Next up is my fifth story, Outlier
, this is a small one, and I focus on one of the secondary characters, Mia; Kira's daughter. Here is a summary of the story:
Another one of my smaller stories. This story focuses upon Kira's daughter Mia, and the stigma she faces for being a half Bajoran, half shapeshifter. After being withdrawn from school because of bullying, Mia must come to terms with who she is and confront those who hate her for it.
And here is the first chapter of Outlier
Day 1, 1400 hours
Inside the classroom, Mia had her head down as she studied differential equations. Behind her was Sarin and he always liked to bullied her. Today for Mia the bullying was particularly bad. She was constantly trying to ignore the abusive messages Sarin sent from his pad onto her pad.
Another message popped on the screen, and for some reason it caught her eye, and she couldn't help but read it.
‘Just leave DS9 you shapeshifting bitch! Your kind isn't welcome here!
Wishing she had not read such a nasty message Mia proceeded to delete it. So far she had spent half her time in class, deleting Sarin’s petty and nasty messages.
Mia glanced up; she noticed the teacher had left the desk, and was heading to a room just behind the classroom. A sick queasy feeling built up inside Mia’s stomach, she hoped the teacher wouldn’t go into that room. When the teacher was in there she couldn’t hear or see the class; unless there was an absolute riot happening. The teacher entered the room, and Mia’s heart plummeted; Sarin would notice the teacher’s absence, and take advantage of it.
“Hey shapeshifter!” called out Sarin.
Mia ignored him, it was all she could do. Pain erupted around her back as Sarin punched her there very hard. All Mia did was remain silent, but her hands were shaking from anger.
“This must be a very stupid shapeshifter.” Sarin’s voice was loud enough to carry across the whole class. “It doesn't respond to somebody talking to it.”
Many of the classmates were staring at Mia, some of them were gleefully smiling at her humiliation.
“Just leave me alone,” said Mia quietly.
Sarin pretended to look puzzled. “Sorry? I didn't hear you.” Again he punched Mia in the back. “You're stupid you know, you just sit there while I punch you. Why not defend yourself?”
The anger built up inside Mia, though her head was bowed down. She didn’t have the courage to turn around and confront Sarin. “I'm not stupid,” she replied angrily, though she still sounded quiet and timid.
“Of course you're stupid.” Sarin raised his hand, he seemed ready to hit Mia again. “If you were smart you wouldn't let yourself get hit my me.”
When Sarin’s hand smacked into the back of Mia’s head, she emotionally cracked. All of the built up rage exploded inside her; she turned around, and raised her fist. Mia put all of her weight behind the punch and aimed straight at Sarin’s face. Sarin though dodged and Mia missed her target, the force of her punch sent her sprawling onto Sarin's desk.
Unfortunately, at that exact same moment, Mia’s teacher returned into the classroom. The teacher was a Bajoran women; she had a thin and lived in face. “What's going on over there?” she shouted.
Sarin answered the question. “It's Mia miss, she tried to punch me!” Not only did Sarin sound innocent, he looked the perfect picture of innocence.
The teacher walked over to Mia’s desk, and lowered her voice. “Why did you attack him Mia?”
Mia's eyes brimmed with tears, she felt terrible and could barely breath from nervousness. “Because he provoked me!” she said in an anguished voice. “He attacked me first!”
The teacher turned to address Sarin. “Is this true?”
“She's lying!” said Sarin heatedly, while he raised his voice to address the whole class. “I was sitting at my desk doing work the whole time. Wasn't I?”
All of Mia’s classmates nodded in agreement; with some of them, there were looks of triumph on their faces. At that moment, Mia wished she was invisible, it was horrible for her that the whole class had turned against her. Now tears started spilling from her eyes. “That's not true!”
Nobody believed Mia, not even the teacher. The women looked at Mia with some pity. “Mia I know you are upset, but it helps to tell the truth-”
Mia jumped out from her seat, the patronizing tone in the teacher’s voice was unbearable. “Nobody cares about the truth!” shouted Mia. “You're just like them! You don't want me here; you hate me because I'm not like you!”
There was absolute silence in the classroom. Unable to bare the humiliation, Mia ran out of the classroom, as the tears ran down from her eyes. On the Promenade, Mia removed her communicator and dropped it onto the floor. All she wanted to do was to find somewhere quiet; somewhere where no one would find her.
So she proceeded to cargo bay five, a place she used for solitude when things became to unbearable. She knew that in the afternoon it was a quiet place, and hardly anybody entered at that time.
Inside cargo bay five, Mia went over to a console, and after a minute of tampering with station's sensors, she had managed to mask her life signs. She didn't want anybody to find her, and looking around the cargo bay, she saw many boxes and containers, which made it perfect for hiding.
Day 1, 1900 hours
Megan was walking down a corridor heading towards cargo bay five. Right now the astronomy lab was shut down because of fused plasma relays. Nog was repairing the fault, while Megan was collecting spare parts needed to complete the repairs. The astronomy lab had not been used for over two years. Over that time, various components and equipment in the lab became faulty and had a tendency to break down. These problems had plagued Megan for months, the good news was the breakdowns and the down-time were decreasing.
Arriving in cargo bay 5, Megan had intended to walk straight down to the back of the storage area. However, when she heard the faint sound of somebody crying, she froze. “Who's there?”
Cautiously, Megan proceeded to the source of the sound, the crying was becoming louder. She came around an aisle, and then she spotted a young teenage Bajoran girl. The girl’s face looked familiar, and Megan realised that it was Mia who was huddled up and half-hidden behind a container. During the course of the afternoon, Megan had wondered where Mia was, since she heard of Kira and Odo roaming the station for over an hour, looking for their daughter.
Megan walked over to Mia and peered over the container. “Mia, what are you doing here?”
Mia remained silent and stopped sobbing.
Megan came around the container and crouched down next to Mia. “What's the matter?” she asked gently.
An ugly expression appeared on Mia’s face. “Why would you care about me?” said Mia nastily.
“I don't like seeing people in distress and pain.”
“So do other people,” retorted Mia. “But they don't give a damn for me because I'm a shapeshifter.”
Mia’s attitude inwardly shocked Megan. “Listen, your parents are out looking for you, they've really worried about you.” Megan held out her hand to Mia. “Come one, let's get you home.”
The anger on Mia’s face vanished; she seemed surprised by Megan’s kind action though she grasped Megan’s hand nonetheless. Standing up and still holding Mia’s hand, Megan walked out of cargo bay five. Mia looked pretty subdued, occasionally she cried for a bit. Suddenly Mia spoke. “I wish I was normal, and just a Bajoran. I just can't understand why people are so cruel to me.”
Mia continued to mutter and mumble. Megan merely listened to Mia as she escorted her back to her home.
After a few minutes, Megan was waiting outside the entrance to Mia’s quarters. Mia looked really miserable, and her head was bowed down as she stared at her feet. She seemed afraid to go back inside her home.
The door opened, and there was Kira looking pale and strained. “Mia where have you been?”
Megan decided to answer that question, to spare Mia’s feelings. “She was hiding in container bay five.” She pushed Mia forwards gently so that Mia would go inside. “She was very upset when I found her.”
Now Megan felt uncomfortable, she didn’t want Kira to ask her any awkward questions. “Anyway I must get back to the astronomy lab.”
When Megan was out of sight, Kira returned to the living room. She saw Mia standing there, looking very upset. Kira was half angry and half concerned for Mia. For over an hour she had been looking for Mia, while Odo was still searching.
There was silence between the two, since Kira knew she was going to have the same conversation with Mia, concerning the bullying. “I heard what happened in the school,” she said gently. “You shouldn't have lashed out though; why did you let Sarin repeatedly attack you in the first place?”
Mia was still crying, she looked defeated and forlorn. “I don't want to hurt anybody, if I did it would only make things worse,” said Mia feebly.
The timidity of her daughter surprised Kira. “But you must defend yourself! Why don't you defend yourself when someone attacks you? You're fifteen, when I was fifteen I was in the Bajoran resistance, fighting against the Cardassians. In those days if you couldn't protect yourself, you would be at the mercy of the Cardassians.”
Kira's words seemed to have no effect upon Mia, all Mia did was to look down dejectedly at the floor. “I don't want to talk about the bullying anymore.”
