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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 2 – The Edge of Hope and Despair and USS Mackenzie: Mackenzie Squadron : The Edge of Hope and Despair

DEHD 006 – Set the Stage

USS Daedalus
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“Remind me to never go on an away mission with you again, Lieuteanant Tir.”  Ensign Catari walked past him, down the ramp, and across the shuttle bay without looking back.

He pulled together his bags and tossed them down the shuttle ramp and onto the floor with a loud thunk. He completed the shuttle shutdown sequence and returned to his bags, where a Commander waited. He stood at attention, “Lieutenant Calog Tir, ma’am.”

Natalya saw the Ensign storm off the shuttle and wondered what happened there. She stood at the entrance until the Lieutenant saw her. She looked at the Lieutenant. He was easy on the eyes. “At ease, Lieutenant, I’m Commander Natalya Koerner. What was that about?” she motioned in the direction of where the Ensign headed. 

Lieutenant Tir released the pressure and retreated from his pose of attention. Calog could feel and hear Tir rumbling around in his consciousness about the woman. Tir had been in a previously female host and had more feminine habits. Calog realized his symbiont might be experiencing jealousy. That was something he was not familiar with when it came to Tir.  “Ensign Catari feels like I didn’t do enough to stop the young Bajoran man from escaping.  She’s…very focused on his position and responsibilities as Chief Security and Tactical officer.”  He held up a PADD he’d been reading on the return trip, “I understand we’ve been tasked with putting on a play.”  The Trill Operations Chief motioned for her to follow him, “We can work on a plan in the operation’s office.  You have any experience putting on a play, Commander?”

Natalya nodded at the explanation of the Ensign’s reasoning, though she knew that the Lieutenant had done all he could. The boy was headstrong, and that is hard to manage regardless of the person, especially in the emotions he was struggling with. She looked at the Lieutenant with a look of uncertainty “I have never put on a play, in fact I can’t say I ever gained the taste for classical music or theater.” 

They turned the corner and continued to walk down the corridor to the turbolift.  He replied, “I don’t either, to be fair.  My symbiont has some – her previous host did theatre growing up.”  They both stepped into the turbolift, and Tir tapped the deck number, “We’re going to have to do some research on the original play and work out a way to connect the themes to both parties…and given that we’re dealing with Cardassians and Bajorians…that’s going to be a challenge.  I have the background on the Bajorans through Tir…what experience do you have with Cardassians?” The turbolift doors opened and he led her down the corridor and into a brefing room.

As they sat down in the briefing room she shrugged “The only interaction I have had with the Cardassians was during my time on McKinley Station. We had a diplomat appear, and I interacted with them once, but other than the history of the past. I would say I am clueless.” she chuckled slightly. This was one of these situations where she wished she knew more about the species in question.

Tir understood.  Cardassians were hard to get to know and even harder to trust.  He felt the challenge that lay before them was unusual but not insurmountable.  “I have an idea.  Mackenzie recently transferred their former Gul onboard…he might have some strong insight.”  He tapped his badge and asked Hasara to report to the briefing room.  He turned his attention back to the newly assigned commander, “You really want to be an executive officer?”  Tir clarified, “I’ve never wanted to climb that turbolift shaft ladder…handling operations feels like enough.”

Natalya nodded “I have seen a lot in my time within Starfleet. The majority of that time was spent in being an engineer…where I have done some things most would coin as insane or psychotic. I decided when I was still young that I wanted to make Starfleet my career. When the opportunity arose for Executive Officer training, I decided to go for it. I want to be something bigger than myself. I mean don’t get me wrong I love engineering and if you let me work on a warp core I will treat it with tender love, but that’s just a small part of what can be done on a ship and I want to help in a bigger way.” 

Tir smiled.  He had known engineers and their unusual love for their ships and the engines they kept.  He admired her desire to help.  He moved to reply when the door opened, and Hasara stepped in, his Cardassian eyes searching the room.  He had been moved to the Daedalus in anticipation of the efforts required to work with the Cardassians and Bajorans.  The ship was much smaller than the Mackenzie he was used to, but he would find a way to make do.  “Hasara, former Gul.”  He slid into the chair next to the commander, “I understand you require my services.” Tir slipped a PADD across the table and explained the task ahead.  Hasara glanced at the brief as Tir walked him through the details.  He looked at both the officers, “You’re going to have to adapt this play heavily.  There have been attempts to put this play on in and around Cardassia.  One of the headlines was, ”Romeo and Juliet is an example of what will ultimately befall those who go against the authority of their elders.”  The article didn’t get any better.  It was a shame.  It was an exquisite production.”  He explained to the two blank faces, “The two choose love over family.  That will be a hard sell, even amongst the more liberal groups.”

Calog sat back, “What if we set it during the last days of the Dominion War?  Portray our Romeo as someone trying to bridge the massive gap between the two sides.  He believes that the two groups could find common ground.”

Natalya nodded. “I think that would be a prudent way to do it. Of course Hasara you would know better than us.”

The broad-shouldered Cardassian smiled wide, “That is the correct answer.  Let’s get to work on the lines.  Act 1 is where we begin…”