S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Calling an Audible

Posted on Friday November 1st, 2019 @ 09:44 hours by Alexandria Farron & Clinton Westbrooke Jr & Kenzia Nemet

Mission: Hot Couture
Location: Crew Mess, SS Fawkes
Timeline: MD03, 0830 Hours

Alexandria had slept poorly. It was hard to sleep while her mind raced with all the possible outcomes of a heist gone wrong. And there were many. The navigator was not an experienced criminal, but she knew the odds were not in their favor. The Orion dude who'd masterminded this whole thing apparently had their playbook, and Alexandria couldn't see how they were going to get out of this with both their crewmember and integrity intact.

Arriving in the crew mess, the navigator stepped up to the replicator and ordered a bowl of oatmeal, the only thing she really ever ate for breakfast, and also for dinner more often than not. She thought about her time in Starfleet's Aerospace Corps as she mashed the buttons on the dated, unreliable machine. The task group she'd served with had been trained and equipped to deal with Orion pirates, and they'd still almost gotten jacked. It wasn't wise to go to war with Orions. Especially not with only a Groumal-class freighter and a handful of weapons. And that wasn’t because of some holovid she’d seen. She'd been there, done that, and she’d been lucky to survive it. The folks on the freighter hadn’t.

That had been months ago, and she still wasn’t past the repercussions. She might never be. Yes, she’d survived that skirmish with the Orions, but they weren’t finished with her. Take down the right one, and their whole clan paid up to ensure the favor got returned. Starfleet Intelligence had advised her to change her name and live discreetly after she'd vaped Kevl xen'Ador, a notorious syndicate fighter ace. All the revenge contracts had to go on for the moment was her pilot's callsign and the ship she’d served on, but eventually they would get a name, and then a face. If either made it onto the news for this heist, her days would be numbered for sure.

Alexandria found a place to sit with her both of oatmeal. Two crewmembers attempted to join her, but she informed them that the table was taken. They clearly didn’t believe her, but they moved on anyway. She hoped that Clint and Kenzia, the ships quartermaster and signaller, had received and intended to answer her abrupt summons before she continued to alienate members of the crew. She threw back the hood on her gray hooded sweatshirt to make sure that they recognized her. There were a lot of new people aboard, and she didn’t know how many of them knew her face and name. Based on what she’d overheard, however, it seemed most knew of her as ‘the weird pilot chick with the bleached out hair.'

Nemet was never one to refuse a free meal and even if it meant sharing (or potentially sharing) her meal with outsiders she was in no position to complain. The spy business was not exactly lucrative much of the time, especially not here in the flea bitten vole's backside of the galaxy. Wrinkling her nose with disgust she shook off the image and replicated something that could pass for zabu stew...if you closed your eyes and didn't taste it...or smell it. She was also curious because someone had requested (ordered?) her to meet and she wanted to study the potential target. Walking past Alexandria - oh yes that one was distinctive - she wondered if the woman would invite her over. As the lone Cardassian she was equally distinctive and more isolated.

Clint walked in just as Kenzia walked past and caught her - surprisingly gently for a man built like he was - by the arm, "Hey, over there," He said, nodding to Alex's table, then letting go and heading over, "You're lucky I decided to check my messages this early, kid," He said, flopping down across from her. "Everything okay?" He asked, looking back to see if Kenzia had followed them. He didn't know the Cardassian woman well, just that she was on their team for the heist.

Startled by the unexpected contact Nemet almost backed away. Almost. But this was as good a time as any to find out why she had been contacted so setting her bowl of stew down she said by way of introduction, "It is customary to eat alone or with your equals. I will break custom this time." Taking a seat Nemet folded her hands together, gave Alex a questioning look, just waiting for the woman to say what she had contacted her about...

"On this ship we're all equals," Clint quipped with a grin.

Nemet gave him a sideways glance, "I will try to remember that." She said it with a trace of dry humor then added, "Even if it is sometimes difficult."

Alexandria nodded to Clint and Nemet once they joined her at the table. She pulled her bowl of oatmeal closer to her in a somewhat protective move. Contrary to what one might guess, she was not afraid of someone taking her food. But she was wary of germs. She seemed on the verge of speaking, but took a moment to look around first. A furtive move from an awkward woman. Now that the others had joined her, she pulled the hood of her sweatshirt back over her head. The lights were a bit bright, and she didn't like to wear her sunglasses while eating.

