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JL| Danielle Atarah, Kalina Zett | Earth Syndicate | Reconstruction, Pt III: "Don't Fuck With Us"

Posted on 241708.30 @ 12:35am by Danielle Atarah

Mission: Non-Plot Log

Dani leaned back against the chair’s back, looking at Zett calmly. The Trill was far from calm, though, pacing around the vast office like a caged animal, avoiding Smith’s form at the far edge. Smith, for his part, seemed much calmer, though Dani could see that was only the appearance on the surface; his glass of Whiskey was left undrunk in his hand as he swirled it and swirled it forever.

"Would you two relax?"

The human and Trill both looked at Dani at the same time, apparently so deep in their own troubled thoughts, they seemed to not even be aware of the impression they were making. Dani couldn’t blame them; the gameface comes on when there are people to game. It tended to stay off when one was around people one trusted. Dani took it as a compliment.

"It’s going to be okay." She offered, finding it more than a little amusing that the rules of engagement has shifted so radically. She was the calm and controlled one now, and the two ruthless assassins were nervous. She was going to say something when the door opened and Mira -- Zett’s personal assistant (a position that took much work to convince Zett she needed, and much gloating on Dani’s part when Zett realized how much more efficient she could be with one) -- walked in, handing Zett a PADD.

Zett looked at it and nodded at the woman absently. Mira looked up at Dani and smiled encouragingly. Dani winked at her. Mira hid a small smile and walked out. At least someone trusts her judgment, Dani thought.

"They’re here."

"Great." Dani smiled and walked over to Smith, wrapping her fingers around the glass he kept twirling, pulling it away gently and placing it on the alcohol cabinet. "Are you ready?"

He looked at her seriously for a moment, as if wondering if anyone could be ready for their own horrific death. "I’m always ready." And he probably was.

Dani nodded, tapped him on the shoulder lightly, and turned to Zett. "It’s your show, boss."

Zett grunted and took a breath, stopping her pacing at her chair behind the large desk. Finally, after a long pause with her eyes closed and her fingers placed on the surface, she straightened, regaining her authority, and opened her eyes, revealing the cold calmness that held her together.

She tapped the button on the PADD and nodded, turning to the door, the ‘I own this place, bitches’ persona fully manifested. Dani was, once again, impressed.

"Let them in, Mira."

The door opened and two large guards walked in. Zett watched them take note of her and Smith as they took their place behind the two chairs at the desk. Two guests followed; a large round man with thick beard, and a slim tall woman with dark brown hair that flowed down her shoulders like a waterfall.

"Zett," the man intoned, his voice full of the type of self aggrandizing only men who overestimate their power have. He sat heavily in the chair and looked at Zett with greedy satisfaction as his partner lowered herself to her seat and laced her palms over her thighs.

"It's good of you to finally invite us." He smiled broadly, oozing satisfaction.

"Harem. Ms. Takeda." Zett nodded, and Dani noted her eyes were firmly at the woman, rather than the man, despite his apparent position as the superior. "I'm glad you've agreed to this meeting, despite our…" she let out a masterfully timed wry smile, "disagreement, the last time we've met."

"Oh, we couldn't have passed on this one," the man seemed oblivious to Zett's lack of specific attention to him. "We are, after all, here to listen to what you have to offer us to fix this unfortunate situation."

Zett's lips curled upwards in a smile that didn't reach her eyes. "What I have to offer?" her tone was poisonous, and while the man remained arrogantly oblivious, the woman took note and straightened, looking at Zett with concerned suspicion.

"I knew you'd see the error of your ways, Kalina. We've been working together a long while; I'm sure we can find the right incentives to bring us back together." He exclaimed merrily, condescendingly and Dani felt the atmosphere in the room shift as Zett's eyes darkened, her smile turning pure poison.

"You go straight to the point," Dani muttered, loudly enough to be heard, giving Zett a moment to hold her rage in place. The man scoffed a wet laughter, not noticing his partner tensing at the changed mood on the room.

