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Laying Down The Carpet

Posted on Mon Feb 15th, 2021 @ 4:52pm by Commander Aranis T'San & Lieutenant JG Michelle Sousa & Commander Daynah Ral & Lieutenant Commander S & Lieutenant Thomas Carey & Lieutenant Delaina Laurence & Lieutenant Dr. M’Sara Rth’than M.D. & Ensign Jason Baker

Mission: Prologue: New Faces
Location: Conference Room
Timeline: 10.00hrs

The news had finally arrived that they were to be getting a group of Romulan delegates onto the station with a view of opening up more diplomatic avenues with the Federation. The relationship between the two, the Federation and the Romulan Free State, had been tenuous at best since the evacuation was halted so many years ago but this was an olive branch thought to be too good to pass up.

Aranis stood at the top of the table as stared at the holoprojection of 718 and spun it around from side to side slowly looking at it in its entirety. She was a monster to be sure, so much space to cover and places to hide but also so much scope for growth and it was up to them to lay out the welcome mat.

Tolkath sat quietly to the left of T'San, he was perusing a PaDD reviewing the Science division's current research programs.

Apparently Sara had to be here. There was no getting around having to meet this group of Romulan Refugees coming onto the base. She didn't know how this was going to go, and all she could think about were the monsters that constantly intimidated and terrorized her parents while they lived on Romulus. How thankful she was she grew up where the Tal'Shair wouldn't hold her hostage for... insurance. All to control her father. This made Sara seethe inside. Being raised in a different world, a different life, Now she had to face a people she did not really know for the first time. She moved to the farthest chair away from the CO, which the delegation would be focused on, so she didn't ahve to be noticed. Nor would she have to talk to them, but inside she knew she had to talk to them. She was on duty though, and would not break professionalism.

M'Sara hated the Tal'Shiar and the Old Empire. Everything she heard about the Romulan Superiority, the treachery, the constant plots and betrayals. It was something she never lived with nor understood. Then she heard father mention his long friendship with Ambassador Spock. He once had to press James T. Kirk into doing the right thing and helping the same race that killed his son. Could she find the same pity to help a race that tormented her mother and father. That made Sara even madded on the inside, though she did not show it, as she had grown proficient at controlling her passions, growing up on Earth. It was also these passions that nearly destroyed Romulus.

Maybe... it was time for her to change her view on the people she never knew, but how to do that? Would her people frighten her into her comfort zone? Introverts often had thoughts spinning in their minds.

Lesai entered, with her Starfleet assistant Ensign Baker in tow. The young officer clearly a little nervous at being brought into a command briefing. But since the Diplomatic division had yet to receive a senior officer he and the Federation envoy were all that was available. They took seats and waited for the meeting to start. Baker tried not to fiddle with the folder and PaDD he had brought along.

Daynah was a little late to the conference, but she was not worried. Someone had to make sure that transfer of Station Ops went smoothly. So she strode into the Conference Room with confidence. She refused to go through this uncaffinated she she made a pit stop at the replicator to get a rachtijino. Daynah took the beverage and took her seat to Aranis' right. She smiled at the CO and nodded at the 2XO. This crew seemed to be ready, willing and able. She wondered what the fleet had cooked up for them.

Lieutenant Sousa had arrived with a skip and a smile. She represented Strategic Operations department as it did not have its department head yet.

All they waited for now was for the arrival of Lieutenant Carey and they could start the briefing.

Thomas walked in, looked around, "Sorry im late." He placed a few pads down on the table. "Hope you dont mind but i need a pick me up." He walked over to the replicator.

After receiving his order, Extra large Roktachino. He sat down.

M'Sara was sitting in her chair with her arms folded. She personally despised meetings, and she liked them as short as possible. Her eyes followed Thiomas as he moved to sit down. She made a greater effort now to control her Romulan emotions. 'Oh for the love of all that is holy in this universe, Drink your coffee, and let's get this meeting over with.' The doctor spoke to herself. Of course, Sara kept her general Romulan disposition well restrained during these times. Moreover, she didn't want to get dragged into any politics.

"Settle down Doctor." Aranis replied. Even though she had been speaking inwardly towards herself this needed to be said. "This meeting will go on for as long as I want it too. We just need to wait on Lieutenant Laurence to arrive and we can begin." he said simply as he scanned the room.

"Sorry I'm late." Lainey said as she walked through the door struggling with the zipper on the jacket of her uniform, her hair in a messy ponytail "I had the time set wrong, my alarm only just went off five minutes ago. It won't happen again, promise."

"Welcome Lieutenant." Aranis replied as they sat. "This will be a relatively short meeting, as we have a lot to prepare for." he said as he activated the holodisplay on the centre of the table. It brought up 3 images with short dossiers under them, a little bit of biography too.

"We are to expect three Romulan delegates on the station soon. A Dimura, older generation Romulan who believes that they need to build from within, values tradition and has decent support within the Free State. Ratana, relatively young female Romulan with a growing following from that demographic. She believes that older Romulan tradition needs changing, she has a more open outlook about accepting help from us. Then there is Saruhk, middle of the road kind of woman, former Navy Commander. She sees the value of both sides." Aranis said as he stood at the end of the table.

