Alternate Choices
By H.W.

Chapter 14

Seven felt as if everyone was looking at her, and she was right. They had entered through the main entrance of the theater and were just starting to cross the huge lobby which was filled with at least two thousand people. It was interesting to see the sea of people parting before them and Seven could easily understand why the Intendant liked the phenomena so much. Seven could clearly see the outrage on some of the faces. A slave! A slave was going to see a play in the state theater. Eventually they reached a group of three people that didn't move out of the way. Instead they bowed slightly and welcomed the Intendant.

"Intendant, may I introduce myself?" The middle of the three said, "I am Erid Erdan, chief administrator of the state theater, and these are Adre Katen, chief choreographer, and Caze Adex, technical director. Would you please follow me? We have readied the Intendant's lounge for you."

Torres had folded her hands together and was slowly, almost absently, tapping her thumbs against each other. Something was wrong and everyone in the lobby could feel the tension growing, "Tell me, Erid," Torres said softly, but still clearly heard throughout the now totally quiet lobby, "Do you enjoy being chief administrator of this theater?"

"Erg, of course, Intendant."

"Well then, if you don't start acknowledging the presence of my body slave real soon, I will have this shithouse torn down to the last brick within one hour. Do you understand me?"

Seven could hear the gasp go through the crowd at the mention of her status and, in reflex, she lifted her chin slightly.

"Bu, ba, bo. Ehem, body slave, you said? Well, um, heehehe," Erid laughed nervously before finally looking at Seven directly, "Please forgive me, ma'am. I was so focused on the honor of having the Intendant visit this theater that I forgot some of my manners."

It was a weak excuse, but it was an excuse never the less. Seven dipped her head slightly in acknowledgment of the excuse.

"Now," Torres spoke up, "You can show US the way."

"You truly enjoy scaring people to death, do you not?" Seven asked when they were moving again.

"Of course." Torres grinned, "One of the perks of the job, my dear. And beside, it was needed. The guards on the ship spread the word amongst the soldiers, and, after this, word will spread through the populations as well. You are mine, and I will not stand for anybody treating you as less."

"Thank you, mistress."

"Thank me later," Torres said with a smile.

"I most definitely will," Seven assured with a smile of her own.

"So, what did you think?" Torres asked when they were leaving the Intendant's lounge.

"It was interesting."

"Is that good or bad?" Torres asked amused.

"It was not the waste of time that I assumed it would be."

"Is that good or bad?" Torres repeated, still amused.

Seven sighed before finally saying, "I enjoyed the play, mistress."

"And it pains you to admit it."

"Admitting that a waste of time is more enjoyable than working a mathematical problem is not something I enjoy doing."

"Look at it this way, when we have to sit through a Bolian drama you can tell me afterwards in great detail how I succeeded in wasting your time quite successfully."

"I assume you do not like Bolian dramas, mistress?"

They passed through the main entrance and started to move to the hovercar they came in, "You could say that. I always say that Bolian dramas are truly that: a drama."

Seven saw several people coming up to some of the people that were leaving the theater and from the clothing some of the people were wearing it was clear that they were either guards or bodyguard, depending upon the social status of the people they were to protect, "Mistress, if I may ask, why are there no guards accompanying us? Are you not at risk without them?"

"Not that much," Torres said while she got into the hovercar, "I like to think that I can take care of myself. And besides, I'm Klingon, we like to flirt with danger. But in all reality, the only true reason for someone to come close to me during a crime would be if they would kidnap me.

"But the whole point of a kidnapping is to use that person as leverage to have someone else do something for you. But I'm the top. They can't ask someone to do something, 'or else.' So the only other thing would be that someone would want to kill me. But if someone truly did have the balls to try and take me out, they would most certainly do it with some kind of explosion. And then some guards are not going to save my ass," Torres looked at her black clothed slave and grinned, "And besides, I have you, what more would I need?"

"Thank you, mistress." Seven felt a sense of satisfaction spread through her at the realization that Torres trusted her with her safety, "But if you enjoy courting danger, why do you use guards on certain occasions?"

"Because I might like flirting with danger, which probably explains why I took you to be my body slave after you threatened to kill me, but I'm not stupid. I'm not about to walk into a prison with 140 potential hostile slaves without having guards with me. Or when I arrived here at Bajor, I really don't need 300 guards. That was a statement. It said, 'I'm the bad bitch and I've arrived at Bajor to take over. Start pissing your pants.'"

"I see."

