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An Offer you can't refuse

Posted on Saturday October 10th, 2020 @ 6:29am by Niyahra Riohn & Wraet tr'Melanth
Edited on on Saturday October 10th, 2020 @ 10:41pm

Mission: Marauder's Map
Location: Rangalor V
Timeline: MD01 - Late afternoon
1844 words - 3.7 OF Standard Post Measure

The dull bass of the club music drowned out any change of having a conversation over a distance more than a meter, and even that was stretching it. Niyahra sat in the booth, slumped on the u-shaped couch, eyes glazed over and just staring in the distance. She needed to clear her mind, stop thinking about all the shit going on in the city, but really it had always been a struggle to just try and stop her mind from going back to the fact that the quadrant's soul was being crushed under the iron boots of their Dominion overlords.

The good thing about being a Trill was that people tended to avoid her, nobody cared to sit in the same booth with her, and those that did quickly relocated when a beam of light illuminated the spots on her face. They didn't know she had a worm in her, of course, how could they. But all Trill were suspect and to be seen with them was generally speaking not the best of ideas. So she sat alone. Staring at the bouncing crowds in the dance pit, sipping her drink, playing with the last capsule of KRed in her pocket.

The club was crowded, and loud - Wraet was grateful for the device in his ear canals that automatically damped that - but it was not difficult to find his target. Unlike most, she was sitting alone. But then the fact that he could almost count on a Trill being alone had been a factor in choosing her. Still he spent some time moving casually through the club, observing her and the movements of those around her as well as retuning his hearing to listen to those further off but within range to be observing her. He had been trained to such caution, but by now it was practically a force of habit, as natural as breathing - which was good as it was instrumental in ensuring that he continued to breathe.

Sliding into the seat beside her, he lifted a hand in a Vulcan gesture. "Life long as prosper." The corner of his mouth near the seat back, which only she could see, edged upward in a half smile. "I believe you are Niyahra." It was not a question, but the phrase to allow her to take it as such if she wished.

"And I don't believe for a second that you're Vulcan," Niyahra still twirled the capsule of KRed in her pocket, uneasy with the man that had approached her. She didn't quite know why there were alarm bells ringing, half the time she didn't know where these instincts were coming from, "but if you'll buy me a drink, I'll humour you."

Apparently her symbiote's knowledge of covert contact had not quite made it into her consciousness, which was perhaps not surprising given the drug involved. This might be more difficult than anticipated, but the source that recommended her was trustworthy. At least she had picked up the obvious hint that he wasn't actually a Vulcan. "An eminently logical conclusion," he remarked deadpan. "What would you like to drink?"

"Any form of Whisky will do," Niyahra gave a gentle smile as she pulled her hand from her pocket. She wondered why the man would approach her, and whether it was a reason to get away from this place. For now she would allow him to buy her a drink and tell her his story. It was never a bad idea to hear someone make their case, especially if it came accompanied with a nice stiff drink. Perhaps it would suppress some of the withdrawal from the KRed.

"As you wish." Wraet inclined his head, and tapped in the order - an Aldebaran whiskey and a ShiKahr red. The Vulcan wine was practically grape juice compared to Romulan ale, but it was reasonably palatable and would fit the cover he intended anyone around them to see. There was only one more measure to take. In the moments before the drinks materialized, he reached up, seeming to adjust the high collar of his jacket but activating a small device to deaden their voices but project low sounds based on their vocal samples so that anyone nearby it would seem they were speaking but the conversion itself was couldn't be distinguished. He lifted his glass, giving it a brief slight tilt in her direction. "I am pleased to meet you Niyahra Riohn. A friend was well acquainted with someone I believe you know: Virrin."

Niyahra her eyes narrowed, she made sure to not use the symbionts name too much and only few knew her as such. Then the mention of Virrin kind of threw her for a loop, "I haven't seen Virrin in some time," she said sheepishly, not too sure how to play this quite yet, "but I can convey a message if you like, next time I see him." She was intrigued by this man and the level of knowledge he seemed to possess on her and the worm in her abdomen. She didn't recognise him though, not even vaguely, whoever this man was, Virrin had never met him, "who can I say the message is from?"

