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Grim Duties (Backpost)

Posted on Mon Jul 6th, 2009 @ 6:55am by Commander Lorran Vos

Mission: Linta: Season 1, Episode 1.
Location: Bajor
Timeline: 2366

[Linta/Present]

Vos took the time to close the eyes of the last corpse in the line before he zipped up the body bag. This wasn't the first time he'd had this grim duty. The look in the dead eyes of the young observer were like so many he'd seen on men and women in caves and battlefields and mass graves during the Occupation. Seeing them staring up at him like that brought it all back to him. Every face, every person, every -single- one he remembered in vivid detail. You never forgot the sight of your friends, family and neighbors, their lives torn from them by a Cardassian disruptor. Like this young man, who was barely out of his teens, they all had families. It wasn't just adults, either, but kids...kids who were never able to enjoy a childhood. Kids forced to grow up way too early. Kids like him...

[Bajor, 2366]

"Goddamn spoonheads! They got Jena! They dragged her out and killed her just to provoke us! Those damn monsters! I'll kill them all, I swear I'll kill them all!"

She stared at them from where she lay in the dirt, lifeless eyes glazed over, never blinking. She seemed to implore them to save her still, her face twisted into a look of horror and helplessness, needing them. The smoking hole the Cardassian soldier had put in her back made sure that would never happen. It made Vos shiver the way she stared.

"Kaden!" Vos grabbed the older man by the shirt and pulled him down to the ground before he jumped out of their foxhole and got himself killed, too. "Kaden, listen to me! We can't help her now! She's gone! She's gone, but we can get them for her if you'll just calm down and hear me out." the sixteen-year-old Lorran hissed. "Look, they want us to come charging out looking for revenge, but if we do that we'll get cut down before we make five meters. They're just waiting for us to stick our heads up and when we do they're going to slice them off! So sit!"

Kaden, his eyes brimming with tears, collapsed back against the wall of their hole. Vos felt bad for yelling at him. He knew Kaden had loved Jena. Her execution-style murder right before their eyes would have the worst effect on him, but he had to keep his older subordinate focused. "Okay, here's what we're going to do..."

About a half an hour later, just as the sun began to dip below the mountains, two figures made a run for it from the foxhole. Before they could get five meters they were cut down by Cardassian disruptor fire, just like Vos had said. The figures dropped to the dirt, limp and lifeless. There were a couple shouts of victory from the Cardassian trench where the four soldiers had been waiting. Their battle had taken all day and finally they'd cleaned out the last of the Resistance fighters. With no small measure of relief, they cautiously climbed out to go inspect the bodies.

They approached with their weapons drawn, not willing to get caught unprepared just because they thought the battle was over. Two hung back a few meters while the other two went over close. Pointing their weapons at the downed corpses, one of the soldiers kicked at them with his foot-

His foot passed right through.

In that millisecond when the soldiers noticed the pair of tricorders hidden in the rocks just to the left projecting holograms onto the dirt, Vos and Kaden popped up out of their foxhole with their weapons ready on their shoulders. The first two Cardassians were dead before they could even let out a curse. One of the other two got a shot off, but it went wide and they were cut down by the Resistance fighters' phasers. Their death cries echoed off of the canyon walls for a good ten seconds afterward, but Vos didn't hear it. He, like his comrade, had run to the body of their friend, the Cardassians forgotten.

Jena was just as she had been; eyes wide with shock and a pitiful need for help that would never come. Kaden cradled the woman, crying and muttering soft words to her, mostly about how he had always loved her but never had the guts to say it. Vos had to turn away, not only to give his friend some space but to hide the tears brimming in his own eyes. But turning away just put him eye to eye with one of the Cardassians they'd killed. More dead eyes staring at him, imploring, questioning, accusing. Even though he hated the Cardassians those eyes still sent a shock through him.

Lorran threw his gun to the ground in disgust and covered his face.

[Linta/Present]

Commander Lorran closed his eyes and swallowed the memories down. He put a hand on the shoulder of the dead man and turned toward the only thing that had gotten him through the hell of the Occupation with his mind intact...his faith. "Holy prophets, guide these innocent souls to their rest. In your benevolence, please see fit to watch over them and see that they find peace."

 

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