“He did what
?!” Brenok yelled and started toward the door, his brain literally flying behind him.
“Where are you going?” Jarol asked.
The long-haired glinn answered not turning back. “To tell him what I think about such an immoral gapgar
Jarol jumped to her feet. “Stop! Are you crazy?” But he didn’t slow down. “Computer, lock the door.” She was glad they were in her quarters and she didn’t need any code to lock her own door; her voice print was sufficient for the command to be accepted.
“Let me out,” Brenok laughed.
“Not until you cool down.”
She had told her friend how Gul Dukat had trapped her a few days earlier. Brenok’s reaction was indignation and fury. She knew him and she knew that there were moments when Arenn was reckless and did before thinking. She didn’t want him executed because of one man’s sick and lewd mind.
“Someone has to tell that bastard how to treat ladies.” He gestured vividly when speaking. “Your husband isn’t here to protect you, so it’s my job as your...brother’s.” He smiled saying the last word. They were only friends and shared no blood, but that’s how they felt about each other. They had been supporting each other for years and their relationship grew beyond friendship.
“I’d rather have a living brother than a dead one.”
“Ati, what he did...” Brenok just shook his head instead of finishing.
She opened her mouth to say that it had been nothing and that it didn’t matter, but she knew it was a lie. She had been terrified at that moment, appalled and disgusted by the indecent behaviour of her superior officer and the time didn’t diminish those feelings. “I’m just glad I don’t have to be there any longer.” There was a short moment she’d found him charming and irresistible—during that romantic dinner in his quarters—but she shook that misguided feeling very quickly, especially in the light of his subsequent behaviour. And even if her temporary blindness wouldn’t vaporise as quickly as it did, she could never be unfaithful to Tiron.
Brenok paced in the room and she could clearly see that he was still agitated. His hands were on his hips and from time to time he shook his head with most likely disbelief. He was furious. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Why didn’t you tell Zamarran?”
“And then what? Return to his ship and face the consequences? I was in enough trouble and didn’t need any more. Damar tried to protect me, but I am certain his power is limited and there are some things even he can’t prevent. Can you imagine what would happen if Zamarran confronted Dukat about it? What would happen to me for telling on him?”
Brenok fumed. “Zamarran wouldn’t let you return to that ship! Who do you think he is?!”
“What if he’d get an order? You know what he’s like. Duty and order, regulations and rules.”
The man snorted. He was just about to say something, but one look at her kept him silent. “I can’t even imagine how scared you had to be,” he said softly.
“I still am.”
“Did you talk to Zamarran now?”
“I did. I had to pass a message to him.”
“Will he follow rules?”
She smiled softly. “He said he’ll help. But I’m sure he’ll do it following all possible rules.”
Brenok sat next to her and she was glad to see he was calming down.
Gul Zamarran was sitting in his office, trying not to explode. Last night Jarol had returned to the Roumar
with a horrible story and he was still very angry, mostly at himself for agreeing to Dukat’s idea of her temporary transfer. What made him even more irritated was that he couldn’t do anything about Dukat’s indecent behaviour—not until that other officer, Yassel, was off the Ravinok
. He understood he had to play the game Glinn Damar had started for the safety of that young woman, but the fact that such a rotten man was not facing charges and consequences for his—clearly typical and common—behaviour was driving Zamarran crazy. It was against everything he believed in. He had even asked Jarol if she was ready to postpone charging Dukat for the sake of Yassel and as terrified as she was, she had agreed.
He didn’t start his day yet, when someone appeared at his door. He looked up to see who had chimed and didn’t hide his surprise at seeing Gul Dukat’s aide. He raised his hand and waved for the officer to enter.
“What can I do for you, Glinn Damar?”
“There is something I need to talk about to you, sir.”
“Something that you cannot talk about to your gul,” Zamarran guessed. Was it about Yassel?
“Sit down.” Zamarran waited for Damar to sit and then said, “So, what brings you to me.”
The younger man took a breath and the gul knew it wasn’t easy for him. And it shouldn’t be. Damar had his own superior and instead of going with his problem to Dukat, he was here, in Zamarran’s office. The gul was not only not his direct commanding officer, he was also subordinate of Damar’s commander. This situation violated at least two regulations.
But Zamarran was ready to hear him out and then judge.
“Sir, as you know, Gul Dukat is conducting talks with the Vorta.”
“Yes, I am aware of that. However, Dukat didn’t inform me of the nature of those talks.”
“Generally, they are exchange of information. The Vorta describes in detail their political system, Gul Dukat in return tells him about our political situation.”
“Sounds harmless.” Zamarran wasn’t sure if it really was harmless, but talking about facts didn’t have to mean anything dangerous. Though, sharing too much information might be considered treason.
“It appeared harmless in the beginning. But the talks started to involve hypothetical situations...” The glinn hesitated. “I was excluded yesterday and right now Dukat talks to the Vorta without any witnesses.”
“I’m sure your political officer keeps an...ear on everything.”
Damar drew the air loudly and Zamarran knew it was not the end of revelations. “The Vorta is in constant contact with someone, presumably his superiors. Dukat is in constant contact with the Vorta.”
“What do you mean?”
“Our political officer detected communication between Dukat and the Dominion ship. He didn’t specify if Dukat contacted the Vorta from his office or his quarters, but he was certain of that fact.”
“He told you that?” Zamarran couldn’t imagine an Obsidian Order agent sharing any kind of information with any officer. Nadar certainly wouldn’t do anything like that.
“For whatever reason, he did.”
“I would like to talk to him myself, if it’s possible.” Dukat’s behaviour was strange and the gul was not going to ignore it.
“Raseen told me he was going to confront Dukat.”
“I don’t know. I can’t find him since the morning. He just...isn’t aboard the Ravinok
any longer. There is no trace of him beaming out anywhere; there is no trace of him at all.”
Zamarran didn’t need it spelled out at his face: Dukat had got rid of his witness. The Ravinok
’s gul was plotting and he didn’t want anyone interrupt him. There was one element of this puzzle that didn’t fit the whole picture—no one, regardless how badly plotting, dared to eliminate an Obsidian Order agent, because it meant more trouble than gain and only drew more attention. But! They were far from home and the number of agents was extremely limited here. But! They would return home eventually and then Dukat would have a lot of explaining to do, unless he came with a convenient and believable story of his political officer’s disappearance, which wouldn’t be that difficult, considering they were in an unknown, uncharted and dangerous place.
“What do you want me to do?” the gul asked.
Damar shook his head. “I don’t know, sir. But something must be done before it’s too late, whatever those two are discussing in there.” The glinn made a face and Zamarran wasn’t surprised—it had to feel terrible to lose respect for one’s gul and do such things behind his back.
“Keep observing,” Zamarran said. “And keep me updated. I’ll keep my sensors on any incoming and outgoing communication.”
“I’ll try to gain access to the talks.” Disgust on his face was palpable. Zamarran wasn’t sure if lying and scheming behind his gul’s back caused the feeling, or the events that had led to it.
“All right. If that’s all, I think it will be prudent if you now returned to your warship.”
“Oh, and Damar...” The glinn was on his way to the door, but stopped and turned to look at Zamarran. “I’m working on some way to get that officer, Yassel, off your ship.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Zamarran smiled. That was one decent officer. “Dismissed.”
Damar left, leaving the gul with an unpleasant feeling of something really bad coming to all of them.