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Luriaa "The Desire For Freedom" & Fraya 1st Officer - Trust given on a short lead

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Some background. The UDP have started to become a major power in the Gamma Quadrant after the fall of the Dominion. The USS Octavia E Butler is on a mission at Cheyd'lang, a planet that the UDP wants to integrate,

These sims by @Alora DeVeau and @Jack Kessler are from the UDP's perspective and I love the political atmosphere that they layer in and the contrast of thoughts to actions. 🥰


Luriaa "The Desire For Freedom"

((Observation Lounge, Deck 1 Saucer, USS Octavia E. Butler ))

Luriaa wanted the UDP to succeed, and her loyalty to that cause was one of the reasons she was given the position and authority she currently had.  As a captain of a vessel, she had the freedom to approach planets and their people, to assess them and determine whether or not they would be valuable members of the UDP.  Although she, herself, had not negotiated with the Zet upon their entry into the UDP, she had seen the value in it.  Thus far, though, they’d had a mix of experiences with the Zet since that confirmation. 

There, however, she had the opportunity to evaluate the Cheydalanga.  The downside was Starfleet was there too. She’d been told by her superiors about their natural resources which would come in very useful for them, especially as they looked to expand not only their influence, but utilising resources to expand their fleet.  Some of that which was mined could be used for a variety of purposes, including raw materials for manufacturing.  Thus, it made sense to, if not include them in an outright membership, strike up a trade alliance with Cheyd’lang.  However, Starfleet was a kink in that goal.  Knowing the Cheydalanga had desires of their own, she hoped to learn more and encourage them to take up any offer they gave, rather than that of Starfleet - no easy feat with the Fleeters right there with them.  

Luriaa: How do you see our role in achieving your desires?

It was a question designed to get the Cheydalanga representative to talk.  Of the two, Sund’Teleray had been the one a little less open, but that could change, especially if the UDP could help them with some goals of their own.  Domeni’Dolce, by contrast, seemed ready to accept them.  

Sund’Telaray: This one quite honestly does not see those one’s role in this. But it seems there is a minority who wish to discuss this further, this one is amicable.

Rouiancet: (another nod) Yes, that seems reasonable. May this one suggest that we consider each? Perhaps, if you agree, Sund'Telaray, you might speak with Captain Luriaa and Commander Sherlock at the port end of the table -- and you, Domeni'Dolce, with this one and Doctor Toz at the starboard.

Domeni’Dolce: That…that would be good.

Sund’Telaray: This one supposes it’s acceptable.

Suppose didn’t sound quite so enthusiastic, but it was better than outright antagonistic.  Of course Rouiancet wanted to separate them, and she ‘assigned’ the more stubborn of the two to Luriaa’s little group.  Outwardly, she smiled and inclined her head pleasantly.  Inwardly, she chafed at the idea that Rouiancet felt like was in charge.  However, the vorta was also well aware that one wrong step could put their goals in jeopardy.  They were not a force strong enough to resist Starfleet.  That would change, some day, but for now, she played along.  So, for now, she rose and clustered with those in her ‘group’. 

(( Conference Table - Port End, Observation Lounge, Deck 1 Saucer, USS Octavia E. Butler ))

The woman in gold joined her while the one in blue Joined Rouiancet’s little cloister.  Gracefully lowering herself into her chair, Luriaa shifted her shaw slightly, then turned to face Sund’Telaray.  She would have preferred a more private conversation, but that wasn’t going to happen on a Starfleet ship.  

Sherlock: Well, let's start with the Vice Intercessor. ::gesturing to Sund'Telaray:: Do you have any ::beat:: concerns? Or questions?

Sund’Telaray: Why do these (beat) Why does the Federation insist on helping these one’s and our planet?

Once again, Luriaa’s face wore only the pleasant half smile that easily hid the thoughts running through her mind.  The Federation was not the only one represented there!  She had to get Sund’Telaray to look at the UDP as well.  

Sherlock: The Federation's goal is peaceful coexistence. We're not here to conquer. And we're also not here to change anyone's culture. A species grows and matures on its own. And sometimes, we can help with that. Many people that we've come across in the past were worried that we were there to force our culture on them, but that's never been the case. And with many, their cultures flourished.

