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Thread: Star Trek RPG - Mission #4: "Codex Aelyrr"

  1. #251
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    "What are you in the mood for?" Collins ask Cooper. "I'm game to try something unusual." She looks around at the store fronts for clues as to which may be a good one to choose.

  2. #252
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    T'Var listens intently to the opera rehearsal. She is not sure whether she likes this type of musical performance. However, she will keep an open mind and continue with it for a while longer.

    There are always other cultural options available to her if she does not find this one enjoyable.

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    Kylah hesitates. Can the man be telling her the truth? Perhaps in this sector they do not have much use for gold-pressed latinum, but certainly elsewhere it is valued as the only currency that cannot be replicated.

    At least he is offering to help. And what is a hundred credits to her? She nods. "Thank you, I would be grateful if you could contact this person. I suppose... perhaps it would be easiest to let me pay you for the drinks now, and you can simply add the extra to the bill. My friend need not know. Will that be all right?"

    If he agrees, she will make the transaction with her thumb. Meanwhile she notices the sick woman. Perhaps I should call T'Var, she thinks worriedly. But then again, maybe Velir can help--he seems to have medical knowledge. She turns to the bartender. "Is there any nearby health clinic, or something similar? That woman at the table--she seems quite ill. She might need assistance."
    Last edited by choie; 05 May 2015 at 03:07 PM.

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    After discussing the various options with Collins, Cooper selects a bistro offering Anubisian cuisine. The dining room is bright and airy and the seats are comfortable. Looking over your menus, you see that fish and sea molluscs are quite popular locally.

    Dr. T'Var may stay and listen to the rehearsal, or venture forth to find something else.

    The bartender glances over and scoffs, "Maggie? Nah, she'll be all right. She just likes her Denobulan shandy a bit too much." He rubs his chin. "Did I say a hundred? I meant, uh, three hundred."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 05 May 2015 at 04:33 PM.

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    Eyeing the bartender in distaste, Kylah straightens to her full height--admittedly, not a very imposing figure: "Two hundred, then. That seems fair for a simple contact--and I must keep some in order to pay for the transaction."

    During all this she makes a quick calculation. There are at least 14,700 more credits at her disposal before her account might be flagged for suspicious activity by her Guardian's treasurer. Of course she is not foolish enough to let this greedy man know the extent of her wealth.

    "Will that be enough?" she asks, lifting her chin. "If that will not do for you, I am sure there are other such gathering places I can go."

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    "Two fifty," he says. "I'm taking a risk here, you know."

    The bar's door whisks open. Two ratty-looking men come in, see Rangin and then Kylah, widen their eyes, turn on their heels and leave.

    The bartender chuckles. "Plus you're not that good for business. No offense."

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    Unwilling to haggle over an amount that would not buy a scarf back on Elas, Kylah sighs as if she has been defeated. "Very well, yes. My shore leave only lasts another 90 minute, I do not have time... so please, run up the bill and let me pay it." She hesitates and then hastily adds: "I am going to tell my friend we were talking about the sick woman. If asked, please back me up on that? Thank you."

    Assuming he finally allows her to swipe her thumb and make the payment, Kylah will do so and return to Velir.

  8. #258
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    "Other way around," Graham replies. "Had some assignments back to the United Earth Police Commission while in the 'Fleet." He shrugs and smiles slightly. "In the blood, I guess--some of my ancestors are what passes for a well-worn stereotype on Earth, "Irish cops in Boston" all the way back four centuries ago." He pauses for a second, then asks, curious. "Police work run in families here, or more like just any other job?"

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    Collins orders Fileon de plateso plenigita kun herboj, which turns out to be herb stuffed flounder, and Cooper orders Braseado veneras kun citrono butero, which is scallops in lemon butter. Both come with salads of curly colorful lettuces and a ginger flavored dressing. Both meals are artfully presented, and delicious.

