The Kasheeta Arrive
Et Tu, Brute?
Location: Kingdom Docking Slip
It was a rough landing for the shuttle pilot that touched down with the Kasheeta diplomatic envoy. In part this was due to his co-pilot refusing to leave the cockpit and in part because the stewardess had spent a good bit of the flight in the bathroom closet crying. That left all other duties to him and the lone woman from the Diplomatic Corps to soldier through the chaos- and damn did he need a drink after a week of that! As soon as the diplomats were unloaded and their gear transferred he made himself scarce in a big way. The co-pilot could deal with the rest.
Much like the pilot, the diplomat was more than worn a little thin, but that, no doubt, was due to trying to keep nine very large, very normally active sentients calm and content in an extremely small shuttle for a week. Gail did her best to draw upon her inner composure and appear collected, serene, pleasant for the brief encounter required to hand the envoy off to one Lt. Kheylen, but honestly deep down all she wanted was a very long nap.
She glanced back at the pod of Kasheeta following her, who had
fallen into their usual pairings. Beremi in her gold and violet beaded headdress had taken to matronly guiding the youngest two, Caloom and Eagra as they moved through the station, all too eager to warn the two against plowing forward as they might squish the more delicate creatures that were much smaller than they. Gijenn was eyeing the architecture and frowning as much as she could. Hugro, Fraast and Gatara were gossiping amongst themselves, which left Chindahi to ask Gail a million questions about every person that they passed and the overeager Gijenn attempting to run ahead of the rest again and again and again.. More than once, Gail promised herself a cappuccino and a long nap as soon as she was physically able.
The very loose security envoy that met up with them and led them to the Kingdom's docking slip was wisely distant, saying not much at all to the towering red kasheeta or the willowy diplomat- or how the detail had to be broken down as the lifts could only manage two kasheeta and a few humanoids at a time- or on any of the running commentary passed between them. No, they abstained and retained some sanity because of it.
By the time the docking slip was reached and the gathering from the ship were clearly visibly there to greet them, Gail felt relief flood through her body. It tasted of quiet and a dark room with sweet notes of low jazz and cinnamon froth left over from a hot toddy. Good lord, was she ready for that. Still, she drew herself up tall and proud, gracefully self-possessed as the two groups met. "Good crew of the USS Kingdom, I am Gail Crispin, assistant to Rita Hargrave of Fleet Diplomatic Services. I have the pleasure of escorting these nine representatives to rendezvous with your vessel."
Kelly was grinning ear to ear like an idiot. She'd never really been assigned to a diplomatic detail (because someone would have to be insane to do that), but she was exceptionally glad she was assigned to this one. Watching the giant red raptor-like creatures approach was simply amazing. This was exactly what she though Starfleet would be like. Now, if she could maintain her composure, she might just make a good impression on someone.
Damn these official meeting things. Hel hated them. Still, she was an officer in Starfleet and as such knew she had to very well act like one, damnit. As such she presented an impeccable front, her uniform meticulously cleaned and pressed, immaculately worn, with small trinkets in every little hidden pocket. Apparently giving small gifts was an intricate and necessary part of not-pissing-these-enormous-aliens-off, and as such she came prepared. Still, she would wait and see what happened, what the other crew did, taking the patient approach.
Ro, on the other hand, had found her inner zen and was every bit the picture of composure strangely enough. She was waiting slightly ahead of the others with a handful of strange looking flowers clutched in her hands. Like Hel, she'd filled her pockets with trinkets and even opted for the suit jacket so she had a little more room to hide things. Recognizing the sentiment behind Gail's deteriorating facade, the commander offered her a bolstering grin. "We gladly receive your charges and as such bring them into our home as guests and family until such a time as they are safely delivered home."
Crispin beamed at the words. She turned to the very large and very looming kasheeta in a head shroud that was standing just behind her shoulder. "May your journey be quick and peaceful." She bowed to the dignitary, who bobbed her massive head in response before moving past her towards commander O'Touvelli. The other kasheeta fell in around her. They couldn't help but loom from sheer size alone, though one did purposefully lengthen her spine to lower her head to a more conversational height.
"We are received and welcomed," the head shroud wearing kasheeta huffed. Her golden eyes flashed, her teeth were bared- all of which were supposedly shows of prowess and threat to prove one's worth to a fellow peer. "she accepted the flower that Ro gave her and watched as a similar bud was distributed to each of the other delegates, including Gail, who looked a little confused at the offer. "I am Beremi, elder of the House of Nikios."
"Commander Rohana O'Touvelli of the USS Kingdom," As odd as it seemed to declare it, the Kingdom was a collected banner that everyone present stood behind. It seemed right to announce themselves that way circumstantially. "These are my people, Lieutenants Hel Samedi and Kelly Henshaw. As a team we'll be seeing to your needs whilst you're on board."
