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Polite Interrogations

Posted on Sun Apr 26th, 2015 @ 8:16pm by Sub-Commander Valk'o
Edited on on Tue Apr 28th, 2015 @ 4:54pm

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Romulan Embassy

Tori Svardberg was not known for diplomacy here on DS12, in fact she was known for hating one of the local ambassadors. So she was fairly certain that people would assume she was up to no good going to the Romulan embassy. Despite her reputation, though, the Security Chief didn't always cause trouble. Sometimes she was just someone trying to get information.

Tori walked up to the Romulan Embassy and nodded at the security guard, then nodded to the Romulan guard. "Good day, I would like to talk to the Ambassador."

Valk'o glanced accusingly at the Human Lieutenant, thinking back to the transmission she had intercepted.

"Lieutenant Svardberg, we've been expecting you." Responded Valk'o, ushering Victoria through the main entrance to the embassy. " You will wait here. I will inform the Ambassador of your arrival. "

Valk'o departed through a set of doors to the right of the pointedly Romulan atrium area.

Tori was not oblivious to the look of sheer suspicion from the Romulan officer. She wondered if they knew she was going to be watching them, or if they just suspected. Mentally, she made a note to have her department and Operations check to make sure the communication lines were secure.

The Lieutenant rubbed her right ear absently as she waited for the Romulan Ambassador. She had never had much dealings with Romulans. A few during the Dominion War, but not enough to get to know hardly anything about the culture. To be honest, she still liked them better than Klingons.

After a few moments, Valk'o returned to the atrium. " This way, Lieutenant. "

Tori nodded, then followed the Romulan into another room. For a second her paranoia flared up. Her eyes found the possible threats, exits, and available improvised weapons. Vigilance. She pushed those thoughts out of her mind. It wasn't like she was meeting with Klingons. Romulans could be violent, but they were smart enough not to do it openly.

She saw the female Ambassador and bowed slightly. "Ambassador. I am Chief of Security, Lieutenant Victoria Svardberg."

S' Ranya smiled coldly at the Lieutenant, " Make yourself comfortable Miss Svardberg." She made he way to a replicator, "Would you like anything? " she said nodding toward the machine.

Valk'o stood just inside the lounge, watching the Lieutenant very closely.

Tori smiled more warmly than the Romulans. "Oolong tea, hot, one sugar. Thank you, Ambassador. How are you settling in? Everything satisfactory?"

" Everything seems. ..Sufficient." The Ambassador said with a smile, handing the Lieutenant her tea.

As S' Ranya seated herself opposite the human, she realized her security officer was still lurking.

"Sub Commander, you are dismissed. " she spoke with undoubted authority.

Valk'o complied. Saluting and departing the room silently.

Svardberg was impressed by the unquestioning response. It meant that Mirok was respected. Or feared. "Only sufficient? Is there anything I can do to make it more than sufficient? If there is, please, do not hesitate to tell me." She said, then sipped her tea. "I suppose you're probably wondering why I came to visit."

Examining her cup, " The question had crossed my mind."

Tori nodded, watching the poised Romulan. "While I also find it good policy to meet and be acquainted with all the diplomats aboard the station, I also was particularly interested to talk to you. You see, I honestly know very little about civilian Romulan culture, and only a minimal amount of Romulan military culture. I was hoping that you could educate me on your people."

" Well," said S' Ranya, "Any questions you may have, by all means ask." She watched the human closely, noting the Lieutenant's mannerisms, as she sipped her tea.

Tori crossed her legs, leaning back and taking another sip of her tea. "I would like to know about average life. What people do, what people learn, your government. I find that in order to better serve as Security, I must understand the people I intend to protect. Your military, I understand, all military people tend to have the same broad motives and beliefs. Your civilians...what motivates life for civilians?"

S' Ranya exhaled, blinking condescendingly at the Lieutenant. "I apologize, Lieutenant, do I come off as a commoner? " her voice dripping with contempt.

Tori raised an eyebrow, setting down her tea. "No, Ambassador, you come across as a leader of people."

" As is my birthright. " Setting her cup on the table, roughly.

