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Pomp and Circumstance - The Tour & Dinner

Posted on 01 Mar 2018 @ 6:29am by Captain Akio Tachibana & Commander Juan Zamora & Commander S’chqenr T’Jedf Tolkath & Lieutenant Amiri Aldana 365, D.V.M., M.D. & Lieutenant Junior Grade Wyndsor Emerson, Ph.D. & Secretary Magnus Temple & Director Lesai Tolkath

Mission: Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio - Heroes & Villains
Location: USS Hawaii
Timeline: 2015hrs, 29 December 2388

[ON]

Continued...

[Diplomatic Department - Deck 12]


The ride down the turbolift was pretty uneventful. As they entered the diplomatic department, the personnel stood at the Secretary's arrival. A Starfleet enlisted member was taking photos. No doubt, this was a PR opportunity.

Dran was waiting just inside the door to the diplomatic offices. He had actually kept the rule bending to a minimum for this visit, having learned from experience Starfleet wasn't fond of that.

"...And here Mr. Secretary is the Diplomatic Suite." Juan gestured to the doorway, flanked by a pair of discreet indoor plants. "And our Assistant Diplomatic Officer, Lt. Radun Dran. Things are still getting settled here, but of course, a good diplomat can work from anywhere with a data connection."

Akio could tell despite the rush of their away mission, at least they cleaned up a little, although being a new ship, everything was quite new and polished anyways.

Magnus maintained his polite smile throughout. Politics, or at least being a political figure, was often an endurance sport. One had to sustain a poised facial expression and friendly demeanour, sometimes for hours at a time. It gave one's cheek muscles one hell of a work out.

"It wasn't so long ago that I was working in a similar office." He remarked, trying to instil a sense of down-to-Earth charm instead of a stuffy superiority, "Great many things are done in such a suite."

"This department has already shown great success on Bre'el IV," Akio delivered praise.

"You are too kind captain" Juan demurred. "I merely took a few minutes to explain the finer points of regional astro-politics to them, and they came to a reasonable conclusion on their own."

"Our next stop, Mr. Secretary, before dinner, is the Combat Information Center, or CIC," Akio mentioned, "Along the way, we do have one of our Ambassador Quarters open so you can glance at the accommodations."

"You've got a well-prepared ship here, Commander," Magnus replied with a nod, "I believe you'll be able to accomplish a lot with these facilities."

Afterwards and in the turbolift, Akio explained the CIC. A module not present on every ship, it was useful as a fusion center to assist the bridge and conduct combat operations. The Hawaii was built for war and the module installed to that end.

[CIC - Deck 2]

There were a myriad of displays and terminals as OPS, Tactical, and a smattering of Science crew worked away.

A LTJG who was serving as the CIC Watch Officer greeted the Secretary and Captain.

The Secretary greeted the crew with a friendly wave and familiar welcome, then commented, "I'm sorry to disturb you all, it's a privilege to see you at work."

Akio admired the Secretary. He was at least playing his part and not being a painful visitor like some DVs (distinguished visitors) he'd known in the past.

"Unless you wish to see any other part of the ship, Mr. Secretary, I think it is dinner time," Akio said, ending the tour portion of the itinerary.

"Dinner is always preferable." Magnus replied with a knowing look.

[Officer’s Mess - Deck 5]

To be honest, Akio never visited the officer’s mess aboard the Hawaii. He was always so busy, and he knew that it was important for the crew to have their own space without leadership watching. Yet, it was also important to allow the crew access to DVs when they visited and often, DVs requested to be with the men and women on the front lines, not necessarily insulated by leadership.

“Mr. Secretary, welcome to the officer’s mess. On the menu tonight is chicken parmesan, shrimp alfredo, gagh, mapa bread, and tiramisu for dessert. All served buffet style, so do not be bashful,” Akio encouraged.

“Thank you, Commander,” Magnus replied in acknowledgement. “It sounds delicious.”

He approached the waiting line for the buffet but as he did, a small group of five junior Engineers, just off their last shift for the day, were also arriving for their meal time. Magnus took an obvious step backwards and indicated for them to continue ahead of him, and he greeted them each with a smile as they passed. ‘Higher rank doesn’t mean a better person’, his mother used to say to him.

Kage sat at a four top, on his own, reading. He was dressed in a service uniform, only his rank visible. His beret was folded neatly in his epaulet, as was proper when eating. He glanced up and noticed the Secretary, but realized the man was waiting his turn to eat.

“Best to leave him alone for now. Salute’s suitable later.” Kage thought and went back to reading.

Aaron sat by himself, a scotch in one hand and a PADD, which had an ongoing message conversation with his husband on it, in the other, and he was tapping away quickly at it, his feet up on the table.

Dran cursed loudly in Bajoran at the length of the line – he was rather hungry considering the last time he ate more than a handful of anything was on his way to the ship.

Arthur had grabbed himself a chair and a bottle of bloodwine – he preferred to eat away from everyone else, so he’d stick to his drink for much of the dinner.

