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The beam down point was about fifty yards from where Noxx actually was. Dylan saw Noxx and Veronica sitting on a bench on a platform over looking a water feature. The strategy was to purposely have Dylan walk in alone. Dylan looked around for Noxx’s back up, but did not see anyone. The area was full of people heading to the entertainment districts and enjoying the beautiful setting. Dylan approached Noxx. Tyler and Row approached from the other side, boxing Noxx in. Noxx saw Dylan coming to him.

“You don’t listen very well,” said Noxx. “Where are the Orions?”

“I don’t know. I never promised I’d bring them,” replied Dylan. “Are you okay, Ronnie?”

“I am fine,” she replied.

Dylan took Veronica’s hand and helped her up. Noxx took her other arm and stopped her from getting up. Dylan sighed.

“Remove your hand from her arm, or I will break it,” said Dylan.

Noxx held on to Veronica’s arm a moment then let go. Noxx was surprisingly calm for not getting his girls back.

“Dylan, you just don’t expect to collect your friend here and just walk away, do you,” asked Noxx.

“That’s exactly what I am going to do,” replied Rick.

“I’m not leaving with out my women, Dylan,” Noxx shot.

“I suggest that you do.”

“I didn’t want this to get ugly, but it will. I will not stop until I have those girls back.”

Noxx went on ranting as Dylan and Veronica walked away. They caught up with row and Tyler who were keeping an eye on Dylan from a distance. Everyone was relieved that things ended up without getting into another fight. Veronica slipped an arm around Rick and gently kissed him on the cheek.

“Thanks,” said Veronica. “How about that coffee? My place?”

“That sounds nice,” replied Rick.

Veronica looked at Rowe and Tyler. “You are welcome to join us.”

“Oh, we wouldn’t want to intrude,” replied Tyler.

“You won’t be trust me. There’s pecan pie too.”

Fifteen minutes later, Veronica was pouring coffee as her guests were enjoying slices of homemade pecan pie. The atmosphere was very nice and Veronica was a gracious host. Veronica’s door chime rang. She excused herself to go answer it. When she opened the door, on the other side were three Orion women. Ronnie shook her head in disbelief, and invited them in.

“Rick, it’s for you,” said Veronica.

Dylan got up to check out who would be asking for him. He was surprised to see the Orions. Melody greeted Dylan with a hug. Tyler was glad to see the girls too. Veronica offered the Orions coffee, stepping into the kitchen to fetch more mugs and start a fresh pot. After greeting the other women Dylan got down to business.

Melody smiled. “We heard you were in town and wanted to say hello.”

“The Orions heard I was in town? How,” thought Dylan. It didn’t matter.

“Melody, listen you have got to get out of here,” said Dylan. “I know I have said it before but I mean it.”
“Our ship will arrive tomorrow,” replied Melody. “We can evade Noxx for one more day.”

“We won’t have to do that, Mel, look,” Symphony handed Melody her communicator.

The black screen had some numbers across the top and a text message that read: EXECUTE, EXECUTE, EXECUTE. The Orion women stood there in silence for a moment. Dylan knew something was going on but couldn’t put his finger on it. He had a sense that there was a little more to the Orions than what he actually knew.

“We need to tell him,” said Symphony.

Melody hesitated, but she spoke. “We are not what we appear to be. We work for the Orion Syndicate. Noxx has been making things difficult for us, and we are here to disrupt his network pay him back. We just received our orders to take him down and face the Syndicate bosses.”
“I wasn’t aware of any Orion Syndicate,” added Rowe.

“There’s a reason for that,” said Rhapsody.

“You girls are agents in the Orion Syndicate,” asked Tyler.

“We didn’t say that, and we will thank you to not mention the Syndicate outside this room,” replied Symphony.

“So the exotic alien call girl thing was all just a ruse,” asked Dylan. “What about your clients?”

“Drugged,” replied Melody. “Our clients would be sleeping but would remember a wild night of pleasure and fantasy. The whole point of this operation was to get close to Noxx and then bring him down.”

“That’s brilliant,” offered Rowe. “Out con the con man.”
“Rick, we are prepared to handle Noxx and his crew,” said Melody. “Not his extra muscle. We could use some help on this one.”

“Rick, we are in enough trouble with Pike already,” added Tyler. “We could be in a lot more if we do this.”

“Just help us take out his security we will handle the rest,” said Symphony.

Dylan wasn’t sure but was inclined to help. He didn’t like Noxx from the beginning and it would be nice to see him get s what’s coming, but Tyler was right. It wasn’t just Pike and Number One they had to worry about. Pulling off a stunt like this under the shadow of some very high command officials in Starfleet was on the brink of insanity.
It could very well mean the end of Dylan’s career and his colleagues if things didn’t go right. Dylan looked at Veronica for some sign of support.

