PAAK SYSTEM – Communication difficulties with the Paak were overcome by Ambassador Rivi Vataix and her crew but not without consequence as a Paak tribunal ruled against Vataix herself and some in her party while another newly discovered advanced species had questions of their own for the Amity crew.
When Amity Outpost First Officer Commander Wil Ukinix visited system Fana 2977-B deep in the Barossa Nebula to investigate an appearing and disappearing pulsar, he hardly expected to be put on trial by a native species. But that’s exactly what happened.
He, along with Chief Science Officer Robin Hopper, detected a warp trail from a test vessel that originated on a planet in the system. The duo took the scoutship Daintree around the planet to investigate, but they were forced by an energy beam from the pulsar to crash land near the military facility housing the civilisation’s test warp vessel. That’s where the trouble started. The universal translator took time to interpret the inhabitants’ melodic language and struggled with several of their words.
The leader of the Paak greeted Ukinix and Hopper, “I am Paak, the rightful leader of Paak. I hold the title of ‘Paak’ of the Paak people.” Commander Ukinix responded in kind: “It is honour, Paak, to be welcomed to Paak, and to meet the leading representative of the Paak people.” Certain words, specifically names and some offensive terms, could only be deciphered by universal translators as “Paak”. The Paak people assumed that Ukinix had offended the leader with offensive terms. He and Hopper were taken into custody to be tried by a military tribunal.
Amity Outpost chief of mission Ambassador Niarivi (“Rivi”) Vataix, assembled a Starfleet and Federation Diplomatic Corps crew (along with this invited reporter) and travelled to Fana 2977-B in the USS Independence-B to investigate and establish dialogue with the Paak. However, things turned sour when her contingent also caused trouble by entering restricted areas in the Paak military facility. Vataix and her contingent were soon part of the tribunal. The charge ranged from unauthorised access of military facilities to assaulting a military soldier – and for Ukinix, “defying a public official” (namely the Paak leader) and contempt charges. The Paak magistrate ruled against Vataix herself (who did not deny the Paak’s charges against her for interfering with a Paak military operation) and two of her officers, Ukinix and Iko. The other officers were cleared of all charges.
Meanwhile, after transporting Vataix and her away team to the Paak homeworld, the Independence investigated the strange pulsar. They soon discovered that the pulsar was in fact controlled by an advanced interdimensional species named “The Watchers” and housed a shapeshifting vessel that was able to form nacelles and warp away. On board the Independence, tensions arose between the FDC’s Envoy Keehani Ukinix and Starfleet officers when deciding whether to attack, discreetly track or establish diplomatic channels with the advanced species.
“Maybe we’ll get lucky and they won’t attack us. That would be a nice change for once,” had said Lieutenant Ikaia Wong when encountering the pulsar’s vessel in a frank admission during the encounter. When Amity’s Second Officer Commander Carter who was in charge of the bridge was advised by his crew to use offensive means to trace the vessel, Envoy Keehani Ukinix strongly objected, “This is not diplomacy, this is subtle aggression.” The apparent fault line between the FDC and Starfleet was exacerbated with Carter responding, “I am in command of this ship, and I am responsible for her and all the souls on board and planetside. The decisions made here are not subject to your interpretation or armchair quarterbacking.” However, Carter and Keehani then worked together to establish communication with the unknown species.
It was then that the bridge crew, along with this reporter, was somehow transported away to parts unknown. Having taken up Keehani Ukinix’s request to meet “face-to-face”, the Watchers proceeded to question each of the crew as well as fellow reporter Arthur Summerside and myself on what they saw as contradictions between the actions of the crew and the stated principles and ideals of the Federation. Though some were frustrated by the Watchers’ questioning, the entire exchange was a fascinating philosophical exercise and culminated with the revelation that the Watchers intended to make no final judgment as feared but were instead merely curious. Evidently satisfied with our answers, the Watchers returned the crew to the Independence with little fanfare. After retrieving the away team, the ship returned to Amity—sans Vataix, Wil Ukinix, and Iko. Lt. Wong elected to remain behind as well to learn more about the Paak.
When reached for comment, Federation officials on Earth declined to make an official statement, although an official who wished to remain unnamed has confirmed that a presidential transport has been dispatched to Amity Outpost, reflecting the seriousness that Federation President Narala’s administration considers of the entire situation.
Written by Kit Ivanovic