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    Velir continues to watch the conversation in amusement and, while Kylah may be being as discrete as possible, the bartender is more of an open book. He doubts the discussion is over the quality of the ale she had ordered, more likely to be over whatever she came into this establishment for. The rapid appearance of the two gentleman and their just as rapid exit, confirms just how unwanted Kylah and he are in this place.

    Velir continues to relax in his seat and takes another sip of his drink waiting to see what kind of story Kylah is going to tell him, or rather, what she isn't going to tell him.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    "All right, agreed," the bartender says. "I'll make the call now. And don't worry, I'll cover for you with your 'friend.'" He winks. Kylah transfers the funds from her shipboard account by thumbing his paypad. As she returns to her table, the bartender lifts a small communicator to his lips and speaks quietly; she can't hear what he says.

    The man who had been staring at Rangin helps Maggie, the sick woman, to her (unsteady) feet, and they leave. The other man and woman remain, drinking and talking quietly.

    The Thoth constable tells Graham, "There are some families which tend to produce cops, but not that many. It's a job but not a crusade for most people, you know? I'm the first cop in my family, for instance."

    Collins and Cooper are having a tasty meal indeed.

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    After they eat, and the bill is paid, Collins and Cooper exit the restaurant. "Do we have time for a little window shopping?" she asks him.

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    Kylah sits back down at the table, picking up her drink as soon as she is seated. "I apologize for the delay, Velir," she says quietly, watching the strangers leave the bar. "That woman who just left? When I was in the restroom, I heard her--being sick. Violently so. She would not let me help her so I told her friends, and was trying to convince the bartender to get some medical assistance, but..." She shakes her head. "He did not take me seriously. At least now they have taken her somewhere--I hope it is straight home, and that they replenish her fluids with something other than alcohol."

    Having finished her tale--which is mostly true, if not the whole truth--Kylah takes a long sip of the ale, realizes even before she swallows that it tastes terrible, but forces herself to drink until it is half-finished. Then she sets it down on the table again, gasping a little for breath. "How--how is your... what did you order again?"
    Last edited by choie; 06 May 2015 at 02:25 PM.

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    "Well, I hope it's a long and happy career," Graham replies, nodding. "And I'd better get going to the Park Plaza Bar or I won't make it before my time here is up. Doesn't sound like the kind of place where I'll run into any troublemakers, but I'll be sure to call the Thoth Constabulary if I do," he adds, smiling slightly.

    Assuming the office doesn't have anything else to say, Graham continues on his way.

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    "Aah," is Velir's brief reply to Kylah's story, "very noble of you indeed." He holds the drink up looking at it glisten through the glass. "This is a Cordas Pale, its travelled pretty well, but then I'm used to the original."

    Taking a draught and settling it back on the table, Velir look straight at Kylah, "So, did you get whatever it was you needed to sort out, completed?"
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Kylah swallows another, much smaller gulp of her ale. "There is nothing noble about me, not personally," she says, looking down at her glass. "I admit I told the bartender I would pay for our drinks. I thought... it was the least I could do after what happened. I just wanted to say I am sorry for making such a fool of myself. Again. And for making you feel uncomfortable. I acted like a... like everything everyone has always thought about me."

    She tries to meet his gaze but only succeeds for a few seconds. "If I do not get a chance to tell you again, before... before shore leave is over... I truly am sorry."

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    Cooper takes Collins's hand. "Of course. Lead the way."

    The cop gives Graham a wave. "Hope you have a good visit, sir. Nice to talk to you."

    Three men in cheap-looking suits enter the bar. One looks surprised to see the two Starfleet officers there, but quickly recovers. They sit together in one of the booths. The bartender comes over and takes their order, then returns shortly with nine shots of what looks like whiskey. They begin drinking and talking. Their voices do not quite carry.

