(Continued from "The Teacher Is In” by the ‘bruised’ Jayson)


“One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.”

-Gustave Flaubert


Location: USS ANUBIS

SD: 30148.2125

Scene: Sickbay

Time Index: Just before Maya and Morningstar’s conversation

The moments after Shar’El awoke could have been uncomfortable and awkward, but after their experience on the moon below there was little left to feel strange about, and much more to attempt to process.

‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood’ was the quote than ran through Eve’s mind. Her large gray eyes were sunken, and she had pushed herself past exhaustion, but now had no desire to sleep. She felt fiercely protective of the senior staff, in particular Mizore and Shar’El, and the sense of relief flooded through her like adrenaline, knowing that they were in a safe haven with the opportunity to heal and rest.

Various points of their experience filtered through her mind in slow motion, as if she had been watching a film, not actually living through it. And, at every turn, she questioned the decisions and the choices she had made. Could she have done anything differently, and more to the point, *should* she have done anything differently?

The anxiety in the underground caverns had given way to introspection, most of it critical, and one of the memories she hadn’t allowed herself before...


Location: BAJOR

Scene: City of Ilvia

Time Index: About 14 years ago, late afternoon

A breeze filtered through the throngs of people and small booths that lined the thoroughfare. Ivory forked-tongue banners and colored ribbons streamed and twirled in the gentle wind, emblazoned with ancient square symbols of a proud, industrious, and resilient people.

The gratitude festival had only grown larger and more grand since the dark days of the occupation. It had engendered a healthy boost to tourism and had gone a long way to restore the faith of the Bajoran people. The noise, color, and movement assaulted the senses with celebration. Musicians filled the air with song, and the collective group of people seemed to flow along with the cheerful refrains that wafted by.

Seamus Dalziel threw his scroll into the fire first, watching it disappear into ash with a satisfaction. His wife, Kell-Dalziel Patrice followed suit. “Go on, ja’lat,” she said softly to their daughter.

Eve held the renewal scroll in her hand, the edges of the paper rough and tea-stained, made in the old ways in an effort to feel authentic and timeless. Even among the gathering of people, she cut a lone figure. At fourteen, she was already taller than her mother, and nearing her father with each passing day. And even with the traditional sienna colored jumper she was wearing, along with the flowers in her hair, it was impossible to ignore that she was a Cardassian. She stood, trying to keep the newness around her at bay, and looked into the depths of the brazier. The orange and crimson flames danced in her misty gray eyes.

The pungent smell of the smoldering bateret leaves tickled her throat. She muttered a private oath and threw her worries and misgivings away, hoping for a better year than the last. She softly inhaled as she saw the edges of the paper curl and darken among the licking flames, then finally dissipate into the bonfire.

Seamus squeezed his adopted daughter’s shoulders. “Peldor joi, lassie.” She wasn’t used to seeing him out of uniform, but he had traded his gold and black standard Chief Engineer’s garb for an emerald green shirt with puffy sleeves and a pair of brown trousers.

“You too, Dad,” she said.

“I don’t know about you two, but I’m starving,” Patrice said, gesturing to a some food stalls a few feet away from where they had been standing. It had been years since she had visited her home, and she was going to make the most of it.

An elderly Bajoran man was doing a rousing business, being so close to one of the bonfires. He had to have been nearing ninety, but didn’t look a day past seventy-five. His smile was wide and welcoming. He was selling an assortment of goodies, like roasted katterpods and bags of trail mix made with grains, kava nuts, and dried moba fruit, sweetened with the sap from the jumja tree.

“Hmm, fruit leather,” she said as held up the cello package for her husband and daughter’s approval.

“Maybe,” Eve said, going to stand next to her mother for a better look.

The withered man began to offer something to the young lady, but his face contorted from joyful into horrified and angry, just with a glance at her reptilian features. Many of the prime years of his life were spent fighting those *people*. Countless friends and family members had died at the hands of their oppressors. And his memories, albeit over a half century old, came rushing back as fresh as the spring rain on Tozhat Province. And they came to bear upon Eve.

The man, now shaking, grabbed at one of the flowers in her hair, ripping it away and startling the teenager. She backed away reflexively as he began to raise a ruckus. “Your kind is NOT welcome here!” he asserted in a surprisingly loud voice for being such a diminutive man.

Dozens of pairs of eyes turned to inspect the commotion. The promenade fell quiet. Eve went cold and numb, wanting to sink into the ground. Her fists clenched, but she did not move. Patrice tossed the food package aside, clearly as offended as the old man was, for an entirely different reason. “She is my *daughter*. Not one you should seek vengeance against.”

“And you should know better than to bring *her* here,” he snapped.  “You disgrace your own people.”

“She is innocent,” The Bajoran woman said in futility, also taking a step back.

The Scotsman flanked his family, holding on to Eve’s right arm. It was stiil tensed, prepared to strike. “We don’t want any trouble. We should go… Eve?”

She turned to him, a sad and wild expression in her silvery eyes. “Okay,” she whispered.

