Something I started writing at the start of 2007. This character was one I role played amongst many others, which got replaced by a player character (whom didn’t last very long much to my chagrin). Despite this, I wanted to evolve the character more so started writing up her own little spin-off. It started off enjoyable, then I stopped, probably because I ran out of steam. This is one of my stories I intend to finish no matter what.
Chapter One: Why Do We Fall?
I can’t let her go down alone…
Piet K`Tai listened to what was in store for them during the meeting and somehow it felt good to be getting into the fight again. But something didn’t sit right with her. K`Tai tried to figure out what it was as she listened to more of the meeting.
“Then the Phantoms will not be accompanying us on the mission?” The question came from Korek, Herakles’ captain and sole crewmember. He was remarkable for a Vulcan, right up to his distinctive eyebrow raise.
“Not quite, Korek.” said Colonel Elias Schaeffer with a somewhat placated demeanour. “They’re not going without backup. Period.”
Captain Amaara Kile stood up glanced to all across the table. “The Snark can only carry six of us. I’ll transfer to the Snark when we reach the DMZ. The Colonel will assign the crew to each ship.”
“It’s a small ship, but you’ll need at least one sharpshooter and short to mid range support.” remarked Schaeffer. He turned to team, his Phantoms. “This is a critical mission, team. We’ll all be meeting at the same place, but I’ll need a few of you to back them up.” He stood up and walked over to them.
They didn’t need to be told he wanted volunteers, Schaeffer knew his team to the very soul. Immediately thereafter, Nylar Fol stepped forward. The expressionless face of the young bajoran sniper just seemed out of place with this pack of professionals. Her deadpan calm made Nylar, or Sure Shot by her codename, difficult to engage in any sort of friendly banter. Which made her the perfect candidate for the sniper profile.
“Squeak…we’ll need a back up pilot Amaara…” The quiet voice came from Ayla.
“Smoke, front and centre.” ordered Schaeffer.
A young man with a narrow, yet friendly face stepped forward. Daniel ‘Smoke’ Fyson was the teams designated vehicle pilot. His expertise in all craft, big or small, sea, air, land or space, was no exaggeration.
“Sir, yes sir.” said Fyson, in a loud, chipper voice.
Amaara turned to Fyson. “Smoke, if you can handle the ship, you can drop us off at the Temple…” she made a brief pause before continuing “then find a place to hide the Snark until we’re done.”
“Not a problem, ma`am.”
“Good,” said Schaeffer. “That leaves us with one left.”
K`Tai glanced over to Ayla for brief second. She knew the Mousian had worries about her, especially with what happened a few days ago. Stepping forward, she volunteered herself to go, to try and make amends with Ayla. Schaeffer glanced to her direction with a disheartened expression that was visible only for a brief second. He turned his gaze to Nikolas ‘Nitro’ Furi and the big wall of muscle stepped forward.
Schaeffer looked at the three. “Get your gear ready and in time for departure on Snark once we’ve all restocked and made repairs. Is that clear?”
“Sir Yes Sir.” the three barked in unison.
“As for the rest of you, you have your orders. We’ll be running smack-dab into a war zone by the time we get there.” Schaeffer turned to Amaara and nodded.
“Alright,” started Amaara “if there are no more questions, you’re all dismissed.”
As the marines left the Herakle’s ready room, K`Tai stopped Schaeffer.
“Sir, may I ask you something?”
Schaeffer nodded. “Go ahead, sergeant.”
“Well, there’s a good chance they might encounter Bontis when Snark reaches Carolaun.” said K`Tai.
“Ayla and Captain Kile are taking three marines as support.” K`Tai was now folding her arms.
“So wouldn’t it be more logical to take the maximum amount of 6 passengers?”
“Yes, it would, sergeant.” Schaeffer knew where this was going, leaning himself against the bulkhead.
“I’d like to volunteer to join the others on Snark, sir.”
“No.” replied Schaeffer simply.
K`Tai looked down at the floor for a second before bringing her head back up. “May I ask why sir?”
Schaeffer glanced around for a moment. Everyone except them had left down to their quarters, so they were alone.
“K`Tai,” he stood up a bit and looked her straight in the eyes “your actions as of late have been a bit ‘odd’ to say the least. Now, I am thinking that it might have something to do with the goddamn planet and it’s pretty much screwing with your head. That’s why, as of when we all depart Herakles, you will hereby be temporarily relieved of duty until further notice.”
K`Tai just blinked and stood silent for a moment, taking the new information in. Her Caitian ears drooped slightly.
“Oh, I see.” She looked back down to the floor, then quickly turned back up to Schaeffer. “We’ll be one Phantom short though, sir.”
Schaeffer frowned slightly, because he knew that he would have to tell her eventually. “No, we won’t. COCOM is sending… your replacement.”
And just like that, K`Tai’s world, the only thing she’s known herself to be good at, fell down.
Sucks To Be You.
“You’re Fired.” –Donald Trump, The Apprentice.
The local establishments didn’t hold much for real liquor, but at this moment K`Tai didn’t care. Ordering a mildly effective Jibetan ale managed to sooth her mood somewhat.
“What’s the matter kid?”
K`Tai looked up at the bartender. His large face sporting a bush of neatly trimmed facial hair and a wide smile that seemed to make her more comfortable, despite her situation.
