could comprehend our speech when translated into the Forli language, as you were dueling with their Marshall's ship." Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "As for disengaging, we're here to cover you. They've got some kind of new reflective shield technology so we can't make this a drawn-out fight. Are your FTL capabilities online?" Keelah@crystyll: "Yes they are, and we understand this new shielding of theirs. Listen, all can be explained but first... just give me a chance to send the Field Marshall away without bloodshed" Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "Leave the negotiations to the Chlasi. You're in the middle of a crossfire. We can't protect you if you don't get out of there." Keelah@crystyll: "It is a situation we are responsible for, all I'm asking is the chance to end it. A chance I have which you do not" Keelah@crystyll: "If I am unsuccessful, we will depart per your request" Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "Fine. But I won't sacrifice more of my ships to rescue you if the Forli turn on you and take you prisoner. Pull back!" Keliaya@anncarise | The new arrivals promptly disengage and break away from the fighting. Keelah@crystyll: "Tee, get me the Field Marshall and patch in an open broadcast to all Forli ships in range" Keliaya@anncarise | The Field Marshall appears on the screen: "You fight well, Captain." Keelah@crystyll: "You left me no choice. I hope now you see what I was trying to explain to you all along; this shield modification is not worth the sacrifice. Your rear flank is exposed and one torpedo will leave + Keelah@crystyll: + your proud flagship dead in space and at the mercy of the Chlasi. They have disengaged in good faith Field Marshall, I suggest you do the same" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "But the shields were good enough to fend off these Gaton ships. I will stand down for now, there's no point in fighting in empty space, and I suspect the Gaton only engaged because they - Keliaya@anncarise: - saw an opportunity during our duel." Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "But this campaign isn't over. You have your one chance. Go, and you will not be an enemy. Our march will continue once our repairs are complete." Keelah@crystyll: "Actually they did so because they saw you attacking an unidentified vessel. They came to our rescue, just as we came ot the rescue of your researchers. Keep that in mind" Keelah@crystyll: "As for your campaign; I hope that you will see reason when you return to learn of the true threat out here that you have yet to face. I would still very much like to stand proudly at your side + Keelah@crystyll: + should the day come to pass, Field Marshall. But for now, go in peace" Keliaya@anncarise | Caid: "I suspect we shall meet again. As friends or foes, we will see..." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The call ends. Keliaya@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "All Forli ships have ceased fire as well. They are forming up defensively around their flagship." Keelah@crystyll breaths a deflated sigh, "Let us hope that even if he does not comprehend this, the officers of his escort vessels will..." Keelah@crystyll: "Stand down to yellow alert and prioritize repairs. We'll hold position here until the Forli move off" Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Captain, the Trinity Alliance vessel is hailing us" Keelah@crystyll: "Good. Saves us hailing them. Put it through, Tee" Keliaya@anncarise | The alien from before reappears on the viewscreen, "You've managed to talk the Forli to stand down for the moment?" Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, they have disengaged. We were just waiting to see them move off before confirming this back to you" Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "Impressive. I suspect it has something to do with bringing down a portion of the Marshall's shields?" Keliaya@anncarise | Ann: "The Forli are movin' off!" Keliaya@anncarise: "Their destination appears to be an uninhabited system nearby. No signs of technology or habitable worlds there." Keelah@crystyll: "Yes. As mentioned before it is a long story. But as I can now see the Forli are moving off, perhaps we can make our introductions in a more civilized manner. Might i invite you over to + Keelah@crystyll: + discuss the situation in detail?" Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "Are you sure you would not rather come with us? The Forli are likely moving off to recuperate. They could return." Keelah@crystyll: "I believe they are. Their course suggests a nearby uninhabited system. It was my intention to continue monitoring the situation here, but if you feel it would be more prudent to depart then I shall + Keelah@crystyll: + defer to your judgement" Keliaya@anncarise | Alien: "Not a bad idea. I'll stay here with a few ships to keep an eye on the Forli. The rest of the fleet will ensure the nearest inhabited world is prepared for a potential invasion." Keelah@crystyll smiles lightly, "Does this mean you accept my invitation?" Keliaya@anncarise | The alien nods, "I'll be there shortly." Keelah@crystyll: "Excellent! I look forward to seeing you shortly then. Valley Forge out" Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Linguistics package received" she chirps with an upbeat tone Keelah@crystyll smiles over, "Return