And So The War Begins

Chapter 1- Preschool (Round 1)

“She’s out of Control, Miral,” my father told my mother, they didn’t know I was listening from around the corner. “Half an inch more and the cartilage would lodged itself in his brain! You know I love our daughter but you’re setting a bad example for her, she learned this violent behaviour from you.”

“Yes, and I bet the petaQ’s biggest worry is the fact that he got beat up by a girl!” my mother responded.

“She needs to apologies at the very least.”

“He probably deserved it, John.”

“Deserved it? He is a child, Miral, and besides, if he truly did in her eyes why won’t she tell us why she did it beyond the fact that he made her angry. Miral, she’s three, most preschooler’s don’t go around punching their class mates and when they do it’s certainly not enough to just about kill them.”

“Yes well she’s not most preschooler’s John, when will you accept the fact that she’s half Klingon. She has Klingon instincts, so yes, she will hit first and resolve problems later. Where I grew up that would be celebrated, not ridiculed, and as I recall you liked that about me when we first met.”

“We are not living where you grew up and when we first met we were teenagers and stupid, I had hoped that we would both mature. So, would you at least help me with getting our daughter to apologize.”

“I won’t do it!” I came barrelling around the corner and towards the door. “He is a stupid petaQ who knows nothing, but likes to pretend he knows everything. I will never apologies and I will never go back to that ghuy’ DIvI’ naHnagh.”

I swung the door open so harshly that it bounced off the wall with a loud bang and slammed shut behind me as I ran towards the forest. I didn’t want to live here anymore and I had told my parents that many times. I knew I would get in trouble for using the language I had, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to leave this place and never come back. I had been running in the forest since midday and now it was dark, pitched black in fact, so I fell to my knees and finally let myself cry. The kids had been so mean that morning, putting worms in my sandwich, making fun of my forehead ridges, telling me I would end up in Gre’Thor because I was half-human and could never honor the Klingon God’s. Derek had put his piece in at my breaking point and I snapped, I knew it was wrong because my teacher kept me after school just for shoving the other kids, but I couldn’t help it. When she came out to get Derek and scold me I shoved her to the side and ran back in through the classroom and out the front doors of the school. My dad found me an hour later in the trash yard, tinkering with a broken down, old shuttle.

They weren’t going to find me this time though, I was going to make sure of that. I let myself cry, only for five minutes and then I got up and started to run again. I heard people calling my name and I knew they had called the Starfleet police, who would have sent out a search party but I kept running, trying to keep the voices as far away as possible. That’s when I bumped into him.

He was a tall man with brown hair and blue eyes and wearing a Starfleet uniform, he had a little blond haired, blue eyed boy by his side. The boy probably wasn’t much older than myself and he was giving me a funny look, like he had never seen anything like me before.

“You must be the little girl they are making such a fuss over in this colony,” the man bent down one knee. “Now why did you run away?” he put a hand on my shoulder.

“Isn’t that what you do when no one wants around?” I asked him. “You run away and become a warrior to gain respect.”

“Is that where you were going? To become a warrior?”

“Actually, I’m not really sure where I was going. That’s where Klingon’s run to, it’s how my mom met my dad, but where do humans run to?”

“The circus,” The little boy spoke quietly.

“Well I’m not much of an entertainer, so I guess I am running to become a warrior. Now if you’ll excuse me,” I tried to go out around the man but he gripped my shoulder tighter, it didn’t really hurt but it was uncomfortable.

“I believe, young lady, that if no one wanted you around they would not have sent out a search party for you,” the man said very bluntly.

“They don’t want me around, they just want me to come back and apologies to stupid Derek Thomson.”

“And why do they want you to do that?”

“Because I broke the ghuy’ petaQ’s nose.”

“A lady should not be using those kinds of words. Where did you learn them anyway?”

“I never claimed to be a lady.”

The voices where getting closer and they now sounded like they were just about on top of us.

“If a may, I need to leave before they find me.”

“Why did you break his nose?”

