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SD242008.22 - Joint Log - Fvaiduk & Tee-Sara - "Negotiating with a Child"

Posted on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 @ 4:23pm by Civilian Fvaiduk & Brigadier General Jonathan Grey

2,072 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Location: Versailles
Timeline: Current

=^= Lizzie's Bar =^=


The throbbing base could be felt through the floor as it shook the very hull. If Starfleet were present in the outer rings these days, it was likely a number of uniformed individuals would have dropped by the club to have a word about the noise.

As things were, Starfleet hadn't visited this area of the outer ring in weeks (at least, not officially), and a regular patrol hadn't been here in months.

Hence the volume.

That wasn't to say there was no security around. Various groups had stepped up to take the place of Security, and while their respective jurisdictions overlapped more than a little, everyone seemed to be cooperating in the keeping of the peace.

One such group was a mixed bunch of religious groups. While each had their own colours and symbols, most of the religious leaders on the station had now joined (or agreed to cooperate with) the Association of Religious Leaders (ARL).

The ARL's mark was a purple sash worn from shoulder to hip, which marked one as representing the larger organisation. The mercenaries, holy guards, zealots, and civilians that formed the ARL's security forces, for instance, all wore this sash.

And it was this sash that adorned a pair of women, otherwise clad in spotless white and gold, who were quietly lined up at the entrance to Lizzie's.

After the customary scan by the blue-haired lady at the front door, the girls quietly filtered into the main room, and casually walked around the periphery.

As a lithe figure danced around the stage, capturing the rapt attentions of the audience, the girls in white paid little attention to the expert movements on display. Instead, they slowly looked around at the rest of the room, attempting to make out faces.

These women made the blue-haired women nervous, something about them was not right, "Ah, welcome back," the blue-haired women said to the next customer.

The dapper man slowly sipped on his drink, watching not so much the dancers as more the group of ladies that walked in, "hmm," was all he mustered noticing that well that it was a harem of some kind.

Eventually, one of the pair (the brunette) noticed the dapper man in his seat, and turned to her blonde friend. The blonde looked at him, nodded to the brunette, and the two made their way directly over to him, weaving their way between the tables.

"Hi." offered the blonde girl, as they closed to within earshot. "Are these seats taken?"

The dapper man kept an eye on everything around him, and when the two women approached him, his hand moved behind his back to where his hunter's blade was, luckily he had made a good impression with the blue-haired women he was allowed to keep it on his person.

"They are not," the dapper man said, again using as few words as possible.

"We're here on business, on behalf of the High Priest of Ly-Rel." announced the blonde, both girls making a sign with their fingers over their hearts. "He has sent us with a message from the holy Chosen. Are the seats still taken?"

The dapper man knew what he was looking at, but luckily with training he kept his composure, "high priestess, you say," the dapper man asked rethocially.

"High Priest." the blonde corrected him. "He speaks for the Chosen, and She has asked for your presence in Her temple. Some in the congregation directed us towards a man, who spoke of a woman, who recommended you as a broker. We offer riches for loyal service. Will you serve?" she finished, deciding to give the message standing up.

The dapper man just looked at the pair, "I think you have me mistaken for someone else," the dapper man said knowing that he hadn't been here long enough for to have someone recommend himself. Now he waited, waited for them to offer up some more information especially if this high priest did truly want to see him, the pair would continue to offer information until he decided to go meet this high priest.

"Mis-mistaken?" stuttered the brunette, grabbing her friend's arm. "But Sophie *told* us-"

"Shh!" hushed her friend, glaring at her.

"Wha? But he...ohh." came the sound of belated realization.

"I'm sure we're not mistaken." assured the blonde, who by this point was wearing a slightly forced smile. "So you don't want to do business? We offered you riches already, what else could you want? Power? Women? Men?" she added, a tad snippily.

If only looking closely you would see a slight glimmer in the dapper man's eyes, but you weren't sure if it was fear, joy or any other emotion just the glimmer. This was where the dapper man always got into trouble, "there is more to well everything than those things," but as he was saying that he stood and nodded for them to lead the way, he knew a few Sophie's all were, well that is for a different time.

The blonde frowned a little at the broker's words, but said nothing, and instead led the way out of the club. Passing the woman with blue hair, and emerging from the glow of pink neon, the girls turned left. They moved through the crowd in stops and starts, glancing backwards from time-to-time to ensure the broker was still following them.

A short turbolift ride later, the doors opened to reveal something out of ancient greece.

The main temple of Ly-Rel aboard Versailles, this place was both spotless and gilded up to the nines. Worshippers, monks in white, and a few temple security staff were all drifting in and out of the main entrance, which sat between white columns. The doors were golden, though anyone could replicate gold these days, and were polished to a brilliant gleam.

Walking straight inside, the security staff eyeballed the broker but said nothing, merely nodding briskly to the girls as they led the fellow inside.

