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Diplomacy, Bureaucracy, and Headaches

Posted on 04 Mar 2018 @ 12:46am by Secretary Magnus Temple

Mission: Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio - Heroes & Villains
Location: FDC Détente
Timeline: 2235

After retiring from the USS Hawaii, Magnus walked through the corridors of the Détente, rubbing the bridge of his nose vigorously. Although his empathic abilities were minimal at best, it still gave him a headache to be around so many people for extended periods of time. One of the drawbacks from this traveling roadshow he was on, was that he was bound to need plenty of downtime in between visits. Still, he believed his first encounter with the Hawaii's crew had been largely successful.

As he walked towards his Guest Quarters, Magnus opened his eyes to see his assistant Ashra Scaro waiting patiently by his door. She was holding a small hypospray and a glass of water, in anticipation of the Secretary's return.

"You're a gem." Magnus smiled as he saw her. "What would I do without you?"

Ashra shrugged as she pressed the control panel to open the sliding door. "Probably work yourself to death."

"Hmm" Magnus agreed and they entered into the Quarters. As the lights to the room came on, Magnus groaned. "Computer, illumination forty percent."

The computer chimed happily and the room lights dipped down again to a more sympathetic brightness. Magnus sat himself down in the arm chair in the living area of the quarters and sighed in relief. Without hesitation, Ashra had followed him there and dispensed her hypospray of a mild pain-reliever for Temple's headache.

"The Détente's Doctor says she's unhappy with you seeking private treatments." She commented softly as she then handed Magnus the glass of water.

Magnus nodded and took the cold glass in his hands, "Have my doctor from Paris get into contact with her. I'm not some kind of hypospray addict, it's just on the first days that my head gets... overwhelmed."

"I said that to her." Ashra shrugged, "But she said she's following protocol."

As he drank the water, Magnus could begin to feel the soothing affects of the pain reliever working their way into his pulsating tension headache. After a few moments there was that euphoric relief of the pain washing away and Magnus could finally feel normal again.

"So, I was looking through the photos that the comms officer took." Ashra said as she took a seat in the adjacent chair. "Some fantastic PR shots there. I especially like the one where you stood aside to let some junior officers go ahead of you in the Mess line."

Magnus gave a smile, "That was a good moment. Had to time it exactly but I'm glad they got the shot. It ought to impress the brass over at San Francisco at least. Goodness knows I need them on side."

"Still some murmurs from Starfleet Diplo?" Ashra asked with a frown.

"They don't like the idea of the tour," Magnus shrugged. "Probably because they didn't think of it. But I'm forwarding all reports to them as well as the Palais, and I'm doing everything I can to ensure we don't interrupt any Starfleet operations. They'll just have to keep murmuring to themselves if they still don't like it."

Ashra gave a small giggle, then cocked her head to the side, "You know, I could help manage your headaches if you let me join you on these visits. Not to mention, making your job easier."

Magnus nodded, "That's true. But I'm trying to be as low profile as possible. We're on ships in active service, the last thing the crew would want to see is some High and Mighty from the Federation government traipsing around with his entourage of staffers."

"They won't think that." Ashra replied firmly.

"I would!" Magnus quickly replied. "And I did when I was serving in Starfleet. The ships they are based on become like their homes. It's their every day lives. And no one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own homes. I'll put up with the headache if it means I get a genuine conversation out of the crews."

Knowing it was best not to continue the line of argument when Magnus appeared to have made up his mind, Ashra simply nodded and gave a sigh.

"What time do you start tomorrow?" She asked, casting an eye to her PADD for the time.

"I want to go for a run in the holodeck then I'll have a meeting with the Captain first thing." Magnus answered, as he finished off his water. "Was there something we had lined up for tomorrow?"

"You have a scheduled subspace conference with the Bajoran Ambassador at six-forty-five." Ashra reminded him gently.

Magnus groaned, "Yeees. Why so early again?"

"Because the Ambassador is on New Bajor." She responded, "And they're coming to you to propose that New Bajor houses the Federation's Gamma Quadrant affairs bureau."

