Mission: Cheyd'lang (USS Octavia E Butler)

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Mission Start

Commander Rouiancet, Captain
Captain's log, Stardate 240102.07. USS Octavia E Butler, Lia Rouiancet commanding. (briefing video)

It seems somehow gauche to remark in my first captain's log about how odd it is to record a captain's log. Nevertheless, now that the time has come, I find I can't help it. This is my first log as a commanding officer! Of the USS Octavia E. Butler specifically, registry number 82850, a newly commissioned ship of the Sagan class. My responsibility. My assignment. My command.

I'm sure the reality will become routine soon enough, but -- I hope it doesn't happen too quickly.

Despite the accident aboard 'Oumuamua and the several months of refit and repair it has in front of it, the Butler's launch found its crew in good spirits. The backbone of the senior staff are the officers Commodore V'Airu and I sought out aboard the 'Oumuamua and Deep Space 9, along with a few new faces. For example, and with Counselor Brodie's leave of absence, we've been assigned a new counselor, Junior Lieutenant Stendhal. I hope to meet her shortly.

In the mean time, our first mission is taking us to a planet called Cheyd'lang, homeworld of the Cheydalanga. The Cheydalanga were a minor member of the Dominion just before the end of the war, and our mission orders indicate that they've requested Starfleet's assistance since they've recently been contacted by the United Dominion of Planets. Our mission orders don't indicate what the UDP wants with them, but perhaps they don't know either. I'm sure we'll find out upon arrival.

We're in for a few days of transit. Cheyd'lang is located on the far side of the former Dominion sphere of influence, which means that the crew and I will have ample time to explore and begin to learn the ins and outs of our new ship.

End log. For now.


Notable MSNPCs

  • Achi’Trinot, King's Path Land Defender
  • Antani Queen
  • Alto'Belaranto, representative of the King's Path faction
  • Berto’Valliroca, Refugee
  • Dolmeni’Dolce, Leader of the Mongar Faction
  • Fraya, First, UDP Rij’dal’vak
  • Grunk, Refugee
  • Kzzich, Refugee
  • Luriaa, Commanding Officer, UDP Rij’dal’vak
  • Somgi, Refugee
  • Sund’Telaray, Vice-Intercessor of the Uso’Noso’Xxyzz
  • Ulto'Delarento, Cheydalanga Intercessor of the ruling goverment


Act I

The Octavia E. Butler (OEB) arrives at Cheyd'lang, a quiet area on the far spinward side of the Dominion's former sphere of influence. While the planet is currently not warp capable, their heavy industry made them desirable to the Dominion who gave them warp capabilities until their withdrawal after the end of the war. With a request from the Cheydalanga for assistance, the OEB has been instructed to answer the call.

Briefing Room

A personage called the Intercessor, leader of the Cheydalanga, and their retinue have been invited to visit the OEB, a meeting that will be headed up by Commander Promontory, who will be joined by Commander Katsim and Lieutenants Arlill, Stendhal, and Maxwell.

In the briefing room, Promontory impresses the importance of making a good impression with former Dominion members is an utmost priority for stability in the region and that they should be on their best behaviour. He notes they’ll want to see the labs, but they don’t want them to run into the UDP prematurely, and he hopes they can keep the groups separate. He asks Stendhal for insight and Max to keep sharp and everyone safe. Thus briefed, he then heads to the transporter room to greet their guest.

The Cheydalangas arrive, two legged humanoids with simple heads, smooth and round, without any ears, flat slits for noses and curved beaks for mouths along with pale yellow eyes and slitted pupils, and seven fingered hands. Arlill informs them that the ship is brand new, and they begin the tour which leads them to the Arboretum. Uldo, the Intercessor, asks if they’ve headed the warning about the King’s path and indicates they wish to have good relations with their neighbours. As they arrive, they are impressed by the amount of flora but asks if mineral processing might be more efficient use of the space, though Ulto takes the opportunity to snack on a leaf.

Promontory pulls Stendhal off to the side to get her initial impression, leaving Katsim to answer any questions. After viewing the Arboretum, the group makes their way to the Science Labs, an area Katsim is more comfortable with. As she explains about the labs, Arlill has a vision with ‘The Man,’ someone he’s seen in a vision before. Upon coming back to reality, he reassures the others he’s fine and just lost his train of thought. Promontory asks Stendhal to keep an eye on him and suggests he go to Sickbay, but Arlill insists on staying. They continue to discuss things with the Intercessor who then tells them that no one who has gone to meet the King’s path has ever returned. Concerned, Arlill offers to head to the bridge and let the Commander know about this warning, and Stendhal joins him.

As they continue to talk, Promontory finds it difficult to understand the Intercessor, and Maxwell calls to Ops, letting them know something is remiss with the Universal Translator. However, as they go along, the Intercessor adjusts to their way of speaking and states he has a request to make - that Starfleet helps him rid his culture of their caste system. While the spirit is willing, Katsim recognises that this is a direct violation of the Prime Directive and apologetically says they can not. However, Promontory suggests they engage in a fact-finding mission, which Katsim worries might get Ulto/Delarento’s hopes up. He then asks if he can have access to their computer to learn more about their culture as well as make a call to check on his children.

After he makes the call, he returns to speak with the officers who are commiserating and asks if something is wrong. They reassure him there is nothing and the UDP can not stop them from finding out more information.

