S.S. Fawkes - CF-142AC
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What's a girl like you doing in a place like this

Posted on Monday May 13th, 2019 @ 23:24 hours by Mayterial Droz

Mission: Pixie Dust
Location: The Emerald Nomad, Commercial district, Planetside, Olimar IX
Timeline: MD04 - 1330 hours

Any outpost, any starbase, no matter how small, had one. A bar where if you stepped in the voices dimmed a moment as everyone looked at you for not belonging there. Usually set in some dim corner of the town, unsavoury characters hanging around in front of the door. It scared off most people. Mayterial was a lot of things, but most certainly was not 'most people'. The invite to meet a possible candidate for the Engineering job on her boat had been slightly cryptic, the resume seemed extensive and the experience was beyond what she could ever hope to get on a private freighter. This sounded too good to be true. As a former confidence trickster she knew all about deals that seemed way too good to be true. Yet here she was. Ready to find the catch. Instincts on high alert, sparkling blue lenses in her eyes to hide her Betazoid heritage, she pushed the doors into the bar aside. As suspected the conversation took a lower tone for a moment as she stepped into the room. They seemed to size her up before most of them returned to their private conversations. She headed for the corner of the room that was indicated in the communique when the new potential crew-member reached out to her.

The corner in question was particularly dark, a broken light in an already dark and seedy bar. There was a form in the corner, cloaked in shadows - almost like the form was all black, in a blacked out corner. The most Mayterial could see was a vague outline. Humanoid, and impossibly large. The only feature she could determine were two yellow eyes, watching her with some interest. "Mayterial Droz?" spoke a warm and thick voice, smooth and rich like cream butter. It was hard to determine whether the voice was male or female, as it occupied a level between the two. As the voice spoke though, another feature became visible. Two rows of large, sharp, vicious looking teeth with pronounced canines, like steak knives. "I hear you're looking for an engineer."

For a moment Mayterial hesitated, she gently reached out to gauge a surface mood from the figure in the corner. It was almost comical how shrouded this person was in the corner, "Afraid people will spot you?" When the teeth revealed themselves, reflecting the dim light she wasn't really inclined to step any closer, "there's a lot of chatter around these parts." more than anything she was intrigued by the figure and she didn't sense any malice coming from it. Still remaining about two steps away from the table, her arms now firmly folded in front of her, she raised an eyebrow, "You know your way around a Groumal?"

"Long haul modular bulk freighter. Class three Synchrotec warp core. Depending on age it could even be a MacroLab one, either third or fourth revision. Cruising speed, warp five. Sixteen decks, sixteen crew, four spiral wave bank disruptors - if we're speaking of a stock hull that is." The teeth grinned. "Yes, I am familiar with Groumals." The surface thoughts were calm and collected, with a hint of curiosity and amusements. "I'm not afraid of being spotted. I just like my privacy, Captain Droz. Now, down to business. What I bring to the table is twenty-four years of Starfleet experience. I made it to Lieutenant Commander and Two-ex-oh on an Excalibur class before the - ... disagreement. Frankly speaking, I'm the best damn engineer you're going to find this side of the Travelian expanse. Now - your turn." Two massive arms, thick and muscled, ending in equally oversized, clawed hands, motioned broadly at May. "What do you have to offer."

Taking in all the words that the creature in the corner was saying, and the emotions that came with it, she felt something she couldn't quite place before they glossed over the disagreement that was mentioned, "What I have to offer is possibly the only operation in the sector that's willing to offer you a posting." There had to be a big reason why someone makes it all the way up to food chain in the Fleet and then tosses it all away to serve aboard an ageing civilian freighter under poor working conditions and even poorer pay. "So I think we should start this with you telling me exactly why it is that a ship like the Fawkes is your only ticket out of here."

"Not my only, but the only one at the moment." The figure leaned forward, out of the shadows into the dim light. A large, powerfully built canine figure, black fur with lighter gray accents. Keen ears perked, yellow eyes focused intently on Droz before her. "I mentioned a disagreement with Starfleet. I found the ship's XO riding my husband and moaning each other's name. Starfleet feels I overreacted when I smeared their innards across the walls. I served my seventeen years in a penal colony, doing hard labor. I make no secret of this, though it does not define me. If you're ok with someone on your ship who made a choice and did her time, we can do business."

Another eyebrow raise at the seemingly casual mention of the brutal murder of two Starfleet officers, "You have quite a way with words." That was one hell of a compelling reason of looking for work on a freighter though. And probably the only reason why help and experience like theirs would be affordable, "so, did the seventeen years teach you anything, other than how to best split a rock?" May had her share of detention facilities, though she was probably held in a different type of institution than the wolf creature laying out her life's story on the shabby wooden table.

"I learned that open honesty is the best way into any working relationship. All cards on the table, as it were. Prevents nasty surprises." She flicked an ear, tilting her head a bit at May and steepling powerfully built fingers, claws making a soft tick as they met. "And I learned that I had the right of it, all along. I don't fuck with your stuff, you don't fuck with my stuff and we'll get along fine. You pay me, feed me, I keep your ship and your weapons in working order. Now, once again, I'll ask, what do you have to offer. You've seen my hand, lets see yours."

