Star Trek : ALT ROUTES 1

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Etes looked at her with a smirk and a smile that could be seen from his normally cold looking Romulan eyes. “I believe the better question would be are you satisfied?” He moved so he was on top of her but not touching her. Etes was simply hovering over her. “Or maybe it may even better to ask if you are enjoying yourself while your friend is dealing with whatever she was dosed with?” He stood up from her and stretched a bit. All color and expression that somehow inhabited his body was drained away in an instant.

….

Wells entire playfulness seemed to almost drip away bit by bit. You see the thing was there was a part of the truth that her emotions were the reason he was here. However, the sad part of reality was that it was only part of a truth. Not a large one at that. The responsibilities she bore always made things like interests play a small role in her decision. She picked up one of the delivered drinks and took a sip. A cold predatory look appearing for a brief moment as she looked at the colorful liquid in the glass. “I always found it funny how confronted so bluntly in the face with emotional context and still a Vulcan can never perceive the optimal responses within the situation. It’s as if the idea of emotion informing logic and logic informing emotion becomes a bug in the system of the mind’s processing center.” Wells put the glass back down on the table. Her legs crossed as she leaned into the seat. “As for your entire interpretation of this event and choices made I can’t come up with a word other then disappointed. You were registered as a talented individual. Is your deducement and problem solving skills only at such a level.” She turned to look at Tarique, a much colder look then anythign she has gave him before appeared. “There is no need to inform you the specific standards of such a location as you were not brought her to engage in the social problem that was going to occur tonight. You were also supposed to have the ability to understand that a shady, expensive nightclub in a seedy area of town engaged in certain services. Especially, if you could do the base minimum of connecting the dots it was a placed that served to well known officials and wealthy individuals.” Her eyes narrowed at him. “As for your complaints on physical touch. The first is most clearly the most obvious and logical choice for the environment. The act of going as far as I did was to smooth over the perception that Vulcan’s are non-physical or lustful beings. Any other choice could have alerted crowds that would make using latinum a hard fix.” Wells voice somehow reached a new subzero level of cold. “And the second? Does sitting on a lap at such a point offend you so much that another more obvious choice would not come to mind? Do you not easily deal with those who consciously choose to remain ignorant by showing them what they would expect or could giggle about?” She scooted over to him. Fury starting to show in her expression. “And did you not choose the most stupid option of bringing the socially ignorant and ill tempered Susie Que to a possibly dangerous political situation between races. THAT is all terms is meant to not be known. Yet, you complain about the easiest most efficient option of cleaning up after your poor decision making.” Wells stood up so she could look down on him. “Further, you were requested due to your knowledge of Cadet Rao and to possibly monitor while we dealt with the danger. Not make your own decisions without inquiry into the actual situation or to those who know more then you.” She leaned down to grip the edge of the booth besides him. “You were not brought to make your own decisions on incomplete information and completely ignore any standards by choosing to alert the Vulcan compound of a cadet seriously injured from the Romulan Embassy Event. You were expected to have the base understanding that children have to ask questions before making decisions.” The stained wood beneath her snapped under her grip. Wells withdrawing her hand. “You blew up an entire situation, possible relations with the Federation, Vulcan and the Romulan Empire all because you went ahead of yourself and for all context purposes made an emotional decision.” She walked a bit away from him and crossed her arms. “As the assigned Starfleet personal to maintaining relations with the Romulan Empire and protecting the safety of the Capellan Representative you are officially relieved from any business related to this event and if questioned will report a lack of understanding what happened this night or be punished by Starfleet.” Wells moved to the door to the room. “Rao will be moved somewhere else to ensure her safety until Cadet Zletka arrives and you shall have to explain to the Vulcan on there way the wasted trip. AND clean up with Saros. Details of your order will be present and in advance I apologize for doing this to ensure your Vulcan honesty is not compromised.” She knocked on the door three times. Out of the torn packet that she had stealthily picked up was not the protection for what one would assume. It was in fact a tiny cloth to cover one’s mouth. As a certain gas filled the room. Wells waiting till he was knocked out to send her message to Saurek, to Tarique’s note pad and to another unknown individual. She knocked another three times when she was done. The smoke cleared the room and she removed her mask. It always took longer with a Vulcan. Their biology was a complete cheat. The door opened and the man from before appeared. He didn’t even risk looking past her. “Get me Ngorok.” The man nodded and ran down the hall. Rao would be returning to Marcus’ room for the night.

Marcus was not in the mood for any of these social and political games. “We are taking one car. It has already been arranged.” The statement coming out a little more forceful then he realized. He lead them from the exit of the embassy to the limo. Marcus holding the door open for everyone. He was almost there. When everyone was inside he typed a quick message to Sunsan and Wells.

‘We have left.’

Sunsan pulled his motorbike down an alley. It was not the most well lit for a very active night life city. However, If he continued far enough he would get to an unfortunately very active place. The computer operated voice saying Marcus message. He was glad he would arrive before Marcus. The idiot left them with so much to prepare. Sunsan pulling up in front of the V-Ban club. These idiots always had a thing for stupid names. He walked towards the entrance and ignored all the looks from people as he was able to smoothly walk in to the club. As he was being guided by a somewhat frightened looking man he found Wells standing out in the hallway with a familiar Orion and an unconscious Rao. Sunsan walking into the conversation quite abruptly. “What’s going on?” Wells turning to look at Sunsan with a large amount of irritation being thrown his way. “Ngorok will be escorting Cadet Rao back to Marcus Room. When he arrives I will send him there.” Sunsan nodded his head and said nothing. The Orion taking his upfront payment and carrying her off through the back. Wells opening the door to the private room where the passed out Tarique was. Sunsan looking completely unphased. “I take it Zletka has not arrived back yet?” She shook her head no. “Do we know if Etes killed her?” Wells tapped a screen on the wall. The image of Susie Que typing away appeared. “There is a more pressing issue.”

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Zletka noted the early shift in his desires moments before he chose to act and merely followed his lead. The purpose of this was to create a sphere in which the person was clouded from their worldly responsibilities thus allowing an exploration of more supressed inclinations- within reason to the being adminstering the session. Opening the world of his fantasy she provided a sense of touch in order to make it feel more realistic within his mind. Inside is mind she allowed her genuine reactions to his deviant thoughts flow through openly. Most of what he was imagining were things she had never tried- except vicariously through Vinaa which had only fed into her fantasies. Unfortunately most males she met on Terran were not particularly inclined towards being with a Betazoid and as such she hadn’t experienced physical intimacy with another male in over a year making this the closest act. Each metaphysical touch pulled her deeper into his fantasy until she could not only her audible reactions were sounding in her thoughts, but she could feel her physical self beginning to react. When his eyes finally opened Zletka didn’t know if she was feeling relief or an ache for something more. Dropping her hands to her lap she inhaled steadily, regretting it as her senses were flooded with his scent. Running her hands through through her locks she gave them a good shake as if she might be able to shake away the lingering haze. She felt like she’d just engaged in a form of foreplay. Noting their impossible closeness she shifted in her seat with the intent to slide back, but stopped short of moving even a centimeter. Her eyes widening a feeling of slickness. She reminded herself how it was just a physical reaction and it was still unclear if Romulans’ sense of smell was heightened compared to Terrans or not. Taking in his appearance several things crossed her mind from his attractiveness to the pits of his personality to his insistence of pushing her limits to his decision to make things sexual to the possibility of her reacting on her impulses. To lie was to be something that wasn’t herself, but if she gave in he might see it as a victory and deny her and if she didn’t then he could easily twist it another way. For the first time since she initially dressed for the night she was suddenly aware of the fact she hadn’t worn a bra with the dress. [Are you satisfied?] The question was loaded in ways she didn’t have time to unpack. The next time Vinaa made a suggestion for the night she would take it.

Tarique’s wrist band promptly vibrated alerting him to the acceptance of his request. The name Etes was not familiar, but given the Romulan’s interest in Cadet Rao it was a secondary concern and he currently approximated eleven secondary concerns in the form of sentient beings. “I am not well versed in Terran biological functions to properly diagnose or treat her. Her mental state appears to be falling into a psychosis; suggesting tranquilizers until proper aid arrives.” He forwarded the same coordinates Wells had provided him earlier. Feeling her weight on him he stiffened, his eyes dipping to see her shifting her dress before returning to his wrist band. Under he continued touch he was unaffected he sent two more messages off before looking down at her. She was taller than the average Terran female, but how much was attributed to her Trill genetics remained unconfirmed. “The rational choice would of been to inform me of the social standards in this establishment prior to my arrival.” He agreed with her conclusion of it being an emotional choice. “Cadet Que’s ignorance of other cultures is diminished by your conscious decision to ignore and manipulate them at your personal discretion.” He moved her off his lap and on to the couch beside him. “I will be removing Cadet Rao in twenty one minutes and forty seven seconds. You can employ the same excuse used earlier to explain her early departure from the evenings affairs.” His wrist band buzzed, but it was not from whom he was expecting.

Cadet Gotobed: Try not to live it up too much! Also, do you think I could come the next time you go to the gym?
Tarique quickly responded with: Yes.

Seeing Sarah at Marcus’ side, Leichnik made his way over with a pleased Aarss and Gerolm at his side. An unenthused Cilon stood on the other side of Gerolm. “No. I believe this is everyone; from my invitations at least.” Leichnik engaged Marcus politely. Aarss on the other hand lit up even more so than usual at the proximity of Marcus. “Marcus! Always with a female on your arm and in front of her husband no less.” He laughed giving his shoulder a jolly shake. Gerolm began to grow agitated. “Enough with the formalities. Everything always takes twice as long at these functions.” The Tellarites words were all too familiar to Cilon. “Leichnik has Volcanic spew waiting and I intend to have some with or without any stragglers.” Gerolm turned his sights on Sarah’s husband, “Do you think you can handle Volcanic spew?”

Leichnik, seeing Gerolm falling into what he called the ‘creating reason to argue for no reason except to argue’ mode; decided to interject. “Will we all be taking the same escort or should we take two separate vehicles?” He offered. “We can wait until after you’ve been given a chance to change, of course.” He added after spotting the pile of clothes in Marcus’ hand. Either way was perfectly advantageous to him. By the looks of it Marcus was getting worn down and he could only imagine why… “Why does he need to change? We’re all in traditional clothing. If he needs to change then others will want to change and we’ll be delayed even further.” Gerolm started, “If we had gone back to where I’m staying we’d all be on our third Volcanic spew by now.” Shuffling past the group his stout figure led the way out of the embassy.

