So much had transpired over the course of the last week that being shunted in a sideways promotion probably seemed like something stupid to be concerned about, but for the adolescent Ungeat who had, until yesterday, been operations chief, a ‘promotion’ to tactical was really getting to him. Or was it the fact that, as tactical chief, he’d now be heavily involved in planning and delivering on the liberation of his home world? Yes, it was probably the latter. He’d obviously had the prerequisite training as part of the wider operations field to be able to do the job, but he was in no way a specialist like Noli, or Lieutenant Bellurr. Now he was not only going to keep the ship and crew safe but be heavily involved in the more militaristic side of the upcoming mission. Same gold uniform, but it was a far cry from power distribution and system maintenance. Noli had assured him that it would be temporary, and only a necessity because of their target, but that didn’t help him to feel more comfortable at all. Not in the slightest. They were, however, his orders. Orders he would follow.
That would probably be quite difficult for anyone else to comprehend – the fact he was more motivated to go along with the plan because they were orders rather than the fact this was the liberation of his homeworld – but anyone who took the time to talk with him and explore the relationship he had with his people would probably understand. Uviri was a satellite colony, established decades after the Ungeat people had first achieved space flight, and centuries before they achieved warp drive. It was a small world, with very little land mass, and thus, very little in the way of a population, but to those who lived there it was paradise. Many were farmers who, on the whole, rejected much of the new path being forged by the Ungeat people, and this was where the conflict came from within the poor Ungeat officer. He was unlike his family, and his friends. He’d been born on Uviri, grew up there, and was positioned to take over the family business in the aquaculture sector when a chance encounter with Starfleet almost thirteen years ago had changed everything. What the Starfleet officers had been doing on Uviri at the time was anyone’s guess, although it was clear to him now – they had been there to either establish or seek to establish the Sanctum. That didn’t matter to him. All that mattered was the fact that he had been inspired to pursue a career among the stars, against the wishes of his family. It was, to all intents and purposes, his destiny. He believed that leaving the system and joining Starfleet would be a legacy for his people to be proud of. It hadn’t panned out that way. To this day, not a single member of his kind (other than himself) had joined Starfleet, or even shown any interest in doing so, and his push for his people to finally join the Federation had so far been resisted. It made the mission put before him all the more difficult.
How could he stand by and let Starfleet risk the lives of their people for his, when they wouldn’t have lifted a finger to defend themselves, or when they had resisted every attempt to further the relationship between them and the Federation? How could he let his new family risk their lives for his biological family who hadn’t even spoken to him since he had left the homeworld? It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t right. And while it didn’t sit right with him, those were his orders. He’d never so much as bent an order to his will, let alone outright disobeyed one, and he wasn’t about to start now.
He couldn’t dwell on his misgivings, so instead he got straight to work on accomplishing his objectives. As such, the first thing he had discussed with Noli had been the requisitioning of as many additional security personnel for this invasion as possible. Luckily, the TFXO had arrived with a space whale and dozens of additional security teams. Or’uil had used his newfound powers as head of security to requisition all facilities and spare rooms on deck five to make room for the additional personnel. Almost one hundred and fifty extra security officers found themselves temporarily housed in holodecks, cargo bays and crew quarters. Those members of the Hathaway crew had been temporarily (and in some cases quite happily) assigned to spare VIP quarters and guest quarters while the security officers made themselves at home aboard their new ship. Bellurr, who ordinarily may have been understandably annoyed at Or’uil’s promotion, had proven to be a valuable asset during the transfer and relocation of the additional personnel. Of course, it wasn’t just the people, but it was the supplies too. Crates of additional phasers, explosive devices, protective body armour and combat fatigues had been transported aboard and were in the process of being distributed.
Whilst the details of the mission were still sketchy, word had already reached the soldiers of their Cardassian ‘allies’, and it wasn’t sitting well with them. After the last war, and how the Cardassians behaved then, many still found it difficult to trust them. Then there was the question of whether the Cardassians would return any land they took when the time came. Not that that was a real question of course, the troops now under his command were already indicating their willingness to fight for any system occupied by any outside force; it didn’t matter whether it was Dominion, Breen, or even Cardassians.
“Are you alright, sir?”
Shaking his head, the Ungeat titled his oversized cranium as he looked towards his assistant, and the owner of the voice. He decided that he would need to be honest with Mayr if this new working relationship was to be a success. “I am struggling with the ethics of this mission,” the Ungeat told the hybrid woman, who stood beside him and watched the work being carried on around them.
“Oh?” She asked, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.
“These officers are willing to fight and die for my homeworld, for a people they would likely never meet under normal circumstances,” he told, clear admiration in his synthesised voice, “but how is that right? How can we ask that for a people who try to distance themselves from Starfleet whenever talks of closer relations begin?”
Mayr shrugged, a smile creeping on her face. “We’re Starfleet, Lieutenant. We go where we are needed, not where we are asked.”
“I believe you are right,” the Ungeat nodded, a salute to her wisdom. “How does the transfer proceed?” he asked of her, noting a crew member pushing an antigrav sled of supplies past them.
“It’s complete,” she confirmed, handing over a data PADD. “One hundred and forty-four security officers and supplies all counted and verified. I’ve had Ops reallocate the energy stores from the Breen prisoners to us, to help with preparations.”
Very efficient, thought the chief. “Did the prisoner transfer proceed as scheduled?”
Mayr nodded. “They didn’t like having to take them, but when the Captain insisted they would be a drain on our resources for the mission, the TFXO didn’t have much choice,” Bellurr smirked, hands on hips as she watched the last of the supplies make their way into the holodeck storage area.
“Excellent news,” Or’uil bobbed his head happily. “Make sure our teammates are comfortable. Upon my return, we will discuss mission specifics.”
In the hour that followed, Or’uil conversed with many people across the ship. He’d briefed the XO on the situation with the security personnel and supplies; he’d chatted with Tuca about the specifics of his planet’s physical attributes, and the likely locations of the Sanctum; he’d even set up a meeting with Akaria to go through more mission details pertaining to his homeworld in the morning. For now, his shift was over, and that meant switching off, and away from any mention of the mission.
There would be plenty of time for that tomorrow.