Mayterial thought on that for a moment, honesty. That was a tall order in her case. "No matter how open you are, it doesn't seem to take away from the fact that you're apparently fine with double murder." She stood her ground a few steps away from the female wolf creature with beautiful shiny black fur, "What's to say that you don't take offence against something I say or do and decide that the most fitting punishment is the death penalty?"

The large wolfen women flicked an ear. "Come on now, Captain Droz. Do you really think I would've survived seventeen years in a penal colony surrounded by the most vile and vicious criminal elements in Federation space and come out on time and with clean record, if I took murderous offence at mere words?" She shook her head, looking at the woman before her - at eye height, despite the fact that she was sitting down and Droz was standing. "I had hoped you smarter than that. If you have a pre-conceived notion that I'm a murder waiting to happen, nothing I say will convince you to hire me and we're just wasting each other's time. If you are willing to give me a chance, then nothing more needs to be said either."

"You already know this is too good of an opportunity for me to pass up, but I'm also sure you can appreciate the fact that I can't simply brush off this quantum torpedo you just dropped on me in regards to your checkered past." May slowly stepped towards the bench across from the woman and sat down, "So let's start at the beginning. I don't recognise your species. What do I call you? Where are you from?"

"I'm a Sirran. We're a people from a world called Sirrah, in the gamma quadrant. We're not known to be very nomadic, so there aren't many of us outside our home sphere. And you may call me Mercy." She flicked an ear. "No, that's not my birth name, but - " A pause and a heavy sigh. "The woman I was then is dead. Died almost eighteen years ago. For better or worse, this is who I am now. I know you'll want my birth name for your paperwork and you'll have it, but Mercy is who I am now. I'm almost eighty standard Federation years old, but we're a long-lived people, and I'm in the prime of my life, as fit and strong as I'll ever be."

"There's a lot of things I'll need for the paper work if you're both an ex-con and from the Gamma quadrant." May pushed hair out of her face behind her ear, "but I'm sure we'll be able to get all of that sorted. If I make all of that effort I need some guarantees on your availability."

"My availability depends on whether or not you'll agree to my - shall we say, requests." Demands, more like. "I know the standard going rate for engineers onboard civilian freighters. I want 10% on top of that. And your permission to cannibalize and redecorate the storage space behind the engineer's quarters. I need the space, you see. My intention is to make it into a shower area sufficiently sized for a Sirran. Finally, double food rations - a body like mine takes a lot of fuel." Mercy flicked an ear, regarding the other woman with a steely expression. "If you agree to those terms, I can be onboard your ship in twenty minutes and start my duties right way."

"Let's handle those one by one shall we" Mayterial leaned back a bit, now she was in an area where she was much more comfortable, "You're an ex-con with a double murder to her name, you'll take 15% less than the going rate." she folded her arms, of course she was low balling her but there was no way that she was going to carry all the risk and pay this large canine woman for the privilege.

"No deal, captain." Mercy folded her massive arms over each other, a rather imposing sight. "With that offer you can just go find yourself some hack who followed a correspondence course and doesn't know his plasma vents from his disruptor emitters. My expertise and experience alone is worth more than I'm asking. My request is entirely fair." A beat. "Tell you what. Meet you in the middle. Standard rate - to start with. In time you'll see I'm worth more than that."

"Minus five, and I'll agree with the rest of your outrageous requests without making you pay a premium." Mayterial wasn't planning on running a charity any time soon so even if this woman was worth all her mettle she wouldn't be very inclined to start paying her extra from the goodness of her heart.

"Outrageous requests?" Mercy flicked an ear, tilting her head a bit. "I don't fit in the normal shower arrangements on a Groumal at all, and I'm willing to bet you demand at least a modicum of hygiene and personal grooming from your crew, and I simply can't survive on a single ration of food. You don't intend to starve me, do you. A body this size requires a certain caloric intake. " She narrowed her eyes, intending to make one last try for standard rate. "You said it yourself, I'm too good an opportunity to pass up. You can afford standard rate."

"Not if I'm paying for your remodelling of the Engineering bay and the additional rations. I thought an Engineer would realise that even though they give a nice blue shimmer and hum that replicators don't actually make stuff appear out of thin air." Mayterial really could use a capable engineer with the experience this one claimed to have. That didn't change the fact that she was barely making ends meet and even if she were going to pay standard rate the additional requirements to accommodate her aboard would probably not be feasible at the current income. "Minus five and you can start as soon as your documentation clears with the federal justice system and immigration."

Mercy stared at the captain for a good moment or two before finally giving a chuckle in that deep, rich voice of hers, and extending a massive clawed and silky smooth furred hand. "You drive a hard bargain. I respect that. You've hired yourself an engineer, Captain."

"It's a good thing we have some malnourished deck hands to climb in the maintenance shafts for you." Mayterial smirked and took the big furry hand to shake, "So, what's good in this place?" She looked around to try and see if there was a menu listed anywhere, successful negotiations always made her want to eat and drink.

"I'm partial to the roasted pork. Worth every penny." Mercy gave a shrill whistle and waved over a waitress. "You know what? My treat. To celebrate landing a job."

 

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