SEASON 3: EPISODE 03
THE ONLY THING NECESSARY: Part Six
“I would love to take out one of those fighters for a spin,” said Ilata.
Celcho looked up from his inspection of the warp ship’s inertial dampeners and saw an almost longing look in Ilata’s eyes. The man was definitely a pilot and like any pilot he wanted to get his hands on anything new and advanced.
“There’s not much chance of that at the moment,” replied Celcho. “Captain Masters has grounded all flights unless there’s an actual threat. Mainly he doesn’t want to freak out your government by scrambling a squadron of fighters into orbit.”
“What if we scrambled fighters?”
Celcho scoffed. “No offense, but your fighters aren’t a threat to this vessel. Every single fighter on your world could attack this ship at the same time and it would still not be enough.”
“This ship is that powerful.”
“Yes,” stated Celcho. “Basically if we wanted to we could control your planet from up here and enforce our will on your people. You have inter-continental missiles? This ship could act as the ultimate anti-missile defence system.”
“So you could shoot down the missiles in flight?”
“Yes, our phasers and torpedoes could intercept them or we could just beam them away. Those fighters could also chase them down without a problem. We could destroy the launch sites all over the planet with ease and with little or no warning. In fact your most secure bunkers would be useless thanks to our transporters and torpedoes.”
“With this ship war would be a thing of the past!”
Celcho let out a sigh. He wished that things were that simple. “The existence of advanced weaponry rarely makes war obsolete, even with the threat of complete annihilation. Of course there are limits to what even this ship could do. Short range strikes are harder to deal with, the less flight time the harder it is for us to get into position, lock target and destroy it. Bullets, artillery shells, knives, even a sharpen stick all could just as easily be used to wage war.”
“I guess we should be happy you’re not evil like in films.”
That brought a smirk to Celcho’s face. He had seen more than his share of ‘alien invasion’ films from pre-first contact Earth and knew exactly what Ilata was talking about. “We might not be but there are a bunch of people not far from here who have a similar level of technology as the Federation and wouldn’t think twice about conquering or even wiping out all life on your planet.”
“So is that why you’re here? To protect us.”
Celcho hesitated. “We’re here more as a courtesy. To let you know that it is a dangerous place out there but there are people who are willing to be your friends.”
“I heard one of my security guards mention a war.”
Celcho knew he should not be surprised by this. While they were not currently on combat duty it was impossible to forget that there was a massive conflict being fought out at the moment. “We are currently engaged in an armed conflict with one of our neighbours. Once again not terribly far from here.” A worried look came to Ilata’s face. “By our perspective.”
“So why are you at war with them?”
“Why does anyone fight? Our enemy, the Dominion, wants to extend its control over the Federation and we don’t want to be ruled by them.”
“So some things don’t change,” he said mournfully. “Are you winning?”
“I’d say the war is in our favour but it’s a long way from being over.”
“Could they attack our planet?”
“Yes, it is possible but not probable. You’re not in the line of advance for any side at the moment so strategically there is little point in expending the resources to take or hold your world. Also given your level of technology you aren’t a threat to anyone.”
Ilata scoffed. “Since when has that stopped anyone?”
Celcho smirked but without much joy. “Very true. I still put very low odds on the Dominion venturing out here to subjugate you.”
“What about the other race you mentioned?”
“The Tzenkethi? We did fight a war with them around ten years ago and I think it might have reached close to the edges of this nebula, since then we have had the occasional confrontation with raiders. They aren’t interested in interacting with outsiders so if you leave them alone they won’t bother you. No matter what happens we’ll leave some star charts with you that will point out Federation planets and areas that should be avoided, then it’s up to your government on what to do with the information we provide.”
“That hardly fills me with a sense of ease,” mumbled Ilata. “So what’s your planet Earth like?”
