(( Representative Tych’s Manor, Eladar IV [Feladon] ))
The tensions were starting to rise in the room. Serala didn’t need to be a telepath to notice that. She was trying to maintain calm for the benefit of all, but the quite understandable emotions coming from her officers only served to amplify her own growing sense of disquiet.
Serala: We have had our share of conflicted opinions about others of different species in our own histories. But we have moved past that kind of attitude, and some take it a bit more personally that others. However, it’s not our place to dictate how your world behaves.
Zadok: I can appreciate your views and concerns, but with the Mekra’fari that is simply not possible.
Serala: I am curious, however. Why do you view the Mekra’fari in such a negative light? What is it about them that you consider inferior? Our scans seemed to indicate an equal level of development between the two of your species.
Tych: I don’t view them in a negative light, Commander, I only view them as they are. As they’ve proven themselves to be over centuries of coexistence. Surely you can understand that not all races are intellectually equal to each other. That must be the case, even where you come from.
Serala began to wonder. It certainly seemed that Tych was being genuine, but then her own mother could easily use those same analogies for other races that were not Romulan or Vulcan. Thanks to her mother, Serala had been forced to deal with her own issues of racial superiority. She’d been constantly harassed by the human children as she grew up; the only Romulan ona world predominantly populated by them. It didn’t help that there were still some who held negative opinions of the Romulans. This was, of course, prior to Hobus. And then afterward...the pity and looks of sympathy had almost served to cement her mother’s own negative opinions of non-Romulans. Thankfully, they had both grown past that. Serala more than her mother, but R’Val had come a long way herself.
But these people hadn’t yet achieved that level of equality. Even Earth had a history of racism, which was ironic since they were all one race, just from different regions of the same world. But the Prime Directive did not give her or the others the right to judge these people. They had developed along their own lines and it would violate that principle to force Federation ideology on them.
Azorius: It certainly was a prevailing attitude in the past, Representative. Earth even had world-wide wars which had little reason to them besides racial, religious and geographical differences of opinion.
Serala: I am confused. If they are so inferior, how is it they managed to develop along the same technological lines that your own people did? I mean, we have detected a third species on this planet and they are clearly at a more primitive state of development. Perhaps you could explain this for us?
Tych: General, could you… take this question, please?
Zadok: Of course, Representative. You see, Lieutenant Commander, they have developed on the same level as we have merely because we have chosen to help them. As for Elnazri, they exist underwater. We can't breathe underwater. So we cannot help them as we can those who exist on the land with us.
Serala: Fascinating. So, how does it work then? What is the exact relationship between the Feladoni and the Mekra’fari?
The Representative spread his hand out on the table and began to speak.
Tych: Do your people have pets, Lieutenant Commander Serala?
She suddenly found herself glad she had not yet tasted of the water, and especially not at that moment. It might have been most embarrassing otherwise.
oO Did he just … ? Oo
Even as the Counselor began to speak, she glanced at her officers. Esa looked as if she was gloating and about to burst at the seams. Amuro remained somewhat passive looking, but the Counselor’s hackles had been raised and he seemed livid.
oO I supposed this wouldn’t be the best time to mention that I have been thinking about getting a cat. Oo
Azorius: Of course we have pets, Representative, domesticated animals, not sentient humanoid species.
Kiax: The difference is, our pets are sentient in that they have the ability to feel, but are not sapient. They aren’t self-aware, and don’t have the ability to compute logical thought. They are creatures of instinct.
Tych: Then it’s very simple. Think of them as… exceptionally intelligent pets. They are usually well behaved, and quite useful. We occasionally allow some of them to work in our businesses. Even the Spacefold complex has some Mekra’fari employees. We share technology with them, hence the… shared technological lines that you mentioned before.
Zadok: Things have been this way for a long time. The Mekra’fari are not treated unfairly. As we’ve said before, they enjoy the way things are and aren’t accustomed to drastic changes. We don’t want to send them into shock with all this and overwhelm them.
Serala restrained herself, doing her best to maintain an outward appearance of Vulcan stoicism, even as her left eyebrow quirked up.
oO This is not going to end well. I need to get the Counselor out of her before he shows the Representative just what an ‘exceptionally intelligent pet’ can do. Oo
Azorius: Exceptionally…intelligent…pets? Well behaved? Forgive me, Representative, but it sounds like they are an intelligent humanoid species with every right to be included in the running of this planet.
Tych: Well. In any case, this has been a highly productive meeting, but I feel that perhaps you have questions that I am simply unable to answer. Or… :: He paused, glancing at Kiax. :: that I am going to be judged harshly for answering. Perhaps, then, I should retract my previous statement, and give you my blessing to go and meet some Mekra’fari for yourself. No doubt, an interaction with them will confirm what I’ve told you.
