SEASON 3: EPISODE 04
TO DELIGHT IN THE INHUMAN WORD: Part Eleven
Jasis had returned to the silent treatment. She had received a report that a holodeck had come online on the ship and she had immediately ordered the Jem’Hadar searching the ship to make their way to the holodeck. The Jem’Hadar First had cautioned that it might be a trap so she had ordered the Jem’Hadar proceed on foot. If it was a trap the time taken to respond would discourage the enemy. They also would expect transporters to be used given the turbolifts were disabled and all it would take was a transporter scrambler and she would lose two Jem’Hadar.
As she waited for a report she went back to looking around Masters’ quarters and through his belongings. Daley had not tried to reengage her in conversation and was no doubt trying to figure out a way to escape. Jasis found herself by Masters’ bed and sat down on it. She glanced back at Daley.
“Do you want children with Jonathan?” Jasis asked.
“That’s none of your business,” said Daley hostilely.
“You do have a drive to sexually reproduce so it is likely you have at least thought about having offspring with Jonathan,” continued Jasis, ignoring Daley’s reply. “Do you enjoy sex with him?”
“Why? Only get to find out what it’s like through second hand knowledge?” replied Daley venomously.
Jasis smirked at the reply. Once again Daley had made the generalisation that since she was a clone sex was not something she would partake in. “I have had several sexual encounters. Sex can be a powerful weapon of diplomacy and espionage. Why do you think there are male and female Vorta?” she asked.
Jasis mind drifted back to some of her previous encounters; though they were her predecessors she had the memories so they were hers. She recalled the head of a planet’s defence forces who she had seduced and how she had stolen critical information on the planet’s defences and planned response while he slept. Or the influential minister who with sweet nothings into his ears while they shared a bed, she had swung the government’s votes towards a peaceful integration with the Dominion. She had to admit she found some of the mating rituals she had encountered to be interesting. However, in the end their use to her was only in how they could support her mission’s objectives.
“Does that mean Vorta have sex with each other?” asked Daley.
That question surprised Jasis. She had not expected that Daley would take that road. “Yes, obviously not for reproductive reasons. As you know we have no needs for family. It would only weaken our resolve to do the Founders’ bidding if we were tied to a biological necessity to procreate our species. Also to prevent undiplomatic situations the Vorta are sterile. We can’t breed together or with other species.”
“And you don’t think that’s a bit messed up? That the Founder’s don’t let you produce your own young. They don’t let you experience the joys of having a family. The feelings of companionship or the joys of raising a child. What type of gods would allow that?”
“The type of gods that know the follies of being solid,” she replied. “Gods that understand that with order comes sacrifice. The Founders will keep producing Vorta as long as we can serve them...if we cannot then we have no purpose. Life is nothing without purpose.”
“You’re all deluded,” muttered Daley shaking her head.
“What of the Bajorans? They believe in Prophets that live in the wormhole. Or the Klingons with their egotistically we’re mightier than our own gods? And you humans, with your heaven and hell? Are all these people deluded or just the ones that don’t agree with your particular view of the universe?”
Daley rolled her eyes and looked away from her. “I’m not going to have this argument with a Vorta.”
Jasis smiled. She was enjoying this, getting under the skin of Rachel Daley. She had yet to employ any type of torture that could wait. It was much more satisfying to mess with her mind before she brought in the physical dimension of the task. She preferred the mental and emotional pain over the physical. In truth there was only one person she cared about causing physical pain to. She would enjoy having Daley watch that as well.
“Back to your need to procreate,” Jasis said standing up from the bed. She walked towards Daley. “Unlike me you are human and you biology drives you to keep your species going. You behave in a fashion that would attract a mate you consider suitable. You allow such drives to distract you. It plays on your mind. Your profession does mean you maintain a healthy body, though it also increases the risk of an earlier death, which would increase your drive to have offspring sooner rather than later.” Jasis walked up to Daley lent down and closely inspected her face. “You care for your appearance in a fashion that would make you more attractive to other humans. You also appearance younger than your biological age would suggest, have you had work done?” she joked.
