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Welcoming The Aliens In Style

Posted on Mon Jan 15th, 2018 @ 9:56pm by Mujal Junyx & Lieutenant Commander Owen Nash & Lieutenant Kalin 'Shae' Brennan PhD & Lieutenant Katniss Wakefield & Lieutenant Mera Richmond MD & Belaia

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Shuttecraft/Salvaxe Surface
Timeline: After “Going Boldly”

Government Spire, Salvaxe

In a large room of the tall spire that housed the government of Sylvaxe, six extraordinarily nervous Mendazians prepared for an event that they knew would be remembered for generations. All six of them, even the old professor, were clad in the official robes of diplomacy: a carefully tailored shirt, an elegant blazer bearing various symbols on the sleeves, a thin belt and long, flowing skirts.

Of course the impromptu delegation were lucky to have their beautiful official clothing, Mujal thought ruefully as he read (for the twentieth time) their notes on the ‘Federation’. The long dead politicians who had forseen this day had crafted intricate protocols for what to do upon aliens reaching Salvaze, but they hadn’t accounted for the rush job of making such high quality clothing so fast. Many fashion designers had been turned out of their beds in the wee hours of the morning and had been working frantically ever since, spurred on by various promises, pleas and favours called in by the Elders.

Then Mujal’s ruminations were disrupted as a young man opened the door, his uniform marking him as part of the Salvaxe military. He looked around at the six delegates, plainly wondering who to address, before giving up and simply telling them all.

“Honourable delegates,” he said respectfully, “our scanners have detected the alien ship leaving orbit, headed out-system at low warp speed. They have left behind a much smaller spaceship that has remained in orbit.”

Baffled, Mujal looked to Belaia, knowing that she had been among the aliens, even if for only a brief time. “Belaia, why would they do this? We were about to begin the greeting!”

"Perhaps another urgent matter?" Belaia suggested. "Why don't we try and talk to the small ship they left behind?"

“Indeed,” Mujal replied, bemused. The other delegates looked to him expectantly and he smiled gently, hoping to hide discomfort at being regarded in such a way. “Belaia, as I recall, you have a particular gift with words. Even through our translator software, your eloquence would surely shine. Would you accept the honour of speaking our first official words on behalf of our species to these Federation people?”

"I'd be delighted!" she replied enthusiastically.

Another delegate spoke up. "I suppose this makes you our first ambassador to these people."

Mujal smiled at Belaia, his eyes twinkling. “Indeed, my dear. It is a great honour.”

Shuttlecraft Beagle

"The Pandora has departed," Shae reported from her console at the helm of the shuttle; since the tiny shuttle was already quite full with the away team, there had not been a need to bring in a separate helmsman since Shae was a qualified pilot. "We're in a stable orbit now, just awaiting contact from Salvax."

"Thank you, Lieutenant Brennan." Mera said, staring down at Salvax from the starboard window. "It is incredible, though I wish we were meeting them under better circumstances."

"Can't be helped," Shae replied with an agreeing nod. "All we can do is to make the best of the situation. Hopefully the Mendaz are not offended by our interference and are willing to consider being allies," she continued as her fingers moved deftly over the console to maintain their orbit. And they were in sore need of allies; they were the strangers here, one could argue that they could even be seen as intruders, and if they wanted to learn anything about the Expanse, they needed to make friends with the locals.

Owen joined them both at the front of the Shuttlecraft as they took in the view of Salvax below them. "It's been a while since I've been on a first contact mission and I'm looking forward to this in one respect," he began. "However Lieutenant Brennan is right on the respect that hopefully we can resolve this issue peacefully, ending up in the Mendaz becoming an ally in this sector."

Whilst he knew that the Pandora was headed off to perform their part of the plan, he also took hope in the fact that soon the Palatine would join them in this sector and be able to head off any threat posed by the Pirate Fleet as well. It was a difficult time but also one that he was certain the shuttlecraft crew would excel at. Having the likes of Richmond, Brennan and Wakefield along also eased his worry as he knew them well and in a new situation like this, Owen needed to count on everyone.

After a quick check of the situation and seeing the craft was in good hands under the guidance of Brennan, Owen looked back to see how the others were doing.

Katniss was sat all quiet, a first contact mission that they shouldn't be making she thought to herself. But still, she had voiced her concerns and like everyone, she would follow the orders even if she disagreed with them. She slowly turned her head to look at the front of the shuttle, she noticed Owen looking back and just nodded.