Doctor Aldana and Sombra – Luuna having been left pleasantly in their quarters with her favorite alone-time activities – entered the mess. Aldana froze. S/he surveyed the room since s/he’d not had a chance to meet most of hir new crew yet, s/he felt uncharacteristically shy and out of place. Like a new student at a new school entering the cafeteria for the first time. S/he wasn’t sure where to sit.

~I’m here,~ was all Sombra needed to say in order to make hir feel marginally better. With stealth, he nosed Alpha’s furless left palm.

The science officer realized s/he was staring and blinked finally. S/he glanced at Sombra, ~thanks.~ “First things first…” as s/he passed through the line, s/he tried to remind hirself none of the meat had ever actually had a voice, it had all been replicated.

As a part Kazarite, and one who had spoken personally with many members of common pray species, hir kind were generally vegan, and ate pellets which they mix with water to produce a yeast-like food, but in hir case – and the other part of hir being Hermat – s/he realized with all the situations s/he was likely to encounter being in Starfleet, Aldana, had decided to adopt culture and eating habits of hir mother – the Hermat parent. The way s/he figured it – these days in the 24th century – with grown ‘test-tube steaks’ and reconstituted replicated food, most of the food the doctor was likely to encounter had never even been alive, let alone had a life much less a voice.

“…now the hard part…” Aldana trailed off as s/he pondered where to sit.

Sombra wondered off toward a particular table. ~This one!~

Aldana wondered over to a table with a small group, but plenty of open room. S/he helped hirself to a seat.

Akio waited until the rest of the crew and the honored guest got their plates. It was custom for senior officers to let juniors eat first.

Sombra nudged 'alpha,' ~can go meet new friends and guest?~

~OK, I suppose, but don't be too much of a pest. You would make a nice icebreaker.~

Sombra wandered slowly over to the Secretary. He stayed back just a bit and held his head low doing his 'Yoda impression' with his ears lowered out to the sides trying to appear friendly and nonthreatening. He was cocking his nose up and down slightly trying to make his curiosity evident.

Temple saw the service animal standing by the Teal shirted Lieutenant and gave them both a polite smile. Magnus was unfamiliar with the use of such animals in active duty so he wasn't sure if he could pet the gorgeous canine or not. Instead, he chose to raise his glass to the Doctor and give a friendly smile.

"God aften." Magnus said to them.

Neither Aldana nor Sombra were Terran let alone Norwegian; Sombra just ducked his head a tad in a slightly submissive manner and gave a confused wine, then decided to sit.

Aldana on the other hand cocked hir head as s/he tried to comprehend the strange words. For some reason hir UT seemed to be lagging at the moment. "I beg your pardon Mister Secretary? That almost sounds like 'good afternoon' but I could be wrong.

"It was." Magnus smiled apologetically, "I'm sorry, sometimes I slip into my native tongue without realising. Good afternoon, to you both."

He gave a firm nod and moved to his place at the dinner table.

Juan didn't mind waiting in a long line, it gave him time to catch his breath before it was showtime again. he took a moment to peer around the room, it always paid to look for potential trouble spots, overall though it didn't look like there was a high likelihood of an incident. So he collected his dinner, a plate of roasted vegetables with a side of white fish and a glass of water, he was still "on the clock" after all. As dictated by protocol, he took his seat to the Seceratry's left.

Tolkath and Lesai followed up towards the end of the line. They selected their meals and moved towards the table. Lesai leaned into her husband and spoke softly in Vulcan "This is the Secretary's forte, he is able to communicate at all levels and enjoys this kind of close interaction with Starfleet personnel"

Tolkath nodded and they pair took their seats to Temple's right.

As Wyndsor waited patiently in line to gather her own food, she took a moment to take in the moment. It was not every day that someone with Temple's position came to spend time with the crew, and she was looking forward to hearing his views. In many ways, she had always thought of diplomacy as counseling on a much larger scale. It required an ability to listen carefully to people often in conflict and to find the underlying needs and the emotions driving behavior.

After everyone was settled, Akio joined the Secretary and delegation in the middle of the U-shaped table, at the head of the configuration.

As everyone was getting settled down, Akio started the program in a loud voice, “Welcome everyone to this evening’s dinner and thank you for joining us tonight as we treat our very special guest, the Honorable Magnus Temple, Secretary of the Exterior for the United Federation of Planets.”

There was light applause.

“Please do eat; however, once everyone is finishing up, the Secretary wants to hear your questions,” Akio said before sitting back down.

“Thank you again, for taking time out of your schedule to visit us,” Akio said to the Secretary on his right as he started cutting into the chicken parmesan on his plate.

"And thank you Hawaii, for this wonderful meal." Magnus replied, still keeping that trained smile on his face. "Please, don't be shy anyone. If you have questions for me, please go right ahead."

Akio paused and as was often the case in big group functions, no one really wanted to ask the first question, so he decided to break the ice.