Jasis knew the answer to this question. Daley just continued to give her the defiant angry look that Jasis was now used to.
“The answer is yes. Does he know about it? That in your last mission with the Mobile Response Force on Stover Station you had a rather nasty run in with a grenade in an enclosed space. Severe burns to your face, skull and facial fractures...in fact half your face was missing,” she said as she ran her hand against Daley’s cheek. Daley pulled away but being cuffed to a chair limited how far she could go. “You required extensive facial reconstruction. It looks like your nice doctors took a few years off you. Do you think that helped you with Jonathan? Maybe with your original face you wouldn’t have got to share his bed.”
“I swear when I get out of this you I’m going to do a bit of facial reconstruction on you.”
Jasis laughed. Daley’s threats were empty. There was no way she could get free.
“I think I understand why you selected Jonathan as a mate. He has several attributes that would be appealing according to what I have learnt of your species. He is strong; he is in a position of power. He is physically attractive. I have not read of any significant genetic defect with his genes.”
“Got a bit of a crush?” mocked Daley.
Jasis leant close to Daley. “I must admit that experiencing something so intimate with him does have its appeals. We are so close already; there is already an intimacy between us. To have someone kill you from so close, it creates a bond.”
“You have issues,” hissed Daley.
Jasis knew that if she was only a few centimetres closer that Daley would likely take a chunk out of her face with her teeth. The marine’s arm muscles bulged as she again strained again her restraints. It was a futile gesture; all it did was damage her wrists and make the cuffs more uncomfortable. She briefly considered mentioning that but knew it would make no difference.
“So I’ve been told.” She straightened her posture. “In fact for that reason I should be dead.”
“You should complain to someone about that. If you free me I’ll right that problem for you.”
Jasis just smiled back. She knew that her smile was infuriating the young marine.
“My issues are why I should be dead. How much do you know about the Vorta?”
“You’re the evil henchmen of the Founders. You’re all egomaniacs and you all need to get the hell out of this quadrant.”
Jasis ignored her outburst and continued. “After the death of a Vorta their replacement is quickly activated. These clones are given the memories and personality of their line. As such the Vorta are required to frequently log brain and memory scans to update their template. To assist in that process given Vorta very rarely die right after an upload, we have an organic storage device in our brains that acts as a buffer.” She tapped a finger to her head. “It stores our memories from after our last upload. If the body is retrieved than the data is downloaded and integrated with the template. Of course there are instances where these organic chips aren’t recovered. That does leave a gap but the new clone is expected to try and fill as much of that gap as possible with second-hand, non-predecessor sources of information.”
“Does that mean you remember your deaths?”
“Generally, no. Those memories are excluded unless the Founders feel that the memory of the Vorta’s death to be essential to the successor. As these memories increase the odds of an irregular clone.”
“Irregular?” asked Daley.
“Defective clones that don’t match the normal specifications of what a Vorta should be.”
Jasis saw a spark of realisation in Daley’s eyes. “Let me guess, you’re one of these defective clones.”
“Exactly! My body was recovered...how; I won’t divulge we must keep some secrets between us. But I remember everything of my horrific death at the hands of Captain Masters. Do you know what my last memory is? It is of my body laying on the ground and Masters falling next to me. It is of staring into his eyes as the last of my life flows into the soil beneath me. And do you know what I saw?”
“I’m sure you’ll enlighten me,” said Daley with a sigh.
“I saw nothing,” she hissed. “No guilt. No remorse for what he did. He was looking into the eyes of the person he just murdered and he did not seem to care at all.”
“And that made you mentally unstable?”
“These memories,” she said pressing at the side of her head. “They consume me! They’re all I can think about! I no longer care about doing the Founders’ will. What is more important is that I fulfil my will.”
“To delight in the inhuman word,” said Jasis with glee.
Daley’s brow furrowed. “I have no idea what you just said,” she admitted.
“I’m talking about revenge.”
“So your here specifically to kill Jono?”
“Exactly! I’m here to avenge my death at his hands. I’m here to make sure he pays for his crimes against me.”
“And the Dominion is letting you do this?”
