As the Vondem Rose lurched out of warp, Sidda sighed as she slumped back into her chair. “Well, how far out are we?”
“Not far at all actually. Looks like we were riding the storm front pretty well,” Orelia replied from Ops, a few keystrokes changing the mainviewer to bring up a few enhancements. The roiling blue mists of the ion storm suddenly overlapped with a model of a sphere, a single large green data point and then a gathering swarm of other green pinpricks. “Nicely done Trid, looks like we’re about an hour out at impulse from Rosalie and Royal Station.”
“We’d have been closer if that damn storm hadn’t collapsed the warp field early. Only needed two more seconds,” the bajoran woman replied.
Sidda shook her head at that. She’d swapped Lewis for Trid again with Gaeda when she sent him off on legitimate business and was already starting to regret the decision. The woman had started to become more and more impatient and snappish lately and it was wearing on her nerves. “Well, it gives us more time to size up the other party guests Trid, so don’t worry about.”
“If you say so boss.”
She rolled her eyes with none to witness, then stood and walked around the bridge to stand beside her fellow orion. “What we looking at? Please tell me Handsome Steve isn’t here.”
“Usual band of miscreants,” came the reply. “But sensors are having a hard time figuring out who is who. I’ll tell you more when we’re deeper into Rosalie’s magnetosphere but from what I can see, storm must be driving every pirate, grifter, thief and low-life in the sector here. LPK really is going to have an auction in all of this?”
“Chance to throw the social event of the season without the possibility of Starfleet showing up to ruin things just couldn’t be ignored, even if short notice.” She smiled, one that hide a plan that her crew knew, bringing a smile to a few faces around. “Senior crew briefing, mess hall, twenty minutes. Get the word out. And bring a list of who’s here. If we just snuck in, no one else is coming in behind us.”
Twenty minutes later and she found herself walking into the mess hall with the senior crew all present and accounted for, conversation dying as she walked in with Revin on her six. Revin had become the shadow they all expected to see nowadays, as glances were made not to watch her but just confirm she was there, then on the holoproject she threw on the table, the jolt activating it. It’s Klingon design went for the classic deep red colouration when projecting a three-dimensional schematic of Royal Station, the hideaway of the self-proclaimed Last Pirate King.
“What do you get when you combine hubris, a bunch of pirates, treasure befitting a king and this crew?” she asked and was answered with hungry smiles and grins that would frighten the weak of heart. “Right then, let’s get planning.”
After nearly an hour of briefing her crew on her grand plan, of people offering suggestions and improvements and a notification they’d arrived in the area around Royal Station, Sidda had called quits on briefing and dismissed them so they could start preparations for all of their parts.
“Bold plan,” came the gruff klingon baritone as Kevak took an empty seat as the doors to the corridors finally closed. A hand set three glasses down on the table, the other sloshed a dark amber liquor into all three, setting the bottle on the table. It was just opened. “Last of that human swill you bought after that fleeter gave you some.”
“Yah, but I don’t do things without some idea of what I’m doing,” she replied, took a glass and pulled it towards herself, then a second and held it aloft for Revin to collect in her aimless wanderings around the room, having remained on her feet the whole briefing.
“She’s going to sell it back to it’s last legitimate possessor’s ancestors,” Revin offered. Walking behind her chair, she couldn’t see where her lover was going, but could tell not far from the sound of bare feet on metal. “All so they can return it and end a century old feud.”
“We’re good guys now?” Kevak asked before downing his whole glass, then pouring himself another.
“Profitteers,” she replied. “Who are going to extort them for everything we can.”
“Sounds like that ferengi has been talking to you to much.”
“Maybe,” she said, sipping at her own whiskey. “But I’m going to turn it around and use what’s due to help out a few more refugee camps and colonies, grow the company. Do something honourable.”
“And gain a reputation with the local pirates as well as kudos with Starfleet if it all goes well,” Revin supplied.
Kevak’s eyes narrowed, then he leaned forward. “You like to find your own weird source of honour in the galaxy, don’t you?” He waited for her nod of agreement. “What can I do to help?”
“Never thought you’d ask old man. Tell me, still got your old uniform?”
The old vulcan male standing at the window wore impeccable stately vermillion robes, a band in black around his waist and as his custom, hands clasped behind his back. He watched the last of his expected guests to appear through the aurora that had completely engulfed the dark blue gas giant known only as Rosalie, the light reflecting off of his expertly maintained black hair that reached his shoulders but for which not a strand was out of place.
For one Jamal al-Jabir, the raising of an eyebrow was not expected. “Something the matter sir?”
“When Operations had reported a klingon K’tinga approaching, I had not expected it to be painted in such a fetching shade of purple.”
Jamal stepped up to the window beside her liege and looked out the window for himself. He stood a head shorter then the impressively tall vulcan, his suit fine and tailor, but not in the same realm as the vermillion robes. “Where…oh, there.” The vessel had cleared the bright red and green aurora, the last of the charged plasma sloughing off its own shields as it settled into gathering formation of ships. “That purple looks familiar.”
“The human name for that shade is Royal Purple.”
“The Vondem Thorn? Well, Captain Sadovu has certainly had some success these last few months then.”
“It would appear so Jamal. Make enquiries with our other guests. I would like to know current events since we so rarely get proper news here. And send my regards to Captain Sadovu and request that she maintain her vessel at the outer most marker. Its substantial size might upset some of our other guests.”
Jamal stepped back to his rightful spot as he tapped in a few notes on his padd, previously tucked under this left arm. “Captain Sadovu’s transponder has flagged the ship as the SS Vondem Rose. Ops believes it to be a legitimate signal even. They can’t tell if it’s block four or five but that would mean it masses roughly half of all other vessels here sir.”
The vulcan turned away from the window, the swish of his robes a silent whisper as he then set off towards the door out of his office, Jamal quickly in tow. “Have security watch Ms Sadovu with a closer eye this visit. A ship like that she could have weathered the storm anywhere she felt like. She would only come here if she had a reason outside of my invitation to all in the area. I want to know why Mr al-Jabir.”
“He’s going to have security watching me more then usual. The whole crew even, but more so me. We use this to our advantage. Make a spectacle of things.” She leaned forward; her green skin tinged with the red glow from the hologram swirling over the table.
“So, more people are watching you so when you do something, everyone turns your way. You’re the distraction,” Deidrick said, his head nodding in understanding. “You’re going to want to start bold though.”
“That my dear,” Revin said as she walked around the table, a hand landing on Deidrick’s shoulder and running along to his other, “is where I come in.”
“He’s done it again,” Orelia spoke aloud as she read the message that had been sent to the Rose. Not the perfunctory messages for a ship arriving from station operations, but from the hallowed office of the Last Pirate King.
T’Ael, who had come up to the bridge merely to check a few things, looked up from the engineering console. “Called her Captain Sadovu?”
“What’s so bad about that?” Trid asked from helm, though not much she’d had to do the last twenty minutes after the Rose settled into it’s assigned orbit. “It’s her name, right?”
“No, it’s the name of her mother,” Orelia replied. “Yikes, it’s in here like three times.”
“What, her mother some other pirate out there and the boss wants her own reputation?” Trid followed up.
“No. Her mother’s Starfleet. Disappointed in her daughter for not following in her rules following footsteps.”
T’Ael chuckled, then made her way to Orelia. “Give me the message, I’ll give it to Revin. She can deliver it. You know he only does it to anger her right? Put her off guard and all that.”
“No argument here,” T’Ael said as she accepted a padd, one of the Federation ones aboard ship and headed for the door. “Have pity for Revin, she’s going to get both barrels once the boss reads this.”