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Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #25
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

[ The Next Day, Medical Building, Starfleet "Embassy" ]

Enyd knew exactly who she needed to recruit for her hair-brained scheme. Admittedly, she knew it was only a half-baked scheme at the moment, and likely she shouldn’t even be thinking about doing something this drastic while her bones were still healing from the doctor’s magic wand work. The pain meds were out of her system, and technically, she was thinking as clearly as ever. However, her bones literally ached still from how close to death she had come only the day before, and she was uninterested in letting that happen again. To her, to Javec, to the Castellan, and certainly not to Zark. Perhaps her willingness to buck bureaucracy was out of a driven sense of loyalty to her mission—keeping peace with the Cardassian government and ensuring the Castellan was set up strongly to see the planet thrive—alongside an equally driven sense of loyalty to those she considered her closest allies and friends—Javec and now Zark by default for saving her bacon. She refused to stay still while her CDO and other higher-ups handled the paperwork for clearance to Mador Base..

Enyd tossed the chocolate bar bribe to the nurse orderly on duty with a wink and waited until the Betazoid bribe retreated to a plausible deniability distance from the Andorian ensign’s bed. Though the doctor expected a full recovery, she’d been far worse off than Enyd and Javec. That was one reason why she’d been relieved of any hard duties for the next few days, same with Enyd, which meant the planets were aligning in favor of Enyd’s cockamamy scheme. Drawing close to her new friend’s bedside, Enyd hoisted herself onto the edge of it and began drawing lazy circles on the woman’s forearm until she stirred from her slumber.

“A little birdie tells me you are relieved from heavy duty for the next few days. Since I am as well, I was curious if you’d like to join me on a little tour of Elar. We can call it a ‘hurray we survived’ victory tour of the planet if you like, and maybe do some hunting or scavenging for treasures while we are there. It is quite a gathering place, like a melting pot for personalities. When I was thinking about who I’d like to take with me, I couldn’t help but picture you.” Enyd stopped drawing circles on the woman’s blue skin and sobered up from her intentionally vague wordplay. “Thank you for saving my tuckus, by the way. Javec’s too. He’s already out of treatment and back on duty alongside the Castellan, who is also alive and well, thanks much to your tenacious desire to see us alive.” A cough from the corridor alerted Enyd; glancing over her shoulder, she saw the orderly nod their head. It was time. Sighing, Enyd dropped off the edge of the bed and pressed the hand-sized PADD into Zark’s hand, “Take a look at the itinerary. There are a lot of layers to the excursion, so make sure you look through it all. I plan on leaving tonight, around 2200. Taking local transportation from the southside docks.”

Enyd blew a kiss at the Andorian and departed just as a doctor and nurse came into check on Zark. She suspected the woman’s curiosity would be reason enough to get her to the southside docks.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #26
[Caves near Morad | Cardassia Prime] @Ellen Fitz

Javec walked into the scorched and blasted ruins of the cave, grim faced at the destruction the special forces team had wrought.  He quickly strode past military a medical team that was tending to a pair of injured soldiers and a tarp covering the team's sole KIA. Signs of battle were everywhere from the black blast marks on the walls, small fires, and worst of all, the bodies sprawled out in all manners of undignified death. The Castellan's aide found the Ghin commanding the strike team and stood next to him as the man stared at a pair of dead Orions and an older Cardassia.

"Is this them sir?" the SF commander asked.

Javec knelt down and pulled out a tricorder, then cross referenced the faces. One of the Orion's and the Cardassia certainly looked like Ontatt and Jassarac, but a quick scan showed signs of extensive reconstructive surgery. Javec shook his head.

"No, I don't think so. These are probably body doubles. But we'll get the bodies to the coroner's office for a dna scan."

The Ghin frowned and shook his head.

Javec frowned. "It would be nice if the Starfleet vessel was still in orbit."

The Ghin looked at the politician in surprise and Javec smiled back. "We underestimated Starfleet during the war. A people like that doesn't expand as solidly and quickly as they do with out knowing what the problems are ahead of time and having solutions. These are a sophisticated and harder people than we give them credit for."

The Ghin nodded his acceptance but still felt dubious about such a non-militaristic people as he turned to follow the aide out of the cave. On the other hand, at least they were open and honest.

[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime]

[Several days later]

Zark finished zipping up her pants as she stared at the reflection in the mirror.  She sighed and frowned as her hands unconsciously rubbed the spot between her breasts where she’d been shot.  Her mind revisited the moment she had her brush with death again and she felt the urge to smash the mirror, but instead gripped her blouse and balled it in her fist as her lips snarled at the image in her mind’s eye.  The Andorian blinked as she saw her nostrils flaring and chest heaving before shaking her head and commanding her hand to let go then quietly cursed as she realised she’d wrinkled the shirt and turned around to head to the wardrobe and quickly rummaged through to find the clothes presser.  A faint snort of amusement crossed her lips as she took a moment to admonish herself for her trip down that particular black hole, the nasty consequence of being very good at what she did and over a year of fighting the Dominion.  While she looked for the device, her mind mentally wandered to rub her shoulders, back, face, and torso where she’d been battered, bludgeoned, shot, and stabbed over the course of a gruelling year of ground side fighting.  It was fair to say that if Starfleet had decorations for being injured in combat, she’d likely have more than she really cared to think about.

Finding the familiar round alloy device, Zark pulled her mind back to the present and pressed it to the wrinkled area and focused her mind on smoothing out the turquoise sleeveless blouse.  Her mind turned to more pleasant thoughts as she smiled and snorted at the idea of going off to see the city that was being rebuilt with Enyd Madsen.  She’d been in a drug induced haze when she’d been woken up and had some trouble processing what the attache had been saying. When the haze had cleared, she’d looked at the itinerary and giggled at the various venues that Enyd wanted to visit.  It was an extensive list and she wasn’t sure if the human was being overly ambitious for the list was very long.  Any further thoughts about the trip were cut off as a nurse had come over and begun giving her a further examination.  The medical officer had quickly followed to make final pronouncements, then told her to take it easy and she’d be out in a day or so.  Zark had asked about what had happened to Enyd in the meantime, and the medical staff had waxed poetic about her state, but given few specifics aside from the fact she was fine. Though this didn’t entirely assuage the Andorian, and she figured it would have to do as they were insistent that she rest. When the doctor had left, Zark had turned the charm offensive on the hapless nurse to get more information, but she was slightly off her game since she was still recovering, and she quickly learned that the Betazoid had found the prospect enticing, but not with the Zhen in her current state.

Lieutenant Commander Herasin had showed up the next day to debrief her on what had happened and the Ensign had done her best to fill in what she’d seen and done.  There was an admonition to not try so hard and take it easy.  Yes, she was supposed to watch Madsen, but it would work out better if she also tried to keep the wayward diplomat out of trouble as well.  Zark had nodded at this, but short of locking Madsen in a cell, there wasn’t really any hope of curtailing her activities.  Her mind had wandered back to the itinerary after that and she’d hoped this particular outing wouldn’t be something that needed body armour, especially since she’d need a new set after she’d found out the last one had been taken by the Voroth back to Starfleet for routine analysis.  She gathered the engineers would want to know what had gone right with their design.

With her shirt smoothed out and wool gathering done, Zark headed for the door and grabbed her mini back pack that held all the little items that made a trip pleasant.  Stopping by the stand near the door, Zark stuffed her cricket phaser into a pocket, push blade into an ankle scabbard, before bending down to give her modified boots a quick test.  Smiling at a photo of her spouses, she gave each of them a quick kiss, and rushed out the door.  Following a note that had been left on her terminal to meet Enyd at the reception desk, Zark quickly found her charge waiting for her and an eyebrow quirked at the hair arrangement. "Good morning Miss Madsen. Well, I think I’m ready for this little jaunt."  Zark paused as she smiled brightly. "And Thank you for asking me to come with you instead of making me chase you." Zark shrugged away any more thoughts before she began to babble on.  "The itinerary looks great and there’s supposed to be a great hole in the wall near the fish market that I’d really like to check out, then there’s the  fountain park that just got rebuilt..." Zark continued in her excitement before forcing herself to stop.   "Sorry.  You’re the local guide, so where were you thinking of going?" The Andorian asked as the two made their way to the transporter room.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #27
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd heard Zark’s greeting as she rolled up the sleeves of her pink pleated button-down blouse. Looking over to the Zhen as the woman approached, Enyd noted the differences in their attire and smiled. Enyd’s mud-brown gaucho pants ended at her calves, though her ankles were well protected by the lace-up knee-high boots she wore on nearly all her non-mission excursions. Her hair had been coiled back into two braided buns, pinned in twin circles at the nape of her neck. In her past adventures, Enyd had come to appreciate the timely use of a hairpin more than once and never ventured off-grid without a dozen or so with her. Her gauchos were also handy in that being so flowing and loose, she could easily hide the two thigh holsters that she, again, stocked with all sorts of what she deemed to be necessary equipment for adventures of the official and especially the non-official type. Long sleeves were also a necessity, at least in Enyd’s opinion, as one never knew when they’d need the extra material for a tourniquet or a gag. But of course, Enyd was trained enough to know that walking around looking like she was prepared for trouble only made trouble come all that much faster, so she opted for the seemingly innocent look, perhaps even juvenile, with how she’d arranged her hair.