Jasis paused. “Not exactly. As I said I should be dead. Once it became apparent I was unstable a new clone was activated and I was to be killed. I wasn’t going to let it end there. I knew my replacement would not feel what I feel that they would correct their errors with my successor.”
“What do you call it?”
“Enlightenment! So I hid. I managed to get my hands on an inactivated clone and staged my own death.”
“How did you do that?” Daley said sounding interested.
“If they thought I was unstable I acted like it. I stole a ship, placed my doppelganger in it and operated the ship and clone via remote control. The Jem’Hadar blew up my ship, killing me. I was then free to plot my revenge. I managed to get in contact with my replacement and convince her to help me. Together we gathered information on this ship so that I could find the best opportunity to strike.”
“Wait, so those Jem’Hadar think you’re your successor?”
“They know I’m a Vorta and the order of things is that they follow our orders. But do they know I am defective? No, they have no idea,” Jasis confirmed.
“I could tell them you’re not.”
Jasis gave Daley an inquiring look. “Do you think they would believe you?”
“I guess not.”
“Now I’m here ready to end this but it seems your captain wants to be stubborn.”
“He can get like that at times.”
“He can indeed. No, matter he cannot have gone far...there is nowhere to go.”
Jasis paused as the door to the quarters opened and in stepped the first.
He bowed to Jasis. “Vorta, excuse the intrusion. We have lost contact with two of our Jem’Hadar,” reported the first.
“The third and the sixth. They were investigating the holodeck that became active. We have failed to hear any word from them nor have we detected any signs of them on the ship’s sensors.”
“They are probably shrouded,” Jasis said to dismiss the Jem’Hadar.
The first either did not recognise her tone or chose to ignore it. “The holodeck has now gone offline and they are still to respond to our hails.”
“You believe they are not responding because they are unable to?”
“Yes, rona’toran. I consider it highly likely they have been incapacitated,” he reported.
“So the holodeck was a trap.”
“It would seem so,” agree the first.
Jasis sighed. She had hoped all of the crew would have been disabled but this had definitely proved that this was not the case.
“Send a Jem’Hadar to their last known location. They are to discover if the Jem’Hadar are dead and report back. I don’t want to lose another Jem’Hadar without knowledge of what is going on down there.”
“It will be done, Vorta,” said the first before turning and exiting the room.
Jasis looked to Daley, who now had a smirk on her face.
“I wouldn’t get your hopes up, Major Daley. There is still a long way to go before anyone frees you or this ship.”
First Rebis’Fetra exited the quarters of Captain Masters and joined Fourth Corhan’ital in guarding the entrance.
He addressed the fourth, “We have lost contact with the third and sixth after they went to investigate a holodeck. You will go and investigate their disappearance.”
Fourth Corhan’ital straightened to attention. “As the Founders will, first. Would it not be more tactically advantageous to send more than just one Jem’Hadar?”
“You are just to discover the fate of the two missing Jem’Hadar,” repeated Rebis’Fetra. “You will be shrouded and you are not to engage any active members of this ship’s crew if you encounter them.”
“What if Captain Masters is with them?”
The first scowled. He did not appreciate having to give his orders more than once. “Am I not being clear, fourth? You are to go to the holodeck the third and sixth were to investigate and see if you can discover the fate of those Jem’Hadar. Do you understand?”
“Yes, first,” said the fourth.
From the fourth’s face it was clear that he did not truly understand the orders. Rebis’Fetra was asking the Jem’Hadar to deny his nature and not strike it the enemies of the Dominion. Despite this he expected the fourth to do as he was ordered.
“You will investigate the immediate area including the holodeck they were sent to check and you will notify me of what you find.”
The fourth nodded as he drank in the orders Rebis’Fetra gave him. Rebis’Fetra would prefer to send three or more Jem’Hadar but the Vorta had been clear with her orders: only one Jem’Hadar would be sent.
“I will not fail, first,” pledged the fourth.
Rebis’Fetra regarded his soldier. Fourth had trained hard but was yet to see battle. This mission he was specifically hindering fourth’s chances of fighting the enemy. However, Fourth Corhan’ital was a Jem’Hadar. He knew his place in the order of things. Rebis’Fetra knew that the fourth’s words were not idle. He nodded slowly. “I know you will not.”
