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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:05 am

Meet me in the temple...
Promenade, Deep Space Nine
Day 2 (the day after docking)

After recovering Ko-ko and saying goodbye to her friend, Alenis went back to the promenade. It was only after they parted ways that Alenis realized that she hadn’t even asked Ros why she was there.

Alenis strolled down the Promenade, taking in all the sights. But with all the flashy signs and bright displays that shopkeepers used to draw in customers, Alenis’ eyes were drawn to a simple entranceway. There were no bright colours or neon lights, just a simple archway decorated with hand-carved Bajoran script. On either side of the arch, carvings of the symbol of Bajor were set into the wall. The dull exterior did little to entice potential customers, but they weren’t selling anything. This establishment was offering nothing more than spiritual guidance, and asking nothing in return. Though members of other species would walk by without so much as giving it a second thought, even Alenis, separated from her home for nearly three decades, instantly recognized it for what it was: A Bajoran Temple.

“Come in, sister,” beckoned a priest stationed at the entryway to the temple. It was not every day that she would see a Starfleet commander standing on the promenade, transfixed by the sight of her simple house or worship. Especially not a Bajoran with a bird on her shoulder.

“Me?” asked Alenis, though there was little doubt who he was referring to.

“Yes,” replied the priest. “You look like you could use some assistance with spiritual matters.”

“In fact…” Alenis thought back over the events of the past few days. She was still trying to interpret her religious experiences. “I could.” The priest’s hand on her back, she was guided into the temple. As she stepped through the arch, she looked around, taking in every carving, every holy book, and every religious icon around her. The temple was austere, with no gold or silver in sight. A few blackwood carvings decorated the walls, and numerous bookcases held old religious texts.

The priest reached towards Ko-ko with his hand; Alenis stepped back, hearing Ko-ko sound threatened.

“Allow me to feel your pagh,” replied the priest.

“I’m sorry,” said Alenis as she took the bird in her hands. “Ko-ko – my bird – has had a very exciting day.”

The priest smiled. “You have not been to a temple in some time, have you, Commander Alenis?”

“How do you know my name?” asked Alenis, her eyes narrowing and her voice taking on a suspicious tone.

“I may be a simple priest,” he said, “but I do not live under a rock. There is not a man, woman or child on Bajor who is not aware of the impending return of the fifth shard, to be delivered by a lost child of Bajor, no less. And there are not too many Bajorans commanding Starfleet vessels docked at Deep Space Nine. It is a simple matter of deduction.” He squeezed Alenis’ earlobe between his thumb and forefinger, closing his eyes as he made a spiritual connection. “Your pagh is strong.”

“My pagh…” Alenis’ voice trailed off. He was right, it had been a long time. Nearly three decades, in fact. She barely knew what to do in a temple; how to act, what to say, how to address a priest. “I’m sorry, it doesn’t seem right that you know my name and I don’t know yours.”

The priest smiled. Perhaps it was her naivete, or perhaps it was her Starfleet uniform, but there was something about her that he found fascinating. “Ishan Tillar. You have questions of a spiritual matter, don’t you.”

“Yes…” Alenis thought for a moment. “I’ve had some… visions… and I’m not sure what they mean.”

“The prophets work in mysterious ways,” replied Ishan. “Wait, does this have something to do with the shard?”

“In fact, it does…”
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

Tyrlai Zade

Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:06 am

Vedek, Orb and Tome part 1

Deep Space 9, Sunset Promanade Club,
the night before the Banquet.

Tyrlai Zade

“Kivoli!!” The crowd chanted raising their hands, the thumping of the music, a mix of ritual Bajoran themes accented with modern stylings filled the dimly lit room. A series of low key lights flashed in a ribbon like flows across walls, floor, support struts and ceiling alike, in a variety of mixing colors. It combined in a cascade effect that flowed from the ceiling, along the walls and supports to mix on the dance floor. Synthahol made the lights a little mesmerizing.

Tyrlai moved through the crowd, her own arms raised, weaving from group to group and finding the lights very distracting thanks to a series of blue and green concoctions. As old as she was she couldn’t quite remember a time or place where there wasn’t dancing. In this club the current style was an informal group arrangement. Five to eight people moving as a loose collection around the floor picking up members and losing others, as couples eventually formed they spun out to the edges. Individual songs flowed into each other, the music never quite stopping. The deckplates vibrated beneath her strappy heels, orange ribbons fluttering from them as well as the hem of her dress flowing and rippling occasionally as she spun her way through the crowd.

She had four or so followers, a Korbian, two Bajorans and a Human female. Each in turn had crossed her path through the dance a bit too often to have been chance. She had narrowed her preference to the green eyed Bajoran and the raven haired girl and had been considering pairing her way to the outside with one of them when she noticed something else at the edge of the room.

