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Heads of State

by hossgal

[Story Headers]

The foredeck of Moya's docking bay was not the best location that Rygel had ever used for negotiations, but there was a certain nostalgia to being there again. Typical. End of the universe at hand, and we're depending on lying, subterfuge, and sheer luck. Also, true to form, Rygel ended up with the least pleasant of the possible options - making nice with the human head of state over stale biscuits and cold tea - while Aeryn spoke with their military commander and Crichton tried to keep the Peacekeepers from launching a preemptive attack. Everyone else was conducting vital negotiations, and Rygel was here, sipping tea with an old woman and her two bodyguards on a mis-matched pair of chairs beside the squat vessel she'd arrived in.

What was it with humans, that all their ships looked like swollen emmas?

He needed to get back in contact with Crichton. Or Aeryn, who should be on her way back from the asteroid where she was supposed to rendezvous with one of the senior human officers. Instead, he was here, and the woman would not leave, and she would not stop talking. The human woman was still talking, as she had been for the last quarter arn. If Chiana didn't hurry up and report some breakthrough, the humans were going to make him go mad. He tapped at his ear piece, nodding charitably at the woman, hoping that Chiana or Aeryn or someone had some information for him.

The human woman - Roslin - waved aside an offer of more tea. Rygel smiled and tried to pretend he was still listening.

"Rygel, are you there? Rygel, are you listening?"

Chiana. Finally. "Do go on," he murmured, and both Chiana and Roslin did.

"Rygel, Aeryn says to not make these people mad. They've only got the one big ship, but she says it's got enough firepower to take on a Command Carrier. Make them go away."

Of course. Very simple. Well, at least it was news.

"And see if you can figure out what the frell a Cylon is. These people are terrified of them, shooting at things terrified. Aeryn thinks these Cylons are some sort of Scarren hybrids."

As if he had time to waste on that. Rygel switched his attention back to the human, as she appeared to be winding down, at last.

"...making it the only reasonable course of action open to either of us." She stopped as one of the guards stepped back into the transport vessel, only to emerge a microt later with a white page in his hand. He passed the page to Roslin, who read it without a visible change of expression.

Rygel used the time to adjust his earpiece, the fit was making his head swim in a very distracting manner. To adjust the earpiece and to scowl at Roslin's choice of words.

The human female was far too fond of that word, reasonable. She managed to slip it into conversation at least five times every arn, and Rygel was beginning to suspect she didn't mean quite the same thing by it as the rest of the universe.

Reasonable, in Rygel's estimation, would have meant the humans - they were all assuming the newcomers were human, for all they shared the same Sebacean resemblance that Crichton had, and the same annoying lack of translator microbes - never entered Peacekeeper or Scarran space, much less started poaching in the mining belts.

As far as Rygel could tell, when Roslin said "reasonable", what she meant was, do it my way, as in, "Let's be reasonable and meet on your ship, instead of letting your spies board my ships." Or, perhaps, "Well, we're here, and taking your metal ore, so why don't you just let us do what we want, and everyone will be satisfied, hmmm?"

"Rygel, are you still there? Ryg, Crichton says get them out of here, now. The Scarrans are trying to play hardball with a pair of their scout ships."

A course of action, finally. And as for reasonable...

Two could play that game. And if these were humans, then Rygel had been playing that game longer than this woman had been alive. He settled in and began to talk.

"You've put forth your position. Let me put forth mine."

"I am Dominar Rygel XVI, leader of over six hundred billion subjects. The two armadas you may have seen amassing around the nearest star are poised to sweep down and engage you, at a single signal from this warship.

"My personnel have taken an assessment of your capabilities and your ships, and found both sadly lacking.

"You are trespassing on sovereign territory. You and your ships are not welcome here.

"It would be best in your best interests to take your ships and go. Away. We are...inclined," and this was where Rygel leaned back on his thronesled, just to make the point clear, "now, to permit you to depart in the direction you came from. We may, however," and now he leaned forward and hissed, "change our minds."

