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Topic: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed (Read 1142 times) previous topic - next topic

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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #25
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

Fisher had been expecting a boil over of some kind from Sariah during Brody's barbed tirade, which had been directed almost entirely in her direction, which was a somewhat pleasant change of pace from the usual manner in which he seemed to be the target of everyone's ire. But he'd known that it would cause more bad than good to let such an occurrence happen and was exceedingly glad to have managed to intervene before it could. Maybe even let a little bit of that bubbling fury drain off harmlessly in the process, as he sought to address the concerns presented by Brody on her behalf. For the most part, it seemed to have worked too, that is until Brody poked just one too many times, and Fisher knew what was about to come in reaction, because he'd already been fortunate enough to have received it himself, several times in fact. Resigned to what would be her reply, and almost able to predict each of the words as they were spoken, Fisher let his head slump slightly as a hand went to his temples.

"You know what, 'Mason', you're right. Starfleet has done one hell of a job so far. Haven't they, 'Bishop'?" she spat back at him, the venom in her words more reserved for the newer of the two spies, though it still sought to sting at the other. "And in case 'YOU' weren't up to speed, the whole reason my home even fell to the fucking Dominion..." Her black eyes locked on Brody as she pointed an accusatory finger in his direction before she resumed capitalizing on this opportunity to vent, as it had been presented to her. "...is because your Starfleet were caught with their pants down. Out on some stupid training exercise when they were supposed to be holding the damned line." She let her glare shift to Fisher for just a moment, before it returned to Brody, and she resumed her equally as barbed tirade. "And by the way, what exactly do you think has been going on here? You think we choose to live in this level of squalor? Out of some kind of fun? You forget that we've already lost hundreds of thousands of people due to your Starfleet, and their abject failures? Huh? So, you'll excuse me, if I don't feel overly appreciative of your bull-shit 'we're trying our best' sentiment. As far as I'm concerned, you can shove that shit right up your ass, along with your condescending tone."

Having puffed out a bit of air at the awkward tension, Fisher had then averted his green-eyes from either of them.

"So... stay or go. I honestly don't give a shit. This fight began without your help, and it can certainly also be won without it." At that, she'd had her say and went back to appraising the layout of the map.

Silence then seemed to linger for a moment before Fisher led Brody off from the staging area, headed for the cantina for a quick bite to eat. Knowing that it would serve all involved parties some good if there was a bit of distance for a short moment. He hadn't even come to know this 'Mason' in the slightest yet, but he had already certainly ascertained his skill for pissing people off. It was second only to his incessant need to whine and moan. Something he naturally defaulted to as Fisher stood opposite him, tending to a plate of the stew that 'Cook' had fashioned out of the standard issue emergency field rations that they'd been surviving on thus far. Oddly enough, he'd long since developed a liking of the stringy texture of re-hydrated protein bits that came in those rations, regardless of how chewy and dried out they were. They were still somewhat pleasing to the palette, maybe his more-so than the others, but he appreciated the food that was turned out. Today's offering even had a slightly intriguing tangy zip to the flavor, he noted, and wondered what 'Cook' had added to the concoction so as to elicit such a taste.

But as he'd brought another spoonful of the stew to his lips, listening to the other Spy make assertions about Sariah's leadership, and how luck didn't make someone a good leader, he'd considered for a moment to correct that line of thought, but let it go. Sariah wasn't just lucky, she had made some deft decisions in her time thus far, that he might not have made in her position, and would have likely spelled their doom as a result. But his attention wasn't caught by Brody's inaccurate consideration, instead by a pair of worried black-eyes that stared up at him and Brody from a corner of the cantina. One of the children, he figured; she was watching him and Brody as they shared their conversation, and Fisher felt his heart sink a little in realization of what all this was likely doing to such a young girl. How traumatizing it must have been to have to hide in a place like this, while literal scaly monsters were seeking you out, so as to end your young life before it ever truly began. It ate at Fisher's conscience, as he remembered the truth in Sariah's accusations; it had been Starfleet's fault that the Dominion had so easily come to dominate Betazed. They had allowed this to happen.

His appetite leaving him, Fisher set the plate down on a table as he turned his attention back to Brody, and immediately felt the need to roll his eyes. It was more bitching, as it always was with him. How did this guy ever find the time necessary to make it through Starfleet, given how much of it he devoted to whining? As it was though, he wasn't about to let the man get under his skin, at least not worse than he already had. Looking back to the young girl huddled in the corner, he felt obligated to offer her a reassuring smile of sorts. If he couldn't guarantee her survival, he could at least make her feel a little more at ease in the moment.

"Y'know..." he began to speak, letting that false little smile linger on his face as he turned back to Brody, not wanting it to appear so obvious that the two were arguing. "...with that 'me against everyone' attitude of yours, you strike me as a Phillies fan." It was an assumption of course, but from what Fisher had read of the old files concerning Major League Baseball from the late 20th and 21st centuries, the fans of that particular team had garnered a somewhat difficult reputation among other fans. They were notoriously passionate, to the point of standing rather viciously in opposition of other fans, even violently so. They were the ultimate exemplars of a stand-offish attitude, and that too had fit Brody like a glove.

But before Brody could respond in kind. Fisher accepted the invitation to focus on matters that actually did matter.

"When the second team gets back, which should be any moment now, we'll have the location of the Dominion signal jammers." Turning his shoulder, so that there was no chance that a majority of the others could hear what he was saying, though as they were telepaths it might not have made that much of a difference. Still, it seemed like the appropriate thing to do, so as to at least look like they were of a unified front on things. "Once we have that, we can get access to one of them, and insert Brighton's algorithm, which will in turn trick the jamming network into serving as signal amplifiers, giving the Rena, and other resistance cells a means to communicate with one another, and even directly coordinate with Starfleet." Running a hand up to his chin, Fisher scratched at his beard as he resumed sharing the details with Brody. "And at that point, we can send you on your merry way." Determined to let it sit at that, he knew it wasn't any time or place to address the obvious point of contention between the two men. He figured that they'd cross that road when the right time came and was more than happy to let it sit unresolved until then. Especially as he was in no way willing to abandon Betazed whilst the Dominion were still holding so tightly onto it. He'd already decided when first volunteering for the mission, that it was as good a hill as any to die on.

It could be the one legitimate bit of good he'd do during what he was certain would be his final mission as an Intelligence Operative. Four years had been strenuous enough on him and his psyche and had taken an incredible toll on his will to remain the good person that he was. He had every confidence that if he didn't step away from it soon, that it would claim what little vestiges of humanity that still lingered within him. So, be it in death, or in walking away, when Betazed was freed, and the war came to an end, he would have tendered his resignation from Starfleet Intelligence, and no one short of the hand of God himself would talk him out of it.

"Red Sox, by the way." He simply stated, so as to answer a question that he was certain Brody wasn't at all interested in asking. It was just another jibe at the man's rigid unflexing exterior, and another attempt at demonstrating how Fisher wasn't going to be bothered by him.

An instant later there was a shuffling of footsteps from down the corridor, and at the head of it came a boisterous laugh that he immediately recognized as Albert Brighton.

"We back! We got it!" he hollered out in his deep baritone.

Grinning in appreciation of that fact, Fisher poked his head out into the corridor as Brighton strode confidently by him, headed for the staging area to debrief with Sariah. "Speak of the Devil."

Falling in behind Brighton was the blue-skinned Dr. Betrull, the resident field Physician of the Rena Resistance Cell. He'd come to Betazed to lead a Starfleet Medical clinic in the city just prior to the bombardment and had been forced into hiding along with all other Starfleet personnel afterwards. Of the Rena members, he was by far the quietest, but whenever he did offer something up, it was generally worth listening to. Behind him was Ebirone, one of his big arms slung over the shoulder of the cranberry-haired slender woman that had made up the third part of their mission to sabotage the Industrial Replicators; she had managed to slip away during the Jem'Hadar ambush, and had clearly made her way back to the Bivouac via the canal, as had been theorized earlier. She had a look in her face that spoke to the absurdity of Ebirone's overly-affectionate appreciation of her, though there was a broad smile across her face that spoke to it being a somewhat mutual feeling. Lastly, the runt of the litter, Aatrah chased after them with a face that beamed of delight at having the whole group back together, regardless of however long that would last. Given the relatively sorrowful situation surrounding them, it brought a much-needed ounce of levity to the situation, seeing the goofy little dork filled with such silly confidence, that it even seemed to infect Fisher as he offered his own bright grin in return.

"I guess it's about time to light the match. Let's see where the tinder is stacked the highest." Fisher said simply, falling in behind the retinue.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #26
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Dark eyes, unwavering on the Betazoid woman's almost similar irises, Brody didn't make any effort to back down, spiritually, physically, or otherwise. "His" Starfleet, really? It almost sounded like he had a nationalist on his hands, someone who, even before the invasion, had not felt too kindly for being part of their interstellar family. He wasn't going to reason the importance of training exercises with her, nor the intricacies of fleet deployment in an area that took weeks to traverse at high warp. He had said his piece, and that's what it had all been about. He knew he'd not be able to appeal to reason with someone as emotional as her. Which was funny, because he was probably being ascribed a rather similar notion. Sure, he had been passionate about getting his point across, he was a Starfleet officer first, and everything else later. Questioning that one second would've meant to invalidate every sacrifice he'd made, fighting for it. It would've reduced his life's work to an illusion of dying piece by piece for something that mattered.

"That makes absolutely no sense ..." the man muttered quietly, shaking his head with a resigning sigh, in reply to her last statement, as he turned to follow Bishop out of the room. After all, the woman had just spent about a dozen cubic feet of air trying to pin this whole invasion as a fault on Starfleet. But he had learned, there was a certain sense of logic, or delusion thereof, in what justified a woman's emotional displays. His entire body chemistry may have prevented him from understanding it, and if he had minded only one bit about her, he may have found it in himself to accept it, but ended up just not caring enough. Which oddly enough brought his sympathy for the other operative closer into perspective. Not only because they both seemed to share in the Rena leader's wrath. There was something unifying about the sentiment. But also, he felt even just the slightest bit of respect for the fact that Bishop had managed to endure that treatment for as long as he had and still fought for the cause. Maybe he would have to slightly rethink his preconceptions and ease up on the man a little. After all, he had not tried to get himself killed for at least 20 minutes, not counting the evoked wrath of the dragon.

Watching the man subsequently dive into the stew, like he was under some kind of spell, that made it taste like lobster thermidor, Brody couldn't help but swallow the urge to actually regurgitate his own breakfast. He'd just given himself the shivers. Shaking his head free, with closed eyes, dark orbs focused once more as the other man spoke. Narrowing them immediately, perking his pate slightly to the side as he appraised Bishop, the man had to take a moment to deceiver why this was relevant in this situation. "Just because I hold my 'team' accountable, doesn't mean I am turning on them." he shrugged, letting the notion fall off his broad shoulders as nothing but an odd reference, intended to somewhat characterise his relationship with other protagonists in this mess. He didn't reflect on himself as hard to get along with, but he did have certain expectations that needed to be met, that he was passionate about, that he considered non-negotiable. So yeah, maybe it was rather obvious, even though the reference was of a centuries old cliché.

Even as Bishop continued on the more pressing matters of THIS century, the former operative could not quite shake the curiosity it had sparked, over how the other man would've been too so knowledgeable about ancient earth sports and the long extinct fanbase around it. Blinking a few times, his brain then shifted into a more professional gear, evaluating the facts presented to him. Up until he practically already picked out Brody's farewell card. Crossing his arms, he gave the man a stern look. "I'll be coming back to that." He waved one hand from the confines of the pretzel across his chest. "What's the plan on how to covertly get to an access port to upload the algorithm? I am pretty sure that if we stun, neck-pinch or evaporate even just one of the guards, the station will be taken offline and thoroughly inspected." he posed his first question, appearing as if the prying of loopholes provided particular joy to the man. "And how do you intend to propagate the algorithm throughout the jamming relay network? Connections ARE encrypted and each station is autonomous. I don't think infecting one will yield enough power to transmit through the field and off planet. We should potentially consider infiltrating at least three stations simultaneously in order to boost the chances."

Letting his eyes trail back across the small cantina, Brody seriously gave the plan some more thought. He had not come here to aid the resistance, or even make a damn difference in this rebellion that was brewing, his grander plans for the planet were in consensus with Starfleet's favor for an orbital campaign. Which were already set in motion. "We'll need some sort of distraction ... long enough for your computer nerd to upload the algorithm unnoticed. Making the Dominion belief that, whatever had been attempted, failed." he looked back at Bishop, justifying the definite nature of his suggestion with a brief nod. "Of course, it would sell much better if we'd leave some corpses behind. You think the queen witch would volunteer? I already know YOU wouldn't mind." That was a snide remark, and he actually regretted it the minute it had left his lips ... and that was a rare occurrence. He'd actually developed enough sympathy for the bearded man to value his continued survival. Not only for his mission's sake. He would've hated to come back empty handed, or worse, with a body bag. "And at the danger of repeating myself, I'll take you back, no matter what condition you'll be in and no matter how the mission eventually turns out. If you don't get me killed along the way, that is, for sure."

In the end, however, it had seemed as if Bishop had been unaffected ... he appreciated that. Which was before he spat back a little of his own venom, though. "Well, so you know how to stay loyal in the face of constant defeat, good for you. Any crazy pre-mission superstitions I should look out for?" he replied, the faintest hint of a smile actually tucking on the corner of his lips. Which was the most his stern façade would give way to an actual display of affection towards the comrade. The moment of mutual understanding and a semblance of warmth, as their eyes got lost in the intricacy of one another, however, was cut short, as commotion reverberated from the adjacent corridor. Leaning to his side to ascertain what Bishop was seeing, a group of people, including Ebirone and the kid, the commander irked his brows a little at the other man's non-descriptive prompt. "Sariah come too?" he gave back dryly. Eyes temporarily falling back to the almost empty bowl, Bishop had sat aside, he disgustedly picked up the teetering spoon and dropped it further into the mess, so it wouldn't fall and spray everything across the floor, before leaving the room after his companion.

Shaking his head at the young boy, barely a teen, infecting Bishop with his naïve cheerfulness, Brody actually wished he would be so easily impressionable. But he still felt the heavy coat of darkness, back on his shoulders whenever he was more than just a few decks away from her. The weight of memories easier to bare if shared. But she wasn't here to lighten his load, and the image of her golden hair and sky-blue eyes was a distant memory, that he didn't even want to bring into a place like this. Giving the other man a wearily enthusiastic nod, brows raised temporarily, the tall man positioned himself somewhere along the perimeter of the newly arrived group, orbiting Sariah. For the most part, he simply held back, as they discussed the intel and their approach. She was not the boss of him, he would device his own strategies on the spot, if they didn't align with what these guerrilla warriors had learned from old kung fu movies. Bishop aside, he was easily the most qualified person in the room, professionally trained, yet lacking the misguided compassion and utter desperation that seemed to motivate everyone else. How comforting it was to cling to protocol and procedures, he thought, when the world was falling down around him.

This would certainly be interesting.
  • Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 09:25:45 AM by stardust

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #27
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

His suspicions as to the nature of Brody's personal sports preference, at least in this particular instance, were confirmed, and Fisher couldn't help but let a little shit-eating smirk creep up from the corners of his lips. Anyone who understood the finer points of old North American Sports, the teams that played them, and the fanbases that supported those teams, could draw relatively safe assumptions about certain things. In this instance, it revealed some rather hilariously appropriate aspects of the man. He was stubborn. He was easy to irritate. He felt the world was out to get him. He felt like he was underappreciated. It all fit perfectly so, and for a brief moment, Fisher considered writing something targeted at Starfleet Counselors, recommending that they look into, and potentially make use of sports analogies in their analysis, especially when it seemed to fit a persona so perfectly as it did in this case. Still, it also was a revealing of one redeeming quality in Brody, as it spoke to him having some form of pleasant commonality with Fisher. It also meant he wasn't made up of only ceaseless bitching, and whining. There was more to him after all. Maybe he wasn't such a dick? No. Phillies fans were always dicks. And Brody was definitely a dick.

But at least he wasn't a Yankees fan.

"Yeah, the idea is to come at it from different angles." Fisher began to explain in at least a cursory fashion to Brody, as he knew that a more in-depth briefing would take place shortly. All the same, he figured it best to spell out what he could now, and hopefully avoid any kinds of issues that might crop up later. Though, judging by the man's behavior thus far, Fisher knew he would still voice redundant concerns, and fulfill that inherent need to bitch. "One team distracts the primary focus of the Dominion forces, the other implants the carrier signal. Which, according to Brighton works something like an infection, spreading from one signal jamming repeater to the next until they're all working in the same fashion. A daisy chain effect." Sensing a follow-up concern approaching, he knew to head it off before it could find voice. "Also, the signal is such a minor alteration to the code already built into the Dominion subsystems, that it should go undetected. Apparently, it's an adaptation of coding intercepted from within Dominion territory; from some sort of communications outpost on their side of the line." Fisher was of course referring to the comms station on AR-558, though with a certain ambiguity that didn't reveal specifics that might have compromised Starfleet's knowledge of the installation. There were already plans being made to seize on that facility, though such an operation would take time to pull off. Whether or not Brody had any kind of fore-knowledge of those plans, depended entirely on how in concert he was with Starfleet Intelligence at this point in his career.

Offering a little chortle at the suggestion of leaving a few bodies behind, specifically Sariah's, Fisher had also found the thought relatively amusing in his own right. However, the suggestion that he himself would have also volunteered didn't bite as deeply as Brody likely felt it would have or had intended it to. To a certain point, he was right after all. In fact, the issue as to whether or not Fisher even wanted to survive the Occupation of Betazed, or the Dominion War itself was one that he had been weighing in his own right. It wasn't an easy concept to grapple with, as each of the days that had passed since the one light in his dreary life had gone out, were only seemingly to be made up of a varying range of grays. Every one of his senses had grown dull, and he felt only a loneness that was all-consuming. But he also couldn't escape or avoid the realization that if Nass could have voiced her thoughts on the issue, she would have insisted Fisher to keep going. To live on. To deal with the loss, and to get over it. She would've already been more than enraged at his mere selection of such a suicidal mission, let alone the risks he'd taken as part of it. It was one of a number of confrontations that he was dealing with.

Another being the issue of his and Brody's conflicting will, which still loomed over them, but Fisher wasn't about to engage in that subject, no matter how willing Brody was. Instead, he just let a wry little grin cross his face and opted to shake his head defiantly. The confidence with which Brody seemed to exude his intent, was either meant to intimidate, or demonstrated a clear underestimation of Fisher's own abilities. Or both. Regardless still, he knew short of them resorting to open hostilities, which was a real possibility, he wouldn't be leaving Betazed under someone else's timetable. No matter where, or from whom that timetable originated. The days in which Fisher so readily acceded to every beck, will, and call of Anderson had long since passed. At least, that's what he was trying to convince himself of.

"Unfortunately, she never left." He commiserated with Brody, as the other spy came to join him, not really certain or caring if Sariah had heard the exchange made at her expense. It made little difference, as she'd already had made up her mind with regard to the two of them. After the short trip back down the corridor that led to the staging area, Fisher stopped to stand behind the other members of the Rena Resistance Cell. It was his preference to hang back, out of the lime-light even when it came to matters like mission de-briefings and the such.

"Well?" posed Sariah, as she regarded the mixed bag of individuals that represented the bulk of her fighting force.

Holding up a closed Tricorder, Brighton smiled with utter confidence before taking the opportunity to seize the spotlight. "We got it. Full layout of all Dominion outposts throughout the city, their patrol routes and schedule, and the pièce de résistance, the locations of all Dominion communications jammers throughout the city." Setting the Tricorder down, Brighton then looked back over his shoulder with a smug sense of satisfaction at the others. It was definitely something worth being excited over, as it was literally the crux of the entire next phase of their resistance operations.

Grabbing the Tricorder, Sariah opened it to review the information, so that she could draw it out on the paper map.

"What kind of resistance, did you have?" Ebirone piped up.

"Only a small security contingent. They were guarding their Vorta overseer. Begrudgingly so, I might add."

"They still living?"

Nodding in acknowledgment, Brighton had quelled the concerns that Fisher had voiced. If they had killed the contingent, then the Dominion might have had fore-knowledge of the impending act of sabotage that the Rena would enact. Thankfully so, Brighton and Betrull had been better at avoiding confrontation than Ebb, Fisher, and Kennedy had. Though, the entire focus of the second team was to stir up as large a hornet's nest as possible. Drawing away a bulk of forces that might have stood between Brighton, Betrull, and their objective. All in all, the plan as it had been drawn up an executed had worked rather well; save for Fisher and Ebirone winding up apprehended, and nearly executed.

"So... what now Sar?" piped up Aatrah, cutting right through the awkward silence that had permeated the staging area. Her head lifting, the resting bitchface that had almost been permanently attached to her head had softened, if even for just a moment, as she regarded him as any big sister would have regarded their naïve younger brother. There was a sweetness there, that likely had existed in full prior to the calamitous events that had befallen Betazed. Fisher saw this, and felt somewhat less negative about the woman, even though she'd treated him unfairly from word one. She wasn't supposed to be the leader of a damned resistance cell, he had to remind himself. She was supposed to be a teacher. Her brother some sort of student, but he couldn't specifically remember what kind. The only reason they were where they were, was because someone like him, had failed to appropriately see the impending shitshow that was the fall of this planet. Someone hadn't forwarded the information to the right people, and the 10th-Fleet had left her, and her brother entirely defenseless to the onslaught of the Dominion. She had every right to hate him, he rationalized.

