U.S.S. Charon - NCC-80111-A
“Diplomatic Dilemma – Part 1”
The hour was late. Lamont found himself standing in the ship's lounge unable to sleep. The lounge was empty with the exception of a few staff cleaning the lounge in preparation for another day. The events of the day weighed heavily upon him while a restless mind attempted to come to terms with the responsibilities that had been forced upon him.
Lamont's early morning communications with Ambassador Lennox had left him with a terrible weight he was unsure he could carry. Like the Greek Titan Atlas forced to carry the world on his shoulders for eternity, it felt as if the sum of galactic affairs rested with him.
Standing before the tall, deck length windows in the lounge Lamont quietly looked out at billions of stars. The serene starfield was calming and allowed him to quietly focus on his thoughts, emotions, and impulses that quietly waged a silent war with one another.
He had no idea how he was supposed to maintain peace when the entire galaxy seemed hellbent on rushing headlong into the fires of conflict. The fickle winds of change could shift direction so easily.
"Excuse me", an attendant said breaking Lamont from his introspective thoughts.
"We need to clean the area sir, there was a bit of an accident earlier", the crewman indicated pointing to the floor.
Lamont looked down and noticed a nearby red stain on the carpet. "Nothing serious I hope", he remarked wondering if the dark reddish color was perhaps blood?
The attendant noticed the ambassadors concern. "Nothing dramatic. It's just a spilled beverage. Some new crewman, fresh off the truck, had a bit of an argument with the captain.
Needless to say he lost the argument and is probably contemplating his mistake in the brig."
"Indeed", Lamont answered eyeing the stain.
"Scuttlebutt is he is the Captain's new yeoman. Quite the rocky start wouldn't you say?"
"Perhaps. The captain is a complicated individual. Not everyone responds well to her unique style of command."
Lamont moved out of the way as a cleaning machine was brought in. "I'll leave you to your work. Good Evening." Leaving the lounge Lamont headed home to try his hand again at finding sleep.
== Two Hours Later ==
Sleep for the ambassador did not come. Despite warm tea, meditation, and three chapters of an unfinished book he could not seem to quiet his racing mind. Taking another approach, Lamont set to work catching up on paperwork, filing reports, reading up on current diplomatic issues, and reviewing his Romulan diction.
Eventually he exhausted work possibilities without quieting or tiring his mind. He then set about aimlessly browsing the news and topics of interest in a vain attempt to further exhaust himself. As his mind jumped from topic to topic, he suddenly remembered the odd conversation in the lounge from earlier in the evening. Bringing up personnel records, Lamont quickly found the file on a one, Andrus Morganth.
Indeed the young man was the Captain's assigned yeoman. There was little else of any interest in the crewman's file other than a perchance for trouble. Why Starfleet had assigned him to the Charon was a mystery. Perhaps they felt Captain Rehu and her unique brand of discipline might straighten the kid out. Who knew? Lamont was about to close the file when his eyes grazed across one tiny detail. The boy was betazoid and appeared to be fully telepathic.
Suddenly, Lamont's tired, but agile mind, halted for a moment as tiny kernel of thought materialized, took root, and sprouted in his fertile imagination. This crewman had access to the captain on a daily basis. Not only would he be fully versed on the captain's agenda, activities, and whereabouts, but perhaps he could gain more valuable information directly from the source. The yeoman could act as a sort of early warning detection system. If Rehu was unable to maintain her objectivity and proceeded to avenge her family in a way that jeopardized an already fragile and crumbling peace he could at least obtain some measure of warning instead of being left to salvage a desperate situation.
Lamont quickly shutoff his terminal horrified at the idea that had taken root. Such a thing was out of the question. Not only was it illegal and unethical, it went against his own core beliefs. And yet, he could not dismiss the tiny thought as much as he tried. The harder he attempted to refocus his thoughts the more forcefully the thought seemed to intrude back into his consciousness. For a time he paced his quarters trying to forget the horrific idea. He listened to several works by Mozart and Bach attempting to relax and fall asleep. He drank yet another cup of warm tea. No matter his method he seemed unable to find peace.
== Sometime Later - Holodeck ==
Ian angrily pounded a heavy, red punching bag which hung in a simple gym simulation. He was determined to exhaust himself in both mind and body if that was what it took to slip into the peaceful realm of sleep. Angry at his inability to put his mind at ease he continue to pound the bag at a ferocious pace as sweat ran down his naked upper body. He focused on the forbidden thought he desperately wished to forget channeling his anger into the bag mentally attacking the thought in a vain attempt to destroy it. After several minutes of heavy exertion, Lamont finally stopped his chest heaving as he gasped for breath.
How did he end up in these impossible situations? What deity had he upset in this life to deserve such punishment? The weight of his responsibilities felt as if it was slowly crushing him minute by minute. How did the corps expect one man, considered a junior ambassador, to salvage an intergalactic crisis single handed with no authority and little jurisdiction? If they were unable to locate Ambassador Spock, then what then? They had placed him in an impossible situation where his life and future hung in the balance. If he failed he would be personally ruined without a future and with few prospects. Starfleet would likely also be unwilling to reassign such damaged goods. His career, his life, his future would be at an end as was his family line and the duty entrusted to him by his father to restore the family's honor.
He could not fail. There was too much a stake both professionally and personally.
Leaning up against a wall, Lamont slowly slid down its hard surface to the floor burying his head in his hands seeing no positive way forward through the dark clouds in his path. The image of Crewman Morganth again popped into his mind. If he could use the yeoman, then perhaps he could obtain some measure of control over an already impossible situation. The stakes were immense. The needs of the many, in this case the onset of a potential war, outweighed the needs of the one or the few. If Rehu found out, if the yeoman talked, if any number of events played out badly, it was very likely Rehu would turn her vengeance upon him and for such an offense the price could be his life. Death would be welcomed opposed to the future that awaited him should he fail.
Wrestling with such profound problems, Lamont's weary body wracked by fatigue, emotions, and a growing sense of anxiety finally capitulated to the unyielding forces of nature as the ambassador slipped into an uneasy slumber propped up against the cold, wall of the holographic gym.
Ambassaor Ian Lamont
Diplomatic Advisor, USS Charon