Enter the Ambassador
It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down
undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those
who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.
--John Fitzgerald Kennedy
This corridor is wider than most on the station, allowing plenty of room for large groups of people to travel along its length. One side of the corridor is mostly given over to transparent aluminum windows that overlook the docking bay, allowing a view of the ships docked just outside. These windows are broken regularly by airlocks, centered around which are chairs and benches for those arriving or departing to rest upon. The other wall is paneled in light gray save where doors leading to layover areas for those whose ships have been delayed are set. Freestanding kiosks are placed regularly along both walls, providing information and directions for those just arriving at the station. Lighting is provided by strips that line the juncture between walls and ceiling, as well as alert tracers that line the doors and openings along the corridor.
Standing in the civilian docking area is Commander Ames, the base's Second Officer and apparent command representative at this greeting party. She looks a little nervous, and is quietly pacing the same five steps one way, five steps the other while waiting for the Ambassador's vessel to finish docking.
Church watches his superior officer pace for a few moments then figures he should do something. He walks over to where Ames is pacing and stands directly in the place where her fifth return step should fall. "Permission to speak freely, sir?"
Ames glances up at Church, "Permission granted, Commander. But if you're going to tell me my pacing won't make a good impression," she stands straight, "you're right, and I'm already aware." She smiles wearily.
Church shakes his head. "No, sir, I was just going ask why you're pacing? This whole thing's not that big of a deal."
Ames turns to face Church, "Nervousness, that's all. It always strikes me when meeting new dignitaries." She pauses, then asks, "You're the diplomatic officer, Commander... are you familiar with the proper greeting for Antareans? Do they expect a handshake, or something of similar nature?"
Church seems to think for a moment, then starts, "Oh yeah. They shake hands, but they use the left hand. I'm not entirely certain why, but they do. Anything else you need to know?"
Ames winces slightly - just slightly - at the confirmation that they shake hands. "Any other cultural information that would be pertinent to this meeting?"
"Other than spitting in one's hand before you shake..." Church pauses "I'm kidding. No, sir, there was no other cultural information in the file I have."
Ames turns towards the airlock, "Alright, then. Routine, right? Only thing I have to be nervous about is..." She cuts herself off there. "Okay. Let's do this, shall we?"
There is a sound from the bay, of a ship docking, and a chime before the computer announces the arrival of the Ambassador's ship.
Church straightens his uniform a bit, and makes certain his hair isn't frazzled. He then turns to the airlock. "Let's."
Ames turns to the airlock, nodding slightly, "Very well, then." She straightens both her uniform and her back, planting a smile on her face and doing her best to hide her nervousness.
After a moment an... entourage comes down the gangway. Leading the group is a man in formal-looking robes, a middle-aged Antarean with a very serious look on his face. He's surrounded by a few people who could be bodyguards or sycophants--or both. Hard to tell from the clothing and attitude.
Ames steps forward once the Ambassador and entourage are off their vessel, "Ambassador. Welcome aboard Starbase 247. I am Commander Ames, the second officer, and this," she says, motioning to Church, "is Lieutenant Commander Church, the station's diplomatic officer."
Danley walks down the corridor from Docking Concourse <Deck
Danley has arrived.
Church inclines his head at the mention of his name. He is letting the Second Officer do most of the talking.
Ambassador Katsulok looks at the two officers for a moment. "I would have hoped for a bit more security upon my arrival." He looks around. "However, I will allow this discrepancy to slide as I provided my own." He bows and offers his left hand to the Commander.
Ames takes the left hand in her own, only a slight hesitation noticeable, "Of course. I apologize for the lack of such, Ambassador, particularly given recent events."
Danley steps into the docking area with a PADD in his hand as he quietly hums to himself.
The Ambassador takes Ames' forearm rather than her hand and holds it for a moment before releasing. "I accept your apology, Commander. Before we commence with the pleasantries, I would like a full report on the events surrounding the death of two of my people while in this station's custody?"
Church's eyebrows rise slightly at the difference in the handshake presented. He still keeps quiet.
Ames offers a slight inclination of the head, "Of course, Ambassador. We apprehended two people, who confessed to responsibility for the attacks... unfortunately, they died before they could stand trial for their actions. The medical department is still investigating the cause of death, but it would not surprise me if it was self-induced."
The Ambassador's eyes narrow a bit in suspicion. "It would please my government if one of my people assisted in the medical investigation. I believe as an Antarean he might see something that your medical department has missed."
Danley glances up from his PADD and stops in front of an airlock. Rocking back and forth on his heels he glances around the area as he nonchalantly moves closer to to Ames and Church.
Church notices the bartender as he attempts to eavesdrop. But he keeps his mouth shut.
Ames offers only a smile and an affirmation, "I'm sure that can be arranged, Ambassador." If she notices Danley, she shows no sign of it.
Danley goes back to reading his PADD.
The Ambassador nods. "Excellent. I'll send someone right over. What is the name of your Doctor?"
Ames responds without needing to think it over, "Doctor Omtala is our Chief Medical Officer. I'll be sure to inform her to expect an Antarean liaison on this matter."
The man nods again. "Doctor Omtala. Hmm. An interesting name. At any rate! Can we see the Embassy? I look forward to getting to work."
Ames glances at Church, then back at the Ambassador. "Of course. Commander, will you lead the way please?"
Church's posture stiffens as he hears mention of the Embassy. He quickly thinks up an answer. "Presently, the Embassy is going through the final stages of repair, sir." He pauses. "Due to the severity of the damage caused by the bombings we had to essentially rebuild the entire deck from scratch."
The Ambassador's expression is... astonished, to say the least. "I was assured by your people that the Embassy would be ready in time! Just how long does it take for Starfleet to conduct such repairs, Commander? Our Embassy was bombed several weeks ago, and our requirements are hardly stringent."
Danley takes his index finger and scratches the inside of his nose. Pulling his finger out of his nose he examines whatever was extracted before rubbing it on his pants.
Ames turns to face the Ambassador, "With respect, Ambassador, the Embassy was a crime scene for a large portion of that time, and couldn't be worked on during that time..." About this time, she notices Danley and casts a glance at him.
Katsulok frowns at Ames for a moment. "I will accept your explanation. For now. I expect the repairs to be done in short order, however! I assume my quarters are in better condition than my Embassy, at least?" There's a tinge of sarcasm in the Ambassador's voice, but hey, at least the guy's being semi-polite.
Ames nods slightly, "Given that your quarters were not affected by the bombing, that is correct." She glances at Church. "If you require anything further, Commander Church will be able to assist you, Ambassador. I'm afraid that I have a briefing I must be performing shortly."
Church nods at Ames and then turns to the ambassador. "Is there anything else that you need? I could show you to your quarters if you like?"
The Ambassador, too, has a frown for Danley, then turns to Church. "I would like to have a look around the station first. I have never spent much time on a starbase before. I'd like to know where to go to have some... fun."
Danley glance over with a slight shrug as he heads out of the docking area.
"Of course, sir," Church says. "We have a couple of recreational areas on the station. I could show you the Promenade."
Katsulock nods. "Excellent, Commander. Lead the way."