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A chance encounter

Posted on Thursday October 15th, 2020 @ 3:53pm by Niyahra Riohn & Timothy Bennett

Mission: Marauder's Map
Location: Rangalor V
Timeline: MD01 - Early evening
1673 words - 3.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Everything that the Romulan had just dropped on her was still whirling around in her mind. She needed a moment to recover from that and made her way over to the bar. The thrum of the music was starting to pick up the pace, clearly meant as a way to keep the energy of the crowd high. Lights had started to flash more erratically overhead. She made it to the bar, "Brandy please."

"Saurian?" The bartender asked trying to get the order.

"Sure, why not." Normally Niyahra didn't really go for the more expensive Saurian variant of the Brandy. It was hard to come by after the Dominion had stomped out most of the planet's infrastructure in what had been a massive invasion. The Saurians were hardy, a bit more than they had bargained for. She looked around the other people sitting on the stools around her. A face two seats down from her suddenly caught her attention, but she couldn't quite place it.

“Let me make this very, very clear to you...” the gruff, wrinkled human began as he locked eyes with an equally disheveled human bartender, “...I don’t give a crap about how much I’ve had, I don’t give a crap about my tab, I don’t give...” his voice trailed off, he shook his head as another wave of futility came over him, “...I just don’t give a crap” he finished, as he took two attempts for his posterior to find the bar stool again.

“Hell are you looking at woman?” He barked at the Trill on the far side of the bar. Old, down and nearly out as he was, his instincts hadn’t waned over time and his life had taught him the hard way to retain a constant situational vigilance.

Niyahra shrugged, "A belligerent drunk," she said before the bartender gave her a glass of brandy in exchange for her platinum. Suddenly she realised why she had recognised the man, and the conversation with the Romulan was still fresh in her mind. This was an opportunity that was too good to pass up. She slid closer to the man, taking a seat next to him, "and I'm wondering when the Fleet training wore off..." She whispered to him, just loud enough for him, and only him, to pick up.

Ty suddenly went dead cold, the bottom of his stomach seemingly dropping out from itself inside his rapidly knotting stomach. He shifted his position to lean on the bar, using the move to discreetly transfer a hand towards the old Cardassian disruptor tucked in the rear of his belt. “Don’t know what you’re talking about little Trill...” he muttered, unconvincingly trying to sound disinterested.

"I'm sure you don't," Niyahra shrugged a bit, "it's a pity, I'm sure Jorvel would've been happy to meet you again." She took her drink and stood up from the barstool. She had planted enough of a seed to step away and get him to follow her to a location where the chance of being overheard was a bit smaller at least. She hoped he'd take the bait, after the talk with the Romulan she needed to gather some people and he seemed like a good fit.

Ty coughed and choked momentarily on his drink as that name rang in his head as loud as red alert klaxons. Could it be...? The chances were astronomically small, especially given the fate of Trill over the past two decades, but the chance was something he had to take. As he stepped away from the bar, Ty became aware that his hand had moved from the disruptor, and the old habit of dutiful trust creeping back gave him great concern. He followed the mysterious Trill, this time moving his disruptor into a visible and more accessible position. This woman could be Jorval, she could be a changeling, or a clone, or anyone; and short of her being the former she was about to die.

Taking a seat in one of the corner booths Niyahra made sure that nobody else was hovering or eaves dropping as she leaned back in the u-shaped couch. The man she had known from back in Starfleet, or more accurately Riohn had known, had taken the bait and was following her. It was clear he was fondling some sort of weapon as he approached. They were off the a great start, "Hey again." She gave a friendly smile, hoping to set him at ease somewhat.

"Listen to me Trill" Ty began, sniffing sharply at the stabbing sensation in a nostril leftover from whatever the hell it was that Bolian woman had given him to sniff. "If you have something to say to me, say it now, or this aint endin' with that pretty smile trust me".

"I need someone with your skills," Niyahra waited a beat, "Captain."

