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SD241901.27 - Joint Duty Log - CSCI & Klingons - "Suspicion"

Posted on Mon Feb 4th, 2019 @ 12:40pm by Commander Torhild Jessen & Brigadier General Jonathan Grey

1,899 words; about a 9 minute read

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

=^= Promenade =^=

Thick with people, the shops on the promenade were doing a healthy business. Refugees could be spotted by their clothing; a contrary mix of scuffed YaDallan fashions, and mass-produced clothing delivered by one of the civilian aid groups. The market area in the shanty town included many stalls run by these aid groups, and had piles of plain-coloured tshirts free for the taking.

Around here though, the word "free" didn't see much use. Latinum was the currency of choice, but it seemed that more and more shopkeepers were opening up to the idea of trade for goods. Refugees often had no Latinum, but hand-crafted goods made by the refugees were becoming quite sought-after on developed worlds. A shopkeeper on Versailles would trade a bag of apples for a pair of hand-knitted sweaters, and then pass those sweaters to the aid groups, which would sell them under a charity banner.

The only people getting fleeced were the buyers at the end of the chain, who knew the goods were overpriced because part of the money went to the refugees. Honesty, of a sort.

In Aravik's Emporium, the Vulcan owner had seen the logic in this practice, and was busy accepting a bag of knitted socks in exchange for a subspace signal repeater. Though slightly scuffed, the casing of the repeater had been buffed to a brilliant shine. As had all of the second-hand electronics lining the shelves.

The refugee accepted the repeater with one hand, and took the receipt with the other. He opened his mouth to thank the shopkeeper, but was interrupted by the door chime tinkling.

Thick boots clumped over the threshhold, making the hardware on the shelves rattle with every footfall. Though there was a great deal of metal on these folks, each piece was separated by leather or cloth, the sure sign of someone who didn't want to jingle in the dark.

Two Klingon warriors, each an imposing seven feet tall, glared at the contents of the store. One picked up a complex device from a nearby shelf, eyeballing the large crystal at its center. The Klingon sniffed at the device without comprehension, and he snarled at its complexity, before dropping it distastefully.

"You there!" barked the other Klingon, staring directly at the shopkeeper. "What are these?" she demanded, pushing the refugee customer out of the way as she strode toward the desk. The refugee flinched at the contact and decided to get out, wasting no time in fleeing through the closing door.

"There are many items in this store." observed the Vulcan behind the counter, whose name tag identified him as Aravik. "If you are referring to the item your colleague has broken, that was a duonetic wave booster. It received a duonetic wave signal through the main input, and amplified it so that the output would be of a given strength. It is useful if you are using the duonetic waves to carry data across large distances, as it prevents signal attenuation."

"Hrr." growled the Klingon, her tone unhappy. "Could these signals reach the Romulan fleet?" she asked, suspiciously.

"It is possible, if enough power were to be used." Aravik explained, his expression unperturbed.

"And how would you know that, unless you were in contact with them?!" shouted the Klingon, furiously. "'avwI' Qam!" she told her companion, who stalked over to the doorway and blocked it against outside interference.

Inside, the Klingon female lunged over the desk and grabbed the Vulcan by the neck, dragging him towards her and *slamming* him against the shelves, knocking many items to the floor with the force of the move.

Tori had spent a large part of the last few hours wandering the promenade, not entirely sure what it was she was looking for, perhaps it was just an attempt to immerse herself among the people, perhaps it was to distract herself from the larger tasks at hand, or perhaps it was to remind herself of why it was that tasks she should have been focusing on were important. The 'why' didn't seem anywhere near as important as the act of simply physically being there.

In truth, she was struggling with trying to come up with any reasonable way to greatly increase the production of any kind of edible produce in a way that would make any kind of meaningful difference in the short term. There were plenty of ideas in her head, but none that would see the results as quickly as she wanted them, which was why she had wandered into Aravik's Emporium. The 'word' on the station was that his store front was a veritable treasure trove of weird, wild and wonderful devices, and if he didn't have it there was no doubt he could get it, for a fee of course. Not that she had any idea what it was that she was even looking for, more just hoping that maybe, just maybe, some kind of brilliant idea would jump out at her.

The gruff tone of the Klingon voices startled her from her reverie and she glanced around, surprised to see that not only had the refugee scarpered at the first sign of trouble, her own escape path had now been blocked as well.

Tori could feel herself cringing inwardly as the Klingon female hauled Aravik across the counter and into the shelves, making her jump out of the path of the various items cascading toward her feet.

"Now you will tell us everything you know about your Romulan friends, or I will cut you up and feed your living remains to my targ for his breakfast!" the Klingon threatened, slamming her fist into the Vulcan's gut.

