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Pleasure doing business with you

Posted on Fri Sep 4th, 2020 @ 8:35pm by Colonel Sehan t'Varis & Lieutenant Taryn Stephenson & Robert Stephenson & Lennon Stephenson

Mission: Shore Leave: Welcome to Drozana
Location: Drozana Station
Timeline: 238701.02

The previous day had changed many things. Raven had not yet briefed the rest of her crew about what she had found out, but it had certainly added a new angle to their plans to acquire the Ourainavassa. If it was true. Not entirely convinced, she had headed back to the bazaar to try and acquire updated star charts for the area where the ship supposedly was hidden. She had been able to verify that her father had indeed been a Tal Shiar general, involved in the development and testing of advanced ships, but the files concerning the Ourainavassa, her development and disappearance were classified above her access clearance.

Having found and purchased the charts, she resumed her search for some new personal weapons. She noticed a stall where the merchant was demonstrating a "light sword" - he was waving around what looked like a short handle with a blade of pure, red light emitted from it. Raven snorted with derision. As if energy weapon technology like that was far enough developed to be produced cheaply. More than likely a hologram. Finally, she found her way to a merchant that had specialised in some more conventional weaponry, and began to browse the wares on offer.

Robert and Lennon had spent some time in the bazaar - with Robert purchasing an amusing looking book called "The Glass Toilet" whilst Lennon had acquired some more cooking apparatus. They'd then made their way to the agreed meeting place with Raven where Robert hoped they could agree another sale with the woman. Alan had remained with the shuttle as he was working on repairing some worn out warp drive components before selling them on elsewhere.

"Do you think she'll turn up?" Lennon asked.

Robert shrugged. "We'll see"

After having purchased a nicely-made phaser bolt pistol, made to look like a 19th-century Earth flintlock, Raven decided to make her way back to the café from the previous day, where she had arranged to meet with Captain Stephenson once more. She purchased some tea, and made her way to the table where the Captain was waiting, together with the young woman that had been with him before.

"Captain," she nodded in greeting, before sitting down without waiting for his invitation. "So, what do you have for me today?"

"Less of the Captain" Lennon hissed.

After putting "The Glass Toilet" down on the table Robert handed Raven the prices for the items which she had requested from Alan's catalogue. Robert had pretty much given up asking Raven to stop referring to him by his rank - she was indeed correct in doing so - but Robert couldn't afford to blow his cover until Starfleet Intelligence had all of the information they needed.

Robert spoke. "Here's a list of the items you have requested and the prices for them"

Raven glanced at the young woman. "You really must be new to this business. You do know that most merchant captains still like to be referred to as such." She turned to the list. "My engineer and my medical staff will both be very happy with this. And the Ferengi will be happy with the price, too."

She put down the PADD. "Now, Captain," she continued, emphasizing the title with a sarcastic note in her voice. "How has business been treating you? You must have plenty of stories since leaving Starfleet."

"A pumpkin who's happy with the price?" Lennon scoffed.

Robert nodded. "Indeed. My family and I moved away from Earth and settled near the Ficus sector. I then met my business partner and we bought our ship as salvage at an auction - although it was us laughing all the way to the bank because it only need a few cheap repairs to restore it to full health. After that...the rest is history really"

"Lucky," Raven replied, not quite believing in the truth of the story. "To find a ship at auction that is actually worth what you paid for it. We acquired our own vessel at a salvage yard. She must have been there for near enough a century. Possibly even longer. But we got her working nicely. Ficus sector, eh? Nice out there?"

Robert watched as Lennon went to the counter to place a food and drink order for them both.

"Very much so. Someone had attempted to fit a cloaking device which ended up blowing out the entire power grid. But for an expert like Alan...a couple of days' work to put right. As for the Ficus sector it's nice enough - there's a lot more peace and quiet compared to where we were before" Robert replied.

Raven nodded as she took a sip from her tea. "Peace and quiet. Not my kind of life, not yet anyway. I'm too young for that. And honestly, I can't really see you being settled either, Cap'n. Man like you needs the stars, needs to fly and be free, no?"

