S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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The art of the Deal

Posted on Friday May 15th, 2020 @ 08:05 hours by Mayterial Droz & Kenzia Nemet

Mission: Safe Passage
Timeline: MD01 - early afternoon

Some days it felt like the turbolifts on Starbases took days to get her to where she was going. Mayterial knew that this was going to be one such day. Even with the medicine, she had taken for her hangover it was still nagging her. She must've really overdone it. She remembered how she woke up with morning and couldn't suppress a shudder, "So, this is a cakewalk right? A formality, really." She asked Kenzia one more time to be sure, she really wasn't in a good state to negotiate contracts with Ferengi.

"A formality....I suppose you could phrase it that way. Like most Ferengi he will do anything for a price and is always hungry for a deal so this should be easy as skinning a vole." Nemet noticed, just vaguely, that the captain seemed a little fragile. Then again it was hard to read nonCardassians, perhaps they normally behaved oddly in the morning. Still, there was something niggling at the back of her mind, "Oh and I would strongly advise something...you see I have worked with Groud before and he might have developed the wrong impression of me. You probably do not want to let him know I have promised not to hurt him - well not physically anyway. I find terror is a good motivator when it comes to a deal with ferengi."

"Noted." Mayterial reminded herself that she needed to keep a close eye on Kenzia's violent urges. If at some point it would cross the line she'd have to part ways. That would have to be done in such a way that she wouldn't hold a grudge either. Though it didn't really seem like she did that towards the other captains that had used her skills for as long as needed and then discarded her. "So, any indication of the volume of his wares? One cargo bay? two maybe?"

"Oh if you listen to him he is going to exaggerate the size of his goods..." Nemet shrugged, "However if you rule out any questionable cargo - which I do - I would say a cargo bay is more than enough this time. Then again there may be a way to increase the size of the shipment, now that I think of it." She put her hands up quickly, sensing that for no good reason her less orthodox tendencies were a problem, "And no, it does not involve anything violent, I gave my word I would follow orders and I do not break that. It is simply a strategy that might involve dealing with another merchant, if you are interested."

"I'm alright with dealing with multiple merchants," Mayterial wondered why that would be a problem. Then she realised who she was talking to and started to fear who this secondary merchant might be.

Nemet looked at Mayterial and laughed, "Do not worry, I think you will like Ebria. It is only the traditional male Ferengi who dislike her and frankly that dislike is worth exploiting....you will see when we get there."

[Groud's private office]

"Nice place you have here, Groud." Mayterial looked around the rather spacious office, she picked up a small statuette that stood on the edge of a dresser, it was a brass ballerina that from the features on the piece seemed to suggest it was an Orion woman, "Nice." It was fashioned in a way that suggested it was relatively old and valuable, she then shrugged a bit, "Fake, but nice." placing it back on the dresser she faced Groud.

Groud didn't rise to the bait, instead he snapped, "I thought you were here to talk about profit not comment on my acquisitions." Barely looking at Nemet he added, "Then again keeping company with that one shows a lack of judgement."

"Good to see you again Groud..." Nemet just smiled a bit, "I told my captain all about you. Well almost all, after all some tales are better told after a good drink of kanar."

"I heard you had some stuff that needed to be moved, since I have a ship I think there can be profit in it for both of us." Mayterial smiled, making it an obviously fake one on purpose. She had dealt with Ferengi in the past, she knew how to make them dance, even without the ability to manipulate them telepathically.

Groud's toothy grin appeared at the sound of the word 'profit', "I do have some goods that need to be shipped for a reasonable price. Say two large containers - incidentally what ship do you have, something that can keep my property safe and free from...inspection?"

Mayterial wasn't happy with the question on avoiding inspection, "I run the S.S. Fawkes, and we're all above board. That should go double for any wears you wish to ship."

"I am sure any filth you want to send to Risa would be kept safe...." Nemet gave the vile little creature a disgusted look, "But really...just two containers? How disappointing, I had promised my captain you actually had the lobes of a businessman. A pity." She glanced at Mayterial, "I suggest leaving before wasting any more time on this szetrec."

"Thank you for your time, mister Groud," Mayterial gave a small polite bow before turning and joining Kenzia in the direction of the exit.

