Part of USS Eagle: Red Heaven

The Big Move

Lextis III
January 2401
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It was time.  The plan was made.  The people were in place.  Lori and Hok were as ready as they would ever be.  After the end of business, Lori, Hok, Dex, and Nessa were going to dinner at an exclusive nightclub.  After an evening of fun, Dex would be gunned down in the street, leaving clues making it appear another gang was trying to move into their territory.  Nessa was to be ‘wounded’ in the attack.  Before calling it a day, there was still something to discuss in Dex’s office.

“You were supposed to make sure the shipment arrived on time,” said Dex, a sharp tone in his voice.  It was obvious he was not happy.

“I told you the shipping route had to change,” said Nessa.  “Starfleet has increased patrols in the usual area.  It couldn’t be helped.”

“I’ve never accepted excuses, Nessa, and you’ve always found a way.  Get it done.”

Nessa was about to respond, but sensing a building tension, Lori interrupted.  “We don’t need to argue about this.  We have enough reserves to last until the new product arrives.  Let’s not ruin the evening.”

Dex studied Lori, a sour expression on his face, an apprehensive silence filling the room.

Not knowing what was coming next, Lori glanced at Hok, who gave her a nod of assurance.

“You’re right, Kavi.  No need to argue about it now,” said Dex.

“As you said, I always get it done.  Don’t worry about tomorrow,” said Nessa.  She got up from her chair.

“There is one more thing,” said Dex.

Nessa glanced at Lori, but she sat back down.  “What is it?”

Dex tapped something on his desk.  The door opened and his two bodyguards came in.

“What are you doing, Dex?” said Nessa.

“Some new information was brought to my attention.”  He tapped his desk again and an audio began to play.

“So what did you decide?”

“We’re in.”

“All right then.  We do it tonight.”

“What’s the plan?”

When Nessa heard the sound of her voice, the irritated expression on her face morphed through a litany of emotions.  She was surprised.  She was in shock.  Her shoulders slumped in stunned realization.  She trembled in fear.  Facing Lori, her eyes were a fire of hate.

“You bitch.”  Nessa spat the words like venom from a serpent.

Dex turned off the audio.  Looking at Nessa, his eyes were filled with deep sorrow.

“When Kavi brought this to me, I refused to believe it.  I thought it was a fake, a power move to eliminate you and take your place.  When our tech people confirmed it was real, I still couldn’t believe it.”  Dex stopped, his voice beginning to waver.  He cleared his throat before continuing.

“Years ago, when we first started, maybe you would have tried something, but after all the years we’ve been together…”  His voice trailed off.

“Why, Nessa?  Why?”

As the two women locked eyes, Lori felt cold.  Her body.  Her thoughts.  Her very soul.  She was playing the part of Kavi Rozen better than she knew she would or ever wanted.

With a disgusted harrumph, Nessa turned to Dex.  “When we started, you didn’t allow anything to get in the way of doing business.  You worked hard.  You made connections.  You did whatever needed to be done.  Now you care more about drinking, partying, women, and those filthy cigars.  You’re weak.”

In Dex’s demeanor, Lori could see how genuinely hurt he was.  In her own coldness, she felt sick for being the tool of betrayal.

“You were more than a business partner or even a friend.”  Dex’s voice wreaked of pain.  “You were… special.”

No one spoke for seconds that felt like minutes.

“Take her to the usual place.  You know what to do,” said Dex.

“Yes, Boss,” said a bodyguard.  “Let’s go.”  He dragged Nessa to her feet.

“Dex, please,” said Nessa as she struggled against the iron grip of the bodyguard.

Dex swiveled around in his chair, his back to her.

Nessa looked at Lori, her eyes silently pleading for help.

“I’m sorry, Nessa.  It wasn’t personal.  It was just business,” said Lori.  Something happened, something she never thought she would see.

Nessa began to cry.

The men almost had to carry her out of the room.  Lori stood frozen as she listened to Nessa’s sobs until they were heard no more.

When Lori and Hok were the only ones left in the office, Dex spun back around in his chair.

“You two go to the club and celebrate your new positions in the organization.  I don’t feel like going out.  Be here tomorrow morning at nine.  We still need to find a way to get that shipment.”

Lori nodded and followed Hok into the hallway.  Things were falling into place, just as planned.