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Diplomatic Overtures

Posted on Wed May 6th, 2020 @ 6:37pm by Rusan & Captain James McCullen & Lieutenant Kalos Ibraxol & Lieutenant JG Merlar R'heil & Master Warrant Officer Kayden Ganador

Mission: Reaching Out in Hope
Location: Stakoron
Timeline: Immediately following "Contact"

Ibraxol followed after McCullen and Rusan, silently hopeful that wherever they were going was a bit cooler than the outdoors. He wondered what could be happening up in the asteroid belt as they walked. "Have you been able to contact your stranded people since the Dominion's withdrawal, or are they totally cut off?" He asked.

"They do have communications access, but are totally dependent on weekly shipments of food and supplies," spoke Rusan as he led the way inside the government's capital building, a towering structure made up of a metallic structure along with what appeared to be green granite slabs covering the exterior. Rusan led them through a grand entrance, with clear signs of neglect as signs of humidity and water infiltration marked the granite walls. Debris scattered the floor, and disruptor bolts had scarred some walls.

Rusan led them into a larger conference room, and took a seat at the head of the table, with his aides sitting on either side of him, leaving the other end of the table to the Sentinel crew.

McCullen sat himself down at the other end of the table, taking one of the side seats and leaving the head chair for Ibraxol, he would be the chief negotiator in this discussion, after all.

Merlar wasn't sure to sit or stand so she sat down next to Capt McCullen,still being cautious through the whole meeting,
not really feeling trust with these aliens. But Just stayed quiet the whole time.

Ibraxol sat down, taking the head of the table and clasping his hands in front of him. "Before we get into brass tacks, I think that Captain McCullen should provide an understanding of our capabilities and what we can give to you in aid." He looked over to McCullen.

"Let me begin," McCullen set his palms down on the table, "by giving you an idea of what we are capable of, and what we are willing to provide you and your people. First of all, understand that my ship is not equipped to assist your entire planet, consider us a fact finding expedition to determine what is needed and what the Federation can do to help you. We'll do what we can with the resources we have, of course, but full Federation aid will only come after this mission has concluded, assuming we can come to an agreement. In the mean time, we can provide limited logistical support, some medical supplies and food rations, technical support and expertise. What we're not willing to provide is technology more advanced than you already have access to, weapons of any kind or direct leadership. You will always be in charge here, Menteri Rusan, fully and entirely, and if you ask us to leave we will do so, without hesitation or caveat."

Merlar continued watching the captain as he was talking to Menteri Rusan with still no trust in them,she continued
to be quiet trying not to snarl or growl during their meeting. Merlar just listened to the captain, and Rusan talk the whole time.

Rusan looked at the Starfleet officer, his face an inscrutable mask which gave away none of his thoughts. After a minute of silence, he nodded. "If you had come claiming otherwise, I would have believed you to be no better than the Dominion. But they also came here, over two hundred years ago, offering friendship and support - before they brought in their Jem'Hader enforcers. You will understand, Captain, if I remain cautious."

"Absolutely," McCullen nodded, "after more than two hundred years of occupation, only a fool wouldn't be wary of false promises. I'm also aware that while I can spout platitudes and promises all day long, they are of little use in proving our good intentions. I hope it will be our actions, and the actions of other Starfleet and Federation personnel that come after us, that will prove to you that we are here to help, and nothing more... aside from perusing the opportunity to establish a lasting friendship, but only if you and your people desire it."

Ibraxol chimed in. "I understand the trauma the Dominion can inflict, and the wounds they leave behind. The path to regaining the independence and peoplehood lost during their occupation is often long and difficult, and what we are offering, like Captain McCullen said, is a hand of friendship; and if you wish to accept it, we will not make the journey for you, but we will certainly assist you how we can while you make it."

Rusan blinked his nictitating membranes in assent, and turned to look at his aides, unsure where to take the conversation next. After two centuries of handholding by the Dominion, his position as Menteri had been mostly symbolic - a figurehead without any real power. The Dominion did not share power. But now, all of it had reverted to the Stakoron people, and they were at a complete loss as to what to do with it.

McCullen could sense the hesitation from Rusan and wondered where it was coming from. It was either doubt that they were honest about their intentions or uncertainty about how to proceed. From the conversation thus far, he banked on the latter. After years of Dominion control, it wasn't that surprising. "May I suggest," he began, deciding to throw the Menteri a lifeline, "that we start by talking about the immediate physical needs of your people? If we can make a list of things that need to happen, we can begin to prioritize and allocate what resources the Sentinel has available."

"Very well," said Rusan after a minute of reflection. "As we told you earlier, we have many communities in remote locations who are now cut off from the rest of the planet. We need to find a way to deliver food and medical supplies to those communities. There are also several infrastructure overhaul projects that had been undertaken by the Dominion that are now completely abandoned. The Dominion left with the expertise to carry out those projects."

