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Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #50
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Ensign Zark was torn between pulling her hand away and leaving and gripping Enyd's hand when the other had tried to offer her silent apology for the humiliating search.  Not being too good at weighing out diplomatic consequences of actions, her mind had opted to do nothing and instead focused on the briefing.  There was a relief in this since it allowed her to take  her mind off the quandry and mentally prepare herself instead for the mission ahead. Oof, long hike.  On this planet??  Shit, this is gonna be bad." Was the general gist of her train of thought and most Andorians when they had to deal with a warmer and more humid planet.  The suit was going to make things disgusting, so assuming she survived this adventure, a shower was going to be priority one.  With her mind reflecting on it, she realized that whatever the Cardassians preferred for their regular comfort temperature, some major engineering must have gone into the suit since she didn't feel like she was over heating.  At least not yet.

Unless she hated someone, Ensign Zark couldn't really stay mad and relented before squeezing the hand back and returning a small smile of her own.  With the briefing finished, it was clear that they were pretty much in the hands of the commando team as she grabbed her pack and set out towards the supposedly abandoned base.  Her, Enyd, and Javec took the middle of the column as they trudged out.  It was a long hike, but at least the terrain hadn't been too difficult, though Zark did have to resort to opening up her suit at some point that pretty much did expose her cleavage. This had elicited an expected response from one of the troopers of "Hey sUt’tert, cover up, we're not here for you to do a show."  Zark was getting the idea of what that word meant and she retruned a  sweet smile and took the time to push her pony tail up before shaking her chest from side to side.  Her eyes were mean and nasty while she did it.  It was all the more impressive that she didn't lose her balance anywhere.  "I'm blue skinned with white hair dumbass, it's not like I'm not going to stick out any more." Ghin Torlan's voice called from the front. "Serbi, stop ogling and watch your sectors" The trooper snorted in disgust before turning back to the path.  The Andorian thought she heard a grumble of "we should've put black paint on them."

That was the most excitement during the rest of the trip.  Still, Ensign Zark had zipped when they'd gotten closer to the base and she'd joined the belly crawl towards the fence. Having practically the same pack as everyone else, the soldiers had looked at her with some approval as she kept up, and moved a bit quieter then them.  Skill was to be recognized after all.  What she refused to show was that the exercise was definitely on the tiring side.  Breaching the perimeter had been a trivial exercise for the commando team, and she'd recognized when they'd emplaced sensor repeaters to maintain a constant signal while they found a hole.  The base itself had become a target during the Dominion War when the Cardassians had switched sides and they'd raised their own shields.  it was clear the Jem'Hadar had come after the place with a vengeance as there were more than a dozen holes in the wall made by breaching teams.  Whoever had moved in was depending very heavily on stealth as the breaches hadn't been repaired or mined in the interim.  When Zark had pulled her pistol and followed the rest in, it was clear the garrison had put up a hell of a fight with half collapsed buildings and blast marks everywhere. 

The Andorian helped form the perimeter as everyone else was brought up.  Making their way and entering into a maintenance hatch hadn't been too much of an issue for Zark, but she didn't have Enyd's level of chaos and she turned around as soon as the human help and grunted as the access iris tried to crush her.  The Andorian restrained the urge to swear viciously.  If the system had been designed as a real security feature, she was pretty sure she would be watching a bloody half a human gaping as she was split in half.  Brutal as the Cardassians were, they weren't that wasteful of personnel and the Andorian turned herself around to see what she could to do help Enyd out of her predicament. Zark offered Enyd and easy smile and a soothing tone as she held on to her hand, something she'd learned to do as a medic during the war.  It was important the person she was treating didn't panic. "I don't think this is a grease issue Enyd, but I do have few diets you can try afterwards."  Zark waved her free hand in front of her face to indicate she was joking. "Don't try to flick your leg, it might interpret that as a hostile act and chomp on you, so just breathe, in and out, breathe."  Zark repeated the mantra several times as Serbi Drasat made his way back and looked around for a panel.  Looking around, he seemed to find what he was looking for while silently muttering the Cardassian equivalent of 'what a klutz'.  It was straightforward fix as he found the large switch and pulled on it.  Nothing happened.  Cursing some more, he reset the switch and pulled. Again, nothing.  His next action was to remove his knife and he began unlatching the side of the control, all the time, while Zark kept a calming litany to Enyd and rubbed her hand.  The trooper made a few adjustments. When he was done, he began pumping the switch and it began to open.  The Andorian gave the human one last smile and put Enyd's hand down and pulled out her knife as she faced the door with a grin, ready to evicerate whatever came through.

With a final pull, the door opened fully and Javec moved to pull Enyd through.  Whatever had been on the human's leg jumped off, the back away for a moment. Zark spotted it, it was grey and green with flappy ears and big eyes. It chases its tail for a moment then leaned forward on its head. Zark considered for a moment and decided it really was very cute. Drasat on the other hand was unimpressed and found a piece of debris to throw at it. The animal yelped and ran off. "Damn Mintz. Some idiot probably had it as a pet. We need to move. There are numerous energy sources below us. We're going to take a turbolift shaft to get down there."

Zark nodded and pushed the idea of a house pet away. This was neither the time or place for considering a new pet, even though it was awfully cute. The shaft wasn't too far, and despite the Cardassian troopers hostile attitude, he proved adept at rappelling and rendering the various security systems non harmful. When he reached the bottom, he gave the rope a tug and Zark took it as sign to head down. Tying the rope into the various hookup, Zark stood on the edge and gave Enyd a reassuring smile and a wry warning. "Do be careful on the way down." and with that, the Andorian leapt off the edge and glided down to the shaft where she quickly unhooked herself, pulled the rope a couple of times, then drew her pistol to cover the exit for Javec and Enyd to rappel down.

Ghinn = Junior Commissioned Officer
MItz = Cardassian house pet

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #51
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd barely had a chance to gasp when Javec hoisted her free of the iris while Zark investigated the tunnel.

“You certainly bring a spark of,” Javec’s whispered voice rumbling against her temple tickled and Enyd couldn’t help the quiver of shivers, “life to every excursion.” He dipped his index finger beneath her chin, tipping her head back to peer into her eyes. His lips were tilted upward in a playful smile, the same warm mirth showing in his gaze, which was apparent even in the low lighting of the tunnel. “Don’t you?”

Javec’s head angled down and forward while the arm he’d wrapped under her shoulder pulled her closer. Enyd’s eyes fluttered as her body relaxed further into his arms. Only, then, Drasat threw something down the tunnel at the former pet, and their “private” moment was shattered. Far from appearing chagrined by the interruption, Javec’s expression settled into warm amusement.

“Trade up, I say,” Drasat grumbled as he moved past them, rolling his eyes at Enyd.

Javec gave Enyd’s shoulders a last squeeze of reassurance before letting go and following behind Drasat and Zark. Enyd fought against a girlish bout of petulance as she likewise followed. No one liked being compared to a friend and seen as lacking, especially when said friend was buxom, blue-skinned, and badass. Enyd was none of those, but with an added dose of clumsy good intentions gone wrong. She sighed, nearly walking over the edge into the shaft, only saved by a timely grab from Javec.

Unfortunately, Drasat seemed to have noticed and sent Javec a pitying glance before he leapt over the edge and easily rappelled to the bottom. Zark shot Enyd a reassuring smile before quickly following suit. What galled Enyd, or at least one of the many things that galled her, was that she’d grown up active and competent, and, even now, when stakes were not high, she was still competent. It just seemed that the goddess of chaos chose to shine particular interest on her only when it would be the most untimely and awkward.

“Do you want to go down with me?” Javec asked from the edge of the shaft, hand already extended toward Enyd. "If you hold on tight, we could go down together.”

Enyd narrowed her gaze at the devilishly handsome Cardassian. “Do you say that because you’re afraid I’ll end up falling to my death or getting tangled in the ropes and hanging upside down?”

“No,” Javec suddenly grabbed her hand and jerked her forward, purring out a sigh of delight when her softer flesh melded against his firm curves. “I would merely be a fool to overlook an opportunity to hold you in my arms uninterrupted for a time.”

Her cheeks warmed even as she rolled her eyes. Still, she complied and waited until Javec was hooked up before she wrapped her arms around his neck and jumped up. She then wrapped her legs around his waist and felt the muscles of his torso contract beneath her as he accustomed himself to her weight and form.

“I think you’re lying,” she breathed against his neck, “but I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit to liking the lie.”

Javec chuckled, and Enyd smiled as she felt the vibrations of the noise reverberating in her chest. Her eyes traveled to the ground below as Javec moved over the edge and slowly began the descent. When she caught Zark’s gaze, Enyd gave a little wave, pointing to Javec’s muscular back working to lower them both with a shameless wink.

“What are you even here for?” Drasat spat at Enyd’s feet once they were on the ground and safely unhooked.

“If shit hits the fan, I’m the diversion.” Enyd rolled her eyes at the surly Cardassian. “Don’t we go that way next?” She pointed to one of the narrow corridors branching off from the shaft. “The first of the major chambers should be about three hundred yards down that tunnel.”

Drasat grunted before moving to the corridor Enyd indicated, unwilling to admit she’d been correct and, therefore, not completely an idiot. Enyd refrained from holding her hand up for a high five from either Zark or Javec, doubting either would understand the gesture or its meaning. Instead she grinned in good humor at Zark while keeping ahead of Javec, the trio falling into line behind Drasat.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #52
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Ensign Zark smirked when Enyd had given Drasat the verbal smack on the back of his head after having used the human expression of a thumbs up after she'd landed without relative mishap.  She also did note that Enyd and Javec were quite close as they'd come down.  The Andorian knew that the diplomat was a point of contact for this adventure and had developed some of the intel they were using.  It stood to reason that Javec also had some of the information and the two combined created a more complete picture.  The Andorian didn't quite totally trust either Cardassian, one was a politician, and the other was just flat out hostile.  On the other hand, the politician was interested in keeping Enyd alive, so that made him somewhat more trustworthy, so when Drasat led the way out, Zark automatically followed him as they proceeded down the hall.

The trooper stopped before he hit a junction a third of the way through and Zark stopped with him as the signal chime in her earbud kicked in. "Torlan here, we're encountering a few patrols, but nothing too serious at the moment.  Drasat, look for room R-12-8596.  It was a data node room, and power is flowing through it."  The trooper nodded.  "Acknowledged"  He took out his tricorder and consulted his map for a moment then pointed down a juncture.  "It's going to be a left, then two rights.  Ghinn, this is going to take us some time to sort out."  The Ghinn paused for a moment to see how this affected his tactical plans. "Okay. All other teams hold in place and find a place to hide.  Drasat will signal when we resume for the primary chamber."  The trooper turned back to his party to see if they'd gotten the message and Ensign Zark nodded her affirmative.  Waving some fingers, the party kept going.

It didn't take long for the group to reach the junction for the room, but Drasat held his hand back and Zark bit down on her lower lip as he'd placed his hand on her chest to stop her.  He didn't seem to notice this he peered around the corner, looked around a bit more, then began backing away and pushing against Zark's boob in the process to get everyone to back up.  The Andorian decided there was a good reason for this and moved to separate herself quickly as they headed back the way they came.  When he was sure they were out of earshot, the trooper stopped everyone with tap on the shoulder that Zark repeated down the line.  "It's not much of an issue, but it's still one.  There's a guard outside the room.  It's an Orion.  More of the more brawn then brain types.  Zark didn't understand what the issue was and why they'd been forced to back up, until she gave his kit a once over and mentally cursed.  In Starfleet, if it hadn't been for the development of the TR-116, the idea of a projectile weapon wouldn't have even occurred to someone, but there had been rumours during the war of Special Forces and Black Ops personnel opting to use the ancient technology since it had some very desirable traits, such as the ability to be used silently.  This left them in a conundrum as to how to deal with the guard while getting access to the room.  "There's a ventilation grate near the door, but it's in the middle of the hallway, which gets someone close, but he'll still see them coming.  Shooting his is also right out.  Too noisy and the energy bloom would be noticeable."

