The Klingon Ambassador
"Stardate," the female voice whispered not wishing to make her head throb anymore than it already did. Silently she vowed never to imbibe in Romulan ale again. "2345.7," she murmured then switched the recorder off. "Stupid feddie mechanical junk," Rolling over in the bed she moaned in pain again.
"Madam Ambassador is indisposed," her assistant asked.
"Madam has a killer hangover," the curt reply came. Swinging her legs over the side of her bed she grabbed her assistant by the throat, "Who gave me Romulan Ale?" Dunyazade Ya Zaddie Sutai Chimera demanded.
"I believe that would have been Ambassador Tal's doing," croaked the toady little man. Once her grip was relaxed he fell to his knees, "I swear I had nothing to do with it my Lady."
"Of course you had nothing to do with it Dalcon," she sneered, "You're not nearly that stupid." She shook herself, "How far are we from the conference's location?"
Dalcon moved to the frame on the wall that housed a central computer for the Ambassador's quarters. His fingers flew over the nearly invisible keyboard. "We'll arrive in two hours Earth standard time, Madam."
"They'll be expecting me to be hung over," she muttered bitterly, "The old boys."
"Female ambassadors are rare," commiserated the assistant. He moved to the replicator, "Coffee , black, very strong." He ordered.
Dunyazade gave him an approving gaze, "Dalcon you read my mind." She stretched as she stood, unlike most Klingons she was not very tall, nor was she as swarthy. Her hybrid mixture of Klingon and Batazoid had its pluses and its minuses. To clear her mind and soul she began her morning ritual Mok'bara. Dalcon had set the timer on the replicator so her coffee would be ready when she finished, then he discreetly exited her bed chamber to allow her privacy during the ritual.
Mok'bara which included both an armed and unarmed form similar to taijiquan and forms using traditional Klingon weapons such as the bat'leth were part of her daily centering. The form she used this morning as she was pressed for time was unarmed form that resembled an intricate and rather erotic dance. Her assistant returned just as she finished, he removed the coffee from the replicator and handed it his mistress.
"Thank you Dalton," she said pleasantly, "See to my uniform, I'll be in my bath." She sipped the coffee. "I hate replicator coffee."
Dalton had been her assistant since she'd taken over the duties of the last ambassador. The fact that he was not outwardly Klingon seemed to surprise a good many. He was in fact a Klingon citizen one of many who had no ties to the Klingon home world of Kronus. He was something the government never admitted to, a descendant of a ship that had been captured eons ago. Just as Dunyazade's mother had been. Dalton had lived on a Klingon world and had worked in some capacity for Klingon diplomats. Dunyazade had taken a liking to the little man and had appointed him her personal assistant to the chagrin of the High Council and the High Command, a fact that pleased her. He was efficient and she had no reason to fire or kill him.
She took less time than normal with her bathing ritual today. The 'old boys' ambassadors, including that Vernialan Slime worm Romulan would be expecting her to over sleep and miss the arrival. It was an old trick, and she'd been warned by her Ambassador Korth's widow as to what she might be facing. Tal the aging Romulan thought himself much smarter than Klingons.
Dalton had her imperial uniform set out. He bowed and once more gave her privacy. She began to dress with great care. She didn't want any disparaging remarks. She could only imagine what Azetbur would think had she lived to see this day. Her chancellorship had opened doors to other females. They had always been warriors, but few ever became diplomats. Once she was dressed, she buzzed for Dalton, "Come Dalton, the universe awaits us."
Tal and his assistant were sharing a chuckle at the expense of the young and untried Klingon Ambassador. "She will sleep for a week," he laughed as the doors opened into the area where the Ambassadors were to gather before the arrival. His laughter died in his throat becoming a strangle as he saw the woman seated at the head of the table,
"I was under the impression;" Dunyazade addressed him icily, "That all the Ambassador's were expected to be here on time."
Others in the room had come to find her already seated and reading the itinerary. Some looked sympathically at Tal, others hid amusement. The Romulan looked at her with little flames in his eyes, but she saw them as he answered. "I believe I'm here on time."
