Posted on Sun Sep 27th, 2020 @ 12:20pm by Lieutenant Xia Idris
Shore Leave: Welcome to Drozana
Location: Drozana Station/The Lonely Star
Xia Idris sat at the table in The Lonely Star cantina. It was a proper dive bar, dimly lit, a bit smokey, though it didn’t have the Ferengi bar keep that was typical on Drozana station. Instead, the woman behind the bar was a looker, Human, or at least one of those aliens that looked Human enough. She had an extremely feminine figure, with soft, lush, full-bodied curves, long, flowing golden hair cascading down delicate shoulders framing beautiful blue eyes that were sapphire pools set in her alabaster face over full, pouty lips. She had a youthful, baby doll beauty and innocence belied only by the wisdom of over a century of life in her eyes. The eyes were the key. El-Aurian, Xia guessed, and confirmed it with a little peek into the woman’s mind. Xia couldn’t help but run her dark eyes over the barkeep in her low cut white dress. The barkeep caught her gaze and gave her a wink, and Xia could only smile.
The rest of the people in the bar were your usual assortment of louts and ne’er-do-wells, except for the Vulcan playing bouncer by the door. She seemed the complete opposite of the woman behind the bar. She wasn’t what one typically thinks of a Vulcan. She had dark copper hair tied in a long braid down her back. She wore tight black leather pants that hung low on her hips, emphasizing her shapely feminine hips and thighs. A low-cut midriff top revealed a lot of cleavage and an impressive six pack of abs. Green eyes flashed from a face that had the severe beauty Vulcans were often known for. Xia guessed that the look was an application of Vulcan logic. For the few seconds you were staring at her rack, she’d already gotten the jump on you in the fight.
Xia picked up her mug of raktajino. The Klingon coffee was wakefulness on crack, and would keep Xia going all day. Of course, she’d added a dash of whiskey, what Jack PIerce called a little bit of Irish, even though it was Orion. Xia was dressed in tight black leather pants and a green t-shirt with a graphic of a pickle on it that read MILLENNIAL SEX PICKLES. Over the band shirt she wore a black leather DuraWeave jacket. It was fairly standard freelance wear, made with a mesh weave lining to both disperse energy and blunt physical trauma. It would save you from a direct hit from a disruptor or bat’leth, but it might save your arm or kidney from a glancing blow. It was a little warm for running around on the station though, but it concealed the knife and disruptor rig under her arms. Her long brown hair was up in a ponytail, revealing the tattoo on the back of her neck, a black circle around three wavy horizontal lines, a thalion, an ancient Betazoid symbol for the mind, specifically Betazoid mental abilities.
She tapped her padd on and scrolled through the station network job board. Oh, that was interesting. A job on a Romulan ship, by the ship code. Xia had never heard of the Raven’s Claw. Xia was fluent in Romulan, so that wouldn’t cause a problem. She’d worked some Romulan tech when she was in Starfleet, and she’d worked even more on missions for Blackwatch. That wouldn’t matter much anyway. A computer was a computer, and had to follow the same laws of physics as any other technology. Even if parts and configuration would be a little different, there was only so much variation that could be allowed for efficiency, and it was often not a problem to splice in a work around if it was necessary. She tapped her padd to mark it for further consideration. She was curious just what a Romulan considered to be generous remuneration. Hopefully not the undying gratitude of a grateful empire, because that wouldn’t pay for her Irish raktajino.
Xia looked up as a man pulled out a chair, spun it around, and sat straddling it. He was all, with a couple days of scruff. His black hair was salt and pepper at the temples, though he didn’t look old, just...worn and weathered, but his dark eye was still bright. The other was hidden behind a black eye patch. He was broad shouldered and strong, handsome, in a weathered, rugged way.
“Got us a room at Vink’s No-Tel,” Erebus Caine said, looking over and yelling to the bartender, “Two beers! Whiskey chaser!” The blonde doll smiled and nodded, and Caine turned back to Xia’s droll stare. “What?”
“Vink’s No-Tel?” she asked. “A room. As in singular?”
Caine shrugged. “Thanks, doll,” he told the barkeep when she brought his drinks over. “What’s the problem? Vink’s is cheap, and it’s not like you haven’t slept with me before,” he said with a grin, chugging down the first beer thirstily, then tossing back the whiskey shot before pulling the second beer over to nurse more slowly.
“Vink’s charges by the hour.”
Caine just grinned.
Xia shook her head and just smirked. “We’ll see about tonight,” she said. “I might have a lead. What do you think about Romulans?”
“Bastards,” Caine said. “Killed a lot. Worked with a few. Can’t say it’s the most thrilling experience. Not like working with those Orion twins.”
Both of them paused for a moment, lost in memory, and smiled.
“So there’s a Romulan ship looking for crew.” Xia tossed Caine the padd. “Raven’s Claw. Know it?” she asked.
“Not really,” Caine said. “Haven’t worked that side of the border much though,” he admitted. He read over the ad. “You asked Jack?”
“Was about to,” Xia said.