“I guess… I guess I could say I’ve been fired.” she said as she absently circled one of her fingers around the rim of the glass.
The bartender cleaned a few glass tumblers, stacking them orderly in front of him. “That’s too bad. I know how you feel.”
K`Tai glanced up at the bartender. “Oh do you now? You think you know everything, don’t you?”
The bartender merely shrugged. “Now that you mention it, yes I do.”
She was starting to become really pissed off at him, but she just settled herself down and the mood subsided. K`Tai never liked beating up civilians anyway. The fight wasn’t anything interesting to her.
“Hey Cap, a Raithan Shot, thanks. And one for the lady.”
“Thanks but I’m not…” K`Tai turned to the man who had offered her a drink, only to find his back facing her. Peering over the man’s shoulder, there was another female, a human at that. The only thing was that she was more interested in was the half empty glass she was nursing. K`Tai figured she either didn’t notice him or was totally ignoring him.
The Caitian was never one to pry. The only other life she had any interest in aside from her own was Nikolas Furi’s. The two had a good friendship together and she didn’t want any of that to change one bit, no matter what happened. But every now and then she felt that she was missing out on something.
K`Tai glanced back over to the couple. The voice had come from the woman. The accent was a polished English one, very distinctive to K`Tai’s ears. Remembering a few years back, before the Phantoms, before Nik, she knew a recruit with that same accent. Her train of thought returned back to the present and she looked on at the two. The guy just wouldn’t take a hint. K`Tai decided to intervene.
“Hey, I don’t think she likes you pal. Better quit while you’re ahead.” Absently she bared her fangs.
The guy just gave her a look of incredulity before turning back to the woman. “Okay… We’ll talk later Pip, k?” The woman just nodded a reply as she buried her face into her hands as the man walked away.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
“I’m uhh… I’m sorry. I thought-” started K`Tai.
She waved K`Tai off. “No, it’s quite alright. It’s just been a very bad day.”
“Tell me about it. Seems like ‘bad days’ are the growing trend these days.” replied K`Tai.
The woman turned to K`Tai. “Your day couldn’t possibly be as bad as mine.”
She sat up and looked at the Caitian. “Experimental microbe breach that shut down power to decks 37-39.”
K`Tai raised an eyebrow. “That was you?”
“Yes, and on top of that my lab team, half a dozen officers and two diplomats had to be quarantined for five hours. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be cooped up with extremely paranoid Benzite ambassadors and extremely annoyed engineering personnel for five long, tedious hours?”
“Nope. But the night is still young.” said K`Tai, sipping her ale.
This brought a small laugh from the woman. “Indeed.” She extended her hand towards K`Tai. “Pandora Sterling, Neo-Xenological Sciences, and probably out of a job.”
K`Tai reciprocated and shook Sterling’s hand. “Piet K`Tai, Heavy Weapons Division, and definitely out of a job.”
Sterling tilted her head. “Did you try to blow up Drayel?”
“Drayel?” K`Tai raised an eyebrow. “Who’s Drayel?”
Sterling furrowed her eyebrows. “He’s the commanding officer of the starbase’s regiment.”
“Ohh…” replied K`Tai. “No, no. I’m with another, well, was.”
Sterling nodded. “So what’s your story then?”
K`Tai twitched her nose a bit as she took another sip of her ale. “I was ‘temporarily’ relieved of duty due to some conflictions.”
“Conflictions? Like what?”
K`Tai just shrugged. “They thought I might kill one of their civilian specialists. Okay, so she was a Mousian, so that may have given me an incentive…” K`Tai just shook her head. “But that’s not me. I’ve been in control of those instincts for years. It’s not me… At least I don’t think so…”
Sterling passed K`Tai her drink. “Looks like you need this more than me.”
K`Tai took the shot glass and gulped the down the strong alcoholic drink. The effects went straight to her head and out her nose with a momentary lapse in balance. “What is this?”
“It’s a Raithan Shot.”
K`Tai stared at the empty shot glass for a moment. “What’s in it?”
Sterling shrugged. “To be honest I haven’t a clue, but it certainly does deliver a hell of a kick.”
“Hm. Okay. So how did you learn about them then?”
“Well,” started Sterling “you know that man you scared away for me?”
K`Tai nodded. “Yeah, Again, sorry about-”
Sterling shrugged it off. “Don’t worry about it. Jameson was just trying to cheer me up in his usual way. He was the one the introduced me to the drink a few years ago.”
K`Tai nodded again and stared at the empty shot glass. “On Cait, it must have been back when I was just a kit, we had something similar in my hometown of R`shh…” she smiled at that thought. “It’s been too long since I went back home.” K`Tai turned to Sterling. “So where do you hail from, Sterling?”
“Royston, Hertfordshire. It’s a little town just north of London on Earth. And please, my friends call me Pandora. Some of the more annoying friends of mine call me Pip though.”
K`Tai nodded to Sterling, staring blankly into her empty glass.
And then the klaxon alarms went all across the starbase.
Both K`Tai and Sterling glanced around. K`Tai spotted a security officer rush by and stopped him.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
The security officer looked at her for a moment. “You haven’t heard?”
K`Tai narrowed her eyes. “If I did, would I be asking you? What the hell is going on?”
“Admiral Ross has been shot. He’s dead.”
There was a brief moment of shock on K`Tai’s face, but she maintained her line of questioning.
