Previous Next

SD241905.26 - Joint Duty Log - COPS & Civilian Trader - "A Warm Welcome"

Posted on Sun May 26th, 2019 @ 4:33pm by Brigadier General Jonathan Grey & Lieutenant Commander Halcyon Attixx

2,230 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Location: Versailles
Timeline: Backlog: Before Black Hole.

=^= Executive Premium Civilian Docking Port 1-Alpha =^=

Golden spirals, inscribed into the wide, circular docking port, glinted in the brilliant light from the chandeliers high above the gathered crowd. The door itself was a series of overlapping golden plates, each ridged and curved like a flat clam shell. The door sat atop a royal red carpet, which stretched across this vast entrance hall and led directly to the glass doors of a meeting room of similar gilt.

The crowd itself seemed restless, each person decked out in their finest robes or tunics, and many individuals wearing as little as they could get away with. Though a few feigned idle chit-chat with friends, almost every eye was watching the gilded docking port with a hunger that bordered on desperation.

Keeping the crowd away from the red carpet were two lines of men and women, each wearing an identical uniform; white tunic with gold buttons, a red sash, and black trousers. These uniforms were being repeatedly inspected by a single individual who paced up and down the red carpet, pausing occasionally to glare at a sloucher, or an unpolished button.

Halcyon tugged on his dress uniform's hem, straightening out the final creases that he'd been assured by two other Starfleet officers weren't there. He'd been told that this was one of the most important of the traders that he would ever meet and decided he would go all out for this one. Make a good impression, make a good deal, everyone would win. "Coming through, coming through..." He muttered as he approached the cordon of guardsmen and released his uniform.

The eagle-eyed supervisor caught the look of the dress uniform and swept his way to the Operations officer and looked him up and down, sneering at some imperfection before waving Halcyon through the line of guards. Halcyon gave him a big smile, "Thank you, I'm here to see His Excellency?"

"Hrmpf." grunted the supervisor, sneering at the Starfleet officer for a moment before turning his back on the man and resuming his prowl. Clearly there was no love lost between this embittered veteran and the 'fleet, despite the former living on the latter's space-station.

"He'll be here in a few moments." whispered one of the guards, clamping her lips together when the Supervisor's head snapped round at the noise. Her superior stalked up to her with eyes narrowed to suspicious slits, before getting distracted by movement near the docking port.

Either side of the golden door, a line of three servants lifted silver trumpets from the ground and raised them into the air, licking their lips in readiness. Their comms devices gave them the ready signal a moment later, and the well-practiced group blared out a little tune; vibrant and regal, as if welcoming a much-loved monarch.

By the sudden rush of the crowd towards the carpet, barely held back by the struggling guards, this visitor was definitely beloved by his people. It took a little shoving, but eventually the crowd managed to settle a little, and the Supervisor pushed a button on his wrist-guard.

With much ado, the various curved surfaces that made up the door rotated into the frame like an iris, revealing the visitor; shrouded in smoke.

His shoes caught the eye first, as they were golden and smooth; finely polished to perfection by a team of craftsmen. His trousers were the finest in black silk, weaved from the finest space-moth-silk in the galaxy. His tunic was golden thread, and sat atop a white ruffled shirt with a fine, red cummerbund around his waist.

Of course, with all his finery, there was no missing those ears.

For they were enormous.

"Weeeeaaarrrrrrgggghhhh!!!" screamed the Ferengi, raising his hands and throwing up the horns as he grinned and stuck out his tongue.

The response was truly deafening, as the crowd went wild. Some screamed, some jumped up and down, and a woman had to be bodily thrown back into the crowd as she tried to literally climb over a guard's head.

As the Ferengi strode out of the port and along the carpet, a line of young, blonde women ran out from the port behind him and stood facing the crowd. Each wore a simple green dress that shimmered under the light of the chandelier, and each wore a simple ring of flowers atop her head. Beaming at their audience, the women pushed a hand into the wicker baskets they all carried, and withdrew a handful of latinum strips.

Chaos ensued as the crowd tracked the golden shower with their eyes, friends thinking nothing of trampling their buddies in an attempt to snatch more of the metal from the air, with small children rushing around between peoples' legs, gathering the scraps that reached the floor.

Enjoying this immensely, the Ferengi's cocky strut finally reached the Commander waiting for him on the carpet. Snapping his fingers imperiously, the women threw the last of their latinum into the crowd and hurried back into the ship, only to be replaced by an entirely *new* bevy of beauties. This group wore almost no clothing at all, and over a third were male. Red hair, blue hair, no hair, the mix seemed designed to appeal to the widest audience.

These newcomers gathered behind the Ferengi and dropped to one knee, bowing in respect to both the Ferengi himself, and the Ops officer the Ferengi was here to meet.

"So!" the Ferengi announced, in a loud nasal tone, "I'm Pog! Let's get down to business shall we!?"

Halcyon repressed a shudder at the ostentation that the entire presentation had shown, but he knew he had to strike some sort of balance between obeisance and authority while pronouncing that in a VERY public forum. Don't piss him off. The Ops officer flourished his hands in an inner circle before splaying them out, arms wide and bowed deeply with one leg moving back in an elaborate, formal, medieval style gesture of respect. "I'm Halcyon, Your Excellency, the station's head of Operations and Supply." His voice was modulated to carry as well for the entire area to hear, just as Pog's was, "If you would, I could escort you to one of our conference rooms and arrange for refreshments?" He had, of course, arranged to have some fresh items prepared at one of the local delicatessens just in case, at his own expense, drinks would have to be on-the-fly, but he'd also arranged for that same restaurateur to be available at need for that as well.