"Do you truly?" Torres asked while she moved the hovercar onto the road where she almost collided with another hovercar, "Why can't these Bajorans use site-to-site transporters like everyone else in the coalition?"

"Because it is a rule instated by the first Bajoran Intendant that transporters should only be used if one is traveling to another continent, or further, into space," Seven winced slightly when Torres cut in front of another hovercar with only a little more than a hand-width of room to spare, "It... watch the hovercar, mistress, it is believed that this rule was inspired from the fact that he owned the only two factories that made hovercars at that time. And yes, mistress, I do understand that making a show of force is a very effective way of establishing superiority."

"Alright, since it seems that I am taking the day off today. How about we go enjoy a nice dinner somewhere and after that we can go visit the colonial ruins. You might find those interesting. They were the capital city of Bajor when humans still ruled over Bajor. And tomorrow we go back to seeing what Ro and Delik can come up with in order to appease me."

"Yes, mistress."

"You know, my pet, I would really like it if you would be a little more vocal about whether or not you think something sounds good. I am your mistress, so if I want to do something, I will do it, but that doesn't mean that I won't listen to your input. And I would certainly like to hear it if I suggest something you like."

"Why? I am just your slave, mistress. My... Watch the building, mistress. My opinion does not matter."

"You are not 'just' my slave, and you damn well know it. Just as it won't kill me to get you a drink once in a while, it also won't kill me to hear that you would not want to go to the colonial ruins."

"The curve, mistress, please. And I think I would enjoy what you have planned for the rest of today."

"You know, my pet. You are the worst backseat driver I ever heard of."

Seven looked over her shoulder to the back of the hovercar and then back to the Klingon, "I have not been in the backseat of this vehicle."

Torres grinned at her, "That can change. I have heard that the colonial ruins are normally quite deserted. Not many people want to take a look at old human history."

"I do not see what the two things have to do with each other."

"I'm shocked, my pet. You, as a human, do not know what people do very often in the back of a vehicle?"

"No, I do not." Seven replied, but she was starting to get a good idea what the Intendant was talking about, "Mistress, please... the pedestrians."

Torres suddenly hit the brakes so hard that Seven had to brace herself to prevent her from moving forward in her seat, "Alright, that's it. You get out of the hovercar."

Seven did as she was told and stood beside the vehicle, not really sure what was going on.

Torres got out herself and walked over to where Seven was standing.

"Mistress? I am sorry if I displeased you."

Torres put her hands on her hips and looked the blonde in the eyes for a moment before giving up and starting to grin. She walked past the blonde and patted her affectionately on her rear before simply stating, "You drive."

"Yes mistress. Thank you, mistress."

Did you enjoy your day yesterday, Intendant?"

"Why do you ask, Ro? Don't worry, my pet had enough time this morning to go over the information Jetur sent over yesterday."

"Was the information to your liking, Intendant?" Jetur asked while helping herself to one of the Bajoran fruits on the table. She, Ro, Delik, and Torres were sitting around a table sharing a late breakfast. The breakfast existed only of light food like fruits and sweet pastries because it was almost certain that all of them had eaten before Torres ordered them to the breakfast, at least Torres had and that was all that mattered.

Torres put another peace of fruit into the mouth of her blonde slave who was kneeling at her side, before answering, "My pet noticed quite some inconsistencies and calculation errors. But she assured me that these were normal mistakes anyone could make who is not an all out expert at keeping a budget of that magnitude. In the end it came all together in an acceptable way. My pet corrected the mistakes and inconsistencies.

"She has sent you the information back before coming here, so you will find it waiting for you once you get back. She also added some suggestions you might want to look at. It's up to you if you want to do that, of course, but it would free up some more credits and make your system more flexible."

"I most certainly will." Jetur gave a little nod in the direction of the slave, "Thank you." Jetur showed no indication that she thought herself above following suggestions a mere slave made and Torres mentally added that to Ro's favor in the score she was keeping in her head between Ro and Delik.

"What system is that?" Delik asked casually.

"Oh, come now, Delik. You really think I'm going to tell you that?" Torres asked, "I'm not going to tell Ro what you want to do if you become Intendant, and I'm certainly not going to tell you what she is going to do if she becomes Intendant."

Delik dipped his head in acknowledgment. He had the answer he was looking for, or at least he thought he did. Since they had been talking about credits, he was sure that Ro had offered the Intendant a very big and substantial bribe. On the inside, he was smiling, he knew that the Intendant was not like him, she had enough credits and wasn't that desperate for more. In his eyes, Ro had made a profound mistake. He himself had offered interesting deals to Torres, but it was quite another thing to simply offer a heap of credits.

