Updated: Mar 18
Safe harbour doesn't always mean R&R, especially for the crew of the Valley Forge. While the ship is stranded in drydock at the mercy of the Colonial Fleet engineers, the crew find themselves entangled in a web of local politics that threatens their current mission as much as the security of things back home...
View Act I - The Outpost
Keliaya@anncarise FX | It has been several days since the Valley Forge crossed over the Colonial border. The ship cruises through space alongside their Toroki escorts, damage from the last battle visible - Keliaya@anncarise - especially on the ship's port side, where several blackened regions of hull plating mark where it was battered by the Lupan ship's broadside cannons. Keliaya@anncarise steps onto the bridge from the turbolift, walking over to the center and handing Keelah a PADD, "Full systems report after our patch work, Captain." Keelah@crystyll swaps her current PADD for the presented one, "What is the verdict?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Well, two of our dorsal phaser emitters are still offline, a third is functioning at half capacity. Port side shields can only manage 70% capacity and a few pieces of hull plating need to be - Keliaya@anncarise: - replaced. We repaired what we can on the go, but we need proper facilities to put her back in shape." Keelah@crystyll sighs despondently, "What about internal systems?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Damage control teams have mostly repaired overloaded power relays. The primary core could use a full reboot and diagnostic after pushing maximum warp past the recommended time limit, but it's - Keliaya@anncarise: - holding up for now. She can fly, but I wouldn't put her under pressure in this current state." Keelah@crystyll: "What about our stock of spare components? This list looks like it will be eating into them quite a bit, let alone the deuterium and anti-matter reserves" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "We'll be using up a lot of the stock we've been keeping, but it's probably easier to find trade out here than a shipyard that we'll have permission to use." Keliaya@anncarise: "I hear we'll be approaching the Colonial Fleet outpost we're heading towards soon. Hopefully they'll have supplies if not repair facilities." Keelah@crystyll: "Still, best have the quartermaster run a full inventory so we know exactly where we stand" Keelah@crystyll: "And yes, we are en route now. Distasteful as the idea of going 'cap in hand' to anyone, let alone a former adversary like Vora. I fear we have little choice here" Keelah@crystyll: "The last thing we want is to end up living on rations just to stretch power reserves..." Keliaya@anncarise: "Especially this far towards the rim...and comfort aside, we're going to want to at least restore our defenses before we leave Colonial space." Keliaya@anncarise: "Right now we probably won't be able to fend off an attack by an average Lupan pack ship." Keelah@crystyll: "No question. That and power reserves are top of the list" Keelah@crystyll: "Still... we know the Arshai have the capability, and they are our allies. I will make every effort to secure us the support of a drydock overhaul while we are here" Keliaya@anncarise | Fisher: "The Colonial Fleet outpost has just come into sensor range. Doesn't look very big, about the size of an old Federation border outpost." Keliaya@anncarise: "I guess it was too much to hope for a full shipyard..." Keelah@crystyll looks up, "As anticipated. We are right on the edge of their territory, so I envisaged something akin to the old Starfleet deep space outposts" Keliaya@anncarise moves over to the newly repaired engineering console, "It looks like Fisher's analogy might've been closer than he intended." Keelah@crystyll: "How so?" Keliaya@anncarise: "It's very old. Clearly refitted at some point, but the age of the outpost still shows. I worked a year on K7 and I know all the signs." Keelah@crystyll turns to Kelly, "Are you suggesting that the Arshai have actually repurposed an old K-series station all the way out here?" Keliaya@anncarise: "No, it's definitely not a Federation design, but there's a lot of similarity in what they did compared to our K-series stations, especially with the overhauling." Keelah@crystyll: "Inspired by, perhaps" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise: "I'm reading a few Colonial Fleet ships in the vicinity as well. A small patrol." Keelah@crystyll: "Has there been any communication to or from our escort?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods: "A string of standard military encryptions between the Toroki and the outpost, Captain" Keelah@crystyll: "Very well. No doubt the Arshai detect the Lupan vessel and are naturally cautious. They may also not be entirely familiar with us... Hold formation with the Toroki until we receive instructions" Keliaya@anncarise | Fisher: "Aye Captain. Holding formation." Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Incoming hail from the outpost, Captain" Keelah@crystyll looks to TQ briefly then back to the front, "On screen" Keliaya@anncarise | An Orion female in a Colonial Fleet uniform appears on the viewscreen, "Welcome to Colonial space. I am Tabadi Seven-One-Zero, commander of this lookout station." Keelah@crystyll: "Greetings Tabadi. I am Captain Keelah of the Valley Forge" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "The Toroki Targun has briefed me on your situation. The Silent Company are the ones turning over the carrier you're towing, but she did tell me that you played a key role in taking - Keliaya@anncarise: - it down." Keelah@crystyll: "We did not exaclty have much choice in that" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "You did us all a favour. Salahan Basatul and his tribe has been a nuisance for some time. I see he's even taken our tech and worked it into his own ship." Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, that was a key factor in the Toroki's decision to bring the vessel here for your attention. I do not yet know the fate of the tribe as a whole, but Basatul is dead and those we captured alive + Keelah@crystyll: + will either be pledging fielty to us now, or be sent to serve the Sisterhood" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "Good. As for the pack ship, we can take it from here. The Targun and I have agreed to give you a 33% cut in the salvage fee." Keelah@crystyll dips her head, "Most gracious of you. I hope there is scope further into Colonial space for us to trade that back in exchange for repair assistance" Keelah@crystyll: "I am sure your sensors have already told you that our battle with the Lupan has left it's mark" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "Well, the New World has the best shipyards for light years around, and our computers say you're an ally, so you're cleared to visit. Do you have the coordinates?” Keelah@crystyll shakes her head, "In all my past dealings with the Supreme Commander, it never came up" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "I'm not surprised. We don't give its location readily, more of a tradition from the old days when we relied on anonymity to stay alive in this region." Keelah@crystyll: "An understandable precaution" she nods, "There is one further matter that I fear can not wait. We are aware of the Colonial Fleets recently dispatched mission to the far side of Arshai space. It is + Keelah@crystyll: + imperative that we speak with someone regarding that mission, and who can relay information to it if needed" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "I'm afraid that's above my access level. The Supreme Commander is leading it personally, all the rest of us know is that it's a dangerous recon mission. I doubt anyone except the - Keliaya@anncarise: - Fleet Commanders are in the loop for this one." Keelah@crystyll: "Then can you arrange us contact with the Fleet Commanders?" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "I'll let them know you're on your way to the New World. Whether they agree to speak with you is their call." Keelah@crystyll: "Please emphasise the importance of this. We have information that - if my suspicions are right - will be crucial to that mission's success. Perhaps it's very survival" Keliaya@anncarise | The Tabadi nods, "I will be as convincing as I can. Anyways, I'm forwarding you the coordinates to the system. Our protocol is not to share it, outside of your fleet, at least." Keelah@crystyll: "I appreciate the show of faith, Tabadi" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "And I hope you don't prove me wrong. I'm also sending you the location of our trade posts along our border. If you ever meet anyone interested in starting trade with us, give them - Keliaya@anncarise: - one of these locations instead of the New World. Refugees will need to pass by a lookout like this one, but just give them the general region around the New World and we'll see them coming." Keelah@crystyll: "Understood. We may have details of some interested parties that I'll be sure to pass on to your trade posts" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "Perfect. And ask for the Shipwright's Guild when you arrive at the New World, and they can help you out with repairs." Keelah@crystyll: "I will be sure to do so, thank you" Keliaya@anncarise | The Tabadi nods and smiles, "Just release the Lupan ship to us, and you can be on your way. Do you want to be paid in our currency, Commune marks, Imperial tokens or Carran credits?" Keelah@crystyll: "Local currency seems most prudent" turns and gives the nod to Crystyl on Ops, "We are releasing our tractor beam now. The vessel is officially in your custody" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "We have it. Thank you again. Since you don't have an account, we'll register the payment to your vessel. You said you wanted to use it for repairs, anyways." Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, please do" Keliaya@anncarise | Tabadi: "Payment registered. Stars light your path ahead, and I hope you manage what you seek to do at the New World." Keelah@crystyll: "As do I, Tabadi. Live long and prosper" she raises her hand in a Vulcan salute before the comm closes Keliaya@anncarise | Fisher: "I have a course laid in for the coordinates they sent. Ready to go on your command, Captain." Keelah@crystyll: "Engage at warp 6 Mr. Fisher. Tee, transmit a cordial farewell and thanks to the Toroki as well"
View Act II - Mana's Reunion
Ann Carter@anncarise FX | It has been over two days since they dropped off the Lupan ship at the Colonial Fleet outpost. The Valley Forge continues travelling along inside Colonial space at cruising speed. Ann Carter@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "I am getting a power fluctuation from the damaged phaser emitter." Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "Again? I thought we had that fixed. Let me take a look." Ann Carter@anncarise | He taps away at his console for a second, "Okay, I think I know what the problem is." Ann Carter@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Can you fix it?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "Not from in here, no. But it shouldn't affect anything else." Ann Carter@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "So we can keep it online?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "No harm in it. But if we do need to fire it, it might not work at all or it might fire an overcharged shot. So...don't try to disable anything with it." Ann Carter@anncarise: "We're comin' up on the system in the coordinates," she looks over to TQ to inform the Captain. Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods and sends a wake up call to Keelah's ready room Ann Carter@anncarise continues tapping away at her console, "Uhh Lennie? We should be in sensor range now but I ain't seein' anythin' habitable in there..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "No tech signatures, no livable planets, nothin'." Keelah@crystyll | Lennie gives a curious 'huh' and checks her sensors, "Could be a sensor malfunction. Lemme try another array" Keelah@crystyll emerges from the ready room, "Any word from the Arshai yet?" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie: "Well, s'no sensor fault. I'm-a seein' th'same thing. Looks like an old red giant, surrounded by a planetary nebula. Most likely resultant from th'stars ejected gases. Could be tha's + Keelah@crystyll: + interferin' wit' sensors" Keelah@crystyll: | TQ: "Still no contact from the Arshai" Keelah@crystyll picks up on the conversation, "Are we at the exact coordinates provided?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "No Cap'n, I'm holdin' position just outside the system. The coordinates, uh...take us /inside/ the star." Keelah@crystyll 's brow furrows, "Not just into the system, but the star itself?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Tha's wha' my readouts say. It's a big star." Keelah@crystyll: "Tee, try sending a general hail. See if anyone is there to verify our coordinates" Keelah@crystyll | TQ Nods and gives it a go Keelah@crystyll: | Lennie: "May be nothin' Cap'n, but lookin' at these readin's tha star's unusually big f'it's type" Keelah@crystyll: | TQ: "Captain, I've received authorization to approach and it emanates from the exact coordinates as provided to us by the outpost" Keelah@crystyll hrms, "Very well. Proceed at 1/2 impulse and standby shields on the slightest radiation spike" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Takin' us in, Cap'n." Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The viewscreen is soon obscured by bright red gases as the ship heads into the planetary nebula around the huge red giant. Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "No radiation spikes yet..." Keelah@crystyll: "Anything at all on sensors?" Keelah@crystyll: | Lennie: "Sensors're virtually blind in'ere... But goin' by course an' speed, we /should/ be skimmin' th'photosphere o'tha' star about now. But we ain't..." Keelah@crystyll: | Lennie: "S'only conjecture still Cap'n, but I'd-a theorize tha' this's a sensor ghost an' th'star ain't nowhere near big as it looks from afar" Ann Carter@anncarise: "I sure hope so..." Keelah@crystyll: "Distance to the specified coordinates?" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The screen flares up with glowing red gases, obscuring not only sensors but visual as well before it begins to fade. Ann Carter@anncarise: "Little under fifty million kilometres, Cap'n. Accordin' to our previous readin's we should be inside the star by now..." Keelah@crystyll: "Maintain your heading Ensign. For now..." Keelah@crystyll: | Lennie: "Hold up... I'se got readin's, an' lots of 'em! Planetary body directly ahead, an' tech readouts across th'board" Keelah@crystyll focuses on the viewscreen to see it come into focus as they clear the gases Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "I'm seeing ships- dozens, no hundreds. Various designs, many of them combat capable." Ann Carter@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "Enough to field an invasion fleet. They are gathering for something." Keelah@crystyll: "To weather the coming storm, if my hunch is correct" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | A planet slowly comes into view on the screen, first a speck, then becoming a distinct spherical shape before revealing a ring around it... Ann Carter@anncarise FX | https://i.imgur.com/A6hAGmX.png Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "Captain, that's not a natural ring. That's...one massive shipyard facility encircling the entire planet!" Keelah@crystyll: "An impressive feat of engineering" she nods Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "There's many other facilities too. Starbases, satellite arrays, planetary defense systems and shielding." Ann Carter@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "This world can hold off an entire Klingon battle fleet." Keelah@crystyll: "Now I know it is impressive, to lure such an admission" she smirks a little Ann Carter@anncarise | Vrolmacht: "It makes the Cardassian defensive placement at Chin'toka look like a primitive Targ trap in comparison." Ann Carter@anncarise: "From wha' I gathered the Arshai don't have any other colonies. The whole New World civilization's based on this one planet. Makes sense they'd put more effort into fortifyin' it than even Starfleet - Ann Carter@anncarise: - does Earth." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Always smarter to put your supplies in more than one crate if ya ask me, but if this is the way they did it, they took every precaution they could." Keelah@crystyll smiles a little at Ann's analogy, "I couldn't have put it better myself, Ensign. Anyway, continue approach and make for standard orbit" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Aye aye, Cap'n." Keelah@crystyll: | TQ: "Incoming hail from the one of the orbital facilities, Captain" Keelah@crystyll mutters with a smile, "Right on cue...". Stands, "Put it through" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | A female Arshai in the red-and-black Colonial Fleet uniform appears onscreen, "This is Faena-Inuze Dos Take'Indoi Nos Rosa-Dane Zona of Watchtower 4." Keelah@crystyll: "Captain Keelah of the Federation starship Valley Forge. A pleasure to meet you Faena-Inuze Dos Take'Indoi Nos Rosa-Dane Zona" Ann Carter@anncarise | Faena: "Faena has been informed that the Valley Forge will be arriving. The vessel is in need of repairs, yes?" Keelah@crystyll: "Quite drastically, I am sorry to say. We were advised to coordinate with the Shipwrights Guild. Is that the body you represent?