Saros sat inside his office on the seventh floor of the Vulcan Embassy. He had just finished reviewing the most recent list of applicants awaiting admission into the Federation when he was alerted of a message from Cadet Tarique. Since their prior conversation he had been allocating an increasing amount of mental faculties towards information regarding Cadet Rao. As the liaison between the Federation and Vulcan society he had been the logical choice for Tarique to approach. After reading the contents of Tarique’s message he pressed for specific details. Tarique was requesting the cadet be brought back to the embassy to be seen by healers; further citing her deteriorating mental faculties and behavior. Saros granted the request while informing him to remain on standby. “N’Rayek.” He called. “Yes, Saros.” A younger Vulcan, closer in age to Tarique than Saros appeared in front of his desk. He was Saros personal aid and had been for the past decade. “I am sending coordinates. You are to bring Cadet Rao here for treatment. I will notify the healers of the arrival.” Saros sent it off and swiftly stood. “Understood.” N’Rayek was on the ground floor in 47 seconds. He was inside a hover car in 23.

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Velek and Batt watched the gruesome death with little care for the person involved in it. Batt seemed completely distraught at the lack of opportunity to test his new formula instead. “I was looking forward to seeing the duration between lesions.” Velek hit the back of his head hard. “Stupid Akaali.” He walked over to the machine and untied the restraints. “At least do a proper autopsy and report on the corpse before we send it back to the Romulan Embassy as a gift.” Velek looked down at the corpse with disgust. “Couldn’t even finish saying who was above Leichnik before dying.” He turned on his heels and started to head for the door when Batt stepped in front of him. “Aren’t you going to help me move the body?” Velek pushed past him irritated. “I have other concerns.” Batt watched the annoyed Romulan leave the room. With a sigh he went over and kneeled by the corpse. A tiny laser pulled from the pocket on his coat shone on his clothes. A slight smell of burning flesh as they were removed. The door opening to reveal a more bulkier species. Batt standing up to smile at thought of a nude corpse being paraded around the lab. There were so many jokes that could be made! “Lab seven, please.” The newcomer nodded its head and moved towards the corpse. Batt leaving the room first, whistling the tune of seas.

Etes mulled the thought over. There was really no harm at this point other then to try to find some sort of entertainment to get through the night. “Alright.” He stood up and made his way to the altar. Each back candle lit in order of the element he preferred. The larger one in front was lit for mnhei’sahe. Etes returning to the mat and removing his stuffy formal top wear. The room was on the hotter side and so it was more comfortable the less one had on. Getting comfortable on the mat he closed his eyes. Etes simply decided to follow her instructions. This was probably some soothing trick the Betazoids relied on to survive against more aggressive predators. He allowed himself to receive her mental instructions and remained quiet and still for a couple of minutes. It was not like she could leave this room without him. A nap wasn’t such a bad deal. However, after a few minutes he got bored with peace and wanted something more fun. Etes rolled on his side and let his thoughts go towards a different area. Each though undressing Zletka in a more humiliating way. Every time unspeakable pleasure brought my unspeakable pain. By the time he had reopened his eyes her body had been marked by him in many different ways.

Wells watched the display between the two of them frankly quite amused. It was like watching the unaware child be robbed by some buffoons. A reference to some movie she had probably seen somewhere once. She only moved to wipe clean the blood. Wells, as if she had nothing but years of practice, ripped a part of her evening shawl to use to wrap the formerly bloody area. “Probably still at the Romulan Embassy.” Wells put the pillow back under her head and moved the blanket back over her. “Etes had taken a liking to her so if she is delayed it is due to fielding him off from pursuing matters into her.” She pointed at the now, once again, unconscious Rao. Wells simpling sighing. “On the note of the parties we wish to see we will probably not get useful information until one of them arrives here.” She moved over so she was now besides him. “The bigger issue is the other guests. Leichnik and those he invited.” Wells looked at him like a cat with a shiny new toy. “I thought you would bring me at least something useful to save your friend.” A beep went off on her wristband. She turned away to see who it was. The message was quickly dismissed before she returned her attention to him. “Susie Que is getting bored in the other room. She has asked what’s taking so long.” Wells shifted on top of his lap, tugged off the corner of her dress and snapped a photo from a certain angle with no faces (or reveals) in it. The picture was sent to Susie Que. “I suppose we should be thankful my roommate is somehow ignorant of any culture besides that of expensive goods.” Her hand gently placed on his chest. “To think she has no idea the discomfort I pushed on you moments ago to aid your friend.” Wells chuckled a bit. “An emotional choice if I was to argue it.”

Marcus had just excused himself from his last conversation and was heading towards the hall to Sunsan’s wing when he felt Sarah grab his arm. It was obviously her by the amount of pressure from a female’s chest he felt. “Marcus, let’s go together!” He looked at her with a very forced smile. “I’m sorry Sarah but I must do something first with Sunsan.” The mentioned excuse appearing in a new set of clothes from around the corner. “No, I have your change of clothes here.” He threw the pile of Capellan size attire at him. Sunsan sadly had to keep some on hand just in case. Marcus shot him a look in which he ignored. Sarah’s husband smiling. “Good, let’s all go together then.” Sunsan waved them off. “You guys can take the escort. I’d rather go alone.” He sent a message to Wells on his wristband that they were leaving by escort and he was arriving alone. He ignored Marcus look for help and headed towards the garage. Sunsan had quite the nice motorcycle waiting for him. It had been a birthda present for Wells and the very thing that had changed his opinion on the concept of how Terrans celebrate their birthdays. Marcus sighing wearily. “Anyone else we are waiting for?”

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Nniol was trapped in a haze of searing pain and words that were becoming harder and harder to make sense of. As the man in a coat approach him he began to thrash against his confines to no avail. His jerking only make the needle worse and he growled, hatred clear in his eyes as he watched the imbecile discuss his state. Focusing on his surroundings he was making to sure to keep track of everything he saw for the day he returned and served their heads to swine of their standing. The question was only who he would take first. With the prior pain fading he was allowed only a brief moment of perceived stability. The scorching pain was so severe he barely registered where it began. Closing his eyes tightly he opened them again- his own cries of pain sounding dull on his own ears. It took all of his concentration to understand what was being said to him. Polomos? “Yes. I’ll do it!” He spoke before he even had time to speak. “Leichnik is just a grunt.” Nniol’s were somewhere between demanding and pleading for them to listen. “He’s worthless. I know about-” The feeling of his chest constricting made him stop short. His head falling forward as the air came in short, desperate gasps. Looking up at the two men wide eyed his body began to spasm uncontrollably. His hands balling fists until the skin was puled white over his knuckles; his nails slicing deeper than he could feel. His body starting heaving with a dark bile spilling from his mouth. The veins running up his neck and face began to darken and bulge, blood vessels rupturing. His screams were short lived with the air constricting itself from his lungs until his body finally gave out.

Noting the time, Leichnik smiled approvingly into a sip of wine. His attention otherwise focused on the Ambassador and his wife. What a waste of two Romulans he’d lost.

It took Mneheia far longer to drag herself into the bathroom than she’d preferred to admit. By the time she managed to clean the blood, sweat, and grime off her body all she could think about the prior events. Lowering herself in the tub she waited for her muscles ease. Nniol wasn’t nearly important enough to have been the source of what got her here. Unfortunately she wasn’t sure who he’d been taking orders from. Resting her head on the edge her face contorted into snarl at her reflection. Surely Sunsan would have medical supplies stocked somewhere in here. It was just a matter of finding it.

“It’s in my nature. I can’t help it.” Zletka’s voice was neither tense or strained as her eyes washed over his selection of decor. Trapped at the mercy of someone who perceived you so poorly…most beings would act erratic from stress or behave in an attempt to manipulate or earn the good graces of their captor. Unfortunately she’d only experienced a spurt of desire in either direction and it’d already withered away. Listening to him speak she let his thoughts and emotions wash over her like a dulling shower. Wells and Sunsan’s place in the jagged web that was Etes’ mind was such a stark extreme compared to her own. It was quieting. Her knowledge of Sunsan before tonight was limited to the Academy’s official records, gossip she never paid mind to, and Vinaa. Of the three, Etes’ version coincided most with Vinaa’s. Word of tests earned her glance, but his eyes were already closed. For a moment she just felt the silence absorbing the room. “What you’d find interesting about me- I wouldn’t consider very interesting.” She murmured, laying back on the mat and closing her eyes. Feeling out his emotional state her eyes opened as she sat back up to check the candles. “Can we light the candles, please?” She turned back to him. “I want to try something. With your permission.” Zletka stood, but made no movement towards the door. “I just need to light the candles, dim the lights, and then have you sit comfortably.” Not wanting to engage in any sort of push back she quickly added, “It will answer you questions.”

Waiting until he had gotten comfortable on a mat she slipped out of his jacket and freed her hair from it’s braid. Not concerned with a mat for herself she sat directly in front of him so there was only an inch of space between their legs. “Hold out your hands with your palms facing down.” It had been a while she’d last done this, but remembered enough to start. The danger was making sure she didn’t take it too far again. “Close your eyes and focus solely on my breathing.” Guiding his hand to her chest she calmed her breathing, “To guide.” Her voice was gradually becoming softer, more soothing. Closing her eyes she kept her breathing slow and deliberate until she felt his mind clear enough for her to begin. With a feather light touch she ran her fingers in deliberate patterns up and down his arms while exuding a sense of calm toward him. Each brush of her fingers against his skin helped focus her to create slowly seep a psychedelic atmosphere within the air of calm. Understanding the dark nature of his prior thoughts she focused to keep it peaceful and trance-like. After several long moments she whispered in his mind. [no outside words]

Tarique reached into the inside pocket to pull out a few healing patches. Cadet Rao had an intense propensity to hurting herself regardless of intoxication levels. Removing the ice pack he firmly pressed the patch against the Terran’s skin until it properly took the hue of her unblemished skin. Cadet Wells had already alerted him of the impending situation regarding Rao’s knowledge regarding the upcoming Federation fleet and he had already passed on the information the Vulcan Embassy. “I was not aware she joined in a monogamous relationship.” He commented. Which through simply deduction meant she and Cadet Marcus were now unfortunately linked in way it was fair to say Rao was still unaware. Raising his wrist he began typing out an encoded message with only the strictest of details and sent it off. Without looking up from his band he accepted the cloth, “Thank you.” Lowing his wrist he studied Wells uncharacteristic smile. “Not yet. I need to await further instruction. The twitches in her body language and fluctuations in breathing suggest she is alternating between varying distress levels. I would be optimal to wait for the next trough of activity.” Exactly 73 seconds passed before he received a response. He had his instructions. Another 469 seconds before noticed a shift in Rao.

