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 Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]

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Ilana Telak
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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:46 pm

Ilana smiled fondly at the thought of her mother. She had picked up on Nelkar's slip, but also knew that the expression on his face suggested that he wouldn't want to go into detail about it. She may not have been brought up in the Union, but she had heard quite a few horror stories about its military personnel. She didn't want to pry. Instead, she continued on what seemed to be a more comfortable subject.

"I once t-t-took a m-male h-h-home t-to th-th-the c-c-colony. Sh-sh-she w-was overjoyed," the young Cardassian said in an amused tone, before she fell silent for a moment, considering his question about Starfleet. "I owe th-th-them m-m-my l-life."

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Nelkar Epath
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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:40 pm

Nelkar's face didn't return to its previous neutral state for several minutes after Ilana continued talking. He didn't like looking at his past all that much- it just tended to depress him. It wasn't as though what the doctor was saying brought him any joy- in fact, there was something mildly repulsing about a cardassian in debt to starfleet.

He'd have to note all this in his next report to the obsidian order.

"I'm going to assume they saved yours, somehow," he said with an air of distrust.

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Ilana Telak
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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:48 pm

Now it was Ilana's turn to look distinctly uncomfortable as the conversation turned to her debt to Starfleet. She stayed quiet for a moment, concentrating on the regular movement of her hand with the dermal regenerator.

"Y-y-yes, th-they d-d-did. T-t-twelve y-y-years s-s-stuck in s-s-space in a d-d-dilapidated c-c-cargo f-freighter after m-my c-c-colony f-fled B-B-Bajor. M-m-many of us d-d-died. I w-w-would h-have, if th-th-they h-had b-been j-j-just a f-few d-days l-l-later."

_______________________________

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:55 pm

Twelve years.

Nelkar couldn't even imagine being subjected to that kind of confinement. That was quite a thought, too, considering his own lengthily career and list of trials and torments that he'd had to face.... even at the hands of his own people. There was a part of him that wanted to frown at the concept of fleeing Bajor... and there was, but despite the mindsets of the majority of the Union, Nelkar wasn't privy to the school of thought that dictated all traitors and their families of deserving death.

"That is unfortunate." Though bluntly stated, there was an edge of softness to his voice. Perhaps it was the painkillers or a bit of homesickness, but Nelkar didn't have the energy to be as scathing-tongued as he would have been on the bridge of his own ship.

"I suppose the Federation intervened, and that is why you're here."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:29 pm

Nelkar Epath wrote:
Twelve years.

Nelkar couldn't even imagine being subjected to that kind of confinement. That was quite a thought, too, considering his own lengthily career and list of trials and torments that he'd had to face.... even at the hands of his own people. There was a part of him that wanted to frown at the concept of fleeing Bajor... and there was, but despite the mindsets of the majority of the Union, Nelkar wasn't privy to the school of thought that dictated all traitors and their families of deserving death.

"That is unfortunate." Though bluntly stated, there was an edge of softness to his voice. Perhaps it was the painkillers or a bit of homesickness, but Nelkar didn't have the energy to be as scathing-tongued as he would have been on the bridge of his own ship.

"I suppose the Federation intervened, and that is why you're here."


Having finished the regeneration of the majority of Nelkar's face and neck, she moved on to the shoulder area, peeling back the remnants of uniform that remained clinging to the burned skin as she went.

"Y-y-yes, th-th-they intervened, and f-f-found us a p-p-planet t-t-to establish a c-c-colony on. It w-w-was t-t-to h-hot f-for h-human h-h-habitation, b-but p-perfect f-for us. It w-was th-th-the c-c-commanding officer of th-the s-starship th-th-that r-rescued us wh-who r-r-recommended m-me t-t-to th-the Academy." Her voice was quiet as she spoke, remembering the dark days after the starship's first officer, on an inspection of the cargo vessel, had first stepped through the doors and seen the group of Cardassians.

Ilana seemed to shake herself out of those thoughts, continuing her treatment of her patient. "Wh-wh-what b-b-brought y-you t-t-to S-Starfleet?"

