Trek to a Different Time & Place (Part III)
Location: Cardassian Territory - War Time
Timeline: MD 04 - 1150 (Simultaneous with Opening Gambit)
"With the Dominion completely under our control, we will be in the driver's seat," he said.
“This will blow up in your face, Umar!” Jessica said. “You can’t mess with time like this. And what if the Founders discover your ruse? You could doom the entire quadrant by removing the only thing we had to drive them back if they discover the cure. The entire Alpha Quadrant could end up in Dominion hands, and I could bet that the Founders would make sure Cardassia Prime -- hell, every single Cardassian in the quadrant -- was hunted down and killed to excise knowledge of the virus from the universe. They don’t do half measures.”
"Then I guess we'll have to make sure that doesn't happen, won't we, m'dear," Legate Umar said as he brushed his hand along her face. "Besides, you'll come to enjoy being on Cardassia," he said as he continued to walk forward.
"C'mon! we're losing daylight, and we still have a ways to go," he shouted to the other soldiers as the group continued their trek.
The group had been marching for at least an hour through the humid terrain, stepping in and around the lush greenery that grew around them. It was Legate Umar who finally signaled for the soldiers to stop, thus forcing their newly acquired prisoners to stop their march as well. The Legate withdrew his canteen and took a drink from it before he offered it to the fiery female security officer.
Jessica glared at Umar, but she was smart enough to know she needed the water. She took a long drink and threw the canteen back at him. She needed to keep her eyes open for potential opportunities to escape. But even if she did escape, she was on Cardassia Prime, the heart of the enemy, with no map or gear, and lost in time.
Umar laughed in response. "It's a shame that you were born a Human. A fighting spirit like that would be of great use as a soldier of the Cardassian Empire," the older Cardassian said. "In fact, I'm certain that I could find a place for you to serve in the new Cardassia that is about to be born," he said proudly.
“Fuck you, and fuck your mom, too,” Jessica spat back.
That earned her the butt end of a disruptor for her troubles, and she staggered a bit, feeling warm blood run down her ear.
While the other two continued to speak, Ensign Ta'Gas observed his surroundings. Although it had been years since he had been on Cardassian soil, he still remembered basic terrain and geographic location of the planet. It was enough for him to recognize that they were within the Kaldoan Valley. That bit of knowledge could come in handy, but first he had to figure out how.
"Sir! I've been able to detect the signal from the nearest patrol vessel," K'teth reported from his position near the communication equipment. "It will be another twenty-five minutes before we can establish a secure connection," he said.
Legate Umar smiled. "In twenty-five minutes we will make contact with our destiny," he said passionately.
“Your destiny is going to be at the end of a Jem’Hadar disruptor, along with all your men and a bunch of innocent Cardassians when the Founders discover your plan,” Jessica said. “How are you going to make them believe you, anyway? Doesn’t your government have rules against time travel that you’re breaking?”
"Oh, like your precious Temporal Prime Directive? I believe it was your precious Captain Kirk that violated the rule at least seventeen times during his years in service to Starfleet," Legate Umar said tauntingly. "No, m'dear, the Cardassian Empire doesn't trouble itself with such stifling policies," he said as he took another swig from his canteen.
"And besides, it was your military that discovered this temporal portal and has given us this glorious opportunity." He laughed.
Ensign Kivan's fists gripped tightly as he saw the Cardassian soldier strike Ensign Mayhew. Unfortunately, the Cardassian soldier that was watching him also noticed his movement and raised the barrel of his rifle directly behind the engineer's ear.
"Move, and it will be your last, half-breed," Savara said through clenched teeth.
Ensign Kivan took a step back and kept his hands visible as he looked into the Savara's eyes. The eyes stayed on Kivan with deadly intensity. They were eyes that had stared down many enemy combatants in his thirteen years as a soldier for the Cardassian Empire. Whether it was a disruptor or even a jagged blade, he had done this dance with many opponents, and yet he had emerged victorious from them all. Savara could kill this half-breed in front of him without the slightest hesitation.
Ensign Kivan continued to look into the Cardassian's eyes. He recognized that desensitized look in Savara's eyes. He had seen it many times before from the eyes of the guards at the Hutet Labor Camp. It was a look devoid of any sympathy or remorse.
Just beyond Savara's right shoulder, Ensign Kivan saw movement within the bushes several feet away. It was Bretav, trying to hide, but failing at it miserably. Evidently the child had not completely run away when the shooting began, and had actually followed the small group as they were marched through the forest. Ens. Kivan remained calm and attempted to shift the focus over towards that of Legate Umar and Ens. Maywood.
"Cardassia will most certainly listen to everything I have to tell them, because it will be coming from myself...except twenty years my junior," Umar said. "The ship heading towards this section is the same ship I commanded when your incompetent group of soldiers invaded us originally," he pointed out. "A simple DNA test will properly confirm that I am who I say I am, and from there we'll move promptly to more important matters," he said.
“Really? And your younger self would be so disrespectful of the consequences of a temporal incursion?” Jessica asked. Her scalp was still bleeding, but she knew it looked worse than it was. “I’d shoot you on sight, just on principle,” she said. “If I was Cardassian.”
"If you were Cardassian, you probably would not have been dumb enough to come on this mission outnumbered and significantly out-gunned," the Legate replied. "Besides, my younger self will see the opportunity laid out before him, and he'll jump at the chance to secure Cardassia's future," Legate Umar said in an assured tone. "He's quite a lovely young man. I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know him during your stay here." He smirked.
Savara continued to listen to the Legate and the blonde Human argue while still watching Ensign Kivan. He noticed the shift in Kivan's attention and looked over his shoulder and saw the boy in the distance. "Damn it," Savara said as he pivoted and swung the disruptor around and took aim at the boy.
