((Outside Conference Room B4, Copernicus Centre - Amity Outpost))
Sir David Frost (apparently “Sir” was a Terran form of honorary title as Keehani remembered it), a media personality from the former nation of Old Britain in Earth’s twentieth century, had a quote attributed to him that Keehani would learn in one of her first Diplomacy lectures at the University of Betazed.
“Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way.”
That quote repeated itself through her mind as she made her way up the elevator to the conference rooms level in Copernicus Center.
Now, clutching at the PADD against her chest, she slowly paced back and forth across the corridor, trying to remind herself of all of the things she had learned at University.
oO Don’t allow distractions to change the primary topic, don’t get bogged down in irrelevant details, polite but assertive, turn statements into questions- Oo
Her thoughts were interrupted by the Starfleet uniformed Klingon-CMO who she’d only just noticed was also having his nervous moment outside of the conference room.
Wong: ~~ Okay, Ikaia. You got this. Time to make a good first impression and make Starfleet look good. ~~
There was some comfort in knowing that he was just as nervous as she was. After he made way into the conference room, she took one last breath, gently licked her lips, lifted her chin and made her own way into the room.
It was time to make Starfleet and the Diplomatic Corp look good.
((Conference Room B4, Copernicus Centre - Amity Outpost))
Greetings, everyone. I also welcome our esteemed guest from the Hawlat peoples. I am honoured to have you here on our outpost today.
oO Good start Oo, Keehani thought as she made her way to a seat at the table. She gave the furry-eye lidded Hawlat person already seated at the table a polite nod. She had already briefly met Sahim.
Sahim: Thank you for receiving me and be open to the needs and worries of my people.
Keehani: Pilgrim Sahim, once again we thank you for meeting with us.
Kivik: It’s an honour to make your acquaintance. I’m Ensign Kivik and I represent Amity Outpost’s Science Division. We’re very interested in learning more about your people so that we can find common ground and a mutually agreeable outcome!
Wong: I’m glad to see you all here. However, it has come to my understanding
it’s been under less than desirable circumstances.
Keehani: ::Giving nod of encouragement to Sahim:: Pilgrim Sahim, could you clearly summarise your concerns for the rest of the people in the room, so that were are all of the same mind.
Keehani had established early that the best course of action to begin with was for her to side closer with the Hawlat, to ensure she could understand their perspective. As a Betazoid, this would be made easier by being able to sense their emotions during conversations – a skill that she had refined during University. “Active Sensing” was just as important as “Active Listening”.
Sahim: Yes, as the first secretary already know, the miners that are working in this system seem to have some problems with the entities we call our Angels. It seems that they don't feel they should respect them in their natural environment and are vouching for a... hostile action against them. We're commited to follow them and help them in any way we can so they can live in peace and guide us through the marvels of the universe. :: taking a breath :: As far as I know, your laws say that you are respectful with all kind of lives and beliefs right?
Of course, General Order 34 requires us to honor and respect your religious beliefs and cultural practices, so long as nobody’s safety is at risk. Based on what
we’ve seen so far, I don’t think the ‘Angels’ pose any immediate threat.
Lieutenant Wong moved to the replicator and prepared water for the table wile he continued the conversation.
Wong: So I’d like to hear about the angels, if no one minds. I’d like to hear it first hand.
Kivik: Agreed - that seems like a logical place to start. Perhaps we can begin learning about them from your people’s perspective. ::To the rest:: I think it’s important that we respect the Hawlat’s knowledge and boundaries in our study of these.. ..entities.
Keehani had nothing to add to that.
She noted how the J’Naii as a scientist was showing empathy for the Hawlat at the table.
J’Naii was used as a case study in her second year of education, and having a J’Naii in a Starfleet uniform demonstrated to her that Ensign Kivik had left J’Naii for a reason – and was showing how much ne cared about other people.
She also watched as Sahim took a glass of water that was offered to her, smelled the glass, then took a sip. The fact that she smelled the glass first signalled that maybe trust had to be established by the Hawlats, or culturally they had a mindset of observation and consideration.
Well, as far as we know, the Angels are born in space, they have been present in our culture for at least two milenia, being referred in ancient texts with their
appearances on our skies. They dwell in space and have always been peaceful creatures, not bothering when my people started following them, what changed our life and vision of ourselves in the big puzzle of the universe.