“Sad to see you go,” Caine told her, sipping his beer. “Been great working with you, kid.”
“Thanks, Caine,” she said. “Thanks for keeping me alive.”
“You saved my bacon more than once, kid,” Caine told Xia. “I’d say we’re even. But you ever need an assist, you got my number.”
Xia smiled and took her padd back from Caine. Then she pulled out her Social, a civilian version of a communicator, though it could do a lot more than just connect people audibly. It also was like a mini padd, with a network connection, and her library of music and holovids, including the Sex Pickles latest album.
“Jack Pierce,” came the harried voice on the other end of the comm.
“Hello, Jack,” Xia said. “It’s Xia.”
“Make it quick. Jackie! Where’s that paperwork I asked for!” Xia heard Jack yelling to his wife.
“Considering a job offer. What do you know about a Romulan outfit on a ship called the Raven’s Claw?” she asked.
“Let me get back to you,” Jack said. “I’m neck deep in paperwork since Artemis went back to Starfleet. Still haven’t found a Director of Field Operations, so I’m doing two jobs, and he took a lot of good operators with him.”
“Sorry to hear that, Jack,” Xia said. “I miss your voice in my ear.” She hung up and looked across the table at Caine, who was staring at her.
“Why are you really leaving Blackwatch?” he asked.
Xia looked away and shrugged, her eyes settling on the barkeep. “I really want to fuck her tonight,” she said.
“Don’t change the subject,” Caine said. “Half the people in this place want that. Why do you think they come here?”
Xia sighed. “Last mission went...sideways,” she said. “I almost lost you. I’m getting too...comfortable.”
Caine just looked at her, silent. “It happens, kid,” he finally said. “But I’m okay,” he said. “Well, except for the eye. Damned cat,” he growled. “We’ve had missions go sideways before. There’s something else.”
“You know Pierce asked me to join him on Nemesis?” Xia asked.
“I figured,” Caine said. “Artemis likes the best.”
“Well, it got me thinking...about the future,” Xia said, looking down at her raktajino, taking a gulp. “I don’t like that. I don’t like...making plans that can all just...be taken away.”
Caine didn’t say anything. Though, to his credit, he didn’t look uncomfortable, either. In the merc business, they didn’t like talking about...feelings.
“And then when we were on Aijalon Prime gearing up for the last op, I...saw Dobri.”
“Dobri. I think I’ve heard you mention him in your sleep.”
Xia pulled a face, annoyed at herself for that. “He was my first trainer,” she said. “He was...hard, almost brutal. He was making weapons. But we were...family. We had a purpose. We weren’t going to ever let what happened to Betazed during the war happen again. He was...less than pleased when I resigned my commission in Starfleet and went freelance .He’s made it clear he wants me back in the program. I just think it might be safer to be on the other side of the border for a while. I don’t know what I’ll do if he sends one of my brothers or sisters after me.”
Caine sipped his beer quietly, studying Xia. “You waiting for me to talk you out of it?”
Xia smiled shyly. “I don’t know,” she admitted.
“Kid, you’re young. See the stars. Keep yourself alive. Take the Romulan job. If you don’t like it, Blackwatch is always here,” he told her.
“Thanks, Caine. I--” Xia was interrupted by her Social. She tapped it. “Jack?”
“Got that info,” Jack Pierce said. “Raven’s Claw. Freelancers, practically a bunch of pirates. Recently got in bed with Romulan interests. Possible Tal Shiar involvement. I’ll send you the details we have.”
“Sounds like their going big league,” Xia mused.
“Could be. It’s chaos over the border now.”
“Thanks, Jack. I really appreciate it,” Xia said.
“Not a problem for my best girl,” Jack said. There was a distant objection on the line from Jackie. “Sorry, hon!”
Xia chuckled. “I’ll keep in touch, Jack.”
Caine chugged back his beer. “C’mon. I hear Dys is on station. I’ll get you all kitted out, buy you a new knife.”
Xia chuckled. “Like I need one?” She opened her jacket, revealing several small throwing knives, as well as a pair of combat knives. “Besides, I hate Dys. He creeps me out, always staring at my ass.”
Caine raised an eyebrow.
“Okay, but I don’t mind you staring at my ass. It’s the Ferengi. I can’t read him!”
“Yeah, well, he’s got that nice blonde dish that ferries him around everywhere. I don’t mind that at all,” Caine said with a grin, getting up. “Besides, if you’re gonna work with Romulans, you need a nice Romulan disruptor, not that Cardassian POS you’re carrying.”
“Then let me at least settle up the bill,” Xia said, heading for the bar. She smiled at the bartender and handed over some slips of latinum, and a generous tip.
The blonde smiled. “I’m Ketacyn. I’m off in three hours, if you want a private drink,” she said, leaning forward in a way that her cleavage caught Xia’s eye. “Just talk to Tiral.” She nodded to the Vulcan at the door. “She’ll show you up.”
Xia smiled. “I may just do that,” she said, her heart beating a little more rapidly as she turned and rejoined Caine to head to the bazaar.
The Lonely Star
The Lonely Star