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Negotiation

Posted on Mon Jun 1st, 2020 @ 7:10pm by Hamilton Broll & Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu M.D. & Lieutenant Dessame Sar & Lieutenant Savin

Mission: In the Family
Location: Paratus IV
Timeline: MD-5

ON:

The large ballroom had been converted overnight into a larger meeting space, with an enormous conference table set up in the centre. On one side, the Paratan delegation, on the other, a clear space for the Federation one.

Hamilton arrived early, having not been able to drink particularly much the night before and his sleep being fairly light. He examined the space, noting that Lt Commander Taeler and Lt Sar had been given 'pride of place' while himself and Savin had been relegated to spaces further away.

Sensing movement over his shoulder he looked up to see who else had arrived.

Savin gave the diplomatic aide a small nod of acknowledgement as the man turned his head. He was limping ever so slightly as he approached. "Mister Broll," he greeted politely, "did you sleep well?"

Hamilton shook his head slightly. "I don't know if it was the nerves or the bedding. Maybe a little of both." He sighed. "It just feels like there's this undercurrent towards you and I...like they're making a point of not making it a point. Do you know what I mean?"

"Like putting us aside even in our own designated area? Like neutral ground in an embassy is not so neutral?" Savin nodded, "I do understand what you mean. But as you indicated this day is important so we must try not to be bothered by it too much." He leaned forward a little. "Even if it does greatly bother me to be treated differently than the rest."

The Romulan slightly turned his head to look towards the women. "They will be alright," he added, hoping Dessame was prepared to link with him again to provide a more in-depth access towards conversations that happened outside his peripheral vision.

The mental linking with Savin had been a little more tiring than she had expected it to be. The constant use of her mental abilities were a drain but a worthwhile one if the good Counsellor got the information he needed. Dessame had just never used it for this length of time. Once again she had noticed she was next to Commander Taeler but as of yet had not been much of a focal point in speaking terms. She just provided the security for the team in her mind and so far there had been feelings that worried her.

The men around held some resentment for the treatment of their female visitors, and females in general, where as others seemed quiet placid, almost pacified with no real emotion at all. When she could help it she tuned into the emotional states of those around her, never telepathically reading their minds. That was forbidden unless their approval was given.

Santu gave a nod to everyone of her team as she took a seat at the table, expecting the queen to be joining her any minute now. Part of the agreement that laid in front of her was that all citizens of the Federation were expected to be treated equal, regardless of believes, or creed, or gender. She wondered how long it would take for them to hash that particular little detail out with the Paratan Queen.

Savin could feel the drain the link was putting on the Betazoid woman. While he was very grateful, he didn't want her to exhaust herself on his account. Break it if it becomes too much. He thought at her. I will manage. He too, was very aware of the resentment towards the female superiority and much to his own surprise, he found that part of him agreed with it. Part of him, acknowledged that feeling.

Dessame looked over at Savin and gave a small smile of apprecaition for his comments. 'It's alright Savin. I'll manage.' Was the mental linking reply. She was caught a little off guard by his feelings of resentment towards their hosts, but she was not surprised. Something about this place did not make her feel at ease. In fact the hairs on the back of her neck had been standing since their arrival.

Across the table, the Queen still hadn't arrived, though many of her assistants and advisors had. After a moment, another adviser arrived, whispered something in someone else's ear, and departed again, apparently having delivered a message. The adviser, a petite woman who looked relatively experienced, straightened herself and approached the conference table.

"I'm afraid Her Highness is dealing with some matters of state and will be with us momentarily. Please, wait here. She will join us momentarily."

Hamilton moved to Taeler's side.

"They're stalling," he whispered. "See the looks? The other messenger was in a military aide's uniform rather than a palace aide. There's something else happening here."

Dessame leaned in. "Do you think they have found out about the attack on our ship?" She asked. "Maybe they are having more civil issues than we were led to believe... she should have been asked about the attack, even if it was just to gauge her reaction." Dessame added noting Taeler in thought.

Savin held his distance from the women as he looked around. People looked tense, some even a little nervous. Do you sense it too? He asked Dessame. Something is wrong, look at their faces, their bearing. Something tells me her highness is normally never late. Could something have happened to her?

