USS Pioneer NCC-74757

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Taming the lionesses

Posted on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 @ 9:21pm by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters & Xoica & Corporal Tyrigus Fry
Edited on on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 @ 10:00pm

Mission: Episode 7 - Home Again
Location: Unknown in Breen Space
Timeline: MD004 1030 hrs
4430 words - 9 OF Standard Post Measure

Jenn was standing outside Xoica's vessel in the cargo bay. It's been a while since wore her civilian clothes again, well aside from her casual clothes, of course. But these were from the clothes she wore in the day she was working freelance. The leather jacket ant pants and the gloves.

Xoica was doing some pre launch check up. she looked outside and noticed Jenn was checking herself. Xoica walked out to see what she was doing. She then laughed. "Princess doll, you look good, well good enough for this mission of ours. Now where is that marine of yours?"

"He will be here, we're early," Jenn said. "and stop calling me princess. Or doll or princess doll. On this mission I am called May."

Again Xoica laughed. "What ever you say."

Tyrigus approached the cargo bay with a certain amount of trepidation. He still really wasn't sure why he had been assigned this mission, save for the L.T. was feeling guilty. Just because he'd had training that made him the best suited, really didn't mean he actually was.

Hesitating just before the bay doors opened, he muttered to himself, "Still. Complain we may but go we must." He hitched the gear bag strap, which was developing a bad habit of sliding off of his shoulder, further up then simply shifted the whole thing to ride diagonally across his back as he stepped up to the two women.

"Corporal Fry, reporting as ordered."

As the corporal walked in Xoica couldn't hold herself and laughed uncontrollably. "This is just rich, that's the marine your First Lieutenant send to protect us. I think I feel more safe with you."

Jenn crossed her arms. "Miss Xoica, I find your behavior unacceptable. You said you would help if Lieutenant Tremble thinks the corporal is good enough for this job, I trust his judgement. And remember, there is still 3 years on your sentence. You don't want me to send you back, now do you?"

Xoica sighed and turned around and walked in to her small ship. "Just get in already!" She sat down in the pilot seat and started up the engines. "Strap up, hang on tight!"

Jenn walked behind her and took a seat. "The plan is you're going to sell her some better weapons. She took out a federation rifle. "It took me quite some convincing with the captain and commander Myles to get it. It's quite high tech, so try your best not to loose it."

Xoica looked to the federation weapon. "Are you sure you didn't broke in to the armory and just took it?" She looked over her shoulder. "Oh right, you don't steal from your lovers."

Jenn hid the weapon again. "Will you cut it out, we have to behave if we are going to survive this mission. And you owe us, big time!"

Xoica laughed, softer this time. "Yea, yea..."

Trailing after the two women, Gus found a seat, racked the offending gear bag where he could keep an eye on it and slid into a seat. That they hadn't spoken to him was more or less expected.

Protective detail's went that way sometimes, though usually those were diplomats and other functionaries with their noses so far up in the air they were at risk of drowning if a rainstorm came up.

Sighing audibly, he pulled off his coat, which he bunched up to make a pillow. They'd talk to him when he needed to know something, he assumed.

Jenn now turned to Gus. "Corporal, has Lieutenant Tremble explained to you the mission we are on?" She wasn't gonna let him go to sleep just yet. They needed be prepared for the coming mission. If anything, this Shoshannah wasn't going to get herself be caught easily and there was no room for mistakes.

Stopping in mid punch, trying to make the coat a suitable pillow, Gus looked over and shrugged. "The L.T. said, and I quote, Gear Up. Shut Up. Uniform of the day is civilian: space port thug. You'll be briefed on a Need to Know basis. Right now all you need to know is to be on time for a bodyguard detail. And don't be late."

Gus made a fair attempt at mimicking Trembles curt speaking pattern and shrugged, "I guess I was on time, ma'am."

Jenn giggled. "I didn't know he sounds like that with his marines. In any case you have to be our body guard for the day. Our mission is to apprehend a Cardassian female. To not raise suspicion we're going in civilian with miss Xoica here, she is a weapons merchant and she will make contact with the individual."

