Previous Next

Second Mission, Part V

Posted on Oct 31, 2017 @ 1:10am by Chloe Nielsen
Edited on on Oct 31, 2017 @ 1:11am

Mission: Section 31

“Second Mission, Part V”

Location: West City, BETA-525
SD: [2.17] 1029.2024
Scene: ‘Anonymous Hotel’ room

Quite a commotion in the deepest part of the city the previous night, according to the news broadcast, running on the viewscreen in the background. Two gangs went into all-out war and guess what that resulted into – piles of dead and injured bodies. That should keep the hospitals busy on a daily basis. The local news anchor also mentioned she heard a rumour that the Syndicate were preparing to take over the city and their forces were already dispatched from Centre City. If that was true, then West City, the last of the planet’s cities to hold out, would finally fall under the Orion Syndicate’s control. Centre City, a thriving metropolis, was located high amidst the mountain ranges, right in the middle of the planet’s only continent.

{{A transport from East City, has been hijacked by…}} Yes, East City and as the name suggested, it was the continent’s easternmost city. However, its inhabitants mostly worked in the mining business. There were mines, filled with precious metals and crystals, in the surrounding areas.

{{Immigration applications for South City growing astronomically…}} Whoever founded the planet was not creative in naming their cities. South City – found at the southernmost edge of the continent, was believed to be a lovely seaside town, growing in size and population. What made it a popular destination for West City dwellers, eager to leave, was stability, safety and a chance to make a home for themselves without the fear of getting killed. But Chloe knew the real truth – the stability and safety was due to the heavy handed policing by the Syndicate. As long as one didn’t cause trouble with them, they were fine.

{{A shuttle, heading for North City, has crashed into the Lios mountains, not far from Centre City….}} Ah yes, North City – well obviously, the continent’s northernmost city. A sparsely populated area with frigid temperatures.

So, in other words, not an ideal planet to settle or have a vacation, making it a temporary abode for Humanity’s Hope till they supposedly found a permanent home or returned to Earth. Chloe had briefed herself on the history of the group, thanks to her new asset, Dr. Poorna Mehta. HH was founded by Poorna’s father, a few days after the Neo-Essentialists’ defeat. The recruitment efforts were conducted in secret for many months. The message sent across to potential recruits, comprising of xenophobic and disgruntled humans, was the invitation to set up a new home in uncharted space, where they no longer had to co-exist with other species. According to Poorna, the first batch of HH members, arrived three months ago to set up their residence and the final group, which included her father and herself, had been only been on the planet for a month – coinciding with the time the front company, HH Holdings went into business.

Of course, one would never know if Poorna’s father, was really sincere in establishing a new colony for the group or planned to attack Earth to expel non-humans. Chloe sighed, realizing she had a long day ahead to execute her plans. Right after breakfast, the agent made her way to the ‘Anonymous hotel’, to finalize details of her plans, further analyze information and send a quick progress report to HQ – all done without the watchful eyes of HH security. Now, the blonde was ready to head out for the first task of the day.
--------------------------

Scene: HH Building – Service Entrance
TI: An hour later

With Poorna’s husband in charge of facilities maintenance in his role as Chief Engineer, Chloe was able to find a way to get to HH complex’s restricted floors. The planning of this operation took about two days, devising the plan and coordinating with Poorna and her husband on executing their roles in the op. A dangerous operation, involving two civilians with no past experience in the espionage business. Apparently, after the doctor informed her husband about becoming Chloe’s asset, he was all too eager to help for the chance to return to Earth.

From the couple, the Canadian obtained valuable information regarding the maintenance staff. As it turned out, HH utilized the services of a local contractor to hire workers for the overall building maintenance – city locals and most of them were non-humans. Every day, HH arranged for their own hover bus to transport the workers to their building to preserve the secrecy of its location. Well, it seemed HH couldn’t get any xenophobic humans to travel the long distance just to do simple janitorial work, Chloe thought with obvious sarcasm.

With that information in hand, Nielsen contacted the local contractor and applied for employment with HH. Not surprisingly, she got accepted with ease, considering it was cheap labour, where anyone who applied were successful. The application process was done completely on the city’s network, saving her the trouble from visiting the contractor’s office in person.

