There's a feeling of universal groan over the ship, according to Deanna.
It's no surprise as Gul Buket, one of the Cardassian architects of the Treaty between themselves and the Federation have come to talk with us. That should probably be talk TO us, as he always have an air of superiority over us. He knows that we are bound by the Treaty and he knows all the loopholes.
At present, the Enterprise is at the Federation/Cardassian border, awaiting Buket to beam on; it's a good thing that Ro Laren is on a short vacation, otherwise she would be seething now. I suspect Ro is secretly at a 'Getting to know you' break for new Maquis members. She always likes playing host there.
Gul Buket beams on.
He carries a briefcase with him and hands it to me.
"Will you take that for me into the meeting room?" he tells me, and then walks off.
I am fuming, but Deanna and Beverly are there to stop me doing something I wouldn't regret.
"Captain." urges Deanna, "Stay calm, he is trying to goad you into looking bad."
"Deanna is right, Jean-Luc." Bev tells me quietly, as we walk to the meeting room, "Have one of your stress pills and count to ten if you get angry."
"I may need to count to a far higher figure than ten, Beverly."
We are in the meeting room, and Buket tells me what he wants.
"The planet Narva has changed it's orbit slightly recently, and is a mile within Cardassian space, so we are occupying that planet." he says, "The presents occupants must be evicted."
"They have been there always" I try to say, "The Narvans are the first and only occupants of the planet. We know little of them, but they have lived in peace for thousands of years."
Buket gets starchy.
"Nevertheless" Buket tells me, "Under Rule 4, Subsection C, Paragraph 3, we are within our rights to expel these people. They can go to nearby Tamos."
"That is a lava-filled world that would kill them off in a month." I protest, and reach for a sress pill.
"Gul Duket is quite right." Data informs me, "The Treaty clearly states that the Cardassians can enforce this."
Data is no help; will someone switch him off?
Two hours later, I, the senior staff, Gul Buket and some of his minions beam down to the surface to give the Narvans their eviction notice. Why do I feel like a landlord?
The Narvans come up to us; they wear white robes with hoods on.
"Peace be with you, Captain Picard." says the leader, who identifies himself as Bala, "We welcome you to our world."
Buket pushes forward.
"Not for much longer." he tells them, "I am Gul Buket of the Cardassians. It's time for you lot to pack your bags and go."
Evidently Buket missed the Cardassian Diplomacy Class in training, assuming there ever was one in the first place.
"I don't understand." Bala tells me.
"I'm really sorry, Bala." I tell him, "But under the Federation/Cardassian treaty, these people can take charge of this world. I have tried to persuade them not to, but they insist."
Bala smiles at me, and talks to the Narvans who are with him. He then turns back to us.
"We don't blame you for this, Captain Picard." he informs me, and then looks at Buket with a sad expression.
"I'm sorry sir." Bala continues to the Cardassian, "We cannot comply to your wishes."
Buket looks astonished; so do we, as well. One rarely says 'no' to a Cardassian and get to tell their grandchildren.
"You don't have a choice here!" Gul Buket shouts, then signals to his henchman and looks at Bala, "Get your suitcases ready and prepare for a change of climate.....extra warm!"
As the Cardassians rush forward, Bala raises his hand and the Cardassians are lifted up into the air. One by one they are exploded!
Buket is the only Cardassian left; he starts to look worried, as if he is the only turkey left at Thanksgiving.
"Perhaps the Cardassians are being hasty?" he suggests, "In order to show our generosity, we will allow the Narvans to stay on this world."
"Peace be with you all." Bala tells us, and smiles at me.
Gul Buket turns to me as we beam up.
"I hope this will demonstrate the flexibility of Cardassian Diplomacy, Captain." he tells me, "We are always willing to take into account the wishes of others."
"It certainly does." I reply, and smile at Deanna and Bev at the same time.