Santu was still a bit tired from the night before, but it was clear as day that something was up, "Dessame, check in with the Athena, try and find out what's going on" She whispered to the Chief of Security as she leaned over in her direction. She stood up from her seat and approached the person that had informed them of the Queen's tardiness, "Excuse me, ma'am, it seems like something is going on, can you ask the Queen for me if she wants our help with anything? We have a state of the art Starship in orbit, I'm sure we can be of help."

The Aide glanced around, trying to hide her uncertainty somewhat unsuccessfully. "There is...no need." She paused to re-phrase. "Your offer is kind, but not required. Her Highness has the matter fully under control."

"I would prefer to hear that form the Queen herself," Santu caught on to the uncertainty and was definitely not going to be letting this one go just yet. She wondered what was going on, hoping that Dessame would have some additional information coming in from the Athena soon as well. She hated not knowing.

There was a sense of dread, that Savin couldn't place. As he looked at the aide who was speaking with Santu, he could see the woman was anxious. No longer able to quench his curiosity, the Romulan counselor walked up to the XO. "What is going on?" he asked carefully, looking only at Santu and not at the aide for the moment. "Why is everyone so anxious?"

Hamilton was right on Taeler's other side. "This is unusual," he explained for the benefit of the counsellor. The Queen's aide, who'd been asked a question, didn't seem willing to answer. "This looks like political tactics, but there's a lot of nervousness on their side. They're waiting for something."

"Did we hear back from the Athena yet? Is there something going on that they picked up on?" Santu looked over her shoulder to find Dessame in the group of gathered people.

Dessame had become surrounded by a group of nervous guards that had entered room to the rear, she was now several metres behind the Commander. She had her hands up in a defensive manner to try and stop any sudden moves as they had surrounded her as she tried to contact the Athena. The Royal Guardswomen were talking loudly at her and as Dessame went to hit her comm badge a larger more muscular man appeared from behind her and took it from her chest.

Following Taeler's gaze, as well as driven by a sense of confusion and fear, Savin turned his head to follow her gaze. "We have to help her," he implored the first officer, "whoever they are, we have to help her. Contact the ship ourselves and have her transported back." He stepped, or rather, limped forward enough to be able to see Taeler respond if there was to be any. "We cannot prove them right, by having them take her."

There was a benefit to not having to be audible in order to be understood by the Counsellor. She whispered as low as she could, "Of course we're not going to allow this to happen, but we're on a diplomatic mission and these people are the Queen's personal body guard." Santu knew exactly what happened when unarmed people stood up against people with guns, "Need I remind you all that we are here on a diplomatic mission, and that Lieutenant Sarr is protected under the Federation charter as a diplomatic envoy of the United Federation of Planets?" She looked at the other people in her team, "I think we have overstayed our welcome," and she reached for her badge.

One of the other royal guards had been shadowing her quite closely, but she had done so in a manner that she had remained unnnoticed. Before the Bajoran XO could tap her commbadge she felt a strong hand lock around her wrist and jerk back violently. Another arm reached around and ripped the badge from her dress uniform.

Savin felt uncertain now. The confusion that he sensed intensified. He didn't need to hear to know something was very wrong. "Let her go," he finally said, mustering a proper glare at the guards woman, while stepping forward to protect the XO. He was unarmed but that didn't mean he was without skill to fight if he needed to. "Why are you detaining them," he demanded, "we need to contact ship. We have every right to do so."

Hamilton, behind him, felt far less confrontational compared to the Starfleet officers he was with. He simply swallowed and tried to look inconspicuous.

"We have word that your ship has been sighted in collaboration with terrorist elements. No communication will be permitted until her Royal Highness has determined your innocence...or guilt." The guard was deadly serious. And not alone, either: nearly a dozen more armed officials had arrived on the scene. "If your allies remain out of our affairs, no harm will come to you."

Feeling crowded, and an even stronger need now to come to his XO's defense, Savin pushed one of the guards aside, then reached up to apply a nerve pinch to another guard's neck. "We will defend ourselves if needed," he said firmly, "you are holding a diplomatic party against their will."

The guard sank to the ground, immediately causing the others to surge forward. One of them crashed the butt of a rifle across the Vulcan's jaw, a small spray of green blood splattering as it did. The guards' grip on Sar and Taeler tightened, and two aimed their weapons close to Hamilton's head.

One of the guards pulled restraints from a loop on her belt. "Assault by any male on a Royal Guard is punishable by indefinite imprisonment..."

