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Slippery Spot

Posted on Mon Apr 19th, 2021 @ 1:08am by Captain Mrazak & Commander Arianna Frost

Mission: S1E5: Symphony of Horror
Location: Frost's Temporary Quarters | Deep Space 9
Timeline: MD 1 | sometime during the night after 'Puppet on a string'

Following the disturbing meeting with Tau's attache, if she really was that, Arianna knew one thing. The night ahead would be sleepless. Not only because she had precious little time to change the circumstances of the game she got dropped into by Tau, or Nyel or Smith, or all three of them, but also the implication of it all.

She was being asked to lie, as an operative of Internal Affairs, as a former colleague of Memory Theta's, as a friend to some. It only hit her after she sat down on the hard mattress of her bed that Akiva and Jaya would be present for the inquest. Thinking about the betrayal she was forced to inflict on them hurt her soul.

Quickly though, she pulled her head in and set to work. It had been a long time since Constable Odo was Security Chief of Deep Space Nine, so getting certain things done was a lot easier. Namely getting one's hands on the recording of the earlier conversation.

Arianna was by no means an expert in the more technical aspects of tradecraft, but she was skilled enough to achieve the goal. After she made a copy and deposited it on an encrypted chit, she set about setting up the next step of her plan. Anyone with half a brain cell would use the night to make sure that their wildcard did as told. So, she spent an hour or so arranging a false inquest finding report that would flow along the requested lines and left it with a PADD that contained several false reports on the night desk.

The real data, her files on the inquest and findings and the recording she'd lifted from DS9's systems, she kept upon her her person at all times, even as she eventually went to bed to at least try and get some rest before yet another stressful day began.

As she changed into a non descript set of pajamas, making sure that the two chits were secured upon her person she wondered briefly, as she went to bed if stress was ever going to end for her. Castermer I, her injury, assignment to Theta and investigating Joriel, aka Kaz Linn, investigating Karna Zsan and the whole Intelligence infighting debacle, the Venus mission, the destruction of Spacedock One, Donnager and now this fucking thing. Was there a break in the cards in there somewhere for her?

With a deep sigh of disappointment, Arianna realized she couldn't see one as she settled into bed and turned off the lights.

Rustling came from the living space beyond the bedroom door. Whirring, like that of a small motor. Then a hiss and a pop, as if from a sparking electrical component.

"Already?" Arianna thought to herself as she heard the faint noise.

Years and years of training had made Arianna a light sleeper, especially in a hostile environment, which, sadly, DS9 now was. Slowly she slipped out of bed and reached for her cricket phaser and tricorser she'd had hidden in her belongings.

She quietly opened the tricorder, set it to record and then scanned the living space. Readings were sparse, save for a low-tech laser that was scanning the night desk through a slit ok the door that had been forced open to a narrow slit.

Arianna decided to wait. The laser had a source and someone was obviously interested in being there. The concerning thought was, whom? Somehow it didn't fit with the vibe she got from the young woman earlier. This was more deliberate.

As it scanned the desk, the laser fell onto the decoy PADD, leading it to light up the dark room with its dim glow. Someone was remotely accessing it.

Time to test the waters, Arianna decided. Tucking the cricket into her sleeve, tricorder into the pocket of her pants, Frost mussed up her hair a bit and stepped out of the bedroom, pretending to yawn, leaning against the wall with one hand.

"What the...?" She put on her best surprised tone.

The laser beam began to wobble, indicating the one holding the emitter was beginning to panic. After a few seconds, the PADD returned to standby mode. With the task completed, the laser deactivated and the doors slid shut. Evidently the intruder was withdrawing.

Arianna noticed the retreat and pulled the tricorder out of her pocket, and dashed out, hoping her tricorder picked up a reading on her visitor.

A young man several meters down the corridor dove headlong through a detached wall panel. The tricorder's scans were blocked out by the EPS tap inside the wall, but the fleeing individual did not stop to cover his tracks.

Arianna dashed after him, pausing just before diving through the panel herself just so as to check whether he was waiting for her on the other side or if he was still running away.

While the young man disappeared around a corner into a vertical climb, his legs dangled free for long enough to give the tricorder readings. He was a Trill barely past his adolescence. And then he was away and out of sight once more.

