The call came; as she knew it would. It was inevitable. Somehow McGee and Branwyn had known. She wondered what knowledge they possessed that they would expect it, and then decided she didn't want to know. She was probably safer that way. She thought back to her time as Jarek Alderson's 'aide'. How easy it had been for him to condition her. Soon the name he gave her replaced her own, more for the simple matter they never called her anything other than that name. Kyra shuddered at the memory, then shuddered again at the newest game set before her. She knew the risks and dangers confronting deep undercover operatives in hostile territory; risks that weren't always from capture. No the highest risk to an operative was adapting to well to the role of the alternate persona. Just as a prisoner attempting escape by feigning madness, was often released directly into the madhouse. Sometimes she wondered where the truth lay...was she truly Kyra Matthews or was she Julia Edwards. To whom did she report, the Sith, or the Alliance. Ahh yes, she thought to herself, the Sith, conditioned from childhood to overwhelming thirst for power and dominance. The Aldersons especially. Taught the shrewdest of political maneuvers and governance all to rule and control. The Ship she was waiting for arrived. It's ion engines whined to a halt, bringing her back to the present. The warm evening breeze blew gently across her face. She closed her eyes against it, allowing it to soothe and calm her nerves. Eric emerged from the craft. Kyra opened her eyes as he greeted her. She gazed back at him with a complete and unusual calm. "Eric." She nodded. "I need you to accompany me." Direct and to the point as always, "Darana intends to use you as the bargaining chip to gain Serris's freedom." Kyra raised an eyebrow, concerned. "She has no intention of seeing you harmed, or of turning you over to them." "That's a relief." She sighed, only partially convinced. Eric watched her carefully, the unspoken question of her cooperation hanging in the air between them. Finally Kyra nodded. She had no choice. Not only did Darana and Eric expect it, well Eric may not have expected it but she guessed he would have forced her into it somehow regardless, but McGhee and Branwyn also expected it. Kyra sensed relief from Eric. She had been right he was prepared to do whatever was required to bring her back. This one meant too much to Darana. He would not put himself at risk by failing her. Eric stood aside and motioned for her to proceed up the ramp. She did so feeling as if she were entering the mouth of the Dragon. She had done it and was now committed to an unknown path. ********** Here she was, locked up again. Sure it was guest quarters, but even a gilded cage was still a cage and Kyra had no doubt that security was monitoring her every move inside the room. She sighed, pushing aside the remains of her breakfast. Darana had been cordial enough. Laying out all of the plans details. What would happen, along with the when and how of it all. Kyra of course, went along with everything. She had little choice in the matter. She began to wonder if this struggle was worth the losses. Her first husband killed during a mission, her second husband recently killed by Rose's men during the coup, and now her relationship with her children was tenuous enough without the added stress of the current assignment. Maybe it was time to retire the Alliance was changing and it wasn't necessarily for the better. Something interrupted her thoughts. A distinct familiarity as if a smell that one could not quite place. A mental familiarity connected to memories just out of reach. A knock at the door sounded followed by a polite pause. Eric entered, startling Kyra. She stared hard at him. "Did I startle you?" "What? Oh...uh..no. I just...I...never mind. I just thought you were someone else." Just who she thought he was going to turn out to be, she wasn't sure. This left her more than a little unsettled. "Oh?" He raised an eyebrow, "There is someone else you were expecting?" He asked, slightly amused. "No. No one." She replied quickly, "But do tell me Eric, you didn't come here just to discuss non-existent visitors with me, is it time? Already?" "No it is not. I need you to do something for me?" Kyra looked up at him, trying not to show her concern. "What do you need?" "Rose's Trial, we need you to get it moved for us." She sensed his hesitation. "Moved?" She knew the answer but wanted to here it anyway, "Why?" Eric looked sternly at her. His expression saying, 'as if I have to tell you'. Kyra nodded,"Alright." She sighed, looking down at the remains of her breakfast. She had no particular love for Rose she held him responsible for her husbands death and the death of Pendragon, even if the courts had not. It made sense to kill him. If she were on the other end, trying to decide if the target was truly worth killing, she would most likely have issued the order herself. "I'll do it." Eric breathed out slowly. "I'll need to go back to Langely though. I can't do it from here." "We will leave in an hour." ********** "You want what?" Branwyn asked incredulous. "I am expected to move the location of Major Rose's trial." This song and dance was getting annoying. She had explained it first to McGhee and now to Branwyn. How many more times was she going to have to repeat herself. "Colonel would you wait outside please." Colonel Ashley McGhee, Director of Alliance Intelligence, drew herself up to her full height and opened the door for Kyra. "Certainly," Kyra replied, "Colonel, General" She nodded to McGee and Branwyn respectively. McGhee shut the door and turned back to Branwyn. "Well this is quite the situation." "Yes it is." Branwyn sighed, "But we knew it was coming." "mmmmm that we did." "What is one life for the thousands we can save?" Branwyn questioned, watching McGhee closely. She didn't know the other woman that well but she was certain she sensed some hesitation coming from her. "Are you having second thoughts about this?" "No." Asheley shook her head, "No this is worth it." "Good." Branwyn stated, "Then we shall move the trial for her." "I'll inform Colonel Matthews of our decision then." ********** The Phantom's navicomp beeped, alerting the two occupants they were about to revert to normal space. Avon scrambled towards the cockpit as Eric moved towards weapons. While both of them were seasoned travelers, they were both mildly relieved to drop out of the unnatural blackness of hyperspace. ********** The Alliance prison transport never knew what hit it. One moment the sensors were clear, then suddenly a ship jumped out of hyperspace directly in front of them. "By the Maker! What's going on up there?" Came the senior officers voice. "We've been jumped sir." The ship rocked under the heavy fire it was receiving. "What the...Our own ships...firing on us..." Anything further the pilot had to say was cut off by explosions. ********** There was no fight really, and it was over all too quickly for Eric to enjoy or Avon for that matter. She wanted the ex-Major Rose's death to be closer and more personal. But this would suffice for both of them. Eric returned to the lounge area. "Darana has sent word to the terrorists. We are to meet her at the rendezvous point and You will take command of the Topaz and direct any air strikes." Avon raised an eyebrow but didn't say a word. It was unlike Darana to assign her to a task like the air strike.However, any arguments needed to be saved for Darana directly, not Eric. She worried though, that she may not have the opportunity to speak to Darana. ********** Kyra settled into her temporary quarters on the RSD Topaz. Once again, they were nice enough but she was locked in and she didn't need her empathy to tell her the guards considered her a prisoner. For the most part, she spent her time meditating, keeping the complete calm she had felt before. She was going to need it soon. For the first time she would face Darana. All she could do, was hope the woman was too worried about Serris to scan her or test Eric's control over her. Very briefly she wished Eric had not given her such freedom, then dismissed it quickly. These thoughts would only serve to undermine her true goals. She pushed them back and then had to push back the thoughts of the life she had helped take. Rose deserved a trial. He, at least, would have given her that benefit. If a court martial could be called a benefit. Her mind now settled, she regained the unusual calm and held onto it, prepared to face whatever new trial life was about to toss her.
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