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Keep Off the Grass

Posted on Fri Sep 27th, 2019 @ 11:20pm by Civilian Viol & Captain Nathan Bishop & Commander Nathan Hawkins & Lieutenant Commander Patton O'Sullivan & Lieutenant Commander Lily Snow PhD, MD
Edited on on Thu Jan 2nd, 2020 @ 5:14pm

Mission: Atlantis
Location: Transporter Room/Planetside
Timeline: 2429-12-03, 12:00

Bishop stood next to Viol in one of Starfleet One's many transporter rooms. They were preparing to beam down to her world. The rest of her shuttle team was also in the transporter room. While they waited for the rest of Bishop's away team to join them. Bishop had a cricket phaser inside his waistband as to not upset or offend Viol. He didn't anticipate any problems in beaming down but it was always good to be prepared.

"Just give the transporter chief the coordinates you want us to beam down to Commander Viol and an instant later we'll be there." Bishop explained to the Atlantean Commander. "I look forward to seeing your world and meeting it's people. I hope you can find time in your schedule to show me that is us around."

Commander Viol nodded to the First Officer of Starfleet One, "I would be happy to show you around my world. First, I would recommend that we visit the Premier though. She would be most interested in meeting you. She's the one we saw on your communications screen." Before she could say anything else the doors slid open.

Snow arrived with a full load out. Tricorder, small medical kit, and two type 1 phasers, one on her waist band and the other hidden on her person. "Commander." She said in her normal icy tone as she waited for the others to arrive so they could get this trap sprung already.

O’Sullivan came in and took his place. He came ready for anything. He was going into this as a peace mission but prepared in case things went bad. “Ready when you are.”

Hawkins arrived just behind and nodded in greeting with party. His eye passed over the Atlantean members whom still looked like deer trapped in the headlights. Viol, however looked more composed as she and Bishop were in conversation about their destination. Snow appeared to be taking enough supplies to satisfy her negative opinions, while O'Sullivan seemed to quiver with excitement at the prospect of leaving the ship.

Viol pointed to the point on the screen, "This is where we need to go."

The Bolian Transporter Chief nodded, "I will put you just outside in this courtyard here." He pointed to an adjacent point on the screen. "We're ready."

"Good. I long for home," the Atlantean said as she looked at the transporter. "We step upon that platform do we not?"

"I know you do." Bishop answered "And yes just step up on the platform and once everyone is here we will transport down and meet your Premier."

The golden haired woman stepped atop the platform, studying it carefully as she waited. She stared at the rear wall, seeing the patterns and energy flowing. "This is amazing," she said not seeing the others and staring at the golden energy.

Patton smiled as he waited for the others. You could tell Viol was anxious to transport. It had been a long time since he had felt at home anywhere so he sympathized.

"Aren't I supposed to feel all tingly? I was promised tingly!" The Atlantean said.

"Patience Commander Viol." Bishop answered and then looking at the Transporter Chief said "Energize." An instant later the away team along with the Atlanteans disappeared in a shower of rainbow lights.

They reappeared an instant later in the courtyard. Bishop looked over at Viol, "Well tingly enough for you?" He asked with a smile.

Patton grinned, waiting for Viol to answer. He found Viol refreshing and was anxious to hear how she felt after her first transport.

Lily took out her tricorder and started to make a scan of the area. She wasn't really in the mood to deal with a trap.

A series of beeps erupted from the device, indicating that the scan had failed.

Viol smiled broadly, "It was indeed!" She studied their surroundings, carefully taking it all in as the light sea air came upon her. The smell of the ocean was mystical, revitalizing as she took it all in. In the distance creatures resembling dolphins jumped from the sea.

"Wondrous to be home!" She whispered looking out at the crystal blue waters.

Patton grinned. “I doubt I have ever been that happy to be where I came from but I’m enjoying this!”

There was no denying it, the area was very beautiful. The waft of the sea breeze was welcomed as it caressed Hawkins cheek.

"I have looked forward to my people joining the stars since I was a small child," Viol explained herself to the Commander. "I have longed to be part of the stellar community, for my people to lead, but now I've found we were there all along." She looked at Commander Bishop as she said the last part. "Our futures have intersected for a very long time. It will be interesting to see where we all end up."

