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More Questions Than Answers

Posted on Aug 11, 2019 @ 7:41am by Commander Jacob Crichton
Edited on on Aug 11, 2019 @ 7:42am

Mission: Last Days of Empire

= More Questions Than Answers =

(cont’d from “Ship Life”)

LOCATION: TX01-V A, “The Bazaar”
SCENE: Nightclub
STARDATE: [2.19] 08011.1435

“Can you tell us more about his companion? And why you found her offensive?” Jasmine asked. “And another thing, do you know why someone was trying to prevent us from meeting you?”

J’hora fixed Jasmine with a cold stare, her lips pulled into an ugly frown. “His companion spoke out of turn and asked too many questions.”

“Apologies,” Jake said. “We’re on a mission and we’re just trying to complete it. The sooner we get what we need, the sooner we’ll be out of your business.”

J’hora considered this for a moment, then shrugged. “Very well. As long as this matter is concluded far away from here, it makes no difference to me what happens to the parties involved.”

J’hora looked at Jasmine. “The man’s companion was taller than you are. Not much meat on her, either. I don’t know what a male could want with such a woman, but some of my human employees mentioned finding her attractive. She had short yellow hair. She never mentioned her name.”

“I see,” Jasmine said, glancing at Jake. The description didn’t seem to match any of the members of the Satet crew that they’d been brief on.

“And she offended you?” Jake asked, looking back at J’hora.

“Yes,” J’hora said. “As I said, she asked too many questions. And when she did not like the answers I provided, she asked more. Didn’t know when to shut up. Even her companion seemed uneasy with her curiosity.”

“Please understand, it’s not our intent to offend you,” Jake said. “But what kinds of questions did she ask?”

J’hora seemed to weigh her response; ultimately, Jake assumed it was the presence of the Federation flagship in orbit above her moon that finally loosened her tongue.

“Questions about my lineage,” J’hora said. “About my house. About the state of the Empire.”

“The Klingon Empire,” Jasmine said.

“What’s left of it,” J’hora spat. “Nothing but ghosts, fighting over ashes.”

“And what did you tell her?” Jake asked.

J’hora moved fast, her arm suddenly flashing through the air to bury a d’k tahg knife in the table in front of her, almost all the way up to the hilt.

“I told her what I’ll tell you,” J’hora said, her eyes flashing. “I have better things to do than help stupid fools clutch after faded glory. I have my own kingdom now, and I will not tolerate any challenge to my sovereignty… not from the Klingons, the Orions, or even the Federation.”

J’hora did not break eye contact with them, but she did release the handle of the d’k tahg. Then she slowly leaned back in her seat, and at last seemed to relax once more.

“Now,” she said. “I think it’s time that you leave. I’ve told you where to find these privateers of yours. You’ll want to go after them as soon as possible.”

Two of J’hora’s guards stepped forward, taking Jasmine and Jake by the arms. They gently, but firmly, pulled them out of their seats and started to conduct them towards the door.

“Wait,” Jasmine said. “You haven’t answered my other question.”

J’hora gave her a warning stare. “What?”

“Why would someone be trying to keep us from meeting with you?” Jasmine asked.

“I don’t know,” J’hora said. “And I don’t care. Maybe they don’t want you finding this ship of yours.”

“Any idea who it might be?” Jasmine pressed.

J’hora considered this, then sighed. “There are those who would see the Empire reclaim its lost glory, and those who would see it consigned to the ash heap of history. Then, there are those who would bring that fight to my doorstep, if they could. Because of who I am, because of the power and influence I have here, they believe I must have some stake in their struggle. They are wrong. I have my own House now, and I will build my own Empire. The homeworld can burn for all I care.”

“That doesn’t answer my question,” Jasmine said.

"No,” J’hora said, flashing a menacing smile at the two Starfleet officers. “But it’s all you’ll get from me. Now, get out of my club, get off my moon, and don’t come back.”

“Thank you for your help,” Jake said, as the guards led them away.

J’hora waved a disinterested hand in their direction, before turning her attention back to the plate of gagh set in front of her.


SCENE: Outside

They were allowed the leave the club without incident, though Jake very much doubted they’d be welcomed back in. They didn’t know what Captain Book had come to the Bazaar to find, and they had a new mystery with the identify of Book’s female companion, but at least J’hora had given them the coordinates for the Satet’s destination. They had a place to look.

Once they’d gotten a few meters away from the club, their communicators suddenly chirped in unison.

[[...alziel to Commander Crichton,]] Eve Dalziel’s voice said. [[Come in please.]]

Jake hit his comm-badge. “Crichton here.”

[[Commander,]] Dalziel said. [[I’ve been trying to contact you for the last ten minutes, but we weren’t getting a response. Is everything okay?]]

“Yeah,” Jake said. “I think the place we were in had comm-suppression, that seems to be de rigueur around here. The good news is, we met with J’hora.”

[[You did? What did she tell you?]]

“She didn’t tell us much about what Book was looking for, but she was able to point us to where the Satet went next. We can at least start there, and see what we find.”

[[You did better than we did,]] Dalziel said. [[We managed to get ourselves captured and interrogated. Some Orion woman, Mistress Zhiva.]]

“What did she say?”

[[Oh, the usual,]] said Eve. [[Quit sniffing around or we’ll regret it, that kind of thing.]]

“Maybe she was the one trying to keep us from getting to J’hora,” Jasmine said.

[[Could be,]] Eve said. [[She didn’t seem too keen on us finding anything out. She let us go without any trouble, though.]]

“Okay,” Jake said. “I think maybe we’ve pushed our luck as far as we can here. Let’s regroup and get back to the ship.”

[[Jake, there’s something else,]] Eve said. [[We’ve, uh… we’ve picked up someone.]]


[[Her name’s Joanna Masters. She’s Lt. Solorzano’s former fiance. Says she’s an antiquities dealer, but she seemed to have some kind of relationship with this Mistress Zhiva. There’s something about her I don’t trust.]]

“Seems like a big coincidence,” Jake said. “Where is she now?”

[[With Solorzano,]] Eve said. [[I should probably get back and make sure they aren’t killing each other. It seems they did not exactly part on good terms.]]

“And she said she wants to come with us?”

[[She said it’s not safe for her to stay here anymore,]] said Eve. [[She’s not telling us the whole story, but on that part I tend to agree with her. Mistress Zhiva didn’t look very happy that she and Heck knew each other.]]

“Okay,” Jake said. “We’ll bring her with us and keep an eye on her.”

“What does she look like?” Jasmine asked. Jake raised an eyebrow at her, but Jasmine looked determined.

[[Masters?]] Eve asked. [[Uh, blonde hair, cut short. About my height. Why?]]

Jasmine looked at Jake, who suddenly realized what she’d been getting at.

“We’ll talk about it when we get back to the ship,” Jake said. “Find a good place and signal for transport. It’s time we get off this moon.”

[[Understood. Dalziel out.]]

A few minutes later, they found a good spot removed from most of the local traffic. Jake signalled the PHOENIX.

“Away team to PHOENIX,” he said. “Two to beam out.”

And they were gone.


NRPG: We’re finished up on the Bazaar, but we’re coming back with an extra mouth to feed! Who is the Joanna Masters person, anyway? And what was Book looking for on the Bazaar? What will the ship be walking into when they check out the coordinates that J’hora gave us?

The plot continues to thicken!

Shawn Putnam
Jake Crichton
Executive Officer


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