"Trill?" Arianna wondered briefly as she kept up with him, or tried to at least. The kid was fast, and small, and wiry. She couldn't risk an actual phaser discharge as it would get picked up by the station's sensors and alert security.


Arianna had an idea. If she couldn't catch the slippery spot, there was another way to perhaps route them out, or at least get more eyes on the matter.

The pursuit had led from the narrow confines of maintenance access areas to the upper level of the promenade. There were fewer places to hide up here, as even the swell of bodies was thinner and more sparse than the ground level below. Despite the hour, there were still people shuffling about, most of whom seemed to be minding their own business. One Bajoran adorned in heavy religious robes, however, wore a scowl as he looked away from the maintenance hatch toward the skywalk that crossed over to the far side of the promenade.

Arianna nearly bumped into the Bajoran as she exited the maintenance hatch. "Apologies, Mylar (Minister). Did you see where the young spotted bloke went?" She said in one breath, looking down at her readout.

"Come on! Come on!" She mentally urged the readouts as well as the Bajoran minister for his answer. With every second, the kid was running away.

The Bajoran man softened at Ari's proper use of his title. "There," he said simply, pointing toward the skywalk. His tone signaled approval of someone going after the disrespectful young man.

"You've got to be fuckin' kiddin' me!" Frost cursed inwardly. "Sasi! (Thank you!) Arianna said with a small bow before darting off after the Trill.

Halfway down the skywalk, obscured by the guardrails, the young Trill crept along on his hands and knees like a scampering animal.

Arianna reached the skywalk moments later, feeling slightly out of breath. "Mate, you're forcing me hand. I'll have to shoot you if you don't stop!" She called after the young man as she stepped onto the skywalk gingerly.

The young Trill's eyes bulged at being caught. At first, when he jumped to his feet, he made to run, but he quickly thought better of it. Instead of clambered over the side railing in attempts to escape Ari's line of sight and -- most importantly -- her line of fire.

Arianna slowed her step, "not the sharpest spoon in the shed, are ya?" Her head leaned sideways as she slowly approached, "you're fucked either way, mate. With me you at least have a chance not to be hurt. If you fall, you'll likely kark it, or at best break every bone in your body. Choice is yours."

Ignoring Ari's parley, the young Trill hung from the bottom of the railing and reached out for the underside of the skywalk. From there it would be anyone's guess where he would go next. And then his outstretched hand slipped, nearly plunging him to the promenade below. Three fingers clutched for dear life as he swayed like a kite on too light of a breeze.

"Tabem!" called out a voice below and out of sight.

The young Trill reached for his waistband and dropped something below. Only then did he look back up at Ari. "Fine. Bring me in." He stretched out his hand toward her.

Arianna leaned over the railing at the sound of the voice but could not identify who had yelled nor what had happened."Too easy." She thought at his words as she reached the railing and reached her hand down. "Grab my hand." Ari said as she got a good grip on the railing herself.

"Death to the Usurpers!"

At the outcry, the young Trill yanked on Arianna's hand and dropped his full weight as to pull her over the rail along with him.

"Oh for fuck's sake." Ari groaned as she was pulled against the railing, straining to keep a grip on it herself. "Someone help me! He's trying to commit suicide!" Frost yelled as loud as the pressure of the railing against her ribs would let her.

She had to avoid a bigger incident and the inevitable investigation that would follow should the young Trill die tonight.

"Help!" She yelled again, "I can't hold him!"

A mechanical whirring buzzed overhead as a flying drone scanned Ari and the crazed Trill. Articulated limbs popped out to reveal a weapon of some kind that aimed at the both of them. And then it fired.

Frost noticed a discharge but didn't feel anything impact her, due to the exertion of trying to hold up a very limp body. Then, it happened. Arianna and the Trill both materialized in opposing cells separated by force fields.

Frost blinked, her vision clearing up after moment, realizing where she was. "Oh thank god. I wasn't sure how long I could hold him.

The dour looking bajoran man that stood on the other side of the forcefield slowly looked up from the PADD. "Name?"

"I'm Commander Arianna Chelsea Frost, serial number PR - 416-932 - DMG." She said. If he looked the number up, he would see her access levels and credentials, and they would be having a different talk soon.

"I'm Deputy Constable Krass." Said the dark skinned bajoran in a tone as dour as his expression. "And you?" He then stepped over to the other cell, to the young Trill man seemingly in distress.

