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In A World Called Catasrophe

The USS Seattle launches with a new crew and a new cast.

Begin Again

USS Seattle - Captain’s Ready Room
2401

[USS Seattle – Captain’s Ready Room]

 

Captain Nathan Hawthorne could swear that he could feel the difference between being on the USS Anaheim and the USS Seattle. As a newer, quicker and all around better ship it felt better, though he knew that intellectually he could not tell the two apart. Things though were looking up for him, with a new command and a new First Officer maybe the five years going to the worst assignments that Starfleet had to offer had finally paid off. Maybe this was the start of something exciting.

Something new at least.

The Ready Room was no larger than on the Anaheim. It was newer, and had been the subject of better care leading it to be a nice place to remain. There he had set up his bespoke coffee equipment, one of the only personal effects that he had really collected over the years, a tribute he thought to the city of Seattle which had been well known for its coffee. It still was actually though very few people these days drank coffee from the rainy city in the Pacific Northwest. He was using a pour over method to make a cup when his door chimed, and he answered with a simple, “Come in.”

His First Officer Commander Adriana Cruz entered and waited until the door slid shut to sigh, “You know you can get coffee out of the replicator.”

”It’s not the same,” Hawthorne said, “Want a cup.”

”I had one, from the replicator. It took ten seconds,” Cruz said.

The Captain made a disapproving noise and continued slowly pouring water out of a kettle onto the ground beans. This was better, though he knew that such thoughts were as impossible as being able to tell that he was on a newer Rhode Island class ship versus his old California class. 

”We’ll be done sweeping this region in a day or so,” Cruz said, “nothing much here worth our time.”

Their old duty had been to go to the worst spots in the region and provide medical care. Often they were in disasters, picking up bodies which had worn on the crew. Now they chased ghosts. The ship was not the Defiant or any battleship exactly but the Seattle did have enough armaments that most trouble makers avoided them, which meant that thus far they’ve been visiting areas of space with nothing for them to do.

“We’ll keep looking. I’m not mad that we’re starting off slow, it’s good to get the new crew members integrated into the crew,” the Captain said. A new Chief Science Officer, new Chief Strategic Officer, and a new Assistant Chief Strategic Officer had joined with the new Assistant Chief Medical Officer to round out the crew. Both Science and Strategic Officers were roles that the Anaheim had not had.

Cruz sat in a chair, “The Assistant CMO is Romulan, just so you know.”

”I saw her record,” Hawthorne said, “Her dad’s Starfleet. She was raised human, by humans. I’m not worried, it’s not like we have a Tal’Shiar exchange Commander or anything.”

“Remember when Starfleet used to do that with the Klingons? Like I want to go stay on a Klingon ship,” Cruz said.

”Their captain probably makes blood wine the old fashioned way,” Hawthorne joked returning the kettle and removing the pour over attachment from the cup, leaving only the coffee there.

”That’s when the first officer stabs him and takes over the ship,” Cruz said.

Hawthorne grinned, aside from the physical attraction he felt for his First Officer which he was doing his best to keep out of his mind, she was smart and fun. Obviously the doctors who he’d been assigned in the role previously had been smart, but they were smart in a showy way where they constantly had to remind Hawthorne that they were doctors, and knew what they were doing. Maybe they had and he just had not listened, but he was a good Captain in his own mind, and they should have shown him the deference of rank. Cruz at least treated him like a superior even when joking about killing him in a Klingon based honor fight.

Meeting her and their physical affair had been a mistake, especially when they had continued it after she had been assigned to him as his First Officer. In fairness to both himself and her, neither of them had known that was going to be the case until later on. Now they were trying to be good. It was especially important for him, as he was just getting started on the next phase of his career and did not want to screw that up by abusing the power imbalance between him and a younger junior officer. Of course it was one of the burdens of being the captain, everyone on board was his junior officer. 

There were forms that could be filled out, but they had both decided to end it rather than go through that. Nobody quite knew how a situation like that would work itself out, and now that they were on a more exciting ship neither of them wanted to be reassigned which was a possibility. Hawthorne worried about being handed a Vulcan First Officer or something, someone no fun.

He sat at his desk with his fussy coffee. 

“Want dinner tonight?” Cruz asked.

”Sure,” Hawthorne said.

”I was thinking a few Mexican dishes like my Abuela used to make,” Cruz said.

