- Text Size +

Arawath System, Federation Zone of Occupation, Cardassian Space

Laria curled up in her quarters' desk chair. She shut her eyes tightly. Every single night, her husband came to her in her dreams and always repeated the same plea: "Find me." Now, despite Grigsby and Hardnett's best efforts, that's exactly what she was going to do.

The only question was, how? She stared at the computer terminal on her desk. The words, "This station is currently disabled," gazed back at her in bright red letters. Two guards still stood right outside her doors. She was a prisoner on her own ship, in her own home, all because she dared to confront her new command about Daniel. Every fiber of her being told her that her husband was still alive. That he was being held somewhere against his will, and that somehow the Romulans were involved.

Even if she could somehow contact Admiral Murphy at Starfleet Command, it wouldn't do any good. Daniel was officially listed as "killed in action." Grigsby and Hardnett had been selected for their positions over his objections because the Chiefs of Staff felt Murphy had let Daniel run too wild. Murphy's position as Chief of the Occupation Authority was precarious at best, and if she was somehow wrong, she didn't want to bring him down with her.

No, to save the man she loved, she would have to do the unthinkable. After one last deep breath, she reached into her top desk drawer. Laria lifted a false bottom and pulled out a single isolinear chip. Daniel had given it to her not long after she had dispatched Kival. He called it, 'an insurance policy' in case something went wrong. No one else onboard, not even Annabeth, knew of its existence.

She opened the data port on the side of her monitor and inserted the chip.

"Computer lockout override accepted. Full command access authorized from this terminal." The voice of the computer announced dispassionately.

"Computer," Laria said. "Do either Captain Grigsby or Commander Hardnett have a monitoring alert set for this terminal?"

"Affirmative. Commander Hardnett will be notified if anyone attempts to send a subspace transmission from this station."

"Override her authority. Mask this station and access the subspace array."

"Station masked. Uplink established."

"Open encrypted subspace channel 'Tigranian Alpha One."

"Channel open."

After a few seconds, a familiar face appeared on the screen.

"If you are contacting me on this channel, Sister," Torlek said with concerned eyes, "it must be serious."

Laria didn't even hesitate.

"I need a ship."

"For what purpose?" Torlek asked.

"Daniel is alive, Torlek. I can feel it. I know the Romulans are involved and I'm going to find out where they're holding him."

"And the Federation does not believe you?"

"I cannot rely on the Federation, Torlek. I'm confined to my quarters and denied any communication privileges by the honorless petaQ that now dares to sit in Daniel's chair. He doesn't care about honor or duty, only for his own power and glory."

Torlek sighed.

"Sister, are you sure you do not let grief blind you?"

"Don't tell me that you don't feel him either," Laria said. "He must call to you the same way he calls to me."

The look in his eyes made Laria believe she was right, but Torlek's logical mind seemed to be fighting against his heart.

"I have a hard time believing that Daniel would allow himself to be captured alive."

"Then I ask you to take it on faith, Brother."

"Laria," Torlek said trying to be understanding but also a realist. "If you are wrong, you would destroy everything that you worked so hard to achieve."

"I'm not wrong, Torlek," Laria said with a level of conviction that surprised even herself.

"Do you believe that enough to put the honor of our family at stake?"

Laria glared at him and pulled up her left sleeve.

"Does this mean nothing?" she said showing him the brand of his house on her arm. "You let me into your house, but still do not trust my judgement? If nothing else, trust your own instinct!"

"Of course I trust your judgement!" Torlek replied. "And yes, I can feel his spirit. But you, like Daniel, are a Starfleet Officer. If you have been confined, I cannot act in any official capacity to free you. To do so, would violate the Khitomer Accords."

"I never asked for help in any 'official capacity."

"Then, you would be hunted by the Federation and, by treaty obligation, the Klingon Empire as well."

"Then you better make sure I get a trustworthy crew."

"The trustworthiness of those I would send would not be of concern. However, if you are wrong, the whole galaxy will stand against you."

Laria looked over to the far wall of her quarters where Lady Elessa's wedding tapestry hung. As the qo'Sor tree gazed back at her, she remembered the story of Kortar the Mighty and Baka fighting against the gods that made them.

"A very wise woman once told me, Torlek, that Klingons make their own destiny and let no one stand in their way."

Torlek shook his head and grinned.

"And you remind me more of that woman every day, Little Warrior. Daniel chose well when he selected you as his wife," Torlek said with a grin.

"Daniel didn't choose me, Brother," Laria said leaning back in her chair. "I chose him."


You must login (register) to review.