AUTHOR'S NOTE AND DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN STAR TREK DS9, AS MUCH AS I'D LOVE TO. PARAMOUNT OWNS IT. BRENDAN TARR, DELIA GRISSOM, AND GILLY THE CAT ARE ALL MINE, HOWEVER. PLEASE DO NOT USE THEM WITHOUT EXPRESS CONSENT.
And I just want to say thank you for all the kind reviews! I don't know what's going to happen to them, because I'm replacing that chapter with this one (because the chapter is actually finished now!) But I must say that it makes me very happy to see people respond well to my stories.
And, as is always the case, critique is always welcome, as are reviews. :)
ON TO THE STORY!
One – Captured
"You better write to us. Every day, young lady," my father, Richard Grissom, said as he pulled me into a tight bear hug. I nodded and gave him a squeeze. I would miss the feel of his stubbly beard against my cheek.
"I promise, Dad." He gave me a sad sort of smile as he leaned down to pick up my cat carrier. I chuckled, "What're you going to do without me and Gilly running around the house?"
"I suppose your mother and I will have to get a puppy."
I grinned, "I'm sure she'd love that. Make sure you tell her I'll miss her, okay?"
"I know she wishes she could have been here to see you off. But who knows? Perhaps you'll cross paths on Deep Space 9 after her stay on Bajor."
My communicator badge beeped, and I touched it to acknowledge. "Grissom here," I said.
"The runabout is ready to leave, aside from the fact that we're lacking our helmsman, Grissom," said Lieutenant Arden, the senior officer that would be accompanying me and the rest of the kiddies fresh out of the Academy to the U.S.S. Reunion, the ship that would take us on the long journey to Deep Space 9. I picked up my backpack, and tapped my badge again.
"I'll be right there. Grissom out," I replied, taking a deep breath and smiling wide for my father.
"I'll write to you, so you have something to read once you get to DS9," Dad reassured me. I pulled him close for one last embrace.
"I'll miss you, Daddy," I whispered. I pulled away, and he handed me the cat carrier that held my kitten, Gilly, who I'd gotten as a present for graduating from the Academy earlier in the year. I turned around and looked up at the small vessel that would bring us into space, our second venture away from Earth. I took a deep breath and walked up the small ramp into the runabout, and Crewman Tarr closed the airlock behind me.
I brought my backpack and the carrier down to the small barracks in the underbelly of the vessel before taking my station on the bridge, which was hardly a bridge at all. "Glad you could join us, Crewman. We were beginning to think we'd have to let Crewman Hanoi take us out," Lieutenant Arden said. She said it as a joke, but there was a sting to her words as well. I glanced at the console in front of me to casually see what time it was, and had to fight the feeling of failure that swelled below my diaphragm when I saw that it was already 0923. We'd been scheduled to leave at 0900.
"Sorry, sir, it won't happen again," I said, grimacing. Arden gave a half smile and shook her head.
"Take us out, Crewman," she said. Around me I could feel the vessel shudder to life, the impulse engines giving off a pleasant hum. And even through the layers of metal and wire, I could hear Gilly whining below our feet. The others on deck obviously could as well. "Sounds like someone has little faith in your ability to get us safely to the Reunion, Crewman," Arden said with a smirk. The small space echoed with the laughter of the three other newbies and myself.
I was able to get our small transport to the Reunion in one piece, the 10 minute flight uneventful, save for the incessant cries from my kitten. Once in the shuttle bay of the Reunion, we twelve crewmen disembarked from the runabout, and were led by Arden to the barracks where we would spend the majority of the rest of our trip.
I chose the bottom bunk of the bed furthest from the wall, and set Gilly's personal items up first before I sat on the bed to examine the padd that lay across my pillow. I looked around, and saw that everyone else's pillows had an identical padd laying on it, too.
The padd detailed the basic rules we were to follow whilst on board the Reunion and included a basic map of the ship so that we could find our way around a little more easily. There was information on the duties we would be expected to perform on DS9, and a little information about the people who we would be serving alongside on DS9.
I devoured the information and was left hungry for more. By the time I finished reading it, my peers had migrated off, probably to the mess hall for dinner. Gilly jumped up on the bed as I set the padd down, and gave me a look that said, pet me, love me, feed me, NOW. I scratched her under the chin and rolled onto my side to love on her better.
