New Friends and New Jobs
Location: Deck 603 - Pirate Cove
"I just dinnae see why we hav tae go see this guy?" Wee Iain whined to his wife. The pair were standing in a turbolift as it hurtled through the station core heading for deck 603.
"Cos John said we do. B'sides it's ma job. You just do the drivin' I'll keep us in work eh?" She patted him on the shoulder. The two were oddly matched, she a fiery, alabaster skinned redhead with a plait down her back, slim and well toned; he with dark curls, almost black eyes and a face that wouldn't look out of place on an ancient pirate ship of the Spanish main.
With a chirp the doors opened admitting the pair to a crowded thoroughfare, shops, pubs and eateries doing a brisk trade. Fiona led the way, Iain muttering in her wake, towards the Pirate Cove Bar.
Quincy was taking advantage of the mid-day lull to get some of the new stock put away behind the bar. He glanced up and smiled as the couple walked through the doors. "Afternoon folks. Welcome to the Cove, what can I get you?"
Fiona looked the man over, "We're due tae talk tae a Mister O'Connell." Iain eye'd the range of bottles and taps, "But we could hae a wee one?" he asked. Fiona shot him a burning look, "O'Connell first, dram later." She narrowed her eyes at Iain and he wilted, before she turned back to Quincy and smiled sweetly.
"One moment." Quincy said as he walked to the comm panel. He touched a few controls on the panel. "Sir you have visitors, they appear to want to talk business." After a moment a quiet response came back and Quincy nodded and turned back to the couple. "Mr. O'Connell will be out directly."
A crash and a muffled curse sounded from the corridor behind the bar. "Dammit Quincy, why is that case of brandy sitting right outside my office?" Frank demanded as he walked out limping slightly. "I just about broke my leg tripping over it."
Quincy didn't even glance up from the glass he was polishing. "You put it here two weeks ago Sir." He stated calmly. "Perhaps if you looked down occasionally and watched where you placed those cargo barges you use for boots you might not damage the inventory....or yourself."
Frank glared at the bartender for a moment then shook his head. He turned his attention to the newcomers. "A work to the wise....never hire an Englishman." He motioned them toward a table. "I'm O'Connell, what can I do for you?"
Fiona eyed the man carefully, Iain for his part was grieving over the slowly leaking brandy. "Oor Cap'in sent us doon tae make hellos an see where the land is. We're being the Lady O' Ardrossan , late of Nova Caledonia, noo looking fer some scratch. Word is yer the boy tae be speakin tae."
While she talked Fiona was trying to work out how far to push their slightly shady credentials, she was pretty sure her brother would take near any work to keep the engines running, but she had a certain hope towards legality after the last trip.
Frank nodded. "I've been known to make a deal from time to time. Why don't you two have a seat, I'll buy a round and you can tell me a bit more about what you're looking for."
Iain's head twitched up with the suggestion of a drink and he nudged his wife encouragingly. For her part Fiona relaxed, "Aye, lets talk it oot." She slipped onto one of the suggested stools and tugged a PADD out of her overalls; depositing it on the table with a click.
"I'll tak a pint o'summint wet and hoppy?" Iain ventured hopefully, weathering a glare.
Fiona continued, "Am being sent tae tell ye that we're in and aboot and tae be askin' if you'd be needin anything shipped around? We've just unloaded a wee bitty of cloth we came by and could be doin' wie some thing else tae be gettin' on wie." She nudged the PADD containing the details of the battered old freighter, tarted up as best she could without out and out lying.
While Frank looked over the PADD Quincy brought a large mug to the table and set it in front of Iain, the thick dark liquid clung to the sides of the glass as as it shifted and a small coin rested on top barely making a dent in the foam.
"You looking for something local or long haul?" Frank asked her as he looked up from the PADD.
Fiona felt her stomach tighten, the man might actually be about to offer them work. "Eh, Local wid be better." she ventured.
Frank nodded. "I've got a couple runs I could use some help with." He hesitated a moment. "How are you equipped for cargo of a somewhat.....delicate nature? I do have a load that needs to go in the next day or so but it needs to be kept from stray radiation.....EM, stray scanning beams and the like."
Iain took a long pull from the glass and sighed, a white ring forming from the foam. "The Lady kin manage that, naw problems." he said, before attacking the beer again with gusto.
Fiona nodded, the Lady might be old and battered but in this case the thick hull plating with it's many patches, oddly shaped compartments and crawlspaces would be an advantage. "Why di ye no send o'r the cargo and we kin be in space fir ye just as soon as." She offered, desperately trying not to sound too keen.
Frank walked over and reached across the bar to punch a code into a keypad on a small storage alcove. He pulled a out data cylinder and closed the door. Returning to the table he handed the cylinder to Fiona. "I'll meet you down on 2305 bay 502 in an hour. This will give you the necessary clearances to dock at the external port and get in." He smiled. "This is a one shot Intel ops cylinder so be careful and don't accidentally hit the button on the end or it will wipe itself clean."
Fiona took the cylinder like it was made of glass. Iain swallowed the last of the heavy beer and burped quietly. "I'll git the Cap't tae shift us sharpish" said Fiona, kicking Iain under the table. Iain for his part leapt up, nodding. "Aye lad, we'll be there." Fiona smiled at Frank before hustling her husband out of the bar.
The two scurried down the corridor back to the main turbolift cluster. Iain smiling all over his face, his beery breath making passers by give him space. Fiona kept checking the pocket of her tunic to ensure she'd not lost the cylinder. With luck this could mean a real 'in' to the local networks.
John was mulling over his visit to the the station commander when they re-appeared. The Captain was upset that his check in had been so stiff and was now consoling himself with a glass of whisky, and whining to Big Iain and Seonaid about the "lack o'respect fir the hard workin traders o' the Federation fra yon smug Fleeters" when the disreputable and out of breath pair burst into the common room.
To his credit, the whisky, the recent stabbing of his second engineer and the out of breath nature of his XO and pilot didn't phase John at all. Once Fiona explained it took the Lady only fifteen minutes to get clear of the public docking ring and nudge down station to deck 2305.