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Chapter Nine


“It’s a minor setback,” Solarin assured his brother’s employer. . “We simply have to move up our timetable.”

A Cardassian was also present with the two Bajorans in a cargo bay. That Cardassian was Legate Turrell, the ambassador’s chief-of-staff. “That can be accomplished in good time,” he said. “Making Pirak’s death look like an accident will still take delicate work.”

“Get it done,” the employer snarled. “We cannot afford any more foul ups.” He then turned to Solarin. “You, make sure your brother does not compromise everything.”

Solarin considered what the employer said. How would he make absolutely certain Ronnick would remain silent? “You don’t mean… “

“If sacrificing him is necessary,” the employer interrupted, “that is the will of the Prophets.”

From a far corner, Tandro observed what was taking place from behind a stack of cargo containers. He knew of such betrayals all too well, as the posthumous son of Ardelon Tandro. The elder Tandro had betrayed his army to the rebels in the Klaestron civil war. Ilon was even willing to let the successor host to Curzon Dax take the blame for his father’s murder.

A newly established warp-capable race, the Klaestrons soon became a protectorate of the Cardassian Union. They even supported the Cardassians during the Klingon War while Klaestron was on the verge of another civil war. Tandro turned to the rebel cause when Cardassia joined the Dominion.

Tandro headed for Pirak’s quarters to warn him. “I was scheduled to meet with the legate in the ward room,” he told Pirak. “When he didn’t show, the computer said he was in Cargo Bay 14.”

“Who was with him?” Pirak asked.

“At least two Bajorans.”

“Why would a rebel Bajoran group want me dead? And for that matter, why would Turrell be helping them?”

Tandro walked out into the corridor with a Starfleet guard by his side. He was barely ten feet down the corridor when the guard reacted as if he felt a knot in his stomach. Solarin had jammed a knife into his back. After the guard keeled over, Solarin pulled out the knife and wielded it at Tandro.

Tandro had quick enough reflexes to throw a right hook at the assassin. He then grabbed Solarin by the throat with his left. “I don’t know what your grudge is against Pirak,” he sneered. “Maybe something during the Occupation. But I don’t see what you would gain by killing me as well.”

“Your recent family history means you are a danger to compromise our plans,” Solarin gagged. “That was why Turrell arranged to meet with you.” He then kneed Tandro in the abdomen weakening his grip on his throat. Solarin then picked the knife up off the floor. Before he could use it, a Bajoran phaser was pointed at his head. “Drop it or I blow your head off,” Ro hissed at him.

Solarin quickly dropped the knife.


Ro and a Bajoran deputy escorted Solarin to the security office holding cells. “They were preparing to put him in the same cell as his brother. “You might be acquainted with your new cellmate,” Ro quipped.

Ronnick lay unconscious on the cell floor. Ro lowered the forcefield and crouched down to check his pulse. “He’s dead.”

“You bastards tortured him to death!” Solarin screamed. He slugged the deputy and lunged at Ro. Ro stood upright and administered the Vulcan nerve pinch. She needed to use a lot more effort since she lacked the physical strength of a Vulcan.

Doctor Zeyner reported to the cellblock on Ro’s page. He scanned the corpse with a medical tricorder in one hand and a medical sensor device in the other. “Every system in his body has just shut down,” he reported.

“Some kind of neural paralyzer?” Ro asked.

“Possibly,” said Zeyner. “I’ll need to do a full autopsy.”         

Ro turned to her deputy. “Check his brother for poisons on his person. And keep him on twenty-six hour suicide watch.”


Kira had been informed of the arrest of Solarin, and that Tandro learned the specifics of the assassination attempt. She led a team of two security deputies-- one Bajoran, the other Starfleet-- through the docking ring towards Cargo Bay 14.

Logic would dictate that the conspirators would re-locate their base camp once station personnel were onto them. Of course, this lead was the best they had to go on. Kira contemplated why the Kohn-Ma would wish Pirak, an advocate of peaceful coexistence between Cardassia and Bajor, dead. Maybe such motives were similar to those of the Kohn-Ma when they attempted to destroy the Wormhole. Such actions were hardly rational. Having once been a terrorist herself, Kira knew that terrorists rarely acted rationally.

Kira and the Starfleet deputy positioned themselves on both sides of the entrance door. The Bajoran deputy wielded his phaser at the door. Kira quietly counted to three and hit the wall panel opening the double doors.

All three ran in at the same time a near split second after the doors opened. A civilian Bajoran emerged from behind the containers and phasered the two security officers flanking Kira. He lunged over the cargo containers and took Kira down.

Kira lost her grip on her phaser. Another figure picked up the phaser, while her assailant helped her upright. She recognized the second Bajoran’s short blond hair and his two-day old facial hair. He was Tahna Los, her former colleague in the resistance and more recently responsible for the near destruction of the Wormhole seven years earlier.

“Hello, Nerys,” Tahna said somewhat sarcastically. “It’s been a long time.”

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