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How to make friends...

Posted on Sun Aug 19, 2018 @ 6:29pm by Lieutenant Commander Ronald Hawk & Nadiya Blackford
Edited on on Sun Nov 25, 2018 @ 8:49pm

Mission: S01E02: First Unity
Location: Lyshan Colony
Timeline: MD05 1415 Hours

Ron stepped from the hatch in the rear end of the shuttle he had brought down to the Colony from Langley station. This wasn’t an official visit, he was here more for his own curiosity. Captain Baninga had made it quite clear the Colony was in bad shape and that they could do with every scrap of help. But it wasn’t until now that he realised just how bad things were.

Stretched out before him were a handful of shack like shelter houses. It felt like a mix between an old western and pictures of old earth refugee camps. Both of which were now a thing if the past back on earth. The whole sight made his heart sink. The soil beneath his feet seemed dead of itself. Not that soil had life in the first place. But his knowledge of farming told him crops would have a hard time growing here.

He walked from one end of the shanty town to the other and out to explore the wilderness. He found himself in a large open space, with fences erected around what looked to be cattle. Another building sat neatly to one side. This building however appeared to be a lot better constructed, it reminded Hawk of old ranch houses. If the town itself effect like a western this felt doubly so. As he strolled the perimeter he spotted a woman with uncontrolled curls within the make shift ranch.

Nadiya had been inspecting the food dispenser, it had given off some odd readings when she was running the numbers earlier that day. She hoped it was just something plugging up the tubes, she really couldn't afford fixing anything more complicated than that this month. Suddenly Bootstrap piped up and barked before shooting off away from her side towards the entrance to the barn.

"Boots! Down boy!" Nadiya shouted after him, turning around to see a silhouette in the open doors. It was difficult to see with the sunlight coming from their backs who was approaching.

"Heel boy." The german sheppard immediately obeyed and stopped running towards the person in the door frame, he continued to stroll forward lazily allowing Nadiya to catch up with him before stepping in line with her. Even though she had gotten closer and the details about the man in front of her were starting to come into focus she didn't recognise who it was. Then she recognised the uniform, or rather the fact that he was wearing a uniform.
"What can I help you with, Starfleet? Are you lost?"

"Not at all," Ron smiled back, "Just out exploring. It’s quite a place you have here."

"The old family estate. Fixed her back up myself over the years. It's not for sale." Nadiya crossed her arms. She wasn't a big fan of Starfleet, which was a given on the surface of Lyshan.

Rons smile faded briefly at the bluntness of the woman, before it returned with a small chuckle. “I don’t want to buy this place from you. I was just impressed at how well you had survived. Tell me how do you manage to keep your live stock? The ground here looks far too barren for anything decent to grow on it.”

"It's a combination of my stubborn nature, rotating pastures and Rigellian Kudzu. I compliment their foods with off world produce, but it's expensive, even if it's replicated on your station." Nadiya started to walk in the direction of the doors.
"Would you like to see?" Despite it all she was quite proud of the fact that she could keep the ranch running with such limited yields on their home turf.

“Lead the way,” Hawk said still holding on to his smile, “did I hear you say Kudzu? As in arrow root? Wouldn’t that be more destructive than helpful?”

"Well, yeah. On any normal planet it would be. But it's edible and it refuses to fully die. Even with what the dominion did to the soil here the Kudzu seems to survive. Just barely." Nadiya stopped at the fence of the current pasture. It was being grazed but the cows had already made it to the last strands of the plant life.
"This is after about half a year." She started moving again in the direction of the second pasture, it was almost ready to put the cows on there and sustain them for about half a year.
"The cows are mostly for milk and derived dairy products, we only use them for their meat after 15 to 18 years, if they live that long." She was walking to the western pasture. After having about 2 years to grow it would normally be fully out of control but on Lysshan it was about knee high strands of a grass like shrub.

“So because Arrow root grows here but it’s growth is stunted, it’s perfect for your cattle? In fact they probably keep it in check.” Hawk spoke his own understanding out, “genius. No wonder you have managed to make a decent life for yourself here.”