“It’s very similar to Echla, they’re both what we classify as class M planets, which is pretty much optimal planets to support humanoid life. There are a few billion more people living on Earth and our orbit has a lot more stations and traffic. Humans often refer to it as paradise and it is. We have vast metropolises but we know how to manage our environment so that the natural beautiful and balance of our world is maintained. The basics of life are freely available to all and there is no starvation or poverty on Earth and our medicine...well, I guess you’d consider some of it miraculous.”
“It does indeed sound like paradise. One can only dream that Echla would ever be like that.”
“We’ve been working on it for over three centuries since our first contact and it’s still a work in progress so I wouldn’t give up hope just yet.”
“What about space? What’s the most amazing thing you’ve seen out there?”
Celcho thought about it for half a second before replying. “I saw an act with an Orion and a Deltan on a neutral space station that would make your warp core spin,” he said with a sly smile.
“What’s an Orion and Deltan?” asked Ilata confused.
Celcho’s smile quickly faded, that had gone right over Ilata’s head. “That’s one of the universe’s puzzles that have to be experienced,” he replied cryptically. “Other than that I’ve seen the dance of a dwarf star feeding off a giant. Met with other species so different and alien it is hard to believe they exist. Just when you’ve thought the universe couldn’t throw anything new at you...well, it does! That’s probably the most amazing thing, the unknown itself.”
“You make it sound...romantic.”
Celcho snorted. “I guess I do. If you think this ship is amazing, it’s just the tip of an infinitely large iceberg.”
“I guess my ship is pretty primitive to what you’re used to...and a lot smaller,” Ilata said gesturing around him.
Celcho patted the warp ship. “Nothing wrong with small ships. I started out on craft of this size. My family’s business was in the maintenance of small starships, Celcho’s Shuttlecraft Maintenance and Repairs. I’ve worked on craft like this since I was old enough to hold a spanner. Which was...long ago,” he chuckled.
“And you graduated to bigger and bigger ships?”
Celcho shook his head. “Actually I broke out of the family mould. I’m the eldest child and it was expected that I would take over the business. I’d grown up around it and I was prepared to fulfil my destiny as it were. Fate on the other hand had other plans. I was given the opportunity to look around a big, proper starship like the Swiftfire and I fell in love with the idea of working in one.”
“I can relate to that. My parents wanted me to be an accountant and they definitely didn’t want me in the military.”
He nodded. “Faced the same hurdle. It took a bit to convince my father that this was what I wanted and should be doing, but I got there.”
“So does your father still run the business?”
He shook his head. “No, my next brother, Stanislav, does. Whenever I’m on Earth he tries to get me to go back to the family business.”
“Would you ever go back?”
Celcho paused as he thought about the answer. “Maybe. One day I might want to settle down and a starship isn’t the best place to raise a family.”
“What happens if you have a child and your brother who runs the business also has one?”
A smile cracked on Celcho’s face. He turned to Ilata. “You know, I’ve never thought about it. That should give me and Stanislav something new to argue about.”
Ilata chuckled at his joke. The two men went back to their work on the warp ship. In truth most of the work was being done by Celcho but Ilata was a being a very useful assistant. Celcho had so far being impressed by the design. It was a very functional design with minimal amounts of useless extras. It was also a confident design and while there were backup for important systems it did not go over the top as designers tended to do with early experimental prototypes. So far he had been impressed with the design; it was just about the perfect example of an early warp drive.
“Captain Masters to Commander Celcho.”
Celcho paused what he was doing and taped the badge on the chest of his uniform. “Celcho here.”
“Commander, we’ve been contacted by the Echlans and we have organised to have a little party on the Swiftfire to meet some of their representatives.”
That seemed to catch Ilata by surprise. He had probably expected to take days before his government would be at this stage.
“Glad that progress is being made, sir. But that does that have to do with me?”
“You’re expected to attend, commander. Dress whites. I trust Commander Ilata is with you.”
“He is also invited to attend. 1500 hour in the officer’s lounge. Any questions?”
“Very well, Masters out.”
Celcho glanced up at Ilata. “Looks like we have a shindig to go to.”