“Who did it?”
“Commander Manchuso. We’re on our way down to Cargo Bay Two to apprehend her.
“I’ll come-”K`Tai stood up on reflex, but then remembered her current situation. “Nevermind. Go get her.”
K`Tai slumped her feline form on the bar as the security officer left to join the others. She had a feeling that the Phantoms already had the situation under control anyway. No sooner than the thought crossed her mind, the klaxons died down shortly thereafter.
“I think I’ll take some leave, since I’ve been relieved. It’s not like I have anything important to do now…” said K`Tai.
Sterling looked to her. “Sounds like a plan.” She gestured to the bartender for a refill and turned back to K`Tai. “So where do you think you’ll be going?”
The Caitian took a deep breath and smiled slightly. It wasn’t a happy smile, but more like feigned anxiety.
Chapter Two: Rhythm And Blues.
K`Tai glanced at Sterling. “Smooth talking, `Dora. Now we’re never going to find him.”
Sterling raised an eyebrow. “Me? I wasn’t the one that started the brawl.”
An Andorian observed the two from outside the cell’s forcefield. Wearing a dark, padded uniform, it was clear he was an officer of the law. An Andorian Imperial Prefect.
“So,” he started in a calm quiet voice “whose fault is it?”
“It’s her fault!” they both shouted, pointing accusatory fingers at one another.
The Andorian let out a sigh. “Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?”
6 hours ago
“You didn’t have to come with me, Pandora. I would have been fine on my own.” K`Tai said, glancing out of the runabout window as they departed Starbase 12.
Sterling shook her head. “Don’t worry about it. I had a few weeks leave coming anyway. Potensky insisted I piss off and have some fun.” She looked at K`Tai’s raised eyebrow.
“Seriously, he told me to piss off.” Sterling leaned back in her chair. “I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the starbase’s staff decided to take a few weeks off, given what happened…”
K`Tai thought for a moment. She knew everything was under control now and the danger had passed. But there was something preying on her mind about the entire thing. Manchuso could not have acted alone on this, that much was certain by everyone. Unfortunately, the dead tell no tales so the accomplice’s identity remained a mystery.
Sterling approached the helm controls and furrowed her brow. “Aren’t we going the wrong way, K`Tai?”
“I’ve just got a few errands to run before I head home, Pandora.”
“Call me `Dora. It’s less formal than Pandora.” She looked over the coordinates. “Mind if I ask what’s over on Andor?”
“Just a few friends I need to get in touch with.”
“Yes…” Sterling agreed. “Subspace traffic from there has been limited since the Dominion war.” Sterling smiled as she rekindled some fond memories. “I’ll need to catch up with some of my Academy archaeology classmates based there as well.”
“I didn’t think you could find much else under the surface. Everyone lived underground.”
“Oh there were still quite a few unexplored ice caves and caverns on the moon. You just had to look hard enough.” Sterling leaned back as she reminisced. “I used to go wandering off on my own sometimes in the caves…” she laughed a bit. “It was funny. My nickname back then was Dora the-”
“Explorer?” K`Tai finished.
Sterling blinked, momentarily caught off guard. “Uh, yeah. How did you…?”
“Let’s just say it’s still funny.” replied K`Tai.
“What…?” Sterling was speechless for a moment then looked at her with suspicion. “What do you know?”
“About as much as everyone else on that rock.”
“And just what does that mean?” inquired Sterling.
K`Tai smirked. “Oh, you’ll find out.”
It wasn’t long before the runabout Harlequin entered the Procyon system. The eighth planet, nothing more than a cold, desolate and wholly uninhabitable gas giant, held in orbit a single moon, equally cold and desolate, but far from uninhabited. This moon was Andor.
Harlequin travelled past the orbital station floating long and silent in the space above the moon. Its bulbous form held aloft one of the systems many Imperial Prefectures. Akin to the old Terran police forces, prefect officers too protected the innocent and upheld the law. More so here as Andorian prefects rarely held corruption among the ranks. However absolute adherence to the law was how it was. No exceptions.
The runabout made its way towards the moon’s only star port. Nestled between the crevasses of solid ice was an entire civilisation, sheltered from the harsh and deadly frozen climate on the surface.
“Andor Primary, this is runabout Harlequin requesting permission to dock.”
“Runabout Harlequin, Permission to dock granted. Please proceed to Bay 12.”
The reply was almost instantaneous. Andorians had a knack for not missing a beat, even on the most mundane of tasks.
Disembarkation went without a hitch as they made their way to Primary’s central commercial zones. It was not uncommon for Starfleet personnel to be found in these parts, but for where K`Tai was headed, a casual attire seemed more appropriate. Dressed in a simple black cat-suit, she wore a rather antiquated brown leather bomber jacket and when Sterling asked about it, she simply said a friend gave it to her. Sterling had put on a grey utility jumpsuit. She’d told K`Tai that she’d worn it the last time she was on Andor.
K`Tai called it ‘dumb’ and suggested something else.
“I still think it’s dumb, Dora. Someone might think you’re still a kid.”
Sterling just shook her head. “Okay, you’ve made your point already.”
“Worse off, someone might recognise you and still think you’re that kid…” K`Tai continued.
Sterling pinched the bridge of her nose. In the two days she knew her, she already felt like punching K`Tai in the face.