“Mia, this bullying will not magically disappear of it's own accord!”
Suddenly Mia raised her head, and she looked angrily at her mother. “I wish I was normal!” she complained. “You know a Bajoran, and not just some shapeshifting freak. Why couldn't you marry someone who was normal?”
A powerful rage clouded Kira's mind, of all the people to criticize her for marrying Odo, she never expected her own daughter to do so. “Don't you ever speak about your father in that manner again,” she said fiercely. “Do you understand?”
“Punish me then!” shouted Mia. “I don't care... Nobody cares about me!”
Mia turned her back upon Kira and entered her bedroom. Momentarily Kira thought about pursuing Mia, but she couldn’t do it. She had no idea of what to do to comfort her daughter; clearly Mia had reached new lows.
Dangerous lows when Kira realised that Mia was becoming emotionally unstable, Kira couldn’t even remember the last time Mia shouted at her. This reinforced her view that Mia was too timid, and it made her daughter look weak. However, if Mia was ashamed of her heritage, then Kira faced a huge parental problem to surmount.
Day 1, 2330 hours
Late in the night, Kira and Odo were inside the security office. Sometimes when the couple had arguments and disagreements, they would settle them inside the office, so as to not disturb their children. Odo sat on top of his desk, while Kira was sitting on a chair. Her posture was so low that she was almost resting on the desk. “I don't know what to do Odo,” said Kira quietly. “Mia she's...”
“Go on,” prompted Odo.
“She resents being a shapeshifter, she asked why I married you, someone in her own words who was 'normal'.” Kira looked deeply hurt, and she glanced at Odo. “I've heard many people criticize me for marrying you, but I never expected my daughter to hate me for marrying you!”
Odo’s reaction was muted. “She's just hurt, and frustrated. She knows she can't physically lash out, so she uses words instead.”
“Every day I constantly worry for her, I wonder weather she's being bullied, and every day I fear she may explode. She simply takes all of that abuse and torment, and she does nothing to confront it! Nothing!”
Kira’s voice became steadily louder as she vented her frustration towards Odo. “It's such a burden just seeing her suffer...”
Odo tried to lighten the mood. “At least she didn't try to kill Sarin...”
Instead of lifting Kira’s spirits, Odo’s attempt at humour did the opposite. “That's not funny,” she said sharply. “You weren't there when I had to physically restrain Mia, as she strangled that child seven years ago. I looked at her face, and there was no emotion upon it. In that moment, I knew she wasn't going to let go until she had killed him.”
She paused as the memories of that day lingered in her mind. “It's racism, pure and simple!”
“I know,” said Odo in a weary mantra. “But why doesn't Deru get bullied?”
“Because he has very limited shapeshifting abilities, whereas Mia has far more, and it spooks people. It spooks me sometimes when I see her shape shift.”
“Personally I think we should withdraw Mia from school indefinitely, we could teach her.”
However Kira felt rather skeptical about Odo's idea. “But where would we find the time to teach her? Besides sooner or later Mia is going to have to grow up and get used to the distrust of people around her.”
“We should have been harder upon her, and toughened her up... ”
“And how we do toughen her up?” asked Kira as she glared at Odo. “Do we deprive her of a childhood?”
“I didn't mean that,” said Odo hastily.
Kira jabbed her finger against the desk in anger, and she shouted at Odo. “I swore to myself that Mia and Deru would have a proper childhood and upbringing, and never have the upbringing I received!”
Now Odo sounded very angry. “But Mia has never been truly happy. She has been constantly bullied, and tormented in one way or another! She always has been to timid; she must stand up for herself!”
It always came back to that, Mia’s character flaw. Kira was not sure how to toughen Mia up, right now that didn’t matter. The top priority for Kira was easing Mia’s burden. “Let's just remove her from school, it's not doing her any good. Over the next few days, I'll work out some way of providing her an education...”
This was merely a stop-gap measure, Kira didn’t have the time to educate Mia herself. She wondered if she would have to resign from her job, and sacrifice her career to help Mia. If resigning from her post was the only option, then Kira would take it. Mia’s happiness meant everything to Kira.