Still wearing her armour, Dara walked into the warrior's bedchamber. The youngling fifth wife of Garak glanced up from the bed with disdain. A quick sneer touched her lips and fled just as quickly. She was a small thing in the shadow of the war hardened, dark eyed woman. Garak looked up to the highth of the hard, sinewy woman, a slight frown upon his lips.

"Dar'?" He asked quietly, raising his eye brow.

"I would have this bedding tonight, husband."

A slight gasp escaped the lips of the youngling wife, "Tonight is my night, wife." she said suddenly.

Dara's brow furrowed, the thin white scar that threads from her forehead to under her eye patch and down to her left cheek, crinkled and paled even more. The waifish young girl cringed and shuffled against Garak's chest. His lips turned down and he grasped the girl by her hair and flung her from the bed. The girl gasped a little cry as she sat up on the floor trying to cover her naked body with the bit of diaphanous yellow silk that she wore as inticement for her husband. Her soft blue eyes leapt up to the flash of the flinty ice grey gaze of the chieftain.

"But, husband, it's my fertile time!"

Garak nodded down at her. "Fine, Sweetling, fight her. It is your right. Dar', don't break anything too important."

Dara grunted and nodded once.

The girl opened her mouth with no sound. Garak's gaze grew harder. The girl's teeth clacked as her jaw snapped shut. Her own brow furrowed and her nostrils flared. She stood with a stamping of soft bare feet upon the Gar fur floor covering. The silk dropped from her hands as she stood full and stepped to Dara, barely coming to the older woman's shoulder. Her jaw tightened with the gritting of her teeth and her voice was forced through tight lips.

" I will fight you tomorrow old woman. Be in armour after the noon meal."

"Done," Dara nodded once.

The young girl stomped out of the room, the clatter of beads and shells swinging with the curtain in her wake.

There is silence as Garak cocked his head up at Dara. She blinked once her one eye. He blinked once. He sighed and stood up. He swept his hand toward the low bed.

"Welcome to my bed, wife. Peel off that stinking leather and enjoy the comfort of furs and silk. Or is it your intention to fight me too?"

Dara cocked her head toward him. "It is my intention to fight you."

His brow snapped up. A smile slithered to his face. "Well then, this will be a fun evening after all. And I'd thought I would be enjoying soft flesh this night!"

Dara frowned. "Soft is right. Her ass jiggles. Have you grown so old, my husband? What do you see in her? She's no warrior."

Garak's smile softened a bit. "O' but you're so wrong, dear. You heard her, tomorrow after the noon meal? She may be soft but she has the warrior spirit. And she's quick.

Dara grunted. "I've seen her. She is good, but she's been in no wars."

"Times have changed Dar'. There are no more great wars. We have conquered and layed waste and enslaved and destroyed all our great enemies." He shrugged. "We have begun the long trail to civilization. Enjoy the easier times." His smile broadened.

Her eye sparkled for a second, and a breath rose in her chest, but it escaped slowly. Her shoulders slumped a bit. Her eye held his. "We never should have listened to those damned ambassadors from the alliance."

Garak's smile bent downward. He stepped to her. As tall as he was, she was still only eyes shorter than he. She was the tallest woman in all the clans. He took her shoulders in his hands and gently kissed her forehead. "What ails you Dar'?"

"I want out."

"Out?"

"Out of this marriage." She nodded.

"Why?" His eyes tightened.

"The earth man. He makes me feal...he makes me feal young again. And he wants me."

"Why?" he cocked his head.

She swiftly jabbed her thumbs under his ribs.

"GAH! I mean- You know what I mean ! You are the very finest example of a warrior that ever held a lance. And you are my first wife and most beloved. But, but you are past your blood time. You can not bear him children. What is this earth man's plans?"

"He has no plans." She took a deep breath and shrugged. "He loves my mind."

Garak nodded. "I love your mind as well. You are the best of us with the writings and readings of the alliance. With out you, I would not know half of what I do to make the decisions for the Clan."