"I have concerns over certain elements of the coming operation." Alexandria began vaguely. "This disguise for the infiltration team is unlikely to work. Yes, to the guests at the event we will appear to be members of the staff, but the event managers will be looking for anything out of place, especially their employees. If we come under scrutiny, the plan will fall apart." Alexandria hesitated. "I would tell the Captain this, but... well, as you said, I'm a kid. I don't think she values my opinion on matters of... criminal activity." Though it made sense, it was a lie. And Alexandria wasn't a great liar. The truth was she was afraid. Mostly of Captain May... a dangerous person becoming dangerously erratic.

"Perhaps she will agree to a different idea for a disguise." The navigator said before eating some more of her oatmeal.

Nemet paused long enough to process the objection, had a spoonfull of stew, finally asked, "Is your concern the quality of the disguise or the quality of the fake identities?" She put her hands together thoughtfully, waiting for a response...she took pride in her skills and had been well trained. Not that she was insulted of course but it was an interesting game to play.

Alexandria fidgeted with her spoon in her oatmeal for a moment. She was concerned about both of those things, but she didn't doubt that they would be adequate when the time came. "I'm concerned about the nature of our disguise. We won't know the other employees. And even if we did, none of them will know us. And we'll be expected to be out front with the guests, which is where we don't want to be." Alexandria shook her head. Her unruly hair was long enough, and her slouch bad enough, that when she did, a few stray logs dragged through her oatmeal and left tracks of her breakfast on her sweatshirt. She didn't appear to notice.

"I believe I have a much better idea." Alexandria continued. "We go as city officials... building inspectors. It won't matter if we don't know them or if they know us. We'll have full access, even to their blueprints, and they won't care where we go, so long as we're not out front, making them look bad in front of their guests. And if our Captain's distraction works, they may even leave us unsupervised.

"Best of all..." Alexandria said, waving her spoon for emphasis. She almost looked excited. "I can guarantee that they will be expecting us when we show up for a surprise inspection that night."

Nemet shrugged, "Ah well there are many ways to cook a vole but I would go for roast belly." They would not understand the expression so she clarified, "That is my way of saying your idea could work however I prefer my own strategy...and trust me I have been expected to infiltrate many places in my career."

"Alright, hot shot, what's your brilliant idea," Clint asked, before quickly looking at Alex, "That could work really well, kid..." He said, then looked back to the Cardassian.

"Oh simply that I will follow the captain's plan....with modifications to maximize my own survival. I believe I can create false identities that will pass but I will go in well armed just in case. As a professional I would not be agreeing to this if I doubted my skills." Nemet was not sure if the woman was questioning her abilities or not but she was not about to mince words, With a laugh she added, "If you want access to weapons just let me know....in fact I can improvise an explosive if you are really concerned."

"I'm not doubting the captain," Clint clarified, "I think the waitstaff thing is a good idea, but Alex has some good points too," Clint said. "May's the type of CO that'll want to hear any other ideas that might work better, and I think this might," Clint replied. "How would you let them know to be expecting us, kid?" Clint asked.

Alexandria stared as the Cardassian woman offered to supply them with weapons and explosives. Who was this lady? The fact that she was a Cardassian didn't mean much to the young navigator, who had still been in diapers during the Dominion War. Cardassia had been a rare topic during her homeschooling, and she'd yawned her way through most of the war stories during her Starfleet Academy days. If there was one thing she'd learned, it was that veteran starfighter pilots were full of shit.

Not sure how to reply to the signaller's offer, Alexandria shook her head in what she believed was a polite decline. If this thing went bad, then they deserved whatever they had coming. She really didn't want to double her prison sentence by carrying a weapon, or possibly spend the rest of her life there after using it. Maybe that was amateur thinking. Alexandria wasn't a professional criminal. She wasn't a professional at anything... except maybe ping pong. Before the Interstellar Olympics Committee had banned her from the sport, that is.

