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A Giant Pile

A giant pile of dung, a royal family, and a missing Kvatch Beast.. Jones and crew finds himself neck deep again.

Shaking the rust off

Starbase Bravo

“How is it that drinks don’t fill themselves?”

“Because we have burned up any tab that we may have had long ago.”

“Well why is that?”

“Because we don’t pay, get run out, and then they say don’t come back unless you bring latinum. We bring latinum, enough to pay up the debts and then one or two extra for a drink, and then we start the cycle over.”

Walt looked at the last bit of the the bourbon in his glass as Keralm continued to go on about the inequities of the galaxy and in a post scarcity economy he shouldn’t have to pay for a drink, and that this was a racket. He wasn’t wrong, but everything had a cost. 

“Ker, you didn’t earn free drinks, so you have to pay. Simple as that, in fact, there is a Starfleet Recruiter right over there, that I’m sure would love to promise you all kinds of free drinks for the low, low, cost of scrubbing a power converter clean.” Walt pointed to an office across the promenade deck.

“Well, it still isn’t right.” The Andorian pounded the last bit of alchohol from the glass, licked it clean, then set it back on the bar.

“Well, lot of things in the galaxy aren’t right, you just deal with it.” Jones finished his drink. “Krolth should be here shortly, then we can get out of here and earn you some more booze, sound like a plan?”

Ker sat for a moment, “If I joined Starfleet, would I be able to shoot things?”

“You get to do that now”

“But there would be drinks”

The captain sighed and threw a few slips down on the bar. 

“Fine, have another on your captain”. The Andorian smiled as he waved over the bartender. They had to get off of the station and back out into the space lanes. Back out and make some living money. Ker didn’t know that what was thrown on the bar was basically the last of his spending money.

“Captain, I have secured us cargo and passengers. They are going to the Duraden sector and need to be there within three days, ten thousand pounds of Euridian manure, apparently the finest in the quadrant.” Krolth’s voice broke over the communicator.

“Hauling dung huh? Well, it pays the bill. Get them loaded and I’ll grab Ker and get the stuff together. Jones out.” Walt scratched his chin and went over to the bar. “Kid, we’re going, finish your drink, grab what you need and meet me at the Warden.” 

The Andorian finally showed a bit of life in him. “Bout time, what we hauling.”

“Dung”

“Well that tracks” 

“See you at the ship, we are leaving as soon as everything is beamed into the cargo holds.” Jones headed towards cargo bay three where his ship had been waited for far too long to head out. It would be nice to get back into space, back into the dark, and now that the Borg were more or less taken care of, there was only the normal threats to worry about.

Oooh that smell

Cargo hold 3

The smell was sickeningly sweet, giving off the order of orange juice that had been left out for weeks. In front of Walt was a five-meter-wide pile of Kvatch dung, and the flies that went with it.

“Do not swat the flies, they are considered royal retainers, for every one that dies an unnatural death, 10 slips come from the pay.” The representative from the Zanto government cautioned as Walt was about to unceremoniously end one of the flies’ existences. 

The captain lowered his hand. “Ok, but what is the deal with this, umm.”

“Royal dung, as produced by one of only three Kvatch’s that are suitable for nurturing the royal garden’s flowers.”

“Yes, ok, but” Walt scratched. “Is that it?”

“There is a timetable to get it to Zanto, are you up for it or not Mr. Jones.” The representative stared at him.

“Captain actually and yes, as long as the credits go through, I’ll make it happen. Anything else I need to know about this very unique cargo that I’m hauling?”

“That you shall not touch it with those unclean hands.” The ambassador looked down at Walter’s hand and scowled. “Unclean, but at the moment, will have to do.”

“Should I get a shovel or a bucket to move it??” 

The ambassador frowned. “It would need to be blessed by the Grand Star of the Bogat”

Walt, who had stopped paying attention, turned his attention to another metric ton of the Royal Dung being transported into the cargo hold. “And of the passengers?”

“There will be two passengers, one Grand Guard of the Order of the Kvatch, who will remain in the cargo hold, and one Inquisitor of the Kvatch, who will begin the rights associated with those who will partake in the ritual once the catalyst is delivered to the home world.” The Ambassador smiled, his small part in all of this. 

Walt paused for a moment trying to come up with any other questions. The whole thing didn’t seem right, it was an easy job but also a bunch of stipulations that came with it “Alright, well, anything else I need to know?”

“It is imperative that the cargo arrives before the height of the full moon over the continent of the Aldeen. As long as you deliver it before the end of the night, there will be no issues.”

“That seems like a lot of conditions on this, we have an old Earth phrase that goes something like ”That seems like a whole load of””

Both of them turned to look at the cargo door as it wooshed open. Kerlam stepped in, his nose wrinkled. “What is that smell?”

“That’s the smell of extra drinks at the bar. Ker, get the engines fired up. We’ve got a full moon to catch.” Walt turned and looked at the ambassador. “Your very precious cargo will arrive when it is needed, in one piece, or well pieces, or maybe a pile.” 

“Every scrap needs to arrive; I can’t stress that enough.”

“Every bit. Promise” The captain grinned at the ambassador.

“I suppose you will do; you are my only option at the point.” The ambassador, not fully convinced, frowned.

Keralm, side stepping the pile that was growing larger every moment as more was being transported in stood next to Jones. “We got this! Don’t worry, it is just dung!”

The Ambassador’s eyes went wide. “It is not just dung!” 

“Sorry! It just, I” 

“He wasn’t here for the list. I’ll make sure he is brought up to speed.” Walt smiled.

“Alright, get it there. Or else there will be dire consequences!” The ambassador scowled. He tapped a pin on his chest. “I have fulfilled the mission.” He turned towards Jones. “Six days, no more no less.” The Zanton representative disappeared. 

Walt sighed, “You know Ker, sometimes you got to take these dung jobs in order to appreciate the good ones.”

The Andorian’s antenna twitched. “Something seem not right about him?”

“Yeah, something is up with” He paused and motioned to the pile. “This, anyways, don’t touch it, get the ship cleared for launch. At warp five we should make it in plenty of time, if we get there early, we can orbit.”

“Aye” Ker left the room, leaving Jones with an ever-growing pile. He shook his head. This wasn’t the great comeback he thought it would be.