”Did she use a replicator or make them by hand?” Hawthorne asked.

”She was old, but she did both. You’re comparing yourself to an eighty year old Mexican woman?” Cruz asked.

”Maybe,” Hawthorne said. Sipping his coffee he grinned, “I like this, right now. Us, this ship. See stick with me, we’re going places.”

Cruz smiled, not saying anything for a second, “Kolem knows something is up.”

”Nothing is up,” Hawthorne said, “we decided.”

”Well, the empath is being empathic, and likely knows what’s not up,” Cruz said.

”She’s smart, and as you say an empath but she’s not going to take that to Starfleet. We’ll be good, and she’ll forget it, unless you want to deal with the forms,” Hawthorne himself was not against the forms, but Cruz was worried about losing her first job as First Officer and had convinced him that as long as they were good they did not have to report their mistake.

Standing up from the desk Cruz shook her head, “No offense but you nude isn’t worth the forms.“

”You are,” Hawthorne said honestly.

”I know, enjoy your coffee that took longer to make than it will to drink,” Cruz said exiting the Ready Room.

”I drink slowly,” Hawthorne said to her back as she left.

 


 

[USS Seattle – Bridge]

 

On the bridge Commander Cruz took the Captain’s Chair that was roughly in the centre of the room. The crew did not really change, though she noticed a few postures improve as she sat. Everyone was on their best behaviour currently, a new ship and a new job. She had not been on the Anaheim, but understood that it had been a hard and a depressing assignment at the end. Their last mission had been cleaning up a colony after a pirate attack, and they had to deal with a population that was short on supplies and dying.

Beside her sat the new Assistant Chief Medial Officer, a pale Romulan with dark hair. Cruz knew that the woman was actually rather old, but she looked about Cruz’s age. Cruz nodded, smiled and decided to inquire about how things were going.

”How is medical,” she asked.

T’Rala looked up, “It’s good I think. It’s hard to say, we haven’t had any patients yet. Va’Tok is very, what’s the phrase about cards and close to the chest?”

Cruz nodded, “I think I know the one you’re thinking of, but I don’t know it.”

“Well it’s not like he’s that expressive,” T’Rala said. 

It was odd seeing as she looked very Vulcan having her complain about the Vulcan nature of the Chief Medical Officer. Cruz understood, and knew that the woman had likely gone through life with everyone assuming she was an emotionless void. Still the Assistant Chief Medical Officer was likely right, Chief Medical Officer was the one position that Cruz thought that a Vulcan was not the right person for the job.

”Well we do what we can with what we have,” Cruz said, “I’m sure you two will find ways of working together.”

”Oh we will,” T’Rala said, “Even if I have to just keep hitting him with optimism until he cracks a smile.”

Cruz smiled, and looked out at the viewscreen which was showing the vastness of space. 

For now, things were looking good. Now apparently the main mission was to get their Vulcan CMO to smile, which in and of itself was no mean feat.

Standing Tall Still

USS Seattle
2401

[USS Seattle - Chief Counselor’s Office]

 

Turkana IV was a horror show. Lieutenant Yuhiro Kolem had been reading up on the failed colony since now one of her patients was the Seattle’s new Assistant Chief Strategic Officer Claudia Jara. Other Starfleet officers had come from there but it was rare. Starfleet ships were chased away from the colony, which had devolved into civil war that had lasted for decades. The violence that Jara would have faced was astonishing, and Kolem wanted to ensure that the woman felt safe and supported aboard the Seattle.

Thinking about it she had heard stories though no ships had gone since the USS Enterprise-D back when their Chief Security Officer was a survivor from the planet. Or had been, Kolem was not sure on the exact timeline, but few people got off the planet and being able to ensure that they (or at least Claudia Jara) were given a safe and comfortable time of it was important in Kolem’s eyes.

They were equally ranked, and Jara had far more Starfleet experience that Kolem. Clearly she had not just beamed off the planet which was what she said immediately upon sitting down.

”You known I’m not a broken woman, I didn’t just beam off Turkana IV and step onto the Seattle,” Jara said.

Kolem nodded, “I have these sessions with half the crew I just wanted to make sure you‘re in a good place, no matter what’s going on. Trust me people from Mars, or Venus now, or wherever can be just as messy in their lives. Here I don’t want you to think about rank, or duty, just being you. Some people worry about feeling weak and that can get in the way of the work we are meant to be doing.”