Luriaa: The UDP has similar goals. 

Similar, but not exactly the same.  For one, while the UDP was not inclined to force other planets to join them, unlike their predecessor, they also had a different outlook on who could join and what rules should be enforced.  

Luriaa: I would like you to understand that we are not like the Dominion.  We have no desire to conquer, but rather work together as allies.  This could bring a lot of benefits to your people, including the freedom you currently lack.  

That might have struck a chord, for the Cheydalanga then made an admittance.  

Sund’Telaray: This might get me expelled from my seat as Vice Intercessor but it seems warranted to share, since this one was a young Chey’d this one has desired to cook.

From the reaction of Sherlock, Luriaa could tell she was surprised by what the Chey’d said, but while she hadn’t expected the man to admit to such a detail, she didn’t think it was shocking. 

Luriaa: You should be able to enjoy your passions without fear of retribution. 

Sherlock picked up the topic as well.  

Sherlock: That's wonderful. I'm not a great cook ::pausing, her eyes looked up searching her mind for an answer:: in fact, I'm downright horrible at it. But I enjoy a well cooked meal. Can I ask you ::beat:: why you mentioned that?

Sund’Telaray: It’s not. It’s not exactly relevant, but this one wanted to show that there’s more to his depth than that of a leader only. (beat) Maybe leader first, but only because this one is passionate about the people.

A smile crossed over the woman’s face, and Luriaa’s reflected one of her own.  Of course Sud’Telaray wanted that freedom, and the UDP could offer it.  The question was, would Starfleet?  They were bound by more rules than her own people.  Perhaps that would work in the UDP’s favour.  

Sherlock: I do archery. It's this thing ::making motions in the shapes of a bow, talking with her hands:: a large stick, with a string. And you rest a smaller stick called an arrow on the string. And when you pull it back, it projects the small stick. ::leaning in a little closer:: In fact, when I was at Starfleet Academy, I was team captain and that year we beat a species called the Vulcans who were renowned for their use of the bow.

With a grin and a nod, Sherlock, who had leaned forward in interest, eased back in her seat, evidently proud of her accomplishments. 

Sherlock: ::turning to Luriaa:: What about you? Do you do anything for fun?

That question caught Luriaa off guard.  Her focus had been on Sund’Telaray, his desire, for himself and his people, and how she could help achieve them and, ultimately, help her own people by using that to encourage amicable relations between their people and the UDP.  She paused a moment, then shifted her shaw a little more before she answered. 

Luriaa: I have  a great interest in herbology and perfumery.  

Sherlock: Oh. ::beat:: Really?

Luriaa: Yes.  Really.  

It was little known to others, for she did not advertise it.  Luriaa enjoyed making sense, using natural methods to do so, for they were far more pleasing to her palette than synthetic versions.  However, this was not a study of who she was and her interests. 

Luriaa: And just as I have the freedom to practise what interests me, you should have the freedom to practise what interests you.

Sund'Telaray: response

Sherlock: ::turning back to Sund'Telaray:: You mentioned leadership. Have your people ever had a leader who tried to change things?

Sund'Telaray: response

It was a good question and Luriaa studied Sund’Teleray closely as he answered.  Well, there was certainly something they could do to help that. 

Luriaa:  What if a new leader came, one in the here and now, who wished to see that change? 

Sherlock/Sund’Telaray: Response

It was Luriaa’s turn to lean forward.  While their situations hadn’t been completely the same, she could draw on enough similarities to understand his desire, and those of anyone else who wished to see a shift in their culture. 

Luriaa: I was once in a position where I felt I had no power.  Oh I was given some, in a sense, but ultimately, if I were to reveal that I had certain desires, especially for changes, my life would have been forfeit. 

There had been several Luriaa’s and she was only the latest, but she also retained those memories.  Depending on one’s point of view, that could be considered a benefit, but Luriaa suspected it was actually an act of cruelty on part of the Founders. 

Sherlock/Sund’Telaray: Response

Luriaa: Right now, this system controls you and your people in such a way that it is detrimental.  The UDP can help change that.  