Those few not here to dance and some of the pairs that had drifted aside to get to know each other sat in tables and booths scattered around the edge of the club on both levels. There were two people sitting alone, one was a Murak, vibration and noise reminded them of home. The other was a Bajoran with an oddly styled earring. Tyrlai knew little about the earrings that the Bajorans preferred but was sure she hadn’t quite seen his style before. Tyrlai slipped from one group to a second with a better vantage point, her slender form swaying to the music and occasionally keeping her eye on the odd man in the corner.

It was living on the Orion ship that had taught her to mark unusual behavior in a room, and keep an eye on people whose intentions weren’t obvious. So when a man walked in, keeping his head concealed in a hood and dropped a parcel at the strange mans table, Tyrlai caught it out of the corner of her eye as she spun around pretending to be interested in a pair of inebriated Bolians. She spun twice catching a glance of parchment each time. She then swayed, in a flutter of hip swaying crossing to the closest of tonight’s suitors. She paired off with the green eyed Bajoran and led him to the edge near the strange Bajoran man just as the latter headed for an exit.

“I need a second,” she said glancing back to the green eyed Bajoran, already moving towards a secondary alcove. She reached for an almost unnoticeable dispenser she had clipped to a strap of her dress and popped a bluish pill into her mouth, biting down and swallowing as she darted around the corner into a dark corridor. Her vision clarified somewhat as the antidote to synthahol started flowing through her. She turned two corners and stopped suddenly, teetering a bit on her heels as she ran almost headlong into the strange man standing face to face with a bulky Bajoran with a similar earring and a tall, robed figure holding a spherical sensor in three long clawed reptilian fingers.

“Deal with her.” The reptilian thing hissed. The guard turned, his hands already out to apply a restraining hold on her. She braced herself, turned and leaned back and spun into a two legged kick, her arms holding on end of a Cardassian styled archway and planting his temple into the other. She dropped deftly to the deck landing cleanly despite the unnatural heels she had chosen for the evening. He landed less smoothly in a bulky pile.

“Must be an important book if you are willing to ‘deal with people’ over it.” Tyrlai stepped forward a caught a glance of the script on the cover ‘The Prophet’s Rest’. It was weathered and old and though she had no idea what it was she was pretty certain it probably wasn’t meant to be switching hands in an orbital dance club.

The strange Bajoran stared at her, just looking. His earring was a mix of coppery bronze and cobalt blue. It was the blue that was the odd part, she had never seen blue in the structure of a Bajoran earring before. She felt it odd also that he wasn’t engaging in her pithy banter. Her just started at her or rather just to the left of her,…

She felt the hypo against her neck just moments before she had been about to aim another kick at the figure she had just realized had been sneaking up behind her. She did manage to turn on increasingly unsteady legs and get a look at the pretty green eyed Bajoran man she had led to the edge of the dance floor.

“Yeah, okay, that makes sense.” She said as she fell back , the man stepping forward to catch her and sling her gracefully over his shoulder. He had been stronger than he looked on the dance floor she thought as her mind grew fuzzy.

The lizard turned his sphere in his clawed hand and scanned her with it. “She is the one who found the shard. This is most curious, the Vedek will wish to put her to question, bring her along. Leave the fool guard, we need to be away before she is discovered missing,…”

Tyrlai faded into a blissful sleep as they started moving down the station corridor.

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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:07 am

Wrath of the Orions
Deep Space Nine
Mission Day 2

It was a mundane prisoner transfer, but with most security personnel either on shore leave or hung over, Daniel Tobin personally volunteered to do the honours of transferring Zuwtt to Starfleet Command. In some way it only seemed right that he would be the one to turn him in; after all, Zuwtt worked for a former colleague of his. Perhaps in some small way, volunteering for this simple task would help bring Vike to justice and him Daniel assuage his guilty conscience and atone for ever following Vike.

As they walked through the corridors, Zuwtt hung his head, partially ashamed at being perp-walked through the station flanked by Tobin and a Starfleet security guard, and partially because as someone who has likely run afoul of the Orion Syndicate, he didn’t want anyone to see his face. But staring at the floor, he didn’t even see his attacker approach.

Rushing through the corridor, an Orion with close-cropped hair bumped up against Vike. “Sorry,” she said as she hurried past in the direction of the docking ring.

Zuwtt doubled over in pain, clutching his stomach. The security guard reached down to assist him, but recoiled when he felt wetness on his hand. Daniel looked down to see blue blood on the guard’s hand. Immediately, he lept into action. Taking aim at the Orion with his phaser, Daniel fired two shots, both missing, before taking up pursuit.

