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Where in the Universe is Breloc Tejar

Posted on Sun May 17th, 2020 @ 3:29pm by Captain Abigail Laurens

Mission: Around The World in 8 Days
Location: Earth - Wescott Room, Fifteenth Floor, Palais de la Concorde

 

On: [[Wescott Room, Fifteenth Floor, Palais de la Concorde, 1923 Hours]]

The hour grew late as Secretary Darin stood at the window of the Wescott Room, staring out at the Paris skyline which stretched as far as the eye could see. He’d never really taken the opportunity to just observe the city that surrounded the Palais De La Concorde, especially at night. Like all Benzites, he was driven by his work and a compulsion to achieve plaudits and recognition, making relaxation and observance an annoyance. But not tonight. Tonight he was playing host to a number of Starfleet’s flag officers, among others. Tonight, he had a massive part to play in a developing situation, and the bright lights of the Paris skyline were oddly calming. After the end of the week, it would not be a sight that he would see again, having tendered his resignation to the President in order to return to Benzar after spending such a long time away from his homeworld. Serving two Presidents had been an honor, something he had never expected or wanted to give up, but sometimes life simply got in the way.

Attorney General Louvois watched her colleague from where she sat at the circular conference table. She was used to seeing him wrapped up in his own thoughts, but rarely to this extent. There was no doubt in her mind that his mood had everything to do with the matter they were here to discuss. After all, it had certainly given her enough to think about in the last few hours.

The Champs Elysées had always drawn her in, an icon that had survived through so many hundreds of years, continually evolving into something more all encompassing than ever before. Now an intergalactic melting pot that symbolized everything the Federation stood for, representing their ability to come together and rise above adversity, adversity that she strongly suspected was about to be thrown back into their faces. Turning, Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy cast a quick glance toward the chrono on the wall and shook her head as she moved across the room, sinking into a seat at the table, tapping her fingers on the replicated timber surface as she waited.

Admiral T'Lara's astute gaze moved from the Benzite to the impressively statured human woman who's fingers now drummed impatiently on the table. One eyebrow arched slightly, her lips pursing slightly. "Your impatience is illogical," she stated. "They have cleared security and will be here momentarily."

Ignoring the unemotional barb, Kirsten turned her attention toward Darin. "Have security sweep the floor again and make sure there's no one left except the security detail in place. Until we know the status of these events for certain I want to err on the side of caution."

“Kirsten,” Louvois said, a hint of disapproval in her voice.

Secretary Darin finally turned from the window and looked towards the table with a steely glare. Small, gaseous clouds emerged from his breathing apparatus as he looked at the Starfleet Commander in Chief with disapproval. “Respectfully, Admiral, this is the Palais De La Concorde. No one gets in or out without approval,” he reminded her before crossing the floor to the table and resting his hands on the back of the chair he would shortly occupy.

At that moment, the door opened and two figures entered the room, one right after the other. Both were Cardassian. They paused just inside the doorway and surveyed the space. Everyone else immediately rose to their feet to greet them.

Putting on as brave a face as he could despite the tension he felt, the Benzite held his arms out in welcome to his guests. “Welcome, both of you. Assembly Member Rala, welcome to Earth at last,” the Secretary of the Exterior smiled as he stepped forth and gestured to the table he was stood near.

“Thank you, Mister Secretary,” Rala said, nodding her head in Darin’s direction, “It is good to see you again, though I regret that it is under such circumstances. May I introduce the Director of the Cardassian Justice Commission, Gora Lakan.”

“Director Lakan,” the Benzite bowed slightly in greeting to this new acquaintance before gesturing to the other members of his team in the room. “Allow me to introduce Phillipa Louvois, the Federation’s Attorney General; Fleet Admiral Clancy, the head of Starfleet Command and Admiral T’Lara, the Director of Starfleet Intelligence,” he told as he introduced each in turn.

Rala nodded respectfully as they were introduced. She recognized them, of course, from the briefing she had received en route and knew exactly why each was there. Her only hope was that bringing these people together might improve their chances of accomplishing what they came here to do.

Louvois didn’t say anything, but simply returned the nod she received from each of the new arrivals. Her knowledge of Rala was merely by reputation. The woman was said to be a rising star, one of a new generation of political leadership, working hard alongside many others to give her people a brighter future. It said something about the Cardassians that they’d sent her and Director Lakan to represent their interests for this meeting.

“I’d like to thank you for agreeing to meet us, Mister Secretary,” Lakan spoke in his rather gruff voice, pulling out a seat beside his compatriot at the table. “What we have to discuss today could, potentially, spark an even greater sense of cooperation between our two peoples,” he told honestly, and openly, and it was something he was very keen to see happen.

