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Meeting the Neighbors (part 3)

Posted on Mon May 29th, 2017 @ 2:47pm by Commander Andrew Knight & Lady Catherine Waddington
Edited on on Mon May 29th, 2017 @ 5:13pm

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: Observation Lounge
Timeline: The Day Before the Fresh Blood post

Iehos was impressed as they walked along the corridor and entered the spacious and tastefully decorated observation lounge with its 4 large viewing screens depicting different views of the space surrounding the asteroid. A large conference table sat off center in the room and several small sofas and matching chairs were in a hospitable arrangement underneath the viewing screens as if under large windows. A man in a uniform stood between the table and the less formal seating.

Jack motioned to two of his squad to stand outside of the door and dismissed the others then entered the room and stood, silently, by the door.

Stuos scrutinized the man standing in the lounge. The uniform appeared almost identical to their escorts, with a black trim at the collar instead of gold on Devlin's. He had a similar bearing and physical conditioning though. Another member of their Warrior caste.

Drew looked at the newcomers with curiosity. Iehos appeared to be taking in their surrounding as Stuos seemed to be cautiously assessing him. He looked to Lady Catherine and gestured in both directions. "Would you like to sit at the conference table or would the couches be more to your liking?"

Iehos walked over and sat down on one of the couches.

Catherine smiled and sat in her place.

Drew took his seat. "Allow me to introduce myself. Commander Andrew Knight. I am the Deputy Base Commander here at Anchorage."

"I am Commander Iehos and this is Commander Stuos," Iehos said. "We noticed the increased activity coming from the asteroid belt and were curious who had taken over the old Federation base. I, for one, am glad it is back in the Federation's hands."

Lady Catherine simply watched, her face an unreadable mask as the men spoke.

Stuos sat in one of the chairs and looked over at Jack Devlin. "I gather that you are the Enforcer here." It was a statement, not a question.

"You could say that," Jack said, with a bit of a smile while remaining at a relaxed parade rest by the door. "I'm Chief of Security for the Rock."

Stuos nodded. He turned back to Drew. "Well, while my colleague may be glad you have returned and...not some criminal element. I'd like to know why you have reclaimed a mothballed facility."

Drew considered how he would answer Stuos and decided on honesty. "The primary facility Starfleet operated from was destroyed in a Borg attack. A well hidden emergency protocol sent our evacuation ships here."

Iehos's eyes widened. "The Borg? In this sector?" he asked, the hackles on the back of his neck raising.

"On the other side of the gateway," Jack spoke up from his position by the door. "Which we shut down as soon as we escaped through it. We are what is left of 16,000."

Iehos had a look empathetic sadness and concern. The Borg had not been a threat in this sector. The main threat had been from the Voth. But they were kittens compared to the Borg. The thought that they were just on the other side of a gateway controlled by the Federation was unnerving as a lot of those Federation personnel were now assimilated and the knowledge of how to activate the gateway was now a part of the Borg collective.

"We will do all we can to safeguard this area." Catherine said softly.

Stuos gave a short snort before focusing his attention on Catherine. "How do you propose to do that...Ambassador?"

Drew started to answer, but was cut off by Stuos.

Stuos eyed Drew critically. "No offense Commander Knight, but my question was directed to your ambassador and not you.

Catherine surpressed a smiile and answered calmly. "By creating diplomatic alliances in this quadrant and maintaining an effective military." She smiled.

Stuos opened his mouth to reply, his expression indicating it was to be a critical response, but Iehos spoke first.

"Military?" Iehos asked, leaning forward. "I hope you are not suggesting imposing the Federation's military on civilizations in this sector that already have established militaries," he said, looking from Waddington to Knight and back again.

Drew took this opportunity to speak. "Starfleet is not a traditional military service Commander Iehos. Though we do maintain a defensive mission profile to deter aggression. It is primarily an exploration service. The United Federation of Planets is an interstellar society based on democratic principles."

"That's not the way she," Iehos pointed to Waddington, "made it sound. Oehiri has it's own military....which Commander Stuos and I are in charge of. We defend our own and have for centuries. Our society is a Parliamentary government was told to the last Federation envoy that visited our planet...we wish to remain an independent society." He looked at Stuos for confirmation. "I am sure Prime Ministers Cyx and Qem'a would confirm this once you meet with them."

Stuos nodded, then looked pointedly at Catherine and Drew. "Our ships may not be as powerful as your Starfleet vessels. But we do possess a formidable Space Force.

Drew turned to Catherine. "Ambassador Waddington. Perhaps you should lead a delegation. Meet with Prime Ministers Cyx and Qem'a."

"I will however I meant that the effective military would protect us from Borg attack, rather than expecting others to stretch the resources needed for their people to protect us," she said.

Drew gave Catherine a nod. He looked to Jack. "Commander Devlin, If you would see to it that Commander Iehos and Stuos are put up in VIP accommodations. We will schedule a meeting for tomorrow morning to work out a diplomatic delegation to return with you to your home planet."

"Of course, Commander," Jack said and walked over to the terminal at the head of the conference table. Without sitting down he put in a few commands and waited as the computer assigned accommodations for the two visitors. He plugged a small PADD into the side of the terminal.

Iehos looked at Stuos with concern. They hadn't planned on bringing outsiders back to the planet and hadn't even told the Prime Ministers that they were going to check out the new neighbors. Prime Minister Cyx was not going to be pleased. This could be the end to his career with the Enforcement Battalion. He would be forced to resign under less than favorable circumstances and his name would be forever marred in the history logs.

"Lodging has been cleared and assigned," Jack said. "Suites C7-31 and 32. One of my officers will escort you there. There are replicators in each suite and a civilian galley on Deck 6. Or there is the food court on our promenade." He motioned to one of the security officers standing by the door. "Burroughs?"

The Lieutenant stepped into the room. "Yes, sir."

"I need you to escort our guests to their suites," Jack said and unplugged the small PADD, handing it to the Lieutenant.

Stuos gave a nod to both Lady Catherine and Drew in turn. "Ambassador, Commander." He rose from his chair and stepped over beside Iehos. "My co-pilot is still aboard our patrol ship. Would you also see to it he is provided accommodations as well?"

Drew nodded at Stuos then nodded again to Jack.

Iehos stood up, still not comfortable with staying.

Jack made a couple of quick commands into the computer and produced another suite for the Oehirian co-pilot, which he handed to the other security officer and sent him to the landing pad to retrieve the third guest. "If you gentlemen will follow Lt. Burroughs?" he said, gesturing towards the door. Once the two men had disappeared into the corridor, Jack turned to the XO and said, "I'll go through the old databanks and see what I can find out about the Oehirians. If they knew about the Federation residing here before then Janeway must have had some kind of contact with them at some point. Hopefully any logs she might have made are still intact."

Drew gave the matter a moments thought before replying. "Pull any yeoman or operations personnel you need for the research and keep General Mitchell and I updated on the progress. Dismissed Commander."

Jack nodded and headed off to his office to do some research.

Drew turned to Lady Catherine. "Is it just me...or were the two Oehiri officers...a bit unsettled by our sending a delegation back with them?"

"Probably had thought to make the deal themselves thy are not the most diplomatic of people it appears," she said calmly getting up and walking to the dour where she was met by her guards.


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