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P's & Q's

Posted on Mon May 20th, 2019 @ 12:09pm by Captain Henry Crow & Commander Edra Crow & Commander Vox Templar & Lieutenant Commander Brielle Jayde & Lieutenant Commander Caressa Melanick & Lieutenant Constance Stewart & Lieutenant Dived Dumet & Lieutenant Edruj Daughter of Thrawn & Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova

Mission: The End of the Beginning
Location: Organia

The hall which the Organians had offered for the ceremony was a cross between a grand cathedral and the busiest shutleport Henry had ever seen. Delegations from over two dozen governments were there and he was happy that they were not Starfleet's main grouping. Sometimes being window dressing was good enough.

As Henry entered the hall with his crew, he spotted the table at the center of the giant room. There was a lot of mingling around with a few hundred voices chattering at once in the echoed chamber. Off to one side he spotted General Krang, the top Klingon official speaking with Admiral Clark who represented Starfleet and a few others including the head of the Vulcan delegation. On the other side of the room a younger Klingon officer was glaring in their general direction. If he was trying to be coy he was failing miserably.

Henry glanced back at his people. "Alright folks remember we're here as guests so let's not disappoint. When the ceremony begins, regroup by the pillar over there."

Edra watched the others disperse. She then turned back and took a step toward Henry. With arms touching, it was a way she could be close, and still appropriate for the gathering. "So, think, everything will go as planned?" she asked quietly.

Henry nodded. "I don't think anyone here is going to piss off our hosts. People still remember how powerful they are."

Under her breath she responded, "Never stopped them before..."

Brielle listened to Henry and nodded, paying attention to where he'd said about the pillar. She was never one to be diplomatic, but she was going to put on a brave face and do the best that she could. She started to linger out into the crowd.

Millie, unlike the rest of the crew, seemed to be a bit more in her element in these sorts of crowds. Chalk it up to her upbringing in the ballet, perhaps, but she seemed to make her way into the crowd of delegations and Starfleet brass with as much grace as the stiff, dress uniform could afford her. Nevertheless, she adeptly snagged a drink from a circulating tray, and had meandered her way into the thick of the crowd.

Vox had read up on the Organians during their warp travel to the planet. He remembered first learning about them in the academy and how they intervened to broke a peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire while James T. Kirk commanded the Enterprise. Vox was suspicious of super beings, especially ones that professed to cherish non-interference, unless it suited their interests.

He clasped his hands behind his back and tried to act as nonchalant as one could in the dress uniform. Making his way through the large conference room, he picked up a flute glass containing a bubbly liquid and continued to intently observe the others in attendance, while trying to act as uninterested as ever.

Caressa stood with the others for a moment, she then adjusted the collar on her uniform. They were always to tight. She spotted some people that she new from Star Fleet and gave them the look and nod of affirmation. Her eye caught the head of Star Fleet Medical and she made her way over for small talk.

Edruj was wearing her dress uniform and had her long mane of hair pulled back in a long braid. She took a look around and was immediately caught off guard. The number of Klingons in attendance both comforted her and worried her. She knew what some in the Empire thought of this station and here she was wearing a Starfleet uniform. Edruj wished that the Captain had not ordered her to attend.

In an attempt to avoid any conversation with anyone Edruj simply turned toward the conference room. Her idea was to wait there until the conference began.

Dived was self conscious in his dress uniform as it was the first time that he had worn it. He had never been to an official function in all his time in Starfleet. He felt completely out of place here but he knew that such events were a requirement of his new position as Chief Engineer. He saw the ship's Science Officer walk off and decided now might be a good time to get to know them. "Umm.. Lieutenant Edruj?"

Edruj heard a voice from behind her and turned to see the Merc's Chief Engineer. He seemed shorter than most Cardassians that she had met. "Yes Lieutenant... Is there something that I can help you with?"

Dived instantly flinched at the sight of the Klingon. Even though she was an ally, he couldn't fight the the fear that worked its way up his spine. The Cardassians and Klingons had been enemies for a long time and he unfortunately had the sense of mistrust that history had ingrained in him. "Uh.....Lieutenant, I was thinking we could use this opportunity to get to know each other."

"Now would be as good a time as any." Edruj said with a smile. "I would rather be back on the ship, than here at another reception. However, here we are." She paused as she looked at the man. "If you do not mind me asking what brought you to Starfleet? There are not many Cardassians willing to serve, in fact you are the first that I have met."

