Posted on October 6th, 2006 by T'Kirr
T’Kirr entered at Dugahn’s soft answer. Her eyes found him sitting serenely in the chair next to the desk, a glass of something dark in his hand.
“Thank you for coming, T’Kirr. I would have asked you to join me in the lounge, but I’ve been asked to remain in my quarters, as you know.” Dugahn gestured with a hand toward the neatly-made bed, indicating for her to sit. “Tea?”
A small motion of her head gave him her assent, along with her implied appreciation, as T’Kirr approached the bed and sat down to face him. “You must understand, Admiral Blackthorne doesn’t know you as well as I do. He’s simply being cautious until we can resolve this issue.” She watched as Dugahn reached behind him and took a pitcher from the desk, poured a glass full, then topped off his. He set the pitcher down and handed her the glass.
“Of course. I would expect nothing less. It’s best if I’m not in the way while the investigation is conducted.” Dugahn took a sip of his tea.
T’Kirr sniffed at her glass, then tasted it. A little too sweet for her liking, but it would do. T’Kirr recalled Blackthorne’s words to her days before. She had, in so many words, accused him of being jealous of Dugahn. He had assured her his feelings of wariness against Dugahn were accurate, and had asked her to trust him. T’Kirr had agreed to be watchful of anything unusual, yet she had seen nothing but the most characteristic qualities in Dugahn since–qualities she had for some time found admirable. If he had any motive other than helping the crew in their latest mission, it was to grow closer to her.
“Your assistance on this mission is appreciated. Although, Jacob Morris appears to be less paranoid than you implied he was.”
Dugahn’s eyes took on a momentary glaze. “Yes, he seems to have changed somewhat since I last met him. Humans can be… unpredictable. I admit, I didn’t expect him to be won over so easily. Admiral Blackthorne is quite resourceful.” He took a swallow of his tea.
T’Kirr thought Dugahn’s words seemed suddenly rather thoughtful. He seemed distracted when she went on to speak of less pertinent matters. She supposed Blackthorne thought Dugahn was responsible for the sabotaged weaponry. He would probably take Dugahn’s current repressed state as suggestion of his being guilty of the crime. T’Kirr didn’t know if Shelev thought Dugahn was to blame as well, but by his acid looks in Dugahn’s direction lately, she figured she had misjudged the Andorian, as she had originally thought him to have overcome past mistrust between their two races. Shelev just didn’t like him. T’Kirr knew Dugahn better than they did. His current sullen mood was probably just related to his sense of failing in his duty to accurately profile Jacob Morris.
Sickbay had been calm since releasing the burn victims from Morris’s ship. Some had been in since then for follow-up treatment, sure, but the incident Dr. Airell had said involved sabotage was Alex Nolan’s first emergency since being stationed aboard Atlantis.
Nolan was going over the event in his mind, criticizing his response time and his methods of treatment, when the door swished. T’Kirr walked into Sickbay, looking uncharacteristically tired, and sat up on the nearest biobed.
“Ah, Commander, not feeling well? What seems to be the problem?” Nolan inquired while grabbing up a medical tricorder and walking over to her.
T’Kirr put a hand to her temple and rubbed gently. “I’m having trouble staying alert.”
Nolan flipped open the tricorder, raised it towards the Vulcan’s head, and performed a basic scan. “Well, I don’t see anything serious, but your neurotransmitters are a little off. I recommend just sleeping it off, unless you need a stimulant.”
T’Kirr’s hand had moved to the back of her neck. She blinked groggily. “No, my shift is over. I’ll just sleep early.”
Nolan eyed T’Kirr, thinking. It wasn’t like a Vulcan to come to Sickbay just for feeling a little tired. “Tell you what, I’ll take a blood sample and do some tests, just to make sure.” He retrieved a sample tool, then added while pressing it to T’Kirr’s neck, “Doctor Airell will be here in the morning. Come see her if you’re not feeling more rested.”
“I appreciate it,” T’Kirr craned her neck to the side, as if shrugging off the feeling of having her blood drawn, “Thank you, doctor.”
