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Diplomatic Chatter In A Different Setting

Posted on Jul 08, 2017 @ 6:34pm by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Jul 08, 2017 @ 6:35pm

Mission: The Romulan Way

“Diplomatic Chatter in a Different Setting”
(contd. from Kenneth’s ‘Overt/Covert’)

Location: Ki-Baratan, ROMULUS
SD: [2.17] 0707.2212
Scene: Reception area

When the Phoenix first appeared on the planet, the first thing, Jasmine did was study her surroundings and see what kind of security arrangements were made by their hosts. As expected, security was kept tight in the Hall of State after all the away team were strangers on their turf – not just any stranger but ones belonging to their long-time adversary, the Federation. However, Yu found the security wasn’t set up in a way that was too obvious and intimidating to the guests. The Romulans wanted to relay a message to show their interest in discussing peace but at the same time be cautious as there was an issue of trust between the two groups.

While her fellow officers began engaging in conversations with the different Senators, the Asian woman strolled around the area, taking note of her surroundings and observing their hosts to look for signs of hostility. Not to her surprise, many of the Romulans seemed to be wearing masks to hide their true intentions if that was really the case as evident from their polite manners and niceties. Well, of course, Yu should have realized, these were seasoned politicians, they were dealing with here - polite conversations were their expertise besides backroom dealing or stabbing each other in the backs, metaphorically. It didn’t matter if they stabbed each other’s backs just as long as it wasn’t the Federation’s and there would be no hidden ambush.

Being amongst the first Starfleet officers to set foot on the Romulan homeworld in fifty years made Jasmine feel a little surreal. History was taking place and she, along with the other Phoenix officers, were partaking in it, despite what the outcome would be. Would it be long-lasting peace or war? A question that was floating in her mind. Well, she sighed, they’d find out eventually. The security chief inhaled deeply, gently tugging at the collar of the newly issued dress uniform and sighed, glancing downwards at the red bar across the chest – red it was something she had to get used to, along with everyone in security. For that department, red hadn’t been worn in almost two centuries. But hey, they still had their jobs to do and that hadn’t changed, despite the colour change. So Jasmine believed, they all had to just roll with it and the young woman didn’t give her uniform another thought.

“Do you like puzzles?” came a female voice from Yu’s right.

Jasmine tilted her head to the side. “Pardon?” Facing her a few feet away, stood a tall Romulan woman, a lean figure with a thin, long face. Her dark was cut short in the same style as all the other Romulans in the room, except it was greying on the sides and the front. Her eyes were narrowed as they were shrewdly gazing at the young human woman. Jasmine deduced this Senator to be quite old, likely in her hundreds as Romulans had a much longer lifespan than humans. Yet for her advanced age, she stood tall and straight, showing she seemed quite healthy, but then that wasn’t exactly surprising. From what Jasmine read about the Romulans, this woman wouldn’t be standing before her if she had health problems.

“Can you hear me?” The woman’s voice was soft, yet betrayed a little sternness that reminded Yu of her paternal grandmother, whom she loved very much.

“Yes, you asked if I liked puzzles, Senator…” Jasmine said in a polite, yet respectful tone.

“Aureila Dak,” she said in a rather lofty tone. “And you are?”

“Lieutenant Jasmine Yu,” the security chief replied, giving her a tiny smile – not too friendly and yet not impolite either. “I am the Phoenix’s chief of security and tactical and to answer your question, yes I love puzzles, it’s kind of a hobby of mine.”

“Hobby.” The Romulan senator took on a tone of mild haughtiness. “I’ve heard of this pursuit you humans engage in, called a hobby, for no other purpose other than pleasure. A waste of time, when that pursuit doesn’t lead to the betterment of your society and make you stronger as a species.”

“Well, hobbies teach a lot about ourselves and that in a way makes our society better,” said Jasmine in as polite as tone as possible so as to not offend the elder stateswoman.

