Where the frak is Cipher?

Oversees day to day operations of UF Starfleet Marine Corps, leader and supervisor of all functions of the Corps, including TRACOM, FORCECOM and more.
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Cipher Rhode
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian
Posts: 276
Joined: 070705.1927
Duty Post: Civilian
Ship/Station Posted: Unknown
Grid: Unknown
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 2 times




It was told to him many times before that this operation was a bad idea. They also told him that it was not going to be a one-and-done, should he decide to actively render harmless all the remaining heads of HYDRA. At this point, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Christopher Isaiah Rhode didn’t care how long it took, how much it cost. Someone had to take the fight directly to the organization that, once again, went unchecked and nearly eradicated UF Starfleet’s presence in the known Delta Quadrant and outskirts of the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants.

This was the area that Cipher specialized in. Problems too big for one or many starships, problems too small for Starfleet to actually notice, both of which that same problem is FAR too important to ignore before it’s too late. Some would call it preemptive strikes, which Starfleet ‘frowns upon’ as an unwritten rule since they don’t want to be seen as a military organization. However, this was beyond how it would look in Public Relations. Someone or something had to stop HYDRA before they strike again with even more Federation citizens needlessly dying.

Six of the eight heads of Hydra have already been brought down. Most of them peacefully by brinkmanship and testosterone-fuelled diplomacy. The last two, well, would be meeting here at Dronaza station, right under the Federation and the Klingons’ noses. Yes, HYDRA has actually managed to piss off everyone, including the Klingons, both factions of the former Romulan Star Empire, the Ferengi, even to some extent, the Tholians.


Deep in the bowels of the seediest hub of the Beta Quadrant’s most attractive outlet for actual free trade, a hooded, homeless man played a relaxing tune with what looks like a perfectly crafted and cared for Vulcan Lute. The music he played was so beautiful, so crisp, sharing the sounds of his most prized possession with everyone that cowered for comfort and safety. In front of him was a wide-mouthed cup, open for donations of any kind. Even self-sealing stem bolts were welcomed by the always grateful hooded man with the Lute.

Usually panhandling performers were discouraged by the station guards. But so far, they didn’t seem to mind as they have yet to be called for any civil disturbances or for “clean up” operations. However, they did seem to keep a close eye on the hooded man as he would always share his take with the others in the sector, sometimes leaving himself with nothing.

As the hooded man played, he looked up at the guards. The shadow of his hood hid his gaze as they pressed their earbuds within their lobes and saw their eyes roll in annoyance. One of the newer guards was now given the duty to clear out the riffraff as VIP’s were about to use a holodeck that was always ‘Out of Service’ to everyone but VIPs on the station, to which there were very few that ever came to this hole in the universe.

The junior patrol guard walked up and down the corridor. He just couldn’t bring himself to order people who are considered undesirables to move, especially since they have been no problem since the hooded lute man has been here. The guard came up with an idea. He walked to the hooded lute man and kneeled to him. The Ferengi guard said to him in his clear and polished Federation standard tongue. “Hey, I’ll give you 600 strips of gold pressed latinum to play your best music and keep the peace. Got me?”

The hooded man nodded silently and started to improvise, trying to lift the people’s spirits. A minute and a half into his song, the station’s owner walked through the opened doors of one of the station’s turbolifts. He continued his sales pitch about the station to two males that were ruggedly well-dressed for people that are supposed to be on the run. As they walked through, the maintenance techs assured their boss that the holodeck was up and running.

The hooded man knew what goes on in that particular holodeck. The station owner catered to VIPs with very particular curiosities, tastes, desires, and like their privacy at a maximum. What happens in Holodeck Zero, stays in Holodeck Zero.

When taking the fight directly to the enemy in their territory, one has to be ready to make alliances and cut deals with even the most unsavory of characters. That area is usually handed by Section 31. However, this was different. This threat would have been the poison-laced dagger in the back of Starfleet during its fight against the Iconians, and now the Tzenkethi. As the entourage entered the holodeck, the hooded man continued to play. The station owner made sure that the program selected by the VIPs was fully active and in full swing before he nodded to the new junior guard. He looked down to the hooded man with the Vulcan lute, hoping that he would be a man of his word and leave once he takes care of his ‘business’ with the VIPs, two of the last heads of HYDRA.

