Obsidian Command

Previous Next


Posted on 09 Mar 2024 @ 4:16pm by Aiden Dhow & Brek - Timeless Treasures Art Gallery

Mission: M4 - Falling Out
Location: Kalara City
Timeline: MD05 - 1000
1944 words - 3.9 OF Standard Post Measure

The task of cleaning up was staked and claimed by Faruz’s daughters once they accompanied their father into the desecrated chamber. Oly offered what credits he had on hand in recompense for the damages, but the Proprietor took one look at his lodger and shook his head. The worst, he claimed, had been to guest’s own equipment. Shredded sheets and mattress can be repaired or replaced, and the few scuffs buffed away. Instead, he sent Oly and his companion on their way so that the work could be done.

Salvaging what he could of the more sensitive components of his console, Oly glanced at T’Sheng before he trudged up the stairs and into the open street. He controlled his breathing, managing to suppress the worst and keep up a fairly steady front as he shifted his bag over his shoulder.

T’Sheng had nodded her approval at the fact that the owner of the lodgings had refused Oly’s money. It would have been, indeed, illogical and disrespectful, to accept payment from a victim. It was reassuring to see that common sense existed in a few rare locations beyond Starfleet Stations and vessels. When the intel officer left the place, she followed him dutifully. As announced before, she was not quite finished with him yet.

The crowds that had surrounded the area previously were moderately dispersed, small pockets forming here and there with more eyes on Oly than he would have preferred, but it couldn’t be helped. He swept about for any sign of his earlier attacker, before setting course toward the transport yard in hopes of finding someone who was available for the journey out into the wilderness to locate the Itonian Colony.

The crowd being now less intense than it had been, the street was more pleasant, more breathable too. She couldn’t understand people who lived without respecting each other’s personal space. It was so invasive, so rude, so barbaric...

“How long did you say the journey would be?” T’Sheng asked, walking by Oly’s side. Talking to an intel officer was a peculiar experience. Not knowing who out there might be listening to them, she felt compelled to speak almost in riddles, for fear of revealing too much.

Typically Oly tried to avoid admitting lack of knowledge on any point if he could avoid it. It was a weakness other operatives could jump on and exploit if given the chance, but with T'Sheng, it was different. "I honestly don't know, Commander. The colony is located out in the desert and sends representatives into town for supplies. I know this only because I ran into one my first day here, but I am unsure of what schedule they keep - if it is a daily thing, or more cyclical. It's possible there will be a shuttle headed there when we arrive, but we may have to wait." Were it just himself, Oly would have been happy to jump on any cargo junker headed out, but as T'Sheng was committing herself to this endeavor, he had to keep her comfort in mind and ensure at least basic accommodations. The result could set them back indefinitely, but it was a price he would have to pay.

“I see.” This single word conveyed her disapproval. How could this colony live without regular transports between their settlement and the civilised world? Certain people, she knew - Romulans among them - enjoyed being awkward for the privilege of annoying everyone. “This colony must value its privacy greatly to live under those conditions. But surely, if we pay the right price, it will not be difficult to find a pilot willing to make a trip to this colony? I have Federation credits.”

“That’s what I’m banking on,” Oly kept his eyes open about them as they made their way. He didn’t miss the censure in T’Sheng’s voice; whether it was his own paranoia reading more into her emotions than he intended, he couldn’t tell for sure. All he knew was that he felt on edge and didn’t have an outlet to burn off the excess. He missed the figure approaching them until she was directly in front of him, dark eyes burning up at him from beneath the edge of her hood. His hand went to his side, fingers resting on the edge of his phaser.

T’Sheng remained at Oly’s side, her gaze fixed on the mysterious woman, whose features were obscured. Yet her presence seemed to unsettle the intelligence officer. Uncertainty hung in the air - were they in peril? Was this woman known to Oly? As illogical as it was, the recent events had brought the Vulcan woman to the brink of anxiety, something that she wanted to combat.

T'Sheng's voice cut through the tension, clear and professional as if addressing a colleague. “Do you need assistance, Ms?"

“No, but he might. “ Shirin chuckled as the man tensed. “I was sent by a friend to find a Mr. Bast Larsen. Of course, if that’s not you, I’ll be on my way.”

T’Sheng’s voice softened, becoming almost pleasing to the ear. “Mr. Larsen is not present here. In fact, I’m not acquainted with anyone by that name.”

“No, she’s right. That’s the name I gave to the other El Aurian.” Oly chose not to name him, just to test where this girl was leaning.

“His name is Cyrus Alinejad. He likely only told you ‘Cyrus’, since he’s not much for formality.”

Oly relaxed a bit more. “Yes, Cyrus. Tall dark guy who laughs on the inside.”