Gus nodded, "Aye Aye, ma'am." Looking over his shoulder to make sure Tremble wasn't standing there, he met her eyes, "You didn't know him when he was a Gunny. His social skills have improved twenty fold and he was kinda busy when I saw him, so..." Shrugging, the Marine asked. "Apprehend? Willing by the book or more...stun or knock unconscious and stuff them in a bag kind of apprehension?"

"That would depend on the cooperation of miss Shoshannah, Jenn explained.

Xoica laughed, "Jennifer...sorry I mean long has it been since you were out there. Shoshanah is not the person that will go quietly."

Jennifer nodded. "I wouldn't expect so, if she is her father's daughter."

"I wanted to ask how you guessed that her father is Cardassian, but never mind," Xoica said.

Jenn turned to Gus again. "So, corporal, how do we call you on this mission? Xoica and I will be handling the transaction. You're there for our personal protection. So I hope you can handle what ever goons Shoshanah throws at us." She grinned.

Shrugging towards Jenn, Gus said. "You can call me pretty much anything you want, I guess ma'am, but Gus will do if nothing else will. As to handling things, I'll try. The L.T. helped me with a load-out for the mission which should handle pretty much anything except a full scale riot. And even that might not be much of a problem, depending on the situation. Do you have any covert comm's with?"

"Seriously, Gus, I used to be the HUMINT agent on the Pioneer," Jenn handed him a box.

Xoica was tapping on the pilot console. "We're two hours out. Which is perfect, we should be arriving before Shoshanah does.

------Two hours later-----

Xoica turned on the screen. The face of a Jelna appeared on screen. "Xoica, it is nice to see you. I see you still wear that human face."

Xoica grinned. "Hello Golon. I am not changing it, I seem to like it. Can I have my usual docking port?"

"Are you paying the usual price?" Golon asked.

"Of course, Golon, you know I always do. And I'll pay you extra if you notify as soon as Shoshanah boards." She replied.

"If that is all, then of course I will." Golon pressed a button and the screen went off. Xoica started the docking procedure. "Don't mind Golon, he always had a weak spot for me. He was devastated when I had the surgery." She pointed to her face.

Once the ship was docked the three of them left the ship. They walked over the promenade and went to a cafeteria. Xoica ordered the three of them a drink. She then turned to her companions. "Now we wait. I don't expect Shoshanah to be late. She knows I have good stuff, and she pays well." She placed her hand on the covered up starfleet weapon. As a weapons merchant she knew one of these alone is worth a lot out there.

Shoshanah Prenar was no fool, the Bajoran/Cardassian hybrid knew that Xoica was feisty and could easily be attempting to spring a trap. As such she refused to make contact directly. Shoshanah took a seat somewhere in the crowd and drank a kanar. She sent an agent to make contact and to try to find out who was with Xoica.

A short stout Ferengi approached the three of them. He smiled broadly "A thousand apologies but I must ask. Are you the one known as Xoica? I am Poc and I have been sent by she who you seek." The Ferengi was much shorter that all present and was slightly hunched. He had clearly been abused.

Xoica elbowed Jen. "Typical, Shoshanah. Always careful. But you're right, you can't be too cautious in these times." She turned to Poc. "Poc, I am Xoica, tell you mistress she can come out of hiding. We're all friendlies here, I am just interested to make money, nothing else, and I only do business with her. I got precious cargo. You can tell her that."

The Ferengi seemed quite put out by the suggestion that Xoica had made. "I wish I could, I really wish I could. However, I have orders you see. She does not wish to see anyone except you, Xoica. She told me that should you not wish to come alone, then I am to learn who your friends are and report. If you do not wish to tell me who your friends are she stated that the deal is off." Poc fumbled and fidgeted he was worried that someone would kill him.

Shoshanah allowed her eyes to bore deep into the group as they spoke. She could tell that they were all armed and that Xoica seemed to be in charge of the group. The human female acted like she belonged well enough, but it was the human male that seemed a bit out of place. A little too militaristic in his stance, a bit too rigid. Something was definitely up, she would have to wait and see what Poc would come up with.