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    Collins and Cooper walk past several shops, stopping at a few to look over the wares. One shop in particular catches Collins' eye. The window display features small wooden carvings. She drags Ben inside and examines several different pieces. She buys two: a cat poised to pounce, and small harp. She asks the cashier to put the harp in a nice box with a ribbon and bow. "Ensign Kylah gave me a gift while we were at OCIII," she tells her boyfriend, "I want to give her something, too." The two pieces cost a little more than Collins was hoping to pay, but worth it, she thinks.
    Jeremi takes her purchase, and Ben's hand, and says "Probably time to head back." She smiles as they head to a relatively clear area to return to the ship. Before she calls for return transport, she gives Ben a long hug, and a quick but sincere kiss. "This has been the greatest afternoon I have had since before I entered the Academy. Thank you." She opens up her communicator. "Collins to Yorktown. Two to beam up." She is still smiling at Ben as her atoms are taken apart and then reassembled in Transporter Room 3.
    Last edited by anyrose; 07 May 2015 at 12:26 AM.

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    Graham picks up his pace a bit, hoping to arrive at the bar in time to have a leisurely drink rather than slamming one down...

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    Velir shuffles around a bit in the booth to sit a little closer to Kylah. "No Kylah, you have nothing to be sorry for," he begins gently, "what happened was my fault, not yours. Yes, I was uncomfortable, but you do not have yourself to blame for that in any way." He sips on the drink slightly and places it back to the table. "You didn't make a fool of yourself, it was me. I'm pretty sure anyone else in that situation would not have acted the way I did and I am truly sorry for how it ended."

    Velir smiles, "Listen to us, both claiming responsibility for a bad event, each more determined than the other that it was their fault. If it makes you feel any better, we both got it wrong and I would at least like to try and make it up to you, at least my part in it, at some point. Interested?"
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Kylah's heart pounds at Velir's words, and she forces herself to look up at him. Can I believe him? He is kind enough to lie about this... but maybe he is sincere after all. She realizes her ability to trust people has almost always been contingent on her reading their emotions, and her self-imposed restriction against doing so with Velir leaves her at a disadvantage.

    If only I could just be sure... just once... Kylah almost squirms with the struggle to curtail her powers. How do others stand such indecision? Such lack of understanding of what is going on within the people around them? Her skills are not always accurate, in that they do not tell the full picture or range of someone else's feelings. But at least they tell her something. Now all she has is what Velir has said, which could be pure politeness or an attempt to gain another chance to sleep with her. And also his expression, which is pleasant and gentlemanly. As was Jan's. As is her Uncle's.

    She knows she can never be sure, and she is terrified of the risk. The results could be so many benefits and so many harsh consequences. If she follows through on her plan she can avoid getting close to anyone. It will mean she will never know such bliss as when Velir kissed her in the gardens on OC3. But it also ensures that she will never face such hurt again as she did last night. Nor, she acknowledges suddenly, will I keep causing Velir pain and trouble the way I do.

    "Yes," she says, somehow feeling more miserable than before. "I... I would like to make it up to you as well, if I can." She fingers her glass, contemplating whether to drink the rest. "I am just not sure how it is possible."

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    Back on the Yorktown, Cooper says, "Thanks, I had a great time, too. See you around." He returns her kiss with interest.

    Graham makes his way through the downtown crowds and finds the Park Plaza - a very nice luxury hotel, inspired by its Earth original - without too much difficulty. Its bar is long, low, plush, hushed and cool. He has about an hour before he is due back on the ship. A waitress smiles warmly and says, "Welcome to the Park Plaza, sir. What may I get you?"

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    Graham admires the bar and whistles softly, impressed. Although "Shit, I hope my drink doesn't cost as much as that snow globe" does pop into his head.

    "Well, I'm, ah, partial to whisky...do you have something nice and peaty from Earth?" he pauses. "Or for that matter I suppose this planet's as good any for distilling...is there a local whisky you recommend?" He shrugs slightly and then nods. "Not a bad idea to try something new, it's my first time on Anubis."

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    The waitress says, "We have several dozen whiskies to choose from, sir." She shows him a menu pad; the prices are high but not shockingly so. "A local favorite is Bastet Select Prime Bourbon. It's one of our top sellers."

    Graham notices that the bar is about half full at midday. Several people are having meals at tables and nicely-upholstered booths.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 07 May 2015 at 10:04 PM.

