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

Now Mr al-Jabir, how about we talk?

Royal Station
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When invited into an enemy’s home, have a plan to make it your own.

That Orion proverb kept waltzing through Sidda’s brain as she was escorted through the casino of Royal Station on a somewhat circuitous route. It was as if someone was wanting to show off that they could summon her before them in front of the literal rogue’s gallery. She for her part walked like she owned the place, like she wanted to be escorted, that if there was a true power to be had, it was her.

Not that she’d want any respect from this lot anymore anyway. They thought too small, only cared about themselves and ultimately would try and snatch power whenever and wherever they could get it without thinking of the long-term consequences. That train of thought cracked her façade however. She realised she was…maturing? Goddesses no! Seeking stability maybe?

Were Revin and a larger crew really impacting her that much? Gone were the days of extortion on freighters, playing cat and mouse with Starfleet or the KDF, always just staying on the ‘interesting’ side of the law. But now she had a company, she was responsible not just to her crews but the contractors, sub-contractors and actual blue-collar folks working day-to-day jobs in the Archanis Sector still cleaning up after the D’Ghor.

“Fuck me,” she whispered to herself out loud as she was finally escorted off the floor and into a lift.

“Sorry Captain, did you say something?” the man who introduced himself eventually as Mr al-Jabir asked as the doors closed. “Offices,” the commanded the computer, which responded with a sweet little chime.

“Nothing important Mr al-Jabir. Just realised I’m likely not in this game for much longer.”

“I would be careful what you say to our liege Captain, for that could be a self-fulling prophecy.” He turned to face the door with perfect timing, stepping forward just as they opened and leading the way, Sidda next and the two thugs in suits behind her.

“Is that a threat Mr al-Jabir, or a promise?”

“A friendly warning Captain. I do hate the complaints from the cleaners when they have to get the blood out of the carpets.” With that warning, he stopped in front of the door at the end of the hall and tapped at a call button, waiting a moment before the door opened by itself.

She could immediately smell the faint incense that had been burning or still was somewhere in the room. Some floral noted wood, giving hints of ash as it burned and something oh so familiar but that she couldn’t place.

Mr al-Jabir had stepped aside and she noted gone to a small cabinet to pour drinks it seemed, not that she’d drink anything without seeing it poured from the bottle and sipped at by someone else first. The muscle had remained outside, likely because she knew they wouldn’t be needed. If the Last Pirate King wanted to kill her himself he was more than able to, especially since she was unarmed, which once more she confirmed for herself with a reflexive pat of the empty holster on her thigh.

Her eyes finally settled on the tall gentleman in the robes by the window, back turned to her as he watched those below, like a solitary king watching his court. She smirked, her plan had seemingly gone off without a hitch so far, which placed her as the usurper about to strike. Oh, the havoc she was going to cause, especially when she threw the crown to the wolves.

“Captain Sadovu, would you join me please?” the Last Pirate King asked, though his tone was clear in its demand, the implication of displeasure should she not.

“It’s Captain Sidda, T’rev of the house Sh’rel of P’Jem.” She stood her ground and waited as the vulcan slowly turned around to face her, one eyebrow raised as he inspected her. It had been years since she’d seen this man up close and he didn’t look like he’d aged a single day.

“I was wondering who would be the first of this generation to ever use my name,” T’rev, the Last Pirate King, spoke, his voice a carefully modulated stoic tone. “Do you think knowing my name means your special Sidda?”

“No, just means you aren’t. You’re just another man. A man who when you do a bit of digging and investigating happens to have led an interesting life, including a few escapades not told around any bars or campfires.” She finally stepped forward under his gaze and approached the window, though out of arm’s reach, looking down while he looked at her. “Or gaming tables even.”

“What do you want orion?” he asked, though she caught a tinge of anger in his voice. Like she’d hit a nerve perhaps? “I know you’re up to something and I can assure you, you aren’t stealing anything off of my station.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” she replied. “What is that incense?” she asked as she turned her back to the window and leaned against it.

“Vondem rosewood,” al-Jabir supplied helpfully.

