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Help, please

Posted on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 @ 5:02am by Legate Vadrek & Jillian Forst

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Prophet Eye

OOC: Ed seeing as how Jill would not be at the senior officers briefing, I’ve put this up so she is briefed on what’s going on.
I do need you to delete Jill’s bits from ‘Briefing’, please.

Vadrek was feeling the pressure. He was a legate but that was a hollow title these days. The government was ineffectual out here on the frontier. Oh, it liked to posture; it liked to make grand statements. The truth of the matter was that whoever had the most weapons ruled the roost.

Yet he was supposed to speak for the government. He wondered why Harrison continued to put up with his presence. If it had been him, he would have told him to get lost when they moved from one end of the Federation border to the other. What use was he here? Any influence he had – and Vadrek admitted, if only to himself, it was little – was based on his knowledge of power plays along that part of the border where Deep Space 12 had previously been located. Here.... Here he knew no-one. He did not know the players; he did not know their strengths or weaknesses. He was adrift and he knew it.

Yet here he was. On the one hand, the government expected him to bring the various dissident groups to heel. Easier to rein in the Obsidian Order, he thought. On the other hand.... On the other hand, the Federation expected much the same thing. Why do they consider me some sort of miracle worker? That’s what it would take...a miracle. These groups are so torn and fractious they can’t even unite in a common front. I’m not sure they even agree who their enemy is. How does the government expect me to unite them behind it. I can say this for certain, they hate the government with a passion that makes the Maquis look pacifistic.

For want of a better option, he decided to seek out someone who might have an opinion that was not biased by the views of his superiors or the opinions of her own government.


The offices of Prophet Eye did not give him any optimism. To call them drab would have been to give them an allure they did not deserve. He considered turning around – he considered it long and hard – but he pressed the buzzer; he had come this far, he might as well see it through.

The buzz broke her out of a dark trance of chaos. "What?" Jill looked over the boxes of nonsense that had accumulated after the move. She hadn't bothered unpacking any of it yet and now this was going to be another interruption though a welcome one though.

The moment Vadrek entered the offices he regretted his decision to come here looking for help. The place stank, it was dark and it looked abandoned. Dust had settled on boxes suggesting it had been a long time since they had been packed.

“Hello,” he said into the emptiness. With any luck, no-one would answer and he could exit before his senses could be assailed any more by the general decrepitude surrounding him.

"Yeah" Jill put down the stack of papers and turned to address Vadrek. "How can I help you? I'm not really open for business yet, but yeah."

“I find myself in a quandary,” Vadrek began. “We are going to an old Cardassian station but I know little about it. I know it was built to facilitate taking over the region of space it sits in. I know there was some thought to trying to win over the local populace rather than trying to force them into submission, Bajor style. Other than that, I know very little about the region. I could go to Captain Harrison and I am sure he would be most forthcoming. But all I would get from him is the standard Starfleet line. I might as well go to my own government for what that would be worth.

“Therefore, I have come here seeking information.”

"Well what in particular are you looking to know? I mean, I'm not privy to too much infomation myself, I'm currently stuck between about three different worlds." The detective stretched out her back before seating herself on top of the desk. A few items fell off the other side making a large clank against the ground. She hadn't had much if any interaction with the Cardassian before this. "So, where should we start?"

“I know the station we're moving to was established by my government – or, should I say, my former government – when it laid claim to the region of space it occupies. I also know it sought to learn from the mistakes made on Bajor by trying to win over the population to Cardassian rule. Might I say that policy was an abject failure. Some prominent citizens came across to the Cardassian cause – mainly because large amounts of largesse was thrown their way – but, for the most part, the colonies were reluctant to give up their independence.”

"I should say so, I can't imagine that anyone would give up their freedom willingly. Cardassians included. Mean if you look through the history of this quadrant, you're people haven't had the best track record of making sure the people under their rule were best taken care of." Something seemed off with him, something that she couldn't put her finger on, he was in here fishing for info, or maybe he didn't truly know.

