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Old July 7 2012, 02:12 PM   #1
CeJay
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Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol




LOWER DECK TALES: HORIZON PROTOCOL
A Star Eagle Adventures Short Story



Planet Tiaita
2374 AD
24 Hours Ago



Dale McBride of the border cutter Bluefin and Tazla Star, acting first officer of the USS Eagle had been seperated from the rest of the joint Starfleet, Border Service and Marines away team when the New Light rebels had begun their assault on the local airport.

They slipped behind a tall and rusted fuel tank to avoid the incoming volley.

“Missile, missile,” one of the marines shouted and then scrambled to get away from the vehicle behind which he and his comrades had sought cover.

It was a smart move. Not a heartbeat later a projectile launched from one of the technicals struck the government-issue van, causing it to be catapulted several feet into the air as it was ripped apart and consumed by an explosion.

Star watched on with a frustrated frown. She hit her combadge. “Major, what’s your status?”

The marine commander’s reply came promptly. “We have one man down, attempting to regroup as we speak.”

“I need you to take them out, now.”

“We’re on it, Wasco out.”

“Look over there,” said McBride and pointed towards the burning remains of the vehicle.

Star wasn’t quite sure what the Bluefin officer was seeing at first. But then she realized that he wasn’t looking at the destroyed van but at one of the other ones.

The shockwave of the explosion had thrown this one on its side and somebody was emerging from it.

It was Teldro.

He had apparently managed to overpower his guard and now crawled out of the van. He used the confusion the attack had caused to make his getaway.

Tazla Star aimed her phaser rifle and took him into her crosshairs. It would be an easy takedown.

But McBride pulled her rifle down. “Wait.”

“Wait for what?” she said with obvious annoyance.

“Look.”

He wasn’t heading towards the attacking rebels, instead he was making his way into the opposite direction. Not towards Star and McBride’s position but towards one of the jet planes rolling along the taxiway.

“The antimatter bomb is on that plane which means so is Deite and T’Ser,” he said and got up to follow Teldro, determined to go after the New Light rebel threatening to dentonate a bomb over the captial city and rescue his Vulcan colleague and companion from her clutches.

But once again he was held back by Star.

He turned on her with an angry expression written all over his features. “What more proof do you need? They’re all on that plane.”

She nodded. “Fine, but what you’re doing is suicide. Those rebels might not fire on him,” she said and pointed at Teldro who was crossing the wide open tarmac unmolested by the rebel forces, “but they sure as hell will take you down the moment they get a clear shot.”

“So what do you suggest?”

She turned to look at the plane which had noticeably slowed down, now that Teldro was approaching. For a moment Star studied the layout of the taxiways and the runway.

“Wasco to Star.”

She tapped her combadge. “Star here.”

“We’re in position for a counter-attack, however it may leave you exposed. How do you want to proceed?”

“Major, do what you have to do and don’t worry about us. Take them out.”

“Understood. But I suggest you find a new place for cover. And soon. Wasco out.”

“Follow me,” she said and began to move.

But McBride hesitated when he realized that Star was heading away from the plane he so desperately needed to stop.

She threw him a look over her shoulder. “Just trust me on this. Besides this spot is going to become very uncomfortable, very quickly.”

McBride nodded and followed the Trill commander.

Star had remained right. In order to get their enemy into the right position for an ambush, the marines along with Nora Laas, Solly Brin and Deryx had ceased fire for the moment, leading the rebels to believe that the Starfleet team was retreating.

The rebels moved in closer and used additional missiles to soften up the enemy positions. Two went into the hangar which was quickly claimed by a series of explosions as one plane after the next caught fire in a domino effect of destruction.

Another projectile did short work of the fuel tank which Star and McBride had used for cover moments earlier, producing a sky high fireball fueled by the highly combustive kerosene that had been ignited.

The marines had retreated but not quite the way the rebels thought.

Wasco had quickly and efficiently moved his small team behind the enemy and to their right flank.

The rebels even though outnumbering their enemy by at least two-to-one never had a chance.

Star, confident that Wasco and the others had things firmly in hand, rushed along narrow paths in between aircraft hangars and fuel tanks, ignoring the ear shattering explosions and sounds of phasers and automatic guns battling for dominance.

McBride was following closely even though he was beginning to fear that the Trill was taking them into the wrong direction. That was until she came to a halt at the edge of a hanger building and pressed her back flat against the wall.