Maxine Benton gave Colonel David Tiki a look. “Stop it! It’s fine.”
Colonel Tiki stopped messing with his dress uniform but his look of discomfort remained. “I don’t like these dress whites. I prefer the old dress uniform. We all look the same!”
“Just stop your fussing; you’re probably embarrassing the Federation,” she said in a hushed voice.
“I preferred my last visit to this neck of the woods; even with Tzenkethi shooting at me I was at least more comfortable,” he said as he fiddled with the collar of his uniform.
“You fought against the Tzenkethi?” Tiki nodded. “Did you see much action?”
The giant colonel shrugged nonchalantly. “As much as you can when you’re in the SAS.” She gave him a confused look. “Special Assault Service, it’s the corps special forces unit.”
“You were a special forces commando?”
He nodded and Benton felt even more impressed by Tiki then before, which she thought was impossible. “It was an interesting couple of years. We did things like rescue the captured command staff of Starbase 621 during the Tzenkethi’s second assault against the starbase and sabotaged their shipyards at Felliux VII.”
Benton had her share of dealings with Special Forces units and gave him a conspiratorial look. “Should you be telling me this?”
“I don’t see why not, none of that is classified. Though if I told you everything we got up to back then I would have to kill you,” he said with a playful smile. Benton laughed in response but she felt a tinge of doubt whether or not he was joking. “Personally I’d prefer to face those giant lizards then be here,” he continued.
“The Tzenkethi are reptilian?” she asked surprised.
Tiki cocked an eyebrow at Benton in response. “Yeah. Haven’t you read their biological profiles?”
She shook her head. “So they look like the Gorn?”
“In the sense they are reptilian. Tzenkethi have longer faces, like a monitor lizard on Earth.”
“Oh, so they look like the Pahkwa-thanh.”
Tiki raised his hand and rocked it side to side in a gesture that told her she was closer but not quite there yet. “That’s more like it but don’t say that to a Tzenkethi, they’re likely to bite your face off, which can be inconvenient, plus they have a venomous bite that can ruin your day...not to mention the whole lack of face issue.”
“You’re not serious,” she replied questioningly.
“Of course. You need your face to...” he stopped when he noticed her scowling at him. “About the venom? Firsthand experience,” he said raising his hand to gesture that he was being truthful. “They had just about completely overrun Starbase 621 when we arrived; suffice to say it got dicey quickly. I had one of the brutes on me and it bit my forearm, apart from that bloody hurting I had shooting pains all up my arm and the wound just wouldn’t stop bleeding thanks to whatever it injected stopping my blood from clotting. Pretty much disabled my entire arm and I had to spend the rest of the engagement fighting left handed.”
“So you could say you won the battle singlehandedly?” she said with a sardonic grin that garnered a roll of the eyes from Tiki. “I’ll try to keep that in mind if I get one in my cockpit somehow. All I really need to know is what their ships look like and the best way to make them explode.”
“That’s something I can appreciate.”
“If you don’t mind me asking why did you leave the SAS?” she inquired.
“Got a pretty nasty injury during a mission...one that I really can’t talk about. Short version is that I lost my legs.”
“Both of them?”
“Yep. It took me awhile to get back on my feet, pun intended,” he chuckled. Benton was too shocked to appreciate the joke and the look on her face seemed to quickly drive away Tiki’s humour. “Once I was back to fighting fit I decided I’d like to go back to the simple life and transferred back to be an ordinary marine. That’s around the time I first came to be with the 83rd. All in all it was a pretty good decision, though right now I’m doubting that. In the SAS I did not once have to attend a diplomatic function...well, at least not as an invited guest. Personally I don’t see why we have to be here at all,” Tiki continued to complain.
That was a question she knew the answer to as she had asked Captain Masters why the commander of the ship’s fighter wing was needed at a diplomatic function. “Apparently the ambassador told the captain to have all the senior officers here. Even Celcho’s here. He’s talking to Commander Ilata over there.”
