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On Patrol

Posted on Sat Dec 16th, 2023 @ 12:22pm by Lieutenant Jin-soo Tae & Lieutenant Rolek'klaz

1,643 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Untested
Location: Deck 7 Hallways
Timeline: Day 4, 1520

For a ship with narrow corridors, the jogging experience wasn’t all that bad. For one, there were hardly any other personnels to bump into along the way and secondly, the tight turns made the whole experience quite exhilarating, at least for an adrenaline junkie with a tendency to insist on things being done hard and fast. Coming around one final turn, she began to slow down, having met the exercise quota for this specific 24-hour cycle. As usual, with the poor biological constraints of pitiful humans, her lungs were gasping for oxygen and a thin layer of moisture had formed over her skin, but that wasn’t exactly something that lingered on her mind.

As she came around the turn, her eyes caught the most curious of sights. His back was turned, but Jin-soo could easily make out who it was. The crest of horns and the scaly skin made it obvious, there was only one individual with such notable features on this entire ship. Being from the following generation spared from the war with the Dominion, her only contact with the Jem’hadar had been through stories told by her parents or from holo-recordings made for sake of education. Despite that, she knew quite a lot about them and their relation to the quasi-military force she now serves, which made it all the more curious as to why one had taken up residence just a few metres away from her in the halls of one of their most advanced starships.

Detaching a canteen from her belt, she took a swig and approached the Jem’hadar. Having never experienced them firsthand, there was a lack of fear or preconceived notions of suspicion, only a gentle tingle in the back of her mind that told her they were once an enemy. But former enemies always had a way of finding themselves in Starfleet, the several numbers of Klingons and Romulans in both low and high positions she’s met throughout her nine years stint--academic years included--told as much.

“Hey,” She said, finding a spot next to him. Having been running for the past hour, she was out of uniform and in exercise gear composed of a grey tank-top and shorts. There was a noticeable rise in her chest, but with each incremental second that passed by, it lessened in intensity.

“I would ask you about the weather, but I suppose that’s not possible out here in the vacuum.”

Rolek had been doing some of his security rounds when Lieutenant Tae approached him. However, she was one of the members of the crew that he hadn't met quite yet. "I suppose so" he responded simply.

Awkward, she thought as she stared at him, perhaps jokes weren't the best conversation openers with Jem'hadars. Keeping her eyes squared upon Rolek, she took another sip before saying, "Sooo... how's the space police business doin'? No Romulan ale smuggling Ensigns yet I presume?"

"Not yet. During my time on the Horizon during normal operation it has been relatively qui-" he stopped himself. "I have been told in the past by other security members that the 'Q' word as they put it, often jinxes things."

Jin-soo smirked. “The Q word huh? Don’t tell me you actually believe in jinxes now do you?”

He turned his head towards Jin-soo. "My people, and I mean the entirety of the Jem'Hadar including my home colony, have had different intentions in some scenarios that turned into an outcome that wasn't expected or wanted, and it happened after someone said something about it. In addition I have spent at this point a large amount of time among Humans and looked at Earth's history. I am not saying I believe in it, but it does have some validity in it."

“It appears even the fierce Jem’hadar aren’t tainted by the sceptre of superstition.” She replied, returning his gaze. “Contrary to some of my illogical colleagues, I’m a firm believer in everything having an explanation, but perhaps we should leave this discussion on philosophy to another day.”

“Are you headed anywhere?” She asked whilst rescrewing the cap of her canteen, “Would you mind walking me back to my quarters?”

"Certainly. My rounds are pretty much finished up for the day" he said.

“Great,” Jin-soo smiled before clipping the bottle back to where it belonged.

“So you mentioned a colony?” She asked as she turned to head down the hall, her arms held casually behind her back. “Is that part of the mission the Founder sequenced into the Jem'hadar? I always thought you guys were their boogie men.”

