Personal Log, 9611.16, Lt Joy Ten
Dangerous. How is it that I forgot?
When Four and Seven were first purchased by Kazz from Milord Mudd, Adeliza Dagger-Hand was undisputed queen of the Charador pirates. This lasted until her death, and until Red Four and Black Seven rose to avenge her. Adeliza taught my dark sisters all we needed to know to survive and thrive among the lawless. "The only free woman on this world is a streetwalker with a dagger in her hand." "Never threaten a man. Never let him know you have a blade until it's under his ribs."
Master Merchant Kazz accepted this. He wanted dangerous people. If any of his crew could not handle a streetwalker, well, he thought his crews were improved by their deaths. He didn't want people who carried stun capable weapons. The more potent a weapon they carried, the better. He didn't want people just to walk the walk, they had to talk the talk as well.
There were two systems of rank. Who got out of whose way when walking the corridors was far more important than how many bars or stars were pinned on the uniform. In theory, the bars and stars were important. In practice, if you couldn't walk tough and talk tough, you couldn't keep a command. You would be lucky to stay alive.
This unit remembers. Four and Seven could walk the walk, and talk the talk. This unit remembers. But since the Federation reprogramming, the death of a sentient triggers horror, not glory. Lethal skills are something to be ashamed of, not a source of pride. The Joys are not as we once were. The skills are still there, buried deep, but not deep enough. This unit could walk the walk still, if it was ordered. I hope it is not. But talking the talk, taking pride in death, being proud of being dangerous, that is a talent well lost.
On Seven's first class day at Starfleet Academy - Tactics 101 - Seven wondered what an academic could teach a Charador pirate about killing and death. But the first day wasn't about tactics. He taught the rules of engagement, in time of peace, against an opponent with similar technology. He taught about when to fight, not how.
"Never use force save as a last resort, when all other means have been eliminated. Be the peacemaker and mediator, not the aggressor. Do not be the first to use force." For an android newly programmed not to take sentient life save under orders, these words struck home. They are written in Seven's Starfleet yearbook, underneath her picture. They are engraved in the memory of this unit as well.
And yet - even in the Federation - there are those who take pride in being dangerous. No longer can I match them, playing dangerous games by dangerous rules. No, I shall take quiet pride in the lesson of Tactics 101, though the words of Adeliza Dagger-Hand can never be forgotten.