Throughout the quadrant, there are pockets of unrest and domains that sit just beyond Federation jurisdiction. These tend to be breeding grounds for the sort of fodder that are attracted to the high risk, high reward life raiders have to offer. In one dubious area, a dark asteroid dubbed ‘The ‘Black Rock of Fortune’ is run by a Ferengi corporation. It is here that Starfleet Intelligence believes is the best place for their operatives to begin their covert mission.
Raiding activities near the Cardasian boarder increased to alarming levels. Instead of sending a task force to stomp around, Starfleet has opted to send an undercover team to attempt to infiltrate the group. However a few rumors suggested another group would work the other side of the border.
Just a few weeks ago, R’Tor was flying a desk with the JAG, but a promotion and orders from the admiralty placed him in charge of a ship and a crew that had a few rough edges.
The orders also required some major alterations.
With his arms outstretched, R’Tor examined the smooth tan skin of his hands. Someone handed him a mirror and he gasped in shock of seeing his own eyes looking back at him with an unfamiliar face. It was almost too much for R’Tor to handle. Once a young black and white Caitain, R’Tor looked like a middle aged Talarian.
He was a bit shaky as he stood up, but eventually he got his bearings.
The starbase commander and two security officers escorted him to the docking bay. The Dealer’s Gambit, while it looked like a dilapidated civilian transport, it was actually an Aquarius Class starship in disguise. Advanced sensors, propulsion and defenses made up this little craft.
As R’Tor stepped onto the bridge to meet his team of officers, also in disguise. His XO, CMD Russell, with the visage of a dower Klingon and his Chief Engineer, Colt was sporting the antennas and blue complexion of an Andorian. The remainder of the crew required little to no cosmetic enhancements, as most were not stepping off the ship during this mission.
“You look thinner sir.” Colt smirked.
R’Tor grinned and responded, “Keep it up chief and I’ll make sure they make those antenna permanent.” Light laughter floated throughout the bridge.
As R’Tor made his way to the center of the room, he made an announcement. “From this point onward, my name is Atel Ranor.” He look around the room to make sure he caught everyone’s attention. “Ranor.” He emphasized.
His XO, gave a nod and shouted, “Ranor.” And he encouraged the others to join in. Around the small bridge nods of agreement and the soft echos of the name resonated, till finally everyone on the bridge was chanting. “Ranor, Ranor, Ranor.”
“Alright, alright.” R’Tor/Ranor, became serious, “That’s enough.” And he took a seat in the command chair and had an odd sensation. He did not have to worry about where his tail would go, because his tail had been surgically removed and placed into stasis.
R’Tor/Ranor felt ill at ease without it, but the doctors assured him the could reattach it. He turned his focus to the mission.
“Helm, set a course for Cardassian space.” Ranor stated as he sat back in the chair. He had a lot to get use to in a short amount of time. A new look, a new name, not to mention a whole team. There was a lot to get use to, but he was determined to accomplish the mission. After the ship cleared space dock, there was a bright flash from the nacelles and soon the ship was disappearing into the vastness of space, leaving behind just a flicker of light.
For the past three weeks, Ranor had managed to pass himself off as a smuggler. He made contacts with a few rouges who seem determined to unbalance the peace in key sectors of the Alpha Quadrant. This came as no surprise as dissident groups, similar to the Maquis tended to rise and fall quickly in these lawless areas of space.
Covered with volcanic ash, the surface of the small rock was dotted with small buildings and domes. Nestled nearly 2 1/2 miles below the surface, large caverns held gambling dens that serve as a backdrop for black market and smuggling operations.
The Obscure Oasis was a popular meeting and gambling spot. Lights, laughter and noise of the games made for an environment where latinum flowed like wine. He expected to encounter his unsavory contact at any moment, so he decided to stop in and have a drink.
Lights over the Dabo table flickered as players cheered and Ferengi waiters dash back and forth between the bar and their customers. Cocktails, snacks, and other vices of choice were on the menu in exchanged for slips of latinum. Attractive and scantily clad Dabo girls were juxtaposed against their abhorrent and flirtatious patrons. The deeds those women must endure to earn pay for their masters, that thought angered him. He had to shake it off, he was to gather information and didn’t need any distractions at this point.
Despite the low light, he easily spotted his contact. Sitting in a dark corner, a dumpy Yerdian and short Antican were surrounded by three Ferengi . They appeared to be in an exchange of some sort. From the antics of the Frengie, it appeared a fairly important negotiation taking place. They were so animated that the group looked like a band of rats squabbling over a piece of cheese.
Ranor nodded and motioned with his head that the Antican should join him when we was free. Ranor walked toward an empty table, along the way he grabbed a waiter by the arm and snarled a quick drink order.
To emphasize his point, he gave an extra squeeze to the man’s arm.
A half hour later, Bel-voraat, his Antican contact stood up and shooed the gathered assembly away. He joined Ranor and seemed grateful to be away from the small mob of Ferengi .
“Greetings, I was not expecting you back so soon.” The Antican greeted him in a slurred tone.
Ranor ignored the comment and went directly to business. “Whats in the bag?” He snarled. Bel waved his hand dismissively, just a bit of cargo for you. “Nothing a professional smuggler like yourself can not handle.”
Bel-voraat opened the bag to reveal a small cylinder. Ranor’s eyes went wide. “No.” he exclaimed. “That’s not what I think it is, is it ?”
The Antican gave a slow nod with an sly smile. “Bio-mimetic gel.” His eyes gleamed. “I have a buyer, just on the other side of the boarder.” Ranor wanted to ask how he got the substance, but thought better of those probing questions. As he examined the container he noticed the distinctive Federation markings.
Bel-voraat handed him a small data pad, “This has the heading and all the information you need for the job.”
“This type of shipment will cost extra.” He leaned forward, “Hope you can afford it ” He stood up quickly, took he took bag with the gel and began to leave.
Bel-voraat called after him.
“RANOR!, Just a reminder, if you don’t complete this mission, you will be dead.” The way he said it, made it sound like the statement had a double meaning.
Ranor shot back, “The same goes for you, if don’t have my latinum when I return.” And with that he departed.