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Olive Branch

Posted on Sun May 14th, 2023 @ 8:29am by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Commander Jonathan Grayson & Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Commander Callie Raven-Grayson & Lieutenant JG James Phoenix & Ensign J.B Dersch & Lieutenant L'Rissa

Mission: Unknown Colony
Location: USS Washington

As they sat in the conference room waiting for Deanna to return with the Kilrathi leader, Shran continued to confer with his officers present and the colony leaders. "We will need to establish a cease fire between your two sides first and foremost. I believe that is easy enough on your side minister."

"We have not launched an attack since the incident, despite our military build up. If it meant we would finally know peace, I believe we could end this on our end today" Piper replied.

"Fair enough" Shran said agreeably. Shran looked at Jon and Seth, "Thoughts regarding these talks."

Jon spoke first. "I think that Piper and the others are sincere in their desire to end this conflict. The key is going to get the Kilrathi to agree and abide by it."

Callie nodded. “I agree Captain. This has lasted so long, it’s all the current generation of colonists and Kilrathi know. It’s not going to be a quick fix.”

"I agree it won't be a quick fix. The colony may require defensive platforms put in orbit to maintain the peace. That is something that can be determined later though." Shran considered what the others had said. "While none of the colonists are directly responsible for what happened, based on what Deanna said, some of the Kilrathi appear to be quite old. Not sure how they manage to remain alive for three centuries, but I suppose it isn't out of the realm of possibility that they have long lifespans. Vulcans can live near two centuries, so perhaps it is something similar."

"More probable is the use of cloning technology" Paige interjected. "The basis of our cloning technology comes from what we learned from the Kilrathi, though we don't use it nearly to the extent they supposedly do."

Shran was intrigued. "Cloning? I am aware that fully developed clones can be created. What differences exist between what they do and what you do?"

"Records that we have from back then indicate that the Kilrathi had the ability to not only create fully developed clones, but that they could transfer the consciousness of a creature into a clone, memories and all. We don't do anything nearly that complex. We use cloning to create replacement organs for transplant, nothing more. Religious beliefs preclude us from doing more than that" Phoebe explained.

"If what Phoebe says is true with the Kilrathi and creating fully developed clones. It could also mean the Kilrathi are rebuilding their population through the use of clones." Jon proposed.

“Which opens up a whole new can of worms” Callie sighed. “We wouldn’t be dealing with a new generation of Kilrathi, just the same one being re-cloned time and time again.”

Shran agreed with the assessment. "Valid points. They may not be using the cloning to repopulate the entire species though. That would create a massive medical issue. But they may be using clones for the purposes of military force, and that would be just as dangerous for us to deal with."

Suddenly the door opened and L'Rissa entered with Phoenix. The colony leaders looked visibly frightened. "Reporting as ordered" she purred.

"You have Kilrathi serving aboard this ship?" Piper questioned.

Shran smiled. "I figured you might react that way. No, this is Lt L'Rissa. She is Caitian."

"They look relatively similar" Phoebe marveled.

Having entered the behind L'Rissa, James stood by the door and kept an eye on the situation. Especially once the Kilrathi entered the room. He remained alert.

The door opened once again, this time Deanna entered with the Kilrathi and Dersch. The Kilrathi looked around and snarled towards the humans, then stopped when he saw L'Rissa. He looked perplexed, and so did L'Rissa.

"Captain, this is General Garawl" Deanna said as she escorted the Kilrathi to a seat at the table.

"General, I'm Captain Shran dh'Klar. You are aboard my ship, the USS Washington, which is part of the United Federation of Planets. I wish to negotiate with you a cessation of hostilities."

The Kilrathi remained silent for a moment, then finally, reluctantly, he spoke, "I have no quarrel with you captain, nor your tribe ofr your Federation. But we do have shinkara with these humans."

"Shinkara means blood feud" Deanna clarified.