Lily snapped the tricorder closed and returned it to its holster. "Now for a civilization that has limited Warp Technology, they sure do have advanced sensor jamming technology." Her tone was colder then a winter on Pluto as watched Viol.

It was an interesting question Snow had put across, though her cold. chipped tone left much to be desired. Hawkins glanced between the group

At Lily’s words, Patton went on alert. Why jam their equipment? He looked over at Bishop and then Viol for a response.

"Yes, I hope this is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in both your world and your people," Bishop finished and caught Patton's look. He turned back to Commander Viol, "Commander? Would you like to explain? Just what Commander Snow is reading?"

"There are mineral deposits below our island that have affected our technology. It's part of why it has taken so long for us to join the stars. I am surprised, as advanced as you are, that it has had an impact on you."

"Hmmm." Lily hummed to herself. "The ship's sensors where not affect by these mineral deposits." She said in her icy tone and crossed her arms across her chest.

The Atlantean Commander was unperturbed by the challenge, "That makes sense. I would assume that your ship's sensors are more sophisticated than the hand scanner you carry, Miss. So your scanner not working properly makes total sense to me."

Bishop shot Snow a look to cool it. He didn't blame her for being cautious but she was all but accusing Viol of lying. he preferred to take a wait and see approach. Be curious but not argumentative.

Viol saw the look. She had been guilty of the same with her own crew from time to time. Looking around the scene she saw that the Prefect, the woman whom the crew had spoken with earlier, standing atop the stairs. She was dressed in a long, flowing robe of white. Everyone was wearing white aside from the Starfleet Officer's colorful attire.

Daiarcall, leader of the Atlantean people, descended the stairs gracefully with synchronicity that was practiced and unnatural. Her lyrical voice was quickly translated, but was not too dissimilar from Greek. "Brothers, Sisters, welcome to Atlantis."

Bishop watched as Daiarcall descended in the steps in a regal fashion to greet them. He took a step forward. "I'm Commander Bishop leader of this away team. Please allow me to introduce the other members of the team." As he spoke he gestured to each." Commander Hawkins, Lieutenant Commander O'Sullivan and Lieutenant Commander Snow. He turned back to Daiarcall, "We are honored and pleased to be here and wish to lean more about your world and it's people."

"And we are happy to have you on our world, Commander Bishop. We have long known we were not alone in the universe, but we never believed we would be able to join you amongst the stars." He looked at the Mission Commander, "Thank you for returning Commander Viol and her crew to us. They are heroes of our world. The first to join the stars."

Viol nodded, "It is only through your leadership, your daring, and tenacity that we have had the opportunity Premier." She turned toward the Away Team, "Their vessel is amazing, far beyond our shuttle in terms of technology and capability."

"Of that I am certain," she answered. She looked first as Bishop, "I am certain that you and your people have questions. Please, come with me for afternoon tea."

"We would be honored Premier." Bishop replied graciously e looked at the others to follow. He turned Viol, "Will you be there as well?"

Lily continued to look coldly at Viol, the Premier, and Commander Bishop. She would attend afternoon tea, her own British training in etiquette demands that she attend the invite. Right now she will remain quiet, but she will make a point to the Commander when they get in private.

Daiarcall noted the scene before her, a brief grin on her face as she looked at the Science Officer before quickly dropping it. "I am afraid that would not be proper, Commander. Miss Viol will be working with our team to determine why the FTL failed in her shuttle. We are intrigued by this as, according to all reports and simulations, it should not have had an error. We need to rule out Human error with her or her crew."

"I can assure you, Premier, that we did all we could to prevent catastrophe," Viol defended herself to her leader.

"Of that I hope to be certain, Commander Viol. For your sake." She pulled herself back to the reality of her moment, "Will you and your team be joining me for tea, Commander?"

Bishop did his best to hide his disappointment but wasn't entirely successful, "Oh, I see. Perhaps you can show me your city and it's sights later?" He asked hopefully.

"If her duties so permit," the Premier answered for her. "Although she is invited to the State Dinner in honor of you and your vessel later this evening, again depending upon the completion of her duties."

