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

Lie down and have a nap

Royal Station
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Orelia wasn’t terribly concerned with the rules of the game she was currently playing, just that whatever the game was she was beating K’tah at it, which was earning her a deathly glare she’d bear the brunt of later. After all, she had talked the klingon woman into coming and playing. Lern for this part had opted merely to stand behind his wife and watch but also to keep an eye out for any tails they might have gained since coming aboard the station.

With a well-played hand, an incredible amount of luck and stubbornness needed for any bluffing game, it was down to just K’tah and Orelia after nearly an hour of play. A small crowd had surrounded the gaming table, the dealer was forced to repeat a call for quiet on multiple occasions, the last however when the last player had been wiped out. Some nausicaan who vowed he’d get his revenge. Or was it a her? Who could tell with nausicaans anyway, right?

“Fifty thousand,” K’tah muttered before forcing a pile of chits towards the middle of the table.

It was a considerable total, nearly K’tah’s entire winnings, only a third of her own. She’d had a more successful evening though she was pretty sure it was Lady Luck smiling on her than anything. Some human game about matching sets or suits, numbers in order and such. A bluffing game was a bluffing game, right?

She nodded, looked back at her cards, then set them down so she could make an exaggerated display of counting out fifty thousand in house chits, push it forward, then reach down and pull a knife from her boot, setting it on the table. “Call.”

“Ma’am,” the dealer spoke, “we can’t appraise such a blade here at the table. I’m going to insist you remove it for now.”

K’tah’s blade met the table surface, point driving into the tabletop and that got the dealers attention. “I accept,” she growled.

Right now she couldn’t tell if K’tah was putting on a performance or actually pissed at her. She’d called with her knife knowing K’tah would as well, honour demanded it after all. Lern rolled his eyes in a very non-klingon fashion while shaking his head. When he tried to speak his wife waved him off, fire smouldering in her eyes as she challenged Orelia.

“This is,” the dealer started, but stopped when both she and K’tah turned on him. She with a ‘yes you will dear’ smile, K’tah with near murderous intent. No wonder ferengi typically didn’t like klingons in their gambling establishments. “The house accepts the added call.”

“Oh hells, let’s make it interesting, shall we?” she added, pushing her stack of chits all in, a further challenge to Kedah. But money was just money and the challenge was accepted easily enough. Not like it was their money to start with anyway, right?

With all settled, the entire pot of six players not up for grabs by a single person, be she orion or klingon, as well as two exquisite knives, cards finally got flipped to reveal just who one. First cards meant nothing, then second, then third. The fourth appeared and drew gasps as both had pursued different combinations to win. Then the last card eliciting cheers, anguish, joy and sadness from the crowd.

She shrugged, the loss just another in her life, but that was what games were for right? To lose in a controlled environment? “Alas, such a beautiful knife. Guess I’ll have to just borrow it from you now,” she said to K’tah who was smiling like a grish’ka cat, fangs bared, eyes wild and filled with the win.

K’tah reached for her knife, then Orelia’s, bringing them both to her before the dealer started to pool the chits together so a counting machine could total and sort. Then she reached up, grabbed Lern’s tunic front and pulled him down for a deep kiss which left him with a slight bleeding lip.

“Maybe,” K’tah finally said as she examined the blade after sheathing her own. “We can discuss the terms in our room.” She then turned on the dealer. “Credit that to my account. Anything less comes out of your worthless hide.”

****

“Why do we get the shit job? Just some idiot likely opened the wrong door.” The nausicaan male was built like most people expected of his species thanks to a very vocal and substantial portion of their population. Tall, muscle-bound, beady-eyed. But unlike so many others he didn’t think with his fists but tried to use his brain first.

Which hadn’t exactly endeared him to his common patrol partner, a tellarite of advanced years, colossal superiority complex and belief that he was the smartest man in the sector, their employer included.

“Because you’re an idiot who said such, so of course, Gremta is going to send you to check it out. And where you go, I go. So, this is all your fault.”

“I don’t see how pointing out the most logical situation is my fault.”

“Because doors don’t open themselves! The sensors showed nothing, didn’t they? Bloody nausicaans, good for nothing but hitting things.”

As they both rounded the last corner of the back corridors to the door that had raised the alarm in Ops, they came face to face with a scene they weren’t expecting. A klingon male with both a female of his species as well an orion woman, pushed up against a wall as the women were working at undressing him.

“Ugh, not again,” the tellarite muttered as he stepped forward. “Oi! You lot! You can’t do that here! This is a restricted area.”

For his part, the young man followed his diminutive superior at a few steps, as trained to avoid getting caught up in any ambushes as well. And well he had. As the tellarite had neared the orion suddenly turned her attention from her klingon compatriots and slugged the man in the jaw, then a knee that would have caught most in an unpleasant location caught the man squarely in the chest, knocking the wind out of him. Another punch and he was down.

