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The Final Countdown - Part One

Posted on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 @ 10:38pm by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Mrazak & Biynah & Lieutenant Colonel Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Commander Kiril Nevin & Lieutenant Commander BaoJun Qiao & Lieutenant Nevada McKay M.D. & Gunnery Sergeant Roderik Kos & Ferrofax & Lieutenant Commander Kazyah Linn & Lieutenant Isaiah Zelaney
Edited on on Fri Jul 13th, 2018 @ 9:15pm

Mission: S1E1: Bynars Be Bygones
Location: Federation Embassy, Bynaus
Timeline: MD 7; 00:01

This investigation had surely not gone the way Mrazak anticipated, but in some ways it did go as he hoped. After everything, he was about to get unfettered access to the Bynaus master computer. To his mind, that he was followed by two doctors, one a by-the-book pacifist genius with a sardonic disposition and the other a brilliant, sassy turncoat with no compunction against killing, felt like perfect balance. All that stood in their way was a treacherous Federation Ambassador and fellow V'tosh ka'tur.

"Hannok should be alerted to our presence by now." Mrazak cast an eye to the eternal twilight of the planet that had not changed despite the early hour. "Either he will be accompanied by his Ferengi allies or that JAG friend of yours." He paused to nod at Nevada. "It is doubtful he will be alone."

"If it's the JAG idiot I can't promise things will go smoothly, if he bothered remotely to research who I actually am," Nevada muttered as she looked around the shuttle. "If he didn't…well…I might be able to forge some evidence to turn him to your side." she paused. "of course he's going to want to know where the Major is…and it will be difficult to explain that he's now scattered Base molecules in orbit."

Nevin cringed at the thought, but decided not to say anything.

The shuttlepod touched down on the executive landing pad atop the embassy. There had only been a slight jostle to the craft before the grav-locks engaged. With Lieutenant Wilco locked in the Phantom's Vault for conspiring to get them all killed, Mrazak had conscripted a flight-rated PO1 in Ops gold to shuttle them down. As with most people, Mrazak had not deigned to commit his name to memory.

"Well done... you." Mrazak unfastened his restraints and stood to his feet to give his uniform a quick press. "You may return to the Phantom now, and make sure they maintain transporter lock."

With that, Mrazak ignored the petty officer to set his eyes on the door at the end of the gangway. He took a deep breath of satisfaction, and then set foot on the landing pad. This time, he spared a look for his companions before heading underway.

Nevada stormed down the Gangway, matching speed with the vulcan to ensure she didn't pass him, while keeping him firmly between her and any potential threats to her Continued freedom.

Nevin followed the group, looking at the surroundings with curiosity. "Are we sure this is such a good idea?" he asked. "I'm just saying...we could call ahead."

"Not if the android's maker is correct in what he saw," Mrazak said with a shake of his head. "Hannok may very have betrayed us all to the Black Nagus, in which event his life will be forfeit. Surprise will be our ally either way."

The trio walked to the ambassadorial entrance and found it locked. Mrazak removed the data chit from his pocket and plugged it into the access panel. It blipped to indicate an established connection with the Phantom.

"Janus, open the door, and use a Ferengi decryption algorithm."

"Ferrofax told me I should huff and puff when you request this particular subroutine be activated. But I do not have lungs," Janus said regretfully as a flicker of Ferengi code wormed its way through the door panel. It was, perhaps, a little more than just a flicker of code as greasy black smoke erupted from the door chime and the door opened with a cracking of destroyed pistons.

"KNOCK KNOCK FLESH BAG!" Janus cheered. "I said that right? I could do it again if someone could fix the door."

Mrazak coughed into his hand. "That will be quite all right. Go into sentry mode now." The door to the ambassador suite slid open without further protest, allowing the face team to advance to their next objective.

