693: Decisions

by Ensign Hok
Concurrent with Goodnight, My Angel

-=Lethus IV=-

Hok's mind was in a quandary.

He knew this mission was going to be risky, even dangerous. He knew it was almost certain that others knew about the box that had been discovered. He knew it was going to be difficult to discover what the box was. He had expected some sort of trouble. What had actually happened, was something he could never have imagined.



Romulans that had some sort of history with some of the Sera people.

While hiding in the trench during the firefight, Hok's acute hearing had heard a short communication between one of the attacking Romulans and the commander of the Romulan ship; Taris. This Taris hated someone on the Sera, and she was determined to have revenge. Everything that had happened here on Lethus, from the taking of the box, to the wounding of Lair Kellyn, to whatever was happening in space above them, to the deaths of the construction crew, was all part of some selfish and evil plot of a crazed Romulan.

Hok had seen death before; he had lost loved ones, but this? This was mind-numbing.

Absent-mindedly scooping up a handful of small stones, he climbed into the seat of a piece of earthmoving equipment and began tossing the stones at a bucket that was nearby.

The minutes passed. The clunking sounds of the stones hitting the bucket, seemingly ticking away the time. Feeling as though his emotions were bundled tightly into that stupid Hugreti box, all Hok wanted, was to run into the comforting arms of his moogie.

How could such a terrible thing happen so suddenly? Of course he knew that's the way things were in the universe. He chided himself for even wondering about that. Despite the idealism that had been poured into him in four years at Starfleet Academy, he knew people were inherently out for themselves. No one was any different. Even the people that were called nice or good; because even though they did nice and good things, they did them for their own selfish reasons.

The only way to make it in this Universe, the only way to be successful or have the good life, was to be out for yourself, and in doing that, a person had to play the game.

That game had rules, and the first Nagus had written them. How stupid he was to think the Starfleet way was something better.

Sighing deeply, Hok continued throwing stones at the bucket, until a glint of light shining on something, caught his eye. Tossing aside the rest of the stones, he jumped off the machine and stared closely at what he saw.

The bodies of several of the construction crew were lying here, covered with sheets by him and Dengar. A hand with a ring on one of the fingers, was sticking out from under the sheet. Moving closer, he got down on one knee and looked at it.

A gold band with a small diamond setting.

A hundred thoughts raced through Hok's mind. No one would miss the ring. No one would know it was gone. No one would care. He could remove the ring and slip into his jacket pocket. Done deal. Profit gained.

Then his Starfleet training kicked in. All those noble and selfless ideals were blaring at him to do the right thing. Respect the dead man. His family would want the ring. It was probably something given to him by his wife. It was disgraceful to steal, especially from the dead.

Everything Ferengi, everything he truly was and wanted to be, was telling him to take it, and to look for more. The others were back at the makeshift camp, worrying about Lair Kellyn. None of them were bothered with what Hok was doing.

He stared longingly at the ring, the reasons to take it, running through his head.

*Instinct, plus opportunity, equals profit. Greed is eternal. Nothing is more important than your health... except for your money. Never ask when you can take. Take joy from profit, and profit from joy. There are many paths to profit. Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit. The justification for profit, is profit. A man is only worth the sum of his possessions.*

The most important reason: a Ferengi without profit, is no Ferengi at all.

Hok slowly reached out and touched the ring, but quickly pulled back his hand. Looking around to see if anyone was coming, and seeing he was alone, he touched the ring again. Ah, it felt so good! His mind racing and his stomach churning, he made his decision.

Standing up, satisfied that he did the right thing, he began making his way back to the others.

Ensign Hok
Flight Controller
USS Serendipity NCC-2012
Currently on Lethus IV