Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
26-27th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar
“Did you know?” Karama asked Zamarran.
The gul’s aide looked at his friend. “Know about what?” he asked, although Kapoor was certain that he knew very well what Karama was asking about—just as she did.
“About Sabal,” the communication officer’s tone of voice clearly indicated that he knew Zamarran knew.
“And you never said anything.”
“Why should I? It was his personal matter. He had told me and Gul Brenok, but the way he had done that left no doubt—he didn’t want it to be known by everyone. He realises how people react to former agents, even if those agents had been proven to be harmless pawns only and hadn’t done any harm to anyone.”
“He hid the truth.”
“What’s the difference?”
“I don’t know,” Zamarran shrugged. “But it was not my place to say anything. It is his personal matter.”
“He was an Obsidian Order agent!” Karama shouted with indignation. “You say he didn’t do anything to anyone, but would that be the truth if the Obsidian Order wouldn’t be destroyed shortly after he joined and if he would have a real career as an agent? Can you tell for sure his file would be as clean and innocent as it is now?”
“Can you be sure you wouldn’t be like your father if your superiors sent you to Bajor?”
Karama hit the table with his fist. His body shook with indignation. “No
!” he shouted. “I could never be like him!”
Kapoor put a hand on her husband’s shoulder and gave Zamarran an irritated look.
Karama and Zamarran were best friends for almost twenty years. When Karama and Kapoor became friends—and more with time—she had difficulties with dealing with Zamarran. He was her fiance’s best friend but at the same time he was her direct superior. Socialising with Zamarran, who back then he had been the chief engineer, had felt awkward. Zamarran had never said anything, however she was sure he’d felt awkward too. The glinn was a traditionalist and socialising with subordinates had to feel strange to him. Karama was the head of another department, so even if he had a lower rank it didn’t feel like violating the order of the Cardassian society. She was in Zamarran’s department, the engineering, and he was her boss. You don’t spend your free time with your boss. And certainly not with your subordinate, especially if you are a Cardassian.
However, the situation has changed. After she had married Karama and had their first child, she had taken an extended leave of absence from active duty and worked in the Inventions Department on Cardassia under Gul Tarkan. By the time she had returned to Gul Brenok’s ship—a new ship of a new class which she had helped to design—the situation somehow didn’t feel as bad as before. Zamarran was still her—and now also Karama’s—superior, but he was not the head of the department. Ya’val was. She liked Ya’val but their relationship didn’t go beyond work and it made things much easier. And somehow her relation with Zamarran changed. It didn’t feel so awkward any more. It felt comfortable enough for her to send Zamarran an angry look now.
“It’s not circumstances that make people bastards,” she said. “It’s themselves.”
“So why do you assume that Sabal would be a bastard?” Zamarran looked at Karama, not at her. “Did he ever appear to you to have that in him?”
“And so did you, many times. We all lie at some point of our lives.”
“This wasn’t a small lie.”
“But he’s told you eventually.”
“He has. So what? He was forced to.”
“No, he was not. He could still keep it a secret and only report his findings to me and Brenok.”
“You think he was afraid to tell us?” Kapoor asked.
She didn’t say anything. Both Zamarran and she knew why Karama was reacting to Sabal’s secret so badly.
During the Dominion War, Karama had had a friend aboard the Roumar
. That friend, Nadar, had been a traitor, who for years had been spying the ship’s crew for the Dominion. He had been found out and executed quietly; the same night that Karama had planned to tell Nadar about his plans to join Legate Damar’s rebels. If Nadar’s betrayal were found one day later, Karama had no doubt that his ‘friend’ would inform the Dominion of Karama’s plans and the communication officer would have been arrested and executed.
It was Zamarran who had brought Karama the bad news about Nadar and Zamarran’s support during that difficult night was the first seed of the engineer and communication officer’s friendship. Karama trusted Zamarran completely, but he was very sensitive in matters of friendship and trust. And now he felt that Sabal betrayed them all.
Karama didn’t say anything more.
“Did you like the dinner?” Kapoor asked Zamarran. The truth was that neither of them ate much. The glinn nodded and smiled to her. “Did my cooking improve?” He smiled even wider and shook his head. She laughed. “Do you think we have a chance to help those people on that ship?” she asked seriously after a short moment.
“I don’t know, Kapoor. Even Taret doesn’t know. I’d never seen anything like it. I never heard about anything like it. I had no idea something like this would be possible.” Zamarran shook his head with disbelief. “A man is a man and a computer is a computer. A man commands a computer but not this way
. This is against nature and against engineering. This is against everything.”
“Do you think he volunteered for it or they forced him?”
“I don’t know. If he volunteered I think they didn’t tell him the whole truth. Even service and duty to Cardassia has its limits. Especially if it’s as pointless as this.” He waved his hand dismissively.
Karama had told Kapoor that Zamarran had his secrets too. Her husband knew those secrets but he didn’t share them with her. She didn’t mind, she knew he couldn’t and certainly not without Zamarran’s permission. However, he had hinted that those secrets had political background and she was guessing that Zamarran either was a dissident or he had them in his family and his family never reported that to anyone as they should have according to the Cardassian law. The
former Cardassian law
, she was glad to add.
How deeply their friendship had to be rooted if Zamarran had told Karama that secret; how much Zamarran had to trust her husband to share something that could cause him and someone he loved their lives.
“I think I’ll call it a day,” Zamarran said.
“Don’t go,” the communication officer looked at him. “I’m sorry, I don’t want to be difficult or mean--”
“It’s not you, Karama. I just need to think about it all, to quiet down and to try to find a way to save this poor man.”
Kapoor’s husband nodded. “I hope we’re going to decrypt that database and we’re going to find something useful there,” he said.
“So do I, my friend. So do I.”
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
10-11th of September, 2396, Old Earth Calendar
Av’Roo couldn’t get him out of her head. After she finished her prayer and meditation, she accessed the database and tried to gather all data about Borg that could be useful in their current case, but she couldn’t concentrate.
She was thinking about him, about his fingers, about his nose, about his head and his hair, about his ridges and about his scales, but most of all about his voice and the vibrations it was sending when he sang.
“He is a Cardassian, you are a Skorr,” she said out loud but it didn’t change anything. “He is a gul, you are a mere lieutenant.” No, this didn’t help either. “You can’t fall in love, he’s too different.” What a nonsense! His body was different, however she wouldn’t fall in love with his body but with his mind. And his mind was different but weren’t all minds different from one another?
Let’s face it, she would fell in love with his singing.
She couldn’t believe herself. Singing was how Skorr males were courting their females, but Brenok’s singing was nothing like that. Yet she still found it luring and reacted to it as if he were a Skorr male.
“He is not thinking about you this way,” she said in a firm voice. “And this is something you can’t deny.”
But what if he would? What would happen then?
Read about the Borg! Now!