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Old May 29 2014, 01:16 AM   #24
Rear Admiral
Re: UT-TFV: Quality of Mercy


I don't know if this next scene will help or not.

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Captain’s Ready Room
USS Aldebaran

Captain Banti Awokou looked at the image on his desktop again. He shook his head, his mind still reeling as he processed the information that Lt. Dryer had conjured from the databanks. The picture was of a beautiful, smiling fair-skinned humanoid woman that looked like she belonged to the same species as the Vaphorans.

However it was a holographic recreation of Vidiian hematologist Denara Pel recorded and sent by Voyager’s chief medical officer, as part of his notes on the Vidiians and the vicious phage that afflicted them. The real Pel’s visage was a horrific, discolored patchwork of grafted skins. According to the Doctor’s notes and Voyager’s logs, sent through the Pathfinder Project that had been established to maintain contact with the far flung vessel, the starship had encountered the Vidiians several times.

Once a peaceful, cultured civilization, they had resorted to acts of unthinkable barbarism to survive the ravages of The Phage, a disease that consumed and killed thousands daily for two millennia. Some of the survivors had resorted to forced organ removal from unwilling participants and had sought to ensnare Voyager’s crew for their life preserving aims.

It was ghastly and Awokou shuddered at the Voyager’s crews’ encounters with the vile organ thieves. What could turn an artistic society into such monsters? What froze his insides even more was wondering if there was anything that would reduce the Federation to such despicable acts. How precious was survival?

Thankfully the door chime took him away from his darkening thoughts. “Enter,” he said. The captain stood up as Rector Chaun crossed into the room. He gave a short bow.

“Thank you for agreeing to meet me on such short notice,” the captain began.

“My apologies for that unpleasant business with Dr. Awokou,” Chaun said, shaking his head vigorously. “Is she alright?”

Awokou nodded tightly. “She is well.”

“I apologize that we couldn’t be of quicker assistance,” the Eonessan leader replied.

“No need,” Awokou waved it away. “Please have a seat sir.”

Chaun cautiously took the proffered seat. Once seated, he said, “I assume this is about the aborted kidnapping.” The captain nodded.

“What about it necessitated that I meet with you privately, aboard your vessel?”

“The statements made by the abductors,” Awokou began and then paused, momentarily at a loss for words. “I don’t think the Vaphorans are who they say they are.”

Chaun’s head crest shook and he snorted in disbelief. “Excuse me captain?”

“The abductors called the Vaphorans Vidiians. Have you heard that name before?” Chaun repeated the word, sounding out each syllable.

He shook his head, “No. Should I?”

Awokou grunted. “Perhaps I should show you.” He turned the desktop screen around for the rector to get a look.

Chaun leaned forward in his chair. “This looks like a Vaphoran. But one I don’t recognize.”

“I wouldn’t expect you to. This is a person named Denara Pel, encountered by one of our ships in the Delta Quadrant. She belongs to a species called the Vidiians. However this isn’t her actual appearance.”

“Oh?” The Eonessan didn’t try to hide his confusion. Awokou tapped a button. Chaun shrank back in his seat.

“The Vidiians suffered from a disease called the Phage. To combat that disease they engaged in all manner of criminal activities, including organ stealing.” The rector shuddered at the thought.

“What does any of this have to do with the Vaphorans?” Chaun was genuinely baffled.

“The abductors accused the Vaphorans of being the Vidiians,” Awokou answered, “And I think it bears investigating.”

“That’s absurd!” Chaun said indignantly. “How dare you accuse the saviors of something so immoral!”

“Rector Chaun, you can’t deny the similarities in the physical appearances.”

“Of course not, but are you going to tell me that humans have never encountered other species that look just like them or near enough?”

The Eonessan had him there. “You’re right,” Awokou could do nothing but admit the truth. “However, the Vaphorans came from the Delta Quadrant, same as the Vidiians, and they’ve been very circumspect. Perhaps they are hiding something.”

“Those people saved my people and now you want me to believe that they are organ stealers?” Chaun stood up. “I think we are done here.”

“Sir,” Awokou stood up as well. “The abductors said a fleet was on its way here. I think we need to get to the bottom of this before they arrive.”

“And you think it would soften the blow to accuse the Vaphorans of such perfidy if it came from me?” Chaun scoffed.

“Well, I wouldn’t say it in such a way,” Awokou looked squarely at the man. “But yes.”

“I’ll take my leave of you now Captain.” Chaun said, turning abruptly and storming out of the office.

“What else can go wrong today,” Awokou muttered to the empty room. As if granting his wish, his compin chirped.

The captain tapped it. “Go ahead,” he said grudgingly.

“Captain, I need you in Sickbay,” Dr. Xylia said, “I’ve discovered something about the Eonessan brain fever that you need to see.”

“On my way,” He withheld the sigh until the link had been broken. Squaring his shoulders, refusing to let the bridge crew see how weary he was, Awokou strode out of the office.
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