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OOC: Holy Crap!

I have completely forgotten about this group until just now! I won't really have time to catch up or even post anything for a few months, due to school and work. What's happened to my character? Has he just faded to the background? Is he on a LoA? How shall we re-integrate him into the crew during the late spring or early summer? (Will the current storyline be at a good point for adding my character back into it at that point?)
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mayat_temp

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The captain and first officer behind closed doors...Collapse )

After trading a few more words, Petroski and Zavvis parted ways. The latter took a circuitous route to her office- not something she normally did- but she'd been away from Hyperion for many weeks, incognito and living in what amounted to a glorified sewer. It was good to walk through her ship again, as herself, and it was also good to be visible among the crew, exchanging greetings with whomever she came across. She wondered how things had been on the ship while she was gone. And, in a small and illogical corner of her mind, she wondered if her absence had been felt.

(( OOC: If anyone wants to meet up with Zavvis in the hallways/her office, feel free! ))

Meanwhile, Petroski returned to his ready room. There wasn't anything of great importance waiting for him there- trivialties, routine paperwork- but he preferred to be close to the bridge while he worked through it. He was thinking of something else he ought to be doing, but was still working up the nerve. He wasn't certain where the nervousness had come from, other than that weeks of separation had forced him to consider harsh realities. He still needed to talk to her, seek her opinion- but there was a lot of paperwork that had to be done.

(( OOC: And yes, bother the workaholic captain at will, too ;) ))



Donaldson was, to put it politely, busy. A lot to catch up on while climbing back into the saddle in Science, and plenty of social catch-up to play off-duty. Da and Wicky had invited him to dinner, Zavvis to her quarters, Petroski had something he wanted to discuss, and many others had also extended offers of hospitality or something akin to it. Everyone was understanding of the strain he was under, and encouraged him to set his own pace, visit when he got the chance, no rush. Of course, they didn't know the half of it. His temporal excursion was completely under wraps. This was the first time they were seeing him since the accident, but the last time he'd seen most of them had been ten years hence. There was a good chance that, by sending him back, Captain Zavvis had prevented that reality from ever occurring. Still, he'd had a glimpse of what many of his crewmates might become- some of it positive, some not so much- and that was difficult to ignore.

((OOC: Everyone's going to want to catch up with Donaldson, so we may as well do it simultaneously and pretend it happened sequentially ;) Just spawn off conversational threads at your leisure. It will keep Remy good and busy. Oh, but Ellie, can Wicky and Da do the dinner thing? I like that plan ^_^ ))
mayat_temp

Home Sweet Home

"We're well aware of it," Zavvis replied to Bilaal laconically. She, Vilok, and Donaldson had holed themselves up in Vek's office. While Donaldson saw to downloading anything pertinent that he could get his hands on, the Vulcans guarded the entrance. Vek's paranoia was a boon in this regard. With the reinforcements and shielding he'd put into the door and walls, the room served as a veritable fallout shelter. It wouldn't hold forever, but any other room would have caved much faster from the oncoming soldiers' assault.



Back on Hyperion, Petroski was still riding herd on every department from the bridge- the smuggling ship had just returned, so Brooks, Veron, and Pressen were still squaring themselves away- and was pushing and egging them as fervently as possible without outright yelling. This episode reminded him of Pyramis IV: the raid of the heavily shielded research station there, and the insanity and tragedy that had followed in its wake. He would not tolerate a repeat of that, not on his watch.

"Weapons charged, Captain," the Tactical officer reported with some relief. "De-cloaking now."

"Fire the instant you're ready. Transporter room," he raised, "stand by. Away team, prepare for beam-out."

The bombardment was as dramatic as it had been the first time. Though the shields were almost certainly weaker from the first assault, Petroski wasn't taking chances. Who knew what those soldiers would attribute the attack to this time; at this point, it didn't concern the captain greatly. The crew was well coordinated in its efforts. The instant the shields collapsed, six life signs were beamed aboard- five to the transporter room, one to the brig (after being carefully checked and filtered for weapons or other undesirable devices/substances)- and the cloaking process was initiated once more.

"We have them, sir!" the transporter chief reported. "Including Niska."

"Excellent. Keep our people where they are, I'll be along in a moment." He switched channels. "Petroski to Security: the prisoner is to be left alone for the time being. No one is to approach or speak with her." Let her sweat it out alone for the next several hours, days... he wasn't feeling terribly charitable. "Helm, set course for the nearest detention facility, warp five- if the admiral gives his leave, of course." He nodded to Hannibal, leaving him at the conn as he hastened off the bridge.