Shran nodded in understanding. "You may not have a direct conflict with me. but humans are part of the Federation, and as such, I must protect those you have shankara. I will be as neutral as possible, but we must find a way to end this conflict."

Garawl roared. "We cannot end shankara with these dishonorable torkat. What they did can have only one response."

Jon spoke from his place at the table. "Excuse me General." He said respectfully. " I'm Commander Grayson, the executive officer of the Washington. To be so intolerable makes talks difficult. We know what was done to your home world and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. However your shankara ended when the humans responsible for the attack on your world died centuries ago,"

"The shankara will not end until everyone on this planet is destroyed, just as our world was" Garawl responded.

Piper needed to speak her mind. This was an opportunity that she couldn't pass up. "My people have no desire to fight with you. Your people have suffered horribly, as have ours. We will honor a peace accord if you will."

"You believe you have suffered, but your race has no honor. How can we discuss peace with those who kill woman and children with no remorse?"

"General, the people who did that are long since dead." Jon pointed out.

"You do not understand human" Garawl replied. "Shankara isn't just simple revenge on those that have wronged you. It is an equal return for that which is done. You say they are all dead, and that may be true. That planet is still inhabited though, and its inhabitants are the same blood as those who committed the heinous act. Blood calls out for blood."

"And that General is precisely the problem." Jon answered respectfully. If you continue with this blood feud, you will both wipe each other out. Where is the glory or sense in that?" Jon questioned. "The humans you wage war with were kidnapped by your ancestors. Ripped from their home, their very world and enslaved and kept in domes like pets. You might wish to remember that." Jon finished, his voice remaining level the entire time he spoke.

Dersch stood ready in the corner, because they way the General was acting. He didn't think this peace treaty response is gonna be the best approach.

Piper urged something she hoped would be a proper compromise. "Our people have desire to continue this conflict with you. If you are willing to at least end the conflict, we will not bother you further."

"Considering my people have never truly encountered you until we arrived here, if you want to be left alone, I can assure you that will be the case. If you wish to be aided in the rebuilding of your society, I am certain we can arrange for that as well" Shran added.

Garawl remained silent mulling over what was being said. "You can guarantee that the humans will not infringe on our space? And what aid can your Federation provide?"

Shran saw at last an opening. "Absolutely I can guarantee that no humans will infringe on your space. We can negotiate to determine your borders to ensure that. As for assistance, I am sure we can do a great many things for you once we know your needs. Medical aid seems to be one thing I believe we can provide. My chief medical officer can provide some examples. Sam?"

Dersch now had second thoughts; well maybe it is going to work.

Callie had simply observed the discussion, taking in what was being said. Deanna knew their guests better than she did so it made sense for Deanna to follow up on it.

Dersch opened his thoughts to Callie and asked Do you think this will work?

If it wasn’t for the fact that her mind was open to sense the Kilrathi, Callie would not have picked up on Dersch’s thoughts. As it was she looked his way and gave a hopeful nod.

He nodded gratefully.

"Indeed, we have advanced medical treatments and labs dedicated to finding cures for disease. Our treatment protocols are usually painless and effective. If needed we can deploy field hospitals in times of crisis to treat large volumes of people" Sam explained.

Garawl was agreeable to what he was hearing. "Our population is scarce, only a fraction of what it was before calamity. Only a fortunate few thousand survived from the homeworld, and thankfully we had several thousand more deployed to outposts and colonies. We have used our cloning technology to keep our military functional as we require all to repopulate. I am willing to consider peace, but we will have no further dealings with humans. If we come to agreement on peace, I will discuss with you our borders."

Shran offered a slight smile, "Then it sounds like we are on the road to an accord. I believe your terms can be met General."

Callie offered a more hopeful smile as she looked towards Shran, then at Jon. Hopefully they were well on their way to peace now.

Dersch was actually happy, really happy, couldn't remember the last time he even was that happy, but he was also relived.

