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Commonalities

Posted on Mon May 23rd, 2016 @ 4:01am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Magnus Temple & Petty Officer 1st Class Vartog

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Klingon Embassy
Timeline: Daytime

Having received a quick briefing from his new CO, Temple was already making plans on how he could best help the station deal with their bandit crisis. He'd come across these pirates before on the Vanguard but they seemed to have grown more insidious and nasty with the Aid station attack.

Before he did anything, though, Temple wanted to check in with the Klingon ambassador, feeling a conversation with her would enlighten more assistance.

Magnus approached the front doors and nodded respectfully to the guard on duty.

"Chief gharwI' Temple." He stated, "NaDev Duypu' vIlegh."

It did not take a Betazoid's gift to know the guard was unimpressed.

"NuqneQ?" It was part challenge, part demand, and standard Klingon greeting, meaning "What do YOU want?"

"The Ambassador is engaged," he continued. "Appointments are made through Petty Officer Vartog."

"It's all right, HoS'a'," a voice sounded out as it approached. "Mr Temple here is lucky enough to have arrived a few minutes before my first appointment. I am sure I can squeeze him in."

Ambassador Haqtaj came striding up the Promenade. She was a striking woman, formerly an Admiral in the KDF, and ties to many of those who sat on the Council. She was one of those people who filled the space around her with her presence.

"Won't you step inside, Ambassador," she swept into her Embassy with an exaggerated gesture. The guard stepped aside instantly to allow him to follow.

Inside the main anteroom was decked out in the standard red and black with banners of House Matlh and the Klingon emblem, as well as burning sconces and weapon plaques.

[Meanwhile...]

It had not been difficult to find the new UFP Embassy even though it was still not officially marked as such. Vartog sighed: he knew how slowly the wheels of bureaucracy moved and now, with all the commotion about the pirates, it was slower than usual.

That had been the easy part. He entered the outer office and looked around. No-one appeared to be in attendance so he rapped his knuckles on the desk.

A Vulcan wearing the uniform of the diplomatic service appeared. What Vartog took to be a puzzled frown creased his face though Vartog thought it could signify anything.

“My apologies, sir. Sally is on her Federation mandated meal break. She should return in twenty two point five minutes. How might I assist you?"

“Petty Officer Vartog to see Ambassador Temple. No, I do not have an appointment.”

“I believe that Ambassador Temple has gone to pay his compliments to the Klingon Ambassador.”

“Thank you.” Damn having two roles to play on this station, Vartog thought. It’s just my luck that I’m needed as Madame Haqtaj’s aide just when I’m doing work for Starfleet!

[Klingon Embassy]

Vartog entered the embassy at a trot and pulled up short when he saw that the outer room was occupied. Haqtaj waved away his discomfort.

"Just in time, Vartog. I believe this is the new Federation Ambassador you mentioned to me," Haqtaj said. "Get us some Federation refreshments and tell my first appointment I may be delayed."

“Right away, Madame.”

"Ahh...food. I remember the concept of food." Temple sighed. He realized he hadn't eaten since his coffee with Ambassador Meret earlier and was starting to feel the pangs of hunger.

Haqtaj showed Magnus through to the audience room which was much more subdued in its decor, "A certain amount of theatre is expected of people in our position, is it not? Have a seat, Ambassador. Is your visit social, or do we have business to discuss?"

Vartog entered carrying a tray. “You are of Danish heritage I believe, Ambassador,” he said. “Therefore, I have taken the liberty of preparing coffee. I did not know how you like it so I have provided both cream and milk as well as sugar. Madame, I have prepared raktajino to your usual taste.”

Haqtaj grimaced. It had become something of a joke between the pair. Federation made Raktajino was notoriously bland and Haqtaj avoided it where possible. Some occasions however, called for her to take a beverage that was non-alcoholic.

“Permission to speak, Madame,” Vartog said formally. “I wish to address the Ambassador on Starfleet business.”

Haqtaj took a swig of her coffee and winced at the taste. She nodded to Vartog. He was her aide and confidante. He could lead the discussion if he wished. Then she was freer to watch and listen.

“The First Officer has informed me that you possess Intelligence on pirate activity in the Inconnu Expanse. He suggested that it might prove useful to me.”

Temple gave a small laugh and looked to Vartog, "Well, you're certainly efficient here on DS12. I had only just left the XO fifteen minutes ago."

“He will be leaving the base shortly,” Vartog explained. “He felt it necessary to inform me immediately.”

"I have already transferred my data over to the Lieutenant Colonel, but is there another way I may help you?" Magnus asked.

