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On a Crusade, One Must Make Allies

Posted on Thu Sep 28th, 2023 @ 5:51am by I-400 & Boso Gane & Oko Gane

1,106 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: From the Inside
Location: Romulan Neutral Zone

The Romulan Neutral Zone: The demilitarized zone between the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire located in the Beta Quadrant. Due to the Zone's geopolitical status, the worlds that fell within it were often overlooked by both powers, and as such, the Neutral Zone had become known as a lawless land. Though scattered reminders of Romulan attempts to administer the zone remained, the Neutral Zone had garnered a reputation as the one place in the galaxy for someone to disappear.

One of the planets for such a thing to happen was Planetoid Lazzaro: A sparsely-populated Class M Planetoid located near the center line of the Neutral Zone. Though the Romulans had attempted to influence the Planetoid in the past, they abandoned the effort when the planetoid's inhabitants rebelled against Romulan rule. Planetoid Lazzaro had since been an independent world, though scars of the Romulan occupation were still present.

One prominent example was a memorial built by the Tal Shiar at the precise coordinates of Planetoid Lazzaro's north pole at the time of its construction. Built as a reminder to the inhabitants of who was on top, the memorial had since become something of a curiosity for extreme tourists, willing to risk life and liberty to venture into the Neutral Zone and visit the planetoid. For the locals, it was also known as a place where shady business deals took place.

Two individuals who often came here for the latter reason were a pair of young Hebitians. Ever since the Dominion War, they hadn't had a sense of belonging since their homeworld was bombed by the Federation during the latter stages of the war. They had followed a trail to the Neutral Zone, where they had been promised they could disappear. Since they had arrived at Planetoid Lazzaro, they had taken up odd jobs, mainly targeting Federation targets, to survive.

Their most recent excursion to the memorial was a tip off from a mysterious woman seeking hired muscle. The tip off wasn't any more specific than that, and so they had ventured out to the memorial, prepared to potentially have their time wasted.

After a few minutes, the two Hebitians found their contact; a hooded figure kneeling at the centerpiece of the memorial: A sword encased in concrete, with a hilt bearing resemblance to the Romulan crest.

"Speak:" The male demanded. "And if you're wasting our time-!"

"You know, the Tal Shiar built this memorial at the precise coordinates of Planetoid Lazzaro's north pole." The figure said. "They did that to remind the populus of who was on top: I like that: The geometry of power... You're probably wondering why you can't read my thoughts."

"Some species have a strong resistance to telepathy." The male responded. "But under enough pressure, every woman will crack."

The figure rose to its feet and lowered its hood, revealing herself as having the appearance of a young woman whose face seemed to be concealing something mechanical.

"Well, I'm sure they all do." The woman said. "But you needed something more than a woman, hence why you bailed on your last mission and allowed Starfleet to take the artifact."

"I didn't expect..." The male trailed off, evidently confused as to why the stranger knew of his last mission. "Starfleet was an unexpected complication, but I saw the merits in letting them take it, in that possession of it would tear them apart; make them implode."

"Everyone creates the thing they dread:" The woman agreed. "Men of peace create engines of war, Dominion invaders create Federation Alliances, People create... Smaller people? Children! Couldn't think of the word... Children, designed to supplant them. To help them... End."

"Is that why you're here?" The male asked. "To end the Federation?"

"I'm here to save the galaxy." The woman declared. "But also destroy the Federation in the process..."

The woman brought the Hebitians back to a place they had last been: A Romulan research facility housed in a former Borg cube within striking distance of Planetoid Lazzaro.

"We'll move out right away:" The woman said. "This is a start, but there's something we need to begin the real work."

"All of these are?" The male asked in reference to the vessel's new crew; consisting of nearly-identical copies of the woman.

"Me." The woman responded. "I have what the Federation never will: Harmony. They're discordant; disconnected. Izumi already has them turning on one another, and when you get inside the rest of their heads..."

"Many have tried to defeat the Federation before you, and all have failed." The female Hebitian said skeptically. "So what makes you so confident that you can succeed?"

"My child." The woman said. "Past attempts have failed because they all have involved spilling Federation blood, which would make them martyrs. You need patience. You need to see the big picture."

"I don't see the big picture:" The female Hebitian responded. "I have a little picture: I look at it every day."

"You lost your parents in the bombings during the Hebitia campaign." The woman responded. "I've seen the records."

"The records don't tell the full story!" The female Hebitian responded.

"Oko..." The male muttered.

"No:" The woman interjected. "Go on."

The female Hebitian, Oko, hesitated for a moment, but at the strange woman's request, she continued:

"We were 12 years old." She began. "We were eating dinner, the four of us... When the first shell hit just a few floors below us, it makes a hole in the floor... Our parents go in, and the whole building starts shaking as it comes apart. I grab my brother, roll under the bed, and then the second shell hits centimeters from our faces, but it doesn't go off: It just... Sits there in the rubble... And on the side of the shell are painted 3 letters:"

"UFP." The male rattled off.

"We were trapped for 2 days." Oko explained.

"All the search efforts," The male continued. "Every shift in the rubble, I think 'this will set it off.' For two days, we waited for the Federation to kill us!"

"They know who they are..." Oko said.

"I always wondered why you two were the only ones to survive the Obsidian Order's experiments. Now I don't" The woman said. "We will make it right: You and I can hurt them..." She said in reference to herself and Oko. "But you..." The woman stroked the male's face. "You will tear them apart... From the inside:"

Posting by


Oko Gane
Mission-specific NPC

Boso Gane
Mission-specific NPC


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