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Exploring The Frontier

Posted on Apr 07, 2018 @ 5:11am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Apr 07, 2018 @ 5:12am

Mission: The Trouble With Triticale

“Exploring the Frontier”
(contd from ‘Arrival’)

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Location: SHERMAN’S PLANET
SD: [2.18] 0406.2242
Scene: Spaceport


As the away team from the Phoenix materialized, majority of them, seemed a bit puzzled at their surroundings. Jasmine Yu glanced around her and realized, she was standing on a transporter pad, set atop a round platform. That wasn’t what perturbed the young woman though. She gazed upward at the clear skies, the sun shining brightly down on them and then her eyes moved sideways – they were standing in an open field surrounded by farmland and behind them was a lake. Yu could see plenty of boats, ships docked a couple of miles away. She turned forward and spotted the spaceport – not surprisingly, it was a medium-sized two storeyed building. Adjoining the building was the hangar and areas set aside for shuttles or small spacefaring vessels.

This was going to be an interesting experience – a world at the edge of the Federation. She waited in silence as the group were greeted by two human men. Jasmine arched a brow, recognizing them – Governor Chisum and Sheriff Edwards.

The older man gave them a friendly smile, clasping Kane’s hands in his own. “Welcome to Sherman’s Planet. So nice ta finally meetin ya’ll.” He continued shaking the Captain’s hands, the latter producing a polite smile.

“The pleasure is all mine, Governor,” Kane said, when the other man released him.

“Ya know tha Sheriff Ethan Edwards.” Chisum pointed at the tall, dark skinned man, who merely inclined his head in a polite manner. Turning his attention to the rest of the team, the Governor’s smile widened. “Capn’ who’re all these fine folks?”

After Kane made quick introductions of the other members of his team, Chisum clapped his hands, his smile broadening even further. “Delighted ta meet ya’ll. Hope ya’ll have a pleasant stay here.”

{{Captain?}} Byte spoke up. {{When can I begin work on overseeing the transfer of the grain?}}

Before Kane opened his mouth, the Governor chimed in, “Yer robot’s eager ta get going? He’s an interestin one. Our farming robots ain’t nothin like him?”

Jasmine noted Edwards didn’t share the same friendly demeanor like his boss as the Sheriff gave Byte a critical eye. She heard her CO remind them in a diplomatic fashion that Byte was in charge of Operations and a member of the crew. So not exactly a robot. As expected, the Android didn’t seem bothered but he did display a sort of perplexed expression. Still, Yu made a mental note to ensure Byte was safe. She wasn’t sure how the colonists would interact with someone like him – Someone not human.

Edwards announced, “Governor, time ta get going. Our ride’s waitin for us.”

Kass warned, “Don’t expect anythin fancy? This ain’t Earth.”

{{Well, from my database,}} Byte said, {{transportation on farming colonies such as Sherman’s Planet are limited and not as advanced.}}

Eve said, “We all knew high speed trains or hover cars weren’t an option to travel around the planet.”

“Tha’s right, ma’am,” Chisum said, grinning. “But we’re not so backward that tha only rides’re horses an’ carriages.” He winked, followed by a chuckle. “Now come on. Driver’s outside.” The Starfleet officers followed the two officials to their transport in silence.

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Scene: Port Emily, town side

Well, it wasn’t a horse drawn carriage, they were riding for their tour around the town. But the hover car, belonging to the Governor, moved at much lower speeds than the ones found in the core worlds – a much older model, apparently the most advanced one found on this world. In fact, from what Byte said, there were only few hover cars on the planet, mostly used by the more prominent members of the colony.

Jasmine brushed aside the strand of hair that was pushed across her face by the wind blowing at them. The car had neither a ceiling nor windows, thus succumbing the passengers to the gust of wind in their direction as the vehicle sped along the road. Unlike the newer models, she could feel the engines vibrating under her seat. They were having quite the bumpy ride. She was seated at the back at the corner with Dalziel and Byte. Across from her in the passenger area, sat Kass, Kane and Chisum. Edwards sat in the front, next to the driver, a younger human man, likely originated from the Indian sub-continent, judging from his black hair and brown skin.

The trip from the spaceport was quite eventful as the car moved along the path, adjacent to the lake, with breathtaking views on both sides. They passed a few farmlands, where the security chief spotted cattle animals such as cows, goats, maybe some hens and plots, waiting to be planted with the grain. As they were entering the town, it became busier with more people going about their daily business. The car slowed down a bit and Yu took in the sights. She noticed most buildings stood no more than two or three storeys tall – a stark difference between a frontier world and a place like Earth. Yu was quite used to seeing tall, tritanium built buildings. To her, Sherman’s Planet seemed like they were existing outside civilization.

To make the differences even more obvious, Yu spotted an Asian couple pulling two horses and a shabbily dressed middle aged man stumbling along, carrying a bottle. It was in the middle of the afternoon. Jasmine sighed, when two large shepherd dogs were found, guarding a cart, filled to the brim with cartons. One of the dogs spotted the car and barked.

“Don’ min the dogs,” Chisum said. “These farm dogs don’ lik tha town much.”

The car swerved a bit, when they were taking a turn. Although a small turn, Jasmine was nearly pulled sideways, narrowly missing bumping into Eve. She had managed to recover. “Sorry.”

“No problem,” Eve said with a tiny smile.

