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Diplomatic Dealings

Posted on Wed Jul 21st, 2010 @ 6:31am by Fleet Admiral Tal Navek & Ramol Lussot & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh

Mission: Battle Front. Season 2, Episode 2

Beverly waited for the other officers too filter from the room before finally looking back at the few that remained.

"We have a Cardassian Union Officer on her way up too the ward room as we speak. I'm under the understanding that both her and Ambassador Lussot are to conduct trade negotiations with us in regards of medical supplies and medical assistance within the outlying colonies... Am I correct Ambassador?"

Ramol noded his head once. "That is correct. However, if any other subjects come to light that the Union may assist with, I'm sure they can be adressed as well"

Curiosity was welling within her about the Cardassian Officer that would be heading the negotiations with Ambassador Lussot, and given the fact that both herself and Leanne were the species minority in the room, she had to ask.

"Do either of you know of this Gul Keshac... I would like some information before we go into the talks!"

Leanne sat back and watched as the diplomats had already started jockeying for position. This was the first time she had been on any kind of diplomatic negotiation and wasn't sure what to expect.

Haqtaj frowned.

"Keshac is a Gul now. I am not surprised. It really is a new Cardassia," she mused glancing at Lussot.

She continued, "Keshac is a shrewd diplomat but not much of a commander. She was involved in brokering the cease fire between Klingon and Cardassian forces at the end of the Dominion war, though she did not play a major role. She is shrewd and resourceful. I assume my role here is more of impartial mediator than direct representative for either party?"

"You are correct Ambassador in one respect. however the Klingon's may also be able to offer humanitarian aid as well". The word Humanitarian worried Beverly when offering it as a reason for helping someones the Klingon's were not known for offering help to those who had previously been blood enemies.

Navek was the next to speak as he had more intimate knowledge of Gul Keshac than anyone else on the station. However he did not want to tip the others off to this so instead he played down his knowledge of her. "I knew of her during my time as an officer in the Union, but my direct dealings with her were few and small between. She command a small patrol vessel under my order when I was a Legate, but to be perfectly honest I wasn't watching her career all to closely. She survived the purge, and thats more than most Union Officers could have said...if they were still breathing that is. My suggestion is simple; take whatever she says with a grain of salt as you humans like to say." One would think that Tal would worry when Keshac reveals that the two have more history than he let on, but deep down he knew that she would rather leave some of those details unspoken in order to protect her credibility as a respectable officer.

"Ironically, I am the least informed" Ramol said, glancing back to Haqtaj. "I suppose my superiors deigned not to release the imformation on Gul Keshac to me. She has obviously decided the I am not to be one of her aides, so all I can provide is speculation at this point"

Haqtaj was deep in thought, "She comes in the name of the Union, without the knowledge of the Union Representative, to ask us for help that she may be too proud to accept."

She held up a conilatory hand to Ramol, "No offence is meant by that. My people would not initially accept aid from theFederation after Praxis and many lives were lost as a result."

Beverly was about to interrupt the musings of the two Ambassadors when the doors at the far side of the room slipped open with the customary mechanical expression.
Keshac stepped over the threshold and into the wardroom. With barley hidden contempt she took the room in, looking down her nose at the traitor.
"Admiral... Ambassdors... Doctor Ulonova", she greeted each of the people in turn, all accept the Cardassian wearing the Federation uniform.

"Gul Keshac. Please...", Beverly was on her feet moving around the table to greet the proud officer. "Welcome to deep Space Seven!"

"You will excuse me Admiral if I do not share you enthusiasm for this greeting... The last time I was in this room, I was this stations Commanding Officer... I must say that it has lost some of its original charm".

Tal made a great effort to hold his tounge from saying anything that might get him in trouble. Aside from the blatant disrespect she was showing him, she had the audacity to talk down about the station when she comes asking for aid. "Charm is a matter of opinion" he mused "But we're not really here to talk about this station's charm are we? The last time we spoke, you mentioned the needs of a few colonies, needs the Federation might be able to provide. With the Admiral's permission, I would like to as you and Ambassador Lussot to elaborate on these needs, because the last time I check there were still regular medical convoys heading into Cardassian space." He turned to Beverly "Forgive me if I'm overstepping my bounds Admiral, I'm just want to make sure that depleating our medical reserves is for a just cause."

"Excuse me for speaking out of turn Captain but any medical emergency is a just cause." She knew that in the grand scale of things she was nothing compared to most of the people in the room, but she had worked with mostly everyone in this room except for the new Captain that replaced Zeek. "but saving even one life is a just cause."