The Embassy's ground floor service entrance laid across the loading dock from Akiva's position on the boardwalk near a holographic billboard. While pretending to sight-see in the capital canton, he could not help but think of how Bynaus was not unlike his homeworld of Hebron. It was only a few generations ago that a Federation embassy was built there after contact with Earth had been restored. On both worlds there were anachronisms mixed with technological marvels that might look absurd to an outsider. The juxtaposition made Akiva question the morality of what they had proposed to do. What would he think of an outside force fundamentally changing the way his world worked, even if ostensibly for their own good? Modern-day Hebrons brooked as little interference in their culture as their ancestors of old. Only one reason would compel him to go along with this operation, and she stared up at him with big, warm brown eyes.

"Thank you for helping me do this, abba," Biynah said. "I knew that you would."

Akiva sighed in a release of his mixed feelings. "There are few things I would not do for you, yediydah, and it seems... this... is not on that list." He gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "Just... try not to break anything when you're in there."

The giggle from Biynah's mouth could have come from any organic child. "I know what I'm doing, abba."

"I'm glad one of us does..." Akiva muttered under his breath.

Storr absently listened to Akiva and Binyah's conversation, not as an eavesdropper but just something that filled the silence between rushes of wind that whipped between the decrepit landscape. The plan was half-baked with high odds that neither team would be successful but his job was not was the protection of the six others that anxiously awaited the signal to proceed. He was glad that he had another Marine on the team but as they had had virtually no time to train together, let alone get to know each other, their effectiveness as a fighting force would A silent sigh escaped his nostrils. Things were simpler back on the Vindex. Increasingly unbearable, but simpler.

The weight of the rifle felt comfortable hanging on Rodi's shoulder. What didn't feel comfortable were the three non-combatants he was escorting into a potentially dangerous situation, as well as the colonel - an officer he wasn't sure he could really rely on if things went sideways. So to keep his mind on straight he went through his usual mental exercises while keeping his eyes open and his head on a swivel.

Bao had taken a position towards the side of the group as they walked, putting as much distance as possible between himself and the marines of their group. He was unarmed, as he was not going to be of any real help with a phaser, and he doubted using a spear would be helpful or appropriate. He looked at Biynah, "Meinvu, the giggling does not inspire confidences." While he was relatively certain their act was ultimately the best they could do, this plan was, to say the least, rushed. Having what amounted to a giddy child be the lynchpin, just underscored how casually they were potentially rewriting an entire civilization was being treated. But, the decision had been made, and he supported it, so he refrained from voicing such for the time being.

Canting her head, Biynah reached out to Sunny, Bao's cybernetic familiar, with a tight-beam broadcast. ~Is he always this way?~

~Insufficient information for a meaningful response. Lieutenant Qiao has never before engaged in mass cultural engineering.~

After a virtual eternity of standing around suppressing butterflies in his stomach, Akiva saw the shuttlepod land atop the Embassy tower. He could just barely make out the three members of the Face team breaching the door.

"They're in, Kaz," he said. "On your order."

Kaz looked around, "Alright, Storr and..." Kaz snapped his fingers towards Kos a few times, clearly trying to remember the man's name, "marine number two. I want you both to stay out here," he said, pointing to either side of the doorway. "You're going to be our first level of defense. If you start to get overwhelmed, or the enemy gets too close, fall back and we'll engage in hand-to-hand. I'll stick closer to the android in case of any surprises from the flank." Kaz glanced to Akiva, but still spoke to the group. "Understood?"

Lieutenant Colonel Garlake curtly nodded. His previous association with Kaz had been a mixed bag and while he might have made a different request, the Marine couldn't help but see the apprehension in the Sergeant's eyes.

"It's better to wait in the field than to defend the front porch," the burly Afrikaner said, taking up a defilade position outside of the doorway. "You have options in the field. On the front porch, you have retreat, just DIP."

Rodi glanced at his commanding officer, hoping he would object. He would've preferred to stick to their team and provide close protection than to only guard one of potentially multiple access points. But this wasn't his place to speak up right now. So he merely grunted in understanding and took position on one side of the door, keeping an eye out in the street.

