Disclaimer : You know the drill...I own nothing, only my sinister view of the world :) and some caracters, and the story, and the idea behind it...The rest, I borrowed it :) and hope they don‘t sue me...
Background : Well, this really is the continuation of another novel, so it would be advisable to read that one first. For those of you stubborn enough not to do so, here‘s a lil‘ summary :
DS9 is still under occupation. The minefield is down, but the Prophets ridded the Federation of the Dominion reinforcements. Oh, yeah, perhaps the most important thing is that Voyager has returned to the Alpha Quadrant. Paris, Tuvok, Data and Crusher are on some sort of special mission for the Federation.
Voyager and Enterprise-E have fought in the battle with the Defiant. When things were running badly indeed for the Feds, some ‚old friends‘ appeared.
And now the Continuation...
Author‘s Note : Again, I have to apologize to all the P/Tlers out there. This one, I‘m afraid, is not really a P/T story either. Perhaps towards the End, but I dunno. But I think there will be plenty of feelings in this one, in other words, perhaps it will get a bit sappy. Or perhaps not. Well, last time we left Picard, hanging out with Sela (I hope you remember her), and Paris being hung out by some Cardassian lunatic. Well, lets see what I got for you this time. :)
Feedback will be appreciated, enshrined, and carefully read! Feel free to write. You liked it? You hated it? You survived it? Tell me about it :) Everything, from praise to scorn, goes to: email@example.com
Dedicated to Gene Roddenberry, for having invented Star Trek and making us believe in a better future, as always, and to William H. Keith jr. and Micheal A. Stackpole, some of my favourite authors. Oh, yeah, and to Terry Pratchett, my actual (!) favourite author. Also I would like to thank William Shakespeare, who helped me greatly in my last effort, even if he doesn‘t know it...and to the many poets who will appear in this one...As well I would like to apologize to all those who can‘t stand poems and whom I will bother with lots of them...this time and forever and ever :)
Dedication: In 1991, in what we call the 2nd Gulf War, the SAS, a British Special Forces unit, became actively involved in the conflict. An eight men-strong combat patrol of the 22nd SAS was send out to observe the Iraqui Main Supply Road, and, if possible, to locate and destroy Iraqui SCUD launchers. Their outpost‘s security was compromised on the second day, and the unit forced to withdraw. The patrol, Bravo Two Zero, fought its way out of immediate danger, losing one man, and then got separated. The missing three men, of whom two were wounded, headed to the Syrian border. One of them swam across the frozen Euphrat and was rescued. The other two didn‘t. The remaining four of the patrol were captured and submitted to brutal and barbarian torture, before being released. In total, the eight men of Bravo Two Zero left over 200 dead or wounded Iraquis behind. This is for the three who didn‘t come back.
Note: The newly (or rather, soon-to-be) introduced character of Captain Chris Ryan is not named after me, but after Corporal Chris Ryan, SAS, the single soldier of Bravo Two Zero to make it over the Syrian border, after a 300 km march through the Iraqui desert, with only 2 packets of biscuits to eat and practically nothing to drink.
The Price of Admirality
« Torturers are professionals, they know exactly what they do. They count on long-term effects, and that is why their deeds are never aimed at hurting their victims for a relatively short while. Their goal is much more likely to be to inflict mental wounds on their victims who are likely never to heal completely. They want to humiliate and degrade their victim, to break him permanently, as a person.
The purpose of torture is seldom to get informations. There would be other, more efficient, quicker and less painful methods to achieve that goal.
No, the purpose of torture is to create a physical and psychical wreck, which will later serve as a living warning for the comrades of the victim. »
Part 6 - POW
In the dark room, where his and his associate‘s silhouette were outlined against the only source of light, a six feet-high window, Gul Deka watched his deputy bring in Prisoner N°5472.
