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Things Are A Little Gassy, Part II

Posted on Tue Oct 17th, 2017 @ 1:59am by Commander Christopher Samuels MDiv, PhD
Edited on on Tue Oct 24th, 2017 @ 5:11pm

Mission: S01E01 - At the Brink of Night
Location: Zaran II, Clan Kle'Sen Settlement
Timeline: Continuation from Part I

“I don’t have a lot of time.”

Christopher Samuels blinked several times as the HUD in his helmet began to give various readouts. All the flashing and moving of words and numbers were starting to give him a headache. He felt nauseous and had all that he could do not to throw up, but keeping his stomach in check was the least of his worries. “How come some of us were beamed back up to the Musashi and myself and Lieutenant Sh’howul was not.”

The Zaranite, named H'thern Sa'la Tomor from Clan Kle'sen, stayed quiet for a few moments and then said, “They were not needed for this conversation. You and your Caitian lieutenant are part of the chain of command on your starship, that is enough reason.”

Christopher wasn’t entirely sure he was okay with that answer, he didn’t like the idea of being separated. However, there wasn’t much he could do about it now, and questioning and rehashing what had already transpired wasn’t going to get him what he needed in a hurry. “You really shouldn’t be taking people by transport like that.”

H’thern nodded, pushing the hood down off hir head. Next the mask was removed to reveal a rather plain looking face. There wasn’t anything that stood out about this Zaranite, all the features were plain, right down to standard brown eyes and brown hair. The hair was cut short, which again, didn’t give any indication of gender. “I wouldn’t be so quick to judge, Commander,” H’thern said, “Starfleet is not immune to such deceptions either.” H’thern moved about, finally removing the robe to reveal a petite, thin body.

“I suppose I can’t argue with that,” Christopher replied. He knew all to well how deceptive Starfleet could be. However, Starfleet wasn’t in the business of just snatching people up without telling them. At least, that was what he thought; now he wasn’t so sure. “I’m reading a breathable atmosphere.” However, he wasn’t going to remove his helmet, from the moment they stepped foot on the planet things had not seemed kosher. He wasn’t going to trust any of his instruments at this point.

“Oh, I assure you, it is,” H’thern replied, “that is why we wear the breathing masks when we venture out, in here it is sealed and the air is recycled.” The Zaranite kept hir gaze on the tall man who was clad in an environmental suit. “But if you feel more at ease by keeping your helmet on then by all means do so.” H’thern moved to a desk and picked up several devices that looked like PADDs. “As I said, we need to talk.”

Christopher nodded; the only thing moving was his head, the helmet barely budged. “That is why you brought me here, yes,” he replied. He studied the Zaranite closely taking in its features, and noted that the figure before him didn’t look male or female. He had a hundred questions, but he just wasn’t sure where to begin. As a scientist he wanted to just discard the EV suit and stay a while and learn more about the Zaranites. The First Officer in him wanted to just get down to business, and finally the Starfleet Officer in him was just anxious to get his questions answered. “I assume this has to do with the Klingons?”

H’thern nodded. “It does.” The Zaranite looked at one of the PADDs and handed it over to the Starfleet Officer. “We have had earlier dealings with them, unbeknownst to Starfleet of course.” The Zaranite waved a small hand in the air, as if dismissing the previous encounters as if sie was swatting a fly away from hir head. “Just like your Starfleet, they have not been able to detect our settlements. That is… until you came along, Commander Christopher Samuels.” The Zaranite looked up at the tall, broad man and lifted an eyebrow. “You found our settlement…”

“How do you know that?” Christopher asked, cutting the Zaranite off. “You couldn’t have possibly read my mind…”

“Our sensor technology is quite superior and that is why the Federation will allow our petition for membership to go though but that is not why we would want it to go through,” H’thern said, a smug look—or what could pass as one—crossed hir features. “How I know is besides the point, the point is you were able to detect us and that leaves me quite concerned.”