“Like I said he’s a petaQ and he deserved it!”

“What did he do to deserve it?”

“I don’t have to answer any of your question’s, you only care about the stupid human petaQ and you don’t really care about my reasons, just like everyone else. No matter what the other kids do to me, I’m always the one in the wrong, but they’re allowed to put worms in my sandwiches and make fun of me and tell me that I’m going to end up in Gre’Thor but if I throw one little punch or shove them even a little bit I get in trouble and it’s not fare!”

“Is that what he was doing to you?”

“No that’s what the other kids did.”

“What did Mr. Thomson do to you?”

“He kissed me.”

“He kissed you?”

“Yes, right on the lips. It was gross and he probably only did it because the other kids dared him to!”

The man gave a small laugh and one of the Starfleet guards replaced his hand on my shoulder.

“Miss Torres, you need to come with me.”

I sighed and took the man’s hand as he led me back to the colony, I was tired but I didn’t want to sleep and just as I thought, I was in major trouble when I returned back to the house.

“B’elanna, sweetie, you need to understand that you can’t just punch your way through your problems,” my dad told me.

“I’m sorry daddy, I didn’t mean to hit him that hard. But, he did deserve it,” I told him.

“You still haven’t told me what he did.”

“He kissed me.”

Dad had to try very hard not to laugh, “Well you really shouldn’t hit someone for kissing you. One day you will like that.”

“Eww, no I won’t.”

“B’elanna, the point is, we have to ground you, both for hitting the boy and for running away.”

“Yes daddy.”

“And you will apologies to the boy tomorrow.”

“Yes, daddy.”

I was send to my room where they took out everything but my clothes, my bed, and the Starfleet engineering PADD’S that they had stored in there. Little did my parents know that no matter how little they actually touched the manuals, I would stay up all night flipping through them and I was trying to teach myself to read so I could read them. I had some of the smaller words figured out.

Derek’s mom brought him over the next day when he came home from the hospital and my parents forced me to apologies, but then he tried to kiss me again and I shoved him back against the wall so hard that I gave him a concussion. My parents decided at this point that I probably wasn’t ready for school yet, and who really needs two years of preschool anyway. They pulled me out after only having been in for four months and I was happier because I got to spend most of my time at the junk yard tinkering with old, broken down shuttles and hover cars. Other than that Kessik IV was a very dull place.

 

Chapter 2 – Preschool (Round 2)

Ok, so taking an extra year before staring school didn’t help at all. I still wasn’t a people person and I got into a lot of fights, nobody liked me especially since I was just put right into second year preschool and I was still with the same kids I had been the year before. They tried saying I was too stupid and that’s why my parents pulled me out, but the reality was, I was the only kid in my class who could read at all yet. I was also the only one who knew how to change “Marry had a Little Lamb” that played on the playground music station to an ear splitting, high pitched ringing sound that just about burst the other kids ear drums. Of course I had it delayed to make sure I had the time to sneak into the sixth grade class in the grammar school across the street to start reading before it went off (child shields were no match for me).

“What do you think you’re doing here young lady?” Ms. Talla P’Trell said, coming back into her classroom from lunch. Ms. P’Trell was Andorian and very pretty, but she was also very strict. “Shouldn’t you be over in the second year preschool class rather than here reading my students engineering material.”

“Yes ma’am,” I stood up quickly dropping PADD’s from my lap. “It’s just, well you see, I was.”

“Trying to stop from getting in trouble? Yes I know about the sonic emitter you set up, all the other children had to go home, but they couldn’t find you, so they came asking over here. Apparently you’re known to run.”

“Well why would I want to stay there with that bunch of petaQ’s, they don’t like me and I don’t like them, so I guess we’re even.”

“Except now you need to go fix the problem you’ve created,” Ms. P’Trell picked up one of the texts I had dropped. “You really can read these, can’t you?”

“Most of it ma’am, I’ve been teaching myself and there are some words I have not been able to figure out, but I get the gist of it from the words that I can read.”

