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Mirza Nishtar

Officially, Mr. Nishtar is a diplomatic staffer within the Terran Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Unofficially, well.

0 · 488 views · located in Terra

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Ylanne

Groups

Originally formed after the Tripartite Occupation of Terra, the TNG once controlled all of Terra. Currently, the TNG's jurisdiction includes most of Terra's territory, but not the entire world.
Registered citizen of the Terran National Government

Description

Image
Photo Credit: Photo by Iva Zímová. If you do not want your photo used here, kindly inform me and I will remove it promptly.

History

Formerly of the Federal Investigation Agency وفاقی ادارۂ تحقیقات, and the Pakistani Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Nishtar now works for the Terran Intelligence Bureau.

So begins...

Mirza Nishtar's Story

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#, as written by Ylanne
Nishtar pushed open the door to the bar, stepping inside and closing it quietly behind him. He nodded toward Lena and Jaryd, the pair approaching the door, ostensibly to leave, at the same time as he had made his decidedly unremarkable entrance. Nishtar was a somewhat short, lean man with a muscular build dressed in a somber, dark suit in the Western style and a crimson tie lashed around his neck with a perfect knot. With brown skin, tired-looking eyes, and a neatly-trimmed mustache, he appeared to be of South Asian descent, possibly Indian or Pakistani.

Nishtar carried a thin metal briefcase in one hand, and a phone in the other, frowning as he read a message on-screen. He approached the counter to take a good long look at the menu. It was his first visit to the rather notorious establishment, and he wanted to at least get something good to eat out of the hour or so he would be spending here.

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The phone’s screen glowed in the dimly-lit bar, although Nishtar had had it handily equipped with a privacy screen to deter unwanted eavesdroppers. He returned it to the holster clipped on one side of his belt, the movement momentarily revealing the handgun holstered on his other side, usually hidden beneath his jacket. He approached the bar’s counter, on the other side of Claire and Haruo, leaning over the bar enough to read the menu mounted on the wall between the newsstand on one side and the bounty board on the other. It was a bar, yes, but they had to offer other food or non-alcoholic drinks, right?

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Now standing beside Swallowtail, Nishtar glanced at Claire and Haruo as the two made to leave the bar before looking back at the menu behind the counter. A small frown crossed his face. “Excuse me,” he said to the bartender, speaking with a distinctly Pakistani accent, “if you don’t mind, I’d like to order Italian wedding soup.” He removed his wallet, counting out six Credits in one Credit bills and sliding them across the counter before returning his wallet.

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Nishtar glanced over at Swallowtail's "drink," wrinkling his nose a little. What kind of individual consumed motor oil? That simply didn't seem normal. Then again, few things in Wing City were. He had learned that the hard way over the last several months, assimilating slowly into the fast-paced, sprawling city that boasted some of the planet's highest crime rates as well as the seat of the newly-independent Terran government. Although that too had been threatened on multiple occasions. Nishtar took his bowl of soup when it arrived, inhaling the aroma of a well-cooked soup. He thought it strange, for a moment, that a bar would offer such an entree, but then dismissed the thought as he settled onto a bar stool and began to spoon delicate Italian meatballs, escarole, and rice-like noodles into his mouth.

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#, as written by Ylanne
There were few of them left.

At least, there were few of them that had not scattered to the four winds. The short, lean man was dressed in a cream-colored salwar kameez—the traditional knee-length tunic and baggy pants from the Hindu Kush—rather than the suits and ties and jeans and t-shirts he had been accustomed to wearing for the last several years. It was better this way, better to keep prying questions reduced to assumptions about his presumed foreignness. With brown skin, tired-looking eyes, and a neatly-trimmed mustache, he wasn't much in the way of remarkable—and that was the point.

The dark-skinned man opened the door to the bar and stepped inside, closing it quietly behind him. He looked about at the other patrons, not seeing the woman who was supposed to be meeting him, and headed toward the bar. His movements betrayed for a moment the outline of what might have been a weapon beneath his tunic, but unlike some of the bar's more volatile patrons, he did not reach for it. He came to stand at the counter and squinted at the TV mounted in the corner. The newscaster moved from discussing drug usage to the closing of a school outside Wing City, complete with pre-shot images of a crumbling, ravaged building with an empty school bus idling in the front lot, before finally moving to cover some violations of curfew.