Break Away

Arlill heads to a turbolift and Stendhal catches up, then asks if they should scan they planet or head there with security backup. As Arlill takes the helm on the bridge, both he and Stendhal notice a UDP vessel also in orbit around the planet with them. He calls Rouiancet while the counsellor scans the surface. Though it finds nothing, she is suddenly overwhelmed with emotions coming from the planet. Lieutenant JG Rozdo, a tactical officer, adjusts the scans and tries to find more, but they can’t go further than a few meters below the surface and he wonders if it’s what they’re mining that prevents them from seeing more. Rouiancet gives permission not only for Arlill to move the ship but tells him to take command. Because of the scans, they find non-natural mineral deposits and Rozdo wonders if that’s what’s blocking their sensors. Arlill asks if they can beam any on board for analysis, but Stendhal thinks the interference it causes will prevent them from transporting it, so Arlill contacts Promontory and requests he asks the Intercessor what they’re mining.

Lieutenant JG Wauhk, called to the bridge after Yinn’s departure, indicates the substance emits an unknown radiation that prevents transport. With no ability to beam it aboard, Arlill suggests they go down and retrieve a sample. Rozdo thinks they could just skim the surface in a shuttle and not have to touch down, but the proximity could be enough. He is also able to register some vehicles he thinks are carrying materials, and Arlill wonders if they can replicate it and use it to gain access to the mines. They plan to propose the idea to Commander Rouiancet.

King’s Path

The Intercessors Office also extended a warning about a group known as the “King’s Path,” a powerful and xenophobic organisation on Cheyd’lang. Commander Etan, Commander Sherlock, and Lieutenants Toz and Nilsen have been tapped to meet with representatives of the King's Path. They arrive at a place near river at the feet of craggy mountains and a beautiful landscape is lined with row upon row of brick and shale buildings with multicoloured doors and roofs. Etan asks Commander Sherlock to take point, instructs Nilsen to run a continuous scan to be prepared for anything, and asks Toz to focus on what they can learn about the species and what needs they might have.

With a lack of information about motivation, Sherlock worries about a possible trap, though Nilsen reminds her all they’ve heard about them are rumours. Nilsen’s scans reveal they’ve had a bad harvest and at least fifty hectares of land has not been farmed for at least three years, so he believes they are struggling. Another scan reveals they are being watched, and a moment later, a couple of Cheydalangas make their way up to meet the officers.

Nilsen encourages them to understand one another to cultivate a positive outcome. When Toz asks about a defensive stance, Etan elects to take a more laid-back approach so as not to give them the wrong idea. The Cheydalanga demand to know who they are. After Etan introduces them, the natives indicate the officers should follow them and FO quietly asks for his subordinates’ opinions.

The group are asked to give up their weapons and do so, though with the expectation they will receive them back afterward. Alto'Belaranto, a respected member of the King’s Path, meets them and asks what they want. Nilsen speaks up and asks for honesty and apologises to Etan for jumping in. Toz notes that those who are xenophobic likely want them gone as soon as possible. Despite this, Alto'Belaranto leads them to a richly decorated vault built into the side of a hill and says he will show them the King’s Path. Etan asks if he can record writings for their knowledge. After some frustration with the Cheydalanga, Sherlock asks to speak with the person in charge if it’s not Alto'Belaranto.

Alto’Belaranto then welcomes their new slaves to the mine and lays out their expectations, offers plant leaves for food, and assures them that the ship will receive 5% of shares from the mining profits as payment for the ‘new slaves’. He then leaves them alone and locked into the mines. As the officers discuss what to do, Toz notices a crack and peers through it to see a room while Sherlock takes advantage of the food offered and eats the greens - which she says aren’t that bad. They decide to try and break out of their new jail, and Sherlock suggests that they play along with the Cheydalanga and, when opportunity strikes, they use whatever they can as weapons to get away. Nilsen notes that because they ship minerals out, there must be another exit and offers his negotiating capabilities to distract their ‘owners.’ Toz points out a dark corner that could allow them some privacy, or a place to hide.

With them in the mines are beings called the Antani, some that look like Terran ants, forced to find and work to remove minerals from the bowls of the underground mines. Leaves provided by the Cheydalanga are sacred to them and help enhance native telepathic abilities they possess. Seeing the newcomers, they try to communicate. After Nilsen’s experience on Alpha Brenkelvi II, Nilsen discovered he can send images if the other person is willing, and he tries to communicate with the Antani. Toz also notes a Gorn and indicates he can be of assistance. Etan and Nilsen begin to experience images. Sherlock asks if Nilsen can communicate with the Antani, what they want, and if they have a plan to escape. Nilsen confirms they do, but before they can continue further, a guard comes and smacks Nilsen on the head, telling them to get to work.

After the guard leaves, he continues to try and communicate with the Antani and realises they want to make an escape, and soon. Sherlock says to just say when and prepares for a jailbreak when a Cheydalanga demands that Etan goes with them. He acquiesces and tells his companions he’ll be back while hoping he can help buy them some time to escape while Toz reveals to those left behind she still has her bat’leth and worries bout Etan while the Antani hear the call of their queen and begin to dance.

