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An Interesting Lunch

Posted on Thu Oct 17th, 2019 @ 5:07pm by Admiral Myrkul Sharr & Commander Ame Vovihl & Lieutenant Nealas Yvex M.D. & Lieutenant Ollie Dreax

Mission: Shore Leave: Federation Day
Location: San Fransisco, Earth
Timeline: 11 October, 20:24 local time, a Tuesday.

From the outside venue to the comfort of the grand hall where the dinner would be served was a vast contrast. Everyone was being ushered to their seats according to the organisers plans.

Sharr was tapped on the shoulder by a young officer who had been trying to get his attention since the speech ended, "Sir, if you would follow me?" he asked, unsure of how best to word his instruction so it didn't sound like one. A raised eyebrow met Ame's quizzical expression before Sharr was shown to his seat at the head of the table with other dignitaries.

From across the hall he mouthed instructions to the Commander, they had known each other only a short period of time but he was sure she could understand the instruction, though if she saw past the wording she would realise it was more of a pleading request as before him was only water.

Ame knew the instant that he was seated that he was requesting something a lot stronger. She made a great deal of looking confused before she pointed to a cadet who was stood behind him already holding a glass waiting for him to stop flailing. If only she was telepathic to discuss more of this event with but it seemed she only had the rest of the crew around her instead.

"What did you all think of the presidential speech?" Ame asked trying to get some talk going with the crew seeing most of them hadn't seen each other in the last couple of weeks due to shore-leave.

The staff was weaving their way through the crowds until one of them found Nealas and gave a friendly smile, "If you would please follow me, Miss Yvex." The Trill woman looked up and smiled back at the man, she got up and followed him to her designated seat. A small side table where she seemed to be set up to have lunch with some civilian dignitaries' assistants. Again somewhere in the corner, away from the large table in the middle and the top brass of Starfleet and the Federation.

"Surely you can see the logic," Ollie sighed as his Vulcan dining companion continued to drone on. When he saw Nealas Yvex though, being led to the table near to the one he sat at, he shifted in his seat to turn a profile towards her and unfortunately had to focus on S'ter more. He hoped the doctor wouldn't see or recognise him from their first meeting, that could get awkward, so he supposed he had to endure the lecture. "This inherent and unusually strong respect for authority among the Cardassian people has led to a cycle of authoritarianism throughout their history. In fact, I have charted those cycles and determined a mathematical formula that predicts another rise in approximately..." Ollie groaned internally and would have gladly listened to another speech from the President if it got him removed from this situation.

The last person to enter the room was the head of state, the President herself. Everyone had gone silent as they watched her gracefully walk to her seat, the only empty seat in the room. Sharr's face dropped and he quietly sighed, "for fucks sake" as he placed his face into his palm. This night just couldn't get any worse, he was hoping for some state of emergency that required him to leave in a hurry, but, even he was not that lucky.

As he passed guests she made the mandatory idle comments and chit-chat, not wanting to seem ignorant of her guests. Finally she took her seat, greeting the Devore Ambassador to Earth. The vast expansion in the 27th century saw the Devore join the Federation and remained on the outskirts and in the past few decades had been less and less involved in Federation Politics. The Council thought it prudent to put their Ambassador next to the President to help them feel more inclusive and help restore their faith in the Federation and avoid them from going independent.

After a brief conversation between those two, her attention was drawn to Sharr who had quietly sat nursing a glass of ice, which had very quickly turned to water in his grip. "Ah, Deputy Director Sharr?" she asked, clearly already knowing who he was as she'd have been fully briefed on who she was sitting next to, "Ah, President Kestri Ageaxi?" he asked, mimicking her style at questioning.

The woman smiled amused as his mimicking of her. She had heard he was nonsense and verging on sarcastic but she had not expected him to almost look like he was sulking. “We have not had the opportunity to meet yet. Would you like a drink to go with your ice?” She wondered glancing over her shoulder to where a young cadet stood waiting for anything they might need.