Then all three were looking at him as his hand hovered over the phaser on his hip. Their state of undress was a ploy, he could see that. They could easily fight as they were. He’d get one, maybe two if he was lucky before the third would get him. And the klingon woman was now wielding a pair of knives.

“Wait!” he shouted, raising his hands, his exclamation seemingly effective in stopping an assault on his personage right now. “I…I can call this in, nothing to see here. False alarm. You go about your business; I go about mine.”

“Now see, that’s a reasonable offer, but how do I know you won’t tell on us straight away?” the orion asked. “Counteroffer, you call it in, then we knock you out, but you get to choose how, we make it look good, you get to be a hero afterwards when this all blows over?”

It didn’t take long for his brain to process that, the possibility of spinning a tale and making himself look good. The site was clear, called it in, then they got ambushed. His fellow guard took a head hit which is why he can’t remember. He fought valiantly but was ultimately overpowered. Why just look at the injuries. “Okay.”

With the threat of violence, it didn’t take him long to call back and say exactly what was asked of him, that the hall was clear, nothing to report. They were going to go on a full circuit, they’d report back in a couple of hours after walking the station. Then his communicator was taken off him by the orion, all three of this group having had a chance to fix their clothing.

“So, I was thinking the leg.” He surrendered his phaser to the klingon male. “It’ll bleed plenty if done right, but not vital. Then a few punches to the ribs, then a good one to the jaw and I’m out.”

“I can’t promise to knock you out with one punch,” the big man said.

“Don’t need to. You throw him and me into a storage closet, lock it from the outside and I lie down and have a nap.”

The klingon male turned to his companions, both shook their heads, then he stepped back as the klingon woman stepped forward, brandishing both knives, one klingon and one orion design. “Your choice.”

“Uh, that one,” he said, pointing to the orion blade. “It looks sharper…” And then he realised he had made a mistake as the d’k tahg was slashed viciously across his upper thigh, bringing forth a cry of pain as he went down.

****

“Orelia, you and a couple of people of your choosing are going to get into the back corridors of the station. Wait for T’Ael’s signal that she’s compromised station security before you go. I don’t know, enjoy the casino for a bit. Once there, however, you’re to find your way to LPK’s assistant’s office.”

“What for boss?”

“Steal his credentials. Of course, that’s not the real purpose. You’re acting as another layer of distraction. They’ll have to come after you, can’t let such an intrusion stand. And yes, they’ll know. I bet the offices are all on separate security systems we can’t access. Then they have to change Jamal’s access details because of course you’re going to send them to someone, not me by the way. And they’ll have to redivert security to the vault since until Jamal’s codes are changed, the vault is at risk.”

“How many layers of distraction are in this plan?” Deidrick asked.

“A few more. But, with all of this going on Deidrick, we can get to your part.”

****

Not fifteen minutes later, after the last few questions to their nausicaan friend, the three of them had made their way around the station’s back corridors and found the office of one Jamil al-Jabar. To Orelia’s surprise, it turned out that K’tah was pretty apt with electronic locks, the door opening in quick succession.

“Learned how to do that watching videos. This whole series about how to pick locks,” she offered as they stepped into the office.

They were in and out in under three minutes, raiding Jamal’s desk, stealing an isolinear rod with his vault access credentials, a few files off of his computer, then scanning the door and sending all the information on it to parts unknown. They dropped the names of a few different pirate captains as well, the rather thin ruse of a coalition working together for this heist.

And just as they stepped outside, a whole bevvy of station security was waiting for them.

“Well, there is just an entire shutteload of you boys and girls isn’t there?” she quipped. “Well go quietly.”

****

The alert had gone off on his device, followed by another to attend to his superior’s office immediately. While a breach of his own office was dire, the displeasure of the Last Pirate King was worse and so Jamal made his way immediately, passing the bodyguard outside the door without so much as a customary salutation.

The vulcan was standing watching a security feed of Jamal’s own office and with an idle hand gesture invited Jamal to step up beside him to watch. “Security is already on their way. I’m curious as to what they think they are doing though. Surely Ms Sadovu knows I’ll have them made examples of once they talk.”

“I’m certain she does sir.”

They both watched as they rummaged his desk, finding the information they so clearly wanted. It was a raid for the keys to the kingdom after all. Keycodes that should have been safe behind automated and manned security which failed and a door lock which didn’t live up to its hype.

“Contact Mr Gremta, have security around the vault doubled. Do not pull it from those watching Ms Sadovu or her people already under watch. This could just be a rogue element. Then head to the vault and change all your details. They clearly have those codes now.”

“Yes sir.” He bowed, took two steps back before turning and was halfway to the door before he stopped. “I’m sorry I’ve failed you, sir.”

“You haven’t failed me yet Mr al-Jabar. Captain Sadovu is just…a worthy foe.”