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Chapter 2.4

Posted on Thu May 11th, 2023 @ 1:36am by Lieutenant Commander Ialo Gojir & Lieutenant Jardok & Minister Zehoi D'ian
Edited on on Thu May 11th, 2023 @ 3:07am

1,232 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Remember Everything
Location: Mess Hall, USS Enterprise
Timeline: 3189-03-17, 08:45

Lieutenant Commander Ialo Gojir sat in the Mess Hall of the Starship Enterprise enjoying the replicated fish juice that she had ordered. After having spent so much time in engineering she'd needed a break, not that now was the ideal time, but she needed five minutes away from the Warp Core and five minutes away from the constant threat of death that pervaded the ship. Ever since first reporting aboard the Enterprise at the request of Admiral Tua she'd felt like there was something off, but now that feeling was omnipresent.

Only to be exacerbated by the presence of Minister Zehoi D'ian of the Emerald Chain. Heir apparent to the longstanding D'ian Dynasty of the Orion Syndicate, Zehoi D'ian may've lost her luster to her people but she was no less dangerous. Her people had enslaved half the galaxy and decimated the Federation. If she had her way the Commanders they lost saving her would still be here and she'd be still locked up on one of her own vessels.

Her fascination with Zehoi had garnered the attention of her eating companion. Lieutenant Jardok, ironically an Advisor from the Department of Temporal Affairs, had been traveling as a guest back to his homeworld when the Enterprise was pulled forward in time. Jardok had become one of her staunchest friends since she began serving on the Enterprise and she enjoyed the timeless Vulcan's company. She really enjoyed it more than the company of anyone else she had met in her travels. Being a Starfleet Engineer didn't give her a lot of time for socializing. Jardok understood that.

"Has Minister D'ian done something to offend you?" Jardok inquired, noting the look on his companion's face.

"Does breathing count?" The Cardassian woman mumbled after placing her juice back on the tabletop.

The Vulcan shrugged, "Depends on if her breathing offends you."

"The Emerald Chain has done horrible, unthinkable crimes against the galaxy. The D'ian family led one of the families that had the greatest pull within the Chain for the past decades. She may've lost some power and influence, but her family has probably been complicit in the death of thousands if not millions," the Engineer explained as she watched the Orion woman with disdain.

Right in time for her to walk their way.

"Can I join you?" D'ian asked as she stood with a breakfast tray.

Jardok looked at Commander Gojir before answering, but gave the opposite answer than the one Ialo would have preferred, "Feel free."

The Engineer smiled as she pulled out the chair and eagerly sat. "Thanks for having me. A lot of the crew have recently started to leave when I want to join them."

"Wonder why?" Gojir asked sarcastically.

Zehoi immediately questioned if this was a good idea. It was Jardok who answered, "They're probably just all getting used to seeing you back aboard, Commander." The Vulcan used her titled from when she was aboard the Enterprise previously rather than the Orion title. "When you were captured on Svian II we thought that you were sent to prison."

"Prison would've been better than what they put me through," Zehoi revealed. "The Chain wanted to know everything I'd learned about you and this ship. Everything that I could tell them about your abilities, but it was a cover."

"A cover for what?" Jardok asked as he sipped his plomeek.

Zehoi took a bite of the pancake on her plate, "They wanted to know what I'd revealed about the Emerald Chain to you."

"Why would they care? Is there something galaxy shattering that you know that you've been keeping from us?" Gojir went on the defensive.

Zehoi looked at the Cardassian, "Just because I've fled from my people doesn't mean I will betray them."

Gojir retreated back into her chair a bit as she assessed the Orion woman, "I wish it were that simple, especially for you, Minister. More I wish it were that simple for the rest of us. The Federation has been in a Cold War with your people for so long that I can't remember a time that we weren't enemies. They'll tell you its a cold war, but we both know the truth don't we? We both know that this is as hot a war as any other has ever been. Both sides just hide that truth from the rest of the rubes don't they? Better to lie and say everything's copacetic than to allow anyone to think the boogeyman's at your door."

"Perhaps now is not the time for this discussion," Jardok said trying to defuse.

"Let her speak," Zehoi permitted as she waved off the Vulcan's defense.

The Cardassian grunted, "There she is acting like she's high and mighty, giving me permission to speak about this, brushing off your concerns. Sounds like an Orion to me. I've met your people before, Minister, actually more than once as a child. My parents were couriers for what was left of the Cardassian Republic after the Chain got done with them. We had a run in with one of your corsairs one time. My father had spent a lot of time trying to teach me how to keep a ship running, me and... me and Gieji. Well, one time we didn't exactly pay the full dues that your corsair expected and they had to make an example. We had been in the engine room working on resetting the dilithium converter since, well since you know dilithium's so rare that you can't lose even a single piece. Your crew came into the engine room and decided to take our converter as a penance for our failure. My father insisted we cooperate, but my wife was a bit more hotheaded than she was a follower. The Regulator from your corsair took her, implanted one of your control devices on her head, and then took over who she was and who she would ever be. It took seconds, only seconds, and she was gone. Forever out of my life and forever taken from her own life."

Zehoi didn't know what to say. She looked at the Cardassian Engineer, a thousand different words rushing through her mind as she looked for the right thing to say. The perfect thing to say to make the world better. She knew the truth though. She knew there really was nothing she could say. "I'm sorry."

"You're sorry," she laughed haughtily. "In a perfect world that would make everything better, wouldn't it? You're sorry so the galaxy can be a great place again. Do you know what I remember the most about that moment? I remember her eyes. Her eyes were always so full of life, of care, of joy. Then they weren't. They were dead, lifeless. All of that in a second."

The Cardassian woman rose from her seat, "My wife died because of you and your Emerald Chain. You may be sorry, but it's not enough, it will never be enough." She motioned around the room, "For the people here you're nothing more than a lying traitor and no one here will ever care about you, no one here will ever love you. You and your kind deserve nothing but death and, if I were you, I'd never come in this Mess Hall again."

"Commander!" Jardok protested, but it was too late. Ialo Gojir walked out of the Mess Hall and didn't look back.


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