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Old January 3 2012, 05:13 AM   #115
Rush Limborg
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Re: Writing Challenge- The winning entries.

Garak smiled. Things were proceeding as planned. Yes…it would dull the pain the man already felt…however, it would also loosen his lips, a good deal. Garak had taken a counteracting agent, so it would not loosen his own…but this Bajoran had no such luxury.

“Of course,” he said, as he poured some into the other glass. He pushed it to the Bajoran’s side of the table. The man took it…and drank, without a break.

When he finished, the man set the glass down. He looked at Garak…and gave a light smile.

“So…you’re different from most spoonheads I’ve met.”

Garak chuckled. “Indeed…I am not under the Central Command. The Order prides itself on being more…clean than the military. We’re somewhat more civil, and less brutal.”

“Yeah, I gathered that. You know…Spoonhead…how much do you know about history?”

Garak shrugged. “Cardassian, or Bajoran?”

“Cardassian.”

“Oh, I know my share of history. The Hebitians…the rise of the Union…the formation of the Empire…” Garak grinned. “You know…I find it most fascinating: the ancient Bajorans had a rich culture. The Hebitians did, as well. Now…Cardassians rule an empire. And the Bajorans? They are one of our many subjects.”

“Yeah, well…maybe spoonheads are just more aggressive.”

Garak snorted. “It would seem so.”

“Yeah—that’s actually what I’m getting at. See…I read a lot of stuff about ancient cultures—pretty fascinating.”

“Oh? Do you have time to research, between killings of…‘spoonheads’?”

“No, not really…I got less time to do all that, since I joined the Resistance. But anyway…something you probably don’t know about Cardassian history.”

Garak leaned back in his seat. Trying to establish trust, is he? Or else simply trying to distract himself from the pain he still feels…and the guilt he will feel, from betraying his comrades.

At any rate, it would probably be most interesting.

The Bajoran smirked, and said, “Well…you look up the most ancient ruins…of Hebitian culture, and um…well, they look a lot…like Bajorans.”

Garak chuckled. “Indeed?”

“Yeah. Probably something none of you spoonheads want to talk about. But if you want to, you can go home and look, for yourself…if they’ll let you. So, back then, the Hebitians—well, maybe they had the rough skin, or whatever, but…none of those bumps on the forehead, huh? They had it on the nose, like we do…and who knows, maybe on the neck, but…” Taren shook his head. “No spoonheads.”

Garak shook his head in amusement. “Really?”

“Yep. And…you want to know what changed all that?”

“Enlighten me, sir.”

“Well…” the man leaned forward, and said, “Cardassians…were spawned by Klingons.”

Garak blinked. “Klingons?”

“Yeah. See…many centuries ago, the Klingons came in, and conquered the Hebitians. And…well, you know how…how aggressive the Klingons are, right? So…the Hebitian women? They got so smitten…with Klingon men…that nature took its course. Long story short, they’re all having children. And they did it so much…that they changed the bloodline.”

Garak snorted, grinning.

“No, no—this is real history. So…you’ve got it on the head, because your ancestors are Klingons!”

Garak burst out laughing. He was suddenly feeling quite giddy, somehow.

He shook his head. “My dear Taren…I doubt you have a firm grasp on Cardassian anatomy.”

“No, no—really. I mean, your girls probably got the blue thing on their own, or something, but…the ridge is the ridge. It’s not as thick as a Klingon’s, because only half your blood’s theirs. Still—hundreds of years later, you’ve still got that gene. Hence…you’re a spoonhead.”

Garak chortled. “Well!”

“That’s not all—” the man grinned, “Where did you all get that rich black hair? I’ll bet if you all let it, it’d get long and airy…like those Klingons, huh?”

Garak nodded, laughing.

The man joined in …and when it died down, he said, “So, your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother…she fell for a Klingon…and they had a half-Klingon kid! And it stuck—so, the Hebitians…well, they became the spoonheads.”

Garak raised his hands, and applauded. “Inspired, Taren!”

“Well, I thought so. But…” the grin on the Bajoran’s face became less innocent, “In a way, it explains a lot. You were wondering what made you spoonheads more aggressive than we are, right?”

Garak nodded. “Of course….”

“Well, that explains it all.”

“I suppose so.”

But…do you know what it also explains?”

Garak leaned forward. “Enlighten me.”

The terrorist’s smile lessened…and he said, “You said the Hebitians had a rich culture, so…so what happened to it?”

Garak felt his smile fade.

“I’ll tell you what happened, Spoonhead: you’ve lost it all—you lost your Hebitian side, for your Klingon side. Now that’s ironic, isn’t it? You all hate the Klingons, right? You think they’re a bunch of savage killers whose code of honor is a fake. But…who are you more like: Hebitians…or Klingons? Klingons are militaristic…they’re bent on conquest…they treat the races they control as second-class citizens…. And the Hebitians—what were they like?” Taren shrugged. “They were a lot like us…weren’t they?”

Suddenly, Garak was enjoying this conversation less and less.

The grin on Taren’s face returned. “So, Spoonhead…I told you what made you people…what you are. Now, I’ve been telling you that it’s all true, right?”

Garak nodded. “You have.”

“And you told me you can spot lies…right?”

“Of course.”

“So, tell me…am I lying?”

Garak said nothing, keeping what remained of his smile.

The Bajoran pointed at him, and said, “Because I say, Spoonhead…that you’re part—turtlehead.”

Garak burst out laughing once again. And then he rose to his feet, and shook his head. “You’re not going to tell me anything…are you, Bajoran?”

The Bajoran spread out his hands…and returned the laugh.

Garak shrugged, amid the man’s guffaws. “Well, perhaps I will give you the benefit of the doubt…and assume your antics are due to drink. So—”

Garak adjusted the settings on his tricorder…and pressed the control.

The laughter of the imbecile turned to screams, as one pulse connected—then another—and another again. The sequence would continue, for as long as Garak would wish.

And he felt like “wishing” a great deal. Whatever was necessary, to exorcise that nonsense from this comedian.

“I know you can hear me, Bajoran,” Garak shouted above the screams, “So I advise you to tell me what I need to know…before we finish with you.”

At last, he pressed the control. The man gasped and wheezed…and let out a cough.

“Now,” Garak said, “I suppose I must advise you again of the danger you’re imposing, not merely to you…but to your children. Tell me everything I want to know…and I assure you, they will be treated with the best care the Empire can provide. Refuse…and I am not the one to be concerned with a possible Klingon heritage. Or perhaps you can take solace in the fact that they will…oh, ‘die with honor’, as they say?”

The man raised his head, meeting Garak’s gaze…and smiled.

“See you in Gre’thor…Spoonhead!” he whispered.

Garak smiled…and pressed the control.

The man writhed—

And suddenly…nothing.

Garak froze…and his blood ran cold.

He checked the tricorder. No…everything was as it should be. The pulses were working, just…no response.

No…


He turned it off, walked over to the Bajoran…and checked his pulse.

Nothing.

No!


But it was true. The man was dead, due to strain on his heart.

And it was Garak’s own fault—he had no one to blame, but himself. He had allowed the terrorist to enrage him…
But why? What was it he had said—amid all the absurd, asinine nonsense about Klingon ancestry—what was it that had distracted Garak from his duty?

Was it the words about the culture Cardassia had lost? The richness of the Hebitian era…lost…allegedly due to the militarism of the rising Empire—

Did Garak, in some sense…find himself agreeing with that?
Well—it was of no consequence. He had failed. He had failed in his assignment…in his chance for restoration, such as it was.

More importantly…in a momentary rage, he had failed Cardassia—a home which he was now certain was closed to him, forever….

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