It could not have been him. It would be madness.
Shivering in the cool air of her workplace, Teillh found herself unable to keep her focus on the intricate embroidery. Beautiful silk of a blue so dark it seemed black until a ray of light would fall onto it, hemmed with threads of a dark silver gray reminiscent of forged steel.
Whoever had slipped her the data chip, both logic and common sense said a man flaunting his presence like the soldier who had smirked at her in such disconcerting ways was no agent and certainly no Vulcan.
Hiding in plain sight, yes.
Daring people to notice you, no.
But then, who?
The amber eyed Rihanha realized she was about to ruin the delicate fabric destined to be a senator's gift to his wife and that would not only bring shame to her kind employer, but she would simply not be able to forgive herself.
Of course they would make certain the agent would be as inconspicuous as a gust of wind gone before you knew it had been there. A merchant, perhaps? She had passed so many
Stop thinking about that.
They will not come for you. You sent no distress signal, no request to be brought home.
You are alone. Whoever it was, he or she will be long gone.
But Elements, she wished she had paid attention. It would take too long to signal distress now, and perhaps it would only bring the Le-Matya already following her scent right to her doorstep. But if she could have found that other agent again
Ancient senses that had nothing to do with cold reason told her the predator was on her trail. And all she could do was bury underground like a frightened Valit, praying that the deadly claws would pass overhead.
There is no God of Mercy on Vulcan. Born of fire and blood, She who unleashes war's fury has only her mate for balance. And the God of Peace is also the one who is present in the silent darkness that is death.
Stiffening her back, T'Sahik stared at the silk.
The Elements had no reason to heed her pleas.
But the Other would know. Always.
It was enough.
Slowly and methodically, Teillh began to create the finest garment she had ever made.
Even through her weary, overwrought senses she felt a touch of pride. It showed in her youthful features when she let soothingly warm water run over her hands, getting ready for some well deserved sleep.
The senator had been pleased. And so, in return, had her employer. But Teillh had not been able to bring herself to celebrate, though Velal's disappointed face had left her with a pang of guilt. She would make it up to him. Perhaps that trip to the country he always talked about. It would be nice to see the Firefalls.
Sighing softly, the young woman stretched out on her narrow couch and pulled the covers over herself.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow she would decide.
Noise in the city never truly ceased and Teillh had long ago grown used to it. But ears honed to pick up the predator's soft footfall in the still of a desert night will also hear the soundless approach of something far more cruel than the Le-Matya's fangs.
There would be no tomorrow.
The specialists assigned to this task were methodical. They appeared in the back of the store via the service entrance, making no sound what so ever. The lock was opened with no real difficulty and inside the four specialists moved. They split up into two of the three residential rooms, and before long they were inside looking at their mark. The girl was given no quarter, and no delay was made in apprehending her.
One of the specialists placed their hand on her mouth to avoid any sounds while the other pressed an injector against the girl's neck, the sedative was immediate. The specialists saw her eyes open for a brief half second before they fell heavy and closed again. She was bound in both her hands and her feet before being carried out the back. The boy was treated much the same way, only perhaps with a little bit more kindness. Words from above, and specialists did not question the officers that gave them orders.
It was less than twenty seconds after the lock had been picked that the specialists had left with their packages and disappeared into the night.
[Early the next day]
Well, one could certainly start a day in ways much less pleasant than in charming company. Though the tall, lean man breathing in the cool air that had yet to absorb the scent of countless Rihannsu pouring onto the streets could not help but smirk at the possessive air surrounding his lovely little friend.
In fact, she practically glared at any woman daring to as much as let an appreciative glance linger on the dark eyed one with the finely tapered ears and the proud bearing.
"Eviess my dear, you need not make them stumble over crates. I think the poor girl got the message." A friendly pinch to well rounded hips earned S'Tev a chiding look that quickly turned into an all out purr when the not at all shy hand moved on to grab her around the waist.
And the purr became a sound of utter delight when confident steps pulled her towards the small jewelry shop which had just opened its doors to customers.
Gifts before breakfast.
Oh, she would have to be very careful to not let any other sink her claws into this one.
Unconcerned and happy with the universe as any male who had just enjoyed some delightful hours in friendly company and not only had same company smile at him with the radiance of Eisn but was now outfitted with some food to complete his good fortune, S'Tev winked indulgently at the little girl approaching their table.
Threadbare sandals and garments that seemed to have been handed down by elder siblings, her shy but hopeful smile was as sweet as the flowers in her arm and he had taken the precaution of bringing enough funds. So, why not.
Sufficient money to ensure the girl and a good number of siblings a decent meal and an armload of fragrant blossoms changed owners.
But while S'Tev laughed at Eviess' eyes turning to huge sapphire stars of delight, Sovar picked up the scent of fear on the morning breeze.
Too many furtive looks. Too many hushed voices.
"Now I'm fit to walk in a senator's garden, and you still look as if fresh off a transport from the Eastern Worlds."
"Ah, no pouting my dear. What would you suggest?"
"That we buy you some finery to match my new necklace. And I know the perfect place."
"Do you believe I could finish my breakfast first?"
The friendly swat was not what made him sneeze. The fact he had been swatted with flowers was to be blamed for that.
[Agency Base, Northern Pole of Ch'Rihan]
The Major looked at the two of them from the one way viewers with a neutral expression. The boy was innocent. He knew that right now, there was nothing that could be done to change that. However if she began to resist them, he would pay the price. He would be used against her, because deep down these Vulcans were quite like their cousins. One just had to know how to push the right buttons for them.
Without another thought he moved into the room with the woman, the four Revellion stoic and impassive as always went to attention for a brief second before he motioned that they should wake her up. What they had planned was the normal wake up procedure for Vulcans. First the antidote for the drug she had been given. As she slowly began to stir, a large bucket of ice cold water was thrown on her to help jar her to her senses at once.
The officer sat behind a desk in a large plain grey room. He watched his paitent and waited for her first reaction.
Even as the sluggishness drained from her along with the effects of the sedative, it was the only coherent thought she could form for what seemed an eternity.
So cold it hurt.
Perhaps it was not the sedative but her mind unwilling to accept reality, hiding in the soft mists of incomprehension.
Her eyes snapped open more out of anger and defiance than the efforts made by her captors. Though there was a small part of Teillh commenting dryly that the efforts had been rather straightforward.
Sadness mingling with the banked flames of defiance in amber eyes, T'Sahik of Vulcan recognized this dry humor in most inappropriate circumstances as the heritage she had buried, locked away only to have it dragged before the cold, cruel gaze appraising her like a Chkariya that had dared to steal the nuts from an unguarded table.
And in a way, that was precisely what she had done.
[to be continued ... ]