The Vulcan woman subtly tightened her lips. She should have anticipated this. An intelligence officer was inevitably going to have multiple aliases and a plethora of contacts, not all of whom could be trusted. Could one truly know someone from the intelligence department? They only allowed you to see the persona that suited them at any given moment.

“Mr Larsen,” T’Sheng said, casting a sidelong glance at Oly - she had a multitude of questions for him, but they would have to be put on hold. “…is not in the habit of sharing information. Am I to believe, Ms, that you will guide us to Mr Alinejad?”

“That’s what Cyrus asked me to do; contrary to what he likes to claim, I tend to do as asked on most occasions.” Shirin smothered a laugh; it was clear the man’s companion was not familiar with the name he had provided, which only supported Cyrus’ suspicion that the man wasn’t quite who he claimed to be. “But, in the act of protecting my people I have to ask - what is your real name and what are you doing here?”

Oly took a breath - a bit deeper than intended, as his ribs creaked in protest at the strain - and let it out with only a marginal hiss of pain. “I’m Lieutenant Commander Sebastian Olivier Van Der Laar - Oly for short. I promise I will tell you more later, but can we go to your vessel first?”

T’Sheng arched an eyebrow, her trust in the woman wavering. She possessed a vessel though, and this was an undeniable advantage. “Your proposal seems fair,” T’Sheng conceded. “We have found this town to be riddled with danger. It is a place teeming with curious onlookers and thieves, individuals tasked with seizing what is not rightfully theirs.”

Shirin’s amusement faded slightly. She didn’t miss the hitch in his breathing, and while Cyrus hadn’t told her much, she knew something had gone down at the place this man was renting. “Sure. Follow me.”

“Indeed, we should proceed,” T’Sheng said, walking alongside the woman. “Might there be a first aid kit on your ship? I trust your keen observational skills have not missed the fact that…” She paused momentarily, unsure of which alias to use. “Oly is not quite himself. He has been injured. Despite his insistence that it is merely a few bruises; but then his line of work often requires him to downplay the truth.”

Oly grimaced. “It really isn’t as bad as she’s making it out to be. I just took a hit from a boulder on legs.”

“Sure,” Shirin waved for the two to continue following her, winding her way towards the transport pad. Cyrus confirmed that he and Aiden were on their way to meet them. “You go ahead and tell yourself that. In the meantime, we have an infirmary at the Colony; you might want to consider giving them a stop in.”

T'Sheng raised an eyebrow. It was good to see that Shirin was not deceived by Oly's words. However, she was not convinced that an infirmary within a Colony where Romulan refugees lived merited a visit. Their resources were likely to be negligible, especially so since they did not appear to have regular flights between their isolated Colony and Kalara City. "I suspect our friend would prefer to use your medical kit. Am I not right, Oly?"

“I … “ He felt caught between the two somehow, opting to refrain from any direct comment lest he draw ire from one side or the other.

"In any case, what else is there to see in this Colony? Do they possess any renowned crafts?" The question betrayed a subtle condescension, though T'Sheng attempted to mask it. It was difficult for her to envision the Itonian Colony as anything but an unappealing backwater, forgotten by the wider world. A place, perhaps, worth a cursory visit, like a forgotten outpost on the fringes of civilization.

Shirin came to a stop before turning to face the Vulcan. “You seem to have an elevated opinion of the standard shuttle first aid kit. Either that, or you have no concept of how our colony functions. Care to inform me which it is?”

The Vulcan woman remained silent for a few seconds, assessing the situation. Certain things, in her life, were, she knew, out of control. Her dislike for the Romulans, or anyone who helped them, was one of them.

“Itonia is, I have no doubt, a remarkable settlement,” she said. “Yet it accepted, within its midst, Romulan refugees.” T’Sheng pointed out, unable to hide her contempt for this species. “Those people tend to be unreliable.”

A derisive snort met the remark. “You do realize that the Colony was fully established before the Romulans were invited to join us. We do not make frequent ventures into the city because frankly, we don’t need the resources. Our focus is to maintain positive relations between our community and the planet leaders. So, I can assure you your friend here will receive the best care once we reach the Colony.”

T’Sheng made another pause. Admitting ignorance was always a bitter pill to swallow. “I must admit, I am not well-versed in the history of Itonia and how it was founded by your people. As for Oly, he will decide, of course, how he wishes his injuries to be treated.”

“I can wait,” Oly offered, keeping his eyes ahead.

“Excellent,” T’Sheng added, her tone now neutral. “So, beyond a self-reliant colony and a fully functional infirmary, what other notable features will I find in Itonia?”

“You’ll see soon enough,” Shirin flashed a wry grin and headed off once more.

“Intriguing,” T’Sheng noted. “It appears that you and Oly prefer to maintain a certain level of mystery. Very well then, I shall wait for this ‘soon enough’ moment.”

"Good plan."


Previous Next

RSS Feed