I realize this may not exactly follow how something like this might have been done, but I got the idea for this piece after listening to sound bytes from the episode "The Wire" where Garak talks about turning the Bajoran children he was supposed to interrogate loose. A little look into what might have been going through his head...

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek, I unfortunatly do not own Garak either, but they can't stop me from writing about him:grins:

No Flames please...I will only use them to feed my tribbles

Elim Garak strode down the long, dim hallway, rather bored expression on his face. He glanced at the Cardassian Officer that walked alongside of him then looked back forward again. Another interrogation. Just another average interrogation of some self righteous Bajoran who would start out by swearing he would tell nothing. By the end of the evening though Garak would have everything he wanted. It would be the same as it was every time he did this. Garak prided himself in his skills in this area. And this was the last evening he would have for such business. Tomorrow the Cardassians would withdraw, let the Bajorans have back what was left of their God Forsaken planet to do with that they wanted.

But as they arrived at the interrogation room and stepped in Garak paused, glancing at the guard to see if this was some mistake. In the room was no hardened resistance fighter, no manic Bajoran ready to tear him apart given half a chance. In the room there were only 5 children. The oldest was a boy no more then 14, the youngest a little girl probably about 5 who started to cry at the sight of a pair of Cardassians filling the doorway. The oldest boy moved forward slightly putting himself between the Cardassians and the four smaller children behind him. The look of sheer protectivness and hatred burning in his eyes might have made Garak pause had he been an older man, but on the face of a child the look was almost...laughable.

He looked at the guard again. "There must be some mistake. These are only children."

The guard merely looked ahead. "They were found in resistricted areas. They are known to have ties to Resistance fighters." That said he walked back out of the room, to leave Garak to the work he did so well.

Garak looked again at the children. He didn't usually question his orders, but this was highly unusual. Children. He wondered why they made him pause. Him, Elim Garak, who regularly tortured and killed without so much as a second thought. He took a few steps closer to them, looking at them in distaste. Their clothes were torn, their bodies filthy. A musky, rank smell filled the room. A step closer to them showed the smell came from them. Garak stepped back again, the smell stinging his nostrils, almost enough to turn his stomach.

His stomach. It rumbled suddenly. It had been a long day, he hadn't eaten since before dawn that morning. He suddenly wanted nothing more then a hot meal. Again he wondered at himself. Thinking about food, when he had a duty to perform. He looked at the children. When was the last time they had eaten? Even so it had probably been scavenged off the streets, stolen from who knew where. He took another step closer to them.

He shivered, the room was cold. No, beyond cold. Frigid. Why did they have to keep these rooms so icy? It was to make the prisoner more uncomfortable. But what about him? He had to be in here too. He wanted out of there, back in his warm rooms, where he could put this out of his mind. But right now his mind wouldn't leave him alone. What about them? To get out of the cold where did they go? Probably to the burned out buildings, all his people had left of their homeworld. Garak shook his head to clear his thoughts. What was with his mind tonight? He took another step, his movements as though in slow motion.

He looked at the children again, the angry, defiant glare, the looks of fear, the tears. He scowled and took a step forward, grabbing the boy's shoulder, ignoring the dirt and smell. The boy just looked back, seeminly not afraid. "I won't tell you anything." Despite the bravado his voice wavered slightly.

As Garak looked at him he suddenly wondered just what he was doing. He was going to interrogate children. They knew nothing. They could tell him nothing. He'd done this kind of thing to adults for years. It didn't bother him. In fact he rather enjoyed it. Why? Because they had deserved it. They had done something wrong, and were going to pay. They deserved it. But children...suddenly, right here, right now, this all just seemed so pointless. Why was he doing this? What did he hope to accomplish? He realized he didn't have an answer.

He pushed the boy aside, looking at his hand, covered with grime from the boy's shirt. Garak wiped his hand on his pants leg with distaste, shivering again in the icy air. He was cold, hungry, and dirty. He just wanted something to eat, a bath, and an end to this pointless exercise. He felt disgusted with himself, but he realized he just couldn't do this. Not to children. Not even Bajoran children. The Obsidion Order had corrupted him, but not to that point. Not yet.

He reached for the youngest girl, who shrieked in fear as his hand drew near her. The boy jumped up again, protective as he had been all along. Garak made a disgusted sound in his throat.

"I'm not going to hurt you!" He growled, dropping his hand back to his side. "Now get up!"

One of the others looked up at him, confusion written on her face. "Aren't...I thought we were prisoners...that you were..."

"Just get up!" Garak ordered.

They slowly did, not sure what to think. Garak practially pushed them into the hallway, to a door that reopened onto the outside world. He pushed open the door, pushing them through it. He looked at them again. They had nothing. Garak reached into his pockets, feeling some latinum strips. He pulled the strips out, a mere handful, barely enough to buy a meal. He tossed them to the ground just outside the door. "Take that and get out of here!"

They needed no second telling, reaching over warily, as though expecting a trap they scooped up the latinum and bolted for their freedom. Garak looked after them for just a moment, the chill night air suddenly felt colder to him. He had just done the unthinkable. He had taken Cardassian prisoners and turned them loose. For no reason other then he didn't want to be there. That he didn't want to keep them there. Because somewhere in the back of his mind he knew anything else would have been wrong. But that would do him no good if this got out. Correction. When this did get out. There was no way he could explain this away. They wouldn't understand why he'd done this. Even he didn't.

Garak shivered again, but this time not from the cold. For the first time he realized it was as if a block of ice was where he should have had a heart. It was an unpleasant, unsettling feeling. But as he thought of them again, the looks of sheer relief on their faces when he let them go, he knew he'd done the right thing. But as he kept walking he couldn't quite shake the feeling this was the start of his downfall from everything he'd worked so hard to become...