Diplomacy With the UDP

Wishing to understand more of the UDP's influence in these affairs, and especially what they might have done to the Cheydalanga to make them reach out to Starfleet for assistance, Rouiancet has put out a call to the UDP to send envoys to meet aboard the Octavia E. Butler to explain and, perhaps, lead to a joint meeting with the Cheydalanga, and is joined by Colonel Greaves, Lieutenant Herrick, and Ensign Yinn.

After recording her Captain’s log, Rouiancet paces the floor of the Bridge and wonders why the United Dominion of Planets (UDP) has contacted the Cheydalanga, though Greaves says if he were then, he’d try tie in every single former Dominion member he could. He voices a wish to know more about the Cheydalanga, and Rouiancet wonders if scans can verify a heavy industry present on the planet and whether the UDP could be interested in annexing that industry for themselves while Greaves wonders if they should look to the past for answers. He also asks if their just a ripe target and the UDP is taking advantage of the political and social instability of a possible civil disconnect to swoop in on.

Herrick asks if Starfleet has considered incorporating the UDP into it as he checks out the orbital defence systems and finds they have been stripped of their power systems. He then wonders if they should monitor planetside communications, while Yinn suggests they launch a probe and bring it alongside some of the defunct orbital defences to hide it. As the UDP vessel hails them, Herrick connects the call and Luriaa, a Vorta commander, greets them - and recognises Greaves from security footage. She agrees to come to the OEB and meet them face to face.

Before they leave, Herrick plays a broadcast he discovered that was sent over the entire planet involving a conversation about the Intercessor regarding the ‘true way’ and the King’s Path. Greaves notes it could have been a covert signal to other path members and asks if there were weapons or military grade movements and Rouiancet wonders if this means the group plans a large-scale mobilisation. The commanding officer asks Herrick and Yinn to monitor the situation on the planet.

They meet Captain Luriaa and her first, Freya, in a room and she immediately discusses the matter at hand - their reason for their presence. They tell her they’ve been invited by the Cheydalanga and asks about their own reasons. Herrick also inquires as to what significance the Chey’d had during the time of Dominion rule. Luriaa and Fraya mention they are willing to offer friendship to those who wishes, and Luriaa further reminds them that they are native members of the quadrant and understand the needs of residents in the area.

After going back and forth, Rouiancet agrees to disagree and Luriaa expresses willingness to broach the Cheydalanga together with them. Greaves reluctantly backs down a little, but Yinn passes along a written message that they are unable to communicate with the away team. Not wanting to let the UDP know about this, he suggests a joint venture to meet with the King’s Path when Arlill connects through the comms and asks to move the ship into a different orbit to find the away team, alerting the UDP representatives to their predicament. Rouiancet gives permission, then asks if Luriaa would be willing to help find the missing team. She agrees, and they determine to meet in a half hour to head down to the planet.

As they separate, Rouiancet asks her officers for their thoughts on the meeting. Greaves is reluctant and continues to voice suspicions. Yinn, however, wonders if they should take a more moderate route and reminds them that those in the UDP were once under the thumb of the Dominion and perhaps are too hasty to compare the two. Herrick suggests its’ time to find facts, and Rouiancet states she’ll ask for a slight delay as she wishes to connect with Etan and Promontory.

The Games We Play

The OEB has also received a curious set of devices. One of these is a game that exhibits some psychoactive properties. Rouiancet has entrusted it to the various staffs of the engineering, science, and medical departments to work out what this "game," and the other devices, may be capable of. Lieutenant JG Jaelon Tiazol reports for guard duty at Science Lab 1, unable to believe there’s really anything dangerous in a game. Lieutenant Mel Martinson joins to assess the viability of distribution and suggests they give the games a try. Petty Off. 1st Una Qualunque and Senior Chief Petty Officer Miash also join in. Without instructions, they are uncertain, but as the board is set out, the pieces they take suddenly jump to a position which they suspect must be the starting space. He muses that it feels familiar, then pauses and asks if anyone can hear a drumming noise. Nurse Miash says she does and suggests they refrain from playing.

As they continue with the game, the pieces move when Martinson touches the light and a three comes up. A strange message about someone hunting all night appears, and then the group hears a feline growl from outside the door. He immediately orders the computer to lock the doors, but the sounds continue. Qualunque takes a turn and suddenly everything around them turns into a jungle, though the clue hints at the presence of a snake. Tiazol tries to contact the bridge but gets silence and wonders how they can play a game they don’t have the rules for.

As they try to figure out the riddle about the snake, Miash reaches for the dome to take her turn and gets bitten. Immediately, she gives herself first aid, then presses the dome and gets a riddle about something with feathers.

Act II

The crew must adjust as Greaves is called away for another mission. While Sherlock has been recovered, Etan, Arlill, Nilsen, and Toz remained captured deep in the mines. Rouiancet along with Herrick and Yinn have been joined by Marine Captain Michele Winters and plan to meet with Captain Luriaa and her First, Freya before heading down to the surface to find the missing team. Promontory has command of the ship and puts Katsim as his right-hand man. They are joined by Arlill, Stendhal, and Maxwell on the bridge.


Promontory silently enjoys the spinnyness of the captain’s chair and touches base with Rouiancet. Arlill informs her that though they have finished high level scans, the interference prevents them from getting much information about anything below the surface. After the call, he encourages them to keep scans running. Katsim still worries that the Intercessor hasn’t been quite upfront with them and suggests another meeting with him which could allow the Betazoid Stendhal to get an emotional read, which she is willing to do. Maxwell returns from escort duty and notes that the Intercessor seemed to feel a connection with him because they are both fathers. Eventually, they decide not to involve the Intercessor just yet, but continue to scan the surface to get any clues as to the materials that are being mined and getting more intel. Peri realises they’ve only interacted with a couple of factions but there are many more on the planet and inquires as to what their attitudes are about off-worlders.

