S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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Son of a gun

Posted on Saturday August 1st, 2020 @ 16:29 hours by Seh'tan Soeardjo & Mayterial Droz

Mission: Safe Passage
3403 words - 6.8 OF Standard Post Measure

Mayterial stood in front of the rack, all licensed and above the board pistols. Phasers that wouldn't go up over the maximum stun setting. She didn't mind, she wasn't really one for use of weapons, she preferred talking her way out of situations and she had gotten really good at it. The altercation with the Orion Syndicate, however, had taught her that not everyone agreed with that philosophy, there were a couple of people out there that took to the old human adage of 'shoot first, ask questions later', which was an odd thing to say since in her experience people that were shot rarely answered your questions, "So, how about this one?"

The Ferengi behind the counter seemed all too eager to show off some of his wares to this woman. She didn't seem all too affluent, but there was a certain ignorance about her when it came to the weapons, "Well, actually, perhaps I can do you one better. I keep this for my special customers, and you seem to know what you're talking about." He grabbed a small box from beneath his counter and opened it to show her a rather fancy looking phaser pistol. It seemed to be in the style of the old Bajoran militia, but there had been some modifications to the weapon.

"Is it okay if I take it out of the box?" Mayterial said hesitantly, she felt like a fish out of water with these products, and the fact that he was offering something up for a special customer immediately made her suspicious. She had worked with Ferengi before, and somehow they always managed to make her feel like she needed a long shower after their business was concluded.

"Marv, are you still trying to hawk that piece of junk bajoran pistol?" came a voice from behind a display of combat knives. The man had not moved, not turned to face the shopkeeper and his customer. He picked up an intricately patterned gorn bayonet, and without thinking, he made the blade fly and dance around in his hand in an effortless but clearly practiced maneuver. He then shook his head, disappointed with the weapon's balance, and put it back in the display.

The man then walked towards the counter where the peddler and his client were hunched over the weapon. "Don't get me wrong, lady. This line of bajoran sidearms has been a mainstay of the militia for the last 30 years. They are accurate at short and medium range, robust and strike just the right balance between punch and energy consumption. I have owned a few of those" he said confidently. "Or at least, these things apply for the real deal." He then proceeded to point out that the serial number did not match the Bajoran State Arms model, that it did not bear the state quality control stamp standard to Bajoran weapons manufacturing, that the assembly and finish were an amateurish patchwork at best. "The cherry on that turd sundae is that this power cell is an accident waiting to happen. Have you ever played roulette, lady?" he asked. "Because when that thing blows up, and it will" he paused to look into Mayterial's eyes. "It'll take half your face along with it, and that would be a tragedy for the ages" he finished, with a sly smile.

Mayterial immediately put the weapon back on the counter, as if it would explode then and there, "Are you kidding me?" She looked at the Ferengi that this guy had just identified as Marv, she then looked at the man that had stepped up to the counter next to her, "thank you for shining a light on this man's shady business," almost as if in a reflex she slipped into a 'damsel in distress' kind of role, "can you help a girl like me find a proper sidearm?"

In a blink of an eye, he took stock of the lady. While she did not strike him initially as a likely buyer for the wares Marv peddled, the fact that she was in a "personal defense hardware" shop to begin with indicates that she feels she might come to need one, not that she actively wanted one. The fact that she was looking for a sidearm instead of a more capable fighting weapon such as a rifle indicated that she foresees more of a self-defense or plan B sort of weapon. His eyes rested for a moment on the stylish and form-fitting attire the woman wore. Whatever her game was, she dressed for effect and whatever weapon she should carry would have to be easily concealable so as to not attract attention. "Derringers, Marv" he then said.

"Derringers? What's a lady to do with that?" Merv asked, agitated. There clearly was no love lost between the Ferengi and the intruding Noctan. "She needs something that will deter potential enemies at a glance, not a pea-shooter knife-ear!" He then picked up the fake bajoran pistol and turned his attention back to the lady. "Project confidence, and with something like this on your hip, you might never have to use it" he then said with a toothy grin.