TAG Dived

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Up in the high rafters Banks perched watching the scene below. She wasn't alone though. Almost every delegation had some eyes and ears up there, sort of a mutual detente of trust but verify. She recognized several of them from bumping into them on one mission or another.

Ser'ic, a Romulan gave her a grin from his spot about ten feet away. "Looks quiet enough down there for a quick drink."

She cast her eyes up slowly before showing him the back of her left hand.

"You're married?!"

"Is that a shock?"

"You don't seem the type, but congratulations. Who's the lucky guy?"

"A doctor....sometimes comes in handy." Her eyes went to the younger Klingon officer still obviously screaming his body language around the chamber. "Who's that?"

"K'tlah, an up and comer. He's been vocal that the Klingons should be declaring war again over what your people used the outpost for."

"First, not my people, second, is he going to cause a scene?"

"Not here," the Romulan noted. "He's the nephew of the Klingon big wig talking to your Admiral. He's not happy but he won't make a scene."

Banks nodded, going back to her observations.

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Admiral Clark glanced over and waved Henry and Edra over to their small group. When they arrived the Admiral turned to the others. "General, this is Captain Crow of the Mercutio, and his Executive Officer Commander Crow."

The Klingon looked between them, then chuckled. "Captain, most of us go out to space to get away from our wives."

Henry shook his head, glancing at Edra. "No such luck, but I wouldn't have it any other way."

After raising a brow at Henry, she turned an amused expression to the Klingon. "General Krang, are you saying there is a conflict that you're not willing to confront?"

The General turned to Edra. "Yes, Commander and her name is Matha." He broke out in a laugh.

Edra laughed as well. "Well, for the sake of the Empire, I hope she is so formidable against your enemies as it sounds she is against you."

Before the General could reply, Admiral Clark stepped in. "We'll be beginning in a few moments." He and Krang said their goodbyes leaving Henry and Edra. Henry turned to Edra, "So which one of us is the formidable one?"

She simply smiled as she strolled away and toward their previously-determined viewing spot.

"puq loQ!" A hearty laugh and a solid slap to her shoulder sent Millie whirling around.

"Colonel Moloth," Millie said with a smile, placing her hand on his arm. "I didn't expect to see you again so soon!" Standing almost on her tiptoes, she gave her traditional air-kiss on each cheek.

The stocky Klingon waved over his companion. "This is the puq I was telling you about, the one with the dancers." The Colonel half-grabbed Millie by the shoulders, pushing her closer. "Tell him. Tell him that he should come and see your tiny performers."

"I fail to see the purpose." The shorter Klingon, bearing the rank of Lieutenant, sneered and curled his lips back to reveal his teeth. "They are weak, and they do not serve a purpose."

Brielle smirked as she walked past the group and did a bit more wandering. Her eyes caught Vox walking around but she decided to stay professional and lingered around more. Tugging at her uniform collar, she wasn't even sure who to talk to at this point. She was a bit out of her element.

Caressa stood behind the head of Star Fleet medical. "Admiral Purcell, long time no see?" The tall lanky man turned on his heels, staring down at Caressa, his size was formidable compared to hers. He wrapped his arms around her, hugged her kissed her on the cheek. " Caressa! Its about time that we get to see you again. How are things going?" She took his arm. "Its going rather well actually, this is a lot of brass for one location" she stated as she viewed the room. " Yes it is, after this is over you and I need to talk about a few things. Will you have some time?" She looked at him. "When have I ever not made time for you and Denise. I hope everything is well." He patted her hand. "Its not personal, Star Fleet business." He then put on his Admirals face which always made her a bit worried. " Just let me know when, Mike. I will be there." He nodded. "I will send the meeting time and place to you later." She smiled dropping his arm. It was then she decided it was time for a drink. She grabbed a glass of the first liquid that went by.

Millie smiled at the Klingon Lieutenant. "You really don't know what you are missing. There is a great art to ballet."

The Lieutenant gave a snort. "Dancing is for the weak."

Colonel Moloth's laugh echoed across the room. "Do the thing you showed me, poq. The thing with your leg."

Millie returned the laugh. "If I split out a seam in this uniform, Colonel, I will be sending you the tailor's bill." She took a step back, extended her arms to reach back behind her shoulder, and lifted a single leg. Grabbing her ankle, she pulled the foot back behind her ear, and smiled.

Colonel Moloth clapped the Lieutenant on the shoulder. "I should like to see you try that."

Brielle had caught what Millie was doing and couldn't help but go over. "In dress uniform, Counselor? That's awful brave." She gave a smile and nod to the Colonel, though didn't know who they were.

