A/N: So... my love for Damar is showing no signs of fading. This is the result of it!
Disclaimer: none of the characters, except my OCS, are mine.
Chapter One: The Sounds of War
2366: Hyacinthus V
Up until then, she had been content. The birds were tweeting, chirping, unseen in the sky up above. Leaves rustled in the wind, were torn from their branches and scattered all around her. She thought that she was imagining it; she had to be, didn't she? There was no one else around. At least… no one that she had seen.
And so Daphne Freeman carried on, drawing her brunette hair around her shoulders, attempting to shield herself from a sudden cold breeze. But then the air became still and she stopped walking. There was the sound of a twig breaking underfoot, then of heavy bootprints, advancing, getting closer.
She wondered if, perhaps, she could hear whispering, but the hushed voices were now coming from near behind her. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself, readied herself, prepared herself. Then she turned around, her hair flying in her face.
It was too late.
The soldiers trudged over to her, holding her firmly in their gaze; they would not let her go.
"What are you doing here, human?" one of the men, a glinn, spat at her.
His comrade, who also appeared to be a glinn, had taken a step closer, was holding her arms behind her back, breathing down her neck. "You will answer."
"I'm under no obligation to tell either of you," she muttered, hearing nothing but the frantic beating of her heart.
The soldier who was standing in front of her slapped her across the face; his cold, grey hand connected with her cheek and she would've stumbled backwards, if it had not been for the other soldier who was holding her in place.
"I won't tell you anything, Cardassian," she said through gritted teeth, though she was feeling rather less courageous than her words suggested.
The Cardassians apparently were beginning to pick up on this. A lone human, seemingly stranded on some barren wasteland of a planet, just waiting to be picked up by a patrol. She was hers to do with as they wished.
"If you don't wish to be shot dead here and now," one of the Cardassians carried on. "We will be forced to use harsher methods."
Harsher methods. She had no desire to find out what exactly that would entail, though she did have rather a good idea. She hadn't come to Hyacinthus V of her own accord; her friend was conducting research on some of the planet's plant-life when news of the Cardassians' presence there was released. So, now, she was in one of Hyacinthus V's largest and most diverse forests, only now, it seemed that she was the thing being studied.
As her heartbeat slowly settled, she decided to speak once again. "Look, I don't want any trouble with you. I'm not Bajoran." She would've gestured to her nose, smooth and without ridges, if one of the Cardassians hadn't been holding her arms. "I'm human."
"But… we're at war. Our people are at war! I'm not Starfleet. I'm a civilian. Do you see any markings of rank on me?" she said, now becoming desperate. She knew that she was running out of options. She had to think of something else. Anything else.
But before she had the chance, one of the soldier's hands had shot forwards, was touching her face, caressing her cheek in an almost loving manner, a manner that made her stomach turn. She had no desire to have him touch her, to even have him look at her. She tried to flinched away, but it only served to encourage him. With his feet planted squarely in front of himself, he apparently had no intentions of stopping.
"Oh, you're quite beautiful for a human," he said, his voice low, threatening.
"I appreciate the flattery," she murmured. "Is this how you do it? You charm your way into a woman's affections?" She snorted.
"Why, how much would you be asking?"
"How much?" she repeated. Then her brows drew together and she understood; a horrible feeling overcame her. "Too much. Now, please, let me be on my way."
He blinked, as if startled by her headstrong answer. "I'm a glinn. Nothing's too much."
"A glinn?" she echoed. She had little idea of how Cardassian ranks worked, but he had said it with such pride that she gathered that it must be fairly high up. Maybe a commander or something like that. "Yet they've got you hanging around on some dead planet?"
"We're rooting out a resistance cell," the other Cardassian said simply. "Not that your honest Federation politics will help you to understand that."
"Okay…" she said, quietly, thinking. "You're a glinn. We can work something out, I'm sure. I suppose that I can give you some idea, so that you don't feel left out," she said, softly, gently, almost seductively. "If you tell your friend here to take more than a few steps back."
"I'm not going anywhere," the Cardassian grunted.
"Oh, I think that I can handle a human female," the other one conceded. He grinned hideously when the other soldier had at last stepped away, albeit only a few metres.
Daphne rubbed her sore arms, then smiled. Looking at the soldier from under her lashes, she came over to him, her steps silent, her breathing steadied.
"Here?" she asked, her voice hushed, intimate. He could feel her breath against his skin; she knew that he wanted her. She braced herself, closed her eyes, but nothing happened.
That was until the soldier cleared his throat. "Turak, control yourself. She's human. We'll be risking an interstellar incident if we—"
"Oh, shut up, Belen," the other Cardassian snapped. "You're not doing anything. Just hold her still for me."
Daphne wanted the darkness to envelope her then, as the glinn's hands came forward hungry. Then his mouth was on hers, desperate, heavily; she felt like she was being pushed down, suffocated. The Cardassian who was holding her still had loosened his grip on her – though she didn't entirely know why. Ignoring her curiosity for the moment, she drew her knee back then jabbed it forward sharply, hitting the glinn in the crotch. He groaned, wheezed, staggered backwards, shouting wildly for his comrade to regain his hold on the human.
Her mind racing, her breathing haggard, Daphne snatched the other glinn's disruptor and held it aloft, aiming it solidly at the two Cardassians, one slighted, the other confused.
"Now, the two of you will walk away and leave me be," she said, fighting to remain calm, or, at least, to appear calm.
As if in surrender, the two aliens held up their hands, began to back away, but it seemed that Daphne had looked away for the slightest of moments, for one of them, the one who had been grabbing at her, pressing his foul lips to hers, had dashed forwards, yanked the disruptor from her shaking hand and was leering down at her.
"Let's change that, shall we? Belen, keep a hold of her this time."
Belen did so. "We can't keep her with us, Turak. She's human."
"Yes, she is," he mused. "I'll warrant that many of our people have never seen a human woman before, not one so beautiful, or untainted by sickening Starfleet arrogance."
Upon realising that it had been she who had revealed to them that she didn't work for Starfleet, Daphne faltered, ashamed, confused.
"So, where are we taking her?" Belen asked.
A/N: This started out as a rewrite for my fic Corat Damar: Lives Lost, which can also be found here. But I fell in love with the idea of writing something that's based in the Occupation period, on Terok Nor, so I just had to write this. As I've said, it started out as a rewrite but has become a story of its own. I decided to rewrite (and then write a completely new story) Corat Damar: Lives Lost because I wrote it years ago when I was quite young and (I hope) my writing style has improved since then.
Anyway, that's enough of me. Obviously, it goes it without saying that you don't have to read Corat Damar: Lives Lost before you read this. They're two completely different stories!
Please let me know what you think!