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Second Mission, Part IV

Posted on Sep 06, 2017 @ 11:46pm by Chloe Nielsen
Edited on on Sep 06, 2017 @ 11:46pm

Mission: Section 31

“Second Mission, Part IV”
(contd from ‘Second Mission, Part III’)

*******************

Location: West City, BETA-525
SD: [2.17] 0904.2045
Scene: Humanity’s Hope Enclave – Dining Hall

“Six years for the day when you finally see me as an equal. Your words just before you left me stuck with me forever.”

Chloe turned around, removing her hand away from the plates and eyed the young man in front of her with a mix of trepidation and curiosity. A figure from a previous op. To be frank, the Canadian disliked running into individuals from past missions, aside from fellow agents and assets, appearing again in not just her current one but also in her personal life. The reasons were obvious – those persons were targets, criminals or enemy agents.

“You seem surprised to see me.” The man grinned, now standing beside her, reaching for a plate. “Didn’t think I’d ever rise to your level?”

She was surprised but not for the reasons he was implying. It was his presence here at the HH complex in the same room with xenophobic humans that puzzled her, when he wasn’t Earth born in the first place - so hardly a potential recruit. Judging from his expensive white suit, he seemed to be either very wealthy or had a powerful employer or backer. “You do look familiar. Trying to pinpoint where I’d met you.” It was all a pretense – the agent remembered the man perfectly well.

“I’m not surprised your memory of me is vague,” the man said. “After all, I was just a poor driver who was hardly worth your time. In fact, why don’t I repeat your words after I expressed my feelings to you just to jog your memory?” He paused, his gaze fixed upon her. “Look Ben, you’re below my standard to be considered husband material and that men like you are only there for fun, like boy toys and not equal partners in life.” His smile widened. “I haven’t forgotten those words as they served as a motivation for me to rise high so that one day I will be considered your equal partner and guess what, that day has finally arrived.”

Chloe now pursed her lips together in a thin line, wondering whether she should laugh at the audacity or the foolishness of a man, she’d never thought about for years – after all he was a pawn played to accomplish her mission objectives. In 2426, Nielsen with two other agents, underwent a mission in Rigel II to infiltrate the organization of an arms dealer, also a high ranking member of the Orion Syndicate. She went undercover as Wilhelmina Henstridge, pretending to entice the boss on a lucrative business venture – that relationship remained strictly business as she wasn’t his type, like not the right gender. Despite not being attracted to her, the arms dealer was impressed with her cold, business-like approach and decided to invite her to stay at his compound for a few days.

It was during this mission, where she met Ben, the chauffeur for the crime lord, who entrusted him with his personal hover limo to drive her around, which Chloe and her team used to their full advantage to gather information. A fellow agent first observed the man’s infatuation for the blonde and informed her. So Chloe got him to do what she wanted like trips to places, where he wasn’t really supposed to go and attain some valuable information. Chloe believed one of the better ways to gain information without arousing suspicion was from spending time with lower level employees and so made fraternizing with the help, part of Wilhelmina’s character, so Ben was kind of like a boy toy to her.

As for those words that the man took to heart, well, Chloe remembered only saying them in the spur of the moment to get him off her back. The mission was over, the Canadian, along with her team, were in a rush to make it to the extraction point.

It was only an infatuation, which should have dissipated over time and being a young and good looking guy, one would have expected him to fall for other beautiful women. But here he was, six years later, clearly showing his feelings for her still burned. His presence now complicated her mission – how was she going to do her job if he was around – assuming he was invited to stay at the residence, which would be surprising if he was.

Chloe gave him a thin smile. “Now I remember you. Well, you have changed a lot and apparently you raised your status.”

“And you look the same as ever, Wilhelmina,” he said, now smiling. “Just like I’d remembered. It’s like you haven’t aged a day.”

Wow, she seemed to have done a good job with the makeup for Ben to even comment on her not having aged, Chloe thought with mild amusement. “So Ben, what is it that you do now? Clearly you’re no longer a driver for a wealthy man?”

“Actually, Wilhelmina, my name is Kyle Ross,” he said promptly, smirking. “I left my old life behind. I’m no longer Ben, the poor boy from a backwater world but Kyle Ross, a man of immense wealth and status, worthy enough to be your equal partner.”

