Part of SS Vondem Rose: Old friends, old scores, old debts and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Geez, give a cook a sash and he thinks he’s in charge

Royal Station
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When one makes an entrance, one should make a spectacular entrance, or so Sidda had been told once, years ago when she was a member of a crew, not the crew boss. Or the Captain. Or Queen Bitch.

So, when her party had finally arrived at the Grand Hall, as The Last Pirate King called what was essentially the hotel and casino portion of his private space station, Royal Station to further lend credence to his self-granted title, they attempted to do so in style. She hadn’t just come over with a few people, but as many as could comfortably fit on a couple of shuttles, thanks to the local transporter inhibitors. After all, an entourage was a symbol of power.

She herself had opted for a dark blue backless number, slit up her left leg ending at a fashionable height and then went ahead, much to Revin’s chagrin, accessorising with a gunbelt and her trust disruptor. On her arm, stunning as always, Revin had an emerald green dress that looked haphazardly draped across one shoulder and a moment from indiscretion.

To their credit every single member of the crew she had brought over had dressed to the nines as well, even going so far as to polish leather, shiny buckles and clean themselves up. Orelia and the klingon couple, K’tah and Lern, whom she stood in the middle of her, arms linked together. That was definitely something for braver folks, which Orelia seemed to be willing to try. Then Deidrick and a handful of newer recruits he vouched for, looking like a gang of young men with coin to lose and expectations of winning someone’s company for the evening. T’Ael had even managed to convince Trid to come along with her, for a ‘girl’s night out’, but only after she had spoke with the Romulan woman. She hadn’t confirmed Trid’s background, but had suspicions and what harm could come from actually getting her in some trouble?

But the pièce de resistance hadn’t been her and Revin, but convincing Kevak himself to join her little stunt. While her crew’s entrance had certainly drawn some attention, people urging their companions to look their way, the room had noticeably gone quieter when Kevak, decked in full klingon uniform had entered in behind them, followed a moment later by Bones who was taking a swig from a hip flask.

Of course, his uniform had been augmented, far beyond any station he had admitted to. A stole, bedecked with ornamentation fitting a colonel, a sash with a great houses emblem all accompanied by expected weapons of a d’k tahg and a pistol. But the uniform was only half of it, the other half was the performance as he stepped through the door, back straight, chest puffed up, as if he was ideal klingon commander who conquered a room by mere presence alone.

“And now they’re watching Kevak and Bones too,” she whispered, just loud enough for a few around her to hear.

For his part, Kevak stopped, held out his hand, which Bones in her finely tailor pant-suit filled with the hip flask, sipped from it, handed it back then held his arm crooked for her to rest her hand inside of before pushing past everyone else to head to the gaming floor.

“Geez, give a cook a sash and he thinks he’s in charge,” Orelia chipped in with mirth dripping from her words.

“You all know what to do. Get to it,” she said and with that pulled Revin in close for a squeeze before following in the wake of Colonel Chef Kevak, slayer of hunger, conqueror of bloodwine barrels and undefeated chilli champion of the Archanis Sector.

****

“Come on,” T’Ael said to the bajoran woman, clasping her hand and dragging her into the mass of people that populated the Grand Hall. “It’s not all high society crap.” Though call this high society was a stretch. She was after all Romulan, she knew high society when they decided to descend upon the peasantry and enact their sick wills.

Supernova was the best thing for damn sizable portion of the population.

“If you’re dragging me into another club,” Trid protested as she was yanked through crowds, brushing past people with some force thanks to her efforts. She could hear the woman throwing apologies behind her as they went, seeking towards the sound of music and even thumping bass.

Oh yes there was a club and a club meant fun.

“Prophets,” was all the protest she heard as she pulled Trid through the doors that portioned the club off from the other guest parts of the station.

The dark was vividly and rapidly illuminated by a mixture of lights and lasers through fog, timed with the beat of the music so loud that hearing oneself think was difficult, which in her own expert opinion was the point. Not even a minute in, having dragged Trid onto the dance floor, she let go of the woman’s hand and disappeared into the mass, the sound of people around her and the music drowning out any possible protest or pleas for her attention.

