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Posted on Thu Nov 9th, 2023 @ 2:13pm by Commander Kyle Reece & Lieutenant Colonel Azhul Naxea & Lieutenant Commander Rin & Teevs Dosivi & Avalon [ADMIN NPC]

Mission: Season 6: Episode 4: Memory Lane
Location: USS Elysium, Observation Lounge
Timeline: MD3
1881 words - 3.8 OF Standard Post Measure

Entering the Observation lounge, Naxea had snatched up a spare PaDD and was already at work setting up the Tricorder explosives as her fingers quickly tapped out several commands into the PaDD. She personally had never used these, but she had discovered her father's journals and she recalled discovering the drawings of such devices and hearing tales how they had decimated Cardassian troops, causing them to walk or shuttle into areas instead of transporting.

As they entered the observation lounge behind Naxea, and ahead of Rin, Kyle started to speak to Teevs. "Mister Teevs, we need you to tell us everything you know about these slavers. Where do they come from? How large is their fleet? How much space do they control?" He moved to sit in his usual seat, indicating that Teevs sit across from him. As he sat, Kyle activated the table's holoemitter. The image showed what sections of the region of space they were in that astrometrics had thus far been able to scan with long range sensors. "Also, if you could add anything to our small map, it would be greatly appreciated."

Teevs followed Kyle in, wringing his hands together in a nervous fidget. The messages they listened to just moments ago, the warning that they were near slaver territory and the message from another of their kind, had him on edge. He accepted the seat across from Kyle with some apprehension, feeling like it wasn't appropriate to be sitting when so close to danger.

Rin filed in wordlessly, taking a seat on the other side of the table, waiting for the answer.

"Nobody really knows where they came from," Teevs began, still fidgeting with his hands as if he could wipe away the nervousness. "There's many rumors: that they came from a planet on the other side of the galasy; that they used to be a kind species and something corrupted them; that they're the offspring of other races with a shared ideology. What I do know is that their territory is large, covering several systems, and they don't work alone. They have agreements with the Ainos, the Kholqa, and the Nelorin." A new sense of fear gripped Teevs at the mention of the last species, evident by a momentary freezing of his fidgeting. It was a sign that he definitely knew of the Nelorin, perhaps more personally than he'd care to admit.

At the request to add to the map, Teevs looked down at the table and pressed some buttons, but his typing speed was slow enough, thanks to his ongoing effort to learn the ship's language, that it took a moment. Eventually, he looked up at the holographic display, seeing the new overlay he added. The computer wouldn't let him expand the overlay past what the ship had mapped, but it clearly showed a territorial boundary, the location of the first two star systems, and a couple of smaller dots, some of which were paralleling the border. "These are beacons," he said, pointing out the small dots. "It's how they know when ships have entered their space. Their space covers a few more star systems, far past what your scanners can see right now."

"Why does anyone enter their space?" Rin asked. "Pirates generally prey on travelers in the territory of others. They don't usually hold their own territory. Obviously, it takes time to go around, but surely that's better than planning on sacrificing 5% of your crew. Or is it common to carry prisoners to be handed over to these slavers?"

Kyle looked over the partial map, though it did have more detail than before. He typed in a few commands, then said to Teevs, "I've granted you partial authorization to access more of the Elysium's computer files. You should now be able to access your ship's computer from here, and add any sensor readings you have on file. We need a better picture of just how large this territory is." He then looked over at Rin.

"Perhaps the Thaih'ea use the other races as their gatherers? If you will forgive the analogy, much like the Borg Queen usually stayed in the core of her territory, but sent cubes out to gather resources and individuals?" There was no judgment in his tone, he was simply trying to figure out the situation before them.

"No need to apologize," Rin replied evenly. "Everything you stated about the Borg is true, and I have no reason to take offense on behalf of the people who kidnapped me for two decades." She returned her gaze to the map and Teevs, waiting to see if he had any more information.

While the two conversed, Teevs was typing on the buttons again. He frowned a little when the computer complained about the maps, something about them being too old relative to the existing map and something about "unmatching vectors." But he had traded for these maps before he ran into the Elysium, and the last time they changed their borders was about three months before that. The computer did understand the request to correlate the two maps with certain stars as reference points, allowing him to fully display the map. The holographic figure zoomed out quite a bit to accommodate the extra information, and while there were gaps in the map, many of them well within the borders, much of the border itself could be identified. The other notable features in the map included about six other star systems.

