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The List

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Where was it, where was it, it had to be here somewhere, it had to be. She whirled over to another cabinet, how many cabinets did a chemist need anyway, rifled through as best she could while keeping an ear out for any disturbances. She needed to be fast but she needed to find it dammit.

“What are you doing here?” an outraged voice sounded from behind her.

She froze, except for the grimace on her face. The Prophets had forsaken her on this night. She raised her hands and turned slowly.

It was the chemist. The collaborator. Vaatrik Pallra. He was supposed to be with his wife at his private quarters, the quarters he'd surely procured through his collaboration with the Cardassian Occupation.

Kira tried to keep the hatred off her face, but she wasn't a talented liar, not even to the Cardassian overseers.

“I think the more important question is what have you been doing, Vaatrik Pallra?”

“What do you mean?”

“We know you have a list of Cardassian collaborators. We want it.”

“We?”

“I'm with the resistance. You are with the Cardassians,” she spat. “You would betray your own people for profit.”

“I am not betraying my people!” he insisted. Vaatrik rushed at her.

And she had to react, ducked under his arms and shoved him off balance, and it felt wrong to be fighting a Bajoran, felt wrong to see skin that wasn't gray and a nose that wasn't smooth, and Prophets forgive her, she couldn't think, she had to stop thinking, she had to stop him, he was hurting her people, he wasn't one of her people, not anymore, he'd betrayed them all.

His blood was on the floor, on the cabinets, on her hands.

Her hands were shaking.

She hadn't found the list. She had failed, failed her mission, her cell, her people. Shakaar would be disappointed. And Furel. But she had to leave. She could not be found with Vaatrik; the Cardassians would butcher her without thought.

She slipped out the same way she came in, covered her steps like Lupaza had taught her, but it was difficult, and Kira could blame it on being aboard this monstrosity in orbit of her home or she could admit that she felt unsteady.

She had never killed a Bajoran before. He was a collaborator, he was barely a Bajoran anymore, he was like Secretary Kubus, a traitor, a lover of Cardassians. He … he was barely a Bajoran. This didn't count as killing a fellow Bajoran.

She tucked away in a corner on the habitat ring and slunk to the ground. The Cardassians kept it hot here on Terok Nor, too hot to sleep in easily. But she'd slept in worse. She tucked her hands in between her thighs and squeezed them together as tightly as she could.

Her hands would stop shaking soon.