The Andorian nodded along with this and then realized there was only really one way to deal with the guard.  "Can I see a map of the ventilation system?" The trooper handed over his tricorder and Zark read the map before grumbling.  "Good thing these ducts doubled as maintenance shafts, there's barely enough room to make this work." she concluded after fiddling with the device to get more information to see if her plan was even viable. Taking a moment check the room, they were next to, Zark pointed at the door.  "Can you get it open?" He looked at her dubiously. "You sure you can do this little girl?"  Zark's eyes narrowed. "Considering what you grabbed, you know I'm not that little and besides, you move like a thundering herd in the bush."  He smiled at her and moved to open the door.  It didn't take long and it was nothing more than an office with nothing of note.  Another quick look found a ventilation grate in the wall and Zark moved a chair underneath so she could open it and climb up.  "Enyd, gimme your knife. I'll give it back after." After receiving the blade, despite trying to jump in, she needed a little help, and this time, she was going to be active in her choice.  "Can someone, preferably Enyd Madsen, help me get up here?" She accepted there was going to be a hand on her ass at some point and paid it no mind as she shimmied her way into the ducts. 

The Andorian moved relatively slowly, but quite quietly, especially after dropping her equipment.  Each movement was controlled and measured to produce as little sound as possible, and if Zark were capable of sweating, she probably would have had some beading on her hairline or steaming down her face.  She slowed down as she got closer to the grate as she worked to bring her breathing low and under control.  Her head poked out over the metal cage to see where her quarry was and he seemed quite oblivious and bored.  Taking a moment to look around, she found the grate controls.  Ever so slowly, the spare knife she got came out of its scabbard and she reversed the grip as she held it one hand.  Thankfully she'd taken gynamsitcs in the Academy and her legs spread across the grate while she pushed herself into the back of wall.  Even with her training, it was a very unconformable position to hold.  A flick of the switch and the grate dropped out into the hallway.  This startled the guard and he pulled his disruptor out while making his way over to investigate the anomaly.  He was more thug than professional as he kept his pistol pointed at the ground while looking more in curiosity than alarm.  He had the brief impression of blue skin covered with white hair and eyes before black clad legs fell down on him.  Zark's legs crossed as they hit his shoulders and her free arm went around his head.  She ignored the pain in her arm as they toppled to the ground, then with lethal precision, she drove the knife into his eye and twisted hard, scooping out the brain in his skull.  Pulling her pistol and tricorder, she gave the room a low power scan and found one life sign inside.  Zark tapped her communicator.  "Enyd, we're clear, but you need to move the body. I'll be inside." Zark killed the line and overrode the door.  It didn't take long to find and subdue the Ompayian tech inside where Zark had her on her knees and hands tied behind her back when everyone else arrived.

OOC: Ompayian = The made up species name for the blue alien in DS9 - A Pale Moonlight

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #53
[Atha Ono | Mobile Base Near Mador Base | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Atha Ono, the self-proclaimed Bajoran patriot, listened and watched as the Orion “patriots” scrambled to their positions in the stealth mobile artillery unit they’d commandeered some time ago and converted into a movable base of operations. Despite their bulk, the men squeezed their hulking frames into positions tailor-made for Cardassians with little difficulty. Their leader, the goatee-sporting Jassarac, stood on the command dais just below Atha’s perch in one of the jumpseats close to the rear hatch. Atha did not take pride in allying himself with Jassarac, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

Jassarac interrupted Atha’s brief foray into self-pitying resignation with a quick, “Bearing?”

“15 degrees.”

“Mark?” He rolled his massive shoulders, glancing up at Atha.


Atha offered Jassarac a nod of acknowledgment, to which the Orion mercenary grunted before asking, “Range?”

“7000 meters.”

“Fire.” Jassarac braced himself on the dais's railing, while Atha relied on the straps holding him in place to counteract the lurching motion the entire unit made as it expelled an exploding round towards its target. A heartbeat passed before Jassarac called out,  “Report.”

“Round projected to go shallow.”

“Increase the angle and fire another round.” He smirked up at Atha. “Even if we don’t get a direct hit, with these rounds, the concussive force and incendiary shrapnel will be enough to get the point across.”

“Impacts in one minute.” One of the Orion mercenaries interjected.

Atha gave a breathy chuckle, “The Cardassian shit who tortured me in the camp shared some applicable wisdom.” Jassarac quirked his eyebrows upward, waiting with a wry smile already on his green face. “Lasting lessons must be learned the hard way.”

Jassarac’s mirthless laugh joined in with Atha’s chuckle as they both reflected on what their prior Caradassian associate’s face would look like once the rounds exploded in his face.

[Luske Ontatt | Secure Sub-levels of Mador Base | Cardassia Prime ]

“Sir, we have a problem,” Luske Ontatt looked up from the series of charts he’d been studying, frown already creasing his brow at the anxiety-ridden sound of his associate’s voice, “The upper levels near the decoy data noda room seemed to have been infiltrated. Reports are that it is Praar accompanied with some associates, including what look to be Starfleet personnel.”

Luske smiled, “That’s no problem, dear.” Leaning back in his chair, Luske waved a hand as if conducting an orchestra. “Release the paralytic gas on all levels. Our people are immune to it, but any unwelcome guests will not be.” Luske nodded to himself, replacing the pair of archaic-looking glasses on his nose, reading to return to his studies.

“Sir, we have another problem.”

“And that is?” He didn’t bother removing his glasses this time; he merely spoke over his shoulder.

“Sensors are picking up incoming fire.”

“Well, now,” Luske removed his glasses and stood. “That is a bit more of a problem. Has the gas already been released?” His associate gave a meek head nod. “Oh well, send teams to retrieve our ‘guests’ and pull them down to a safer level. They have answers to the mystery of who fired on us and why, and even if they don’t, they still need to answer for intruding without invitation.”

You can presume Enyd's support with knife, boost up, and in dragging the body inside.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #54
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Enyd and Drasat had been pumping the Ompayian for information and had gotten a tidbit about a currency transfer that was supposed to head to Cardassia.  Dropping the dead Orion at her feet with a knife still sticking out its eye had terrified the geek sufficiently for her to let slip that the funds were going through a branch of an Andorian bank in the Orion sphere.  It was then that the Andorian noticed something was off as her movements became sluggish and her vision had begun to waver. In holonovels and film cinema, the first sign that a knockout gas had been applied was a dramatic misting that flowed from the vents in picturesque cascades.  There were some gases that still did this, but were generally considered sub optimal unless the user wanted concealment.  Zark let out a strangled cry of "GAS!" and she began clawing at the self contained breather attached to her hip. Zark fell to her knees and watched as everyone else began choking in their desperate attempt to get more air while their bodies suffered the agony of not being able to draw in the minimum amount of oxygen. They were going to die was her final thought as she collapsed to her knees heavily and the breather slipped out of her fingers as the nerve block finally overwhelmed her system.  She tried to grip her throat as it seemed her eyes tried to bug out of their sockets. 

The tech didn't really know what was happening and looked on terrified at the sudden incapacitation of her captors, but it soon dawned what the plan had been and why she'd gotten an injection prior to taking up her post. She slowly got back up with a cautious smile that spoke volumes about her relief. "Looks like the tables have turned."  She taunted.  Zark fell to all fours as the Ompayian made her way over to Enyd and planted a shoe on her side and pushed, causing the human to fall onto her side in an undignified lump.  Drasat was next as she circled around his back.  "Not so scary now are you?"  She told him and used her foot again to push him onto his face.  Zark could only see the floor as she struggled to stay up.  "And you" she said to the downed Andorian. "The way you twisted my arms hurt.  At least they didn't do anything painful to me.  You though."  Zark involuntarily grunted as the geek kicked her in the stomach and barely able to tense her muscles, the hit sank deep as she was knocked over.  Fire raced through Zark's mid section and her body feebly tried to cough.  Darkness was beginning to take her when the geek kicked her again and again with the sound of her own weak grunts as the sound of shoe slamming into flesh seemed to echo through the room.  Thankfully and mercifully, the tech stopped when the door opened and several Cardassians walked in.  The last thing she saw as her eyes closed was being lifted off the ground.

It took some time for Zark to realize that her eyes were open and she could see once more.  This came as a shock as she'd expected to not wake up from being dragged off.  She groaned as her head tried to snap up and her mid section brutally reminded her of its abuse to which there was very little she could do as she found herself tied to the chair by the field expedient of polymer ties.  She'd just have to suffer through it till the counter acting endorphin rush did its job.  This gave her the chance to take in her surroundings.  It seemed they were in a makeshift command centre of some sort.  It was typical Cardassian brick with the beeps of computers going in the back ground.  There also seemed to be quite the hubbub as voices discussed something or other.  There was some yelling going on and Zark mentally winced as she could hear someone having the stuffing beat out of them.  It sounded deeper, more bass, male; so Zark could guess that Enyd wasn't the one being tortured at this point.  The room shook suddenly and a rumbling bang was transmitted into the room causing some dust to tall.  This caused the Andorian to look up a little groggily. 

"I never agreed to this!" a familiar voice yelled out and Zark turned her head to see the Ompayian arguing with another Cardassian. "I was just supposed to arrange the transfer line for the money!..." The tech's whining was cut off as Luske Ontatt back handed her across the face and she hit the ground with blood leaking from a split lip.  "You have a purpose worm, and you are serving it. Keep quiet and stop distracting us, and we may yet live through this." The Ompayian whimpered as she curled up into a call and began sobbing. Zark looked around a bit more and she saw Drasat tied to a chair.  A big Orion gripped the back of his head and yanked back. "Who's shooting at us?!!"  He yelled, practically spitting in the troopers bloodied face. The soldier was a tough man and he glared defiance at the green skin before sucking in and spitting in his face. The Orion roared and threw another punch at the Cardassians face to continue the whole beating process. 

The facility shook again and Zark's movement might have caught his attention as Luske marched over to where she was tied.  The Andorian expected him to go for her, but he went right passed her and her head followed him as he stood in front of Enyd.  "This is your doing Enyd Madsen.  You and your persistent meddling.  Yes, I know you."  He told her in a tone of cold menace as he grabbed her hair and yanked it back so she had to look in his face.  "Tell me!  Who's shooting at me?! Who did you tell and how?!  Where are they?!"  With each question, Luske vented his frustration on Enyd, striking her across the face, punching her nose so it gushed crimson with a crunch, then letting her head loose and throwing a punch that snapped her head the other way.  Zark felt he must have been really on edge as he produced a device with a pair of prongs that arced electricity and jammed it into her chest.

As annoyed as she had been with Enyd, there was no way she could let this happen and the Andorian yelled her impotent rage to as she tried to get out of her chair to strangle the Cardassian with her hands.  This action earned her his ire as a strong pair of green hands pulled her back and Luske Ottase made his way over and pulled the raging Andorian by the chin and glared at her. Zark glared back as he stepped aside so Enyd could see the bound Andorian. "Turn her so she can see her friend."  A pair of burly Cardassians quickly moved to turn the bloodied human to face the Andorian. "She may not care about herself, but let's see what happens when her intransigence has consequences for others." 

Zark knew what was coming and she could only hope she was as tough as she thought she was since she had no clue if anyone was going to help them in this situation. Supposedly the rest of the Special Forces team was in the building.  Zark forgave Enyd for all her idiocies right there.  There wasn't a point in being mad at her if they were going to die. "Enyd, don't tell them a thing!" she yelled and one of the guards cracked a punch across her cheek that made her see stars.  Her head lolled as it tried to reset and in an act of degradation, a guard unzipped Zark's suit and pulled it down as far as it would go before cutting the front of her bra off and tossing it away. Zark could feel the cool rush of air and knew what little ballistic protection she'd had was gone.  She could feel a slight warmth at the corner of her mouth that she was sure was blood.  "Say nothing." Zark croaked out, then blanked her mind as she saw Luske Ottase held Enyd's head steady while nodding at the guards.  She couldn't tell what he was whispering into her ear when she could see, but the security officer was sure, he was inflicting a mental torture on the human to get her to break.  That was the only break Ensign Zark had as the two other guards drove fists into her face and exposed body, leaving nothing off the table as her chest and abdomen were pulverised.  All Zark could do was grunt, bellow, or scream with each hit and take it as saliva and blue blood sprayed around her.  She didn't bother counting how many hits she took since it would imply some sort end to the ordeal.

And suddenly it did end when she felt herself hit the ground and final oof escaped her lips as the Andorian's head bounced off the ground.  The battered security officer opened one bruised eye and noticed blue droplets in front of her.  It was odd since she was on the ground and sideways, but there was yelling all around her as energy beams lanced back and forth over her head.  She must have gotten knocked down in the confusion.  She could see Enyd was on the ground as well and people were charging past them.  One stopped and kneeled next to Enyd and checked her, then looked over at Zark.  "This doesn't look good, but it's not that bad." Ghin Torlan said as he pulled a knife and cut Enyd loose.  "Cut everyone else free Ensign, we got killing to do."