Fighting for their lives one moment, home the next. It was jarring, but also a great relief after spending weeks constantly looking over their shoulders, playing a part, stressing and hoping all would go to plan. But having been successful in their primary objective despite numerous stumbling blocks in their path? It certainly made for a happier ending.

Once she'd regained her bearings, Zavvis turned to Donaldson with a small smile that belied the true magnitude of the emotion she felt. "Let me be the first to welcome you back aboard."

"Damn! She beat me to it, did she?" Petroski appeared, looking like he'd sprinted to the transporter room, but he was grinning broadly- rare for him. "All the same, welcome back and good show, all of you. Especially you, old man," he said as he approached to shake Donaldson's hand and clap a second hand on his shoulder. Petroski was actually older, but compared side-by-side, anyone would swear he was ten or more years Donaldson's junior. For a man in his line of work, he'd aged remarkably well.

"It hasn't been the same without you," he continued. "This ship is privileged to have you back. I'll want to hear all about where you've been and what you've been up to, but I'd say a visit to Sickbay is in order first. Rest up, you've earned it. Same goes for you, Commander," he nodded to Zavvis. "And before either of you protest, I'm making it an order and escorting you there personally. Debriefing can wait. Lieutenant?" He next looked to Vilok, who, like Zavvis, was still in his "alien" guise. "I imagine you'll want to join them."

Finally, his eyes landed on Bilaal. "You've got a prisoner whom I don't want disturbed for the time being. Unless you need to sort out the mess I've made of your department," he joked, "you're free to join us if you'd like."

Walking through the corridors to Sickbay, Petroski eyed Zavvis. "Commander?"

"Captain?"

"How might we notify the crew of Mr. Donaldson's return without causing a mass panic amongst the enlisted barracks?"

"I was more concerned about a highly ironic decline in shipwide discipline: pitched celebrations and several new visitors to Sickbay," Zavvis deadpanned, "but agreed, this is problematic."

"Good problem to have, though."

"Again, I'm in agreement."
run the fuck away

Do you expect me to talk?

Donaldson and Vek's former bodyguards were hustled into the compound. Donaldson didn't know the layout that well- he wasn't allowed to roam freely when Vek was in power, and Vek's staff always made sure to use the maze-like nature of the complex to keep him confused as to the route out. These soldiers weren't nearly so cautious- either because they didn't know their way around, or because they didn't expect to let Donaldson live. Since he wasn't dead yet, he was leaning towards the former, and in that case, it was in his best interest to memorize the route they took.

They were taken to a small room, searched, and bound to chairs, and a pair of armed guards kept watch. A few moments later, Niska herself swept in, phaser in hand. Vek's former body-guards were felled in a single sweep; Donaldson fought to keep from flinching as the weapon centered on him. "I'd heard you were dead- imagine my surprise when you show up on Vek's doorstep."

Donaldson shook his head. "Didn't think you'd recognize me."

"The makeup was good- but remember Atrusia? Makeup doesn't fool me." She grinned and lowered the phaser. "Like a bad penny, you keep turning up."

"How'd you pull this off Niska?"

The woman laughed like a bell being rung. "Deliver intel on a platter? Please, I'd only do that if I intended to kill you."

"You don't?"

"You're far more valuable alive- while you were here spying for Starfleet you probably saw parts of Vek's operations that I never could have." When she said "Starfleet" her guards reacted- surprise? Of course, they didn't know how many balls were in play right now. Hell, Donaldson wasn't much better off in that respect. Niska didn't work alone- there was someone else behind this. There was Vek's group, the Ferengi, Niska and her employer.

And Starfleet, of course. No doubt the crew from the Hyperion was going to make a rescue attempt. He needed to get as much intelligence as possible, and do whatever he could to simplify that rescue attempt. "Vek kept his cards pretty close to the chest- but I've got documentation on all the requests for information that I handled for him. Back at the shop- but hidden."

Niska waved a hand. "Yes yes, and you won't tell us where- you need to show us. Cue escape attempt. We've played this game before Jake- don't you get tired of it?" She shook her head and clucked her tongue. "No, of course not. You're too hard headed for that," she rapped her knuckles against his skull. "Loyal to the end. To an idea, even."

"No- not an idea. The ideals of the Federation are something that I respect deeply, but ideas don't win loyalty. People do."

