Yesterday’s Betazoid Condensation coated the crude brick wall. Her slick-looking, black Nemar suit helped her blend in. She scanned for Klingon lifeforms. The tiny wristband under her cuff stayed blue. Nothing. She peered around the corner to her right. She could see the town center, a little thing just large enough to contain a good-sized fountain and an area around it for pedestrians to admire the view. She checked the chronometer embedded in her jawbone. The oscillation of tingles in her teeth gave her the time. She was a whole minute ahead of schedule. She bit her lip in exasperation. She always prided herself on timing and to miss by so much… A guard passed through the town center and she held position. He/she continued on, oblivious to her presence. She wasn’t worried. She would have known if there was any real danger of …it…seeing her. Despite the odd appearance, the inhabitants of Katalan 5 were open to her abilities. As a trained warrior from one of the Great Houses on Betazed she had the finest, most keenly honed of senses, taught from an early age to detect all around her, no matter how strange the mind. The peoples of Katalan may have looked unusual but with their shared basic humanoid structure, so similar around the quadrant, they tended to experience similar things. As long as they operated from recognizable motives and, more importantly, emotions, she could read what was going on around her. She had the full confidence of Starfleet behind her, too, but if what she had heard on Orion was true that didn’t count for nearly as much as it had a few days ago. She searched carefully for just the right dreams. When she found what she had been searching for it was due to the terrific impact on her senses. The Klingon was beating upon her and she could only fall back on her Vulcan training to keep from screaming. He had the sharpest, cruelest face she had ever seen. He flogged her again. The pain almost broke her. Then her training reasserted itself. She shrugged off the more serious emotional impact and focused on direction. It came from that hut, or house. She wasn’t quite sure where it fit in, definition-wise. She only knew where the dreamer lay. The dream ended abruptly and she could feel his(definitely male in thought patterns) mind come to full consciousness. She began to creep forward. When she reached the door of the building, she waited a few moments until the target had moved to another room. Examining the door in the meantime, she identified hinges on one side. Smiling to herself, she set her wrist phaser to a very fine beam. She slid it along the opposite seam, slicing any restraining devices clean through. When the moment came she eased the door open and entered. The citizens of Katalan 5 were partially reptilian, partially something else. Their eyes sat extremely high on the head, separated by a breathing cavity shaped like a pear. They lacked human-style mouths, having a type of proboscis instead. Most important to her, they had terrible night vision. She was able to take a seat in the common room and stretch for a second before the native became aware of her. “Don’t turn on the lights or call out,” she projected into his mind. “I am here to help you with your Klingon problem.” At the mention of the hated conquerors her unwitting host froze where he stood. “Who are you?” he blurted, startled into answering her telepathic comment aloud. The language was a combination of air forced through the proboscis and a flapping of skins within the nasal cavity. She sympathized with his discomfort. The Klingons had been “crushing peoples beneath their iron boots”, as her imzadi had said, for a very long time. The images she had seen just emphasized what this individual had been through. “I am a friend. My people war against the Klingons. I need your help, so I can help your people.” He was so startled her lurched towards her. “No, do not come closer. My appearance,” she paused, “I am closer in looks to the Klingons than your people are. I do not wish to shock you. You’ve been through enough. But I do need your help. The Klingons have a facility in the area. It’s disguised, covered up to look like something else, but it employs a very large number of people. Do you know of a place like this?” His hips shook. She could see him as a silhouette, outlined by the dim lights in the food preparation room. The shudder ran up his body until the outline of his head seemed to vibrate for a moment. “I will show you the Pools of Hell. I will not go there. They let me leave because I let them beat me. I will not return. But I will show you where it is.” He shouldered a pack off of a hook near the door she had entered. “Come.” He reached for the deadbolt lever and she caught his surprise when it fell off into his hand. “Sorry about that,” she let him know. She could feel the stirrings of mirth in his psyche. “You had to get in somehow,” he commented, drawing the door open cautiously. “My name is Geht. Do your people have names?” She smiled in the darkness as she rose. “I’m Troi,” she projected, along with some soothing feelings, “Deanna Troi.” “Come with me, Deanna Troi. I will give you the Klingons,” he paused to peer back at her but she blurred his perception and projected feelings of equanimity. He shrugged, the movement outlined now by the dim torches in the courtyard. “I will lead you to them,” he seemed to struggle with his words, “And you will kill them.” He stepped out. She followed him out of the house, sticking entirely to the shadows. He tried to look at her directly a couple of times but she deflected him. They passed several patrols along the way but they were strictly native