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Problems and Recommendations

Posted on Mon Jun 22nd, 2020 @ 9:07pm by Captain Kelly O'Connor & Lieutenant JG T'Pruk & Lieutenant JG Brian Pendragon & Lieutenant JG Cara Ross

Mission: Mission 7 - Aenerth for an Earth
Location: Receiving Area
Timeline: 2296/02/21 - 1300

O'Connor was tired. She would never admit it, nor would she show it to Chancellor. However, she had to do her duty for the Federation. She listened with feigned interest. One political system was just like the other to her. They all lied and made themselves seem greater than they were. So she was more than relieved when the Chancellor ended his tour and said, "If you wish, you can remain here. I am certain that your comrades should be about shortly. I did tell everyone not to take longer than a couple of hours on their tours. We are at your disposal."

The Captain responded, "We appreciate your hospitality. Once I have gathered everyone, we will take their reports and then forward them on to the Federation. I'm certain that you will have a response shortly thereafter."

Smiling slickly, the Chancellor replied, "I hope that you have enjoyed your stay for we are anxious to join the illustrious Federation."

"I'm sure that you are," O'Connor responded slightly harsher than intended.

However, the Chancellor merely bowed and took his leave.

Shri came up right as the Chancellor was leaving. She could hear the tone of the Captain's voice and only spoke once the Chancellor was out of earshot. "I take it that didn't go well?"

O'Connor sighed. "I just tire of hearing how magnificent everyone and everything is on this planet and learning about their political structure. I was never cut out to be a diplomat. I was meant to be where the action is. This is not it."

"It is fascinating to learn about these other cultures, Captain," Magnus said as he approached. "Dr. Vrell will rejoin us shortly. She was speaking with students and staff at the medical school."

A hint of annoyance could be heard in T'Pruk's voice when she returned, "Yes, fascinating."

"Well, we can start without the doctor. I'm sure she will be along but we're also missing Mr. Pendragon and Ms. Ross. I wonder what is taking them."

"Was that emotion I heard in there, T'Pruk?" Shri grinned. "Learned a lot about their plants and farming but...that's about it."

T'Pruk raised a warning eyebrow at Shri and replied, "I am certain that you were mistaken."

"... be having nightmares about that..." Brian rounded the corner, still talking to Cara intently before realising that nearly everyone else had arrived ahead of them. "Oh, er... are we late? Sorry!"

O'Connor laughed at her engineer. "For once, Mr. Pendragon, you are not the late one. It seems that our Doctor is late, but she sent notice with Mr. Grey. But do tell me, Brian, that you did not go getting yourself engaged this time."

Brian said nothing, but blushed furiously.

Quirking an eyebrow up at that, Cara tilted her head to look at Brian, then over at the Captain. "I don't think our exhaustively fast paced host proposed, but if she did, it would have been hard to pick it out. I've never met someone that spoke a literal mile a minute before, Captain, but sure enough, there's a first time for everything."

"That is not some sort of prejudice that you're showing, is it, Ms. Ross?" O'Connor asked in a dangerous voice. "Perhaps you and Pendragon can start your report right now. I'm most anxious to hear how you both did not get into trouble."

Shri just listened and crossed her arms, not getting into all of that. It wasn't her place and she was still thinking on the plants.

A flush crept up into Cara's cheeks at the potential rebuke from the Captain. "No ma'am, i mean yes ..." she took a slow breath. "It wasn't meant to be any sort of prejudice, just a factual observation. It did cause some confusion. And yes ma'am, happy to report first." That last bit was a lie, but she'd do it anyways, taking a breath and then starting with, "Their set up is mechanically impressive, though my colleague would be better able to provide details on that. From an environmental standpoint however, what we observed raised concerns. In the Federation, the same sort of work would be done, without the need for air filtration masks in the factories."

"How impressive? What would you estimate their technology level at in comparison to ours and in Earth technology terms?" O'Connor then looked over at Pendragon and asked, "Well, Ross says that you have more to say. Go on...."

"The results are... at a reasonable level... Their fabrication and fitting are... efficient from a mechanical perspective... I will provide a detailed breakdown in my write-up; I presume you don't want all the techno now... but yes, their technology level is broadly equivalent, although..." Brian hesitated, wondering where the borderline was between tact and fact. He took a deep breath. "Their health and safety, however, is prioritised... differently. They lack design features intended to minimise risk and they appear to devolve responsibility for risk of injury due to design or usage entirely to the individual; acknowledging no duty of care for their staff."

Looking somewhat uncomfortable, Cara added, "Not only did the plant management seem unconcerned with the potential for injury, but when a worker was injured during our tour, he seemed more interested in not missing time from work than with treating the injury. This seemed... completely ordinary to everyone around us. I can't say it sat well with me. I'll have a more in-depth summary in my written report."

