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All aboard!

Posted on Wed Feb 20th, 2013 @ 4:29am by Lieutenant Commander David Burkeson & Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Lieutenant Lissan zh'Zarath & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh

Mission: Part of the Team

Vessels of various shapes and sizes flew all around, like bees diving in and out of a tree bearing particularly pollen laden flowers. Harrison watched the spectacle on the forward viewscreen. They had been assigned holding patterns until some sort of docking order could be implemented but be damned if he could discern some order in the chaos. Yet there had been no collisions even though he felt sure one would occur any minute.

“Ms zh’Zarath, I congratulate you on your deft handling of so many ships. How is the offloading going?”

Lissan didn't seem to hear him at first as she was concentrating on the massive list she had in front of her. It seemed to be growing all the time. She looked up and was surprised to see someone there and vaguely remembered him saying something.

"Just a moment.... Sorry, what was that you said? Something about off loading? Off loading what?" she snapped. "I.... A sudden noise made her turn sharply away from Harrison. She turned back to him, not really seeing him but wanting him out of the way so she could get on with her job. "Look, this is neither the time or the place to chat. As you can see, I am up to my eyes in... stuff. Can we talk later perhaps?"

Lissan strode purposely away from Harrison, PADD in hand but after three steps she stopped and turned back to him, suddenly realising who it was she had snapped at.

"My apologies, Commander. Things are a little hectic here, as you can see. If you would like to help out at all, please feel free. We need to get the elderly, young and infirm settled before we can do anything else."

“You are on your own I am afraid, Ms. zh’Zarath. I need to co-ordinate the whole effort. Carry on.” He turned away from his Operations chief to his First Officer.

“Mister Maschnost, I trust the refugees already aboard are being processed in an orderly fashion.”

Serge looked from the mezzanine level at the crowds coming in the closest hatch. Wide yellow markings had been placed to direct the refugees to a large cargo area which was being used as quarantine and processing centre. Federation Security officers were manning the edges and re-directing the confused arrivals. At this stage most of them were still able to walk, but as later ships arrived there would be sickness, starvation, and much worse.

He tapped his pin, "Nothing to report at this stage, sir. I will head down to the processing centre to see if I can be usefull there."

Harrison knew that most of the refugees had many hours to wait before they were aboard. He felt for them. He would have hated to be in their position; so close to their destination, yet still so far.

He touched his comm badge. “Ms Delrisa, the first of the refugees should be with you by now. How does it look from a medical point of view?

"We have four families in the clinic now, some slight malnutrition but nothing serious. I am getting some complaints, minor for the most part but enough to keep us busy and slow down the process," the doctor replied. "I could certainly use Nick's help, is he available?"

“In Mister O’Riely’s absence you will have to rely on Ensign Tem.”

"I would prefer Counselor O'Reilly, I need his experience."

“I do not propose to bring Mister O’Riely back unless absolutely necessary. Firstly, it would take too long. By the time he returned most of the refugees will have been through at least an initial screening and counselling. Secondly, I believe he can do more good where he is. I would prefer to conduct our business along the Neutral Zone in a non-violent manner if possible. Mister O’Riely is not a diplomat but he is the closest thing we have at the moment. Negotiation will see us through this, Ms Delrisa, negotiation.”

"Of course, sir. We'll do our best," Soraya said. She turned back to the man in front of her. "I understand, but I cannot influence where you will be staying. We have already arranged accommodation on station, and I am sure you will be quartered appropriately," she said patiently.

Tam Par arrived passing an appraising eye over the havoc. He was calm but aware that most people here would not welcome a Vulcan's aide. Insted he moved to Soraya.

"Lt Par reporting for duty, Doctor. Where would I be most helpful?"

Soraya smiled with relief at the sight of the trim young Vulcan, "Lieutenant, I would appreciate it if you would help our, ahh, guests to the next station, where Security will begin to run clearance. They have been through the clinic," she said.

Par gave a slight nod before moving off, "Of course, Doctor."

Pardek had been a merchant on Romulas. When the Hobus event occurred, he had been off-world negotiating a deal with a new supplier. Hobus happened and Pardek found himself without a home or family. The only asset he had was the shipment of spice that he had just acquired. Unfortunately, his customer was on Romulus and the ship that he had contracted to carry his shipment decided to ferry refugees to a Federation space station. He found himself, his cargo and a bunch of refugees all sitting in space of the Federation station Deep Space 12 waiting for permission to dock.

Haqtaj glowered at the Romulan official. It was quite obvious that he had not suffered any malnutrition on the journey, unlike the remainder of the passengers.

"I am a member of the Imperial Senate. I demand immediate conduct to the VIP facilities on this station," the man thundered.

"As an official representative of Starfleet, I am unable to expedite your request. You will be allocated what billeting is available on an 'as-needed' basis. Since the Imperial Senate has been disbanded, we cannot recognise your diplomatic position."

