T'Roc listened intently, her brow furrowing deeply between her Klingon ridges, and then Arunga and Traeth reappeared and we could talk no more.
Horrified at what I had just heard, I was desperate to tell the Captain as soon as I could, but I had to wait until the evening. Arunga was preoccupied with Traeth, wandering in the twilight of the garden, when I was finally able to pull T'Roc to one side. I spilled my guts and I know my tone was one filled with angst.
Damn! I don't normally hate to be right, but on this occasion, I do.
I was enjoying a little alone time. I've had few such moments since we arrived on Dirria so when I found myself with half an hour and absolutely nothing to do, I grabbed it. I went up to our room, kicked my boots off, poured myself a long glass of refreshing cordial and went out onto the balcony where I could lounge. It was quite blissful.
The sun beat down, warming my face and I leaned back in the chair, closing my eyes against its brilliance and put my feet up. What passed for birds on this planet sang with all the skill and harmony one would expect from a Klingon opera written by a tone-deaf Ferengi and being sung by a hoard of badly neutered cats, yet were strangely soothing as they screeched and squawked among the distant trees. From below, the more melodious tones of soft Dirrian voices rose to my ears. I wasn't listening to them per se, but after a while, as I became accustomed to their tone, I realised I was picking out words, and then sentences. Suddenly, I sat up bolt upright. It was the High Emperor Tonka speaking with one of his ministers.
"Of course, once this feline has returned to its island and the Federation has left, we shall retake Tikarra Island."
"Yes. Before we knew of these pests, the island was ours; even if we had never been there, Tikarra Island was ours. The appearance of these beasts is an inconvenience but little more, and I am not prepared to split our nation, especially for a rabble of cats. Dirria is one world. It always has been, and it always will be."
"But how, your Highness? We have no technology to fly or transporters."
"The same way we always have done; with boats."
"Of course. I think it has been safely proven that we have nothing to fear from the waters. It is time that the Dirrian people braved this frontier and that we took back what is rightfully ours and make Dirria whole once more."
"But what of the Federation?"
"They have a policy of non-interference, and once they have gone, how will they know?"
"And the people of Dirria? What will we tell the people?"
"Nothing. The appearance of these animals is nothing more than idle chatter. Once they are gone, they will be nothing more than myth."
At last, it seems that a very tenuous truce has been reached.
Both parties recognise that they are leagues apart. Their cultures are completely different and neither has anything to offer the other, and nothing that the other desires. In effect, the Dirrians want nothing to do with the Mairne, and the Mairne nothing to do with the Dirrians. It has therefore been agreed that the Mairne will stick to their island and the Dirrians to the mainland … exactly as it always has been. So why do I feel so uneasy about it?