Posted by Civilian Sinayda Nyx (Governor’s Aid) in Years Prior - Cardassian DMZ - Norvella Colony - When Titans Meet, Thunder Comes
Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Years Prior - Cardassian DMZ - Norvella Colony - When Titans Meet, Thunder Comes
Kenzo nodded. “Light sensitivity from vitamin deficiency. Not an uncommon issue around Norvela right now. Should be easily explained.” he said.
Soon the truck entered the town. People could be seen moving around as one would expect… but there was a sense of nervous energy in the air, almost palpable. Eyes darted to and fro, and there were more whispers than talking. Cardassian troops were everywhere, and where they walked people gave them a wide berth.
Suddenly, the truck turned left… not the route Kenzo had planned. His eyes narrowed and he turned and knocked on the window. The glass slid open and the driver tapped the cab communications control and said “Cardassians are sending us to a different location. Said there was a security concern with the original. No explanation, just we go there.” Kenzo nodded and sat back down.
Scowling, his jaw clenched and he said “The only other place we could be going is the Prefects home. Thats over six blocks from the plant.” and he stared at the bed of teh truck and then cursed softly. “All right… we are just going to have to call it off. I don’t see how we can continue. Six blocks there and back doesn’t give you enough time to get it done and not be missed.” and he looked at Nyx.
“Keep your sorry for now.” Sin’s eyes moved over and back, mapping the area they passed through, committing it to memory. “I’m still going to do my part. If I’m not successful—you can be sorry then.” Her mind was working at full speed, examining scenarios that might help her get the job done. “There’s been a lot of planning and effort put into this mission. You’ve convinced me that hundreds will die without the water, so I can’t just let the opportunity pass without even trying to make it work.”
“I’m going to feign illness. Just go along with it.” She held her hand out for the explosive device. Time for her to carry it. “If they catch me…” She shrugged. “Well, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen.” They both knew Cardassian’s were merciless when it came to spies and traitors, so she didn’t have to verbalize any specifics.
Kenzo peered intently at her. He could feel her confidence and determination. He could also sense her acknowledgement of failure… and the acceptance of the fear that came with it. Well, she is at least a realist. he thought to himself. He nodded to her and brought forth the device.
It was very small… so small most would not think it was capable of much at all. But to the practiced eye, it was a deceptively clever charge. The timer was a set and release with no override. Once it was on… it would stay on. It was also mechanical, so no electrical interruption would cause a failure.... and no scanner would pick up a signal. The mechanics were encased in transparent aluminum, and that was in turn sealed with a thin line of thermite that would ignite when exposed to air. So if someone tried to break into the mechanics, it would set off the bomb. All of this was surrounding the main charge… a gray, putty like substance that was so archaic; most modern demolition experts wouldn’t even know about it. But to the Maquis on Norvella, it was a common tool…
C-4. An ancient Earth explosive that was remarkably stable, malleable, and easily transported. It also was capable of releasing a large destructive explosive force with just a small-ish quantity. Now, how the Maquis were able to get possession of such a substance was unknown to all but a handful. But possess it they did.. and use it they did as well.
“Just slide this small arm here -” and he pointed to the device “- to the left and the timer will begin. You will have fifteen minutes. I will stall the Prefect as long as I can. Good luck, Ms. Nyx…” and he paused and looked at her with a strange sort of appraising look.
”… I really wish to see you make it through this.” and he held out his hand to her.
Sin nodded, “You and me both.” With a slick move, she palmed the device and slipped it into the shirt beneath her vest for safe keeping. “Tell the Prefect I was ill on the journey here, vomiting, loose bowels…whatever else you think might help. Food poisoning or Alderian flu. Something that will allow me uninterrupted time in the bathroom. Fifteen minutes ought to be enough, ten if everything is sixes.”
As the truck pulled up to the Prefects property, she gave Kenzo a ‘here we go’ look and a nod for good luck—then stuck her fingers down her throat beneath the face wrap. The retching was immediate.
A couple of guards were there to meet them when they dismounted from the back of the truck. Nyx was helped down by the Negotiator, while wiping her mouth on the back of a sleeve.
“I’m sorry, Sir. It must have been the meal where we stopped for lunch…
Kenzo put a comforting arm around her. “No no… don’t apologize. I’m sure it’s just a reaction to all the stress.” and he looked at the guards. “Negotiator Hyrushi to see the Prefect. Would you mind escorting my aid to the restroom? She isn’t well.” Two of the guards looked at each other and then one shrugged. “This way.” and he led Nyx away. Kenzo watched her go, and then took a deep breath. Looking at the remaining two guards, he said. “Thank you so much. Now, if we may?” he asked politely and was led into the building.
Following behind the guard, Nyx made sure to act appropriately weak and nauseas. It only took a moment to escort her to the restroom where she hurried inside and closed the door. Testing the faucet, she sneered when she saw that the Prefect had crystal clear, running water, both hot and cold, at the touch of a finger. She left it on, so they’d think she was using it and to cover any sounds she might make getting out of the window.
It was a slim window at about the height of her waist. Opening it was no problem, but something kept it from sliding all the way. That meant Sinayda only had about a six inch gap to squeeze through. It took some gymnastics and scraping that would elicit future bruising, but she managed to squish herself through. After a soft fall to the ground, Nyx was on her feet making her way to the water plant as quickly as possible without gathering suspicion.
