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Old April 7 2013, 03:52 PM   #49
Rear Admiral
Re: Dark Territory: Shadow Puppets (Revised)

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Dominion War Memorial Observance Station
Benzar System

“You, Alshain, are you just going to stare at me, or speak your mind?” The Jem’Hadar soldier demanded. Lt. Baran M’Brey wrinkled her snout, a growl building in the back of her throat. The tips of her claws extended slightly, scratching the glass she held.

She glowered at the pebbled, gray warrior. The tall, muscled man stood near the closest section of the wraparound port. He stood stiffly, at constant attention. He clutched an untouched drink in his hand. M’Brey smiled. The man was so wound up it looked ridiculous. Like he was a living statue, and his attempt to look more social could only have been a commandment from on high.

She wondered if even the Vorta representative could’ve made him do it. M’Brey fancied that one of the Founders, who the Jem’Hadar revered as gods, probably had instructed him to be civil. And futilely holding a drink, as if it pained him to do so, while hanging back from the throng, was the best this warrior could muster.

She shrugged her shoulders and made her way over to him. She smiled, “I am Lt. Baran M’Brey,” she introduced herself. The man’s cold eyes flicked over her.

“You are in a Starfleet uniform,” he stated. Baran wasn’t sure it was a question or not.

“I am a member of Starfleet,” she offered, not sure what else to say, and having no desire to get into why that was so.

“I was not aware that there were any Alshain in Starfleet,” the man replied, shifting to face her squarely. A dot of horns ran along the strong line of his jaw and chin.

“A lot has changed since the war’s end,” she said.

“Yes,” he answered. Baran thought she detected a note of disappointment in his voice, though his face expression remained unchanged. The man moved to shift away from her.

“You were bred in the Alpha Quadrant,” she ventured. The man head jerked slightly. He turned back to her. A flash of fire ran through his eyes.

“How did you know that?”

“The other Jem’Hadar,” Baran said, looking past her conversation partner. “He’s much older. An Honored Elder perhaps?”

Now the Jem’Hadar growled low in his throat. “How did you know that?”

“Alshain eyesight is just as good as that of the Jem’Hadar, as are our audio and olfactory senses,” she said.

“I was aware,” the man said brusquely. “You could decipher my origin solely from your powers of observation?” He asked, a note of disquiet in his voice. “I suspected that you had seen me in person, that we had met in battle.”

“No,” she shook her head, “I doubt many would survive in battle with you.”

The Jem’Hadar nodded in agreement. “I am Second Rak’Talon,” he announced, his voice ripe with authority.

“Pleased to meet you,” M’Brey held up her glass. Rak’Talon did not return the gesture. “I could tell that you were pretty young, and I suspected that you were one of the warriors bred in our quadrant.”

“One that bore our defeat,” the man’s voice held just a trace of bitterness. “There were very few Honored Elders left by the war’s end, so your speculation was correct.”

“I figured as much,” M’Brey said, “So your commander…”

“Never saw combat in this quadrant,” Rak’Talon said, “He brought great distinction to our kind due to his actions against the Rishtii’Pah among others.”

“So this is a learning experience for him?” The operations officer asked. The Jem’Hadar nodded tersely.

“For all of us, First Vono’ Clan gets to see firsthand the resilience of the force that defeated us, and I get a reminder of the dangers of underestimating our foes,” Though Rak’Talon was looking at her, his gaze seemed far away. “We will both take these lessons back to our brethren. It will make us better, stronger.” Now his vision refocused on her. “Pray to whatever gods you worship that war does not erupt again between our nations.”

Baran gulped, her fear temporarily overtaking her natural predatory instincts. She snorted and gave the man her most predacious grin. “Save the prayers for yourself.” Rak’Talon glared at her for a few moments before slightly raising his glass.

“I fought at the Battle of Aatu,” he revealed, “Your people are worthy adversaries.” A bit taken aback by the unexpected compliment, Baran ran her tongue between her sharp rows of teeth.

“And I was part of the forces that broke the Siege of Horus;” the operations officer admitted, “Jem’Hadar are stringy, but tasty nonetheless.”

She paused, gauging the man’s reaction. It took a few moments before the man’s whole torso, it seemed, rumbled with a deep grunt that was stuck between his chest and throat. Baran briefly shared in what she considered laughter before taking her leave of the Jem’Hadar.
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Last edited by DarKush; April 7 2013 at 10:53 PM.
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