...This shouldn’t be that tough, he thought to himself. If I can survive Starfleet’s advanced tactical training course then what is escape from an Undine facility compared to that?
...The words sounded hollow as they echoed round his weary mind. Tanar had already overcome the first hurdle at least. The over confident guard had given his chains far too much slack, and to Tanar’s surprise, the snapping of an Undine’s neck was not as difficult as he had imagined.
...As a Starfleet officer he abhorred the idea of taking another’s life. Starfleet has taught him to respect all life. As a Cardassian, his people had taught him that sometimes taking a life is the only way to preserve ones own.
...He blocked the twinge of guilt that rattled around the back of his mind, grabbing at his morality through the prison bars of his resolve; he had a job to do, and now was not the time for regrets. An Undine infiltrator was now in command of his ship, for god knows what purpose. He had to save them.
...Back aboard the Relentless, the creature that wore his face walked into the Admiral’s ready room. So far everything had gone exactly to plan but there was no room for complacency. The telepathic scan he had performed on the inferior life form had yielded much, coupled with the logs they had retrieved from Starfleet’s central database, but he must know and understand the one he now acts as.
...“Computer,” he said, his voice pattern perfect in every detail, “show me all secure logs for Tanar, Elim, Vice Admiral.”
...“Please state security clearance.” chirped the female voice.
...“Tanar, Pi, alpha, one, one, three, alpha.” he replied sharply.
...“Security clearance verified; accessing records.” The data began to scroll across the screen. Personal logs were never uploaded to the central database, and as yet they had little access to who he was. The smallest detail would be crucial to know if their mission was to succeed.
...A faint sense of danger crossed the creatures mind. The creature focused its thoughts but the sense was lost. It carried on looking through the records. For some reason one jumped out at it. “Computer stop, play file index forty seven.”
...The image of Tanar stared back at him, much younger than the face it bore.
...“Today’s been a tough day. Our instructor had us flown to Vulcan on a transport no larger than this room. We were packed in like Ferengi round a Dabo table, no food, no sleep. I quite enjoyed the heat although Mckenzie was nearly sick over Hoskins. One more hour and it would have been a mess.” The young Cardassian chuckled to himself. The imposter watched his facial muscles intently.
...“Once there they unloaded us, strapped fifty kilogram back packs on us and told us to march across some Vulcan Desert. I head one of the guys say it was called the Forge or something? I don't know. Three hours we marched, three hours, My legs were killing me. Our instructor was a Vulcan, Commander Suran. He kept a brisk pace the whole time. We must have lost a third of the squad after an hour. Mckenzie was hurt pretty bad in one of the electrical sandstorms, I hope he okay. Doc says he should be but it was pretty scary. Only three of us made it to the finish line, me, a Vulcan and a Hologram although he nearly lost his mobile emitter once or twice. I felt like I was about to die by the time I got to the end. I’ve lost more weight that I knew I had, my feet look more like giant blisters, and my eyes are still stinging from the sandstorms. No wonder half the class washes out every year, but that won’t be me. despite the pain, and the dehydration, I loved every minute of it. Heck I’m not even an officer yet, most of the class are ten years older than me. I shouldn’t even be here yet but I am, and I intend to make the most of it. I’ll be the best ensign Starfleet has ever seen.
...The log came to an end. The image of a young, brash and confident young man lay frozen on the screen. The Undine chewed his genetically altered Cardassian lip. Another wave of danger crossed its mind, then a flash of determination. The residual telepathic link it has used to probe the Cardassian’s mind was still in place, even across realities. Tanar was a fighter, survivor and right now it knew he was no longer a prisoner.
...The Undine found itself displaying a curious side effect of being a bipedal creature as it began cursing in its stolen language.