<November 12th 2368; 08:00>
<Abandoned Battlement-Rhiana Province, Bajor>
Artori stood silently, obscured by shadow in the confines of a dank abandoned bunker and listened intently as his informant elaborated on his intelligence of Cardassian affairs. Artori had never seen the man's face but his information had never lead him astray and his latest information seemed to be the most vital that he had ever relayed.
"Two days from now," he continued. "Prefect Dukat will arrive on Bajor to tour the new mines at Tuathe, his travel itinerary has already been downloaded to your computer."
"How did you come by this information," Artori questioned, somewhat skeptically.
"As always," the shadowy figure spoke. "My sources are not your concern, have you a reason to distrust the information I give you?"
"No," Artori admitted. "I only question how you managed to obtain such sensitive information."
The shadowed figure chuckled and with a few scuffled footfalls began to leave, "Until next time."
<November 12th 2368; 13:00>
<Resistance hideout-Rhiana Province, Bajor>
With Lirana, Jorak and Awen gathered around a wooden table in the dimly lit room of their cells' quarters Artori went over the details that he had received from his informant. "The prefect's travel arrangements have him traveling through many poorly guarded districts," Artori had begun. "Even so, he will obviously surround himself with his elite guard. This is perhaps the single greatest opportunity we have ever had to strike hard at the Cardassian regime but also it is the most risky venture we have plotted. I want to know your thoughts, we have to be all in favor of this or not at all..."
Awen looked at Artori, then at the others. "As you said, this is a huge opportunity for us, for Bajor. I think we have to take it, Artori. If we plan it out well, we can accomplish it." Her confidence had grown even more, along with her skills. She knew she shouldn't become too overconfident, but in this case, she had faith in her friends.
Jorak nodded his agreement with Awen, "She's right Artori, if it means us dealing a fatal blow to the Cardassian power structure then I think it's worth the risk.
Nodding Lirana replied, "I agree. Did you have something in mind?" This was something the two of them had talked about before - an opportunity to really affect Bajor. Something to convince their people to rise up and bring about the end of the Occupation.
Artori looked at his three companions in successive order and sighed, "If we are all in agreement on this then yes, I do have a few ideas. I believe the best course would be to ambush the Prefect's convoy and attempt to take him out with a non direct method such as a well placed bomb. But we cannot be certain of which exact route the convoy will take so we will have to spread out in teams to cover each of the options. After the attack we would regroup at a rendezvous location outside of the city."
Frowning slightly, Awen said, "If we're split into several groups, each covering a different area, though, none of us will have any backup. It's a greater risk....if a group is discovered, there won't be anyone to help them."
"It's a big risk," Artori admitted. "But that's why we all need to be in agreement on this... The Prophets forbid it but some of us might not make it out."
Lirana locked eyes with Artori. She knew the operation was crucial and that they had a good group of fighters, but she also hated the thought of losing Artori. No matter what their skills were, there was always the chance they might not make it. It was something they all knew, yet this time the odds were less in their favor in some respects. "I think we have to, Artori."
"We've never backed down before Artori," Jorak spoke with uncustomary emotion. "We're not going to start now my friend."
Artori patted his friend on the shoulder and let an appreciative gaze pass over Lirana and Awen, "Very well. Now we are left with the particulars..."
<November 14th 2368; 06:00>
<The outskirts of Jo'Kala(city), Bajor>
The sun was just beginning to rise as Awen and Jorak headed towards their destination. Other than a few creatures already stirring, the area was mostly quiet. Each carried parts of the bomb, to reduce the risk of a premature explosion or detection. The two had memorized the layout of the area and would soon be upon the selected location.
Awen glanced over at her older brother. He seemed calm, considering the potential danger associated with the plan. Although she also felt mostly calm, there was still a bit of apprehension. In her mind, a little apprehension never hurt - it kept her more alert.
Jorak put his hand on his sister's shoulder and smiled at her reassuringly, "We're almost there little sister. In a few more hours it will be done and Bajor will be better off for it."
Navigating the dilapidated remains of the city's outskirts the pair silently made their way toward Jo'Kala's perimeter. The ruins were devoid of activity and at times the pair felt as though the path before them was almost too inviting; not ones to have qualms over good fortune they pressed on.
Once in Jo'Kala, the two made their way to one of the streets that eventually ran into the center of the city. They slowed slightly and Awen shifted the weight of the pottery she was carrying. Inside were the main parts of the bomb. She moved into a side street, followed closely by her brother. Setting down the pottery, she moved back towards the side street entrance to keep watch as Jorak finished assembling the bomb.
Jorak was known for his skill with explosives and though not formally trained had garnered an understanding of most of thier workings. With steady hands he pieced together the detonator and slid it into the weapon's casing over the charge, one mistake would mean a quick end to Awen and his life.
"I think I found a good spot," Awen said quietly as she returned to Jorak's side. "Similar pottery is nearby, so this will likely go unnoticed. We could watch from here, or find a higher vantage point."
