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|September 18 2012, 11:27 AM||#1|
Location: Along the border of Talarian space
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Undercover Mini-Series
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Undercover Mini Series
Brydon J. Sinclair
She left sickbay and headed for her quarters. As she walked, she kept her head down and tried not to draw too much attention to herself, but she noticed that a few people she passed did double takes at her appearance. But she didn’t stick around for questions or concern, she had her orders. The turbolift ride up to her quarters seemed to take twice as long as it usually did, though fortunately no one else stepped onboard the carriage.
Stepping out onto deck three she headed straight for her cabin. Traffic was lighter than on deck twelve, as deck three was predominately junior officer quarters and most of them would be on duty, enjoying the recreational facilities below decks, or trying to impress their superiors with additional work and tasks. Once inside, she took and deep breath and headed through the small living space into her bedroom. She paused in the doorway and looked at the opposite bulkhead, at the door to her roommate’s bedroom. When she first come aboard, she didn’t know how the other woman would react to sharing quarters with someone with her record—but she needn’t have worried, Lis was open and friendly, she had made her own decisions and choices rather than listen to rumours, for that she was forever grateful.
She wanted to leave a message for her roommate but knew that she couldn’t, her orders were not to discuss the mission with anyone. With a heavy heart, she stepped into her room and quickly changed from her uniform into more appropriate civilian attire. Once changed, she quickly sorted her hair, making it dishevelled and messed up, then put her boots away in the cupboard and picked her uniform up off the floor. She took a moment to look at the silver and gold delta, tracing its shape with her fingers and feeling the familiar smoothness one last time before removing it from the jacket along with the single pip, and set them both on her dresser, whilst her jacket and pants were folded neatly at set back on her bed.
Her tasks done, she headed for the living space, forcing herself not to look at the other bedroom door. She was almost to the door when the comlink chirped, with a call to her from communications.
“Go ahead,” she replied.
“Ensign, you have a high priority call coming in.”
She glanced at the chronometer, then headed for the desk she and Lis shared. “Patch it through please.”
“Of course, sir. Communications out.”
Sitting down at the desk she activated the desktop computer and waited for a moment. The emblem of Starfleet Intelligence appeared which made her scowl for a moment. She had had no dealings with Intel before, though given the nature of the mission she was about to undertake it probably had to do with that. It didn’t take long for the emblem to disappear and be replaced with a stern-faced woman, with piercing blue eyes and blonde hair pulled back in an efficient style. On seeing the Vice Admiral pips on her collar, she sat a little stiffer.
“Ensign Sito,” the woman stated rather than asked.
“Yes sir,” Sito Jaxa replied.
“I understand you’ve accepted the mission.”
“We’ve had to amend your orders,” the Vice Admiral began. “Due to the sensitivity of what I am about to tell you, effective immediately, I am promoting you to the rank of Lieutenant, with the appropriate clearance level.”
So dumbfounded by the woman’s terse announcement, she almost missed what the admiral was saying. But as she listened, she felt her stomach clench tight and her heart pound in her chest. The briefing was just that, brief. Once it was over, the woman looked at her, her steely eyes boring straight through to her pagh.
It took her a moment to find her voice. “What about my assignment to the Enterprise?”
“This is a reassignment. We cannot let this information get out, so no one else onboard is being informed as to you new status. Understood.”
“Yes sir,” she replied instantly.
With a nod the Vice Admiral cut the transmission and the screen reverted back to the Intel insignia, leaving Sito sitting in her quarters alone. She looked over at Alyssa Ogawa’s room once again, more than before she wanted to leave a note for her.
* * * * *
After encountering the patrol ship and a hefty bribe, they had been permitted to continue further into Cardassian territory. Sito shuddered at the memory of their eyes leering over her, the three man boarding team all obviously had ideas about what they could do with a young Bajoran woman—all of which would be thoroughly unpleasant for her.
After the Hideki-Class ship had left them, Joret Dal had come into the aft compartment and unlocked the cuffs. Their conversations had been light, but she found herself understanding his motives for helping Starfleet, and also feeling a little sorry for him as well. His sense of patriotism had made him join the military, but it was his compassion for his people that made him want to change things. She had never thought it possible, but she was starting to sympathise with a Cardassian.
It was almost an hour after the boarding team had beamed out, when Dal turned to look at her. “We’d better prep the escape pod.”
She looked back at him and squared up her shoulders. “I won’t be leaving,” she began.
“I know,” he interjected. She scowled at him. “Who do you think told Starfleet that we needed a new agent?”
“I did wonder how it would work, the briefing I was given was short and a little sketchy on the details.”
They got the escape pod ready, altered the internal sensors to project Bajoran life signs and inserted a series of false log entries into the flight recorder should it ever be recovered. Their cover now in place, Dal dropped them out of warp and launched the pod. Everything was quiet as they waited. They needed their deception to work, so they had to pretend that Sito had knocked Dal out and fled, which meant that they needed to wait a short time before sounding the alert.
After twenty-seven-point-six minutes, Dal sent out the call to the border patrols alerting them of her escape and the need to retrieve her. A snide voice confirmed the request, with a quip about how she needed to be broken by a man and not a boy.