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #55
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Mador Base | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
            Round and round
               Round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the city.

Pain exploding across the nerve endings of her face interrupted her mental retreat. Enyd’s head jerked left and right, the tendons in her neck working overtime to try to stabilize as Luske Ontatt continued to slap her across each cheek in turn, spewing questions at her all the while as if it was entirely possible to answer in the midst of the slaps. The sudden electric shock sent Enyd’s mind wheeling in and out of present time and her childhood. So disassociated from her body at this point; while she felt the pain and responded to it with noises and flinches, she also felt as if everything was happening to someone else and she was merely an observer.

Thoroughly dissatisfied with Enyd’s lack of cooperation in inflicting pain directly, Luske turned his attention to Zark. Enyd clenched her fists. After the first few blows, she almost snapped back into her mind and body. The temptation to do something, anything, to prevent further injury to Zark nearly choked her. But then Zark yelled at her the encouragement she needed to remain aloof. Keeping her battered face wiped of emotion, Enyd watched the beating with unseeing eyes, falling back into the musical library of her childhood.

O soldier, soldier, won't you marry me with your musket fife and drum?
O no sweet maid, I cannot marry you, for I have no boots to put on.
So up she went to her grandfather's chest, and she got him a pair of the very, very best
she got him a pair of the very, very best   
And the soldier put them on.

Luske’s breath tickled the hairs on her neck. Her mind desired to comprehend, to tune into his words, but Enyd found her mind. She battled her desire, imagining her desire as a slimy lizard creature and an armor-clad warrior, swinging her swords at the lizard and ducking behind rocks to avoid the spit acid her desire shot at her. Her left sword glowed with a brilliant blue light, and her right sword pulsated with a green energy. Her greaves were the color of polished shungite, her cuisses like an auralite…

Enyd was still coloring and designing her armor, almost ready to move on to the ornate inscriptions on her swords when suddenly her mind snapped back into her body at the sudden press of chapped lips against her bloodied ones. Trying to reel back with an instinctive recoil, Enyd’s eyes crossed as she looked down her nose at the man kissing her. When Javec pulled back from the unexpected touch, his lips were colored crimson with her blood.

“Are you there now, Enyd?”

“Wha…” Enyd blinked a few times, looking over Javec’s shoulder to note the rest of their team pouring in and sweeping through the room.

“Here,” he took the knife from Enyd and pivoted to cut Zark loose as Enyd had been earlier instructed to do, “you both look terrible, but you’ll both live.” Javec winked at Zark, “Do you need a recovery kiss, too?”

Behind him, Enyd used the remains of the chair she’d been strapped in to get to her feet. “What happened?”

Javec held out a hand to help Zark up before answering. “Ghin Torlan led us on a counter-offensive. It took us longer than we would’ve liked, thanks to that gas, but thankfully, some of Ghin Torlan’s men had previous inoculation to the gas Ontatt used on us, so they were able to recover us to a defendable position until we regained consciousness. We had a devil of a time finding you two because many of the tunnels have collapsed.”

“Yes,” Enyd stepped over Ontatt's unconscious form, hearing the sounds of continued fighting in an adjacent room. “I vaguely remember Luske asking about those explosions. Any ideas?”

She found the med kit she’d hoped would be in the room and motioned for Zark to come close. They didn’t have time for pretty or thorough work, but hopefully, there’d be something in there to take the edge off the pain. Now that she was “back,” her body was quickly “catching her up” on everything she’d missed in her mental disassociation.

“We’ve found no trace of Ono or Jassarc, so my credits would be on a double-cross of some sort.” Javec kept his gaze moving, monitoring both doors in case anyone unfriendly tried to approach while Zark and Enyd tried to clean up and ready for the next step of this mission.

“Get rid of loose ends that are no longer useful?” Enyd glared at Ontatt. “I suppose we’ll only know if we take him with us. Retreat back to the safe house?”

Javec nodded, using the comm link to relay the message on to Torlan and the others. This very much seemed like a set-up, one against both Ontatt and the rest of them. If it had been orchestrated by Ono and Jassarc, then they’d be better off regrouping elsewhere. Potentially try to flush out the bastards if they were firing on the facility nearby. That was, in fact, exactly what Ghin Torlan responded with. Javec was to take Enyd and Zark to the safe house with Ontatt, interrogate the old Cardassian, and then, potentially, keep him alive and safely hidden if he had anything useful on the Barjoran and Orion until Torlan and his team could rejoin them.

“We need to check in with my CDO in the next hour or so if we don’t want Starfleet descending into this madness,” Enyd added once Javec ended the comm link with Torlan and turned his attention to finding some way to secure Ontatt for their journey. Javec nodded but remained silent as he continued to rummage around. Enyd looked back at Zark and tried to offer a smile, only to immediately wince and let her lips fall back into a grimace. “You okay?”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #56
[Atha Ono | Mobile Base Near Mador Base | Cardassia Prime]

An underling stood nearby.  "It's time sir."  The Bajoran nodded.  The artillery fire was having good effect on the Mador base, but he'd realized that they didn't have any of the ground penetrators that would do real damage at getting at his hated target.  "Fine.  Set everything on automatic."  Looking around, he smiled at the irony of using one of his oppressors machines to harm their own.  This equipment's pyre would be a fine tribute to his hatred of the Cardassians. When the underling confirmed everything was set, they left for the ground vehicles that would carry them to a cave system where the transporter system would beam them to another part of the planet.

[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

With the realization that she wasn’t going to die, Ensign Zark’s mind let itself catch up to the present and the first thing her body did was painfully register its protest at having been mistreated in such a fashion. This was nothing new, but so close after the Dominion War’s end, the Andorian still had a complicated feelings about what had happened. While her senses took in the chaos occurring around her, part of her mind was trying to decide whether this was the worst she had been through during her career so far. The first point of comparison had been the four Academy boxing matches between herself and then Cadet T’Vren. Those matches were something of a legend as power and grace had mixed, and the result had been unusually bloody for these events. What made them more unusual was the aggression that the Vulcan had displayed in her fighting style and she was technically stronger than Zark, but the two were even in terms of wins and losses. Or maybe it was the time she'd been captured on Kalandra while supporting a marine patrol when herself and Corporal Carter Shreiber had been captured by Nausican mercenaries and taken back to their base camp.  Both Starfleet personnel had been forced to fight some of the brutes in the centre of their makeshift camp for the mercenaries entertainment.  The guns for hire hadn't taken kindly when she'd beaten her opponent unconscious, then made her fight two of them at once.  She never saw where the metal bottle had come from that had knocked her to the ground eventually and the two had taken merciless advantage of it.  Her next memory after that had been waking up as the rest of the patrol had turned up after wiping the camp out.  She'd been told it had been several hours later, and Shreiber had gone through the same thing, except the mercs had thrown him in a three on one from the start. 

Those memories of the past didn't really matter though as her body complained while she sucked in air to deaden the pain and replace the air that had been beaten out of her earlier.  Zark was too busy being in pain to acknowledge Javec's jibe and practically oozed off the chair as soon as she'd been let go.  Her beautiful features were now marred with blood, cuts, and bruises; strands of silver hair dripped azure.  Ensign Zark groaned as she tried to get onto her arms and legs, her breathing laboured as pain lanced through her body.  She coughed and a wet blue globule coated the floor.  She had to take a moment to breathe before wiping the blood from her mouth and continued towards Enyd who beckoned her with freedom from the hurt. A strong pair of arms picked her up and laid her against a turned over table.  A chubby looking Cardassian frowned quickly scanned her with disapproving eyes then grabbed the med kit from Enyd began searching through its contents.  "Bruises, contusions, internal bruising of her exoskeleton. In short, they worked her over."  He pulled a vial and hypospray. "Ensign Zark, I'm Trooper Crasytt Eset, the medic.  You're going to be fine. I'm going to give you a pain killer.  Nod if you understand."  Zark weakly nodded and he continued. "I'm going to give you a stim as well.  It's set for Cardassians, so we'll see if it works.  Best option at the moment."  As if to punctuate that statement, his pistol flashed out and a he fired at a target.  Said target screamed and fell backwards. "Get them mobile trooper!" Ghin Torlan yelled as he fired "nade out!"  He suddenly yelled and the Andorian winced as the device exploded and the pressure wave assaulted her antennae.  "Just get me moving."  Zark gritted out as she shifted positions so something didn't quite hurt as much.

The medic nodded and injected her.  The pain soon began to deaden, and with another injection, she felt her vitality begin to return.  "There you go, you should be able to move again soon." Trooper Eset said, then gave her a smile.  "And since we could all still die, might I say that those are some of the most magnificent breasts I've ever seen."  Zark grinned back weakly at the superfluous observation being made at her expense.  "Glad you enjoyed the show lecher, now help me get this thing back on." Eset's reply was interrupted as his pistol snapped up  again and he fired several shots then turned his attention back to her. "Best order a trooper can get." He didn't have time to be too gentle as he helped to pull up her suit and seal it once more. "At least you don't look like a punching bag anymore.  Time to move."  Zark nodded at this.  The team commander's voice came back quickly. "Eset, stop ogling the blue balloons and cover their withdrawal.  Javec, Madsen, get Ontatt out of here."  Zark thought for a moment that the Ghin had forgotten something.  "Where's Drasat?  I saw..."  Eset shook his head.  "He's gone.  Slit his throat."  Despite all the hostility, Zark felt saddened by this since the soldier had been doing his duty and was doing his best to care for his charges in his own strange way."  She shook that aside and nodded, feeling more ready to get up.

"Wait!  Waaiiiitt! Don't leave me please!!" A voice called, and Zark recognized the shrill tone of the Ompayan that had brutalized her first in the terminal room.  There was a moment of indecision as the Andorian wanted vengeance and to leave her to die.  Despite her condition, Zark felt duty win out and she got up mostly smoothly.   "Do you have cuffs or something?"  The medic nodded and produced a set of polymer ties.  Zark took these and the medic's pistol, then took a breath committing herself.  "Cover me." "Javec, Madesen, go!"  The medic yelled as he brought up his rifle and Zark dashed out of cover towards the cowering alien as fire lanced past her.  An Orion popped out to shoot her and his head disintegrated as the medic shot him.  Another one followed and he fared no better as Zark reached the alien and grabbed her by the scruff of her collar.  "Move!" Zark yelled despite the lingering pain and the Ompayan whimpered as she scrambled to get going.  "I'm through sir!"  Someone yelled.  "Finally!"  Ghin Torlan replied. "Fleet command, fleet command, this is Schorl, authenticate 3-5-7-4-5-5-Black-Red-Black.  Priority orbital strike, artillery asset near my location."

This added urgency as the Andorian pushed the alien to her feet and ahead of her, unwillingly shielding the tech's body with her own.  She fired several shots behind her to keep the enemy at bay and maybe lucked out as someone screamed.  "We're leaving" Eset yelled as Zark ran passed him towards the door that led back to the lift shaft and the ropes that would lead them out.  Eset stood and backed away, using his bulk to cover Zark as he fired at targets of opportunity.  Torlan and several others tossed more grenades to cover the medic and when they exploded, they stood up as one advanced by fire, killing everything in their path as Eset turned to follow everyone else to the shaft.  When they reached their exit, he saw that the Andorian had tied the alien's hands behind her. "I'll carry her up on my clamp."  Zark nodded gratefully at this and gave him a bruised smile in thanks.  "Alright, let's go." he finished as he gripped the terrified Ompayan and engaged the clamp that began lifting them upward.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #57
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Mador Base | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

“Can you handle the climb on your own?” Javec asked immediately after getting her hooked up. Enyd nodded before pushing him towards Zark. It seemed they’d had an unspoken agreement that he would keep an eye on the more heavily injured Andorian, at least as much as the medic allowed.

The climb up was less than easy, especially given the pain still riding like feral cats through her nervous system, and Enyd was panting and covered in a sheen of sweat by the time she reached the top. She didn’t protest when a rough grip hauled her over the edge and all but tossed her aside to make room for the others still coming. Her hands shook, and her grip was slick as Enyd worked to unhook herself.

[ Kurar to Madsen. ]

Enyd groaned. On the one hand, it was a relief that her CDO had gotten the message she’d left, including a personal comms frequency, but given the SNAFU they were still dealing with, the Trill could’ve picked a better time. Continuing her backward bum slide until she was propped against the wall facing where the others continued to crawl up, Enyd responded.

