“You lying son of a bitch!”
Limis was furious with Jaro’s sudden betrayal. She could have killed him had she not been disarmed at the same time Morrison was brought in.
“I’m very sorry,” Jaro coldly replied. “But I could not allow you to completely undermine Teero’s efforts.”
“All that about being a born-again believer of the Prophets,” said Limis, “and not harming our brothers and sisters. That was all a lie?”
“I was taking advantage of a rare opportunity.”
“Take them below,” Teero ordered the two guards. “Prepare them for the mind alteration.”
Limis and Morrison were taken into a dank and musty room below Teero’s residence. Water was dripping from the rocky ceiling. The only lighting came from a fixture dangling from the ceiling blinking on and off.
“Just after you beamed down,” Morrison deadpanned, “a Bajoran interceptor came right at the runabout like it knew where to find me.”
“I really thought he had changed, “ Limis lamented aloud. “I would have thought he had learned he had seen that he was turning on fellow Bajorans after what we all fought for together.”
“Well, I hope you’re happy,” Morrison scowled. “I tried sending out a distress call, but I don’t know if it got the Deep Space 9. Now we’re going to become that lunatic’s newest sleeper agents.”
“I never asked you to come on this mission,” Limis shot back. “This was a mission ordered by Intelligence.”
“You never mentioned your ties to Starfleet Intelligence.”
“You, of all people, should know agents of Starfleet Intelligence do not reveal themselves to just anyone. And my captaincy give me the privilege of keeping a few things to myself.”
Morrison rolled his eyes and began pacing back and forth in a the small room having barely enough room for walking. “All this advance technology, but we don’t have the means to get out of this cellar,” he grumbled.
“So what are your plans for you to force the Federation to withdraw from Bajor?” Jaro asked Teero while sharing another round of Romulan ale.
“All in good time, my friend,” Teero grinned, raising his glass. “The explosion in the Ferengi’s bar and the attack on the Cardassian spy sent a message that we will not be toyed with.
“The hypnotic message I sent your protégé was just a test to see what kind of improvements I must make.. My first target is Shakaar.”
“I should remind you the First Minister is not an autocrat,” Jaro offered. “His supporters “His supporters and his opponents will soon catch on.”
“Patience is an important factor,” Teero replied. “I have operatives gathering information on his top supporters and opponents.”
The friendly conversation was interrupted when both men heard the sound of weapon discharges and explosions. Both listened carefully to be sure that was what they were. Both them stood up, when they heard a man cry out. Teero grabbed a phaser rifle under the kitchen counter and threw it Jaro. He then picked up another rifle for himself.
Teero darted for the door to lend hand to his colleagues. Jaro followed slowly, but then he turned back to the cellar entrance when Teero was far enough away.
Limis and Morrison expected they were going to be mind altered when Jaro entered. “I know of another way of these catacombs,” he announced to them.
“Don’t let him fool you, Captain,” Morrison whispered.
“It’s better than waiting to be mind altered,” Limis replied.
As they were walking up to the main living area, three Starfleet troops entered armed with phaser rifles. Limis and Morrison recognized the Triexian as Ra Hoth and the Brikar in a MACO jumpsuit as Mik Tannin. The tall red-haired human woman was unfamiliar to them, though.
“Looks like everyone here is all right,” she declared, upon seeing Limis, Morrison, and Jaro uninjured. “Lieutenant Lisa Neeley, Deep Space 9,” she said, introducing herself to Limis.
“I recommended her as the new MACO commander,” Morrison said to Limis.
“Looks like you earned the job,” Limis candidly replied.
Captain’s log, stardate 51245.1: A team from the
Lambda Paz, with the help of a group of Bajoran Militia retrieved Commander Morrison and me. Jaro has been returned to Kran-Tobal Prison. No sign remains of Teero, but extra firewalls have been put in place on the communications frequencies of members of the Council of Ministers.
Limis later explained a few matters to Morrison while sauntering through the corridors. “I did receive a transmission from Starfleet Intelligence,” she stated. “They also contacted Shakaar asking him to deny my request for a furlough.”
“So he would have plausible deniability if anything went wrong,” Morrison finished.
“Plus, I had to make my effort to join Teero’s little cabal appear convincing.”
“And Jaro was there to appear to betray at the right moment.”
“The was his idea. We both could’ve ended up dead if Teero began to suspect we were working for Intelligence.”
“I still don’t understand one thing,” Morrison said, while they stopped at the door to his quarters. “Wouldn’t this operation constitute unlawful interference in Bajoran internal affairs?”
“Under a new General Order,” Limis replied. “Starfleet can use any means necessary to neutralize threats to Deep Space 9, given the station’s strategic importance during the war.”
Morrison silently nodded.
“Good night, Morrison,” said Limis. “See you on the bridge at 0700.”
Morrison entered his quarters to see Sara Carson seated on the sofa to his confusion. “I used the transporter,” she said in anticipation of Mandel’s query about how she got in.
Morrison sighted in regret. “We had a holosuite appointment,” he remembered. “I had an important mission.”
“Save the excuses, Mandel,” Sara shot back. “You volunteered
for this mission. The captain didn’t need your help.”
“I sent the distress call that allowed her to be rescued.”
“That is beside the point. We’ve been together long enough to have an understanding of where our relationship is going. You don’t know if I’m just another one of your conquests or someone you are genuinely in love with.”
“I never said this was an exclusive partnership.”
“You never said it wasn’t. You obviously have a fear of commitment. I can’t wait for you to get over that fear. I’m sorry.”
Carson stormed out of the quarters, leaving Morrison at a loss for words.
Limis’s desk in her ready room was cluttered with padds containing various status reports. She had a lot of catching up to do after two days on Bajor.
The door chimed while she was reading two padds at once. “Come in,” she said, without looking away.
Kozar entered. “We’ll be ready to get underway in another couple of days,” he reported.
“Good,” Limis replied setting down the padds. “There’s another matter. Sit down.”
Kozar sat in one of the guest chairs eager to hear what Limis had to say.
“I understand you asked Morrison to do some snooping around,” Limis candidly stated. “He even blackmailed me letting him accompany me.”
Limis paused for a moment, and Kozar began to speak.
“Hypothetically speaking,” Limis continued, “if you were captain and I was first officer, you’d be well within your rights to throw me in the brig for behaving that way?”
“Correct,” Kozar replied.
“So from now on, if I even suspect anyone on this ship of conspiracy to commit mutiny, I
will personally throw you
in the brig. Understood?!”
“Yes, ma’am… sir,” Kozar stuttered.
Teero Anaydis sat in a chair in a dark room. The only lighting was from light fixture shining straight down on him. A raspy feminine voice was speaking in his mind.
Everything has failed.
Teero was communicating telepathically with this mysterious presence. I never expected Jaro Essa would sell us out.
Of course, and that is why all our plans are on hold.
We will continue however. We will eventually deal with First Minister Shakaar Edon in our own way.