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Ambassador TSalik

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  1. Ambassador T'Salik, the now-former Federation Envoy-General to the Scorpiad Empire, settled into the spartan cabin provided aboard their evac transport to the wormhole. Officially, for her it was not an evacuation. The euphemistic description was a "recall" to signify closure of her diplomatic mission in the Gamma Quadrant. The fact that it aligned with the directed withdraw of all citizens of the Avalon colony was deemed coincidental. The reality was: she'd been ordered to abandon the home she and her husband Sorehl had built on the surface, the place where their youngest two children had been born, and after ten years, her longest place of diplomatic service -- longer than Earth, Aegis, Empok Nor, or Cardassia Prime. Such observations drifted near nostalgia, she chided herself. Attachment to objects, she recited mentally, was emotional and illogical. Things were transitory, often with expected and limited temporal duration. What drew her attention in this moment of solitude was the conversation she'd had in parting from Starbase Camelot. Tandaris Admiran, an engineering officer from the starship Excalibur, had asked her to contact Sorehl. After confirming she held the necessary clearance, Admiran expressed interest in technical assistance for countermeasures against Project Merlin. T'Salik recalled her husband being an advisor during its development. Her diplomatic role made her aware that he had opposed its original construction and argued against its deployment. It was a subject he might be reluctant to consult on. However, it was not this reticence that prompted evasion in her response. "I will relay your message," she offered. "I will have him contact you, although I cannot promise when." The Starfleet officer had accepted her answer at face value. What she opted to omit was that she had no idea where her husband was at the moment. More than six weeks earlier, Sorehl had taken a transport to the Alpha Quadrant to accompany their second oldest to Vulcan after her acceptance at the Golshi'Vahr Institute of Arts and Science. On the return trip, he was scheduled to stop on Earth to see their oldest daughter, now entering her fourth year at Starfleet Academy. After that, there were planned stopovers to visit with Commander Blair and Ambassador Drankum, but beyond that he had kept his itinerary from her, specifically so she could not be constrained -- by duty or coercion -- to reveal his other activities. In the six years since stepping down from command of Starbase Camelot, her husband had transitioned to political activism in civilian life. In opposing Allied policy in the Gamma Quadrant, Sorehl had limited his efforts as a private citizen to correspondence and contact with policy-makers. But as it became clear the Federation stance was to allow Dominion and Scorpiad forces to crush their internal rebellions, he found himself unwilling to remain passively on Avalon. Genocide, he had remarked, did not sit well on the Vulcan brow, especially under a thin guise of maintaining status quo. Starfleet itself was bound by political non-interference directives as dictated by the Assembly, but as an ordinary citizen, Sorehl was unencumbered by military regulation. Still, there were bounds to how much he could help the beleaguered peoples of the Gamma Quadrant. It was illegal to provide weapons or tactical advice, nor would he consider doing so, but with prompting from the Al-Ucard Victria and the Vorta Semil (see Arguments of Passion and Foes and Confidants), he had developed contacts willing to alert him and publicize the ongoing insurgencies and rebellions throughout the quadrant. Admiral Abronvonvich had once threatened to charge her husband with treason over such activities (see Leaks and Treason), but Sorehl had assured the flag officer that he would never compromise Starfleet operational security. He had been firm, however, if rebuffing any question of his loyalties or attempt to silence his dissent. If anything, Sorehl had walked away from the confrontation determined to renew his efforts. His knowledge of classified information, tactics, and aeronautical engineering initially made it problematic to travel in unaligned space -- competing powers might try to detain and wrest such secrets from him -- but he had ultimately devised precautions involving Vulcan disciplines and internal biometric protection to safeguard such information. And so he had begun slipping off-world unannounced, to locations unspecified, to offer new values, stimulate pockets of independence, and encourage peaceful resistance. She strongly suspected Sorehl had planned similar waypoints on his return. She didn't even know which side of the wormhole he was on by now, which had made her unable to advise him of their evacuation from Avalon. The bulk of their belongings, minus the few personal effects she could carry, had been left behind on the abandoned colony in their vacant home. She began composing her promised message, hoped the communication path would ultimately reach him -- she would not want Sorehl to be among the things the Federations was leaving behind.
