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Round 8 LtJG Didrik Stennes - Keeping up Appearances


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PNPC Minister Kin Zaht

(( Jektim Central Government Complex, Jektim Capital ))

:: Kin Zaht secured the doors to his vehicle and ran, head down, through the hoverpark, clutching his attaché as if it were a child. This morning was worse than yesterday; the number of Betazoid protesters outside the Government Complex had grown overnight, as did their level of agitation. Across the reflecting pool, in the forecourt of the Jektim Historical Archive, a more morose group of Trill had gathered, presumably as a counter-protest to the Betazoid protest. Things were still peaceful in the Capital City, which was far more than could be said for the rest of the Imperium.::

::Kin Zaht reached the secured doors at the end of the long row of parked hover-riders, and had his infochip out and ready to be scanned. He barely slowed to a trot as the scanner recognized his credentials and allowed him access to the Complex. As the door slid shut behind him, too slowly for his liking, he breathed a sigh of relief. He'd be safe. For now.::

::He passed a multitude of offices on his way to the Department of the Executive, and noticed all the empty desks. It seemed as though each day, fewer and fewer Trill and Bajoran government employees reported to work. It'd been days for some, weeks for others, and Kin doubted he'd be seeing them again soon. "Self-segregation" was the buzzword all the news reports were using, and it seemed as though it was actually happening. His own neighborhood, previously an upscale--and relatively integrated--quarter of the Old Capital, was now almost exclusively Betazoid. Zaht hadn't yet stopped to wonder where his Trill and Bajoran neighbors went, nor did he mind terribly the rapid demographic shift. Property values were always higher in homogenous neighborhoods, anyway.::

VOICE: Minister Zaht, sir.

::Zaht turned to see one of his assistants, a young Betazoid female with just the faintest of Trill spots hidden behind her thick black hair.::

ZAHT: Yes, Tura, what is it?

TURA: It's the Federation, sir. They've contacted us on subspace. I think they're considering our request.

ZAHT: What did they say?

TURA: Nothing yet, sir, but they want to talk to you. Just called a moment ago, before you walked in, sir.

ZAHT: I'll take it in my office please, Tura.

::Zaht continued the several dozen meters past a virtually deserted cluster of offices and desks. Out the window, he could see for kilometers, almost to where the Vabu Estuary blended into the sea. It was a beautiful sight, one he'd seen pictures of since he was a boy in school. The Capital was built on the banks of the Vabu because its three sections, the River, the Estuary, and the Sea, represented the Jektim Peoples. For some reason, however, it didn't look so inspiring as of late.::

::Zaht sat at his desk, smoothing out hair that had become mussed by his dash from the hoverpark to the Complex. He closed the shades behind him, not because he wanted to, but because he was nervous some intrepid protester might hurl a piece of garbage or a rotten kukri melon at the window while he was speaking to the Federation. The last thing he needed was for the Federation to think things were out of control. For that reason, Zaht's most recent executive order was to ban all communications between the Imperium and other states, save for those that took place inside his own office. No one else but he would represent the Jektim to the rest of the Quadrant, and he made sure everyone, especially those pro-independence terrorists on Fiyo, knew the penalty for violating the new law.::

AMBASSADOR: ((on screen)) Minister Zaht.

::Zaht plastered on his best PR smile. It was good; he'd had decades of experience as a politician to perfect it.::

ZAHT: Ambassador, so good to see you again. I must say, it's been far too long.

::The Ambassador grinned. She must not be used to getting compliments. Just for good measure, Zaht threw her another one.::

ZAHT: And I love what you've done with your hair.

::The Ambassador's smile widened. This was too easy.::

AMBASSADOR: Minister, I am calling because the Federation Council has met to consider your government's request for humanitarian aid, and they've decided to grant it.

::Thank whatever-those-ridiculous-gods-the-Bajorans-believed-in. Help was on the way, and soon this ethnic nonsense would be put to an end for good.::

ZAHT: Ambassador, I speak for all the Jektim when I say we are truly grateful for any assistance you can provide.

AMBASSADOR: Unfortunately, we weren't able to accommodate everything you asked for. I'm afraid we can spare only a single starship, but she's well-equipped, and staffed by some of the best Starfleet officers we've got. The Drake has a dedicated engineering team assigned to her that can help make improvements and repairs to your infrastructure as well.

::Zaht scoffed through his smile, trying to downplay the Ambassador's offer.::

ZAHT: Oh, Ambassador, you certainly don't think things are that dire, do you? The Jektim prides itself on his technological and industrial achievements, and I think our cities can withstand a few minor instances of civil unrest.

AMBASSADOR: Nevertheless, they're on their way. The Drake should reach the border in ten days.

::Zaht's plastic smile cracked slightly. Ten days? Was there no other starship closer? He tried to think of all the damage that could be done in ten days, but even entertaining the notion made his blood run cold.::

ZAHT: I understand, Ambassador. Please, tell the commanding officer of the…Drake, was it?… that we eagerly await their arrival.

AMBASSADOR: You'll be able to tell him yourself soon enough, I asked Commander Rogers to contact you as soon as they get underway.

ZAHT: Very good, Ambassador. And thank you for all you've done to help us. I'm sure your assistance persuaded the Federation Council to act in our favor.

::In the distance, Zaht heard a disturbance in the air. Something sounded… wrong. A buzzing… no, more of a humming. It was voices, many of them, but to his ears, the cacophony sounded like one, low, rumbling voice. And it was getting louder.::

ZAHT: ((hurriedly)) Well, Ambassador, if you'll excuse me, I really should be going. Government work is never complete, I'm afraid. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

::Before the Ambassador could reply, Zaht cut the transmission, and dashed to the window. Lifting back the shade, tried to pinpoint the source of the sound. He squinted into the distance, nothing. And then, he knew. Everyone knew.::

::The Trill protestors in the forecourt of the Historical Archives building scattered backwards, creating a large, circular open space around a singular protester. Zaht looked at the lone dissident, and for a split-second, Zaht swore they locked eyes. But that split-second ended too quickly, as the protester tapped a panel, detonating some kind of incendiary device inside his clothes, and himself in the process. Zaht stared out the window at the ensuing panic. This was it. The dissolution had begun.::

ZAHT: Ten days. How can I keep it together for ten days?

::He knew how. He'd known how all along. But now it was time to act. And he would.::

PNPC Minister Kin Zaht

Interim Leader

Jektim Imperium

-as simmed by-

Lieutenant JG Didrik Stennes

Helm Officer

USS Drake

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