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( Special thanks to Marielle Deniaud for her assistance in writing this series. )
The former security chief stole away from his position within the rock formations. His pick was left as he searched for the Ferengi. Gideon’s dreams were increasingly vivid and they simply left him desiring more. The guards seemed to be more present during their meal times and he hadn’t gotten a chance to ask Fregg for more details regarding the Grave Dust. The half-Bajoran ignored the other prisoners as he walked past them in his search for answers. Cobalt finally found the short green skinned businessman and he approached quietly.
Fregg grumbled as he pathetically threw a small rock against the wall. He sneered at the small divot created by his hours of work. His pick was blunt, but he really didn’t care to work the mines. “I cannot remember the last time I had a proper oo-mox,” he muttered to himself as he cleared away the debris under his work.
He lifted his gaze briefly to be sure that there were no guards or other prisoners nearby. Gideon lowered to squat so that he might be able to hide quickly if someone approached. “Hey Fregg. I have a question.” The half-Bajoran waited only a beat before continuing. “Would a lower dose allow me to work while on the Grave Dust?” The mornings were still pleasant to him, but there was an edge that started to eat at his nerves in the hours before heading back to dinner.
The Ferengi blinked at the former security chief. “You’re already getting a low dose.” Fregg grinned as his head tilted in one side and his back bowed so he could look up at the half-Bajoran. It was a distinctively Ferengi posture. “I haven’t tried a lower dosage level.” He hummed in thought, dirty narrow fingers scratching at his chin. “That could be a good business proposition for the others. Help them get through the day instead of the night. Smart thinking hoo-man.”
Gideon lifted his hand and curled his fingers expectantly. “Try it on me,” he whispered insistently. There was no thought to the fact that Fregg didn’t carry his hypospray with him at all times. He simply needed a fix to the dull burning of his skin.
He chuckled and shrugged as he picked up his pick. “Sorry, hoo-man. It is in my hiding spot. I’ll experiment tomorrow.” Fregg lifted the blunt tool and he huffed as he prepared to swing the pointed tip towards the stone again. He stopped then looked at Gideon as if realizing something for the first time. “What are you doing away from your station?” he glanced around quickly and narrowed his eyes when his gaze settled on the half-Bajoran. “You’ll get us both in trouble if you’re caught. Get back before they find you here!”
“Fanculo!” he hissed, oblivious to the Ferengi’s words of warning. “Ne ho bisogno oggi! Proprio adesso! (I need it today! Right now!)” Gideon clenched his fist and pushed himself to his feet. A string of Italian fell from his lips as he reached and pulled his fingers through his hair. His other hand rested on his hip as he shifted restlessly in place. “When we get back?” he asked hopefully. His body tensed and his eyes widened at the change in the atmosphere within the mine.
There was a rumble through the stone that shook the earth. The moment of silence was brief but perceptions easily tricked the mind, time slowing to the point that senses came alive. Dust billowed from the collapsed section of the mine and seemed to slowly float aimlessly before the first screams echoed against the cavern walls. Prisoners rushed in one direction while the guards pushed forward to control the panic.
He turned to face the billowing dust as realization hit him. If he had remained at his place, the rock would have crushed him. It also meant the Klingons would know that he’d left his assigned area. Such a trespass was harshly punished. Gideon’s chest heaved with the implications of his actions. His mind raced for an explanation. He didn’t notice as Fregg slowly moved away from him.
A rushing guard stopped at the mouth of the cavern, dark eyes narrowing at seeing the half-Bajoran. “You!” he sneered, his deep bass voice echoing against the cold ice. “What are you doing here?! This is not your location!” The Klingon made his way towards Gideon, the long pain stick poised at the ready. His attention narrowed on the former security chief, so he didn’t see the Ferengi disappearing into the shadows. “Did you cause the cavern to collapse?!” The end made contact with his side, sparks flying, before the prisoner could answer. The guard pulled the stick back only briefly before he all but stabbed the convulsing man with the metal rod once more.
The half-Bajoran dropped to his knees and curled away from the attack as he cried out in denial. “No! I felt it coming so I ran-” His words were silenced by another strike from the pain stick. His yelp of pain filled his ears as he tried to protect himself. “Please!” Gideon twisted away but his retreat was stopped when the metal band on the catch pole closed around his neck. A frustrated shout ripped from his lips and he gripped the pole to ease the strain on his neck as he was lifted to his feet. “Lasciami andare pezzo di merda! Sarei morto se non avessi lasciato la mia stazione! (Let me go! I’d be dead if I hadn’t left my station!)” Italian continued to echo off the walls as he staggered after the guard.
He dragged him along the path he took, past the guards who rushed towards the scene and past the prisoners who had been kept to their assigned areas. There was no consideration to the humiliation and pain to which he was subjecting Gideon. “It’s to the pit with you,” he sneered. When the half-Bajoran struggled, he paused during mid-stride and turned. The pain stick was used as a bat to knock him into unconsciousness. It took several cracks on his skull, but once the struggle ended, the guard continued to his destination.