"I'm sure you haven't." Wraet lifted an eyebrow at her, the only sign of mild amusement at her attempt at misdirection. "Though I'm certain a part of him remains near your heart. Or nervous system," he added, taking a casual sip of his wine. "Please do not be alarmed. I assure you no one can hear what we're saying. So long as we behave normally, no one will have any reason to looker closer. I never had the opportunity to meet Virrin face to face, but he would have known me as Sargon."

"Really?" Niyahra nodded a bit and gave a smile back, "I guess I owe you a thank you, then." There were multiple times that Virrin and Sargon had been in contact, mostly in regards to Dominion assets that could stand being taken out of commission. "Well then, how can we be of service to each other?" There was little use beating around the bush, especially with old resistance contacts of Virrin. There had always been the strong suspicion that Sargon was in bed with the Tal'shiar, but the Vulcan name always threw some of that suspicion off. This meeting all but confirmed it outright.

Wraet could almost hear her thinking - not due to any telepathy, but a lifetime spent reading people by less direct means. She would be surprised at how many Vulcans were in the Tal'Shiar now, though seldom as field agents since all but the youngest were terrible at lying even to maintain a cover. Someday he might have reason to expand to her understanding, but for now there were more immediate matters to discuss. "I have information that may advance our mutual interests, but first I must ask: are there those among Virrin's associates who would be interested in operating beyond the region around Rangalor?"

"Virrin preferred to stay low to the ground, surrounded himself with likeminded people," It had frustrated Niyahra tremendously that they were content on their own barren rock, riling against the established order there under the 'protection' of the Orion syndicate. "Let's say we don't see eye to eye on this philosophy." Ever since being joined there was something tugging on her to step up their game, to take the fight back among the stars, really hurt the Dominion and not just their green skinned cronies.

So, that reluctance had been Virrin and not Riohn. Wraet allowed a fractional smile. "Then you may be interested in playing a role beyond contact. However, we will need others who wish to ...pursue a new philosophy. Enough for a small crew."

Well that definitely piqued the interest, "A crew? You mean a strike team?" Niyahra wasn't quite sure what a man like him would mean with a crew. Surely he wasn't alluding to a starship. The RSE would never part with a D'Deridex for a rag tag crew of insurgents.

There it was, a flicker of imagining more even if swiftly discarded from a habit borne of so many disappointments. "No. I mean a crew for a ship," his lips twitched in something like a thin smile, "though a strike team would be a useful addition."

There was a moment that Niyahra her mind short circuited at the proposal, "Hold up, a strike team, is the empire is willing to part with this ship or are we simply taking it?" She truly hoped he wasn't suggesting they should steal a Dominion vessel. She knew nobody that ever worked on one, let alone be able to keep it in a proper state of repair.

"What Empire?" Wraet's brows lifted. "I am in no position to offer a ship from any Empire. That is, unless you regard the former Federation as an Empire." He restrained a smile; most Romulans had regarded them as such, but few on this side of the Neutral Zone knew that, especially now. "What I have is the location of a vessel that entity was building for war, and nearly completed, but which was abandoned when they surrendered. It lies forgotten, and with the right resources it might be reclaimed."

"Pfff," Niyahra needed to take a moment to process all of it, that wasn't a small order, "so, these right resources, apart from the people aspect, who's bankrolling?"

"Friends." The answer was direct, honest (after all the enemy of my enemy...) and said with a finality that countenanced no queries for clarification. "If you are concerned about the extent of those resources, there is enough to afford a unit of Latinum Guard."

"Now that's sweetening the deal," Niyahra remarked, she slowly started to nod. She had her own ideas about the Latinum Guard, especially after their showing at the final stand around 001. That didn't mean she'd turn down free help in the form of highly trained mercenaries though, "So you're looking for a deniable asset, roaming around in an out-of-date ship, causing trouble for the Dominion." A smirk started to creep on her face, "I'm in."

"Excellent." Wraet almost forgot not to smile, resulting in a brief upward twitch at the corners of his lips. With any luck, adding a modified cloak to the ship would give it the reputation of a ghost, perhaps even an avenging spirit. "I have arrangements to make then. I will allow you to determine who among your associates to invite in to this endeavor."

Niyahra dug around her pocket to find something and then slid it across the table, "Let me know the time and place." She said pushing across a small communicator that was only suitable for communication with a designated receiver. She finished her drink and stepped away from the booth, knowing it was probably better for her to leave first, as if he had said something to offend her. He was pretending to be a Vulcan after all, they had been known to get on people's nerves.


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