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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 2: Wayward Sons and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

26 – Back to the Voth Future

USS Mackenzie
11.3.2400 @ 1100
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Cardamon sat in the corner of the laboratory, his clawed hands gripped together in his lap, a look of worry and concern passing across his face as Fowler described what they had decided was possible and what help he could offer.  He looked everywhere but into the eyes of the science chief and had every appearance of wanting to flee from the conversation.  Fowler waited for a response to her question, but he remained silent and stared at the floor.  “Cardamon…”

He looked and met her gaze, “I didn't think it was true.”  He shook his head, sadness filling his eyes, “I had heard rumors of weapons being developed to cause long-term harm to others.  I didn't think it was true.”  His claws remained tightly grasped, “The rumor was that it wasn't being developed by one species or group.  That it was being developed by someone else.  I never heard more than that…and I hadn't heard anything in the last year.  I thought it was a joke…or someone's big dream that would never come true.”  He sighed with what sounded like a snarl but was a sob, “I didn't think it was true.”

Fowler felt for the Voth.  He had known them only three days, and in that time, he had formed such a fast and firm connection with them.  His shame was palpable.  “You couldn't have known.”  She wanted to comfort him, but he'd curled inwards in his regret and sadness.  She turned to the team, “We need to get the weapon that was used on the commander.  That's the key to figuring out what…caused this.”  Two of the officers volunteered to work with Chief Kondo and headed out of the lab.  Sadie tapped her badge, “Counselor to Science Lab 1.”  She hoped Juliet could help the Voth.  The fate of not just the Mackenzie hung on his information - indeed, the Fourth Fleet would live or die on his knowledge.

 

Juliet sat across from the Voth, who had not changed his stance much from when she had arrived in the office they'd moved him to - he was withdrawn, claws interlocked and staring at the floor.  “So, Secretary Cardamon.”

His head snapped up, a look of fear and anger tightening his clenched jaw.  “It was a long time ago, Lieutenant Woodward.”  He said it quietly as if the thoughts in his head were shouting him down, beating at his soul until he could take no more.

She tried again, “Arms Secretary sounds like somethin' interesting, at least.”

Cardamon stood and began to slowly pace the room, his claws clacking together as his eyes darted wildly around the room.  “It would not be so interesting if you knew what I did.”

The chief counselor remained seated, her posture open.  “I'm jus' makin' conversation, tryin' to get to know you.  I'm not a big wiggy officer - I hated my command classes.”  She leaned in the chair to catch a look at him, “I'm jus' a counselor.  Plain an' simple.”

The Voth stopped and stared at her for a moment, “Your accent is…maddeningly curious.”

Juliet chuckled, “It is a weird one, ain't it?  Family's all from the South, and I spent summers in Nawlins.  Put that together with a Montana drawl, and it's…well, downright confusin'.”  His look of confusion pushed her out of her chair to access the screen in the office.  With little trouble, she was soon walking the Voth through the various parts of the Southern sections of North America, with a finishing tour around Montana and the places she'd lived there.

He traced the outlines of the state that she had called home, “Mont…ana.  Montana.  It sounds like a place of wonder.”  Cardamon turned to her, “Would…I be able to visit this place someday?”

Woodward returned to her seat and gestured to the chair next to her, “Anythin' is possible.  I'll ask and see what I have to do to make it happen."  The Voth hesitantly sat next to her.  “Now, Arms Secretary.”

“You are like a…” he spoke a Voth phrase and consulted the PADD in his hands, tapping his clawed hands across the screen until he found it, “…ah yes, a dog with a bone.”  Juliet laughed.  He wasn't wrong.  She gave him a look, letting him know she as going to wait him out.  He growled a Voth curse and explained, “I was in charge of the operations, research, development, and implementation of Voth weapons.  I was ordained into the job at 20 years old after my uncle passed.  It took me five years of crafting weapons of war and murder before I couldn't do it any longer.  I fled my homeworld and never returned.  I had foolishly thought they had forgotten about me…or given up on trying to find me.”

“The guy who attacked you is in jail.”

The Voth shook his head slowly, “He will eventually be released, banned from the station…and then he'll report back to my people.  They will send more.  Or they will wait until I am alone.”  A small sigh escaped his lips, “Had I known this would have happened…I would never have asked to join you.  The way of my people is blood and violence, Lieutenant Woodward.  Even if you find a way to leave it behind…it returns with a vengeance.”

Juliet turned to face him, “Remember what I said, Cardamon.  Anythin' is possible.  We were sent here to do the right thing by those that need our help.  To ignore you or anyone else who calls out for assistance…would be…well, in Nawlins they'd call it Bad Hoodoo.  In Starfleet we call it dereliction o' duty.  We take it pretty seriously.”  She patted him gently on his leg, “We take you seriously, Cardamon.”

“How will I get past my…past?”

The counselor stood, “You will need to work on acceptin' the Cardamon of today - by acceptin' what led you here from back then.  We've all got things in our past that we regret or have shame about that haunt us.  We have to look at how we're workin' to be better at being us to others around us…and take consolation that we're working on bein' better than we were before.  There's a lot more to it, and it's not easy…but it's necessary.  I can help you work through these feelins' and find a path forward.”

Cardamon stood and joined her as she walked to the door, “I'd like that very much, Lieutenant Woodward.”