She pointed out the ship’s chief engineer who was in deep conversation with the Echlan pilot they had rescued only the day before. She was surprised at how social he was being, she did not think that this would be his scene either. That was probably because she associated engineers as a fairly anti-social group that preferred to talk to machines than real living people.
What am I think? She thought. Pavlo is probably one of the most sociable people on this entire ship! She chastised herself. Which might not really be saying much at all! She grinned at her little private joke.
“Those two got close quick,” commented Tiki.
Benton shrugged. “Celcho’s an engineer; he’s just using Ilata to get to his warp core.”
Tiki smiled suggestively to her. “There are so many ways that can be taken.”
Before she could make a comment about Tiki’s intentionally lewd she spotted an approaching figure. “Uh oh, here comes the captain. Act like we’re having a good time.”
Captain Masters approached the pair. He looked good in the dress whites and with his shaved head and beard he had an unmistakable air of authority about him.
“Colonel, Wing Commander. Glad you could make it,” he said.
“We didn’t exactly have much choice.”
“Sounds like whining. From Colonel Tiki, surprise, surprise.”
Benton turned to see Lieutenant jg Aimee Wessling, the ship’s head counsellor. A little late but there none the less. “You get dragged into this as well?” she asked Wessling.
“No, I came of my own free will. Don’t you find these things exciting? An early meeting between two species, the nervous caution by all sides, watching and judging their company to try to better understand them or find a weakness they can exploit.”
“In my line of work most of our ‘meeting’ involve a lot of phaser fire,” said Tiki almost wistfully.
“And I like parties were you don’t have to worry about causing a diplomatic incident,” added Benton.
“Be that as it may, you two can’t hide in the corner. I expect you to walk around and mingle,” said the captain. “Though do try not to cause a diplomatic incident or the ambassador might have a heart attack and I’ll make one of you explain it to his daughter.”
“Fine,” she said reluctantly. “In fact where is Nikki? How did she get out of this?”
“She drew the short straw and is in command, so she’s on the bridge.”
“Lucky,” mumbled Tiki.
Masters gave him a brief look of annoyance but that quickly disappeared. “Oh, by the way I missed you the other night. I thought we had a game set?”
“A game? Of what?” she asked.
“Rugby union,” replied Tiki. “Sorry about that. I got tied up at a security briefing with Commander Whitechapel.”
“I didn’t know you were both into the sport,” she remarked.
“Didn’t you notice that half the shuttles are named after rugby players? Or more specifically, Australian rugby players,” added Tiki conspiratorially.
Benton returned a blank look, she had not noticed that.
“One of the privileges of command is I get to name the shuttles,” said Masters. “We’ve been over this, if you want to you are more than welcome to name your dropships after Fijian rugby players.”
“So do you play against each other?” she asked.
“No, we play on the same side. It’s better then having to explain to the doctor that the colonel gave me a black eye at the bottom of a ruck.”
Benton laughed. While she was born and raised on Betazed, during her days at Starfleet Academy she had lived in Bath, England. Her mother was from Bath and she moved in with one of her uncles for her four years at the academy. Bath had a long and proud history in the sport of Rugby Union and her uncle and cousins were mad supporters of the sport. As such she went to many games over her four years in the city and had come to understand and appreciate the sport.
Unfortunately once she graduated from the academy the closeness between her and her extended family in Bath had waned as she set off across the stars and they got on with their lives. She had paid her uncle a visit when she was last on Earth out of courtesy but after nearly a decade since she had last seen him or her cousins they were once again almost like strangers. However, after Betazed had been conquered by the Dominion and the fate of her parents who were on Betazed when it fell was unknown her family on Earth reached out to her with support and love that only family could provide, once again bringing them all closer during these dark times.
“What positions do you play?” she asked both of the male officers.
“The back row, flanker or No. 8 usually. We both played there back at school,” said Tiki.