"They are coming here where we are to engage in talks to install a Romulan Ambassador on the station. Something of a surprise given the turbulent ten years or so since the Hobus evacuation operation was recalled, but welcomed by myself. They are to be here in six hours time." He said as he looked across his new senior staff.

M'Sara waited for the right moment to speak and then raised her hand.

"Please, Doctor." Aranis said with a smile as he sat back down and the floor opened up.

"Before the first of the Romulan Refugees come, I feel I must give these remarks." M'Sara noted. "Years ago. My father began listening to one of the most esteemed Ambassadors in Federation History. He valued Spock's wisdom, and he began to notice the problems with the Star Empire. He valued Spock's wisdom enough to risk treason and execution of his entire family by helping dissidents come to the Federation, and It made him legions of enemies in the Star Empire. Those enemies may, for all intents and purposes, be coming here soon, and they won't have a homeworld. Mark these words and mark them well." M'Sara mentioned. "If you see a Romulan wearing this teal uniform; you can trust her absolutely, one hundred percent. I live the ways of Argos and Hippocrates, that is my honor, and I will live, and give my blood, so you would live without reservation. Father taught me the importance of duty, even for a Romulan raised in the Federation. But any other Romulan. Always know that unless they've abandoned the ways of the Star Empire, and embraced a future where they know how the treacheries destroyed the Star Empire. They are to be given only the trust they've earned." M'Sara advised, "No more, no less. Do you understand?"

"Fully Doctor." Aranis replied. "We are lucky to have you on our team here and any advice on the inner mind of your people will be greatly appreciated. However, let us not give up any ones life just yet." he mused. "At the moment we have, on last count, 1306 Romulan refugees on board Starbase 718. These people have been here ranging from a number of years to just a few weeks. The old CO was a little lax with restrictions and we are struggling to cope with the amount we have. As such I have put a stop to any more incoming unless their reason is valid enough to be here. One refugee came on board because he 'did not like the way the tree outside his home looked'." Aranis shook his head. "Those that come on board now will be subject to proper asylum procedures."

He looked out across to the others. "Do not be shy people. I accept any reservations you may have just as much as enthusiasm."

"I can't say the Romulans are my people, Commander. I grew up in the world of chocolate, baseball, Shakespeare, opera, Joseph Sisko's Shrimp Creole, Clam Chowder and Lobster. My people are my neighbors in Lexington, Massachusetts. I grew up as a human, but what my father passed onto me, I will gladly pass on to you and your diplomatic team, Commander." M'Sara said as calmly and professionally as ever. "I guess I'm the end result of what Romulans can become, but.... I'm more scared of what they might think of me. A Romulan in a Starfleet Unifrom. Some of them will want to kill me. Others... Well... I may request some of Ambassador Spocks Reunification speeches. It's the least I can do."

Daynah had been lost in thought for the past few moments. She tried to evaluate exactly what the best advice would be for this situation. In a moment it came to her as a flash of lightening. She turned toward Aranis. "Sir I believe the best course of action for when the Romulans arrive would be not to treat them any differently. Treat as you would have an Ambassador arriving from Romulus before Hobus. I believe in doing so you will earn their respect more. The general feeling that I have seen in reports is that the Romulans want a return to the old ways. That being the case we should show them that we support that, if it is their choice." Daynah had hoped that she did not just ruin any chances with the good Doctor. However, she had to advise the Captain properly.

"That was always my plan Number One." Aranis replied nodding in acceptance of her good advice. "We will treat them as we would have done before the Hobus disaster and if what ever they choose we will respect, within reason." he added as he brought up a holo-image of a series of symbols.

"This has been appearing all over the station. I know it is of Romulan origin but have never seen it before." he said as he rotated it for different perspectives. "It has shown up on the promenade, maintenance shafts, docking bays and living quarters. Does anyone recognise it, from anywhere?" he asked.

Tolkath viewed the image. 'I agree it is Romulan, but it appears to be of an archaic textual style" He brought out his science tricorder and tapped in some search parameters.

"Part of it may be a reference to a celestial body, a sun or star the other perhaps some kind of direction."

He tried another search "Sun up" or "Dawn" perhaps, or possibly "Star Rising"; a reference to the Star Empire?"

Aranis listened intently to his science chief as he spoke. To him it was all information he had not yet heard. Aranis had done research himself into it but yielded very little and his Vulcan colleague spoke well. "Doctor." he said turning to M'Sara. "Do you have any insight to this 'tag', or sign?" he asked.