“So why do you come here, I’ve caught you sneaking out before, but never well you are actually reading. Do you always read when you come here?”

“Yes, there isn’t much else to do here.”

“Wouldn’t the first or second grade classrooms be easier then?”

“Yes, technically, but their PADD’s are full of boring nonsense; yours actually teach me something that I want to know. But they don’t have things quite right. I believe that it is possible to go faster than warp nine.”

“You do, do you?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Well how about you work on that theory well you’re fixing the ciaos you created over there.”

“There’s one problem with that.”

“And that would be?”

“I know how to make it happen, I just don’t know how to make it stop.”

I spent days on that playground learning how to fix what I had created so the other kids could come back to school. I had to wear ear plugs, and most of my attempts only seemed to make the problem worse, as the grammar school had to evacuate the last two days of my work because it had stretched over there. After the first day of my work I was even working with an engineer who wasn’t quite sure what I had done in order to create the problem. I learned a lot from him but how to stop the sonic emitter; that I figured out on my own.

I was grounded for the next week and even the engineering PADD’s were taken out of my room because my parents figured I had learned too much from them. Really most of what I learned was from my own tinkering with shuttles and hovercrafts in the junk yard, people didn’t seem to realize that you could learn that way though.

The fist our months of preschool seemed to go by in a blur of name calling and cruel jokes, I didn’t dare retaliate any further because I didn’t want that kind of a punishment again. My parents also felt the overwhelming need to drop by my school at my play times and make sure that I was actually staying inside the child shields, I liked when dad came though because he always brought me a little treat. No one had figured out how I was making it out of the shields only the fact that I was, which is something else that I got in trouble for. It was a simple thing though, really, you only had to disrupt the shields for a second, it was long enough for someone to get out but not long enough for anyone to notice.

Winter break would have been a gladly welcomed break from school, if my parents could have stopped fighting long enough for us to have a single meal together. It was always over me though, and how they were going to raise me. When I opened my presents on Christmas morning (which was a holiday my father insisted we celebrate) it only made things worse. My mother had given me a D’k tahg, which is something she knew my father likely would not agree with.

“It’s a family one B’elanna. My grandmother gave it to my mother, my mother gave it to me, and now I am giving it to you,” my mom explained about the blade.

Dad was fuming, I could practically see the steam coming out of his ears.

“She cannot have a blade!” he shouted.

“It is every Klingon child’s right,” mom retorted.

“Yes but usually not as young as B’elanna and she may be half-Klingon but she is also half-human and I get a say in her upbringing as well. Otherwise why am I even here, I mean half the reason I married you is because I knocked you up!”

I went upstairs, there was no point in getting in the middle. My other presents were left unopened and the next morning I got up early to recycle all my presents in the replicator, it would mean longer until we had to pay for a new power supply unit and at least my presents would be good for something besides causing a fight between my parents. I always seemed to be the center of their arguments, they would be happier if I wasn’t around. I knew what my dad said the night before was probably a lie because I was born thirty weeks after my parents got married, and my Klingon physiology told me that that was the proper amount of time for a Klingon pregnancy. It didn’t matter though, the insult had been thrown out there and it was questioning my mom’s honor, which meant that my dad was sleeping on the couch and I had to sneak around him. I left the D’k tahg on the coffee table, as it was a family heirloom, and I left the house for the junk yard.

I didn’t bring a jacket or shoes because the closet door was load and I was trying not to wake my dad. So, I went down in my slippers and my pajamas, which was the one present my parents gave me together, they looked like a Starfleet engineers uniform. My parents told me I was going to be  great engineer one day, and that was what I wanted to be, I just didn’t think I could get along with anyone long enough to that kind of a job.