"The Thaih'ea will sometimes change their territorial borders to trick ships into entering their territory. We are far enough away that it's not an immediate concern to us. But the species I mentioned, they have some kind of agreement with the Thaih'ea: resupply the slave market, and not become part of the slave market." The thought of being so close to their territory churned Teevs' stomach, and he swallowed his nerves as he looked at the map. "Consistent scans from ships I've traded with --not trades with any of these species, but ships who have passed through Thaih'ea space," he added, briefly glancing at Kyle, "show a massive station orbiting this star system. It's rumored to be an arena of sorts." The explanation was followed by Teevs pointing out a blue dwarf in one of the mapped regions.

Naxea listened to the conversation as she finalized her plans for the Tricorder explosives. If they did run into these Thaih'ea, she would make sure they regretted the encounter.

Kyle studied the larger map closely as he listened to Teevs brief them on the area of space that lay ahead of them. "Can you provide us with any tactical information on the various forces arrayed against us?" He then glanced over at Naxea. "Colonel, I'd like to start running drills between your Marines and my Security and Tactical crew. If someone does manage to get on this ship, I want them to be greeted by resistance everywhere."

"I'm fine with the drills, but the Thaih'ea won't be everywhere," Naxea looked up from her PaDD at Reece. "They will beam right where we want them to as long as Science gets the transport inhibitors in place. The plan is to leave several areas left open with these babies," she slid the PaDD she had been working on across the table, "in place emitting bio signatures. Any transporter activity will set them off after a three second delay."

A growing sense of fear churned in Teevs' gut as he listened to the conversation. The question from Kyle, followed by what sounded like laying traps, told him all he needed to know. "You're... not planning on confronting them... are you??"

Kyle turned his gaze to Teevs. "We will avoid confronting them as much as possible, Teevs. However, we will also ensure that we are as safe as possible, should they, or anyone else, decides to try anything. We may be a people of peace, but we can wage war with the best, and worst, of them. We have gone up against many evil or violent adversaries in our past, and while we may stumble sometimes, we always come out on top in the end."

"And laying traps is what my people do best. You'll be hard pressed to find a better guerilla fighter than a Bajoran who grew up in the Cardassian Occupation," she smirked.

Rin eyed Naxea's PaDD. "They may be suspicious of the readings. None of us have bio-signatures they will recognize. And we are a very large ship which is well armed." she looked to Teevs. "Are the Thaih'ea known to sometimes simply obliterate a perceived threat?"

The apprehension over the fact that these people were willing to actually fight the Thaih'ea if they encounter them was very clear in Teevs' expression. It was also apparent in the shortness of his shuddered breath, and he took out the breather that Sthilg had given him and Kerilia upon arrival. Holding it to his face, he took a couple of deep breaths before responding, his voice slightly warped by the device. "They will try to acquire your technology first, and if they can't then they will destroy it. They are powerful because they've stolen technology from others. I've heard they have disruptors, shielding, and detonators."

Kyle nodded, thinking tactically now. "Well, we certainly gave delt with species like that before," he didn't look at Rin, as everyone but Teevs knew of the Borg. "So we will use similar tactics here, constantly adjusting our shield harmonics and weapons calibrations." He then looked up to the ceiling. "Avalon, are you online?" He called out to the ship's AI program.

The AI appeared. "Yes."

"As you are part of the ship, are you able to act in its defense, while in combat?

"I am a part of its computer, internal defences can be used by me, IF given permission by the Commodore." The AI replied.

"Then I'll talk to her after we are finished here. Thank you, Avalon." Kyle replied, then looked back down at those gathered around him.

"We should then prepare for them to transport anywhere on the ship," Rin offered. "They are only going to fall for the fake bio-signature trick so many times. We will potentially take out a handful of them, but that's not going to send them running. They'll simply change tactics. And when they figure out they can't transport us, they'll most likely simply start killing people while attempting to take the ship. Hostage taking is a possibility, but from what Mr Dosivi has described, these are people who rule through brute force."

She looked to Teevs. "Can you give us any information on numbers we are likely to encounter? One ship, several ships, small, large...I don't expect you have exact numbers but any generalizations would be helpful."

"According to other ships who have passed through their space, the Thaih'ea will bring what is necessary to ensure they get what they demand," Teevs responded. He took a couple more breaths through the breather, enough to calm himself down... or try to. "With a vessel of your size, I would anticipate more Thaih'ean ships."

Kyle nodded thoughtfully as he listened. "Then we will need to be ready for anything. Expect the worst and train for it."



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Comments (1)

By Captain Samuel Woolheater on Tue Dec 5th, 2023 @ 9:23am

This is my favorite JP this whole month! I love the tense atmosphere. I can just imagine the Observation Lounge all empty and quiet(er) than normal. The tension on Teevs is very apparent. What a great post to set things in motion too. Thank you. The best JP this month. :)