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A Word With Mauna

Posted on Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 7:54pm by Captain Garridan Rismore & Lieutenant Tehja Oldan & Lieutenant Arnulf Keistler & Lieutenant JG Yusei Makimura
Edited on on Thu Aug 17, 2017 @ 7:55pm

Mission: The Fruit Of Tantalus
Location: Deck 2 - Observations Lounge
Timeline: MD2 - 1330 Hours

Garridan was a little preoccupied as the turbolift began its journey down one deck. If he was honest with himself, he wasn't at all certain how this meeting with Mauna was going to go. For all intents and purposes, the Jericho didn't have the ability or jurisdiction to stop her or her vessel further than they already had. That task would fall to the Lumenites. How were they going to react to the attack on one of their vessels? How were they going to react to another vessel being in their universe? There were so many uncertainties. Garridan understood the importance of getting some basic answers out of Mauna in the event that he was going to have to be a mediator between the two parties.

Just before stepping into the turbolift with the Captain, he'd checked in with Ileana in Sickbay regarding his afternoon schedule. One cancellation, and one appointment still scheduled for fifteen hundred hours, she had reported. He hated to hear of the cancellation, knowing he'd have to follow up and press the matter with the crewman in question, but was also relieved that he'd have time and availability to attend the meeting with the Captain and their guest, Mauna. He hadn't had much experience with the Vorta or Jem'Hadar, for that matter, but was ready and willing to listen and see if his gut instincts about people would be of help.

"This is troublesome." Yusei stated. "Hostile reactions upon first meeting between two races. From my view, the Jem'Hadar came not as explorers, but as conquerors. We should keep that in mind."

"They won't be able to conquer much of this place with only one starship. Lumenite technology is several decades ahead of either of ours," Garridan pointed out. Yes, the battle cruiser did inflict considerable damage on the smaller Lumenite starship, but that was to be expected given the size and armament difference. They probably didn't even expect to be attacked. "If they've picked up on our ability to communicate with Starfleet from here, it's possible that their arrival so close to our location wasn't by accident. Their arrival could be a precursor to an invasion if they deem the Lumenite Concord ripe for the picking."

"Let us pray to Buddha it is not,then." Yusei answered.

A few seconds after the lift started its descent, it came to a stop and the doors opened. Garridan led his officers towards the observations lounge. When they entered, they found their guest sitting in one of the seats with Lieutenant Oldan watching over her nearby. There was a bit of uneasiness in the air. A nervousness. Even so, as Starfleet Officers they'd all been trained to deal with these types of situations. Garridan knew that the forthcoming conversation with Mauna would probably go as well as could be expected if he remained calm.

"Mauna, allow me now to formally welcome you aboard the Jericho," the Elaysian started with. "You have already met Lieutenant Oldan, my Chief Tactical Officer. This is Lieutenant Makimura my Chief Science Officer and Counselor Keistler." He motioned to each of them.

"Good afternoon," Dr. Keistler said as he took a seat across the table from their guest.

Yusei bowed to Mauna. "Ohayou gozaimasu. Mauna-sama. I am pleased to meet you." then he took his seat at the edge of the table seeming relaxed as well as keeping a wary eye on the alien. If anything odd happened, he would be able react.

Mauna suddenly felt very outnumbered and alone, but she tried not to show it. "Good day." She simply said with a nod.

"We have much to discuss I think," Rismore said to the Vorta as he took his usual seat at the head of the table. "It all depends on how forthcoming you'll be though. I hope that we can simply talk about what's going on and what's happened as neither the Federation, nor the Dominion, exist here in this protouniverse."

"Indeed. I am curious as to how Starfleet managed to get to this protouniverse?" Mauna asked as she rested her hands on the table in front of her, locking her fingers together.

Garridan knew that he had to be cautious with his answer. He was uncertain as to how the Vorta would react if he told her that the Lumenites brought them here. Although he didn't know the Dominion extremely well, he was well aware that they would undoubtedly try to exploit that power if they could. "When the Jericho launched four months ago, our orders were to investigate some strange energy readings emanating from the same region of space in the Gamma Quadrant where Lieutenant Dax discovered the protouniverse in 2370. We arrived at the location and found that it had expanded considerably in seventeen years. We began to analyze it and that was when a rift opened in the protouniverse and we were pulled in," he explained.

"How strange!" Mauna exclaimed. "We were investigating some strange readings when we were pulled here against our will. Have you managed to discover how you were pulled here?"

"Sadly, many of our systems were affected by the sudden change of scenery. Much of our sensor data was lost," Garridan answered which wasn't too far from the truth. "Given the readings we've picked up from your ship, I expect that is probably the case for you as well?"

"I'm ashamed to admit it, Captain, but the Dominion's finest warship had been affected by being pulled here." Said Mauna. "Before we knew what was happening that alien ship was on top of us and we needed to defend ourselves."