The two young humans standing behind their leader frowned, nearly in unison. They really were too much like Peacekeepers for Rygel's tastes. No sense of humor, and too quick to shoot.

The young ones, at least. The older one, the female they all deferred to, she dawdled, worse than Chiana, trying to decide between perfumes. But he was Rygel XVI, Dominar, and he could out-wait her.

The human female smiled, a practical smile, a politician's smile, and Rygel raised his eyebrows.

"You're lying," the female said, still smiling, holding up the paper as though it had the names of all the Gods written on it. "This isn't a warship, you aren't in command of either of those fleets out there, and neither of them has the capability to stop the battlestar that I command. You're lying about all of that." She paused, considering. "I'm not sure if you're lying about being the emperor, though. You might be."

"I am Dominar Rygel -"

She cut him off as though he were the lowest of vassals. "I don't particularly care, though. What I care is that my people are going to finish collecting the ores we need to repair and rearm our ships, and then we will leave. If either of those fleets attempts to make contact with any of mine, there will be severe repercussions." And there was that smile again. "Am I understood?"

Rygel felt his eyebrows draw down. He wasn't going to let this, this, human, who had no more than a handful of rag-tag ships, all with the fugitive air of people fleeing a long way in the dark, to command - she was not going to command him, she would not...

Rygel didn't survive decades in Peacekeeper captivity and a score of coup attempts by not knowing when to cut his losses. "Perfectly, Your Majesty. You'll get your ores and you'll be gone." He meant it to be a threat, he would settle for finishing the interview with his voice in its normal range. "And we'll never see you again."

"Excellent." She rose, and the two younger humans behind her snapped to attention. "Oh, one more thing."

"Yes, Your Majesty?"

"The proper title is Madame. Madame President. I serve at the will of the people." And with that she turned to her bodyguards and said, "I'm ready to go now."

Later, much later, after the Scarrans had stupidly and - worse - clumsily attempted to board one of the outlying ships in the human fleet, and the glow from the destroyed dreadnought had faded from nova to nebula, Rygel had to sit and listen while Crichton raged at him. Best negotiator in Uncharted Space, huh? Great time to loose your poker face, Sparky! Meanwhile, Roslin was threatening both the Scarran War Minister and the PeaceKeeper High Command with divine retribution and repercussions in the afterworld, or that's how the microbes were rendering it.

He wished he could have blamed it on intoxication, but Pilot had spaced the last of the fellip nectar.

The scorn - from Crichton, from Chiana, from Aeryn, for all he knew, from the babe still mewing at her breast - lasted for most of five days, until Roslin declared the humans finished with their mining, and on the eve of imminent departure. Both Scarrans and Peacekeepers launched scouts, intending to track the humans as they left. When the human ships simply winked out of the space they had been inhabiting, with no more warning than a starbursting Leviathan, Rygel laughed himself sick.

Cycles later, in his memoirs, Rygel tried to explain what happened, but found it impossible. He'd been out-ranked. That was the whole of it.

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Fandom:  Farscape, Other (Battlestar Galactica)
Title:  Heads of State
Author:  hossgal   [email]
Details:  Standalone  |  PG  |  gen  |  8k  |  12/08/06
Characters:  Rygel, Roslin
Summary:  Everyone else was conducting vital negotiations, and Rygel was here, sipping tea with an old woman and her two bodyguards on a mis-matched pair of chairs.
Notes:  Crossover between BSG/FS - set post-PKW in FS, Season 1 in BSG. 1450 words.
Disclaimer/Other:  For Thea, who asked for Rygel and Adama, or Roslin and Aeryn, or some combination. Thanks to Florastuart for beta. Disclaimer/Permissions/Contact: Farscape characters and concepts property of Kemper, et al, and BSG belongs to Ron Moore. Not me. This is a work of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended, no money is being made. Please do not archive without permission, please credit the author if remixing/borrowing original characters/etc. Reviewing, reccing, feedback (positive, not positive, concrit, all welcome) need neither permission nor notification. Feedback printed out and taped to Moya's frig at hosscheka at yahoo dot com.

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