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:58 pm

Nelkar ignored the unpleasant sensation of detaching his uniform from his seared scales and skin. The painkillers had it bearable, but it wasn't something to dwell on. He decided to over-listen to Telak instead. A small part of him suggested that he could activate the small implant he had to take the rest of the discomfort away, but his superiors would frown upon such petty use of the device. A few years among humans weakens Gul Epath to the point to flinching at *plamsa burns*. Pathetic. With that thought left the notion of activating it.

What he did decide was that his ire at Telak for joining starfleet held no water, regardless of his affiliations. She had nothing to do with defection and everything to do with being given a better life than whatever hell-hole she'd lived through. Nelkar blamed her father more for putting her in that situation indirectly, or so he figured.

He was about to comment on her story when she'd turned his questions around on him. Lying came easily to him for this- he'd been trained to a very specific story and would stick to it every time.

"Difficult to believe as it may be, I found the path of the Union unacceptable and had decided to join Starfleet, where I could better serve my time rather than watching the remnants of Cardassia drive itself into the ground." He let on nothing about his previous service history, which was classified information anyway.

"I defected."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:22 am

Defection? That wasn't a very common occurrence in the Union, despite her own background. Maybe it had been the all-knowing power of the Obsidian Order who had ensured that no Cardassian ever thought about defecting. She could remember her father doing everything that he could in order to ensure that the Order wouldn't be able to track what he was planning.

"And y-y-you d-d-decided t-to c-c-continue a m-military l-l-life, even th-though y-you d-d-didn't h-have to?"

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:56 pm

Telak's response had carried the level of confusion and curiosity that he would expect from the answer he'd given. This indicated, to him, that she'd swallowed the line he's thrown for this particular issue. This was all the better for him- he didn't need anyone digging to deep at him.

He managed a mirthless laugh. "As I said... avoid making it your career. It's all I've ever known, and I had nothing else to do that starfleet would consider... useful."

Starfleet was putting him through the wringer anyway. They wanted him to provide them with sensitive information beyond what he already had shared- and that didn't sit well with him or the Obsidian Order.

"So, I am here. Whether it is a good thing or not debatable, but it's now my life."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:21 pm

It was interesting to listen to how different a Cardassian could be compared to those she had grown up with. All throughout her youth, until her mid-teens, she had seen Cardassians that were beaten and broken down but driven by a desperation to find a new home. While the one lying on her biobed also had a somewhat defeated air to him, he was somehow so much stronger in presence. It was something to admire.

She felt almost sorry for him, that he felt trapped in his military role, but she didn't voice it. She knew enough about her own people to know that such an expression would likely just offend him.

"C-c-could y-you n-not l-leave? T-take on a c-c-civilian r-role? I kn-know th-th-that m-my c-c-colony w-would w-welcome s-s-someone w-with y-y-your s-skills."


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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:08 am

Nelkar took a moment to stare at the ceiling and appear to contemplate her words. Obviously, there was no use in him vaguely considering that path- he wasn't truly a defector and thus had no use for a civilian role outside of a structure he was assigned to observe.

Still, it was a whimsical idea to toy with, if for a moment.

His expression turned into a frown, however, when he realized her still needed to offer a response. "If I were forty years younger and a good deal freer, then that might hold some weight for me. As it stands... I'm afraid I have rutted myself in my ways," he explained.

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:17 am

Ilana actually looked a little disappointed that Nelkar thought that he wasn't able to leave military service and assume a civilian role again. She offered him a faint smile, continuing with her treatment in silence for a moment.

"I... I've n-n-never r-r-really m-met anyone of our k-k-k-kind, outside of th-th-the c-c-colonists."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:05 pm

"You haven't?"

Nelkar was surprised. Then again... she probably hadn't been alive for the Dominion war, or at least, she hadn't been old enough to be effected much by it in terms of meeting her own people. The older Cardassian almost pitied her. Maybe she could have made it back to the Union if she hadn't been stuck the way she had.

He was beginning to feel uncomfortable- and it wasn't just the dermal regeneration. He'd already been laying down for a very long time, and with half his uniform singed off, he was getting very cold. Blasted starfleet ships.