“Really? You two are about the same age, did you ever play against each other?” asked Wessling.
Masters shook his head. “Not as far as we can tell. We both made national representative sides as schoolboys but it was a couple of years apart.”
“You both represented your country?” said Benton impressed. “You both must have been pretty good. You could have had a career in the sport instead.”
“As much as I love the game I would trade every trophy I might have won in the sport to be here.”
“Obviously the captain didn’t expect to win many trophies,” joked Tiki bringing laughs from the small group.
“Is that so? Maybe I should have you accompany one of the representatives for the rest of the function. Maybe send you done to be a liaison with their government. You know, watch parliamentary sessions, take notes, and talk to various ministers. I could get you a permanent assignment here with the Diplomatic Corps.”
Wessling let out a short laugh. “I do believe that has made the good colonel go pale!”
Benton had to admit that the suggestion did seem to bring out a spark of fear from Tiki. She thought it was pretty funny that a man who would fight a Jem’Hadar barehanded would be scared of a bunch of politicians.
“Maybe I’ll get the rest of your posted here on diplomatic assignment to if you don’t go and mingle,” ordered Masters.
Benton gave the captain a mock salute. “Aye aye, sir!” She grabbed Tiki’s arm. “Come on, colonel, I’ll be your wingman. Let’s go be diplomatic.”
Masters excused himself from the conversation with the Totality’s head ambassador as Lieutenant Wessling engaged him in conversation and headed to the buffet table to refill his glass of water. So far the event was going well. The Echlan Totality had sent up six representatives, they were headed by Defence Chief Qual and included a senior minister from the government, their head ambassador, an apparently prominent scientific mind and two aides. They also had two pilots for the shuttle that brought them to the Swiftfire and three military men; two had stayed with their shuttle while one was present at the function standing by the door with one of the Swiftfire’s security contingent.
From the Swiftfire there were obviously him and several of the senior officers, Core, Celcho, Benton, Tiki, Murphy, Letac and Wessling. Of the other senior members of the crew only Lt. Commander Whitechapel and Lieutenant Karak were absent but somebody had to man the bridge. The rest of the group were the ambassador and his party.
He poured himself a glass of water and quickly drank the cool liquid. He started to refill his glass back up.
“If it is not too much trouble can you refill my glass?”
Masters glanced around to the speaker. “Of course, Mr. Greer,” he replied and started to fill the man’s glass up.
“Thank you very much, captain,” thanked Greer. He took a gulp of water and let out a small appreciatory sigh. “So how do you think it goes, captain?”
Masters glanced around the room. Everything looked to be going well and his crew and the Echlan delegation were mixing well. “Well by all accounts, Mr Greer.”
“Please, Wendell will be fine, captain,” said Greer...Wendell politely. “I must say I am finding this all rather exciting and quite fascinating. You can imagine that an assistant director at the Department of Cartography would get few opportunities such as this.”
Masters nodded. “I can imagine.”
“You’re probably wondering why I’m here at all.”
Greer had a good point. Masters had been surprised to learn that someone from the Federation’s Department of Cartography would be joining them for this mission, especially an assistant director.
“It had crossed my mind,” he admitted.
So far Masters had had little opportunity to really interact with Greer, apart from the initial welcoming him onboard when he arrived with the ambassador. While he had not been actively avoiding him he did not go out of his way to spend time with him. Greer was a bureaucrat and Masters did not have a lot of time for people of his profession.
Greer leant towards him and whispered, “If I’m to tell the truth my presence here is hardly necessary but I pulled some strings to get me sent out here.” An excited smile tugged at the corners of the man’s mouth that Masters could not help but return. Greer straightened up and continued. “The Helaspont nebula has been a topic of great interest for me. Are you aware of its history?”
“Probably not as well versed as you would be.”
Greer let out a laugh as if Masters had told some great joke. “So true! Well, up until 2371 we believed that the nebula couldn’t be traversed due to warp travel being impossible within the nebula. Sublight probes had been sent but most disappeared without a trace due to the instabilities within the nebula.”
