TUE: Contact Point, Part I - Union of the Snake

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gibraltar, May 24, 2020.

  1. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Author's note: This story will be a cooperative work between at least two (and possibly as many as four) TUE writers.

    * * *
    Chapter One

    USS Reykjavík - October, 2320


    Federation Ambassador Riehj Metruka and his retinue materialized atop the transporter dais in columns of bluish light. He was a heavy-set individual, of medium height for a humanoid, dressed in the kind of bulky ceremonial tunic favored by many of the Zakdorn species. Metruka took a moment to glance around the transporter room with an air of the studiously unimpressed.

    The three thick, fibrous pouches of skin on each of Metruka’s cheeks made it appear to Captain Trujillo that the ambassador’s face had been molded from candle wax that was beginning to melt. It was an uncharitably xenophobic thought, she knew, certainly not one worthy of the commanding officer of a Federation starship.

    “Welcome aboard Reykjavík, Ambassador,” Trujillo offered, stepping forward from where she’d stood with her executive officer and chief of operations.

    Metruka made reticent sounds, the sort of cooing, humming noises typically associated with many of the hypercritical Zakdorn. He stepped gingerly off the dais, accompanied by two of his aides. “Hmm, yes, thank you, Captain. I believe this should prove a most interesting exercise.”

    Trujillo fought to maintain a neutral expression. “Exercise, Ambassador?”

    “Yes, hmmm. These Cardassians are an expansionist-imperialist power with technology roughly comparable to that of your people in Earth’s mid-22nd century. It should prove telling whether we’re able to convince them to cease their hostilities and withdraw to their established borders. One wonders if Johnathan Archer would have accepted such an ultimatum from the Klingons or the Xindi?”

    Metruka shook Trujillo’s offered hand, clasping it with a limp, perfunctory jiggle.

    “My apologies, Ambassador. That comparison escapes me, as Earth wasn’t an expansionist power,” Trujillo parried, wondering if it were possible to dislike someone only moments after meeting them.

    The ambassador winked at Trujillo’s XO, the Tellarite Lt. Commander Glal. “Tell that to the Vulcans, Tellarites and the Andorians, Captain. They and the Romulans certainly saw Humanity’s venturing into the stars as problematic.”

    Trujillo bit off an acerbic reply, and instead turned to introduce Glal and Lieutenant DeSilva. After pleasantries had been exchanged, she guided the group into the corridor and they began making their way to the ship’s guest accommodations.

    Their conversation continued in the corridor, with Trujillo offering, “Ambassador, it was my understanding that this wasn’t to be a negotiation but rather a cultural exchange. An opportunity for we and the Cardassians to start over diplomatically on a more favorable footing.”

    Another diffident coo from Metruka presaged his reply. “Ostensibly that is the case. However, we’re fooling ourselves if we believe the Cardassians see this as anything other than an opportunity to mine us for information on our technology and determine our willingness to defend our territory. I asked for a tactically capable starship for this mission specifically because I anticipate that the Cardassians may have malicious intent.”

    Trujillo digested that. “None of those facts were included in the brief from DiploCorps, Ambassador.”

    “The Diplomatic Corp and I rarely see eye-to-eye, Captain,” Metruka said, waving his hand expressively. “Nonetheless, I was selected to lead this envoy mission. I have experience negotiating with the Klingons, Romulans, Tholians and a host of others. I believe it was that experience that recommended me for this assignment.”

    The Diplomatic Corps, Starfleet Command, Starfleet Intel and the ambassador all have different ideas about how this mission should be conducted, Trujillo thought sourly. Why am I surprised?

    And with that, Trujillo decided that for the moment at least, she was done with Metruka. Looking to Glal, she said, “Commander, please see the ambassador and his staff to their guest quarters. I’m sure they’ll also wish to inspect our diplomatic facilities in preparation for the meeting with the Cardassians.”

    “Captain…” Metruka began to object, only to be cut off by her.

    “My apologies, Ambassador, I have other duties to attend to. You and your people are in good hands.”

    She wheeled abruptly on one heel and stalked off down the corridor towards the nearest turbolift.

