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.
Dol took the picture from Glen. “..Hmm…” he said seeming to rack his memory. “..Security Holt, what do you make of this? You have always been more studied on remembering our many visitors and those in our logs for this region?” he asked.
Holt, a man in his maybe late 30s came over standing just a little shorter then Dol by an inch or so. “..Hmm, looks like it is a long range transport from the Sybl Trade Consortium. They are logged for a delivery of Concadian Spice and receiving of several of our purified ores from the third moon nearby. Delivery though was not scheduled for another two weeks or so from now..” He said.
Dol nodded a bit, “..I do recall our trade and business representatives on level 37 mentioning it at one of our council meetings four days back, now that you mention this..” Dol said, “..no doubt they just got our shipment ready ahead of schedule and are hoping to arrive early for a quicker turn around for their own profits. If they do arrive early will this put our own delivery to them in jeopardy?”
Holt shook his head, “..Not if its in three days, no. Last report I read showed they would have everything boxed and tagged for shipment by tomorrow or the day after..” he said.
Handing the picture back to Glen, “..Well that is a relief, nothing too untoward then. The Sybl are a species of traders several systems over, and that claim three more near there. They are merchants of the highest caliber for raw goods. Though they are a .....short statured species compared to you and I. Not much more then my knee or so..” he said which showed the Sybl did not likely growing more then 2 or so feet in height give or take a few inches. “..The only cultural faux paus we quickly became aware of is not to mention their short stature that could be deemed pitying or making them feel weak. Indeed their quite determined and not only strong headed and prideful but physically they are no slouch if it is needed..” Dol said.
As if likely sensing following up questions, “..Their armaments are average for most interstellar species near us. Mostly particle beam on pivot mountings, and launched missiles. The missiles though are easily duped we saw in a nearby combat by more aggressive traders one time by simple sensor masking. But their particle beams are in our estimate one of their stronger developments for offense and defense on their trade ships. Though I can not say how they would fair in combat were it to occur with your own ship, Captain Glen.” Holt said.
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