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Casimir Makes for a Poor Sweater(FT, Closed)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Prime Redux
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Casimir Makes for a Poor Sweater(FT, Closed)

Postby Prime Redux » Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:54 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Ionia
Keep Station


Ionia was a beautiful world from above. A dwarf planet in the perfect orbit. A world of gray rocks with beautiful striations of a darker blue gray. Those gray blue areas may of once held oceans and rivers, but they hadn’t when they had come through the gate. There had been only a few tiny, dying pockets of extremophiles in a couple underground pockets of water.

It was such a shame that humanity had yet to see any form of life other than what it had rescued off Earth and then modified to fit the lifestyle they had adapted.

Director Alex Tachy sat back at his desk, looking at the wall screen currently turned over to a view of the planet. His gaze slid off the planet to the structure of the Casimir Gate that linked them with of the Prime Redux. The rest of humanity. They were relatively new in this system, only around ten years, not even a generation had grown up in the habitation domes that had sprouted up on the planet. Being the newest system in The Protectorate meant it was a bit lonely out here, not as populated as the older systems. But it was growing steadily under his guidance and as he reached back to scratch the back of his neck where a small scar was visible due to the hair he kept shaved short back there he smiled.

As a Keeper, he kept parts of the secret knowledge of the Casimir Gates and how they are built in a chip at the base of skull. He didn’t know everything, his chip only help part of the schematics to the Gates. Every other Keeper had partial data too, it took multiple Keepers to make a new Gate. He couldn’t help remembering how thrilled he had been to be selected to help construct the gate here, the ceremony, the data extraction taking mere moments yet it being the pivotal moment that sent the construction bots off the build the Gate in Ramoth and then activate it for the first time.

He never knew that one day he would go from simply being a carrier of the knowledge, to the leader of a world. But here he was, and great full for it.

Alex turned back to his desk. It was time he stopped woolgathering and started working.

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Postby New Khitomer » Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:48 pm

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
U.S.S. Endeavour NCC-71624, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




There was something oddly comforting about simply watching the starscape race past outside the viewport, Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore thought to herself as she sat silently in his ready room, a cup of just-replicated steaming coffee in her hand, as she did just that. As the Captain of a Federation Starship, Whitmore knew all too well the trials and tribulations that came with that responsibility; everything from the mundane monotony of paperwork to the heavy weight of holding the lives of a thousand officers and crewmen in her hands. It was also something of a lonely position; a captain was expected to maintain a certain distance from her crew, even her senior officers, and even if she had been in a position where she could open up, only another starship captain would truly understand, and by the very nature of her position it was not often that she got to spend her down time amongst her peers. Nevertheless, becoming the captain of a starship was the dream of most within Starfleet, certainly those that had chosen a career track that trended towards such a position; command, tactical, operations, and flight control, yet it was not for the faint-hearted.

Whilst the command of any starship was certainly an achievement to be proud of, there were certain ships that were more highly sought after and considered prestigious assignments. The U.S.S. Endeavour was certainly one of them, now even more so. The Endeavour had been one of five Galaxy-Class large explorers that had been assigned to what had then been called the Distant Refuge Project; an initiative formed in the years after the Dominion War following the discovery of a stable wormhole to a distant galaxy to settle and develop an extragalactic refuge. It was an initiative that had only grown in importance following the devastating Borg Invasion of 2381 that had left billions dead and billions more displaced refugees; a significant number of the latter gravitating towards the world of New Khitomer and its daughter colonies across the Arcadia Sector in the years that followed. It was perhaps fortunate that, as the importance of the project grew, the United Federation of Planets and its allies had poured significant resources into the sector as the wormhole had collapsed in late 2385, in an event that was known as the Severance.

Once all attempts to restore the wormhole had failed, a grand convention had been called and the United Federation of New Khitomer had been formally established. It’s name was a recognition that the majority of the population was made up of citizens of the United Federation of Planets, but also taking into account not only a sizeable Klingon population, but also Romulan and several other neutral (or previously hostile) powers. There had been a need for some adjustment, it had not been deemed appropriate to simply transplant the entire governmental structure of the UFP into the UFNK, however the likes of Starfleet saw themselves as the continuance of their parent service and maintained all of its traditions. Perhaps the most important of these, and one that the members of Starfleet had taken too with enthusiasm, was a return to a focus on exploration after a decade and a half of conflict, and with an entire galaxy to explore it had not been a hard sell. Due to their size, ability to conduct long-range exploratory missions unsupported, and their sheer capabilities, the five Galaxy-Class ships; Endeavour, Dauntless, Challenger, Fearless, & Victory were at the forefront of that effort.

The Endeavour had been underway for several weeks, conducting initial explorations of one of the sector blocks that bordered the Arcadia Sector in which New Khitomer was located. Unless they discovered something of note, worthy of the attention of a Galaxy-Class starship, the initial exploration of a star system was usually cursory, with other starships being deployed in the weeks and months that followed to do a full, in-depth, system survey, with the capability of the follow-up ship depending on whether the initial survey had identified any points of interest. As such, being at the very forefront of Starfleet’s exploratory mission was perhaps best characterised as being entirely mundane but with every possibility of being extraordinary, as well as providing both the privilege and the thrill of going ‘where no one had gone before’. So far, in the weeks that had passed since they had left Starbase 24, the Endeavour had picked its way through the star systems along its assigned route without finding anything of much interest, but morale aboard remained high (as was common aboard frontline exploratory ships) given the fact that the unknown was literally just around the corner.

They had left the most recent system some days previously, travelling at low warp to spare the engines unnecessary strain as was common during exploratory missions, and were approaching the next system on their list.

“Bridge to Captain Whitmore, we’re approaching the next system.”

Whitmore smiled wryly to herself as she turned back to her desk and leant forward to open the internal communications channel; almost as if on cue.

“Understood, Commander, I’ll be out in a few minutes,” Whitmore replied simply. “Prepare to drop us out of warp on my mark.”

Allowing herself a few more moments of peace, and enough time to quickly drink the rest of her coffee, Whitmore quickly recorded an entry in the Captain’s Log, just in case they encountered some disastrous happenstance in the next system to ensure that Starfleet would have the most up to date record of the ship’s status prior to dropping out of warp. Her entry completed, and her coffee finished, Whitmore stood, tugged on the bottom of her uniform jacket to flatten out any creases, and made her way out onto the bridge, onto which her ready room opened. Although she had been in Starfleet long enough to have experienced the Galaxy-Class bridge in its original configuration, and had appreciated the simplicity of the design, the addition of more stations dedicated to science and communications had been a great call on a practical basis, particularly during the wars and even in peacetime it had certainly helped Captain’s coordinate complex scientific activities.

“All decks report ready, Captain,” Commander Ishriv Ch’tavor, her Andorian first officer with whom she had served together on two previous ships, reported as she settled into the command chair. “Coming up on the system now.”

“Very well," Whitmore smiled slightly. “Helm, drop us out of warp.”

Although the deceleration as they dropped out of warp was entirely absent due to both the nature of warp speed and the inertial dampeners, the streaking starscape on the viewscreen was instead replaced with the distant view of the central star of the system they had just entered.

“Full sensor sweep,” Whtimore ordered crisply. “Give me an idea of the stellar cartography, then we’ll decide the order we’ll conduct our survey.”

Lieutenant Commander Jadak Girja, Endeavour’s Bajoran chief science officer, and his bridge team, did not any more encouragement and the cluster of science stations was soon a buzz with activity as the initial sensor sweeps were conducted; reaching out into the system to get real-time positions of all stellar bodies using a variety of sensor methods and types. It was only a matter of minutes however before it became apparent that this would not just be another empty, lifeless system.

“Reading a space station, Captain,” Lt. Commander Jadak, as Bajoran’s reversed ‘normal’ naming conventions, having the family name first and personal name second, reported, silencing the bridge. “Also reading habitation domes on the surface of that dwarf planet.”

“Is that confirmed?” Commander Ch’tavor questioned. “We are quite distant.”