"Whaaaaat?!" screeched Pog, his face a sudden mask of offended fury. "I'm dealing with a lackey!? Why isn't the General here? I will complain to the highest authorities over this outrage! Get me an Admiral on the comm, lackey!"

Meanwhile, the guards hadn't moved, and Pog's retinue showed no sign of surprise over this. Having served their affluent master for quite some time now, they were familiar with his ways, and also his petulant attitude.

It was sometimes difficult to believe just how much money, and how many favors, this tetchy little Ferengi commanded. Despite the legendarily poor social skills of his race, their ability to haggle was unmatched, and it could be quite interesting seeing this fool of a toad walk away from a deal carrying his opponent's shirt.

Literally, in some cases.

So much for flattery. Halcyon was no man's lackey, well, perhaps the General's, but not in THAT form of the word. But, he was not to offend this... Jackass. He rose from his gesture of respect and bit back the words that he truly did want to say, to tell this overstuffed sack of worm shit that he could either deal with him, Halcyon, or not at all and that he'd do no business anywhere in the sector without his leave. No. Instead, he'd make this miserable muppet beg to keep coming to this station, if he could.

"Excellency, while I would be honored to retrieve the Admiral that you so fervently desire, I would humbly request you deign to talk to myself first, so as to familiarize yourself with what potential policy changes those same Admirals and Generals are currently formulating in regards to this space station in response to the changing needs we are experiencing. Your insights would be most valued, certainly, and should they come through an intermediary conduit, such as my own humble self, you could end up on the ground floor of these new policies and position yourself quite favorably when they do come into effect. Indeed, should sufficient care be taken in handling your valuable contributions, you could even gain significant goodwill among my superiors, making your influence even greater for future profit." Flowery words, Halcyon spoke, to cover the various words that made his entire little speech a very calculated uncertainty in truth, with the hint of a smile, a knowing, conspiratorial smile meant only for Pog.

While a furious scowl still sat on the little toad's brow, the beginnings of a smile were tugging at the corners of his mouth. For one thing, what the Commander was saying made a lot of sense. New policy was often fluid and open to interpretation, and that enabled all sorts of profitable smuggling under the noses of policy-makers who couldn't think in as many loops as he could.

For another, Pog happened to know that the Commander was a new face on the station. While the man knew what he wanted to hear, no doubt about that, there was little doubt in his greedy little brain that the Commander was a beginner when it came to business. There was almost certainly an advantage to be had here, and he loved the idea of pulling the wool over this neophyte's eyes.

Just then, a rumble shook the floor underneath them. The chandelier flickered briefly, the tell-tale sign of a momentary power disruption, and a look of uncertainty crossed Pog's face; swiftly chasing away the rage.

"Alert to all senior officers," whispered the Commander's comms implant, the voice heard by his ear alone, "an explosion has been detected on the promenade. Sensors detect an assault is in progress, and the station's CO and XO are under fire. Support has been dispatched, and the situation will be resolved soon. Keep calm, and direct your response appropriately. Further updates will be available shortly."

"Whaaaaat is going on!" demanded Pog, his uncertainty putting him on edge. He wasn't the only one, as the crowd was looking around with fear in their eyes, and even the guards seemed unsure as to what to do. More than one glanced at the Commander, pricking their ears towards him.

Halcyon's left leg twinged in sympathy at the report coming in over his implant, having been regrown after his own combat incident, but his smile never left his face, just hardened into something a bit more forced. The Promenade was well away from where they were at right now, they were in no danger here unless the situation didn't get under control, but if it didn't, then they were all screwed. And this guy was Im. Por. Tant. Panicking right now would only hurt his negotiations. Lying would hurt them. So he took perhaps a second and a half to compose his thoughts. And now he understood the looks he'd gotten when one of his underofficers had asked if he'd been wearing the special issue gear and he'd said 'no'.

"There's been a disturbance on the Promenade, but it's being handled even as we speak." He said confidently, pitching his voice for the guards to hear clearly, "Nothing that should interfere with our discussion in any way, there is no danger to us here. But certainly you would like to be more comfortable as we talk?" He gestured towards the corridor that would take them to the conference room he'd prepared, where there would be security personnel far more capable to respond IF the situation did indeed get worse.

"Er, uh, yes! Lead on then!" twanged the Ferengi, pursing his mouth and jutting out his chin in an attempt to smother the outright fear that was still draining the colour from his face (but, strangely, not his ears). Attempting to hide his discomfort from his retinue, the Ferengi flicked his right hand out with practised ease and snapped his fingers.

Nervously, the group behind him rose from their knees and hurried to keep up as Pog stroke boldly down the corridor the Commander had gestured to. Some remembered their training, and kept their eyes down in deference to their boss, while others seemed to be having trouble with the worry inside of them, and kept glancing from side to side, searching for signs of further "disturbances".

Meanwhile, the YaDallan crowd behind them settled down to wait. This was their first time meeting Pog, but the Versailles locals (for whom no sum of Latinum could make that little toad bearable) had suggested he'd be just as generous leaving as he was arriving. Like most abhorrent individuals seeking approval, the Ferengi tried to buy it wherever possible. For the refugees, this sat just fine with them.

The kids, of course, seemed to like the cretin regardless. Especially the loud, annoying ones now running in circles and shouting from boredom.

Birds of a feather, perhaps.

=^= End of Log =^=

Lieutenant Commander Halcyon Attixx
Chief Operations Officer
Starbase Versailles


NPCs (Grey)


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed