Lakat, Eheen, Cardassia Prime
“Dad!” Chumi shouted, running to her father and wrapping her arms around his neck as he leaned to her much shorter self to make that gesture possible.
He pressed her to his chest. “Bei’asara
She grabbed his hand a pulled him deeper into the apartment. Inaya, his sister-in-law, stood in the door to the day room. “Welcome back,” she said smiling. “We expected you several hours ago.”
Tavor Karama shrugged. “Ship’s business. Where’s Tasar?”
“Here.” Tavor turned to look at his older brother, who had just left the kitchen, wiping his hands in a cloth. “How long will you stay?”
“Only a few days.”
Tasar’s left eye ridge went wider. “‘Only?’ I’d say that’s quite something, considering how busy the flagship is.”
Tavor smiled. “Well, I think it’s because Brenok wanted some time off to visit Jarol.”
“How is she?”
“Better, as far as I know.”
A small figure appeared behind Tasar. The older brother must have felt the presence as—without looking—he said, “Stop hiding and tell your father what you did last week.”
The little figure hid behind his uncle’s leg.
“Tarin?” Tavor leaned over to have a better look at his seven years old son. The boy moved to avoid being seen. “Tarin, come here.” Tavor’s voice was soft but had a commanding tone. He stretched his hand toward the child. “Come and tell me.”
Tarin shyly moved toward the offered hand. He grabbed it and let his father lead him to the day room, where they sat at the dining table.
“What happened?” Tavor asked.
The boy looked at his feet.
“Tell him, or I’ll tell him,” Tasar said. Then, he returned to the kitchen.
“Dad, it’s because of me.” Chumi wrapped her arms around her father’s shoulders from behind and leaned her head on the back of his. “He meant well.”
“I’m intrigued now.” He looked at his son. “Tarin, what did you do?”
Suddenly, the boy’s demeanour changed. Fire burnt in his eyes as he looked at his father. “That idiot shouldn’t have said those things! He asked for it. No stupid moron will make my sister cry! He got what he deserved!”
“As far as I remember, you got what you deserved too,” Inaya interjected.
Tavor sighed. “I’m very happy that all got what they deserved. Now, again and from the beginning. What happened last week. And why Chumi cried?” He turned his head to look at his daughter.
“There’s that boy,” she said. “And he liked me, but I don’t like him. He’s a bully. And he said that I was so pretty and so special, but I don’t like him. And then he started to call me names.”
“I’d rather not repeat. Those were ugly and dirty words. Tarin heard that and rammed him and...well...got smashed on the wall.”
Tarin jumped on his chair. “I did not!” he shouted with indignation.
“Yes, you did,” she insisted.
“You fought at school?” Tavor sent his son a look full of astonishment. “Why didn’t you tell someone that he called your sister names? Why did you attack him? A boy almost twice your age!”
“I’m not an Obsidian Order agent, I am not a fogar
Tavor was speechless for a long moment. How come his young son knew such a word as ‘fogar
?’ The glinn wasn’t happy that his child knew such a pejorative and full of contempt term, which denoted a person who sneaked upon his or her neighbours and family to turn them in to the Obsidian Order, and that he used
it. “Tariiiiiiin.” Tavor let out a long sigh. “First, don’t use words like this. Say ‘I don’t tell on other children’ instead. Second, you can’t fix things this way. This is not right.”
“No one will call my sister a ‘federant,’ or a ‘flathead!’” the boy shouted.
“Tarin!” Tavor’s voice gained a sharp tone. “You will not
use that word ever again!”
“Not a word more!” the glinn boomed. He hated raising his voice, he hated showing any aggression toward his children, but sometimes it was necessary.
Chastised Tarin lower his head “Yes, father,” he said quietly, his sight returning to his feet.
“You also will not fight at school. Regardless of others’ wrong behaviour. You will tell your teachers and your uncle and those naughty children will be dealt with. You do not deal with this yourself!”
Tavor observed his son for a long moment, giving him time to think about his behaviour and his father’s words. The glinn glanced at Inaya. “Was he punished?”
“Yes,” she confirmed with a nod.
“Good.” His voice became softer. “Now, come here and give me a big hug.”
Tarin raised his head and Tavor saw tears shining in his eyes. It almost broke his heart. The boy jumped from the chair and ran around the table to his father with his arms stretched toward him. “I’m sorry, Daddy!”
“I know.” He knew that Tarin hadn’t apologised for fighting, or for ‘protecting’ his sister. He had apologised for disappointing his father and for making him angry. Tavor hoped that some day his son would understand why his behaviour was wrong.
For now, though, he planned to enjoy his stay with his family. He only hoped Amrita could have been with them.
Akot, Eheen, Cardassia Prime
Ya’val smiled, seeing Ma’Kan approaching the table. He hadn’t seen her for too long. The last several times that the Damar
had been near Cardassia Prime for them to meet, she had been ‘on the hunt,’ as she called her missions. This time they were luckier and the schedules of both of them allowed them to steal a few hours and have a dinner together.
She had changed since the time she had left the military almost three years earlier. After the mission, during which they had found an old Obsidian Order experimental vessel and had witnessed terrible tortures two Cardassians were submitted to, she had decided to dedicate her life to hunting down former Obsidian Order agents that were still in hiding and didn’t pay for their crimes yet. She had a few successes on her account.
“Zerin, you gained weight,” she said instead of a greeting.
“No, I did not!” he shouted with indignation, straightening up in his seat.
She laughed. “All right, you did not.” She sat. “Did you take a look at their offer?” she asked, pointing to a dish list padd.
“I did. Everything appears so tasty I’d like to sample a bit of everything.”
gain weight, then.” She seemed to be in a good mood.
He smiled. “You look nice. I mean, really, really nice,” he said.
She gave him an attentive look and studied his face. “Thanks,” she replied eventually. “I grew my hair a bit longer. Now it doesn’t interfere with my duties.” She winked.
It wasn’t only her hair, it was everything about her. Without heavy armour and easy-to-make hairdo replaced by a much more elaborate one, she looked more womanly than he had ever seen before. An idea popped in his head. “Is there someone?” he asked.
“Someone special? Did you meet someone?”
“Because of my hair?”
“Your hair would be the result.”
She shook her head. “No,” she answered shortly.
, he thought. She deserved the best man in the Union. “So...what do we eat?” he asked.
They started to choose and mark desired dishes. The dish list padd sent their requests to the chef and they waited for their food to be brought to them. They talked about her latest assignment and about his service aboard the Damar
. She asked how were the others—the officers she knew and with whom she had served for twenty years—and returned Ya’val’s question about meeting someone special.
Those infrequent get togethers were an extension of gatherings that they used to have with Gil Sabal, their friend who had been murdered by a mad Efrosian three years earlier. They rarely talked about Sabal; Ya’val knew that Ma’Kan had been shattered by the gil’s death and he didn’t want to bring the sad subject. When they talked about him, they both choose only happy memories.
That day, however, Ya’val wanted to hear about her newest case—one that she wanted to take very much, but couldn’t due to Cardassia’s stiff relations with the Federation. With these relations changing and warming up, there was a chance she could finally try to find that man who had a lot to answer for and who was presumably hiding in the Federation territory for last fifteen—twenty years.