NCC - 81102
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Blast from the Past

Posted on Sat Oct 3rd, 2020 @ 1:39pm by Khalexis Jin & Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Lieutenant Aurora 4827/A & Commander Magnus Hawkins

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Dalia Station
Timeline: Mission Day 13 - 1702

"Who's your friend?" Hawk asked Bear. Inwardly, he'd dropped his Targh'n ruse long enough to speak plainly. Outwardly, his disposition was still that of an aggravated half-Klingon.

"Long story," Bear muttered, unhappily. "And the reason I didn't want to come here personally. Kinda hoped I was wrong about her being here though." He was keeping a close eye on the direction they were taking, and ignoring the sinking feeling in his gut at the loss of comms. Aurora was still their secret weapon on that front. "Definitely not a friend."

Hawk let out a light snort. "That much was obvious." He glanced at Aurora and tried to impart confidence to the engineer. "Any idea what she wants?"

"Well if you're asking my opinion as a woman it's kind of obvious," Aurora replied with a wry smile she was wearing to hide her uneasiness. She glanced at the Nausicaans around them, "Although her taste in men seems to have atrophied. I'm guessing she answers to someone else; bosses don't do their own dirty work."

She wasn't sure why she was trying to antagonize their captor. Part of it was maybe because the woman might let something slip. It couldn't be because she was in any way, shape or form jealous. She barely knew Bear. Although that did not mean she did not want to...

Bear's attention shifted swiftly to Aurora while he considered answering Hawk's question. He frowned darkly. "Her taste in minions or her captives?" He asked outright, then sighed softly and turned back to the Odyssey's XO.

"Her name's Khalexis. She ran - probably still does - a brothel... among other things." Bear didn't intend to get into the entire story here and now. "And she's likely holding a grudge for me selling her out." Another harder exhale and he added. "I'll explain you two are nothing to do with that, but I'd say, cover-wise, I'm currently screwed."

"A brothel is such an unsavory phrase," Khalexis said. "My place is more upscale than that implies." She looked over her shoulder and winked at Bear before looking at Aurora. "I hardly call this doing my own dirty work. In fact, I haven't done anything at all. I just happened to see my old friend Bear while walking through the promenade."

"And you just coincidentally had an entourage of armed thugs with you?" Aurora noted, "Somebody must really hate you here."

It was a display of power that also reflected her tenuous hold, Hawk noted. It meant she wasn't the biggest fish in the pond, but big enough to parade them through the guts of the station without fear of immediate interference. With a dozen Nausicaans, she clearly wasn't leaving anything to chance.

"We have business to attend to," Hawk said. "If we miss it as a result of this little detour, there will be greth'or to pay."

Every little touch, that mischievous wink, and her general relaxed tone had Bear internally on edge, tension playing with his nerves. The only outward sign of this inner turmoil however, was a slight frown above the bridge of his nose. Old friend. He pursed his lips and scowled at Khalexi's back now she'd turned.

"We're just spending some quality time with a friend from my youth, Targh'n," Bear amicably pointed out, an edge to his tone as he contemplated their immediate future. "And if it takes too long, I can entertain her by myself. Really, it's none of your business," he added, a little moodily.

"That's just it," Targh'n said with Klingon hostility. "She fucks up my plans and it becomes my business."

"I don't need you to rescue me," Bear escalated the situation easily enough. "I'll get this straightened out, and you can leave, alright? This shit - it's just bad luck and shit timing."

Klingon lips peeled back in a snarl that revealed enlarged but otherwise human-shaped teeth. "Then sort your shit for your friend's sake before I get angry."

Aurora glanced between the two and was tempted to say something; not knowing either man it was hard to tell how much was acting and how much was maybe some grudge being brought to the fore. She kept her eyes on their "host" to see her reaction.

As the group made their way through the station, they soon came to a doorway that opened into a large sitting room, filled with large cushions on the floor and pillows. Tapestries and lights hung around the room, giving it a casual vibe.

The door was closed behind them all they all entered before Khalexis took a seat on the set of cushions on a slightly raised platform, putting her above the rest. "Please, have a seat," she said.

Despite their reluctance, the disruptors in their backs made the team do as she asked.

She smiled. "What brings you people to our lovely oasis?" she asked.

Awkwardly and under duress, Bear had taken a seat on a floor cushion. He looked up at Khalexis now with a look of mock innocence as he answered her question. "Just had to see Callie one more time," he said.

Aurora took a seat on one of the cushions, settling her elbows on her knees as she scanned the room to see if she could spot any other exits. She imagined this woman probably had a way to make a hasty exit. If she could spot it they might be able to use it in a pinch.