The man grew red in the face and was about to flood the room with his opinion of Starfleet but Haqtaj interupted again. "However, in my role as Ambassador for the Klingon people, I can arrange for you to have priority treatment."

She gave the man a wink and sudden hope and avarice flooded the politician's face, "Yes. Do what ever it takes to get me away from this riff-raff."

Haqtaj smiled, glanced round to see no one was looking, then plunged her knife into the man's belly up to the hilt. She did not twist it - it was not a killing blow - but the green blood flowed freely from the wound when she extracted the knife.

"Gurney!" she bellowed. "Get this person to medical on the double. No food or drink till he is healed!"

The stunned and shocked Romulan was carried quickly away. Haqtaj turned to the other frightened passengers, "Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you will follow the marked path you will be taken to our processing centre where you will be fed, and registered for billeting."

"I am sorry, but you must remain here until the final clearance by Security," Soraya was saying, for the third time, to the angry Romulan woman and her surly teenaged son. "I assure you we are moving everyone through the process as quickly as possible but we must follow the protocol."

"This is ridiculous, we've been here long enough. We wish to be taken to our suite," the woman replied. The boy just glowered at her.

Negotiation, right. Did I miss that class in med school? Soraya thought wryly. "Please wait your turn with the Security detail and they will soon have you on your way."

"Perhaps," Tem arrived at her shoulder, "I can alleviate some of the issue. I am sure you have some more pressing concerns."

The Romulan woman turned on him and let fly with a torrent of abuse. "You stones are incapable of any understanding of the suffering we are going through because, yet again, you were too slow to send help. Hoping we would all die out, no doubt, but we did not! And we WILL NOT BE KEPT DOWN BY YOU!"

The more calm and stoic Tem appeared the more it seemed to aggravate the Romulan and her son. Finally she lunged out of her chair to attack him. Tem, however, was ready for this and simply stepped out of her range. Two security details stepped in. The matter might have stopped there if one of the security hadn't also been Vulcan.

The woman and the son let fly and the two security had to restrain and drag the pair away to the already bulging cells.

Tem turned his practiced smile back to Soraya, "Let me know if there is anything else I can do."

The doctor moved close to him. "Can you make them understand that we're trying to help them?" she whispered softly, unable to hide her exasperation.

Tem shook his head gently, "Unfortunately, One can never 'Make' another understand. Romulans have a long history of prefering emotional outbursts to calm reason. I fear I may be more of a hinderance than a help."

Soraya smiled in spite of herself. "It was a rhetorical question, and I do understand that these people have been through so much..." she trailed off for a moment, "Well, we are here to help them, and you have been a help to me, Lieutenant." She looked up as the next family made their way past screening and into the clinic for testing. "Let's get back to work," she said with a sigh.


Pardek walked forward to the command module of the freighter. He looked at the captain, "Why are we sitting here."

Captain Vress, a Yridian, looked at Pardek. "They appear to be a little preoccupied." He pointed out at the viewscreen showing the vessels waiting to dock.

Pardek focused on Vress. "Do not mistake me for one of the Vulcans. I have neither the patience nor the self control of them. We need to dock now."

Vress looked back a Pardek. "I will inquire of our order in the docking pattern." Vress tapped his console. =/=Deep Space 12, this is the SS Pubela. We require clearance to dock immediately.=/=

“Captain Vress, this is Lieutenant Commander Harrison. My Chief of Ops, Ms. Zh’Zarath, is rather preoccupied at the moment. Might I be of assistance?”

Vress nodded his head. "Of course, you can help. I require immediate clearance to dock. We have a cargo of spices and refugees. The spices are at the point of spoilage."

“I am sorry, Captain, but we have more urgent priorities. We have still have elderly and disabled refugees to process. As it is, I have heard reports of individuals attempting to buy a position higher in the queue. I assure you that I do not take too kindly to such practices. It wastes the time of my crew while they deal with it and we have precious little time to waste. If you have people aboard with genuine needs or if you have cargo vital to the refugee effort then I will be happy to entertain moving those people up in the queue.”

"Here." said Lissan handing over a PADD to him. "You might want to have a look at this."

Harrison quickly scanned the open page on the padd. “Unfortunately, I do not consider a load of spices to be vital. I am sure they will survive in storage a while longer. Unless, of course, your storage facilities are compromised in some way. In that case, I suggest you contact your insurance broker.”

He offered zh’Zarath a nod of thanks for having the Pubela’s manifest available for him so quickly.

Pardek pushed Vress out of the way. "Commander, if the spices that we have onboard spoil, they could create a potentially toxic environment, which would create a potentially hazardous conditions for the refugees we have onboard."

Vress looked back at Pardek with a confused look on his face.

