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Conflicting Reminders

Posted on Tue Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:04am by Lieutenant Linom Dekur

Mission: Removing The Blindfold. Season 1 Episode 5
Location: Operations Control

So, it was to be war.

It had been two hours since the announcement that Starfleet would once again launch itself into the throws of open conflict. Two hours since the station had learned it would be embroiled in a hell that should not be visited upon any living soul. Two hours since old wounds thought long healed had been opened once more. Two hours since their galaxy had found the easy path of bloodshed and violence that seemed to lead towards it's inevitable destination.

Linom Dekur was no stranger to conflict. A son of Cardassia, he had been born into a society that thrived on the angst and passions of it's people. He'd spent his first years of adulthood fighting against that society, seeking to reform it into a peaceful, egalitarian state where all could find some form of personal security. Even as the efforts of this underground movement proved victorious, their triumph proved fleeting as the Dominion struck them down once more. And it was then that he had taken up arms against his own race, enlisting with their enemies and joining the struggle against them that they might be saved from themselves.

Linom was ready.

For two hours, he'd spent his time wisely: A general review of his personnel roster, ordering a complete inventory of all standard stores, instructions for the mass replication of replacement components from the station's industrial replicators...all was being seen to. The station's staff was adequate to the tasks at hand, though there was much room for improvement. But now was not the time to begin his own revisions to their operations. That would come in time, when they were not so readily engaged in the efforts to ready the departing contingent of vessels.

In truth, however, he was forced to admit that all of his preparations were really little more than a transparent effort to avoid a more personal issue. In the weeks after the final defeat of the Dominion, Linom had visited his homeworld. Cardassia had been devastated by the final retribution of the Jem'Hadar and their Vorta masters. The wreckage of once-mighty cities served as desolate monuments to the carnage brought upon his people by the most ruthless and efficient soldiers his people had ever faced. And the bodies... The bodies had been piled meters high everywhere. Precious few had been spared the vengeance of the Dominion; none had been spared from the emotional burdens of witnessing such brutality.

In the midst of their collective mourning had strode a fellow Cardassian, alike yet different. Here was one who had not born witness to the vile inhumanity of their slayers, one who wore the uniform of their most hated enemies only days earlier, one who still walked with a straight back and the air of pride that had been all but erased through indiscriminate destruction. Here walked a man who'd turned against them, fled from the Dominion into the waiting arms of the Federation, taking up arms, and turned them upon his brothers and sisters. Here was a traitor.

He'd left Cardassia that same day, the first true flight of panic he'd ever experienced in his life. The exile into which he'd fallen was self imposed, but exile nonetheless. He could no more return to Cardassia than he could erase the scars his world bore, than he could heal their wounds and restore the proud heritage they'd known. Exile from his homeworld was preferable than remaining as an outcast, a leper amongst the whole, and so he'd gone and never returned since.

But it remained his home, the greatest link to his past. He loved Cardassia as much as he'd hated what it stood for. His devotion to his homeworld, though untested and unexpressed for so long, was as strong as ever. He knew it's heart, it's soul. Cardassia was a world of conflict. And the wardrums had sounded.

Sitting in his office, his hands folded before his scowling face, Linom at last resolved himself to completing the necessary business. Sitting upright in his chair, he reached for his console and typed in a complex series of commands. Routing, rerouting, encrypting, and decoding...the computer was systematically programmed to make the ensuing conversation feasible. He did not look forward to it, to the pain it would certainly bear, but his conscience demanded it of him.

At last, the symbol of the Cardassian Union lit upon his screen, to be replaced by a grinning face only a moment later. Linom was reminded once more of the true predatory nation of his race.

"Dekur," sneered the Cardassian officer staring at him from across an unimaginable distance, "what an...unexpected pleasure."

From the tone of his voice, he'd been waiting longer than he'd anticipated.

"Bromka," Dekur acknowledged without further preamble, careful to keep his tone neutral. "You've gained weight."

The sneer twitched slightly, the only visible sign that Linom's jab had hit the mark. He knew well enough to be careful with the man if the conversation was to go his way, but his ego required a least a token deflation.

"And you a human," Bromka answered, gesturing with both hands at the screen as his grin grew. "I hardly recognized you in that uniform. Soon, I do believe, you'll be growing a beard and drinking that disgusting swill they call...whiskey, is it?"

Linom grunted softly, biting his tongue strongly against the harsh response that nearly escaped. He may hate the man, but engaging in a verbal sparing match would only serve to detract from the topic at hand.

"Bromka," Dekur began at length, "you know why I'm calling. What will Cardassia do - what will Central Command do?"

"Whatever do you mean, Dekur?" The sweat ringing of innocence in the man's voice rang flat upon the knowing ears of Linom Dekur.

"The Gorn, Bromka," he growled. "Will the Central Command aid the Federation? Will it join the fight?"

Bromka leaned back in his chair, clearly savouring every moment that he held his opponent in anticipation. He sipped from Dekur's anxiety like a favoured wine, tasting it's body and delighting in it's aroma. "Is this an official inquiry? I didn't know you were a diplomat now..."

"To hell with your dodging, Kilaine!" Dekur barked, finally boiling over. "We may hate each other, but we both love Cardassia! Both served! Now tell me, will it fight?!"

"Love Cardassia? Odd, Dekur, that I do not recall seeing you in the Resistance." Bromka's grin vanished in a heartbeat, replaced with a look that encompassed his hatred, anger, and loathing in one withering glare. "I do recall seeing you amongst my enemy, however. Seeing you with that pathetic toy of a weapon, killing loyal sons and daughters of the same Cardassia you profess to love so much! No, I served Cardassian - you served yourself, traitor."

Dekur maintained what composure he could in the face of the man's accusations. There was nothing he could say, nothing that there could be said.

"Will it fight, Bromka?"

"Will it fight, Dekur?" Bromka laughed for a moment. "Cardassia can barely feed itself and the colonies. Our fleet is in shambles. The common citizen is more interested in the power struggles within our government than some skirmish between the Federation and the Gorn."

"So, Dekur, if you must have your answer, have it and be damned. The Cardassia you served so well is crushed, unwilling to take up a fight for even itself, let alone another. You destroyed your world too well, traitor. It has no more fight left."

Bromka leaned close to the viewer and lowered his voice to a scant whisper.

"Now remember why you left Cardassia and remain away. You have no place here. Return, and I will kill you with your first step."

Bromka's face was replaced swiftly by the Union's symbol once more, then the viewer turned to black, leaving Dekur to consider his words solemnly in the dim, quiet room.


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