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JL | Danielle Atarah, Kalina Zett | Earth Syndicate | Reconstruction, Pt V, Chapter 1: "Fuck the Plan"

Posted on 241709.02 @ 6:03pm by Danielle Atarah

Mission: Non-Plot Log

"No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy" -- Helmuth von Moltke

* * *

"You need to hurry up, Atarah." Smith muttered, his voice tight with concern, his eyes glued to the screen in front of him. Zett stood next to him, watching the same screen coldly. Five of Smith's men, armed to the teeth, crouched ready in front of the door like their own little special ops squad.

"I need more time." Dani answered, her fingers flying across multiple levels of consoles, her eyes moving just as fast, the screen in front of her changing colors, images and angles in dazzling speeds, displaying schematics and graphs Zett and Smith couldn't make sense of.

Something happened on the screen above Dani's head; the one with the stable image Zett and Smith were looking at. Smith grunted, his hand moving to the hilt of a large knife on his belt. Dani wasn't sure why he seemed to prefer the knife over the phaser that was dangling from his belt, but didn't have much time to think about it. "Shit," Zett spat, as if narrating Smith's reaction. Dani's fingers kept flying on the board in front of her. "Just a couple more minutes, guys. Come on. Just a couple more."

"They're in the building, Atarah," Smith growled, fingering the hilt, looking at his men, who, obediently and professionally, snapped to keep an even better watch on the door. Smith nodded to one of them and the man turned, leaving with another guard to watch the door from the outside. Dani's screen beeped.

"Five minutes."

"You don't have five minutes, Dani." Zett's gaze was fixed on the screen, her eyes bright with dread and anticipation, but mostly frustration. She felt trapped in this room, Dani could feel it oozing from her in warm toxic waves.

"Just five more minutes, Kal. Keep ‘em busy."

Zett sighed. Smith grunted. The video on the screen kept running, and Dani's fingers with it.

"They're coming up." Smith stared, and his men tensed again.

"Fucking hell." Zett sighed, and reached for her weapons.

* * *

Jorin Bjornson was reaching the top of his game, and he knew it. He acted like it, especially in the past few weeks as he was preparing his strike. And even when the Martel Consortium caved - only giving him part of the weapons they've promised, and almost none of the money, skipping on the second shipment completely - he still considered his options, weighing his odds, realizing, to his great satisfaction, that he was going to win. He could get weapons elsewhere. He didn't need that many anyways.

Kalina Zett was a respected member of the Syndicate for years, as Cardello's right hand person, and a fairly notable hitman. Woman. Whatever. She was good, there was no doubt about that, and people respected her position, and her skills.

And then Cardello fell, and people saw opportunity. They saw how their status can change -- upwards, mostly, of course -- and how they can benefit from the temporary chaos that Cardello's demise produced. But Zett still had followers; she wasn't stupid, and she was far from incompetent. She spent months preparing her position before the takeover, and that paid off. Many people were loyal to her, either by conviction or fear.

But Jorin could be scary, too. He may not have risen high enough to be at Cardello's side, but he was definitely at his feet in every major decision. As the operator and effective czar of the Syndicate's European operations, his influence was not to be belittled. He knew the game well, and he saw opportunities -- and grabbed them.

That's exactly what he did when Zett - with her old-new-returning-hotshot-girlfriend - screwed with the Martel Consortium's foothold in the sector. It was in his terf, too, and he knew all about the operation and how Zett's people burned one of the most powerful external influences to the system. That was his opportunity. They needed a replacement. He was the replacement. He knew the pitch to back him would be easy, especially when he showed them what his level of influence already is.

Especially when he promised Zett's head. Yeah, that got that fat Martel fuck practically salivating. Jorin knew he was going to win, right then.

"We're here," A short blonde man nudged Jorin out of his reveries, pointing at the landing pad at the top of the building that used to house Cardello, and now houses the soon-to-be-Ex leader of the new Syndicate. He smiled, touching his belt. His guns were there, and his knife, a large brutal-looking instrument with serrated edges and thick hilt, all in shiny leather holsters. Jorin nodded, pointing in the general direction of the entrance, 30-something floors below.

"The teams ready?"

"They're all in place." The blonde man nodded, smiling brutally. "Should I give the word?"

Jorin looked through the shuttle's window, nodding. "Get the teams in. I want all floors cleaned up by the time we get to the top office. Zett can't have a way out."