"He's not Paratan! He has diplomatic status!" Hamilton protested. The guards glanced between one another, a little uncertainly. Their orders hadn't been clear enough, apparently. Hamilton looked between the Starfleet crew, hoping they wouldn't try to start a fight. In the meantime, he was desperately trying to remember any element of Paratan law that might help them in this situation.

There was a bit of panic that Taeler felt was starting to wash over her. Being restrained like this brought back terrible memories. In a flash she remembered the face of a Bajoran guy that had stood up for her, Mayik. The flash of the disruptor had been swift, relentless. She felt her entire body tighten when the gun was aimed at Hamilton and Savin's heads, then something clicked, in a moment of panic-induced clarity, "You can't! You can't take them away! They are my concubines." She looked around the room, where the kerfuffle suddenly fell silent at her rather loud outcry, "That's right, they're my concubines, and under the law I, as a guest of the court, designate them as such." People seemed confused, "They are granted the same rights, privileges and protections as any other visiting dignitary, which prevents you from confining them against My will." She had snorted and laughed a bit when the law first passed her on one of the PADDs. It must've been two o'clock at night when she first read it. She couldn't believe it would come back to her in this situation.

"You're not a noble dignitary," one of the other guests suddenly spoke up, breaking the awkward silence that followed her outburst, "and even if you were, everyone here knows the UFP doesn't allow for a person to have concubines."

"The UFP might not, but I'm from Bajor, and we only joined very recently, we're still in a transitional period," She was banking on the fact that they hadn't read up on Bajoran culture or law, "plus, after my herioc efforts during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, I was granted a noble title in Shakaar province." That was a blatant lie, but there was no way for them to check that one for the next couple of weeks, knowing the bureaucracy involved with such claims, "So I demand that you release them, right this instant."

Savin had reeled as the rifle struck his jaw, tasting blood as he went down. His vision went black for a few seconds, though he was aware of the weapons now trained at him even if he momentarily couldn't tell where. Filtering through his pain was Dessame's mental voice, informing him of what was going on. He blinked a few times in an attempt to clear his vision and the fog that threatened to come down on him. Concubine? he wondered as he carefully looked up. Beyond that, he made no move to get back to his feet. "Ma'am?" he asked carefully, not at all sure what was expected of him now.

Taeler put out a hand to help Savin up from the ground. She still didn't know whether her bluff would be successful, but she'd have to follow through on this to make it seem even remotely plausible. She looked at the person she had pegged as the highest-ranking officer in the room. This was the time to puff her chest and command the room herself, "Well?"

The question was puncutated by noise from behind the Starfleet delegation. More guards, men this time, had arrived to join in.

Dessame watched what happened knowing all too well that she needed to maintain a cooler appearance than what was bubbling beneath. The strike to Savin had forced her to move forward, the larger male placing his hand on her to stop her. Dessame had a thing about unwanted physical contact, especially from men. She gripped his wrist and flicked it anticlockwise forcing him to recoil to the right. Heads turned to see what the commotion was and more had moved in to support. As the man recoiled he used his large left hand to grip Dessame's throat, it large enough to encompass it whole and she released him.

He began to lift her, quite easily, off the ground with one hand and she felt him squeeze a little. Quick thinking and knowing a males 'sensitive' spot she kicked him between the legs as he pulled her closer, the small sneer wiped clean off his face as he let her go and bent over slightly to hold his dearly departed. With an opportunity she headbutted him and he fell backwards to the ground. The next thing she knew she was getting zapped in the back with some kind of energy weapon (much like a taser) and she fell to her knees. The lights were turned out as she felt a blow across her forehead, the butt of a weapon knocking the troublesome one out of commission for the immediate future.

Gratefully accepting the hand up, Savin staggered as suddenly his connection with Dessame fell away. "Dessame!" He called out, starting unsteadily towards the fallen security chief. He felt dizzy and disoriented, his jaw still throbbing, but he tried to ignore it. He turned his head as he felt a hand grab his shoulder. "She is hurt," he said, "she needs help. Please..."

Hamilton had moved to grab Savin and hauled him back. The group watched in amazement as the tension in the room suddenly skyrocketed.

The male guards, it seemed, were not expected by the female ones. There was a sudden locking of eyes, before the two groups threw themselves at one another, with the prone Dessame and surprised Taeler caught in the middle.

