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Meeting the Neighbors (part 2)

Posted on Wed May 10th, 2017 @ 11:46pm by Commander Andrew Knight & Lady Catherine Waddington

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: Space & The Rock

Iehos sat behind Stuos's copilot and watched the stars speed by. "I had forgotten how much I have missed this," he said.

Stuos looked up from the tablet he'd been reading from and gazed at the same view. He took a deep breath and nodded. "Yes, there certainly is some appeal, but I would miss my family too much to go back to space for too long."

"How is the family?" Iehos asked as he sat back in his seat and relaxed. "Has your son decided if he is going to follow in your footsteps and enlist?"

Stuos glanced over at Iehos with a shake of his head, an unreadable expression on his face. "No. He took up the troike about a year ago and last month...he formed a musical group which he calls Caste Aside."

Ieho knew that Stuos's son's decision to not enlist in the Oehirian Enforcers was a disappointment. It was a generational art of passage. Iehos also knew that further discussion and lamenting between the two men should be done later over a bottle of Oehirian Vone (an aged and distilled malt liquor much like Earth Scotch). Luckily any further conversation was interrupted as a beeping began on the copilot's console.

"Sensors are detecting a security beacon ahead," the copilot announced. "And the asteroid belt is just beyond it."

Stuos glanced at the copilot. "Can you identify the origin of the beacon?"

"Old, technically....possibly....ten years or more," the copilot said, reading the data on his controls. "It resembles beacons used by the Federation before the collapse of the wormhole but there have been alterations to it that are not recognized by our database. "

"Before the Federation came into our system, there was a ship of theirs that was here and they adapted several different technologies with their own in order to survive," Iehos said. "I was just a pilot when the Federation began to build space stations throughout the quadrant and I remember one of their Admirals coming to Oehiri and meeting with our Commanders, Governors and Prime Ministers. I saw her, briefly, when she came to our base. We were told later that she was going to be overseeing the construction of the base they ended up abandoning several years ago. So the beacon could be left over from them."

"That makes sense," the copilot said. A alarm sounded on the control panel and the copilot announced, "approaching ship."

A ship did emerge from the asteroid field and immediately banked right, accelerating until it crossed the path of the beacon then it jumped to warp and disappeared behind them.

"Plack!" Iehos cursed. "What the plack was that?"

The copilot looked down at his controls as the wake of the ship jumping to warp speed rocked the Oehirians. He chuckled, "that was the infamous Arnev. Fastest pirate ship in the quadrant," he said. "Wanted by many...caught by none."

Stuos maneuvered the long range patrol craft to within several hundred meters of the beacon and began an analysis of the signal eminating from it. "It appears to be using the same communication protocols the Federation employed."

"That proves that there is someone inhabiting the old Federation base," Iehos said. "And, unless you have the reflexes you did when you were twenty, I don't suggest we actually try and maneuver through that asteroid field to get any closer."

"Perhaps we can get them to put out the welcome mat." Stuos turned to the co-pilot. "Tap into the beacons comm systems and send a hail."

After several adjustments on the control console to their communications array, the copilot said, "the signal's too weak to carry any kind of communication. I don't think it is a communication beacon. More like a warning beacon. But if there is one....then it stands to reason there will be another inside the field."

Iehos sat forward and looked at his friend, "'re not thinking of actually entering the asteroid field....are you?"

Stuos studied the sensor display for a few moments before answering. "We have to determine who has taken possession of the old base there. A band of pirates or smugglers would be to big a threat to our own commercial shipping." His eyes looked to the fading warp signature track. "Arnev's presence does not bode well."


=^=FOB Anchorage. This is Capt. Braylin. It looks like you are about to have company. I just passed what looked like an Oehirian transport at your outer beacon. Have fun.=^=

Jack had been making adjustments on the sec/tac console and bumped his head, coming out from under it. "Company?" he said. "Can you confirm?" he asked the ensign on Ops.

"The Arnev is out of comm range now, sir," she replied.

Jack looked at the console and made a couple of entries and his scope enlarged its range and he was able to detect a single blip moving past the first security beacon. He punched the comm button on his console and said, "Ops to CDR Knight. We have incoming." Then he said, "Flight the CAG and get birds in the air."

There was a long pause before Drew's reply, approximately 20 seconds passed before his voice came over the comm. ciricuit. =A=Say again Ops.=A=

"We have incoming," Jack repeated.

Another pause, but this one considerably shorter. =A=Acknowledged. I'm on my way.=A= Drew's voice sounded like he was very disappointed.

=^=Ops....this is Flight Control. Air Wing 11 is ready to launch.=^=

"Launch," Jack ordered and began working a tactical solution in case they needed one.

=^=Birds in the air.=^=

"CAG....let me know as soon as you have a visual," Jack ordered.

"Roger," came Kazansky's reply.

=====Oehirian Transport=====

Iehos sat back and pulled his harness over his shoulders. He hoped that Stuos's piloting skills were better than his tixon playing (Oehirian card game of chance). He watched out the side of the cockpit as they flew through the obstacle course.