Kirsten nodded politely as each person entered the room, her hands moving to fold in front of her, resting on the table as she continued watching for the moment as introductions were made, though it was the final remark that almost caught her off guard. She cast a glance at T'Lara who arched one eyebrow ever so slightly before turning her attention back to the Cardassians sitting at the table. "Given the request to meet in person, one can only assume that this sense of cooperation must involve a serious issue," she spoke calmly, not giving away anything. "Wherever possible the Federation is always happy to assist our friends, what can we do for you?"

“I’m glad to hear that, admiral,” Rala said, taking her seat at the table, “Much has been accomplished since our two peoples started working together. You have given us so much already, I am almost ashamed that we must ask for more, but this may well be in both our interests.”

“In 2388, the Cardassian Assembly published a report into the war crimes of Cardassians during the occupation of Bajor,” Lakan began, addressing everyone around the table. “Garek, the Castellan, decided that prosecutions were necessary if our people were to atone for their mistakes and really rebuild our reputation around the Quadrant. But, he decided that he was not the best person to pursue the prosecutions because of his own time as an operative of the Obsidian Order,” he revealed, schooling the Federations on a bit of recent Cardassian history that they may not have been aware of. “Three months later, the Justice Commission was formed to look into the very worst cases.” Now, Lakan opted to pause and look at his colleague from the Assembly. Did she want to say anymore?

“We are a proud people, but we are not blind.” Rala’s words may have been blunt, but she spoke in tones that were measured and even. There was no sense beating around the bush. She’d learned long ago the true value of honesty and authenticity, recognizing that especially in her line of work, they needed to be utilized with great care. This was not the time to allow themselves to be caught up in ego.

“Many people were harmed by the old ways,” she continued, “Human, Bajoran, and Cardassian. We very much desire to continue moving forward, to build upon all that we have gained, including this new relationship we have been forming together. As Director Lakan has so aptly pointed out, we cannot do that until we admit to what we’ve done. We must acknowledge it and take responsibility if we are to finally close the door on these darker chapters of our past.”

Louvois was impressed. If what she’d just heard was any indication, the assembly woman’s reputation for speaking frankly and getting to the heart of the matter had not been exaggerated. It made her feel a little better about what she knew was coming.

“We have a problem,” Lakan resumed the Cardassian briefing now, getting to the point in the same way his superior had. “We have a problem, of our own making, but we need the Federation’s help to solve it.”

Leaning back in her seat, Kirsten watched the facial expressions and body language of the two Cardassians as they spoke. She actually found herself softening slightly toward them, given their lack of hostility and their almost hand on heart approach, it was vastly different from previous experiences that she had had with them. The change most definitely piqued her interest.

T'Lara nodded slowly, only once, the slightest of inclines, almost as if it were a sign of approval. "Your approach seems logical," she stated. "Proceed with your request, we shall consider it."

“We have identified this man as a person of significant interest,” the Lakan revealed as he passed out a number of data PADDs that he had arrived with. “His name is Breloc Tejar and is wanted for a number of crimes during the occupation. The last record we have of any activity on his part is eight years ago. Since then, nothing…” he trailed off, a little anxious at what was about to be revealed. He had know idea how any of the Federation representatives would take his words. “Until about three weeks ago when we received intelligence that he could be operating beyond our borders and, very probably, in Federation space.”

That certainly sparked the interest of all around the table, particularly the outgoing Secretary of Intergalactic Affairs. He breathed heavily, his breathing apparatus smoking significantly before he spoke. “That is of great concern, Mister Lakan.”

Even before Lakan had finished speaking, T’Lara had picked up a PaDD that had been resting on the desk in front of her and began tapping at it. “Respectfully, I would request that you share your intelligence with us. I can cross reference it with our own intelligence and see if we can find any correlations that may help corroborate your claim.”

With T’Lara’s response, Kirsten nodded in agreement. “Agreed,” she said calmly, her fingers steepling on the table in front of her. “If there is any indication that he may be in Federation space then of course we will be more than happy to assist in his capture and return so he may be brought to justice for his crimes.”

“There lies the problem…” Director Lakan spoke quietly as he shuffled in his seat uncomfortably, “we don’t want him back.”

A moment of confusion passed Kirsten’s face. “I don’t follow Director Lakan,” she said quietly, her words cautiously spoken. “You want us to help you find him, but you don’t want him back?”

T’Lara watched Lakan closely for a moment as Kirsten spoke. “I believe the Director intends for us to locate him and then hold him accountable for his crimes,” she stated simply. “It would not be the first time the Federation has taken action for perceived war crimes, it would be fitting in this instance, given Bajor’s involvement with the Federation now. Would that be accurate, Director?”