The man nodded. "We're hovering to intercept any emergency shuttle coming. When the teams report success, we'll land."

Jorin nodded, the smile spreading wider on his face, his eyes gleaming.

"Do it."

* * *

"Dani, I swear to any gods available, if you tell me you need more tim--"

"This isn't something I can just rush, Kal. You know what's at stake..."

"Yeah, I know what's at stake."

* * *

Jorin's plan was simple and straightforward. Five teams. Armed to the teeth. One building. Each team penetrating on a different entrance, clearing levels as they go. Two shuttles hovering above, preventing rescue. When the foot soldiers finish their dirty work, the two shuttles land, and he will swoop in, facing Kalina Zett in her own office.

He planned to kill her, of course. Her and her lieutenants. That was a given. He would, perhaps, let some of her management team live, but that depended on them. And on his mood at the moment. He was going to win a decisive victory and claim the kingdom to himself; the people who remain behind were expendable.

The first three teams blew up the three street-facing doors, marking the official beginning of the end. Jorin watched his screens, each showing a projection from the angle above the head of each of the teams' leads, another show a split image from above, one for each shuttle. The three explosions brightened all screens together, and then chaos ensued.

The lobby was deserted. He suspected it would be; they may not have seen him in time to make a run for it, but they probably had enough warning to find shelter in the vast building. That was fine; no one was really important except Zett. She was the target. The building was just a symbol.

"Team one, overriding the lifts." A voice chirped through the open comm system. Another joined right after, like a miniature army force, sending updates to headquarters. "Team two in staircase A. Climbing up." Team three and four followed, climbing up staircases B and C. The lifts were out of commission. Team five split up, surrounding the building on all sides. There was nowhere to run.

* * *

"The elevators are down."

"I see that."

"They're in the stairwells."

"Not all of them. I need them all."

"You're not going to have them all, Dani. They're climbing fast."

A grunt. "They sure are."

"They are coming in on the seventh floor."

"One sec."


"Got it!"

* * *

The teams were climbing up, so far without a single shot heard. Jorin wondered how far up the building Zett has been holding her men. Probably higher, if they had enough time to try and run. He waited, looking at the screens coldly, the staircases that moved forward like an escalator on the screen as the teams climbed higher and higher and--

The lights went out, and all the screens turned black, except for the two external views from the shuttles; these still showed the building, with its entrance points still full of smoke.

Jorin tensed. There was noise in the comm channel, as people adjusted their equipment. Jorin scoffed. He waited patiently for three seconds, and then smirked, shaking his head. "Nice try, bitch." His team had night vision goggles. Of course. Who wouldn't. The screens lit up again as the team leads switched the feed to night vision, putting the glasses on their heads. The staircases lit up, green, and began moving again, as the teams resumed their climb. Jorin smiled in satisfaction, signaling the shuttle to start its descent towards the roof.

Sounds of energy fire emanated from the comm. Team Two leader barked orders. There they were, Jorin thought, listening to his men exchange fire from their protected positions, crossing the stairways, leaving bodies behind. He watched the feeds as the shuttle started on its descent, smiling viciously.

* * *

"We need to get out there right now," Smith barked.

The sounds of energy fire were loud enough to hear.

"I have the stream. I'm diverting it now." Dani answered, pointing at the screen. "You need to stick to the plan."

People yelled. People screamed. Death spread, upwards.

"Fuck the plan." Smith spat.

* * *

They were there; the thirtieth floor, in all its glory. Zett must be here, Jorin knew. The other floors were empty, meaning her entire security force was concentrated here as a last ditch effort. Jorin smiled to himself, rocking as the shuttle landed.

"We have the transporter enhancer. You're clear to beam in."

Jorin looked at his right hand man and nodded. "Keep two guard at the shuttle, just in case. The rest, well," he extended his arm with the beacon; they all touched it. Within seconds, they dematerialized, reappearing inside a circle of glowing rods in the access stairway. Jorin looked around at his small army.

"Remember. Everyone is expendable except for Kalina Zett. She's mine."

The men nodded with hungry eyes, each tightening their grips on their weapons, ready to storm the floor. "All teams ready to go," the comms chirped, and Jorin turned to the door, vacating room so the team near him can go first and get rid of any opposition on his way to the head of the kingdom.

"Kill them all."

