U.S.S. Charon - NCC-80111-A
“Diplomatic Dilemma – Part 2”
== USS Charon - Brig ==
Lamont entered the brig with an upset stomach and a mild headache. He had debated himself for three hours searching for alternatives, playing devil's advocate, attempting to rationalize once decision over the other - in the end it had brought him nothing but chaos. He had to make a decision and he had made it as despicable as it was. It was unlikely he could ever forgive himself for what he was about to undertake, but in the interests of galactic peace he was willing to sell his ethics if it prevented a war. It was a small price to pay given the immense gravity of the situation.
"Oh, Ambassador", the duty officer exclaimed with a smile. "Back again are we? What did you say to the Queen of Hearts this time? Should I prepare your usual cell?"
Lamont gave the security guard a sour glance. "No. I'm not staying...this time", he sarcastically replied. "I came to see Crewman Morganth."
"What do you want with that punk?"
Lamont's eyebrow shot up at the comment, but he continued.
"I was informed he wished to see me. I am here as requested."
"He requested to see you", the officer laughed. "Whatever for? He needs a good JAG officer to save his skin, not an older version of himself."
"Did I ask for your legal interpretation lieutenant. No. I do not believe I did. I would like to speak with the crewman about whatever it is he wishes to speak about. And, I will do so in private given the privileges afforded to me, by my rank and position. Is that clear lieutenant?"
"Look Ambassador, he's a punk kid who needs a year or two in the stockade. You're wasting your time."
"Perhaps, but unlike you, my duties demand that I listen to all sides and all points of view. It is not my job to take sides or render decisions. I only mediate, advise, and facilitate specific outcomes.
"Fine. I need a break anyway. You have ten minutes. Just watch yourself. He's quite violent. I'm sure you'll notice the blood on the walls. Still interested?"
Lamont glared at the man.
"Cell three. You know the drill. Ten minutes, oh, sir."
Lamont approached the forcefield and looked onto a young man who appeared as if he had not heard the conversation that was easily overheard. Lamont knew the man had heard them. In fact it was paramount that he had heard.
With practiced ease, Lamont began several mental exercises in his mind. The technique had been drilled into him by various security entities over the years to help defend against empaths and telepaths who could easily derail or ruin sensitive negotiations. He was reasonably well protected having had much experience defending himself from both practice and real telepathic intrusion attempts. Still, the encounter would serve two purposes. He needed to know how good the betazoid was at listening to others. Yes the race had its ethics, but in the crewman's case he was confident that such things could be set aside given the proper motivation.
Keeping his intentions and his knowledge of certain events was vital. He couldn't let the yeoman discover his true intentions. He was already sickened enough at what he was about to do - manipulate a subordinate, and spy on a superior in the worst way.
Rehu had left him with little choice. He could not predict what she may do or where her loyalties may lie. She was a passionate Romulan. If she was on a quest for revenge and it somehow bled into their mission compromising diplomatic efforts he had to act in the interests of the Federation, even if it ripped him apart from the inside out.
The field disappeared and Lamont stepped inside the cell only to have the field reactivate behind him with its telltale hum. He watched for the guard to leave and when he had, he turned his full attention to the matter at hand.
"Crewman Morganth. I am Ambassador Ian Lamont. I am the ship's diplomatic advisor and Federation representative. May I have a brief word with you?"
Andrus looked at the man, by his general appearance Andrus knew the man grew up in a high society living. “I did not request to see you your highness. Nor do I know you. Why would I want to talk with you?” he shifted in the bed bringing himself to a seated position. “Besides, I have more important matters to deal with.” He began to drum his fingers on the bed mattress. “Your Serene Highness.” He added with a half grin. He noticed that his shirt had ridden up and quickly pulled it down to hide the scars.
‘What can this prat want with me?’ Andrus asked himself. He sent a gently nudge towards the Ambassador to try to figure out why he was there but was encountered with mental barriers. The nudge was soft enough that the only species to have felt it would have been those with empathic or telepathic abilities.
