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The Glory

Posted on Sun Sep 24th, 2017 @ 12:46pm by Balek The Butcher & Tisar Zemel

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: The Carnage
Timeline: Present

Tisar Zemel was pretty sure that the dingy ship was going to be the last place he lived. The Carnage and her crew would be sure of that. Tonight he was clearing tables in the bar and washing dishes. The crew was rowdy, aggressive and for the most part highly annoying to Tisar. He picked up the plates on the abandoned table and put them into a tub that he was carrying, trying not to make any noise while he was doing it. The other side of the bar was alternating between fighting each other and singing drunkenly. Two of them had already been hauled off by crewmates.

It wasn’t that Tisar didn’t want to escape. He wanted it very much. He wasn’t here by choice. Far from it in fact, but The Carnage had attacked the vessel he had been on, boarded it and taking everyone hostage. Anyone who would not be hostage was killed. They called themselves Ravagers. He wasn’t sure why, not did he really care to know. What he did know is that their weapons were powerful and they were agonizingly cruel, but Tisar was patient. His people were people of opportunity. He had been trained from a very young age that one achieved their goals through patience and that sometimes included things one didn’t enjoy doing. He had been waiting for his opportunity, but it hadn’t presented itself.

He wasn’t a warrior. He had never been among the biggest or tallest of Cardassians. He taught music and sold and built his own instruments. He was a simple shop keeper. Yes, he had had some experience piloting ships during the Dominion war, but that had been over for several years. He was also very tired. One of their favorite torture methods was to deny the subject sleep for a number of days. The subject mostly being him. They did this by waking him constantly, putting him into the bar where it was noisy and they wouldn’t let him sit down and play very loud Klingon opera in his cage where he slept at night. He wasn’t even sure how long he’d been awake this time. If you resisted you died. If you argued you died. If you protested you died. Sometimes if you sneezed, you died.

The usual nightly routine of the Carnage bar was suddenly interrupted when a bandit came running into the room, panting and gasping for air. He leaned against a table and cried out, "The Butcher is coming!"

Suddenly these rough and deadly pirates turned into stammering and giddy school children, jumping to their feet and standing in a neat straight line. From down the corridor, they could hear the heavy thumps of the Butcher's steel boots against the floor grating, pounding like a tribal drum announcing his impending arrival.

Tisar was not excited. He was nervous. The giddy feeling that the crew exhibited was fluttering around in the pit of Tisar's stomach. Every time the Butcher showed it could quickly become a whole new ball game and that wasn't always good. Tisar wanted to make himself scarce, but he also didn't want to miss out on any news of anything that the Butcher might be bringing.

If his reputation for violence and cruelty wasn't enough, the Butcher was also a horrifying sight to see. Any sense of species or origin had long since been lost in the modifications the Butcher had made to his body over the years. His long, white-blond, tattered, hair hung limply around a face with red eyes and a breathing apparatus that covered almost all of his lower facial features. Tisar started to quickly pick up the mess off the tables that the crew had left in haste to greet the Butcher's arrival.

When the old pirate burst into the room, the devoted slaves suddenly dropped to their knees in his presence. Balek smirked at the sight, never one to miss a moment to laud his status over his subordinates. He held out his right hand as he walked the line and each one of his war children reached out lovingly and held onto it for the briefest of devine moments.

Finally the Butcher sauntered to the bar where he eyed off the new Cardassian member of the crew, his lip still curled in a playful menace.

"My hekant." Balek sneered as he looked at Tisar. "Kiba'avzayn."

Tisar dropped his gaze to the table in front of him, using his peripheral vision to watch instead. You are far from my friend, old man, he thought as he continued to pick up the long tables of the bar. He was starting to run out of things to pick up though, but he desperately wanted to hear what the Butcher had to say. He set his tub down and pulled a mildly damp rag from his apron and started to clean the table.

The Butcher sneered and looked to this other crew, "My war boys, we are going hunting!" The band of pirates roared in celebration, cheering their commander's words with a sadistic enthusiasm. "We have detected a very juicy target, a Starfleet vessel!" Again, this comment was rewarded with a round of cheers and applause from the willing audience. "And I need volunteers to go after them, through the dark matter."