"If your wits were as sharp as your teeth, you would have noticed that your Frankenstein monstrosity lacks the finesse and versatility your customer needs. Would you bring that thing at a the poker table? At a soirée? At casual or business meetings? Nah, what the lady needs is something she can slip into a boot. Wear on a thigh holster with a dress or skirt. Dissimulate under a jacket with a shoulder holster."

For a moment, 'knife ears' and Marv engaged in a staring contest... before turning their attention turning towards her.

The way that the man looked through her was on the one hand very intriguing, but on the other hand it was rather disconcerting, "I'm starting to feel that I shouldn't buy anything here at all, I'm sure there's some more reputable seller on the station," Mayterial turned to face the man that had budded in on her transaction, "can you tell me where I could find one of those Derringers you mentioned?"

"Oh I am sure that we can find that somewhere on the lower levels. I know this guy... Mazarite... runs his business out of his ship on deck---" Seh'tan started, before being interrupted by the seething Ferengi.

"If you're not going to buy anything, vacate the premises!" Marv shouted in a shrill screech gesticulating wildly.

Feigning haughty indignation, Seh'tan gave the Ferengi an indignant glance. "My... how very rude" he spoke, mockingly, offering the beautiful stranger his arm and motioning to leave.

Mayterial slipped her hand into the nook of the stranger's man as he started to lead her away from this rip-off Ferengi dealer. She should know better than to come to a place like this without a Master-at-Arms, everyone has their strengths, and this was really not it.

"Oh and Seh'tan! I will see to it you are blackballed in the Alliance. Mark my words" he spat out, arms crossed.

"Seh'tan, is that your name? Or is that something you told him to call you?" Mayterial knew very well that there was a huge difference between the two for her, though she had realised in her time out in the quadrant that this wasn't always the case for others.

"It is indeed my name. I have gone by others since, but my dealings with the Ferengi Alliance -and it's underbelly- predate even leaving my home world to ply my trade among the stars" he explained, his one free hand resting on the pommel of the archaic saber hanging from his belt. "But now you have me at a disadvantage" he said, hinting at the question as they nonchalantly made their war towards the turbolift.

There was a moment of consideration, Mayterial had a plurality of names to draw from and it made a difference as to what her intentions were for this man going forward. Knowing his observational skills she couldn't go with a non-Betazoid name, because she wasn't wearing her lenses, and seeing how he helped her and she was in the market for a Master-at-Arms she felt it might be best to just play it straight, "Mayterial Droz, Captain of the S.S. Fawkes, docked over at airlock 13."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance, captain" Seh'tan replied, with a curt nod. Let's connect the dots, he thought. Airlock 13 is reserved for charters like cargo, passenger ships and the likes. Having occasionally provided security on long haul freighters, he regarded their day-to-day business as generally consisting of milk runs. Rather dull and tedious affairs, but fairly lucrative. Considering she was trying to purchase a weapon, one can assume the last run was more eventful than usual. "And how fares the Fawkes?" he asked. "Something tells me the last haul was something of an adventure".

"You know how the fringes get sometimes, especially now," Mayterial shut him out by deflecting the question, "So, you look Vulcan but you don't act like one, what's the deal there?" She asked, hoping it was enough to distract him from the subject of her run in with the Syndicate and the fact that they lifted a priceless artifact from the Museum on Rangalor.

"Of course" he replied with a sly but barely perceptible grin, not pressing the matter any further. "Surely, a woman in your line of work knows of Noctus III?" he asked with an arched eyebrow.

"Oh, I might have heard of it," May of course was aware of it, but hadn't really gotten back there after her stint in Aukland. The thing she mostly remembered was the Neon, "it's just not the first place one thinks of when encountering a Vulcan."

"Planet was colonized some 200 years ago by a Vulcan splinter group. You know... different interpretations of Surak's teachings" he explained. "Made Vulcan real mad, and our relationship to the Federation complicated".