“Tell you what, K`Tai.” said Sterling “You do whatever it is that you came here to do. I’ll be in the shops.” And without further prompting, she stormed off.
“Alright,” K`Tai called out to her. “Meet back here in 2 hours.”
Sterling just waved her off. That was enough of a signal that she heard.
“Okay,” K`Tai said to herself as she approached one of the more questionable establishments on Primary. “Let’s get down to business.”
To everyone else, even to her former unit, the Phantoms, K`Tai was on a bout of depression due to her being dropped from the team. And that was going to be the official story. Unofficially, she had a mission to complete, off the books.
Back on Starbase 12, after the late Admiral Ross’s funeral reception, Colonel Schaeffer approached her briefly, handing her a padd with a signed full psychiatric request order for her. The details were that she was to report to Solaris Medical Institution effective immediately. To K`Tai, it felt like the last nail in the coffin. She’d nearly rammed the padd down Schaeffer’s throat, except he said something cryptic:
“Make sure you read over the details, Sergeant. All of it.”
And then he walked off without a word, leaving a frustrated and confused Caitian wallowing on the starbase promenade.
It wasn’t until several hours of depression induced drinking that she felt like reading the, what she characterised to annoyed patrons as ‘the most dumbest dumb thing I have ever seen.’
It was as it was; a signed full psychiatric request order and to report to Solaris Medical Institution. She thought Schaeffer was really being an asshole on this one until she noticed something odd. Cryptography wasn’t something she was well versed in, but K`Tai’s vision, like most Caitians, was extremely good at picking up details. Very fine and very fast moving details. Using a trick she was taught years ago to slow down frequency channels to separate still information from the fluctuating, she found the details the Colonel was talking about.
The message was simple.
Andor. Find Ogata.
Okay, so that was a bit of a stupid plot device that I’ll revise later. It sounded dumb when I wrote it and it still sounds dumb reading it after 4 years…
Ogata. No description. Not even a gender or species. This person was probably human, then again, who’s to say it’s just one person? Or for that matter a person.
Entering the establishment, K`Tai casually surveyed the place as she made herself over to the bar. The air was a strong musk and the mood was dark. Potentially everyone was a threat, though she kept her claws sheathed for the time being.
“What can I get you, miss?” asked the bartender.
K`Tai thought for a second then smiled. “Raithan Shot.”
She looked at the bartender for a second. A ferengi, how typical. But this wasn’t the time to mete out petty grievances. She had a job to do.
“You’re a Caitian right? So what brings you out here to the cold depths of hell?”
“Not much,” she replied to the bartender. “I’m just… looking for someone.”
The ferengi nodded as he placed used glasses back in the replicator alcove.
“Everybody’s looking for someone, Miss. You might want to try and be less general.”
“I’m looking for Ogata.” said K`Tai.
The bartender froze. His eyes darted left and right briefly before casually leaning closer to K`Tai. “No, you don’t.”
Now she knew something was up. Reciprocating, K`Tai leaned towards the ferengi, smiling just so the tips of her fangs showed. Her tail flicked excitedly.
“Oh yes I do. And you’re going to tell me where.” She extended a single claw started digging into the bar top surface.
The bartender smiled as his gaze lifted just over K`Tai’s head. “Looks like I won’t have to.”
K`Tai already knew the Nausicaans were behind her, long before they placed their firm unmoving hands on her shoulders.
“You see Miss,” the bartender started “you don’t go looking for Ogata. Ogata comes looking for you.”
She glanced around the bar. Already the attention was drawn on her and some started whispering. K`Tai then turned to the ferengi, downed her Raithan and winked at him.
“Alright gentlemen,” she said as she stood up. “Show me the way.”
The ferengi smirked as K`Tai, flanked by the two Nausicaan brutes was escorted out of his bar. It was only when he picked up the empty shot glass that he noticed the smiley face carved deeply into his bar top.
Sterling wandered the shopping district, glancing through the store windows. But it was clear to everyone that her mind was preoccupied. Why was K`Tai being so rude and insulting to her about her clothes? she thought.
She looked at herself in the reflection of the shop window, examining her look with a critic’s eye.
“I do not look like a kid…” she said aloud, then added “Tomboyish maybe, but not a kid…”
Sterling stared at herself for a moment before entering the store. Fifteen minutes later she came out with a jacket on, similar to K`Tai’s except jet back and a little longer. She especially liked the pockets.
“Now let’s see her bitch about this.” Sterling said proudly as she went to seek out her felinoid friend.
K`Tai, for all the hope Schaeffer put into her for this mission, had no idea what the hell she was doing. But he trusted her to do what she had to do, her own way without assistance.
However, after being escorted down dim corridors, various flights of stairs, and an ominous turbo lift trip, she felt she probably wouldn’t mind a little help right about now.
She was taken into a room. A single light shone down in the centre above a large, round table. Six people, some hunched, some relaxed, but all focused on one another. And the growing pile of chips and credits in the centre. It only took K`Tai a fraction of a second to realise that a poker game was in play. More accurately, Texas Hold’em.
They all turned to K`Tai’s direction. There was a mix of relief and annoyance on their faces. One man, a human glanced in her direction before speaking.
“She was in Phrek’s Bar, sir. She was asking about Ogata.”
The man lay his cards face down on the table and steepled his hands. The others shifted slightly as their attention came to K`Tai. One female, just smirked.