Caressa just watched the exchange between the Counselor and the Klingon rolling her eyes, making note to talk to Millie about behavior at diplomatic functions. She didn't want to assume anything, but looking at it from the other side of the room it was questionable.

The honorees began to assemble at central table and the mingling delegations drifted to their own parties as the ceremony was moments away.

Henry stood next to Edra at their assigned rendezvous point.

Realizing what was going on, Brie gave Millie a smile and walked over towards the rendezvous point, nodding to Henry and Edra once she got there, tugging at her collar a bit.

Making her way over to Brie, tugging at her collar again Caressa smiled at Brie. "You would think they would make these uniforms more comfortable."

"If only. Or make them not quite as tight at least." Brie said with a smirk back to Caressa.

Millie, having just received a raucous hug from her Klingon friend, joined the others. "You know, ballet can do amazing things for a woman's figure," she said, straightening her uniform back into place. "I'm opening up an adult beginner's class once we get underway. You two are welcome to join."

Admiral Clark and General Krang took their seats at the table.

"Today," began Clark, "is a day some thought we would never arrive at. For a century since the new beginning between the Federation and the Klingon Empire we have been uniting in efforts of science, exploration, and most importantly, peace. May the closing of Epsilon Outpost 7, a relic of a bygone era, be the final piece of history we put behind us."

General Krang nodded in agreement. "For many years my people spread unsubstantiated rumors of the Outpost which did nothing but slow the needed progress of friendship and unification. Now they will need to find another conspiracy theory because today we put this one to rest."

Both men signed their names on a PADD, then handed it to the other man for their signature before standing and shaking hands which drew applause from the gather. Applause from all except a few young Klingon officers who watched the proceedings with clear disgust.

Henry gave a look to his crew. "Everyone stay on your toes at the formal reception."

Edruj nodded in acknowledgement of the Captain's order. However, she could not help but notice the few that were unhappy with the proceedings. In truth she did not understand their feelings. They were Klingons and as such would always find an enemy, such was the way of the warrior. For now peace with the Federation was the way of things. She laughed inwardly as she remembered her reason for leaving the empire was to avoid the warrior's path and instead pursue science. Yet here she was.

The crew followed the crowd into another huge room set for dining. The table, which seemed to stretch forever was set formally. The Mercutio were assigned to chairs all on the same side of the table. Henry customarily pulled Edra's chair as everyone was seated.

She took her seat. When he followed and was in his chair, she smiled at him with a silent Thank you mouthed to him.

Dived took his seat and again wondered what a simple mechanic from Cardassia was doing here. He tried his best to reach out to Caressa with his emotions for reassurance but he wasn't sure if she could sense him as he didn't have much experience with anyone with Betazoid heritage. Dived hadn't had a chance to greet her yet as she was already in conversation when he arrived and he wouldn't dare interrupt a superior officer.

Brielle had followed into the room and looked over the seating. She found a seat and looked down along the crew, sitting down once she made sure she wasn’t taking a seat someone else wanted.

Caressa entered the huge banquet hall. She saw the Merc Crew and headed that way and took the next empty seat. She looked at the place setting, to many forks and spoons when just one would have sufficed. It looked as if they were having several courses. She sighed oh how she hated these functions.

Edruj took the seat she was assigned and sipped her drink. She looked around and saw that the Merc's crew seemed happy to be there for the most part or at least they made a good show of it. Edruj could not however, hide her disdain for these events. She kept her face emotionless and detached.

The crew was seated about six people away from the Admiral and the General. They were flanked by their senior staff and dignitaries. Other Klingons began taking their seats across from the crew. By happenstance Millie was seated just one seat away from Moloth and his Lieutenant. Sitting across from Henry was K'tlah, the younger officer who has made his displeasure known along with his small group of similarly minded people. The vibe and atmosphere at the table noticeably cooled.

It wasn’t that she was uncomfortable around Klingons, as up until recently she was married to a half-Klingon. But at functions like this, Brielle wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. They were also awfully close to the Admiral, which that part made her a bit uncomfortable. Why, she wasn’t even sure. She was fairly quiet though, just listening rather than talking.

Millie, on the other hand, was deep in conversation with Moloth, much to the obvious chagrin of his Lieutenant. Their voices, the only cheerful ones at the table.

Henry decided that at some point he had to say something. Looking across to K'tlah, he gave the man a nod. "At least it wasn't a long ceremony."

