Part of USS Eagle: Mission 2 – Red Heaven

Moving Along

January 2401
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USS Eagle, Ready Room

“I've heard from all department heads.  We'll be finished sending the supplies and equipment to the planet within the hour,” said Allen.

“Were there any problems?” said Kirby.

“Other than a crate of medical tricorders being sent to one of the school districts, things have run without a hitch.”  Allen frowned.

“Is something on your mind, Rog?” said Kirby.

“We've become quite adept at being a delivery service, sir.”

“I understand, but we go where we're needed.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I heard from Command about a possible new assignment,” said Kirby.  “Some of the Romulan colonies are dealing with outbreaks of Terrellian plague.  Ships have already been sent to help.  We're currently on stand by, waiting to see if we'll be needed.  Once we're finished off-loading all the supplies, I want you to begin prepping the departments in case we're ordered in.”

“Does Command realize we have only ten medical personnel on board and our CMO is away on another assignment?” said Allen.

“I'm sure they are, Lieutenant Commander.”

The almost sharp tone in the captain's voice told Roger he shouldn't press that issue.  It was a sore spot for both of them and nothing else could be said about it that hadn't already been discussed.

Is there anything else?" said Kirby.

“No, sir.  I'll get started on the departments.”  Roger nodded and headed out.

Lextis III

Nessa Trennel stepped into Dex Watson's office, a PADD in hand.  They hadn't been on Lextis very long, but that hadn't stopped Dex from finding a nice place to run their business.  The room was larger than needed, with a fancy desk hand-made from real wood.  Along one wall was a small bar; Dex preferred his drinks to be authentic, with a replicator next to it.  On the opposite wall were a row of four chairs.  There was the odor of cigars in the room, a habit Nessa found to be disgusting.  On the wall behind the desk was a painting of some nebula.  Nessa didn't know which one, nor did she care.

Dex was seated and waiting for her.  He was a tall man, though a bit overweight from enjoying the good life too much.  A plain face was adorned by short, black hair and a mustache, with brown eyes that could pierce someone into their deepest soul.  When he saw Nessa, Dex turned off his computer.

“Well?”

Nessa had long ago become accustomed to Dex's gruff, demanding tone.  Though they were partners in business and made decisions together, she often felt he didn't truly consider her as equal.  Many times she considered using her Betazoid abilities to delve into his thoughts, but there was always doubt that he would somehow know.  Nessa was content to play her role as long as the latinum was coming in.

“Do you want the long version or the short one?” said Nessa.

Dex harrumphed.  Opening a box on his desk, he took out a cigar.  “Just tell me what I need to know.”

Nessa activated her PADD, wrinkling her nose while Dex lit his cigar.  “They both check out.  Bral is a typical Ferengi looking for profit.  He's been reasonably successful, though nothing overwhelming.  He deals mostly in legal enterprises, but unconfirmed information says he's dabbled in weapons.”

Dex took a deep drag on his cigar, blowing out a plume of smoke.  “And the lovely Ms. Rozen?”

Nessa frowned inwardly, concerned that Dex would take too much of a liking to their new partner.  Too many times in the past, that sort of thing didn't end well.

“Our contact on Betazed confirmed her story about the genetic problem that prevented her from having telepathic abilities.  She's from a typical family.  When she was sixteen, she was arrested for using a knife to cut a boy she claimed was trying to force himself on her.  He was from a prominent House, so charges were never filed against him and Rozen spent a year in a rehab prison.  At eighteen, she left Betazed, getting a job on a freighter.  She went from ship to ship, eventually being hired in our government friend's organization.  There's more details you can read, but that's the highlight.”

“Set the PADD on my desk.  I'll look at it later,” said Dex.

“Are we going to accept their demand on their cut?” said Nessa.

“What choice do we have?” said Dex.  “Once we get going in full production, in five or six years we can retire.”

“I don't like it and I don't trust them.”

“Of course you don't,” said Dex.  “That suspicious perspective is a strength you bring and one of the reasons we work so well together.”

Nessa couldn't help cracking a small smile.  A true compliment from Dex was uncommon and needed to be appreciated.

“Have a drink,” said Dex.  “Go get laid.  Just do something to celebrate the profits that will be pouring in.”

Dex was always the optimist, but Nessa couldn't shake the feeling niggling in the back of her mind.  Their research people had always come through for them, but there was something different this time she couldn't shake.  It was probably nothing, but she would make sure by keeping a careful watch on the newcomers.

“I'll celebrate later.  In the meantime, I'm sending Gia to set up a meeting.  I want to break in our new friends slowly.”

“Suit yourself,” said Dex.

Nessa handed the PADD to Dex and turned to leave.  Stopping at the door, she looked back at her partner as he puffed away on his cigar.  “Those things will kill you one day.”  If I don't first, she thought, as she left the room.

 

Comments

  • A brilliant two-fer. We get a picture of how things are going back home, and we also get a delightful introduction to our outlaws - very Han Solo and Leia if they were both smugglers who secretly thought the other was going to kill them eventually. Love the banter, and the slow exposition reveal. I am very interested to see how this goes! Nice work.

    January 14, 2023