A bit dramatic. Chloe frowned. Still a boy toy, she concluded and definitely not husband material. However she was curious as to why he was here. Before she could say anything, Alia popped by.

“Oh I see the two of you have met,” the black woman announced, touching both Chloe’s and Kyle/Ben’s shoulders as if wanting to pull them into a group hug.

Ross said, his eyes still on Chloe, “Actually Wilhelmina and I met before.”

“Really?” Alia’s eyes widened as they turned to the blonde. “Where?”

Chloe jumped in before Kyle opened his mouth. “It was a long time ago. I was exploring the possibility of going into business with the head of a technology company and Mr. Ross was his driver.”

“Ah, so I see you have come a long way, Mr. Ross,” Jimenez remarked, glancing at the young man. “A simple driver to owning your own private company, even though small. Quite impressive.” It was obvious from her voice that the black woman was struggling to be nice to Ross, after all he wasn’t born on Earth. HH shared a disdain for not just aliens but humans who were born and raised anywhere but Earth and that included starships or stations, where there was a lot of exposure to alien cultures. “See Wilhelmina,” Alia said, addressing the Canadian woman. “Mr. Ross is the CEO of Triangle Alliance Ltd, a small company that trades in some really cool technology that you cannot find anywhere in the Federation. We invited him here to discuss this new piece of technology, his company recently acquired and is hoping to sell.”

Triangle Alliance. Now Chloe’s interest peeked, the company that might be in possession of the weapon, HH was desperately seeking to harm Earth. This could be a potential game changer. If Triangle Alliance possessed the weapon, then she might have a major break in the mission, considering her past with the company CEO, who was still infatuated with her. It looked like Chloe might have to use Ben once again for information on the weapon.

Alia continued, “We are hoping this new tech that Mr. Ross is selling will help us with building new colonies for humans, looking for a fresh start in an alien free environment.”

“And I intend to make a huge profit out of this deal,” Ross added, his smile widening and sent the agent a brief glance. “So glad to be here as my dreams will finally be fulfilled.”

Not if she could help it. The agent narrowed her eyes, already a plan was formulating in her mind as to not only obtain the artifact but also get her hands on the weapon.

“Hey, why don’t you two join me and my sister at our table,” Alia said, smiling at both of them.

----------------------
Scene: Hallway -> Lift

Well, at least the food at the residence was quite good. Alia mentioned that they had a large kitchen with a chef and a full-time staff, all from Earth, a point she emphasized repeatedly as if to impress the agent, while at the same time sending backhanded compliments to Ben/Kyle. Ross, whose attention focused mostly on the blonde, barely caught on the black woman’s lack of respect for him due to his place of birth. At the table, they were joined by Alia’s twin, Ana, Tim and Katie, who wasn’t particularly talkative like she was the previous day.

“Mr. Ross,” came Tim Price’s voice from behind her as she waited in front of the lift. “A member of security will escort you to the meeting room at 1000hrs.”

“So I wait here?” Ross asked, glancing in Chloe’s direction.

Tim replied, “Well, it’s up to you or I can arrange for someone to take you on a tour of the residence as there is still about 45 minutes left.”

“Tim, a word?” It was Natasha, appearing beside the men. “I apologize Mr. Ross, but I need to speak with Mr. Price now.”

“No problem.” Kyle nodded and made his way towards the blonde as Tim and Natasha disappeared down the corridor.

Chloe spotted Katie, standing just outside the dining hall, the latter’s eyes fixed on the corridor, where Natasha and her husband went. Nielsen noted the darkened expression on the young woman’s face and knew why – Tim and Natasha were sleeping with each other. Various holo-recordings of their affairs were stored on Tom’s computer, where Nielsen only opened the first file, though she closed it quickly and ignored the rest. Chloe also found through the communication logs that Tom sent those recordings to his sister in law to gloat and taunt her about his brother’s affair.

Kyle spoke, lowering his voice and sounding casual, “So, I hear you have a suite here for a couple of days.” To her annoyance, Ross stood right next to her – so close that she could feel him breathing down her neck.

“Yes, until a decision is made, regarding my financial offer.”

