Vae stormed out of her office and growled at the turn of events which led to how Andrus was almost catonic in the brig. Yes, he stood up to the Captain and landed himself in the brig, but the people who were on his visitation list had no reason to see him there. It annoyed her that she worked hard to get him to be willing to open up, and now he's about as responsive as a bean bag.
She looked down at the PADD in hand and read out the first name on the list. What a surprise, Ambassador Ian Lamont. The very man she believes Andrus shares some personality traits with. Though she had doubts that he was the one who caused Andrus to be the way he was, she still needed to get to the bottom of it and ask all who visited. The Ambassador was the first person on her list, and so she was on the hunt.
Lamont sat in his quarters drinking a warm pot of tea while agonizing over a steady stream of diplomatic communiqués which all pointed toward the same, dark conclusions – war with the Romulans. The rhetoric between diplomats, politicians, leaders, and the military was outright hostile. Factions appeared to be forming throughout the various arenas of Federation. Elements within the Starfleet appeared hell bent to start a war and they were not alone. Various Vulcan groups were invoking logic to justify such madness and further their cause. Politicians were beginning to take sides on the matter leaving the diplomats caught in the middle as impartial, neutral parties reviled by everyone.
Lamont quietly cursed tossing a padd to his desk. The outlook was dismal. Starfleet brass could easily force the Federation President's hand depending on far they wanted to step over the line of no return. The simple act of recalling ships, altering normal patrol routes, or worse massing a battle fleet could easily push the Federation over the slippery edge and into combat with the Empire. Xenophobic and without suspicious, the Romulans, if threatened would strike back and the costs would be immeasurable.
Ian sipped his tea hoping a way out of this looming cataclysm could be found and soon before someone made a simple mistake that would cost millions their lives and leave deep scars that would take centuries to heal. Such was the nature of war. The smallest and most insignificant of actions by people with little or no authority to make policy could so easily become the catalytic spark that could ignite the vapors of mistrust and fear and plunge the entire quadrant into flame. His colleagues had to find a way to defuse this serious situation and quickly.
A chime at his door interrupted his thought. "Who the devil could that be", Lamont muttered setting down his tea cup. He stood tossing his silk napkin onto his desk before moving to his door. Touching the door controls his entry opened revealing a rather attractive ensign staring back. The face was not familiar.
"May I help you Ensign", Lamont stated with a pleasant smile. He hoped she was not here to ask him to participate in some boorish ship social activity. He had been shanghaied into volunteering for a play a month earlier by another, equally attractive crewman. The costume he had been forced to wear, not to mention a loathsome makeup job, had been an uncomfortable experience. Of course his performance, while short, was certainly one of the more distinguished and polished parts amid a sea of lackluster talent.
One of her brows raised as she took note of his lack of reaction to her odd appearance. Most people said nothing and simply stared, but with the lack of reaction from the Ambassador, it surprised her. " Interesting..." She murmured before looking down at her PADD to get back onto her motive to being here.
" I need to speak with you Ambassador... Do you have a moment?" Her crimson eyes came to rest on his face, he was father handsome this Ian Lamont, however far out of her league.
Lamont studied the ensign attempting to ascertain her intent. Guests were a rarity for him. Few aboard required the services of an ambassador and junior officers tended to stay clear of politics and those involved with them. "I believe I can spare a few moments ensign. Please, come in and make yourself comfortable." Lamont moved from the doorway and ushered the woman inside.
"May I offer you something to drink?"
Slowly she moved into his quarters, defenses raising the moment she stepped through the front door. She did not know this man, and could not trust him. " No, no thank you Ambassador..."
Lamont nodded and moved to his desk to collect his tea cup.
"I do not often get visitors. I suppose my title and position tend to cause people to steer clear although I am uncertain as the exact cause of the phenomenon."
Not getting an immediate response fro the ensign, Lamont moved from his desk and took a seat in a chair opposite the ensign who had taken a position on his couch. As with most young officers who her position was rigid and formal. Lamont almost dismissed her body language due to youth and professionalism until he locked eyes with hers. She seemed to want something. How interesting.
