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Posted on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 9:11am by Legate Vadrek & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh

Mission: Part of the Team
Location: Chief Security Officer's office

Vadrek walked straight into Haqtaj’s office. “Madam, I have received a message from my government which I would like to discuss with you.”

Haqtaj paused. She was reviewing the evacuation plans which Maschnost had been preparing. They were thorough, but lacked any of the personal understanding of how groups moved in mild panic. Now a Cardassian was on her door wanting to chat. Why was she not feeling reassured?

"Have you come to see me in my capacity as Security for the Federation, or Ambassador for the Klingons?"

“Either, or, both,” he replied, taking a seat without being asked. “Which persona do you want to adopt first? I suggest that, given our location, we talk from a Starfleet perspective first.”

Haqtaj's eyes narrowed. As far as she knew, Vadrek had no history with the Federation, at least not in any friendly manner. Why he would be asking to talk to the Federation? Perhaps he just trusted the Kilngons less. She could hardly blame him for that. This would be interesting.

"Go on," she prompted, giving him her full attention.

“I am aware of the war games which my government is staging along the border. They are, I assure you, no more than that. Our military is still weak but it likes to flex its muscles when it can. It was thought that to do so here would not provoke the sort of hostility it might if it occurred near the Badlands, for example.”

Haqtaj considered. It was certainly plausible, but....

"Allow me to be skeptical, Legate," she ventured carefully, "Your people do not have a good track record of maintaining peaceful relations with the Federation, or any other ally for that matter. How ever I will urge my superiors to additional cautious measures to ascertain exactly what is going on before committing ourselves to a course of action one of us may regret."

She allowed the obvious threat to remain veiled. That way she could deny it if the Lagate took offence.

“There is another area of instability which might cause concern were we to ‘flex our muscles’ there. That is what, I believe, the Federation has taken to calling the Gavarian Corridor. We recently ceded it to the Federation as a buffer zone between us and the Romulans. The reason that I raise this is that it has come to my attention that yet another separatist group has formed. This one calls itself The Order of 12. It is operating in that area. I wonder if you have heard anything of it?”

Haqtaj remained poker faced though her mind began racing furiously, "I have heard the name. Perhaps you could refresh me on it?"

“I am sorry,” Keshac apologised, “but my information is sketchy. You would be well aware of the paucity of information which Intelligence Services normally divulge. Let me, therefore, come at the topic from a different direction. It has come to my attention that Gul Keshac is active again.”

Haqtaj sat back in her chair as if Vadrek had struck her, "You are mistaken. Keshac is in Federation custody. I saw the prison ship collect her for transportation myself."

“Such was my belief too. Commander Ra Movraii indeed handed her over to Federation authorities.” He paused to decide how best to phrase what he had to say next. “It seems that a trade was organised; Keshac for one of their...your...operatives. Keshac disappeared for a while, probably serving out a nominal period of incarceration under the terms of the exchange. Now she has resurfaced. I am concerned that she might try to bring various dissident groups together for reasons of her own.”

Haqtaj rose and began pacing. This is exactly why the Federation's intolerance of Capital Punishment was a mistake. Damn them and their distrust of her. How was she supposed to protect this station properly if they kept such vital information from her? The fact that she had to find this out, and look bad in front of a Cardassian, was galling. Someone would get a nasty bruise out of this.

She stopped and looked again at the Legate. At least that explained why he was coming to her with the information. There was no love lost between Keshac and Vadrek. At least for now they were on the same side. She would see how long that lasted.

A sudden nasty idea occurred to her, "Do you believe she is behind the military build up?"

“No, I do not see her hand behind the manoeuvres. I believe them to be what they purport to be.” He considered the veracity of that statement. “Yes, I do not think our military is in any position to do anything beyond playing games. There are those who would wish it were not so, Keshac amongst them, but I have no reason to believe otherwise.”

Haqtaj nodded. Keshac had invested heavily in her last campaign. It would be unlikely that she would garner the sort of support needed to muster such a large troop movement in the time she had had.

"So you believe she is involved in the Order of the Twelve?"

“Personally, no,” Vadrek replied. “She would not expose herself like that. Does she have agents inside the organisation? If she does not now she will soon enough. Would she be prepared to use them for her own ends? Undoubtedly.”

Haqtaj took her seat, "And what would you like the Federation to do with this information?"

Vadrek was not about to make Haqraj’s job easy. He had noted how she reacted. She was already weighing up options. “It is not for me to say. The Federation will do – or not do – as the Federation sees fit,” he intoned.

Haqtaj leaned back in her chair, "Now, speaking as the Ambassador for the Klingon Empire, tell me where this Seng'a is so we can find her and kill her!"

“If I knew that, Madame Ambassador, I would already have seen to it. Like you, no doubt, I view the exchange as a weakness on the Federation’s part. I suppose I should applaud my government’s exploitation of that weakness and, in other circumstances, I might. Right now, all we have done is let loose a viper which is just as capable of biting us as you. And by ‘you’ I mean both the Federation and the Klingon Empire.”


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