"Mr. Secretary, with the Klingon Empire breaking into what the media has termed a civil war, do you think we are on a long-term path of conflict after many years of peace?" Akio asked carefully.

This was no doubt the topic of the day. The Hawaii was going to war itself, yet it was quite clear that the Federation was prioritizing the Klingon conflict implicitly despite the Gorn taking Federation worlds.

Magnus took a deliberately slow sip of his drink before nodding, "Indeed, it's a troubling development. We must remember while we prefer to settle our disagreements through discussion and democracy, the Klingon Empire prefers the brutality of battle. While we would see it as a failure of stability and possibly leading to a wider galactic war, to them it could be a necessary internal process."

The Secretary leaned back in his chair and rubbed his chin, "What is unacceptable is that the battle has threatened the lives of Starfleet personnel, and taken focus from the Gorn invasion into Federation territory. I believe the President's priority right now is ensuring that there are no more innocent lives taken during this conflict, and that we can successful repel the Gorn forces currently residing in our region."

A young Ensign in security raised her hand " Can l ask, after we have pushed back the Gorn, why do we not teach them a lesson and go after some of their world's? They can't be trusted to leave us alone, unless we really hurt them! My dad died fighting the Cardassians, we made peace with them, then they joined the Dominion and attacked us again!"

"We lost a lot of good people in those wars. I don't believe an invasion of Gorn territory is being considered." Magnus answered as honestly as he could. "It would be out of character for the Federation to pursue revenge conflicts, so I would be surprised if we did this. However, I'm not in a position to rule it out either. My focus will always be on ensuring the safety of the Federation's citizens through discussion and diplomacy."

There was a lot of murmuring at the Secretary's answer and Akio felt the tension in the room increase exponentially. The Hawaii was commissioned in a time of war and the Secretary just seemingly neutered their purpose after one of the most devastating attacks on the Federation.

"What do you see as the best case resolution of the current conflict?" Akio asked, realizing it may have been a too-pointed question afterwards, yet he shared the sentiments of the crew and noticed the nodding in the crowd.

"For the Gorn?" Magnus asked, more for himself, "That's in the hands of the Defence Secretary now. The Gorn have rebuked all efforts for diplomatic discussions and I believe it will take significant strategic losses first for them to sue for peace. I'm no idealist, Commander, I know that words alone cannot always win the day; we need the capable and effective forces of Starfleet."

The crew started banging on the tables and cheering at the Secretary's words. Akio was unsure what he was more afraid of: the seeming bloodlust for war with the Gorn or the feeling he was losing control of command to a civilian member of the cabinet. It was at that moment that Akio realized Temple was the preeminent politician. Had the Federation not just held elections, Akio would say he was running.

Magnus just gave a polite smile to those in the room, and lifted his glass in a semi toast to them all. He was road-testing catch phrases and stump speeches and he made a mental note that this one went down well with the Starfleet crowd.

"I am sure you are probably right Mr. Secretary," Juan began. "But one way or another this war will come to an end in due course. Then we will once again have an unreachable neighbor with a history of aggression sitting on our border. If I may ask, tell me what you think should be done in order to try and prevent the next war?"

"Wars cannot always be avoided," Magnus replied carefully. "But we can better prepare for them by ensuring our diplomatic discussions are open and useful, as well as preparing our border assets in more efficient ways. For example, the agreement you have made with the Bre'ella and the diplomatic mission on their planet will be vital to protecting this region in the future. That is some impressive work, Hawaii."

There was a round of applause that reverberated through the crowd.

"I want to again thank the Secretary for coming aboard and giving us some insights of the Palais de la Concorde. I also want to thank all of you," Akio said referring to the crew, "for allowing us to share dinner with you along with your insightful questions."

"The honour is all mine." Magnus returned, "It's nice to get out of Paris for a change and eat dinner with the real workers of the Federation."

Later as the event wound up Lesai approached Tachibana. "Captain, may I pass on a request from the lead agent of the Secretary's close protection team. They would like to meet with your Security and Marine officers to discuss arrangements for the Secretary's visit to the Bre'el Mission on the first."

"Absolutely. The Secretary is one of our priorities," Akio said. A dead Federation Cabinet Member was the last thing he wanted.

"Thank you Captain," Leasai nodded, "I will let the Agent know. Goodnight."



[OFF]

Akio Tachibana, CDR, SF
CO

Juan Zamora, LCDR, SF
2XO/CDO

Tolkath, LCDR, SF
CSO

Amiri Aldana 365, D.V.M., M.D., LT, SF
ACSO

Radun Dran, LTJG, SF
ACDO

Wyndsor Emerson, Ph.D., LTJG, SF
PSYCH

Arthur Jones, Son of Ruk, ENS, SF
SEC

Aaron Michaels, ENS, SF
HUMINT

Jason Kage, Capt, SFMC
CO, B CO, 3d MRBN

Lesai, UFPDC
Federation Mission Director - Bre'el IV

Featuring:

Hon. Magnus Temple
Secretary of the Exterior
United Federation of Planets

 

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