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A Bitter Cup of Friendship?

Posted on Fri Feb 12th, 2021 @ 8:14pm by Lieutenant Commander S & Commander Daynah Ral & Commander Aranis T'San

Mission: M1: A Hand In Friendship
Location: Romulan Cruiser Dentrraka Enroute Starbase 718

"Please, I believe it is important to have an open-mind about our mission!" Sarukh remained seated at the table while her two colleagues paced up and down the Cruiser's meeting room.

"I agree, to some extent, with both of your positions. But shouting at each other will not change the fact that we have been tasked by the Senate with determining the appropriateness of opening an Embassy on the Federation Starbase."

She gestured to their chairs. "Please, return to your seats and let us discuss this matter in reasonable tones. We will be arriving at our destination within the hour. "

Dimura had not said much during the meeting, he allowed his mannerisms to speak for him. He hated to admit it but Sarukh had the right of it. As such he sat down and simply tented his fingers as he stared off in the distance. The very idea of peace with the Federation made him sick to his stomach.

"I was not shouting at anyone." Retana said as she sat down in somewhat of a huff. "If Dimura was not stuck in the past, stuck in tradition, then we could move forward and accept Federation assistance without fear of appearing weak and lost."

"Our Empire relies on our traditions" Sarukh noted sharply. She came from a House that had served in the Star Navy for generations; she herself had commanded a starship before a career in politics.

"They have guided us to greatness for thousands of years and will continue to do so. They must not, and shall not, be discarded" She gave Dimura a nod.

He spoke softly and evenly. Dimura could have easily passed for a Vulcan if the very idea did not turn his stomach. "Sarukh has the right of it. Whether or not we need the Federation as allies is not the point. Our people would never accept the help. They have only accepted the Federation in the past when it was mutually beneficial. This Retana is not the past it is the present, it is the nature of Romulans everywhere. Tradition, is what guides us, it is what makes us strong. Separate but equal powers, that is what Romulus and the Federation have been and always will be."

Sarukh continued "But... that does not mean that we should be close-minded to current reality." She threw the young envoy a bone and inclined her head to Retana.

"The loss of our Homeworld and so many systems was a bitter blow, it is to our credit we did not go under.

We owe it to ourselves, our future and in honor of our past that we dutifully consider new proposals that safeguard all we still have.

So, why is opening this Embassy so important?"

Dimura seized the opportunity before Retana could speak. "You speak of the great loss. Did we not seek the Federation's help then, and did they not betray us and let us die.

In fact I would wager that most of our people would view an embassy as good for only one thing. That would be to make sure that the Federation was not taking steps to finish the job that they started." The venom in his voice was unmistakable.

Dimura had lost not just friends and family on that fateful day, but a part of himself as well. The scar on his face was telling of the ordeal.

"That is ridiculous." Ratana said with disbelief. "For one thing I am not saying we abandon all tradition, but the ones that made us so unappealing, so distrustful to others that they left us to die in our time of need. If it had been a Federation world, or even the Klingon home world then they would have received help because of the changes they made." she said as she pushed her argument forward.

"The youth want change but not at the expense of losing who we are. An embassy on the station will put us in a strong position for an improved relationship with the Federation, with Starfleet. We cannot continue to alienate every species we meet with distrust and subterfuge or we will simply continue to suffer."

"We do not alienate every species just those that wish to harm us. The traditions and the way we have handled other species has worked for hundreds of years...." Dimura stood and pointed toward Ratana.

"We were not abandoned by others in our time of need, they did try to help. If it were not for the Klingons many more would have perished. However it is of the Federation that I speak specifically. They did then what they always do, make promises that they cannot keep. If we were speaking of opening an embassy on a Klingon station I would not stand at odds with you Ratana. Klingons are worthy allies."

Dimura turned toward the window to look at the openness of space. He crossed his arms and began to brood.

Sarukh rubbed her eyes, her colleagues appeared entrenched in their positions and she sought common ground between them.

"I agree the Federation are not ideal allies, but we have worked with them in the past. Indeed, had we not joined forces them we would all have suffered at the hands of the Dominion!" She had herself been part of joint combat operations during the war.

