SIM:Androsia Sims/Lion's Den
“Ground Floor: Lion’s Den”
((Assembly Chamber, Prak Zel))
oO Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the center ring. Pay careful mind to the Lion, we aren’t quite certain he has had his fill yet. Oo
::Solara thought to herself as the interesting trio comprising of Captain Herrera, Minister Haksar and herself made their way out from the quiet chambers of Haksar’s personal office, and out into the grand arena of the night’s ‘entertainment.’ The almost three ringed circus of the Assembly Chamber was full of the lights, noises, and electronic jazz that many circuses might have had, except this arena was far more important than that of some traveling circus troupe: this was the political arena. And it was full of the sights and sounds of nothing less than the very heartbeat of at least three distinct parties, each beating and fighting for a chance to be the biggest and baddest lion at the park. Needless to say, Solara was enjoying herself immensely.::
:: As Captain Herrera was shown to his lectern, Solara took in the various figureheads and respective key players as they filled in. The room was filled with that same electric buzz that seemed to come right before a nest full of bees would erupt from their disturbed nest and come marching out in full force.::
oO And out in full force they are tonight. All the main players are here, the pieces are rapidly assembling. The dominoes are being stacked, each one by one for the defence or the destruction of the Federation. My God...is it hot in here or is it just me? Oo
::She blushed slightly and willed herself in a more tight lipped (and tight thighed) manner to remain in better control of herself. She knew it was an exciting time to be doing the work that she was doing, but it needed the cool calm calculation of a surgeon, not the finesse of a kid wielding his father’s phase pistol. No matter how much fun and no matter how easy that lion tamer might make the tricks with his ferocious feline look, it was all a truly large deception. A trick, an illusion that bellied how dangerous his real work was. Many may not liken a true diplomat to a circus performer (or worse yet maybe they would) but the anaology was still not lost on her.
::As an essential ambassador and diplomatic officer Solara was tasked with the important act of being totally aware of her surroundings at all moments, even in the middle of the glimmer and the glam, and what was more, actually never failing to “perform” or produce the most diplomatically pleasing results as possible for the Federation.::
oO Oh yeah, and lets not forget the smile hun. That is what really let’s them know the ball is in your court, that all is in control, whether or not you yourself feel it is or not. Oo
::Unfortunately, sometimes part of maintaining the illusion of control was having to maintain the illusion for herself. She sighed, all while an alluring smile crept across her face. Her “game face.” Her, “come get em tiger” way of approaching life. She may be a lion tamer in one hand, but there was also more than one wild feline roaming this particular event, and if anyone thought they were going to just so easily make her or her Federation go running home like a lost and wounded cub, they were very, very much mistaken.::
Herrera: Everything's set, unless you can think of anything else?
Herrera: Alright. ::He clapped a hand on the Minister's shoulder in thanks.:: You've been a big help.
Androsia: Yes Minister, as always you have remained a true delight and a refreshing presence here on Prak Zel. Whatever success shall be had here today, I know you have played a key role in it. Thank You again.
::Solara watched as Minister Haksar left to assume his position in the Assembly Chamber, while she took a deep calming breath, and straightened her hair and her uniform. The room was already nearly full, and the steady sea of murmuring and commenting, the rolling sway of a thousand wagging tongues and wobbling chins was in full force.::
::This was it now. This was go time. She looked down at her seat and settled herself, elegantly but tastefully crossing her legs before looking up to stare intently into the Captain’s eyes. He seemed cool and collected under pressure, as any man of his stature and position would be expected to be. Whats more she had no doubts in his ability to perform and present the case and the facts as was most needed. She hoped that somehow by the way she was looking at him that he could tell, that at least where she was concerned, there was no finer one for the job, nor no finer Captain under which for her to serve.::
Herrera: You'd better be ready for questions.
Androsia: My dear Captain, THEY had better be ready for some answers. Do not fear, you will do just fine, of this I have no doubts.
Herrera: ::Smiling:: I'm not worried. If the Minister's appetite is anything to go by, we'll be done in time for lunch.
Androsia: Very true, though too I fear it is the Zakdorn and Klingon appetite’s alike that have caused this issue in the first place. But nonetheless, you must focus.