"We are all too seasoned in the game to play stupid." He looked at Dani sideways, then laughed again, shifting his gaze back to Zett. "What do you offer, Kalina?"

Zett stared at him. "Offer?"

"Surely you don't expect the Consortium to settle this matter without proper compensation. We have lost business over to this… Callous decision. As much as I appreciate our working relationship, in our line of business, mistakes come with a cost. So out with it. What do you offer?"

"Funny you should mention mistakes, Mr. Harem," Zett finally turned her attention to him, and he finally noticed her eyes. His smile wavered. She paused, as if thinking how to phrase her next words, and then leaned sideways to her screen and rotated it, letting the two guests watch the display of stars that shone from its surface.

"Let’s talk about mistakes. You have two ships in my sector," She pointed, and the display obeyed, making two dots bright red. "and as of four hours ago, five shuttles doing random and interesting runs around the system."

Harem looked at the screen, his eyes narrowing. Dani noted with satisfaction the slight surprise in his eyes. "You are not our only business interest in the area, Zett."

Zett stared at him. "Oh, I know all about your business interests in the area, Mr. Harem. That's why we are here. You see, I don't appreciate people coming into my sector running business behind my back."

He glared at her now. "What game are you playing, woman. Did you really invite me here expecting an apology after what you've done to our business, after the mess you've gotten us into! Your sector," he laughed dryly, getting ready to rise, "you have some balls."

"Sit down, Mr. Harem. I'm not finished."

"You ARE finished, you mouthy bitch. You better look around you and get on with the program, or you won't be here much longer."

"You mean your attempt to depose me?" Zett's tone was so chilling, Dani thought the man and his assistant would just freeze right there and crumble into a million pieces.

"I--" he started, but Zett cut him off, looking once again to his assistant. She, on her part, seemed much more aware of where this was going than he seeme to have been.

"Let me tell you what is going on here, Ms. Takeda." Zett gestured at the screen again, reactivating the animation. The two bigger dots swam lazily, the five smaller shuttles continuing on their path towards what seemed to be Earth’s and the Moon’s orbits. "As I was saying before your colleague started insulting my intelligence by opening his fat mouth," Zett pointed at the five smaller dots, "you have two ships and five shuttles roaming around my back yard." Takeda looked silently, smart enough to not respond. Harem huffed angrily, but said no actual words.

"Half an hour ago, three of those shuttles -- namely, the ones carrying guns and ammunition to a location you surely thought was undisclosed," Harem stopped huffing, "-- had a navigational malfunction." The dots shifted, all at once, changing their route to converge at a spot just above the Moon’s orbit. A dashed line illuminated their new path, meeting at a point where a blue dot with a small Starfleet symbol above it stood, as if waiting. Aimee Takeda blanched. Samuel Harem’s breath caught in his lungs as he was attempting to object. Zett continued, her eyes fixed on the woman.

"It seems the shuttles were aiming directly at a Starfleet security and customs base. A very unfortunate malfunction. But, because we are such good friends," she spat the words like they were bile, "I ordered my own ships to intercept yours; We managed to rescue two of the shuttles and toe them to my private dock." A fourth and fifth dot, green and bright, followed the three moving shuttles, playing out Zett’s narration to the letter, stopping and shifting the paths of two of the red dots, missing the third. It continued on its straight purposeful path towards the Starfleet symbol, slowing down as if intending to dock. Zett folded her arms, letting the screen continue rolling without the aid of her gesturing. "Surprisingly, my sources tell me that Starfleet found the third shuttle almost empty, minus a few minor infractions," Takeda shifted her gaze from the screen, finally, and looked up at Zett. "But I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting that shuttle back. You know how bureaucracies go."

