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Kolani System: Federation Zone of Occupation, Cardassian Space

Stardate: 53267.4

Laria’s war cry echoed across the valley a she slashed through a Cardassian Soldier with one of her mek’leths. Tigranian stood at her side, wielding his bat’leth in wide arcs around his head. Dozens of Cardassians lay dead at their feet, but an entire Order of troops continued to climb the side of the jagged mountain towards them. They were pinned between the advancing soldiers and the burning wreckage of a crashed Klingon Bird of Prey behind them.

Both Tigranian and Laria’s grey armor was splattered with bright red blood. Sweat poured from their brows and the two long braids of hair running down Laria’s back were starting to come undone.

Their enemies now had terror in their eyes at the sight of the two mighty warriors, but they still kept charging up the hill. At a brief lull between waves of attackers, Tigranian shouted.

“Fall back towards the wreckage!”

“Then we won’t be able to escape! We’ll be trapped,” Laria said raising her mek’leths in front of her.

“I don’t think there’s any escape from this one, L,” Tigranian said trying to catch his breath. He gripped his bat’leth tighter as the Cardassians grew closer. The two of them stepped backwards until they could go no further. At least two dozen enemy Soldiers surrounded them, raising their bayonets for a final charge.

“I guess I’m about to find out about Sto’Vo’Kor,” she said looking towards him with a smile.

“Maybe,” Tigranian said grinning back at her. “Or maybe it will be a victory worthy of epic story and song.”

“Today is a good day to die…” Laria said looking back towards their foes. He took in the beautiful sight of his par’Mach’kai, her face and arms glistening with perspiration in the fading light. It was at these moments he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this woman, however brief that might end up being.

“Qapla’ My Love,” Tigranian said spinning his bat’leth back to the ready.

They screamed as they charged forward, weapons held high in defiance. The Cardassians prepared to meet their onslaught when a voice interrupted their battle.

“Bridge to Lieutenant Amira…”

“ghay’cha’,” Tigranian said halting his charge. “Computer, freeze program.”

Suddenly the world around the two of them stood still.

“Sorry, sorry” Laria said apologetically. She tapped the comm badge hidden under her grey armored vest. “Go ahead.”

“Forgive my interruption, but you have an incoming transmission from Gault. It’s coded personal.”

“Oh Prophets,” Laria said nervously. “Patch it through down here. Computer end program.” The mountainside, wreckage, and legion of violent Cardassians vanished into an empty space of grey paneling covered with orange lines.

“L, you didn’t save the program!” Tigranian said with annoyance. “Now, we’re gonna have to kill the entire Order again.”

“Not now, Daniel,” she said stepping towards the panel next to the door. “Computer, Towel!” A white cloth appeared out of thin air. She grabbed it and started furiously wiping off the sweat from her face and body. Luckily, the gore had disappeared with the rest of the holograms.

“What’s wrong?” he asked confused. “It’s just your parents.”

“Yes, but they don’t know about all this Klingon fighting.”

“You think that will be a problem?”

“It was hard enough to tell them I was bringing a human boy home for the Gratitude Festival, Daniel. Let’s take things one step at a time.” She placed her mek’leths at her feet and pressed “Receive.” The smiling faces of two older Bajorans appeared to greet her. When they saw how she was dressed, their happy expressions were replaced with mild confusion.

“Hi Mommy, Hi Daddy,” Laria said with a wave of her hand. Tigranian chuckled to himself at this shift in personality. Not ten minutes prior, he saw this same woman cut down a Cardassian sergeant while uttering a Klingon curse so vulgar it would make a Nausciaan’s toes curl.

“Hello,” Mrs. Amira said with a glance. “What is that you’re wearing?”

“Oh this?” Laria said feigning innocence. “It’s just a costume….I’m on a holodeck.”

“A holodeck?” Lanassa said skeptically. “You know those electronic fantasies rot your brain, Laria-ga-ne.”

“Mom…” Laria said annoyed. “Don’t call me that. I’m not a baby anymore.”

“Don’t speak to your mother that way,” Jion interjected. “You will always be our baby, even if you ran off to Starfleet and dress in ridiculous holodeck costumes.”

Tigranian put his hand over his mouth to stifle his laughter.

“I’m very proud of being in Starfleet, Dad,” she said glancing over to Tigranian. “Also, I didn’t run off anywhere. I’m talking to you right now.”

“So, this human ha’shen you’re bringing home for Peldor? Will we get to speak to him before he arrives or will he just appear on our doorstep like a deptossik?” Jion asked.

“Dad, Daniel is not a ha’shen. He’s a gentleman and a very well-respected Starfleet officer. Could you try to be a little more polite when you meet him?”

“How do I know if I should be polite when I don’t know the man? I’m opening my home to him. I would at least like to know what he looks like first…”

Suddenly Tigranian stepped in front of the monitor.

“Mr. and Mrs. Amira, Peldor Joi. I’m Daniel Tigranian,” he said with a big smile.

They both looked at him with annoyed expressions.

“Peldor Joi,” they responded in unison.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” Laria whispered to him knowing exactly what was coming next.

Jion and Lanassa both turned to Laria and immediately switched from Federation Basic to Bajoran.

“Laria-ga-ne, tus annah sirah o’mal r’el gin yutan yis guytal?” Lanassa said pointing at Tigranian.

“Mama, Daniel kosst-chim o’mal gesik. Ist d’ajane erat sutak ay-ta-ya gehostuk,” Laria replied.

Lanassa turned to her husband.

“Tuk essik?” she said pointing back at Laria. “Estun ahn zhia boray stiris amak tuyn preyta denesh panne amayteen! Or’iez takash tuk….”

“Man-ne?” Jion said incredulously. “Tuk kosse ohne shia unarat eta sinarat r’etat va. Tuk ausi kosse ohna inta teras Federashayn besak ves!”

“T’an-ne si’na pylchyk,” Lanessa said with a derisive huff.

Laria placed one arm across her chest and rubbed her nose ridges with the other in a sign of embarrassed annoyance. Tigranian grinned stupidly as he realized he started a family squabble that he couldn’t understand.

“Laria-ga-ne,” Jion said turning back to Laria. “Tuk an-ne vos kosst dinas tuka mayr?”

“Ayan, Dade’,” Laria said almost rolling her eyes.

“Tuk eshakh boryhas tre’nul vas’trahn?”

“Vos, Dade’,” Laria replied again awkwardly shifting her weight from one leg to another. Tigranian realized her father was speaking to her like he would to a petulant child.

“Tren’ne resch’ik tuk eta von humayn sirah ettah eran dan’ne,” he said calming down a bit. “Yisa kezza shad les lave.”

“Yis kezza shad les lave au’tan,” Laria said uncrossing her arms.

“Inchbas, Laria-ga-ne,” Lanassa said with a soft smile.

“Inchbas Mama, Inchbas Dade’,” Laria said reaching up and pressing the “End Transmission” button. Laria let herself exhale before turning to Tigranian.

“They’re really looking forward to meeting you,” she said.

“I gathered that,” was all he could reply.

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