"We need to hit one of them. But we also need a diversionary force of some kind, same as before. One team draws away the enemy, so that the other can plant the carrier wave signal into the jammers." Ebirone had disengaged his arm from where it had been wrapped around Chris, and he appraised the situation on the map as Sariah resumed drawing out the points of relevant interest. He might not have been 'the' leader of the Rena, but he certainly was 'a' leader of them.

"The diversionary team is going to be hit with the hardest fighting. We should count on our best fighters taking up that aspect. I'm to go with them too, so that when they get shot to shit, I can patch'em up and get them back into the fight." The gruffness of Betrull's voice betrayed his relatively advanced age, and experience.

"That means me." Ebirone boasted, though Chris didn't seem too appreciative of the fact that he was so inclined to volunteer himself for what was sure to be the more difficult of the two missions. In their dynamic, Fisher could see some familiarity, and it triggered that pang of loss back to the surface of his consciousness, only to once more be stifled by an uncomfortable shuffling of his feet, and an audible clearing of his throat.

"It does." Sariah confirmed, clearly unaware, or uncaring of the manner in which Chris had seemed concerned. "Ebb, you'll take Dr. Betrull..." she looked up from the map, and glared at Fisher and Brody for a moment, her displeasure evident in the accusatory nature of her black within black eyes. "...and our two spies, down to the Andorian Embassy Building; there's a large Dominion contingent nearby, that will likely respond to reports of Resistance operations there. Which will clear a path for myself, and the other 'Starfleeters'; allowing us to access the Ferengi Banking Administration Building. According to this readout, one of the signal jammers is there." She pointed on the map to the two locations, which were within relative proximity to each other at the far north west side of the city center; a good two-hour trek, given the round-about way they'd need to go in order to make it with relative safety. "You make as big a noise as you can, attract as many of the scaly bastards as you can; then get the hell out of there when they show up. We only need a modest amount of time to implant the signal. You don't need to fight and kill every last one of them, in some sort of display of heroic bravery." She was clearly speaking to Ebirone on the matter but may well have also been speaking to Fisher given his own penchant for theatrical displays of heroism.

"We'll need to clear a means into the spillway before we start our attack. Can't possibly expect to do it under a barrage of Dominion weapons fire."

"Wait... what was that? Run that by me again? The spillway?" Fisher stepped forward, clearly having missed something from an earlier briefing. The spillway was a massive underground water aqueduct that ran beneath the northern most part of the city. It had siphoned water from a lake in the northwest, down into the bay. It was and old remnant from a time, centuries earlier when Dalaria City derived most of its power from hydro-electric generators. Now it was nothing more than a glorified giant water pipe, that bled millions of cubic-meters of water down into the bay each and every day. A few days earlier, one of the others had mentioned a service plant attached to it as potentially being the next bivouac location. Fair enough concept, but the idea of jumping into it, so that it could lead them away from a fight was ludicrous to say the least. The water currents of the sewers were one thing, but the spillway supposedly flowed at nearly three times the rate and pressure, for miles. There was no way they'd be able to hold enough air to transit it. Worse still, if they weren't careful, they'd be ejected from it into the bay at enough speed and force to obliterate their bodies.

"Sorry bud, only fast way we can bug out when the Dominion forces show up and start shooting everything to shit. We dig a hole down to the spillway, and..."

"Get flushed?" Fisher interrupted, completing the thought. He hated it, and he knew Brody likely did too. "Only this time, we're not going down 'a' drain, we're going down 'the' drain. The mother of all drains! Who thought this shit up?" His gaze went from each of them in turn, knowing that behind him, Brody was likely feeling equally as thrilled about the prospect of going for what could best be described as the end-all be-all water slide.

"I did." Sariah chimed in, eyes burning a hole into the Fisher's skull.

'Of course, she fucking did.' He thought, just when he'd tried to explain to Brody that she'd made good decisions as a leader. He could only imagine the thoughts running through the other spy's mind at this revelation.

"We'll have rebreathers, and some of the others will be set up in prime position in the spillway, ready to catch us." Ebirone tried to explain, but Fisher just looked on in incredulous consternation.

"No... they'll be set up in prime position to wave our dumbasses good-bye as we spiral further down the drain! You really expect us to jump into the rushing water of an old defunct hydro-electric line?"

"If you've got a better idea for how you can get out of the area, when you're effectively surrounded by hundreds of Jem'Hadar. Then by all means." The tone in Sariah's voice was one of rhetorical challenge, and it ate at Fisher's nerves tremendously so.

So, with a sigh, he turned back to her, and without any other options presenting themselves, he was forced to at least raise the concerns that were popping up. "Do we even know if it's clear? Are there any obstructions that we'll slam into, or debris sieves for that matter? I'd generally prefer not winding up julienned."

"Fine... since the mission calls for the distraction team to draw the attention, then back out at the first sign of the Dominion forces..." she hesitated a moment. "...we'll switch up the teams. 'Bishop' and 'Mason' will take Brighton and Chris to the signal jammer, while Ebb, Betrull, and I will ignite the match." With that, she seemed set in her determination. Fisher had considered raising his ire at the summary decision, but Sariah wasn't the kind to change her mind twice. She rarely ever changed it once, for that matter. Fisher, Brody, Chris, and Brighton would be the infiltration team now, while the others would stir up the hornet's nest. For a moment, Fisher considered the thought that his own bitching had likely just enlisted him in the far more difficult of the two mission tasks. Finer details aside, the other team's objective was relatively straight forward. While his was now far more complicated, and likely to encounter an air of unforeseen difficulties. It meant that he, and 'Mason' would need to be at their very best in order to make this work. Brighton and Chris were both Starfleet Officers, but they weren't exactly the cream of the crop when it came to matters of fighting. They were both engineers after all. Perhaps then, it was better that the two spies were taking this more difficult road, as they likely had the necessary skills to improvise, adapt, and overcome any potential obstacles.

"Wait... that's not what... hey?!"

"Shh... it's alright, we'll be fine." Chris turned to comfort her man, pressing a hand against his burly chest so as to silence him, as he had tried to call after the elder Rena, who had herself stormed off to the makeshift armory. Fisher regarded them for a moment but knew better than to linger on after a show of affection between the two of them. It was an intimate affair that didn't demand an audience, especially not that of Aatrah's, sensing this, both Betrull and Brighton seized on the younger Rena and shuffled him off.

Fisher's own attention turned back to Brody, whom he could already imagine the protestations blaring out from him, almost telepathically, he could only offer him a wry little shrug. "Well... a good Phillies fan should always appreciate the uncertainty that lay ahead of them. Besides, if shit goes bad... how'd the saying go year after disappointing year? There's always next season?" Except, if shit went bad in this case, there wasn't to be a next season. He knew that, but he also figured their situation could use a little levity in it. As the others all dispersed, leaving Chris and Ebirone to argue about their respective missions, Fisher waved a beckoning hand at Brody to follow suit as he went to their armory. They were going to need a wide array of weapons and equipment for whatever challenges lay ahead of them. But before they could truly enact their plans, they would need to make the long journey from their current bivouac location, to that of the Ferengi Banking Administration. No easy feat in its own regard. With an exasperated sigh as he approached the armory, Fisher understood how much bitching he was in store for during that trek. Maybe he should have taken that ticket off Betazed when Brody had offered it?

"Nah..." he said audibly, realizing that would have meant a few days stuck-in a shuttle with the man. He doubted even Baseball could prevent that conversation from reaching new levels of awkward contention.

Better to die at the end of a Jem'Hadar bayonet, then from a few days of listening to his incessant whining.


ONE-HOUR AND FOURTY-SEVEN MINUTES LATER


"That's it... that's the building. I can see the transmitter on the roof." Brighton explained as he stooped to a knee next to the burned-out hulk of an old hover-vehicle, about a hundred-meters distance from the building which was clearly demarcated by the green beetle like emblem of the Ferengi Alliance. The long winding road that led them here effectively behind them, they would need to be ready to storm the building when the signal came in, alerting them of the other team's ready status. The calamity to unfold afterward, would hopefully buy them the window necessary to infiltrate undetected. The uncertainty was certainly something that none of them liked.

At least the rains had let up from their constant monsoon like downpour, to that of a gentle spraying mist.
  • Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 05:53:50 AM by Swift
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #28
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Following Bishop through the cavernous remains of the building, back to the central hub of their resistance, the epicenter of their guerrilla defense against the Dominion and the dragon's lair, Brody positioned himself by the sidelines, close to one of the makeshift light sources, so he could not be readily identifiable, when his face slipped. Because as much as he wanted to, he would never be as much a master of his outward expressions, and of masking his true intents, like his wife was. But he figured, after everything he'd been through, the galaxy could do with a little candor, and less beating around the bush. A notion he was, despite everything, still rather good at keeping from her. Crossing his arms, as he listened to the so called leaders and experts, narrating their approach to the ploy, that the bearded spy had already lady out hours ago, and much more concisely so, the commander spun his index finger in a circle, out of the confines of his limb-pretzel, as to forward the conversation, while rocking his head left and right with nuisance.

Loop holes after loop holes, puffed into the air like circles of smoke, gathered thick under the eroded ceiling. But Brody kept his quiet. There were only two things, that could be garnered from saying anything, to these kids: A: Diddely and B: Squat. So, he let them play war, devise their little strategies, take the intel for granted just because, well, it had been hidden in a locked box with a Vorta sitting on it, somewhere. And then they decided that Bishop and him, probably the two single most educated covert operatives on this whole god forsaken world, would play decoy. Nodding slowly, eyes closed and lips curled downward, he appraised the notion with the relaxed devil-may-care attitude he had recently adopted to this woman's so called 'plans'. He'd keep Bishop alive, no matter what silly gig they would have to pull, and come moonrise, he'd beam the two of them back up. And that would be that, no need to get agitated about anything along the way. A contingent of blood hungry Jem'Hadar? Please. A spillway with a giant meat grinder at the end? Bring it on.

Raising his brows as Bishop intervened, however, voicing the concerns that had already gotten lost in Brody's new Hindu-Cow philosophy, the man raised his brow expectantly. This ought to be good, and he would be front row for every bit of it. He remembered that Sam had once told him that sometimes, in a negotiation, if you held back at the right time, you could let everyone else do all the work. And even though he would never be able to tell her about this little personal victory, he would treasure it no less, and thank her in a different way. Internally the man chuckled, at every little exchange between the bearded man and his bunk buddy. In his mind, he readied the bat, adjusting the hands on its grip, waiting for the curveball, that surely would come. He could see the pitcher about to burst with anticipation, pressure rising, as the game clock ticked on, until she burst, pitching one of the sharpest heat he'd ever seen. And clang, the leathered orb zipped through the air, as he started to run bases in his mind. 1st base, Bishops impetuous sigh and subsequent stinky eye. 2nd base, the man's sudden and surprising desire to live. 3rd base Sariah's reiteration of her original plan to reassure her annoyance and ... HOMERUN! Someone else would play the decoy.

Sending a wink against the ceiling, as a silent token to his distant wife, Brody felt rather good about himself, there in the shadow of a buzzing field light. Giving the other man a stern face, as he turned around to make it seem as if he had just scored the deciding moon shot instead. The audacity. So, he merely regarded him with a subtle nod, as he iced himself from his home base, to follow the man to get suited up. Furrowing both brows at the weird one-syllable, voiced so out of the blue, like that unruly little strand of hair, at the back of Bishop's head, that had been driving Brody crazy, ever since they entered the bivouac. "Are you having a stroke?!" he asked irritated, but rather metaphorically, so naturally the only answer he got, was a mean look. They would have a good time, on their journey to get to the FBA building. Picking up his little rucksack of surprises, where he had left it, he dutifully followed the other man to the armory and further onward in their journey. Little did he know, that the man's desire to weigh death against the most mundane pleasures of life, was still very much alive and well.


ONE-HOUR AND FOURTY-SEVEN MINUTES LATER


By the time they had reached the elevated and somewhat isolated position of the Ferengi Banking Association, Brody had already been drenched once more, despite his waterproof street-camo getup. It had almost become second nature by now, not minding the small abrasions in the pits of his body, where the elastic fabrics constantly rubbed against his skin, like a diamond saw trying to split off a brick of marble. Sitting back against a large boulder of the crumbling facade, that had littered the cul-de-sac like a rockslide, the man drained a puddle of water that had accumulated in the hood of his jacket. "Ugh ... can't believe I was supposed to spend my honeymoon here." he off-handedly mumbled, sending a stern look towards whichever pair of eyes was cast his way, to ensure that he was not open for it to be turned into a conversation topic. Readjusting his stance, to a crouching one, resting his rifle on the boulder, to get a good look at the building, he didn't notice any guards on first sight. Which didn't mean there weren't any there. Jem'Hadar could cloak, after all, though they seemingly had trouble with their technology in these humid conditions.

Giving the area another inspection through his multi-spectral scope, which would've also unearthed any cowardly disguised critters, he came up zero as well. He still thought storming the place was a bad idea, distraction or not. A remote attack would never lure out the whole contingency of troops of such an important installation. And once the hornet's nest was rattled, the remaining ones would be on high alert. But hey, it was made very clear to him that the woman in charge was a grand leader with infallible instincts and surefire plans. What could go wrong. "Do I still have time to take a leak or ..." he said coyly, clearing his throat from the raspy sound that had lined the words, while pulling his jacket back into place across his lower back, where the chilling spray invaded through a narrow gap between garments. "You'll say 'go', right? And then ... I'll just follow your lead." he nodded, even before he got an affirmative reply. Which kind of translated into a careless sentiment, where he was going to do his own thing anyways, whenever he wanted. Like that one time, on their trip here, when he had attempted to smuggle a transporter marker onto Bishop's jacket so blatantly, that he had obviously intended to be caught. Just so he could show how little he cared. He hoped that soon there would be some action and he'd not have any more time for silliness as such.
  • Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 01:33:09 AM by stardust

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #29
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

Fisher ran a hand over his face to momentarily alleviate the sting of the constant harrying mist caught in the whirling winds as they surged down from the nightmarish clouds hanging above. It was a minor annoyance; just another in a long list of them that he'd been forced to deal with, but he'd managed to pay it little mind at all. He hadn't found it to be a necessity to focus on such minute concerns when there were so many far-grander that threatened his very existence. The realization of which he'd found rather odd, given how little care he'd actually afforded to the idea of surviving this suicide mission. True, he didn't want to suffer a meaningless death. If he was going to go out, he wanted to go out having done something of merit. But by all rights he should have been more fixated on immediate issues, like the stinging rain, as in his mind there wasn't much of a future to focus on. Perhaps it was an instinctual part of him, which prevented his indulgence in complaining, as Brody seemed willing to engage in endlessly.

Or maybe he wasn't as ready to die as he'd originally thought he was.

Pushing the deeper introspection away, he gradually approached where Albert Brighton was knelt, peering over the big man's shoulder in the direction that he'd hinted at, laying eyes on the Ferengi Banking Administration Building. Comparative to the others that surrounded it, it was of modest size; however, what it lacked in grandeur, it more than compensated for in its ostentatious outward presentation. Whereas its immediate surroundings were cloaked in a façade of grey steel, white concrete, and predominantly blue glass panels; the FBA building was sheathed by a gold hued exterior, clearly meant to be reminiscent of the most prized of Ferengi possessions. Even the exterior glass panels were gold in tone, which reflected brilliantly with the frequent flashes of lightning overhead. In fact, the only non-gold aspect of the building was that garish bright green beetle, which had been left to hang about four-stories up and was decidedly unlit at the moment. Not at all surprising given the general lack of electricity throughout the city.

Though there should have been a backup generator of some capacity within it.

Looking back over his shoulder, Fisher was about to ask where Brody was in relation to his location when he'd heard the other spy's self-relief related inquiry and could only muster a non-committal shrug of his shoulders. "Judging by the time-table, we have about thirteen minutes until things get start on the other side of town." Brighton interjected, feeling an ounce of sympathy for the man, even though he had spent the better part of the journey complaining about the rain, the city layout, the destruction, the squelching sounds his water-logged boots made, their plan and the many-loopholes that still remained within said plan, and lastly his decision to have even stayed in the first place. Pretty much anything and everything he could have made a gripe over, he had. But whereas Fisher had seemed resigned to absorb and display an outwardly visible annoyance at the constant droning, Brighton simply let it wash right off him as though it were nothing more than an additional bout of rain. Besides, in a way, Brody had started to remind Brighton of his younger brother, Aaron, who was also a member of Starfleet, and off some place else, doing his own part to bring about an end to this war.

"Smoke'em while you can." Fisher said simply before having turned back from Brody, working his way across the street in a low crouch.

Determined to scope out their potential resistance, he hadn't exactly described what he was doing, though it quickly became evident an instant later, as directly adjacent to where the others were left, he'd retrieved a stolen Dominion ocular device from a pack and begun to use it to scan the immediate vicinity of the courtyard in front of the FBA building. He'd expected to see a cadre of Jem'Hadar, but instead laid eyes on a rather strange and peculiar interaction unfolding between a pair of Ferengi, a Vorta, and two Jem'Hadar personal guard. They'd appeared to be enraptured in some facet of discussion, and it was relatively clear that the Ferengi were not in any immediate threat or duress from the opposition forces. Letting a little chortle escape him, Fisher shook his head at the recognition of what was going on: The two Ferengi had somehow worked out an arrangement with their 'oppressors'. So much so, that to a point it almost seemed a cordial arrangement and discussion. It spoke to the incredible survival instincts of the Ferengi, who knew when the tides were turning, and as such knew which moves to make that would improve their chances of long-term profitability. Or outright survival. If the war ended in any fashion which saw the Alpha-Quadrant brought under the oppressive heel of the Dominion, it would haven been the Ferengi which would have found a way to co-exist and share space with their new neighbors.

Some might have found that fact rather reprehensible. Fisher however, found it admirably amusing.

Having checked his watch, he saw that time was hastily closing in on the two-hour mark. Any moment there would be an eruption of activity which might draw the modest Dominion forces away from the FBA building. Most, if not all of them, he'd hoped. It would present the three-man team a chance to infiltrate and take up their objectives. The addition of the Ferengi presence did throw a small wrench in their plans however, as it represented an unforeseen element that they hadn't considered. Originally, there was an intent to fight to the roof, access the transmitter, upload the carrier signal, then destroy it and the building so as to disguise everything as a mere act of sabotage. Resultant from that, the Dominion would think that the resistance was simply attempting to down the jammers one-by-one, as futile an effort as that would have been. In their arrogance, the Vorta overseers would likely dismiss any further inspection on the matter, thus allowing the implanted signal to spread on undetected. But the Ferengi, if they caught even the slightest wind of what was going on, could've decided to broker an arrangement in which they'd appraise their Dominion 'partners' of the true intent of the mission, no doubt for further favors in return.

His attention shifted back across the street and could see Brighton coming to the same realization.

But before he could lodge a discussion with the other two, the party suddenly got started. A party which erupted with a monumentally thunderous bang which reverberated from somewhere on the other side of the city. Sage-eyes going wide in abject surprise, Fisher's face was one of confusion and concern, as was Brighton's. There had been no previous discussion of an explosion serving as the 'announcement' of things. Maybe it was an especially loud thunderclap? No, this was definitely man made, and it was quite a bit louder and booming than that of even the greatest lightning discharges. Things were underway now. Quite literally with a bang. As evidenced immediately when the Vorta was summarily shuffled off by his personal guard in the direction of their outpost, a protest being lodged against them in refute, though they were clearly intent on protecting him from whatever was about to erupt. Further down the street, there was an even greater commotion as a garrison of thirty or so Jem'Hadar emerged from said outpost into an open intersection.

For a moment, Fisher thought that maybe they wouldn't take the bait and bugger off, which would have put one hell of a damper on their plans. But to his avail, the apparent reason for their emergence suddenly became evident, as a hurricane like gale of wind erupted streaked overhead of him overhead. Debris was thrown wide in wake of the rush of shipboard thrusters, Fisher himself nearly being dislodged from where he had been knelt as a Jem'Hadar attack ship squeezed through the narrow corridor of the streets, stopping to hover above the cadre of troops. Squinting his eyes as purple light bathed the area in a brilliantly eerie glow, a loading ramping lowered to accept the troops which hurried aboard, taking their Vorta overseer with them. Quite literally, the enemy forces were bugging out. Whatever the other team had done to elicit such a response, must have been monumental in scope, and would buy Fisher, Brighton, and Brody a larger window in which they could implant the signal. But it also meant they were due for far more resistance than they could likely deal with; they would absolutely need to escape while they could.

