Subject:Press Conference

The GNN news symbol appears briefly to be replaced by hushed whispers and coughing from a large cluster of reporters seated in front of a podium embossed with the symbol of the United Federation of Planets. A Bolian woman stands at the podium and stares out over the throng for a moment until there's silence, and then announces in her deep Alto, "The President of the United Federation of Planets."

A middle-aged Terran male walks out to the podium in his trademark black suit, standing behind it and looking out over the group for a moment, before he says,"Alright, are there any questions." Two scores of hands immediately shoot into the air, and he points to a young Andorian woman in the front row.

"Mr. President, the Cardassians seem ready to martyr themselves in order to prevent the liberation of the Bajoran system. Are you willing to order Starfleet ships to fire on undefended vessels."

The President clears his throat, and begins, "Well, first, Cardassian ships are not undefended. They are equipped with a variety of powerful weapons and defensive systems. Second, the Federation will not fire on any Cardassian ship that is unshielded and unarmed. Only if their ships raise their shields or charge their weapons will the Federation take offensive action. We're simply out to free the Bajoran people from their Cardassian oppressors. Frankly, I find it ridiculous that the Cardassian Union could possibly find this ploy feasible. They massacred thousands of Bajoran resisters only a few weeks ago. They're illegally occupying the sovereign space of Bajor. This isn't a case of someone fighting and dying for their homeland. They're fighting and dying because the need to oppress others is too great in them. It's like an addiction. Not to mention that they're now under the control of a military dictatorship led by a man who is known for unremitting barbarism, delusions of grandeur, and a limitless capacity for stupidity. If they dont' raise a finger to stop the UFP from freeing the Bajorans from their shackles, then there's no reason why every Cardassian ship shouldn't leave that sector fully intact. Next?" He points to a young terran male towards the back.

"Mr. President, you mentioned the Cardassian leadership. Did a Starfleet Intelligence officer assassinate Gulida Nelvet?"

President Maxwell shakes his head, almost chuckling, "Absolutely not. That's entirely absurd. The Cardassians were not willing to give up Bajor. I actually made an offer for the Federation to cover the economic loss that losing Bajor would have, and the Cardassians still refused to leave, citing that it would need to be a gradual pull out, and that they would still get to keep the station orbiting the planet. They have no intention of leaving, but at least Gulida Nelvet seemed rational. Ordering his assassination would have just been shooting ourselves in the foot." He selects a terran woman on the right side.

"Mr. President, is this administration preparing to wage a war with the Klingon Empire at the same time?"

Maxwell shakes his head again, "No, absolutely not. The incident with the B'rel was unfortunately, and the Starfleet vessel involved with more force than necessary. I readily admit that and I regret it. It should be noted, however, that the ship was cloaked with shields raised and weapons armed, over Earth, without permission. This is a clear violation of Federation space, it was presenting a clear and present danger to Earth, and having the cloak and shield systems running simultaneously is not the mark of a sane ship captain. There was no way for Starfleet to know what that ship was doing, and when it refused to respond to hails, it had to take action to defend Earth. The action was too severe, I agree, but they were acting in the security interests of the Federation, and I respect that. The Federation will, however, be ceasing aid payments to the Klingon Empire. I see no reason to fund a government that breaks off relations without much in the way of explanation, and then sends an armed ship without authorization to sit in orbit over Earth. I'd be more worried that the Klingon Empire is planning to wage a war with the Federation. That will be all."