Khalexis ignored Bear's comment, looking directly at Hawk. "You," she said, "I'd rather you speak for your group than him. I promise you, you also want the same." She sat there for a moment. "Speak. What are you here on Dalia?"

"That's not your business," Targh'n seethed through gritted teeth. His lack of sharp Klingon fangs literally blunted the effect. "If you interfere in my business, then I'm going to rip out your pretty neck with my teeth. Think really carefully before you waste any more of my time."

The Nausican behind him shoved the nose of his disruptor into the back of his neck.

The woman raised a hand, causing the Nausican to back off. “I know a lot of things, Mr Hawkins,” Khalexis said. “And I’m in a good mood today. Perhaps you could be a bit more kind and tell me why three Starfleet Officers are on Dalia station in plainclothes.”

Bear visibly winced. So, no point in attempting any ghost of a ruse from this point onwards, she already knew far too much. Why didn't that overly surprise him? She was his worst nightmare for this mission.

"If you really knew so much," Hawk said, pushing Targh'n to the side for a moment, "then you would know that question would never get an answer. Why don't you cut to the chase and get to the part where you reveal what it is you really want."

“Oh, what I want is simple,” she replied. “Now that I have Bear, I plan to exact my revenge for his betrayal.”

Hawk groaned. "Now, see? That is exactly what I was talking about earlier."

Throwing his head back in a reverse headbutt against the Nausicaan with the disruptor, Hawk pivoted from his seated position to take immediate control of the large thug's wrist. Once he had control, he forced it into an unnatural angle that fractured the joint with a resounding crack. Before the Nausicaan could even roar in pain, Hawk had already slid around behind him, kicked the kneecap sideways on the Nausicaan's forward leg, and relieved him of the disruptor.

With one oaken arm, Hawk set a chokehold on the Nausicaan that threatened a neckbreak if he so much as flinched. The other arm extended the newfound disruptor straight at Khalexis' face.

"Nobody move or she's dead!"

Satisfied that the other Nausicaans were frozen in waiting for further orders, Hawk gave his attention to Khalexis.

"Why don't you tell me why I shouldn't shoot you to the ground right here and now? And you were already going to harm me and mine, so you'd better come up with better than that."

He'd grown up in a literal warzone, so Bear took his time deciding what to do as Hawk escalated their situation to semi-suicidal levels. Miraculously, the Odyssey's XO hadn't been shot during that bold move, but Bear and Aurora were still easy enough targets with eleven enemy weapons still in very close proximity. That was heavily on his mind as the security officer considered potential actions. Four, Bear decided. He had four decent options here, and option one, the favourite, was also the most dangerous. Might not be a great idea.

Khalexis smiled, clapping lightly. "What a wonderful performance," she said as she stood up.

Aurora froze in place, shocked at the sudden violence and turn of events. Almost hysterically she was wishing for something easier to handle, like a warp core breach or something. All she could do was hold her breath, keep still and quiet lest the wrong move cause things to go disastrously wrong. The only saving grace was she was the least dangerous looking one here; likely Bear and Hawk would get shot first. Of course, that meant her likely joining them a picosecond later...

Walking down from the platform she was sitting on, she came directly towards Hawk, pressing her chest against the disruptor. "I'm not going to hurt you. Hell, I'm not even going to hurt him," she said, gesturing to Bear. "Pain is such a fleeting emotion, don't you think? In one moment, you're hurt, but as time passes, that hurt goes away. And soon, it was like it was never there. No, I don't want to hurt any of you. In fact, I see no reason we can't be friends. Help each other out."

She cocked her head to one side, giving Hawk a sweet smile. "Now, why don't you just answer my question. What brings you to Dalia? Maybe I can help."

Hawk nearly dropped her on her approach, but that would commit them to a course of action from which there would be no return.

"Mr. Jasper, if you could relieve the other Nausicaans of their weapons," Hawk said to Bear, "we could then grant your friend's request." Wordlessly, his facial expression clearly sought guidance from the other man. Was Khalexis to be trusted?

Khalexis considered this for a moment. “You’ll find my guards are unwilling to give them to you,” she said. “But we’re willing to stow the weapons if that makes you more comfortable?”

He could move, assist Hawk in their untimely end, but Bear-logic told him two things. Khalexis didn't want him dead. And siding with Hawk's request in this moment would likely get them all killed.