Robert responded. "That's why I'm flying around from outpost to outpost with my business partner - I've got far more freedom now it's my own ship rather than Starfleet's. In fact we'll be moving on to our next outpost tomorrow morning to hopefully sell our latest acquisitions which Alan should have ready for sale by then"

"Well, I do wish you best of success with your endeavours," Raven replied. "If you ever require rescue from a sticky situation, give me a call. My rates are reasonable, and my ship has decent firepower. I will send over one of my officers along with a few technicians to pick up the merchandise later on, and deliver payment." That would be something for their new tactical officer to do, she decided. "Just let me know where to send them."

"The same place as yesterday works for me - although as I don't know what your assistants look like it would be helpful if you were present" Robert confirmed.

Robert then watched as Lennon returned with their drinks. He nodded after she informed him their food would be along in a couple of minutes.

Raven nodded. "Very well. Shall we say, in two hours from now?"

"That works for me. I'll see you then" Robert replied.

Robert and Lennon waited at the agreed meeting point to exchange the merchandise which Raven had purchased from them. The trolley which they'd "borrowed" from a market contained the two medium-sized crates of items which were to be exchanged - hopefully today's transaction would be as smooth as the previous day's.

Raven had chosen Taryn to accompany her to collect the merchandise, along with two technicians from engineering, who were going to check that everything was as agreed. Again, Raven carried a case with the agreed amount of latinum - she had always preferred cash transactions using hard, gold-pressed latinum, over more "convenient" - and less fraud proof - methods such as energy credits.

"Good afternoon, Captain Stephenson. This here is Taryn, my chief tactical officer," Raven said with a smile as they reached the meeting point. "And I have the agreed amount of latinum right here. The merchandise?"

Taryn stood beside Raven and immediately noticed Lennon - who she assumed to be Robert's assistant. She nodded but chose to remain silent.

Robert nodded and opened the crates which contained the merchandise. Once the sale was concluded Robert would take the latinum back to the Pinto and prepare for tomorrow morning's early departure.

"All here" Robert said.

The two technicians stepped over, and quickly looked through the crates. "Yep," one of them finally reported. "All here as ordered."

Raven nodded, and handed Stephenson the case. "Here's your payment. Pleasure doing business with you, once again." She turned to the technicians. "Take it back to the ship, boys."

Taryn picked up the fairly light crate by herself and carried it back towards the ship - leaving the other much heavier one for the two technicians who'd joined them. Although she was capable of lifting both of them Taryn didn't want to give away the fact she was a synth.

Robert accepted the case gratefully.

"As always. I'm sure we'll probably bump into each other again at some point in the future - and please - try not to get yourself killed as I could do without losing one of my more trusted and reliable customers" Robert replied.

Lennon very discreetly looked at her scanner whilst Robert spoke - putting it back in her pocket again a few moments later.

"Can't guarantee that." Raven chuckled. "Dangerous galaxy out there. Until we meet again, Captain." She turned and gave a sign to her companions. "Right, let's get back to the ship. I'm sure Rehana will be keen to put those components to good use."

Robert nodded and watched as Raven disappeared down the corridor. He then turned to face his niece who he'd spotted taking a look at her scanner out of the corner of his eye - curious as to what it was Lennon's scanner had picked up during the exchange.

"What did you find?" Robert asked.

Lennon replied. "One of that woman's assistants is a synth but I don't know which one"

Robert nodded. He pondered what to do for a moment before deciding to go back to the Pinto with the latinum. A plan would have to be formulated before they were to depart tomorrow - and Robert knew that getting aboard the Raven's Claw would be a very difficult if not impossible task. He was fairly sure Raven's crew outnumbered himself, Alan and Lennon by more than a few to one.

"Let's get back to the ship. We can talk there" Robert said.

Lennon nodded and followed her uncle back to the Pinto where they - and Alan - began to think of a plan to get aboard the Raven's Claw and find out who the synth was. They knew they'd be outnumbered and outgunned by the mercenary crew - and Robert preferred to avoid the suggestion of tailing and then destroying the Raven's Claw in an isolated part of space. That would be going against his orders of not killing anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.

However - it wasn't long before an alternative plan was decided upon...


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