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Posted on Saturday, 24 September 2022 - 4:23pm by Lieutenant JG Jodon Joral & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt

Mission: Operation: My Unfair Lady
Location: Soukara System: Planet of Soukara

Captain Whitley had said nothing about the means of transport that would have taken Adrianna and Jodon to their destination - Soukara, a nearly tropical planet with lush rain forests and thickly wooded areas. It had once been a Dominion stronghold during the war, housing a base of operations for the Dominion. After the war, the base was abandoned and over the years, the rain forest reclaimed its territory. The planet, did, however, have a thriving population of Cardassians who had returned to the old ways. These people were artisans and craters. Jodon Joral was unsure what he and Adrianna were supposed to find on Soukara, but they had been sent ahead of the Standing Bear in order to have an ear to the ground and a finger on the pulse of what was going on in Cardassian space.

In a clearing, Jodon looked up to wave 'goodbye' to their transportation from the starbase to Soukara, a Ferengi shuttlepod. As it left his view, he sighed and looked at Adrianna. "I cannot believe I just spent several days with a small motley crew of Ferengi," he said shaking his head in disbelief. "If I lost another round of dabo..." he chuckled.

"Really? I won," she smirked, "better ferengi than others. I was once on a ship of Klingon and the smell was awful." The woman looked around as she pulled her hair up into a ponytail, "where to begin?"

"Captain Whitley sent us here to scout things out and get a feel for the situation on these smaller Cardassian worlds," replied Jodon. "I think we should probably head towards the nearest populated village and just keep up our guises. We could say you are here working on a news story about Cardassians post war" he offered.

Adrianna nodded, "when we get there, we will go to the place of loosest lips. And we'll eat at the same time. Get a feel for the place." She pointed east, "nearest town is that way, not too far."

"Great because I haven't stretched in a while, and there was too much damn cargo on the Ferengi ship to move hoarders" Jodon quipped. "Loosest lips and food? I suspect you are thinking a tavern or inn of some sort. Cardassians too drunk on kanar to realize what they are disclosing."

She smiled and started walking towards the town, "alcohol makes for honest people. Alcohol lowers security. Alcohol makes people too confident. Most importantly, I need a drink."

"I honestly want alcohol too," the young looking Trill replied. "I hope I'm legal looking enough to consume alcohol in the Cardassian Union" he teased. "I mean you can't turn away a joined Trill can you? I have at least a whole lifetime of past experience."

Jodon was a bit nervous. It was not every day that he went on these sorts of away missions. This was covert yet they were not there to do much but to gather information. "Lowered security, heightened confidence, and loosened lips" he said aloud.

Adrianna couldn't help but smile, at an attempt to ease Jodon's nerves. The pair walked along rough terrain for a little while, finally finding a tavern in the middle of a bustling market town. It was relatively run down, but the people there seemed normal enough upon first glance. On the inside of the tavern, there was only one small table left. It was cramped, but 8t would do and it would make for good listening. They ordered drinks and sat down. The woman mimicked her cover's voice well as she said to Jodon, "ears open, I want a good story."

"Oh that's good," commented Jodon. "You are getting really good with that accent" he added. "I'll keep my ears open and my spots on. Maybe there will be a Cardassian drunk enough to be interesting in a petite male Trill with freckles."

Adrianna sipped a drink, "perhaps the barman will know, if we hear nothing. I'm hopeful though. Look," she gestured subtly to someone on their right, "perhaps one too many, or just a showboater."

"Looks more your type than mine," Jodon said. "You have a shot. I'll see if I can get anything out of the barkeep."

Adrianna nodded in agreement, "alright, enjoy."

The woman stood up, shaking out her now ginger hair a little and going up to the man. She was undercover and needs must, but she couldn't help but feel somewhat reluctant and sad because of the thought of her real life. She joined in with a fake laugh before saying, "my goodness you have a good tale."

A jovial older Cardassians male sat with an entourage of younger Cardassians who were all laughing along with him. The redheaded woman who appeared to be human had struck his fancy. "I have many where that one came from. What are you doing here on Sokura?"

"Writing a story about how life is here, regardless of war," she replied simply, "do you have more stories?"

"I have many tales from my days in the war fighting against the Federation before my people joined your efforts to rid the quadrant of the Dominion."

"What about how it is now?" She asked.

He looked at her strangely and shook his head. "What will be will be. This is Cardassia and it should be in the hands of Cardassians, not ran by a propped up government with the Federation pulling the strings."

Adrianna nodded, listening, before agreeing --albeit an act, "I don't disagree. But that's one hell of a task, surely?" Was this an in?

"That is what the Federation wants us to think," the Cardassians replied bitterly and his tone venomous towards the Federation. "They have done nothing but strip us of power, demolished our military, left us insecure, and constructed a hollow government whilst they pull the strings."

"Puppetry!" another elder Cardassian chimed in.

Another two nodding at their seat. Whilst another individual shook his head and buried his face into his hand. Clearly, not everyone was in an agreement, but a generational divide was evident.

Adrianna took note of the divide, she'd speek to others later. She looked back at the man and asked, "if it's puppetry, and, as you say, you have no power or military, how do you plan on taking control back? Seems like a steep hill to climb."

"It will be done by the Obsidian Guard, swiftly and effectively. They have already caused our Federation backed Castellan to flee cowardly from Cardassia Prime. Trying to run the government from afar? It will be ineffective" responded the Cardassian.

Joined by another Cardassian in agreement. "This is not our fight, but this is our Cardassia. Those who fight will shed Federation blood for the soil to grow anew, a stronger Cardassia."

These were words laced with promise of passionate war. This, after all, was their home. But the cost of life surely outweighed all. Adrianna supposed that it was more a war to pave a new world for generations to come, or maybe just people seeking fame for the legends and history books to be written. "I look forward to writing your story as it unfolds," she smiled, raising a subtle toast.

Cardassians raised their glasses, another with the entire bottle of kanar. Jodon Joral looked at Adrianna with some concern and worry. These Cardassians may not have been violent and going to actively join in this fight, but they certainly did not like the Federation.

Adrianna downed her drink then gestured for Jodon to follow her out, "come, we have a story to begin."

"Hopefully one with a happy ending," he replied accompanying her.

Adrianna nodded and swiftly exited to tavern.


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