Jara nodded, “Look I get it, and I’m not recommending Turkana IV as our next shore leave destination. It’s just people hear where I’m from and assume I’m damaged which isn’t the case. It was hard, I had to do things to survive I’m not going to talk about, but I survived and I excel at what I do.”

It had been a coin flip to decide who was going to be the Chief Strategic Officer, with Jara ending up second. Both candidates had, as Kolem understood, come highly recommended from their previous COs and both had a great deal of experience. They also seemed to get along thus far early into the posting, which Kolem was grateful for. 

“I just want you to know you can tell me anything. Sometimes us women don’t report things, don’t talk about the bad things because we feel pressure to fit into a role that’s often male defined,” Kolem said.

”Sure, yeah my job probably seems like one that a man should do,” Jara said, ”But I’m good at it.”

”Okay I’ll let it drop,” Kolem said. The desire to press Jara was tempered by the fact that the woman felt like she was telling the truth. There was some pain there when she mentioned Turkana IV, but not quite the horror that she imaged that surviving on the planet would have taken. Everyone came from different backgrounds, and between the Anaheim and now the Seattle it was as if she was meeting people for the first session almost every session. Kolem wondered what it would feel like after ten years or so on a ship. When people became long term colleagues not new people she was still just meeting.

”Do you have anything in our first visit?” she asked the other woman.

Jara shook her head, “I don’t think so. I guess it’s just nice to see you take this seriously. I sort of had visions that you were going to be a Troi wannabe, but you seem pretty genuine, which is nice.”

”I try to be genuine. As dorky as that sounds,” Kolem said.

Jara smiled, “It’s nice. So what’s the ship like?”

”I don’t know, the senior staff has been together a few months on the Anaheim. I like to think we’re close, but it’s not like we’ve been together for a full tour year yet. Most of the crew is new to me, the Anaheim was mostly doctors and nurses. This is more a patrol ship,“ Kolem said.

”You’re from Mars right?” Jara asked, “Do they have BBQs?”

”Yeah, we do, but it’s an Earth thing originally I think,” Kolem said.

”We should do that, on the holodeck. A pool party and barbecue,“ Jara said, “get to bond a bit.”

Kolem smiled, nodding in agreement, “That sounds like a lovely idea.”

 


 

[Chief Counselor‘s Quarters]

 

William Hume stretched and lay on the bed in his boxers, “So how was today?”

”Good actually. It’s nice not going to a disaster zone or just coming from one, the crew is lighter,” Kolem said, “their tension is gone. People are nervous about things, we’re hunting raiders and pirates, but it’s better. I mean I think we’d all be more relaxed taking dignitaries around, but this is good.“

Setting her head atop of his stomach like a pillow she relaxed. They had not doubled had to double up in quarters, though for his first time in Starfleet the young security officer had his own room. Still he spent as many nights as he could in the room of Yuhiro Kolem. 

“You met with Claudia Jara today,” Hume said, it was less a question than a statement.

”I can’t really talk about it,” Kolem said.

”She asked if you were single. I set her straight,” Hume said.

”Hmm, you’re getting in the way of me getting a girlfriend?” Kolem asked.

”While I’m in the picture yes,” he said.

Kolem closed her eyes. Hume felt warm, both in the sense of his body beneath her head and his aura. His whole being seemed to radiate a comfortable warmth. She perhaps dozed off briefly, because they were both silent for a long time. She felt him breathing, a slow steady pace.

”I like her, and having a Strategic Operations team. My sister is in Stat Ops,” he said.

”Oh really you never mention it,” Kolem teased, Hume mentioned his family’s involvement in Starfleet all the time including his sister‘s. Beneath her he chuckled and sighed, as they were quiet. 

They were quiet, and comfortable. Maybe that was wrong, maybe it was dangerous but for now Kolem savored it. Life in space could be hectic, and everyone was just tiny to assemble themselves into a new better version of who they used to be. Lookin back on the couple’s trip to Venus for a wedding she realized that in part was what had been wrong, though they’d never discussed it further. She’s been with her pre-Starfleet friends and had too easily fallen into who the pre-Starfleet Kolem had been and had forced Hume to meet her there. It was not who she was anymore, so why pretend.

Something to discuss in her own next therapy session.

