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Second Mission, Part II

Posted on Jul 31, 2017 @ 2:03am by Chloe Nielsen
Edited on on Jul 31, 2017 @ 2:04am

Mission: Section 31

“Second Mission, Part II”
(contd from ‘Second Mission, Part I’)

Location: West City, BETA-525
SD: [2.17] 0727.2311
Scene: Corporate office

It had been over a day since Chloe discovered the existence of a nefarious plot by Humanity’s Hope, a group of militant, xenophobic humans, who were also in possession of the stolen artifact. After further digging on her part beyond the files from Nborn’s data crystal, Chloe now had a fully formed plan to achieve her mission objectives.

First step involved infiltration of Humanity’s Hope and that didn’t involve pretending to join as a new member. Nielsen was unable to find any information on the rules of accepting new members into this exclusive club – not only Humanity’s Hope was exclusive, it was also elusive. There was no information on them on any of the security and intelligence databases. Without any knowledge of the group’s recruitment process, it’d have been a bad idea to infiltrate them as a new member. So Chloe came up with another alternative, which involved using a cover that the agent had built up over the years – one that had proved to be reliable for her and was suited for this job.

In Nborn’s file, he mentioned Humanity’s Hope was registered under a different name, HH Holdings Inc., in order to keep up their pretense as some legitimate business, dealing with construction on newly established colonies in the region. Chloe then proceeded to find more information on HH Holdings Inc. and their dealings with other entities by contacting an SFI informant, a figure prominent in the city’s financial circles. She found only one entity, called Triangle Alliance Ltd. that interacted with HH Holdings in the past five days and no one else. There was not much information given on Triangle Alliance, making Chloe suspect it to be some front for a criminal organization like the Syndicate. In fact, HH Holdings Inc., had only been in business for thirty days. Triangle Alliance was the likely suspect to be in possession of a weapon that Humanity’s Hope wanted to harm Earth. She didn’t have proof but this was a good starting point.

Now the blonde woman was waiting in a large and very Spartan office with stark white walls with only a few holo arts lining them and a tapestry depicting a tropical island overlooking a vast ocean on Earth, covering a small part of the forest green carpet. Even the furniture was bare – only a black metallic desk and three chairs stood in the wide space. Not surprising, considering this wasn’t a big company and a phony one at that.

“Sorry for keeping you waiting,” came a female voice. Chloe glanced behind, spotting a tall and slim, chocolate brown skinned human woman, looking to be in her early to mid-thirties, walking across the room. Her long, black hair was tied in a loose ponytail. She smiled at the blonde and walked around her desk, taking a seat on a large, swiveling black chair. She was wearing a dark green pant suit, a thin, gold chain around her long neck, a green bracelet made of reed around her left wrist and black, pointy toe pumps. Leaning forward, hands clasped together on the desk and brown, almond shaped eyes on the agent, the woman inquired, her mouth curling into a smile, “So how can I help you today, Ms….”

“Wilhelmina Henstridge,” the blonde replied, returning a smile, not a real one.

Wilhelmina Henstridge, an identity she had been building for many years, introduced first in 2425. A wealthy socialite and business woman, orphaned at a very young age, when her parents died in a shuttle accident, leaving her with an immensely large fortune. Chloe played her often as a cold, conceited and at times ruthless woman who was always looking to score the next business deal, known for targeting wealthy single men, pretending to want to court them or be their business partner, where she enticed them on a venture. But this was the agent’s cover for investigating or targeting high ranking members, even leaders of organized crime groups, most of them generally male.

After the mission was over, she left as in Henstridge departed all of a sudden prior to their arrest or death. She made sure to spread the rumour after each mission that the woman in question went into seclusion for long, periods of time, enjoying her fortune at a villa in the Henstridge compound that belonged to her family on a private island at RISA, which no one had ever seen. Well it didn’t exist and was made up to explain Henstridge’s frequent absences from the public – Chloe moving onto other missions.

In short, Chloe often referred the Wilhelmina identity as a bitch of a worse kind – like she wouldn’t like her personally. Although, it was one of her favorite identities that she had created and would be fun to play if it was a character in a holo-movie. But this was real life and the word ‘fun’ barely registered in the agent’s mind during an operation.