“I may not have known you for more than a few hours but considering what we came through together, I rather figured you’d be trailing my bum and then trying to haul me back to headquarters if I dared to leave without you.” Finished with her sleeve-rolling, Enyd paused to reach out and lightly touch Zark’s forearm, “But beyond assuming you’re the type to take your duty deadly serious, with my safety being said duty, I genuinely enjoyed our talk on the way to that bedlam we survived.” Dropping her hand, Enyd gave the Andorian another soft smile before hoisting her pack onto her back. “I think we can hit up that hole in the wall first, now that you mention it. I have a few old friends who frequent the joint I’d like to hit up before we head on out further into the wilds. And, since we’re likely going to get terribly dirty on this venture, how about we stop by the fountain park on the way back? Last I heard, a good number of those fountains are made specifically for people to run through and enjoy.”

Partially leading the way to the transporter room, Enyd suddenly stopped, “Do you have any food allergies I should be aware of? Or any other…quirks that may be either detrimental or providential in a tight spot?” Her cheeks colored pink as she ducked her head and continued on her way again, “I only ask because, as I’m sure you’ve heard from your superiors, I tend to attract a certain type of energy. I didn’t read your personnel file as I thought you’d much rather share what you wanted me to know instead.”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #28
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark shook her head. "Nothing that I know of.  I usually find food of any sort to be an adventure in itself." The Andorian grinned at a memory of the family that involved some fruits, whipped cream, and no clothes in sight. Shaking her head, Zark grabbed the credit chit and opened a cargo pocket on her pants. Looking at Enyd, Zark shook her head and pouted slightly. "I'm sorry for dressing so drably Enyd.  If it was a world with a better security situation, I usually dress better, but well...."  The statuesque Andorian gestured at violet crop top, a red flannel shirt tied around her waist, a pair of black cargo pants, and to bottom it all out, a pair of calf length leather boots that looked very similar to her duty set, but had been optimised for weight and comfort. "On the other hand, your outfit looks delightful.  Maybe when we have some time, you can help me pick out something similar?"

As was the procedure, the pair signed themselves out with Zark going first and discreetly standing in front of Enyd while she did the same. Smiling as the pair went to the transporter pad, the Caitan transporter Chief gave a fang lined smile."Good to see you two are in good shape.  Madsen, I think that's the worst scare you've given us so far, and dragging our newbie in with you as well." The cat shook his head and tsked before turning to Zark. "You two enjoy your trip and keep an eye out. I'd say something humorously nasty about fate and foreign objects, but I don't want you tying me into a knot for the laughs."

Zark blinked as she thought she heard Enyd sigh or claim it wasn't her fault.  Then again, she could have been imagining it as she became the object of terrified humour.

The Andorian narrowed her eyes before crossing her arms over her chest and giving a theatrically large sniff of disdain. "C'Tarr, I'll have you know that only the most deserving get tied into knots. Is there something that I should know about where a know tying is required."

The Caitan's ears flipped back and forth in amusement. "Hah! I'm not going to say anything that will get me forcefully into your hands. Never!"

The security officer smiled as she leaned forward. "I see. Well, if you all of a sudden find that you start tripping because your shoes are tied together, then you know that I know you did something."

C'Tarr let out a hearty laugh at this. "Our shoes don't have anything to tie together."  He replied smoothly.

Zark simply smiled back. "Not yet. But I have my ways."

"I await your vengeance with trepidation." C'Tarr replied back drily before turning back to his console. "Okay. I have the location of the square locked in.  It says here that they're still working on the area, so some of the fountains aren't done, but the ones that are there are supposed to be quite nice, as are the cafés. Standby to transport."

The Caitan's hands flew over the console then moved to the cycle slider and looked up at Enyd." Remember to turn on your transponder this time Miss Madsen.  Energizing."  He finished before Enyd could get a word out as the musical sound of material transference sounded in the room.

As the pair materialised in a stone and tree covered area, Zark quickly took in her surroundings for any threats and didn't see any.  Someone was yelling loudly near a partially completed statue and someone else was yelling back while gesturing forcefully at something in the ground. "Alright, here we are, so while I could go on and on about the usual, anything specific you’d like to know first?" she asked her travel buddy.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #29
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd raised a single eyebrow, tilting her head to the side at Zark’s comment regarding her clothing, “I don’t see anything wrong with your clothing, Zark. We are going on an adventure, not to an evening gala.” Enyd made sure no one was watching before directing Zark’s attention to her left leg as she held it out, toes pointed, and hiked up the gaucho pant-let to show the bottom portion of her hidden-leg strap, as well as the top part of her boot knife. “I just find these pants delightful for hiding things. Certainly not trying to make a fashion statement. But shopping and picking out clothes for each other does sound like a fun time. Maybe intentionally finding things for the other they may not normally wear, to challenge them?” Enyd winked, letting her pant leg fall back in place.

C’Tarr was as snarky as ever when they finally made it to the transporter pad, though Zark dished out as good as he gave, earning further respect and a smile from the diplomat. His last warning, directly at Enyd, earned an eye roll that began on the transport pad and finished as they materialized in the park. Looking around at the park, lower lip sucked in between her teeth, Enyd debated with telling Zark the real reason for coming out here. Should she go ahead and come clean or should she wait until after they were well underway before she let the Andorian know their little excursion had other motives beyond mere enjoyment?

Enyd was lost in thought until Zark's question brought her back. Enyd replied with a smile, "I don't have a particular thing in mind. Not meaning the question to come across as an interrogation.” She adjusted her pack and led the way through the park, pausing here and there to admire some of the more curious designs. “Do you do any type of art?” She gestured to the sculpture directly in front of them, depicting a well-muscled, nude Cardassian male riding one of their equine creatures, reaching down and back for an equally nude and well-muscled Cardassian female.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #30
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark tossed her head from side to side as she took a good look a the sculpture being put together while the pair approached the work in progress.  It was clear that certain bits of anatomy were missing and from the state of the argument between the two artists, it was clearly over the missing bits.  While a crowd had gathered to see what was going on, several other workers in bright safety clothes looked on in amusement, which seemed to egg on the energetic discussion even further. "Well, there's the usual holo novels, a good thriller, and some movies." The blue skinned woman reached up to brush the tip of her nose as she considered the next point with a trace of hesitation as they got closer. This attracted some curious looks from the gathered crowd and workers, but not much more since the argument between the two artists was much more energetic. "I also play a selection of woodwinds from..."

"It should be like her!" one of the artist's yelled as she cut off Zark's line of discussion and jabbed a long index finger at the Andorian. "The figure being lifted off the ground must represent the motherhood and  bosom of our people on the journey to the future and unknown." The other artists crossed his arms and scoffed loudly while the first one ran up to Zark, and sensing more silliness than danger, was dragged to the centre of the raging discussion. The Andorian bounced along unwillingly like a person who didn't want to be in the conversation but couldn't figure a nice way to get out of what was coming, especially when the first artist started gesturing at her like an museum statue while she stood in a state of shock. "See how the bosom can cradle the future generations..." The other artist made an indignant sound while Zark's cheeks darkened at having her chest so blatantly pointed out and displayed.

"That's proposterous Ziley! No offense madame, but that bosom is an object of gratuitous desire!" The object of desire's blue owner blanched at the insult anyway and crossed her arms over the ample bosom while she worked to step on the urge to kick the other artist in the head. The grinding of her molars was a noticeable vibration inside her skull.

"It is an exaggerated femininity.." He continued.

"Hah! As if you would know anything about femininity Belan!" Ziley retorted.

"More than you do, you churlish hussy!" Belan yelled back before looking around and seeing a young Cardassia woman. "Madam, if you'll forgive me." It was not a question as he dragged the woman into the middle and his hand went up and down. "The platonic definition of feminine grace my dear." Belan declared in a arrogant baritone much to the embarrassment of young woman who was trying to hide her face while working to get away. She was also failing miserably.

"And what about this?" Ziley argued back as she picked up Zark's arm. "Gentle yet powerful....."

"An exaggeration!" Belan haughtily dismissed

"Hey! These exaggerations are all real!" Zark blurted out.

"Hah! See! An example of fiery natural beauty and strength! Not like your excuse for the penile envy you want on the male!" Ziley added to a spluttering Belan while the crowd roared with laughter as the young woman and Zark buried their heads in their hands and hoped someone would intervene to save them from this public spectacle.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #31
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd loved art, truly, she did. But she also loved not becoming a diplomatic incident just as much. So, while the crowd gathered around a bewildered Zark, with the argument between the artists Ziley and Belan getting increasingly out of hand, Enyd ducked behind another statue and utilized just one of her numerous doo-hickies in her pack. Recalling her basic Cardassian equivalent of ABC’s, Enyd used the water-soluble chalk to scribble out a quick limerick that spoke of Cardassian artisans and their love of sexual escapades.

“Psst,” Enyd called over a teenage Cardassian boy from the crowd's edge, “How would you like to earn some quick credits?”

Glancing between Enyd and the only other off-worlder present – the buxom Andorian presently on display for all – he quirked his eyebrows but remained silent, though his expression denoted a fellow open to negotiations.