Jorak placed a few bundles of soiled cloth into the half meter tall pot to hide its more sinister contents and looked up, his work completed. "Perfect," he said in a hushed tone. "I think we should get a little more distance, the remote is capable of transmitting a half of a kilometer."
Awen nodded, then moved quietly to her former spot as Jorak picked up the bomb. Glancing around, she looked back at him and motioned to the spot she had mentioned previously.
The street seemed deserted as Jorak approached the spot Awen had indicated but Jorak felt the disquieting sensation of eyes watching. He did not like being so obvious but had little choice, the bomb had to be planted close enough to the road that it would be able to decimate a passing vehicle. Setting the vassal down with the rest he proceeded on and rounded the block to return to Awen's side.
Once Jorak had rejoined her, she said quietly, "Let's go...we should be able to find a building or rooftop to inhabit while we wait."
With a nod Jorak followed Awen through narrow alley ways and tunnels of the city; she seemed to have a keen sense of direction and intuitive knowledge of architecture. Jorak became lost easily and yet invariably they ended up exactly where his clever sister intended them to be. As the siblings came out of a tunnel back onto the street level, presumably a few hundred meters away from their starting point Jorak caught a glimpse of movement at a distance.
"Hold up," he whispered. "There's someone out there..."
Awen glanced over at Jorak as she paused and listened. At first, she didn't hear anything, but within a few seconds, she did... "Footsteps," she said, under her breath. Giving it a few more moments to try to determine which direction they were in, Awen looked back over at him and motioned in the direction she intended to go. Trying to stay calm, she headed that way, trying to stay as quiet as possible. Although she wasn't sure who they were, Awen had to assume they weren't friendly.
Jorak's heart sank as he realized what was happening, they would soon be surrounded and he wasn't sure that they could escape with their lives. His hand played with the detonator hidden in his vest pocket be he knew that if he used it he and his sister would be executed on the spot.
Pressed against the side of a building, Awen peered around the corner. A group of four Cardassians were next to the bomb - it seemed as if they already knew what it was and were now looking for the two of them. Turning to Jorak, she said very quietly, "Four Cardassians...they've made us." She turned to lead them in the other direction, but froze as she saw more Cardassians coming towards them from the opposite end of the alley.
With grim realization Jorak swallowed hard and placed his hand on Awen's shoulder, he spoke with a shaky voice, "We have two options little sister. We try to fight our way out of this and probably be killed or we surrender and risk execution before we can attempt an escape. We have to choose now..."
Her mind raced; she didn't like either option. Awen debated which one would give them the better odds of survival. "I think we have to surrender and hope for enough time to escape... There's too many of them and we don't have our disruptor rifles, just knives. They're too heavily armed..." Although she tried to stay strong, her eyes conveyed the fear she felt.
As the soldiers approached Jorak removed the detonator from his pocket and held it where the Cardassians could see it, leaning closer he whispered to Awen. "No matter what they do to us, do not tell them that we are siblings. If they find out that we are they will separate us, or worse. Be strong Awen."
No sooner had Jorak finished than the first of the soldiers approached and took the device from his hand; driving his fist into Jorak's temple. The blow was solid and the Bajoran was dazed and fell to his knees, the soldier then turned his attention toward Awen.
Awen stood defiantly, not willing to flinch or look away as her brother fell and the Cardassian turned to her. Her heart raced and she braced herself for the hit she knew was coming. As it did, the Bajoran ground her teeth together to try to stop from wincing, but the force of the hit sent her into the nearby wall. She slumped to the ground before everything went black.
<November 14 2368; 06:30>
<Tuathe City, Bajor>
Artori and Lirana melded seamlessly with the drably garbed miners of Tuathe as they followed lock step with a work group headed for the mines. As the line of nearly five hundred workers approached the cities loading bay it divided into smaller groups and each group was ushered into a different transport by the Cardassian guards. Artori had planned on the Cardassians approach and had ensured that both he and Lirana would not be separated during the loading process. They each carried components to an explosive device that once through the trip to the mine they could assemble and plant where needed.
The loading process was short and after a few minutes the transport had lifted into the air, inside there was little room as the Bajoran miners had been packed in beyond capacity. Artori was held fast against the ships bulkhead and while he watched the landscape fall away through a narrow window he focused on the warmth of Lirana's body.
Lirana took comfort in the fact that Artori was by her side. What they were doing was certainly dangerous, but their team also had the best chance of succeeding in their ultimate goal. Since the entire reason for Dukat's visit was coming to see the mines. Her eyes moved to Artori's, but kept her expression even.
Artori met Lirana's gaze letting a silent understanding pass between them, they both knew that death was a real threat, it wouldn't be long before they landed and both knew what had to be done. His mind raced with dire possibilities but he shifted his thoughts to visions of his future with Lirana, the pleasant images balanced his fears and allowed him to focus.
