Welcome To The Queendom
Posted on Sun Jul 26th, 2020 @ 11:58pm by Lieutenant Nella Hawthorne & Fleet Admiral Donatella Figueroa & Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Turell & Lieutenant Commander Michael Essex & Lieutenant Junior Grade Shras th'Zarath & Lieutenant Thavus th’Koruh
Location: Royal palace
Timeline: directly following 'to the palace'
Old: Eventually, they came to another set of double doors, Jessop turned to the group. “The queen is beyond these doors, best behaviour,” he said, chuckling slightly before turning and pushing the doors open.
"Before you open those," Essex said. "Has your Queen ever used the phrase, 'Off with his head?' or anything of the sort," he joked, knowing that some had read Alice in Wonderland. "Or does she own a Cheshire cat?"
Casn gave Essex the side eye, unsure as to what the man was on about with the heads and the cats. He hoped that Essex didn't have anything else clever to say once they were in front of the queen.
Jessop looked at Essex visibly confused, he had no idea what the human was talking about. "No," he simply said before pushing through the doors.
The doors opened into the throne room; a huge stone and marble room with an arched ceiling supported by columns several metres apart either side of a central walkway. The failing light shone through large mosaic windows adorning one side of the room leaving a kaleidoscope of colours on the floor, on the other side a number of male Orions and some scantily clad female Orions milled around a collection of couches and futons and ahead of the group at the end of the room atop several steps sat a large throne made of a deep dark wood furnished with a deep red velvet fabric.
On the throne sat a woman, undeniably human; her fair skin a contrast against the bold green of the Orions around her.
Essex was in shock. The Queen was Human? He covered his shock quickly.
Amanda was equally astounded, she'd expected an Orion to be the queen, she found it hard to fathom how a human had gotten into the position.
Casn tipped his head a little, not expecting the queen of these people to be human at all. He kept his mouth shut though. He was here as security and not in any sort of political capacity. He would let others talk first.
Jessop took several steps forward and bowed slightly. “Your highness, the away team from the USS Musashi.”
The queen turned from talking with a young black haired Orion woman who quickly scurried off back to the couches. “Welcome to my palace,” she told them. “I trust the Kalar were not too much hassle for you, fancy beaming down right next to one of their camps.”
Essex bowed low. "Your Grand Majesty." He wanted to say, who the hell are you and why are you their queen? "We have survived and are grateful to meet with you."
Casn nodded in agreement, although he wasn't so sure what they had survived in order to get here. Humans were so entertaining in their mannerisms and speech patterns. What they considered polite though was very different from what an Andorian thought of as polite, or at least what Andorian's used to think was polite. Maybe that had changed. Of course, he had to admit that Andorians did a lot of communicating with their antenna, which humans lacked.
"Where is your Captain?" The queen asked after seeing the rank insignia in Essex's arm. "I would have expected more than a junior commander to meet me."
"My dear lady, I was an Admiral until recently. I took a rank reduction so that I may sail the stars and meet enchanting creatures such as yourself. I have diplomatic training and am prepared to speak in that capacity."
Essex did have rank and yes, he was previously an Admiral, but Nella knew that one did not typically get busted down on their ass to Lieutenant Commander from the upper 'nobility' of admiralty. She also knew that men did not always have the best communication skills. Fortunately, she was a career Communication Officer. "Your majesty, if I may," Nella said cautiously. "It is not in our custom, nor protocol, to place the Captain in any risk. There were too many unknown factors and variables to consider. The Captain felt it prudent that they let Commander Essex take command of our landing party, but we are indeed here in a diplomatic capacity."
The queen smiled at the older lady. "Then I will discuss business with you and Commander Essex. But first," She got up from her throne and descended the few steps. "You must all be thirsty from your trek down the mountains." She snapped her fingers and a door opened nearby, several male Orions came through it carrying trays of beverages and snacks towards the harem in the corner. "Will you join us?"
Nella was quick to respond. "Excuse me, your majesty," she said as she pulled Essex away a few feet and lowered her voice. "As you may recall, this is the planet that almost killed Christopher Pike. I am not sure we want to trust drinking beverages provided to us by these delightful people," she said cautioning the man.
Pausing her walk towards the harem, the queen turned to Nella, as quiet as they were trying to be she heard them. "I know of this incident, but that was before my time. I have no Kalar anywhere in my palace and what reason would I have to harm you if you're here for diplomatic reasons?" She resumed walking to the harem and sat down on a couch next to the same young woman she was talking to as the team arrived. "Scan and test everything you want till you feel safe, but all my people here..." she motioned to the harem who were watching the newcomers intently, "... will be drinking the exact same things you would be." She took two glasses at random from one of the servers and gave one to the woman next to her who quickly took a sip after the queen took one from her own.