[ Madsen here. Situation is complex. Have Luske Ontatt in custody and have suspicion that our present situation is on account of Ono and Jassarc. ]

There was a pause during which the last of their group made it up the ledge and it was time to haul her ass back up. She gratefully accepted the hand, patting Zark’s shoulder gently as they rapidly filed into the corridor system.

[ Do you have any other witnesses or data to corroborate your theories, or is everything getting blown to bits? ] To his credit, her CDO seemed more interested in dealing with the chaos card he’d been handed and would wait until they made it back to base before he dealt out punishment and reprimand.

[ One witness aside from Ontatt, uncertain on potential intel gathered by the Cardassian infiltration team. Ensign Zark and I were temporarily compromised. ]

She heard the man sigh before he replied. [ We have your signatures. Get to the designated safe house and get what information you can from your ‘witness’ and Ontatt. I will directly discuss the matter with the Castellan to ascertain what we can do regarding Jassarc and Ono. Keep me informed of any changes. Herasin is sending a team of plainclothes commandos to rendezvous with you, ETA three hours. ]

[ Acknowledged. Madsen out. ]

Again, to his credit, Kurar wasn’t wasting time or breath in lecturing or reprimanding her. He knew well enough that would be useless at this point; something better done in person if they survived.

Ghin Torlan held up an arm, signaling the group to halt. Enyd leaned against the wall, catching her breath, and took the brief pause to catch Zark up on her communication with her CDO.

“You’ll want to let Torlan know these details,” Javec leaned forward to comment once she finished and they resumed their trek back to the surface. “Otherwise, you’ll end up with dead security personnel and an even worse diplomatic incident on your hands than this.”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #58
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Ensign Zark tried to not groan under the pressure of her ascent back to relative safety as the sound of massed energy fire screamed behind her. It was hard though despite the effects of the pain killer running through her veins and an occasional whimper would escape if her exhaled breath couldn't hold back the pain. Her head was sort of swimming, but not enough to induce nausea as she focused on putting one foot in front of the other while the motorized clamp assisted pulled her up the high tensile polymer rope.

The battered Andorian also didn't mind when she reached the lip at the top and was pulled over the side onto nice safe flat ground. A pat on her shoulder instinctually told her it was Enyd, and she gave the hand a solid grip as she reached it. Her mind wondered at the feeling of just lying there for a bit, but she had to roll over to relieve the pressure from her abused front.  Lying there for a moment, she breathed of a moment, enjoying the few seconds of tranquility she had, then set to painfully coughing as smoke and dust hung in the air.  This was soon lost a crying rogue tech was carried up and unceremoniously dumped on the ground. "This would go a lot faster if you untied me and let me walk." Trooper Eset snorted his disdain of this idea. "And give you some tools to escape, hardly."  The chubby looking soldier gripped the back of the alien's shirt and picked her up.  "That's enough relaxation, time to go." He took a moment to look at the laid out Andorian. "Sorry sir, but that goes for you too. No time to waste." Ensign Zark nodded at this and summoned her strength to get moving as more Cardassian commandos made their way up the lift shaft. The sound of fighting was definitely getting closer, so Ghin Tolran's counter attack hadn't quite broken the will of the enemy into a full retreat. Said officer soon came up, and looked back down.  "Come on Sevet!! I'll cover you!" He unsung his rifle to get ready. Zark took off with everyone else, but there was a muted scream from the bottom of the shaft and the Ghin let out a stream of invective. "You can still make it!" Zark didn't hear the reply, but a short while afterwards, a loud pair of explosions reverberated from the direction of the lift, and Zark said a silent prayer for the man who'd blown himself up to cover their withdrawal.

The group quickly made their way out of the building, being delayed briefly as they discovered their original exit route had been collapsed from a hit that got close enough.  It was still a relief then they reached the exit and were treated to the sight of a wrecked base that was once again smoking and burning. Several had collapsed and new craters dotted the moonscape with some smoking while others had set other bits of detritus on fire.  "Enough gawking, let's go!"  Ghin Torlan commanded and the group rushed out.  Ensign Zark was unsure if artillery was still going to fall on the base, but she needn't have worried as a bright lance of fire descended from the sky and smashed a location not too far off in the forest.  Whatever fireball would have erupted from the target was lost in the space grade explosion over the tops of the trees that signalled the annihilation of their tormentor that had set the entire fiasco in motion.  A massive pressure wave roared over the forest, shaking leaves to the ground in great sheets while animals bolted in every direction in terror.  Zark felt herself get buffeted by the blast and her body complained eliciting a grunt of protest a she held up one arm in front of her face and gritted her teeth waiting for the pressure wave to pass.  Lowering her arm for a moment, she saw the rising fireball turn itself into a mushroom cloud and her lips twisted into a grimace at whatever had been on the receiving end.

Shaking her head, the group ran into the tree line as fast as their legs could carry them. This was not that easy since they now had a couple of reluctant prisoners, one of which who was actively trying to free himself from the two big troopers dragging him bodily, letting his feet create tracks in the ground. The Ompayan was mostly trying, but it was hard with her hands tied behind her back. Ensign Zark was trying, but having gone through the equivalent of a one sided boxing round versus male heavy weights left her panting and coughing. About three quarters of the way, she could feel the pain killer and stim start to wear off and she collided with a tree in an attempt to catch her breath. Her body wretched a few times as her head swam for moment, and the sound of her being violently ill followed. She was on her knees, hanging onto the wood, breathing putrid bile, a string of mucous stubbornly clung to her before she snorted a bloddy glob and spat it off. Wiping her mouth, someone helped her up, and she groaned as her torso and neck sent throbs of pain through her nervous system. Thus it was a relief when they reached the vehicles and she threw herself into the seat and buckled the safety harness. Zark gritted her teeth when the straps pressed against her body and she tried to steel herself one more time for the bumpy ride ahead.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #59
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Safe House | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

The journey through the wilds back to the safe house was mostly without event, aside from when Ontatt woke up and was promptly rendered unconscious again. Upon their arrival, the first order of business was ensuring the safe house was indeed still safe, then it was securing the prisoners, and then it was seeing to the wounded. It was during the latter that Enyd waited until she was relatively alone with Zark before she opened up.

“I don’t think this will please you any to hear this, but, technically, this isn’t the worst situation I’ve been through since coming to Cardassia.” Enyd grimaced as she hoisted herself onto the table, making it easier for the Cardassian medic to see her wounds once finished with Zark’s. “I had a phaser to the head about three weeks back, held by a corrupt Starfleet officer turned war profiteer. And about a week before that, I was buried alive alongside a Cardassian archeologist when we unearthed an antiquities smuggling ring.”

A breathy snort from the room’s entrance drew Enyd’s attention. It was Javec, leaning against the doorframe, looking as calm and unfluffed as ever. It should be illegal how comfortable he looked in nearly every situation.

“What little I know of Terran myths has brought me to the conclusion that in a past life, you were a cat, Ensign Madsen. You are rapidly spending all of your so-called lives in your efforts to solve Cardassian problems.” He strode forward and took up the unused med kit, starting to work on Enyd while the medic continued with Zark’s more extensive ones. “Now, why is that? Would you be so passionate about solving Ferengi or Bolian problems? Or do you have a special affinity for us Cardassians?”

Enyd sucked in her lower lip, chewing on it in thought. She could try to be evasive and let him continue to play this game. Or she could be blunt, even with witnesses, and potentially throw him off guard in doing so. Considering what they’d just lived through, Enyd opted for the latter.

“I have a strong work ethic instilled in me from my parents and grandmother, so yes, I would be just as tenacious for the Ferengi and Bolians. But I wouldn’t be as attracted to them as I am to you. That’s not to say I’m doing all this in the hopes of getting into your bed or your affections but working alongside someone I respect and find attractive is indeed a perk.” She maintained eye contact a moment longer before glancing at Zark. “And having a badass friend to keep me alive despite myself is also a perk. Even if said friend is likely to punish me later for getting her into this mess.”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #60
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

The ride back had been as unpleasant as expected with the straps tugging into what was certainly going to be a spectacular set of bruises for Zark.  For the battered security officer, at least that was the main problem, and the pain did help to keep her awake.  On the other hand, it was becoming hard to see as an eye was pretty much sealed shut from the swelling.  It also didn't help that she was occasionally spitting out saliva and blood while coughing.  Ensign Zark went ahead and sighed in relief when they reached the safe house and she undid the restraints.  She could kind of see Ghin Torlan and another trooper dragging the unconscious Ontatt into the building while Eset came around and offered his arm and shoulder for the Andorian to get out of the vehicle.  She'd groaned with a few of the steps and bumps despite her best efforts to keep her suffering quiet and let out another sigh of relief when she was laid out on a couch. 

After checking to make sure the house was clean, the team commander signalled for a pair of troopers to drag the stirring Ontatt into another room.  The Ompayan was led to a different room and both doors were closed. Ensign Zark had only gotten the briefest look inside the room that Ontatt had been taken into, and she got a glimpse of what looked like a chair that a dentist would use and she had to wonder what was going to happen next.  Whatever it was, it seemed like a sound dampening system had kicked in as a slight hum could be heard from the room, but nothing else.  Eset came by with a med kit and gave a wry smile. "Not going to complain, but it's time to repair all the breakage, so I'm going to have to open your suit and give you a few anesthetics.  You good to proceed?"  Zark gave a wan smile and nodded.  There was only the faintest complaint as her body was exposed again, but at least this time, the person doing it meant well.  "It looks much better when it's one colour." Zark joked through gummy lips.  Trooper Eset chuckled. "I'm sure, now just lie there and relax."  Zark did as she was told and a hiss caused the pain to lessen before tingling sensation began over her body as the dermal regenerator went to work. "Wonderful thing about peace, this model came from a tech transfer from your side.  A very generous people, especially since we just recently stopped killing each other."  The medic observed as he worked.

A shadow crossed the bruised Andorian's face and she looked up to see Enyd sitting nearby.  She offered a crooked grin and listened as the diplomat.  Zark didn't quite agree that this situation was not as bad, and still being in pain, she'd replied acidly with "That still doesn't mean you got the absolute shit beaten out of in any of these cases.".  Zark waved a hand in front of her face quickly afterwards with a quick "Sorry.  Yeah. It could have been worse."  Eset pushed the hand back down with and admonition of "Stop moving, I'm working here."  Zark sighed and listened to the back and forth while staying as still as possible.

Sighing, the steadily cleaned up Andorian listened to the banter between Enyd and Javec, and she had to grin.  Enyd had just confessed something she wasn't willing to voice and out of the corner of her eye she watched to see what the Cardassian politicos response was going to be.  She couldn't see what his tells were, but the Security Officer could have sworn she saw him stiffen at the admission coming into the open suddenly.  It was so hard to say.  Even looking at the grin he gave back was difficult to determine was it genuine affection? or a politicians response?  Zark hoped it was the former since playing with someone's emotions was guaranteed to cause issues and create problems later in life.  Her musings were brought to a halt with the announcement of "Done, now lie down for a bit..."  Eset announced, but Zark didn't listen as she groaned a bit to get up. The Andorian stretched slowly then turned to place a hand on Enyd's shoulder. "That's right, I will keep you alive so if nothing else, I can see you squirm like a school girl later." Zark winked a long white lash at Enyd then turned to place a kiss on Eset's head.  "Thanks sweetie."

Turning to the Ompayan, Zark smiled evilly. "If you'll give me a moment, I have some questions."  She walked over and lifted the alien by the arm, giving it a good twist that elicited another wimper before frog marching her towards another door.  Javec perhaps divined the Andorian's purpose and gripped her arm for a moment before looking into her eyes and he could see the danger in them.  "Are you sure you want to do this?"  Zark looked back. "I have questions, she's going to answer them." The Zhen smirked. "I'll be gentle with her."  Javec didn't quite believe her, but let the arm go anyway.  Maybe there was something to be gained from this, and they were in a secure location anyway. Zark nodded and turned to give Enyd a measuring look. It was possible this was going to be nasty and she didn't know the diplomat had the stomach for what could follow especially since she was no longer in a charitable mood anymore. The Cardassian medic had a good idea of what she was up to and grabbed the other arm of the bound tech and helped drag her into the room. It was bad timing in a way as the other door opened as the Ghin walked out with his hair in a mess and using a  rag to wipe his hands.  Splotches of black blood covered his hands and the leader's breathing was slightly elevated. "He's a tough one, I'll give him that.  Must have been from his Obsidian order training.  I could swear he was a masochist the way he responded to us beating him.  Seemed to get even more euphoric after I stabbed his thigh." The leader shrugged. "I'm going to have to use a different route.  Maybe drugs would be better." He took a moment to look in the room and saw a couple of people were missing. "Where's blue fun bags?"