Enyd held out the remainder of her chalk, “Take these and go write something lewd on that stone over there,” she pointed to a raw boulder near their beam-in point, “then grab a few friends and write some other stuff elsewhere in the town? It is water soluble, so it isn’t permanent.” Enyd reached into her pack and pulled out a small purse filled with credits. “You can look inside before you decide. Undoubtedly, you’ll get caught and get in trouble, but you’ll have credits and a reputation to use as fodder when needed.”

It took the boy only a few moments of studious perusal of the purse before he took both purse and chalk. Tossing her a cheeky grin, the boy muttered, “I’d have done it for free,” before running off to do as she’d bid him.

Enyd rolled her eyes, finding him endearingly twerpish, and waited a few more seconds before she rounded the statue she’d been hiding behind and found the artists all but groping Zark with the crowd pressing closer, eager to see the great reveal of globulous bloobs they felt was inevitable. Enyd caught Zark’s frantic gaze and shot her a thumbs up while she counted down from twenty in her head.

Reaching zero, Enyd let out a curse, loud and lewd, catching everyone’s attention, “No one appreciates art anymore! Look!” She stepped back and frantically gestured to the graffitied statue. “I don’t even know what it says, but certainly, it isn’t supposed to be here!”

Ziley pushed past Belan and growled, “What ingrate –“

“There!” A helpful woman pointed toward the Cardassian boy who just finished writing another poem dedicated to cocks and sucking on the boulder. “It’s him!”

Enyd slipped through the crowd in the ensuing furor, grabbed Zark’s wrist, and yanked the Andorian to her side while weaving through the garden in the opposite direction.

“The twit will sell us out immediately once he’s caught. Let’s get out of here!”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #32
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

While it wasn't the most desperate intervention she'd had, it was certainly one of the most happily well timed ones as Zark felt the urge to tell both bickering artists to shut the hell up and leave her alone before she would have engaged in a diplomatic incident by grabbing the two stubborn sculptors and cracking their heads together.  Possibly multiple times.  As the intensity rose, the Andorian now regretted her earlier outburst seemed to have only added additional hydrogen to the fire as the two had traded insults back and forth as they attempted to out do each other in graphic detail. 

Enyd's outburst stopped the argument in its tracks and set the artists spluttering at the defilement of their work.  Zark had no idea what was going on, but smiled happily at being pulled out of the situation when the human pulled on her to get going so they could make a run for it. "We either look like we're taking advantage of circumstances, or we're guilty as hell."  the Andorian commented before giving in to impulse and grabbing the young woman's arm and dragging her along. "We gotta go or they'll grill you for what ever just happened."

The woman simply nodded and took off with her dress swirling underneath her as the three suspected fugitives made a run for it. As they bolted down the street, Zark felt a tug on her arm and the woman gestured down a road. "Let's go this way, I know a place we can hide." Seeing no better options, Zark ran to catch up to Enyd and yanked her back so they could follow their new local guide. Where she was going, was hard to say since she seemed to feel it was necessary to run down several alley ways that were mostly clear. Mostly being in the sense that it was necessary to the Andorian to vault or jump over some crates, furniture, or some other detritus. A yell of "They went that way could be heard receding in the back ground and people began running after them for an known reason.  "Yep, guilty as hell!" Zark yelled to Enyd as the trio bolted.

The obstacles proved a blessing and curse to all as one of the pursuers misjudged his ability to jump over a crate and face planted into the ground. The person following was expecting solid ground, not a squishy body, so his landing was more of a sideways slide that caused a massive pileup as other followers tried to stop or ended up falling themselves. The fugitives didn't have much easier. When turning a corner, Zark nearly toppled herself over a table, but this was where her training and reflexes came into play when she jumped and rolled over the table in good order, and landing on her feet. Taking a moment to make sure Enyd was still mobile, Zark grabbed Enyd's arm and took off, practically dragging the diplomat along as the yelling receded though it seemed to be replaced by much cursing.

Zark ran where her senses guided her.  She could never really explain it, but she pretty much knew where to go.  She knew it was related to how her brain was connected to her antennae, but beyond that, there wasn't any other additional information.  On the other hand, she'd learned to follow those 'instincts' and they led her through various alleys where she would gather a glimpse of a boot, or a skirt just as it disappeared around the corner.  When Zark rounded the final corner to an open street, she looked one way then the other and saw the young woman waving at her as she pointed at a building.  Deciding there wasn't anything else to be done, she followed the instructions and entered a poorly lit room surrounded by various sacks.  It was then that the smell assailed her nostrils and her whole face crinkled as she coughed and put a finger under her nose.  "What in the damned spirits is that smell?  Never mind that, what spirits are you making?"

"What are you talking about?  We just store grains here."  The young woman replied.

Zark waved a hand in front of her face in a futile attempt to clear the air. "Hun.  Grains make high proof alcohol and I'm surprised the place hasn't torched itself yet.  You took us to a distillery?"

"I just help bring food for the workers.  I don't know anything about what they make here."  The woman answered nervously as she gripped the loaves of bread in her bag.

"Why are you so nervous?  Is making alcohol illegal?"  Zark asked suddenly suspicious.

"It is the way we're doing it here, but out of all this chaos, there's opportunities for fortunes to be made."  A rail thin Cardassian man answered from a platform.  Zark cocked an eyebrow a dozen men filed in after him.  Some had their hands shoved into their pockets.  A few had various tools in their hands including a couple with oversized wrenches.  A sight quite intimidating.

"I'd make an introduction, but I don't know where you sit yet. So tell me, why are you here?"  The thin man asked.

Zark would have groaned at their circumstances, but she wasn't sure if they were facing people who were truly hostile, or just very suspicious.  Turning to Enyd, she had to ask the question that had been brewing in her head since she'd looked at her personnel file. "Enyd, is this sort of thing normal?"

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #33
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Well, all things considered, at least they were moving in the general direction Enyd wanted them to move. There was still a part of Enyd’s mind that felt guilty for dragging Zark out on this farcical excuse of a fun outing. The poor woman still thought they were mere tourists floating on the wind of chaos. Enyd had a clear goal in mind, and obstacles were just necessary steps to reach her destination.  It shouldn’t have to be a personal mission, but the higher-ups were too busy dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s to get actual work done. And Enyd didn’t want anyone else to die because of the paperwork required to balance the weight of a bureaucracy being rebuilt.

This new development, for example, as seen in the dozen rough at more than the edges Cardassian men arcing out from the narrow-built Cardassian was analyzed as a mere inconvenience to the diplomat. A far cry from an emergency. Zark, being a member of law enforcement within Starfleet, was more surprised by the new development and was looking to Enyd for direction on how to respond. The woman who’d led them there, by design or instinct yet to be determined, looked more than a little grey at the gills now that they seemed to be in a stand-off.

Choosing to answer Zark by way of answering the tall Cardassian, Enyd smiled, “I sit in the corner of I’m not here to stop anything or report anything. We had a little run-in with a few belligerent artists back at the stature park and this beauty,” Enyd winked at the young Cardassian woman before continuing, “helped us get away. We never intended to come here, but now that we’re here,” Enyd used her chin to point toward the closest vat, “is that from Nokar or Drav?”

The Cardassians didn’t look any less suspicious, but the one who’d spoken first gave a non-committal shrug, “What’s it to you where it’s from?”

“I have contacts with a grain supplier in Nokar. Gives decent prices for one-time purchases but great discounts for regulars. Very discrete. If I’m not mistaken, the best spirits are made from the grains of Nokar and Drav.”

The Cardassian man snorted, “Some might argue that. The grain in Elar is sweeter, more sugar to ferment.”

Enyd mimicked his snort and shook her head, “Ah, but Elar grain is worth more because of that, and all the merchants exporting from that region are playing nice with the government, dedicating their supplies to feeding the people instead of sparing any for the spirits. Last I checked, you could get three bushels of Nokar and two bushels of Drav for the price of half an ounce of Elar grain.” It was Enyd’s turn to give a non-committal shrug. “Not my place to tell an expert what he should spend his credits on.”

The Cardassian man looked over his shoulder at one of his comrades before he gave a curt nod, and a smaller, stouter man armed with a PADD stepped closer. Taking the PADD, the Cardassian man closed the distance between them, handing it to Enyd.

“Note your contact. It won’t be difficult to determine if they’re a plant from the government.”

Enyd’s smile was just as wolfish as any native at his remark. “I’d certainly be an idiot to walk in here, show you my face and my associate’s, and feed you wrong information.” She paused long enough to write down the contact, then returned the device. “There aren’t many humans and Andorians on this planet, and given the times, it is very easy for people to disappear.”

The Cardassian snorted, the hint of a genuine smile tugging at the corners of his lips but failing to make a complete appearance. He looked next to their temporary guide and jerked his chin, motioning for her to take the food toward the back of the complex. The woman blushed and nodded, giving Zark and Enyd one last look of almost apology before disappearing in the shadows.

“You best forget how you found your way here on your way out again.”

With that, the man and his fellows melted back among the inner workings of the makeshift distillery. Enyd wasn’t stupid enough to presume they weren’t still being watched or that there weren’t at least two snipers with their sights on each of their forms. Tugging at Zark’s elbow, Enyd walked backward a few steps until they were outside the door before turning and hurrying away from the building. Considering all the alleys they'd twisted down, it wouldn’t be difficult to forget in truth.

