Here is the sixth chapter of Secrets and Lies:
Chapter 6, part 1
Odo sat at his office desk reading a security report, but his mind was drifting somewhere else. He was worried for Kira; there was a certain amount of danger to the mission she was doing, his only comfort was that he knew Kira could look after herself.
He checked his chronometer; it was 2255 hours near the end of his shift. Giving what little time there was left he decided to end the shift, five minutes early, and he returned to his quarters. The station lighting was dimmer in after hours, and as Odo walked down the corridors the dim white lights seemed to emulate his mood.
Aside from missing Kira, Odo had this constant niggling worry over whether Kira had been killed. It was an awful feeling for him; it was like a massive weight stuck in his midriff. Another worry for him was how his children would hold up if Kira died. Odo especially worried for Mia, right now Mia was going through a very trying time in her life. Losing her mother would only add to Mia's suffering.
When he arrived the quarters were quiet, and Odo entered Mia's and Deru's bedroom; Mia and Deru were sound asleep and looked perfectly content. He gazed at them briefly and wished he felt as content as them. After some moments watching, he then returned to the living room and sat down on the sofa, he hoped that Kira would return soon.
He had lost count of how many minutes past when the door to his quarters opened. Standing up, he saw Kira walk into the room. She looked really tense and grim, and when Kira looked into Odo's eyes, he saw a faint trace of rage linger in Kira's eyes, and this was something Odo rarely saw in her.
He walked over towards Kira and gave her a hug, while he wondered what could have possibly enraged Kira so much. The two then kissed and after a moment they let go. Odo held both of Kira's hands, and he was glad to see his wife's expression was somewhat lighter.
Still holding hands they sat down on the sofa. Kira rested on Odo's chest, and Odo put an arm around her chest. “How was the mission?” he whispered.
“It was horrible Odo,” said Kira in a flat voice.
She went to explain in length about the prison camp and Bordak. Odo knew it must have been hard for Kira, seeing such ghastly sights which once belonged in her past. He just let Kira keep on talking as he knew that Kira just wanted him to listen. Many a time Kira sounded angry, and at one point, she ranted on about Gul Bordak.
Finally after an hour or so, Odo realised that Kira had stopped talking, and that she had fallen asleep. He was overdue for reverting into his gelatinous state, so he got up, careful not to disturb Kira, and he then carried her back to their bedroom. Once she was tucked on their bed, he got in and gradually reverted back to his gelatinous state. Kira of course was completely comfortable with this, and that was one of the things he liked about Kira; she accepted him for what he truly was.
As he resided in his restive state, he continued to think about his relationship with Kira. If she had died during that mission, then Odo was not sure what he would do. Kira meant more to Odo than anything; even the Great Link. If he had never loved Kira, then he would have stayed with his people forever and more than likely become a Founder.
Day 10, 1000 hours
For the past three days, Odo had been busy questioning the survivors from the Liberty. Even for him it was very harrowing listening to their accounts. Frequently the survivors talked about the torture, cruelty, starvation and death which occurred on a daily basis inside the Tau Primia prison. Odo wished he did not have to question the survivors, but he had an investigation to carry out.
The main aim of the investigation was to determine how the Liberty met it's fate. Odo's next witness was the Liberty's captain Catherine Haydra, Haydra was by far one of the most important witnesses in his investigation. He sat at his desk, reviewing a station security report, while he waited for Haydra to arrive.
The door to his office opened, and Haydra walked in, closely followed by Bashir. Many of the survivors would break down when they recounted what happened in the Tau Primia prison. Bashir would calm down the survivors and occasionally he gave the survivors a shoulder to cry upon.
Odo though did not have the stomach being sentimental towards his friends, let alone to complete strangers.
Haydra sat down, looking slightly nervously at Odo, while to Haydra's left stood Bashir.
Odo put his first question to Haydra as gently as possible. “Mrs Haydra I know this is a distressing time for you, but I want to know how exactly the rebel Cardassians captured the Liberty?”
Haydra seemed to look distracted as she tried to remember the events of two years ago. “Gosh... it seems like such a long time ago. It started with... with... An ambush! A Cardassian warship decloaked... it's captain made this unreasonable demand... Something about... trespassing in their space. Yes, that's it and then... ”
“Then?” prompted Bashir.
