Season 2: Mission 2: Just Breath
Location: Alindari Embassy, Kingdom of Hiran
Lord Ambassador Albius Krython an Larth consulted with his aides. "And yet another example of the many levels of intrigues here on Hiran. We could publish all the rumor and innuendo in the royal court into novels, and it would keep our people amused for centuries on end."
Lady Alathena Jath an Varan responded. "The situation is unstable at best and dangerous at worst. The Erisian royal family is risking much. Their first-born daughter is a Starfleet Officer, so the line of succession passed to their second born son." Lady Jath noted. "But there are opportunists seeking to put the firstborn daughter on the throne as a puppet. Either way, it might serve our best interests to limit the civil war these monarchistic fools will fight to their own sector."
"Perhaps Starfleet might have some ideas how to keep the instability from boiling over if the King should die or be assassinated." Lord Krython looked out the window. "I wonder about his majesty. Dose he sleep with one eye open? Our empress sleeps soundly, because we do not practice these ways."
Lord Krython smiled. "And the Erisians mistake our calmness for Naivete. How many listening devices did we find in this embassy when we took possession of it? at least a dozen different designs. We have to thank these nobles for giving the Defense College's School of Intelligence something to do when they returned their own listening devices."
There was a respectful rap on the door to the conference room. An Aide stuck their head in. "My Lords, My ladies, There is ..." The man paused and lowered his voice. "A young noble woman here, with her chaperone. She would like to meet with someone. She does not care who."
Lord Krython exchanged a look with Lady Jath. "Bring her in." Krython stood and approached what appeared to be a pitcher. It was a human drink he was fond of called lemonade and poured some for his guest.
The Young woman entered alone, having imperiously sent her chaperone to sit outside on a chair.
"Princess Jenaya, It is an honour to be graced with your presence this evening." Lord Krython gave a polite bow. "May I present Lady Alathena Jath an Varan, scribe to the Alindari Imperial Senate."
The Princess, a small smile on her lips, swept an elegant curtsey. "Lord Ambassador, Lady Jath an Varan. Thank you for taking the time to see me. I promise I won't take up too much of your time." She wore what was common for a lady of her standing, a fine dress of blue with her hair elegantly pulled back from her face and allowed to tumble down in curls down her back.
"How can I be of service, your highness?" The Ambassador gave the princess the drink he was preparing.
Jenaya watched him carefully. She was a rarity in the Erisian Nobility. On the Shelf was the term normally used, she was nearly 27 and still unwed. Thus she had a bit more freedom than her peers. "My father sent me here, to offer any assistance you may need in navigating our ways." She said honestly. Though personally she was curious about this race of humanoids. So different from the federation.
Lady Jath nodded. "A matter had been brought to concern in the senate." She noted. "As Alindari. We've abandoned the old intrigues of our court when the First Empress created the Imperium and dedicated ourselves to education and social development. The First Empress who taught us that all Alindari are Alindari. Our titles are kept as heirlooms and respect of our ancient houses and ancestors." Lady Jath noted. "But our concern are the intrigues of certain members of the Royal Court. We are very aware of these elements, Highness, as we
have been approached several times by messengers for favors and alliance proposals."
The Ambassador responded. "New Alindar's position is clear; Neutrality. We won't take sides with one group of nobles in their machinations towards another group. This 'Game of Thrones' amuses some on New Alindar, and concerns many."
Jenaya nodded. "I understand your concerns Ambassador. It is a concern shared by those who, needs must remain silent." Taking a breath, she shifted. "The Game has been going on for so long that I believe no one really truely expects it to end. The High Lord rules. You must never believe that he does not. Nothing happens on Erisia without his knowledge. His son schemes against him and plots the demise of family members far from here. His youngest son, fully expects his older brother to be destroyed by their father, thus he waits in the wings expecting the crown to fall to him by default. And both sons hunt for the one thing that will firmly place them on the chair once the High Lord passes." She smiled faintly. "And while the Lalor's scheme against each other the other families watch and wait. Biding thier time and their money until they buy the votes or the military forces needed to take that heavy crown. Truely this planet is a hot bed of deceipt and intrigue. And yet there are those, who would see the game end, before more die needlessly, or worse, our feuds spill into the intergalactic arena where, we, are ill equipped to maintain our diplomatic faces. For sure our Military is being built up, and they continue to petition the Federation for membership, in the hopes that by being allowed to 'join' the federation they can bring their machinations to the Federation and believe me, King Pallas wants an imperial crown, and he believes that the federation will not see him coming if they are granted membership." She paused "My father and brother disagree. They believe that while we should strive for Federation membership, the current Lalor family is not who should lead. For while they are not fully on the side of equality for all, they do not want our planet destroyed by the Federation either and that is what they believe will happen if Pallas gets his way."
"We may not have time, nor the luxury, for all these machinations." The Ambassador noted. "Instability on Hiran will not be isolated to Hiran, as war attracts the worst kind of people imaginable. Allow me to tell a story, Princess. The Warlord Athrendos once had a spire built to his glory on Old Alindari. Every year he would have the spire painted with the blood of a thousand slaves. It took the hue of a complex and intricate pattern with every different kind of blood that can be spilled upon it. By the time of the First Empress Tirielle, It had taken a frightening and grotesque form. Tirielle ordered the spire to be cleansed, but they never got all the blood out. So we purified the spire with a baryon sweep... But we could still smell the blood even if it was perfect white. Do you know why, Princess?"
"Because blood seeps into the very stones and the memory of it is impossible to erase."Jenaya replied calmly. "And you will find those who agree with you around war not being isolated to the one place."
"Some in the Federation will say that this may be a prime directive matter, but the senate will contend that if we step away from Hiran, we'll be facing a situation in a year, a decade. And when Starfleet has to intervene to keep a regional crisis from escalating. The Alindari Councilor to the Federation Council will oppose hasty Starfleet Military action, but heed my council. Others will be less idealistic... and more pragmatic. In the post-dominion war starfleet, we still have the people who fought it high in the ranks of Starfleet Command. We need the nobles to understand this clearly."
"Some will listen. others will see the benefit in following Pallas and the high lord. Already, they plan to make exploration deeper into the quadrants where there is no Federation and they see it as the future for Erisia." She shrugged. "I believe our future was outcast years ago."
"Then they will need our help. Space is full of wonders and terrors the Alindari know well. If you explore, you will attract their attention. The terror that destroyed old Alindar still lives."
"If you help them, then you will help conquerors of innocents" Jenaya said softly.
"I'm not speaking about help in the way you understand." The Ambassador noted. "We will not aid conquerors, but they will attract the attention of things so powerful, they will not be conquered. And they do not think like we do. Give them these words of caution, Princess."
"I will. And any information you have on such beings would be helpful in attempting to sway the votes." Jenaya replied.
"Good day, Princess." The Ambassador watched as she bowed and left. "Lady Jath... Have the School of Intelligence watch her. And explore the possibility of inserting an agent into her entourage. I want to know what cards she has to play in this grand game."
Lady Jath responded. "So we play the game."
"But not by their rules."