Chapter 2, part 2
Day 1, 2300 hours
In her quarters Ezri was fast asleep on her bed, she looked totally still and content. For once she wasn't having a nightmare and it seemed she was going to get a decent night's sleep for the first time since the incident with the renegade Jem'Hadar.
“Priority one transmission from admiral Ross,
” said the computer.
Almost immediately Ezri woke up, and she rolled off the bed and shuffled in a drowsy manner from the bedroom to the desk in her living room. Wearing her night clothes Ezri thought that Ross wouldn’t mind that giving the impromptu nature of his call. One of the perks of being a captain was being contacted at anytime of the day from an admiral or an officer who had to give to her immediately important information.
She sat down by the desk, turned on her laptop and inputted her code to access the transmission.
” said the computer.
At once the laptop screen displayed the image of admiral Ross and his plush office. Ross seemed to look somewhat apologetic for waking Ezri up so early. “I’m sorry to wake you up so early captain but I have an important assignment for you to complete...”
There was a brief pause, and Ezri who had snapped out of her drowsy mode, waited patiently for Ross to elaborate.
“Have you ever heard of the Furillians before?”
Ezri shook her head once. “No I haven’t, who are they?”
Ross gave a small chuckle. “I’m not surprised to hear that. You see the Furillians live in the Badlands, on a M-class planet which orbits a standard G-class star. At first glance there’s nothing special about that, except the region of space the Furillians live in has relatively little plasma storm activity. More importantly the terrestrial planets and asteroid belts inside the Furillian star system contain significant quantities of duranium, dilithium and other strategic raw materials.
“Ten years ago a Federation company called RH Mining was granted mining rights by the Furillians. Since then RH Mining's operations in the Furillian star system account for twenty percent of the duranium, tritanium and dilithium the Federation produces. Now in the past three months RH Mining operations on Furillia have come under attack by the locals.
“The probable cause is their disgruntlement towards their government. Security at RH Mining needs to be increased, and only yesterday I received a transmission from Ron Harding, the chief executive of RH Mining, and he asked for Starfleet's help in improving security at the mining operations.”
Ezri was surprised that she hadn’t heard of RH Mining before, giving the size of the company, but her mind returned to the assignment been given to her. “What kind of security does RH Mining require?”
“All they're asking for is additional class five sensors. Now that may not warrant the use of the Defiant, but I also want you to take the Defiant into the Furillian star system to scout the region and monitor any Ferengi or Cardassian ship movements, as well as delivering the sensors to RH Mining. However should you see Ferengi or Cardassians ships entering Furillian space, keep a wide birth and avoid all necessary contact...”
There was one more thing that Ezri had to clarify to Ross. “Admiral as part of this assignment should I meet with the Furillian government to discuss about their citizens attacking the strip mines?”
For some reason Ross’s composure slipped slightly, as if he was afraid to answer Ezri’s question, though it was a brief change to his composure. “That won’t be necessary, your assignment has only two tasks: deliver the sensors to RH Mining, and then afterwards scout the Furillian star system for two days before returning back to DS9. Should the Furillian political problems continue then I will consider sending a diplomatic team to the planet.”
“Understood admiral,” said Ezri.
Ross looked satisfied and the transmission then ended, the screen showed the Federation insignia.
At first glance Ezri considered this mission to be rather routine and simple, but one small thing she thought appeared odd was that the Defiant would be carrying a sizable amount of cargo to Furillia. When she had checked the Defiant’s mission logs, there were only one or two missions involving the carrying of cargo.
But Ezri could come up with only two reason’s for admiral Ross’s decision to use the Defiant to carry the sensors: one would be the fact that in doing so only one ship would be needed and this was obviously an efficient use of Starfleet ships. The other reason could simply be that after nearly thirteen years of peace in the Alpha Quadrant, the Defiant's primary role as a warship was starting to become somewhat obsolete.
After those ruminations, Ezri then used her laptop to browse the Starfleet database on information about Furillia and the Furillian star system. The information on Furillia was surprisingly sparse considering RH Mining had been on the planet for ten years. There were three references to Furillia: one was that of a late 23rd century probe, it had detected Furillia but didn’t investigate further as it was destroyed by a particular ferocious plasma storm.
The next reference was from the starship Gregoria, it was an Intrepid class vessel, and it was on a mission which started on the stardate 54433.9. When it had found Furillia, it discovered a warp-faring civilization and the Gregoria’s crew made first contact. Ezri studied the first contact report carefully. Furillia it seemed was an ecological paradise, the Furillians had barely changed Furillia, and did their utmost to preserve the planet’s ecology. As such the population was small coming to about 9.57 million inhabitants.
One of the things that Ezri really noticed about the report was the section on how passionately the Furillians loved nature, there love for nature almost bordered on a spiritual like connection. The more Ezri read from the report, the more Furillia sounded like a paradise even greater than Earth. The Furillians themselves were a friendly and welcoming people, though the report also added that the Furillians had strict laws concerning the regulation of their habitats and very strict birth control laws.
A Furillian couple could have at most two children, and the minimum age for having a child was thirty. Plus if that couple wanted to have a second child, they had to wait for at least five years before it was legal to have their second child. However this system was required to keep the Furillian population at a level just below ten million.
One thing that surprised Ezri was that Furillian females remained fertile up to the age of sixty, while the Furillians average life expectancy was about 120. Ezri could only dream of living to that age...
When she had finished reading the report, Ezri could not understand why the Furillians had granted RH Mining the rights to mine on their planet. Even though the mining rights had incredibly strict guidelines, the fact that Furillians had allowed small scale mining to go ahead seemed to contradict their ecological beliefs.
The third report was from RH Mining, and while it a had a very brief section on the actual planet’s geography, it did expand upon the Furillian culture and political system. Furillian politics could be summed up in two words: green democracy. The Furillians had a parliament with three hundred government members, and it was voted in every five years. There was no planetary army, but each settlement had its own proportionately sized police force. Though usually there were only a couple of officers responsible for the security of a settlement.
Ezri was surprised to discover that the Furillians considered family absolutely important, and yet there were strict birth control laws, this seemed like another contradiction to her. Even though it was an odd system to Ezri she restrained herself from questioning it, this was the Furillian way of doing things after all.
After reading all three reports, there was one thing that did concern Ezri, and that was how the Furillians had granted mining rights to RH Mining. There was no mention of why the Furillians granted RH Mining the mining rights, and this bothered Ezri because it seemed to be the actual information was been deliberately withheld…
However Ezri reminded herself that this was a Federation company, RH Mining wouldn’t do anything to break Federation law concerning the protection of a planet’s ecology and safety…