Jasmine leaned back and glanced to her side. She noticed some people looking in their direction and their expressions were mixed. Some were smiling, while others eyed them with suspicion or was it curiosity? It was hard to tell from up there. She tilted her head to the other side, her gaze moving past Eve and Byte. She frowned. Looks of suspicions and even annoyance in their direction, well particularly towards the Android. She sighed as Byte was staring back at them as well.

{{Odd,}} the Ops chief spoke. {{I am sensing rather negative responses from the local inhabitants from observing their physical responses. It seems they are unhappy about our presence on their planet.}}

A low growl came out of the MCO’s mouth and the copper haired woman tilted her head, her eyes giving the Android a fixed gaze. “Yer lookin at them funny.”

Byte cocked his head, his expression unchanged. {{I don’t understand, Major. What does looking at them funny mean? That sentence does not…}}

“Hey, don’ ya go correctin the way I talk.” Thytos’ voice was raised, which drew a concerned expression from Kane. “They don like anyone lookin at them funny. It’s disrespectful and’ll get yer ass whooped. Cause some folks here ain’t gonna see ya any more than a toaster with tha way ya act and talk.”

Chisum chuckled, giving Kass a warm smile. “I see ya’re keeping ta yer roots. Ya must be so proud of yer home.”

Byte said in a calm yet slow voice, {{I don’t quite understand the negative response from Major Thytos. Is there protocol I need to follow? My database do not…}}

“Oh for cryin out loud…”

Kane jumped in, cutting off the marine’s words in mid-sentence. “Lieutenant, you can talk about this with Lieutenant Dalziel at a later time. That’s an order.”

{{Understood, sir.}}

Kass shook her head angrily, speaking to Jasmine and Eve. “Byte ain’t gonna last in a saloon with all tha drunks there.”

“A saloon doesn’t seem like a place he’d go, I think.” Eve pointed, trying to ease the tension. “Besides, I figure he’ll be too busy on ground with supervising the transport of the grain and all other shipments from the ship and likely have no time for sightseeing.”

Yu said, “Well, if Byte does get curious and decide to go sightseeing, I’ll make sure he doesn’t go alone.”

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Scene: Sheriff’s Office
TI: Later

After the tour around town was over, the Captain went along with Chisum to the Governor’s mansion, while the driver dropped off Jasmine with Edwards at the Sheriff’s office and Byte at the silos, where the triticale was to be stored before distribution. At the moment, Yu was sitting opposite the black man in a small office that contained hardly anything, except for a mahogany desk and a couple of chairs. Banners, representing the colony and the Federation, hung on a wall behind the Sheriff.

Ethan wasted no time, when he began, his voice deep and serious, “Look uh, Lieutenant Yu, let’s get down ta business.”

“Okay, Sheriff.” Jasmine nodded.

“Is tha shipment of weapons an’ other equipment for our defenses ready?”

Yu answered, “Yes, they are ready to be transported to you. Just let the ship know where you want the cargo sent to?”

“It’ll be in tha warehouse tha’ is attached to this em building,” Ethan informed, noting down something on a PADD. “Mah lawmen an’ women’ve been lookin forwar’ ta havin new blasters for their holsters. We’re long overdue for’n update.”

Jasmine offered, “Well, my people will be around if you need assistance with the new weapons. I can assure you that we have tested them thoroughly and they work fine.”

“That’d be much appreciated.” Ethan nodded. “An’ tha farmers’ll be relieve’ ta have updated weapons an’ forcefield generators that’ll protect their lands from those wild targs an’ other predators.”

“Well, once your office sends us the coordinates, you should have the shipment.”

Edwards remained silent for a moment. “I hear many of yer people are plannin’ ta visit us.”

“Yes.” Yu nodded. “My Captain has granted us shore leave, even the chance to attend the upcoming festival…of course on a rotation basis.” She watched him raise an eyebrow. “What I mean is, we all won’t be visiting all at once but in small groups.”

The dark skinned man leaned forward, his gaze boring into hers. “Now, look ere young lady. This ere is mah town and I’m the lawman ere. Ya’ll abide by our laws.”

“Understood, Sheriff.”

Ethan continued with his warning. “If any of ya’ll cause trouble, then I’ll have yer asses hauled into the jail cell ere and send ya’ll packin back ta yer fancy ship. Clear?”

“Yes, Sheriff. If you need assistance, I’ll have my people on standby.” Jasmine bit her lip to avoid saying anything further. She made a mental note to have Silsby assemble a small team and beam down to Port Emily, just to look out for any trouble from both the Phoenix personnel and the locals as well as be available to offer assistance to the Sheriff’s people if needed. She would also have a guard assigned to Byte for his protection.

“Lieutenant, about yer human lookin robot.”

Jasmine raised an eyebrow. “What about Lieutenant Byte?” She was tempted to correct him and tell him Byte was technically an android but decided against it.

“Just a friendly warnin’ between us lawpersons,” Ethan said in a softer tone. “We’re jus’ simple folks. Not many ere’d be okay with tha robot walkin aroun’ and talkin funny with em.”

Yu gave him a weak smile. “Sheriff, Lieutenant Byte is harmless. He’d never hurt anyone, at least, not on purpose.”

“Ain’t him I’m worryin about.”

“I see. Thanks for letting me know.” Jasmine sighed.

*************************************************************************************



~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical
USS PHOENIX

 

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