Nemet turned a little so she could discretely observe Groud as she said, "I apologize Captain for wasting your time here...but if you recall I did advise going to Ebria first." She trusted Mayterial would play along...and when she mentioned Ebria the little Ferengi looked like he was about to explode. Excellent. Nemet added, keeping her expression as bland as possible, "At least she has the lobes for profit -"

"Wait! Wait!" It came out like a strangled squeak mixed with rage - no way would he let profit go to that female who dared to wear clothing and called herself a businessman...(businesswoman?)...an insult to good Ferengi. Groud glowered, as much as he could anyway, then said, "Fine, I suppose I do have a little more to ship but I expect a very good deal."

"I should've trusted your advice, Miss Nemet," Mayterial only half turned back to the Ferengi before turning around towards the exit and continuing their departure. It was a risk, it could be that he would let them walk out of the door. But throughout the years she had learned that a good bluff will only ever become great if you're willing to die with the lie. A mantra oft-repeated in a time before she had the Fawkes, and all this crew depending on her for their jobs.

Groud made a move to follow, "Three containers and nothing for Risa -" Trust the scaly spoonhead to be fussy, "- all legitimate cargo." When they didn't immediately respond he added, "Make it four, and I doubt Ebria will give you as good a deal!"

Nemet paused, "Did you hear something? It sounded like someone was offering a deal....but then Cardassian hearing is not as good as some. I could be wrong."

Filling up four cargo containers on the first deal was pretty decent by any standard, plus they could still pay Ebria a visit after and fill up some more cargo holds, "I don't know..." Mayterial slowed her pace and pretended to take a moment to listen intently, "must've been the wind."

Nemet listened as well, pretended to anyway, "Perhaps it was the wind or just something equally noisy. Or perhaps the Ferengi wishes to say something....might I suggest you listen?"

Groud was frustrated enough by now to begin haggling, "Four and I will contract to ship more." That upstart female would not get a deal ahead of him, he would be humiliated in front of his fellow businessmen.

"Can I get that in writing?" Mayterial turned to face Groud. A promise for future shipments was about as valuable as the bin of spent yamok sauce packets in a Cardassian run diner.

"Are you questioning an honest ferengi businessman?" Groud looked both angry and embarrassed as being caught out....perhaps he would have honored the agreement without being forced to do it....perhaps. He glared and tried to outwait Mayterial.

Nemet Gave an amused look at both, "Why Groud here is honest as a Dabo girl....I would stake my life on that."

Mayterial produced a PADD from her pocket, swiped to get the right document lined up, "Look, fairly straight forward non-exclusive trade contract. You guarantee a certain volume every time we pass by here, I guarantee competitive rates. We both win." When dealing with a Ferengi it was always very important to either draft the contracts yourself, or to triple check every sentence with a fine-tooth comb. She prefered the former to the latter.

"Hmmmm." Groud took it, studied the contract for longer than he really needed to, "It looks acceptable." He signed and gave the PADD back with an elaborate flourish.

Nemet kept her expression neutral, though she was deeply amused, "The Ferengi has brains...and knows a good deal when he sees one." She couldn't help but add, "Well done my captain, well done."

"Good set of lobes," Mayterial pulled her own earlobes, leaving in the middle whether she meant Groud's or her own, "I'll send my Bosun and some hands over to get your stuff loaded up. Pleasure doing business with you." She gave a small polite bow before turning on her heels and walking out of the man's office.

Groud managed to say, "And with you...oh and Nemet always a pleasure. Of sorts." There he was glad he managed to get in a jab. This would cost him profit but at least he would deny that upstart female the opportunity to get anything for herself.

Nemet snorted to herself as they left, "As I told you...he would sell his own mother for scrap meat if it meant denying Ebria a deal. Consequently he is exploitable." She couldn't resist adding, "I must say you were right about something - this was much more effective without stabbing and far less messy. It does make me think...."

"There's merit in building long term relationships, even if it's with a Ferengi" despite the hangover Mayterial felt good about herself now, "so, lunch and then a visit to this Ebria person?" She was just getting into groove and felt they could play both sides of this rivalry.


Mayterial Droz


Kenzia Nemet

S.S. Fawkes


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