And Starfleet?  She knew very well they could not, not with their Prime Directive and all their high and mighty rules.  Oh sure, they could take the refugees, but Luriaa was well aware that those people made up an extremely small amount of the population on the planet.  To enact such sweeping changes would go against Starfleet’s philosophy - but not the UDP’s - and she was certainly going to take advantage of that. 

Sherlock/Sund’Telaray: Response


UDP Rij’dal’vak



Fraya 1st Officer - Trust given on a short lead

((Briefing Room, USS Octavia E. Butler))


Fraya leaned forward placing both hands on the table and cupping them together. The suggestion was there in the open now and it was clearly something that both the Federation and the UDP had been thinking of in their own terms. Did the UDP need the Federation as allies. Fraya in her mind could argue that point both directions, yes and no. That was not a decision for her to make, she after all was simply the First to Luriaa and not in the position to accept of decline such a suggestion. She was here to learn and take back to her Captain what the Federation was offering. No doubt these officers were here to do the same thing.


Fraya: What did you have in mind.


Nilsen: I…what terms could we agree to right away?


Katsim: That is what we must find out.  


Yinn: Obviously more senior people than any of us would be the ones making a lasting agreement, but a show of good faith right now would go a long way towards making that happen.


Fraya turned to the other two as they spoke and then looked back to Katsim. Her expression unchanged and seemingly unphased by her junior officers comments.


Katsim: Perhaps we could start with a treaty, though I believe an alliance would be the ultimate goal


Fraya: (looking at all three officers) If we are being honest, how do you propose this alliance would work when there are fundamentals the UDP and Federation do not and most likely will not agree on?


Nilsen: You're right, there are, and will be, fundamentals that we don't agree on, yet we managed to have an alliance with the Klingon Empire, a warrior people who value conquest and honour, over diplomacy and exploration.


Yinn: Even Federation member worlds have vastly different cultures, politics, and priorities, but we all share some common values. If the UDP and the Federation both want a peaceful, stable Gamma Quadrant, that should be enough to build an alliance around.


Fraya listened to each and halted her judgement within her own head. She was not there to judge these three on what they said, she needed to remember she needed information and their actions. That, they could be judged on.


Fraya: And if you, the mighty Federation do not agree with our laws, will you try to pull our members away from us to join the Federation?


Nilsen: No, that’s not who we are.


Katsim: We would have no intention of doing so. 


Fraya eyed the Bajoran and felt the woman was being honest but Fraya knew that she was also a line officer just like herself. They took orders from those above them and orders came from higher up even still. Where Lieutenant Commander Katsim might be honest with Fraya, the fact was that those in power higher above her could and would change their minds to fit an overall agenda. It was something that every political power did at one point or another, at least in all that Fraya had seen.


Nilsen: What if, we show that our two peoples can work together and make moves towards an official alliance, or agreement? ::to Peri:: Commander. Can I call a big shot?


Katsim: Please.


Nilsen: Currently, there is a SARs team on the service, they are working to clear out the King’s Path mine and liberate as many slaves as possible, but when they’re finished, we are going to have thousands of people in need of aid, medical attention and support with starting a new life. I’m in Operations, I know this is going to put a strain on the Octavia, and the resources of ****Cheyd’lang, but what if we spread the load ::Picking his words:: we work together.


Yinn: We could certainly use the help. The ship's a bit overwhelmed with refugees. And nearly all of them are species whose biology and social mores are new to us. You surely have a lot more knowledge and experience in that regard.


Katsim: I know we could agree to that.  


Her dark eyes shifted from the man to the Dosi. 


Katsim: Fraya? 


Her name exited the Lieutenant Commanders mouth in a pleasant manner, but Fraya did not immediately look back to the Bajoran. Rather, she kept a momentary eye on the two junior officers. oO Trust is two ways Fraya. Do you trust them? Oo It was a taller question in the back of her head than she had thought. She wanted to trust that the UDP and the Federation could at least be friendly towards one another and could work together. Yet here was the first sign Starfleet in this informal arrangement with Luriaa and the UDP had moved on a plan without consulting the UDP. A SARs team, search and rescue had already been launched from the Starfleet vessel without consult with Luriaa or the UDP as to how a joint operation could proceed. Now Starfleet had boots on the ground and was inviting the UDP to join them. Yes this could be out of a desire to trust the UDP but their actions in moving without the UDP said otherwise. The invitation to join them on the ground now was also suspicious. If anything went wrong with this operation right now; Starfleet would take the entire blame. If Fraya agreed to join them and anything went wrong then the Federation could insist the UDP share the blame. A more beneficial outcome for the Federation if they failed in this adventure.


