“And I also wanted to know, if you will forgive me being blunt, but might I be allowed to stay and help with the building project? I wouldn’t be able to give you any great leap of technology. But I’d like to learn and perhaps be an Envoy until the Federation is able to bring in someone more diplomatically suitable.” She laughed slightly at her personal admission to probably not making the best Federation Ambassador.
Glen said nothing but showed his approval of the idea in his silence.
Dol seemed a bit surprised at the request. “..Hmm, I must admit to my recollection no alien visitor to our habitat has ever requested such for more then a week or so. I personally would not be against it but I would feel best if I discuss this with my advisors. But barring any unexpected issues or questions, I will provisionally agree to your request..” He said. Then looked to Glen, “.. I suppose this solves my follow up statement of wishing to open an offer of further contact and trade with your Federation to some degree..” he said.
Glen smiled and said, “Yes. I suppose it does. I have to tell you that such an offer is unusual, but Tia seems to have taken a shine to your world and genuinely wants to help you to improve conditions here and to give it the best chance to survive.”
While they were speaking off near the rear of the command center a paper printer was chugging out some kind of report. With a final beep beep, the female crew members near it tore it off and seemed to read it. Turning in her chair, she spoke, “..Excuse my interruption Dol. But the latest voting tallies for the next cultural councilor, and media news councilor have been printed..” She said. “..Do you wish to hear the results?”
Dol seemed quite interested in this turn of events, but looked to Tia and Glen, “..One moment please..” he said. Then nodded to the woman to continue.
Looking down to the print out she spoke, “..The final tallies for our next cultural councilor show 2119 votes for Councilor Sal, and 2009 votes for the hopeful Boral from district 13. Out of the total 4232 eligible voters 104 did not vote. But given even if all of them did vote for Boral he would not have enough votes to win the majority he has bowed out and accepted the final results. So your wife Sal will be remaining as our Cultural Councilor until the next election challenge..” She said.
Dol seemed pleased at this news but nodded, “..I am sure she will be quite happy to see those results later. And for the media news councilor?” He asked.
”..Final tallies for the media news councilor role are still being counted. But so far both hopefuls for the position, Welk from CPCN’s broadcasting and Vusda from CHNA broadcasting are currently standing at 2323 for Welk and 2368 for Vusda, there are still 309 eligible voters able to cast their choices until 5 hours from now. For our guests, and as you know Dol, the current position holder has not deemed to run again, Beni, from HCNN.” She said.
Dol nodded, “..The media news councilor roles are almost always a close race. A pity that Beni only wished to hold the role for 2 years but that is his choice. Given his desire to be with his aging father of late I can understand his stance. I will miss his drive for bringing lively entertainment in our weekly social newscasts though..” Dol said with a chuckle. Turning then back to Glen and Tia, “..Well then anything else you two may wish to ask me or see?” he inquired.
“It’s not a question this,” replied Glen, “but more an observation. We were reluctant to speak with you newscasters earlier and we were a little unsure about the effect on your society of announcing our presence, and about giving information about our Federation of planets. I cannot see how we can hold anything back any longer, not if Tia will be staying with you. Unless her presence is kept a complete secret, then it will make life much easier for her if we speak openly to the press before we leave her. That probably will involve not suppressing anything at all, and it is only natural that we probably have some ‘skeletons in our cupboards’ that your people won’t like to see. However, the alternative option that Tia’s movements are restricted and is never allowed outside would be much too difficult for her to manage.”
Dol nodded a bit, “..In truth if your Tia does stay with us I would prefer if the announcement of it was given to the public at large. We keep little information secret from the adult population on our habitat Captain, and having your Tia remain with us but restricted in her movements would be to us uncomfortably close to enslaving her or wrongly imprisoning her. Perhaps you might consider meeting with one or more of the news agencies? Answer a few more general questions, and later once I decide final approval of Tia staying then we can follow up with such an announcement of her joining our community for some time. Does this seem agreeable to you?” he asked.
“Well, we will need to consider very carefully how the…” Glen’s reply was cut off by an alert from the Bridge of the Merrimack. “Excuse me!”
=/\= Merrimack to Captain Glen, This is Lieutenant Kahuna on the Bridge. We have detected an unknown craft heading on a course for this system with about 50 crew. It’s doing 2.3 Warp, so should arrive in three days time. it looks to be an armed military craft to me but the distance is too far to be sure. Matches nothing in our databases and… =/\= Kahuna spoke in a quieter voice, even though he was broadcasting. =/\= I’ve checked that additional secret database that the Merrimack has, that you told me about. The one that came from the ahem! NX Memorial… Permission to open hailing frequencies and contact them, Sir? I was wondering if the Dol knew who they would be. I’m sending a picture to you for identification now. =/\=
The Picture showed an elongated three levelled arrowhead. In between the top and bottom layers were angular conical shaped devices. In the centre was a large spherical hull of a bright silver tone with a glittering like effect visually in passing light sources. There were forward protruding ports at the front and green lit banks in patterns along the top and bottom.
=/\= Standby Kahuna =/\= Glen told his Weapons officer.
Glen showed the picture to the Dol. “Have you ever had contact with a ship of this configuration before?” he asked.
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