  2. Subject : Scorpiad Freighter To : Admiral Hirokie M'Sna, Starfleet Command; Ambassador Joy Seven From : Ambassador T'Salik, Federation Diplomatic Corps CC : Vice-Admiral Misha Abronvonvich, Commanding Officer, SGQC; Admiral: In making your inquiry, I would caution that a request to consider "options to avoid turning over the prisoners to the Scorpiad" may presume that Federation policy is sufficiently porous that a legalistic rendering can be made to justify an already pre-determined course of action. I trust this is not your intention to imply. In any case, while I have points of disagreement with my esteemed colleague, I am led to concur with her conclusions. The statement that there is a "duty to not turn over prisoners to the Scorpiad" seems to presume policy determinations that have not been declared. The failure of Federation negotiators to establish an extradition treaty is not a de facto condemnation of the Scorpiad system of jurisprudence, nor is it a rendering that they would not sufficiently adhere to the Guarantees. Starfleet does not have a duty to choose when to ignore local law or Federation policy. Starfleet further has a duty to promote peace. The potential conflict between these duties is the crux of this matter. Few galactic powers would look positively on interference with their system of justice. Given the tenuous balance currently maintained with the Scorpiad Empire, this issue has real potential to strain peaceful relations. My assessment of policy, however, assumes neither a bias toward avoiding prisoner return nor overlooking law to maintain good relations. The freighter in question was operating outside treaty-defined borders of the Scorpiad Empire. However, open space is not Federation space. In this incident, it is not Federation law that takes precedence, but interstellar law as recognized by the Federation. Further, the Scorpiad invoked peremptory norms associated with the response to distress and accepting shelter aboard a foreign vessel. As a jus cogens of interstellar law, the principle of non-refoulement protects Al-Ucard and Eritan refugees from being returned to a place where their lives or freedoms may be threatened. I must therefore concur that Starfleet is under no obligation to return these individuals to Scorpiad control. Further, it has the duty to withhold return of these prisoners in the interest of maintaining treaty-mandated neutrality and interstellar law. I concur with my colleague in the remaining matters, especially pertaining to the treatment and freedom of movement afforded to refugees. I believe the latter remain under the purview of the commanding officer, Excalibur. In rendering this opinion, I offer two cautions. First, Starfleet officers should avoid any implication that asylum has been extended to these refugees. Asylum requests bear a political dimension that should be avoided, unless the subjects themselves request it. Even then, these should be adjudicated by civilian authority. Second, distress law suggests that the disposition of those rescued be handled at the point of disembarkment. In light of this, care should be taken in selecting the ship's next port of call with the prisoners aboard. Despite minor points of contention, I concur with the ultimate conclusion reached by Ambassador Joy Seven. While there have been nuances to consider and complications to unravel, I hope my response has been sufficiently plain: Excalibur has obligations under interstellar law to safeguard the refugees it has taken aboard. Until such time as you require further elucidation, I remain your servant.
  3. Given her recent involvement in the plot, I've updated T'Salik's bio.
  4. This log also includes non-Aegis events, but since there may be follow-up that affects the move, I thought I'd post it here as well. Her footsteps glided quietly across the grey and white marbled floor of the Palais de Concord. Hands folded neatly beneath the lengthy sleeves of her traditional Vulcan robe, she mused over the extended briefing she had received from the Deputy Undersecretary for Gamma Quadrant Affairs. The “foreign service” took up one wedge of the Palais floor dedicated to the Department, at whose pleasure she served. As opposed to those ambassadors and diplomats sent from Federation worlds to be represented in its internal affairs, those directed from here represented the entirety of the government to those of non-aligned worlds and foreign powers. “Ambassador T’Salik,” said a balding Andorian, who rose from one of the overstuffed couches at her approach. T’Salik recognized shiKatsu Raumuk at once, both from his reputation and their brief work several years earlier, monitoring free elections on Cardassia Prime. He had the misfortune of being kidnapped by one of the lesser factions, who attempted to use him to bargain with the Federation and concoct false confessions to sway popular opinion. His surprising combination of defiance and compliance had frustrated those attempts, followed by a daring rescue by Starfleet after six months in captivity. The Andorian bowed his head and lowered antenna in deferrence, although he was the higher ranking diplomat. Raumuk was a full Ambassador, while her last promotion had only elevated her to Envoy-General. “I knew you were on Earth,” he began, “but I didn’t