“Anytime,” Nolan smiled, watching as T’Kirr slid off the biobed and slowly walked out the door.
Makkra dust had done its part, and now, it was time to do his. The corridor was clear. In one subtle motion of his hand, the small card was attached to the flat panel. His singular hearing picked up the distant approach of someone far off beyond the curve of the passageway. It wasn’t yet twenty hundred hours. Clasping his hands behind him, he was an innocent figure, waiting at someone’s door. A female crewmember came into view, meeting his eyes only briefly in greeting, then walked on by. Moments passed after she had disappeared, well out of her earshot, before there was a small click, and the door slid obediently open before him. He retrieved the card from the door panel before stealing into the forbidden darkness of T’Kirr’s quarters.
He moved silently across the carpet, a shadow slipping through the room and into the next. The door to the hallway closed, its soft ‘swoosh’ seeming an alarm compared to the silence that followed. There, in the bedroom, was the one he sought, sound asleep in her bed.
Dugahn was frustrated. It never should have to come to this. The box was supposed to have incinerated itself. Nothing was supposed to be left but ash. It should have never been connected to the sabotage for what it was. He wouldn’t have to do this if they had just cut their losses and left well enough alone.
Kneeling into the carpet next to the bed stand, he looked down over her, the peaceful form completely unaware of his presence. Thanks to a sprinkle of the special herb in the bottom of her glass, she would not easily wake. Despite his misgivings, excitement coursed through him, the anticipation of what he was about to do filling his being, sharpening his senses. He was alert and ready. It was a shame this would be the end. There was nothing he could to do change it now, however, so he would have to make the most of this now.
Slowly, ever patiently, Dugahn extended a hand up and over the swell of the bedspread created by its occupant. One by one, the tips of his fingers made contact with the pliant skin of T’Kirr’s face. He was committed–there was no going back. With sudden force, the onslaught began, pushing forward with relentless purpose. T’Kirr’s eyes snapped open.
She was too late. He had already slipped through her relaxed defenses and seized control. He could feel her feeble attempts to banish him from her mind, but it was like trying to right a brick wall from under a battering ram. Even if she rebuilt the wall brick by brick, it would be compromised, until he found what he was looking for and let go.
While Dugahn had expected resistance, as she continued to awaken, he wasn’t quite prepared for the violence with which she fought. T’Kirr clamped a hand around his wrist, but he was stronger. He brought his other hand up to the other side of her face, reinforcing his hold, while he tunneled after his goal, searching.
Her mind was flooded with thoughts of betrayal. Dugahn ignored it. He suddenly came upon what he was looking for, shrouded in secrecy, and snatched it easily from its hiding place. It had been too easy.
“I can, and I will.”
“I know what you’re going to do! I know everything!”
Dugahn cursed under his breath in Orion. In his haste to retrieve the access codes, he had failed to shield himself properly. Then, the situation suddenly came to him as an opportunity. “If you know it all, then you must see why I’m doing this. You must see that I follow the only logical course of action.”
T’Kirr struggled in his grip. “I trusted you. Why can’t you see what you’re doing is wrong? You can’t possibly think you’ll get away with this!”
Dugahn resigned himself to what he had to do. “It doesn’t matter what you know. You won’t be telling anyone. You and I, T’Kirr… we could have had so much more… but you must understand, I have no other choice.”
Dugahn’s hands trembled with exertion, and he lashed out at her consciousness. She tried to scream, but he blocked the motor impulse before it could leave her mind. Her back arched with the overwhelming pain, but it wasn’t long before she went limp, her grip around his wrists loosening as she fell unconscious. Dugahn let go, panting as he rose to his feet. Yes, it would be a shame to never see her again.
His mission was all that was important, now. She didn’t understand it because her logic was flawed. No, it would have never worked between them. He could see that, now. She would have never been good enough for him. Things had worked out for the best.
As Dugahn stood in the darkness a few moments to compose himself, he went through the information in his head again, committing it to memory. Then, as quietly as he had come, he crept out the bedroom and across the living area, and walked nonchalantly out the door.