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The setting for the Sheila & K'avir stories is the Star Trek Mirrorverse. Anything Star Trek-related are the intellectual property of Gene Roddenberry. All other characters, planets, star systems and content not within said scope are my own.


Zodiac: Equinox (Vernal)

The lawyer sat down in front of the elegantly-dressed client and wasted no time getting to the point.  He had a schedule to keep.  “You requested a shot of adrenalin.  You understand the parameters, correct?”

“Of course.”

“I can’t guarantee anything.  It's a matter of choice."

“I understand.  Is this something you think your...what do I call him?  I don't want to use that word aloud."

The lawyer didn't move.  This was a common issue with clients.  They never knew who they were soliciting for services.  "I'm comfortable with that particular pronoun."

The lady relaxed.  "Okay.  Is this something he will be interested in?”

“Maybe.  Sometimes it depends on the temperature of the errand.”

The lady looked confused.  “I’m sorry; can you please clarify that statement?”

“Is this the sort of thing that’s personal?”

The lady considered this.  “Can you be a little more forthcoming with details?”

The lawyer sat with his hands folded in his lap and eyed the woman carefully.  “Did the target offend you personally?  Would it please you for it to suffer?”

The lady considered this.

The lawyer continued.  “If you are neither here nor there with it, then the adrenalin will be cold.  If it matters, if it’s vengeance, then that makes it personal…and then maybe you prefer the heat.  You decide.”

The lady considered this.

The lawyer checked his watch before continuing.  “If you would like some time to contemplate…”

“What if the circumstances deem events happen in a way that doesn’t comply with my wants?”

“Then adjustments are made.  If you have a preference…if you want the heat, the price goes up by 25%.”

The lady looked at her trembling hands.  “I don’t…know.”

The lawyer nodded.  “It doesn’t matter.  Cold is easier; heat requires a more…intimate…touch; hence the price adjustment.”

“I want it done,” she said, clasping her hands together to stop them from shaking.  The lawyer could tell she was keeping her rage in check.  “I can’t rest until it’s done.  I need this to be over.  There is no other way.”

“Then I shall make that clear and you can leave it up to him to decide which way it goes, if it’s too much for you.”

The lady considered this.  “May I contact you later if I am able to decide what I want?”

The lawyer shook his head.  “No.  After today, the only other contact we will have is when you receive instructions from my associate on depositing the first payment if they accept the job, and when you receive instructions on depositing the final payment when the job is complete.  You will not contact me.  Is this clear?”

The lady nodded.  “It is.  I understand.  I’ll leave it up to him, then.”

The lawyer stood up and picked up his briefcase.  He did not extend his hand.  “Then I bid you good day.”  He walked out of the restaurant without looking back at the woman.

* * *

The manager’s office was spacious and elegant.  The back wall was a bank of windows that faced the Oriochi Channel and Suva, where most of the skyscrapers were located.  As usual, the metropolis of Suva Oriana was lit up in a myriad of neon colors and bustling with life.  The same could be said of the club five floors below; even with the soundproofing and distance, the music made the office walls reverberate like a gentle heartbeat.  Rarely was the Zodiac empty.  Ever since they made changes to their business model, the club stayed packed.  It was nice.  Their lives were far more pleasant now than they were a decade ago.

Madalyne stood facing the windows, staring at the dinner cruise ships sailing up and down the Oriochi and the large crowds milling about the boardwalk.  Macallan was at the desk, talking on the phone.  Madalyne didn’t know who he was speaking to; not yet.  He would share the information when the call was done.  She strolled over to the bar and poured him a drink, as she could tell he would need one when said phone conversation was over.  His voice didn’t betray him, but she could see the pulse in his neck tick faster as the talk went on.

Someone knocked on the door as Madalyne set the glass down on the desk.   Macallan looked at her and took her hand, caressing her fingers.  She brushed a lock of hair away from his forehead.  “Get off the phone, Macz.”

Macallan kissed his wife’s fingers.  Then he interrupted himself and ended the call with an abrupt, “I’ll call you back.”  He snatched the Bluetooth out of his ear and threw it on the desk.

There was a second set of door knocks, louder than the first.  Madalyne leaned forward and kissed his lips.  “Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it after we deal with whoever’s at the door.”

Macallan nodded.  “Norris wants more money.”

Madalyne rolled her eyes.  “Of course he does, but there’s something else he wants more.”

Macallan rolled his eyes. “That he can't have."  Then he grasped the remote and opened the door.  "Come in.” It was two men in overcoats; plainclothes cops from the smell.  Madalyne stood by her husband and he continued to hold her hand.  She frowned.  They knew most of the SOPD, but they weren’t familiar with these two.

“Hello,” Madalyne said.  “Who are you?”

One of them wore a rumpled gray suit with a trenchcoat.  He looked at Madalyne and coughed.  “I’m Detective Walker and this is my partner, Detective Rogers.  We’re from the 15th Precinct."

“To what do we owe the pleasure?” Macallan said, side-eyeing the cops while caressing Madalyne’s fingers.  He didn't trust anyone with a badge, even those whose pockets were lined with his and Madalyne's money.

