Posted Jan. 17, 2022, 9:18 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Bethany Kovra Gadi (Chief of Security) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Lieutenant Miranda Martel (Chief Engineer) in Kindred Souls - Tag: Martel
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Bethany Kovra Gadi (Chief of Security) in Kindred Souls - Tag: Martel
Posted by Lieutenant Miranda Martel (Chief Engineer) in Kindred Souls - Tag: Martel
Miranda shrugged. “It’s not hard to get actual booze out of the replicators with a little know-how. It’s a little more difficult on the Asimov because they’re mostly limited to the mess hall, but still,” she mused. Cradling the cup of tea in her hands she sighed. “Partially colonial mentality. Everything everybody else has is better. Starfleet doesn’t struggle to make ends meet. To get things done. Not like we did. I figure if I can pick up some of that and bring it back then at least Stumpton would be better. Part of it too was proving to myself I was Starfleet material. My mom tried, but washed out. But she was good enough for the CDF. Made a name for herself there. I dunno if I will ever do what she does, but Starfleet seemed like a good way to grow my engineering skills and more. And I guess maybe I wanted to get off that rock. I may go back to New Tejas someday,” she murmured, ending the word Texas with the Spanish variant.
“There are days I think it was a great decision. And then others when… I feel like I was so naive. And my stomach turns. I suppose I haven’t … fully figured out how to move forward after … the Shamshir.” Everything came back to that ship, and that short but terrible time. “I’m not even sure what moving forward really looks like, to tell the truth. Right now I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, hoping something reveals itself. Or I fin… It’s so far behind me.” Her gaze had fallen deep into the dark tea in her hands, rather than focused on Gadi. After a moment she lightly wiped at the corner of one eye with a fingertip, then cleared her throat.
Bethany shook her head, “You move forward when you decide where you want to move to. It’s not easy, but you can’t make a journey unless you know where you want to go,” more wisdom from her uncles. “You may not end up where you thought you would, but you can’t move from a cross roads if you don’t pick a direction.”
“Me?” Bethany’s look got very far away. “I was 6 when the Dominion arrived on Betazed. I was 7 when they came to our city and started rounding up the adults. They came for my father. They had no interest in me or my human mother…” It was still very easy for Bethany to remember the fear and impotent frustration as they dragged her father out of their house. “There was a fight of some sort and many of the adults escaped, my father included. We snuck out to the country side into the jungle to hide. Eventually making our way to the resistance. My father’s leg was severally broken in the altercation, but we kept going. His leg never healed right, we had no access to medical equipment or supplies.” She stared out the window to the vastness of the station where they were docked, but all she saw were images of fear and horror. “Eventually we heard a rumor that a member of the 3rd house escaped the planet to get help. It was several months before anything happened. But then a member of Star Fleet Intelligence brought a team to help us fight. It was dangerous and risky, he wasn’t Betazoid nor did he have any connection to anyone on the planet, but he did it anyway. A little awe and hero worship go a long way. I decided that if he could do that for strangers, I could to. So when I got old enough I joined Star Fleet and worked and annoyed my way into SFI.”
Miranda listened quietly, nodding. “That’s pretty incredible. There were a lot of horror stories that came out of Betazed. I guess I got lucky being farther away. We had a couple of incursions, but nothing like a full-scale invasion. That must have been pretty scary.” She shook her head, then took a sip of her tea. “Pretty good story though, and I’m glad you made it out.” There was no small amount of compassion filtered through her words, but also a little awe. To make it through that whole thing, as a kid? She could only imagine the crap her friend had gone through.
Bethany shrugged, “It some ways it was incredible for our people. It’s not surprising my mom and I made it through though. At first they were rounding up anyone and everyone they thought were strong enough to survive helping build their station. After that they were only interested in our strongest telepaths.” A look came over Bethany, just a moment, but Miranda would get a glimpse of the dangerous person Bethany really was. “Dr Crell Moset, Chairman of Exobiology at the University of Culat, recipient of the Legate’s Crest of Valor, and prized personage of Cardassia…he was the real monster. The Dominion - single minded, brutal, but efficient, and found no joy or disgust in the killing. They fought with honor. Moset was the kind of mad scientist even horror movies hide in closets from. He was looking for specific genetic lines and experimenting on them.” She made a face, “The Dominion put us to work as slave labor, building their hatcheries, working in their ketracel-white factories, or growing food to feed the populace. Until we would eventually succumb to their way of thinking. But Moset…he tortured people and enjoyed it. He’s one of those people that Elias Balthazar would have rid the universe of. Come to think of it…he might have.” Bethany laughed, but it was a little creepy and heart broken.
She sipped her tea. “Anyway, not really a long shot for me to have survived. I was a child and my mother human. My father on the other hand, they wanted him but didn’t get him. But like I said, after it was over my mother begged my father to take us back to Earth and he did. You know we lost over half our population to the occupation. Even more in the counter attack against them. And more in the after math. People couldn’t live with what they had done. Said they would do it all over again to free our people, but the couldn’t live with it after wards. Some committed suicide and others wasted away in a depressive near-comatose state.”
Miranda felt sick, horrified, and a little guilty. her people had gotten off easy and escaped almost unscathed from the Dominion War. The people of Betazed had paid such a terrible toll in so many ways… and in ways she didn’t have to imagine. As Gadi finished up she’d found her vision had turned completely watery. Quickly she rached up to wipe at thecorners of her eyes and cleared her throat. It didn’t do much to cover the tears that came free, in a mixture of sympathy and empathy on a level that nobody should ever have to experience. But not pity.
What she knew of Betazoids painted them as a gentle, patient people. Good-natured. It wasn’t surprising that so many turned on themselves when the dust settled. The pain and shame left over after pushing out the Dominion occupation… she shook her head. “I’m sorry you had to go through all that,” she said, her voice cracking a thte beginning.
Bethany shook her head. “Don’t be. It was horrible and terrifying, and hard. But Betazed had long ago become complacent and blind the dangers in the universe. Our government thought that simply because we can read minds and share emotions we were beyond such things. That there was no one we couldn’t understand. Utopia doesn’t exsist, Miranda. We can always work towards it, but we must work and Betazed stopped working a long long time ago. It wasn’t even 20 years before that that we were invaded and if it wasn’t for the Star Fleet security and small marine contingent stationed there, we would have fallen then. But our government didn’t learn from that, and we were easy pickings for the Dominion. We brought it on ourselves.” From somewhere Bethy produced a cloth napkin and handed it over, squeezing her hand. “I sound harsh, I’m sure. But mistakes were made, and can be forgiven if you try to correct it and our government didn’t. Now they are having to and it’s a hard pill to swallow. There is no reason to not learn from our mistakes.”
“But then we had people like Cmdr Elias Vaughn who risked everything to come help us. Oddly enough he was an intel officer attached to Starfleet Special Operations. And he made all the difference.” She stopped and tilted her head to the side. Oh she needed to have a session with the counselor. So many....coincidences. Hmmm?
OOC: Okay so this is funny to me considering details of James’ sim. This information all comes from ST:TNG Novel The Battle of Betazed
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