Nella knew she had messed up. Though she had not expected the woman to overhear her. Either she misjudged the acoustics of the room, or this woman had some damn good hearing. Nella flashed a smile at the woman. "I apologize and meant no offense, but our people have had incidents on Rigel VII before. If you don't mind us checking the beverages..." she said pleasantly.
"Feel free." The queen motioned to the servers and they both stopped laying out the drinks and dishes then took what remained on their trays to the away team.
Essex was not happy. He gave Nella a look. "That is not necessary. I assure you, your majesty. My officer was just being cautious." He walked forward. "Your Majesty, may I ask a question?"
"I suspect this is the first of many," the queen replied.
"Has your family been in power long? I am always interested, as a scientist, how things work." He was more wondering why was a human sitting on the throne.
The queen smirked slightly, she had a feeling questions about how she came to power would be amongst the first asked. "Several months now."
Amanda stepped towards one of them with her tricorder, she scanned the various items on the tray, then moved to scan some of the items they had already placed on the tables. The girls in the harem tittered and exchanged a few remarks in Orion as they watched her. This was something unusual for most of them. It didn't usually take this long for a group to start enjoying their company. "The drinks in the red glasses are fairly alcoholic, but everything looks fine here, Nella," she told her.
Casn watched all of this go on quietly, his eyes returning to the harem every now and then, taking note of their clothing and mannerisms. He was relieved to hear the food and drink were not poisoned, as he was both hungry and thirsty and honestly wouldn't mind sharing space with a wide variety of the Orions in front of him. He did finally look to Essex, waiting for him to give the go ahead.
Shras just kind of hung back. This was his first mission as CoS after all, so he was basically playing this by ear so to speak. His mind sort of wandered as well. "I wish I had my old job back," he mumbled to himself.
Essex motioned for the team to start eating. "Majesty, if I man make an observation. You are... not Orion yourself. Does Orion have an elected monarchy?" There was so much that wasn't known about them.
"In their past they did, but not recently. Until my ascension there was a government, but it was a disaster. Inept, corrupt, idle. Unwilling to lead the masses."
"I see." He sipped at his drink. "I am looking forward to learning more about you world."
"Then sit down and join us, you'll find out anything you want to know." The queen told him.
Essex smiled. "You honour us with your graciousness." He settled in and began drinking. His mind on Seleya. He wished she were here.
Casn stepped towards the table, his eyes on the Orion girls on the other side of it. He picked up a small item and sampled it, finding it rather enjoyable in its flavor. His antenna bobbed slightly, both in his pleasure of the taste of the food and the pleasant sight of the people. He picked up a drink and raised it towards the women, in way of a salute or toast, before he took a sip of its contents. The drink was strong, stronger than he was actually used to, even at the rate that he could drink Andorian ale, which was also strong. He would have to be careful about how much of this he consumed. Can't get sloppy when you're security.
Amanda sat at the edge of the group nearest one of the males. Not being a girly girl, mixing with several scantily clad women whose main job was to please, wasn't her sort of thing. She took one of the non alcoholic drinks and watched proceedings
Nella had a seat with Sharas and partook in the hospitality.
The queen turned and whispered into the ear of the woman beside her, she nodded, stood up and walked towards the more open center of the throne room. "Maj'el, Iomi, Corai," she called out. Three of the other woman jumped up and joined her. She whispered to all of them in turn and they spread out slightly. Music started to play, seemingly from nowhere, and the group began a dance routine.
Essex's attention went from the food to the show. He had to admit they were... enchanting, to say the least. He was having trouble following a thought he'd just had a moment prior.
Casn smiled at the women around him. They were all lovely. It was hard to decide where to start to pick a relaxing companion. "So... anyone like the color blue?" he asked of the group of women with a sly grin on his face. He had to admit to himself that this place was pretty easy to relax in so far.
One of the girls slid a little closer to Casn. "I prefer red," she said, reaching over to grab one of the red glasses. "But it's not a bad colour."
Casn grinned broadly, his antenna turning to the girl that was speaking to him. "Well then... you're more than welcome to slide right on over here." He patted the seat right next to him. "What's your name? They call me Casn." He wiggled his eyebrows a little. "You and your friends are very lovely..." He wasn't exactly sure why he thought so, Orion slave girls were usually not his cup of tea, but these looked more and more delicious the longer he sat there.
