The Time of Hagalaz, Presumed Guilty Part One

Chapter Three

"Oh, Anar look at all of this stuff!" Janice squealed over the variety of containers waiting for them in one of the transport's cargo holds.

"There's enough here for six months…" Anar joined her in staring over the neat stacks of supplies.

"Six, seven months, yes," Anon agreed, "until your fields start to produce."

"Our fields…" Anar started to say, but Anon was already turning away from him to bear down on a replicator.

"This, too. You can have it."

"The replicator?" Janice blinked.

"You said supplies and bandages, right?" Anon reminded her. "There are your supplies, and here are your bandages. I can't program the banks…Well, yes, I can program them," he adjusted his claim not to lower himself in her eyes. "I just don't have the time --” he jumped back three feet when she kissed his cheek, terror scrawled across his face.

"What are you doing?!"

"Saying thank you?" Janice suggested as he stood there irritably swatting at his cheek.

"Thank you?" he accused her. "Is this how you say thank you to someone?"

"No, not everyone," Anon agreed. "And not me!"

"I'm sure Janice didn't mean to offend you," Anar tried not to laugh at Anon's surprising discomfort. "It's a Human tradition."

"I'm Cardassian, not Human," Anon gave his cheek one last angry swipe. "We kiss for specific reasons."

"So do Humans," Anar promised. "The same as the rest of the galaxy. A form of thanks is only one of them."

"The rations are Cardassian," Anon ignored him to return to the supplies. "You realize that."

"I realize I don't care." Anar answered honestly. "And neither will anyone else."

"Good," Anon set a weapons locker down in front of them with a bang. "This is how someone expresses thank you. They accept what is given…"

"Phaser rifles?" Janice said when Anon flipped open the locker; Anar could only stare.

"Six of them," Anon picked up one of them. "And extra cell packs --”

"Oh, but we don't need…"

"Now, wait a minute, Janice," Anar stopped her as Anon huffed.

"Janice!"

"But we don't need them," Janice insisted. "We really don't."

"Yes, you do!" Anon's arms flailed in demonstration. "What are you going to do if the Klingons come again? Just give them your replicator like you did your last one?"

"He has a point, Janice," Anar supported quietly. "We do need them for protection."

"Exactly. For protection. No one is going to win a war with six rifles, Janice. And no one is going to start one!" Anon slammed the rifle back inside the locker, closing it. "Take them, don't take them. They're here, they're yours. Do with them what you want. If I had a shuttle I'd give you one of them, too -- with charged phaser banks!" he smacked the locker and left.

"Something I said?" Janice winced to Anar reopening the locker with a low whistle.

"It's a new one, I have to admit. Cardassians giving phasers to the Maquis -- you didn't hear that," he reminded her. "A wise and kindly Town Elder. Nothing more. No less."

"No. No, I did hear it, Anar," Janice shook her head. "And you're wrong. Anon's wrong, and you're wrong. He means well, but the only thing he's right about it is no one is going to win a war with six rifles. They're not. Not against the Cardassians. Not against the Klingons," she picked up one of the rifles. "Six rifles, Anar? Against a squadron of Klingons? That isn't protection, it's suicide."

"So what do we do instead? Give them the replicator when they return? If they return? They will return."

"Yes. That's exactly what we do. Give them the replicator, and everything else. Except our lives."

Anar took the rifle away from her to remove its power cell. "You're right, of course."

Janice grinned. "I am?"

"Yes. Though there's no guarantee they won't take our lives even if we don't aim phasers at them."

"But we probably stand a better chance," she nodded.

"Yes," Anar heaved a sigh tinged with fond memories for the rifle, "we probably stand a better chance -- until harvest. I don't know anything about farming. Not a reaper from a sower -- What?" he said to her gasp. "Why? Do you?"

"No, it's not that. I forgot to give Anon the serum!"

"Oh. Well, I'm sure he's still here. That's all right. You go and I'll…I'll dismantle the rifles and put them in the replicator," he agreed. "The power cells we can probably use for something else."

"Like repairing the transmitter?" Janice smiled.

"Well, that we can probably fix with what we manage to scrounge from the transport's communication system -- we'll have to see. Depends on what else Anon may have left us -- not that this isn't enough. It is. Certainly more than anything I ever expected."

"Oh," Janice bit her lip, suddenly a little concerned others might see Anon's generosity in a different light. "Why? Do you think he's going to get in trouble?"

Anar chuckled. "To the contrary. I'm sure whatever is not accounted for in his inventory he'll just pass off as having been destroyed in the crash."

"Landing," Janice nodded.

