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So Close, Yet So Very Far.

Posted on Wed May 12th, 2021 @ 2:24pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Commander Ichiko Gail

Mission: Pathstone to History


A simple desk, a simple screen. Goki tapped in a few options, verified a few credentials, and the lights in the room dimmed slightly. The standard image on the screen was replaced by a live feed of a Ts'usugi comms officer, bathed in gentle violet light. "This is the network. Fleetmaster Goki, how can the network assist you?"

"I have someone that needs to establish a line of communication to Starfleet Command, located in Quadrant Four." and the comms officer on screen gave a nod. "Hold for connection to Quadrant Four." and the officer on screen entered in a few commands on their side. "Connection established, performing hand over." before the person on the screen cut out. Replaced hardly a moment later by a new comms officer. She gave a nod, "Fleetmaster Goki, I'm prepared to establish your connection. Using standard known subspace comm frequencies. Please stand by."

Another moment or two of work on their part, and then the image of the comms officer was gone. Replacing her was the static image of the United Federation of Planets. Goki moved out of the way of the screen, "The chair is all yours. Treat this as you would you own system. voice commands, keypad commands, anything you would do normally. I have to stay in the room, to keep the authentication live, but..."

Once Goki got out of Abigail's way, he took a few steps away from the desk, keeping his back to her work, and admired the singular painting hung on the wall. "... this painting is fascinating. One could just lose themselves in its simplicity."

With a nod, Abigail took a deep breath. "Open a communications channel to Vice Admiral Niamh Devane, Eleventh Fleet Headquarters, Cestus III."

There was a moment, a couple of beeps, and the familar face of the Vice Admiral appeared on the screen.

The entire conversation took maybe five minutes, Abigail laid out the requests made by the Dalacari while Niamh nodded along before offering her verbal approval and promising to have the written approval sent through to her immediately after.

Once the communication had ended, Abigail stood up, offering another smile. "Thank you, Fleetmaster, I appreciate everything you've done to assist with this negotiation. As I'm sure you heard, Fleet Command has approved everything, I'll have the written approvals momentarily to include with the paperwork."

Goki turned back from giving Abigail her privacy. "Of course. These negotiations are vital, despite the relaxed posture." he offered with a ghost of a smile. "Peace is always worth the investment. Your fleetmaster sounds like an interesting person, perhaps one day I'll have the chance to meet him." it was the equivalant of a rhetorical statement. A pleasantry to pass the moment. Once the point to point communication was cut, the operator for the Network returned to the screen. "Fleetmaster Goki, information was transmitted from the other party in your communication. It is secure and available for transfer. Register a tablet to begin."

The Ts'usugi fleetmaster picked out a Dalacari styled PaDD from a pile, making sure there was nothing of significance on it before registering the tablet with the Network. Once done, the written version of the acceptance of the listed terms was transferred over. "Shipmaster Laurens, I believe this... is for you." and he handed over the tablet.

"Can the Network further assist you, Fleetmaster Goki?" and the black-furred rabbit shook his head, "That will be all. We thank you for your service and diligence." and with that, the screen went blank again, before returning to some pleasant landscape artwork.

Abigail stared at the tablet for a long moment. It was surprisingly light considering she felt like the weight of the Federation was being held in her hands. "Thank you," she murmured softly. "I guess I take this back to the Dalacari now and complete the negotiations." It hadn't felt like an intense task, in all honesty, it had been no more of a chore than afternoon tea in her ready room with Ichiko. She looked toward Goki and smile. "I thank you, sincerely, for your time and assistance. I'm sure someone as busy as yourself has many more matters that would be more pressing."

He dismissed the notion. "Bah. Secret fleet movements, invasion plans, Koldaran border patrols. This... Here... this is the focal point of history. Two alliances, two great collections of peoples, separated by the scope of eternity, to meet together in the spirit of peace and prosperity. Upon this moment, nations end, and worlds begin." he paused, then shook his head, "Don't think me a poet. It's from the Three Dawn Accord. It brought the Dalacari and the Ts'usugi together, I figured it was appropriate."

"Shipmaster Laurens, here. Now. There's nothing more pressing than..." and the fleetmaster was rudely cut off by a soft chime from the office door. Rather than waiting for the office to be inviting, the door simply opened. Walking through were a trio of Dalacari drones. Hospitable. Serviceable. Friendly.

::A security exception has been made for the intrusion. There has been a Notice of Special Investigation issued for the Federation guests. They are to be regarded as Remanded Guests and relocated to a secure location, for their protection. Please do not interfere with the relocation.::

Goki turned to look at Abigail. A calm expression, but one that admirals were good at wearing.

"If there's something you haven't told anyone, now is the best time to speak." he cautioned.