realize you were in Paris.” She found it odd that he would remark on surprise at her whereabouts. She could think of no logical reason for him to track her location. Diplomatically, she chose not to comment on this. “I am here to obtain policy direction prior to my return to Camelot Station,” she answered. “Of course,” he smiled politely. “Minority groups in Council still raise debate over whether we should recognize the rebellious movements over there.” “For now,” T’Salik admitted, revealing nothing that wasn’t public knowledge, “we continue support for the existing legitimate governments of the Gamma Quadrant, although as treaty signatories, we have relations with the Hundred.” Raumuk brought his hands together, tipping them forward slightly. “Yes, it’s a fragile balance keeping empires from lashing out in their death throes.” He looked away, with just a trace of bitterness in his voice. “In time, perhaps we can stop letting self-determination be crushed by political necessity and embrace our destiny to free those people.” T’Salik was taken aback at the overtly political nature of the comment. Her expression revealed none of this. The Andorian turned back. “Of course, our duty is to represent the Council and the Administration despite any personal misgivings. I’m sure you’ll be doubly competent.” “Thank you,” she responded, mimicking the expected response to an unnecessary compliment. She nodded briefly and made as if to continue away. “I’ve just been summoned to speak with the Secretary,” he interjected. The statement made her pause. Audiences with a member of the President’s cabinet were rare indeed for members of the foreign service, reserved only for envoys to major foreign powers or recent hotspots. She turned her head back toward him. “I suspect I’m being considered as a candidate for Ambassador to the Cardassian Union,” he admitted. It was not a conceit for him to make this admission, particularly to her. The position had been allowed to languish with “acting” appointments who hadn’t even deigned to set foot on the homeworld. And Raumuk was a reasonable candidate. Admired as fair by the Cardassians before the war, he had favored them in aggressive negotiations for the rediscovered Sarejvante colony. He had been an ambassador-at-large, travelling through post-war Cardassian space, championing for reconstruction efforts and even conducting the formal return of Empok Nor. “Your husband’s report to the Security Council seems to have started quite a chain reaction,” he announced. T’Salik made a deferential nod of her own. “Debate on Cardassia has not been rare, and it is likely to continue for some time.” The Andorian actually smiled. “Debate? The Administration hardly waited for the endorsement before acting.” He paused, realizing she didn’t seem to follow. “Starfleet is already mobilized. I saw the orders myself, advising Aegis to prepare to remove the station from the Cardassian homesystem.” T’Salik unfolded her hands. “But Aegis is a joint operation,” she explained, knowing full well the nature of the treaty. Since he was an actual signatory, Sorehl had insisted on having the language reviewed by her. “It would first be necessary…” “The President already announced that the Klingons and Romulans concur,” he interrupted gently. “And Ambassador Dukor offered the endorsement of the Cardassian Castellan. Which only leaves the Ferengi – and hence the main problem.” There was a great deal in motion. Her intellect rapidly assimilated the facts Raumuk was firing at her, but she was still clearly lacking information. “What problem is that?” “The Ferengi reaction.” “Please elaborate,” she prompted. Raumuk glanced aside, stepping closer. This floor was restricted to those with diplomatic clearance, but discretion was never dismissed easily. “They’ve essentially stonewalled all requests for their official position,” he explained quietly. “Every response has been vague or invoked detailed adherence to treaty minutia. And there are disturbing reports of sudden financial shifts, ships not making their scheduled deliveries, and the unexplained shutdown of several trade missions.” T’Salik considered briefly. “Logic suggests you have a reason beyond idle conversation for choosing to speak with me, but these matters have no bearing on my Gamma Quadrant assignment,” she stated. “And while I have contacts on Cardassia, I have no such influence in either the military or the Ferengi. I must therefore conclude that you intend for me to convey this information to my husband.” “You make it sound so brazen,” he laughed quietly. “As he would be apt to tell you himself, Sorehl is no diplomat,” she advised. “Nor are the acts of a single individual likely to have much bearing on the outcome.” Raumuk folded his arms, frowning. “Only Spock could go to Qo’noS,” he spouted. “Only Archer could go to Andor. Only Nixon could go to China.” He frowned again. “For so many Vulcan adages on the subject, your race tends to dismiss the role of a single individual in negotation. Or is it just an excuse for any one person not to try?” T’Salik contained her surprise. In a few scant words, the Andorian had crafted a razor-sharp axiom of logic, slicing through her objection. Impressed, she wondered if Cardassia was about to be getting a better ambassador than anyone thought.