"Would it be possible to increase the temperature in here?"

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:18 pm

Ilana jumped slightly at the surprise in Nelkar's voice, blood immediately rushing to her face to darken her cheeks in an embarrassed flush. The more she thought about it, the more she realised just how strange it sounded, that she could be so out of touch with her own species, her own people.

Those thoughts were interrupted as Nelkar spoke again, and she nodded immediately. Of course he would be feeling cold. She did usually, and he was lying on a biobed with half his uniform burned away.

"C-c-computer, r-r-raise ambient t-t-temperature in s-s-surgical b-bay b-b-by f-f-five d-degrees," she requested of the computer before reaching under the biobed, taking out a blanket and shaking it out over the prone Cardassian.

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:03 am

The effeciancy of modern technology meant that the ambient temperature raised almost immediately to a tolerable level. Nelkar no longer felt like her was going to start shivering at any moment- which took care of another level of discomfort he was feeling. Unfortunately, the blanket that Ilana draped over him, while warming, rubbed against his burned skin and caused him a fair amount of discomfort. It wasn't painful due to the medication in his system, but it wasn't pleasant.

The older Cardassian sighed heavily. This position was mildly ridiculous. Never did he think he'd be in a starfleet sickbay, asking favours of a cardassian defector's daughter while she put him back together. "Thank you," he muttered.

"If you have had no contact with our people, then I suppose it's little surprise that you've had little of the exposure to the customs or vernacular common in the Union." By that, he was referring to her meek and quiet demeanor, which were traits frowned upon by most cardassians.

In this instance, however, Nelkar didn't mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:18 am

Little exposure to the customs? What did he mean by that? Was there something in her behaviour that he didn't think was inkeeping with Cardassian norms? Ilana had to admit that the small group that had fled Bajor were probably not a good indication of how Cardassians were expected by their society to act, but it was all she had had while growing up.

"Wh-what d-d-do y-you m-m-mean?" she asked, her head tilted slightly to one side.

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:48 am

Is it not obvious? He wondered to himself. Clearly not, though, or she wouldn't have asked. Nelkar sighed internally. He was going to have to try to answer without being too terribly rude- he'd learned from experience not to aggravate a doctor that was patching you up.

"You're... quite different from most cardassians," Nelkar said plainly. "You act with none of the results of harsh physical training on cardassia, and I very much doubt that your severed connection with cardassia has allowed you to develop any attatchment to the customs practiced there."


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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:51 am

Ilana found her cheeks darkening slightly in an embarrassed flush once again. It was true that she hadn't undergone the physical training generally given to her people in their youth. It just hadn't been possible.

"I d-d-didn't d-do th-th-the ph-ph-physical t-t-training, b-but I and all th-th-the other ch-children of m-my g-g-group s-still underwent th-the m-m-mental t-training as m-much as w-we c-c-could," she said quietly. "W-w-e p-p-practised wh-what c-c-customs w-we c-c-could."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:21 pm

Nelkar was marginally pleased to hear that. Even outsides had clung to some old customs. Perhaps they are not so far gone as I thought, he thought to himself with a hint of a smirk. At the very least... someone was. In the aftermath of the dominion war, so much of their culture had been destroyed, so many lives and minds lost, that any vestigest of their culture left was a benefit to their people- even if by outsiders.

"That is... surprising," the older Cardassian said slowly. I don't suppose it was quite as effective for your little rag-tag group of colonists. Nelkar was stuck a bit in thinking of the past, and the horrors of the dominion war. His wife, and family... Epath closed his eyes for a moment. A moment of weakness was no reason to cry, so he kept them shut to prevent any tears from escaping. When he opened them again, there was no evidence of falling tears, but his eyes appeared minutely damp- only noticeable if you were really looking for it.

"Clearly, you have prospered. I am happy for you."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 6:36 am

Ilana managed a faint smile at her patient. It was strange in a way, but the Cardassian lying on the biobed reminded her quite a bit of her father. He had been a military man, a Gul, but it had given it up for family. Nelkar, on the other hand, hadn't left the military, but there was a note in his voice coupled with earlier topics in their conversation that suggested he may have lost more than he had bargained for and regretted it.

