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Negotiating Safe Passage

Posted on Sun Aug 11th, 2019 @ 4:16pm by Lieutenant Aleksander Voroshilov

Mission: War and Peacekeeping
Location: Aleksi's Quarters

“Thank you for meeting with me Mister Bolivar,” Aleksi offered his hand, sizing the man up as he did so. Stunning good looks and an aura of charm, both dangerous qualities in a man who was as devoted to the cause as he appeared to be. And with as much blood was on his hand, it would be difficult to argue against his passion.

“Please,” Vicente grabbed Aleksi’s with both hands, a broad and friendly grin on his face. The fact the local intelligence officer wanted to speak with him wasn’t surprising, but the location was. Based on what he had gathered the man was unconventional, not letting much getting in the way of his end goals. The real mystery is what those goals were, “Call me Vicente.”

“Can I get you something to drink Vicente?” Aleksi wasn’t surprised that the man had accepted the vague invitation, he had wagered curiosity and his ego would drive him to do so. To men like Vicente information was power and why would he pass up the opportunity to discuss such information. It’s something that he would have done if he were in Vicente’s shoes.

“Bourbon, if you have it,” Vicente walked further into the room, looking around with no protest from the colonial. He had been told you could tell a lot about a man from the sort of art he displayed and it would appear Aleksi was no different. There was a painting, full of utter chaos, that seemed front and center. Turning around, he saw that a lone lounge chair sat facing it.

“I’ve always been a fan of abstract art. It’s truth about humanity, despite us pretending it’s not,” Aleksi handed the Insurgent leader a glass of liquor, noting his inquisitive searching. It would have been a lie if he said he hadn’t planned for him to go hunting, a predator tends to feel most comfortable in a predictable environment, “Take a seat wherever you like, I don’t like ceremony.”

“Thank you,” Taking the seat facing the Jean-Paul Riopelle, as Aleksi figured he would, Vicente took a sip of the drink, letting it burn down his throat, “I have to say, you have excellent taste Mr. Voroshilov. I figured your time in a prison cell would disabuse you of such bourgeoisie notions,” Vicente glanced at the man, no hint of surprise on his face, “But I suppose absence does make the heart grow fonder.”

Aleksi had expected the man to do his research, as he would have done. As uncomfortable as it had been to admit the only thing truly separating them were the passion for a cause. That and a wonderful head of hair. It had been this realization though that made him as comfortable as he was talking to the terrorist. Taking a seat on the couch, an easy smile crossed his lips, “You’d be surprised what you can get smuggled into a cell, assuming you know the right people. Or I suppose in my case the wrong people.”

A laugh escaped the Trion, more at the absurdity of the situation than anything else. A broad grin on his face he held out his glass to the Fleet Officer, “To our friends in low places!” Downing the drink he leaned towards Aleksi. Even before he had come aboard the ship he knew of the name Voroshilov, spoken as if there were those in the Federation that too were willing to break the chains that bound them, “I’m actually rather surprised you’d still throw you’re lot in with them after what they did to you. You would have made an excellent rebel.”

In the flattery was a not so subtle implication about Aleksi’s intentions that day had been done for some higher ideological purpose beyond stopping a massacre. The truth was while he had a general dislike for authority, he generally accepted it unless it crossed his few lines of morality, “I’ve never been much of a leader, my convictions aren’t all that strong to begin with.”

“I suppose that is why you still wear the uniform of those who would take your freedom away and I ditched my oppression years ago,” Watching as the man poured him another drink he decided it was time to get down to business, “Why did you ask me to your quarters? I doubt it was for the philosophical discussion.”

“As pleasant as it would be that isn’t the reason,” Digging into his left pocket, Aleksi withdrew the vial holding the Cardassian Detonator. The reaction Vicente gave, a raised eyebrow, was surprising, though not entirely unexpected. So this is your toy, “When my team went aboard the Zendaya to do our investigation we came up with nothing of substance. Whoever executed the plan did it almost flawlessly, but they left this behind.”