Merlar continued protecting the Captain,as she went closer to the captain, "Excuse me Captain are you alright its been a warm place to be." Merlar asked him as she walked around the area looking around while near the Captain. Then she looked at the other official named Rusan to ask. "Excuse me Rusan your name is? I was wondering does it always get this warm on your planet?" Merlar said with a very slight growl.

"I'm fine, Lieutenant Merlar," McCullen gave his security officer a smile, wondering at the timing of the distraction.

"Yes, these weather conditions are typical for this region," confirmed Rusan.

Ibraxol nodded. "I personally have some experience working with infrastructure recovery. Although my most recent case involved a more... drastic destruction of infrastructure, I believe my experience will still serve me well." He was, of course, referencing his work with the Romulans in the wake of the destruction of Romulus; restoring a semblance of infrastructure in day-old colonies when a home planet had been destroyed was brutally difficult, but he hoped that it would be a tad easier here - considering the planet was still intact. "I can assist your engineering people in making sense of any Dominion plans left behind - I speak Dominionese rather fluently - and getting started on establishing a unique Stakoronian infrastructure. In time, you and your people may benefit from seeing architecture of their own in lieu of Dominion infrastructure."

"Like Lieutenant Ibraxol here, many of our officers are multi-talented. We have a range of technical, logistic and medical expertise aboard the Sentinel, all of which we're willing to offer. We should perhaps start with the immediate problem of logistics, though, before worrying about half-finished projects. Supplying those cut-off communities with what they need seems to be the priority to me. To that end, I have several questions to pose..." He paused to give the Stakoron leader a moment, "first, are you in communication with these isolated people? Second, do you know exactly what it is they need and third, do you have the stores of supplies to provide to them?"

Rusan looked at Kiassa, his Chief of staff, who leaned in and whispered something in the Menteri's ear. Leaning back in his chair, Rusan looked at the Sentinel's diplomatic officer. "We lost contact with these villages when he Dominion pulled out, but we have picked up signs of activity. We know where they are, but they are in remote areas in the North, where food does not grow. They are totally dependent on weekly deliveries of food and medicine, which was handled through our spaceports and those spaceports are now completely inoperative. The villages have not received any shipment in over a month."

McCullen frowned to himself, wondering at the best strategy for helping those remote villages. Certainly, the Sentinel's cargo transporters could be utilized to send temporary relief to them, but a long term solution would be more difficult. One option was to provide the Stakoron with a few sublight cargo shuttles to deliver food, another was to simply move the residents of the villages to areas where food was more accessible.
"All right," the captain mused, "when the Sentinel returns from it's rescue operations in the asteroid belt, we'll begin providing relief supplies to the villages. That will at least give us a stopgap until we can get your spaceports at least partially functional again. Do you have people trained to operate the vessels there," he asked, just as another thought popped into his head "... assuming, that is, that there are any vessels there?"

Merlar was watching the captain speak as she grinned at his questioning but still cotinued watching him as she was walking around noticing the others on the planet, and nodded with a short smile.

"The Dominion either took all flight-capable ships, or else removed their engines to render them unusable," spoke up Kiassa. "They did their best to cripple us entirely."

Ibraxol nodded, thinking for a moment. He looked towards McCullen before speaking. "Hopefully our aid will allow you time to breathe, so to speak. We can arrange the short-term solution of cargo transporters - like Captain McCullen said, we can begin that as soon as we resolve the miner situation. That will ideally allow us time to discuss and arrange for a more long-term solution. You said that the Dominion took with them or disabled flight-capable ships; are the pilots still here? And as for the disabled ships, how many did they leave behind without engines - and would it be within the realm of possibility to restore them to functionality?"

Merlar kept close by the captain while looking around the planet and feeling very warm and her fur getting wet from sweat.

"You can go over those details with Kha'Varin, our Menari for Territorial Operations," said Rusan. Such operational details were best handled by someone who could be more hands-on than the Menteri himself, whose job it was to steer the Stakoron society in the right direction. Rusan wasn't one to micro-manage. "I suggest setting up a separate meeting to go over those details. I welcome your offer of assistance, Captain McCullen. My staff will be at your disposal to discuss our issues in engineering, medicine, education, labor and industry, environment, and transportation at your convenience."

Rusan stood from the table, an indication that this meeting had come to an end. His staff was more ideally suited to answer questions on their specific fields of expertise, and the next steps required low-level meetings.

McCullen stood a moment after Rusan, giving the man and his entourage a nod. He hadn't expected a decentralized governmental system to be in place, dealing with multiple officials would be much trickier than simply with Rusan alone, but it was what it was. "We will schedule a meeting as soon as possible, Menteri Rusan, and as soon as the Sentinel returns from her rescue mission we'll get started on the supply deliveries to your people."

Ganador took his cue from the captain, also standing and crossing his hands in front of him. He frowned, slightly, wondering just how many menari there were and how many officials they were going to have to deal with.


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