"Th-th-thank y-you," she murmured, moving her dermal regenerator onto the Cardassian's chest in her continuing effort to heal the burns he had received. After a few more minutes silence, she admitted quietly: "Y-you r-r-remind m-me of m-m-my f-f-father."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 1:04 pm

Almost immediately, Nelkar's expression went from neutral to looking mildly irritated, complete with his lips being pressed into a thin line. No matter how much he was getting to like this little girl, being compared to her defector father was definitely insulting. He hadn't exactly been in the best of moods already, given his little wave of painful nostalgia about his wife.

Then again, how could he be so judgmental? The older Cardassian looked up at the doctor attending to his burns. From what he'd appeared to do, he couldn't exactly go right out and judge her for making that comparison. Besides his guise, there was something else that made is almost a moral affront for him to judge her based on the comparison she'd made. He just... didn't want to admit it. But he did.

"You remind me a bit of my youngest daughter," he said quietly in response. "She would be... around your age by now, I assume."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 1:52 pm

Ilana wanted to shy away as soon as she read the apparent irritation on her patient's face. Her own fear showed through clearly, but she quickly schooled her expression away from that. It wouldn't do to have her patient believe that she was scared of him. Instead, she tried to offer him a faint smile at his own comparison.

"I'm m-m-my f-f-father's y-youngest as w-w-well," she replied. "I w-w-was a b-bit of a l-l-late s-surprise f-for th-th-them."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 3:15 pm

That made him smile a little, at least. One of his children had been an unexpected one- not his youngest- she'd been planned. He could still remember the stress of the day they found out. It had ended in joy, of course. His wife had laughed more than he had, teasing him about having to bring her Sem'hal stew every other day when she wanted it. Despite the stress, it had been a happy day.

"You have siblings, then?" he asked casually. "Where are they, back on this... colony?" He had no way of knowing the fates of her siblings, and the possible insensitivity of his question.

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 3:19 pm

It was far better to see her patient smiling, even slightly, rather than the pained or, even worse, the irritated expressions he had displayed before. She even managed a faint smile in return until he asked about her siblings. The tentative smile abruptly vanished and she looked away, pretending to check some readings on the biobed charts. She had only the faintest memories of her siblings, all of whom had been far older than her. In fact, she had only been a year older than one of her nieces.

"At o-one p-p-point, I h-had f-f-four," she replied quietly. "T-t-two w-w-were k-k-killed in m-m-military s-service, th-th-the other t-t-two w-w-were k-k-killed in B-Bajoran R-Resistance attacks w-with th-th-their f-families."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 5:56 pm

Well, that quickly took the wind out of the sails of their amicable conversation. Nelkar, like any cardassian knew the value of family, even among the children of defectors. Besides, it sounded as though her siblings hadn't been of that crowd. What particlarly stung to him was the fact that two of them had been killed with thier entire families.

Bajoran terrorists, he thought angrily. His own family had been massacred on the Cardassian homeworld- though for his it had been by the dominion at the very end of the war. Most of his children were alive... or they were as far as he was aware. He hadn't heard from them, and figured they wanted nothing to do with him.

"I am truly sorry to hear that," he said with as much sincerity as was possible for him.

"I can see why your father is protective. I would be for my own."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Thu May 14, 2015 6:10 pm

Her revelation had certainly been a bit of a dampener on the atmosphere between the two Cardassians although, to be honest, it wouldn't have taken much to upset the delicate balance that they had struck up between his tolerance of her and her fear of him.

"Th-th-that's wh-why h-h-h-he l-left," Ilana murmured. "H-he w-w-wanted t-t-to k-k-k-keep m-my m-m-mother and m-me s-s-safe. H-h-he kn-knew th-th-that h-h-he c-couldn't d-d-do th-that on B-B-Bajor, n-no m-m-matter h-how m-many g-g-guards h-he assigned t-to p-p-p-protect us."

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PostSubject: Re: Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]   Today at 5:13 pm

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Blood in Scales [Nelkar & Ilana]
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