For this occasion, Chloe adorned an expensive, light silver striped white pant suit that fit her slender frame perfectly and silvery white, open toed high heels shoes– a typical outfit worn by a rich businesswoman. The agent didn’t care for high heels but Wilhelmina did very much to stand tall and display a more commanding presence like she owned the place. As for accessories, she kept it simple – a silver watch-like bracelet around her left wrist and a circular silver ring over her right middle finger. Her blonde hair was slightly cut and styled to leave it just above the shoulders under an elegantly stylish white hat. Her sunglasses, very feminine in appearance, was held, folded in her hand.

“Well, it’s great to meet you, Ms. Henstridge,” the dark skinned woman said, her smile widening and her voice a little too cheery for the blonde’s liking. “You have no idea how I’m delighted to see you walk through my door. It’s not every day I see a fellow human on this godforsaken planet.” Her voice took on a tone of disgust at the last two words. She was a member of Humanity’s Hope, alright.

Chloe decided to return the favour with her smile and while her tone was friendly, there was a hint of pretentiousness. “Okay, Ms. Jimenez, I received some interesting information from a friend, who heard it from her uncle and he got it from his brother in law, who has a close association with your banker…Mr. Fushi something.”

“Oh yes, Fushi Gnochi,” the other woman, going by the name, Alia Jimenez, replied with disdain. “An alien that we have no choice but to work with as that bank is full of them.”

“Well, I heard you’re undergoing some financial troubles,” she said, noting the discomfort in the company CEO’s eyes, yet the smile never left. From a tip sent by the same SFI informant, Chloe discovered the company had financial problems and were looking to sell a recently acquired artifact for a high price, making Nborn’s information regarding a simple trade to be incorrect. It seemed the Triangle Alliance, assuming they were the ones possessing the weapon, weren’t interested in the artifact and just wanted straight up payment in credits or latinum.

“Is that what you heard?”

“Yes.” Chloe nodded, now widening her smile as she leaned forward, placing one hand on the desk. “I understand it is difficult for a new business to get going and I heard you recently came into possession of a priceless artifact.” She paused for a moment, studying the other woman’s expression, filled now with a keen interest. “See, I have a proposal that you should seriously consider, not just for the survival of your company but for its future growth. I hear you are looking to expand your business deep inside the Triangle.”

“What are you proposing?”

“I’ll not only purchase the artifact but invest substantially into your company and help it grow enough to fulfill your dreams of being the largest construction business in the Triangle.”

“Hmm…” The dark haired woman’s eyes gleamed with interest. “An interesting proposal. Do you have any figures?”

“Yes.” Chloe pulled out a data crystal from her pocket and handed it to Jimenez, who immediately inserted it into a data port beside her console. The agent watched Alia glance at the contents of the crystal – information put together rather quickly by Georgia Campbell or one of her new interns at HQ. The information comprised of financial statements of Wilhelmina Henstridge’s accounts in various institutions such as the Bank of Ferenginar, Bank of Bolarus and so on, all showing amounts in millions of credits.

Alia smiled. “This is a great offer but our company chairman and board of directors will need to review it first before making a decision and we also need to verify your information.”

“I understand.” Chloe said in a nonchalant tone.

Jimenez informed, “I do have to disclose that we are also entertaining other offers, while we ideally prefer to accept a human’s offer, our situation is such that we may most likely take the highest bid.”

“Perfectly reasonable.” Chloe knew Alia was possibly lying. There were no other entities in contact with HH Holdings the last time she spoke with the informant, unless there were new developments.

“I really like you.” Alia’s expression suddenly brightened, turning her attention from the screen to the blonde woman. “So I’d like to invite you to spend a few days at our company’s private residence in the city. It’s where our most important employees reside, including the entire executive. You can come up this evening.”

Betting all were humans, Chloe thought, resisting the temptation to roll her eyes and smiled in response. The good news was, she got her way in. But it all seemed too easy. HH Holdings was not really into the construction business so were really not looking for investors. So what kind of scam were they running? Did they expect the funds that they would receive from the artifact’s sale not be enough to pay for the weapon? Or, and this didn’t surprise Chloe, were they trying to recruit her? After all she was a full-blooded human.

“Sure, I accept your invitation,” the agent replied.

