[USS Vanguard] A Prisoner of the Past

  • From: Jayne Deaux <jaynedeaux@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 22:07:24 -0800 (PST)

*  Desdemona & Co. *
*   Ferengi Ship   *
* during and after *
* all recent posts *

Desdemona blinked, not entirely comprehending her new
surroundings.  One moment, she had been on the bridge
of the Vanguard, about to warn Captain Santos of her
sense of danger.  Now she realized the warning was for

She looked at the faces of her Ferengi captors, two
just as stricken as her, and Halk grinning like a cat
who?d had a canary.

?What have you done!??  Tog gaped.

?Never mind,? Halk said, ?Zom, take us out of here!?

Zom, who had been staring with a kind of awe at the
infamous Desdemona, turned back to the controls
without a word and maneuvered the ship to safety.

?We?re out of range and cloaked,? Zom reported, ?We?ll
have to put in to a station soon for repairs.  Our
shields are nearly fried and our energy supply is

?We could have had all the trilithium we needed if
somebody--? Tog glared at his brother, ?Had kept his
priorities straight.?

Halk either ignored him or was oblivious; his eyes
were fixed on Desdemona and a placid smile lit his

Des, for her part, was calm.  She glared back at Halk,
her arms crossed over her chest.  Beneath her cool
exterior, her mind raced.  She would have to be quick
on her feet if she wanted to get out of this.  Rescue
was possible, but she couldn?t rely on it; it was
plausible that her crewmates would think she was in
cahoots with the Ferengi.  She would have to operate
under the assumption that she would have no outside

Halk approached her almost timidly, like a boy
crossing a room to ask a girl to dance for the first
time.  She stiffened, putting on her best ice-queen

?Welcome back, Desdemona.?

?Are you completely insane??  Her face was stoic. 

?That is precisely what I would like to know,?  Tog
jumped up and crossed over to his brother.  ?You
attacked their ship too soon.  You were never after
the trilithium!  All you wanted was this--female!?  He
practically spat the word.

?Desdemona is worth more to us than an entire shipload
of trilitium,? Halk said.  ?Have you forgotten how
valuable she was to us as a negotiator?  Have you
forgotten the mining colony on Sierus IV?  We earned
greater profits in the two years she was with us than
in the entire seven that have passed since you
jettisoned her into space!?

Tog glowered, but said nothing.  He knew his brother
was right, as much as he hated to admit it.
** 2 days later **

Desdemona sat in her old quarters on the Ferengi ship.
 In seven years, nothing in this room had been
changed; even her old clothes were still in the closet
where she had left them.  It was eerie to be back
again, in familiar surroundings but without comfort.

There was a chime at the door.  She didn?t answer.

Halk came in, head ducked, carrying a tray.  The force
field that surrounded her room reasserted itself after
his passing.  He placed the tray on a table and backed

Des didn?t move.  She wouldn?t even look at him.  Halk
felt his heart sinking, but he tried to smile anyway.

?Des, you gotta eat something.?

She was hungry; her last meal, days ago on the
Vanguard, had not been very substantial.  The food on
the tray smelled delicious; apparently they'd upgraded
the replicator since her departure.  She kept her eyes
on the floor.

Halk sat down opposite her.  ?You know, if you don?t
eat, you will pass out eventually.  When you do, we?ll
inject you with an intravenous nutrient.  You won?t
die; you?ll just be uncomfortable.  The only one
you?re punishing is yourself.?

Des said nothing, but she knew he was right.  Still,
she didn?t want to give in to her hunger, and give him
the satisfaction of winning even the smallest of

Halk pushed harder.  ?I programmed a whole bunch of
new recipes for you.  Enchiladas with beans and rice.?
 He removed a cover from her plate.  The aroma made
Des want to faint.  ?You said you liked that.?

She drew in a deep breath, and looked directly at him
for the first time since she?d been captured.  He
appeared to be genuinely concerned.

?Halk,? she said, ?I am your prisoner, not your guest.
 No matter how civil you are to me it won?t change

?We were friends once,? he said reproachfully.

?No,? Des looked away again, ?We were business
partners.  And you double crossed me.?

?That was all Tog?s idea,? he said quickly, ?Not mine.
 I only went along with it because he assured me you?d
be perfectly safe.  And I trusted that the pod you
outfitted would work.?

?It was a prototype,? Des snapped, ?We hadn?t even
tested it yet.?

?But it did work, and so did the virus, just like you
designed.  It worked like a charm, Desdemona!  You
should?ve seen the way it crippled that ship--if it
hadn?t been for the interference, everything would?ve
gone perfectly!?

?That pod was never intended for use in piracy.  I
built it for the Maquis.?
?It wasn?t piracy.  It was a rescue operation.?

Desdemona laughed despite herself.  ?And who told you
I wanted to be rescued??

?You can?t mean that you wanted to remain on board a
Federation ship.  It?s not who you are.?

?Halk,? she said, ?You don?t know the first thing
about who I am.?

?Neither, I suspect, do your new comrades.?  Halk
regarded her.  ?Do they know of your friendliness to
the Maquis?  Do they know about the mining colony on
Sierus IV??

Desdemona?s frown deepened.

?I thought as much,? Halk said.

?You?re pretty damn smart for a Ferengi.?

?Desdemona,? Halk said gently, ?I know who you are.  I
admire you for it.  If your Federation friends knew,
do you think they would still come for you??

She said nothing, wringing her hands absent-mindedly.

?You have a lot to think about.?  He rose, and walked
to the door.  ?I?ll leave you to it.?

After he left, Des picked up a the tray of food, and
began to eat.


OoC:  Kinda late and kinda long, here?s my latest.  To
be continued... possibly tomorrow...  I?ve been
picking up a lot of extra shifts lately at work so
I?ll have money for the holidays.

For the sake of clarity, there is no Sierus IV (that
I?m aware of) in the Official Star Trek Universe (tm)
(R) (etc.), it?s just something I made up.


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