...Cadet M’run, a caitian female stood to attention as the admiral walked by. She had heard tales of Vice Admiral Tanar and the acts he had performed in his short but illustrious career. Many an admiral had walked past here on the grounds of Starfleet academy but none seemed as majestic as the young Cardassian man that now passed within a metre of her. She found herself at a loss of whether to speak or not, before her mind had made its decision, her mouth had decided to take action.
...“Admiral.” she said softly. He did not make eye contact nor did he respond, causing M’run’s heart to sink slightly. She should have stayed silent, a man as great as Tanar does not speak with lowly cadets. Then just as her disappointment started to grow in her stomach, she noticed that the admiral had stopped moving. He was just standing in the corridor. As she watched him standing there she could not help but feel that he seemed so alone, so isolated.
...“Walk with me cadet” he said. She stood for a second too long, wondering if another cadet had entered the hall. When she realised that they were the only two in the corridor she began to move gingerly away from the wall, wondering if she would have been better to remain silent. He resumed his brisk walk and she stepped up the pace to keep up with his long strides.
...“What’s your name cadet?” he asked quietly, still not looking at her.
...“M’run sir,” she replied quickly. There was a pause, stupidly she decided to fill it. “My friends usually just call me ‘M’.” She rolled her eyes, get a grip, the admiral does not want to know what your friends call you, she thought to herself.
...“I see, well then cadet M’run, just out of interest, what are you doing on my ship?” The question completely threw her off guard.
...“Well, sir…I…I” She took a deep breath and quickly regained her composure. “The academy thought would benefit from some first hand training aboard a ship.”
...“Why you, why this ship?” he asked sharply.
...“I am top of my class in both astrometrics and astrophysics.” she said, a hint of pride seeping through. I have several more exams next month and the practical experience will serve me well. Perhaps when I graduate I can serve on Relentless, errr. If you’ll have me sir.” She winced at her own presumption.
...The admiral remained impassionate. “Whom do you report to?”
...“Lieutenant fields, sir…in stellar cartography.” she replied, starting to wonder why the interest in her. There was a long pause as they made their way into a turbo lift.
...“Deck four.” said the admiral to the computer. It chimed in response. After another pause the admiral spoke again, still not making eye contact. “I have need of your services cadet. I believe you are a perfect candidate.”
...Her eyes lit up. A perfect candidate for what? she wondered. Her class mates would be so jealous of her. “I’ll do anything you ask sir, may I ask what I am a candidate for?”
...“All in good time. Everything has its correct time cadet, you just need to choose the right moment” he said somewhat cryptically.
...The turbo lift came to a stop and the doors slide open with a slight hiss. They both made their way down another hall way for about twenty meters before stopping outside a door. M’run could see it was his quarters. “What I have to say is not for prying ears. It is a matter most delicate.” He said calmly.
...“Of course, sir.” They entered the room. It was surprisingly cold in the room. M’run had knew that Cardassians liked the heat. Despite her fur, she also preferred the heat compared to what most humanoid species find comfortable. The door whooshed closed and the admiral locked it.
...She had never been as excited as she was at this moment. She had expected her time aboard Relentless to involve scrubbing plasma exhaust manifolds and now she was in the Admirals quarters, presented with a very special task. Her mind began to race as if exploring a galaxy of potential that now lay at her feet.
...She turned on sharply her heels, a huge grin breaking out across her face, her fur standing on end. The shock of seeing the phaser pointed at her, was only slightly less than the shock of the compressed energy beam striking her midriff. In an instant she was dead. A bright future snuffed out by the cold reality of war, and the undine was under no illusion; this was a war and one its people had to win. While it took no pleasure in killing, it new the measures were necessary to protect its people from the ruthless Federation.
...Her killer moved towards the crumpled remains of the young cadet. He pulled a small cylindrical device from his belt and scanned the body, before placing the device to his leg. He felt a sharp stab as it was injected into his muscle. The form of admiral Tanar began to twist and change; fur erupted from every pour of his skin, his ears rose up, while his scales melted way. The pain was intense but fleeting. He, now a she, turned and looked at a mirror on the far side. The transformation was successful. The form of M’run towered over the real body that lay on the floor. The Undine spy took the phaser and changed the setting to maximum before vaporising the body. It had carefully disabled the weapon detection system the day it assumed the admiral form. It could never be sure when it might be required to take another form.
...The real Tanar had escaped, it was sure of it and the faint telepathic connection that it had used to scan his mind could feel him drawing closer. His old form was no longer safe, but this cadet, this unknown caitian would prove the perfect cover.