As I lay there, Brendan Tarr re-entered the room, carrying a stack of padds and a bowl of what I suspected was oatmeal. I waved at him, he'd chosen a bed on the far side of the room. He grinned when he noticed me. He was part Cardassian, but it was only noticeable when he didn't wear a shirt that covered his neck. I knew he'd volunteered to serve aboard DS9, even though he knew that if the Bajorans found out what he was, he'd be shunned.
He set the stack of padds down on his bed and strolled over toward me. I sat up and looked him up and down. We had been in the same class at the Academy when we'd begun, but he'd transferred into the science program, and I stayed on to learn command and security. In the years since I'd last seen him, he'd gotten much taller, and the neck and slightly-gray skin tone he'd fought so hard to hide was that much more apparent on his much more adult self. He looked very grown up, and yet somehow out of place in the Starfleet uniform he wore.
"Hello, Delia, I thought that was you," he said, grinning a sly grin. I stood up, holding Gilly with me. She protested as I held her out so that Brendan could pet her. Instead, he took her by the scruff and the rear, and held her close to his chest. She yowled and spit. Brendan and I both had a good laugh.
Aside from the obvious difference between us, he and I were polar opposites. He was tall, had black hair and a pale complexion that a classmate had once compared to the color of rotting meat, his eyes were an intense shade of blue with wide pupils that were the exact shade of black that the empty space between stars and planets is. And to top it all off, he was muscular. Whereas I was short, curvy, with blond-brown hair and brown eyes so dark they looked black, very little muscle tone, and skin that was just tan. Sun kissed, mother always called it.
"Hey Brendan, you excited to move in at DS9? I heard there's a great view of the wormhole from the promenade," I offered, unsure what to say now that I had his attention. It didn't seem to matter what I said, anyway, as he was fixated on the cat, who was busy climbing the front of his uniform.
"I suppose it'll be nice to have my own quarters, there. Do you know what you'll be assigned to do once we're there yet?" he asked, absentmindedly petting Gilly, smiling a little wider with every small purr that escaped her throat.
I nodded, "Yeah, it looks like I'll mostly be on security detail, which stinks, because that means I'll have to work closely with that changeling." I rolled my eyes. Nobody wanted to work with the changeling. Not during this war. Not when our parents and siblings and friends were all out there, risking their lives to help save us from death at the hands of the other changelings. What made this changeling so much different? I didn't want to find out. "What about you, Brendo?" I asked, and he cringed at the use of his old nickname.
"It looks like I will be helping to research the Wormhole Aliens." There was a certain gruffness to his voice when he mentioned the Wormhole Aliens.
"Oh, lucky, that means you'll probably get to work with Lieutenant Commander Dax and Captain Sisko," I whined, "While I'm stuck answering to the changeling."
"Wanna trade?" he offered. I could tell from the look on his face that he wasn't thrilled about his assignment, either. He chuckled, holding Gilly out to me. The cat gratefully leaped into my arms, and as I snuggled her close, something caused the ship to rock violently, throwing Brendan and I to the floor.
"Red Alert, Red Alert, all senior members to your stations, Red Alert, Red Alert," the computer's voice, a dry sort of woman's voice, came across all comm channels. Brendan scrambled to get up and bolted for the door.
"Where are you going?" I asked, "We're not senior officers, Brendan, we're practically cargo!" He turned around with the crazed look that I'd seen in so many pictures and videos of Cardassians, the propaganda that was being shown to get us ready to fight in the war.
"This is our first real Red Alert! I'm not gonna sit down here in some barracks!" And with that, he disappeared out the door. Moments later, five of the other crewmen in our group came stumbling through the doors as the ship rocked again, this time more violently. Gilly slipped out of my arms and ran for the door.
"Gilly, no!" I screamed, scrambling after her. She slipped through just before the door shut. I smacked the console next to the door, it whooshed back open, and I ran out after her-
-Right into a group of Jem'Hadar. I stood there, weighing my options. Four guns fixed on me, and I could swear that, in the chaos that erupted around me, I could hear my heart beating straight out of my chest. I put my hands up and fell to my knees.
"Please, don't kill me," I whimpered. Two of them lowered their weapons, came forward, and grabbed my arms roughly, pulling me to my feet. One of them grunted something into what I expected was a communication device, and, for only the fifth time in my life, I was transported. Still not used to the sensation that made my stomach do back flips, I blacked out.
When I came to, I found myself in a holding cell with Brendan and a Klingon who I'd never seen before. There didn't seem to be a containment field separating us from the single Jem'Hadar that stood guard. I groaned, my head throbbing. Brendan crawled over to me, and I noticed that he was shirtless, and his body covered with deep bruises and lacerations.
