PILOT: REVENGE A DISH BEST SERVED COLD
An eerie quiet was heard throughout the TamulnaMining Facility as the sun crept below the horizon line. What appeared to be a quiet night on the outside of the main building was anything but on the inside. Cardassian overseers and Bajoran slaves were busy preparing a load of ore for shipment. The ore would be shipped to the Cardassian station Terok Nor, orbiting Bajor. Once delivered to the station, the ore would be purified to form an alloy for the hulls of Cardassian starships.
A cargo shuttle landed on the tarmac and unloaded supplies sent from Terok Nor. A member of the freight crew left behind a seemingly innocuous container labeled “self-sealing stem-bolts” after setting it down with an anti-grav harness. The lid popped off. An adolescent Bajoran girl emerged from inside the container and removed her breathing apparatus from her face. If only being a stowaway wasn’t so cramped, she thought.
A member of the Bajoran resistance, Limis Vircona was sent to make sure that ore shipment did not reach Terok Nor. She quickly climbed out of the empty container and crept behind a long row of containers just as two Cardassians passed by. Once the Cardassians were out of sight, she was about to tap a communication device on her sleeveless vest. She caught a glance of the nasty bruise on the end of her right shoulder courtesy of her last Cardassian client. Vircona reminded herself that selling Cardassian military officers sexual favors was how she found this mining facility in the first place, and she tapped the communication device. “I’m in position,” she whispered.
“Understood,” said Yanith, a young Bajoran slave, who was pushing a mining cart down a hallway.
“And just what do you understand
?” the Cardassian behind him asked.
Yanith ignored his overseer even as he was being poked in the back by the overseer’s rifle. He continued pushing the cart, while removing a small cylindrical device from underneath his left sleeve. It was a transponder used to alert members of the resistance. The slave was apparently not surreptitious enough as the Cardassian overseer wrapped his right arm around his neck. The Cardassian yanked the transponder out of the slave’s hands. “What is this?” the Cardassian demanded.
The slave did not answer.
The Cardassian slammed the Bajoran to the ground and kicked him in the right ribs.
Vircona’s colleagues in the resistance found a network of underground tunnels the miners used. An adolescent boy climbed up a mineshaft and slid out of an access hatch. Arnit began shooting as soon as he became visible to all those in the room. Cardassian guards raced to the scene, but more resistance fighters came sliding out of the hatch.
Vircona, meanwhile, made her way out to the tarmac and shot the two guards standing at the cargo shuttle. She trained a small scanning device on the starboard impulse nacelle. The scanner beeped revealing a critical component inside the nacelle. She removed an explosive device from the side of her rubber trousers and placed it on the nacelle. A timing device on her belt was then attached to the explosive to set a three-minute delay.
A Cardassian phaser was fired in her direction. She turned around to see a Cardassian pointing a phaser at her. ”Who are you? What are doing to that ship?” the guard demanded.
“There must have been a mix-up on the assignment roster,” Vircona attempted.
The Cardassian snorted. He didn’t buy it.
Limis began contemplating either being killed here and now or being tortured for information regarding the resistance. Either fate was hardly desirable. Within a split second, the guard was shot from behind by Arnit. “Let’s get the hell out of here,” the boy commanded.
Two older Bajoran men brought up the rear with Yanith. The plan was for Yanith to allow himself to be captured and enslaved at this mining facility to get a lay of the land. Once he received a message from Vircona, he alerted the other resistance members. Vircona was horrified to see that Yanith had been brutally beaten.
Upon returning to their subterranean base camp, Vircona contemplated the price of making sure that ore shipment did not reach Terok Nor and arranging the destruction of the Tamulna Mining Facility. Knowing that she was serving a greater good in her cover profession did not take away how disgusted she felt about degrading herself to the Cardassians. Like most Bajoran children during the Cardassian Occupation, circumstances forced her to grow up a lot faster. She had turned to prostitution during early adolescence following the deaths of both her parents, and soon afterwards, the resistance became her family.
Even worse, Yanith was badly beaten and close to death. Vircona and her colleagues in the resistance had learned to devalue the lives of their Cardassian overlords. But was their cause so important that they had learned to devalue the lives of their fellow Bajorans? Lives were given in the noble cause of one day liberating their world from the Cardassians. They were not machines, but people with hopes and dreams who had friends, loved ones.
“I’ve known him since we were infants,” Vircona told Arnit who stroked her jet-black hair.
“He knows what is at stake as well as any of us,” Arnit replied, wiping off a tear that rolled down Vircona’s right cheek with the back of his hand.
Vircona turned around to face her lover. “That doesn’t make it any better, and you know it, Arnit.
“The spoonheads treat us like dirt,” she continued. “We have been forced to sacrifice our age-old traditions. You and I have sacrificed our childhood. We’ve all sacrificed our dignity and for what? So that we can one day be free of those butchers? Who knows if that day will ever come? Can’t some things be just for me? For you? For both of us?”
Arnit put his hands on Vircona’s cheeks and kissed her lips. She smiled and returned the kiss. She stepped back, and unzipped her one-piece jumpsuit. It fell to the floor, and she stood naked in front of Arnit. She then unbuttoned Arnit’s shirt. He sat down on the bed and lay back. Vircona lay down on the bed next to him, and they made love.
For now, the Occupation was light years away. For now, the young couple truly felt content. Their service to Bajor would resume tomorrow, but for now, they could have one thing for themselves.