“Awesome!” The businesswoman’s voice grew louder with excitement. “Hey, were you born on Earth?”

The Canadian raised an eyebrow, now thinking perhaps this was a recruitment. “Yes. But I haven’t lived there for many years.” She decided to use a tactic in the hopes of peeking the other woman’s interest. “In fact, I currently spend most of my time on RISA. My family owns a private island, isolated from everyone. Not even the locals visit unless it’s for official business.”

As expected, the black woman’s interest peeked. “So you allowed no…aliens? Like it’s a human only zone?”

“Yes.”

Taking on a rather morose tone, Alia asked, a frown marring her features, “Don’t you ever miss Earth? I know I do a lot.”

“Yes I do,” Chloe replied, mimicking the other woman’s tone.

“Damn those aliens,” she swore, a hint of anger in her voice but she soon composed herself and back to smiling again. “It’s unfortunate that aliens have now overrun our once beautiful homeworld. I feel this rage just thinking of how out of control aliens are now.”

“Indeed, they are.” Chloe merely pretended to agree, deciding to not say anything further.

Alia stood up, the agent following suit. “Anyway, Wilhelmina, I hope you don’t mind me being informal. I feel like we could be best friends.”

Chloe thought, well she didn’t and tried to not roll her eyes. “I don’t mind at all.” The two women shook hands.

“My assistant will provide you the details regarding your visit to our residence,” she informed before the agent left her office.

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Scene: Foyer, Upscale hotel
TI: A few hours later

After the meeting at HH Holdings, Chloe headed to a shopping complex to purchase more expensive suits, dresses and luggage to take to the residence as part of her Wilhelmina cover. She kept her room at the ‘Anonymous hotel’ as a safe house, in case she needed it as it was unknown what the security system was like at the residence and how long her stay would be.

Now she was here, seated on a lavishly, comfortable and cushy, white sofa with golden embroidery in the foyer of the city’s most expensive hotel. Apparently the hotel was so fancy that it even charged people just to wait in the hall and price was a bit too steep for her liking. The establishment was also the pickup point for the driver sent by the group to bring her – it seemed they didn’t allow anyone to come to the residence on their own. That didn’t surprise her about the location being kept a secret.

Chloe was adorned in the same outfit as she had worn in the meeting with Jimenez, except with the addition of two tiny silver earrings and sunglasses, a different one with additional caveats – hidden surveillance tech. It was apparent the quartermaster had figured out the agent’s fondness for sunglasses and their usefulness in missions. Her Wilhelmina persona, also had an affinity for the shaded eyewear, even indoors, to keep up the appearance of seeming aloof, difficult to read.

“Ms. Henstridge,” came the voice of a Ferengi bellhop as he approached her, dressed in a red and blue uniform with a hat that looked like it could slip off his bulbous head. “Your car is waiting outside.”

“Thank you,” Chloe said, eyeing the man with contempt, as Wilhelmina tended to look down on the help. “Bring my luggage to the car.” The agent stood up and though she was only an inch or two taller than the orange skinned being, she towered over him from the high heels adding around three or four inches to her height. She moved with an air of confidence, the clicking of the high heels, echoing off the marble floor as she walked towards the doors, the Ferengi staggering behind the blonde, dragging her luggage along. Hanging from the agent’s arm was a medium sized silver grey handbag, containing her important items.

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Scene: Humanity’s Hope Enclave – Parking area

When Chloe stepped out of the hover car, she stood on a black platform with two white concentric circles emblazoned on it. Looking above at a high ceiling, the agent realized she was inside an enclosed parking area and recalled feeling like the hover car was continuously raising itself upwards as if it was zooming up a slope. The agent had no idea where she was as the windows to the hover car were darkened to prevent her from seeing where she was and how she got there. But unbeknownst to her hosts, the Canadian possessed a tracking device in the guise of one of her earrings, so when she got the opportunity, she’d be able to retrace the path taken from the hotel to the residence.

“Wilhelmina Henstridge,” a female voice, loud and filled with enthusiasm called out, grabbing the blonde’s attention. “Welcome to our beautiful residence.” Chloe noticed the woman was very young, in her early 20s, a petite and slender figure with long dark brown, curly hair with caramel highlights, styled in a messy bun. Wearing a chestnut coloured suit with a knee length skirt, the woman seemed to be bouncing up and down on her feet, a wide smile plastered across her face. “My name is Stella and I will be escorting you inside.” She giggled a little and her overall perky, cheery attitude was grating on the agent’s nerves but Chloe played along.

