“Seriously?” asked Orelia as she took another picture of Sidda and her recent conquest.
“Yes,” replied Sidda. Both of their replies had echoed around the empty bridge of the Vondem Rose, devoid of all life save for the two of them.
“I get pictures like these for your fiancée, heck for the crew if you want to give a morale boost, but a Starfleet captain?” Orelia continued her line of inquiry.
“If any of the crew see these pictures,” Sidda said, a death glare on her face, “I will personally throw your atomised ashes out an airlock.”
In the time since they’d returned to the Vondem Rose, the original Klingon command chair had been removed and replaced, with little effort, by the much more comfortable command chair of the former USS Endeavour. The only modification that Sidda had made to the chair was surface level – a headrest cover in her trademark purple.
“Why not? Shouldn’t they know they’re fighting under someone as good looking as yourself? You’re going to deny the crew that, but send these to a Starfleet captain? Besides, we could choose the best of the images and do some nose art for the Rose.”
“Because I have to work with the crew every day,” Sidda replied. “These pictures are for Revin and for bragging and nothing more Orelia. I see one stencilled image of me anywhere and I will kill you dead.”
“Fine fine, make sure you never see the nose art.” Sidda’s glare once more was met only with Orelia sticking her tongue out, snapping a picture, then a cheeky smile. “So, tasteful risqué images with a sword made from his former starship sitting upon his chair. Are you trying to convince him to come and hunt us down?” Orelia asked over another couple of clicks of the imager.
“Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see. Heck, never know, might convince him to go pirate and join us.”
“If not you, then can always send him pictures of me,” Orelia replied.
It was a few hours after the photoshoot with her cousin behind the camera and Sidda was lounging in her ready room. A far more ostentatious and grandiose place than it had even been when the ship had served in the KDF, but it was now hers and had to reflect that. A high-backed chair, the metal desk replaced with dark Vondem wood, a couch and a coffee table off to one side with the floor tastefully covered in sumptuous rugs and diaphanous drapes on the walls.
Change the window looking out into space for a view over a marketplace or a field somewhere and she could almost imagine she was back home on Vondem.
She’d dressed only in a light blue kimono, tying it off lightly, so to be presentable at least for any who arrived while she spent the morning reviewing paperwork, but also to give the air of bored comfort when her guest for the morning was brought up from the brig.
T’rev, of the house of Sh’rel of P’Jem, also known as The Last Pirate King, was tall, even for a Vulcan, and carried himself with the noble bearing Sidda had come to expect of Vulcans and Romulans, at least those in some position of power. Behind him were two security guards, far enough apart to prevent him from getting to both at once and both armed, weapons bearing on him.
He entered however as if he was an honoured guest and not a prisoner, stepping in, offering a bow and waiting until she waved at a chair, signed off the last detail on the padd in hand, then sat it down. “I have at least five different ways of dealing with you.”
“I can think of seven. I suspect however the differences are two options I still consider viable but which you no doubt have disregarded. You are unlikely to release me and let me be on my way and just as unlikely to waste an opportunity by releasing me into the vacuum,” T’rev said, his tone flat. “I see you also raided my wardrobe.”
She was confused, then looked down at her kimono and shook her head. “No. I bought this on Arken. Tailor there, a Romulan chap, lovely little shop on the riverfront.”
“Ah, that would explain it then. Gren’s source for the finest silks is one I was never able to ascertain myself.” He looked around the room, taking in details, then returned his attention to her. “No doubt you brought me here to inform me of your decision as well as indulge in an emotional display of power.”
“Not going to deny it, does feel good to have finally gotten the better of you.” She chuckled then relaxed in her own chair. “The Klingons and the Romulan Free State both made enticing offers really. The Star Empire was a bit more threatening, but their loss. And there’s a Ferengi Daimon who was willing to pay me in enough latnium to drown you in.”
“Ah, Daimon Lek of the Profit Prophet no doubt. Those all sound like suitably profitable options,” he acknowledged.
“Takes a lot less fluid to drown someone than people think.” She waited, his nod of acknowledgement her sign to continue. “But I’ve decided to take the offer that pays the least upfront but ultimately pays the best in the long term, or so I hope.”
“Ah, so the Federation then.” He nodded his head once. “Logical. You have been building a report with Starfleet I have been led to understand. Such that you could trade for a captain’s chair I noticed.”
“Oh, goddesses no, I stole that,” she exclaimed. “It’s one of the reasons I’m going to hand you over to Starfleet. An apology for raiding a depot yard.”
“You raided a depot yard?” he asked, something with the barest whiff of incredulousness on his voice. “For a chair?”
“To show Starfleet I could. To rile up a particular captain with a harmless prank and ultimately show Starfleet I’m a source of chaotic good.” She smirked at him. “Long term I plan to retire and enjoy the perks of the greater galaxy, not have to hide away on some hidden space station, to which I’m also selling the coordinates too. Finder’s fee is going to be a nice cherry on top of all this.”
“They’ll always consider you a pirate. Always treat you with suspicion and disrespect for your past actions. And you’ll likely have earned enemies with your depot yard stunt.” T’rev’s head tilted slightly to one side. “But that was part of your plan, wasn’t it? You want to stay on the outside. To be a rebel. Your mother, she’s Starfleet, isn’t it?”
“And we’re done here,” Sidda said, a wave of her hand dismissing T’rev. “Back to your cell you.” Her attention went to the guards. “He gives you any trouble, stun his ass and drag him by his ankles back to his cell.”
“Ah, a sore spot I see,” T’rev said as he stood, offered another bow and turned. “Thank you for the insight, Captain Sadovu.” And with that, he departed.
She glared at the door for a few moments, half tempted to get to her feet, grab her disruptor, march down the hall and end the annoying Vulcan and just claim the dead bounty. But she’d been smart enough earlier to remove quick access to weapons just for this meeting.
A string of half-muttered curses in half a dozen different languages issued forth before she settled down at her desk with a fresh pot of tea, courtesy of the new replicators T’Ael and R’Tin were in the process of installing now that they had one to make parts with. They still needed to bulk out the library of patterns, but the finer resolution and technical capability of Federation replicators meant she could at least have a decent cup of tea.
A few sips and her mood improved, her attention returning to her computer and the images that Orelia had taken that morning. A dozen had been selected, reviewed a few times to make sure only the best had been chosen, then finally she reached out, with a smile on her face, to select the recipient and hit send.
To: Matt Rourke, CO, USS Endeavour
From: Sidda Sadovu, CEO, Totally Legitimate Salvage Operations LLC; CO, SS Vondem Rose
Subject: Nose art?
Attachments: 12 holoimages, high resolution. 1 set of spatial coordinates. 24 hours of sensor logs.
!!Warning!! Attachments from outside entities should only be opened if you trust the sender.
- T’rev, house Sh’rel of P’Jem aka The Last Pirate King – in my brig right now. Where should I drop him off?
- Star of Galur – I hear it’s important to the Betazoids. Tracked courier is how it went missing last time. Let me know where to take it, I’m sure we can arrange something. It’s far too gaudy for my tastes. Makes a decent desk ornament though.
- Location of The Last Pirate King’s redoubt – it’s a freebie, find attached. Sensor logs too of all the ships that were there at the time.
- 2 dozen slavers and murderers – See, I can be a good citizen. I also understand they all have bounties too. Federation doesn’t have death penalties, so which penal colony do I drop these scumbags off at?
Please tell me the sword is still sharp?
What size hat are you?