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    "Well then, make it so," Graham answers, settling in at the bar at a good spot to watch what's going on...in this case, more for entertainment value than security surveillance.

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    "Then we are both facing the same quandary, no idea who to make up for a mistake we both believe we made, but wanting to do so all the same." Velir leans back into the seat almost lost in thought, wondering what he could, or perhaps should, do next.

    "Actually, I do have one question, why are we here? I mean, if you were looking to take me somewhere to remind me of home, you succeeded. But I didn't think this would be your kind of establishment?"

    Velir looks across to see what Kylah will say.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Kylah blinks, not entirely sure why she is surprised by the question. Of course she was expecting it earlier, but somehow she has convinced herself that since Velir did not speak up before, he thought nothing unusual of the place.

    "This just seemed like a... local establishment. Not something for tourists. I thought it would be refreshing after all the false glamor of OC3. Besides, it was nearby." She glances back around the room, pretending to look at everyone but mostly focusing on the bartender. Is he expecting his cohort soon? Will she have to meet this person somewhere? Oh! I should have insisted on that. I do not want a stranger coming up to us... Her nervousness unwinds when she remembers that she asked for discretion. Surely the bartender understood. This is hardly likely to be his first time arranging such deals.

    She returns to Velir, picks up the drink and this time does drain the last of the awful ale. It tastes marginally less awful this time around. When done she sets the glass down a bit heavily. "I cannot tell if you are unhappy to be reminded of home," she adds, peering at him. "I did not realize Coridan was this--" She stops before she says ugly and adjusts it to: "--unpretentious. Rustic."

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    Before returning to duty, Collins stops at her quarters and places the boxed gift on Kylah's bunk. She then returns to her station on the the Bridge.

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    The waitress gets Graham's thumbprint for payment and brings him his Bastet Select whisky. It's pretty good - not as good as Earth's finest, but pretty good. Things are quiet in the bar. The patrons are all prosperous and well-dressed; Graham has the sense that most of them are businesspeople or professionals, with a sprinkling of tourists. The waitress and two waiters quietly and efficiently circulate, serving them.

    Collins finds that all is quiet on the Bridge. Capt. Singh is apparently still with her two guests from other ships; Cmdr. Vargas is in the big chair. He says, "Welcome back, Mr. Collins. Did you have a good time below?"

    Five minutes pass, then ten. Kylah's contact has not shown up.

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    "Yes, sir" Collins replies "I had a wonderful time. Thank you." She is still happy and feeling relaxed. She tries not to let thoughts of her afternoon distract her from the panels in front of her, but it is difficult.

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    Increasingly anxious, Kylah excuses herself from Velir, claiming in a murmur that she wishes to order another drink. Heading to the bartender, she examines him critically. Has he played her for a fool? "Excuse me. Please get me another ale. And while you do, tell me: Did you get in touch with your contact? Do I need to meet him somewhere?"

    Kylah watches the Bolian and concentrates on his emotions, using all the pent-up mental skill she has been dying to use on Velir. "Are you attempting to swindle me? Because I will cancel those credits if you do not fulfill our agreement."

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    T'Var decides to stay a bit longer. She has always believed in giving something new a chance.

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    The watch passes uneventfully on the Bridge for Vargas, Collins and the others. Anubis's skies remain just as crowded. The small liner Liszt Rhapsody arrives from Rodel VI and takes up an orbital slot not far away from the Yorktown.

    The bartender scowls. "I reached him and he said he'd come here. And you can't cancel the credits - they're already transferred." He pours another ale for Kylah.

    The rehearsal continues with some stops and starts as T'Var listens. The lead soprano appears to be having some difficulties with the upper range of her voice, and she and the conductor confer from time to time.

    Graham sees the Yorktown's Lt. JG Faraz Pourtash walk by on the sidewalk, outside the bar's large street-level windows, holding hands with a pretty girl whom Graham does not recognize. Both are in civilian clothes.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 08 May 2015 at 11:44 PM.