"You're late by two minutes," Dunyazade looked back to her computer screen, "I'll just have to chalk it up to old age." Even without looking she knew the old man had come to his full height, not that it would do him a bit of good. She had plans to kill the humorless worm first chance she got.
The intercom in the chamber opened and a voice announced. "The Federation of Planets welcomes you to the Conclave of Elaan."
Dunyazade rose smoothed her cloak and prepared to take her assigned place in the procession to the transporter. Tal interrupted her procession, "Yes Tal," she looked at him with disinterest. "What is it?"
"I warning little girl," he said darkly. "You're playing in the big boys' court,"
"I only see an old man," she replied icily stepping around him. "However your warning is noted."
Dalton followed her, "He's dangerous," he whispered.
"I read him," the young woman assured her assistant.
Elaan of Troyius had been an unusual leader of her people, a hostage to a peace who had risen to rule justly at the side of her husband and become legend. It was for this reason her name had been given to the Conclave. Dunyazade stood in quiet reverie admiring the hologram of the woman. A warrior princess, and a noble Queen, the eyes of the rare beauty beguiled even Dunyazade.
"She was as deadly as she was beautiful," a voice from behind her remarked.
The Klingon recognized the infections, and knew that a Vulcan stood behind her, "Did you know her," she asked. The life expectancy of Vulcan's being far greater than most races; she knew the question was not out of line.
"I had the privilege," the voice said tranquilly. "She was a barbarian to the end."
Dunyazade was not sure if the man was serious, and turned to look at him. Her eyes looked up to the dark eyes of the Vulcan Ambassador, Sarek. "How does the Ambassador mean that?"
"Elaan was of the royal house of Elas… she was~ a Dohlman."
"Ah," Dunyazade turned back to the life like image. "I knew I liked her."
It was the Vulcan's turn to ask, "How does the Ambassador mean that?"
The Klingon woman smiled wickedly, "She was a barbarian."
"Indeed." Sarek mused, "I've not had the privilege of being introduced, I am Sarek of Vulcan."
"I am Dunyazade Ya Zaddie Sutai Chimera," she said not offering her hand as she knew it was against Vulcan protocol. "I've read some your last report; will your finding be open to discussion?"
Sarek's lip twitched, nearly into a smile, "Some of my report is already under discussion," he inclined his head toward the corner where Tal was nearly holding court, "As you can see."
"That old fool," Dunyazade said under her breath, "he has no honor."
"He says that of you," remarked the Vulcan without rancor.
"And yet he breathes."
Sarek nodded, "Madam Ambassador, would you care to join me for dinner?"
"I'm no herbivore," she warned.
"I'll survive." He assured her moving beside her toward the state dining room of the complex where this conclave was being held. "I was married to a human."
"So I'd heard," Dunyazade wondered what it was about this quiet Vulcan that was drawing her in. She had tried to read him and found that he was just as he'd presented himself. A refreshing change from the other Ambassador's she had to deal with these days. "What is your opinion of Tal's proposition?"
"He is a Romulan looking for Romulan advantage," Sarek droned.
The young Klingon woman turned and smiled broadly at her companion "OH that was perfectly put." Adding quickly, "I like you!"
Sarek considered the outburst for a moment, "Thank you Madam Ambassador."
Dalton was inspecting the quarters given to his mistress, something was amiss and he couldn't find the source. He had seen one of the Romulans near the entrance of the chamber. That had made the hair on his neck stand; he made a note inform the Ambassador.
The conversation during dinner had turned to several of the latest dictions of the Federation of Planets in the area of mining. Dunyazade thought she was making her point when the Vulcan shook his head in disagreement. "Don't you sit there shaking your head at me; you of the Federation have an unfair advantage."
"Indeed, and what would that be?"
"The Horta for one," the woman argued with a grimace. "We don't have any and so we have to rely on gathering information the old fashioned way."
