USS Traveller
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Border World

Posted on Tue May 5th, 2020 @ 10:05pm by Captain Remas McDonald & Lieutenant Mar Megara MD

Mission: S2:1: Good Will Gunboat Tour
Location: Canopus Station, Repair Dock Ingress
Timeline: MD-1 8.00AM

The large freight airlock leading into the Traveller's engineering hull was a bustle of activity. Last-minute supplies floated along antigrav tracks, guided by Canopus Station workers before being handed over to the crew. A cordon of Marines escorted one rather large container through the airlock, the markings on its side detailing a cargo best not disturbed.

Remas watched the guarded crate go, knowing that within fresh form the Canopus Station foundries, were the last of the Shadi designed 'Silver Bullets'. Subspace weapons banned by Alpha and Beta Quadrant Treaties but allowed in Messier 4 under extreme conditions.

He was broken from his thoughts as the personnel turbolift from within the Traveller opened and Dr Megara stepped out.

"Ah, Doctor, glad you could make it," Remas said, gesturing to the Canopus side of the airlock. "We should be expecting our new Chief Counsellor any second now. And given the delicate nature of the cargo, we're carrying, the transporters are offline. So we're doing things a little more traditionally than usual."

He took in a breath of the chilled air.

"There's something nostalgic about being near a dock as a ship prepares to venture forth. A sense of trepidation, an eagerness. Like a vibration in the deck plates," Remas grinned. "Takes me back to when I was a lad."

"Did the deck plates have a habit of vibrating when you were a child?" Meg asked, amused.

"They did at that," Remas said with a smile. "Didn't set foot on a planet until I was eight, and even then I had to be coaxed out by my mother. The endless sky, so high above, and a horizon that was like walking towards a cliff. I've always been more at home on a ship than on a celestial body."

Nalya walked through the airlock in the company of a nice crewman and nodded to him as the farewell.
"Thank you, I'll keep that in mind." She replied looking over her shoulder to his proposition. Her attention was on the crate that under heavy escort was vanishing in the distance. She was dressed in a spotless uniform with teal color, over-tightly holding her sensual figure. She had a bag over her shoulder with the most precious, personal items. The rest of her things was being transported on board with other supplies. She was sauntering elegantly, with a feminine and relaxed undertone, instead of a typical military-style walks so common around.

The amount of people was surrounding her with extra emotions, giving depth to what was going on. Nalya let those emotions through herself not focusing on any particular one until she noticed a particular one coloring them. It was cold in the airlock and she wished she put on a jacket as the cool air was creating two visibly poking through her uniform distraction for the crew around. She greeted that with a bit of satisfaction. Then she noticed the captain and another senior officer, CMO, she recognized from reading through Traveler's dossiers. She didn't expect that, but it wasn't all that surprising to her either. Especially considering escorted cargo.

Curbing her bubbling vanity and some ideas she had out of it, Nalya gave both senior officer a wide friendly smile showing her teeth as she approached them.
"Captain, Lieutenant." She greeted them warmly. "Nice to meet you. I am looking forward to serve on USS Traveler."

"As we are looking forward to serving with you in the capacity as ships counsellor," Remas returning the offered smile and extending a hand. "It's not a position this ship has had filled with any sort of depth, but I cannot say it is not one that are in dire need of. As I recall from your file, you're part Vulcan and Deltan?"

Nalya reached out and shook the captain's hand. She was wondering how much he knew about her. If he knew that through touch her talent was much stronger, she suspected this gesture was on purpose, as she rarely saw Humans using physical contact to greet someone they met for the first time. On the other hand, physical contact might be something normal for him.
"Yes, I am, captain. Apparently half in half, though I never had a chance to meet my parents to verify that." Nalya turned to Chief Medical Officer and offered her hand in this customary greeting.

“It is wonderful to meet you,” Meg replied in her strong Spanish accent as she shook hands with Nayla. “I am Doctor Mar, but everyone calls me Meg while off duty.”

Remas's smile broadened and he let go of Nalya's hand. He then gestured towards the intership turnbolift at the back of the airlock bay.

"A ships counsellor and a contact telepath as well. Tell me Miss Savin, does your talent ever project? I ask only as in our dealings in Messier 4 we've come into contact with a telepathic race called the Reka. We'll be visiting one of their systems soon, and it would be a nice touch to our odd's if we had some sort of psychic radar to call our own," Remas explained.

"Nalya, please." Nalya said softly following the captain toward the turbolift and then reflected with an apologetic smile. "If that is not a problem, captain. I am always living with so many people around and tend to treat them as friends." She added as a way of explanation. She sensed that the captain was a man she could be open. Honestly, she didn’t like any kind of distances, barriers and while she understood chain of command she always tried to circumvent that in name of friendlier and closer relationships.

"And I am sorry, I am just an empath. I can sense emotions, on touch... I can influence them." Nalya smiled innocently before adding. "Emotions, sexual desires, pleasure and pain." Then she bit her lower lip and continued. "But I do have high telepathic resistance, if that helps." That last part was true as Nalya had very strong that she used to defend herself against telepathy in the past, though mainly during various courses helping her to master her empathy. "Can you tell me more about Reka?"