The Orion turned and ducked into a corridor. Phaser in hand, Daniel sprinted in pursuit, coming around the around the corner, and—

“Uggh,” he grunted in pain as he felt a large knife plunge into his chest. He looked up into the Orion’s eyes and held up his hands. He tried to call for help, but with his lung pierced, instead of words, the only thing to come out of his mouth was a desperate cough. And blood.

Grabbing his victim by the hair, the Orion smiled as she pulled a jagged blade out of her victim’s chest. For good measure, she ran it across his throat before throwing his body into the corner. As the life drained out of him, the last thing he saw was Vara smirking over his body as she dematerialized.
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:07 am

The gift...
Science Lab
USS Portland
MD2, 23:45 hours

This late at night, the science lab was empty. There were a few experiments running overnight, and the occasional whirr or chirp from the computers, but the lights were off and no one was home.

“Computer, open science lab, override Alenis Epsion Four.”

Though it was her ship, the science lab was one place that Alenis wasn’t supposed to be without the permission of Lt. Beauvoir. Starfleet regulations were pretty clear on that; she figured they didn’t want some meathead ex-Tactical CO from bumbling in and ruining delicate experiments. Being a former tactical officer herself, she could respect that. But despite a lack of formal training in the sciences, she felt herself to be no meathead.

Still, she just didn’t understand the orb visions, and the temple was no help. Ishan simply told her that the prophets work in mysterious ways, and gave her a heavy book. As for the prophecies, his theory was that it was not worth worrying about, as they would come true no matter what choices Alenis made.

Somehow, she didn’t find that reassuring. So, here she was, trespassing for the second time today, wandering into a dark science lab lit only by a few active console screens and the faint glow of the shard.

She slowly walked towards the center of the dark room, stepping over what appeared to be some popped balloons – she made a mental note to ask Jason if he’d thrown Shras a farewell party – and stared at the shard, held aloft by the containment field. As she stepped closer, the shard began to give off a warm glow.

“Computer, deactivate containment field.”

Alenis took the shard in her hands and closed her eyes. When she reopened them, the warm glow had filled the room and she was surrounded by colleagues – Jason, Tim, Arvel, even Shras and Admiral Washington were there.

“Oh, prophets, I look to you for answers,” said Alenis, as she kneeled down before what appeared to be the Admiral.

“But my child, you have all the answers you need.”

“But not all I seek,” interjected Alenis. “You saved the ship, a few days ago. Why?”

“The prophecy must be fulfilled,” replied the prophet appearing in the form of Tim.

“What is this prophecy?” she demanded, frustration evident in her voice.

“You will understand when it comes to pass,”

“That’s not good enough!” Alenis stood up from her knees. “I want to know what is going on here.”

“You know all that you need to,” replied Shras. He was annoying even as a prophet. “Except one thing.”

“What is that?” Alenis’ eyes widened, hoping to finally get some answers.

“You must accept our gift,” said Tim. “You mustn’t turn it away.”

“Gift? I’m not sure what--” Alenis doubled over in pain, clutching the area of her right groin muscle. As she lie down in pain, she pulled up her shirt to see a faint glow through her skin.

Brad appeared over her. “You mustn’t turn away the gift.”

“Fine!” she replied, curled up on the floor, her eyes closed in pain. When she opened them, the lab was dark again and the pain was gone. Alenis knew what she had to do. She had to cancel an appointment with the doctor.
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

Jason Beauvoir

Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:08 am

Rol Gren Resort

After a tour of Jena's hometown and a delicious lunch, Jason decided his daughter needed some pampering, so they'd taken a shuttle to the planet's new coastal resort.

They were having a swim in one of the pools, before Jena's spa appointment, when three young woman approached. "Hey handsome." Said the human of the group. "I'm Marcia and these are my friends Gia and Rhea. We're going to have a night of drinking and dancing and who knows where that might lead. Want to join us?"

Jason looked at the women, they were beautiful, but he had other responsibilities. "Thank you, for the tempting invitation ladies, but I'll have to decline. I'm here with my daughter and right now she's my main priority."

"Okay, your loss, Handsome." Marcia said and left with her friends.

Moments later an attractive Vulcan woman dressed in a Starfleet Captain's uniform walked from behind a tree.
"Interesting." She said. "It appears you have finally begun embrace you responsibilities. I would have preferred that you have begun with your career, but this is also a commendable start."

"Such praise." Jason replied. "So you sent those women?"

"Yes." The woman simply said.

"That's entrapment." Jason exclaimed.

"No, it was an experiment. I had a hypothesis and women helped me to test it. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. You were surprised with the presence of a child you didn't know existed and you have taken responsibility for it."