    * * *

    “Your situation is definitely… unenviable,” Captain Wolfgang Müller offered in his distinctly Germanic accent over their subspace comms-link.

    Trujillo grunted dourly in response as she leaned forward in the chair behind her ready room desk. “Far too many chefs in the kitchen on this one, Wolfgang. The ambassador is an officious bastard, but that may be what’s called for here. He certainly has an impressive CV.”

    Müller laughed lightly. “I’ve worked with Metruka before, back when I commanded the Gandhi. He’s a pompous ass, to be sure, but he knows his business. Metruka really stuck it to the Romulans after Tomed, wrung concessions out of them I didn’t think were possible.”

    She took a sip of tea, then offered Müller a lukewarm smile. “That’s actually comforting. I was afraid going into this that we might be saddled with some flower-bearing peacenik from the DiploCorps convinced that the Cardassians were simply misunderstood. Metruka at least appears to understand the utility of standing on the deck of a gunboat while negotiating.”

    “The real reason I called,” Trujillo explained, shifting topics, “is that I know Exeter’s on her way back from that area. What can you tell me about these Cardassians?”

    “Not much, really,” Müller confessed. “We had one skirmish with them after they attacked the Glaav, and despite their best efforts, they barely depleted our shields. They’re operating with outdated tech by our standards, fielding low-yield disruptors and first generation photonic torpedoes. Their ships don’t even have shields, only polarized hull-plating.”

    Trujillo frowned, clearly perplexed. “Then help me understand how they’re a threat to us?”

    “Because they never attack alone,” Müller said. “There’s always a pack of them laying in wait. Additionally, their weapons have improved dramatically since our First Contact with them eight years ago. From what little of their subspace chatter our signals-intel people have been able to decrypt, it appears they’ve annexed a number of inhabited worlds in their territory, either making them client states to their regional hegemony, or conquering them outright.”

    Trujillo offered a resigned shrug. “So do the Klingons, the Romulans, and honestly just about everyone else. Imperialism in the Alpha and Beta quadrants is the rule rather than the exception.”

    Müller inclined his head. “Just so. However, we have encountered the Cardassians at a point in their expansion when they are most vulnerable to Federation influence. If we play our cards right, a gentle nudge in the right direction now could save us from having to fight them years or even decades from now when they’re much stronger.”

    A frown creased Trujillo’s face. “Begging your pardon, but targeted Starfleet Intel operations or cooperative trade agreements can provide a gentle nudge. Reykjavík and I are more an anvil and hammer. We really don’t do subtle.”

    Müller grinned. “That fact is well established, Nandi. You’re providing the muscle. Remember, you won’t be alone out there. When Exeter left, I handed over command of Task Force Hadrian to Captain ch'Vanos of the Gettysburg. He’s an old hand at this sort of flag-flying, saber-rattling demonstration. We don’t have a lot of ships out there, but the ones we do have pack a punch.”

    Trujillo nodded her understanding. “That’s good to hear.” An icon flashed on her screen, her XO requesting her attention for something. “I’ve got to go, Wolfgang. Thank you for your input, it’s greatly appreciated.”

    “Any time, Nandi. Good luck out there, and give the ambassador my regards. Exeter, out.”

    * * *
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020 at 10:03 PM
  2. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Captain Captain

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    Nice work so far.
     
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  3. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting reading about early encounters with the Cardassians. While this diplomat seems to be short on people skills (interesting, for a diplomat), he at least seems to be a realist as to their intent. Somehow, I feel this mission will be anything but a cakewalk.
     
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  4. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This guy irritates me, Glal can deal with him. Bye. Oh, the perks of being the Captain :bolian:

    Müller is mentor to all, if he can't help you solve problems with advice he brews his own select range of beer.
     
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  5. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    I dig this premise. The early days of Federation-Cardassian contact. Interesting to see how far behind the Cardassians are at this point and how quickly they must have caught up over the next few decades.

    I wonder, is this the story about how Cardassian-Federation relation went all to hell? If so, I'm excited to find out exactly how that all went down since, as we know, Muller's concerns will eventually come to pass.
     