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    Kylah scowls back at the Bolian. She takes her glass and then, realizing it was rude of her not to request something for Velir, requests another Cordas for him, after which she adds under her breath, "Very well. I hope he hurries. But please, I cannot be seen speaking with him. When he arrives can you instruct him to go..." She shakes her head in ignorance. "Is there somewhere nearby, where I can meet him discreetly? A park or a quiet street or anything?"

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    "You can use the office here," he says, with some irritation. Kylah can tell she's trying his patience, too. "It's just down the hall."

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    "Thank you," Kylah says flatly. I am sorry if my hundreds of credits is causing you an inconvenience. Assuming the bartender gives her the Cordas ale she asked for, she will take it back to Velir and sits down, smiling weakly. "I thought you might like another. For the road," she adds, remembering the Earth expression. "I suppose our leave is up very shortly. I wonder what we are doing here on Anubis anyway... I have not been told, have you?"

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    Graham sips his drink, his mind wandering from Pourtash to his colleagues. Rangin probably dragged Kylah to a taxidermy exhibit, he muses. He can easily imagine Bennett with a parasol as a sunshade, anachronistically attired in 18th-century Terran clothes, waving to him along a leafy promenade...Onn, on the other hand....she'd fit in well in a cocktail dress in one of the schmancy booths over there...

    But where do you fit in, Booker? he wonders, taking another sip. He checks the time. Back on the ship, most likely, just doing your job.

    He nurses his drink, not having anywhere to go but not feeling the need to rush back to the ship until his time is up.
    Last edited by general_urko; 09 May 2015 at 08:42 PM.

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    It was nearby, Kylah's words ring false seeing as they had passed a few establishments on the way, let alone anything near as expensive as those on OCIII. No, she was here for a reason and not telling him.

    "I would hardly describe Coridan as rustic, seeing as most places are mining villages not farms. It does have some beautiful unspoilt countryside though, there aren't enough people on Coridan to ruin it all." Velir thinks back to a few of the places he had been on his travels. It was just a shame most of them involved snow. "Perhaps one day, I may even get to show you."

    As Kylah heads for the bar, Velir watches carefully, noting the bartender is a little less happy with her, but also notices the drinks coming back. He downs the rest of the first drink and takes a sip from the second when it arrives. "Thank you and yes, I guess we should be leaving shortly. We'll be expected back soon, so I guess we had better drink quickly."

    Velir rises from the table "Excuse me for a moment, I'll be back shortly." He takes two steps towards the restrooms before turning back and whispering quietly to Kylah over the table, "Please Kylah take care and don't get in over your head. With whatever it is that you are doing." He straightens up and heads off to the restrooms.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Kylah feels numb at Velir's whispered caution. She has no idea how he knows, but... of course he does. She has little chance of fooling him; he is older and what little he has implied about his past indicates he is someone who has dealt with covert operations. Should I cancel? If only this stupid bartender's contact will just get here before Velir gets back....

    As if on cue, a man enters the bar, meets the bartender's eye and follows his jerk of the head to go down the hall. Kylah notices the bartender casting a pointed look at her as he swipes a dingy rag across the counter. Her heart beats furiously and she takes a long drink from her second glass for courage. At last she jumps to her feet and hastens off. She pauses almost infinitesimally as the bartender murmurs under his breath, "Down the hall. Downstairs. Office right at the bottom."

    Kylah just blinks an acknowledgement and moves swiftly to follow his instructions. She takes care when moving past the restrooms, not wanting to be heard by anyone inside. She goes downstairs and ses a single door there. As she takes a deep breath, it opens.

    Sitting behind the desk in the shabby office is a nondescript Human, neither handsome nor ugly, with dark hair turning to gray but of indeterminate age. He says, "Sorrl told me you had a certain transaction in mind. What can I do for you, miss?"

    Kylah clutches her bag for mental support. "I need--" She cuts herself off when her nervousness turns her voice to a croak. Clearing her throat, she starts again. "I need to exchange Federation credits for cash. And I wish this exchange to be... difficult to trace. I am not sure how one does that, but the bartender seemed to think you might?"

