........This black-and-white photo is worth more to me than all the gold-pressed latinum in the universe, at least for the moment that I'm a prisoner here in a Klingon brig. I remember when Sarah Anne took up holography at the academy, which inluded the history of photography. She received an assignment to make a camera out of scrap, a box really, with a hole in it, and a film placed in the back having a simple chemical composition.
........So she took the picture of me kneeling and hugging our two kids. There's Sealbh, a rambunctious boy, eleven at the time, who thinks he can can conquer the Milky Way with nothing more than a toy model of the U.S.S. Superior. And there's Iongnadh, whose aspirations seem too high for her six-year-old heart. She wants to save the galaxy instead of conquering it. I felt inclined to hug them tightly when the photo was snapped.
........Sarah Anne took almost a hundred photos over the course of that day. After she had processed them, she picked the ten best for her assignment. As I looked them over, my eyes became fixed on the grainy black-and-white photo of me kneeling with the two kids.
........"I want this one," I said to her, lifting it up from the table. I showed her.
........Her look of confusion was replaced by a smile. She let me have it, and replaced it with another from her stack. I decided then and there I would carry this photo on all of my missions. So I have an elastic band at the top of my calf, just below the knee, hidden inside the pant's leg. There, I keep the photo.
........That was two years ago. And here I am, sitting on a metal bench in a Klingon cell, stripped of my armor and shielding, waiting for them to interrogate me and then probably execute me. The Granalda Excursion to extract Federation scientists almost met with failure, but a well-thought out plan saved us. The four scientists were rescued as I gave myself to capture. That part was easy. That's how we planned it from the beginning. The hard part is approaching, my rescue by my first officer. Thanks to an insider, we have some frequencies to the compound's shields, and a small window of opportunity.
........I stand and approach the cell-door holding the photo. I chuckle slightly at the fact that it got past the Klingons' scans. They were looking for electronic components, metal objects, and such. This must have seemed to them a mere article of clothing, a bandage even. A holoprint would have been confiscated. Knowing the Klingon's distaste for such sentimentality, they would have destroyed it.
........I raise the photo to the cell-door's slot of a window, holding it at an angle to let the light from the hall cast upon it. Sealbh has his mom's looks and my spirit. Iongnadh has my looks, and her mom's spirit. They have the best of us, and this photo, this simple, black-and-white, grainy photo somehow captured it.
........"Don't worry, Captain," a scruffy voice sounds from the other side. "We are making further arrangements for you."
........I peer through the slot and see my interrogator, Cha'ton Kretok peering back at me, a well-known scoundrel of a Lethean agent of the KDF, well-known, that is, amongst starfleet officers ordered to kill him on sight. I wonder if I can reach through the slot and grab him fast enough. I sigh in disappointment as I know it to be futile.
........"Right now, you're thinking of how to resist our interrogation," Cha'ton says. "I already know how to make you talk." He laughs.
........I inhale deeply and exhale slowly. I know he speaks the truth. It will be unpleasant to say the least. Quite unpleasant. I look at the photo again. It's my only comfort at the moment. But then I feel the tingly sensation, like a warm breeze flowing over my skin. I look up at Cha'ton. I see his puzzlement. I smile.
........"We'll need to reschedule our appointment," I manage to say before the wash of blue light fills my sight. In a flash, the blue fades to reveal the teleportation room of the U.S.S. Superior. My first officer, Commander Lasha K'phav is there. Her light blue Andorian skin shimmers in the room's various lights.
........"Captain," she says.
........"Commander," I respond. "Job well done."
........"All in a day's work, Sir," she says with a smile. "We are set to leave this place. Waiting for your order."
........"Make it so, Number One," I say.
........"Helm, take us home." Lasha says, tapping her badge. The com signal's beeps are followed with an "Aye, ma'am," a man's voice.
........We start to exit the room, but I stop us momentarily. I reach down to lift up my left pant's leg, tuck the black-and-white photo underneath the elastic band, and lower the pant's leg back into place. Lasha looks amused, but says nothing. I nod to the door and we continue on.
~Admiral Ceol A'Brian, Superior Memoirs