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  6. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    * * *​

    Trujillo met Ambassador Metruka as he exited his guest cabin, once again clad in his people’s idea of formal wear. The eight-day journey from the Federation’s closest outpost, Station K-21, had given Trujillo the opportunity to interact with Metruka and create a game-plan for their encounter with the Cardassians. While the two had not become fast friends, a mutual respect had taken hold. Yes, the man was arrogant, but even Trujillo had to admit that arrogance had been earned. Despite her initial misgivings, she’d found herself beginning to like the man.

    “Good morning, Ambassador. We’re due to arrive in the Kalandra system in about a half-an-hour.” She gestured to the beckoning corridor.

    “A fine morning to you as well, Captain,” Metruka replied, falling into step next to her.

    “Long-range sensors indicate that ionic storm activity in the system is at a low ebb, though it’s impossible to predict when that might change,” Trujillo explained as they walked.

    “Hmmm, yes… selecting a star system with chronic ionic storms where they could hide a squadron of undetectable ships is yet another suspicious choice on their part,” Metruka observed.

    Trujillo grunted in reply. “Indeed. This has all the hallmarks of a fiasco like Station Salem-One. At the very least, we know what we’re potentially walking in to.”

    They moved into a turbolift alcove and Trujillo toggled the panel, calling the lift.

    “Thankfully, Captain, your ship and crew seem most capable of extricating us from any ‘unfortunate’ encounters.”

    She offered him a confident smile. “We play to our strengths.”

    Metruka cooed approvingly. “I believe the Human aphorism is, ‘blowing people up and breaking their shit?’”

    Trujillo barely contained a surge of laughter behind her hand as the lift car arrived and they stepped inside. “Bridge.” She cleared her throat, casting a sidelong glance at the ambassador. “I’m not going to ask where you picked up that little gem.”

    “I’ve been doing this for decades,” he replied with a like smile. “Which is why I try to leave as little to chance as possible. Always have an exit strategy.”

    “Amen to that, Ambassador,” she agreed as the lift doors parted to reveal the ship’s command center.

    “Captain on the bridge,” Glal announced as he rose from the captain’s chair.

    “As you were,” Trujillo replied, moving to assume her seat.

    “We’re twenty minutes out from the Kalandra system, Captain,” Glal advised. “No sign of any Cardassian activity nearby, though there are a few sporadic sensor returns near Kalandra IV which could be one or more of their ships parked in the LaGrange point between the planet and it’s largest moon. While there are no large-scale ionic storms present, the higher-than average ambient ionic-radiation levels in the system make sensor sweeps problematic.”

    “Acknowledged. Thank you, Commander.”

    Glal moved to show Metruka to an auxiliary station where the ambassador could observe the coming exchange.

    Trujillo gestured to the Communications station. “Open a channel on the designated frequency, please.”

    “Aye, sir. Channel open.”

    “This is Captain Trujillo of the Federation starship Reykjavík. We are on final approach to the Kalandra system bearing the Federation ambassador to the cultural exchange agreed upon by our respective governments. Please respond on this channel.”

    Moments of silence passed, and Trujillo turned in her chair to face the ambassador, giving him an inquisitive look.

    Metruka gave her a wan smile. “Hmmmm, merely posturing, Captain. Making us wait for a reply gives them a warm feeling of being in control.”

    “They’re responding, sir. Audio only.”

    “Let’s hear it.”

    “This is Legate Parmek Sadar of the Cardassian Third Order. We await your arrival in orbit of the fourth planet, where we are establishing a colony. We will meet with you on the surface in five of your hours.”

    Glal leaned in toward Trujillo, whispering, “That’s not what we agre—”

    She silenced him with a raised hand, nodding in accord with his objections. “Legate Sadar, the agreement was that the exchange was to be held aboard Reykjavík. Your proposed change to the venue is not acceptable.” Trujillo cast another glance at Metruka and saw him nodding his consent.

    Trujillo made a cutting gesture at her neck.

    “Channel closed, sir.”

    “Now they can wait,” Trujillo said.

    DeSilva turned in her chair at the Ops board to face the captain. “Sir, if they’ve established a colony in that system, this whole mission just became significantly more complicated.”

    “From your mouth to God’s ear, Lieutenant,” Trujillo remarked dourly. She turned to engage Metruka. “And if they refuse to respond, Ambassador?”

