An IC interview between Lieutenant Commander Devar and Captain Rocar of the Duronis II Embassy. Great stuff! ((Ambassador’s Office, Federation Embassy, Lokesh City, Duronis II))
:: A tall, well built Ktarian stood up from behind his large oak desk and glanced briefly outside the bay window at the green lawns that ran alongside the building. The gardens in the serene setting of countryside outside of Lokesh City on Duronis II might have looked like a calm posting for any Starfleet Offcer. The Ktarian knew, however, that just beyond the orderly flowers and bushes lay a state-of-the-art security parameter designed to prevent a repeat of the attack that had cost so many Federation lives at the old Embassy in 2381. There were many here who still did not want contact with off-worlders but the Ktarian knew that their mission here was an important one, especially with his Zalkonian and Romulan counterparts so eager to get their foot in the door. Smiling a little, the Ktarian walked round his desk and leaned around the door and called out to his assistant::
Rocar: Send her in Aiowyn.
:: Folding his arms for a moment over his red shirt, Rocar wondered whether he should have put his uniform jacket back on, but he knew that his guest knew enough about him to know the Captain rarely wore the jacket on duty, preferring instead to roll up his red sleeves. A Betazoid woman walked in and held out her hand, smiling.::
Rocar: Commander Devar… a pleasure to see you again.
::Rocar shook her hand warmly. He’d met Alana Devar several times when she was training and testing cadets at Starfleet Academy. He’d always been impressed by her ability.::
Devar: Good day to you Captain.. I hope all is well and, of course, congratulations on your recent promotion.
Rocar: Thank you…and to you on yours Commander. Please… if you’d like to take a seat?
::Rather than make Devar sit opposite him at the daunting desk, the Ktarian led her over to the quiet corner of the room where a small sofa and armchair sat ready to receive guests in a more casual manor. Opposite the sofa was a large oil painting of the Constitution in orbit of Starbase 118, the aging Ktarian’s two former postings.::
Rocar: So… they’ve sent you out all this way from Federation space to interview me?
::The Ambassador chuckled very loudly at the idea. As anyone who’d met the Ktarian knew his belly laugh would often echo out louder than three Klingons put together.::
Rocar: Well I guess we better get started… I have a meeting with Zalkonian Master Zamora and Romulan Senator Or’Lok at eleven hundred hours.
Devar: How does it feel to rise in your own? There must be a cluster of emotions waving inside you… especially parting with Fleet Captain Hebron.
Rocar: It was not an easy parting for any of us. Most of my senior staff had served under the Fleet Captain for some time and he is a very popular commanding officer. However, our mission here on Duronis II is quite a different one and I’d been ready to return to a more diplomatic career path for sometime now. It’s no secret that Xan and I disagree on a few points, but he remains one of my closest friends in the Fleet and leaving behind his guidance has certainly been a difficult step.
::The Ktarian glanced briefly to the Mariner’s Sextant on his desk – a symbol that he should never loose his way. Alana followed his gaze and smiled::
Devar: And, what of your family… your wife, Doctor Gwendolyn Hilzarie and your two children? Have they adjusted to the change well?
::Rocar smiled a politely, in truth their relationship was stretched very thin at the moment but he had no intention of broadcasting that over the Federation news service.::
Rocar: They’re doing just great… the twins are growing at an amazing rate though that’s just their Ktarian side coming through as we tend to grow at twice the rate of other species. As for Gwen, well things were a little bit hard for us at first with the change in our duties… I don’t think you’ll find there is a Captain in the fleet who’ll tell you carrying on a relationship once you have the responsibilities of CO is an easy thing. In fact many of my hobbies such as playing piano, skiing and cooking tend to be set aside just to keep up with the various duties that come with the job.
Devar: And, how is the rest of your crew handling the transition?
Rocar: Well for many this is not so much a transition as their first assignment and I must say so far all members of my staff have done exceedingly well in dealing with a set of difficult situations and circumstance. In our short-time together we’ve grown very close and I know each and every member of the crew give one-hundred per cent. I guess the transition for the senior staff was harder as they were thrust from an experienced crew to one where they leave behind their former Captain and needed to take a lead role. I won’t say we didn’t make a few mistakes but we certainly learn as we go!
Devar: How did it come about and what made you decide to take Command of the Embassy on Duronis II, Ambassador? Was it the negotiations with the Laudeans for the first chance of peace that drew you to this diplomatic base?
::The Ktarian chuckled a little and sat back into his armchair.::
Rocar: Well Alana, Duronis II is no ordinary Embassy. As you’ll no doubt have heard, one hundred and eight diplomats lost their lives when Laundean terrorists detonated a bomb in our original Embassy to Duronis II.
::Rocar lent forward to pour them both some Kzinti Tea.::
Rocar: Allow me to give you some basic background to our history here. Before First Contact, Duronis II was ruled but an aristocratic elected monarchy*, then the Laundeans first warp flight occurred and first contact was made with the Federation, Romulans, and Zalkonians. For a technologically advanced civilization this came quite late, as the Duronis system is itself not friendly to warp travel…it’s technically only possible through a warp corridor and this was an added complication for Laundean space development. Prince Indivar, the son of the reigning Emperor, traveled to Federation planets to learn more about Federation culture, but then a revolution began and most of monarchy was killed. During this time the Federation left Duronis II to allow the Laudeans time to sort out the Revolution and to avoid Prime Directive violations, and my predecessor also convinced the Romulans and Zalkonians to depart. What followed was a brief civil war that the Royalists lost.