“We are, but I’ve got a defiant power signature from the station, as well as a number of other satellites and orbital infrastructure,” Jadak replied. “As for the domes, they could theoretically be something else, we’d have to conduct a proper surface scan, but I doubt it.”

“Have they detected us, Commander?” Whitmore asked.

“Uncertain, unless tactical has seem something that I’ve missed they’ve not swept us with any recognisable sensor array,” Jadak shook his head. “Without knowing more about their technological base, which may be very different from what we’re used to, it would be impossible to say for sure.”

“Well, we had best introduce ourselves,” Whitmore commented with a broad smile, as excited as anyone else on the bridge. “Open hailing frequencies.”

“Ready, Captain.”

Knowing that her hail would be broadcast initially in Federation Standard, after which the universal translator would get to work on any response, Whitmore would keep her hail simple and to the point.

“Attention system inhabitants, this is Captain Jennifer Whitmore of the U.S.S. Endeavour, representing the United Federation of New Khitomer. We are peaceful explorers, and mean you no harm. Please respond.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:30 am

Prime Standard Year 3549
Ionia
Sergeant Lexa Ortiz


If there was one thing Lexa learned over her years in the Fleet, it was that humanity rarely changed. When they had taken to the stars, they had brought most of their vices with them. Stuff like smuggling, kidnapping, all of it the darker shadow which Lexa wanted to protect the innocent of Ionia from. Given how new the settlement was the Fleet detachment out here was small, so small in fact she was currently the senior member in space. The commander of a gunship and its tiny crew.

Her formation was laying in wait, near an asteroid that earmarked for later exploitation. Her gunship and two point vessels sitting in stealth, carefully controlling their emissions to see if the strange activity Keep Station had noticed was actually happening. In system smugglers probably, even in space drugs had their place. But so far nothing was happening.

She stretched her arms up and unstrapped herself from her command chair, floating in the microgravity. "I'm going back for a snack, want anything?" She asked the specialist, Marie, at the coms station, the only other member currently on watch.

"No Sir." She said.

"Your loss." She replied dryly as she locked her magboots to the deck and made her way back through to the small kitchen and pulled out a small square of nutriblock. A dense, nutritious block of substance that didn't exactly taste good but it contained everything a human needed to live. There were sacrifices to be made when you joined the Fleet, this was one of them, still as she popped a small cube of it into her mouth she couldn't help daydreaming. The idea of being down in the habitat she called home and traveling to her favorite noodle bar made her mouth water even as she chewed on the poorly flavored slop the Fleet used to feed them.

Her daydreams were interrupted as the loud tone of the general quarters alarm sounded throughout her ship. Lexa frowned, but habit made her do a quick check around to make sure everything in the kitchen was secure before she deactivated her magboots and pushed herself towards the bridge.

She made it there quickly, cursing softly as she collided with her chair a little too fast. That was going to leave a bruise. “Report.” She snapped as she strapped herself into her seat. A quick glance around and the last of bridge crew (all seven of them) had strapped in, one of the status displays showing so had everyone else on all her ships.

“Unknown contact Sir.” Her XO, Corporal Matthews responded smoothly. “Not smugglers, it just… appeared. See?” He flipped a visual of the ship up the forward screen and Lexa stared at the ship in amazement. Her gunship and two point vessels were all sleek geometric lines with a low profile, painting dark black so they more easily blended into the space they patrolled. This thing was… strange, possibly alien? Was this an unplanned exercise from the Fleet? A joke?

“Sir!” Marie called out even as she recoiled from her console. “Incoming message from the... ship.” Before Lexa could argue the message was played.

Silence reigned over the small crew, astonished that it sounded like a human. This had to be some sort of joke, some test by the Fleet to see how she would react. There’s no way humanity spread to the stars only to discover more humans there. That was absurd.

As if to prove her wrong, for only a moment the red urgent priority call button flashed on her wristpad before the call threw itself up on her forward screen. General Ansem Monet’s face appeared, the head of the defense of Ionia and her superior had a tight look to his face she’s only ever saw when he was making tough decisions. This wasn’t some joke or drill then.

“General.” She said, a note of tension in her voice.

“ Sergeant Ortiz. I’m afraid the Ionia Prime Council is in a bit of a disaster control mode right now. A lot of them were asleep and scattered across the planet with family and friends. We are currently pulling ourselves together at Keep Station but that takes time.” He paused and suddenly Lexa felt her gut twist with nerves. She knew where this was going.

“You want me to initiate contact with the ship?”

“You are a level headed woman Ortiz. I don’t know how they are speaking to us like this, perhaps they caught some signals from our dead homeworld to make a translation program, but we need some time to piece ourselves together and you are the closest guns we have in case this goes sideways.” Monet’s gaze was hard. “And while we prefer not to piss off our magically appearing neighbors, if they get aggressive I know you’ll do your best to defend this system. I’ve already cracked off a message to Fleet Command and they are directing forces in Ramoth to reinforce us.”

There was no way her gunship, however powerful, could stand off that thing for long. However she swallowed and nodded. “Yes Sir.”



In the somewhat thin asteroid belt fairly close to the ship, three new contacts that had obviously been under stealth lit off their drives. They settled into a triangle formation, with the two somewhat smaller ships in front with the larger one behind. All three were sleek well built things,their hulls dull black to blend them into the space around them.

Then a message from the largest of the set of the ships. The voice sounded human, if a bit nervous.

”U.S.S Endeavour, welcome to the The Protectorate of Prime Redux, this is the Ionia Star System, how may we assist you?”


The message was short and sweet, and the three small ships waited patiently for a response even as far behind them around the main station in orbit seemed to have exploded with activity, shuttles winging up from multiple planetside settlements like someone had kicked a beehive.
Last edited by Prime Redux on Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby New Khitomer » Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:33 am

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
U.S.S. Endeavour NCC-71624
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




“Log the local designation, system and polity, into the Starfleet database, Ionia system, Protectorate of Prime Redux,” Captain Whitmore ordered crisply. “Communications, did that return message come back in Federation Standard, or was it translated?”

“Federation Standard, Ma’am,” Lieutenant Saskia DeLuca replied. “So either they speak it or they did the translation themselves.”


Whitmore raised an eyebrow but remained silent as she considered the situation. After three centuries of exploring space, and discovering anomalies both mundane and bizarre, Starfleet was more than a little familiar with the unexpected, and finding beings that spoke English (which had been adopted as Federation Standard for several centuries by this point), and were potentially even human, was by no means out of the realms of possibility. After all, the presence of a stable wormhole in the general vicinity was one potential explanation, as was the fact that Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise had uncovered evidence some years previously that suggested that much of humanoid life in the galaxy had been seeded by a precursor race, meaning that it was an entirely possible hypothesis that the same was true in this galaxy. Compared to the strange lifeforms that had been encountered by Starfleet over the years, the discovery of English-speaking humans would not exactly be some great revelation, nor would encountering a species that was as advanced (or more) than the Federation and was capable of translating the language.

“Reading a significant increase in orbital traffic between the space station and the planet’s surface,” Lt. Commander Jadak reported, examining the display on his console. “Also detecting three small vessels, one larger than the others, as the source of the message.”

“Tactical assessment,” Whitmore ordered.

“The three vessels that are closing on us are an unknown configuration and unknown design, externally, the ships appear to be based on geometric shapes, sleek, and appear to be painted black as visual camouflage,” Lieutenant Commander Dulesh D’Vall, the Endeavours chief tactical officer, reported promptly. “Without a more detailed sweep it’s difficult to make a full assessment, however based on their size alone I’d be very surprised if they are any sort of threat to us, although I’d prefer to preform some detailed scans.”

“I’d advise against that for the moment, they may be able to detect that, and may consider it a hostile act, besides they don’t seem to be particularly opposed to our presence, ” Commander Ch’tavor said, leaning in to advise her. “Given that we don’t think they’re a threat anyway, scanning them further would be an unnecessary provocation, we can probably get more details by passive means.”