Zark and Eset sat the Ompayan down in the chair heavily and secured her arms and legs to a chair that was essentially bolted to the floor. Eset his a few buttons and a hum sounded. "The room should be dampened to sound. Zark nodded at this and slowly stretched her arms, hands, and neck. "As I said earlier, I have questions and you're going to answer them."  Zark walked around the back of the Ompayan and grabbed the back of her neck, pulling it back hard so she could see the ceiling while whispering into her ear. "I'm going to be generous and overlook the fact that I got some new bruises thanks to you kicking me earlier, and in exchange for my leniency, you're going to first tell me who that money was for."  It was an obvious answer, but this acted more as a control question to establish how truthful the interrogated was going to be. Maybe the tech had thought that the sign of leniency was a point she could exploit. "I'll be happy to tell you, but what do I get out of this?"

Zark smiled as she walked around the front of the alien, leaned over and placed and arm on her shoulder. The Andorian simply stared into the Ompayan's eyes and waited.  The tech grew more nervous as she waited.   Nervously she asked. " Something? Anything?" Zark's smile grew more fierce for a second and she drove a fist into the alien's gut that set her to coughing and wheezing.
When she had some breath back in her,  she croaked out in disbelief. "But, but, you're Starfleet, you don't..... " The tech grunted again as Zark drove another hammer into her.

"This is now repaying you for making my life  much more difficult. I'm in the mood to keep this up, so if you don't want me to start smashing in your face, answer my questions." The Andorian gripped the tech's chin hard and raised her head as she glared into the frightened eyes. "Who is the money going to?!"  "Ontatt!!" The tech wailed in terror and Zark nodded. "See, not so bad, and the truth didn't even hurt."  The Andorian turned around and sat on the edge of a table while Eset leaned against the door frame and looked bored. "So now you're going to tell me who set up the transfer and where it was coming from." Zark only cracked the tech once more across the face during the rest of questioning.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #61
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Safe House | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

While Zark occupied herself with the tech, Enyd caught the gaze of the Ghin and Javec. “Let me try my hand at Luske Ontatt.”

The Ghin laughed, “You?” He nearly doubled over in laughter. “You think you can get more information out of him than me?”

“It depends on the information,” Enyd remained calm in the face of his mockery, “some information doesn’t require brutality. And as you said, he basically delights in the more brutal tactics because it allows him to build up mental and physical barriers.” She gave a noncommittal shrug. “Doesn’t seem to be a reason why I can’t try.”

Javec mimicked her earlier shrug, looking over to the Ghin until the hardened man grumbled his agreement. Enyd hopped off the table, immediately shorter than both men. She sashayed past them, confident that she could get something from Ontatt, even if only from his body language and non-answers.

She found him tied to a chair in a pool of his own blood. The Ghin stood in the doorway behind her and signaled the rest of his men out, though he intentionally left the door open. Ontatt’s breathing was a shuddering rasp at this point, and from his hunched-over stance, Enyd deduced he’d retreated someplace else mentally. Much as she’d done when he’d been having a go at her.

“Hello again,” Enyd kept her voice even when she spoke, moving over to the table where the Cardassians kept their interrogation tools. Further back on the table was a med kit, which Enyd snagged before grabbing the only other chair in the room and dragging it across the floor until it was just beside Ontatt’s. “You’re looking a bit worse than when we last spoke.”

Ontatt said nothing and made no exterior movement, signaling that he even recognized her presence. Enyd took this as a good sign and hummed to herself. She opened the kit and removed the cleaning paraphernalia necessary to prevent infection while prepping his wounds for further treatment.

“The nice thing about rebuilding a civilization after such a massive reset is that even the most seemingly insignificant of people can make quite a big mark.” Unsurprisingly, Ontatt didn’t flinch when she began, still sitting catatonic and leaving Enyd to continue her babbling. “In a way, there’s more profit to be made the longer things remain unstable. Off-planet do-gooders continue to pump resources into the system that can be tapped into. It is really quite a profitable set-up. One even the Ferengi would delight in.”
The latter comment got a marginal snort from the older Cardassian but nothing else. Enyd stood from the chair and shifted to the man’s side, rolling his head upward and back, cradling it against her stomach as she worked to clean the various cuts on his face.

“Even so, there comes a time when the one making all this profit may think about legacy, either their own or for the ones they consider family. What will it be? And who will safeguard it?” She got the first flinch, but again, he remained quiet, his gaze focused on the distance. “Instability for too long risks another reset, and another, and another, and there’s no guarantee that those who profited from the first reset will survive to profit from the subsequent ones.” She let go of his head and returned to the med kit, switching out for the dermal regenerator. She started on his hands. “Civilisations that last the longest all have a necessary underbelly, and while there is the figurehead of power that is seen by all neighboring worlds, that figurehead is only given their power by the one who controls the underbelly. This is true even of the Federation, though the fanatical higher-ups would deny it.”

She began working on his neck, pausing only when she heard the door open and new voices filling the exterior room. Those must be the plainclothes her CDO had sent.

“If someone asked my opinion, which rarely happens surprisingly enough, I’d advocate for withdrawal from Cardassia as soon as possible. Let Cardassia jockey amongst their own factions for who will be the next in control, both officially and unofficially. Ideally, we’d be good neighbors and not have to repeat the mistakes of our past, but we don’t necessarily have to be best friends. And neither would Cardassia have to join the Federation. There are plenty of reasons not to, and anyone who says otherwise is a nincompoop.”

“Nincompoop?” Ontatt’s raspy voice interrupted her words and her work. Enyd paused, dermal regenerator hovering over his cheek. Her gaze collided with his as he spoke again. “I’ve never heard that term before.”

Enyd laughed, “Oh, that’s something my grandmother always said. I was raised by her mostly after my parents died on away missions. She was very old-fashioned and, well, rather influential on the terms I use. It is a fun word to say, isn’t it?”

Ontatt merely hummed acknowledgment before falling silent. There was a knock at the door before Enyd could push further, both with her healing efforts and coaxing. It was one of the men from the CDO.

“We have an update we’d like to share out here when you’re available.”

Enyd nodded, waiting until he backed away again before she looked back to Ontatt. They studied each other for a few silent moments, Enyd wordlessly pleading with him to share.

“Do I have anything to share with them?” She set aside the dermal regenerator.

“What guarantees do I have from the likes of you and Starfleet? You just said, ideally, you’d pull out and leave the planet to wrestle itself back into some semblance of normalcy. Why should I share anything with you when you have no interest or loyalty to the Cardassian people?”

Enyd gave a breathy snort, “And making a profit off the backs of those very Cardassians, allowing them to continue in misery and instability instead of using your channels to pump in more opportunities for growth, is loyalty to Cardassia?” Enyd shook her head at the man. “No, sir, you cannot make excuses for remaining silent when you’ve been the villain to your own story long enough. We are neither villain nor hero here. Apathetic bystanders at worst, or over-involved and enthusiastic pragmatics at best. You’re looking at the enthusiastic pragmatic. I think you are a good person to have on the side of rebuilding. You have connections to the underbelly that the Federation would balk at and that the new propped-up leader would have to officially balk at as well, but we both know the leadership of this planet cannot and will not stand without power, true power, coming in from all sides. The question is whether you have a creative enough mindset to visualize your part of the future of this planet or if you’ll continue to play hard to get and make yourself obsolete. And quite dead if that’s the case.”

Giving him an archaic salute, Enyd backed away, “I don’t think I have to tell you that your decision should be made soon. Pretty sure you’re only going to be alive for as long as any of us Starfleet personnel are around unless you start making yourself more useful.” Enyd blew him a kiss for good measure before turning on her heel and joining the others outside.

Enyd moved to stand next to Zark as the report was made. The confirmation that Atha Ono and Jassarac had been sighted nearby earlier that day, according to scans, was an unsurprising update. Enyd had already presumed the Bajoran terrorist and Orion brute no longer saw Ontatt as useful and had sought to end their business relationship in a particularly spectacular way. The news from the tech that the transfer had been set up by a Ferengi middleman and the numerous droplets of evidence that pointed toward a heavier Bajoran involvement in recent violence and upheaval on the planet were more surprising.

“Have there been recent promotions or transfers in the Bajoran government? Anyone with ties to the old resistance cells?” Enyd asked once the report was finished. “If ever there was a time to ensure an old enemy stayed down, it would be now.”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #62
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Ensign Zark missed the fact that Trooper Eset had pulled up the security feed and saw the increase in the population of the safe house. Seeing they weren't Cardassians, he stopped the Andorian as she was about to walk out of the room.  The medic stopped her and gave her a smile. "That was some good work. I'd be happy to have you with us any time."  The Andorian gave a small smile and flushed a bit at the compliment, the stiffened as he leaned in as if he was going to kiss her. She tried to back away, but the arm held her in place as he went for her ear. "It looks like more of your people have shown up and I know how soft you Federation types are. Let me handle this." Ensign Zark stared at the Cardassian for a moment in confusion then looked down at her hands and realized what she'd done. She looked back at the Ompayan who wore a look of terror on her face and she could see the blood leaking from a split lip where Zark had hit her. Her head turned back around and her eyes were wide as she looked at her hands again and they flexed unconsciously. "Oh. I uhhhhh....."  Ensign Zark stumbled as she tried to figure what to say next and the medic shook his head. "I'll take care of it. They can't do anything to me anyway."

Ensign Zark swallowed as her mind raced with what had happened.  It had all been so easy.  One wrong indicator, then another one, and the beating had started.  She mentally shook her head.  Time had been of the essence. They needed answers. She thought to herself, but it still rounded somewhat hollow despite the attempt at justification. She chopped off any more thoughts as Eset picked up the still protesting alien an opened the door to lead her out. Enyd had gone and the plain clothes looked at the bound alien in displeasure. Eset jerked her up and looked at his superior. "Sir, we got some information about the funds transfer. It looks like the transfer originated from Bajor of all places, but was routed through several other banks in the Federation before heading through other non Federation species. We can get more out of her with proper facilities."  That drew the attention of the plain clothes who were plainly more interested in the fact that several Federation worlds were involved in the recent round of violence on the war torn planet. "We'd like to question this woman..." Ghin Torlan jumped in quickly. "You can question nothing. One of your member worlds that we have a bad history with is involved.  You can't be trusted not to launch a cover up to protect them."  The officer practically sneered while the plain clothes leader looked on aghast before recovering. "That's not how we work and if one of our member worlds is involved, we need to start an investigation. It would go a long way to bringing justice to those who have been hurt here today."

The Ompayan looked like she wanted to chime in and Zark was sure she looking to see if she could cut a deal.  Eset silenced her by pushing the prisoner against the wall.  This seemed to raise the tension in the room while Zark watched the whole thing unfold.  Ghin Torlan and the plain clothes were yelling back and forth while Javec was trying to step in to intervene on why this was now a Cardassian matter and the Federation had no jurisdiction in it. This was a bit surprising to the Andorian, and she looked to Enyd for a moment. "Uhmmm, I get their point over who gets control of the prisoner, but surely there's a more equitable way for everyone to benefit from this?

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #63
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Safe House | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

“When everyone wants a pound of flesh,” Enyd dryly commented to Zark as they watched the argument continue to bounce back and forth between the Federation personnel and Cardassian.

A tap on Enyd’s shoulder had her looking away, eyebrows rising to find one of the Cardassian soldiers who’d been guarding Ontatt, motioning for her to return to the adjacent room where he was being held. Tugging on Zark’s wrist, Enyd silently retreated, knowing the Andorian was on her heels.

“The bastard said he wanted to tell you something and wouldn’t let me relay the message.” The soldier pushed the door open and Enyd inwardly sighed to find him more roughened up since she’d last seen him literally moments before. “The door stays open.”

Enyd gave the soldier a faux salute, earning a sneer in response, before sauntering past him into the room. Looking over her shoulder to catch his gaze, she forced a grin as she picked up the med kit again and once more approached Ontatt, intending to undo their handiwork. The soldier rolled his eyes.

“You truly enjoy stirring up trouble, don’t you, Starfleet?”

