Part of Starbase Bravo: 2401: Mission 1

Not High Noon

SBB,Lower promenade,sickbay
Feb,2401
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Bryan stood outside the bar he found and looked up at the sign. It said Aces High and looked less than reputable considering where he was. He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand and walked forward through the swinging doors. He paused and scanned the area with his eyes. It wasn’t much more than a room with a long wooden bar on the far end and a small assemblage of tables. He walked slowly inside past a rough-looking group sitting at a table to his right. He knew they were watching him. One of them was Ferengi and Bryan knew he could hear the soft jingle of latinum in his pocket as he passed. At least two of them had blunt weapons and the Ferengi had a small knife in the small of his back. He approached the bar and sat on a stool that had a ripped padded seat.

“Whiskey” Bryan ordered from the Bolian bartender while reaching into his pocket. The bartender proceeded to turn around and grab a bottle and glass from the mirrored shelf. He set the glass down and poured two fingers and poured one more when he looked at Bryan. “Leave the bottle,” Bryan said while dropping a small pile of latinum strips onto the bartop. He grabbed the glass and downed the whiskey in one gulp and set the glass down and poured himself another. It burned and was not worth that latinum but it would do its job just fine. He set the bottle down and raised his glass to his lips again. He paused when a woman appeared next to him. She had a slight accent when she spoke to him.

“Hey cowboy fancy buying a girl a drink?” she said with as she looked at him in the mirror behind the bar. Bryan froze his blood running cold as he sat the drink back down again. Did she sound Irish? Scottish maybe? He couldn’t tell. He recognized her, that much he knew. “Why are you all doing this to me?” He said as he stopped his left hand from shaking. The girl turned her head and looked at Bryan directly.

“Nobody’s doing anything to you. You just need to stop taking that medication and let what’s going to happen, Happen.” She reached out and placed her hand on his shoulder which caused him to shudder slightly. The group that had watched Bryan come inside was watching him have a one-sided conversation with himself. The Ferengi leaned over to the Large Orion sitting next to him and muttered. “What is that hew-mon doing?” He said watching the man talk to seemingly no one.

“I do not know. He must be insane.” The orion grunted and shook his head. The Ferengi picked up his drink and smiled. “All the better to relieve him of his latinum when he leaves. He swallowed his drink down and sat back and waited. The crazy hew-mon turned back to his own drink and picked it up. Swallowing it down again in one gulp and then immediately pouring another. He had stopped talking and now seemed to be well on his way to drinking an entire bottle of liquor. The music playing in the bar switched to a Vulcan composition and a sharp series of notes plucked on a lute made him wince.

Bryan stood at the exit to the bar and slowly exited on unsteady feet. He turned left and made his way back to the lonely corridor and the lift that would take him back to his quarters. He walked past a Bajoran restaurant, Hasperat sounded good to him but then the smell coming from a Klingon eatery changed his mind and he continued on trying not to retch. Wobbling slightly as he turned the corner to the corridor that led to his lift he spied three individuals following him reflected in the dark lcars panel he steadied himself against. It was the group from the bar. They must have decided they wanted his latinum.

“Rolling a guy who’s three sheets to the wind…” Bryan belched loudly and stopped swaying back and forth as he watched them approach in the dark panel. A Ferengi a Human and an Orion. Three on one not very fair. He felt a hand land on his shoulder and he smirked as it spun him around and the Ferengi was smiling at him like the cat that ate the canary.

“Hello, hew-mon. I am Zex and my associates and I would like to know if you need any help getting anywhere?” He looked to each of his companions who produced weapons and turning back he slid the knife from the small of his back that he had been hiding. He held it up and spun it slowly in his hand. “We would of course ask for a small donation for this service of course.”

Bryan nodded and took his hand off the wall panel. “Oh yes of course I’d be happy to pay.” Reaching into his pocket he grabbed the rest of the latinum strips and pulled them quickly out and threw them into Zex’s face. The Ferengi yelled out and Bryan shot his leg out and brought his foot down on the Ferengi’s knee. Zex collapsed in a screaming heap as Bryan ducked and narrowly missed getting slammed hard by the Orion club as he swung it wildly through the air. Rushing forward he grabbed the human’s midsection and slammed him hard into the far corridor wall. Grabbing the man’s head he pulled it down and kneed him hard in the face. He collapsed to the deck as Zek’s screamed at the Orion. “Beat his head into the deck!!!” Bryan turned as the Orion lunged forward and grabbed him in his arms and lifted him squeezing his ribcage.

“Agggh!” Was all Bryan could get out as the air left his lungs and his ribs began to compress. Pulling his head back as far as it could go he headbutted the Orion in the nose as hard as he could. The Orion dropped him to the deck as Bryan’s vision began to get spotty. Blinking hard and trying not to pass out Bryan stood and inhaled deeply as the Orion rolled on the deck grasping his nose. “Lousy bushwhacking bastards.” He kicked the Orion hard in the head knocking him unconscious. He was going to turn and deal with Zex when he felt the cold blade of the knife the Ferengi had been carrying plunge into his side.

“Filthy Hew-mon! ” Zex hissed as he pulled the knife out and stabbed Bryan again.

Bryan collapsed to his knees as he saw Zex walk over and pick up the latinum that was scattered all over the deck. He wavered and spoke once as the world started to grow dark. “Lousy Bushwhacking….”

He went to that other place when he was unconscious. He saw strange dark things and people he somehow knew. A Caitian call Egis? No that wasn’t it. There was a tough lil ship. Its name was something that his ma had sung to him when he was little and his pa was away on a mission with Starfleet. He could almost hear the song…A soft tender motherly voice begins to sing a nursery rhyme.

“I wish I may I wish I might…….” No, he refused to accept any of this! He wanted his life back! Bryan snapped his eyes open and he could hear the soft beeps of a biobed and the low talking of concerned voices. He blinked a few more times and turned his head. It was some sort of sick bay. What had happened? Then he inhaled and felt the twinge of pain in his side. He had been stabbed by that damn Ferengi. At least he had made the cowards earn the latinum they stole. He inhaled slowly and waited for someone to realize he was now awake.