Swearing aloud, Fisher wished there was some form of warning the other team of what was headed their way, but it was impossible while the jammers were still working as intended. His disruptor rifle at the ready, he peered across at the other two once more. An unspoken agreement made implicitly by a simple nod. They would close the distance on the FBA building once the ship ascended back into the sky. And as another typhoon-esque wail of wind was kicked up by atmospheric thrusters, the signal was made. Emerging from where he'd been nestled, Fisher sprinted at full in direction of the two Ferengi standing in front of the FBA building. They were both holding up hands so as to shield themselves from all that was being kicked up, which should have been the first indicator of something being wrong with an assumption he had previously made on their behalf. Regardless, he needed to get to them quick, as out of the corner of his peripheral vision, he saw a similar flurry of movement rushing to close the proximity.

"What do you think that was all about?" asked one of the Ferengi to the other.

"Are you kidding? That lobe-aching explosion, you dullard!" the other spat back in irritancy, though as his sensitive hearing caught the encroaching splashes of boots behind him, which grew ever closer, there was a dawning of revelation. Promptly he turned about, just in time to make a stupid face, and to be tackled to the water-soaked ground by a bearded man.

"Hey!" came a rather paltry protest from the first Ferengi as he too turned, only more in a more deliberative motion. He stared down upon his brother who had been taken down to the ground and tilted the pate of his head to the side in confusion. "Who's he, Ferron?" Though as he raised a finger to point at Brighton and Brody, he too found himself grabbed aggressively, ushered toward the main entrance of the FBA building behind him. "Hey! Wait a minute!" he protested a little more energetically before a hand found his mouth to silence his deeply baritone vocal cords. The smaller of the two Ferengi, identified as 'Ferron' by his brother, was far more-lively; screaming against Fisher's hand as it was pressed against his lips. There was a fumbled wrestling for a moment as the smaller Ferengi searched for something, anything upon which he could use for leverage. Thankfully, that commotion soon stopped at the behest of a rifle pressed against his forehead. And with hands raised in acquiescence to the promise of a quick death, Fisher was able to stand up from atop of 'Ferron', too hefting him unto his feet as the five of them made for the entryway of the FBA building.

"Hey! Unhand me! On behalf of the Grand Nagus, and the Ferengi Backing Administration, I demand you--" Ferron's protestations were cut short as Fisher pointed his own rifle at him.

"The door. Input your code, and step inside!" charged the bearded Intelligence operative. This was good, he thought, as they would get into the FBA building without needing to blow a hole in its exterior. Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing that these two nincompoops were caught in the middle of this little mission.

"Umm... we can't. Our codes don't work no more." Explained the other Ferengi, before his brother shot him a curt glance.

"I don't believe you. Your code. Now!" Fisher insisted, motioning with his rifle.

"As my brother Norben so explained, we cannot. Our codes were locked out."

A surge of anger sprung up from inside of Fisher, and the darker aspects of his tutelage under the auspices of one Richton Leonardo Hurley reared their ugly head as he considered for a moment shooting the one identified as Ferron in his kneecap. Pain like that would certainly reveal the truth. With an aggressive grunt he grabbed a handful of Ferron's soaked upper garment and shoved him hard against the gold-glass paned double-doors, a rifle finding his belly. "If you don't have codes to get in, then what the hell are you doing here?" From behind him, he could hear impatience mount from the other spy, and knew that this wasn't the time to seek out motive, or reason. "Fuck it! Is there another way in?"

"Yeah, but Ferron says we're not supposed to tell anyone else abou--"

"Oh, would you shut up!" Ferron interrupted.

"Take us. Now. Or you both die." There was a dead seriousness in Fisher's green-eyes as he glared at Ferron's own, and if he were honest with himself, he doubted as to whether or not he truly intended on killing the two Ferengi, regardless of whether or not they acceded to his demands. Every moment of delay was another moment wasted in which he and the others could have and should have been working toward the roof of the FBA building, and their objective. The distraction being lodged by the other team would only last for so long, and they absolutely needed to make the most of it. It was that desperation that was clear in his face, which eventually caused the more cunning of the two Ferengi to nod in relent, his hands motioning for Fisher, Brighton, and Brody to follow him in a direction around the periphery of the FBA building.

"Of course. Right this way." He said simply.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #30
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Surely there was no accounting for taste. What Brody intended to be the comic relief and entertainment of the long and tedious track, was - by the look of the vein on Bishop's forehead - potentially taken as another series of senseless bitching. Well, he was not really bothered enough to care about the man's handicapped comedic sensibility. Thus, he gratified the go-ahead with a curt nod, albeit relaying the added relief of the urgency, the situation in his loins imposed. There was really no time to contemplate the intricacies of a straightforward 'come and dump' situation, where they simply infiltrated a space with the sole purpose to leave behind a nasty little virus. Surely like every visit to Risa, any of these men had ever undertaken. But just as he was about to get to work on the waterproof zipper-concoction in his crotch, the man was startled by a loud bang and subsequently reverberating shockwave, that dispersed tedious raindrops into a wobbling fog temporarily. Ferociously trying to hide the fact that, for a moment, he thought his fly had popped. Disregarding of that, he sent viciously narrowed eyes in the approximate direction of the blast, silently cursing Sariah for not even allowing him this little pelvic salvation.

"Well, that had all the tact and finesse of a Jem'Hadar stormtrooper squad." He abjectly judged the happenings. As far as diversions went, however, it would certainly proof effective. Returning his attention one-eighty, towards the façade of the building, only then noticing the two Ferengi and their Dominion posse. "What the ..." he cursed to himself silently, feeling slightly out of the loop, switching on the power-cell of his rifle with a moderately audible, increasing hiss. But as it became apparent rather quickly, the Dominion had taken the bait. A ship appeared with roaring engines, dipping the area in purple and white hues, as it picked up the invaders. Then, Bishop, in true kamikaze fashion, ran out of cover and towards the Ferengi. The urgency of the situation slightly lost on the former operative. Peeling deliberately from his cover, letting the rifle hang loose by his side, at the lack of imminent danger, he appraised the reflecting windows and small recesses of the building for stragglers. Keeping in the background for the little talk with the Ferengi, for the most part, keeping an eye on their surroundings, all the while keeping an ear open for their weasely lamentations.

Rolling his eyes in abject restraint, his whole body reverberating in the ridiculous sentiment, Brody bent the crook of his arm to bring his rifle up, aiming against the sky, as he pushed into the circle of 'negotiations', grabbing the obviously more important one of the two by the upper arm, tight as a vise. Instantly triggering a pathetic howl and detestable whimpering. "Rule of acquisition 208: Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is the answer." he reiterated to Ferron, but not Ferron alone. Sending Bishop a look, that showed his disapproval of being so gullible as to trust a Ferengi, while he dragged the louder one of them away towards the door. If there was indeed a back entrance, that they were not supposed to tell anyone about, then surely it was much better protected than the locked main entrance. A devious culture, such as the Ferengi, always placed extra emphasize on their backdoors. Be it in contracts, negotiations or simply their architecture. They presented an easily accessible, open front, while keeping the back wound tightly. Something he had learned from his wife. Even if the Dominion changed the codes, and even if they didn't tell the original tenants of the building - which already where too many 'Ifs' for the man's liking - certainly the Ferengi had a backup code or an override, hidden deep in the infrastructure of the building's security, like the seed of distrust in their culture's general demeanour.

It was also highly unlikely that Bishop would've actually harmed any of these unarmed civilians. He didn't have that kind of stone-cold conviction. Not to anyone but himself, at least. And almost certainly the Ferengi, a species of cunning businessmen that thrived on deception, knew, it was an empty threat. Because you didn't take an empty rifle-case to a gun fight, you brought the rifle. Stumbling over his own feet, at times, the orange creature was merely kept up by the strong grip and relentless drag of its captor. Arriving under the wide awning, that covered a row of doors into the atrium, hidden behind golden veneer, the commander stopped so Ferron could take one good look at his reflection, before he was pushed forward, his head smacking against the door, causing the metal frame to rattle a bit.

"You hear that?" Brody asked, pointing at the top corners of the door with the matt-black rifle, letting his dark eyes follow, as the notion drew his forehead into deep pleads. "I promise you, either with the correct code or by brute force, somehow that clumsy head of yours will get us in." he told the Ferengi, leaning down lightly, so his menacing words could be conveyed as a vicious whisper, that surely rang like bell-towers in those large ears. Giving the creature a little more time to look into its own terrified mirror image, compounding the threat, the man ultimately let the rifle fall back into the strap over his shoulder, his second hand grabbing the Ferengi's other limb forcefully, so he could use him like a makeshift battering ram. "You wouldn't!" Ferron squealed, shivering, tiny tangerine hands helplessly clawing at dark digits, digging into his soaked coat. But he had already lost, given enough fear away as leverage for the former operative's ploy. Pulling him back a foot as if to build extra momentum, he pushed the Ferengi forward in a swift thrust, a forced scream turning into a series of squealed digits, as the potato-face came to a halt a mere inch from its terrified reflection.

"Awesome ... don't stray too far while I check this." Brody replied unfazed, pushing the piece of trash off towards the other three, who had caught up by now. Entering the given code, the door unlocked with a hydraulic clank, so that he could push it open. Stepping aside, giving the atrium a brief once over, the man then invitingly beckoned for the group to move inside, glistening residue on his skin and clothes destined to be evaporating into the dry interior air soon. Closing the door once more, after everyone had entered, the commander took a few steps away from the lock, before cocking his rifle and shooting it, a couple of sparks flying off, extinguishing against the dust covered marble. In the process, all the lights on all the other locks went out too. That had been ... unexpected, but not entirely undesired. "Well, I guess we'll try your backdoor for an exit." he voiced, pressing his lips together thin while giving an apologetic raise of thick brows. "Or your little head again." His sudden move scared the taller Ferengi into an embarrassing twitch, that hopefully kept him in a generous and helpful mood.

Ultimately letting his eyes trail to the high ceiling, taking in the sickening opulence and almost decadent display of bad taste, Brody narrowed his eyes slightly at the cracks in the ceiling, before they fell to the pieces of putty and concrete, littering the shiny marble, that had long been covered in obscuring dust, interspersed with random trails of footprints. Least theirs would not stick out. "Before we go up, up, up though ... do tell, any more surprise we should be aware of? Were those critters, that left, the only forces posted here?" he asked the Ferengis coyly, waving his rifle around between them, incepting a little more of the trademark fear, that had fared so well. "Because, rest assured, if we run into some more Jem'Hadar, they will see you for the turncoats that you are and snuff you out ... if I don't first." And if that wasn't motivation to be forthcoming, then he didn't know. After all: 'You can't make a deal if you're dead.'
  • Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 12:30:14 AM by stardust

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #31
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

To a point, Fisher had admired the violent streak from his fellow Intelligence Operative, so long as it wouldn't tread too far past the line of reason. Sure, this was an active warzone, and some bending of the rules could be expected and in fact tolerated. In his own right, Fisher had done more than his fair share of rule bending during his time as a field operative, and perhaps had even outright broken more than of them as well. However, he had always known where the line lay, and though he would tread along it with careful balance and caution; as if he were a high-wire act, he had never overstepped the boundaries of morality. Even when his previous handlers had attempted to drive him to such depths out of necessity, he had always managed to find a means of remaining on the right side of acceptable behavior. Yet, he could now sense by the manner in which his 'comrade' operated, that Brody was likely closer to the ilk which had so brazenly used their status with SFI as an excuse for excess. And in the moment, he didn't like the way that Brody had presented himself and began to question for the first time the true merit of Brody as a man worthy of respect.

That wasn't to say that Fisher was naïve. No, he understood that sometimes you had to wrap someone on their decidedly bulbous head in order to get the results you needed, and that was fine, so long as you didn't let such an act consume and poison who you were down to your very core. He had always though it a simple matter: victory didn't mean a damned thing if you lost who you were along the way.

At least, that's what he had always tried to think of it as.

Once inside of the grand atrium of the Ferengi Banking Administration Building, it became overtly clear that little expense had been spared in terms of grandiose opulence; the walls were gilded in gold and ornately detailed with gemstone encrusted molding all along the upper edging. The marble floors were carpeted by throw-rugs of gaudy hues of purple and green, and the pillars painted a sickly hue of pink which only further accentuated the odd fashion tastes of Ferengi culture. There were also electronic braziers festooned all along the periphery of the space which were faintly aglow with ambient light, no doubt powered by emergency backup systems as they cast the massive room in a mixture of obscuring shadows. However, aside from the echoing cascade of water-fountains as they splashed against and over an absurdly lewd golden statue of the Ferengi Grand Nagus in his buff, which dominated much of the atrium, there were no sounds filling the cacophonous space. At least, none other than the unpleasant whimpers of Ferron who was held by the scruff of his collar by one of Brighton's massive hands. All the while his brother had seemed oddly at peace, given he was actively threatened with death.

"Yes, yes hoo-mon, you've made your point!" sniveled Ferron, as he'd brought a hand not to the throb of his head, but rather his wrinkled nose in an attempt to stifle a sneeze brought on by the pervading scent of mildew, a result of the ceiling having been cracked open during the initial bombardment, letting in the constant rains from outside.

After having shut the doors behind them, Fisher took a moment to appraise the grand welcoming hall as he leveled his borrowed disruptor-rifle and stepped past both of their Ferengi captives. Unfortunately, there hadn't been any detailed plans that were readily accessible to study prior to their arrival, as either the local visitation and commerce board had been paid off to keep things obscure, or they simply hadn't bothered to deal with the Ferengi long enough to create a thorough layout of the building. From the outside, the FBA building had appeared to be roughly ten-stories high; far more-stumpy in comparison to the towers that had surrounded it. This was a good thing in the sense that it made the process of getting to the jammer on the roof that much easier, but it also presented some problems, as once on the roof they would be easily spotted by anyone that may have been lingering in those surrounding towers. It had also meant that they would be at a distinctive height disadvantage if shooting broke out between the various buildings.

"Resistance. What can we expect?" Fisher probed, pointing his rifle back at Ferron.

There was a quizzical look in the crafty Ferengi as he had seemed to consider his options first. Of course, had he known how costly of a mistake such a look would be, he likely would have offered up what he knew immediately. Instead, he had seemed as if he were contemplating on how he could turn this situation to his benefit and profit. It was a look of hesitance which only served to flare the temper within Fisher, triggering an internal wonder as to whether or not Brody had been on the right side of a warpath when it came to dealing with these two swine. Yet before he could press on the issue, the less prohibitive of the two piped up an answer of his own accord, trying to ferry things along rather innocently. "Ferron said there would only be ten guards that roamed the tenth-floor. It was what the Dominion were willing to pay for when we brokered the deal to--"

"Would you shut-up!" Ferron snapped back.

Incensed that the one Ferengi had silenced the other just as he was giving them the sordid details that they needed, Fisher felt his blood suddenly boil. This time however, he wouldn't allow the other operative to show him up, as the bearded man acted before Brody was able too. Training his disruptor-rifle at Ferron, he canted the weapon ever so slightly off to the side and pulled the trigger. As the white-hot bolt that he'd fired surged through the air just a few centimeters adjacent from the bulbous tangerine skinned head, the singe of the shot stung against the devious little Ferengi's earlobe rather painfully. An instant later Fisher trudged heavily toward Ferron with an outstretched hand that immediately grasped at his hideous tunic. Forced to dodge the bolt himself, Brighton could see the aggression in his fellow man and let go of his own grasp of Ferron and stepped aside. So it was, that with a hard shove that Fisher knocked Ferron down onto his back while the Ferengi howled rather pathetically in abject terror, and anguish. Immediately, one of Ferron's hands found his ear in an attempt comfort and sooth it, as the other was held up to stop the sage-eyed spy as he stood overtop of him, a grimace of brazen rage evident in how he menaced his weapon down upon the frail cowering Ferengi.

Having lost his grasp of self-control, perhaps stoked on by Brody's own aggressive display a moment earlier, and perhaps also due to how utterly compromised he was from an emotional standpoint, Fisher gritted his teeth as he barely resisted the urge to shoot Ferron in his face until his head was nothing more than a dripping puddle of skin, skull, and brain matter on the carpet. "Enough with the bull shit, you little fucking troll!" Fisher barked as rather poignantly a thunderclap echoed throughout the atrium. "Tell me everything, RIGHT NOW! Or so help me I'll take my sweet time when I carve little chunks of your ears from the side of that hideous mug you call a face!" A little surprised that Ferron's brother didn't seem to react to the attack, Brighton's attention went to Brody as he tried to gauge whether or not it was necessary to step in and stop his companion. But he figured it was best if he didn't compromise whatever leverage was being put into play, if there was such a play being made.

"Yes! Yes! Alright! Don't... don't hurt me!" cried Ferron, cowering beneath Fisher.

"SPEAK!!!!"

"T-t-ten guards! They patrol the tenth-floor! Their access is restricted to that floor, as part of our deal!" Ferron's hands were shaking visibly as he held them up to protect his face from the disruptor rifle, which had encroached rather closely to the bridge between his two yellow-eyes; the menace in Fisher's face transfixed as he seemed almost on the edge of a rabid fury. "The rest of the building is empty! I swear!" the desperation in his voice betrayed how absolutely terrified he was, and it was that sense of terror which ensured honesty from him. But it didn't seem to quell the onset bout of rage in Fisher, as he didn't budge an inch from where he had towered over Ferron; only silence existing in the tense moment. It was as if Fisher were stuck in a mental loop which was preventing him from asking further relevant questions, or from continuing on in the interrogation. Feeling something was wrong, Brighton took a step closer to where Fisher stood over Ferron and tilted the pate of his head as a form of inquisitiveness.

In his mind, Fisher could feel a sinister overtone beckoning within him. He could feel himself becoming rather despondent, and in a state of absolute desperation to surrender to blinding hated. Something had snapped, and he was slowly coming to understand that which had triggered such a fracture in him: Brody. It was the manner in which Brody had gotten results so easily in comparison to Fisher, by just pressing just a little. In a way, it was another example of how Fisher had perpetually handicapped himself, out of some deep-seated need to remain what he considered a moral man. Why did any of that matter anymore? He could be so much more effective if he just gave in. He could do so much more to help the Federation in this time of crisis if he just acquiesced to unrestraint, and did whatever was necessary, just as Brody had seemed to willing to do a moment earlier. He knew without a shadow of doubt, that he should've just killed this Ferengi, and likely get enough relevant information from the other one, who was far more agreeable when it came to cooperation.

"Bishop?" came Brighton's voice.

As eyes darted to behold the big man, Fisher came back to the reality of the situation and eased up off of the trigger of his weapon. He could still feel an intense desire to end the sniveling little man's life, perhaps not even out of necessity for the mission's success, but rather out of cold-blooded malice. At least for the moment however, he had refrained from relenting to that malice. "Is there another way to the roof, without going through those guards?"

"No! No other way, I swear it! The only access is through the tenth-floor!"

"No other way. Ferron is telling the truth." Added Norben, his dull voice coming from behind as he looked to Brody almost apologetically.

"Fine." Fisher said sharply as he stepped back from where he had stood over Ferron, turning about to walk away a little, clearly in need of a moment of solitude to gather himself before they continued onward. There were still questions that had yet to be answered, but they would need to come from someone who wasn't as outwardly volatile. As it was, he was simply in not good position to take the lead, as he fought demons which had rather abruptly stormed to the front of his consciousness. He was a veritable Molotov-cocktail of emotionality right now, and thankfully there weren't any empaths or telepaths within a good distance, otherwise they would have picked up on just how tenuous a grasp Fisher had over himself. All that was needed for a full-on explosion from him was a good enough light, and he would likely lose it. Turning his back to the others, he sought temporary solace as he stepped close to one of the double-stairways that led up to an overlooking interior terrace.

Regarding Brody for a moment, Brighton exhaled in exasperation as he slung his weapon over his shoulder and went about hefting the little Ferengi back to his feet.

"You hoo-mons are too emotional." He said as he dusted himself off, pressing his luck in the matter, though he could see that he was about to outlive his usefulness if he didn't offer up something else. "Did I mention that there is an intruder suppression system built into the corridors?"

Lost in thought, Fisher struggled to regain his composure as he clenched shut his eyes, and took a series of deliberative breaths.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #32
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

A notion that seemed to define the systrophe between the two men, was the iterative occurrence of discourse and subsequent mimicry. Where Brody was chastised for doing one thing, only for Bishop to go and commit virtually the same act to memory, mere minutes later. In a highly stylized and amplified manner, no less. Where he'd shown mild irritation and contest with the Rena headmistress, the bearded man had gone and virtually torn her a literal new one. Where he'd bumped the Ferengi around a little, with the threat of more, the other operative had gone and singed the alien's ear - ironically proving a point that had been made a little earlier, but not by him. All of which, coincidentally, happened only a blink of an eye after he'd given Brody the holier-than-though attitude, he prided himself on, seemingly. At this point, however, the sentiment left nothing more than the stale taste of annoyance, on the back of his tongue. Not quite sure what issues Bishop harbored - and surely, they were numerous - he was going to pay extra attention, just so he wouldn't get him killed. No matter the outcome for everyone else, really. They were all consenting adults and obviously indulged in some sense of misguided veneration for the guy.

Giving Brighton a nonchalant shrug, stretching out a hand, holding the rifle, and an idle one, to his sides. Nonverbally relating that he didn't feel obligated to reign in the man's hero figure. Ironically so, Brody liked this manifestation of Bishop much better than the wannabe do-gooder, who couldn't hurt a fly, even if it was in the way of achieving his goals. Who pretended to be oh so diplomatic, in telling him how to deal with the Rena leader, only to then dissolve in blatant animosity. He could actually feel the faintest sense of appreciation for the cut-throat demeanor, even if the man himself probably hated his own guts for it. Brody himself had come to terms with the fact many years ago, having lived more carefree ever since. It wasn't that he'd submitted to being pure evil, quite the contrary, he'd submitted to the fact that light could not exist without darkness. He could be the most docile and sweet of all of them, well, almost ... but when the situation required it, he was the first one to shed all doubt and restraints and embraced what needed to be done. And he liked to think that was what had gotten him the career fast-track and the beautiful wife, in the first place.

Then Brighton finally intervened, branding himself as the resident buzzkill. "Hey, I thought we were getting somewhere here." Brody mused laconically, taking delight in the man's exasperation, as much as his stoic face could relate. Narrowing his eyes at the Ferengi, as he passed, pushing forward, in the vacuum of Bishop's relinquishing power, he gave the orange hued alien a threatening glare. "I wish you wouldn't lump us all together like that." He remarked quietly, not intent on making a grand display that Bishop could take offense by. Skipping up a few steps towards the back of the atrium, taking two platforms at a time, the commander stopped in the middle of the wide landing, appraising the branching corridors that lead away from that point. "So, which one's the golden staircase? You know, the one that hasn't been mined." he asked, his baritone voice carrying across the rubble once more, before he turned to point at Ferron and his brother. It was a usual guerrilla tactic to leave only one way in and out, up and down, usually the most obscure one. And as it had been made rather clear by him, that he'd use the siblings as a shield, they should've had enough incentive to pick the right one.

Beckoning for Brighton to drag Ferron up there, so he could lead the way, they didn't really have to give Norben the same treatment, as he was in no state to run away or cross them. He clearly was the duller one of the two. Letting his eyes subsequently switch over to Bishop, standing somewhat in the off, back turned their way, clenching fists by his side, the former operative knitted his brows together. Holding up his hand in a subtle wave, for Brighton and the two Ferengi to stay put, he jogged down the steps once more, coming up behind the bearded man. Sure, he could've introduced himself with a gentle touch, a reassuring word, something diplomatic ... but he wasn't Sam. Pushing his palm against the other man's shoulder blade, he shoved him forward, edging him, instead. The guy spun around, as expected, face distorted with anger and control, fighting each other like epic beasts. "Come on, lay into me ... I've already taken your Betazoid lover today, I'll manage. Better here than up there. If it makes you feel any better, let it out man, or get a fucking grip on yourself!" he barked. The most enraging part probably being, that despite the tone, he wasn't emotional about it. It was the perfect ploy to gauge how much of a time bomb and a liability the man really was.

He himself may have been accused of being emotional, once or twice before, when quite the opposite was true. Many of Brody's actions relayed the telltale signs of someone who acted on a whim, or a feeling, though actually, he acted that way because he had grown numb to the consequences. That paired with the honed skill of having to react within a split second, not having the luxury to have lengthy internal debates - and perfecting that - surely made him appear impulsive. But that was just a superficial judgment that didn't take his years and years in the covert service and sacrifices into account, that he'd personally made, to become the tool necessary for the mission to be a success. In many ways, he'd become a machine, to be used by Starfleet intelligence, to get things done. Even now, that he wasn't living that life anymore, he was that guy. Like a phaser was a deadly weapon, even if it wasn't pointed at someone. Granted he could not draw any conclusions on the other operative, from his own experiences. People dealt differently and it seemed like Bishop had not yet given up on clinging to his last shred of humanity - the sole reason for his inner turmoil. And while Brody was intent to push him over the edge, into the comfortable darkness of not caring, with him, he too harbored the faint hope that maybe for Bishop it was not too late yet. That he could regain his humanity, if he got out of this line of work soon enough.

Potentially the first amicable sentiment he'd felt for the bearded man, since first looking into his pudgy face.

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #33
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

There was a serious consideration at play within the mind of the sage-eyed and moderately seasoned spy, which threatened to manifest itself into a harsh reality here and now, yet while he could feel an almost immeasurable power wellspring up within him, he could also feel the soft whisper of a voice echoing against his ear. A memory of something; someone who had renewed in him a desire to be better and do better. Were it not for that which was holding his base aggression at bay, he might have slipped back into acquiescent alignment with it. He might have even escalated the confrontation in response to the challenging words lobbed at him by the man who had triggered this transgression of turmoil in the first place. But no, Fisher wasn't a monster. He had done monstrous things in his past, in a naïve and fundamentally flawed understanding of 'the greater good' and what it represented, but he wouldn't stoop to that level once more. Sure, her memory served as a reminder of what he could be, but it wasn't what had first inspired and instilled that ideal; from the very onset he had always strived to be better than the typical Intelligence Officer, and though he had stumbled from time to time, he never let guilt and a costly victory compromise who he was at the very core.

Glaring at Brody, he found a new revelation of thought which hadn't existed before with regard to the man; that of pity. He hadn't know the other man for any real length of time, but he could still detect the telltale signs of surrender to the 'business-as-usual' approach that many Intelligence Officers exhibited, and which he was so determined to resist. As such, a much less scornful sentiment began to settle in, helping him to better understand the other spy. It was safe to say, that Fisher found himself feeling far less antagonistic toward Brody, and if anything far more apathetically neutral. "Another time." Fisher dismissed him simply, immediately letting his considerable rage subside, and choosing to ignore the rest of the other spy's attempts at provocation. Just as quickly as he had lost his control, he had regained it, and solidified it behind a fortified wall which always existed; the will to proceed, and to heed the call of duty. "Let's get this over with, first."

"If you hoo-mons are done, I'd like to conclude our business together." Expressed Ferron who stood at the base of one of the two stairwells, a look of confusion clearly evident on his face. "Whoa! Alright, easy!" he protested as Brighton shoved him forward, annoyed that the Ferengi had grown comfortable and confident enough to voice such concerns, when he and his brother's fate was still very much within the purview of the men who held them at the behest of disruptor rifles. "There aren't any mines. Our agreement made it explicitly clear that explosives of any kind were forbidden." He expressed, taking the first step unto the stairwell, followed by a second. "I made sure to include it in the contract, and the Dominion are surprisingly adherent to those finer details." Though as he made the third step, a sudden chirp emanated from somewhere along the baseboard of the stairwell, and his eyes went wide in abject horror. Throwing his hands up over his head in anticipation of an explosion, the sniveling Ferengi dove up the stairwell and screamed, and Brighton likewise recoiled in expectation of some form of detonation.

Yet a few seconds passed, and it became clear that what had triggered was no mine, but rather a motion sensor.

"Shit!" exclaimed Fisher as he stepped closer to the stairwell, moving by Brody and toward Brighton. Laying eyes on the device which had been set off, he motioned with a wave of his hand for Brighton to grab Ferron and move him along. Their presence was likely revealed, and the Jem'Hadar would no doubt be moving to dig themselves in advance of what they likely perceived to be a raid on the FBA building. "Failed to detail motion sensors as also forbidden, huh?" he snapped at Ferron, only to turn back and grab Norben by the scruff of his collar and move him along too. "Come on, we're not entirely screwed yet." He explained, knowing that there were still one or two cards of deception that they could draw upon if circumstances were still conducive to them. Of course, that all hinged on details that they wouldn't know until reaching the tenth-floor. "Is this the fastest way up?" he barked at the smaller Ferengi, ushering him up to the second level which overlooked the grand atrium down below.

"The fastest way is through the westside emergency escape stairwell." Explained Norben, his dull voice co-opting the answer before Ferron could possibly convolute it with lies and half-truths.

"There are three ways up. This, the main stairwell, and yes the westside and eastside stairwells." Ferron added.

"But we only disabled all of lockdown barriers in the westside, Ferron?"

Brighton and Fisher both immediately turned to glare at Ferron, who could only smile and shrug his shoulders. "Right... I forgot."

"The emergency stairwell sounds like our best option, since it's meant for easy escape it's likely on the periphery of the building. Means we only have to worry about Dominion forces being in front of us, rather than behind, as we would if we took the main stairwell up." Brighton reasoned, looking back and forth between the two spies as they were likely making up their own relative plans on the matter. Fisher nodded in acknowledgement, and while time was now of the essence as every passing moment meant that the Jem'Hadar on the tenth-floor would grow increasingly readied for combat, but there were likely other avenues of approach that they could explore when it came to dealing with the obstacle in the way of their getting to the roof. "I'm just an Engineer. Get me to the roof, and I'll get the carry signal implanted. But I deferring to the two of you when it comes to dealing with our... obstacle." The big man peered back and forth between the two spies, and though he could tell that Fisher's mind was at play with an idea, he could likewise see that the other spy was also making considerations of his own.

"The path to the roof is the only thing that matters. The entire rest of the tenth-floor means nothing of value." Fisher began, looking to Brody with an idea, which was potentially ridiculous, but also possibly might afford them the time they needed. "How much explosive did you manage to shove into that bag of tricks?"
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #34
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

It wasn't quite obvious to Brody, how he'd gotten to develop a subtle sense of care, for the man calling himself Bishop. Or when, this exactly had occurred. He simply realized that, while his offer for physical release was rebuked, he felt a ping of concern, reverberating through his innards. The concern for the bearded man to at least not meet the most gruesome of demises - which was already a lot, considering. For someone who worked alone, it wasn't very professional too care too much about anything, but the mission. A very easy focus to place, if you thought of it, excluding yourself from the ramifications of reality. It was, however, not very human ... and, as the lovely Ferengi pointed out in his most screeching of voices, the two of them still were, very much so, decidedly human. All the flaws, all the demons, that came with it.

For now, however, he would put it down as battlefield affection: People spending an exceeding amount together, fighting the same foe, having each other's back in some unspoken scheme of honor ... it created a sense of comradery, no matter how hard one tried to fight it. Touching back on the very human instincts of connection and heightened sympathy, for those of their kind. A sentiment played like a fiddle, twisted to perversion, by the skilled diplomats of the fleet, but held in high regard still, among those deep down in the thick of it, where naught more existed, than the unwritten code of conduct, between those who fought the good fight. So, he did not press forward, on the issue, instead let the man pass, as the obnoxiously vocal Ferengi was pushed forward into the stairwell at his beckoning. Rolling his eyes at the new tirade, the former operative was already geared up to take a few flights of stairs in stride, as the whole procession stopped.

Cringing slightly at the way half his squad and their hostages recoiled in anticipation of what was to come, Brody remained relatively relaxed, bringing up the rear from a safe distance. But he DID expect something to blow up, orange chunks being flung around like someone detonated a firecracker in a jack-o-lantern. That spectacle, however, did not happen. "Good work ... Pumpkin." he denoted, sarcasm dripping off his every word, as he glared at Ferron, who was only just reclaiming his sanity. Circling around, pushing hands stiff into his hips, the man shuffled for a moment, letting his eyes scroll the room with an audible puff of vapor, escaping stiff lips. This was just getting better and better ... the clumsiness with which they stumbled through this mission, playing Polish polkas on the strings of his nerves. And while his ears rung with the rushing of blood, he only caught the tail-end of their so-called 'plan'.

Letting out a low snort of chuckle, the man turned around, his face serious as always, as if the stifled laugh had come from someone else.

"While I do appreciate where you're going with this, the fireworks are reserved for the grand finale." Brody challenged, ready to take Bishop to the mat on it ... what was it with him trying to get the man to fight him though?! Lot of unresolved battlefield tension, if you would've asked the wife at home. "The alarm is already triggered, they know something's coming ..." he started out, casually reiterating the facts. "... they also know that these little worms are still creeping around, as if they had nothing in their heads but a candle, to simulate life in their eyes." Just taking even the slightest bit of pleasure in the Ferengi's communal exasperation, he paid them no direct attention. "We'll send the little one up ahead to explain what happened." He then looked at Norben, leaning forward and down slightly, to seem more menacing. "That they have nothing to worry about, that he was being stupid and irresponsible and deserves to have his head blown off." The younger Ferengi retreated behind Brighton, figuring him the least of all evils. Erecting himself back up, dark eyes soon fell on Brody.

"I am afraid if we send the shriveled one, he'll only rat us out, no matter if we snuff his cousin for it. In that regard, the smaller one has more wits, at least when it comes to fear being the smart thing to feel, right now." the commander conceded. "We have no time for detours, no time to smoke an entire floor of alert Jem'Hadar ... and we can't afford drawing any more attention to this building, until we have finished our mission." Tipping his pate subtly, wholesomely intent on coaxing forth a sense of agreement from Bishop, Brody let a small line of a frown show, between his thick brows. Lowering his voice, so only the other operative could hear it, he continued: "We'll use him as a distraction, come up behind him, catch them by surprise. It'll be over in a matter of minutes."
  • Last Edit: November 04, 2020, 01:25:42 PM by stardust

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #35
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

Having been wholly intent on quite literally pulling the floor out from under the Jem'Hadar on the tenth level, Fisher could actually appreciate the slightly more sound and deliberative approach put forward by his fellow Intelligence Officer. Besides which, there were no guarantees that strapping that much high-explosive to the underside of the tenth level wouldn't cause a severe destabilization of the roof structure and eliminate their true target: the jamming emitter placed atop it. Of course, while tactful, this stealthier approach full of subterfuge and silent death was undoubtedly a more difficult feat to accomplish. It would take the kind of practiced deftness that few could so profess an understanding and mastery of, though Fisher felt surprisingly confident that his counterpart could count himself as one of those few. So, casting the other man a cursory examination with his green gaze, Fisher offered nothing more a simple nod of agreement on the matter. There were more than a few slit throats in his past, and it seemed tonight he'd add to that gruesome tally.

"Well. Norben, I would argue, but it sounds like a fair enough proposal to me." Chimed Ferron, the snarky sniveling tone of his voice made plainly evident by how he was oh-so-willing to sell out his brother, as the alternative would have seen him placed in harm's way instead.

"Man, shut up!" barked Brighton as he shoved Ferron out of disgust.

"We take the westside stairwell up, our more agreeable Ferengi friend gives the Jem'Hadar a moment of pause, and then we pull out the clean sweep, yeah?" Fisher surmised the plan as much for his own benefit, as for anyone else. It wasn't the worst plan he'd ever heard. Nor was it the best or most well thought out one either, but given their options and constraints, it still beat his proposal. Thing was, everyone had plans until they got punched in the mouth, as a famous Earth heavyweight boxer used to lament, and they were definitely going to be getting their fair share of punches during the inevitable fracas. With an audible sigh however, Fisher stepped toward and padded the taller yet slower Ferengi on his shoulder in a reassuring manner. "You'll be fine." While his fellow spy might have been far less considerate of such a small gesture, Fisher wasn't, and knew that the Ferengi would be placing himself in a precarious situation on their behalf. Sure, he was in stuck in between a proverbial rock and hard place, without much else to do about it, but Fisher also figured Norben might be more useful to them and their effort if he wasn't so sure of his own death. If there was even a tiny glimmer of hope that the noble Starfleet Officers might do their part in ensuring his safety during the bloody strife of this initiative, then it might bolster their efforts.

"Well. Okay."

"Good enough for me. Let's go!" he beckoned Norben ahead of him, sending him scurrying down the corridor which led to the westside emergency stairwell. Brighton fell in behind, shoving Ferron in a likewise direction, though with a more aggressive sentiment behind it. Lingering back just a second, Fisher afforded Brody a knowing glance that spoke volumes of the understanding that they surely shared, that this wouldn't be such a clean and thrifty business as either of them had outlined. That there was odds on favorite that the dullard of a Ferengi wouldn't see the ensuing exchange through unscathed, if alive at all. It was an uneasy thought to him, as even if the Ferengi were making deals with the Dominion, they weren't necessarily traitors as Brody had likely seen them. They were collaborators, sure, but that didn't necessitate their deaths in his mind. But the simple facts had been laid out to bear by Brody, they didn't have time for detours, and couldn't risk drawing attention to their location until after things were settled with the emitter. For him, it meant he'd reach inside for something a little extra in the next few minutes, because he didn't want to add Norben to the list of guilts already weighing him down in life.

Naturally, he wondered if Brody might be able to summon the same level of wherewithal, or if he would simply do as little as possible in getting the task done, disregarding the value of the Ferengi's life as nothing more than another expendable asset.

The climb up the eight flights of stairs to the tenth-floor went slow enough thanks to Ferron who trudged onward under the aggressive behest of Brighton, himself annoyed at how many breaks the conniving Ferengi begged to take along the way. Eventually though, they reached the last platform at the top of the dimly lit emergency staircase, where a lone door awaited them. Glancing at Norben who stood just before the precipice of where it might swing open, he imagined what kind of ambush and or traps might lay in wait for them just beyond it. Thankfully, the ten Jem'Hadar had three staircases to keep watch of, as they likely had no idea which of them the intruders might emerge from. Given that they also had to maintain guard over the stairwell which led to the roof, it was relatively safe to assume there would be two maybe three of them waiting within close proximity. Those odds weren't great for poor Norben, but they were well within the realm of reasonable for Fisher and Brody to successfully take down. The issue was that if they didn't do it quietly, they'd soon find themselves swarmed upon by those remaining Jem'Hadar.

"Knives out." He commented softly, recalling exactly how Anderson would have said it when approaching a similar scenario. As accentuation, the bayonet at the end of his borrowed Jem'Hadar disruptor-rifle flicked out audibly from where it had been retracted.

Understanding what the play was, as it had been described to him during the ascent, Norben cast one last look at the men whom he was being forced to entrust his life too, then took a step forward into the door, clunking against it clumsily as it didn't budge for him. Blinking in confusion, and looking back for instruction on the matter, it was clear Norben didn't understand the issue. So, rather than spell it out, Fisher reached out and grabbed the door handle and pulled it open, demonstrating what the issue was in the mere act. Raising a finger as though he understood, though neglecting to comment, Norben strode through the now open doorway and made an immediate right turn. "Umm... hello?" he called out into the darkness, raising his hands in sign of his 'innocent' intentions to whomever may have lay in wait for him.

Shaking his own head at the idea that their plan hinged on someone too dimwitted to recognize that a door was of the pull, not push variety, Fisher went to a crouch as he slipped through the doorway a few seconds after Norben, weapon at the ready, and sticking to the darkened parts of the shadows that which permeated the confines of the first corridor. There were rooms to either side of the corridor, with doors which were left open due to the lack of an internal power source, which was great since it offered a decent bit of defilade for when the shooting inevitably broke out. Tucking away into one and peering out from one of them as he continued to overwatch Norben who strolled along, Fisher began to wonder where the Jem'Hadar were, as they likely should have spotted and called out to the Ferengi by now. Or they should have shot him. All the same, the lack of an immediate reaction was moderately disconcerting.

"Halt!" boomed a disconnected voice from somewhere. "What're you doing here, Ferengi! You're not cleared for this level!"

With a deep yet silent breath, and just barely capable of seeing the encroaching Jem'Hadar who had called out to Norben, with what appeared to be a second just a few paces behind him, Fisher ducked out of his cover and sidled around the corner into the next open doorway just prior to the intersection where the Ferengi had stopped in place. Taking up a position just off to the rear left of Norben, he was ready to lunge forth and down the Jem'Hadar if they so closed distance just a little more.

"Umm... sorry, but I uhh... need to talk to the First? It's about my brother."
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #36
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
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Feeling as if they had reached a level of agreement, unprecedented in the short amount of intense time spent together, Brody dared not cast doubt, into that holy light of unity, temporarily cast atop their fellowship, like a single bright star in the sky. So, he dispensed his judgment on the further cuts, that dissected his original ploy into a reality more suitable to Bishop's sensibilities as an operative. He found himself to be bigger than that, in one of the most selfish displays of misplaced grandeur to date. Which ironically translated into one of his smartest moments. Maybe that was the essence of diplomacy, Samantha always kept talking about. That getting what you wanted, was as much about making concessions, as it was about staying true to your own convictions. An eternal tug-of-war, between either. Accepting that not always could you get the exact results you had vied for. Sometimes it was a compromise. God, how he hated that word. But not only since getting married, had he painfully learned the merit of such a concept. And what would keep him off the living area's couch at night, surely, could also keep him in more agreeable graces with the man that obviously held such (unwarranted) sway among the local rebels.

The fate of the two Ferengi truly wasn't on the forefront of the man's mind. Perceptions trained on the ultimate goal still. Which had already shifted from extracting the bearded man to tagging along on his ill-fated crusade in an effort to keep him alive. Emotional proclivities not at the top of the list, until mere minutes ago. As it had turned out the man's mental stability was probably equally important to his survival as having someone to guard his back. Both of which were already a fully day's work for a single man. Combined, however, there was little more room to care about the wellbeing of two whining, orange balls of greed. "Ferron, I swear, by the singed chip in your ear ..." he grumbled up through the bars of alternating banisters, to the flight of stairs the alien was currently catching his breath on. Apparently, he had still gone to easy on the man, eliciting any sense of self-preservation, above that of comfort and slight physical anguish. Deliberately leaving the fate open, however, he hoped to instill a 'or else' sensitivity in him, that would hopefully drive those pudgy little feet to a more agreeable pace.