Enyd made an exaggerated gesture of tossing her hair over her shoulder as she closed the distance between her position and his chair. “What would make you say that, Ontatt? I’m merely here at your request and figured I could kiss some of your boo-boos in the process.”

The Cardassian looked to Zark for aid in understanding whatever the hell it was Enyd had just said but, not finding any answers with the blue-skinned Amazonian beauty, he sighed.

“I want to be held at the Federation camp, guarded by Federation personnel, and given an audience with the Castellan.”

“In exchange for?” Enyd carefully began running the dermal regenerator over the newer bruises and cuts.

Ontatt pulled his head away to make direct eye contact. “I can tell you where the next bank rolling meeting will be, where the financiers of this type of hit and others like it gather to bid on new…investments. Though,” he let his gaze travel the length of both Enyd and Zark, “you’ll have to doll up significantly more if you’re to pass as someone worth their time to talk to.”

“Oh, so it’s fancy dress!” Enyd grinned. “I love fancy dress!”

Ontatt blinked, a look of bewilderment crossing his features before he shook his head and continued. “I will only share this information once I am secure within the Federation compound.”

“You understand the Castellan himself may want some Cardassians present during this whole transport and stay, a concession of sorts. I can’t promise you’ll be entirely without Cardassian companionship.” Before he could argue, Enyd snapped the dermal regenerator back into its holster and tossed it back into the med kit. “But, I’ll see what I can do. Ensign Zark, would you mind keeping Ontatt company while I relay his demands to the others? It seems he's quite accident prone even when strapped to a chair.”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #64
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

As Enyd walked out of the room to present Ontatt's conditions, Ensign Zark stayed back and kept an eye on the prisoner.  The eye was somewhat figurative as she mostly kept watch out the door to see what sort of deal Enyd was going to work on brokering.  Her focus was distracted when Ontatt spoke. "An absolutely fascinating creature that human." Zark was still sore over her beating and the one she'd just administered, so she turned and glared at the Cardassian.

Ontatt smiled at the blue skinned woman. "Still upset over your treatment?" He inquired in a smarmy tone. "It really is unprofessional of you, it was just business. There was nothing personal in it." He continued in tones of profound indifference. Zark's teeth ground against each other and she crossed her arms under her chest and turned back to the facing the discussion that was on going. "Still, you held up quite well, maybe good enough for a recruit of the Obsidian Order, of course that sort of test is really something elementary for an Order agent, so it's hard to say whether you have the fortitude and intelligence to handle the more challenging tests."

Despite being restrained, the former agent seemed to give a shrug as he looked away as in contemplation. "Perhaps, one day, you won't feel so passionately about everything."  He looked at her once more, dark eyes looking to pierce the blue green ones practically glaring at him before she looked away. "Then maybe you'll actually be able to handle business properly."  He chuckled loudly and it was irritating since Zark had the urge to wipe the smirk off his face with her fist. "Even professionally." Zark whirled on him and closed the distance to grab his collar. "I could professionally re-arrange your face."  If he was surprised at her reaction, he didn't show it as he smirked again.  "An admirable objective Andorian."  He whispered.

Zark's nostrils flared as she stared into his eyes and she felt anger boiling in side her. "You're working hard to get yourself harmed for someone who wants our protection." Ontatt smirked again before seeming to lean back and relax. "Indeed, that is that is the question.  You have potential, and not just for violence."  Zark blinked at this, her confusion starting to grow. "You're testing me? Why?"  His shoulder moved, however minutely. "Occupational hazard.  Good assets are always hard to come by.  You should watch your 'friend'; she moves with agendas and plots despite that innocent face.  You'd be wary to get caught up in them."  Ensign Zark blinked again and scrunched his collar tighter, getting ready to shake the meaning of the insinuation out of him.

"Ensign, let him go."  The senior plain clothes called.  Ensign Zark stared into his eyes for a few moments more blowing air out of her lips in disbelief.  Roughly letting go of his clothes, the Andorian stood up and faced everyone.  "So, is there an arrangement for this miscreant?."

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #65
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Safe House | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

Enyd refrained from rubbing her temples as the Cardassian and Starfleet personnel argued around her. She’d given them Ontatt’s requirements, and, as expected, an argument broke out. Superiors were contacted and put on audio to likewise join the argument. Leaning against the wall adjacent to the door leading to Zark and Ontatt, Enyd sighed. If they could just stop measuring penile lengths, they could actually accomplish something.

“Very well,” Ghin Torlan’s gruff voice tinged with finality pulled Enyd from her thoughts, “we agree to these new terms.” The ghin glanced at Javec, waiting until the aide mirrored his action of giving a firm nod before gesturing toward Ontatt’s door. “The fucker is held at a neutral location, guarded by Starfleet and Cardassian forces; the security code to enter the location is kept only by the Castellan and the head of Starfleet stationed on Cardassia.”

Before Enyd could move to convey the information to Zark or Ontatt, a plain clothes officer left to do that very thing. She nibbled her lower lip, thinking over Ontatt’s intel so far before raising her hand in an old-fashioned manner to get attention.

“So then the mission to infiltrate the financiers will likewise be a joint operation?” She made eye contact with all those present though her question was directed towards her CDO, still currently on the line.

[ Yes, once Ontatt is sufficiently secured and made ‘happy’ enough to give us the rest of the intel, a joint operation will be conducted between the Castellan’s choice operative and our own. ]

Enyd frowned. She didn’t like the sounds of that, if only because it sounded like she was getting grounded. Now was not the time to argue with her superior, though, and while Javec gave her a look that made her think he was getting the same feeling, he wisely kept his mouth shut and remained on his side of the room.

The plain clothes officer returned to the main room then, Ontatt in tow, Zark close behind. Enyd caught the Andorians gaze and shook her head. They had much to talk about later, in a more private setting. A few more arrangements were made before a few plain clothes departed alongside Torlan’s men, Ontatt and the disgruntled Ompayan, in tow. Enyd, Zark, Javec, and the remaining members of the original team and the plain clothes were left behind, awaiting transport vehicles to take them to their species correct bases.

Still not feeling they had enough privacy to offer Zark apologies or explanations, Enyd sat beside her new friend, occasionally reaching out, brushing her hair away from a bruised cheek and offering other little physical affections.

[ Some hours later ]

Showered, cleared by medical, and dressed once more in her normal uniform, Enyd was not at all surprised when the CDO called her into his office. The glare he gave her was a bit of a surprise, considering they’d been successful in apprehending Ontatt and, apparently through Ontatt, had uncovered a deeper plot that still threatened the Cardassian rebuilding efforts.

“Why are you even a diplomat, Madsen?” When he spoke, the officer sounded older than his physical age. “Your shenanigans reek of Intelligence efforts. Were you rejected from Intelligence and opted for diplomacy as a backup? Figured you could talk your way out of a galactic incident using diplomacy only after you used your wiley ways to gain access to information otherwise best handled by Intelligence operatives?”

Enyd smiled despite the man’s frustration, “You’re not far off base, sir. My grandmother forbade me to enter Intelligence after both my parents died in the line of duty. Figured diplomacy was the other side of the same coin, with a lot of overlap occurring for mutual success.”

“You’re not in the least bit sorry for what’s happened, are you?” He stared at her, nearly gape-mouthed. “How have I managed to overlook your audacious nature until now?”

“I AM sorry for the loss of life, sir. Many good Cardassians died getting this information and in getting Ontatt. But as I see it, sir, many more may have been given another lease on life now that we have these leads to follow-up on. If I’m not mistaken, sir, my job as a diplomat is to represent and protect Starfleet interests and Federation citizens through facilitating strategic agreements, promoting trade, and fostering alliances. Within these parameters, I believe it is necessary to step out on occasion to create negotiation opportunities.” Enyd shifted her weight onto her heels a moment. “And I do not wish Ensign Zark to be penalized for assisting me, sir. She was assigned to keep an eye on me, as we both know, and I misled her into joining me on this last mission. She is a professional and should not be held back on account of my actions.”

Her CDO groaned, breaking eye contact long enough to scrub both hands over his tired-looking features.

“I don’t know what galls me more, that you somehow continue to get things accomplished that do, in fact, benefit Starfleet and the Cardassian efforts to rebuild, or that I can’t force you to sit out this next misssion.” Enyd’s eyes widened and she actively fought the urge to beam. Her CDO caught the subtle emotional tell and glared. “Before you get too excited, listen to what I have to say…”

[ Corridor outside Ensign Zark’s quarters ]

Enyd gave an old-school hand knock against the door. She’d already checked with medical and Zark should be in her quarters by now. However, considering the woman hadn’t answered her console chimes and now the banging, Enyd wondered if she was passed out from pain meds or off on her own mission.

“Zark! I’ve got news! Let me in!”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #66
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Federation Embassy Compound| Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

It had taken an hour after returning for the on base doctor to get around to fixing all the bits of Zark that had suffered physical trauma one way or another. He'd been a bit nonplussed when he'd had to go over chest, but the Andorian had simply taken everything off and told the physician to get on with it. Going along with what was essentially a command, the doctor had given her a light pain killer and gotten to work re-knitting the battered blue flesh back together. The Chief of Security had stopped by while she was being treated to get the preliminary brief. "Ensign, I thought you had the good sense to manage one unruly diplomat."  His voice was stern, but concern was written all over his face.  Maybe it was the fact he was seeing her with dried blood and bruises.  The security officer shrugged. "No excuse sir, but it was my understanding that Ensign Madsen had general free reign to execute her chosen missions...." The Bolian cut her off. "Don't quibble details with me.  What she did was foolhardy and keeping her alive also means stopping her from doing something stupid." He exhaled before planting his hands on his hips. "You got lucky they only gave you a beating, you could have easily had your throat slit."  Zark nodded at this since he was right and he could sense it since he saw no reason continue the discussion with her acceptance. "Next time, consider your family before running head long into danger.  The war's over Ensign, we should find a way to enjoy the peace that's come from it." Zark nodded again. "Yes sir." 

Commander Herasin nodded that he felt he'd gotten his point across then turned to the doctor. "I take it you're going to prescribe bed rest to the Ensign here and the other one as well?"  The doctor nodded slowly. "This one for sure, but Ensign Madsen's injuries were on the superficial side and are easier to fix.  I'll see if she needs a few pain killers, but they'll be quite mild and I don't see any reason to restrict her from duty."  The Bolian frowned at this since he was hoping that there would be a reason to keep the diplomat locked up in all but name for a while so his headache would have time to heal.  The doctor gave a small smile as he recognized the look.  He was pretty sure Ensign Madsen made up around 80% of his headaches, though it seemed that percentage was going to go higher with her guard getting into trouble along side her.  He gave a shrug, "I'll prescribe you a mild analgesic for the headache."  Turning back to the Andorian Ensign who'd taken a moment to zip up her infiltration suit "I'm going to give you a hypospray of Anesthizine.  Take the first dose so you can sleep, then see if you need more afterwards. understood?"  Zark nodded her understanding, then became mildly annoyed when he had her repeat back what he'd just said.  The doctor nodded at this then scheduled a follow up appointment.  Before Ensign Zark could get up, Commander Herasin stopped her.  "Have your report on the whole incident ready by end of day tomorrow. Until then, get some sleep."

The security Ensign acknowledged the order and made her way back reluctantly out of the infirmary.  Before she left, she stopped by a nurse. "uhmm, what happened to Enyd?  Ensign Madsen?" she asked softly.  The nurse gave a sad smile.  "She'll be fine, but the ambassador called her as soon as we got her cleaned up.  I imagine he's interviewing her on what happened."  Zark grimaced, nodded and wished she could be there, but she was under firm orders to return to her quarters for rest and she wobbled a bit as she headed back.

[Several hours later]

There was a loud high pitched sound and another one that was metallic and hollow.  It really couldn't be that important and Zark grabbed the pillow and shoved it over her head as she tried to drift back to sleep.  The noise wouldn't quit though, and as her brain tried to boot up, it started to percolate into her mind that the voice was familiar.  She didn't want to think about it since the warm black darkness was much more comfortable.  "Go away." she mumbled into the sheets.  There was no let up, and her mind began to break down the voice on the other end, accounted for the muffling of the door, and the pillow, and it gave her a good probability that it was one Enyd Isolde Madsen trying to get in.