The hover bus came to a stop at the back of the building, when two guards approached. The hatch to the vehicle lifted and soon a large group of mostly non-humans climbed down, all prodded by the HH security officers to move in an orderly fashion. Chloe moved along with the crowd, her gaze forward so as to not draw attention to her. Thanks to a mobile holo-emitter, the agent projected herself as a Bolian woman, adorned in a long, grey coat with black tights. It wasn’t generally encouraged to rely on holo-emitters to disguise oneself for undercover missions but Chloe only needed to use it for a short time – journey from the contractor’s office to the HH complex.

--------------
Scene: Restricted floors

After the workers were made to put on their protective suits, they were each assigned to their respective tasks for the day. The facilities supervisor told them it was for their own protection, which Chloe immediately knew was total BS. No, the real reason was that the HH xenophobes couldn’t stand the sight of non-humans roaming around in their space and from what Poorna mentioned, many HH members feared of exposure to airborne diseases carried by those aliens – again all nonsense. The suits were a bright orange colour with black tinted glass face plates because those xenophobes couldn’t stand to peek at an alien face. So now how did the workers manage to navigate their way around the place? Well, a camera was embedded within the suit helmet, which interfaced with a HUD at the back of the faceplate.

Chloe managed to get assigned to the ‘restricted floors’, thanks to some discrete maneuvering by Poorna’s husband. Holding a palm-sized padd in one hand, the agent walked down the corridor. She turned around a corner and slipped her finger under the thick glove, quickly tapping on the watch-like bracelet. The agent resumed walking and checked the display on the lenses of her sunglasses. Good, the spherical shaped nano-devices, released by the bracelet, were sent all over the area to collect information. The screen was split with one of the lenses displaying the positions of the nanobots and the other interfaced with the helmet HUD.

Chloe stopped in front of a grey panel and removed it to expose isolinear circuitry. The agent grabbed a scanner from the toolkit, attached to her suit’s belt and waved it over the circuitry, pretending to work. Still another half hour at least before Poorna came down to this floor. She heard female voices and clicking sounds of heels and immediately recognized the individuals.

{{Natasha,}} Alia said, the tension in her voice indicating the black woman was unhappy. {{I don’t understand why you needed to meet with this Dr. Fischer.}}

{{Because she is potential investor,}} the Russian replied. The two women were near Chloe, neither paying any heed to her. {{And it is necessary we have other options besides Ms. Henstridge.}} Other options – this peeked the blonde’s interest. Someone else potentially interested in purchasing the artifact. None of that would matter though after today.

{{Why? What’s wrong with Wilhelmina?}}

{{You even have to ask?}} Natasha’s eyes narrowed to thin slits.

{{Yes, Natasha.}} Jimenez’s voice was firm. {{Wilhelmina’s offer is very generous and making a deal with her means we’d have all the funds needed to purchase the weapon.}}

{{I don’t trust her.}}

Alia sighed. {{Why? Worried she is a con artist?}}

{{No…I just have bad feeling about her. Something doesn’t sit right with that woman.}}

The black woman snapped, {{Natasha, you can’t just reject someone’s offer because of feelings. Think of the weapon, taking back Earth…}}

{{I will meet Dr. Fischer,}} Volkova cut her off. {{And if this new offer is better, then we take it and send Ms. Henstridge away.}}

{{You can’t make that decision without…}}

{{Yes I can. I am in charge now that…my husband is dying and will be dead soon.}} So Natasha wasn’t hiding the fact that she poisoned her spouse - a confirmation that the board knew about it and were even complicit. {{I must go meet Dr. Fischer now.}} The two women left, heading in different directions.

---------------
TI: 15 minutes later

So what secrets did the restricted areas of the building hold? Well, Chloe’s interest was only in one particular floor, where the artifact was held. Poorna mentioned to her that Alia shared the location of the artifact. The item was placed in a secure locker, accessible only by Alia, Tim and Natasha, in the vault, a room where only few were permitted to enter. Poorna was amongst the lucky few. So with that in mind, Chloe devised a plan to steal the artifact with the Indian woman’s help. A high-risk plan, one if successful, would put a huge dent in HH’s plans to acquire the funds needed to purchase the weapon from Ross.

