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Old July 23 2012, 11:02 PM   #7
Enterprise1981
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Re: Star Trek: Lambda Paz-- "To the Bitter End"

Chapter Three

Cardassian Union Warship Pakar

Gul Arrek Latham was beside himself. He had just received a communiqué that the Dominion and Breen could not spare any additional ships at Zhamur. It was as if the Dominion had conceded that they had lost their hold on the Kalandra sector, and the Cardassian garrisons were only there to give the enemy target practice. Leaving him and the Ninth Order to be slaughtered needlessly still seemed completely pointless even if it did serve the purpose of softening the enemy. He still went along with it, knowing that the price of defeat was too high. And because a loyal soldier did not take up arms against the State under any circumstances, even if someone who was once its leader had done so.

What annoyed Latham the most, though, was that woman always hovering over him. He understood that Doko’toran Diralna was among those keeping Cardassian fleet commanders on a tight leash. The Dominion was not willing to take any chances now that Corat Damar had betrayed Cardassia. While the Vorta generally tended to dress conservatively, Diralna was one of those female Vorta who dressed rather provocatively as a way of manipulating the males of a race notorious for succumbing to worldly pleasures. She was dressed in a maroon mini-skirt that showed considerable cleavage with matching knee-high leather boots. True, she was easy on the eyes, but Latham had spurned Diralna’s advances to this point.

Latham flung a padd on the desk and gave a derisive snort. Diralna was seated in one of the guest chairs with her feet up on the desk. “Are you sure you can’t spare any more Jem’Hadar or Breen ships than a measly five squadrons?” he asked her, even knowing her title did not give her the power to summon additional reinforcements.

Diralna pulled her legs away from the desk and leaned forward to face the gul. “My superiors have assured me that the bulk of Dominion and Breen forces are better served defending the Cardassian Union from your treacherous former leader,” she rasped while letting her fingers prance along his chin while breathing on his lips. “By Hentek’toran Weyoun’s estimates, his defeat is only a matter of days. Then we’ll be in a far better position to defeat our common enemies as well as teach any surviving disloyal soldiers the price of becoming an enemy of the State.”

The doorbell chimed, diverting his attention from the attractive Vorta. “Enter,” he called. He turned back to the Vorta saying, “Can you excuse us, Diralna?”

She walked away from the desk and stood in a corner of the office peeking towards the door as a petite young Cardassian woman entered. One look at her nubile figure, and Diralna knew this visit served the purpose of both business and pleasure.

Nezhak couldn’t help feeling threatening by the two Jem’Hadar guards towering over her even though they made no threatening moves. Latham gestured for the young service woman to approach his desk. “I mean you and the statues go outside,” he barked at Diralna.

“You know I can’t do that under the Founders’ latest injunction,” Diralna plainly answered.

Latham just rolled his eyes and took another look at the Jem’Hadar. They remained completely impervious to all that was taking place in this office. He wondered if he could dress them up in the same way that his five-year-old daughter dressed up her dolls. On the other hand, those Jemmies would probably snap his neck without hesitation.

“Here’s the updated inventory you requested,” Nezhak informed Latham, placing a padd on the desk. “All ships have a fully loaded weapons arsenal. And full caches of phaser rifles and photon grenades are being issued to every fire team.” She batted her eyebrows at him while sauntering seductively towards him. She sat on his lap and poured kanar out of a bottle into empty glasses. “I also I wanted to remind you of our plans for this evening,” she added, lifting up the two glasses and handing him one of them.

“Yes, of course,” Latham said, lifting his glass. They clinked their glasses together in a toast. “To celebrate our impending victory.” He said those words very calmly, even knowing his charges would be brutally slaughtered. He then shot an annoyed glance at Diralna, who was glaring at them suspiciously the whole time.

After the two Cardassians downed their beverages, Nezhak stood up and left, leaving the gul alone with the Vorta and the two Jem’Hadar still standing motionless like statues. “Such a barbaric practice for your females to serve as sexual objects,” Diralna scoffed.

Big talk from a female Vorta who walks around here half naked, Latham wanted to say. “She’s from a family that is not so well off,” he explained. “My engineer, on the other hand, is from one of the more wealthy houses.”

“Maybe once Damar and his team of traitors are defeated,” Diralna offered, leaning down on the desk, “our efforts to create a more egalitarian Cardassian society will go on unhindered. Still, it would be such a shame for your wife and children to learn about your twenty-year old whore.”

Latham slammed the padd Nezhak gave him on the desk. Diralna had apparently struck a nerve. Such grandiose ideas were being suggested by someone acting very whorish herself, as Diralna was leaning on the desk with her cleavage in his direct field of vision. He tried to divert his attention by pretending to read more of the padd. “She’s twenty-four,” he hissed while gritting his teeth, “not that my relationship with her is any of your business.”

“I stand corrected,” Diralna answered playfully. She flashed a seductive wink, which Latham thought was a reminder that while anatomically an adult, she was, chronologically, much younger than Nezhak.

Latham sighed while watching the Vorta slowly saunter away from the desk. He turned back to reading reports on his desk when the comm chime suddenly caught his attention.

“Gul Latham,” came the voice of Glinn Orlak, “another enemy fleet is on approach.”

“I’m on my way,” Latham hurriedly replied. He jumped out of his chair and headed for the door, trying his best to avoid leering at the Vorta.

***

Two armadas quickly approached each other from opposite directions, soon to do battle. The Cardassian battalion consisted primarily of Galor and Keldon-class capital ships and swarms of smaller light cruisers and fighters, with small squads of Jem’Hadar and Breen light cruisers along the outer periphery of the formation. Each Cardassian garrison was led by a Dracon-class heavy cruiser, roughly fifty meters longer and wider than the Galors and Keldons. It had the same shark-like superstructure as any other class of Cardassian warship, but with the head and fins more rectangular and its large disruptor cannon blending in with the rest of the bronze-colored hull to look less conspicuous to an attacking enemy.

On the other side were larger battalions of Federation, Klingon, and Romulan destroyers led by dozens of Sovereign and Galaxy class capital ships with swarms of Akira-class light cruisers, Klingon Birds-of-Prey, and T’rasus-class starbirds taking point. A few of the battle groups hung back in case the Jem’Hadar and Breen had some unexpected reinforcements waiting in the wings. The rest of them sped closer to the Cardassian armada, ready for a tense confrontation.
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