 


 

[Strategic Operations Office]

 

Lieutenants Claudia Jara and her boss Eleanor Dorian looked at the electronic read out, tracking ships that they had encountered on their travels along with ships that other Starfleet ships had encountered. In the center was the USS Seattle, enroute to a new system after determining that there was no trouble within light years of were they were.

”Should we tell the Captain yet?” Jara asked, though they were equally ranked Dorian was slightly more experienced and had become the section chief.

”No, let’s wait until morning. Nothing to do but worry about it right now, it won’t change our orders,” Dorian said, probably correctly.

“Have you met the Counselor yet?” Jara asked.

”Not the Chief, I got assigned the assistant, nice guy, bit of a dweeb,” Dorian said.

”The Chief is nice, pretty. She’s dating the Assistant Chief Security Officer. Also a nice guy,” Jara said.

”Cute?”

”Who the Counselor? Yeah,” Jara said.

”I meant Security guy,” Dorian said.

”I mean if you like athletic and in good shape. And men,” Jara answered.

”Sometime I do,” Dorian said.

“Well as I say they’re dating.”

”Well no posting is perfect,” Dorian said dryly. 

 


 

[Lounge: The Crocodile]

 

Chief Engineer James Young slumped into a booth tired and worn out. The USS Seattle was in good shape, but he’d just started to feel like he knew the ins and outs of the USS Anaheim and now he was having to adapt to all new systems. Literally as the ship was much more modern. Technically there should be less service, but now he had a bigger team to order around and there was more chance of fighting. 

He was nursing his beer when a Vulcan in blue approached. She must have been the new Assistant Chief Medical Officer, and it was unsettling when she smiled at him. He blinked in surprise as she slid into the booth across from him and introduced herself.

”I’m T’Rala Mathews,“ she said, “Doctor T’Rala, but I go by T’Rala.”

“You, ummm, you’re smiling?” he said not sure if it was polite to point out when Vulcans smiled.

”I’m Romulan, raised by humans,” she expained, and Young nodded still not sure of what was going on. He was tired and now a Vulcan or maybe a Romulan was smiling at him. This was how you ended up in a spy thriller holonovel. 

“I see,” was all he could said.

”You’re Young,” she said, “I mean your name.“

”Yes. That’s me,” he confirmed.

”Va’Tok said you had no friends. Well that’s not what he said but that’s what I took from it,” T’Rala explained, “So I joined you. Can I join you?”

”You’re here now so yes?” James Young said.

T’Rala studied him and nodded, “Okay, I’ll be your friend.”

”Thanks?”

”You’re welcome. I know your type, studious, obsessed with your warp drive. You need someone to pull you out of your shell, that’s me,” she said.

”It is?”

”It is.”

Young was quiet for a moment than nodded, “Okay, that’s a fair assessment since you’ve known me for about ten seconds. Va’Tok has no friends either.”

”Yeah but he’s my boss, and boring,” T’Rala said.

”This is weird.”

”Good,” T’Rala said and smiled again, still a disturbing look on a Vulcan in Young’s mind. Not that she was one, but she looked enough like she was.

Lost and Found

USS Seattle / Arlila
2401

[Bridge]

 

The Cardassian looked annoyed as he glowered from the viewscreen. Of course to Captain Hawthorne Cardassians always looked mad, or frustrated so it was hard to judge how well this was going. He smiled, and repeated the offer, “Let me send a team down to the planet we’ll go in covertly and get your people out.”

A Cardassian runabout, or the equivalent had crashed on a pre-warp planet, and now the Captain of the Cardassian ship that had been sent to rescue the survivors wanted to send a special operations strike team to go in all guns blazing. Though the Cardassians did not have the Prime Directive Starfleet hoped that they could be enticed to follow it in this case.

”I can take an hour and have my people out,” the Cardassian shot back. The survivors had been taken prisoner, pulled into the local government complex and now the population knew about what was going on crowds had formed outside the building. Like beyond the planet was confirmed and any strike team would be fighting through a mass of civilians.

Hawthorne nodded, “But this costs you nothing. If we can do this covertly you get the survivor back and the credit. If we fail, well you go in your way and nothing is lost.”

”Fine, you have forty eight of your hours,” he snapped, “then my team goes in.”

The screen went back to the view of the Cardassian ship in orbit. Hawthorne turned to Commander Cruz, his First Officer.