"Brendan, you're hurt-" I whispered. He held his finger to his lips and shook his head. He looked up at the Jem'Hadar, who seemed more preoccupied with something on a console than with us. He looked back to me and I could see fear in his eyes for the first time ever.
"What's going on?" I whispered, my voice barely audible.
"We're being brought to Cardassia Prime. They've already tried interrogating me, but they didn't get much aside from the satisfaction of seeing my blood." I sighed, and then held my breath as the Jem'Hadar looked over at us. Brendan leaned against the back wall of the little holding cell we found ourselves in as the Jem'Hadar approached us.
"You, human, get up," it barked, nudging me with the end of his gun. I got up as quickly as I could, my head spinning. "Move!" The Jem'Hadar hit me with the gun, pushing me toward the door. As it opened, I was thrust into the hallway and led along by another Jem'Hadar to a door where they shoved me forward.
Shaking from fear I couldn't keep myself from feeling, I walked through the door and into a room that was nothing like I expected. No, it was brightly lit, there were soft chairs that lined the large windows on the port wall. On the opposite end of the room, seated in a large, plush chair, was a Vorta. As I stepped cautiously into the room, I realized that it wasn't just any Vorta, but Weyoun. I cringed.
In all the videos and stories we'd been shown and told in the Academy, we had learned one thing, that Weyoun was not someone we ever wanted to meet. I was so focused on his face and the fact that I felt I was doomed, that I didn't realize what he held in his lap.
"Ah, our other young Federation guest!" said Weyoun, a small smile growing on his face, "Please, sit! Make yourself comfortable, I know the Jem'Hadar aren't the most hospitable of races and I wish to make up for that fact." He gestured to the chair that was almost directly in front of him. I slowly, cautiously took a few more steps forward. Weyoun must've been able to hear my heart pounding, because the next thing he said was, "You have nothing to worry about as long as you do not lie to me."
I took a deep breath and walked the remaining few steps over to the chair he'd gestured to, and, after looking straight into his purple-blue eyes, I sat down, keeping my back straight, unwilling to appear comfortable and relaxed.
"Good, now we can talk. I'm Weyoun, but you seem to already know who I am. The problem, it seems, is who exactly you are. There was no record of you on the ship's crew manifest. Puzzling." His voice irritated me, the almost-childlike way he formed his words. The curiosity that hid behind his eyes.
I was determined not to answer. He waited for a while, returning my gaze. It seemed he was probing my mind with those eyes of his, until I heard a familiar noise and my gaze shifted to his lap. There, perched delicately in the hands of the Vorta, laid my Gilly. My mouth formed a small "o" of shock.
"Gilly," I breathed, and leaned forward to retrieve my cat, before reminding myself that it was probably not a good idea to snatch something away from Weyoun, as he could have me killed before I got within a foot of him. I furrowed my brow and restrained myself.
"Ah yes, tell me, what is this delightful creature? I simply must have one," Weyoun's eyes lit up as he spoke of the cat, my cat, which he held prisoner in his lap. Gilly completely missed the severity of the situation.
"That's a c-cat," I said, carefully considering my every word, "m-my cat, her name is Gilly."
"A cat," he repeated, "Fascinating." He picked her up, I was astonished at the gentleness with which he handled her, and looked into her eyes. As if in response to whatever silent question he asked her, she mewled a small, lonely noise. He turned his attention back to me, and the smile his face had worn was replaced by a look of irritation.
"You still haven't answered my first question. Who are you?"
I clasped my hands together in my lap and swallowed hard. "My name is Delia Grissom. I'm a Crewman on Deep Space Nine, er," I paused, "I was supposed to be a Crewman on Deep Space Nine."
"But it doesn't seem I'll be getting there now, does it? My friend-"
"Ah yes, the Cardassian-"
"He's only part Cardassian," I interrupted. Weyoun frowned and I shut my mouth. We sat in silence for a moment and I grew increasingly nervous with the way he stared at me. When he began laughing, I nearly had a heart attack.
"Here you sit, alive or dead on my whim, and you feel the need to correct me about your friend's species? How delightful! I'm beginning to like you, Delia." He held Gilly up to his face once more, "Can you believe that she'd risk pain and torture over a tiny little detail like that?" Gilly yawned, and Weyoun laughed harder still. "Delightful," he chortled. I laughed a small, tense laugh.
