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Third Degree of Separation Part 2

Posted on Friday May 14, 2021 @ 11:49pm by Trinity Anderson

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Betazed

Previously, on Star Trek: Cardinal

Tevon smiled wryly and gazed at Trinity for a while. He took a sip of the tea from his teacup and starred emptily above Trinity’s head as if he were thinking long and hard about what had been said and what he would like to say. In the brief seconds that passed, Trinity thought she saw a myriad of emotions cross his face that went from grief to sadness to exasperation to relief and then back to grief.

Just then there was a distant roar of thunder as the clouds, heavy with water, let loose with a heavy downpour.

And, now, the continuation

"You know Trinity," Tevon finally spoke breaking the discomforting silence, "during the Dominion War, Betazed was unfortunate enough to fall under Dominion occupation. And like any race that has tasted freedom, we were unwilling to relinquish it. Sure the Dominion had won the battle, they had not- in our opinion, won the war."

Tevon shifted in his seat, "My wife, Temi's step-mother was very much like her- highly spirited, stubborn, bold and aggressive." A smile played on his face as he continued to speak, "She would hear nothing of simply submitting the freedom our ancestors had worked so hard towards for generations to the Dominion that had seemingly conquered us within a matter of days. She resisted. And being the strong-willed woman that she was, she dragged me and several others into a resistance sect."

The smile faded as he continued, "One day, we received what we thought was good intel about a shipment of weapons and ketracel-white that was supposed to be delivered to the capital city. My wife and I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to deal a strong blow to our oppressors. We rallied the team, and in no time at all we were starring at the freighter that was to deliver the goods."

There was a pause that seemed never ending prompting Trinity to speak out of interest, "What happened?"

Tevon smiled wryly, "We attacked. The intel we received suggested there would be medium resistance but what we encountered was heavy resistance- quite the opposite of what we were prepared for. At the end of the day, all but myself perished, including my wife. The twisted irony of it was she died because a trigger-itchy member of our team mistook her for the enemy and shot blindly in her direction."

Trinity looked shocked wondering where Tevon was going with his story. "The shipment?" Trinity inquired.

Tevon laughed deeply and heartily, which both startled and surprised Trinity. "All you are all the same.” He paused to take another sip of his tea. "I suppose all the deaths would have been worth it to you if the shipment had somehow been destroyed. All those men and women - my wife included, they would all have made the ultimate sacrifice
for a greater good."

Trinity blinked not sure how to answer although she knew perfectly well that she would have no hesitations about making such a sacrifice herself.

"Well," Tevon continued all joviality lost from his voice, "they all died without damaging a single
containment of white or damaging a case of weapons. You see, my young friend Trinity, it had all been for nothing."

Trinity swallowed and set his teacup down.

The images of those who had died on her watch and because of her commands flashed before her eyes for the umpteenth time.

Daniels, Lekrith, ch’Thranne, Reena, Seleth…and Temi. Were their deaths meaningless too?

"I came home that night," Tevon continued, "to six-year-old Temi who immediately asked me where her step-mother was. I told her that she was gone. Later when she grew older and became privy to the circumstances surrounding her mother's death, I told her that
her mother had died a heroic death protecting me and safeguarding Betazed's future."

Trinity paused befuddled, "But you just said her death was senseless."

Tevon smiled. "At the time it may have seemed that way, but you see I learned a long time afterwards, that the “senseless death” had indeed inspired, and had motivated a lot more people to resist our oppressors."

Trinity nodded finally grasping where Tevon was going with his entire story.

It was funny to think that she thought she would come here to ease the old man's
suffering by offering some words of comfort, but in a bizarre twist, Tevon had ended up relieving her own burden...if only slightly.

"Tevon…I came here because I wanted to let you know that I consider myself to be responsible for your daughter's death. If I had done certain things…if I had reacted faster, she may not have died and I be-"

"The message I received from Starfleet indicated that my daughter died in the line of duty doing what she loved," Tevon said. "That is all that matters."

"But what about accountability?" Trinity asked suddenly, the words out of her mouth before she could think it through.

"I know why you have come Trinity," Tevon said. "I cannot give you what you seek. The death of my daughter should not be an excuse to castigate yourself. Being a Starfleet officer comes with risks and my daughter certainly knew that. Do not dishonour her memory by asking foolish hypothetical questions about an immutable event.

“What has happened has happened and is in the past. We must learn from it or be doomed to repeat it again. Take what has happened and sear it into your brain so that it never happens, but do not dwell in the past, or in what could have been.”

Trinity looked at Tevon in open disbelief, mouth opened to speak but not quite finding the words. As sharp as his words were, they brought an immeasurable sense of relief although she felt guilty for feeling that relief.

"Your tea will get cold Trinity if you do not drink," Tevon stated

"Of course," Trinity said picking up her teacup and taking a sip while listening to the heavy rain falling outside.

Tevon smiled lightly, "It is good you came to me and not Temi’s biological mother.”

“How so?” Trinity asked, curious.

“Well, for one, Samantha Grayson would have cursed you out in every known language this side of the quadrant.” Noting the puzzled look on Trinity’s face, Tevon added, “She’s a linguistic scientist.”

“Ah…” Trinity stated. “She must be the woman with the black glasses in the pictures.”

“The one and only,” Tevon responded. “But enough about my ex…tell me about the was all my daughter talked about the few times she would come visit."

Trinity sat back in her chair full of uncertainty and a mixture of emotions, but for the first time since the incident she felt lighter. "Well, Starbase 517 is located in frontier space, approximately thirty-five light years from..."


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