Rare Meat, Rarer Conversations - Pt 2
Jeepers Creepers 2: Creepers In Flight
Location: The Bistro
'Thanks,' the Andorian replied in his soft voice. 'That is more unusual,' he observed as he took his seat. 'Most people I've found enjoy travelling around their home star system, probably something to do with it being an extension of your back yard these days. Is your mother afraid of spaceflight?' A waiter silently slid two menus in front of the officers.
Jordan took a moment as she reflected on her childhood. "No, not that I know of. She comes from a line of humans that are simply more content to the ease and simplicity of where they are born and raised."
'Hmmm, that's reasonable. There are a few Andorians like that - and some Aenar too. The Aenar in particular find it difficult to navigate a non-pacifist world and keep amongst themselves. Different from your mother, but the same effect.'
Ithahr perused the menu, before asking, 'I hope you don't mind if I pick a dish that consists of particularly rarely cooked meat? Black and, ah, blue, as humans say,' Ithahr finished with a chuckle.
Jordan held back a smirk as she glanced around to ensure there weren't anyone to hear. "It can't be any worse than Klingon cuisine. It's been difficult to find cooks on base willing to prepare food for our - guests."
Laughing appreciatively Ithahr ordered his meal before turning to Jordan once more, 'Klingon cuisine is an acquired taste I admit. But a roast targ is a particular delicacy. G'agh they can keep.' He sighed heavily as he thought for a moment, 'do you think perhaps our relationship with the Klingons here aboard station would improve if we could sanction a Klingon eatery? I mean ... the Bolian stuff is pretty bad.'
She let out a sigh at the thought and shook her head. "Considering the rukus they are brewing up, I doubt anything but a Romulan head on their serving tray would be acceptable. The upcoming conference I fear are all platitudes with smoke and mirrors."
'It probably won't solve all our problems,' Ithahr smiled wryly, 'but it's a first step.' His expression hardening he nodded, 'yes. The Klingons are becoming evermore aggressive. We keep saying it's the 'worst year for incidences', but it's been true. Every year since Hobus went has brought more, and more provocation. The Chancellor says he's powerless to stop a generation who grew up on tales of the Dominion War, but I fear he's encouraging them on the quiet. If their attention is turned outwards, then his powerbase is safe, for now.' The Andorian's antennae twitched, 'and let's not begin to talk about the Romulans! Empire and Republic have been at each other's throats.'
“Which begs the question, why are they willing to come to the table for any sort of talks when they never were interested in the past?” Jordyn questioned. She paused as the waitress brought plates of small appetizers to the table and did not speak again until she was out of earshot. “It’s not either of their MOs. You don’t think this conference is a set up?.”
"I don't know,' replied Ithahr quietly as he helped himself to some of the appetisers that had appeared before them. "Nothing so far indicates that the Romulan Republic is here under false pretences, according to the intelligence passed on by Sakaan and SI. The Empire," he shrugged, "who knows. It's as difficult as ever to get anything reliable out of them."
“Why wouldn’t the Empire be up for legitimate peace accords? Granted they thrive on violence however there is no honor in purposely instigating a war just to have someone to do battle with,” the woman pointed out.
"It's politically expedient for the Chancellor to allow it to carry on. The more the Minor Houses, and some Great Houses are focused on raiding Romulan territory, there's less political pressure at home, for now,' Ithahr replied in between bites, and recalling his briefing. 'One day, someone is going to have amassed enough clout or honour to challenge for the Chancellorship, but that's a while away.'
Jordyn looked at him and thought about what he said and about recent events that occurred on the station that had not even involved the Romulans. “Maybe it’s already starting? That slow burn because there is no way that any of the houses I can think of would dare behave and attack unprovoked.”
"It's possible - there's been no indication of a move on the Chancellor, and the incident seems localised,' Ithahr replied with a nod, 'there's no question their blood is up.'
“It might be wise to be subtle in increasing security with plain clothes officers when we get closer to this conference. We don’t know what to expect and the not knowing - like if someone is trying to make a name for themselves as a new house? That can stir up old wounds with the rest.”
"Agreed,' the Andorian nodded and his antennae thrashed about as he thought. "We should have Intelligence look in to our Ambassador Krod as well. If he's from a Minor House on the make, he may prove problematic. Can you arrange that?"
Jordyn glanced around to ensure that no one had been paying attention to them before giving him a nod. Taking a piece of the food she replied before taking a bite. “When I get back to my office I’ll reach out to the division leader for a meeting.”
"Thank you. Sakaan usually works Beta Shift, but she can be reached most times of the day. She seems to be quite the workaholic. And don't be put off by her demeanour. Like most Vulcans she's more amenable than she appears."
"Wonderful," Jordan murmured, her tone a little dry as she sometimes was known to clash with the serious race, as she lifted her drink to her lips. "I look forward to that encounter."
Picking up on her body language, Ithahr's antennae waved about vaguely as he tried to suppress a chuckle, 'not a fan of our green-blooded friends? We may have our differences, but their approach to problems can be useful.'
"Oh Vulcans are just fine. I only have not had the best of experiences with those at the Academy," she shrugged.
"They can carry on about being logical dispassionate beings, but in my experience they can be the most competitive and petty people you can encounter," replied Ithahr with a frown. "Luckily, I haven't met many of them. It still astonishes me that we still have all-Vulcan crews in this day and age. I hope you've met better examples since the Academy?"
"A few," Jordan admitted. "But just a few. Most of the time, I just preferred to get lost in whatever vice was nearby to survive the droning boredom."
"Sometimes it's just not easy getting over the initial impression people give you," admitted Ithahr as he smiled once more, his food finished. "But I hope that you and Sakaan can find a way to work together - the frontier is a dangerous and lonely place if people can't get along. I expect both of you to tell me if neither of you can form a working relationship without a third party present."
She gave a small shrug of her shoulder. "I am usually able to adapt pretty well with different people. I am sure it will be fine," she assured the XO before picking at her meal. Every so often, her eyes would lift and glance around the room. While she hadn't been at the location when the Klingon attack occurred, the news of it left her feeling unsettled. Perhaps more than she normally would have been in the situation.
"I'm glad to hear that," Ithahr said eventually. Having cleared his plate of its carnivorous delights, he leaned back and sighed. "Hard to believe this area was a crime scene a few cycles ago. Starbases adapt well to adversity it seems." He returned his attention to the younger officer. "Do you have any concerns that you wish to state? I know some of your colleagues have been worried at the state of their departments recently."
"I believe my people are doing admirably considering the circumstances. Many of the younger officers are feeling skittish after the Klingon attack on the people here. They are keeping their heads down to avoid any unwanted attention," she admitted.
"Your people are sensible. I see from the reports passing my and the COs desk that they're work is of a high standard and quality. You should be proud of what they have achieved under your leadership so far. I am sure as we move forward with more resources and a more stable senior staff team, you'll do even better.'
Ithahr got to his feet, and smiled, antennae twitching amiably. :And now I shall leave you in peace. Enjoy the rest of your meal. I have a briefing on self-sealing stembolts to attend."
Lieutenant-Commander Ithahr th'Shrannok
Deep Space Three
Lieutenant Jordan Chase
Chief Diplomatic Officer
Deep Space Three