S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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The Nickel Tour

Posted on Monday September 17th, 2018 @ 11:14 hours by Mayterial Droz & Alexandria Farron

Contract: Smugglers Need Not Apply
Location: S.S. Fawkes
Timeline: MD03 - 0930 hours

Alexandria showed up the next day bright and early, as promised, for her tour of the Fawkes and official interview with its captain. There was little--if anything--official about her appearance to match the occasion. Her beanie and sunglasses were gone, but her very long platinum-charcoal hair was barely stowed in a loose and rather unkempt ponytail that managed the style in name only. Significant tufts of hair had missed the band holding it back and were lazily tucked behind her ears instead. Her outfit was equally unrefined, consisting of a green, oversized Marine Corps tee shirt that was obviously fitted for a man, and a pair of simple black leggings. The athletic sneakers on her feet were clean and a very sporty black with pink laces, but they hardly looked appropriate for a job interview. She looked like she'd just come from the gym, except there wasn't a bead of sweat to be found on her. In fact she'd just rolled out of bed. Whether she'd gotten a late start, or actually intended to show up for the occasion in such a way was anyone's guess. A very minimalist satchel, the size of a small purse, hung cross-shoulder, bouncing off her hip as she approached in some form of awkward, foreign gait, like that of some unencountered alien species.

"Namaste, Captain." Alexandria said, steepling her fingers in front of her like that of a scheming mad scientist in what looked like a half-botched attempt at a proper Hindu greeting. She flashed a coy smile, revealing a set of bright, immaculate teeth.

Mayterial had made it a late night, she was very glad to have taken the time to brush her teeth. The minty smell was propping her up as she approached the oddly dressed girl. She hadn't intended for last night to last at long as it did, but things happened and on the bright side she was able to recruit a Master-at-Arms and now potentially a navigator with guild credentials. She was slightly hung over and her hair was in a messy bun, similar to what she had sported yesterday but possibly less organised. "Good morning." She wondered what the greeting was that the woman lost in the washed out marine shirt mentioned, it wasn't translated well by the universal translator. "Glad to have you here." She squinted a bit at her in the brightly lit promenade.

Alexandria quickly sized up the captain, who more or less looked the same from the night before. After a moment she nodded approvingly. A woman after her own heart... someone willing to roll out of bed and get right to what had to be done to start the day. That was one thing Alexandria didn't miss about Starfleet--all the spit and polish. So much time was wasted polishing boots, pressing uniforms and making sure hair was perfect and tidy. People said discipline counted for a lot, but it never helped her out in the cockpit. Having superiors constantly on her ass about her hair, and the importance of wearing the same thing every day had gotten old real fast.

Reaching into her satchel-purse, Alexandria pulled out a small holo-card to hand to May. It listed only the bare basics on the card, but the captain could connect it to a datapad and it would give her all the information she would need to confirm her credentials. A nice professional calling card was all that mattered, in her mind. She could show up all dolled out in a dress in makeup, or the neatest flightsuit and slicked back hair, but if she didn't have the right card to prove her worth, then looks were worth spit.

As she leaned closer to hand over her card, Alexandria caught a whiff of something minty. She sniffed again. "You smell nice." She said awkwardly. A compliment was a compliment in her book, but she wasn't always great at picking the right ones to use. "Permission to... come aboard?"

Turning Mayterial receded back into the darker corridors of the Fawkes. It wasn't by choice that they were so dimly lit but it was suiting her current state of being just fine. "I see why you might not have mingled well in the fleet." She pocketed the data card and would certainly check on the credentials later. "Where do you want to go first? Living quarters, bridge, shuttle bay, mess hall?" The first place people wanted to see could tell her a lot about the kind of person she had in front of her.

Alexandria liked how dimly lit the ship was. It was not as clean as she hoped, but maybe Captain Droz had recently acquired Fawkes and had yet to really make the ship her own. She tried not to make too many quick judgements. She was however quite perplexed that the captain seemed so eager to start with showing her around the ship. She hadn't been expecting to see any of that until after she'd had a sit down with the captain to talk more about who she was, and where she'd gotten her training. Alexandria was young, and arguably a few fighters short of a full squadron. She didn't have experience in the private sector either.

"I wouldn't mind seeing the bridge... and maybe where I'll be sleeping." Alexandria laughed nervously. "I figured we'd be starting off the tour in your office first."

"Ha. Yeah. Good one." Mayterial continued her walk down the corridor towards the turbo lift. "So, yesterday you mentioned Starfleet. How long were you in the fleet?" The rickety door of the lift slid aside, it stuck only once this time before forcing itself open. She stepped inside and motioned for Alexandria to join her in the lift.

