“A Call for Help”
“No!” the older male from one of the outlying colonies shouted, slamming his clenched fist onto the table. “We are not requesting the Federation’s help.”
The meeting had been going on for almost three hours. Each of the present Federation colony representatives of the former demilitarized zone had voiced their concerns over the increasing attacks on their worlds, and they were no closer to a solution than when they first sat down. The mix of Cardassians, humans, and various alien races couldn’t agree to much, save their desire to stop the True Way.
“Enough!” a younger man hissed back, “Enough. How many supply shipments have you lost in the last month, Ellyn?”
“Four.” came a weak and sheepish response, “Perhaps we can try to sit down and…talk.”
The room erupted once more at the mention of the word talk. Taking was all they had done, and talking had gotten them nowhere. “Talking hasn’t worked.” Patterson, one of the few humans in the room, yelled over the crowd. “They don’t trust us,” he spoke, gesturing to the gathered representatives, “and very few here trust them. The Federation made this mess; the Federation can come and clean it up.”
“The Federation forgot about us long ago, and good riddance. We don’t need them.” There was a collective mumble of agreement. Many in the room still didn’t trust the Federation, even if they were technically Federation citizens themself. Thirty-plus years of mistrust wasn’t going to end just because the Federation stepped in.
Patterson continued, “We are getting nowhere and fast. The True Way will keep attacking our freight runs and shipping lines until something is done. Clearly, no one here is capable of dealing with these terrorists. We might not like it, but we need help; help from someone the Way can’t ignore. Neither side trusts the Federation, so who better to bring both sides to the table?”
“A table they created!” a voice shouted from the back of the room. The reply was met with cheers from several in the room.
Patterson looked around the room, “This is getting us nowhere.” he shook his head in disbelief. “If you people don’t have the guts to make the needed decisions, then I will.” He had enough of this back and forth. Standing up, he pushed the table out of his way. “If something isn’t done soon, then the Union will respond, and no one here needs that. This region of space has already seen too much, and force isn’t going to help. Like it or not, the Federation is our best option.” He could tell from the collection head nods around the room that several agreed.
Even if those in the meeting didn’t trust the Federation, their current responses only worsened the situation. They had to trust that the diplomatic arm of the Federation could find a way to end the True Way’s reach in the section. Patterson took one last look around the room before turning his attention to the aide on his left. “Send a message to the Federation; tell them we would like a meeting.”
Priority Mission In Play
The people that call the former Demilitarized Zone (or DMZ) home have seen their fair share of problems since the DMZ’s formation. With the recent events in the Velorum Sector and Delta Quadrant, an old adversary has taken advantage of the situation. Between raiding convoys, attacking shipping vessels, and causing local disruption, the True Way continues to make the lives of the Federation citizens miserable. They are further driving a wedge between the DMZ and the Federation.
The citizens of the DMZ have tried to stop the True Way, but this group of insurgents has a singular focus: evict the Federation from the DMZ. They don’t back down and show no sign of giving up. But with many in the former DMZ still resenting the Federation for their forced resettlement thirty years ago and Cardassian residents potentially wary of Starfleet or even sympathetic to the True Way, an olive branch to the region must be extended to stop the True Way.
The Commanding Officer of Task Force 72 has been tasked with a mission of diplomacy and cooperation. Federation Captains are strongly advised that strong-arming the True Way may inspire sympathy towards them from Cardassian residents or drive them to Union territory where Starfleet has no jurisdiction. This region of space is a very delicate diplomatic balancing act, and sheer force will not work.
- Improve relations with locals in the Federation-owned former DMZ:
- Rebuild trust with Federation citizens wary of Starfleet to ensure cooperation against the True Way.
- Strengthen bonds with Cardassian residents in Federation territory to improve conditions and avoid growth of True Way sympathy.
- Mediate member-member trade and security arrangements to prevent economic collapse in the region.
- Liaise with Cardassian Union government and military to obstruct True Way operations.
- Ensure all missions of cooperation meet Federation standards of justice.