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Part of USS Eagle: Mission 3 – Intelligence Acquisitions

The Twisted Road

Lappa Moon
March 2401
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“After thinking about it, I’ve decided to work out an agreement with you,” said Klunt.

“I’m glad you saw things my way, Daimon,” said Lori.

Roger and Lori had been escorted by a Ferengi security guard to an isolated corner of the Bunnicorn casino.  Waiting at a door was Klunt and another security guard, this time a large Romulan man.  Roger felt uneasy, but he supposed showing them the vault area required caution on Klunt’s part.

The Daimon pressed his right hand against a panel next to the door, causing it to slide open, revealing a short, empty corridor.

“Once you sign the contract, we’ll take a reading of your handprint,” said Klunt.  He motioned for them to enter.

Moving to the end of the hallway, there was the whoosh sound of a holographic image changing.  Where there was a solid wall was now another door.  It opened to a turbolift.  The five people stepped inside and the door closed.

Klunt pressed another wall panel.  A light beamed from a port in the ceiling.  “We’ve been scanned.  If it doesn’t detect an authorized person, you’ll be sealed in until security comes to arrest you.”  The lift began moving downward.

“Impressive, Daimon,” said Lori.  “It makes me feel better about coming to you.”

“You haven’t heard my terms yet.”  Klunt chuckled.

After a short ride, the lift stopped and the door opened.  They were now in a room twenty feet by twenty.  Sitting at a desk with a computer was an armed Ferengi security officer.  A large vault door was behind him.

“This is it,” said Klunt.  “My most valued items are here, as well as those of others doing business with me.”

“This will do just fine.  What are your terms?” said Lori.

Something in the demeanor of the Romulan guard set off an internal alarm in Roger, but before he could act, the three guards had all drawn their phasers.

“Please don’t move.  My guards haven’t shot anyone for awhile, so they might be a bit overeager,” smirked Klunt.

“What are you doing, Daimon?” said Lori.

Roger was angry at himself for not sensing this.

“Let’s not play games anymore,” said Klunt.  “You had me fooled at first, but there were too many things that just didn’t add up.  So who are you really?  Are you working for one of my rivals?  Orion Syndicate maybe?  Starfleet?  Is that ship in orbit yours?”

“Klunt, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Lori.

“Why would a powerful and dangerous tigress such as yourself, after what you accomplished, want to come all the way here to stash your wealth when there are so many other places you could go?  Why would you ever trust me?”

Roger was trying to think of a way out of the mess they were in.  Maybe they should just admit they were Starfleet.  Though on Klunt’s turf, he surely wouldn’t risk a huge incident with Starfleet by harming them.

“I must admit setting up a fight at the poker table was a good way to make me notice you, but after thinking about it, and after interrogating the other woman, it seemed too suspicious.  You could have bribed someone and gotten an appointment.”

“I needed to show my strength,” said Lori.

Roger marveled that Lori still wouldn’t break character.

“Perhaps, but what finally got you, was using the woman from housekeeping to pass messages hidden in towels.  I never realized someone could need so many.”

“If you harmed her…”  Roger took a step forward, but was halted by a scowl from the Romulan.

“No one has been harmed.  Yet,” said Klunt.  “If you want to keep it that way, you amateurs will tell me who you really are.”

The tone in his voice told Roger he meant it.  Not seeing another way out, and being the ranking officer, he decided to tell the truth.

“You’re right, Daimon.  You have us cold,” said Lori.  “I made a deal with the Orion Syndicate.”

Roger’s jaw literally dropped.  Was she trying to get them killed?

“It’s all right, Ryan.  I should have told you, but you’ve known all along you were just a temporary plaything to amuse me,” said Lori.

“I… I don’t know what to say, Kavi,” said Roger.

“Handsome and not too bright.  Just the way they should be.  Right, Daimon?”

Klunt studied Lori’s face for a very long time.  Roger could tell the Daimon was using all his instincts to decide what to believe.

“I could have you killed, but I wouldn’t want to make the Orions angry,” said Klunt.  “I should have you sent back, failing your mission and let them take care of you.  With either one, I end up not knowing why you’re here.”  He scratched his nose.  “No, you’ll remain here as my guests.”

Roger was surprised that Klunt believed Lori’s story about the Orions.  He supposed criminals all thought everyone else was just like they were.

“You’ll be taken to your hotel room where you’ll stay, under heavy guard of course,” said Klunt.  “I’ll decide what to do with you soon enough.”

“Make sure you’re very careful, Klunt,” spat Lori.  “You’re an influential man, but not even you can cross the Orion Syndicate.”

Klunt scoffed.  We’ll see.  Take them!”

 

Comments

  • I love the pressure that tightens here with Roger as Lori exudes her cover story seamlessly. I've said it before - she's got a future in intelligence operations, and it'd be fun for her and Roger to be in a quasi-buddy cop kind of arc where she's the smooth operator, and he's learning! I loved how the tables turned a few times, and now...now we have the stage being set for more drama. Nice work - can't wait for the next one!

    June 9, 2023
  • Ohhhh yes, this is everything I wanted from a heist. I'm eating up all the minutia of the security system. You're raising the stakes in a way I can't possibly imagine how they'll defeat the security, which will make it all the more entertaining when they (probably inevitably) do! Nice work showing Lori's cool under pressure. Either she had prepared a cover for her cover for her cover or she's just a damn fine improv-er. Although it does look an awful like she might have only got them out of a frying pan and into a fire instead??

    June 10, 2023