Lamont felt a subtle, but peculiar feeling. The crewman had indeed attempted to reach out with his mind. He was no expert in telepathy given the fact he had only recently discovered latent abilities that were still in their infancy. Although he was could not explain how, the Vulcan monks had confirmed he had Vulcan blood in his veins. He had the gift which he had been told had always been present, but had only manifested itself in recent months.
He was faced with yet another decision and decided to take yet another risk. Lowering his mental defense for a brief moment, Lamont concentrated on the young man and attempted to send a reply. He knew he had been successful when he saw a subtle look of surprise and a dilation of the man’s pupils. The point was made that the crewman was not the only telepath in the room. That alone should get the man’s attention.
Although Lamont had no formal mental training and could not easily control or even use his extremely limited talents, this crewman did not know that. For now, the appearance of a telepath would be enough. He didn’t need to read his mind. Lamont was well skilled in reading people, their expressions, mannerisms, voices, breathing, and other actions and reactions. For him, there was a certain joy to be had in solving tiny puzzles about a person by using only quiet observation. Telepaths instantly knew the answer – they didn’t have to work at it and thus cheated in his mind in a game which required many skills to be successful.
Andrus stopped drumming his fingers when he felt the weak push from Lamont, he began to flex his hand forming it into a fist and flat again. “So your Serene Highness manipulates others into what you want? Of course that is what you meant when you told that baboon that you, and I quote, ‘I only mediate, advise, and facilitate specific outcomes,’ do not for a second think you can manipulate me. I will have you on your stomach wishing you had never come to see me.” Andrus realized that the Ambassador wasn’t leaving rather quickly just by his stance. ‘Might as well have some fun with this one,’ he thought to himself.
“Manipulate is a strong word”, Lamont replied. “I will not stand here and deny it has not and does not occur, but my job does require me to seek specific outcomes when in negotiations. Manipulation, I suppose is one tool of many. I prefer to find common ground rather than attempt to force people into actions they would not otherwise take. However, you needn’t worry. My job aboard this ship is to represent the Federation and provide advice in diplomatic matters. The Charon is seldom involved in any negotiations.”
The boy was a hot head. How on earth he was still in uniform escaped Lamont. No wonder Rehu had sent him here. He was lucky he had a brig cell and hadn’t been stuffed into an airlock and flushed.
“You seem to have a talent at upsetting those around you crewman. Call me what you wish, but it will ill serve you. I overheard you had stood up to the evil Queen of Hearts earlier today in the lounge and had been punished as a result. Naturally I was curious to finally meet someone aboard who actually has the spine to stand up to that woman. You see, I have a history with the captain as well. We do not get along. I too have spent many days locked in this exact cell for opposing the captain when I felt she was wrong. Everyone else aboard this ship simply cowers in her presence.
If you would indulge my curiosity, may I ask what transpired between the captain and yourself that resulted in you landing here?”
“Ill serve me? My my his Serene Highness is attempting to use his regal powers on me. The Queen of Hearts is far from evil. She is as humans say, ‘The Devil Incarnate’.” He stated clearly, “What makes you think I care about whether or not you have spent time in this cell? Why attempt to buddy up to me?” He asked Lamont. “As I stated before, attempt to manipulate me and you will realize just how I get when someone attempts to use me for their own personal gain!” He reminded the Ambassador. “This isn’t the first cell I have been in, I highly doubt it will be the last. Though it gets even more intriguing that my new nick name for that Romulan to’ba is already in use. Seems I have already made an impression on this crew.” He said showing pleasure. “Maybe she will learn to have some common courtesy instead of treating her crew like slaves. The veruul is worn out and is not worthy of the Starfleet uniform she wears let alone those four pips that grace her atean bhhaes.” He moved his legs over to the edge of the bed as a precaution, “But still, why should I indulge his Serene Highnesses curiosity?” ‘What do you want?’ he asked his first portion verbally and his second question he sent telepathically.
Lamont swallowed his contempt for this person. The boy was undisciplined, aggressive, offensive, and lacking in common courtesy. Indeed he was a spoiled punk, but he was a punk he needed.
Crewman Andrus Morganth
Ambassaor Ian Lamont
Diplomatic Advisor, USS Charon