Letting out a soft stream of curses, Zark rolled onto her back and mustered her strength. "Okay!  Give me a minute." she yelled.  "Sheeelaat." she cursed quietly as she got up and squinted into the darkness. "Computer, lights on 30%"  A slight glow lit the room as Zark continued squinting and scratched the back of her head before yawning and gently stretching.  Figuring she had enough energy to make it out of bed, she pulled her blanket off and completely missed the feeling of Andorian Cave Spider Silk brushing against her exposed body before swinging her feet to the ground and slowly making her way over to the door.  "Computer, one ketheka with caramel, and one coffee, black." she grumbled out. The sound of the replicator activating only registered as far as the system worked before she got to the door.

Without much thought, her drug addled brain hit the door switch and it swung open before she leaned an elbow up against the frame, utterly oblivious to her nudity on display for anyone to see.  Exhaling and taking a moment to rub the back of her head, she squinted to make sure it was Enyd then sighed.  "Well, come on in."  Turning around, she headed into the room and absently waved at the replicator.  "There's coffee, go ahead and grab it, then tell me why you're trying to knock down my door." Zark instructed as she grabbed her own drink and shambled her way back to bed before covering up and taking in the warm nectar that was supposed to bring her brain back online.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #67
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Zark’s Personal Quarters | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

Eyes wide as saucers for a heartbeat, Enyd quietly nodded and entered the naked Andorian's quarters in a state of shock. Of all the expected responses to her knocks, a fully nude Zark blinking owlish at her had not been high on her list. It hadn’t even been on her list.

“Thank you,” Enyd muttered in response to the offer, quickly grabbing the mug and almost immediately wincing when some of the liquid sloshed over the side in her haste, stinging her fingers with heat.

Turning back toward Zark, Enyd swallowed the lump of confusion and opted for a smile to replace it. In truth, it shouldn’t have surprised her quite so much. Nothing about Zark had struck Enyd as remotely prudish or shy and these were her quarters. Enyd perched on the edge of one of the chairs situated by the smallish table. The quarters were a basic mirror image of her own, just everything opposite. Enyd took a bolstering sip of coffee before getting straight to the point. She knew Zark was likely not in the mood for pleasantries.

“Ontatt indicated that he would only feed us his intel and no one else.” She took another sip, enjoying the taste more now that the temperature wasn’t scalding. “Begrudgingly and with more than a few limiting factors in place, we’ve been cleared to follow up with the man in a few days. Whatever meeting he was referring to back at the safe house won’t take place for another month or so from what he was willing to share with our disgruntled superiors, but aside from that, he made it clear who he trusted with the information and how he wanted things to go down.” After taking another sip, Enyd carefully set the mug on the table, angling her body toward her friend. “He has a bone to pick with Ono and Jassarac and he’d like to pick it through us.”

Enyd paused. It wasn’t for dramatic effect but for figuring out how to word the next part.

“The reason we aren’t to meet with Ontatt immediately is because Intelligence is in the process of creating identities for us to use during the operation. We’re to lie low on the compound until everything is up and running and once that happens they’ll beam us directly to Ontatt’s location and then from there, well, destination depending on Ontatt.” Enyd tugged on her ear. “Because the location is off-planet but still with Federation boundaries, we will be assigned an undercover escort of sorts. And, this is where I personally disagree with the concept, no Cardassians are allowed to join. I understand why but at the same time, I feel it is a big ask to leave them out of since it pertains their planet. And,” she offered Zark a semi-apologetic smile, “I am also peeved that they didn’t bother asking if you were interested in following up with this adventure before telling me they were making both of us identities.”

She fell quiet again, this time to reach back for her mug and quietly sip at her coffee while Zark digested the vast amount of "oh my" Enyd had just dropped in her very nude lap.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #68
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark couldn't quite savour the sweet toffee richness of the caramel in her Ketheka as the jumbled mass of neurons worked to re-align themselves.  On the bright side though, the re-booting was occurring, so at least her ability to absorb information while transitioning fro the land of the sleepy to the land of the waking let her pick out points here and there.  The main gist of the information though was that for whatever reason, Ontatt had decided he liked the two very junior members of the embassy staff and would only talk to them about intel he had.  It was going to take place in a few days and some where not on the planet, but still within Federation boundries. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to the security officer since it still took some time in a galactic straight line to get anywhere in the Cardassian Union.  On the other hand, at least he was cooperating, even if it was for revenge against the 'business partners' that had tried to have him killed.  She did let out a low whistle at the fact that no Cardassians were allowed to be part of the debrief and she had to wonder what had been required to secure that sort of concession.  It likely hadn't come cheap to the CDO since he was making the deal on behalf of a felon.

A drop of liquid dripped off her cup and she felt it hit with more force than was realistic and Zark looked down for a moment and her own eyes widened as an adrenaline surge shot through her system, forcing out the rest of the anesthazine.  Wait a minute. Was I naked this whole time?  A look down past the blanket confirmed that there was a helacious set of blue legs and wide eyes looked up at Enyd for just a moment as she sat there with her mental processes coming to a crashing halt.  Blue lips opened and closed like a fish out of water as she looked down at her magnificient chest and across at Enyd, then down, then up again.  She could have blurted out a fumbled apology, but despite her best efforts, she could see that Enyd was doing an admirable job of hiding her shock at the situation.  It actually spoke volumes about the diplomat that she was able to deliver such a concise brief while staring at a totally naked person.  Zark looked down again.  Okay, mostly naked, at least she was sort of covered from her hip to thigh.  The Andorian smiled for a moment, then sniggered, then finally cracked up in uproarious laughter.  Her cup was an after thought as it fell on the ground and Zark buried herself in the silk sheets as she held her sides.  "Oh Spirits Ensign Madsen!" Zark howled as she tried to sit back up. "Couldn't you have started off with I need to put some clothes on?!" The Andorian's rich laughter filled the room. "I usually need a first date before I give someone a booty show and you got it for free!" The Zhen continued laughing as she stomped her feet into the bed to beat the hilarity out of her system.

And it worked as the pace and volume of the thumping eventually subsided and Zark sat up gasping for breath as she rubbed her exoskelton where humans would have their ribs.  "Ohhhhhh Enyd, youre too much." Zark let out as she slowed down to chuckles.  It was way too late, but the Andorian pulled up her blanket anyways to cover herself and crossed her legs under the thin sheets. When she was sure she had some control of herself, the Zhen gave a small smile. "Okay, so we're going to get some information regarding the activities of Ono and Jassarac regarding the Cardassians.  We're going to get cover identities to meet with him and possibly use afterwards to infiltrate whatever it is they have going on to which we'll find out when we talk to him later."  Seeing that was the essentials of what was going on, Zark nodded then shrugged for a moment. "I wouldn't worry about not being asked to accompany you.  My assignment is you, so where you go, I have to go.  I don't think Commander Herasin thought it was going to be this adventurous when he first assigned it to me, but there's no real reason to pull me off since you seem intent on getting into shenanigans anyway, and don't deny it, trouble is looking for you and will always find you."  Zark emphasized this by pointing a long slender finger right at Enyd's face, then waved it narrowly from side to side as if daring the diplomat to say otherwise. "So here's what's going to happen, I will follow you around when you go off the reservation, but in the mean time, we are going to make free time in your schedule for me to polish your fighting abilities, and don't say you're too busy, you can't help anyone if you're dead."  she finished.  With that main point concluded, Zark took some time to help sort out a few other details of how they were going to deal with Ontatt before bidding the human good night.

It was kind of a relief that Enyd had seen her naked since it helped to break a layer of ice that she'd felt forming between the two from her side.  She was getting ready to place an automatic cold shoulder to the diplomat and that would have been tragic.  That wasn't to say there hadn't been a price to the showing though as she felt a familiar urge between her legs and remembered there was a certain video from her wife that was specifically recorded for situation like this.  Locking the door, Zark activated the terminal with no intentions of leaving for quite a while.

[Several days later | Castellan's Office | Cardassia Prime]

"Do you trust them Garak?"  The Castellan asked as he stared out the window at the city going through a resurrection, hands clasped behind his back.  Javec hid his look of surprise that the question was being directed at a specific person instead of the group as a whole.  If the head of the Union Intelligence Service was just as surprised as he sat next to his boss, he was certainly too smooth an operator to show it.  Daadral Porin, the Minister of Justice was in the middle seat and frowned slightly at the question.  Odrem Tremill, the head of the Union Bureau of Investigation sat on the other side and looked over at Garak in surprise then speculation.  She handled the domestic intelligence service, really the national police, while Elim Garak was the head of a much reduced foreign intelligence branch. 

Elim Garak would normally have waxed poetic, but given the precedence of integrity and fairness he was working to set within the rebuilding Union, he looked at Daadral first, who didn't look back.  "I do sir."  The Castellan turned the upper half of his body from the window looked at the former tailor for elaboration.  He also caught sight of the manifest unhappiness from his Minister of Justice and smiled reassuringly.  "Don't worry old friend, I just need the view of someone who lived and got a feel for them."  The Minister frowned more but nodded his acceptance.  As Garak saw this, he continued. "Starfleet and the Federation has a vested interest in building us as an ally, and the domestic turbulence that a member planet may be fomenting would derail those efforts."  He looked at the others in the office. "There was a saying one of the human leaders had. I will destroy my enemy by making him my friend.  Or something along those lines.  The Federation values friends, allies, and diplomacy first.  War is diplomacy by another means, but not their first choice.  Their morals and integrity have been tested in the recent unpleasantness, but I do believe they have held firm.  The information sharing agreement will hold."

The Castellan nodded, but Minister Porin wasn't as sure. "I'll speak with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to confirm the view.  I don't doubt it's veracity, but it doesn't hurt to make sure."  Garak was about to say something, and he'd even begun raising his index finger, but thought better of it and gave a minute nod.  Even if he didn't have any qualms about being second guessed, he still would have kept them to himself since it was the Minister's job to present the group's views.  There was a chain of command to be respected after all.  Seeing this, the Castellan took a seat and pulled up the next item on the agenda from his terminal. "So where do we stand on the reports of grain smuggling?"

[Three Weeks Later | Trill ]

The tall and statuesque Andorian seemed to glide to a stop outside the door and hit the admittance chime.  "Come!" a voice called and Inspector Ashryzit sh’Oshraalrath, Andorian Peacekeeper, stepped in.  She wore a blank expression as she entered and took a seat opposite Assistant Director Nita Wakakita, Federation Security Agency. He leaned back and undid the top of his tunic.  She certainly was very easy on the eyes. He thought to to him self before getting the meeting started.  "Thank you for coming so promptly."  The Andorian gave a small smile.  "I figured it was going to happen soon after the investigation was over." The human nodded and grinned. "Can I offer some refreshment?  A cup of ketheka perhaps, or maybe something stronger?  I do believe it is after quitting time."  The Andorian smirked.  "Given how you don't leave till after 2200, maybe you shouldn't be lecturing someone on when to go home."  The Japanese man bowed his head in acceptance as he smiled.  "Whisky it is then." Ashryzit thanked the man and took the proffered glass when it was placed in front of her.

She took a sip and hid the grimace at the flavour.  It wasn't bad, it just wasn't her preferred drink.  Probably her wife would have had a better appreciation of the stuff since she had the envious ability to consume everything with a relish.  He took a much larger sip before placing the amber liquid down.  "So, what did you find?" The Andorian cop sighed. "They were dupes." The man nodded and she took her chance to put the glass down before continuing. "It was a charity front for the rebuilding of Cardassia by a group of monks who were looking for an NGO method to improve relation between them and the Cardassians.  I guess someone wanted to start making peace somewhere."  The Assistant Director nodded as he took another sip. "And it was originally sponsored by Sotye Agi, the current Minster of Agriculture and acting Minister of Trade?" Ashryzit nodded.  "Yes. Her permanent predecessor had a stroke of all things and had to be quickly replaced. She is definitely more conciliatory in relations, so she's done what her position allows her to do improve relations between Bajor and Cardassia." The human nodded again. "Anyway, the charity she helped found was supposed to provide agricultural assistance, but it received a large donation recently.  The monks were caught up in the excitement of the pledge and skipped over the lines about the funds going to a specific location and didn't ask what it was.  As far as we can tell, the latinum transfer did make it to Cardassia, but disappeared after they were picked up by some Orions at the space port."

