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Ambition

Posted on Sat Feb 25th, 2017 @ 6:01am by Magnus Temple & Civilian Michel Gerard

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Federation Embassy
Timeline: After "Welcoming"

Magnus had ducked out of the Welcome Luncheon to go to the bathroom before lunch was served, leaving Ambassador Telhas and Captain Harrison discussing docking permissions. He was quietly pleased with how the meal was going, especially with the Captain's offer of a permanently docked ship for the Romulan ambassador. Feeling confident, he knew he would be able to leave the meeting for a quick toilet break.

However, his good mood was immediately sullied when Magnus walked into the lobby of the Embassy to find Michel Gerard waiting with his usual impatience.

"Well, iz this why you haven't responded to my messages?" Gerard asked testily.

"Conducting official business," Magnus replied with a casual shrug. "That is my actual job, you know, Michel."

Michel sighed, not wanting to start another argument, "I understand that, Magnus, and you do it well. I just wished you had some time for your old friend."

Magnus openly scoffed at this, "My old friend Michel decided to treat me like one of his staff, and ordered my around like an assistant. I certainly do not have time for people like that."

Gerard nodded and held up his hands, "I apologise, Magnus. Sincerely. I was out of line that day and my only explanation was that I was caught up in getting approval."

"Oh it's more than that," Magnus replied, closing the distance between himself and the Frenchman, "I believe you manipulated me to get my assistance in the first place. I think I was just a pawn in your game to gain foothold here on DS12."

Michel turned and sat down in one of the comfy chairs in the lobby. He held his face in his hands, appearing to be upset at least. "I'm sorry, I really am sorry. But I'm under so much pressure from my family to start a successful business and repay their support. You know I just wanted to be a designer, but now I have to run this Promenade project."

Magnus listened and nodded intently, there was certainly some truth to the man's words, and also it appeared his run-in with the Klingon Matlh had tempered his ego somewhat, but the Dane wasn't about to let him off that easily.

Instead he shrugged, "You're ambitious, Michel. That I have always known. Even as a designer you wanted to get ahead of the rest, be the first at Fashion Week and have the biggest shows. What I have seen from you while on DS12 has been pure Gerard. Maybe I didn't see it at first, but now I do."

Michel's hands dropped and he looked to Magnus with growing disdain, the pretence of apologies fading. "Oh is that so?"

"Oui," Magnus replied with sarcasm. "The difference between us then and us now, is that I went into service to help people. I have built a career doing good and progressing the causes of the Federation. Unlike you, I couldn't care less about business, or being a successful entrepreneur. I'm not here to line my pockets."

"Well, don't hold back, Magnus," Michel scoffed.

Magnus shrugged, "You're no better than a Ferengi in a human body."

Michel stood, furious now. "Merde! As if you're any different," He shot back. "The only reason you're angry with me is because you think you're better than me. But you're just as ambitious as I am. You may not care about business but you're here to make a name for yourself, to gain fame and notoriety for yourself. That's why you keep changing appointments over the past few years, you're more than willing to pack up and move on if it means a bigger officer and title. Isn't that right, Ambassador."

The Dane let out a deep breath. He was stunned by the criticism, and the truth in Michel's words.

Michel knew he'd hit a nerve and was quietly pleased, even if it was driving him off-topic. He had one more card to play.

"And I know," Michel added conspiratorially, "About the Secretary of the Exterior position."

Magnus shook his head, "I haven't decided to apply yet."

Michel laughed, "Of course you will, Temple! I know you. You're going to lobby harder for that role within the Federation then you have anything previously. Maybe that's why you don't want to help me, because you're saving all your contacts and favours to get yourself in the President's Cabinet?"

"I don't need to justify myself to you," Temple replied, not willing to let Michel phase him.

"And neither I, to you," Michel came right back, "But let's not pretend that we're better than each other, okay? I needed you to get the Promenade up and running, just like you need the Promenade to be a success to put on your resume. We need each other."

Magnus shook his head, "I've done my part, I've helped you. But I believe in the Federation ideals of the collective good over the pursuit of personal wealth. Our society is not built on commerce and profit any more - our purpose is to help each other, to create a better universe. You need to remember that Michel."

The Frenchman nodded. After his run-in with the Klingon, he needed this association with Magnus more than ever, even if that meant listening to his sermon on the history of human society.

"Okay," Michel answered, holding up his hands again, "I acknowledge that I need you. And, again, I apologise for not respecting you earlier. I will endeavour to ensure all my operations are helping people from now on, for the collective good."

Magnus eyed the man with doubt. He had been stung before and was cautious about forgiving him too easily. Ambassador Matlh had impressed upon him not to be so trusting and naive. He won't be fooled again.

"Fair enough," Magnus replied, "I look forward to you living up to that promise. Now, if you don't mind, I have a function to attend to."

Magnus continued onwards towards the bathroom, not willing to give a proper farewell to Michel. He just hoped the Frenchman wasn't there when he came back.

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