“Who are you?” asked the man with the steepled hands.
K`Tai eyed this one carefully. It was clear that he was in charge, so one had to be careful with what to say.
“My name,” she started “is M`Sumi.”
“And your business with Ogata, Ms. M`Sumi?”
K`Tai knew where this line of questioning was going to end up, so she decided to speed it up. It wasn’t like the twenty questions were helping anyway.
“I was sent to kill Ogata.” she replied.
This brought a few gasps around the table. The man who still had his hands steepled never waivered his gaze. Quietly in the background, there was a slow draw of bladed weapons.
“However,” K`Tai continued “I decided to see if I could confirm my suspicions first.”
“And that would be?” The man now had his hands down on the table, reaching.
K`Tai smirked. “Why, to see if I could negotiate a deal of course.”
The laughs just came out of every corner of the room. From floor to ceiling, the place resonated. K`Tai maintained her grin even as she noticed the shadows moving around in the darkness of the walls. When the laughter died down, the man just shook his head.
“You have no business meddling with affairs that you do not understand, Ms. M`Sumi.” He looked to the two Nausicaan bodyguards.
“Dispose of her.”
It had always been this way for K`Tai. In order to get your message across, whatever the message, one would have to beat it into them. And so, just as the Nausicaans lay their massive hands on her shoulders, K`Tai pulled her open fingered gloves taut, exposing the five hidden blades on each paw.
“Aww, that’s too bad then.” K`Tai remarked as she let lose a blinding flurry of attacks.
Ten seconds was all it took.
Ten seconds to realise.
Ten seconds to live.
Cheesy I know, but Mwahah! I actually just had that, cheating everyone out of a fight scene you see below. After some insistence, I wrote the crazy fight.
In the first second, the whole world slowed to half and yet, K`Tai’s speed never slackened. Digging her claws hard into the faces of the Nausicaans, she pulled herself up, vaulting over the oncoming shadows. Her lithe form bounced off the wall and slammed straight into the rear guard. K`Tai immediately slashed her claws diagonally, feeling the cloth fall away as her sharpened talons shredded deep into her enemy’s chest.
The second later, the poker players had left the room in the rumble, but it was too late for K`Tai to worry about them now. Three more shadows converged on her and she left out a high flying kick to their heads. She got one, but the other two ducked fast. Swinging back, narrowly missing being skewered by a blade from nowhere, K`Tai flung herself back to the other side of the small room.
Back towards the Nausicaans.
Third second, a solid block of flesh and bone headed straight towards K`Tai. The Nausicaan’s fist connected with the Caitian’s chest, leaving her winded for a blink of an eye before she swung the fist around to connect with the other Nausicaan’s face. A satisfying crunch was heard before she propelled herself into another black clad ninja.
Yes, ninja was the word she was thinking for as she pulled her claws in for a roundhouse punch to one. By the fourth second she had relieved the victim of their weapons. Now the frenzy stepped up a notch.
She parried with the katana for all it was worth. K`Tai was unaccustomed to such implements, but time to learn was not on her side today. She had to learn and learn fast.
Dodging strike after strike from the ninjas proved to be a contortionist’s nightmare. One managed to slice her arm and she gritted her teeth as the intense feeling of pain subsided and she rammed her own weapon into the chest of the assailant. Evasion was her only option, otherwise death was a certainty.
The fight seemed to go on for an eternity, but as the seventh second rolled by, K`Tai blindingly flung her second katana into the cloud of black. The ninjas evaded the blade effortlessly. Unfortunately Nausicaans were not famous for their dexterity and found themselves an arm short. As the dark red blood sprayed profusely from the giant’s wound, the limb landed with a noticeable thud.
The one armed giant had enough and no sooner than the eighth second passed, his lumbering form headed straight for K`Tai’s battle royale. His one good arm acted like a club as he swung it left and right, disabling his own battle brothers to take the fight to his own.
K`Tai was caught off guard as the ninja that was about to impale her was thrown into the ceiling by the Nausicaan. Not out of saving her life, but to take it himself.
Feeling herself lifted high into the air; she struggled to move the immovable. The thick corded muscles of the Nausicaan’s sole forearm were like steel as she dug her claws deep in futility. To K`Tai, all hope was lost. She’d failed the mission that Schaeffer had sent her on. This blasted wild goose chase of a mission admittedly, but still a failure. In a last ditch attempt, she bit the Nausicaan’s hand, sinking her fangs in deep. The Nausicaan pulled K`Tai hard and close, forcing a shattering head butt, stunning the Caitian suddenly.
And then, without warning, a katana blade emerged from the Nausicaan’s torso, spraying blood everywhere, including on K`Tai. As she stumbled away, the body crumpled to the floor as the blood fountain drenched the room.
K`Tai panted heavily as she staggered over the bodies towards the broken table. She sat down for a moment then looked at the mess she’d made. The Nausicaans were the first to go, and seemingly the last to fall. The walls, it seemed, opened up with shadows of… what she could only describe as Old Terran Shinobi. Shadow Warriors.
Trapped, she could only do what any Caitian could do in the situation.
Strike anything within reach. And despite the staggering odds, it seemed to work well enough for her to come out alive.
“Well…” K`Tai started. “That could have gone better.”
