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A clandestine meeting

Posted on Tue Aug 27th, 2013 @ 12:35am by Gul Keshac

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Location: Eurine system; fourth planet

Gevila stepped over the prone body. Walking along this corridor was proving tedious as she constantly moved to avoid the homeless men and women sleeping rough. Much of Cardassia was like this since the Jem’Hadar bombardment but this planet was especially bad. Long had it attracted Cardassia’s desperate and destitute. It was a place of squalid tenements and seedy bars; a place where prostitution and drug addiction was rampant.

It was also a good place for clandestine meetings. Here she went unremarked. The main base of the Order of 12 was hidden in the Turlix System but holding a meeting there attracted the gaze of too many eyes. For reasons of her own, Gevila wanted this meeting to remain out of view.

There was a sentimental reason Gevila wanted the meeting to be held here as well. Here, in the Sojanos Bar, the Obsidian Order had met with the Tal Shiar to discuss ‘mutually beneficial arrangements’. Those negotiations had been disrupted by the meddling of Starfleet; meddling which Gevila cursed to this day. Had the Ajax not intervened, Cardassia would still be strong and stand proud in the affairs of this quadrant. It’s ironic, she thought, that a place where so many of Cardassia’s woes began should be the place where her rise to renewed greatness will begin.

As it was, the lame excuse for a Cardassian government had ceded control of the Gavarian Corridor to Starfleet. They would be made to pay for that and any non-Cardassian who trespassed in the Corridor would also be made to pay.

So Gevila was here in the Eurine System to meet with someone whose reputation loomed large; someone whom Gevila hoped would be able to assist her in her aims.

Her contact was already there, occupying a distant, shadowy corner watching with glittering eyes Sojanos Bar make its business; and that which was made under the table. That side, she knew, was for more lucrative than anything the façade of the Bar could produce in a year. Sojanos was just one of the many in this pit, all fighting to escape the depression and dank lifestyles that had engulfed the planet's population. Their desperation simply pushed them deeper into the filth, soon to be beyond reach. All thanks to Starfleet. Keshac sneered at their implications in this dark scene when she sensed the eager eyes of Gevila peering at her from afar.

Gevila ambled across the room as if nothing about this particular table or its occupant interested her. Halfway across, a man fell off a stool at her feet. Without missing stride, she put a boot into the man’s stomach. He grunted and vomited a foul smelling liquid onto the already filthy floor.

“Learn to hold your liquor or don’t drink,” Grevila told him over her shoulder.

“I think you are the one I want to see,” she said when she reached the table. This was not the place to be using names; who knew which ears were listening among this drunken excuse for Cardassians. “Come, there’s a room out the back where we can have a little privacy.”

She turned and walked back the way she had come. She did not bother to check whether Keshac was following. The Gul had come this far to meet her; she was hardly likely to decline the invitation now.

Knowing better than to exchange eye contact or speak openly, Keshac rounded the table and followed Grevila into an adjacent room.

“Gul Keshac, we can speak openly here. I scanned the room for listening and watching devices this morning and rechecked it before meeting you. The scans covered the area around the room too. They picked up no long range devices.”

The Gul paced the box room with a critical eye, she sneered slightly at the décor choice as she drew a long, bony finger across the top of a lone table. "How very efficient of you," she drawled turning to face the second woman.

“My name is Gevila. I am a member of the Order of 12. You might have heard of us.”

Tilting her head slightly at the revelation of the identity and the body which Gevila came from, Keshac nodded. "Indeed I have."

“You come with a reputation for not caring what anyone thinks of you, not worrying whose toes you step on and especially of not caring for the current Cardassian government.”

"Correct again." Keshac nodded once more.

“The Order restricts its activities to the Gavarian Corridor. In this, I and some others think it is mistaken. All it wants to do is throw Starfleet out of the Corridor. We think the Federation should be thrown out of Cardassian affairs entirely.”

The Gul’s eyes glittered slightly, “Glad to hear we think alike, Gevila. These ‘others’, how many do you have?”

“I will not go into numbers here. That is not important. Let’s just say there’s enough of us in key positions within the Order. The Order is a loose conglomeration of dissonant groups. All that holds it together is a common hatred of the Federation. All it needs is the right shove and it will fall apart. We will take it over and turn it into a weapon which Starfleet will truly come to fear.”

Leaning a hip against the table top Keshac pondered her next response carefully already working a strategy in the depths of her mind. “Who leads your little group?”

“We have not discussed the question of leadership.” That was a statement of fact. Gevila had worked hard to ensure they didn’t because she did, indeed, covet the leadership.

Moving to pace Keshac inhaled; “That’s a shame.”

“That’s as maybe. What we need from you is resources. You are running weapons into Cardassia near the border with the Ferengi Alliance. We want those weapons. Not for the Order; we want them for ourselves.”

The Gul’s pacing ceased, and with her back to Gevila a slight smile pulled at Keshac’s lips. Yes, they always want something, leverage to overthrow those above to allow chaos to follow. “And why would I want to arm you for this little coup of yours?”

“We have a common aim: to overthrow the current government and replace it with one more in tune with the real needs of Cardassia and Cardassians. One which can rebuild Cardassia and make it great again; one which can drive vermin like the Federation out of regions which are rightfully ours; one which can....”

“Yes, yes I understand, I’ve heard it all before.” Keshac snapped turning back, “Save me the speeches, how do you intend to carry out these ideals?”

Gevila swallowed hard. She was not used to being cut off mid-sentence. It went hard with her but she needed this woman and the resources she could bring to the cause. She bit back the comment forming on her lips. “With proper organisation,” she said through clenched teeth, “the Order would be a useful tool. Wielded properly, it could not only give Starfleet cause to regret its occupation of our territory, it could strike at the very heart of the government itself.”

“You honestly believe the Order could achieve such high stakes?”

“No,” she said candidly. “Not by itself and not....” She spat. “....not with its current leadership. This would have to be a co-ordinated effort with attacks coming simultaneously from numerous sectors.”

Keshac folded her arms again, “What do you want out of this, should I agree?”

“I want nothing more than to see a united Cardassia under strong leadership,” Gevila lied. She wanted leadership of the Order of 12 for herself. In her mind it would replace the discredited Obsidian Order and become the real power behind the throne.

The Gul’s eyes narrowed slightly as she saw right through Gevila’s lie. She’d seen that look before; that sparklingly hungry look in the depths of the eye. It was one Keshac was more used to wearing herself; one that she intended to recapture. If it meant going through, or more pointedly over, Gevila's cold corpse to get it, then so be it.

“Alright, you shall have my assistance.”

 

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