Ross nodded. “Ms. Jimenez told me, when we first spoke at her office. A generous offer to purchase this priceless artifact and help their business but she didn’t mention your name, so I just thought it was someone local.”

“Let me guess, Ms. Jimenez invited you to stay here?” Chloe inquired casually.

“Unfortunately no.” The agent sensed the disappointment in his voice. “But that’s fine as long as they meet my price.” He gave her a smile, though it was more like a smirk. The guy was cocky and full of himself even back when he was a driver, which apparently seemed to have worsened the more successful he became. Even when he declared his feelings for her, they didn’t seem sincere and instead, he acted as if he was entitled to have her. Chloe remembered the temptation to knock him down just to teach him a lesson and she could, despite his heavier size. And she would if he wasn’t vital to her operation.

The lift doors opened. Chloe stepped inside with Kyle following behind. The young man grinned. “Would you like to have dinner with me? I believe we have a lot of catching up to do.” The doors closed and the lift began moving downwards after the agent announced the floor number.

Chloe, acting cool, took a moment to pretend to think about it. “Well, seeing as you have worked hard to come so far in the last six years, I’m curious as to how you did it.” She paused, again pretending, noticing the man was waiting with baited breath. “I’ll have dinner with you as long as I get to decide the time and place.”

“Of course,” the man said, raising his voice in excitement. “Hey, while we wait for my meeting to start, how about we….in your suite?” He winked, flashing her a sly grin.

Chloe’s expression hardened, it wasn’t a pretense and luckily also part of her cover. “Mr. Ross. If I wanted just sex, I can find cabana boys for that and they are not complicated.” She watched him getting taken aback. “So, if you want me to consider you as an equal partner and potential husband, we’ll not be going to my suite or yours, wherever that is, not until the outcome of our upcoming dinner. Do you understand?”

“I understand.” Kyle scowled. The lift halted, the doors parting to allow the younger Price inside.

Chloe inwardly groaned, when Tom inserted himself in between her and Ross. While peeping Tom gave her his stupid grin, his reaction to Kyle’s presence was a stark contrast. Gone was the grin and in its place a scowl. Tom’s cheeks reddened, anger visible in his eyes. They hadn’t met before so Tom’s reaction didn’t make sense to her but apparently it might have to Kyle as the latter just gave him a mocking grin.

“Hey, Wilhelmina, nice seeing you again.” Tom’s smile returned, when he turned to the blonde again. Before anyone else spoke, the doors parted open and a young woman stumbled inside, giggling.

Great, there was Stella, the woman who initially greeted her upon her arrival the previous day – the one with the annoying cheery personality and giggling. When the young woman’s gaze met Kyle, her eyes widened and her mouth dropped. Nielsen was tempted to chuckle at Stella blushing and batting her eye lashes at Ross – bet he got that reaction from many women so it made no sense to still be so focused on the agent. “Hi…” she stammered, her eyes still fixed on Ross. “I’m…Stella.”

“Stella,” Chloe said, trying to get the young woman’s attention. “Mr. Ross is eager to have a tour of this residence. Can you show him around?”

Kyle shook his head. “Uh…I don’t need…

“I’d be delighted!” Stella exclaimed, cutting him off in mid-sentence. “Next floor!” At her command, the lift stopped. The brown haired woman grabbed Kyle’s arm and pulled him towards her. “Come on, Mr. Ross. You’re gonna love this place.”

“How long is this…tour?” Kyle asked, dragged off the lift by an over enthusiastic woman with a crush on him. “I have a meeting at…” The door closed behind them, leaving Chloe, alone with Tom.

Tom remarked snidely, “She’s not gonna impress him with those plain orange panties she chose to wear today.” He flashed a sly smile at Chloe, who gave him a rather cold stare. “I’m disappointed in you.”

The Canadian woman rolled her eyes, now suddenly eager for her floor to arrive soon. This lift was quite slow. “I’m not sure I want to know why.”

“You changed in the bathroom, did you?” He narrowed his eyes. Chloe didn’t know whether she should laugh or get mad at the twerp. Well, of course she dressed in the bathroom to avoid his leery gaze. The lift stopped, with Chloe nearly sighing with relief but didn’t. Her floor. Ignoring him, she got off, when the doors opened and could hear him calling her from behind. “I swear I’ll find your secrets.”