Eventually, the small group reached the top, a lone single door in the wall, like a predestined fate. No choice, no alternative, a solitary way forward. Which, from a tactical perspective, held its own merit. Having brought up the rear, Brody waited half a level below, still hearing the commands hissed through the dark clearly. He was now caught in between the comfort of his sniper scope, revealing shrouded Jem'Hadar with ease, and the quiet, subtle edge of his carbon blade. The words, however, touched on familiar ground, that he hadn't thought possible between these two men. Dark eyes gazed at the other operative incredulously, beneath furrowed brows, that conveyed an unspoken sense of realization. Etching them one step closer to mutual agreement. So, he submitted to the notion laid out by Bishop, he'd grant him that much advance trust now. Slipping through the shoulder strap of his black rifle, placing it across the backpack on his hunch, the man pulled a shimmering anthracite blade from his boot, clenching his fist around the grip to it pointed downward, to give better leverage while letting it fall onto the back of Jem'Hadar necks. "Stab, don't slash." he whispered succinctly, since even a simple task as push vs. pull seemed too hard to understand. Too loud enough for the whole group to hear, alongside the subtly mocking tone. There was no need to spend their last seconds of peace in pathetic sobriety.

Turning back into motion, as the caravan scampered single file through the exit, Brody brought up the rear, guiding the door back into its lock silently. Watching Bishop disappear in a room on the opposite side of the corridor, while Norben shuffled ahead straight down, he tapped Brighton silently on the shoulder, giving him a distinct chop with the side of his hand in Bishop's direction, beckoning him to follow. He had no intention to be blamed for that one getting scorch marks. He'd rather taken the Ferengi, who was already singed. Pulling Ferron into a room, opposite of the other two, Brody took a quick moment to adjust to the darkness, spotting a connecting door just down the room. Slapping the large-eared alien on the head, to regain his attention, he pointed at the pathway for him to follow, as well as reiterating, by gesture, to keep his damn mouth shut or else ... finger guns to the head, with his eyes rolled to the back of it. Continuing to scurry across the dusty floor, torso bent down low, he almost admired the Ferengi for his stout profile, right then.

Squatting beside the door ultimately, he gently pulled at the already slightly gaping panel, cringing at the subtle sound of metal scraping against one another in the absence of magnetic levitation. But the noise was wholesomely covered by distance and the Jem'Hadar asserting themselves just beyond the wall. Shoving Ferron through, Brody followed suit immediately, pinning the Ferengi against the wall and beckoning him to stay, before scampering onward to the next doorway into the corridor, just feet from where the soldiers stood. Peering out a bit, covered by the shadow of the wall, he could see Bishop and Brighton having taken up a similar position on the opposite side, as they waited for the Jem'Hadar to take the bait. Moving to the opposite side of the doorframe unseen, so he could have direct line of sight with Norben, the notion was not requited. No matter the effort on the operative's side, the Ferengi could not see the signals in the dark, urging him to lure the guards his way. Instead, the opposite happened.

"Alright, come with us!" they demanded relentlessly, causing Brody to cuss quietly and for Ferron to actually display some semblance of terror, in what that would mean to his brother. Or himself, it was hard to tell. Nonetheless, watching Norben slowly pass by the door, towards the Jem'Hadar, he already saw his window of opportunity slip, until the two men made an effort to let the Ferengi pass between them, so they could take up the rear, like good old soldiers. Sticking his head out of the doorway as they had turned, a wave towards Bishop, Brody quickly snuck out of his hiding place, coming up behind the left Jem'Hadar. One last check with regards to the other man's readiness, he let his blade fall dash down into the back of the guard's neck, soliciting a gut-wrenching crack, as his spine severed. Giving it. A twist for good measure and the limp man slid off the blade onto the floor with a subtle thud. Kicking him one last time, to check any reaction beyond the random twitch of his body chemistry, the former operative brushed both sides of the blade against his black pants, leaving a shimmering trail of indiscernible color.

"How many more was that?" he whispered, readying for the next act.

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #37
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

Knives in the dark.

When he'd first come to work with Starfleet Intelligence, it had surprised a younger and slightly more naïve Fisher just how often true change came via that most vicious of combinations. Talking your way through disagreements was fine but trying to understand your opponents and their point of view could only go on for so long. Diplomacy was of course always the goal with Starfleet and the Federation, but in reality it had a limited modicum of time to be played out, and when it finally felt like that time had reached it's inevitable close, and an impasse still hadn't been cleared, it was then that the sheathes were discarded, and the pathways to 'peace' became greased with the blood of those opponents. At least, that had been the case far more frequently than was common knowledge among the people of the Federation. The 'nobility' of that Federation, and it's superior moral standing went right out when faced with something like the Dominion; it didn't matter if the dove-like people made new calls for peace talks, even sometimes in the form of surrender so as to bring an end to the bloodshed. Once there was a promise of war, it was then up to people like Fisher and Brody to ensure that the efforts of those opponents were bitterly contested, and to forward the agenda of violence.

Peace would be won by making the enemies of the Federation regret ever having gone to war with them in the first place.

That reality wasn't lost on Fisher as he followed after their dimwitted Ferengi accomplice, making his way down the corridor ahead of them. He kept close proximity by sticking to the shadows, skirting around and through one connected office into the next. He could only hopefully assume that his fellow Intelligence Officer was likewise keeping up with the slow advance toward this particular set of Jem'Hadar, because he would no doubt need his assist in downing them silently if they wanted to have any chance of making it to the roof without everything going to shit before then. It was however, and oddity that for the first time since he'd met the man, that he'd felt a sense of trust in Brody. He had recognized the same deftness of skill and training that had been instilled in himself as an Intelligence Operative. There was an experience hidden behind those brown-eyes which spoke to years of honing those skills, the same way it was hidden behind Fishers eyes of sage green. So it was, that as Norben moved between the vanguard pair who sought to escort him to indeed speak with their First, and under the behest of a gesture to commence the strike, that Fisher and Brody made their move.

Coming up from behind the one of the left, Fisher grabbed a hold of its shoulder to spin and face him before powerfully thrusting the eight-inch bayonet of his borrowed disruptor rifle upward into its neck, just above the start of its sternum. The location of such a stab, taught to him by a less than benevolent mentor, ensured a number of things, most notably of which was a silent and near instantaneous incapacitation of the victim in question. The initial thrust would puncture their wind-pipe, pierce the spinal cord protected by vertebrae, and if pushed deep enough even potentially strike at the nerve cluster at the base of the brain. If followed by a sufficiently violent swipe on the withdraw in order to sever the arteries hidden in the neck, the victim, if somehow still alive would most certainly drown in his own blood as it poured into his now punctured throat. In this particular case, Fisher had executed such an attack flawlessly as with a slight grunt, followed by a lightly audible gurgling caused by dark life-fluid bubbling from the cut gash, his prey slumped to the ground with little if any movement which denoted life.

His blade dripping, Fisher regarded Brody with a serious gaze before his attention moved to a stunned and shocked Norben who hadn't seen what transpired behind him, but who had most certainly heard it, perhaps even viscerally so due to the Ferengi's gifted sense.

"Eight more to go." He said simply, looking back to where Brighton and Ferron were waiting in the recesses of shadow. It didn't bear mentioning that there would soon be a patrol dispatched to check on these two after they failed to report in, as Brody would have been just as aware. Peering down the darkened corridor as it stretched onward, he knew that they could likely pull off one more stealthy attack like this one, before the Jem'Hadar would understand the game being played and adapt strategies. With a nod in the direction further down the corridor, indicating his intent to lure in the next patrol and repeat the process, Fisher gave a wave to Norben, Ferron, and Brighton so as to have them take cover somewhere. Ducking back down to a low crouch, Fisher then moved ahead twenty or so paces and tucked back into one of the empty offices, once more making note of the tactless and gawdy features which adorned their surroundings in sickly hues of purple, green, and orange. The only items which more readily denoted this structure as Ferengi in ownership, were the number of safes and vaults which adorned the corners of each room. He pondered for a moment if their contents had been left behind, then with a dismissive head shake he knew it ludicrous to imagine that the greedy species would leave their most prized possessions behind.

"Westside unit. Report in!" came a baritone voice down the corridor, alerting Fisher to take up the ready.

"First, this is Central unit. We've not received check-ins from the Westside unit since their dispatch. What are your orders?"

Clutching his disruptor rifle tightly, and ready to emerge from the cabinet he had chosen to obscure himself behind, Fisher waited to hear what this group might do. He knew that if they didn't take the bait, he would need to force the issue, and rush them. This was a game of numbers, and they desperately needed to seize on whatever few opportunities there were to even them out.

"Understood!" the voice seemed to draw nearer again, and Fisher could hear footsteps.

As a flashlight suddenly shone into the office that he had taken refuge in, illuminating the interior rather brilliantly, the spy was careful to ensure that he was hidden from view, though that also meant he couldn't necessarily ascertain how many of the Jem'Hadar there were in this particular group. Holding his breath, and making a conscious effort to steady his heartbeat, it felt like an eternity had passed before finally the light disappeared and the room was bathed in pitch once more.

"Clear!" came a second voice, and more footsteps. "There! Bodies!" it followed up with.

It was an interesting thing, how without any prior determinations made, he could recognize his cue to act as if he had been called to it under a waving baton held by an orchestral conductor. How it was an almost intrinsic awareness, bordering on extra-sensory capability which he and most spies possessed, because he knew the window to attack had just been thrown open, and that the time to continue this symphony of silent death had come after the briefest of interludes. Springing forth from where he had been hidden, he emerged from around the open doorway of the office into the corridor and approached a trio of Jem'Hadar from behind them. Two were fore, the flashlights of their weapons trained on the pair of bodies that he and Brody had left for them to discover, yet the third was smart enough to keep a keen eye on their rear as they advanced. He had spotted the movement as it came for him and his fellows, but unfortunately for him, at such close distances he barely had time to recognize what that movement was before it was bearing down upon him.

He might not have been as easy a slaughter as the first had been for Fisher, since the green-eyed spy had to swing the butt of his rifle in a wide arc just to fling the soldier's own rifle out of firing position, but he still didn't stand much of a chance to survive the follow-up bayonet thrust which lanced into the dead center of his chest, piercing a protective breastplate with ease as Fisher leant the whole of his body weight into the attack, his blade entering the heart behind it. His momentum carried on however, causing him to fall atop of the body he had just created, leaving himself a target for the two still living Jem'Hadar soldiers just a few paces ahead. At least, that would have been the case, were it not for a skillful Brody dealing with them first.

Digging his bayonetted rifle free from where it had come stuck in his target, Fisher stood over his second victim a moment before turning to look back down the corridor.

"Five left now."



OOC: A little music to set the badass mood after Fisher and Brody have finished the second set of Jem'Hadar. ;)
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  • Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 07:42:44 AM by Swift
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #38
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
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The curious thing about memories, repressed or not, was that they popped up in the funniest moments. Like that silly earth game, where you had to whack a mole, or a beaver, popping out from beneath the surface unpredictably. And while Brody certainly had the mental mallet, and the skill, to score at hammering any unwanted memento back into the depth of the infernal machinery, there were still those cute little critters from days gone he had to take a moment to look at. Potentially until the timer passed and that particular point was lost to his mawkish veneration. Like the way Bishop and him had taken down the two soldiers in perfect synergy, now stalking the next batch like a pack of wolves, relying on millennia of evolutionary conditioning and silent, almost telepathic, communication. These were the moments that felt so incredibly natural that he did not mind the call from the past. No, if anything, it cast an almost acquainted light on the relationship between the two men, that only now started to find the mutual ground, they had so long danced around. Who would have thought, that all it took would be a couple of hours in the soup, to become one with the struggle once more. Hell, to potentially even enjoy it, just a little.

For a moment, the corridors filled with the silence of battle fog, descending thick upon the dusty floor. Invisible, yet heavy, as a wet blanket. The tiniest crack, echoed through the cavernous halls, like tender ripples in a pond, almost tugging at the man's rigid body, as they gently lapped around him. A husky voice cracked through the dark like a whip, sending miniscule electric shocks to his muscles, stiffening them into an alert pose, within a moment that not even his blinking eyelids could catch up with. As stray dust particles, caught in his dark lashes, sparkled like blurry glitter, against the rays of flashlights, coming up the hallway like the silver promise of a new morning ... though not for them, certainly. The lizard creatures beyond the veil of white light. Monstrous things that fairytales had been made of, when humanity was till confined to their little corner of the universe. Oblivious to the real horrors of infinite possibilities in infinite variations. A kind of ignorance that would've caused them destruction by the Borg, or even the Dominion by now, potentially, had they not left the surly bonds of home. Yet they didn't exactly find paradise in the heavens above either, did they.

In an ideal scenario, the bodies would've been removed, to eliminate unwanted attention. But that was a tactic reserved for worse odds than ten against two. So what, if they knew what was to come, if the fear of it all turned their muscles and flesh sour, from the acidity of fear. Even If the Jem'Hadar couldn't feel it, per say, they knew the taste of danger, like the scent of copper in the wind, that attracts the predators of the wild. Transmitted like the staccato of morse-code, in every abrupt move and jerk, as their heartbeat hastened. No matter how he stalked, be it a Klingon, a Romulan, a Jem'Hadar ... they all behaved the same, in the end. When an ethereal sense of finality flushed their arteries with adrenaline. An innate sense of foresight, that every living thing possessed, as it pertained directly to the finite quality of existence. A siren's call, from the other side, like a dark echo, a gravity, pulling at the soul, even before the body hits the ground. He'd seen it, many times, as the light went out in someone's eyes, before they even felt the sharp sting in their flesh, that squeezed their lungs like an elephant, sitting on their chest. Constricted their muscles, like a boa, wrapped around their limbs and torso. Until it all gave way to numbness.

One Jem'Hadar slipped off his blade, a stray drop of blood, springing into the air with every groove in its shaft, as it flicked against the fabric of his suit, on the way out. A long streak of black liquid, almost frozen in the air, stretching between the tip of his knife and the wound on the collapsing soldier, as it whizzed through the air with the sound of an arrow, clean across the other alien's neck. Cutting scaly leather and rigid meat in a hot flesh, so deep, it caused the Jem'Hadar's head to tip back, revealing the white of a vertebra, like an opal in the dark crack of a mine, flooded with the oily grime of life. He too, sank to the floor momentarily, like a machine that had just been switched off. Brody didn't even realize that he was slightly panting, against the more gut-wrenching sound of liquid spiling across the dusty marble. His boots, squeaking against the pooling to his feet, as similar black ponds raised to look at the other operative, glazed over with the memories he did not care to relief as vividly as the ones he'd indulged in just minutes earlier. It took him a moment to untangle the current situation from that of shadows past. Until he realized Bishop's position.

"Well, once you're done making out with that corpse, you can still catch up." he noted flippantly - or as flippantly as could be, when the mere notion of making light was in reference to one's own darkness, rather than that weighing down the situation they were in. Half of them down and no mentionable injuries, but maybe psychological ones, the odds certainly seemed to be in their favor. Turning slightly, to get a look back at the other three behind them, their pale skins and distorted faces at the scene, he could - for the first time- see the true extent of their mess. Walls splattered with long streaks of dark glitter. The floor almost obstructed, by fleshy debris. Almost feeling bad for the display, in light of those, that these were not all too common sights for. "Steady steps, they won't get back up." He reassured, holding out a hand to get the Ferengi across swiftly, and without them shrieking like a pig. In the end, however, his pulling them across made them stumble even harder, than had they gone at their own volition ... and pace. Earning him some mean glances, but what else was new.

"What are the chances we make it to the roof without going through every last one of them?" He didn't suppose they would be open to bribery, or terror. But maybe they were just dim enough not to notice.

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #39
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] @stardust

In what could be described as a most vicious and carefully choreographed ballet, Fisher and his silent partner had worked their way down through the halls of this abandoned and mostly forgotten building like a pair of looming shadows which sought to steal away the very last facets of light from their would-be victims. Together, they had so skillfully skulked from one darkened corner onto the next in perfect lock sync, and rhythm. The pitter-patter of spilled blood and the subtle almost indistinctive fading of dying heartbeats serving as a percussive backdrop to the nearly silent orchestral masterpiece of instinct and training which was driving them onward. Not everyone who served within Starfleet was capable of such deftness when dispatching death upon the foes of the Federation. No, these abilities weren't even all that common among members of the Intelligence services to which both Fisher and Brody had both either belonged to in past or present tense. Anyone could wield a phaser and shoot their enemies from a distance, but few could, and even fewer would choose to adopt such a brutally violent and personal skillset which leant itself so readily to assassination and murder. Some might have even foolishly mistaken this kind of mastery of knives as something akin to the valorous displays of martial combat that Klingons and other similar warrior races had so championed. But there was nothing valorous about what Fisher and Brody had just gone through.

In the simplest terms, their use of knives was an efficient means to an end and nothing more.

As the diameter of a puddle slowly expanded beneath the limp body of his latest victim, soon finding, and mingling among a pair of others like three great lakes which began to merge into a vast ocean, Fisher glared with a determination in response to the flippant remark cast by his fellow assassin. As much as he hated to admit it, there had always been a surge of adrenaline and endorphins which came in accordance when committing these kinds of acts. Bloodlust, he knew it as, was very real, and were it not for his training, skill, and the understanding which he had been taught, he might have fallen victim to the inescapable lure of how incredibly empowering it felt. It was safe to say that men like Fisher and Brody were either a Counseling Officer's greatest wet dream, or their most horrifying of nightmares. Because there were dark places where only men like Fisher and Brody were not only permitted to delve but were in fact encouraged to roam. The very act of emerging from darkness only to so viciously deprive the gift of life from another being was the kind of fuel which sustained history's greatest murderers and psychopaths, but to them it was their job. And just like all those murderers and psychopaths, Fisher could keenly remember the looks in the faces of each and every one of his victims when his knife struck home, and the light in their eyes went out of existence.

For now though, those old faces along with these new ones would have to settle back into the recesses of his subconscious and wait for their opportune chance to haunt his dreams.

'Be seeing you.' Fisher thought to himself as he exhaled deeply and eased his grip of the rifle in his hands ever so slightly.

"Slim to none." Shifting his attention to the two bumbling Ferengi moving toward them at the behest of Brighton's prodding, he could see a slightly terrified and clearly judgmental look in the eyes of Ferron. Fisher was more than aware of the reputation that humanity had garnered since joining the greater community of races which trekked across the stars and knew that more cunning people like Ferron could see right through the professed warmth and higher sensibilities espoused by the Federation. Romulans were duplicitous by nature. Vulcans could be considered cold. Klingons violent and impulsive. Ferengi conniving. But humanity was different in that it would exemplify each of these traits while attempting to hide them behind a veil of love for peace and prosperity. Some were naïve enough to but this façade, and give the benefit of the doubt, but others were wary of how dangerous humanity could be. And by no means was that wariness unwarranted, or unrightful. It was proven prudent time and again by actions commensurate with those that these two assassins had just demonstrated.

"Hoo-mons." Remarked Ferron as he shook his head, appraising his dim-witted brother with an incredulous look as if to say he was right.

Choosing to ignore the shade being so liberally cast upon them, Fisher spun on his heel as he peered further down the hallway that they had been working their way along. "With two of their patrols going silent, the remaining Jem'Hadar will seek to regroup, hunker down, and defend their position and the signal jammer until reinforcements arrive." It would have been exceedingly foolish of them to believe their mission would proceed without additional enemies descending upon them at some point. If the clock wasn't ticking before, it certainly was now. They needed to make it to their objective sooner rather than later, and at this point the added baggage of their Ferengi friends would only serve to slow them down. "The access stairwell to the roof, down this hallway, right?" Motioning with his rifle in the direction which led off into the distance, its bayonet still dripping with thick droplets of blood serving as stark reminder to the hellishness of just a few seconds earlier. He could only imagine the kind of defenses that the Jem'Hadar had previously set up in advance of an eventual attack.

Sensing it as his turn to speak, Ferron glanced between Fisher and Brody for an instant before. "That's right. About fifty meters that way."

"The corridor widens just prior the stairwell to accommodate Director Ongro's private lounge." Norben added.

"Alright. Cut'em loose, Al."

Raising a curious eyebrow at the instruction, Brighton didn't exactly hesitate as he stepped forward to shuffle both of the Ferengi back down the corridor in the direction from which they had emerged just moments earlier. "You heard the man, get lost!" barked the big Starfleet Engineer, his deep baritone voice serving as an impetus to the pair of brothers. "Best you run and keep your heads down. We mean to make a mess of this place." He warned as Norben scuttled down in advance of his brother.

"Oh! Real quick! If any of you ever have need of sound financial advice or investment opportun-- umm, actually never mind." Ferron blinked in disbelief as he cut short his attempt at soliciting a new client from the trio of men, choosing instead to scamper after his brother with added gusto.

Shaking his head as the annoying Ferengi brothers disappeared into the darkness, Brighton checked the power level on his rifle as he stepped forward to stand among Fisher and Brody. "Time's ticking. We need a plan to get past them, and we need one quick. The Jem'Hadar aren't likely to be in any kind of mood to talk. If anything, they'll be shooting first, second, and third at this point. A full-on frontal assault is likely suicide, but with the window for subterfuge being closed at this point, I don't really see another way around it." Standing a good few inches higher than his comrades, the broad-shouldered hulk of a man peered down past the pair of them and waited to field any options they might have had. After all, his expertise was with computer systems, and engineering. Assaulting an enemy position wasn't necessarily out of the realm of his job expectations, but it certainly wasn't something that he had much personal experience with. No, it was best to leave such considerations up to the two spies that thrived under such dire situations and circumstances.