L'Rissa chimed in, "Captain, I would like to offer the assistance of the Caitian government in whatever assistance you agree to with these Kilrathi. It is obvious our races must be related in some way, and I feel it our duty to help if possible."

"Very kind of you lieutenant. I will take it under advisement" Shran replied as he looked in her direction.

"We have both endured great hardship at the hands of each other. Neither side is without blood on their hands. I hope that with the help of these people, this Federation, our two peoples can find a way to peace and in time, forgiveness" Piper offered.

Garawl looked around at all the various people in the room. "I cannot say if my people can ever forget the day we lost everything, but I feel that perhaps, one day we may be able to forgive. I do not trust humans, my people have too much experience that points towards dishonor regarding them, but you Federation people seem honorable, and so we will honor any agreement we make with you."

Sam watched carefully, looking for any signs of deception other covert behaviour. Sooner or later they had to trust each other, the alternative was simply not tolerable.

Callie looked towards Sam offering a hopeful smile. Talks would take time but this was a very promising start.

"Can we at least now declare a ceasefire, if not complete peace at this point General?" Shran questioned.

Garawl was silent, obviously musing. "Very well, a ceasefire. But we seek a neutral site to continue these talks for any sort of peace accord."

"If you are willing, my ship is at your disposal to continue these talks" Shran replied.

"A fair offer" Garawl replied.

"I would say perhaps 3-5 representatives each from both parties, composed of governing officials, military leaders, and perhaps a diplomat. I will provide security for both sides while aboard my ship" Shran replied, outlining terms.

"That is agreeable. We will return in 1 week to commence talks" Garawl replied, looking at Piper.

"We accept the terms as well" Piper replied.

Dersch nodded as Piper agreed, not being a Commanding Officer but just agreeing that this was going well.

Jon sat silently. His eyes moved from Piper and her sisters to General Garawl as both sides agreed to a cease fire with more talks coming in a week that would hopefully put an end to this blood feud that had killed so many on both sides.

"Considering your dislike for humans General, I'll have Lt Cmdr Celes here escort you to our transporter room along with the rest of your men we have aboard the ship. They will transport you back to your ship, and once you are able, you can return to one of your bases and discuss this matter further with your government" Shran stated diplomatically.

Garawl looked at Deanna. She looked human, but he knew she wasn't. She'd been in his mind somehow. She saw whatever she needed to to bring things to where they were now. "That is acceptable."

Deanna looked at Dersch and Phoenix, "Ensigns, you'll be my escorts." Deanna exited the conference room with Garawl, Phoenix in the lead and Dersch bringing up the rear. L'Rissa returned to the bridge.

With the Kilrathi out of the room, Shran looked around the room. "Well, that certainly went better than anticipated."

"Indeed." Jon answered. "I wonder if it will continue to do so." Jon said cautiously. He looked at the others. "Just seems the General agreed a little too readily, but maybe I'm reading more than what was there. Perhaps, he is just tired of the constant bloodshed."

"We have a week to make sure there is no more bloodshed. We're still working from this Kilrathi Fever that is afflicting the population. Whilst the name indicates it came from the Kilrathi, we haven't made any definite connections yet. If peace goes ahead, I will make sure we can do everything we can to provide a cure or a vaccine to ensure it does not continue." Sam explained.

"That would be a laudable goal doctor" Shran replied. "I was not aware of this Kilrathi Fever. It sounds like something you have under control." He looked to Callie, "You have your hands full dealing with the psychological impacts to these colonists with all that is happening. Our arrival here has already seemingly caused waves, but the prospect of peace with the Kilrathi will be another massive wave."

"We'll get it done Captain" Sam assured, hoping that they indeed could. Between herself and Shon they stood a good chance at solving the medical mystery.

Callie nodded. “It will indeed. There’ll no doubt be those who won’t want peace, and those afraid of what the future might be like. It’s going to be a total change.”


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