“Oh, you have no idea who you’re dealing with,” the agent whispered to herself, rolling her eyes. Now she needed to find out the room where Ross’ meeting was held and attempt to listen in on the conversation.

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Scene: Conference Room -> Hallway
TI: Half an hour later

Chloe stood inside the conference room, where Ross’ meeting was scheduled to take place, carrying her handbag. Figuring out the room was quite easy as apparently she discovered through Tom’s computer that it was the only one where the security cams were shut off, meaning the meeting wasn’t going to be logged. She wondered just how many secret meetings had taken place at the residence – the question was why though? Weren’t they all on the same side or perhaps there were some members with a different agenda from the others?

“Wilhelmina, I didn’t expect to see you here.” Chloe recognized the female voice and turned around, smiling.

“Hi Katie,” the agent greeted, pretending to look a little embarrassed. She ran her right hand over her left wrist, where the watch-like bracelet circled around it, her finger touching upon the watch surface. “I must have made a wrong turn and ended up here.”

“Oh.” The brown haired woman’s mouth curled into a wide smile, her eyes brightening. “Where do you want to go?”

Chloe explained, quickly removing her hand away from the bracelet, “Well, I want to do some shopping and trying to get to the hangar, where I’m hoping to have someone drive me into the city.”

“We’re in the city…” Katie put her hand over her mouth. “Uhm…well, I’ll tell you the floor you need to go to and you should be fine.” She gave her a wide smile.

“You’re a life saver, Katie,” Chloe said, placing a gentle hand on the other woman’s arm. As they left the room, the agent overheard the young woman muttering angrily.

“Natasha is such a bitch. She’s got some nerve acting like she’s in charge….” She stopped, noticing Chloe looking at her in confusion, well pretending to. “Sorry, Wilhelmina, I didn’t mean for you to hear all this.”

“It’s okay.” Chloe feigned a smile. “But I am curious, though. I’m hearing that there are those here unhappy with Ms. Volkova’s leadership. I hope that won’t be a problem between me and your company.” The blonde recalled during yesterday’s meeting of the ‘board’ members, how Alia turned from friendly to hostile, when she introduced the Russian woman. Just this morning, she got the sense that Dr. Poorna Mehta didn’t have any warm feelings towards her father’s wife.

“Oh no, don’t worry, it shouldn’t affect our business dealings with you.” Katie then sighed, lowering her voice to a whisper. “Okay, promise me, you won’t say anything. But it’s about Poorna, our Chairperson’s daughter. Well, Natasha has always been horrid to her, which worsened, ever since Mr. Mehta fell mysteriously ill a few days ago…” She was interrupted when the lift arrived. “See you later, Wilhelmina.”

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Scene: Hangar
TI: A couple of minutes later

Pulling out the pair of Section 31 issued sunglasses, Nielsen put them over her eyes, quickly checking the display on the lens – the bug was in place. Back in the meeting room, when Chloe rubbed the surface of the watch-like bracelet, it released a nano-device from its side. The Canadian spotted the spherical shaped object, nicely attached to the wall, unseen to the eye, displayed on the lens. Now she literally could be a fly on the wall, through the device – a fitting description in her view. The watch contained a miniaturized built in replicator, which would generate as many nanobots as needed. The nanobot then fed information back to the eyewear, where it could be presented in audio, visual, holographic 2D or 3D modes.

Right now, Chloe could view the meeting on the lens. She watched the players arrive, along with a security officer escorting Ross inside. The HH members in attendance were of course, Alia, Katie, Tim and Natasha, the usual suspects. One of her earrings acted as an ear piece, linked to the sunglasses, enabling her to hear the conversation.

Once the usual greetings were dispensed with, the group jumped right down to business. Kyle/Ben was quite the hustler. He was very firm in his demand that they meet his price and threatened to take the weapon elsewhere if they didn’t. Well, she got confirmation that HH was indeed looking to purchase a weapon.

