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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

MBM 011 – The Impossible Probable

USS Mackenzie - Rasputin Colony
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“You can’t be serious.”  Chief Diplomatic Officer Charlie Hargraves sat in the briefing room.  The morning had started with coffee and an assortment of pastries.  He should have known something was up, but his stomach and late-night report reading had numbed his awareness.  Captain Wren Walton had just finished pitching the idea of opening diplomatic operations in the Rasputin Colony.  “You talk about the impossible…that colony is at the top of the list.”

“That’s the idea.  We need a win with The True Way and the recent Syndicate action.  This would be a big win and something to help others in the systems around them see the light in returning to the Federation.” She sat back and sipped at her coffee, relishing the aromatic notes.

Charlie groaned, “The colony mascot is an old Earth Russian wizard, among other rumored and theorized things.”  He’d done a quick study.  It wasn’t great.

Wren held up a PADD, “I’m aware of the historical connections, Hargraves.  I thought it would fascinate a student of history like yourself?”

He rolled his eyes at her attempt to play at his hobby.  She wasn’t stupid.  He replied, “Give me a historical connection that doesn’t include murder, supernatural musings, or political regicide.”

Walton gave him a long stare, “Have you read Earth’s history, Charlie?”

He sighed and sat back in the chair, “Fine.  You win.”  He still didn’t like it.

Wren smiled wide, “I usually do, Commander.”

 

“It’s impossible!”  Eighteen-year-old Thomas Crane was in his practicum experience for the diplomatic branch.  He had also been assigned to the Mackenzie, hoping his rougher edges could be smoothed.  

Twenty-one-year-old Ensign Alex Piturro sat at the modular circle table in the center of Diplomatic Operations, working on his research, and held up a finger.  “Nothing is impossible if you find the path, Crane. Or paths.  You know the motto – Diplomacy is life.” He returned to the PADD, tapping at the desk console, effecting changes in the holo display in the center of the table, “We could find a way to use this Rasputin thing to our advantage.”

Vanessa Lihi, the oldest in the department at twenty-four, examined the display she was working on on the wall of the room, “Alex might have a point.  There’s plenty of symbolism within the Rasputin legend with what he represented to the people, the Tsar, and his family.”  She adjusted the screen, “What information we have indicates they have a position titled ‘Rasputin.’  It’s passed down from person to person through either death or election…which is another thing.  Alex, you had that one.”

He did.  He moved through his notes, “It’s as much a religious title as a government title – it’s like they put a colony governor and The Pope together in one person with a dash of mysticism.  According to the most up-to-date records, they’ve had three ‘Rasputins’ in the colony’s time, and the previous two lived well past 100 years old.  The current one is 89 years old.”

Hargraves looked up from his place at the table as he pulled data from the ship’s computer, “With 1500 citizens, it’s not the biggest colony out there.”  He read through the laws and processes, “The judicial is pretty intense.  The sentences they’ve been handing down walk a tight line on most of the treaties we have on the rights of criminals.”  He leaned back in his chair, “We’ve got to find something they need that only we can provide that they can’t get from The True Way or the Cardassians.”

Crane had been pacing the room slowly and suddenly snapped his fingers, “Don’t we have a former Gul on board, Commander?  Has…Hasara?”  He looked around the room, “I mean, he’s got to know something about these guys.”

Charlie grimaced.  Hasara was known to still harbor connections back home despite his firebrand resignation.  Captain Harris may have trusted the Cardassian, but Hargraves was still some ways away from that point.  The kid still wasn’t wrong.  You were taught to use every resource – living or dead to move the sensor readings on negotiations.  He gave a slight nod.  “Get Hasara down here…let’s see if he can help us.”