:: Rocar sat back with his cup of tea, and tried to smile reassuringly at the interviewer.::
Rocar: The Laundeans installed their first purely democratic government and the Federation, Romulans and Zalkonians return, however as the Federation embassy is opened, it is bombed by terrorists, killing 108 people. After careful consideration, the Federation and Laudeans work out an agreement whereby a new embassy is rebuilt, with stronger security. That is the building you are in now and whilst it may seem to fit in with the surrounding architecture of Lokesh it has had many of the Federation’s most advanced technologies incorporated throughout the complex to make it both more secure and practical to our purpose here.
::Rocar smiled a little, he knew that at times he tended to go on a little too much like a politician.::
Rocar: That’s when I accepted the assignment… following the terrorist attack the Federation Council were reluctant to send in more less protected civilian diplomats. As such my staff is made up of both civilians and members of the Starfleet diplomatic corps. Although it is unusual for Starfleet diplomatic corps to take over a long term ground based negotiation this is by no means the first such occurrence in our history and I doubt it will be the last. It was felt that with my experiences in mainstream Starfleet on both Starbases and Starships, I would be better suited and equipped to face the kind of temperamentally dangerous climate that we encounter here on Duronis II.
Devar: And, Have you made any progress with the Laudeans? Or, is that top-secret information for now…
::Rocar smiled politely.::
Rocar: That’s a difficult question to answer Commander, our role here is a little more long-term than the sort of diplomatic negations one would encounter on a Starship… we can’t simply hammer out a negotiation with someone. Nor are we here settle a dispute between two smaller powers. The Laundeans are a sovereign state and we are here to negotiate with them on those terms in many different areas from trade exchange to agriculture and countless other measures. We’re also here to take care of any Federation citizens in this area, for example, civilian traders or archaeologists who may run into any difficulties whilst they are outside of Federation Jurisdiction. What I can say is that it’s not secret that both the Romulans and Zalkonians have a vested interest in the Duronis system and we are here to offer a third path should the Laundean people choose that it is right for them.
Devar: Do you have any fear that the fate of the first Embassy will befall the second? If so what measures have you taken to ensure this tragedy would never come to pass again?
Rocar: I would not be the one sitting in this chair if there wasn’t a certain risk element attached to the Embassy here; however the Federation has a responsibility to bring stability to this region of space and help ensure the Laundean people are allowed to make their own democratic choices for themselves. Admittedly not everybody on Duronis II is glad to see us here and as such security measures are in place –my staff contains experienced Starfleet officers and we have a marine guard on the Embassy grounds. Furthermore, in the event of an evacuation being require two Hoppers are kept here each one capable of transporting up to 50 people and we have three runabouts on hand in addition to the nova class Resolution never being more than a day away.
::The Ambassador chuckled a little and set aside his finished cup.::
Rocar: So really Alana this may not be the most exotic Embassy in the galaxy but it’s a more than safe enough location for me to bring up my children, and that is one of the reason I chose to join the diplomatic corps –I hope being on a planet will offer Xan and Cheliz a more stable environment to grow up in. Sure there are people on Duronis II who would rather we were not here, but not every Laundean can be branded a terrorist and it is only a small handful of extremists that give rise to any such myth…the average Laundean is a normal person going about their everyday business just like you and I, and if democracy is to develop here then we in the Federation ought not to prejudice based on last year’s unfortunate attack.
Devar: I appreciate you sitting down with me today, Rocar, for this. Are there any further comments or anything else you’d like to share? Anything inspiring?
::She smiled as the Ktarian chuckled a little and leaned forward to set aside his now empty cup of Kzinti tea.::
Rocar: Don’t walk ahead of me…I may not follow.
:: As he spoke the Ktarian stood up and returned their empty cups and sauced to the replicator.::
Rocar: Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead.
::The tall man turned and smiled at his interviewer as he gently tapped the top of the dedication plague on the wall of the Embassy, sealing the building as a Federation institution. A single piece of Federation soil out amongst the stars beyond Federation space.::
Rocar: Just walk beside me… And be my friend.
(Editor’s note: Some readers may not be aware of the politics of Duronis II. When I read of a constitutionally elected monarchy, I contacted Captain Rocar, who explained. “The term is, in fact, correct. The Planet is now run as a democracy and elected politicians. However, I’m talking about the planet’s past (before the revolution) when it was run by a monarchy and aristocrats. Each Kingdom (country) on the planet had a monarchy and the entire planet was run by an elected monarchy i.e. one king was elected to be emperor (and he could come from any of the kingdoms). An earth parallel is in France when after the first empire and restoration of the monarchy. The King could be elected from one of two royal houses -the house of Bourbon or house of Orleans, both aristocratic and with a right to rule as king. Its kind of an odd mix of democracy where by a King is elected.” – Ed)