Canopus Station
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Fast Times at Canopus

Posted on Tue Feb 23rd, 2021 @ 3:29am by Stephen Spires & Daihnaa

Mission: S0E0: What Came Before
Location: The Medina

Daihnaa strolled down the promenade known as The Medina, which was called that for reasons she didn't care to learn. She wasn't here to go shopping even though there were a plethora of stores that offered many exotic goods. No, she was here hunting for a very particular man and she wouldn't stop until she found him.

"Ay you, gute-lookin'!"

A duo of Rish loiterers catcalled at Daihnnaa from their perch on what appeared to be a pawn shop disguised as a small parts and electronics emporium.

"Got what you want right here, ya me?" The catcaller suggestively rustled his patchy and oversized flight pants.

She looked over at them and arched an eyebrow while giving a laugh that sounded like delicate windchimes. "If you can't find a tailor for pants that fit, I'm quite certain you don't what I need or want." She said as she kept walking.

Unintelligible grumbling followed after her as the two youths traded insults and turned their attentions to other passersby. The commotion, however, caught Stephen's attention just as he ducked inside a doorway formerly marked overhead as MAINTENANCE. The sign now more vowels than consonants.

As she continued on, Daihnnaa checked the reflections of the storefronts around her to see if anyone was following her, or if her target might be in one of the stores.

In a moment, Stephen walked back out of the maintenance area with a more casual gait. He noted Daihnnaa's presence and did his best to blend into the flow of foot traffic. Unfortunately his height made him stand out from the crowd, meaning that if he was being followed, he would not just disappear. When he came to a cross section of eateries, he took a hard turn into the thick of it directly into a gaggle of busking performers. A sea of flautists, lutists, dancers, and even a fire-breather made for better obstructions than the general bustle of pedestrians.

Still unaware that her target was now following her and not having a desire to go into one of the cacophonous shops or be molested, groped, ripped off and robbed, the Orion woman continued on until she reached an abandoned storefront. She ducked into quickly and stepped back into the shadows, then pulled out a tiny Orion tricorder and set it alert her if a human male of Spires approximate size came into the scan area.

Stephen stayed where he was for as long as he could stand it, but once they started in with the snake-handling, he decided to take his chances. If he recognized anyone from a few moments before, then they were likely tailing him.

More bodies. Stephen pressed back into the flow of foot traffic and let himself get carried away. After that bizarre interview with the Shishimi wannabe king, he needed to ensure his monitoring network was intact in order to pick up some dirty leads to pursue. But not if he was being actively tailed. On a whim, he stepped out of the moving crowd and into the slower but steadily moving line for an escalator to the upper level of the Medina. Fewer occupied shops, fewer nosy people, more trouble. Not the best place to plant a monitoring device, but a good enough place to narrow down a pursuer.

When the escalator came to the top, he was greeted by a troupe of vaudeville Ferengi dancers in a makeshift stage that was cordoned off from the main walkway. The male dancers wore something akin to turbans as they jumped in circles around their female counterparts who were performing in their traditional birthday suits. It was a sight he would likely relive in the nightmare portion of his next drunken bender.

A young Ferengi bumped against him and apologized. It was the apology that gave him away. Stephen grabbed the lad's wrist. "I'll take that back," he said as he pried his press badge away out of the Ferengi youth's greasy palm. The Ferengi let out a yelp and ran away.

Now everyone was watching him, including the jiggly highkickers. Stephen took his leave back down the escalator, foregoing the rest of the upper level in order to double back the way he'd come. Eventually he moseyed past an abandoned storefront, wondering if he'd just been too paranoid the entire time.

While Daihnnaa waited, she took a small kit from a side pocket and opened it. Inside was a modified dermal stimulator and she pulled it out and activated it. After making an adjustment, she held it to her write and watched her skin color change from the smoky emerald green shades to the pink skin tones of a human. It spread out rapidly as she traced it over her exposed skin on her hands and face, then checked with a mirror in the kit. It wasn't perfect, but she no longer looked like an Orion. She couldn't change her hair, but she could change the color and removed another device and touched it to her hair, changing it from red to blonde. Satisfied with her appearance, she was putting the kit away when she heard the tricorder alert go off.