It was quite literally the end of the tunnel. Beyond lay only open tarmac.

She spied around the corner and when she looked back at McBride she had a playful smile on her lips as if she was quite pleased with herself.

McBride ventured a look himself and was surprised at what he discovered.

A taxiway was running just a few short meters along the building and the plane they were after was coming straight towards them. What was more, the tarmac made a sharp turn here to lead the planes directly onto the runway for takeoff which meant they had to slow down significantly.

“It looks like there is an access ladder by the landing gear. That’s our way in,” said Star. “We wait until the plane gets to the turn and then make a run for it. We should be close enough that they won’t even see us coming.”

McBride gave her a nod and secured his phaser in its holster. He would have to leave the bulkier rifle behind, it would only slow him down.

Star followed his lead and placed her type-3 phaser next to McBride’s, leaning it against the the hangar wall.

Then the moment came. The plane reached the turn and slowed down to align with the runway.

The Trill and the Texan took off.

The noise of the engines was nearly deafening now and they had to be careful to stay out of their wake.

When they reached the landing gear the aircraft was already speeding up again and this time it would not slow down again.

McBride reached the ladder first and quickly jumped onto it and began to climb up. Star was next. The ladder wasn’t much more than a few rungs placed along the landing gear, certainly not designed to board the plane while it was moving. Star’s foot slipped and her boot missed the massive rubber wheel by inches. At their current speed it was rotating fast enough that it could have ripped her clean off the ladder and turned her into road kill with ease.

They both managed to climb into the landing gear housing chamber.

It was then that the plane lurched forward to reach takeoff velocity.

Neither of them had been prepared for the sudden acceleration. Star tried to hold on desperately to anything but found only a loose hanging wire which immediately snapped off. She tumbled back towards the quickly spinning wheels below.

McBride caught her just as her feet went over the edge.

But he didn’t have the leverage to pull her back in and for a moment they simply hung there, suspended in place as the aircraft began to take to the skies.



USS Eagle
Now
8:00 hours until departure



Security Chief Nora Laas found Captain Michael Owens walking briskly down a corrdior on deck twelve and joined him. “We have a problem, sir,” she said with little preamble.

“That’s putting it mildly,” he said withouth so much as acknowlgding the Bajoran or slowling his pace. “This mission has been a complete disaster and neither Starfleet nor the Federation Council are going to be happy to hear of what transpired here.”

“We have another problem.”

He shot her a sidelong look. “Lieutenant, I have the entirity of Starfleet Command breathing down my neck and half a dozen councilors wanting to know exaclty what the hell happened here and why Tiaita will no longer be a viable Federation ally against the Dominion. I don’t need another problem.”

Nora referred to her padd. “Commander Star left behind two phaser rifles on the surface which are still unaccounted for,” she said and looked up. “I strongly recommend she’s put on report for this gross oversight.”

Owens stepped into the turbolift and Nora followed. “Deck two,” he said and then to the secuirty chief. “We still have people on the planet. Can they recover?”

She shook her head. “We have every abled bodied crewmember from Eagle, Bluefin and the freighter fleet helping out with dropping off five and half million tons of humanitarian supplies. And I understand we’re aleady running behind schedule. A rudimentary sweep of the area didn’t reveal anything. My guess is somebody took off with them. By now they could be halfway around the globe.”

The captain massaged the bridge of his nose. “I don’t need this now,” he said. “Admiral Throl was pretty clear that we have just eight hours before we are due to leave the system and not a minute longer. And I had to fight for that. As far as Command is concerned, after the disaster on the surface, they want us to break off ties with what is left of the Tiaitan government immediately.”

“If we suspend the delivery of supplies we could shift resources towards locating the weapons.”

Owens didn’t like the idea. “After all we’ve done to these people, the least we can do is ensure they’ve got all the medical and humanitarian supplies we came here to deliver in the first place, stable government or otherwise. We may have to leave the Tiaitans to their own devices from now on, but I’ll be damned if we don’t at least give them the best chance we possibly can by getting them every last crate of supplies we brought along.”

“Sensors have proven unreliable,” she said. “It’s going to be diffiuclt trying to locate these weapons without sparing anyone to look for them.”