“Don’t look at me, sugah. You are on your own.” Veronica sipped her coffee. “But come back here if you get hurt. I’ll patch you up. I don’t exactly approve, but Noxx did kidnap me.”

“Jose, Gina you don’t have to do this,” said Dylan.

“You don’t either,” replied Gina. “How hard can taking out some amateur thugs be? You in, Jose?”

Tyler nodded, which got him a hug from Rhapsody.

“Well it looks like we have a team,” said Melody. “We better do this now. Noxx is not as stupid as he looks. We’ll brief you on the way.”

With that the Orions stepped out of Veronica’s apartment. Tyler and Rowe followed. Dylan put on his jacket and was the last out when Veronica took his arm, pulling him to her. Dylan’s eyes met hers. Veronica held his arm for a moment.

“Don’t get yourself beat up too bad this time okay, hon,” said Veronica. She kissed Dylan on the cheek.

“Save us some of that pie. See ya later,” replied Dylan as he joined the others.

The Orions and Starfleet officers headed out. Symphony’s communicator was a multi functional device. She was able to get a fix on Noxx’s ship. Noxx parked his ship just beyond the city limits. Far enough out to not attracted attention but close enough to walk into town and make business deals. Noxx’s ship was also unregistered and he didn’t need the hassle of acquiring pesky landing permits.

About forty minutes later, they arrived at Noxx’s ship. They stopped about fifty yards out. Dylan and Melody peeked up from behind some rocks. Two of Noxx’s men were outside the ship near the boarding ramp with the rest of the men inside. Melody turned to the others.

“Two guards outside the ship,” said Melody. “The rest are inside”

“We can take them out at this range with phaser pistols, but I suggest we go in close,” added Dylan. “I hate to actually say this but we will need a diversion.”

“That’s our department my man,” said Melody. “Noxx wants us back so all we need to do is walk right up to them. Rick, will you cover our flank?”

Dylan nodded as he drew his Type 2 phaser from his jacket.

“We know every inch of that ship. Once we are in, stick close to us. Dylan and I will take the flight deck, the rest of you hit the lounge,” said Melody. “Any questions?”

“Let’s just go,” said Rowe.

The thugs outside Noxx’s ship heard footsteps approaching. One of them hit a switch on the ramp support beam and activated a flood light. There they were. The Orion women just walking back on their own accord. The men were instantly focused on the women walking to them.

“Well, well…look who decided to come back,” said one of the men.

“Where’s Noxx,” asked Melody.

“He’s on the flight deck,” the man replied.

“And the others?”

“In the lounge.”

That’s all they needed. Dylan grabbed on man from behind. He stuck the phaser into his back and shot him at point blank range on heavy stun. The man collapsed with little resistance. The other man raised his weapon toward Dylan, but Tyler kicked the man’s legs out causing him to fall hard to the ground.

Rowe mopped up by firing a short burst from her phaser and rendering the man unconscious. The Starfleet officers joined the Orions. Melody lead Dylan away from the group.

“Before we take the lounge we need to stop by engineering and make sure this crate doesn’t leave orbit, said Symphony.

Soon they were in the small engineering room with Rhapsody and Rowe outside the room standing watch. Symphony, Tyler and Rowe began to pull circuit breakers and disengage fail safe system. Tyler was familiar with the system which made it simple to know what to do to disable the ship with out blowing it up. Tyler took his phaser and cut through some cables, then took the cooling plants off line.

“That oughta do it,” said Tyler.

The flight deck was rather large. There were four seats for the pilot, co pilot, navigator and engineer. Noxx had the ship modified so that it could be flown with one pilot. He was communicating with leads to try and track down the Orion women, speaking with people about corrupt deals. He was so focused that he did not hear Melody’s approach from directly behind him. Melody walked around Noxx directly in front of him.

She sat on the instrument panel, raising a leg and placing her foot on Noxx’s chest. Noxx had quite the view of this lovely green creature before him. Melody pushed Noxx back into the seat, digging her high heel deeply into his chest causing Noxx some discomfort.

“It’s about time you came back,” said Noxx. “Perhaps we can get back to work.”

“Shut up, Noxx,” replied Melody. “Your main concern is staying alive for the next few minutes.”

Noxx was never one to listen or follow directions, even when he was being threatened or in a bad situation. Dismissing Melody’s threat, he put his hand on her thigh. A moment later Noxx felt the tip of the beam emitter of a phaser pressed into his cheek. Noxx was distracted by Melody rhat he didn’t hear Dylan come from behind.