Owen decided to take the chance to speak with Wakefield to see how she was doing. Whilst he was happy she was on the team, he was concerned by her silence. Sitting down next to her, Owen looked over at Wakefield.

"How are you doing Lieutenant...this is all rather exciting isn't it?" he offered quietly.

Katniss looked at the Commander for a moment, they didn't really know each other well and after the problems that she had caused him in the past, she didn't know if they would ever be friends, she knew how to socialise, she had friends back on Earth, but here on this ship, she was dumped on them, by Starfleet Science and she knew some people who resented her for that. "I wouldn't go as far as calling it exciting...sir." she replied in a polite but firm tone.

Owen noticed that Wakefield still seemed a little hostile towards him and it was something he wanted to try and help with if he could. Whilst they had a few run in's previously he was hoping that was past now and was happy that she was on the away team. "Well I was looking at the exciting aspect of this mission being that we are encountering a new race properly for the first time," he explained. "Surely that's something that Research Officers would enjoy?" he asked.

Katniss chuckled for a moment before giving a slight smile to the Commander "Wrong field Commander, I'm more, spacial anomalies, germs, pathogens and stuff of other sorts, although new alien race may be interesting, not my cup of tea, however I guess it does fall within my scope of Chief Research Officer."

Owen smiled as he saw her chuckle for a moment and realised it was good to see her lighten up a little. This was something he wanted to try and keep up as Wakefield was one officer he had concern for. He had wanted to try and spend more time to get to know her however recent events had kept him busy.

"Well, my bad....but whilst its not your field, surely this is something to remember as you look back on your career? First Contact was always a dream of mine when I was a cadet," he explained. "What about you? is there anything you'd like to achieve during your career?"

Shae cut a wary glance to Katniss, but said nothing. Wrong field?! Shae had a doctorate in astrophysics, but that didn't stop her from enjoying this opportunity to initiate First Contact with a new culture! She and Katniss were first and foremost Starfleet scientists and they were required to have a certain flexibility regardless of their specializations, and anyway how could Katniss not find this exciting?!

Just then, the comm chirped and Belaia's soft voice filled the shuttlecraft. "To our foreign visitors, this is Ambassador Belaia, representative of the Mendaz people of Salvaxe. We welcome you with open arms and good intentions. Please meet us at the following coordinates. A banquet in your honor is being arranged as we speak. Please join us in celebrating the beginning of a new age for our people. I look forward to greeting you in person. Belaia out."

The computer chirped with coordinates for the shuttle to land.

Owen moved back to the front of the Shuttlecraft and checked the co-ordinates before pressing the comm button and using the same frequency as Ambassador Belaia had.

"Ambassador Belaia, this is Commander Nash onboard the Shuttlecraft Beagle," he began, feeling a small moment of pride. "Thank you for your kind message, we look forward to meeting you...Co-ordinates have been received and we are on our way to the landing site, Beagle out," Owen replied before strapping himself in next to Shae. Once he was comfortable he looked over at her and nodded his approval to being the descent.

"You heard her, time to go," Shae said to the Away Team as she set the shuttle in motion, sending them into the planet's atmosphere. Once they passed through the clouds they could finally see in detail the beauty of the city sprawled out before them. Shae kind of wanted to take a wide approach to get a better look, but she didn't want to waste too much time, so they made it to the landing coordinates in short order. Shae set the shuttle down on the landing pad, then put the shuttle on standby. "Okay, let's go say hello to these fine folk!" Shae said cheerfully.

The landing pad was attached near the top of the Spire, one of the tallest buildings in the city, and it afforded the Starfleeters with a majestic view of the sprawling metropolis below. There was no wind but it was somewhat chilly, and the Mendazian delegates waiting on the landing pad were all plainly uncomfortable in their beautiful (but not warm) formal clothing, rubbing their hands together and shifting from foot to foot.

Even so, it was quite plainly a grand occasion. Twenty soldiers, beautifully appointed in a shining golden armour, held their rifles up at their sky with perfect discipline as they waited on either side of the walkway to the Spire, with the six delegates waiting at the door to the building itself. Dozens of floating tiny droves hovered around the shuttlecraft, their cameras recording every second of the momentous event as the Mendazian people waited for the aliens to emerge.

Having seen the greeting party awaiting them at the landing pad, Owen realised suddenly of how big an occasions this was for the Mendazian's. "Looks like they went all the way for us...there could even be a parade.." he commented as everyone prepared themselves.

