William Shakespeare - "Though those who are betrayed do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe."
Several Months Ago- Shortly after the events over Vulcan
[Ch'Rihan, Nn'Verih, Rehu Estate]
Glass cracked beneath Argelian's boots as he stepped into the remnants of the massive Rehu estate. Bodies were everywhere- strewn over furniture, through windows, and a carpet of bodies littered the floor coating the marble a sticky emerald. He was forced to tread carefully to avoid stepping on the carcasses as he made his way down the hall towards the main bedchamber. When he neared the chamber he could see Shiarkek ahead of him discussing something with one of the Naval security officers securing the estate. "Report Shiarkek." He ordered.
Shiarkek nodded at the security officer before dismissing him and headed towards Argelian to meet the Galae'Riov halfway. When he reached him Shiarkek bowed his head "we have the entire estate secured and have been gathering evidence. It seems Lord and Lady Rehu held their own quite well. Most of the bodies littering the hall were felled by Kaleh-a. Unfortunately, in the end, they were overwhelmed."
"Rei'Krannsu are not easily defeated." Argelian sighed as he looked at all the bodies. "Have you discovered the root of this massacre?" News of tr'Sahen's treachery and the events over Vulcan had been blocked from the news nets. If it was a retaliation for Shiarrael's actions it would have to have been someone with that knowledge- A praetor, a senator, or a higher ranking Galae official.
"Could it have been the agency?" Shiarkek asked as he watched his boss survey the damage.
"Absolutely not." Argelian said tersely knowing those ears were probably listening even now "for all their annoyances they are masters of killing. Do you honestly think the agency would have made such a mess?" He shook his head "no, this is a statement. A message to Shiarrael perhaps- but not the work of the agency. They prefer efficiency- and this carnage is anything but."
"Speaking of the Ael'Rio...Shiarrael. Should we inform her of her parents deaths?"
"No." Argelian jerked his head and glared at Shiarkek "absolutely not. She should not hear of this- not yet. We need to find out who was responsible first. If she finds out she will come here- if such a thing happens bloodshed will be unavoidable. Keep this silent for now. Inform those here to keep this information to themselves. Anyone who speaks about this will find their tongues given to my thrai as treats. The estate will remain off-limits until I order otherwise." He started forward "now where are they? I wish to see them."
"In the bed chamber...however, Galae'EnRiov there is something you should know..." Shiarkek's voice trailed off as he moved to keep up with Argelian "when they were found..."
Argelian reached the bed chamber and peered in. His eyes instantly widened "where are their..."
[Neutral Zone, Unknown Star System]
Seeg grumbled heavily as he trudged through the rocky terrain. Bulbs of green gas wafted up- the toxic concoction held at bay by the thin metallic plate of his respirator. Next to him, his partner, Mir huffed heavily. The obese Ferengi was struggling to keep up as he dragged along a hover cart to hold the merchandise. Every once in awhile he would stop, lean forward on his knees, and gasp for breath.
"Why are we meeting here!" Mir grumbled as he pulled the cart haphazardly. Stepping on a loose rock he nearly stumbled forward but was luckily anchored by the hover cart and avoided falling flat on his fat face "Romulans! So bothersome! You should not have agreed to this Seeg!"
"Relax Mir. Rule of acquisition number forty-seven: the riskier the road the greater the profit." Seeg ran his hands through one of the toxic gas bubbles "and this client has promised a great profit if we complete this errand."
"And certain death if you fail." A deep voice slipped through the shadows and caused Seeg to jump while a startled Mir squealed in fright. From behind a large rock a tall Romulan appeared, his face obscured by a respirator "I am glad you made it. I was growing impatient. You see ferengi- timing is very important to my boss." The Romulan pointed at two canisters that had been set in front of the rock "these are stasis units. They are to be delivered to a Captain Shiarrael Rehu of the USS Charon. The ship is currently in orbit of the Vulcan planet T'Khut."
Mir looked at Seeg who waved him towards the canisters "so what are they? I mean, incase customs decides to question us...." Seeg asked while Mir went to collect the stasis units.
"None of your concern Ferengi. Do not open them- deliver them directly to the Charon untouched. Failure to do so will void the contact- and your life. You're clever enough to accomplish this- we would not have hired you if we thought otherwise." The Romulan pressed a device on his wrist and a large bundled cloth dematerialized in front of Seeg's feet "125 bars of gold press latinum- you will get the other 75% when you complete this for us."
Seeg kneeled down and unraveled the cloth- his eyes widened at the latinum and he quickly began counting them as Mir put the canisters on the hover cart. When he finished he looked up at the figure with a wide grin "so all we have to do is deliver these to the Charon?"
The Romulan nodded.
[T'Khut Orbital Facility]
Seeg casually walked through the docking ring with Mir following closely behind him dragging along the hover cart with the two stasis canisters on them. It had been tricky avoiding the Federation patrols but they had been able to make it to T'Khut without a hitch. Now it was time to deliver the merchandise. Seeg could taste the latinum. As they walked up to the Charon's gate he was salivating like a dog who could smell a tasty morsel just out of its reach.
He turned and motioned for Mir to stop and then approached the security checkpoint just outside of the airlock "Greetings." Seeg said to one of the yellow collared hewmon guards "I am here to deliver a package to the esteemed Shiarrael Rehu." He turned and pointed to Mir and the hover cart with the canisters. The security officer looked at him suspiciously and Seeg suddenly felt his throat tighten "they are addressed directly to the Captain herself..."
"I'm sorry, but all items must be inspected before we allow them to be brought aboard the ship." The security officer replied as he gestured for the two other security officers to grab the canisters. As they approached the hover cart Seeg followed them holding up his hands "wait! We have been given specific instructions not to allow them to opened by anyone but Captain Shiarrael Rehu! If she finds out you opened her package she will certainly be upset!" He protested.
"Eh?" They laughed at him as they picked up the canisters and brought them towards the checkpoint "you must not know our Captain very well. These are her orders and if we don't follow them she will have our heads. Don't worry- we won't break anything." The officers set the canisters on top of the checkpoint's examination counter and activated the unlocking mechanism.
Seeg swallowed in anticipation as the canister's outer frame lifted upwards. A thick cloud poured out of the canisters obscuring the contents for a moment but once it cleared everyone's jaws dropped. Seeg twisted and grabbed Mir who squealed and pulled him along with him as both Ferengi stumbled away from the Charon's airlock in full flight.
"What is this?" One of the security officers rasped as he covered his mouth. The other two stared slack jawed at the canisters where two severed Romulan heads stared back at them with lifeless eyes- their mouths wide open in frozen expressions of horror. "Contact the Captain and find out where those Ferengi went!"
[To be continued...]