"The Founders had felt that it was necessary for the development of the Dominion many years before the war. We had many resources that provided useful to the Founders. Our colony at one point became a decently sized military and trade hub. However, that was before the people of the colony came to their senses and realized that conquest wasn't the answer. There was also other issues that occurred that resulted in our defection from the Dominion. With it, we kept control of the military hubs and some of the trade as there was enough of us that felt the same way" he said as he continued walking alongside Jin-soo.

“A whole group of Jem’hadars forsaking war and conquest,” Jin-soo muttered, trying to comprehend a fact that defied all the Federation knew--or at least what they spared their officer corp--about this mysterious group of warriors.

“How did your people manage to override their inherent genetic conditioning?” She couldn’t help but ask further, this topic was becoming fascinating. “As far as I know, obedience, loyalty, and a zealous lust for warfare has been bred into your kind. Are you perhaps different in terms of genetic sequencing from the other Jem’hadars still loyal to the Founders?”

"That I don't know all too well. My best educated guess is that Somewhere our ideals and thoughts led us to change through influence. I heard a story during the war where Captain Sisko tried that. But the people of my home were significantly bright. That was most likely with the help of most of the non Jem'Hadar species that also lived there. But because of this, we began to understand that not everything was about killing, which led us to form our own ideals" he replied as he continued walking.

“Hey I’ve heard of that story as well!” A grin appeared across Jin-soo’s face. “Two actually, though I don’t think either ended well for both sides. I’m glad the civilians in your colony managed to override the genetic programming, but I wouldn’t discount the fact that they might have tampered with your genetic sequences, at least the generations of Jem’hadar that came after the first group.”

She continued walking alongside him down the corridor, giving brief nods to passing crewmembers as they went by. Eventually she decided to ask: “So what made you want to join up with this outfit of intrepid explorers? You know we don’t exactly go out of our way to fight wars… or at least we don’t try to.”

"A Starfleet crew came across our planet and as you can imagine, they were very surprised when our ships didn't attack. After spending a few days there, some of their crew had influence on me and I expressed interest in transferring to Starfleet, so their Captain sponsored me for entrance into Starfleet Academy for whenever I was ready. I wanted to leave the Gamma Quadrant. I also learned that not everything required missions to the death or fighting. I wanted to be apart of what Starfleet represents."

"Hm I suppose we have quite the social osmosis effect." She idly mused as they continued to walk along. "If I recall correctly, several past 'firsts' of a species joined up out of similar circumstances. Captain Nog, Ambassador Worf... Except they were never engineered with absolute obedience in mind, so really the credit should probably be given to both sides." A smile curled across Jin-soo's lips as her gaze shifted to the Jem'hadar, "Quite the sociological quandary wouldn't you say? Have any others of your group followed your examples as of yet?"

"That I am unsure. I don't keep in regular contact with my people and I haven't heard anything in that respect. But as it was before the Starfleet crew came we had already moved away from the ways of the Dominion. In addition, like Worf and Nog, there are other Klingons as well as Ferengi serving in Starfleet, so there could be more Jem'Hadar serving in Starfleet even if they aren't from my colony."

"Must feel lonely among a sea of near strangers." Jin-soo pondered as they continued. "I suppose we can always make a detour in the future after we're done with whatever mission we're on."

"More or less. But I'm used to it by now. And the silence doesn't bother me" he began. "I would need to discuss that with Captain Phoenix if we were to make a detour to my home with the risks and all. If that's what you meant?"

"Well no, I mean if we happen to be close by. Don't believe we have a set mission area hm? Might end up in the Gamma Quadrant one reason or another for all we know."

Eventually, the two arrived at the crew quarters and after passing a few more doors, Jin-soo made her stop. "Well here I am," She said clipping her canteen back onto her belt before making a brief push at an near-invisible button on the side of the door. With a swish, it opened to reveal an average officer's quarters.

"I'll see you around then?" She said to Rolek before stepping in.

Rolek nodded simply. "I suppose so Lieutenant."


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