An alarm went off. "Niska," a voice growled over the communicator. "Someone's attacking the shields! A transport ship!."

"Those people you spoke of?" Niska asked. "Deal with it," she answered into the comm. "And check for beam-downs. An extra fifty bars for their dead bodies, a hundred if they're taken alive. The General wants prisoners."
run the fuck away

We seem to have a problem...

The smuggling vessel hovered at a high altitude, cloaked, over Vek's compound. Sensors made it clear that something was amiss. While it had always been well defended, it veritable army hovered around its perimeter, and they were armed with far more than the standard equipment. Several of them were clearly equipped with personal anti-spacecraft weapons, and there were a few crew-operated cannons in the main courtyard.

Vilok shook his head. "I realize you might be feeling some... emotional urgency," he shot a Zavvis, "but I do not understand why we have come here. The structure of our original mission was designed around the fact that we could not easily penetrate Vek's compound."

"Pardon me Lieutenant," Veron interrupted, "but I must disagree- we never considered the difficulties in getting into the compound. We realized it would be impossible to forcibly remove Vek from the compound. So I suggest we start looking for weak points in their defenses."

The compound was a fortress, and laid out as such. A duranium wall wrapped around the complex, equipped with catwalks and nests for phaser turrets. At each corner was a small parapet that housed guards and a shield generator. The entire complex was surrounded by a multilayer force field. No building in the complex was within a hundred yards from a wall- and most of the actual construction was under ground. This meant there were no tall barriers to block the line of site from the walls. This, coupled with advanced sensor technology made it nearly impossible to move undetected, even if you could breah the outer defenses.

"Question," Veron glanced around. "The state of disorder within the compound makes it seem that there has been a coup- would others agree with that assesment? If so, I would suggest that the internal sensors are disabled."
run the fuck away

In the Lair

Their groundcar tore into Vek's compound like a banshee. Already, the compound knew what had happened and that Vek was dead. Donaldson had been shot, but was alive- and in the chaotic screaming of the van, he did what he could to worsen the wound with his own phaser on low settings. He wasn't sure exactly what was going to happen- certainly, someone was going to try to have him killed- it just looked bad. And it went from bad to worse when they got into the compound.

The ground car screeched to a halt as soon as it reached the courtyard. Behind them, the multi-layer force field and durasteel gate slammed shut, which is what they expected. Anyone following would be turned back. The courtyard, however, wasn't being patrolled by Vek's men- no. Instead, a mixture of races dressed in paramilitary garb and carrying heavy weapons patrolled the yard. A stack of bodies was piled in one corner, where some of these soldiers were preparing a pyre to burn them- all of the bodies were dressed in the uniform of Vek's enforcers.

Near the groundcar, a dozen soldiers had a variety of nasty looking implements pointed at the vehicle- and the guy on the wall that surrounded the courtyard had a personal photon torpedo rifle. "Shit."




Vilok paced while orders were being dealt out. Illogical perhaps, but occupying the body freed the mind. A vetran of many assasinations, he was trying to piece this together- someone had either infiltrated their group, infiltrated Vek's, or had been sharp enough to figure out what they were planning. The first was unlikely, the second more probable. The last was improbable- but a menacing possibility none the less. If that were the case, there was little chance that they would outwit that opponent, so instead he focussed on the middle possibility.

The other disturbing element was Yij's death. It could not be retribution for Vek's- it had to be nearly simultaneous. No- it was a coordinated effort for a third party to move in on this territory. A coup de etat among criminal overlords, with one creative and well coordinated assault sweeping aside two enemies. He had witnessed Yij's security precautions first hand- they were good, but not great. His staff was likely easily bribed. Vek, on the other hand, maintained loyalty through generosity. Bribery was unlikely. The timing for the attack meant that they couldn't make their move while Vek was within the compound- and since he never left, it meant... something. He wasn't sure what.

Even so, he coldly shared his assesment with his team.
run the fuck away

The Switch?

Vek didn't make it three steps into the warehouse where the meet had been set up. Donaldson was painfully aware that the past six hours had been dedicated to Vek's security precautions. The warehouse and every bulding with a line of site had been swept with his security team's sensors, and he had a small army around him when he crossed the threshold. The Starfleet team had been secreted in their hiding places after the security sweep.