"You have me at a disadvantage Madame. I did not catch your name."
" I did not offer my name Ambassador." Silent a moment as her eyes locked with his, almost studying is intentions before she finally spoke. " My name, is Dwellon. Ensign Dwellon." First names were a casual introduction, she was by no means in a casual kind of mood.
The cadence and tone of her voice was flat providing further subtle clues to the Ensign's intent. Their conversation would be strictly business. This woman had no intent or desire for pleasant conversation. A faint thread of concern mixed with his curiosity.
"So what may I assist you with Ensign Dwellon? I have the impression your presence is not simply social in nature."
" I can assure you Ambassador, that my visit's are hardly ever of the social kind..." Looking down at the PADD in her hand she held it out to him, " Can you read for me that name right there on the visitor's log for the brig?"
Lamont eyed the woman maintaining a pleasant expression. Her terse response was as amusing as it was interesting. Indeed it appeared his recent visit to the ship's dungeon had caught the eye of someone aboard. Her interest in the matter was of some concern. Lamont was now more intrigued and curious as to why an ensign would be asking such questions. Brig visits were not typically scrutinized unless the prisoner was of interest or importance. There were several possibilities that entered, Lamont's mind, but he needed more information before making any hasty conclusions.
"Crewman Andrus Morganth", Lamont read aloud from the padd. "An interesting individual."
A frown came to her lips as she listened to him read his name off the list. " Now... The only prisoner in said brig... Is the young man known as Crewman Morganth.... Explain to me Ambassador... Why the ships Diplomatic Officer, would bother with such a prisoner?" Her brow raised as she waited for his answer, and a damn good answer it better be.
Ian refrained from raising a brow at the ensign's direct language. Who did this upstart think she was questioning him like someone from Starfleet intelligence? She wasn't a security officer. She was either monumentally stupid or excessively confident. Either way she was becoming...irritating.
"Are you accusing me of a crime Ensign", Lamont fired back testing the young officer's resolve. "I must say your questioning is as unflattering as it is improper. You do realize I am not a civilian and hold the fleet rank of commander?"
He did not offer her a chance to respond deciding to let his last statement have a few moments to linger as he continued.
"I am neither inclined nor obligated to discuss my activities with a junior officer however..."
Lamont took a sip of his tea keeping his eyes tightly fixed upon the ensign.
"In the interests of mutual respect I will answer your question, however inappropriate. I visited the crewman to learn what had caused his journey to the brig. I was told quite a fantastic story while in the lounge. Scuttlebutt is usually of little interest to me, however this crewman dared to challenge the captain's authority minutes after his arrival. Such behavior is almost unheard of. Naturally, as a student of humanoid behavior, I was intrigued. Call it diplomatic curiosity. I wanted to see for myself the person in question and attempt to understand the person's unusual actions and motivations. As a diplomat such things are of particular importance in my duties. We spoke. The young man has some substantial issues with authority. I am quite perplexed as to how he was assigned as a yeoman given his specific...issues.
As for my interest in the events I am unsure how speaking to an individual is a crime unless there are new regulations I am unaware of? I can only infer by your previous statement and tone that I am being accused of something of a criminal nature."
Lamont waited for the ensign's response. He was curious as to why she was interested in Morganth. Had the idiot talked? It made no difference if he had. No one would believe the ramblings of a troubled ensign with a less than distinguished record. He had taken every precaution and though the ensign's presence was pause for slight concern, Lamont was not about to trouble himself with the questions of a junior officer who was out of line. He would humor her...for now.
She found his reaction quite amusing, so much so that she actually flashing him a smile. " I find it funny that I ask a simple question and you automatically assume I am accusing you of doing something criminal..." Slowly she leaned onto her knees and looked across at him. " Why would you suddenly feel the need to jump to such conclusions? When all I asked was why you visited him in the brig?"
Lamont took offense to the response. "You did not merely ask me anything Ensign", Lamont replied. "You asked me to explain myself. There is a large difference in a simple question and one that bears the hallmarks of an accusation."
