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Meeting with Security

Posted on Fri Dec 11th, 2015 @ 8:03am by

Mission: Trouble on the frontier

Meret had noticed a few curious looks as she went off to security, no doubt most Cardassians did not idly walk around Deep Space 12. She was almost amused by the thought that if only they knew where she was heading they might assume she was in trouble, or a threat. In another time she would have ended up in a cell. And if she wasn't very careful she might still end up there. Oh well, she shrugged and entered.

A Petty Officer was sitting at the main desk of the security office, looking over a list of names carefully. He looked up when he heard someone come in, and was noticably surprised to see a Cardassian before his face went back to a neutral resting expression. "May I help you, ma'am?" He asked cordially.

"I have come to speak to Lieutenant Svardberg," Meret stressed the name and rank, "I am required...rather, I have been asked to present my credentials. I am newly arrived as you can see..." Shut up, don't say too much. You do not want to attract attention or suspicion.

"Ah, I believe the Lieutenant is in her office. If you'll just go through that door, then hit the buzzer on the door to your left."

"Many thanks." Meret bowed a little, at least she could show respect. She would pretend she hadn't noticed any lack of warmth in the welcome, it would do for now. Passing through the door as indicated, she hit the buzzer, ready to present her most polite, warm and winning expression. A challenge of course.

"Enter!" It was the barked words of someone who didn't want to be interrupted and was not going to suffer fools gently. Tori was sitting in her chair going over a document carefully, a frown on her face as she focused her attention entirely on the monitor in front of her. "If this is another personnel dispute that can be mediated by the Senior Chief, I'm going to pull a King Solomon and cut the Crewman in ha-..." She stopped speaking as she looked up. "You are not... I'm sorry, I apologize, I was expecting someone else. May I help you, ma'am?" Tori said, standing up and straightening her uniform before offering a hand to shake.

Surprised a little at the human courtesy, Meret shook her hand, saying, "I believe I am supposed to report to you to present my credentials." Then realizing she had missed a major detail she added, "Meret. I am a diplomatic liason..." At least that is what he record would say and she was sure the PADD she held out would show only the right information.

Tori shook Meret's hand firmly, then took the PADD and started reading it. "Ersel Meret. Mhmm. Do you prefer if I address you as Meret or as Ersel?"

"If I may, my first name is rarely used so I prefer just Meret. It is customary among some of us who still respect tradition..." And having a non-Cardassian use it would be - irritating. She couldn't help feeling just a twinge of nervousness, she was sure that the background information would reflect that she was a simple diplomat and even a determined search for more would hit that stonewall of stubbornness known as the Cardassian government. And yet her natural paranoia made sure she was watching the Lieutenant for any sign of suspicion.

Tori nodded as she finished reading the PADD. "I can relate to that, Ms. Meret. There is only one person in the galaxy who calls me Victoria, and even then only when I'm in trouble." Tori could sense that Meret was uneasy, her body language was extremely tense and rigid, her voice a forced formal tone. The Security Chief's mind flittered to the idea that Meret was hiding something, but she pushed that thought away. "First time working with the Federation? Would you care for something to drink? Water? Tea? I promise, we don't bite. Those are the Klingons."

"Thank you, refreshment is always welcome." Meret inclined her head slightly by way of acknowledgement, keeping herself as composed and formal as if she was reporting in to her superiors. No doubt she would do that later, but for now she added, "While I am not familiar with tea I believe it is good."

The Security Chief nodded, mentally taking note that her question wasn't answered. She turned her back to the Cardassian, looking to the replicator. "Tea, oolong, hot, one sugar." She said clearly, then waited for it to appear. The small china cup materialized in front of her, steaming liquid inside. She picked it up, taking a deep breath in before turning and handing it to the nervous Cardassian. "Oolong tea. It's favored among many other varieties on Earth. Humans have dozens, if not hundreds, of tea type, blends and variations. Oolong is good. Where did you serve before coming here? If you don't mind me asking."

"Where did I serve?" Meret echoed, trying to focus on what she could safely say before answering, "Mainly in Cardassian territory, believe it or not we need to maintain a certain level of order even within our own space. The closer any occupied world or station is to non-Cardassian space, the more likely they are to slip (shall we say) and need an occasional reminder..." She sniffed the tea and it smelled rather pleasantly of spice, "The eyes and ears of the State are always watching."

Tori nodded, but still noticed the hesitance and tension in the answer and body language. "Human governments used to make sure that everyone knew the eyes and ears of the government were watching. Mostly by way of police or secret police, not so much by diplomats. In Human history, diplomats were most used for spies."

"Spies?" Meret laughed at that, trying to cover her first instinct which was to become very suspicious. The woman's body language didn't give much away...She smiled, slightly forced, "I can hardly imagine the average diplomat as a spy...most are too full of good food from entertaining and far too comfortable. Rather like farm raised zabu."

"Would that not make the most inconspicuous spy, though? The one that looks far too comfortable to be any harm." Tori asked, smiling a little.

"You may have a point....I will concede that. Then again for Cardassians it is perhaps easier to assume everyone is a spy unless proven otherwise." Meret tried the tea and it had cooled enough to be tolerable...and was probably not drugged. The Federation at least seemed to have some sense of ethics, "And I have come across a few suspicious characters from time to time. It was a brief acquaintance."

Tori nodded, "I have come across a few of them as well. I feel like those that aren't suspicious are the most dangerous. But then, I'm a security officer."

"Ah so would that make me more or less suspicious? Since I am completely harmless and inconspicuous after all." Meret wasn't sure if Tori suspected her of being more than she seemed, but forced a smile, "That is of course a joke."

Tori wasn't entirely sure how to answer that at first, but perhaps she didn't pause too long before answering. "I regard you with no greater suspicion than I do our Klingon ambassador."

Meret raised an eyebrow, curiously replying, "Really? I do not know if that is a compliment or an insult. Frankly I would rather be thought of as does give one a certain air." She laughed but there was more truth to her words than she cared to admit.

Tori laughed at the joke as well, especially because she didn't trust the Klingons at all. "Don't worry about not being suspicious, every diplomat has it's certain air of suspicion."

"Oh excellent!" Meret smiled with genuine amusement, "Then I will fit in perfectly...just being Cardassian makes everyone suspect me anyway. Before you know it they will be saying I work for the Obsidian Order and then where will I be?"


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