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Inside the Mind of Gul Vamcet

Posted on Wed Oct 4th, 2023 @ 1:33pm by Lt JG Adalyn O'Rourke Ph.D.
Edited on on Tue Oct 10th, 2023 @ 9:12pm

842 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: The Sins of History
Location: Adaylyn O'Rourke's Office, USS Artemis
Timeline: MD004 1300 hrs

Adalyn exhaled slowly as she contemplated pressing play on the device before her. She didn't want to do it, and although she understood intellectually why that was true, another part of her was concerned. After all, it was hardly the first time she was going to hear and read horrific things, things most psychologists, let alone most people, didn't contemplate. It was hardly the first time she would be hearing the voices of the traumatized. Forensic professionals like herself had to be comfortable exploring the darkest recesses of sentient beings on a regular basis. They had to be comfortable with speaking about violence and the impact of violence as casually as someone else might describe weather patterns or the migration of birds.

So why was this different? Why did the thought of pressing forward leave her with such dread?

O'Rourke couldn't put her finger on it, but she knew she couldn't put it off any longer. She pressed the button before her and held her breath, not knowing what to expect, but at the same time, knowing it was going to challenge her in ways that no other case had.

The voices were halting at first, as if with each word, each speaker thought he or she just might find themselves trapped in the events they were recounting:

"… I… I think the hardest thing was never knowing what to expect. You see, sometimes he would actually help us… He would do something, not to make us feel better, of course, but to preserve our lives. I'd be given a sip of water, or I'd feel the pass of the dermal regenerator or osteo knitter across my mangled body, except that I didn't know that's what they were, so for several seconds each session, and for many hours afterward, I would wait for the pain, the terrorizing inability to breathe, or for the blood to pour out of any orifices, and it wouldn't come. Then I would realize I had been chosen to live another day. Sometimes I think he actually expected me to thank him for sparing my life, but the prophets' truth? The Prophets' honest truth? I was angry and disappointed in myself that I didn't have the strength to let go."

"… The pain I felt was indescribable. Excruciating doesn't begin to capture how it feels to be injected over and over with Prophets' knows what, causing my insides to feel as though they were on fire, as though they were literally about to burn their way out of my body. I can still see him staring intently into my eyes as if he couldn't hear the screams and was appraising the impact of his so-called science on every inch of my body as I writhed in agony."

"… I came to recognize there were two versions of him: the cool and calculated scientist who was very good at carefully analyzing his specimens and was very good at appearing indifferent to my suffering, and then there was the mad man, the version of him that didn't even attempt to hide his sadism behind experimentation. He particularly likes to attack our noses and those ears that bore the earrings of our people. We would hear stories from guards describing seeing dead prisoners with their noses caved in or their ears destroyed. It was as if he wanted to destroy the very things that made us who we were, and he did so with reckless abandon... so oblivious, in fact, the people described having to pull him away from his subject who had died long before he had finished inflicting the blows."

Adalyn pressed the stop button so hard the device that recounted these horrors nearly flew across the room. O'Rourke felt sick to her stomach and it took several minutes for her to take enough deep breaths and sips of water to be confident she wouldn't throw up. Wiping the tears from her eyes and off her cheeks, she realized why this Cardassian monster's behavior had gotten under her skin.

It didn't make sense - not just morally speaking, but psychologically. One moment she believed he was a cool methodical scientist who was a hard-core believer in his own people's supremacy, and the next, it seemed he was a full blown sadist who used the Occupation as a convenience cover to indulge his worst impulses.

If the latter were more accurate, it certainly seemed inconsistent with everything she knew about his early life as an intelligent man of science. Yet, no one could escape the reality that this monster had killed millions of people in ways that didn't try to have any basis in science. For this man, there were times when the cruelty was the point.

Exhaling slowly, she allowed the image of the monster fade from her mind's eye.

It was time to do her job. "Computer, begin dictation of psychological profile: Gul Vamcet..."

Lieutenant Junior Grade Adalyn O'Rourke
Chief Counselor/Profiler, USS Artemis
Starfleet Criminal Investigations Unit


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