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Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 6 – Uneasy Alliance and USS Mackenzie: The Mackenzie Squadron – The Uneasy Alliance

09 – An Uneasy Development

Janoor III / USS Mackenzie
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The work continued throughout the day.  Okada wiped the sweat from her face as she listened to the senior Cardassian weapons officer rattle off the specifications of the unit they’d been assigned.  She was impressed with his knowledge and understanding of the systems in play.  That they were the original weapons used by the Cardassians to defend the occupation was the Galaxy-class starship in the room that nobody wanted to talk about or mention.  The Dominion’s first invasion had secured Janoor III as a bulwark, and the weapons they had upgraded and used had been able to keep Starfleet at bay for most of the war.  She imagined them as pristine as they had been 25 years ago and how effective they had been against the rescue attempts.

“They were beautiful once.”  Laurek stepped back from his work; the usual thick and armored Cardassian uniform stripped away to a light armor more equal to digging in and around.  “They were the prize of their day.”  He checked his monitoring device and shouted at the workers down the way before climbing back inside the superstructure.

Okada mused as she leaned in through the porthole entrance, “They can be beautiful again.”  She watched him wrench the wiring free and toss it to her; his determined face focused on bringing them back to life.

Luarek stripped the connectors clean carefully as if they were his child.  He still held pride in Cardassian-produced systems even if they came from a darker time and place.  He had born during the war to a family who had kept to the sides of the conflict.  He tapped open the chip cabinets and scanned them, “That they would defend against the darkness and not serve it is something.”  He pulled out the warped chips and smashed them on the ground.

She chuckled, “You’re a real philosopher, Luarek .”  She handed him the box containing the new chips and then set the fresh connectors down.

“I was going to be a teacher of history and arts before the military came calling.”  He inspected the new chips and slipped them into the slots individually, “I’ve read the classics – Cardassia, Klingon, Romulan…even the Human ones.”  He double-checked the drawer before sliding it back, hearing it lock with a click.  “There are similarities in our old stories.  I always thought the shared themes were a feature of a shared consciousness in the greater universe.”  He moved to the next cabinet and continued his work.

Okada appreciated Laurek’s words.  It was a break from the strict engineering content diet she had been on for the last few days.  “Every culture has stories, I suppose.  Makes you wonder what stories the Breen grew up on…or even the Borg.”  She thought further, “I suppose if we could read some of them, we’d have an insight into the ‘why’ of some of our enemies.”

Luarek closed the last cabinet, and the sound of whirring electronics grumbled and slowly became a low purr.  He smiled widely and came to the opening, “It lives.”  He stepped through, “As to understanding others…there are times where that can be a viable manner of intelligence.”  He accepted a tablet from one of his crew and read through the report, scoffing as he finished and handed it back, “Clean the launcher tubes – that’ll clear the sensors.  Check them for stability and replace them as needed.”  The Cardassian officer stood at attention and moved off with his orders.  Luarek dusted off his clothes, annoyed at the mess he had created.  “There are other times, Chief Okada, where there is no understanding of an enemy.  They want blood for blood’s sake… you can’t reason them out of their inherent darkness.”

Suddenly the sound of an explosion echoed, startling them both.  The security escort quickly bounded into position as the other Cardassian officers climbed and slid down to gather as another distant boom echoed over the hills.  The Janoor III escort was on his radio, speaking quickly while Okada tapped her badge, “Chief to Mackenzie, report.”  Her eyes searched the surroundings, her heart racing for answers.

On the bridge, Park was standing at her science station, worry creasing her brow as worry bubbled in her stomach, “Two explosions three clicks from you.  We’re also reading limited weapons fire of an unknown type.  Identifying the site now.”

In the center chair, Wren followed along on her console, “Chief – we’re also checking with our other teams.  Standby.”

Okada glanced at Luarek, who was wide-eyed and nervously glancing around.  The others were huddling close under the protective guard of the security officers.  Standby wasn’t her favorite word, and it wasn’t doing anything to allay the fears that were coursing through the group.  The sounds of explosions continued every few seconds.

Park’s voice broke through, “Looks like someone is attacking a small military base just east of you – we’re receiving word from the Janoor III government that a separatist group has claimed the attack.  They’ve gathered that the group is against the Cardassian assistance agreement.”  Those words set the Cardassian members on further edge as they glanced fearfully around them and nervously eyed the Starfleet officers charged with protecting them.

Wren confirmed over the channel, “We’re sending the teams additional security and operational support.  You’re dangerously close to the site, Commander.”  

The intonation was clear – stay or go?  The captain was leaving it up to Okada to decide.  She turned to Luarek, who grimaced, “We came here to do the right thing.  We can’t run from the danger…it will give the Domionion an edge when they come for us.  I wish to deny them any advantage.”  He turned to the gathered officers from his ship.  

They whispered to each other briefly, and one replied, “We will go where Luarek goes.”  

He grinned at the response and gestured to the installation, “Let us stand together against the darkness, Commander.”  

Okada couldn’t help but smile and felt relief as additional security personnel appeared in transporter beams.  She briefed them and followed Luarek back inside the unit.  They had work to do and the Dominion to deny. 


  • I didn't expect a war on two fronts. This is getting good.

    May 17, 2023
  • Oooof, you really hit home with the dramatic irony of accepting Cardassian help. Using the very same weapons of the Bajoran Occupation as tools of liberation... what DOES that mean? Not only using them, but Laurek objectifies them. Is it collaboration or reclamation?? I'm not sure if that's more or less frightening than the idea of a Borg bed-time story. All I know is I can trust Okada to make the right call.

    May 19, 2023
  • Another great chapter from the Mack! The small talk between Luarek and Okada was touching, shows just how hard Okada has been pushing to complete this assignment before the Dominion shows up. And now, on top of an already bleak situation, we are dealing with separatists!? The Mack just gets better and better!

    May 20, 2023
  • Ahahahaha. From a Borg Cube in the room to a Galaxy Class. “There are similarities in our old stories. I always thought the shared themes were a feature of a shared consciousness in the greater universe.” Is Luarek Jung reincarnated? I love the idea of a collective universal unconscious. I'm a psych major and Philo masters, but the notion also groks with my personal spirituality.

    June 3, 2023