The interior of the temple couldn't ave been more than ten meters across or wide, but every available surface was decked out in either white marble, gold leaf, or some manner of artistic rendering of the same individual; a man clad in white robes, often doing something miraculous. Here he parted a mountain in two. There he flung his enemies into the distance.

"Ah, good evening." croaked a voice from the side of the room, as yet another golden door creaked open to reveal a wizened old man bent over a walking stick.

"Elder," the dapper man said giving him a simple but respectful how.

"Mmm, yes." murmured the old man, returning the bow in the form of a slight dip, followed by a wince as his back crackled.

Gesturing for the broker to follow, the old man shuffled his way back to the door he entered through. Inside was an equally-bright space the size of a normal room, where fires burned in a pair of basins that flanked a throne fit for someone three times the size of its diminutive occupant.

"Most Holy Chosen." the old man mumbled, "I humbly present this man for your consideration. He is a broker of deals, and may be able to find what you seek."

"Thank you, High Priest. You may sit." said the child, her tones unusually polite and regal for one so small.

The High Priest bowed to the girl, winced at the protestations of his back once more, and made his way to a small chair off to one side; easing himself slowly into it with a puff of exertion.

"Come forth, broker." announced the child. "Are you as capable as my priest claims?"

As always the dapper man bowed showing the respect this young girl apparently deserves, "high priest," the dapper man said taking a seat, "I believe your priest has been mistaken who I am," the dapper man said, "I do have business contacts here but I believe everyone does," the dapper man said still going through his mind trying to figure out which Sophie, "may I ask you sent you to me or mentioned me to you or your priest?" The dapper man said eyeing the young girl.

"Ask not from where my wisdom flows." declared the girl, "For mine is the mountain that births the river of knowledge. Scroll thirteen, line two seven nine."

"The most holy has been reading the holy scrolls, and means no offence." croaked the High Priest, well-practised at handling diplomatic incidents caused by his charge. "If you are not, in fact, a broker, could you perhaps recommend a capable individual who can act as such?"

The dapper man looked between the two, this was where needed to make a decision, working with religious/cult groups was tircky, as well as dangerous, but on the otherside there was money. "I can't promise I can find someone, but if you could fill me in on why you need a broker, I am sure I can find one that'll suit your needs," the dapper man said.

"Very well." murmured the High Priest. "As you may know, power over the Outer Ring has been devolved to three groups. The Mayoral Council, representing residential needs. The CEOs Group, representing businesses. And the Association of Re-Religio-"

Here the old man cut off, coughing hard into his hands, and gritting his teeth against a groan from sudden pangs in his back. The Chosen nearly rose from her seat, but the wave of an aging hand saw her retake the throne.

"I, I'm all right. Thank you." he managed, accepting a cloth from an aide. The man quietly tidied the flecks from his mouth and hands, and tucked the cloth into one of his robe's many folds.

"The third group," stated the girl, taking charge, "is the Association of Religious Leaders. I am in command of these, as they have seen my power, and know the wrath of Ly-Rel. With my army of loyal followers, we keep the peace in many districts, and guard the many temples."

"However," added the High Priest, who had caught his breath, "our people are clad in cloth and faith, but little else. We need armour, weapons, and medical supplies for the injured. Can...can..." he struggled, breathing deep, " supply these bulk?"

"I can, I also know others that can help, but this isn't gonna be cheap," the dapper man said looking at the small group that was gathered around the chosen one and elder high priest. "The armor and weapons are gonna be tricky but not impossible, but medical supplies are easily accessible on the open market, why require skills of a broker for those?"

"Shipping costs are very high right now, what with the black hole and all." explained the High Priest, who seemed to be breathing a little easier. "If we are buying the armour and weapons anyway, it seemed smart to have the medical supplies delivered at the same time."

"Our flock turns to us for succor." said the Chosen, gesturing expansively. "We wish to provide for them in their time of need. All of them. This means more medicine than the local market can supply."

"Give me a few days to set somethings up," the dapper man said, again looking between the Chosen One and the elder high priest, "but I'll be the point of contact while I have other brokers take care of the individual pieces," the dapper man, "think of me as a contractor, I'll put the team together but the other brokers are doing the hard work."

The little girl seemed puzzled at this, and glanced towards the High Priest, who nodded in comprehension.

"Then we will leave this in your hands, and await news of your progress." declared the High Priest. He attempted to rise, twice, but slumped back into his chair each time. The women who had escorted the contractor here moved quietly to the elderly man's side, and silently slipped a hand under each arm.

Rising with the womens' help, the High Priest stood and offered a shallow, back-preserving bow.

The dapper man bowed deeply more to the elder high priest than to the chosen one, "I'll contact you once I have some information," the dapper man added looking at the group before turning and leaving. {What have you gotten yourself into,} the dapper man thought to himself ashe left the temple building.

=/= End Log =/=


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