Sighing softly for a moment as he checked the watch on his wrist, Fisher made mental note of the time so as to get a rough idea of just how long they probably had before any of the forces that had gone to attack the divisionary team might return. At best, he surmised they had five-minutes to get to the roof and start the upload before troops began storming the building in support of their fellows. And that was assuming the divisionary team hadn't already been wiped out, and the Jem'Hadar hadn't already been on their way back. Starkly aware of all the variables which existed as part of their problematic situation, Fisher could see the whole equation splayed out and knew that the calculations his trained mind was making were right. Sure, an assault had a better chance of success if all three of them attacked at once, but Brighton was himself too critical to the overall success of their mission to really risk. Additionally, while he didn't exactly like Brody, Fisher knew that he had already rather unfairly asked too much of the man, and that he had gone above and beyond the call of his respective duty in helping Fisher get this far. He couldn't rightfully expect him to risk his skin and surrender the life he had hinted about earlier on some daring attempt to storm an enemy holdout.

That left only him. Of the three, he knew that he was the most directly expendable. And despite what Brody might have thought of it, the realization wasn't one born of a death wish. It was simply born of succinct truth. After all, his survival wasn't integral to the success of the mission. Nor did he have anyone waiting for him to return somewhere.

"Right." He said simply as he slung his rifle over his shoulder. "You get this shit done! Yeah?" Quickly grabbing both a flashbang and a fragmentation grenade from his where they had been clipped to his waist, he quickly pulled the pins from each and held their respective spoons in place. "Godspeed gentlemen." And with that, Fisher took off in a sprint without so much as a hesitance down the hallway toward where an ambush and the objective were awaiting. His heart pounding in his chest, the passage of time soon seemed to slow and stretch out with each successive stride he took. Behind him, he could hear the echo of his footsteps, and ahead of him he heard shuffling movement as his greeting party got ready. 'Two or three of them.' He thought to himself. 'If I can take at least two or three of them, then the others should make it.' Drawing nearer to where the corridor began to widen in advance of the aforementioned personal lounge, he heard the command given to open fire and saw a brilliant flashing of light ahead of him. Yet like creeping lightning bolts the disruptor blasts surged past him in what felt like slow-motion, singing the hairs of his beard as they narrowly missed striking him in the face. 'Just a little closer.' The proximity now just a few meters, he could see how the five Jem'Hadar were split, two of the left side, three on the right, and in and instant he threw the fragmentation grenade at the larger group, and the flashbang at the other.

"Wait! Bishop!" blurted out Brighton in protestation as the bearded spy took off without forewarning, his attention shifting to Brody in shock at what was happening. But before he could even attempt to charge after Fisher, he had already disappeared into the distant darkness at a full-on sprint, only to be illuminated by the pulsing of discharged weapons fire, and two rather loud thumps which reverberated back down the corridor to them.

For Fisher, who had dove with his unslung rifle, bayonet first at one of the two Jem'Hadar on the left, there suddenly came an utterly blinding flash, accompanied by a pair of ear-shattering booms, and then followed almost immediately by searing hot pain as he was struck cleanly in the right shoulder by something which he couldn't readily ascertain in the midst of the chaos and confusion he had wrought. Instead, he found himself being thrashed unto the ground, no doubt by one of the surviving Jem'Hadar. A fury of clenched fists soon descending upon him in haphazard fashion as both he and the assailant were blinded and rendered temporarily deaf by the thrown flashbang. Unable to defend himself, he could only lay pinned to the ground beneath the scaly demon, an arm covering his face as haymaker blows began to rain down. He had somehow survived the first part of this brazen and somewhat blatantly stupid assault, but he hadn't made it through unscathed, and he certainly wouldn't last forever without help, even if he had somehow managed to unknowingly dispatch four of the five enemies which stood in opposition of them completing their mission.

"Rrragh!" bellowed out the lone surviving Jem'Hadar as his fist struck true to the side of Fisher's face, a rather satisfactory dull thud emanating from where he slugged in addition to a splattering of blood as skin tore underneath his knuckles.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #40
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Brody wasn't the biggest fan of obvious conclusions, no matter how truthful they would turn out to be. They always imposed a sense of predetermination he rather not entertained. But when Bishop so aptly outlined the near future through his little crystal ball of trained virtues and the tarot cards of his sharpened intellect, the taller man couldn't help but quietly agree. A court nod the only disgruntled consent he would give to the plausibility of such tactics. Pulling on the Ferengi's arm a little tighter. To the point of almost disjointing the fabric-clad carrot, at the mention of another ill-pronounced species denomination - which he couldn't be certain anymore to be coincidental and not malicious - he let his contempt shoot into the shorter guy's limb like a knife, as the nerve endings fired. Stumbling almost the last step and slipping subsequently in the forming puddle of cherry syrup, said arm was however the only thing keeping the alien from dissolving into a comedy act. Which caused his inadvertent savior to roll his eyes into the back of his head, the white a stark contrast against his dark skin.

Yanking at the arm once more, that was already aided by Ferron's hand on his aching shoulder joint, the former operative elicited another scowl and childish hiss. "Fifty meters?!" he asked, probing, unwavering in his determination to rip the worthless piece of bone and flesh right off. "Fif ... FOURTY-SEVEN meters, precisely ... I swear." The Ferengi bubbled with venom and pain, still intent on keeping his own life obscured to the rest of the Jem'Hadar as much as those of his assailants - by coincidental association. Yet even after Bishop's command, Brody took a good moment to let his dark eyes sink coldly into the depth of the orange guy's conscience where it would haunt him for a good while longer, keeping him from making any decisions detrimental to his own health in the long run. Only then did he give the alien full control over its own body back, as it quickly scampered off like a beaten dog. Diverting his attention to the hallway ahead, light losing itself in the dusty depth of darkness, he was however briefly met with the annoying call of Ferron once more, with a resigning puff of air exhaled. Turning his head swiftly, dangerous eyes shooting daggers at the wimp, it however decided quickly against furthering his pathetically misplaced offering.

Then Brighton piped in. And while Brody held no personal ill-will towards the man, he now realized he had liked him better quiet and behind cover. Narrowing his eyes slightly at the narration of facts as if a director were giving hints to the cast for what the next act was about, he temporarily rested his fists comfortably into the crook where the corners of his hip bones were closest to the surface. Letting a small moment of contemplation sink in, that visible bathed the other man in slight discomfort. Pulling up one hand, as if to calm the guy down, thumb spread apart like a lone soldier, he pressed his lips together while getting his rifle ready on the other arm. "Just ... warm up your microchips or grease your connectors and be ready." The part about letting the pros do the work till then being conveyed by posture and a subtle nod of a brow alone. Turning attention back at Bishop, who was a few feet ahead down the hallway, the two of them made no further attempt to catch up, until it transcended what the next step of the plan was. A mistake, maybe. It didn't leave Brody much time to react, let alone intervene, from so far away.

He found himself even too perplexed by the display to utter something as simple as 'Wait! Bishop!' like his technically inclined counterpart. Instead he stood there a good few seconds, gaping lips slowly curling into a disgruntled mess, while brows slowly drew together into a mangled knot of pleads across dark skin. "For fuck's sake ..." he hissed to himself, pushing his hand flat against Brighton's chest, firmly planting him in his place, before dashing after the one-man suicide squad. His feet took a few steps to get traction, in the dusty heaps, while his free arm balanced out the movements in his heavy body. Leaving behind a trail of puffed up mist, adding tot hat left behind by his predecessor, he dove into the darkness, at least drawing reassurance from the fact that he would run into the other man first, before into something else. Even if it were a Jem'Hadar bayonet. But then came a quick flash of light, briefly outlining the contours of five or six people, before a shockwave and subsequent bang caused Brody to be thrown into the side wall. Tumbling forward a few steps by sheer momentum, spinning around a good 360, against the traction of the cracked marble, ripping his sleeve in the process, the man staggered for a few steps, unwaveringly pushing forward, before regaining his full composure.

In the wavering dust, settling back and forth like ripples in a pond as the reflected shockwaves dissipated within seconds, he could very well make out a heap of immobile bodies as well as two still sparing on the ground. If only echolocating in by the sound of struggle. Peeling out the knife from his boot swiftly, throwing it into the air to grab the hilt blade down from his fist, Brody let it dash down into the back of the Jem'Hadar's head, the tip of shiny obsidian metal sparking from his mouth with a splatter of dark blood, as his face froze in abject terror. Body going limp almost immediately, he had to put his foot against the alien's back - and this push him onto Bishop more - to even pull the knife back from the scaly skull. Exiting with an audible crack, as a piece of bone broke away on the ridges of the blade, another streak of blood casting against the marble. Soon to be devoured by the growing pool of glimmering darkness. Ultimately tossing the body over from on top of the other operative he extended a helping hand to heft the man back to his feet. The gash on his cheek rather apparent but not seemingly threatening.

"You look like some angry love making." He judged dryly, readjusting the grip on his rifle while slipping the knife back into his boot. Luckily combat as this didn't require great finesse with either hand, but rather the necessary strength. That aside, to an extent, they were both trained ambidextrous. You never know when you had to fight on with one limb less. Circling the scenery quickly, counting the bodies, Brody entertained the assumption that they had indeed been dealing with ten guards and that those five were thus the last of them. He did, whoever, also do the math in his head that this put Bishop two bodies in the lead. Shooting his rifle off the hip, right into the chest of a Jem'Hadar, disposed with his back against the wall by the explosion, he turned back around with raised brows. "He was still twitching ... let's call it even then." he mused, the faintest whisper of a smile on his lips, that could've just been a play of shadows.

"Alright, Brighton, come on out, area's secured." Brody subsequently yelled down the corridor they had come running from. Not overly bothered with secrecy anymore, while turning his attention back to Bishop, with a nod towards his bloody face. Not all of it his own. "Need a patch for that?"
  • Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 10:52:57 PM by stardust

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #41
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] @stardust

There had been a number of instances in the past when Fisher had taken the time to consider whether or not there was anything beyond this existence. When it would all eventually go black for him, would there then be some other plane in which his consciousness would continue, or would he simply cease to be? Would he be utterly consumed by nothingness, and be rendered entirely unaware of anything, or anyone for the rest of time? It went without saying, that he had held no particular religious beliefs of his own. Not due to any malice or ignorance, but rather because he simply hadn't been convinced by any ideas or concepts which had been proposed by the myriad of Religious institutions. After all, how could they possibly know? No. Their ideas. Their concepts had all been born of story. Born of myth that had been passed down from one generation unto the next, and as far as he was concerned, they were more tailored toward bringing comfort to the living, rather than finding answers for those who would ultimately die. For the most part, it was something he hadn't truly pondered over in quite some time. Even tonight, as he had been faced with situations which had more the merited that level of introspection, he still couldn't found the wherewithal to take a moment and give it another thought. He had instead chosen to refuse the want, or more appropriately the need to contemplate it.

Perhaps it was because he hadn't truly come to grips with the subconscious realization of what it would mean for Nassyra. A reticence born of pessimism, and sorrow sewed by years of pain and anguish. Because if he knew that if he actually took the time to ponder through it, he would find himself adoptive of a fate which he knew was unfair for someone he had so loved.

A somewhat pity, as there seemed there would be no time to do so now.

"Rrragh!" growled the Jem'Hadar as he was knelt upon one knee, straddling Fisher at his midsection as he rained down one devastating haymaker after another onto the bearded man. A sickly thud, followed by a groan each time his fist made contact with he left side of his face, tearing a gash into the man's left cheek, coating his scaly knuckles with crimson.

Blinded from the brilliance of the flashbang he had tossed, deafened by eardrum shattering concussive force, and now stricken with a general sense of haziness from being thrashed so violently, the spy hadn't noticed when the blows which had been cascading down on him had suddenly stopped. A heft of mass that had been pinning him to the ground growing tenuous, then momentarily greater, only to finally be removed was not something he had been expecting. Nor had he expected his life to be once more saved by his fellow spy, who he had found nearly insufferable, and who had exhibited a similar level of personal annoyance in return. Words spoken were barely tenable to him, as his ears were still ringing, yet he could still detect the obvious tone of dry wit and sarcasm which was a tell-tale sign of any weathered Starfleet Intelligence Operative. Mason. Fisher accepted the hand as it had been offered, groaning deeply as almost every inch of his body ached commensurate with the brutal force, he had just unleashed in the form of two close-in explosives, and the subsequent beating rendered by the lone survivor of said survivor. Touching tenuously at the bleeding wound on his shoulder, he gritted his teeth as it stung.

Shrapnel from the fragmentation grenade he had thrown, he assumed, but could safely judge by the wound that whatever bit had torn into him, had also exited, probably taking with it a chunk of flesh in the process. Either way, it hadn't stuck around to hitch a ride, and merit any kind of invasive healing. "Son of a bitch went right through me." He explained as response to Brody's offer of a patch up. Keeping his right arm momentarily immobilized, he felt around his pockets for a field dressing, and with a flick of the wrist unraveled it so that it could be applied to the wound. Once more gritting his teeth as it stung, he was of course aware that he would need it to be disinfected later on, but that could wait. "Well... he's not now." The tone in his voice was as close to a concession of appreciation that he could muster in the moment. A pseudo thanks for Brody and his save, espoused after the man had put another shot into one of the bodies as a late-term coup de ta.

"What the hell was that Bishop?" Brighton emerged from where Brody had called for him, his pack of engineering tools slung over his back, and disruptor rifle held in the crook of his left arm. "Damned idiot! Almost got yourself killed!" Shaking his head, the big man nodded with appreciation toward Mason for having intervened, thus preventing that very outcome.

His right arm extended slightly, Fisher wrapped the long gauze of the field bandage as tightly as he could around his shoulder, using his teeth to tie it off as best he could. The white cotton already soaking through with crimson, he finally took a moment to peer about at the carnage he had wrought, and how his thrown grenade had in fact landing directly in the midst of the group of three Jem'Hadar, peppering their bodies with fragmentation that had silenced them with absolute authority. About as lucky as anyone could have ever been with such a toss, he was legitimately surprised at how perfectly it had landed in terms of proximity. As for the other two, his bayonetted rifle was still sticking out of the soldier he had dove into, though it was broken and bent at an awkward angle due to the momentum his body carried. He had hoped for two, maybe three at best, but had outperformed that perfectly. Be it due to saturation of shock from the two thrown explosives, or just absolute surprise at such a brazen frontal attack, he had managed to catch the Jem'Hadar in such a manner that he had only been left to contend with one of them. Granted, that one had totally dominated him in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and were it not for Brody's interference, would have absolutely beaten Fisher to a bloody death. But in the long run, his sudden strike had worked. Sort of.

"Yeah. I did." Ignoring the blood that was slowly dripping down his cheek from the gash that had been torn, he peered back and forth between Brody and Brighton. He considered for a moment explaining why he had made the choice on their behalf, but ultimately decided against it. He didn't need to justify his actions. That wasn't why he was here. Plus, they were growing short on time. Stumbling forward a little, he had to shake his head as he nearly doubled over out of dizziness, extending a hand toward Brody as if to steady himself. Confident he wasn't going to keel over, he instead checked the motion and shuffled past his Guardian Angel in the direction of the doorway which hopefully led into the stairwell at the end of the hallway. "C'mon. We need to finish this and get out of here before more of these bastards show up and force me into doing something as equally stupid." Shoving the door open, he sighed with exasperated relief as within it was indeed a stairwell which led upward. There was a soothing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and he desperately hoped that it wasn't in fact a freight train coming their way.

"Gentlemen?" He nodded to the pair of them, holding the door ajar as though it were his purpose in life.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #42
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Exceedingly questioning his skin in this game, Brody watched Bishop dab at the bloody stain on his skin, flanking a jagged tear. So far, he had singed his glove with acid and ripped his sleeve on the wall just there. That was it. All the while the other operative had become every night nurse's wet dream. Which he would gladly put down to the man's reckless heroisms and unthought out so-called 'plans'. He had to. He didn't want to consider himself getting old, or soft, or any other potential terminology you would coin for an aging Labrador - not a covert warrior and unsung patriot of the Federation. Yet the entire struggle left him utterly in thoughts, contemplating the true differences between the two, while absent-mindedly handing the guy one fresh patch to soak-ruby red after another, it seemed. Listening to Brighton - who frankly had done nothing of merit yet - berate the man on his admittedly poor choices. Bishop agreeing, however, as conceding as it sounded, had the commander break through the vail of self-reflection and back into the darkness of the office floor. Squinting his eyes slightly, dark irises burning with the coarse quality of dust in the dry air, he contemplated both men's views for a moment before speaking up himself. Mostly to end this pointless 'what if' conversation.

"I am not carrying anyone out, so you better keep your legs." He stated plainly, raising his brows for added reassurance of his determination. It was likely an empty promise, one that could not be made in anticipation of the worst case. It was a notion that only truly was able to be judged once the moment was there. Considering that, who knew, he might've carried Bishop's upper half out after all. It would've certainly been a lot lighter than the whole guy.

At the mention of urgency, Brody could not agree more. He not only wanted this mission over and this grossly ostentatious building far behind him, but also this war-ridden planet as a whole. All these tiny little needle pricks, that were bought with the blood and lives of underground warriors and rebels, were nothing but a nuisance in the side of the Dominion. That much became more and more apparent. They needed a blow at the core that mattered. Something that could only be achieved with fleets, not with bayonets and plucky spirits. Maybe with Bishop's plan, however, if it came through as intended, that was. Securing all his equipment once more, pushing the strap of his rifle back onto his shoulder, the man was ready to follow the other operative on the last leg of this endeavor. Hopefully.

Being drawn from the almost routine sentiment, feeling a hand heavy on his shoulder, almost making him lose his own balance out of sheer surprise, he looked into the hesitant eyes of his companion, as he rethought whatever tangent he'd set himself on ... or simply the very action taken. He better, too. This wasn't the time or place for a thank-you snog. Sending him off on his way with a gentle few pats on his shoulder blade as he turned away, both appreciative of the readjustment as well as the continued perseverance, Brody followed suit momentarily. The sound of boots against dry dusty marble by now having become an all too familiar ambience. Slowly replaced by an even more so acquainted noise coming down the last stairwell, as the door was propped open by the human stopper: Torrential rain. Nodding with modest gratitude in passing, taking up the front this time, the man jogged up the last few stairs with the added vigor of the goal literally in sight. Pushing open the half ajar cover of the stairs at the end, soon finding himself back in the seemingly characteristic weather of this planet, he at least took solace in the dust being washed away in no time.

Taking a small moment to let the drops bounce of his face, water running over his closed yes, as it absolved him of the past few moments seemingly, Brody finally made space for the other two men and seized up the surroundings of the roof. The otherwise gorgeous view across the city, the billowing columns of smoke and smoldering fires in the streets, reminded him of when he'd first beamed down into this mess at the top of that hotel tower. Little had he known then what he would find himself in soon thereafter. Letting his eyes drift back to the more immediate surroundings, precisely the vents and other technical doodads on this level, the large satellite dish was rather hard to miss. Merely nodding over at the unmistakable endgame, he jogged the last few steps there, letting his backpack drop into a puddle next to it. Well, the whole roof was basically one big puddle. Glistening like a disturbed mirror, duplicating the already copious amounts of dread and terror in this world to frightening detail.

For a moment even, as he squatted down besides his pack, unzipping the black Kevlar, Brody noticed his own reflection in the thin layer of water. Cast over by a shadow from the way his head was oriented against the brighter backdrop of the sky. His skin didn't help. He almost looked like he had no face, as if he'd lost something that had made him who he was. That people recognized him by ... it was frightening. A sudden chill running down his spine, accentuated by the cold water seeping back into his neckline once more. Shacking his thoughts away with a plethora of droplets from his short head of hair he pulled the zipper back the last few inches. "Do your thing, man, it's about time you pulled your own weight." he demanded, directed at Brighton. While pulling out a block of several explosives packed together, quickly inspecting the settings and functionality on all of them, before plucking them apart. Cradling three of them in his hands he stood once more, nodding at Bishop as a means of alerting his attention, before throwing him the batch.

"You think you can rig the base?" he asked, unzipping his jacket half, so he could shove the other three into the front, while waiting on a positive affirmation from the other operative. Receiving the confirmation and appraising it with another curt nod, Brody skillfully swung himself onto the side of the apperature and pulled himself with considerate ease up towards the fixing of the dish. Hooking his elbow into one of the supports, to precariously dangle off the side, the man swiftly planted his bombs with help of the magnetic adhesives in an even pattern around the dish structure itself, while Bishop could mine the control unit below. And just as he had attached his last one, the commander's eyes casually drifted over the magnificent scenery once more. But the awe, with which he marvelled over the abstract beauty of it all, was quickly replaced by a sense of urgency, as he picked up movement in the sky, coming back towards their direction. It was the Jem'Hadar transport. Or at least one exactly like it. Still a few clicks out of range, but closing.