She nodded. "And that is what makes the earth man so pleased with me...and I with him. I crave more learning. He has such knowledge as we have never dreamed. And he gives it freely as the alliance does not. And he feals that all folk should have knowledge."

Garak nodded again. "And you think that with his knowledge we can better our position with the alliance?"

Her jaw tightened. "Why do they not allow us all the same knowledge that they have?"

His frown deepened and he nodded slowly. "True. They have the knowledge of the stars and wepons beyond our ken. And their excuse of not allowing dangerous knowledge stinks of tyrracci dung. They hold knowledge for power."

She nodded again.

"And you feal that you would hold such a man? He is not weak and he will fight. But I do not think he intends to stay. Even with you as a mate."

She gritted her teeth. "I intend to fight him to make him my mate that I may be the head of a family."

His eyes opened and his lips came up to smile. "That's not been done for a long time. Hah! For an instant when I fought you to be my mate I thought that you would win! And you would be the husband and I the wife!"

She let out a gusty laugh and leaned her forehead to his chest then kissed him gently in the middle of his hairy chest. "I know...I let you win o' so long ago."

"O' really!" He cried and gripped her to throw her on the bed.

She twisted in his grip and put her foot behind his and fell on top of him on the bed. She quickly straddled him and held down his shoulders smiling down on him. They laughed together for a moment.

And then there was silence between them.

"So it's to be a fight then?" He asked quietly.

"Yes."

"Do you still love me Dar'?"

Her brow knit downward crinkling her scar and moving her eye patch. "And here I thought I was to be the one to ask that. Yes, I still love you. I can not but too. You were the first man to win me...and I knew before we fought that I could not strike you to kill. Even before we fought...even before..." Her voice trailed off. "Do you still love me, my husband?"

He gently reached up to cup her face with his hands. "Even before. Even before...Even as you killed Roan and scarred Lee. I knew that I would love you forever."

"And I you..." She blinked and a tear ran down her cheek to Garak's hand. "And still I must do this."

His lip trembled for a second. "Then I must let you."

"Thank you."

"So then we shall fight." He smiled a bit. "Tomorrow night after the meal. If, of course, you win against Silva at noon."

Her eye flashed and she reached down to grip the cheeks of his beard. "O' I'll win against that softling kitten!"

"GAH! Then let us fight later!"

She smiled down at him and let his beard go.

"Tonight," he said, "let us make love."

Tears suddenly flowed free from her eyes as she bent to kiss him. She let out a soft whimper.

And into this strange land walked the earth man. He was a sturdy built man, and tall, seven heads high. he was strong and would fight bravely when challenged. He had said when he first arrived that our world was like some new Eden full of savage children. He has since changed his mind as he has found us to be more than children...

Sophia stalked silently towards the tent. She smiled as the man inside took a fake snore. She had been in many a failed night raid and had long ago learned to deduce the sounds of a man sleeping or pretending. In all her years of raiding and pillaging, she had met no equal such as she found in this man. This man had heard her every morning or night she had come to his camp.

She nodded to her partners the sign that the man was ready. She moved with no less caution than before but her steps were now synchronized with her pack mates's. They were not two swift bounds from the tent as the man inside thrust his knife through the thin walls and sprang out. Sophia Had not even heard him move but she was ready for him. She flung her spear at him so that it spun in the air and would catch him across the shins. The man easily jumped the spear and snarled at her as he swung his right hand from behind his back. Sophia instinctively ducked but the short bolas were not meant for her. The man had given her an eye fake that she had swallowed. She scowled at the man as he moved toward her even as she saw, out of the corner of her eye, the bola wrap around Per'ah's legs.