K'tlah eyed Henry. "Long enough for my people to be sold out again by those sworn to protect and grow the Empire."

By some stroke of luck the Star Fleet Medical Staff where seated across and next to Caressa. She enjoyed talking shop but kept her eyes on things. The tension was growing in the room for some reason. Even though everyone seemed to be getting along. She caught Dived's eye and gave him a small wink. She pulled once again at the collar of her uniform. She would be glad when she could change.

Millie, likewise, could sense the increased tension in the room, and Moloth's diplomatic status and training sensed the same. They both gave a glance down the table, before their eyes met across the table. "So..." Millie began, "I'm beginning to line up the next couple of years of productions. Any recommendations, Moloth?"

The Colonel gave a hint of a smile, picking up on Millie's attempt to divert conversation. "There is a Klingon opera company on Morska that you should contact. They have been running a production with a phenomenal singer portraying qotar whose performance will stir your blood."

Henry took a sip from his glass. "There's enough drama in the galaxy, one less enemy can be a good thing."

K'tlah sneered, looking Henry in the eyes. "I did not take you for a coward. Seems first impressions can be misleading."

Henry slowly lowered the glass, stiffening his posture a bit.

Edra knew immediately how the Klingon's comments would be taken by her husband. Below the table, she put her hand over his and squeezed, hoping he would let it go. She wished she could find something to say that would appeal to the Klingon psyche, and still affirm that his impression of Henry couldn't be farther from the truth. But nothing came to mind. Her diplomatic training could use some refreshing, apparently.

Having been half listening around her, Brielle caught what was said to Henry and she glanced over. She didn't like what she was hearing.

Edruj sat there and enjoyed her meal while she listened to those around her discuss politics and pontificate. It was the comment about the Captain that really brought her attention. She looked toward Henry her thoughts were on the Klingon who was spoke. Don't fall for the typical Klingon bravado Captain. Edruj decided that Klingon goading needed a Klingon response and acted before the Captain could respond. She simply slammed her metal goblet down on the table and glared at K'tlah a snarl crawled across her lips.

K'tlah and his men looked at Edruj, before he turned his eyes back to Henry. "I see you haven't taught your pet any table manners." His buddies thought that was hilarious before he hushed them with a glare. "Tell me Captain, do you believe in destiny?"

Henry took the moment to ensure he wouldn't be hasty in his reply. "I think there's something to say for achieving ones goals, yes."

"On this we agree." K'tlah raised his drink, never breaking eye contact and Henry did the same. Following the moment, the atmosphere still felt tense but the stark animosity drifted.

Edra looked over at her husband as the moment appeared to have passed, her brow arched, but relief plainly written across her face. She also glanced toward the Admiral, and General, wondering if they would have intervened at any point.

Constance was sitting in her spot she was nervous this was her first time back with her ship since her release from Starfleet medical. She looked around taking in the conversation with those around her. Most of them were from Starfleet Security some were from other planets. She was getting along really well had a lot in common and to talk about. Constance was actually enjoying herself for once.

The Admiral and the General seemed to take no notice of what had been happening though several of their staff cast glances towards the Mercutio crew and the Klingon delegation across from them. Before the meal could be served, K'tlah looked to his men and they stood, leaving the chamber.

Henry glanced at his crew. "I guess that means more for us."

Edruj swallowed hard, the tensions in the room had been steadily building. She had wanted to end those Klingons herself at one point. However, now was the time for more level headed thinking. She turned toward the Captain. "Sir his leaving is meant as an insult. He means to say that you are beneath him, and only fit to eat his scraps. It is a challenge in Klingon culture...Sir" She did not mean to lecture the Captain on Klingon culture, but she felt that he did not realize the gravity of the insult.

Edra looked between Henry and their own Klingon officer, knowing they had to take her words seriously. She, no they needed a place to confer away from everyone's expectant gaze. She, of course, preferred to let it run, like water off a duck's back, but she also didn't want him or the crew appearing to not take threats seriously. She looked around before whispering to Henry, "Is there somewhere we can talk privately?"

Henry was listening to Edruj's explanation before sliding his eyes to Edra when she asked. Nodding, he stood. "'scuse us, folks."

Before Edra stood, she turned back to Edruj. "I'd like you to join us, please." Even as she stood to follow Henry, she wondered how evident her intention was. She, at least, had clearly not prepared for the possibilities here, and she was regretting that. Hopefully their Klingon scientist could give them some advice. And she made a promise to herself to rectify this lack of cultural knowledge as soon as she could.