"Not all I say is guided by ulterior motives," Ro stated softly, "I merely know that you were out the entire day yesterday and I was wondering if you enjoyed yourself."

"Ah, in that case, yes, I did. Very much so." Torres said before asking, "Tell me, how do you know I was out all day, you didn't happen to have me followed, did you?"

Ro was quieted for a few seconds. Not really knowing how to answer that question. Finally she opted for the truth, "Actually, yes I did."

Torres could see the surprise flash over the face of Jetur, clearly Ro and Jetur didn't know fully what the other was doing. That, Torres decided, was a point against them and in favor of Delik.

Ro had not seen the reaction of Jetur and continued with her explanation, "Since I saw you going out without guards I took the liberty to have you followed in case you needed some assistance."

"And to make sure that you knew where I was," Torres added, turning to Delik and not giving Ro a chance to reply, "Tell me Delik, did you have me followed as well?"

"I would not dare to impeach on your liberties like that, Intendant."

"Hmm," Torres decided not to tell either of them that she preferred Ro's approach of keeping an eye on her, it was what she would have done. The reason she didn't tell them this, is because Delik had a point by deciding not to follow a person with the extremely high position of Intendant, Klingon Intendant at that, "Well, Ro, next time tell your friends in the Special Forces to make sure that they are not too inconspicuous. We didn't notice them in the city, but once we reached the colonial ruins they stuck out by not being interested in the scenery while that would normally be the only reason for others to be there."

"I will tell them, Intendant."

"Good. And you two," Torres' pointing finger moved back and forth between Ro and Jetur, "Need to work on your communication if you ever want to stand a chance. Ro was not informed of what you, Jetur, had done in regards to Kira's funeral. And Jetur was not informed that you, Ro, had me followed. That... is unacceptable. Don't let something like that happen again, I will not appoint a person Intendant if that person doesn't even know what her closest ally is doing," Suddenly Torres turned to Delik, "And you, don't even think about planning something, or saying something, that would make it look as if Ro and Jetur are not communicating with each other."

"Of course not, Intendant. I wouldn't..."

"And don't even think about finishing that sentence. You WOULD dare to do that, and I damn well know it."

Before anyone could say anything else, Torres' communicator made itself known, {Martok to Torres.}

Torres popped the piece of fruit she was holding in her hand into the mouth of her slave before tapping the communicator, "Yes?"

{Torres, the Bajorans have a problem.}

"And you are contacting me for that because...?"

{Because this is something that I feel requires the intervention of an Intendant. And since the Bajorans just got rid of theirs, you are the next best thing.}

"I'm the next best thing after a dead Bajoran? I'm flattered, Martok."

{You know what I mean, my friend.}

"Alright, what's the problem?"

{There is an uprising in the Kanzyd mines.}

"You contact me for an uprising of some slaves? Get your priorities straight, Martok. Have them all killed."

{That's the problem; the slaves aren't doing the uprising. It's the long contracts.}

"What?! What the heck gives them the crazy idea of doing something stupid like this?"

{I have no idea. I figured you might want to take care of that, instead of me wasting my spies on this.}

"I..." Torres felt a soft pressure on her leg and looked down to see her slave's hand on her leg, and those blue eyes looking up, "Hold on a minute, Martok," Torres thought for a moment and then decided to leave the channel open so that Marok could hear what the blonde had to say, "Yes, my pet?"

"Mistress, this is not the first time there has been an uprising in those mines, or other places on Bajor for that matter. During Kira's reign, there have been twenty-eight uprisings on Bajor or its nearby colonies from 'long contracts' as you call them. From Kira's finance reports, it is clear that this was an acceptable way of renegotiating contracts before the term was up."

"Renegotiating made contracts? That's preposterous," Torres said.

"Apparently Kira was more interested in keeping the places that made her credits up and running than the fact that, according to Coalition law, contracts can only be renegotiated at the end of their term," Seven countered. "Normally Kira agreed to pay them more credits, but in return, they would have to make even more profit than before so that Kira would get the extra credits back. This was normally done by putting more slaves to work and/or working them harder."

"Thank you, my pet. Martok, you heard?"

{I heard it, I just can't believe it.}

"I think it is time we went and had a little talk with those long contracts, don't you think, Martok? It will give me the perfect opportunity to see how these hopeful Intendant wannabes, that are sitting at this table here, would deal with the situation. Get the shuttle ready; take the three hundred guards I arrived with. You will accompany us."