”Take Hume, Jara, Constable, and Kolem and get those people out. Medical will handle disguises you have a day and a half, I don’t want to bet against the Cardassians jumping the gun,” he said.

Once the Cardassians entered the picture guns ablaze all bets were off. Better to wrap this up early, get things done the right way and not be party to a massacre.

Cruz nodded and tapped her comm badge summoning the crew in question to medical bay where Doctors Va’Tok and T’Rala would handle the prosthetics that they would need to blend into the population. Now just to figure out how to get the Cardassians out, given that the government building they were locked up in was shielded from transporters. 

 


 

[Arlila]

 

The team materialized in a back alley roughly three blocks away from the hordes of people who were gathering either to protest or celebrate the discovery of life beyond their world. The problem was they were not ready for first contact, and this was seriously ruining the planet’s natural development. Lieutenant Junior Grade Hume peered out of the alley, towards the crowds.

”Once we join them we’ve got to get past the guards and into the building,” he observed.

Cruz nodded, “Let’s split up, try to figure something out. Hume and Kolem and then Jara, Constable, and myself. Try to find some how to get in. We’ll get in touch.”

Cruz, Constable, and Jara headed for the crowd and get as close to the hastily erected barricades as they could. The electronic security measures would be no problem for the Assistant Chief Engineer to handle, but the trouble was getting into a position to disable them required getting past a lot of Arlilian security forces that were as Constable put it “meat based”. Ie. Arlilian.

Stunning their way to the front door was not an option, there were too many people both in uniform and out of it.

”I’ve spotted at least a dozen agents that I’d assume are undercover security people in this crowd,” Jara said, “if we went in shooting it would be no better than the Cardassians sending a team in.” 

Even on stun, the phaser first and ask questions later option was not an option.

Hume and Kolem were not having much better luck. Or at least not at first, they had however joined a group of demonstrators that seemed to be in favor of life beyond the planet and were cheering for the removal and freedom of the alien prisoners. Hume cheered, and shouted while Kolem spoke with one of the protesters her translator working to handle everything linguistically seamlessly.

“Why are they being arrested?” she asked.

The other protester shrugged, “They’re trying to get their secrets, and stuff I guess. You know how the military is. They want to have to have the best weapons and stuff. Fascist shcraws.”

Kolem assumed a shcraw was something like a pig, but not close enough for the universal translator to just use the word pig. She nodded in agreement, about how awful the military was. 

“I know we just want to help them, hopefully they won’t hurt them,” she said.

The protester shrugged, “Well if they don’t get what they want, who knows.”

Kolem looked at Hume concerned. If they did not get the Cardassians unmolested then things could get tricky, it was likely that only the fact that at least some of the Cardassian government wanted better relations with the Federation that was holding them back. If their people were hurt, well they’d come down in force.

Meanwhile as Constable scouted the barracks looking for a weak point in the human, or Arlilian security there, Cruz and Jara were with the anti-alien protesters. There was a jostle and temporarily Cruz lost her footing, falling to the ground in the scramble as the protesters tried to break through the barricades. When she stood up she noticed first Jara’s expression and then felt the prosthetics which had been crushed in her fall. Soon those around her noticed, and stood back from her and Jara.

”They’re not Arlilian,” yelled one of the protesters.

Suddenly a ring formed around the two Starfleet officers, and there was no where to go. In the crowd Constable melted away, putting distance between herself and them, realizing she had to meet up with Kolem and Hume now. 

A team of uniformed military types approached with weapons drawn, “Come with us.”

Commander Cruz nodded, and the two women fell in line, realizing that they were not going to be able to get out of this easily now. Not without causing more damage than had already been caused by the initial crash and their unmaking. 

 


 

[USS Seattle – Ready Room]

 

Aboard the USS Seattle Captain Hawthorne was uneasy. Things were going badly, and the idea that the Cardassians would have to solve this was making him worried. While there were still three officers to handle the situation he had lost two of his best and now had to rely on the others. Hume was doing the right thing by checking in, but finding out that he had lost his two best officers was not good, at least the other three were safe and together.

”Just don‘t get captured, and get out of there with everyone, including the Cardassians,” he said.

Hume’s voice acknowledged the order and then went silent as the line was closed. 

Lieutenant Eleanor Dorian shrugged, “I have faith. They’ll get out, and other than being two people down, we haven’t revealed anything the Cardassians being there wouldn’t already have. We’ve only really shown them that there are multiple kinds of aliens.”

