Starbase 72 - Minos Korva System
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Negotiations (Part 1 of 5)

Posted on Sun Mar 10th, 2019 @ 10:55pm by Admiral Zachary O'Connell
Edited on on Sun Mar 10th, 2019 @ 11:07pm

Mission: Alrakis Updates
Location: USS St. John Talbot outside the Neethia System
Timeline: May 30, 2389

Dramatis Personae
Palais de la Condorde
- Magnus Temple, Secretary of the Exterior (Temple)
- Amster-Urzon, Federation Security Advisor (Teix)
- P'niia, Advisor to the President (BlackWolf)
- Admiral Malcolm King, Starfleet Deputy Director of Operations (Beeman)

Task Force 72
- Admiral Zachary O'Connell, Task Force 72 Commanding Officer (greenfelt22)
- Lieutenant Heather Kowal, Commanding Officer, Law Enforcement Team 72 (Stephen)

Alrakis Pact Representatives
- jata’Uwe Ekzi Megas, Sub Minister of State, Wi'u'Kai (Ravagers) (aio)
- Ambassador Hadad, Talarian Representative (wizardbeard)
- Ruvan Vik Tov-AA, Speaker for the Autarch, Tzenkethi Coalition (aio)
- Thot Senn, Breen Representative (greenfelt22)

Admiral Zachary O’Connell stood on the bridge of the USS St. John Talbot with his hands clasped behind his back. Throughout his career, he’d been a part of many initiatives, campaigns, and dire situations, yet none of them compared to this. The St. John Talbot, along with the Diligent class USS Galvani and USS Licamm, along with the Defiant class USS Vigilant and USS Mjolnir, was holding the position on the Federation side of the Tzenkethi border, near the Neethia system.

It was hard to believe that barely three months ago he was sitting in a briefing aboard Starbase 72 when FNS broke the story, announcing the formation of the Alrakis Pact. Along with the surprise was the shocking declaration that the Federation must vacate the Inconnu Expanse, which they’d just discovered in 2387, and they must do so within three months. In the two short years, the Federation had with the region, study after study had been launched, only to be delayed or complicated by the gravimetric distortions within the region, along with other various spatial anomalies. The very presence of the Expanse almost defied every known aspect of astrophysics, xenobiology, and various other sciences. Starfleet simply could not afford to abandon the Expanse now.

Thankfully, the Federation Council had finally come to a consensus and agreed. It had taken several weeks just to get the Alrakis powers to agree to a conference to discuss the situation and come up with an agreement, conveniently right near the end of the three month deadline. It had come at several concessions on the Federation’s part. Neither side would cross the border. Neither side would meet on a space station. And only specified dignitaries would conduct the negotiations.

Admiral O’Connell was not among those specified. In a way, he was relieved. Zachary was no diplomat. Even when the Gavarian Exploration Agreement was negotiated and signed, he was not a part of the process. He preferred to be a fly on the wall. After all, such matters did affect him and Task Force 72’s Operations. He preferred to hear these matters for himself and not second hand. Any little nuance was critical in deciding how to move forward, even if everything was perfectly spelled out on paper.

One particular nuance to note at this point was that the St. John Talbot had been waiting at the border for two days. Tzenkethi patrols had picked them up immediately, and a Tzenkethi border cutter held its position on its side, almost daring the Federation to cross. So, for now, the Starfleet ships and the Tzenkethi just stared at each other, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Heather Kowal, commanding officer of Law Enforcement Team 72, was meeting with two of the detachments she had brought aboard St. John Talbot. The LET as it was commonly known had been tasked to assist in security and VIP protection by Admiral O’Connell. They had just completed setting up a command post within a small cargo bay on the ship.

“Everything is set up in our command post and we have a good feed to Headquarters,” Heather told them both. “How is your team doing?” Heather asked PO2 Jackson.

“We have a general layout of the ship and have talked with ship security on assigned roles,” Willie replied. “Still a ton of unknown variables, but we will roll with it as it goes.”

“When I have more information I’ll pass it around to the team leaders directly,” Heather explained.

