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Gestures

Posted on Wed Oct 19th, 2016 @ 4:08am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Magnus Temple

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Crew Quarters
Timeline: Evening

Magnus strolled through the station's many winding corridors, noticing immediately that he attracted less attention while out of uniform. He was purposely wearing his civilian clothes; an open neck white linen shirt and grey slacks, to give a friendly vibe to his intended meeting.

After the chaotic events of the day, Magnus had felt a strong empathy for Ambassador Matlh. He believed the whole mess had stemmed from family defending family; and the most precious family of all, a young child. Magnus would move planets to protect his niece; it was a universal understanding that surpassed race.

Armed with a silver claret of bloodwine in one hand, a freshly baked Rokeg pie in the other, and a special little present in a gift big hanging around his wrist, the Diplomat took a moment before pressing the door chime on the Klingon Ambassador's door.

Haqtaj was lying on her bed. She would not admit to anyone, even Vartog that she was hurting from the last few days. She was getting old and that brought with it a host of horrors. But she needed to be the strong ambassador for the sake of her family and empire.

Still there where times when lying on a soft bed and letting the aches pass was more tempting than she was willing to admit even to herself.

The door chime took her by surprise. People never came to her personal quarters. Even Soroya dropped Anna off at the Consulate.

With a soft groan she rolled to standing and moved to the door. She clipped her honour knife to her belt before opening the door because... well, you never knew.

It took her a moment to recognise the figure on the outside after the door opened. She had only met the man a few times, and always in a formal capacity. Seeing him now was like watching a D'hor master do the shopping.

"A... Ambassador Temple," she began. "Did we have an appointment?

Magnus was sheepish in response, "No, this is an unscheduled visit. Please forgive my intrusion, I won't take up your time."

She glanced along the empty corridor outside. Humans in the Klingon section were not unknown, but it would not do to have him seen hanging at her door with gifts.

"Come inside," she gestured quickly, checking again before closing the door.

Once inside, Magnus kept a stoic impression and didn't look around too much. He offered up the wine and pie to the Klingon with a polite gesture.

"I mostly wanted to see how you were after today," He began. "You and little Anna? I hope she's not too upset."

Haqtaj glanced to the side room where the girl was sleeping tucked around her Targ. Now they were inside and away from prying eyes, however, her manner changed markedly.

"Not at all, Ambassador Temple," she gestured to a low hard bench that served as a couch. "I seldom entertain, but I do remember how it is done."

She took the pie and wine and nodded in appreciation of the vintage, "You know your wine... or know someone who can advise you well."

Magnus gave a nod, "Just experience, I think. There's a course in our Academy specifically on customs and cultural gift exchanges. If you ever need to know what to bring to a meeting with the Saurians, I'm your man."

The Diplomat sat down on the hard bench and pretended it wasn't the least comfortable thing he'd ever sat on. He gave the Ambassador a smile instead.

"I see you managed to escape the fray without much damage. I am sorry to say I know nothing of what happened expect from the official reports." Haqtaj pulled food platter from a cabinet on one side of the room then, remembering who she was with, brought out and extra two plates and some cutlery.

"It is normal to have Rokeg pie still hot enough to burn your mouth, and I am pleased to see you managed this as well. No danger of causing offense here. If you are not familiar with it, the Rokeg has... I believe the correct term is a sharp taste."

Temple nodded, "I've had it a couple of times in my life, but can't say I'm too familiar. I'm quite looking forward to this."

"Have you been visiting all of the people involved in the fight, Ambass... I am sorry, Magnus?"

"Well I wanted your advice on that actually," Magnus replied, "Do you think that would be a good idea? Maybe just another House? I saw there was some casualties from House Tavaris?"

"Tavaris are proud fighters, and good allies, if a little hot headed," Haqtaj commented pulling of a slab of the thick pie with her hands. There was no cutlery. "If you visit them, I would not express concern for them so much as respect for their performance. This will show that you recognise they are strong, instead of fearing they may be weak."

Temple nodded, trying not to appear too awkward as he gripped the pie in his hands and took a respectful bite of the interesting dish. He chewed it slowly, thinking back to that moment a few hour ago when he first thought this was a good idea. 'Foolish, foolish Danish man and your gestures of cultural significance.' He thought, though remaining Diplomatically stoic in his facial expression so as not to show his true dislike of the meal.

Haqtaj smiled at his discomfort, "You say that the meal 'Stabs you'; it is a great compliment. But it can be overpowering. If you do not want it, throw it over your shoulder and take something else."

As he swallowed, quickly, he spoke again, "Actually there were two in particular I wanted to speak to. I didn't catch their names, but they were younger Klingons. They were speaking with an older warrior, near the centre table? Not part of your Embassy, both wearing a rather new medal on their uniform."

Haqtaj's smile vanished. She carefully put her plate down and looked hard at Magnus, "I know the crewmen in question, or at least I know which crew they are from. Why would they be of particular interest to you?"

There was something about Haqtaj's tone that suggested he was in far more danger from how he answered the question that he had been in refusing the food. Perhaps he had been unwise not to let security know he would be coming here.

Magnus noted the tone and looked appropriately confused. "As I mentioned, I believe they were injured during the fight earlier and wanted to extend relations to them. You suggested I commend them on their skills and respect for their performance, right?"

Haqtaj frowned but relaxed a little, still watching the man carefully.

Temple dug into another slice of pie, eating quickly and swallowing without hesitation. "Just trying to do my job to quash any residual tension between us Federation allies. There are so many other problems we're facing here, I'd rather face them together with all the Klingons. House Matlh and House Tavaris included."

"I suggest," Haqtaj said carefully, "that you pass the respects on to their Commanding officer. It would do better for them to receive the recognition from their Commander than from a Federation Ambassador, but it will not hurt their career prospects for their CO to know they are being noticed."

She stood and walked to retrieve a PADD, scrolling through it as she returned.

"The Ship is the Ro'be, and the commanding officer is KorHor."

Magnus gave a nonchalant smile, eyes gleaming with platitude, "I appreciate your assistance, madame, in this delicate matter. And for accepting me so graciously into your home. If there's ever a way I could repay the honor, please don't hesitate to ask."

Magnus' PADD chimed and the Dane looked surprised. "Oh for pokker! I forgot I had a conference call with my assistant on Gaspar. I'm sorry to have to, as we sometimes say, dine and dash, but I have to get going."

Magnus stood and offered his hand to the Ambassador, "I've really enjoyed this evening. Thank you again. We should do it more often."

Haqtaj tone now was less cordial than when he first arrived, but she took his hand and nodded in affirmation. After he had left she quickly returned to her desk and pulled her communicator.

"Vartog, Patch me through to KorHor HoD on a secure line."

 

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