"Mother, she's not an 'it', she's a girl, her name is Jena and she's your granddaughter." Jason said angrily.

"I'm aware of that. I am not an imbecile." Replied without a hint of emotion.

"No, you're a cold hearted bitch."

"Easy, Jason, I'm mother, but I'm also your superior."

Seething with barely control anger and though clench teeth, Jason said. "Yes, ma'am. Would you like to meet your granddaughter now?"

"Of course, lead the way, Jason."

Moving to the edge of the pool, Jason called."Jena, could you come here, please."

"Sure, Dad, what is it?" She asked as she left the water and approached her father and the unknown Vulcan woman dressed in a Captain's uniform.

"Jena, this is Captain T'Lisa Anderson, my mother and your grandmother."

Jena looked at Captain Anderson, she was a beautiful Vulcan woman, with blue eyes and although she was only about 2 inches taller than Jena herself, her rigid stance and her smileless expression made her appear even taller and more imposing.

"Nice to meet you, ma'am, may I say that you're very beautiful." Jena said finally.

"Thank you, Jena, it is a pleasure to meet you too." T'Lisa said attempting a smile. "I hear that Jumja sticks taste quite pleasant, how about I buy us each one?"

Jena smiled. "Yes, please."

"Jena." Jason said.

"Yes?" She asked turning to Jason who was collecting up their things. "Here take these with you." He said handing her, her shoes, sarong and shirt. "I'll see you later, I've got some things to organise before the Banquet." He didn't want to spend anymore time than he had to with the woman and the looks of disappointment in her eyes.

"Okay, see ya." She said. She felt a little bad about leaving Jason, but she was excited to learn about her grandmother.

As they walked away from the pool, Jena asked. "What should I call you, ma'am? Gran, Grandma, Grandmother? Nana?"
The captain raised an eye brow. "Call me, T'Lisa, after all, it is my name." T'Lisa said.

"T'Lisa, it is then."

Timothy Rouse

Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:09 am

Timothy Rouse's Quarters
Evening, Mission Day 1
Authors: Lt. Cmdr Alenis Meru as Maria Hill and Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Rouse as Ellen Washington.

“Come in” Tim said as he grabbed his uniform jacket.

Maria walked in the room. “Hello Sir, Ellen said I could come by” Maria said.

“No problem, she’ll be out soon.” As he spoke Ellen left the other room and greeted her friend. “Great, you’re here. I’ve got such a great idea for our project.”

“Leave her out of that!!” Tim said as he left his quarters. Ellen sticked out his tongue in his direction. They had already discussed her idea and he really didn’t like it. But he didn’t liked anyone using his little sister for their plans.

“Leave who out of it?” Maria asked, wondering where they were talking about, or why Ellen called her.

“Want something to drink?” Ellen asked before she started explaining. “Tim’s sister Judith is coming tomorrow and I think she would be perfect. She is coming on the Portland as a Security Advisor.”

"She would be perfect for--" suddenly Maria realized what Ellen was referring to. They had been discussing their little project together for quite some time. "Oh, that is a great idea." She turned to Tim. "Don't worry, sir, she'll be in good hands. Besides, how do you know this isn't going to be something she wants?"

“I don’t want to be part of this!” Tim said as he walked towards Ellen. He couldn’t understand why woman needed to set up every person. He even felt sorry for the guy. He bend to Ellen and gave her a kiss. “See you later.” he said softly and he left his quarters. He had to work.

As the door closed, Maria turned to Ellen, finding herself alone in the Executive Officer’s quarters with her best friend. “So… have you moved in already?”

“Uhm, not really.” Ellen hadn’t spend much time in her quarters lately. “Officially that is” Changing the subject. “So, how are we going to do this?”

“Hmm, perhaps a blind date on the holodeck?” Maria racked her brain trying to think of an appropriate holodeck program. “Oh, I’ve got one… Sunset at Chez Ste-Marie.” She let out a smile thinking about it. “Overlooking the Martian valleys, Chez Ste-Marie has some of the most romantic scenery on the red planet. With an atmosphere that exudes sophistication, Ches Ste-Marie features live music and polite waiters who cater to your every whim. The wine selection is unmatched on Mars, and live music adds to the sensual atmosphere.” Maria was quoting almost word for word from the advertisement for the program; it was one of her favourites for a date on the holodeck. “For an especially intimate setting, reserve a small table by the window and watch the sun set over the peaks and valleys of the red planet.”

Ellen tried to look at the pictures. “Aww, that looks so romantic. They will love it” She took a zip from her drink. “You know, what I heard of Tim she reminds me a lot of your little sister. A real delicate flower.”

