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Posted on 23 Jun 2015 @ 8:40am by

Mission: Answers
Location: Nestene IX
Timeline: MD 9

Hidden in one of the planet's many deep dark caverns that provided dilithium to many thousand warp cores, Kt'rot hung his head in shame. In the minutes that had followed his escape from the USS Black Hawk, his crew had make quick work of securing him for judgment. Failure in the Syndicate was not tolerated.

The Paradan had been fortunate to keep his life after letting the Federation team slip his grasp at Razmena. His success at staying alive laid only in his long-term plan of capturing a Federation starship.

Both of his fists clenched as he thought about the golden-haired girl who nearly helped him succeed. It was a terrible gamble, trusting a second-rate slave, one whom was easily manipulated with delusions of finding her family.

Kt'rot remembered the day the Syndicate stormed this planet and found it infested with humans. They had been there for decades, planting roots and developing a successful mining colony called the Golden Stars. With the Dominion withdrawn and resources not circulating to expand their empire, they had no other means to replenish other than brute force. The humans had found other means, means that would eventually threaten the Syndicate.

It mattered none that these humans had no connection to the mighty Federation that had defeated, no, embarrassed the Dominion. What mattered was that humanity suffered. And the quadrant would have its revenge. Or at least those who benefited from Dominion rule.

And no better demonstration would serve this sector than to discredit the work the indigenous humans had performed. The Golden Stars would not just be rampaged, but utterly and completely destroyed, leaving no seeds of faith in a future Federation Empire. This sector would retain its independence now and forever.

But even in their exile, the remnants of the true Golden Stars continued to exert their hypnotic influence. Kt'rot had know his goals in obtaining a Federation ship were lofty, especially when he should've focused on finding the humans who'd escaped capture all those years ago.

His ears heard something that wasn't there in two days. Kt'rot gasped, not in surprise, but for thirst.

"Painful, isn't it?"

Kt'rot wanted to reply, but he found no voice. For two days, food and water were not brought to him. Still, he looked up in the dimly lit cavern, trying to focus on the voice.

"How many years have I trusted you?" The voice bellowed, echoing around him, confusing Kt'rot of its origin. "How long did I let you fill me with false hopes?"

"We..." Kt'rot gasped, his own soft voice amplified by the rock walls. "I..."

"Trusted a human."

The Paradan didn't need to see his friend and Leader of The Syndicate, the Argrathi-born Rl'tano, to see his disdain.

"A Federation ship would have brought our salvation, freedom within a Quadrant soon to be reborn."

Kt'rot heard a bottle open. He didn't trust the echo, but knew the sound came from in front of him. Water has no scent, yet he was certain he knew it was inside that container.

"Water is the elixir of life." Rl'tano fell silent for a moment, long enough to take a drink. "A person can go a day and be fine. But three or four... A wanting for life is a unquenchable desire."

Water trickled from the container, splashing and spreading across the dark cavern floor.

Rl'tano heard Kt'rot gasp and rebel against his restraints to no avail.

The Paradan began to weep. He loyally served Rl'tano for years and knew better to expect mercy because of that. And, as he regained his composure, his ears found the caverns to be silent, save for the miners in the far distance. They'd never hear him, nor would they help him.


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