Waiting for the Call
Location: Danmora Building, Rigel V
Timeline: March 22 2390
The view was magnificent. Evening had settled over the city. Lights sparkled and danced below Gabriel's perch on the twenty fifth floor.
The twin doors to his office slid open as his wife Ariel entered. Smartly dressed entirely in black, she was tall and sleek.Ariel's long red hair was just explosive to look at, and as always a wide smile like she didn't have a care in the world. Gabriel was indeed lucky that she had chosen him so many years ago. He still felt the same as the day he first met her.
"Have you heard anything yet?" She embraced him quickly.
"Nothing yet. I suppose they are going through everything and anything possible to determine how to handle the situation." They stood face to face holding hands.
"My husband needs to remember that there is very little trust in the houses of power. The Fleet has always been so wary of us, I thought after we came to there aid so many times during the war things would be different." Ariel rubbed his arm gently.
Gabriel nodded. "We lost so many crews, just a sacrifice that made the difference to millions. However it seems we are treated as vendors serving at the whim of Starfleet. At times very hard to look away from. Over the years of servitude to their need's and demands. I don't know anymore." Gabriel was truly saddened.
"The political difficulties between Starfleet and the people of this planet is still a very hard issue. The people feel they have little or no control. The economy has ceased to exist. And the people are confused." Ariel walked over to the replicator behind the large bar. Gabriel return to the large room sized window.
He was aggravated somewhat. "For the last twenty years we have delivered supplies to the fleet, even the most far reaching outposts. And we receive very little in return from them. If I recalled the entire Danmora fleet of transports and heavy freighters the Federation would have starving people covering three quadrants."
She returned with two cups of hot tea placing one in his tried hands. "You couldn't do that and have any peace of mind. It would be such a senseless act of pettiness to be sure."
Of course Ariel's words were true. One of the reasons he cherished her so. Gabriel smiled. "My world would be very small without you. However this is not in my hands at all. I shall wait out the time given and go from there. But with the current attitude from our local authorities I seem to be seriously reconsidering the proposal to bring the freighter manufacturing hub to this planet." He glanced at the time.. the deadline approached very soon. He sat at his desk with his tea. He hoped to know one way or another. If he received no call his actions would be immediate.
Gabriel hit a button on his com network. A crisp female voice responded. "Yes Sir?"
" Good evening, I was wondering if I have received any messages or call's from the station commander."
"No sir, all comm's are open and I'm closely monitoring them. But nothing from Starfleet at all. I shall forward them too your office as soon as they come in Sir."
Gabriel nodded his head. "Thank you so very much. And lets keep an open link to our captain on the D seventy seven. Please inform the captain to prepare to move."
He leaned back in his chair in thought. His instructions were clear. He waited for the call with Ariel curled up on the couch with her tea...
"The Templar Order are primarily traders and bankers, with no known military assets and a high degree of activity in humanitarian efforts across the quadrant. Their religious identity is quite secretive, but many believe them to be influenced by early Christian mythos from the Order of Saint John and the Knights Hospitaller, they were active in the Crusades-oh, lovely," Yona snorts, currently reading the Wikipedia article on the Knights Templar, and subsequently the Templar Order, and then probably getting sucked into a hole of nonstop open tabs.
"King Philip of France was in debt to them and used papal distrust as well as threatening military action to persuade Pope Clement to dissolve the order into the Hospitallers, and the remaining Templars were either arrested, absorbed into other Catholic orders, or pensioned off.. [...] to the reconstituted Order of Christ-awesome," Yona's under-the-breath commentary is dry. "Templar families live in their own communities, with the largest on Rigel XII numbering over 10,000. Membership in the order is ancestral; one must have a Templar mother and a Templar father to be inducted...OK, there, OK, right there," Yona taps at her screen, looking at Brandt.
"So it's a closed religion. Is it? We both saw those orders, they clearly indicated that resources and aid rendered would come from missionaries. Unless there's some misunderstanding as to what a missionary is?" she frowns and taps at her own jaw. "Give it to me straight, Grayson. Am I losing my mind over here? Are these people as benign as Seven says they are?"
Brandt had been pouring through the research along with Yona and from what he could glean from her findings and his, added to what they already knew, he still did not trust these peoples intentions were as noble and harmless as they claimed they were. "I don't think you're losing your mind, Captain. If these supposed Templars had as noble and innocent intentions as they claimed, they wouldn't care how the aid got to the refugees, only that it got there." He steepled his fingers and tapped his chin as he sat back in his chair.
"If they truly did not intend to proselytize or desire to further their own agenda, they would be happy to leave the cargo with us and let our officers distribute it to the people in need. They would be getting paid for their cargo and time regardless, so the fact that they are refusing to accept your proposed work around to let them set up operations here on Prometheus, then let our officers unload and deliver the cargo to the surface... Well that just screams red klaxons and hidden intentions to me."