    “There will be a response one way or the other, Captain,” Metruka replied. “If they don’t call us back to amend their venue demands, we can predict some kind of military response. In that case, I’d suggest your ship join Task Force Hadrian and wait for the Cardassians to initiate their gambit. Once you’ve put paid to whatever scheme they’ve launched, I’ll be on hand to open negotiations.”

    She nodded approvingly, liking Metruka’s line of reasoning.

    “Incoming signal from the Kalandra system, Captain.”

    “Put it through.”

    “Captain, this is Legate Sadar. I… apologize for the misunderstanding. We will, of course, come aboard your ship to begin the exchange. I will transmit our itinerary requests on this channel.”


    Trujillo and Metruka exchanged a knowing look before she replied. “Understood, Legate. We will arrive in orbit of Kalandra IV in one hour, seventeen minutes. Reykjavík, out.”

    The channel closed with a chirp, and Trujillo sat back in her chair, ponding their situation. “Ops, send a transcript of that conversation and all of our updated scan information to Gettysburg. I don’t foresee needing to call in the cavalry, but better safe than sorry.”

    "Aye, sir."

    “Okay, people,” Trujillo announced to the bridge at large. “Let’s get ready to make nice with the Cardassians.”

    * * *​
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020 at 4:37 AM
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even with their limited technology they're still trying to one up the Federation, some thing definitely never change. In the words of almost every Star Wars character, I've got a bad feeling about this.
     
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  8. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    I find it so interesting how similar in some ways the Cardassians are to the Romulans. Both will simply try and take as much as they think they can get away with, but Romulans are so much more secretive, and even more devious. I suspect this comes in part from a different origin. In effect the Cardassian Union arose out of failure coupled with a lack of resources, a ruthless determination that everyone would pull together for the common good. Romulans on the other hand are exiles, nomads who eventually found a home, but along the way developed habits of secrecy and routine guile. (I like how PIC gave us so much more insight into Romulan culture)
    This story reminds me of this. I imagine the Romulans in the exact same situation would present the Federation representative with a fait accomplit. The Ambassador would already be down on the planet, and the ship's transporters would be temporarily be non-functional due to the ionic activity. They would then invite Starfleet personnel to come and visit the colony, have a tour, etc. A much more elaborate little scheme, offering a carrot and seeking to hide the stick as much as possible.
    Heh heh...I feel involved.
     
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  9. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Classic inferiority complex - bluster and bully until called on it, then back down. Obviously, the Legate had to run to someone up the chain. His rather weak response and apology are telling.
    Still, most Cardassians are brave and loyal to their masters and shouldn't be underestimated. It's good that the Ambassador and Captain Trujillo are pros. Let's see how this plays out . . . I have a feeling things may go off the rails before too long.
     
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  10. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    Feels like the opening gambit of what could turn out to be a lengthy chess game. That is until the Cardassians get inpatient and decide to let their phasers do the talking instead. Me thinks that cavalry is like Chekov's gun, it will have to come into play sooner or later.
     
  11. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gettysburg scenes written by: Orbing Master

    USS Gettysburg - October, 2320


    Mark Jameson was missing his darling Annie, something terrible.

    Staring at his wife's beautiful face on the small wall-screen, he drank in every detail. Her hair was up in an untidy bun, with a few stray strands caressing her forehead. He was thankful she had decided not to use a colouring agent to cover the tell-tale streaks of gray that had started appearing. During his all-too-brief leave at their home on Benencia Colony, he’d seen how she was a little self-conscious about her blonde hair losing its luster.

    She doesn't see just how amazing she really is. Annie, with the golden hair; that was what he had always called her. But it was her soul and heart that he loved the most. How warm and caring she was, how she brought a light into his life, especially the first few months after Morden IV.

    [I'm finally managing to get back into the garden,] Annie continued on, the latest in a series of private messages she'd sent him since his leave had ended and he'd been recalled and reassigned to his current posting on the Starship Gettysburg. She offered one of her dazzling smiles, made all the more humorous thanks to the tiny streak of dirt on her nose, [It's going slower without you to help, but it will all be worth it when the crystilia and Andorian roses bloom.]

