Previous Next

Silence the Solicitations

Posted on Sun Jul 17th, 2022 @ 12:21pm by Warrant Officer Valko Kostova & Lieutenant Skye MacLeod & Lieutenant JG Tilo Riehl

979 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Ninety-Nine Bottles of Swill

Once the runabout had been secured, the travel arrangements fell nicely into place. The flight plan was not the smoothest one that Valko Kostova had the honor of plotting and piloting, but where Bellwether situated, and where the planet of Clarus sat among the stars, he had little leeway. Cutting directly through the ionite nebulae proved to be too dangerous even with the runabout. They had only been able to last a few days before the musical chairs of responding to the constant alarm and alert song and dance had become too exhausting for the crew, and far too much strain on the runabout’s hull.

There were only two logical options: turn back and abort the mission or adjust course and add some additional days to their travel time. The adjustment of their course would place them closer to skirting the edge of the ionite nebulae, much safer yet less direct. Because it was less direct and there were twists and turns, a few more days to an already long trip was necessary. Fortunately, they had enough rations with them because the ionitetic activity riddled the replicators with issues that Senior Chief Petty Officer Kirschler had to deal with round the clock.

Kostova was pleased when his navigational systems were accurate again, and he could trust them without suspicion. The ionite nebulae were well behind them, and the hustle and bustle of Ferengi, Lurian, and Dopterian vessels was an excellent indication that they had reached Ferengi space proper. Another good sign was the notifications of communications practically illuminating the cabin from the consoles. A few hundred communiques to be more precise.

Ford was busy with minor repairs while Lieutenants MacLeod and Riehl were supposed to be resting up, soon to be awoken by Kostova over the internal comms system. "Rise and shine, we have arrived at the glorious Ferengi space. Could one of you please get up here and help deal with these communiques" Kostova said as he glanced over. "Two hundred sixy nine of them and counting. I believe the majority are automated advertisements, but I cannot pilot and handle this barrage at the same time."

"On my way," Skye replied cheerfully. She'd spent a good deal of time taking readings of the ionite nebula to add to what the computer already had and she was looking forward to finally arriving at their destination. She sat down and pulled up the communications, using the UT to help her weed out the advertisements and the requests for business opportunities. "Next time, we'll get someone to program in a spam blocker."

Kostova chuckled. "Yes, that would probably be ideal if we are to be dealing with these pesky Ferengi," replied the man shaking his head. "They are the mosquitos of the galaxy except they don't take blood, but they surely will suck you dry of any currency that you carry or valuables that you have. I do not quite understand Lieutenant Commander Brott's eagerness to help these people. They would unlikely do the same for us out of the goodness of their greedy little hearts."

"True, but we're not doing this to get something back. We're doing it because it's the right thing to do," Skye replied. "And whether they acknowledge it or not, they need our help."

"They do," replied the shuttle's pilot. "They most certainly do," he added.

The pilot was able to see a somewhat clear route towards their desired system. "Clarus," he announced. "I believe that I can get it down to the planet's surface with ease, but I finding a place to land is not going to be easy. If I am reading this correctly, it is full of marshes, bogs, and an abundance of wetlands. There are places for shuttle to set down, but the Ferengi are charging fees to do so."

"Well then, we need to let someone in charge know that we can't give them our information unless they let us land and leave for free."Skye smiled. "The only question is, who gets the fun in telling them this?" She wasn't so sure she was the best person, being female, but she'd be happy to do it.

Valko sighed. "I will be the one landing this shuttle. So, I may as well be the one to get them to give us an appropriate and free landing pad," he added. It was not his first time dealing with Ferengi, but the last time he did, he woke up with a busted lip and bruised ego after getting into it with one of their casino's employees.

A few moments later, Valko began a descent to the planet's surface. "That was quicker than I thought it would be. Perhaps they are truly in desperate times," the man said to Skye as he took the craft down.

"Get ready, we are going to be setting down in a few minutes," he announced louder, hoping the other two occupants could hear him. "Lieutenant Riehl, I'm not suggesting we wave phasers around, but I think we should carry them concealed. One doesn't set foot on a Ferengi world completely unarmed."

Skye wondered if she should bring a knife. It wouldn't be the same as a phaser, but it might be helpful.

'Bold of you to assume I'd go into a nest of Ferengi without my phaser,' Tilo replied good naturedly as he made his way into the main cabin, placing his hand on the backs of the chairs in front of the main console. 'If all else fails, a Ferengi negotiator always appreciates who has the firearm in their possession.' He nodded in the direction of the planet's surface. 'How far out are we?'

"Just a few minutes. Don't get comfortable " the man piloting the shuttle said as he approached the landing point and began to touch down with the shuttle.


Previous Next

RSS Feed RSS Feed