Brielle had been listening, again. She was quiet tonight, but was keeping her eyes and ears open. When Henry and Edra got up, that meant she was in charge of the crew should anything happen. With the Klingons leaving, she felt tense.

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When the three of them were out of earshot of the rest of the room, Henry stopped and turned. "So what're we thinking?"

Edra looked to Edruj and kept her voice low, "Is there a way to ignore K'tlah and not come out looking like we're backing down? Obviously we can't fight him, but it's important we don't give the other Klingons the wrong impression."

Edruj thought for a moment. "Not answering the challenge will make you appear weak to all the Klingons. That would be the wrong impression. However, we cannot simply fight him to the death either. Perhaps a battle of wits. Challenge him to see who is the better commander. Have someone create a scenario that neither of you will know the outcome to. Then simply see who can solve it. If you solve it quicker than he you have proven that you are equals and that should quiet his smugness."

"I don't think that guy is interested in an academic challenge.
He just doesn't seem to have the guts to make a real scene in front of his superiors. We don't want to alarm anyone but we need to keep the ship ready just in case." His eyes went to where the rest of the crew was seated. "As soon as dinner concludes we're out of here."

Edruj smiled they had hit on the brilliance of her plan. "Sir that is just it. He isn't a man for an academic challenge. However, if you challenge and he refuses then he is weak and will not take you on. That would not due to his superiors or his men. If he accepts he will lose."

Henry grinned at Edra. "Never thought I'd see the day where we want to put all our eggs in my academic basket."

Edra smirked in return. "I'm not surprised."

Edruj smiled "Now we must choose who to set up the simulation. As for you Captain my suggestion is to lay down the gauntlet and do it soon." She motioned with her eyes to the Klingons that remained in the room. They has begun some slight murmur among themselves about Klingon Captain storming out.

He followed her eyes. "Who can we trust that they would also accept as neutral?"

"I believe they will accept an Organian as neutral and independent." Edruj replied after a moments thought.

"Alright, you guys head back to the table, I'll go see if I can find one of our host and if they want to play along."

As they returned, Edra walked close to the Science officer, keeping her voice low. "Lieutenant, if you are willing, I'd like to...improve my understanding of your culture. Would you mind meeting semi regularly?" She paused before adding. "It's up to you, not an order."

Edruj smiled and whispered back. "It would be my pleasure Commander."
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Caressa watch the three step out for a moment, after the Klingons left, she contemplated the discussion. Her mind wandered away from the current medical topic. Nodding when she thought it was necessary.

"You know, Colonel," Millie said with a grin, "if I would have known there wasn't going to be entertainment, I would have brought the entertainment myself." She stabbed a bite of food with her fork for emphasis.

The elder Klingon laughed. "This is why I like this one," he said to his lieutenant, gesturing at Millie with his knife. "Not only will she be brutally honest with you, but she has the unusual ability to get you to say exactly what is on your own mind." He likewise stabbed at his dinner. "Be careful not to fall victim to her sorcery. One touch from her hand, and she can get you to confess all your darkest secrets."

A host of wait staff began circulating placing covered plates in front of everyone. The meal depended on the person, for whatever was their favorite thing to eat was served to them.

Brielle raised an eyebrow and nodded to the rest of the crew to pay attention as the food was brought in. When she saw what was given to her, she wasn’t sure how to react. True, she loved chicken fettuccine alfredo, but hadn’t really told anyone that before.

Caressa watched as the cover was lifted off of her plate. Once the steam cleared, she was presented with two fried Maryland crab cakes, sauteed asparagus, and redskin mashed potato's. She smiled thought it was a bit strange. She looked to Brie. "I hope they get desert right!" She picked up a fork and played with her food for a minute. She wondered how they knew.

Henry returned to the table a few moments later. A minute or two later the younger Klingons who had stormed off returned to their chairs as well. Henry glanced across to K'tlah. "Our hosts tell me that if you're interested in a challenge, they will pit us against one another to see who is the better Commander."

K'tlah rose his eyes to Henry as his men all began to look at him. "If you insist on looking like a fool in front of your female that is your choice."

Edra looked up from her plate, her eyes moving between Henry and K'tlah. Henry had a smirk on his face, knowing the young Klingon was playing into his hands. Yet, she herself felt as though a response was warranted from her, now that she'd been pulled into it. But what response? The first few ideas that came to her were either childish or wouldn't be well received by their superiors, even if the Klingons wouldn't have been phased. But her response started to come to her as she realized what it was about K'tlah's comment that bothered her so much.