At this point, Lakan sat back nervously and looked at the politician who had accompanied him. He was not going to dictate or explain foreign policy.

“I would certainly say that’s part of the reason, yes.” Rala had expected the question to come up at some point. She had known it wasn’t going to be as simple as turning over the information and walking away, nor should it have been. “Bajor may have been under Cardassian occupation when these crimes were perpetrated,” she continued, “but it is now under the Federation’s jurisdiction. It seems to us that Federation justice in this matter would be more...appropriate.”

Louvois frowned. On the surface, Rala’s answer made sense. There were plenty of folks who believed that crimes against Federation member worlds should be tried under Federation law. And yes, as T’Lara had pointed out, the Federation had a sort of reputation when it came to handling war criminals and other similarly challenging cases. But that still didn’t convince Louvois why the Cardassians felt it needed to be this way now. Then it hit her.

“This is about the President…”

Mention of the President would have caused Secretary Darin’s hair to stand on end, if he had any. Instead, he sat forward, on the edge of his chair, open mouthed.

Director Lakan, meanwhile, bristled at the Attorney General’s words. Not because she was wrong, but because she was very correct indeed.

Kirsten leaned back in her seat, elbows against the arm rests, fingers steepled in front of her as she watched the reactions of their guests. A million responses ran through her mind, along with a million more questions, instead she remained silent for the longest of moments, waiting.

“I mean, obviously it’s about more than that,” Louvois said, “but part of the reason you don’t want us to hand him over now is because asking the first Bajoran President to give up someone like this wouldn’t look good...for either of us.”

“So, to the Cardassians, this is all about optics?” Darin questioned, somewhat anxiously as he looked towards the two Cardassians at the table, hoping they had come to the table in good faith, and were not about to ruin his legacy as Secretary of Intergalactic Affairs.

“So this is your out clause?” Kirsten asked, her voice surprisingly calm given how irate she was starting to feel. “You want us to come in after the fact and neatly clean up your mess to save face for you, so you can go back to your people and claim it’s all the fault of the Bajoran Federation President?” She raised her steepled fingers to her lips, pausing for a moment, remaining silent for a long moment as she contemplated on the weight of their request. Finally, with a shake of her head, she cast a steely gaze toward the Cardassians. “Please, tell me exactly how this serves to benefit the Federation?”

Rala’s eyes flashed at the intimation. “With all due respect, admiral,” she said, “that is simply not the case. We felt it would be…inappropriate...to unilaterally remove an individual such as this from the jurisdiction of the Federation.”

Secretary Darin listened to the Cardassian’s response with great interest. A pretty good judge of character, he could tell whether to trust her, or not. She did have a point about it being inappropriate for the Cardassians to act in Federation territory without any form of approval.

“President Iden is well-known and respected among my people,” Rala continued, “It was she who helped bring about a measure of true reconciliation between Bajor and Cardassia by her strong advocacy and support of the reconstruction. It was she who insisted on the cultural exchanges that allowed us to begin recovering some of what we lost even before the war. We owe her a debt of gratitude...”

“And thus, we come to you for assistance in this matter,” Director Lakan finally spoke up. “If anything, the reports of further cooperation between the President’s administration and the Cardassian government will make for even better… optics, sir. But the crux of the matter is simple; there is a very dangerous individual on the loose and we are requesting your assistance…”

Secretary Darin let out a deep breath into his respirator, a fog emanating from the machine as he rose to his feet. He took a few steps to the window. And back. To the window a second time and back again. “If there is even a perceived risk to Federation lives, we must work with our Cardassian neighbours to end that threat,” he finally spoke, his trademark sage-like wisdom coming through at last. “Admiral Clancy, Admiral T’Lara; I’d like you to arrange every support possible in this search.”

“Provide your intelligence to Admiral T’Lara,” Kirsten replied quietly. “We will offer whatever assistance we are able to.”

T’Lara nodded in agreement. “As soon as we are able to review what information you have, we will be able to formulate a proper plan for assistance with what we have available.”

“We can do that,” Director Lakan nodded in agreement, before swiftly adding, “your assistance is greatly appreciated.”

Rising to his feet, Secretary Darin effectively called the meeting to a conclusion as he offered a hand in the direction of the Cardassian woman. “I appreciate you bringing this to our attention,” the Benzite nodded respectfully, “we will do all we can to bring this man to justice.”



Secretary of Intergalactic Affairs, Secretary Darin
Federation Attorney General, Phillipa Louvois
Starfleet CinC, Fleet Admiral Kirsten Clancy
Starfleet Intelligence Director, Admiral T’Lara
Director of the Cardassian Justice Commission, Gora Lakan
Cardassian Assembly Envoy, Assembly Member Prida Rala

 

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