Periodic Mandatory Evaluation: Liasvarnu Four

“Just a moment.” She thought, closing her eyes and letting the fingers of both hands knead both of her temples simultaneously. “Just a moment.” Repeated the Vorta, sighing. The humble massage, though an idle, vain thing, spread to her brow a few seconds into its arrival, the overseer reclining against the back of her seat to further lean into it. She had finished reviewing the last report of the day and contemplated the merits of a well-earned respite.

It was tempting. She was not needed. Would not be for a good two hours. Time to immerse in her project? Perhaps continue studying psychographic profiles? For a brief instant, several prospects, each more suggestive than the last, crossed her mind. Soon, there was a cacophony of possibilities, one that threatened to unravel her ordered self.

“Must be time.” She mused, an inescapable conclusion dawning on her. All fell silent. Her eyes opened again and conveyed a series of instructions to the ocular display of her headset, causing it to deactivate and fold into itself, a palm coming to cup around it and rest the device on her desk.

“Begin periodic mandatory evaluation.” A single beep echoed in acquiescence. “Subject, Liasvarnu Four.” Another. “Rank, Field Overseer.” A third. “Assignment, long term cooperation and partial study of sub-entity Deep Space 13, Argo, Starfleet, Federation.” A pause followed. Silence, as if the computer needed time to process the last entry. Then, without warning, the fourth – and last – beep. Longer and blessed with more finality than the rest.

Her lips opened, but no sound was uttered. Her eyes twitched. A second, deeper sigh escaped her and she rose from her chair.

“My duties for the day have been observed and satisfied. The assignment progresses at an adequate pace, if a certain reticence remains and will continue to, for the foreseeable future. It is only natural, as this is not a situation that we encounter often, in the Dominion. Rather than a subject to be absorbed, or that has recently come under our administration, the Federation – and the other members of the Khitomer Alliance – stand as equals in this peculiar venture that is the future.”

She paced around her compact quarters, her gaze noting the resilient architecture that dominated every inch. Other species might argue that it was horribly insipid, and perhaps they were right, but such a thing, whether true or false, and like so many others, was lost on her. Her steps eventually took her to the replicator embedded into the wall. Was she hungry? It had been a quarter of a rotation since her last meal. “Dietary supplement three.” A soft buzz filled the chamber. “Extended.” She added, the computer complying with yet another electronic signal.

In the short seconds that it would take for the dispenser to generate her request, her attention returned to her desk and the reports neatly piled on a corner. To fall quiet for long periods during a periodic mandatory evaluation was usually regarded as concerning, a sign of possible defects. In her eyes, though, it was better than spouting mere, vacuous and hollow rhetoric without end. After all, the sensors in the room noted her physiologic responses as well.

“They… do things differently. I say this not with naiveté, for it was to be expected. Though remarkably unsurprising, it has had quite an effect on the Vorta and Jem’hadar of the Ometra-48. It is no doubt tied to the unfamiliar nature of our on-going mission, for different approaches are rarely seen as anything other than inferior, unsophisticated perspectives. At best, and in special and rare cases, they can be refined by the Founders so that they may be useful for the Dominion, but it is not common.”

“Now, nevertheless…” A bell-like sound, gentle and low, conveyed that her order was complete. From the dispenser, a tall glass, all stem and no cup, almost, is produced and, a second later, manned. “…we have little choice but to tolerate divergent – and often chaotic – constructs. My scientists and soldiers have not had the opportunity to witness them directly, having been confined to the facilities on the Ometra-48, but experience them, vicariously, through the reports that reach their consoles.” She indulges a short sip, offering a hum – if one that, at most, acknowledged her familiarity with the supplement.

“Still, I should say I am quite confident that adapting to so unorthodox views will improve our ability to serve the Dominion. I have posed to my First that he is to present this as a challenge, rather than an obstacle, to his underlings. The notion is already beginning to show positive results on their morale, but it is my considered opinion that this is little more than the first step of a long journey. It has been proposed that joint initiatives may be a promising continuation to that effort, but, at this juncture, they could emphasise existent and evident differences and hinder our purpose.”

Her pacing has her stop by a large monitor, a series of quiet commands having it display a privileged view of Deep Space 13. “This could be temporary circumvented by limiting said joint endeavours to Vorta personnel. As noted in previous operations, they are less likely to cause friction. The majority would welcome the chance to see Starfleet officers in person as well, the latter being an endless source of curiosity and fascination.”

“There is, of course, a… small caveat. Tolerance of the different may gradually beget the idea that it may also be viable and that breed discord. Because of the necessary traits that we Vorta must carry, such an aberration may find purchase in the minds of a negligible but undeniable percentage in the long term. It is a possibility that has been noted by other Field Overseers, not to mention a growing concern that has been prevalent since the Dominion joined the Alliance, but, and as the humans say, we shall cross that bridge when we get to it.”