The lift arrived at its destination and the captain turned to the Bajoran security chief. “Make it work, Lieutenant. You’ve got eight hours and eight hours only,” he said. “Initiate Horizon Protocol,” Owens added just before he briskly stepped out of the trubolift, leaving Nora behind.
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Old July 7 2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

The "Horizon Protocol," huh? Nice homage to the TOS episode where the USS Horizon had 'polluted' the culture of Iotians. I'd say Commander McBride shares the blame with Star on this, but considering that the Tia and Ait are already familiar with the Federatioin, the Prime Directive doesn't apply. Still, leaving advanced weaponry is definitely a problem and a contingency plan makes perfect sense.

Glad for the re-visit to this story, CeJay!
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Old July 8 2012, 08:34 AM   #3
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Do we get to see Lass and Owens dressed like 30's mobsters?

"Youz guys better tell us where dos heaters went, or you'll be sleepin' wit da fishes!"
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Old July 11 2012, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Thanks for reading and commenting guys.

Yeah, McDale obviously needs to take some of the flak here but of course Nora is only really interested in in seeing her new nemesis, Tezla Star, discredited.

It was fun for me to revisit my previous novel, All The Sinners, Saints, with this story and while the connections are blatantly obvious, the story should be able to stand on it's own. I imagine readers should be able to follow it easily without having to have any previous knowledge of Saints.

As for the mobster suits. We'll just have to see about that.
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Old July 12 2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

More please.
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Old July 14 2012, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Shuttle Cyrus
7:47 hours until departure



“What’s Horizon Protocol?” Crewman Zolwat asked. The short and diminutive Bolian was sitting in the packed shuttle and rather than wait for his partner to provide an answer, was already thumbing through the padd he had brought with him.

Petty Officer Valdemar Horowitz who couldn’t have been more different than the blue-skinned Bolian–dark-haired, tall and stocky–rolled his eyes. “Did you not listen to Lieutenant Carlos’ mission brief?” he asked, sounding generally annoyed. “Somebody left something behind, we go bring it back.”

“There must be more to it,” said the Bolian. “Why Horizon Protocol?”

“What does it matter? Mission’s clear.”

“I just like to know the history of things. The full background of a given situation. It tends to add perspective and makes you appreciate the scope.”

“You need to stop over-thinking things,” Val shot back. “Prime Directive is not to leave things on other planets, therefore when it happens we go there and make sure to bring it back.”

“To ensure we do not contaminate their culture.”

“Correct.”

“Ah, I found it,” he said and looked at his padd again. “Horizon, Federation starship in service in mid-22nd century. Made first contact with population of Sigma Iotia II in 2168 and inadvertently left behind textbooks, technical manuals and other literature which had a severe impact on the local populace which subsequently based their entire culture on those documents.”

“Fascinating.”

“The Horizon Protocol has been put in place to avoid similar incidents in the future,” said Zolwat and looked at his partner. “This is really important stuff.”

“Yeah.”

“No, really.”

Val shot the younger man another annoyed look. “We have eight hours to find two phaser rifles which by now could be anywhere in this planet and all they send to retrieve them are the two of us. Tells you something about how important this mission is.”

“Maybe they’re just really confident in our abilities.”

“Right.”

“Well, I’m determined to get them back no matter what. We can’t allow this culture to be contaminated by outside factors,” said Zolwat and stood to walk towards the front were he found the two pilots. He turned towards the ranking officer, a short Andorian woman named Srena. “Ensign, any chance we can just scan for these phasers.”

“Jesus, Zol, if they had been able to find them that way, don’t you think they would have done so from Eagle?” said Val upon overhearing his colleague.

The Bolian paid no mind to the Petty Officer.

Srena looked up at him with a smirk, seemingly amused by her two passengers. “Sorry but he’s right. The radiation of the anti-matter weapon which detonated here yesterday is still interfering with sensors and transporters. It’s why we have to make these shuttle runs to get the supplies to the surface instead of just beaming them down. Not that I’m complaining.”

“An anti-matter weapon?” Zolwat said and promptly checked his padd again.

The Andorian nodded, her smile quickly replaced by a sterner expression. “Yes. It was quite the mess. From what I hear it took out the entire planetary government, throwing Tiaita into chaos.”

“What are we doing about that?”

She shot him an incredulous look. “We’re dropping off supplies and then we high-tail it out of here.”

“Don’t these people need more help if they lost their government?”

“Those are our orders and I hear they come all the way from the top of the food chain. Apparently this is a real political hot potato and you won’t see a lowly ensign like me asking questions about it.”

“And neither should an even lowlier crewman, Zol. Stop distracting the ensign from flying the shuttle, will you?”