They eventually reached the section connecting the outer ring to the station core. There, an asian woman in old-style leathers and field gear was laying back against the archway. She waved to the man and came forwards to meet him. As they neared, she grabbed him by the leather straps of his shoulder holsters and planted a kiss on his cheek before repositioning before the pair. "Hey Sabertooth, you free later?"

Seh'Tan smiled and replied. "Not this time Xiao, I have some business to attend to", indicating to the lady at his arm.

"That's too bad" Xiao said, assuming a playfully disappointed expression for fraction of a second, but she seemed quite happy to see him just the same. Her attention turned to May, whom she proceeded to look up and down, biting her lip. "Nice catch" she said with an eager smile. "Who's the babe?"

"Someone looking for some firepower, Xiao" he replied, matter-of-factually.

A wicked smile formed on her cherry red lips and subtext as subtle as brass knuckles danced in her eyes as she replied, keeping her eyes on May. "Oh if it's firepower you're after, you went after the right guy. You won't regret it". She gave Seh'Tan a firm slap on the shoulder and made to leave the two alone. "Catch you later Sabertooth. Have fun you two!"

"She was... interesting." Mayterial smiled at Seh'tan, she could understand why there were people interested in him, not so much her though, but others, "So Sabertooth huh, any other fancy names I should know about?" The kind of names people handed out of themselves said a lot about them and Sabertooth was certainly up there in regards to interesting names to go by.

Resuming their walk towards the turbolift, "That one was my callsign" he said, thinking back on his service history. "Perion II. It was during the last Borg incursion. Xiao over there, she was on the frontlines, like me. Korian's Light Skirmishers were defending the colony", he said, tugging on one of three patches his sleeve. Her entire unit was mowed down by plasma barrages from orbit. There were wounded everywhere" he explained, his eyes growing distant as he spoke. "I was on a scouting expedition and I saw hell rain from the sky. I made my report, but instead of heading back as ordered, I decided to check for survivors and headed towards the direction of the blasts with the Argo".

Mayterial mostly remembered the days of the Borg invasion as a time where her side-business trading in illicit goods was thriving. A great many people wanted to escape the horrible reality of impending doom through substance abuse and she was all to happy to oblige. The individual battles never really stuck with here, it was always 'millions dead here, millions dead there,' they had all become a blur in her mind, "I may have heard of it."

When they finally reached the turbolift, they both entered the contraption. "Deck 17" he said, as the doors shut and the lift began to move. "There she was, treating wounded with a hypo in one hand, and a rifle in the other. There were -piles- of wrecked drones all over the place, and three expended rifles at her feet. She had been holding her ground for a while before I had gotten there. I knew the Borg positions well. I knew an offensive was on the way. There was little we could do for the people in the plasma-scarred crater. I pleaded with her to get in. Nutcase wouldn't leave her charges. I activated the distress beacon onboard the vehicle and positioned it to take up a defensive position with the mounted machine gun. I provided cover fire as she healed plasma burns and smoked whatever got through. We held for half an hour before reinforcements came".

"Well shit, now you're making me feel bad for not knowing about your heroics," Mayterial gave a weak smile, knowing it was probably a super traumatic experience for the man, and this woman.

"Damn reckless if you ask me, but there is no doubt she's the best damn medic one could ever hope to snap up. There's 20 men and women who owe their lives to that woman for her actions on that day alone, and one of them's a Starfleet captain today. She never was never quite the same after that tho. Her... appetites... changed in more ways than one" he said, leaving it at that.

Now that Mayterial immediately understood, perhaps then they had met back in those days. She knew quite a few medical officers that developed an appetite during those horrors. Nothing quite more terrifying than the Borg giving up on assimilating and rather wiping them out of existence. The Federation and its allies held, of course, but it had cost them dearly, and most of the Starfleet officers from that time had witnessed it first hand.

The doors of the turbolift opened on deck 17, and the pair exited and he led the way towards dock 5 where the aforementioned Mazarite was discussing with a diminutive 4-foot tall Klingon. "Judge me by my size, do ye" yelled the dagger-wielding vertically-challenged hot-tempered warrior. As the pair approached, it became clear that the warrior was not a kid, but a full grown man afflicted with a rare case of Klingon dwarfism.

