( Here is a new chapter. Sorry it's a bit short, that seems to be the way I write. Also the Cardassian Ranks referred to in
Checkmate are from the
Terok Nor trilogy)
Gul Dijmas’ office: One Standard Prime hour before the arrival of the Union Fleet.
Dijmas stared at the hologram before him, an interesting puzzle indeed,
he thought to himself. He studied the board for a few seconds then made his move. The black bishop burst into flames as Dijmas’ red knight checked it. He smiled again and pondered his next move then reluctantly decided to save the game for another time. After all there is a War on and there is no time for procrastination.
There was also the simple and sad fact that Chess had never really caught on in the Union and Dijmas was therefore still forced to use recorded games on long voyages. He could play Korta
with the best of them and would often spend hours off duty playing Korta
with Lantan who was a master of the game and a more than worthy opponent, but Chess was...different in a way that he Dijmas himself could not articulate accurately and it helped him to think more efficiently.
At least I was able to get a hold of federation chess
he mused. Now that was a superior version of the great game he freely acknowledged and there was a level of strategic thinking that he had not credited the Federation with.
He had studied the Vulcan version as played by the legendary Spock and the Andorian attempt created by General Sharn in the early 23rd Century. Dijmas found the Vulcan game to be too staid for his taste and the Andorian too aggressive. He had not even looked at the Tellarite game at all. Now, the Humans and their chess...
Dijmas recalled the first time he had seen a recorded human chess game, it had been two Russians playing against each other for hours on end and Dijmas had been captivated for every second. He had not been surprised to discover that chess had been more widely played in old Russia than anywhere else on earth. In fact according to the late Starfleet Admiral Chekov’s memoirs the Russians had invented chess. Whether that was true or not Dijmas could say but Chekov had been a true master of the Game so Dijmas was inclined to take his word for it.
Sighing, he turned but to the tactical overview map and began drawing his notes for the conference. Before he could get started Lantan’s voice came in over the intercom.
“Forgive the interruption my Gul but there is a ship approaching the planet”
Gul Dijmas strode onto the Bridge of the Wraith
and immediately ordered that the foreign vessel be put on screen. “Vessel onscreen sir” the Gorr manning the communications station informed Dijmas. The oval screen flickered on to show a large bronze housecrab shaped ship heading towards the planet at a sedate speed. A Ferengi Marauder, possibly on a trading route
Dijmas thought. Several dozen Ferengi vessels regularly travelled this part of space mostly on legitimate business, and this particular vessel did look familiar. Still it was always best to be cautious.
“Open hailing frequencies” he ordered Communications. “Standard communication Channel open Gul” the Gorr informed Dijmas who nodded and moved to the front of the bridge.
“This is Gul Dijmas of the Cardassian Second Order to unidentified ship. Please come to a complete stop and prepare for a standard inspection.” As he spoke Dijmas saw the Ferengi Vessel move closer to the Fleet and the Ferengi script on the side of the ship became clearer. I do believe that I recognise that ship
Dijmas mused and as the viewscreen changed from the approaching ship to the Bridge of the Marauder
Dijmas’ suspicions where confirmed. The image of a grinning Ferengi beamed down at Gul Dijmas.
“This is DaiMon Pok of the Ferengi Trading Vessel
Profit Motive to the
Unions Wraith requesting permission to begin trading on
Ne’tak V as per agreed trading laws”
Dijmas had to restrain himself from bursting into laughter at the DaMon’s overt show of polite respect.
“Please forgive me, my good DaiMon, but since when has a mere Cardassian fleet stopped you from peddling your trinkets to the gullible for a ridiculously inflated price, you dishonest old pirate?” he replied in the same matter of fact tone that the DaiMon had previously used. The Ferengi started to laugh exposing his sharp teeth in a wide grin. “Ah, my dear Dijmas, once more I find you always the wit! Are you sure I cannot interest you I my collection of Gorn Humour? I’m sure it will improve your repertoire no end”
Dijmas had to laugh “No thank you Pok. However would you care to join me for a glass of my finest Kanar
? We can discuss matters of trade in a more informal setting.” The Ferengi’s eyes lit up at the invitation and he readily agreed. “Good, if you would care to beam over I’ll see that you are escorted to the wardroom”.
As the Ferengi DaiMon signed off Dijmas turned to Lantan. “Please ask Glinn’s Tavor and Borcan to join us in the wardroom and prepare enough glasses for ten people please and rotate the crew shifts. I want the crew to be refreshed and ready for the rest of the fleet”.
Lantan nodded and turned to complete his tasks. Dijmas made to leave the bridge already preparing for the relaxing verbal sparring match between the Cardassian officers and the Ferengi sales crew.