"Right, right." Magnus nodded, "I understand they want to promote New Bajor as a stable colony after the war, but the Department of Trade wants the Bureau closer to somewhere with better mining resources. Defence, of course, wants it somewhere less tactically vulnerable, in case anything happens again. And I'm pretty sure Agriculture had a suggestion, but I think it was just a quid quo pro with Interior." He stared to fear his headache might come back.

"So we're telling the Bajorans no, then?" Ashra suggested lightly.

"Of course not." Magnus smiled back sardonically. "We'll take the suggestion under advisement and when the Scouting committee opens up the location for tenders, they will be invited to submit a proposal. Then we have the Viability committee, Federation senate hearings, and final approval from the President."

Ashra laughed, "Wouldn't it just be easier to say no upfront?"

Magnus shrugged again, "Of course, but that's not the diplomatic way of doing it."

"Sounds more like the bureaucratic way to me." She responded knowingly. "Speaking of, will you have time to visit the Diplomatic Mission on Bre'el IV?"

"I hope so." Magnus replied excitedly, "The Hawaii has really got an impressive diplomatic attache on board, they've already done some wonderful things in gaining an agreement with the Bre'ella and establishing the Mission. I think they will be a pivotal asset to this region."

The Secretary stood and returned his glass to the replicator, and it soon disappeared in a short flash of blue lights. Turning around, he leaned against the counter casually, "You know, I believe the Hawaii could really set a benchmark for how other ships could potentially operate. A well-resourced diplomatic centre with dedicated staff could make a difference in not just stopping potential conflicts, but providing the Federation with these... travelling consulates, basically."

Ashra smiled, "Giving the Exterior Department a direct link to active representatives will also cut out a lot of procedural red-tape, too."

"That's a legacy builder." Magnus commented firmly. "Even Starfleet Diplo would appreciate that. And it would look good for the future."

'The future' was a concept the two had discussed in a round-about way many times. Magnus had often declined to specify what exactly he meant by the phrase, but Ashra knew it was about building his resume for a run at the Federation Presidency. Anything that would show Magnus was an effective Secretary of the Exterior would undoubtedly look good during a campaign for the highest office.

There was silence now between the two, as Magnus contemplated what this could mean. Finally he clapped his hands together, a convincing smile on his lips. "Originally, I was just going to observe, shake some hands, and ask some questions. But now I'm thinking we propose an experiment. We give the Hawaii's diplomatic team and the Bre'el Mission direct access to my office. No more layers of approvals and chain messages - direct contact."

Ashra stood, looking at him with a confused stare, "But... that's a big leap. The intermediate departments aren't going to like being sidelined, and other diplomatic staff are going to wonder why they aren't getting special treatment. I mean, it's not like we can offer it to everyone."

"It's a trial," Magnus replied nonchalantly, "And we can rotate the trials between key missions, if it works here. We then provide, temporarily of course, each mission a period of direct access to my office and to fast-track any of their proposals and agreements. But we do so with caveats; that they meet the standards of resources that the Hawaii has established."

Ashra had started jotting this down in her PADD, as she often did when Magnus' brain popped up a new suggestion. Once the headache was out of the way, he found himself thinking clearly and sometimes there was no slowing down his thought process when that happened.

"Would the Hawaii even want that?" Ashra asked him.

"I'll see tomorrow." Magnus shrugged with a smile, though he was already making plans to set it up. "If not, we have plenty more stops on this tour to go."

Ashra finished typing and sent the file to Magnus' personal database before giving him a nod. "Alright, well you better rest up. Doctor said to get plenty of sleep and drink more fluids, it'll help."

"I will." Magnus replied with a smile, as he began to walk Ashra out of the room. "I really do appreciate everything you do."

"No sweat, boss." Ashra replied, giving him a playful punch on the shoulder. "All part of the job."

After Ashra had left, Magnus returned to his bedroom area and flopped down onto his bed. He wanted to sleep, he knew it would be best if he did, but his mind was now buzzing with ideas. It would take him a while to calm it back down again.



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