(( Representative Tych’s Manor, Eladar IV [Feladon] ))
Serala stepped away to the same area on the other side of the room that both Esa and the General had been to and activated her comm badge. Counselor Azorius followed her and she turned to see what he needed.
Azorius: Commander, I apologise if I was unable to hide my feelings. The fur betrays me at times it seems…
Serala: :: nodding :: We will discuss it later, Counselor. For now, let’s see if we can avoid antagonizing them any further?
As soon as he left to return to the others, she tapped her badge.
Serala: =/\= Serala to Chin’toka. Status report. =/\=
Raga: =/\= Chin’toka reads you, Captain. We’ve been conversing with our Barahni visitor. So far, I get the impression that they’re here for the resources and I’m trying to avoid an incident. This Lord Zedaith has my hackles up. But we’ve invited him over to talk. =/\=
Serala: =/\= Understood, Commander. I trust you to handle it. We’re going to be leaving here to go meet with a few of the other species here. Get a better picture of things. I will check in later. =/\=
Raga: =/\= Acknowledged. We’ll keep you apprised of things up here. Good luck. =/\=
Serala: =/\= Acknowledged, Serala out. =/\=
That handled, Serala returned to the group and looked at the General and Tych.
Serala: Gentlemen, is everything set? I am most eager to meet your intelligent pets.
Zadok: Indeed it is and I hope they respond kindly to you.
Tych: As do I, Lieutenant Commander.
McKnight: Well I'm up for a hike in the woods. Anyone else?
Azorius: I will be eager to study them and all we learn from them.
Two Feladoni entered just as the General received a communication. He rose and stepped away, putting his hand to the headset he wore. Serala remained silent, waiting for him to finish his communication.
Zadok: Are you positive? :: there was a brief pause as someone spoke and then the General spoke again :: We tried to warn them. Maybe now they will see. Report back to base and await further instructions.
Serala’s keen hearing could make out the muttered curse, though she didn’t really understand it’s meaning. She’d uttered enough of her own to be able to recognize the tone, however. And then the General turned back to her.
Zadok: My men escorting your science team just reported in. I regret to inform you that they were overtaken by a large group of Mekra’fari and that your science team has now been taken captive by them.
Stunned. That was the only word for it. How had this happened? Her first mission, and a First Contact at that, and she had already angered one race and had a team captured by another.
Azorius: Captured? With force?
Serala: They what? How did this happen?
In the background, she could hear McKnight unsuccessfully trying to reach the ship.
Serala did not miss the smug, satisfied look on the General’s face. She took note of McKnight departing and assumed he was going to the shuttle to try the communications there.
Zadok: Well, we did try to warn you that they are dangerous and unpredictable. Now can you see, Lieutenant Commander?
Azorius: We only know that the Mekra’fari have taken our people in. Perhaps they have welcomed them as guests, or perhaps they have taken them prisoner due to not knowing who or what they are. There could be a reasonable explanation for this.
Serala took a deep breath, trying to steady herself before replying. One thing she had learned was to never judge too quickly. She’d been the victim of that kind of thing before and knew what kind of consequences could result from that.
Serala: I will admit, General, that this is a concerning turn of events. But until I have more facts, I would like to reserve judgement. For now, I need to know how to find my people and what we can do to get them back.
Zadok: I’m not sure, but I’m going to proceed under the fact that they’re still alive and have been taken deep into the caverns that exist below the ground.
Tych: You absolutely terrify me, Lieutenant Commander Serala.
That statement almost seemed to come out of left field. Sure, she’d noticed that he was fidgety and sweaty, but she wasn’t sure if that was normal for him or not. And now this blunt and unexpected statement. Maybe she should just leave and send for a diplomatic team. After she got her people back, that was.
Serala: Representative? May I ask what about me you find terrifying?
Kiax / Zadok: Response
Tych: You come here with incredible technology. Every word about how you want to learn about our people is followed by one of your officers passing judgment on us. And now, the Mekra’fari have attacked your people!
When she thought about it from that perspective, she could understand his terror.
oO I need to find a way to reassure him that we are not a threat to him or his people. But how? One thing is for certain - never leave a diplomatic mission to a security officer. I really need to take those refresher courses, I think. Oo
Serala: Representative, I understand your concern. But I assure you, we are not a threat to you.
Kiax /Zadok: Response
Tych: And how am I to know that!? I’ve just met you all! We know nothing about you! I have no way of knowing if what you’re saying is truth, or if you’ll destroy us from orbit the moment you decide you don’t like us!
Serala: :: sighing :: Representative, I understand your concern. I think if I were in your position, I would likely feel the same. But think on this: We could have done it already, so why would we need this charade if that was our intent?
oO Okay, that probably wasn’t the best thing to say. Quit thinking like a Romulan and start thinking like a Starfleet officer. Oo
Kiax / Zadok: Response
Azorius: Please, Representative. We understand that you’re being asked to trust us with nothing else but our word to go on, but we have not shown you any sign of hostility or desire to hurt you. We are here to help, to learn and to prosper.
Representative Tych did not seem to be reassured. If anything, he seemed even more nervous.
Tych: Please. I… would like you all to leave now. No more questions. Do what you have to in order to find your people. I need time to collect myself…
Azorius: I hope you can learn to trust us in time, I believe we could make great allies and friends.
Serala: As do I, Representative, but we shall respect your wishes. We are going to go search for our missing officers and then, if you still want nothing to do with us, we will depart in peace.
Kiax / Zadok: Response
McKnight: =/\= Commander Serala, please come back to the shuttle, we have a situation that needs your immediate attention. =/\=
Taking another deep breath in an attempt to suppress her frustration, she tapped her badge to acknowledge Amuro.
Serala: =/\= On my way, Lieutenant. We were just leaving anyway. =/\=
She closed the channel by tapping her badge once more then looked at the Counselor and Commander Kiax.
Serala: Let’s go. We need to find Commander Rosek and her team. :: turning back to Tych :: I do apologize for the judgmental tone we’ve presented. That was never our intention and I hope you will eventually see us for who we really are. Until then, jolan’tru.