{I figured as much, the shuttle is being prepared as we speak, the guards are almost onboard.}

"Very good. We will be at the shuttle square in a few minutes. Torres out."

Torres looked around the table before standing up, "Alright, you all come with me."

The Kanzyd mines were located in the heart of the desert regions of Bajor. The burning heat of the desert days and the cold of the nights were only braved for the Dilitium deposits that could be found there. The science of making synthetic Dilitium had been mastered decades ago, but the Klingons had a monopoly on making synthetic Dilitium and they didn't sell the crystals cheap. The Klingons did sell them, but, for races like the Bajorans who did have their own deposits of real crystals, it was cheaper to mine for them.

Torres, being a Klingon, didn't mind the heat, but, while they were walking from the shuttle to the mining complex, she softly asked, "You okay?"

"Yes mistress. My bio-suit regulates my body temperature."

They reached the gates of the complex and one of the guards slammed the bud of his disrupter rifle loudly against the closed metal gate. Martok came up beside Torres, looking at the gate with undisguised contempt, "They have slaves in these and yet they don't even bother putting guards on the walls."

"True," Torres agreed, "I expect that the long contracts don't want to bake in the sun while they can't trust the slaves to do the job, so they just don't do it. The guards are probably on the inside sitting beneath a nice patch roof."

A hatch in the gate opened and, a moment later, a pair of eyes could be seen that got rounder with every second.

"I have a feeling that we were not expected." Martok said, before pointing his disruptor at the pair of eyes, "Open up, or die."

Less than two seconds later, the gates started to open and the group could walk on.

Torres walked into the complex square and looked around for a moment. She knew that most of the complex would be underground where the mining was, and where temperatures were steady day and night. Since she didn't mind the heat, Torres decided that the rest just had to deal with it, "Gather everyone in the square, long contracts as well as slaves."

Torres saw the raised platform that was more then likely used by the masters to oversee the new slaves when they were assigned to a certain job, and punishments, "That'll do," She moved to the platform and sat down in one of the three chairs that were placed on the fifteen by twenty feet platform. She offered the second chair to Martok and moved the third chair about three feet way. Giving Seven room to kneel at her side, and then she offered the third chair to Gowron, a reward for the good job he had done in preparation for her arrival. Ro, Jetur, and Delik were allowed to stand behind them while four guards placed themselves at the corners of the platform. Most of the three hundred guards that had accompanied them meanwhile took strategic positions throughout the complex while fifty of them started gathering everyone in the square.

"They indeed did not expect you to come here, mistress," Seven said, seeing Martok and Gowron also look at her along with Torres.

"Yeah? If that is so, then why start an uprising while they must know that I'm on the planet?"

"They expected that the people wanting the job of Bajoran Intendant would hear about the uprising and abide to all wishes to keep the long contracts quiet during your visit."

"So they basically were using me," Torres clarified with a growl.

"How do you know this?" Gowron asked.

"Mistress?" Seven asked, not answering him.

"You can tell him, I would like to know as well, my pet."

"Yes, mistress. Do you see those two Bajorans in the back? Standing against the wall, talking?"

Torres looked and indeed saw the two people that her slave was talking about, "Yes, what about them?"

"Apparently they were part of the planning; they are talking about it now."

"What are they saying?" Gowron asked.

"Mistress?" Seven once again asked before answering.

Torres nodded her head and Seven started to speak.

'I told you that it wouldn't work, now look what you did.'

'Well if we had waited 'til she was gone the new Intendant would never have agreed. Don't worry; we can still turn this around. We simply blame the slaves, it won't be the first time we got away with blaming them for stuff we did. Tell the others, they have to make it seem as if the slaves overpowered us and that it really was them who did the uprising. They are only slaves; the Intendant is bound to believe us. Who will ever believe the claims of the slaves?'

'This better work or else I will kill you myself.'

'Don't worry, it will work. Good thing that all of us were in on this, otherwise I'm sure that someone would have sold us out.'

Seven stopped talking when one of the two moved away.

"There is no way you could have heard that, my pet."

"I did not," Seven agreed, "But they were looking this way, it is not hard to read lips if you know languages as well as I do, mistress."

"You know something, Torres?" Martok spoke up.


"I was wrong. She is worth a lot more than two hundred thousand credits."

