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Sins of the Past (Part 7)

Posted on Sat Jun 15, 2019 @ 7:36am by Cazanjian Zurale

Mission: Farther Adventures
Location: Lyshan Colony
Timeline: 2391

Cazanjian stepped out on his front porch, inhaling the fresh scent of morning, holding a steaming mug of hot, fresh fish juice. The coast wasn’t too far away, and he kept a weir in a nearby river where there was a fish run, so he usually had fresh fish when he wanted. The air was cool and crisp. He sipped his fish juice and looked over at the herd of prairiguanas milling in the pen. The large lizards were pretty plentiful on Lyshan, and a good source of meat and leather. They even had a thick mane of fur around their necks that made good wool. They ate nearly anything and were docile and easy to raise and domesticate, so Cazanjian had managed to make a go of ranching these last ten years. He had fixed up the old ranch house and settled into a quiet life with his demons.

Cazan stared off into the distance. He could just see the roofs of the few buildings in the village on the horizon. The former Cardassian soldier had kept his distance from the locals. He made a weekly run into town for supplies, and had become well-enough known that folks only stared a little at the Cardassian, like one would at a stray neighborhood cat, and left him be. It was fine with him.

A noise from the barn caught Cazanjian’s attention. He frowned and picked up the Klingon pain stick he still carried from the mutiny -- it worked as an effective lizard prod -- as he walked toward the barn. He had his old service disruptor on his hip, as well. Cazan eased the barn door open and peered into the darkness, his Cardassian eyesight better in the dark than the local Humans. He saw movement dart behind some bales of straw.

“Who’s there?” Cazan called out. There was no answer. He stepped inside and closed the door behind so he wouldn’t be illuminated from behind by the light. He hung the pain stick on his hip and drew his disruptor as he crept forward and circled around the straw to find a small Human boy staring up at him, eyes wide in the dark, but apparently unafraid.

Cazan lowered his weapon. “Who in the seven hells are you?” the Cardassian growled.

The boy didn’t answer, just pointed to himself.

“Yes, you, boy,” Cazan said. “Did you sneak away from your parents in town?” The boy couldn’t be more than five. What was he doing this far from town?

The boy shook his head. He stared at the mug of fish juice in Cazanjian’s hand. Cazanjian arched an eyebrow. The boy looked a little emaciated. “Hungry?” He held out the drink, and the boy took it eagerly, gulping it down. When it was gone, he licked his lips and held the mug up to Cazan with an eager, hungry look in his eyes.

Cazanjian sighed. “Come. I have some lizard bacon and eggs,” he said, turning to go back to the house, expecting the boy to follow.

Cazan nursed another mug of fish juice as he watched the boy gulp down two platefuls of eggs and bacon. How such a small boy could eat so much, he didn’t know. “I suppose I should make a trip to bring you back to town and your parents,” he said, shaking his head. He poured a glass of local fruit juice for the boy. “Finish up while I pull the ground shuttle around.”

Cazan’s local vehicle was a finicky piece of shit, but it ran -- usually -- and was relatively simple to maintain, if he had the parts, which weren’t always easy to get this far from civilization. The towheaded boy sat with eagerness in the passenger seat, wind blowing through his blonde hair, blue eyes wide open, as Cazanjian drove the speeder over the flat grassland toward town. He parked outside the local tavern and got plenty of looks from the residents as he and the boy got out. The remaining colony wasn’t that large, and most everyone knew everyone. It soon became apparent that no one knew who the boy was, who his parents might be, or where he had come from.

“Damn,” Cazan muttered as he ate a prairiguana sandwich while sitting with the boy on the hood of his shuttle. “Aren’t you just a mystery.”

The boy just smiled at him.

“I guess I’m stuck with you,” the Cardassian said, none too happily.

The boy -- face covered in barbecue sauce -- beamed and gave the Cardassian a hug.

Cazan shoved him away. “Well, you’ll have to earn your keep, Boy,” he said. “I’ll teach you to watch the lizards.”

Boy just nodded happily.


Cazanjian Zurale



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