Detective Rogers wore a wool coat that was out of place due to the weather.  He looked at Macallan and then at Madalyne, narrowing his eyes.  “Maybe this is something she don’t need to hear.”

Madalyne rolled her eyes.  She stared at them and said, “Whatever you have to say to Mr. Zhou, you can say to me.”

Macallan nodded, already irritated.  “State your business, please.”

Trenchcoat said, “We’re having a little trouble with Nico Devinci.  It was suggested we come see you.”

There was a pause and then Madalyne sneered.  “So you're having trouble.”  She put her hand on the nape of Macallan’s neck.  "So what?"

Woolcoat sneered at Madalyne.  “I don’t need no shit from the likes of you.”  The look in his eyes was clear; he thought she was anything less than Macallan’s partner.  She’d seen it before on other faces.

“Excuse me,” Madalyne said calmly, “but I’m not Mr. Zhou’s secretary, receptionist, personal assistant, girlfriend or whore.”

Trenchcoat closed his eyes, seeing the meeting go swirling down the drain.  His partner was a misogynistic dickhole.  If this didn't work out, he was going to slug the guy the moment they left the Zodiac.  Woolcoat cleared his throat and made an effort to speak but Macallan interrupted him.

“Clearly, whoever suggested that you come here did not make you aware of the facts.  Mrs. Zhou is not only my wife, but also my partner.  You disrespecting her is the same as disrespecting me, which I don’t think you intended to do.  I hope not, anyway."  He leaned back in the chair and crossed his legs.  "Having said that, get the fuck out of our club and don’t ever come back.  I don't give a shit where you're from or who suggested you come here.”

Trenchcoat said, “Mr. and Mrs. Zhou, please…no disrespect was intended."  He looked at Woolcoat, imploring him to remain silent.  "My partner didn't understand; we weren’t warned…but we need your help.  We do.  Captain Mike Perkins sent us to you.  He said that you offer...solutions...to problems.”

“I find it hard to believe that Mike didn’t inform you of who we are,” Madalyne said.  Mike Perkins was an old acquaintance.

“Or maybe he did and you chose to ignore it,” Macallan continued.  “Either way, we’re no longer inclined to hear what you have to say.”

“Please, we are really sorry,” Trenchcoat said.  He was nervous.  Something was really bothering him enough that he felt he had to beg.  “We apologize; we meant no offense, Mrs. Zhou.”

“I believe you,” she said, “but I need to hear it from him.”  She pointed her chin at Woolcoat.

“Or you can get the hell out of here,” Macallan said, still salty about the insult.  He was ready to shoot the guy and put his hand on the handle of the desk drawer, where he kept a nine locked and loaded.  He gave zero fucks about them being cops.

Woolcoat stared at the carpet and put his hands in his pockets in a futile effort to hide their turning into fists, but the Zhous weren’t fooled.  There were plenty of assholes in Suva Oriana who had trouble accepting assistance from Madalyne.  This prick was no different.  He looked up and managed to say, “I am sorry for offending you, Mrs. Zhou.”  Uttering the words looked painful.

Madalyne smiled seductively and gently scraped her nails across Macallan’s nape.  It was a signal.  He relaxed in the chair and took a sip of his drink.  “What the fuck do you want?”

“Nico Devinci has to go.  Lines have been crossed and agreements broken.  The usual channels won’t work.  We’ve tried to keep the peace; he’s not having any of it.  Mike said you could help.”

Madalyne sighed dramatically and ran her thumb in circles on the back of Macallan's neck.  "What are you offering?”

Woolcoat stared at her but Trenchcoat replied, “What do you want?”

“Money, of course,” she said.  “Nothing satisfies us like a check.  Right, baby?”  She looked at her husband, who smiled back.

“Right.  So again, what are you offering?”  Macallan repeated.

“Ten thousand,” Trenchcoat said.

“What do we look like, garbage men?" Madalyne said, clearly affronted.  Cheap bastards.

“I don’t get out of bed for anything less than twenty-five,” Macallan snorted.  “If you’re asking us to do what I think you’re asking us to do, it’s going to cost a damn sight more than ten Gs.”

“Is it just Devinci you’re having issues with?”

Woolcoat managed to keep his voice even.  “Him, and his crew of thugs.”

Madalyne examined her fingernails.  “Oh no…ten thousand is not nearly enough.”

Trenchcoat shoved his hands in his pockets.  “How much would it take?”

“How many people are we talking about?” Macallan asked.  "This requires planning."

Woolcoat said, “Seven or eight.”

Madalyne replied, “Twelve thousand apiece.”

Trenchcoat said, “We don’t have that much cash.”

“Bullshit you don’t,” Macallan retorted.  “You’re from the 15th…you can get that much paper easy.  Or maybe you don’t want Devinci gone as much as you say.  Which means that you can get the fuck out of our club.  I'm really getting tired of saying this.”

Neither Trenchcoat nor Woolcoat had an appropriate response.  Madalyne smiled coldly.  “Perhaps you need to have another conversation with Mike.  You’re wasting our time.”