Akiva led the way to the locked bay door with Kazyah, Bao, and Biynah in tow. The loading crew was sparse, nearly non-existent, which was expected for that time of day. Only two faces were to be found, and they were on the other side of reinforced plexiglass -- quite primitive to Akiva's discriminating eye. Akiva smiled at them and presented his bluff.

"Hello. I'm Commander Akiva ben-Avram. I got a call."

The two doormen conferred with one another in screeches before turning back to Akiva. "From whom?"

"From me." Biynah stepped out from behind her father.

Akiva turned angry. This was not the plan.

"The Variable!" The Bynar pair began a flurry of activity. "We must report--"

The second pair shook his head. "We must not."

Both Bynars stalled at the unexpected disagreement. The tension thickened between them in an unspoken battle of wills.

"Open the door," Biynah said. "We can save Bynaus, but not without your help."

After their prolonged staring contest, the Bynars shrieked at one another, yet decided on different actions. One hit the alarm, while the other pressed the door access. Both Bynars lost consciousness from the strain.

"Great," Akiva muttered.

Biynah hurried through the loading bay door, popped the lock on the loading office with a wave of her hand, and hurried to the console where the two Bynars had sat. Eyes closed, Biynah accessed the security grid and deactivated the alarms. "I bounced the alarm over to the front door instead of here. The whole complex will be on alert until they determine it was a false alarm."

Running his hand through his hair, Akiva breathed deep and sighed. "Very well. So what now? We sneak through and chance it, or lay low and risk getting caught here?"

Kaz reached out and put a hand on Akiva's shoulder. "If there's ever a time to risk it and go for broke, now is the time, Akiva," he said. "I'm right by your side."

"Umnam," Akiva said with a nod. "On your lead."

Mrazak marched into Hannok's office with the full measure of authority granted him through his secret command position in a black ops division of Starfleet. Though it was an ambassador's office, Mrazak saw himself as the one in charge. As the trio breached the corridor into the stunningly huge office, Mrazak saw that he was right yet again. Hannok was not alone.

"What is the meaning of this?" shouted an irate Bolian in Starfleet red.

Leaning over to Nevada, Mrazak asked, "Is that the JAG?"

"Yes," She muttered quietly her eyes angrily boring into the Bolian, Silently wishing the pawn to burst into flame.

"Ah, this, uh, is the specialist team of whom I have been boasting," Hannok said. He turned his eyes to Nevada before narrowing them in cold recognition.

Captain Pron had recognized her as well from the moment they entered. "Is that so?" He crossed his arms and rocked back on his heels. "The Human arrived on Bynaus with me. So help me, I will have every last one of you brought up on charges, so somebody had better tell me what is going on around here!"

The infiltration team slinked their way through the loading floor to the service corridors. Kazyah took the lead with Akiva and Biynah right on his heels. Bao and Isaiah filled out the middle, leaving Storr and Rodi to bring up the rear. Akiva looked back at Storr, grateful for the man's presence. The other two may as well be strangers, but it seemed Biynah developed a rapport with the tall one whose eyes glowed.

"I never properly thanked you for helping reunite me with my daughter," Akiva said to Bao. "I wanted to rectify that, in case... this doesn't go how we want." He was going to say something far more negative, but what command experience he possessed kept him from such a verbal snafu. "For what it's worth, you shall always have my utmost gratitude."

"People often forget where the Lagashi came from, commander," said Bao in response, intentionally allowing himself to be somewhat cryptic. "However, what I told your daughter remains in force. Helping her, or you, is not why I am here. I consider it a happy bonus that saving Bynaus happens to coincide with helping you."