“Yes. It could have.” said a feminine voice behind her. K`Tai froze for a moment before feeling the cold edge of a blade held to her neck. The fight before had taken a lot of energy from her, so right now she was at the mercy.
“It could have been much, much worse. Come on.” The mysterious woman pulled K`Tai off the floor and into another room. The motion was disorientating for her and K`Tai felt like swiping at this person, but her body was limp and not so much as a lifted claw could be done.
A moment later they stopped. K`Tai wasn’t sure but the moment she was seated, it felt much better. Wearily, she managed to blink her eyes to adjust to the new light to see the woman. She appeared slim, Very human in appearance. Some thought was floating around in K`Tai’s head, but the hard blow from the Nausicaan stayed with her, much to her chagrin.
“You know, when Eli said he’s pulling me out. I figured I was going to leave quietly.” She turned to K`Tai. “You sure did make a mess of them in there.”
K`Tai managed to gather enough strength to talk. “Who… who are you?”
The woman looked at K`Tai, smiling slightly. “They really did bang you up back there, didn’t they?”
K`Tai mustered enough strength to repeat her question. “Who are you?”
“My name is Ogata, Sergeant K`Tai. Vi Ogata. I’m with Starfleet Intelligence.”
I Spy With My Little Eye.
And there it was, Ogata, the person K`Tai had no clue who she was or what she did was in fact one of the good guys.
And K`Tai could have killed her.
Damn you Schaeffer. Damn you and your ambiguous three word missions… she thought to herself.
Ogata was dressing the wounds that K`Tai had sustained during the frenzied melee that happened only minutes ago. The Caitian felt a bit better once the painkillers kicked in.
“Of all the extractions I’ve been through, yours I’d have to say was the most bloody.” said Ogata as she put the hypospray away after the administering the painkiller. She continued to check on the dressings, since an autosuture to sealing up the wounds wasn’t available. And asking around for medical equipment to treat wounds like this was just asking for your cover to be blown sky high.
“Just out of curiosity though,” she asked K`Tai “why did you say you were sent to kill me?”
K`Tai let out a small laugh, which sounded like she was choking on something.
“Honestly,” she started “I had no idea what I was supposed to do after I found you. So I just said the first thing that came to mind.”
“And the first thing was that you were intending to kill me?”
“Yep.” K`Tai smiled slightly, the tips of her fangs showing. “Don’t take it personally though. It was the stupid mission brief that lead me to… improvise.”
“Let me guess, vague and short?”
“Andor. Find Ogata.”
Ogata smirked. “Yours is shorter than mine. Mine was: Extraction. K`Tai. Has An Attitude.”
K`Tai raised an eyebrow. “Has An Attitude?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“The bastard.” K`Tai managed to stand up slowly, grunting sharply as a brief shot of pain flowed up her right leg. “Alright, if it’s an extraction then we’d better leave now.”
They both made their way down a narrow corridor. It was low lit and musty, obviously some hidden crawlspace inside the complex. The bare walls were thick with a layer of dust. This place hadn’t been used in a while.
“Can I ask you something?” said K`Tai.
“What were you doing here exactly?”
“Infiltrating the Orion Syndicate. They have an operations going on here on Andor and I managed to secure a position within to gather information regarding interstellar transactions.”
“What position was that?” K`Tai guessed it was some low level accountancy job. Boy was she wrong.
“I am, I mean I should say was the Head of Andor Operations.”
K`Tai stopped. “Wait a sec, you’re telling me you managed to get a high ranking position here and that those guys I killed-”
“-were working for me, yes.” Ogata finished.
“How?” K`Tai asked with genuine curiosity.
“Quite simple really. You’ve just got to know who to sleep with.”
The two stood silently, K`Tai was quite speechless.
Ogata just looked at her for a moment. “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” Half a second later she slapped her hand over her mouth. “Sorry, that just slipped out.”
K`Tai just shook her head. “Come on, let’s just get of here.”
Ogata lead K`Tai onward down the corridor which twisted and turned a few times until they emerged from a back room of some bar. It was then K`Tai realised that it was the same bar the two Nausicaans picked her up in.
“I’ll probably have to talk to my informant before we leave though. He’ll need to go into hiding as well.” said Ogata quietly as they both made their way through the bustling crowd. The chatter was loud so hardly anyone took notice of them.
Almost hardly anyone.
They were halfway through the crowd when everyone heard the voice yelling overhead.
Up on the balcony, was the man at the head of the poker table. The man with steepled hands.
Several of the establishment’s regulars stood up and headed towards K`Tai and Ogata.
“Oh Frell.” K`Tai grabbed Ogata’s arm and pulled her further into the crowd towards the exit. But soon she felt heavy hands grab her from behind and she lost Ogata. It seemed wherever K`Tai went, a fight wasn’t far behind.
Sterling arrived at the bar she saw K`Tai go into a while ago, but from here it didn’t seem very inviting, what with all the fighting going on inside. She was about to head off and wait outside, when she saw K`Tai amid the brawl.
“Oh great, what did you do this time…” she said as she went in to help her friend out of the bad situation.
Sterling was never much of a fighter, in fact she abhorred physical violence altogether.
But that didn’t mean she didn’t know how. She rushed in to K`Tai’s aid, fending off the attackers with simple, effective subduing techniques taught at the Academy. She managed to get within arms length of K`Tai before blocking one of her friend’s attacks.
