STF

RCO Quarters - A Colder Welcome One Couldn't Ask For

Posted April 12, 2021, 10:10 a.m. by Chief Warrant Officer Kodek Vonn (RTF Commander) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Commander Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher - Yellow (Engineering)) in RCO Quarters - A Colder Welcome One Couldn’t Ask For
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Posted by Chief Warrant Officer Kodek Vonn (RTF Commander) in RCO Quarters - A Colder Welcome One Couldn’t Ask For

Posted by Commander Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher - Yellow (Engineering)) in RCO Quarters - A Colder Welcome One Couldn’t Ask For

If a motionless and wholly silent being could convey a sense of annoyance… then Vonn would have at that moment. “I do not drink such things. Nor do I own vessels to do so. However… as you seem to have dressed with the presumption that you would be allowed into my quarters…” and the Breen stepped to the side and held an arm out indicating admittance.

It appeared that the Breen did not welcome their unexpected visitor. But if such was apparent to Kara Nakuto then she made no outward admittance of the fact. Instead, the half-Klingon marched past Kodek Vonn and to the centre of their quarters, then uncorking the bottle announced, “The vessel is already provided. It merely demands that we drink. Or…perhaps I shall drink for both of us. ” And with that she brought the bottle to her lips and drank deep.

As the door slid closed, Vonn turned and walked inside. They gestured at a pile of furs by the heating crystals. “You are part Klingon, yes?” the voice asked rhetorically as they sat on the larger pile of hides and furs. “You will most likely begin to get a headache at some point. You will need to leave then.” and Vonn assumed the same position they had prior to having answered the door.

Vonn, RTF CO

bump

“I am half Klingon,” Kara replied, choosing to ignore for now the remainder of the statement. “And you are fully Breen beneath that armour, yes? Or does it serve merely as a disguise?”

  • Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher)

The motionless Breen didn’t seem to register the question, as they sat silent and motionless for a long moment. Then the synthetic voice said “I have no need to disguise who… or what… I am. I am Breen. One would think that would be apparent to a being who professes to be a researcher by this time. Unless you are not a competent researcher. In which case the question makes sense.”

Vonn, RTF CO

Lowering the bottle to her side, Nakuto stepped up to the Breen until they stood toe to toe, and would have been eye to eye had it not been for the difference in height.
“I am a very competent researcher,” she growled in reply, “and through this research have learned that so few things are ever what they seem. Shadows and secrets lurk in every corner and masks become the uniform of those afraid to reveal their true face.”

Moving away, she drank once again from the bottle, before placing it down and reaching for one of the furs, wrapping it tightly around her shoulders and head. “It was a lesson hard learned for those of us who fought in the war.”

  • Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher)

Vonn moved to the door and pulled down one of the heavy fur coats from the wall. Turning, they walked to their ‘guest’ and yanked the fur from her and tossed the heavier one at her. Vonn then laid the first fur back down and said “Those are for sitting. Not wearing.” and went and took a seat on the largest pile next to the heating crystals.

“As I have not agreed to getting acquainted, nor am I partaking of your drink… why are you really here?” Vonn asked flatly and the helmet’s visor peered in Nakuto’s direction.

Vonn, RTF CO

It was a fact known throughout the quadrant and beyond, that few races existed with bravery, with tenacity, with determination, to rival that of a son or daughter of Qo’nos. And for those only Klingon in part, such as Kara Nakuto, this reputation became a powerful shield, perimeter wall protecting a mountain of insecurities and doubt. The offered coat was taken with a flourish, strong arms pulling it around herself like a well-worn battle cloak as she claimed her seat upon the furs as if her name was carved into them. But inside, she remained acutely aware of the reluctance to her presence. Aware too, of the true reasons she continued to remain, to persist against the protests of the Breen.

Sipping slowly at her bloodwine with the knowledge that no other refreshment would follow, Nakuto fell into silence as she studied that impenetrable mask. Buried memories fought for prominence in her cavernous subconscious; recollections of war and of battle. Of loss.
When at last she spoke once more, the bravado had dissipated from her tone, replaced by a vulnerability that was primal and nakedly raw. In that moment, she cared not to maintain her warrior image. In that moment, she cared not whether it was a chink in her armor that the Breen would exploit.

“The last time I saw an armor such as yours, I was on a reconnaissance mission, buried deep in the ruins of a city on Cardassia Prime. You…they, those who appeared like you, were being loaded into a vessel, a battalion of Jem’Hadar boarding their own transport at the Breen’s side. We read both groups as equals. Soldiers without independent thought. Dominion cannon fodder in their thousands. Just as the Federation saw most of us.”

Kara lowered her head, eyes fixed on her own, trembling hands. A large cut across the palm where an anomaly had got the better of her a day earlier. A smaller scar on her right thumb where a Kar’takin had delivered a glancing blow. The story of her life’s battle told in injuries and long-healed wounds across her body.

“The Alliance underestimated your people. And that mistake came close to costing us the war.”

She laughed, a dry bark devoid of humour, like the threat of distant thunder over parched desert.
“As a warrior I had been trained to see the enemy as a nameless, faceless threat. A bogeyman beyond redemption, who lived only for me to claim victory at their end. So to find that bogeyman capable of technological brilliance, such that the engineer within me was stilled with awe? Such a dichotomy stayed my hand in battle to the detriment of my entire team. I…”

Another pause as Nakuto drank deeply from the ornate bottle, before wiping her mouth with the back of a frost-kissed hand.

“I came here tonight only to meet you. To answer for myself the question that has been haunting me since the moment that you came onboard. Are you the technological genius that I had hoped? Or merely the bogeyman that I should have cut down.”

  • Kara Nakuto (Consultant Researcher)

There was an extremely long pause, during which the Breen ramined wholly motionless and silent. Not so much as the slightest movement could be seen… not breathing… not a subtle shift of the helmet’s orientation on the Researcher… nothing. The silence was almost palpable…

And then Vonn spoke.

“I am only myself. You… your Captain… the nurses in the Sickbay who fainted at my arrival… the Security team who greeted my arrival with alarm and hostility… all of you… You carry with you rumor, beliefs, propaganda, and history half-learned of a species you know little to nothing about. And for all your Star Fleet and Federation talk of equality and open-mindedness… all of you are as petty, judgmental, and prejudiced as the Dominion. You just dress it up and hide it better… which at least makes them more honest. I do not care what you saw. I care even less for what you did… or did not do. Your past actions… or failures to act… are your burden to carry, not mine. Nor am I here to absolve you of past sins. I am not here to provide you closure or redemption. But what I will give you is this: If you, as a scientist and researcher, believe you can distill me into such simple terms as you just tried to; then you are a poor example of both terms. You do yourself great dishonor… but I have seen little from the people here to expect any more. Now…” and the Breen’s arm raised slowly out to their side and the gauntleted hand pointed at the door, “… get out. And if you darken my door again, I will show you the bogeyman you fear me to be… and you will wish you had cut me down before.”

Vonn, RTF CO


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