Log Entry 171014.216

By now we had reached a large, open area of ground where the shuttle had set down. We gathered on the perimeter at a point where the long grass faded into bowling green lawns. A rather grand bandstand had been erected with white wooden struts and a white shingle roof with a red carpet beneath. The High Emperor stood on a plinth in the middle with various dignitaries surrounding him. We approached as a small dignified procession with Arunga in the lead, tail held high. Honka smiled at Arunga. It was the first time I had seen him smile at the feline, but it wasn't a nice one. It was devious and malicious to my mind.
The ceremony was a very polite affair with Honka making a long and protracted speech about how their new found friendship with the Mairne people would last for an eternity, but I knew it was all bull. I also knew that I had to play along, ignoring my feelings of contempt, and play the warm and friendly officer from the Federation.
Finally, as the High Emperor finished his speech, he signalled for us to make our way towards the shuttle. It nestled in the grass, having made quite a sizeable dink in the smooth lawns with its weight. Arunga paused at the doorway and looked down.
"Oh dear," he said. "We appear to have spoilt your beautiful lawn. I am so sorry."
Honka pouted.
"Yes, but it matters not. Although I had assumed that you would be returning by boat under the circumstances."
"Why would I travel by boat?" asked the cat, looking quite perplexed.
"Bearing in mind how poorly you were from the Federation's new fangled transporters, I would be dubious of their flying box."
"As I am, but I suspect it is far safer than the sea."
Honka laughed. "I thought you had no fear of the water?"
"Why on earth would you think that? Just as you are, we are very wary of such things."
Honka's brow furrowed.
"But why? I know why my people fear it, but yours?"
"No doubt our fears stem from similar history. I know our Federation friends have no fear of it, but they do not know our seas as we do, and like you, I am not so foolish as to venture uninvited into the territory of the sea people."
You could have heard a pin drop.
"S-s-sea people?" ventured the high Emperor, his face quite pale.
"Yes. Surely you know of the sea people? Do they not haunt your myths and legends? Is that not the root of your own people's dislike of the water?"
Honka shook his head.
"We … have no such legends of sea people," he said, concern etched hard into his features.
"Then you are most fortunate. Huge, terrible beasts they are. With many legs adorned with dangerous, spiked suckers … and a beak so powerful it can snap a tree in half. I admit to being very surprised that any Dirrian has ever crossed the sea without disturbing them and lived to tell the tale."
"But your people have?"
"Ventured onto the sea? No, but they often come close to our shoreline when they hunt."
The tables had been turned. Suddenly, Honka had a third species to contend with and he wasn't happy.
"And … are they sentient? I mean, have you spoken with them?"
"I'm not sure that they have a proper language such as you or I, and no one has ever got close enough to one to find out more, not without perishing, that is."
"You know this to be fact?"
"I have seen it with my own eyes."
"When?" demanded Honka in horror.
"Oh, it was many, many years ago; too long for me to remember clearly. I was only a kitten and it was a horrible sight. A herd of deer had wandered onto the beach and one strayed too close to the water's edge. From underneath the calm surface of the waters, two of the creatures broke. They snatched three of the creatures from the sand before the herd could bolt. It was horrific. They tore them limb from limb in a matter of seconds. Blood and guts painted the beach red in seconds. It was a dreadful sight to witness."
The High Emperor's expression was one I will never forget, and his face was so expressive. The irritation he usually showed for the cat had been replaced by horror and then incredulation. With his bottom jaw slightly dropped, his eyes scanned the King of the Mairne looking for answers, but he found no more than those already provided. To my joy, though, you could see that he was regretting frittering away the time Arunga had spent on the mainland. He had been impatient to be rid of the cat when all that time he could have been asking questions and learning more. He had been a fool and suddenly he knew it. There was nothing he could do now, though. It was too late. All he could do was watch as the shuttlecraft doors closed behind us and we left.

Log Entry 170827.215

The time has come for us to leave the mainland and I'm really anxious that I've not had a moment to talk with T'Roc alone again. She did, however, form a subtle okay sign with her fingers to me earlier in the day. I caught it and glanced up at her face whereupon she threw me a wink that was barely more than a twitch, and a small smile with it. It was her way of saying that it's all okay, but I'm still nervous.
We're not going to travel by transporter, though. It made Arunga so ill the first time around that we couldn't risk it again. Instead, we will be travelling by shuttlecraft, and for the first time it occurred to me to question why the Dirrians hadn't ever visited Tikarra Island by air. They might be afraid of the water, but flying? That was different, surely? I was astonished that I hadn't thought about it before. Traeth was standing beside me so I asked him and he laughed.
"Having been off world, I can tell you that Dirria is the most peculiar of places. While we do have scientists, they are a strange breed and not at all like those of other worlds. You have seen for yourself that we have very little technology indeed. The planet is very civilised but quite simplistic. As to flight, we have no such capability at all. Dirrians have never sought to conquer the sky."
"But your parents were astrophysicists, killed in a shuttle accident."
"Yes. When Dirria made first contact with the Federation, my parents became very interested in them. They learned about Starfleet and its Academy. They managed to secure themselves places on a study programme and left Dirria forever." Traeth's eyes became dreamy as he remembered. "They travelled the stars and they loved it."
"That must have been a really big thing … leaving Dirria, I mean."
"It was. Dirrians don't like off-worlders and don't want to have anything to do with people who aren't Dirrians. As far as they are concerned—" I noted that Traeth spoke of Dirrians rather than 'my people'. "—it was treacherous. My parents were shunned and considered traitors to Dirria. It's why they never had any intention of returning here. They knew they would never be accepted back."
"Oh my goodness!"
"And that's another reason why I've never been able to reintegrate back into Dirrian society. The sins of the father … isn't that something a Terran says?"
"So how and why did Dirria open communications with the Federation in the first place?"
Traeth shrugged.

Log Entry 170820.214

Horrified at what I had just heard, I was desperate to tell the Captain as soon as I could, but I had to wait until the evening. Arunga was preoccupied with Traeth, wandering in the twilight of the garden, when I was finally able to pull T'Roc to one side. I spilled my guts and I know my tone was one filled with angst.
T'Roc listened intently, her brow furrowing deeply between her Klingon ridges, and then Arunga and Traeth reappeared and we could talk no more.