“Right,” Zolwat said and gave the woman a meek smile. “Sorry.”

She returned it in kind. “That’s all right. And good luck finding those phasers.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll get them back. Sounds like we’ve done enough damage to these poor people.”

Val rolled his eyes again.



Local Airport, Tiaita Captial City
7:17 hours until departure


“Goddess gracious, this place is a mess.”

Val turned to look at his partner. “It’s goodness gracious,” he said. “If you want to use human expressions, at least make sure you get them right.”

“How are we ever going to find the phaser in this chaos?” the Bolian continued as he stood by the open ramp of the Cyrus and looking out at the hectic airport. Seemingly hundreds of vehicles of all sizes were either parked on the tarmac, just arriving or departing again. Nobody seemed to be in charge of organizing the relief drop and none of the drivers appeared to be observing any kind of traffic rules. It bordered on a miracle there hadn’t been an accident yet.

Scores of Tiaitans were running back and forth between their vehicles and the arriving shuttles to pack up as many supplies as they could.

Besides the Cyrus there were at least ten other shuttles and Border Service Star Stallions unloading their supplies. Other shuttles were just in the process of taking off to return to the freighter convoy in orbit and looking up into the sky, Zolwat could see a few more on approach.

“Watch it, coming through.”

Zolwat and Valdemar jumped aside when they heard Srena’s voice behind them and not a moment too soon to avoid being run over by an anti-grav unit she was helping to unload from the shuttle.

“Still confident we get those phasers back?” Val asked after they had passed.

The Bolian kept his eyes on the tarmac.

Horowitz removed his tricorder and opened the scanning device. After a moment of studying the results, he shook his head. “Just as I thought. Nothing on the tricorder either,” he said and turned it off again. “This is hopeless. Hey, were are you going?”

Zolwat was heading straight towards a uniformed Tiaitan who was loudly shouting orders to the men and women around him. What distinguished him from many others who were shouting as loudly was the fact that some were actually following his orders.

“Put those on the second truck,” he hollered at a group of Tiaitans and Starfleet officers tending to a number of recently arrived crates. “No, no, the second truck.”

“Excuse me, sir. I’m Crewman Zolwat from the starship Eagle and –“

The lanky man didn’t appear to pay attention. “That won’t fit there,” he shouted at another group. “Leave it for now, we’ll pick it up later. Later, I said.”

“Uh, excuse me, I was hoping you’d be able to help us with –“

“What part of second truck, did you not understand? Leave the first truck alone. You getting this?”

“But this one is still mostly empty,” another Tiaitan was shouting back.

“Brothers help me,” the uniformed man moaned. “Do. Not. Touch. That. Truck. Understood? Second truck. Second truck,” he shouted and pointed towards a larger vehicle further towards the back.

The others were begrudgingly following the directions and carrying the crates to the other vehicle.

“We’re looking for some items which my have been left here yesterday.”

“We’re all looking for something,” the man shot back, still not making eye contact. “I’m looking for workers with enough common sense to know how to load a crate of goods the right way,” he said and then found something else that needed his attention. “You can’t leave those there, they’ll block the exit. Move those Tia-forsaken crates now.”

“Uh, right. Listen, we’d be grateful if you could help us out here.”

The man whipped around to face the Bolian. “Zoolwat, was it?”

“Zolwat actually.”

“Listen here, Zoolwat. I’m Orgun-Tia.”

“Nice to meet –“

“Tia, get it?” he said. “I’m not one of those stinking and lazy Ait rabble. I actually have a few brain-cells in my head and I need all those to make sure this Tia-forsaken operation doesn’t completely fall apart. I do not have time to deal with the likes of you,” he said. “No, no, no, second truck,” he shouted over Zolwat’s shoulder and then quickly ran into that direction. “Second truck.”

“Well, that was helpful,” said the Bolian as he watched the man go.
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Old July 15 2012, 02:37 AM   #7
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Well, that went well.

I enjoy your Lower Deck perspective here. I have to wonder though, how such an important mission ends up in the hands of a crewman and petty officer. Were the big dogs busy with all the other problems, or did the brass at Starfleet put them on a short leash?

I like Zolwat - there's a touch of wide-eyed innocence about him that's refreshing. Horowitz strikes me as a grouchy cynic - maybe that's a good thing in this situation. Good contrast with the eager Bolian.

