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Divide and Conquer

Posted on Sat Feb 8th, 2020 @ 9:28pm by Captain Kelly O'Connor & Lieutenant JG T'Pruk & Lieutenant Commander Magnus Grey & Lieutenant Iona Vrell & Lieutenant Shri Thais & Lieutenant JG Brian Pendragon & Lieutenant JG Cara Ross

Mission: Mission 7 - Aenerth for an Earth
Location: Banquet Hall
Timeline: 2296/02/21 - 1030

The feast had finished and the Chancellor replied, "Now, how could we assist in your investigation, Captain?"

O'Connor didn't hesitate, "I would like my crew to see the sites of your planet. I assume that would not be a problem, would it?"

The Chancellor replied, "Of course not! In fact, I have four people ready to escort your people. However, I see six of you. Two of you would have to double up. Is that acceptable?"

Before anyone could respond, O'Connor answered, "I will bring two more down." With a meaningful hesitation, she added, "If you don't mind."

Taken aback, the Chancellor gave a reserved answer, "Of course not."

Reaching for her communicator, she flipped it open and said, =^=This is O'Connor to America. Please send down Lieutenants Ross and T'Pruk.=^=

There was an acknowledgment and within a minute, two figures appeared, a Vulcan and a human.

Cara had been stationed on the bridge, filling in for her superior while Lt. Thais has been planetside. She'd manned the station for the better part of the past few hours while the command staff had been wined and dined. She'd taken the time to run a full spectrum analysis with passive scans on the Aenerth system, having not secured permission to launch any probes. The call to beam down had caught her off guard, but she'd managed to make it to the transporter room shortly after T'Pruk whom had greeted the redhead with a cocked eyebrow. Saying nothing, Cara had nodded to the transporter operator, adjusted the strap of her tricorder, and there she was, staring at the captain in the face. She swallowed and said, "Reporting as ordered, cap'n," in that thick accent of hers. T'Pruk remained silent. It gave Cara just the slightest case of the willies, but she'd been taught it was bad form to let that kind of thing be known.

O'Connor told T'Pruk and Ross, "We have been invited to explore the planet with our friends, the Aenerthans. I will be splitting everyone in pairs of two."

The Chancellor gave a short nod and said, "We have several areas to explore. I thought I would send one of your teams with me to explore the capitol area. Another area that I had anticipated to show you was our quaint Village of Edenor. It would give you a good view of our agricultural society. Another team would be sent to Mixyl, where much of our industrial operations are located. Finally, I had hoped to send another group to Selinor. It is a university town, where our best and brightest are educated."

Looking at her crew, O'Connor asked, "Do any of you have a preference on where you go?"

The young Caldosian had quite a few thoughts and preferences, but for once, she managed to reign in her impulses. She and T'Pruk were low on the pecking order and everyone else there had more of a right to make their desires known before the junior science officers(even if she was the Assistant Chief, and there for second in charge of the whole department). So she fidgeted a bit, but kept quiet, eyes shining with a certain eagerness that simply could not be repressed.

Shri shook her head, "Oddly, no preference on where I go. As long as I get to explore a bit, I'm okay with anything." She gave a small smile to the other two science officers. They could have a first choice over her.

"I would love to see their medical facilities and schools," Iona said. "But if that is off limits, I don't mind where I go." She smiled and nodded, as though agreeing with herself.

The Chancellor laughed. "Off limits? Why would anything be off limits to our friends and hopefully allies? Nonsense. Please feel free to explore them. The university has fantastic medical facilities. State of the art, in fact. Mr. Sanduval will escort you and whoever else will be coming with you."

T'Pruk piped up, "I think that I would prefer to see the agricultural areas." Did she shuffle uncomfortably? Surely, a Vulcan would not do that, but O'Connor and perhaps Pendragon might have noticed the shifting of her position.

O'Connor simply stated, "Chancellor, I will go with you. I presume you will want to show me the Capitol. Grey, you're an academic, you would probably enjoy going with our Doctor to the university." Mentally she ticked off the assigned people. "So, let's see, Grey and Vrell are going to the University with Mr. Sanduval. I'm going with the Chancellor to view this wonderous city." There seemed to be a sense of sarcasm in her voice when she mentioned 'wonderous city.' "Lieutenant T'Pruk is going to visit the quaint village of Edenor. Thais has no preference. Pendragon, Ross, Olivier, speak up, lest I send you where you don't want to go."

Magnus sidled up next to the Doctor. “Thank you, Captain. You read my mind. The university sounds fascinating.” He grinned widely, looking forward to exploring where the brilliant minds of Aenerth came from.

"Industrial, please," Brian offered. He doubted it would be an issue given that no one else had bagsied it yet, but manufacturing, production and distribution were likely to have the most things of interest to an engineer.

The Caldos colony was a mostly agrarian society, along similar lines as to what Scotland once was on Earth, centuries before. But there was an industrial center built up around terraforming parts of the planet, specifically its climate. This was Cara's specialty, and she had to wonder how the industry on Aenerth might handle things like pollution, a strong factor that they had to consider on Caldos. "I can take the industrial sector tour, Cap'n," she volunteered, her lit rolling the words about, drawing syllables out here and there in strong brogue.

"OK," O'Connor replied, wanting to move things along, "Grey and Vrell to the University. Pendragon and Ross, to the industrial area. Thais, go with T'Pruk to Edenor. Olivier, you're with me and the Chancellor. Any questions?"

Shri nodded and looked to T'Pruk. "Sounds like we're heading off together."

Iona shook her head. "No, Ma'am," she said with a lopsided grin. She looked up to Magnus and then back to the others.

T'Pruk acknowledged half Vulcan's obvious statement. "It is what the Captain ordered."

Liliane nodded. "I'm with you, Captain."

Once the questions were exhausted, O'Connor asked the Chancellor for a moment with her crew alone. Once granted, she pulled everyone to the side. "Ask questions and do not be afraid to go off the scheduled tour. We're here to investigate, not to see their highlights. We also need to know why that ship was so deficient. Anything else before we go on tour?"

Since no one immediately spoke up, Ross took a breath, and held up the tricorder she'd slung over her shoulder on the way down. "To be sure, it's safe to have this on and recordin' the whole time?" It seemed like an obvious situation but this was Cara's first real diplomatic excursion. If she were observing ancient ruins she would be taking every scan she could, but this was a thriving, modern society. Would it be offensive?

"Oh, I intend to ask a lot of questions," Iona nodded. "I'll be polite, but inquisitive," she added, in case Magnus or O'Connor didn't like the first statement.

O'Connor nodded. "Just don't offend them. We're guests. As much fun as a war might be, I would rather us not all get court martialed for starting one."

"Indeed, Captain," Magnus said. "We'll strike the right balance. I suspect you'll have the hardest time, actually. Academics like to share. Industrialists like to highlight their strong points and slag off their competition. Agriculturalists tend to be welcoming and open. It's the politicians that will hide their agendas."

Brian stayed quiet. His track record with planetside visits had been spotty to say the least, but it had never been his fault, he just seemed to be some kind of magnet for... crazy. Hopefully an industrial zone with fellow engineers would be less of a risk of shenanighans.

Shri smiled to T'Pruk, "Shall we head out then?"

O'Connor nodded. "Good ideas, Ross and Vrell." She looked at her XO and said, "My plan is just not to get kidnapped this time. Now, everyone, report back to me when we get back to the ship. Good luck."

 

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