Location: Captain's Ready Room, Deep Space 12
Timeline: March 21, 2390
The private shuttle had arrived in a timely manner from Rigel V. Three of it's passengers debarked. Two female and one male. All three were dressed in tailored black suits and correctly appeared to be corporate business visitors to the station. The passenger terminal was quite a site to behold. Not being familiar with the station in general the trio approached an information kiosk and inquired where they would need to go to request a meeting with the commanding officer of the station.
The captain's yeoman alerted her to the request and their PADDs all pinged with a time that Carlin would be available.
Within the captain's ready room, viewing the name on the request Yona pinched the bridge of her nose, looking over at Brandt who was seated across from her as they were going over the customs request from the heavy cruiser parked in Docking Bay 37. "Looks like we didn't have long to wait after all," she flashes a translucent clipboard featuring Gabriel's credentials, grinning sardonically. "Enter, Mr. Seven," she depresses the comm at her desk that pipes through to the corridor where the businessmen are waiting.
Gabriel smiled and entered. One of the associates remained in the corridor and was working on a Pad of some type. He stepped forward to the Captain with his hand extended. "Good afternoon Captain Carlin." The dossier information had again been spot on. His briefing allowed him to instantly recognize the Captain and Commander Grayson.
Yona doesn't get up from her seat, but she does straighten and place the PADD she'd been reading neatly onto the rest of the pile, clearing her desk-embedded, translucent computer off so she can bring up the manifest information for Gabriel's vessel as well as the Templar vessel in orbit currently undergoing customs check. Yona's dossier information was fairly thorough: she hailed from a mixed Terran/Andorian kibbutz on Earth and was raised fairly traditionally, attended school for one year on Andor, after graduation attended an Andorian summer military camp for three months, applied to Starfleet's Corps of Engineering, served honorably, blah blah blah. It also turned out that she was the former administrator for Kalailah and on the architectural team for Prometheus which explained in some part her appointment to the vast station of DS12 despite her lack of posting experience. Her posture is relaxed and comfortable and she flicks her eyes up at Gabriel calmly, a small smile on her face as she gives his outstretched hand a single firm shake. "Good afternoon, Mr. Seven. It's good to meet you. How can we help you, today?"
"Please call we Gabriel Captain, do you mind if I take a seat?" He gestured to a chair at the conference table. "I promise not to take up too much of your time." He spoke very softly. He quickly sat. "Thank you for allowing us to come and speak with you. Allow me to introduce Kendra, Kendra is the chief contract management officer for Danmora Industries. Her tasks include monitoring all of our Federation contracts. I'm sure your aware Danmora has been the preferred freight carriers for Starfleet for over a decade. My visit is in concern over the resent arrival of one of our many vessels. The vessel would of course be the DT-730 currently in orbit here at the station. In the last fiscal quarter several hundred of our vessels have delivered goods in this sector without being detained. As a preferred carrier following the strict federation guidelines, this privilege allows our vessels to navigate federation areas without being detained. The vessel in question Has a crew of nine Federation contractors on board, as does the other vessels in our fleet of over nine hundred ships. The current cargo manifest was filed before the vessels arrival and approved." He reached behind the chair and was handed a tablet from his assistant Kendra.
Yona gives her a little wave, and exchanges a look with Brandt. "Unfortunately I'm going to have to stop you right there," she gives him a small smile. "As I'm sure you're aware, Starfleet is a paramilitary organization and as such cannot endorse private operations which obtain funding from religious institutions. There are many different cultures, species and religions represented by Starfleet and as such we are unable to show favor to one over the other. I notice at one point Danmora did hold preferential status, but as you can see, it's currently pending investigation." She flashes her PADD. "I'm assuming at the time Starfleet granted this status, they were unaware of the religious affiliation of your company."
Gabriel looked down. "Seven hundred metric tons of emergency food in individual packs, ten tons of class one emergency medical stores. Two mobile refrigeration units, two large power units and three large water tanks and re gen systems. I suppose the issue here is the cost. The client who willfully donated all of this certainly must compensate Danmora Industries for delivering it to it's destination. And as I've been advised the use of medical supplies is of urged need." He paused and smiled politely handing the tablet back to Kendra. "The costs to my company gather quickly. As I care not what the cargo is personally. The current contract is still in force for several more hours. If the shipment is refused, I shall have no other recourse and store the cargo and sell the shipment on consignment to recover the shipping fee's and costs. We maintain a very tough schedule, and I'm sure you understand our need to maintain our other contracts." Gabriel knew it was a very winded few moments, he had only experienced it once before. In that one instance the company had been able to deliver the supplies. This could be a very lucrative deal for the company...
"If you're asking why your vessel was prevented from landing on the colony's surface-" she starts, flicking her eyes up from her computer terminal, "the answer runs about the same. This colony is under Federation jurisdiction and the Prime Directive explicitly prohibits us from allowing religious institutions to proselytize to non-Federation members with disparate cultures. Your vessel hasn't been detained, Mr. Seven, and you're free to leave at any opportunity, but what I have done is create a barrier between your company and the surface of that planet in order to prevent a violation of Starfleet's highest order. You are free to set up shop here, on the station, and send materials down to the planet through our customs officers. We are immeasurably grateful for the assistance, but I have to balance the best good for the most people and I cannot sanction Templar missionaries setting foot on Kalailah soil."
Gabriel laughed. "Unfortunately your extremely confused and misadvised. Please allow me to clear this up for you. One, Danmora Industries is a corporation. Not a religious order. So this barrier, that you have taken it upon yourself to create is unlawful."
"That's incorrect, Mr. Seven. As the commanding officer of this station I am free to impose any restrictions on incoming vessels as I see fit, and until this matter is resolved, I see fit to do so," Yona murmurs, and tilts her head to allow him to continue his tirade.
