6/11/13

Gaya's Astronomy V5Ch6 ~ Justify the Means

Previously ~ Inquisitions
Chief O'Brien: There are rules, Garak, even in a war.
Garak: Correction.
Humans have rules in war. Rules that tend to make victory a little harder to achieve, in my opinion.

~ "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Rocks and Shoals (#6.2)" (1997)
Calandra Tria
Apparently, building a "foundation of trust" didn't take nearly as long as initially expected.  To Mylanti's surprise, Calandra appeared disappointed.

"Well, the Romulans may not have gotten her to talk, but they did soften her up for me," the Betazoid sighed wearily.

Xochitl and Mylanti glanced down to where the pale Vorta lay on the floor of the brig, a timid quivering mass.  Mylanti felt a mix of confusion and horror; on the one hand, she'd never seen a Dominion agent so thoroughly humbled.  On the other hand, she couldn't figure out exactly what had been done.  There was no blood, no cuts, no bruises, no broken bones....

Calandra smirked at the Bajoran's puzzled expression.  "Amazing, isn't it?  The things you learn when you put your mind to xenobiology."

Xochitl Dominguez
Xochitl was less amused.  "What have you learned about Lesas IV?"

"She's confirmed Ratana's intel," Calandra nodded.  "She's also provided the exact coordinates for that star system."

The Vorta began to blubber into the carpet.  "G-G-Gods...f-f-f-forgive me...."

Xochitl snorted.  "Rumor has it your 'gods' are rotting into extinction even as we speak.  It is only fitting their slaves follow suit."

"Wait," Mylanti shook her head.  "What's so important about the facility at Lesas IV?"

With a nod, Xochitl dismissed the brig officer.  The woman seemed more than relieved to go.

"Lesas IV is the site of the largest and oldest Jem'Hadar breeding chamber in our Quadrant," the Commander intoned neutrally, her eyes betraying nothing.  "More specifically, it has the capacity to create five hundred fully-grown Jem'Hadar over a 78-hour cycle."

***


***

"And since it takes the average humanoid years to mature," Calandra mused, "you can see how they've been winning the war."

"If Malest has confirmed Ratana's intel," Xochitl raised an eyebrow, "then we can destroy that facility as the next cycle begins."

Gaya Mylanti
Mylanti wasn't sure she was hearing correctly.  "You mean, kill them while they're still...children?"

If she had expected Xochitl's wrath, she was mistaken; to her surprise, it was the Betazoid who went off.

"They are not children," Calandra snapped, those dark eyes shooting black sparks.  "They are not even people.  People have souls, have a culture, free will, minds of their own.  The Jem'Hadar are genetically engineered killing machines who invaded my world, conquered it in less than ten hours and they will pay for that!  By any means necessary!"  She turned her glare towards Xochitl.  "When do we depart?"

Xochitl, emotionless as stone, contacted the bridge.  "Commander Barton, prepare to depart.  Contact the ships assigned to accompany us to follow suit.  Commander Tria will provide the coordinates."

"Aye, Commander."

***

Cillia Yrydi
Cillia was appalled.  She stood with Xochitl, Melinda, Calandra, Ratana and Mylanti in the tiny mess hall which doubled as a briefing room.

"We're not really going through with this are we?" the Trill gasped.  "There's no way we're going through with this!"

"Starfleet Command has approved and ordered the mission," Xochitl replied coldly.  "That's all you need to know, Lieutenant."

"First the genocide of the Founders, and now the extermination of premature Jem'Hadar," Melinda blinked.  "Anyone sensing a pattern here?"

"Do you want this Quadrant to be overrun?" Ratana barked.  "They've already taken over Betazed.  Not to mention, they've slaughtered thousands of Maquis, good soldiers, loyal to the end --"

Melinda Barton
"And if Michael-friggin'-Eddington hadn't felt the need to play Cowboys and Indians with the Cardassians, we wouldn't even be in this mess!" Melinda fumed.

"Oh, let's not overreact, Your Heinous Royal Majesty," Ratana sneered.

"Girl --" Melinda actually took a step forward when Xochitl intervened.

"The mission is the mission," she reiterated.

"I was just following orders."

It was practically a whisper.  The words were soft, murmured almost absently.  All heads turned to Mylanti.  Her arms were folded across her chest, and she was looking downward, into space, as though deeply contemplating something.

"What did you just say?" Xochitl asked.

Without looking up, the Bajoran repeatedly a little more loudly: "I was just following orders."

There was a strange pause as a hush settled upon the mess hall.  Almost everyone in the room seemed to feel the implicated weight of her words.

"Stardate 40062.9, Glinn Ikkar of the Seventh Order was held hostage by the Retani Resistance Cell.  They interrogated him for hours about his crimes at the Funtah Labor Camp.  They showed him footage of half-dead children, women beaten and raped, and men brought home in pieces.  His answer to every question was 'I was just following orders.'"

Ratana Dao
"This isn't the same thing," Ratana insisted.

Mylanti finally looked up.  "But this is how it starts, right?  You think the Cardassians at the beginning of the Occupation were the same at the end?  They weren't.  Everything starts somewhere, Commander.  And then it ends somewhere else.  Take Commander Tria, for example," she added quickly, before anyone could interrupt.  "The woman I knew would never do what she did to Malest, but...here we are.  They may be soulless, they may be killing machines, but when we reach Lesas IV, the Jem'Hadar will be children, Commander.  Helpless."

"Hardly," Ratana snorted.  "Those 'children' have a fleet guarding them."

"Woman --" Melinda began.

"And if they didn't?" Cillia asked.  "What if it was unguarded?  What if there's nothing but a rock filled with children and their caretakers - what then?"

"That's not the case!" Calandra interjected.

"But if it was?" the Trill pushed.  "What then?  What would we do with the children?"

"Wait for them to mature," Xochitl murmured.  "And then face them as adults.  Helm," she called suddenly.  The computer obediently beeped.  "Tell our ships to slow to warp 3.  That will add a full 26 hours to our journey.  But when we arrive," she stated clearly, "we leave no one alive."

Next ~ Getting to the Point

9 comments:

  1. Well....at least they won't be killing children. Right?

    Man, I'm not cut out for war at all.

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  2. Alex RaventhorneJune 12, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    I wonder if there's any chance of them turning the new Jem-Hadar over to the Federation's side?

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    Replies
    1. DS9 actually tried to explore that angle in several episodes and realize it doesn't work. The Jem'Hadar are genetically designed to worship and obey the Founders, even before the Vorta begin their psychological conditioning.

      And don't get me started on the whole ketracel white mess....

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  3. Replies
    1. Me too. She has truly come into her own.

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  4. "First the genocide of the Founders, and now the extermination of premature Jem'Hadar," Melinda blinked. "Anyone sensing a pattern here?"
    I have never watched Star Trek, but what Melinda said here sparked something. Something about their mission and all the killing is suspicious. I'd hate for them to find out that they were the pawn in someone else game, at the top, to cover up their misdeeds. The best line was "I was just following orders." The whole system of obeying and following commands without thought has always been dangerous. Man this chapter/episode was the most realistic, thanks for this.

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  5. I have no problem with them slaughtering Jem'Hadar runts. They are bred for one purpose and one purpose only. DS9 dealt with this a few times, as Ankh said, but the end game was always that the Jem'Hadar worshiped the Founders and were nothing more than genetically-bred killers. I think about all the women and children they murdered. As far as I'm concerned, slaughtering them before they mature is wise.

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