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Cptn Swain

A Long Overdue Conversation

Reposting based on posting in the wrong part of the forums

The Galaxy Osprey hummed along at its maximum cruise speed of warp 6.5, which for a ‘civilian’ ship wasn’t half-bad. The makeshift science lab on the second deck doubled as a weapons storage locker, something Asher was less than thrilled about. Still Kai had managed to ‘acquire’ a rather impressive collection of scientific equipment, including an extremely advanced holographic imaging scanner of Caldorian origin that would cost a small fortune on the open market, but the price, according to Kai, was going to be well worth it.

Of course Asher knew Kai hadn’t actually bought the scanner. He’d stolen it. It still had a registry sticker from the Caldorian Science Adcademy on Thavor IV. Why bother lying to me now? Asher wondered as he adjusted the scanner to begin imaging the datacube they’d found in the Collabras system.  After all of this, why lie about it.  The thought continued to linger. There had always been a distance between them, despite their intimacy, even from the moment they met. 

The trademark woosh of pneumatic doors drew Swain back to the present, his hands moving towards a disruptor pistol. 

“You’ve gotten jumpier. Don’t trust me?”

“Not particularly,” Asher said without turning away from his work, but letting the disruptor out of his grip. “Though I don’t think you’d hurt me. Those uh, friends of yours, though?”

“They’re harmless, besides they know if anything happens to you they’ll deal with me.”

Leaning against the ‘lab’ table, Kai frowned. “You think I am being insincere?”

“No,” Asher said without looking up. “I just think you only care so long as I am useful for this little... whatever it is.”’

“I told you, I am going into retirement when this is over... at your insistence, I might add.

“Why don’t you believe me?”


Kai slid closer, blocking Asher from the scanner. “You’re the one who betrayed me.”

“We’re not starting this again,” Asher pushed back from the table and stood. “We both made mistakes, some of us bigger than others. If I thought I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be helping you like this. I certainly wouldn’t be risking my career for you again.”

“Oh,” Kai said, frowning. “So that’s why you’re ‘helping’ me? Because you feel bad about what you did twenty years ago still?”

“I said we aren’t doing this.”

“Doing what?”

“Having this conversation. I told you I would help you find whatever this thing leads you to, and I’ve kept my end of the deal.”

“You conditioned it on me turning myself over to the Federation after I’ve sold whatever artifact we find, you mean.”

“I am a Starfleet officer Kai. I am only helping you because if I didn’t, you’d likely try and do this yourself and then end up dead.”

“And you don’t need that on your conscience I guess -- killing me again.”

“I love how you’re trying to blame me for that.”

“I mean you did turn me in.”

“I didn’t have much of a choice, for starters and second if you’d told me the truth...”

“You wouldn’t have helped? Turned me in?”

“I never wanted to be a part of your little scheme in the first place. It was one thing when you were just the ship’s purveyor of black market goods -- sneaking a case of Romulan ale here, a crate of Dzebian crystals there. Everyone knew about those little side deals -- even the XO. Hell I think half the officers used you for one thing or the other, but...”

“But helping freedom fighters under the brutal occupation of the Spoon...”

“Smuggling weapons to terrorists fighting a foreign government we happened to be trying to negotiate with to end nearly twenty years of unremitting hostility. Can’t think of many clearer violations of the prime directive...”

“And yet you helped anyway.”

“I only went along with it because you lied to me you bastard. You told me they were smuggling medical supplies.”


“Don’t even. You knew damn good and well what was getting smuggled in and even if I agreed with what they were trying to accomplish...”

“Yeah, yeah -- you’re a Starfleet officer. I am painfully aware.”

“You knew what you were signing up for when you enlisted, don’t give me that crap.”

“The Federation turned a blind eye to the Occupation. They turned a blind eye to what was going on the DMZ. They stood by and just watched.”

Asher burst out laughing. “Like you gave a flying targ about any of that. This is exactly what I was talking about -- this is why I don’t trust you! You can never just be straight with me. There’s always some big story, some crap. Like this scanner. You didn’t buy it. You didn’t win it off a Ferengi in a game of tongo. You stole it.

“But you won’t tell me that because -- hell I don’t even know why at this point. Maybe you’re just a born liar. I don’t think I even care anymore. I’ve risked my career for you, I’ve almost certain blown up my marriage. And for what? To be lied to even more?  What parts of the story you told me back on Earth were even true? You know what don’t bother. Just -- just go drink yourself silly while I work. That’s what you were always good at anyway.”

“Damn,” Kai said, “you really do care for me still, after everything.”

Asher glowered. “Of course I care about you, but none of that matters anymore. You’re a lying thief.”
“Look. I have certainly, over the years, embellished facts. Used them to manipulate people to do things for me that they wouldn’t do if they knew the truth -- and at this point, I do it so often and so regularly I don’t even usually notice.”

“Here we go again.”

“Fine, you’re right. I lie a lot. I stole the scanner from a Caladoran research team. They’re who found the second coordinate. I was, uh... I was under contract with them to provide security. I recognized the vault and well, you put the rest to together.”

“I already figured most of that out. I am not an idiot.”

“If you’re asking if I was being truthful about the rest? Then, mostly yes. After the war, I laid low for a while. Just small stuff here and there. The Bajorans might have talked the Federation into giving me amnesty, but I wasn’t exactly welcomed back into your big happy family with open arms.”

“You could have signed on with someone reputable.”

“Maybe, but I didn’t so who cares. 

“Look the rest of what I told you was true. I got in with a syndicate -- not that one -- but a syndicate. I was running stuff for them, when well... I got a little careless. Now I owe them. I have a buyer lined up, now we just to finish the job.”

“And then.”

“And then,” Kai said heavily, “and then I’ll turn myself over to Starfleet, like we agreed.”

“Good. Now, let me get back to work.”

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