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Muse Voices
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Feisty Klingon Wenches (JPx2)


Lanis had meant to return to the infirmary much earlier, so he could clear some of the Marines for duty. But all he'd had time to do was send that message to Admiral Franklin before he'd been button-holed by Relena and dragged into an impromptu meeting with O'Dwyer, and after that, he'd had to stand duty in Ops.

Now, however, things had quieted down enough that he could leave Master Chief Pomerantz in charge upstairs and snatch a couple of hours away to release those Marines for whom he was the attending physician, who were fit enough to return to duty. Now that he had done so, he had time to see the last patient on his list.

She interested Lanis far more than any of the Marines had, and some of them were surgically very interesting. For the time being, she resided in a private room under a security lock for suicide watch. Since learning of her existence the previous day, Lanis had promised himself to visit her daily as long as she was in the Infirmary and probably for a while afterward, if she wished. But he wasn't going to push it.

He entered the psych area and went past the first force-field but not the second one. Much as he would have preferred to have no separation between himself and this patient, he was in command of the station for the present, and he couldn't afford to take stupid risks.

The Klingon woman who'd been trapped on Langley Station when it had returned to the future was pacing back and forth in the small room like an angry feline. Nearly as tall as he, she outweighed Lanis by about fifty pounds. Today, a look of fierce concentration claimed her features.

"Hello, manoQ Da'," he said. "Are you up for a visitor? I'd offer a game of klin-zha, but I can't do that, today."

The young Klingon warrior growled at the older Bajoran. She ran a hand through her wild tangled hair, eyeing the man suspiciously. "What do you want?!" She snapped, feeling more like a trapped animal than a fierce warrior. "To ask me about my feelings? To tell me everything will be 'fine'?"

Lanis shook his head. "The first would be redundant; the second would be a lie--at least for the time being," Lanis said. "I don't expect you'll feel 'fine' for quite a while; As for what I want?" Lanis leaned his head to one side, thinking about it.

"It's not good for you to be alone in here; you aren't the contemplative type. So I want to see to it that you have company. Most of the other doctors won't argue with you; I will. I have the smallest patient load of any physician here; might as well do something useful with the time."

He glanced at her, meeting her gaze but not staring. "Have they given you anything to do? I'd be bored stiff in here."

"Klingons do not get bored. We get restless, we are not meant to be caged like targs for food." manoQ said, meeting his gaze back, staring him down. "Your Starfleeters are afraid of me, no one has spent any time in here."

"A good portion of the staff are dead; the rest are overworked," Lanis explained. "You're off the critically injured list, but they're concerned that you might attempt honor-suicide. So am I, for that matter."

He looked about the small room and frowned. "I don't think keeping you in here is the best way to help you want to live. But your situation doesn't lend itself to ready solutions on my part. I want to help you, but I know much of this is going to depend on you finding your own way to adjust to a new life."

"Adjust to my new life? How, Bajoran, do you propose that? I have been stripped of my honor, my house, my time. If I were to announce to my house that I was alive, I would have to explain my gross dishonor in allowing myself to be captured alive. As far as my people are concerned, I am dead and died with honor. Now Hegh'bat is the only honorable action I have left." The woman said, looking far older than she was.

Lanis considered it. By Klingon standards as he understood them, manoQ was in a predicament, aside from the significant problem of having been taken from her own time sixteen years into her future. The Klingon code of honor was rigid, but even if it didn't match his own, it was one that Lanis respected.

"As I see it, you have several options," he said at last and began ticking them off on his fingers. "One: You could inform your family that you have survived and discuss with them or accept their judgment as to your future. The advantage to that is, you deal with them honorably by telling them the truth. The disadvantages--you either reduce or lose entirely your power to determine your own fate if you place it in your family's hands--and they would then be aware of your perceived dishonor, which might harm them socially, if that is important to them.

"Two: You return to Klingon space under your true or an assumed name and build a new life for yourself. This has the advantage of allowing you to retain control of your future. But you would be cut off from your family forever and would always have the concern that you might be found out. You would also have the stress of constantly being confronted by technology or cultural changes that you won't be used to until you adjust to them.

"Lastly, you could consider remaining in Federation space. This too would have the advantage of allowing you to determine your own future, but again, you would lose all contact with your family. On the other hand, you would not have to live in perpetual worry that someone might ask questions. You'd face technological and cultural differences here, too, but they would be much the same as any new resident would experience. I'm sure there are more possibilities, but those are the ones that come immediately to my mind.

"As far as I'm concerned, most of these options are better than Hegh'bat. You seem to me to be a woman of fine character and a will to live and to fight on, or you wouldn't still be with us. I'd hate to see that fire of personality extinguished. I put it to you that honor is what you make of it, and death is not always necessary to satisfy it."

manoQ sighed, hugging herself slightly. "My will is gone. I can never reclaim my honor in this life. The doctors said my wound will never recover enough to continue to be a warrior." She said very quietly, her young face taut with stress.

Lanis nodded. "That too will require every ounce of fight that's left in you to adjust to. But luckily, we find it easier to accept ultimatums than vain hope. Use that as your weapon."

"Use the fact that doing the honorable thing is easier? Or are you challenging me?"

Lanis gave her a flicker of a smile before it vanished. "Challenging you, of course. Listen to yourself. Since when was doing the truly honorable thing ever easier than not doing it? The whole point of honor is that it requires a vigorous inner struggle every day of our lives to consistently fulfill it. If it's easy, you're either a very advanced holy one of the Prophets, or you're not doing it right."

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