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The best laid plans of Kasian Th’treth

Posted on Tuesday, 8 February 2022 - 1:33pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley

Mission: Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
Location: Mirror Universe

Early on in his almost fifty seven years of life, most of which had been spent in dark and isolated rooms such as this one, Kasian Th’treth had learned some very simple rules.  Rules which were, in his opinion, as essential to survival as breathing.

Do not fail.
Trust wisely.
Always be prepared to kill, or be killed

Failure was to invite almost certain death, which if you were fortunate, would be swift.  More often than not, it would be painful.  Agonising.  Even being associated with failure was hazardous to one’s health.  The fact he lacked both antennae was proof enough of that.  And who had relieved him of it?  Soral himself, of course.

For being the second assistant of an inept interrogator who failed to uncover details from a prisoner of a Terran plot to attack P’Jem.  That was almost thirty years ago.  Which, even for an Andorian, was a considerable amount of time.

Since that day, Kasian Th’treth had been residing on Nivar, under the shadow of Mount Seleya.

Becoming more and more reclusive, he continued his research to enhance his devices and techniques to ensure no mind could hide secrets from him. Over the years he had perfected his devices yet had never divulged their secrets to anyone. Indeed, he alone could operate them. To stay safe it was essential, he had often realised, to be invaluable.

People who could fight in battles, pilot ships - they were readily found anywhere in the galaxy. Especially for the right price. But a mind capable of creativity and making technological advances? Those people were the diamonds in the rough, sought after and protected at all costs. Provided, of course, they did not fail. It perhaps helped that, especially with early versions, the device caused unimaginable pain. Many of Soral's trusted lieutenants, and Evesta's before her demise, had enjoyed that particular 'side-effect'.

His rule regarding trust had been a hard lesson to learn, yet explained why within his own skull, there was a device to ensure that a machine such as his could not be used against him. His own flesh and blood had betrayed him once too often, his scars testament to how often people had attempted to steal his work and his life.

Now he worked largely alone. Dragged to wherever he was needed in order to extract information from a prisoner and the occasional ally suspected of betrayal. To this day, Kasian had never failed to learn every facet of information concealed within someone's mind. And yes, sometimes he did indulge in some theatrics by ensuring it was as painful as possible. Mostly, though, he preferred the silence.

The mind was a remarkable thing and it possessed one of the most valuable things, richer than jewels or Latinum. Information. Knowledge was, indeed, power. And for the last thirty years, Kasian had acquired enough to rule this universe and the next.

He knew secrets. He knew truth and he knew that, for Soral, time was running out.

Kasian felt no remorse at keeping this knowledge from the Vulcan. He had once heard someone say that revenge was a dish best served cold and his Andorian’s heart was as cold as ice when it came to Soral.   Many now felt the same.

Prior to his wife's death, Soral had been feared by his enemies and protected to the death by his allies.  Yet those allies were dwindling.  Word had quickly spread of how a healer had been murdered, by Soral, for failing to save the life of his wife. It had caused murmurs of disquiet, although not one person had spoken out publicly. Yet Kasian had heard it all.

And then, with the Borg advancing, he had abandoned all and vanished.

Soon after it became known that his children had fled to the First Federation. As far as possible from Nivar, the Terrans and the advancing threat of the Borg. To many it was unforgivable. All such talk was whispers behind closed doors but those whispers were growing. To many, they believed Soral was abandoning Nivar in its time of greatest need.

And all to try and save his wife.

"That didn't quite work out, did it?" Kasian lamented, shaking his head as he worked.

It had, by all accounts, been working quite well right up until a few hours ago. From what Kasian understood, Soral had essentially bonded with an alternative version of his wife before then imprinting her Katra on the other woman. It was a dangerous risk and, unsurprisingly, two distinct individuals in one mind was impossible to sustain. There had been much chaos during the night, part of which resulted in Kasian being all but hauled by the scruff of his neck into his laboratory by Hamura. His least favourite person on board by far.

Under Hamura's glare he had set up his equipment, nodding absently as she detailed every piece of information he was to attempt to extract. Mostly about the Borg and making sure she survived so Soral could 'try again' ... but then she had asked something unexpected. She wanted to know everything this woman knew about Soral. That was then, unsurprisingly, followed up by a non too subtle threat against his life should any information about Soral be passed to anyone but them.

Who was he to argue with a ten inch blade against his neck?

Hamura seemed satisfied, at least enough to leave. Pondering what she was up to, Kasian glanced up as the doors were opened two guards dragged in his 'patient'. One guard sported a clearly broken nose and it was difficult to hide his amusement as he patted the makeshift examination table. "Whenever you are ready," he had said with a good natured smile, pretending to calibrate his equipment as the men eventually managed to get their charge in place and restrained.

Lexi she was not, yet there was fight in this one. Perhaps it was the red hair. Kasian administered a mild sedative and as his patient lost consciousness he gestured to the door, "I assure you that I am in no need of guarding. Perhaps you should get some medical attention before you get blood on the carpet?"

And as easily as that, they were very much alone.

Whistling to himself, Kasian had worked quickly. It was important that when called upon, he had information to divulge to Soral to prove his continued existence was worth the trouble. Thankfully, he knew exactly how to gain the information he needed as efficiently and painlessly as possible. The last part was not entirely true but he at least knew how to minimise the otherwise searing agony reported by ninety eight percent of patients. Well, those who survived at any rate.

And then, when his work was done he applied a neural inhibitor and woke his patient.

:: One Hour Later ::

Glancing over his shoulder, Kasian felt the need to ensure he was alone as he uploaded the data file to the central computer. His findings, bar those related to Soral, were contained within along with suggested adjustments to shields and weapon. Yet there was more than that.

Hidden code in the lines of data immediately began to burrow into the subsystems, making such minor, insignificant changes that it would be impossible to detect. Within moments, output from the plasma exhaust began experiencing minor barely notable fluctuations in a pattern that made a familiar distress signal to those of any Federation ship that may come after the kidnapped woman - S.O.S. - in something she had called Morse code.

There was much more to be done but first, they needed the Federation ship to find them.


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