Trenchcoat nodded.  Woolcoat started to speak but his partner elbowed him into silence.  “We can get the money together in a week’s time.”

Macallan nodded.  “Do that and then we’ll have something to discuss.  And if you never come back, that’s fine too. We'll never speak of it, that's for sure.”

“Goodbye,” Madalyne said.

Without a word, the cops turned and left.  Trenchcoat wisely closed the door, as everyone was aware that Woolcoat would have slammed it shut.

“Assholes,” Macallan said as he stood up.  "I hate cops."

“Don’t worry about it,” Madalyne replied.  “They need us.  We don’t need them.”

He put his arms around her waist.  “I guess they’ll learn that the hard way.”

Madalyne kissed his nose.  “The School of Hard Knocks accepts students year round, baby.  And tuition’s free.  Don't worry about it.  Some motherfuckers always want to ice skate uphill.”

"Or vacation in Chernobyl," he said, kissing her lips.

Just then, someone knocked on the door and they turned to look just as their attorney, Cayo Reyes, walked in.

“Hello Cayo,” Macallan said.  He continued to hold Madalyne.

“Hi Cayo,” she said.  “Do you have something to report?”

Cayo smiled.  He loved his job and he loved his bosses.  They couldn't keep their hands off each other.    He didn't blame Macallan.  Madalyne was easily the most beautiful and talented woman in all of Suva Oriana, and he was not the only one who thought so.  “Mrs. Zhou, you look absolutely stunning.  And yes, I do.”

“Such a charmer,” she said as Macallan sat down and pulled her into his lap.   “What do you have to tell us?”

Cayo stood in front of the desk.  “The client is Rosalind Seyfert.”

Macallan and Madalyne both stared in quiet thrall.   Cayo continued.  “Mrs. Seyfert’s target is a televangelist.”

“You don’t say,” Macallan said.

“Is that right?”  Madalyne replied.

Cayo found it amusing that their intonations were almost identical.  “Yes.  Pastor Emil J. Hendricks, the God’s Holy Word guy on KMBZ.”

Cayo saw the gleam in both pairs of eyes and knew that they would take the job.  “Do I tell her that you accept?”

“Will he be traveling abroad?”  Macallan asked.

“He is going on tour, yes.”

Madalyne continued.  “Did she say what she wanted?”

“She’s willing to leave it up to you.”

Madalyne caressed her husband’s neck.  It was one of his spots.  “What’s your sense of it, Cayo?”

“I think she’s really really angry, but is too composed to show it.  She is Rosalind Seyfert, after all.”

Macallan looked at his wife and smiled.  “We should,” he said.

“We must,” she replied.  “We have to.  Rosalind Seyfert and Pastor Emil Hendricks?  I wonder what the connection is?  What did he do to her?”  She paused and stroked her hair.  “Not that it matters.”

“Doesn’t matter at all,” he said.  They really didn’t give a shit about the details.

Cayo said, “She’s willing to pay 2.75 million.”

"I hope that's the first half," Madalyne snorted.

“What, is three a stretch?” Macallan sneered.  “I know she’s sitting on five times that kind of money.”

“It can be arranged, sir.  I think she’ll pay whatever you want.  But I should ask: will it be hot or cold?”

Madalyne said, “You said she’s really angry, which sounds like rage.  But she’s classy enough to keep it under wraps.  It also depends on the good pastor’s itinerary.  There are variables we have to account for.”

“Yes, Mrs. Zhou.”

“Good.  Inform Governor Seyfert’s wife that she’ll get a five million dollar shot of adrenalin and provide her with the Cayman numbers.”

Cayo nodded.  “All right.”

“How’s it going downstairs?”

“Full house on all levels.  As usual.  There are applications for four potential members.  A bronze, two silvers, and a gold.”

“Good,” Macallan said.  “Get your team to start vetting.  Reports on our desk ASAP.”

“Anything else?” Cayo asked.

“No,” he said.  “Mrs. Zhou and I are going to go home for the night.  We’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Good night, Cayo.” Madalyne said, smiling at him.  He was adorable.

“Good night.”  He bowed his head in respect and left the office.  Macallan sat back and began running his hand up Madalyne’s thigh.

“That is going to be fun,” he said.  “I’m willing to do it for free just to see the good Governor Seyfert squirm.”

“Let’s not be too hasty, Macz,” she said.  “He may not even know his wife just ordered a hit on a well-known televangelist.  And he certainly won't know that it was us.”

“He knows.  I’m sure of it.  If he doesn’t, he will once he notices that their bank account is short five million dollars.”

“Assuming they have joint accounts.”

“She’ll tell him.  A woman like that, holding that kind of hostility, won't be able to keep it a secret from her husband.  You know what she's like.”

Madalyne put a hand on his chest.  “Who can say, baby?  We women are vengeful and vindictive.  She'll keep the secret if it's in her best interests.”

Macallan looked into her eyes.  “Are you ready to go home, Madz?”

She kissed his lips.  “Yes.  I believe tonight’s business here is complete.”


  1. I could see Sanaa and Yune in a role like this. I think I understand how the Zodiac works, but I'm not sure. Is each month a different type of assassin or do a different type of work?


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