The Price of Freedom, Part One
Planning the Masquerade Ball

(This scene goes between "Fun with Gravity!" and "Preliminary Investigation.")

Operations <Deck 8> [Gibraltar Station]

This room is the heart of Starbase 247, from which all systems can be controlled. The room is circular, with a ring of consoles centered on a lowered "pit." This area is dominated by a circular table which typically employs versatile and highly realistic holograms to create a cylindrical viewscreen. The entire area of space outside the station can be seen at once, or it can focus on a particular sector. There is also capability to project single images for communications or complex reports.

Several consoles are arranged in a ring 3 meters from the central viewing area, with three breaks for stairs leading to the pit. One arc is given over to a command console which faces the viewer as well as the door to the corridor. To the right of this station (if one is facing the viewer) is an arc which is shared by the Tactical and Sensor consoles; to the left is an arc shared by Navigational Control and Communications. All of these stations are arranged so that one may easily see the central viewer and are outfitted with tan chairs. Within the pit are four consoles set up against two of the cherrywood arcs so that one sitting at them must turn to see the central viewer. Engineering and Operations face Tactical and Sensors, while Environmental Control and Mission Operations face Nav Control and Communications. The space below the command station is clear. Each arc sits atop a lighted pedestal, as does each shared console in the pit.

The outer walls are broken by three doors, each spaced in line with a set of stairs. Besides the door to the corridor there is one to the ready room and one to the head. Behind the command station is a standard viewscreen which can project whatever image the commander so wishes. The master systems displays for the command section and various modules are behind the tactical/sensor arc, while the MSD for the spacedock is behind the last. The floor is carpeted in gray trimmed with light tan. Lighting is provided by panels placed along the join between walls and ceiling.

Anthony L'Treaux
Koram Nobil
Rose Ames

Sitting at the command station, monitoring the (relatively quiet) gamma shift is Commander Rose Ames. She's quietly tapping away at some message or another. As the doors open, she glances up, "Commander Koram. Counselor L'Treaux. Welcome to Operations."

Koram steps into Ops, tapping on a PADD. He sits at the Ops station. "Commander Ames," he says with a sly grin. "I trust all is well for the moment?"

L'Treaux nods and smiles at Ames, "Greetings to you as well, I am just here to have a word with Ensign McPhillips." He starts talking to the ensign.

Ames smiles to Koram, "That would be correct, at least for the time being." She taps at the command console, "Any word as yet on the computer diagnostics, Commander?"

Shaking his head, Koram places the pad down at looks over the top of the console. He rubs his eyes, and shrugs. "No, nothing yet," he sighs. "I've got 4 people working on it, not including me. We should have something soon."

L'Treaux hands the Ensign a PADD and starts to talk about the contents quietly.

Ames considers the words, then inclines her head slightly, just for a moment, "Thank you, Commander. The Captain and I look forward to the results." She leans back in her chair, looking around Operations for a moment, "Lieutenant Williams, do you have the repair status I asked you for?" The aforemention Lieutenant comes over, "Yes, ma'am," and hands Ames a PADD.

Koram begins working at the console. His fingers tap on the controls, causing it to chirp back. He grins slightly, and continues his work. "Well," he says after a moment. "I'll rest easier when we find out who these people are, and why they are so intent on harming our relationship with the Antarean Government."

Ames lets out a quiet sigh at the thought, "Indeed." Few quiet chirps from her console, "I'll rest even easier once we find a method to prevent further attacks, or at least put the mastermind in a brig."

Koram nods his head. "Right," he says continuing his work on the console. "Which brings up a good point. What are we going to do with the culprit or cuprits who we catch. Trial here or at another more centralized starbase?"

Ames thinks about that for a moment, "I'd imagine it'd depend on where we catch them. If, ultimately, they've already left the facility, then odds are it won't be on base. If we do catch them before they depart.. well... I'd personally like to see the trial held here, but I can't imagine it'd be entirely the best place."

"Can you trust a judge to be impartial when you tried to destroy his home?" Koram says with a sigh. "Would you, Commander? I don't know if I could."

Ames shakes her head, "I don't think I could, except that at this point, I'm fairly certain the attack wasn't meant to destroy or even seriously damage the starbase itself, solely to hit fairly specific targets."

Koram nods. "I can see that," he says, peering over the top of the console. "However, if this were to me tried in civilian courts, I doubt highly that a civilian judge could be bothered with something like that."

Ames glances down into the pit where the Ops console is located, "Perhaps. But I have faith in our court systems to make those fine distinctions. Still, probably best to hold the trial elsewhere."

Koram nods and turns back to his work. "Right," he says with a sigh. "What ever is for the best." He pauses and continues working. "I was just hoping for a quiet detail after the war..."

Ames grins, "This is Starfleet, Commander. Quiet is most definitely not part of the job, at least not often."

Koram is forced to grin as well. "Now my charms are overthrown," he says in a quiet voice. "And what strength I have's mine own."

Ames leans back, her immediate work being done, "Perhaps we ought to do something morale-boosting soon enough. People are probably stressed with this higher readiness level."L'Treaux hears his cue, "Oh! Commander, I have just the thing in the works... a Masquerade Ball!"

Koram stops and turns toward L'Treaux. His face is half surprised, half intrigued. "Might I ask," he says with a grin. "Where that idea came from?"

Ames smiles at L'Treaux's suggestion, "Now that certainly sounds intriguing, Counselor." Her smile breaks into a grin, "Need any help in planning it?"

L'Treaux taps his head, "My noggin... I have been swamped with so many people, I think we need a party. A Masquerade Ball will allow us to take on a persona unlike our own, and be someone that isn't us for a night." He looks at Ames, "Well, sure, I could add you to the committee list."

"My Lord, what fools these mortals be," Koram says with a smile. "A Masquerade Ball, here on the station would be rather interesting." He turns back toward the commander. "I shall need to go through my repitoire of literature to find a persona that suits me." He grabs his PADD from the console, and taps it. "But first, I need to go check on those computer diagnostics."

Ames looks over at L'Treaux, considering matters, "Deal. Add me to the committee list. I could certainly use the distraction."

L'Treaux nods and smiles, "Will do Commander, right now it's myself, Ensign McPhillips over there and Lieutenant Perry." he makes his way to the lift as his business is finished. Looking over at Koram, "Well, Dramian literature is full of unique characters, as is the Pollajs stories of Metria."

"Yes, I've got it all sitting on my shelf in my quarters," Koram says standing. "I'll just make sure and look through it. I find the Grimms Fairytales of anicent Earth some of the most intrigueing." He turns back to Commander Ames. "Commander, I'm going to go check on those Diagnostics. As soon as I know something, you'll know something." WIth that, Koram steps to the door and exits.

Koram leaves through the door toward Central Corridor <Deck 8>.

Ames offers simply a nod of acknowledgement to Koram as the Operations officer leaves, before turning to L'Treaux, "Let me know when the first commitee meeting is, Counselor, and I'll be sure to be there."

L'Treaux nods and waves as he enters the lift, "Sure, will, just remember to bring snacks... and I mean the good stuff... no veggies" He almost cackles as he laughs and the doors close.