Chloe, having pretended to perform the tasks, as required of a maintenance personnel, walked down the corridor. She took a quick glance at her display – the nanobots were occupied with collecting information, regarding the activities on this floor. The Canadian accessed the visual feed of that nanobot closest to her and frowned.

The nanoscopic sized device had found its way inside a large and dark room with a narrow pathway, surrounded by cages on both sides. Chloe navigated the bot further inside and the agent’s eyes narrowed, when she paused at one of the cages. Behind a forcefield, a young Orion woman sat, gaunt and sickly, her eyes downcast. She moved onto the next cage, where an elderly Cardassian man was sleeping with bruises and lacerations visible all over his body, suggesting he might have been tortured and beaten. She proceeded further inside and found more non-humans – all looking worse for the wear. In two adjacent cages, there were two Romulans, a male and female and while they looked haggard, their expressions were devoid of emotions, though a glint of anger shone in the woman’s eyes.

The agent was perplexed, wondering just what was going on here. Why was HH holding non-human species captive and for what purpose? Her first thought was this smelled of species trafficking. But why HH would be running a trafficking ring. Perhaps the non-humans were captured for another reason – a more sinister one. Something to do with the weapon or their plans to attack Earth. This was all very strange. She could hear voices in the background and turned the bot around.

Natasha was seen entering the room, speaking with another person, a female, judging from the voice. The mysterious Dr. Fischer, the person Natasha wanted to do business with, instead of ‘Wilhelmina’. {{So, this is where we store our merchandise.}}

{{Impressive.}} That voice sounded familiar, though Chloe could tell the accent was German. The woman slowly came into view of the bot’s cam and the blonde woman’s eyes widened, shock enveloping her features.

A human woman of medium height, her flaming red hair, styled in a loose bun, followed the Russian. Minerva Evans or as she was referred by her code name, ‘Red Mistress’, was an individual that Chloe didn’t expect to be at the HH complex. Flashes of her skirmish with the former SFI officer in Toronto, burst into her mind like a tsunami but the agent managed to return her focus to the operation at hand. She couldn’t afford to be distracted, especially when it won’t be long before Poorna would be arriving on this floor.

Minerva, adorned in a rather expensive crimson coloured pant suit, commented, {{You have an impressive facility, Ms. Volkova.}}

Natasha smiled, more of a sneer actually. {{So Dr. Fischer, I hear you’re in the smuggling business.}}

{{I wouldn’t exactly call it smuggling but more like in the business of helping others escape volatile situations, the harsh conditions of their worlds, warlords or the Orion Syndicate and get them into Federation space.}}

{{I see. So how can we help you? I hear you’re interested in making a trade, is that correct?}}

Evans nodded. {{Yes, I recently obtained a fresh batch from an Yridian smuggler and I would like to trade this batch for a set that you acquired from an Orion slave trader at a discounted price.}} The red haired woman lowered her voice, making it difficult for the device to pick up the words.

Natasha shook her head. {{Just those two? Perhaps there are others, maybe a whole block of aliens.}}

{{No, just those two.}}

Natasha suggested, a gleam in her eye, {{Alright, but there is something in our possession, a priceless artifact that may be of interest to you. If you’d like, I show you.}}

{{No, not interested.}} Minerva shook her head.

This obviously didn’t please the Russian woman, but Volkova managed an insincere smile. {{Okay, Dr. Fischer. We have a deal then.}}

Chloe missed out the rest of the meeting as a pair of strong hands pushed on her back, making her stumble forward. The agent held onto the wall, preventing herself from falling and soon her shock turned to irritation. She narrowed her eyes, when a tall baby-faced male with short brown hair, blocked her way. A smug smile formed across his lips and his bluish green eyes were filled with malicious intent. This wasn’t good. Mehta was going to come down any minute and she needed to be there for her.

