Part of USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again Part: 3 and USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again

Evil Plots Part: 2

Somewhere North of Billings, MT
July 15, 2374
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Bellitor stared out the window and into the vastness of the Montana prairie. The farmhouse they were using as their base of operations was comfortable enough,  but the winters were bitterly cold.  Peter Crawford approached, and Bellitor could see his reflection in the glass, but she didn’t acknowledge his presence.

Crawford pulled a chair from against the wall and sat roughly, slipping out a cigarette to smoke.  He lightly lit it and enjoyed the sensation of smoke and nicotine as it flared through his mouth and nostrils.  He waited a few more minutes as he finished the cigarette and turned his attention to Bellitor, “Brooding doesn’t look good on you.”

“Not brooding, and those things will kill you.”

Peter pulled out another cigarette and offered it to her, “I plan to live forever.”

“I’m good, but thank you.” She let the silence fall between them for a long time.  Finally, she spoke, “I know you don’t like Dominus,  but you have always been loyal to me. Why you haven’t betrayed me is actually beyond me.  Jeter, I get. He’s comfortable where he’s at, but unless I have severely misjudged you, you are ambitious and would relish being at the top of the heap.”

Crawford took a drag from his cigarette and regarded her for a few minutes in silence before he replied, “Ambition is a great thing.  Hell, it’s gotten me where I am.  Spilling blood to cover the debts and charges is the game.”  He took another puff, “I’ve got my daughter.  We’re one and the same – that old all-for-one and one for all.  I don’t do anything to put her in jeopardy…and she does the same for me.”  He dropped the remains of the cigarette to the ground and dug into it with his boot, “I do what I do to keep us together and near the top of whoever we are.  People get too close to the sun – they’re going to take a header straight down.  I prefer to keep me and mine flying.”

Bellitor glanced at him and smirked, “Close enough to make the rules, and far enough that you aren’t the face of things when it all goes south.   I’m not sure if that’s cleaver or cowardly.”

Peter stood, “I’m a simple murderous bastard, Bellitor – you’ll know good and well if decide to try and climb to the top of the trash heap.  Your position as Empress of this wasteland is safe, far as I’m concerned.  We need you, and you need us.  I don’t mind killing to make sure that remains.”

“That much is certain,” she replied.  “Listen, I have a job for you.”

Crawford raised his eyebrows, “I do enjoy working my murderous bastard credentials.”

“As you know, I have been giving the Starfleet recruiter in Billings some special attention.  Disgusting little troll, and it’s amazing what you men will do for a look at a nice pair of tits.” She picked up a Federation PADD and tossed it to Peter.  “Your counterpart seems to be a bit of a rising star. He’s aboard a ship called the Denver. I want you to replace him. When the time is right, you will resign your commission to run for Federation Council.”

Peter read the report.  “He’s nice and shiny.  I can muddy him up a little.  This does mean I have to be nice when I’m standing in his place.  I am not a nice man, Bellitor.  I hope the time being right doesn’t take too damn long.  I gotta kill something every so often to feel…balanced.”

“If you feel you need to kill, kill. Just don’t get caught. Zodiac never got caught and it took years for BTK, and several others before they did. If you feel you aren’t up to this assignment I suppose we could clone you.”

Crawford growled, “I’m the original Peter Crawford.  Don’t need some copy doing my work for me.  My hands prefer to be dirty and bloody – not going to get some clone get the pleasure and credit.  When and where are we going to make this switch happen?  Carolyn will have to tag along…somehow.”

“Your discretion,  but I think sooner than later. Carolyn will need an identity if she is to come along.  I have a few sources that can make that happen.”

He thought for a moment, “A long lost cousin or something – needs a secure posting alongside a trusted relative.  We can fabricate most of her identity. An operations cadet or something?”  He glanced at his chrono, “Whatever we do, let’s get in gear.  Once we’re in play, time will be of the essence.”

She considered Peter for a moment, “Will hiding your nature be that difficult?

A quiet smile crossed his lips, “I’ve learned in my life to compartmentalize.  I, as Peter Crawford, will step into a closet for a little bit.  Knowing there’s blood to be spilled eventually, I’ll manage.”

She nodded, “I trust you will do what is best for you, and at this juncture, that’s what’s best for me.  Make it happen.”

Crawford gave a nod, “You got it.” He turned and headed to his bunk area where his daughter waited.  Things were about to get interesting.