*Well crap* Bishop thought sourly. "Yes of course. I do hope to see you there Commander Viol." Bishop said to the Atlantean Commander.

Patton found the Premier to be condescending. He had that feeling he got when it felt like things were not quite right like when the Premier had basically threatened Viol if there was fault. He would go to this tea but he was going to be on guard.

Hawkins shared his colleagues surprise the the Premier behaviour toward Viol. Clearly things weren't all sunshine and pleasantries after all, and maybe, just maybe the cold calculating Lily Snow was right.

Bishop looked between Viol and the Premier. "As Commander Viol was our first contact with your world and as been so helpful to us. I and the rest of the team would be most grateful if she does attend."

Patton has his eyes on the Premier. If he flat out forbid it and something happened to Viol he would be pissed. There would be hell to pay.

The Premier looked at Commander Viol and then to the away team from Starfleet One. Her look was puzzled, confused by the actions of the away team. "Fascinating," she uttered as she studied the situation in her own unique way. "Her presence is that significant to you that it could derail our efforts of contact," the comment sounded like a question, but was firmly a statement. "Very well," she looked between her aides as one came and whispered something inaudible in her ear.

"We will gladly accept Commander Viol at the State Dinner this evening, Commander Bishop. Unfortunately, however, I must retract my invitation to tea. I was just informed by my Aide of my presence being needed at our Congress regarding an item of urgency. Please accept my sincerest regrets," Daiarcall excused herself. She turned and walked away, her movements statuesque as she walked away. Then she relented, turning slightly toward the away team but not showing her full form, "Commander Viol may show you around our botanical gardens if you so wish. Her presence is no longer needed to investigate the damage to her craft."

Bishop was pleased the Premier had relented on allowing Viol to attend the State Dinner. It was a matter of principle. "Excellent." He replied while looking over to Viol. "May I ask that you take time from your busy schedule do show us around the botanical gardens?"

The Atlantean Commander looked at the departing leader before answering. Seeing the Premier leave she relaxed a bit, "Sure. I would be happy to. Even Commander Snow," she grinned to the powerfully built Science Officer.

Bishop smiled and gestured for Viol to lead the way. "This is your world Commander, please show us the beauty it has to offer."

Lily frown deepened at the woman. "Lets get this sham on the road."

Though suspicious of the tact change from the Premier Hawkins passed Snow's shoulder and said lowly having his fill our her off hand comments: "Remember we're guests here so mind your manners."

Patton was pleased that the tea was off and they were going on a tour with Viol instead. Snow was correct to be cautious but he was simply happy at the change of plans.

Lily got a truly cold scowl on her face. "Commander," she said lowly and coldly, "I'm not a diplomat, I'm a scientist." She stated as she turned to look at the Commander directly. Her tone dropped a bit further. "If the treatment of Commander Viol by the Premier is any inkling of a Trap, then we have bigger issues here." She still had her arms crossed. "For a civilization that sends people out in a ship to meet other civizations, just to come home to be treated less then dirt. If that doesn't set off red flags, for you, then we have some major problems brewing."

Hawkins was left slightly flabbergasted at Snow's return. Clearly this woman skipped all life lesson in respect, empathy and had long since lost the ability to withhold her tongue. It was a marvel in his opinion she made it though basic training let alone wiggled her way onto Starfleet One. Nathan shook his head a moved away before he said something he'd later regret.

Commander Viol pondered the comment, surprised to say the least but not entirely. Their ways were atypical to their cousins from Earth, she would respect that. Still she had no choice but to defend, "I understand your point, Miss Snow, and I would probably share in that concern if our roles were reversed. The Premier has her challenges and her ways could be seen as uncharacteristic for a leader. This project was and remains very important to her though. For our world greatly values the philosophical and scientific and the Premier had been one of the lead scientists on our project before she was chosen for her new role. Please, give us time. We are not as advanced as you, but we will get there."

Bishop endeavoured to play peacemaker, "No apology is necessary Commander Viol and please forgive us. This is your world and we are guests and much of your world and it's ways are foreign to us but we wish to learn just as you wish to learn more about us. So in the belief that knowledge is power let us all work on broadening our knowledge of the other. Now where are these botanical gardens? I'm sure they are quite beautiful."