I took my slippers off and through them over the fence when I got to the junk yard, because the gates were closed and I couldn’t climb in my slippers. Mr. Tenion, the head worker at the junk yard, didn’t bother with shields, so there was nothing to disable. The metal chain link fence was icy cold on my feet, but there was no turning back now, my slippers were already over the other side. I knew the junk yard dog, he greeted me with love and my slippers when I fell off the other side of the fence. He was a mean dog to most people, and he hadn’t liked me when I first started coming, but after a while he seemed to accept the fact that no matter how much he growled and barked, I wasn’t going away, and he knew he wasn’t allowed to use his teeth unless he was threatened. So, he gave up trying to scare me and eventually became my only friend.

Dad came and found me later on, he gave me a big hug and apologised for a bad Christmas and then he brought me home.

My first day back at school after the break I broke, I couldn’t help it, I had been holding it in for months and now I was back and they only got worse when I wasn’t retaliating. I took my lunch bag outside with me on our first play break because I was hungry and wanted to snack. I had only set it down for a moment, to drink my juice, when I heard giggling from a group of girls behind me. I looked back as they were running off, I had a funny feeling that they had done something I really wasn’t going to like.

Something rustled inside my lunch back and I opened it up to look down inside. There was an injured baby bird laying on top of my sandwich. I reached down inside and carefully lifted it out.

“I’m sorry little guy,” I whispered to him. “Kids can be mean sometimes, but I promise I won’t hurt you.”

“Hey!” Jacob Klark yelled across to me and I looked up at him. “Are you going to eat that bird or what?”

I took a deep breath and set the bird down carefully beside my lunch bag and getting up I walked slowly towards him.

“No, but know what I am going to do Jacob, you lo’laHbe’ghach little petaQ?  I’m going to Qaw’ you.”

He only had time to get out, “What are you-” before I was on top of him, pinning him down and banging his head against the ground. It wasn’t hard enough to do any real damage, he didn’t even bleed, but I figured at least I would calm the other kids down and keep them at bay for a while.

“B’elanna Torres, you get off him right now!” my teacher came barrelling across the playground and yanking me backwards. I shook her off and went back to the baby bird, it needed my help because I knew its mother wouldn’t take it back now and it couldn’t go anywhere on its own.

My teacher tended to Jacob and took him to the school nurse before coming to kneel next to me.

“B’elanna, why were you beating Jacob up?”

“He wanted me to eat the bird,” I was stroking the bird’s stomach.

“Violence isn’t how we solve our problems B’elanna, one more incident and you’ll be kicked out of school. Is that what you want?”

“No, but when I don’t retaliate they only get worse.”

“Have you tried talking to them? Maybe they’d like you if you were a little nicer.”

“No this class is full of a bunch of petaQ’s, talking to them won’t do any good. They can’t even read, not a single one of them, they don’t know anything about technology, or howtheworldworks! Theirparentslovethemanddon’tresentthembecausetheylooklikeaKlingon, theydon’tfightbecauseofthemorhateeachotherbecausetheybothwanttoraisethemindifferentways! They don’t know anything!”

“Whoa, Miss Torres, slow down and say that again. I can’t understand you when you’re running your words together like that.”

“It doesn’t matter, just give me my punishment and get it over with.”

“Alright, I will be calling your parents.”

“Fine,” well the rest of the kids were out for their second play time I was stuck inside with nothing to do well my parents talked to my teacher.

“Is there anything going on at home that might be causing this behaviour?” my teacher asked. “Any problems with relatives, or between the two of you?”

“No, nothing that I can think of that would have any effect on B’elanna,” my father said. “We try and keep her separated from any problems that we have. There was one little fight at Christmas but that’s it.”

I knew he never realized how loud they got when they fought and he completely believed that was true. He didn’t know I could hear them fighting from my room and Klingon parents fought in front of their children all the time so my mom didn’t see any problems with our situation either. I just figured it was a private family matter and none of my teacher’s business, I would not have said anything before if I had not been so angry at that moment.

“What does B’elanna do when she’s not at school?” my teacher asked.

“Mostly she flips through engineering PADD’s and hangs out at the junk yard tinkering with old cars and shuttles,” mom replied.

“She doesn’t hang out with any kids at all?”