“Agreed, let’s hold off on any more detailed scans for the moment, but continue broader scans of the system and for any other ships that might be lying in wait, so we’re fully aware,” Whitmore instructed thoughtfully. “In the meantime, go over what information we’ve already gained from our sensors, and put together as thorough technological assessment as you can manage, I need to know how much of our own technology we reveal.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Lt. Commander D’Vall replied with a nod.

“Comms, return channel,” Whitmore ordered simply.

”Protectorate Vessel, this is Captain Whitmore. My ship is on a mission of exploration, and I am under orders to make first contact with any civilisations I encounter. As such, I request permission for my ship to approach in order to make contact with the appropriate civilian authorities.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:06 am

Prime Standard Year 3549
Ionia
Sergeant Lexa Ortiz


Lexa swallowed against the dryness in her throat, looking over the details her own passives were sucking in about the ship. It was so large yet nothing on it looked like it was generating spin gravity. No idea what the weapons might be if it had them, but from what they were picking up, they had some powerful sensors. Kind of like the scout bots used to see what was in star systems before humans went through new Gates themselves.

Better for exploring she guessed, but possibly for accurate weapon targeting.

She flicked a call to Monet, whose tight face appeared instantly. “What do they want?”

“They want to meet the Council Sir.”

Monet stayed silent for a moment before he tapped a command into the wristpad and the view split to include Director Tachy. “Director, should we risk it?”

The Keeper in charge of Ionia frowned. “Why shouldn’t we?”

“You do remember that Keep Station is home to over 10,000 Prime citizens right? What if they carry diseases our people are not inoculated against? Or if that ship does something to harm the station? Or the Gate?” Monet said.

“What is the ship doing Sergeant?” Tachy’s gaze held hers with an intense tumble of emotions behind those eyes. Was he nervous? Scared? It was hard to tell.

“It’s just sitting there, scanning the star system.” She hesitated. “I think they mean it when they say they are exploring.”

Tachy hmphed and laced his fingers together. “We can cut off a meeting room and either an airlock or a shuttle bay for them I think from general life support for more local control. I’m willing to risk it, though I’ll be cutting out a lot of the council from in person attendance so if we get sick, they’ll still be healthy.”

“Should I tell them that?” Lexa asked and Tachy smiled, seeming genuinely amused.

“No my dear, I’ll take over from here. You will, however be escorting the ship in closer. Congratulations on being the first human to make contact though.”



The message this time came from the largest station in orbit. The voice sounded much calmer, and male. Along with the message came a simple render of Keep Station with bright glowing higights showing where on the gently spinning station they were to go.

"Captain Whitmore, please feel free to maneuver your ship closer to the largest station in orbit of Ionia, Keep Station, where you will be meeting the Director and the Ionia Prime Council. From there you can launch a shuttle to land in Bay Alpha. If you do not carry shuttles we can also probably accommodate mating airlocks.

We breathe a mix of nitrogen and oxygen with traces of other gases mixed in. I pray this will not be an issue for you."


When Endevour began her trip towards the station, the three ships that had greeted them shadowed the ship in system. Probably supposed to be a polite escort given that they were staying at respectful distance but also a good way to watch the ship in motion, and gather more data.




Keep Station
Director Alex Tachy


Alex pulled nervously on the sleeve of his gray and cyan jumpsuit. While they were extending a great deal of trust to this Captain, they weren't quite ready to fully trust the strangers yet. So no suits and ties, just a clean, functional jumpsuit that a helmet could easily lock onto. His magboots clicked softly as he shifted, the shuttle bays were in the sections of Keep Station that didn't spin to give it gravity. He hoped neither the microgravity nor the spin gravity gave these (aliens? Humans?) Trouble.

Though he was the only one of the Council here at the moment, the black armor and face concealing helmets of the two Guard Core guards that stood behind him felt like a security blanket. The Guard Core was the special organization dedicated to the protection of the Keepers and their secrets. If Whitmore meant harm, these guards would protect him and call for help. There were more Guard Core waiting off the bay out of sight and blocking the passages the newcomers wouldn't be allowed down. There were even a couple Guard Core ships hanging out nearby, hidden in the shadow of a nearby cargo station. If this went bad, Keep Station might not exist in an hour, but he hoped that this monumental occasion was as peaceful as it seemed.

So he took a deep breath and stilled his fidgeting. Time to make history.

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Postby New Khitomer » Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:56 am

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
U.S.S. Endeavour NCC-71624
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




“Based on what I’m seeing, I suspect they have gravity due to spinning sections, so no advanced artificial gravity manipulation tech,” Lt. Commander Jadak reported. “That alone suggestions that they may have a significantly lower technological base than our own.”

Captain Whitmore nodded to acknowledge the report; although it was by no means definitive it certainly gave her something to go off, and called for a restrained approach when it came to revealing the kind of technology that Starfleet and the Federation had at its disposal. This was for a wide variety of reasons, but primary amongst them was both the operational concern and the ideological principle that less advanced civilisations ought not to be exposed to technology beyond their own level until those making contact had a thorough understanding of what the potential impact would be. Such principles were not as firm as the Prime Directive, in which pre-warp civilisations would not be contacted at all, but it was also a an important part of the responsible way in which Starfleet conducted its exploratory mission. As such, technologies like the transporter would be kept under wraps for at least the time being, meaning that she would be taking the Protectorate up on their offer to make use of a landing bay. It was entirely possible that she was being overly cautious, but controlling the proliferation of certain technological advancements was one of the things that Starfleet was very careful about, as an unprepared civilisation could be severely negatively impacted by the introduction of a new technology if they were not ready.

The Endeavour cruised forwards, almost effortlessly, on half-impulse power, deliberately slower so as to not give away the full capabilities of the starship’s sunlight engines. It was less about subterfuge and more about simply and more about keeping ones cards close to ones chest whilst interacting with a neutral civilisation, whose ideology and intentions were entirely unknown. It was just common sense, as although Starfleet would always aim to form friendly relationships with those encountered, the last two decades had showed that they would always have to be ready to defend themselves, and the Federation, from those that would do it harm. Reaching out with her navigation sensors, the Endeavour took note of all of the stations and other contacts around, and slipped into an appropriately safe orbital position.

“You have the bridge, Commander,” Whitmore said simply. “Have a small security team meet me in the main shuttle bay, and instruct transporter room one to maintain an active lock on all three of us.”

Commander Ch’tavor nodded and stood to assume the command chair as she vacated it, immediately passing orders for the Captain’s arrangements to be made. Satisfied her ship was in good hands, Whitmore made her way to the turbolift beside her ready room and instructed it to take her to the main shuttle bay at the rear of the saucer section. By the time she arrived, two enlisted personnel from the Endeavour’s security department were already waiting for her. Like her, they were dressed in the standard starfleet duty uniform; predominantly black save for a quilted purple-grey section over the shoulders, and the department specific turtleneck shirt underneath upon which the wearer’s rank insignia was displayed, in Whitmore’s case four golden pips. All three wore a communications badge over the left breast in the form of the Starfleet insignia, however unlike their Captain the two security personnel were visibly armed with a Type-2 phaser each, which despite having a sleek and elegant form was clearly a weapon by function. It had been a long-standing debate within Starfleet as to whether weapons should be carried during first contact, however more than one had ended in tragedy so a compromise had been agreed upon, and enshrined in Starfleet Regulations, in which contacting officer (usually a Captain) would be unarmed, but would be accompanied by a small armed security detail.

After briefing her detail, Whitmore led the way onto the waiting sleek Type-11 shuttle, the larger of the two types roundly carried by the modern Galaxy-Class starship, and did the same to the two-person flight crew. After receiving clearance from the flight deck officer, the shuttle was launched and turned towards the Protectorate space station as soon as it was clear of the Endeavour. On the flight over, during which the shuttle pilots liaised with the locals to get them safely aboard the station, Whitmore and her two security escorts changed from their normal uniform boots into ones equipped with magnetic soles; not as powerful or heavy duty as those used in EV suits, but more than sufficient to operate in minimal gravity that was otherwise habitable. Both security guards, both Petty Officers, knew their role during this sort of first contact, as it was one of the most common training exercises conducted outside of advanced role training, for obvious reasons.

It did not take them long to be touching down on the flight deck of the Protectorate space station, and once they were all secured and a quick visual sweep had revealed nothing of concern, Whitmore led the way down the shuttle’s rear ramp and onto the station. As she strode towards the waiting Protectorate official, Whitmore’s sharp eyes flicked around the compartment with interest, noting the prudent presence of armed guards of their own, and the apparent nervousness of the man she would be speaking with. It was to be expected, after all, this was bread-and-butter stuff for Starfleet, but the same might not be the case for other civilisations.


“I am Captain Jennifer Whitmore, of Starfleet, commanding officer of the Federation Starship Endeavour,” Whitmore said formally, taking the lead in an attempt to put the poor man at ease. “It is my genuine honour to greet you on behalf of the United Federation of New Khitomer.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:19 am

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Alex stood behind the safety line in the shuttle bay, watching the strange shuttle come into land. Somewhat boxy yet smooth it looked strange to him, even as the spacefaring person he was having seen all types of craft from the sleek overly expensive craft of the rich to the more utilitarian of the average.

But to be completely honest with himself, he didn’t know what he was expecting to walk out of that shuttle. The fact that they had spoken English hadn’t really pointed to much, as he was assuming any alien capable of just… appearing in a star system might have the software to easily decipher the few million messages generated by humanity flying through space and make a translation program.

An actual homo stellaris human (or at least what looked like one) stunned him. It took all his years of political skill to not drop his jaw to the floor. He honestly probably would of been less surprised by an actual alien.

“Welcome aboard Keep Station Captain Whitmore.” He said, he just had to act normal, like this was someone from one of the other planets. “I am Director Alex Tachy, head of the Ionia Prime Council, it is an honor to meet you in person.” He smiled, “Please, follow me.”

He turned and began walking, the magboots clicking against the floor as they kept him firmly to the deck. Alex walked like he did this often, as did the two guards who stayed perfectly silent as they escorted their charge through the station. There were other pairs of the black-clad guards on passages to bar the way down them, all of them looking exactly the same.

They reached a red line and a hatch which the two guards guarding it opened for them. Alex paused for a second. “This is the entrance to where we have spin gravity Captain.” Like he was giving a tour and obviously warning in case their visitors weren’t used to the transition between micro and regular gravity. Once the group stepped through the transition hatch it was closed behind them. Gravity seemed to be about 1G in strength and after Alex seemed to give their guests a quick glance to make sure they were fine with the transition he led them a short way down the passage to a conference room.

In the conference room, on the far wall was what seemed to the seal of Ionia, a dark gray round planet with shockingly blue striations of what seemed to be Lapis Lazuli and a small blue disk of Lapis in its ‘orbit’ that seemed to be a mirror of the huge circular structure in orbit outside.

Only one of the chairs had a person in it. A young woman with hair that was very tightly braided to her head, eyes that were too deeply blue to be natural shining with excitement as she kept to her feet. The two silent guards moved to stand against the wall.

"This is Keeper Hanna Tillman, she was the only one who could make it on time. The rest will be joining us virtually." Tachy waved them into chairs that were very comfortable and as he sat down at the head of the table, other humans began to flicker into existence. 17 more in total, spanning a great range of age and looks. Despite what seemed to be holograms, they all looked like they were really there. There was one seat nearer to Tachy empty and the Director looked at it. "What happened to Damien?"

"His wife went into labor and while he regrets not being here, would rather welcome his daughter into the world." One of newcomers, an older looking woman with silver laced black hair, said.

Tachy chuckled. It was so human of Damien, to miss such an occasion for something so personal. Not that he minded the man doing what was best for his family, but he knew many of the council would have killed to be a part of this. "Then we'll be fine without him." He looked up Whitmore with a bright smile. "Captain, this is the Ionia Prime Council, we govern this world and its people." He paused. "I will admit you caused quite a stir when you just appeared in this star system. We never found any other life in our expansion across the stars. Are you actually human, if you are comfortable answering that?"

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Postby New Khitomer » Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:24 am

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Captain Whitmore took in everything she saw as she was led through the station's corridors, making mental notes about points of interest for her report to Starfleet Command. Based on what she was seeing, combined with the nervousness she had felt in the tone of those that had communicated with her so far, Whitmore was beginning to believe that this could not only be the Federation’s first contact with this Protectorate but also the Protectorate's first contact of any kind, which meant that a whole range of other protocols and regulations were to be considered, and largely vindicated her cautious approach up to this point. Nevertheless, as she was shown into the conference room and the Council she was supposed to be meeting began to ‘arrive’, it was becoming rapidly apparent that there was something of an eclectic mix of technology; on the one hand they did not appear to have even moderately advanced artificial gravity technology (instead relying on primitive rotating sections), and yet they did seem to have advanced and high-fidelity holographic communications systems, something that Starfleet had not had for some years (and quickly abandoned, as not particularly useful all things considered).

It was certainly difficult to place them at any one position on the technological advancement spectrum.

Sure enough, as Whitmore took her place and the two security petty officers assumed an unassuming position against one of the bulkheads, it was quickly confirmed that this was indeed the Protectorate’s first contact with a civilisation other than their own. They seemed to be handling it fairly well, so Whitmore wondered if they had previously assumed the existence of extraterrestrial life, but not been able to confirm it.

“That is understandable, Director, if you’ve not encountered another interstellar civilisation it must be a surprise when it happens, even if you’ve previously assumed life is out there,” Whitmore replied with a warm smile. “I thank you for agreeing to meet me so quickly, although I am sure you wanted to know what my ship and I was doing in your system, nevertheless, I do appreciate it.”

Whitmore tilted her head slightly at the question before smiling.

“Yes, I am human, and if I seem a little unsurprised by that, let me just say that it is not the first time that Starfleet has encountered humans other than those from the Federation,” Whitmore commented wryly. “In our experience, there have been a number of explanations how such a thing came to pass, and whilst it will be interesting down the line to work out which applies in this case, it is probably not important at this stage.”

Whitmore leant forward.

“Being entirely upfront with you, although I am human, I should let you know that the Federation consists of dozens of alien species,” Whitmore added. “I kept my security detail all human, to avoid overwhelming you with revelations, but you’ll likely come across other species the more you interact with Starfleet and the Federation.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:06 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Stunned silence was what greeted that revelation. They had been looking for so long for other signs of life beyond a few microorganisms living deep in the crevices of the planets they settled and apparently all the aliens had been hiding behind some other Star with their own humans while Prime sunk deeper into the mindset that the universe was barren and they were the only ones? It almost sounded unfair in a way, that this Federation got all the aliens while they scraped by with none, (as silly as that seemed.)

“Thank you for the forewarning Captain.” The Director said to break the silence. “Though I’ll freely admit you’ve already overwhelmed at least me with that simple statement. We’ve been hoping to find life in every system we’ve settled but we haven’t been as lucky as you. I believe we were honestly better prepared for an alien encounter rather than a human one.”

One of the men sitting next to Tachy made a small motion to the Director and the Director seemed to yield the floor for the moment.

The man had on a similar jumpsuit as the Director, dark gray and cyan, but with two golden stars stitched into the collar. “I am General Ansem Monet and while we are all glad to see you, I know that look on Keeper Tillman’s face and she is dying to ask the same question I am.”

The young woman who was actually in the room blushed and looked down at the table, even with the variety of ages and sometimes unnatural features of a society with very good medical care, she was obviously the youngest member of the Council.

“How, exactly did you get here?” He asked. “Your ship didn’t come through any device like our Casimir Gates, just sort of… popped into existence far as we can tell and my people have been going over the sensor records to try and figure out what your Endevour was doing.”

