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Cornucopia, Part Two

Posted on Sun Aug 4th, 2019 @ 1:27pm by Lieutenant Lilith Sullivan & Cassandra Leblanc-Reed & Crewman Apprentice Stef
Edited on on Mon Aug 5th, 2019 @ 9:27am

Mission: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Location: USS Majestic, General Mess
Timeline: MD05, 1715


"That's what we're here to do, and I'm glad we have Lieutenant Tadez and Cassandra here to help us accomplish just that. I'll be right back, do either of you want anything to drink? Top off that sparkling water, Cass?" Sullivan stood up and grabbed her now empty mug.


"To be fair, Lieutenant Tadez will most likely lead the mediation process, and yes, please, more fizzy water," handing Lilith a now mostly empty glass. She then turned her attention to Crewman Stef. "You're right, Vulcan did serve as the voice of reason on numerous occasions, before and after the formation of the Federation. And hopefully, we can channel that and find a good solution."

"Holding someone back for the wrong reasons hardly is a voice of reason," Stef commented as he shook his head, indicating he didn't want a drink.

Returning with their drinks, Lily placed the tray back down on the table and continued browsing through her PADD. "Oh, so here's an interesting note left by Intelligence on this whole dispute. It looks like the trade routes in the area were initially negotiated to be free and open to any negotiating member of the Claddin Empire, but the Mai'Aiud 'allegedly' have been using their technological advantage as leverage to sort of push the others out. Look, I'm on page twenty-six, isn't that how it reads to you?"

Tapping his PADD to get to the same page, the young Vulcan quickly scanned the content, then nodded. "It is curious though how someone can push others out when the routes were free for all three to use. I wonder what their motivation was to monopolize the trade routes. And why the others never stood up to themselves"

Sullivan scratched her chin in thought, taking another sip of what was now chamomile tea. "Somehow I get the feeling that most of this information has been gathered at a distance. There's very little mention of any first hand interaction here if I'm reading this correctly. Trade routes are an important matter though, no surprise they are asking for arbitration."

"They could have employed alternative trade routes to trade with each other though," Stef remarked as he studied a picture of the spatial area. "Here," he said, tracing his finger across the map. "If I look at this, they could have gone around this moon, or even used this particular moon as an outpost for trades." While young, and pretty inexperienced, he seemed to have a very keen mind.

"Possibly," Cassie surmised, "and that is something we could bring up during the talks." She made a note on her own PADD to mention the idea to Lieutenant Tadez the next morning, and make sure to credit it to the crewman.

"But if you see here," she said as she pointed out a page in Sullivan's PADD, "they do already have a trade treaty in place. While the specifics aren't mentioned here, there may be a clause stipulating against the use of the moons as outposts, for whatever reason. Many treaties of the sort have similar clauses." She made another note on her PADD: study the current treaty further, specifically for particular clauses.

Mulling over the talking points brought up by her conversation mates, Sullivan took another sip of her tea and gently placed her PADD on the table. "I think we might need to consider the reasons for signing such a treaty in the first place. There must have been some mutual benefit at some point, but something must have changed to cause a renege. Were there pirates around? A competing trade federation? Or is this purely an internal struggle?" With a thoughtful look, Lily shrugged. "We have our work cut out for us, that's for sure."

"Treaties are supposed to benefit everyone right?" Stef asked carefully, "what if the conditions of the original treaty changed? That would force the others to get creative." He pointed at the map again. "There are asteroids here, and another small moon to that fourth planet, well outside the original route."

"Ah, well found," Lily nodded, looking at the astrological survey of the area. "I'd have to do some more research, but that brief dossier on the Mai'Aiud mentioned their reliance on continuously mining dilithium to keep their cities afloat. The way they've sorted pinched this area off," she motioned with a narrowing of her thumb and forefinger, "kinda makes me think they might've found something that they might not necessarily want to share. I might ask the captain for permission to take a shuttle and go a more thorough survey of the area if you think that wouldn't hinder your negotiations. It might even help."

This was going a bit too far, Cassie thought. She took a sip of her water, and turned her attention to the young Vulcan. "Right now, I don't want to speculate on any supposed amendments to the treaty the Empire currently has." She then made eye contact with Lilith. "I also can't condone the survey, since it's not on Federation territory. As mediators, we're supposed to be a neutral party throughout the proceedings. If we go out surveying without the Empire's knowledge or consent, our motives may be put into question when someone finds out, or worse. I highly doubt anyone would want to risk that," she explained as calmly as possible.

"Understood ma'am," the young man answered softly, "I was just trying to help."

"Yeah, you're right, can't be snooping around while playing the role of the arbitrator. Got a little carried away there," Sullivan admitted with a sheepish grin. "Intergalactic politics are not my forte, which is why I'm glad you're here."

"I know nothing about politics," Stef offered, "I was studying linguistics in the academy but now I am focusing on administration and animal care."

"Well, well, well. If there's a takeaway from any of this, it's that Cassandra here should probably forget any of this conversation ever happened," Lily laughed, tongue firmly in cheek. "On a more serious note though, any time I'm trying to solve a complex problem, whether it be political, mechanical, or otherwise, I always appreciate a fresh set of eyes on the issue. Who knows, the more angles we cover, maybe one of them will end up being the key to solving this entire situation."

"I would be happy to help ma'am," Stef answered seriously, "if my duties permit of course. Often I can be found in the ship's arboretum, where I do spend most of my on-duty time." Administrative duties he could also perform while keeping watch over the ship's animals. That was what PADDs were for, right?

"Yeah Cassie," Sullivan nodded. "If you ever need two stooges to come and work with you, you know who to call."

Cassie winked. "Will do. I'll bring some of these ideas up tomorrow with my boss, to be sure." She downed the rest of the sparkling water and rose to leave the mess. "In the meantime, I will bid you both a good night."

LT Lily Sullivan
CFCO/Terrible Diplomat

Crewman Apprentice Stef
Yeoman/Animal Caretaker
pnpc Lhaes

Cassandra Leblanc
Diplomatic Officer


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