Ensign Paarus - Are those Space Sea Cows?

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Lucas Peterson

Nov 26, 2021, 2:52:57 PM11/26/21
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((Chief of Mission's Office, Copernicus Center, Amity Outpost))

The Ambassador's office was a large room overlooking the mezzanine. oO Made right on time! Oo Zalbac felt electric, his anxiety had left him as he was standing in the Ambassadors office. The room was beautiful and filled with many artifacts and colorful art pieces. It was clear the Ambassador had led a distinguished career. As he reviewed the room, Zalbac became aware of some loud banging. oO Perhaps they are doing some construction? Oo Zalbac guessed. Never mind the noise, this was the Ambassador and he straightened his posture.

Paarus::standing at attention with his arms behind his back:: Ensign Paarus, reporting for assignment.

Suddenly there was a bunch of commotion on the mezzanine. From Paarus's vantage point it appeared as everyone on the station was given a command to immediately vacate the area. Yellow warning lights began to flash all over the station. A distant klaxon alarm began to ring.

Security Alert - All Civilians Should Return to their Private Quarters::The computer stated in its usual calm voice:: 

Vataix: Oh hello, Ensign!

Rivi exchanged a glance with Keehani, her young Betazoid ambassadorial aide. They both looked back at Zalbac and smiled. Their regards were friendly, but he noticed the urgent concern in their eyes. This was obviously not the time for introductions as the three diplomats stood and began to move towards the turbolift.

Vataix: My name is Ambassador Rivi Vataix, although you can call me Rivi... or Ambassador if you insist on titles.

Paarus::slightly surprised by the request to use the Ambassador's first name:: Hi Ambassador... I mean, Rivi, it looks like you're busy.

Vataix: This is First Secretary Keehani Ukinix, my aide, and First Secretary Carter Daniels, the assistant to the counselor for cultural and press affairs.

Keehani: ::polite nod:: It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ensign.  ::Looking at cat carrier nearby:: Is that your cat?

The young Betazoid crouched outside of Ruth's carrier. Ruth stared at the First Secretary and gave her a small mew.

Daniels: Response

Zalbac looked a little bashful about dragging his cat into the Ambassador's office. Without instructions on his quarters, he was a bit homeless at the moment. Though he assumed that would all be sorted shortly after they dealt with whatever was clearly happening. oO There's probably no place more secure to leave Ruth than the Ambassador's office. Oo. Zalbac thought to himself.

Paarus: Her name is Ruth. I was hoping to put her away but I suppose she will be fine here for a minute.

Vataix: Now if you don't mind, Ensign, we're in a bit of a rush and actually could use your help!

The Ambassador motioned for Paarus to follow them. His debriefing and first assignment would have to wait. His help was needed and he followed the diplomats into the turbolift.

Paarus: Understood. What's happening exactly?

Vataix: Let's go! I'll explain on the turbolift ride down.

((Turbolift, crowded with diplomats and a bulky Bajoran))

Zalbac stood in front of the turbolift door. Facing in towards the group, he was almost nose-to-nose with his new boss. The close quarters of the turbolift were cramped. 

oO We're in space where the one thing we have a near-infinite amount of is physical space and the have to make these lifts so small! Oo. Zalbac thought to himself, almost immediately realizing he was with a bunch of empaths.

A slight grimace of annoyance flashed across Zal's face. He knew his annoyance was getting picked up by the Betazoids in the lift. He hoped that they didn't take too much offense. Zalbac listened as Rivi brought him up to speed.

Vataix: Response

oO. Stellae? Oo. Zalbac imagined a large globulous sea cow in space. oO. Why would they be attacking the station? Oo.

The turbolift stopped and the four of them piled out into the Amity Outpost Ops center at the bottom of the central tower.

((Later - Ops, Amity Outpost))

The Amity Outpost Operations Center--or just Ops for short--was located at the bottom of the Copernicus Center internal skyscraper, a level above the floor of the main shuttlebays. From out the windows, one could look into each of the three main bays, and in the center was a large holodisplay that was in place of the usual viewscreen on a starship bridge.

Zalbac had never seen a starbase operations center before. The consoles and displays surrounding the central holodisplay were of a familiar Starfleet design. He noted the two others already station in Ops who he had not yet met. Zalbac gave them both a friendly wave.

Vataix: Wil, we have a new crew member: this is Ensign Paarus Zalbac, our new operations officer.

Paarus: Greetings!

Ukinix: ::Smiling:: G’day Ensign, welcome to Amity. 

Vataix: This is Dr. Kamoyo Aleksandrov, a geologist on Amity.

Aleksandrov: Response

Zalbac walked over to the nearest station and tapped the display. He began reviewing the current station status. The station system status seemed nominal except that the mezzanine roof which was taking on a lot of stress from the... space sea cows?... that appeared to be attacking the station. Zalbac was not an engineer, but he knew that the stress tolerance of the station was certainly limited. They would need to find a way to repel these creatures.

Vataix: All right, so what do we have here exactly? How many are there?

