Limis Vircona rarely had the creature comforts this starship had—replicated food, a comfortable bed, and a sonic shower, a chamber that used sonic pulses to rid ones body of all the dirt and grime. She never saw the appeal. It did not have the same sensual feeling as cold water pouring down on her.
While running her hands through her wet hair, she felt two hands touching her bare shoulders. Arnit was standing behind her. He kissed her neck. Limis turned around slowly to kiss him on the lips.
Upon opening her eyes, Limis’s former spouse morphed, as if he was a Changeling, from a Bajoran to a Jem’Hadar. He then pushed her against the wall with one hand grabbed her neck, choking her. She began to feel her own death was imminent before experiencing a sensation of being in two places at once. She felt herself lying in bed. She awoke quickly and sat up slowly, having to absorb that she was partially clothed in a sleeveless tank and upper thigh length underpants.
Limis thought for nearly a minute what this dream meant. That contemplation then gave way to doubts about the next mission. She grabbed the combadge on the nightstand and tapped it. “Rebecca,” she said. “Sorry if I woke you, but can you come to my quarters?”
Vircona and Rebecca had many heart-to-heart discussions during their time in the Maquis. Those long talks got Rebecca through her husband’s death even more than the counselors on Jaros Two. In the absence of a ship’s counselor, Rebecca would be someone Vircona would confide in on many occasions.
Neither was an expert on dreams, but Limis knew from experience that dreams were warnings of possible futures. They would also be subconscious thoughts coming to the surface. She once loved Hasin Arnit, and maybe his presence brought back those passionate memories. His transformation into a Jem’Hadar may have been a warning that planted seeds of doubt in her mind.
Rebecca Sullivan entered Limis’s quarters without ringing the bell. She had that right as one of her closest friends. The captain sat at her desk with her uniform slacks and unzipped red tunic on while staring at the desk monitor. The sensor data gathered while the Lambda Paz
was in the nebula. She looked through the numbers almost hoping they would tell her something different.
“This does seem far too convenient, Rebecca,” she mused aloud.
“Federation and Klingon ship captains made a point of avoiding
the Tong-Beak Nebula after a few ships disappeared there. We actually go in, and we find next to nothing in terms of resistance.”
Sullivan was not at Arnit’s de-briefing, but Limis told her everything afterwards. “Perhaps that was to keep the Cardassians from getting too curious,” she offered. “Arnit said not sharing some things with them gives the Dominion an ace in the hole.”
“I still would’ve liked to have been under heavy fire,” Limis answered with a grin at the irony of that statement. “The Borg usually wait for an opponent to show their cards. Not the Jem’Hadar. They see something that doesn’t belong, they shoot first and ask questions later.
“Most of all, we’re getting information that tells us what we want to hear. My gut tells me this is too good to be true.”
“Would you prefer doing nothing?”
“Of course not. Admiral Ross is convening a meeting of fleet commanders. I can still voice my concerns.”
Sara Carson’s surgical gown lay on the floor next to the bed in her quarters. Morrison’s uniform and undergarments lay in a pile next to the gown. Sara rested her head on Mandel’s chest. She smiled contently when he opened his eyes.
This was the first time they had consummated their relationship. They met when they were transferred to the Lambda Paz
from their previous assignments. Carson had previously served on the Defiant
as a relief flight controller, while Morrison served with Kozar on the Horatio Nelson
until the Klingon withdrawal from Cardassian space, by which time war was almost inevitable. Their relationship involved a lot of playful flirting in the beginning. As war was on the horizon, their relationship was the only distraction.
“I feel like I could stay here like this for three days,” she purred.
“Too bad I’m on duty in a few hours,” Morrison responded. “I’m already in enough trouble disobeying orders and then sneaking you out of sickbay.”
“The things we do for love,” Sara quipped.
Mandel’s eyes widened. Yes, he cared for this woman. But hearing those words love in reference to their relationship made him nervous. “Are you saying you love me?” he asked.
Sara lifted her head to look Mandel in the eyes. “I guess I am,” she said.
Morrison blinked and looked away as if this was the last thing he wanted to hear. Sara turned her head to her left. “What?” she asked.
“This near death experience suddenly had me wondering if we should be so attached,” he relented. “Who is to say both of us will survive this war?”
Sara gritted her teeth in restrained anger. Starfleet officers faced all kinds of danger, but that never stopped fellow officers from becoming romantically involved. She rolled over and got out of bed. She made sure to cover herself with the bedspread, as Mandel did not now deserve the privilege of seeing her naked. She walked to the other side of the bed and threw his clothes on the bed. “Get dressed and get the hell out,” she snarled.
Carson walked into the side alcove housing the sink and sonic shower. Morrison knew she would stay there until he left her quarters. He quickly dressed wishing he could take back what he said. While was in love with her, he felt saying it would be committing to something he wasn’t sure of.