Sensational sim and world building @Tahlin Alse.
//Begin Message: Recipient: Lieutenant Commander Chambui Lkhagvasuren, USS Shinano
I did not have the best introduction to Ketar V. As I'm sure you've now read about or seen on the news the local liaison officer was murdered and by one of his own officers. That's a major scandal in of itself but alas it didn't end or even start there. Commander Armin Illanos was not what you'd call a model officer, the list of his crimes is so long that one might wonder if his murder in the end was justifiable but I have neither the time nor the inclination to recount his misdeeds here. After that though, it hardly got better. Lieutenant Teller decided to try and remedy the situation of the Romulan refugees in one of their slums, their tenement having caught fire before my arrival during a CCMS raid that nearly devolved into a riot.
Chambui I thought Meridian was bad but seeing children, children! in the shadows of burned out buildings with so much... dust in the air it reminded me of what I've been forced to see before. They're trapped, hopelessly so. Yes, after a few days we were able to do a little urban renewal, which is more than I could say happened on Meridian but it feels altogether different here. What happens on Meridian is a tragedy, what's going on, on Ketar V seems... criminal. We take care of refugees in the Federation. My parents, the Bajorans on Maravel, so many others, they didn't have it easy and of course they faced discrimination but I don't think I'd ever see a group of people just... abandoned to the elements, content to let whatever illness they see in what these people represent fester until it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
I don't... I don't know. I'm amazed that's all I have to say at the end of it but there it is. It's enough to make you question a lot though. I've seen what happens when the might of the Federation's humanitarian largess comes to bear on a problem, how much concerted effort can achieve on such a massive scale and yet here, in one little corner on one little planet, they are content in their apathy, sufficed to surrender their responsibility to their fellow man.
Unfortunately I've come to learn how many resources such charity requires, even on a small scale. Lieutenant Teller cleaned out the cargo bays, what was left of them, with his scheme, which of course in my sentimental state I allowed. Yes, let's call it sentiment, let's say that was my motivation. Of course we're light years away from the nearest Starbase or supply depot so guess who had the task of securing, individually, all of the quantities of supplies we needed? That's right? This guy, yours truly. Please don't think I'm complaining though, well I am but not in the way you think. It was daunting sure and as it turns out organizing accurate shipping and receiving times in the Shoals is almost impossible but I kind of liked it as my first challenge onboard. I know you're going to say that's hindsight, nostalgia always has been a fatal flaw of mine, but I actually came to enjoy it, crossing off items on the list and hey I have staff to help me carry and unload it.
I also got to meet some really interesting people, do a bit of networking that I'm sure will be useful in future. One of these encounters I'm sure you'll appreciate. Do you remember that trip to New Zealand we took for spring-break my sophmore year to practice our Maori? Well as it turns out like Esperance most of the Humans on Ketar V come from Oceania. In Ketar V's western hemisphere Maori and other Polynesian languages are dominant, alongside English of course, just like New Zealand but it was nice to understand both halves of a bilingual society.
Still, my cultural literacy didn't help me much in this case...
(( Te Ranga, Te Ranga Authority, Selwyna Region, Ketar V ))
Tahlin looked out the window over the Te Ranga cityscape, like most of Ketar V it was dominated by megalithic pre-fab colonial structures but here visaged in a striking alabaster white, which against the deep blue of the ocean and the vibrant greens of the rolling hills of the shoreline of the Bay made it a paradise compared to the dry desert steppe of Centennial City, or anywhere else Tahlin could think of for that matter. Such a striking landscape was worthy of the place so many of these men and women's ancestors had left centuries ago and having seen the motherland for himself, Tahlin could see why so many of the colonists from New Zealand opted for the lush, continental atmosphere of western Ketar V, in contrast to the vastness of the east which knew only the suffocating humidity of the tropics or the dry wisps of the desert plains.
It reminded him of where he had been born on Maravel. Aixa was more truly Continental, Te Ranga was pleasantly Maritime all year round but all things considered it was a convincing facsimile.
Turei: Prince Tahlin Aiolande Alse, blood of Vytogoreds and Iseldt, of the blood of Vertomacher and Bondochar, Panna of Phraatia and Grandee of all the Isles, bearer of the Seventh Coat of Arms and the Bordered Blue Banner and now a Starfleet Officer, tell me where does "Ensign" fit in to your menagerie of titles?
Tahlin's face was marble. All life had slowly peeled away from it as he was addressed by names and titles he had never once used altogether. Most of those styles weren't even in his Starfleet record, you would need an almanac of El-Aurian royalty and high nobility for them and somehow Tahlin didn't think they were being printed, much less updated anymore.
Lifelessly and mechanically his head turned towards the dusky skinned man in a sharp suit to match his selfsame tongue. Instinctively he smiled, as he had trained himself to do, though he was nowhere near at ease.
Alse: Military honors and rank usually come first but etiquette and protocol vary of course.
At the other end of the room was Ransom Turei, perhaps the second wealthiest man on Ketar V, though he was sure to attain the prime position before the year was out. He was the owner of the Torutaimana Group, a conglomerate of banks, trading groups, light and heavy industries and even a notable entertainment concern. But despite the... impressive introduction he had lavished on Tahlin, this was not a social call. Located in one of those many holding companies, divisions and myriad subsidiaries was the Chokonu corporation, which manufactured bio-neural gel-packs. Civilian Grade though they were, they were rated for Starfleet use and Tahlin needed them, only there had been... complications in securing his request for the parts.