The winding corridors continued in their honeycomb grid, leading the team to an open hall. Peeking around the corner, Akiva counted six turbolifts lined up in threes, each opposite from its pair. Six Marines stood guard in the hall, their phaser rifles ready at the shoulder. He recounted it for his visually impaired friend, and then wondered what they were supposed to do. Fighting Starfleet Marines in self-defense would be one thing, but attacking innocent men who were simply doing their duty was quite another.

"Tian a," muttered Bao under his breath. The court-martial for this adventure was already excessive in length. Assaulting marines to add to it did not appeal to his sense of self-preservation, such as it was. "Anyone have any ideas for a distraction? Preferably that does not lead to arrest or charges of assault and battery?"

Kaz just shook his head. He already knew that their actions would most likely result in charges against them. Though, this wouldn't be the first time for him.

"Allow me to explain," Mrazak said to Pron with a polite raise of his hand. He folded it behind his back along with the other as he stepped toward the desk. "I am Commander Nobody from Nowhere Station. On Stardate 000-point-never, I received a Theta alert which led me here." He raised a sharp Vulcan eyebrow that dared Pron to object. "Is everything clear now?"

Pron's facial expression was made of skepticism. "Prove it."

"Go on," Mrazak said to Nevin has he handed over the data chit containing Janus' protocols. "Give the man his proof."

Nevin took the chit, holding it out towards Janus to display the information. "Janus, please display this information for our...friend."

The JAG officer analyzed the chit with his personal PADD. It flashed the highest Sigma-9 clearance, highlighted by a blinking theta symbol.

"And how does she fit into it?" Pron asked with an accusing finger at Nevada.

"You brought Me here," Nevada countered calmly, though her eyes burned with Murderous intent. "How soon you lawyers forget your own Friends," she grinned almost hissing her S's at him.

The Bolian's face nearly imploded into its bifurcated ridge for the rage it flashed. "Yes, I know that! The last I saw you, the Major had... incapacitated... the ambassador here and you were to assist him in finding medical assistance, only for the ambassador to awaken down the hall only a moment ago." His loathing scowl deepened. "Where is the Major?"

"I believe the popular nomenclature from Earth is 'Hell,' but we must not be sticklers," Mrazak interrupted. "Major Kowitz was a Section 31 operative who perished in attempts to obstruct my investigation."

Pron scoffed at the mention of Section 31. Ambassador Hannok, however, had an entirely different response. Swearing under his breath, he accessed a hidden panel of his oversized desk which contained a hidden phaser.

"Hannok! No!" Mrazak extended his hand as if it would add strength to his outcry.

"I think the time for questions is over." Hannok turned to Pron and fired on the JAG officer, sending him to the floor. Looking at the other three, a sinister smile spread over his face. "Intruder alert!" he shouted into his personal communicator. "Weapons fired! All security personnel report to the ambassadorial level! Shoot to kill!"

He then turned on his heels and ran for the corridor.

"Tviokh!" Mrazak seethed. "We need his SAP!"

Nevin looked between Mrazak and Nevada, utterly confused. "Sap, like from a tree?"

Not for the first time that day, Mrazak frowned at Nevin. "Are you a secret idiot that cannot keep a secret? After him!"

Nevada on the other hand surged forward sprinting after the man Clutching her Weapon tightly. "Get back here you little bastard!" she all but screamed, rage boiling at the loss of a chance to punish the bolian for his smug attitude.

While the infiltration team conferred on the ground level, alarms blared throughout the embassy. All six Marines inclined their heads toward the communicators in their ears, then nodded at one another.

"That can't be good..." Akiva murmured.

"It's not," Storr unhelpfully confirmed, watching the guards. They were well trained enough to continue their duties but the thing that continually nagged him was why they were here in the first place. Marines on embassy duty were to protect classified material and cryptological devices/keys, not host-nation assets. Of course, with a corrupt ambassador, anything was possible but it was discouraging to see that the Area Security Officer had gone along with the plan.

Biynah rolled her eyes back into her head as she temporarily moved about the Praxis. The encrypted security channel opened to her like a next-door neighbor. And it took only an instant for her to ascertain what had happened.

