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Si vis pacem, fac bellum - Part 3

Posted on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 @ 6:30pm by Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti

Mission: Operation Red Garden

ON:

Kela arrived at the bar shortly after the conversation with Kovat about Aden, she had raven black hair that was about shoulder length on top, both sides shaved down and brushed over to the right. She had light grey skin, with the neck, brow and forehead ridges common with the Cardassian race. In addition there was a scar that ran from her forehead, down along the right side of her face, which was why her hair was styled to the right..

She was wearing a black pair of lightweight, but tough fabric that hugged her hips well, a pair of waterproof heavy duty boots, a violet colored lace sleeveless top that tied in the back. She was armed with thigh holster and belt that had a gun and a few other things in it.

Aden turned towards her, noticing the hair attempting to hide the scar he’d given her. “Come, sit and have a drink with us Kela. Felk is an old friend of my family.”

Kela gave Aden a death glare as she came to a stop. Her voice was husky, had a bit of a rasp to it, which most men loved, “I’ve got six men outside, if you try anything…”

“Oh if I wanted to kill you Kela, you’d be dead already. Come, have a drink. We have business to discuss,” Aden patted the chair next to him.

The Cardassian paused and watched him, before she looked at her husband. He was terrified and the place was empty except for that. She finally relented and walked up to the bar and sat down next to Aden. She looked uneasy, but lifted the glass and took a drink from it. “You know Cardassians don’t like to do business while drinking.”

“To be honest, I don’t care Kela,” Aden took a drink from his own glass. “I need your help and you have two choices. The first is to deal with me, I have an offer you’ll like very much but it expires if you walk out that door without giving me what I want. I warn you, that if you don’t give it to me at this bar, I will make you and you know what I’m capable of.”

Kela took a drink, the statement he made was bone chillingly true. She’d been a guard at the prison Aden had been held at during the dominion war. He’d been put through hell, forced to fight the Jem’Hadar hand to hand, at first he’d done badly but he was smart, learned and adapted and got very good and beating the hell out of them. She’d admired his tenacity, the will to never give in and she’d been quite taken with him. He’d used that against her when he made his move to escape and she just wasn’t willing to betray her people for him.

“I do,” She said finally. “You’re here for Gorex, aren’t you?”

Aden finished his drink and turned to look at her, “My offer is new identities for you and Kovat and those two beautiful children you have. Now before you get any ideas, I don’t hurt children and that’s not a threat. On top of the identities I can set you up with jobs but I want everything.”

“Everything?” Kela asked.

“Everything,” Aden confirmed. “The other option is to walk out that door, take your chances with your men. You’ll give me everything if they fail and you won’t have my help. I may not harm children, but word gets out you gave up Gorex and there are plenty of people who will.”

“I want to work for you,” Kela replied. “Not just a job, but on your ship.”

Aden chuckled, “You might not get a job on my ship, but I can find a place for you in my network. It will be safe.”

Kela looked at Kovat who slowly gave her one nod, “How long do we have?” she asked flatly, her mind racing. The Phyrs showing up was either a bad omen or a good one. Right now, she was settling with bad, despite his offer of relocation.

“The length of time it takes Gorex to figure out you betrayed him,” Aden replied simply, even he couldn’t be sure of the length of time. “Unless you want to help me, either way there’s a safe house I’m willing to send you to.”

She rubbed her face for a moment thinking, “We’ll have less than 24 hours, if that.” she said. She paused, “You don’t have any ships on this planet, how did you get here?” she wondered. Her true question was how they were going to get off this rock. She’d done well here, but she was wise enough to move when the winds changed.

“You know I’ll make sure you get out of here safely,” Aden said flatly. “That’s all I’m going to say about it, you either trust me or you don’t. Now, decision time is upon us my dear. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Old enemies becoming friends again. You’re going to take the deal, now you just have to figure out if you’re going to lend me your gun.”

Her eyes looked him over for a time, her head cocked as she considered her options. She was no fan of Gorex, but did she hate him enough to actually take up arms against him. “Life is different now Aden. I have kids.” she delayed answering, buying time to think.

“I have four,” Aden looked over at her, watching her eyes for a moment. “My wife wants more, but I’m really hesitating. You do what you feel is best, for you and your little ones, I can’t be upset for you wanting to care for your family but I can offer you a hell of a lot more if you come play on my team.”

Kela looked at Kovat for a moment before taking a breath. “The deal is done. And you have my gun. But I expect that no matter what happens my family is well cared for, for life.” she said boring her eyes into his. She could die, she didn’t fear death, but like any woman of her race, her children were her legacy, her goals in life were to ensure their future.

“I’ll care for them like they were my own,” Aden replied, watching her eyes closely.

“Don’t worry,” Felk leaned over and smiled at her. “He showed up alone, I get the feeling he’s not planning a frontal assault.”

“Of course he isn’t, but having guns at his side might change his tactics.” she downed her drink and took a deep breath. “I’ll need the safe house location, and the secure channel to send you information, and contact you.” she said.

“So I’m just supposed to trust you? No, no that’s not how this works,” Aden turned towards her. “I get the information, I get your family to the safe house and we start by shutting down the slaver’s den just up the street. I know you’re one of his gun runners, or I’d just have killed you.”

Kela set her glass down, “What information do you need? You can appreciate my concern of timing with getting my girls, and putting them in safety before he finds out what I’m doing. You’d have my children in your safe house, how is that not breeding trust?” she demanded.

“All we have to do is get to your place and I can get them to the safe house,” Aden smirked at her. “Kela, I came into this bar knowing I wanted to have this conversation, knowing Kovat and your two girls needed to be moved to safety and hoping you’d forgive me enough to work with me.”

She humphed, “I’ve never forgiven you Aden, but I’m smart. I know how to read the changing winds. I’ve survived through the war, through your escape and what it cost me, and even survived by exiled to this planet because I’ve aligned myself at the right time. You and I… we still have our history between us, but I know you enough to know you’d not be here if you weren’t poised to change things, and you’ve never lied to me. I just want to be on the right side of history.”

“Never did lie to you,” Aden looked at her, it had been an impossible situation. The Klingons would have killed her, Starfleet would have locked her up. Leaving her behind, but alive, was the best thing he could have done. “I guess you can tell your boys to stand down and we can all head for your home.”

Kela glanced around and waved her hand at her men. “Lets go.” she said simply. She looked at her husband and took a deep breath. She could tell he wasn’t happy about this. But this is the life she was choosing for them. He would understand and adapt.

Kovat looked to Kela, he’d heard all the stories and knew who Aden was. He never hated the man, if it hadn’t been for the course change he’d have never met her and they were good together. Still, he’d wronged her and that couldn’t be forgotten. After coming around the bar, the four of them moved outside. Kela was quick to dismiss the men she’d brought with her, they didn’t seem to understand but it was obvious they trusted her.

Aden was impressed with the respect she commanded, she was not the young guard he knew so many years ago but a woman that commanded respect. She’d done well for herself and he would do well by her.

OFF

 

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