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06.25.2012 , 11:58 AM | #126
75. In which Nalenne gets a hand from Cipher Nine (I/III)

When trouble mounts higher and higher,
The whole situation gets dire.
The worst off are they
Who willingly sway
From frying pan into the fire.

When a call came in on the main holo, Nalenne was feeling too lazy to make herself presentable. She answered in her dressing gown.

The agent called Dahlia showed up. (*) And looked Nalenne over, and pursed her lips in a silent whistle.

“None of that,” said Nalenne. “What’s up?”

“Excellent news, Wrath. I can get you to Voss and I can even get you a local guide. It’s just going to take a few details.”


Dahlia met with Nalenne on the Helicarrier. “All right,” said the black-haired agent, “you’ll need to take three of these shots at 48-hour intervals to suppress certain compounds in your human scent to avoid raising suspicion with their more sensitive citizens. Then we just need these prosthetics layered on with makeup to get the Voss look – I assume you don’t want the permanent surgery – and some custom shoes/stilts so you can pass for a Voss, on the short side, but still Voss.” Dahlia considered. “The contact lenses will be painful, but we can make it work. Can you memorize forty traditional codeword greetings by tomorrow? Also, ugh, the captain can’t shave his head, can he.”

Nalenne blinked at her. “I don’t even know where to start with how wrong this is.”

Dahlia snickered. “Good thing I’m putting you on, then. You should’ve seen the look on your face.”

“I would Sith out on you, but I still need your help.”

“That’s the beautiful part. Come on, the approach should be straightforward if we take my ship. I’ll get you set up, I can give you a day on planet, then we’re out of there, no ion cannons involved.” She cocked her head. “Maybe I could knock some of ‘em out to pass the time…”

“Be sure to give them my regards first,” said Nalenne, thinking of the damage to the Helicarrier from their previous Voss expedition. (*) “How soon can we go?”

“Right now works. Come aboard my ship, I’ll drop you off as close to the Shrine as we’re allowed to land.”


‘Close’ was a ridge within sight of the great squared-off shrine complex. Dahlia and Kaliyo prepped some insane quantity of explosives and headed off away from the shrine, giggling like schoolgirls. Nalenne and Quinn headed a little ways away and surveyed the rocky path to the shrine proper.

"Beautiful as I remember," said Nalenne. The sunlight seemed to suffuse everything in sight, its warm light coming from everywhere at once.

"I never liked it," said Quinn.

"You never liked anything that wasn't a warship's command deck."

"Voss specifically was a very stressful place from my perspective."

"Why did you even ask me to marry you, anyway? Seems like a lot of paperwork for a woman you were about to try to kill.”

"I always have a plan, my lord. But many plans never have to be executed. Perhaps events would take their course such that you would have to die. But perhaps not; and if there was to be a tomorrow, I wanted to share it with you."

"Careful what you wish for."

"...yes, I do believe that has been the lesson of the year."
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