Clearly hesitant and skeptical about the working order of the lift, Alexandria waited for a few seconds even after May gestured for her to join her. She was careful not to stand too close to any of the walls. "I was a pilot in the Aerospace Corps for fifteen months, after which I was given a favorable discharge." Alexandria said, her eyes shut as she waited for the lift to finish its movement. Technically it was called an honorable discharge, but she avoided using that word, since the circumstances surrounding her exit from Starfleet were, to her, anything but honorable.

Remembering her time in Starfleet Mayterial knew that 15 months was short of what they expected you to do in a tour of duty, especially for the specialist positions of aerospace pilots. She would really have to go through her records and maybe even call on a favour from within the fleet to be able to run her records. The lift stopped at the first deck and allowed them to get out to head for the bridge.

The door in front of Alexandria appeared to be stuck, and only opened part-way. Fearing further calamity, she didn't hesitate in exiting the lift, brushing past May to use her side of the exit. She didn't go far though, realizing she didn't know where the bridge was. After cutting May off, Alexandria waited only a few steps away in the corridor, not unlike an overeager puppy.

May followed Alexandria out and closed the door to the lift herself before stepping next to her. "Just down there." She pointed at the end of the corridor. There wasn't a whole lot there, aside from her quarters and the bridge. The doors to the bridge parted voluntarily and May stepped inside. "You'd be stationed right there." She pointed to the consoles in front of the Captain's chair, where the signaller and the navigator stations were set up.

Alexandria had never seen a starship bridge before, but the Fawkes' bridge was smaller than she'd been expecting. Everything seemed operable and efficient enough, though the captain's chair looked a little absurd on its raised dais, like a ruler's throne. It was obvious that the ship was of Cardassian design, even though most of the control interfaces had been translated to Federation Standard. Though seemingly free of clutter, Alexandria felt that the bridge needed a through scrubbing. She wondered when the last time the navigator's chair had been properly cleaned.

"You acquired this ship from an Orion..." Alexandria said off-hand, noticing some Orion script that had been subtly carved into one of the armrests of the captain's chair. "I hope you had it thoroughly searched for hidden transponders, pressure sensors in the cargo bay and kill-switches on the weapons and engines. Otherwise the former owner probably has a list of what kind of weight you've carried, and where you've been carrying it. If they see any numbers they like they may decide to come and pay us a visit." Virtually all of Alexandria's time in Starfleet had been spent chasing pirates affiliated with the Orion Syndicate. She'd met few Orions face-to-face, but based off what she'd seen and learned, she did not hold the criminal elements among them in high regard.

"I've acquired it 2 years ago. Stripped it down to its bare essentials when we first got our hands on it." Mayterial was impressed with the keen eye. She had wanted to remove the carving for some time now but never had gotten around to it. It didn't feel like an Orion ship to her. It felt like it had always been her home. Now that it was pointed out it started to irk her.
"Let's take a look at your quarters."

Alexandria shrugged as they left the bridge. She was guessing that they were on another deck, as there weren't many doors on this one. Her cabin was likely to be one of many grouped together. That meant getting back on the sketchy lift. She practically crowded May as she stood close to the one door that seemed to work, which was also the side the control panel was on. "Is this safe?" She asked as the fussy door closed with a grinding squeal.

It was just one deck down and the lift didn't struggle as much as on the way up. "Someone will come in and work on this soon." Mayterial pushed the struggling door open as well, allowing for a wider exit. "Since you'll be required to come to the bridge on short notice you'd be closer to the bridge than most." She took the second door on the left. "Your humble abode."

The room was an absolute mess. The search crews from the fleet had made sure to turn everything upside down and inside out. "I was meaning to get to that." Mayterial motioned her hand around the room. "I know it's not much but it's a small part to call your own."

Alexandria actually felt a little woozy at the sight. She swayed on her feet slightly, having to subtly hold onto the door frame for support. There were dirty plates and coffee mugs, datapads containing who knew what with visible fingerprints on the screen, unmade bedding, as well as piles of clothes and undergarments, also possibly dirty. Most of the clothing looked to be womens, unless the guy who had the room before had a thing for wearing or collecting high heels. But who wore heels aboard a freighter anyway?

"What... uh, what do I do with this stuff?" Alexandria asked, sounding overwhelmed. "And where's the bathroom?"

"Collect it in one big bag and I'll make sure it gets stored somewhere for when the owner is released from prison." Mayterial spoke with clear disdain for the person that had previously occupied this room. "The bathroom is down the corridor and to the left." She stepped out of the room and pointed in the direction she indicated. The showers and toilets were shared on this boat. The Captain's quarters were the only ones with a separate unit installed and even that was more cramped than would normally be expected of Captain's quarters. "Cardassians are very utilitarian. I hope that won't be a problem."