“Another!” A rage filled voice called under the blazing sun.

Rao’s eyes were focused ahead, their arms and legs holding them parallel to the ground as she lowered herself again…and again…and again. Fatigue began to set in as the man stood over her. His grating voice keeping count. When she stopped the man raised a switch and brought it down against the her back seamlessly. “Keep going!” His voice was murder on the her ears as she could do little to stop the stream of tears. “I can’t!” She cried. The man knelt down next to her, grabbing her hair before pointing to a child watching, “If you can’t finish then they will receive the punishment. Do you understand.” Rao stared at the child, nodding quietly. The man stood back up, Now keep going!” He demanded. Rao hesitated earning a another lashing. Letting out a scream, she rest her head on the ground in an attempt to calm down. Closing her eyes she curled their fingers into the rusty clay and achingly pushed herself up again. When the she finished she collapsed on the ground, a red dust pushing up in a small cloud around her. “Good. Now look at your friend.” The man spoke firmly, waiting for the Rao to open their eyes and raise her head high enough. A gun shot ensued.

When Rao’s eyes opened again she was no longer under the blazing sun, but she could feel it’s residual heat on her skin. “Cadet Rao. It’s Cadet Tarique. You have been given a drug that is reacting negatively with your system.” Tarique’s momentarily provided a moment of clarity. “What are you doing here?” Rao jerked back away from Tarque as his features began to blend into someone else. “Cadet Wells reached out to me in order to provide aid.” Tarique answered while studying her body language closely- paranoia. The way she kept looking around- possibly hallucinatory. “Zletka. I need Zletka.” Rao slid herself off the couch until she was firmly planted on the floor against the wall. Looking down at the floor she covered her eyes with her hands at the sight of reddened sand. Her breathing was becoming erratic. Tarique moved to the edge of the couch. “Cadet Zletka is not here yet. In the meantime-” “Then you can’t help me! I need Zletka. I need Zletka…” Rao gripped her hair to try and center herself. The feeling of fingers on her leg sent her scrambling across the floor, kicking away what appeared to be nothing to Tarique, confirming his thoughts on hallucinations. “No. No. No. I’m sorry. I’m sorry…” Rao inhaled deeply to try and keep her breath. “I don’t have the necessary insight. It may be advantageous to put her back-” “NO!!” Rao screamed, “I’m not going back. You’re NEVER taking me back. I’ll do it all over again. I SWEAR.” Picking up a glass she slammed it against the wall so she was left holding a sizable, jagged shard. As she gripped it tighter Tarique noted the trails of blood trailing down her hand and began calculating. Moving from his seat he swiftly gripped her unarmed her while holding her tight to cease her frenzied movements. As their fingers grazed her received a flash of her strife and held still. “Cadet Wells.” His expression became gravely more controlled as he gave her nerve pinch, “Where is Cadet Zletka.” Holding her weight in one arm he began typing another message on his hand.

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Velek’s expression never changed. Something about the continuous act of these sorts of things got neutral to him. There were only a few set reactions someone could truly have. “It isn’t about what I want.” Velek firing at him once again. “It isn’t about what the Romulan’s want with their new kill at first sight target.” Another fire leaving the gun. “The only thing you should be thinking about at this moment is that your death can be easy or it can be difficult.” Velek pulling the trigger once again. The door on the other side of the room opened. A man in a lab coat walked through the door. In his hands was a tray with a single shot. “As requested.” Velek nodded his head. “I suggest you don’t move to much.” The man walked towards him. Unlike Velek, he wore quite the twisted smile on his face. The shot forcibly injected into Nniol’s leg. Afterwards retreating back towards Velek. “Why do they always piss themselves?” Velek looked at him very uninterested. “It’s a biological function, Batt.” Batt nodded his head. “Yes, but in a varied world to think such a thing remains constant among the species.” Velek couldn’t help but sigh. “Can we engage in your curiosity at another point in time?” Batt nodded his head. “Yes, there is work to be done.” The time of the conversation enough for the searing pain of the shot to start to reveal its effects. Batt turned to the target. “What was injected into you was a modified version of the Terothka virus. Courtesy of the master you just insulted.” Velek walked closer to him. “The antidote for the modification can be administered. However, it is only given to those who work for the Polemos.” Batt seemed to sigh. “Why is he even getting this option? Isn’t that Leichnik more useful?”

….

Sunsan bent forward and released her chains. “I did not think I would find cause to enjoy you.” He walked towards one of his closets and pulled out attire, throwing at what he has chosen for her. “You must stay within the room until I get back. Shower and enjoy any comforts you need.” Sunsan walking over to the door to his bathroom to hold it open for her. “When I return you will not only get your freedom from this event but the start of one of the most honorable careers within the Romulan Empire.” He waited for her to enter the bathroom before he went to his own door. Sunsan placing his palm on the door to put the room on lockdown from within. He knocked on the door so the guards would open it. When they did he quickly exited and did the same on the outside. There was no escape for that gnat. Sunsan looking at the guards. “I will be back. If all things go as planned there will be a reward waiting for you.” He walked quickly towards the exit of the Embassy. He wanted to have Wells help him with stress relief. She handled Marcus much better than he did at times.

Etes walked forward and unzipped the dress. Contrary to any expectations she may have that was all he did before retreating. He watched her finish her preparation before he joined her on the floor, on his own comfortable mat. “It’s funny to watch you creatures move from such erratic behavior to such a forced calm. What silly self defense mechanisms you possess.” He switched his posture so one of his legs was up and one of his arms was curled around it. “Since I cannot let you leave for a time I wonder if there is anything interesting about you. Some encouraging reason to keep you alive other then bad optics.” Etes seemed suddenly quite bored. “Being stuck with you as clean up is a necessary evil.” He turned his attention exasperarted towards her. “We both know Sunsan isn’t capable of it.” His thoughts heading into a very dark direction towards Sunsan and more specifically Wells. He sighed loudly. “To be stuck in this place with you who offers no pleasures except protecting yourselves against tests for the sakes of test.” Etes closed his eyes. “Everything is so tedious.”

….

Wells looked at Rao very clearly disinterested in her actual well-being. “I was leaving the matter up to the first to arrive who knew her.” She could only shrug. “I slapped her to quickly end the situation she was in and escort her out.” There was no remorse in her words. The steps she had taken were the logical and most efficient way to escape the situation. “Your friend’s adjustment to the ships and relationship partner has combined to cause quite the unhealthy interest in her.” She showed him what looked like a list of numbers on her data pad. “She has quite the high bounty on her head already.” Wells pulling up the top three contenders: a Romulan agent, a Cardassian agent and an Orion. It was the start of the most obvious and cliche joke. Wells pulled a compact out of her purse. Opening it she pulled out a wet cloth and handed it to Tarique. “If you wipe this against her skin she will wake up.” Wells leaning back with a smile. “Are you prepared for whatever may happen?”

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Nniol’s head dropped as the tension abruptly left his body. Panting, his body jerked away from the stranger but there was no where to go. Staring wide eyed he slowly set into anger. “How dare you take a Romulan from the Embassy. Do you have any idea how easily the empire can sniff out a rodent and squash it?!” He practically growled. Leichnik’s name made him narrow his eyes. “What sort ingrate hired you-” His words gave way to pained grunts with his fists and jaws clenching until blood dripped down his jaw. He was determined not to scream and yet as soon as the pain subsided he found himself heaving. “The empire will-” Caught on an exhale he slammed his head back in an attempt o fight the pain until sweat poured down his body. This time he vomited. “I swear you’ll-” Screaming out in pain he felt his body give way until an unsavory smell wafted up towards him. The stench mixed with his vomit was enough to make his face contort in disgust. “What…do you want…” Between pants he tried his best to stay focused on the disruptor.

Mnehia very slowly raised her head. The left side of her face was swollen with only her right eye providing full range of vision. Her arms and legs were covered in massive pulsating bruises leaving her as nothing more than a clump in chains. Breathing heavily she watched him without a word. Even if she’d wanted to speak her jaw was so badly bruised it would have been a waste. Her eyes widened a bit at the image of Etes followed by a the symbol. Swallowing she winced in pain. It was not lost on what that image meant nor was it lost on her what he was offering her. To go from being hated by both brothers to being in the good graces of the legitimate one to work against the bastard…The cost was her family, but it would save dishonor on herself…Staring at the pad she began opening her mouth. It took hard breathing to ignore the pain shooting through her skull. “Kill them.” If it took the death of her family and the death of Etes then so be it. She would accept their deaths to further herself and earn her one kill.

Zletka jumped at the sound of the door clicking open, her eyes squinting momentarily against the sudden flood of light. Seeing his smile she slowly turned take in the space. A meditation space. Instead of the bathroom she’d invaded a space of tranquility. The locking of the door snapped her back to reality. Collecting the bottom of her dress between her fingers a brief flicker of sadness crossed her features when she found the tear. It was small, but a small tear could easily become something horrible. The pile of clothes was conflicting with a part of her happy to save the dress and another part wary of Etes; especially after reading his unapologetic expression. “Alright.” Picking up the clothes she gave him an almost reluctant nod. “Thank you…” With her back turned to him she attempted to unzip her dress, but her try as she might her fingers couldn’t even graze it. Biting her lip peeked back at Etes. “Can you unzip my dress, please?”
As soon as her dress was unzipped she stepped out of the dress and carefully folded it on a pillow before moving to his clothes. The tunic felt airy against her skin with the belt providing a sense of security and the jacket for comfort. Not willing to turn around just yet she idly checked to make sure her braid was in tact while discreetly looking at her band: no notifications yet. “Okay,” Zletka turned to face him, “let’s continue.” She lowered herself to the floor to sit. Calm, cool, and collected. She had to stay calm cool and collected. He was calm and so she was calm. It was just another little test…That’s what she had to remind herself.