:: Suddenly as if on cue, a pre-recorded chime rang throughout the building, followed by an announcement that the assembly was in session. Solara listened as both the Captain and her were introduced before the Minister’s. She sat poised, her cerulean hair shimmering, her teeth sparkling, and secretly her recorder recording. She was as ready as she could be, and as she suspected, so was the Captain for he waisted no time in launching into his address.::
::On the wall, the Klingon moon Praxis exploded.::
Herrera: 2293. The Klingon empire experiences a disaster that throws their home planet into turmoil. This was the trigger for one of the most important events in the history of the Federation: the signing of the Khitomer accords. Since that day, we have been allied with the Klingons, for better or for worse, for almost a century. We have traded with each other. Explored each other's culture. Protected each other. ::He paused just long enough to let that sentence hang in the air.:: There have been times when we have stood together to face unrelenting enemies. We stared into the eyes of the Dominion and we did not blink. Even after General Martok was replaced by a changeling and our two powers stood on the brink of war, we were able to patch things up and put our differences behind us.
::The viewscreen changed to a display of the Klingon incursion into the Trinity sector, depicted as a tactical map.::
Herrera: Recently, something changed. The Klingons' thirst for war reawakened. After the Hobus supernova, they were given the opportunity to exact what they would consider to be revenge against a long standing enemy. The Federation objected. The Romulans are in no position to threaten us on any major scale, after all. Their homeworld and their fleets are in disarray and it will be decades before they can rebuild. Even then, they would need our help and support and in that time we have an opportunity to forge peaceful relations with the Star Empire. It's happened before, briefly, on a range of different occasions. Unfortunately, that doesn't appeal to the Klingon psyche.
oO That’s right Captain firm and steady. Lay it out for them, one piece at a time. Logic and strategic thinking are the true winner’s this day. It’s not merely enough to be emotional...it has to be well thought out...evenly paced. Like a hand on a rudder, leaving a clean, even wake. Keep leading her steady and true. Oo
:: Captain Herrera took the opportunity to walk out from behind the lectern and used it to lean against and cross his arms. He was, at least in Solara’s eyes the embodiement of the Federation, standing before them, with a quiet resolve and strength which bellied no easily discernable weakness. Just cool, calm, calculated and too the point. The Lion King was just only now beginning to make his presence known.::
oO “The Lion King.” I quite like that one Solara, best only share that particular nickname in the strictest of confidences. Perhaps with the Captain, over dinner sometime. Its about time that you got to know him in and out of the political arena, especially if you are going to be a member of the command team. Oo
Herrera: If we go back to Praxis for a moment... that was the start of quite a different journey. You see, the Klingons made peace with the Federation because they needed us. Their technology was not as advanced as our own. They had concentrated for too long on making weapons, ships and cloaking devices, but without resources to power them, they were dead in the water. We supported them as they asked. We took the initiative in forging peace with their worlds. Without our help, who knows whether they would have survived the explosion of Praxis and maybe the Romulans would have had a chance to finish them off? Sure, the Klingons fought alongside us during the Dominion War, but who was first onto Cardassia Prime? It was Starfleet who sent support to the Cardassian Resistance and that led to the Founder Leader being taken hostage. Who fought against the Scarlet Brotherhood when they threatened to take control of Deep Space Nine and the wormhole? Who was it who came out on top when we last locked horns? Without wanting to cause any offence, the Klingon invasion forces did not even push us into a position where a drawn out conflict ensued and that meant that we did not even reach a stage where the superior tactical minds of the Zakdorn were called into play. Wouldn't it be infuriating to engage in fight after fight alongside an ally that wasn't patient enough to listen to you? That has consistently depended on the Federation for aid? That has lost out to us so many times when we have fought?