{{Shouldn’t you have work to do?}} He began, leaning closer and from the smell of his breath, it was obvious the man was drinking. Judging from the blue uniform, he was a security guard. {{So why are you standing out here? You lost?}} He raised his voice. {{Need directions?}} He knocked on her helmet. {{Hey, anyone in there? Or are all you aliens mindless morons?}} He made a grab for her shoulder, when a voice stopped him.

{{Stop!}}

Chloe sighed with relief, when she spotted Poorna standing behind babyface. It wasn’t because she was worried about guard babyface hurting her but of her cover getting blown if he’d removed her helmet, thereby putting the operation into jeopardy. The holographic projection wore off a couple of minutes ago and she looked herself again. If the guard saw her face, she’d have no choice but to take him out and that’d have created a wrinkle in her plans.

Now the young man, annoyed at the doctor’s intrusion, turned around and glared. {{This stupid alien needed a push.}}

{{Well, get out of the way and allow the worker to pass through,}} Poorna commanded. But when he didn’t budge, the Indian woman narrowed her eyes and her voice filled with menacing undertones. {{This is an order and if you don’t comply, I will report your insolence to Mr. Kamal.}}

Reluctantly, babyface stepped aside, allowing the agent to walk past him to the doctor’s side and scowled at them. Poorna ushered the blonde forward and the two women quickly walked away. Once they were safely out of the guard’s earshot, they stopped and Mehta let out a huge sigh of relief, turning to Chloe with concern in her eyes. {{Hey, are you okay? He hasn’t hurt you, has he?}}

“Me hurt?” Chloe snorted. “No. It’s because of you, he’s still breathing.” She watched the doctor give her a look of disapproval and the agent sighed, shaking her head. People like Dr. Mehta were never going to understand.

{{Anyway, we are here,}} she said as both stood facing a titanium door. {{Alia shouldn’t be long.}}

“Alright, let’s do it,” the Canadian said, removing a tiny coin shaped device from her pocket and activated it. “Security cams scrambled for a brief moment.” She handed a similar device to Mehta, who studied it with curiosity. “Keep that on you at all times and don’t lose it, otherwise our covers will be blown.”

Poorna nodded, her expression a mix of confusion and anxiety. “Okay.”

The two coin-shaped devices were mobile holo-emitters and were linked. Chloe pressed her emitter, which projected herself as the doctor, while Poorna became her. The agent handed Mehta, the toolkit, in exchange for the small blue bag, the other woman brought with her. “Alright, take position by that panel over there,” the Canadian said, glancing in the opposite direction.

“Poorna,” came the cheery voice of the black woman, approaching them. This was Mehta’s que to get into her position. As the Indian slid away, she noticed Jimenez’s expression sour at her sight. “Sorry, I’m late. But oh my goodness, Natasha is such a bitch. I mean how dare she undermine me like that by bringing in this Fischer woman.” Alia placed her palm on a scanner, located on a panel to the side of the door. “I mean, the whole board minus her, liked Wilhelmina’s proposal.” Removing her palm, she then entered a passcode, leading to the doors parting. The two women stepped inside and at the same time, Chloe tapped on the watch-like bracelet under her glove. Another nanobot was released and accompanied the two women.

As Chloe followed Alia inside, she noticed the vault was quite large with rows and rows of titanium lockers, stacked up all the way up to the ceiling. They had gone to the back of the room, where the black woman stopped by one of the lower level lockers. On a square panel in the middle of the rectangular shaped titanium surface, Alia blew at it, resulting in the panel lighting up in blue, followed by the computer announcing, [[Breath print authenticated. Now please enter passcode.]] Jimenez quickly entered her codes. [[Identity verified. Welcome, Alia Jimenez.]]

Smiling, Alia pulled the locker door open and grabbed a small, black metallic case. While Chloe hadn’t seen the artifact, she had however viewed images of it. She observed the tall woman lift its lid and presented the opened case to her. “See, Poorna. This is the priceless artifact that we plan to sell to Wilhelmina. Think of how much it will help with our colonization efforts.” She was right, the artifact was beautiful, its intricate design, something she’d never seen before, held the mysteries of an ancient, yet extinct civilization. What was the smooth, purplish, hexagonal object used for? Well, that would be something left for the scientists at Daystrom to uncover and Chloe planned on ensuring the artifact returned to them. Retrieving this artifact was what originally brought her to this godforsaken planet. A simple retrieval mission that became something more complicated and sinister, a conspiracy involving fellow humans that threatened Earth.

