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PNCP Ambassador Gavin MacLaren: Diplomatic Dining vs Toilet Talks


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(( Starbase 118 Diplomatic Area))


:: Terran Ambassador Gavin MacLaren straightened up from heaving into the toilet bowl and leaned his head on the wall of the stall as he waited for his quivering stomach to settle. He wiped his sleeve across his brow and took a deep breath before he flushed away the contents of his stomach pointedly avoiding looking at it. This was an all too familiar ritual after he'd eaten Klingon food. In the course of his diplomatic career, he'd mastered eating almost any cuisine; he'd even learned to keep down Klingon food long enough to finish a dinner and then politely excuse himself to walk to the men's room casually exchanging pleasantries with various dignitaries even as he felt his hand's grow clammy and his stomach roil. This time he was a distinctly nasty shade of green by the time he'd run the last few feet, but he'd not had to ingest a squirming dinner for a long time. As he stood taking deep breaths he thought longingly of his appointment to the USS Columbia as UFOP Ambassador traveling with the starship as they encountered new cultures or came to the aid of endangered planets. While it was his skill with languages and his startlingly good record as a peace negotiator that had earned him the position, it was his own request for the position that had secured it. He'd been close to burnout after years of negotiating, and he'd yearned for a permanent posting instead of being a diplomatic nomad.


On Columbia, he'd grown close to the crew, served with a captain who was a close personal friend and had the added bonus of being on the same ship as his younger sister to whom he was very close. It had been a dream come true.

He was now technically on leave having a much deserved holiday, but he'd been roped into attending a dinner where he'd been asked to ask as a buffer between two rival Klingon families. He was acqainted with both and had been successful in keeping them from each other's throats, but it had meant that he had to sit with them. There was simply no way to avoid eating the same food. Klingon's had no respect for a man who could not down their revolting fair. Gavin wasn't hard to please when it came to food, but he did not want to look at his dinner only to find it was looking back at him. He shuddered at the memory and walked to the sink and washed his face. He was about to return to the banquet room when Secretary Folap Nall of the UFOP entered. He looked at Gavin and shook his head sympathetically as he looked at the young man's pallid face::


Nall: You had me fooled, Gavin. I thought you had finally mastered Klingon food.


MacLaren:: shaking his head carefully since it felt as if it was ready to split like an overly ripe melon:: Weel, Eh can keep it down long enough to get through the dinner, but it willna stay down any longer than that.


Nall: I'm sorry to have asked you to do this especially when you're on holiday, but you have a certain magic with them. They're actually out there swapping war stories. I don't know how you do it.


MacLaren: Eh just try to see each point of view and then help each to do the same.


:: He didn't mention that it was easier to understand points of view when one was highly empathic and telepathic. He was one of those rare hybrid Betazoids who had keen abilities despite his brown eyes. Normally a human/Betazoid with eye color had very low empathic readings if any. He'd always been happy to allow people to assume that about him. Most people with whom he dealt simply assumed he was human especially since he spoke with a distinct Scottish accent. His father, a Starfleet doctor, had raised his children in his home village of Aberfoyle, Scotland choosing to use a runabout to commute to his position as a senior professor of medicine at Starfleet medical. His mother, a Betazoid ambassador had done the same. The children had grown up in a ancient family estate on Loch Ard in the Trossachs although Johanna had spent a number of years in school on Vulcan..::


Nall:: smiling:: I hope you're enjoying your holiday, this evening being an exception. It's a grand base.


MacLaren: It is.


Nall: That was hardly an enthusiastic endorsement. There is no base that can touch this one.


MacLaren: Eh ken that; it is a magnificent base. After all, Eh've been here many times. It's just....


Nall:: [...]ing his head with a worried expression:: It's just that you still don't want to go back to your negotiating work. You're so good at it, Gavin. You like people; you genuinely care about them. You're respected in your field because everyone sees that in you, and they know that you are completely honest with them. I'm not sure what the problem is.


MacLaren:: knowing that Nall had long ago moved from mentor and superior to friend:: Eh do like people, Folap. I also need them. Eh'm tired of drifting from one place in crisis to another and then leaving just as things get back on track. I'm tired of ….


Nall: Tired of essentially being alone.


MacLaren: Aye. I liked getting to know a crew and working with the same people over a period of time. Eh liked having friends that Eh that were not light years away.


:: Nall sighed::


Nall: There are many in UFOP who think that you are too valuable to assign to a single ship, but I'm not willing to burn out one of my best diplomats. I'll see what I can do, Gavin. There is a push to have more civilian UFOP diplomats on our star ships, and the new slipstreams are encountering more and more new species. We'd like to have diplomatic teams on board instead of single diplomats without the luxury of a colleague. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, go home and eat something duly bland like some Scottish oatmeal or something.


Gavin:: laughing:: That sounds just about right now. Thank you, Folap. :: looking in the mirror.:: Eh suppose the green has faded enough to go back out there.


TBC


PNCP Ambassador Gavin MacLaren

simmed by

LtCmdr. Johanna MacLaren

CMO

USS Apollo

0238905JMO

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