the favour, Tee. Standard greeting package. I'll be in the transporter room, Kelly; let's get our girl back in shape before moving off" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "I'll get her back to top condition, don't worry." Keliaya@anncarise | After a few minutes of waiting, Katie announces an incoming transport from the Trinity Alliance ships. Keelah@crystyll: "Time to do things properly..." she notes, tugging her tunic down Keelah@crystyll performs the Picard Maneuver. Keliaya@anncarise | Three feline aliens appear on the transporter pad, the central one being the figure seen on the viewscreen, donning a silver suit of armour while the two around him wear similar armour in a - Keliaya@anncarise: - dark grey colouration. They promptly step off the pad, their gaits formal and very militaristic. Keelah@crystyll stands firm, "Welcome aboard. It is a pleasure to meet you in person" Keliaya@anncarise | Silver-Armoured Figure: "And you as well. For someone who looks so Chlasi, your ship stood its ground well against the Marshall's." Keelah@crystyll: "I assume Chlasi is one of the othe Trinity species, which must make you Gators?" she deduces Keliaya@anncarise | Silver-Armoured Figure: "GatONs. Yes. I'm General Bandor. My people and I are primarily responsible for the security of the Trinity Alliance." Keelah@crystyll: "Gatons, apologies. We are still refining our regional translations" she smiles effortlessly, "General, if you would care to walk with me. We have much to discuss regarding the Forli" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Indeed. I suspect you're new here, if you're not familiar with our Alliance yet." Keelah@crystyll: "You are correct, hopefully you will our story one of interest" she smiles, gesturing for them to follow her out Keliaya@anncarise | The General and the two flanking him, likely guards, follow Keelah out. Keelah@crystyll: "We are indeed new to this region of space, travelling on a mission of exploration from the United Federation of Planets, sited further coreward by several sectors from here" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "From that name, I'm guessing it's also an interplanetary alliance?" Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, one bringing together hundreds of civilizations from across the galaxy" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Hundreds? Sometimes we have enough trouble keeping things civil between the three species of the Trinity." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "The Federation has been at it for a long time. That's not to say it's ever easy though" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "The Trinity Alliance's never expanded much. We colonized more worlds, made contact with other groups, but we haven't incorporated any others into our Alliance." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "It's always been us against the Forli." Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, a situation we have become painfully aware of. And regrettably drawn into" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "It's not difficult to make enemies of the Forli. Their Defense Agency is especially untrusting of outsiders." Keelah@crystyll: "Interestingly we actually started off in their good graces. It was the Field Marshall who made an enemy out of us" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Field Marshall Caid, yes. Our intelligence reports suggest he's a very zealous leader." Keelah@crystyll: "I think it's safe to say that your reports are accurate" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "What exactly did he do to make you challenge him like that?" Keelah@crystyll: "In short; he turned an act of goodwill into an opportunity to charge into another war..." she sighs Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "An act of good will? What exactly happened?" Keelah@crystyll: "It all started when we were surveying a nearby star system" Keelah@crystyll: "We encountered an unknown vessel caught in a star's gravity field with low power and moved to assist them. Just as you came to our aid earlier" Keelah@crystyll: "This vessel turned out to belong to the Forli Research Agency" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "That explains how you started out in their good graces." Keelah@crystyll nods, "Anyway, in order to tractor them to safety we had to bypass their shields. This came about by having them share their shield tech with us so we could devise a solution" Keelah@crystyll: "That solution was a reconfiguration which isolated each shield generator by altering the reflection properties to a singular direction..." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "And that's where their new shield functions came from. You're saying it was an unintentional development you made to rescue one of their ships?" Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, exactly. After that rescue we were invited back to their colony to engage in formal first contact. This was proceeding well enough until Caid announced this march to war. We pursued him and + Keelah@crystyll: + tried to convince him that the modification was not the solution he sought" Keelah@crystyll: "That is why were engaging his flagship; to force the point after he stubbornly refused to listen to logic, and prove it's weakness to him" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I can't fault you for using it to rescue one of their research vessels, but the modification is proving enough of a problem to our ships." Keelah@crystyll: "We had to develop an unorthodox attack manouver in order to cut through those shields still. Hopefully knowledge of this will assist if the Field Marshall persists" Keliaya@anncarise | The General nods, "We'll very likely need it. I don't expect the Forli to back down unless we strike big enough of a blow against them." Keelah@crystyll: "There is another possibility that I retain hope in" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "What's that?" Keelah@crystyll: "The Researchers we rescued. I left them with information regarding a greater threat to this whole region of space, possible the galaxy at large. I am hoping that their leadership will see that this + Keelah@crystyll: + ongoing fued with the Alliance is futile and that their efforts are better applied elsewhere" Keelah@crystyll leads them into the /conference room/, "Can I offer you any refreshment?" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I'm good, thank you." Keelah@crystyll retrieves a glass of water and takes a seat Keliaya@anncarise | The General takes a seat as well, his two guards remaining behind him, "We know the Forli aren't beyond reason. Marshall Caid's father was instrumental in establishing the peace of the last - Keliaya@anncarise: - treaty. There's a chance the current Grand Marshall can be swayed by your argument." Keelah@crystyll: "Caid may be unaware of his Father's actions in this. He feels oppressed by his father's legacy and that is the main driving force behind his campaign now; to carve a legacy of his own" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Fel was a good leader and a good warrior. But in the last days of the war, he was one of those pushing for the treaty. It was costing the Forli too much." Keelah@crystyll: "My impression is that Caid only knows the history written by the Defense Agency. The one that goes along with the tall statues Fel looking like a heroic warrior, not an advocate of peace" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Then maybe the Grand Marshall is the problem, not the solution." Keelah@crystyll: "Perhaps. But we know that not all the Forli think as Caid does, and many do not wish for his 'Expansion Age'. I only hope that our allies there are successful in presenting the details of the real+ Keelah@crystyll: + threat" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "If what you say is true, your allies might be presenting them to unsympathetic ears. We've long known that the Forli government is a puppet- their Defense Agency holds the real power." Keelah@crystyll: "I believe they have sympathetic ears within the Defense Agency. But this is all conjecture, my concern rests with what Caid plans to do next. I fear he seeks to plunge you all into another war..." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "It's possible the Defense Agency are the ones who want another war. Caid's father was killed when he was still fairly young. The Defense Agency taught him everything he knows about his - Keliaya@anncarise: - father. Like you said, they're painting him only as a warrior. I suspect they're using the Field Marshall to test us." Keelah@crystyll: "Which begs the question of how we put this right..." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I'm a warrior. I'll do my best to keep our territories safe if the Field Marshall presses his attack. If you want to solve all this without bloodshed, you want to talk to the Chlasi." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "They have a planet nearby, one I suspect was the Forli fleet's original destination before you intercepted them. My people can keep an eye on them from here." Keelah@crystyll: "Then that is where I must go next. We are responsible for the catalyst which drove Caid's current action. It is our responsibility to restore control to the situation before blood is shed" Keliaya@anncarise | The General motions to one of his guards, who hands him a datapad. He taps on it a few times before handing it to Keelah, "Here's the coordinates to the Chlasi world I mentioned." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you General. I'll do everything I can to find a diplomatic resolution to this" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "If you don't, I'm hoping this maneuver of yours will be enough to counter their shields. I'll need that information." Keelah@crystyll: "Of course" she taps on her console and spins the display to show him the details" Keelah@crystyll: "It was mapped for execution by this vessel, but should be applicable to any suitably manouverable vessel. The key is maintaining constant fire as that negates the shield regeneration" Keelah@crystyll: "This attack trajectory minimalizes the reflected damage impacts, but as you've seen; they are capable of predicting it on multiple runs and intercepting with tractor beams" Keliaya@anncarise | The General nods as he is handed another datapad by the other guard and he takes down notes, "Thank you. Hopefully by the time they strike, we'll have time to come up with enough variations and - Keliaya@anncarise: - contingencies. I've also informed the Erudis before I came on board, and they may yet come up with a technological counter to these shields." Keelah@crystyll: "Though I have the full specs on their shield tech, I am reluctant to offer it up just now in case of implications to diplomatic channels. But once we enter talks with the other Trinity races, that + Keelah@crystyll: + data may well come into play" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Understandable. If it's a diplomatic solution you seek, the Chlasi are definitely the best Trinity species to help you." Keelah@crystyll: "It has to be our first port of call. As mentioned, we suspect a greater threat looming on the horizon and I don't want to see any species caught unprepared" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "We've heard rumours of the dangers lurking deeper in space as well. The Gaton will defend the Trinity to the end, but we won't be particularly effective if we're pressed with a war on - Keliaya@anncarise: - two fronts." Keelah@crystyll: "None of us will. And I hate to be the one to bring this news to you, but the rumours are true. They are called the Primevals, and even the Nuhar constructs you likely know of in this region are not + Keelah@crystyll: + capable of standing alone against them" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I feared that may be the case. We'll prepare our forces for them, but the Esoterics have always warned that we'll need more than warriors for the challenges ahead." Keelah@crystyll: "The... Esoterics?" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Chlasi religious leaders. I've never cared much for religion myself but if what I've heard are true, maybe we'll need these Chlasi magicians." Keelah@crystyll: "Quite possibly. I do not believe this is a threat anyone can stand alone against. While we are in talks with the Chlasi I will endeavour to share what we know with these Esoterics" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor nods, "The Chlasi are better suited to informing you about their beliefs than I am. But if you want to know anything about the Gatons or the Trinity Alliance as a whole, I'll do my best - Keliaya@anncarise: - to help." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "Our primary function is still exploration, it is why we are out here after all. Meeting new lifeforms and civilizations is the greatest purpose we can serve in the Federation" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "There's certainly a lot to see here. Once this war is dealt with, I suggest you visit one of the Erudis worlds. I've only been to one, and it's some of the most marvelous things I've - Keliaya@anncarise: - ever seen." Keelah@crystyll: "Oh? I'll be sure to add it to my to-do list" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I'm sure they'll be open to you and your people visiting, especially if you make friends with the Chlasi." Keelah@crystyll: "I would certainly like to think that by the end of all this we will be able to consider all of the Trinity Alliance our friends" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I hope so as well. Your people seem competent and reliable." Keelah@crystyll: "I certainly like to think so" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "And with all the different races in your alliance, I expect you have the advantages of many different skills like the Trinity Alliance, but to an even bigger degree." Keelah@crystyll: "We certain bring diversity, and I do believe it is our greatest strength as a society. I would be happy to tell you all about it" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "How did your alliance first form?" Keelah@crystyll: "It began when my people - Vulcans - made first contact with Humans, those who make up a large portion of this crew, after witnessing an early warp flight of theirs" Keelah@crystyll: "Our two species collaborated, with difficulty for a time... until Humanity began to explore further from their home. After some time, we came to formalize this alliance along with two other dominant+ Keelah@crystyll: + races in the region. From there, it simply grew with more species joining over the years" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "That's probably why your Alliance grew so much. Ours only formed as a response to the Forli." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "We all had troubles with them, but the Chlasi were the ones who had the idea of joining forces. When their diplomacy failed, they allied with my people to stand a better chance against - Keliaya@anncarise: - the Forli's fleet. The Erudis didn't join until halfway through the first war, and their technological advancements was a major factor in our victory." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "After the fighting, we decided to remain close allies. Our strengths complemented one another well, and we needed to be vigilant for further Forli aggression." Keelah@crystyll: "Don't get me wrong now, adversity has always plagued the Federation and was ever-present during it's founding. Perhaps not quite the catalyst of necessity, but there still" Keelah@crystyll: "But what you have achieved together..." she smiles, "...rings true to our core ideals. It is something to be proud of" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor nods, "The Forli were the reason the Trinity Alliance formed, but they're far from the only thing keeping us together now. If they were to no longer be a threat, we wouldn't just disband." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "We've all come to enjoy many benefits of this alliance, despite occasional disagreements." Keelah@crystyll nods, "A sympathetic position indeed" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor looks around, "We don't have anything like you do here, though. We have representatives or specialists from other species on the odd ship, but most of our vessels are crewed by one - Keliaya@anncarise: - species. Do you all live together on the same planets as well, or do you have specialized planets for each species?" Keelah@crystyll: "Most species herald from their home world. Some species operate multiple colonies of their own, often pre-existing Federation alliance. Other colonies are formed through Federation incentives and so+ Keelah@crystyll: + become homes to their multi-species civiians" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "The Trinity Alliance doesn't have anything like that. You find the occasional member of another species on a colony or even one of the original worlds, but not true mixed populations." Keelah@crystyll: "Our diversity has driven as much of this evolutation as it has resulted from it really" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "And these ships of yours, they are also run by a collaboration of your member worlds, I suppose?" Keelah@crystyll nods, "Starfleet is the Federation's Navy, as it were. Almost all ships are staffed by personnel from multiple species, though there are some who exist with single species crews for specific purposes Keelah@crystyll: " Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Ah, I suppose that is why you are called a 'Federation,' then. The Trinity Alliance does not field any form of federal navy, nor possess a federal governing body. We're all fully - Keliaya@anncarise: - autonomous nations who simply have very close ties. My people would never accept any other way." Keelah@crystyll: "That sounds much like my own people during the early days before the Federation charter was signed" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "The Gaton are very independent. Our culture emphasizes self-sustainability, for both individuals and our species as a whole. That does not mean we reject help from allies of course, - Keliaya@anncarise: - otherwise we wouldn't be in an Alliance. But we would never rely on a joint fleet to protect our people and our homes." Keelah@crystyll: "Understandable. There are numerous allies to the Federation who exist similarly to you within your Alliance, but won't actually join the Federation itself" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "There's a certain level of autonomy you lose, and some people like mine will just never accept it." Keelah@crystyll: "Of course, it is not for everyone. But what you have here is impressive already" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "That it certainly is. And the Trinity Alliance has other allies outside our three races. They're just not closely tied to us, so they're not considered a part of the Alliance. More - Keliaya@anncarise: - trade partners, but they've provided military and technological support at times." Keelah@crystyll: "huh, strangely similar to a larger alliance we find ourselves in at present" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Are these the other allies to your Federation you mentioned?" Keelah@crystyll: "Some of them, yes" she nods, "This alliance is between the Federation and two other dominant factions where we come from. Other lesser powers or independent states exist as allies too, but this + Keelah@crystyll: + alliance is most significant as it was forged between us and our two greatest adversaries throughout our history, all in the name of defence against a superior invasion force" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Must be some invasion force, to prompt your enemies to work with you." Keelah@crystyll: "All 3 factions have been through periods of allegiance and adversity throughout history, but never before have all three stood together united as one for so long" Keelah@crystyll: "So much so, that we actually have escorts from the other Empires along with us on this voyage" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "I've only seen your ship. Are they docked inside?" Keelah@crystyll: "Not quite, though we do have one representative ship from another alliance docked with us. No, one serves on this ship while the other travels with us as a support escort and recon scout" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Ah, it must be further ahead, then." Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, they are out on extended recon at the moment" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor nods, "Anyways, I should get back to coordinating our fleet movements. And the Chlasi world is still some days away for you." Keelah@crystyll: "Of course, we should get underway. Thank you for your time today General, I hope we will get the chance to talk more when this is all done" Keliaya@anncarise | The General stands, "You and me both." Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor: "Good luck finding a diplomatic solution to this conflict. You'll need it." Keelah@crystyll: "And to you in keeping the peace, General" Keliaya@anncarise | Bandor nods and turns to head out, his two guards trailing after him.