Nice work, CeJay!
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Old July 15 2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Agreed. Really liking this Cejay. Nice follow up to 'All the Sinners, Saints' and liking the Horizon Protocol name.
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Old July 15 2012, 11:21 PM   #9
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

I also like the title, CeJay, though you know I've never been a fan of "Lower Deck" tales in general (not singling out yours at all). As for why a petty officer and a crewman, that can be answered with another question: What could two high ranking officers do in this situation that two ratings can't, besides get ignored by more important locals?
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Old July 16 2012, 01:15 AM   #10
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Yes, the Tiatians clearly do not share Starfleet's priorities here. It's a post-Iraq invasion-like free for all, a veritable fire sale, and everything (including Federation phaser rifles) must go!

Here's hoping our enthusiastic and/or cynical enlisted personnel can accomplish their mission.
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Old July 21 2012, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Local Airport, Tiaita Captial City
5:49 hours until departure



“Watch it!”

“Coming Through!

“Make a hole!”

“Careful, precious cargo!”

“Outta the way!”

Zolwat sighed with frustration. They had been searching the local airport for the better part of an hour and wherever they turned, all they achieved was to be in the way of the many workers trying to load the constantly arriving supplies onto their vehicles. Just like Zolwat and Valdemar, they too were on the clock as once the deadline had arrived, the supplies would stop coming as Eagle and the freighter convoy in orbit would leave for good, no matter if everything had been delivered or not.

“I’m telling you, this is a waste of time,” said Valdemar Horowitz. “All we’re doing is hindering these people to get their much needed supplies. I say we return to Eagle and advise that the weapons have been lost.”

“But the Prime –“

“Look around, Zol,” he interrupted. “You don’t think we are already plenty involved with these people. Two phaser rifles won’t make much of a difference.”

The Bolian shook his head. “They could make a world of a difference.”

“I really don’t see how. Besides …” the tall human stopped himself when he noticed the Tiaitan man standing close by. Differently to most others around them, this one was not working on loading a shipment, instead he appeared to be trying to eavesdrop on the two Starfleet ratings. “Can we help you?” he asked with that low, annoyed grumble.

“I … I couldn’t help overhear that you are looking for something,” the rail thin man said.

“What of it?” said Val.

“I might be able to help.”

Zolwat was immediately interested. “You’ve seen the missing weapons?”

“I … I think I know who took them.”

When he didn’t go on, Val aimed an impatience look at the man. “Go on.”

“Well, see there is this man, named Tirus-Ait, a nasty character and well, he was here earlier and he took something and afterwards he practically dashed out of here as fast as he could, not interested in any of the supplies or anything else.”

“And do you know where he went?” Zol asked.

The man nodded. “He operates from Ait Gardens. It’s not too far from here.”

The Bolian’s face lit up as he looked at his partner. “A lead. We’ve got a lead.”

“So it would seem,” he said with much less enthusiasm.

Zolwat had a tricords out in a flash and brought up a map of the city. “Can you show us where these Ait Gardens are?”

The man considered the alien device for a moment and then pointed at a location on the displayed map.

The Bolian’s face lit up. “Thank you. Thank you very much. You’ve been extremely helpful,” he said and was already rushing back towards the Cyrus.

Val followed a lot more hesitantly.

It didn’t take Zolwat long to find Srena who was arguing with the local supervisor, Origun-Tia.

“We really do not have the time to be picky about this,” the short Andorian told the supervisor. “If you want all these supplies you should make all vehicles available.”

The man shook his head. “I have no intention of making my personal vehicle available to feed Ait scum,” he shot back, barely paying attention to the conversation with the Starfleet officer.

“Ensign,” Zolwat called out. “We have a good lead on those weapons. We need a ride to a nearby settlement.”

Origun used the distraction to slip away and Srena turned to Zolwat and sighed.

“It shouldn’t be far,” said the Bolian. “Maybe a five minute trip at the most.”

But the ensign shook her head. “Sorry but I can’t. I need to take the shuttle back to Eagle for another run. We’re already way behind schedule,” she said and then headed back into Cyrus to prep her for take-off.

“But … but we have a lead,” he called after her to no effect.

“Maybe I can help.”

Zolwat turned to find that the man who had given them the tip had followed them to the shuttle. “How?”

“Well, see, I have a vehicle here. I could take you there if you wish?”

The Bolian smiled and looked at Val who once again seemed less enthused by this development. “This is excellent.”

