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Zorkal/Trovek - Path of the Prophets - Decisions

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((Bajor, Raijalla Valley))

Lukin had to admit, Bajor was beautiful. Oh it would never hold the same place in his heart as Cardassia, but it was easy to see why Cardassians so greatly desired to conquer it, and the benefits they would reap. And yet, he also knew the damage they had done.
Looking at the scenery before them, there was no visual representation of all the ways the Occupation had affected the planet, but there were hints here and there in various ways still present in the culture and peoples of the planet. 

But Bajor had survived the Occupation, and she was as beautiful as ever. The people had survived the Occupation and were stronger for it. And Cardassia? It too would grow stronger, and without the sins of the past repeated, if he could do anything about it. In that moment, he wondered what it would be like to simply start walking and not stop, to wander among those flower studded fields, Arys’ hand in his on one side, Geleth’s on the other. It was a nice thought. Perhaps he would do so. 

But not yet. No, there was still much to do - at least, a lot of rubbing elbows. A moment could be taken, stolen, and it was that moment that Lukin took with Arys, who was trying to figure out if, since the Gala was not a mandatory event, she was attending as Lukin’s partner or as part of Taybrim’s crew, and if she was to wear a dress or her dress uniform. 

Zorkal: Are you ready?

Trovek: Far from it. 

Makeup and hair were done, and would match both dress and uniform perfectly. It even fit to the robe she was still wearing. By contrast, he was actually ready, a suit of dark grey and deep green, the panels of the former overlaid on panels of the latter, and a silver belt clasped around his waist. 

Zorkal: You could simply go like that. 

He didn’t mind at all that she only had a robe on. In fact, he wouldn’t have minded removing said robe. Likely, though, it would be rejected as it really was neither the time nor the place…well, it wasn’t the time. 

Trovek: Very funny. ::she rolled her eyes:: But there is still time. And well, I was distracted. 

Arys glanced at the chrono, and indeed, there was time yet. She motioned for him to sit down on the bed next to her, and he did so. She hadn’t mentioned Jenis’ warning to Lukin, but she had taken action. A message had been sent to Aaron, essentially uninviting him, and another to Ferri, requesting her to change her plans and watch Geleth instead. 

Lukin followed and sat down, waiting for her to explain herself. 

Zorkal: By what? 

Arys hesitated. The one moment the answer was on the tip of her tongue, the other it was gone entirely, leaving only a bitter taste to remind of it. She stood behind her decision, but she was ashamed to have brought her family here, only to back out now. 

Trovek: Truthfully, I suppose I am asking for your forgiveness. 

She lowered her gaze, and a frown furled over the corners of Lukin’s mouth. As far as he knew, she’d done nothing that required forgiveness. Had something occurred? Had she made a decision that would affect him and Geleth without asking? 

Zorkal: Why? 

Trovek: I know how much family matters. I know how privileged I am to have a brother who is alive. And that I shouldn’t throw that away. 

Family. It was the most important thing to Cardassians, save for Cardassia itself. The family unit was generally forged with a strong bond. Men and women would weep over lost children, a matter of life on a harsh world that didn’t always have the resources it needed to support its people. It was an interesting contrast to the idea that while marriage could be for love, it was often for other reasons, and yet there was still that loyalty to the family that went beyond what others might expect from Cardassians. 

Lukin had lost his family. His mother, father, aunts and uncles, siblings and cousins were nothing but a distant memory. 

Zorkal: Arys, I’m not quite sure I know what you mean. 

She looked up at him and took his hands. 

Trovek: Something tells me it’s… ::she paused, and decided to start from the beginning:: I had offered Aaron to watch Geleth this evening… under supervision, of course but while we were at the market, one of his wives sought me out. She warned me. She said that he is exceedingly good at knowing what to say. And it’s true. He always has been. 

And maybe that was what was bothering Lukin as well. Arys had already stated that Aaron had said the right things’ and then asked to see Geleth. What was the motivation? Was it truly altruistic? Was it really because Geleth was part of the family? 

Zorkal: That makes him dangerous.

His hands tightened their grip on hers a little, and she nodded. 

Zorkal: So what do you wish to do?

Trovek: I… want to be careful. I don’t think I would want him to meet Geleth, or you. ::she paused:: Not yet. Maybe never. Maybe being as far away from his as possible is the best course of action. 

That was unexpected. Lukin had thought that Arys was on a mission to save her brother, but now she seemed uncertain. 

Zorkal: If that is what you wish. 

If it disappointed him, or if it displeased him, he didn’t say, and Arys was grateful for his support.
She squeezed his hands and got up again. 

Trovek: If anything, I feel more guilty about telling Ferri she has to watch Geleth. I think she quite enjoyed spending time with the Ensigns. ::she smiled:: I’ve never seen her so chatty before. 

Zorkal: Then perhaps we shall invite them over along with her and she can chat more with them there. 

But while they were on Bajor, Geleth would either accompany him, Arys, or Ferri. Since the gala had diplomatic implications, Lukin was not inclined to miss it. Arys was a part of the crew who had been invited, so she could not miss it. 

Trovek: I suppise you’re right. ::she sighed:: Well, let’s get ready. 

Zorkal: I am already ready. I can not say the same about you. 

Though he personally rather liked her with the robe. Even better without it.

She tilted her head and took off the robe, tossing it onto the bed. 

Trovek: Could go like this. 

Zorkal: My dear, as much as I would greatly enjoy taking advantage of your current condition, we are expected at an event and it would reflect poorly if we were not to show up. And I guarantee that I would not allow you to show up in such a state, no matter how glorious it may be.

In truth she was, of course, not planning on going like… that. She turned and picked the dress uniform from the table. She would have preferred something else, after all, she was there as Starfleet Officer. 

Zorkal: I find that infinitely more appropriate. I will relieve you of it later. 

Trovek: Sometimes I wonder if you even still love me. ::she pouted, but wasn’t all too serious about it:: We haven’t had a real argument in ages. Stop being so agreeable and supportive, I hate it. 

Zorkal: I could order you not to go to the gala, but that would be counter productive. I’m sure we’ll find some reason to disagree sooner rather than later. But if you would do something about your attire, otherwise we may never reach our destination. 

There was a slight quirk at one corner of his mouth, just a hint, and then it grew a little wider. Rarely, if ever, were his features ever fashioned into an exuberance that others wore, but for him, his smiles to Arys and Geleth, born of sincere love and devotion, even if he might not admit it to others beyond that carefully cultivated circle, were a Cardassian defined level of joy.. 

Arys decided that yes, it was time to get dressed, and did so. Now clad in her fancy uniform she walked up to Lukin, moved a hand to the side of his face, on her lips a somewhat condescending smile. 

Trovek: It’s adorable when you think you’re in charge, my lizard. 

Zorkal: It’s amusing that you think I’m not.

Lukin chuckled softly, then pressed his warm lips against her forehead, one hand sliding around her waist. 

Zorkal: Shall we?

Trovek: We shall. 

She nodded, and together they left for the Gala. Flirtatious mood aside, Arys was still worried. To someone on the outside, Aaron’s reaction to the withdrawal of his invitation had been cool and collected, supportive of her decision even if a little disappointed. 

But Arys had seen something in his eyes, a glimmer of something that was neither supportive nor disappointed. 

Had reconnecting with him been a mistake? 


Lt. Trovek Arys
Chief Medical Officer
Starbase 118 Ops


Dalin Lukin Zorkal
Cardassian Ambassador
Starbase 118 Ops


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