Boats Against The Current
Her apartment looked out over the beautiful blue water and the golden colored, historical bridge, both sparkling in the sun and she wondered for the first time in a long time what Bajor looked like right now, from the hills she had haunted in the past. It's funny, she thought to herself, to have spent my childhood fighting for it's freedom, and then to spend the next 27 years away. But then again, irony always was a bitch.
Kira Nerys, former freedom fighter, stopped nibbling on her lower lip at the thought, and moved slowly from her window and covered her mouth as she yawned. "Computer, time." She requested, only to be informed by the dry Starfleet voice that it was Ten Hundred, and she had slept in. A quick cup of replicated Rahjtijino, and the memories of the past faded from her mind as the challenges of the day came back to her. 20 years ago, if someone had told her she'd be a paper-pusher for Starfleet, she would have laughed bitterly.
The job itself was more or less boring, but it came with benefits. Here she could toss around her legend as a hero of the Dominion War, and reform herself into a peacemaker. She still remembered that night, several months after the war's end when she'd woken up, pillow wet from sweat and tears, and decided that she'd never again fight. That if that was the one thing she learned from her experiences, that whatever had driven Nerys the freedom fighter no longer drove Neyrs the commander.
Blinking back a slight shake from the memory, she ordered another Klingon coffee, and then shuffled off to dress. There was, undoubtedly, work to be done.
Ssrasth, the ancient senator from Tthilik, (a name Kira had never been able to pronounce with her heavy Bajoran accent to the senator's liking) blinked her golden eyes in mild shock, and then lifted a three clawed hand, the three bracelets on her arm falling down with a clink clink clink. The UT supplied her voice underneath which she could faintly hear the native tongue of the senator. "But Ambassador, we would have thought the Bajoran First Minister would prefer to sit in on the peace accords."
Neyrs quirked her lips slightly as well, and leaned over her desk to look the wizened saurian in the eyes. "I would have thought so as well," she murmured mildly concerned by this latest request. Fen Rolan might not have been her first choice for First Minister-he was so young he never even fought in the resistance, the first First Minister to ever hold that distinction. But he was an ardent supporter of the Federation and the effort to make a permanent peace with the Dominion. For the sake of the children, or so his campaign slogan had been. "But he says he trusts my experience with the Dominion will lead me to make the right decision for Bajor, and as a delegate at the table. He adds that he feels the Prophets will guide me accordingly in this matter."
Ssrasth bobbed her head quickly in her people's approximation of an understanding nod, although the faint click of her toeclaws on the tile of Kira's office let Nerys know she was not quite that accepting. "Ah, well. I am sure that they will." She adjusted her arms slightly as she leaned back into the special resting chair used by her species. How the Tthilikan had become the administrator of the peace accords was still a little fuzzy to Nerys, but she tried to trust the Senate's decision in the matter. The Chairwoman continued to stare at her with her striking golden eyes, pupils dilating in and out as she focused her sharp vision on different details of the room. Kira had come to expect this pause while the senator chose her words.
"Have you considered that he's hoping that one of the delegates from The Dominion will be..." She trailed off, head turning sharply to the window as a bird flitted by, and then back to Kira's face. It gave her just enough time to answer.
"That the Ambassador will be Odo?" She said, the name passing her lips for the first time in a while. It bothered her how unused to saying his name she was. Or that after 20 years, it had lost some of the power it once held for her.
The Tthilkan Senator bobbed her head in another nod. She curled her long arms up under her body, the movement jingling the bracelets on her arms and rustling the delicate cerulean blue fabric she was wrapped in.
Kira looked down at her hand, rubbing little oily patterns into the clear, flexible work screen of her desk. "I had considered that as his motive." She admitted. "I'm not sure what he thinks he has to gain if it is Odo I'll be dealing with. I doubt a relationship that ended twenty years ago will gain or hinder anything in negotiations." Her voice sounded flat, even to her. She wondered if Ssrasth could determine her emotions, and then decided she probably could. One didn't be a senator for over thirty years without learning a little something about the people you were serving with.
"Ah." The saurian spoke, and then clicked her teeth gently, which the UT translated into a gentle chuckle. Kira's lips pursed, but she held silent. "Ambassador, when you say that, I think of a saying my people have. Time makes the eggs full, but it also makes the shells brittle. When I speak to you, I am never sure if I'm talking to a ripening egg, or a brittle shell." More clicking of teeth. Kira nodded politely. She didn't always understand the metaphors when they were directly translated-indeed, the ancient prophecies were easier for her to fathom than Tthilkan wisdom.
Sensing that perhaps her words of wisdom were not understood, the saurian gathered her robes around her and stood up from the resting chair. "Ambassador, I must take my leave of you. Tomorrow, I will send you the information I have already sent to the First Minister, and the latest reports on the preparations for Peace Day. I'm hoping we can sign this treaty by Peace Day, and give all our worlds something extra to celebrate."
Kira nodded again and afforded a full smile. "A wonderful goal. I hope we accomplish it." She said, sounding genuinely hopeful.
The wizened figure looked back at her, golden eyes staring straight into hers. "As do I." A rustle of robes, and the whoosh of a sliding door, and the Chairwoman left the room.
Nerys leaned back, allowing the chair to cradle her. Prophets, what had they gotten into her this time?
