"No!" the older male from one of the outlying colonies shouted, slamming his clenched fist onto the table. "We are not requesting the Federation's help."
The meeting had been going on for almost three hours. Each of the present Federation colony representatives of the former demilitarized zone had voiced their concerns over the increasing attacks on their worlds, and they were no closer to a solution than when they first sat down. The mix of Cardassians, humans, and various alien races couldn't agree to much, save their desire to stop the True Way.
"Enough!" a younger man hissed back, “Enough. How many supply shipments have you lost in the last month, Ellyn?"
"Four." came a weak and sheepish response, “Perhaps we can try to sit down and…talk.”
The room erupted once more at the mention of the word talk. Taking was all they had done, and talking had gotten them nowhere. "Talking hasn't worked." Patterson, one of the few humans in the room, yelled over the crowd. "They don't trust us," he spoke, gesturing to the gathered representatives, “and very few here trust them. The Federation made this mess; the Federation can come and clean it up.”
"The Federation forgot about us long ago, and good riddance. We don't need them." There was a collective mumble of agreement. Many in the room still didn't trust the Federation, even if they were technically Federation citizens themself. Thirty-plus years of mistrust wasn't going to end just because the Federation stepped in.
Patterson continued, “We are getting nowhere and fast. The True Way will keep attacking our freight runs and shipping lines until something is done. Clearly, no one here is capable of dealing with these terrorists. We might not like it, but we need help; help from someone the Way can't ignore. Neither side trusts the Federation, so who better to bring both sides to the table?”
"A table they created!" a voice shouted from the back of the room. The reply was met with cheers from several in the room.
Patterson looked around the room, “This is getting us nowhere.” he shook his head in disbelief. “If you people don't have the guts to make the needed decisions, then I will.” He had enough of this back and forth. Standing up, he pushed the table out of his way. “If something isn't done soon, then the Union will respond, and no one here needs that. This region of space has already seen too much, and force isn't going to help. Like it or not, the Federation is our best option." He could tell from the collection head nods around the room that several agreed.
Even if those in the meeting didn't trust the Federation, their current responses only worsened the situation. They had to trust that the diplomatic arm of the Federation could find a way to end the True Way's reach in the section. Patterson took one last look around the room before turning his attention to the aide on his left. “Send a message to the Federation; tell them we would like a meeting.”