That prisoner had been the last one of the Federation spy-team he had captured some weeks ago who had resisted to answer questions other than the so-called "big four"; name, rank, origin, birthdate. Thanks to the Dominion‘s drugs, however, Deka N°5472 too had been broken, and had rendered all information he possessed to the Dominion. Deka had learned that he and N°5486 were members of a Federation Special Unit. But since he had only been briefed on a need-to-know basis, he hadn‘t given away anything new. Nor had the others.
Special Troops were too high a risk to keep in captivity. A sudden ‚blam‘ came from the interrogation room. He turned to look, and saw his deputy quit the room, leaving a blood-stained body behind. N°5486 had died two days ago.
And now the blood-soiled body of N°5472 waited for two Jem H‘Adar to carry him away, to be shown to the other prisoners. For this very purpose, Deka‘s deputy had used not a phaser, but an ancient projectile weapon to kill 5472.
In Deka‘s experience, the effect of a bullet wound in a skull had a far more demoralizing effect than a mere phaser burn. He was used to the sound of the weapon, but he had seen the Vorta start earlier, when 5472‘s life had been extinguished.
Like many Cardassians, Deka disgusted the Vortas. They were creepy, and not trustworthy, and despite the fact that they waged a war in the Alpha-Quadrant, they hadn‘t the guts to witness a Cardassian-like execution. And they kept referring to that ridiculous human term. Atrocity.
The Vorta turned to look at him.
‚Was this,‘ he gestured towards Lieutenant Renton‘s body, ‚really necessary?‘
‚Yes. They would have made trouble.‘
The Vorta sighed.
‚In the end, I suppose, we have what we wanted,‘ he said.
‚How can you say that?‘ Deka asked. ‚They have given us no useful data.
Not even that machine.‘
‚The Android resisted your...violent efforts to extract data from his processor.‘ Vorta shrugged. ‚He will do well in the mines. Has the prisoners‘ memory been erased?‘
‚Yes, but we don‘t know for sure if it worked completely. They might have flashbacks, or dreams.
‚Then the Founder‘s goal has been achieved,‘ the Vorta said. His voice was marked with awe, when he came across the word "Founder". ‚And what is that goal? All we asked were the plans for the defense of T...‘
The Vorta jerked his head violently to the left, and glared at Deka furiously.
The Cardassian‘s eyes widened. ‚You can‘t seriously plan to attack that planet!‘
‚Why not? If it falls, the Federation will fall.‘
‚Why are you so sure about that?‘
The Vorta smiled.
‚Can the dragon exist without its head?‘
‚The Federation hardly is a dragon.‘
The Vorta eyed Deka subspiciously.
‚More like a lizard.‘
When Tom Paris and Ro Laren stepped out of the barracks, Tom almost suffocated from the shock the extremely dry and hot air caused. Corvus II was devilish, a desert world through and through. The ground inside the prison camp was rough and strewn with boulders and little sharp stones that sometimes even cut through the soles of his shoes. What little water that had been placed on this planet by nature had been intoxicated by the Cardassians. Their heavy industries had mined the ores of the planet for years, ruthless, with no concern for the consequences on the environment. The poisonous smog their installations had released, had poisoned the worlds eco-system. Rain was extremely rare, and when it fell, it was nothing more than fluid toxic waste, a smelly acid.
There were only two replicators for the whole prison camp, producing nothing but compressed food, pressed into small cubicles or tubes, just enough to keep a few thousand prisoners alive. Tom found out that Ro had already spent about six months in this hell, and she "had seen the sky " fourteen times.
The prisoners worked in the ore mines in cycles, six hours working, six hours rest, day after day. After each cycle of about 12 days of continuous work, the prisoners were allowed a whole day of "seeing the sky". Tom was astonished to learn that the Cardassians would let the prisoners out of the force-fiedl perimetre of the camp. But Ro Laren had explained it to him.
‚I think it belongs to the mentality of this place,‘ she had said. ‚If nothing but death would await us, after a while, people would just lay down and die.
