"Frightened Friends, Fascist Foes and Frightful Findings"
[previous post was "Falsifying Facts to Fool a Felon" by the hovering Hanali]

Stardate: 30153.0840

With a single move the acting ExO / ILO had stopped both the CEO and CSciO from rushing ahead. It had not been hard to imagine that the two women had wanted to help the Chief of Security who's life had appeared to be hanging in the powerful grasp of the Hirogen Uxtar.

"That petaQ is going to kill her," Sonja said in an enraged whispered voice. Whatever the plan might have been, the CEO had been convinced that there had to have been a better way to go about tricking Drask Pharren and his sidekicks.

"They both know exactly what they are doing," Shar'El whispered back, never taking her eyes off the Pythron merchant as she scanned the man's memories as they came into view. The discussion with Uxtar had brought to the surface several very interesting memories, especially those dealing with Ya'Jun whom he believed to be right there in front of him.

"Even if we wanted to, it would be very unlikely that we could successfully overcome both of the bodyguards before either one of them reacted," Maya said, also keeping her voice to a mere whisper as she watched the scene unfold with some sense of concern.  "As much as I may not want to state it, the best course of action at this time would be for us to wait and see how the current situation progresses."

"Patience was never my strongest attribute," the redheaded engineer huffed as she pressed her back against the nearby wall and allowed herself to slide down into a sitting position from which she would not be able to witness the situation in question.

"Now my friend," the merchant continued, his words dripping with venomous glee, "if you would be so kind as to release the lady, my man will be more than happy to take charge of her."

Faced with little choice at the moment, Uxtar thought it best to comply. For the time being keeping Ya'Han safe had been the most important aspect and as far as the Hirogen hunter had been concerned, the advantage had still been well on their side.

"What about the remainder of my payment?" the hunter asked as he released his grip on Ya'Han's neck causing her to fall to the ground.  The Hirogen's grasp may have been uncomfortable but he had expertly held the Chief of Security so as to not cause her any unnecessary pain. The drop back to the floor had also been a short one, leaving the woman with the royal colored hair to land on her feet with silent overstated ease. Still, to continue the charade it would have been strange and curious to have Ya'Jun be able to land standing after all that she had supposedly endured.

Like a rag doll the woman collapsed of her fullest weight onto the floor, appearing like a puppet whose strings had been cut, an imagery that had not been lost on the Chief of Security.

"You two," Drask commanded of his bodyguards without even looking at them, "take care of her. Ye'Lan, pay the man for his trouble."

Everyone watched with silent trepidation as the Hupyrians reached down and took hold of Ya'Han who was fetched from the floor as if weighing nothing more than a single small feather.  As Ye'Lan approached, Uxtar leaned in as if trying to make it easier for the shorter green haired entertainer to reach him in order to grant him the payment owed.

"She is in your care now," the Hirogen whispered causing the low ranking Nylaan woman to pause for a few seconds. "Whatever happened before will not change the fact that what will happen next will be affected by what you say and do from now on."

"Is there a problem?" the Pythron merchant demanded, not having expected his entertainer to be spending so much time so close to the Hirogen.

"No problem at all," Uxtar replied as he returned to his full standing height, several strips of gold pressed latinum now resting in the palm of his hands minus one, a strip that he had purposely left in the hands of the entertainer hopefully as an added incentive to help the woman she believed to be the daughter of her own High Sovereign.

An uneasy silence spread through the small area beyond the closed door to the room labeled as 23-130 as everyone seemed to be looking at one another as if waiting for someone to make a move that would shatter they agreement that had already been concluded.

"Master," Ye'Lan began, her eyes cast down onto the floor in front of the man she had been sworn as his property to obey. "Having Lady Ya'Jun carried in such a manner may draw a great deal of unwelcomed attention. If I may be so bold, may I offer to help her Ladyship instead."

"Do you presume to tell me what I should be doing and how to do so?" Drask demanded, his anger and rage having gone from zero to eighty in less than a single heartbeat.

Before anything else could be done or said, Ye'Lan had fallen to her knees, half cowering from fear of her master's retribution, half hoping that the more submissive posture would show the Pythron merchant that her words had not been meant to challenge his authority in any way, shape or form.

Seeing the perfect opportunity to make their presence known and force the hand of the less than pleasant merchant, Shar'El nudged Maya out from the corner they had been hiding around. The knowledge from having looked inside the man's mind had made it clear that Drask Pharren would rather keep this entire story from the general public's knowledge. After all he had not been the only one after the runaway Nylaan princess.

"Excuse me," Shar'El asked to the genera gathering which stood several meters ahead of her current location. "Is this deck 22?"

"No," Uxtar quickly jumped in with. As a member of the MASQUERADE DREAMS' staff it had been his responsibility to assist any and all passengers, and as far as Drask Pharren had been concerned, that role had still been the Hirogen's. "You are on deck 23. You can access deck 22 using the stairways which are only a few meters behind me."

The two women appeared thankful for the Hirogen's assistance and made their way passed the gathering as they glanced momentarily at the odd way everyone seemed to be behaving.

Having faced such a close call, Drask reluctantly gave in to the green haired entertainer's suggestion, making a mental note to properly *thank* her for having done so at a later time. The image in the merchant's mind had been so strong that the Ullian had not even needed to force her way into his memories to see what he had intended to do; a vile act that he had obviously done before which had left him with the need of a new servant.

"We can't let them reach their room," Shar'El whispered for everyone else to hear through the subdermal communication network. "He is planning on killing Ye'Lan the moment they are behind closed doors."

Tiffany Reeve

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