A short while later, they were at the mines, being escorted inside. The environment was far from inviting - the mines were harshly lit and very dry which resulted in dust clouds from the slightest movement. As the two Cell members moved further inside, they made their way over to the tool lockers where they would have some privacy. Lirana slipped the smaller components from her outer jacket and handed them to Artori.
Artori quickly yet carefully assembled the components and the bomb quickly took shape. The foot long cylinder was remote activated and the plan was to hide it somewhere along the most likely path that the Prefect would take through the mine. After finishing, Artori wrapped the device in a sheet of soiled cloth and handed it to Lirana to tuck into her utility belt. Handing an ore extractor from the locker to Lirana he smiled weakly and whispered, "This is it my love, from here we have to part. Will you be okay?"
She looked at him lovingly and smiled at him, "I'll be fine, Artori, don't worry. May the prophets watch over you, my love. We'll be back together before you know it."
Artori desperately wanted to hold Lirana, to kiss her and tell her that he loved her but watchful Cardassian eyes had fallen upon them. He gave her one last loving expression, handed her a helmet to go with the extractor and pushed off in his own direction.
Lirana took the helmet and started off down the mine. Though her heart ached to glance back at him, she knew she couldn't risk it. Instead, she followed a small group of Bajoran workers for several long minutes as they slowly made their way to one of the various control booths. Lirana stepped inside and looked around to find a suitable location for the bomb. Eying a pile of rubble, she dropped the ore extractor next to the pile, then bent down. As she moved to collect the extractor, Lirana slipped the bomb amongst the pile.
Lirana stood, her task completed. She made a brief show of checking a chart on the back wall that displayed which workers were in which area before slipping out the door. Trying to not seem out of place, Lirana headed for the exit. As she walked out of the mine, a group of Cardassians - apparently waiting for her - started to follow along behind.
Her eyes searched for somewhere she could duck out of their site, but the area was too open. Before long, they were directly behind her. Knowing she had nowhere to go, she turned to face them.
One of the Cardassians pushed her to the ground and kicked her. Lirana flinched slightly as his foot connected with her stomach. She curled up to protect herself, but the next kick never came.
"There is no need for that...I have a better idea for this one."
<November 14 2368; 07:15>
<Tuathe Mine, Bajor>
Artori had made it out of the mine, barely evading the notice of the Cardassian guards who's attention seemed to be focused elsewhere. He crept slowly in a hunched position behind piles of rubble that had been removed from the mine and approached the rear of the line of Transports that had ferried the miners from the city. Crouching behind a cart of ore Artori peered around and surveyed the situation before him; the Transports were arranged in a perfect row twenty meters away and were lightly guarded. He would have to move in the open to get to the closest one but with the guards strangely preoccupied he felt confident.
Pushing off the cart Artori sprinted as fast as he could to the hatch of the closest transport and stopped just inside; he had made it. He crept slowly forward through the passenger compartment and approached the doors to the ships bridge while drawing his combat dagger. The doors slid open with a hiss and before the lone Cardassian pilot could react Artori had his knife against the pilots throat from behind.
"Prepare to depart," Artori said forcefully.
The pilot hesitated but after a few moments his fingers began to move over his console, as they did the ships rear hatch closed and its engines whirred to life. Artori removed the disruptor pistol from the Cardassian's belt holster and sitting in the navigator seat he leveled it at the pilot.
"Inform the control center that you have received new orders," Artori spoke without malice.
"This won't work," the Cardassian interjected, "and killing me will be your death warrant."
Artori leaned back in the navigator seat and shrugged, "I wasn't planning on killing you, don't force me to."
The pilot relayed his 'new orders' to the mines command center and the shuttle began to lift off, as it did Artori diverted part of his attention to the console before him. The rendezvous location was in a wooded several kilometers to the south, well away from civilized areas and Cardassian patrols. Entering the coordinates into the computer Artori instructed the pilot to engage the ships autopilot and step away from his console.
"What are you doing?" The Cardassian asked as Artori forced him toward the transports rear hatch.
"I'm letting you live," Artori replied smugly as he activated the hatch doors.
"But, the fall..." the Cardassian objected in a panic.
Artori shrugged and as the Transport flew over the open water of a large lake he kicked the Cardassian out of the hatch. Returning to the bridge Artori quickly went to work on the Transports systems, disengaging its transponder and navigating it lower to the ground, below sensor range.
Six hours later Artori paced the small forest clearing restlessly as he waited for his companions, something was wrong. As the hours passed his uneasiness grew and he was finally forced to admit that something was wrong. He wanted to go back but knew he could not, he had to wait and have faith that his companions were alright. As darkness approached Artori's faith was quickly replaced by grim realization, his companions, his lover, had been discovered.
A post by:
played by: WO1C Kilana Nira
played by: WO1C Kilana Nira
played by: Lt.(Prov) Zael Artori
Provisional Lieutenant Zael Artori
Chief of Security