“That’s so cute.” Maria smiled back at Ellen. “They’d be perfect together.”

Rostrenen T'Sering

Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:09 am

Admiralty Boardrooms
Deep Space 9
SS Brithonic docks a week before the Portland

Rostrenen T'Sering

A chubby chicken BLT slides toward him on the surface of Admiral Washington's desk. Hunan Fydor across from him leans on one arm, and bobs his eyebrows. He smiles eagerly at the Admiral, then slowly reaches forward to unwrap the sandwich, exposing the lovingly made breaded chicken patty with mild veggies, Eath's own bacon and a chocolate drizzle. The Risan wets his lips expressively, his eyebrows encouraging the Starfleet Admiral to take and enjoy the offering. "This deep fried delight is from us. To you, my good friend!" he declared, pulling his hands away.

Admiral Washington peered at the sandwich, slid it away and folded his hands on his desk. "Mister Fydor," he said. "Of course, I appreciate the gesture..." Hunan cheerfully added, "...The pinacle in human quisine, I believe."

"...Yes. No doubt. I'm afraid though that the Elegus has been assigned to this project and I tend to agree that it will be the best place for your school." The Risan leaned forward with both elbows on the table, the shimmering comm pin of the Federation Press Network stuck to his lapel.

"Admiral, we mean no disrespect, but this project was proposed, and we thought agreed to, as a partnership. You have to work with us here, buddy. The News Services and Starfleet haven't always been on the same page, so somebody has to break ground on that front, especially now. We- you know, this is a gesture on our part! It's like, we're not planting an agent on you, we want this to work in everyone's favour. We don't need headlines! In this galaxy? Shoot, those are a dime a dozen..." Hunan ran a hand through his golden blonde hair, calming himself.

"And honestly..." he said, opening his man-purse and fetching out a PADD. "We think Miss T'Sering and her class won't get what they need in a guaranteed-safety environment, like we're being offered aboard the Elegus. And frankly, we BOTH want these students to turn around and join one of our organisations. Since their families are agreeing to quality, we wish to ensure this by arranging the project on an active, Starfleet asset..."

Hunan places the PADD next to the BLT sandwich. Admiral Washington picked it off the desk and studied it. His expression seemed relaxed, but unsure. He wasn't completely welcoming the opportunity to make this decision, one that encompassed the futures of a group of young, gifted students. He stood up finally, wetting his mouth and opening it to speak, then pausing to pick up the sandwich and taking a thorough bite. He made a face as he chewed, not floored by the taste of chocolate mixed into the fried chicken and bacon, but... strangely not against it. Hunan of course smiled, since he properly believed no human could resist it in any case.

"No," said the Admiral. "There is neither enough notice, nor can I sanction a civilian element to be present on a ship where we will be testing experimental technology."

Hunan frowned and stood. "Admiral, you should see that as a gesture of trust." He put his hands in his pockets though, signalling that he'd submit to the ruling. "Alright Admiral... but you will need to tell Rostrenen yourself. She's outside at the moment, and I have to say she didn't expect you would say no to the proposal."

"I'm not saying no," said Admiral Washington as he moved out from behind his desk, toward the door. "The Elegus will be a safe ship to conduct this aboard, and maybe in a few years we can revisit the issue. I really think this is in the best interested of-"

A small person bumped into the Admiral. A woman who by contrast seemed quite average pulled another against her to prevernt a worse collision. A third child peeked out from behind a fern in the hall. Rostrened looked up at the Admiral, her arms around the young lady below her, lazily, but easily keeping her pinned. Almost like a vapour, a calming sensation seemed to come over everyone, and the girl in her arms started to settle, reaching up to hold onto Rostrenen's wrists before she looked up at the Admiral too. "Excuse us. We were getting exercise. Would everyone gather? This is Admiral Washington." The children gathered. They were all of different age groups, and the tallest among them was their teacher. The pointy-eared woman kept a hand on the smallest child, and reached her other hand to greet the Admiral, somehow not as emotionless as she might appear. Washington shook her hand, stunned by her appearance. Ros read his confusion. "Jillian, did you still wish to know where the school would be?" she asked, looking down at the girl in front of her. The little girl seemed to shake her head at first, then took a deep breath as she stepped forward, and met eyes with the admiral.

"Excuse me... Um, my name... is Jillian. I'm six. Could you please tell me we are getting a star ship and not..." she looked at Hunan as he appeared behind the Admiral, retreating a little and wringing her hands. She decided to finish though, and ate down her apprehension. "Please Admiral Washinngton," she said clearly. "I don't want to be on a tub. I want a starship. With guns and everything. I hated school on Earth."