* * *

The doors exploded, flying inwards in a flash of red and yellow fire. Heavily armed soldiers followed, in formation, clearing out rooms. Jorin was right; Zett's entire security force was fortified here, waiting for them. The first shots were fired from the closest room to the door, blowing a hole through the vest of Team One's leader.

Impressive energy weapons, Jorin grunted to himself, and gestured, urgently, from his perch in the stairwell. The weapons may have been impressive, but the person holding them had no chance; the bigger the weapon, the slower the recharge. He was surrounded within five seconds, the little outpost he created for himself in the supply room riddled with holes as the entire of Team One emptied half their weapons' energy cells on him. His burnt body slammed against the far wall, slipped, and collapsed in a heap. Team One continued.

They moved methodically, room by room, four teams from four different directions, making their way to the big office at the end of the floor. Jorin followed after them, secure where the bodies lay, his heart beating victory in his chest.

The office was right there, across the hall, the shooting match reaching closer to it, the security forces growing in number and density. There were casualties on both sides, but there was no doubt who the clear winner was. His teams were moving forward, like an oiled machine, like the trained rogue army they were.

And there she was. Kalina Zett. In her office, standing there, her eyes fixed on the scene in front of her, protected by a team of security personnel led by Cardello's old chief of security, who was now hers. Smith. Jorin sneered. Smith saw him, and stared back, his hand reaching for his holster.

Jorin laughed and ducked aside, out of the line of fire. It won't be long now before they're all surrounded. It won't be long before one of his people will disarm that fucker, and it will be all over.

And it wasn't long.

It wasn't long at all.

* * *

"Holy shit," Dani muttered, glancing at Zett.

Blood covered the floors, seeping through cracks, pooling around bodies.

"Stay back, Dani." Zett answered, her eyes glued at the scene that played in front of her, her arm instinctively going towards Smith, as if to check he was there, and ready. He tapped her shoulder quickly and nodded.

Dani's breath caught. "I..."

* * *

He stormed the room like he owned it. He did, now. It was his. They were surrounded; Zett's forces completely defeated or dead, the bodies lying in the corridors, in rooms, and in the hallways.

There was no more fighting to be done, not really; the old occupants of the building have lost, even if they haven't realized it yet. The bitch and her two lieutenants walked out of a storage room as if the attack was insignificant. Oh, how they were wrong.

Jorin watched as they tried pushing the attackers away, as they fought, with the small security force that was left. She underestimated him, he saw. It was all over her eyes now, all over her expression, the dark soul that hid behind those chillingly blue eyes was scared and small and shattered. Her fighting was symbolic, and she knew it.

He smiled. Widely. Maniacally. Winningly. He looked at her as Smith fell, shot from four directions, bleeding from twenty holes in his body, his eyes wide, his mouth bleeding, to the floor, where he stayed like a crumpled puppet. Her eyes shone then, for a moment, with anger, anguish, and it seemed her body received a boost of energy. The two men who tried to hold her down flew across the floor, one holding his palm, the other his leg, broken in two places. She rose, reaching for the knife she'd lost, as three more of his men closed in, forcing her to change directions and fight, hand-to-hand in close quarters. He watched her, impressed. She was very good. She put a good fight.

She was going to lose.

Jorin smiled at her then, huffing a laugh that he knew she'd heard, he saw her eyes shift to him, her concentration fleeting for one small moment as Danielle Atarah moved, exposing herself, from her position near the closet door, where she was standing above a guard who wriggled on the floor. Well. The starfleet whore isn't completely incompetent, he surmised, but didn't let that thought linger. He knew what he needed to do. He knew what he needed to win.

Jorin Bjornson walked over, slapped Dani's arms away like they were flies on a steak -- a silly attempt at self defense that could really only be taught at Starfleet academy, pretending it's effective -- grabbed the woman by the hair, tilted her head up, and slit her throat in one fluid motion.

Dani stared, her eyes big and watery, her mouth filling with blood, her brain taking long -- too long -- to realize what was happening.

Kalina Zett screamed.

Jorin smiled in satisfaction, turned towards the Trill, and dropped Dani's body to the floor. She was still flailing, still grabbing for her throat, as if her fingers could stop the flow of blood that poured from the gaping hole his knife left. She was still looking at Zett, pleading, the last stream of tears flowing down her face, as she fell, forever in a second, and crumpled to the floor, twitching.