Haydra frowned as she struggled to remember the events. “It became a blur after then,” she explained, “all I remember was the warship attacking, the Liberty was severely damaged... many killed... all the bridge crew were dead... No...” She paused again. “The first officer was alive!”
“Megan Felpes?” asked Odo.
“Yes, it's coming back to me,” she said, “and then the Cardassian boarding parties arrived! I tried to warn my crew... But... but... ” She hesitated, her eyes were full of tears. “It was too late! All my fault... all my fault...” Haydra kept repeating that same phrase.
“Why was it all your fault?” inquired Odo.
“Because...” Haydra paused, brushing away tears from her eyes. “Because I sent an away team down to Tau Primia! It was Megan, Jack and another ensign... ensign... Cotore! Megan and Jack are Starfleet Intelligence agents, and the mission SI gave to those two was to monitor the Tau Primia prison. Somehow they were detected, Megan and Jack must have been ambushed by the Cardassians, and if I remember correctly Jack was captured by the Cardassians!”
“Ambushed?” said Bashir.
Odo felt very tense; he could feel it, that sense of a breakthrough, he was so close...
“Yes, that was Megan's account of events,” said Haydra. “And then... then a Cardassian boarding party came onto the Liberty's bridge! Bordak was there to! He...” She paused again. “Trying to remember...” Her eyes were moving left to right very rapidly.
“Take your time... there's no rush Mrs Pentria,” said Odo tensely, the moment was so close now...
Haydra continued on with her account. “But Bordak demanded that I surrender myself... and Megan do the same... in exchange for mercy and for the release of my crew...”
Bashir and Odo exchanged glances, why Megan?
Haydra continued to mutter. “But it was all my fault... all my fault...”
“What mistake did you make?” asked Bashir.
Suddenly Haydra glanced up, staring at Odo with thunderstruck eyes. “I should never have assigned Megan down to that planet!” she exclaimed. “It was them... Megan and Jack...” she raved. “They did it!”
“Did what?” said Odo, his patience was at breaking point. “What did Megan do?” he asked Haydra forcibly.
“I'm not sure, no wait!” exclaimed Haydra, her eyes were wide as the memory seemed to have come back to her. “Bordak said... Bordak said that... Megan and Jack were the ones who tried to assassinate him! But that means...” She stopped talking as she was realizing the implications of her statement.
Bashir though realised the implications. “It means that Bordak had a legitimate reason for thinking that the Federation was trying to attack his prison, and that Megan and Jack caused the chain of events which lead to the attack on the Liberty.”
“Yes!” breathed Haydra. She looked furious; her eyes were bulging, and her chest was heaving.
“I'm going to kill them!” she shouted, rising from her chair.
Haydra tried to run away, but Bashir restrained her. “Let go of me!” she demanded. “It was Megan and Jack! Those traitors killed most of my crew, let me go!” she raged. “I'm going to kill them! Just let me... Just let me...”
The rage ebbed from Haydra's face. “It was all my fault,” she mumbled, while she collapsed onto the chair. “I should never have sent Megan and Jack onto Tau Primia!” Haydra then dissolved into tears, while her head was in her hands.
Odo felt genuine sympathy for Haydra, after all the torments and pain she suffered from this had to be the worst blow; to be betrayed by both Megan and Jack.
Bashir walked over and turned the chair Haydra was sitting on to face her. His expression was full of pity. “You can't blame yourself for something you didn't expect to happen,” he said gently. “It wasn't your fault... you're being too hard on yourself.”
Haydra though continued to cry, seemingly oblivious to Bashir's attempts to comfort her.
Odo had no more questions to ask her. “Thank you very much Mrs Pentria,” he said, trying to smile though Haydra didn't seem to be listening to him.
“Erm... Doctor...” he said cautiously, “if you don't mind would you escort Mrs Pentria back to sickbay? I have a report to write up!”
Bashir nodded in agreement and held a supporting arm to Haydra. “Come on Haydra...” he said gently.
Haydra slowly got up and followed Bashir out of Odo's office.
Odo was deeply thankful of his photographic memory, as he wrote down Haydra's account on a padd. What Haydra had said was going to be very crucial to his investigation...