Ensign Falt: Too dark for the dinner table...

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Tom Cholewa

Nov 14, 2021, 7:00:27 PM11/14/21
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((Oralian Settlement, Hendrikspool, Bajor))


Tomas felt a surge of excitement as they entered the Oralian settlement. He had assumed it would be a fairly primitive affair. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead of the rudimentary series of huts he had been expecting, they had been led into what could only be described as an underground city.


As an anthropologist Tomas was familiar with underground cities. They’d been used on Earth since ancient times, Derinkuyu sprung to mind. Often used as a place of sanctuary, it made sense the Oralians had adopted a similar approach. However, all the other examples he knew of would best be described as functional, or utilitarian. The city the Oralians had built was… simply breathtaking.


Dug out of one of the many natural cenotes in the area, the city was laid out in a spiral pattern around a central chamber. Everywhere he looked there were passageways or rooms radiating out from the main spire creating an effect was almost natural, like a beehive, rather than artificial. It was also utterly beautiful, both in the elegance of it’s design and the intricate little details everywhere, such as those on the pathway that led to a well in the middle of the chamber.


T’Lea: ::looking around in wonder:: This is incredible.


Tomas couldn’t agree more. He began to wonder how much of the design had been inspired by the Oralian religion when Kendrick interrupted his revere.


Kendrick: Hey! Be careful with that!


No longer focused on the city, Tomas noticed the crowd of Oralians around them had grown considerably. A number of them had surrounded John, seemingly curious about the man and his gear. They were obviously getting a bit too close for comfort, but T’Lea was pushing herself toward him so Tomas suspected he’d be okay.


Falt: ::to his father:: Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this?


Erik: No. This is a first for me. Definitely one for the history books.


Williams: Response.


Before Tomas could respond a reverential silence fell over the crowd, which parted to reveal a very eldery Bajoran man. A Cardassian woman was holding him steady by the arm, whilst carefully guiding him toward them. He reached T’Lea first, whereupon he raised a frail hand toward the side of her face.


Vedek Re: Your pagh is strong.


His trembling fingers touched the tip of her ear.


Vedek Re: You are not of this world.


T’Lea: No. I am a hybrid of the Vulcan and Romulan species.  ::she glanced at the woman next to him::  My fellow officers are Human.  ::at Williams:: And he is a hybrid as well.  Human and Bajoran.


Williams: response.


Tomas suspected the Bajoran before them to be the Vedek he had heard T’Lea mention to the child earlier, although having only joined  T’Lea’s expedition that morning he couldn’t be sure.


Falt: Tomas Falt, it is my privilege to meet you. ::indicating his father:: I’d also like to introduce my father, another human, who joined us on this trip but is not an officer in Starfleet.


Erik: ::nodding in greeting:: Erik Falt. It is good to meet you, sir.


((short time skip))


Once the introductions were complete to the Vedek’s satisfaction the group had been shown to a bathing pool to get cleaned up, before being invited to sit at a large circular table, adorned with the same intricate details Tomas had observed earlier. Tomas found himself placed between the Elder on his right, and his father to his left.


A brief interlude of small talk followed that Tomas did his best to tune out from. He only began paying attention when Commander T’Lea steered the conversation down a much more interesting line of enquiry. 


T’Lea:  How were you able to keep this place hidden from sensors all these years?


There was a brief pause before she received an answer, as a large amount of food arrived and was set down on the table. Tomas decided to take his lead from the Vedek and the Elder, and not to eat anything until they had started. 


Cardassian Elder:  We have engineers that harness the energy from the vessels drive, which provides us with some useful technology, and keeps our weapons charged.


Orali: We has imvisables that hide us from surface sniffers.


Tomas noticed T’Lea looking over at him, he guessed she had the same question he did..


Falt: ::smiling:: Imvisables? That does sound like useful technology. Is that how you were able to prevent our tricorders from detecting you?


Kendrick/Williams: response


Cardassian Elder:  When my father left our homeworld it was not without taking careful steps to ensure our success.  He acquired a cloak from a Romulan on the blackmarket.  We use the device to shield our location.  It has been highly effective.  Until now.


T’Lea:  It still is.  I assure you.  We have very sophisticated sensors on our ship and nothing was detected in this area. It can remain that way if you wish.


Tomas raised an eyebrow. He very much doubted that was the whole story. If the sensors on the Juneau couldn’t pick up the signature of a decades old Romulan cloak they were in trouble.


He decided not to push the matter, the Cardassians seemed to have appreciated T’Lea’s offer of continued anonymity and he didn’t want to spoil the mood. He made a mental note to run a diagnostic on the sensors when he got back to the ship, just in case.


Vedek Re:  Tell me, what has changed?  Do my people still follow the Prophets?


Cardassian Elder:  Did my people purge our followers, and theirs?


Tomas noticed the Elder looking sadly at the Vedek.


Falt: Much has happened, some of it very dark. It will be a lot to take in at once. It may be best to start by telling you the Cardassian occupation of Bajor ended 29 years ago. 


Kendrick/Williams: Response


As the conversation progressed Tomas noted that the older Cardassians, those that remembered the Cardassian Union and the occupation, or who had been told of it by their parents, were visibly emotional.


Falt: Perhaps it best if we continue this discussion later? ::looking at T'Lea:: I'm sure we can provide you with up to date records of recent history, to review when you are ready? 


T’Lea: Response


Kendrick / Williams: Response




Ensign Tomas Falt

Science Officer

USS Juneau, NX-99801



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