“The command post is active and ready, ma’am,” MA3 Capatosta reported.

Admiral Malcolm King had finished a tour of the vessel. As the Starfleet Deputy Director of Operations, he was the most senior uniformed member of the ship and it was customary to do tours when on the front line along with other distinguished visitors that were traveling along.

The Cardiff class was a remarking vessel, billed as a diplomatic courier, yet also possessing an advanced sensor array. The engineers of the class were ingenious. These couriers would be traveling the closest to the adversaries of the Federation, so the sensor array assisted in obtaining scans that would be unattainable from any other ship.

Malcolm turned to the Captain of the St. John Talbot, “You have a remarkable crew and a fine, vessel Captain.”

The Captain returned his thanks and Malcolm turned to depart, allowing the crew to get back to their duties. An Admiral on the bridge was always nerve wracking.

Entering the bridge as she took in the moment of the smell from the bridge. It was quite some time since the last time she served or stood on a starship bridge. Looking at the Admiral, P’niia nodded to his formally. She was there as special advisor of the president and to aid Magnus in his conversation with the pact. Placing her hands behind her back as she had a white with a light blue uniform on.

Magnus Temple emerged from the conference room he had turned into a makeshift office during the Talbot’s travel to the border. He felt prepared but nervous, and he caught himself wringing his hands as he waited for the turbolift. His head swirled with protocols, talking points, and arguments. He had met with Talarians and Breen before individually, but this was something entirely new. The Pact was holding the Inconnu Expanse hostage - including the many Federation personnel still located within.

‘Negotiations can not fail.’ Was the message Magnus kept telling himself. He caught sight of his reflection in a wall console, and wondered if he hadn’t aged several years in the past few days. ‘Negotiations can not fail.’

Moments later he was on the Bridge. Hands were placed behind his back to stop him from showing any signs of nervousness. The gravely stoic look upon his face was quickly replaced with his more typical friendly smile as he greeted the assembled crew.

“Admiral, Captain.” He said with a nod. “Today will be a grand day for diplomacy and the future of our relations with the Alrakis Pact.”

Malcolm stayed silent, even though he wondered who the Secretary was talking to… it almost sounded like he was trying to practice his opening remarks.

Normally, Amster-Urzon would not have been mulling about the bridge of a starship; he was far more content engaging in conversation about various security related topics, public policy, or political strategy. Those types of discussions were best had not on the bridge of a Starfleet vessel.

However, given the pending arrival of Alrakis Pact representatives, the Grazerite had lumbered his way to the ship’s command center with the other members of the President’s staff. It was in times like this, sitting waiting for something to happen, that his previous experience working for the Grazerite Ministry of the Exterior came in helpful; often in his early career as a Political, and later Military, Affairs Officer at the Ministry, he’d find himself sitting quietly, digesting information and mulling it over in his mind. He did so now, observing the Starfleet crew performing their duties. It was almost as if the crew was undisturbed by the gravity of what was about to happen.

“Captain!” called out the Betazoid Ops officer. “Sensors are detecting Breen, Tzenkethi, and Talarian vessels on approach.”

“Looks like the party’s about to start at last,” Admiral O’Connell remarked aloud, though it was directed at no one in particular.

Nodding to that “Everything that is said orrr done will have a majorrr effect on the future we are heading to. So let's do ourrr best” She spoke wisely as P’niia looked at Magnus that stood close to her.

Magnus gave a polite smile, “Negotiations will not fail.’

Though this was not Zachary’s show, he stepped forward, nodding to the Talbot’s captain indicating that he would take the lead for a little while. “Inform the delegations that we are prepared to receive them. Miss Koval, let’s get our team to the Conference Room. Admiral King, Secretary Temple, Mister Amster-Urzon, Special Advisor P’niia shall we make our way to the transporter room?”

“Let’s go.” Magnus nodded.

Nodding to the Admiral as she turns to him with her hands now placed on her back “Please take lead Admiral” P’niia spoke. While she was there to voice a plausible opinion of the president, she would let Magnus take lead on the conversation itself.

~To Be Continued in Part 2 of 5~


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