Hunan was smiling. The Admiral looked at the other children and then kneeled down, making eye contact with Ros for a moment, but speaking to the girl. "...okay. You got your starship," he said. "USS Portland."

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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:12 am

Going Down...
Docking Port #6
Deep Space Nine
Authors: Cmdr. Alenis Meru, Lt. (JG) Jason Beauvoir, Lt. (JG) Brad Silverton

Alenis glanced down at her chronometer. With a 20 minute flight ahead of them, the crew would have to leave right away in order to make it down to the surface in time for the official presentation of the shard to the Bajoran government. Seeing Jason approach with an ornate container, she smiled at him. "I take it the shard is safe and secure, Lieutenant?"

"Yes, ma'am as per orders." Jason said. He smiled back, in spite of feeling a little under the weather. Perhaps he'd got too much sun earlier.

"Ahem," Admiral Washington, who was catching a ride down with them, cleared his throat behind Alenis' back. He was anxious to get going, and subtly making it clear that he didn't appreciate being made to wait.

Straightening out her full dress uniform, Alenis looked over her senior staff. Their uniforms were all pressed and clean, ready for the banquet. Even Ensign Mallory's uniform was... passable. There was just one problem. The guest of honour was missing. She sighed and rubbed her forehead. "Where is Lieutenant Zade?"

The door to the shuttle bay opened and Brad Silverton walked through. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the banquet coming up. On one hand it would probably be dull and full of speeches and process. On the other hand perhaps he would be exposed to some music from Trill or Bajor. He had been meaning to pick up some sheet music and learn about Bajor while he was here but hadn't had the chance. He looked up and noticed everyone's slightly disappointed look.

"I'm not late am I? Or were you expecting someone else. Hey where is Lieutenant Zade?"

"I haven't seen her since last night." Jason said. Then noticing the questioning stares, he clarified. "She came over looking for Jena, but since Jena was on the Canterbury spending the night with her grandmother, I told her that, she asked me to tell Jena she'd stopped by and left. She appeared to be dressed up for a night on the town.

Alenis let out an angry sigh. She could feel Admiral Washington's stare burning into the back of her neck. She tapped her comm badge.

"Alenis to Zade, respond." No response. "Alenis to Zade?" With the Admiral watching her every move, Alenis was rapidly getting frustrated. "Computer, locate Lieutenant Tyrlai Zade."

"Tyrlai Zade is in the Sunset Club"

Seething mad, Alenis clenched her teeth. Her very own Second Officer was blowing off her duties, drinking and dancing in the Sunset Club instead of attending an important diplomatic function: a banquet in her honour no less! "Computer, transport Lieutenant Zade to my location, authorization Alenis kappa three." As she waited for Tyrlai to materialize, she thought up a few choice words for chewing out her victim.

But instead of the drunken Trill she was expecting, all that materialized was her comm badge. "Where is--" She tapped her comm badge again. "Commander Alenis Meru to Deep Space Nine security. I've got a missing crew member here. Lieutenant Tyrlai Zade."

"You know, she's probably just sleeping one off somewhere," replied the voice on the other end. "You know how it is with fleeters and shore--"

"Listen!" Alenis had no patience for his excuses. "Lieutenant Zade is missing, and her comm badge was removed. She was last seen at the Sunset Club." Alenis was shouting, frustrated with the lack of seriousness on the part of station security. "She is late for an important diplomatic affair. I want you to find her, and beam her to my location the moment you do. Do you understand me?"

"Ummmm, yes ma'am, I'll be on it right away, just let me--"

"DO IT! Alenis out." She looked around to see her staff staring back at her. "Mr. Rouse, please stay behind and assist with the search for Lieutenant Zade. I don't think these slack-jawed yokels understand the gravity of the situation. Everyone else... we have a banquet to get to, don't we?"

Hearing Alenis go off at the poor Security Officer, Jason felt a little sorry for him. But he also knew that her anger stemmed from concern for Tyrlai. "Aye, ma'am." Then turning to the others present he said."Okay, people, you heard the Captain, now get your sorry asses aboard that shuttle." A phrase that he regretted even before he finished saying it especially since those present included the XO and Admiral Washington. 'Well, it was fun while it lasted,' he thought to himself.

"Lieutenant," started the Admiral. "I'd advise you to keep a civil tongue in your head at this banquet. I'm sure your Commanding Officer has briefed you on the importance of--"

"I'll handle this," interrupted Alenis. "Take a seat, Admiral," she added, standing aside and motioning him to get into the transport. As the crew filed in, she waited for Jason who was at the back of the line. She could detect some visible discomfort emanating from him. "Lieutenant, are you feeling okay?"

