Chapter 8: Duet in silence
Previously: She finished compiling her latest report and prepared two copies one for the Chief the other for Commander Sisko.
Nat'sura stood in the Commanders' office as they discussed her latest report. The Major burst into the office.
"He's mad" she announced "completely mad." She then practically threw herself onto a chair in front of the Commanders' desk. She looked like she'd just awoken from a nightmare, one that had frightened her to the core. "I don't care who he is. He's a Cardassian, he was there, and he's guilty just like the rest of them."
Nat'sura spoke up.
"And I suppose you think the same thing about me. Despite the fact that I've never set foot on your planet, nor had any contact with your people aside those who are in Starfleet."
The Major stood up and came to Nat'sura until they were directly face to face.
"You really don't know do you. Fine, you want to see what your people are like. Why don't you go talk to him and you'll know what he is."
Nat'sura understood that Major Kira had just given her a challenge one the Major would enjoy best if she backed away from this. It probably wasn't a good idea to accept it but there was a tingle of curiosity about the man in question.
"Very well, I'll go." Nat'sura turned to Sisko who was looking a bit concerned. "Permission to leave sir."
Nat'sura entered the security office; Odo was at his desk working on something. She admired the way Odo could keep up his composure when others who tried similarly would find themselves very tired sat the end of a day.
"Nat'sura." He looked up at her. For a moment she considered leaving but didn't "Did you want something?" he asked.
"The Major has, suggested that I talk to Marritza or whomever he decides to be. May I?"
Odo looked at her carefully. It would appear that Kira had challenged her to come here to see the prisoner.
"You may" he gestured to the door. She didn't move.
"Odo, could you be there as well?" she asked. "Please?"
It was a strange request, but Odo agreed. He knew why Nat'sura was cautious. From what he'd found out about her by the Majors request into her background, she was especially cautious around other Cardassians. Sometimes even avoiding them completely. On the one hand that was odd; after all she was one of them. On the other hand she had not grown up on Cardassia, nor did she have much experience. The only Cardassian she'd known for a long time was her grandmother who'd brought her to Vulcan as a child and had lived with her and Anaya's adoptive parents.
They entered the cells together. 'Marritza' was in the opposite cell to the entrance. Odo stayed near the door, she walked forward to the cell slowly, as if approaching a predator of some kind.
The prisoner noticed her approach him until she stopped a couple of metres in front of his cell. How strange? This Cardassian was standing here staring, staring at him as if to scrutinise him. She wasn't doing it the right way, no smile, no smirk, her eyes were virtually blank. She was also in the wrong uniform, a Starfleet one, a human one. There had been such rumours, turns out they were true.
"Some could call you a traitor, Starfleet." He stood and came to the edge of the cell. Anaya stepped back. "You're afraid. Why? Am I a monster to you?" He smiled "Oh no, I can hardly believe that. Where's the Major, or has she sent you in her place."
"She did send me, but not in her place." He was surprised by her sudden response, and sat back down.
"Why did she send you here?"
"I think she wanted me to see what a sadistic mass murderer looked like?"
"Ah, so that's why you're afraid of me…you have a name I presume?"
"Come, share it with me."
He scoffed at her answer.
"How about your real name? Your Cardassian name, not this ridiculous human substitute name."
Anaya was offended by this remark.
"I don't know my original name, nor was I given this one by humans and I wasn't raised on Earth. Nat'sura derives from Vulcan."
"You speak like one you know."
"So the Major wants you to see a sadistic mass murderer. What do you think?"
Of what. Anaya could sense an underlying intention. One that contradicted the persona he displayed.
"I'm not impressed by what I see." She was very plain in what she said. He seemed to be taken aback by what she said. Though here eyes were without cynicism they seemed to look though him. An uncomfortable feeling.
"Oh? So what do you see then?"
"I see an old man. One who's sad. Your reasons for being here are very specific. But if you do reveal them, they will be the downfall in your plans." She stopped, realising she'd spoken more than she should have.
"You insult me!"
"My apologies, excuse me." She walked out of the room quickly. She didn't even speak to Odo as she rushed past him.
Anaya didn't stop until she entered her quarters. What had she done? Opened her big mouth and spoken too much. Stupid. She set out some candles on her meditation table in the faint hopes of getting herself to relax. Odo had heard her, would he dig deeper though? Maybe just maybe he might not put it together and she might not be…
She had to stop thinking about it; if that day came it came. She would have to deal with it then. And what if it did? What could she loose? What would her grandmother think? She'd always told Anaya to be so careful in what she did and said out loud. A single misinterpretation... Stop thinking about it and light the candles. Idiot.
Once the candles were lit, she went though her meditation sequence. One for calm, two for logic, three for clarity, four for…
She hadn't been there as a witness but had seen a crowd start to gather. This happened while she took a walk around the promenade. She joined them finding her way through to see what was happening. To her surprise she saw Kira hold the very man that she could have condemned to death, but had been cleared. Marritza was dead. A man stood nearby held by Odo. The words she heard still sounded clearly.
"Why? He wasn't Darhe'el! Why?"
"He's a Cardassian! That's reason enough"
No. That word hit Nat'sura hard in surprise. Had the Major actually admitted that not all Cardassians were evil? Perhaps. She and the Major made eye contact briefly, and Kira knew she had heard. Out of respect Nat'sura decided to say nothing. What would happen between them would remain unspoken. But it seemed that in the silence between them an agreement was made. It would not take place immediately but through this understanding, it would happen gradually.