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Prologue - CO's Council

Posted on Fri Mar 2nd, 2018 @ 8:34pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Captain Rory Foxwell & Commander Aemon Tiruk & Lieutenant Commander Tejan Aune & Lieutenant Commander Zhora Kore & Lieutenant Commander Jonas Lockley & Lieutenant Theodore Adams & Touri Arquas'Neveh

Mission: Of Persephone
Location: Seppala Station Operations Center
Timeline: After Returning to Golovin

On:

The Commanding Officers of the Vessels in the Initiative, and their Orion guest, had all agreed to meet together at Seppala to decide what to do next. They needed to find a path and agree to follow it. Some members of each team had been brought along to the station, but no one except the COs found themselves in the meeting room off of the Operation Center. The meeting started with everyone in normal tones, catching one another up with the situation of their vessels. With only two ships in operating condition, Shanghai and Vauban, it was clear that there was not a lot in the way of options. When one option would be brought up, another officer would poke a hole in the idea.

Eventually, of course, this degraded to simple arguments and even a few shouting matches. After nearly two hours of discourse, tempers had flared and the fear and uncertainty felt by all of the crew began to bubble to the surface. With Tiruk, Adams, and Aune at each other's throats over something she couldn't have cared less about, Mei finally stood up. She softly sat her hands on the table for a moment and then sighed, turning and walking out of the room. For a moment, as she moved away, the room was a bit quieter - but as soon as she left the argument continued.

She stepped onto the Ops Center floor, and was greeted by a salute from one of the officers there. She just gave a nod and moved to stand in front of the view screen. It displayed the world of Golovin below, floating in the black. Looking at planets below never got old - it was always a beautiful and exciting as it was the first time. It wasn't home to her yet, but she could feel that it was at least a safe harbor. And now it was all they had. Truth be told, Mei had made up her mind. She knew what they would do next, and she didn't see another option.

After a few minutes, Foxwell came out of the room as well. He stepped over next to Mei and looked out as well. For a moment, the old man didn't say anything. When he did, "So, none of them changed your mind?" was all he asked. When Sun shook her head, he had his answer. And that was enough for him.

More minutes ticked by, and Commander Kore was the next to slip out of the room. Then Touri, Lockley, Aune, Adams, and finally Tiruk. When Tiruk finally arrived in Operations, there was just a silence among the commanders. Mei swallowed.

"There is only one option. Agreed?" Sun said quickly, without looking to the other commanders. No one said anything for a moment.

"Yes," Lockley spoke up first. He was hoarse from the wounds suffered during the wave, but seemed sure of the decision.

"I trust your decision," Commander Kore said quietly. She pulled at her white hair, andorian antennae sinking a bit at the idea.

"I agree." Foxwell chimed in.

"Reluctantly." Commander Aune added, crossing his arms.

"I'm in the same boat as Aune," Adams said, "If I get an official vote."

"I object," Tiruk said softly, "Officially." He sighed, "Unofficially, it is the best option..."

"Touri?" Sun asked quietly.

"What? Me? I'm Syndicate. I don't really want you calling reinforcements..." The little orion admitted, nervously talking with her hands,"But... any help is welcome help at this point, right?"

"Good. Computer, send an encrypted message to Supervisory Agent al-Hashem, Department of Temporal Investigations. Use encryption Cai sān, qī, jiu, jiu, liù, yī, jiu." She swallowed, "Message reads: Sa'di, we have experienced a major temporal incursion. Numerous ships involved. Hostile power involved. Reinforcements needed." She paused, and then asked, "Computer, how long will it take this message to arrive once it is sent?"

"Subspace burst will take twenty three hours and sixteen minutes to reach the nearest Federation subspace network buoy." The computer chimed in.

"Continue message. "Sa'di, our current year is 2391, but your year is 2388. Currently I am regrowing layers of my eyes in a Starbase Medical Facility in your time line, if it is similar to our own. You have a message from me from before the destruction of the Shanghai, one you admitted later that you delayed because you thought it was very possible that Cai was killed when the ship was destroyed. So you gave me those papers late. Right now, I don't know they exist. They'll confuse me, because you don't use the term yangmu in the files, and you know that. That is your surprise."

She swallowed. "Our coordinates follow. Over a thousand colonists and crew need help out here. Please respond as soon as you are able." She paused. "Computer. Send the message."

There was a chime, and then silence.

"What does yangmu mean?" Adams bluntly asked.

"It's the Mandarin word for foster mother." Mei said softly, before she stepped away. "Enough of that. Computer, initiate a temporal event lock-down. Disable all long range communications on all Initiative ships and stations. Lockdown all remote computer access. The lockdown will only be lifted after three months, or upon the arrival of the Department of Temporal Investigations."

The computer chimed, "Command authorization required." One by one the commanding officers stepped up to a console, entering their command codes. As they finished, the computer chimed again. "Lockdown initiated."

Then there was silence again for a moment.

"I don't feel great about that." Adams said quietly.

"None of us do." Tiruk barked at him. "But we have to maintain the integrity of this timeline."

"What if this isn't a similar timeline?" Touri spoke up, "Then isn't this a waste?"

"No, then in three months we find another plan," Foxwell added. "Until then, lets make ourselves useful. Get to your crews. We'll begin repairing one ship at a time." He took a breath, "We'll double efforts to protect the system. Any extra energy we have should be put towards building up the colony. If we're stuck out here, we're going to need fresh food."

There was yet another silence, a pause in the action. "What are you waiting for?" Sun said after a moment. "Get to it." The officers then began to break apart, heading back to their ships and crew to set up how they were going to begin this few months. All except Foxwell and Sun.

"Touri," Foxwell said as the Orion began to leave. "Wait."

"Oh, come on," She protested. "Why me?"

"Because," Foxwell said quietly. "For this plan to work, every ship has to be on lockdown." He looked down at her, "That includes Syndicate and Consortium ships."

"What?" She said softly. "That's a Federation..."

"Touri. Look at where you are standing, right now. Not the station, but your social standing." He said with a smile, "Think of what it took to get there, how many things had to go right... what would have happened if any one of those things went wrong?"

She didn't say anything, but there was a flash of fear in the young woman's eyes - a sudden memory, if Sun had to guess. She closed her eyes and shook her head. "I won't be a Federation slave."

"We aren't asking you to be. We're asking you to help us protect the timeline, your timeline as much as ours." Foxwell shrugged. "We won't make you."

"But the first Ferengi to realize how much profit could be made with a couple years worth of foresight..." Sun added quietly. "Not to mention any rivals you have in the Syndicate... what do you think they will do?"

The orion hissed at the two, "The same thing I would do..." She looked over them. "What are you suggesting?"

"A deal."

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