:: Rune felt the bile rise and she swallowed hard. Denari had told her to wrap her head around who Kieran and Tra'Li Ramni’s murderer was. But she couldn’t. Jendar Tellinn was her Haemachuo sibling, her sister. They had grown up together. They had been closer than any blood relative Rune had. At least they were until they were separated following Rune’s “Attitude Readjustment” and forbidden to have contact with one another. But… ::
:: The evidence was irrefutable. There were security logs, video feeds and photographs clearly showing Jendar following both Tra’Li and Kieran. What wasn’t included in the file was motive? Why would Jendar do it? What had Rune done to make her sister hate her so? So many questions still unanswered. ::
:: The building was mostly dark with the windows covered on the inside, some with boards and others with heavy canvas. The darkness was fine with Rune. She blinked a couple of times to adjust her vision. In the dark, her gold-flecked amber eyes seemed to glow a soft silvery blue and her vision became sharper. ::
:: Outside, the rain tapped rhythmically on the glass interrupted only by random claps of thunder. Rune stopped at the bottom of the staircase and listened, physically and mentally, for any hint of movement or presence on the second level. ::
:: After a moment, she slowly began climbing the stairs, keeping her back close to the wall. Halfway up, a step creaked beneath her foot and she froze. ::
:: There was the faintest sound of boots. If she had been human she may not have even heard it. Rune’s heart raced mercilessly. Then there, at the edge of her mental awareness, she felt her. ::
Jolara: ::calling out:: I know you are here, Jendar.
:: Movement. Closer this time. A shadow caught Rune’s eye and she took another step up. ::
Jendar: ::out of sight:: You are early as usual.
:: The voice cut right through Rune. Confirmation that it was her. She had still held out the slightest little hope Denari and all the evidence was wrong. ::
:: Rune began moving up again while trying to get an exact location on Jendar. ::
Jolara: Come out so we can talk face to face.
Jendar: Talk? Please. We both know exactly why you came here and it was not to talk.
Jolara: You are wrong.
:: Almost to the top of the stairs, Rune turned so she could see under the railing. ::
Jendar: How is Krystyan? I bet he is growing fast. It really is a shame Kieran never…
:: Rune didn’t even question how she knew about Krystyan. Jendar’s taunt ignited and fueled Rune’s anger. ::
Jolara: Stop! You have no right to even speak her name!
Jendar: tsk… Struck a nerve did I?
Jolara: ::face skewering into disgust:: Why? Why did you…
Jendar: To make you suffer and in turn to make Laro suffer. ::She finally moved into sight, leaning casually against the rail with her arms.:: You always were her favorite. The things she has done… Ah but you do not even remember do you?
Jolara: Remember what?
:: A low-pitched shrill drew both their attentions toward a table along the far wall of the second level. Jendar raised up and looked back at a computer monitor set up on the table. ::
Jendar: You disappoint me yet again, Runica.
:: Without giving Rune a chance to respond, she launched herself over the rail. Her shoulder slammed into Rune’s chest sending her backwards. Rune landed hard on the floor, her head hit the wooden slats with a resounding thud.::
:: Dazed, she raised her arm in automatic response to movement above her. She barely made out a glint of light. A scream escaped as the blade slashed into her arm. She lashed out with her other arm, her fist made enough contact with Jendar to knock the woman off her. ::
:: Both women scrambled to their feet as quickly as possible. Rune stumbled backwards and shook her head. Jendar took advantage of Rune’s disorientation to deliver another blow. Her fist struck Rune in the jaw sending her stumbling back further until she hit the wall. ::
:: Jendar rushed at her, but this time Rune lashed out with her arm simultaneously pushing away from the wall. Jendar staggered back but quickly recovered. She launched her entire body at Rune. The collision sent both women crashing to the floor. ::
:: With Rune pinned against the floor, Jendar thrust her blade upward slicing easily into Rune’s abdomen. There was no pain… at first. Then the dark haired Al-Leyan jerked the knife out and thrust again and again. ::
:: Jendar pulled the knife out again but this time she didn’t get the chance to stab Rune again. Rune couldn’t see it, she barely registered it. A bolt of phaser fire struck Jendar in the shoulder, sending her backwards screaming out in pain. ::
:: There was footsteps approaching. A form knelt down beside Rune and touched her. Denari. She could feel the Bajoran’s controlled rage through the touch. It was an odd sensation in complete contrast to the sudden peace she felt. ::
:: Denari stood, picked up the knife that had fallen from Jendar’s hand and moved to stand over the woman writhing in pain, holding her shoulder. She looked at the blade covered in Rune’s near black blood. She knelt down and poked the tip of the knife against Jendar’s hand.::
:: Rune managed to roll onto her side, facing the other two women. ::
Jolara: Denari… please… don’t…
Collim D.: You had your 20 minutes, Rune. ::She pressed the knife down. Jendar screamed.:: Now it’s my turn.
:: Rune didn’t get a chance to see what happened next as the world went dark. ::
Lt. Cmdr. Rune Jolara
Intelligence Officer - On Leave
Writer ID: A238909RJ0