Day 5, 1830 hours
Megan was walking towards Kira and Odo’s quarters; Kira had asked Megan to see her at 1830 hours. Kira had not specified what she wanted to discuss with Megan. Because of this lack of information, Megan was wondering if she had committed some sort of impasse towards Kira.
Upon entering the quarters, Megan noticed Kira and Odo standing in front of her. She couldn’t read the expression upon their faces, and Megan braced herself for the worst.
“Come in...” said Kira, she gave a Megan a small smile. “Don't look so nervous; I- that is to say me and Odo, have a personal request to ask of you.”
Megan’s eyebrows rose, that was the last thing she expected to hear. “A request?”
Kira looked at Odo briefly, and Odo elaborated upon this request. “We want you to educate our daughter, in your spare time.”
This was not what Megan had expected. “Why can't you educate her?”
Odo looked almost sheepish. “We don't have the time, and even if we did there wouldn't be anything to teach her.”
Kira chipped in. “You were right Megan; Mia is highly skilled, so that's why we want you to teach her.”
Megan looked at both Kira and Odo; the two seemed somewhat apprehensive, though they hid it well. Upon giving it further thought, Megan realised that Kira and Odo had placed considerable trust in her ability to teach Mia. “Mia teaches herself, but I could focus her on the finer nuances of her studies.”
Megan paused, she could tell Kira and Odo were hanging on to her every word. “Alright I’ll teach Mia. I could fit some lessons into my schedule, say mid-afternoon, and between 1800 and 2100. I'd say an average of four hours per day should be enough.”
Both Kira and Odo looked relieved; Odo walked up to Megan and shook her hand. “Thank you for doing this for us,” he said.
Megan ended the hand shake, and she gave Odo a smile reassuring smile. “This isn't some sort of chore, I'm really looking forward to teaching Mia...”
Day 9, 1500 hours
For the last three days, Megan had enjoyed tutoring Mia. Megan decided the best place for Mia to work would be in the astronomy lab. What amazed her was how self-sufficient Mia was when it came to education. Only twice had Mia actually asked Megan for help regarding a difficult problem. Once Megan explained to Mia the method for solving the problem, and Mia would immediately understand where she was going wrong.
Today seemed no different, Megan was doing her work inside the astronomy lab, while Mia was at her usual desk quietly working her way through various maths and physics textbook exercises. Megan was working on a console next to the platform, though there were no projections floating above the platform. For some reason, Megan paused and turned around to look at Mia, somehow she sensed that Mia’s heart wasn’t into the work.
“You look preoccupied,” she said. “Is there a tricky problem your dealing with?”
Mia looked up to face Megan. “No... it's not that.” Mia paused; her face looked very agitated. “It's just... I'm doing all this academic work which is alright. However, the outside world and other Bajorans, are still going to shun me and torment me.”
There was a slight hint of fear in Mia’s voice, and Megan realised that Mia was afraid of other people. It was one thing for Megan to tutor Mia, but would it be right of her to give to Mia advice for the daily situations of life?
Megan walked over to next to Mia’s desk, she sat down on top of it, careful to not to disturb the padds lying over the desk.
“I'm glad you realize that there is far more to this universe than maths and science. Listen, I don't see things becoming any easier for you. You are different, unique, and because your half Bajoran and half shapeshifter, some people will curse you forever for what you are. In case you haven't noticed I'm not the most popular person on this station, many of my fellow Starfleet officers falsely resentment me for of the deaths of 150 Starfleet personal.”
These facts surprised Mia, and she gave Megan a cold stare. “Did you kill those people?” she asked tersely.
“No...” responded Megan, she then paused as it was difficult for her talking about the Liberty. “But I was framed for a crime I never committed.”
The cold stare vanished from Mia’s face and she now looked understanding. “So has your name been cleared?”
“Yes, but... it's complicated. Suffice to say I can appreciate what you’re going through, and the only way to deal with it is to stand up with your head held high and endure it.”
“But how do you stand up to such injustice?” asked Mia, while looking despairingly at Megan.
“You can shape shift can't you?” inquired Megan.
At the very mention of shapeshifting, Mia avoided eye contact with Megan. “I can but I'm afraid to do so.”
Suddenly Megan realised why Mia was bullied on a daily basis. “And that's the problem; the malicious sense that fear and they use it as a way to hurt you. The next time someone bullies you, if possible try to walk away from a confrontation. However, if you can't then you have to confront them, bullies don't like being embarrassed, just tell them forcibly to leave you alone.
“If they try to assault you in anyway, then you can defend yourself with a proportionate amount of force. Another thing to do is shape shift and frighten the tormentor; but make sure you have control of your shape shifting abilities. However, don't actually injure him, but do enough to make him realize you shouldn't be messed with.”
“My brother is a bit like that,” mused Mia. “So many people respect him, and yet no one bullies him or behaves like a jerk towards him.”
“When you stop hiding from what you really are the nasty people will stay away from you, they never pick the strong as their victims.”
It looked like Mia had received a huge dose of clarity; Megan’s words seemed to transform Mia. Somehow Mia now looked more confident; she didn’t look like a victim any more. “Thanks for telling me that... It's eased some of my... worries.”
Mia briefly smiled at Megan to show her gratitude for Megan's advice, afterwards Mia returned back to her work. Megan removed herself from the desk and headed back to her work station.
Day 10, 1600 hours
Mia was walking along the upper level of the Promenade, she was carrying a padd and walking at a brisk pace. She wanted to return to home as quickly as possible. On one of the bridges, Sarin and two of his cronies walked over to block Mia’s path. Mia came to a halt; she almost succumbed to her fear but she then composed herself. This was going to be the last time Sarin bullied her.