Tillman broke in, somewhat shyly. “If your ship had been at sublight speeds we would of seen it coming for days and the General would of sent ships to intercept it,” her voice seemed to grow firmer. “So I assume you have some form of… engine based Faster-than-Light travel.” The Keeper looked at Whitmore for confirmation of her theory, though at the mere suggestion of some sort of FTL that wasn’t based on their own seemed to still the room again. Director Tachy looked like he hadn’t even been considering it and probably should of been given the grateful look briefly shot at the General.

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Postby New Khitomer » Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:53 pm

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Captain Whitmore smiled politely and kindly at the stunned response her revelation received, much as she had expected, and it certainly helped her shape how she would proceed. Despite their surprise, they seemed to be taking the information in as well as could be expected. There were a number of recorded first contacts in which the contacted civilisation had reacted dramatically, even violently, to the information, or the simple realisation that their assumptions about the universe had been entirely incorrect. It was encouraging to say the least, and would make for a far more positive report to Starfleet. It also enabled her to be a little more free with the information she could divulge, although she would continue to be careful not to overwhelm her hosts she felt that she could at least trust them with the truth, even if she would avoid going into too much detail. It was highly unlikely that they would understand the technical details of anything that she said, as even their best scientists would be starting from scratch, but even with that in mind she did not want to ‘rub their faces’ in the technology that the Federation had available to it.

As such, when she was asked the question she had been expecting since the respective technological levels had become even remotely apparent, she was able to answer more or less freely.

“In general, our starships make use of a faster-than-light propulsion system that we call ‘Warp Drive’, which at its most basic level works by creating a ‘warp field’ of subspace, which exists alongside ‘normal’ space, which distorts the fabric of space-time around the warp bubble, contracting it behind and expanding it behind,” Whitmore explained, trying her best to keep her answer as basic as possible, but knowing it would likely go over their heads. “The ship sits within the bubble, and essentially ‘surfs’ the wave in space-time that is created by this distortion, with travel at velocities beyond the speed of light possible because the ship is, strictly speaking, stationary (relative to the space inside the warp bubble), whilst space-time itself os moving, resulting in no time-dilation or other ill effects.”

Whitmore paused and smiled wryly.

“The degree of the distortion is measured in ‘Warp Factors’, with higher factors of distortion allowing for faster speeds, and with the primary limiting factor being power generation rather than the physical limitations of the starship, although higher warp factors require larger and more powerful warp coils,” Whitmore continued as simply as possible. “Although other species have used more… exotic, power generation methods, by far the most common and that used by Starfleet is a matter-antimatter reaction, as that has provided us with more than adequate power for even comparatively high warp factors, whilst also generally safe when handled properly.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:41 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Alex watched the various council members as the Federation human explain her warp drive. Given that a lot of these were holograms, most of them could set filters on what they wanted to show. Most seemed interested, he was sure a few were completely lost and not willing to show it. Keeper Tillman, despite being the youngest member of the council, was Ionia’s leader in understanding the forces that went into the Casimir Gates and thus leading expert on FTL travel. She was probably the smartest person on the Council given the math involved with space travel and Gates.

So she was listening with rapt attention to Whitmore, taking notes almost as fast as the captain could talk, her eyes shining with so much interest and curiosity Alex was afraid the other Keeper would explode. She pursed her lips once Whitmore finished, looking up from her notes.

“It sounds like an Alcubierre drive, an old, old concept from Earth,” she said, more to herself than the crowd. “Something that was theoretically possible, but left by the wayside once the Gates were discovered it didn’t matter as ships could just pass through them without every single one needing it’s own drives. Not to mention the energy budget would make it all but impossible for anyone other than governments to build and fuel the ships! Too expensive and would probably spell disaster for space travel.”

“Hanna.” Alex said gently, firmly. The young woman refocused her zoned out gaze on her Director. “I am sure we will have plenty of time to bother the Federation about their FTL and tech since I assume it isn’t proprietary, given how thorough that explanation was.”

“Oh.” Tillman laughed. “Sorry, FTL technology is my research speciality. I spend more time in a lab with research documents than with people. Sometimes I forget.”

Some of the tension from the others relaxed and Alex was glad. He’d usually cut off Hanna before she went off like that, knowing she was prone to ramble when something shiny and sciencey caught her eye. Had he not interrupted her it was possible she would of eventually spun the thread out enough to probably try and beg, borrow, or steal her way aboard the ship to study the engine itself.

But held been worried by the somewhat still faces of the other Council members, knowing that while their holograms listened intently, recording this interaction for later review, the actual humans behind the hologram whispered to each other, scowled in secret as yet another marvel was hung in front of them like a carrot on a stick. Aliens? FTL not limited to Gates? What other marvels would they have?

He doubted Whitmore meant to rub it in their faces, she seemed honest enough. But it stung a little nonetheless. So he hoped she understood the subtle message behind letting Hanna geek out at her.

Prime Redux were not idiots. They had capable and smart people on hand with the resources to look into possibilities. The drive to study whatever was thrown at them. They might be in the gawking phase right now, but they would learn and grow from this.

“Thank you for the explanation though Captain. We appreciate the candor and for giving Hanna something to obsess over.” That got a few chuckles even from some of the harder to impress Council members.

He wondered if she would notice they weren’t explaining how their FTL worked in return.

“May I ask about what type of government the Federation is, who leads it?” Alex asked to distract from that, “how many planets does the Federation claim?”

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Postby New Khitomer » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:46 pm

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




“Yes, the principles are certainly very similar, although like most pre-warp theories the details and exact nature of the drive is certainly different, but it certainly provides an adequate frame of reference, it is also, with only a handful of exceptions, the way in which every species we have encountered achieves FLT travel,” Captain Whitmore agreed with a smile. “As such, whilst Federation law would prevent us from giving you the technology, there is nothing stopping me, or my engineers, from discussing it with you, as you are already FTL-capable, just in a different manner.”

Whitmore was, of course, not mentioning the fact that Starfleet already possessed another way of travelling faster than light, in the form of the Quantum Slipstream Drive, but that was understandable given that it was only installed aboard one ship in the entire fleet; the Vesta-Class Starship USS Capitoline. There was little point in complicating matters by bringing up an entirely different technology that was both more-or-less experimental and would be very unlikely to be encountered by them in the immediate future; it was certainly not worth bringing up during a first contact situation. It was obvious that the Protectorate was capable enough within the bounds of their own technology, and had enough theoretical understanding of wider matters to be able to discuss such things, but like transporter technology amongst others there was no point in over complicating things at this point. She had noticed that there was no information forthcoming on their own method of FTL travel, but based on the hints dropped about their ‘gates’, previous Starfleet encounters with similar technology, and the fact that their sensors could probably give them a decent enough understanding of the technology in any event.

“Well, New Khitomer is actually an offshoot of the United Federation of Planets, originally formed as a part of a colonisation effort to this galaxy through a stable wormhole, with our parent nation claiming over 150 member worlds and thousands of colonies,” Whitmore replied. “The United Federation of New Khitomer was formed when the wormhole collapsed and we were cut off from the UFP, and is organised slightly differently, however we currently have 7 worlds with a population of one billion or more, and several dozen smaller colonies of varying sizes, contained within the Arcadia Sector, predominantly within a star cluster of the same name.”

Whitmore paused for a moment.

“As for our government, New Khitomer is a democratic nation; both its executive and its legislature democratically elected through universal suffrage, and the courts have their appropriate place in lines with the principles of the Rule of Law,” Whitmore confirmed promptly. “The current President of the Federation is Atyla Sh’shriaqik, who as you might have guessed is not human, and she is in fact Andorian… my tactical officer is also Andorian as it happens… although I have seen some sense of it here, may I also enquire as to your own political system?”
Last edited by New Khitomer on Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Prime Redux » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:22 am

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Alex frowned slightly. Not because he was worried, but because this was the first time anyone had been asked to explain to an outsider. Even those that weren't a part of the Protectorate, the few worlds and fringe settlements that didn't answer to Prime proper, all came from them. They didn't need it explained to them. He didn't know why he felt this way. Perhaps the idea of being of judged by a person who had never experienced all the good that came from Prime made him uneasy.