“There is a reason I don’t usually meet with politicians, Madam President. However, we will consider this a one-off affair” the urge to leave was almost unbearable, he’d once held that office, in a time long ago in another reality, and it had left him with an intolerance for politicians at the best of times, “as for the drink, you don’t have anything strong enough, I’m afraid.”

Kestri continued just to smile at the man politely not even sure why she was wanting to have a conversation with a man so determined to not have a conversation with her. “Well, I am looking to change that view that you have Admiral on politicians. I know what the security council think that I am too young and idealistic but I believe that some things need to change. I did not create this seating plan so someone is requiring we make small talk.” She pointed out as she was brought her own drink.

“Unusual for a President not to have a final say in a formal dinner events seating arrangement, though whoever did this, is playing a cruel joke on us both.”

“Oh, I did not say I did not sign it off just said I did not create it. I believe it could work in our favour though. What are your current thoughts on this evening so far?” The woman wondered thinking that she possibly got the better end of the joke as she sipped on Betazed nectar.

“A poor attempt to cover up the unrest that is happening on the borders of the Federation, though it will work with the core worlds, it always does.” He thoughtlessly swirled the warm water in the glass as he thought, “Politicians make situations worse, their silver tongues and empty promises. I am very surprised this form of governance has continued into this era, when the head of state is focused on their approval ratings, their campaigns and getting re-elected the next time around, they focus more on damage control and pointless endeavours like this to make things feel real and meaningful. This, Madam President, is one of those events. Half of my team would rather be elsewhere, but given the current news coverage of their return, it would not appear good for any party if they were not here. So, to clarify, I feel all of this is a waste of resources and time.”

Kestri smirked over her glass. The man certainly did not hold back any punches. It was certainly refreshing than the yes ma’am, no madam president she had been receiving since she had been elected. “Actually Admiral you are wrong on your crew. When I saw they were invited I actually wanted them excused your boss the Director wanted them here for positive media coverage. I was going to ask you what your thoughts are on me but I fear my heart would not be able to handle that honesty.”

“I shall be having words with Danner when I get back to Greenwich” his tone was short, though obvious it wasn’t directed at the woman in front of him, “as for you?” a wry smile appeared, as if the previous comment had never existed, “you are an eager, young woman. Though, something tells me your tenure will not be long but it will have a big impact on the Federation.”

“Sometimes quality over quantity goes a long way. No matter the length of time I hope that it has an impact on the Federation. We have been stagnant for far too many years recently..” The President commented not missing the smile on the older man’s face.

The conversation died off as food was placed down in front of the guests, the first course went down well it seemed and was swiftly taken away once finished. Partway through the main course the Chief-of-Staff came up to the President and whispered something before they made their apologies and left.

Sharr looked over to Ame and gestured for her to follow him. They went the opposite direction to the presidential entourage and stayed out of earshot, “I want you to assemble the crew and get them out of here, something isn’t right.”

“Sir…” The woman started seeing this as him wanting to get out of there. It was honourable that he was at least thinking of the crew and bringing them along on an escape attempt, but it would not go down well. “You are kidding. You are not kidding are you?” Ame frowned looking around and saw the President slip out the room.

“No” he caught the eye of some of the other crew and, as subtly as he could, gestured for them to leave their seats and come over, “For the head of state to be summoned away from a formal event, something must be happening, the Chief of Staff mentioned a threat. They should really learn to whisper better, but if a threat has been made, I’m not having my people slaughtered or caught off guard.”

“We never get a break.” Ame wondered looking around casually as a few more people slowly made their way out of the room. It was subtle but the woman noticed it, the Minister for Security was the most noticeable. It was hard to not miss the Bolian leaving if she was honest. “Shore Leave and we still get into trouble.”

Sharr pulled out his commbadge from his pocket, “Sharr to HQ, what the hell is going on, the President was just ushered out?”

As he waited for a response he turned to Ame, “Get the crew outside and find out what’s going on. I doubt these sleeping fools will have a clue.”

Before she could even organise a move, the whole room came to a complete standstill as a high pitched, blood churning scream cut through the air.

 

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