"Or, you could just let him go, turn around and scarper out of her like the Ha'DI bah you are," Tori said quietly, making her presence known.

Snarling under her breath, the Klingon turned to glare at the newcomer with a sneer on her face. Both eyes alighted on the Starfleet uniform, and the open aggression became slightly more wary.

"He confessed to being a Romulan traitor. Does Starfleet lack the stomach to carry out a proper interrogation?" the Klingon remarked, doubt and mockery riding on her tones. Meanwhile the Shopkeeper was busy trying to pry the thick, well-muscled fingers from his neck. Without looking, the Klingon tightened her grip in response, causing alarming clicking noises to come from the Vulcan's neck.

If she hadn't actually seen it with her own eyes, Tori would not have believed it was possible for a Vulcan's face to achieve that precise shade of purple. "He confessed to no such thing, now release him at once!" she raised her voice, concerned that the Klingon was going to end up murdering him right in front of her.

Tori cast a glance toward the Klingon at the door who was blocking both her exit path and the ability for anyone to enter. Even if she did call security for help it would likely be too late by the time they got there. She had to do something, but what? "Release him now... or... or else!" she threatened, aware that the threat sounded lame, even to her own ears.

"Hrm." grunted the Klingon, flinging the Vulcan shopkeeper over to her comrade. The grunt blocking the door, who had been watching out of the corner of his eyes, turned to catch the Vulcan. With one hand, he grabbed the shopkeeeper by the neck as her flew through the air, slamming the unfortunate soul down against the ground.

Meanwhile, his superior had rounded on Tori, stalking closer to the science officer with an unfriendly expression on her face. The Klingon's broad shoulders swung from side to side like a batter seeking a home run.

Or, perhaps more likely, several consecutive fouls.

"Or. Else. What?" the Klingon demanded, lunging forward and grabbing the uniform at the scruff of Tori's neck; lifting her into the air with a snarl. With a yank, the science officer was held scant inches in front of the Klingon's face, and treated to a freshly-sharpened smile.

"Ever heard of a breath mint?" Tori muttered as she cringed, trying to pull her head back as far as she could from the heavy breathing Klingon that was holding her off the ground by the collar.

Any sense of bravado was gone, any color she had was draining rapidly from her skin. "Or else..." she grappled, trying to think of how she was going to get out of this mess, silently cursing herself for having spoken up at all, but knowing she couldn't have remained silent, even if she had wanted to.

Reaching blindly with her left hand, Tori tried to put her hand around something, anything she might be able to use as a weapon, but her hand only caught air and landed uselessly on her pocket.

Her pocket.

Her pocket! Almost immediately she remembered the glitter filled packet that Astrid had given her that morning before she left for her duty shift, along with the heartfelt speech that it was full of fairy kisses and magic spells to keep her safe from the bad people...

Sliding her hand into her pocket, Tori used her fingers to pry apart the small packet before pulling it out, throwing it into Klingon's face.

Almost instantly the hands holding her up in the air released her and she fell to the ground as the Klingon pulled back and howled, a sparkling array of pink, blue and purple glitter settling in the ridges on her face, into her eyes and through her hair.

Crawling backward to put at least some distance between her and the Klingon, Tori reached up and tapped her commbadge. "Jessen to Security, there are two Klingons on the promenade causing trouble inside Araviks," she said quickly.

Skirting around the female Klingon who was at this time furiously rubbing her eyes, Tori moved toward the door, keeping herself out of grabbing distance and able to watch both of them. "Security will be on the way, I suggest you both skedaddle like the animals you are before they get here," she said quietly before looking down at Aravik. "Are you alright? Do you need medical?"

"I am fine. Thank you, Commander." gasped the Vulcan shopkeeper, struggling to his feet with the aid of a nearby shelf. He was in need of a good doctor, but still managed to keep an eye on the Klingons.

Staggering through the open door, the blinded Klingon was half-led, half-dragged out of the store by her comrade. Their defenceless quarry had turned the tables with a handful of glitter, and they were less frightened of Security than they were of word getting back to the barracks. Embarrassing would be putting it mildly.

Helping the Vulcan to his feet, Tori kept one eye on the Klingons as they beat a hasty retreat before summoning medical to come and check out the shopkeeper. "I'll let security know to keep an eye on them, and the store," she said gently. "I don't think they'll be terribly hard to miss."

Without waiting for another response, she turned and exited the store herself, heading away from the chaos of the promenade and back to the safety of the science labs.

=^= End of Log =^=

Lieutenant Commander Torhild Jessen
Chief Science Officer
Starbase Versailles


Klingons (NPC Grey)
Strike Force
Klingon Defence Force


Aravik (NPC Grey)


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