Lt. Cmdr Robin Hopper: Off The Rails

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Robin Hopper

May 18, 2024, 2:34:01 PMMay 18
to Amity Outpost (IC)

((240002 – Unknown Location aboard Nygean Transit Port, Delta Quadrant))

Their trip to the Nygean port had gone completely off the rails. Why did so many things go sideways like this? Was it just that the Delta Quadrant was a complicated and dangerous place, and Robin was underestimating the potential pitfalls – or was this just part of the job, no matter where she was posted?

Voth: ::Annoyed::  You don’t even know, do you? What your “Federation” has done to us.  ::Pounding his fist on the table again::  Well. You came seeking information. So why don’t I educate you… The Federation brought chaos to the Voth. Your heresy begot division between the scientists and the believers, which begot religious schisms, which begot a great conflict. A holy war.  ::Beat::  Quite an unenviable legacy – and one which has made your people enemies of the Voth.

Robin blinked, her mind barely capable of processing the words being hurled at her, let alone the broader context.

Hopper: What are you talking about?

Voth: You are all in grave danger here. If any of my fellows knew you were here, they would drag you away and put you on trial for the crimes of your predecessors. If you were lucky.

Robin scowled. That sounded ominously familiar. She was not about to be dragged in front of yet another tribunal to answer for some bogus crime she most certainly did not commit…

Reade: What? I am not following here.

Blackwood: Is that what this is about? 

Reade: I am not sure who you are referring to, but we have done nothing wrong here. Am I right guys?

Robin caught Scotty’s glance – and she could easily understand his confusion. The last time the Federation had encountered the Voth was about thirty years ago, and the records of their interactions were limited to the logs kept by several of Voyager’s senior staff. It had made for a fascinating case study in her Academy BIO325 course, but it was hardly ‘common knowledge’ – and unlikely to be covered in depth in an engineering-focused Academy track.

Blackwood: He’s talking about Voyager. 

Blackwood was surely right. But Just how Voyager was responsible for the internal religious strife of the Voth was still unclear to Robin. Could it really all stem from the theoretical revelation that they may, in fact, have a ‘distant origin’ on Earth? 

Hopper: You’re an advanced species. How have you let a theological disagreement based on scientific evidence spiral into a war? That hardly seems fair to pin on us, considering we haven’t even–

Voth: I do not care about this. You will need to pay. 

Robin was getting tired of this man cutting her off. It seemed he wasn’t that interested in listening to what they had to say – though, from Voyager’s records, that seemed part and parcel with their general approach to anything contrary to their entrenched beliefs. How a species so close-minded had developed such advanced interstellar travel puzzled and irritated her.

Blackwood: How arbitrary. 

Hopper: It’s not just arbitrary. It’s stupid.

Placing a hand on the seat beside her, Robin  managed to pull herself into a shaky standing position, leaning most of her weight on the wall.

Hopper: Like it or not, the Federation is back in the Delta Quadrant – but we come with friendly intentions. We still have an opportunity to develop a… productive relationship. Like we have with the Kathesis Pact. 

Reade: We are not here on any espionage mission. I promise we are not here for Starfleet business. 

Robin couldn’t help but shoot a look at Scotty, which may have betrayed her inner feelings to the Voth, were his species more familiar with reading human facial expressions. While she understood Scotty’s desire to defuse the Voth’s hostile attitude, the assertion that they were “not here on Starfleet business” was a fairly bold claim, considering all three of them were dressed in Starfleet uniforms, arrived on the station aboard a Starfleet vessel, and had approached the Voth man in the bar looking for information about their propulsion systems.

While it could be argued what he said was right, Robin wasn’t convinced the Voth man would believe that for a second.

Voth: Care to explain? 

Hopper: What the Lieutenant means is, we’ve been transparent about why we’re here. Our continuing mission is to seek out new life and new civilizations – to share our knowledge and learn in exchange… But there’s no hidden agenda.

Reade: We are just here to find some things. 

Blackwood: You. We came here looking for your ship. To learn more about your transwarp technology.

Robin tensed. On the one hand, it seemed to her like Reade was holding too much back – but Blackwood had gone and just shown all their cards. 

The Voth laughed with a distinctive flanging effect to it, his face remaining still and placid. The combination was actually quite unsettling.

