a música viene a mi cabeza/la estoy esperando, aquí está/sale directo de
Location: Provisional Retrayan, Kalailah (RZ17)
Timeline: March 6th 2390
Kalailah is hot, a sweltering 45 degrees Celsius as Arev ducks out of the transport shuttle from Prometheus, a hot wind blowing his hair back across his face as the colony's small marine base spreads out behind a dilapidated fence.
A sociologist hailing from Kenshar of Rigel V, Arev has traveled to the surface of RZ17 to meet up with a group of Rigelian volunteers who will be helping to construct the frames for Toreel's suburban housing project. Much of the materials are bundled up in large crates at Detachment 36, and Rarraka has been assigned to help the crewman along with and Ambassador Kijja (yet to arrive) transport a large bulk to the new outer city zone, tentatively called Retrayan.
Sergeant Major Rarraka Natail watched from the edge of the pad as the shuttle was granted access to the compound. She saw a crewman exit the shuttle and waved him over. As the shuttle touched down a marine ground crew was coming out of the hanger to chock the shuttle down.
The transport that brought Arev here lifts off vertically into the atmosphere as he approaches the fence and presses his finger into the buzzer, alerting the occupant of the security station to his presence. Once they let him through, he ducks inside and heads over to the NCO in charge. "Good morning, Sergeant Major Natail. I'm Crewman Ritri. It is good to meet you," the Rigelian gives her a smile, grey eyes crinkling up with it. He holds himself straight and poised with his hands behind his back, a formal posture even while his gaze darts around curiously.
Rarraka addressed the young man. "Good morning Ritri, what have you brought us this glorious day?" She tried everything she could muster by she just wasn't a morning person. In fact that she felt like she had just stepped into a sandy fire pit. The ground crew watch her talk to the crewman like they were expecting her to chop one of his arms off... The Marines were still talking about her breaking a guys nose at breakfast for asking her if she liked her plate of evil spiders. It was meant as a joke but turned out very bad for him.
Arev, on the other hand, isn't fearful in the slightest. He has a good-natured temperament about him, but years of harsh desert living have hardened him up and he likes to think he can get along with most people. "Prometheus has sent down transportation implements, sir," he answers with a bow of his head. "It appears we are waiting on Ambassador Kijja. I am told he will be providing the vehicles we'll be using to travel to Retrayan."
Rarraka giggled. He bowed. "Very well I suppose we shall just wait until the good ambassador arrives. We can get some water and relief in the hanger until then. I should notify the boss that an ambassador will be landing." She turned and waved over one of the ground crew. The Sergeant Major grabbed him by the collar and pulled his ear close. "Tell the skipper we have an Ambassador landing soon. He may wish to check things out." The marines eyes were wide his body limp from the scented whisper of Rarraka's perfume.
Arev follows along after her, unencumbered for the moment but that would shortly change once they got into gear and began hauling equipment to and from the construction site. After several minutes, well past the time that they were due to start, the security kiosk outside alerts Rarraka via her comm that Kijja is outside after being let into the compound. When he enters the hangar people's eyes are immediately drawn to him. He's taller than most with long, twisting dreadlocks tied behind his back, and wearing formal robes inscribed with his clan's sigil. "Nastekei!" he greets everyone in Rigelian, and then adds, "Jolan'tru. Salutations and good morning." He grins widely at Rarraka as he approaches and rather than shake her hand, he holds his arms out for a hug. Arev's lips twitch and he looks at his feet, struggling not to outwardly display his amusement at Kijja's lack of Federation decorum.
"Jolan'tru." She stepped forward and embraced the Ambassador. "Welcome Kijja, it is an honor to greet you."
Kijja's eyes are an electric blue, something anyone with experience on the front-lines knew meant that at some point he had been subjected to hishuri, a tropane alkaloid employed by many militias throughout the quadrant that ensured total compliance and suggestibility. Kijja's outward demeanor is war, and gregarious, which indicates he's been off of the substance for many years. The eyes, though, they'll never be the same. Vision and breathing problems are souvenirs of long-term shur exposure, but beyond that Kijja is hale and hardy, giving Rarraka a swift hug and a gentle squeeze to avoid crushing her any. "The honor is mine," he touches his open hand to his chest and moves to embrace Arev as well. "Kinsman!" he claps Arev heartily on the back and then steps away, regarding them both. "Shall we begin?"