“Thank you for the warm welcome, Stella,” the agent said, feigning a smile but her eyes, hidden from view by the dark shades of the eyewear, remained cold and focused. That was the nice part of the Wilhelmina cover, the refusal to remove her sunglasses and even her hat indoors to maintain the façade of a wealthy businesswoman displaying an air of superiority. “I’m so glad to be here.” She maintained a rather cool tone in her voice, a stark contrast to the other woman’s excitement.

“Security will be taking your bags for inspection,” Stella informed, still maintaining her perkiness as two men, wearing black two piece uniforms over ocean blue shirts, approached them. One of them, a tall dark skinned man turned to the agent.

“I’d like to scan your hand bag, ma’am,” he said, his voice deep and polite.

Chloe nodded, handing the bag to him, watching at the corner of her eye the other security person, a shorter man with Asian features grab her luggage. She watched the black security officer pull out a hand held device and wave it over the bag. The process took only a few seconds, when the man put away the scanner and returned the bag to her.

“Your bag checks out, Ms. Henstridge,” he informed, giving her a tiny smile and then joined his fellow officer in scanning the rest of the luggage.

All her belongings would check out, the agent was confident of that.

“Come on, Ms. Henstridge,” Stella announced, waving Chloe ahead to the lift. “They are waiting for us.” She then giggled.

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Scene: Conference room

“Send her in,” came a calm male voice, followed by the doors parting. Stella first entered the room and stepped aside when Chloe followed. Judging from the length of time it took to get up here by lift, Nielsen believed this confirmed the residence was in one of the upper floors of a high rise building. The agent stood in what looked like a large conference room, its dark blue walls, interspersed with crimson banners with holographs of Earth in the centre. The carpet was entirely a darker shade of blue, making one feel like they were standing in the middle of an ocean. Her gaze moved to a large rectangular, sleek metallic black table with around eight to ten chairs and unsurprisingly they were also dark blue. This group really loved the colour blue, nothing wrong with that – blue was a wonderful colour, one of Chloe’s favourites. The agent spotted a group of humans, well obviously, seated around the table, their eyes on her. One of them, a tall black woman got up – yes the person the blonde already met that day.

“Wilhelmina, it is so nice of you to come,” Alia said, making her way towards the agent, her mouth curling into a smile. “Please have a seat.” When the two women stood next to each other, Chloe noticed Jimenez to be taller than her by around two inches. She pulled up a chair at the far end closest to the entrance and the blonde took her seat.

Returning a more composed yet friendly smile, the Canadian said, “It is so good to be here. I look forward to getting to know all of you.” She removed her hat and placed it on the table but not her sunglasses – Wilhelmina was portrayed to be the type who set her own rules of etiquette not others.

“Before we begin, I’d like to first introduce you to everyone in the room. Not all the board members are present.” Alia glanced back and forth between Chloe and the other humans. She pointed at a tall black woman, whom Chloe figured to be her identical twin. “First off, our legal counsel and my twin, Ana Jimenez. She handles all our legal issues.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Wilhelmina,” the other Jimenez sister greeted, shaking the Canadian’s hand and a smile akin to her sister’s. “Alia has high praise for you so I’m really looking forward to us getting better acquainted.”

Chloe nodded. “You too.” All that smiling was getting to be exhausting, the agent thought with mild annoyance. She watched Alia move onto the next person, a young pale-skinned woman, in her mid-twenties, a slim figure with long, chestnut coloured hair, tied up neatly into a pony tail and whose green eyes seemed welcoming. However, from experience, the agent knew appearances could be deceptive. After all, those friendly looks and smiles could mask a hidden darkness.

“This is Katie Price, our Communications Director,” Alia said, laying a gentle hand on the younger woman’s shoulder.

“Hi Wilhelmina, it’s great to meet you,” Katie said, smiling with a hint of enthusiasm in her voice. Well, she seemed happy to see the agent. But what a charade this meeting was becoming, all those pleasantries, either to get Wilhelmina’s credits or recruit her into their vile group. However, what disgusted the agent was beneath all those smiles and niceties, lay the desire to harm Earth, their homeworld.