::Captain Herrera turned around, instantly changing the screen to a map of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.::
Herrera: If our methods are so weak, why is our territory larger than the Klingons'?
oO That...is a very good question, and one I hope is seared into every Zakdorn brain in the room. The Captain is on top form tonight. He really is showing his teeth. My goddess I can practically feel the energy and passion and conviction coming off of him right now. I know all to well there are those in this room which are inwardly bristling at his words, but let them. At the end of the day the Zakdorn’s will either use their brains, or reveal just how little and corrupt they have become. I can only hope that words such as Captain Herrera’s are headed as sound strategic advice, but even if not, rest assured...the Federation will not go down quietly. We will not let ourselves be stabbed blindly in the back. We may not hold ultimate unyielding control over the actions of others, but we can choose to look them in the eye and let them see what turning from the Federation can really mean. And if they think they would be coddled by a bunch of Klingon midwifes, think again. Oo
::Solara was inwardly brimming with passion and emotion, though outwardly, she sat dignified, resilient, poised even as the Captain returned to his original position and switched the viewscreen to now show the first fleet engaging a Borg Cube at Earth.::
Herrera: Maybe the Klingons did employ tactics in certain situations. Where were they when the Borg attempted an invasion of Earth? Where were they at Wolf 359? Perhaps their long-term goal in that regard was to let Starfleet get wiped out while they turned a blind eye?
::Without warning, he cut the video feed altogether.::
Herrera: Or, maybe they didn't. Maybe there isn't going to be a war. Maybe we're looking at a rogue faction of Klingons that has very little support on the High Council. Think what would happen then if Zakdorn IV were to withdraw from Federation membership and join the Klingon Empire. Would you still enjoy the same privileges you do with us? There's a common misconception throughout the Federation sometimes that the founding races receive preferential treatment. I can't argue with the fact that there are still more humans in Starfleet than any other race, but we're talking non-military benefits as well here. The Zakdorn, by virtue of being members of the Federation, have access to some of the greatest scientific minds in the galaxy. There are opportunities to interact with other species and benefit from their unique talents. Vulcan logic. Human resourcefulness. Bajoran spiritualism. Trill experience. Bolian enterprise. By replacing that all with the Klingons' prowess in battle, your world would lose more than it would gain. And while the Klingon High Council might be grateful, where are the guarantees that they will look after your non-military interests in the same way as the Federation?
oO Yes! Captain my Captain! I do declare I owe this man a drink...and maybe more. I can’t speak for many zakdorn’s but this is one Antosian who is sure getting fired up here! He’s handling this as well as could possibly be expected, if not better. Oo
::Solara scruitinized the crowd, looking as many individuals in the eyes as she possibly could. His words were definitely being heard, and she had a feeling they were already at work stirring many hearts. Whether that was in their favor for or against she was no mind reader like the lovely Dr. Malon. But what she did know was...when it had come down to it...when the battle lines if any where to be drawn, she knew she would always stand on the side of the Federation. Which as far as she was concerned, was in the long standing habit of taking youthful boys and girls of all species, and making them into proud roaring Lion’s and Lionesses for the causes of truth, justice, and universal betterment. If that was not enough, and if that was not clearly apparant now to the Zakdorn Minister’s at this point....no amount of talk and politics would sway them,::
oO And Goddess help them if they ride to war against *MY* Federation. Oo
Herrera: Will you sacrifice culture, science and risk your race's identity over the half-truths the pro-Klingon movement offers you? Or will you see this for what it truly is: an ill-planned attempt to switch reason for armament? I'd like you all to think about that carefully for a moment before I open the floor for questions.
::All around conversation erupted once more around the room as the Zakdorn Ministers considered what had been said. Solara glanced up to her noble lion of a captain, and was positively beaming from ear to ear.::
Androsia: Captain...if they don’t see the logic and reason and truth and passion from what you’ve said...I don’t think they are deserving to be in the Federation from this point on.
Herrera: That should provoke a few interesting questions, I hope.
Androsia: Oh no doubt about that. Nows time that we hear a few challenging roars. But don’t worry, I am with you in this and you did as admirably if not more so as could ever be asked of a true StarFleet Captain.
::Another chime echoed out and silence fell upon the Zakdorns. The gauntlet had been thrown down. The Lion King had taken his proud noble stance as rightful heir. ::
oO Now who will raise up to challenge? Oo
Captain Diego Herrera
Ensign Solara Androsia
USS Vigilant NCC-75515