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Posted on Wed May 11th, 2022 @ 10:35pm by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: *CD*
Location: Bajor
Timeline: BACKPOST

Rhenora took in the surroundings. The fire had been fierce, incinerating the majority of the interior, leaving only the shell of the buildings and the roof collapsed inside. Whoever had searched for the bodies had taken little care but appeared to have been somewhat thorough. Given their surroundings and the low-tech ethos most of these remote villages seemed to thrive on, she wondered if any technology had been used to scan for biological matter rather than just a physical and visual search. She popped open her tricorder, calibrating it to search for Bajoran DNA amoungst the eerily quiet site.

Patin moved around with a cautious ease, picking her way through the dense jungle as though she were picking her way through a snowdrift. Despite the oppressive heat she seemed at one with nature, something that Rhenora had never given her enough credit for.

He was looking for anything of sentimental value that may have survived, but the blaze was thorough. Everything that remained seemed to be a piece of chard wood. He lifted a few pieces and searched beneath before dropping them back down carefully so as not to stir the ash. As he focused on his work, he did not hear someone approach from behind, not until he felt the weapon press into the skin of his neck.

"He said you'd come." The new voice filled the void immediately alerting Rhenora but not Patin who was focused on searching through the foliage. The voice seemed vaguely familiar to Remal though not so aged from time and stress perhaps. He was about to turn when the weapon pressed in harder, "Don't. No funny business. I will end you here and now if you don't follow my orders, understand?"

He nodded while keeping his eyes on Rhenora. "Okay. What are your orders?" Then he paused as he smirked. "Zio?" It was a guess but an educated one.

Rhenora’s head snapped up at the sound of the new voice. How could someone move so quietly? She made eye contact with Patin who had dropped into a defensive position the instant she heard the newcomer. Together they were silent as they gathered information with their senses. Sounds, smells, words and the slightly obscured image of her husband with a weapon pressed into his back.

"Close." she said as she butted his head with the weapon. "Now, move backward slowly to the edge of the wood and no one has to get hurt. Got me, big guy?" Her words rang with familiarity as though from a memory. Zio had often called him Big guy and sometimes a Big softie. This was her or he was eating his hat for breakfast.

No words were exchanged between Patin and Rhenora as they silently moved, footstep by footstep until a clear visual could be seen. Rhenora raised her weapon, getting a target on the stranger and waiting for a reaction from Remal. He would give her a signal, and she would be ready for it.

From behind Rhenora a woman stepped out from the shadows. She cleared her throat, "I wouldn't do anything stupid with that weapon Mama Kaylen. Same goes for you, whoever you are." She motioned to Patin. "My son has his keen eyes and an itchy trigger finger pointed right at you."

Remal could now see clearly the woman behind Rhenora. She stood tall at 6' 3". More amazing was her face which hadn't changed in thirty years. He gazed at her in confusion. "Zio?"

Rhenora froze, her blood running icy cold with the determination contained within the voice. She didn't doubt for a second she would be blown into the sky with one wrong move. Her mind however was working through the options, so there was two of them, possibly more, they seemed to know Remal well which boded towards one of them being Zio. The options were limited. Very limited.

She kept her weapon raised but didn't move, not willing to lose what little tactical advantage she had. "You lower your weapon and I'll lower mine" she challenged, keeping half an eye on Patin. The old resistance fighter was known to be a wildcard and right now that could be problematic. She could however provide a distraction, which could be useful.

Zio sneered, "I believe the tactical advantage is ours mama Kaylen. Now, I'll ask one question before I end you. Why are you here?" She kept her weapon trained but gave a quick worried look back up the path towards the village.

Remal caught it and began to understand. "I thought you were dead. I came to avenge my friend. We were friends once, right?" He fished for some sign of what side she was on or to better understand the game she was playing. When she didn't answer right away he turned the table, "And I take it this girl behind me is your daughter? She was barely three when I last saw her."

Zio lowered her weapon slightly, a sign perhaps. "He told me you would come. I didn't believe him." She eyed him fiercely, "surely you must have known this was a trap?" She glanced towards the village again, then back at Rema as she lowered her weapon, clearly making a choice. "The people know you're here. They all know. We haven't much time." The worry on her face was evident.

He wasn't quite ready to trust her yet, but at least the weapon to his back had been retracted. "Do you know a safe place we can go?"

"My son does. At least until they release the trackers. Then we'll need a place far from here… somewhere they can't go."

Remal nodded, "get us to safety and tell us what is going on here and then we'll see." He wasn't about to let his guard down, not yet. He nodded to Rhen whom he hoped had the same conflictions.



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