{{Mr. Ross,}} Alia spoke, seen to be leaning forward. {{I assure you we will meet your price. In fact, we’re already lining up investors for our company as we speak.}}

{{Well, you better as I have others interested and you have two days to come up with the funds, otherwise I will find another buyer.}} He added, {{Remember we only accept credits or latinum and reject your initial proposal of a simple trade, artifact for the weapon.}}

Tim assured, smiling at the young man, {{Don’t worry, you can trust us to deliver the payment.}}

{{Oh yes, I’m just so glad Wilhelmina is here,}} Katie jumped in, her eyes twinkling with delight.

{{No one is interested in your vapid opinions.}} Natasha’s condescending remark made Katie redden with anger.

{{Why do you want the weapon?}} Kyle inquired. {{Just curious, I mean I don’t care as long as I get paid.}}

Tim said, smiling, {{All you need to know is that it’s all part of our plan to turn humans against aliens and take back our planet.}}

{{That’s fine.}} Kyle remarked, grinning. {{But hey, as long as I get the funds, then who cares.}}

{{Well, meeting is over,}} Jimenez declared. {{Mr. Ross, security will escort you out to the car.}}

So HH wanted to purchase a weapon to likely attack Earth, in order to take it back from what exactly? Aliens? Chloe just rolled her eyes and switched the display to her current surroundings, spotting a hover car arriving. The eyewear would store the recording of the meeting to review later. A whirring sound alerted the blonde in the direction of the lift. The doors opened, permitting the residence’s only doctor, Poorna Mehta to exit.

“Ms. Henstridge,” the Indian woman inquired, approaching the agent. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Chloe smiled at the shorter woman. “Well, I thought I’d do some shopping and was told I can join you in the next car leaving the building that is…if you don’t mind.”

“Of course, you’re welcome to come with me as I’m just on a daily run for medical supplies. I’m sure the driver can drop you wherever you want to go.”

“Thanks, Dr. Mehta.” As the two women made their way to the hover car, the blonde suggested, “I was thinking, I’d like for you to join me after your supply run. It will be fun.”

Poorna was hesitant as she bit her lip. “I’m not…sure. Don’t really want to impose on you.”

“You’re not.” The agent insisted in a friendly way. “Come on, you’ll have fun and we can buy or do whatever we want, my treat.”

“Well, okay.” Mehta smiled.

-----------------------
Scene: Shopping Complex
TI: Couple of hours later

After Poorna picked up the medical supplies and made new orders at a facility, the agent tracked to be closer to the spaceport, they headed to the shopping complex – the biggest one in the centre of the city. Thanks to the embedded tracker in her earring, the agent was able to pinpoint the location of HH’s building and even mapped a route to get there in case she needed it. The hover car’s darkened windows prevented them from viewing outside – HH residence’s location was kept secret. Apparently, Poorna, despite her father technically being in charge, wasn’t privy to that knowledge, which she grumbled, was all because of Natasha and her paranoia. No one, except the board of directors minus Katie and security chief, Mr. Kamal, knew the exact location of the complex. When Chloe asked her if it was because Price was too talkative, Mehta didn’t think that was the case, just that Volkova disliked her.

Upon arrival at the shopping complex, Chloe treated Mehta to an expensive lunch at an upscale restaurant. She remembered how overwhelmed the doctor was at the opulence of the establishment and the amount of food and drinks choices available. Chloe encouraged her to order whatever she wanted and for the first time since the agent met her, Poorna’s mood brightened as if a weight lifted off her shoulders. It was obvious the young doctor was longing for some female companionship – someone whom she could just vent to, despite being married. Her husband was chief engineer of the complex, in charge of the building’s maintenance and apparently he only came along for her sake, not because of any belief in the HH’s cause. Like her, he didn’t have any hatred for non-humans and while Poorna didn’t admit it, Chloe sensed from her tone, the move strained their marriage.

The lunch seemed to help the two women bond, resulting in Mehta opening up to her. Nielsen admitted, she truly enjoyed her conversation with the Indian, despite having to use her – the latter was a highly intelligent woman with vast knowledge and accomplishments in the medical profession. A pity, she sacrificed her successful career to come to the Triangle because of her father’s well-being and the mistrust of her step-mother. Under different circumstances, the two could have been friends – they weren’t far apart in age but Chloe was on a mission and believed Poorna could play a vital role in its success.

