Canopus Station
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Press Release

Posted on Fri Jan 22nd, 2021 @ 2:25am by Daihnaa & Stephen Spires & Bar'soon'fo'da'gree'nars

Mission: S0E0: What Came Before
Location: Em'Bar'See | Canopus Station
Timeline: ??

Boots on the ground never felt so good. For several months, there had been so much going on for Stephen Spires to cover that it seemed like so much fell through the cracks. With only so many hours in a day, and more than a few dedicated to Mara, Stephen felt like he was slipping. There had been the interview with the Cardassian envoy Lu'kat, but that was old hat in his view. The station was filled with so many foreign dignitaries, refugees, and other wild cards whom nobody back in the home sectors had seen before. He'd done a disservice in describing the local color for the FNS viewership and corporate sponsors.

Maybe Bar'soon wasn't a real political leader, but he was certainly colorful. Even if it turned out to be a featured puff piece, Stephen figured the editorial team would get a kick out of it back in the quadrants.

"Excuse me," he called out to the nearly ramshackle exterior of Storage Bay 3 that this Bar'soon had claimed as his palatial palace in exile. "Anybody home?"

Bread. There was bread everywhere. Bread from dozens of worlds. And most of it looked like it had been manhandled, torn and possibly used for reproduction attempts. A loaf moved, aided by a slender green hand and came sailing towards the man's position. "Stop or be toasted," a female voice called.

"My lady may need to clarify her meaning," Spires teased as he dodged the airborne bread. The rumors he'd heard about the Shishimi were proving to be more than true. "Toasted can be good, bad, or neutral depending on the context."

"Toasted, roasted, burned alive," came the female voice, still out of sight.

Spires let out a chuckle. "Yes, I've heard that Shishimi parties get quite wild, but I'm here to interview, er, rather call upon an emperor in order to learn of his greatness and share it far and wide. That's my job." He flashed a flimsy lamination with the FNS logo on it. "I'm a journalist."

"His name, peasant, is Lord Bar'soon'fo'da'gree'nars, Third of his Title, holder of the lightning throne, guardian of the sacred skulls of Antiok and ruler of the world of Shishimi and all its celestial companions," the voice called out. "And I can buy one of those at the Rish Enclave for less than you paid for it."

"I paid nothing for it," Spires said. "I earned it through embedded investigations throughout known space. Not just Federation, mind you. Cardassian, Ferengi, Klingon, Kzinti, Orion, Talarian, I've been through everyone's territory. That's why they sent me out here to Messier 4. Who better to tell the tale of His Eminence than someone who's already seen it all?" While Spires was enjoying the play-acting, it wasn't necessarily the best use of his time. If this Lord did not wish to speak now, he might need to try later.

"Yo, Mistah B!" the voice called out. "Some flunky from the FNS is here to write lies about you. Get up!"

There was a sound of something solid hitting something meaty. "Stop snuggling the Japanese Milk Bread." The sound of something hitting meat sounded again.

Peering over the bread fortifications, Spires saw a buxom little Orion kick what looked to him like a spindly blue dog man. That could only be Bar'soon. From the sight of him, the Shishimi had had his ass whooped.

"Whoa! What the hell is going on?" Spires gave a small dropkick to the bread with a single boot and cleared a path for himself. "Back up now," he said as he approached the Orion. "Let's not do anything we can't take back."

Daihnaa turned with a swiftness that was surprising and a Cardassian laser scalpel activated in her left hand. "Oh really?" She said happily. "Wanna play, mister writer?" She wore a outfit of tight blue denim and her eyes searched his torso and hips quickly before looking back up at him.

"Any other day I'd be happy to step up to the plate and show you how Earth boys bat, but I can't just stand by and watch you murder someone," Spires said. "Unless he had it coming, in which case I'd love to hear all about it." He flashed her a smile and waggled his eyebrows. God, she seemed batshit right now, but there was always more to a story. "The golden rule of the news is if it bleeds, it leads, you know."

"He had it comin'
He had it comin'
He only had himself to blame
If you'd have been there
If you'd have seen it
I betcha you would have done the same," the Orion woman sang. "Besides, I don't think he can die. I've stabbed him, shot him, cut parts out of him and more." She shrugged. "He lets me."

