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Taking a Walk

Posted on Mon Oct 4th, 2021 @ 10:40am by Captain Jacob Kane

Mission: With Gleaming Eyes
Location: Ithaca II
Timeline: MD-02 1030hrs
897 words - 1.8 OF Standard Post Measure


For a Cardassian, Kane had expected Gul Dara to be stand-offish and superior in the way she spoke. Indeed, there were a number of elements of that deeply ingrained in her, but as she continued a basic tour of the Cardassian elements of the compound he could tell there were clearly other parts to her too. For one, Dara had a weariness or fatigue sitting beneath it all; she was still relatively young as career officers went, but she carried herself with a bit of a weight or stress that was hard to pin down. He guessed that for a younger Gul to have been posted out here on the fringes she must have annoyed someone powerful along the way.

She had shown him the key components of their base without giving a lot away. Some of the buildings he had only seen externally, such as the barracks. He sensed that would be too much. But as they continued he could feel the early tension starting to ebb. Perhaps, after a long time, Gul Dara was finding it a release to speak to someone on a relatively equal footing.

Returning to the windowless administration building, Gul Dara went straight to her cabinet to pour two glasses of Kanar, and offered one to him. His own caution starting to diminish, Kane accepted.

"A fine facility you run," he said politely.

"It is adequate. And in some areas, in need of greater resources to maintain." She sounded frustrated at that. As if to emphasise it, she knocked back her glass rather quickly.

"I don't recall seeing any of the natives around. The Metis?" he asked. Dara's eyes flashed with something for a moment, but she took a moment to assert herself before answering.

"The Metis are simple people. Miners. Farmers. They don't have the same rights as a citizen." That was a rehearsed answer, he noted. "You would not see many within these walls. Those that you would, I should expect to be scheduled for termination soon after."

"You don't get along?" he inquired.

"They are unruly and ill-disciplined. Primitives, by comparison to advanced species like our own." She paused. "I suppose it is difficult for you to understand, with your Federation's strict rules of non-interference."

"Perhaps." Kane took a sip of the drink. He wasn't a fan of Kanar generally, but for the sake of niceties he could nurse one for a while. "After all this time, though, you still have problems with them?"

"It is rare that they would dare," Dara replied with a little smirk. "I almost miss it sometimes. Nothing quite like putting down a local insurrection; keeps the wits sharp. I believe on your own homeworld you had a similar history with such things?"

"Centuries ago, perhaps," Kane nodded. "We learned to move beyond tyranny and accept our differences as a strength."

"Ah yes. The old Vulcan adage: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations." She retained her slight smirk. "An interesting expression. Some of my peers would be revolted by such ideas. I believe they prefer unity by uniformity. Cooperate and contribute, or be exiled."

"Is that why you're out here managing a backwater?" he asked, challenging her momentarily to see how she reacted. Surprisingly, she laughed out loud at his remark.

"Not afraid, are you? I like that. This 'backwater' as you call it, is indeed intended to be a punishment. Far too many in the old guard are still rooted in their traditions. The future lies in flexibility, not just of arms but of purpose," she explained, growing in passion as she spoke. "Many are unwilling to accept that."

"I suppose so." To an extent he agreed that flexibility was indeed needed. Her intention, however, was curious; she spoke of arms and purpose in the same breath. Perhaps this Gul Dara was more of a revolutionary than a simple exile. "I've always felt like it is important to learn from our past and our traditions, but not to hold on to them too hard."

"Precisely." Dara fixed him with a curious look; the sort a predator might give an interesting prey. Or was it one an interrogator might give a suspect? "It is refreshing to speak of these things with someone who understands. And who doesn't fear where such a discussion might lead."

"I...thank you." Kane hesitated. He wasn't sure, but it was probably a compliment. "I hope that we can help your people overcome the current problem," he added.

"Yes, of course. I should check in with my staff to ensure their cooperation continues unhindered." She turned away, deliberately breaking the conversation. "You have my gratitude for the aid your ship and crew are providing. And...for the company," she added quietly.

"Just doing our duty," he reminded her. Truth be told, coming here to some distant colony wasn't on his bucket list. "Thank you for the tour. I will be returning to my ship now, and leaving things in the hands of my Executive Officer."

"Very well. I trust we will be in contact soon." Dara replied. "You may go." He could tell from the almost-hidden cringe that the words were habitual rather than intentional.

"Good day, Gul Dara." Kane turned and left the office. Returning to the ship, he was still not sure what kind of element Gul Dara would turn out to be. Time would tell.

 

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