Fraya: An interesting proposal.


Nilsen: To bring you into this shows trust. It shows that at least I don't believe you are the dominion, rather I believe you to be a people who have a conscience, who we can work with, and it shows that we're not here to take over, rather we're here to work with you.


Yinn: And our priority, as I'm sure yours is, is to help people who suffered for so long under the Dominion.


There is was again. Suffering under the Dominion. Fraya, refraining from saying anything wondered if the people in this room truly understood that not all, actually few truly “suffered” under the dominion rule. Many had no other knowledge of what a different set of rules such as the Federation could offer and therefore what the Federation called suffering was really just everyday life to those who did not know any different. Under the Dominion the Dosi had been used as skilled negotiators and found pride in their business practices. Sure an occasional fatality might occur in the negotiations but that was common in their practice. Wasn’t it everywhere else?


Nilsen: But also, to make this work, we'd need someone from the UDP, perhaps yourself, in our OC, helping to coordinate resources and with your people. It's no secret that the Operations Center is my baby, my home, I helped design her, and in my culture, on Gault, bringing someone to your farm is a sign of trust. ::beat:: So, here’s me, Lieutenant Junior Lhandon Joseph Nilsen saying, for the whole universe to hear, that I trust you.


Katsim: This offers us both a chance to prove to the people of the Gamma quadrant that we are not here to conquer. 


Fraya: Conquer is a strong word Lieutenant Commander and one does not have to conquer through battle. Political and business Agenda’s can just as easily be used to conquer a world.


Nilsen/Yinn: response


As the Bajoran shook her head Fraya could not help but think this was going to take more trust on her side that she had thought. These officers like her seemed to want to trust but deep down in her core, she felt caution was a stronger step at the moment. Not everything felt right to her and that nagged at her. These officers had given her no reason to distrust them but she was not yet sold.


Katsim: We have no ulterior motive, no agenda we’re trying to push. 


Fraya: The United Dominion of Planet’s has been very clear about our agenda, our plans in this region of space. The UDP wants to unify all the former worlds of the Dominion in a joint alliance that will enable all to share in a better, sustainable future.


Nilsen/Yinn: response


Katsim: We can respect that. 


Fraya: (leaning back in her chair) Very well, I will consent to assisting your search and rescue team on the planet given that you understand that all further negotiations with the Chey’d from here on are done in a unison party with the UDP.


That should be easy enough for these officers to agree to but it would also tie their hands at trying to out maneuver the UDP in any dealings with the Chey’d and their precious minerals.


Nilsen/Yinn: response


Fraya: Again, establishing trust is the only way to move forward.


Katsim/ Nilsen/Yinn: response


Fraya: I can agree to a listing of all current UDP worlds provided the Federation understands that they must first inform the UDP of any intent on visiting these member worlds. Obviously for safety reasons. Some of these worlds fought in the Dominion war against the Federation.


Katsim/ Nilsen/Yinn: response


Fraya: Trade is another good way to start this alliance. The Dosi are extremely talented business opportunist and we take great pride in helping fuel the growth of the UDP through trade and commerce. (beat) Although I would suggest you keeping the Ferengi on the other side of the wormhole.

Fraya let out a slight smile. A change in tactics, yes. Deception, no. Fraya had already learned what she needed to. These officers had been told to gather as much about her and the UDP and to see how far the UDP wanted to go with an “alliance”, she was under similar direction and both sides of the table seemed to dance around the question of trust as if trying to see who was going to bow first. In good business, a Dosi knew when to bow first and open the next door of discussion. Best not beat a dead subject any further. Trust would be given on both sides but done so on a short leash. Only time would allow that to grow or become restricted. Until then, Fraya saw no reason not to move on with the discussion of commerce and trade between the two powers.


Katsim/ Nilsen/Yinn: response





1st Officer

Rij’dal’vak, UDP



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