The remark made Torres grin, despite being furious about being used. No matter in what way, Torres hated being used, "Told you. And that is nothing compared to her abilities in bed," Torres put a hand on Seven's shoulder, squeezing it softly, trying to take away any sting hearing the boast might have caused the slave, "Gowron, get those two over here."

Gowron didn't say a word, but simply got up and moved into the crowd that had formed in the square.

"Alright, Delik, you tell me how you would handle this," Torres asked without turning around to him.

"Well," Delik started thoughtfully, "Kira had a point. The Dilitium crystals are an important part of our space travel. I think the best thing to do would be to let them know that Kira's ways won't work anymore and send them back to work."

"Ro?" Torres asked, and for a moment she heard Ro and Jetur

whisper behind her. Once more Torres added points to her mental scorecard. She like the fact that Ro and Jetur first discussed 'their' meaning.

"I think that letting them off with just a warning would be wrong. It would give them the impression that they can get away with it. Soon they will do it again, knowing that they got away with it once, they would think that the next time we would give into them."

"So you would..."

"Set an example. Make it clear that Kira's days are over. Have the long contracts that did the uprising work as slaves in these mines. The Coalition rules are very clear, and every long contract worker knows that once they agree to the term, they are stuck until the end of the term. Only then can they renegotiate their contracts, or end them if they want."

"Well, I as Klingon would normally prefer your way, Ro. But since this is Bajor, I can see Delik's point as well," Torres looked at the two Bajorans that were brought up the platform, "But, unfortunately for them, they decided to use my presence as a pressure point. That... I can not allow."

While Gowron sat back down again, Torres looked at the two men standing in front of her for a moment before looking past them to the about hundred Bajorans and a mass of people that Torres figured had to be at least five thousand slaves. Most were humans and Vulcan, but all six slave races were there. "Alright," She addressed the two men. "I heard some strange story of there being some kind of uprising here. Surely that must be some mistake, long contracts don't do uprisings."

"Intendant, I'm glad you are here," One of the men said, "These slaves were actually the ones doing the uprising, not us."

"Oh? Really?" Torres asked, faking surprise, "Then can you tell me how it is possible that the Bajorans got a message from you long contracts that you would no longer work unless you got more credits for working here in the desert?"

"It's the slaves, Intendant. They overpowered us and forced us to send the message. They knew that we would get into trouble. Everyone knows that long contracts can't be renegotiated."

"Are you trying to tell me that you armed Bajoran masters were overpowered by these slaves?"

"Yes, Intendant. There were just so many of them."

Torres shook her head, for a moment she had thought about letting them live, but the man was quickly digging his own grave, literally, "Well then, how many of the slaves were you able to kill before they finally managed to overpower you?" Torres made a show of looking around, "Seems like a lot of them still survived."

"Th, um, well, Intendant, there were just so many, and it happened to fast, they overpowered us before we could do anything."

"And how was it possible that it was a Bajoran that opened the gates for us?"

"Um, because we managed to take back the command of the complex."

"Let me get this straight. Some unarmed slaves were able to overpower you armed Bajorans, but once they overpowered you and took away your weapons, as even a moron would do, you were able to overpower them again. Did I miss something?"

"Well, um, at that point we were used to the situation and were able to think more clearly, think up a plan to overpower them."

"I see." Torres purred, "Well, what do you suggest that I do with the people who dare to start an uprising?"

"Um, that, well, isn't really for me to decide, Intendant. I'm sure that such a wise person as you will think of something appropriate."

"Well, in that case." Torres said, having enough of the stupid man, "Gowron, tell the guards to kill all the long contracts. Gut them and have their bodies hung from the walls as a reminder."

"What? You bitch," The second man said and jumped at Torres while the first man stood rooted to the spot.

Torres reacted immediately, just like everyone else on the platform. But before the man was able to come truly near Torres, a hand had closed around his throat and he was lifted off the ground.

Martok started to laugh while two of the guards took hold of the first man, "You sure you won't sell her, Torres?" He asked, knowing what the answer would be. He looked at the man who was now desperately holding onto the arm that was holding him off the ground, "I'll give you five million credits for her."

Torres laughed as well, "Aren't you the one who said that a slave could never be worth more than two hundred thousand credits?"

"She changed my mind," Martok said amused while he looked at the man dangling from the slave's hand.

"Well, no can do, my friend. I won't even part with her for five billion." Torres got serious again and looked at Gowron, "Execute my order. Kill the Bajorans; leave the slaves in the square so that they can see it."

Hearing the order, the Bajorans in the square started to run around, trying to escape. But there was no escaping the three hundred Klingon commando guards.

