I also couldn't ascertain whether he was looking at me or just looking at where he thought I was. I decided to step to one side to test him and somehow—don't ask me how, I managed to get my feet tangled up in themselves. I fell over landing awkwardly on my buttocks and let out an undignified squeal.
The Helvetian laughed heartily.
"But you are not as stealthy as you are rumoured to be," he hissed. "Do not let your masters discover that!"
I sat perfectly still, not daring to move.
"What? You still deny me an audience? I am soon to die. Would you not grant me an audience as my last wish?"
What did he mean by that—soon to die? And why was he imprisoned? Was he an enemy of the Dancers?
I realised that although I knew of the Helvetians, I knew nothing about them. The evidence of my eyes suggested that they were not on the best of terms with the Dancers. This one certainly wasn't; he was imprisoned, but why? Was it just this Helvetian or were all Helvetians at odds with the Dancers? There was only one way to find out.
"Tell me about the Helvetians?" I demanded.
"Aaah! So you acknowledge me. At least now I will die happy, die knowing that it was not for a myth."
Myth? What myth?
"You're talking in riddles. Tell me who you are."
"I am Warrior Troy."
"No! Not your name! Tell me who you are! Who are the Helvetians? Who are the Dancers? Why are we here?"
Warrior Troy tipped his head to one side.
"You do not know?"
"I'd hardly be asking if I knew now, would I?"
"But you are the Creature. This is your war!"
"War? What war?"
"The war your race began."
"My race isn't at war with you. Your race, or at least the Dancers, are snatching people from our realm, bringing them back here and murdering them."
The Helvetian fell silent and thoughtful.
"But you are a Dancer."
"No, I'm not."
"The Dancers are your masters—"
"No, they're not!"
Warrior Troy stepped back, looking somewhat startled.
"Then with whom do your loyalties lie?"
"Starfleet? Who is Starfleet?"
"It's an exploratory and defence service maintained by the United Federation of Planets."
"The United Federation of Planets."
"I've never heard of them." He looked puzzled.
"Probably not. We're from another realm."
"Another realm? Now who is talking in riddles?"
He was right. Just as I had little conception about this place, he had even less about mine. I stood up and walked nearer to the front of his enclosure, straightening my back and standing proud.
"I will tell you of my realm, if you tell me of this one."
Warrior Troy stepped as far forward as he dared and stared hard at me. I wondered ... could he see me now? His tongue flicked across his lips as he thought hard.
"You say you are not a Dancer, yes?"
"Then what race are you?"
"I am Human."
"That cannot be. I have seen Humans and I cannot see you at all."
My heart leapt.
"You've seen Humans?"
"Of course, I have. I have studied this place for years before my final capture. I have seen many Humans and their sub-species."
My heart sank again. He was not talking about my crew. He was talking in general terms.
"I don't understand!" I cried. "Who are you?"
"I am Troy—"
"NO! Not your name, you stupid beast!" I screamed. It wasn't the Starfleet way and I could feel T'Roc's disapproval even though she wasn't there.
"Oh!" he exclaimed softly, feigning innocence. "You mean my history."
"Yes! Your history."
"And in return? What will you give me in return?"
I didn't answer. Of course, he would want something.
"I suppose you want your freedom."
"Of course, but you won't give me that. I am your enemy, so I'll settle for knowing what you are, Creature. If you are not a Dancer, what are you?"
"Tell me what I want to know first, and I will tell you my history."
The Helvetian laughed evilly.
"Where would you like me to start?"
"At the beginning."