"I'm going to kill you!" Zett let out such a guttural scream, Jorin flinched. He turned to her, the knife in his hand dripping blood. The Trill attacked, throwing the opposition away, coming closer, nearer, with the focus of a tiger that has nothing more to lose.

And then she vanished.

* * *
In a room not too far from the main office, but effectively millions of miles away from the events of the carnage that was only a few feet away, Zett, Smith and Dani stared at the screens. The program was running smoothly. The plan worked. They were watching as Jorin and his men killed and butchered dozens of holographic images of their entire force, in vivid detail.

The plan was elegantly simple, really, as Dani explained to both Smith and Zett. She would wait for them all to enter the building. She would create a diversion - like a power outage, or a malfunction - and use that time to beam them into the holodeck. When Jorin's team set up the transporter inhibitors and beamed him in, they actually did so into the program, and none was the wiser.

Dani was pretty proud of that plan. That, however, was only part one. For part two - the masterpiece - Dani needed the full bio signatures of all of Jorin's people. That meant letting the computer do its scan, several times, making sure the details are accurate.

The computer needed time. They had to wait. They had to let things play out and do nothing while they watch.

Knowing that the dead in the room were only Jorin's crew -- the holodeck's safeties were off, most of the dead were from "friendly" fire, but they didn't even notice that -- did not make things any better.

"Holy shit," Dani repeated.

On the screen, blood covered the floors, seeping through cracks, pooling around bodies.

"Stay back, Dani." Zett answered, her eyes glued at the scene that played in front of her, her arm instinctively going towards Smith, as if to check he was there, and ready. He tapped her shoulder quickly and nodded.

Dani's breath caught. "I..." there was a pause. They all stared at the screen. Zett's eyes narrowed at her own image fighting off opposition. She took a breath as holographic Smith fell to the floor. Smith cleared his throat. Dani swallowed, turning her attention to the computer.

"It's just... just a couple of minutes. The scan is almost over."

Zett said nothing. Her eyes fixed on the screen, her hand squeezing the edge of the table.

"Dani..." her tone was dangerous. Warning. Dani blinked and looked up. "Oh. Crap."

Zett's eyes widened, then narrowed, her muscles tightening so quickly her arms started shaking.

On the screen, a holographic representation of Danielle Atarah reached for a torn throat that wouldn't stop bleeding. Zett's fingers curled into fists, her chest releasing a weak sigh that was a cross between anguish and anger. Holographic Dani fell to the floor, twitching, and holographic Zett -- mirroring the real Zett's emotions and obvious desires -- screamed.

"Stop the program." Smith barked. "Stop the fucking program. It's enough."

"Right, I... yeah." Dani nodded, recovering. It wasn't easy seeing oneself dies in such a horrific manner. Even when you know it's fake.

Zett didn't seem to actually know it's fake, though. She stared at the screen with bottled fury, her knuckles white, her mouth pressed so tight, Dani thought she stopped breathing. Smith leaned over and pressed a button. The program stopped. On the screen, all holographic characters vanished, leaving behind the building itself, and Jorin's baffled people.

"Zett." Dani turned, standing, reaching an arm to touch the woman's cheek gently. "Zett. It wasn't real. Look at me. It wasn't real."

Zett continued watching the screen for a moment, still, before turning her head to Dani, looking at her through wet blue eyes. Dani held back a gasp. The woman's eyes were no ice anymore; they were fire. Bright blue powerful flames lighting up her face, matching the edges of her dyed hair, making her look like a feiry goddess of vengeance. Which was, probably, Dani realized, not too far from the truth.

Zett focused her fire filled eyes on Dani.

"Dani," she whispered, and it was as if the word was hard to form, melting like burning metal in the Trill's fire. "All of them are yours." She gestured with a barely noticeable nod towards the other room, the holodeck. "But Jorin," she paused and gave Dani the most chillingly resolved look Dani's ever seen, "Jorin is mine."

Dani swallowed, but Zett turned away, walking towards the exit, towards the holodeck, the small army, led by Smith, surrounding her. Dani took a breath, gathered her strength, and followed, her fingers mindlessly reaching to touch her throat.


- - -

Kalina Zett
The Boss
(Yet-nameless) Earth Syndicate

Danielle Atarah
(Yet-nameless) Earth Syndicate


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