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New Horizons

Posted on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 @ 7:04pm by Lieutenant Commander Onaga Sayuri
Edited on on Mon Sep 23rd, 2019 @ 7:05pm

Mission: Wounded Pride
Location: Song of Stars | Lagashi astral arcology, T'ien system
Timeline: current

As Sayuri beamed aboard, she was bombarded by the sounds of thousands of people milled about the plaza, going about their business. She spared but a glance for the interior of the arcology's interior, despite its imposing grand architecture and state of the art amenities. When one was summoned by the admiral, one did not delay. Besides, with the help of Jade, her onboard AI familiar, Sayuri could leave the polite exchanges in the virtual level. Like most Lagashi, she could broadcast herself and receive data from others that floated around their heads due to her entoptic processors.

The flow of foot traffic was not unlike the currents of the sea. If one watched the patterns, the veneer of chaos would fall away to reveal a spontaneous, natural order. Sayuri slipped onto a side path that moved in a wider loop towards the outer area plaza, towards a series of grav lifts that would allow access to the skyways that allowed expedited pedestrian travel above the promenade levels.

Flashing her credentials through her digital aura, Sayuri bypassed several security checkpoints without so much as a word. When she reached the admiral's office, a tall, thin man stood up and gave her a slight bow.

"Jiuwendaming," he said to Sayuri, ushering her in to the inner offices. "Admiral Huang is expecting you."

~Courtesy dictates that you respond~ Jade chided.

"Thank you," Sayuri said at last, dismissing the aide as she did so.

~You can do better~

Sayuri rolled her eyes at her onboard AI but let the comment go. The room was bare, nearly spartan save for a handful of chairs and a refreshment table. Before she had a chance to partake, an older woman with a steely resolve entered the room. The digital files on display within her virtual aura identified her as Admiral Huang JunLei an Feng. Sayuri ensured the Jade transmitted the same information backward, and then bowed.

"You have been diligent," the admiral said, though not necessarily as a compliment if her arched brow was to be believed.

"I live to serve," Sayuri said, bowing once more but only with her head, "and I have heeded the admiral's summons."

Huang was unmoved. "The Anti-Piracy Task Force. It comes under no small scrutiny. There are some who call for its decommission."

If the admiral was fishing for incriminating evidence, Sayuri had naught to offer. She stood firm, equally unmoved as the admiral. "This one has served with honor and distinction. If the High Command wishes to end my service, then my honor will remain."

"Bold words," Huang noted. "They will serve you well where you're going."

That was... unexpected. Sayuri felt her violet eyes flash. She said nothing, allowing the admiral to continue.

"What do you know of Starfleet?" Huang asked.

Sayuri thought for a moment while Jade assisted with her data recall. "Starfleet is the preeminent exploration, diplomatic, and security agency within the United Federation of Planets. Despite the dozen large-scale military conflicts it has fought in the past century, its mandate is still said to be that of discovery."

"Very good," Haung said. "Spoken as well as any primary schoolgirl could recite. But what is it truly?"

There was a trap afoot. Sayuri was sure of it. "Starfleet is not Lagashi."

Huang smiled like a hungry Bengal tiger. "Precisely. You will serve among Starfleet until the present political situation is rectified."

In other words, Sayuri, and likely many other line officers within the Anti-Piracy Task Force, was being exiled. Such was the price of privilege. When one's master was slain, then the samurai became ronin. It was foolish to ask when she would be recalled. Time was never a factor in these developments. It would be when it will be.

"I understand, Admiral." Sayuri bowed, yielding herself to the hand of fate and the will of the High Command. "I will represent the Republican Guard with due honor."

That made Huang chuckle. "In point of fact, you will be proffered an honorary rank within Starfleet in order to serve aboard one of their vessels. You will represent and defend the interests of the Pentad, but you will follow the orders of your commanding officers as though they were Lagashi."

Nothing that Sayuri had done was deserving of this, but Lagashi knew better than to plead that case. Even if it would have persuaded the admiral from her decision, Sayuri's pride would not allow it. If her task force was under fire, then she would labor under that injustice and bring honor to her family one way or another.

"I understand, Admiral." Her tone was subservient, but her will burned hot. Though she had never been aboard a Starfleet vessel before, she was no stranger to Federation space. There was no doubt in Sayuri's mind that she would succeed.

"Be on your way, then," Admiral Huang said. "The Hanxin will ferry you to Starbase 72, the headquarters of Starfleet's 72nd Task Force, at which time you will be assigned to whichever vessel the admiralty deems most fitting."

Sayuri nodded her understanding. "Zàijiàn, Admiral." Not good-bye, but 'see you again.'

"Wǒ xiān gào cí le," Huang said. 'I must leave first.' A formal declaration of departure. And then she was gone.

The brisk walk back to the transporter pads dozens of decks below was a miasma. As Sayuri awaited to get beamed aboard the waiting LRV Hanxin, she looked upon the horde of her people, wondering if it would be for the last time.

"Shī péi le," she whispered. Almost too polite. 'I am sorry I must leave.'


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