The Diplomatic Envoy
Posted on Tue Dec 17th, 2019 @ 10:24am by Captain Enalia Telvan & Az'Prel & Kodria Mizu & Hera & Commander Rita Paris & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox & Lieutenant Commander Sonak & Artan Pirate Helev t'Liun
Edited on on Wed Dec 18th, 2019 @ 12:25am
Neutral Zone Neutrality
Location: the Mol Krun'chi Reunification Colony World
The Artan Bird of Prey, the Golden Ghost, had settled into a tight orbit around the mysterious world known as Mol Krun’chi. As it hovered silently above the planet, the modest flight deck doors of the upgraded T’liss-class Romulan ship opened as the Federation Runabout Selune departed to make planetfall.
With the coordinates being a heavily guarded secret, the Ghost was able to locate the small, greenish-blue world in spite of an array of well-hidden cloaking fields that surrounded it to protect it from the prying eyes of the Romulan, or Rihannsu in their own tongue, Star Empire. For Mol Krun’chi was a planet on the edge of Rihannsu space populated by nearly four thousand reunificationists: Rihannsu that sought to reconnect with the long-abandoned ways of their Vulcan forebearers. People who sought to make one what had become two thousands of years ago.
Entering the gentle atmosphere of the planet, not much larger than Mars, the Selune glided silently and stealthily down. At the helm, was Lieutenant Commander Mnhei’sahe Dox. Next to Dox, in the co-pilot’s seat was her Superior officer, mission commander and the chosen representative of Starfleet’s interests in the proceedings to come, Commander Rita Paris.
In the hold of the Runabout, was Lieutenant Commander Sonak, who would represent the interests of the Vulcan government. And with them was Lieutenant Ayamo Oulette. The Vulcanoid Rigellian Intel Officer assigned as an observer from the U.S.S. Persephone who had been an implanted spy from the Tal’Shiar, now free of that influence. And assigned to both monitor the safety of the diplomatic envoy and ensure that Oulette was no longer a threat, was the Vulcan refugee from a mirror universe of horrors known as Az’Prel.
As the Selune passed through the clouds, the sky had the faintest hint of turquoise to it, so much like ch’Rihan, or Romulus, itself. Below them, they passed over rolling hills with trees of greens and light oranges. Green rivers flowed and there was a bluish tint to those clouds. At the helm, Dox couldn’t help but feel a strange pang in her stomach at the comparisons to the homeworld she had only ever been to once, but still longed to return to in some way. But in the moment, she was a pilot and a representative with a job to do, as a light on the ship’s console caught Dox’s eye. “Commander Paris, we’re receiving a hail from the colony.”
“Better a hail than disruptor fire,” Paris quipped as she tabbed the panel for the comms. “This is Commander Rita Paris, representing a collection of delegates from Vulcan, the Federation and ch’Rihan. We come in peace, and are requesting permission to land, in order to open diplomatic negotiations.”
The voice on the other end of the line was a close attempt at Vulcan emotionlessness, but the Rihannsu inflections and slight haughtiness of a ch'Rihan capital dweller could be heard in his extremely professional radio voice. "Federation Runabout Selune, welcome to Mol Krun'chi airspace. Please continue on flight path four niner niner seven mark three. You are cleared for landing in bay fourteen. Please be advised that the skies have been cleared, however be advised we are currently experiencing crosswinds in excess of sixty knots over the capital. Delegation and greeting services have been arranged for your arrival. Have a safe and productive visit."
"Thank you, Mol Krun'chi Control, we confirm four niner niner seven mark three, bay fourteen. Thanks for the welcome," Paris replied, having punched in the nav coordinates as they had been coming in- an old habit, particularly when she was in the copilot seat. It corresponded to her old navigator post on the Constitution-class starships of yore.
"I suppose in hindsight we should have worn our formal uniforms, but frankly, I hate them and almost no one looks good in them. Better to present ourselves as we are, I think. So... ready for first contact, Miss Dox?" Paris beamed an excited smile at the introspective pilot. "I don't believe these colonists have ever had representatives from any of our delegations set foot on their planet before. Ergo, first contact, of a sort- no?"
