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Meeting with the Aenerthan Captain

Posted on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 @ 9:37pm by Captain Kelly O'Connor & Lieutenant Commander Magnus Grey & Lieutenant Iona Vrell & Lieutenant Shri Thais & Lieutenant JG Brian Pendragon & Lieutenant JG Liliane Olivier

Mission: Mission 7 - Aenerth for an Earth
Location: Briefing Room
Timeline: 2296/02/19 - 1815

O'Connor furrowed her eyebrows. She knew that the Commander would be coming in with the Aenerthan Captain but before he arrived, she wanted to have all of his Chiefs present. She felt that she needed to get more heads in on this problem. Something was amiss but she could not figure out what, yet. Therefore, she paged everyone and said, =^= All Chiefs of Staff to the Meeting Room, O'Connor out. =^= For now, there was nothing to do but wait.

"Another meeting?" Liliane said. She wasn't at the helm this time, instead opting to head down to the shuttlebay. Her first thought was about the name of the shuttle. Well, nobody can take a joke around here. She grinned at the crewman standing beside her and tossed him the hyperspanner. "Well, see you later," she said with wink. "And take it easy on the Maggie." She pulled her uniform jacket back on and buckled the belt as she headed for the turbolift.

She was surprised to find she was the first one there. "Hello, Captain," Lil said as she took a seat farther down the table.

Iona was surprised to hear the call for chiefs to the meeting room. "Can't get anything done around here," she muttered as she saved the lab report she'd been working on and turned off her office console. Grabbing a mug of coffee on her way out the door, she made her way to the meeting room. "Captain, Lieutenant," she said with a nod to each of them as she wandered over to a seat and plonked her arse down.

Hearing the call, Shri made her way to the meeting room, realizing she was one of the later ones. Not saying anything, she slipped into her seat, wondering what was going on.

"Yes, another meeting," O'Connor grumbled at the Chief Helms Officer. This is why I would prefer to be in battle. There is no time for this bull shit. There is only time for action and reaction - outsmarting the opponent - and surviving. She watched her friends Iona and Shri come in and gave a nod of acknowledgment.

Brian skidded in, almost late again. It had been hard to tear himself away from the console. He had been analysizing the debris he'd collected - trying to work out where the problem had originated and whether it was a reasonable level of fatigue for equipment of its type and age.

The Captain furrowed her eyebrows at Brian. He knew the look. The question was whether Brian could tolerate it.

When everyone except the Aenerthan Captain and Commander arrived, O'Connor told her crew, "As you know, our job is to investigate the Aenerthan request for entrance into the Federation. I do not trust the situation that we have found ourselves. Why were we here to save this ship? Where was the Aenerthan government? Why are they using such decrepit ships? Anyone have any speculation or thoughts before the Commander and Aenerthan Captain arrive?

"Ma'am," Brian ventured. "The kit I saw in operation there was... well... it would be polite to call it ancient. There were some components I didn't even recognise the design of, they were so outdated. Even the parts that were a fairly recent design weren't new off the shelf - I've got some samples and some of them look like low-quality knock-offs or badly-modified assemblies. If they obtained them from legitimate merchants, they may have been conned..."

"Are you certain that the components that you did not recognize had nothing to do with their own unique technology? They are a different culture, Pendragon." She gave him a penetrating look.

"With respect, ma'am, most critical components are reasonably common across cultures, with the exception of those with telekinesis or different gravity. For the most part, we're using the same basic elements to overcome the same forces. Most of the differences you do see in the field usually are due to scale and capability of manufacture rather than design per se." There was no trace of Brian's usual hesitation or stammering when he was discussing his favourite subject and not having to deal with social ettiquette.

"Those samples will be interesting to examine. Perhaps the Aenerthan Captain will give us some of those answers."

"If they'll let me, I'd like to examine them myself. Maybe I can make some sense of them," came Shri's voice.

O'Connor knew better than to question Pendragon on his expertise. A nervous nelly, he might be, but he knew his business, usually. There was the matter of him and his door to his and T'Pruk's quarters. More than once, she had seen him quarrelling with it.

"If I could get more information on what they use as fuel for their engines, I could treat the radiation poisoning of the crew a bit better," Iona said after a moment. "So if Mister Pendragon or Miss Thais are able to study the ship in more detail, I would appreciate a copy of the reports on at least the engines or anything that could produce radiation."