After lunch, they began their shopping expedition and during that time, Chloe noticed the other woman was keenly interested in art, indulging herself in artistic works depicting various cultures. Sadly, the young woman only bought some landscape paintings, despite having the desire to buy the non-human works – it was forbidden by HH to possess items that were ‘alien’. When Poorna was with the hair stylist, getting her hair done, Chloe took the opportunity to review the recording of the meeting with Ross, stored in the eyewear as well as other information gathered at the residence.

Right now, they were in an upscale clothing and accessories store, where Poorna seemed to be having the time of her life. The agent strolled across the private room, she booked for a short time at the store. Large and spacious, the room was luxurious, well-decorated, making it obvious that it was also very expensive – only the rich could afford it. In fact, Chloe actually chose the least expensive room – considered still pricey for most people. The blonde stopped behind a plush, baby blue couch, facing the adjoining change rooms, where Poorna was currently occupied with trying out different outfits. A small, glass table lay before the couch, where a basket of sweets and a bottle of wine with two glasses, compliments of the store, sat.

An Orion woman was spotted, coming out of the change room, carrying a bunch of shirts, pants and dresses over her arm. Chloe waved at her, motioning the other woman to approach her. Dropping the merchandise on a nearby rack, the green woman quickly made her way towards the Canadian.

“What can I do for you, Ms. Henstridge?”

Chloe lowered her voice. “Look, Adina. My friend and I want some privacy so you must leave and not return until I call for you.” She shoved a couple of strips of gold-pressed latinum in the Orion’s hand. The shopping assistant’s eyes widened as they fixed their gaze on the golden strips, realizing she just made a year’s salary in this one appointment with the Section 31 agent.

“Understood, Ms. Henstridge.” Adina nodded, smiling.

Chloe added, handing her another strip, “Oh and make sure, no one else comes within ten feet of this room.”

“Yes, will do that,” she said, caressing the latinum. “Is there anything else you need, Ms. Henstridge? More wine or another basket?”

“No, we’re fine.” Waving at the door, she ordered, “Leave us.”

The Orion nodded, turned around and scurried out of the room, the door sliding shut behind her.

Nielsen touched her ring – the signal jamming device was activated. Now no one would be able to pick up her conversation with Dr. Mehta. She circled around the couch and sat down, just when the Indian woman stepped out, adorned in a simple, jade green dress with loose sleeves and hemline just below the knees.

“Where’s Adina?” Poorna sported a confused expression.

Chloe replied, leaning forward, crossing one leg over the other, “I sent her away on an errand.”

“Oh.” She smiled. “What do you think of this dress, Wilhelmina?”

“It looks great on you,” the agent replied, returning the smile. “I think you should take it.”

“Okay.” She was about to turn around, when the blonde’s voice, stopped her.

“Poorna, I know about Humanity’s Hope.” Chloe’s smile vanished, her expression now serious and her voice, though calm was also cold as ice. She watched shock wash over the doctor’s features, the latter’s eyes widening and mouth open, where no words came out.

“Sorry – I’m not sure what you mean….”

“I know that HH Holdings is not a real company but a front for a group of xenophobic humans, desiring isolation from other races and who call themselves, Humanity’s Hope. The company was only set up to secure funds for their grand plan.”

“I’m sorry…but I haven’t heard about Humanity’s….”

“Really?” The blonde’s expression hardened yet her voice remained calm. “So during breakfast today, I didn’t just overhear three women, openly, displaying their xenophobic feelings through their complaints about aliens? And that you had to even correct one of them about Vulcan males?”

Poorna sighed. “I’m not denying that the company has a strict policy against hiring non-humans and majority of the employees prefer to only live amongst humans.”

“Then you admit Humanity’s Hope exists and that you’re all part of it?” The agent pressed on, her cool gaze boring down on the other woman, making the latter nervous. “Oh don’t bother denying it, it’s written all over your face.”

“Why all these questions, Wilhelmina?” Now Poorna had taken on a defensive tone in her voice. “What changed? Why a rich businesswoman like you are so interested in our company employees’ personal beliefs?”

“I’m not a rich businesswoman.” Chloe’s admission stunned the other woman into silence.