Abigail glanced between the Fleetmaster and the drone, the words sinking in. 'Special investigation'. 'Remanded'. This didn't sound good at all. "Something I haven't told anyone?" she echoed, confusion evident in her voice. "Fleetmaster, I assure you, I have been thoroughly transparent in my dealings with both the Dalacari and the Ts'usugi. Would you be so kind as to tell me what's going on?"

Goki gave a nod, and gave the universal 'one minute' gesture to the drone. As this was a room with only one door, the drone consented to the delay.

"Special Investigation is a Dalacari term for, well, security action. Apparently, something has occurred to make the Dalacari Security and Safety Division take notice of something and potentially tie it to your presence. At the moment, drones are being sent to secure all Federation personnel and relocate them to a secure location. This isn't an arrest. The division simply wants all of the relevant pieces of the investigation in controlled locations. Once the matter is resolved, there will be apologies and everyone will be released from observation." he explained, "You and the other members of your crew will still be afforded the highest degree of comfort and safety, and every drone that remands you and your crew would still cease function for their safety." he seemed key to remind her of that point.

"It's just that for the time, the Dalacari security division needs you all where they can see you. The circumstances of the investigation will be made known to you upon your arrival at the... I'll call it what it is: The secure penthouse."

"What about my crew? And my First Officer?" She glanced back toward the console behind her where moments ago she had a channel open with Starfleet Command. The darkness of the screen reminding her that they were on their own in a foreign quadrant, now officially cut off from any support. "I'm more than happy to comply with all directives, but I need to know my crew is safe first."

There was a moment of silence. A hesitation, or a communication, hard to say. ::The crew of your vessel is safe, secure, and unharmed. They are agitated and concerned, but they are safe. The crew who accompanied you to this meeting is safe, though they have not yet been secured. They are agitated, and concerned. Potential for agitated response is increasing. The crew who are at the Water's Edge Tavern Lounge are safe, and are being escorted to a secure area. They are concerned. Allowances can be made for you to speak with the accompanying crew in this region, to deescalate this matter and allow for a safe transition. There will be a delay in any communication you provide for them, though, to weed out potential commands to incite an agitated response.::

::Your first officer is safe, and has been relocated to a secure location. Once this special investigation has concluded, your status as Guest will be reinstated with full apologies from the chief of security and well being, provided the investigation does not find you guilty.::

"Guilty?" The absolute incredulity in Abigail's voice was unmistakable. "Guilty of what?" She drew in a deep breath, reaching up to run her hand through her hair, only to find it neatly braided and pinned. She turned toward Goki, drawing in an uncertain breath. "Fleetmaster, I trust my First Officer implicitly. Please, just tell her to do what ever she feels necessary to see to the wellbeing of our crew until this is resolved, one way or another."

Goki gave a nod, "I will tell her." he said, an assurance in his voice. The drone spoke up again in response to her question, :: Exoplanetary Exploration Probe 73-R detected an anomaly. This anomaly is currently broadcasting and emitting energy signatures that match to one ten thousandth of a percent the energy signatures listed for the United Federation of Planets. The sudden presence of such a massive signature prompted the calling of the Special Investigation.::

"Massive energy signature?" She shook her head. "There are other Federation vessels in the area, of course there's other energy signatures that are Federation in origin?" Abigail drew in a deep breath. "If you allow me access to communications, or at least to contact my ship I can find out who it is and contact them."

::Starships were ruled out immediately. Exoplanetary Exploration Probe 73-R reports the anomaly has an estimated mass of five point nine seven time ten to the twenty fourth power kilograms. A message can be relayed to your ship and your crew, but in order to preserve the special investigation, please understand that direct contact is not possible at this time.::

Abigail's confusion grew. "That..." she paused. "That can't be right. That's the size of a planet."

::Tee Eee Sigma Seven Six and all accompanied arrays verified the reading. Prediction models are calculating involvement of Astraea in this phenomenon as forward observation for potential mass shifting event. As these projections are currently being calculated, divulging the results is not possible at this time. The sequence of events of the Federation needing a way to our sector of space, your arrival at our sector of space, and the arrival of this new planetary mass emitting high-grade energy in calculated Federation spectrums in our sector of space is supportive of this projection, but not conclusive. This is what prompted the Special Investigation.::

Abigail nodded slightly. "Very well. When can I anticipate my crew being given access to this information so we can assess it ourselves and make our own determinations?"

::Once all Astraea crew and personnel are accounted for and secure. Steps have been made to ensure that all weights, distances, and measurements are converted to a standard used by the Federation to ensure ease of informative conversation.:: a pause ::At current, Astraea is 94% accounted for and secure. Please, this way.::

Abigail cast one more look at Goki before turning her attention back to the drone and giving another slight nod. "As you wish."

Goki responded to her glance with one of his own. All that time dealing with Ichiko was training for this moment, to read the emotional state of a Ts'usugi. To read the body language, to divine some sense of where they stood. Goki was a master at the game, but even in this moment his body language and posture spoke volumes. He was concerned, though perhaps not for Abigail, but for the future.


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