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Recalling the past

Posted on Mon Aug 15th, 2022 @ 6:17pm by Lieutenant JG Marritza Nador

Personal Log, stardate 2178 point 8.

I've been remembering the past during my sleeping hours and it is quite disturbing. Possibly the negative emotions come from spending too much time with the more affectionate species, but I don't like experiencing these memories one bit. I'm logging this for my precious children in the event something happens to me and I will have these recordings sealed until they reach adulthood.

On the day of my birth in 2347, the pollution around Setlik Prime was unusually heavy and suffocating. It was also the date that my father Gul Delgon Jurant fell in combat to the Federation at Sestis III. The Midwives said it was an omen cursing me with a life of pain and suffering. With the loss of my father, our family fell from prominence into destitution as the military government reclaimed all of his holdings. The colonists on Sestis Prime were also increasing their level of hostile towards my family.

My mother brought my siblings and myself to our grandparents Krintar farm to live. The days of my upbringing actually begins here. Early mornings were spent feeding the Toj'Lath and milking the Urals before the morning meal. We spent ten hours at the local military school and returned to help in the Krintar fields. There was very little time to socialize and play in those days as any spare time was spent digging out the Krintar roots. My sisters and I always looked forward to the end of the growing cycle as my Grandparents would always take us back to Arawath Colony and sell wagons of Krintar to the merchants in the capital city. We girls would run around the city shopping or enjoying the festivities.

My education made a drastic turn in 2347, with exceptional performance evaluations in the fields of memory retention and Engineering; the military school I was attending transferred my records to Arawath City's Military Academy and I was removed from my home at the age of ten to attend the military officers course. At the time, I was the youngest cadet in school history which led to difficulties with the other cadets during my attendance.

On the day I was taken away from my family, my grandparents stood stoically by as my mother and siblings cried. Two armed Soldiers escorted me away with only the clothing I wore. Five days traveling through the humid desert left my skin burnt and worn like old leather.

At times we would stop for meals, but as I hadn't earned the right of a Soldier; I was expected to spend this time finding food and drink which left little time before starting the long trek again. My only meal of the day was the last one before going to sleep. These meals were usually cut pieces of Julbuk Cactus which isn't what one would call a delicacy, but edible.

A couple nights I was able to scrounge onyx beetles and wild Kritnar plants; the Soldiers were kind enough to loan me a pan and spoon to create a field version of Lok'Met stew with the gravy from the Kritnar roots; of course the cost of loaning the utensils was that the Soldiers ate their share first leaving me with the scraps.

As we approached the main city, other groups of candidates with their escorts joined ours until a formation was established. We arrived at the gates of Arawath Colony by mid-day on the sixth day and were paraded through the streets of the capital as we marched to the large double doors which led into the military academy.

Introduction to the Academy

We stood in front of the elaborate doors, from the shadows of the overhang approached a dark figure carrying a Clud'Jothen with a Jevonite globe at the head with archaic creatures carved down the shaft and ending with a Jevonite spear tip. "I am Sol'Lyn" claimed the figure "You will call me Head Mistress until you have earned the right to whisper my name. You will follow your mistresses for in-processing." As we began moving, the dour figure looked in my direction and pointed the staff "You, you will come with me for in-processing."

Two female officers wearing Cardassian uniforms walked up behind me and grabbed my shoulders leading me to the stone faced figure. She led me into a room, there was no light other than a furnace burning in the center of the room. "Remove your clothing and toss it in there" as her staff pointed towards the burning cauldron. It was the first and last time I would speak back to a senior officer as I retorted "But I won't have anything on" Suddenly pain shot through one of my feet as it exploded into a bloody wretch pierced against the floor by the wench's Clud'Jothen. The mistress ripped the staff away and reflex had me pull my foot to my body "When one is ordered they do, they don't question." Again the spear struck, the other foot shredding the tissue "When ordered, one acts immediately. Now move it." with her stern unwavering voice.

I quickly undressed and tossed my clothes into the flames. The figure began moving further into the room and I followed her through a second door. Five uniforms lined the wall. "These are yours, put them on" At first, I dressed in one of the uniforms and gathered the others together. Placing on the stockings and boots were painful as the clothing stuck to blood, but I did so while keeping my eyes on the staff and her stone expression. She lifted the staff again "I said put them on, all of them" in a stern voice. For a moment I was about to speak, but chose to place the remaining four uniforms on overlapping each other.

The five uniforms were heavy and awkwardly hanging as I was smaller than the average entrants. The Head mistress just stared at me before moving on. I continued to follow her down the hallway with several opened metal doors. Each door had a number and inside each cell furnished a concrete bench with a blanket, a desk with a glowing ball. The head mistress stopped in front of one door "This is your room, remember your number it will be yours for the next four years. If you survive that is."

She continued walking, her Clud'Jothen tapping the floor with every step. Click,click, click sounding like a clock as it tapped between each step. She led me into an auditorium with the other students, as we approached the front she pointed to a chair "Sit" and she continued climbing the steps to the stage. As the stern woman crossed the stage tapping her club on the stage floor with each step "This is your first test, you shall stay alert and stand immediately when a mistress enters the room." a short pause followed before she finished her statement "There are no second chances, no forgiveness, and certainly no talking. You will stand before a single word is spoken or you will be punished." From there her speech ended and the mistresses filed out of the room behind the leader.