"Indeed," she answered simply. "The botanical gardens are not far away from here," she indicated the cobblestone path to her side that led off toward the horizon. In the distance a sound not too dissimilar to whale song could be heard echoing in the breeze. "We are very proud of our world and, despite what it may seem, we are very happy to share it with others."

Lily was going to address Viol's comments, but Commander Bishop spoke up for them all. She knew her temper was brewing, but she was holding it in check for the moments.

The Atlantean woman gingerly strode through the courtyard amongst the botanical gardens that were so ornately laid out before them. The trees rose from the island toward the sky, a touch of green amidst the ruins of yesterday. Hanging baskets hung from intricate posts, the leaves a royal purple rather than green.

"This is among my favourite place on the entire island. We can visit the mainland, but we rarely choose to do so. Our lives are here on this island," she explained.

It was easy to see why Viol enjoyed the gardens, they were simply beautiful coupled with distant sound of the ocean it made a very relaxing location. Even in present company Hawkins thought.

"How far is it to the mainland?" He asked their guide.

"About half a day by ferry. The mainland is sparsely populated though, it has only been more recently that we began pushing further on our own world as well as to the stars." She kept a slight smile on her lips the entire time she spoke, hoping to remain as friendly as she could.

The Commander nodded at her answer. It was interesting to hear about this new world and their drive to explore. "Why strive to seek off world exploration?" He asked, "You already have something beautiful here."

Patton shared some of Lily’s feelings but he also knew the art of diplomacy. His eyes met Bishops and he nodded, letting him know he would accept his decision but would be on guard as well.

Lily had to admit that the gardens where beautiful, but there was still something off. It could be that she is overacting to the situation or it could be something more. She just remained quiet, because she didn't want to cause an even larger diplomatic relations nightmare for the Admiral.

"This island is and always has been home to us," Viol explained. "It has been a center of the arts and philosophy. It was only recently that our view of the sciences changed." She motioned to the diverse gardens, "You are welcome to remain as long as you wish, or you may return to your ship at your leisure." She rested her hand atop an ancient looking helmet made of bronze as she suggested it.

Patton silently voted to stay but it was Bishop’s call. He felt like there was more to the picture and hoped they could figure it out, Viol was so different than the others, something wasn’t right here.

Bishop looked at Viol before looking at the other members of the away team. "Any of you who wish to return to the ship may do so. For myself, I'm going to remain and learn more about this world. Have Commander Viol continue to show me it's wonders and beauty."

"Sir, I would believe that my presence would be more of a hindrance." Lily said, in her normal icy tone, as she did a visual scan of the gardens again. "So I will return to the ship."

“I prefer to stay, Commander,” Patton spoke clearly. “I wish to learn as well.” He wasn’t leaving Bishop here without protection and he wanted answers.

"Very well Commander Snow, you may return to the ship." Bishop answered though inwardly he was disappointed in her decision. He nodded at Patton, "Alright Mr. O'Sullivan your decision to stay is welcomed."

"I too wish to stay a while longer," Hawkins added whom unlike Bishop wasn't really going to miss Snow and her sour personality.

Patton looked over at Snow. He could only assume she was heading back to see what she could dig up from the computers. Maybe something that had been overlooked . Otherwise it would have been better to have her with them. But that was just his opinion. He looked to Bishop to see where they were headed.

"I wish you well, Commander Snow, and thank you for helping to bring me home," she said graciously to the Science Officer. Despite the concerns that had been brought up, she hoped that the scientist would open up to them. They were, in the end, kindred spirits of a sort.

Snow cocked an eyebrow at the woman. "I'm sure we will talk again." She said with her normal icy tone.

"That helmet is centuries old," Viol continued indicating the bronze relic. "It serves as a reminder from which we came. Those whom have worn it have been chosen by Atlantis. It is a great honor to heed its call." She looked amongst the away team. "Any interested?"

Hawkins eye had been drawn to the ancient item when they arrived in garden, he'd assumed it was nothing more than a decoration or monument reminiscing at their past and humble beginnings. Now she'd mentioned it he was intrigued by the object.