"A cup of chai, if you have it," the man said to the bartender, idly gesturing with two fingers to grab the man's attention. The newscaster spoke in the same solemn, monotonous tone common to most of their type, and gradually the man at the counter grew to ignore the newcaster's voice. He tapped his fingers along the bar, his gaze shifting along the faces of the other patrons in what might have been mere mild curiosity.

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Nishtar accepted his cup of chai with a perfunctory nod of thanks, sipping slowly at the hot liquid as he listened with passing interest to the conversations of the others in the barroom. His phone rang, the screen lighting, and he reached for the device, flipping it open with a casual flick of the wrist. "Yes," he said, turning away from the bar a moment. There was a pause, and then the brown-skinned man frowned. "I don't know what you're talking about." He closed his phone, leaving it on the counter with a look of distaste, and glanced at the news again. She was over ten minutes late now.

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Mirza Nishtar glanced toward Liesha, raising an eyebrow at the woman before reaching for his cup of chai again, resolved not to make small talk with strangers unless absolutely necessary. You never knew who might be working for Them.

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“Sorry? You’re sorry?” Nishtar shook his head, exhaling forcefully. “I was beginning to wonder if you were going to bother at all. That’s not like you, you know.”

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"I'm not giving you anything if you're going to be drinking," replied the Pakistani man, shaking his head. "And you know damn well why." He swallowed the last of the chai and slid the cup away from him on the counter, leaving a small trail of moisture behind. Nishtar reached for his cell phone and returned it to his pocket, leaning one arm on the counter as he stared in the general direction of the TV. "Always propaganda these days. Can't rely on the news anymore."

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"See?" Nishtar threw his hands into the air, grimacing. "What did I tell you? More propaganda. Sometimes, I wish I hadn't stayed." He slumped a bit where he'd been sitting, watching the newscast for a few seconds with a dismal look, his eyes taking on the same kind of expression common to students in large lecture halls. Nishtar mumbled something in Urdu.

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"The point still stands," said Nishtar, nodding toward the margarita in the slender woman's hand. "You're drinking." He looked toward where Markuss had just collapsed. "That could very easily be you with a few more of those." Nishtar tapped his fingers against the counter, and considered asking for a second cup of chai before he decided against it. "Don't think it's safe anymore," he commented, glancing momentarily toward McKenna. He wasn't about to hand over sensitive information with an Aschen standing RIGHT THERE.

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"What's happening?" Nishtar followed where McKenna had been looking toward the windows, squinting to peer through them. He leaned to look around Ellie, the Pakistani man looking very out of place in the bar dressed in traditional garb. "For the—holy hell—" Nishtar brought his hand to his face. "Ellie—"

The setting changes from Gambit's Bar to Terra

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Where one of the tunnels opened to a widening yaw along the way, lit with recently-installed bright fluorescent bulbs, a short, lean man with a clean-shaven face and somewhat unkempt, shoulder length dark hair stepped into the main tunnel area. "Hey!" he shouted, holding a hand to signal the soldiers carrying Cally to pause. "Slow down there; be a bit gentle with the woman, will you?" Nishtar glanced behind him and then toward the approaching soldiers again. He was dressed at the moment in jeans and a black polo-shirt with the TIB's logo embroidered onto the left-hand side, his footfalls in his sneakers echoing in the halls of the tunnel system. "No need to manhandle her. Let's go inside." He spoke with what sounded like a South Asian accent as he motioned for the others to follow. "She's waking up. Support her. Easy, there." Nishtar peered at her face, certain he'd seen it before on a dossier sometime ago.

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"Hey, you," Nishtar said, approaching the doctor. "Stop -- she's trying to break something with her teeth." He very nearly shoved the white-coated man aside, his fingers moving toward the woman's mouth, attempting to pry her jaws open and find whatever it was she was trying to bite into. "No, you are NOT going to die on me," Nishtar muttered, the corners of his lips twitching as his eyes burned into Cally all the while.

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Nishtar cringed, hissing in pain as Cally chomped into his hand, but he successfully retrieved both of the chemical-bearing teeth, removing his hand as fast as he could from the woman's mouth as blood began to drip onto the floor. He held the two teeth between his fingers, grimacing. "Ah, damnit." Nishtar inhaled sharply, switching the two teeth to his other hand. "Can we get someone to take these to a lab, please? I'm very curious to know what exactly is in them."