Gus kept his head on a swivel the best he could, but the entirety of the short journey had been surrounded by threats. None of it seemed overly directed their way, but thee was always the chance of remote viewing. He was wearing a knee length coat that was shielded to mask weapons signatures and was cut resistant. He wore class 2 body armor as well. For weapons, he had a short barreled shock gun ready for cross draw from the left and then there was the pistol the L.T. had leant him

It was, according to the L.T., a modified Klingon Disruptor, re-framed to make it shorter and more efficient. It had been re-classified as a Nova Special and was a cannon of a weapon. The L.T. just looked at him when asked where he'd gotten it and Gus had stopped asking questions. The holster was very un-Federation too: worn on the hip and tied down, the holster was a split-front, forward throw configuration made to get into action very quickly.

If you didn't blow a foot off.

Gus had other surprises with too, but he turned his attention back to the task at hand, only sparing a brief glance toward the Ferengi.

Poc gave a look around wearily. He knew she was around and she was always watching. However, he had to find out what he could or she would not be pleased.

Xoica nodded. "Fair enough, this is my new associate, May. She is not exactly merchant material, but she gets me the best deals. And she knows where to look and she knows how to erase my tracks as well." She pointed to Jen before turning to Gus. "This is Gus, he is just for our protection and the protection of the merchandise. He is ex starfleet marine. Dishonorable discharged. Not sure why, but he does good work, no complaints here yet. But he also knows his weapons, that's for sure. He was a good addition to my team as well." She was the best merchant in the field, so playing with the truth wasn't new to her either.

Poc erupted in a shudder, "Oh no no no no no no no that will not do. No weapons, no weapons at all. The mistress will see no one armed. Either he stays, gets rid of the weapons or the deal is off..." Poc's demeanor changed as he spoke the last sentence. He was a typical Ferengi making the terms of an agreement now.

Xoica looked to Jen and Gus and started to laugh. "Is he serious?"

Jen laughed too. "Sounds like it."

"But someone will have weapons, won't they Ferengi?,"Gus asked, stepping near Poc. "And when they get twitchy, the first thing I'd do is slice your ears off and eat them. It doesn't matter who's fault it would be, you're the one putting my employers at risk so you would have to be the first to go." Gus smiled nastily.

Xoica turned to Poc. "Listen Poc, I am not sure what your mistress told you I am selling, but it is not cup cakes. So, as per our usual way of dealing, I will ask Gus to take off his extra weapons, but he is keeping his side piece, and so are May and I. And I am pretty sure Shoshanah is coming armed as well, that has never been a problem before. We can do the deal in Golon's office, with Golon present. But none of us is disarming."

"Of course I will have to check with the mistress." Poc replied and then scurried away. Of course Shoshanah Prenar had been listening in on all that had transpired. However, she had one more test for this group. She knew Xoica, so she could not just send anyone to claim that they were her. She leaned back in her chair and became bathed in the darkness that was there. It was time for the test.

"Make it quick, Time, like latinum, is a highly limited commodity." Xoica knew Poc would get that.

Roughly ten minutes later Poc reemerged from around the corner. The same corner that he disappeared behind, this time he was accompanied by a Cardassian/Bajoran hybrid that towered over the Ferengi. The woman had long black hair that was tied into one long braid. Her skin was exceptionally pal even by Cardassian standards, her head and neck were standard of any Cardassian. The only indication of her Bajoran heritage being the ridges on her nose. She smiled at the trio and yet said nothing. It was Poc who spoke. "I present my mistress..."

Jenn wanted to stand up but Xoica stopped her. "I am the leader of this team, May. I do the deals." Xoica said without turning to the pair that walked up to the table. She picked up the cup and put it to her lips and said to Poc, "Will you tell your mistress to stop playing games. My time is precious." She turned around and looked sharp at Poc. "If she is not interested I can always go back to the Maquis." She didn't even look to the person he brought with him. "And I am certain they'd love what I have to offer."

Listening, Gus wondered how long the games would go on. The longer they stayed in one place, the more vulnerable they would be. He unfastened his coat and rested a hand on the action of the shock-gun, staring at Poc."

