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Republic of Cardassia Frontier

"The mission was a total success," Mukwotho said to the encrypted subspace terminal in her guest quarters as she finished her final report to Admiral Murphy on Cardassia Prime. Quan and Richey were behind her laying out their sleeping bags on their berth's metal shelves. "Even I have to hand it to both Tigranians. They seem to know what they're doing."

"Competence was never the Tigranians' problem," Murphy said rubbing his eyes.

"Do you think we should have participated? When news of this breaks in the RoC, it's going to do a lot to cement their faith in the Klingons. Plus, it won't reflect very well on us."

"That wasn't our call, Almasi. We didn't have the authority to join in. However, all that matters are those civilians are on their way to a better life in the Republic. Once they're inside those borders, then we can do our job to protect them."

"Roger that, Sir," Mukwotho said with a nod.

"May I ask an unrelated question?" Murphy said.

"Of course, Sir," she replied. Those words caught Quan and Richey's attention.

"If you give any hint to them that I said this, I'll have you shining a seat in San Francisco with your ass, but…" he paused for a brief moment to look down at his desk. "How are Dan and Laria doing? I mean personally."

Mukwotho chuckled.

"Don't worry about them, Sir. I think they're happier than they ever were with us. They get to play with knives, drone on about imperial glory, and eat all the worms they want."

"I just had to know," Murphy said nodding. Suddenly, he got a strange look on his face. Mukwotho turned around to see Richey standing at attention behind her.

"Permission to speak freely?" Richey asked.

Both admirals looked at each other nervously. Finally, Murphy answered:

"Granted, Commander."

"Is there anything we can do to bring the Tigranians back into Starfleet? I'm not so sure they're as happy with the Klingons as they lead on. I think they're better off with us."

Quan paused setting up her sleeping area and raised an eye to look across the room. Both Mukwotho and Murphy looked at Richey with total surprise.

"I don't think so, Commander," Murphysighed with a hint of regret. "But why exactly do you ask?" he added with a furrowed brow.

"A feeling, Sir…an instinct."

"An instinct?" Mukwotho said skeptically. "Three days on a Klingon ship and you're talking like them now, Stephanie?"

"Could you be a little more specific?" Murphy said as Richey's comment piqued his curiosity.

"Well, Sir," Richey said selecting her words carefully. "Have you ever met a Klingon warrior who cared about a six year old having a happy birthday?"

Murphy and Mukwotho didn't know how to respond.


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