Alexandria's face glitched. She wouldn't have her own bathroom? Equal parts confusion and horror mixed with some kind of expression that simply couldn't be interpreted. She got a weird look in her eye and started to say something, but seemed to lose track. "I.. uh... my predecessor is in prison?" She seemed more able to address that concern than the other. Whether she'd fully processed May's full answer to her previous questions wasn't clear.

Mayterial frowned slightly at that, she thought it had been public knowledge that the entire crew for the Fawkes was sent to prison. "Yes. The entire crew was charged on several different counts of smuggling and blackmail." It was out before she realised it and her eyes belied a certain sadness of the fact.

Another person might have seen red flags raised with that statement, but Alexandria didn't seem to bat an eyelash. "Oh." She began simply. It went downhill from there. "Prison must not be so bad then, if the entire crew deemed that a worthwhile outcome." She shrugged, clearly less worried about the ship's legal woes than the mess that she would have to clean up.

"My wife is in prison, somewhere on Betazed. I heard its nice... the planet. Not sure about her new accommodations." Alexandria stated that as a simple matter of fact, not seeming to think about whether that detail might possibly reflect poorly on herself. She also didn't seem to realize that she was speaking to a Betazoid.

"It was." Mayterial seemed lost in thought for a moment. "So. Shall we take a look at the shuttle in our bay?" This was a conversation that both of them would probably like to be over quickly.

Alexandria shrugged and followed May once again. She was constantly peeking around and seemed careful not to touch anything. She also brushed at her shoulders a few times, though at real or imagined dust or grime was anyone's guess.

"So... about the bathroom..." Alexandria continued. Clearly fixated on that issue more than anything else about the tour so far. "There's just one? I'll have to shower with guys and stuff? What about you?" She seemed a little squirmy as she asked her questions.

Mayterial stepped back into the corridor. "We have a separate one for the men and women." She walked down the hallway and stopped in front of the doors to the communal bathroom facilities, pointing out the icons on the door depicting a feminine and masculine humanoid.

By the face of disgust Alexandria made it was clear that she didn't think showing only around other women was a much better outcome. She couldn't even step foot in the bathroom, like an invisible force field had been put up in the way. She turned to look at May, seemingly on the verge of pleading.

"Can I like... stay with you? And use your bathroom? I don't need much space." At that point she was pleading. "In fact, that room is much too big for me anyway..."

"Aren't you married?" May asked, with an eyebrow quirked.

"Technically, but she just told a bunch of people I am and they believed her. That's all. I'm getting it annulled, I swear!" Alexandria didn't seem to realize how overused those lines were, by people far sleazier than she could ever be.

Mayterial's eyes narrowed at the story. "So, hold on. Is that why she's in prison?" Something clicked in her head, "Social security fraud?" She shook her head, not knowing if that was the lowest of the low or simply genius. She had scammed her fair share of people out of their hard earned cash but this seemed to be on a whole different level.

"Maybe." Alexandria shrugged. "All I know is that she was able to convince Starfleet that I married her, and she took advantage of spousal privileges to get free travel and access to long-distance comms. Plus you know... priority access to all kinds of things." No one became wealthy serving in Starfleet, but the job its perks. Alexandria had rarely been around a place long enough to do the things she really wanted to do, but Starfleet and local governments often went to pains to make sure she got bumped to the front of the line for whatever was available when she did have a day or two to spare.

"And you haven't annulled it. Like the first chance you got?" Mayterial was a bit concerned that this could come back to haunt them. Although she was quite sure it wouldn't be able to come back around to herself or the ship. "You know she'll be able to access your accounts once she gets out right. Maybe even from inside."

Alexandria didn't seem too concerned. "She wants me to visit her. I've been deciding whether that's worth my time. I'm... curious. To see what she thinks there is to say."

"You're not genuinely considering that, are you?" Mayterial wasn't sure if Alexandria was being serious right now. "Look, make sure that whatever you do, get that annulment before we leave this station."

"Fine. Whatever." Alexandria said with what sounded an awful lot like teenage exasperation. Maybe she did still have some growing up to do, but the captain was starting to sound an awful lot like her mom... who had more or less said the exact same things upon learning about her fraudulent marriage. Alexandria could handle taking orders, but she didn't like people telling her how to manage her personal life. "I guess I'd better start cleaning that mess..." She said rather grumpily, before trudging off toward her room.

"I guess we'll get around to the shuttlebay later." Mayterial wasn't sure this woman was the right person for the job, but she had been in Starfleet, something she needed to have Volok run a check on for her. She wasn't all there but exactly why that was she'd have to find out, probably the hard way. By talking to her.

[OFF]

Mayterial Droz
Captain
S.S. Fawkes

&

Alexandria Farron
Navigator
S.S. Fawkes

 

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