Returning a clearly nervous smile, Dox let the ship's flight computer, working off of Rita's entered coordinates, do most of the work of flying. Pondering her Commander's words, she looked back at Sonak and the others in the rear of the shuttle through the open door. "I suppose this is a first contact in a lot of ways, yes."
''First contact protocols would be a wise procedure to follow in present circumstances, '' Sonak agreed. ''It would be a mistake to go in with our usual preconceptions. These are atypical Romulans in an unusual situation within a delicate context. A fresh-minded approach would be logical.''
"As for my being ready, I'm as ready as I'll ever be Commander." Dox followed up, letting out a breath and smiling a little more confidently.
“I know there was some talk of weapons as the Romulans respect strength, but as Commander t’Liun mentioned they were a pacifistic culture, I’m going to eschew a show of force,” Paris explained, expanding on her own perspective while offering options. “We come in peace- at least, the Federation does. As you are both here representing your individual cultures, I will leave it up to you as to how you wish to present yourselves, and if you prefer a show of strength and combat readiness or the olive branch. Me, I’m coming with the open hand rather than the one holding the phaser.”
Letting out a light breath, Dox was relieved to hear that. She was nervous about going into a peace mission armed and her gut was leading her towards a similar path in this instance. "There's something to be said of the strength of convictions over arms, and considering what we're trying to do, I think it's best for our goals to go in open-handed as well, Commander Paris."
"Perhaps other Rihannsu would do it differently, but the Senator knows who I am and knows my heart. I don't think I was picked for this so I would do what another Rihannsu would. If we're trying to present change, this seems like the right first step. At least, in here it does." Mnhei'sahe said, placing a hand under her right breast, over her heart.
Az'Prel was often one not to mince words and rarely spoke out during times like these, however now she felt the need to. "I feel I would be remiss to mention that my job on this mission is security. Therefore, I will remind you that I will be armed." As she mentioned this, she motioned to the pair of antique styled ahn-woon blades at her hips as well as the small type one phaser she had decided to carry.
“Miss Az’Prel, you are security for this mission, so I have no objection to you being armed,” Paris replied easily. “As you are neither a delegate nor a representative of any of the principals involved, I am perfectly content with you remaining armed unless our hosts wish it otherwise, and it will be an impediment to the negotiations. Should that come to pass, we’ll cross that bridge then. In the meantime, I’ll count on you to be alert for trouble- primarily designed to sabotage the negotiations, although given the circumstances I rule out nothing.”
Having looked over the Vulcan warrior woman and giving a hint of a blush, Lieutenant Ayamo Oulette spoke up as well. "In light of recent events, I feel lucky to just be allowed to continue with my original mission. There's no way I'd consider carrying a weapon. Besides, if my reports make it to both governments and move them to increase support for reunification... Then I suppose the pen truly is mightier than the blade."
"Your duty, Lieutenant Oulette, is to record it all, and get as much of the negotiations on sensor as you can," Paris reinforced, insuring she was instructing the essentially newly reactivated officer who was unfamiliar with her command style. "Help out where it is needed, and facilitate the rest of the away team when called upon. Back in my day your position on this mission would be 'free safety'- you have a demanding duty, but you can be called on. Standard textbook mission parameters, despite the circumstances."
Offering the young woman an encouraging smile and a hand on her shoulder, Rita Paris lent the young woman a bit of strength from human touch. "I think it'll do you some good to get back into things, Lieutenant. You've got a Starfleet career to get back to, after all."
''Vulcan always stands for peace,'' Sonak reminded them all. ''As does the Federation. As a Starfleet officer and Kolinarh, I stand for both. Therefore, with Az'Prel officiating as our guard, my personal recommendation in my case would be also to present myself without weapons. Romulans, particularly those contemplating reunification, are well aware of what the Kolinarh represents; and that a Master of Gol needs no weapon, save reason and logic. If, however; other, more belligerent parties manifest themselves, they will also aware of what the Vulcan mind can do. As a show of respect, this should satisfy the more traditionalists among this proud warrior people.''