    He thinks for a moment, then nods. "Yes, I could do that, but it doesn't come cheap. And why does a Starfleet officer want to do that? You'll pardon me for being a little skeptical... or suspicious."

    "It is a personal reason. I must spend money on something that I do not wish my family to know about. My account is... is not private." Kylah flushes. It is shameful--here she is, an adult, and yet her money is watched over as if she is a child with an allowance. The need to ignore her embarrassment makes her bold. "With respect, sir, you are being illogical. I am not aware that it is illegal to exchange funds. And most of all, if I were attempting some sort of--trap, or whatever you fear this might be, why would I come here dressed like this?" She looks down at her uniform and shakes her head. "I have my issues with Starfleet, but they are not that incompetent."

    He rubs his chin. "You'd be surprised. If it's not illegal, why did you ask for me to come here, and why don't you speak freely in front of your friend out there?" At Kylah's widened eyes, he continues. "Yes, Sorrl told me there are two of you. Why all the cloak-and-dagger?"

    Kylah lowers her gaze for a few seconds. "Because my friend would not approve," she says softly. "There is something I must do--or I might do--and neither Starfleet, my family, nor my friend, would let me be if they knew about it." She lifts her head to stare at the man. "I would tell you, but I think it is better for you if I do not. If anyone does trace my activities, you can truthfully say you have no information for them. I promise, sir, if there is a risk, it is a small one, and it is my own." She cannot tell if she is making a good case. "Money is not an object, within reason. I can pay what you ask." Hesitantly she lowers her bag. "If you do not wish the credits, I have jewelry."

    "Credits will do. How much do you have in mind, and what currency do you want instead?"

    The question gives Kylah pause. "I was considering 5000 credits to start with, but the amount will depend on what you charge. As for currency... I suppose whatever is as universal as possible. I thought gold-pressed latinum would be best, but the bartender claimed he had not heard of it. Perhaps he was overcautious? I know it is highly valued among those who wish to keep transactions private. If you do not have that, then perhaps Andorian crowns? United States dollars?" She stops abruptly and looks the man up and down, concerned. "Do you truly carry such amounts of varied currency around with you?"

    "No, but I can get it for you. Latinum is hard to come by around here. Crowns I could get you in, say, an hour. Dollars would take three or four hours. My fee is one-fifth of the amount to be changed, so a thousand credits. You give me six, I give you the equivalent of five back in the alternate currency."

    Kylah's heart sinks. "An hour," she repeats, glancing worriedly down to her chronometer to see when she must return to the Yorktown. "I do not have that much time on the planet. I would have to...." I would have to disobey orders. To stay down here longer than allowed. Unless I could somehow go back and then return. But what if I cannot contrive a way to do so? Silently, she weighs her options, none of them appealing. "Is there truly no way to get the cash sooner? Could I go with you to--to wherever you are getting the money?"

    He chuckles. "I don't think so. Tell you what: I'll set up an account for you at the Federation Bank. You thumb the credits over to me now, I make a deposit in crowns once I have them. You can withdraw it from any branch in the quadrant."
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 10 May 2015 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Kylah's dialogue by choie; the contact's by Elendil's Heir.

  40. #290
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    T'Var's mind wanders as she continues to watch the opera rehearsal. What are her crewmates doing right now? Perhaps she should leave the concert hall and find out.

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    The rehearsal grinds to a halt as the conductor and diva confer yet again. Voices are raised and it appears that they are quarreling. The other cast members shift uncomfortably on their feet; T'Var notices a few rolling their eyes.

    T'Var, Rangin, Kylah and Graham all have about 45 minutes before they're due back on the ship.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 10 May 2015 at 03:37 PM.

  42. #292
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    Graham finishes his drink and decides spending the next 45 brooding probably isn't the best use of time.

    He pays, thanks the server, and asks where some of the top cultural attractions are in town--figuring if T'Var's anywhere, she'd be there. And that I'd be a fifth wheel with either Collins/Ben or Kylah/Rangin.

