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Star Trek Online

"Fortunes of War and Peace"

By Ambassador Kael
Fri 26 May 2017 09:30:00 AM PDT

 

“Of all the songs to sing,” Onna said, voice dripping with disdain, “Why did she have to sing ‘Melor Famagal’?” As his Ferengi companion winced and jammed fingers into her offended ears, Varh smiled wryly as he found the source of the sonic irritant – an impressive, well-dressed, four-armed woman at a piano.

“Not a fan? I think our employer has a lovely singing voice.”

“It makes my ears want to punch my brain for forcing them to endure that horrible sound.”

“I’ve heard worse. I take it you’ve never heard Na’kuhl folk music?”

“Should I?”

“Not unless you’re particularly fond of grunting, hissing, oh, and a fair amount of yowling,” Varh said as the two neared the bar in Drozana Station’s VIP lounge. “All set to people striking metal tubes with spears, of course.”

“I’ll pass,” Onna replied with a smirk. “I think I prefer that Klingon stuff that Big Kor blasts when he’s mad at Wilkins.”

“Ah, yes,” Varh grinned. “The soothing sounds of Aktuh and Maylota. Never would’ve picked him as a romantic.”

“Why do you think he gets mad at Wilkins so often?”

“I always figured it was because she cheats at cards. Huh. I learned something new today.”

“It’s been months, Red,” Onna said in disbelief. “You’re just now figuring out that those two are… ugh, never mind! She’s done singing, and thank the Great Bird for that small miracle. Let’s get this over with!”

The two Syndicate members made their way across the lounge to a booth where their employer sat and enjoyed a beverage, the compliments of an admirer. As they approached, the four-armed woman’s demeanor brightened considerably.

“My good friends Varh and Onna! A true delight to see you both!”

“Likewise, Amarie. Thanks for the invite. Always prefer doing business in person.”

“Come over here! We’ve got a lot to discuss!” Amarie beamed and motioned to them to join her. As the two spacers walked to the booth, a pair of Gorn standing next to it peered down at them impassively. The largest of the pair hissed.

“Don’t mind the two mountains,” Amarie said with a chuckle. “A necessary evil after my last wife tried to have me killed on Sherman’s Planet.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Varh said as he sat next to Onna. “How’d that work out in the end?”

“Well, it put me off of the marriage notion for a few years,” Amarie replied. “Probably won’t pick it up again until my next regen cycle. Fresh body, fresh perspective, you know?”

“I’ll take your word for it. Only one cycle to live here.”

“Pity. Speaking of nuptials,” the singer said with a twinkle in her eye, “I hear congratulations are in order for you two!”

“Thanks.”

“And a Risa honeymoon, no less! Did you try jamaharon?”

“Afraid not.”

“Traditionalists, eh? Ah, well, give it a few years… there’ll be plenty of horga’hn statues when you go back!”

Onna cleared her throat at that. “Not that I don’t love talking about our wedding and all, but we do have business to tend to here.”

“Ever the enterprising young Ferengi! Don’t ever change, dear.” Amarie clapped two of her four hands with amusement as she reached for a drink and an appetizer with the other two. “Let’s get to it then! Did you find the little rascal who made off with my data?”

“We did,” Varh said. “Caught up to him trying to sneak onto a ship bound for the Delta Quadrant. Pretty shifty fella.”

“Well, he’s Suliban,’ Amarie replied. “They do have a history of shiftiness, after all.”

“So I hear,” Varh grinned. “Not shifty enough, not this time. We nabbed him and stuck him in a box. He’s all yours once the payment clears... along with the data he stole.”

“Excellent! This is cause for celebration!” Amarie touched a call button on the tabletop and a young Deltan server came to the table a moment later. “Champagne for all, dear. Make it the good stuff, please… none of that dishwater Belan sells to the marks!”

“Now that things are wrapping up,” Onna said as she reached for an appetizer, “what exactly did he steal?”

“You mean you didn’t take a peek? How refreshing! And they say there’s no honor in the Syndicate!”

“Didn’t see any point in damaging a good working relationship by snooping,” Onna said. “That said, I’m still curious.”

“Fair enough. It’s the specs for a new kinetic weapons system, custom-made for my new line of Amarie-class ships,” Amarie replied. “They’d fetch my weight in latinum, I’m told.”

Onna made a face and tried not to choke.

“That’s… um…that’s a lot of…”

“Yes, dear, I do have a mirror and a head for figures,” Amarie grinned. “It’d be quite a large sum, but nothing like what I’m going to make for those ships! Put a down payment on a very pleasant little moon with the advance sales alone.”

“Congratulations,” Varh said as he made sure his wife wasn’t going to choke on her appetizer. “Sounds like you found the golden ticket.”

“Doesn’t it? I knew it was a long game going in, but I’m pleased with the results!” Amarie took a sip of her drink and smiled slyly. “Probably the only good thing my third husband ever did – leaving the ship designs to me in his will. Poor sap – should’ve known not to tussle with a Galaxy-class cruiser, especially one with a Klingon at tactical!”

“Ouch.”

“Did you happen to learn who hired the Suliban? I have my suspicions, of course, but no evidence.”

“Afraid not. He’s been quiet as the void since… well, since he regained consciousness.”

“No worry there,” Amarie’s sly grin widened. “I know a Betazoid fella with a particularly devious skill set. He’ll get the truth from our sticky-fingered friend soon enough.”

“Who do you think it is?” Onna, having regained her composure, chimed in. “Pyrith? Sad Hajja? The Koorsh?”

“All likely candidates,” Amarie smirked. “But my money’s on old Omag. And if it’s him, I plan on putting his rotund carcass in orbit around my new moon. He’s big enough to be a small moon himself these days, from what I hear.”

Onna giggled at that. “Well, if you need help bringing whoever it is in, give us a call.”

“Of course, dear. You’re my favorite purveyors of dirty deeds, after all! I’d be happy to cut you a fine deal on one of my new ships in return for the culprit’s head. Believe me, it’d be a step up from that old Orion garbage scow you ramble around the stars in now!”

“We’re fine with the Coldstar, but thanks,” Varh said as his comm-badge illuminated and pinged. “I’d better take this… that red light usually means someone’s in deep trouble.”

“By all means, Red. I have so many questions for your wife about that Risa trip!”

Varh nodded as he stepped away from the booth and opened the comm- channel. “Speak,” he said quietly. “And it better be good. We’re in a business meeting of the very profitable variety.”

“Sorry to bug ya, Cap,” came the drawling tones of Wilkins. “Big Kor’s went and picked a fight with some Nausicaans. They uh, had a little disagreement with us over a card game.”

“Were you cheating?”

“Cap, they’re Nausicaans. They figure if someone that ain’t them wins, they’re cheatin’… and we were winnin’.”

“On my way. Try to keep the property damage to a minimum.”

Varh turned back to the table to collect his wife and first officer. Never a dull moment…

 

Paul Reed

Content Writer

Star Trek Online

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