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Trade Proposal

Posted on 26 Jul 2015 @ 11:08pm by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Answers
Location: Briefing Room
Timeline: MD 9 - 1000 hours

Harvey approached the Briefing Room, a location purposely chosen so that his visitors would know as little as possible in regards to the ship's condition. Fortunately, all of the visible mess had been cleaned, and all that was left was getting the computer operational. And, hopefully, if Dicon and Sherman took their orders to heart, the crew would put a little extra energy into getting the Black Hawk moving again, this time focusing purely on the engines. If the X'annon had found them so easily, then others could not be far behind.

The captain nodded to the four guards stationed outside the door, put there by the temporary security chief to ensure Harvey's safety above all else. Two would accompany Harvey inside while the other two stood watch in the corridor.

"They've arrived, sir," said a Crewman, nodding her head at the Captain as soon as he was close.

Of course, Harvey knew that. Ten days ago, he would have snapped at her, chastising for such an obvious remark. Harvey had intentionally waited on the bridge until the transport was complete. However, now was not time to damage such a fragile morale. "And the chef?"

"Just left, sir."

Harvey looked past the guards towards the closed door. "Then let's do this, shall we?" Without waiting for a response for the rhetorical, Harvey stepped forward, triggering the door's sensors. Ignoring the actions of the guards behind him, Harvey looked at the Karemma and the human while approaching the buffet cart. "Coffee? Water?" he asked casually. He wasn't thirsty himself, but showing that he would partake from the same cart would help relieve the tension just raised by two armed security guards.

D'rimo declined, but the human joined Harvey at the cart, though he remained silent.

Holding a cup of black coffee, Harvey approached the table where D'rimo stood. He understood the Karemma for not wanting to do so, but Harvey knew diplomacy was part of his role now as a Captain. And, while his ship was defenseless, at least he could feel productive by trying to "buy time" for his crew to work. Therefore, he gestured to the seats beside the head of the table and sat down.

Harvey's gaze shifted from the Karemma to the human as they both hesitated, but finally sat down. "Welcome aboard the Black Hawk," Harvey greeted both of them, trying as best he could to not let his tone sound hollow.

"Seems like you got yourself into a little mess, Captain," D'rimo immediately said, looking towards his companion who sampled the coffee. The expression he bore indicated that he enjoyed the taste.

"Seems like I ruffled a feather or two bringing the ship into this sector," Harvey replied, a coy smile on his face.

"I'll say," spoke up the human, setting down the cup of coffee. "The Syndicate doesn't take too kindly to outsiders."

"Must be bad for business then," Harvey replied to the human. "Or at least a strong risk with great rewards. Last I checked," Harvey shot a look over to D'rimo, "the X'annon was exactly equipped to handle them either."

"Neither," replied the visitor. "This sector is my home, and the Syndicate have done nothing but threatened my family and ancestors lived to create." Harvey was about to interject with a question, but was abruptly cut off. "I was born here, you see," he told Harvey. "And yes, I am human, one of the last descendants of the SS Orion, a sleeper ship bound for the stars to escape the destruction of what Earth called World War III. They'd thought humanity was doomed." He huffed, "Seems like they were wrong."

Harvey was about to expound upon the creation and expansion of the Federation, but the man cut him off once again. "Believe me, Captain, I've heard all about the Federation, especially what you did to the Dominion. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but others have taken advantage of the sudden vacuum of power left behind. Especially at the tragic expense of others."

"Tragic?" Harvey asked, inclined to keep the man talking.

"We'd fared well over the years. Our twenty-eight ancestors survived the journey from Earth. Up until a few years ago, we'd managed to become nearly a hundred and fifty. The Syndicate has made quick work of eradicating us, however. Stealing our children, selling them in a slave trade, all while exploiting the dilithium mines below our colony. Many of us perished under the harsh treatment, and I began to look within the Syndicate to undo the damage."

"What about the Golden Stars?" Harvey asked, having heard enough exposition and was now looking to connect the dots.

"Don't you understand?" the man asked, looking Harvey in the eye. "I am the Golden Stars. And my name is Richard Carter."

Harvey managed to keep his face from displaying a shocked expression. The information he'd presented wasn't new to him, but the identity is what shocked him. "You mentioned a trade, Mr. Carter. Perhaps you should elaborate on that."

"It's not safe for either of us out here," Richard warned. "Not for us anymore. The Syndicate have already seen to that. I can offer you protection while you finish your repairs and leave the sector. In return, I'd like a way out for those loyal to the Golden Stars. There aren't many left."

Harvey gave no response, but gave a curt nod to Richard. Looking back to D'rimo, "You know," Harvey said, "You could have said a lot of this a month ago."

"It wasn't my place," D'rimo responded, his tone monotonous. "Besides, we were hoping the replicator would work out. There's something to be said for being able to produce resources on demand."

"We'd started using the Syndicate's slave trade to our advantage," Richard added, "using it to get some of our valued people to safety, and to find others stolen from us. We've found most, and we're still looking for a few."

"You can't expect us to rescue everyone," Harvey protested.

"No," Richard responded. "Just those still held in captivity on our home, Nestene IX."

Harvey could not contain his surprise this time, thinking now of the Away Team he'd sent to investigate the planet. For the first time since this had started, he regretted making such a decision.

"I will be staying behind with D'rimo," Richard continued. "I can't leave without..." his voice choked slightly, and he caught himself. "Without being sure everyone is safe."

Harvey nodded, seeing a window to actively contribute to the conversation now. "I refuse to accept your trade, Mister Carter on the basis that there really isn't anything to trade. For now, let's just say we have a mutual interest in Nestene IX. You and I both have people on that planet, and it seems we will have to work together to get them off." Looking again to D'rimo, Harvey added, "Call in your reinforcements. If we are to pull this off, we'll need all of the help we can get."

And back to Richard, he said, "Though you are humans, you are not citizens of the Federation. There are standing orders however, dating back centuries, to accept entry to anyone who fled Earth before the founding of the Federation. I therefore will offer you safety at New Bajor if you wish to remain in the Gamma Quadrant, or arrange for passage to Earth when this is all done. I can't simply drop you off at a new planet, especially since I have nothing to drop you off with."

"I understand, Captain," Richard replied. "But again, I'll be staying here, with D'rimo. I owe it to my kin to find those we lost."

Standing, Harvey looked to the guards by the door. "Very well. Miss Spalding and Mister Sanchez, escort Captain D'rimo to the Transporter Room. He'll be returning to the X'annon. Mister Carter, I would ask that you come with me. There is... something I need to show you."

"I won't leave--"

"It's all right, D'rimo," Richard said, keeping his gaze on Harvey, hoping he knew exactly what--whom--he was about to see, "I don't think Captain Geisler has any foul play afoot."


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