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The Slow Drums

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  • The Slow Drums

    Bridge: USS Opaka

    1126 HRS

    “Leaving Deep Space 9 local authority. ETA to wormhole three minutes,” the steely voice of the helm officer announced.

    A flagship she was not, but Admiral Erszebet Virkov couldn’t help but admire the efficiency of the crew of the USS Opaka. The ship had been a relatively new build, despite being a somewhat older Steamrunner class starship. After the fallout caused by the Consortium in the Gamma Quadrant, Starfleet Admiralty had finally decided that New Bajor needed a ship assigned to the planet for defensive purposes.

    Why they won’t just build the damned orbital platforms is an argument for another day, Virkov thought to herself, her face a mask of stoicism.

    “Excellent,” she replied audibly to the helm. “ETA to New Bajor?”

    “Twenty minutes, sir,” he responded.

    She nodded affirmatively, and took a seat to the right of the vessel’s commanding officer, Captain Wojahn. She’d had conversations with the woman prior, and impressed upon her that regardless of the presence of an Admiral, the vessel and her crew were under the command of the assigned commander, and as such she would sit next to the command seat, not in it.

    “What do you think of the Dominion’s new ultimatum, Admiral?” Wojahn asked, leaning in and speaking under her breath.

    Virkov exhaled sharply, and replied, “Firstly, we are going to be working together quite closely, and while I may have a reputation of being a frigid ice queen, I prefer to have a familiar relationship with my direct reports. So please call me Beth.”

    Thinking a moment, she continued, “I think that at the end of the day, the Founders are a group of blowhards asking for something they know they’re not going to get. The idea of them trying to reneg on the Armistice and limit our presence in the Quadrant is asinine, when one considers that we have assets on the far edge of their space, and ships assigned out there. I’m looking forward to meeting with them, and reminding them who won the war.”

    Turning her head towards the Captain, she asked, “What are your thoughts, Captain?”

    The woman took a moment, and replied, “I think they’re a civilization coming back from the brink of extinction. I think they feel like they got a raw deal in the Armistice agreement, and they’re trying to flex their muscle as best they can. I think they are, despite everything, a force to be reckoned with, and I don’t think we should underestimate them. They don’t want us to explore in their territory, that’s understandable. Most governments would make that request. I think we should honor it to every extent possible. But asking the fleet to stick solely to shipping lanes is…problematic, at best. I think if we can meet them from a place of diplomacy and empathy, we can smooth out the rough edges.”

    Virkov smirked and nodded in agreement, and replied, “I am aligned with that.”

    “Now entering the Celes…eugh…the Wormhole, sirs.”

    “Steady as she goes, ensign,” Wojahn replied.
    [center:38lurw1w][/center:38lurw1w]
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