Enyd spoke loudly as they continued on their way, in case they were being temporarily tailed, “Hungry? I think I see a tavern up ahead.”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #34
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

While Enyd negotiated their way out of the tense situation, Zark stood by, bent her knees a bit and folded her hands in front of her.  To the casual observer, she looked like she was casually settling into for the  discussion.  To anyone who knew martial arts, she was in a ready position to cause a raucous if need be. Still, the Andorian listened with her ears while her eyes swept the crowd of moonshiners.  Alcohol really was a lucrative business and on a war ravaged world, it was one of the joys that helped take the edge off the drudgery and misery of rebuilding.

As Zark listened though, she mentally took notes on some of the cereal grains being used to make the spirits and Enyd's notes on them.  If nothing else, it would be good to keep an eye out for them since anything that was used to make spirits, could also be used for bread, noodles, and the like.  This meant there were other alternatives available, of the munchable variety.  On the other hand as she thought about what the diplomat was negotiating, the security officer in her began to wonder what sort of connections the human had established in her time on planet and to what purpose.  This was filed away as Enyd used their open faced logic to explain they really weren't a government sting operation and the two would be easy to track down.  Zark felt the temptation to pull on the diplomats ear to stop giving them ideas and make her job harder; but it seemed to all turn out well as the spirit makers and Enyd came to an agreement.

As the group left, Zark felt herself relax and she took a moment to stretch out her neck and shoulders. Lifting her arms above her head, Zark turned to Enyd and smiled when asked if she was hungry.  "I don't think I'm that hungry at the moment." To which a gurgle could be heard emanating from her mid section that gave lie to that statement.  The hands came down and covered the rebellious stomach at which Zark looked down and glared at her own innards. "Or maybe I am and the black hole in me has decided otherwise.  Never really had a chance to try Cardassian food, so that sounds good."

Following Enyd to the Tavern, Zark immediately noted the metal construction of the place.  It was a lot like the stories she heard from people who'd spent time on Deep Space Nine. It was a contrasting combination of dark materials, oddly coloured dark pastel floors, and really bright white lights.   It must have had something to do with how Cardassian eyes worked since it looked like there was a lot of clashing.  On the other hand, Zark did prefer her blue tones, even in the other colours, so she didn't bother to comment on her preferences. Upon sitting down, Zark did a quick check of their surroundings, keeping sight lines, exits, and measuring the other people in the establishment.  She unconsciously filed away an escape plan in case they had to make a run for it again as she settled down.

A older gentlemen in a robe tunic came by the door quickly and with dignity.  Business was business after all and he didn't have a lot of it before the lunch rush. "Welcome, welcome ladies! It's a wonderful day."  He greeted warmly.  It didn't matter that the two women weren't Cardassians, in fact, it might make his place more appealing two have a couple of noticeable exotic beauties in his restaurant.  Leading the pair to a table near the window, he pulled the chairs out for the two then dropped a couple of menus on the table.  "Propayl's is the word in comfort fare, and you're in luck, the catch this morning was generous so we have a seafood stew with fresh Tefla Broth, and a wonderful pillowy, airy with a great blend of flour from Nokar and Elar."  Zark arched an eyebrow at this and gave a bemused smile as she shook her in acceptance and pulled a small PADD that she used to take a moment to scan and translate the menu before continuing to read.  "I certainly can't argue with that." Propayl nodded delightedly as he took the order down while Zark continued scanning the menu.  "Excellent! Can I get you anything else?"  Zark paused for a moment as she looked down the menu. "Uhmmm, can I also get a Larish pie, a serving of Tuli, uhhh, gotta have the meat roll. some canka nuts."  Propayl's face widened in astonishment as the lithe blue woman rattled off more food than he thought she could eat, but quickly turned back as Zark finally finished with a pot of Ocealeaf Tea and K'Hava Wine. "Ahem, errr, I see, yes. Sounds good." He replied trying to recover before turning to Enyd and getting her order.

When the shocked proprietor left, Zark took a moment to plant her head on her hand as she leaned on the table to admire the view.  Having taken her moment, she turned back to her charge.  "That was certainly an energetic morning.  Not just one potential disaster, but two!"  Smiling, the Andorian crossed her arms on the table and leaned in towards Enyd.  "Thank you for digging me out of that little exposition in the park.  If I'm being showcased like that, I usually prefer it to be in private.  And that negotiation at the distillery was pretty smooth, and I can say that since we didn't have to fight our way out."  The security officer took a moment to tap her chin. "How did you find that sort of information?  Was it part of a previous negotiation somewhere?"

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #35
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd held a similar expression of amused awe at the lengthy list of dishes Zark ordered. While they weren’t close enough, for Enyd to presume she could just eat off of Zark’s plates any items the Zhen couldn’t finish on her own, she had a building suspicion that, given enough time, they would be that close. When Propayl turned his attention to Enyd, looking almost afraid of what she might order, Enyd calmed his nerves by sticking to a simple soup and bread dish popular in this area, accompanied with a Cardassian mead likewise popular in the region.

Once he was out of earshot, Zark turned the conversation back to their almost scuffle only minutes before. Zark’s department tended to attract a certain theme within its ranks, and while it didn’t seem, so far, that Zark would hand Enyd over to the higher-ups for violating a protocol here or there for the sake of accomplishing a mission, there was always the risk of putting Zark in a difficult position. Did she cough up the information when pressed into a corner and sell Enyd out, or did she remain loyal to Enyd and risk her own career? Not wanting to put the Zhen in that position, Enyd decided on simple and vague terms with generalized summaries.

“You may be surprised to hear me say this but,” Enyd leaned forward to speak conspiratorially, “I don’t always do things by the book.”

She eagerly nodded her head, giving Zark a feigned look of seriousness, even going so far as to press a single digit against her mouth. Propayl returned with their drinks and the first round of food, giving Enyd further time to figure out what she could share without damaging Zark or Enyd’s contacts. With the proprietor away again, to fetch more food for Zark mostly, Enyd continued.

“When I first got here, one of the higher-ups in the department didn’t like me. Surprise, surprise.” Enyd winked, pausing to take a quick sip of the mead, savoring it on her tongue, then continued. “I was given the ‘impossible’ missions in the hopes that after so many failures, I’d either be busted down in rank or assigned to a different planet or, actually, I don’t even know what her reasons were other than she nursed a grudge for the time I had an…interlude with her boyfriend back at officer’s training school.” Enyd held up a hand to stay Zark’s words before they could bubble out. “I didn’t know they were dating, he didn’t tell me, and once I found out, I may or may not have let a few Nausicaan friends of mine know which bar he liked to hang out with his buddies.”

The second round of food arrived, and seeing that their table would be overcrowded with the next round, Propayl hoisted out a smaller side table to angle alongside their current one, shaking his head as he walked back to the kitchen.

“In any case, I admired Admiral Kirk’s take on problem-solving, you know, ‘there’s no such thing as a no-win scenario,’ you just have to change the odds or change the nature of the game?” Enyd shrugged, pausing to take a lengthy sip from her soup. “Needless to say, I’m still here, that higher ranking…female is no longer here, and those ‘impossible’ missions have since been filed under ‘complete with satisfactory results.’” Enyd suddenly stopped, nodding towards the two empty dishes Zark had already powered through, “Did you taste those or just inhale?”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #36
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

If Zark had been brought onto the planet as just another Security officer, she likely would have started prodding Enyd for more details as to what had happened with the previous senior diplomat.  Taking a moment to pour a glass of pale K'Hava Wine, she took a sip and settled in to listen. If she had chosen to, she could have also started a gently interrogation to get more than the dossier would have provided.  Enyd stuck generally to the facts while admitting her own basic personality.  What was a surprise was the attache had gotten herself into a sordid love triangle.  Given the peculiarities of the locale of Andoria Zark was from, she found the idea of a sordid affair more hilarious and her eyes lit up with unbridled amusement as she flashed white teeth in a wide smile.  She was about to ask a scurrilous question, but Enyd stopped her and she let it sit as more details came out.  Zark did slightly splutter her drink when it turned out the boyfriend had been looking for some extra curricular activities outside his relationship and it was good thing she'd already swallowed when the human had let drop that she was on friendly terms with some Nausicans and they'd had an 'emphatic discussion' with the boyfriend.  This had set the Andorian to laughing and it was a good sound to hear. Propayl  at least enjoyed it as he smiled, though he still looked slightly boggle eyed when he saw a couple of empty dishes in front of the blue one and shook his head before grabbing a towel to clean off some glasses.  This activity ended quickly when a few more people showed up wondering what the sound of laughter was and he greeted them warmly like family.  It worked since the newcomers took seats while giving a surreptitious first glance at the Human and Andorian in the restaurant.

