T'Roc explained that she would seek an audience with the Emperor to pave the way for a royal visit so that both nations could meet.
"You look concerned, Traeth," T'Roc commented.
He nodded. "I am. I know Honka well and it worries me that he will neither accept nor respect another dignitary on Dirria. He's at the top of the tree, and as far as he's concerned, the branch is only big enough for him."
"And that is why," said Arunga, "I need an official intermediary to help me. I don't know the ways of the Dirrians so will need an advisor and representative."
"And I would agree that Jenny is most suited to that task—"
"Oh no, no, no," grinned Arunga.
"She can't," agreed T'Roc. "She is a Starfleet officer so will need to remain impartial." T'Roc and Arunga let a sly little smile pass between them.
"So, who then? A Mairne? "
It took a few seconds for Traeth to realise that all eyes were trained upon him.
"Me!" he screamed at the realisation.
"If you would do me the honour," said Arunga.
"But Honka doesn't even like me. I'd go as far as to say that he can't bear the sight of me! In fact, he sent me here to get rid of me."
"And what have you done to deserve such distain?"
"Other than being too tall … and a bit odd by Dirrian standards—"
So Traeth told him all about his past, his time on Earth and how he had never quite conformed to the blueprint of a typical Dirrian after that.
"To my mind, that makes you all the more perfect for the position," said Arunga.
I was starting to get the impression that Arunga isn't used to people saying no to him, but Traeth still wasn't sure.
"And anyway," Arunga continued, beckoning to Traeth. Traeth approached and Arunga leaned into him so that their noses were nearly touching. "Wouldn't it be nice to make him show you just a little bit of respect?"
"I'm honoured to be asked but I'm not sure even that would get his respect."
And then, blow me, Arunga did the most peculiar thing. He threw his head against Traeth's and rubbed it hard against his cheek, just like a cat.
"Pleeease?" he purred.
I can honestly say, I have never seen such a blatant display of feline manipulation in all my life. He even outdid Beastie at her best.