Blackwood: It isn’t official Starfleet business, as my superior stated. We all just share an interest.

Robin couldn’t help but feel she’d been a little lenient and casual, just trying to let them all have a good time on the Nygean station, without enough care for procedure and decorum…  oO Get a grip on the situation, Hopper. Oo 

Voth: Such enlightened spacefaring scholars you all are. If you believe for a second you will be getting anywhere near our transwarp drives, you are sorely mistaken. First, we must have just recompense. 

oO “Just recompense” or vengeance? Oo

Hopper: If you feel wronged by the Federation and want justice, you should engage in proper discourse with the Federation Diplomatic Corps. I’m sure Ambassador Vataix would be happy to hear any grievances and work out solutions with you. 

Voth: That would be a waste of time. We have no interest in ‘diplomatic talks’ with you.

Reade: Response

Robin, beginning to feel a little more steady on her feet, removed her hand from the wall and crossed her arms in front of her.

Hopper: Then what exactly are you planning to do? I don’t think the Kathesis Pact will take kindly to you dispensing your own justice against one of their allies aboard one of their stations.

Blackwood: We’re not going to like this, are we?

The Voth seemed almost to sneer at the Starfleet officers, his lips curling ever-so-slightly to reveal a hint of his teeth. For all Robin knew, this was a sign of intense anger.

Voth: We have commandeered your shuttlecraft but have no access to the systems. You will take us to our intended coordinates where we will arrest a sect of non-believers.

Hopper: ::Baffled::  Wait.. Let me get this straight. You knocked us out, brought us here, make vague threats and accusations – and now you’re asking us to help you enforce the religious oppression of your people?  ::Scoff::  As if.

Voth: ::Hint of anger in his voice::  I was not asking.

Reade: Response

Blackwood: You really expect us to help you, really?

There was a flash beneath the Voth’s attire and he produced a phaser, readied, and aimed at Blackwood.

Voth: You can find out what happens if you don’t. 

Hopper: HEY!

The Voth’s menacing eyes flicked to her.

Hopper: I am the superior officer here and I am responsible for these men. I am accountable. If you’re going to threaten anybody, threaten me.

Voth: Fine.

He shifted the point of his weapon to Robin. She considered whether or not she’d be able to wrest the phaser from him, but considering his size and strength, it didn’t seem possible. Attempting to do so would most likely get her shot. Then what?

Voth: ::Speaking to Reade and Blackwood::  You will help me, or your superior officer dies.

Reade/Blackwood: Response

Robin felt as though there were no choice but to reason with the Voth – who did not seem like a particularly reasonable person. Still, without an ability to overpower him physically, they had to use what little power over the situation they had. Their wits.

Hopper: Lieutenant, Ensign, under no circumstances are you to assist this man.

Voth: ::Tightening his grip on the phaser::  Think carefully, Lieutenant Commander. You are signing your own death war–

This time, she cut him off.

Hopper: I don’t think so. If you wanted to kill us, you would have just done it. Instead, you drugged us and brought us here, then waited while we slowly came to our senses. Then, after going on about how immoral and dangerous it is to associate with us, you asked for our help…  You need us. I don’t know why, but you need us – alive, and cooperative.

Reade/Blackwood: Response

The Voth man glared at her, his face impossible to read, for an uncomfortably long time. She hoped he was realizing that what she had said was right and not considering the most lethal spot to phase her. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, he lowered the weapon slightly.

Voth: I see the rumours of your formidable boldness haven’t been exaggerated.

Robin let out a quiet breath of relief. At least it didn’t seem like he was going to shoot her. Currently. Not that whatever he was getting at sounded much better…

Hopper: ::Squinting, uncertain::  Thank you…  Now, why don’t we start over? Put the weapon down and we can try having a civil discussion about what we want, what you want, and what we can do to help each other.

Voth: ::Beat, lowering the phaser begrudgingly::  You speak truth. I am a… lone operator, but I still answer to the Authority. I cannot, however, be held accountable for the actions of three wayward Starfleet Officers…

Reade/Blackwood: Response



Lt. Commander Robin Hopper (she/they)
Chief Science Officer & Second Officer,
Amity Outpost
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