“Well well if it isn't our favourite shapeshifter...” sneered Sarin, he approached Mia in a threatening way.
“Get out of my way,” said Mia nastily, she scowled at Sarin.
Sarin instead of letting Mia go by, snatched the padd clutched in her right hand.
“Not until I read this...” said Sarin in a patronizing tone.
“Give it back Sarin...” warned Mia, there was a serious hint of danger in her voice.
Sarin smirked, and he was pretending to look tough in front of his mates, but his eyes betrayed a slight hint of concern. “Or else what?” demanded Sarin. “No mummy or daddy to protect you now.”
Mia squared up to Sarin. “I know how to look after myself thank you very much. And that-” Mia extended her right hand and snatched the padd off Sarin’s hand. “-is mine.”
For a moment, Sarin looked taken aback. “You freak!” he said, raising his voice, though he sounded slightly fearful.
Now Mia realised she could torment Sarin, for Sarin could not look weak in front of his friends. “Funny you scare so easily, or are you just jealous that I have abilities you will never have?”
Sarin looked really angry. “You'll pay for that remark shapeshifter.”
Dashing forward Sarin tried to push Mia to the floor. Instead, his hands went straight through Mia’s torso, suddenly Sarin stopped in mid motion. He looked absurd, as his arms were stuck inside Mia’s body. Now Sarin looked really afraid. “What the?” he exclaimed fearfully, his eyes were wide with fear.
Sarin's cronies started to laugh at him, embarrassment mingled with the fear on Sarin’s face. Mia grabbed Sarin’s arms, and removed them from her body; she pushed Sarin away from her. Falling to the floor, Sarin was on his back; he looked at Mia in a stunned manner.
“Come on Sarin let's go,” said one of Sarin’s friends. “She isn't worth the trouble.”
Sarin got to his feet and left the scene with one of his friends. The other boy remained behind; he looked at Mia with a mixture of fear and awe. “That was impressive,” he said quietly, before dashing off to meet up with Sarin.
“Your welcome,” said Mia, who looked mildly surprised. She then smiled to herself; she had confronted Sarin and won. Mia resumed walking back to her quarters, she walked with a new confidence and superiority.
Odo was watching the whole affair from afar, at that moment he felt so proud of Mia. Finally, she was standing up to her bullies and tormentors. He had smiled with grim satisfaction as he saw the three Bajoran boys hurry away from Mia, and the look on his daughter’s face. Odo had never seen Mia look so confident and sure of herself.
What Mia had done took a lot off Odo’s mind; for so many years now he had been worried for Mia. He had worried many a time for both of his children, but that was all part of being a parent. Even when things were going right, there were always small niggling worries in the back of Odo’s mind. Mia had been a bigger worry for Odo than Deru, now Odo did not have to worry as much.
Day 10, 1700 hours
After the end of her shift, Kira headed to the security office. It was something of a routine for her, virtually every working day she would meet Odo at 1700 in his office. Walking inside she noticed Odo sitting behind his desk, Odo looked up and gave her big smile.
This surprised Kira, Odo rarely smiled. She sat on top of his desk and smiled back, she wondered what Odo was so happy about. “You seem in a cheerful mood today.”
Odo’s smile faded slightly. “I have a reason to be cheerful; it's about Mia. I saw her on the Promenade, Sarin along with two of his cronies tried to bully Mia; but to no avail.”
“What did she do?” inquired Kira.
“She actually stood up to them, I saw her she didn't look remotely intimidated.”
Odo looked proudly at Kira. “Sarin had snatched a padd she was holding, so she took it back by force. Sarin then tried to push her, but she shapeshifted, and Sarin hands were stuck inside her body. Sarin's cronies were deeply amused, I suspect Sarin felt really embarrassed. After a moment, Mia let Sarin go free, and then he and his friends left her alone.”
Upon hearing this Kira felt a huge burden had been removed from her; she didn’t realize how miserable and stressed she had actually felt. Mia’s action had greatly uplifted Kira, and she smiled widely towards Odo. “It seems like Mia isn't afraid to shapeshift anymore.”
Odo placed his hands together and put them underneath his chin. “I suspect that it was Megan who told Mia to stand up and confront bullies.”
“Do you really think so?” asked Kira.
Odo’s hands rested on his legs. “For some reason Mia really admires Megan, at any rate it's done Mia a lot of good, it seems Megan is serving the dual role of teacher and mentor to Mia.”
There was a brief pause between the two. Whatever Megan had told Mia, Kira was deeply grateful for Megan. Getting Megan to tutor to Mia was probably the best decision Kira had ever made.
“It's taken a lot of my mind,” said Kira at last. “I've been so worried about Mia. I'll see you in a hours time.”
Kira moved forwards and gave Odo a brief kiss on his lips. She then moved her head slightly away from Odo, and she felt Odo holding onto her hands. Kira was in such a good mood she felt like celebrating, and there was one way to do that. “You know tonight in our quarters, when the children are asleep, we could er... link, if you get my drift.”
Odo nodded in appreciation. “That would be nice.”
With a last smile at Odo, Kira stood up and walked out of the office. She felt as if the Prophets had answered her prayers and alleviated her concerns for Mia…
Well that is the end of Outlier
. Here are links to the rest of my stories (which are listed in chronological order in terms of my series plot):
Secrets and Lies
Ménage à Trois
Tip of the Iceberg
Running the Gauntlet