Kathryn did her best not to pant as winded as she was walking from the Kingdom to meet the Kasheeta and the crew. She almost didn't make the meeting but pulled off nothing short of a miracle, first by convincing her shuttle to land as close to a transporter as possible and second by beaming on board the Kingdom itself. The trip from Starfleet Command gave her time to read about the peculiar alien delegation and lucky for Kathryn she had packed countless shells gathered from her home beach. Kathryn selected nine, and stashed an extra couple just in case there were more Kasheeta then expected. "Lieutenant Kathryn Novacek, Beremi," she introduced herself before she thought even O'Touvelli was aware of who she was. She handed a shell to each of the towering reptilians, keeping others in the pockets of her knee length black overcoat with gold piping on the cuffs and neck. "A piece of my home, to you."
Hel quirked a brow at this new person, who introduced herself as Kathryn Novacek. Still, the woman seemed to have been briefed on the situation. As such Hel maintained her composure and to each of the Kasheeta was offered a small, fairly common servo as used by the Federation in non-confidential robotics. "Lieutenant Hel Samedi, Beremi." she introduced herself to the one who seemed to be a leader. "A symbol of my chosen career, to you."
"It is my pleasure and honor to make you family and bring you into our home for this trip," Kelly replied, with a surprising amount of grace - that damn grin still plastered firmly on her face - as she offered a bow and placed small model airplanes in each one of the delegate's hands. "I am a pilot, these are the planes my father flew." She explained.
Fraast lashed out with an annoyed hiss, drawing the ire of Beremi but beyond he range of most humanoid audio sensory organs. She longed for the days when gift exchanges were of real monetary value and not little, worthless trinkets but this is what the gift exchanges had come down to.
Beremi ignored the outburst from the irritable second eldest diplomat of their group and handed out sealed translucent packages of what the Humans might call a party mix, if they enjoyed a concoction of grubs, tubers and insects. "We accept your gifts openly. In return we provide you with culinary delights from Kasheet."
Kelly poked at the bag she received than jammed her hand in and tossed some of it in her mouth. She munched for a moment, then smiled at the Kasheet, "That's actually pretty good! Thank you!" She said, as brightly as she could muster.
The captain took the offered trail mix and slipped it into her pocket with a little crunch of various dried bugs pulverizing. "Wonderful, thank you. Allow us to show you on board to your suite so you can be comfortable." She made eye contact with diplomat Gail as if to say 'stay put' then smiled back at Beremi. "Hel and Kelly will show you the way. "Miss Crispin.. Lt. Novacek.. if you'd stay behind for a moment?"
Gail's smile froze as she assessed the commander's posture. She nodded her head, dimly aware of the kasheeta moving towards the ship in a herd.
Gijenn and Chindahi let their eyes stray and lagged behind the rest of their herd. Their youthful intrigue matched the curiosity of the Humans and shared a familiar interest in each other before hisses from their elders, Fraast and Hugro, demanded they catch up with the delegation.
"Ofcourse. We will. It would be our pleasure." A similar soft crunch of various dried bugs being forced into a smaller pocket than they prevously occupied, as Hel forced a smile she hoped wasn't too obviously fake. Why did she have to get stuck with escorting the frightening dragon people?
... Oh. Because she was acting XO. That was why. "Lieutenant," she addressed Kelly. "Esteemed guests, if you would follow me, please." the pale engineer added, heading towards the exit.
Kathryn watched as Hel and Kelly escorted the Kasheeta to the ship, out of eavesdropping range, before turning to meet her captain and Ms. Crispin. "Kathryn Novacek," she introduced herself, assuming that would be O'Touvelli's first question.
"I got that from your introduction to the kasheeta." Ro said with a very tight smile that was just hair north of sarcastic and three shades light of exhausted. "You just zipped right in like a mini-hurricane. What are you doing here?"
"A hurricane which will, instead of blowing a gale and knocking things out of place, knock everything in its place. Here's hoping," Kathryn said with a tight smile, eyelids almost closing with the orbicularis oculi, as she deposited the trail mix into the coasts left inside breast pocket. "Starfleet dug me up out of medical leave and sent me here as your replacement X.O."
"I thought someone would have at least sent you a memo by now," Kathryn said laughably although some notification wouldn't have hurt.
"Oh, yeah. Our comm chief was the former XO and the girl that took his place is still reading up on the manual, sooooo.." the freckle-faced CO turned to regard the diplomat. I know that you really want to go, but.. He was also our direct diplomatic contact and your high up boss lady did get word through that you'll have to see this through. But don't worry: we'll spot you.. And you can sleep drunk and happy the whole way back. Scout's honor."
Crispin's shoulders slumped defeated and she looked not at Ro, but at Kathryn as if she'd somehow fix this. "You don't understand.." she began tiredly. "I was the stand in for the call out for Mizz Hargrave. I.. I can't.."
The lieutenant's hand found its way onto the shoulder of Ms. Crispin in a manner which asked the captain to let her new XO interject.
"Ms. Crispin, the both of us have found ourselves thrown to the wolves show to speak. I, for instance, should be trapped in some underwater cave probably struggling to breathe," Kathryn said aside to the reluctant diplomat. "Perhaps, together, we can make the most of our situation to make it go over as smoothly as possible."
"You'd rather be trapped in a cave, too, huh?" Gail sighed. She looked between the two women and bit back a groan. "I need chocolate before I can do this again. And a shower."
"You can have both," Ro reassured her. "Come on, you two. Let's get you settled in, too."