He leaned forward in his seat, allowing Gilly a chance to get down, which she took. But, being the lazy kitty she was, she promptly flopped down at his feet, which caused him to chuckle again. The sound of his laughter grated on my nerves; I couldn't tell whether I should take it as a good or a bad sign.
I closed my eyes and tried to steady my breathing, which was ragged and uneven as my heart which was trying to beat its way out of my chest. The slightest noise from behind me caused horrible thoughts to cross my mind; Jem'Hadar storming in and beating me within an inch of my life, somebody whipping me as Brendan had been. When I opened my eyes again, I found Weyoun had moved closer. Close enough, in fact, that his face was a mere foot away from mine.
"Gah!" I cried, flinching, holding my arms up in front of my face, as if that would protect me. When he touched me to forcibly move my arms back down, I was shocked at how gentle he was. Though he was manipulating my body, it felt more like a suggestion than an order. I shrunk back in my chair. "What do you want from me?" I whispered.
"You're right. Enough chitchat, I've kept you long enough without telling you," Weyoun paused, pulling his chair closer still, until he was practically sitting in my lap. The rumor had spread like wildfire at the Academy that the Vorta, especially Weyoun, were famously disrespectful of personal space. If I ever saw anyone from the Academy again, I'd have to tell them the rumors were true.
"The Founders have a wonderful use for you," Weyoun said. His eyes lit up when he mentioned The Founders, and I swallowed, hard. What use would the leaders of the Dominion have for someone who'd just recently graduated from Starfleet Academy?
"The Founders?" I whispered. Weyoun nodded, his smile widening as he was obviously mistaking my confusion for intrigue.
"You will be an informant, stationed on Terok Nor, that is, Deep Space Nine, for us!" His tone was almost giddy as he declared this.
"What? No, I can't be a-a spy for the enemy!" I blurted, and then clasped my hands across my mouth. "I mean, that wasn't-" I cringed.
"I see your loyalty runs deeper than we expected," His voice seemed to have lost a dimension, but his face was fierce and serious, "Perhaps our hospitality will sway you. It is a lengthy trip back to Cardassia Prime. And we can afford you luxuries you'd never even be able to dream of in the Federation." The door behind me opened and I ducked down as low as I could get in my chair, clenching my eyes shut as tight as I could.
I could hear Weyoun whispering something to somebody, but I was so preoccupied with the thought of my own death that I didn't bother to listen. I felt something hard and heavy smack the back of my skull, and I fell forward out of my chair, my head searing with pain. I remember thinking that Weyoun's shoes were hideous as he said, "I do hope you'll be more... cooperative... tomorrow."
Strong arms lifted me roughly to my feet, and pulled me along, staggering, my footing uneven and my head full of fog. I don't know how long I was forced to walk, but when we stopped, a door opened, and I was shoved face-first into the darkness.
I awoke to somebody shaking me. "Delia..."
"Delia, wake up!" a voice, Brendan's voice, cut through the darkness. My eyes snapped open, and, just as quickly, snapped closed as I groaned and turned away from the bright light above my head.
"What happened?" I muttered, rubbing my eyes. It felt like someone had closed an airlock on my head.
"I was hoping you'd tell me. You were gone for more than an hour before the same Jem'Hadar that took you came to get me. Why we've been given quarters is an entirely different matter."
"What?" I asked, blinking. I squinted against the light, and lo and behold, we weren't in the holding cell any longer. I propped myself up on my elbows to get a better look. Brendan seemed satisfied that I could hold myself up, and backed away.
"What did you tell them?" he asked me, his gaze fierce. I shook my head.
"N-Nothing of any importance," I replied, shaking my head, and trying to recall the strange conversation with Weyoun. "My name, where we were heading-" Brendan grunted.
"Good job, Delia," he said with a sarcastic laugh, "now it will be all too easy for them to get you to do what they want you to." I sat up.
"What do you mean?"
"What do I mean? What do you think I mean? They know your name, they know your rank. They can find out where you're from, where your family is,come on, Delia, do you think they'll just leave that information alone? If they want something from you, the next thing they're going to do is threaten your family."
I could feel a lump building in my throat. If I don't agree to do what they want, they'll harm daddy, I thought.
"Now I'll ask, again, Delia. What exactly did you tell them?"
