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An Interesting Alliance

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Scarlett, Thu 27 Sep, 2018 9:01 PM
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    #1
     –  Last edited by Scarlett; Thu 27 Sep, 2018 9:15 PM.
    Drozana. The name sounded like the place smelled: filthy, grimy and stale. The station was almost one-hundred-fifty years old and had been battered over the years from its time within the neutral zone of Federation and Klingon space. Decaying sections received minimal repair or inconsistent parts from various sources. It was once a thriving center of diplomacy and legal commerce, now home to the dregs of the Beta Quadrant. Smugglers, criminals, mercenaries and the desperate roamed the dark and dingy halls. Famously, or infamously, Devidian ghosts were rumored to haunt several sections of the station and the unfortunate or lost were likely never seen again.

    Kathryn pulled the hood of her brown cloak over her face further. She felt confident the shades from dim lighting would conceal her face completely. Entering a more populous section within the central habitat, she looked around the open bar to see a few others in similar attire. A pair of Klingons in warrior armor on the other side of the room clinked thick metal canteens as they roared with laughter. She found the designated table, slid into an empty chair and waited.

    Within moments the table was covered in shadow and Kathryn looked up, but the hood prevented her from seeing the giant man’s face. Seemingly made of pure muscle, he eschewed a shirt or tunic, leaving his green-skinned torso bare, showing off several tattoos. He placed a massive flagon on the table and sat opposite Kathryn.

    Kathryn sat back into her chair and looked around to see if anyone was within earshot before speaking. “Bohtal Riztan?”

    The Orion smiled as he lifted the drink and took a gulp. “You have my attention.” He smacked his lips. “Only because my contact told me it would be worth the trouble.”

    “Fair enough, I appreciate your contact communicating that fact.”

    “She’s very handy … in many ways.” Bohtal grinned.

    Kathryn’s heart skipped a beat. Orions had a reputation for their intimate handling of themselves. The females were renowned for their more seductive persuasions. Male Orions had a reputation for being brutal … no matter how one could look at it. She forced herself to the business-at-hand. “Did she convey the purpose of this meeting?”

    Bohtal rested his enormous arms on the table and it creaked under the weight. “You want my services to handle a problem and that is what we do best.”

    Kathryn leaned forward. “I have to say, the problem will not be easy to handle; Terrans have conducted raids within the Alpha Quadrant that resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths. The Federation’s resources are stretched thin and she needs to be stopped.”

    The Orion raised an eyebrow, and the then sat back while taking another swig. “The fact you can pay the price means you want the impossible to be possible. But there is the issue of probability. We don’t just fly into Terran space like we can the Tholians. It’ll be cheaper if you know where and when … she will appear.”

    Kathryn recognized she gave away a detail not meant to be exposed and decided to risk an opportunity while trying to stay in control. The mercenary could simply walk away if he wanted and since he had not left yet, suggested interest in the initial arrangement. Still, strength embraces power, but honor rejects insults. Kathryn opted to boost his ego.

    “And that’s precisely why your services are needed, because you’re reputation puts you in the top of the class, so to speak. I’m sure you can find them.” She relaxed and opened her hands palm-up. “To be honest, I’m grateful you showed up.”

    The Orion grinned and he raised a finger to pause the discussion as he took another massive gulp. “Honesty is important in my business, from a certain point of view.” He licked his lips slowly. “Tell me, why does the Scarlet Scorpion need a band of merry mercenaries to do her dirty work?”

    Kathryn was hoping Bohtal would not know the nickname given to her by the Orion Syndicate. It suggested her vetting did not reveal possible ties to the group. With Bohtal Riztan being Orion himself, it was a risk she hedged on. She started having misgivings to the meeting and felt on the defensive. Gauging whether to try playing innocent and question his comment as if it was an assumption, or to reveal herself to achieve her goal to recruit a third-party clandestinely to track down a criminal to the Federation, Kathryn opted for the latter. She pulled back the hood and tugged on pins to let burgundy hair fall over her shoulders.

    “You’re right, honesty is important.” She wore a stern countenance. “My Terran counterpart is more dangerous than my superiors believe and personally she is also a nuisance. The other facts are coincidental.”

    Bohtal nodded. “I appreciate you didn’t wax poetic about honor, duty and other boring words.” He crossed his arms and looked around as if he were checking to see if anyone else were near. “You’re not kind to the Syndicate, to say the least. There’s a bounty for you, and I could easily earn that reward.”

    Kathryn smirked. “I appreciate your telling me there is a mark, although I shouldn’t be too surprised, and that you have not tried to collect.”

    “Your proposal is more interesting, no offense.”

    “None taken.” She glanced around almost reflexively. “So, how is this done?”

    Bohtal raised a finger. “This is more complicated than you could comprehend. Once you agree to this, it cannot be withdrawn.”

    Kathryn was surprised by the sudden seriousness. “I … I understand.”

    “No, I don’t think you do, Feddie.”

    The slang was obviously intentional and Kathryn started to feel tense. She moved a hand slowly to the Phaser pistol attached to her waist.

    The Orion continued, “This is not simple at all because someone will die by your command. You have done so out of duty, self-preservation and revenge, I’m sure. But this time –“ he thrust his finger to the table. “You are asking someone else to do it against the principles you rest your life upon. You will change after this day: the way you breathe, the way you smell, how you feel when someone calls your name … your own reflection. You will have eyes of a stranger and nothing will make you whole again.”

    Kathryn was mesmerized and didn’t respond as she remembered every step that lead her to this moment. Under the cloak, her fingers touched the grip of the pistol.

    Bohtal relaxed and grabbed his drink, but did not lift it. “This will be an interesting alliance, I think.”

    ---

    Kathryn Beringer - Katheryn Winnick
    Bohtal Riztan – Dave Bautista