The small group of still active Starfleet personnel had moved from the area near the holodeck on to a more secure location to a small storage room one deck below the holodeck. The marines had suffered casualties, with two dead. Tiki had ordered that they be safely stored out of sight until the situation was resolved. Two other marines had also been injured but they managed to get them to their current location.
As for Gloria they had told her to give them several minutes before switching herself off. They had hid the two bodies of the dead Jem’Hadar nearby. Tiki doubted it would give them much more time, once the Jem’Hadar failed to report to their commander the Jem’Hadar would rightly come to the conclusion members of the crew were still active. He just hoped that they would waste bit more time looking for confirmation before the Jem’Hadar did anything else.
Tiki knelt by Private Spearitt. The plucky private was a relatively new member to his platoon joining it with her sniper partner, Yel’tar, after his reorganisation of his company following their mission to Chin’toka. She was a small woman but Tiki knew she had to have strength, both physical and mental, or she would have never made it through her basic training.
“Sorry about leaving my position at the door, colonel,” offered Spearitt. “I should have held my position.”
“Don’t worry about it, Tessa.”
The look in her eye’s hardened. “I should have known that Salvatore was dead...the way he flew through the air...the way he landed. I should have noticed that a Jem’Hadar had killed him right next to me.”
“The Jem’Hadar are a very smart and skilful opponent,” said Tiki. “We were all fooled by them. I had no idea what was going on until one had attacked Yel’tar and shot you. They are every bit as well trained and skilled as any marine. How are your injuries?”
Spearitt glanced down to her armour. “It absorbed most of it. There was a bit of bleed through but I’m ready to go.”
“That’s good to hear.”
Tiki noticed that someone had moved next to him. He looked up to see the only medic in the group, Sergeant Calith. From the look he was getting from Calith Tiki knew that the corpsman wanted to talk to him away from Spearitt. Tiki stood and let Calith lead him from Spearitt.
“What is it?” asked Tiki.
“Yel’tar is awake. Not much damage that I can tell and he claims to be fine. He is a bit dazed but other than that he’s fine.”
Calith glanced over to the female marine. “See took a harder hit. There was a full breach of her armour and she took a hit. The medical systems are dealing with the damage but she’s in a lot more pain than she’s letting on. I don’t think you should put her in combat anytime soon.”
Tiki took in Calith’s suggestions. “Doc, I might have no choice.” He saw that Calith was going to give him a lecture about the health of his marine so he quickly cut him off. “I’ll do my best to keep her out of it.”
Vaguely satisfied Calith went to check on Spearitt. Tiki instead headed for Captain Masters. It was time for him to have the talk with Masters that the captain had to know was coming since the holodeck.
“So you know this Jasis?” asked Tiki as he sat next to Masters.
Masters nodded. “Yes, she he was leading a small force that were setting up a Dominion listening post on Caprius III.”
“That wasn’t in the report I saw,” stated Tiki.
“Some of the events have been classified. The Dominion presence on Caprius III was one of them. Sela captured Jasis when we attacked the post to add to her hostage tally.”
That was a name Tiki did recognise. Kristin Sela was the Starfleet lieutenant commander that had kidnapped Captain Masters while he was off the Swiftfire. Officially she was said to have suffered a mental breakdown, if the reports were to be believed.
“During our shared captivity Jasis attempted to sway Sela into taking Dominion help to get her off the planet,” Masters paused. “So I killed her to prevent Sela and me from falling into Dominion hands.”
“That explains why she specifically wants to chat with you,” commented Tiki. “That makes things more complicated if there’s a personal stake in this.”
“You think it’s personal?” asked Masters surprised.
Tiki gave Masters a look to say he had to be naive. “She had a message specifically for you that included killing your crew. She wants you to hurt...this is probably going to get very messy.”
“It doesn’t sound very Vorta-like,” commented Masters. Despite what he said from the look on Masters’ face Tiki saw that he had the same feeling.