Wong: What is the connection between the angels and your culture, if you don’t mind me asking?
Sahim: I... I'm not sure how much I can say, some aspects of out religion aren't to be discussed with strangers. But I can tell you that the Angels appeared in a time of great need for our people in our home planet about five centuries ago, and their behavior alerted our predecessors that they need to leave our home. Once in space, we followed them where they go. Maybe one day, they'll give us a sign to settle somewhere else, so until then, we follow them wherever they go.
Keehani took notes on her PADD.
oO Five centuries… predecessors followed animals… seen as navigational guides…Oo
Kivik: Thank you for sharing that. I believe there are a number of other cultures who hold similar beliefs. I’m sure that the more we learn, the more likely we are to find a resolution.
Wong: I have to ask, when did all these issues start? I can’t imagine this is the first time that you’ve encountered mining operations. Have there been treaties in the past?
Keehani: Or any other contact with other species, especially in regard to the Angels?
Other times we've been pursued by other species, we've had what you may call, skirmishes, but sometimes because of our actions and others because the ability of
our elders to make deals, we managed to survive and protect them in their journey.
oO Pursued. Oo That didn’t sound good. It was no wonder the Hawlat’s initial response was heightened. Keehani though it important to establish early that the Federation were not aggressors.
But that didn’t mean shutting down mining operations – that would have to continue. oO Our preferred outcome Oo
Kivik: Now that is interesting. ::Making some notes on nir PADD:: I’m curious - have your people studied the Angels at all, to try and better understand them from a scientific perspective?
Sahim: Yes, in fact, I'm interested in knowing what I can about them to learn and anticipate their needs and wishes.
Keehani: As part of the Federation’s general principles, we are inquisitive
about the galaxy. And as Starfleet is the deep space exploratory service of the Federation, ::warm smile, gesturing to Kivik:: I’m sure our science officer here is as interested as you are, Sahim.
There is mutual benefit that can be gained here.
Kivik: In that case, do you have any knowledge regarding how the Angels choose their destinations? Do they follow any sort of pattern in their travels?
Sahim: Not exactly a pattern, as they're nomadic, like we are, they travel to different systems and places. This is the third nebula system they've stopped by since we have records. My understanding about why they stop in places like this is that they feel comfortable here. Like … mmm... like finding a warm bath after weeks of journey through a planet with a harsh environment. Here they find nourishment, entertainment and are usually protected from hostile species that might try to hunt them.
Sahim was rational, that made the conversation easy. She noted, though, that more authoritative members of the Hawlat’s may not be so accepting of a rational approach, especially given they were a theological based culture.
I can understand in an area of space with species such as the Hirogen nearby that hunting would be an issue for you.
The Federation has no interest in hunting these creatures, we simply wish to extract benamite and other materials.
Once our conversation here is complete, I’d like to ask for your people’s assistance in learning more about the Angels. Specifically, I’d like to run some non-invasive
scans (from a distance that shouldn’t disturb them in any way) in order to better understand their physical bodies. If possible, I’d prefer if one of the Hawlat would join me in this effort to ensure we remain respectful of your boundaries.
Keehani smiled again. Ne was making her first real encounter with a foreign species easier. It was a decent suggestion.
Keehani: Of course, this is not a decision that you need to make straight
away, especially if you have to discuss with others.
I'll have to consult with my colleagues before granting that request. Non invasive scans should be good, but anything else,... we'll have to be sure that you don't
disturb or hurt them. We know that nucleonic beam scans are not to be made. They'll flee when they feel them. Tachyon pulse scans aren't also an option, it affects them in their sense of orientation what could lead to accidents as they move erratically.
At that point she hoped that Lieutenant Wong and Ensign Kivik were taking appropriate notes (physically or mentally), because the technical details were lost on Keehani.
Keehani: Sahim, may I ask a few follow up questions.
Keehani: How have your people dealt with the Angels when they attach themselves to your ships and have caused damage?
Keehani: From reports I’ve read that the Angels do seem to playfully like to attach themselves to vessels and frolic around our mining installations. If we were to propose that we make this system, the Angel’s home, safer for everyone – space vessels, mining, and for the animals themselves, what would you think?
Keehani: I am wondering if there is a technical solution that would restrict the Angels from a small amount of specific areas of the system, and ensure
both they and are vessels are safe when they pass through.