  5. Along these lines, I have posted a related link elsewhere on the boards: Diplomacy Near and Far
  6. This log largely deals with events outside the Gamma Quadrant, but since it presages my assignment to Camelot, I thought it appropriate to post here. Her footsteps glided quietly across the grey and white marbled floor of the Palais de Concord. Hands folded neatly beneath the lengthy sleeves of her traditional Vulcan robe, she mused over the extended briefing she had received from the Deputy Undersecretary for Gamma Quadrant Affairs. The “foreign service” took up one wedge of the Palais floor dedicated to the Department, at whose pleasure she served. As opposed to those ambassadors and diplomats sent from Federation worlds to be represented in its internal affairs, those directed from here represented the entirety of the government to those of non-aligned worlds and foreign powers. “Ambassador T’Salik,” said a balding Andorian, who rose from one of the overstuffed couches at her approach. T’Salik recognized shiKatsu Raumuk at once, both from his reputation and their brief work several years earlier, monitoring free elections on Cardassia Prime. He had the misfortune of being kidnapped by one of the lesser factions, who attempted to use him to bargain with the Federation and concoct false confessions to sway popular opinion. His surprising combination of defiance and compliance had frustrated those attempts, followed by a daring rescue by Starfleet after six months in captivity. The Andorian bowed his head and lowered antenna in deferrence, although he was the higher ranking diplomat. Raumuk was a full Ambassador, while her last promotion had only elevated her to Envoy-General. “I knew you were on Earth,” he began, “but I didn’t realize you were in Paris.” She found it odd that he would remark on surprise at her whereabouts. She could think of no logical reason for him to track her location. Diplomatically, she chose not to comment on this. “I am here to obtain policy direction prior to my return to Camelot Station,” she answered. “Of course,” he smiled politely. “Minority groups in Council still raise debate over whether we should recognize the rebellious movements over there.” “For now,” T’Salik admitted, revealing nothing that wasn’t public knowledge, “we continue support for the existing legitimate governments of the Gamma Quadrant, although as treaty signatories, we have relations with the Hundred.” Raumuk brought his hands together, tipping them forward slightly. “Yes, it’s a fragile balance keeping empires from lashing out in their death throes.” He looked away, with just a trace of bitterness in his voice. “In time, perhaps we can stop letting self-determination be crushed by political necessity and embrace our destiny to free those people.” T’Salik was taken aback at the overtly political nature of the comment. Her expression revealed none of this. The Andorian turned back. “Of course, our duty is to represent the Council and the Administration despite any personal misgivings. I’m sure you’ll be doubly competent.” “Thank you,” she responded, mimicking the expected response to an unnecessary compliment. She nodded briefly and made as if to continue away. “I’ve just been summoned to speak with the Secretary,” he interjected. The statement made her pause. Audiences with a member of the President’s cabinet were rare indeed for members of the foreign service, reserved only for envoys to major foreign powers or recent hotspots. She turned her head back toward him. “I suspect I’m being considered as a candidate for Ambassador to the Cardassian Union,” he admitted. It was not a conceit for him to make this admission, particularly to her. The position had been allowed to languish with “acting” appointments who hadn’t even deigned to set foot on the homeworld. And Raumuk was a reasonable candidate. Admired as fair by the Cardassians before the war, he had favored them in aggressive negotiations for the rediscovered Sarejvante colony. He had been an ambassador-at-large, travelling through post-war Cardassian space, championing for reconstruction efforts and even conducting the formal return of Empok Nor. “Your husband’s report to the Security Council seems to have started quite a chain reaction,” he announced. T’Salik made a deferential nod of her own. “Debate on Cardassia has not been rare, and it is likely to continue for some time.” The Andorian actually smiled. “Debate? The Administration hardly waited for the endorsement before acting.” He paused, realizing she didn’t seem to follow. “Starfleet is already mobilized. I saw the orders myself, advising Aegis to prepare to remove the station from the Cardassian homesystem.” T’Salik unfolded her hands. “But Aegis is a joint operation,” she explained, knowing full well the nature of the treaty. Since he was an actual signatory, Sorehl had insisted on having the language reviewed by her. “It would first be necessary…” “The President already announced that the Klingons and Romulans concur,” he interrupted gently. “And Ambassador Dukor offered the endorsement of the Cardassian Castellan. Which only leaves the Ferengi – and hence the main problem.” There was a great deal in motion. Her intellect rapidly assimilated the facts Raumuk was firing at her, but she was still clearly lacking information. “What problem is that?” “The Ferengi reaction.” “Please elaborate,” she prompted. Raumuk glanced aside, stepping closer. This floor was restricted to those with diplomatic clearance, but discretion was never dismissed easily. “They’ve essentially stonewalled all requests for their official position,” he explained quietly. “Every response has been vague or invoked detailed adherence to treaty minutia. And there are disturbing reports of sudden financial shifts, ships not