"If they let me, I'd be glad to," stated Shri.

"I'll send the readings I took in the Engine Room over to you," Brian offered. Between that, your medical scans and the scanner telemetry Ops got on the initial approach, we may be able to at least rule out some of the options."

Right on time, the door to the briefing room opened and Magnus stepped through with the Aenerthan Captain. “Captain O’Connor, may I present Captain Lon Aurel of the Aenerthan transport Kaliya. His crew are in guest quarters or sickbay pending their being able to return to their ship safely.”

O'Connor rose from her seat, trying to look taller and more commanding than her mere five feet in height. She tried not to grind her teeth as her XO made his presentation. While he did all the proper things, she still did not care for the academic. "Greetings Captain Aurel. Welcome to the USS America of the Federation. Please, have a seat."

Iona stood a second or two after O'Connor. She gave the Aenerthan Captain a nod of greeting and stood there, waiting to be able to sit back down.

Shri stood and nodded, waiting to sit back down.

Brian had intended to stand, but his chair had caught on something and wouldn't go far enough back, so rather than making a scene, he crouched halfway up and nodded sheepishly, desperately holding the uncomfortable position until it was diplomatically appropriate to sit back down again.

From the minute they had began the discussion, Liliane was bored. This was evident in the fact that she continued to stare mindlessly at the wall, one elbow propped up on the table. It was only when the XO entered with the Aenerthan Captain that she clued back in. She stood as well, a few seconds after everyone else had. Rather than nod her head, she only stared at them curiously.

O'Connor furrowed her eyebrows at her Helmsman, hoping that she would behave better for the Aenerthan Captain.

Once everyone was seated, O'Connor asked the Captain, "Can you tell us a bit more about why you were out here and what was going on with your ship?"

"Well," he started with a drawl, "we came out here to do some mining. My family here found an asteroid that we believe is rich with several precious metals." As an aside, he said, "You will excuse me, Captain, if I do not share the location of that information with you. I am sure that you understand, given how wealthy you must be. This ship is a true beauty. It must have cost you a fortune. My congratulations to you."

O'Connor's eyes widened at the same time that her brows furrowed. If the Aenerthan captain only knew what a piece of junk that America was in comparison to an Excelsior, perhaps he would have a different opinion.

“Captain Aurel, I’m afraid the economy works differently than what you’re used to,” Magnus observed. “We have no interest in your asteroid, and we’ll respect your privacy on that front. Your ship, though, failed quite far from Aenerth. If we hadn’t come along, what was your plan? What were your prospects for rescue?”

"Rescue?" Aurel asked a bit confused. "Low," he finally stated. "I doubt that we could have afforded the cost of the services. That's why we have to get to that asteroid," he insisted. "Are you sure that we owe you nothing for your help?"

O'Connor shook her head and replied, "Nothing. We're bound to help."

Aurel responded, "Then why am I still being held here, Captain? We need to get to that asteroid. Someone else may find it first. We can't have that happen, now can we?"

The Captain looked at her crew, "Does anyone have any other questions for our guest? I would not want to delay his trip further."

"Ummm," Brian wasn't sure how to phrase it gently, "could you tell us where you get your spares from?" stopping short of saying 'it's not an accredited supplier, is it..."

"I don't have any questions, but I do wish to reiterate my position. I would rather not send them back to their ship if they're just going to get radiation poisoning again and potentially die. I want to know that ship is safe. And," Iona turned to look at the Anerthan Captain. "Several of your people are seriously ill. It is my duty as a Doctor to ensure their survival, I can't in good conscience let you take them back to that ship without adequate medical facilities!"

"Spares?" the Aenerthan Captain asked incredulously. "We bought those parts just a few months back. We got a good deal on them." He thought for a moment and told Brian, "Perhaps you should give us the parts back. Spares might be a good plan."

"You mean you don't carry... spares...?" Brian was horrified at the thought of being stranded without the option of fixing a problem himself.

Turning to the doctor, Aurel asked, "Are you planning on keeping us prisoner? Stealing our information? I thought you said you were not interested in it!" The Aenerthan Captain was becoming visibly upset, moving towards hysterical.

"Good grief. Someone needs to calm the eff down," Liliane muttered under her breath, barely inaudible and not realizing she had vocalized her inside voice. She had once again taken a comfortable seat and instead of returning to her vacant stare at the wall, tuned into the conversation.