At Enyd's question, Zark looked down to see that the Tuli and the canka nuts were indeed gone and she looked up blankly to focus on her mouth for a moment before giving a goofy grin.  "What can I say?  The food was just that good that I had to devour it.  In faaaact, I think we should keep more of the canka nuts around as snacks."  Propayl timing was impeccable as he was bringing the stew, pie, and meat rolls over. "And we would be very happy to bring those nuts over." Bringing his index finger to his thumb in a recognizable symbol of delicious he continued. "We do switch up the seasoning on the nuts to match the seasons, so we're going to be using Hetera herbs, it's going to be absolutely delicious!"  He was too earnest for Zark to not say no, so she tried to delay instead as she gave him a brilliant smile. "That sounds delicious and I'll be sure to bring it up." If he was non-plussed at being deflected, Propayl gave no sign as he smiled and dropped off Enyd's soup. 

Zark was about to say something regarding Enyd's previous superior but first scooped out some of the stew and placed the spoon in her mouth.  There really wasn't anything quite like it, and for a people that drank fish juice in the morning, it was understandable that they had a masters touch with seafood.  Remembering the jibe that Enyd had made over her ability to vacuum food, the incorrigibly inappropriate side of the Zhen came out as she closed her eyes and planted her hands on the table.  "Mmmmmm, Mhmmmmmmm!" she moaned loudly much to the astonishment of the rest of the patrons.  "Oh Yes!  Spirits!  Ohhhhh! Yeeeesssss!!!!" Having heard herself orgasm often enough, she began yelling in divine ecstasy, or a reasonable facsimile as her feet stamped the floor before pushing herself back into her chair and slumping down.  Breathing heavily, she ran a hand through her white hair and opened her eyes, smiling as she leaned back and sighing.

The shocked patrons sat there wondering what had just happened, but the only conclusion was that the intense experience must have had something to do with the admittedly delicious smelling stew.  Even from where Zark was sitting, she could hear one patron say. "I'll have whatever she's having." Zark gave the tavern staff some time as she lay on the chair like a photo shoot and continued breathing deeply before deciding that was enough time for the orders to be taken.  With that little bit of theatre taken care of, Zark brought herself back to a proper sitting position and casually picked up a meat roll, then arched an eyebrow at her table mate.  "Would you like some?" she asked as her free hand angled the stew and one eye winked.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #37
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd got almost as many curious looks as did the outlandishly performing Zhen. She merely smiled and waved in response, continuing to sip at her drink as if it were perfectly normal for Zark to react like this, and if by “this” means exaggerated and shameless, well then perhaps it was normal. Given their brief acquaintance, Enyd was forming the opinion that Zark cared no f’s for public opinion and set out to live life fully and without reservation. Admirable endeavor if it was what she was motivated by, and even if it wasn’t, Enyd was content to let her new friend get the…pleasure out of her system.

“I think I’ll stick with my order,” Enyd laughed at Zark’s offer, disappointing more than a few of the patrons who seemed keen on a further performance from the human, “I’ve never had a robust appetite much to my grandmother’s dismay. Growing up on a ranch and half-raised by the ranch hands, you’d think I’d try out-eat them. But, no, always ate like a bird, she complained.” As if to punctuate her sentence, Enyd popped a seed cluster of one of their dishes into her mouth and gave Zark a humming smile as she savored the taste.

“So, Zark, how did you meet your quad-mates?” Enyd asked after another round of food was delivered and Enyd happily tucked into her meal.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #38
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark pouted as her performance hadn't elicited any play along from Enyd.  It told her quite about the human, though she did give a nod of approval for keeping her calm in the face of the truly unexpected.   The well manicured eyebrows did bob happily at this though and she shrugged the rest of the event away.  Taking a quick look around the tavern, the security officer noticed several people were quietly hushing to each other while furtively casting glances in their direction.  To a few she dipped her head and winked, which caused them to quickly turn around and find their table a case for serious study.  One man who had come in and had clearly been watching with great interest, she narrowed her eyes suggestively and gave a duck face while waving her finger in admonition.  This confusing set of signals seemed to startle the man as he jolted and he was about to indicate himself when Propayl stopped in front of him and gave an enthusiastic greeting. "Well my friend, you saw how much the Andorian enjoyed the stew, so what say you? Ready to have your senses tantalized the way she did?"

Zark appreciated the interference and gave her attention back to Enyd as she took a much more normal bite.  Her chewing slowed slightly as she had to dig up the information in her head.  Not wanting the delicious food to go to waste, or be rude about eating and talking at the same time, she scooped a few more bites and watched as the phlegmatic diplomat did the same. "How did I get my quad?" she started and her eyes turned dreamy for a moment as the spoon hung from her mouth, then cleared her throat as she pulled the spoon out. "Where to begin?  Let's see.  Somewhere in the mists of time when the the great sky blizzard met the eternal tempest, the seas and the mountains decided they had to see this union, but they were enraptured and became part of a spiritual combining that carries forward to this day." Zark sniggered at this for a moment, then looked at the wine and realized she'd drunk a bit more a bit quicker than she thought.  Pouring a glass of tea, she took a sip while smiling apologetically.

"Sorry, couldn't help myself, but the short answer is that every Andorian gets a blood sample taken when their born and has their names recorded in the fertility database." Zark shrugged. "No sense in calling it anything else since that's what it's used for. Anyway.  We all get our DNA plugged into a computer and then when we reach somewhere around 14, we get told who our bond mates are going to be." Zark shrugged as it was a fairly standard and straightforward process that everyone did.  Not seeing a reason to stop with the Q&A, she ploughed on. "There's different scales on how well the quads work together.  Some see it as nothing more than a genetic pairing, so they'll go through the motions and produce children. Others."  Zark paused for just a moment as she smiled and danced in her seat for a second. "Luck out and enjoy it to the fullest."

The Andorian stopped to grab a drink of tea the leaned in like she was letting Enyd in on a secret. "The Andorian central government likes to pretend the systems works really well, but we don't know all the genetic markers that make some quads work better than others."  Another sip and a few more bites followed.  "It's not a bad system for the most part, but if we weren't suck sticks in the mud, we'd probably get more done on the population front."  The spoon got stuck between blue lips once again and bounced. "On the other hand, I don't think the higher ups would be happy with us changing our image from sturdy stalwart defenders to hedonists that would give Risa a run for their latinum."  Zark paused for another moment and saw her bowl was empty then looked around and her eyes lit up.  "Ooh. Pie!"  Taking a moment to turn the wedge towards Enyd, she tilted the plate "Would you like some?"

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #39
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

“Thank you,” Enyd extended a plate the proprietor had given them for sharing purposes and waited until she had a generous helping before she spoke again, “I actually had a massive crush on one of our Andorian instructors during our cold weather survival training conducted on Andoria. The man’s voice was pure honey, and I swear he could stare a woman into a climax.” She took a bite and stopped long enough to emit her own milder version of the moan of pleasure that Zark had done before. “This is quite good.” Washing down her next bite with some of her drink, Enyd sighed, “I never did anything with the instructor aside from fantasies. I felt there was a barrier we shouldn’t cross during the training process, and then I didn’t quite understand the notion of quads and relationships either. I thought it would be enticing him to cheat on his spouses if I ever said something. Another friend, Andorian, told me that while some quads may view extracurricular mating in that way, most, because of what you just explained, would not.”

She allowed a long enough pause in the conversation to finish off the pie as well as the soup she’d received.

“I think I have a type now that I look back. Strong build, though not necessarily muscular or tall, just strong enough to carry me, I suppose. Good eye contact skills, deep voice, well-spoken.” Enyd sighed, going dreamy-eyed for a moment as she recalled in quick order all the men she’d crushed on over the years. “A large number had facial hair but not all so I guess that’s just a plus.” Giving another hearty sigh, she had to shake herself to look back to Zark. “What are your favorite qualities among your quad? Or, if I may be so bold, your other chosen…participants?

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #40
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark did smile indulgently when Enyd pointed out the practical difference between the official stance on extra-marital relationships versus the reality and decided to elaborate a bit while Enyd finished off her food. "To be fair, I don't think the proportion of quads that do have sex outside the established relationship is the majority, but we're a very significant minority.  I think it's Irinari where it's the de facto rule since we're so far near the polar ice cap, we can't really afford precipitous population drops, so everyone has to do their bit."  Zark took a thin scoop of pie and ate it before continuing.  "I know for a fact that my quad has helped seven or eight others have children, so all the merrier for us." The Andorian smiled.  "I'd like to say that my wife is the one whose doing most of the contributing since she enjoys sex the most.  I'd put money down though that it's Ryn though. He was a bit of a xeno prude, but his sperm have always been strong."

The shapely Andorian gullet was still merrily bouncing her spoon in her mouth to get the last essence of the pie while she listened to Enyd discuss a very dreamy sounding 'male' Andorian that she'd had during her introduction to cold weather.  She did briefly consider if he'd like to have a roll in the snow bank as it were since he did sound much like her Thaan, Shrav.  This comparison did bring up a couple of memories that set her back to dreamily staring, mainly snuggled on a chalet balcony, a couple cups of hot tea, and a spectacular view of the mountains and forests.  There was also the fact that his strong solid hands had been roaming quite a bit, but there was no need to mention that. 

