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Posted on Tue Dec 20th, 2016 @ 12:51am by Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Magnus Temple

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

Magnus had just left his rather successful first meeting with the Romulan Ambassador, pleased at the progress he had made with the gracious Duke. He positively floated across the corridors as he made his way back towards his office at the Federation Embassy.

However, he couldn't help but notice there was some kind of commotion occuring in the middle of the shopping district. He stopped purposely to eavesdrop on some officers and shortly ascertained that an argument had erupted between Ambassador Matlh and, who else, Michel Gerard.

The Dane groaned internally. On one hand he did not want to keep helping Michel, especially with how rude he was spoken to, but relations with the Klingons were already tender at best, and Haqtaj's potential friendship meant more to him than the arrogance of the Frenchman.

Magnus spotted the Klingon stalking through the Promenade and quickly sprinted to catch up with her.

"Ambassador!" He called out, hoping she'd stop to talk.

Haqtaj heard the voice but it took her a moment to locate its source. She saw the human ambassador running up to her and smiled to herself.

"It is not often that the Federation comes running to the Klingon Empire," she joked as he approached. "What has caused you such an urgent need to find me?"

Magnus knew better than to imply that this proud warrior was anything more than slightly inconvenienced by whatever it is Michel had said or done. So he had to choose his words carefully like all good diplomats should.

"I've just come from a meeting with Ambassador Telhas, the new diplomat from the Romulan Empire," Magnus began, "He was very keen to meet with you. In fact, he suggested a regular joint session of all three states."

"Telhas," the Klingon mused. "Powerful family, very Anti-Tal Shiar, lots of posturing to make sure they stay on top in any new government. I have not dealt with them directly before, which makes a big change from our last few Ambassadors. This should be interesting. What format will these joint sessions take? Not a meal, I trust."

Magnus laughed hesitantly, "Well there is a luncheon we are hosting in the Federation embassy, to which Ambassador Telhas encouraged your attendance. But our regular meetings could be a little more formal if that suits you?"

Haqtaj hesitated, "Although I am not partial to their cuisine, it is not that which worries me, nor the formality. You will be aware there is an old Klingon Tradition about not drinking with your enemy? By holding a Lunch you force me to either declare loyalty by drinking with them or hostility by not doing so. Perhaps it would be better if I were not invited."

"Ambassador Telhas is not your enemy," Temple replied, "In fact, I have reason to believe he may request our assistance in dealing with some aggressively errant Cardassians. Surely it is worth breaking bread with a neutral party if it leads to the opportunity to fight a persistent foe?"

Haqtaj looked carefully at the Federation Ambassador, "Magnus, you have a vital failing in an Ambassador; trust. What do you know of my enemies. My own younger brother tried to have me killed for political gain. Do you think this man would hesitate for a moment to incinerate this entire station if it were to gain him a political advantage in the new Romulan Government?"

"As I understand your cultural texts, the act of' breaking bread' is far more significant in your own history than you give modern credence to. I am a traditionalist. I will not eat with this Romulan till I know them better."

She suddenly grinned and slapped him on the back, "But take heart. I have eaten with you. Twice."

Magnus winced after the slap but laughed nonetheless, "For which I am truly grateful. And I appreciate that you've taken the time to consider and explain your point of view. Consider the matter dropped."

"There was another issue I wished to discuss," Magnus began.

Haqtaj noticed the hesitation, "Go on."

"Well the other reason I came over is that I couldn't help but hear you had a run in Michel Gerard," Temple said, "More like you ran over him, from what I'm told."

He gave a laugh, showing that he wasn't particularly concerned over Michel's well-being. "Anything I could possibly help with?"

Haqtaj frowned, "You are affiliated with Gerard, are you not? You helped patronize his plan for the upper ring?"

"Reluctantly yes," Magnus shrugged, "It was in the Federation's interests to support a renovation of the station, which I agree with. Michel's arrogant personality aside, it's still a good idea."

Realization dawned on Haqtaj's face, "Then it is as I have said, you trust too quickly. Do not be concerned for his reaction to me. There is a Klingon Book, the qeS'a', that outlines the Ten tenants a Warrior should live by. Number one is: choose your enemies well. A powerful enemy will destroy you; a weaker enemy only belittles you; but a worthy opponent forces you to grow."

"I have seen Michael's kind before; a junior member of a great house who does not know how to be great himself, but succeeds only under the shadow of his Father's or Grandfathers heritage. My brother was one such as he. I think humans have a phrase... let me see if I get this right... To be insulted by you I must first value your opinion."

"He's a lot more capable than you might think, Ambassador," Magnus replied, "He's just let the situation get to his head at the moment, I'm sure he'll calm down when he realises he still needs our assistance." He gave a laugh at himself. "Or maybe I'd just like to believe he will. Anyway, I'm curious to know why you'd need him anyway, he's only a civilian proprietor?"

"Need?" Haqtaj looked genuinely confused for a moment. "No need, just an opportunity to be taken. As an ambassador you soon learn that posturing is very important. If you don't keep talking loudly, people forget you are there. I saw an opportunity to upgrade my Embassy and improve the standing of myself and my people on the station, and reached for it. Michael does not see it. So things continue unchanged."

A sudden evil grin came over her face, "Of course, if we three Ambassadors were to request the Captain authorize a CHANGE to Michael's plans; a space set aside for us three to regularly meet, perhapse an upgrade to an embassy that has a view of Cargo bay 5. Well, I can't see that the Captain would refuse, and of course Micahel would have to accept the change."

"That would certainly be true in a Klingon station, but I don't think just talking loudly will always work here," Magnus replied, "Michel tried to give the Captan his trademark attitude and found himself quickly rebuffed."

Magnus thought for a moment and looked up to the second level, "This is where diplomacy meets bureaucracy I'm afraid. The Federation has levels upon levels of approvals on such projects, mostly due to our non-profit based society. I'll be honest and say it's unlikely to happen in the allocated space. However, there's still plenty of room left in this station, I'm sure we could find somewhere else to meet?"

Haqtaj dismissed the matter with a wave of her hand, "There are plenty of office spaces, I am sure we will be accommodated. This was never a question of having a comfortable seat; it was about perception, and being seen. If the Station were to recognize the Klingon Embassy, giving it an elevated place in the new development, then that plays well for me. Not having that happen does not make me any worse off though."

Haqtaj smiled again, "You do have one trait that is very common among Ambassadors; you feel the need to apologize and make up for the way your people behave. I am smart enough to recognize that there are unfavourable elements in any culture, and you, as a people, are not responsible for the actions of a minority."

"Now, I believe you have a party to arrange, and I have excuses to make. We will talk again soon, Ambassador. Success to you!"

Magnus could only smile in response and give the Ambassador a polite nod, "And to you as well."

There was an honesty and common-sense behind the Klingon warrior's words, though obviously decorated with a healthy dose of bravado. She was looking after her interests, as any representative should do.

"Have a good day, Ambassador," Temple added, as the two departed company.

Magnus continued on towards the Federation Embassy. He thought about turning into the Promenade and confronting Michel, but decided it was better to wait for the Frenchman to come crawling back instead. After his run in with Ambassador Matlh, it would only be a matter of time.


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