His facade of control broke slightly, one little detonator could stop him from his plans of winning this war. It took no small amount of willpower to just sit still and not snatch it from Aleksi’s hand. Still, he had contingencies, “The fact that I am drinking bourbon with you and not locked in a cell tells me that you and I are the only ones who know that detonator is on this ship.”

“And it will remain that way so long as you and the rest of your compatriots behave themselves. Don’t harm the crew and this ship, do what you will to the Government assholes but leave the Federation out of it,” Aleksi had no love for the ruling party of Trion, a dislike that grew to borderline hatred the more he read about them. He may have been the only person on the ship rooting for a TLF victory, “I’m likely the only friend you have on board and I would like to keep it that way.”

“I would as well,” Vicente could sense some truth to that last statement, but whether that was Aleksi’s manipulation or his desire to believe in his own myth he wasn’t entirely sure. Standing up he crossed to an item he had seen earlier. His hand grasped the wooden forend of the weapon, “Ah, the Kalashnikov, a symbol of revolution. The people’s weapon.”

Aleksi sipped his bourbon as we watched the man shoulder it, swinging it around and aiming it as his chest. He was unfazed, knowing the weapon was inoperable. The firing pin was in his pocket. The tactic was intended to make Aleksi feel like he lacked the power in this dynamic, something that would work with those more concerned about their mortality, less so with those assuming they were living on borrowed time, “And the weapon of the oppressors and child soldiers.”

“You must care deeply about your fellow crewmen to keep such a secret from them,” Setting the weapon aside, a symbol he had always found inspiring, he walked back to the table. So far the Intelligence Officer had planned this out so well, everything meant to lure him into compliance. He didn’t get this far to be cowtowed by a government stooge, no matter how spotted their past was, “Or perhaps it’s a specific person you’re concerned with, a certain rainbow haired beauty.”

A twitch of fear crossed his face, not expecting those words. Vicente could have chosen to threaten anyone else, including the captain, and he could have stayed cool and collected. Evita had likely told him about that night and what she learned. There was absolutely no use in denying it, Ashe would only become a more attractive target if he did, “You do your research well Mister Bolivar, I suspect you would have made an excellent intelligence officer.”

“Emotional attachment will always betray you Aleksi,” Vicente chuckled at the reveal. He had figured out early on that Aleksi held his own life in disregard. It had been a gamble if the woman would truly be his trigger, but it was one he was willing to try. Getting the invitation he knew there was going to be some sort of extortion planned, something he wasn’t going to be unanswered by him. Taking a seat he sipped on his bourbon again, “So I propose a new deal. You keep our little secret and your cute bartender remains unharmed.”

Aleksi drummed his fingers a few times before looking the man in the eye. If he caved too quickly he gave the power to Vicente. If he fought too hard that would put Ashe into harm’s way. He was damned if he’d lose this game of wits. Leaning in, a smirk crossed his face, “My deal still stands. If the crew is harmed in anyway I will report you. If the ship experiences more than minor damage I will report you. If the woman is harmed in anyway you will wish I had reported you. Other than that, have at it.”

Aleksi pulled a folded sheet of paper out of his breast pocket, handing it over to the man, “You’ll find the rooms of the Government officials listed along with the defenses you’ll encounter along the way. Just don’t make an obvious mess.”

Vicente took the paper, understanding that it was a defacto acceptance of the offer. He never intended to kill anyone, at least not on this ship anyways. Looking at it to make sure the information made sense he looked back at Aleksi with a broad grin, offering his hand, “You have a deal my friend.”

Taking the hand, Aleksi felt an uncomfortable fear trickle down his spine though he was able to hide it. This was a deal with the devil, a psychopath who truly believed in his infallibility. After a few more minutes of friendly, but chilly, discussion Aleksi sent the Trion man off with a wave. Once alone, Aleksi placed his back against the door, sliding down it. He simultaneously believed that talk had worked and that he had unleashed a demon. Fishing out a cigarette, he lit it immediately. A long sigh escaped him, realizing that no matter what happened he’d have to come out on top. Looking at his watch he had a few hours before he was supposed to pick up Ashe, a few hours to regain his composure. This was going to be a hell of a ride.

 

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