Time went into slow motion for Ensign Kivan as he saw Savara train his weapon on the boy. Kivan instantly flashed back to his time growing up in the Hutet Labor Camp and how the guards easily beat and even killed the children that were too small and weak to fight back. He could not stand by and watch it happen again.
Ensign Kivan charged at Savara, throwing his shoulder into the Cardassian's back, knocking him off balance and driving him into the ground, causing the disruptor to drop from his hands. Kivan brought his boot down hard on Savara's hand, hearing an immediate snapping noise as he reached down, grabbed the disruptor, and put several shots in succession into Savara's chest.
Two down, three more, Kivan thought to himself quickly as he saw K'teth standing up from the communication equipment and reaching for his weapon. Ensign Kivan was quicker as a result of already having his weapon up. He adjusted slightly and fired three shots into K'teth's chest just as he raised his weapon to fire an errant shot.
Jessica didn’t know how Kivan had gotten the drop on his guard, but she took advantage of the distraction offered and slammed her elbow into the gut of the Cardassian soldier behind her. She knew with that chest armor it would do little damage, but it startled him, and she brought her boot down on his instep and spun around, trapping the Cardassian’s disruptor rifle under her arm. They hadn’t actually bothered to manacle them, so her hand was free to drive up into the Cardassian’s nose. She heard the crunch of cartilage as she drove the Cardassian’s nose into his brain. She spun around, bringing the disruptor rifle up to aim at Legate Umar.
Legate Umar moved fairly quickly for a man his age. It had allowed him to get the best over soldiers and combatants many years his junior. It had particularly served him well during this brief exchange. That, coupled with the Cardassian boy’s ridiculously obvious path of escape, it made it much easier for the elder Cardassian to stand before the angry Human Starfleet soldier.
"Is this how you saw this ending?" Legate Umar said as he held Bretav's neck tightly in one hand while resting the edge of his dagger just below the base of Bretav's neck. "I must say, I'm impressed by how quickly you two managed to turn the tables. Particularly the half-breed," Legate Umar said as he gestured towards Ta'Gas.
"How does it feel? Knowing that you have taken another Cardassian's life with your hands? Knowing that everything he ever aspired to be has come to a brutal end because of you?" the Legate taunted. "Do you still feel the adrenaline rushing through you? Trust me, it is quite exhilarating." He smiled as he turned back towards Mayhew. "In fact, it can be quite the aphrodisiac," he said through a wide grin.
“Let the boy go, Umar,” Jessica hissed, steadying her aim. She controlled her breathing. “Bretav is innocent in all this. Don’t make this ordeal any worse for him.” She cursed the fact that Cardassian disruptors didn’t have a stun setting.
"You are truly incapable of seeing the bigger picture, aren't you?" Legate Umar asked rhetorically as he continued to walk with the child still in his grasp. "You Humans never learn from past mistakes," he said. "The Federation is a giant target, and every major power in the quadrant knows that. The Klingons, Romulans, Breen, everyone you ever considered a trusted friend would stab you in the back and take your worlds if the opportunity ever presented itself," he said passionately. "Eventually you will realize that those you call your allies are actually your enemies who are just waiting for a chance to reload."
“I’m not as cynical as all that,” Jessica said. “But even if I was, they’re welcome to try. They’ll find Starfleet ready. We beaten them all, at one time or another.”
Legate Umar rolled his eyes as he gripped the back of Bretav's neck even tighter. "Save me the righteous indignation, you stupid little girl," he said dismissively. "You are on Cardassian soil, my reinforcements are closer than yours," he said as he looked towards Ta'Gas. "In fact, they could be a lot closer," he said intently. "You know what you need to do," he continued.
"Shut the hell up! Just shut up, or I'll do it for you," Ensign Kivan said as he gripped the disruptor even tighter, trying to steady his nerves and prevent his hand from shaking so obviously.
"She's an outsider, she's not one of us!" Umar shouted. "She's only sees you as a neutered pet, who comes from a broken and defeated people," Legate Umar said angrily. "She has no idea what you are truly capable of, because if she did, she'd be terrified of you, and rightfully so. Your destiny is right before you, Ta'Gas. Take hold of it and put down this peasant!"
“You are the one trying to make him a neutered pet,” Jessica said. “We all know how the mixed species children of the Bajoran occupation are treated in the Union. In Starfleet, he has a purpose, and friends, ones that don’t sneer at him with contempt immediately after flattering them with their supposed superiority. He is an equal. Something that couldn’t be said about him in the Union.”
"Now, children, I'm going to bid you all a farewell and take my leave of you," Umar said as he began to step away slowly. "My young protege and I are going to leave, and you all won't do a thing to stop us, because as much as you hate me, you'd never to anything that might hurt a child," he said as he shook Bretav to emphasize his point. "I'll be sure to send someone for you." He laughed.
As Legate Umar began to walk away, Bretav jerked violently within his grasp. Although the boy was not strong enough completely wrestle free from the larger man, it was enough to throw Umar off balance. This opening gave Ensign Kivan the moments he needed to run directly towards the Cardassian and tackle him, trying to knock the knife away from the boy's neck.
The two fell to the ground and wrestled. Umar headbutted the younger Cardassian in the face and flipped him over, pinning him to the ground. "This is where you will die," he said as he headbutted Kivan again, causing him to lose his grip over the dagger and allowing Umar to bring it directly into his side.
“Kivan!” Jessica yelled. She squeezed the trigger, putting a hole in Umar’s chest.
"AAGHHH!" Ens. Kivan shouted as he continued to roll in pain, trying his best to cover the still open wound and ignoring Umar's now slumped body beside him.
Assistant Chief Engineer
Ensign Jessica Mayhew
NPC Caleb Ryan