U.S.S. Charon - NCC-80111-A
“Diplomatic Dilemma – Part 4”
== USS Charon - Brig ==
For once someone was right. He lowered his arms, “They were self done.” He commented in regards to the scars. “If you tell another soul your Serene Highness...” he stated before quickly changing the subject, “convince the veruul to let me out. We may be able to work out a deal, but I do things my way. You want the information, you get it my way. If I am caught, you take full blame. I want her to realize she is fragile. I will not go against my peoples’ heritage. I will not probe her mind! That goes against all ethical and moral teachings. Is that clear?” Andrus asked testing to see just how much leeway the Ambassador would give him.
Lamont pondered the change in the crewman’s tone and attitude. “Very well Crewman Morganth. I will agree to your terms however you will take no actions without clearing it with me first. In this game there is no room for mistakes or second chances. Is that perfectly clear?”
“I don’t make mistakes Your Serene Highness,” Andrus stated eyeing the Ambassador.
“Then I believe we have an agreement.” Lamont held out his hand to confirm the deal. At the last moment he withdrew his hand.
Andrus watched as Lamont’s hand came out, and placed his hands behind his back. “We may have an agreement, but do not ever try to touch me again. No one, I repeat, no one touches me. Yet you withdrew, what else do you have to say?” He asked waiting to hear Lamont’s additional comments.
“Your first job will be to profusely apologize to the captain. A harsh task to be sure, but I’m sure you can do it. Your acting skills are superb. Without a seemingly genuine apology I do not believe my influence will be enough to garner your freedom. I would blame your recent behavior on a stressful event or relationship without providing too much detail. You want her to accept the apology and forget about you without a second thought so you can resume you duties. And I am sure she will test your loyalty, she is quite fond of doing that. You will simply have to swallow your pride and put up with her requests and temper no matter how poorly she treats you. If you can do that then we have an agreement. What say you crewman?”
“Apologize to her for what? Being right? I will not apologize for being right! If you hold as much sway as you claim to you will figure out a way to obtain my freedom. You want my help, you have to give me what I want in return. Nor will I acquiesce to her demands of me that are below or are not part of my job description. Nor will I promise that I will not end up here again. I told you, you will not manipulate me for your own reason. We do this my way or no way at all. Those are the terms. You make the choice.” He gave the Ambassador the ultimatum again.
Lamont laughed. “Crewman, how do you expect to deal with her on a daily basis if you cannot apologize? She will undoubtedly test you again in a similar fashion. What will you do then? Will you refuse? Will you again shoot your mouth off? Will you just end up in the brig again? Will we be forced to have this conversation again? Like any business crewman you will have to put a certain amount of effort into this endeavor to gain any results. Payback does not come without a price. Neither does your freedom. I am sorry, but there is a fee if you want to play this game. The captain will test your nerves, resolve, and toughness. You must bow to her every need like any yeoman if you are to remain quietly above suspicion. Consider it a test of wills. Yours against hers. She will try to break you. So long as you play the part of the docile dog you have little to fear. Confronting her will only land you back here. If you cannot perform your duties then you are of no use to anyone.
If you are unable to control yourself in her presence and play the good, little yeoman, then perhaps I have misjudged your character. I would suspect with those wounds you have endured things far more painful than the captain’s sharp tongue, but perhaps I was mistaken.” Lamont turned to leave and signal for the guard.
“I told you I would do things my way, I will not be ordered to apologize. If you want my help, you know what you must do. I will not bow to her every need. I am not a man-slave, Serene Highness. Nor does she fancy having a ‘mind reader’ around her. I will however attempt to ‘bite’ my tongue as it were in her presence. She believes she has won by placing me in this cell, she hasn’t. You want my help, get me out of here. I will make her believe she has won. But I cannot hold a promise that I won’t end up here again. She will have to eventually let me perform my duties. Otherwise Starfleet will become suspicious as to why I am not reporting in.” Andrus was getting tired of the attempt of manipulation, as he saw it and felt the uncontrollable urge to hit something, his fists balled up, and his teeth clenched tightly together. “I have endured more pain than that veruul ever will. Physical pain. I have sent people to the infirmary, I have put people in a coma. Do not for a second think that I can’t handle her harsh words. It is she who cannot handle the truth, and as a yeoman. It is my place to present her with the facts. I too am an astute observer, when I choose to be.” he unclenched his teeth, and slowly unballed his fists, “I will deal with that veruul, but I will not be treated as dirt beneath her feet, for seventeen years I was treated that way. I am not about to let her treat me the same way. You want my help Your Serene Highness or not? Again the choice is yours to make. In the end if you decide against my help... well that is for the four deities to decide your fate then now isn’t it?”
Lamont studied the young man for several moments before replying. “Alright Mr. Morganth, I accept your conditions. We have an agreement. Your word is your bond and I expect you to maintain your end of this arrangement. Do that and I will maintain my end of our agreement. There are few things I value more than a person’s solemn word, but know this – if your mouth and temper compromise our arrangement then you may consider it null and void. I will not charge to your rescue due to your own stupidity. Consequently, if you decide to betray me, be warned as I have measures in place to ensure any such attempt will fail.
As for your release I will need to make certain arrangements. You can expect to have your freedom in 12 to 48 hours.
And one more thing – I will contact you. Do not come to me. We cannot be seen together in public as it could raise suspicion.
The annoying guard returned making his presence known. “Time’s up Ambassador! I don’t care if the damn kid is filing for political asylum or isn’t finished giving you some poor sob story – you’re finished, now!”
Lamont flashed the guard a piercing glare before turning with a tiny grin back toward Morganth. “I’ll be in touch.”
“Whatever your Serene Highness. As I told you it would be fifteen minutes not ten,” he commented adding salt to the wound, he commented returning to the bed and began to drum his fingers again, knowing that the constant monotonous noise drove the guards nuts.
The guard lowered the force field giving both men an odd look. The field snapped back on as Lamont headed toward the exit. He stepped through the brig doors and as soon as they had closed he quickly put his hand against the wall for support and took several deep breaths. A passing crewman approached and asked if he was feeling ill. Lamont shook his head and indicated he was alright. He stood just barely able to walk and made his way down the hallway toward the nearest lift.
== Personal Quarters ==
Lamont entered his quarters and fell against his desk as his body quivered beneath him. “My god what have I done”, he said aloud. The weight of expectations upon him was smothering as his superiors had pinned their hopes in his abilities. Furthermore, galactic peace and billions of lives was suddenly his to win or lose. How would any sane person deal with such stress? He wanted to go to the captain and tell her everything, but that just wasn’t possible. He knew she didn’t trust him and he couldn’t be sure he could trust her not to start a war in pursuit of a personal vendetta. If Rehu’s character was not so rooted in cool, passionate Romulan emotion perhaps he could extend her the benefit of the doubt, but with the stakes this high he simply could not take that risk even if he had slowly come to respect her.
Drenched in sweat, Lamont clutched his stomach and ran toward his lavatory where he spent the next half hour throwing up.
Crewman Andrus Morganth
Ambassaor Ian Lamont
Diplomatic Advisor, USS Charon