Spires nodded. "I see..." Either the Orion was even battier than he thought, or there was some wild kinky shit going down here. His second instinct was to run away and not look back. But the curvaceous figure of the feisty Orion overrode that with his first instinct. The one he did his best to ignore. "Hey, Bar'soon," Stephen called out. "How you doing down there?"

She turned with the scalpel again after another kick. "His name is Lord Bar'soon'fo'da'gree'nars, Third of his Title, holder of the lightning throne, guardian of the sacred skulls of Antiok and ruler of the world of Shishimi and all its celestial companions."

"That's quite a mouthful," Spires quipped. "Do you like saying that every time you refer to him or is it part of his kink?"

"That's his title and all will respect it," Daihnaa told the human. Then she wondered how far his credentials could take her from the station. She moved closer to him and turned the laser scalpel off. "I can give you an exclusive on him," she offered.

As crazy as this casual encounter was getting, Spires liked it. Some of the best times in his career had been early on when he talked his way into low-level dives to interview wannabe gangsters and fugitives of justice to get their side of the story before the long arm of the law carted them off. This Bar'soon was as much of a gangster as he was a king or whatever he'd convinced the Orion girl he was, but Spires had a nose for truth. There was still more to the situation than the absurd face value appearance suggested.

"Fantastic! I'm ready now," Spires said, trying his luck.

"What's it worth?" she countered with a smirk. "I mean, it has to be more impressive than Lord Bar'soon'fo'da'gree'nars, Third of his Title, holder of the lightning throne, guardian of the sacred skulls of Antiok and ruler of the world of Shishimi and all its celestial companions, ya know."

Spires cocked his head. "Something is worth whatever someone's willing to pay for it," he said with a sly grin. "Any economist will tell you that."

Whoever this was presenting a game, so he would play along. Without confirmation from Bar'soon, everything they said would be moot. A little harmless banter never hurt anyone. "Why don't we spare your very pretty mouth the back-and-forth bit and skip to the part where you tell me what you want in exchange for an exclusive."

Daihnaa moved closer to him with the sinuous grace of a Denebian Slime Devil that learned how to be an exotic dancer. But much more attractive and way less slimy. Physically. "How about a hundred slips of latinum and you get me off of this station and away from this space?" she proposed in a sultry voice.

"Depends where you wanna go," Stephen said. Part of his brain recognized the seductive ploy for what it was. It was a card he'd played many a time himself. But another part of his brain didn't care. Harmless fun, right? "If you want to explore the wild black yonder, I could probably help you out. But if you wanted back to any of the quadrants, well, the Starfleet cockups running this place haven't gotten around to building the return trip yet." Returning her flirtatious demeanor, Stephen smirked as he said, "Besides, if you run along, who's going to make sure His Royal Hiney down there keeps his appointment?"

"I'll have you know I'm perfectly capable of managing my own affairs," Bar'soon said as he got up off the deck awkwardly. A shoulder snapped back into its socket with a suckering pop, and the bloodshot nature of his eyes looked almost like the spin cycle on a washing machine as they returned to their darker hues. He dusted the crust and dusting of flour from his shoulders with an imperious little huff.

"Why during the coronation of my second cousin Jar'doon The Lesser, I managed three affairs with his bride to be, his mistress, and the indebted wedding planner who was secretly an assassin sent by my mother to perform the ritual coitus interruptus," Bar'soon explained. "Wonderful woman, very nimble fingers. I think I invited her to my mothers birthday, but you know I invited so many assassins to that party it's hard to tell."

He stared off towards the corner of the room, lost in a happy thought.

"Mistah B?" She inquired, then saw the look on his face. With a sigh, she grabbed one of his big floppy ears and pulled him around to face the reporter.

Bar'soon let out a screech and wheeled back, head lowered to reduce the stretching pull on his ear.

It was little wonder why this Bar'soon had been deposed. He was a Grade-A dumbass, and it took all of Spires' professionalism to keep that opinion off his face. "A man after my own heart," he said with a sly grin. When backed into a corner, lead with the truth. "What can you tell me about your own coronation? Was it a grander affair than your second cousin's?"

"Oh by far," Bar'soon said, rubbing his abused ear. "Why it would have been a festival to outdo even the debauched revels of Shishimi ancestry. A week of parties, celebrations, feasts, orgies, and of course peasant racing which is always a nice way to include the common cut of cloth to such things."

He sighed wistfully.