Bear stood up. Slowly, arms wide at his sides and with palms outwards, fingers spread out to show his apparent compliance. He took the three steps needed to stand parallel with the two locked in position by Hawk's decision, and Bear reached out his hand to wrap long fingers about Hawk's stolen disruptor. He fixed his gaze on the half-Klingon's own and he spoke with a cold, simple surety to Hawk and Hawk alone.

"Trust me," Bear said. "If I try to take a weapon from anyone here, they'll shoot me. Then you'll shoot Khalexis here. They'll shoot you. Then Aurora. Everyone loses." He moved his hand to rest curled between the end of Hawk's disruptor and Khalexis' chest, then Bear raised an eyebrow and canted his head as he maintained eye contact with his fellow officer.

"Put it down," he told Hawk. Then Bear turned to Khalexis. "What do you want, really? To punish me? Fine. To hurt them? No. Stow the weapons, leave them alone, and I'll talk to you."

It went against Hawk's every instinct to surrender the disruptor. Every instinct except to trust the Chief of Security. He didn't know Bear exceptionally well, but he knew the man's personal file and that he was handy in a scrap. If he recommended standing down, then that was worth considering.

Slowly, methodically, Hawk lowered the disruptor and tucked it into his waist.

"All right. We do this your way." Hawk glared at Bear in such a way that promised retribution should this turn south.

Khalexis looked at her men and nodded. They also lowered their weapons and soon everyone was just standing there.

"See, isn't that better?" she asked, turning to go back to her cushion and sit. "Please, sit. I don't like the unpleasant aura in the room right now. Let's clear the air a bit and why don't we start being honest with each other, yes?"

Bear rolled his eyes, and stayed standing until the others sat down.

As Khalexis sat, she motioned for them to do the same. "Now, what brings Starfleet to Dalia Station? We haven't detected a starship, so most likely you've come via shuttle. No uniforms, so you're trying not to raise suspicion. It probably would have worked had I not recognized our mutual friend."

"That's classified." Hawk crossed his arms. "But assuming we were looking for someone, what's to say you don't give them advance warning? Despite your sudden change of heart, only a fool would expect you to help us under the circumstances."

"You're very intelligent for a Klingon," she said. "Has anyone ever told you that? Even for a half-breed such as yourself, you show above average in intelligence. You're correct not to trust me, but I can assure you of one thing." Her smile faded as she looked Hawk squarely in the eye. "I want Starfleet off of this station. Having you here means nothing but trouble for a lot of us. And while I wish I could just dump your bodies out of an airlock, the last thing I want is to be brought into a Federation prison..." She looked at Bear with a cold gaze before turning back to Hawk, "Again."

"Then I guess we're done here," Hawk said. "Good day."

His own gaze wasn't cold at all, as Bear studied this woman he'd not seen in twelve years. He'd dreamt of her, though, good and bad memories mixed with a teenage lust for those firm, slender curves. Right up until... yeah.. reasons. Still, Lexis, as he thought of her, she was still magnificently fit, worthy of that long, warm stare Bear was currently offering.

He stood, with Hawk on this one. That question would not be one they answered easily. Though Bear had a query of his own he could trade, he considered, since they weren't being chucked out said airlock just yet.

"Wait!" Aurora replied. She had gotten instructions from the captain. Clearing her throat, she said, to Hawk and Bear, "We are looking for someone named Kaz."

"What... the..." Bear managed to vocalise, but Aurora wasn't finished.

She spared the others a glance, "I...just got the feeling that's what the Captain would want, that's all," she cleared her throat and elaborated, "We could be spending days or weeks on this station and we might never find him. We could use her help," she turned back to their 'host', "Perhaps you've heard of him? He possesses certain telepathic abilities and has pointed ears so he could be posing as a Vulcan or Romulan."

"I've never heard the name Kaz before," Khalexis said, looking at the woman who, until now, had been mostly silent. "A lot of pointed eared people here. How exactly were you supposed to find this person?"

"Conversation, observation," said Bear, his voice heavy with irritation at the ease with which Lexis had achieved her first goal. She'd always been more than lucky though, even when he'd had her bang to rights last time. For all her dark looks and gorgeous pouting, she hadn't spent long anywhere she didn't want to be. "So, you can't help?" He asked, frown giving him a moody expression as dark eyes locked with hers.

"In that case," Hawk said, "we're wasting time here."

"Agreed." Bear stood up, his hands held clearly out to his sides. "It's been fun, though."

"Guys!" Aurora exclaimed, "Would you stop being so impatient? Okay, I get it, you don't like each other," she glanced at the woman, "but what's to stop her from selling us out first chance she gets?"

