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Answers to Inevitable Questions

Posted on Tue Nov 30th, 2021 @ 1:28am by Captain Liarra Von & Lieutenant Commander Felicie Rivero

Mission: The Archan Job
Location: Captain's Office

The summons to Captain Von's office wasn't unexpected. In fact, Felicie was surprised it had taken as long as it had for the call to come through that her presence was requested.


Such a funny word... implying she had the choice to say no.

With a sigh, she twisted her hair up into a messy bun on top of her head and made her way through the station, contemplating the inevitable answers she was going to need to give.

Finally, walking through the Command center, Felicie stood in front of the door to Von's office, chime pressed, waiting.

Standing by her window, Von took some solace in the bustle of the ships moving to and from the station. Whenever she felt like she was faced with impossible circumstances, knowing that somehow the universe was still moving along brought her some comfort. The latest drama to come to the station was nothing short of unexpected. Starfleet intelligence was planning to run an illegal operation on the planet below her. And what's more, but her Liarra's chief of security was all too interested in volunteering her services. But why was she so quick on the draw? When the chime to her office door rang, Von hoped that she would soon have her answer. "Come in," she called out, before taking a sip from the cup of tea in her hands.

Felicie walked into the office and paused inside the door, taking a deep breath before standing resolutely, hands clasped behind her back, feet shoulder width apart. "You wished to see me Captain?" she asked quietly. The question was redundant. She knew what this was about, but asking would buy her a few more moments before she had to deal with the real questions.

Liarra pulled the cup away from her lips and turned to face Felicie. "Commander, thank you for meeting with me." She gestured towards the couch under the window. She felt that her desk was a little too formal for the conversation that she wanted to have. "Please, have a seat. Can I get you anything?"

Sliding into the offered seat, Felicie offered a polite smile. "Thank you, but no, I'm fine," she responded simply.

Von sat her cup of tea on the table and took a seat next to Felicie. "You're probably wondering why I asked you to come by."

Felicie paused for a moment. "I can probably guess," she replied calmly. "I'm assuming that it has something to do with Tejar, and possibly my willingness to join the hunt?" she countered. "I'm sure you have questions. I'll answer them."

Her security chief certainly didn't waste any time guessing her attentions. Liarra nodded. "It is, of course, your prerogative to volunteer for this mission. There are a lot of reasons to not like this mission. If things go wrong, you're on your own. I can't do anything to protect you. Neither can Admiral S'iraa. I hope you understand that."

"I am well aware Captain," Felicie replied quietly. "It's a risk I'm willing to take."

"You were just so quick to volunteer, and it's had me curious. May I ask why you are so interested in this mission?"

This was something she had expected. From the moment she volunteered, the fleeting expression on Von's face made it clear that these questions were going to be inevitable. "Can I ask you Captain, what do you know of Breloc Tejar?" she asked quietly.

"I don't know a lot," Von replied, matching Felicie's tone and volume. "I only know what I've read in the reports since our meeting earlier today. Tejar was a high ranking official on Bajor during the Occupation, and I know that he's wanted for crimes that he allegedly committed while serving there. But I can't say that I know much more than that."

"In my first year at the Academy I got into trouble... it was one of those dumb kids doing dumb things, showing off to friends, I'm sure you are familiar..." She smirked slightly. "We were sentenced to some community service to 'atone for our crimes', that was where I met Zeye Ishia. She worked in the kitchens at the cadet mess and she made the most amazing Spiced Klemmen I have ever had but my Gods she was the hardest taskmaster. She liked to talk, she told me all about her adventures, travelling all over the universe, spending time among different cultures, learning to cook. She always had a funny story to tell and she was always reminded of them by the most ridiculous of things. A fall leaf reminded her of being attacked by space pirates and fighting them out of her kitchen with a spatula and a tray of cupcakes." Felicie paused and took a breath.

"I expected most of them were made up, but I loved hearing her stories, so much so that even when my community service was up I kept going back. She became a friend." Felicie looked down at her hands, resting on her lap. "About eight months after I started going, we were sitting on the back steps of the kitchen, talking about the rain. It'd been raining for two days. She hated the rain. Then just out of the blue she started talking about the Occupation. Just like that, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. She told me about joining the resistance as a child. A child, who should be playing dolls and dressing up like princesses, and she was carrying weapons and learning to make explosives. She told me about growing up in that world, about being so afraid to sleep in case the Cardassians came about being cold and hungry. She told me about the day the Cardassians found them, how she watched people she loved being murdered in front of her, and how one Cardassian, in particular, had paid attention to her, telling her she was too pretty for manual labor, so they singled her out. She was sixteen."

Felicie paused again, another breath. "She told me about how it felt, that first night when she was given clean clothes, a warm bath, and more food than she could possibly eat. She told me about how guilty she felt, knowing that she was being given these luxuries, luxuries few of them had ever even dared to dream about... Then she told me about the Cardassian that came to her bedroom... and when he was done he laughed at her and told her he owned her now. His name was Breloc Tejar. As far as she was concerned, he may as well be God. For a week I went back every day and every day she told me more about what she went through, and every night I went back to my dorm and cried. The last day I saw her she hugged me and thanked me for listening, for giving her some freedom. The next day she was gone. She committed suicide. That was the day it finally stopped raining."

Liarra leaned back in her seat. The weight of Rivero's story hung like a dark cloud over her office. She attempted to stifle an emotional response, but Liarra couldn't keep a tear from rolling down her cheek. "I'm so sorry, Felicie. I know that had to be awful for you to not just lose your friend, but to be burdened with the memory she shared with you. I know you're well aware that finding Tejar won't bring Ishia back. But bringing him to justice may help start the healing for you, and countless Bajorans."

There was a shake of her head. "Captain, Ishia is just one of many. I doubt he'd even remember her name. This animal is someone who dedicated his life to the destruction of others. If I can do anything, anything to bring him to justice, not just for Ishia, but for everyone who suffered at his hands, then I'll do what ever it takes, even if it means putting myself on the line to do it."

Commander Archer had made it clear that it was a volunteer mission, and Admiral S'iraa had given his blessing to allow those who wanted to volunteer to do so. So even if Liarra wanted to try to talk Rivero out of it, it was her right to take on this mission. Regardless, her reasoning was sound, and it was difficult for Liarra to argue against her chief of security for wanting to bring Tejar to justice. "I appreciate you being candid with me, Felicie. You know I can't officially give my support for this mission. But just the same, I wish it goes well. I don't know much about this Commander Archer, but I know she'll have a damned good officer going with her."

Felicie offered a grin, one that was full of bravado with just a hint of concern etched in her eyes. "Thank you Captain," she said with a slight nod. "Rest assured, I'll have my team fully briefed before I leave so they can take care of anything in my absence. If there's nothing else you need from me..." her voice trailed off. Clearly she was anxious to start making preparations.

Von shook her head. "No, that will be all. I'll let you make your preparations. Dismissed."

Fleet Captain Liarra Von
Commanding Officer
Starbase 332

Lt. Commander Felicie Rivero
Chief of Security
Starbase 332


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