    He heads in that direction, figuring he's got at least a half hour to wander around while still having time to get back in the groove for duty.

  43. #293
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    The waitress gives Graham directions to the Thoth Symphony Hall, Museum of Art, Metropolitan Gardens and a dozen other attractions, all of which are within easy walking distance.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 10 May 2015 at 11:35 PM.

  44. #294
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    When there is an hour left on her watch, Collins messages Dr. Villa. Could you fit me in for a quick check up in about an hour?, and she messages Cooper How about dinner a little later this evening, like around 2030?

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    Dr. Villa replies, Yes, if you come straight here.

    Cooper replies, Can't tonight - unexpected/unwelcome assignment in Shuttle Maintenance. Probably run late. Grrr. Sorry!
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 11 May 2015 at 02:06 PM.

  46. #296
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    Velir heads back out of the restrooms mulling over Kylah's actions and if he should say anything further. She's a grown woman capable of handling her own affairs, why should he get involved, but then again, she was obviously in over her head in this bar and doing something foolish. Of course the one thing he didn't say was that if she needed any help, all she had to do is ask.

    Looking up, he groans inwardly as he sees the empty table, two cups still on it, but no sign of Kylah. What was she playing at leaving the drinks open like that. Glancing quickly around, he confirms that she is nowhere in sight, just the same few people and the bartender being industrious.

    Oh great, I've just been cut loose in a downtown bar, that was nice of her.

    Velir wanders up to the bartender. "Good afternoon, perhaps you could tell me where my friend has gone, the lady from the booth over there? I know she was carrying out some business here and I'd just like to make sure she is fine. Actually, on second thoughts, let me try contacting her and checking that way, save you the trouble. I do hope she responds, Starfleet hates it when people go missing? If there is anything you can tell me, I'll be over there." Velir gestures with one thumb in the direction of the booth and then heads across, ignoring any stares, and sits down obviously flipping his communicator out.

    Once he is sitting down, he tries contacting Kylah waiting for her to answer.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  47. #297
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    The sound of her communicator makes Kylah jump. She eyes the man across the room. This stranger has only just begun trusting her--possibly--and now here is a reminder of her Starfleet obligations.

    "Excuse me," she murmurs while fumbling for the device on her belt. Turning slightly away, she does not mean to sound terse but it comes out that way anyway: "I am sorry, you must be wondering where I am. I cannot answer that. But I am fine." She closes her eyes and looks down at the floor, her voice softening. "Are you all right?"

    * * *

    Velir is relieved to hear Kylah's voice. She seems okay--well, as okay as she has during this entire shore leave.

    "Yes, I was wondering where you were, there are two lonely drinks left on this table and a large gap where someone has vanished." Velir reins his tone in slightly. "But I am glad to hear you're fine. I take it you're doing something private and don't want me around at the moment."

    Velir sighs slightly and decides to give Kylah at least an easy way out of the conversation. "You know, it's fine if that's what you're up to, but you could have told me, especially if it's just getting your zither fixed." He waits to see how she responds.

    * * *

    Kylah senses both Velir's impatience as well as the contact's; right now, she must lean on the side of this stranger. She hastens to grab onto the rope Velir has thrown her. "Yes, yes, it is my zither. The artisan who owns the repair shop is a friend of the bartender, who was kind enough to get me in to see her at her home."

    The instant the lie is out, Kylah realizes her foolishness. Of course Velir will ask the bartender, and she will be found out, and...

    And what? She has already disgraced herself with him. If last night did not ruin things--and despite Velir's insistence, she cannot forget how abruptly he backed away from her naked form, as if he felt contaminated by having touched her--this probably will. I will deal with it later, she thinks in desperation, tossing a quick glance back at the stranger waiting for her at the desk.