The clatter of silverware against plates, and of burbling conversation filled Sisko's with a healthy atmosphere of normal people leading normal lives. Joseph, the proprietor smiled as he saw the Bajoran enter the New Orleans restaurant. He hobbled up, using his cane to steady his body.
"Nerys. You look wonderful." He said with a hearty chuckle. "Although I'm none too pleased you haven't been stopping in more often."
Kira laughed. "Why thank you, I've missed you too." A wide smile blossomed on her face and she tucked a piece of her shoulder length hair behind her ear. She was still subconscious about the length, although Ezri thought the change looked good on her.
"Are you here on buisness, or pleasure tonight, Madame Ambassador?" He asked, enjoying her full title. If nothing else because he could add another illustrious name to his private list of people who had enjoyed his cooking.
"Pleasure, thank the Prophets. I've been so busy getting ready for the peace accords that I haven't left my office in a week." She snorted. Just because she liked the opportunity didn't mean she enjoyed the desk.
"Jake and Liasa are in the back peeling shrimp," he murmured as a couple dressed in Starfleet uniforms entered the doorway and he greeted them.
Nerys nodded, murmured some thanks and then slipped her way through the busy crowd. It wasn't as easy any more, what with her faulty leg. She was always afraid of slipping, or tripping and injuring it further. Soon enough she had made it to the kitchen, where a few chefs that Joseph had hired were busy chopping and boiling. Jake and his wife, a beautiful dark haired Bajoran woman, were indeed peeling shrimp.
"Well, so the galaxy famous reporter and the potter also now how to make themselves useful." She teased lightly.
Jake looked up and grinned. "Nerys! I heard you were in this part of the quadrant." He joked. It had been a long standing joke between the two that they had seemed to switch places. Liasa looked up from her handful of shrimp and smiled back politely, her earring jingling with the movement. "Hello Nerys."
Kira nodded her head, and said, "Well, the rumors have bourn themselves out. It's good to see you both."
Jake grabbed a towel to wipe his hands off while Liasa continued to peel. She had a nervous habit with her hands, Kira had noticed, and she liked to keep them active. "I guess the upcoming peace accords have kept you busy, eh?"
"Oh, I guess. It's an honor to be asked to be at the table, actually. I mean, before Bajor was an independent planet but now we're just one of many smaller planetary represented in the Federation."
Jake raised his eyebrow, and shrugged. "I assume they want Bajor on for the same reason everyone wants you on the committee. They hope your knowledge of Founder philosophy will be an asset."
"Odo wasn't ever a Founder." She said, bristly. It had been so many years and she found herself still defending her decisions.
"I didn't say that and you know it." Jake murmured tonelessly, to calm her down.
"Besides, even if he wasn't then, he is now. And according to rumors, he's fairly influential in the Dominion currently. And you would be the only person still alive who ever understood why he does what he does."
She found herself hoping that was true. But she knew it wasn't always true. She had never understood his desire to return to a people whom had rejected him so many times. It was selfish of her, but for many years she had waited for word from him; that he was coming back home to the station. To her. He had healed the Link, and the Dominion hadn't made a move towards the Alpha Quadrant in years.
But he never did come.
They stepped outside into the starlight, and walked back to the restaurant from a park that the Sisko family favored as a place of good memories. Jake told her about the station's residents, and about the last time he had seen Kassidy and his half-sister, Jaz.
"She's wearing an earring now." He said, looking at Kira.
Kira sighed. "Jake, what do you want from her? It's always been harder for her than you. You still remember when your father was just a dad to you. She's never known anything but her father; The Emissary to the Prophets. She was raised on Bajor, taught in Bajoran schools. I'm surprised she didn't start wearing one sooner."
"I know." Jake said, softly. "We've been through it before, Nerys. I can't believe in my father as anything more than a Starfleet Captain who talked to Wormhole Aliens. But that doesn't mean I'm angry with her anymore."
Kira nodded as the light from an amber streetlight, maintained for historical aura, glowed onto her face. Jake shrugged off the previous conversation.
"So, are you nervous?"
"About the peace negotiations, or about..." She trailed off.
"About the other thing. Odo." Jake said, looking at her with a note of urgency in his voice. "Are you sure you're ready if he is the one they send?"
Kira shrugged. "Who knows. I haven't seen him in 20 years. That's a long time, Jake."
"Not for true love." He said, almost defensively. Ever since he had wrote And the worlds gently touched... he had brought increased interest in Kira's past relationship with Odo, whom he had admitted were the basis for the main characters. Supposedly, there were illegal holo-romances starring the two of them, although she'd gratefully never seen one with her own eyes. It was a minor rift between the two of them that had never fully healed, with Jake preferring to believe that what the two of them had shared was a case of 'tragic, star-crossed lovers'.
"Both of their duties called to them, and she knew they could no longer be as one." She gently quoted. She decided that it wasn't worth it to aggravate the situation between them. Whatever her relationship with Odo had been, it wasn't open for debate at the moment. "It doesn't matter if it is Odo or not. I have a duty to Bajor to fulfill first and foremost."
Jake made a hmphing noise that would have done the Constable proud as they stepped up into the lighted threshold of Sisko's.
To Chapter Two