making their scheduled deliveries, and the unexplained shutdown of several trade missions.” T’Salik considered briefly. “Logic suggests you have a reason beyond idle conversation for choosing to speak with me, but these matters have no bearing on my Gamma Quadrant assignment,” she stated. “And while I have contacts on Cardassia, I have no such influence in either the military or the Ferengi. I must therefore conclude that you intend for me to convey this information to my husband.” “You make it sound so brazen,” he laughed quietly. “As he would be apt to tell you himself, Sorehl is no diplomat,” she advised. “Nor are the acts of a single individual likely to have much bearing on the outcome.” Raumuk folded his arms, frowning. “Only Spock could go to Qo’noS,” he spouted. “Only Archer could go to Andor. Only Nixon could go to China.” He frowned again. “For so many Vulcan adages on the subject, your race tends to dismiss the role of a single individual in negotation. Or is it just an excuse for any one person not to try?” T’Salik contained her surprise. In a few scant words, the Andorian had crafted a razor-sharp axiom of logic, slicing through her objection. Impressed, she wondered if Cardassia was about to be getting a better ambassador than anyone thought.
  7. Hmmm.... "treaty-violating facility" in the Alpha Quadrant... "Breen privateers"... "Founders missing from their homeworld"... Just getting talking points for my next meeting with Keevan. And you left out A Cast of Vorta, which explains how the Dominion stopped helping Avalon after the wormhole was captured by the Scorpiad.
  8. A joint log with Semil. On a Jem'Hadar ship near the Chambra Vortex... T’Salik read the decrypted text with typical dispassion. It was a testament to Vorta observational power that Eris detected the subtle change in expression nonetheless. “Something has happened,” she stated. She tilted her head inquisitively. “Is it something you can share?” The Vulcan ambassador considered briefly. As a Starfleet-trained communications officer, she knew she couldn’t just hand the contents of the message over directly. Comparison of the resolved plaintext against the transmitted ciphered transmission could give the Dominion insight into Federation encryption methods. Secure communication remained one of the most crucial, and fleeting, of technological advantages. T’Salik committed the contents to memory and cleared the display buffer. As she thought over her response, she considered that the news might already be known to Eris. Since they travelled aboard a Jem’Hadar ship, it was logical to assume the Vorta kept in contact with her superiors in the Council. Or perhaps the Dominion was able to decode Federation diplomatic dispatches. Despite their overtures, the Vorta remained quite tight-fisted about sharing technology and intelligence. According to Jeralla's message, those overtures were ending. T’Salik recognized she was at a juncture of trust. She leaned on her knowledge of the wisdom of Surak. It was time for a “step of measured vulnerability,” shq quoted to herself. “It is a communication from my attache on Camelot,” the Vulcan envoy-general explained. “It seems the Scorpiad have moved against Federation interests near New Bajor and have elsewhere seized the wormhole entrance.” Eris pressed her lips together, betraying no reaction beyond curiosity. T’Salik reminded herself what excellent diplomats the Founders had engineered. She chose to press on, knowing the next information could very well endanger both her and the mission. “In response, it appears your government has withdrawn support from Avalon, citing ‘internal concerns’.” * * * * * Eris turned away from the Vulcan woman. Keevan had manipulated the situation well. More concilatory members of the Council, like herself, had been sent away on assignment. Even though he had completed his quest from the Founder, Weyoun was still distrusted by most of the Council. The heir apparent Taenix had not yet assumed real control. There were few Vorta with enough experience to challenge this decision. No doubt Etana had lent her support. Eris knew the Founders had always trusted her with their most difficult missions. It was she who had been chosen to make first contact with the Federation and attempt to infiltrate their society. It was her Jem’Hadar battle group who had delivered the messages of warning to the Alpha Quadrant. They had obliterated the first New Bajor colony. They had captured the commander of Deep Space Nine. They had destroyed the starship Odyssey. She herself had stood defiantly against Starfleet on their own bridge, warning them of the consequences of violating Dominion space again. Now, she was partnered with one of them, trying to find a diplomatic solution to the unravelling of her own quadrant. Thusfar, their search had been in vain. Was it the will of the Council that she abandon it? Had she not acted on her own initiative in approving Weyoun’s mission, they would not have received new direction from the Founder being held at Earth. They would have known nothing about the Scorpiad except what the Allies had learned. She had seen that the will of the Council was not always the will of the Founders. She replaced the viewing eyepiece on her face, turning back. “Our mission would seem that much more urgent if we are to stand against them,” she advised the Federation envoy. The Vulcan showed no visible sense of relief, but was clearly approving. “We must make contact." She ordered her First, "Increase the strength of our signal and take us directly into the Vortex.” Eris felt a twinge of sacrilidge at her small step of independence, but then, perhaps that's what the Founders had been intending all along. She repeated this thought to herself, finding some measure of comfort in it.