“There’s just one thing,” the man said.

“Why am I not surprised,” Val said.

“You see,” the Tiaitan said. “I’m a worker here and I’m lucky that I got this job. They pay good coin to get all these supplies loaded. I can’t afford not getting paid today.”

“You want money,” said Val.

“Just enough to cover my lost income for the day,” he responded with a meek smile.

“That’s reasonable,” Zolwat said and then looked back at Val. “Don’t you think that’s reasonable?”

“How do you suppose we pay the man?”

Zolwat considered this for a moment. “How much do you need?”

The questioned seemed to startle the man. “Uh, well, a hundred … I mean, two hundred, yeah two hundred credits would … uh … that would be fine.”

Behind them, Cyrus was powering-up again, ready for lift-off.

“Ensign,” Zolwat shouted after he’d appeared to have had a breakthrough. “Wait just one more minute. Just one minute,” he said and rushed into the shuttle.

He was back out in less than a minute and holding a thick wad of paper money. “Here you go,” he said and held it out for the startled Tiaitan man. “Two hundred credits of your local currency.”

The man looked at if for a moment, his eyes lightening up at seeing all that cash.

Val was looking on with disbelieve as the man quickly took it off Zolwat’s hand and stuffed it into his pockets.

“Replicator,” said the Bolian, shooting his partner a large smirk.

“I’m sure there is a regulation somewhere about using the replicator to procure alien currency and handing it out to the local populace,” he said.

“It’s for the mission.”

“Name’s Litus-Ait, by the way,” said the man. “My vehicle is just around the corner,” he added and led the two Starfleet men away from the loading area.

Not a moment later the Cyrus took off and shot back into the skies.
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Old July 21 2012, 10:32 PM   #12
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Um, Okay...

Zol's no-no goes just a bit farther than Val's implied.

Let's start with: Maybe there isn't a specific regulation against it, but I'm pretty sure counterfeiting is against local law - just like it is in any civilization that uses currency - and breaking the laws of the natives damn sure qualifies as a violation of the Prime Directive. For that alone Zol should be beamed up and locked up.

Why? Because introducing counterfeit currency - no matter the amount - can only work to destabilize the economy, and this world's economy must be shaky enough as it is. That BTW, is why every civilization that uses currency outlaws counterfeiting.

And there's no way the fact that Zol just passed funny money can be hidden for very long, because even with a sample of the local currency to properly analyze - and I doubt the Federation's getting paid for its help - then Zol could only have limited information to program the replicator with to produce the notes. He couldn't possibly know every safeguard put in place to avoid counterfeiting, and eventually his new friend is going to try and spend the money, and when someone more knowledgeable tells him the truth, that's the beginning of the end for The Federation's rep in this part of space. Word will pass quickly and judgment will be swift.

His action may have been "for the mission," but all Zol did was try to fix one big oops by committing a colossal one.
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Old July 21 2012, 11:06 PM   #13
TheLoneRedshirt
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

And that's one of the reasons why I wondered why an over-eager crewman and a dour petty officer were tasked to find the phasers. I think Admiral2 made a valid point about introducing counterfeit money into the local economy - even if the cause is noble, the ends do not always justify the means.

A more senior officer would have known this. The harried ensign probably just wanted Zol out of her hair.

And all these mistakes are why this story is fun read! It adds an element of realism to the Star Trek saga. Not everyone on every starship is a larger-than-life hero. There are no doubt many other eager, inexperienced crewmen like Zol who rush in to follow an order or to please a superior without thinking things through. In this case, I put the blame on Petty Officer Horowitz. Granted, he seems dubious about the whole scenario with Litus-Ait, but grumbling and complaining isn't going to cut it.

Good stuff, CeJay! It's a nice break from the uber-fleeters who always seem to make the right call.
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Old July 25 2012, 04:50 AM   #14
redabby
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Really enjoying this story, especially as I don't have a Trek book at the moment. Eagerly waiting for the next installment
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Old July 25 2012, 06:47 PM   #15
CeJay
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Re: Lower Deck Tales: Horizon Protocol

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

And while I do not exactly condone Zolwat's actions here, I cannot imagine that introducing a small amount of counterfeit currency would have a significant impact on a global economy.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Starfleet did something similar on their cultural observation missions when they 'infiltrate' alien civilizations. Albeit probably in a more controlled and thoughtful way perhaps.

Next segment should be out this weekend.
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