Again there was a twitch at the corner of Sarek's lip and a twinkle seemed to enter his eyes. "I'll concede the point."
The dinner speeches had begun and the Klingon muttered under her breath, "Wind bags."
"Indeed," the Vulcan agreed sipping from his goblet of water. "Perhaps if we quietly exited, no one would miss us."
"You don't have to deliver a speech," she asked.
"Not this time," Sarek stood and moved quietly toward the door but ever so slowly. As he neared the exit he waited for the Klingon woman to join him. When she moved through the crowd following his example he nodded approval. Once in the outer hall of the complex he strolled with his hands clasped behind his back. "You were saying."
"The problems of the empire are my first concern," she went on. "While I wish for our empire and the federation to coexist in an arrangement that is beneficial to both," her words took on an edge, "I have no desire to see my empire nudged out of important trade or colonies."
"One does not think of colonies when one thinks of Klingons," Sarek warned.
"I suppose you hear the rumors that Klingons took no prisoners," she frowned.
"It was bandied about."
"Bad press," she mused, "Good for keeping enemies at bay, bad for developing dialogue with friends." Her mood turned serious. "The Romulans spread rumors about Klingons, I'm only the latest target. My predecessor's widow warned me about Tal." They walked the length of the long corridor. "I should like to warn you to watch your back where Tal is concerned. He has no love for Vulcans either."
"I thank you for the warning."
After six days the conference was winding down, and Dunyazade knew she'd made an enemy of Tal. She also knew that she had a friend and champion in the Vulcan Ambassador. He backed her up when he felt she was on the right track, and she followed his lead finding merit in his arguments. Minerals and mining rights on colonies that were under dispute had brought the quiet discussions to argument levels. Voices had been raised and tempers were flaring. Mild threats had been issued and the Romulan had even resorted to name calling. Dunyazade had suspected he was behind some odd things that had been occurring in her quarters. He had resorted to using a mind shield, and the woman knew it was to protect his thoughts from known Telepaths such as Sarek of Vulcan. Her own abilities had been kept under wraps and she intended to keep it that way for as long as she could.
Tal looked to the mediator, "On the honor of the Romulan council…"
"You have no honor," Dunyazade accused hotly. "You sit there and accuse my empire of spying, of thievery and yet you take no responsibility for any of the damages your scouts caused."
The room went silent, all eyes, including those of the mediator went to Tal. He glared at the Klingon, "You go too far little one," he warned coldly. "They don't wish to hear the words of a barbarian."
"Not nearly as far as I intend to go," she seethed rising from her chair. "It is true that my world, my government and my empire are barbaric. This is not a thing of which to be ashamed. We live in harsh environments and anything less than a barbarian would die. We live by Karmerx! That which does not grow~ dies." She spoke with passion and knew that at last her voice was being heard over Tal's. "WE are Barbarians; we are warriors who seek only to stay in existence. Since the Organian Peace Treaty, a thing that was forced upon us and the Federation, both sides have forged an uneasy but a working Accord Settlement. Up until now it has been equitable." She turned her gaze on Tal. "Since the untimely death of my predecessor, this gentleman has been spreading falsehoods that some on this council are only too ready to believe." Tal flinched and Dunyazade saw it fuelling her suspicions. Tal had something to do with the death of the last Klingon Ambassador, of that much she was certain. "Some on this council have sought to have the Empire shut out from any claims to the colonies under dispute. Some have joined in secret to call into challenge the Empire's rights and my service." She moved about the room now, keeping her voice calm. "Just as each of you and your worlds have needs and wants so do we. The mineral rights on the colonies that have fallen into questions must be shared equally or there is no reason to continue the façade of civility. Tal has tried to push the Klingon Empire's needs off the table. I cannot and will not allow that to happen. WE are here, deal with it."
Sarek turned to the mediator, "You'd best say something," he urged.
"We find the Klingon argument," he looked at Tal with a strange mixture of fear and amusement, "Valid."
Tal glared at the young woman.
Dunyazade resumed her seat, "We suggest an escrow account of sorts for the minerals, with each world having access to prescribed amounts."