Ty's stomach vaulted into his throat and back again, the pulsing in his temples matched only by the throbbing of blood in his neck; time stood still. He had to shoot her, didn't he - shouldn't he - who was this person? He hadn't been called Captain for 20 years...nobody knew him as that person anymore. Nobody alive anyway. He didn't know which way to jump, images spun in his mind clouding his vision, he had no idea which way this coin was going to fall, as with one hand he pointed the disruptor at the Trill under the table, and yet through a dry mouth the questioning word, "Ensign?", escaped with a haunted rasp.

"I've not been an Ensign since the Pegasus' wings were clipped," Niyahra felt a sharp pang of emotions bubbling up inside her. She had not been there but she remembered every bit of it very vividly. She then leaned in and reached across the table, trying to get some sort of contact with this man that seemed the spectre of his former self, "but the winds are changing. And it can't be a coincidence that in all the dive bars in all the quadrant you just happened to walk into mine."

That was enough for Ty, proof - well at least proof enough - that she wasn't a Dominion agent; he recalled wistfully how he had chosen 'Casablanca', an ancient earth film, for the inaugural movie night on the Pegasus. He and and Ensign Jorval had enjoyed a good conversation about the characters afterwards, and the Trill before him was clearly trying to discreetly convey her genuine credentials. He placed the disruptor back in it's usual place, and scanned her face for the officer he once knew; "those winds stopped blowing long ago believe me" he grumped, taking the glass from in front of his new companion and helping himself to the dregs of the remaining dark liquid.

Niyahra smiled meekly, she knew that times were bleak and that sometimes it looked like the only reasonable thing to do was to accept the new status quo, but there was something inside of her that remembered the times when the Federation reigned these planets. When freedom and equality were the ideals worth fighting and dying for. She knew that he had some of that in him still as well, she leaned in and started whispering "You can't tell me there isn't a little part of you that wants to go out there and stick it to them."

Ty nodded, his now weaponless hand finding his overgrown and dirty white beard, stroking it absent mindedly he leaned forward too and whispered back; "are we speaking generally...or are you asking me a question...?"

"An opportunity has come up," Niyahra looked around now, making herself seem slightly more suspicious, but also making sure nobody was listening in, "so yes, I'm asking." She realised that he probably wanted to speak it out loud, show that she was willing to incriminate herself, "Will you join the rebellion? Will you join me?"

The haggered human stared at the Trill from behind tired, world-beaten eyes; there was something about this Trill, a spark he had seen is his old Flight Control Officer, Jorval; but those were different lives. "Chances are I'll be dead soon" he said grumpily, coughing; "surprising it's not happened already to be honest..." his gaze drifted over the scummy bar, full of the dregs of the galaxy, the washed up leftovers of the Federation; "...I might as well die sticking it to the Dominion I guess..."

"That's the spirit," Niyahra smiled a half smile and raised her glass before taking one last swig, "We're meeting tomorrow morning," she patted her shirt until she found what she was looking for, an old style pencil, "meet us there. 0900." She scribbled an address down and pushed the paper his way, "destroy that once you have it memorised." With that she got up and walked away from the table. It was high time she got ready to make the journey herself.

Ty looked at the paper in his hand, and looked at the Trill as she walked away; at least her posterior angle was more appealing than the last time - the last life - they had met. A background in starfleet intelligence had allowed him to develop a semi eidetic memory, ensuring he had the details from the scrap of paper to memory he tore it into confetti like pieces and placed them in his mouth. He stood, took a momentary sideways glance to see if anyone was paying him much attention, and feeling as secure as one could feel these days he moved from the table towards the door; as he passed on of the final tall circular tables he picked up a nearly empty glass; the final unwanted mouthful of some vile looking green drink still there. Without breaking his stride, the glass came to his lips and rancid alcohol filled his mouth. taking the remaining flecks of mushed paper into his throat. Placing the glass on the last table, he left the bar, headed for his next certain death.


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