The middle-aged man shook his head, holding his hand up for a moment to the light, as if to inspect the wound, and then glanced at the doctor. "After you take a look at her and make sure she's stable, can you two get Ms. Henderson somewhere safe and quiet? If she struggles, put her in restraints, but be gentle, okay?" Nishtar's accented English was a bit hard to hear over the comings and goings of resistance members and refugees moving through the central area. "And when you're done with that, Doctor, you wouldn't happen to have another bandage, would you?" He nodded toward Cally. "Her first, though, please. Just check to see that she's stable, and I don't want her out of my sight."

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Nishtar shook his head, a frown stretching onto his features. "I told you to treat Ms. Henderson FIRST, Doctor," he said, giving the man a terrible look that suggested something much deeper. "You'd think people were completely incapable of comprehending what they hear these days." He inspected his hand for a moment before lowering it, keeping it a respectable distance from his side, and following the soldiers with Cally. The man didn't bother to respond directly to her agitations. Nishtar assumed an appropriately grim expression.

"Aina usrati? Aina zaugati au ukhti? Tastatia' an tusa'adidni? Sa'adidni, min fadlak, bismillah sa'adidni w'usrati! Aina kulhum?" The shouts came from an older, silver-haired man whose palms shook as he grabbed at Nishtar, who shook his head apologetically.

"Ah -- la afham al-'arabi," the Pakistani agent said, speaking haltingly. "Astagfirullah." He offered a compassionate look before moving along, leaving the older man sobbing in the hall as he continued to shout in his own language. Nishtar spared him another glance as they moved farther into the network of tunnels. They had every right to hate the Aschen for what they were doing, but Nishtar was not here to exact revenge or gain petty satisfaction. He maintained an air of professionalism despite the throbbing pain in his hand. "Careful with her," he reminded the military escort holding Cally.

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#, as written by Ylanne
"Well, I'm not dead now, so I think I'm quite all right; thank you very much for your concern, Doctor," said Nishtar, narrowing his eyes as he spoke. He stood to the side of the doctor, keeping both Cally and the medic in his line of sights while motioning for the accompanying marines to secure the room. Nishtar held his wounded hand at a distance from his body, trying not to think about it much. He remained standing where he was when a taller woman with long, curled hair appeared in the doorway, poking her head inside.

"Nishtar, been looking for you. Where the hell did you go?" Claudia Fereira was stunning, even among swarms of refugees and with limited access to utilities, even after surviving wounds that should have killed her several months ago. Nishtar noticed that she walked with a cane. "And who's -- she looks familiar."

Nishtar nodded. "Cally Henderson. She's with Tech Con at the moment, but there's more history there than I think you know. We'll talk later about it, okay? She's being tended to at the moment." He glanced back at the doctor. "Make sure you're treating her well, okay? Claudia, I'll talk to you later." The other woman nodded and then disappeared again.

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Nishtar nodded, thanking the marine before turning back toward Cally. In both Drulović and Fazari's absence, Nishtar had found himself one of the most senior TIB personnel left onworld, which had been an unpleasant surprise. It served as a continual reminder that he was approaching the upper boundaries of middle age, and probably couldn't keep this up for much longer than the war could reasonably be expected to last. "I'm sorry, Ms. Henderson, but it doesn't quite work that way," he said. "You're not exactly a civilian. In fact, you have a very close connection to the Empire, don't you?" Nishtar waved his uninjured hand. "Never mind, don't answer that. You don't want to answer questions; that's fine. I don't mind terribly." He glanced toward the door, waiting for the Commissar. Nishtar's hand began to throb with pain again, and he tried his hardest to ignore it.

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"You can go," Nishtar said to the doctor, keeping his eyes on Cally. When the Scatterrans entered the room, Nishtar glanced toward them and nodded in respect. "I strongly doubt that your compatriots would do the same if I were to make that argument. I don't work for a government. I'm not a soldier. I can easily call myself a civilian, but if your compatriots wouldn't recognize that status, then tell me, Ms. Henderson, why should we?" He tilted his head slightly to the side, his eyes narrowing again as if to mask the pain from the wound in his hand. He resisted the urge to look at and touch the bandage wrapped there. "Actually, that's not quite correct, is it. It's Henderson-McGregor, isn't it. As I said, you're rather close to the Empire. Far too close, I think, to be considered a civilian of any kind." Nishtar took a seat in the chair across from where Cally was sitting, laying his injured hand carefully over his lap beneath the table.