M'Sara spoke. "It has multiple meanings, but according to what I know; 'Birth of the Sun.' or 'Rebirth.' It dates back to the first time when civilization on Romulus was new. Astrology and astrometric symbolism is at the heart of Romulan Culture. Father told me that one time, Our empire was a united empire of two worlds carried by the Bird of Prey. Romulus and Remus. The history of symbolism is somewhat vague because it was in certain parties best interest to make it vague in the interests of unity. The more vague it became, the more Romulans began considering Remus to be a mine... Shipyards and factories that the Senate didn't want on Romulus due to industrial pollution." M'Sara mentioned. "When I was a girl. I once drew a picture of Romulus and Remus being the eyes of a devil, because it was what I equated to my parents stories, and Earth and its moon as a wonderful and beautiful angel... I still study astronomy to this day." She brought up a child's drawing of a blue earth, and a federation symbol in the center. the moon and its white wings draped over the Earth But somewhere on the painting was a wicked eyes of a lizard watching the Federation. "I grew up with this astrology... And to me they are saying 'The Romulan Star Empire will rise again.' Commander. My father, my mother, we don't want the Star Empire back. My father always had to live with the eyes of the Tal'Shiar upon us, and when we arrived on Earth.... Every day since then has been a blessing."

"Thank you Doctor. I think this is something we need to keep a closer eye on. Given the scope of them appearing I would wager there are quite a few vandals on the station trying to get their message heard." he said with seriousness. "Lieutenant Carey, I want to see someone brought in for this. Questions need to be asked."

Thomas nodded as he wrote the information down. "Will look into it Commander." He replied as he already thought of some contacts that would most likely know something about this. Needless to say it was something he had noticed before, but had dismissed it originally as graffiti. Apparently it was not so.

"Very good. Commander Ral, how are we coming with the quarters for our guests and the conference room set up? I am sure that Ms Lesai would be of great use in making our guests comfortable. I do not want them disturbed in either location by wandering civilians..." Aranis asked.

Daynah smiled toward her CO. "Aye sir. We have everything in order. A security detail will be assigned to clear the corridors when the Ambassadors move between locations. We have already adjusted the environmental controls in their quarters to Romulan standard. We have also set up a plan of action as to incorporating their security forces into our own as their protection detail. As to the graffiti I would like to be kept in the loop. It is my duty to look after the safety of every soul on this station." The part of her that used to be a Captain was showing. She prided herself on making sure that everyone was safe.

"I have inspected their quarters, they are of an appropriate level for the Romulan delegates. I have also ensured the replicators were programmed with a range of Romulan food and beverages." Lesai reported.

"There will also be a formal dinner tomorrow night, at nineteen thirty hours, in the Diplomatic lounge, Deck Ninety-One. As well as the three delegates I have extended the invitation to the command team of their vessel. As such, it would be customary for yourself and members of the senior staff to attend Commander. We must demonstrate we are able to engage not just the diplomats but also members of the Star Navy. Their fleet is a powerful force within the Empire"

"Sounds like a night to remember." Aranis said with a slight jovial tone. "I am sure we can all make ourselves available for the dinner. Show our best faces and what not. Be on our best behaviour."

"On that note. Might I suggest that we treat the delegates with due deference, obviously, as they are direct representatives of the Imperial Senate, but also interact with them from a position of strength and confidence. Romulans will respect such traits, if we are to win their trust."

"I would not treat them any other way. If we show any sign of weakness they will seize it and in this instance I want us to look as strong as we are, as appealing as we are. An embassy on board the station is of great importance to not only Starfleet but myself. I want us to help the Romulans, open up lines of cooperation again. Our goal is unity, let us all remember that." Aranis added to the comment made.

"I'll come to your dinner and be cordial." Sara noted. "I'll tend to their wounded and sick, but understand that I decide if I'm going to interact with these people beyond a professional setting." M'Sara was frightened by meeting other Romulans for the first time.

"That is all I ask Lieutenant. No-one is asking you to put yourself in to any situations you do not want." Aranis replied to the good Doctor.

"Lieutenant Laurence, how are you settling in? What is your assessment of Station Operations?" Aranis asked.

"Not bad thanks. Been busy playing catch up." Lainey replied with a cheeky smile as she added "As for my assessment of Station Operations, the Station is... Operational."

"Well, a very cryptic response if ever there was one Lieutenant, but I understand the complexity of maintaining this station." he said as he looked at his new Ops Chief before looking at Lt. Sousa. "Lieutenant, are there any movements in the quadrant we should know about?" he asked.

Michelle looked up from her PADD and nodded. "There is a small build up of Romulan civilian freighters along the border with their space. A few Starfleet vessels coming and going, none of major circumstance. Few supply vessels. All trade routes are running as normal."

"Good, if anything develops let me know." Aranis said with a quick nod. "There will be nothing else from me, if anyone has any questions now is the time to ask before we adjourn."

Before anyone could speak there was an announcement from the conference table's comm speakers. =^= Station Operations to Commander T'San. Romulan Cruiser Dentrraka has entered the area. They report an ETA of thirty minutes =^=

"They are early" Lesai noted dryly, the scheduled arrival had not been for another six hours" A subtle test of our preparedness most likely..."

"Good thing we had this meeting now then." Aranis said. "You are all dismissed. Commanders Ral and Tolkath and Ms Lesai we will greet our guests once they have been cleared for entry to the station. Dress uniform. Dismissed." he said rising, straightening his uniform and heading to get changed.


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