"Benevolence of the Prophets"
(Continued from "Liquid Memories" by the powerhouse duo of Jayson and Tiffany)

"Don't deny the violence inside you, Kira. Only when you accept it, can you move beyond it."
-Opaka to Kira, ST:DS9: "Battle Lines"


Location: USS ANUBIS
Scene: Bridge -> Deck 16
SD: 30147.1725

Eve, after asking for the location of Ensign Mizore, silently rode the turbolift. It was only a minute later that she noticed her breathing was huffed, her fists clenched. She had done her duty and followed protocol in reporting Lieutenant Paquette's findings to Maya, but why did she not feel any less troubled?

She desperately wanted to believe that Shar'El was working for the same goal that she had- the crew acting like a cohesive team, a balance struck between the individuals themselves and the impressive group they could become. But Shar'El's isolationism and downright spying felt like an affront to the open and honest Counsellor. She tugged at her uniform in frustration as she existed the turbolift.

It wasn't her place to question the ILO and her techniques, however invasive and unnecessary they seemed to her. Never mind the waste of time, manpower, and resources spent researching a transporter malfunction that was manufactured to suit an as yet unknown purpose. She shook her head ruefully as she walked to the entrance to the Black Hole. What she was doing in her mind surely seemed like judgement. She was going to have to accept that she and Shar'El would agree to disagree.

Scene: Black Hole Lounge

Lieutenant JG Dalziel crossed the threshold of the lounge, which had a relaxed atmosphere. It was too bad it did little to settle her mind. She scanned a few faces before she saw the new Doctor seated, possibly reviewing information regarding the upcoming mission.

"Doctor Mizore?" Eve asked, and the Bajoran woman's bi-colored eyes looked up, soberly, in an effort to veil the disgust she felt creep back into her consciousness.

"Counsellor," she said. "Have a seat."

Seska studied the woman carefully as she ordered an orange-pomegranate juice and sat across from her. "I apologize for being late," Eve said as she tossed her sable ponytail over one shoulder.

"Not necessary," the aCMO responded. "Duty does come first."

Eve sought solace by staring into her drink, still in a funk due to the reason for her delay. "I consider our meeting equally important. I trust you've seen Sickbay?"

"Among other things," Seska quipped. "I also had a mission briefing with Captain Morningstar."

Eve smiled. It pleased her that the new assistant Chief Medical Officer didn't seem to share the same aversion to social interaction that the ILO did. "You're welcome to check out the Counselling department anytime you like, you know? We're practically neighbors."

Seska tried to focus on Dalziel's words, but she was scouring the woman's face. Being a physician, she knew the surgery responsible for Dalziel's decidedly 'humanoid' look was complicated under the best of conditions with a skilled surgeon. But for all intents and purposes, it was as if the offensive bone structure had been wiped away with the wave of a magic wand. But the countless Bajoran dead would not be forgotten so easily. She would never forget.

Eve took a long slow sip of her beverage, hoping its cooling sweetness would temper what she was about to say. "As part of our medical staff, there's something you need to know. As I already told Doctor Doyanne, genetically, I'm a Cardassian."

Seska took a breath. Perusing it in the file had been one thing, but hearing it uttered from the other woman's lips was something else entirely. She considered her response carefully. The paradox of this pale one before her, one of traitorous blood, but wearing a familiar uniform, having seemingly made a career for herself, was not easy to reconcile. "I already know," she finally said quietly.

Eve tried her best not to look pained but failed miserably. Even a first year psych student could see the regret and realization on her face. "If it makes a difference, I was raised by adoptive parents since the age of six. My father is human, my mother, Bajoran."

This piqued the other woman's interest to an extent. But it was just another paradox. A complication. "Who else knows this?"

"The entire senior staff, I think." Her gray eyes shone like steel in the dim light.  "Of course, the Captain. The ANUBIS is not your typical vessel of the line. Each of us is unique, and uniquely talented. It was why we were assigned here. But I shouldn't have to tell you that. You must already feel it."

Confusion was the primary sensation Ensign Mizore felt as she struggled to stay in control. She felt herself stand to leave. "Do not be concerned, Lieutenant. Nothing will prevent me from the fulfillment of my duties aboard the ANUBIS or my responsibilities as a Starfleet Officer. If you will excuse me."

"Of course," Dalziel uttered as the Doctor left her alone with her thoughts, which were now in considerable turmoil. Suddenly her differences in opinion with the Intel Operative seemed trivial.

Susan Ledbetter
Lieutenant JG Eve Dalziel

"I savored those stories; I read them slowly, one each day. And when I was done, I wished I hadn't read them at all. So I could read them again... like it was the first time."
-Melanie to Old Jake, DS9, "The Visitor"