After Pendragon and Ross had finished telling their tales, she asked T'Pruk and Thais, "So, tell me about the plants. Did you notice anything unusual or potential problems?"

Shri shook her head, "Not really any potential problems. They are actually very good at what they do, including creating new plants that can survive in any and all types of weather. As well as they are very good at keeping the bugs and such off their plants."

T'Pruk gave a curt nod at Shri. "However, Captain, they do seem preoccupied with creating better and better breeds. I am somewhat concerned it is the same sort of behavior that led to the eugenic wars on your Earth."

Cara's eyebrows shot up painfully fast on her forehead, nearly vanishing beneath the red bangs that had fallen forward. She held her tongue, however uncomfortable the comparison made her.

O'Connor caught Ross' look and demanded, "If you have something to say, Lieutenant, say it. Don't keep it to yourself."

"Er, yes ma'am," she replied - not like she could say anything else, after all. Taking a breath again she noted, "I dislike the comparison to the Eugenics War. I think I dislike it all the more because now that it has been pointed out, it is uncomfortably difficult to ignore."

T'Pruk raised an eyebrow at Cara. "An interesting analysis, Lieutenant. I think that might be the missing piece to my analysis."

Surprise by this, Cara simply nodded her head and murmured, "Happy to have helped." Even if she wasn't entirely sure what she had said that provided the missing puzzle piece.

Brian was gazing down at his feet, ashamed to realise he hadn't thought about it in those terms either and feeling like he should have. Diplomacy was not his favourite game.

Still noticing that her doctor was missing, she asked her academic XO, "Why don't you start with your report? I am curious, though, why the Doctor is not back yet."

Gray answered, "We went to the university where we watched a surgery. The patient started to die and the professors and students did nothing to help. I gave the Doctor permission to intervene. Apparently, this culture kills off their students and doctors if they allow a patient to die. After the Doctor saved the patient, the medical student wished to introduce the Doctor to his parents."

O'Connor rolled her eyes and looked at Pendragon. "Does this sound familiar to you?"

"Oh boy..." Brian turned pale. "I'm guessing they have some really obscure cultural practice that means besting an opponent in some test of prowess is basically taken as a marriage proposal? Yeah... that... I do have... some experience in the field..."

"I thought you gave your feline friend a gift," O'Connor stated with a question and humor in her voice. "Wasn't that it?"

As if on cue, the Doctor returned, "In this case, apparently the unselfish act of saving another's life without expectation of payment is the equivalent of a marriage proposal, the consideration being one's life."

The Captain shook her head. "I swear, if we get one more diplomatic mission.... If one more crew member on this ship accidentally gets engaged...." O'Connor's eyebrows furrowed as she considered what to do. "I would bet that you are all calmer than myself at the moment. "Suggestions?"

Biting her lip, the junior science officer looked around the gathered staff and said, "Aside from doing my best to avoid a proposal before we get out of the system? There is a potential for this planet to make a decent ally if not outright member world, but there seems to be an overall lack of common concern for the general welfare. The idea that an individual's worth is inherent and not based on productivity seemed an appaling one to our guide." She frowned, "A notion not uncommon on Earth, prior to the third world war." Now she was the one making uncomfortable comparisons.

O'Connor nodded, looking at Cara and seeing that she could have been a younger and lighter haired copy of herself. Silently, she wondered at Ross' heritage. I wonder if she's Irish too. Might be fun to drink her under the table. I might even get tipsy. "Any other opinions?" O'Connor asked giving Cara a nod after asserting her opinion.

"Only that changing minds about something that fundamental may need pressure from both the interior as well as exterior," Brian observed, trying to imagine it as an engineering problem, for a better fit with his own expertise. "Has whoever's been analysing their news and media got a perspective on how they represent people with a contrary point of view? Are they seen as respected opposition politicians, harmless cranks or dangerous dissidents...?"

T'Pruk immediately jumped to Brian's agreement. One might even think that she was eager to leap to his support but that would be oddly emotional for a Vulcan. "Lieutenant Pendragon has a valid point. Just because the Federation might find some of their practices distasteful does not mean we should not see what other merit they may or may not have." She raised an eyebrow in his general direction. Quite logical for a human.

Furrowing her eyebrows, O'Connor replied, "Well, since the two of you believe that would be useful information, perhaps the two of you should look for it."

The doctor returned and said, "You will never believe what happened when I saved a patient on behalf of a medical student...."

Cutting off Vrell, O'Connor said, "You found that you were engaged and now need assistance getting out of it. Been there, done that before." She looked at her crew and announced, "I need a stiff glass of Irish whiskey." Taking a deep breath, she finally pulled out her communicator and said, "Landing party is ready to beam up."


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