  9. Diplomacy has a way of hinging on unexpected developments. In the aftermath of the Battle of Avalon, a series of wide-spread attacks had crippled the Dominion communications grid. Having lost contact with his superiors, the ranking Vorta at Camelot had pulled his Jem’Hadar task force back toward home. With fear of an emerging new threat, the official representatives of the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire had ventured out aboard the RES Valtrex to restore contact with the Vorta Council and reaffirm their mutual alliance. Instead, history might well record their humble mission had saved the Dominion itself. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The cloaked warbird had passed easily across the border. Not a single Jem’Hadar sentry or patrol challenged them during the three day journey to the Vorta Central Command Complex. Only debris remained where known subspace relays had boosted signals across the Dominion communications grid. Valtrex had arrived at the expected position of the Command Complex to discover a full scale assault by the oddly-configured Scorpiad vessels – a decapitation strike in progess. Ambassador N’Kedre had acted quickly, ordering the warbird into the battle. Still cloaked, they slipped through a withering barrage and within transporter range of the complex. The Romulan ship had plucked the surviving members of the Vorta Council and executed a hasty retreat from the system, advising the Jem’Hadar flagship to follow. Although the complex was destroyed, the Scorpiad ships had curiously not pursued them. Such an event was not without precedent. Well before his own traitorous coup, Gul Dukat had engineered the rescue of the entire Detapa Council, enlisting a Starfleet team to safeguard the civil authority from the Klingon invasion force. Of course, the direct result of that action had been Chancellor Gowron’s attack on Deep Space Nine and the dissolution of the Khitomer Accords. The diplomatic duty of sherpherding the Vorta aboard the Romulan ship had fallen to T’Salik, Envoy-General of the United Federation of Planets to the Dominion at Starbase Avalon and Minister Plenipotentiary-at-Large for the Gamma Quadrant. The irony that she’d risen to such a position only as a result of the Dominion’s incursion into the Alpha Quadrant was not lost on her. As the warbird retreated, she escorted the de facto Vorta leader Keevan to join the surviving members of the Council. “Keevan!” a female named Kilana had shouted in recognition. “We had feared you were lost.” Keevan nodded deferentially. Looking around, T’Salik observed that she had never seen so many of their kind gathered in one place. With their genetically seeded mistrust, the Vorta usually presided over areas of responsibility that avoided overlap. “We need to rally the Jem’Hadar,” another Vorta, whom she did not recognize, said. T’Salik spoke up at once. “The premise is illogical,” she asserted. “Your entire communication network has been systematically compromised.” The unknown Vorta had turned toward her with a visible sneer. “With all due respect, Madam Ambassador, you have no part in our deliberations.” “Interesting,” she countered. “It would seem that without our part, there would be no further deliberations from this Council.” Keevan raised an uneasy hand, still seemingly shaken from his perceived failure. “We owe a great debt to our allies,” he offered. “And she is right. With the complex gone, we have no way to send authenticated orders.” “We’ve got to alert them,” the other insisted. "Direct their defenses." “We will,” Keevan agreed, “but without our codes, the Jem’Hadar won’t be able to tell if the orders come from us or from those loyal to the Hundred.” “By the Founders,” Kilana whispered. T’Salik observed with curiosity. There was a new irony at work – the Vorta would have to depend on unguided Jem’Hadar to protect their empire. Dispassionately, she wondered if their genetic abilities would do any better without orders than without their precious white.
  10. The joint log above takes place twenty-three days after the departure of the USS Morningstar to Surma, three days after the arrival of the starship Yorktown at Starbase Avalon, and within one day of the announcement of the T-Rogoran and Dominion cloning facility attacks. A biography for T'Salik is posted here.