"While Gowron rounds up the long contracts, I want to take a look around here. See if those contracts were trying to skim off some of the Dilitium and sell it for themselves to make some extra credits," Torres got up and walked to the stairs of the platform, fully expecting everyone to follow her.

"Um, Torres?" Martok said.

Torres turned around to him before asking, "Yes?"

As answer, Martok nodded to the slave.

"Oh." Torres said when she saw that her slave was still holding the, by now unconscious, man off the ground, "You can let go of him now, my pet. Let the guards deal with him."

"Yes, mistress," Seven stated while simply opening her hand.

Torres descended the stairs and indicated to the others to go on while she waited for her slave. She took hold of the blonde's arm when she reached the end of the stairs and waited for the last guards to pass with the unconscious man. Torres noticed that Martok hadn't moved on and for a moment she thought of telling him to go.

But then she decided that Martok was not just a friend, he was the head of the security department and he had a job to do. In situations like this, her safety was his top priority. She decided that his four meter (12 feet) distance had to be enough. She focused on her slave and gave her a small grin, "You know, I am capable of handling a Bajoran."

"I know mistress."

"And even if I weren't, there were four guards, two other Klingons who had to be good enough to get the ranks they now have. And besides that, there was also a former Bajoran Special Forces Captain standing right behind me."

"I know mistress."

"Then why did you do what you did?"

"Because it does not matter who else was present, mistress. You are mine and I will not wait and see if others will protect you if I am in a position to do it."

Seven had seen how Martok had turned around to them when she had said that Torres was hers. For a moment, they looked at each other and then Martok turned around once more. Somehow Seven had a feeling that he might not agree with her claim, but he also didn't object to it, for the moment.

"Do we need to have a talk, Martok?" Torres suddenly asked, clearly she had noticed the interaction between the two even though she was standing with her back to him.

"No, no need," He said in a slightly drawn out way in which Torres knew that what ever the interaction had been about, he didn't object.

"Alright," Torres focused on her slave again, "Listen, my pet. What is going to follow now will not be pretty. I will send you back to the shuttle with some guards..."

"Please mistress. Let me stay."

"I'm going to have people killed because of information you gave me," Torres clarified.

"No, you are not. You are going to have people killed for an uprising. My information only made sure that you are going to punish the right people. I do not see this as one hundred people being killed because of what I did; I see this as five thousand people being saved because I was able to point out the true culprits. I have no problem with that."

"Alright, but you will still see what happens to them."

"I have seen much worse while I was a Borg drone. Mistress, how long do you think you can keep me from seeing the things you also have to do?"

Torres sighed; she knew her slave was right, "Alright, you stay."

"Thank you, mistress."

Three hours later, Torres was once again sitting on the platform. This time she was overseeing a truly grotesque sight. The long contracts had been gutted by Torres' order and hung from the wall, their intestines spilling from their bodies onto the ground.

"Master Slave, front and center, including the five following in command," Torres shouted over the square and, a moment later, six people were standing in front of the other slaves, "Take a good look around you. I'm going to say something and it is going to happen. If not, the walls will be decorated even more, you got me?"

All six of them nodded.

"Fifty Bajoran Special Forces will be stationed here to guard you all. For the rest, it is up to you all from now on to make sure that these mines meet their target. As long as you do, you will only be guarded. If you don't reach your target even once, new masters will take over the mines."

The square was totally silent, all contemplating what the Intendant was saying. They would get no new masters?

"Master Slave, from now on you will report to the commander of the Special Forces that will be posted here."

"Intendant, do I understand this correctly?" Jetur asked, "You don't want to post new long contracts here?"

Torres looked back at the redhead, "You can be happy that you are a close ally of Ro, who is in the running for Intendant. Otherwise you would join these slaves, as a slave. You don't question an Intendant."

"Of course, forgive me," Jetur was quick to say.

"Now," Torres continued in a tone that sent cold shivers down Jetur's back, "You were the one so concerned with credits and their use..." Torres tapped Seven on the shoulder, "My pet, do you happen to know how many credits went in here as wages each year?"

"Kira considered the mines very important, mistress. Each long contract got paid two million credits each year."

"So, Jetur, you are now saving two hundred million credits each year. Those slaves know that they will be killed if they don't meet their target. No long contract stationed here would be able to give them more incentive than that. So, all those long contracts would be doing here is sitting on their ass and getting rich. Your Special Forces will get paid either way, and the fifty of them that will be stationed here will be more than enough to keep the slaves from getting strange ideas."