She was silent a moment and shrugged her shoulders, " I asked for no details... I would have been happy with a simple ' His actions intrigued me'... Which I would have not been surprised.. Seeing as the young Crewman shares much of the same personality traits as yourself 'Commander'."
Using her knees she stood from the couch and looked down into his face, " I have a very good idea that you were not the one who managed to sabotage my work to get him to open up... I actually think talking to you will help the poor boy... You also are quick to assume and react... Much like he is... You raised your defenses the moment you felt you were under scrutiny. So now, since my job is to read people... I know you are hiding something... I assume something criminal, seeing as that is the conclusion you jumped to by my questioning."
She gave him no time to react before she raised her hand, " I can assure you 'Commander', Ambassador... Whichever you prefer to go by... That your secret is safe with me... But I can also assure you... That by holding secrets deep inside oneself... It will eventually devour your soul and your life will be lived filled with deception and paranoia. Take the time to tell someone you can trust your secrets... Before they control who you are."
A friendly wink was given to him before she turned on her heal and started towards the door. To her, she came and asked a simple question. But he gave her so much more then she asked for, more then he may even realize.
Lamont abruptly stood dropping his tea cup loudly on the coffee table before him as she headed for the door.
"Ensign, I believe it is you who appear to have some preconceived notion that I am involved in conspiratorial activities. Your question was out of line, but I tolerated it even if asking such a thing borders on insubordinate behavior. How else did you expect me to respond when asked to explain myself? Explanations infer wrongdoing. Your question was not simply a polite inquiry. Interrogators use such language. However, you may believe what you will. I will not be lectured by an arrogant, self-important junior officer and especially not within the confines of my own quarters!
You should not only review Starfleet regulations on proper conduct but might want to consider reviewing such things as common courtesy."
Lamont caught his breath but refrained from expressing his anger. "Please leave before I change my mind and file a formal complaint with your superiors." Lamont paused for a moment before shifting his voice into a lower, more sinister tone. "And next time ensign…I would make sure you have concrete facts to back up your baseless theories before casting aspersions. I will not and do not tolerate slander."
Her hands raised as she stopped and turned to face him, " I by all means had no intention of offending you... I apologize as I can clearly see that is what has happened. Sometimes my job gets the best of me. Someone who looks like me has no choice but to hide in their job." The look on her face would tell him that she was truly sorry about it.
" I am not the kind of being to probe people's minds for the truth, nor soak in their emotions... I hope you can see why I could have taken your defensive state as well as your jump to conclusion as evidence of a guilty mind." Her head cocked to the side as she looked at him. " Take the time to relive this conversation and try to see how I could see that..."
Turning on her heal she walked to his door and paused before pressing the keypad, looking back to him. " Next time we will meet in my office... But I did not find the Counselor's office a very appropriate place to have this conversation... And I am sure you are glad this conversation did not happen out in the corridor... Considering what was said..."
Finally, she pressed the keypad and the door slid open, " I will be in touch... I feel there is much more to you then what I have read in your personnel file... Naturally... As a student of humanoid behavior myself... I am intrigued... And of course the Counselor in me sees a need in a much less... Intense meeting. "
Stepping into the doorway she turned fully towards him and bowed respectfully to him in farewell. " Good evening Ambassador. "
Even after he tore into her, she stayed perfectly calm, trough out the entire conversation, she was calm. Of course she would never let others see how something affected her. Only one who even saw a bit of emotion from the Ensign was the Crewman in the brig. Even that was hardly a fraction of what she truly felt, and she felt it necessary to win over the Crewman's trust.
Lamont softly bit the inside of his lip as he dealt with his frustration. Moving to the door he leaned out into the corridor as the self-righteous counselor made her departure. "Perhaps you should focus on your technique counselor and its deficiencies", Lamont shouted after her, "and leave any detective work to the security department!"
Lamont stormed back into his quarters ignoring the curious gazes of nearby crew. He slammed his hand against the controls closing his door.
"Computer, bring up the personnel file of Ensign Dwellon now!" The ambassador fell into his large office chair and glared at his computer terminal as the information lit up on the screen. He had reading to complete and seemingly yet another 'problem' to contend with.