  11. General Statistics Name: T’Salik Species: Vulcan Gender: female DOB: 2312 Height: 5 ft. 10 in. Weight: 145 lbs. Eye Color: blue Hair Color: blonde Skin Color: caucasian Education – Institute of Vulcana Regar, primary degrees in Federation history and linguistics; Starfleet Academy, major in diplomacy/communications; Post-Academy training, University of Betazed, secondary degree in interstellar relations; accredited fieldwork in civil administration and bureacracy; Personal Background - T’Salik has been bonded to her husband Sorehl since age seven. Together, they have four young daughters and a son. T'Salik was a student of Vulcan mind science as part of the M'neimon-ahr Order. Career - At a young age, T’Salik entered the Federation civil service, rising through the ranks of the bureacracy. She developed a broad cultural background through postings and assignments on a number of worlds, including Vulcan, Andor, Axanar, Organia, Deneva, Betazed, and Delta IV. Exposure to other cultures prompted an interest in joining Starfleet, where she served some ten years, specializing in communications and reaching the rank of lieutenant. After entering the Reserves, she rejoined the Diplomatic Service, where she served in a variety of roles. This included postings on Memory Prime, Organia, and Pacifica, as well as political support for the admission of the Benzite homeworld, Excalbia, and Legar II into the United Federation of Planets. In concert with her husband’s Starfleet assignments over the last decade, she has supported regions adjoining Cardassian space. During that time, she helped to enforce DMZ neutrality, negotiate Maquis petitions, and oversee engineering projects. She has overseen rebuilding on several war-torn colonies, and has worked to strengthen Federation ties the with the Ghemor administration. After serving as an official observer for elections on Cardassia Prime, she was transferred to Starbase Avalon in the Gamma Quadrant to serve as an official envoy to the Dominion. With the successful conclusion of the Battle of the Wormhole, she was requested by the Scorpiad to serve as Ambassador Plentipotentiary to their empire. She remains with her family on the Avalon colony under Camelot Station. Miscellaneous – T’Salik and her oldest daughter were among Federation citizens on Betazed when that world fell to Dominion invasion. During the occupation, she was placed in an interment camp, where she served as liaison between prisoners and the Vorta overseers. After several months, she was among those secreted off-world with the aid of Klingon intelligence officer K'Vorlag and Commander Maher Hashbaz of the starship Victory. Associations - In addition to her collaboration with Governor K'Vorlag against the Dominion occupation of Betazed, T'Salik has been able to work with a number of personalities. As a junior envoy, she was an adjutant to noted Andorian diplomat shiKatsu Raumuk, who now serves as Federation ambassador to Cardassia Prime. She established an advisory relationship with Ambassador Joseph Briel, formerly of the starship Excalibur, during his governorship of the colony on Canar II. Working closely with Ambassador Drankum, she helped negotiate Ferengi support for the construction of Sky Harbor Aegis. She was instrumental in the assignment of Zog Gabrel, Cardassian proctor of planetary science, as a civilian attache to Sky Harbor Aegis prior to his death. Now a senior envoy in her own right, T'Salik is attended by her adjutant Jeralla Ramson, a young Cardassian female holding dual Federation citizenship.
  12. At a proposed election site on Cardassia Prime, 0503.18:17:28 “Neutral observers will also confirm there is no evidence of military presence within a full 50-meter perimeter of the polling place,” Ambassador T’Salik noted, gesturing toward the proposed range. The uniformed glinn beside her let out an exasperated breath. The Vulcan diplomat merely glanced toward the Cardassian. No doubt the Centrist Party would benefit greatly if there were no controls against deploying military officers to do their own brand of overseeing. “The goal is to certify the legitimacy of this election,” she continued, “not merely the appearance.” T’Salik turned her head, seeing one of her Bajoran colleagues rushing toward the group of political aides. She was among the all-too-few neutral volunteers here to observe and support Cardassia’s steps toward democracy. “Ambassador,” she called, out of breath. Reaching the group, she thrust out an electronic tablet for them to see. “There’s been an attack. You’ll want to see this.” T’Salik and the small group of minor Cardassian dignitaries huddled closer to the display, reading text alongside the images being shown. There was at least one audible gasp. “That’s the new mining facility on Hutet’s largest moon,” the Reunion delegate revealed, “the one the Federation helped renovate.” “Stolen by the Free Cardassia movement! Outrageous!” shouted the Freedom Party delegate, reading aloud. “We would never support an attack on our own people! The Prime Minister has gone too far!” T’Salik noted that such a statement didn’t exclude attacks on aliens like herself. The glinn beside her looked simultaneously overconfident and flustered, puffing up in his bulky uniform. “He hasn’t gone far enough,” he sneered. “The military would never have allowed such a lapse in security. 100,000 more of our citizens dead. This is a death blow to the Reunionists and any thought of safety under civil rule.” Dispassionate as ever, T’Salik ignored the emotional reactions around her, but examined instead the political subtext. More disturbing than the conflict in microcosm, her mind went back to converstation with Major Muldoon - proposing the low orbit option in their search for Ambassador Raumuk. This was exactly the type of incident that would send Yorktown closer to the homeworld. Despite herself, it was hard to dismiss the convenience.
