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Devil's Advocate

Posted on Sun Jun 27th, 2021 @ 7:51pm by Bossa Dieu-Le-Veut & Daihnaa & Stephen Spires

Mission: S2:3: Snow Drift
Location: Cargo Reef
Timeline: MD3 18.30

Things had been better for Spires. He'd been through worse, but he sure as shit wasn't happy. But, if nothing else, he was free.

Freedom carried a burden of enterprise. One did not stay free by reveling it, but by leveraging it. So Spires did what a free man would do. He went carousing.

It wasn't tail or intoxication he was after. He needed power. That was what weak men sought. And if he was going to please his first mistress of exposing weak men, then he needed his thumb on the pulse of power. But the funny thing is that power never rested where it seemed. Captain Ingram, for all his rank and authority, was one of the weakest and most vulnerable men on the station. Spires knew that for him to accomplish his temporary mission of propping up whatever mad scheme Daihnaa had planned, he would need leverage. That meant more contacts. It meant going where most would avoid. Go big or go home. Spires couldn't go home, so in the end he really only had one option.

Cargo Reef was almost like another world. Spires recalled when Mara had first stumbled into the Rish vessel in the docking bay after their initial arrival, the Rish were less than friendly. That hoity-toity bitch Meilin had brokered some kind of deal that rightly pissed off Ingram because it exchanged power for peace. These Rish, namely their captain, was precisely the sort of friend he needed.

"Hello!" he called out to the sealed cargo door. "I'm here for Bossa Dieu-Le-Veut."

For the Orion's part, being at the Cargo Reef was like being back in the Orion Sector. Daihnaa wore a very revealing diaphanous purple dress which gave her green skin a bluish tint under it. She walked lazily among the inhabitants, striking small banter and chatter with those she understood and bargained and bartered in the standard trade language of offering one thing for another from a satchel she held.

After waiting for a moment with no answer, Stephen looked around and spotted Daihnaa. He left the cargo door and its belligerently silent doorkeeper to sidle up beside the Orion in midstride.

"Fancy running into you here," he said, looking straight ahead as if muttering to himself.

She glanced at him sideways with a bit of annoyance in her green eyes and turned back to the transaction she had been doing. In the time it had taken her to look at him and back, the merchant had switched the part she wanted with another.

"No, that won't do. I told you what I wanted. This is not it. No deal."

Spires stared at the merchant. "Unte kowlting gut," he said with a smirk, "to pochuye ke?"

The merchant merely shrugged, easily swapping out the part for its previous counterpart.

“You keep changing the deal,” the merchant said in Federation standard accented with British nobility. “I pray, dear client, you do not unduly change it further. It would be quite vexing to find another who desires what I, a humble merchant of wares, might provide. Vexing, yes, but not impossible.”

His smile was pure A-grade simulated warmth.

Frowning at the merchant who eschewed the Rish jargon he had come to learn, Spires tried another tactic. "Excuse me, sir," he said, leaning into the merchant's ear and whispering something.

"Nevermind," Daihnaa said before she turned and abruptly walked off.

"Wait," the merchant said after Spires revelation, the smooth polish of his accent suddenly getting a layer of grime as it sank down into the mire of the lower classes. "I was not aware that you were favoured by Bossa as a client. A buried lead does little good until it is dug up, examined. And I want no crossed bones with Bossa."

The selection returned, this time with an extra array of items that had not been presented before.

"Genuine Romulan poppy seed pods, as you can see sealed in stasis and as alive as they once were before being plucked from Senate gardens before the sun did gobble it all up. A rarity to be sure, and a fit for cultivation if so desired," the merchant said. "I am told that the blooms are of an exquisite high art of the botanicals. Not to mention on the Federation Red List of endangered and regulated botanical species for...'some' reason or other. I did not pay that much attention."

"Keep the crap unless you have rihannsu ale," the Orion said. "Anything else is moot. That, and the part."

"I have dehydrated rihannsu ale. Add water and you have what you need, but I assure you there is no other finer peddler of vittles this side of the Galactic Barrier," the merchant said, sweeping the sealed package of dark marble sized seeds. "As for the is here. It is not new, but it is as finer bit of muckery as could be achieved. The finest tinker in the reef made."

"Pass," Daihnaa said, wrinkling her nose at the thought of dehydrated Romulan ale. "Do people actually fall for that?"

