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Part of USS Odyssey: Between The Feathers Of Destiny and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Ferengi Follow Up

Breevahosen (Ferengi Marauder), Vorash, Vorash system, Velorum Sector, Beta Quadrant
Stardate: 77365.3
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“First Officer’s log supplemental. I’ve been tasked with the duty of meeting with Grand DaiMon Deliaros to undertake further investigation of her missing freighters. The captain has insisted that I take the lead on this point due to my ‘special relationship’ with our Ferengi friend. I’ve enlisted the support of Master Chief Court for extra…protection.”

Transporting onto the Breevahosen, Grand DaiMon Deliaros’ flagship, both Duncan and Court were warmly received by a small Ferengi woman, who introduced herself as Deliaros’ executive officer, while on either side of her stood two Tarlac men who were pretty tall, burly and their outfits were pretty skimpy on what they covered. Their black hair was combed back close to their skulls, and both seemed to be on guard protecting the Ferengi woman before them. 

“Come with me, gentlemen,” She said in a deep voice. “The Grand DaiMon is waiting for you.”

Following the woman out of the transporter room and eyeing up the Tarlac men for a moment, Duncan looked at Court, and within that moment, both of them exchanged one idea. Neither of them could believe what they were seeing. Without a doubt, Deliaros paid those on her crew, who she trusted very well, a very high wage to make her operation appear classy but with a dash of her sense of control over it all. Duncan had wondered what Deliaros’ expectations were of her crew. He knew she was more progressive and liberal than most Ferengi, but on the other hand, he had first-hand experience of her flaunting her wealth and power. He hated to think about what their job descriptions were and what was included in the small print on their contracts. 

The walk from the transporter room to the daimon’s study was brief, but wherever they looked, they could see how much her wealth was on show. Be it from various expensive-looking silks hanging from the ceiling, gently flapping as they caught them or multiple pieces of artwork hanging from the walls or sculptures on display on different-sized pedestals. No one could miss that this woman was serious about her business and how she spent her profit.

Grand DaiMon Deliaros was sitting in a broad red and orange armchair while receiving a manicure from a Caitain woman, who wore a tight purple catsuit. “Max!” The Ferengi woman cried out excitedly at seeing the Odyssey’s first officer. She gestured for her beautician to finish off there with a dismissive hand. Her first officer and the Tarlac bodyguards also left. Slowly she got up from her chair and made her way over to the two hew-mons. She was wearing a similar skin-tight catsuit, which had various brightly coloured flowery patterns across it. A yellow lacy cloak attached to her bracelets hung gently in her wake. Around her neck was a thick golden necklace with numerous gems, while chained earrings were linked together from each lobe. “And this handsome man must be your husband?”

Both Duncan and Court flashed a look at one another before looking back at their host. 

“No, no, no.” They said in unison.

Duncan clarified further. “Tobias and I are just-”

“Partners,” Court answered.

Another look at each other with an assuring nod confirmed they were happy with that.

Waving off the mistake, Deliaros made her way over as she picked up a glass and started to fill it with a drink that looked like a cocktail. “No worries, my darlings, whatever you label yourselves doesn’t matter as you make a gorgeous couple, and my lobes tingle with rumours that you’re fathers too. Congratulations!” she raised her glass before taking a sip. “A martini?” she offered, “or are you both still on duty?”

Declining the offer, Court shook his head. “A wise businesswoman like you should know that the Rules of Acquisition tell us not to trust everything we hear.”

“Rule of Acquisition one hundred and ninety,” Deliaros stated with a smile. “But you shouldn’t forget Rule of Acquisition seventy-four.”

“Knowledge equals profit.” Court stated. “I think the seventh rule is more pertinent here.” 

“I always keep my ears open,” Deliaros said with a smirk as she turned to Duncan. “I like him.”

“Me too,” Duncan said with a similar grin. “Now onto business. We need to talk about your freighters that went missing and why. Captain McCallister is interested to know any more about what happened.”

Her toothy grin slowly faded as she offered her guests to sit in chairs opposite the one she had just been on herself. “I’m afraid nothing more than what Jew’leanar hasn’t shared already.” Sitting on her’ throne’, Deliaros picked up a PADD and passed it towards Duncan. “There is a full recount from the crews sheltering with the Qowat Milat.”

After taking the device from her, Duncan looked down at it and started to skim through it briefly. “Hmm,” He said, “your crews pointed out they encountered some natural phenomena before the attack.”

Deliaros nodded. “Indeed, some gravimetric instability, I believe.”

Court quickly caught on to why that piqued Duncan’s interest. “Max, do you think the freighters encountered that cluster of micro singularities that Corella found?”

“Encountered?” Duncan repeated, “More like stumbled upon.”

“And what the raiders used it as a way of shielding themselves from being detected?” Court summarised.

Shaking his head, “I’d like to think that, but the fact these singularities were strong enough to push the planet out of its normal orbit slightly makes me think there was something else going on.”

“That sounds like you’re suggesting that the attackers mined the area with the singularities.” Court suggested, he then started to understand Duncan’s idea further. “So do you think the freighters may have actually been attacked to stop them from reporting what they saw?”.

“Possibly,” Duncan answered before looking at Deliaros (who had a confused expression showing she had no idea what they were discussing). “These freighters, do they follow a regular flight path to and from the colony?”

She shook her head, “No, they don’t, and that’s to avoid anyone from knowing their routes to avoid any pre-emptive raids. We deliver at different times too. What are you two talking about a cluster of micro-singularities?”

“We found that the planet has been slightly moved but not by a natural phenomenon,” Duncan explained. “I think the freighters stumbled across them by accident, and to prevent anyone from raising the alarm, the perpetrator had them shot down.”

“So the questions now are who and why?” Court said.

Deliaros stood up, “Max, can I suggest we speak to my people one more time together, and perhaps we could get further answers to what happened. I’m starting to feel there’s more going on here than we know.”

Agreeing with the idea, Duncan and Court both stood up. Court looked to Deliaros before quoting another rule. “The riskier the road, the greater the profit.”

“I do like rule sixty-two; however, right now, I am more worried about the two-hundred and eight rule,” Deliaros said as she started to lead them out of her study. “Sometimes, the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.”

“Unfortunately, I think the answers we seek are worth the danger,” Duncan said as they eventually left the room to speak further to her employees.