"I understand your argument Doctor, but I can also understand the position of the Cardassian Union and Captain Naveks concerns. I would......", the Admiral was cut short by an outburst from the visiting Cardassian Officer.

"In other words you want a reason for helping your blood enemies?"
The ire in her eyes and venom in her voice was evident and palpable in the air.

"Excuse me Gul... Despite my wanting the reasons, I have not neglected the Humanitarian nature of your request. We simply need more information as a preventative measure".
Beverly kept her voice as calm and level as she could, but she could feel Captain Navek stiffen next to her, like a coiled viper ready to strike. She place a gentle hand on his elbow to silence him before he made an outburst.

Ramol leaned forward and glanced in the direction of Gul Keshac, and then back down the table at Admiral DeVuor. "I believe that the concern here is that certain elements within the Federation's command structure would like to see reports and details of the hardships the Cardassian people are suffering from, before considering a change to the shipments, yes?"

With a cursory nod the Admiral confirmed the more than appreciated attempt to help smooth over this less than ideal opening to the meeting.
"And beyond that, we need to know if our colonies and member worlds in the area are going to be affected. The last thing Bajor needs right now is another incident that befell them almost sixty years ago!"
She was of course referring to the Occupation of Bajor by the Cardassian government.

With a less than please grunt and acceptance of her superior in the diplomatic arena she consented to divulge the particulars.
"Our colony worlds in the local region are falling victim to a strain of the Telarian Plague. So far Goralis, Chin'toka and Quatal have fallen to the plague and all three are now under priority quarantine. Chin'toka was the last to fall under the quarantine and so far casualties have been light, but within a matter of days things will worsen to the point that all living organisms on the planet will be eradicated. The situation on Goralis and Quatal is at least two weeks more advanced".

The emotion in her voice was as blatant as text and despite her dislike and distrust of the Federation, she knew that these people could be the only hope for her people... and her family.

Haqtaj whistled, "I was not aware there was a treatment for Tarelian Plague. Unfortunately Klingon Medicine is less... diversified than our Federation counterparts."

"I can't believe the words are coming out of my mouth, but I believe the Gul is being truthful. Truthful to the extent of her information that is." Tal remarked "Typically on missions such as this, the officer in charge is not made aware of all the details. Without knowing which Legate issued this request, it would be hard for me to determine the true nature of this mission." He turned to the Doctor "Now I do understand the nature of humanitarian missions, and I am in no way suggesting that we hold up needed medical supplies. While the supplies are being transferred, perhaps the Gul can-"

Suddenly the internal comm system chirrped to life. 'Lam to DeVuor, can you join us out here please Admiral, we have a developing situation'.

Beverly's voice conveyed nothing of the chargrin she was feeling from the talks with Gul Keshac, instead she was the apitome of calm as she hit her combadge in reply to the summons.
"Report Commander!"

'We're picking up triquantum waves Admiral" she knew the Admiral was a scientist at heart and knew very well that only one race used them extensively, "it looks like a transwarp conduit is forming around 1800 kilometres off the docking ring!'
A sudden realization crossed Ops, only one race were known to use transwarp conduits, the Borg!

Now the Admirals tone took on a different quality. One of worry, fear and unrepressed anger at the actions that Borg had taken during the last encounter she had lived through. She had defeated the collective once before with some of the crew serving under her, and she would manage it again.

"Battle stations Commander. On my way!". With the sheer horror of the situation crossing not only her face, but the faces of each and every person in the room, she caught the gaze of her first officer. "Get the Anubis ready. Ambassadors, if you could call your governments for assistance."

Haqtaj rose, battle ready in an instant, "The FHew was scheduled to depart, and may already have done so. They are already filled beyond capacity, so there is little they could do for evacuation and a B'rel would be unlikely to make a significant difference in a fight. I do not think there are other ships in the area, but I will place a call."

Hataj swept out of the room to place her calls and get her Bat'leth.

"Gul Keshac, if you would mind evacuating as many of the stations civilian population as you can I would be forever in your debt!"

This was the first time that Beverly had seen the angry Cardassian completely still and without a voice or sneer. Instead she nodded her head, feeling the full weight of the situation falling around the room as if heaven and hell had just gone to war.

As the officers exited the room, Tal caught the Keshac's arm. He leaned in close and lowered his voice "We're not done you and I, so try not to get killed." The look on his face was one of stone. The two had much unfinished business, and nothing could convince him that Keschac's mission was a total humanitarian one. As he exited the room, he hit his comm badge, routing it into the station's comm system "Alpha crew, report to the Anubis immediately. We lunch in five minutes!"


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