Chloe nodded, just giving the young woman a smile, when Alia proceeded towards the top side of the table. There she stopped at a Caucasian man, tall with a lean build and in his late forties, a handsome figure looking to have aged well. He was clean shaven with short, brown hair and friendly blue-green eyes fixed on the agent.

“Here is our Chief Operating Officer and one of the founders, Tim Price.” Alia beamed. “He’s also Katie’s husband.”

When Tim spoke, Chloe noticed just how calm and composed he sounded, like a typical businessman or a criminal mastermind, even if he wasn’t the actual head of Humanity’s Hope. “Well, Ms. Henstridge, I would just like to welcome you to this residence. We hope you enjoy your stay here and find our hospitability to your satisfaction, while we deliberate over your generous offer. My office is open, if you have any questions about our organization.”

Chloe continued to go along with this charade by continuing to smile and play nice. “Thank you, Mr. Price. I’ll be sure to let you know.”

Alia moved to the head of the table, where a skinny woman sat, not any taller than 5’5” and was about fifty years old. She had short, black hair and a thin, long face with hollowed cheekbones and her green eyes were as hard as ice as they gazed upon the Section 31 agent. Her lips were curled into a thin smile, though it resembled more like a sneer. When Jimenez introduced her, Chloe noticed a change in demeanor – gone were the overt friendliness and the smile that she thought would never go away. “Natasha Volkova, the acting Chairperson.”

Acting Chairperson. Chloe raised an eyebrow, when she glanced at a large portrait of a human man behind Volkova. A heavy set man in his late sixties, dressed immaculately in a light grey suit, hands folded across his chest and posing with a smile – oh yes fake smiling seemed to be commonplace around here. His hair was short, mostly grey and his features were distinctly East Indian. Chloe inquired, “Where’s the chairperson?”

Alia replied, her tone now serious, “Well, our chairperson, Mr. Mehta unfortunately couldn’t make it to this meeting….”

“My husband,” Natasha cut in, rather rudely. Alia’s expression darkened at the intrusion. “He is ill, got this fever and resting in his quarters, receiving treatment.” Chloe noted the terseness in her voice, the coldness in her eyes and the sneer never leaving her mouth. “While he is getting treatment, I am currently in charge here.” She emphasized the word ‘charge’. “Ms. Henstridge, as glad as I am of your presence here, I do caution you to stick to the more public areas and not abuse our generous hospitality. And for your sake, it is best to keep any sympathies for aliens, if you have any to yourself.” Her smile widened but it was devoid of any warmth. Chloe kept her gaze on the Russian woman, not having a good feeling about her- she was going to be trouble for the agent. From the interaction between Natasha and Alia, there seemed to be some friction between the two. It was obvious to Chloe that Natasha was the Queen bee in the group.

“I guess that’s everyone here. Meeting adjourned.” Alia announced, managing to retain her composure, the smile returning but the thunder clouds under her eyes still remained. “Wilhelmina, you will have the opportunity to meet the other board members later during your stay with us.” She quickly walked around the table to Chloe’s position. “Now Stella, you remember the lovely lady who brought you here, will return at any moment to take you to your suite. Your luggage should already be there.”

Chloe got up, along with everyone else and made her way to the exit, stopping to wait for Stella, the cheery woman with the annoying giggling. Well, it looked like the charade was over, for now. The agent figured she had a lot of work cut out for her. The first thing she needed to do was obtain the layout of the place and find the location of the artifact, which would most likely be in a restricted area. This was a place with high security, which meant the agent would have to be careful, while gathering information as she expected to be watched everywhere. Then again, this wasn’t her first rodeo, infiltrating establishments with sophisticated security systems. Then there was the issue regarding the duration of her stay. Chloe didn’t know how long she was allowed to remain at the residence as guest so would have to try being as quick as possible in fulfilling her mission without becoming careless.

*************************************************************************************
NRPG: Part II of Second Mission. More setting up and introducing some of the players in the story. More players will be introduced in the next chapter ;)


~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Chloe Nielsen
Section 31 Agent

 

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