"Well said, Commander Sonak," Rita replied, smiling at the return to a familiar pattern of naming. Looking about the Runabout cabin as they descended, Rita Paris realized they might just be making history. Sonak would likely remind her that every moment that passes is history, but she knew he felt it too- this was important. They all knew it. Success here could bring about a larger movement which could change the face of the galaxy, and all in the interest of bringing sentients together for the betterment of all.
Great Hera, look at you, Rita- trying to change the universe. In the back of her head, a plan began to brew, as she aimed for a succinct yet inspiring order.
Light years away, the aforementioned goddess looked up from her knitting and smiled, cocking an eyebrow and shaking her head as she rapidly knit some twin onesies for the Andorian Gemini.
"Each of you- I have little advice for you on this mission. Just listen to your heart, use your head and watch each other's backs. Bring us in for a masterful landing, Commander Dox. Let's show off just a little bit.
Sonak lifted one eyebrow slightly. It took him a second to understand that the comment was a colloquial one, not that he should monitor his own heartbeat; which he routinely did anyway.
"Aye, Commander Paris." Dox replied with a smile, internally joking that with all of their ranks, it would now behoove her to mention specific names in such responses as just saying 'Commander' would get confusing quickly.
Bringing the runabout below the teal-tinged cloudline, the rolling hills of Mol Krun'chi appeared below them in a vista that could be best described as bucolic. And as they streaked over those hills, and the colony began to come into view, that descriptor became even more apt.
The capital was located in a hill-rimmed valley. Closest to the rolling green hills was visible mining equipment excavating natural clays from the rich, red soils below them. On the furthest edges of the plains, grazing fields for Rihannsu riding mounts known as Shaill were visible, with several herds of the majestic animals beginning to run at breakneck speeds as the Runabout swept low enough to inspire them to action. It was something Dox felt stir the natural pilot in her and she banked into a turn with a smile, enjoying the strange interaction with the animals along the plains.
The Rihannsu pilot looked over to her Commanding officer, friend and fellow pilot, and shot Rita a smile and a light chuckle at the moment as they continued. Quickly outpacing the land animals, they then passed over yawning fields of various crops being tended to both by visible Rihannsu farmhands, along with the most modern of tilling equipment that they sped above. As they did, the center of the modest colony itself came into view.
Few buildings seemed larger than a single story, with the exception of what they assumed was the city center, a decidedly Rihannsu-style domed structure in the center of a wheel and spoke designed city, bustling with activity as sentients could be seen walking in the streets. On the edges that they passed over first, were long streets stretching out into the valley with modest, clay-build farmhouses and simple dwellings. There were children at play, and for every hovering transport flitter that could be seen making their way down the streets, there seemed to be a Shaill-puled carriage carrying goods about as well. For all of the evident modern technology, Mol Krun'chi seemed to be an agrarian society, living simply and in touch with their beautiful world.
With the navigation controls indicating the location of Landing bay fourteen along the far edge of the city's central plaza of government buildings, Dox swung the Runabout around the city in a wide orbit so they could all take the vista in before bringing the maneuverable craft in. With one hand on the ship's controls and the other adjusting the internal inertial dampeners so that those inside would scarcely feel it, Dox brought the Selune in towards the landing pad, executing a last moment turn into position with precision and speed, before lowering her down gently into place. The hydraulics of the landing struts gave out a telltale hiss as they touched down perfectly in front of a small group of waiting delegates and security.
Beginning the power down procedures, Dox turned to Rita, "Runabout Selune has completed landing procedures, Commander Paris. Powering down and activating security shutdown protocols."
"An appropriately showy entrance, Miss Dox. Well, done," Paris nodded, appreciating the flourishes of fancy flying. With the landing craft secured, Paris rose and indicated to the landing party to disembark, as the hatch of the runabout was to the rear." All right people- let's go meet the locals and broker some peace in our time, shall we?"