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Tahna "Lark" Meru - I Call It Aggressive Negotiations

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Each and every one of @Tahna Meru's sims are elegantly written, infused with the character's personality but also bringing forth such a scene that is beautifully, masterfully described. In this piece in particular, we see the Skarbek version of her character moving forward with completing the mission, showing internal processing of the events, and glorious, seamless inclusion of her fellow writers/characters honoring them. And, the ending of this piece, wow! It's incredibly nuanced, brilliant, subtle, powerful. Wonderful work! :)


((Near the Warehouse, Outskirts, Witherington, Indre III))


Tahna led the way out of the cellar bar, her phaser carefully stowed back at her side. She pictured the route in her mind, according to Imul’s directions: a right turn, and then a couple streets down. Can’t miss it. She paused at every corner, listening first then peeking around, searching for any signs of patrols in the area, but there were none so far. Rubin kept pace with them, the dog's calm giving her faith she wasn't missing a lurking trooper. And still, the screams and shouting from the explosion echoed faintly across the city.


One street, then a left on the second, and there it was, all the way down at the end of the block. A grim, gray building made from metal. It was larger than the market, though it was on the small side, for a warehouse. That wasn’t a bad thing; hopefully, it meant an easier target. Their group slunk from the shadow of one building to the shadow of another, all the way down till they were near the end of the block. Near enough they could see the two, tired guards at the front doors, far enough that they wouldn’t be able to hear them whispering. 


Tahna: ::quietly:: I can lure them away like we planned, if you can get in past the building’s security system. Or…I can try to talk them into letting me walk right in, you two follow after.


Imul: We should try to stay together.


Finch: Mm, he has a point. Any other options?


Tahna: Shooting is always an option, just not my first choice.


Finch: ::stoically:: But it may be the only one.


Imul: You’ll need this.


Imul opened the bottle of kanar and passed it over to Tahna. She accepted it, not even flinching as the vile smell hit her nostrils, dredging up memories of another time, another planet…


Summon pleasant thoughts, conjure a smile. Look through them, like you’re already tipsy. Ignore the waves of nausea. 

One step, then another, literal steps forward that still felt like steps backwards. Tahna sauntered out of the shadows, a lazy smile on her face, the bottle of kanar dangling in her left hand. The act pieced itself together, and she fell back into the naive, flirtatious character she’d played years ago, back on Bajor. 


Tahna didn’t walk towards the guards, instead, she strolled down the street in front of the warehouse. When she’d passed the Spoonheads she paused, turned, and shot them a sly smile, like they were an afterthought, not the endgame. 


Imul: We need to help her. Let’s go after her and pretend we’re drunk and we no longer remember where our house is. At least it’ll get us closer to them.


Finch: …what!?


Gramma and Imul had followed her—that wasn’t the plan! Too late now, anyway. Nothing for it, but to make sure they all got inside that warehouse. Tahna waved to the guards, and brought the bottle of kanar to her lips, though she didn’t drink any. 


Tahna: Hey there, fellas!


Finch: ::grumbling:: I hope you know what you’re doing, Imul.


Imul: My kingdom for my house.


Imul escorted Gramma past her, closer to the guards, and Tahna briefly caught Gramma’s eye. The older woman looked like her eyes were about to bulge out of their sockets. That look was all it took; the nausea Tahna felt at the idea of flirting through the checkpoint disappeared, swallowed up entirely with the knowledge that she’d do what was necessary to get her team through safely. She could hurl later, or cry, have any number of personal, emotional reactions when they were all home. But not now. Not now.


Finch: ::mumbling:: If they don’t kill us, I’ll kill ya me’self… ::her accent thick::


Guard 1: ::to the other guard:: Look.


Guard 2: You shouldn’t be out here.


Imul: My friends, you wouldn’t know where my house is, would you? ::He turned the empty bottle upside down.:: I need a refill but well… ::He motioned towards the street.:: It is gone, all gone…


Finch: All gone. ::she repeated, awkwardly pretending to lose her balance:: Poof!


Guard 1: ::laughing:: Poof!


Guard 2: ::grinning:: You’ll have to find your own way back, little man.


They were almost entirely distracted by the odd pair, and Tahna took the opportunity to sidle closer, staying to the left of the guards, so she’d have at least a split second advantage if shots started flying. Meanwhile, Imul moved even closer to the other guard, his empty bottle clutched a little too securely for a drunk. 


Imul: Or maybe you can join me for a drink? Don’t… ::He smacked his lips.:: Don’t you have some of these bottles stored inside?


Finch: It’s strong stuff…let's get more. ::she said, gripping onto Imul for balance, ensuring that it hurt his arm just a little bit.::


Guard 1: ::laughing:: Is it now? Maybe we should take them up on the offer, what do you think?


Guard 2: Yeah, maybe we should…


Tahna: I’m sure you fellas are fun to drink with. 


Imul: Response


The second guard peered behind them at Tahna, a speckle of unease draped on his face. She smiled back, batted her eyelashes, her gaze focused on his brows. He’d think it was eye contact, she knew, but it saved her a minor amount of discomfort. 


Finch: What I'd give to be back in our cellar, surrounded by the stuff. ::she inclined her head to Imul::


Guard 2: ...Surrounded by it?


Guard 1: ::to the second guard:: We are running low. We could go with them for a few minutes, couldn't we? then head straight back?


Tahna: Plenty more where this came from. ::She giggled:: Might even be convinced to share with a– charming soldier.


Actually, they could have all of the kanar. It would take approximately zero convincing for her to hand over the bottle. She would ply them with false gratitude, oh, thank you for bringing order to Indre III, encourage them to get absolutely wasted, then, then…  


Imul/Finch/Guards: Response


The guards responded with curiosity, but the second one shifted his eyes to Tahna again. Gramma, too, turned and tried to glare at Tahna, but she refused to meet the old woman’s eyes, instead staring back at the second guard with a doe-eyed smile. Something was off here. He wasn’t buying their story, even if his comrade was. A few steps would cover the ground between them. She took a small, calculated sip of the kanar as she neared him, so he’d know she wasn’t trying to poison him. Even those few oily drops were enough to make her wish she hadn’t, and she shuddered, before offering him the bottle with a smile.


Tahna: Strong stuff, for a strong trooper. 


Imul/Finch/Guards: Response


The guards didn’t move, distracted enough to underestimate the Maquis, but not enough to leave their posts. Now, she dared catch Gramma’s eye, and flicked a glance toward the location of the woman’s hidden disruptor. A quick look at the other guard. A signal, hidden by a quick wink for the trooper. 


Tahna: Your loss, fellas. ::She shrugged, the motion disguising a move for her dagger.:: Less fun without you. 


Imul/Finch/Guards: Response


Her cut was clean, efficient, just like she’d been taught years ago, and her guard barely made a noise as he went down, choking on his own blood. The Bajoran phaser was a rather distinctive sound, and unlike a Spoonhead disruptor, might have drawn attention. The blood, at least, wouldn’t be noticeable until other Spoons returned, and hopefully, they’d be out with their supplies by then. 

She felt a twinge of guilt, looking at the guard. Maybe he’d never personally hurt a soul in his life, was just born on the wrong side of the war, stationed on the wrong planet, and encountered the wrong Maquis. But she’d never know that. Regardless of his individual involvement in brutal Cardassian occupations, he was doomed to be another nameless face on her bloody list of necessary evils. 


Tahna: Inside now, quick, and let’s get the bodies out of the open.


Imul/Finch: Response


Tahna "Lark" Meru

Resistance Fighter





Edited by Bryce Tagren-Quinn
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