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Chin’Toka System: Federation Occupation Zone, Cardassian Space

Stardate: 52989.2

“Don’t get down on yourself, Dan,” Admiral Murphy said from Tigranian’s desktop monitor. “Starfleet Intelligence is ecstatic about your report. They think it will encourage Starfleet Command to open up a whole new anti-smuggling section.”

“The bad guy got away, Pete.”

“We’ve got plenty of time, Brother,” Murphy said reassuringly. “A new Cardassia won’t be built in a day.”

“It will take a lot longer with Kival as Promagistrate….”

“Romulans are fickle, Dan. He’ll fall out of favor sooner or later and then he’ll be disposed of. By the way, is this the Cardassian you saw on Telarek?” A picture appeared on Tigranian’s screen. It was a Cardassian Glinn in military uniform.

“Yeah, that’s him alright.”

“Glinn Devek, a rather unremarkable officer during the military government years and the war. He conveniently switched sides just as the hostilities were coming to a close to avoid being investigated as a collaborator. His name has appeared in more than one INTEL report. Apparently, he’s involved in more than his fair share of criminal activity in all three zones of occupation.”

“I want him, Pete. I want to take him down.”

“Don’t worry, Dan, you’ll get your chance. By the way, be sure you congratulate Laria for me on her promotion.”

“You got it.”

* * * *

Tigranian stepped through the doors of the Pershing’s port holodeck with his personal bat’leth over his shoulder. Instantly, he was transported to a dark Klingon cavern illuminated by torch-light.

“No! You must make the bat’leth an extension of your body! It must flow off your arm like water down a fall…”

He turned the corner to see the young Klingon Dahar Master, Koloth, teaching Laria basic bat’leth form. “Yes, better, better…” he said as she practiced a basic spin.

“I figured you’d be celebrating right now, Lieutenant Junior Grade Amira…”

Laria dropped her bat’leth to the ground as she spun around in surprise.

“Sir!” she said embarrassed.

“You!” Koloth said turning towards Tigranian. “This is a private lesson! Wait your turn.”

“Computer, Delete Koloth.” The Klingon disappeared as Laria picked up her sword.

“I was never much of a party girl, Sir,” she said. “The formal reception this afternoon in the mess hall was quite enough.”

“Still, didn’t expect to find you in here. This is where I go to relax…”

“Yeah,” she said brushing the hair behind her earring again. “I saw what you and Katie did down on Telarak and realized I wasn’t much help. I found this program and decided to try to learn some basic techniques.”

“It’s a good one. Had a friend design it to my personal specifications. I never got to meet the legendary Koloth while he was still alive, so I figured I’d make him a sparring partner. Kor and Kang are in here somewhere too,” he said looking around.

“It’s yours, Sir?”

“Laria, who else on this ship would have a Klingon hand to hand fighting program?”

“Right…stupid,” she muttered to herself.

“Hey, you’re doing it again,” he said walking over and gently taking her bat’leth. He placed it against the wall of the cave. “Your performance on the mission was spectacular. I never would have thought to use the viridium buoy as a tracking device. Not to mention your improvised dampening field. Can’t speak for, Katie, but I for one am very happy I wasn’t vaporized.” He paused. “I’m sorry, Laria…”

“For what, Sir?”

“For ever doubting you were the right person for this job.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“You shouldn’t start with a bat’leth, by the way…”

“What?”

“You want to learn the basic forms with something lighter than a full sword to get your technique right. Computer,” he said holding his hand out to the side. “Klingon mek’leth,” he looked Laria up and down. “I’d say 46 centimeters long…exterior hand grip diameter of….ten centimeters, blade: composite baakonite.”

The weapon appeared in mid-air. He grabbed it and handed the short sword to Laria. “Try that.” She swung it back and forth a few times.

“Feels good.”

“Alright, slowly bring it back behind your shoulder…good. Now, come down in a fast strike towards my head.”

“What?”

“Trust me,” he said with a smile.

“I do trust you, Sir.” She swung the mek’leth down and Tigranian parried it with his own sword.

“Good! That’s the start…”

“I have a long way to go, Sir,” she said with a chuckle.

“Yes, but I’m here to teach you if you want to learn…and we’ve got plenty of time.”


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