“All the kids her age come here,” my father responded.

“Yes, but I thought that maybe she spent time with some of the older kids. At least if he were feeding off their rebellion I could make some sense of this behaviour.”

“What is there to make sense of,” my father muttered under his breath. “She’s half Klingon.”

“I’m sorry sir, but I cannot understand you when you are mumbling.”

“I said she is half-Klingon, I would think that would be explanation enough.”

“I don’t see your point. Yes, resolving things aggressively is a very Klingon thing to do, but only because of their upbringing, but she is also half-human and she feels more deeply than any Klingon I have ever met. I feel there is something deeply troubling your daughter, but the best I can get out of her is words all strung together and when I ask her to repeat them slowly she shuts off her emotions like a light switch. One moment they are exploding out of her and then the next it’s almost as if they are gone all together and there’s nothing in her eyes to even indicate they were there.”

“Yeah, well exploding sounds about right, she’s a lot like her mother.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” mom questioned, getting up out of her chair.

“Mr. and Mrs. Torres, maybe you need to do a better job of keeping B’elanna out of the middle of your arguments.”

“It makes her stronger to see those things,” my mother replied.

“Is that what made you stronger Mrs. Torres, or is it what drove you away from home at an early age. Yes, I know more about you then you may believe.”

“It is what made me strong enough to leave home at an early age,” my mother retorted. “I was able to go find my own way in the world and honor my family the way they want me to.”

“Have you managed that honor?”

“This is not the day of honor, and we are not here evaluating me, we are evaluating my daughter.”

“Yes, well I believe the root of B’elanna’s problem lays in faulty parenting. You,” she turned to my father, “need to stop treating her like she should act fully human. And you,” she turned to my mother, “need to stop treating her like she should be fully Klingon. She is only one child, she cannot be both.

“What does she know about parenting?” my mother asked on the way home.

“Yes, she has no children of her own,” my father agreed. “She has no right to judge the way we parent.”

“Did you say something to her about us B’elanna?”

How was I supposed to answer that, I mean technically yes, but it wasn’t like she understood me. So I went with the answer that I knew would have me in the least trouble possible. “No, I think you’re great parents,” not that I really had anything to compare it to.

 

Chapter 3 – Grade 1

  “Round and round the marry-go-round the monkey chased the weasel, the monkey thought it was all in fun till pop goes the weasel.”

God, I was going to have that stupid song stuck in my head all day. Why, or why, did they have to do that incessant chanting of old earth children’s rhymes, did they even realize that most of those rhymes depicted horrific and tragic events in human history? Could they really be that naive, I mean ashes, ashes we all fall down. That’s got to say something to anyone, but no, these little petaQ’s go around merrily singing about the death of other children and getting it stuck in my head. At least here I could break into other classrooms in my own school at recess and read some good material on their PADD’s, because even though I had skipped through kindergarten, I was still board.

It wasn’t that I never got caught, just that I didn’t get in much trouble because at least here I was still on school grounds. Most of the teachers saw that as a victory after my preschool record, but what they didn’t realize is that I was always breaking into one of their classrooms when I was in preschool as well. It was almost summer though, and on this particular day the teachers were all getting their classrooms ready for the annual inspection by one of the top teachers from Starfleet academy, so I was stuck on the playground. Thankfully the inspections were annual and not monthy, and were just Starfleet’s way of making sure their future cadets had the best education possible. Apparently the students’ opinion was irrelevant though, because I saw no challenge in the tasks that they gave us.

“Hey, Miss Turtlehead, what’s on that PADD you’re reading,” Daniel came over and tried to grab it from my hand.

“Leave me alone Daniel, you’re such a little petaQ. Seriously turtlehead, it’s always the same thing with you, isn’t it. What you couldn’t think of anything new?” I retorted. I was getting really tired of the name though and I couldn’t stand his irritating taunting.