“So, now what?” she asked after the channel closed.
“We need to get to Karesk, the second moon of Cardassia five. We have a surgeon waiting for you.”
Slowly she nodded. She knew what the surgeon was needed for, knew it was an important part of her new mission, but the thought of going under a Cardassian’s knife willingly, terrified her. She had missed the actual Occupation of Bajor, her parents having fled to Valo two before she was born, but that hadn’t shielded her from the tales of their brutality, the stories of what they had done to her homeworld and the people who lived there.
Many assumed that her joining Starfleet was a means of escaping the harsh conditions at the refugee camp, but it wasn’t, it was the stories of such barbarism and hatred that she had wanted to get away from. But now she found herself heading right into the vipers nest. Nothing, not the cover up of Josh’s death, or even facing up to Captain Picard, made her as nervous as she already was.
Dal turned back to the control and reactivated the warp drive, on a new course towards the centre of the Cardassian Union.
* * * * *
The procedure had gone smoothly. It was extensive and invasive, but now it was over. She sat on the hard biobed, naked except for a sheet, looking down at her hands. Gone was the pinkish skin she had always seen, replaced with a dull grey pigment. The difference was so great, that she hardly recognised them as her own—even the scar on her left palm (which she’d gotten at the camp as a child) was gone.
Slowly the strange hands moved up her forearms. The sensation was familiar and different at the same time, as though it were someone else touching her. The hands then moved up her biceps and then to her shoulders. It was there that things started to change, not only was the skin a different colour, but tough, bone-like ridges started to appear. Her fingers traced the new formations across her shoulders and chest, stopping at where the sheet covered her breasts.
Hands resting at the top of her chest, she felt it rise and slowly fall as she took a deep breath. The hands moved to the neck crest, which went from her shoulders up to the jaw. The slightest touch sent waves of new sensation through her mind, as a tingle danced down her spine. Part of the procedure involved implanting a neurochip in her mind, so as to process the signals from the micro-sensor web in her new implants, thus giving her the fun range of sensations a real Cardassian got from their neck ridges.
Once at her face, she closed her eyes and the fingers traced over the bony crests and ridging that has been grafted on. There was the occasional twinge of pain but nothing as bad as she had expected after waking up from the surgery. She felt around the new structures that surrounded her eye sockets, then up her forehead before disappearing under her hair. The left hand and clutched the sheet to her chest, as the right laid on her forehead. Gone was her smooth and even brow, replaced with rough and uneven bone, in the centre of which the spoon-shaped formation that had led to the Cardassian nickname among many Bajorans.
Taking another deep breath, the hand moved from the spoon, down to the bridge of her nose. Tears pricked her eyes as the fingers rubbed and squeezed, desperate to find something that was no longer there. She blinked back the tears. Now was not the time to breakdown. She had a mission that needed her to be strong, to focus and concentrate on its objectives. What had been done to her was only a small part of that. It wasn’t permanent and once her mission was complete, she would be back to normal. But even telling herself that, didn’t stop the tightness in her stomach, or the pounding in her chest.
The door chimed. She looked over at it and pulling the sheet up to her neck, called, “Come.” Her voice was softer than she would have liked.
The hatch opened and Dal stepped over the threshold and into the private surgical suite. He stopped just inside the doorway, staring at her. Very aware that she was naked in front of an almost perfect stranger, she began to feel very uncomfortable, which overpowered her want to cry.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, once again her voice sounded quieter than usual.
He shook his head and moved closer, only then did she note he was carrying a case. “Nothing. It’s just...had I not known, I would never suspect you weren’t Cardassian.”
The strange complement made her blush. He set the case on an empty equipment trolley and then pulled a scanner off his belt. He must’ve seen how uncomfortable she was, as he didn’t move any closer. Instead he scanned her from where he stood. After a few moments, he nodded and smiled.
“The biometric implant is working perfectly; you register as one hundred percent Cardassian.”
“I’m glad to know all this wasn’t for nothing,” she retorted, sounding a little more like herself. “So when do we get started?”
“Not quite yet. I have three weeks to make you into a model Cardassian citizen.” He then opened up the case and pulled out the metal and leather uniform inside. “As well as a dedicated military officer.”
He set the uniform at the foot of the biobed, then turned back to the case and pulled out a datapad. He handed it to her. She reached out and took it from him. It was already active and displayed a military service record for a Sayet Jennar. She looked up at him and found he had respectfully stepped back once again.
“You’d better get dressed, Jennar. We have a lot to do.”
She gave him a faint smile. “Aye sir.”
With that, he turned on his heel and left the room. Taking a moment to compose herself, she hopped down off the bed and dressed. The uniform was by no means as comfortable as her Starfleet one, but she’d get used to it.
* * * * *
Avatar: Captain Susanna Leijten, U.S.S. Silverfin NCC-4470, Border Service Third Cutter Squadron
Manip by: FltCpt. Bossco (STPMA)
Last edited by Bry_Sinclair; September 19 2012 at 09:06 AM.
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