This time, however, there was confused silence. Heads turned away, bold pirates began to mumble to themselves in a noticeably less enthusiasm. The barrier of dark matter that bordered their killing field was like an impenetrable wall in which no one survived. For all their gusto and bravado, not even the Ravagers dared try to pass through the nebula. This had the distinct smell of a suicide mission.

"What?" Balek baulked at their hesitation. "Do you defy your commander?"

"No sire," They chorused in unison.

"Do you not live for the hunt? The thrill of reward?" Balek cried.

"Yes sire!" They replied, their voices rising more.

"Then you will fly through the nebula and you will catch that vessel!" Balek commanded.

"YES SIRE!" They shouted back now, full of thunder once again.

"Good." There was an unmistakable grin on the old Butcher's face. "The first fifteen men to reach the scouts will be rewarded with the glory of the hunt. GO!"

In a furious stampede, the Ravagers pushed and shoved each other to rush out of the room; they clawed and fought to be the first ones to make it to the shuttles. Balek stood back and watched the scene with a smirk, nodding at how quickly his men turned to madness just to please him. When the crew had departed, or been knocked to the floor unconscious, Balek turned back to Tisar.

"No need to run, my hekant." He toyed. "Your place on the hunt is already guaranteed."

Tisar stiffened, but it wasn't visible. Here it comes... He gathered his wits quickly, regardless of his sleep deprived state and looked over his shoulder to see if perhaps someone standing behind him was who the Butcher was addressing. He finally focused his gaze back on the man. "My place, sir?" he questioned. There was nothing on his face or his gaze that indicated anything about the knot in his stomach and his mind turned to what possible new form of torture the Butcher had come up with.

"Time for you to join the hunt." Balek replied simply, "Data files from your old ship show you were a pilot, hekant, and where we are going, we need pilots. You will lead the scouts into the dark matter and chase down those Federation pests."

He's lost his damn mind if he thinks I'm fighting for him, was the first thought on Tisar's mind, but he also realized who he was talking to. "It has been a long time." It was more of a suggestion then any sort of denial, that perhaps the Butcher should find one of his own men to fill the position, but subtlety was often lost on the man. So as a follow up Tisar added, "What would you like me to pilot, sir?" He had to admit that starfleet on the horizon was good news. If the Carnage didn't destroy them, they might be his ticket out of this stinking death trap. He would just have to make sure they didn't get destroyed.

Balek looked the Cardassian up and down, that glint of menace still in his eyes. "We acquired a Cardassian shuttle during a successful liberation in the Neutral Zone. Imagine the joy you will feel back in your rightful place gunning down those Federation scum once more. Glory days to you, Tisar!"

Tisar made a curt little bow, his head cocking to one side so he didn't have to take his eyes off the Butcher. His father had taught him, never take your eyes off your enemy. "Oh yes sir! I will definitely feel joy!" He tipped his head to the other side and smiled a little, putting an edge of a knowing look to that smile, like he and the Butcher were suddenly in cahoots. Of course, he felt none of that. "And glory days to you as well, Sire..." What overinflated ego didn't like to be called, sire?

And the Butcher smirked once more, "Don't forget hekant, your former crew are still within my employ. Should you fail, or sabotage the hunt in any way, I will use them to decorate my hull." He laughed loudly at the thought, slapping Tisar on the shoulder.

"Yes, of course." We wouldn't want to miss the chance to lord that over my head. He also thought about the fact that he hadn't seen any of those crewmembers for awhile. It was possible that they were already dead. To an extent they weren't people he was attached to. It was probably a little too cold and calculating that he was thinking that way, but this was a game of survival. A Cardassian shuttle would at least afford him the comfort of systems he already knew how to manipulate. Perhaps he could even get a message out to the Starfleet vessel without the Butcher being aware of it. Depending on the age of the shuttle though, his resources might be limited. "I wouldn't expect any less, sire. You did not become Captain of this glorious vessel by showing mercy." Tisar gave him the same knowing smile.

"True." Balek grunted in a form of agreement. "You best run along now, hekant, and make sure you kill as many Federation rodents as you can! You may hang their limbs from your bunk tonight."

There was another raucous laugh from the Butcher as he watched Tisar scurry away, the old bandit convinced he had just unleashed a Cardassian's fury against their Starfleet prey.

 

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