((OOC: Just tried to send this twice, Yahoo refused to take it. If this is a duplicate, sorry.
Also, I have a critical work deadline
Wednesday and last night I got to sleep at ?5 a.m. For the second night
in a row. I'm still at work right now.
So, although I promise to go back and have Bokzadema respond sourly to
all of your fine tour-related tags, I’m going to respond to the
captain's tags first. That way Diego can start moving the crew on to the next phase of the mission.
I accept in advance your blame, outrage, vituperation, smack talk, etc.
If this is incoherent, Ed knows how the mission is supposed to go, and he’ll make sense of it for you, I promise.))
((USS Vigilant, Deck One))
Herrera: Last stop, the bridge.
scant handful of bridge officers, who pretended to oversee the complex
automated systems of this ship, stood as she entered. This could not be
construed as recognition of her superior intelligence; they merely
followed protocol. With the ship docked, even the illusion of utility
was denied them, so what else had they to do?::
Bokzadeshti: ::head unmoving as her gaze slides around the room:: … yes, of course. Starfleet makes such… interesting choices. They seek to achieve both grandeur and efficiency, and… end up with this.
a pause, Herrera invited them to follow him into his his ready room.
She felt again in her dried-up heart a minute ember of actual excitement, of true interest in
what might happen next. This moment, though by no means an endgame in
itself, was the culmination of two years of preparation, and more than
three decades of covert research. If Herrera was as intelligent as she
believed, she could bring him into play. If not? Steps would need to be
taken to insure he could not be deployed as an obstacle.::
::Without seating himself, or offering her a seat, he took initiative.::
Herrera: So, Stratigo, your thoughts on the Vigilant?
::leaning on her cane, eyes half closed:: … Do you know, Fleet Captain,
how much effort the staff of my predecessor exerted, trying to convince
Starfleet to trust Zakdorn with something … more substantial? A Galaxy
class, a Vesta, an Odyssey? ::huffing:: Instead, Starfleet commissioned
an Intrepid. ::as if she had said ‘pair of boots’::
Al-Leyan was a random element-- too new to gauge with any confidence;
she had only had time to gather rudimentary information on him. Despite
influential family at home, her current assessment was that he was only
peripherally relevant to the game.::
::acknowledging and discarding Zerxes with the same mildly impatient
wave:: Oh, do not fret. Most of what we have seen so far is ::moue of
resignation:: no worse than Starfleet tolerates elsewhere... although
your promotion of the Catullan boy seems a questionable gambit.
::sighs:: I will not tell my supporters that Starfleet is misusing the
product of our labour.
Herrera: So, with all due respect, Ma'am, when are you going to tell us why you're really here?
::She eyed him one last time. Would he serve, or no?::
::dropping all pretense of sociability:: Marda. Injot. Go to the
observation lounge. I will call for you when I have finished
interviewing the fleet captain. Prepare the inspection report for
submission; include your observations. I will look through it when we
return to the Soptal. Ziss, Slaakteeg, with them.
and Vo bowed at her instructions, and left, followed by two of the
Tygarians. When the doors had closed behind them, she clumped over to
one of the chairs in front of Herrera’s desk. Sazikht turned it to face
the rest of the room for her, and helped her lower herself into it.
(The couch might have been more comfortable, but it would have left her
exposed at a window in unsecured space.) Once seated, she lifted her
chin at her guard. From a pocket of his protective gear, Sazikht
extracted the shallow white bowl of a holoprojector and a small beige
square. He handed her the projector. Where she gripped it, it scanned
the microscopic scar tissue structures she’d had implanted in her
fingers, and unlocked.::
held only three holofiles. When she activated the device’s playback
function, a miniature copy of the room they were in appeared. In it
stood an amusingly tiny fleet captain and the Laudean, Reinard.::
Herrera: You OK, ‘mano?
Reinard: ::shrugging:: Just a bit tired is all. Didn’t sleep so great last night.
::concerned for a moment, then upbeat:: OK. We’ll try to make this as
quick as possible then. How’s the duty roster looking?