The Sergeant major understood the warrior class as well as any. As Kiia placed his hand on his chest Rarraka spoke, "Tae etreimnai tae saith iudaiht hrrau'khir." She watched as Kijja greeted Arev. Rarraka was eager to begin. "Yes let's get this situation rolling."
"Oki, I brought some antigrav carts," Kijja explains as he leads them out to where large bundles of materiel have been tied off with twine and neatly stacked in rows. Sure enough, there are several huge platforms ready to go in front of each one, which had been loaded onto the surface and now floated a few inches above the bottom. The reason for Kijja's tardiness becomes clear after a second. "So all we do is just," he mimes pulling them along. "Onto that winch and we'll use the aircar to transfer them down to Retrayan." Kijja's, uh, aircar is not in the best of conditions, but it's good enough to tug along some antigrav carts with the gravity turned way down, which was the intention.
Seemed like a decent plan to Rarraka, in theory anyway. If it didn't work the marines had a good working AGV they could pull them all with down to the site. "Let's give this a go."
They attach the antigrav carts to the line and Kijja helps Rarraka follow it down to connect to the aircar, and once it's attached he flips the switch inside that turns off the gravity of the cart itself, which will allow it magnetically settle on the bottom once the car lifts into the air.
"I think it's a hoist," Arev taps his chin.
"I think it is. A winch drags things on the ground. A hoist lifts things into the air."
"It's on the ground!"
"It's an aircar."
"Tell him," Kijja barks at Rarraka, pointing at Arev with his index finger.
Rarraka really wasn't sure what was wrong with the aircar, but it sure wasn't working at all. She waved the marine ground crew down.and they started checking out the floating anti Gav carts. They seem to be working fine, they didn't seem to be overloaded at all.. The issue was the Air Car itself. It was supposed to lift several inches to a foot off the ground. But didn't activate. Switches were checked and the power source was found to be uncharged. A marine AVG arrived and with the lift power to hoist a main battle tank was quickly attached to the floating carts.
"Gentlemen, I think this shall serve our purposes nicely." There was plenty of space on the rear deck of the AVG for them to ride above in style. That would give the ground crew some time to charge the air car before they returned.
"You didn't charge the aircar!" Arev snorts, laughing a little.
"I-" Kijja grimaces and scrubs his hand over the back of his neck. "I didn't charge the aircar."
"We will have it all charged up for use when we return from Retrayan. It will be a great help to the people here. I'll have the ground crew to keep an eye on charging it up."
Kijja grins at her warmly. "Thank you, so very much. It is deeply appreciated. It is my own error, of course," he clutches his heart a bit dramatically, but hey, he's Rigelian. That's kind of par for the course. After Arev and Rarraka, Kijja climbs on board the AVG and gasps a little as they rise into the air, pulling all the antigrav carts they'd secured neatly off the ground in rows and without spluttering or veering off in odd directions (unlike Kijja's aircar, sorry to say). "Magnificent," he proclaims as the driver guns the engine.
The marine smiled. "Would you care to take a hand at the wheel?"
Eyes wide, he nods. "Is that permitted?"
"Of course it is, the operator can check ride any one he wishes."
Kijja slides himself into the driver's seat in like two seconds flat, much to the man's chagrin-obviously Kijja knows nothing about flying a marine AVG, but if nothing else he comes equipped with an eagerness to learn and he sets his hands on the wheel, letting out a soft little raspberry, electric blue eyes pinned to the road. "Ohkay, forgive me if I lead-foot it, I believe the saying goes." It is not how the saying goes, but Kijja-effort-you get it. The guy's trying.
The Marine driver was helpful to guide the new driver through the process, he was handling things just fine. The cargo was stable and the speed limited by the marine until Kijja could get some time getting the feel of things. Rarraka smiled. "Just think what your people will say when they see you pull up in this thing."
"My people might not be as gracious as me," Kijja murmurs, and he tilts his head toward her. As a Romulan, or at least in part, would know the struggle. Being on one side of the whole, always disappointing someone.
"All things can change. They must. Our world is much different now. Our people need a strong leader who represents them." Rarraka leaned back enjoying the ride.
"Have the Federati let you hold elections yet?" Kijja's eyebrows raised. He spoke like a Southern Rigelian through-and-through, fiercely resisting assimilation, but still willing to engage with Starfleet on some level. Maybe instinctively he knew that his planet was poor and would die without Federation assistance, but he stood on the precipice, unsure if he was willing to give up his customs to a greater monolithic entity. And he spoke to her her as a Romulan, not a Starfleet officer.