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Faena: "No, Faena is a member of the Colonial Fleet, though Faena has connections to the Guild. Faena may transfer Captain Keelah to the Shipwright's Guild, if Keelah wishes?" Keelah@crystyll: "Please do. Once we have progressed our business with repairs, I have urgent matters to discuss with the Fleet Commanders. Hopefully that message also came ahead and we are expected?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Faena nods, "Yes. Fleet Commander Caeru-Faeshe is on the Ring to speak with Captain Keelah. Faena will send the transportation coordinates and protocols to the Valley Forge." Ann Carter@anncarise | Faena: "If there is nothing else, Faena will transfer the call." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you. Please inform the Fleet Commander that I will be with them as soon as possible, thank you" Ann Carter@anncarise | TQ receives the transport coordinates and the call transfers over. Ann Carter@anncarise | A male Arshai with a different outfit appears on the screen this time, "This is Matenu-Faeshe Dos Indoi'Foree'Vaie Nos Indoi-Vondoree on the Ring." Keelah@crystyll: "Captain Keelah of the Valley Forge. You are of the Shipwright’s Guild, yes?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Matenu: "Yes, Matenu is a member of the Shipwright's Guild. Matenu has been informed that the Valley Forge is authorized for docking. Proceed to the following coordinates." Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "coordinates received" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Ready to approach on ya mark, Cap'n." Keelah@crystyll gives a brief nod of acknowledgement to TQ and looks back to Matenu, "Thank you. I am afraid some of our repair needs will be quite extensive. As such we will need to enlist additional services" Keelah@crystyll: "I assume a member of your guild will want to make their own assessment before discussing terms?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Matenu: "Matenu is already working on the assessment from sensor data. The Shipwright's Guild is familiar with the Valley Forge's general design. The Guild has previously repaired a salvaged - Ann Carter@anncarise: - vessel of similar make." Ann Carter@anncarise | Thorkildsen: "That must be the one Vora gave back to us...Brisbane I think." Keelah@crystyll nods at Erik's comment, "Very well. My Chief Engineer will coordinate with you regarding specifics and scheduling" Ann Carter@anncarise | Matenu: "Matenu will await the Valley Forge's Chief Engineer at the docking connection once the ship is secured, then." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you Matenu. We will see you shortly" she smiles in parting Keelah@crystyll: "Ensign Carter, commence docking procedures. Vrolmacht, you have the bridge. Tee, have Mia meet me in transporter room 2" Ann Carter@anncarise | Matenu nods and the call ends to show the shipyard up close as they approach. Ann Carter@anncarise FX | https://i.imgur.com/CP0BZIG.jpg Ann Carter@anncarise: "Startin' to enter dockin' area, Cap'n. We'll be settled in a few minutes." Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht takes the chair while Keelah heads to the turbolift Mana@anncarise FX | Keelah and Mia beam down to a transporter room and find Mana awaiting them just off the pad with two Arshai in Colonial Fleet uniforms. Keelah@crystyll | Before Keelah can barely even register the familiar face and smile, Mia bounds excitedly off the pad to greet her with a big hug, "Ms. Mana!" Mana@anncarise hugs Mia back, "Mana has missed Mia! Mana was hoping Mia would come here when Mana heard the Valley Forge was coming this way!" Keelah@crystyll | Mia bounces excitedly, "How could we not take the chance to come find Ms. Mana!" Keelah@crystyll chuckles, steppaing off the pad, "It is good to see you again Mana" she smiles Mana@anncarise smiles back, "And Mana is glad to see Keelah again as well!" Keelah@crystyll: "Are you attached to our meeting with Fleet Command, or is this a purely social reunion?" Mana@anncarise: "Fleet Commander Caeru was the one who brought Mana to the New World. Mana asked the Commander to show Keelah the way." Keelah@crystyll: "Then by all means, lead on. I have the feeling that somebody is more eager than ever to get business out of the way and move on to more personal reunions" she smiles, watching Mia appearing to be on+ Keelah@crystyll: + the brink of exploding with excitement Mana@anncarise smiles at Mia and leads on, with one of the Colonial Fleet escorts falling back behind the group while the other stays beside Mana. Keelah@crystyll: "So have you been here ever since we last saw you?" Mana@anncarise: "Well, Mana took as long as Mana imagines the Valley Forge took to travel to the New World. Mana came with Caeru's ships, not with a Courier ship. But after Mana arrived, Mana has been here." Keelah@crystyll: "And you serve now in the Colonial Fleet?" She guesses, judging by the uniform Mana@anncarise | They make their way out of the transporter area to a long main hall where many different individuals can be seen. The Arshai appear to be the majority but only by a small margin; there are a - Mana@anncarise: - significant number of individuals from other species, from familiar ones such as Orions to more recent encounters like the Toroki, and a few that Keelah and Mia have never seen before. Mana@anncarise: "Not exactly. Mana is a member of the Researcher's Guild, but Mana works with the Colonial Fleet as an artificial intelligence expert. The only AI expert in the New World." Mana@anncarise: "Mana is not a member of the Colonial Fleet, but the Colonial Fleet does consult Mana, especially for the Nuhar construct Mana understands Keelah was responsible for recruiting." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "I had hoped it would find it's way into your care. How are things with the construct now?" Mana@anncarise: "Persuading the Shipwright's Guild to help the construct was...not easy, but the Harvester is functioning at peak efficiency. Many of the components used still originate from non-Nuhar sources, but - Mana@anncarise: - the construct has long since adapted to living in this manner. Like Mana's synthetic arm." Keelah@crystyll: "What about the deal we brokered between it and the Colonial Fleet. Does it continue to provide for your people in exchange for maintenance services?" Mana@anncarise: "Primarily, yes. The Harvester is also willing to help defend Colonial space if needed as the adaptations make the Harvester more than capable of combat." Mana@anncarise | As they make their way down the halls, they catch a glimpse of the planet the ring is built around from one of the windows. Mana@anncarise FX | https://www.starwars-universe.com/images/jeux/swtor/images/kuat_main_854x480.jpg Keelah@crystyll: "Well I am glad to hear it is working out" she smiles, pausing to take in the view Keelah@crystyll: "You must be proud to see your people flourishing like this here" Mana@anncarise: "Very! Mana has never imagined the Arshai to have been capable of building something so grand. And Mana did not know just how much of Arshai culture has been lost under the Overseer's care back in - Mana@anncarise: - EereE space until Mana saw the New World." Keelah@crystyll smiles proudly, "You've come a long way from the girl who we first pulled out of that escape pod all those years ago" Mana@anncarise nods and smiles, "And even further from when Mana was rebelling against the Overseer's rules." Keelah@crystyll | Mia giggles, "And us from being a simple tutoring hologram!" Keelah@crystyll | Miadrone beeps with objection Mana@anncarise: "Mana understands these Arshai's dislike of the Overseer, but Mana believes the Overseer still means well in the Overseer's own way. And this distrust should certainly not be extended to all AI." Keelah@crystyll | Mia smiles affectionately and adds, "And from being a personal assistant, yes" Keelah@crystyll: "I agree Mana, from what little personal experience I have to speak from at least. It is often the way that the liberated hold a tainted view of their former opressors" Mana@anncarise: "Fortunately, Mana has swayed the Council enough that Mia, and Nuhar constructs, can now be accepted." Keelah@crystyll: "And Mia's brother?" Keelah@crystyll | Miadrone gives a curious beep Mana@anncarise smiles, "Mia will see!" Keelah@crystyll | Mia chirps, "Ooh, surprises! We like!" Mana@anncarise leads them into a meeting room, where Fleet Commander Caeru sits at the far end of a table, an Orion female in Colonial Fleet uniform standing beside him as they converse. Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The Commune have only committed 20% of the Free People's Armada, not the 25% agreed upon." Mana@anncarise | Orion: "There is trouble with the Chosen Empire again, it seems." Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The Supreme Commander does not have time for this." Mana@anncarise | Orion: "We may have to dispatch a representative." Mana@anncarise | Mia's brother, Sayu, darts over from across the room, beeping excitedly. The general shape of the drone's shell still appears to be the same, but there are visible upgrades- Mana@anncarise: - shiny new plating which appears to be armoured, a distinctly different weapon emitter and a few appendages have changed as well. Keelah@crystyll | Miadrone rushes to meet Sayu, also beeping excitedly as it darts small circles around Sayu, beeping away a catchup conversation by the sounds of it Mana@anncarise smiles as she looks to Keelah, "Many of Sayu's upgrades were a result of what Mana learned from the Harvester, and from modifications to Mia's drone shell." Keelah@crystyll: "Now there's a happy family reunion if ever I saw one" Mana@anncarise watches the two drones for another moment before leading Keelah over to Caeru. Keelah@crystyll follows, doing her best to maintain the illusion of professionalism while her companion goes doolally with the drone in the corner Mana@anncarise | The Fleet Commander looks up from the datapad the Orion passed to him, "Captain Keelah. Welcome to the New World." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you, it is agreeable to see you again. And to finally see the New World for myself, 'impressive' doesn't quite seem to do it justice" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The Arshai have built a true new home here. Caeru is told Keelah's vessel is in need of repairs?" Keelah@crystyll: "Yes, the reason for my delay in arriving with you actually. I hope I did not keep you waiting too long, but we had to make arrangements with the Shipwrights guild to dock her for repairs" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru understands completely. Caeru is a member of the guild and knows very well how such processes are. Caeru is sure the Ring will meet Keelah's requirements." Keelah@crystyll: "I have every confidence in your people's capabilities. I would not leave my ship in their hands if I didn't" she smiles, "I only hope that the funding we have proves sufficient to cover things" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Keelah may be able to make up any additional costs with trade or even providing assistance. Caeru can try to negotiate with the guild to cover additional costs if needed." Keelah@crystyll: "I appreciate it" she dips her head in thanks, "Hopefully we have sufficient cover still, and we can trade more in support of upgrades" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru is sure the Valley Forge will have enough to trade for any additional cost. But Caeru believes Keelah is here to discuss another subject as well." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed... may I?" she gestures to an empty seat Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Of course." Mana@anncarise takes a seat as well. Keelah@crystyll sits, "Thank you. So yes, I wanted to speak about the mission that the Supreme Commander recently took one of your Baseships out for to the far side of your territory" Mana@anncarise | Caeru nods, "If Keelah wishes to provide information that may assist with the mission, Keelah is already late." Keelah@crystyll: "I am aware that the mission has already departed. Whilst I know as well that I have no right to involve myself in Colonial Fleet business, I fear that if that mission is for what I think it is for + Keelah@crystyll: + then they are flying into a far greater danger than they realise" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The Colonial Fleet welcomes any information that can be provided. But the mission has not only departed but is already completed. The Supreme Commander and the scouting force is heading - Mana@anncarise: - back for Colonial space and is expected to return soon." Keelah@crystyll: "It... is? Perhaps then my fears about investigating the Primeval Horde were unjust" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Not at all. The Supreme Commander ordered an immediate rallying of all combat ships from the New World and vassals in the last communication. Whatever Vora found is enough to warrant a - Mana@anncarise: - full scale mobilization." Keelah@crystyll: "So you don't know exactly what it is she found out there?" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Only that whatever was found is extremely dangerous, enough to threaten the New World." Keelah@crystyll: "So for all we know right now, it could be the Horde..." Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The Horde is what the scouting mission was called for. The New World has long heard rumours about the existence of such a group but has never previously encountered the Horde." Keelah@crystyll: "I see. If the Supreme Commander's task force was not sufficiently protected, they are at risk of compromise you know" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The rumours speak of this Horde's ability to control minds, yes. The Researcher's Guild has developed the best protection possible with current Arshai technology." Mana@anncarise adds, "But the protection is not perfect. At least, from what the guild has seen of testing with the limited number of telepathic individuals that inhabit the New World." Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "A little late for additional precautions, but fortunately the scouting force appears to be unaffected, at least from the reports and communications." Keelah@crystyll: "It is a relief to know that you have some preparation at least. We are in a rather similar position at present, but we do have additional information regarding this threat" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru is sure any additional information will be useful. What does Keelah know?" Keelah@crystyll: "Know... may be a bit of a stretch. However, we have pieced together information from a multitude of sources and believe that are closing in on a means to contain the Primeval threat indefinitely" Mana@anncarise | Caeru nods, "And what is this means?" Keelah@crystyll: "A facility built by the Iconians and the Nuhar. A prison intended for the Primevals that never got to be used before the Nuhar were destroyed by them eons ago" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "The Supreme Commander made no mention of discovering any sign of such a facility. But if such a facility exists and was not used, Caeru expects the location must long have been lost." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed it was. That is why we do not know exactly where it is. However, we learned from the other Nuhar constructs that it's estimated location coincides with that which we are seeking" Keelah@crystyll: "Namely, the connecting end of an Iconian gateway recently unearthed at an allied colony near Federation space" Keelah@crystyll: "We established a bearing and have the mission to locate the facility. Seen briefly from the other end before it was closed off, we believe it may be a Dyson sphere or something similar" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru is familiar with the concept, but Caeru has not encountered a working sphere. Such a facility would be capable of generating immense power. If this power is turned to power a - Mana@anncarise: - weapon, that weapon will be extremely powerful." Keelah@crystyll: "Yes. Starfleet has encountered a couple of these spheres now and continues to study them. We believe from the Nuhar, that this one is no ordinary sphere however. More that it is a purpose built + Keelah@crystyll: + facility with the sole intent of containing the Primeval threat. A prison, so to speak" Mana@anncarise | Caeru nods, "Caeru will speak to the Supreme Commander about the possibility of locating and using this sphere, then. But any decision will likely be made after Vora and the scouting force's - Mana@anncarise: - return." Keelah@crystyll: "I would propose that - given our shared interest in halting this threat - we look at working together. The Valley Forge will be continuing it's journey to find this facility once it leaves here + Keelah@crystyll: + and it could be years of travel away yet for all we know" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "This one agrees with Keelah's proposal, but Caeru cannot decide the course the fleet will take. Caeru will certainly make the suggestion to the Supreme Commander." Keelah@crystyll: "Do you know when she is expected to arrive back here?" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "In a few rotations, likely before repairs are completed on the Valley Forge, or soon after, depending on the extent of the repairs." Keelah@crystyll: "Then I would suggest that we reconvene with the Supreme Commander upon her return and discuss our strategy for dealing with this threat from there" Mana@anncarise | Caeru nods, "In the meantime, Keelah's people are welcome to visit the New World. Travel here tends to be a weary and dangerous journey." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you. My crew could certainly use a little R&R after our time of late" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru expected as much." Mana@anncarise: "And there's so much to see on the New World! The Valley Forge crew will be very interested, Mana is sure." Keelah@crystyll: "As am I, Mana" she smiles, "You should be aware as well, that we have attaches from other regional powers. I would not want to presume that your hospitality also extends to them" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "As long as these attaches do not pose a danger to the colony, the offer extends as well. The New World is a haven for any people who come here in peace." Keelah@crystyll: "I do not imagine they would. The Regulator will likely keep to herself anyway, while our Chlasi friend should not pose any problem. There are Lupan on our escort ship, but they are serving penalty + Keelah@crystyll: + and would not be granted such freedoms anyhow" --- Mana@anncarise | Following the meeting with Caeru, Mana leads Mia and Keelah back towards the transporter room, with Sayu tagging along and hovering beside Miadrone. Mana@anncarise: "If Mana remembers Starfleet protocol right, Keelah will be assigning crew rotations for visits to the New World?" Mia@crystyll | Keelah nods, "You are correct, Mana. In fact that is something Mia often assists me with" Mana@anncarise: "Mia has been keeping busy with the long journey, yes?" Mia@crystyll beams proudly, "Indeed we have! We have become a full time instructor for the Cadets on board, as well as supporting Capitaine Keelah with her admin!" Mana@anncarise smiles, "Mana is glad Mia is playing such an important role on the ship!" Mia@crystyll: "Just as Ms. Mana seems to be doing here now!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana is glad to be a part of what Mana's people are doing here! But Mana misses being on the Valley Forge too." Mia@crystyll hugs her, "We miss you too Ms. Mana!" Mana@anncarise hugs Mia back before looking over to Keelah, "Mana can show the first groups from the Valley Forge around the planet if the crew would like." Mia@crystyll | Keelah smiles, "That would be most welcome Mana, thank you" and considers Mia, "You know Mia... it occurs to me that it could be beneficial to that first group to have a familiar face bridge the + Mia@crystyll: + culture gap..." Mia@crystyll grins, "Thank you mon Capitaine!" Mana@anncarise: "Mia will enjoy Vue-En! The planet is very different from what Mana has seen of Federation worlds. Something truly different to explore!" Mia@crystyll: "We can't wait to see! We want to see it all!" Mana@anncarise: "And Mana can't wait to show Mia either!" Mana@anncarise leads Mia and Keelah back to the transporter, "Should Mana head to the ship with Keelah or wait on the surface?" Mia@crystyll | Keelah, "Oh, I assumed that I would return alone and leave you two to go as you please from here" Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Once you have your bearings Mia, you can coordinate the groups accordingly" Mana@anncarise: "That sounds like a good idea! Mana will show Mia to the surface first then." Mia@crystyll: "We will liaise with Chief Tyr once we have the required information to calculate optimal groupings" Mia@crystyll | Keelah: "Very good. One to beam back to the Valley Forge then" Mana@anncarise steps over to the transporter controls once Keelah beams back to the VF, then steps onto the pad herself and beckons Mia along. Mia@crystyll joins Mana, "Time to explore!" Mana@anncarise | Saru hovers onto the transporter pad as well. Mana@anncarise smiles, "Mia will be impressed, as Mana was the first time Mana was here!" Mana@anncarise FX | The group disappears into transporter beams... Mana@anncarise FX | The group materialize and find themselves still in an interior location. They are on a much smaller pad now within a much smaller area. Around them are various signs in the Arshai language, - Mana@anncarise: - and beside them are several more transporter pads which people step onto or off of, all clearly marked with symbols for 'in' and 'out.' Mana@anncarise steps off the pad promptly and Sayu follows behind her. Mia@crystyll looks around, eagerly taking in all the new details Mana@anncarise | There doesn't seem to be much to see here. The signs state these transporters go to and from a particular section of the Ring, in all likelihood the one they had come from. Mana@anncarise leads the way out of the room into tunnels with many more signs showing directions to other parts of the Ring. Mana@anncarise | The tunnels are filled with people, once again both Arshai and aliens. It looks like a futuristic version of connecting subway tunnels. Mia@crystyll: "So what part of the ring are we visiting first?" Mana@anncarise: "Oh, Mia is no longer on the Ring! The Ring is all the same, impressive from the outside, but more practical on the inside. Mana is taking Mia to Nim-i-Rune!" Mia@crystyll: "Ooh, Nim-i-Rune?" Mana@anncarise: "Vue-En, the New World, has two main settlements. The great city of Nim-i-Rune, and the home of the Doshaie Tribe in the Bose mountains." Mia@crystyll: "IS Nim-i-Rune where Ms. Mana lives now?" Mana@anncarise: "Some of the time, yes. Mana resides with some members of the Inuze Tribe in the central city, but Mana also has a room in the Doshaie settlement where most of the Researcher's Guild facilities are." Mia@crystyll: "It sounds like you have really made a home for yourself here!" Mana@anncarise nods, "And many friends!" Mana@anncarise | They soon exit the tunnels and arrive at a huge, grand chamber that looks like a futuristic central train station. Mia@crystyll smiles happily, "That is wonderful to hear Ms. Mana! We have many new friends on the Valley Forge now too, hopefully you will get to meet them all1" Mana@anncarise | Hundreds of people cross the area every minute, and bright holographic signs point the way to the various entrances and exits. Mana@anncarise: "Mana looks forward to meeting them! And Mana must visit the Valley Forge again while the ship is here!" Mia@crystyll: "Oh yes! You can see our lecture room and meet our students. Oh! And you will have to see the holonovel we made for the crew!" Mana@anncarise: "Mia has made Mia's own holonovel? Mana has to see that!" Mia@crystyll: "Oh yes! A recreation from our avatar's time period. We put Ms. Mana's teachings to use in creating advanced matrices for the characters. They have proven very popular!" Mia@crystyll: "Especially with Ms. Rianni..." she giggles Mana@anncarise: "Especially with Ms. Rianni?" Mia@crystyll: "One of our cadets! She has formed an intimate relationship with one of the characters. They make such a cute couple!" Mana@anncarise: "That sounds great! Mana will have to meet these characters as well!" Mana@anncarise enters another tunnel across the central area, occasionally glancing around to read the signs as she leads the way. Mia@crystyll watches all the people moving around the place, "How many different species live here? We knew about Orions, but had no idea so many more lived here!" Mana@anncarise: "The New World was originally built by Arshai, but takes in anyone willing to live here. Most are outcasts and refugees with nowhere else to go." Mana@anncarise: "If there is enough of a group, the group usually forms a community in the city and focuses their population in that area. Here in the Transport Hub though, everyone passes through on their way to a - Mana@anncarise: - destination." Mia@crystyll: "It is so exciting to see so many new species! It is like walking through the Academy gardens when you are a first year cadet!" Mana@anncarise: "Or Mana when Mana first found Starfleet!" Mia@crystyll: "Yes, we remember first exploring there too! It is a wonderful feeling of exploration!" Mana@anncarise: "Mia will like the city even more, Mana thinks. There is not much scenary to see in the Hub. The New World Transport Hub connects most places on Vue-En, including every corner of the city and the - Mana@anncarise: - Ring. One of the few inhabited places not connected is the Doshaie settlement, as the Doshaie are a reclusive tribe and do not like to be bothered." Mana@anncarise: "Transport to the Bose mountains is through the Researcher's Guild headquarters and select facilities. Or by shuttle or direct transport from a ship or station." Mia@crystyll: "Vue-En is much more of an untainted Arshai culture then? We are curious to see how life here compares to life with the EereE" Mana@anncarise: "Life on Vue-En is cannot be more different! Mia will soon see!" Mana@anncarise steps into another transport area and motions Mia to follow before stepping onto a transporter pad marked 'in' and promptly disappearing into a beam. Mia@crystyll follows curiously Mana@anncarise: FX | Mana, Mia and Sayu appear on the surface of the planet, appearing one at a time through a small transporter not unlike some form of phone booth. Mana@anncarise: FX | Once outside, Mia finds herself in a highly modern yet very serene looking city: https://i.imgur.com/VSmOg6v.jpg Mia@crystyll: ooh's, bounding from one corner of the plaza to the next as she takes it all in, "C'est magnifique!" Mana@anncarise: | The sun appears to be just rising, and it is visibly larger than Earth's sun and much more akin to Vulcan. Mana@anncarise: smiles, "Mana knew Mia would like the city! This is Nim-i-Rune, or one corner of the city at least." Mia@crystyll: glances back with a beaming smile, "This is where Sayu and Ms. Mana live?" Mana@anncarise: "Sometimes. Mana said earlier that different groups tend to congregate in different communities. This district is primarily inhabited by the Inuze Tribe." Mana@anncarise: "Mana has friends among the Inuze and stay here when Mana is in the city." Mia@crystyll: "If we lived on this world we think we would never want to leave this city!" Mana@anncarise: "Mia would probably not want to, unless Mia were to visit the Doshaie settlement. While the rest of the planet can be pretty...there are also natural predators and other dangers, especially now as - Mana@anncarise: - the summer years begin approaching." Mia@crystyll: "We shall have to make sure the crew are aware of this hazard before they go exploring then" Mana@anncarise: "Places within reach of the transporter network are always safe. Just don't venture too far out of the way. And even then, Mana is sure a crew as well-trained as Starfleet's should be fine." Mana@anncarise: "These are very basic, non-sentient hunters, not Toroki!" Mia@crystyll: "Still, they should know that such a creature is in season before going exploring" Mana@anncarise: "Well, not entirely in season yet. This is a time of change. The amount of vegetation is starting to increase, which causes prey species to increase, then predators. But there is still a year or two - Mana@anncarise: - before summer begins properly." Mia@crystyll: "Your seasons last /that/ long here?" Mana@anncarise: nods, "Vue-En's solar cycle lasts about..." she pauses for a moment, probably to do a mental calculation, "around thirty Earth cycles. So summer and winter here is roughly ten Earth years, and the - Mana@anncarise: - two periods of change last for five. This planet orbits around a giant star, and the distance to the star is much further, causing for much longer orbital cycles." Mia@crystyll: "Well at least it gives you plenty of time to enjoy your summers!" she giggles Mana@anncarise: chuckles, "Actually more Arshai tend to like winters due to slower metabolism slowing down aging! Though Arshai think a little faster when the body adapts to warmer temperatures." Mana@anncarise: "Still, the Doshaie prefer the cold of the mountains, even if the mind is slower, more time is good for gaining knowledge and performing experiments!" Mia@crystyll: "How very logical of the Doshaie!" Mana@anncarise: "Mia does not yet know much of the four tribes, yes?" Mia@crystyll: shakes her head, "We only know the same as Ms. Mana knew upon leaving EereE space" Mana@anncarise: smiles and motions Mia back to the transporter booth, "Come!" Mia@crystyll: skips over eagerly to join her Mana@anncarise: | They beam back into the transport hub, and after a quick walk through the many tunnels, beams in to another transport booth, this time stepping out into a grand, interior lobby. Mia@crystyll: "Ooh, where are we now?" Mana@anncarise: FX | https://i.imgur.com/qlgg1e9.jpg Mana@anncarise: "This is the headquarters of the Lorekeeper's Guild in the centre of the city." Mana@anncarise: leads Mia through the lobby, which is populated almost entirely by Arshai. There are a select few Orions and no other species in sight. Mia@crystyll: "Is this a public building or restricted access in some form?" Mana@anncarise: "The building is public, but some areas are restricted to Guild members and visitors with special permissions. The area Mana is taking Mia is open to all, though, and the crew can visit as well if - Mana@anncarise: - the others wish to!" Mia@crystyll: "You read our minds Ms. Mana!" she giggles, "We anticipate crew members with relevant interests taking particular notice to this place!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana expects so as well! The Lorekeeper's Guild is responsible for preserving the history of the Arshai, both recent and before the New World, though sadly there is less of the latter. The Guild is - Mana@anncarise: - also responsible for passing on this knowledge to new generations, so the Lorekeepers also manage the education system." Mia@crystyll: "Ms. Mana's knowledge of the old Arshai home must have been of great value to the guild here" Mana@anncarise: "Mana's knowledge is very limited, only what the EereE Overseer has preserved, though there were fragments that the Lorekeepers were not aware of and very glad to have!" Mana@anncarise: | They proceed up a ramp, entering what appears to be a museum display area on an upper floor. Mana@anncarise: | On one side of the display is an open area giving a view to where they entered from, including a massive holo of the Vue-En, the New World planet. Mana@anncarise: FX | https://resources.matcha-jp.com/resize/720x2000/2018/07/03-57674.jpeg Mana@anncarise: | In the centre of the display area hangs a giant model of a starship, shaped almost like a whale. Mana@anncarise: FX | https://i.imgur.com/SPFGFfN.jpg Mana@anncarise: leads Mia over to the first display, where an image of the same ship in less pristine condition can be seen along with paragraphs of description. Mana@anncarise: "This was the Arkship that brought the original colonists to the New World when the Arshai homeworld was abandoned." Mia@crystyll: "Ooh, historical Arshai design!" Mana@anncarise: "Over 400 Earth cycles old! The people who would not accept the EereE's help to live with the Overseer all boarded this Ark, and from what Mana knew from the Overseer, the Ark was lost." Mana@anncarise: "But, the Ark simply travelled very very far, eventually coming here!" Mia@crystyll: "With what you know now about it, do you believe the Overseer knew it was not lost and simply publicised it as so in order to keep more Arshai from seeking to follow it?" Mana@anncarise: "Very possible. Following the Ark would not have been wise, with the many dangers Mia is sure to know of from the Valley Forge's journey here." Mia@crystyll: sagenods Mana@anncarise: moves over to an artifact display showing items preserved from the Arkship, then onto another information terminal with seven symbols, a few of which Mia would have noticed tattooed on the heads of - Mana@anncarise: - New World Arshai. Mana@anncarise: "The Arkship was populated primarily by members of four Arshai clans and three guilds, though there was crossover and many clan members also belonged to some of the guilds." Mana@anncarise: "The four clans- Inuze, Faeshe, Doshaie and Haxash, are called tribes now due to increasing in size, but the tribes keep the old names and many old traditions." Mia@crystyll: "So these are the identifying marks of those groups? That is why we keep seeing them everywhere!" Mana@anncarise: smiles, "Mia is correct! Mana, Vora, and Vora's clone-daughter are the only Arshai with different marks here on the New World." Mia@crystyll: "We are curious, Ms. Mana... Have the New World Arshai been welcoming and accepting of your arrival, or were you treated with an extension of the distrust felt towards the Overseer at first?" Mana@anncarise: "That depends on the tribe. The Inuze were quick to accept Mana, the Doshaie cared only for Mana's knowledge of synthetic life, Mana has only seen the Haxash from afar, and there are some among the - Mana@anncarise: - Faeshe who still view Mana with suspicion. But Vora had to deal with much worse when Vora first arrived at the New World." Mia@crystyll: "So these tribes still largely cling to the old world ideals they each held then?" Mana@anncarise: "Some tribes, yes." Mana@anncarise: leads Mia to another different display. Mia@crystyll: "we would surmise that those more actively associating with other cultures are those most varied from their original ideals" Mana@anncarise: | These displays show the evolution of two clans amidst the city, with the cityscape visibly growing and changing through the images. Mana@anncarise: "The Faeshe and Inuze tribes are the largest of the tribes and primarily inhabit Nim-i-Rune. Of the two, the Faeshe are more traditional, but have still changed significantly due to the reasons Mia - Mana@anncarise: - surmised. The Inuze have entirely embraced new ideals, and work on a system...not dissimilar to Mia's Federation, actually." Mana@anncarise: "The Inuze openly welcome other species, and use a voting system to elect their representative to the New World Council." Mana@anncarise: "The Faeshe administer a special test to find the most suitable member to represent the tribe. The Faeshe see the Inuze election system as foolishly submitting to the majority, while the Inuze - Mana@anncarise: - criticize the Faeshe for their representatives not actually representing the desires of the people within the tribe." Mana@anncarise: "That is one of many contentions between the tribes over traditional and new values." Mia@crystyll: "How do the tribes organize their larger efforts, is there a council of tribe representatives or something such that governs the larger territory and collective interests?" Mana@anncarise: "That depends on the tribe. Every tribe is like...a Federation world, with a different system. The Inuze and Faeshe have complex government structures with many different positions, like any - Mana@anncarise: - Federation world would. There are many small differences between the Inuze and Faeshe systems, which sound larger due to the arguments around these subjects." Mana@anncarise: "But in general, the two systems function more or less the same way, like a smaller government. A...province, is the term?" Mia@crystyll: "Naturally. But the Federation still convenes a council with representatives from all member states to decide larger issues affecting the whole. Province would be accurate" she nods with a smile Mana@anncarise: nods, "That is what the New World Council is for!" Mana@anncarise: "Well...the New World Council is probably not exactly like the Federation's council. How does the Federation's council work again?" Mia@crystyll: "Essentially, each member state assigns a single representative to sit on the council" Mana@anncarise: "That is...more or less what the New World Council is. The Council here has ten spots- one for each of the four tribes, one for each of the four guilds, one for the Orions, the most numerous - Mana@anncarise: - non-Arshai species, though some see that as a seat for all non-Arshai inhabitants, and one for the Colonial Fleet." Mana@anncarise: "While some groups like the Faeshe and Inuze have assigned representatives though, others simply send whoever is relevant for the subject of the council meeting at hand." Mia@crystyll: "Interesting. Do the Orions operate their own enclave here, or have their own territory elsewhere on the world? Ms. Lennie will be most curious to catch up with her kin!" Mana@anncarise: "The Orions have a district in Nim-i-Rune. Many are actually Orions where Lennie is from, brought to the safety of the New World by Vora! A few are clones who have decided not to join the Colonial - Mana@anncarise: - Fleet and live among the other Orions here." Mia@crystyll: "Ms. T'Quila will also be interested in learning about them we think. She is still connecting with her Orion heritage with Ms. Lennie's help" Mana@anncarise: "This is probably the best place to learn about Orions outside what Lennie's people have set up!" Mia@crystyll: "Well Ms. T'Quila is also one of our students now! And we will be sure to bring our cadets here to learn about the Arshai. It is too perfect not to!" Mana@anncarise: "Ooh T'Quila is a student now? Mana thought T'Quila was already working on the ship..." Mia@crystyll: "Oh yes! Since Ms. Lennie has come into her life, Ms. T'Quila has been able to focus herself and finally pushed for a commission!" Mia@crystyll: "Since we are limited to shipboard facilities, Capitaine Keelah agreed that she could study with the later year cadets we have in order to progress her training" Mana@anncarise: "Ahh yes, Starfleet has the ranks and commissions!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana had almost forgotten, but Captain Keelah explained it to Mana when Mana was on the Valley Forge." Mia@crystyll: "Yes, that's right! Ms. T'Quila is a non-commissioned officer at present, but by the time we complete our mission we are certain she will have earned a commission rank suited to her experience" Mia@crystyll: "In fact... all of our cadets may well have earned their commissions by then!" She chuckles Mana@anncarise: "The journey here and back is very long! And Valley Forge is likely to travel even further, yes?" Mia@crystyll: "Yes indeed. We do not how long the mission will take, but is has been longer than most missions already!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana is glad the mission has taken Mia here!" Mana@anncarise smiles and beckons Mia along, "Come, there is more to learn of the New World yet!" Mia@crystyll: "As are we Ms. Mana!" she chirps happily as she follows Mana@anncarise leads Mia to a few more displays. The first details the Doshaie Tribe and shows the establishing of their settlement on the mountains. Mana@anncarise: "Mana has told Mia of the Doshaie. The Doshaie are quite reclusive and live isolated in the Bose mountains. The tribe is known for producing scientists and intellectuals and believes there is - Mana@anncarise: - nothing more important than furthering the Arshai people." Mana@anncarise: "Members of the Doshaie tribe can be very...unusual and the Doshaie do not care for morality or tradition." Mia@crystyll: "We think a young Arshai met a while back may have been of this tribe" Mana@anncarise: "Did the Arshai have a full environment controlled suit?" Mia@crystyll nods, "She did!" Mana@anncarise: "Then yes! Mana has mentioned one of the few traditions the Doshaie have- to always maintain a cold environment and maximize lifespan, though that is not so much a tradition as a calculated measure." Mana@anncarise: "The Bose mountains are always frozen even in the summer years, and when members of the tribe leave the mountains, the Doshaie usually wear these suits to keep the cold." Mia@crystyll: "This girl was eager to study the biology of different species among the crew. She works with the Trinity Alliance" Mana@anncarise: "The Doshaie are known for being curious, and most are members of the Researcher's Guild! Mana likes the attitude towards research and discovery, though Mana does not always agree with all the - Mana@anncarise: - methods the Doshaie employs." Mia@crystyll: "Oh?" Mana@anncarise: "As Mana said, the Doshaie do not subscribe to traditional Arshai morality. As long as something furthers the Arshai people, the Doshaie will not care if any individual Arshai are harmed or impacted - Mana@anncarise: - in other ways." Mia@crystyll: "It almost sounds like you have first hand experience of this conflicting morality" Mana@anncarise: "The Researcher's Guild regulates what research can and cannot be done, but sometimes Council meetings are still called to directly address research and experiments done by the Doshaie." Mana@anncarise nods, "Mana is working with the Researcher's Guild and has a room in the Doshaie settlement." Mana@anncarise: "Mana has not personally seen any questionable research methods, but Mana knows if the Researcher's Guild did not have tight restrictions, many members of the tribe would not hesitate to perform - Mana@anncarise: - unethical experiments." Mana@anncarise: "Even with the restrictions, some members of the tribe exploit holes in the rules, and some are rumoured to do forbidden research in secret." Mia@crystyll: "We think Capitaine Keelah was hoping to engage the guild with technological developments. It sounds lie any work should be closely controlled to adhere with mutual morality" Mana@anncarise nods, "Even Vora sometimes thinks the Doshaie go too far, and Mia is very aware of what lengths Vora goes to!" Mana@anncarise: "Of course, not every member of the tribe is the same. Some lean towards more unethical practices more than others." Mia@crystyll: "Looking at things from a Federation stand point, that is certainly saying something!" she nods, "We will advise Capitaine Keelah to keep this in mind when approaching the guild" Mana@anncarise steps over to the next display, showing wide fields with herds of some form of livestock marching through it as well as images of yurt-like tents and Arshai in fur coats and chitinous armour. Mana@anncarise: "The Haxash tribe is the most traditional and smallest of the New World tribes. The Haxash reject the use of birthing pods to create offspring, so the numbers grew through natural reproduction over - Mana@anncarise: - the years and also lose members to their harsh lifestyle." Mia@crystyll: "There is a lot to admire about them and their lifestyle" Mia@crystyll chuckles, "This coming from an artificial lifeform" Mana@anncarise chuckles, "Oh the Haxash do not reject technology entirely. But the tribe respects old tradition above all else and prefers a simple life." Mana@anncarise: "The Haxash are nomadic pastoralists and do not create technology, but the tribe trades for supplies and equipment, and as the Haxash are the only source of non-synthesized food on the planet, the - Mana@anncarise: - tribe have plenty to offer in return." Mia@crystyll: "How are they when it comes to interacting with new species?" Mana@anncarise: "The Haxash will treat other species the same as the tribe treats most other Arshai- as outsiders. The Haxash are not hostile to others, but the Haxash also do not fully trust outsiders." Mia@crystyll hrms, "We think it might make a valuable exercise for our cadets to meet them. Get them used to meeting species who aren't naturally welcoming as they will find elsewhere here" Mana@anncarise: "Getting to be welcomed by the Haxash will be difficult, but Mana thinks if anyone can do it, Starfleet can!" Mia@crystyll: "Even if they do not succeed, it is a valuable opportunity for them to practice in a relatively safe environment" Mana@anncarise nods, "Yes, the Haxash will not be very open, but the Haxash will also not employ violence if unwarranted." Mia@crystyll: "It will be perfect!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana likes the idea as well!" Mana@anncarise leads Mia to the centre of the display room, past a few pieces which appear to be traditional Haxash artwork and weaponry. Mia@crystyll drags herself from one exhibit to the next, fighting the urge to linger too long at each one Mana@anncarise | In the centre of the room are the displays for the four guilds and the New World Council. A window on the far side looks out at a marvelous sight in the city beyond. Mana@anncarise FX | https://i.imgur.com/eTyQg7h.png Mia@crystyll smiles at the view that never gets old Mana@anncarise makes her way over to the window, pointing out the large central structure for Mia, "That is the Council Complex, where the New World Council holds assemblies and makes decisions." Mia@crystyll: "Truly majestic!" Mana@anncarise: "Around the Council Complex are the four Guild Headquarters, including this one!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana has already told Mia of the Lorekeeper's Guild. If Mia remembers, the terminal of the original clans and guilds mention only three guilds, not four." Mia@crystyll: "That is true... we surmised that the fourth is perhaps a standing for the Colonial Fleet" Mana@anncarise: "The Colonial Fleet is a separate organization, though the fleet can and usually does send a representative to the Council. The fourth guild is actually the Shipwright's Guild!" Mia@crystyll: "Of course! This was a newly formed guild to accomodate the Arshai's spacefaring then?" Mana@anncarise: "Not exactly. The Arshai had a Shipwright's Guild on the old homeworld for sea-faring ships, but that guild was not on the Arkship. The Arkship had many engineers to maintain the ship, and the - Mana@anncarise: - engineers formed the guild to obtain more representation, taking the name of the classical guild. Upon arriving at Vue-En, the engineers disassembled the Arkship to establish the settlement that - Mana@anncarise: - would grow to become Nim-i-Rune." Mana@anncarise: "The Shipwright's Guild served as engineers and architects of the colony at first, before returning to their true art of building and maintaining ships." Mia@crystyll: "From what we have seen of Arshai engineering so far, they have achieved a great deal!" Mana@anncarise: "The building of the Colonial Fleet is all the Shipwrights' work! But most of the architecture Mia sees in the city is actually the work of the Artist's Guild." Mia@crystyll: "We do so love artistic expression. In all it's forms!" Mia@crystyll: "Like our singing!" she beams proudly Mana@anncarise: "The Artist's Guild was actually the Bard's Guild when the Arkship first set out! The Bards and Lorekeepers did not wish to go with the EereE for fear of losing Arshai culture. When the colony was - Mana@anncarise: - established, the guild decided to expand beyond just music and festivities and now covers all forms of art in the New World, from singing to architecture to holographic programs like the one Mia - Mana@anncarise: - came from!" Mana@anncarise: "Though...Mana supposes Mia's specific program might be under the Lorekeeper's Guild if the program was in the New World..." Mia@crystyll: "Ooh, singing /and/ holography?! We can't wait to explore it all and see a taste of our forgotten heritage!" Mia@crystyll: "Oh... because of our origin nature as a teaching aid?" Mana@anncarise nods, "Most Artist's Guild programs are either very beautiful settings or full stories!" Mia@crystyll: "Perhaps there is room for them to expand that repertoire to singing holograms" she giggles Mana@anncarise chuckles, "Mana thinks Mia's singing abilities are sure to impress the guild! And maybe inspire singing holograms to be produced!" Mia@crystyll: "We confess... we have grown a sense of vanity since we last saw Ms. Mana..." Mia@crystyll: "We regularly sing for the crew now at our own weekly lounge evening!" Mana@anncarise: "Oooh! Mana would like to visit and see that when the Valley Forge is here!" Mia@crystyll: "It would be an honour to sing for you again!" Mana@anncarise smiles, "Mana will look forward to that! And Mana can speak to the Artist's Guild about Mia showing off Mia's singing if Mia wishes!" Mia@crystyll: "We can think of no greater honour than presenting our accomplishments to the guild. We have long desired to connect as strongly with our Arshai heritage as with our Human side" Mana@anncarise: "Mana will try to arrange that for Mia then!" Mana@anncarise: "So the last of the four guilds is the Researcher's Guild, which Mana is a part of now. The name...explains everything Mia needs to know." Mia@crystyll giggles, "It does paint a rather clear picture!" Mana@anncarise points out one of the four fancy buildings around the Council Complex, "That is the Researcher's Guild headquarters, but most of the labratories are actually on the Bose mountains in or around - Mana@anncarise: - the Doshaie settlement. Mana would take Mia there, but some of the Doshaie may be a little too interested in Mia..." Mana@anncarise: "Mana certainly got a few requests to take apart Sayu when Mana first visited with Sayu..." Mana@anncarise | Sayu lets out an annoyed beep behind her. Mia@crystyll | Miadrone gives a nervous wooo at the prospects Mia@crystyll: "Aww, well we are relieved to see that you did not let them hurt our brother!" she cradles a hand around Sayu Mana@anncarise: "And Mana will not let Mia get hurt either! Mana is sure no researcher will actually try to take Mia apart, though Mana will probably want to check with the Doshaie first before bringing Mia there." Mia@crystyll smiles, hugging Mana, "So what is our next stop on this grande tour?" Mana@anncarise smiles as she hugs Mia back, "Mana can show Mia more of the city if Mia likes...or maybe the other guild headquarters!" Mana@anncarise: "Mana will have to arrange a performance for Mia, but there is still much to see in the Artist's Guild headquarters!" Mia@crystyll: "That sounds great!" Mana@anncarise: "Come then!" Mana@anncarise leads Mia back through the building.