Harrison scanned the manifest again, more carefully this time. “Sir, if any of your goods present a potential hazard then you are either carrying undeclared goods or they are improperly stored. If the former, then you will be charged with making a false declaration and smuggling. I need not remind you that smuggling goods out of the Star Empire carries heavy penalties...on both sides of the Neutral Zone. If the latter then you will be held responsible for any casualties with all the consequences that entails. Either way, your goods will be impounded.”

Pardek exhaled audibly, "Fine. We will wait." Pardek fumed about these Federation regulations and policies. Why did these people insist on him conforming to their rules. Unfortunately, he had to get onboard the space station before he could start building a power base.

"What a mess." the Marine officer said, staring at the viewscreen.

"Indeed." replied the ship's captain, "Disaster waiting to happen, a crowded environment like that. Hope they have someone good managing traffic."

"I think by now we'd have found out if they didn't. " said Major Michael "Mickey" Finn, turning away from the screen. "Captain, I thank you for your hospitality on the voyage, and I'd appreciate the loan of a few of your shuttles to get myself and my men aboard the station as soon as possible."

"Of course, Major." the captain replied, "They are at your disposal. Though I wish you luck getting in there."

"Getting into difficult places is a Marine specialty, Captain." Finn said with a grim smile, "Wish them luck keeping us out."


Harrison turned away from watching the console. Lieutenant zh’Zarath was doing a good job; constantly looking over her shoulder would only be a distraction and might cause her to begin second guessing herself.

He tapped his comms badge. =^=Harrison to Lieutenant Rackley.=^=

=^=Lieutenant Rackley here, sir.=^=

=^=You’re doing a fine job out there. I know it’s not what you were trained for but it’s making life a lot easier in here.=^=

=^=Just missing my bird, sir. Not used to this bus.=^=

=^=There’s a lot of impatient people insisting they warrant access to docking facilities ahead of everyone else. By playing sheepdog, you’re keeping everything orderly and on schedule.=^=

=^=Aye sir, somebody forgot to tell the Romulans that patience is a virtue.=^=

=^=Well, your patience is being rewarded, Mister Rackley. While you are herding all those ships around, your 'bird' is in the hands of my mechanics getting a complete overhaul. By the time they are finished, she will be as good as new. Harrison out.=^=

=^= Aye sir.=^=

Second Lieutenant William Rackley operated the controls of the bulky work shuttle, maneuvering around the convoy of shuttles, ships, and everything else heading towards Deep Space 12. At his side, in the co-pilot's chair sat a Flight Control Officer doing his best to navigate through the sea of refugees.

The Marine spoke, never once taking his eyes off of the console or the window of the shuttle, "Ensign, any trouble?"

The Starfleet Ensign replied, "No sir. Aside from typical complaints and demands of...." the Ensign paused as he listened once more to a communication from yet another shuttle. He operated his console and ran the communication through the shuttle's main speakers.

"If you do not allow me to land my shuttle NOW, then I will land it myself! I will push the other shuttles out of my way!"

Lieutenant Rackley grinned as he maneuvered the shuttle in front of the hostile craft. He nodded to the Ensign, who opened a channel between the two crafts. Rackley spoke in a deeper than normal tone, with his Southern Accent in full gear, "Return to the convoy or I will open fire."

A long pause, before the Ensign whispered to Lieutenant Rackley, "Sir, these shuttles don't have weapons."

Again, the young marine grinned, "He doesn't know that."

Seconds later the hostile shuttle pilot responded, "I will speak to your commander about this!"

The hostile craft moved back into the convoy, causing the Ensign to breath a sigh of relief.

Lieutenant Rackley chuckled, "Thought so."

Materializing in one of the emptier bulk storage holds, Major Finn moved aside and made room for the rest of his team to come aboard freely. It was a slow deployment for them, coming in singly and in pairs from the emergency transporters of the shuttles. The power reserves would be seriously depleted, but that would be easily rectified back aboard their mother ship.

He had immediately re-located the Fleeter pool-pilots that had come with the shuttles to the aft passenger compartments upon takeoff and filed no flight plan, thinking that this was a fine opportunity for an infiltration exercise. His team was hand-picked and expert at their trades but you could never have too much training. The approach had carried with it both advantages and challenges because of the crowd of refugee ships. Somewhat inhibited by the lack of specifically designed infiltration craft, they'd still been able to maneuver though the chaotic collection of sensor shadows and avoid the station sensors. They'd traveled individual routes, of course, reassembling at this spot, where there was enough interference from the power plant that they could escape detection if they shut down main power and coasted into position on thrusters only. The Danube he'd taken as lead ship had more than enough sensor capacity to verify that this area hadn't yet been committed to the refugee effort. Even with the flood of incoming people, it would take a while to get them desperate enough to quarter people with station stores.

Once they were aboard with their critical gear, the team moved efficiently and without any need for further instructions. They all knew their assignments and would carry them out, as would he.


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