Shoshanah took a step toward Xoica and pushed the bumbling Ferengi aside. "You may be the leader of this so called team. But I am in control of this station and by extension your lives. So I suggest you cut the Targ droppings and do as I say. Your little boy toy here..." Her voice trailed off as she looked Fry up and down this was not the look of an enemy. This was the look of a woman who hungered and saw her prey. "...can have one of his toys and the rest of you can have none. In return I will have none but one armed bodyguard and we can get this done and over with." When she finished she was nose to nose with Xoica. "Take a look around you will see who is right and who is dead."

The real lady Prenar was practically cackling in the darkness. Everything was going swimmingly.

Jenn was looking at Xoica. She didn't know what was going on, but Xoica was still being calm with the lady threatening her. Was it not Shoshanah then? What was going on. She kept quiet and let Xoica handle it.

Xoica remained calm. She leaned over to Gus and grabbed one of his knife and put it to the Cardassian's neck and pushed her back "You are absolutely so right, Shoshanah!" She emphasized the Shoshanah. "You may have them fooled. Your looks, the way you threaten me, you almost got me fooled. I know she is here, where is she? I may not be a Ferengi, but I know my customers." She pressed the knife hard against the Cardassian's neck. Everyone in the room had fallen quiet and was looking at the two of them, and when they did, Xoica called out, "Shoshanah, I know you are here!" She pushed the Cardassian back.

"May," She turned to Jen. "Get the merchandise. We're going to the Maquis."

"What? But..." Jen wanted to protest but Xoica interrupted her.

"I do not pay you to talk back to me," Xoica snapped at her. "Gus, help her understand!"

Jen looked over to Gus, but right now she had no choice but to trust Xoica in this matter. She grabbed the covered up weapon and got up to leave.

Feeling only slightly less confused than a baby in a topless bar, Gus turned and moved to May/Jenn as she stood and put a guiding hand on her elbow as he kept his hand on the action. The shock gun might not frighten this lot, but the coat's buttons were actually micro-grenades and that would get their attention. "Yes ma'am," he said to Xoica,"All right you lot, make a hole and we'll be on our way." He tried to say it like the Gunny would. Or maybe the L.T., but he wasn't sure he was all that convincing.

Xoica looked at Jenn and Gus and then back at the Cardassian. She threw the knife back at Gus. "First of all," Xoica says, "It was the sending of Poc. He was send to come check on us. Second of all, the fact he wanted us to disarm from the start. And now this Shoshanah, or who ever she is, tells me to disarm and that she will too. Shoshanah knows very well that I am not stupid enough to relinquish my weapon, and nor will she. Shoshanah and I always work on the mutual assumption of that we both can't be trusted. I am former Maquis and she is Obsedian order. She always likes to know the pieces on her board. And I figured she would try to pull something like this off. By ignoring this person, I would pull her out making her do her best to convince me she was the real Shoshanah. I had to be sure of course." She put a grin on her face. "So bravo, you played convincingly in my cards, who ever you are."

"Of course I understand Shoshanah's distrust, I bring new people to the table, I would smell a trap too, if I were her. Now I would like to speak with Lady Prenar myself." She turned to Jenn. "May, you can return to the ship now. I am staying with Gus." She turned to Jenn as she held out her hands to take the covered up weapon.

Jenn swallowed. But She couldn't break cover now. She handed the weapon to Xoica. "I will wait for you there."

Shoshanah was impressed, Poc smiled Xoica was shrewd for a female. The fake Shoshanah broke the hanging silence. "Shesah Nissin" Gus, Xoica, Poc, and the woman who called herself Shoshanah dematerialized in an orage/red hue. They rematerialized in an office. The real Prenar sat behind a desk with a giant of a Cardassian standing armed behind her. "You two are dismissed..." she said to Poc and the other. When they left Shoshanah continued. "Well what do you have for me?"

Xoica walked to the desk and put the weapon on the table. She pulled the cover reveling the weapon. "From what I heard it is a new starfleet weapon. And I got my hands on a bunch more, for you." She looked a moment to Gus. She trusted he was recording all this.

Gus moved his hand back to the action of the shock gun, casually. It was becoming more of a normal gesture than anything, but the recorder had been wired into the stock of the weapon and the camera hidden near the site. His random seeming action took the setup out of stealth mode and began recording again.