She turned to Khalexis, "You're either lying about not knowing Kaz or you can help us find him. Either way maybe you can profit from working with us. The Federation can be a good friend, or at the very least a profitable ally even if one time."

She gave the boys a glance, "I'm sure the captain wouldn't want us to so easily abandon a possible alliance like this."

“Oh, I like this one,” Khalexis said as she smiled to Aurora. “You make me even further inclined to help, but you still haven’t given a shred of unique traits of this person. Shall I line up each pointy-eared person and ask their name?”

"Listen," Bear said, his fierce glare locked with Aurora's eyes as he did so. His words were for Tavis rather than the young woman before him, and his patience was clearly thin. "We can't trust her, we can't believe anything she says. She is not our friend. She is not a profitable ally. We can find him on our own."

With their comms cut off, the link between this Aurora and her counterpart on the bridge was the closest thing Hawk had to communication with the Odyssey. Bear was insisting that the Trill could not be trusted, but Aurora's insistence was tantamount to a direct order from a commanding officer.

"You may know him as Daschiel," Hawk said, pulling known aliases from his recollection of Kaz's file. "He is visually impaired, but from his lifelong training you might never know it. He is adept at infiltration and codebreaking, so he would be more at home among shadows than in plain sight." He let out an exasperated sigh. What he had just done went against his every instinct except for the one that compelled him to follow the chain of command. "If none of that stands out to you, then you could not possibly be of help to us."

Aurora bit her lip to prevent herself from saying any more. She had a feeling Commander Jasper was quickly losing his patience with her and Commander Hawkins needed to take the lead for now.

“Ah, now I know who you’re talking about.” Khalexis stood again. “I’d ask why Daschiel is of interest to Starfleet, but I have a feeling you won’t oblige my curiosity. Unfortunately for you, he is no longer on Dalia station. He left a couple weeks ago.”

Now she had Hawk's attention. "Where did he stay? With whom did he consort? What was his business? I can only assume you abducted him as well. Finally, where did he go?"

"I honestly don't know much," Khalexis responded. "I don't have him, nor do I know where he went. But there is someone he was seen talking with often. A young man, human in nature. Former Borg. Find him and you might have more answers than I can provide."

While Hawk didn't see much reason to trust her, he saw even less reason to stick around any longer than they already had.

"We'll keep that in mind." Looking at Aurora and Bear, he gestured back the way they'd come. "This is the part where we leave and your men stand down. I know better than to tell you not to have us followed, so I'll just tell you to stay out of our way."

Bear said nothing. He shot Khalexis a significant look, returned Hawk's indication that they should move with a curt nod and walked towards the exit, choosing to be the one who tested whether their 'host' would do anything to prevent this. Whether she was lying or not didn't matter at this point, a lead was a lead, but he wouldn't say thank you or goodbye like some foolish, gratefully trusting idiot.

Aurora turned to Kalexis and gave her a smile.

"Thank you so much!" she said, "You've been so very helpful! I hope in the future any dealings can be handled with a lot fewer firearms."

She joined the boys, whispering, "She's seems nice. A little sociopathic, but no one's perfect..."

"Bear Jasper," Khalexis said, stopping the group before they had a chance to leave. "What you did was conniving and backhanded. I lost a lot of business because of your foolishness."

She walked up to the team, specifically to Bear. "I will do you this one kindness. I'm not going to hurt you, but your brother on the other hand..." The woman shrugged. "Someone has to pay for what happened." She turned to walk away.

Bear stopped, adopted a grim scowl and locked his gaze with the Trill woman before him. He let her speak without interruption despite the need to voice his own opinion burning deep inside him, but as Khalexis moved to leave, Bear reached out to grab her shoulder.

"Stop," he said, voice coloured with controlled anger. "What I did, you deserved and you damn well know it, woman. People died." His hand gripped harder, fingers marking her perfect skin. "And I don't believe you," Bear added. "My brother? Would never work for you. Points for effort though."

"Commander!" They weren't supposed to use ranks, but their cover was long since blown. Hawk needed some way to remind Bear of his duty. "I believe the exit was this way."

"I know where the exit is," rumbled Bear's voice. He didn't let of Khalexis though or look to Hawk to acknowledge the suggestion of an order.

Aurora almost bit down on her tongue. There was a deep history here, something ugly that she had no business criticizing or attempting to interfere with. What was going on was a battle of wills between these people and one false move could turn things deadly...

Khalexis waved at the group as they walked down the corridor. “Enjoy your Borg hunt.”

 

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