"They are a vassal race to a group called The Myriad. The Reka are avian in form, humanoid, quadocular vision. They have society, broken into flocks and groupings called Dens. They have a shared subconsciousness, not a hive mind but it does tend them towards similar thinking and concentrated actions," Remas said he said. As he did so he inputted a code into the turbolift's control panel, and the car whisked them away into the bowels of the ship.

"From what we've been told, the Reka once tried to rise up against the Myriad and were unsuccessful. In response, the Reka home planet was obliterated, and the survivors subjugated to the Myriad via some sort of bioweapon that makes them nearly sterile reproductively speaking. The Myriad control their breeding and in return the Reka act as raiders and guards of their worlds. We have one of them on board with us, a turncoat from a renegade Den of Reka acting against the Myriad. Their Den is called the Seven Dancing Shadows, and the Reka's full name to us is 'First Among Liars & Traitors'." Remas turned and smiled. "In fact, we're going to meet them right now."

Nalya listened, glancing on the captain with a soft smile somewhere in the corners of her lips. The situation here wasn't that much different to what she read about in the rest of the galaxy. However, she understood also that the critical difference was that here, in this cluster, the Starfleet had almost no presence comparing to the local powers. It presented a serious challenge of navigating between the Federation values and ideals on one hand and the survival on the other. Because for the Federation personnel here it was for time being a one-way ticket.
"Excellent. Have you talked to First Among Liars and Traitors?" She asked curious. "What is his approach toward us?"

"She is generally favourable. The Seven Dancing Shadow's Den came to our aid when we were boarded by a more aggressive Den loyal to the Myriad. Without her aid, we would have ended our tale there and then. Unfortunately, Lair's has had a falling out with the ship's company following a rather impromptu violation of one of our crewmates. I don't think the Reka have a social analogy for personal autonomy." Remas said. "When her plan was turned down for a riskier, but volunteer operation, she became...agitated. Given the damage a band of Reka caused to the ship, I've had to confine them to quarters."

"I see. I'd be happy to talk to her." Nalya said. She would prefer to be better prepared, study Reka a bit and the latest contacts with the First Among Liars and Traitors and the Traveler's crew. However, she was under impression that that was not an option here and the Captain wanted her to talk to the guest as soon as possible. Turning her face at Megara, Nayla added. "What is your take on this lieutenant?"

"Unfortunately, I do not know enough about either the Reka or Liars to really know what to make of any of it," replied Meg apologetically.

Nalya looked back at the captain.
"Were there made any deals with or promises to the Seven Dancing Shadows den? Or were you, as the captain thought if such deals when you were near Reka?" She asked putting emphasis of 'thought' word.

"Not the first time I've had dealings with folks who can take the very words from before they find the tip of the tongue," Remas smiled. "I learned at a young age to keep a maze about my mind, least someone misread a judgement by a careless thought. And no promises have been made to Lair's, given the Reka's actions we've been given leave to investigate them as a possible intelligence and material ally, but under extreme caution."

The turbolift car came to a halt, and opened within a corridor of the Traveller actively avoided by members of the crew. A pair of dark uniformed Expedition Security Officers stood at the turbolift door, the narrow phaser carbines held at a guard position. Across and down the hall, another pair flanked a door to one of the Traveller's guest quarters.

Nalya raised her eyebrow not hiding surprise.
"Well, that seems to be... excessive? Or you didn't elaborate on the impromptu violation and it was far worse than you led me to believe with such a statement, captain." She said looking captain in the eyes.

Nalya couldn't say if she was more excited or scared. This was unexpected, she was unprepared, but she was also guessing that the captain deliberately set all this up. Be it for the sake of the crew, out of his impatience, or maybe simply because he wanted to test her. Young, first time as the chief of a department, and on his ship, serving at the forefront of the action. Maybe he just wanted to break her and send her away before they jump into warp. If that was the case, she was not going to give up.

"Its for her own protection," Remas said. "During the boarding at the Beacon Star System, one of our medical staff was over taken by the Reka's collective subconscious. Suborned to their desires, or heightening her own, she directed the Reka near her to slaughter over thirty of the ships wounded and medical personnel in sickbay. It was...not something easily forgiven. Nor forgotten."

As the group approached the door, the ExpSec officer's stepped aside, and permitted them entry. The quarters were spacious, the sort assigned to diplomatic functionaries or formal guests of the Federation Starfleet. And there, crouching it seemed in restful contemplation, was the Reka known as First Among Liars & Traitors.

Tall, spindly, dressed in a jumpsuit provided by the ship's replicators, the long limbed avian looked up as they entered. The plumage of violet feathers stop her head rose slightly, before flattening back down as four yellow eyes looked over.

"You are interrupting my death," Remas's voice said...and did not say. It had been the captains voice, but it had come from Lair's & Traitors. Her beak hadn't moved, and the eyes had narrowed slightly as with a avian tick of the head turned to look at Nalya. And then tilted to look at Mar. "You have brought your mendicants, I can smell the cloying scent of your sickbay on them."