“As I believe you are aware, the group controlled by Rendo’re have begun a sophisticated anti-Federation propaganda campaign. I have been tasked with countering it. I am an expert in holo-technology and....”

Temple gave a curious frown at that information, "How interesting and, to be honest, unexpected."

"You are surprised to find a Klingon capable of technical aptitude, Ambassador?" Haqtaj growled dangerously, protective of her aide and friend. "Need I remind you we were flying Warp capable ships and forging an empire while your people were still working out how to sharpen a blade."

Vartog sighed though he was thankful for his Mistress' support. Would he have to go through his whole life justifying being a Klingon who did something other than fighting all the time? “My family business is that of producing holo-programs. As most of our clients are Klingon, they have mainly been training programs. However, peace with the Federation allowed us to branch out into other fields. Colonel Bannister asked me to analyse the pirates’ broadcasts and produce ones which look like they originated with the pirates but which expose their treachery and violence. Any information you have could prove very useful.”

Temple sensed the petty officer's annoyance. "Hey, I'm all for diversifying; it's a whole galaxy of commodities out there. As for information, this is what I've given the XO...."

Magnus stood and moved over to the main view screen. He typed in a few codes and up came two videos. On the left, his recorded interrogation of the bandit criminal Ragnir. On the right, surveillance footage from the USS Montana as his crews ransacked equipment and terrorized the officers.

Magnus walked to the window and looked outside as the criminal's angry voice came through.

"You won't stop him, Star Fleet. He's always one step ahead of you. We've got your equipment, your data logs, sensor information and he's going to run riot over this region. Our region."

On the Montana, a crew member attempts to manually close a corridor blast door but it's too late, the bandits reach him and fire into his legs, sending him collapsing to the floor.

"The people here are weak and stupid. They'll believe anything. They'll let us straight through the front door and boom. They're dead."
He laughed at that point. Actually laughed.


On the Montana, the bandits surround the officer as he writhes on the floor. They hold up their guns and...

"Computer, stop." Magnus called out without looking. He turned back to Vartog, "Is this what you were hoping for?"

“No, sir. Not the content anyway. The pirates will just twist it around to look like innocent civilians defending themselves against yet another Federation attack. But if you could let me have the videos themselves.... I am trying to reverse engineer them. What I want to do is reproduce the source code they were written in. That way, I can produce holo-vids which not only look real but will bear intense scrutiny.”

"Counter terrorism," Haqtaj supplied. "You will find not all of my kind are gormless thugs who resolve every issue with a club. You speak some Klingon, I believe. Perhaps you will reflect on what the name Haqtaj means."

"Thank you, Vartog," she changed tack, "the coffee was up to your usual standard. Now, Magnus Temple, to matters of business. How shall we address each other? As warriors, or diplomats?"

Vartog bowed, a curious movement given that his back remained straight throughout. He put cups back on the tray and exited.

"As diplomats, of course," Magnus replied casually, remaining stoic.

"As you wish, Ambassador. What did you wish to discuss?"

Temple shifted in his seat a little, "Well I've only just joined the station and received some briefings on the current situation. But one thing that has troubled me is this rumour of possible Klingon involvement in the Gaspar attack."

Haqtaj stiffened noticeably at the accusation.

Magnus deliberately paused to drink his coffee, before adding, "I really hope to put this rumour to bed as soon as possible."

"The Klingon Government has not made any official statement on the incident," Haqtaj intoned her prepared response. "Nor do we feel the need to. If the Federation feels it is necessary to find a scape goat to blame, I do not feel I can personally do anything to dissuade them."

Temple shook his head, "You know, weirdly I didn't hear this through Federation channels. But I take it this isn't the first time you've heard the rumour?"

Haqtaj shifted stiffly, "Let us say that I have expected such an accusation since I heard of the attack. There is a very strong Anti-Klingon sentiment in this area. Many Cardassians still hold long grudges for our attack on their systems during the Dominion war. Additionally, the Pirate forces in the area will be keen to see dissent among our allies."

"Well I can't have our allies being disparaged like this," Magnus shrugged. "Especially when the real culprit is still very much a danger to this region. As I said, I want to put this to bed so if there's anything I can do to work with your Embassy on this issue, please let me know."

"I appreciate that, Ambassador," Haqtaj finally relaxed a little. "Your continued support, and that of the Federation, is gratifying. It is unfortunate that I do not have any resources that we can contribute to the relief effort; the majority of our ships are now supporting Lt Col Bannister in his Anti-Pirate activities. I hope this inability to support Gaspar at this time will not add fuel to the suspicions of our involvement."

She stood suddenly, "Now, if there is nothing further, I do have other appointments. Of course, you are welcome to come another time and we can prepare something more palatable to consume."

 

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