"Crash," Anar assured. "He landed all right. With a bang. Now, run and give him the ryetalyn before he does leave us. And I'll…I'll…" he grimaced at the rifle in his hand.

"The first one's the hardest," Janice promised, leaving to catch Anon before he transported aboard his new ship.

"I believe you mean the last one," Anar set the replicator to assimilate the rifle's housing, closing his eyes with a quick prayer to the Prophets he was doing the right thing.



"Oh, your Eminence," Weyoun brightly called Anon's attention away from checking over the equipment removed from the downed transport when Janice appeared through the cargo door on the run toward them. "I believe Doctor Lange might be looking for you."

The young Sentinel Pfrann looked up quickly, a flicker of apprehension clouding his bright, golden stare.

"Yes, all right." Anon's answered Weyoun, his question of his brother equally benign. "Is this the last of it?"

"Yes," Pfrann agreed quietly. "Anon…"

"Order it aboard," Anon tossed him the padd with its list of inventoried items.

"Understood." Pfrann's apprehension lingered, watching his brother walk away.

"Or is it just me?" Weyoun smiled.

"It's you!" Pfrann snapped, hammering his communication badge.

"Of course," Weyoun inclined his head.

Her hair was flying free and loose like a maddened Klingon's as she ran up to him. "Did you change your mind?" he wondered.

Janice breathed deeply to catch her breath. "About what? The phaser rifles? No. Anar changed his. We're keeping the power cells, but destroying the housings, yes."

"Of course," Anon nodded ruefully. "You're a dangerous woman, Janice Lange, you know that? Far more dangerous than me."

"Oh," Janice said. "Well, I don't happen to think you're that dangerous," she shrugged.

"You don't?" he paused. "Oh. Well, you're wrong. Look at me. I am dangerous. Pfrann, too. Tan. All of us. That's the way it is."

"Well, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. In the meantime…" she handed him the vile of ryetalyn. "Anar and I would like you to have this to remember us. It's raw serum."

"Raw serum…" Anon stared at the slender silver tube in his hand.

"Ryetalyn. The epidemic's over -- at least here. I don't think it reached your colonies. I hope it didn't, or that it ever will. But just in case you should ever need it, now you have it. There's enough there to save…maybe two thousand people? I realize it's not a lot --”

"It's a lot," Anon corrected, and she smiled again. "What about you?"

"Oh, we're fine. Really. We have plenty. More than enough to share with the next transport that happens by…And Anar's really looking forward to getting back to the fields -- or into the fields," Janice laughed. "You can't replicate a sower can you? Or even just a manual on farming?" she finished nervously.

"I don't know," Anon studied the vile.

"Oh," Janice said. "Oh, well, I'm sure you could. The same as I'm sure Anar can. So I guess this is goodbye then."

"Yes, it is goodbye," Anon agreed.

"Yes," Janice stepped back with a wave towards the transport site. "Well, you better go. Pfrann's waiting. Weyoun -- what's going to happen with Weyoun now that the war is over?" she wondered suddenly, really never having thought of it before.

He was going to kill him. Anar knew that, standing there in the cargo hatchway watching them. The Vorta was a liability the Gul had carried much longer than he had planned, more so now because he was also a witness.

"Anon?" Janice asked.

"Thank you," he saluted her with the vile of serum and turned away. He turned back after a step to Anar's surprise, but then again it wasn't.

"Anon?" Janice said.

He kissed her. To him it was like kissing a soft, silk pillow. To her it was like kissing a smooth, cool piece of leather.

"Thank you again," he nodded when he let her go.

Janice swallowed. "Any -- anytime."

"Like father, like son," Anar mentioned from behind after Anon and his group transported off the planet.

Janice jumped when he spoke and he laughed. "Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."

"Oh, no, you didn't startle me," she denied, flushed and breathing a little heavier than she did normally. "What do you mean like father, like son?"

"Well…" Anar said as they walked back to the transport, "not to malign a criminally insane man…"

"Oh, please!" Janice swatted him with her own laugh. "You're maligning him just by saying that!"

"Worse has been said," Anar promised. "All of it true. So, yes, it's also accurate to say the senior Dukat had as notorious of a reputation when it came to women. Especially Bajoran. Especially young ones."

"Well, I'm not Bajoran," Janice tucked her arm through his. "And actually I think he's kind of cute."

"Anon?" Anar smiled. "For a Cardassian, I suppose he is."

"You're not shocked."

"No, my child," he assured. "I'm far more shocked that at age fifty-eight I'm about to become a farmer."

"You'll make a wonderful farmer," Janice believed. "You'll see."


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