Patrice led the way while Seamus continued to comfort their daughter. “We should go back to the ship,” she offered, upset that she no longer felt they could remain safe and unbothered during shore leave.

Eve touched the soft material on the embroidered jumper longingly, not wanting to end something she had been looking forward to for months.  “I ruined our vacation,” she said, slumping as she walked to try and keep out of view. Thoughts wandered through her head. If the derelict ship she had been discovered on hadn’t malfunctioned in the first place, where would she be right now? What would she be doing? Would she be ignorant to and spared from the looks of fear and hatred she had seen at different moments throughout her life?

“Honey, no,” Patrice said soothingly as they continued past the entrance to the festival and back towards the inn they had been staying at.

“And I could’ve hurt him.”

Seamus and Patrice exchanged looks. “You didn’t, Eve darlin’.”

“But I could have.” A wave of shame washed over her. “I’m sure that’s what they wanted to see… the evil Cardassian violently attacking, showing her true colors. And I wasn’t far from giving it to them... part of me wanted it.” She hung her head, afraid.

Her mother stopped moving, instead reaching over to stroke the child’s dark hair. “Eve. Listen to me. You can’t change *what* you are. But you alone have the final say on *who* you are.”

“I’d rather be nothing than be Cardassian.”

Patrice sighed. It was pure torture to see her child hurting, all because of a inherited birthright. “Somehow you need to accept this, my heart. You can’t control what you don’t accept.”

Eve raised her head and turned to look at her mother. “You believe that?”


“That it can be controlled?” In the pubescent girl’s mind, there was no way beyond where she was right now. It all seemed so hopeless.

“Of course,” she said, hugging her daughter.

“Ev’ryone has impulses, instincts,” Seamus added. “And the Cardies don’t corner the market on negative traits. And almost any negative can be worked toward your advantage.”

“I don’t want to hurt people,” she insisted. But her adrenal response said otherwise, and it frightened her.

“If you applied yourself, worked and studied hard, learned true combat techniques, you could be a fine Security officer. You would be able to kick the collective arses of the border worlds’ criminals and hold nefarious characters to justice all the way to the Delta Quadrant,” he said with aplomb.

“But what if that’s not what I want?” Eve said in a small voice.

“Don’t push her,” Patrice said to her husband. “She’s only fourteen.”

“She’s old enough to hone that talent she has into something purposeful and disciplined. Then it won’t control her anymore.”

“Fighting is a talent?” Eve asked doubtfully.

Patrice reluctantly agreed. “He’s right. People study for years to learn to defend themselves or fight enemy threats.”

Seamus continued. “Being able to physically injure or even kill someone doesn’t mean you have to use it. But if you take responsibility for it and ownership of it, you don’t have to worry anymore that you’ll lash out when you don’t want to.”

Eve’s mother sighed. “That man in the courtyard was ignorant, certainly, but he was just as innocent as you. He was guided by a hatred you had no control over and did not cause.”

“I never wanted to know anything of Cardassians. I renounce it.”

“And your father and I agreed. But maybe that was a mistake. Maybe the only way you can truly move past this is to embrace where you came from.”

They stopped at the crest of a small hill to enjoy the orchid and coral colored sunset. Seamus embraced his wife and daughter, kissing them each on the forehead. “Giving up something isn’t as meaningful unless you know exactly what you’re giving up.”


Location: USS ANUBIS

Scene: Sickbay

Shar’El breathed in, then out. It was quiet, for now. Her mind purposefully wandered, trying to find clarity and peace from the fright of her moments sleeping. That… dream. She didn’t remember dreaming that way before. Her memories, whether they be her own or those of another, had always held a great deal more import than things that went bump in the night.

Her gaze had remained on the Cns, who was seated nearby. Eve was awake, but looked like she shouldn’t be, and appeared to be deep in thought. Shar’El had been following along in her own way, her curiosity outweighing everything else despite how different she felt.

The Ullian’s brush with the machine had left a lasting imprint on her. Her mind was still an orderly place, with row upon row of virtual file cabinets and folders, with each memory and experience having their place. Any of them could be pulled upon and sampled on a whim. But there was a certain fullness that had not been there before. Even as she observed Eve’s childhood, she could feel the intense need to probe at these new arrivals, wondering what they could teach her.


The Cardassian born woman blinked, realizing that Shar’El was speaking to her.  Embarrassment crept into her face. “Sorry, I didn’t hear you.”

“Maybe it’s time for you to rest,” The ILO suggested.

Eve sighed and rubbed the back of her neck. “Will you be alright?” she asked, referring to both her and the aCMO.

“I think so,” Shar’El offered.  “And, we are in Sickbay after all.”

Logic prevailed, and Eve stood with the slightest sway. Fatigue had wrapped itself around her like a blanket. She nodded in recognition and turned to leave.

“You shouldn’t doubt yourself so much.” The words were out of Shar’El’s mouth in an instant, and even she felt surprise at the unfiltered advice.

Eve turned to look at the raven haired ILO. She was smiling, but her eyes were sad. “I probably always will.”


Susan Ledbetter

Lt JG Eve Dalziel