The new arrivals want to talk to them, and Stendhal notes that while the caste system is likely a discussion point, they need to be open to other topics and they need to gather as much information as possible to avoid any missteps. When Katsim notes some heavy artillery near Commander Rouiancet, Maxwell gets the SARS team on alert and ready to move if ordered. Arlill suggests they move to a lower orbit for a tactical advantage while the marine announces more ships have broken away. As Katsim and Stendhal leave to meet the Vice-Intercessor in a briefing room, Maxwell notes that one ship is approaching and coming in close. Promontory tells him to prepare for evasive action and to send a warning message and get ready to raise shields. He also asks if there’s word from the away team and doesn’t want to raise shields if they need to beam down a marine contingent.

They elect to put the contingent on a shuttle and send it away, with Promontory ordering them to tie their comms into the probe they had launched. Arlill then announces the computer has picked up an odd energy spike and looks to be some sort of transporter beam and it brought something to the ship, but he struggles to find the area of termination. Promontory’s focus is on a lack of communication because no one is responding. Arlill notes it’s not exactly sanctioned by Starfleet, but they could try to hack into the other ship’s systems and turn on their comms for them and Maxwell says sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. Lieutenant Commander Hamada Kiyo receives information from Ops and tells Arlill she’s standing by.

Promontory receives word from Nijal of a stowaway requesting asylum. He tells Nijal to bring the stowaway to the ops center, as they could prove useful for communication. He then tells Arlill to proceed with the plan. They ‘hack’ into the smaller vessel, turn on their coms, but see no one on their bridge. Promontory has them conduct an internal scan with the vessel’s own equipment and bring the vessel aboard. Scans suggest recently vacated seats but when the OEB takes propulsion control, the vessel begins to power down and the OEB must use their tractor beams to bring it into the shuttle bay. Medical and security are standing by. Toxin records logs and wishes he had officially objected to bringing the stowaway to the Ops center.

The Others

Sund’Telaray, Vice-Intercessor of the Uso’Noso’Xxyzz, makes a log and expresses concern about the Intercessor’s desires to change the status quo.


Katsim and Stendhal great Vice -Intercessor Sund’Telaray. Stendhal replicates leaves which surprises Katsim and the guest, but they quickly move into the topic of discussion. Sund’Telaray indicates he is aware of the group that met the King’s Path, and he has not heard from the Intercessor in several days. He states he’s concerned with the Intercessors conversations with foreigners, especially with the detrimental effect of the Dominion’s former interference, and how it might affect their culture. They talk of the Prime Directive, of the OEB’s missing officers, but do not resolve matters. The Vice-intercessor suggests that those sent to the mine are dead or as good as dead but aggress to check and report back. The Vice-Intercessor leaves.

Into the Deep

With Sherlock and Etan taken away, Nilsen and Toz are left with the Antani. Nilsen checks on Toz and tries to encourage her, saying they’ve been through worse, and she insists they do everything they can to not let the Cheydalanga separate them. Nilsen asks what she saw in the room near the entrance, but all she could see was some unidentifiable machinery. The ant people who are trapped with them begin to move with dance like motions and Nilsen tries to ascertain what they are doing through his mind link with them. He thinks they want them to wait before trying anything, but Toz refuses. With the guards coming at them because they have stopped working, Toz pulls her bat’leth out from where she had hidden it in the back of her shirt and begins to fight. A blow from a guard knocks her onto a conveyer belt, and other slaves begin to fight back. Nilsen gets injured, but with the Antani’s help, they can get away deeper into the mines where the Antani bring two Starfleet officers to meet their queen.

Nilsen uses the skills he learned when telepathically connected to Torka and continues to communicate and tells Toz the Antani see them as friends. He communicates with them about trying to find their comrades and that they want to help the other slaves. Toz notices Nilsen in pain and gives him an analgesic, then asks him to give her more details on what the Queen has communicated and if they’re willing to help find Commander Etan. Nilsen wonders if the leaves would give them the ability to communicate telepathically if Etan ate them as well. The Queen confirms it’s possible, and even more likely if he eats the honey. Suddenly, she senses danger and tells them to run away just as poisonous gas begins to hiss and a scream fills the room. Toz pulls out a hypospray with something to combat the gas and gives it to her and Nilsen but isn’t sure if it will help the Queen. Nilsen suggests they give her oxygen, but as that’s not available, he then asks if they can make a filter to filter out the gas, and barring that, he suggests they carry her out. The Queen, however, utilises an ancient survival tactical and halts her breathing for a time and uses her wings to fly into the air. Nilsen and Toz grab on to her and ride along.

They smash into the chamber that had previously held Etan and Alto’Belranto, knocking the latter out and trying to shift him up and out with them. As Toz investigates the chamber, she recognizes the antechamber from their initial enslavement and finds their taken equipment. Lhandon, finding he can’t communicate with the ship, considers using local technology to send a broadcast. Toz can’t find her bat’leth. The Ant Queen can communicate more easily now that the officers have their communicators and Universal Translators (after a misunderstanding almost has her eat the combadge).

