Iím so glad to see this story carried forward!
Aubrey and Intrepid
are once again holding the short end of the stick, and during a delicate diplomatic event no less. The awkwardness of the captain's having to explain the refugee crisis, and the Federation Councilís concealment of the threat really added to the tension of the conversation.
I loved Aubreyís reaction to XíGafís flippant observations about Starfleetís loyalties, and its demonstration of how close to the surface the pain of the Dominion War still remains in those veterans who survived it.
I was pleased to see Shantok interacting with the other crew and their alien guests so casually, especially after the mental wounds she suffered so recently in Treacherous Waters.
Fantastic stuff, and again, Iím delighted to see you back at the keyboard!