Rather than answer, the Trill shook his head. This was not how it was supposed to be, and he knew better than to open his mouth.

A loud, heavy sight expelled through Krass' nose. The young ch'garnik (upstart) was going to be difficult, that was fine.

Krass turned slowly to face Arianna again. "Alright, what happened?"

Arianna launched into as much detail as she could reveal publically without revealing her purpose here and what was in the PADDs he was trying to either copy or get access to.

Krass kept taking down notes, nodding in the process, giving a small "go on," here and there.

Arianna knew that by now, he would have gotten an answer to his query on her identity by now and she expected to be freed soon.

The dour bajoran turned back to the young Trill. "You're a long way from home, shu'gula (youngin). What's your name?"

"If you don't already know," the Trill said with a sullen disposition that only a self-righteous man child could summon, "then I'm not going to tell you."

Krass shrugged, "I have ways of finding out, you might not like it if I do. I used to be in the Bajoran Resistance. We had our own interrogation tactics, Telling me is your best, painless option."

A light on his PADD lit up and Krass looked down. He stepped over to Arianna's cell and released her, "you're free to go, Commander. Please wait in my office to sign you out. I will be with you momentarily."

Frost nodded, knowing that the likelyhood of the kid talking might increase if she wasn't there. She made her way towards the Chief Constable's office.

Krass waited till he heard the doors close before he stepped back over to the Trill's cell. "Like I said, we had our own interrogation tactics, would you like to know what they were?" The intent was clear on the same flat, dour tone.

The young Trill's defiance turned to dour resolution with a touch of fear. He charged at the forcefield, screaming, "Zhian'tara na'mah!" in a stilted exclamation of the Trill language. His head impacted the forcefield at full charge.

Krass blinked as the young man hurled himself at the forcefield. His hand went to his communicator. "Krass to Medbay, I need a medic in the Brig. Got another upstart."

"Acknowledged. Arriving momentarily."

The bajoran sighed again. "Alright, alright, no more questions. You've proven your point."

As he had been thrown flat on his back by the brig's repulsive forcefield, the young Trill gave no reply.

A bajoran female walked in, carrying a med kit. Krass pointed over to the prone Trill and stepped over to the forcefield. He pulled out his phaser, set it to stun. "Scan him first."

The younger bajoran nodded and did as requested. She pulled out a medical tricorder and scanned the lying man.

"Is he conscious?" Krass asked.

"No, sir," the medtech said. "Vitals are stable, though."

Krass nodded, lowering the forcefield, extending the weapon towards the Trill. "Move away from him the moment he wakes up." Then after a moment, he added, "how badly hurt is he?"

"I'd say not at all," the Bajoran said. "Seems stunned mostly, though if he doesn't wake up soon then we might have to hold him for observation."

Krass nodded, motioning for the woman to step out before pulling the forcefield up.

"Stay with him, I'll be right back." He said to her before stepping out of the Brig and made the short walk to his office.

Arianna who had been sitting in the visitor's chair stood up.

"He was obviously avoiding interrogation by any means necessary." He said with a heavy sigh.

"I think his name is Tabem," Arianna offered, "I heard someone below us on the skywalk call out that name, or phrase. It could be just that though. A phrase."

Krass nodded, "indeed. You're the secret digger here, Commander. What do you suggest we do with him? I'm not interested in a suicide to escape interrogation, mind you."

Frost smirked, "no I imagine you're not." She said with a sigh. After a moment, she spoke again. "Put a tracker on him and let him go. I'm tippin' he's part of an extremist group who's got ties in the right places, so he may have allies lying in wait to spring him. With everything going on on the station in the next few days, you don't need more issues."

"Agreed." Krass nodded. "I'll get him out asap."

"Make sure he gets off the station as soon as possible. I'll make some calls so one of my guys picks up a trail and keeps an eye." Arianna nodded, trying to shake a feeling of dread at this new development. "I would also increase the station's alert level, just in case we left it too late."

Krass Maat, nodded motioning to the door, "thank you, Commander, I'll talk to my Chief and make arrangements immediately."

Arianna nodded, "I'll be on the station a few days if you need me, Constable."

Krass was already walking back to the Brig as Arianna finished speaking. Frost heaved another big sigh before stepping out of the Security office. "'Fucks' sake..." she muttered to herself as she headed back to her quarters.


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