Tarique silently entered the room to join Wells on the seat, his gaze momentarily shifting to an unconscious Rao nearby. Once the door clicked shut he turned his attention back to Wells just in time to catch her in his lap. His hand firmly gripped her was it as her tongue once against entered his mouth with no warning or consent. When he alerted her of their surveillance he went through his memory of the room. Her second kiss was met with more compliance though he refrained from using tongue. Tarique offered no resistance as she guided his hand even though he was wary of how far she intended to take this. It would be illogical to pretend he was not physically attracted to Wells, but that didn’t mean he would act out of character. He was a Vulcan and had enough control over mental and biological functions to engage in this level of intimacy with her without losing control or sight of why he was present. The ease at which she switched her behavior so drastically was fascinating while he understood her decision to employ this specific tactic; he found it imperative to have a discussion with her a later time to reestablish physical boundaries that had been ignored since their first informal meeting.

Straightening his posture he looked between the females. Most of the names Wells was introducing carried no weight in his memory. He stood and moved to the other side of Wells to have better access to Rao. “It is true. I can discern most of her personality attributes and hypothesize general behavior in advance. Looking her over he noted subtle micro-expressions flickering across her features. “She is already in distress. When do you plan to wake her?” Upon closer inspection he was able to see the degree of swelling protruding from underneath the ice pack. “Where did she receive this injury?” The situation was both rapidly changing and potentially devolving.

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Velek allowed the shocks to continue for a few moments after the target’s eyes opened. When it was done, he took a moment to ignore the smell of piss. Life could be so hard for a Romulan who did not look like one. After regaining his composure he made his way in front of the x shaped machine. “Nniol I am told?” He made no reaction. “It seems you have made the wrong choices tonight.” Velek walking over the side of the wall to open a panel. Inside was a Romulan disruptor made specifically for torture. He took it out and set it to mid level pain before turning around. “I wonder how loyal you are to this Leichnik? To his proposed idea? How easy will you talk to save your life?” Velek walking over to him and with no warning fired a shot at his chest. He waited for the pain to stop. Velek waited for him to start talking about anything before he fired again. It was a joyful way to shut them up. “Do you understand how this will work?” When he went to speak he fired one more off just for reassurance.

Susie Que ignored the giggles and reactions of her friends and nodded. “Sure, I’m not one to turn someone away.” She walked over to her drawers and after some shuffling pulled out some outfits. “The top is Zletka’s the bottom is Rao’s.” She walked up to him and handed him the clothes. “Wait for one more moment so I can confirm something.” Susie Que looked down at her data pad and sent a message off to Wells.

‘I’m coming with Tarique and a few friends.’

She turned back around to shuffle few a few pairs of shows before choosing a new pair of pumps. Susie Que waving at the girls. “Excuse me ladies but it seems I am needed for the night. Don’t pillage too many of my goods.” She went ahead, ignoring all social etiquette, grabbed Tarique’s arm and pulled him out of her room. Susie Que chatting away about if their were any required protocols that she needed to be aware of before they entered the club.

….

Sunsan excused himself from the ball and headed towards his own room. When he arrived he waved off the guards and entered. Chained to the floor was Mneheia. He walked over to her with a murderous intent in his eyes. “Female.” Calling her by her gender was already a consideration on his part. “I have thought about what to do with you.” Sunsan walking up close to her and bending down. “At first I thought about what would be the most fun way to kill you. Then I thought what would be the most useful.” He leaned forward smiling. “Shall I tell you what I decided?” Sunsan leaning away. “I was inspired to be compassionate and offer you a deal.” He stood up and moved away so there was some space between them. Sitting down in a chair he leisurely poured himself a drink. There was a moment he wondered what Wells would do in this situation, as Marcus’ solutions were obvious. Would she just kill her off? Find some clever way to use her? Perhaps she would throw her on him as a means of enjoyment? The last one was not even an option to consider. She apparently would not enjoy such a female. Sunsan looked down at her as if he was looking at a mutt about to die. “You may choose to save your family and die. The death will be slow and cruel and within private circle known why.” He stood up and walked over to her and handed her the glass of ale. “Or I can offer you a way out with your life.” He opened his data pad. The image of Etes appearing. “We all know there exists a bastard in the way. However, what he stands in the way of is not just this household but the Empire itself.” The screen changing to display a different image. It was a symbol. One that was beginning to mean fear and authority. “I will allow you to live, but your position will change. As a reward for being one of our people you may even have the chance to kill one person of your choosing. It can be anyone. Within your missions there is of course more of a leeway and backing involved.” Sunsan’s eyes narrowed. “The price of proving your commitment to the Empire is death of your family.” He switched the image to the Romulan flag. “How much does this mean to you?”

Marcus finished his dance with Semetha. “You are an excellent dancer.” With no expression she simply nodded. Marcus with clear cut annoyance handed her off to a waiting Romulan. He moved to finish his own end conversations. Marcus smiling at the name of a message he received on his wristwatch as he was dancing.

Etes didn’t personally care about anything she had to say or attempt. In fact, he prepared his body to lesson the damage by going with the flow and rolling over. Etes landing on his side as he watched her run away. An interested smile appearing on his face. He slowly walked the opposite direction to his closet and began to find a suitable option. Etes settling on a large tunic that would work as a dress length outfit on her, a coat and a belt. He carried the assortment of goods as he headed towards the door she entered. He raised his hand to it. At his biological sign it opened. A smile of enjoyment appearing on his face as he looked at his own personal shrine space. An altar with currently unlit candles on the far end of the room and private meditation area before it. Etes locking the door behind him. When he caught her expression he pointed to the bottom of her a dress. A tiny barely noticeable tear had started. “I suggest you change into these to save the dress you cherish so much.” Etes calmly setting the clothes down in front of her. It was clear by his expression he was not going to turn around so she could change in private. Instead he shrugged, “You can place the dress on one of the pillows for safety as we continue our conversation.”

When Susie Que arrived at the club the Orion bodyguard was not going to let them in. However, to her annoyance someone came out when Tarique was noted. The two being escorted into a private VIP area of the club. Susie Que’s eyes scanning the club. She would need to ask Wells next time how she got such access and was affording it for the night. The host pointing to one room. “Miss Susie Que will go into this room.” His attention turned to Tarique. “You have been asked to enter this room first.” Susie Que was about to protest but found herself forcibly pushed into the room. The door was locked behind her. She turned around to see the room she was pushed into. The fact it was amazing and filled with expensive goods was the only reason she was not complaining.

Wells turned to look up from her data pad at the sound of the door opening. At the sight of her guest she waved him in to sit besides her. She turned to look at the man. “Go get the necessary items.” He looked at her shocked. Wells narrowing her eyes. “Are you so shocked about a surprising skill level that you cannot do your job.” He quickly exited the room. Wells taking the clothes and placing the top more attractive ones on the table in front of her. The other pair went next to the sleeping Rao. Without warning she climbed on top of him and kissed him. Her tongue forcing its way into his mouth. Wells withdrawing to move to whisper into his ear. “We will be watched for a few initial moments.” Wells leaning back to run one of her hands downwards. In a view only he could see her wristband was turned towards him. She gave him another kiss before leaning towards his other ear. “Any information send via wristband.” One of her free hands moved his hand downward as if she was guiding him. When the door opened and the man appeared with a box she looked away from him. Wells looking over the open box and choosing a colorful option. When he withdrew from the room and the lights slightly changed she smoothly hopped off him. Wells tossing the package across the room half open. “Your friend has been drugged by a random low rank Romulan. Her connections seem to be to Leichnik. He was proposing connections to Geroln and his cricle of associates as a lure.” Wells leaned forward to pull the blanket up on Rao so she was more comfortable. “He has forced an ‘after’ party with these associates and a few more.” Wells turning to look at him. “Until, Zletka, Sunsan and Marcus arrive from their damage control we must take care of this situation separately. I assume you know her character enough to help identify what she was doused with and can keep her calm until they arrive.”

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Nniol’s eyes snapped open, every fiber of his being tensing impossibly as a scream ripped from his throat. Momentarily blinded from light he could barely register a warm sensation dripping down his legs. The white light soon became a littered by black dots and he felt himself on the verge of dipping back into blackness.

Tarique nodded in greating. “Thank you, Cadet Que.” Stepping into the room he was momentarily surprised to see three other females occupying the space with them. “Good evening.” He gave them a polite nod as well before turning his attention back to Que. “Cadet Wells has informed me I need to bring a change of clothes for Cadet Zletka and Rao to a disclosed location as soon as possible. Since neither are available to grant me access to their room and you are familiarized with Cadet Wells; I found it logical to approach you first in helping me meet her request.” He was also aware Que was close enough in body measurements to the two females in question, but found it unecessary to add unless asked. “I was only given the parameters of dressing nice and am unsure how that translates from the attire worn to the event.” He glanced back at the other females. “Between you and your company; you would be quite apt for this.” Turning back to the Que his expression remained neutral. “Are you amendable?”

Zletka fought the urge to rolled her eyes; instead opting to appreciate the labryinth of cars, streets and alleyways while he chose to repeat her words. His looming presence was easy to ignore, but the sensation of his fingers brushing her neck earned an involuntary hitch in her breath. Not daring to meet his eyes in the reflection of the mirror she almost smirked. “No.” A gasp escaped her when his teeth clamped on her ear. “Hey-” The force with which she hit the matress forced the air from her lungs. Pushing herself upright she momentarily stilled under his gaze; able to feel her heart quicken under his gaze. “I don’t think there’s any chance I’d forget.” Moving to the opposite edge of the bed she attempted to get up, but found her heel caught in her dress. In the time it took her get free he’d already pushed her back. Her mind was racing, but she focused on what she could get from him. She was expendable- something he’d already said. She was interesting in the sense hadn’t figured her out- also predictable, but she was tired of partaking in his games. “Whatever test you’re planning next; I need this dress to stay in tact.” Staying flat on the bed she looked up at him calmly. Her mother sent this dress and just like Vinaa would kill her if she didn’t make it out of here…her mother would kill her if it was destroyed. Slowly moving up again she gingerly placed a hand on his chest, letting his trail down his abdomen as she applied just enough pressure to let him know she was about to stand. Her fingers trailed over the fabric to his right side before using all her weight to apply as much pressure as possible on his rib cage over the lower lobe of his right lung, right where there was small notch to allow for proper movement of his heart. In an instant she scrambled from the bed and rushed through the nearest door, slamming it shut behind her. Her fingers fumbled for the lock and it wasn’t until she heard the click that she finally released a breath. Stepping backwards she realized she’d lost a shoe, but she didn’t care. As are as she was concerned that heel was dead to her. Unable to see in the darkness she felt along the wall for any sort of switch. She’d thought she’d pried just enough to figure out where the bathroom was, but was beginning to fear she’d made a mistake.