Sophia snapped her whip into her right hand and drew her scythe blade with her left. The man tucked and rolled forward and flung his other bola to his right. He did so with seeming blind abandon but was rewarded with a grunt from Dahl as the bola wrapped around his chest and the leather pouches of sand slammed into him. The man smiled at Sophia as she whirled her whip and cracked it toward him. He stepped forward confident in his skill but heard too late the subtle sound of a bow string as it released an arrow.

The man's eyes became very large and very round as the heavily padded arrow head 'thwacked' into the back of his head.

"Ow!" He yelled and grabbed his head.

Sophia used the distraction to entangle his feet with her whip and in one swift fluid move snatched him to the ground onto his back and leapt to him putting her scythe blade to his throat.

"Beg mercy!" She cried her eyes flashing.

"Mercy! Mercy! I'm dead already! Geeze! The arrow to the head pretty much did that! Who was that any way?!"

"It was I you vagrant!" Verun smiled down at the Earth man.

"And just how did you get there? I only heard three people." The Earth man Sneered up at the young warrior.

"I walked in Dahl's shadow and had his steps! I ducked down as you came out of your skin house." The young man smiled down at him.

"And you always do the same thing." Dahl grunted down at the Earth man.

"Huh?" The Earth man looked up as the grizzled older man came to stand over him.

"You always come out of your skin house the same way and always use your right hand to make your main attacks." The older man said quietly as he gently rubbed a spot on his chest. "It will be the death of you yet."

"Yeah," The Earth man frowned. "You're right. Are you O.K., I didn't mean to throw those so high. I was trying for your legs."

"I'm fine. I was a damned fool to allow you to even get so close with them in the first place. I'm sorry that I broke the cords."

"How?" the Earth man scowled. "That was new leather."

Dahl made a shrugging gesture and raised his arms abit. "They just broke when I lifted my arms."

"But-" The Earth man began.

"A single cord breaks easily. You should make braided cords." Per'ah said holding up the broken bolas that the Earth man had used to trip her. "And I didn't hear you asking if I was well even though you almost broke my knees with this thing."

"I'm sorry my dear. I beg your forgiveness o' shining one." The Earth man smiled up at the young woman. "How are you despite my best efforts to desroy you?"

"Hrmph, You can beg and flatter all you want. It will still not gain you entrance into my bed."

The Earth man's jaw dropped open as the four warriors smiled down on him.

"Besides," Per'ah prodded him with her toe, "You're quite dead and would be of little use to me, even as a bed warmer."

The others laughed as the Earth man gasped. Sophia unwrapped the Earth man's ankles and helped him to his feet with a hug and a quick kiss.

"Well thanks alot you savages" He laughed back at them. "Well now that you've slaughtered the only civilized man on this planet are you all happy now?"

"Hmmn," Dahl rubbed his tight gotee, "No, Now we must pillage your camp and carve you up for breakfast."

The Earth man's face twisted into as nasty a sneer as it was able. "Savages." He hissed.

"So, are you coming to breakfast this morning?" Sophia smiled at him.

"That's what this is all about?! A man takes a day or two to catch up on sleep and you savages just have to go an' wake'im up?!"

"Only sheep sleep after sunrise." Sophia said simply.

The Earth man pointedly gazed up at the dark sky and twinkling stars and then glared at Sophia. She snorted out a giggle.

"You are very cute Earth man. I would gift you with a good morning bedding but it's too near my firtile time. Perhaps a fortnight?" She cocked her head and smiled.

The Earth man looked down for a second and smiled back up at her.

"Sure, I'll take the rain check. But for to day I have to check in with the 'Skipper an' make sure everything's O.K.. I'll make it in for noon time. Save me some fresh raw dog." He smirked at the four.

They all frowned.

"Savage!" Dahl hissed.

They all broke up laughing until they coughed.