Christopher wanted to cross his arms, but his suit did not allow him to do much movement with his arms. He wanted to know more, but didn’t press. “Why does it leave you concerned?” he asked instead.

“What if you give the information to the Klingons, or are captured?” Came the concerned response.

“That won’t likely happen,” Christopher replied, his voice, though filtered through the UT and helmet, came out soft and with compassion. “Believe me, if I am ever captured, telling them my algorithm secrets will be the least of my worries. Klingons are not known for wanting scientific or engineering secrets.”

H’thern tilted hir head at the other humanoid. A smile crossed hir thin, pale lips, showing a line of perfect white teeth. “You seem to forget your time during the war, Commander Samuels, the Klingons will do anything for a tactical advantage.” H’thern handed over the rest of the information devices.

Christopher blew out a breath as he took a hold of the rest of the PADDs and looked down at them. “What is this for?” He looked back up at the Zaranite, meeting hir gaze. The script was in Zaranite and he would need to run it through the UT to get the information. It was just easier to ask.

“It is information on our sensor tech,” H’thern said. “Or, some of it.” H’thern moved to a low hutch and opened up the cabinet door; from within a glass bottle was pulled and set down. A yellows liquid—not unlike the color of urine—could be seen. “Before you ask why,” H’thern began, “mark my words, there will be another war and it’s important the Federation has a means to protect itself. That is what we have to offer you.”

Christopher spied the Zaranite with curiosity. “Is this a bribe? A bribe for membership?” He didn’t really know the status of the application; he just knew the Zaranites were applicants. He also wasn’t a diplomat; he didn’t have the power to negotiate any terms. This was a generous gift, but could he accept it? I’ll have to speak to K’Niras about this.

H’thern shook hir head gravely. “No, not a bribe, and I am surprised a man such as yourself would snap to such a judgment. No matter what the outcome is with our application, we would still consider ourselves friends to the Federation.” H’thern looked off as if looking out of a window that wasn’t there. “The Klingons are not just barbarians, but they are murderers and rapists as well.” H’thern’s tone was soft, but there was an edge to it, there was anger and bitterness below the surface. “We know how your war with the Klingons went. We know your numbers were decimated, and when war looms again on the horizon, we want the Federation and Starfleet to be ready.” H’thern looked back to the commander, tears clung to the brown eyes. “Think of it as a gift.”

Christopher wasn’t a counselor, but as a pastor he was trained to help others, to listen and to look for what was lurking between the lines. H’thern’s body language had said a lot, and the soft words spoke volumes. H’thern had lost someone close to the Klingons, and that loss was profound and brutal. This gesture meant something, H’thern was right, it wasn’t a bribe it was far more. It truly was a gift. “I… I’m not sure I can accept this under these terms, the Captain really should be the one too…”

A soft and genuine smile crossed H’thern’s lips. “You doubt yourself, Commander Christopher Samuels. You should not do such a thing, you know what is right in your heart, and you know this is a gift and not a bribe. We want to help you, we have lost so much and so have you, you should take what we have to offer.” The smile broadened. “There is even a little something for your doctor. Those eevee suits are quite archaic; there is a formula for how to combat our type of atmosphere. In case you care to pay us a visit in the future.”

This time, it was Christopher’s turn to smile. He still was on the fence with this. If he was a captain, he wouldn’t have questioned it, he would have taken the Zranite’s generosity in good faith. So what was holding him back? “I do thank you H’thern, this is a wonderful gift, but I really should at least discuss this with my lieutenant. It is customary to at least consult with another Starfleet officer before making such a decision.” He wanted to say protocol, but didn’t want to sound too official.

H’thern nodded. “I understand,” sie said. “I will bring you to him and you can discuss what I have given you.” H’thern moved to the door, hir footsteps were light as if walking on air. “Though, you must talk quickly, as you have said you don’t have much time but not for reasons you think…”

Christopher looked to the Zaranite and his brow furrowed. That is awfully cryptic he said to himself as he followed the petite humanoid into the corridor.



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