They use the technology available to them to broadcast a message and hope that their ship gets it.

Separate and Alone

Etan is separated from his group and taken to meet Alto’Belranto. He tries to establish a rapport with the Cheydalanga by talking about the effect the Dominion war had on his own people. The Cheydalanga invites him to sit at the table and eat from the Queen Antani’s syrup. Etan politely refuses and states that he was sent there to communicate with the King’s Path, not to work in the mines.

After vainly trying to convince the leader to release him and his colleagues, a guard comes in and tells them what happened in the mines. Alto’Belranto realises Etan is plotting from the expression on his face and tells the guard to release the DDT: The Dangerous Deadly Treatment into the Queen’s chambers.

So, We Meet Again

Rouiancet, Herrick, Winters and Yinn await for the arrival of Captain Luria and her First, Fraya. After briefly speaking with the bridge, she tells the transporter chief to initiate. The UDP representatives appear, and Luriaa immediately suggests that Fraya assist in finding the lost away team while she and Rouiancet meet with the Intercessor. Rouiancet wants to focus on meeting the King’s path and getting her people out from the mines, and Luriaa decides to go along with it. Before they leave, the receive a message from the King’s Path thanking them for the gifts and asking where they should send the Starfleet share of minerals? Rouiancet isn’t sure what they mean and orders the chief to transport them to the planet.

After beaming down, Luriaa states the ‘gifts’ likely mean their missing crew members. Rouiancet is unhappy with this revelation and admonishes Luriaa for not telling her before they beam down, to which Luriaa indicates she was not giving the opportunity. As they are conversing, Herrick’s tricorder reveals movement and seconds later, two tank-like vehicles appear and a voice, that of Cheydalanga resident, Achi’Trinot, demands to know why they were there without permission. Rouiancet and Luriaa both call out to say they arrived at the invitation of the king’s path. A door in a tank opens and a Cheydalanga appears wearing face paint.

Herrick states that they were the ones who brought the new workers and the Cheydalanga says they will send compensation and if terms are unacceptable, they can be improved. Herrick states the Starfleet workers give more output and they could send more. Rouiancet is perturbed by the reference of her people as property and is unable to determine Luriaa’s decision to speak in such a manner. Herrick catches on and finally so does Rouiancet, and they press forward in the hopes that they’ll have access to the mines. Before they can speak further, however, they are knocked over by an explosion and when they rise, a new Cheydalanga, slimmer and fuzzier with a shorter beak that’s a little more mouthlike, naturally wrinkled faces, and fuzz on their bodies that thickens on their head appears. Luriaa shares with the officers that this is the Mongar, then asks who they are speaking with while Yinn keeps her hand on the trigger of her phaser.

When Achi’Trinot realises it’s the Mongar, he tells the visitors not to trust them. Rouiancet realises they are an opposing faction and wonders if they could be made allies, or if not, the confusion might allow them a chance to escape. Winters has similar thoughts but voices them. Dolmeni’Dolce, the leader of the Mongar, takes Achi’Trinot prisoner. Since the Mongar have the upper hand, and they have no treaty yet with either faction, Luriaa suggests he surrenders, but Achi’Trinot is defiant and dares Dolmeni’Dolce to try and kill him. Herrick pulls out his tricorder and explains it’s just a scanning device, but there’s too much interference. He asks if they have a way of cutting through it.

In the chaos of the situation, Rouiancet finally suggests that they split up and the Mongar allow them to speak separately. She takes Fraya and Yinn to speak privately with Achi’Trinot while Luriaa is accompanied by Herrick and Winters to speak directly with Dolmeni’Dolce. They inhabit two tents:

Tent 1

Luriaa is accompanied by Herrick and Winters to speak directly with Dolmeni’Dolce (Mongar leader). The UDP continues to insist that they are not the Dominion. Dolmeni’Dolce suggests that the crew who were taken to the mines are already dead. Some discussion is made regarding overcoming the interference.

Tent 2

Rouiancet takes Fraya and Yinn to speak privately with Achi’Trinot (the King’s Path rep). Tensions rise and Rouiancet loses her temper at the rep. After cooling down, and brainstorming solutions, they rejoin the other team.

The Stowaway

Lieutenant Nijal comes to the Upper Engineering support deck and runs into Crewman Shevon Sherlock. They both hear a noise and discover a Cheydalanga (but not a specimen of the main species) stowaway. They offer to assist the unexpected guest if needed and introduce themselves. The Cheydalanga, N'Maiu, states she has been separated and needs to bring the others to safety, and she asks the Starfleet officers to help do so. The officers wonder how N'Maiu managed to get on board, and Nijal tasks S. Sherlock to keep her calm while she contacts the bridge to inform them of an unexpected guest asking for asylum, which is granted on a probationary basis. Nurse Miash joins them in response to a request from the computer and reports that N’Maiu appears healthy. Nevertheless, the refugee says they are not well and won’t be until they are reunited with others. They head to the Operations Center to aid in understanding language and communications.

SARS standing by

O’Reilly receives Maxwell’s orders to stand by in case of an altercation. Later, they receive it and board a shuttle which heads to the planet.

Game Over

Lieutenant Nijal interviews Nurse Miash to figure out what happened with the games gifted to the crew. She is shocked to find out that a snake appeared and actively bit her. They both agree the game is dangerous, but don’t know what to do with it. Miash isn’t even sure if it’s truly a game but more of a trial. They both come to the same conclusion - the game should be disposed of.


