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Chapter Notes: Those who know death as a close companion fear more than their own death. Break out the tissues! Minor course language

Red Jac sat beside Kirok's biobed, lost in the past, talking to him, hoping he could hear her.

"Do you remember the Bloodbath Arms on Deep Space 12 when I dragged those Velconians off you? You were so drunk! I wasn't far behind you but at least I had more sense than to pick a fight with a Velconian, never mind two of them!" She smiled wistfully at the memories of all the good times they had shared. "You subconsciously called me your daughter - puqbe - that night and I was surprised but then... there has been a lot of blood and laughter shed and shared between us."

“We've always looked out for each other. In my case I've only ever fought for profit or power but you! You're a fight magnet! I've seen you run into a brawl, scattering them like ninepins, just for the sheer Hell of it! Didn't it ever occur to you that someone else might care if you lived or died, you selfish bastard?” The off-hand insult wasn't delivered with venom, rather it was venting exasperation.

“Of course it did.”

She stood and smoothed the blanket covering the motionless Klingon, her hand coming to rest on the rock-like shoulder of her only true friend over her years of battle.

"Do you remember when we escaped from the Terran's across Mount Kosciosco? I had a phaser hole in my shoulder big enough to put your fist into. You carried me clear across a mountain, you hid us in a cave for three days and you kept us alive with ice melt and whatever you could catch. I remember floating in and out of consciousness on the edge of death as you chanted over and again, not today... not today... "

“Such a brave, brave warrior. Afraid of nothing... except losing your friends.”

She stared at the biobed's readouts.

"Not today."

She turned abruptly and walked towards the door, pausing one last time to speak without turning.

"I never told you this but you were wrong. You've always been wrong. Today is not a good day to die."

The straight lines on the biobed's readout above the old Klingon had not moved all the time she had been there.

"It never is."

Chapter End Notes: I think our fascination with the Klingon ethic of death is because it is so truly alien for most to welcome death. Why are martyrs so eager to die for their cause? Wouldn't it be better to live for a cause

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