“Some metaphor, about burning my ship?” she challenged, though both men refused to answer that quip. “As I said, I have no intention of stealing anything from your station. Not your money, not the contents of your vault, not even the coatroom just after the shuttle bay. What I want is going to be given to me, freely.” Her attention drifted to the ceiling briefly as a flicker of light from below shone, apparently unseen by the two men. “I want the Star of Galur. I know you have it and I want it.”

If T’rev’s eyebrow had been high before, it rose further now. As for al-Jabir, the man seemed to tense as she stopped pouring drinks and turned around, a look of shock on his face. The expression that said ‘you didn’t just say that’.

“The Star of Galur has been missing for eighty years. What makes you think I have it?” T’rev asked.

“Rumours, research and a pattern of high-profile raids all about the time you started to make a name for yourself. Most of the other items stolen eventually reappeared on the market, but not the Star. I bet because the political friction it’s caused between a couple of minor betazoid noble houses makes it worth more than its cost as a fancy hunk of crystal.”

“That is a surprisingly logical supposition from you Captain, but just that – a supposition. You have no evidence.”

She laughed at that. “Oh course not! That’s our whole deal! Crime with minimal to no evidence. But I just have this gut feeling you see and I’m always being told to go with my gut. Admittedly that is from my cook,” she admitted. “But either way, you have it, I want it. Hand it over and I’ll leave. I’ll even promise never to come back.”

“And what makes you think I’m just going to give you the Star of Galur, even if I did have it?” T’rev asked as he turned his attention back to the window. “You’re alone up here, your people are all being watched. You have no leverage on me whatsoever.”

“Oh, I never said you were going to give it to me. Just that it would be given to me,” she replied with a smirk on her face that could have powered a warp core. She felt so alive making such a cocky move as this. “See, Mr al-Jabir is going to give it to me.”

“And what makes you think that he’s going to betray me and give you a gem which you can’t ever confirm I have?” T’rev asked, anger back in his voice, though she had to give credit to vulcan emotional control for keeping it so well hidden.

“This,” she said and raised her hand, fingers ready to snap. She waited till T’rev turned again to face her, his confusion at her hand gesture, then she snapped her fingers.

She thought it was dramatic at least.

Everyone’s attention was on her, a snap of her fingers, then everything started to play out.

“What was…” the rest of T’rev’s words were cut off by a soft gentle alarm coming from his desk, like a songbird seeking attention, then the shrill whine of a klingon transporter washed over the room as the ethereal red light snatched the vulcan away, leaving just Sidda and Mr al-Jabir alone in the room.

“Now Mr al-Jabir, how about we talk?” She walked over to what could only be T’rev’s chair and proceeded to settle herself in it, fixed her dress and kicked her feet up on the table, making sure to remain modest of course, as much as she could be in this thing. “And bring that blue bottle over would you?”

****

“Communicators are generally frowned upon on Royal Station. Too many possibilities for coordinating plans of action and such. But we’re not going to use a traditional communicator. Bones is going to bring a modified flask with her since no one is going to part a doctor from her liqueur, especially not at a casino. Inside T’Ael and R’tin will have hidden very basic communication device, basically only able to give a signal pulse.”

“A go signal?” Deidrick asked.

“Precisely. We’ll eventually do something to piss off LPK when we’re ready. Hopefully not before you’ve taken engineering. Once I’m in his office I’ll take a spot by the window. Bones will flash something shiny near a light to put a spot on the light when she’s ready.”

“Mirror, easy,” the old doctor said, having been in the back of things this whole time.

“Spot on. When you see me Bones, get your transmitter ready, flash some light when you’re good to go, then wait for my signal. You’ll know it when you see it.”

“Mind detailing that a bit more boss?” she asked.

“And ruin the moment? Trust me. You see it, you hit the signal. You’ll have a receiver Deidrick on you and when it goes off you kill the power to the transporter inhibitors.”

“And then what?” R’tin asked

“Then we beam LPK right off of his own station and into a brig where he can rot. That done, I then negotiate with his lieutenant. Bing bang boom, he opens the safe, we take a few things we want, then we leave.”

“Boss,” Orelia chimed in, “what if his lieutenant proves to be…disagreeable to the terms of his promotion?”

“Well…guess we’ll need a plan B then, won’t we?”