NCC - 81102
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Boots on the Ground

Posted on Thu Sep 3rd, 2020 @ 2:38pm by Commander Tavis Inahri & Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Lieutenant Aurora 4827/A & Lieutenant JG Cassandra Thorn PhD & Commander Magnus Hawkins

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Dalia Station
Timeline: Mission Day 13 - 1540 hours

That vast magnificence decked out in turquoise and cobalt seemed a wildly unfair backdrop to the man-made, circular, urban jungle clinging to the edges of its outer circumference in orbit. It also brought back complicated memories for Bear. Back then, he'd wanted to be here - Hell, he'd been excited! - a teenager out on the dangerous side of 'town' backed up by the Captain and the crew of that reliable old freighter. He didn't feel that same vibe now, and the reasons as to why concerned Bear deeply.

But, as Hawkins landed the shuttle and the crushing inevitability of his current reality slid into his brain, Bear did what he always did when he had no other choice. He sucked up that intense feeling of trepidation, hid his emotions behind a serious game face and he stood up to leave the comforts of their small craft.

"I'll go first," Bear said, and he waited for Hawk's affirmative before opening the hatch and entering the station.

Targh'n nodded. "Perry takes point, Das in the middle, and I'll bring up the rear," he said, using everyone's aliases. He tried not to consider unintended innuendo of his command and focused on the task before them. "Look alive, team, but try not to stand out. Let's see what's out there."

"Cass here. Bit of a tip. Act like you own the place and relax." Came a quick communication and disappeared just as quick.

'Perry' rolled his eyes and wished he wasn't here. It was gonna take a lot more than acting confident to get him through this mission unscathed, and he hated that prickly feeling at the top of his spine as he stepped out into the station and took a few bold steps forward. He kept his hand close to his phaser as his gaze dutifully scanned his surroundings. Yup, place hadn't changed that much.

Klingons owned everywhere they set foot. It was the divine right of the followers of Kahless. Targh'n needed no reminder of that, but Hawk appreciated the sentiment offered by Cass. He reminded himself to make good on their standing appointment. After so long acting as Targh'n, Hawk would need the counseling session to ensure he kept a handle on himself.

The trio set foot onto Dalia Station and took in the sights and sounds. In many ways it was not unlike any other station -- the population, the commerce, the tumult of voices. But in many others it definitely had a soul all its own.

The corridor they were in was large and curved slightly with the edge of the station. Along the inner and outer part of the walkway were different shops, restaurants and other establishments that people were moving in and out of. For being on the far side of known space, the port was busier than they would have expected, though it provided a perfect way for them to blend in.

"Looks like it might be easier than we thought, came Tavis' voice. It was now that he was glad they were wearing cameras that were feeding directly into the Bridge's viewscreen. "Let's take it slow and steady. Try to see if we can find a source of gossip. That'll be a good start."

Old familiar scents caught Bear's nose and activated memories he hoped he wasn't about to relive any part of, but he nodded to the first couple of food vendors and let his gaze flow over the eclectic mix of dishes. Bright colours, loud noises and a subtle calling in his head telling him to follow the neon. He ignored that.

"There used to be... ah here it is," Bear noted, as he led them around the curve to a well-stocked little store right on the corner. "Candy and cakes," he said quietly. "With a side-line in explosives. Or it was once, anyway."

"Good enough. Go inside and see if the proprietor is copacetic," Targh'n ordered. "Might get jumpy if all of us come in at once."

"Das" scanned about her with both fascination and trepidation. She had been on away missions before but every time she exited the nice, orderly world that was a ship's interior she felt out of sorts. For now she decided to remain silent and let the other two do most of the talking.

On the bridge Aurora turned from the status wall and said, "Captain, what is the threat level of someone picking up our transmission? Will there be anyone on the station that might be looking for a sustained signal such as the one being fed to us via the cams?"

"Moderate," Tavis said, "But a necessary risk to take. We don't want our team in there blind."

Aurora was beginning to think the Captain was a control freak but she refrained from saying so aloud. Instead she returned her attention to the status wall and refrained from reconfiguring a panel to see what Ops was seeing...

"Ah welcome," said an elderly man who shuffled up to the newest visitor in his shop. "What can I help you with?" he asked, looking up at Bear from his hunched disposition.

"Hey," Bear noted, with a sociable upward nod as he surveyed the wares laid out before him. "I was just after some of the tiger roll, a whole one if you're got some out back. Does... Millie still work here?" They were old codes, but it was worth a shot.

The elderly man squinted at the tall man. "She' the back right now. Why don't you come back later and you can speak with her," he said. Without waiting for Bear to reply, the man turned and walked further back into the store.

Having waited a fair amount of time, Targh'n marched into the store as if he'd owned it. "Perry," he said. "Do you have it?"

Aurora saw the XO head on into the store and pondered whether or not to follow. Well, she thought, perhaps it would be best if someone stayed outside to keep an eye on the corridor. She settle against the wall, hands in pockets as she attempted to nonchalantly scan both ways. She was now starting to regret not bringing a second body along to watch her own back...

Bear had stood there for a while, contemplating the displays of food and ignoring a growling belly. He looked up as Hawk addressed him, and exhaled. "No," he said, with a soulful little shake of his head. "I gotta come back later." Bear turned and walked back out into the main corridor, gifting Aurora a small smile and a thumbs down.

"C'mon," the security officer declared, choosing to ignore their true ranks as he once again took the lead, long strides eating up the decking as Bear swiftly covered some ground away from said store. "This way."

The trio walked down the corridor for a couple minutes, the sights and sounds starting to blend together as they kept an eye out for anything interesting. It was a little while before they heard the voice from behind them.

"Bear Jasper," came the feminine voice as a soft hand touched his shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze. "I never thought I would be seeing you again. Especially here."

He felt it in his toes after a rapid fire sense of ice that travelled all the way down his spinal column, then Bear closed his eyes for a moment and willed it not to be so. Didn't work....

"Perry," Bear said, as he turned around, his arm crossing his chest, hand touching firmly atop hers as he did so. His heart leapt like he was sixteen again as he looked into that face though, pounded its beat inside his chest so hard he had to slow his breathing to compensate. "You know my brother?"

"I might believe that," the woman said, giving the man a smile as she touched the side of his face, gently. "But your brother works for me. I saw him just a few weeks ago. Unless he had plastic surgery between now and then, I can definitely tell you two apart."

His eyes betrayed him and his brow furrowed deeply as Bear's emotions immediately reacted to this unexpected instant comeback. He hadn't seen his brother in twelve years, but he was supposed to believe that Peregrine worked for this harpy?

"Don't touch me," Bear growled, his hand once again going to hers. "Liar."

"Oh, come now. Is that any way to behave towards an...old friend?" The woman smiled as she turned and started to walk away. "I suggest you come with me. Others might recognize you and not be as kind as I am."

To put a point to her words, a half dozen large Nausicans appeared from within the crowd, surrounding the small group with charged disruptors.

"Don't make me feed you to the wolves now," she said, leading them all away.

Tavis sat back in his chair, his jaw firmly clenched in frustration as the wrench foiled their plans. "Well, this isn't good," he said, somewhat to himself, though he knew the rest of the Bridge crew could hear him.

He pressed a button on his chair's side panel, opening the comm link to the team's ear devices. The Computer gave a disgruntled chirp, claiming the audio signal was no longer active. A few seconds later, the video feed cut out as well.

"You're up," he said, turning to the Aurora sister who stood near the back of the Bridge. "Make sure your sister knows that their comm signal has been cut off. Tell them to stay calm, we'll figure a way out of this. Until we do, I need you here, front and center," he said.


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