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Part of USS Denver: Mission 3: War is War

Over the Border

Sopok Nor, Kalis System
March 1, 2374
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Maveren stared at the painting hanging on the wardroom wall onboard  Sopok Nor.  Her eyes were weak, and it wasn’t easy to see at a distance forcing her to lean in.  The black lines and shapes filled with pastel colors made no sense to her. Supposedly there was some sort of image displayed, but she could only recognize the painting’s most basic elements and a little more. 

“What is it?” She asked Gul Gozec. “I’m told it is quite good.”

Hian Gozec looked over his superior’s shoulder at the painting, “Nothing more than a waste of time in my opinion,” the Gul stated as he stood there

“No matter,” Maveren said with a smile.  “If the Founders wanted me to appreciate the art they would have included it into my genetic makeup.  But, I think it may be a missed opportunity. I was bred for the Alpha Quadrant and so many species here highly value art…”  She smiled and clapped her hands, “Who am I to question a God?”

“This painting.” Gozec said as he looked at it once more from the corner of his eye, “is nothing more than a child’s attempt at art,” the disdain could be heard in the Guls voice as he stood there. “We should be taking the force to the Federation and making them submit.”

“And of the 12th Order?” Maveren asked.   “Do you believe it is capable of standing toe to toe with the Federation? Perhaps we should wait for Jem’Hadar’s reinforcements.   Our cloning facilities and shipyards are operating at full capacity.”

“Maveren, you presume to think that I have not already thought of that,” Gozec stated as he continued to look at the Vorta Advisor. “When in fact I have already sent in a request for further reinforcements from the 11th order,” Gozec said as he suddenly felt like they were wasting their time staring at worthless paintings.

Maveren raised an eyebrow at that, “Of course.  And what is your plan to bring honor to the Founders?”

“Listen here Maveren, I do not bring honor to the Founders, but only to Cardassia. If bringing honor to the Dominion brings honor to Cardassia then so be it, as for my plan I will let you know soon enough,” Gozec said in a smooth tone, a tone that not many Cardassians held outside of the Obsidian Order.

“Cardassia is part of the Dominion,  and it is your duty to serve the Dominion. Your concerns no longer revolve around your solitary planet, but how you can better serve the Founders.” She turned away from the Gul and walked to one of the Jem’Hadar guards.   “Take Sixth Deron’don for example.  If I told him that it was the wish of the Founders to kill himself he would do so without hesitation.”

“Obedience brings victory.  Victory is life,” the Jem’Hadar grumbled.

“Yes, yes very good,” Maveren dismissed. “So, if I were you I would watch that rebellious tone of yours or the 12th Order could be looking for a new commander.”

Gozec narrowed his eyes as he looked at Maveren. “As you wish,” he stated as he thought about how easy it might have been to have killed her if her Jem’Hadar guard hadn’t been there.

Maveren continued as if the veiled threat wasn’t still hanging thick over the room.  “The Seventh Fleet has formed a new task group led by the USS Tigris. There’s another ship you may be familiar with. After all, it was one of twelve that slipped through our fingers at Tyra.  It’s a shame neither Cardassian nor Jem’Hadar were up to the task of eliminating the Denver.  Oh well, no sense in dwelling on our failings.  They will be assigned to a planet near the Betazed system backing up the Tenth Fleet.”

Gozec nodded, “They won’t escape a second time. And if you are correct then that is where we need to be. Maybe this time we send a scout ship to do some recon beforehand so that we know exactly what we are going up against, this time,” he stated as he looked out a window into the darkness of space.

“If you think that’s best,” she said with a smile. “Now I have other business to attend to.” She headed for the door but paused to look at Sixth Deron’don. “Sixth it is the wish of the Founders for you to kill yourself.”

The eyes of the Jem’Hadar widened in terror, but he gravely drew his dagger and stabbed himself in the heart.   “Obedience brings victory…” Maveren glanced at Gozec, nodded, casually stepped over the lifeless form of the Jem’Hadar, and left without saying another word.

Gozec had seen the Jem’Hadar take his life at the request of the Vorta, through the reflection in the window. As soon as he was alone he turned and looked at the lifeless body. Two Cardassian slaves stood silently against the wall, fear could be seen in their eyes, as they had witnessed the encounter.

“Clean this mess up,” Gozec snapped out at them as he left the room. ‘such waste in life,’ he thought to himself as he walked down the corridor toward the shuttle bay and his waiting transport.