View Act III - A Political Situation
Keliaya@anncarise FX | It has been a few days after the Valley Forge docked with the New World's shipyard ring, and repairs are underway across the outside of the ship as they patch up the damage sustained from - Keliaya@anncarise - the battle with the Lupan. Keliaya@anncarise | The doorbell to Keelah's ready room rings. Keelah@crystyll: "Come in" Keliaya@anncarise steps inside with a PADD in hand, "Captain." Keelah@crystyll turns, "Kelly. Sorry, was just enjoying the view. Takes me back to my days at UP" Keliaya@anncarise: "It is quite a view. Some very impressive facilities the Arshai have built up here, especially that shipyard ring." Keliaya@anncarise makes her way over towards the window as well. Keelah@crystyll smiles and turns back to the view, "Isn't it though" she sighs, watching the repairs to the ship, "You know, I always anticipate a spell in drydock after a long mission like this, it's only to be + Keelah@crystyll: + expected. But I did not count on it less than halfway into the mission..." Keliaya@anncarise: "Me neither, and I certainly wasn't expecting to find a facility to rival any of Starfleet's in the middle of a region like this." Keelah@crystyll: "Nothing short of a miracle for us. I do not like to thing on our circumstances had we not found the Arshai..." Keliaya@anncarise nods, "That brings me to the point I was hoping to raise..." Keelah@crystyll glances back, "What's on your mind Kelly?" Keliaya@anncarise: "The repairs are going well, and everything should be back to peak condition soon. But even in peak condition, if we run into another Lupan ship like that...we might be able to survive, but not - Keliaya@anncarise: - without taking more damage, and I don't expect we'll find many more shipyards like this the further we go." Keelah@crystyll: "And that's just the Lupan. We're sailing into more dangerous waters the further we go, and we barely survived a band of thugs..." Keliaya@anncarise nods, "I know we're an exploration cruiser, not a warship. But the Arshai have the resources and technology to provide us with improvements we'll very likely need." Keliaya@anncarise: "And we might not get another opportunity for these upgrades if we pass up on this one." Keelah@crystyll: "And the further we go from Federation space, the further away Federation ideals seem to be" she turns back, "Am I wrong for considering such upgrades to our ship? I can't even tell anymore..." Keliaya@anncarise: "I've had the same thought, but if I think we might need these upgrades if we're to stand any chance of actually making it back to Federation space. Out here, we don't have the rest of Starfleet to - Keliaya@anncarise: - rely on, and we need every advantage we can get." Keelah@crystyll: "Agreed..." she draws a breath and smiles, "Thank you Kelly. I don't mean to sound melancholic. It is just a little hard seeing us in this state after such a small skirmish so early on" Keelah@crystyll: "So tell me..." she eyes the PADD, "what have you to recommend?" Keliaya@anncarise hands the PADD over to Keelah, "Traditional shields are effective in many situations, but there's several counters to them such as draining them with a tachyon beam, which the Colonial Fleet - Keliaya@anncarise: - appears highly versed in our previous encounters with them. We should start off by making our shield emitters dual purpose." Keelah@crystyll: "Is this is lieu of, or additional to, our other shield upgrade already planned?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Additional to. Using the Olelian replicator technology employed by Mia, we can modify the shields to alternatively generate a layer of nanotech ablative armouring." Keelah@crystyll perks a brow, looking between the PADD and Kelly, "Ablative armour generators incorporated into shield emitters? You have my attention" Keliaya@anncarise: "We can't use it with our shields at the same time, but it's certain to be a good counter to shield draining techniques or any transphasic weapons that try to bypass shielding." Keelah@crystyll: "I remember studying the early implementation of it found on the Voyager when it returned from the Delta Quadrant" Keelah@crystyll: "If I recall correctly, it required the installation of multiple external generators to the hull. Are you certain we can achieve the same implementation with our existing hardware?" Keliaya@anncarise: "With a combination of the Olelian replicator technology obtained for Mia and the Shipwright's Guild's knowledge, we can do it." Keelah@crystyll studies the PADD data, "Implications on power supply from it's use?" Keliaya@anncarise: "That's why I say we can't maintain it and shields at the same time. But one or the other should be fine...and if we really need to, we might be able to sustain both for a short time." Keelah@crystyll: "Assuming it has the same properties as that we've seen previously, it would also nullify tractor beams and other such control methods, yes?" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Much more effectively than last-resort measures like polarizing the hull which we previously used." Keelah@crystyll: "This is certainly a promising improvement Kelly. What about offensive upgrades?" Keliaya@anncarise: "While not entirely offensive, I suggest incorporating a point-defense system across the hull. The Lupan seem to use a lot of fighters and have little regard for the life of their pilots." Keliaya@anncarise: "We don't know what tactics the Horde uses yet, but judging by their name and what we know of them, I wouldn't be surprised if they also incorporate swarm tactics to some extent." Keelah@crystyll: "Sounds reasonable" she nods, "What about the hull upgrades we previously considered to block sensors and transporters? Now we have the facilities here, is it a feasible one to retable?" Keliaya@anncarise: "We have the facilities to modify our hull to block sensors and transporters, but we'll be struggling to afford all that material on top of everything else. But..." Keelah@crystyll: "But...?" Keliaya@anncarise: "I think Subcommander t'Rllaillieu's idea works, and we're already starting to test power configurations to make it work." Keelah@crystyll: "Sounds optimistic. As for the hull reinforcment material, I was thinking... we salvaged almost everything from the Wanderer didn't we..." Keelah@crystyll: "What if we used the facilities here to reclaim the raw material from that salvage to create a neutronium plating for our own hull?" Keliaya@anncarise: "There's not enough neutronium alloy to cover our hull, but we can certainly reinforce it with the material we have. We can make our hull significantly stronger than standard hull armouring, but it - Keliaya@anncarise: - won't be an impenetrable as pure neutronium, or quite on the level of Iconian alloys." Keelah@crystyll: "Well we can rely on your ablative armouring for defense. I'm theorizing that a thinner coating could serve to at least scatter sensor scans" Keliaya@anncarise: "That might actually be less exhaustive on our energy supply than a secondary shield layer...and we'll want all the power we can afford for the ablative armouring." Keliaya@anncarise smiles, "Good thinking, Captain." Keelah@crystyll chuckles, "Kelly, I don't even know if it will work yet. But I'd like you to run some tests and see how thinly we could potentially coat this plating and still retain that sensor block property" Keliaya@anncarise: "It's a good idea. We'll run the tests and see if it's viable." Keliaya@anncarise: "The point defense system shouldn't be too much of an issue for our power, and if we don't need it when facing larger vessels, we can always transfer the power to our primary banks and still - Keliaya@anncarise: - maintain the same weapon power we had before." Keelah@crystyll: "It should be easily managed from tactical depending on combat needs" Keelah@crystyll: "Well, this is shaping up to be quite the overhaul, isn't it? Anything else to add?" Keliaya@anncarise: "I have been looking at ways to get us more power as well, but I've already done most of the tweaks I can in the past, and there's not much to do short of getting a new and more advanced core." Keliaya@anncarise: "I'll see if the Subcommander's EPS rerouting suggestions can help, but we don't need the facilities for that, so it'll be lower priority." Keelah@crystyll: "Of course. Still, it would be nice to complete all necessary work while we are here even if it means extending our stay in order to complete it all" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Even if we don't need a shipyard, we may not get a safe place to take a breath once we leave Colonial space. I'll try to finish as much-" Keliaya@anncarise | Kelly is interrupted as the comm in the ready room sounds. Keelah@crystyll moves over to her desk and taps the panel, "Se'Lai" Keliaya@anncarise <C - Vrolmacht> "Several Colonial Fleet ships have just warped in, including one which matches our records of their flagships. We believe it is the scouting force led by the Supreme Commander." Keelah@crystyll: <C> "Thank you Commander. Continue monitoring and inform me as soon as they make contact" Keliaya@anncarise: <C - Vrolmacht> "Yes Captain." Keelah@crystyll turns back to Kelly, "Well for now I shall have to leave you to all the fun. I will have to settle for diplomacy for now" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "We'll make sure the ship is ready for whatever is to come. Good luck with the diplomacy, Captain." Keelah@crystyll smiles a little, "Thank you. I always feel I will need it when it comes to Vora" Keliaya@anncarise starts heading out of the ready room. Keliaya@anncarise FX | Minutes pass without further word as Keelah waits, which soon turns to hours... Keliaya@anncarise | Finally, the comm sounds again, disrupting the long silence. Keelah@crystyll pauses her work which she was quite welcoming the time to catch up on and taps the panel, "Se'Lai" Keliaya@anncarise: <C - Katie> "Oliver here. I've just beamed Mana up and she needs to talk to you. She says it's urgent." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you Chief. Have her report to my ready room" Keliaya@anncarise: <C - Katie> "She'll be right there." Mana@anncarise rings the doorbell as she approaches the ready room. Keelah@crystyll: "Come in" Mana@anncarise steps inside, taking a look around, "Mana has not been in here for some time. Mana is glad to be back." Keelah@crystyll stands in the corner beside her desk where she displays personal mementos. Turning with a cup of Spiced Tea in hand she smiles, "Hello Mana, do come in, make yourself at home" Mana@anncarise nods and takes a seat at one of the couches, Sayu hovering in after her before the door finally closes. Keelah@crystyll: "It is good to see you as well Sayu" she smiles, turning to join them, "So what's this about Mana? My transporter chief said it was urgent?" Mana@anncarise: "Yes, and Mana believes this will impact Keelah and the Federation as well." Mana@anncarise motions to Sayu, who hovers over the little table in front of the couch, projecting a hologram onto it. Keelah@crystyll watches curiously Mana@anncarise | The hologram appears to show a chamber filmed from above. Several people gather across a central table, all relatively small, though the voices are very distinct once the audio kicks in. Mana@anncarise | Vora: "...this is not an enemy we can fight. We must accelerate our schedule immediately. We will take back what is ours and reunite our people." Mana@anncarise | Arshai Representative 1: "Vora wants to abandon the New World? All the Arshai have built here? Vora was not even born on the New World!" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "And the Arshai did not evolve on the New World! This was always just a colony. We will take what we can, of course, but we must take EereE space while we still have the option." Mana@anncarise | Arshai Representative 2: "Running is not a solution. This Horde Vora speaks of will continue to advance. The enemy will reach EereE space. What then?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "It'll give us more time to work up defences. And if the Arshai are not ready then, there's plenty of galaxy left to retreat to." Mana@anncarise | Arshai Representative 3: "These territories are held by other peoples." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "And they will stand with us." Mana@anncarise | Arshai Representative 2: "If these peoples do not listen to the warnings-" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "You made the Tuxai and Dunishai our vassals. Convince them. If you can't, then I'm sure my fleet /can/." Mana@anncarise | Arshai Representative 1: "Vora will force these peoples to fight for Vora?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "And throw them at the enemy to delay them if I have to, yes! What other choice do we have? How else do we stand against a foe that cannot be stopped?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Sacrifices will have to be made. I'm here to ensure that won't be us. We need to return to where we came from. Think about it. If you don't think this is our only chance to survive, - Mana@anncarise: - think about it as a chance to recover what's left of our history on old Arsae. A chance to encounter new technologies, new specimens. A chance to be more than one world, a single pebble against - Mana@anncarise: - the coming flood." Mana@anncarise | Arshai Representative 4: "This is not a decision to be made lightly." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "We don't have the luxury of time. I suggest we take a recess if we need to. Convene with your tribes and your guilds. But we need to act soon, and decide sooner." Mana@anncarise FX | The holo pauses before disappearing. Mana@anncarise looks back to Keelah, "The fleet Vora has gathered...these ships are not for fighting the enemy. Vora intends to destroy the EereE with these ships, and anything else that stands in Vora's way." Mana@anncarise: "Mana does not wish to see the Overseer destroyed, despite Mana's disagreements with the Overseer. And Captain Keelah knows where the Overseer's territory is." Mana@anncarise: "Not far from the Federation's, which Vora has been more than willing to attack in the past." Keelah@crystyll leans back, sipping her tea, "Her logic is clearly flawed" she nods, "This would bring conflict to the Federation border which in turn would almost certainly see the implementation of another DMZ" Mana@anncarise: "Caeru has been trying to convince Vora, but the Supreme Commander will not be swayed from this course of action. And Vora holds significant influence in the New World." Keelah@crystyll: "Vora's thought process appears to hinge on the determination that this foe can not be bested with current resources" Keelah@crystyll: "Perhaps then, if she can be made to see the truth of the situation with what we know, she may see the logic in a more amenable approach" Mana@anncarise: "Even if that is the case, Mana does not believe Vora's current plan is wise. Mana can take Keelah to Caeru and Vora, but...Mana has never seen Vora so unreasonable before." Keelah@crystyll leans in, closely looking to Mana, "Mana, exactly how uncharacteristic is this behaviour from her?" Mana@anncarise: "Vora has always been ruthless when Vora wants something, but Vora has always been open to reason as well. Vora knows the politics of the Federation better than any other Arshai here, even Mana." Mana@anncarise: "Vora has grown up around Federation territory. Surely Vora would know what Keelah is saying about causing conflict along the Federation border." Keelah@crystyll: "It stands to reason" she nods, "She is no fool and would know that a move such as this would eventually square her forces in war against the Federation. Stars, against the whole Alliance" Mana@anncarise: "Then why would Vora propose this option?" Keelah@crystyll hrms, "I do not like jumping to conclusions, it goes against my very nature. But with what we know of this Primeval enemy, we can't blind ourselves to the possibility that she is being + Keelah@crystyll: + influenced by them" Mana@anncarise: "And Vora in turn has significant influence here. That is not good..." Mana@anncarise: "Is there some way to remove this influence? A special neurochemical hypospray? One of the Federation's telepaths?" Keelah@crystyll: "It is also entirely circumstantial and without merit, and so I strongly encourage you not to assume this is the case" Keelah@crystyll: "As for countermeasures... we are still refining several possibilities, but the best chance at the moment may rely with certain gifted individuals we have with us..." Mana@anncarise: "Something still must be done, whatever Vora's reasons for this action. Vora has the support of all but two groups. Well, three if Keelah counts the Haxash, but the Haxash rarely even participate in - Mana@anncarise: - Council meetings." Keelah@crystyll: "First off, we should give her the chance to reconsider this course. Perhaps with the knowledge of our mission, she will reconsider" Mana@anncarise: "Does Keelah still wish to speak with Vora, then?" Keelah@crystyll: "I see no alternative path forwards" Mana@anncarise nods, "Mana will take Keelah to the Council Complex then." Keelah@crystyll: "Excellent. There is no time waste" Mana@anncarise and Keelah make their way to the transporter room and beam down to the grand Council Complex in the centre of Nim-i-Rune. She contacts Caeru once they are there, and a few minutes later, the - Mana@anncarise - Fleet Commander meets them in the entrance lobby and leads them deeper into the complex. Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Captain Keelah is here to change Vora's mind?" Keelah@crystyll smiles faintly, "It would be presumptious of me to come into the heart of Arshai territory under such a pretense. I am simply here to share pertinent information in the hopes that she sees wisdom" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru hopes so as well. The Supreme Commander is not heeding Caeru's advice." Keelah@crystyll: "Out of interest, what is Caeru's advice in this matter?" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru does not wish to act against the Supreme Commander. Caeru cannot, as one of Vora's Fleet Commanders. But Caeru does not believe Vora's current plan is the best for the Arshai." Keelah@crystyll: "I understand, Caeru. And nobody is talking about acting against her. I was simply curious what your advice to her on the matter was" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Caeru suggests using what information Vora has gathered to try and create a defensive plan. And failing that, share the information with the Regulators and work with the Administration." Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Running to EereE space and seizing the old homeworld is not a good solution." Keelah@crystyll: "We think the same way, Caeru" she smiles, "We are in fact already working with the Regulators on this, alongside other powers in the region" Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "And Caeru hopes this will lead to a defense against this Horde." Keelah@crystyll: "Caeru is not the only one..." Mana@anncarise | They enter a small meeting room and see Vora at the end of the table, speaking to someone over a screen. She ends the comm and looks over at the visitors. Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Ah. Captain Keelah. I heard you were here." Keelah@crystyll: "Supreme Commander. It is always a pleasure to see you again" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "And you too. What's brought you out here? You didn't come all this way to visit Mana, did you?" Keelah@crystyll smiles, approaching the table and gesturing to take a seat, "You surprise me Vora... I would have expected you to already know our purpose here" Mana@anncarise | Vora chuckles and takes a seat as well, "I've heard a few things, yes." Keelah@crystyll: "As have I. It is most gratifying to see you return safely from your expedition while we are here to visit" Mana@anncarise and Caeru take seats as well, listening. Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Unfortunately, I can't say the same for all the expedition. But most of us made it back alive." Keelah@crystyll: "I am sorry for your losses. It is never an easy burden to bear, I know" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Tell me Captain...have you ever had a pet, and had to put it down when it reached the limit of its lifespan?" Keelah@crystyll nods, "Like many Vulcan children, I cared a Sehlat growing up" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Then you'll understand. Somewhat. I didn't just lose my people to the enemy. I was forced to put them down." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Except they weren't old. They didn't have a long and fruitful life. They were good, healthy soldiers. Many of them barely began to live their life at all." Keelah@crystyll: "So you encountered the Horde itself then. So close to Arshai space?