"For the Duke!!" cried one of the men, as he went for a female royal guard. Similar, cries in favour of the Queen went up from the women.

"This...this is a civil war!" Hamilton hissed, trying to make sure Savin could see his face as he spoke. "We have to get out of here!"

"Not without Lieutenant Sar and Commander Taeler," Savin protested, shoving Hamilton towards Taeler. "You get her out of here, I am going to get Sar," he stated, not accepting no for an answer. "Get her to safety," he ordered, starting towards the fallen security chief. As he shoved and limped his way towards her, he picked up one of the ceremonial sabres from one of the fallen royal guard. He hoped not to have to harm anyone, but his expression spoke volumes as he fought his way through. "Dessame, wake up!" he called out, "we need to go, wake up!"

Dessame groaned a little, began to shift but not so much as to awaken. She could hear in her mind the shouting from Savin, but it wasn't there the noise came from but outside. She opened her eyes ever so slightly, the light blinding her but the commotion quickly focusing her attention.

She rose to her feet, wobbled a little and felt a sting on her head. She touched the point of pain to reveal blood on her fingers. She knew she needed to get her people out of there and she would fight through anyone to get to them.

Finally reaching her, Savin moved in to support her with his right arm, while still keeping the sabre ready to defend them both. "You are injured," he stated unnecessarily, though it was obvious he wasn't unscathed either, "can you walk?" If not, he would need to carry her, which would leave them defenseless. He chanced a brief look around in the hopes Hamilton had done as he'd been told, and escort Taeler to safety.

Not one for fighting - or confrontation at all really - Hamilton was hesitant to get involved in any of this. He ducked low as a pair of wrestling combatants toppled-over next to him. Scared for his life, he looked over at Lt Commander Taeler. "We...we need to go!" he called out.

All the pushing and shoving had turned Taeler around quite a bit, she was unable to tell which way was which when she locked eyes with Hamilton. She saw the fear in his eyes. She knew the type of fear he had. She had chosen a different path, a path of defiance rather than fear. But she knew this type of fear intimately. And she knew bravery. And the fact that bravery wasn't a lack of fear. Rather, bravery was pushing forward despite the fear. Her face locked into a look of determination and she grabbed him by the upper arm, pulling him through to the side of the massive fight that had broken out. She knew that you had to get to the edge of this kind of fight, that's where the cowards stood, weapon in hand, afraid to pull the trigger.

Unfortunately for Taeler, there weren't any cowards present in the room, and she and Hamilton were the only ones at the edge of the fight. She spotted the Starfleet uniforms of both Savin and Dessame still in the middle somewhere. She could only imagine the level of panic someone without the ability to hear would have in this situation. She pushed her hand against Hamilton's chest and pushed him towards the wall, "Stay here, and don't you move." She pointed at him before rushing back into the crowd.

A flash of steel, where they really using swords? So far no lethal force had been used by either side but if swords were being brandished it wouldn't take long. A cry of pain in the distance confirmed her fears. The royal guards were starting to use their otherwise ceremonial weaponry, "Dessame! Dessame!" She called to try and catch the attention of the Security officer. She finally got to the place where both the counsellor and the security officer were, "Come, this way. We need to leave!" She put a hand on Savin's shoulder, pulling him slightly towards the edge of the group.

At the pull on his arm, Savin whirled around sabre at the ready. He reigned himself in just in time, looking over her shoulder to find Broll at the edge of it all. This wasn't what he had intended. "What are you doing here, why did you not leave with him," he all but demanded. "Lieutenant Sar is injured, she needs assistance." His expression was grim. "You help her, I will protect you both. I cannot carry her at the moment."

Santu stepped up and wrapped an arm around Dessame, "Let's go Lieutenant, this isn't a place to have a nap. Let's get you some place nice and quiet." She hoped that the sound of her voice, and her calm almost casual attitude, would put the Security officer's mind at ease as they found their way to the edge of the fighting group, "Hamilton, where's our exit?"

In the midst of a minor freak-out, Hamilton shakily pushed open a large ornate door and waved them through, hoping that it led somewhere away from trouble.


[OFF]

Lt. Cmdr. Taeler Santu, M.D.
Executive Officer

&

Lt. Savin
Chief Counsellor

&

Lieutenant Dessame Sar
Chief of Security

&

Hamilton Broll
Federation Envoy
(PNPC Kane)

 

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