When Vek vanished in the firey blast of disintegration, no one reacted for a moment. The shot had come from someplace on the other side of the warehouse, and a few of Vek's guards returned fire. The rest set about securing the facility. Donaldson, who had been in plain sight to greet them found himself sprawled on the floor being roughly searched with the muzzle of a weapon in his back. Other guards, tricorders in hand, began to sweep the warehouse floor for other ambushes.

In less than three seconds, everything had gone solidly pear shaped.
Zavvis

All Or Nothing

It was a very long and sometimes nerve-wracking time in coming, but at last, the moment of truth approached. Over the past several weeks, Donaldson (via Bilaal, Vilok, and Zavvis) had been supplying his Ferengi contacts information about Vek's business partners and specific contracts. Warily at first, then with increasing confidence, ex-Daimon Yij and his ilk had begun eroding Vek's power base, luring away some of his tentative contacts, underbidding a few deals, and outright sabotaging others with the use of mercenaries. Vek's profit margin had taken a hit; he was open to suggestions that would keep the Ferengi off his back. And, playing both sides, Donaldson had planted the suggestion to stage the very next weapons shipment in an out-of-the-way, abandoned locale, using a new crop of smugglers who came highly recommended.

Vek was desperate; he'd agree to anything. Unbeknownst to him, business was scheduled to pick back up, and the Ferengis' luck was slated to run out, after this exchange. The only downside was that he would no longer be sitting at the helm, if Starfleet Intelligence had their way.

Along with Vek, Donaldson, and the small crew of cargo loaders overseeing the weapons cache, the three "mercenaries," who had kept a close eye on Donaldson and the Ferengi all the while to ensure safety and compliance, were also at the rendezvous point at the appointed time. They were appropriately armed and hidden wherever they could hide themselves; by all indications, Vek didn't know anything about Donaldson "hiring" them. There would probably be a firefight, but surprise, and numbers, would be on Starfleet's side. The smuggling ship loaded with Hyperion crew and Vek's double was en route.

Zavvis watched and waited behind a large pile of rusting scrap, steeled for what was about to come, and also slightly relieved. She wouldn't be able to fully relax until all this was behind them, but that the end was near was itself somewhat comforting. Masquerading as a Romulan for as long as she had had been more of a strain than she'd initially believed it would be. It was confusing and a bit of a disappointment, really; she had thought herself more capable, comfortable, and versed with emotions than most Vulcans. Regardless, she looked forward to three things: delivering her crew safely back to their ship, with their prisoner in custody; reacquainting herself with crew she hadn't seen in some time; and settling back into an emotional state that better suited her.
4 Star Logo

The Meet

The van they were piled into was fairly spacious for the number in it- and there were several masked men with guns that added to the total. With the Hyperion crew in a tight knot at the center, there was no need for anyone to get within grasping distance. No pilot drove the vehicle, it was computer controlled. The passenger compartment had no windows, no way to trace outside motion, and with a weak inertial dampener, it was impossible to tell if the vehicle were moving. They simply sat in a box for a period of time, and then someone from the outside opened the door.

More men with guns, the Hyperion crew were searched, not with hands or eyes, but with expensive sensor equipment. Knives, phasers, and even a ceramic garotte were removed from the crew. Vilok surrendered his toys dispassionately, and it was clear that everyone else should follow his lead.

Once they were searched, they were escorted to a small conference room, at which point they were left alone and unguarded- but only for a moment. A door on the opposite side swung open, and Ex-Daimon Yij entered. Instead of the pretentious and guady clothing that others might wear, he dressed in traditional Ferengi garb, fur wraps and light armor- Rule of Acquisition #5: A "dagger in the back" is rarely a metaphor. Behind him followed one attaché similarly dressed, followed by three female Ferengi dressed as was traditional for their species- not at all.

Yij took a moment to sit and get comfortable, and expressed no rush in starting the meeting. One female massaged his lobes, while the other two busied themselves with providing refreshments. "Well- it seems you wish to do business with me."
4 Star Logo

Business

Ex-Daimon Yij was not as powerful as Vex, and didn't have as many enemies, but that didn't mean he didn't have his own security force that could keep him safe. Donaldson dropped some hints in the right places, and news flushed back t Yij- who was curious. What information did this team of merenaries have that he wanted? Why did they keep coming up in conversation?

Yij set up a meeting through the network of scoudrels and thieves that terminated at Donaldson. Like a massive game of Knives and Shadows, it was almost impossible to know who sent and who recieved the message- it was just known that the mercenaries should be at the Inebriated Paradise at 2100 hours. Things would progress from there.