The girl slid closer still till she was sat beside Casn leaning in towards him a little. "Thank you, I'm Larissa." She told him, her position gave him a wonderful view of her toned body, all the way from her smooth red lips to the ends of her long slender legs.
Casn was definitely looking at that wonderful view. "Mmm... Larissa... what a lovely name. There are many things about you that are lovely..." He pulled the normal "man maneuver" and placed the arm closest to her across the back of the couch behind her, still grinning, and took another sip of his drink. He chuckled softly. "So very lovely..."
"Drink Miss?" one of the servers said as he approached Amanda.
"Thank you," Amanda said, remembering what she'd scanned she avoided the red glasses and picked up a blue one though given how her shoulder was starting to ache she could use the alcohol.
The server left and the male Orion she sat near turned to her. "You seem in pain, Miss. Can I help you?"
"I'm fine, thank you." Amanda sipped her drink, it tasted quite fruity with just a very small hint of alcohol.
"Are you sure, I can tell your shoulder is hurting you. I'm trained in several soothing massage techniques," he added.
"Really, it's okay," Amanda insisted.
He bowed slightly deciding to let her be, at least for now.
"So what brings the federation to my doorstep?" The queen asked Micheal.
"We're on a diplomatic mission, Ma'am. We'd like to learn about you, the new ruler. We'd like to see if there is a way to establish communication with your planet on a more formal basis."
"You're at war with the Klingons... and you're losing, there is more to your visit than learning about me. I doubt Starfleet would spare a good looking ship from the front lines for something like this without an ulterior motive," the queen remarked.
"I can assure you that is not my motive. I just wish to know you and this plant more and to try establish diplomatic relations."
Casn put a hand on Larissa's knee and leaned towards her a little. "How long have you been here?" he asked with a warm smirk. His antenna both swiveled towards her, almost as if they too were examining the Orion woman.
"I've been in the queens service for a few months now." Larissa replied.
Essex looked over at Casn. He cleared his throat and got the man's attention. "Casn," he said by way of warning. They were not here for this. Despite the Orion draw, they had a mission.
"Oh come now Commander, this could be their last chance before you go back to the lines," the queen started, before she was interrupted by a loud sound and a shimmering light.
A sudden shimmering glow from the corner of the room, consistent with that of Federation transporter technology would bring an immediate cause for alarm and potential concern. Though one single individual was quick to be revealed as the only 'intruder' and she appeared without any concern for the guards that were readying themselves. "CALL OFF the guards or now or there will be a garrison of security personnel storming the palace," the woman said immediately as she slowly approached.
"Hold," the queen called out to the guards. The beam in took her by surprise, but she reacted quickly, standing up from the couch.
"I am Captain Donatella Figueroa of the Federation starship Musashi. You have been dealing with members of my crew, acting as representatives for the United Federation of Planets; however, I have received approval from the Federation itself to intervene on my landing party and speak directly to her majesty. A 'Queen' does not have time to waste on these... noblemen. So, where may I talk Queen to Captain?"
Waving the guards off the queen approached Fig. "Captain Figueroa... How nice to meet you."
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, your majesty," Fig replied. "From what Federation intelligence could gather, you had no identified name. So, my apologies for not addressing you formally. Has my crew been treating you and your people well?"
"They have not shown any disrespect. They are all well and enjoying themselves." The queen spared a glance towards Casn.
"Wonderful," replied Fig. She was still very cautious around the Queen. The USS Musashi had been in orbit doing its best to dig into Rigel VII comm chatter and past transmissions, some of which had been buried or silenced. There still was not much mention of the said queen; however, what was grossly lacking was how she came to be. Still, it was as if she appeared out of thin air and planted herself in control. "Shall we speak in private?" offered Fig.
"Anything we have to discuss we can discuss out here." The queen replied.
She gave a quick look to Essex. "Apologies for the instruction, Michael. Admiralty... you know. They did not have as much confidence in you seeing through the finer details. Please prepare for transport back up to the Musashi and take command from Lieutenant Commander Sh'howul, and have him sent down to join the queen and myself. Chief th'Koruh and Lieutenant th'Zarath may stay to ensure our safety."
Casn looked up, a little surprised to see the captain. He had been so distracted by the Orion woman named Larissa that he hadn't really even noticed the beam in. He frowned at his own lack of awareness and straightened up a little, winking at Larissa. "Gotta be serious, it's the boss lady," he whispered to the Orion girl.
Larissa frowned ever so slightly, this could ruin everything. "Duty takes presedence over fun." She sat up slightly but kept a hand resting on Casn's thigh.