Sarek nodded, Tal glared.
For six days the young woman had made efforts to stay alert, and keep the Romulan at arm's length. She had done her best to keep out of his sights, but this had sealed her fate. She knew that within hours her life was going to be threatened. The Romulans were too shifty to do something openly. She suspected they would poison her, just as she suspected they had her predecessor. Still she had done what she'd come here to do, and she could not shake the feeling of pride that she'd served her Empire well.
When dinner was served it seemed the members of the conclave were choosing to side with or against the Klingon. She sat alone at a table, being shunned by some of the more important ambassadors. Sarek took a seat beside her, gave her a supportive glance before turning to stare into space. Only two others joined them, a human from Earth and an Orion. Even the servers for the dinner seemed reluctant to give service to the table where she was seated. Only the presences of Sarek thwarted the efforts to completely shun the woman.
She watched as wine was poured, a goblet for each person at the table. Hers was poured from a bottle that seemed to have been used for another table, and had but one glass left in it. She was distracted by a loud discussion at a table in the corner and had not seen the waiter pour. When she turned back there was a full glass of wine in front of her. Sarek noted the odd expression on her face, she looked at him, "I didn't order, nor did I request wine."
"It is being served to everyone," he motioned. "You do not imbibe?"
"I don't drink… wine." She mouthed tightly staring at the goblet of blood red wine.
Sarek stared at the white wine in his goblet, "I prefer a good red to white," he commented quietly before reaching for her goblet, her hand reached out for his… a warning in her eyes but he brought the goblet to his lips and drank.
"Sarek no," she mouthed.
"Dunyazade," he whispered, "It is just as well you don't drink this," he knocked the glass over, "It's a bad vintage."
She watched him, knowing he'd ingested a poison meant for her. Her appetite for dinner evaporated, she pushed the food on her plate about with her fork but didn't really eat. What few speeches had accompanied dinner she was oblivious to. Her concentration was on Sarek. When the speeches ended, and the ambassadors began to mill about she looked at the Vulcan with mild irritation and concern. "What did you think you were doing," she questioned.
"I suspected the wine to be dosed," he admitted. "WE have different physicality, what can kill a Klingon will not kill me." He staggered slightly, and she gripped his arm to keep him from falling.
"But it can make you sick," she muttered, "I did not need nor did I request your assistance," she pointed out as she guided him toward one of the lifts at the end of the hall. "I will see you to your quarters."
"I have not nor do I need your assistance."
"Deal with it," she grumbled darkly shoving him into the lift. Her hand moved to the panel to press for his floor when the doors shut, the car shuttered and began to plummet. Bracing herself and the incapacitated Vulcan she shouted, "Sarek, brace yourself, we're in free fall!"
With the strength that Vulcan's were known for he gripped a side rail and held fast. Dunyazade feared that they were going to be in freefall for quite some time. It was a shock when the car suddenly slowed and came to a stop. The Vulcan slumped to the floor of the car as it went dark except for the emergency lighting. A singeing odor filled the car with unpleasant smoke. Dunyazade crawled toward the stricken Vulcan, "Are you injured?"
"Stay back," he warned trying to hide his face, "You should not see me… not like this."
She was confused, how had he changed? In the time that they had been falling to this moment how could he have changed? "Sarek," she whispered, "Are you injured?"
"Please Ambassador, keep your distance."
Closing her eyes, lowering shields, she moved mentally closer….her eyes opened, "The poison has pushed you into a state of pon-far, the blood fever…" her tone was impersonal, as if discussing weather.
Sarek stared at her, "You are empathic?"
"I'm half Batazoid," she admitted, "I can help you, if you are willing to allow a meld."
"Such a thing is not possible," he said moving closer to the corner to cower, "It would be…no out worlder should see this."
"It will make it possible for you to live past this incident," she crawled closer. "You will be missed, not I… and because you were not the intended victim… we will be found…I would prefer that they found us both intact." She reached out a hand, knowing the Vulcan form of mind melding. "Open your thoughts to me," she said in a tranquil voice.