    Jameson grinned. His help consisted of passing her the seeds or tools when required. He was a highly trained Starfleet officer, but when it came to gardening, his skills were incredibly limited. Personally, he was just thankful when any plants under his care didn't die.

    Annie's smile faded just enough for Jameson to feel the familiar pang of guilt at leaving her alone again while he went back out into the stars, [I miss you, Mark. We never seem to have long enough.] Her eyes had a glint of amusement, [But I will not be the one to deprive Starfleet of Commander Mark Jameson.]

    She reached out and touched the screen, [I'll see you soon, my love.]

    Jameson automatically responded in kind, his fingers tracing the outline of her slender lips. "Goodbye, darling," he whispered. As the message ended, and the screen reverted to its default state, his gaze fell on the angry scar on his wrist. A permanent reminder of Morden IV. Of Karnas. Of the deal he'd made to save Federation lives.

    Of the cost in blood it had wrought.

    [Yellow Alert. All hands to battle stations. Senior officers to the bridge]

    Jameson quickly toggled the intercom switch on his desk, "Jameson to bridge. Report."

    The voice of Lieutenant, j.g., Anysa Yeoh, the Gettysburg's Chief Communications Officer, answered, [Sir, we're picking up a garbled distress call from an unidentified ship 2 light-years away.]

    "I'm on my way. Jameson out." Standing from his chair, pulling on his uniform tunic and securing the clasp on his shoulder, the First Officer of the Gettysburg made his way out of his quarters. Thankful to have a reason to once again ignore the gnawing guilt that resided within the pit of his stomach, Jameson did what he did best.

    He focused on the job.

    * * *​

    USS Reykjavík – Kalandra System

    The diplomatic welcoming party consisted of Ambassador Metruska and his aides, Captain Trujillo, and Lieutenant DeSilva. An honor guard of security personnel, outfitted in torso-armor and helmets, stood at attention as the Cardassian shuttle breached the forcefield and settled down to land within Reykjavík’s shuttlebay.

    The circular hatch on the copper-colored Cardassian shuttle irised open and a party of eight reptilian humanoids stepped out, most of them squinting slightly at the bright lights of the bay.

    Trujillo tapped her combadge, “Trujillo to shuttlebay control, lower the illumination in the bay by twenty percent.”

    The overhead lighting grew more subdued, and a look of relief could be seen on the faces of a number of the Cardassians.

    The group consisted of five males and three females. All were clad in a bulky, padded leather-like armor, clearly some kind of military uniform. The others appeared to defer to one of the males, who bore an intricate sigil on the breast of his uniform which appeared to Trujillo like some manner of elongated manta-ray. She thought it likely a status or rank identifier.

    This officer walked down the line of security personnel, studiously ignoring them as he presented himself to Metruka and Trujillo. “I am Gul Visek of the Cardassian Third Order. I will be representing the Cardassian Union in this… exchange.” He’d almost bitten off the last word, his distaste for it readily apparent.

    “A pleasure to meet you, Gul Visek. I am Ambassador Riehj Metruka, representing the United Federation of Planets.”

    Brief introductions were exchanged with Trujillo and DeSilva before Visek and his entourage were escorted to the diplomatic conference facilities.

    As they entered the large, oval shaped conference compartment, Trujillo asked Visek, “Legate Sadar won’t be joining us?”

    “No,” Visek replied formally. “I report directly to the legate and am authorized to interact with your people on behalf of the state.”

    This statement produced a shared look between Trujillo and Metruka.

    The visiting delegates seated themselves around the table, prompting the Federation representatives to do the same. Trujillo’s wrist-comm vibrated, indicating a text message. She checked the device and read, ‘Scans complete. No weapons or sensor devices detected on the Cardassians,’ sent from her security chief Lieutenant Jarrod.

    The meeting proceeded largely as planned for the next two hours, with each side conveying basic information about their respective cultures and governments, laying the groundwork for the claims to the disputed space that were sure to follow. The Cardassian information offered was very general, and was clearly surrendered only reluctantly.

