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Posted on Thu Feb 27th, 2020 @ 5:53pm by Hamilton Broll & Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu M.D.

Mission: In the Family
Location: Conference room, Deck 1, USS Athena
Timeline: MD-06 Half an hour after 'Diplomacy?'

Pacing back and forth in the empty conference room wasn't helping Santu relax and regain her confident posture. She really wanted to remain positive and optimistic about all of this but she really didn't have any experience with formal negotiations, especially when it came to accession into the Federation. A holovid was playing of an Andorian man, he was explaining what he had learned from his time as a hostage negotiator on Rangalor V. She was only half paying attention.

"Empathy is just describing and demonstrating an understanding of the needs, interests and perspective of your counterpart, without necessarily agreeing with them." The sentence spoken by the man triggered her interest, "it's not about liking or empathy in any way." As he was about to launch into an explanation of his assertation the doors swooshed open.

Hamilton practically fell through the door, a stack of PADDs teetering about to fall out of his grasp. One or two did, clattering to the floor.

"Oh...sorry! I tried to find everything - all of Lady Hortensia's notes - but it was actually really hard to work out her filing system so I ended up bringing most of it with me," he explained, clearly very flustered. He deposited the pile onto the conference table, sighing with relief. "Okay. So where do we start?" he asked.

"Computer, pause playback." The computer chirped affirmatively towards Santu as she made her way over to where the devices had fallen from his pile, "That seems like quite a lot, we'll need to find our own filing system to make sense of it in time." She looked at the two PADDs in her hands, "did you help her gather any of this information?"

"Oh yes!" Hamilton nodded enthusiastically. "Plenty. Years worth of notes." He looked down at the pile, suddenly less confident. "I'm not entirely sure where all of it is, though."

"Alright, so it's clear that we should start by sorting this out. Let's start with reports on the people involved in this. The queen, the brother, everyone." Taeler looked at the first PADD she had in her hands, it was in regards to their level of technological progress, she pushed it to one side of the table, "This is our tech stack." Then a look at the other PADD, cultural notes on traditions and festivals, "Culture." She put it in the middle of the table.

"Culture," Hamilton echoed with a nod. He took a pile of three more PADDs and waved them. "Royal family genealogy, traditions, titles..." Each one went down. "They're a very traditional people. Seems like they place a lot of value on position and power. Not unlike a lot of early civilized cultures that make up the usual Federation membership."

Santu glanced at the PADDs as they were put in the right pile, she didn't feel there was a priority in having to learn the royal family genealogy, but traditions and titles would definitely come in handy, "Alright so let's see what else we've got here." She started to sort through the PADDs and created a new stack for history as well as a separate stack of everything on the current conflict between the queen and her brother. Looking at the neatly stacked information still overwhelmed Santu, "I think this would be a good time to get a coffee, or perhaps something a bit stronger..." She smiled at Hamilton.

"Okay." Hamilton flopped into a seat. "When I agreed to join the diplomatic service I had no idea there would be so much paperwork."

"Honestly, I think it's the same everywhere in the fleet," Santu remembered how much of her Chief Medical position was about filing the right paperwork and incident reports, "but it's good that you've done it so diligently," she gave a reassuring smile to the young diplomat, "it should give us enough to go off of when we do get into talks with the Queen." She sat herself down and sighed a bit, "So, taking a step back, what is our goal for this meeting with the Paratus delegation?"

"Okay. So, as I understand it, Federation Membership is a long and drawn out beaurocratic nightmare," Hamilton explained, recalling almost word-for-word from memory. "Fortunately we're past all of that and really all we're here to do is iron out the last little details and formalise their accession. Then there's a big ceremony in Archer Arena that's supposed to happen back on Earth, but that's more of a ceremonial thing. This mission was did they put it? Put pen to paper?" He shrugged. "The Queen needs to sign their agreement to the Federation Charter."

"And what would this charter change for them? Any hang-ups? Expectations of cold feet from the Queen? Resistance?" Santu looked over the piles and knew that if it was as simple as putting a name on the dotted line they wouldn't even be here, let alone in this situation.

"Yeah..." Hamilton screwed up his face a little. "That's the thing. One of the principles of the Federation charter is equality of peoples, right? Well, there were a few concerns that Queen Sarissa is a little 'rigid' with some of the traditions of her people. Particularly those relating to the male gender." He shifted uncomfortably on his feet. "The general idea we were supposed to go in with is that she needs to commit to some reforms before they can sign."

"Perfect," Santu felt pressure making its way from the back of her skull all the way up to the front, it would probably be a full-blown headache before the night was out, "I think we'd better get some people up here to help us out. We need to brief the Security teams and I think I'd like the counsellor to be present for this meeting with the queen."

"I don't know your crew very well, but that seems wise," Hamilton nodded thoughtfully. "Please, do make sure the number of male crew you bring along is very limited and they understand their court decorum. The Queen is very...traditional."

Santu didn't really want to give their traditional views any credence by adhering to a quota of men at the meeting but she also knew this was too important to let go, "I'll keep that in mind, and I take it you're going to help me brief them."

"M-me?" Hamilton stammered. "But...but I'm just...I'm not qualified..."

"At some point you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that you're the most qualified person on this ship." Santu gave him a reassuring smile, "So, take five minutes and we'll call in the security chief and counsellor and we can get this started."

"Okay...okay..." Hamilton swallowed back the desire to hyperventilate. "Okay. What was that you said before about something stronger?"


Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu
Executive Officer


Hamilton Broll
Diplomatic Envoy
(PNPC Kane)


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