"Alas my scheming forty brothers and forty-two sisters ousted me from the throne a day before my coronation. Can you believe that? I didn't even try to kill them to hard when we were children. I was basically a pacifist, and all I got from them was..." he frowned, looking up as he began to count on his fingers. " two...carry the... eighty-two! Eighty-two daggers in the back! I at least have the satisfaction of being uniquely deposed of. Et'tuu my lifeguard, a brute of a man, only stabbed me three times."

Spires processed the ridiculous story with practiced aplomb, giving a nod or an affirming hum in the right places. "So... am I to understand that through the sordid turn of events just described you were never properly coronated?"

"Merely a formality, I was next in line and my fathers favourite. And in either case being deposed allowed me to venture off-world with the Myriad, and see so many charming and...charming people!" Bar'soon turned and gestured to Spires. "Like you. Hue-mahns. Such a strange name, though you all seem to have a worryingly narrow gene pool. Compared to some of the examples of alien life I've seen in my time with the Myriad, why...I don't know how to bring this to your attention, but you're kind of boring. No offence."

"Interesting," Spires said with practiced interest. "And to think humanity is among the more genetically diverse of species within the galaxy. So you consider your exile to be an asset toward your eventual reign, long may it endure at some point? You've amassed sufficient reputation and forces, no doubt, to make good your claim." He couldn't resist a wandering eye that took in copious amounts of bread in the storage bay that was the Em'Bar'See.

"It's a work progress. Best not to rush into these things," Bar'soon said pointedly and then looked to Diahnaa. "This is not how the press works on Shishimi! There was no rehearsal, no script, no prep time."

Spires grinned. "Welcome to Canopus Station," he said, "forward operating base of the Federation where free speech is only moderately persecuted." Thinking quickly, lest he draw the weird creature's ire, Stephen threw in a non sequitur. "So is there a Missus Holder of the Lightning Throne and what else?"

"No. There were many, I liked a selection of choices," Bar'soon said as he slowly manoeuvred himself behind Diahnaa. "I think this Federation of yours has far to much time to run rampant. It almost sounds....sound...democratic."

Spires chuckled at that and began to say, "Democracy is just three--"

"Want me to cut him into pieces and send him to the Ferengi News Network for fun and mockery?" Daihnaa asked Bar'soon as she activated the Cardassian laser scalpel again.

"Whoa, now," Spires said, letting his contrarian quip go unfinished with hands upraised. "I think I'll be going now. Thank you for the exclusive, but I've got everything I need."

"I don't know what a Ferengi is, but that sounds like a delightful idea! Unless..." Bar'soon said in a sing-song voice. "You want to write the true and accurate life story of myself? As dictated by myself and annotated by only the most loyal and sycophantic followers?"

Spires shook his head. "No, I think I'll have to pass on account of your true and accurate life story and your personal dictation of said events being two mutually exclusive versions. No, I'd rather go with the laser scalpel from your sexy if crazy little piece of ass there." He gave a condescending nod toward Daihnna before continuing to back away. "So if it's all the same to you, Your Highness, I'm gonna' bid you au revoir."

"I'm a crazy little piece of ass?" The Orion woman hissed and took a step forward with the laser scalpel. "I'm about to write another chapter in the Book of Blood."

Spires winked at her as he skipped back a few steps. "The sexy ones always are," he teased before turning on his heels and trotting toward the storage bay door as if his life only slightly depended on it.

"Do come again! When we open there will be a complimentary brunch!" Bar'soon said loudly at Spires back. In all honesty, he'd just heard the phrase a few days before, and the idea of a brunch where people paid him in compliments sounded charmingly delightful. "TELL YOUR FRIENDS! He has friends one assumes? He is of the press after all."

"The press doesn't have friends, my liege," Daihnaa said. "You should have let me kill him."

"And make a public spectacle of it? Huuum...It would put my establishment on the map so to speak. I mean, there is no such thing as bad publicity?" Bar'soon pondered. "Besides, he looks doughy. You can catch him."

"On it, Mistah J," she said. "I'll save you his head."

"And I know just where to place it!!!" Bar'soon said with a happy little dance. "Right above the bar. It'll be the centrepiece!! Make sure you keep his eyes! I want them to follow people around the room as they mingle."

"Got it," the Orion said with a wide smile. "And I'm off!"


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