Although the Jericho wasn't here when the confrontation between the two began, Mauna did reveal enough information to put some of the pieces together. Like his, her answer was unlikely to be far from the truth. The battle cruiser probably precipitated the attack in order to defend itself as she claimed. Sensor logs from the Lumenites, if they provided them, would most likely confirm that theory. "I cannot speak for the Lumenites, however in the time that we have known them, they have demonstrated that they are a peaceful people. I expect that what happened between your two ships was a simple misunderstanding. Nevertheless, they will want some answers for what happened, and how you got here as well. If you'd like, the Jericho could provide a neutral setting from which the two of you can discuss matters when the time comes. Providing all parties agree to it of course. It will be important for all of us to work together, especially as you're trapped here with us." He watched Mauna closely in an attempt to discern her reaction to his words.

"I don't see why I need to answer to them over this incident." Mauna replied.

"We are in their territory and it is vast," he informed her. "I don't see the benefit of being at odds with them."

Mauna sighed and rolled her eyes, "I suppose finding a way to get back to the Dominion would be desirable. My crew are soldiers not scientists after all."

"Then this would be a good time to evolve. There are times when the peaceful man must pick up the sword but also there are the times when the warrior has to follow the path of enlightenment." Yusei added, smiling sympathetically. "I guess, I speak for all of us, that we will assist you, as long as the outcome is a peaceful and harmonic one."

"I will listen to what they have to say." Mauna agreed. "But I will not apologize for defending ourselves."

Garridan only nodded. There wasn't much more for him to say on the subject until he had access to the sensor logs. That would piece together what really happened once the battle cruiser appeared in the protouniverse. Instead, Garridan moved on to other matters. "Will your Jem'Hadar be able to carry out the repairs to your ship?" he asked her.

"I should think so." Mauna replied. "If you'll permit me I'd like to return to my ship until this meeting has been arranged."

"Of course," the Captain said. He stood up from his seat. "If we hear anything from them, I'll let you know. Lieutenant Oldan will escort you to our transporter room. I hope that we will speak again soon."

"I look forward to it." Mauna lied as she to rose from her seat.

Oldan moved from her position at the back of the room where she had been keeping out of the way and moved to Mauna's side, gesturing for her to head towards the door. "Shall we?" she said, keeping her tone light yet her body language suggested she was ready for anything.

"Please." The Vorta said, forcing a smile. She was glad to be finally leaving.

Once the Vorta was led out of the observations lounge by his Chief Tactical Officer, Garridan turned to the two remaining members of his senior staff who were still present. "Thoughts?" he asked of them. It was always valuable to get someone else's perspective on a given situation.

"I would be glad to have both parties' sensor logs available to see which one started this hostilities first. I am biased to call the Dominion guilty but my logic demands to hear their position as well as to evaluate it correctly." Yusei answered.

"The Dominion invaded the Lumenite's space. With a very much war-capable ship. This could have seen as hostile act on its own. I am sorry to contribute to a final decision without having more detail at hand, Sir." Yusei stated. He remembered his master say "He, who wants peace needs to hear two quarreling sides and make a third opinion."

"I agree, I think we'd want and even need to see both parties' sensor logs. I just don't think we can just take either side's word," the counselor interjected.

Garridan nodded. He agreed with the two of them. "If we allowed ourselves to, we could say that the method upon which we were brought here in the protouniverse was a hostile act by the Lumenites. In our interactions with them, I do believe them to be peaceful, but that doesn't excuse their actions. We do need both sides of the story. It is likely that the Lumenites would be forthcoming with their data. Mauna, on the other hand, probably won't be. How do we our hands on their logs?" he wondered.

"We might offer help with repairs and retrieve it covert from their ship, but this would be an underhanded action and data retrieved in that way would be rejected by Mauna." Yusei threw in. "No, they would have to give it genuine and freely. Maybe in exchange for something?"

"The question is what?" Garridan mused. He rubbed his chin and jaw with his hand as he pondered that question.

"Hmmm.....I got nothin'," Arne Keistler threw in.

"We may need to wait until the Lumenites have entered the equation. I'm not certain what they'll want to do with them. It may depend on whether or not there are any casualties," the Elaysian said. With that being said, they couldn't just sit idly by and do nothing. They needed to try and get some answers. "Mister Makimura, I want you to run continuous scans of the Dominion ship and the surrounding area. The Lumenites didn't bring them here. I want some theories as to how they passed from our universe to this one."

"Aye, Sir." Yusei answered. "Permission to leave to start with the task?"

"Granted," the Captain approved. He then turned to Keistler. "Counselor, I'll need you on the bridge with me for now. I think that it's time we check in with our team on the Lumenite ship."

"Of course, Sir. I don't have any appointments scheduled for a few hours," the Counselor responded. "After you."

With their meeting at an end, Garridan rose from his seat and led his officers out of the observations lounge. It was uncertain what would unfold over the next few hours but it was important that they be ready for every eventuality. Thus far, things were more or less under control but with the Dominion in the mix, the Captain knew that could quickly change.


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