"The Protectorate of Prime Redux currently has 32 settled planets and moons and numerous stations, asteroids and other space habitats. Population in total is around..." He paused for a moment, the data flicked up on his ocular implant. Thank God for subordinates. "650 million."

"Local control varies depending on the location. Private Stations and fringe asteroids may have their own unique setups and hierarchies as long as they follow Prime law. Planets and moons tend to follow their local Prime Councils, made up of Keepers of various ages and specialities."

"Director." General Monet cut in. "You should probably explain what a Keeper is first. Captain Whitmore did not grow up here, remember?"

Of course. He kept himself from facepalming. Everyone in the Protectorate knew what the Keepers were. They knew the power, status, and (most of the)training that went into it. Such an intricate part of their society it was second nature to almost pass over what they were and just accept them as natural.

Alex cleared his throat. "Sorry. What my good General is referring to is The Orders of the Keepers. People who go through special training and schooling in order to safeguard the knowledge of the Casimir Gates. While that is our one of the main reasons the Order was founded, we all serve our people and government with other jobs. Teachers, scholars, engineers, researchers, doctors and so on. All Council members, barring the Fleet General, are Keepers, but not all Keepers are bound to the Council. Many have jobs, fantastic and mundane, outside of government.”

That was a general overview of that for Whitmore.

“Prime Councils are beholden to the High Protectorate, a Council of 35 people, one from each major settlement, and we all answer to the Prime Director, the leader of the Prime Redux.” Alex paused to look at Whitmore. “I could call the Prime Director and introduce you if you’d like? So far she’s just been riding my shoulder, so to speak. Watching, but letting us handle the contact so she doesn’t steal the glory from Ionia.”

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Postby New Khitomer » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:18 pm

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Captain Whitmore leant back in her chair and nodded as she listened to the explanation given to her about the Protectorate’s Government, as well as its size and scope. It was immediately obvious that the Protectorate was significantly smaller than New Khitomer, which would be most helpful for Starfleet Intelligence when it came to forming accurate and useful threat assessments (and a whole range of other societal and cultural assessments from various other parts of Starfleet and the rest of Federation Government as a whole. Broadly speaking, and based on other civilisations encountered by the Federation, the population was surprisingly small for an interstellar polity, although by no means the smallest. It would certainly be interesting to learn more about the history of the Protectorate, to determine where it had come from and how it had maintained such a small (relatively speaking) population. Much of this curiosity was the explorer within Whitmore coming to the front, and part of the reason why she loved her career in Starfleet.

Equally, the description of the Protectorate’s governmental system was equally interesting and certainly kept her attention as it was explained to her, at least in general terms. It was certainly very different to the system used by the Federation, and whilst it had some parallels with those of both humanity’s past, and those of previously encountered civilisations, as far as she could tell it was largely a novel system. Although there would need to be detailed investigations down the line to determine exactly what sort of state they were dealing with, on a social and civil rights level, it did not seem like it was an overly oppressive one, even if it seemed to lack the kind of democratic ideals that most of the Federation’s member species had favoured. That being said, the Federation had always prioritised those civil rights over political rights, and its own favour for democracy had not stopped it from accepting member-states with other non-oppressive systems. Indeed, part of the reason the President of the Federation possessed so much power and authority was the fact that they were the only individual who was directly elected by all Federation Citizens, and in some cases was the only elected official for some citizens. Under the United Federation of New Khitomer, however, all members of the Federation Council were elected, as the founding ‘fathers’ of New Khitomer had been eager to enshrine in law the preferred way of doing things.

However, Federation Law specifically prevented the Federation from interfering in the internal affairs of the another civilisation, and it was certainly not Starfleet’s place to judge (officially speaking, individuals could form and hold their own opinions of course). In any event, learning about these ‘Keepers’ would doubtless be of critical importance, given the position they held within the Protectorate.

“That is entirely up to you, Director,” Whitmore replied graciously. “I would be honoured to be introduced to your Prime Director, if you deem it appropriate.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:32 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Tachy took a quick glance around at everyone. He of course saw nothing hinting he shouldn’t but he doubted that revealing the Prime Director was listening in helped any. People made sure to behave in front of her most of the time.

“I think it would be a fine idea.” The woman with the slivering hair said. “They’re bound to meet her eventually, might as well share some of the glory.”

Alex hid the smirk and flicked his wristpad at the wall behind him. The seal of Ionia disappeared as a hologram formed in front of it. A woman with dark skin starting to wrinkle slightly around her gray eyes looked out, her hair was cut short and a soft sky blue. Behind her head hung a black flag with blue lines radiating out from a star in a gray circle. The Protectorate’s flag. Fitting for her.

“Keeper Figueroa,” her voice had the quality of a teacher scolding a student. “I appreciate you coming to bat for me, but Director Tachy can make his own decisions.”

Keeper Figueroa looked down but didn’t respond to the obvious barb.

“Captain, may I introduce you to Prime Director Mary Lexa, leader of The Protectorate of Prime Redux. Prime Director, this is Captain Jennifer Whitmore, commanding officer of the USS Endevour from the United Federation of New Khitomer. Our very first First Contact.”

“Congratulations on finding humans that aren’t Prime’s Director Tachy.” Her voice slid into dry amusement, “Captain why couldn’t you have been one of those rubber-headed aliens we always like making up for movies?” It was supposed to be a joke but after a second Lexa frowned. lThough I assume jokes like that are probably a bit crass given you said you had aliens of your own… Racist? Xenophobic? English is a good language but sometimes it doesn’t have the right words for what you need. It is a pleasure to speak face to face, though it would of taken me too many days to get there in person to actually meet you. I have a question of my own for you.”

Quite a few of the Ionia Council leaned forward lightly, attention focused on their leader.

”How far away is the closest planet Ionia? I’m sure you have gotten hints but while Gates are amazing for linking our own stars together, they make for poor directed far travel. We follow where the Casimir Gates take us, as while there are some things we hold dear about our FTL, the fact that we do not control where the gates open up to is public knowledge so trying to ‘bridge the gap’, for lack of a better term, might be difficult.”
Last edited by Prime Redux on Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby New Khitomer » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:15 am

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Although her extensive diplomatic training and vast diplomatic experience kept it from being easily noticeable, Captain Whitmore’s smile became slightly fixed as the Prime Director was introduced and began to speak. She could not put her finger on it, but there was something about the woman that rubbed her the wrong way at first impression. It may have been the attempt at a joke, or just the slightly adversarial way in which she had dealt with her subordinates, but instinctively there was something there that she did not quite like. Not that she would allow it to impact the execution of her responsibilities here, nor would it affect the way with which she responded, as Starfleet Officers were expected to put their own feelings and emotions aside in situations like this; not every first contact or any situation generally that they found themselves in would be all sunshine and rainbows after all. Nevertheless, it would be yet another interesting point to add to her report to Starfleet, as although they were expected to overcome any personal dislike it was important to put such feelings, instincts, or impressions into reports, as Starfleet highly valued the opinion of those ‘on the ground’.

At least the Grand Director had recognised the somewhat inappropriate nature of the joke that she had made, and the potential offence that it might cause, which was a positive sign that second impressions and more detailed engagements and assessments would be more positive. Indeed, it would almost be better in some ways if Whitmore ensured that the next senior Starfleet officer, either one of her senior staff or the next delegation, these people encountered was from a non-human species.

“The nearest Federation settlement to this star system is the Nampara Colony, roughly twenty-two lightyears from here, the core of the Federation, including New Khitomer, is another fifteen or so lightyears beyond that, so call it between thirty-five and forty,” Whitmore replied, quickly reviewing the star charts in her head. “In a situation like this, where an encountered civilisation’s warp capability, or indeed their alternative form of FTL travel, is less than ideal for ‘bridging the gap’ Starfleet would look to routinely send a ship out to you, in order to keep us in contact.”

Whitmore paused thoughtfully, there was no point in not looking ahead with these people.

