"Fleeting Freedom"
[previous post was "From Fear to Freedom" by the skilled Mark]

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Lower Deck 27, Section 15

Stardate: 30152.1355

=/\= Ready, =/\= Stark was heard saying ever so quietly as he kneeled behind one of the large vertical conduits only meters away from the unsuspecting target.  Jayson could have easily tackled the bomber from where he was, but he had decided to wait for some sort of confirmation. Normally the order would have come from the acting ExO / ILO who had been the highest ranking officer present, but that responsibility had been passed on to the Hirogen who had taken charge of the situation.  So far no one had voiced any complaints about this, and Shar'El suspected that no one would, least of which having been herself.

The acting ExO / ILO had been ready to let Uxtar know that Jayson had set up position on the other side of the power generator, but somehow Shar'El suspected that the Hirogen had already known this.  The imposing creature had proven himself to be a highly skilled hunter and tracker, one who seemed very well aware of everything around him.  Based on that fact alone, it had made perfect sense to let him call the shots in this particular instance.

Uxtar turned for a brief moment to look at Shar'El.  The Ullian suspected that it had been to really some last minute instructions, but the acting ExO / ILO saw this as the perfect opportunity to seek the answers she desperately wanted.  Instead the Hirogen just shook his head taken the raven haired woman completely off guard.

"I promise to answer all of your questions and even let you do your Ullian mind tricks on my memories after," the Hirogen said in a very faint whisper.  "Now is not the time.  Tell this Jayson of yours to focus on the bomb, I will take care of the bomber."

There was no denying it, he was good.  After only a few minutes Uxtar had correctly identified her race, this despite the fact that her appearance had been surgically altered to be more Humanoid. As much as she might not have been ready to admit it, or ever would be, Shar'El found that she respected and maybe even admired the man.

"Stark, go for the bomb," the acting ExO / ILO relayed.  "Uxtar will take the bomber."

=/\= Roger that, =/\= Jayson quietly confirmed.

With seconds rapidly ticking away, Shar'El nodded to Uxtar to confirm that the message had been relayed and understood.  What the acting ExO / ILO saw next sent a shiver down her spine as a dark lethal expression descended over the Hirogen's face.  This would be the final strike of the hunter, one that he would not allow anyone or anything stand in his way and for a brief moment the raven haired woman felt pity for the bomber.


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Promenade deck
Stardate: 30152.1359

Everything had gone according to plan, all that remained had been for Fenix to wait for the explosion and trigger the sub-space transmitter so that his people could take responsibility for the explosion and the chaos that followed.  He had even been ready to make his own presence and affiliations known to further educate those on this ship as to the plight of his people.

Five seconds was the time left before his message would be carried on the fears each and every single passenger onboard. Some would come to hate him for what he did, but others would understand and maybe even rally to the cause of his people.

In four seconds his homeworld of RUTIA IV would be made to be look at once again by those who had turned a blind eye to the hardships of his people.  Beyond the criminals who were present in his government, those who sat on other words and chosen to do nothing needed to be made to face the reality of his people.

Fenix held his breath as the last few seconds ticked, his eyes locked on the small time display buried firmly in his hand.


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Lower Deck 27, Section 15

Stardate: 30152.1400

Jayson let out a long sigh as he rejoined the others.  In only a few seconds he had managed to snatch the bomb and run to a location where the ANUBIS had been able to beam the device out of his hands.  There in the stasis of the transporter buffer, the bomb would be harmless and could even be studied at a later time.

"Well done Ensign," Shar'El said as she welcomed Jayson.  "I think you might have broken a few speed records on that last dash."

"I wanted some excitement," the Operations officer admitted. "Looks like I need to be careful what I wish for from now on. What do we do with him?" Jayson wondered as he looked at the man held firmly in the Hirogen's muscular arms.

"He's all yours," Uxtar said as he turned to bring the would-be bomber face-to-face with the raven haired woman, the Hirogen knowing very well that her unique ability would serve much better than any other interrogation technique.

Shar'El half grinned as she gaze into the man's eyes and saw his desperate attempt to block her memory scan.  Whoever this terrorist had been, he had received limited training if any in blocking any sort of mental scan.

One memory surfaced above all others, one where the bomber stood in front of a mirror located in one of the small rooms on board the cruise liner.  Fear reflected in his eyes as well as conviction as he likely thought of what he had been about to do.  A small hand written note had been left on the table in front of the mirror.  Shar'El had been unable to read the note but she was able to hear the man say a single heartfelt word. "Goodbye".

Before the acting ExO / ILO could call for help, the man began to violently thrash in the arms of the Hirogen who only increased the strength of his hold.  Seconds later the man stopped moving as life drained from him and his body went limp.


Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Promenade deck
Stardate: 30152.1401

Fenix solemnly gazed up at the stars visible from where he stood.  Their mission had for one reason or another failed, but for now there had been nothing that he could do about it.  As he walked by one of the disposal chutes, the man expertly reached in and disposed of both the time display and the sub-space transmitter.

There would be other opportunities, Fenix would make sure of that.


Tiffany Reeve

Lieutenant Commander Shar'El
Acting Executive Officer / Intel Liaison Officer