Et Tu, Brute?
Location: Diplomatic Suite - USS Kingdom
Just a few inches to the right of Ro's head a statuette crashed into the wall, denting the metal and sending bits of plaster peppering the carpet and Ro's shoulder. She flinched, but still stepped in to the chorus of Gail's apologies.
"Commander O'Touvelli! I'm so sorry! She didn't mean to throw that at you!" The diplomat hurried over and squeezed her arm in an awkward gesture that sang of desperation. "Could you help me reassure Fraast that there's no threat to the delegation?"
Taking one look at the brunette's frantic eyes had the commander setting her jaw. "Right," she agreed without enthusiasm. "The Kingdom has had a bit of a technical issue. One of the docking clamps failed to release and caused an airlock to explosively decompress." Technically that wasn't a lie.. "You were made well aware of the minor issues still being fixed when you boarded, delegates. Should they- coupled with the repair to the ship from the station's malfunction- make it impossible to get you home, we'll find another vessel suitable to make that journey and get you on board it ASAP."
"Like hell!" Fraast hissed angrily, "I know the difference between an accelerated explosion and a rapid airlock decompression, Commander! Start telling the truth or I'll rip your FACE off!" The kasheeta hissed back. "They're after us! That's what happened to our ship, isn't it! It was attacked! Someone is trying to kill us! IS IT YOU?! I'LL EAT YOU!"
"Yes, Fraast, I'm sure that's it," The one called Caloom said patronizingly from the back of the room. "What is truly happening, Commander. We attempted to make our way to the main VIP mess and found ourselves locked in to this section. This doesn't match with Starfleet procedure as we know it." She said, narrowing her eyes at Ro.
"No one's eating anyone!" Insisted Gail in a frazzled tone.
"I'll eat you..." Fraast hissed at the diplomat, glaring at her angrily.
"Several of the security bulkheads came down just after the explosion. I have security and engineering thoroughly exploring that as we speak." Ro held up her communicator as evidence. The threat of being eaten really didn't shake her as much as she thought it would, which she wasn't sure if it was just her gut calling a solid bluff, a sudden influx of steely nerves or had she just grown that frustrated that she really didn't care. "As soon as they know, I'll know and I'll have more to tell you. But for now, there's little hard fact and a lot of speculation. Rather than feed you conspiracy theories, I'll err on the side of caution and tell you what I do know."
"If I were a killer and I was coming to kill you, I'd either have made a run on you in the station which is wide open and full of ships coming and going at a moment's notice or once you were mid transit once you let your guard down. There's no gain in trapping you in the diplomatic suites when you're literally next to security with jeffries tube access to your central room hub. Communications were never disrupted. Your air processors were still engaged. There was no sudden whistling of vacuum. None of you were truly trapped. If it makes you feel better, though," the redhead continued archly, her arms crossed over her chest. "I'll assign a security team to your delegation. That way you'll always have a meat shield to buffer potential threats."
"That is acceptable," Hugro quipped from her perch in the corner. "When will we be on our way. I grow bored." she said, flatly, glaring at the CO.
Ro turned her focus to Hugro, who was at least not feeding the paranoia. "Damage assessment is being conducted now. I don't have a concrete answer. In the meantime, I'd suggest taking advantage of the ships vast information banks and our entertainment facilities. It's not in any way ideal, but I honestly can't think of another time when bowling might serve a purpose than now."
"YOU'RE LYING!" Fraast roared, rushing forward and swinging a balled fist at Ro's face.
Several things happened in short order, Ro observed. Fraast moved surprisingly fast for a creature as big as she was: one. Two: she was apparently faster than the other kasheeta in the room as several of them moved to grab her, but not quite quickly enough. And three: that the kasheeta fist was roughly the size of Ro's entire head and being hit by one was comparable only to being hit with a concrete pylon. That made it all the less embarrassing to go down, but no less painful and certainly did nothing for the distance she'd been bodily thrown by impact.
Her nose was broken. Her mouth was bleeding. Her jaw certainly wasn't slanted the same as before. Her ears were ringing. And her neck and the back of her head were killing her. Perfect, Ro thought to herself. Just perfect. I told them I wasn't particularly glib. Need a diplomatic first officer. I stick my foot in my mouth often, but no- No. Let's diagram this out, shall we? We need proof that you shouldn't be allowed to confront large, angry things with your face as a catcher's mitt.
Dimly aware that Gail was fussing over her and trying to get her to sit up- and that across the room a few of the other delegates were doing their best to corner Fraast- Ro let herself be manhandled into a sitting position. "Hell.." she managed with a groan, clearly dazed still. "Ail geh ou now. Sec-uhr-edde. Ick-ay. Enun."
"What?" asked Gail, who was busily trying to wipe the blood away from the commander's face. "You need to go to sickbay. I can get you there."
"She's lying!" Fraast was still yelling from the back of the room. "We're all going to die!"
"SHUT UP, FRAAST!" It was Eagra speaking now, "My most sincere apologies, Captain... that was unnecessary." She said, not entirely sure what else to say.
Ro nodded as she lifted her hand to her face enough to wave Gail's hand away from where her lip had split. She wasn't going to try to talk any more as that clearly wasn't working for her, and smiling clearly was out of the question. Nodding, however, worked even if it made a crunchy noise now.
"I'm taking her to sickbay. Please stay here," the diplomatic officer more pleaded than said as she hoisted Ro up with an arm under her shoulder. "I'll be back very shortly."
Turning them awkwardly, the shorter woman lead the way out of the diplomatic suite with a mildly hysterical whimper that shortly turned into the reciting of her life story and how she was only an aide all the way to the sickbay.