"As for failed promises, we all knew that the Vulcan Spock's offer of stopping the supernova with that red matter device was a forlorn hope. That he disappeared on the way to the Empire is not the Federation's fault. there are any number of reasons such a small and experimental ship might have perished.

I for one do not believe any of those old conspiracy theories that it was all a Federation plot to allow the Empire to be destroyed and neither should you!" She said to Dimura's back.

"Now, as I see it, you have both mentioned reasons for opening an Embassy that I can agree with. Firstly, for improving relations with the Federation" She nodded towards Retana.

"And secondly, for monitoring Federation activities. " She gestured towards Dimura.

"I am open to trusting the Federation, but I am not blind nor ignorant. Therefore it is only prudent that we ensure we keep ourselves fully informed of their intentions.

What better way to do that than by having an Embassy located on one of their own starbases? Do you not agree colleague?" She directed the question to Dimura.

Dimura turned from the window with a cocked eyebrow. He decided to address all that Sarukth had said before answering the question. "I am not speaking of the Vulcan Spock. I am speaking of the human Picard..."

A sneer came across his face and the name Picard was spat out of his mouth like poison.

"...He and the rest of Starfleet are the ones who abandoned us. Removing their assets during our greatest need. This is something Starfleet and the Federation are known to do. Where was Starfleet in the aftermath of the Praxis explosion?

Did they stick around to help rebuild Cardassia after the Dominion War? In both cases assistance was requested and denied."

Dimura began to pace the room as he ticked off his points. "You speak of our entrance to the Dominion War. We did so because it was the Dominion who plotted to kill one of our Senators and invade our space. So we struck first. Was the Federation even winning the war at that time?

No, as you say it was because of our help that we were victorious. We help our allies when requested we do not abandon them..." Sarukth had touched a nerve without realizing it, and Dimura caught himself on a rant and calmed himself down.

"As for the embassy it is prudent to keep an eye on the Federation, but to keep them at arms length. Mark my words that if you do anything more than that nothing but sorrow will be gained."

Sarukth nodded. "I agree, the withdrawal of Federation aide was much sooner than expected. That was, disappointing...

But, you know as well as I do, that there were rumblings amongst some of the our new Senators about having Federation ships so deep in our territory. There was even open hostility from a few and so why would anyone offer help when it is being rejected?

We all carry the scars of Hobus, some of us more openly than others." She acknowledged Dimura's injury. "If you feel the Federation acted poorly, then should we not show them Romulan's are capable of better, demonstrate our clear superiority?

Can we not accept their offer, at arms length if necessary, and open an Embassy, while ensuring we always work in the best interests of the Empire regardless?"

Dimura hated losing anything, especially arguments. However, Sarukth had hit the proverbial nail on the head. Romulans were superior, superior in everyway to everyone in the Federation. Perhaps it was time to prove it. "You may have a point..." He began while calming his voice a bit. "Perhaps we should show them how superior we are. However, I will have contingencies. This arms length we are speaking of will be a very long arm indeed."

"The rumblings of short-sighted fools." Retana muttered. "I maintain that our reputation did not help us, at all. If we had been more open with them then they may have not pulled out so soon. More may have been saved. We were losing our home, the space around us. Though I do agree that caution is needed. I am young but not naïve or stupid, and our youth want us to be strong again."

"Pah..." Dimura muttered while he waved his hand in Retana's direction. The time for arguement had passed and he knew it. If he pushed the issue they would just continue to go around in circles.

"Very well then" Sarukh said, somewhat relived to have reached an accord. "I think we have an agreement, of sorts. We will proceed with the inspection of the Federation Starbase and review their proposals for opening an Embassy there.

If, and only if, their terms prove to be acceptable to all of us we shall make such recommendation to the Senate."

She was interrupted by a gentle shudder in the deck and an announcement from the comm-system. "This is the Commander, we have disengaged singularity drive and are approaching the Federation outpost. Arrival in thirty minutes"

"Well, let us prepare to visit the Federation." Sarukh stood. "I will see you both at the transporter shortly"

 

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