When Enyd asked about her preferred traits, she had to stop and think about it for a moment and realized she was going to spill about Shrav anyway.  "Well, let's see. My Thaan, Shrav, his hands are just amazing.  Gotta have good strong ones as a vet for the farms in the district, but his touch is just so delicate at the same time.  Probably the kindest soul I know."  Her dreamy smile stayed on before it turned to a smirk. "Ryn.  He's got a fantastic mind.  I think he should have been a university professor, but he loves the uncomplicated delight children have, and that smile when he talks about the kids...."  The Zhen trailed off for a moment before her eyes turned mischievous. "I called him the xeno prude since he was okay with the idea of mating outside the quad, but he wasn't too enthused about bringing in non-Andorian's.  That was until my friend from Risa came over and broke him of that notion.  As far as I can tell, she had all the hedonistic values of a Risian, and a first class science brain to go with it.  The way she used her tongue and fingers was well, that's not genial to the discussion.  Where was I?  Right, then there's Ryzit, my insatiable wife."

Zark took a moment to look out the window as her mind's eye carried her off down memory lane for a moment and she sighed contentedly then turned back to her human companion. "She's the one that's the most in tune with all of us. I guess it makes sense since she'd a cop, and a good one.  She's very good at reading all of us and the dynamics of a situation."  The Andorian sighed and ran her hand through her hair and took a sip of tea.  "I think it's the need to be so hard at times that makes it hard on her being so empathic, that need to separate out her emotions while using her ability to read people at the same time.  Manifests itself in a neediness and generosity at home." Zark tapped her spoon for a moment. "I guess the simplest way to describe how I decide if someone is going to be a participant is if they have a good heart and a bit of spice to them."

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #41
[ Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Now that all their food had been delivered and Zark was to a sufficiently distracted and appetite-related satiation level, Enyd felt it was a perfectly acceptable time to tell the poor woman the real reason for their excursion. They were so far into it that Zark couldn't back out if she felt it pertinent to do so, but likewise, they weren't so far into it that they couldn't regroup and get better intel than what Enyd was operating on -- which, by now, was at least ten hours old.

"Speaking of geographical deviations," Enyd swirled the contents of her glass as she spoke, "About three hours northeast from here is an old military base, long abandoned. Rumor has it that it's overgrown now with some spectacular flowering vines whose sap can be used for healing purposes, and the nectar from the flowers have been a known aphrodisiac for centuries. I thought we could go explore the area first, once we finish with our food."

She was vaguely curious if Zark remembered the conversation with the Castellan and Javec or if the recovery time from her excessive trauma had somehow knocked it from her short-term memory.

"It is also the last known location of a certain Cardassian war criminal and his Orion and Bajoran associates. I thought we could do the official channels a favor by unofficially checking it out, ascertaining how recently the area may have been vacated, if it had ever been used, or, perhaps, see if anyone was still knocking about who should technically be behind bars." Enyd's gaze darted from the Andorian's face to the food laden table and back again. "Once we finished eating and getting our strength up, of course."

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #42
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark did have the drama to fall on her face as she looked on incredulously at what the junior diplomat was proposing. Long abandoned military bases? Aphrodisiac flowers? Cardassian have that kind of thing?   The Zhen giggled at the idea of the two of them going flower picking then being overwhelmed by the perfume. She was very sure she would come off worse in this escapade since she knew how lavacious she was and this flower would simply force her to toss away her inhibitions. She was also sure that if Enyd only preferred the male figure, her show would probably have the human reconsider her options on the female form.

Such humour quickly faded as Enyd brought up a point that quickly had the Andorian glaring and she had to stop for a moment as she waved a hand in front of her face as if trying to get rid of a horrid smell. "Enyd, granted, I'm in charge of keeping you safe, but we're talking exploration of a what amounts to an unexplored ruin. Isn't this something that should be taken care of by the Cardassian military?

Zark decided to list off the problems they were going to encounter, but then decided that her paranoia was high enough that the restaurant wasn't the best place to be discussing something like this. The security officer went mum after calling for the bill and put on a brilliant smile as the proprietor thanked them profusely and a little pompously for helping to bring in more customers than was the norm. When asked where they were going next, Zark cryptically replied with 'Just seeing the sights.' Looping one blue arm into the human's, the two headed outside and began walking.

Zark smiled as she walked, but her tone was anything but jovial. "You're talking about walking into the equivalent of an unexplored ruin. Ships have teams for that sort of expedition. A passing couple glanced at the alien pair and Zark smiled at them, hoping they didn't notice her antennae practically lying flat on her head in a sign of aggressive discontent. And she huffed as she took Enyd down another street. "At the very least, I need a utility belt with a tricorder, med pack, phaser, maybe a rifle, armour.... You need armour too. Does this place have basements? Do we need climbing equipment? How about schematics and codes?"

Zark whirled the human to face her and while she was smiling, it didn't make it past her nose as her eyes looked like they were ready to poke holes in Enyd's head to see if she had answers. "Please tell me you have access codes and schematics, maybe another dozen people coming along like engineers, doctors, maybe a platoon of marines?" Then another thought crossed her mind. "And how do you expect me to go exploring and ass kicking looking like this?!"

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #43
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd allowed Zark to steer them around while she verbally processed Enyd’s suggestion. She was half-tempted to merely watch the Andorian’s antennae as they swayed, flattened, and swerved forward as she spoke. But she knew better than to observe one physical quirk when trying to determine someone’s true feelings. Zark’s vocal modulation and other mannerisms seemed to be working in Enyd’s favor, with the longer they aimlessly walked while Zark processed, the more she seemed to be not only resigned to the concept but also, potentially, in favor of it.

Only once Zark seemed to have exhausted herself verbally, giving her apparently the main issue—lack of resources and attire preparation for such a mission—did Enyd seek to respond.

“My informant in the Cardassian military has assured me that while they’ve stopped by this area, they certainly didn’t scour it as deeply as he felt they should. He fears that there may be some sympathizers in the military who are feeding them misinformation, causing them to chase their tails elsewhere.” Enyd gently looped her arm through Zark’s and tugged her new friend to follow down a series of winding streets that grew increasingly narrow and the turns more obscure as she spoke. “We will need everything you listed, though no engineers, doctors, or marines are sitting on the sidelines waiting for a call. However, I know exactly where to get those supplies, and we won’t be without help.”

At this, Enyd entered in a code on an access panel that a casual observer could easily overlook. The portion of the wall they’d been standing by slid open, revealing the already smiling figure of Javec.

“Hello there,” his eyes traced the length of Enyd before turning warmly to drink in the sight of her Andorian companion similarly, “are you ready for an adventure?”

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #44
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

While Enyd might be happy to see Javec, Zark was more guarded.  The Andorian didn't have an agenda beyond finish her tour and keep this one human alive.  Javec was a politician, there were always angles and schemes to be played out, and she had just fallen into one of them.  Zark glared daggers at Enyd for she knew this particular adventure was going to be no good. Never mind there were wanted criminals that had hired the assassins, but the calibre of the bad guys was going to be tough at the very least.  If Javec was picking the targets, then that made them high priority and very dangerous.  The security officer was going to tap her combadge and get the two of them out when Javec placatingly held up his hand.  "Please Ensign zh’Ptrell, hear me out before you wisk Miss Madsen away."

Zark's hand stopped a mere centimeter away from activation and her glare.  His face actually looked sincere and serious, but the Andorian wasn't sure how genuine it was, still, she let him continue, but didn't move her fingers. "Ensign, nobody just takes a shot at the Castellan's, especially with people on the inside.  We came perilously close to losing the leader of the government, and a moderate who is willing to work to rebuild our society without restoring to the delusion of glory and nostalgia that drove our people before hand."  Javec gave Zark a moment to absorb that and if he was disappointed her finger still wouldn't move away from the communications device, he didn't let it show. "He's a pragmatic man and at the end of the day, the best chance for the peace to hold and be built into something that will last.  He's working to balance the past and future. Losing him would only cause us to look to the past and bring back another round of blood letting."

Zark stared at Javec and she could see the plee for aid not in his face, but it was there in his eyes, and her fingers slowly came down to her side. "You realize I'm only one person and as .... resourceful as Enyd is, it's a tall order for one to three people to be able to traverse a whole underground base on their own."  Javec nodded at this. "We will have some help. A commando team that attacked another hideout nearby will be joining us.  They didn't know we were coming, so we think we got everyone in that cave.  They lost a man in the attack and when they found out it was a false target, they were quite displeased."  Zark quirked an eyebrow at this new piece of information. "They know their lives are there to be risked, but not wasted in operations that have no end and are only designed to get people killed." It was a common feeling that Zark had, and was the main reason there was always so much grief for Intelligence people, since if they got it wrong, or were turned, other people got hurt.

"And you trust them? Vengeance is one thing, but will they be that reliable all the time?  From what I'm seeing, you have problems higher up and they're starting to filter down to the field."  The security officers tasted warily. Javec nodded his acceptance of this point. "This were picked becuase they're reputed to be the most apolitical members of the military I could get my hands on.  When the Jem'Hadar started rampaging across the world, they took to the streets to fight them without orders. The team is actually under strength since those killed in the fighting still haven't been replaced."  Javec shrugged." I apologize Ensign, but it's the best I can do under the circumstances without attracting the attention of people who really want to do us harm."