The junior guard drops exactly the amount he promised, 600 ‘strips’ of gold pressed latinum. The 600 had special meaning to the hooded man. A pre-arranged signal based on the Earth Christian Bible that has the number 600 as a meaning of War. The hooded man nodded and blinked his left eye, making a glowing bluish-green monocle appear from the left side of his head. “Thank you, friend,” said the hooded man as he slips his lute into his hooded long and tattered cloak, standing up and soon standing tall over the junior guard.

He turned left, starting to walk down the long corridors towards Holodeck Zero. The hooded man touched his throat and said with a grunted voice with gritted teeth, “Party time.”

USS Discovery-D
Eclipse Class Cruiser (cloaked)

Major Kiara DelGotti slid into her station, bringing up the stats on Cipher as he approached the holodeck. “Alright honey, just give us 30 seconds to send backup.”

“No time, I gotta do it now,” Cipher said as he keeps walking. Under his hook and poncho, he loads an energy magazine into the magazine well of his Omega Force Carbine and charges the weapon.

“Dammit Cipher, don’t blow this now! We spend months tracking them and setting up this sting. Command wants them alive!” Kiara implored.

“That’s up to them,” Cipher said coldly as he stops a foot before the heavy holodeck doors. He looks up to the technicians with his blue eyed monocle glowing. The techs then whistled as they walked away as if nothing happened.

He takes his position on the right side of the heavy doors, moving out of sight as they open. The entourage briefly stopped to look, distracted from their sickening debauchery, trying to see who was interrupting their fun time.

“Cipher, don’t you…” Kiara said. But she knew what was coming. She then heard Cipher pull the pin on a Starfleet Marine Stun Grenade, tossed it into the holodeck, and then the cracking blast of the stun grenade soon mixed with the yelps and moans of shock, pain, deafness and blindness.

Cipher flashed into the doorway, carbine drawn. “It’s Cipher!” a henchman says. The alarm klaxon blares as Cipher squeezes the trigger, sending three rounds of death to the henchman on his right. He dashes right, trying to dominate the scene while the naked holograms of different species, genders, even ages run in fear, out of the line of fire. Cipher squeezes the trigger again, taking down another tango and another behind him before taking his aim farther to the left side of the holographic field.

He saw they had the angle on him. He takes cover behind stone emplacements as they absorb incoming disruptor fire. He saw some of their fire miss at differing vectors. They were still shaking off the shock of his entry. Hearing them needing to recharge or recalibrate their various weapons, Cipher bolts from cover and fires, taking down three more with bolts from his carbine ripping through their personal shields, flesh and bones. He tries to take aim at a fourth for another kill, but his carbine runs dry. The enemy Klingon, carrying the various sigils of the fallen House of Duras charged with his dagger for the stab. But Cipher made a feint, deflected his thrust and drew the Klingon’s own disruptor, dispatching him with two shots through his back, making him turn around to be finished off with a final blast to obliterate his skull.

Other tangos soon started to close in on Cipher with their disruptor pistols, firing, Cipher guessing where their shots are heading with position of their shoulder and arms and dodging them, responding with volatile disruptor pistol bolts to their various body parts to cause as much incapacitating or mortal damage as possible to his enemies. As Cipher neutralized three more in the brief ballistic melee, VIP number one caught Cipher wide open and blashed him, point black, with his tetryon pulseweaver.

Cipher was thrown across the field and into the bar area, crashing into bottles of various liquid vices. He falls behind the bar, winded, knocked out, possibly for the count.

On the Discovery, Kiara gasps in horror as she watches the battle and then Cipher’s lifesigns go bezerk from the sudden blast. “Cipher, Cipher are you okay?” Kiara pleaded over the coms. “Oh my Gods baby talk to me please!?”

In the holographic club of dark pleasures, VIP One laughed at his quarry. “Heh, I don’t know why you are so worried about him. No way he survived that!” he brags to his fugitive companion.

VIP Two picked up what’s left of his drink and swallowed it, being calm as if nothing happened. “You don’t know him like I do. He’s harder to kill that you think, let alone control.”

VIP One leaned against the bar, thinking the bartender was cowering behind to protect himself. “Yeah yeah. You ran from the guy for, what, year and a half? You give him too much credit.” VIP one bangs on the table with latinum in his left hand. “Barkeep, give me a Jack and a coke, and a .40 ounce for my fallen homies.”

“Sure thing Boss,” a voice said from behind the bar.

The VIPs smine then soon turned sour as he heard, and felt, a knife slice right through his left hand, all the way into the surface. He looked in horror to see Cipher grinning from ear to ear in pain. VIP one could do nothing but scream in agony. “Oh don’t worry, it’s on the house,” Cipher said as he slams VIP one’s head on the bar and slaps a transporter beacon on his chest. “Keep the change you filthy animal,” Cipher says as VIP one is beamed away.

Cipher stood up tall, most of his poncho and body armor in tact as his shield saved him from instant death. He looked at VIP two as he draws his phaser pistol. “Lan Nakajima,” Cipher said professionally, “dead or alive, you’re coming with me. Your call, sir.”

Lan looked at the carnage around him. Bodies of the entourage and goons that HYDRA hired in desperation as they ran from justice. He knew this was checkmate. He knew that his shenanigans have finally caught up with him to this time of reckoning. Lan finished his drink and said coldly to Cipher, “You know you don’t have to call me Sir anymore. I abandoned the uniform long ago. Or have you gone soft from the last time I saw you. I thought I would be as dead as these other poor bastards here.”

Cipher’s right index finger moved to the trigger. “Just give me an excuse.”

Kiara jumped into the channel. “Chris, don’t.”

“Why not Kiara? Could just do him right now and mission is still done.”

“You darn well know why. You’re better than this, better than him.”

Cipher knew Kiara was right, but he still didn’t trust Lan. As much as he loathes him for how he betrayed the Fleet with leaking classified intel, letting most of Cipher’s Omega Force team be captured or killed, Cipher still respected that Lan can pull anything off to make his escape. Lan then grinned in front of Cipher, reaching down and snatching a topless Orion slave girl, bringing a broken bottle to her neck. “Well well, looks like you have a choice to make,” Lan taunts as he makes his way out of the holodeck. “You see, I know you too well Sergeant Major. You need me alive more than dead. If so, you would have killed me. Now, either you let me escape, or you kill me, and just by the death reflex, this poor girl here dies too.”

Cipher knew he wasn’t playing. He knew the woman was real as she was part of the party that went into the holodeck with him. The woman’s expression of fear soon dissipated as Lan was too busy looking towards his former comrade. The Orion woman looked to Chris and said, “Blow his brains out Cipher.”

A lightbulb went off in Lan’s head. He looked to his Orion companion and said, “Hey wait, how did you know his name?”

As soon as Lan lost focus, the Orion girl smashed down on his foot, breaking a bone or two from the shear crack that echoed. “YEOUCH!” Lan said as he went to grab his now broken right foot. The Orion girl then soon brought him down to the deck and slapped on a transporter beacon to his back. Cipher then smiled, walked up to him and kneeled down to the agonized traitor being restrained. “You see Lan, you never learned from your mistakes. Your successes depend on the company you keep. Too bad that your buddies likes Orion girls a LITTLE too much, so, thanks to you being captured alive, Galia here might actually get her old job back at Intelligence.”

“One could hope Cipher,” says a smiling LCDR Galia Iadyl, the defrocked from a Fleet Captain down to an O-4.

“See you in the brig Lan,” Cipher said as Lan was beamed away.

“SUCK MY D…” Lan tried to say, but he and Galia was beamed away before he finished his sentence.

As Cipher surveyed his work, the junior guard walked to his left side. “And here I thought Klingons were brutal,” he says.

“They still are Captain Nog,” Cipher said to the undercover Captain. “I am forever in your debt for this.”

“Don’t mention it,” Nog responded.

“Don’t mention what,” Cipher jokingly retorts.

“So, when do you and your team leave?”

“Captain Nog, we’re already gone,” Cipher says as he’s beamed out of Dronaza Station and onto the USS Discovery-D, running silent, running deep since 2255 (in name, of course).
LtCol Christopher "Cipher" Rhode, UFSMC-Retired
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
ARMOR Holdings Corp.

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