"Uh..." Alexandria realized she'd been lost in thought, and that Clint had asked her a question. She quickly fished a datapad out of her hooded sweatshirt's front pocket. "I did some searching through public records and discovered that these two gentleman have been having some sort of feud over a mutual lover." She leafed through a series of local news articles and public court records. "It's all been cleverly suppressed. The curator of the museum we are... visiting apparently upset a local city official's marriage. Neither wants the public to know about it, of course, but the city official has apparently been using his position to try and interfere with several events at the museum. Random building and fire code inspections, health and public safety inspections, utility interruptions. In return there have been civil lawsuits that have gone nowhere. It's a race to see who can get who fired first and neither is winning. If we show up as building inspectors, they'll probably have instructions to get us in and out of there as quickly as possible, rather than risk a scene by holding us up." Alexandria shrugged. "I didn't want to risk trying to look into a secure system to see if there are actually inspections scheduled. But we should. That could jam us up... if we come as fire code inspectors, and then the real guys show up. If we can see that list, then our disguise will be whoever isn't on it."

Nemet got the distinct impression she was disturbing Alexandria...she might be wrong but she got that feeling. So of course she couldn't quite resist stirring, "So no explosives then? A pity...I have not had the chance to play with such things for a while - mind you it was not my specialty." She smiled and did not elaborate on what exactly she had been trained in, it tended to bother the delicate minds of the Federation. Some of them anyway.

Alexandria blinked. "I would hope not." She deadpanned. Demolitions expertise wasn't exactly a marketable skill in this line of work. Or at least the line of work she'd thought she was in. Her martial training in Starfleet had been limited to handheld phasers and starfighter weaponry. She knew how to aim and fire torpedoes, but she knew nothing about explosive devices beyond that, and she wasn't really interested in learning.

"Look I can't speak for him," Alexandria said, nodding toward Clint, "but I'm not setting off bombs in a building full of people. That's crazy. Who does that?" She added with incredulity.

"I mean... if it was a building full of slavers or child molesters or something, I'd probably be okay with it," Clint admitted. "But in this case, yeah, I'm with the kid."

"Pity, it might have been fun." Nemet said, quite dead-pan. "Next thing you will be telling me I am not allowed to stab anyone and then what will I do?" Sensing they were taking her far too seriously she snorted, "I am joking....really if you take everything so seriously you will end up turning into a Vulcan. And even they have a sense of humor."

Clint looked at the Cardassian for a moment and cleared his throat, "In situations where I'm likely to get killed if shit goes wrong... I uh... I tend to be a little more serious," He quipped.

"Hah." Nemet snorted with laughter again, "The time to be serious is when the vole has its teeth in your throat." She looked him in the eye for once and said with rare honesty, "I have survived enough situations that should have been the end of it so I prefer not to be solemn until I have to. It makes life too dull if I am always thinking about survival."

"Yeah... okay then," Clint said, nodding slowly before looking back to Alexandria, "Do you want me to take the idea to the skipper? I think it's solid, and I think it'll be a much safer bet," He explained.

Alexandria looked down, deeply troubled about... everything. This was going to be a disaster. Half the people going on it appeared to be criminally insane, and the other half? Well, Alexandria didn't even know. As she looked down she noticed that she had oatmeal in her hair.

Great. No wonder why Clint kept calling her 'kid.'

But there was a silver lining, at least... one task complete. She wouldn't have to be the one to present the idea to Captain May. She nodded approvingly to Clint, trying to look confident. In truth, she very much wanted to go find someplace to hide, and prepare herself mentally for this task.

Clint nodded back, "Alright... anything else before I do?" He asked.

Nemet shook her head, "If you change your mind about anything...just anything...let me know. You might like to have something more forceful than a phaser after all." She gave them both a wry smile, "However knowing what I know of the Federation I suspect you will turn me down."

Alexandria paused for a moment, spoonful of oatmeal hovering near her mouth as she processed Clint's question and Nemet's comments. Realizing she'd frozen, she abruptly shoved the spoonful into her mouth. Where did Captain May find these people? Clint seemed okay. A little blase when it came to criminal activity, perhaps, but okay. Nemet was something else. Alexandria couldn't tell if the talk of weapons and implements of destruction was legit, or merely a ploy to make her seem the most dangerous among May's menagerie of maladjusted personalities. The unsettling thing was, she couldn't say which was worse.

"No weapons for me." Alexandria made her stance clear, though she thought she'd done that already. Perhaps not. She turned to Clint. "No, I think we're set for now. I'll continue to work on the disguise." The navigator tried not to think about how she fit into the menagerie. A sane person would probably be using the time to look for a new job.

 

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