Turei: :: Pressing his lips into a bemused smile.:: Quite...
He looked Tahlin up and down for a moment, sizing up his counterpart like he would in any business negotiation or so Tahlin assumed, he had the unnerving feeling that Mr. Turei knew a great deal more about him than was typically possible, or appropriate.
Alse: I thank you for taking the time to see me Mr. Turei, though I admit I was surprise that... :: Tahlin walked closer to the man as he rounded his desk before he put a silencing hand up.::
Turei: You've been busy Ensign Alse, and it's not everyday we get a request from Starfleet to supply them. You're bound to make a similar request at some point in the future and with the recent unpleasantness involving your people :: He made a tsking noise.:: I thought we should meet in person. :: He took a seat but did not gesture for Tahlin to take one.::
Alse: Well, I'm flattered by such personal interest in our supply matters.
Turei leaned back in his chair and tented his hands as he lifted his feet to rest on the top of his desk.
Turei: Don't be. :: He said curtly but with a smile.::
Tahlin stood there for a moment, a smile turning on his own face, unable to come up with a response to the man's attitude.
Alse: I don't mean to presume or offend...
Turei: Let me be straight with you. :: He cut off Tahlin once again, this time without his dismissive hand raising.:: I don't like Starfleet. I think you're a bunch of overactive priers despite you're policy of 'non-interference'.
That was hardly an uncommon attitude, especially here in the Shoals, one Tahlin had braced himself for, he just hadn't expected to come up against it being displayed so brazenly in the civilized, sanitized halls of a corporate office.
Turei: You play at being explorers, peacekeepers, humanitarians. the military and yet you fail at being all of them, and the rest of us have to make up for your mistakes and the gaps in your... interests.
Tahlin merely pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows, trying to seem intrigued or at the very least bemused at the man's pontificating he would no doubt need to suffer through.
Turei: It's why we don't take military contracts, though of course you're just asking for a single shipment of supplies. Bio-neural gel packs, something you can't replicate and yet are essential to the operations of your starship's systems, part of me wonders what happens when a starship runs out but the Federation has a reputation for technical prowess, it's probably nothing but a minor inconvenience to you. Still I'm at a loss as to why I should break my principles and supply you with these gel packs when one stop at one of your Starbases could clear everything up.
Tahlin moved to speak but Turei cut him off again. He seemed intent on this being a monologue, not a conversation.
Turei: Right, right we're isolated out here and I'm guessing you don't have time to drudge back and forth across our little region of space, especially when the supplies you need happen to be here already. Solution seems obvious doesn't it? Only instead of just fulfilling your request and sending you on to whatever gaseous anomaly or kittens-stuck-in-trees your Command deems more pressing you're dragged half-way across the planet to meet with me. :: He pulled his hands apart and tilted his head back.:: Now that you're here though I'm still forced to ask the question, why should I help you?
Tahlin knew better than to try and formulate a response and Turei smirked.
Turei: Austerity, such a refreshing emotion here on Ketar V. :: Leaning back in his chair, making a show of searching his mind.:: Aguda Township, Aixa Autonomous Banner that's on Maravel right? You know how to kow-tow?
The pause was longer than before but Tahlin still wasn't going to take the bait and try to answer.
Turei: Seems a little medieval if you ask me.
// Oh he likes the sound of his own voice, Mr. Turei, though I don't suppose you get to where he is without the slightest bit of megalomania. It was interesting, growing up on Cardassia, living among a people who love to talk and being from a race of listeners. You tend to learn a lot, you learn that there's no such thing as idle conversation. Not that my encounter with Mr. Turei was a conversation but as much as he seemed to know about me he seemed to forget that El-Aurians are a race of listeners and whatever he was trying to subject me to by his sermon was nothing I wasn't equipped to deal with. While I entered the meeting at a supreme disadvantage, just by hearing him talk I was able to level the field, learn more about him than what he was so freely offering to me.
Turei: Well you've been a good enough sport and It's getting late so why don't you and I make a deal yeah? I'll give you your bio-neural gel packs, call it generosity or whatever you like, for me it's just a tax credit.
Tahlin merely nodded and smiled in appreciation.
Turei: Practice, practice, can't imagine what discipline silence takes. :: He smiled and pulled his feet down from his desk.:: You're gel packs should be awaiting transport to your ship Ensign Alse, why don't you go see to it.
Tahlin bowed from the neck in both agreement and deference to Mr. Turei's largess, briskly turning on his heel to walk to the end of the room and be done with this encounter.
Turei: Oh Ensign!
Tahlin stopped but did not turn around.
Turei: Make sure you've ordered enough yeah? They might not be in stock next time you ask.
Tahlin merely exhaled and walked through the office doors, letting his footfalls clamor against the floor as he made his way towards the lift. He would be happy to not see anything or anyone in this building ever again, but that left the question of where he was going to get supplies the next time.
// On Ketar V the thing that seems to drive people, strange as it may sound seems to be their complacency, their apathy, their need to have things exactly as they are or as they were. It's not nostalgia for the past exactly it's like nostalgia for the present, only no one seems to see it exactly how it is. The planet has fallen behind the other colonies, social problems abound and yet everyone seems placated. On Meridian there was a reason for this: prosperity elsewise. On Ketar V there is none of that and yet there is an impetus for things to remain exactly how they were or are and everything that doesn't figure into that image of the way things are is ignored. It's a curious place, and not one I'm keen to see again for a good long while.
Ensign Tahlin Alse
Writer ID: C239305TA0