"So let me get some sleep before then." The Earth man said raising his right hand open with spread fingers. Soon, he said as he touched Dahl's open hand with his own. Dahl nodded saying Soon himself. Then Verun bid his good bye in the same fashion. As the Earth man touched Sophia's hand she entwined her fingers in his and twisted his hand gently in toward her. She smiled as she lightly kissed his hand. Soon, she whispered. He gently kissed her hand and nodded whispering Soon. Very slowly, he let her untwine their fingers. As he touched Per'ah's hand she too gripped his hand and turned it around toward her. She put her left hand over both of their hands. Soon she said looking into his eyes. He covered her hand with his. Soon he nodded. She let go and followed her pack as they drifted into the trees.

"Soon." The Earth man whispered as they left.

I wrote this journal entry as the story of Dara and her great plan...and my part in it. Mostly I've begun where I have because the story began before I arrived...and will continue long after I've gone...and...and I am not so vain as I once was... There are still things greater than myself...

The sun was high and stabbed down into the tall sharp rocks between the clustered trees. The long shadows fell across the many pavilions of the clan. There was an excitement in the air as I walked among the Tyracc clan and their preparations for their noon day meal. Children ran helter skelter across the small cleared sandy field play fighting. They are a all little savages and more than a few sticks strike home on more than a few kids. But unlike brats of other cultures who'd cry and run to their mothers, the wounded kids grit their teeth and either strike back harder or sit on the ground to rest. The strange thing is that the aggressor kids expect this and even give the hurt kids a second or two to catch their breath. The clan's children learn honor and chivalry at a very early age.

The whole ideal of honor and chivalry is very real to me even after all these many years of life. Many times I have had to act with out honor just to survive in life. Many times I've had to work without chivalry just to keep from being run over by the rats in the race called business. Each time I've gone against my ideals I've fealt sickened and filthy and some how less than human...And here, after having been dead and now alive again and going home, I've found one of the few planets that has been passed by, by "civilization".

I've been to Tyracc before...a very long time ago. It had been a wild game preserve then and the few humans who chose to live here were a strong and brave lot. They had gone retro about a thousand years ago and had paid to have their genes altered so that they would have a nearly normal human life span. They still lived well into their two hundreds and had the near perfect immune system of other humans, but had given up the whole idea of centuries long life spans...To most of civilization, these were the throwbacks of humanity. To me, they were the beautiful affirmation of life! For these people life had become short and therefore, more precious. For these people, life had consequences and responsibilities and penalties. If these people died they had no alpha-coding touch machines to record their every thought and activate back up clones if...

My teeth gritted of their own accord as my hand snaked up to rub the back of my neck...and the alpha-coder at the base of my skull hidden under my skin and long pony tail. I had not actually died, but had been in deep coma. I had been brought back to full life by the newest means and the most advanced technologies. In my previous life, I had been a wretched, aged invalid. I had left orders that I be preserved and brought back when it was possible...My clone son had followed my orders as best he could...

"Earthman!" Tombo's sudden cry from behind blew the cob webs from my mind. "Turn and face me, scoundrel, that I may slay thee!"

I whirled swiftly and drew my duelling 'blade' and slung the excess ink paint from it. The thin grooves around the blade of the wooden dagger held plenty enough for the marking that I would do to the little scamp. The young teen held his blade in his left hand today. I saw the faded mark down his right arm that I had left three days before. The clan's rules for the play dueling were that you couldn't make a 'killing' stroke, only cuts, and that you could not fight with body part that still had ink on it. The ink only lasted for three or four days and it was dishonorable to scrub it off. These rules showed the clan's children that there were consequences to fighting.

I'd always had a way with kids and the clan children had adopted me long before the elders had. Tombo and his sister Tambo had personally presented me with my dueling blade and had taught me the rules. And then they proceeded to 'scar' me at every chance they got. I had only let them win a time or two before I realized that they didn't need me to go light on them. Tombo was quick and skilled and Tambo had already earned a scar from a real fight that had erupted between her and an annoying young suitor that she had no interest in. The boy had made the mistake of holding her as he cut her face. Tambo had bit a chunk out of his arm and very nearly hamstrung him with her dagger. She wore her scar well.