"Well, not perfect but we can manage." Nadiya still wasn't quite sure what this fleeter wanted, but she felt a sense of pride being able to survive in this environment due to his remarks. She didn't comment on the fact that the family estate and 'old money' was what mostly pulled her through when she had some bad winters.

“Let’s get real for a minute,” Hawk said, straightening his gaze upon the woman. “If there was just one thing this colony needed. Something practical. Then what would such a thing be?”

"Real?" Nadiya shook her head a bit in disbelieve. "Yeah, let's get real here, Starfleet. This is not something you can buy off with one of your tech gizmos." She leaned on the fence, averting her gaze from the officer to avoid flying into a rage. "You can't take away years of neglect. This place was once a golden field of corn. Green pastures filled with bovines. Indigenous wildlife in lush forests. You want to get real for a moment? I'll show you real." With that she almost stormed off, in the direction away from the pasture and apparently heading past the estate.

Hawk followed, his legs having to pump hard to keep up.

After about a three minute walk, where Nadiya didn't speak a word, they came to a small hill, which she immediately started to ascend. IN about another minute she had reached the top, it looked over a valley.
"This is the biggest forest in our vicinity." Stretched out before them were gnarled trees, leafless, stuck in barren grounds. Looking to the left there was a patch, about a kilometer in diameter, that was just a black crater, charred trees, barely standing, stood around the edge of the crater.
"While you guys were playing soldier up in the stars those demons descended here and they sucked the life out of this entire planet. Those golden corn fields? Those green pastures? They only exist in my dreams, and those dreams are becoming fewer and farther in between. That's what's real. That's what happened here after you were all too eager to throw our planet into the hands of the Cardies. And you're asking me for one thing?" She shook her head, almost in disappointment.

“I am not going to try and justify StarFleets actions,” Hawk said softly. “I can’t. We fought a war. A war at times we thought we would lose. Command made the decision to protect our most strategic worlds first. This place,” he gestured loosely aroun, “wasn’t deemed strategic enough. But people live here. Like you, like the others that suffered here at the hands of the dominion. We had a duty to protect you, and we failed. What’s happened here is dreadful, and it can’t be excused by the federation or by the dominion. What we can do however is apologise. Time and again if we have to. And we can help you rebuild. One initial piece of tech today, along with a man willing to help in his down time, and who knows what else tomorrow.” Ron was trying to outstretch his hand of friendship, as well as the hand of the people his uniform made him represent.

"Fine, one thing." Nadiya took his hand and shook it. "An industrial replicator with limitless supply." She knew it was next to impossible to approve that request. She also knew that it was one of the things that could help them in the colony. Not that the rest of the residents would accept a hand out from the Fleeters.

“I’ll speak to the captain, and where do you think these hands would be best put to use?” Ron attempted a friendly smile, but it was meagre. He was far too caught up in the destruction that met his eyes.

"You would have to talk to our Mayor, or Governor, or whatever he calls himself these days." Nadiya her voice and words belied her predisposition towards the man in charge. "Now, if that's all for today, I need to get back to my cattle.

“I shall go hunt down your head of government then and let you get on. Unless you could do with a hand miss?” He ended his sentence realising he hadn’t yet traded names with the woman he had spent the last half hour or so with. He felt embarrassed at this point he needed to ask.

"Nadiya Blackford, and I've managed without any extra hands for the past years, Starfleet. I'm sure I don't need them now." Sure, it was stubborn and Nadiya wasn't being helpful or building any bridges. Then again this was the first time in ten years she personally saw someone in a Starfleet uniform come down to the planet's surface, the first time any of them had shown an interest in her business. In her eyes she wasn't the one on fence mending duty, they were, and there was a lot of mending to do still.

“Ron Hawk,” the man replied holding out his hand in ignorance of the anti-StarFleet comments. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Miss Blackford, I hope to see a lot more of you.”

"Thank you Ron." Nadiya gave a small courteous nod towards the Starfleet officer. "Only if you bring the replicator." She half joked before jumping the fence back into the pasture with her cows. "Boots! Back to work!" She whistled loudly to get her dog's attention.




Lieutenant Commander Ronald Hawk
Executive Officer
Langley Station

&

Nadiya Blackford
Rancher
Blackford Estate - Lyshan Colony

"We build too many walls and not enough bridges"

 

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