Rarraka wasn't smiling now. She answered his questions in his native language very clearly, as to make the statement that she wasn't speaking as a starfleet employee. " I assure you that the federation is an organization in all forms. It's all about control. Control of people, races, planets. They will only negotiate with those they believe as equal or stronger than themselves. They give rewards but never respect. The weak shall be dominated."
" I have been party to many acts of subjugation, It has made my heart break. I go on, I survive, that is my path. Remember once those shackles have been placed on your people they shall be subject to laws that others far from here will use to control them."
She let those words sink in, and hoped she didn't offend the man. Her position would never affect her true feelings.
"There are others, others who can help. But it will come down to the people. They shall decide the issue of course. My father told me to beware the hand that offers bread to the poor."
Kijja's eyebrows fly up as she speaks, Rigelian is not a common language to pick up, but he enjoys being able to converse with someone who's fluent. He switches as well, animated, hands flying as he talks (which doesn't bode well for the vehicle,sorry to say, it jerks a little toward the shoulder of the road and Kijja abruptly pulls them back on track before they roll over into a ditch)-"Your father is a wise individual. Your assessment of Federati control-it is precisely the reason why my people are resistant to this alliance; and why this planet in particular is in so much turmoil." There was so much weakness around them, and the Federation are swooping in, struggling to save them, but at what cost? Their identities? Their souls? Their personhood? Kijja's divided, certainly not as anti-Starfleet as Suwarin-his people frankly have different needs in a different place, but he's been subject to many diplomats over the years attempting to insist that Rigel V change its laws to accommodate Federation norms while failing to take into account the historical and cultural implications of Rigelian society. Kijja can't do much about that, but he can protect Kenshar and that's exactly what he hopes to do. By coming to v'Geln, perhaps an uneasy alliance with the colonists and their saviors would prove beneficial to everyone.
Rarraka motioned Kijja from the drivers control station to the back deck of the transport. The Marine driver standing beside Kijja would be more than happy to regain control of the vehicle rather than lose the entire cargo train... She held on to the railing. "I remember the way it used to be. It wasn't perfect but it was my life." her words in Rigelian clear and exact.
"I was seldom trusted and only respected for my skills. Clearly being half Romulan was a curse to myself and those who stood with me. I have lived now on both sides. I see clearly now." She brushed her long hair from her face. "I understand the way that Suwarin feels, and most of these people. Even as I wear this uniform understand I have worn several others in my life. Your people are divided and uncertain. Remember others take that as a sign of weakness, they will use it to create a change in your paths that fit their agenda."
"The people now are dependent on the charity of others. They will learn to adjust, it's a matter of their survival now. They look to you and Suwarin for answers. Protecting them falls on the shoulders of both of you. You will only get one chance with them, Suwarin knows this. As I said there are people who can be trusted. Some are in the Fleet, some are not. You must meet these people. If your interested in turning this all around I can tell you who to talk to. It's up to you to decide after that."
Kijja's eyebrows raise, because of those trusted people, his instincts tell him he can't be certain that Rarraka is one of them. But he'll listen to her, if nothing else, he'll take her words under consideration. For now, at least, their opinions appear to align. But Kijja is of the desert, born and bred, and he knows exactly how easily the winds can shift into an electrical storm. "I will hear you," he says with a bow of his head, wrapping his own long fingers around the rail to look out at the barren wasteland before them.
Rarraka nodded. Nothing more to be said on the matter really on her part. Kijja needed to think it out. The situation was complex and even the best intentions on his part could find him face down in a hole in the desert. There was some serious hardliners in the camps. And few knew where Kijja and Suwarin stood on matters. All in all it would be for the people to decide the issue. They could remain in the camps receiving what assistance they could get or unite and rebuild. It would be a difficult situation either way for them.
Kijja gazes at the shifting sands, feels the petrichor of the air in the wake of an electrical storm raising the hairs of his skin on end. It's a tough situation, for all involved, but if Rigel and Kalailah can work together, they can become greater than the sum of their parts. This place could really enter into the realm of thriving rather than surviving, but that will only come if their two peoples can put down their arms and learn to trust one another. And one thing is certain, Rarraka's right.
It won't come easy.
"Let's start by getting these materials where they need to go," he says, eyebrows bouncing hopefully.