"You'd be surprised what people fall for," Spires said unironically. "Now, if you ain't in the mood for talkin', then I'm gonna go back and see if I can get the boss bitch of Cargo Reef to answer the door."

"This I'll give you free," the merchant said as he took away his dehydrated Romulan ale. "Calling out Bossa is a good way to wind up dead. Better men and woman than you rag maker have said worse, and ended badly. She's a witchy one that Bossa. The Rish have a sayin' that the stars watch out for the favoured, but the night remembers. And Bossa's got a memory. Nauscian pirates tried to raid a Rish manufactory out in the halo of some no-nothing star system she was in. She hunted down every last one of them, their kin, their pets, and vented them one by one out of an airlock until the patriarch was left. He was left in a survival tent on a moon, enough air and food and such to last a lifetime. But no suit, no sharp things. Just a door out to the airless nothin'."

The merchant shrugged.

"Could be just so much Breen shit, but I ain't in a hurry to see her smile wicked you get me?"

"You're so full of Rigelian owl shit it's coming out your ears," Spires said to the merchant. "Rish might get uppity in a barroom brawl, but everybody knows they aren't commandos or soldiers of fortune. Go blow it out your ass."

"Don't say I didn't give you fair warning. Bossa isn't one of Rish you at the spaceport, hocking lucky charms and performing mummers plays for the travellers there. She's what you might call a Dark Rish, one them that shy away from civilisation and spending a little to long out in the dark between stars," the merchant shrugged. "Anyway, like you said: I'm full of shit, and you ain't buying what I'm selling so be off with ya. Got a meeting to attend to."

Spires tugged on Daihnaa's sleeve. "You wanna join me with the Rish bitch queen or do you got other plans?"

"Get your hand off of me," she hissed as she spun around, her emerald green eyes flashing danger. She looked at the Rish. "Apologies to Bossa Dieu-Le-Veut on my behalf, merchant." She reached into a pouch and withdrew several gemstones and laid them on his counter. "For your trouble as well."

"Suit yourself," Spires shrugged, leaving the surly Orion to her business. Turning back, he slowly made his way back to the inner sanctum of Cargo Reef where he was told Bossa resided. "Bossa Dieu-Le-Veut!" he called out as he banged once more on the blast doors. "I'm here to trade!"

"This vrek is going to get himself killed," the Orion muttered to herself as she headed his way. "Spires! This isn't how you get her attention unless you want to offer her your head."

Spires looked back in the direction his name was called and gave Daihnaa a wink. "Bossa!" he yelled, pounding on the blast doors again. "If I walk again, I ain't coming back! Your loss!"

"And what a loss would that be," a voice accented in a strange Earth language said. Bossa appeared, flanked by two people who were clearly labelled 'Toughs'. One was a Bajoran woman, her face a riot of tattoo's of various constellations, and the other a Cardassian with an eye patch. Bossa stood between them, an incredibly delicate-looking woman with startling white hair and eyes as black as coals. As she moved, her limbs clicked and hissed lightly, as the support exo frame aided her in the artificial gravity.

"You shout my name again, make a demand of me in my place of power, and I will skin you alive," she said simply. That dark fathomless eyes tracked to Daihnna, a moment of appraisal marked with a smirk. "And I would not like to deprive your owner of her pet monkey, Spires."

"You wouldn't get much for him," Daihnna said.

Spires grinned at the callous remark. "As you can see, Bossa, if you want to kill me, you'll have to get in line." His eyebrow twitched. "Just like if you want to bob on my knob like the little green one. Instead of trading witty banter, though, why not cut straight to business?" He circled away from Daihnna to put himself away from her and adjacent to Gul Eyepatch. "We can be of use to each other, so why fight? Pride grows back so long as you have something to be proud of. Power, though, well, now we're talking something real." His brow twitch rose to a full waggle. "Interested?"

"Power you say?" Bossa said with a raised eyebrow. "I find folk who need to shout about it aren't the folks who have it. I'm just leaving the station for a bit, some business to transact. You're welcome to come."

Bossa very pointedly directed the last comment to Daihnna.

"I'm game," the Orion woman said.

"Good, because the folks I'm going to meet like to play games. You'll fit right in," Bossa said and eyed Spires. "You too I imagine."


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