“Yes, Cardassian colonies as well,” Vadrek admitted. “They feared being dragged into the war. Until then they had managed to remain neutral.”

"Why go and fight someone else's war at the end of the day; am I right?" Jill bounced off the table and stretched her back.

“When the war started to turn against Cardassia, the government tried to cling onto stations like this one. They claimed they were preserving the integrity of the Union.

“I think it was a decision of the Obsidian Order to keep the station. I think it was a useful staging post for them for missions to destabilize the Federation. Following the Breen attack on Earth and with all the scaremongering going on about shapeshifters in high places within the Federation, the Obsidian Order saw an opportunity to carry out raids and infiltrate the Federation. The station we are going to would have suited their purposes well. Mind you, that is purely a personal opinion. I would appreciate it if it went no further than this room.”

"Hey, no one listens to me anyways, so my mouth is sealed. Consider it client privilege." She grabbed a note pad off of the desk and jotted down some notes. The guy was wordy, paranoid.

“This is all merely speculation on my part. I need contacts on the ground I can talk to and, more importantly, who would be willing to talk to me. If I am to serve my government then I need information, not speculation.”

"So, why me at the end of the day, friend." She put the note pad down and looked at the Cardassian. "Either you can't trust your people and they are looking to send you to some back water, or on the flip side of the coin, they don't trust you. Either way like you've said, all you got is speculation on your part." The words flowed out of her mouth slyly, almost as if trying to egg on the man. She stood and moved towards her visitor. "What are you really getting at, and what do you need from me?"

“Or they do not trust me so they have sent me to a backwater. Or should I make that a new backwater. The old Deep Space 12 was not exactly a hub of Starfleet activities.” Vadrek shrugged. “Take your pick, Ms Forst. Any or all could be true. What I am ‘getting at’ is no more nor less than what I said. I need information. I do not know this region of space. I could, and I will, approach Captain Harrison but from him I will get what Starfleet wishes me to know; no more and no less. I can, and I will, approach my own government but the result will be the same. I need more if I am to function appropriately as the Cardassian ambassador here.”

"Well." She folded her arms as she looked over her future payday. "I can see what I can do about getting you some of the less than public information here, and if you'd like a continuing relationship between the two of us, I'm sure some sort of arrangement can be made. I'm also convinced I sure could use some extra contacts and influence with the Cardassian government and an ambassador in as a listing in my little black book has to be worth something." Jill went to her desk drawer and pulled out a small data node. "So Mr. Ambassador, what say you?"

“Draw up a formal contract please, Ms Forst. I will pay you your usual rate and I assume you will charge expenses. Please do not think to add in any extras like the bar tab to chat up the nice looking crewman who just arrived on the station off a freighter. This is a business deal, Ms Forst. I will not be submitting these expenses to my government for recompense but I insist on having documentation should any question of impropriety arise. The Obsidian Order might, officially, be a thing of the past but – just like your own government – mine has ways and means of checking on its citizens.”

Jill considered the option laid before her. The risk, reward, the opportunity and tossed the padd on the table to the Cardassian. "Take this as the first example of my honesty and integrity, standard business contract will be drawn up and set to you via confidential dispatch in hard and soft copy with all of the binding intergovernmental stipulations."

“Thank you.”

"I look forward to our continued business interests together, and perhaps even calling upon you for matters not completely aimed at the task at hand." She stuck her hand out towards the ambassador.

Vadrek looked at the hand then at the woman behind it. He knew of the human habit of shaking hands to seal a deal but it was a practise he detested. Who knew what diseases you could catch. This woman, in her grubby, untidy office, looked especially capable of transmitting multiple nasty strains of germs.

Still, he had need of her and her services. He took a deep breath to steel himself then took her hand. Her grasp was firm so he returned the pressure. After a moment which seemed to drag on a very long time, he withdrew his hand. He resisted the urge to wipe it on his clothes but it was hard to do.

Instead, he turned and walked out. As soon as the door had closed behind in, he gave in to the urge.

 

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