Hawthorne nodded, “That’s one way to frame it. But we’re making a mess of this, this should be easy.”

”No contact missions are never easy. The number of times Starfleet has had to clean up a lost deck of cards or missing officer starting a new civilization of Nazis or something is tremendous. We’ll handle this and move on, it may get messy but it was messy before we got here,” Dorian said.

Though he was unconvinced by his Chief Strategic Officer Hawthorne allowed her words to calm him a bit. There was nothing he could do from here aside from sending more people down there, thus increasing the chance that things went off the rails. For now the best plan was to wait and see what Lieutenant Hume and Kolem managed.

Unhappily he nodded, having to settle with accepting this for now.

 


 

[Arlila – Government Building]

 

Lieutenant Jara saw the Cardassians as she was marched to a cell alongside Commander Cruz. Both women had had their prosthetics ripped away, revealing their alien-humanness. The Cardassians peered at them but said nothing as they were shoved into a cell. They remained silent until the guards who were depositing the two Starfleet officers had left. 

“Oh good you’re hear to save us,” a Cardassian said.

Cruz decided to tell them what she knew, “There’s two ships in orbit, ours and a Cardassian one. We’re trying to get you out quietly.”

”You’re doing a great job,” the same Cardassian said.

Jara sat on the hard cement floor, outside the others had better be working on a plan. With only about a day left they had to get them out before the Cardassians got there. Because right now the Starfleet way and the Prime Directive were looking more than a bit sad.

The guards returned with a man with more ribbons on his uniform. He stood in front of the humans’ cell, “Well hello, what are you?”

”We’re Arlilians,“ Cruz lied.

”You did look quite like us with a bit of makeup. Not like these reptiles,” the man said.

The Cardassians glowered. Cruz shrugged, ”Well it’s all a misunderstanding then, you can let us go.”

”Don’t try your alien mind control on me,” the man said.

”Alien mind control?” Jara asked still on the ground.

”Influencing my thoughts,” the man said.

”We can’t do that,” Cruz pointed out, not mentioning Betazoids or other species that could.

The man shrugged, “Well we have some questions to ask of you two and since our other aliens have been uncooperative hopefully you will respond better.”

The force field lowered and the guards grabbed Cruz and pulled Jara to her feet. The Lieutenant and Commander did not struggle, they were too outmatched for that. They were leaned into another room and strapped into chairs. A complicated and outdated metal helmet much like you’d wear to protect yourself on a skydiving trip was placed on their heads.

Jara immediately felt a wave of peace and relaxation. She smiled, almost drunk. She could tell the relaxation was not natural, but was too calm to worry about it. Everything seemed fine, even being a captive on an alien pre-warp planet.

The man smiled, “You’re both entering a very suggestible state. This did not work on your alien friends, but your minds seem more receptive to our programming. Now tell me who you are and why you came here.”

”We work for Starfleet an organization of species that explores and protects the Federation. We came to rescue the Cardassians, your other prisoners,” someone said. It might have been Jara or it might have been Cruz, Jara was not sure, she was too relaxed to care.

”Why help them?” 

“If we don’t their people will send down a strike team and free them, and we’re trying to uphold the Prime Directive,” was the answer.

The man shuffled and looked at the guards, clearly learning that there was an armed strike team being prepared was concerning to them. Not that the two women noticed, as neither felt much like thinking for themselves at the moment. Whatever technology the Arlilians were using it was effective on humans.

”What is the Prime Directive?”

”Our highest ideal that cultures and planets should develop at their own speed until they develop faster than light travel,” one of the two women said.

The man checked a time piece, “Much longer and the brain fries. Though nobody would mind, we should save you, just in case. You’re going to sleep now. So sleepy, feel your eyes closing and sleep now.”

Jara felt herself slump forward into darkness.

 


 

[Arlila]

 

Hume glanced at Constable and Kolem. They had ended up in a kind of hippie commune that reminded him of what much of the Pacific Northwest was meant to look like before the Eugenics Wars. People milled about and there seemed to be no real central leadership of the group, just a loose collection of individuals. They had been chased away when the two “aliens” had been uncovered in the crowd, and the government had imposed a curfew to keep people away from their main offices and headquarters. Whatever was going on inside the building, security had increased and more of a panic had set in. 