Zark looked over at Enyd and wondered if any of this was off putting to the attache and if there was going to be an outbreak of sanity that would cause her to decline taking part. Seeing none, the Andorian sighed. "Okay, fine, we'll go hunting, but I'm going to let the embassy know when we start our descent.  It'll be too late for them to stop us, but at the same time, they'll know where to find us if something happens."  Javec considered this and nodded his acceptance and smiled at the way events were unfolding. "Ensign, you're not too bad of a negotiator.  Maybe you should consider joining Miss Madsen as an attache." Zark snorted at this. "At this rate, we're both getting arrested and sent home.  Now point me at the equipment."

Javec nodded and pointed at what amounted to a broom closet for Zark and she took one more moment to glare at Enyd as her tone dropped somewhere below surface of Andoria. "Next time, you try something this underhanded, us having words are going to be the least of your worries."  The Andorian huffed and went into room.  The first thing she spotted was her suit and her face twisted into one of irate exasperation and she took it off the hanger and stormed out. "Javec, what the frozen hells is this?!  We're not going onto a holodeck!" 'This' was a one piece dark suit that had a slight lustre, very similar to the standard Cardassian military uniforms.  This one seemed a lot thinner though and sort of flopped around as Zark waved it at Javec. Turning to Enyd, she held a finger out"There's one in there for you as well. Enyd, so it isn't that funny." Javec grimaced.  Obviously Starfleet had different ideas of what constituted infiltration wear, so he took a shallow breath before giving his explanation. "It's an infiltration suit used by the military. The material is very similar to what our soldiers use, but in this case, it's also been modified for thermal and electromagnetic signature reduction.   It also has some kinetic and energy resistance, so you'll be somewhat protected from things like knives and phasers.

Zark was still miffed by its appearance since it looked like some holonovelists impression of a spy's catsuit.  The only areas that looked somewhat practical were the padding over the torso, back, arms, and legs. That was probably the extra protection. "Fine. I guess it'll be useful then." Zark grumbled out with less than good grace as she stalked back into the room to get changed before adding a veritable haul of equipment for what amounted to a trek, and maybe an assassination. Thinking about it, the question of whether they should be doing, and even the legal position to do so floated into her mind as she secured a knife to her calf before pulling on a pair of combat boots.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #45
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

“I’ve got you covered on that, zh’Ptrell.” Enyd paused briefly to pull a device from her knapsack. After glancing at Javec a moment, then Zark, Enyd pressed a button on the device, and a consistent blinking light was emitted from it. “I left a beacon of sorts back on base. This is the remote trigger, and now that it’s activated, the beacon will make itself known to the base commander within the next thirty minutes with our basic coordinates and plan. The message on the beacon is triple-encrypted to ensure that only the base commander gets the message. Whether they clap us in irons and send us packing is entirely dependent on how successful we are with what we’re about to do. Yes, we have some hardliners on base who quote regulations even when you can see evidence those same regulations are a part of the present problem. But there are enough pragmatic minds determined to get this bedlam handled on base, including my department head and the base commander, that if we get things done right and get our man, we won’t get medals because that’ll be too embarrassing, but we also won’t be shipped out.”

Enyd laughed when, moments later, Zark waved around the infiltration suit as if it were a joke. If the Andorian had known how much literal blood had been shed to create that piece and knew that it worked, she might have treated it with more respect. But it was Zark, so there was no telling. While Javec left them in some semblance of privacy to suit up while he did the same, Enyd turned to Zark and smiled.

“You were told to keep an eye on me because I do this often. I’ve not yet been shipped out or demoted because I’ve been successful. This won’t be the first time I’ve partnered up with Javec doing something like this, though,” she winced when her elbow got stuck, “this is one of the more complex missions we’ve done together.” Enyd cursed and looked pleadingly at her friend, “My arm’s stuck. Can you help me?”

With the tight suit up her legs and over her hips, Enyd had one arm cocked at an odd angle, causing her chest to thrust up and out, while the other arm continued to flail about behind her in an effort to grab the wayward suit sleeve. Though tight, the suit allowed the wearer to keep on their undergarments if desired and, given present company, Enyd so desired. Her lacey white underwear was still visible due to the whole front of the suit gaping. However, her lacey bra was doing little good as she continued to shimmy and shake in an effort to get untangled and suited properly. While she was not the most well-endowed female, she was well-proportioned for her svelte form. It seemed with every grunted shimmy, her breasts came that much closer to bouncing out of their lacey confines.

“Oh,” Enyd’s eyes widened as her feet got tangled in her discarded clothing on the floor, “fuck me!”

Her body fell backward, one arm still pinned beneath her torso, the other flailed out to the side, hand landing on Javec’s boot. Javec stared down at her with a mixture of emotions working across his features before he broke eye contact and looked to Zark as if he wondered which of them should move first to assist Enyd.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #46
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

Zark had been grudgingly shimying her own way into the tight one piece and maybe because she'd had more cent training in gymnastics and was willing to endure quite a bit of pain to reach her objective, she was having a smoother time of getting into the suit than Enyd was.  The only main area that was causing both women problems was around their chest and since Zark's was more substantial then Enyd's, her face twisted through various levels of discomfort as she worked to get the material up and she had to jump up and down a few times. Since Zark had chosen comfort over style, her standard issue sports bra had no problems keeping her ample bosom contained.   The material was somewhat conducive to sliding on to her clothing, so perhaps she didn't have it that bad.

This assessment was confirmed when Zark heard swearing and a crash.  Said swearing being distinctly feminine, the Andorian didn't need to guess what had happened and turned to see Enyd bound up by her own suit on the floor. If she wasn't so annoyed with the human, Zark probably would have broke out laughing at the sight.  The temptation to do so did war with her annoyance and it was just enough to slow down her thought process as Javec looked into Zark's eyes to see who was going help the hapless diplomat. It might have been unconscious on the Zhen's part as she raised an eyebrow and smirked. She also made no move to help as she turned her own attention back to getting her suit sealed.

Javec wanted to curse the blue woman for putting him this position as he looked at the tangled woman in front of him and sighed. "Give me a moment here..." It was very short as he reached down and began to undo some of the knots that Enyd had gotten herself into, mainly just enough so that she could stand. Leaning over, his muscles barely strained to grip the human under her arm pits and he began to pull her up. His eyes didn't leave hers, but there was more to vision than what was directly in front.  While the buxom Andorian had put on quite a bit of a show getting into her suit, it didn't quite match the picture right in front of him of Enyd's cleavage with an interesting selection of white neglige underneath. White wasn't the usual colour many on Cardassia chose for their clothing and seeing the slight sheen of a material with some reflective properties, like silk, caught his attention and he looked down anyways. He was still a seasoned politico though and his head snapped back up and he looked into her eyes once more. His strong hands though, moved on their own as they slid down and under Enyd's chest to the tag.  It was a thrill in his own mind though his face betrayed nothing as they brushed under her mounds in the lightest of touches.

Almost too soon it was over as he gave a small grin and gripped the tag, then began to seal the rest of the suit. He may have lost some track of time though as he heard a cough and a heavily smirking Andorian standing in an exaggerated stance of patience with her arms crossed over her chest.  She apparently had finished getting ready with a belt around her waist, a phaser pistol in it's holster, and a rifle on her shoulder.  There was even a coil of rope hung across her body along with a small rucksack. "I take it we're almost ready."   Ensign Zark asked still smirking, "and how are we getting to this base?  Is there a transporter nearby since I have no idea how far it is by walking."

Javec recovered quickly as he smiled smoothly. "Indeed, the base is some ways away, and a transport in that area would be too noticeable.  There's a vehicle outside that I'll drive, though we'll need to walk the rendezvous area so the commando team can get us in."  Zark nodded at this and waited till Enyd was ready before placing one hand on the pistol, but didn't draw as she headed for the door and opened it.  Taking a quick look outside, she made an ostentatious gesture to Javec. "Well, let's get this show on the road, so lead on."

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #47
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd’s gaze found a particularly interesting spot on the far wall and as Javec had mercy on her and helped her up and assisted in righting the suit’s wrongs, Enyd kept as much attention on the spot as possible. Allowing her mind and body to focus on Javec’s proximity or how delicious the lightest of touches from his fingers felt would only make this moment all the more awkward. Still, her body betrayed her ever so subtly by having her lean closer to his warmth during the interlude, making it all the more obvious when Zark coughed, and they sprung apart like indecent schoolchildren.

She intentionally ignored Zark’s assessing gaze as she finished getting her gear together, half listening to Javec’s response to the Andorian’s question. So intentional about avoiding the woman’s probing stares and unvoiced questions, Enyd was the first out the door and standing by the off-roading vehicle Javec had procured for their mission. As if putting space between them would help her avoid Zark’s questions and the temptation that Javec offered, Enyd jumped into the back seat of the four-seater and made a point of rechecking all her gear and the safety belt of the vehicle instead of watching either the Cardassian or Andorian approach.

Javec was a careful driver, maneuvering through the few narrow streets necessary before they could pass into more open territory. It reminded Enyd of riding on the four-wheelers back on the ranch, and for a brief moment, she half-wished that was what they were doing instead of the fool-hardy mission she’d forced herself and Zark into. Glancing first at Javec, then at Zark, Enyd smiled, easily picturing both individuals enjoying being on Yew Valley Farm, working with the horses and cattle, and enjoying big, home-cooked meals.

