TILANNA V — The troubled planet of Tilanna V, once rejected for Federation membership, has found solace within the Klingon Empire.
In a quick move, which has left some Federation political observers reeling, the border world which was recently at the heart of a narcotic smuggling scandal has today formally lifted the flag of the Klingon Empire over its soil.
Recently, the planet has been besieged by terrorist gangs attempting to expand their web of distribution for a deadly new drug known as “All Time High.” Through actions by the USS Aegis and her crew, a coup attempt was narrowly avoided and peace restored.
With consent, FNS writer Sharmina Patel secured an interview with current Tilanna Governor Al’Akir, who had the following to say regarding the surprise annexation.
Governor, some would consider this a surprise move on your part, especially since Tilanna had at one point applied for Federation membership. What spurred this course of action?
“Tilanna has increasingly struggled against forces working internally against greater prosperity. Our hope of Federation assistance died once our membership was formally rejected on the basis of the crime rate which has plagued our cities. I tried to take a stand on our own, but no matter what avenues we explored, the same corruption continued to blockade us at every turn. That was when I petitioned the Klingons to consider Tilanna for admittance.”
It is rare for the Empire to receive applications peacefully. How was your request met?
“At first, there were a lot of raised eyebrows, and it took considerable pressure for their High Council to seriously look into the history of the planet. Tilanna, many years ago, had been a main mining outpost for duranium ore, whose infrastructure had long since become derelict. Once I made it clear, with reports from the handful of scientists we still have, that the mines were still viable, this certainly aided in negotiations”
Understandably so. Duranium is a valuable commodity. Was their interest entirely industrial?
“For the most part, however, there was admittance that by reopening the mines we would create employment for tens of thousands of people that had initially struggled against soaring unemployment, numbers which were naturally playing right into the hands of criminal gangs.
You have to remember, Tilanna has been a poor world up till now. The menace of the likes of ‘All Time High’ is only the tip of the iceberg. Weapons dealing, people smuggling, racketeering, and all manner of other illegal activities were operating right on the doorstep of both the Empire and the Federation. The Federation simply turned their backs on it, rather than offering us help to end it.”
So the Klingons have offered you military support to deal with the criminals?
“Not directly. The predominant population is made of Cardassians, and understandably given the recent withdrawal from Cardassian soil, there was reluctance to place [Klingon] warriors’ boots on the ground.
However, Internal Security forces have worked closely with our Police Commissioner Jemet and offered much needed equipment and training. I am proud to say that now we are a hundred percent self-reliant on law enforcement, and recruitment has never been higher following the deep wounds inflicted by the USS Aegis’s crew on the gangs.”
How has the population handled the news?
“At first, we expected discontent, and initially given our population make up there were some isolated protests. But when the mines reopened and the labour market exploded, people suddenly understood what we were trying to achieve and to accomplish. For the first time, shops are reopening, and people are starting to come to terms with having a real, genuine income and basic luxuries being accessible. I am proud to say that support for this government has never been higher.”
Will that mean you will consider extending your office?
“No, I vowed to step down after my current term is up. I have managed to achieve what I set out to do. Now I feel strongly it’s time to hand over the reins of this new found vassal government to an open vote without the sentimentality of victory. I think I have earned a decent retirement.”
There are rumours, Governor, that a lot of your former cabinet have been taken to Qo’noS to stand on trial for charges of corruption. Is this true?
Do you feel that in a way, if the Federation had granted you membership, the situation would have improved in a similar way?
“Regretfully, I do not. The Federation appears to be a creaky body wrapped in bureaucracy. The Klingon ambassador came to our world to see it through his own eyes. He spent time speaking to the people both publicly and privately to understand our populace and our hopes and fears. The Federation sent us over a hundred forms to complete and return with barely a second glimpse other than through a long range scanner and what intelligence they had.
Even if we had been successful, would we have reaped the same rewards so swiftly? I doubt it. The Federation seems to be for beautiful worlds full of beautiful people, not ones with troubles. That’s not to put a knife into the aid that was provided to us recently, I just wish those at the top operated with the same gall and drive that your Starfleet officers do.”
As a final question, do you think this will really be the tipping point that turns Tilanna back to the economic powerhouse it was in the last century?
“I can but hope, Ms Patel.”
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