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"Doesn't work that way," Nishtar said, shaking his head. He glanced at Laurits. "This is Raphael McGregor's wife. Her picture was in the TIB dossier. Don't worry; I'm sure she'll continue to make denials. Even if she DOESN'T have useful information, she's an excellent bargaining chip, I think. What do you think about that?" The tone of his voice suggested that the question was more rhetorical than it was substantive. Nishtar returned his eyes to Cally, staring into hers. "We know you have no intentions of helping us, but that's okay. Few of your people probably do. But I'm neither in the business of killing prisoners nor releasing valuable hostages."

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"Yes, because I'm very obviously torturing you right now," Nishtar said dryly, peering over the top of his nose at Cally sitting across from him at the table. "You have a rather low opinion of my people; how many of us do you actually know?" He leaned back in his own seat, maintaining a steady gaze on the woman though his expression was carefully maintained to avoid the display of any emotion. Wouldn't do to have his own composure and motivations for being present questioned. Nishtar did not show any visible reaction to her graphic story about Raphael's cruelty.

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"No one's going to rescue you? Why's that, Ms. Henderson?" Nishtar asked, allowing a bit of an accusatory tone to slip into his voice. "Why are you so sure of that? Why do you place so little value on your own life? You seem a bit too eager to die, especially for a civilian." There was on the one hand an almost biting quality to his voice, while on the other hand, his tone maintained an air of mild curiosity, not particularly intrusive or presumptuous.

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Nishtar glanced at Laurits. "Not my decision, Commissar," he said, shrugging a little. "I'm here because I learned who it was our folks had taken in, not because I enjoy sitting in small rooms with strangers who'd enjoy killing me for pleasure under different circumstances." He tapped the fingers of his left hand against the table top in an idle fashion, his gaze swiveling back toward Cally's face. "I don't see this 'doing nothing wrong' thing, frankly, Ms. Henderson. Whether you wear the Aschen uniform or not, you bear arms in support of feckless imperialism and indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians. You defend and justify the mass murder of noncombatants, and you have the gall to suggest that they somehow deserve the suffering brought on them not by their choices but by the deranged ideology foisted upon your government and your people. And yet, you sit here and claim to do nothing wrong. The irony is astounding."

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Now Cally was left with the Terran marines and Nishtar, who of the group of Terrans, was the only one who appeared to be unarmed. (Though that assumption would have been a mistake.) "thank you, Commissar," said Nishtar with an inclination of the head. He waited for the Commissar and the other Scatterrans to depart before turning his full attention back to Cally. "Your mistake, and one that you and your people have made continually, is equating an imperfect response to terrorism with outright support for or negligence in addressing it. There's a vast difference between the two, and you'd do well to learn to differentiate." Nishtar watched Cally with all the calm of a kindergarten teacher accustomed to dealing with dozens of screaming and bawling five year olds. "Now, I want you to listen to me very closely. You have nothing to gain by remaining silent and refusing to provide whatever information you have stored in your thoughts and memories. Don't mistake the fact that you're alive now with an unwillingness to kill you. We can do that. After all, c'est le guerre. But think about yourself. Think about your relationship -- I'm sorry, your former relationship -- with your husband. Do you want him back? Do you want the violence to end? Do you want your life back?" Nishtar eyed Cally with an intensity he'd not possessed before. "The choice is in your hands. I wouldn't waste it."

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If he was insulted by the woman's repeated racial epithets, Nishtar did not show it. "You're failing to understand that you're blaming an entire civilization for the actions of a few extremists who've also repeatedly targeted us and with whom we haven't the slightest of sympathies. You're making a grave mistake, and if you don't understand the consequences now, by god or gods, you will, once the dust has settled and the final body counts are made. Your people have decided to steal another people's freedom in the name of protecting your own. Yet you don't see the rank hypocrisy of your actions. You claim to be the ones persecuted, but that's clearly not the case, with one of the most powerful militaries in the galaxy, and an entire (former) confederation turned empire of planets at your command. You can't be satisfied with the wealth and power that you already have, and so you've decided to steal what little some smaller, less powerful nations have in some perverted iteration of progress."