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Rules of Acquisition

Posted on Mon Nov 21st, 2016 @ 3:48pm by James Chen

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Federation Council Building, James Chen's Office
Timeline: August, 2388

"Sir, the Ferengi ambassador is here to see you." Will Harrison's, Councilor James Chen's chief-of-staff, monotone voice broke the silence of the councilor's office. James had been staring at a handheld PADD, as he often did, reviewing much of the day's activities. "Send him in, Will." Said Chen, putting away his items and standing to greet his guest.

A few seconds passed before Moss, the ambassador from Ferenginar, appeared through his doorway. Chen smiled wide. "Mr. Ambassador, an honor to meet you. May I get you anything? A drink?" James gestured, offering the Ferengi the seat across from his desk. "No, Mr. Chen, no pleasure. Unfortunately it's all business today." Moss was well-known to various ambassadors and delegates from most governments that the Ferengi had dealings with. Apart from possessing the cunning and particular acumen for business that his species prided themselves on, he was well-spoken, and a flatterer of the highest quality. He was an effective political force for the Alliance. "Good business is always pleasure." Said Chen, quoting a Ferengi proverb. Moss grinned and nodded. "True," His grin faded a little. "Though you may not find this business so pleasing, Councilor."

Chen furrowed his brow just a little. "That's too bad. Please, continue." Moss paused for a moment before speaking, no doubt for dramatic effect. "The Alliance has been contemplating 'reforming' the terms of it's trade agreements with Earth, and many of the other outlying colonies." He had stressed the word 'reforming' particularly. "There are some on Ferenginar, including the Grand Nagus, that feel like the Alliance's deals with some of the Federation, and it's allies, has been unfairly shifted against our best interests." Moss looked at Chen as if he was just the messenger. Chen knew very well what was truly being discussed. "In short, we either need to rethink the terms of our agreements," Moss smirked a clever little smile. "Or rethink the agreements."

"I see. Well," James expressed a face of surprise. "I am sorry to hear that. Tell me, Ambassador, is there anything we can do? What kind of reforms is your government looking for?" James held a note of sincerity. "Actually, Mr. Chen, there is." Moss produced a PADD from his coat pocket. "These are the revised terms of all of our existing trade agreements we'd like to see enacted." He handed it to Chen.
Several minutes passed as the Federation councilor peered over the documents, nodding his head in agreement, occasionally making a 'hmm' sound here and there. Eventually, he set the device down. "So, we are in agreement then?" Moss had a wicked little grin on his face.

"Unfortunately, no. We are not. These terms are foolish at best and insulting at worst." Chen's tone dropped dramatically from it's previous cordiality. "That's disappointing." Moss's face contorted to a frown. "It seems we have nothing left to discuss then, hew-mon." The ambassador stood from his seat. "Actually, we do. And you would do well to sit back down. I am not finished." Chen's voice was solid, perhaps even a little menacing. "These negotiations are over. You are satisfied with the existing arrangements. And you are done sending secret delegations to the Dominion to threaten us into submitting to your terms." The accusation surprised Moss, but Chen's information was rarely incorrect. The ambassador turned to leave. "If you walk out that door, I'll make four calls and you will see the value of latinum depreciate so quickly that by the time you get back to Ferenginar you won't be able to buy bread." Moss turned to face James with a look of incredulity and offense. "That's illegal! You wouldn't dare." James's expression remained unchanged. "Watch me."

The tension between the two increased. Neither said a word, until Moss's face sighed into a resigned expression. "Now. Sit." Commanded Chen. Moss did as he was told, surrendering. "If you are done making the worst mistake of your career by displeasing me, I have a counter-proposal." The Ferengi looked curiously, though still fuming, at the councilor. "I'm listening." Said Moss.

"You don't have a choice." Chen replied, his voice steely and cold.


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