Xoica leaned on the desk. "Shoshanah, I will give you this one as a sample for some information. That's my price for this one. What do you say?" She knew in the back of her mind that Commander Myles and Captain Malbrooke wouldn't be happy about her giving this weapon to Shoshanah, but intell sometimes had a price. Also she wanted to know for herself, because of what Makeba told her. Right now she was still bouncing both ways.

Shoshanah laughed heartily, it was more like an guffaw. "My dear Xoica I already have enough of those then I need. However, I will tell you what. I will answer any of your questions that I want. This for your trouble. However, if I deem the question to be costly I will tell you what my price will be before I give you the answer. I think that sounds fair. Don't you?"

Xoica nodded. "Fair enough," She gave a nod. "I would like to hear it from you directly. I heard you speak the other day. You have control over someone at Empok Nor. Who is it?"

Shoshanah flat out laughed in Xoica's face as she stood behind the desk. "You heard correctly so I will confirm that. However, if you think that I am going to tell you who it is you must have hit your head on something. You are crazy. We can all drop the act, I know who is with you. I know you are here on behalf of Malbrooke. So you can rest assured I will not answer anything that will ruin the great plan."

Xoica chuckled, "Foolish little girl thinking she could fool Shoshanah, she knew where we were going. She should've stuck with hacking. She is so spoiled it will take the better of her if it weren't for her friends." She leaned closer to Shoshanah and continued, "Miss Masters might be here on Malbrooke's behalf, but I certainly am not. Malbrooke doesn't want me here. I was just unlucky the Pioneer was the closest to come and get me. Besides you mentioned a name back then and it was enough for Empok Nor to start their own investigation so it seems. So if you give me the name or not, doesn't really matter, altering your plans slightly might be necessary anyways. And besides, I did send away Malbrooke's special hacker, didn't I. Now Gus over here, never worked with intell. He was a marine, though he may not look the part, not anymore."

Leaving the grin on her face she moved up and said, "I must thank you, Shoshanah for confirming what I heard you say. I think that will be all. I think I am going to get my girl now." She picked up the weapon. "Thank you for your time." She knew after spilling all that information with Shoshanah wouldn't fall good with Gus, but if he played his part right he wouldn't blow their cover. She didn't have to tell Shoshanah what was going on on Empok Nor, her snitch already told her. And even if she didn't she knew the information to start up that investigation could only have come from her. But she wasn't afraid of Shoshanah right now as she knew Shoshanah had bigger fish to fry at the moment then worry about a weapons merchant.

The Cardassian/Bajoran hybrid turned her dark eyes toward Fry. "Listen I don't don't know your name, well at least not yet. However, my suggestion is tell your Captain that if he wants to live, if he wants his crew to live, if he wants to keep his ship intact, he should leave Cardassian space. Leave it to the Cardassians. What happened at the homeworld was only a test, a test of loyalty that someone passed. We know how to breach your defenses, we will destroy you. Take this time to retreat and no harm will come to you or any Federation citizen. The reckoning is coming..." She leaned on her desk as she watched the two of them unsure if they would respond. She knew if they tried anything they would not make it off this station alive. Gul Prenar had taught her to always leave them thinking so she decided to give them a little nibble of information that they wanted. "If you want to learn what is going on aboard Empok Nor. Have a look a Lieutenant Tremble's blood scan. I doubt Rakuul figured out how to block that."

Fry let his eyes shift to Shoshana as she spoke to him, then glanced at Xoica. "Ma'am, I was hired for 24 hours, of which there are ten left, give or take. If you'd like to hire me after that to deliver your message to this... Malbrooke, was it? Or to some station, well I get $1000 credits a day plus expenses. That's Orion credits, if you don't mind," he said pausing for effect, then added. Or even if you do." "If you want anything longer than three days, I offer discounts. But for now, I work for her." Fry finished, gesturing with his head towards Xoica.

A Joint Post By

Gil Shoshanah Prenar
Operative, Obsidian Order

Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Intelligence Asset/Weapons Merchant

Corporal Tyrigus Fry
Rifleman RFT 1, USS Pioneer


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