SUBMITTED: Stardate 96683.6 FILED BY: CAPT Se'Lai SECURITY: Level 1 - Open
MISSION:Establish first contact with Forli colony on acceptance of invitation from rescued research vessel
OUTCOME:Diplomatic relations with Forli suspended. Initial talks entered into with Trinity Alliance
CAPT Se'Lai LCDR Keliaya LCDR Lendaria LCDR Vrolmacht LT Silvestrie LTJG Trenick ENS Carter CPO Oliver CPO T'Quila CDT2 Tierno
Following our successful rescue of the Forli Research Agency vessel from the quaternary star cluster (see attached AAR for reference), we accepted an invitation to travel back to their colony to engage in formal first contact with their people. Our arrival in the system was met with concise instruction and delay whilst the Defense Agency were advised as to what had transpired. This was promptly followed by their test implementation of our shield modification applied to the research vessel as part of the rescue, which also saw them test the effectiveness of the attack maneuver with one of their own escorts conducting an attack run on their flagship hosting the modification. By this point my suspicions about the Forli were beginning to raise and I was finding increasing difficulty in explaining away increasingly aggressive evolution. In line with this was our observation of said flagship which held position defensively off our bow whilst determining how they wanted to greet us. It was a large vessel and despite being on par with late-23C Starfleet technology, was heavily armoured enough to present a formidable opponent to most Starfleet vessels - including the Valley Forge (Comparatively, it could be most likened to the Romulan Scimitar series of vessels in terms of proportion & firepower balance).
Following their successful test of the shield modification, we were contacted by the flagship's CO - Field Marshall Caid Fel Dahn - who welcomed us and invited us to engage in trade & diplomatic talks at our leisure on the planet's surface. Caid also made reference to the treaty violation mentioned during the rescue, but confirmed that under these mitigating circumstances the research team would not be penalized - and nor would we - further bolstering my suspicions as to this species' nature. Nonetheless, we proceeded in good faith and even secured access to their spaceport in order to better furnish repairs to damage taken during the rescue. While this was left to LCDR Keliaya to coordinate, I took a small team to the surface to engage further with the civilian population.
Our arrival on the surface was promptly met with an assigned guide - Tas Elan Foss of the local Cultural Centre - who was perfectly accommodating and appeared well accustomed to hosting first time visitors to their world. The region itself bore signs akin to advanced civilizations; artisan culture, advanced technology in everyday use and so forth. Tas was very accommodating with my teams inquiries which took a distinctly cultural and biological focus. We learned that their natural glow as witnessed in varying hues was in fact an evolved form of bioflorescence; resultant from the conditions of their native homeworld (not the water world we were presently visiting) and the non-visual solar emissions that were naturally occurring there. Tas also confirmed my deduction at this point that their unusual shield technology was developed in such a manner because of their natural reflective states. Our walk through the city also led us to observe dominating warrior memorial statues - including one of particular note which stood in memorial to Caid's father - which I can best liken to those adorning the courtyard in front of the Great Hall on Qo'nos, at which point I shared my reservations about these people with the away team.
We were led to a trade hub where I intended to enter negotiations both for short term resupply and potential long term trade agreements with any future Starfleet presence in the region as well as any potential development for our newly formed allies in this area of space. Before we were able to commence this however, a public announcement interrupted all trade screens - something which Tas advised had not occurred for some time. The announcement was a live broadcast from Field Marshall Caid, declaring the commencement of a new 'Age of Expansion' ('Ages' being a consistent point of reference for historical periods to the Forli), and citing our shield modification as being the catalyst to allow this event to occur. He elaborated that he was taking their fleet into war against the 'Trinity Alliance'; generations-old adversaries by all accounts. Beyond this, Caid also stated in no uncertain terms that he intended this to be a definitive action against the Trinity Alliance, and that it would only be the first step in this new age. After confirming his intent with our host and receiving further confirmation from the ship as it observed the fleets mobilization, I recalled our away team and held an emergency staff meeting to determine our next course of action.
Though technically not responsible for Caid's actions which would have undoubtedly continued at some point regardless of our presence or prior actions, my senior staff and I were in agreement that we shared a sense of responsibility here. My primary fear in this was that Caid had misconstrued the nature of the shield modification and saw it as an offensive advantage to take into battle without considering the vulnerability it created (despite this being the very reason the modification was first used). I ordered a pursuit course with the intent of talking Caid down through logical expression of the facts, though through what we had witnessed to date this was deemed unlikely to be successful. While my officers worked on alternative plans, I established contact with the research team we first encountered to gain further insight. I learned through this dialogue that Caid's obsession was not the unanimous opinion of the Forli people and more likely a directive solely of their Defense Agency who appeared to expressed increasingly large portions of control of the society. I left the researchers with a request to appeal against Caid's campaign and have his fleet recalled, priming them with information about the shield modification as evidence to present. When this was met with apprehension, I provided further (unrestricted access only) intelligence for them to present regarding the increasingly worrying larger threat of the Primeval Horde in the hopes that this realization would alter the Forli's perspective on their internal affairs as it had for the Decen and others.