"Guys." he prompted, stretching his free arm out at the horizon. "Two minutes to Delta."

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #43
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust 

There was a strangely familiar and wholly concerning sentiment lingering in the forefront of Fisher's conscious mind now that he and his comrades had finally managed to make it past this particularly difficult roadblock in what was a seemingly unending road of them. That notion was born of an overt awareness which stated that eventually your luck ran out, and your proverbial number came up. After all, there were only so many missions, so many times one could realistically hope to challenge death and expect to get the best of him before you wound up on the losing end. It was important then, that you knew when and where to pick those battles. At least, that was the general operating procedure with which others and even Fisher used to fall under. In recency however, as the war against the Dominion continued to drag on, it was becoming ever more so clear that such considerations had grown far less paramount. That was a dangerous mindset to exist within, not just for himself, but especially for those around him as they didn't necessarily exhibit the same level of skill and ability he had. But desperation had an ugly way of bringing people back from the brink of knowing themselves, and their capabilities. It's what transformed mere civilians into courageous warriors, soldiers of fortune into the ultimate champions of a noble cause, and it was what drove smart people into doing reckless and dangerous acts which got them killed.

All too keenly aware of how the anguish of a deeply personal loss was now playing against him in his own gambit to stay alive, Fisher also understood that his life was in fact his to spend however he so chose. No one, not some spy sent to retrieve him, nor any member of the Admiralty was going to dictate that for him, even if it meant insubordination and eventual court-martial.

He would see through this mission to free Betazed or die trying.

As the others moved past him on their way up the stairwell to the roof, he withheld himself for the briefest of moments to clear his mind of the troubling and distracting notions which threatened his attention. An instant later he too emerged from the relative shelter afforded by the gaudy building and allowed himself to be enveloped by the near constant rainfalls which continued to besiege Dalaria City in the midst of it's rainy season. Prior to arriving he had actually enjoyed the occasional bout of rain, having found it to be peaceful and reverent. Now, after almost two weeks of an unending torrent, he was fairly certain that he could go on for decades or even perhaps longer without ever missing or enjoying the sensation of a droplet of water touching against his skin, regardless of how lovely the heavens from which that drop had fallen were, nor if it had come at the behest of even the most beautiful of angels. Glaring up into the skies full of annoyed defiance, his sage-green eyes flared brilliantly with reflected light as a spider's web of lightning surged across the menacing clouds hovering above; it was almost as if the Gods were challenging his assertion in advance knowledge of that which awaited him.

Peering about the exposed rooftop, he too needed only an instant of time in which he could thoroughly size up the situation. Their target, the large satellite dish perched atop a base of sorts was pointed almost directly up into the sky, where it was casting it's interfering signal. It was that signal which they now sought to hijack and turn against the Dominion, and which would hopefully allow resistance forces to once again coordinate with the Federation. From his right, he caught sight of the hulking member of their trio moving over toward it, unslinging his own bag of goodies from a shoulder once he dropped to a knee before it. Fisher was indeed relieved to have brought the big man, as engineering had never been his strong suit, and whatever process needed to go on as part of this scheme of theirs would no doubt advance better, and far more quickly with someone like Brighton on the job. Hell, the big man had already started playing with the now exposed Dominion control circuit board, whereas Fisher likely would have still been looking for a way to get the hatch open.

"Alright... security encryption is pretty rudimentary. Guess the Jem'Hadar didn't much expect anyone outside of themselves to be accessing this data port." With focus clearly transfixed in his face, the engineer worked with surprising alacrity as he worked to access the databank attached to the signal jammer.

His rifle in hand, Fisher casually approached the signal jammer opposite of where Brody had stopped to retrieved explosives from his bag of goodies, tossing one of the four in his direction which he deftly caught with a nod of understanding. "Yeah." He affirmed simply as the other man began to ascend the tower on his way to plant the charges that would mask the true intent of their mission. "I wonder how regularly this thing attracts lightning." He teased with a smirk as he moved around to where a joint connected the ascending tower and the base mounted to the roof. Pressing the explosive against said joint, he double-checked the detonator on the explosive brick to ensure it was in functioning order, and active. At the same time, he watched out of his peripheral vision as Brighton seemed lost in his work, though he couldn't necessarily discern whether or not progress was coming at a commensurate rate which would mean the ultimate success, or failure of their mission. The man simply didn't espouse enough facial expression, other than that of extreme focus as he was working; a trait which would have made him a hell of a poker player, Fisher realized to himself.

Spinning his head round as Brody called out to the pair of them, Fisher felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up accordingly.

"Figures." He responded dryly.

"C'mon you stubborn bastard!" added Brighton a moment later out of frustration and annoyance. "Yes! Got it!" he soon amended as a bright smile crossed his face, and he peered over to both of the spies. "Files are uploading and integrating into the databank. Give it thirty-seconds, it'll begin transmitting across the network, and we can blow this joint! Hahah! Yes!" He exclaimed with exuberance once more, standing from where he had been knelt out of a need to admire and celebrate his work, if even for a brief moment. Appraising the situation, Brighton quickly came to understand just how dire things were about to become if they didn't get out of there, and fast. "I hope the other team made it through alright." He commented, looking to Fisher more than Brody as he did, though his gaze soon seemed to transfix on something else which caught his attention. Squinting in an attempt to try and ascertain whatever it was, he took a step past where Fisher was standing.

"What is it?"

"I don't know. I thought I saw a glint or something in that building. It's probably nothing."

It was something, as a streak of light pulsed across the two-hundred or so meter gap separating said building and where they were standing on the roof and struck the big man in his abdomen, just to the right of his stomach, punching through clean to the other side of him. "Sniper!" Fisher shouted as he jumped at Brighton, shoving him down onto his back just as a second streak singed the air where he had been standing an instant before, leaving a vapor trail of steam as it had flashed the rain droplets in its path. Afforded a modest amount of cover, the spy immediately sought to attend to the big man who had been hit by the first shot. Brighton groaned loudly as he clutched at the injury, though thankfully there wasn't much in the way of blood; the wound having been cauterized by the intensely focused beam. Still, it was no doubt very painful, and could very well have been life-threatening if left untreated. Slipping his bag off his shoulders, Fisher plucked free the field medical kit he had brought with them and opened it to begin treating the big man, though another shot soon soared in overhead and struck just near to where he was trying to keep cover. "Fuck! He's trying to get a bead on us!" He explained as Brighton grunted once more beneath where Fisher was knelt, trying his best not to verbalize the pain he was in too loudly.

Snatching a hypospray, he pressed it against Brighton's arm and administered a quick analgesic to temper the pain.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
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Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #44
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Shooting Bishop narrow-eyed daggers had not at all become a rare occurrence, in the short time the two knew one another, and as such felt all too natural, while executed in this very instance. But even though it was a defiant gesture, it did not convince Brody enough to not take a skeptical look at the dark sky, once the bearded man seemed to have stopped watching him. He had really no intention to turn into smoking meat on a stick. Not for this ill-fated suicide mission, that had actually led more than once into the attempted execution of the very sentiment, by one particular operative - making the name particularly fitting.

Pressing the last explosive to the support struts, however, he took note of the excited uproar with added relief. Just in the nick of time - he was almost getting worried he'd have to force Bishop at gunpoint, leaving the mechanic behind to finish his job at the mercy of an honorable death. And while he was not overtly apprehensive to such measures, he could appreciate the simplicity of voluntary compliance. Letting his dark eyes gauge the distance between the Jem'Hadar and their position once more, drops of water dangling from his thick lashes like magnifying lenses, the man shook his pate free of unnerving, tickling residue, just as a bright flesh impacted a few feet below him, causing his adrenaline to flush his muscles with the heat of molten glass. Letting himself drop down instinctively, rolling over one shoulder to dampen the fall, the man ended up flat on the wet concrete for a second, neck craned to get a sight of his two companions, as well as a potential origin of the skilled shot. This had gone to hell in a hand basket on so many levels, in such a short amount of time.

Noting Bishop taking care of Brighton immediately, Brody pushed himself up into a prone position quickly, slipping the rifle off his back as he zipped over to the retaining wall around the perimeter of the roof. Pushing his back against the firm support, one last glance back at the other two men, shallow breaths quickly entering and leaving his broad chest in hasty staccato, he eventually detached the sight from his spec-ops compression rifle and held it at an angle over the banister, scanning the approximate direction for hidden stragglers. Movements growing shaky, not only by the awkward positioning, but the strain of adrenaline as well, he almost lost hope of finding the culprit when the enhanced vision picked up on a Jem'Hadar cloaking signature, on a balcony of a building across from the banking administration. Sure, they could've just ignored the guy and scampered out of there, dragging Brighton after them, but if there was the slightest possibility that the sniper had seen them tampering with the system ahead of blowing it up, their entire plan would go up in flames. And frankly, he was not all too keen on putting the whole thing down as a nice try. No, not after everything. He honestly rather go down with the entire ploy.

"How's it looking?" the man barked across the pitter patter of the torrential downpour, turning the rooftop into a smorgasbord of watery jumping beans. Not quite waiting on a reply, by merely asking for a semblance of reassurance, Brody plugged the scope back onto his rifle, the location of the culprit saved to the targeting assistant, before taking a few more collected breaths. Then, in one swift move, he turned around one-eighty, raising the rifle to rest upon the concrete wall, leaning his head in, one eye squinted, guiding the barrel towards its final destination skillfully, by following the reticule indicator. Focusing on the last degrees of discrepancy to the target, all within not much more than a second, time seemed to slow down for a moment as all that was left to do was calmly finding the sweet-spot of the delicate trigger ... at which point, with a barely audible swoosh, a trail of vapor established between the two buildings once more, following a flash of light so quick, he could see the alien's surprised face only for a mere moment, before it got splattered black against the back wall of its hideout. Leaving a mere smoking stump, vanishing behind a banister of its own, rifle falling off the side of the building.

Taking a moment to scan the rest of the vicinity, only slightly irked by the fact they hadn't done so preemptively before getting to work, Brody ultimately concluded that there were no more immediate dangers. The Jem'Hadar ship aside, that certainly had picked up on the brief exchange of weapon's fire. They had done about everything they could - had come to do. It was high time Bishop would realize that too.

Crouch-running back to the two men, placing his weapon down and instead retrieving a tricorder from his backpack, the operative gave their technician a quick once over. It didn't look good. Not for a rooftop in the middle of enemy territory, anyways. Folding the device shut with a deep breath he caught Bishop's questioning, almost probing look quickly. Standing back up he motioned for the man to take a quick sidebar, by the near edge of the roof. A quick appraisal of the area beyond, the sloping glass façade down to the river, Brody turned just as his counterpart caught up. "Listen, we gotta speed this up." he said simply, quietly placing the man between him and the retaining wall, as he circled in seeming contemplation ... a decoy. He could see the hesitation in understanding the direness of the situation within Bishop, the struggle, even though he had already made up his mind in what Brody could only judge to be the most ludicrous display of yet another selfless heroism. Letting his shoulders drop with a submissive sigh, almost regretful, he held his chest tight for a mere second.

"Sorry, man." he said calmly, pushing forward with the momentum of his entire body, flat hands against the other man's chest, tipping him over the edge and onto the sloping glass, sending him on a slide down towards the river. Letting spent air only escape his lungs once he saw the guy splash into the turbulent waters, coming up with vigor just seconds later, he couldn't let him drift off too far before following suit. Not with the man's injuries and frantic objection. Turning to face Brighton once more, he could already see the sort of revelation dawning on his face, that he'd seen countless times. The sort of calmness and clarity that came with the inevitable. The realm beyond bargaining and self-delusion. Submission ... in whatever there was left to hope for. Walking over calmly, he could feel the added weight to his steps, his forehead carved with the deepest crevices his skin was capable of. He quietly helped the man sit up, his back against the transmitter, before retrieving the trigger device from his backpack, clasping Brighton's shaking hands around it within his own strong and reassuring grip.

"You did your friends a great service." Brody said quietly, his sympathetic voice barely carrying across the sound of the rain, as the admittance of emotions wasn't his strong suite. "You're the spark that lights the fire that'll bring this whole thing down ..." Patting Brighton's shoulder with the weight of the entire situation, and the gravity of the journey he was about to embark on, he let his palm rest there for a moment, as if drawing days and weeks of missed opportunity to get to know the man, from just this one physical contact. Letting his pate drop, sorrow mixing with the streams of water running down both their faces, he squeezed the man's flesh once more, before getting up. Any last words, he would abide to with pride and honor. Gathering his things, not even tainting the moment with haste, against the impending arrival of Dominion reinforcements, Brody picked up Bishop's rifle too and slung it tight across his back as well.

Few slow and heavy steps back to the retaining wall, he turned once more to face the man, the hero, he would become. At first unable to say anything more, though feeling the almost desperate expectation of Brighton's, electrifying the air between them. "Make it shine, man." he nodded, thick lips pressed together, before plucking up the courage to flip himself over the threshold and sliding down the sloping side of the building. Feeling his stomach churn in his torso for various reasons, the definiteness of it all, there was no going back on this, Brody could not deny the knot in his throat that only intensified as he stiffened his entire body, prior to jack-knifing into the river. Feeling the cold water engulf him provided little ease and the man found it exceedingly strenuous to even get his arms and legs to work, in an effort to stay afloat ... but somehow he did. He could see Bishop's head bopping in the waves ahead, trying to stay close against the current and undoubtedly straining his own stamina beyond compare.

Swimming in a crawl to the man's aid as quickly as he could, with his own engine starting to run on fumes soon, he took the defiant operative in a supportive arm-lock, merely treading water, while letting the river take them out of the danger zone. All while keeping them facing back towards the eerily green shimmering building, with reflective skin like a beetle. His heartbeat and breathing slowing to a crawl, as he waited for the inevitable. Seconds seemingly stretching into hours. Then the explosion came as a surprise, making his body tension, as the flash of light reached them first, followed by a large thud moments later, while the white ball of shockwaves dissipated into a fiery cloud that in turn became dark vapor slowly floating away ... illuminated from below by the remaining flames on the roof.

They'd actually done it ...

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #45
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

This was the sad and yet wholly unalterable reality within which Fisher existed as part of his work as an Intelligence Officer, and it was gradually eating away at the very last shreds of decency in him, just as it did for most of his peers. It didn't matter who it was to him, be it an asset, a friend, a lover; one by one, in this game he was playing, and make no mistake about it, it was a game of the most sordid kind; time eventually ran out on each and every one of them. It meant that he would be left alone among a proverbial pile of corpses; distant memories and echoes of anyone who had ever meant anything of merit to him. They were like ghosts, haunting his every step, waiting for the time when his end would also come due, and together they would welcome him into the abyss in kind. Yet more than he ever cared to acknowledge, he had been spared, while more and more of them had paid the Reaper's price on his behalf. And whenever their physical being was eventually replaced by an imagined metaphysical one, the spy would be left to invariably ask the question which had plagued him and his conscience worse than any other. Why? Why had they gone in his stead? What made him different? What was the thin veil of a shield which spared him, yet seemed not to care whether those around him weren't? It was a frustrating consideration. Angering. Rage inducing even.

They all died. Good people. People who offered far more to this world than he ever did or would, while he persisted on. The viciousness of his psyche would only in turn try to change the cards which were being dealt. Survivors guilt threatened to alter who he was, in the hopes that maybe fate would finally choose him over one of these good people, that is if he wasn't considered one of them.

If he would only embrace that darker side, which others in his position were often so willing to.

Knelt over Albert Brighton, the latest in a long list of comrades names which had leap-frogged him to the front of the line in order to pay the bill, Fisher's trained instincts were kicking in as he began working to try and stave off a fate which was almost guaranteed. Defiant to the very end. The wound in the big man's belly went clean through him from front-to-back, the fine-tuned energy blast having burned and singed away a good two-inch diameter of flesh on the way. Normally, that might have been a good thing, as the intensity of the heat would have cauterized any blood vessels it punched through, and in fact they had. But as Fisher ran a tricorder over the wound, while Brighton grunted and groaned as he courageously fought the urge to more appropriately verbalize the pain he was feeling, the spy could clearly see that not only had the shot cut clean through several of the arteries which supplied blood to the lower-half of his body, but it had also clipped his stomach, liver, and in fact destroyed a section of his T9 vertebrae. The big man was now likely paralyzed from the waist down, which made exfiltrating with him something of an impossibility, even if Fisher was entirely unwilling to accept such a scenario.

"Just... dandy..." Brighton retorted sarcastically when Brody had barked over at them, gritting his teeth as his eyelids were clenched equally as tightly.

Having tossed the tricorder aside, Fisher then grabbed for a small container of bio-foam from the makeshift med-kit he'd stashed away in his thigh pouch; the foam would hopefully help to seal up the wound until the Engineer could be properly treated later. "Easy, buddy!" Fisher wanted to reassure him by placing a hand on his shoulder before he pressed the nozzle of the bio-foam into the wound and began injecting it. Expectantly, Brighton immediately hissed through clenched teeth as the wound no doubt stung a great deal, the result of antiseptic agents contained within the foam. Fisher himself had known the unpleasant sensation all too well and could empathize with what the big man was feeling. "Can you get a shot?!" He hollered to Brody, peering back over his shoulder in order to see if the other spy was working for some kind of a vantage point. After all, regardless of the bombs attached to the signal jammer and the rapidly encroaching Jem'Hadar craft in the distance, their ability to get off of this roof hinged entirely on movement, and right now that movement was being impeded by this sniper. They needed to deal with it before there could be any thought or consideration of how to best move Brighton, given his newly limited capabilities. An instant later though, he heard the whine of a tuned phaser rifle as it fired, his green-eyes catching a glimmer of light when the ruby-red beam lanced across the distance between the two buildings.

Waiting a moment for some kind of an inclination as to whether or not he'd found his mark, Fisher exhaled when Brody finally stood from where he had been perched, recognizing that indeed he'd succeeded. "Nice shot." Turning back to Brighton, he could see a similar sense of relief in his face, though he could also discern a certain notion of falsity to it.

"I think he wants to talk." Brighton looked beyond Fisher to Brody, having picked up on the motion for sidebar after the other spy had similarly run a scan of his injuries, and picked up on the same notion of weariness over the results.

Pushing up off of where he had been knelt beside the injured Engineer, Fisher suddenly came to realize how his back was starting to ache from a mixture of the tension caused by this ridiculously unnerving dilemma, and more specifically how he had been awkwardly crouched just a minute earlier. He imagined that the constant deluge of rain wasn't helping to ease the mess of surgical repairs hidden at the base of his spine, either. "What're you thinking?" Peering over the ledge of the retaining wall as the other spy circled, he had no concept of the ploy being made. It had simply never crossed his mind that the pragmatic approach of his peer would result in such a way. "Sorry? For wha--" caught entirely off-guard, the bearded man careened over the ledge as designed, and began sliding down the sloped glass façade without any means of stopping himself. The poker player in Fisher would have been impressed by the deftness of which Brody had sold his bluff, were he not so completely taken by surprise, and enraged by the decision that was made without his consultation. However right that decision may well have been. Defiantly, he clambered in absolute futility as he tried to latch onto something; anything which might have altered the fate they were now being locked into. More specifically, the fate which Brighton was now locked into. But the sheer slickness of the glass aided by the constant rainfalls made it utterly impossible for him to have halted or even slowed his descent. Instead, as he reached the end of the sloped façade, his momentum carried him over the edge until he fell a good twenty feet into the flowing river below.

Brighton however, had known what Brody was up to the moment he'd pulled Fisher away. Clutching at his abdomen, he had accepted the reality of his situation, and knew that his comrade, whom he had come to know over the previous two weeks, even having grown to respect and like, simply wouldn't have taken no for an answer. That 'Bishop' would have raged, raged, and raged against the dying of Brighton's light, thus also extinguishing his own in the process.

"He's... going to be pissed." He smirked in amusement at Brody as he helped to settled him upright at the base of the signal jammer.

The big man clutched at Brody's hands tightly, peering into his face with full awareness and a sense of pride over how this whole thing was going to end, or rather how he was going to end it. For an instant, he even wondered if given the time, if he too would have learned to understand and appreciate him. But that was all moot now, he rationalized as the finality of his fate seemed settled. Instead, he searched the confines of his thoughts for what were to be his final words or wishes for any loved ones he was leaving behind. But the reality was, Brighton hadn't had anyone back home waiting for him. His life had been devoted to Starfleet and the greater Federation, and he simply hadn't had the time to really find much else of note, at least not yet. He'd always imagined that the finer things in life, dating, marriage, kids, would all come later on when this damnable Dominion War came to an end. It angered him that he wouldn't get the chance to experience those things now, but he wasn't going to let that anger dictate his final sentiments. "Win it, yeah?" Nodding as he could feel an unusual tingle starting to trickle up his back, Brighton knew the point he was trying to impart didn't need to be spelled out for Brody. Instead there was a moment of uneasy silence between them as the spy approached the retaining wall and offered one last anecdote of confidence for him before he disappeared over it.

"Make it shine." He repeated to himself as he glanced at the detonator in his hands, the ebb and flow of time seeming to slow as his thumb touched against the actuator with no hesitation in mind. "I like that." He added, then pressed it, and the world entire suddenly enveloped him in a bright light which went on unto eternity.

