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3rd Sitting

Posted on Tue Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:45am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Legate Vadrek

Mission: Purgatory's Shadow. Season 2 Episode 7
Location: Council Rooms

After the usual formalities were taken to initiate the sitting Haqtaj moved to speak first.

"Legate, you have stated yourself that you feel your people are ready to re-occupy this station, and that this should be done under the auspice of respecting the Federation-Cardassian treaty. I am pleased to see that you hold the treaty in such high regard, especially since it is this same treaty that restricts your people from owning and controlling military of any significant size."

Haqtaj leaned forward, "Tell me then, Legate, how you will protect the Quadrant from the threats this station regularly faces?"

Vadrek turned his head slightly towards the Klingon, deigning to catch her only in his peripheral vision. He gave no response to the question.

"In the short time I have been here this station has faced Borg, Undine, terrorist attacks and countless other threats, and it was only the existence of this station that stopped them waltzing straight through into Federation, Romulan and Klingon space."

"So I ask again; if Starfleet were to withdraw their defense of this station, tell me how your government would ensure the security of Klingon space from further incursions?"

“I am surprised you need ask that question. You are surely fully aware that Cardassia has no military capacity. Even Klingon intelligence would be that well briefed. Defence will be a joint operation. Overall command and direction will be in Cardassian hands with assistance and input from Starfleet Command. The personnel will be provided by the Federation.”

Haqtaj smiled, "So you are saying, that a body of Starfleet personnel will remain on the station? Purely for defence. Then of course there is the supply and administration, since they are independent and not answerable or reliant on the Cardassian Union. And naturally they would have similar cultural requirements and considerations to other races, such as we Klingons, who now make up about 30% of the stations population and trade."

"So, in summary, 30% of the Station will be under Starfleet control, purely as a defence system and support, and 30% would be under Klingon control, since this is the established norm, and you will want to secure our support in the take over you are looking for. Then there is maybe 10-20% independant alien worlds and traders such as the Ferengi and Romulans, etc."

"At the end of the day it seems that your people will only be in control of maybe 20-30% of the station in any real capacity. Have I got that right? I am only a Klingon woman and don't have the head for figures you lot do."

“Established norm?” Vadrek asked. “On all facilities it is the established norm that all are answerable to the station's commander. If that commander is Starfleet then all are answerable to Starfleet; if that commander is Klingon then all are answerable to the Klingon Defence Force. I trust you are not suggested that matters be otherwise where Cardassians are the owners of a station, Madame Ambassador.”

Haqtaj leaned back and folded her arms, "Well, you see there we have a difference of opinions. I don't answer to the commander of this station. In fact, with the exception of the current incumbent I have attacked every previous commander in single combat. I look forward to the opportunity to continue that trend if the Cardassians take over."

"So, the Starfleet personnel are there to support you but answerable to their government first, and my people are there to support the Federation, but answerable to my government first. Again that puts you with less than a controlling share of the station. I had assumed you had already realised this and had some method to overcome this already in place. I do not make any final decisions here of course, but it seems to me that even if we gave you the pass keys to the head office your people would not be in a position to manage the station."

"Until I can see some process in place for the management of proper hierarchy, defense and allied personnel on this station, neither I, nor my government, will support this exchange."

Vadrek brought his steepled fingers up to his lips. He seemed immersed in thought for a few moments.Management of proper hierarchy.... Forgive me if I am out of order but reports I have received suggest that the Klingon Empire, through its delegated representative – namely yourself – has been waging an ongoing war of words over just what role and responsibilities your staff have on this station. Again, please forgive me if I am mistaken but the Klingons here are not even members of the Klingon Defence Force. They are members of House Matlh's private army. They, therefore, could best be described as mercenaries. That is, no matter which government has control of this station, ultimately the Klingon troops on this station are only answerable to you, Ambassador."

"Then you are misinformed, Legate," My family has placed this station under House Matlh as a political gesture. Those who come here do so because the recognise and respect that name. They are not mercenaries, any more than the staff who serve you. They will answer TO me if they bring dishonour on my house through misbehaviour, but none of the Klingons here are under my pay. Or my family for that matter, unless Ro' is in port again."

He paused. “I do not make any final decisions here, of course....” he quoted. “But that, my dear ambassador, is surely the nub of the problem. You indeed do not make the final decision. This station is under Federation control: it is the Federation which makes the final decision. Whether that be by Commander T'Rena or Starfleet Command is immaterial. It is still the Federation.

“Forgive me though but all this seems to me to be a distraction. You started out by asking how Cardassia would – please correct me if I am mistaken – 'ensure the security of Klingon space'. Now you are asking how Cardassia will manage the station. Which question would you like me to answer first?”

"Pah!" Haqtaj waved her arm dismissively, "You will answer neither, regardless of which I ask. You have no plan, and are blustering and fumbling your way forward, hoping no one will ask you anything direct."

Ensign Pari Mor stood to attention by the wall, ostensibly guarding the dignitaries present. His gaze was fixed at some nebulous point on the opposite wall but his mind was far outside the room; in fact it was in a springball court. He was reviewing the match he had played the previous day. He was sure he could have done better. He had won but it was seldom he did not win. This far from the major league on Bajor there was little by way of what he'd describe as competition.

The delegates had been squabbling for what seemed like hours and, as far as he could tell, were getting nowhere. It would make for good conversation in the mess hall below decks though. The rumours had been right: the Cardassians were going to take back the station. That meant that Pari would be putting in for a transfer as soon as this shift was over. He could stand being in the same room as Cardassians - just: be damned if he would take orders from them.

Leanne for her part wanted to make sure that the ambassadors didn't kill themselves. She was sure to make a mental note to talk to the commander once she got back from the mission. "Maybe what this conference needs, is a bit of levity.. who is up for getting out of this room and getting some air? We have several different facilities here on the station that could perhaps begin to bridge some of the differences between all of us?"

Great! Pari thought. Just what I need. Now I get to babysit some Cardassian scum while they enjoy the delights this station has to offer. Well...given it doesn't have any – they sure saw to that – then they won't be having much fun either. There's that about it, I suppose.

Haqtaj grinned evilly, finding a chance for yet another dig, "Yes, let us visit the Bajoran Temple, or the Klingon food hall. Perhaps the Betazoid merchant. I expect a number of them will have a closing down sale soon, or does the Cardassian government have some plan in place to maintain business opportunities? changing governments is unsettling for mercantile endeavours. You will probably have to invest heavily, at least in the short term, to keep those who are here around."

Vadrek smiled. “I think a visit to a food hall would be a welcome break from proceedings. I did not think Klingons did much praying, having killed their gods, but if you feel the need for prayer first then a slight detour would be in order. Surely though, negotiations are not going as badly as that for you that you need divine intervention.”

"Our gods were... inconvenient, it is true, but let it not be said of the Klingon people that we are without a prayer. We have reverence for tradition, our ancestors and the place of the soul. I understand the people of Cardassia also observed some religious expression before they became... 'decadent', I think was the word the history book I read used. Or possibly just 'decayed'. Still I will not be joining you. I have some real work to attend to. Good day to you, Legate."

She stood and bowed in deference to Ulonova, "Let me know when we will next meet. Perhaps then the Legate will be ready with answers rather than supposition and vaguery."

Vadrek kept a bland expression on his face as Haqtaj withdrew. There was much to ponder and, he knew, there would be many question over the next few hours.


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