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Colonial Matters

Posted on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 @ 2:53pm by Commodore Yoshi Minawara

Location: Captain's Ready Room

Luka felt it a relief that he was not about to host this meeting in the office of the yet to be determined Commanding Officer. The modules that were meant to be utilized for the Starfleet Command Post had itself been caught in a paperwork debacle, which had forced the Commander and the rest of the Starfleet crew to work out of the remains of the USS [i]Io[/i]’s saucer.

But this meeting would hopefully sort out some of the confusion that befell both the Commander, as well as the rest of the colony. Utilizing one of the recreational holosuites offered by the saloon, Luka sat on one end of the desk of Commodore Yoshi Minawara, right leg bouncing and hair a mess. “Sir, I apologize for the lack of reports coming to your door. I know Captain Matthews reported to you regularly, but Haumea’s communications hub was the unfortunate target of the [i]Io’s[/i] crash, and… well, it’s taken this long to get it up and running this far, but I assure you, I’ll have backdated reports sent to you once we’re finished here, and up to date ones until we can get a Commanding Officer to the colony itself.”

Crossing his fingers together, Yoshi offered a warm smile. “Don’t fret about it too much Commander, we are more than apprised enough about the situation that reports can wait. You have been in a hard enough spot without worrying too much about practical things. I have been there.” Leaning back in his own chair, he pulled up a holographic display and scanned over the reports to date. “I’m more concerned with your current team at the moment, how is everyone settling in since the crash, and has Starfleet sent sufficient aid to get you back up and running?”

The crash of the Io had been all over his reports shortly into his time taking command of the Task Group, and admittedly most members of the Brass. But not only that, the Vesta had been on a short list for the potential evacuation, if the situation had gone further sideways and needed transport off, so he had been monitoring closely. It was a relief to be able to communicate, and the power that the last ship offered gave him the experience of meeting the Commander in person, something he had yet to do, and that was important for the next leg of the adventure.

“Yes.” Luka gave a slight pause, eyes flickering to the PaDD he had nursed in his hands for the past few hours. His instant reflex to assuage the Commodore’s concerns would have to take a backseat to what truly needed to be voiced. “And no. Starfleet has sent provisions and replacement modules for what could not be salvaged - all of which is more than plenty for the colony itself. As for the crew, civilians involved are all safe and accounted for on the colony itself, and the crew of the [i]Io[/i] are adjusting well enough. A few have actually requested a full official transfer to the colony itself, once the Starfleet Command Center is established further, and a Commanding Officer is transferred over, but I’m more than happy to set a list of names up once everything else is settled.”

“There is a ‘but’ yet unsaid somewhere in there Commander,” said Minawara, leaning forward, and grabbing the cup of tea, an annoying habit of Ewan’s he was picking up. “So, out with it then,” he added as he took a sip and waited.

Luka let out the breath he was holding in. “The civilian leadership is not pleased with Starfleet’s presence in the area, and the [i]Io’s[/i] unpredictable crash landing seems to have cemented their desire to have us shooed off as soon as possible. I’ve been able to placate them for the most part, but there’s a stigma in wearing a Starfleet uniform on the planet, and I haven’t yet determined why that is.”

“It happens around tragedy,” the Commodore replied with a grimace. “I have seen it many a time, and I have no doubt we will see it more in the future. But for the time being, keeping them placated is important. I will make sure to allocate more resources, although with the theft of ships from the fleet recently, we are going to be stretching ourselves thin. This brings me to my next topic.” The man placed his cup down, and with a wave of his hand summoned another screen in mid air. “The Fleet has determined that the current state of events indicates that the majority of the Fleet is under prepared for any real combat. The Brass has elected to fix that issue by bringing about a series of war game. We are looking to get Task Force 72 into better shape by practicing our combat with each other, and would like to use Haumea as a test for a simulated assault. How do you think your personnel would react to that? Starfleet or otherwise.”

“My personnel?” Luka’s brow raised, surprise laced in his voice. He would recover a beat later, shaking his head as if he already knew how it was going to play out. “Haumea’s Civilian Director would have nothing good to say on the matter, and that’s before someone managed to convince him to not start a riot. Or be a one-man riot. I’m not sure which yet. As for Starfleet staff, the colony has yet to receive a full complement of Starfleet personnel, so I can’t say I know what their immediate reaction would be. I suspect whoever is here would be on edge enough that they would respond appropriately. I… apologize, you’re asking one of the most likely candidates for ‘underprepared.’ I’m not even certain I know how I would react to that, Sir.”