    Trujillo watched closely as Metruka revealed the true size and resource-base of the Federation. He informed the Cardassian delegation that the Federation comprised one-hundred and seven member worlds and thousands of associated colonies spread across over five-and-a-half thousand light-years. She had expected some kind of response, be it incredulity, surprise, or even outright shock. Strangely, the Cardassians did not seem to react at all to this revelation.

    They have excellent poker faces,
    she surmised, unless they were already aware of the Federation’s size and capabilities?

    Her wrist-comm vibrated yet again, and she looked at it to read a priority message from Glal. ‘Comms just picked up Gettysburg challenging Cardassian vessels crossing our border, transmissions made in the clear approximately three-point-seven light-years from our position. Long-range sensors picking up weapons fire.’

    Trujillo tapped at the device, forwarding a copy of the message to Metruka’s data-padd. The ambassador glanced down, then frowned.

    Visek touched a hand to his ear, his expression hardening as he received a report over his transceiver earpiece. He stood abruptly. “One of your warships has just fired on Cardassian vessels in pursuit of a stolen Cardassian ship!” he announced accusingly.

    “We have detected transmissions that suggest an incident has occurred nearby,” Metruka allowed. “However, we don’t yet know the full scope of the situation.”

    “I can tell you the scope,” Visek fumed. “You have lured us here with sweet words of peace and friendship, all the while preparing an attack upon the Cardassian people!”

    Metruka rose to his feet as he motioned for patience. “Gul Visek, I assure you that we have no hostile intent. Let us resume our talks and try to establish what has happened. We might yet salvage something from this opportunity.”

    At a gesture the entire Cardassian contingent was on their feet. “We are done here,” Visek seethed. With that, they filed out of the conference room, leaving Metruka, Trujillo and DeSilva behind. Trujillo motioned to the head of their security contingent in the corridor beyond, wordlessly ordering him to join the escort detail shepherding the Cardassians back to their shuttle.

    Trujillo then tapped her combadge and notified the bridge of their guests’ departure.

    Metruka huffed, “What could Gettysburg’s captain have been thinking?”

    “Give us the room, please, Mister DeSilva,” Trujillo ordered, allowing the uncomfortable looking lieutenant the opportunity to escape the compartment.

    As soon as she’d departed, Trujillo fixed a guarded expression on the ambassador. “Captain ch’Valos is a highly experienced starship commander.”

    Metruka hummed doubtfully. “You know him?”

    “By reputation only,” Trujillo replied. “He’s commanding Task Force Hadrian and rumor has it he’s on the short-list for promotion to commodore. Ch’Valos isn’t someone given to acting rashly, especially in situations as delicate as these.”

    “It sounds like he’s just stepped right in the middle of an internal Cardassian dispute while potentially instigating further hostilities with them.”

    “I’m not in the habit of second-guessing my fellow captains, Ambassador. Especially when I’m not in possession of all the facts,” Trujillo remarked curtly. She tapped her combadge. “Trujillo to bridge. Commander Glal, please contact Gettysburg and ascertain if they need assistance. If so, set course for their position and make best speed as soon as the Cardassian shuttle has cleared the bay.”

    “Aye, Captain,” came Glal’s prompt response.

    “You’re going to abandon this diplomatic mission?” Metruka asked, his voice tremulous with anger.

    “With respect, Ambassador, the Cardassians are the ones who walked out. I’m more than willing to host them again, should they wish to resume this process. If, however, a shooting war is beginning, my place is alongside Gettysburg.”

    Metruka snorted derisively and stalked out of the compartment.

    * * *​
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020 at 2:48 AM
  12. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We all knew the talks weren't going to end well, though hadn't expected it to fall apart quite so succinctly.
     
  13. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Captain Captain

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    "Never trust a Cardassian who sees a knife in your back.'
    A quote that Captain Shantherkitt ch'Daahl of the USS Nelson has been known to say when word of this summit reached him. Trust an Andorian to state the obvious. :)
     
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  14. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Diplomacy only works when both parties sincerely want it to work. It is certainly preferable to war, but often only delays the inevitable.
     
  15. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, my money is on the Cardassians playing games, although it doesn't seem like a smart move to start up trouble while you are in the middle of a diplomatic mission. The absence of their chief diplomat is a big red flag though.