“I see.” Dak’s voice filled with a little skepticism as she arched a brow. “But solving puzzles make good use of one’s time, it helps train the mind and that has greatly helped with my success in life.”

“Okay.” That’s all Jasmine chose to say.

“I especially enjoy mazes,” she prattled on. “I once tried something you call labyrinth in a simulation and it was quite an interesting experience, though your programs are way too simplistic for my complicated mind. So we added challenges better suited for brilliant Romulan minds such as myself.”

Jasmine inhaled deeply, wondering if mazes were part of Romulan military training to better train their minds. The word ‘humility’, might not have been in this particular Romulan’s dictionary. But she seemed quite intelligent and full of knowledge, having lived for such a long time. So the Asian woman just stood there and continued to listen, hoping to glean some information, though like most in the room, she talked a lot without giving much away and considering, she didn’t exactly hold back, particularly on boasting about her successes.

From what Yu gathered from the conversation, Senator Dak was the tribune who took a great interest in the Romulans’ overall research and development, particularly technology. The province, she represented, and as she repeatedly boasted, was one of the major technological centres on the planet and in her own words, was where many of the planet’s finest minds hailed from.

“Lieutenant, “she began, suddenly taking on a tone of nostalgia. “I was born in a backwater province that those in capitol hold a rather dismissive view of and even look down upon. When I was a child, I enjoyed taking apart tiny devices, belonging to my father, and putting them back together. It was what led me to embark on a career as an engineer. I wanted to attend this academy, where only the best were selected but everyone told me they seldom ever select candidates from backwater provinces. But I didn’t listen and applied, believing in my intelligence and ability. You know what, I was actually accepted, proving everyone wrong.” She beamed with pride.

Jasmine continued nodding and glanced around a bit to see how the others were doing. She did notice the tense exchange between Kass, Captain Kane and that Senator Chevet, who brandished a knife but apparently there were no hostile intentions on the Romulan’s part. So with the MCO having the situation under control, this allowed the dark haired woman to return to her conversation with Dak.
“I joined the military,” she said, “as if one wants to succeed here on Romulus, the military was the way to go and so I served as an engineer in the imperial navy for many years. After, I moved onto Research and Development at the technological institute in Dolantek, the province I now represent.” Raising her voice and filled with great pride, she spoke, not caring whether Yu was listening or wanted to get a word in edgewise, “I rose in prominence and my reputation as an engineer sore, a feat unheard of for someone like me, a woman from a ignored province back in those days. My work greatly contributed to the technological development of our society and helped what make us superior to the technology, developed by every other species, including the Federation.”

Jasmine bit her lip, resisting herself from sighing. She felt rather awkward and of all the Senators, the young woman ended up with her. On the positive side, the woman was brilliant as Yu listened to the Romulan listing her every achievement and the knowledge she displayed about her research astounded the security chief. Jasmine thought, perhaps Malin-Argo would be a better participant in the conversation as a lot of the terminology the Senator was spouting went over her head. Then again, maybe the Grazerite might not be a great choice as he could get caught up into boasting about his own engineering abilities.

“It was my contributions as engineer to research and development that led to my appointment as Senator and here I am at 187 years old, still going strong and my mind, sharp as ever.” She produced a smug smile and then lowered her voice to a whisper. “Oh the others do not exactly like me, most of them at least. They tolerate me because of what I bring and that is my immense knowledge and experience as a prominent engineer. They’d be at such a loss without me.” A young Romulan man approached her and spoke in her ear. “Lieutenant Yu, excuse me but I have to go. It was a pleasure chatting with you.” She smiled and left with the man.

Yu blinked, letting out a sigh and noticed at the corner of her eye, Thytos grinning at her. That was one long conversation with so much information provided but yet, Jasmine realized, the elderly Romulan woman had offered no political views and certainly nothing about her views on forging a peace treaty with the Federation. Either it was a clever tactic to avoid giving Yu any vital information or the Senator just enjoyed showing off her brilliant mind.

********************************************************************************


~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical
USS PHOENIX

 

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