|Bait and Switch (series) story|
|"Flesh and Blood"|
|Original post date:||10/18/2016|
|Year:||February 16th, 2411|
|Previous story:||""The Diplomats must be High""|
On July 17th, 2127, the United Earth starship Kaiser Friedrich is lost through a spatiotemporal anomaly in the Briar Patch, a dangerous area of space at the fringes of Earth space. MACO Major Elham bint-Haroun ibn-Salman al-Omani and her fellow soldiers scramble to defend the ship against boarders as Captain Dingane kaSiyanda attempts to fend off a mysterious alien starship that attacks the Kaiser Friedrich out of nowhere. The Earth ship is comprehensively outmatched, however, and is swiftly disabled. Fortunately, a massive warship responds to Kaiser Friedrich's distress call in the nick of time and disables the attackers in a single volley.
The perspective shifts to the bridge of the newly-arrived warship, revealed to be the Federation starship Bajor on the date February 16th, 2411, patrolling the Talarian border. Captain Kanril Eleya observes the recently-disabled Talarian raider, and then orders MACO unit 131 sent over to the Talarians' would-be victims, revealed as the Kaiser Friedrich, to repel boarders. Rachel Connor and her squad beam over, but are ambushed by al-Omani, who mistakes them for boarders. One of Connor's squadmates manages to correct the misunderstanding, and both sides stand down; however, al-Omani is horrified to discover that she's been transported almost 300 years into the future.
After returning to the Bajor, Connor and her team express sympathy for the time-lost crew of Kaiser Friedrich, and Connor's squadmates Kallio and Lamont trade cracks at each other. Connor is called to the Captain's ready room, where Captain Kanril reveals that DNA testing has shown that al-Omani is Rachel's distant maternal ancestor.
Al-Omani, already heartbroken at being separated from her husband and young son, is horrified to discover that Rachel is an Augment, in violation of United Earth's Zurich conventions. Al-Omani, referring to Rachel as "it" and an "animal", tells Captain Kanril that Rachel is a threat to all living things on the ship and should be airlocked as quickly as possible. Kanril defends Rachel against al-Omani's increasingly vociferous reaction, citing Rachel's exemplary service record and multiple high-profile decorations, and loses her patience after Rachel supports al-Omani's characterization of her as a monster. Kanril tells both women to leave, threatening to lock them in the brig if they have another altercation.
Connor, depressed, heads to Bajor's bar, and proceeds to get drunk enough to cause her vision to blur. Her squadmate K'tar challenges her racist attitudes against Augments like herself, enraging Connor, who attacks him and threatens to "kick [his] ass into next...week", with accompanying profanity. K'tar, assisted by bartender Nalak Lang, shoots Connor repeatedly to stun her, then grabs her in a headlock and berates her for her unprofessional behavior. Regaining her senses after Security teams arrive, Connor apologizes for the damage and helps clean up the mess before returning to her quarters.
In the MACOs' quarters, K'tar and the rest of Rachel's squad sit her down and take turns criticizing her racist attitudes and calling her out on letting her self-hating racism affect her performance. Connor, having difficulty juxtaposing the racist anti-Augment positions that she was taught in Human schools with her squadmates' rants and her own status as an Augment, orders her men to leave and attempts to reason her way through the problem.
Some time later, Connor and Kanril discuss the situation. The United Earth personnel are to be re-integrated into Federation society by the Department of Temporal Investigations, and Major al-Omani has stopped refusing to acknowledge Rachel's humanity, though she still wishes to have no contact with her descendant. Kanril demands to know if Rachel has dealt with her personal issues. Rachel at first lacks the courage to directly admit her humanity, fearing, as she has stated before, that she will be without support against the law and will be sent to prison for being an Augment; Kanril stops her from continuing her self-hating racist speech, and demands that Rachel take responsibility for herself. Realizing that the Captain is on her side, and admitting that her attitudes are sabotaging her performance, Rachel promises Kanril to stop "doing stupid [things] because of what some augmented supersoldiers three hundred and fifty years ago did", and states that when her tour of duty is over, she wants to mount a legal challenge against the Zurich conventions. Kanril, approving of Rachel's decision, says that it's about time that Humanity gave its internal issues a second look.
Rachel Connor * Kanril Eleya * K'tar * Lamont * Jose Luiz * Aarno Kallio * Birail Riyannis * Elham al-Omani * Nalak Lang * Alicia Gantumur * Tesjha Phohl * Reshek Gaarra * Dingane kaSiyanda * First Lieutenant Kowalski * Goodluck * Harsha * Park Jin-Soo
Gisella Hohenzollern * Commander Tymoshenko * Abd al-Basit al-Omani * Ishmail al-Omani * Khan Noonien Singh * Cantrell * Amasawa
Third World War * Iconian War * Dominion War * Romulan Wars
Talarian border * Briar Patch
States and organizations: Edit
Romulan Star Empire * Freistaat Polen * United States of America