"The others are in trouble," she said as she returned to herself. "Ambassador Hannok initiated an intruder alert, which means all exits and entrances are locked down while internal security personnel are converging on the ambassadorial level with an order to shoot to kill. Eight squads have confirmed their orders."

As Biynah spoke, Akiva's eyes grew ever wider until they nearly bulged. "This is bad..."

Bao considered for a moment. "Perhaps not as bad as it appears," he stated. "If security is converging on the ambassadorial level, then our way has been cleared, at least if Miss Biynah can open doors for us despite the lockdown. I suggest we capitalize on this distraction and proceed with haste."

Biynah looked at the defenseless turbolifts. "I can get us to the secure tram sublevel, but I will not be able to activate it without a Special Access Program. At least anytime soon."

"Biynah, loop me into the Embassy's secured network. I'm moving up with their security detail." Rodi said, "Maybe get the other team out of trouble." He then turned around and hurried towards the access point.

Before Storr had a chance to countermand, Rodi was gone. It was potentially a good plan, but the Staff Sergeant had left the infiltration group with one less capable member with an unknown environment between them and the ambassador's office. If it worked, it might only be some verbal counseling. If not...well, no amount Captain's Mast could out-discipline death.

With a nod, Biynah blinked a hard memory of Rodi's face into her mind and wirelessly updated it to the embassy mainframe. "Your face and biometrics will be recognized by the system, but there's no personnel profile behind them."

In his uniform, Rodi looked like any of the other marines that were standing at the guard station. There was one difference, he outranked the others by a sizeable leap. The large team's CO was a lance corporal, probably assigned a larger fireteam because he was good at shutting up and following orders. This would be to Rodi's advantage. He briskly walked into sight. He carried his rifle on his chest, secured and held comfortably.

As he closed he noted the rank insignia's on their green collars. Four privates, a corporal, and the expected lance corporal. The men twitched at the sight of the unknown individual, but relaxed as they saw the same uniform they were clad in, and the higher rank.

"Staff sergeant." The lance corporal nodded, "What's going on sir?"

Rodi's face twisted slightly with annoyance, "We have several intruders, ambassador's office. I'm taking three of your men and going up there too. Stay here and keep your eyes peeled."

"Uh, sir..." The lance corporal started, "We've been instructed to stand our post."

"That's why I'm taking half your squad, lance corporal." Rodi replied clearly and coldly. He then gestured to the three youngest, "You three, with me. Let's move." And with that, he dismissed the lance corporal's arguments and moved to the secured access point, letting one of the soldiers take point and open the door for them to move, and go up Mrazak's team.

Mrazak led the charge out of Hannok's office into the corridor. The other Vulcan Without Logic had darted into a conference room, leaving but a fleeing heel in sight to which Mrazak gave chase. Fooftfalls behind him gave assurance that one or both of the others were not far behind. As he came into the conference room, Mrazak felt conflicted. He was not a man of violence, which left him wondering what he would do when he caught the ambassador. An appeal to reason was off the table for a number of reasons. This situation was getting away from him.

"Hannok, you know who I am and what my clearance is. I can disappear into Top Secret mists at a moment's notice. Furthermore, I know what you've done--the Bynars, the Black Nagus--and it won't be long until JAG does as well."

Hannok sneered at Mrazak. Without a response, Mrazak continued.

"Let me help you. You can leave Bynaus with us, get a new identity, perhaps even retire to a V'tosh ka'tur colony in peace." His wily eyes turned pleading. "Please, old friend. Trust me now as you once did."

For a moment, it seemed Hannokk was considering Mrazak's words. He regarded the three of them in a skeptical appraisal of character. "Would that I could, Brother Mrazak. You know better than I do the reach of the arm of the Black Nagus. It is done."

The clamor of pounding boots from the corridor. Mrazak snapped his head, alert to the impending danger. "I'll seal the door," Mrazak said to Nevin and Nevada. "You two get that SAP from him!"