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Not right outside our border, we had to travel through some known regions first. But too close for comfort." Keelah@crystyll: "This is troubling indeed, but not as hopeless as it may seem" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "You've heard the rumours about them, haven't you?" Keelah@crystyll nods, "Indeed. We are already working on countermeasures in collaboration with other local powers" Keelah@crystyll: "But I am curious... what exactly do you know of them beyond the faceless Horde that marches across the galaxy?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Too much. That was what drove those of us who did not return to madness. But even those of us who did not succumb saw into the mind of the monster. They are something ancient, Captain, - Mana@anncarise: - older than anything else I know of. Something twisted, corrupted, made unnatural." Keelah@crystyll nods, "Yes. We call them the Primevals" Keelah@crystyll: "We know they are responsible for the demise of the Nuhar more than 200,000 years ago" Keelah@crystyll: "We know the Nuhar and the Iconians stood against them and developed a means to contain the threat" Keelah@crystyll leans in with dramatic pause, "And we are on our way to find it" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I have seen many horrors through my time in this universe. I have looked Orion slave masters in the eye. Witnessed the assembling of Dominion invasion fleets. Walked the halls of a - Mana@anncarise: - derelict Borg cube. But never before have I felt like I knew the true face of evil. Until now." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Other have stood against the Horde, yes. None of them succeeded, or they would still be around, and the Horde would be gone, no?" Keelah@crystyll: "The Nuhar fell because they were unable to implement their solution in time. But we can locate it and use it to contain them before it is too late" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "You have one ship. The Iconians and the Nuhar had vast empires." Keelah@crystyll: "Empires of which the remnants still remain. Remnants which include that which we seek" Keelah@crystyll: "Surely you see - moreso than any other having faced the Horde - there is no logic in amassing vast fleets against this foe. They will only fall to alternate methods" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "My fleet is not to face this foe. That would just be supplying them with more forces." Keelah@crystyll: "My point exactly" she nods, "We do not need fleets or armies. One ship is all it takes to reach our destination and halt this threat once and for all" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I suspect it will not be so easy, but I hope you are correct." Keelah@crystyll: "I do not mean to present the illusion of ease. We still have to combat their influence, or risk falling prey to them ourselves. We have reason to believe after all, that they are capable of + Keelah@crystyll: + affecting minds over immeasurable distances" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I have seen it with my own eyes. You have more than reason to believe. And if they take your minds like they took those of my people, they may know all you know about this countermeasure - Mana@anncarise: - and deactivate it, if not become more deadly by turning it against us." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I must take precautions for my people, should you fail." Keelah@crystyll: "Naturally. I am so glad to see you that recognize the logic in pooling resources to development the countermeasures and protecting home territories" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "The Researcher's Guild will develop what measures they can, but if you do not stop the Horde right now, I doubt we can hold the New World. My people need to move elsewhere." Keelah@crystyll: "All the more reason for us to make a united stand; so that they do not threaten your world" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "But you said you do not need my ships. That your one ship would be enough." Keelah@crystyll: "I appreciate the need to protect your people, but do not let fear cloud the collective judgement Vora. You have influence here, and can use that to temper the masses. Running may seem prudent for + Keelah@crystyll: + the moment, but with your world so effectively camouflaged from the space around it, you already hold an ideal shelter from this Horde" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I'm afraid not. The mission was a mistake. I didn't know what we would find, I had only the stories of refugees to rely on." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "They saw into our minds. Turned my ships against me. The New World is compromised. They're coming for us." Mana@anncarise | Caeru: "Vora did not tell that to the Council." Keelah@crystyll hrms, "If they are coming for you, then it is logical to surmise that they will come for you wherever you are. The further you run, the longer it will take. The longer it takes, the stronger they + Keelah@crystyll: + will be and the harder to stop. Remaining and reinforcing your defenses is still the most logical course of action, especially when bolstered by our greater alliance working together" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "You haven't seen them. Felt their presence in your mind. Our defenses are nothing. They can turn those controlling them against us. And even if we were to develop some miracle defense - Mana@anncarise: - against their abilities before they reach us, they have numbers, and no fear of death." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Search for your countermeasure, and I'll help you if I can. But I need to explore other ways to protect my own people." Keelah@crystyll: "The same was once said of the Borg until we found ways to outmanouver them" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Yes, but how many had to die before then? How many species were assimilated in the many centuries when they expanded with no one strong enough to stand in their way?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I cannot risk the Arshai becoming one such species." Keelah@crystyll: "Of course not. But I emplore you not to turn away from the miracle that is your home here. We have an alliance growing in strength with each new sector we pass, all working together to safeguard + Keelah@crystyll: + everyone from this threat. Yours is by far the most formiddable fleet out here, and we can all benefit from standing together" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "We were always intending to take back where we came from. I'm just accelerating the schedule. If you manage to stop this threat, having more than one planet wouldn't hurt." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "And if you don't, then we'll need it." Keelah@crystyll shakes her head, "Now is not the time to divide attention and march on EereE space. You have seen enough conflict in your time to know how it divides and weakens all involved" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "We /need/ a contingency plan, and my ships are little use to you when the enemy can turn them against you. I'm not going to up and abandon the New World tomorrow or anything. I'm just - Mana@anncarise: - securing a fallback for my people." Mana@anncarise: "But there are other worlds the Arshai can settle. The Arshai under the Overseer have moved on. There is no need to invade!" Keelah@crystyll: "You're right, Vora. You do need a contingency. But marching into war in the opposite direction is not it" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Moved on, or forced to abandon their culture? This is how we unite the Arshai people, not divide it. You know what life under the Overseer was like, Mana." Mana@anncarise: "Yes, and Vora does not. Vora has only heard certain things from Vora's mother. The Overseer is not evil. Vora said the only evil is what is behind this Horde." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "You of all people shouldn't buy into the Overseer's rhetoric. You were in open rebellion against it!" Mana@anncarise: "To change the Overseer for the better, not to destroy the entire AI network the EereE have built! The Overseer is not unlike Vora and also wants the best for the Arshai people. Just that some of - Mana@anncarise: - the calculations can use some adjusting." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "Maybe it does think it's doing what's best for the Arshai there, but sometimes the worst people are the ones misguided about what they think is best." Mana@anncarise: "And Vora makes no mistakes? Vora admitted the scouting mission was a mistake. Mana does not believe this current plan is wise." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "And what are you going to do about it? Go into open rebellion against me? You haven't seen what I've seen, Mana." Keelah@crystyll: "Ladies, please" she raises her hands to the pair Keelah@crystyll: "I think all this proves that such a topic can not be rushed. It should also no more could judgement regarding current threats, as those threats are allowed to cloud it" Keelah@crystyll: "Vora, your desire to reunify your people is an admirable one. But you need only look to your other heritage to see how such a course of action unfolds" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "It's not just my desire, The New World stands behind me." Mana@anncarise: "Of course the New World stands behind Vora. Vora is Council representative for both the Fleet and the Orions and has a position in the Researcher's Guild." Keelah@crystyll: "And to play the role of advocate; I believe the majority of Arshai in EereE space also stand behind the Overseer" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "But they've never seen an alternative. They don't even know the New World exists, let alone had the chance to visit. You and I, Mana, we know what it's like to rediscover our lost culture" Mana@anncarise: "A wonderful experience, yes, but Mana does not wish to destroy Mana's old world because of that!" Keelah@crystyll: "Can't the same be said for New World Arshai not knowing of the old world too?" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "But they know, through us. That's much more than EereE Arshai ever know about the New World, and most of the New World decided that the EereE way isn't the way to go." Mana@anncarise | Vora looks to Mana, "If you want to try and defend the Overseer here, you're welcome to try. The Council hasn't decided on my plan yet. Talk the tribes and guilds into sympathizing with you." Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I don't recommend it. But if you're so adamant that I'm wrong...prove it." Keelah@crystyll: "Vora, nobody is outright saying that you are wrong. I for one just want to encourage you not to act rashly because of what you saw on your expedition" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "It's my plan, but it's not my decision. I know I'm going to support it, but you're free to convince everyone else otherwise. The Council's taking the decision-making slow...as usual." Keelah@crystyll: "I will not seek to interfere in Arshai affairs. But I will liaise with the Council and advise them regarding the Horde, based on our information to date" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "You're free to advise or convince them, long as you don't harm anyone in the process." Keelah@crystyll: "I would hope you know me better than that" she smiles a little Keelah@crystyll: "I would like for us to spend more time studying this threat, as well. You have valuable first hand insight that I would be foolish to ignore" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I've told you more or less what I can. They weren't exactly forthcoming with their secrets. But there's a few of my people who saw more. You can talk to them if you like, but they're... Mana@anncarise: ...not always coherent." Keelah@crystyll: "We may have alternate means of reaching them, perhaps even easing their burdens. We have some experience with telepathic influence and more than a few capable individuals" Mana@anncarise | Vora nods, "I'll have the Ship Commanders let you know who they are, and send them over to your ship if you like." Keelah@crystyll: "I can't promise any results, but my people will make every effort to help them. If we can learn anything of the Horde threat in the process, all the better" Keelah@crystyll: "Beyond that, you still possess knowledge of the region beyond Arshai space that we are not familiar with. Anything you are able to share would be equally welcome" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "We'll give you what we know. And I suggest working together with the Researcher's Guild to develop your countermeasures, if such a thing is possible." Keelah@crystyll: "I am certain that it is. As are the Regulators and Trinity Alliance" Mana@anncarise | Vora nods, "Anything else you have to offer, or looking for?" Keelah@crystyll: "I have no doubt that more will arise as our time here continues. But you are busy, and I have already taken too much of your time" Keelah@crystyll stands, "We shall enjoy your company again before too long, I trust" Mana@anncarise | Vora: "I'll let the Council know to expect you at the next meeting." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you. Until next time, then" she dips her head before turning to leave Mana@anncarise follows Keelah out, though Caeru remains inside. Keelah@crystyll looks to Mana as they walk, "Well, all things considered; that could have gone worse" Mana@anncarise nods, "Though Mana wishes Vora would have been talked out of the plan entirely..." Keelah@crystyll: "It is still a step in the right direction, so remain positive. We have a great deal of work to do here, Mana... I hate to impose, but if we are to settle this matter for your people and refocus them+ Keelah@crystyll: + on the Horde, I could certainly benefit from your insights once more" Mana@anncarise: "Mana will be glad to help! Mana does not want the Overseer destroyed in any scenario, and Mana agrees with Keelah that starting another conflict is not a good solution to this Horde." Keelah@crystyll: "Excellent! Then let us return to the ship and brief the senior staff." --- Keelah@crystyll | After returning to the Valley Forge with Mana. Keelah convenes the senior staff to strategize their approach to the Arshai Guilds Keelah@crystyll finishes summarizing her meeting with Vora, "...So this is where we are at. I appreciate that this is once again skirts the line of non-interference, but the Arshai are our allies - not a + Keelah@crystyll: + disassociated government. It is our duty to make them aware of the facts as we know them, and advise them accordingly" Keelah@crystyll: "With so much ground to cover in addressing each Guild independently, this is why I am assigning each of you to approach a Guild" looks to Mana, "Mana, would you be so kind as to summarize each of + Keelah@crystyll: + bodies we are to approach?" Mana@anncarise: "The New World Council has ten representative positions, but one person can represent more than one group. Currently, only two groups are fully against Vora's plan- the Inuze Tribe, who are the - Mana@anncarise: - least traditional and most in favour of remaining on Vue-En instead of returning to the old homeland, and the Artist's Guild which does not want to leave behind all that is built here." Mana@anncarise: "Vora holds two representative positions, for the Orions and the Colonial Fleet. Vora cannot be convinced, but...the Orions could choose another representative if the Orions wish to. Mana would not - Mana@anncarise: - suggest directly sabotaging Vora though." Mana@anncarise: "Mana believes the Council decision can be affected by convincing some of the other groups." Mana@anncarise | Kazra: "How does the Council's decision-making work? By majority?" Mana@anncarise: "Yes. Each representative can vote for or against a decision. In the rare case that a tie is achieved, a recess is called and the decision usually altered." Keelah@crystyll: "Regarding the Orions, is it feasible to still address concerns with them, without directly subverting the Supreme Commander?" Mana@anncarise: "Yes, but Mana doubts the Orions will be able to convince Vora to change Vora's support for the plan." Keelah@crystyll: "Ok, I still feel it is worth establishing a dialogue with them. They deserve to know the facts as much as anyone..." looks around the table, "This was probably predicted but, Lendaria; I can think + Keelah@crystyll: + of nobody better suited to reach out to the Orion population here" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie chuckles and nods, "No problem Cap'n. Was wantin' t'get t'know 'em better anyhow" Keelah@crystyll smiles, "Very good. Who do we have next, Mana?" Mana@anncarise: "The Haxash is the most likely to choose to stay on the New World, as the Haxash have built a new life here mimicking the old, while old Arsae is uninhabitable. However, though a recognized tribe - Mana@anncarise: - with a seat on the Council, the Haxash rarely participate in any decisions. If the Council were to make the decision to leave however, the Haxash would most likely stay, regardless of how defended - Mana@anncarise: - or undefended Vue-En becomes, so it would be in the Haxash's favour to vote against the plan." Mana@anncarise: "The problem is approaching the Haxash and convincing the tribe's matriarch to actually attend the Council meeting. The Haxash do not trust outsiders." Keelah@crystyll hrms, "Any recommendations for how we best go about approaching them?" Mana@anncarise: "Mana has never actually met with the Haxash, but from what Mana has heard, the trust of the Haxash can be attained by showing respect for the tribe's traditions and ways." Mana@anncarise: "The Haxash are a very old-fashioned, nomadic group with great respect for the land." Keelah@crystyll: "Kazra, I believe your experience presents a unique appreciation for traditional values" Keelah@crystyll | Kazra nods: "As you wish, Captain" Keelah@crystyll: "Ok, who do we have next?" Mana@anncarise: "The Shipwright's Guild is another that can possibly be convinced. The Shipwrights currently support Vora's plan for the opportunity to employ the Colonial Fleet on a large scale and find strengths - Mana@anncarise: - and weaknesses to refine the designs, but Mana knows from Caeru that many in the Guild do not wish to leave the New World either, especially after investing so much into building the Ring and - Mana@anncarise: - other facilities." Keelah@crystyll: "Sounds like a tactically minded group. Commander Vrolmacht, the Shipwright's Guild is yours. Who's next?" Keelah@crystyll | Vrolmacht gives a curt nod Mana@anncarise: "The Doshaie Tribe and Researcher's Guild are very closely interconnected, and though two different groups with two seats on the Council, convincing the Doshaie should be enough to sway the opinion - Mana@anncarise: - of the Guild. The Doshaie are tempted by the prospect of finding new technologies and new species, not unlike Starfleet, but in other ways the Doshaie are very different." Mana@anncarise: "Mana can help with the Doshaie, but assistance would be appreciated as well. Mana can negotiate access to the Bose mountains settlement for Starfleet if Keelah wishes." Keelah@crystyll: "That would be appreciated Mana. Well, what do you think Kelly, feel up to this one?" Mana@anncarise | Kelly: "I've been curious to see what experiments the Arshai have been up to after hearing about their scientific prowess through our travels." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "Excellent. Who does that leave us with Mana?" Mana@anncarise: "If all these groups can be convinced, that will be enough votes against the decision. There is still the Lorekeeper's Guild, the Faeshe Tribe and the Colonial Fleet. The Fleet is completely under - Mana@anncarise: - Vora's control and is only ever represented by the Supreme Commander, so though some like Caeru disagree with Vora's plan, the vote is...pretty much set." Keelah@crystyll: "Fair enough. What about the Faesha Tribe?" Mana@anncarise: "The Faeshe Tribe are also traditional, but follow very different traditions from the Haxash. More in the Faeshe tribe support retaking the old home than not, but...the Faeshe may be convinced to - Mana@anncarise: - do so another time. The Faeshe have always valued reason, intelligence and skill. Not unlike Keelah's people." Mana@anncarise: "But sometimes, the Faeshe can be irrational as well, and some among the tribe may support the plan simply for the reason that the Inuze do not." Mana@anncarise: "Convincing the Faeshe will be very difficult, and Mana would not count on that happening." Keelah@crystyll: "It sounds like if I am to approach any of these myself, it is best that I speak to the Faeshe. Perhaps Vulcan reasoning will be enough to influence them" Mana@anncarise: "Mana hopes so as well." Mana@anncarise: "Mana doubts the Lorekeeper's Guild can be swayed either. The Lorekeepers have always been the most supportive of retaking the old home to have access to any artifacts that remain." Mana@anncarise: "As the Lorekeepers' primary purpose is to recover and preserve the history of the Arshai, the Guild has more reason to return home than any other group." Keelah@crystyll hrms, "Not one I hold much hope in, but I believe Professor Lycas would be well positioned to establish an even dialogue with them" Keelah@crystyll | Lennie nods, "I'll let him know" Mana@anncarise | Kelly: "If nothing else, we might be able to learn more about Arshai history and culture, which should help us in convincing the others." Keelah@crystyll: "Exactly. Now to be clear, while we naturally hope for positive outcomes from all interactions; we are not unreasonable in expectations" Keelah@crystyll: "All I ask from each of you in your assignments is to present our information and learn what you can from your assignments. If decisicions are positively swayed as a result, we will take that as + Keelah@crystyll: + a bonus" Mana@anncarise nods, "Mana knows Starfleet is familiar with interacting with alien cultures, but Mana should advise the crew to treat each different group as a different civilization. The New World was founded - Mana@anncarise: - on the goal of preserving culture from all around old Arsae. Each tribe and guild can be very different from another. One does not know the Arshai simply because one knows Mana or Vora or another - Mana@anncarise: - individual from a different group." Keelah@crystyll nods, "Which is why I feel that this is too much of a task for me to assume solely on my own shoulders. This needs a team effort. Mana will be available to assist and advise each of you in your + Keelah@crystyll: + assignments, and this is one mission where cross-department assignments are completely open. Pull resources based on the unique requirements of your assignments as you see fit. Mia will also + Keelah@crystyll: + be available to assist any of you who require it, as she has already spent some time learning about the Arshai from the Lorekeepers Guild"