Bridge/Observation Lounge

Rouiancet records a Captain’s log then meets with bridge crew (Sherlock and Toz) preparatory to meeting with the Intercessor’s office and the Mongar from Cheyd’lang, though not the King’s Path. After the visitors arrive, Sherlock suggests they go to the Observation Lounge. Once there, Domeni'Dolce expresses the Mongar’s gratitude for assistance in arresting a wanted member of the King’s Path, and his people are willing to work with non Cheydalanga, but any hostilities would be met with war. By contrast, Sund’Telaray says the slavers would be dealt with accordingly, but while they are willing to listen, sees no need to continue to work with non Cheydalanga, and is annoyed at the other Cheydalanga’s contrary opinion.

Domeni’Dolce then asks who Octavia E. Butler is. Sherlock expresses hope there will be no further hostilities and tells the visitors about the author for whom the ship is named while Toz wants to know what will be done to punish those who enslaved others in the mines. Sund’Telaray expresses annoyance at the topic and asks if they should discuss next steps or talk about colours of the observation room. Also annoyed, though by Sund’Telaray’s comment, Sherlock notes that in her culture, authors can command profound respect, inspire hope, and change and reveal a culture’s faults. Sund’Telaray states he thinks they should work toward healing Cheyd’lang, not breaking it further.

In agreement, Sherlock asks what concerns they might have, and Luriaa asks what sort of role the Cheydalanga see their helpers take in achieving their goals. With so many people at once, Rouiancet suggests they split up and discuss things in a more intimate setting. She suggests she and Toz speak to Domeni’Dolce while Luriaa and Sherlock discuss matters with Sund’Telaray.

OL Group A

Now separated into a smaller group, Rouiancet asks Domeni’Dolce how they can help. Domeni’Dolce states that though the Dominion took much away, has people have much to contribute and that there’s another way where his people won’t be exploited. Toz says its sounds like there will be a resolution, perhaps a removal of the caste system and says they will help all they can. Rouiancet suggests material aid might be most beneficial but asks Domeni’Dolce for his thoughts on what the Mongar need and tells him they’ve converted a couple of decks on the ship to provide sanctuary to former slaves and treat those who need it.

Domeni’Dolce admits his people would prefer to make things, like ships, than wield weapons. Toz thinks they’ll be able to make better decisions once they are free and Starfleet can help with that. Rouiancet agrees they can help with many areas, and that they draw up an agreement which outlines what they can agree to assist the Cheydalanga with and asks if the Antani are indigenous to Cheyd’lang and he confirms they are. Toz offers to give them medical training, and Rouiancet approves of the idea, then announces their group has reached a tentative agreement and asks if the other side has yet.

OL Group B

Luriaa, along with Lt. Commander Sherlock, speak with Sund’Telaray who is hesitant, but after some dialogue, states that if he admitted his desired to cook, because of his caste, it wouldn’t go well with him. Both of the others talk about their own interests, and Luriaa pointedly tells him the UDP can help change Sund’Telaray’s society. Sherlock affirms that Starfleet would welcome them, but not as their society is now, and changes would be necessary. Luriaa seizes the opportunity to tell them the UDP would not require any changes and would also offer them technology they could keep, even if they withdraw from the UDP in the future. Rouiancet calls for them to come back together as a larger group.

Bridge/Observation Lounge Part II

Luriaa states the UDP is willing to help the Cheydalanga with the current situation regardless of what they choose, and Rouiancet states Starfleet is as well. Toz speaks up and says they can help train him in whatever role he wishes to play in the new Cheydalanga government, to which Sund’Telaray states it does not need to be replaced, just improved. Rouiancet affirms that they want to help establish a more equitable Cheyd’lang, but Sund’Telaray states he is only willing to consider, not necessarily accept. Luriaa takes the opportunity to note that Starfleet would require significant changes to their culture while the UDP would not.

Sherlock pipes up with the idea of a joint resolution, to which Luriaa cautiously ask for more information, and when the suggestion of splitting the mining 50/50, she states she wishes to know the Cheydalanga’s needs and if that means working with Starfleet, she is willing to do so. Rouiancet suggests a break to which Sund’Telaray agrees. Domeni’Dolce,’ however, requests ships while Sund’Telaray states they wish defensive systems and Luriaa states the UDP would happily assist. Sund’Telaray states they should take things one step at a time.

A call comes in and informs Rouiancet that Cheyd’lang ships have returned, and they are all demanding they leave, or else. Angry, Sund’Telaray demands the ships depart, but none of them are members of his faction. Instead, the ship is faced with ships from a number of other factions who wish to see them gone immediately. Toz, still cautious, warns Rouiancet not to trust the UDP when Luriaa suggests they acquiesce to the demands while Domeni’Dolce states he will stay and fight.

The group head back to the Bridge proper. Sherlock takes position of first officer and calls for a yellow alert. When Luriaa states she should contact her ship, Sherlock points to a console, but the woman provides her own communication device and contacts the ship. Domeni’Dolce points out to Sund’Telaray at how both the UDP and Starfleet are working together and indicates surely they Cheydalanga could do the same. Sund agrees and suggests he and Domeni talk upon their return and asks both the UDP and Starfleet to return soon, indicating he is open to change.