"A second beacon is just ahead," the copilot announced. "And we have company."

Stuos scanned the two approaching vessels. They appeared similar to Oehirian Short Range Patrol Craft, but with a significant increase in power output and armament.

Just then two Javelins appeared on the dark side one of the larger asteroids, separated and flew passed on both sides of the transport and a hailing alert sounded on the Oehirian's communications panel.

=^=Unidentified craft. This is Lt. Kazansky of the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet Command. Slow to level one impulse and identify yourself.=^=

Stuos tapped a button on his panel and looked out at the pair of Javelin fighters now pacing his ship. "Lieutenant Kazansky. This is Oehirian Long Range Patrol Craft Virium. "I am Stuos, Commander of this craft. Please guide us through the asteroid field to your base of operations. We wish to discuss matters with your superiors."

"So they are Federation," Iehos said with relief.

"Stand by, Virium," Iceman said and switched his comm to the base channel. "Ops...this is Kazansky. They are Oehirians and are requesting a meet and greet with our CO. Their weapons are minimal and they have not powered up."

Jack looked around for CDR Knight and said, "standby, CAG."

Drew entered Ops with what appeared to be a hurriedly thrown on uniform and unruly hair. He tugged at the uniform in an effort to straighten it out and ran a hand through his hair several times to get it to lay somewhat flat. He nodded to Jack to open a channel.

Jack nodded to the XO to indicate the channel was open.

Drew cleared his throat. "Kazansky, Knight here. You are authorized to lead our visitors through the safe passage corridor and land. Inform our guest we well have a delegation in the main port facility awaiting their arrival."

"Roger base," the Iceman said and switched his comm.

Jack tapped his combadge and said, "Alpha detail, report to landing pad Charlie," then he looked at the XO and said, "I would like to join them, sir."

Drew nodded his assent at Jack's request. He tapped his combadge. "Ambassador Waddington, Commander Knight here. We have visitors arriving in the primary port hanger. Please meet Lieutenant Commander Devlin there to greet our guests."

Catherine stood up and tapped her badge. "On my way," she stated as she loooked at her escort. Both women stood. "What's this about you wonder?" Tazanna asked. Meredith shrugged. "Hey Fergie ya wanna put the kettle on we'r fixing on having guests!" she called. Catherine, by now well used to the brazen pilots attitude chuckled as the three women left the cabin. "One of these days he is gonna whup your ass." Tazanna chuckled.


"Commander Stuos....we will be your escorts to Forward Operating Base Anchorage. On your left you have my lovely wingman, Ensign Alexxa Sereion. We call her Chuck. I am Iceman. These floating hunks of rocks are tricky so stay between us and I promise you will get there unscathed."

"I still think we should have left this up to the Prime Ministers," Iehos said as he sat back in his seat and tried to relax. "We are warriors. Not diplomats. We could plat things up."

Stuos eyed his counterpart. "The Prime Minister can dispatch a diplomatic delegation...after we have determined these Federationers pose no threat."

Iehos held his hands up in surrender. "Alright. I hope you know what the plat you are doing, my friend," he said, dubiously.

=====FOB Anchorage - Landing Platform=====

It took very little time for the trio to reach the Landing Platform. "Commander Devlin do we have much information on our guests?" she asked.

"Very little," Jack replied as they stepped into the transport tram and began the ride through the tunnel. "They call themselves Oehirians and they are from a neighboring planet. Intelligence is working up a profile. Hopefully, our predecessors will have had some contact with them and there might be some info in their old databanks. Until we know more....they have requested an "audience"," he made quotation marks in the air, "with our leader so CDR Knight wants us to escort them to the observation lounge."

The atmospheric dome stood open, awaiting the Oehirian ship to land on the platform. Once it did, the dome closed and the green All Clear light in the transport tram lit and the doors opened to let the welcome wagon step onto the platform. As the sleek, and quite impressive, Oehirian transport settled onto the platform, Jack and his security squad, with Lady Waddington behind them, moved closer to the craft and the security squad split into two and formed a walkway between them with Jack and Lady Waddington at the end.

The door of the Virium opened and a ramp appeared and settled into place and Stuos, Iehos emerged with the co-pilot remaining behind.

Stuos stepped off the transport with his compatriot. One look at Devlin was enough to confirm his initial assessment. Warrior caste. He eyed Catherine and her companions. Diplomat and attaches. He glanced at Iehos as he stepped forward to greet their hosts.

"I am Commander Ieho and this is Commander Stuos. We are Oehirian Enforcers," Ieho said as the woman and obvious security officer approached them.

"Commander Stuos, Commander is nice to met you. I am Lady Catherine Waddington. Commander Knight is looking forward to meeting you." She smiled disarmingly. "If you would care to accompany me I shall take you to him." she added indicating the way with a sweep of her hand.

Jack allowed the Lady to precede him but kept close, just in case, stepping aside so that Lady Waddington and the two Oehirians could pass. Then he fell in behind them, tapping his combadge. "CDR Knight....we are on our way to the Observation Lounge," he said, and motioned for his security squad to follow.



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