Star Trek: Defiant

"Power Play" - Part Three

Written by Valas Maerret

Shuriik entered his quarters briskly. He was taken aback when he noticed Kamiana standing there, waiting for him.

Her arms were crossed, and when she spoke it sounded somewhat coarse. "You weren't even going to say 'hi' after you returned?"

Vex probed Mak's mind to come up with an appropriate response. Not finding any to his liking, he replied simply, "I've been extraordinarily busy."

She understood his work. Sometimes it did interfere with his personal life. "Is there anything you need to talk about?" she asked with sincere curiosity.

"I'm still on special assignment from starfleet. It's making me a little tense, and I really can't talk about it right now."

Tyrell wasn't convinced. She noticed something odd about him. Something felt wrong.

Shuriik began to escort to her out, but she held her ground.

"What is it?" she asked, sensing something truly out of place.

He took a deep breath, and put her hands on her shoulders. At first, she jumped back. It felt like someone other than Mak was touching her. The feeling want away quickly, though.

He spoke smoothly, "I know I don't seem myself, but you have to trust me. It will all be explained in due time." He finished the statement with a warm smile.

She felt somewhat relieved. She had always trusted him. And she would trust him today too. Even if she didn't understand.

Kamiana nodded, and smiled. Then she turned and walked out, leaving Shuriik alone.

A bead of sweat dripped down his face.

* * *

"How am I supposed to get through this with a ship full of telepaths?" Shuriik spat at the image of Admiral Schell on his viewscreen.

"Why, does that present a problem, Vex?" Schell asked casually, with just a touch of sarcasm.

"Yes. Yes, in fact it does present a problem. A big problem. Not the slightest of which is the fact that an extremely close friend of dear 'ol Makie-boy's here almost blew the top off everything today."

"Calm yourself."

"How can I calm myself when I want to beat you to a fine paste."

"You'll just have to find a way," Schell replied with the same dry mordacity.

Not able to contain it any longer, Shuriik's rage released itself violently as he picked up a chair and smashed it against the visage of the scheming Admiral. The surrounding control panels gave way to the blow, emitting a small shower of sparks. As if to mock him, the viewscreen survived the impact, Schell's laughing visage staring him down.

"I suggest you put your anger to work more contructive, Vex," Schell spoke with a smile. "Like finding a way to deal with your little problem."

A long pause. "Very well," Shuriik spoke dryly.

"Now," Schell began anew, "how are you coming on the memory erasures?"

Vex decided to at least pretend his rage had subsided. "I haven't yet started. I was planning on beginning this afternoon."

"As you know, time is of the essence. I want the ego alterations started as soon as possible."

"I am considering attempting them at the same time as the erasures."

"Right then. Far be it from me to keep you from your work. Carry on."

Shurrik simply nodded. He did not want to talk to the Admiral anymore. Never again.

The screen finally went blank as the Admiral ended the communique. Vex would make sure that was the last time they ever saw each other.

I'm not playing your games anymore, Schell, he thought. I'm doing things my way. You want me to take care of this situation? Then it shall be.

He went to a secured drawer in the corner of the room. He entered the code and opened it. In it was a small, lone, dark grey box. It contained the key to the rest of his mission. The cerebral alteration equiptment. To hell with Schell's plans. He would indeed put the Romulan trinkets to work, but would do a lot more than meddle with a few insignificant memories. A smile emerged through all the rage as he thought of what he could accomplish.

It was then that Mak's consciousness got its foothold. With a sudden attack from within, Mak struggled fiercly to regain control of his own body. Vex's response was immediate and solid. He was accustomed to his hosts resisting him from time to time. To date, none had been successful. He knew he would win today's war too, but that might not be the case forever. He would need to aquire a new host soon. He did not have the energy to resist Takila Shuriik for the rest of his days.

You are mistaken if you think you will regain control, Makie-boy.

I have beaten your kind before.

The ancient and psychotic symbiont Mak, yes. He was old and weak. You cannot win.

Mak was unrelenting. The war of control raged on for what seemed an eternity. But Mak could feel his influence weakening. The tides were turing against his favor. And then, with a deafening scream, thier duel came to its climax, and was over.

Shuriik got off the floor, sweat dripping from his face. Before he could rech a towel, his communicator beeped.

"Bridges to Shuriik, report to my ready room."

Shuriik quickly regained his composure. "On my way."

He picked up the grey box and left his quarters. No time to delay. It would all start now.

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