All the guests leave and Sherlock calls for the away teams to return to the ship.

Flight Deck

Lt Commander Promontory takes Lts Stendhal and Herrick to deal with a burgeoning refugee crisis. Stendhal suggests a triage system and making sure they keep everyone calm. With an evacuation capacity of 3,000, Promontory doesn’t want to overload the ship, and Stendhal suggests they distribute refugees between other ships in the area.

Herrick notes that while their spacecraft are space worthy, they are not able to achieve interstellar travel and it would take months or years to find a new home. Promontory wonders if they could help with that. Stendhal also suggests they learn more about the nuances of their culture to aid in communication and they carefully coordinate relief efforts to make sure everyone had access to basic needs. Herrick wonders if there might be concerns of aggression and if utilising an already established hierarchy might help in making quicker decisions. Promontory notes the refugees were trying to escape such a situation, but realises it might be helpful, so suggests they organise the refugees and have one representative for every fifty. He also wonders if Port Coray or Port Loray might not be valid destinations.

Stendahl thanks one of the next steps should be to identify colonies or planets that might have a compatible culture that would welcome the refugees. But they mention of using the ports as a transit station of sorts, she also reminds them that they have dealt in slaves which could have a negative impact on the refugees. She also suggests they try to establish support networks with the local governments on the ports to help the refugees after Starfleet withdraws.

Concerned about the complicated logistics, Herrick suggests they get operations involved when an argument begins to break out. One of the refugees steps forward and stops them before it escalates, and Herrick notes they may have one of their first representatives. The group goes down to the floor to talk to her and find out her name is Donda. She tells them they could use more showers, as people wish to get clean.

Promontory tells Herrick to requisition all holodeck facilities to speed up the initial intake and processing and Dona notes that fear of what’s going to happen next has everyone uneasy. She also tells them she’s a Teplan, and after the withdrawal of the Dominion, her people went to the stars to explore, but she found herself become a slave on Cheydalanga. Promontory asks if she’d be willing to function as a representative to organise efforts to help the refugees.

The group congregates in the Mission Specific Module with her and a Chey’d named Berto’Valliroca along with another former slave named Kzzich to discuss the situation and help organise efforts. Kzzich complains there isn’t enough room and Herrick suggests they offer places like the lounge and arboretum to increase the quality of life while they are there.

When asked about plans, Herrick indicates those who are not from Cheyd’lang will be returned to their home planets, or they’ll need to integrate into a new society. Berto’Valliroca stresses that his people need a place where they can continue mining, as it is part of their culture, tradition, and honour and it is the method they are able to use to attain the afterlife and demands action. Stendhal reassures them and encourages them to be united in the plan to create a future where every individual can thrive.

The group takes a break and the officers come together. Herrick is concerned that they can’t take time to pick up groups everywhere, and the situation isn’t as simple as simply dropping people off at ports. Promontory asks Stendhal to reach out to the Intercessor about the people who wish to return to the mines and asks Herrick to touch base with the higher ranked officers. He finds out there’s discussion about who refugees will go with, Starfleet or UDP.

Herrick wonders if some would care to settle down in the Alpha or Beta quadrants. A yellow alert interrupts their conversations and Promontory says they should get their guests secured. Berto’Valliroca complains they are left in the dark as to the reason for the yellow alert, demands to know the cause, accuses them of treating the refugees like prisoners, then demands he and the others are returned to the mines as it is the only semblance of home they have. Through it all, Stendhal remains calm, but Promontory states Berto is welcome to return, and he hopes the Cheydalanga doesn’t get shot out of the sky.

They head the shuttle bay and Promontory tells the refugees they are safe, and the alert is because they are in negotiations with some Cheydalanga factions. He asks Herrick to handle logistics and stresses the importance of Stendhal’s counselling skills in that situation. Kzzich says he and his people will make their own way out and go onboard some of the Cheydalanga ships that have arrived.

SAR (Planet’s Surface)

Lieutenant Arlill takes command of a Marine SAR group including Captain Winters and Lt Maxwell to meet with a group of peacekeepers, called the Chay’daya, on Cheyd’lang who have requested assistance freeing the rest of the King’s Path’s slaves. Upon arrival, they give him a map of the mines which are vast and intricate, and he then turns to Maxwell and Winters to ask for their recommendations. Winters indicates they prefer nonlethal methods.

Maxwell recommends the medic remains on the surface and clear out the mines room by room and corridor by corridor. Winters agrees with the strategy, though wants two sentries on the surface, and afterwards, the group makes their way down into the mines. As they descend, they find it noticeably quiet, which worries Arlill.

Maxwell forges ahead and finds everything clear. He then puts up shield emitters which stop anyone who isn't wearing a Starfleet combat from passing and stun them, and Winters suggests they also put a sentry pod at that location. They continue deeper and hear sounds that indicate they are close to their target. As they draw closer, they find members of the King’s Path dragging bodies of other species to the middle of the room. Arlill indicates they need to get into a room on the other side of the area they’ve come to. Winters tells Max to cover left, she’ll take right, and orders Arlill to head straight for the door on the other side.

Winters heads toward the left and gets two Cheydalanga transported, but a third comes after her. When her gun doesn’t fire, she stuns him lightly with a baton, then more heavily with her rifle. As Arlill steps forward, two Cheydalanga appear, and he stuns them. An image of his mother in the kitchen springs to his mind, but he’s brought back to reality by Winters checking on him and Max, then indicates Arlill should open the door who, after a quick scan, indicates most slaves should be behind it.