“Shit, what the hell happened, K`Tai?!” Sterling yelled.
“Oh you know how it is!” K`Tai ducked from a high swing before resuming her conversation. “Trouble seems to follow me around a lot!”
“No kidding!” Sterling crouched to deliver an open handed thrust to an attacker’s chest, sending him flying backwards.
K`Tai looked around quickly when she had a chance. “Where’s Ogata?!”
Sterling ducked, evading several fast blows before turning to K`Tai. “Who?”
Sandwiched within the crowd it was virtually impossible for Ogata to move, but soon there was a measure of space as a gap parted.
Only to show her second in command.
“Kato, what the hell is going on?” she hissed.
Even as he walked towards her, Kato held his hands steepled, always thinking of his opponent’s next moves, whether playing Texas Hold’em or in tides of battle, it was his poker face that everyone feared.
“The plan’s changed, Vi.” he said simply.
“What are you talking about?” she glanced over her shoulder at the furious melee between K`Tai and her assailants. Ogata turned back to Kato, only to feel a dark, coldness wash over her. Looking down, she saw the long handle of a short tanto blade sticking out of her chest. She looked up at Kato with surprise, but all she could see was his expressionless poker face.
“Sorry, Boss’s orders.” he said as he withdrew the blade from her chest, wiping the blood off with a small, white cloth.
Ogata stumbled and fell to the floor as Kato and his henchmen departed. K`Tai and Sterling’s attackers stopped just as suddenly as they started, merging seamlessly into the crowd.
K`Tai looked around quickly for Ogata. A second later she saw her body on the floor and ran over. A pool of blood grew from her slain body.
“Ogata!” she knelt down and sat her up carefully, applying pressure to the gushing chest wound. “Somebody! Call a doctor!” K`Tai yelled. Sterling quickly looked for the stations comm.
Ogata coughed up blood. She was still alive, managing a few words. “K`Tai… You must… you must find Phrek. He… he has the answers…”
“No, don’t you die on me.” yelled K`Tai. She glanced up. “Where’s the frelling doctor?”
“I… I deserve it anyway…”
“She’s dying! Is every single med tech on holiday? Get me the frelling doctor!”
“Med techs are on their way, K`Tai.” said Sterling.
“Do me a favour… K`Tai…” said Ogata, her voice raspy as her body bled internally. “Kill Kato…” she said lastly on her dying breath.
The med techs arrived, but it was too late. Ogata was dead. The Andorian Prefect Officers arrived on the scene and immediately headed straight towards K`Tai and Sterling.
“You guys sure took your-” K`Tai started, but before she could finish she was thrust hard against the bar top as she felt restraints cuffing her wrists together. Sterling was being restrained as well
“You are both under arrest. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in an Andorian Imperial Trial of Law.” came the quiet, stern voice of the Andorian Prefect.
“What the Frell? Why are you arresting us?” asked K`Tai in surprise.
“For disturbing the peace.”
“Disturbing the peace?! Are you kidding me?” K`Tai struggled hard and pushed the Andorian off her. Other officers approached her quickly and she lanced her legs out in defiance at them, but they quickly subdued her, pinning K`Tai to the floor. Sterling could only watch in silence. She knew exactly how the Andorian Prefects operated, so she didn’t dare go against them.
“Disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.” continued the arresting officer.
K`Tai was trying to say something obscene, but the way her head was on the floor made it difficult for anything aside from a soft purr to be heard.
“If you cannot afford a representative, one will be appointed to you.” The officer nodded and K`Tai was lifted off the floor. “Take them both away.”
“And then we end up here.” said Sterling as she finished up the story to the prefect.
The Andorian laid down his padd and placed his hands flat on the table before taking brief glances at both of them.
“That is a complete fabrication. If you plan on falsifying your reasons herein for the charges brought against you two, you’d better come up with something more convincing than that.”
Sterling was surprised at the officer’s conclusion of what had transpired those short hours ago. She glanced over to K`Tai whom just shook her head.
“I’ve had enough of this crap.” the Caitian said as she stood up.
“K`Tai, I don’t think you should-” started Sterling, but the hard slam of K`Tai’s fists as they impacted on the table interrupted everyone’s train of thought.
“Look, you don’t know what happened and you asked us. We gladly obliged and then you call us frelling liars! Why would we have a reason to lie about it?”
The Andorian held his never wavering gaze at K`Tai as he slowly stood up to meet her at eye level. “Because, Ms. K`Tai you are in our custody. Statistically prisoners would say anything to be freed. Anything. You two are not excluded from that rule, even if you are Starfleet.”
“But we’ve told you the truth, officer.” said Sterling. “It wasn’t our fault.”
“Witness accounts are contrary to that assessment, Ms. Sterling.”
K`Tai just raised her arms and flopped back down in her chair. They were getting nowhere with this padd-pushing idiot officer. Another officer entered into the room and whispered to their questioner.
“Please, excuse me.” he said before leaving with the newcomer.
“Go right ahead. Not like we can stop you.” K`Tai said in a mocking tone, though it was mostly ignored since the door was shut before she even finished. She let out a purring sigh.
Sterling leaned back in her chair and looked at K`Tai. “Well it did seem a bit far fetched. Well, your side of the story that is.”
“What are you talking about?”
“That fight scene with the ninjas seemed a bit over embellished. It almost sounded like you were enjoying describing every single detail.”