Nalya glanced at the creature assessing her and trying to gauge her emotions. She looked at the captain and what he was going to say, then she looked at the Lieutenant. Being the lowest ranking, Nalya was far from saying anything first. Instead she folded her arms under her big bust and just looked patiently back at Reka.

"Have you come to reconsider the use of The Singer? if you have not, then leave," L&T said in Mar's voice now.

"That is not a topic we can revisit," Remas said as compassionately as he could.

"Survival is paramount, the means by which it is accomplished is not to be questioned. The Reka would not hesitate to send a thousand to die to destroy this ship of yours, but you balk at even the slightest hardship placed upon one of your crew," L&T Rage, her voice skipping back and forth between Remas's Rish sing-song and Mar's accented words. "I was mistaken in siding with your crew. I misjudged your worth to the Seven Dancing Shadows. If you will not spill blood to free Reka, then it shall fall to Reka to accomplish it with a flood of our own."

Nalya stepped forward, mainly to get Reka's attention, she bowed feminine.

"I am Lieutenant Nalya Savin. I am new here, in the cluster. I am new on this ship. And I am new to your situation." She started quietly, just enough to be heard by everyone, but as long as they were going to focus on what she was saying. "I am coming from the galaxy disc, from an entity that dwarfs in size and population this entire cluster. It is the Federation. It consists of countless of species, where each has its place, has respect of others and everyone understand that the true unity, the true freedom is not something you can achieve in matter of years or with few battles.” Nalya straightened up proudly. “This is who you sided with. If you still think this was a mistake, then perhaps it was. We offer you the same respect we have for every species in the Federation. However, we also demand the same respect in return. Did you side with us to give us such respect, or did you side with us out of the fear or out of the desire to use us in your war? What did you expect of us? To be your allies? Or to be the cannon fodder in your war?" As she was speaking, her voice was steeling and raising, and she finished taking another step and her tone sounded almost with an accusation.

First Among Liars & Traitors stood up slowly, unfolding herself from her sitting posture on the couch. The Reka was tall, her triangular head hunched down to avoid colliding with the deck plates above. That didn't stop the raised violet feathers from brushing against the metal, rasping against the seams between the plates like wire wool.

"For thousands of years, for tens of thousands of generations, we have toiled under the Myriad. We have lived only by their sufferance, by their charity. There are old memories of a time when the Reka darkened the skies of our homeworld. A time when there were Reka who could look to their lives in pursuit of art and science. There are relics of those times, ruins saved by the Myriad to be presented as trophies won in their games. Now we are base savages, raiders, and marauders for the Myriad. Each new generation indoctrinated by their Den's to see the Myriad as their saviors, to think of no other life than one of service to machines," the Reka hissed in a sing-song between all three of their borrowed voices.

"Each day ten thousand Reka die to serve the Myriad's dominion. Each day a hundred thousand Reka are stillborn, their bodies riddled with deformity and cancer that only the Myriad can prevent if we are good vassals," L&T's arms flew out wide. "You offer me respect? You speak to me of cannon fodder? This star cluster you have come to explore is littered with the bones of my people! What good is your freedom when your very patience is death to us?"

L&T looked to Remas.

'You ship took on the Bone Shard Crowns and even damaged won at great odds. Your forces here in this system defended against those who chased us! You're weapons and technology give you the advantage only if that advantage is taken and not squandered!" the Reka bellowed mentally. The door to the quarters opened, and the two ExpSec officers stepped in, carbines partially raised.

"Sorry Sir, we could, er, hear her outside." one of them said.

"Listen to yourself." Nalya said ignoring the security, focusing on Reka in front of her. "So deep in your struggle for survival that you are unable to see past it. You behave like a cornered and dying animal, biting everything and everyone." She paused and nodded. "Which is understandable." She soften her tone. "You are desperate. Anyone in your position would be. However, think for a moment. Ask yourself a question: what had changed with our arrival here?" She paused briefly to let it sank. "Have you had in the last thousands of years an appearance of such a powerful entity we represent, the Federation? Aren’t we a potential game changer for the cluster? For you?" Nalya sighed slowly. "To be honest, you need us more than we do. We can go without you in this cluster. From what you just said, I understand you will die without us, or do you have an alternative to our cooperation?”

"I seek only to press the advantage whilst it is here. To give the Myriad time is to give them their greatest weapon!" L&T snarled.

"That as well maybe, but we have a plan and we're going to see it through. End of the day, meeting with the Casstauilli and getting their help might do more to aid you than anything we could bring to the table," Remas explained.

"Only if we do not die in the attempt," L&T said, their stance more that of a sulking, dejected soul than the rage-filled warrior they had been a moment before.

"Doctor?" Remas said, looking at Nalya and then at Meg. "Perhaps we could arrange a meeting later? Once we're underway?"

Nalya turned her eyes away from First Among Liars & Traitors and looked at the captain. She slowly nodded in agreement.
"Of course captain." She confirmed and stepped away from Reka to join him.

"I would like to meet with Liars as well, if only to complete medical scans," Meg added. "If she will permit, that is. I do not wish to infringe on her autonomy."

The Reka made a dispondant sound.


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