Using his skills, Arlill quickly gets the door open, but an alarm sounds and six bodies head in their direction on the scanner just before the PADD begins to smoke. Maxwell makes the grisly decision to use the pile of bodies at the center of the room as cover, then uses a few limbs to help him blend in. They take down the arrivals, then Arlill uses an explosive so they can continue onward.

When they come to a junction, Maxwell lifts some dirt and watches where there is air flow pushing the particles. They go down the chosen corridor and then stop at a sharp turn. There, they find thousands of mine workers all dirty, dishevelled, malnourished, some crying, some pleading. They receive a message from Nilsen, and he asks if they need help. Arlill gives him an update and the officers start to get the prisoners out of any shackles and they receive a message they must return to the ship. Winters at least wants to get them to the surface.

UDP Diplomacy

Commander Katsim, joined by Lieutenant JG Nilsen and Ensign Yinn, meets with Fraya. Nilsen takes point and notes how their most recent interactions have had them working together and asks what it would take to make a more official alliance. Fraya tells them if they do not trust the UDP and view them in the same light as the Dominion, they might as well believe Starfleet is there to take over the quadrant. When Katsim mentions a more official alliance, Freya asks how they can reconcile opinions on which they will never agree? She then asks if they will try to tempt away members of the UDP if Starfleet does not agree with their laws.

Nilsen gets an idea and suggests that they see if they can work together on a current problem - that of rescuing the refugees from the planet requesting sanctuary. Fraya agrees with the caveat that the UDP should be included on any further discussions with the Cheydalanga and Starfleet notifies them before they visit any UDP worlds, supposedly for their protection as some fought against the Federation in the Dominion War. Trade as a possibility, but they don't want to involve the Ferengi. Nilsen thinks that would be agreeable by his superiors. Yinn suggests they celebrate their progress with drinks. The group agree to ‘walk and talk’ to the Operations center to discuss the upcoming joint venture.

Nilsen gives them a rundown of the center and asks how Fraya thinks her ship will fit into the efforts. Fraya shares that while the Rij’dal’vak is not the largest, it’s not the smallest and is the capital ship for the UDP, which can handle pretty much anything that comes their way. She then inquires what Starfleet will do with the refugees since there are no allied Federation worlds in the Gamma Quadrant, and how Starfleet can offer stability when they have no home bases nearby. Freya receives orders to return to the ship, but she agrees to continue to assist finding new homes for the refugees regardless.

Welcome Aboard

Down in shuttle bay, Lieutenant Zimedia Nijal welcomes 2nd Lieutenant Jacen Xaivis, a former Borg drone, and Sergeant Helena Montague aboard. She informed him that they are in the middle of a mission that went from first contact to refugee crisis. Since he must undergo certain evaluations, Xaivis is unable to officially go on duty, but states he's willing to function as an advisor if needed. Nijal contacts Miash to ask where they could be most useful in regards to helping the refugees. She directs them to decks four and five, and when they get there, they begin to scan refugees to determine how they can best be helped.

Brzezinski is present when they arrive and when she hears Xaivis how they could be most useful, she indicates she could use more nutrient drips. Xaivis introduces himself and asks if there’s anything else he needs to know to help more effectively. Nijal runs into a Cardassian, Kazan, on the way back who doesn’t look well. Brzezinski, who had come to check on the status of the drips after finally running out, asks for the supplies, then notices the Cardassian. She then tells him they should lie down and rest for they don’t look well.

Kazan indicates he’s been through worse, gives them a brief history of his battles and asks for a warm room with a hard bed. His commentary is not very understanding of the other refugees and questions the sentience of some. Xaivis indicates that as a veteran, he should be able to deal with a few more hours more of extremely mild discomfort. After indicating that he deserves more than the ‘rabble’ around him, Xaivis asks if Kazan stood guard over the week or idled while others worked.

He then notes that a bed isn’t much use of one can’t sleep soundly and not liking his lung responses, asks to take a blood sample. Nijal introduces herself and continues to insult the officers. Brzezinski says she can sedate him, to which Kazan responds with a threat of making her eat it. He finally withdraws from the verbal match as a yellow alert sounds through the ship while the officers try to strap in and stabilise the patients in cots.

They continue to help the patients, and Brzezinski points out those who are in the worst condition. She and the other officers get the most critical to sickbay.

Welcome Stowaway

N'Maiu runs into Miash and tells her that he has reconnected with his others, his people. Quickly answering a call from Nijal and directing her and any marines will to assist to Decks 4&5 to help with tirage, she then asks N’Maiu if there is more she can do and promises to help him find his others. Instead, N’Maiu suggests he can help and indicates he can be in several places at once.

Tables Have Turned

Alto’Belaranto sits at a table with Sherlock, shocked to find himself now taken by Starfleet rather than over slaves himself and can not believe he would be betrayed. He warns her not to underestimate the reach of the King’s Path. Sherlock takes Alto'Belaranto aside and begins to interrogate him. Despite his threats, she asks what they are mining on the planet and if he does, he’ll be returned, if not, she’ll wait. As the interrogation continues, the Cheydalanga suddenly begins to melt, and it’s discovered he’s a Changeling hybrid and is taken into custody.