Hands drifted upwards, hips and shoulders started to sway with the music, head lolling from side to side. The press of the crowd, the pulse of the music, the atmosphere of the place, oh how she missed such! She knew her job however, had built in time enough to enjoy the dance floor, maybe find a dance partner for a bit, promises to meet up later.

He was tall, half a head taller than her, human, or close enough, strong and well built. He found her as they both moved with the flow of the crowd and anchored himself against it, his hands resting on her hips enough to stop her, gain her attention. Oh, now this would do. A few seconds, maybe an eternity, but more like five minutes passed before she was rudely interrupted.

Some woman, light pink skin tone, burst through the crowd and slapped her unnamed dance partner, shouting something at him she barely caught. The moment died as he turned to confront his assailant, then pursue her.

“Well shit,” she said to herself.

“You know how to pick him,” Trid practically had to shout in her ear to be heard. “Check for girlfriends next time.” Then the bajoran pointed at a door, occasionally visible through the crowd. “There’s our target.”

With a sigh, she took a moment to let everything flow away, then started through the crowd with Trid in tow. Past the people gathered around the outside trying to have conversations, or drinks with friends, past the lucky few who had found someone or the squabbling couples. Then through the door, which closed behind them and demonstrated remarkable soundproofing, drowning out most of the noise, just the bass that could be felt through the deckplates.

“We were told we could dance once we did out job,” Trid stated, pushed past her and continued down the brightly lit service corridor, deeper into the station.

“What, couldn’t find anyone?” she retorted, not even thinking about it till the words left her lips.

“Not until our part of the mission is over, then…then I’ll find someone.”

“Oh that I have to see.”

****

“T’Ael, it shouldn’t be to hard for you to find a computer terminal somewhere on the station. I want you to perform your magic and add all of our biometrics to the security whitelist.” Sidda produced an isolinear chip, dark red, darker still in the light of the klingon hologram, and slid it across the table. “It’ll get you into the security database. Cost a fortune, don’t lose it.”

“These schematics show the vault and station have separate security systems,” R’tin commented. “Whitelist won’t help us get into the vault, or even approach it.”

“No, you’re right there as always, but…”

“It’ll let us do all the other prep,” T’Ael finished for Sidda as she picked up the chip, inspected it and put it away. “I’ll need someone to watching my back while I do this.”

“Trid.”

“Why her?”

“We’ll talk about it later T’Ael, but trust me, Trid will do the job. Make a thing of it. Right, what’s next?”

“Believe that’s my team?” Deidrick spoke up.

****

The mezzanine looked down over the main floor from a fair distance. Enough to break a man’s legs in fact, though he’d only had to demonstrate that point twice. It had afforded him quiet the view as Captain Sadovu’s entourage had strutted into through the doors. As always, the orion woman had that air of arrogant invulnerability about it, that she couldn’t, wouldn’t fail. And this time however she had herself and escort for the duration of their stay.

“Mr al-Jabir, who is that young woman accompanying Captain Sadovu?”

Jamal stepped closer to the railing and looked, then stepped back. “She’s on the manifest as Verin, a romulan woman. Ocular implants were detected, but allowed as purely commercial models.”

“Perhaps with some company, the young captain may behave herself better this time.” Just then the quiet settled over the floor and he spotted the klingon colonel, with human companion, stepping in behind and through Sidda’s party. “Colonel?”

“Colonel Kevak sir,” Jamal provided. “He’s apparently travelling with Captain Sadovu. She’s vouched for his behaviour while here.”

“How interesting.” He watched a moment more, then turned and stepped away from the railing, stopping by a serving boy with a tray of wine glasses and for the stairs that would lead down to the main floor. “Take some of those watching Captain Sadovu’s people and reassign them to watching the Colonel. Should he become…intoxicated, perhaps he might spill some secrets?”

“I shall arrange for complementary blood wine sir.”

“Mr al-Jabir, ensure only the best we have in stock for the dear colonel.”