"Well, now that you mention it, Ma'am, I am feeling a little strange." Jason replied. It was a huge understatement, but he know how important this banquet was and he didn't want to bow out over something that would probably pass in the next half hour or so.

"As soon as we land, get some kava root tea," replied Alenis, remembering an old home-remedy for nearly any ailment. "It'll calm your stomach and calm your nerves. And make sure it's the real stuff; I know how you feel about replicated teas," she added with a warm smile.

"Thank you, I'll do that." Jason said returning her smile, before taking his seat.
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:12 am

The Return
Near Bajor
Right before the banquet

As the transport passed by a large celestial object, Alenis immediately recognized it as Endalla, the largest and closest of Bajor’s five moons. Since she was a child reading the fairy tales of the five celestial children, the moons of Bajor had held a special place in her heart. One of her last memories of her father was standing outside on a clear night and watching Endalla eclipse Derna. They said if you made a wish at the precise moment that they eclipsed, it would come true. Alenis wished to leave the occupation behind; little did she know that two weeks later, she would find herself hiding in a cargo bay as a stowaway on a Lissepian freighter - and that her father would be left behind.

“Enjoying the view, Commander?” Alenis was interrupted by a stern and familiar voice.

“Yes, thank you, Admiral. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the moons of Bajor.”

“Indeed,” replied Washington. “I trust that our guest of honour will be coming down to join us?”

“Yes,” replied Alenis. “I’m sure that Mr. Rouse will get to the bottom of this issue,” she added, hoping that Tim would save her bacon once more. She glanced back at her crew, all seated in the transport. Jason in particular was looking a little worse for wear – sweating, fidgeting, and surrounded by an aura of restlessness. Alenis chalked it up to him holding a priceless artifact in his hands.

As they broke through the clouds, the city of Ashalla came into view, looking very different from the days of the occupation. In those days, it was a drab, depressing place. The architecture of occupation was everywhere – walls, fences and guard towers protected the Cardassian installations and kept the Bajorans divided from one another. Curfews made the city eerily quiet at night, with the exception of Cardassian patrols. “Dead zones” where entire communities had been evacuated at gunpoint were sprawling neighbourhoods of desolation, the dilapidated structures collapsing in on themselves after years of disrepair. All the waterways were polluted, and a dense cloud of smog hung over the city at all times.

But now, it was a lush, green city whose very existence defied the occupation. Anything reminding Bajorans of the occupation – walls, buildings, statues, work camps – had all been demolished, replaced mostly with parks, amphitheatres, and open-air marketplaces. The pollution was cleaned up, and citizens could even swim in the river if they so desired. The arts flourished with the generous support of post-occupation governments, eager to strengthen the Bajoran culture that the Cardassians tried to wipe out.

The transport circled the city a couple times, waiting its turn to land and giving the occupants a tour of the city – the tall spires of the city centre, the rooftop gardens of the outlying areas, and the waterfront, whose theatres and galleries were a cultural hub for all of Bajor.

It was outside a large banquet hall on the waterfront that the transport finally set down. Peering out the window, Alenis could see a crowd of thousands lining the pathway between the landing pad and the hall, all wanting a peek at the shard. She knew that one day she would again set foot on Bajor; she didn’t expect there to be thousands of people and an army of photographers watching her do it. She got up from her seat and made her way to the door. First to exist would be her and Admiral Washington, with Jason in tow carrying the shard. Then the remainder of the Portland’s senior staff.

The doors of the transport opened to reveal a smattering of dignitaries, led by two figures who Alenis recognized instantly. On the left was Kai Pralon Onala, the long-serving head of the Bajoran faith. On the right, Jeero Zusak, the First Minister. Of all those assembled, perhaps none were more grateful than Jeero. With his popularity waning and dissatisfaction with his government growing from nationalist, independentist, and religious quarters, his coalition was on the verge of fracture. For him, the return of this shard would be a good PR opportunity and a chance to give his political fortunes a much-needed boost.

Alenis slowly stepped forward, descending the staircase, before pausing on the last step. Incredibly nervous, her legs were like jelly, and as she took the first step onto the red carpet, they collapsed beneath her. Tears of joy in her eyes, she embraced the ground. She was finally home.

Without saying a word, Admiral Washington extended his arm to help her back up. With arms locked, they approached the Bajoran dignitaries.

“Kai Pralon, First Minister Jeero, I present to you the fifth shard of Tolic.” The Admiral was the first to speak, reciting perfectly his prepared comments. “May the return of this shard be a symbol of the bonds of friendship between Bajor and the Federation, and may these bonds remain strong and unbroken.”