"Everyone knows, it's not the size, it's what you do with it," Mayterial put up a broad smile and threw an arm around the small Klingon, "I'm sure the shopkeep here didn't mean any insult on your honour."

"Quite right" the Mazarite said, with a high pitched voice and a forced grin, but unimpressed by the Klingon's theatrics. "I was explaining to Korg right here that it might be best that the extra bulky new disruptor plasma bank he acquired should be delivered to his ship by qualified personnel rather than lugged around". He then threw his hands in the air. "Dropping it would only blow up half the deck. How presumptuous of me."

"Hm..." Seh'tan hummed. His gaze shifted from the Mazarite to the Klingon. "I think Daesher might have a point, Korg. How about you let me give you a hand with that? I'm sure we can manage you and I."

The diminutive Klingon looked to Seh'tan. "Sabertooth! It's good to see you! When did you get back to the station?"

"None of your business, Korg" the Noctan replied with a smirk. "Do we have a deal?"

Korg lowered his dagger, then placed it back in it's sheath. "Fine. I don't want none of his monkeys on my ship", he spouted, pointing at Daesher. The Mazarite dealer's eyes rolled in their sockets.

"I'll be with you in a moment then. The lady has business with Daesher" he then explained, and Korg took a few steps back to let them conduct their business.

Turning his attention to the dealer, Seh'tan gave the details of his companion's requirements, and they were presented with a few choice options... but one of them attracted his attention. It was an unusually flat and wide silvered box bearing the symbol of the Ferengi Alliance. He grinned. "I think you will have everything you need to -dominate- any situation you might encounter with this..." he then slid the unopened box over to her.

Mayterial frowned a bit at the odd choice of words but that went away as she opened the box, looking at a vintage Ferengi energy whip. Right next to it was something that might actually be useful to her in the form of a Ferengi derringer style disruptor. She had seen these things when she was still running her cons in the casinos and back-alley gambling huts, "that'll do quite nicely, how much for the set?" She asked the proprietor.

"Two strips, because you're a friend of Tooth over here." The Mazerite remarked with a grin, knowing that he wasn't really giving any discount.

Taking a moment to look over at Seh'tan, Mayterial had never been in the arms business before and she needed to know if she was actually not getting ripped off.

Seh'tan reached into the box and inspected the derringer closely. "Good craftsmanship. Made to order from the custom shop. The punch that thing'll pack is a few notches above standard configuration, but at a cost to the energy source. It'll take a Gorn out of a fight right quick, but don't waste your shots" he explained. "As for the other item... it's precisely what you expect it to be, and just as custom order as the first piece. They just don't make these like they used to. Whoever that order was originally intended for knew what they were doing. Daesher's doing you no favor, but at least he's not trying to rip you off like Marv was. It might seem steep, but they are premium range items, and might even give you a certain prestige in the right circles if played right".

"Well there you have it," May looked back over to the shopkeep, "You have yourself a deal." She fished two strips from a pocket and placed them in the Mazerite's hand.

As they finalized the transaction, Korg was slowly losing his patience when he noticed that matters seemed to have been settled. "Let's not waste time. I need that thing installed today" he said with some insistence.

Seh'tan, good on his word, reassured the Klingon that he would indeed help out as offered. "And I will only be one more moment" he replied. He then turned his attention to May. "It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Captain. I hope our paths will cross again" he said, genially, before resting his hand on the pommel of his saber, and taking an uncharacteristically courtly bow, which others might have deemed anachronistic but not entirely out of place for his character.

"If you're looking for a place to lay your head, and heading for the core worlds, I could always use someone of your particular background on the Fawkes," Mayterial pressed a button on her personal communicator and transferred her contact details to the man, "we're leaving soon though, so please don't hesitate too long." At the rather polite, courtly, bow May couldn't stop herself from making a curtsy, which came out a lot more smooth than a woman of her particular appearance had any right to make it, "Thirteen, that's where we're at, lucky number thirteen."


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