View Act IV - The Orions
Ann Carter@anncarise: and Lennie beam down to what Mana identifies as the Orion District of Nim-i-Rune, a region of urban sprawl that, like other districts of the Arshai megacity, are big enough to be classified as a - Ann Carter@anncarise: - city of its own right. They are greeted with the sight of elegant structures all around them, nothing like the stereotypical Orion districts of most planets and cities. Some of the architecture is - Ann Carter@anncarise: - distinctly Arshai, but a few, including the large building at the heart of the district, seem to use a combination of High Orion and Arshai design, blending in seamlessly to the cityspace around - Ann Carter@anncarise: - it while still giving off a recognizable Orion atmosphere. Ann Carter@anncarise: FX | https://i.imgur.com/NevC1C4.jpg Lendaria@crystyll: grins, "S'like home away from home!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Wow...this really is! Never thought I'd see anythin' like this outside o' Narris!" Ann Carter@anncarise: | Looking around them, the populace of the district visibly has a majority of Orions, though Arshai and a few other species can be seen in the streets as well. Lendaria@crystyll: "I'm-a guessin' tha's where we'll find th'folks in charge" she indicates the tall building Ann Carter@anncarise: "Looks like it. Let's make our way over there then! Less there's somewhere else ya wanna see first?" Lendaria@crystyll: "I'm-a all f'sight seein'! Don't know wha' there is t'see though. Le's start headin' tha' way an' see wha' we find!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "An' if we miss anythin' we should have plenty o' time to check it out once we finish our business an' get to know the place better!" Lendaria@crystyll: "Sure hope so! Momma woulda love t'see this" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Think we can say the same for everybody in the OSN. Maybe we should take holos to bring back..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Good idea!" Ann Carter@anncarise: | As they make their way over to the central building, an Orion in a Colonial Fleet uniform coming from the other side of the skybridge approaches them. Ann Carter@anncarise: | Orion: "Hey there, sisters! What kinda uniform is that? It's not Colonial Fleet, and I've never seen it around here before." Lendaria@crystyll: smiles, "Starfleet! We'se here wit' th'Valley Forge" Ann Carter@anncarise | Orion: "Star-fleet? Which star-fleet? There's not many official fleets around here, and I don't know of any mercenary company by that name..." Lendaria@crystyll: chuckles, "Starfleet. It's not exactly local, fleet of th'Federation long ways coreward from 'ere. Y'know, where our kind originate from!" Ann Carter@anncarise | Orion: "Oh! You mean the F'deraxt'la my mother told me about? I didn't know our people were among them..." Lendaria@crystyll: "We are! Not many, admittedly but we'se there. Lot's change since th'old days back home, heh" Ann Carter@anncarise: | Orion: "All I've heard is that Vora worked against it back when she was with the Syndicate...but that was way back, and the Syndicate's not exactly our people at our best." Lendaria@crystyll: "Indeed it isn't" she looks around with a smile, "This however, arguably is seein' our people at their best again. This, an' th'new homeworld on Narris o'course" Ann Carter@anncarise | Orion: "Narris? You settled a new homeworld?" Lendaria@crystyll: "We did! Reformed th'OSN of old an' now our territory's expandin' t'new colonies too! Th'Orion peoples are back an' better than ever now!" Ann Carter@anncarise: | Orion: "That sounds wonderful! We would never have made it here without the help of Vora and the Arshai, but I think we've done well here! I haven't seen your new homeworld to compare, but it's - Ann Carter@anncarise: - much better than the stories the older people tell of our life where we came from." Lendaria@crystyll: "Syndicate's still out there, but they'se a dyin' breed now. One o'the reasons we came 'ere was t'share knowledge an' bring our people together s'more!" Ann Carter@anncarise: | Orion: "I'd love to see this new homeworld sometime! Maybe I'll get a position on a ship heading that way." Lendaria@crystyll: "We have plenty o'data on board about th'new OSN an' the colonies. Y'think many folks 'ere'd be interested too? We could find a ways t'make it available for y'all" Ann Carter@anncarise: | Orion: "I'm sure many of us would be! We love what we've made for ourselves here, but I think everyone would be glad to have news of our people doing well elsewhere too!" Lendaria@crystyll: "As would th'folks back home! We was hopin' t'meet some folks in charge o'the Orion community 'ere to tha' effect actually. Could ya point us th'right way?" Ann Carter@anncarise: | The Orion nods and points to the large central building, "That's where you want to go. We've got our own mini-Council there, the New Orion Council." Lendaria@crystyll: "Grand! Thank ya kindly hun" Ann Carter@anncarise: | Orion: "Enjoy your time here!" Lendaria@crystyll: "See ya round!" Ann Carter@anncarise: continues on to the central building, "Looks like there's plenty who were born here an' never knew life in other places. Lucky them!" Lendaria@crystyll: "Maybe, yeah..." Lendaria@crystyll: clearly doesn't sound so convinced about the sheltered life Ann Carter@anncarise: "But probably not such a good thing to be disconnected from the rest o' the Orions, yeah..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Just makes me nervous t'think a so many not only livin' sheltered lives like this, but wit' their only view o'Orions elsewhere bein' th'skewed view o'their elders" Ann Carter@anncarise: "An' it ain't exactly reassurin' with Vora as their leader, knowin' how she can be..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Indeed. Le's hope this council's a lil' more enlightened" Ann Carter@anncarise and Lennie step into the central structure to be greeted by a large, elegant lobby... Ann Carter@anncarise FX | https://i.imgur.com/xUv1V.jpg Ann Carter@anncarise: "They've definitely got fancy aesthetics..." Lendaria@crystyll looks around in awe, "Goddess, it's beautiful!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "It really is! Let's hope this place ain't all just looks, though..." Ann Carter@anncarise | A female Orion attendant steps up to them, "Hello. Are you new arrivals looking to settle here?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Um... no, actually. We'se from th'Starfleet vessel an' was hopin' to meet wit' th'Council" Ann Carter@anncarise | Attendant: "Ah. It may take some time if you want us to assemble the Council, but I can take you to a single Councillor if you wish instead." Lendaria@crystyll: "That'd be great, thanks!" Ann Carter@anncarise | The Attendant smiles, "Follow me, then." Ann Carter@anncarise | She leads them across the large elegant lobby and into a lift, pushing a button once they are all in, "May I ask what your business with the Council is?" Ann Carter@anncarise | The lift begins to move up as soft elevator music plays in the background. Through the glass windows of the lift they can see themselves moving further up, the lobby growing smaller below them - Lendaria@crystyll: "Couple o'things actually. We wanna talk to 'em about our mission, but on a more personal note I wanna reach out on behalf of th'new Orion homeland back where we'se herald from" Ann Carter@anncarise: - as they see the various terraces of the different levels. Ann Carter@anncarise | Attendant: "A new homeworld and a mission? I'm sure they'll want to speak to you about it." Lendaria@crystyll: "I'm-a hopin' so!" Ann Carter@anncarise | The lift opens on one of the levels and the attendant leads them through halls with what seem to be many offices and meeting rooms along the side. Ann Carter@anncarise | They stop outside one of the doors, and the Attendant turns to them, "This is the office of Councillor Naisso. He should be available now." Ann Carter@anncarise | She rings the doorbell, and a few seconds later, the door slides open and she nods for them to enter. Lendaria@crystyll: "Thanks" she smiles to the attendant before heading in Ann Carter@anncarise | Within is a large, elegant office fit for any Tabadi, with a large window out to the city beyond. On a chair behind a desk sits a well-dressed Orion male. He is still bald and bulky, but gives - Ann Carter@anncarise: - off more of the impression of a mob boss than a common thug, and shows no sign of Syndicate-style implants. Ann Carter@anncarise | The Councillor looks up at them, "Welcome to the New World. You're from offworld, I'm guessing by the uniforms." Lendaria@crystyll: "Ya guess right. LCDR Lendaria o'the Federation vessel docked at ya orbital ring, th'Valley forge. An' this's ENS Ann Carter" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso narrows his eyes, "Federation? Yes, I recognize the insignia now. The last time I saw your Starfleet, your uniforms were very different." Lendaria@crystyll: "F'deraxt'la has come a long way, as have our people back home" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "As I can see. Come, have a seat." Lendaria@crystyll smiles, "Thanks. Hope we ain't caught ya at a bad time or nothin'" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso smiles back, "Not at all. The political situation has been a little tense ever since Vora called for assembling our forces, but it doesn't add much to my work. Some of us here in the - Ann Carter@anncarise: - Orion district hold jobs in the Colonial Fleet, but we don't actually run our own navy or anything." Lendaria@crystyll: "Right! This whole call t'arms thing... pretty major deal, ain't it" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Especially for many of the Arshai." Lendaria@crystyll tilts her head a little, "But not s'much for th'Orion community?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso shrugs, "They're taking back their home, not ours." Lendaria@crystyll: "Yeah, takin' back ours is still a little ways off. Though on th'cards..." Lendaria@crystyll: "But I digress. Tell me, what'dya know 'bout th'drivin' force behind this call t'arms?" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "It was supposed to be some ways off for this too. When Vora came back from her scouting mission, she sped everything up. I'm not sure why but I think she might've seen something that - Ann Carter@anncarise: - spooked her. Beats me what that is, because she doesn't scare easy." Lendaria@crystyll: "No she doesn't. But th'nature o'that threat is one of th'thing we wanted t'inform ya about" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Starfleet knows something about it?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Indeed it does. Most importantly, how t'stop it. Well, sorta at least. It's a work in progress... but th'important thing is tha' we got maintained persepective, we ain't spooked an' subject + Lendaria@crystyll: + to kneejerk reactions" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Neither's Vora. Sure, she plays the part of a pirate queen sometimes, but she's far from one. Her actions are calculated and cunning. She must have some reason for this." Lendaria@crystyll: "Like ya said, she's been spooked an' tha's somethin' she ain't used t'bein'. But look, I ain't 'ere t'speak ill o'ya Supreme Commander. We'se got history, tha' ain't goin' away" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "And what is it you're here for?" Lendaria@crystyll: "We'se discovered a means t'contain this dreadful threat. We just gotta find it" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "If you're looking for help on that, it's the Researcher's Guild you probably want." Lendaria@crystyll: "An' we'se talkin' wit'em. What I'm-a worried bout is tha' this rushed campaign t'retake Arshai homeland's gonna drag y'all away from this safe haven and leave folks vulnerable to this threat if it + Lendaria@crystyll: + seeps through" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso nods, "It will divert many ships away, that's true." Lendaria@crystyll: "An' can ya think o'a worse time t'do so than when facin' such a threat? This ain't th'time t'be crusadin', is th'time t'be battening down th'hatches an' bandin' together" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "You make a good argument, but Vora has to know this. There must be some reason she has chosen this course of action. She's led us right so far." Lendaria@crystyll: "She haa, but she ain't infallible. An' now she's been spooked, she's at a higher chance o'rushin' decisions an' makin' mistakes" Lendaria@crystyll: "We ain't sayin' don't retake th'Arshai home. Just don't go rushin' into it now as a means o'escape. Th'OSN are allies of th'Colonial Fleet, if y'all need to form a contingency plan, reach out t'them+ Lendaria@crystyll: + an' th'Federation" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "I thought Vora is already reading out to the OSN." Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "At least, she says she's secured an alliance with them the last time she went that way." Lendaria@crystyll: "She has, but I ain't aware o'any real dialogue since then. She likely ain't even been seen tha' way since mah momma's memorial service" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Your mother's memorial service?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Tabadi Mysti. She were a key player in forgin' tha' alliance. After bein' a nemesis o'Vora's f'so long..." Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "I've heard about her from Vora. She was your mother? Then we are honoured to have you here." Lendaria@crystyll dips her head a little, "So ya understand tha' I ain't just 'ere in some play by Starfleet t'pull ya strings. I'm-a real personally vested in honorin' her legacy an' progressin' relations between + Lendaria@crystyll: + our fractured peoples. I want wha's best for y'all" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso nods, "Reaching out to the OSN is a sensible plan. We should be able to contact your people through the Son'a relay network and ensure the alliance that Vora and your mother forged - Ann Carter@anncarise: - remains intact. But as for the Colonial Fleet mobilization, that is beyond the power of the New Orion Council to affect." Lendaria@crystyll: "Is it? It were our understandin' tha' th'Guilds are yet t'all agree on th'plan" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Yes, but we don't lead the guilds. We have a say on the Council through Vora, but this plan was Vora's idea to begin with." Lendaria@crystyll: "But ya Orion Council must have her ear at least, yeah? Why not make ya concerns be heard, give her th'viable options t'consider" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "We'll talk to her about it, let her know the OSN can help. We should have a council meeting here soon, before the New World Council resumes to make their decision." Lendaria@crystyll: "An' look... I really don't wanna drive a wedge between y'all an' her. But jus'... keep in mind wha' we told ya 'bout wha's comin'. Contact our ship an' ask f'Mia, she's a part-Arshai AI an' she got + Lendaria@crystyll: + th'facts. Take th'information for yaself an' then give Vora th'chance t'be honest wit' y'all on it. Least then ya can judge for yaself if she's thinkin' an' actin' rashly or not" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso nods, "I hope she has some reason for her decision, and shares this information with us..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Tha's th'only reason I encourage ya to see our information for yaself. If nothin' else, it can reinforce ya support of her plan. If it sheds doubt, at least ya got all th'facts t'work wit'" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. And hopefully we'll be able to make stronger ties with the OSN too." Lendaria@crystyll: "If nothin' else, I'm-a really hopin' t'see tha' happen. We knew th'Arshai had Orion's livin' here but had no idea y'all had such a developed society 'ere" Lendaria@crystyll: "It'd be truly warmin' for th'folks back home to learn more about you'se guys, an' I'm-a sure ya'd be interested in seein' all we done in buildin' th'new homeworld!" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "It's mostly thanks to what the Arshai have already built here. And like them, we are trying to reclaim as much of our old culture as we can." Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "I am certainly curious to see what you've built as well with this new homeworld." Lendaria@crystyll: "All th'more reason I think it makes sense for th'Orions 'ere t'become closer to those back home. We'se workin' t'become one united people again, standin' proud beside other powers in th'quadrant, + Lendaria@crystyll: + not as their subordinates. Th'OSN's buildin' entirely new fleets an' holdin' on to classic Orion heritage in th'process" she smiles, "I think ya'd be proud t'see it" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "That sounds magnificent. We have a much better life here than most places. We're not slaves or second class citizens to the Arshai, though we still rely on them for protection." Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "I did not think I would live to see our people field true fleets again, and not the scattered pirates of the Syndicate." Lendaria@crystyll: "Neither did momma. Goddess, even I were born t'a slave house. But it happened, an' whilst it's young it's growin' fast. They'se takin' th'fight to th'Syndicate now an' the dream o'retakin' the'old + Lendaria@crystyll: + homeworld's becomin' a visible reality" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "And I hope we can join you when that time comes. But for now, as you say, we can't divide our resources here." Lendaria@crystyll: "Exactly, yes. For now, let us focus on reaching out and standing together. We have considerable data on the new homeworld, an' we'd be happy to make tha' available for ya if ya like" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso smiles, "Of course we would! And you are welcome to stay and learn all you want of our home here." Lendaria@crystyll: "I plan to! Th'ship can put ya in contact wit'me if I can do anythin' t'help while we'se here. But f'now, I shall simply wish ya good luck" she smiles, standing to leave Ann Carter@anncarise stands as well. Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "Enjoy your time in our corner of the city, and I hope we meet again." Lendaria@crystyll: "As do I Councillor. Goddess watch over ya" Ann Carter@anncarise | Naisso: "And over you too."