“In the longer term, the Federation would look to establish a diplomatic mission in the form of an Embassy, which would not only allow you a resident senior Federation diplomat, but we would also equip the Embassy with a subspace communications system,” Whitmore added. “Once we have subspace receivers and transceivers on-site it would not be difficult to transfer subspace communications into your own local communications network, allowing for both long-range governmental communications, but also personal communications once we get to the point that your people are on New Khitomer or her colonies.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:32 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


The Prime Director didn’t seem pleased by the answer. “That is a long ways off for us given that we can’t sail the stars.” She sighed, leaning back in her chair. “I would certainly welcome a diplomatic mission, given that barring a miracle, we may never be able to link a Gate into your space for ease of communication from our end.”

Mary’s smile was wry. “I get the very distinct feeling your technology may be better than ours. We know our tech like the back of our hands but a lot of it piggybacks off Gate based systems so may be of limited usefulness when it comes to trying to be on par with each other. It’s a little early to consider trade perhaps, but given that you have humans among you, it would not be a completely fruitless effort to sell goods to each other.”

“I am sure we can take it one step at a time Prime Director.” Alex said. “Maybe we can do some sort of…” he paused, frowned, and tapped a query into his wristpad. “Foreign exchange. That’s the term. People get to visit other worlds and learn about the cultures from the natives. We might not have ships as fancy as Edevour, but we do love to teach and learn. Comes with the fact that we all are homo stellaris. That Curiosity of ours is never extinguished.” His smile returned, seeming even more determined to live up to their new friends standards.

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Postby New Khitomer » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:29 pm

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Captain Whitmore smiled slightly; as was quite often the case once the technological edge of the Federation was determined it did not take long for the less advanced civilisations to start making probing queries to determine whether there would be scope for that technology to be shared. Now more so than ever, she was entirely glad that she had made a conscious decision to not divulge or avoid using certain technologies that would have underline just how advanced the Federation was in many areas. Whilst she had given some details about the easily observed technology, and a few related technologies, she had certainly not gone into any true technical detail much less actually handed over some technology. For a whole variety of reasons, technology exchange was entirely off the table at least for the meantime, and until the Federation had sufficient information to form an accurate assessment of the impact of introducing technology this stance would not be revisited.

“We can certainly discuss trade down the road; our diplomatic mission would include a Trade Attaché who can discuss such matters with you in detail, although as you’ve already hinted, it will rely heavily on our ships to actually transport the goods,” Whitmore commented. “As for technology, there is a great deal of Federation Law which restricts the sharing of advanced technology with non-allied powers, for a whole range of reasons, so that is likely to be out of the question at least for the time being.”

Whitmore paused thoughtfully.

“There is absolutely scope for officer exchanges, indeed it is something that Starfleet has a great deal of experience with such things,” Whitmore nodded. “Of course, I’d have to discuss the matter with Starfleet Command, to decide the best ships to be involved.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:14 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


“Then I suppose we shouldn’t bother the good Captain with these notions anymore.” The Prime Director smiled. “We can obviously work things out with whoever the Federation sends to us and a lot of this is probably far above your head decision-wise. Thank you for the forewarning though. It might not seem like much but we can curb our enthusiasm early before we go begging for handouts and get turned down.”

Some of the Council didn’t look like they liked the way the Prime Director said that. After all they were their own people and, at least to themselves, highly advanced. Their stuff might not be as shiny, but it was just as good. Maybe better in some ways.

Alex would let them keep believing that. At least for now. He had faith in their own tech but a way to travel the stars without the Gates was always a small niggle at the back of everyone’s mind. Anyone who had cracked that mystery must have some more goodies tucked away somewhere.

“Director.”

Alex started slightly, he had been woolgathering again.

“Yes Prime Director?” He asked.

“Keeper Figueroa was trying to get your attention. Are you alright?” She asked, genuine concern in her voice.

“I’m fine, you remember what I was like when I was younger and in training. Being old hasn’t helped with the daydreaming.” He turned his attention to the woman as Mary’s image relaxed when her subordinate confirmed he was alright. “Yes Keeper?”

“You didn’t see my text message.” She said, a small smile of her own playing across her face. “Guess I’ll just ask now. Captain, would it possible to meet an alien while you are here? I remember you saying you had an Andorian on your ship, I assume there are more given the size. Though I would understand if our station wasn’t suitable for other Federation citizens thus making it unsafe.” She paused, obviously trying to be more careful about her word choices than the leader of her nation had been. “Nor would I want to force anyone into a situation in which they may feel… commodified. Keeping the press out of these areas of the station so you didn’t get mobbed by camera drones was hard enough. I would not want to pressure anyone into a meeting if I could avoid it.”

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Postby New Khitomer » Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:28 am

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Captain Whitmore nodded as the conversation moved on; there was certainly a great deal that she was going to have to discuss with both Starfleet Command and the Federation Council, and she was already dreading the hours upon hours of debriefings she was likely to be subjected to. It was almost certain that the Endeavour would be recalled to New Khitomer, in order to allow her to attend in person despite the existence of subspace communications. Doubtless, their return home would be justified by using them to ferry the Federation’s diplomatic mission back out to the Protectorate, as keeping the same ship involved at least initially had some advantages even if once things became more routine it would become the concern of the Captains of the Diplomatic Engagement Group, a collection of starships specifically allocated for conducting diplomatic operations. Whilst every Starship Captain was an well-trained and experienced diplomat, with the authority to speak as a Federation Special Ambassador, such activities were as a collateral of another mission, such as exploration of scientific investigation, rather than as a specific and high-priority mission as was the case with the DEG.

Whitmore watched the exchange before smiling slightly.

“Yes, my first officer, Commander Ch’tavor, is an Andorian, and I am sure he would be happy to meet with you whilst the Endeavour is here, although I think it best be part a larger activity, rather than simply coming aboard to be gawked at, if you get my meaning,” Whitmore replied thoughtfully. “Alternatively, if you want to avoid a press scrum, I would be happy to accept a small delegation aboard the Endeavour, although you may feel a little overwhelmed as there will be plenty of aliens, of a whole range of species, aboard my ship.”

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Prime Redux
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Postby Prime Redux » Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:48 am

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Alex had to make sure to let out his next breath slowly as not to immediately jump on the opportunity. He flicked his gaze down to his wristpad, mirroring the wall view of the Prime Director behind him so he didn’t have to crane his neck to see her. She gave him a single tiny shake of her head. Mary knew him well. Too well. He would of offered to go aboard himself, but as a Director he had to consider the possibility that an unknown danger on that ship could kill him and decapitate the leadership of Ionia. He couldn’t risk that.

“Well at least we would be too busy gawking at everything to appear being blatantly rude.” Figueroa said with a chuckle. “Director, should I start begging for the opportunity to go aboard the alien ship?”

Alex covered a laugh with a cough as he saw the Prime Director almost choke on the drink she had been consuming, freezing the feed on a more natural pose while he watched the image on her on his wristpad cough in order to recover. Figueroa wasn’t known cracking jokes like that so he understood the sentiment.

“Captain if you believe it is safe to bring us aboard then we would love to see your ship.” Alex said. “Though if I do send any of my Keepers I would have to send a couple Guard Core along with them.” He motioned to the two black clad guards still standing there in the conference room with them, as still and unmoving as the furniture. “I trust you Captain, but Keepers are very important, Council members even more so and I couldn’t allow any Keeper to go unescorted. We would understand if having armed outsiders on your ship is unacceptable.”

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Postby New Khitomer » Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:11 am

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Captain Whitmore was thoughtful for a moment as she considered the request. Given that she was bringing representatives of a just-encountered civilisation aboard, there would already be a fairly substantial security presence, both directly around the delegations and securing key positions across the ship, just in case. Whilst it was less than ideal having any non-Starfleet armed personnel aboard a Federation Starship it was also not unheard of, and whilst the exceptions were usually made for allied or friendly powers, even hostiles had been allowed to keep their weapons under the careful eye of Starfleet Security to protect their own leaders and interests. There was certainly far more to be gained by being somewhat accommodating than being intransigent, particularly if adequate safeguards were in place to avoid any incidents or issues. As such, although she suspected her Chief of Security would be less than pleased with the development, she was leaning towards allowing it. Besides, although she could be wrong her instincts were usually pretty accurate and they were telling her that these people were not a threat, and in any cases two armed personnel aboard would not be enough to take over a Galaxy-Class starship, or overwhelm her security arrangements.

