– III –
The two women were perhaps more alike then he had guessed, Alex Clancy thought as he considered them while they appraised each other across the table in the interview room. Both had refused but the most basic medical treatment and wore their bruises almost like badges of honor and proof of the battle they had fought.
They were both Bajoran but more than that, they were both proud warriors.
Yunta Fey broke eye contact first, conceding the first round of this battle to her opponent. There was of course little doubt that she already found herself in the weaker position after the altercation in the Nest. Her wrist were shackled together and two armed security guards stood by the wall behind her and within easy reach should she try another ill-advised show of force.
She understood she was in trouble.
“It’s not looking good for you, Corporal,” said Nora with a half-smile on her lips. The security chief clearly had come around on the issue of suspecting a fellow Starfleet officer for to be the culprit. The idea that a Bajoran Marine could have been involved had not sat particularly well with her either. But a good fight had the tendency to change one’s perspective on things.
Fey glanced up at her briefly, glowering at the other woman before diverting her eyes once more.
“We can do this one of two ways,” Nora said. “You can come clean with us now, tell us everything and make a full confession. You do that and I’ll promise to do whatever I can to ensure the court martial will be lenient. Or you can be uncooperative, bide your time until we get back to starbase and you can be assigned a counsel. In which case I will ensure they throw the book at you.”
The Marine had a little smile on her face now, even if she refused to look at the lieutenant.
“This amuses you?”
“All you have on me is disorderly conduct and striking a superior officer.”
“Serious accusations in the Marines, no?” said Clancy who sat next to Nora.
She nodded as she looked at the counselor. “Oh yes, I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks in a brig. Might even lose my rank.”
Nora hit the top of the table so forcefully Clancy, Fey and even the two guards jumped a little. Fey’s eyes were forced back onto the security chief.
“Let’s stop playing games,” she said. “You killed Gedar. I don’t know, maybe you weren’t in love with him, you don’t seem the type, but you couldn’t accept him choosing Decaux over you. It drove you mad and you killed him for it.”
Fey stared at her fellow Bajoran for a moment and then began to laugh. “Nice theory but completely wrong.”
“Decaux didn’t seem to think so,” said Clancy.
“Decaux,” Fey repeated slowly, making it clear that there was little love lost between the two women. She looked right at Clancy when she spoke. “That’s probably who you should be looking at more closely. There is something very wrong about that woman. She’s off-kilter somehow. I’m sure it wouldn’t take much to make her snap.”
“And why would she?” Clancy said.
Fey leaned forward over the table far enough to cause the guards to step closer. But the corporal didn’t seem to care, not even when the female security officer placed a hand on her shoulder. Instead her eyes drilled themselves into the counselor. “Because she found out about us, me and Gedar. And she couldn’t take it.”
“You said it had been over.”
She shrugged and leaned back in her chair. “I told you there’s something wrong about Decaux. She’s not one to reason with.”
* * *
Back in the security office, Nora watched as the two security guards were escorting Yunta Fey back to holding.
Clancy could tell that it was eating her up inside. “She’s right, you know, we don’t really have anything on her.”
“So she just goes on a rampage because she’s innocent? No, she’s involved somehow,” she said without ever taking her eyes of the other women, not even when she glanced back across the room, just before she was taken outside. “Godsdamnit, I hate this.”
He sat down close to her. “Maybe you should take a break from this.”
Nora looked at him as if he had lost his mind. “A break? I promised the captain that I find whoever did this. And now it looks as if I did and I wish I hadn’t. There’s no break from that.”
Clancy nodded, understanding.
“She’s just like me, Alex,” she said in a softer tone. “Just like I used to be at her age. Full of anger and rage and ready to boil over at any moment. The smallest thing could’ve lit my fuse and I might very well have done what she did had I been in that same position.”
He considered her for a moment, not missing the fact that she had called him by his first name for the first time since they’d met. Not missing the anguish in her eyes or the vulnerability which had crept into her tone. “Listen to me. I know she reminds you a lot of a younger you and understandably so but you must understand that you are a very different kind of person. You are not the same.”
“And how would you know?”
“Because it’s my job to know these things. It’s my job to understand people, what they think and what they are capable of doing.”
“You think I wouldn’t have been able to do what she did?”
“Right now, I’m not even convinced that she’s the cold-blooded killer you make her out to be,” he said.
That hard look returned into her eyes. “Well if she did, I swear I’m going to find out and make her pay,” she said and stood. “Let’s go speak to Katanga again.”
“There’s something about Gedar’s body I’ve been wondering about and if I’m right, it might be all the evidence we need to lock her up for good.”
* * *
“Are you sure about this?”
“I’ll be fine.”
“You weren’t last time.”
“I wasn’t prepared last time.”
Nora gave him a skeptical look.
“Honestly, It’s going to be alright,” Clancy said.
The security chief gave Doctor Katanga the nod to proceed and the veteran medic activated the controls with a little smirk, allowing the morgue’s receded slab to slide out of the wall and revealing the dead, naked body of Jinlu Gedar.
All eyes were on the counselor who did an admirable job of pretending that the corpse didn’t bother him in the least. His eyes were focused on an indistinct spot as he nodded slowly, almost as if to give himself courage. “Let’s just get on with it.”
Nora couldn’t quite manage to wipe that silly smirk off her face as she looked at the equally amused doctor.
However the reality of the situation caught up with them quickly enough and Katanga grew more serious. “I had another look just like you asked.”
“Did you find anything?”
“Oh yes. I missed it at first because I attributed the bruising to the accident which had been logged but this was no accident,” he said. “The bruises are too deliberate, almost intentional.”
“Are you saying Doctor Wenera falsified the records?” said Nora.
Katanga shot her a less than pleased look, clearly not happy with the implication that his close friend and apprentice would have been involved in any kind of illicit activities. It quickly vanished, after all the evidence was damning. “The only reason I can imagine she would’ve done something like this, is because he asked her to. Jane can be very compassionate and Gedar likely didn’t want a record of this.”
“So it was no accident,” said Clancy. “Did he do this to himself?”
Katanga shook his head. “Some of the bruising is in places that would’ve made it very difficult for him to self-inflict them.”
Nora stepped closer to the naked body. Even though dead for a few days now, thanks to the morgue’s stasis field, his body was still nearly perfectly preserved. His dark skin had barely begun to fade. “Somebody did this to him,” she said, voicing a theory which had already begun to form in her mind.
“And you think it was Fey,” said Clancy.
“She would have had the strength to do this. Not many other people on the ship could say the same.”
“It’s a theory,” said the counselor.
“I’m afraid it’s more than that,” said Katanga and began to turn the body, causing Clancy to grimace slightly at the way he was handling the dead body. The doctor reached for a medical device and ran its bright light over Gedar’s back shoulder to reveal two small and faint semi circles, forming a roughly oval shape.
The security chief leaned in closer. “Are those bite marks?”
She looked up at him. “DNA traces?”
“Too degraded for a perfect match. But Lieutenant, it’s definitely Bajoran.”
Nora stood and aimed Clancy a meaningful look.