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Years Prior - Cardassian DMZ - Norvella Colony - When Titans Meet, Thunder Comes

Posted May 13, 2021, 10:28 p.m. by Civilian Sinayda Nyx (Governor's Aid) (D Grisham)

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.

“I’m sorry.”

Hyrushi

“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.

—Nyx

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.

Hyrushi, Negotiator

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…

—Nyx

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.

Hyrushi, Negotiator

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.

—Nyx

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.

Hyrushi, Negotiator

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.

—Nyx

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.”

Hyrushi, Negotiator

Following the map in her mind, Nyx darted from street to building to bush to doorway, hoping to escape as much attention as possible. She walked when necessary and ran when no one was looking. Eventually, she made it to the water plant but time was ticking away and she had to hurry. There was only one guard on the outside of the building and he seemed totally engrossed in watching two females who were visiting with each other, occasionally casting flirtatious looks in his direction. While a part of her brain understood their attention would ultimately help her by keeping him distracted, another part was amazed that they found a Cardassian attractive.

Making an unobtrusive pass by the women, Nyx whispered quick instructions before offering a handful of the coins from her pocket. They were delighted to to receive them on the sly and slipped into their task seamlessly. Approaching the gate in the fence that surrounded the water plant, the women encouraged the guard to come out and speak with them. They cooed and batted their lashes effectively until he finally acquiesced after scanning the area quickly to make sure no one would be the wiser that he left his post.

—Nyx

The Prefect stared hard at Hyrushi, but the Negotiator simply smiled. He knew the Prefect had no intention of carrying out his threat, his emotions said as much. Very few knew of Kenzo’s genetic gift from his Betazoid mother… and fewer still knew of his strength in it. The Prefect? Not one of the few.

“I see your reputation for discourse is well earned, Negotiator.” The Cardassian smiled and said ” So to your conditions, then. What do you want in exchange for the identity of the Maquis known as ‘Smoke’?” Kenzo nodded in thanks for the continued discourse and said “Very simple, Prefect. Turn on the water for the farms and villages down stream. Once I receive word that the water is flowing, I will tell you the location of the one you seek. Once I have written assurance that you will not simply turn off the water once you have what you want, I will then reveal the identity of the one called Smoke. Do you agree, Prefect?”

Hyrushi, Negotiator

Using the cover of the flirting women, Nyx went around the back of the facility and looked for a way over the fence. Precious time was wasting and she needed to get moving, she still had the journey back to the Prefect’s house and a climb through the bathroom window to retake her place. A quick glance at her chronometer showed that 6.5 minutes had already slipped by. Circling the entire water plant, she came back to the front of the building where the gate stood open. A few quick hand gestures to the women, telling them to keep the Cardassian occupied, was worth the effort. One reached out and stroked the lizard like cheek, doing her best to keep him focused on her. With the guard engaged it only took a moment for Sinayda to slip through the gate and into the building.

Hurrying inside, she immediately brought to mind a mental picture of the map Kenzo had shown her. Once oriented, she found the location he’d pointed out and attached the explosive to the spot that would do the most damage. She remembered him saying that when she activated the bomb she’d have 15 minutes before it blew and it was imperative that she was back at the Prefects house by then.

The minutes ticked by, each second making her more and more anxious that someone was trying to check on her back at the house. It was now or never. Flipping the switch, Sin looked at her chrono and marked the time. One look out the front door showed that the guard was returning to his post—the charms of the women couldn’t keep him away any longer. Making her way to the back of the water plant, Nyx broke a window and crawled out, climbing the fence and dropping from the top when she reached the other side. Eight minutes gone by now and she’d cut herself on the glass. Off came the headwrap to be stuffed inside the vest and shirt to staunch the bleeding over a couple of ribs.

There was nothing for it now but to run flat out and not stop for anyone, no matter what. The Maquis took a few deep breaths, preparing her lungs for the journey, then began running like there was no tomorrow. If she didn’t get back in time, there might not be.

Weaving in and out of traffic, Sin heard people call out when she plowed into them or ran in front of a transport, but she didn’t stop. By the time she climbed back through the slim window, she was out of breath, sweaty and in pain. And someone was banging on the door. ” You haven’t answered us so we’re coming in.” The voice was gruff but the banging on the door had stopped.

Quickly, she turned on the faucet and bathed her face and bald head with one hand while flushing the toilet with the other. She’d just reached for a towel when the door burst open and the two guards burst in, surprised when they saw her.

—Nyx

As the Prefect considered the proposal, his comms activated. A voice speaking Cardassian (which Kenzo knew fluently) said =/\= Prefect, the aid to the Negotiator is not responding to our demands she open the door. She has been some time, sir. =/\= Internally, Kenzo cursed. His face showed no reaction, however, when the Prefect cast a suspicious glance his way. =/\= Break down the door, then! And if she isn’t there, find her and put her head above the town gate. I’ll add this one’s to the collection as well. =/\= and he cut the comms and looked at Hyrushi.

In the bathroom, the guards took a moment to process the fact that Nyx was, indeed, there… and looking like she had been exerted herself. The sweat on her brow and the angle she held herself to hide the laceration to her ribs mimicked someone who had spent some time being ill… and they stood back. The leader of the two said “Apologies, Miss. But you weren’t responding and… we… we were concerned you may have fainted. Please, if you are done, come with us. The Prefect and your Negotiator are waiting.” while the second grumbled into his communicator.