She checked it. Thirteen humanoid males. Eleven going in different directions. Two coming her way. She grabbed the tricorder and tucked it into another side pocket, then stepped out of the storefront.

The Halanan man who also turned this way was keeping stride with Stephen. It was the pointed ears that made him stand out. Stephen distrusted telepaths on principle, so when one happened to be following the same random path as him, well, it rekindled his suspicion.

Seeing a voluptuous blonde human, Stephen walked up to her with arms wide.

"Hello, darling!" he cried out. More quietly, he said, "Please don't run or scream." He stopped in front of her and watched the Halanan out of the corner of his eye. "I've been looking for you everywhere!" As the Halanan passed by without incident, Stephen whispered, "Pretend you know me. At least til that guy leaves."

At first she was surprised, then the disguised Orion saw that her target and swept her up and was now alternating between being loud and exuberant while whispering furiously. A part of her wanted to gut him with her Cardassian laser scalpel, but another part told her he'd be better off alive.

She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a kiss, her Orion pheromones releasing through her saliva glands and held him against her body until the other alien he was apparently worried about passed on by them. "Well, hello to you too, sugarboo. That'll be five hundred credits."

The surprise kiss was far more electrifying than Stephen would've expected.

"Wow..." He wanted to make a quip about how he'd better get more than a kiss for 500 credits, but his head was still spinning. "I, eh, don't have that on me. But thanks for the assist."

He shook his head to chase away sordidly carnal imagery that began to fill it.

A slender hand pressed something small and hard against his side while she looked up at him with her green eyes. "I didn't ask and you're going to require medical assistance very soon if you don't come up with a way to pay me."

Familiar and not entirely unwelcome sensations began to overwhelm Stephen's senses. His heart began to throb, along with other organs. "Like I said, I ain't got it. But where do you get off trying to rob someone on a Federation starbase? Maybe there's something else I can give you." His roving eyes were categorically shameless.

"Start making offers," Daihnnaa told him as she pressed whatever it was harder into his side. "Go left, and walk slowly."

This wasn't the first time Stephen had been mugged while traversing in the wrong part of an investigation, but... well, there was something thrilling about the experience. Despite the fact this little blonde was threatening him life and limb, he couldn't stop his mind from... wandering.

"What you see is what you get," Stephen said, "but I'm afraid that I don't go to secondary locations with strangers, even delectable ones such as yourself, without knowing their intentions."

"I could always call back your friend that led you to thinking the wares were free when you molested me," she countered. "That and the fact if you don't, the Cardassian laser scalpel I'm holding against your side will enable me to cut your kidney out very easily."

Stephen frowned. "I didn't..." And then he closed his eyes. That voice. It was less shrill and acerbic and more human than... "Bar'soon sent you," he said with sudden realization. How stupid had he been? Well, at least this promised to get more interesting than a simple mugging. Stephen stepped forward, following the prodding to the left as directed. "Is he really having you shake people down on the Medina? Suppose he's got to win the bread somehow. And does he have a ton of bread, doesn't he?"

"No one sent me," she hissed. "Your article for my liege can climb whatever comm tower it wants and broadcast to space for all I care. You, Mister Spires, are mine."

Maybe it was the Orion pheromones that Spires knew were likely affecting him by now or maybe it was just the abrupt force, but he found himself taken by her sudden claim to him. "I see," he mused aloud. "And what are you going to do with me now that you have me?" Sex was but a tool for Orions. Spires knew that. Hell, it wouldn't be the first time he'd tooled for the Syndicate in pursuit of the lead. The situation was bringing back several memories of his early career when the list of what he wouldn't do for a scoop was a very short one. "You never know. Maybe you won't need the scalpel."

"I'm going to use you," Daihnnaa said conversationally. "You're going to give me information and in exchange, I'm going to make certain that you don't suffer." The Cardassian scalpel's pressure against his side never lessened. "And unless you can grow new ones like my Liege, I wouldn't say that."

