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Mon Ami!

Posted on Thu Apr 21st, 2016 @ 2:17pm by Magnus Temple & Civilian Michel Gerard

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Promenade

Temple was strolling back from the Starfire Grill, his belly full and tastes well and truly satisfied, when he was confronted by a less then comfortable feeling. Ahead of him, standing poised and waiting in the middle of the bustling crowds, was a familiar face. And Magnus was not entirely pleased to see him.

"Magnus!" Michel Gerard beamed at the Diplomat. "Quelle suprisé!"

Magnus managed a smile and received the French man's polite hug and air kisses. Magnus was wearing his casual civilian attire and Michel, as always, was dressed in a three-piece pinstriped suit. The contrast between the relaxed Diplomat and the pensive Designer could not have been more obvious.

"Michel, it's been a while." Magnus spoke tersely. "A surprise, indeed."

Magnus had dated one of Michel's older siblings for a while when he was back on Earth several years ago. He remembered Michel was the non-business member of the Gerard clan, focusing on his fashion designs instead of hotels and resorts.

But he also remembered that behind Michel's fixed smile and sweet words, lay an acerbic tongue and judgemental mind that was prone to lashing out with brutal honesty at times. Talking to Michel was like walking through a minefield.

"Too long, mon ami, très très too long." Michel replied, leaning back again and somehow managing to plaster an even broader smile to his lips.

"What brings you to DS12?" Magnus asked, obviously reserved.

"Ah I live here now." Michel replied, sensing the apprehension creeping into the Danes' tone. He pushed on regardless.

Magnus tried not to let his face fall too much, instead giving a nervous laugh. "Wow that's....uh news. How come?"

Michel waved aboved them both to second level of the Promenade deck. "We are building the businesses on this level here and I'm staying on to manage. It's going to be beautiful, Magnus. Oh it's going to be a slice of Paris, just you wait and see."

Magnus nodded, looking wistfully up to the empty Promenade level. He was still somewhat hoping this was going to be some kind of joke on the Captain's behalf. Yes, that was it. The Captain was playing a practical joke on him.

"How... wonderful," Magnus slowly replied. He finally looked back to Michel, who still appeared almost chemically enhanced he was smiling so much.

He saw Michel looking eagerly at him and Magnus found himself actually stumped, the Diplomat usually able to small chat with anyone. However, Michel's face was practically cracking under the pressure of his grin. It was becoming unnerving.

Magnus cleared his throat, "Um... So it'll just be you here, no one else from the family."

"Oh don't worry, Louis has his own sport complex on Risa." Michel sighed. "He and his horrible partner live there now. I tell you, the man's an insufferable bore. I've met cardboard with more personality. He makes week-old replicated oatmeal seem like a fascinating conversationalist."

Magnus laughed, having spotted the first signs of the true Michel behind that smile. Michel coughed and tried to forget he'd let slip his pleasant veneer.

"Interesting," Magnus frowned.

Finally he'd had enough with this awkwardness and he decided to cut to the chase. "With all due respect, last I heard you were running a clothing store. How on earth did you manage to become head of a project like this?"

Michel hesitated, then smiled again. "Well, funny you should mention that, I suppose."

Magnus' brow quickly furrowed, "Oh?"

Michel shrugged, "I suppose me bumping into you wasn't quite a surprise,"

Magnus now frowned deeply, "Go on."

Michel laughed, "I suppose coming to DS12 wasn't a coincidence either, as I knew you'd be here."

Magnus was getting a sinking feeling. "And?'

"I suppose I knew I had to please my family and run a successful business," Michel added, "And I suppose I knew that in order to secure such a position, I would have to find a friend whose support could help land such a project."

Yep, definitely sinking now. Practically drowning.

"What does that mean, Michel?" Magnus asked tersely.

"Oh I had to Magnus, you don't understand the pressure I was under to secure my position here," Michel whined. "So I used your name, told the Captain you were my co-partner on the project."

"Michel!" Magnus cried loudly, enough to cause several people around them to stop in alarm. Magnus was too infuriated to notice.

"I had to get the Captain to agree to my vision for the Promenade," Michel explained, talking quickly, "If he knew you were involved, he would support my ideas and my position here. Then the Promenade would be a success and I would stop looking like a failure to my family."

"You can't just use my name like that!" Magnus growled. "And I don't have time to be a business partner, I've just been posted here, I'm an Ambassador!"

"You won't have to do a thing," Michel replied, pleading, "I will do it all, I promise. You're going to love it, I know when you see the plans you'll agree it's a great idea and will be successful. I just know it."

Magnus frowned again, "You should have asked, Michel. I have to check with the Integrity Commission to ensure there's no illegality in being involved in a business here. I could get censured just from you mentioning me."

"It's fine, you'll be fine," Michel exclaimed, "Star Fleet loves my family, we do a lot of projects with them now. They even like having a Federation agent involved to maintain some controls."

The Diplomat just shook his head, "Did that even work? I barely know the Captain, I doubt my name holds that kind of sway."

"Yes, apparently not," Michel retorted with a snort. "He's still making me jump through these ridiculous hoops and submit a full review to DS12 Ops."

Magnus nodded, "You're not going to get this fast-tracked, Michel. That's just common sense, your brothers and sister all went through this when they first started."

"I know that. Now." Michel replied. "Please Magnus, I can't have this fail before it even begins. I need your support."

Magnus looked to the Frenchman, whose dark brown eyes were filled with hope and pleading. Temple couldn't let his annoyance go but he was surprisingly interested about the prospect.

"I'm not agreeing to anything just yet," Magnus started, slowly, "But show me the plans."

Michel practically jumped for joy as he opened up his PADD and showed it to Magnus.

"See, it's like you've travelled through space and time into a real Parisian street." He explained. "There's shops, restaurant, music venue, holodecks, market Sundays."

Magnus nodded despite himself, "It looks good."

Michel looked hopeful again.

"You'll have to deliver on time and on budget," Magnus added, "No delays, no blowouts, no flights of fancy. The crew and civilians here on DS12 deserve a top notch experience and you're going to deliver."

Michel's smile returned, "Of course!"

"And I'm telling the Captain I found out about this after your meeting with him," Magnus warned, "I have my integrity and I will not lie to Captain Harrison. But I may give it my support once I see the full submission that you are definitely going to give to Ops."

Michel beamed, "So you're in?"

Magnus sighed, "Apparently I already was."

Michel actually did jump for joy, doing as much wild dancing as his tight fitting suit would allow. Magnus just watched with bemusement, wondering just what had he managed to sign himself up for.


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