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He was not summon people paid attention to. In fact, he was not someone that mattered. He was just another face in the background. It was what made Velek very good at his job. Very good. The second the elevator doors opened and his target took a step out Velek stepped out of the shadows, revealing himself for the first time, and electrocuting the target so he collapsed immediately. Velek caught the body and heaved it over his shoulder. The path through every camera angle memorized by his body and hours of practice. The target’s body was thrown into the back trunk and tied quickly with electric conducting metal strings. Velek slipping into the car and pulling out of the garage. At the exit of the embassy he flashed his badge and with a nod left the compound. As the car drove through the city streets every few blocks colored pixels for a moment would flash as the outside of the car suddenly looked like a completely different one. The car had gone through five different appearances and license plates by the time it settled on an expensive red sport’s car. It loomed towards one of the mountains that was owned by a wealthy merchant. As he curved up the mountain path the car stopped at one of the buildings half way up and pulled into a garage. Velek stepping out of the car and popping the trunk. With ease, he lifted the target over his shoulder and walked into the building. In front of him were plain industrial hallways that lead to many different areas. Velek carrying the body into one further into the mountain. He quickly and efficiently tied it up on the x shaped machine. Velek moving towards the other side of the room to stand behind the control panel. With a smile on his face he pressed on. Volts unbearable to the body went through the body. It was time the target would wake up.

….

Susie Que was just finishing the liner on her Deltan friend, Esleh, when she heard a surprising voice at the door. Susie Que rushing to the door with a curious smile on her face. “Cadet Tarique? What can I help you with?” She gestured for him to enter the room. Inside waiting for him were three quite well-dressed females.

Wells looked up as the door was open. An unnamed man was beginning to carry in food, drinks, etc. She looked up from her data pad to the other one of higher authority. “I need a pillow and blanket for that one.” Wells moving to put the ice pad on where she had slapped her to stop the swelling. Afterwards, she turned back to him. “I expect proper service tonight, do you understand?” The man nodded his head nervously. She smiled like a snake staring at its prey. “Good.” She pulled out a bar of Latinum and handed it to the surprised man. “I am expecting a Vulcan and his guess. Guide the guest to the room next door. Their drinks and food are on my tab. Bring him here. After they arrive you will see a steady stream of approved guests to the list I’ll send you. Send them all to that room besides Zletka and Marcus.” The man nodded his head. She shooed him at the door. Wells letting out a sigh. Her eyes drifted over to Rao. A part of her wondered if it would just be easier to kill her now? Then she remembered what Marcus was like when he bitched. She picked up her tiny data pad and sent another set of messages who needed them.

Marcus didn’t like Zletka going away with Etes but if it had to be anyone she was the most useful option. He followed Sunsan to a smiling Romulan female. This must be Semetha. Sunsan looked at the girl annoyed. He was like that with every female besides Wells. “This is Representative Marcus.” Marcus smiled at her. “I have been told you lack a dance partner.” Semetha’s happy demeanor disappeared. The poor girl must have thought since Wells excused herself that she would be able to sneak in for the night. Sadly, Sunsan’s ass was stamped with her name. His ass and other body parts. “I have heard you have your own date for the night.” The atmosphere around them got cold for a moment. While, Sunsan and Marcus didn’t react Semetha was alerted that she somehow had blundered. Marcus laughing. “My poor mate unfortunately discovered Romulan Ale. It is a shame that Wells got to take her home and not me.” Sunsan rolled his eyes. “Do you not even have enough class to not make such jokes at these events.” Marcus looked up at him innocently. “What jokes?” Sunsan sighed and his head bent into his hand. Marcus displaying a wicked grin. Semetha looking between the two annoyed. WHY WAS WELLS ALWAYS MENTIONED. She forced a smile. “It seems that you probably should excuse yourself to go be with her instead of me.” Marcus cracked another laugh. “Aren’t you a considerate Romulan.” He threw his arm around Sunsan’s shoulders. “If only this one would let me off the hook of my position. I would love to not have to attend these events.” Marcus looked at a few other Ambassadors who were chuckling at the thought. He waved his hand over to Sarah. With a smile on her face she gracefully glided over. “Don’t tell me you want to get me in trouble with the Romulans Marcus dear.” He shook his head. “If only that was possible.” Marcus turned to Sunsan. Sighing, Sunsan waved over Semetha’s brother. The Romulan begrudgingly treading over. “Yes?” Marcus smiled at the man. “It seems I am to dance with your sister.” He, with no effort to hide it, retorted with a snide comment. “How lucky.” Marcus winked at him. “Since I don’t have a sister you can dance with I was hoping the lovely Sarah would do me the honor of dancing with you.” Sarah looked at him confused for a moment but nodded. Marcus always repaid his debts~ She held out her hand to the disinterested male. “Shall we see if you can dance as well as they say you can?” The Romulan male easily following the bait and heading onto the dance floor. Marcus offering his hand to Semetha. Looking at Sunsan for help but realizing none was coming she took his hand. The two heading off to the dance floor. Sunsan making his way over to finish his necessary conversations with important guests. On the way he had received an update on his wristband. It was probably Wells. It could be read after he excused himself.

Etes couldn’t help but laugh. “I was beginning to wonder if you had a voice or if you only spoke in your head.” He walked behind her and leaned forward so she was between his arms. Trapped in a sense with no way to retreat without hitting his body. “Is what is concerning the fact you are unable to be escorted out right away or the fact that I have removed you twice from guests when I found you only aesthetically pleasing for a lesser being.” One of his hands moved to her throat. It sat around hers but made no move to squeeze. It was as if it was simply a necklace that decorated her decolletage. “Do my tests bother you, betazoid.” He leaned forward so that even though he was still facing the window his lips were by her ear. “Or do you think you’ll fail a test of endurance.” His other arm wrapped around her waist and he bit her ear. Etes throwing her away from the window and onto his bed. The look of a predator on his face as he looked down at her. “You should probably remember that you leaving this embassy today is up to me.” Etes walking slowly towards her. He pushed her down on his bed. “Unlike that brilliant friend of yours…. you aren’t considered that important.”

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Unable to move past her hands and knees, Mhneia forced herself to breath, but the pain on her right side made it impossible to take a full breath. Hearing the door open she stiffened at Etes’ voice. Not daring to speak when not spoken to she could barely begin to move before Etes had lifted her in the air. Gripping his arm she reflexively dug her nails into his wrist, but it was to no avail. There was no doubt in her mind Etes would kill her. The question was how. At the sight of the Ambassador’s impassive face she tried to speak “Amb-” The pressure of breathing left to nothing more than winces and few gasps. Her eyes widened at Sunsan’s plans for her. No. She refused to be the thing he took out his frustrations. Even death was better than that. Mheia let out a sharp cry of pain when the guards finally lifted her. She could feel something cracking her too deep to alleviate. Grinding her teeth she attempted to speak, but the sudden jerking of the guards made her body give way.

Nniol increased his pace, his eyes fixed on the exit of the ballroom direction ahead. “Excuse me, Pardon me.” A stranger’s voice apologized, briefly grazing his hand to steady themselves. Nniol brushed them off well aware the guards were probably already sniffing him out. Stepping out of the ballroom he turned down a hall, not even bothering with the main entrance to the building. At the end of the hall was an elevator, but he quickly pushed through a door and onto a set of stairs leading down to a garage.
..
Tarique has chosen to wear a pair of dark slacks with a dark green knit sweater, and black boots. All of his attire required proper insulation to keep him at a comfortable temperature. When he first arrived in San Francisco he had been told by countless Terrans that the weather was ‘comfortable’ year round. He had found this statement illogical as comfort was subjective and not directly comparable by scientific means in most cases. Hailing from a desert planet the winter here which he understood to be considered mild my many- was quite uncomfortable for him until he acquired the appropriate attire to suite his needs.

Looking at his most recent message from Cadet Wells he quickly ran over the the options. Bother Cadet Zletka and Rao were gone meaning access to their room would not be voluntary. Under the given circumstances it would be considered acceptable to simply retrieve clothing from an outside source. The task of type of clothing’; however, could range. They were a formal event now and therefore it would be logical to discern they were planning to wear the clothing he witnessed them in earlier. Finding clothing of that calibre would prove difficult at this hour.

Another beep came though he noted her comment. Another subjective comment and criteria.

“Understood. I am requesting a guest.” After sending the message he pulled a wool coat over his body and stepped out of his room with a specific destination in mind.

Tarique arrived at one of the female housing buildings and knocked twice. “Cadet Que. I need your assistance.”

Zletka thwacked his hand away from her hair, irritation clearly seeping into her features as black eyes focused on him. He didn’t understand. Studying his behavior she began to calm, but the message was clear: she did not want him touching her head like that again. Once seated her fingers deftly unfastened interwoven locks while listening. He was right. She needed to act accordingly, but it wasn’t in her nature to feign and those prior drinks certainly weren’t helping her cause. Tilting her head to allow better access she followed his charade. Marcus was a representative; him exploding could have severe repercussions, but he hadn’t heard what she heard. Felt what she felt…which was for the best. [I-] Her thoughts dropped as she followed his gaze to see Etes- and a smiling Etes at that. His thoughts only made her glance back at Marcus. His reaction towards Etes was giving her more insight into this Romulan while also making her very aware of her past slip ups. Taking Etes’ hand she tried not to let her expressions give herself away. [Lie. True.] She thought towards Marcus in response to Sunsan’s two statements. Swallowing slightly she did everything in her power not to crack any sort of smile or smirk. Holes of asses? WHAT? Her thoughts focused on the fact that Wells and Rao were together meaning act of remaining here was left to them; Marcus and Sunsan. Raising her hand she gave Marcus a small wave goodbye, her eyes widening slightly when Marcus’s internal voice screamed: HOLE OF AN ASS. Not wanting to upset him she forced her amusement down before responding: [I understand. Stay calm.]

