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Toryn Raga: "Memory of the War"


Toryn Raga
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"I always loved the wind…

...until that mission on Telstrus 3."

 

Telstrus 3. 

 

A little known planet, in a little known, but strategically valuable part of the quadrant. It was a perfect staging ground for Dominion forces trying to push back against the Federation and Klingons. 

 

Kincaid looked at his lovely daughter sitting in front of him, the teen always curious to learn more about her dad's life before he retired from the Corps. 

 

"Spent about eight weeks in that little backwater durin' tha War," he said with a somber smile. 

His teenaged daughter, the lovely Human-Orion hybrid sat enraptured as she usually did when he told her stories. 

 

"You said you were all by yerself right, Paw?" She asked inquisitively. 

 

He gave her a nod and adjusted his Stetson on his brow a bit, pushing it up with one knuckle. 

 

"Yup. It were just me, ma phaser rifle and as much explosive as I could carry within reason. Had ta do what I could ta keep tha ghosts from gettin' ta some of our allies." Kincaid explained. 

 

He recalled to her, standing on a ridgeline, looking down at a valley below all covered with thick jungle like vegetation. A perfect place for invisible hunters to hide and wage guerilla warfare on the nearby Romulans. 

 

"Lots of wind in that valley, despite tha trees. Calmin' in a way." He reminisced. 

 

Elias looked to Tylana, gesturing with his only hand. "Ya see, tha Romulans had a base nearby, and they were musterin' fer a push back against tha Dominion on the planet. I was sent ta mine their backsides as it were ta make sure the Jemmies didn't get through."  

 

It had taken days of him moving carefully along the treeline, making sure to bury the explosives well enough so they would be hard to detect, but still be deadly. Each day he was greeted at the crest of the valley with the winds whipping about him. 

 

“I’d set up some traps in the jungle, just little thangs that would sound like sparrows. An old huntin’ trick. Since there weren’t no sparrows on Telstrus 3.” 

 

His daughter smirked at her father’s cleverness and listened to him as he continued regaling her with the tale she’d asked him to tell her. 

 

“And it would come in handy too, and much sooner than I’d have thought. I’d only been at it fer about three hours that day and I heard a sparrow from in tha jungle. Then another one.” 

 

“Was it animals?” She asked curiously. 

 

Elais shook his head, “I’d made sure ma alarms were only set ta go off if’n they picked up a lot of movement. Those cloakin’ fields the Jem’Hadar used couldn’t trip ‘em, but you get enough of them movin’ through the brush, making the leaves move and it’ll work just as well.” 

 

He recalled looking up frantically each time an alarm went off, getting louder and closer. While he buried another charge. It was too soon. The Jem’Hadar were supposed to be busy elsewhere, fighting the Romulans, not here sneaking into their backyard. 

 

“I didn’t have much of a choice, once I realized they were gettin’ closer. I’d already put tha last charge in tha ground, but I heard a sparrow about a yard or two off. I knew I didn’t have time ta get clear, so I knew I’d have ta blow the charges right then and there.” 

 

"Didja do it, paw?" She asked expectantly. A little worry showed on her face. 

 

Elias gave a slow nod and fell silent for a moment. 

 

"I did, and they were getting mighty close. I’d barely grabbed the detonator out of ma pack when I saw the leaves moving right in front of me. Got ta see one of the Jemmies up close and personal when he came through tha brush right for me.” 

 

It was a terrifying thing, seeing the faint distorted shimmer of a Jem’Hadar soldier as his cloaking disengaged and he rushed you to get close and personal for the kill. Elais hadn’t been able to reach his rifle before the ghost was on top of him. 

 

“Feller had be good, couldn’t get ta my phaser and I had ta grab him ta keep the blade from hittin’ me. Aint nothin’ ta do when I saw more bushes movin’ but ta set off the detonator.” 

 

Elias pushed the Jem’Hadar on him closer to the nearest charge and hit the detonator. The entire treeline erupted in a near simultaneous eruption that shook the ground, felled trees and sent unseen enemies flying all over. The sound was deafening and the pain was unbearable. Though his opponent had taken the full brunt of the nearest charge it wasn’t enough to spare him fully. He felt his arm and leg being tugged at before the pain became too much and his body forced him to stop feeling it for a moment. 

 

As the dust settled, carried on the breeze that blew down over the ridgeline, he stared up at the sky. 

 

"As I was lyin' there, missin' my arm and leg, the breeze caught up a bit. Since then, the wind just ain't felt right no more." 

The retired Marine shifted his old cybernetic leg a bit, the sound of hydraulics muffled by his denim jeans. He looked at his daughter who, silently, just reached out and hugged him. 

 

“It’s okay Paw. Don’t matter how much of ya there is, I love ya all tha same.” 

 

Elias reciprocated her embrace with his one arm and smiled, letting the tears that had been welling up from his memory of that day, flow freely. 

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