“I’d suggest you remove your hand,” said Dylan. “Do you know what a phaser will do to your face at this range?”
“You won’t kill me, Dylan,” replied Noxx.

“I didn’t say I would, however I am not above permanent disfigurement.”

Symphony peeked into the lounge quickly. Half the men were at the bar, the others were on the couches. Symphony held up her hand and indicated the number of men with her fingers. Symphony pulled Tyler close to her and whispered softly into his ear.

“Follow our lead, dear,” whispered Symphony.

Symphony and Rhapsody stepped into the lounge, doing that slinky Orion walk in formation and in perfect synch. Just the simple act of the Orions walking into the room was enough to get the men’s attention, even Tyler’s. Gina could sense it and she palm slapped Tyler on the back of his head.

“Stay focused,” whispered Rowe.

Symphony joined the men at the bar. Rhapsody joined the men at the couches. Symphony placed herself strategically behind the small bar and leaned over giving the men a nice view of her ample and barely covered bosom. Symphony wrapped her fingers around a bottle underneath the bar. Rhapsody put her leg up on a small table which all the men at the couches were drawn to.

“You know, Noxx is very pissed at you girls,” said one of the men.

Symphony smiled, “We really don’t care.”

She took the bottle and walked over to join Rhapsody, the men in tow. That was it. With the men’s backs to the door, Tyler and Gina rushed in. Tyler stunned one of the men, Gina got the other. The third one turned grabbed Tyler’s wrist and delivered a punch to his stomach. Rowe shot a phaser burst but missed.

Despite the pain, Tyler came charging back tackling the man who punched him. Tyler rolled off of him and away giving Gina a clear shot. She hit the man square in the chest with her shot. While Tyler and Gina were engaged, Rhapsody pivoted and kicked one of the men square in the jaw sending backward over the couch. Symphony swung the bottle and cracked it into the other man’s face with a heavy dull thump. It knocked the man to the floor but the bottle didn’t break.

The two remaining men were disoriented but still in the fight. The man nearest man to Rhapsody kicke her legs out form under her and she fell square on her butt. As the man was getting up, Gina took aim and knocked him out with a single shot. Melody planted the bottle into the other man’s face. The time the bottle broke, bits of glass and the contents spraying every where. The last man was down, in a lot of pain but not out.

Tyler had recovered his phaser. The last man tried to get up slowly but Tyler and Rowe had their phasers aimed at him.

“Just stay down,” said Gina.

The man hesitated a moment then tried to get up again. That got him a shot from Tyler’s phaser, which finally took him out of the fight. Quickly the Orions and Starfleet officers collected the men’s weapons.

“All right, let’s take out the trash,” said Gina.

On the flight deck, Dylan and Melody were still with Noxx. Noxx was in a situation he did not like, but he was sure he’d find a way out of it. Melody removed her foot from Noxx’s chest. She reached into his furry jacket. She reached into a pocket and pulled a small leather bound book. Melody flipped through the pages and nodded.

“What’s that,” asked Dylan.

“This is Noxx’s network of contacts and associates,” replied Melody. “This is the only record of it. He didn’t store this on any computer or memory chip and kept it on his person at all times to prevent what I just did.”

“What do you intend to do with that,” asked Noxx.

Melody smiled. “We are going to make your life miserable Noxx. Screwing with the Syndicate was not a very good idea. From this point on the Syndicate owns you.”

“What are you going to do with him?”

“He will be used as an intelligence asset to bring down his network, and when is no longer useful he will spend a very long time in an Orion prison if he is lucky. We have what we need. Let’s go, Noxx.”

Noxx got up. He said nothing as he was escorted off the flight deck. The doorway to the flight deck was narrow, only one person at a time could go through. Melody went first, followed by Noxx, then Dylan. Noxx casually brushed his hand against a switch on a panel. Out of no where a burst of gas and steam poured from overhead jets. Noxx pushed Melody forward, sending her to her knees.

With Dylan disoriented Noxx grabbed him and threw him into the wall, then punched him just to get some enjoyment out of it. Quickly Noxx stepped back onto the flight deck. As soon as he crossed the threshold, the door slammed shut and locked. Dyan got up quicky recovered his phaser and tried to blast the door panel off. Melody touched Dylan.

“That’s not gonna work, we gotta get off this ship,” said Melody.

The ship began vibrating as the engines spun up. Outside the ship, Rowe was chaining the last captured man. She fused the chain to a piece of stolen equipment that Noxx was panning to sell with her phaser. She felt the ground vibrate and heard the whine of engines. The Orions and Starfleet offices cleared the area. The ship slowly began to lift off.