“Add to that the problems with communicating with anyone from inside the nebula as well. Any manned voyage at sublight would be very risky.”
“Exactly!” said Greer excitedly, the man obviously did enjoy the subject. “However, nothing is forever and thanks to improvements to warp drive technology, starship structural integrity and shielding over the last decade, in ’71 we were able to dispatch the first manned mission into this nebula.”
“It was undertaken by the USS Ulysses if I recall correctly.”
“Yes, the first ship to successfully navigate through the Helaspont nebula. They were originally just meant to be studying the protoplanetary masses inside the nebula but found a lot more when they stumbled on Echla, a planet with a civilisation that had already taken its first steps into space and had began to explore its star system with sublight craft. It caused quite a stir back at the department. Complex life was believed to be impossible within the nebula but that was proved wrong. That’s when I took a keen interest in the nebula, so when I heard that the Echlans were on the verge of developing warp technology I simply had to come out here to meet them and see it all for myself. Thankfully I managed to pull the right strings to get me from behind my desk to be on your delightful vessel.”
“Well, I’m pleased that you have gotten this opportunity, Wendell,” he said truthfully. Masters considered himself to be a fair person and could not begrudge Greer’s wish to see firsthand something that interested him greatly.
“That’s very kind of you, captain.” Greer’s eyes glanced around Masters. “I believe you have one of your crew looking for you,” he said tilting his head in the direction of the person.
Masters turned to see Lieutenant Karak had entered the room. They caught each other’s eye at almost the same moment and Karak walked towards him.
“No doubt ship’s business so I’ll let you be. I would also enjoy the opportunity in the near future to discuss your recent trip to the Badlands. Another fascinating region of space.”
Masters smiled politely at Greer. Of course Greer would ask about a mission whose events were classified. Not that Greer would have any idea; he had probably heard the cover story that the ship was ambushed by Dominion forces in the Badlands. Still Masters would have to be careful to stick to that story and not let any of the classified details slip. “Maybe later when we have more time I can share my thoughts on the Badlands with you.”
Greer smiled widely. “That would be most enjoyable, captain. Lieutenant,” said Greer before walking away.
Masters turned his attention to the patiently waiting Karak. “What do you have to report, lieutenant?”
“I have just finished a comprehensive analysis of scans we have made of the planet, including intercepted signal intelligence.”
“You have? I wasn’t aware that you were undertaking that task.”
“Originally I was not. However, Lieutenant Commander Whitechapel had me continue the work that Lieutenant Letac has been doing. I have served as a science officer in the past and this type of analysis is not beyond my skill set.”
Masters was not surprised that Karak had more than a few skills in his set, despite his rather youthful appearance he had served in Starfleet for nearly forty years, split over two careers. His first twenty years was as a science officer before he left service for around two decades and returning to serve as a flight controller and then in operations. Karak had a fairly rich career and the Swiftfire was his eleventh vessel in his career that also included stints on three Starfleet facilities. He was an officer of great experience but of relatively low rank. Masters wondered if it was partly due to his frequent movements that slowed his progress or if it was simply that fast progression through the ranks was not all that important to Karak given the fact Vulcans could live for hundreds of years.
“I trust that there is reason that you are telling me this and not just so I know the job’s done,” he said hurrying the Vulcan along.
“Of course, captain. I found some...interesting facts that the commander believed you should be immediately apprised of.” The lieutenant handed over a datapadd to him. “The completed analysis has thrown up some inconsistencies with the available information in our database.”
That was some intriguing news. Masters took the padd and dismissed Karak. “Thank you, lieutenant.”
Masters started reading the report Karak had given him. It was quickly obvious what the lieutenant had referred to. Some of the most basic facts they had on the planet were wrong and others were just plain not there. It did not make sense. They had received the most updated information available when the ambassador had come onboard. In fact he had provided it.
