Officer's Mess - Getting To Know You... And You (Tag XO, Diplomatic Attaché)

Posted Feb. 20, 2024, 1:42 p.m. by Commander Shedda Mal'athar (Executive Officer) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Fleet Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in Officer’s Mess - Getting To Know You… And You (Tag XO, Diplomatic Attaché)

Posted by Civilian Char’les Harv (Officer’s Mess Chef) in Officer’s Mess - Getting To Know You… And You (Tag XO, Diplomatic Attaché)

Posted by Civilian Bezre Myrh (Diplomatic Attaché) in Officer’s Mess - Getting To Know You… And You (Tag XO, Diplomatic Attaché)
Posted by… suppressed (23) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Cochrane walked into the Mess at 1650, ten minutes before the dinner with the XO and the new diplomat and their aide. He walked over to the kitchen doors and said “Harv! Did the new attaché’s aide give you their dietary needs?” A gruff voice sounded from the kitchen and said “Yeah yeah yeah. You can unclench now. I got it.” Cochrane shook his head and grinned. “Thank you, Chef.” he said and the made his way towards the back of the dining area.

A table had been set for four and water glasses sat filled on the table. Cochrane, wearing a pair of black slacks with a deep red, button down shirt took a seat at the chair furthest from and facing the door.

Cochrane, CO

Shedda arrived just a moment later and moved to the back table. She was wearing wide legged, dark gray pants with a lilac blouse that was cut wide enough to give a hint of collar bone, and a hem that flared along her hips. Her hair was out of it’s typical bun in a delicate Avarian braid, and it reached well past her shoulders.

“Good evening, Captain.” She took a seat at the table, next to Cochran, where she still had a view of the room without having her back to the wall.

Mal’athar, XO

Bezre and their aide arrived fashionably late which wasn’t late by any rude standard, but neither could it be called punctual. For a brief moment, when the doors slid open to allowed them, it was possible to catch a cold and stormy look on Bezre’s face. The expression seemed to melt away as they turned away from the impassive Serras and stepped into the room. Dressed in a shimmering purple leotard and knee-length black boots, their body was covered by layers of gauzy white fabric that wrapped around them like delicate flower petals. A silver scarf wrapped around their head and neck, the ends folded into a neat bow at the side of the neck. Serras wore a sharp black and tan suit in the popular fashion found at many Federation gatherings.

Cochrane shot a glance at the XO that said Did you catch that too? as he stood and greeted the pair of new arrivals. “Good evening. Please. Sit.”and he gestured to the chairs opposite himself and the XO.

Shedda’s head nodded slightly returning the look. She had. She stood next as Cochrane did and greeted Bezre and her aide.

“Captain Cochrane and Commander Mal’athar, please excuse our tardiness, my student seemed to have misplaced his good suit and did not realize until it was time to get ready.” Bezre breezed into the room and took their seat at the table. Serras not to far behind, a subtle smirk playing at the corners of his otherwise expressionless face. Bezre was fond of calling him their student when displeased with him.

Bezre Myrh, Diplomatic Attaché (And Serras)

Cochrane waved off the explanation. “Barely noticeable. I and the Commandet just arrived ourselves.”He looked at the aide to Myrh and said “Mr. Serras. A pleasure to meet you. Welcome to the Manhattan.”

Cochrane, CO

Shedda caught the by-play between the two as well as she resumed her seat. Curious. “It is a pleasure, Mr. Serras. It’s good to see the Federation realizing that the attache isn’t just an aide to Ambassador S’Tek, but they need an aide of their own. It is a monumental job you have both taken on. I hope your accommodations are acceptable.”

Mal’athar, XO

Serras inclined his head in greeting, “Thank you for the welcome, Captain, and thank you for the dinner invitation,” He slid gracefully into his seat beside Bezre. In almost every way he seemed to be Bezre’s opposite, the differences all the more stark when compared side by side. He tall and broad shouldered with sharp, angular facial features and an aura of calm control. Serras repressed his emotions as a Vulcan would, letting them flicker across his face the way a snake would flick its tongue to taste the air and hunt for prey. “More than acceptable, Commander. To be perfectly honest I would have been comfortable anywhere, even a storage closet. And I am very grateful to the Federation for that myself. Miss Bezre took a great risk taking me on as their aide and student.”

Shedda thought saying he would be comfortable in a storage closet was laying it on a bit thick, but she didn’t know the man’s history, so it could very well be true. She simply inclined her head in acknowledgement. She was equally curious about this supposed risk.

At the mention of risk, Cochrane cocked his head slightly to the side. “Oh really? Do tell.” he said with a slight smile.

Bezre shook their head, “He’s being dramatic, there were no risks involved. The truth is that I saw his potential as a diplomat and did not wish to see that talent squandered. Serras has a gift for organization and efficiency that I am jealous of.”

Serras smiled, showing teeth, “Miss Bezre brags about my supposed talents far too much. I simply give voice to my thoughts, no matter how unconventional.” Beside him, Bezre tensed before forcing a laugh.

“My student is still learning tact,” They said, “Please be patient with him.”

Bezre Myrh, Diplomatic Attaché (And Serras)

“Patience we have, but I haven’t seen much call to exercise that yet.” Cochrane said. “So tell me, Mr. Serras. How did you come to be in the employ of the Federation Diplomatic Corps?”

Cochrane, CO

Mal’athar, XO

“An easy question,” Serras folded his hands together and leaned forward, as thought talking with good friends, “I have always been fascinated by the mechancis of government. Our lives feel so seemless and carefree, often ignorant of the many gears and moving pieces that come together in harmony to form the backbone of our day to day lives. My first experiances within government began on Vulcan. The Agricultural department, as humble a begining as any could imagine, but I gradually worked my way up until I was a statician for the Department of Information Dissemination. News and such, the things that inform the people of going-ons of the world and Universe around them.”

“Were you part of the reunification movement, Mr Serras?” Mal’athar asked. Her anthropology background was quite curious about the split of their peoples and how they were reconnecting again. It was a fascinating subject to keep apprised of.

Mal’athar, XO

“Me? Oh no, I’ve have had no part of that movement,” Serras said, shaking his head adamantly. “Now, it is a very interesting and important movement but one that never interested me personally. I wish all those involved luck the Vulcan and Romulan people are very different.” Too different in Serras’ opinion. He ignored the questioning look Bezre sent his way before they spoke again. Blessedly bringing the topic away from Reunification.

Bezre inclined their head in thought, “You were a part of the committee that analyzed and reported on the data of criminal activity and crime within the sector, correct?” Serras was quite skilled at reading and understanding raw data and calculating statistics and likelihoods of events. His committee received data from Vulcan and Federation authorities and repackaged it for public consumption.

Bezre Myrh, Diplomatic Attaché (And Serras)

Cochrane nodded in appreciation. “That shows a solid career trajectory. Well done.” He took a drink of water and then looked at both of the diplomats. “So how did you both wind up in the Delta Quadrant? I know the Ambassador on Event Horizon Station pretty well… he doesn’t let just anyone fill this role.”

Cochrane, CO

“Both of us have achieved many accomplishments in our time serving the Federation Diplomatic corps,” Bezre stated, “I was an attache to the Trill representatives of the Federation Council. Later, after being joined with the Myrh symbiont I was offered a place among the Council’s diplomatic delegation. There I was apart of many diplomatic missions and even once served as a special envoy on behalf of the Federation at the Amaxar V negotiations.” A very tense negotiation surrounding the unlawful sale of arms of mass destruction. Bezre succeeded and was awared a metal of peace for that mission.

Serras added, “My acheivements are quite minor compared to Bezre’s, nothing that ever earned me reward but I have served dutifully for many years with a specalization in criminal law and policy and statistics. Before Bezre took me in I had served as an aide to several Federation prosecutors. My job was to advise them on interplanetary conflicts in laws and regulations.”

Bezre Myrh, Diplomatic Attaché (And Serras)

Cochrane nodded in appreciation. “Quite the pedigree, I must say. Although I do hope that we do not have need to make use of your criminal law experience.” and he chuckled. So tell us… what do you you both see as the largest gap in our diplomatic capabilities?” Cochrane had his own ideas, but wanted to get their expert perspective.

Cochrane, CO

“You would be hoping in vain,” Serras commented dryly, “There’s no escaping criminal law. It is annoyingly everywhere like an overfed tribble.”

Bezre rolled their eyes, though their expression suggested they were used to such theatrics. It was also typical of the man to ignore the actual question brought forth. “I see two points of weakness. Firstly, though Serras and I are both seasoned diplomats, all our experiences are within the Alpha and Beta quadrants. Where we are familiar with both Federation rules and those of our neighboring powers. Any time a ship travels beyond the boundaries of known space and engages in quests of First Contact there will be new and unprecedented challenges. A diplomat must be able to think on their feet and trust their instincts. Something Serras and I trained for but not you or other members of your crew. There are only two of us so we must be vigilant if we are to keep a large crew safe-“

“And not blunder into diplomatic incidents,” Serras cut in, “At least none we cannot talk our way out of.”

Though annoyed by the interuption they nodded in agreement, “I would not have put it so bluntly but essentially correct. The larger the crew the more work for the diplomats.”

Bezre Myrh, Diplomatic Attaché (And Serras)

If Cochrane was telepathic, he would have felt Shedda’s sarcastic amusement at Bezre’s ‘assessment’. However she was far too well trained to let it show on her face or body language. She briefly wondered if Bezre and Serras were attempting to see how she and Cochrane handled rude people.

“Ambassador S’Tek has made promising contacts with several species here in the Delta quadrant. Our library has extensive files on them all. Our previous diplomat, Lady McKenzie, did tremendous work in bringing those files up to date on the cultures and individuals. I am sure you will find them worth the study.”

Bezre looked to Serras who smiled benignly, “Yes, I am familiar with those files. Since you’ve been so busy meeting with the captain and the Chief Medical Officer and ensuring our quarters are to your precise arrangements I took the liberty of compiling them into a datarod in order of relevance. They’re re waiting on your private console.” His amusement was palpable. He was all too pleased to see his teacher blunder into an awkward situation. If they had spent less time fussing with quarters and pointless anxieties perhaps they would have saved themselves the embarrassment.

Shedda’s brows went up in approval. She appreciated the work that Serras had put in to helping their ambassador prepare for her duties here on the Manhattan.

Cochrane smiled knowingly over the rim of his cup at the assessment the diplomat had made. He set the cup down and said “I am not quite sure I would agree with your… ‘understanding’… of our diplomatic capabilities. The Commander here is an expert in Anthropology and Archeology, and has had to participate in many culturally sensitive negotiations with a myriad of species and governments. Our crew is composed of both Star Fleet and civilian personnel representing over a hundred different species, some from this very quadrant, and have become very adept at interculturalal exchanges and discussions. I myself have spent a great deal of time studying and receiving formal training in cross-cultural dialogue and diplomacy; and I have been a part of two first contact diplomatic missions which are viewed as having been highly successful… and one of the main reasons I was selected for this very post.” He took a sip of his coffee and then said “But I’m sure you would come across that information eventually.” and he gave the pair of diplomats a small smile.

Bezre straightened in their seat, diplomatic smile in place, “Then I commend you and your crew as the stunning example of Federation Ideals and practice. Expanding our understanding of people and cultures beyond our own is always at the forefront of our thoughts as we venture further into the Delta Quadrant. I apologize if my assessment seemed brusque and sententious. I meant no insult. As a diplomat we are trained not only in proper procedure but also educated in history of intergalactic relations. Even the most well-trained and culturally competent crew can find themselves inciting unprecedented hostilities for the most innocuous of actions. Especially as the Manhattan continues to explore past Federation known boundaries. Diplomacy is an ever evolving thing and there is always something new to learn. It is my fervent hope that Serras and I are able to expand upon the already impressive foundation that you and our predecessors have set.”

Serras hummed in agreement, though his gaze was directed towards the captain and the commander. What did they think?

Shedda lifted her coffee and drank. “And what do you see as the second point of weakness?”

Cmdr. Mal’athar, Executive Officer

Cochrane, CO

“This is not so much a point of weakness for the Manhattan herself, but a weakness within the Federation that I have observed for myself across many lifetimes. I have witnessed two hundred years of Federation history. Two hundred years of exploration and conflict. The Federation’s goals are admirable and I believe in them wholeheartedly, but the underlying foundation is not enough to sustain the ambition driving our exploration. We strive to expand, often without considering what we leave behind. With every conflict, whether it be the Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, Borg or- or the Dominion, each exploited a new weakness within us. The Manhattan lies at the heart of another Quadrant cut off from the rest of the universe by a wormhole. There may come a time where we must make difficult choices. Times when we must pick between our values or the lives of innocents caught between battles far beyond their control. “

Bezre Myrh Diplomatic Attaché

Shedda drank from her cup before setting it down. “You are not wrong that there are weaknesses within us. I will say that is not unique to the Federation, but to every civilization at some point in its timeline. Luckily, we are here to make friends, not claim territory or expand our borders. That is not our mission. So tell me, in these times when we must pick between our values and lives, what do you see as your role?”

Cmdr. Mal’athar, XO

“Good thing that too, but life and the universe itself can never be fully predicted. As you said, weakness is not unique to the Federation. Many peoples out there have weaknesses and they may deem us a threat despite any good intentions,” Bezre glanced away for a moment, lost in recollections that seemed to dance tauntingly before their eyes. They pulled back with a not quite smile, “My role, and Serras’ role, is to communicate clearly and effectively. To build trust and mutual understanding between us and the other people who call this quadrant home. The foundation is there, a solid one, and we shall build upon it.”

Myrh Diplomatic Attaché

“All the while keeping in mind that we are the guests and tourists, of course.” Cochrane said with a smile.

“Of course,” Bezre returned. Beside them the corner of Serras’ lips quirked into a pleased smile. This dinner has proved to be very entertaining and all before the main course had been set. On Romulus the quests would have waited until after the main meal before broaching these work topics. Hopefully the rest of the meal won’t pass by with painful small talk.

“What are your immediate diplomatic plans?” the Commander asked.

Cmdr. Mal’athar, XO

Cochrane, CO

“To review the previous diplomat’s work and to begin introductions to our connected groups and powers and establish myself as the new diplomatic face of the Manhattan. For now Serras will be directed towards wrapping up my work in the Alpha quadrant.” Busy work and a fitting punishment for attempting to make them look bad before the Captain and XO.

Bezre Myrh Diplomatic Attaché (and Serras)

A Bajoran man came out of the kitchen pushing a wooden rolling cart. He came to the table and stopped, setting fresh baked bread and bowls of some kind of soup on the table before each diner. “Hey, Skipper.” he said to Cochrane. He looked at Bezre and Serras. “You two must be the new diplomats. Welcome. I’m Harv, shop’s chef.” He looked at Shedda and said “Hey, Commander. Good to see you.”

Harv, Chef

Cochrane smiled knowingly at the chef’s approach. “Chef, nice to see you.” He looked at the two diplomats and said “We are very fortunate to have Chef Harv on board. Not only is he an amazing culinary artist; but he is extremely knowledgeable in how to prepare dishes for an extensive number of species and specialized dietary needs.”

Cochrane, CO

Shedda looked at the sound of the kitchen doors opening. Harv’s bread was the first thing Shedda would rave about. It was always fresh and perfectly cooked. She looked up at him, “Hello, Chef. To see you as well. How is the oven?” Shedda glanced briefly at the bowl. Harv was known for his seafood chowder. “Harv is an excellent cook, it’s almost uncanny how his meals can remind you of home.”

Cmdr. Mal’athar, XO

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