This fiction is dedicated to Sensara and her two Solok Fictions "Star Fleet academy: Deal with the Devil" and "Faciem Lapide" They sparked my imagination and inspired this little story. Thank you Sensara! *HEARTS*

Prologue: Sometime during the Dominion war

Lt. Cleo Mannheim stood at attention as the ambassadors entered the room. Her mind clicked off their details. Senator Letant of the Romulan star empire, single no children, fifteen Tal Shiare red gaurds. Ambassador Sovar of the Vulcan delegation, married, two children, fifteen Vulcan elite guards. Ambassador Korlon of the Klingon high command, widower, three children, fifteen Black guard officers. Finally, Ambassador Seiraa of Earth, married expecting a child, with herself and a squad of fifteen.

The lieutenant entered the room after the ambassadors, and the heads of each of the guard followed her. Her ambassador, Seiraa, had organized a meeting with the others to discuss the war. Cleo was uneasy about the entire meeting. They were in the middle of a briar patch, and she had not been given adequate time to feel that the area was secure. Her stomach was tight, something didn't feel right and she could not put her finger on what. She took her station in between the Vulcan and the Earth Ambassador.

Seiraa stood first, her voice was calm and thin, "Thank you for meeting me on such short notice gentlemen. The war is not going well for us, the Dominion is making inroads with the Breen counsel and our intelligence indicates they may be forming an alliance."

Cleo began to tune out the Ambassador's words. She wasn't there to listen to the pomp. She was there to protect. She did not like being in the room, she felt she would have been better suited to be in the grounds and on the sensors, but Seiraa, who she had been guarding now since the beginning of the war, demanded that she be at her side.

Cleo smirked lightly as she scanned each of the group's elite guard. All well trained, all muscular, and all male except her. She did not doubt however, if something got ugly or out of hand she would be able to protect her charge. The Vulcan guard was a slave to logic, which would be his down fall, it would make him predictable. The Klingon's brute strength could be used as a weapon against him, and the Romulan, he would be the first one she took out if need be, because he was a wild card of discipline and savagery.

The vibrations began. She could feel them in her feet, the others did not seem to. She didn't know who was talking when she interrupted, she pulled her weapon which caused a chain reaction of weapon pulling. "Ve are under attack, "the she said, her German heritage betrayed in a single syllable.

The Romulan waved for his guard to put his weapon away. The Vulcan ambassador was about to say something when the room seemed to explode.

Lt. Mannheim was the first person to wake in the room. The red emergency lights illuminated a gruesome twisted scene of carnage. She put her fingers to Seiraa's neck, there was a weak pulse. The Vulcan security guard was in two pieces against the shattered wall. She checked the ambassador, his eyes opened and she continued to assess him, he was not damaged. The Romulan senator's guard was dead, both Letant and Korlon was alive. Slapping the Kilingon guard she said loudly, "Wake up, there is a battle to be fought."

Sovar and Letant were already speaking, when Cleo marched between them. "Whatever you have to say can wait, Sirs. Now we must evacuate everyone to safety. I have a shuttle waiting to see you all off the planet." Cleo moved to the door which some-how still stood.

Letant spoke first, "I am not convinced you didn't have something to do with this Lieutenant. I will go not leave this room with you."

Cleo opened the door, her second was dead, but the pack she had left in his charge was tucked under him. Looking down the corridor she could see the light of phaser fire through smoke but no enemies had made the hall yet. This at least was good, she thought as she slipped the pack from under her dead officer. "Leave or not, Senator Letant, I cannot and will not make you. The phasers you hear are Dominion issue, so believe what you will."

She opened the pack where she had a simple paper map, and two pieces of equipment. "Ambassador Korlon, Sir, I will need the strength of your Klingon arms please." The Klingon ambassador stepped forward. "If you would,while I am working pull Ambassador Seiraa from the wreckage. I am afraid I am going to have to ask you to carry her along our journey." The Klingon moved to do as she asked.

Sovar stepped toward her, "What is your plan Lt. Mannsheim?" he was not convinced a mere human would be capable of seeing to their escape.

Cleo was tapping on the two pieces of equipment and stopped, "Sir, as much as I would like, to explain to you we simply do not have the time. I would ask you to hold this device though, and. "she looked over at Letant and the Klingon, "you two need to fall in behind touching his shoulders. It is a personal shield, that should protect you from stray shrapnel and phaser fire. "

The Klingon guard stepped forward, growling, "And what if you are the targ that informed the dominion of the meeting here?"

Cleo took in a deep breath, "I have no time to argue with you. Come or not the choice is yours."

The Klingon guard rushed her in a growl with a swift kick to his groin he dropped, but not missing a beat and not taking time to revel in her victory she looked at the ambassadors, "Now, this is going to be how it goes down. Twenty meters south of here I have a shuttle hidden to take you to safety. I am going to set off this." She held a small metallic ball up for them to see, "It will give an EMP pulse that will disrupt Jem'hadar phasers," she looked at the Klingon still clutching his pride, "If we run into patrols we will have to go hand to hand, or" she pulled out two small Katana like daggers, "Steel to steel if you came prepared. " She handed the map to Letant, "If something happens to me, this is where you need to go. The shuttle will take you to Ambassador Sovar's sons ship ten light year from here. "

The Vulcan Ambassador raised an eyebrow, "Your plan seems sound and logical, surprising for a human."

Cleo shot him a strange look, "It is my job, Sir." She replied simply. "When I set this off we will have fourteen minutes to make it to the shuttle before their weapons are restored." Cleo closed her eyes remembering the steps she took before the meeting. They should be able to make it in ten, she believed, with a four minute window to spare. When she opened them again she unsheathed her daggers, "Sirs whatever happens to me or to him, you keep moving and don't stop. Is that understood?"

