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Cptn Swain

Mea Culpa: A Vorta's Sins Unburdened

Semil’s image vanished as suddenly as it had appeared. Taenix stood quietly, contemplatively near the hologram of the unfolding battle in the skies above Tarawani. The command cruisers had since broken through the orbital defense platforms and had assumed an occupational posture, deploying ground troops to begin securing the key installations across the planet. The Jem’Hadar would move swiftly through the cities and outskirts, rounding up any civilians unfortunate enough to be in the open when they landed; if they resisted, they would be culled.


Next to her, Weyoun looked on plaintively. His silence said more than he intended. Taenix had come to trust in him, despite what others had said about his conduct during the war in the Alpha Conflict. His actions, she’d found, had proved enough his dedication to the founders, and with few exceptions, his instincts for navigating conflict had been peerless. In many ways, she reminded him of a model from her generation of clones.


“This Semil,” she said finally, no longer able to tolerate the silence. “You know him perhaps better than anyone. Does he mean to go through with his threats?”


Weyoun did not immediately respond. It was true he knew Semil well, though there were others who knew him more intimately; few though could truly offer insight into his mind now though – he was no longer a servant of the Founders, but of the Hundred and Weyoun was still unsure exactly the extent to which that mattered, perhaps it did not. “He

would not have made the threat,” Weyoun finally said after some hesitation, “unless he intended to follow through with it. Nor would he have shown his hand, as the humans say.”


She had figured as much. “What does he accomplish by doing this though? Surely he knows the Council will never accept rapprochement with the Tarwani. Not after they have defied us so openly, and even setting their defiance aside, we cannot afford to let the planet go. You know this.”


“Are you willing to risk your duplicity being exposed?”


Taenix frowned. She had yet to come to terms with her decisions to withhold Odo’s command from the others. They knew, or suspected, that this glorious isolation was different from other periods; and certainly it wasn’t uncommon for rank and file Vorta to perhaps never see a Founder. Ultimately, she knew that she would have to reveal the truth the council. Hardening her resolve and her voice, she glanced past Weyoun towards the hologram. “I will reveal the truth myself.”


Cocking his head towards her, Weyoun pursed his lips. It was an unexpected response.


“Call the council.”



The circular council chambers of the Vorta Orbital Command facility hummed with a subtle buzzing, not unlike that of a hive of bees. The full council consisted of twenty-five prime Vorta who had been selected as representing the best of their kind, genetically, with regards to governance, though today only seventeen of them were assembled for the hastily announced meeting of the council. Most assumed they had been called for an update on the efforts to pacify the defiance of the Tarawani.


Taenix, tall, slender and sharply defined, entered from a side door. Her eyes were stronger, darker and cast a long, empty glance towards the center of the room. As she took her place at the center of the circular tables, the room began to quiet.


“When you activated my clone, the Dominion was under threat from the Scorpiads, our ancient enemy. My purpose was to serve as guide and guardian of the Dominion in such an event. I have completed that mission. I see now that I have, perhaps, taken that mandate too far. The Dominion is under threat, but not from the enemies I was intended to fight. I am a relic from a period long gone.”


She paused for a moment. She had not expected this to be as difficult as it was proving. “The Founders,” she resumed, “have given me life. Without them, I – none of us – would exist. When I was chosen from all of the Vorta of my generation to be placed into reserve, as a steward, I could not understand why I was chosen. Yet, I have always trusted in the wisdom of the Founders.


“I am sure you are wondering now why you are here, why I am talking about faith. Why I am not telling you that our forces have defeated the orbital platforms and have begun reasserting our authority on the planet?”


Keevan’s voice broke her monologue. “I was wondering,” he said tersely, “if you were coming to a point.”


Dismissively, she continued without acknowledgement. “I believe we have come to a moment of decision for not just the Vorta or even the Dominion but for the Quadrant. For hundreds of years we have stood as the aegis for hundreds of worlds, the protector from the chaos that reigned before the Founders brought order to this quadrant; I believe that this decision must be yours, and not mine. My time has come, my mission is over.”


“So you are stepping down as our leader?” Kilana, a member of one of the more liberal factions asked. “Or are you simply allowing us to decide the next course of action in the campaign against Tarwan?”


“Both,” Taenix said quickly, before she could change her mind. “After this meeting, I intend to end my life in mediation and prayer for the Dominion. You must decide who will lead you.”


“Has Odo been consulted?” This time it came from Atelin – one of the more moderates who had yet to side with either Kilana or Keevan, “is this his wish?”


“I have not spoken to Odo in sometime,” she said, a weight lifting from her. “When the Federation uncovered the device, I was able to use it and commune with Odo and the Link, just as I told you. However, what I have not told you is what Odo intended for me, for the Dominon.


“Odo wished for the device to be given to the Hundred so that he could commune with them and convince them to join with the others in Glorious Isolation. He believes that the Founders must isolate themselves to heal their wounds, and to begin to understand solids. The time of the Dominion is ending. We must be prepared, he says, to step aside and let the peoples of the Gamma Quadrant decide their own destinies.”


The room was silent, but for Keevan. “And why are you telling us this now? Why this sudden change of heart? You’ve been lying to us for months now, why choose this moment to unburden your conscience?”


“I will not lie any longer,” she said confidently. “The Hundred have forced my hand. They knew of my deception and were willing to expose it if I did not agree to their terms. I have chosen this path as an alternative.”


“I see. And just how much more are you lying about? How many more secrets have you hidden from us?”


“Keevan,” she said flatly, “I tire of your games. When I am gone, you may play for my position, but I will not stand here and hold a colloquy with you about my past sins.”


“The Founders,” she reiterated, “have made their will plain. They wish the device we have in our possession to be turned over to the Hundred and that the Dominion should dissolve.”


“And what of us and the Jem’Hadar,” Kilana questioned. “What of their children? What purpose do we serve then?”


“Why should anything change? Keevan charged. “Our duty is clear, our purpose remains. To bring order to the quadrant. The Jem’Hadar have never needed the Founder’s presence before, and perhaps in a time, Odo will come to his senses. He is, still, a child afterall. Perhaps the...”


“He is the chosen leader of the Link,” Weyoun interrupted, forcefully. “I have spoken, twice, with the Founder still in captivity in the Alpha Quadrant; she has confirmed that this is not just his will, but the will of the Link. They have chosen their path, we must now choose ours.”


“Oh Weyoun,” Keevan said, his timbre rising, “always eager to follow. I see now we should have left you inactive.”


“And you Keevan,” he said, “Have always been overly ambitious; it is your greatest flaw.”


“Both of you,” Taenix said assertively enough to silence them both. “Will have ample opportunity to campaign for leadership of this council, soon enough.”


“And what if we choose to disobey the orders of the Founders, as you have?” Kilana said, skeptically glancing towards Keevan. “What if we decide to do nothing with the device, as you have, and continue as if nothing has changed? What then?”


“Then that will be your choice, but I will be able to enter into commune with my ending with an unburdened heart. Semil will likely not tolerate your duplicity, but you will have to make that decision on your own. I will not help you.”


“So what are our choices then,” Atelin queried. “What options do we have?”

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