So, we have alternatives. If we do not behave and do whatever they want, there are the tripods. Tripods are those small cages, standing on three legs. You have to kneel in them on a sharp edge, your arms cuffed behind you at about head-height. They won‘t give you anything to eat or drink, just put the tripod in the plain sun and leave you, for every other prisoner to see.
They are used to execute people as well. I once saw a prisoner die in one of those things. For five days they left him in there. Then he was dead. They forced everyone to take a good look at his corpse. Oh Tom, it was terrible. Those bloody rats had already started eating him, and he was nothing more then skin and bones. It was disgusting!‘ At that time, several tears had run down her face, and Tom had hugged her fiercely, to comfort her, and himself.
‚But there is still hope,‘ she had said later. Every two weeks they let us go up that mountain there - she had pointed to Mount Szabo - and that helps. You won‘t believe it until you did it yourself, but it helps! And we know we always have the choice. Either we can come back from the mountain, or...or we go for the walk.‘
Paris had frowned. ‚You mean, leave the camp site?‘ ‚They won‘t hinder you. Nobody knows exactly what happens after you go, since nobody ever came back, but it has to be better and mercifuller that the tripods. At least there‘ll be animals or cliffs to make you a quick end.‘
‚And you call that hope?‘
‚When you‘ve been here for a while, you‘ll understand. You can‘t live here, if you don‘t know that you have at least a choice, that there is more.‘
With a loud noise, the guards had announced the end of the rest-time.
The two had been led away to work.
In the time that Tom had been here, after they had stopped to interrogate him, Ro had practically adopted him, showed him everything there was to see, explained him what he needed to know.
When they weren‘t working, they were sleeping, eating, or sitting on the floor of their barracks, and talked.
He didn‘t remember what had happened after he had been captured, only that he had been asked questions. Every night, he had the same dream though, a small blue and green marble rolling across the floor, and a huge Cardassian stepping on it, breaking it.
One day, when he returned from his working shift to the barracks, Tom had caught a glimpse of red hair. He had peered over the open place and discovered a tall woman, the red, long hair dirty, the face full of bruises, being led away by two guards, in the Gul‘s office‘s direction.
‚Doctor Crusher,‘ he shouted, but the woman hadn‘t turned around to look at him. The guards did though. They gave him the worst beating of his live, kicking him with their heavy boots, kicking his head and his genitals. He could feel some of his teeth explode in his mouth, under the pressure of a heavy wooden baton.
He never dared shout at someone again, and he never saw one of his team-mates again.
Slowly and painfully, Tom Paris learned what is was to be a slave.
Three days laterFederation News Agency Broadcast-
Decembre 24th, 2364
Ladies and Gentlemen, we interrupt our current program for a Special News Broadcast.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I am Juliet Clark, and you are watching a Special News Broadcast, brought to you by the Federated News Agency.
Our sources in StarFleet HighCommand have informed us, half an hour ago, that the latest encounter between our and Dominion forces have resulted in an outstanding success for the Federation. As loyal watchers of our broadcast will know, this agency has reported about a battle, a week ago, when no details were known. A fleet of six hundred ships, supported by a Klingon force, had set out from StarBase89. Its mission was the re-conquest of Deep Space Nine, because of its vital tactical position near the Prophet‘s Wormhole. On the way to their destination, they were engaged by a Dominion fleet. The following battle resulted in a victory for our side, and the enemy fleet retreated back to their previous position. Unexpected support came from a fleet of Romulan Warbirds, that helped our side defeat the Cardassian-Jem H‘Âdar alliance. Currently, peace negotiations between the Federation and the Romulan Empire are being held. The initial attack on the occupied Deep Space Nine space station though, had to be called off, due to a serious engineering malfunction on a great part of the fleet.
Yet, it is said that, if the war continues to go as well, he will be over by the end of this very year.
Thanks to the selfless, personal sacrifices of many of our officers, the Federation could now be well on the winning side of is this war. Our deepest sympathy to the families of our dead, or of those under the mercy of the Dominion‘s ruthless torturers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that was a Special News Broadcast, brought to you by the Federated News Agency.