  13. From behind, a firm hand clamped down on the shoulder of the Vulcan diplomat. “You take a lot of chances coming without an escort,” the brusque voice admonished. With all the discipline of her m’neimon-ahr training, the Federation Envoy-General to Cardassia Prime avoided bristling at the human’s touch. “As one of the few Vulcans on Cardassia,” T’Salik explained without turning around, “it would be difficult to move discretely by any means.” She glanced over to her shoulder, a subtle prompt to cease the uninvited contact. “Nevertheless, as we both know,” she added, “I have a faithful attendant keeping careful watch.” She felt the hand withdraw. Robert Muldoon puffed his cigar, circling around until he was in front of the Vulcan diplomat. “Vogel must be losing his touch,” the former-Marine major observed, looking off. “I told him to stay undercover.” Muldoon dropped into the nearest padded chair, putting his boots up on the table between them. "You're observant. I should never underestimate a blonde." “Hopefully, your efforts have been more successful,” T’Salik prompted. “It’s a big, chaotic planet,” he offered. “More than enough to hide a single blue diplomat.” Muldoon took another puff. “But you have leads on Ambassador Raumuk.” “Plenty,” Muldoon agreed, blowing a plume of smoke. “All conflicting: The Centrists hold him hostage. Freedom Party wants to make an example. Reunion front captured him as a terrorist. Secret negotiations with one or all of them. He’s rebuilding Z’lo with his bare hands. Those are the less fanciful ones.” T’Salik leaned forward, lifting a cup of red leaf tea to her lips. “Then you are no closer,” she surmised. Muldoon put his feet down. “We’ve got a lot more leads than Starfleet has.” The Vulcan observed him. “Your methods are more discrete?” she asked. “Hardly,” the former-Marine admitted, “but thanks to you, I’ve got a warm blanket of diplomatic immunity." She set down her cup firmly. “Don’t make me regret it, Mr. Muldoon,” she cautioned. “Those credentials make you a representative of the Federation Assembly.” “This ain’t Federation space,” he countered, putting his feet down, “and I’m not Marshall here. We both know why you asked for my help.” He let a long pause lapse between them. “Yes,” T’Salik finally agreed. “I’m well aware of your qualifications – and the risks. I seem to recall you got your last commanding officer imprisoned.” Muldoon ignored the halfhearted taunt. “It would take less groundwork locating your Andorian friend if we could use low orbital scans.” “We have no such option,” T’Salik replied, shaking her head. “Sky Harbor circles the central star independently, between the third and fourth planets. It is currently a quarter orbit away, an unlikely distance for isolating a single life form.” Muldoon considered, puffing. “But a ship could. My sources say Yorktown is back in the system. You could always use your diplomatic skills on Halloway… he even has a weakness for blondes.” T’Salik dismissed the suggestion. “You’re suggesting putting a warship in orbit just months before free elections? Are you aware of the political ramifications? I seriously doubt Admiral Meve would support such a deployment. He does not seem to share my priorities.” Muldoon looked off for a moment. For that same moment, her Vulcan mind considered whether the former-Marine was plotting exactly the kind of incident that would support such a deployment. Although he’d been instrumental in foiling the assassination of Governor Briel, Muldoon had also been known for less principled actions during the war. She readied stern warnings, but instead heard him ask, “The Klingons never moved their little orbital outpost, did they?” She blinked, betraying none of her previous thoughts. “Unless I’m mistaken,” she responded, “it was abandoned in place and remains unoccupied.” Muldoon merely smiled, tilting his cigar up at an odd angle before taking it from his mouth. “Then it sounds like we do have an option.”