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Costs of War, Expense 1: Childhood

Posted on Sun Sep 18th, 2011 @ 9:11pm by Lieutenant Commander Nauket Kulvher

Mission: All Souls Descend. Season 2, Episode 6
Location: Lakarian City, Cardassia Prime
Timeline: 12 years ago

Lakarian City, Cardassia Prime
12 years ago

Growing up on Cardassia meant for a child, one had to grow fast. Life was not to be taken lightly, it was always in expected fashion, to be a climb to the top. One started young, always facing the inevitable fact that there was never an end goal to reach for. Everything was a step in life, bringing one higher, but now was a different time. Such was reflected in the fifteen year old Cardassian girl's phase rifle as the flickering light shone a sharp flash against it's exterior. With every flash, a young Nauket blinked, mindlessly continuing to clean off the dirt from it's crevasis.

"Haven't you figured out the problem yet, Torias," barked an evidently annoyed, dark haired Cardassian with a matching phaser hoisted over his right shoulder. He walked across the small, dirty room, kicking little pieces of rock and broken bits of panneling as he approached a second man crouching beneath a wall console.

"I don't think I can repair it," Torias replied, pulling his head away from the panel and taking a deep breath. His face was marked with a youth matching that of the man - or rather boy - now beside him.

Nauket paid no attention to the two, and instead continued on with her rifle. At the same time she turned her gaze slightly to the right, a sniffle catching a small portion of her attention. As young as the three were, they were still much older than the tiny Cardassian child that stood near the wall, his face being tended to by an elderly woman who knelt before him. She watched the woman use an old rag to wipe the blood from the bridge of his nose and cheeks silently.

On Cardassia Prime, one was never taught to allow the simple act of crying, but now seemed appropriately exceptional. A few shed tears by a four year old boy became almost symbolic in the moment. Nauket remained fixated on the sight rather than swimming in her own thought at their present predicament. The run had been made twelve times today alone and there hadn't been a single thing she didn't expect aside from the tired and sore body screaming at her.

"I can't keep coming back to this building over and over with the same light pounding behind my eyes!" the young man stated, annoyance evident in his words.

"Nekal," Torias replied, standing up from his crouched position to stand at the same level, "Just relax, we'll take these two back and you can rest. Nauket and I can take the rest of the runs-"

"-I'm not tired! I just can't take this damn light!"

Nauket turned her attention to the two, prying her eyes from the civilians in their presense who seemed rather caught in a silent wave of shock. She stood from her spot on the arm of a faded sofa, her black clothing tattered and freyed much like the rest of the broken decor of the once lively house. "We don't have time for this," she interviened calmly, throwing the rifle over her shoulder.

Torias was the more open one of the four young Cardassians stationed on the planet. In some ways Nauket knew very well that without him, they had a good chance of cracking long before. His eyes settled upon the tall girl, who was already a match for their own height at souch a young age. She was the youngest, and yet the most practiced. They had all undergone Order training, but Nauket had the upperhand in that her father had a big vision for her since birth. His unfortunate calculation when the Order was eliminated set the girl on an unforseeable path with the United Federation of Planets.

"Nauket, you should take rest too. I'll take Oria on the next couple of runs and-" Torias was again interrupted.
"I'm fine," Nauket assured.
"Nauket, you've been at this for nearly three days straight."
"I'm trained to do as such."
"We all are but-"
"We only have until morning, Torias."
"And it took us three hours to find these two alone. I don't think-"
"We go until we can not."

Nekal gave Nauket a strong stare. He agreed with the girl just as much, but in the end of all things they were no good to anyone dead. "We'll run these two to the shuttle and you wait here," he said with as little compassion as his worn out body could bare. In return, Torias knitted his brow. The suggestion was highly uncharacteristic. Leaving one behind was almost unfathomable and almost understandable given their deteriorating judgement.

"Go ahead," Nauket replied. Her own judgement may have been giving way, but what she wanted more than running another twenty seven kilometeres was to find other survivors. Lakarian City was now in ruins, nothing left but the destruction of her own people, marked in their blood. She turned from the two and looked on at their present company, watching as the woman drew the soaked cloth.

They child's face remained without a scratch. All that dark blood and none was his.


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