Mrazak rushed to the door panel and began inputting various cross-commands in order to stall its function. He hoped it would hold out.

Nevin ran around to the other side, blocking the other exit to the room.

Before either man made it more than a few steps, Hannok withdrew his phaser. He fired once at the door panel that Mrazak was mucking about with, sending a shower of sparks into his face. Mrazak jumped back in a howl of surprise and pain. Hannok then turned to Nevin and fired a warning shot at the other exit.

"Don't you move," he said to Nevin.

Nevada snarled with hatred. "you Kill stealing fucktard that Bolian was mine!" she screamed as she fired indiscriminately, her phasers setting set far beyond what Normally constituted a stun shot, She wanted to cause him pain.

Most of the phaser beams strayed far and wild, but the last one struck Hannok in the throat. The corrupt ambassador flew back with a nadion-driven tracheotomy burned into his neck.

Mrazak dabbed at the slight burn on his own cheek, and then gasped in horror at Hannok's body. "Quick! I have an idea. You both had better follow through, or those Marines will kill us on sight!"

Nevin looked to the woman with the phaser in her hand with absolute disgust. "Whatever you need," he said to Mrazak, though his eyes were glued to the woman. "Perhaps she should stop firing that phaser until she knows how to aim it, though."

Nevada Paused for a moment, just long enough to render a one Finger salute. "I'm star Fleet medical...I don't know why you insisted I carry one of these in the first place."

The situation down by the turbolifts had changed for the better. Though the fire-team was down by one, the guards were down by three. Storr and Kazyah could handle themselves, but the third Marine might blow their cover before being incapacitated or distracted.

Akiva looked down at Biynah and clutched her tight, then turned to Bao and Isaiah. "I haven't handled a phaser outside of yearly qualifications. Are either of you combat-rated?"

Bao gave a shrug. "I am skilled at hand-to-hand and martial weaponry, but am only passable with phasers. I would need to get a lot closer to be much help. However, this corridor is narrow enough, why not use the wide-beam setting?"

The suggestion made Akiva bite back a sheepish grin. He knew next to nothing about martial strategy, and it was showing. "What now?" he asked Kazyah.

"Well," Kaz said, thinking it over for a moment, "There's nothing we can do to change our situation," he said. The truth was, he was in the same boat. Even though his telepathic abilities helped overcome his blindness, he was still non-functioning when it came to using phasers. He would have to rely on the others for that portion.

Isaiah cleared his throat, "I'm decent with quite a few beam weapons," he said. Grabbing his phaser rifle by the forestock, he shook it downward, causing the weapon to cock. "We'll be fine."

Kaz looked over to Akiva as a slight smirk, "I like this one," he said.

Despite their assurances, Akiva wasn't feeling confident. He clutched Biynah to his side. "Maybe... Colonel Garlake should lead this one."

"I thought you'd never ask. Put away your phasers...either this is going to work and they won't be needed, or it won't and they'll be useless." Nodding to Akiva, he slung his rifle around his back and stepped out from the corner and into the hallway with the three guards. Striding forward, the three noticed him simultaneously and hesitated before coming to attention. Storr wasn't sure if it was because of his sudden appearance or because they were a part of the ambassador's plans. He hoped the former.

Standing before the first Marine, he looked the young man down then back up. "Station report."

"Yes sir. Sir, I am Private First Class Baker, from Wyoming on Earth. My task is to guard these turbolifts. I am equipped with one Mark III Phaser rifle and one Mark II phaser. I..."

"Excellent," Storr said, cutting the Private off gently. "What is the Marine Embassy Guard motto?"

"In Every Clime and Place!" Private Baker belted out, standing another half-inch taller.