The walk with Etes was a silent one on the ears of others, but to her it was gloriously one sided. All of the half finished portions of the puzzle were now becoming one solid picture and it was a disgusting one. His rough handling of her and slamming of the door put her on edge. Not bothering to comment she stayed steady under his glare. Did she blame him for what happened to her friend? Of course not. Was she getting tired of fending off his attempts to gauge her? Of course. Did she fear she would express herself wholly? Absolutely. Closing her eyes she ran her fingers through her hair she thought back to the thoughts she’d picked up on the ballroom; the names, faces, clothing- anything. When she opened them again a drink was in her face. “Thank you, but I’ll manage without it.” Her tone was calm, but then he pushed her and irritation spiked again. Then he made his comment. Internal groaning and a desire to express even a sliver of her feelings one materialized through a soft huff. “She’s actually quite brilliant,” Zletka stated flatly, “So no. She isn’t drugged often.” Rising from her chair she made her way to the windows. Just the sight of outside air was enough to drain tension from her body. “This is the second time you’ve separated me from the guests now.” Sensing the next words threatening to come out she bit her tongue lightly. The words came flooding anyway. “Why? If it’s concern over security of the other guests thoughts then why not have me discreetly escorted out to be with my friend? Unless you’re still trying to gauge me which by now you’ve realized either how much your ploy failed or how uninteresting I really am.” Looking through the glass she observed the city below. “But of course no matter how right or wrong I am: I’ll still be the unfortunate lesser being who just happens to be aesthetically pleasing enough- for a lesser being, that is- to keep you at most mildly entertained from the night.” Running her fingers across the edge of the window in search of a latch she felt nothing but wall.

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Sunsan felt himself grow even more furious. He smashed her back into the mirror. “On what planet does the request of a Romulan outrank the agenda set by the Romulan Empire.” He pulled her back to only smash her against the mirror a third time. “Since when does Nniol outrank any of the Ambassador and his elite staff.” Sunsan threw her across the restroom and into the other wall. “You are chosen not for your brains.” He marched over to her and kicked her sideways. “That bitch you just drugged was the representatives current life mate. A matter of fact that shouldn’t of mattered if you stayed in line.” Sunsan kicked her again. “That federation watch dog is in control of almost all the information markets.” He smacked her across the face. “AND YOU JUST ALERTED HER TO UNWANTED ROMULAN PRESENCE AGAINST A FEDERATION CADET AND ALLY.” He stared down at her in full rage. “Worst off your actions with whomeever you have colluded with have notified a large public audience.” Sunsan walked away from her and opened the door. He was not surprised to see Etes had arrived. The fellow Romulan looking at her enraged as well. “Explain.” Sunsan hated Etes but found himself currently hating this female more. A sneer appearing on his face. “This idiot got caught lacing the dress of the Capellan Representatives date with toxins and for setting her up to be involved in a trap…during our embassy event. IN FRONT OF THE FEDERATION’S WATCHDOG.” Etes would normally comment on Well’s presence in the matter but he too found himself enraged by the stupidity. Etes walked over to her and lifted her up by her neck. “And the reason she is still alive.” Sunsan snorted. “Because for some reason Nniol had the idea to order this bitch to incapacitate this Terran due to information spillage.” Etes narrowed his eyes. “Nniol…” Sunsan opened the door again. Two Romulan guards and his father entered the restroom. The door was locked once again. The guards were more shocked than their father at the sight. Instead, he seemed annoyed by the mess. Sunsan bowing to his father. “An outside presence has interfered with our event.” His father ignored him. “I have read the report, Etes.” Sunsan stood up and glared at Etes. THIS WAS HIS SUCCESS. Etes dragged the girl over to the guards. “I will head over to escort the Betazoid throughout the night.” Sandium raised his brow. His son was choosing the Betazoid over the cleanup. Was she raising a suspicion within him? Sunsan spoke next. “I will clean up the event and handle who ordered Nniol, father.” Sandium did not turn to look at his son. “I will go and rejoin the event then.” The ambassador walking out of the room. Etes following after him with a smirk on his face. Sunsan’s fist clenching so tight his hands paled. “If this bitch is not bleeding and tortured in my room the time I get back not only will multiple heads role but so will their families heads.” The guards nodded their heads nervously and dragged her out through a direction no one could see. More guards being notified to lock her down in Sunsan’s personal quarters. He took a deep breath, fixed his attire and walked out of the bathroom. A message would come from Wells soon and someone had to chain Marcus up now.

Wells looked at Rao deadpanned. Her only thoughts were avoiding Marcus’ temper tantrum and cleaning up this mess. She walked over to Rao and quickly without a sound hit a nerve area. Vulcan’s were not the only species who had methods to knock someone unconscious. Wells caught Rao and once again lifted her into a princess carry. It was a necessary evil of dealing with another’s formal attire. She quickly walked towards the club.

Marcus blinked in shock. The only thing that could make Zletka behave like that is Rao. For a brief moment he looked around the room. 80% unknowing, 15% aware of something and curious… the rest a mixed bag of things he didn’t have time for. He hated politics. Marcus swiftly catching up to her and picking her up with a large laugh. “Ahahahaha, this why they always say not to bring cadets to these things.” He rubbed her head like she was a child. “Did you ‘accidentally’ have some Romulan Ale.” Marcus sighing quiet loudly as he walked towards one of the corners of the room. He sat her down in the chair. His thoughts racing. [This is a public place. Whatever is going on it will be worse for Rao if you act like this now.] He knelt down in front of her as if he was checking her temperature and state. [You need to be calm. You have to stop me from exploding at this shit people filled event.] He looked up to see Etes standing their. It took everything he had to bite back his extreme hatred for the Romulan. “Etes?” Etes smiled so pleasantly one would think he was not a Romulan but an angel. However, his thoughts directed towards Zletka were anything but Angelic. [The situation is being handled but you must come with me now.] Etes stuck his hand out towards Zletka. “My apologies, Representative Marcus. She had been drinking with me and in my eager state she may of had some of my drinks.” Marcus ground his teeth. If this covered for even a small percentage of guests he could not go with anything else. He may have to leave this to Zletka until he knows what happened to his Rao. He stood up and stretched. A light smile appearing on his face. “Ah, I see that could happen. You were always such a tease.” The two stared each other down. Marcus warning Zletka. [If Etes is involved we have a problem. You need to get everything you can from him.] Marcus turning at the sound of his name. Sunsan was walking over. “Marcus you have been abandoning me all night. You are the one interested in ladies at the moment remember?” Marcus’ eyes narrowed for a moment. Sunsan was aware of something. He knew what happened to his Rao! “Me? Interested in ladies? They are all beautiful and wonderful of course but I have my Rao.” Sunsan sighed. “Your Rao accidentally got one sip of Romulan Ale from a server and is passed out in a back room. Wells is watching over her now.” THE TWO OF THEM WERE FORCING HIM TO BE HERE. THESE COMPLETE HOLES OF ASSES. RAO WAS HIS LIFEMATE. “Is she now…” Sunsan nodded his head. “Yes, I’ve lost my date yet again because of you.” Everyone’s eyes turning as the music picked up. Ambassador Sandium was standing by his wife with his glass raised. It was now the highlight of the event. Music and food in full fervor would begin and any unsorted conversations must soon reach their epilogues of the night. Guests clapped and entered the dance area for the last few dances of the night. Sunsan grabbed Marcus’ hand. “Come, there is a Romulan female named Semetha you must dance with.” Marcus locked eyes with Zletka as he was being dragged away. [GET WHAT YOU CAN FROM THAT HOLE OF AN ASS!] Etes too annoyed to watch any of that amused. He lead Zletka towards his private room, in case anyone was watching them. It would be an obvious thing for him to remove the Betazoid from any possible problem. He would explain what he wanted to her in his thoughts. It was also another way to gauge her. Etes let all the information of what transpired freely out in his mind as they entered his corridors. He almost threw her inside before he slammed the door. “Your Beast has removed Cadet Rao from the situation. Stay here until the message comes in that you can leave.” Etes glaring at her that it was not a request or an option, but a command.“ He stood up and poured her another drink. Handing it over he could only sigh. ”For your nerves.“ Etes pushing her into one chair and sitting besides her. ”Having a friend such as her must be draining on the mind. Does she get drugged so often?“

Wells arrived in front of a nightclub. When the Orion bouncer saw her he quickly let her through. She entered the club, carrying the still unconscious Rao, and waved down one of her ‘friends’. He lead them into a soundproof VIP room. Wells laying her down on the couch area. “Get me an entire set, as well as an ice pack.” He nodded and excused himself. She pulled out a tiny version of a data pad she kept in her purse in case of an emergency and messaged Tarique.

‘Plans changed. Rao in trouble. Bring change of clothes for her and Zletka and get here within an hour.’

She put it down and sighed loudly. A part of her wondered if the night would of gone better if she just allowed Susie Que to come. The problems she created might have been easier. Wells picked up her data pad once more and sent another message to him.

‘Any information you have on the Romulan Mnheia, her associates or Leichnik and his associates inform me immediately. Explanations given upon your arrival.’

Wells about to put the pad down once again when she felt inspired.

‘P.s. Come dressed nice.’

SEP

Rao’s expression morphed from calm to confusion to shock in the mere seconds it took for Wells to both berate the Romulan female and swiftly slap her across the face. Stunned, Rao blinked- the sensation of Well’s hand dulled at the fleeting memory of another’s. Blinking again, her brows knit it in indignation. Between Wells, Sunsan’s, and the woman’s expressions; remarks; AND the slap,,,a gnawing heat began to rise through her veins. The shattering of glass didn’t earn so much as a wince from the cadet. She looked on as if in a haze. Nothing was making sense fast enough. Until Sunsan mentioned her dressed. Her fingers ran over the fabric, reflexively going to the source of the heat. Then it clicked.

While Mnheia had found it entertaining to watch the Terran rat get struck; her enjoyment was dulled by the pressing headache of Wells’ unwelcome presence. Her eyes were like daggers on Sunsan’s leech. “I was merely helping the unfortunate Terran on little her way. We were asked to be hospitable and it’s well known how easily they can become undone when not properly prepared.” She sneered. Wells comment on the Ambassadors people earned a glare. The way this cretin spoke- it was time this cancers use ran out so could be properly extinguished like the vermin of her squalid planet. Flexing her fingers she was seconds from making an adjustment when Sunsan’s name was called and for some reason he decided to enter at that bitches call. Her demeanor shifted to something notably calmer, internally smirking at Sunsan’s appropriate treatment of a Terran. However, it was short lived. “I-” Gritting her teeth as she collided with the mirror. Staying silent under his gaze she felt rage rising at how Wells was permitted to weigh in with no retort from Sunsan, yet merely gave a dismissive smile. Once Sunsan removed his hand she straightened up. “There’s nothing to fear.” She spoke while looking at Terrans. Wells’ exit eased her irritation while also increasing her tension. Taking the first blow she set her jaw; not willing to lash out as she may have liked for fear of his ranking. Technically no one aside from himself had caught her in the full act. Wells poor intuition had only led her the verbal aspect. it was Sunsan who had noticed something was put on the vermin’s dress. Gripping the sink she steadied herself from the second blow. The Capellan could easily replace his little whore for the evening. It’s not as if Terran’s were adequately equipped for excessive bouts of alcohol which is all it would appear to be. Her breathing was beginning to quicken as she stared up at him. Once again her fingers flexed, but she kept them firmly clamped on the sink. “Nniol instructed me to aid in incapacitating the Terran for the night. Her impotence was threatening to spill everywhere with information that could cause problems between allies and she wasn’t been properly leashed.” Every mention of the Terran was joined by a disgusted expression. “With the Terran gone he expected the Betazoid to also leave and both controversial guests would no longer be under forced Romulan hospitality or responsibility.”