View Act V - Medical Breakthrough
Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 FX | Following the senior staff conference, Mana uploads all public data on the Arshai Tribes and Guilds to the ship computers and advises everyone to read up on their assignments... Keelah@crystyll sits working quietly at the terminal in her ready room. Intently reading while nursing a cup of spiced tea Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | As she reads through many pages detailing Faeshe traditions and which old Arshai cultures it ties into, the ready room comm sounds. Keelah@crystyll: "Come in" she calls out almost absently whilst reading Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 steps in, "Captain. Not interrupting, I hope?" Keelah@crystyll peers over her cup, lowing it with a smile, "Never, Lieutenant. What can I do for you?" she asks, gesturing an invitation to sit Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 takes a seat, "I've been communicating with the Colonial Fleet on those...particularly affected individuals on their scouting expedition. They're asking if we want to visit them on their ships, - Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: - or if we want to receive and examine them on the Valley Forge." Keelah@crystyll: "If the Arshai have no objection or concerns about transporting them, I believe bringing them here for Kazra to examine in her own sickbay would be preferable" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "I'll relay it to them. If you'll allow, Captain...I would like to assist as well. By all indication, whatever is affecting them appears to be neurological, and from what we've learned so - Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: - far, possibly a result of telepathic influence." Keelah@crystyll: "A reasonable deduction" she nods, "I assume from the mention of this, that your intended assistance is telepathic in nature?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Yes Captain. I am in the highest category of esper ratings among my people. I know I'm not a ship counsellor, but..." Keelah@crystyll smiles a little, "Don't worry, you have no need to explain" Keelah@crystyll: "We are facing difficult circumstances. The kind that will force us to adapt and work beyond expectation if we are to succeed" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 smiles back, "Thank you. I'd like to learn more. And to help. That's why we're out here, isn't it?" Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed it is. So you may assist at your own discretion, but Kazra will monitor all activity and retain control of the exercise" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "Of course, Captain." Keelah@crystyll: "Was there anything more? I feel like we don't get so much time to just talk and catch up these days" she smiles, leaning back more casually with a sip of her tea Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "It's been a rough journey the last month or so. Well...do you want me to inform you when the Colonial Fleet personnel arrive, or just when we have the results of their examination?" Keelah@crystyll: "Let me know when they are ready to come on board. I have a lot of preparation for my own task in this, but if time permits I would be interesting in spending time with them myself too" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods and stands, "I'll inform you when they're coming over." Keelah@crystyll: "Thank you Evanne. Just remember; no unneccessary risks" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "I'll ask Kazra beforehand if I think any risks need to be taken." Keelah@crystyll nods, "Good luck then" with a smile before turning back to her reading Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 smiles back and turns, heading out. Kazra@crystyll reads from their PADD. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 steps into the sickbay, looking around and spotting Kazra, then making her way over. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Doctor Meel?" Kazra@crystyll: "If it's anything less severe than life threatening I'm afraid I'll have to refer you to one of the nurses, Lieutenant. If moreso, then the EMH. I'm afraid I'm a little busy right now since the + Kazra@crystyll: + Captain decided it would be a good idea to transport a large number of Arshai on board with an unknown telepathic condition. Heavens forbid paying heed to quarantine procedures, or even precaution" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Umm...I'm here to assist, and let you know that the first patient should be arriving in a few minutes." Kazra@crystyll lowers her PADD after handing another junior doctor an assignment card, and turns to Evanne, "Well, since we know the U-T can handle their language I'll assume you're here for some ill-conceived + Kazra@crystyll: + attempt at telepathic reading of the patients?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "If it's necessary. I'm...not here to replace your work or anything." Kazra@crystyll perks a brow, holding a gaze on Evanne a little longer than is comfortable, "Well, good to know I'm not out of a job just yet. Come on then, they should be transporting directly to isolation-1" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "They're beaming them over one by one. Hopefully easier to handle..." Kazra@crystyll personally oversees the final checks of the isolation bay before transporting the patients, "Honestly... a pandemic of unknown origin, possible contagions, insane aliens, telepathic assistants..." Kazra@crystyll slowly grins, "...Anyone would think it was my birthday!" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | A few seconds later, an Arshai in what seems to be partial Colonial Fleet uniform but a simple dark long-sleeved shirt materializes in the isolation area. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | The Arshai, a relatively young male, looks around with a mix of confusion and fear. Kazra@crystyll watches the Arshai, "Try to relax. You are on board the Valley Forge, we want to help you" Kazra@crystyll runs a cursory tricorder scan while talking Kazra@crystyll runs a medical diagnostic. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Arshai: "Help? Help how?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | The medical scans shows no contagions or any other danger. He appears to be in good healh overall, no visible injuries or medical conditions. Kazra@crystyll: "However we can. First though, we need to start from the top. Just take a seat on the bed there, and we'll get this part over with as quickly as we can" she smiles Kazra@crystyll: "Computer: Activate EMH" Kazra@crystyll | EMH appears behind the pair, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency" Kazra@crystyll points, without looking back to him, to the isolation bay, "No emergency, but you're less risk for exposure. Initial work up on the patient in isolation-1" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | The Arshai takes a seat on the bed, looking confused still and a little dreamy. "What is this for? Is this for what Doresu saw?" Kazra@crystyll: "Tell me about what Doresu saw" she inquires, talking through the isolation field mainly to keep him preoccupied for the moment" Kazra@crystyll | EMH sighs, "Of course, why don't you just plug a powerpack into me and carry me around in your purse like a real tricorder while you're at it..." while moving to examine Doresu in more detail Kazra@crystyll eyerolls, muttering, "Don't tempt me..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu: "Doresu saw the truth. The truth Doresu wishes Doresu can forget." Kazra@crystyll | EMH glances to Kazra while working, "What is this, a medical exam or an intervention?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I'm sensing feelings of resignation, despair. I think he's undergoing severe depression." Kazra@crystyll shakes her head at the EMH, while talking with Evanne, "That would be consistent with the biochemical responses" Kazra@crystyll | EMH: "You don't need to read anything more detailed than his body language to see that..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I don't detect any present telepathic influence on him, though, but what he's feeling could be a result of some lingering effects from previous influence." Kazra@crystyll: "Almost like the imprint of a mind meld?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "Yes! Just like that." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I'll have to look closer to verify, but...it's a hypothesis." Kazra@crystyll: "Define 'closer'. I've worked with telepathic links before, but nearly always through Vulcan techniques. Given our Captain's typically cavalier attitude towards her own abilities" Kazra@crystyll | The EMH steps clear of the bay, "Well you'll be pleased to know that there are no flesh-eating microbes in there, and nothing my scans can detect that suggest he might fry your brainwaves if you + Kazra@crystyll: + get too close. But never say never!" he adds at the end with an optimistic chirp Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Meanwhile, Doresu mutters something incomprehensible in the quarantined area. Kazra@crystyll scowls, "...Computer, deactive EMH and remove quarantine field" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Well...I'll have to look deeper into his mind, check for signs of this lingering effect." Kazra@crystyll | EMH: "You are no fun..." just before rippling out of view Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "There's no sign of a present telepathic connection though, so I don't think any influence can reach over to me if I do so." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu: "There's always a connection. The connection is built in. Engineered." Kazra@crystyll moves over to a storage unit and retrieves a small device which she returns and attaches to Evanne's temple, "I appreciate that, but I still want you to wear this cortical monitor just to be safe..." Kazra@crystyll glances to Doresu at the morose interjection, "...and we can't rule out a dormant connection waiting to surface. I'll be monitoring the whole time and we'll pull you out at the first sign of danger" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "You're the doctor here." Kazra@crystyll begins the active monitoring, "Alright Doresu, my colleague here is just going to try and help us understand. To see what you see" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 takes a seat on the edge of the same bed, "Just try to relax, Doresu." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu swallows and nods, closing his eyes. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 sets a hand on his and closes her eyes as well. A few moments pass in silence... Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I see it...there's definitely something there..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I can't make sense of it. A bipedal body. Something...like medical magifications in sickbay. Or...science specimens. I don't know..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 opens her eyes, "I don't understand what he saw, but it was definitely through a telepathic connection." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu: "This one doesn't want to understand. Because Doresu has to live with knowing now." Kazra@crystyll: "Doresu, what is it you have live with knowing?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu: "That we're just vessels." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Vessels? Like ships?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu: "No! Vessels! Containers of flesh and blood for the ancient gods to inhabit." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "You're a person, Doresu. Just like me, and Kazra. With your own desires and aspirations." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu shakes his head, "This one doesn't understand. None of that matters. We're nothing." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "That's not you talking. That's whatever it is you saw talking through you." Kazra@crystyll: "I know many cultures believe in a distinction between body and mind. Soul, spirit, katra; all variations on the same theme. I was not aware of Arshai counting among these though" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Doresu continues shaking his head, "Doresu cannot not-see. Doresu cannot not-see." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Neither was I...but I'm not sure that is his Arshai belief speaking..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 stands and walks over to Kazra, "Whatever touched his mind did it briefly, but it was strong enough to...change him." Kazra@crystyll: "Do the Arshai keep biometric records of active personnel like we do?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I don't know. Do you want me to ask them? I'm not sure if this is something that'll come up on scans, though..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "He looks perfectly fine on scans other than his high stress, doesn't he?" Kazra@crystyll: "Medical scans, yes. But I am more interested in seeing comparative neural readings side by side. See if they have anything for Doresu here from prior to this mission" Kazra@crystyll: "If anything has either forcable affected his synpatic function, or is actively manipulating it, there should be an indication on the scan data" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "I'll check with them and be back in a moment." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 steps off to contact the Arshai while Doresu continues muttering to himself. Kazra@crystyll: "Thank you Lieutenant" she smiles, turning back to Doresu, listening curiously to his ramblings Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Not every word is audible, but he rambles on about being a vessel and having no purpose to life, getting strangely philosophical though with an undertone of some religious notion of ancient gods. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 soon returns with a datapad in hand, "Here you go, Doctor." Kazra@crystyll: "Perfect, thank you! Now let us see what we have..." she moves over to a wall display Kazra@crystyll pulls up the PADD data for a quick review before comparing to current readings Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 follows over curiously. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | The neural readings are different! Whatever affected his mind changed the way he thought, in a very subtle way. Kazra@crystyll points out the variation to Evanne, "See this. All telepathic activity ultimately comes down brain chemistry. Where there is chemistry, there is measurable alteration when change is affected" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "And that indicates the change in his brain!" Kazra@crystyll: "The question remains; what is the nature of the change, and how can it be treated" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "From what I can tell from looking into his mind, it made him...despair. Lose hope." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I know it may sound like something abstract and unquantifiable, but...willpower is a strong thing. And sometimes the difference between whether someone survives or dies." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I think they were trying to weaken his mind, or his desire to put up resistance." Kazra@crystyll: "That would certainly fit the observed evidence" she nods, studying the biochemistry for evidence to support this Kazra@crystyll hrms, "This... may be treatable. However, I will need to consult with the Arshai as I am less familiar with their physiology. But in theory..." she nods further, "This could work" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Should we send him back for now? They have others, maybe we should take a look at them, see if they've also been affected the same way." Kazra@crystyll: "Yes, now that we have a hypothesis we need to further evidence the theory across multiple patients. Have them send over the next one, along with the same files please" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods and heads off again. A few moments later, Doresu is beamed back to the Arshai. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 returns after a while longer with another PADD, "They're ready to send over the next one. They're warning us to be more careful with this patient." Kazra@crystyll: "Noted. Computer, re-initiate quarantine field around isolation-1" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 FX | The quarantine field snaps back to life. Kazra@crystyll: "Alright then, let's see our next patient shall we" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods and transports the next patient over. This time, a female Orion in Colonial Fleet uniform materializes in the quarantined area. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "What's this? More tests?" Kazra@crystyll: "Yes, try to relax. I appreciate that you've been through a lot already. But we are from a different people with different technology and capability. We are hoping to find a way to help those who + Kazra@crystyll: + got affected on your mission" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "Help? There is no help. You haven't seen what I've seen." Kazra@crystyll: "No we have not, but we are trying to understand. Will you let us try?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "You can't. You'll try to run like the Supreme Commander, or want to fight like the others. But there's no running, no fighting." Kazra@crystyll: "We are not trying to do anything at the moment. We just want to understand so we can help you and the others" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "You want to help me? Take me back there. Take us all back there." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Back where?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "Where they spoke to us. We have to submit to them. We have to join them." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 looks to Kazra. Kazra@crystyll: "You know where this place is?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | The Orion looks around, "A medical bay. Not one of ours, but roughly as advanced." Kazra@crystyll: "I mean... you know where the place is that you want to go back to?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "Closer to the galactic rim, where the ancient gods lie." Kazra@crystyll: "If you would allow it, my colleague here can touch your mind and see exactly where you mean. If you will allow her to, of course" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "Go ahead. I have nothing to hide. See the hopelessness for yourself, and maybe you'll understand." Kazra@crystyll nods to Evanne, "I'll monitor again, same as before" and moves over to the console Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 moves over to the bed, motioning the Orion over, "Just take a seat and try to relax." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 takes a seat and just like before, closes her eyes and sets a hand on the Orion's. Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "There's some familiar images. These...medical data like flashes, and then...there's different ones too." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "An asteroid field? No, too dense. A fleet? It can't be...and people, no, not people...slaves, moving in sync...an army on the march. Not an army. A sea of bodies like a swarm of insects..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 opens her eyes, "That's the Horde, isn't it? That...made a little more sense." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "Now you see why we can't fight it. We can't run. We're part of it. Part of the plan." Kazra@crystyll: "Again with the medical data theme, curious." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 stands, "At least I think it's medical data. I'm not sure what it means. Maybe they're studying us. Or genetically engineering their...slaves. Drones. Whatever they are." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 makes her way over to Kazra, "The influence is stronger on her. And she saw more than Doresu too." Kazra@crystyll looks to the Orion, "What do you remember about your initial encounter? Do these images of medical... treatment mean anything of significance to you?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "It is all part of the plan. Our destiny. To join them. To be theirs." Kazra@crystyll: "So this medical themed vision; do you remember this?" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | Orion: "I saw only glimpses of the plan. It was not for our minds to comprehend. But I know we're a part of it. And we must submit to it." Kazra@crystyll: "So it is not something that happened to you, but something they intend to happen" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | The Orion shrugs: "Or something that has already happened. The plan is not for our minds to comprehend. To make sense of what is what." Kazra@crystyll: "Fair enough..." looks to Evanne, "Let us run the same comparison as before and see how the scan data marries up" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods and follows over. Kazra@crystyll calls up the 'before & after' neural scan data Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 | There are some very similar changes; it is still subtle, but more changes are made for this Orion than Doresu had in his neurochemistry. Kazra@crystyll: "This looks consistent as a reflection of the increased 'exposure', for want of a better term" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "So the greater influence I felt is visible on those scans?" Kazra@crystyll: "We will have to collate more data to answer that with confidence, but based on your interpretation of the experience I am inclined to believe so, yes" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "Interesting. I wonder what caused this variation. Species differences, esper ratings, individual willpower, or increased proximity to whatever affected their mind? Maybe all of the above..." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "There's a lot more patients to look through, of varying severity, but these are the worst ones, well, that survived, according to the Arshai." Kazra@crystyll: "All valid possibilities. We will have to expand the study to get a better picture, but just the fact we have this consistent measure is valuable" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "If we look at more of them, we might be able to see a pattern." Kazra@crystyll: "If we can refine the scale of this measure, this scan could be used as a form of test to determine if someone is being influenced, maybe even help us develop defenses against it" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 nods, "I'm hoping so too. I'm not sure how many of these readings I can manage in a day...but your scan data seems to line up with what I detect pretty well." Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "I'll do my best to help you validate anything you need." Kazra@crystyll: "Thank you, Lieutenant. I am worried about overtaxing you though, so will not ask you to sit with everyone. Now we have a target, I will engage with the Arshai authorities to have them conduct the + Kazra@crystyll: + mass testing and collate the data. We may bring other patients here for more detailed study like these two, but apart from that it should be all in hand from here" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570 smiles, "If you need my help, just let me know, Doctor. I'll be happy to assist more however I can." Kazra@crystyll: "Your assistance has proven invaluable here today, I am glad you could join me for it" Evanne Dra@annpc#5570: "And I'm glad to get to work with you, Doctor."