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Posted on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 @ 11:02am by Magnus Temple & Civilian Michel Gerard

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Promenade
Timeline: After "Proposals"

Magnus and Michel strode purposefully away from the Operations department, excited about the approval of their new Promenade renovations. The plans had a rocky beginning; having almost immediately been torpedoed when blustering Michel had put the Captain off-side. But it had been dutifully saved by Magnus' advice and diplomatic assistance.

Michel had his face buried into a PaDD as they walked back to the Promenade, but Magnus talked on happily.

"Well this is going to be great," He beamed.

Michel nodded, though didn't respond.

"Finally, you get to build a fabulous new entertainment district," Magnus tried again.

"Yes," Michel murmured.

Magnus tried once more, "Your family will be proud,"

"Oui," Michel replied.

"Michel! Why aren't you celebrating?" Magnus finally asked.

Michel stopped and held up a finger to silence the Diplomat. "Ssh."

Magnus baulked but Michel was quickly on his communicator, talking hurriedly. "Yes, it's Gerard. I want the second shipment docked and unloaded by the end of the day. Construction will begin ASAP, I want a foreman on site before dinner."

Meanwhile, the Dane was perplexed by his friend's colder demeanor. One minute Michel had been a needy child, practically begging Magnus for his help to get the Promenade plan through, now the Frenchman was barely recognizing his existence.

Michel continued, "Yes, we need to move on this quickly. I want to ensure we don't interrupt life on the station for too long. I want to come in well before schedule."

Magnus just sighed and wondered if he should even bother sticking around. Clearly Michel didn't need his input anymore.

"I'm going," Magnus announced before turning to leave.

He had only gone a few steps before Michel called him back. "Wait! Magnus!" He cried as he quickly made up the distance to come by the Dane's side.

Magnus turned and looked expectantly, "I know you're busy, Michel, but you can take a moment to celebrate and appreciate actually getting approval. Maybe thank the guy who helped get you there."

Michel shook his head, "I never doubted. No, I need you to fast track the supplies shipment. Okay? Thanks."

Magnus was stunned and taken aback, "No."

A look of annoyance passed over the businessman's face. "What?" He snarled.

"No, Michel," Magnus shrugged, "I don't have to do a forbandet thing for you."

Michel gave a forced smile and took a breath. "Your name is attached to this project now, you gave your support to the Captain and Lieutenant Stills. Not to mention your beloved Federation mentor. It's been approved so it's too late to rescind that support without making yourself look ridiculous. So you need to be a team player and help me out with this one little thing, d'accord?"

Magnus couldn't believe what he was hearing. The change of tone and attitude from his so-called friend was shocking to him.

"Why are you talking to me like this?" Magnus asked, flummoxed. "After everything I have done for you."

Michel just looked back to his PaDD. "Yeah I'm too busy for this. Do your job, Temple."

With that, Michel disappeared down a corridor, talking loudly into his communicator again.

Magnus took a beat to process this turn of events. A sinking feeling dawned over him; it started in the pit of his stomach and crawled over his mind with a daunting realization.

He remembered how Michel had chosen DS12 because he knew Magnus was here. How Michel had tried to initially tie Magnus' name to the project from the very beginning. How his apparent inability to win over the Captain practically forced Magnus to help. Michel allowed himself to be lectured and teased because it maintained the facade that Magnus needed to help.

...The promenade presentation.

...The donation to Gaspar.

...The very meeting they had just left.

Had Michel just been working him all this time?

Magnus let out a long breath but the anger continued to swirl around his mind. Was he just the willing fly walking straight into the spider's parlour. The bumbling, stubborn, helpless Michel was all an act. He had forgotten who Michel really was - duplicitous and manipulative, only caring about his own success.

The Dane could only shake his head. Whether an act or not, Michel was right - Magnus had willingly signed himself up to support Michel and couldn't back out now. So what choice did he have but to keep helping?

"Merde." He sighed.

As he continued to walk back to the Promenade, tapping away on his PaDD, he wondered if it wasn't too late to change Michel's little Parisian street into a replica of a Copenhagen. That would serve Michel right. The thought gave Magnus some amusement, as fleeting as it were.

Even if he had been manipulated, Magnus was not going to allow himself to be pushed around any longer.

He tapped his badge to speak with his Receptionist, =/\= Sally, it's Magnus. I need you take Michel Gerard off the access list for the office. If he wants a meeting, he can talk to one of the junior aides. As far as he's concerned, I am busy. Permanently. =/\=

There was a slight pause before Sally replied, =/\= Understood, sir. =/\=

Magnus sighed, knowing this was a temporary solution to his problem but at least it would get Michel's attention.



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