“Admiral, I welcome you to Bajor,” replied Jeero. “With the return of this shard to the Bajoran people, our friendship will only deepen. Bajor owes the Federation a debt of gratitude far more valuable than you know.” As he finished speaking, two Vedeks stepped forward to take the shard from Jason’s hands.

As Washington spoke with Jeero, Alenis’ eyes locked with those of the Kai. Without saying a word, Pralon squeezed Alenis’ earlobe. “Your pagh is strong, my child.”

“My pagh…” Overwhelmed with emotion, Alenis trailed off, not knowing what to say.

“Welcome home, Meru.”
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

Tyrlai Zade

Re: Mission Two: "The Banquet"

Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:13 am

Vedek, Orb and Tome part 2

A grimy freighter

The morning of the Banquet

Tyrlai Zade woke up way sooner than they had expected. She assumed the pill she took to wipe the sythahol from her system and done at least partial work on whatever they had drugged her with. ‘Another bonus of synthahol’, she thought to herself. When her eyes fluttered open she was in a sickbay, a low rent sickbay, something a Ferengi would have labeled a fixer-upper. It was a couple different shades of grimy brown, getting darker at the seams and corners which did their best to blend in with the shadows. She had been relieved of her comm badge and her credit chip, but had just left her lying on the bioslab, she refused to call it a bed.

She cautiously raised her head, and seeing nothing by way of guards or even monitoring software she kicked off her heels and quietly stood, reaching underneath one arm to fiddle with her undergarments. She pulled out the small wire she’d had programmed into her replicator pattern for that particular garment. It was a seeker wire, an Orion contraption pre loaded with Ferengi intrusion software. She located a medical terminal and brought up the internal sensor grid. There were four lifesigns on the bridge and two in engineering. There were ten crew quarters, a mess hall, sickbay and four other rooms tucked into the Spartan design of what she had decided to call the SS Stupidcrapfreighter.

She looked around the room and spotted someones com rig. She took the earpiece and slaved it to her intrusion device after wiping it off twice. She then set the device to a fifteen minute slag timer, after which it would breach the capacitor and melt itself. Tyrlai made a mental note to take the earpiece out before then. She wiped it off one more time and turned on the auditory feed from the internal sensors.

“…should be over the Capitol in thirty seconds.” She hoped it was the Bajoran Capitol, she hated having to hitch a ride back to her starship, which seemed to happen a lot more than they had led on at the academy.

“Once we’re in position beam him up. How is the security feed from the station?” The lizards voice was unmistakeable. She did a quick residular scan and located his cabin, moving quietly towards it.

“Not a chirp, our passenger hasn’t been missed yet.”

“Once he’s aboard get down there and restrain her, she took Abid out a little to easily for my comfort.”

Tyrlai crept into the reptillians chambers and looked the place over. She had just decided to try and open a cabnet when the second voice spoke again. “Vinar is ready for transport in ten.” She saw his orb shaped thing tossed onto his sleeping rock and grabbed it, running as quickly and quietly as she could for what she hoped was the transporter room. She got lucky tapping the reciprocal code for two way transport and dashing onto the platform. There was a shimmering and for a moment Vinar was standing next to her, he was a tall , lean bookish looking Bajoran with a mixture of surprise and a scowl on his face. She waved at him. The next moment she was facing a trio of Bajorans in a run down apartment that looked like it may be one of the few locations that hadn’t yet repaired the damage from the occupation.

Tyrlai crossed her arms and glared at them menacingly. “The Lizard sent me down, he’s not happy with the quality of work around here.”

The lone female Bajoran shouted to the others. “Kill her!”

Damnit! Tyrlai thought as she scrambled for the stairs, grabbing the handholds for support as her bare feet slipped on the artificial wood surface. She scrambled down the stairs three at a time, swearing in Trill as the railing was vaporized by the only bright red beam the Bajorans got off at her, burning her hand. She turned her ankle a little as she turned onto the street and tried to blend in with the crowd.

The crowd was about seven bajorans clad head to toe in earth tones while she was a six foot tall Trill woman in a bright orange and ribboned club dress that concealed somewhat less than fifty percent of her body, shaking her stinging left hand. She gave up the concealment plan and ran as the whine of the transporter returned and she heard the unmistakable voice of the reptilian. She was just able to dart around a corner just before another red beam vaporized a chunk of it.

She kept running weaving around any corner she found, right then left the right and so on. At one point she darted through a marketplace, spotting a sign for the transport station she moved in that direction. Slowing somewhat and breathing heavily. She walked and trotted a few more blocks and found her way to it. She did a quick look over from the corner for any sign of Vinar, the trio, a reptile or the pretty one and deciding it was safe headed for the shuttle departure board. Pausing only to pull the screeching earpiece out as her seeker wire melted itself.

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