Ukinix: It’s hard to tell exactly, but we’re looking at around a thousand, maybe a grand and a half.  Our scanning techniques are getting better, but they aren’t perfect.  We can scan for their, um… you know… I’ll let Doctor Kamoyo explain.

Aleksandrov: Response

Keehani: Response

Paarus: Station systems appear to be within standard variances. The mezzanine roof is taking quite a beating. I am working on reinforcing the structural integrity fields around the mezzanine. That should give us some breathing room while we figure out our next steps.

The holodisplay in the center of the control center displayed a large 3D model of Amity Outpost was floating in the air, along with the herd of Hawlat angels moving all around the station. From this scale, the swarm of animals reminded Zalbac of Bajoran cicadas. 

The memory of the buzzing insects from his home province captured his focus for a brief minute. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to recenter his focus on the situation at hand.

Vataix: Do we have any idea why they're congregating around us?

Ukinix: They’re attracted to Federation ships.  Maybe with the increased ship activity since we’ve been here, it’s attracted the Stellae our way, in big numbers.

Zalbac noticed that many of the shuttle bay personnel were watching the creatures from the shuttle bay platform. Many were pointing to the colorful tendrils that trailed the Stellae as they zipped by the station.

Keehani: ::Raised eyebrow:: They’re certainly having fun. 


Paarus: These creatures are quite beautiful. It's no wonder that they have become a central feature of Halwat culture. ::returning his focus to the console:: It doesn't appear that they are causing damage to the station, but they are very much in the way of standard operations.

Ukinix: I’ve asked Commander Iovianus to assess if the creatures can harm any part of the station, but even if they can’t, we need to clear them so we can get ships in and out.

Vataix/Aleksandrov: Responses

Zalbac wished he had paid more attention in his xenozoology classes at the Academy. As he watched the holodisplay of the station, he noticed that the animals appeared to be rubbing themselves against the station. It was as if they are itching themselves but Zalbac could not for the life of him remember if there was such a thing as space mites. If these Stellae had a parasite problem, it was possible they could be transferring those parasites to the Station.

Paarus: ::Thinking out loud:: Can the Halwat control these creatures? Perhaps they can help us somehow keep them away from the station? 

Keehani: There is the matter of the Hawlat.  We are in the midst of diplomatic negotiations, and any wrong move now could set us back several steps.

Ukinix: ::Scowled sigh:: Stuff the Hawlat, Keehani.  I’m all for cordial Federation relations, but the situation has changed.  This is an immediate operational matter now.

The look between Keehani and Wil did not go unnoticed by Zalbac. These Halwat people were clearly important to the station's mission. The politics seemed delicate and Zalbac surmised that asking the Halwat for help was out of the question.

Vataix/Aleksandrov: Responses

Zalbac watched as the First Officer reviewed a list on his console.

Ukinix: The Yosemite is out, taken by Reade, Araiadust, Wong, Kivik and Iko.  All other ships are in, including the Indy-B on Terminal A which is probably being buffeted by Stellae as we speak. ::More taps:: It’s secure on the Terminal, and in one piece.  No damage.

Vataix/Aleksandrov: Responses

Paarus: Have we considered trying to fence in the Stellae somehow? We could route some of the station's plasma exhaust that we use to power our subsystems to external ports. We could collect the exhaust using a photonic resonance field. Perhaps the creatures could be corraled into a controlled area out of flight paths and critical infrastructure?

Ukinix: Maybe it’s a matter of divide and conquer.  ::Looking towards one of the large windows with view outside to shuttlebay:: What about the worker bees, they’re pretty small.  We’ve got thirty of them, they’re all in section Bravo of the shuttle bay. Point-zero-one C top speed is nothing to sneeze at.  If we could get the Stellae to follow them somehow, we can send them off in all different directions away from Amity and have the Stellae follow them.  Kinda like multiple pied pipers.

Vataix/Aleksandrov: Responses 

Still considering the viability of his plan, Zalbac called up the power conduit schematics on his workstation. The plasma exhaust could easily be rerouted to any number of exhaust manifolds on the exterior hull of the station. This could work but he didn't want to take such action until he was given explicit orders. There would be other times where he could prove himself but today he figured being helpful was better than playing the hero. The second part of the plan was going to require some more work. Creating the photonic resonance field required some significant energy not to mention some computer relays that would need to be reconfigured. Zalbac estimated that they could establish the field and keep it stable for a few minutes. If they wanted something more permanent, they would need some additional equipment.

Paarus: The worker bees are highly maneuverable and I bet they would work well to herd the Stellae. We will be like cowboys but in space! We will need somewhere to herd the creatures... 

Keehani: What should we tell the Hawlat, Ambassador?

Vataix: Response

Paarus: Just say the words, Commander, and I can get reroute the plasma and get to work on the "fence." I estimate I would need about 20ish minutes to establish a photonic resonance field. That should give us enough time to get the worker bees into position.

Aleksandrov: Responses 

Ensign Paarus Zalbac
Operations Officers
Amity Outpost
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