Doors were locked from the outside, the lighting shut off, and the vent systems closed cutting off any air flow that might cool the auditorium. Two hundred children sitting quietly in a dark and scorching room. The fact is that we weren't just children, we were Cardassians. For hours we sat, not one word, not even a cough or loud breath. One of the doors began unlocking and chains pulled from the handles; The group stood up, but the door didn't open. After a few moments everyone returned to their seats. Every several hours this occurred three more times, each time no one entered the room. As time passed, heads began to nod, bodies stretching out, and even a few snoring.

Without notice the doors burst open from all directions only ten of us stood up in time. The mistresses began yelling and striking those not standing with their heavy sticks, pounding the students until massive wounds appeared on their faces and bodies. Those which were snoring were executed by the faculty. The head mistress calmly walked to the stage "As I said, no second chances and no reprieve. This is what makes Cardassians better than the other species."

The entrants were sprawled throughout the aisles; grasping tight to their wounds. "You will now file out and proceed to your quarters, courses begin on Frekson at pre-dawn." at this point, those who rebelled against their parents upbringing would find it difficult to keep up as she continued "You will meet in the field, follow the green line to your formation." Candidates began filing out of the auditorium, gingerly stepping or holding their wounded arms. Mistresses used their boots to shove those who moved too slowly or crawling up the aisles.

At first, I thought thankfully we have a day to recover as we arrived on the Vesma and it was still a day away with no activity scheduled until then. There was no way to determine time or date; no lights, no windows, no calendars, and no clocks. As we began arriving into the assigned quarters, several of the candidates discovered that they were assigned cells already provided to other candidates. Chaos was breaking out with the older children. I was already introduced to my cell. I moved into the room and closed the door. As I began pealing off the uniforms in solitude, the sounds of mistresses entering the quarters ordering students into their cells, smacking some with switches for remaining in the hallway or not remembering their numbers. I continued undressing ignoring the screams of pain outside. The strikes continued for some time until each cell had an individual candidate. As the groans and the strikes continued, I proceeded in my cell as though nothing was taking place.

My uniforms were placed neatly in a drawer of the desk and I would sit silently on the concrete slab throughout the commotion, only finishing once the cries died down. My stockings were pasted onto wounded feet and peeling them off caused the wounds to open once again starting a new fountain of blood to run off of my feet. The first foot, I peeled the cloth off slowly and the pain burned deep within the wound; I decided to rip the second off and though it was painful, it receded quickly.

We were only issued a single blanket, so we had to choose whether to support our neck or to cover ourselves in the chilled evenings. It took most of the first evening switching positions attempting to find a comfortable position and I thought I'd have plenty of time to figure it out, but it wasn't long until yelling started again. Mistresses stormed the various cells; first angry that candidates hadn't stood up promptly upon their entrance, next that we folded our uniforms incorrectly, didn't have this or that properly aligned, blankets weren't folded, we weren't dressed for duty, and finally we were not in formation. Uniforms were thrown in the hallways, blankets, boots, and of course candidates.

The snaps of switches striking flesh, the yelps and screeches of unarmed victims sounded through the halls. The clicks of that cursed Clud'Jothan became louder as the head mistress approached. "No personal items are authorized in the hallways!!" the booming voiced announced. Once again that fatal mix of thunder and lightning striking as she spoke "I thought I said formation at pre-dawn on Frekson. I expect everyone in formation by the time I arrive at the field." The stern figure continued stepping through the rubble towards the field. It was at that point we realized the time deprivation of our locked in the darkness had played a greater role on our bodies as the clubs against our heads.

As the mistresses continued beating the children, we feverishly tried to grab clothing and linen and toss items into cells. I tossed whatever I could into my room and locked the door before rushing out of the living quarters to beat the head mistress to the field. When I arrived, I was welcomed with the blunt globe of the Clud'Jothan to my head. I was to late. Yet, I was lucky; the other students were unrelentingly being beaten by mistresses to the formation. Many, missing items to their issued uniforms.

The Spear yielding demon stood on a pedestal like a stone statue as the initiates formed what appeared more like an evacuation center than a military formation "You are all late, I directed you to be in a location at a specific time and you failed to heed my instructions. How can you be expected to fight our enemies and care for those who loyally follow you when you can't complete a simple task as being where you are directed to be? For this failure, we will skip the morning meal and utilize this time getting from one location to another in a timely manner." the head mistress ended her speech and tapped her Clud'Jothan on the pedestal. The junior instructors then led the gaggle on a four hour run which contributed to a missed lunch as well.

When we returned to our quarters, it was time to clean the mess we left behind. As I folded and returned the clothing to their appointed drawers, I discovered two additional pairs of boots and a second blanket among the pile. I approached one of the junior mistresses as she stared coldly in my direction. "What recruit? Did you forget your number?" I just looked up with a pair of frightened eyes and squeaked out "Mistress, I have discovered excess items in my inventory." I was expecting another brow beating, but was shocked at her response. "So, it was in your room?" "Yes mistress' I replied "Congratulations it is yours now. You can choose to be weak like our enemies and give it to one in need or you can become a Cardassian and build your Vesala."


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Tags: Cardassian Academy, Recall