K`Tai thought for a moment and smiled as she remembered that scene. “Yeah, that was fun.”
“But some of it was exaggerated right? I mean the one armed Nausicaan…”
K`Tai glanced up at Sterling, returning from her own world in her mind. “I wasn’t lying about that one, or anything I said for that matter, Dora. Hell I’d take you to see the mess I made provided they haven’t cleaned it up already.”
“Okay okay, no need to get defensive.” Sterling glanced around, then over to the doors. They were two large sliding sheets of glass separating them from the prefect offices beyond. The activity was bustling as prefect officers, Andorians and a few other species worked on to do their jobs.
“Just wish they’d hurry up.” Sterling turned back to K`Tai. The Caitian was leaning back, her black beret covering K`Tai’s eyes. It almost looked like she was taking a nap.
Then the door opened and yet another Andorian entered. The expression on this one’s face was a bit more animated compared to the previous two.
“Tsk tsk Pandora. Look at the trouble you’ve gotten into this time.”
Sterling looked up and a huge grin appeared on her face. Standing up, she gave the Andorian a hug.
“Shraik, how the hell have you been?”
Shraikithar ch`Thal, like most male Andorians serving in the Imperial Prefecture, was tall and lean with a standard prefect issue crew cut, though it had grown since and appeared to make his head look like a white, furry block with two twitching blue antennae sticking out. The last time he saw Sterling was when she was last on Andor so a reunion was much warranted.
Patting Sterling’s back to return the gesture, he replied casually. “I have been well. Wish I could say the same for you.”
Sterling withdrew the hug, stepping back with a raised eyebrow. “It’s not that bad is it? We’re going to prison?”
Shraik shook his head. “No no, far from it.” He took the chair of the previous officer and sat down, gesturing Sterling to sit back down as well. As she did, Shraik explained everything.
“You see, because of you and your friend’s involvement with the residing Syndicate parties on Andor, some political standings, as well as safety protocols need to be carefully monitored. Basically, you two are in a whole heap of zabathu dung.”
K`Tai tilted her beret up and looked at ch`Thal for the first time.
“It wasn’t that bad, was it?” K`Tai asked.
“I’m afraid so. With Kato now in charge, most likely the planetary criminal organisations will increase their practices. When Ogata was in charge, most criminal activity was kept low key.”
“Well that’s because she was Starfleet Intel. Of course things would be drummed down enough to be safe but not enough to blow her cover.” replied K`Tai
“That may be as your theory stands. So far we only have your word on that. Starfleet Intelligence isn’t saying anything to back up your story.”
This time K`Tai sat up straight, her attention now on Shraik. “You’ve been in contact with Starfleet and they won’t let us out?”
“They are in a complex situation. The Mars incident and the news of an invasion will tend to cause panic to those not equipped to deal with it.”
“That’s a load of Frell.” said K`Tai angrily. “Things went south and now they’re denying all involvement. I can’t believe- No wait, I actually can believe it.”
“K`Tai, calm down.” said Sterling. “As far as we know nobody’s sure of anything right now. We need to wait and see.”
“No, we can’t Dora. We need to find Phrek and we need to find him before he winds up dead.”
“Ah yes, Manager Phrek.” said Shraik.
They both turned to him. “What?” they asked in unison.
“Well, when we went to file the incident report regarding the brawl in his establishment…”
“He was nowhere to be found. No records of transportation or departure. He simply vanished from the star port.”
“No, he’s got to be there somewhere.” said K`Tai. “He has to be. Ogata told me to find him and he’ll give me all the damn answers.”
“Well I’m sorry. I’m only just stating the facts.” said Shraik. “However an investigation will be put through once a missing persons report is filed.”
“So file one already so we can find him.” said K`Tai.
Shraik shook his head. “It’s not that simple. There are procedures and protocols that must be maintained, Ms. K`Tai.” He paused for a moment. “Or should I say Ms. M`Sumi?”
K`Tai narrowed her eyes at Shraik. “K`Tai will do just fine.”
Shraik stood up, and then handed a padd to Sterling. “This is all we have regarding the investigation into the Syndicate’s holdings here on Andor. You might find it interesting.” He started heading for the door. “I have some work to do so if you’ll excuse me.”
“See you later, Shraik.” said Sterling.
“Yeah, later.” K`Tai resisted adding You Frelling Smurf to the end and just glanced out the window. They were in the starbase’s prefecture so they had a reasonable view of the orbit around Andor. The nice view still did not dispel the fact that they were in a prison cell.
“Can I ask you a personal question, K`Tai?” said Sterling, lowering the padd she was given.
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Why did Shraik call you M`Sumi?”
K`Tai frowned in thought. It had been a long time coming and for years she hid the details well. But she knew the topic would soon come up. Now was as good a time as any for the truth.
“Because, that’s the name I used when I was last here.” K`Tai turned to Sterling.
“Because M`Sumi was my real name.”
Now before you say anything, no, the name Kato was picked purely at random. Having the name, and appearing somewhat asian is purely coincidental to that of Green Hornet’s character. I don’t rip anything off unless it’s blatantly obvious :P
Anyway, after this point, I went on to do some pre-Starfleet backstory for K’tai. It was alright, A teen sorta angsty theme I was trying to figure out. Which is why I didn’t put it here :P