Belaia stepped forward ahead of the other delegates, ready to greet their visitors.

The hatch to the shuttle slowly lowered to finally reveal the strange aliens from outside the Expanse, most of whom looked no different than the Mendaz, all except for Shae who looked rather exotic with her vulpine features. As Shae stepped out onto the ramp with a tap-tap-tap of her dainty toe-claws on the duratanium, her breath was taken away by the beauty of the metropolis; the view from the shuttle had been quite lovely, but being able to see the whole city and not just one narrow view from the shuttle made it all that more majestic, and she took it all in with a look of awe and wonder on her face.

Owen could sense the in-trepidation and excitement in Shae as he stepped down the ramp with her and tried to hold back a smile which nearly turned into a gasp of awe as he took in the scene around him. The massive architecture before them and around them was a sight to behold and one he would remember for a while to come.

Belaia put on a smile and approached their new visitors. Feeling a little awkward, she said, "I wish to welcome you to our planet, but I do not know your customs for greeting. On Salvaxe, the usual greeting gesture is a touch of foreheads."

Belaia reached out to Shae, who was the closest, and placed her hands on either side of Shae's head and gently placed her own forehead against the new stranger. She held it there for only a second before releasing.

Shae had been about to reply when the woman greeting them placed her hands on her head and guided Shae into this greeting custom. It felt more than a little awkward as Shae wasn't accustomed to be touched in this way by strangers, in fact this gesture had become something of a show of affection between herself and Cailus, but this was their custom so she smiled nonetheless, standing straight when she was released.

"On behalf of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, we thank you for such a welcoming reception," Shae said, deciding to take point on this welcome since she seemed to have been singled out for this demonstration. "In the Federation, we typically exchange a handshake as greeting," she explained, since this woman seemed interested in outside customs. Shae extended her hand, pausing to wait for Belaia to repeat the gesture, then Shae clasped her hand and gave it a firm but gentle shake before releasing it. "I am Lieutenant Kalin Brennan, and with us we have Commander Owen Nash, he is our Executive Officer or Second in Command, and there's also Doctor Mera Richmond, our Counselor, and Lieutenant Katniss Wakefield, she is a scientist like me," Shae introduced one by one, gesturing to the team so that the Mendaz representatives could place names with faces.

Katniss smiled as the alien looked at her "Pleased to meet you." she said while also taking in the scenery, perhaps she was a little hasty back in the shuttle when said to the Commander that she was not going to enjoy this, because for some reason in her stomach she had butterflies, something she had not had for a long time.

Owen let Shae take the lead on the introductions with Ambassador Belaia as it seemed she had decided to speak with the Pandora's Chief Science Officer. This was an issue for him and he watched on happily as Shae completed the introductions. Previous experience had led him to learn that a delegate of a new race in a First Contact situation will always lean towards the one they feel most comfortable with. As this was Shae, he carried on at her discretion.

"Ambassador, please allow me to convey Captain Temple's warmest regards to you and also of how pleased and proud we are to finally make contact with you and your people," Owen explained, coming across as warm and positive as he possibly could whilst maintaining some professionalism at the same time.

"Thank you, Mr. Nash," replied Belaia, and she stepped forward to touch foreheads, but hesitated for a second and held out her hand. "I hope I have followed first contact procedure correctly. We're rather new at this."

Owen noticed her hesitate and smiled as he graciously accepted her hand in friendship. "Well, your doing fine so far Ambassador," he admitted. "Besides, First Contact situations always work out a little different that what it says in the guide book, lets see how we go...So how would you like to proceed?" Owen offered, allowing the Ambassador to lead proceedings.

At that, the oldest of the Mendazians stepped up, smiling warmly at the Federation people. He was huddled up somewhat in his formal clothing, and the wind was blustering his skirt in a rather unfortunate manner to reveal his wrinkled legs, but the old fellow was beaming and full of life.

I am Mujal Junyx, a professor at one of our institutions of learning,” he said with a warm, amicable energy. “To answer your question, Commander Owen Nash, our protocol suggests that we all move into a specially prepared lounge area, just beyond those doors, where we may undertake the practical business of diplomacy. Where it shall be somewhat...ah...warmer.

Owen smiled as he realised that there was a chill in the air and happily agreed with the Mendazian Elder's suggestion. "Then by all means, Professor, lead the way," he gestured towards the doors that awaited them.

 

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