"I'm sorry." The Romulan said, regaining her bearing.
" Romulan life is... complicated. Most are motivated by service."

The Human made a mental note about the birthright and her break from a calm demeanor over being perceived as a commoner. There was a little bit of distaste for that on Tori's end. Victoria Svardberg was the very definition of a commoner. There was nothing wrong with being low born.

She kept her face neutral, placcid. "Service to what? The Empire? Family? Gods? A combination?"

" That would depend, Lieutenant, on to whom you speak." She struck a decidedly political smile, and gently picked up her tea."We all have our motives, don't we? She sipped , watching Svardberg.

"Yes, we do. Is family very highly valued in Romulan culture?"

" It depends on what kind of family you have. I can't see plebian families valuing being such." Said the ambassador, hoping to gauge a reaction.

Tori kept her face neutral, but her body stiffened slightly. This woman was trying to get under her skin. It was working too. Plebian families. "So, plebian families, I assume then their only allegiances are to themselves and the Empire? Must make it difficult to keep people in line with the Empire's state of...upheaval. Usually that sort of upheaval leads to increased crime rates."

"The serf population services those they are required to." The Ambassador sipped her tea nonchalantly. "As for the state of the Empire, Lieutenant, suffice it to say we are doing quite alright. " She tilted her head slightly and smiled.

Tori's lips twitched slightly. "Yes, of course the Empire is doing just fine for it's current state. Pardon my assumption. So, I take it then your serfs... They swear a oath of fealty? Get protection from their manor lords? Though it is the freeman more likely to resort to crime. Serfs tend to go for major revolts."

Raising an eyebrow, betraying her ancestry, "Rest assured, Lieutenant, there are ways to keep one's slaves under control."

Once again setting her tea down, "We've gotten very far off topic. I apologize. You had questions, yes?"

"Essentially, Ambassador, it boils down to what should I know about your people when dealing with them to avoid adding offense where none is intended?" Tori asked, though she noted once again how the Ambassador was trying to egg her on. Serfs were not slaves. Slaves were lower than serfs. Remans were slaves. The Romulan was exaggerating the positions of those under her to make herself seem more superior. How petty.

Smiling callously, S' Ranya stood. taking her cup. " I can assure you, Lieutenant, offence is something I've tried to acclimate to in my line of work." Depositing her empty cup in the replicator to be recycled." However, I would still be happy to answer any questions you may have." she rounded the sofa, and mader her way to the viewport .

"Cultural concerns such as dietary concerns, religious provisions, expectations. I expect your people to be distrustful of the Federation, and especially my department. I just want to ensure that everything can and will, for lack of a better term, kosher, when dealing with Romulans."

"Tell me, Lieutenant, do your people consider it 'kosher' to spy on foreign delegates?" A knowing smile creeping across the Ambassadors mouth.

Tori tensed, a scowl pulling at her lips involuntarily. "Sadly, yes. It has been a tradition of governments for millennia, and I doubt it will ever change. I, however, find the tradition rather distasteful."

S' Ranya could not help but feel the comment was an indirect jab about the Empire.
Retaining her composure," I think that things will be much simpler, Lieutenant, if we promise not to lie to each other." She raised an eyebrow.

"I promise to tell you as much truth as I can within my duties to this station and the Federation." Tori replied honestly. "Operational security may require a lack of transparency at times. Truth be told, though, I've never liked lying anyway. I would much rather be blunt and allow someone to be offended."

"I'm glad." She rounded the sofa again, and seated herself "Was there anything else Lieutenant?"

"No, thank you, Ambassador, for your time. It has been most enlightening." To be honest, the Ambassador answered exactly 0 of her questions and nothing she had intended to learn had been explained. However, she did learn a lot about the Ambassador herself, and her views on her people. The woman reminded her of a dictator, like a deposed Napolean exiled to Elba.

S' Ranya regarded the Human , "I'm glad we had this little talk Lieutenant."" She stood, "If you'll excuse me, I have some business to attend to."

The Ambassador left the room briskly, she was quickly replaced by Sub-Commander Valk'o.
"Let me show you out Lieutenant." Valk'o said with obvious disdain.

 

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