“I would be willing to allow a small number of guards, but I'm sure you’ll appreciate I must insist they only be armed with sidearms,” Whitmore replied promptly. “We’d also have to arrange to get your people over there, I can certainly request additional shuttles.”

Whitmore briefly considered revealing the transporter technology, but there was no guarantee that the un-initiated would even be prepared to use them, so it could potentially reveal the technology for no real gain.

“In any event, my crew will be more than happy to welcome you and your fellows aboard."

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Postby Prime Redux » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:03 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


Alex looked up at the guards. “Does that sound fair?”

“Sidearms will suffice for our purposes.” The voice of the guard was completely neutral in tone and gender, a somewhat obvious, if effective, computized filter easily heard in the words.. No inflection whatsoever. If one looked closely they both were exactly the same from the outside, same height, no sign of any gender, personality or differences. Given the face concealing helmets and black armor it made for an intimidating and very intentional appearance of facelessness.

Alex nodded. "And while I wish I could go, I'm afraid I personally cannot. Too high up in the chain to be swanning around alien spaceships. I was thinking three of the Council Keepers so the Guard Core doesn't have a heart attack." He looked up at Hanna, who was trying (and failing hard) at hiding her excitement."Keeper Tillman, Keeper Figueroa and…"

The hatch to the conference room opened. In an instant the two Guard Core had their rifles up, safeties off, and pointed at the person in the door. The man was wearing the same gray and cyan jumpsuit as Alex standing there had his hands out, palms up in a placating gesture that also showed that he had no weapons. His hair was blonde and unlike a lot of other people here, had it kept long and loose in a ponytail, though it looked a bit messy.

“Stand down Guard Core…Keeper Damien.” Alex’s tone was frosty as the two guards relaxed in sync. “What are you doing here? If you wanted to join in you could have commed in.”

“When I told my wife what I was missing she told me that ‘you’ll put your name in the history books for the wrong reason’ and to go.” Damien gave a disarming smile. “Couldn’t argue with her.”

“And you thought it was a good idea to skulk around the station, break a quarantine, and show up here unannounced?” Alex asked. “Knowing the Prime Director was going to be watching?” He motioned behind him at the Prime Director, who was watching the whole scene impassively.

“When my love says jump, I always do so with due diligence.” Damien replied.

Alex pinched the bridge of his nose. “Captain Whitmore, please meet Speaker for the Ionia Prime Council, Keeper Xavier Damien. He’s our public relations head.”

“Pleased to meet you, Captain.” He gave a small bow. “Now I believe you were about to recommend me for this little sightseeing tour, since I’m the one who's going to be dealing with the media after this.”

“I should leave you here high and dry and let someone else have the honor.” The Director said with a frown.

“But you can’t because the people will feel you slighted me.” Damien finished for him.

“Because the people will feel I slighted you, yes.” Alex conceded. Behind the Ionia Director, the Prime Director held an expression of sympathy as she glanced at Whitmore. A very ‘I’m sorry you had to see this’ look.

“Three Keepers and two watchdogs armed only with sidearms.” Alex said with a sigh. “And we can provide our own shuttles, the pilots and AI that fly them are perfectly capable of landing in all conditions. But this is your ship so if you feel it’s safer for us to use your craft, then we won’t argue.”

Keeper Damien moved around to stand next to Tillman’s chair, the younger Keeper lifting up her wristpad to bump it with Damien’s who looked at the screen with interest, who whispered excitedly about FTL not bound to the Gates and what Whitmore had explained earlier.

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Postby New Khitomer » Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:26 pm

Captain Jennifer A. Whitmore
Keep Station
Ionia System, Sector B-04
Stardate 66691.9




Although the two security petty officers had reacted to the Protectorate Guard Core’s own reaction to the interloper in a relatively restrained manner, simply by placing their hands on the grips of their phasers in case they were needed, the intensity with which they observed the exchange was as strong as you would imagine. It was to be expected really, in line with their training Starfleet Security was well aware of the potential diplomatic consequences of any overt overreaction on their part, and as such they were trained that whilst their eyes and their minds might be racing they ought not to allow any hasty action to physically manifest itself. After all, aside from first contacts or other diplomatic engagements, Starfleet had a long history of mediating conflicts between two external civilisations and Starfleet Security had to both maintain the peace without becoming an impediment themselves. This required a steady hand and a quick mind, which personified the ideal Starfleet Security officer. Once it became clear that there was not a threat, both the Starfleet NCOs removed their hands from their weapons, and their eyes and features relaxed as they returned to less dramatic matters.

Captain Whitmore was somewhat bemused by the exchange, but it was by no means the first time that representatives of a a newly-encountered civilisation were literally chomping at the bit to get aboard a Federation Starship, or otherwise be intimately involved in the first contact process. Truthfully, Whitmore had no qualms with anyone in this room being involved, although she saw much of the ideal of exploration in the young Keeper Tillman and was glad that she had been included. She did not miss the Grand Directors expression, and smiled slightly in return.

“The shuttle that I came across over in has more than enough space to carry your contingent along with my own, and if you are prepared and willing, I would be happy to show you around now, and keep things simple enough practical speaking,” Whitmore replied thoughtfully. “I mean no disrespect to your own pilots, but it certainly does avoid any teething problems that might derail what has been an entirely satisfactory first contact so far, my shuttle would be able to return your delegation to this station, or anywhere else, once you are done.”

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Postby Prime Redux » Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:11 pm

Prime Standard Year 3549
Keep Station, Ionia
Director Alex Tachy


“Keeper Figueroa?” Alex asked.

“I can make my way over to the bay we let the shuttle land in right away.” She responded.

“Then I’ll escort you back to Bay Alpha.” The Director stood, giving a small, somewhat informal wave to the Prime Director’s image.

“I will leave you all be to get to know each other. I look forward to meeting the Federation in person when the time comes Captain. Have a good rest of your day.” With that she signed off, the image vanishing to reveal the seal of the planet again.

As Alex left the conference room with Whitmore, Keeper Tillman and Damien both followed with Damien more absorbed in something that had popped up on his wristpad and Tillman looking ready to burst into excited chatter. Behind them were the two Guard Core that had been in the room with them, a third appearing and falling into lockstep with the other two. As they crossed the gravity threshold back into the microgravity of the unrotated section, everyone clicked their magboots on with ease of long practice and walked easily. Seemed that while they lacked artificial gravity, Prime humans had long become adapted to zero G conditions. (Perhaps why they had switched from Homo sapiens to Homo stellaris as the designation for humans.)

Once they reached the bay, Keeper Figueroa was waiting, her short dark hair famed around her head with the lack of gravity. She smiled as she saw them and Tillman pushed forward to get a closer look at the shuttle while still trying to stay at a perceived safe distance from the unknown craft. “That is an amazing shuttle!”

“Thank you for this opportunity Captain. It means a lot to us.” Figueroa said graciously, flicking her gaze to Tillman as the young woman laced her hands together, an obvious attempt to keep from touching the shuttle without permission. “You are going to make Tillman’s whole month with this.”

“The whole planet is going nuts. Look.” Damien turned his wristpad, clearly visible on the screen was a view of the Endevour with a news ticker under it proclaiming first contact was underway. “All the news stations are like this, lots of babble about who, what, where, why. Been leaking out tidbits to curb negative conspiracies and the likes.”

“Good.” Alex nodded and looked back at the Guard Core. “Sidearms only.”

Two of the guards immediately handed their rifles to their third, leaving them with only a blaster on their hip each. They said nothing but were obviously ready to go.

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