=/\= Prefect, the woman is here. And she does appear ill. Sweaty and holding her stomach. We are bringing her inside. =/\= came the voice over the comms. The Prefect visibly relaxed and looked at Hyrushi with a calmer air about him. “Very well, Negotiator. It will be as you say. But know this… if your information does not hold true, not only will I shut off the water, but I will send my men to every village and farm that should receive it and burn them to the ground. Are we agreed?” Hyrushi nodded once and said “I would expect nothing less, Prefect.” The Prefect nodded and smiled. “Very well.” and he tapped his comms. =/\= Open the water gates and holding tanks. =/\= and a voice confirmed. Outside, the siren announcing the dam was opening sounded. Hyrushi smiled. His spotter would have eyes on the dam and would verify as soon as the water flowed out.

The guards arrived with Nyx at that moment, and Hyrushi stood up and turned to look at her, his face concerned. “Ms. Alshir, are you feeling better? I am so sorry. I should not have made you eat before such a long and rough trip.” and he helped her to the chair next to his.

Hyrushi, Negotiator

She was hurt, but it was manageable and the material from the head wrap was still staunching the flow of blood but she could feel the dressing getting heavy. As long as she kept her arm against her side, she would be able to hide the tear in her shirt with the vest.

The exertion was also working to her advantage. The sweat and flushed appearance looked like symptoms of not feeling well as long as no one knew she’d been running. “No, Sir, I actually feel worse. I think I lost consciousness in the facilities. I would like to return to our rooms as soon as possible. I apologize for my weakness.”

—Nyx

“Rest yourself. We are almost done.” he said and squeezed her shoulder three times in quick succession. At that moment the Prefect’s comms activated. He took the call and then looked at Hyrushi. “For you, Negotiator.” Kenzo looked at the comms and nodded. “My contact say the water is flowing, Prefect.” and he bowed respectfully. “Thank you.” The Prefect looked at him nodded once. “Now, for your first ‘payment’.” and Kenzo stood up and stood in front of the Prefect’s desk.

“The one you know as Smoke is here, in this town Prefect. They are aware of what is transpiring. I believe they mean to try and stop it… but as the water flows, it is too late. Now… for your guarantee to keep the water flowing? And then you will have a name and a face.” The Prefect, to his credit, only allowed a modicum of surprise to show, although Hyrushi could sense the rest. He looked past Hyrushi and Nyx at the two guards inside. “Alert Security. Tell them to be ready to deploy in five minutes.” The guards nodded and left the room. The Prefect picked up a PaDD and typed out a missive that water would continue to flow downstream, signed it, and handed the PaDD to Hyrushi. Kenzo read it and then turned to hand the PaDD to Nyx. He looked at her and arced an eyebrow and mouthed It’s time.. He turned back around and looked at the Prefect.

“Thank you, sir. I appreciate your cooperation and the people will be in your debt.” The Prefect stood up and said “I’m not worried about their debt. I’m calling in yours. Now give the ID of -” and he was cut short as a loud explosion was heard all across the town. The Prefects eyes went to the window as Kenzo’s hand went to his injured forearm. Deftly, he pressed the edges of the wound and grimaced as a piece of blood-blackened wood protruded out. He grasped it and yanked it free, revealing a thin, sharpened wooden spike almost eight inches long. As the Prefect turned back, Kenzo thrust the spike into the Cardassian’s throat and pulled him over the desk towards him and onto the floor at his and Nyx’s feet before pulling the spike free and black ichor sprayed from the wound. He locked his black eyes on the shocked face of the Prefect.

Me! Me! I’m Smoke! And you have paid for what you have done!” he growled as the life blood flowed out of the Cardassian and pooled at their feet. He dropped the Prefect to the floor and looked at Nyx. “Run. They won’t suspect you in the chaos. GO! NOW!” he shouted.

Hyrushi, Maquis Saboteur and Assassin

OOC: Eeeek!!! How did 9 days pass without me being aware? I’m so sorry!!

IC:
“Like Hell I will!”

She did her best to pull him away from the dead body. They were both injured now and it would be easy to follow the traces of blood drops that flowed from Kenzo’s arm if they didn’t tie it up.

Sin’s headscarf was already staunching the weeping from the wound on her side, so she ripped a sleeve from her shirt and quickly fastened it around the Negotiators wound. “Don’t even think about staying here! We’re both leaving!”

On the opposite wall from where the guards exited, she looked out one of the windows at the activity around the house. “I think we’re clear on this side.” They needed to get out of camp quickly if they had any hope of getting away. Pulling her bare arm out of the thick vest that was part of the Maquis ‘uniform’, Nyx covered her elbow with it and knocked out a pane of glass. She cringed at the sound of it breaking, but there was nothing for it. It was the only way out. The Cardassian’s weren’t on to them for the murder yet, they were concerned with the explosion, so the window for escaping was very limited. Being careful not to slice herself open, Sin shimmied through the opening and left Kenzo to maneuver his way through. While he did, she snuck to the corner of the building to peak around and see if the coast was clear for them to run.

“Where is your man supposed to meet us?”

—Nyx


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