Poorna blinked. “Then who are you? What do you want with our group…sorry company?”

“So you do admit it.” Chloe produced a thin smile.

“I….no…” Mehta seemed visibly shaken. But then that shock turned quickly into indignation. “Again, who are you? Why are you pretending to be a businesswoman?”

The agent wasn’t perturbed and fully expected this reaction from the doctor. “You’re confused and understandably angry.”

“You lied to me.” Poorna was now incensed. “Who are you? Are you a con-artist or a member of the Syndicate?”

“Neither,” came a curt response from the agent. “I work for Starfleet Intelligence.”

The doctor’s eyes widened and asked in a low voice, “What does Starfleet Intelligence want with a peaceful group?”

“Peaceful isn’t the word I’d use to describe Humanity’s Hope, which you just admitted to its existence, by the way.”

“Okay, fine, Humanity’s Hope exists.” There was a hint of resignation in the doctor’s voice. “My father only wants to build homes for humans, who desire a fresh start on a new world, away from the problems of Earth and the Federation as a whole and so he founded Humanity’s Hope for this very *peaceful* purpose.”

Chloe shook her head. “That’s not true and you know it. Humanity’s Hope is far from peaceful, considering they are planning to attack Earth.”

“What are you talking about, Wilhelmina, if that’s really your name?” Poorna was not only shocked but outraged at Nielsen’s claim. “My father loves Earth and would never want to see the planet harmed. He just wants to establish colonies for humans, unhappy with the current situation on Earth. He has a vision, where these colonies will one day form a human-centric Federation that excludes other species and is very sad about giving up on Earth.”

But had he really given up on Earth? Chloe was skeptical, after all Mr. Mehta could have masterminded the whole plot but winded up becoming mysteriously ill, allowing his wife to take over the group. She seriously doubted the group would have just simply abandoned the birthplace of humanity to form a new humans only Federation, empire or whatever nonsense. But Poorna was too blinded by her devotion to her father to see the real truth facing her.

“You know it isn’t illegal to set up colonies, especially when they will be out in uncharted space,” the Indian woman argued. “So Starfleet Intelligence has no right to interfere, I mean you’re operating out of the Federation’s jurisdiction.”

“Of course it isn’t illegal to set up colonies and live in isolation.” Chloe narrowed her eyes. “However, it is Starfleet’s business when they pose a threat to Earth.”

“My father would never harm Earth. His purpose for the group is offer hope not harm.”

Chloe sighed, leaning back on the couch. When the agent was going through the backgrounds of all top-level HH members, she found neither Poorna nor her husband had any history of xenophobia. During the Neo-Essentialist crisis, both kept their heads down and did their jobs with due diligence. So Poorna’s story of coming to this planet for her father’s sake checked out and didn’t really support HH’s cause. Her past history showed she was well-travelled, even spent time in backwater colonies and war zones, using her medical training to help people in need and a xenophobe wouldn’t do that.

Now was the time for the agent to make her move. “Does your step-mother share the same sentiments?”

“I don’t understand.” She blinked in confusion.

Chloe persisted, taking on a more forceful tone, “Are you aware that Natasha and the others are planning to purchase a weapon to attack Earth?”

“What?!? No.” Utter disbelief shone in Mehta’s eyes. “My father would never approve of such a plan if it is true.”

“But your father isn’t in charge now. Natasha Volkova is.” Chloe’s words cut through the other woman like a stab in the heart because the doctor was now lost for words. “How well do you know her? I know you don’t trust her.” When Poorna gave her a look of indignation, Chloe’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “Oh come on, you’d have said more if she didn’t show up at breakfast today.”

“Okay, I really don’t know much about Natasha.” Poorna sighed, sitting down on the table. “She suddenly came into my dad’s life as his personal nurse and then within a month, they were married. He has been lonely since my mom died and she took advantage of him.” Her eyes blazed with anger.

“How is your father doing now? I heard he has been restricted to his quarters due to an illness and apparently, no one has seen him in a while. Don’t you find that suspicious? Do you know why he is ill?”

Poorna sighed. “I’m not sure. Natasha has forbidden anyone from seeing him, including me, claiming as a trained nurse, she can perfectly take care of him.” She clenched her fists, feeling incensed.

