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Suede and Velour

Posted on Thursday, 10 June 2021 - 10:44am by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant Talarn Zilth

Mission: Operation: Neu Reich
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 05 | Shuttlebay
Timeline: MD 15

Captain Barret Stillwater and several members of his Senior Staff: Second Officer Kingsley, Chief Tactical Officer Zilth, Chief Operations Officer Kolani, and Lieutenant Vali, Stillwater's Foreign Area Officer had assembled in the shuttlebay as a welcoming party for their Ferengi 'VIP,' a man who had been sent to represent the 'latinum' behind the Federation's joint business venture. The Ferengi Na'Far class shuttlepod Crescent's Bounty had successfully landed in the Standing Bear's shuttle, sitting there without opening the hatch until a proper welcoming party arrived.

Stillwater had rallied the lot of his staff, leaving Soral on the Bridge. Apparently, the Captain and Zilth were not enough of a welcoming party. T'Lanna's research had been thorough and thanks to her Barret had a fair grasp of the sort of Ferengi he was dealing with, a former Daimon turned Liquidator who had left the Ferengi Commerce Authority several years ago to become the 'mouthpiece' for a private citizen, one who was known for purchasing moons himself.

As the five starfeet officers approached the Ferengi shuttle, a hatch decompressed and slowly lifted. Stillwater looked over at Kingsley and Vali. "I don't know how he is going to handle the two of you with your uniforms," said Stillwater, "but quite frankly, I do not know care. He will have to deal with it aboard a Federation starship." This was a slightly larger shuttle, definitely more luxurious. "He prefers to still go by his old rank of Daimon according to past business transactions," noted Stillwater.

T’Lanna exchanged glances with Alex as Barret spoke about their uniforms. “I’m sure the Daimon will find our presence completely annoying anyway. After all we are inferior females in his eyes.”

Beside them, Kingsley said nothing. They were both, of course, right.

The Captain moved closer to Kolani. "Be careful with the Ferengi, they like to plant listening devices when they get a chance and viruses from time to time. Please make sure to run a clean sweep for anything and everything once they are gone."

Suddenly, four Ferengi exited from the shuttle, quick and swift goblin-like movement and they spread out. One of them, acting somewhat like a coachman went to the front of the shuttle with a rag and a bottle, and began waxing the shuttle. A second, a footman perhaps unfurled a marigold-colored suede textured rug. He then retrieved a tray from the shuttle and stood erect by the hatch, holding the tray that had a compact container of beetle snuff. The other two Ferengi looked more stern and ready to tangle.

Of the other two, Stillwater could practically hear an unpleasant low growl from his Cardassian husband who clearly saw the same thing Stillwater did. Those two Ferengi were armed with holstered phase pistols.

Talarn ground his teeth together to keep his disgust from his face. He surveyed them quickly, glad that he too was not unarmed. He also noticed the phasers, as well as several boot knives among the group. He flicked his eyes to Barret and nodded his chin slightly, telling the captain that he had seen the Ferengi’s weapons.

"I know," Barret said calmly to his husband who was very protective be it because he was Barret's husband or because the safety of everyone aboard ultimately rested on him. Not like the Ferengi to be so blatantly armed, he thought to himself. "Gentlemen, coming armed aboard a Federation starship?"

The lesser Ferengi just hissed and made gestures with their digits, though their VIP arrival surfaced from the shuttle and exited down the unrolled carpet. "The galaxy is a dangerous place, Captain," the Ferengi said. "It is no longer safe to go anywhere unarmed. Latinum does not have its same value as it once did... some don't even bother to be bought before firing upon us."

Talarn tensed. He knew that they more than likely would not want to give up their weapons. He stood a little taller, not that he wasn’t already intimidating, but it never hurt to look bigger.

"A Cardassian exBorg?" the Ferengi said, approaching to get a better look at Talarn. "Intriguing choice in bodyguard, Captain. How much latinum for him?" the Ferengi said as one of his subordinates quickly came to his side with a Ferengi PADD. It was clear that the Ferengi was already checking his finances and getting ready to draw up a financial offer for Talarn's purchase.

“I’m afraid the Federation don’t sell their officers, Daimon.” T’Lanna offered a polite smile as she moved to stand on the opposite side of Barret.

Talarn couldn’t hold back the growl, it was the sound of something primordial and dangerous. The light over his right eye blinked rapidly and he bared his teeth. It was all he could do to keep his tongue in check. Words came at phase two, and the Cardassian was still at phase one. He really only had three phases when he was angry. Phase three he usually didn’t remember after.

The Ferengi nearly keeled over. "Your fee-male talked without permission?" the Ferengi shuddered. "I knew you kept them clothed, but this? This is what they have started to turn Ferenginar into, but I am not paid for my politics."

T’Lanna smiled as she stepped in to try and change the subject away from Talarn somewhat. “Females in our society enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the males Daimon.” She smiled. “I’m afraid you’ll have to get used to dealing with us as well.” As she spoke her own Borg implants that were under her hair glinted in the light.

Now standing a little apart from the rest of the group, Alex observed the Ferengi with a mix of amusement and disgust. Had he honestly expected to buy a member of their crew? She had to give Talarn credit, for she would not have stopped at a growl, no matter how chilling it had sounded.

"I can get used to it. The profit is all I care about," replied the Daimon.

Stillwater looked at Talarn and smiled. He was lucky to have met such a wonderful person, to have married them, and been on thus wild journey together. Their eyes met momentarily, a gaze that said a million words. Thank you and I love you were among them. Then, Stillwater focused on the Ferengi. "I'm here for peace, not profit. Let's go to our briefing room and negotiate the terms of our business arrangement. "


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