She slammed her hands on the table as she rose with an icy stare for the green warrior. "You presume too much...Klingon." She almost said welp, wanted to, but she wasn't familiar enough with the nuances of Klingon insults to get herself in too deep. "You seem to think my respect for my mate resides and ends on whether he can win a challenge against someone with far less experience than himself. You assume that I hinge all of my pride on physical, skin-deep features that whither with old age." She hit the table with the side of her fist, making the nearby glasses shake with whatever beveragr was in them, and when she continued, her voice rose. "Do you insult me by accusing me of being so shallow? Do you not know that honor does not threaten honor?" Her voice returned to normal, and almost quieted. "But fear and pride do. Perhaps you should think on that before you accept this challenge." And with that, she sat down, taking a drink of blood wine without taking her eyes off of K'tlah.

Henry had expected a few outcomes from this path they'd chosen to go on with the young Klingon. His wife's display was not one of them and he just watched her performance in silence but immense pride. God he loved that woman. Turning his eyes back to the target as she sat, he returned the smirk to his lips. "So how about it?"

Caressa sat up as her glass shook, she looked up. Erda was giving the Klingon a real taste of what a real woman does. She beamed with pride! She pushed her chair out a bit just in case something went down. She slid to the front of her chair, and looked over to the Klingon with a do you really want to take Edra on look, and then shook her head. "Klingons" she muttered under her breath.

Edruj watched the exchange with interest. It seemed that the Crows knew more about Klingon culture then they let on.

K'tlah, along with everyone else watched Edra as she sat before looking to Henry. "Begin."

Henry looked to an Organian who had been hanging back and she approached their table.

"The contest is simple. I will present a scenario and through your reactions and decisions will show who is the better commander." She looked at each man before speaking again. "A comrade's ship is disabled with grave injuries to the entire crew. They will perish if not helped soon. But they are disabled in enemy territory. Any attempt to reach them will spark a war in which millions would die."

Edra continued to watch the rival Klingon with a disdainful eye as the query was put forth to both of them.

"Contact the High Council," said one of K'tlah's men. "No, leave them to die, it is what Kahless would desire," said another. K'tlah growled and shouted for them to shut their mouths. He reminded them that he was the Commander. He then gave his answer. "Full speed into the enemy territory. Destroy any vessels who seek to intercept us. We will return glory to the Empire."

Edruj knew this scenario, hell she took it at the Academy. This was a take on the Kobyashi Maru. K'tlah fell right into the trap and gave the answer that Edruj would expect from a Commander of an Imperial vessel. The correct answer here would be a method to save the comrades while avoiding the war and Edruj knew that. She had the utmost confidence that Henry would put them in their place.

Henry considered before he spoke. He looked to his crew. "Seems like no matter what we choose it's gonna end bad. Opinions?"

"You send a shuttle with a disguised transponder. Make it appear as something else to the enemy sensors. If the shuttle makes it to the comrades they effect rescue and escape. If not you can disavow knowledge of the shuttle and prevent the war." Edruj spoke up, she was not a tactician. However, that is how she would handle it if she were in command.

Edra watched their Klingon as she gave her answer. She nodded, rather impressed with the suggestion. She turned back to Henry. "I like it," she said, but left her comment open in case he had his own idea.

Henry nodded. "Let's try that."

"Coward!" shouted K'tlah. "Clearly I have conquered."

"Incorrect," said the Organian. Both of your decisions would have led to a war in which countless millions would have died but the object was not to solve the crisis, merely to prove your worth as a Commander in trying to solve it." The Organian turned to Henry. "Your inclination to seek counsel from your crew is what won the contest."

K'tlah snarled and barked something at his men before storming out for good.

Henry nodded his thanks to the Organian host before looking at his people. "So much for making small talk," he grinned as he began to cut up his steak.

Edra too returned to her plate, glad that was over.
Hopefully the tension that had built up would drain away the farther K'tlah got from the hall.

Edruj sat back down at her place and sipped her blood wine. She had a rather smug smile on her face. She was pleased with the result and that K'tlah was put in his place. "You sir seem to know more about Klingons then you let on. By asking your crew, you have shown that the Klingon method of command is not always correct. As such while K'tlah may not respect you too much his men sure will, and Klingon society that is worth more than anything." She spoke to the Captain as she raised her glass and sipped the blood wine again.

Following a much quieter dinner, some thanks were given by the Admiral and General and the function broke up with the Mercutio crew transporting back to the ship.

 

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