From Leichnik’s strategic placement in the ballroom he caught a glimpse of his woman in red being carried out of the bathroom and father down the hallway by the unmistakable Wells. A failure. Turning to observe the room he watched Sarah lose Marcus to a dance with the Betazoid. Another failure. Hearing grumblings of Volcanic spew he casually made his way towards the familiar Tellarite. On the way he accepted a floating glass in his right hand and took a sip. Nniol noted which hand Leichnik used, taking a moment to excuse himself from his conversation before snaking through the crowd.

Rao obliged to remain silent, but she couldn’t remain calm. In her mind she screamed: [ZLETKA]. The spreading of warmth through her body was simultaneous being joined by a chill and the paranoia of what had been done was becoming inescapable. She couldn’t trust any of these beings. Not the Romulans. Not Sunsan. Not Wells. Not Marcus. “I need Zletka. Where’s Zletka.?” They were leaving the party. Leaving the only person she could trust to take her where? She said home, but even was home? The very moment Wells stepped outside she began moving. “Put me down. I need to get down.” Her words were bridled with barely retrained anxiety on the edge of yelling. “NOW.” Twisting her body around she didn’t let up until she felt herself firmly on the ground. It felt as if her chest was trying to constrict and relax at the same time. Feeling sand underneath her fingers she looked down- the normally black and gray gravel suddenly rust in color. “No, no, no.” Forcing a long exhale she closed eyes before opening them again. Her mind felt like it was racing, but one thought kept coming to mind and it was her need to get the hell away from here. “What did they give me?” She asked while standing upright to lean against the wall. “I’m not going to any ‘location’ until I either know what’s happening or you find Zletka.” A series of chills ran down her spine and she attempted to regulate her breathing. A familiar clanging sounded, but from the look on Wells’ face she either didn’t hear it or was ignoring it.

“Hm.” Zletka studied the drink for a moment before taking a longer sip. It tasted almost…she listened to the room in search of the right adjective…like iron with a hint of something called parsley. Taking another sip of her drink she focused on Marcus and the woman at the mention of Rao. Realization soon dawned regarding the nature of their relationship and why Sarah wanted to his attention in private. Curious to see how Marcus would handle it she almost snorted when he suddenly made her his excuse. Initially she didn’t think he would be able to commit, but the next thing she knew they were on the dance floor. “And I noticed you needed an excuse to avoid an old flame.” She replied with an amused smile of her own. bending under his will to twirl she nodded to his question. “I’ll make sure to mark my pad that I’ve had my monthly quota.” She tried not to laugh too loudly at the ridiculousness of this entire night. Resting her hand on his shoulder she genuinely began to enjoy herself until a several foreign trains of thought passed. [It’s been compromised] [The serum will still take effect] [Both females failed] [She’s being removed] [Disperse] [Wells] [Idiots] [Cadet in red] [Second wave] [Geroln]…The passing thoughts of strangers began sobering her joy until she heard the faint, but deliberate thoughts of Rao yelling her mind: [ZLETKA]. Zletka inhaled audibly. “I apologize. I have to go to the restroom.” She looked in the direction of the bathroom. “Go to Geroln.” [Sarah is the opposite direction] Taking a step back she didn’t even realize she hadn’t said the last bit out loud until she was already halfway to the restrooms. Placing her fingers on the base of her throat she realized how much the Romulan ale was affecting her. To have that much had been stupid. The sight of guards nearing the restroom caused her to slow her steps and pretending to busy herself with snacks nearby.

SEP

Sarah looked over at Leichnik for a moment. If one was to compare their ease in employing means he would have a much closer line (if any). However, it was the very reason, besides his looks and confidence, she enjoyed his company. There was no need to hesitate in the moment. This cadet was trying to swim with water over her head- completely unprepared for the world she had just entered. Sarah gave him a kiss on the cheek as a farewell. “I think I shall.” her body swaying slightly to highlight her curves as she made her way over to him. “Marcus.” The capellan turned his attention away from his Romulan guest. “Sarah?” She gave a slight look at the Romulan- who in an annoyed gruff elected to bow out of the conversation and leave them to mingle in the corner. It was not surprising to anyone that a female was trying to occupy his attention. “I believe we need to speak in private.” Marcus looked at her skeptically. “In private?” She smiled and nodded her head. Her hand gently slipping into his and ‘trying’ to gracefully pull him around a corner into a hall. It was something no one would pay attention to as they were so used to the image of Marcus + Woman + Private Hall that not a notice occurred- except from a few key atrocities.

Wells walked into the bathroom. She had purposely stayed on the other side of the door the moment she started to hear a conversation between Rao and a Romulan voice. Dealing with Sunsan had given her enough practice at standing silently waiting. Irritation at the calculations running through her head at the information she over heard. Wells opening the door to briskly walk in.

“And I had some hope for the minor Romulan population to employ such obvious schemes.” She brushed past the Romulan female and slapped Rao’s cheek. “And I had some hope that you would at least have some sort of functioning brain outside of engineering principles.” Wells turned back to the Romulan. “An underling like you, with little importance to anyone, delivers a personal message of a non-Romulan guest to meet in private? When such matters do not fit with rules of engagement of this event. How much you must look down on your own Ambassador and his people to try to pull such a stunt. Being so stupid as to be caught manipulating a naive girl.” Wells moved in closer to her and leaned forward so she was whispering in her ear. “Do not forget that as long your on Terran your worth means nothing compared to even an ant on the ground.” She turned to the door and in a strong commanding voice said, “Sunsan.” The door opened and a grumpy looking Sunsan appeared. His eyes were glued on Rao. “To think my dog continues to have his females be such helpless individuals.” Sunsan turning to the Romulan. “And you. How dare you move against the direct interests of the Romulan Empire.” He walked over to her and grabbed her neck. The Romulan hitting the mirror hard. Glass shattered around her. “To go as far as slipping something on an important guest’s dress.” Wells turned to look at Rao. It was not surprising for a Romulan to do that, however, she had not expected it to occur. To think she had made such an oversight. An oversight Sunsan was able to notice! This was just…. Wells crossed her arms in frustration. “Overstepping the rules of engagement, setting up a guest of the Ambassador family to be a victim of a crime, associating with non-Romulan parties…” Wells watching her every microlanguage to see how much information she could put together. Her eyes scanning the woman up and down. There was nothing on her body of course. She put her hand on Sunsan’s shoulder. “Enough, you will traumatize Cadet Rao. The rest can be handled in more personal quarters.” Sunsan nodded his head and withdrew his hand. Wells turning to Rao and picking her up right off her feet. “The cadet is not feeling well. I shall escort her through a side exit home.” He nodded his head clearly annoyed. Wells carrying Rao out the venue through a series of hall to a side exit. “Keep calm and don’t move till we get to our location. I will explain everything to you there.”

Sunsan slapped the female’s cheek. “Idiot.” He walked over to the bathroom door and locked it. “To think you would get caught in such a simple act.” Sunsan turning back around from the door to face her. “Are you not a Romulan? Can you not properly enact whatever scheme you wished to play?” Sunsan typing an order for the higher up guards to arrive here in the bathroom in a few minutes. He wished to punish this idiotic subordinate first. “You have started an issue with the Capellan representative. Their planet has a vast amount of resources they are willing to give away.” Sunsan grabbing her shoulder tightly. “You have annoyed the Federation watchguard on us and one of the largest information dealers on the planet.” He slapped her cheek again. “You have not only insulted my family and I but the entire Romulan Empire with your incompetency.” Sunsan leaned down to look at her with a look of murder many have not seen before. “You better confess quickly or I will recommend a punishment that you most definitely will not want to receive.

….

Marcus was about to walk away with Sarah when Zletka approached him. A flood of relief washing over him. A softer smile appearing on his face. “It certainly is.” A sort of chuckle slipping out. “But it seems you’ve already been enjoying some already.” It wasn’t hard to tell when someone’s been having Romulan Ale. Something about it made itself known around a person. The touch of Sarah had him turning around to face her. “It seems you may have to check in on your date.” He looked at her with no concern on his face. “Wells went. If there is an issue I will be notified.” Sarah swallowing down her reaction to continue what she was trying to say before. “Then shall we go. There is a conversation we must get to.” Marcus withdrew his arm. “It really doesn’t seem so important, Sarah. I have promised to dance with Zletka and yet have had the chance. Later.” Marcus not giving her to chance without taking the drink from Zletka’s hand to place it on a table and pull her onto the dance floor. A large smile on his face. “I noticed you really haven’t had the chance to dance. Even you deserve the chance to have a little fun, don’t you?” He twirled her to the music.

Etes looked over at the next balcony. His father was there glaring at him. He may as well head over to him. His footsteps growing heavy as he made his way in the hall that lead towards him. Etes stopping place when he recieved a sudden message. Annoyed that was coming from his brother he almost didn’t open it. However, for Sunsan to not be absorbed with that beast it has a chance to be important. After opening the message and reading a Romulan had openly stepped out of place a sense of anger swelled up in him. His feet immediately turning to rush towards the location mentioned. “Is no one in this building capable of anything anymore.”

SEP

Rao looked at the treat in her hand with half a mind to just pop it in her own mouth, but finally relented. “I mean, I could have just watched you, but I guess?” Even with him leaning forward she still had to press up on her tip toes in order to slide the delicacy in his mouth. Lowering herself back down she quickly plucked a purple one off the table next and held it ready for him. “Ready for the next one?” It took all she had not to laugh. The fact that someone so big and and ‘intimidating’ was really a gentle giant never ceased to amaze her.