"You should consult Danmora Industries Federation charter. We are in no way affiliated with any religion."
"I find that extraordinarily difficult to believe, Mr. Seven, seeing as how both yourself and the individual who ordered this vessel are affiliated with a religious institution and this procurement very clearly indicates religious motivation by way of encouraging missionary activity on the planet's surface."
"The vessel you are detaining to save the planet has no missionaries on it. I believe I made that quite clear when I read the cargo manifest to you."
"Whether missionary activity begins now, or in the future through a foothold that I would authorize by permitting this vessel to enter orbit of v'Geln is a negligible difference," Yona says, her eyebrows arched high into her hairline.
"From what i understand of history, and the current time, Your concern about this Templar Order is close to a thousand years behind. The Order will never except any human who was not born of Templar blood to be a member. I believe that changed back in the year 2040."
"And that effectively means what, Mr. Seven?"
"Proselytizing is an act they would strictly avoid and is forbidden in their Federation charter perhaps you should review it. And a check of that charter will outline the fact that the Templar Order is not a religious order, It is a charitable organization. So the Prime Directive has not been breached in any way, shape or form. As you are fully aware The Danmora organization, A company I own have been in negotiations with the Federation to build one of the largest private shipyards in this quadrant on Rigel V. Those factories and associated manufacturing plants will have an immediate impact on this entire sector giving jobs, housing, job security and training to hundreds of thousands of the planets inhabitants. And you should know that as their employer I could care less what their religion is, as long as they build my Freighters. I have seen this type of religious bias before from Starfleet."
"It's in the regs, I'm afraid," Yona replies dryly, electing not to comment on anything else until she can regroup with her XO.
"The actual agenda is control.... I would remind all that certain directives only apply to those who have, and believe in enterprise and religious freedom to worship the way they wish to without any interference from another race no matter how powerful their self designed directives may be."
"See, now that's where I take an issue, Mr. Seven," Yona murmurs. "Because that statement leads me to believe that you see nothing wrong with flouting our regulations. You're asking me to just trust that you won't incite missionary activity on the surface while at the same time, you are justifying doing just that to my face. You see where there's a problem here."
Gabriel stood. "I hope I have been of assistance here and I genuinely thank you for enlightening me of your personal views. Perhaps you may consult your command and a representative of the current government for further instructions on the matter. I shall be returning to Rigel V. Danmora is legally bound by contract to deliver the entire manifest to these camps. I would like to understand your concern for these people and your interpretation of the Prime Directive. However your refusal to allow my company to deliver the cargo to the planet will cost many lives. As I recall the Prime Directive considers all life to be sacred."
It actually didn't, but Yona didn't decide to correct him. It's a common misconception; the Prime Directive couldn't give a shit about sentient life and it's one of the many reasons why there is so much internal strife within Starfleet Command; it's one of the most nebulous, ill-quoted, oft-misunderstood orders in the entire Starfleet charter and practically relegates Starfleet to Nat-Geo status at all times, a facet of which Yona strongly disagrees... but, y'know, place and time. Place and time. She just sits, regarding Seven evenly as he speaks, her hands folded in front of her.
"Unless you can advise me as of right now your personal intention of refusing the shipment shall remain as it is. I will make the proper notifications to the client and the people who had me bring it here. That may just be a bigger issue."
"My professional intention for refusing to permit your vessel to strictly orbit Kalailah's surface-a fact that is easily circumvented by simply cooperating with our stations customs officials, I might add," Yona started, calm. She slid over a PADD for Seven's perusal which redefined the terms of their docking for the moment. They were free to set up in one of the free utility areas on the Promenade, and to work with the customs officials to send materials down to the planet that way. The fact that Mr. Seven and his company is taking issue with this? That says a lot to her. "Is to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and identity of the colonists below. I am not convinced that there isn't a specific religious agenda here, and given your problem with the barrier, that's only giving me further pause."
"Ten hours captain. My vessel will wait ten hours If the vessel is not released to continue to it's destination without interference, I shall order the cargo to be returned to it's donor."
As Seven stood and exited her office, Yona gave him a bow of the head but made no further commentary. What she can say is that she is quite skeptical of Seven's claim that the Templar Order isn't a religious institution when he's admitted twice now that it is, in ways he may not be aware he's done. Needless to say, Yona has her work cut out for her. She looks to her First Officer, grimacing a little. Hopefully she's made the right decision here, but she'll start strong. "Grayson, I want every single instance of Templar Order activity over the past twenty years routed to my terminal. Charitable work, notable people, rules and regulations, anything. And I want that equally compared with information on Danmora. There's something about this I don't trust and until we can properly determine their motivations and intentions I am not removing that barrier."
Brandt had sort of been playing the stoic observer bit as he watched Yona own the room. Mr. Seven's refusal to work with their internal customs officers was a huge red flag in Brandt's book. If they really were as innocent and peaceful as they claimed, and just wanted to help, they would have had NO PROBLEM agreeing to feed their cargo through the station's officials to make sure it got where it was intended to go. The fact that he was being incredibly demanding and hostile and insistent that ONLY HIS vessel should be able to deliver the supplies and even threatening to have them returned altogether was another huge red flag. This entire thing smelled fishy and Brandt was 100% behind Yona's decision.
He was already one step ahead of her when she mentioned wanting him to find out everything she could, as he was already scouring the Federation intranet for everything he could on this Danmora Industries and the Templar Order. "I'm on it, Captain, and for what it's worth I agree with you entirely. There's definitely something more than 'simple charity' going on here, of that I am certain... I'll have my findings to you within the hour."
"Excellent. Let's get it done, Number One." She shot him a two-fingered salute, wry.