“You’re right. It is very beautiful and so priceless, Alia,” Nielsen said, gazing intently at the ancient object. She used a voice modulator to sound like Poorna.

“Well, hopefully this scheme of Ms. Volkova’s, regarding Dr. Fischer, doesn’t succeed.” Alia returned the artifact back in the locker and closed the door. “Honestly, I really don’t understand her problem with Wilhelmina, who is just the saviour we need to save our group and fulfill our goals. Seriously, Wilhelmina is just so perfect. We had this instant connection the moment we met. She and I could be besties for life.”

Hmm…not really, Chloe thought, mildly irritated. The blonde maintained her focus on the other woman.

“I’m thinking of recruiting her into our group,” the black woman continued, “I mean she’s very wealthy and successful and the best part, she’s Earth-born.”

Chloe frowned. Imagine if Alia discovered she really wasn’t the fabulously wealthy ‘Wilhelmina Henstridge’, the Earth-born woman who would provide the funds to enable them to implement their despicable plan of attacking Earth. The shock on her face would be priceless and amusing if it wasn’t real life. But she had a mission to complete and a cover to maintain to ensure its success. Nielsen pulled out a tiny, blue bottle from her bag and began spraying the perfume all over her. She stopped, when Alia sneezed and looked up.

The taller woman strained her facial muscles as she struggled against her itchy nose. “Poorna, help,” she pleaded, her voice thickening. “I….” She let out a whooper of a sneeze.

Alia whispered, her chest heaving from steady breathing. “Damn, those allergies.”

“I’m sorry…Alia.” Chloe sounded apologetic. “Maybe it was this new perfume.”

“Nah, I don’t think so.” Jimenez shook the head, smiling as she eyed the tiny bottle in the agent’s hand.

“I need to make sure, just to be on the safe side.” Chloe requested, pulling out a hypospray. “So if you don’t mind, I’d like to collect some breath samples for testing.”

“Oh absolutely.”

“Now please blow here.” She watched Alia did as instructed, blowing air into a vial. “Okay that will be enough.” Quickly, the agent inserted the vial into the hypospray for storage.

“Anyway, Poorna. I’ll have to get going. Nice catching up with you.” Thus, to the agent’s relief, the tall dark skinned woman left.

Chloe pulled out an eyeliner out of her pocket and activated it. So now the security cams would only see an endless loop of Mehta standing around for the next five minutes – the time she had to remove the artifact from the locker and replace it with a replica. On the previous day, Chloe, using the images of the artifact, replicated a counterfeit and gave it to the Indian woman.

The agent moved towards the locker at a casual pace, not wanting to arouse suspicions. She presented the hypospray in front of the scanner and pressed the button to release the air, courtesy of Ms. Jimenez. Chloe held her breath for a brief moment, when the air sample instantly made contact with the scanner. [[Breath print authenticated. Now please enter passcode.]] The scanner lit up in a bright blue colour.

The agent let herself smile before she accessed the nanobot for footage. Quickly running through the recording, she paused at the time, when Alia was entering the passcode. Chloe reduced the speed of the playback by half to note the keys the HH member’s fingers pressed on the console. Now having the codes memorized, she switched her display to the access panel and entered in the numbers. [[Identity verified. Welcome, Alia Jimenez.]]

Perfect. Chloe opened the locker door and removed the replica from the bag. She placed the fake inside the locker, while at the same time, grabbing the artifact and gently dropping it into the same bag. Closing the door, the agent sighed, turning around to make way for the exit. It was going to be at least twenty four hours before HH figured out they had a counterfeit in their possession – hopefully that was all the time needed to obtain the weapon from Ross.

*************************************************************************************
NRPG: Here’s Part V. Plot’s now building up and getting closer to the big finale in a few more posts!

~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Chloe Nielsen
Section 31 Agent

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe