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We can respond

Posted on Fri Mar 10th, 2017 @ 2:31pm by Magnus Temple & Captain Nelson Harrison & Ambassador Telhas thu'S'Terion Duke of Cheleb-Khor

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Federation Embassy

The welcome lunch for Ambassador Telhas had continued to be a civil and polite affair, canapés and drinks followed by a sit-down meal at the cultural-appropriately decorated main table. The Romulan Ambassador of course was seated at the head, with Captain Harrison and Magnus Temple sitting opposite each other in the middle, and the other guests down the end.

For Magnus it was like watching a game of tennis, his neck craning left to right as he made small talk and pleasantries between all the guests. Fifteen years of service to the Federation Diplomacy Corp, and a lifetime of attending political functions thanks to his mother, had prepared him well for the marathon that was formal receptions. Small talk was like his super power.

He looked over to the Captain and quietly said, "I think allowing his ship to be permanently docked was a generous offer, and will go some way to creating a harmonious relationship between us and the Romulans."

“That is my hope,” Harrison replied. “I have offered the use of one of the surplus vessels in our hangers as his personal transport. I have also offered to retrofit it to his specifications.”

Temple smiled, reaching for his drink, "I don't believe he was expecting such an offer, I hope it shows our willingness to accomodate and open meaningful relations."

“It was either that or him bringing a D’deridex here. I don’t think it would be a good look, permanently sitting on one of the docking rings.” He smiled. “It might give the wrong impression.”

Magnus laughed into his glass as he sipped his Romulan ale, "Indeed."

“While I have you, Ambassador,” Harrison continued, the timbre of his voice dropping to a serious note. “Your cousin, Gerard....”

Choking hard at the Captain's words, Temple reached for his napkin and coughed into it as politely as he could, trying to simultaneously spit out his drink. "Cousin!" He gasped, "I beseech you Captain, tell me you are joking. Michel is no cousin of mine."

“My apologies, Ambassador,” Harrison said hurriedly. He scratched the side of his head. “I do not know where I got that idea. I somehow thought the two of you related.”

Magnus shook his head fervently, "Old friends. I was romantically involved with his sibling for a time, about five years ago, and that's how we became acquainted. He was a different man then, more focused on his designs and fashion and less like, well... less like a Gerard than he is today."

“I was going to ask if you could bring your influence over him to bear but maybe I am mistaken in that notion as well.”

"To be honest with you, Captain," Magnus shrugged, "I've been a little stung by the changes in him. He's adopted the family way, alright, I just didn't see it until recently. But I do believe I can keep him on the straight and narrow, once he realises how much he needs our support."

“And we need his,” Harrison said. “We need the new Promenade to attract people to the station and to show that we are more than just a Starfleet outpost. If I have to, I will bring the weight of my authority down on him but I would prefer not to. He just needs to realise that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

"Hopefully it won't come to that," Magnus answered, "I spoke with him just before and he seemed apologetic, in his own cantankerous way. But I believe I may get through to him yet."

"You are talking about this impertinent subject who talked most disrespectfully to the Klingon ambassador." It was a fact, and he made no hints to phrase it as a question. Telhas' polite smile did not hide his dislike of Gerard. "If I may add my opinion. You should take precautions to ensure that this person, Michel Gerard, does not accidentially cause a major diplomatic incident one day."

Magnus was surprised to see the Ambassador had an opinion on Michel as well, though not surprised to see it was negative. It gave him a little relief to know he wasn't the only one dealing with the Frenchman's ego, though embarrassed that he had become such an infamous character on the station.

"I don't think he's particularly dangerous," Magnus replied across the table. "Just foolish at the moment. He's acting like a child that's gotten his way. It will temper once he realises his reputation is starting to proceed him."

"Even fools can be dangerous, if they act foolish in the wrong moment," Telhas stated.

“Which might lead to him being the subject of an incident,” Harrison observed. “I have heard rumblings from some of the other businesses on the Promenade. They think Gerard is receiving favourable treatment; treatment they are not receiving.”

"Anyway, there is one issue where I would like to have the Captain's opinion. The current situation with the Cardassians is far beyond complicated. They are at war with my people, and are extraordinary aggressive towards most of their neighbours. If we do not interrupt them now, we may just have our next major war within a few years. I have reviewed a lot of intelligence data and I am sure that they will reconsider if they see a coalition of powers against their aggressive expansion now. Do you concur?" Telhas looked curiously at Harrison.

“Actually no, Ambassador,” Harrison replied. “Or might I better say that I disagree. There is a third party that I think is playing a very deadly game and I fear we are soon to be drawn into it. Have you heard of the Order of Twelve?”

Telhas shook his head slowly. Another information the Tal Shiar had omitted to forward to him. "No, but I guess it may be important."

“It is a dissident Cardassian group dedicated to the restoration of military rule. Federation intelligence indicated it was behind many incidents along the Romulan/Cardassian border: incidents which the Cardassians blamed on the Romulans and vice versa. The latest reports suggest that they have moved their sphere of activity to this end of the Cardassian/Federation border. That suggests they mean to destabilise the demilitarised zone. No doubt they will try to foment war between Cardassia and the Federation.”

"This makes them your problem as much as they are my government's problem," Telhas stated.

"An insidious evil," Magnus replied with a grave nod, "Attempting to spark a new conflict by dividing and destabilising our region. But their tactics only work if we allow it and now that we are becoming aware of their methods, we can respond. Together."

Telhas nodded thoughtfully. "Gentlemen, I am not sure if this is a matter we should debate in such a semi-public environment. Plus we are lacking another important ambassador here, I suggest that the three of us meet again in a few days, together with Ambassador Matlh. I would suggest my embassy for the meeting, but," he smiled, "probably the place is not too well-suited for our Klingon colleague. Maybe this place is best, Ambassador Temple. Alternatively the Klingon embassy, with the consent of Ambassador Matlh."

"In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" Harrison quoted.
"When the hurlyburly's done,
When the battle's lost and won.
That will be ere the set of sun.
"

Magnus smiled at the Captain's quote, "Well said, Captain. I believe Ambassador Matlh would appreciate us going to her embassy for such a meeting, though I have my doubts that any formal agreement could be made with the Klingons. Still, perhaps like yourself Ambassador Telhas, she will recognise that this problem effects us all, and a joint effort is required? We can but ask."

"I might be sticking my neck out here," Harrison said, "but we might get a better reception from the Ambassador if we approach her as a member of House Matlh, rather than as the Klingon Ambassador."

"I concur," Magnus replied.

With the meal concluding, service staff began to silently clear away the plates and cutlery, and Magnus gave his chin one final wipe with the napkin before placing it down on the table to be collected.

"Well, that was an enjoyable meal with exceptional company," Temple declared, looking between the Captain and the Romulan with a pleased smile, "I do hope we can continue such occasions in the future."

"Definitely we should," replied Telhas, "And I want to express my gratitude for your perfect planning."

Temple bowed his head in sincere gratitude, "To recieve such a compliment from a man of considerable standing and culture, is a deep honour, your Excellency. I thank you."

OFF

 

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