((Conference Room B4 - Amity Outpost ))
Prarim: I assure you, such measures won’t be necessary. We offer this ritual as a sign of our mutual trust. In all the years I have served as a Luminary for the Hawlat, no one has ever been harmed by the Angel’s Milk. It is a divine substance that grants the recipient visions of truth, not a poison.
Sahim: It's true that our physiologies are a bit different, but so far, no one that have been tested by the Angels Milk have had any lasting effects.
Prarim took in the brief pause that followed, watching the Commander and medical officer intently. After a moment, the Commander nodded to his subordinate.
Carter: Starfleet officers are used to dealing with short odds:: smiling:: the path to understanding and truth is sometimes fraught with uncertainty. Faith removes that uncertainty and allows one to see with clarity…
Suribana: That's quite a Starfleet philosophy, but from a medical point of view, I see jumping blindly into the unknown as a risk that should be minimized.
Prarim: My Acolyte speaks truth. All relationships of trust are built on faith, are they not? Any time one trusts a new ally, they must take a leap - blindly into the unknown, as you say, Doctor. Is this not so?
Wong: I’ve got this.
Prarim: I do not mean to intrude on internal Starfleet business, but I understand you are a military organisation. Surely the chain of command is clear.
Wong: ::To Prarim:: Excuse me, sir. Since I am the Chief Medical Officer here and my goal is to ensure the health of our Federation representatives, what happens if I find that one of our own is medically unfit to perform in this Ritual?
Carter: You will find no such thing Lieutenant….
Prarim: ::Attempting to smooth things over:: While I agree with your Commander Carter, I understand your apprehensions. Those who participate in the Ritual of Trust must do so voluntarily of their own free will. I do not deign to decide on the Federation’s behalf who should partake. That is for your people to decide.
Wong: Huh. That’s interesting. Well. Since I’m responsible for the health of my representatives, I reserve the right to pull them on medical grounds. Which if that ends up being the case, I volunteer to take their place in the Ritual.
The commander didn't seem to be able to hold himself anymore and spoke.
Carter: Mister Wong… I have made a command decision. You will either respect that decision or consider yourself relieved from duty. Is that clear?
Ikaia looked at Carter for a moment. If only for just a microsecond was a look of fear and hurt in his eyes before calm professionalism took over. Carter had hit him in one of the things Ikaia cared about - his career. He had worked so hard to get here. There were many struggles and challenges he had to face in order to get to where he is. He loved his job. He was dedicated to it. To have that gone even for a moment? Who was he without it?
He drew back for a moment.
He moved back to sit with Suribana. Oh he still viewed what Carter was doing as reckless and dangerous. The nonchalant attitude or those smiles of his did little to calm his nerves. What he wanted was just some acknowledgement of the risks. To see what he sees. Now the only thing he can do is set up to watch over him.
Carter: Tell me…what is all involved in this Ritual Of Trust?
Ikaia remained quiet as he helped Suribana set up some more equipment.
oOI don’t know about this Ritual. But it isn’t doing much for the butterflies in my stomachs right now….Oo
Sahim: Once you're on the ritual and with the Milk bonding you, you'll have to let yourself go with the flow of your thoughts. Be honest and you shall have no problem with the ritual. It will be taxing, but shouldn't be life threatening.
Ikaia saw Prarim pull out a sizable book and place it on the table.
Prarim: As it is written under the light of the Great Spirit: the two shall drink of the Angel’s Milk and be struck blind to the world around them. Between the two, a bond of faith shall emerge, which cannot be tread upon in deceit - and the two become one. Vision shall be granted as the light of the Spirit reveals even the darkest truth. Only in fellowship shall they journey forward. A challenge may present itself, to be overcome in partnership. Proving their worthiness to one another, the Great Spirit shall be pleased and grant them sight again…
The Luminary smiled.
Prarim: For those unfamiliar with our traditions, each of you must drink of the Angel’s Milk one draught ::indicating the presented vial:: and place your foreheads together. Doing so will grant you a unique sight into each other's thoughts and intentions. You shall then face a challenge of the mind and spirit - unique to the participants - that will require you to work together. When you have completed the task, you shall return to us unharmed.
Suribana: I trust you with that, but as a doctor, and a civilian, I need to be prepared just in case. Since you know this ritual and we don't, can I ask that you warn us in case you see something strange on the commander?
Prarim: And we will be here in support of you as well, Taven. You have the faith of the Hawlat behind you - always.
Wong: ::Quietly to Suribana:: Make sure we have everything just in case we encounter something unpredicta---
And he stopped as his badge went off. He quickly smacked it.
Wong: =/\=Aloha. This is Lieutenant Wong. What’s happening?=/\=
Reade: =/\= Scotty, to Ikaia, one of the animals has been stuck in the mining equipment, requesting that you come with us, just in case you need to stabilize the animal? =/\=
Ikaia was just about ready to speak further when he saw Prarim go wide eyed.
Prarim: Commander! This is an outrage. How are we to engage in a Ritual of Trust while one of our Angels is being imprisoned by these imprudent miners? This must be attended to at once. ::To Taven and Sahim:: We must wait to see the outcome before the Ritual can be performed.
It looked like if Ikaia didn’t handle this well, it could lead to a major diplomatic incident. This was going to be part rescue mission and part showing a good faith. A balancing act.
oONo pressure. None whatsoever…..Oo
Wong: =/\= Reade, I’ll be right over there. =/\=
Reade: =/\= Acknowledged, please meet me in the Shuttlebay, Section Alpha. =/\=
Wong: Well. I’ll have you know that the Angels are in safe hands! I won’t let anything bad happen.
Prarim: We shall see what occurs - but we will be watching vigilantly. The outcome of this venture shall determine whether the Federation and the Hawlat may move forward in good faith to perform the Ritual. ::To Carter:: I hope your people know what they’re doing.
Before leaving, Ikaia turned to his fellow medical officer.
Wong: ::In lower tones to her:: As soon as you have everything set up, please make sure you take some time for yourself, okay? Just let me know if you need anything.
Today was the first time he had seen her nervous and she was nervous right along with him. He needed to make sure his own team was taken care of too. This was really tense for the both of them. He wanted to make sure she was alright.
Wong: Alright. I’ll make sure of it. In the meantime, I’ll go take care of this and I’ll be back soon.
He finally looked at everyone else.
Wong: Alright. I’m off. This isn’t going to wait!
oODuty calls. And just in the nick of time too!Oo