Kicking against the torrent of water as it was railing against him, trying to send him down stream, Fisher watched as the other spy likewise descended the slope of the glass façade without any control over his movements. He was without Brighton, and though Fisher had known he would be, it still ached to know that yet another of his comrades would be left behind and would ultimately make the sacrifice so that he would get to keep going. He couldn't let this happen. He had to fight it. He had to go back and get Brighton. It was an absurd notion, and he knew it, but he couldn't stop himself from trying to swim against the current of the raging runoff. Muscles burning as he struggled, he felt a grip around his arms dragging him away and peered back at the roof of the FBA building just as a bright flash and a brilliant plum erupted from it's rooftop. A spray of shrapnel accompanied the reverberating boom as the signal jammer toppled from where it had been attached, and fell over the edge of the building, destroyed. For the spy however, he felt his heart sink in realization of what it truly meant. Suddenly without anything to rage against, he let himself and Brody be swept away as the rains falling from heavens above seemed to intensify in accordance with the general sorrow he could feel inside.

A few hundred-meters down, the waterway shallowed enough so that they could stand and in fact walk. Climbing out along the shoreline in exhaustion, Fisher collapsed unto it and rolled over onto his back to catch his breath. He didn't have any words, and despite the fact that he knew he should have been angered over what Brody had done, he couldn't muster the appropriate emotion. Instead, he just laid there, soaked through to the very core, unable and unwilling to try and fill the void which had consumed him with anything or any thought.

"I see them!" cried out a young and familiar voice as it approached from nearby.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #46
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

Brighton's face, when Brody last looked over his shoulder to see the luminous impression of courage and inner peace upon the tall man's pate, was likely something he wasn't going to be able to forget. Just like the last impressions of any person he'd ever seen in his life retroactively, seemed to burn itself into his recollection like a phaser wound. It was something likened to a spiritual validation, of someone's ultimate demise, no matter how far away they'd be. Which was also, in a way, why he always knew his wife back among the fleet was still alright, as her beautiful face haunted him in so many facets of their joined history, and not just the joyful sense of glee, with which she sent him out the door that one morning, before all of this started.  It may have been a notion akin to superstition, sure. But one did not escape the jaws of death time and again not believing into a bigger, more elusive plan, than immediate orders. Drifting down the turbulent river now, keeping both himself and Bishop afloat, he remembered Brighton well ... and always would, from now on. For better or worse.

A notion that would occupy his perceptions for far too long, not even fully realizing how he'd steered the two of them toward a calmer, shallower waters, until the grainy slick of ground appeared beneath his feet. Slipping, staggering, at first, while their bodies were still partially afloat, he managed to push the bearded man forward up until he could fall onto his back without the added danger of a wave washing over him. Sinking to all fours, his palms digging into the tiny, wet pebbles, Brody coughed up a few spats of murky brew, that had found their way into his heavily panting esophagus, during their plight. Glancing over at the other man, once his own physical discomfort had quickly subsided, he was glad to see there seemed to be no imminent reprimand or attempts at futile rescue. Obviously the definitiveness of Brighton's last mission had not only sunk in with himself, ultimately. Instead, the man seemed drenched in a submission of entirely different grandeur. A demeanor that could not be patched up or stitched shut. Yet one that both men had been acquiring a resilience to, that only came from years and years of exposure towards the very sentiment: loss.

Ultimately, they were found by the rescue team, that had scoured the vicinity of the banking building, and their proposed exfil-point downstream. In that sense, Brody felt an almost sarcastic sense of appreciation for that illicit term called luck. After all, his intention when pushing Bishop off the roof had not initially been one to facilitate surefire extraction. Though, in a way, it had done exactly that. There had been no way for the man to go back in a futile attempt to cheat fate. In that regard, it had all worked out according to plan. But saying that with one man dead was, admittedly, morbid and in poor taste. It was something that he could think of in detail, however, while the others worked together to lug his partner back to camp, a last glance of dark eyes moving up to the Jem'Hadar ship, looming over a cloud of smoke and reflections of fire, search lights probing the reflective façade of the emerald building. In no time it had become a distant memory, as they too ventured again into the dark bowels of the Rena resistance camp. Night had fallen over the city and Bishop had been out of it for the most part of the journey and his subsequent putting to rest.

They had placed the man on a folding cot in one of the upper cavities of the hive. A small, single lantern illuminating the room gloomily, while a good bit of moonlight broke through the buffalo sized hole in the rubble, revealing a surprisingly far-reaching view over the city. The clouds and rain had vanished, for once in a long time, like some sort of cosmic sign. So now the random fires and distant floodlights were basked in the cold glow of one of Betazed's moons. Soon it would be two, when his shuttle would also come back into transporter range. Something he almost longingly looked forward to, casting his squinted eyes at the pale white orb in the sky. Sitting atop a boxy shape of debris, Brody peeled his gloves off delicately. One had been singed by the acid of one of his power cells, when they had opened that manhole to escape the Jem'Hadar, after he originally arrived here. Which now seemed such a long time ago. The gloves had since been virtually useless, one at least, though he hadn't had the mind to take it off until now. Adding to the gentle reflections of puddles, still persistent in the cracks and crevices of the toppled building, shone a golden glow, beaming from the edges of a delicate wedding band, adorning his ring finger, as he stretched out his fingers and balled them into a fist successively.

There was a small burn to his skin, from the liquid, but not to the ring, fortunately. Skin healed, emotional scars wavered, a notch to the one memento of what he held dear in life would've been a far greater wound. Taking the other glove off too - because wearing one was just silly, he wasn't Luke Skywalker - the man discarded both on the concrete block next to him. Resting his lower arms across his thighs, leaning forward, he arched his aching back with a low grunt. One shortly thereafter matched by Bishop, as he started to stir on his cot. If one were to listen to them from the outside of the cavity, this could've been taken entirely out of context. Not even looking, however, Brody simply kept his attention on the intricate details of the city in the night. Even though everything seemed far more peaceful, he knew, that was just an illusion.

"Rise and shine, princess ... you're missing a hell of a view."

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #47
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

Exhaustion.

Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Two solid weeks of running himself ragged along a dangerously thin red line had finally taken a toll on the man, and when it had indeed caught up with him, and only after expending every last store of energy he could muster in a futile attempt to go back for a comrade in arms, did he ultimately allow himself to succumb to the necessity of rest. Having washed ashore against a riverbank not far removed from the rendezvous point, as proverbial tears continued to descend upon him and his fellow survivor with the appropriate sense of brooding, ominous storm clouds still hovering above on high, Fisher had only intended to allow himself an exceedingly brief respite in which he could essentially catch his breath. Yet his eyelids, as though weighed down by lead; when they had clenched tightly shut around his green pools, they did not immediately bound open once more. Instead, the weary warrior was enveloped by an all-encompassing and irresistible urge to just sleep, and so without having given himself the permission to do so, he did anyway. Soaked through to the very core, a pervasive ache in his surgically repaired back, and a bevy of other minor injuries panging him with enough unpleasantness that the very feat should have been something of an impossibility, yet somehow, he did. He slept. For the whole of the journey back to the Rena Resistance Bivouac, and in fact beyond even that as he was taken to a makeshift bunkroom and his injuries tended to.

And while all the right components of nightmare and dreadful dreaming were omnipresent around him, and in fact had been for the previous two weeks, if not even longer, Fisher's mind was surprisingly not besieged by such an occurrence. Instead he found himself relatively at peace, as for the first time since he had played personal witness to her sorrowful passing, did an image of her in a positive light come to him. Gone was the anguishing visage of her face transfixed in a state of terror as the lifeforce drained from a harrowing wound on her neck, and in its place was a smile and the memory of the first time he had elicited laughter from her. Nassyra hadn't taken an immediate liking to Fisher, in fact she had reacted with ice-like coolness to him the first time they met, as she had distrusted him and who he was representing at the time. Eventually though, his persistent sense of sardonic humor had frustratingly worn her down, and after she had finally relented that first time, laughter, sometimes even begrudgingly so, became something she afforded only him in shared moments together. And when times had grown darker for him, Fisher knew that he could recall upon that image of her, and that the rest of who she was to him would pour forth from the reservoir of his subconsciousness, instantly rejuvenating his spirit as if reborn. Even if it had been weeks since the last time that they had been together, or if there were lightyears distance between them, he could with vividity remember her scent, the taste of her lips, the smoothness of her skin. All of it would come rushing back to him and spark a light within that drove the darkness away.

As it would do now.

Stirring from his rest at the behest of a distant yet familiar voice, lids finally fulfilled their deferred request and opened to reveal sage-green eyes that peered about the confines of the small room in this particular upper part of the base. Reality had returned to him, and though he immediately remembered each and every detail of what had happened prior to succumbing to his weariness, Fisher didn't react. Sitting up slowly from the hard improvised mattress that he had been laid out on, an audible grunt escaped him as the constant dull ache in his lower-back surged back to prominence. The pair of in concert groans, his and Brody's echoed out through the open doorway which led into another room, eliciting something of a confused, concerned and oddly amused look from a random member of the civilian populace that had taken up refuge with the Rena Resistance. The movement of her head as she peered about, catching glimpse of both men that had made such noises, prompted Fisher to appraise her with a confused look of his own. A snap of her fingers later, the demure young blonde woman sighed with an exasperation as if what she saw, hadn't lived up to her imagination. Raising one of his thick eyebrows higher than the other, Fisher then watched as she turned her attention back to whatever business had been consuming her prior to a fit of fancy taking hold of her.

"What time is it?" it wasn't the most pressing question he wanted to ask of his fellow spy, but it seemed as good a place as any to start.

Pushing himself up to his feet, he stood tall and casually approached where Brody was perched overlooking the burning cityscape. "Stopped raining, eh?" his eyes peering up into the sky, he knew it was only a matter of time before the skies opened up once more. Rainy season in this area of Betazed was notorious for the month-long period in which heavy downpour was a commonality, and decidedly still skies like now were the rarity. That wouldn't preclude him from enjoying the momentary break from the near constant assault of water droplets. With a deep breath, he stared past Brody at the apocalyptic scene which had surrounded them in all directions. While not exactly the most sensitive of comments to make regarding the utter destruction of one of the most beautiful cities, on what was supposed to be one of the most beautiful planets in all the Federation, he wasn't wrong. It was a hell of a view, and one of those that he knew would stick with him throughout the rest of his life. He had in fact once read of the soldiers who had stormed the beaches of Normandy during Earth's second world war, who had spoken of their deceased friends and comrades washing up onto the shores amidst waves of crimson tinted water, and how that image was forever burned into their minds. For Fisher, he would always remember this moment because of what it similarly represented; the still fresh memory of a now missing comrade, and the true price of this war that Starfleet was forced into waging.

"I wonder if Betazed will ever again be that jewel that it once was." He said somberly as behind him a pair of footsteps approached.

The spy didn't need to turn back in order to discern who it was that grew nearer, as the heavy gait and noticeable length between each step meant it could only have been one member of the resistance, since the only other man who could match him in terms of size had gone up in a blaze of courageous glory. "I take it your half of the mission went well, right? No casualties?"

"Yeah." Ebirone's deep voice espoused the general sense of sorrow that Fisher imagined the other Rena members were also dealing with, as the loss of Brighton wasn't likely to have been something so easily forgotten or coped with, even if they had ultimately been successful in rigging up the signal jammers with his ingenious adaptive algorithm. "We got out of there the moment the Jem'Hadar cavalry arrived. Just as planned." There was a lingering silence which followed, as in the far distance a sudden plum erupted into the sky. An instant later, the faint reverberation of the boom hit, but no one reacted as if it were even slightly out of the ordinary. "Boss Lady's already sent encrypted transmissions out across our new network, linking up with another resistance element working on the other side of town. That explosion was them hitting a deuterium storage facility that the Jem'Hadar were using to fuel their birds." The big man explained for the benefit of both spies as he brought a bottle to his lips and took a healthy swig of an amber-colored liquid. "Al's work already paying off." He added before setting the bottle down as an offer to either of the two men to accept. "We should have uplink with off-planet contacts at some point soon too. Might be able to give Starfleet an update of how this whole shitshow is going. Let them know you're alive. The both of you, I mean."

Another bit of silence persisted, and with a heavy sigh the Betazoid turned away. "I've seen enough of my home burning for one lifetime..." his voice trailed off as he left them and the drink, heading back down to the solace of the underground hideout.

"Must be a patient woman, if she puts up with you." Fished broke that silence a moment later, the vestiges of a wry smirk threatening to cross his face as with a nod he alluded to the ring that Brody had been toying with.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]

  • stardust
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Slipping into something more comfortable ...
Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #48
[ Cmdr. Brody Miller | Codename: Mason | Ferengi Banking Administration Building | Dalaria City | Betazed] Attn: @Swift
[Show/Hide]

When you were in this environment for an extended period of time, this business, like an old tree in a murky forest, you somewhat adapted to the situation, like moss growing on thick bark, numbing down the influence of the elements. You started to learn to take every ray of sunshine, as if it was the first and the last, without pondering what had been and what was going to. You had to live in a moment, rather than an outlined plan of a future that might never happen. In this line of work, more true so than any other, happiness existed within the cracks of concrete, that allowed life to flourish like a dainty seedling, dragged in by the winds of chance. Within a desert of pavement, you could rest assured that the single existing crevice would be found and populated, by the silent desperation of life, stubbornly prevailing. At least, so much was true for Brody, and he could only assume that the notion transcended the quiet animosity between him and Bishop, as it slowly wore down, like the edges of a rock, in the turbulent stream of time. And out of that riverbed grew the gentle understanding of connection, similarity, as they sat along the shores with thousands others, one grain in a sea of sand. A universe of stars.

Hearing the words of question, raspy and uncertain, as if a child that spoke its first sentence, the operative was starkly reminded of the progression of time and the inevitable measure in which it ran out. Dark eyes fell to the glowing orbit of his chronometer, now freed from the dark crack between his sleeve and glove. "Two hours left." he replied silently, posing as the stark reminder he himself felt, when watching the gentle white glow on the horizon, suggesting the rebirth of something familiar. Of course he knew Bishop's view on leaving probably hadn't changed, just like the orbit of the moon didn't. But in the same way, Brody's mission was still the same too. He'd done everything he could to spend the self-imposed stranding helping him bring his affairs into order. And one could argue, he should have. Naturally, for men like them, there were always strings that remained lose, but there was also merit in learning when to simply cut them. If he would have to teach that the hard way, so be it, his first and foremost loyalty still resided with the mission, and he hoped that was clear. No matter what had happened and what feelings had been unearthed.

"Well, I hope not ... I'd like to think that there'll be at least some semblance of a scar, from what these people had to go through, as a reminder." Brody replied somberly. A notion that instantly fell victim to the irony of such deep contemplations. "But there probably won't be ... business will return to usual quicker than you think. It always does." Which ironically was the more tragic realization. The past had a habit of becoming 'history' all too quickly, in this galaxy, as an integral part of life was moving on. Though men like these two, admittedly, had a tougher time with it than others.

Lowering his pate in abject apathy, the man let Ebirone's assertion wash over him like the gentle breeze that wafted through the cracks and doorways of the rubble. He didn't really want to deal with each and everyone's questions and opinions on what had happened and who had gotten left behind. No, Brody was far too comfortable in the very notion of letting the past be history. Not willing to discuss or contemplate something that was irrevocably carved into the tapestry of time. For he understood the concept of moving on too well, since he himself was a loyal disciple at the temple of oblivion. The kind off faith that granted eternal happiness, on the back of memories, pushed off into the endless darkness of irreversibility. Words and contemplation washing over him that held no merit to him either way. Yet, at the last comment, he could not help but nod definitively, a small chuckle escaping his throat like a leapfrog. For, without saying it, he got what the man was saying: Welcome to the temple of oblivion.

The subtle shuffle of soles against the tiny grains of dust, pebbles scooting across rugged stone, conjured a relaxed breath and sense of relief from Brody, having evaded the topic of the one man they came up short with. Not that his memory was to be purged from the fabric of reality, but the judgment that could get associated with it, he'd rather not deal with now, or ever. If they wanted to hate him for getting them all here, he was fine with that. What mattered in the end was the success of the mission. But regardles of these thoughts, he got the idea that Bishop was there with him, in that sentiment.

Registering the man's voice belayed, almost like an afterthought, perplexity washed over the commander for a moment, before his eyes fell back to the halo of gold, wrapped around his finger. Unlike his skin, no mark on it, as it signified a calmer part of his life, one that didn't evoke scars or scratches. Not the bad kind, anyways. Another chuckle, this time more readily identifiable as one, as lips curled into a subconscious smirk, a first among the hours on this tormented rock. There hadn't been anything to smile over, since coming here. And almost ironically so, it was a reminder of that life away from here, that elicited the first glimmer of joy. Tilting his head back, Brody ran a jagged palm across his face, stretching the membrane of his countenance, before lowering his pate to a sideways glance at the other man. Dare one say, a mischievous glimmer to his dark eyes.

"Who said it's a woman?"

Re: [2374] Operation 'Spark' - Betazed
Reply #49
[ Lt. Andrew Fisher | Codename: Bishop | Rena Resistance Bivouac | Dalaria City | Betazed ] Attn: @stardust

There was an ounce of irrefutable truth and wisdom born of turmoil laced among the other spy's words as he spoke somewhat reassuringly of the recovery which would eventually come to Betazed, and to an extent the rest of the grander Federation. At least, so long as the right side of this war prevailed. It was an odd reality which had been attested to throughout the annals of history, as with each successive war fought and won, society, civilization, and the inescapable ignorance of common folk would soon reclaim their semblance of normality as one chapter gave way to the next. Any lessons learned, and the sacrifices made by those who had fought and died would ultimately be forgotten by most, only for the past to eventually repeat itself in another handful of preciously few years. It was an almost ironic sense of fate the way in which war was always changing, and how at the same time it never changed. Sure, there were those few who would remember, and who would hold memorial, but they were the exception rather than the rule. It was an all-together interesting thing, how soldiers like Fisher, and like Brody would fight to restore that which simply desired to forget their very existence or their need to exist. Still, in a way, returning everything to the faux bliss of ignorance and arrogance was what he and everyone else were in fact working toward.

"Yeah. I guess you're right." He admitted simply.

There was no sense it trying to change the nature of sentient beings and the civilizations they built, especially not for a spy. No, he and Brody had their roles to play as part of this great existential pyramid scheme known as society. There had been a time when his idealism would have driven him to rage, rage, rage against the dying of the light, but that naivety had been since been culled from him. Maybe someday it would return, but not now. So it was with a resigned sigh that he took a grasp of the glass bottle of amber-colored liquor that Ebirone had left for them and peered over it inquisitively. Something of a thousand-yard stare settling in as he could only assume it to be some brand of whisky that he was unfamiliar with, before finally bringing it to his lips and throwing back a swig. The burn of real alcohol stinging at his dry throat and burning all the way down his esophagus as his pallet detected the faint notes of wood tannins in addition to hints of cherry and vanilla. A scotch of sorts he surmised as he pulled the bottle away, giving it another once over inspection prior to extending his arm out to offer a drink to his fellow covert operative.

"Call it intuition." He answered, calling Brody's veiled bluff without really knowing one way or the other if the paramour that had gifted him the ring in question were a woman or not. Truth be told, he didn't know much about the man that had been sent to retrieve him, and while there were definitely some stylistic differences between them, he could see himself mirrored in Brody in more ways than just a few.

A slight grin coming to his bearded face, Fisher's sage-green eyes soon shifted out over the surprisingly desolate cityscape once more. Yet there were no thoughts of buildings, their enemy hidden among them, or the war still waging all around which pervaded his thoughts. Instead he found himself momentarily absorbed into the distinct memory of her, one stirred to the surface of his conscious thought by the recurring stark realization of her now permanent absence. "I guess they have to be patient, though. Part and parcel for anyone close to us, given our line of work." For a moment, he tried to imagine what Nass might have thought of Brody and let a soft chortle escape as he knew without a doubt that she would have taken a liking to the more serious-minded man, and his no-nonsense approach. Yet despite her own preference for directness, her defenses had been undone by an inherent weakness with regard to Fisher's penchant for sardonic humor and far more-reserved demeanor. She would often complain about how he could look an impossible scenario in its face, how he could literally stare down the barrel of a gun meant to kill him, and smirk with an almost otherworldly confidence born of the knowledge that he would somehow prevail.

It annoyed her to no end, and she had loved him for it all the same.

"Two hours left." He repeated Brody's earlier assertion, settling down atop a box of old crates just adjacent him, the tone of his voice deliberately meant to espouse a neutrality of determination. He knew that the battle between them over their respective missions hadn't yet been decided, and that the issue would soon rear it's head once more, but for now, he was willing to let it steep.

As a short period of silence permeated, a thought came to Fisher over an earlier interaction with Brody. Unable to let it go, as it would have nagged him to no end, he couldn't help by let a broader grin cross his face as he looked to Brody.

"She married you, even though you're a Phillies fan?" he asked with playful incredulousness.
Writer of
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Chief Intelligence Officer | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]
[ Lt. JG Kate Foster | Chief Surgeon | USS Theurgy NX-79854 ]