Zadok: Are you sure that is wise, Representative? Given the nature of things I’d hate for one of them to accidentally injure our guests out of fear. :: turning to face Commander Serala :: Not that you can’t handle yourselves of course, but the Mekra’fari can be unpredictable when feeling threatened.
Kiax: I’m sure that we can come to some kind of verbal understanding, if they’re as intelligent as you claim.
Zadok: And they have never seen creatures such as yourselves. Your very presence would feel threatening to them.
McKnight: Well, sir, if they are as you say akin to intelligent wildlife, We'll take necessary precautions. We are no stranger in dealing with local...fauna in a new world.
Azorius: I for one would love to meet and observe the Mekra’fari. :: he turned to her and Serala was pleased to note that someone had remembered she was in the room. :: With your permission of course, Sir?
Kiax: It probably wouldn’t be the worst idea. At least then we can formally apologise if we were wrong.
She had been silent long enough. Obviously, her people were too worked up, and they were just making the Feladoni angry as well.
Serala: I agree that meeting them would be a good thing. Maybe not for the reasons portrayed here, but simply because it would help us to have a better understanding of your world and how things are here. After all, we did come here to learn about your world. :: glancing at her officers :: Not to judge it.
Zadok: :: standing up :: Please excuse me for a moment.
The General left the table and moved over to the far side of the room. Serala’s hearing was keen enough that she probably could have heard what he was saying, except Amuro decided she needed to speak.
McKnight: Ma'am, it's obvious this world has a very… Complicated society. Perhaps it's best not to upset them by appearing to be challenging their ways.
Serala: Agreed, Lieutenant. :: to Tych :: Please accept my apologies again. As I said, some of our people have some rather strong opinions.
About that time, the General returned and Esa turned an inquisitive eye to him.
oO Fair. After all, they did ask me the same thing. Oo
Zadok: Everything is fine. I was just relaying to my Lieutenant to have a few of my men meet up with your science team as we agreed upon.
Kiax: Thank you. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the gesture, though I hope their presence won’t be necessary.
Serala: Indeed, General. Your consideration for the safety of my people is most appreciated.
Kiax: On the contrary. I’m sure they came down, as we did, unarmed. I’m merely suggesting that hopefully they don’t run into any issues or situations that would necessitate the use of an armed response.
Serala: :: nodding :: Those were their orders.
An uncomfortable period of silence followed before Esa broke it. Serala was trying every diplomatic trick in her admittedly tiny book to ensure they didn’t completely lose the hospitality of these people, or give them a negative impression of the Federation. Her officers weren’t helping the matter, but she wasn’t really sure she could fault them. Well, their outrage. Their behavior on the other hand….
Kiax: So… Uh… Representative. As the person in charge of overseeing your spacefold technology, might you share with us some details of how it works? I’m eager to know if there are any aspects of it we can incorporate into our own engine designs. Likewise, I’m sure we can share some details about our own for you to incorporate into yours.
Kiax: Just trying to find some common ground, is all. Unless you’re suggesting we should go and seek out the Mekra’fari and talk to them instead?
Tych / Zadok: Responses
Serala: Very well, Representative Tych.
Perhaps meeting some of these Mekra’fari could help them get a better idea of their nature. After all, it was entirely possible that the Feladoni were being absolutely correct in their assessment. After all, this was their world. Somehow, however, Serala doubted it. But she would keep an open mind.
Serala: Maybe meeting some Mekra’fari would help us get a better idea of what you’ve been trying to tell us. Would you mind arranging that for us? Or perhaps an escort for our safety, since they are potentially dangerous, as you mentioned.
Tych / Zadok: Response
Kiax /McKnight / Azorius: Response
Serala: Excellent then. While you set that up, I will check in with my ship and see if anything needs my attention.
Tych / Zadok: Response
Kiax /McKnight / Azorius: Response
Serala stepped away to the same area on the other side of the room that both Esa and the General had been to and activated her comm badge.
Serala: =/\= Serala to Chin’toka. Status report. =/\=
Raga: =/\= Response =/\=
Serala: =/\= Understood, Commander. I trust you to handle it. We’re going to be leaving here to go meet with a few of the other species here. Get a better picture of things. I will check in later. =/\=
Raga: =/\= Response =/\=
Serala: =/\= Acknowledged, Serala out. =/\=
That handled, Serala returned to the group and looked at the General and Tych.
Serala: Gentlemen, is everything set? I am most eager to meet your intelligent pets.
Tych / Zadok: Response