Harem seemed to have trouble breathing. "You… fucking… cu--"

"By now, your bosses are wondering which is the likeliest scenario to have happened, Ms. Takeda," Zett cut Harem off abruptly, continuing to look at the woman calmly. "Either the leadership for this sector are traitors who got bought-off by Starfleet intelligence," the smile was almost imperceptible, but it was there, "or they were incompetent idiots who got their asses handed to them."

Takeda, pale but impressively calm, blinked a moment, thinking. Harem gaped, finally realizing the maneuvering of power around him. Zett didn’t let him finish his thoughts.

"I don’t appreciate people coming into my house and setting my kitchen on fire, Ms. Takeda. I’m sure you understand that." The woman nodded, barely, her eyes on Zett’s, still calculating her moves, absorbing the news.

"But I am not unreasonable. I am willing to assume this… attempt at collaborating and aiding my personal enemies…" her eyes flared ice again, her voice bubbled rage, "isn’t the doing of the Martel Consortium itself, but of its previous representative in my sector."

And there it was, the trap was set, covered with mud, and sprung to life, hitting the Consortium in the toe while splitting Samuel Harem’s head from his shoulders. A proportional response, on all accounts.

Harem squealed in protest, staring at Zett with pure hatred. "This will not end here, Zett. You will pay for this! We will--"

"Do nothing." Takeda finally spoke, shifting to look at the big man who was now squirming in his seat. He gaped at her. It didn’t take a genius to see which one of them saw their future promotion coming up on a silver platter laced with golden opportunities. "You took a stupid risk and failed, Samuel. Accept your losses and run." She gave him a moment longer of consideration and then turned her head, looking at Zett with an expression of measured respect.

"Our shuttles. What do you want for them?"

"Oh, I’m keeping one of them," Zett smiled at her and shifted, some of the tension leaving her body. They’ve won; now it was a matter of fixing the victory lap. "I’ll consider it an apology gift from you." She nodded at the woman, as to acknowledge her new promotion, "And I accept."

Takeda’s smile twisted sideways, knowingly, understanding, defeated, but not finished. They’ve lost this battle, but she was about to win a much bigger score than Harem ever would have. Not a bad start as leverage for her new position as the chief for this part of space. She nodded at Zett. "We want to resume our operation on the planet. We can’t be confined to the outer planets and outskirts of the sector."

"We can discuss business opportunities," Zett nodded, "But when you’re in my house, Takeda, you go by my rules. No children."

Takeda nodded slowly, Dani was guessing it might be a hard sell upstairs, but she guessed just as much that with the available opportunities in the sector reopening, it might not be as big of a loss as the Consortium thought. There were plenty of ways to make lots and lots of beautiful dirty money without resorting to child slavery. Now that the rules were set, now that it was clear who owned this sector, and what the price could be -- now it was time to negotiate, and find the best ways to get super filthy fucking rich off of each other, like people in this business were meant to.

"Aimee!" Harem called out, outraged, but his eyes were small. Scared. Takeda turned to him. "Samuel, you and I both know what will happen if you come back with me to the Consortium." He stared at her, gulping, "if I were you, I’d take the time Zett and I are talking to pack a bag and go. I might even not have to chase you down."

He stared at her, his head shaking to the sides for a moment, denying reality. She stared him back, and then, finally, turned to face Zett again. He took a breath, looked around, and got up from his seat abruptly. The guards behind him shifted, but Dani suspected that after the evening’s display, it wasn’t him they were going to protect. "This isn’t the last you hear from me, Zett. You’re going to pay for this."

"It better be, Mr. Harem. I won’t be as lenient if I ever see you again."

He glared at her, then at his former assistant, and then turned, giving Smith and Dani the same glare as he rushed, almost tripping over his own feet, out the door. Dani watched him leave, satisfied.

One down.

- - -

Kalina Zett
The Boss
(Yet-nameless) Earth Syndicate

Danielle Atarah
(Yet-nameless) Earth Syndicate

Samuel Harem
Head of the Sol Sector Operation
Martel Consortium

Aimee Takeda
Deputy-Head of the Sol Sector Operation
Martel Consortium


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