Posted Jan. 21, 2023, 10:44 p.m. by Civilian Jeannette Mathis (Federation Ambassador) (Lindsay B)
Jeanette had left Eela and Dash at the Quill & Parchment and simply wandered. For the moment, other than the security detail in close proximity, she was just another person on the colony. No one knew she was here yet and she used that advantage to just absorb the energy of Oed V and get to know the nuance of its ebbs and flows. There was a rhythm to the comings and goings at Sloane Square, the way people gathered for work breaks on this busy workday. Shops and establishments had their rushes based entirely on what they offered and when people were inclined to seek them out.
She noticed the different sorts of groups that gathered and took note of the streets and alleys that deviated from the general tidiness of the main areas of the colony. Areas she would not be able to venture but understood their often necessary presence. A world that was too pristine often was false and lacked the depth that a large number of disparate peoples gathered evoked. Oed was a place of struggle turned into something lovely. A place of resilience and hard work, of quiet corners of contemplation and cautious hope.
Hours later when she returned to the office that Eela had secured for them, she was surprised to find Dash had done quite a bit to get things organized. All she needed was a computer to work on the draft statement, but it was nice to see the potential of what the space could become, even if it was likely temporary. As much as she knew a permanent embassy on Oed was the goal, she would not be so presumptuous. No, until it was certain the people of Oed were okay with this path forward, she would move as slowly as the situation with the Vren would allow.
An hour later and many deletions, paragraph rewrites, and Jones quietly refilling her water and coffee, Mathis had a finished draft. She leaned back in the large desk chair and sighed. She hoped it was at least passable. She expected changes but it would be a bit of an ego-hit for the experienced diplomat if she couldn’t even draft a partially useable statement. Still, this situation was so far outside her norm that she, just like everyone else, was scrambling. It was decidedly uncomfortable, but at least she was in the same boat.
“Yeah?” Jones said, poking his head in. “Done?”
Jeanette held out a padd and sighed. “Full honesty and don’t spare my feelings.”
He took it and and leaned against the wall near her and read, nodding now and again. Finally he looked up and smiled. “It’s pretty good, Jean. I don’t know what you’re so worried about.”
“I’m worried about whether Hyrushi and Dasca will want to chuck me out a window,” she said dryly.
Dashiel shook his head. “Nah. Well, I can’t speak for the Governor, but Eela knows us better and understands our intentions. She knows we’re not the enemy.”
She could barely contain her amusement. “Eela, is it?”
“Hush you,” Jones said with an entirely neutral expression.
“Mmhmmm,” Jeanette said, eyeing her attaché with a knowing look.
“I would never use her first name in a formal setting.”
“Of course not,” Mathis said, nodding sagely, though her eyes were still lit up.
“Going now. Send it to them and I wish us luck.”
Jeanette chuckled before reading through the draft again, changed one word, and then sent a secured message :
To: Governor B’tren-Hyrushi, Kenzo; Lieutenant Governor Dasca, Eela
From: Ambassador Mathis, Jeanette
Subject: Rough Statement Draft [PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL]
As discussed, attached is a very rough draft of the public statement I would make to Oed V. My hope is that even if the words are not quite right, the tone is what we want it to be. I appreciate any feedback from either of you, even if it’s negative. Anything is useful as we all want these next steps to go smoothly.
Citizens of Oed V, I am Ambassador Jeanette Mathis. I come to you here on behalf of the Federation to bring light to an urgent situation that has developed and one this colony is uniquely positioned to aide with.
We have made contact with a people who have in the past acted as and been seen as an enemy. But things on their world have changed in recent years and they are motivated towards peaceful existence with others. They also come to us with a plea for help. You see, a major disaster is underway that is affecting their environment. If nothing is done to prevent it, they as a species will not be able to survive. Already the nurseries that raise their young are being affected.
It is not the first time Federation member worlds have stepped in to help, and in this case the Federation Science Council is beginning to gather experts in their fields and our hope is that we can prevent future suffering. But this situation is a delicate one and involves all of you, as you are their nearest neighbour. And yes, I am in fact speaking of the Vren.
In the past they have been responsible for chaos and destruction on this world and the loss of lives. They have acknowledged their actions have caused harm and are regretful. They wish to demonstrate their remorse through an important ritual that is their tradition in the hope that the people of Oed would allow them to conduct these diplomatic overtures here in the Oed system. Given that Oed is the nearest Federation world and its science community is exceptional, the Federation cannot argue against the logic of holding diplomatic talks here in our own territory.
I’m going to be upfront and say that I have not been affected by the past events involving the Vren and I do not underestimate the pain they have caused. It would be entirely reasonable to say no to them. But that is not our way. So much of the Federation has been built through moments of courage, moments that test us. There will be those that say Oed isn’t up to the challenge, that it is too much to ask. Perhaps they are right. It is a lot to ask.
But I stand here today tasked with a mission to forge peace. It is not the first time I have done so, but there are many variables here that are unique to this place and I am taking every opportunity I can to get to know and understand those variables.
I do believe we can help the Vren, that saying a cautious yes could yield a future for both places that is positive. I can see a future where the pain of the past has fuelled a productive relationship, if not friendship. Ambassador Kek of the Vren is a bright and optimistic individual from his world, a product of a generation that do not believe in the old ways of violence. On the world of Alpha Oradiz IV, a place that the Vren call Tutsikara, things have been changing quickly. They are courageously stepping out of old ways of thinking to try to craft a future that is very different than one they have known before. But that future will die if they can’t figure out how to save their planet. And I am here to ask you to take a chance on that bright future. For you, for them. The history between this colony and the Federation has been at times fraught with misunderstanding of the needs of this place. I am here to listen to both sides and maybe altogether we’ll find the right path forward.
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