" this place, this particular turbolift one that you should be at? What if I told you that I have relieved the Area Security Officer by order of the Starfleet Diplomatic Corp via Starfleet regulation 06-8342-9322?" the Lieutenant Colonel asked, watching as the blonde man's eyes flicked to his compatriots and then back to Storr's waist that was still encircled by the leather belt and holster which contained the silver pistol. The ASO was the only one allowed to openly wear a phaser pistol and they usually took pride in this fact by obtaining intricate ways to do so. Garlake hoped that his would pass the test.

"I..." Baker began before Storr interrupted again, this time more forcefully as he drew himself to his full height.

"Private Baker, at this moment the Ambassador to the Binars has been found to be a traitor to the Federation and a disgrace to the Diplomatic Corp by aiding and abetting enemies of both the Federation and Binar. I order all three of you to return to your posts and obtain further orders from your watch commander. Do I make myself clear?"

It was only a few moments of hesitation before the three saluted and double-timed their way out the far door to the tunnels beyond. Letting out a breath he didn't know he was holding, the Station Commandant looked over his shoulder and motioned for the rest of the team to come forward. It seemed that luck continued to favor the bold.

Nearly thirty pairs of boots came stomping into the room, Rodi just behind the young lieutenant leading the group. The more experienced squads fanned out immediately, securing everything and everyone, their phasers trained on the Theta team.

Mrazak's doorstop trick failed before long, allowing the Marines to breach the conference room. They came upon two unmoving bodies on the floor -- one being Nevin with a phaser nearby and the dead body of Ambassador Hannok with Nevada giving chest compressions.

"Harder! Don't you lose him!" Mrazak shouted over Nevada's shoulder. He glanced at the Marines, then pointed toward the corridor and the landing pad beyond. "He fled to the shuttle! Don't let him get away!"

The insecure lieutenant glanced at the Starfleet commander he didn't know over the ambassador's body, and then towards the hallway leading to the landing pad. Rodi recognized it, that moment of hesitation in quite a few fresh faced officers. He stepped up, "Sir, I'd suggest taking the two squads and going after them, my squad can secure these people for interrogation.

The lieutenant then nodded, trusting the senior NCO's judgment. Normally Rodi would applaud such wisdom in an officer, but this wouldn't one those times. Almost twenty-five marines filed out with the officer, leaving Rodi with his three squadies. "Keep an eye on them, especially the woman. " He ordered as he stepped back to the lock panel. For the world it looked like he was trying to fix it, but instead he completed Mrazak's work, except locking down the corridor to the landing pad instead of the one they came through.

"Well done, Sergeant," Mrazak said as he walked up to Rodi. "I may not terminate your assignment after this." As he spoke, he casually reached out to the two Marines flanking Rodi and pinched them between the neck and shoulder. They dropped like rocks at his feet. "If somebody could kindly dispatch the remaining meat-shield, I will recover the ambassador's SAP and we can be on our way."

Rodi's phaser snapped to the last marine and fired. The marine, totally stunned, dropped to the ground. Rodi gritted his teeth to avoid shooting the rest of his party for a moment before stepping away to secure the marines.

"Chin up," Mrazak said to the scowling Marine. He fished through the folds of Hannok's robes and retrieved a data chit, which he then connected to his personal data PADD. "Now that we've got what we came for, let's go do what we came to do."

Nevin opened a single eye, “Is it safe for me to get up now?” he asked without moving.

"Oh," Mrazak said as if he had forgotten Nevin was even there. "Yes. Call a time of death for the ambassador and prepare a medical report to be filed after we get out of here." Looking down at the dead Vulcan, Mrazak sniffed in regret. "He was a traitor, but he was first a brother. Rom-halan, Hannok."

Nevin scrambled to his hands and knees and crawled over to the Vulcan's body. Pulling out a tricorder, he quickly passed it over his body, verifying the death. The Bajoran nodded, slowly, "Time of death 0032 hours."

Mrazak spread his fingers in the Vulcan salute, then deftly curled them into an obscene gesture. "Now, then. Onward!"


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