    "I really must go, I am being rude," she blurts into the communicator. "I apologize, I know I should have left you a message, but the opportunity arose and I could not spare the time. Please, just... You can leave if you wish--or perhaps walk around, see the sights? I am not sure when I will be back, but I will meet you." At least one last time. Kylah knows she cannot make any decision without seeing Velir again. "I will contact you when I am through, I promise. Goodbye," she whispers apologetically before hurrying to shut her communicator and tuck it away out of sight.

    After taking a deep breath to recapture her composure, she finally has the courage to face the man behind the desk.

    * * *

    "I will meet you back at the bar, then," Velir replies as he hears her disconnect, leaving him to wonder if she even heard him. Feeling pretty miserable, he leans back in the booth, rolling his fingers around the glass and waiting to see if the bartender will say anything.


    Rangin and Kylah by the usual suspects.

  48. #298
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    The bartender shrugs. "I don't ask too many questions of my patrons. If the lady wants you to know where she is or what she's doing, she'll have to be the one to tell you. Another drink?"

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    Now that Kylah's attention is back on the stranger, her contact, she gathers herself together and focuses on his outrageous proposal. He expects her to pay him a large sum without anything in return, as if some code of honor exists between them? And that smile on his nondescript face: like his chuckle, mild though it was, it rankles her. He considers me even less experienced--and more reckless--than I actually am.

    "I beg your pardon, I had no choice but to respond to my colleague; he would have sought me out otherwise. Now. To address your offer. There are two problems with it," she says, her voice calm but guarded. "A bank account can be tracked and defeats the purpose of this entire transaction. That is why I want cash. And further, I am not willing to turn over credits to you, sight unseen. What recourse would I have if you decided to leave without fulfilling your side of the bargain?"

    He raises an eyebrow. "You called for me, remember?"

    "That does not mean I have left my caution back on my ship," Kylah says, her cheeks burning with indignation. She gnaws at her lip, uncertain what to do. The truth is, she is as desperate as he thinks she is. She has no idea when she will have such an opportunity again. "Very well. If you cannot possibly get here in the 45 minutes left to my shore leave, I will... I will have to meet you in an hour." Somehow. Somehow I will manage it. "Where is the nearest place to... wherever you are getting your funds? I will go there, to save time. And if it will get you to hurry further, make the percentage twenty-five percent. Further, the amount for exchange will be 6000 credits, which makes your take 1500 credits instead. Does that help?"

    He looks at her speculatively. "All right, 6000, then. Best I just meet you here in an hour with the crowns." He takes out a paypad, inputs some commands, and holds it out for her to see. The small screen shows the currency conversion she just outlined.

    "All right," Kylah says slowly, hoping the exchange rate is correct. "I will give you 7500 credits when I have the currency in hand. And speaking of which... as you are Human, I know it is customary to shake hands on the bargain. Let us do so." She extends her hand, eyes innocent of guile, but focusing carefully on the man to gauge his sincerity or duplicitousness.

    "That's not the custom where I'm from," he says, smiling a little, "but thanks anyway." He gets up to go. "See you in an hour."

    Frustrated, Kylah hesitates before leaving, trying to discern any emotions from him. Even without the aid of physical contact, her skills should tell her something. As he passes her, she gets a fleeting impression of purposefulness and greed, but little more. The door whisks open and he is gone.

    She waits a moment and then hurries out to climb the stairs. But she stops halfway and rests against the wall, looking across at the gloomy, grubby surroundings while she tries to catch her breath.

    The stairs, of course, have not tired her out. But the adrenaline from the meeting seems to have drained all energy from her all at once. Eventually she forces herself up the rest of the way, returning to the main level once more. However, she lingers in the back area, wondering if Velir is still in the bar or not. Her alibi will be ruined if he is--and if she cannot find an alternate route out of here.
    Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 11 May 2015 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Usual writing credits.

  50. #300
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    Graham gives all the attractions equal odds of being where T'Var's hanging out--hey, odds, just like a Vulcan, he thinks, chuckling to himself--so he walks onward in a circuit as received: Thoth Symphony Hall, Museum of Art, then Metropolitan Gardens, time permitting. If his time on leave runs down to 15 minutes, he'll beam up,

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