“Well, at least we know what we’re up against...generally,” stated Tiki. “We have to be going to a Dominion base and given we’ve been at warp for well over an hour we can’t have much time left before this ship will be overrun with Jem’Hadar. I think the best thing we can do is get this ship to impulse to buy us more time to take back this ship.”
Masters nodded. “It would also allow someone to find us and catch us if we’re not at high warp. The problem is we need a way to signal someone to where we are if Stark’s opinion on the sensor jamming is correct. As far as we know no one even knows the Swiftfire has been captured by the enemy.” Masters glanced around and called over the Trill engineer, Dyson.
“Dyson, do you think you can hack into the communications system and get a message out?”
Dyson shook his head. “I’ve already attempted it once before but it’s locked out. I’d need to be one the bridge or engineering to have any chance.”
“The shuttles are also out of the question due to the jamming stopping signals from leaving the ship,” said Tiki. “Sneaking a signal out is probably impossible.”
“Letting this ship stay in Dominion hands is out of the question. I know you said we don’t have the explosives to blow this up but what about the torpedo stores?” asked Masters.
Tiki shot down that suggestion. “Torpedo storage is hard enough to gain access to when the ship isn’t under enemy control. They’re probably far more secure than the bridge,” he said with all seriousness. As joint head of ship security he knew the ship well.
“How about a flare?” asked Dyson.
“A flare?” said Tiki and Masters in unison.
“Yes, we light up something that will be seen from a long way away,” explained Dyson.
“I’m no engineer but aren’t we talking of some pretty hefty distances?” asked Tiki. “By the time any light reaches someone friendly we’ll be long gone. Plus who is going to notice one more little point of light in the sky?”
Dyson nodded and shook his head at the same time, which only served to confuse Tiki more. “Yes but that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about an explosion. A really big one. Not like the ship exploding,” said Dyson looking at Tiki. Tiki wondered if Dyson was part Betazoid as well because he was about to comment that blowing up the ship would make a bit of a flash. “I’m thinking dozens of high yield torpedoes.”
“The bridge is taken and so is engineering,” said Masters. “How do we launch them?”
“Didn’t the Jem’Hadar manage to launch a couple of torpedoes from the rear pod when they last boarded us?” asked Tiki.
Dyson nodded again. “There’s a control room in the pod where we can launch the torpedoes from.”
Masters did not look satisfied with that answer. “You’ll only be able to launch two or three before the bridge would stop you. It would also give your position away and they would be able to seal you in that section,” said Masters.
“What if we blew it up before we launched them?” asked Tiki.
Masters shook his head. “It would take out the back end of the ship; maybe even rip the entire ship apart.”
“Actually that might not be a bad idea,” said Dyson.
“I know I said we don’t want the Dominion to keep the ship but let’s try at least make one attempt to regain control before we blow her up,” said Masters.
Dyson shook his head as if that was not what he was talking about. “The rear pod has a safety system; if there is a problem with the torpedo storage the computer will jettison the pod from the ship to safeguard the vessel. Now, if we can force such a problem the ship’s computer will get rid of the pod and then we have it explode. It would be away from the ship and it would be a big signal to where we are or at least were.”
“Wouldn’t that mean we have to sacrifice the team in the pod?” asked Masters.
Dyson smiled widely. “Not if we have a group in the shuttlebay. The team in the pod sets up the problem and then a team on the Darling can beam them to safety.”
“A transporter is a pretty high energy device. Wouldn’t that get noticed?”
“Not if we set it to make a slow transport we should be able to keep it from making a noticeable energy spike. Plus some minor sensor interference should further mask it. That does mean that we talking about a transport that could take upwards of fifteen seconds, which isn’t good if you need to be evacuated immediately from somewhere.”
“How will you detect us with our bio-dampeners?” asked Tiki tapping the device he wore high on his arm.
“Offset them slightly. It will give you a bio-sign of say, a rat.”
“Won’t the Jem’Hadar notice?”
“They won’t be doing an intensive life-sign search. They’re looking for humanoid readings and the computer will automatically filter out anything that can’t be a humanoid, so your rat signals won’t get noticed unless they decide to go rodent hunting.”
