Know Your Rights, All Three of Them

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Know your rights, all three of them – The Clash

"So we are agreed?" Arnis asked, a bit anxiously.

"Yes, yes, of course. I appreciate your supporting my research into finding a cure for thylacine paramyxovirus," Doctor Rechal said.

"And you will not say anything?"

"As we have agreed. The blame will lie with the secondary, and we will say that she was jealous of your attentions with respect to the last caste female."

"Plus the secondary has had two daughters recently. Who's to say she isn't having another?" Arnis complained. "Useless."

"You know that I can check the gender of her fetus as well."

"Don't," Arnis said, "I have enough going on right now. We have contacted that Federation of Planets. They are going to send representatives here. Elemus is now on the Council and he met them a few years ago. He says they seem to have different ways but their ships look to be powerful. They are odd, though, humans. They even had a female captain on one of their vessels!"

"Perhaps it was some special program," Rechal said, "maybe she had men advising her. I cannot imagine a female being put in charge of anything so important and complicated."

"They may be strange, but I think they can help us with the Klingons. And I don't need the distractions of a murder trial while I am negotiating with them. I will now contact the authorities, and have them take Mistra away and have her pay for the death of the boy child held by the female vessel from the last caste."

=/\=

"Daranaea?" Erika asked, "So it's them again."

"Yes, I feel it's important to bring you in, Captain Hernandez, as you've had contact with the Daranaeans before," Admiral Gardner said.

"I think I remember that name," Jonathan said, "There was a First Contact report a few years ago. But I can't recall the details. Intelligent marsupials?"

"Captain Hernandez?" the admiral asked.

"Actually, Doctor Nguyen spent the most time with them. Care to talk about them?" she asked An Nguyen, her Chief Medical Officer.

He looked a little green around the gills. "I, it was a few years ago. We were contacted by a pleasure craft and I was asked to look at a patient. When Captain Hernandez and I got there, we learned they had a doctor, but that he had refused to treat this patient, a pregnant woman."

"But why?" asked Jennifer. She patted her own belly. Ines wasn't due for another seven months.

"It is," An continued, "they have a rigid caste system, but it's apparently only for the females. This woman was in the middle caste. Evidently only the upper caste is allowed Daranaean medical care, or at least is allowed it under all circumstances. So this, this secondary, she was basically being kept barefoot and pregnant. She told me that she had become pregnant while still pouch-feeding her youngest."

"My," Malcolm said, touching a dull grey metallic cuff on his left wrist. He often touched it when he was troubled or upset. It was a gift from her – Declan's mother – and he never took it off. Touching it made him feel a bit like she was there, with him, when he was away and needed her the most.

"There is also a third caste," An stated, "they aren't let out much at all. I was able to give her an examination, but it was after a lot of convincing of her husband. She was not supposed to get medical care at all, despite the fact that she, too, was pregnant. And," he took a deep breath, "I'm not even so sure that husband is the right word. Owner seems more correct. They used the terms husband and wives, but those women were all purchased."

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