"From Fear to Freedom"
[previous post "From Ferengi to Fear"]

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Promenade deck
Stardate: 30152.1350

A confident smile danced on the man's lips.  To him, fear was a friend, one that he had come to know intimately over the last several years.  A friend that he would take great pride in introducing to everyone on board this cruise ship.  This fear was meant to educate those who knew nothing of his life, nothing of his struggles and of his desperate search for freedom.  Fear was needed sometimes to wake people from their slumber of ignorance.

Those who enjoyed freedom on a daily basis often took the sweet smell of this dish for granted, not knowing or choosing not to see that this gift had not been available to all.  For too many, this rare delicacy had been one denied for so long that they could not even imagine its intoxicating taste, but to those who had been granted the chance to sample it, the hunger for this forbidden fruit could no longer be contained.

The Rutian known as Fenix glanced at the time display held tightly in his hand. In less than 10 minutes the most important part of their plan would be revealed to everyone.  It had been the hopes of those who had come with him that this display would draw people to their cause, as it had so many times before back on their home world.  The plan had not been to hurt anyone, that honor had been reserved for their oppressors.  Setting off a bomb inside a ship such as the MASQUERADE DREAMS had been meant to do nothing more than raise awareness for their cause. For nearly 100 years now the small group within the civilization of RUTIA IV had fought against oppression, and this had been their way.

The path to freedom was cast in he shadows of ignorance and could only be lit for all to see through heart pounding fears.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Lower deck 27, Section 15
Stardate: 30152.1355

They were getting close, Uxtar could smell it.  Although he had a very good idea as to where the man had been heading to, the hunter had not taken anything for granted.  Preys could prove to be highly unpredictable when sensing that they were being tracked or near capture, so it had been best to proceed carefully while doing so as fast as possible.  As long as the bomber believed that all was going according to plan, they would be able to close in and strike without any complications.

It had never been his aim to make the task of the woman following him difficult. Every second that passed meant that they had one less second to find the man and insure that the bomb would not go off. The hunter could feel the woman behind him searching for answers within his mind, but now had not been the place or time for him to give her the answers she sought, not that he had so many to offer.

Admiral Koniki had sent him to track a dangerous individual, and that had led him here, on this ship.  Arrangements were made so that he could be on board without raising suspicions as a member of the maintenance staff. That had been all he knew, and honestly it had been all he needed to know.  To him the hunt had been the only thing that mattered, and he had now been minutes away from claiming his prize.

Uxtar froze suddenly as he noticed a second form moving beyond the power generator.  At first he thought that maybe the bomber had an accomplice but the way the second man moved and smelled painted a different picture.  There was an almost giddy sense to the second man, one that in no way fitted with the scent of nervousness the first man had about him.  Likely the second figure had been the one named Jayson the woman behind him had spoken to earlier.

With only three minutes to go before the bomb went off, they were nearly in place to strike in a way that would hopefully insure that no one on board the cruise liner would ever know of the situation that had taken place below their happy little feet.  If all went according to the Hirogen's plan, the lives of the passengers would freely continue without having been touched by fear.

Mark Hutchings

Lieutenant JG Uxtar
Currently on an undercover mission