“Whatever, turtlehead, why don’t you go off and hunt for your lunch like areal Klingon,” he said, walking back over to the gyro-swing. The idea came to me almost instantaneously as he climbed on. The outside janitor’s closet door was wide open and I knew he had a tool box in there, sneaking inside I found the tool I needed and I proceeded to stick it in my pants waistband, where it was hidden by my shirt. I walked casually over to the far side of the gyro-swing and sat down where I was mostly hidden by hedges. I was on the perfect side to disengage the centrifugal governor as well and the swing went spinning out of control, Daniel was spinning so fast that he just about flew apart, and I knew it would be wrong to leave him on there any longer. I yanked him off the swing and he fell to the ground, at this point my instincts took over and I couldn’t help it, I climbed on top of him and started pounding his little face.

“Call me Miss turtlehead one more time, I dare you! Come on, do it, do it!” I screamed at him.

“No… B’elanna… I’m… sorry,” he told me between punches.

“Miss Torres!” my teacher, Miss Malvin, came running out of the classroom to grab the back of my shirt. “Get off Mr. Byrd,” she said as she continued to pull me backwards.

I was eventually yanked from Daniel, just in time to see someone I knew, though granted not very well.

“I believe I have encountered this young lady before,” the tall brunette gentleman said. “And if I recall correctly, you were running from the consequences of a similar event at the time.”

“Mr. Paris, I am so sorry, we have had quite a bit of trouble with this child.”

I wiped the sweat off my face and looked down at my toes, this was when Daniel decided to get one good punch in, just to say that he had done it. It hurt, it even caused me to lose my balance and fall over, but that was when I noticed the boy standing behind Mr. Paris, he was the same boy that had tanged along with him before, blond hair, blue eyes, but just a little older then the last time I had seen him. He turned to come help me up, but Mr. Paris put his arm out to stop him.

“She can pick herself up Tomas, I have a feeling she does not need anyone’s help,” he almost smiled at me, the expression seemed foreign on the man’s face, as if he did not give it often. “Though I cannot say I entirely care for your species young lady, you are very resilient.”

I stood up and wiped the dirt off my pants, I knew that no matter what anyone said though, I would be in trouble later. Dad wouldn’t be impressed even if mom was proud. It didn’t matter though, it wasn’t like dad was even going to pay enough attention to carry out any punishment that he gave me.

Mr. Paris spent the rest of the day wandering around our school and making “help suggestions” to the teachers, he had said that he would like me to stay in class to see how I preformed and we could deal with my “little incident” at the end of the day. He kept his promise too, at the end of the day he personally escorted me to the principal’s office where Daniel Byrd, his parents and mine were all waiting to greet us.

“Miss Torres, please sit down,” my principal gestured to the only open chair that was left and I sat. “First I’d like to start off with having you apologies to Mr. Byrd for hitting him earlier.”

“I will not apologies to that petaQ unless he apologies first,” I told him.

“B’elanna, how many times do I have to tell you not to use that kind of language. It is crude and unacceptable,” my father said.

“It is not the worst thing she could have said John,” my mother told him.

“It’s your fault she uses that language Miral, how many times did I tell you not to speak like that when she was younger.”

“Please, Mr. and Mrs. Torres, this meeting is not about your marital problems, so I would prefer that you keep them to yourself,” my principal told them. “Now B’elanna, apologies to Mr. Byrd.”

“No, I wouldn’t have hit him if he hadn’t been calling me names, so he has to apologies first!”

“Name calling is no excuse for hitting young lady.”

“Sir, you are talking to a Klingon here, do you really think you will be able to reason with her?” Daniel’s mom spoke up.

My mother practically launched herself out of her seat towards Daniel’s mother, my father stepped in the way and pushed her back down.

“Why do you always have to be so rash, Miral?” my father asked.

“Perhaps this meeting was not the best idea,” my principal concurred. “Mr. and Mrs. Byrd, you may take your son and leave. I assure you that Miss Torres will get a fair punishment for her actions.”

And I did get punished, how fare it was, was debateable, I ended up helping the janitor before school, recess and lunch, and after school, every day for a month.

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