Bishop looked to Viol, he could see the pride in her face and hear it in her words as she spoke of the helmet and the honor associated with it. "I'm interested Commander, what must be done?" He asked their hostess.

"It calls to those it wants," she explained. "For others, to wear it, could become a danger to Atlantis. It forces out the nonbelievers." Her words were lyrical as she spoke, adding to the allure that she shared toward the others.

Bishop listened as Viol spoke, "A remarkable story. Truly remarkable." As he continued to look at the helmet. "I consider myself enlightened and open. I never make fun or ridicule another's beliefs."

Her answer was flirty, "I wish more shared in your beliefs, Nathan." She glanced up at Hawkins as well with a sheepish grin, "And you, Nathan?"

Bishop's eyes remained on the helmet as he answered Viol. " As do I. I confess I feel something when I look at the helmet. I'm not sure I would classify it as a calling but I do feel something." He answered.

Hawkins blinked surprised she remembered his name after their brief induction. "I share Bishop's openness regarding cultures even if I do not fully understand them," he responded.

"Is it calling to any of you?"

“More of I find it hard to look away from it,” Patton spoke up. He didn’t like the feeling, like it was trying to put him in a trance or something. He forced himself to look at Bishop. “I’m good Sir.”

O'Sullivan was right, it hard to draw your eye away from the old relic. With a great effort Hawkins pulled his gaze away: "It certainly has an unexpected appeal I can't really describe."

“Perhaps we should move on,” Patton suggested respectfully. He did not like how that helmet was pulling at them all. It was a security risk.

She smiled, pleasantly, as they stood not too far from the relic of the helmet. "Yes of course," she relented as she motioned to the rest of the gardens. "It is a lovely place, truly amazing for all to experience. Though we have seen most at this point, but there is one last plant you may enjoy."

Lily had watched the group study the helmet before she she called Starfleet One to be beamed back to the ship.

Patton agreed it was a beautiful setting but he felt a twinge in the back of his neck, like something bad was going to happen. He was keeping his wits about him.

Viol strolled through the last portions of the gardens, showing the group a large tree that resembled tropical palm trees, but with violet leaves instead of green. A large fruit - resembling a coconut - was carved near to it. She picked up a portion and snacked on it, "Feel free to try it."

Craning his head upwards Hawkins admired the purple leaves that gentle rustled above, intrigued how everything here looked so familiar yet utterly different. Perhaps at the dinner later some discovery about the origin of the Atlantean people will come to light. He returned his attention to Viol as she offered the fruit to sample. He exchanged a quick glance with the others before making politely declining.

“Thank you,” Patton smiled. “I will take one for later.” He was going to hand it over to science and let them study it.

Bishop looked at the fruit, it was unlike any he had seen before but then this was a new world and he was sure there would be plenty none of them had seen before. He smiled at Viol the Atlantean commander was going out of her way to be a good hostess. "May I have one for later?" He asked hoping the question wouldn't offend Viol.

"Please," she said handing one as a series of tones came behind them. "Ah, it is almost time for afternoon meditation. If you will excuse me I will have to be going. Will I see you this evening for the Dinner?"

"Thank you." Bishop replied accepting one of the fruit when a series of tones came to their attention. "Yes of course." He replied though confused by the afternoon meditation ritual. He nodded, "Yes, you will."

The Atlantean Commander nodded graciously, "Until then." She walked off toward the courtyard.

With Viol gone Hawkins turned to his colleagues: "Don't know what I was expected, but I don't think that was it. What's our next move?"

“I think we all agree something isn’t quite right here,” Patton spoke up. “What is going to be a little harder to figure out without possibly offending them and I have this feeling we wouldn’t like the consequences.” He held up the fruit. “When we get back I would like to hand this over for science to study."

"Maybe we're learn more at the dinner," Hawkins added.

"One can only hope Nathan." Bishop added in regards to his friends statement.

“We shall see,” O’Sullivan knew his voice held doubt. He wasn’t normally pessimistic but he hated secrets.

"So we shall. Mr. O'Sullivan." Bishop replied "However for now lets get back to the ship."


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