After catching up to Caid's fleet I entered talks with the intent of enlightening him as to the futility of relying on his shield modification to give him the tactical advantage he desired it to be. Whilst this progressed, we positioned the Valley Forge directly in his fleets path to bolster our stance of not allowing our goodwill gesture to be credited for the commencement of a costly war. When talks failed the Forli fleet advanced on us, though it's smaller advance escorts promptly pulled back and allowed the flagship to approach us on it's own, at which point I saw that Caid was taking this as a personal challenge. We fired an initial warning shot across his bow from the forward phasers, but this did not halt his advance. Once the Forli flagship opened fire, we entered into combat with the intent of executing a predetermined plan to prove the weakness of his shield modification by cutting through them as we had for the research vessel. We were swift in our execution of the attack pattern, however the Forli flagship's shields were distinctly stronger than those on the research vessel and our initial attack run only dropped them to ~25%, and so we lined up a second run while our own shields were taking comparable damage from the Forli's assault.
During the frey, a fleet of unidentified vessels was detected on approach from the opposite direction, which we surmised to be Trinity vessels moving to intercept a predicted Forli invasion. We attempted to dissuade them from approaching, but our communications only saw them increase speed to intercept. This was arguably fortunate as our second attack run on the Forli vessel (focusing on the same rear-arc shield generator) was cut short by their use of a tractor beam. Though we were held vulnerable, so were they as they held us facing our target and so we were able to completely drop their rear shield with a torpedo. Although LCDR Lendaria was successful in disrupting the tractor lock and freeing us, further action was halted by the arrival of the Trinity fleet who promptly contacted us and advised that we retreat behind their lines; apparently setting themselves up to cover our escape from the Forli. Knowing that we possessed additional insight into the Forli conduct I declined and tabled an alternative, requesting a chance be allowed for me to again attempt to talk Field Marshall Caid down from his assault.
This was begrudgingly granted by the Trinity lead vessesl (Species: Gaton, feline appearance), and they withdrew. Once they were clear I was able to reestablish communications with Caid's flagship where I was greeted with a warrior-esque congratulations on our battle performance. Despite Caid's continued enforcement that his forces were superior and would not be turned away, our torpedo lock on his unshielded engines - combined with the nearby presence of a Trinity fleet - was enough to persuade him to withdraw from his assault, though he did so with a warning that it would continue. After witnessing his fleet depart - not back towards their colony, but a nearby unpopulated system - we engaged in further discussion with the Trinity CO who agreed to meet in person on board the Valley Forge.
The Gaton CO - General Bandor - beamed over once we reunited with his task force. The man I met carried the body language of a proud military leader, but not a warmonger like Field Marshall Caid. We talked at length about the developing situation here, and he appeared accepting of my explanation as to how this came to pass. As a gesture of good faith to offset what had occurred with the Forli, I shared all our information on the shield modification and our developed attack pattern designed to cut through it. The General went on to recommend that my desire to reach a diplomatic resolution to the situation was best directed through the second Trinity species - the Chlasi - and provided coordinates to the nearest colony of theirs. Much of conversation was focused towards a more typical first contact dialogue of cultural exchange, with both parties learning a great deal about the other and with mutually respectful interest shown.
We now travel to the indicated Chlasi colony with the hopes of finding a diplomatic solution to the rising tension between the Trinity Alliance and the Forli. Though are actions have been confirmed as not responsible at this point, I believe it is still in our collective interests to invest ourselves into the security of the region and believe that the imposing threat of the Primeval Horde may be key not only to stabilizing the current crisis, but ultimately aligning the two parties into long term negation of hostilities. For the moment; all diplomatic relations with the Forli are suspended as they are now considered too high risk to continue talks with. That said, I remain hopeful that our friends there will see some measure of success to further bolster our diplomatic efforts and will ultimately be a driving factor that will allow us to re-enter friendly relations with this fascinating species.