“It’s why we have chosen the colony actually,” replied the older man. “Truth be told, you are what we suspect will be targets of this new brash level of criminal. They stole mothballed Federation ships right from a scrapyard; they knew what they were doing. Next would be to establish a facility where they could operate from, and an undermanned Federation colony is a perfect target. Easy to hide in plain sight, and pay off people, even easier to smuggle something like a bomb to the planet.” Yoshi let out a long slow breath, and shook his head. “The fact-of-the-matter Commander, is that the Dominion War was two decades ago. Most Starfleet personel now don’t know what a war feels like, and those that do are getting rusty. With the current state of the Romulan… border, the rising tensions with whoever this group is, and the other smaller skirmishes, we are going to be headed away from exploration fast. We need to be prepared.”

There was a pause, punctuated by the drumming of fingers on the wooden desk. “I don’t like it much either, I will admit,” he added, looking over at the wall. “But, it’s either here or Langley Station, we would prefer to use Haumea though.”

Luka could feel the bubbling protests rise in his throat. This was the last thing he felt the colony needed, but that seemed to be the point. He finally relented to observing the screen that had been pulled up, tone of his voice weary. “... When is this all planned to take place?”

“Details are being finalized right now, so as soon as I know, you will. While we could order the colony to take part,” stated the Commodore with a frown, “we wanted to make sure it would be okay with you first. Which does bring us to one last piece of information, the lack of a Starfleet Commanding Officer at Haumea. It’s something we need to rectify, and we have been considering sending someone to replace Captain Matthews. The personnel request fell to my desk, seeing as I oversee your operations as part of Group A. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the matter.” This time, the CO of the Vesta turned to looked at another display, a list of possible new Commanding Officer names.

“Captain Matthews?” Luka mirrored the Commodore's earlier frown. “He hadn't mentioned anything about a transfer to the colony.” In fact, James was mum on the subject of his own career, which had been bizarre considering how open he was on every other matter. “Not really, Sir. I had just heard the news Starfleet was going to put a presence on the colony only a few weeks ago. I do know that whoever is placed here should probably be someone willing to get their hands dirty, and can keep up with the civilian leadership. They seem to work with me well enough, but that may be because I've managed to assist them with quite a few hurdles in the construction of the colony itself.”

“Are you volunteering then Commander?” Yoshi’s face curved into a smile, one he knew his wife would give him all matter of hell for giving to the man across from him. “You have the credentials, the training, and you’re experienced with the civilians there already. It puts a neat little bow on my report to Starfleet if they don’t have to have another person installed and forced upon an already upset civilian population.” Leaning back in his chair, the Commodore waited for a response.

“I…” Luka trailed off, frown deepening and eyes widening, as if he had been caught red-handed. This may not have been the original plan, but then again, Luka's plans exploded disastrously with the [I]Io[/I]. “I hadn't intended to, but if we're pressed for personnel, it does make sense, but I don't want to have a big presence here. Just enough to be able to protect the citizens of the colony. I don't want a riot before the Starfleet staff even have a base of operations up and running.” He paused, realizing how demanding that must have sounded. “Please, Sir.”

Laughing, Minawara leaned forward and shook his head. “Then the spot is yours Mister Mahone. As for a heavy presence, no, Starfleet has no intention of anything outside some research personnel and a few security officers. Anyone else you need is up to you. You will need facilities built, and we can dispatch the Corps of Engineers to drop you in a facility if you need,” he added, keying a few commands into one of the displays, he dismissed the remaining. “Truth be told, I was hoping you’d stay, it’s just easier to not disrupt life there anymore than we need to.”

“I think the crash was enough disruption for the denizens.” Luka concluded, slumping back in his seat in exasperation. “Though they will certainly have quite a bit to say about any sort of Starfleet facility, no matter who’s in charge. Whether it works out or not, my existence in the colony might ease them into thinking we’re not trying to take over their project. Hopefully my head doesn’t end up on a pike for this.”

“If you need any reassurance from me, I’ll be happy to stop by and give it,” replied the Commodore, making a note to swing by Haumea at some point regardless for an inspection. “Did you have anything else on your docket then Commander?” Looking to his table, he noted a few more communications had popped in, part of the never ending stream of information that found its way to him.

Luka gave it a beat of thought before shaking his head. “As of this moment, I believe we’re alright, Sir. I’ll keep you posted of any sort of significant events. Hopefully most of my reports will err toward the positive.”

“All I can ask from you,” he said with a smile. “Then I will let you get back to it, and if you need anything else, you know where to find me.” With a nod, the man terminated the connection. Sitting in the room, the Commodore let his smile slowly pass, and relaxed. With all the other junk going on, it was nice to see something positive come to be.


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