“But you’re the doctor here – the only one in residence and more qualified.”

“I know but Natasha has threatened to remove me and my husband from the residence and I’d never see my father ever again, if I didn’t comply,” Poorna snapped.

Chloe suggested, firmly ensconcing the doubts planted in the doctor’s mind, “Maybe she’s hiding something, like say perhaps she may have been responsible for the illness to get him out of the way and take over the group.”

“She wouldn’t go….”

“Oh yes she would,” Nielsen insisted. “And you know it.”

“So then, what am I to do now?” Poorna asked, panicking.

“You should check on him tonight.”

The Indian woman raised an eyebrow. “I’m not even allowed in their quarters and besides, she made sure security will warn her if anyone attempted to visit him.”

“I can help with that little problem.” Chloe handed her one of her eyeliners. “If you decide to heed my advice, then take this eyeliner with you – it should prevent security from knowing you even visited him.”

“But it’s only an eyeliner.” Poorna eyed the thin instrument with skepticism.

“It only looks like one but it isn’t and will block security cams from logging your visit.” Poorna just nods, in her own thoughts. Chloe stood up. “Come on, buy something. We don’t want to make the others suspicious if you return empty handed and don’t worry, I’ll cover the expenses.” She smiled. Of course, all purchases were on Section 31’s tab.

-------------------
Scene: HH Enclave – Chloe’s Suite
TI: Several hours later

The door chimed. “Enter,” came Chloe’s response as she approached the door, which parted to reveal her visitor was Poorna. The agent noticed the doctor’s eyes were red and puffy, indicating the latter had been crying.

“May I come in?” The doctor’s voice was calm and polite, betraying nothing.

The blonde nodded. “Sure.” She watched the Indian step inside, the door closing behind her.

Poorna began, facing the agent, “Wilhelmina, I just came here to let you know how much I enjoyed our day together and I’m grateful for the gifts you bought me.”

“It was a pleasure,” the Canadian replied, giving her a smile, when she tapped on her ring. “I have about a few minutes to chat.” What Nielsen meant was that the ring prevented the security systems from picking up audio signals in the room, allowing them to talk freely for at least a couple of minutes.

The doctor swallowed a lump down her throat. “I managed to see my father this evening, since Natasha was out for most of the evening on an errand. Being the only medical professional, I know the security passcode that overrides the lock to every room in the residence.” She paused to catch a breath. “I feared Natasha ordered Mr. Kamal to change the override codes to prevent me from sneaking into the unit to see father. Luckily she didn’t and I was able to visit my father, even brought that eyeliner you gave me.”

“What did you find?”

“Well, I conducted a quick medical examination….” She began shaking. “And…he’s dying.” She sniffed, her lips quivering. “Natasha poisoned him, putting him in a vegetative state and unfortunately, there is no antidote to reverse the effects of the toxin.”

Chloe sighed, reaching out for the other woman’s shoulder and gave her a sympathetic look. “I’m sorry about your father.” Honestly, while the blonde wasn’t surprised at Mr. Mehta’s condition, she hoped it was medically possible to help him.

“I will help you,” Poorna informed, managing to find her composure.

“Okay?”

Mehta repeated, sounding determined, “I will help you stop them if you promise to arrange safe passage off this world for me and my husband.”

“It’s a deal.” Chloe further added, a warning look in her blue grey eyes, “As my asset, you will do exactly as I tell you if you and your husband want to live and don’t take any initiatives, Understand?”

Poorna nodded “Yes I understand.” And just in time, the signal block had worn off and now security as well as peeping Tom could listen in on their conversation.

The Canadian women smiled. “Well, I’m glad to hear your husband loved your new hairdo and your clothes. I suppose the two of you are going to have a date night soon.”

“Yeah, he’s glad I went on this trip with you.”

“We should do this again.” The agent grinned. “Anyway good night and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“You too.” With that said, Poorna left the suite, leaving the agent to ponder her next move.

*************************************************************************************

NRPG: Now that Part IV is done, we’re at the half way point in the mission :) Things are going to escalate soon in the upcoming chapters ;)


~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Chloe Nielsen
Section 31 Agent



 

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