As the security officer Hume had taken control of the mission once Lieutenant Jara and Commander Cruz had been taken even if Lieutenant Kolem was the real ranking officer as a full Lieutenant. Still he had to admit she had a knack for this, agreeable and personable everyone they met seemed like an opportunity to learn something new or advance. It was like being in a badly designed holodeck game, where every computer character just gave you the plot points you needed at the time.

Gathering together with Yuhiro Kolem and Vanessa Constable around a barrel where someone at some point had lit a fire he looked at Constable, “What can we do?”

”Their electronics are roughly twentieth century earth. If we can get close enough an electromagnetic pulse which I can rig up would cause a system wide collapse. Then we can get in, and get out people as well as the Cardassians,” she said, as if it were that easy. To Constable every problem required an engineering solution.

Kolem however was less convinced, “We don’t know how many people are inside the building, we could be fighting our way though.“

”We need a distraction, something that draws security forces away,” Hume said.

Kolem thought about it, “If we can play on this inequity, maybe we can stage a riot. Get the population to protest, and draw the security away.”

Staging a riot seemed very much against the Prime Directive but there was a lot of inequity, and the population seemed mad about it, rightfully. Maybe it was less staging one than just giving them a push to do what they would have done anyway, just in a useful time. 

“Okay, start building your thing, we’ll stoke the flames,” he said.

Kolem said, “Be loud, they respect men more than women, so be big and male. Shout, and get them going.”

Hume stomped over to where a crowd had gathered and swore loudly and angrily.

”What’s up man,” some guy asked.

”The government they have these aliens but aren’t telling us anything. Who knows that invasion they’re planning, or whether they’ll plot with the aliens to hand over the planet to them,” Hume said, as if that were a possibility. Maybe with the Cardassians, but that was not something the Federation did.

The crowd grumbled. Despite the curfew Hume had the feeling that they had no where to go, as if they did not have homes, which was a kind of inequity that he’d only heard about in theory, Like the old East Hastings in Vancouver where he’d lived, before the wars.

Another man swore at the government, and everyone seemed convinced that such a plot was exactly what they would do. Kolem leaned towards him, “Tell them that the government probably already has their hands on their technology, and we should riot.”

”The government probably already is learning how to use their weapons, we have to act now,” Hume shouted.

Cheers went up, and Hume nodded at Constable who was back a few yards fiddling with wires that she’s gathered from an old music box machine. Looks like they were on. He’d started a riot.

Start The Riot

Arlila
2401

Fight! war! fire! violence! death! police! TV! #$@! you!Start the riot! start the riot! start the riot! start the riot now!

  • Atari Teenage Riot, “Start The Riot”

[Arlila]

 

Lieutenant Junior Grade William Hume had found it surprisingly easy to grow his crowd from a few dozen people to a mass of hundreds. Inequality and resentment against the government was at all time highs, and it had been simple once the ball had started rolling to keep it going. Inertia had lead to this revolution, more than a fully considered plan. It was perhaps not the non-interference that Starfleet had pledged to, but then against they had found themselves well beyond that point by the time they had arrived, just once the Cardassians had been discovered and captured. Adding two humans to that from the away team had not been part of the plan either.

Hume fell back to gather up with Lieutenant Kolem and the newly minted Ensign Vanessa Constable. Constable was working on her improvied Electro Megnetic Pulse bomb as they walked along inside the crowd. They were not quite the angry villagers with burning torches and pitch forks that you got in holonovels about Frankenstein’s monster or something but the energy was similar was similar. When they ran into the first organized resistance in the form of police officers the three Starfleet officers peeled off and headed towards the main government complex where as far as they could tell the Cardassians and their fellow Starfleet members were being held.

”The police and military will be focused on the crowd, so we need to get in and out quickly,” Hume said. Though Kolem was the higher ranking officer his being a security officer, had lead him to take charge of the mission with the capture of Commander Cruz. Kolem, knowing her own limitations, and lack of experience as an away team officer had ceded control without a fight.

Constable set the bomb up on the easy side of the complex and set a five minute timer. This late at night the security was minimal anyway and with a riot happening about a mile away at the legislature security had been called away. But as soon as the bomb went off, and power was lost, all hell would break out. Gripping his phaser, but Hume crouched near the side door on the west side of the building that they had identified to use, given their need to get in quickly. It was hard not to be nervous, to feel the tension in his palms which were slick with sweat. He glanced at Kolem, who was also nervous, this had better work.