Brandt read over the notes he'd been taking on the PADD in his hands. "And Mr. Seven also became extremely defensive when you offered your working solution, and accused us of religious discrimination when he himself said this was not a religiously affiliated organization, which in itself is a huge contradiction. How can we be religiously discriminatory against something he himself claims is not religiously affiliated? Then to, on top of that, threaten to pull the cargo entirely just because we won't let him take his own ship to the surface? No, sir. I don't believe you're losing your mind. This entire thing smells fishy and their own actions lead me to believe their intentions may not be as innocent or benign as they're trying to claim."
"Then I think we've got our answer. Hail Mr. Seven at his private residence," Yona instructs Brandt with a curt nod. Gabriel's comm began to beep just prior to the deadline. When the viewscreen cleared, Yona's face was clearly visible, as well as Brandt's beside her. "Mr. Seven. There's several questions we need answered from you before both myself and my executive officer render a final judgment on the matter of permitting your vessel to enter orbit of Kalailah."
Gabriel listened closely. Then he smiled strangely as he heard the magic words... 'Final Judgement.' This shouldn't be a judgement at all as clearly no crime had been committed in any way. The matter was strictly business, His company was paid to deliver goods. It was a contractual matter that didn't even involve Starfleet. In fact Starfleet only maintained a presence on the moon. That is one great example of why progress would not be made here with these people. Gabriel knew this was going to turn into an issue solved by several people higher than the rank of Captain. "Of course captain feel free to resume your questioning." He had listened to her request as two teams of legal staff entered his office quietly and took seats.
"I haven't started it yet," she reminds him with arched eyebrows. She waits until the last lawyer sits down, for what good that will do-this is a military installation in a military jurisdiction, civilian law generally didn't apply, but if it made him feel more powerful who was she to argue. The problem is that this had little to do with power and everything to do with people. "You have to understand that even if we do permit you to enter orbit of the moon, you will be liaising with Starfleet customs personnel and there's no way around that. This colony is under Federation jurisdiction. What I'd like to know precisely is-if I let your vessel enter orbit of v'Geln, who will be offloading the cargo? Will you be establishing a base of operations within the colony? Will you be expending personnel to distribute this equipment once it satisfies our customs processes?"
Gabriel shook his head. The absolute paranoia of these people was truly amazing. "The cargo in question is placed in standard Pods that are unhooked from the vessel at the landing site. This a standard freight delivery system used for the last twenty years. Of the crew of Eight on board not one needs to leave the vessel at all. My employee's are forbidden to Unload any cargo, they are paid to deliver it to it's destination. The Pods, as your customs people are fully aware of are sealed. They have been inspected. I certainly have no intentions of establishing any "Base of Operations" on this moon, colony or sector for that manner. I assure you that I shall not expend any of my employee's to distribute anything. That's not their job. We just deliver cargo. Cargo to starfleet stations in three quadrants I might add." Gabriel snapped his fingers. He was handed a PADD. Looking down he began again. "Danmora has six large transports currently due to your station with goods ordered. We have nineteen scheduled in the next ten days. There shall be serious delays in these shipments. With the current situation My company has firm instructions from the shipper. I shall follow these instructions as a matter of contractual agreement. You have all of these documents as provided by my staff. It clearly states, " If the cargo of shipment is unable to be delivered as stated, It will be sent to it's secondary destination. And I shall carry out those instructions if need be. I would add that Starfleet may lay a military claim to the Moon, sector or whatever your agenda this month may be.. But you don't own it's people." He handed the PADD back out of camera view. "I suppose my question to you Captain, shall this vessel proceed on immediately to it's destination? if not, then this meeting is over."
Yona raises her hand, chin tipped low, running through everything she'd heard. "Let's spare the theatrics, shall we? Al ha-panim, it seems to me that we're in agreement. The orders I intercepted very clearly made mention that this aid would be rendered at the hands of missionaries, I'm sure you can understand why I had to clear this up. Your vessel is free to enter orbit of v'Geln and proceed to offloading procedures, following all due customs processes. In the future, I recommend submitting clear flight path directories with all documented shipments and personnel. That is my summary judgment at this time, is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Seven?"
" No, I fail to see what you have done for me so far much less the people of v'Geln. You may consider my responses mere theatrics. I assure you they are not. Furthermore your summary judgments bear very little weight other than a major annoyance for all parties concerned. The vessel will proceed, drop it's cargo and depart v'Geln."
"My judgment bears weight in that it allows your vessel to pass, Mr. Seven," Yona returns calmly. "And you would be wise not to forget that. You are not in charge here. Commander Grayson, cut transmission."
The com link was disconnected. Gabriel stood from his desk. He began instructions to his team. Please inform the Captain of D-77 to proceed with the delivery and to use a caution. Let's ensure the crew remains on board. I want them in and out of there as quickly as possible. The drop should take no more than thirty minutes." He looked to his communications director. " Robert, I need all comm's switched immediately on all Danmora channels to the entire fleet., Please let them know to expect a message within the next several hours. Operations, lets hold all vessels in place until then please." The room quickly cleared with the staff setting hurriedly about their assigned tasks.
Ariel was smiling and guided Gabriel from the office into the dinning room for a prepared meal.