and she had no trouble helping them see what she needed them to see. Before too long, they reached the edge of the village and were moving through the surrounding overgrowth. It was about twenty minutes before he stopped and she stopped with him. Looking in her general direction, he said, “If you go this way,” his arm stretched out into the woods, “You will find the Pools of Hell. I’m going home now.” He dropped his arm and headed back to the village. She stood for a moment, uncertain. There were no minds to glean information from within range. She was forced to fall back on her Starfleet Special Teams training. She managed to creep up close enough to sense the first Klingon sentry. His mind gave her the locations of the others. The garrote slipped around the neck of the unaware man with ease. Her gifts kept him from struggling. The second was easier-he never had a hint of her approach. The third thrashed for a second, she was getting tired. Triggering a wake-up, she moved on the fourth man. He almost turned and saw her. She had to make him see trees and grass where she stood. While he watched nothing she put her fingers to her head and rubbed her forehead. Her headache had started, a sure sign that her powers would fail her if she kept pushing her limits. Then she killed him. His neck snapped with ease under her well-muscled grip. The fifth actually drew his disruptor, waving it in an uncertain half-circle before she slipped a poisoned needle into his neck. The sixth was alert and armed. She sighed inwardly. Easing her boot knife out, she eyed him from the scrub until he glanced away from her. A simple flip throw and he was down, his boots drumming out a tattoo on the ground. She eased her belt knife into his chest and twisted, tearing through the protective sac around both of his hearts. He exhaled quietly and died. She retrieved her knives and wiped them on his combat leathers. The fatigue was pressing on her like a massive hand, slowing her reflexes and pushing the headache to new heights. She triggered another wake-up, knowing two in so short a time would shorten her lifespan. She smiled to herself. The odds of her surviving the evening were slim enough. The facility was like pictures her Imzadi had shown her of strip mining on old Earth, a massive gash in the planet’s crust. Concrete slabs surrounded by pools of water held large booster units, designed to reach orbit with sizable payloads. She studied the engine designs just long enough to determine they were nuclear powered. The Klingons obviously didn’t care what they did to the planet’s biosphere when they launched them. One lifted off in a blast of light as she watched, carrying the main hull of a K’Vort-class battle cruiser as it’s cargo. She began to count the slabs and the total made her light-headed. There were dozens, and all bore scorch marks left behind by repeated launches. The buildings on the far side of the artificial valley were assembly buildings, large enough to hold a Galaxy-class cruiser each, and there were over a dozen of them as well. Beyond were smoke-belching factories, undoubtedly producing the parts needed for the ships being built there. How this facility had survived so long without a visit from a Special Teams unit or, for that matter, a Federation fleet, boggled her mind. Someone in Intelligence had missed the clues she’d found on her own. If the Klingons were producing ships on this scale the Federation would be buried in enemy ships at every encounter. She had to get word back to Starfleet Command. This could tip the balance of the war. She turned to head back to the village and her ship. The dk’tagh came out of nowhere and she cursed herself for using the stims-she knew they chopped at her awareness. It slammed into her stomach and she sagged to the ground, oblivious to the gloating beast standing over her. Her intestines slid out of the wound as he ripped his blade out of her belly and she scrambled to shove them back in. “Federation spy, did you think the loss of six perimeter guards would go unnoticed? Did you think our capabilities so inadequate that the mighty Federation could send a single agent to stop us?” He wiped her blood off of his knife on his hip, unconcerned with the stain upon his combat leathers. She continued to push her intestines back inside but they kept slithering out. She was growing faint from the loss of blood. She thought of her mother. She could hear her voice. “Child, you must push, must persevere, my darling. We are at war and you are a weapon.” Her mother’s sweet smile had that faint hint of disapproval she’d always seemed to hide in the background. “You cannot quit, you cannot fail.” Deanna gathered what little strength remained and tried to stand but the Klingon pushed her back down with a jack-booted foot, not caring that her blood splashed it. As she fell into the undergrowth she thought about the training her mother had given her. She knew that if the Federation wasn’t warned about this ship construction site the output from the massive facilities would eventually overwhelm everything she held dear. Once again she tried to rise but her body failed her. “So be it,” she thought, “Good-bye, Imzadi.” She left off her efforts to hold her body together and she could feel herself going away as the contents of her insides were exposed to the open air. Her dying hand reached into her pocket and grasped the small, magnetic ampule. She turned off it’s power and the pea-sized piece of antimatter was no longer suspended. In the instant that it rushed to touch the matter around it she thought the Klingon looked fearful, but really, there just wasn’t enough time to tell.