"Say what?" Spires asked. "That I prefer your natural green complexion over your phony disguise? I'm no liar. It's kind of my thing, being a journalist and all. If you want information, all you had to do was ask." He looked back at her with a grin. "I'd give it away for free."

"It's really irrelevant what you prefer," the Orion said. "And free information is usually worthless. People don't talk to you FNN types and tell the truth, anyway." She turned him down a corridor going towards the civilian quarters.

All Stephen could do was laugh. "No, I'm not very popular with most folks in power. But the common man? Yeah, their thanks is worth it all." Noting the new environs, he decided to hazard a thought. "So back to your place, is it?"

"I don't have a place," she said. "But there's always empty quarters. Your kind is fleeting at best and temporary at worst. All you do is ask questions and spin it to whatever flavor your superiors want. I need a network on the station and you're going to be my chief of intelligence."

Stephen grinned. "I have absolutely no problem with that. See? You coulda' just asked."

"Asking does not guarantee a thing," Daihnnaa replied before she rounded another corridor and flashed a card in her other hand at a door sensor. When it opened, she pushed him into a darkened room with a view of space on the other side of a transparent aluminum window and force field.

"It does when interests align," Spires said. "You should know that I am no friend to Captain Ingram. If not for my relationship with the Chief Engineer, I'd be persona non grata among the Starfleet personnel. My only choice is to keep my ear to the ground and be a man of the people. Whatever cell group you're looking to form out here? I'm in. With or without your petty threats of violence, I have no other choice." He kept up his cavalier grin. "So why not drop the tough girl routine and level with me? Or at least let me see that fiery red hair again. Suits you better than that dishwater blonde mess you're rockin' right now."

"It'll wear off and I don't give a shit about Starfleet or whatever floosie is floating your boat," the woman said. "As for act, I've been gentle on you, Spires, but that can change very fast and get far worse. Or I can make it far better," she purred. The lights came up to reveal a mostly empty quarters with a chair and a couch. Even the replicator slot was empty on the wall. "Strip."

Spires shrugged. Body-shyness was never a problem for him, being well-represented below the belt and generally unafraid of much of anything. "Feel free to turn on a little jazz." Aside from his chuckling quip, he otherwise unceremoniously pulled off his clothes and dropped trou. "Now what? I plan to die with a smile on my face, so you're not going to intimidate me. I've already showed you mine." He teased her with a wink. "Your turn. What's your end game?"

"If you closed your mouth more and opened your ears a bit, you might hear more," Daihnaa said with a grunt as she searched through every pocket and confiscated what he had, shoving everything into an oversized pocket in her jacket. She pulled out her tricorder and activated it, then set it on the back of the chair facing the couch.

She turned and removed her jacket and set it on the chair as well, then pulled her purple top off to reveal that the rest of her skin was the sultry emerald green and that she wore no bra. She set the scalpel within reaching distance, then kicked her shoes off and removed her pants. "Sit," she ordered him.

The grin Stephen wore overtook his face from ear to ear. Even without pheromones, he had always held a weakness for Orion women. Sitting next to her, he kept his hands low and allowed his eyes to feast while waiting for what came next. Her skin was a perfect wintergreen that accentuated her soft, silken curves in ways that made him practically salivate. Just the sheer sight of her disrobing sent his pulse racing.

"Now then, Mister Spires," Daihnnaa said as she approached him, her hips swaying and her eyes locked on his. The dermal effects on her face and hands wore off and her hair changed back to the shade of red it had been. When she got to him, she straddled his lap and sat down, but that was as intimate as the contact got for the moment. "You're going to do a lot better very soon."

In the back of his mind, Stephen had a fleeting thought of Mara. Their time together, the good man she had brought out in him, the promises he'd made. But, here and now, straddled by the finest specimen of a species known for its specimens, Stephen remembered his first promise to his first love.

The story.