It shifted slightly throwing Dylan off the boarding ramp. Dylan landed on his back and saw the ship continue to climb slowly. Dylan quckily got up and shouted for Melody to jump before the ship got to high.

At about fifteen feet, Melody leapt off the ramp landing square on Dylan. He was knocked back to the ground. The engines got much louder and began to kick up dirt and small rocks. Dylan and Melody could feel the heat form the thrusters. Dylan rolled Melody over and on top over her in attempt to protect her form the small debris pelting her bare skin.

The ship was now climbing though sixty feet and it made a hovering forty five degree turn. The roar of the engines was deafening as the ships vertical thrusters cut out and the horizontal thrusters kicked in. The ship accelerated down range slowly and still climbing. The ship wobbled a bit as it moved.

Noxx had his hands full with systems failures, overheating and guidance control. The ship was now at about two hundred feet and went into an uncontrolled forty degree bank. It made a one hundred and eighty degree turn, then sharply began to drop out of the sky.
Smoke began to pour from an engine, the ship now entering a slow descending spin. Dylan looked up only to see the crippled ship spinning directly toward him and Melody. It was going to be close.

The chained men did their best to curl up in cover and protect themselves. The spinning ship passed directly over head of the people on the ground at around eighty feet. Noxx engaged the braking thrusters but it was too late and he couldn’t recover in time. The ship stalled, slammed to ground shearing off the landing gear then bouncing into the air.

The ship slammed hard into the ground again and rested. He ship did not explode, but a small fire erupted. Noxx survived the crash, but was bruised up. He blew an emergency hatch and jumped out of the crumpled wreck.
The ship crashed into a horse shoe shaped ridge. Noxx was pinned.

The only direction he could travel was back toward where the people were about two hundred yards. Dylan helped Melody up. She dusted Dylan off. Tyler and Rowe joined up with Dylan and Melody, followed by Symphony and Rhapsody.

“Everyone all right,” asked Dylan.

The group nodded and acknowledged that they were okay and for the most part not injured. Noxx approached the group with his hands up. He was finally beat and he knew it. Noxx was quickly bound with a scrap chain and secured away from the other men. Dylan surveyed the area and looked at the wreck of the ship and the men. Melody walked up to him and slipped her arm around his wais

“Hell of a night,” said Rick.

“Indeed,” replied Melody.

“What’s going to happen to these men,"asked Rowe.

“We’re only interested in Noxx. We’ll throw the local authorities a bone and have them picked up in a day or so. They can all cool off for a while here. “

Dylan and Melody started to join the others.

“Dylan,” shouted Noxx. “If I see you again I will kill you.”

Dylan turned toward Noxx. “I’d like to kill you myself if we meet again but I think my green sexy Orion friends have other plans for you.”

Melody and Dylan walked away from Noxx to join the others. Melody was still holding on to Dylan.

“You have made friends in the Syndicate, Rick,” said Melody. “We owe you one. I owe you one.”

“Thank you,” replied Dylan. “I think. I am not quite sure how to take that.”

“Take it like this.” Melody held Dylan’s face in her hands and gave him a long, hard kiss on the mouth that he would not forget for a long time.

Dylan didn’t hear the others join up with them. Tyler shook his head.

“Do you believe this guy,” asked Tyler. “Rick, the girls have invited us back to their place for a little celebration. What do you think?”

“You go on,” replied Dylan. “I should probably stop back by Veronica’s and let her know we’re not dead.”

“She is welcome to join us,” said Symphony.

“I’ll ask her,” replied Dylan.

The chime at Dr. West’s apartment buzzed. She opened the door to find Dylan a little beat up and dirty from his adventure. She was glad to see him. She gave Dylan a hug and walked him to the couch. Dr West noticed small cuts and bruised on Dylan but they were superficial. She brought him a cup of coffee.

“Where are your friends,” asked Ronnie.

“The Orions are having a little victory party, we are invited, “ replied Dylan.

“Sounds fun, but why don’t we stay in tonight? What about Noxx?”

“Noxx will be out of commission for a long time.”

Ronnie nodded and sipped her coffee. “Good to know.”

Ronnie wondered but didn’t ask. Why did Rick do this? Why would he put his career on the line to help people he barely knew? It was crazy, but there was something honorable about it. Something that Ronnie liked. Dylan finished his coffee and set the mug down on a side table.

“Well, I wanted to let you know everyone was all right,” said Dylan. “Thanks for the coffee. I should probably get up to the ship.”

“You are more than welcome to stay, “ replied Ronnie. “I would very much like it if you would. You are growing on me, Lt. Dylan. Let’s talk.”

With that, Ronnie put her arm around Dylan. They shared more coffee, pecan pie and talked well into the night.


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