"Never Look Back"
[Previous post: "New Coordinates"]

Setting: YUDARA Asteroid Field, Planetoid, Trade Center, Market Place
Stardate: 63073.2035

"Was it just me or was that guy a little *buggy*?" Adriana whispered to her companion after a few seconds, referring to the Xindi Insectoid they had just left behind.

"Funny," Hex grunted at her friend's play on words.

"What really gets me is that he thought you and I were shapeshifters," the aCMO added in an even softer whispered voice.  "I thought Commander Maya was the only shapeshifter here," Ensign Lopez continued having referred to not only the woman's special ability but to her disguise also.

"Agreed, but I would be also be concerned about the fact that *we* needed to escape from this place," the Kzinti huntress said before she came to a complete stop, her ears having perked up as if she had heard something worth investigating.

"He did mention something about not mentioning to Rinno that he had helped us escape," Adriana recalled.  "Wonder who that Rinno fellow is and why that Xinti seemed so nervous," the aCMO added having only now realised that her friend had stop, almost running into her. "Something wrong?"

Hex's ear twitched as the Kzinti Huntress turned to look back at the colourful stall they had left behind, then without any warning Hex turned back and tackled the Kerelian betrothed in a rather undignified manner.  Before the bodies of the two Ensigns had hit the ground, a large explosion shook the entire market place, its origin having been that same stall they had just left.

"What happened?!?" Adriana gasped as Hex quickly bounced back to her feet and took on a defensive battle posture.

"Looks like our travel agent was given a one-way trip of his own," the Kzinti snarled, her eyes cautiously inspecting the many individuals who had rushed to see what had happened.  Judging by the size and focus of the explosion, there had been no doubts in the mind of the Security officer that the merchant had not survived.

"Do you think this was because of us?" The Kerelian dressed woman nervously asked, not entire sure if she needed to get back to her feet as well or start crawling away to avoid being seen.

"It's impossible to say at the moment," the Sect/Tac officer replied, her senses tuned to the flurry of activity now taking place around them.  "What I do know is that it will be safer for us to get out of sight.  Maybe someone just didn't like bugs, but there is no reason for us to stay here and find out if there was more to this."

Hex extended a hand to her friend and quickly pulled her onto her feet so that the two of them could make a hasty retreat into one of the alleyways and away from the increasing commotion.  While keeping Adriana in front of her and in sight, the Kzinti managed to glance back one last time at the chaos they were leaving behind.  What she saw this time made her fur stand on end.  Standing several meters away from the main hustle and bustle of the crowd with a rather pleased grin on his face had been the imposing Kzinti who Adriana had run into only minutes ago.

The Kzinti huntress did not know why but she knew that the beast who had claimed to be her father had played a part in what had taken place, a fact that Hex found disturbing and extremely unappealing. Based on what had happened and what she had seen, the Sec/Tac officer knew that they would run into the hunter once more in the not too distant future, that they wanted to or not.

Marissa Montonera-Lombardi (mmlm24@gmail.com)

Ensign Adriana Lopez
Assistant Chief Medical Officer