They had nearly reached the transporter room. Once again the corridors were completely devoid of anyone except for him and Gul Jarol. Her eyes had widened once more in mild surprise when he had stepped out of his quarters in his own robes, and for a moment he’d sadly wondered, Are there Kurabda in her world? Or are they all gone?
His heart ached keenly for the world of his birth…for as troubled as it currently was—it was where he truly belonged. Corat was waiting for him at the attack site. And Ziyal waited at home.
Jarol tapped the keypad to the transporter room, and the door slid open to reveal Glinn Brenok, and the young man he’d first seen in the infirmary. That must be Aladar
, he thought. The other—a stern-looking man whose bearing reminded Dukat of the demeanor his own father assumed in the courtroom with the most difficult reprobates, glanced up from his work, and nodded politely towards his gul.
Dukat gave a polite bow. “Glinn Zamarran…I thank you for all that you’ve done.”
“No thanks are necessary,” Zamarran replied; his raspy voice had a neutral tone, neither commanding nor submissive. “I’m only doing my job.” He returned his attention to the console.
Garesh Aladar bowed slightly and whispered, “Sir,” pointing to one of transporter rings on the transporter platform. He seemed awed by Dukat’s presence and Zamarran wasn’t sure if it was because this man looked like the former ruler of Cardassia, or the traitor of Cardassia, or because Aladar knew he had saved this man’s life and was amazed that partially thanks to him this non-Gul Dukat could now go home.
Brenok moved to stand next to Zamarran and they both ran final tests. The garesh went to the wall panel to monitor the readings there and Jarol stood in front of the main transporter console, facing Dukat.
“Are we ready?” she asked crisply.
“Affirmative,” Brenok said and Zamarran nodded even though she couldn’t see him with her back to him.
“Are you ready?” she asked Dukat in a softer, significantly less commanding voice.
For few seconds, Dukat offered no spoken response. Then he met Gul Jarol’s eyes, and Glinn Brenok’s in turn. “I am now. I just…would like you to know that I have asked for Oralius’ blessings upon your work; whatever happens from here…it is as it was meant to be. And I prayed that you and your people may find healing.”
Brenok smiled. Jarol smiled too, wondering if she fully understood what Dukat had just said; his speech and choice of words were sometimes unclear to her. Zamarran raised his head to look at this strange man who wasn’t
Gul Dukat. If he’d ever had any doubts, they were completely gone now.
“Energize,” Jarol said and Zamarran entered the required commands and then looked up at the dissolving figure of the unusual Cardassian. We need all the help we can get in healing
, he thought with an image of the ruined Lakarian City in his mind’s eye.
The transporter buzzed and Zamarran pressed some buttons on the console. “Seems like the timing was perfect,” he muttered to himself. The transporter was clearly attempting to finish the interrupted beam-in of the lost cargo and the glinn made sure the transport was complete. Not only for the good of the cargo, but also for the good of Dukat, whose well-being might depend on finalizing all started processes.
“It’s the containers!” Aladar shouted with excitement. “They’re all back!” He frowned, noticing deep indentation on the bottom of one. “This one hit something,” he said. He put his finger to a substance that was smeared on the bottom. “Uh-oh...organic.”
“Test it,” Jarol barked and Aladar went to retrieve a sample storage tube.
Jarol stared at the goods with disbelief and then suddenly turned to Brenok. “What is it?” he asked worried, seeing anguish—or maybe regret—on her face.
“I...I could have asked him...if Damar is on the other side, alive...” she whispered.
“Let’s assume he is.” Brenok smiled warmly. “Come, I have a promise to keep.” They both headed for the door, but Brenok stopped before leaving. “Zamarran, collect all logs and prepare for a full purge. Aladar, help him. Scan the whole database for all signs of this event and delete them. Make a list—don’t log it, memorize it—so that later the gul can lock the access.”
“Yes, sir,” they both replied.
Brenok joined his friend in the corridor and they both went to the lift. Suddenly she grabbed his elbow and stopped him. “Arenn,” she said very, very quietly. “I want to meet the Flower Girl.”
The glinn smiled, showing all his white teeth, grabbed her hand, and squeezed.