"Everyone calm down!" Shri said from her seat. "What can we do here to get past this?"

At that, Liliane straightened and raised an eyebrow. Her boredom at dull meetings vanished and her interest piqued. She admitted she hadn't wanted to get to know the other officers and she believed that the half-Vulcan science officer was a bit too... mild was the word that immediately came to mind. Suddenly, she seemed to take a bit more interest in the meeting. She decided she needed a nickname as well. And maybe she should introduce herself afterward when they were on their way again.

“What Shri said,” Magnus added. He turned to Captain O’Connor. “Captain, perhaps we can offer to take the particularly ill crew to Aenerth with us? They would get the help they need, and the Kaliya crew can spread its food and medical resources among fewer people. And we’re going there anyway. A hospital on their homeworld will be infinitely better than what Dr. Vrell and the America can offer. No offense, Iona.”

"None taken, their homeworld would have things better for their physiology than I have here," Iona nodded. "And I don't intend to hold you against your will, I just want to ensure your safety and good health!"

The Aenerthan Captain's eyes bulged. "We will not go back. Not without mining that asteroid. It would be irresponsible." He looked across the table at O'Connor and asked again, "Can we leave?"

O'Connor looked at her crew, nearly as perplexed as they were. "Of course. We offered aid. If you will take no more, then we will continue on to your homeworld."

"Thank you, Captain," Aurel replied, practically sighing with relief.

The Captain called over the comm, =^=Security, can you please escort, Captain Aurel and his crew back to his ship. They wish to depart. =^=

A response came back, =^= Yes, Captain. =^=

"If anyone has something else that they wish to give Captain Aurel before he departs, you may."

Everyone was silent and O'Connor sat. Security arrived and escorted the Aenerthan Captain away. "Well, it seems that we have some mysteries on our hands," O'Connor told her chiefs.

Shri sat back after her outburst, "We really do. But why...I just don't understand that Captain Aurel."

"I'm actually wondering if there are consequences for him if he doesn't go back with ore from that asteroid," Magnus thought aloud. "Consequences beyond a financial downturn, that is. He seemed so adamant in not returning to Aenerth, and is willing to risk his life and that of his crew for their wealth. The background information we dug up didn't suggest they were obsessed with riches."

O'Connor did not care for her XO but her senses told her that he was on the right track. "But what?" she wondered. "I do not see that waiting here is going to get us the answers. I think it is time we paid Aenerth a personal visit."

Magnus nodded. Remembering what happened last briefing, that which the captain perceived as an indiscretion, he played it more carefully. “Request permission to get us underway as soon as sickbay has discharged its patients. I understand, with the repairs to the Kaliya complete, the transporter should work now, which will speed up the process.”

Iona grumbled under her breath about the Aenerthans being returned to their ship before being fully treated and the ship being fully secured against further radiation leaks. But, she did not voice any of her concerns aloud again, since she had already said her piece and was gone against simply because the greedy hound of a Captain wanted his people back and that asteroid.

Shaking her head, she narrowed her eyes slightly at Magnus when he commented about sickbay discharging its patients. If she'd had her way, they wouldn't be discharged until they were completely cured of radiation poisoning and that blasted, crumbling pile of metal they called a ship was repaired.

Shri sat back, not even sure what input to have at this point. Things seemed off in her head, but there wasn't much she could do, because she couldn't explain it."

The Captain looked at Magnus and gave him a nod of acknowledgement. "I agree, Grey. Get Kaliya under way and then get us to Aenerth." She looked at her Chiefs and said, "If there's nothing else, dismissed."

“Yes, ma’am,” Magnus turned away from the captain and stood. “Dr. Vrell, do what you need to do to make the Aenerthans ready to go back to their ship. Lieutenant Olivier, set a course for Aenerth, and be prepared to go to warp once the Doctor is finished.”

Nodding, Shri stood and headed out. Although she wasn't given anything specific to do, maybe she'd find her own research to complete.

Liliane simply nodded, following the science officer out of the meeting room.

Vrell watched Magnus walk out then turned to Captain O'Connor. "Aye ma'am," she said simply and stood with a nod. Making her way out of sickbay, she argued with herself over the right course of action, but ultimately knew that keeping her patients right where they were would cause more trouble than letting them go and hoping for the best.


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