And, beneath the luscious lumps and captivating eyes and lips that held him in thrall, there was the story of a lifetime in the making. All it meant was getting a little dirty, and that was nothing new for him.

"Chere," he said, scooping her up in his long arms to press themselves ever closer, "you don't know the half of it."

She gave a throaty chuckle and pressed herself against him as if she had suddenly gone boneless. It was a trick of Orion slave girls to be as flexible as possible and she was no exception. She adjusted herself against him in a way that was ninety percent sexual and ten percent Not-Until-I-Say-So. She knew her pheromones were part of her seductive ability, but she was also very well trained. "Why don't you tell me, big boy?" she purred in his ear.

"We're going to be partners in crime," he said. "You've got enough evidence from my clothes that any station constable worth their salt could stick me with illegal tapping and surveillance, to say nothing of what I did to plant those microcams everywhere they don't belong. With my apparatus and your contacts, we will be on top out here long after that idiot Ingram blows our chances of getting back home."

Her moist, dusky breath and the heat of her slowly and sensually writhing body made Spires forget where he was going with that. Fighting as best he could against the brain fog, he said, "Or...we bring him down, make some scratch in the process, and ensure our own way back home."

Finding it hard to resist, he began nibbling on any exposed flesh within reach.

"I love the way all that sounds," the Orion said as she undulated her body against his. Every touch of his hands seemed to make her move in a different way against him and at no point did she resist. "Between you and I, no one will stand in the way of my liege," she moaned in his ear.

Stephen pulled his lips free long enough to say, "Your liege is a clown. No way we're doing this for him. He's just a tool, like all the rest." There was more to say, but Spires was more thirsty than he'd remembered ever being. He buried his face in her body like a hog hunting for truffles.

Daihnnaa moaned and wiggled against him more but brought her hands to the side of her face and raised it until her green eyes met his. "Every organization needs a head," she said softly. "Bar'soon can just grow his back if it gets cut off."

Decoy. Right. It had been awhile since his last foray into Syndicate tactics, but Spires recalled them now... especially when they were personified right in front of his face. "Better his head than ours then," Spires said. "Is there anyone else I need to look out for, or is this between us for now?"

"Us...for now," she groaned before she kissed him. She released his face and reached between them and a moment later, she gave a deeper groan and the look on her face said she appreciated what he had to offer.

After several rounds of passion, and in every which position, Spires was thoroughly spent. Gasping for air and in desperate need of water, he fought for one and had none of the other. "Feel free to stick me up anytime." His voice had a laughing lilt to it as he still fought for his elusive wind. "How are we going to maintain lines of communication? As fun as this was, this station is full of eyes and ears. We need a way to pass along intel without tipping anyone off."

"The news network feed is enough," the Orion woman said with a groan and a stretch. For a human, he had done very well and she was pleased with his performance. "Use a standard encryption for non Federation subscribers and a Base-8 method to tag the information I need to have. I'll translate it on my side. Anyone else reading it will just see what non-subscribers see. The bullshit story of the day."

Stephen shrugged. "Ingram can't seem to keep any security people around, as they run off to the first opening available on incoming ships. I suppose that will have to work. At least until we can do an encore." He smacked her right on her hard posterior. "What targets do you have in mind?"

"Stop," she said and put a small but strong hand on his. "Administration offices, but we need to find some lowly personnel that has to clean them. That's where the drugs come into play. It's called Orion Thorn and it's a hallucinogen with special properties. It allows you to give the person a post hypnotic suggestion. Find the person, get them addicted to it and have them plant your devices."

"Orion Thorn..." Stephen thought for a moment and shook his head. "Never heard of it. If it can help me get around that nosey elf Ingram's got up there, then let's give it a try. Where do I get it?"

"You get it from me and only me," the Orion woman said, then looked confused. "What is an elf?"

"Crazy bitches from Earth mythology," Spires quipped. "You'd like them. So whenever we get together I'll pick up a batch of thorn and keep our assets on the hook."

There was a moral quandary that Stephen would have to reconcile later. For now, he was going to ride this out.


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