“What if you lock onto actual rats?” asked Tiki.
“Not possible. We don’t have any,” assured Dyson. Tiki gave him a ‘are you sure’ look. “We regularly check for infestation of wildlife on the ship. You never know when you might pick up something from transported cargo or a hitchhiker that stowed away in the bags of someone returning to the ship. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. We do have a pair of pet rats but unless they’ve escaped and have somehow got past the biological barrier of both being male we won’t have an infestation to get confused about, so I don’t think it should be a problem.”
Dyson sounded confident to Tiki. He seemed to believe that it was all possible, which was at least a promising start.
“Couple that with a plan to drop us to and keep us at impulse with minimal casualties to the crew and we have a plan,” said Masters.
“What about damaging the nacelles?” asked Tiki. “Or destroying them...separating them from the ship.”
Tiki might ben a marine but he knew enough about warp travel to understand that warp fields were maintained by the ship’s nacelles. Without the field the ship would not be able to travel at warp, so that made the nacelles an obvious target.
Dyson nodded. “Cut the power to sustain or even create a warp field and we’re not going to get anywhere fast. I like it.”
“The only problem is we don’t have the explosives to rupture enough of the hull to take both off,” said Tiki.
“We do if we use the self destruct?” said Masters. “There are explosives scattered around the ship to help reduce it to atoms. There should be some near the nacelles or in their pylons.”
“There are some in the pylons,” clarified Dyson. “If we detonate them it would weaken the hull enough that the warp shear might tear them off. A bit of help from your explosives would only shorten those odds.”
Tiki looked at Masters who nodded. It seemed like this was the plan they were going to be working on. Tiki called over Lee and Stark.
“Looks like we have a plan to keep this ship out of the Dominion’s hands,” he explained to the two other marines and gave a quick rundown of the plan. “We’ll need four teams. Two to set up explosives, one in the shuttlebay and one in the rear pod. Obviously Dyson will need to be on the team that goes into the weapons pod. Stark, do you think you can handle things from the shuttlebay?”
Stark gave him a hesitant nod. “If the lieutenant can give me some tips on keeping the transporters off the internal sensors I should be fine,” said Stark gesturing to Dyson.
“Good. Lee, you can take a team to set up the explosives.”
Lee nodded silently. Tiki could see that Lee was still worked up over the deaths of members of his squad in the holodeck. Tiki knew that what Lee really wanted to do was to hunt down the Jem’Hadar and give them some of their own medicine, but he was a professional soldier and knew how to follow orders.
“I’ll take the other nacelle pylon,” offered the captain.
Tiki once again gave the captain a displeased look. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
“You only have nine marines and that’s counting you as well as the two marines injured in the holodeck. You need all the help you can get.”
“Ten people over four teams won’t make much difference,” he pointed out, hoping Masters would accept that but knowing he would not.
“You have twelve.” Tiki gave Masters a confused look. Masters pointed behind him and Tiki turned to see who he meant.
“You can’t be serious?”
“Given the situation I’ve very serious. I’ll lead a team with G’Ethza, Thopok and Mon’kor and we’ll set up the explosives in the other pylon. That means you can have three teams of three.”
“Do any of you have an experience with explosives?” asked Tiki.
“I do. I did an advanced course during my Advanced Tactical Training. G’Ethza works with the torpedo launcher systems...”
“She does? She does!” said Dyson excitedly. “Put her with my team in the rear pod. With her help it should make the job easier.”
“I’ll put a marine in your team as a replacement. I’ll feel a bit better if you at least have one of us with you.”
Masters smiled in agreement.
“We’ll be in small groups, easier to pick off,” pointed out Stark. “What if the teams in the nacelle and pod get taken out?”
“Destroy the ship,” said Masters.
“If you detonate the Darling’s warp core and say the cores on one or two other fighters you’ll do enough damage to make this ship unsalvageable,” said Dyson.
“On that cheerful note let go through this plan again,” said Tiki. “Timing is going to be critical to the attack and a lot can go wrong. We need to be prepared as best we can.”