Leichnik did not waiver until the nails of his lovely dance partner, instead listening keenly. It seemed his suspicions had proven fruitful. “Which would explain why she was so candid talking about engineering feats with the other guests…and why her date has been so adamant about keeping her in earshot.” His smile grew. The Terran wasn’t trained or vetted. How delightful. “After you, of course.” He was well aware Marcus would be wary with his presence alone, but with Sarah at his side…well, the Capellan’s propensity to be swayed by hormones may allow him to slip by. And now that Wells was arranging the setting for their closed festivities thus taking away a sense of security…tactics had to be altered with parallel stratagems going into effect. With a brief glance towards an unassuming corner of the room he noted a short nod from a pair of dark eyes. The Cadet had been successfully separated from her date. “The woman has been taken off to the bathroom if you wish to get better acquainted away from frivolous prying eyes.” He offered quietly before spotting Marcus standing alone. “Or you could start with her date. He seems to be in need of a release of tension.” Whether or not Sarah decided to go after Marcus or the Cadet or neither- there were still two other maneuvers in play. He idly wondered how long and how severe the effects of the liquid compound his colleagues favored so highly would produce on a Terran. From what he understood it was far more effective than Sodium Pentathol, but he’d yet to see it used in the flesh.

Zletka nodded softly; casually resting her chin on her hand to hide hints of a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. “I’m sorry I was unable to meet your expectations.” She placed the full glass on the table and began fastening her hair in a dutch fishtail braid. From her place outside she could hear the music shifting to something pleasantly familiar. “Thank you for tolerating my company and sharing your Romulan ale, but it’s time I leave you.” Rising from her seat she placed a hand on the curtain before pausing, “Oh. Your father is watching from the other balcony. You may want to speak with him.” Pleasure shone in her eyes as she gave one last parting smile before passing into the ballroom. The transition from a fog of dulled voices into a raging sea was seamless due to the gifted ale coursing through her system. It took one sweep of the room to note her friend was missing while her date was not. Passing through the party she set a beeline to Marcus, but paused when her band buzzed. Zletka quickly read over the coded message while also picking at Marcus’ thoughts; her gaze moving to the restroom just in time to watch Wells slip inside. Letting her fingers casually brush over her wrist she cleared the message and resumed her path to Marcus. “You’re frustration will make Rao anxious. Wells has gone to check on her.” She kept her voice soft, picking up what she hoped was a nonacoholic drink and taking a sip. It was impossible to tell. “Is this alcoholic?”

“Um, sure. Yeah. Okay.” Rao stumbled for words while slipping out of her dress, “It should be an easy fix, right? Just soak it and dry it?” She attempted to get a better look while the Romulan pretended to study the fabric.

“Take a seat. Terran eyes are too naturally debilitated.” The female spoke a bit harshly, but Rao didn’t seem to the mind and simply sat on the counter of the sink. The Romulan ran the temporarily stained fabric under the faucet, “It’s befitting a Star Fleet cadet would wear red. It makes you stand out just like the Federation.” Her eyes narrowed as she produced a clear vial and the liquid to the stain in question before running it under a hand dryer, “Stand up.”

Rao had simply let the older woman talk. It was becoming starkly apparent she was only being helped as a formality and didn’t want to pester her. At the woman’s command she wasted no time in standing up, doing her best to help slip into the dress as quickly as possible.

Standing behind the Cadet, the Romulan woman began fasting the dress. “Before you’re returned to the Academy; make your way to the higher balcony. A colleague of Geroln wants to discuss something without having to entertain any more vexing attendees. Try not to keep them waiting long; I know Terrans have an unfortunate tendency for belatedness if not properly incentivized.” Looking to the mirror she met Rao’s gaze evenly.

“Got it. I’ll make sure to head over before the night ends.” Rao offered a smile that was only faintly returned.

“Good.” The Romulan fastened her dress tighter until the Terran girl let out an ‘oof’, “Is the fabric flat against your skin?”

“Yes.” Rao managed to say between short breaths.

The woman smiled. “Perfect.”

SEP

Marcus watched her with a goofy smile on her face. It was childlike indeed to make such large movements and accidental sexual references to a seemingly neutral object. His Rao was a very adorable creature. Marcus watching her move back and forth through her hyper introduction of alien food. When she finally settled down he only shrugged. “It’s hard to remember.” He leaned forward and opened his mouth. “Aren’t you going to insure I try these addicting bursts.” Marcus completely oblivant to the growth of attention the pair was getting.

Etes’ atmosphere did not change during her assessment of him. If anything at the end of it he only sighed. “I would not say a display of information slightly above skilled observational abilities sufficiently answers a question I may of had.” His eyes seemed to dull for a moment, as if he had lost any interest in what was around him as well. “Describing the features of a typical male Romulan is an uninteresting as the scientific principle of 1.” A tired smile appearing on his face. “As for any personal preference of a laugh is…” Etes’ eyes having a sparkle return to them. “ A habitual folly of you lower life forms.” He shook his head in disappointment. “I had expected much more interesting things from a Betazoid who was best friends with the cadet who discovered the engineering flaw with the new Federation ships.”

….

Sunsan looked around the room annoyed. The second Wells had walked off his mother had latched at nasty little Semetha onto his arm. Her dance abilities were sub par and her conversational abilities below what ever non-humanoid has been her instructor. The woman spent an entirely abysmal amount of time focusing on wooing him with little gestures and remarks. Ones so obvious and frustrating it was like his mother was eyeing him being used a scratching post. The entire experience an awful moment that needed be cleansed away immediately. Sunsan turned to rush off towards one of the halls. He needed a break from this event.

Sarah had always found Leichnik enjoyable company. There was an open and honest acknowledgement of each other that they had in their non-admission. He wasn’t the worst looking or the worst dancer either. At the comment of her relationship with Marcus, however, her eyes narrowed for a brief moment. “Yes, it does not seem to be a casual one.” Her fingers slowly tapping his shoulder as they danced. “It seems she has been dragged her not based on any other reasons but solely on the fact of her date’s demands.” Her fingernails digging into his shoulder even through the clothes. The music slowly starting to fade away as she took a step away from him. A bright and beautiful smile on her face. “Shall we see if she has what it takes to survive being one of pets?”

Marcus had for once been enjoying his time at one of these events when someone caused his Rao to be taken away. These horrible Romulans and their horrible schemes. What where they trying to do now? Or was it it Leichnik! His eyes made there way to scan the room. No… It was most likely not as he was busy dancing with Sarah…Sarah wouldn’t do that. Irritation spreading over him as he found himself going over the room with his eyes as if he was a new form of scanner.

Wells had left Sunsan’s father on the balcony the moment the man noticed Etes on the other one with Zletka. It was easy to escape a Romulan when their attention was focused on insulting someone else. She did not expect, however, to move from one annoying situation into the next. What was Rao doing with a party guest looking frantic…. She went to move in when she felt a hand grab hers. “Wells.” Wells turned around to Sunsan. Dammit, he had found her. She went to pull her hand free but he grip harder. “Do you think I would let you escape twice?” Wells raised an eyebrow at him. Why would he ask such a stupid question? Sunsan pulling her closer to him. “I will not entertain anymore of those women.” Wells rolled her eyes. Why were men always such sensitive children? “Fine, but I need to go to the washroom first.” Sunsan narrowed his eyes at her. Wells pulling her hand free feeling exasperated. He watched her walk into the restroom and moved to wait by the wall. Sunsan was determined not to lose track of her this time.

SEP

“What?” Rao’s eyes widened. “You’ve never tried these?!” She whisper-yelled; her fingers unconsciously resting against her lips as she finished a bite. “Okay. So when you first see it it’s a little jarring, BUT stick with it because when it bursts in your mouth…” Her eyes closed briefly, “you’re going to be addicted. I promise.” Serving him one she wasted no time in collecting another for herself. “I’m a little scared to find out what this is, so if you know- just don’t tell me.” A soft laugh escaped her. “Now hurry and try it before I take them all.” She gave his arm a light squeeze. “Is there anyone else you need to say hi to?” Rao glanced around the room before realizing there’s no way she’d ever know anyway. “Oh, try the purple one too. It’s the runner up.” She murmured just in case.

The sudden shift made Zletka hyper-aware of both her physical state and the ale’s rapid blurring of edges. She found herself biting her tongue to keep from an honest retort. Once his back turned she felt a wave of tension leave her mind. “The most interesting thing?” The question alone made her want to groan. “You’re well informed, manipulative, calculating, physically suggestive, and callous…” Zletka found herself at a loss for where she was going exactly, “which is all uninteresting.” She admitted a bit more frankly than intended. “So it would have to be your laugh.” Easing her tone she made herself more comfortable. The sight of more Romulan ale served weighed on her, but she picked up the glass nevertheless. Pulling her gaze from the Romulan she glanced at the other balcony, the sight of Wells a sobering reminder. She straightened up. “Were you able to find what you’ve been probing for?”

“I had a suspicion you might.” Leichnik accepted the glass in kind. “Thank you.” With a sip he nodded as she spoke, his gaze never straying too far from his new female in red. “Luckily someone is already working on it as we speak. The details should be ready by the time we’ve exhausted Romulan hospitality.” He clinked his glass against hers. “Of course, if I ever turn down a dance from you make sure to have me put down.” Taking her hand he led her to the dance floor. “Now I know the invitation was enticing, but I have to ask why you were so quick to agree. Is there something I need to assist you with?” He has absolutely no qualms with helping aiding her in any goal- so long as it didn’t compromise his own. Spotting the actual female in red he casually turned his eyes back to his lovely dance partner. “Speaking of leashes; she isn’t a casual guest. Her date made that blatantly clear.”

Full on treats, Rao kept glancing towards the dance floor in search of Zletka. “Marcus, can we dance?” Looking up at him she attempted her best puppy dog eyes. “Please?” With a quick step towards the dance floor she turned just as another female attempted to pass, spilling the strangers filled glass all over her dress. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” Rao gave the woman a once over only to breath a sigh of relieve when she saw the other woman had been spared. “You poor thing. Let’s take you to the facilities.” The woman feigned a smile as she looking down at the girl .”Thank you, but you don’t have to. I’m sure-” “Nonsense. I’m the one who lost track of my drink.” She took Rao’s hand in a soft yet unyielding grip, “I’ll make sure to return her once she looks presentable again.” Her smile became only a fraction more genuine when facing Marcus. Rao was still trying to get a better look at her dress as she was pulled away, “I’ll be back.” She cast a warm smile at Marcus with a wave. The woman on the other hand lost her smile as soon as her back was to Marcus only to form again when she face Rao in the bathroom, “Alright, let’s get you out of that dress.”

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Alternate Star Trek – Certifiably Ingame

 

 

( 100101102103104105 / ) = old chapter #’s

 

 

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