The Assistant Director's eyebrow rose. "I take it, their arrival, then disappearance was noticed?"  The Andorian cop nodded, but it wasn't very decisive. "Yes and the report from the Ministry of Justice on Cardassia indicated there were UBI agents on the way, but several bombs were detonated in the area and the group made its escape in the confusion."  The human grimaced as he stared into the glass and put it down without drinking, clearly disgusted by the events. "So the latinum is lost?"  "Maybe not." Ashryzit replied and the human blinked. "Why not?" he asked and was more surprised when the normally severe Andorian cracked a full out smile. "Well, it just so happens that some of the latinum was recovered from a syndicate member with less sense and even worse luck." Ashryzit, or Ryzit as she was known to Zark, was really not sure how her wife gotten involved as the story seemed too ridiculous, but providence was not to be overlooked, especially in a case like this. "My wife took part in a raid on a Syndicate operation and managed to recover some of latinum.  She was also there for the interrogation; and I want to say, her partner, got the connection to the heist at the space port.  That aspect was a little fuzzy, but the follow up raid yielded more latinum, so they're on the trail."

Assistant Director Wakakita nodded and smiled, then frowned.  "So I guess we'll have to see how this turns out since it's in the Cardassian Union and not part of our jurisdiction."  The Andorian shrugged.  "I guess so."  The Assistant Director sighed.  "Well, we'll pass on the information we have and hopefully it will prove useful.  Anything else we need to look into for the charity or Minister Sotye?" Ryzit shook her head "T'Veir is looking into it and will get back if he finds anything."  The human nodded, glad to have had this particular Andorian seconded to the Agency. "Well, your secondment is pretty much over.  Any plans?" Ryzit grinned and shrugged. "I do have quite a bit of leave accumulated since my wife got posted to Cardassia, and I've always been curious about the place, so I think I'll pay her a visit."  The human wasn't fooled in the slightest, but merely smiled and held his hand out to shake hers. "I wish you a safe a speedy journey and a successful trip."  The Andorian Cop shook the hand as she smiled like a predator going on the hunt.

[Two weeks later | Reception Area | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime]

The receptionist manning the welcome desk was typing away on her report when a throat cleared itself above her and she looked up, then up a little more. "Uhhh, can I help you ma'am?"  The receptionist asked the Andorian who'd materialized in front of her. Her face appeared to be one of cold indifference. "Yes. Is Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell around?" The receptionist blinked in surprise, but she guessed it made sense that the Andorian in front of her would be looking for another one in the compound and she pressed a few buttons on her console. "Yeeees she is in the compound at the moment." The Andorian nodded. "Good, can you call her over and tell her, her wife is here to see her." This caused the receptionist to give the blue skinned woman another look and her hand moved towards the comm button to call the security ensign directly.  Something flashed in the Andorian's eyes and she grinned suddenly. "Hold on, is this the one for public address?"  She asked innocently and the receptionist gaped as blue hands snapped out with viperish speed to hit the button and a smile transfixed the Shen's face. "Ohhh Zaaaaark! Baaaaabee!  Your love slave is here for your satisfaction!" She lustily yelled into the public intercom.

[Fitness Facility | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime]

Ensign Zark was working with Ensign Madsen on some of her hand to hand techniques when the call came.  She initially was only going to listen with the announcement with half an ear as the two were in the middle of sparring.  That was until she recognized the lusty voice of her wife blare over the comm system for everyone to hear from the CDO down to the lowest security guard and her mind froze in shock and embarrassment at being called this way.  This didn't do her any good since she totally lost track of what Enyd was doing and missed the incoming punch that smashed into the side of her head and knocked her to the ground.

[Reception Area | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime]

The Receptionist was livid and also embarrassed to have had that broadcast across the entire compound.  "Ma'am you can't just, just.." "Oh come on, of course I can, it's funny and she's my wife anyway.  I wouldn't worry about it, I've done more to her and I totally intend to do things to her that'll make a Betazoid sing with joy."   This set the receptionist to blubbering as she tried to find a way to admonish the crazy Andorian who seemed totally unconcerned.  The poor woman hit a button to summon security to eject the blue woman when another blue woman, quite scantily clad in her workout attire entered the foyer with a look that combined exasperation and embarrassment.  It also didn't help that her hair was dishevelled and she had a bruise on her cheek.  Zark stopped for a moment and stared at the new comer.  "Oh Shelat, it is you. I mean it's good to see you and all, but what.."  Zark's haphazard greeting was cut off as Ryzit sighed, then squealed and ran at her wife.  "Wait! Ryzit! Not here!" was all she got out before the Shen jumped the last meter and collided with her marginally shorter wife and locked lips in public while wrapping her legs around her hips.

The 'Not here' occurred when Ryzit gripped Zark's body and proceeded to mash the two together as hard as she could while Zark was forced to grip onto her ass to support her.  Being each other's wife, the Zhen couldn't help herself and squeezed the more slender posterior in her hands which elicited a yelp then a moan that caused Ryzit to lean in harder.  This made Zark lose her balance and the two toppled to the ground where the rebound on the ground finally forced the two apart.  Zark stared into her wife's face with disbelief.  "It's uhhhh great to see you, but what are you doing here and why didn't you let me know?" The Shen giggled. "And spoil the fun? I'm here to see you babe, and also I'm here to help with your money problem."  Looking around and ignoring the range of looks she was being given, she quickly identified the human brunette who'd been dragging her wife into danger all over the place. "And you must be Enyd Isolde Madsen.  We have a common problem we need to discuss and I don't mean my wife."


Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #69
[Ens. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Reception Area | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime ] ATTN: @RyeTanker

In the time since barging in one Zark naked, the Andorian had managed to make Enyd sore in places she hadn’t thought possible (and not in a sexual way, either). Enyd had always kept up-to-date with her required training and kept up with her hobbies of dance and gymnastics with some martial arts mixed in, yet none of these had prepared her for the grueling taskmaster that was Zark. However, the hapless yet competent diplomat wasn’t about to complain, as she appreciated her improvement under Zark’s tutelage. Now, when, not if, they found themselves in a fight, she’d be able to support Zark (or others) better than before.

Enyd’s first impression of Zark’s wife was far from disappointing. She’d felt bad about hitting her friend in the head, but the risqué announcement had come at the worst time possible (when in the context of sparring), and there’d been nothing either of them could do about it. Watching the Andorian Peacekeeper (Zark had briefly related her spouse's vocations at some point in time during their getting to know one another while not under fire conversations) wriggle suggestively in Zark’s arms may have made the receptionist tut in flustered annoyance from behind the counter, but it only made Enyd grin with amusement. The subsequent crash to the floor elicited a wince from the human and another chuckle when neither woman looked remotely fazed.

Catching the eye of an aide who’d stopped to stare in confused shock, Enyd shrugged. “Traditional Andorian greeting. Remember it for next time an Andorian official comes to visit, eh?” The aide blinked at her a few times, trying to measure if she was serious or not, but was spared questioning when Zark’s wife addressed her. Intrigued by her enigmatic phrases, Enyd gestured for her to follow, “I think Zark may describe me as the problem but it is all a matter of context.”

“Ensign,” the receptionist's haughty voice cut through while the Andorians righted themselves, “she’s not been cleared.”

Enyd crossed the room and picked up the PADD the receptionist offered. As much as she wanted to complain about the bureaucracy, Enyd knew it had its place. After a moment longer, she handed the PADD back, and Zark’s wife was officially invited to tour the compound sponsored by Enyd (as protocol prevented Zark from sponsoring a family member).

“We can discuss our mutual problems in my quarters. Unless,” she glanced down at herself, still clad in form-fitting workout gear, and then over to Zark, “you’d rather have some time to clean up and get reacquainted first and meet me in my quarters after?”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #70
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Federation Embassy Compound | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark didn't have the sense to not protest when her wife broke the kiss, and this escaped her lips in something between a mewl and a groan.  It had been a long time since she had this particular body in any sort of intimate contact.  It was even keener reminder now that the body in question was straddling her waist and in case of not so sound judgement, she began to wriggle under her wife.  To the casual observer, it looked like she was trying to get out from under the body on top of her.  It was more of an attempt to get back at her wife by trying to make her uncomfortable.  The Zhen grinned slightly when she saw her antennae on top of her wife's head begin to writhe very slowly.  She was quite good though as she talked to everyone in a level voice and Zark's smile hid her biting her lower lip as she raised her hip slightly, then gripped the Shen's hips as if to push her off.  Except she squeezed a little harder than necessary and she could see the other woman's nostrils flare.  She practically also see the gears in her head start to stream smoke as Ryzit seriously considered taking up Enyd on her offer for the two to get re-acquainted.  The only issue was an even like that was going to take a day at least.

Any examination of what to do was interrupted by another man walking in. "This is quite the sight." Francisco Piera could be heard commenting. "Zark stifled a sigh when she heard him.  He looked at Enyd next and a frown creased his goateed face when he saw her holding the PADD. "I take it you had something to do with this display?" Francisco Piera was the CDO's overbearing Chief of Staff, or as Ensign Zark liked to think of him, the Ambassador's mother hen wanna be chief advisor/assistant.  The ambassador had a secretary, but it was the Chief of Staffs job to act as a gate keeper and handle the day-to-day minutae.  He regarded himself as something of a diplomat extraordinaire, and mainly worked at higher level diplomacy.  This led to a certain haughtiness in his dealing with others since he thought of himself as mover and shaker of important events, and led to a certain friction with the rest of the embassy. While the ambassador may have regarded Enyd's efforts at the grass roots level with a some exasperation, Francisco Piera regarded the junior diplomat as a menace; especially since she was Starfleet instead of the regular diplomatic service, which afforded her some insulation from his influence.  His tendency to treat the Security as hired help didn't endear him to that department either.  He was generally tolerated since he really was very good at his job, and at least recognized his arrogance as a something that wasn't helpful most of the time.  It just slipped out as a natural reaction.

Ryzit could read her wife quite well and she saw the way that the Zhen's antennae pulled back against her head and this set of warning bells in the cop's head. "I'm sure your enjoying the view." She replied sweetly and made a show of getting up by pressing on Zark's breasts to push her self up.  Zark sucked in her breath and tucked in head hide her reaction. The new comer then made her way over to the stiffly offacious diplomat and held out her hand. "Inspector Ashryzit sh’Oshraalrath, Andorian Peacekeepers. A pleasure to meet you...?"  Piera smiled stiffly as he brought up his hand to shake the other Andorian's hand. "Francisco Piera, chief of staff for the ambassador."  As his hand enfolded her gently, he was getting ready to be gracious and bring his hand to her lips to kiss the top in an exaggerated sense of courtesy, ignoring the fact that it just had a handful of tit in it.  That was until the blue hand squeezed his and steadily applied more pressure. 

It was game that two could play though and he smiled a bit too naturally as he squeezed back.  He would eventually win, but the whole test of will was interrupted when the other Andorian picked herself up off the floor and cleared her throat. "Ashryzit, it is good to see you."  She started as she re-arranged her sports bra. "You were saying something about money though?  Something to do with the latinum bust we made recently?" Ashryzit's smiled at the human contained an edge before forcing her hand apart to make him let go.  Andorian's were stronger pound for pound, so it wasn't that hard for her to break the hold. "Indeed, now, Mister Chief of Staff, I'm sure information regarding resources that would be used to destabilize the rebuilding of Cardassian is certainly important, so let's sit down with the ambassador and I can answer all your questions as to what the Federation Security Agency found."

The Chief of Staff looked at her incredulously for a moment. "The ambassador is a busy man, so I'll need to verify that this information does pertain to the situation here."  He looked over at Zark.  "I'm sure you can find a way to distract yourself till then." Ashryzit glared daggers at the insinuation when a new voice broke in. "Do you have a copy of the information that I can take a look at?" Piera frowned as his head turned towards the Bolian who stepped in beside him. Commander Herasin introduced himself and offered his hand which the Andorian cop shook.  Opening up her jacket, she pulled out a PADD and handed it to the security chief. "It's only a summary. I have the rest of the information on me for a more formal presentation, but time is of the essence."  Commander Herasin looked up from the PADD. "Indeed, how come?" he asked lowering the PADD to focus on the cop. "The anniversary of The Riding Hound is coming up and I'm sure a casino is good way to launder some ill gotten latinum."  Commander Herasin had suspected as much, but getting information to do anything about it had been difficult.  The raids that Ensigns Zark and Madsen had participated in had only nabbed some low level Syndicate operators who didn't know much. "And I'd be happy to share it, assuming of course I can meet with someone with the authority to launch a recovery operation." Commander Herasin looked at the PADD once more and skimmed it quickly.  A lot of the data points added up to what he'd found.  "The meeting can be arranged."  He looked at the Chief of Staff who was still scowling. "It's just a matter of whether you help make the time or I interrupt his day. It's up to you."

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