Right at five minutes the power went out as the EMP exploded in a dramatic manner, enough to draw more security to it and away from where they were trying to enter. Constable took the lead as the engineering officer, and was able to easily by-pass the security now that the power was out.

 


 

Commander Adriana Cruz and Lieutenant Claudia Jara were seated on the floor when suddenly the room was plunged into darkness. A second later battery operated emergency lights clicked on and they saw the Cardassians trying the force field that had previously held them in place. In was deactivated, potentially when the power had gone off. Tentatively the Cardassians were exiting their cell, and the two Starfleet officer quickly rose to their feet and followed suit.

Suddenly Lieutenant Junior Grade Hume and the rest of the away team burst into the room with Hume holding a phaser. 

‘Lieutenant, we should get going,” Cruz said.

He nodded, “We have a riot going on about a mile away, it’s drawing off security but I can’t imagine it will be long before they send someone to check on you.”

Cruz nodded and turned to the Cardassians, “As soon as we get outside we’ll radio for a beam up, your ship should get you as well once we’re not shielded by all this concrete.“

They nodded, but kept quiet, not wanting to admit the Starfleet officers had actually succeeded in their rescue attempt. The group quickly backtracked from where Hume’s party had come, and as soon as they were outside he was calling up to the Seattle to arrange their beam out. The Cardassians were taken first and Cruz could see the riot that her team had started from her position as the world around her dissolved and she was beamed up.

 


 

[USS Seattle – Bridge]

 

Captain Nathan Hawthorne was dealing with a second Cardassian ship that had dropped out of orbit. A Galor Class this one was here to problem solve which apparently meant threatening to bomb the planet before sending in a full regiment of troops. The Gul in charge saw himself as too important to deal with the Starfleet Captain, so for the time being Hawthorne was still dealing with the original Cardassian commander of the original ship.

Thankfully they had agreed to stick to their original time line, at least for now. When the science officer on the bridge detected an EMP pulse on the planet’s surface he hoped that it was a prelude to something happening because he was not sure how long he could keep the Cardiassians happy with sitting on the sidelines. When they detected both human and Cardassian life signs and his full team he silently rejoiced and gave the order to beam them up now.

It took about twenty minutes before they were hailed again by the original Cardassian ship. The cardassian captain nodded, “We have secured our people. Thank your team for us. It would have been more, dangerous if we had sent an armed team down to secure them Captain.”

Hawthorne smiled, “And thank you for your patience, I’m glad we managed to get everyone back safely.”

The Commander nodded, and then ended the transmission. Before both Cardassian ships left orbit and then the system. 

Tired, even though he hadn’t beamed down, he went to his ready room to review the reports from his team as they came in. He knew that Hume’s solution was imperfect, and if this mission was examined closely it might raise a few eyebrows at Starfleet headquarters, but then again things had gone side ways even before his team had arrived. Starfleet had just been trying to keep the Cadassians from a masacre.

He would be standing behind Hume’s decision if it was ever called into question. It was more important to secure the Cardassians than to wait for a more subtle option.

 

[USS Seattle – 9 Forward]

 

LIeutenant Claudia Jara was drinking to numb the emotional pain, even if sythahol was not the same as real liqour. A Vulcan, or as Jara knew a Romulan officer sat at the table next to her. Assistant Chief Medical Officer T’Rala nodded, “Long day and a bit?”

”Yeah,” Jara said, taking a sip of her third drink.

”Tough mission?” T’Rala asked.

“Tough mission,” Jara agreed.

”You should probably talk to the counselor or something huh?” T’Rala said.

”She was there,“ Jara said. She was not comfortable with being captured, and while neither was Commander Cruz being helpless reminded her too much of her own past, a past she was determine not to think about or talk about. The USS Seattle was her home, and where she was from or where she had been in the past had no bearing on it in her own mind. But of course it did.

”You should get some sleep,” T’Rala said.

”Probably,” Jara agreed, taking another sip, “but I don’t want to be alone at this point.”

T’Rala nodded, “You could get some sleep, with someone.”

Jara nodded, “Don’t know anyone really it’s a new crew still.”

”Well as a medical professional I could offer my services. I am a doctor,” T’Rala said.

Jara studied the Romulan for a second, “Okay, that’s a good idea.”

T’Rala smiled, “I know.”