"You are right, of course," Jetur said, desperately hoping that she hadn't messed up big time.

"Of course I'm right, aren't I, my pet?" Torres asked, tapping Seven on the shoulder.

"Yes, mistress. You are always right."

"See," Torres said with a grin. "Now, Ro you are so chummy-chummy with the Special Forces. Contact them and tell some of them to get their asses over here. I want to leave in one hour and those Special Forces better be here by then."

"I'll get to it right away."

"What a day," Torres said with a sigh before dropping down on the couch in a very un-Intendant like manner, "I tell you, my pet, these Bajorans with their roundabout politics drive me nuts."

Once they had come back from the mines, they had gone over current issues concerning Bajor and its territory, as if the morning had never happened.

"Mistress, if I may ask, why did you decide to focus on politics after this morning?" Seven asked while she walked to the replicator, "Were you not planning on a politics session for the day after tomorrow?"

"I was," Torres agreed, "And having to deal with that stuff sure put me in a mood," Torres took the drink that the blonde handed her, a drink she didn't ask for, "I... How do you always know what I want, my dear?"

"I am your body slave, mistress. It is my job to know."

Torres opened her legs so that the blonde could kneel between them and grinned, "And you are so damn good at it. Now, before I answer you question. I first want to ask you something. Why were you not disturbed by what happened today? You needed to talk to my counterpart when K'Trelan attacked us. Yet, when you see people being gutted you don't even flinch."

"It is not what I see, mistress, but what I do. I needed to talk to B'Elanna because 'I' killed. But I did not do that today. Today I saw things happen. As a Borg drone, I saw a lot happen, I did a lot as well, but I did not have any control over my actions then. But once I became an individual again, I could still remember everything, every minute of my Borg existence. Mistress, seeing one hundred people being killed for actions they did, does not compare to seeing millions of people being killed for the simple reason that they are not suitable for assimilation, but have the technology to be a threat to the Borg in the future."

"I see. So you don't think less of me now?"

"Mistress, I might not agree with your sentencing, which I indeed do not, but I know that you had to make that sentencing. You were being used. You could not allow them to get away with that."

"What sentencing did you agree to then?" Torres wondered.

"I agreed with Ro Laren's suggestion. But I know that she, as a Bajoran, could make that sentencing. But you, as Klingon Intendant, could not. You did not have a different option."

"I'm glad that you understand that, my pet. Anyway, to get back to your question as to why I did ask them those questions today. They saw how I dealt with the situation in those mines, Jetur messed up by questioning me, or so she thinks..."

"She did not?" Seven asked before adding, "I apologize for interrupting, mistress."

"Well since we are alone, and since you are not arguing with me, you are forgiven, my pet. And as to Jetur messing up, quite to the contrary. Remember that we wondered if she would dare to question Ro? Well, she dared to question ME, I guess that answers that question. She dared to question me, so she is sure to be able to question Ro, a person no where near so feared as me."

"I see, thank you for explaining mistress."

"You are welcome, anyway, as I was saying. They were bound to be affected by this morning, so I wanted to see what kind of views they would take after that. See if they would say anything to appease me after I showed them what I would do if I am pushed the wrong way."

"And?" Seven merely asked.

"It's still the fucking same," Torres growled, but Seven knew that the growl was not directed at her. "After all those hours listening to them, it is all still totally the same. Delik gave all the answers he knew I wanted to hear, while Ro and Jetur gave their views as they saw them. Delik has the knowledge to know what I want to hear, while the women have views that I might not necessarily agree with, but of which I know that it will work well for a Bajoran Intendant."

"Then what is the problem, mistress?"

"The problem is that I sooo want to appoint Ro, but, at this point, Delik is the better choice."

"Why is he the better choice?" Seven asked, not because she truly needed to know, but because she had found out that her questions sometimes helped the Intendant think.

"Because, as I said before, with him I know what I get, I can be certain up front that he will not cause problems."

"And why do you think that Ro will be a problem? And even more important, is it so bad if they do cause problems?"

"What do you mean?"

"What is the worst that could happen?" Seven persisted.

"The worst that can happen as far as it concerns me you mean? The worst thing could be that she fucks things up and I have to come here again and appoint a new Intendant all over again."

"Well, mistress, the way I see it is that if they would cause problems you would have to come here again and have more fun with the Bajorans, as you call it. How often can you treat the Bajorans as you are now and get away with it?"


