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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 1 – Measure by Measure and USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

DMBM 013 – The Accounting

Patra Headquarters
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The modified transport ship Hound had been her home since her escape with Patra in April.  Since then, they had grown close as they planned the revenge tour.  She trusted him through their shared exploits and desire for the future.  In less than five minutes, her eyes had been opened.  The last four months were suddenly in question.  She had sat Rigilia down for a long conversation as they traveled at warp speed.  He had spoken at length about how Patra had done the same with him - their interests aligned, so he brought in what he thought was a legend.

“It has been a nightmare.  He's taken what was once a strong part of the Syndicate and begun to make it his own.  Some have tried challenging him…, but they die at his hand.  The rest of us…we've been waiting and plotting. He is old and confident.  I will contact my friends and see what to arrange when we arrive.  There may be fighting.”

She had smiled in her maniac style then, and the smile remained on her face as she piloted the ship closer and closer to the headquarters inside a large asteroid.  She had suffered in the Federation high-security prison for too long to let some has-been ripping her dreams of revenge from her.  Murder was her song, and violence was the orchestra that sang within her.  The Hound dropped from warp and swung around to the hidden entrance.

 

The door to the administration building was open, and it was the first odd thing she noted as they stepped off the ship and onto the bay floor.  Rigilia gave her a curt nod.  Their allies were moving and had cleared the way.  He tapped his blaster and unhooked the holster strap.  Caution was still the game to be played.  She rested her hands on her twin phaser pistols as she walked, her eyes and ears tuning into the world around her.  As they turned down hallways on their way to the throne room, the evidence of quiet violence was seen in the traces of blood in corners and the smell of small arms fire.  Closer and closer, they came until Rigiliia held up his fist.  There were sounds ahead.  Carefully, they inched forward.

“…you hear back from 47?  He's not responding.”  The tall Romulan tapped at his communication unit, “These things are useless down here.  Half the time, they don't work.”  He blew out a raspberry, annoyed.

The shorter human shook his head, worried, “I lost contact with 72, and it's showing his channel is actually dead.” He looked around, alarmed, “When was the last time the walking patrol came through?”  His answer was a shrug, and the human's voice began to panic, “I think we have a problem.”  His hands were visibly shaking as he struggled with his device.

“You don't have a problem…anymore.”  Crawford stepped out of the shadows and cut them down.  They dropped to the ground with a sigh, and then…nothing.  She kicked them both to make sure they were dead.  And shot them both again to be sure.  She started off down the last hallway to the massive throne room doors.  She wondered how he would receive them both and if he would realize something was wrong.  Or would he carry on as if nothing really had happened?

The doors stood closed, and the guards that were usually standing in place were gone.  Rigilia shrugged and pushed at the door. It opened with a groan and swung slowly wide to reveal Patra at the console in the middle of the room, his eyes searching the holo display for something, his brows furrowed.  He glanced up to see who it was.  Rigilia didn't catch it, but Carolyn did.  His mask dropped for just a moment.  It was long enough for Crawford.

He gave them both a nod, “Welcome back.  You have news, I suppose?”  He was the usual affable menace, but there was a flicker of concern in his eyes as he met Crawford's gaze.  The more she stared at him, the more his face seemed to steel itself for whatever was coming.

Carolyn narrowed her eyes and glanced around the room, “Your usual honor guard isn't here, Supreme Commander.”  She stepped forward a few feet, her hands dangling near her pistols.

The old Romulan's smile had faded.  The pretense was gone, and with it, the subtly of the moment.  “They were required to deal with…something.”  His head turned to Rigilia, “I suppose that was your doing.”

The younger Romulan shrugged, “You couldn't think you could try and make us anything but what we truly were.  Syndicate soldiers and operators.”  He stepped to the side of Crawford.

Patra growled, “I wanted more for you.  Your…piddling little operation wasn't getting the job done.  You have to admit, profits and reputation grew during my time.”  He looked around the room and sighed, “I suppose you want an explanation.”

Crawford stepped forward, “No.”  And fired.

Patra shouted in surprise as the low stun blast hit him, sending him to the ground, groaning in pain.  She stalked forward and kicked him in the stomach, “I want you to die knowing you could have lived if you'd not tossed us aside like toys.”  She kicked him, this time with a swift right boot into his head.  He screamed in pain, gripping his head.  She knelt down beside him, “You are old, Patra.  You thought you could toss someone like me away and hope I'd die quietly…or run away embarrassed at my failure.”  She forcefully rolled him over, setting her knee hard in his chest, “You've never met someone like me, Patra.  I come from a place that'd chew you up, swallow you, and burn you up in their insides.”  She grabbed her pistol and forced it into his mouth as his eyes went wide in realization.  “I'm taking over.  Your services are no longer needed.  As a favor to the Federation, I'm turning your body over to them.”  He fought to dislodge her, but she only pressed harder, his eyes glittering as she slipped her finger on the trigger.  She smiled, “No last words for you.”

And fired.

 

“You're really going to send his body to them, Crawford?”  Rigilia sat at the table, enjoying a real meal for the first time in what felt like weeks.  The burnt husk that was once Patra lay where it had fallen.

Crawford gave a nod.  “They deserve to know he's finally off the board.”  She sipped at the drink, relishing the burn in her throat and the warmth it brought her.  “I need a new name.  Carolyn just…doesn't fit.” She thought momentarily and picked up a device to do a surface search for names.  For some reason, she found Patra had a unique collection of Greek and Celtic texts. “Man loved mythology; I'll grant him that.”  She found a list of names, and she found her choice near the middle.  “Pandora, a woman who unleashed evil into the world in Greek mythology.”  She turned to Rigilia, “Pandora Crawford, unleasher of evil.”

He wondered what he had gotten himself into and asked, “Dare I ask what your last name means?”

She knew what it meant in her universe but wasn't sure it carried over. She did a quick search and chuckled darkly, “It's Gaelic.  Means a crossing of blood.”  She smiled as she stood, "Let's make good on my new name.  Get those who are loyal together…and let's clean the rest of this house, shall we?