I pulled my knees to my chest, looked up at Brendan, who had begun to pace the room, and told him all of what had happened from the moment I'd left the holding cell to the moment I came to on the floor in that room. His responses ranged from a mere shake of the head, to him punching the wall and muttering, "Damnit." When I was done, when I was sure I'd relayed every detail of my interrogation, if you could call it that, to Brendan, we both fell silent as he paced.
"You're going to have to do it, Delia," he said, all of a sudden. I glared at him, fury and confusion flashing in my eyes.
"But, how can I? It's treason! I'll wind up in jail for the rest of my life!" I shouted.
"Well, you could always refuse, and be forced to watch your parents and little sister die horrible deaths, before you die a horrible death as well," he hissed. His eyes had that crazed look that I'd seen in the eyes of Gul Dukat in videos. I decided that it had to be a Cardassian thing. I held my head in my hands.
Brendan perched on the small, metal table that sat in the corner, under what looked like an ancient replicator, and shot me evil glances as he pondered something. I rubbed my temples, willing the pain away, willing the fog in my head to clear. Once I was sure I could stand up, I did, and took the few steps between myself and the bed that took up half the room as quickly as possible.
I flopped down on the bed, face down, and lay there until Brendan crossed the room and laid down next to me. He grabbed my shoulder and rolled me over until I faced him. "There's still one thing I don't understand, though, Delia," he said, "And if you think about it, I'm pretty sure you'll find that it doesn't make any sense. Now, they want you to be their spy. They want you to carry out their plans and find out what the Federation's next move will be in the war. But why, then, why would they have me be given the same treatment as you?" He stared me dead in the eye. "Why would they give me clothes and dress my wounds?" I looked at him carefully and, for the first time, noticed that he wasn't wearing his Starfleet-Standard-Issue uniform in any capacity anymore.
I saw, much to my horror, that he'd been given the standard garb of a Cardassian. It made him look more Cardassian than usual, his neck and chin 'scales' more apparent. It almost seemed like he'd taken off a mask, like he was a full-blooded Cardassian. But one important feature was missing, the spoon-like indentation that all other Cardassians had. But for that first moment I looked at him, truly looked at him, I could have easily mistaken him for Gul Dukat.
"Um," I said, chewing my lip, "Maybe they think that if they continue to torture you, I'll refuse?"
"But why would that matter? If they really want you, they have their ways of coercing you. And if it doesn't matter if it's you or not, they'll just kill you," he retorted. I thought for a moment.
"Maybe they want you to join them, but didn't tell you because you wouldn't cooperate?" I blurted.
"That probably isn't very far from the truth," he said thoughtfully. I pulled myself the rest of the way onto the bed and took my uniform over-shirt off, revealing my standard-issue grayish purple undershirt. He looked at me, an almost disgusted look, and asked, "What are you doing?"
"Well, we aren't making our situation any better by staying up talking about it. We're practically still cadets, we don't have any of the real-life experience that enables real officers to make difficult decisions like this. I don't know about you, but I'd rather die after a decent night's sleep."
Brendan rolled his eyes at me, but I pulled the covers over myself and faced away from him, shutting my eyes. I could hear him fumbling with the awkward shirt he was wearing, and felt him lay down beside me, his skin close enough to mine that I could feel the heat coming off his wounds that were healing slowly.
"Computer, dim lights," he barked, and the lights dimmed significantly. I shifted and curled my legs up into my chest. I flinched when I felt his hand gently caress my cheek. I glanced over my shoulder at him. "I suppose now is as good a time as ever to admit that I've always... desired... you, Delia."
"What?" I asked, incredulous. He inched closer to me, his hot skin pressing against mine.
"Don't be coy. I know you've seen the way I look at you, the way I'd watch you at the Academy. I've seen the look in your eyes when you talk to me." His tone was serious, but his voice faltered.
"So, you've... had a crush on me... all these years... and now is the time you decide to clue me in?" I asked, rolling my eyes. I could feel him nod, and I grunted. "Good job. We're likely going to die tomorrow."
"That's what makes it the perfect time to tell you. You could reject me, and I can die knowing that we never would have worked out," he laid his hand on my side, pulling me so that I rolled onto my back. "Besides," he murmured, "what better way to spend our last night alive than together?"
I looked him in the eye, "So, let me make sure I have this right. You think that, because we are in a hopeless situation, I'm going to sleep with you."
"Well, when you put it that way, I sound like an insensitive jerk," he said, "But that's about what I'm getting at, yeah."
I shook my head and maneuvered out of his grasp. "Go to sleep."