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Lt. Trovek - Path of the Prophets - Epilogue

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((Rakantha Province, Bajor))

Arys didn’t know if the place Sileah had selected held any religious significance, but so far she had made a conscious effort not to question it. There was much that remained unsaid between mother and daughter, many questions that still demanded answers, and details that simply did not add up, but Lukin had reminded Arys that this was neither the time, nor the place for it. 

Sileah: I am glad you came. 

Arys gave a nod, letting her gaze drift over the fields that stretched out in front of them, sprinkled with patches of yellow and red flowers. And above the seedy heads of grain, the sky had cleared up. 

Trovek: What is this place? Why here? 

Her attention shifted to the older woman. The medical evaluation matched what Sileah had told her - that Aaron had taken over their sect, and that he had held her captive for months. She looked better than she had when Arys had found her, but was still only a shadow of her former self. 

Sileah: My family used to live here. Your grandparents. And your aunts and uncles. 

There was pain in the older woman’s voice, and Arys lowered her gaze. She knew that her mother’s family had been killed in the early years of the Occupation, and now she understood why Sileah had chosen this place. 

Trovek: Then he will be with family. 

Sileah nodded and carefully moved closer to Arys, giving her every opportunity to draw back. Her hand touched Arys’ shoulder, and the younger woman squeezed her eyes shut, refusing to let tears escape. 

Trovek: I just wish he would have given us a chance. 

But he hadn’t even been willing to allow them to live. Had Lukin, Tito and Ivin not intervened, Aaron would have disposed of Geleth. And if Sileah told the truth, he had been behind Taril Zantett’s death and behind Arys’ grandfather’s denial of it. 

Sileah: What I taught him didn’t help. 

The acknowledgment of her role in all of this surprised Arys. Sileah’s hatred towards anything Cardassian had certainly contributed to Aaron’s actions, but they had still been his actions. 

Trovek: It did not. 

She turned back to the vast stretch of fields beyond, trying to picture a house between the green and gold. If she closed her eyes, she could see fruit trees growing along one side of the house, Chickens wandering the yard and pecking at the dirt, and the sound of children playing in the distance. A very Terran fantasy, but one Arys indulged regardless. 

Trovek: I hated everything Bajoran. ::she admitted eventually:: 

Sileah: I know. You were always a rebellious child. 

‌Arys nodded. Disliking everything associated with the Bajoran culture of faith had been her way of acting out, and she remembered how much she had enjoyed getting a rise out of her mother when she refused to celebrate important holidays. 

But she also remembered how exhausting it had been to maintain this hatred, and how it had been the reason she hadn’t been willing to visit the temple with Geleth. 

Trovek: Geleth is fascinated by Bajoran customs. ::she paused, then added:: She will need someone to explain them to her. 

Sileah’s face lit up. Arys had told her that Lukin refused to let her see Geleth, at least for now.‌

Sileah: I would… like to meet her. I always wondered about Taril. 

‌Arys tilted her head and faced her mother. 

Trovek: The report said you left him to die of exposure. 

The older woman sighed and shook her head. She contemplated her answer before she spoke. 

Sileah: I left him at the edge of a settlement. I hoped they would take him in. I was only fifteen and… ::she shook her head:: … I was only fifteen. I didn’t know what else to do. ‌

Before Arys could stop herself, she reached out and took her mothers hand. ‌

Trovek: You did the right thing. He was… incredibly loved. He grew up in a good home, survived the war, married, and spent almost six years with his beautiful daughter. 

Sileah nodded sadly and squeezed Arys’ hand. 

Sileah: I wish he would have had more time with her. 

Trovek: Me too. We just… have to make sure she knows how loved she is. I am sure Lukin will allow you to see her. Eventually. 

Sileah: Thank you, Arys. ::she smiled:: I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t found me. 

Arys nodded. She had tried not to think about that, but every now and then the thought crept up regardless. Had anyone known, or cared, that her mother was locked up in that room? Had Aaron any intention to free her? Or would they simply have left her to rot. 

Trovek: Don’t thank me, really. I went to the temple and I just had that… thought. Of the door. That’s why I came. 

Sileah: The temple? You went to a temple? 

Arys nodded. She understood well why her mother was surprised. 

Trovek: Unity Temple. ::she paused, then added:: Jeni convinced me to go. 

The older woman blinked and tilted her head, much in the fashion Arys did when something puzzled her. 

Sileah: Jeni? 

Trovek: Yes, one of Aaron’s wives. I remembered her from when we were younger. She lived two houses down the road from us, we used to talk every now and then. 

Her mother still looked at her with an incredulous expression. 

Sileah: Arys, that can’t have been the same person. There was an explosion at a warehouse you kids liked to play at, do you remember? Jeni died. 

Arys did remember, and it was why she had been so surprised to see Jeni alive and well after all these years. She had been astonished at how the older Jeni looked exactly like Arys imagined her, and how she had said exactly what Arys needed to hear. 

For a moment, Arys said nothing. How could she put in words that nothing that had happened these past few days had made any sense, how she had intrusive thoughts she couldn’t explain, and how she had blindly trusted the guidance of someone who shouldn’t even be alive? 

Trovek: Oh. ::pause:: I guess it was someone else. 

‌She left it at that, unwilling to delve deeper into who it was she had talked to. There was something in her mother’s eyes, a spark Arys didn’t know how to interpret, but Sileah nodded and fell silent. ‌

Sileah: I think it's time. 

‌Arys nodded and knelt, picking up the wooden urn that held all that remained of Aaron. It wasn’t a traditional Bajoran funeral, and it was certainly not what the man had envisioned upon his passing. 

There were none of his wives and followers present, and not one worshipper had expressed desire to attend the funeral. There was no large gathering that celebrated his life, no expensive memorial people seek to visit in the future. 

His legacy had come to an end. ‌

Sileah took the urn and turned towards the fields, chanting a funeral prayer. The simple words were accompanied by a simple melody, repeating over and over. Her voice cracked and tears began to flow down the woman’s cheeks, and while Arys still felt strange about even this resemblance of Bajoran rites, her voice joined her mother’s eventually. 

The wind began to pick up, and as the urn was opened, Aaron’s ashes were carried across the fields, becoming one with the land. 

And despite all he had done, Arys hoped he had found peace. 


Lt. Trovek Arys 

Chief Medical Officer 

Starbase 118 Ops


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