Kenzo didnt look back as the guards led her away. Instead, he put an unobtrusively friendly smile on his face and followed the guards into the Prefect’s building.
Soon, the guards arrived at a archway, through which could be seen a large office. Kenzo knew the place. It was the district administrator’s former office. The man had a taste for some excess, and had decorated accordingly. The Cardassians, on the other hand, were more militaristic in their decorating. Gone were the tapestries and rugs, brass lanterns, and incense braziers. Bare stone floor and plaster walls housed a desk, communications array, and a small screened off area… living quarters for the Prefect who was seated at the desk.
The guards stopped Kenzo and searched him again… and he was thankful the device was not on him. Once satisfied that he had no weapons, they scanned him. When they got to his left arm, the scanner beeped and the guard’s head turned to face the negotiator. Kenzo nodded in acknowledgement. “I had an accident a few days ago. Ground craft went off the road and crashed into some gulds plants and sharp rocks.” and he slowly raised his sleeve to reveal the bandage, blood visible through the gauze. The guard looked back at the Prefect, who had glanced up at the scanner’s alert. Standing up, the Cardassian walked around the desk and approached Kenzo.
“Negotiator B’tren-Hyrushi. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Prefect Gan’vn Fos. If I may, please?” and he held his hand open to the injured arm of Kenzo. Kenzo took a breath and laid his wrist in the palm of Fos’s hand. Deftly, the Prefect unwound the gauze to reveal multiple small lacerations and a large puncture wound on the center of Kenzo’s forearm. Fos looked at the wounds and then said “Gulds plants are notoriously painful, Negotiator. The thorns are quite large, are they not?” Kenzo nodded and said “Indeed, Prefect. This the hole here.” and he pointed at the open wound in the center. “Why have you not had this treated, then?” asked Fos as he looked directly at Kenzo. Kenzo returned the gaze, feeling the Cardassian’s curiosity and distrust.
“Gulds thorns have a secretion that slows wounds from healing. And unfortunately, that means I have to wait for that to leave my system before a dermal regenerator will do anything… if I even had one. As I am sure the Prefect is aware, the new regulations prevent colonists from possessing such items.” Fos looked at the man for a long moment before releasing his wrist and nodding to the guard.
Making his way back to the desk, he motioned for Hyrushi to follow and be seated. “I am not one to beat around the bush, as you humans say. You have information you are willing to share, yes?”
Kenzo nodded and said “Under certain conditions… yes, Prefect. I do.” and he smiled slightly.
Feeling like peeled fruit after squishing through the bathroom window on her right side, up over the sill and tumbling to a stand again, Sin took off in the direction of the water plant. There were unpopulated areas where she could run, but as soon as she spotted people, she had to slow down so as not to arouse suspicion. In the drab clothing she wore along with the head/face wrap, no one much paid her any attention—until she collided with a Cardassian exiting a doorway just as she tried to rush past.
His reaction was immediate. “HOLD!” One of his companion’s hands shot out and nabbed the back of the heavy vest Nyx wore. She was pulled back around to face the Cardassian.
Bowing her head in deference, she began to gush, “Please forgive me, Lord. I didn’t know you were there!” With practice, she’d been able to cultivate a timbre in her voice that made it difficult to judge whether it belonged to a male or female. Keeping her eyes downward, she willed herself to be physically neutral.
Nyx felt his reptilian gaze on her. “Why are you in such a hurry?” It was her experience that Cardassians were always distrustful. This meeting was causing her to lose valuable time. She had to do something…
“I’m trying to find my little brother. He wandered off and my mother will be furious with me if I don’t bring him home soon.” Still, the lizard studied her. Tic, tic, tic…
Nyx fell to her knees and bent over the officer’s boots. “PLEASE Sir! I HAVE to find him!”
She feigned a sob and began to polish the toe of his boot with a sleeve. The foot lifted and kicked her away. “Don’t touch me, you pathetic bag of skin! I am Glinn KelaK and you are not worthy to shine my boot.”
Nyx let her body go loose as he pushed her away, so she landed without damage. “I’m sorry, Lord, forgive me!!”
As the Glinn turned away with his companions, Sinayda was up and running once again.
Back in the Prefects office, the Cardassian glowered at Kenzo. “Conditions. Of course. Can’t ever be simple, can it?” and he leaned back and gave a long and appraising look at the Negotiator. “So for the sake of argument, what makes you think that I simply won’t strap you in chair and beat the information I want out of you?” Kenzo smiled and sat down, not wrapping his wound back up. “Because if you did that then the people you are governing would become that much more resistant to your leadership. And no, I do not hold myself in any high regard, Prefect. It is simply a matter of… manners. You have invited me here to negotiate. Beating and torturing a negotiator for information they are willing to give to you in exchange for certain considerations would be bad form, sir. And would push the community back towards the Federation. And that is something I think we both can agree is a terrible waste of time and resources. Now, if you wish to do as you have suggested, I will not fight back. But I will assure you that I will simply not speak. Scream and wail? Most definitely. But you will get no words from me, Prefect. Now… shall we negotiate? Or should we move to the chair and bring in your interrogator?”
The Prefect looked hard at Hyrushi for some time… and then a small smile crossed his lips. “I like you, Negotiator. You have a certain… style… that is refreshing. And your reputation for fair and honest dealings aids you in this choice. So… let us discuss terms.”
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