The drive was surprisingly relaxing, and without meaning to, Enyd fell asleep. She was so deeply asleep, in fact, that she began to drool and was quite unaware when the vehicle finally stopped some time later.

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #48
[Ensign XamotZark zh’Ptrell (Ens. Zark) | Cardassia Prime] Attn: @Ellen Fitz

The Andorian joined in the final equipment check, then hopped in with Enyd and took a quick final look as Javec started the vehicle and took off from the city into the country side.  There were questions on her mind about how they'd ended up in this particular adventure. It was hard to decide if she should start asking questions, or focus more on their security situation.  The latter won out as she kept her eyes peeled to the quickly passing terrain.  Enyd seemed to take the whole thing in stride and she'd passed out.  Instead of heading straight for the abandoned base, Javec took a side road exit and began driving through the trees till he reached a dilapidated cabin.  "Let me go outside first.  They know me."

Zark nodded at this and took a moment to tie her hair into a tighter pony tail before unsnapping the holster of her pistol and pulled it out.  She calmly laid the weapon on her lap as she mentally reached out with her senses.  She couldn't really explain it, and it was something that defied description from the Andorian medical establishment, but her war time experience had increased the sensitivity of her link that came with her antennae, making it difficult for people to sneak up on her.  Quite a few Jem'hadar were fertilizing the ground in Kalandra when they thought they could invisibly approach the Andorian woman.  She was well aware of Javec and Enyd, but there were other figures out there.

It was less of a well defined feeling, and more of a gut one.  This proved true as one of them stepped out and greeted Javec.  Zark tapped Enyd awake as she watched the exchange between the two Cardassians. Zark watched in complete stillness and then it felt like the soldier was staring right at her through the window. She stared right back and she could feel his suspicion.  Javec waved for them to come out as they approached the vehicle, but the Andorian could see that the soldier wasn't really quite relaxing, and she couldn't blame him since she was quite sure she was the source of the wariness. Placing her pistol back in the holster, she stepped out and the trees rustled as four more armed soldiers came out of the foliage with their rifles aimed in their direction, but she could feel mainly at her.

Javec had the sense to look somewhat embarrassed by the whole affair as he worked to explain what was going on while pulling Enyd out of the line of fire. "I'm sorry Ensign, but they're not a group that has survived this long withough being cautious and while they know about Ensign Madsen, they don't know you, and to be frank and honest about it, they need to make sure you're not a, what was that term? A mole here to sell them out."  Zark glared at Javec for this. She hadn't really expected anything else since she would have been equally suspicious. What upset her was that this could not be a rather gentle affair that Starfleet would have likely used. They were Cardassians, and there was a deserved streak of brutality they could use. Her mental scales weighed the likelihood of that occurring and came up with not likely since they'd have to kill her afterwards rather than admit they'd tortured a Starfleet Officer, then Enyd and Javec would also have to disappear as well. A brief glance around her at the solders faces seemed to indicate they also knew this since they hadn't gone any further than keeping weapons pointed at her.

She decided to play it cool for now. "I see, what does this little test involve and what happens if I refuse?" It was the soldier who answered as he grinned though Zark wasn't sure if he was leering. "Not too much. We'll just do a couple of quick non-invasive scans followed by a body search." at this, Zark felt a refusal simmering on her tongue, but her mouth tightened as she waited for the other shoe to drop. "If you refuse, we knock you out and leave you in a nice little cabin. Incommunicado of course. We'll let you go when and if we get out." He shrugged casually and continued in a tone of complete indifference. "and if we don't make it out, well you starve, or get eaten by the wildlife."

Zark looked around again and didn't see much choice if she was going to keep her human alive. "I guess, I don't have much choice in this" The Andorian concluded as she shot a look at Enyd and Javec. "So how do we do this?" The soldier nodded. "I'm Ghin Torlan by the way and it's quite simple.  Place your hands on the hood and we'll give you a quick pat down for anything else."  The Andorian grumbled but complied as she turned to place her hands on the metal and took a moment to place her feet shoulder width apart.  The sounds of boots crunching on the ground, then came the sound of alloy sliding against leather as the pistol was removed.  A slight tug with the same sound let Zark know her knife was gone.  These were placed aside, then a strong and firm hands began gripping and brushing her leg.  That was to be expected, and she clamped down on the humiliation of the moment, having to surrender to the degradation.  This had better be worth it to get these...  "Yeow!!" Zark yelped as she felt a hand grab her crotch and squeeze.  She gave the soldier a dirty look and was given a sneer in reply. "Watch where your hands go mister.." Zark started and was cut off by Torlan. "Be glad the politician here talked us out of stripping you and doing a cavity search sUt’tert."  The Andorian snarled in return.  The search seemed thorough and relatively professional, even when they'd gotten to her chest and had to scrunch and squeeze it which made the Andorian bite her lower lip as she let out a series of grunts at the indignity being inflicted.  With a few final hard brushes and grabs of her hair, she could feel the soldier step away. "She's clean."  "I concur."  The two solders reported and stepped away.

"Good, let's get this over with so I can go back and wash this used targ off me."  Ensign Zark grumped as she stood back up and moved to retrieve her equipment. Ghin Torlan laughed and some of the others chuckled.  "She's got some fire in her Javec.  You should trade up.  Maybe it'll make you less of a stiff shirt." The leader turned his gaze back to the blue woman.  "Doesn't hurt to be paranoid in our business. Keeps people alive, but yes, it's time to move on."  Pulling an old fashioned acetate map, he laid it out on the hood to begin his breifing.  While Zark took in the map, she silently thanked the spirits that no comment had been made about the knife in her boot.  Starfleet Intelligence wasn't the greatest secret service in the galaxy, but they sure knew how to use one of the most advanced technological bases in the quadrant.  "We have a one hour hike to the base iteslf, then we're going to get in through a secondary access chamber here..."

sUt’tert = sex worker

Re: [2376] Entanglement of Chaos

Reply #49
[Ensign Enyd Isolde Madsen | Cardassia Prime ] Attn: @RyeTanker

Enyd woke up with an embarrassing snort, swiping her hand against her mouth and the bit of drool that’d started to leak out. Pushing off the seat with both hands, she swiveled her head around to look at the clearing they’d stopped in, quickly spotting Javec standing with one of their contacts outside the building a few yards off. She didn’t have to ask her Andorian “hostage” friend whether she felt nervous or not. Enyd could tell that the woman was, if not nervous, hyper-alert with how quickly her antennae flicked this way and that.

She followed Zark’s example and moved to exit the vehicle. Only, as per the norm for her, did her feet get caught up in the supplies on the vehicle’s floorboard. Where Zark stepped out with the feline grace of a predator, Enyd tripped, bounced, jerked, and finally stood on her own feet, nearly swaying onto her arse. By the time she stood upright, no longer the victim of chaos or gravity—for the time being at least—Javec and the others were closer, with Javec offering an apology to Zark as he gently tugged Enyd to the side by a light grip on her elbow.

Enyd grimaced. When she first met this group, she remembered getting this search and hated that they still needed to do it. She didn’t fault them for doing it, and from how Zark begrudgingly complied, it seemed the Andorian also understood the motive behind the search. She did her best to convey courage to her friend as she leaned around Ghin Torlan standing between them, refraining from a thumbs-up but offering an empathic nod of acknowledgment. With no one else to swat with frustration when one guard was a bit rougher with Zark than they had been with Enyd, she turned to Javec. He merely took the light hit with a smirk.

His smirk twisted into a neutral expression with hardened eyes when Torlan quipped about trading up. Enyd kept her gaze averted, occupying herself with checking her gear for the umpteenth time. She dutifully shuffled forward when Torlan pulled out the map and began discussing their plan. Enyd had already been briefed by Javec when they’d put their devious minds together for this scheme, though at the time, this had been one of a few half-dozen options for investigating the base. Standing next to Zark as Torlan continued on the briefing, she bumped her hip against her friend’s, reaching down and squeezing Zark’s hand in camaraderie. Though what friendship they’d started making at the start of this excursion could come to naught if things went sideways and they were killed or, worse yet, things got dicey but they survived. Enyd doubted the Andorian would let Enyd live it down.

An hour and a half later, Enyd was certain of two things. One, the goddess of chaos really hated her. Two, Zark had excellent reasons for murdering her.

“Do you have anything akin to a lubricant?” She whispered at the blue-skinned fighter, doing her best to keep from wiggling against the discomfort of having the partially closed iris maintenance tunnel door pressing against her waist, thereby making the thing twist further shut. “Or something that can wedge it open more?”

Thankfully, Enyd had been bringing up the rear of their small group, their numbers divided into four main groups upon arrival. Enyd had been placed with Javec, Zark, and Serbi Drasat, and it’d been her damned foot that’d knocked against a hidden trigger in the maintenance tunnel that caused the door to start to iris shut. Now she sat on all four, her upper torso in the same area as the other three, and her lower torso sitting lonely in the tunnel. Despite the hiccup, they were all thankful that no alarms seemed to have been triggered by her oopsy.

“Uh,” Enyd’s eyes grew wide, “I think there’s some sort of creature crawling over my feet.” Fighting panic, she looked between Zark and Javec, Drasat sitting as point at the junction up ahead. “Help?”

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