“Speaking of such, Sector Command has had the chance to review my conclusions on project L3MU4. It was unfortunate, perhaps a little disheartening as well, to hear that it will not be receiving the resources I requested, but I cannot dispute their findings. Ultimately, it is little more than a secondary, largely unimportant diversion. One not without its share of inconveniences.” Liasvarnu focuses on several sections of the space station as she speaks. “They have encouraged me to continue working on it, duty permitting. Perhaps even use it to gain Starfleet’s favour. It would undoubtedly attract the attention of subject F-E-83, though I have yet to fully determine the origin of her interest in me.”

The screen is brought to its neutral, standby mode. “Needless to say, I continue to subscribe to the plan the Founders have prepared for us. I have the utmost confidence in their wisdom and continue to serve the Dominion to the complete capacity of my abilities. The future has never looked more promising.”

Out of habit, or maybe instinct, she bows her head in reverence. “Long live the Founders. Long live the Dominion.”

“End periodic mandatory evaluation.”


Liasvarnu leant in, elbows coming to rest on thighs and chin upon interwoven fingers. Meanwhile, a single beep, the last of a familiar series, rang in her quarters. So much had happened in recent times that she did not know how or where to begin. A frown cradled her brow from start to end. It had done so for long minutes, maybe an hour, even, and showed no signs of fatigue.

“It has been an eventful week, to be certain.” Began she, letting her gaze roam across the room before her eyes closed with a sigh, defeated. She indulged a deep breath, head rocking from side to side at unvoiced thoughts. “I am tempted to say that most of what has transpired as of late has been somewhat unfortunate as well, but it is not true. What I have come to regard as an artistic failure notwithstanding, all continues to unfold rather positively. Perhaps… slower than I had anticipated, and hoped, but I expect very few obstacles.”

The Vorta reclined upon her seat, entertaining yet another sigh, as she did. Though her lips parted again, prepared to continue, her attention fell on the chair itself for a moment. It was one of the few that could be found on the Ometra-48, Jem’hadar having no need of such, and she wondered whether hers was larger or more imposing than those of the other Vorta on her vessel. She would have to investigate. “Indeed. It seems that my predecessors did more harm than I initially thought, and certainly more than the redacted subfile I received hinted at, though I am not one to speak ill of actions the purpose of which escapes me. Much as I may deem their apparent nature, and consequences, counterproductive to my function, neither their context nor their objective has been truly disclosed and thus their deeds – and their effect – remain solely for the Founders to judge.”

“What does trouble me, nonetheless, is the ripples the incident involving the misplaced art pieces might spark. I never considered, not for a moment, that the Federation or Starfleet may be behind it, not because they lack the spine for it, even if a few of my colleagues might believe so, but because they gain nothing by it. Such an action strikes me as crude and unnecessary even now and I can only assume that a third party must be responsible, one that seeks to either weaken our respective stances from a diplomatic standpoint or profit by their theft – perhaps both. I could, of course, be mistaken, and this be naught but a convoluted plot to… achieve what, exactly? Undermine my position?”

Arms folded on her chest as she leant against her seat’s poorly padded surface, her forehead wrinkling. Clearly, chairs were not a grand concern for the Dominion, but perhaps it was time she tried to rectify that – always with a touch of subtlety, lest she was found impudent. Her back would appreciate it. “No, as I clearly explained to the Centurion-” Ah. The Centurion. The Vorta let out one of her long sighs. “What a peculiar creature, that one. Even for a Romulan. Her… mannerisms reminded me of a Cardassian, and not a very bright one. Too blunt and abrasive. She must have something against my species, the Dominion or the two. I find her far too forward, and her rank far too low, for it to be anything else, especially when my time in the Romulan Republic was marked by nothing but success and camaraderie. Not that I expected differently from them, the Republic being in the position it is.”

“At least, my meeting with the Admiral, Rear Admiral Bishop, that is, unfolded in a much more positive light, by comparison. His questionable taste in tea aside, he appeared rather amenable to my suggestions and thoughts on potential initiatives to strengthen bonds between us, in line with my initial encounter with Ambassador Perim. It does makes for a perchance worthwhile mention, though, that I found him… peculiar. He made no attempt to excuse himself or apologise for the art incident, he even seemed to visibly shudder at the thought of having to discuss it, and approached most other subjects with a touch of practiced distance, if he was more than eager to detail the function and composition of each squadron – each wing of ships to call Deep Space 13 home.”

“I now realise, with the limited benefit of hindsight, that it is fortunate that he did not accept my dinner invitation. I cannot help but feel that it might have been… somewhat uncomfortable – for both. Perhaps this Captain Varley will prove better company? Hers is the office I shall be storming next. Figuratively speaking, of course.” She clasped her hands together, elbows now seeking the support of the armrests beside them. “But I digress. My mission advances favourably, as it should, and I remain loyal to the vision of the Founders. I walk the path they have prepared for us, knowing that their wisdom knows no end or fault.”

Her head bows. “Long live the Founders. Long live the Dominion.”