They nodded.

"Activate the shield Ambassador Sovar." She said calmly.

The Vulcan's finger hovered over the button, "Will your pulse not also disrupt this as well."

Cleo sighed, "Sir, as I said before, I don't have time to explain everything now. If you want to get a tea sometime I'll be happy to explain it then. "Her voice was strained, "Now, if you please Sir, you have a shuttle to catch."

Sovar was taken aback slightly but did as she asked. The field was visible for a second and then blended into the surrounding. The lieutenant fired her phaser at the far wall and dropped the pulse bomb out the hole it made. "Three, two, one…" and the phaser fire sounding them died into silence.

She helped the Klingon up, "Make your first strike at the throat, sever their white tube first if you can't hit meat."

The Klingon took her arm, "It is a good day to die! I will see you in STOVOKOR!" He pulled his bat'leth and rushed out into the fighting.

"Klingons." She muttered and motioned her charges to follow behind her. "Remember what I said, keep moving no matter what happens."

Sovar was behind her when two Jem'hadar rushed their position. She took out the first one with a fluid grace he had never seen a human possess. The second one disarmed her of one of her daggers, swinging down and leaving a small trail of blood on her shoulder. She was out of her class he thought, her opponent was bigger and stronger, he would give her a survival percentage of only fifteen percent. In three moves a kick, a slide that seemed to be putting her at a disadvantage, she used her legs to toss the soldier and steel his bladed axe. She popped up and looked directly at him, "I said keep moving, Sir." Her voice was calm though her teeth were now pink with blood.

They walked over the body of the Klingon guard, and she traded the axe for his bat'leth. They ran into two more Jem'hadar before they made it to the shuttle, both she incapacitated with a few kicks and slices.

There was another human man standing at the loading ramp of the shuttle. When he saw the group he quickly ushered them in. Cleo stood at the end of the ramp, "You have the plan commander, see to it they make it to safety. He stood at attention, "Yes sir!"

Ambassador Sovar walked down the ramp and placed his hand on her shoulder, "You are injured. It is illogical for you to return to fight."

Cleo stared at him a moment quizzically, "The needs of the many outweigh that of the few or the one. Is it not your people who say this? My men are counting on me, and I have never left a man behind." She put her hand on his and twisted it off as gently as the old Vulcan would allow.

"You will die."

"Perhaps, " she said casually.

"Thank you for your service, Lieutenant. We will not see each other again."

Cleo smirked, "We'll see." And she ran off back into the fray.

The old Vulcan watched her until the doors closed turning to take a seat he saw the human ambassador being tended to by a medic, and this two companions sitting silently along the wall. He moved to sit next to the pilot.

When they were away in normal space, on their way to rendezvous with his son's ship he turned to the young man, "Who was she?''

The pilot looked confused, "Sir?"

"Lieutenant Mannheim, who was she?"

The pilot laughed, "Was…sir? I wouldn't count her out until you see the body, Ambassador. She IS, "he said more defensively than he wanted to, "my commanding officer and one of the finest people I've ever served with. That, ambassador, is who she is."

His eyebrow rose, it was a typical emotional response he had come to expect of humans. He would not ask further he had no use for emotional answers, he just wanted the facts.

They received a hail and he saw his son's face on the view screen, "Shuttle Kazu your hail is acknowledged. We will beam you all to sick bay."

"It is good to see you my son."

Captain Solok nodded, "And you my father. I trust you are well."

"I am uninjured. "

"Prepare to beam aboard. I will meet you in sick bay."

The young pilot spoke, "Sir, I am transferring my report to you now. With permission I would like to get back to the briar patch and see if we can evacuate more survivors."

"Acknowledged Ensign. I have sent a message to Star Fleet back up will arrive in one hour thirty two minutes."

"Acknowledged, Captain."

The Klingon stood and put his hand on the Ensigns shoulder, "Good hunting."

Sovar stood and prepared to beam aboard his son's ship. The Ensign looked up at the old Vulcan. "You'll see, Sir, she will be alive…."

O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O

Wounded had been beamed in from the planet all day. He kept an interested eye on the casualty lists, but no word had come down about the woman who had saved him and his peers.

"Father," Captain Solok said standing at his side, "May I ask why you have not gone to your quarters yet? It is late, and we will be leaving soon to return to Vulcan."

The old man turned to his son, "You may not. " he said flatly, "I will however go and meditate, it is as you say, going to be a long journey home. "

Ambassador Sovar sat in his quarters that night unable to achieve kel 'no'reem. He tightened the sash around his robes and walked to sick bay. Rows of humans, Romulans, Vulcans, and Klingons lay wounded in the beds none of them was who he was looking for. He was about to leave when the door opened and a group of Vulcan doctors were walking with urgency a hovering between them moving toward the surgical area. The ambassador caught one of the nurses, "Who is that?

The nurse looked at her PADD, "Human, Leutenant Mannheim."

He raised an eyebrow, "What is her prognosis?"

"Her statistical probability for living is ninty five percent. Though she will be unable to reproduce. They are removing her uterus, it is damaged beyond repair. "

The old Vulcan walked toward the operating room window. Doctors and nurses were milling about preparing the young human for her surgery. An impulse washed over him and he entered the room. He stood over her surprised to see she was still awake. He looked down at her, and she looked up at him. Her green eyes were serene like she had just come out of meditation. He held his hand up in a Vulcan salute, something he had never given a human before, "Live long, and prosper, Lieutenant. "

A ghost of a smile passed over her lips before she lost consciousness and he was escorted from the table side.

Walking back to his quarters he placed his hands behind his back. He could not explain it but he felt less burdened than he had before. He was resolved to see that she was rewarded for her bravery, and loss.