"What I mean, mistress, is how often can you come to Bajor and NOT have to deal with an established Intendant. How often can you be here and do what you want without having to deal with an Intendant?"

"Ah, that's what you mean," Torres leaned forward and kissed the blonde, "What you basically mean is 'so what if you have to come back, if you have to come back, you simply have some more fun.'"

"Yes mistress," Seven agreed while pulling Torres closer for a second kiss.

"You got a point, my pet. So I can let go of the problem of whether or not I will have to come back here again. The main focus is then only on whether or not Jetur can be influenced. I don't think that the women would give me any problems as such. They would focus on the Bajoran territories."

"But if Jetur Adami can be influenced then she can be forced to do something that would cause you problems," Seven finished.

"So, it really comes down to this, if Jetur and Ro stick together and pass my test, I could make Ro Intendant. If they fail, Delik will be appointed."

"Mistress, they have one more problem, one of which I think not even they know it."

"Oh? And what is that?" Torres asked surprised.

"Bajoran law."

"You know something, my pet? You read too much. One of these days that pretty head of yours is going to explode."

"Do you want me to no longer do any research, Mistress?"

"No, Seven. I was kidding. You keep researching all you want. I find it very convenient to have all that information at my disposal. I understand Ro more than she herself probably knows. I know what she gained by teaming up with Jetur."

"I am glad you approve, B'Elanna," Seven said, having heard that Torres had called her Seven.

"You really don't think I would take away your hobby, do you?"

"No. But I had to ask, B'Elanna."

"Don't worry; I wouldn't do that to you, or to me."

"To you?" Seven asked.

"Oh, yes," Torres said before grinning slightly, showing Seven that she was going to make one of her jokes, "You have your way with me now all the time, I wouldn't survive if you had even more time to kill."

"Ah, I see." Seven said with a smile of her own, "You do not want to get fucked eight hours a day."

"Kahless, Seven, do you have any idea what you do to me by talking like that?"

"I know, that is why I say it, normally I would not use words like that."

"No? What would you normally say?"

"Copulating with you is an acceptable use of time. And the lubrication you excrete is a flavor that interacts extraordinary well with my taste-buds."

Torres gave a mixture between a groan and a laugh, "I see what you mean. Hearing you say that is as exiting as a cold shower."

"Indeed, and an added bonus is the way you react to me if I say instead, 'I want to spent every free minute fucking you because I love the way you taste when I eat you."

"Oh, boy," Torres closed her eyes in reflex to hearing her blonde talk, "I see what you mean. I so want to take you right now."

"Of course," Seven said in a superior, but yet kind tone, "I am your body slave. It is my duty to know how to play you."

"Play me?" Torres laughed. She once again leaned closer to the blonde and they spent a few minutes kissing.

"Alright Seven... Sorry, I mean my pet; you said they have a problem with Bajoran law?"

"Yes, mistress," Seven answered, easily slipping back into her role as slave, "Bajoran law states that their Intendants have to be able to fully function without advisors. They can, and are advised to, work with advisors, but the Intendant must be able to make all decisions."

"Damn," Torres thought for a moment.

"Forgive me for not pointing this out before mistress."

"When did you read about that?" Torres asked while still thinking about this latest problem.

"Yesterday, mistress."

"And you didn't mention this before because...?"

"Normally I had to know all the things I read, after all, it was the reason why I was reading them. But since I can only read while we are in private, I have learned to take in as much information as possible, and go over it in my mind at a later time. I realized this problem on the way back from the mines, and did not have proper opportunity to tell you this before."

"Seven, I don't blame you for having to digest the information you take in. You take in more each day that others do in a year. So from now on, I see the moment that you digest the information as the point in which you should tell me ASAP. And you did that."

"Yes, mistress," This time Seven decided to not call Torres 'B'Elanna' because she knew that Torres had only used her name to give the statement more weight.

"So basically Ro can't become Intendant."

"No, mistress, not unless you find a way in which Jetur can help Ro without being her advisor."

"Like her being a co-ruler instead of advisor."

"For instance, mistress."

"That is also not possible, my pet. I haven't given you this to read yet, but the rules on Intendants states that it is a one person job."

"Then I can not help you, mistress."

"You did help by pointing that out," Torres disagreed, "I will have to think about this. I'm not about to give up on those women that fast."

"Mistress, maybe your daily bath would help you relax and think."

"That, my dear, is a very good idea. Go fill the bathtub; I want to soak in water tonight."

"Yes, mistress," Seven said while standing up.

Part 15

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