Sarek surrendered to the gentle pressure of her presences. His hand reached for her psi points, and the meld was created. Thoughts were shared, experiences split and passed from one to the other. How long they were locked in the meld the Klingon was never sure of. When the meld became more physical than mental she didn't care, the Vulcan was the first lover she'd taken that actually satisfied her needs. When the fever was broken, Sarek sagged against her and breathed more easily. Dunyazade heard a voice in her head saying, "Stop smiling."
"I can't," she giggled aloud, "My complements…"
"That's disgusting," Sarek muttered.
"You forget Ambassador; I am a barbarian…" she stretched feeling more alive than she'd remembered. "Listen… do you hear something?"
Sarek listened but didn't move, he was still huddled into her. "Scraping."
"They must have located you… are you wearing one of those little tracking devices the Feddies like so much?"
Sarek nodded, "I would imagine whoever was responsible is well away from here by now."
"I wonder how long we've been down here?"
Sarek looked into her eyes, "36 hours, 27 minute and 16 seconds."
"Really," she answered huskily, a grin forming on her lips.
"You saved my life," Sarek sighed.
"You saved mine first," she replied.
He nodded as he pulled back from her.
The President of the Federation of Planets offered his apology to the Klingon Ambassador for her inconveniences suffered during this her first foray into Diplomatic service. "I do hope it has not left you with a bad taste in your mouth."
"On the contrary," she mused, "It's given me something to work for." She watched with pleasure as the Romulan Ambassador's aide was arrested. She motioned for Dalton to take her things to the ship transporting her back to a Klingon ship. "I look forward to seeing you on Earth." She informed the President blithely. She noticed the Vulcan standing by the hologram of Elaan. Once she'd been dismissed by the President she walked his way. "I wanted to say goodbye Ambassador Sarek," she said in greeting. "And to thank you for helping me get my feet wet."
"I wanted to thank you once again…" he began but halted when she said using the mental link that would last them a life time that no thanks were needed, nothing had ever happened. He handed her a small box, "Something to remember your first conclave," he bowed and coolly strolled away.
Dalton was waiting and Dunyazade could see he was becoming impatient. The transport ship took the same length of time in returning her to the Klingon ship as it had in delivering her to the conclave. This time she was the only high ranking passenger as the Romulan had been requested to stay behind for some explaining. Upon reaching her ship she reported to the captain whose name would have disturbed members of the Federation.
"Kang, we can set a course for the home world," she told him coming to his side on the bridge.
He looked at her with amusement, "So little Ambassador, how was it?"
"Eventful," she admitted, "And productive, thanks to the Romulan's plot to murder me. We have been granted our fair share of the mineral rights on the colonies. The High Council was right about the Federation's desires to appear to be fair." She ignored his snicker, and utterly foolish comment about 'the pretty Klingon' conquering all. "I'll be in my quarters," she advised him as the ship went to warp. "I've reports to finish."
Dalton was setting out the vids for her viewing and the reports she needed to complete. "Madam," he held up a small package. "What should I do with this?"
"Leave it Datlon," she said pouring a glass of Cafairian apple juice for herself, she preferred the real thing to the replicator's version. Seated at the desk she set about the task before her, and the reports that would become endless during her time as an Ambassador. She looked at the little package Sarek had given her and allowed her curiosity to get the better of her.
She had put it out of her mind until now. Slowly she opened the lid and stared at the object seated on a bed of velvet. Never had she seen so lovely a gift, a replica of the famous Elas dagger owned by Elaan during her time as a Dohlman. It was exquisite, perfectly balanced and sleek; truly a woman's weapon. There was a small note within and she read it, the script was precise, and neat.
My dearest Madam,
May this little gift be accepted in the spirit to which it is offered.
Live long, and prosper.
A voice, faint now due to the distance whispered in her mind, "Barbarian."
Dunyazade smiled, "Thank you Sarek." She said aloud knowing that he would hear.