Masters looked up and searched out the ambassador. The ambassador currently appeared to be sharing a joke with Qual, the Totality’s defence chief. Masters caught his attention and motioned for him to come his way. Ambassador Whitechapel excused himself and from the conversation and came up to Masters.
“Let’s step outside,” said Masters.
Dylan Whitechapel thought that Captain Masters did not look happy as they walked out of the ship’s officer’s lounge, which was hosting the function for the crew and half a dozen representatives from the Echlan Totality.
Masters walked them down the hallway away from the pair of security personnel that stood at the door.
“Explain this?” ordered Masters thrusting a datapadd towards him.
He took the padd and quickly skimmed the first few lines. “It looks like military data for Echla.”
“Yes, note how the forces are deployed. They are deployed against each other. This planet isn’t unified.”
“And?” he said adding a bit of boredom to his tone.
“You didn’t tell me that. We’ve only been dealing with one side on Echla, the Totality. What about the Coalition?”
“You know about the Coalition?” he asked. He knew that Masters most likely now had most of the details he had kept from him initially. Now Masters was after answers as to why.
“I do now. The Totality and Coalition are at war.”
“It’s a cold war,” he corrected. Masters did not appear to appreciate the difference.
“We’re not helping thing by just dealing with the Totality. The Coalition should be invited to partake in our meetings.”
“We have decided...”
“We?” interrupted an irate Masters.
Dylan paused and continued in his calmest voice, “The Diplomatic Corps have decided that this is the best way to go about things. The Totality is the government we will be dealing with.”
“Why? Why just deal with one group exclusively? Why exclude this information from your reports I had access to.”
“I admit that it was a mistake to try to keep it a secret. It was short-sighted and insulting to you, captain,” he said placatory.
“Bloody right, ambassador!” exploded Masters. Whitechapel glanced over to the security officers and noticed that they were now paying a bit more attention to them. “Now I know, what happens?”
“Nothing changes. We keep dealing with the Totality.”
“This is ridiculous! You cannot ignore the other major power on that planet! Anything we do with the Totality could have disastrous effects for the entire planet! We could turn their war hot! These people have nuclear technology, they could destroy themselves!”
“Calm down, captain. We didn’t make this decision on the drop of a hat. We considered all the options and made an informed decision...”
“That you decided I didn’t need to know.”
“An informed decision was made that given the situation the Totality would be the best party to deal with.”
“We’re not even dealing with the majority of the population! Have you looked at these figures? The Coalition is made up of around two-thirds of the planet’s population. To be fair we also should be dealing with the Coalition.”
Dylan knew that he should have shared all the information on the planet with the captain but he had been convinced by others that some of the information should be kept out of the captain’s purview. It had been a poor decision in the end and he had to deal with the consequences.
“Captain Masters, this is the way things are going to be. I am in charge of the diplomatic efforts here and I remind you Starfleet Command has ordered you to accommodate my mission. I understand you might not be pleased with the way certain aspects have been handled and if you wish to raise your complaints with either of our superiors you are welcome but this is the way things are going to be.”
Masters appeared to be biting back his reply so Dylan waited. “Very well, ambassador. This is your show.”
“I’m glad we understand each other,” he said and turned his back on Masters to head back to the function. All the way he could feel Masters’ glare burning into the back of his head.
Masters was seething. The ambassador had put his foot down without really telling him anything. There was really little he could do about it now.
Masters returned to the function. Commander Core was quickly by his side. She had obviously noticed the ambassador and him leave the room and it would not be hard to read in his features that he was not happy about something.
“Is something the matter, captain?” she asked.
“Yes there is, commander. But now is not the time to discuss it.”
Masters watched the ambassador whom returned to the party as if nothing had happened. His current situation left him with few options. The ambassador was right about his orders, they were to assist the ambassador in his mission, but that did not mean he would not go looking for more answers. He had a feeling that there was more going on to this mission than Ambassador Whitechapel had shared with him and he would find out what was going on.