::cranky:: Well, that's the thing. It's not looking how it should! I
can't seem to find enough crew to cover the gamma shift. How can that be
possible? It doesn't make sense. It should be done by now and it's not
done, in fact it looks a mess and I'm not happy with it. Not remotely. I
myself in my work and have the highest standards but this is just not
working. I’ve been working on it for hours and it’s still... ::too
fraught:: Shoddy mess, missed the deadline, complete disaster. ::loud
slap as Reinard slams his PADD down on the table::
the little holoscene vanished, and was replaced a moment later by a
small replica of the Vigilant’s bridge. Reinard sat in the captain’s
=/\= Chairman Volhv Oskendu this is Captain Reinard, we appreciate the
gesture of friendship and gratefully accept your invitation. If you
could provide details of the location you want us to arrive at we will
meet with you after one full cycle of the moon. =/\=
::There was an extended delay and a few crackling noises before the chief of those underwater primitives responded.::
=/\= Captain, proceed to docking port 3 at the south-west end of the
biodome. There will be two of our sub aqua vehicles waiting outside to
keep the area clear of the more hostile sea life and guide you in. We
have prepared an exciting introductory program for you and your
delegates that we hope will give you a good insight into our people and
way of life. =/\=
more, the scene hovering above Bokzadema’s projector cleared. This
time, what faded in was a scene of the Vigilant’s Observation Lounge,
crowded with senior staff, and not one but two fleet captains. The data
in the reports from Til’Ahn afterward suggested that doubling the number
of fleet captains had not improved matters significantly.::
I wish that you could have been called to Duronis II under better
circumstances. I have a lot to tell you about what's happening on the
planet. There's an infection that's potentially on the verge of
spreading rapidly but it's not like anything we've ever faced before.
I'm not going to go into too much detail now, but this is something we
can beat if we can work together with the Embassy crew. It'll be
difficult going, but I have every confidence that both crews are the
very finest in Starfleet and that if we work together there's nothing at
all that can stand in our way.
be a joint briefing at the Federation Embassy in Lokesh tomorrow
morning at 0600. Until then, quarantine protocols are still in effect,
except for Fleet Captain Turner.
::Herrera’s miniature avatar vanished.::
the bowl in her lap, Bokzadema met the gaze of the real Herrera, and
lifted her chin again. Sazikht held out the beige square, just big
enough for a thumbprint, to the Al-Leyan.::
We have been watching you longer than you have been watching us.
::flicking her gaze to Zerxes:: Go to the escape pod marked 1A, the one
on this deck, reserved for bridge crew. Press your thumb down on that
object. Inside the locker closest to the door, a small data interception
unit should come into phase.
::waving a hand irritably:: Go. I will say nothing else until both
devices are in Sazikht’s hands. I have no intention of leaving it here.
::The with you was implied.::
few minutes later, when the big Tygarian had stowed the surveillance
device away in his duty armour, Bokzadema spoke again.::
::to Herrera:: A year ago, I asked you if the Federation would
recognize our superior intelligence, and grant Zakdorn voting powers
equal to those of the Federation’s four founding races. You blithely
replied to the effect that all member races of the Federation were
equal. ::lip curling in disgust:: If that were not in itself sufficient
insult to our collective intelligence, you put a Rodulan in front of us,
and told us an unranked human stripling would challenge a champion of
strategema. Before our very eyes, you sought to cheat a process which is
one of the founding pillars of our society. Did you think none of us
had ever seen a Rodulan?
::She flicked the bowl in her lap; it gave a metallic
Bokzadeshti: Well. Now you see that you are not the only one who can learn secrets, and reveal them.
::She levered herself painfully to her feet, and pulled her cane around from the chair arm against which it had been leaning.::
I leave for Zakdorn. My inspection report will detail multiple
discrepancies between the extant Vigilant and the state in which it was
originally intended to leave Zakdorn, had its launch occurred when the
ship was actually complete. ::holding up a hand:: Of course these
discrepancies are trivial, and can be explained by the subsequent
passage of time and the extensive work done here at Deep Space Six. But
the records on Zakdorn show that you were supposed to receive a
significantly different ship than you have now, even taking Fleet
repairs into account.
had taken her three nights of work to be sure that the records from the
construction had been altered enough to achieve that false
Once I have submitted my report, my acquaintances at Starfleet will
have a pretext to send you after us, to investigate the potential fraud.
::She took a step toward him.::
when you have reached us, you will visit me. And I will prove to you
how little you know about the ::sneering:: equality of Federation member
MSNPC Bokzadema Bokzadeshti
Stratigo of Zakdorn
as simmed by
Lt. Dueld taJoot