She mulled over Ian’s words. He was one hundred percent correct however sometimes being correct did not solve a problem. Kelly needed a way around the rules but not necessarily break the rules. “So what if we call the first one humanitarian relief,” Kelly she mused in a low tone. “Kinda hard to say you withheld treatment to widows and orphans. As to the replicators what if we load it up, forget a few parts, hit the box with a crow bar a few times nd give them that. They can call it damaged on arrival but that is not on us since they don’t have the flux capacitor and a reliable method of delivery,” she whispered back into her husband’s ear. “Think like Jacen,” she gave her husband a side glance and directed her attention back to Alfo.
As Kelly came back, the Massive Orion fell back towards Ian and whispered so that only he could hear “Do. Not. Let. Her. Give. Him. Tech. You hear? That is a bunch of report forms I have zero intention of making use of.”
“I’m trying… she is a bull in a china shop…” Ian whispered back as he looked over at Kelly smiling. “Have you thought about mutiny?” Ian said, the tone was serious but his face clearly said he was joking.
OOC: One could argue that this is a trade agreement since they are warp capable and can negotiate for a exchange. Also the argument that is create an imbalance usually refers to internal planetary events - not interplanetary relationships. Although the issues that plagued Voyager would argue against this point.
River stayed at the back of the group eyeing everything she could, the XO had ordered her to accompany the team and nothing said don’t mess with us the an armed marine and a literal tank of an orion. River was content to hold back and stay silent there was no need to say or do anything unless she was asked or needed to. Her one job as far as she was concerned was to learn as much tactically about their ‘friends’ and work on way to deal with them should the need arise. When she heard Mardusk she raised her eyebrow. She was not going to let that happen either, their technical advantage was key if things went south.
Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)
The group was followed by two ‘soldiers’ with powered long guns. There was also a pair of soldiers every 20-30 meters standing at something that vaguely resembled ‘at attention’ but if this was a military ship their attention would get them written up for the non-professional demeanor. If this was normal or not was difficult to tell. Alfo and Shade for the most part ignored these people.
River eyed the soldiers and was not impressed but she knew it could just be an act and these soldiers could be the best of the best. She looked to the rwo behind her and surveyed them. Long guns where good but at close range could be cumbersome, if she got close enough she could deal with both those solders easily. As she looked around she noted the placement of the soldiers and how far apart they where it could prove very useful. She wondered if there was a way to see them in action so she could better gage what they where dealing with.
Moving back to walk next to Alfo, Kelly decided to move the situation and conversation along. “So is there someplace we can sit down to talk. You said you were willing to trade information about the area and where we might get items for repairs. Is this with the Alfians, Castes, Nine, Dilgar or Enodorians?” Kelly knew about as much as she just stated but they did have the orb of knowledge the Lorn gave them back on the ship. At least if Kelly knew who they were about to come into contact with it might speed up the process in getting home.
Captian Kelly Bordeaux
“My dining hall is only a few meters ahead.” True to his word they were only a few more paces away from a room, non descript from the outside, but inside was lavishly furnished. There were more than enough seats for all and there was both candle and over head lighting. There was numerous place setting with both water and wine glasses. The table was oval, and Alfo stood by the narrow end of one of the sides of the oval.
“Trade can be done with any race, I imagine, but rates and services would differ. In all honesty, Base 5 might have a better ‘ship yard,’ but it is not a military base so some of the thing you need will have to be imported. We have more military needs, so those things probably would be easier to get from us. Also we don’t ask too many questions, and won’t insist on our people helping you. So you won’t have the same difficulties in keeping your secrets… secret. ”
Having a hands off approach did appeal to Kelly. No one was going to be on the Atlantis without strict surveillance. Letting even a seemingly friendly group roam the halls and help with repairs would only open the ship and crew to take over or sabotage and Kelly had enough headaches right now.
“If we can trade with you for the military up grades that is a possibility. Then we could go to the more public starbase for the generic supplies. The goal of the Federation is for sharing knowledge in humanitarian areas. Medicine, food, shelter, education,” she rattled off the typical topics most places wanted and needed to support civilian interests. “We don’t typically share military advancements for the typical reasons you and I both know however we both do know at times it is all about the phasers. At this point however, I think we should concentrate on the butter trade instead of the guns trade.” Even if Alfo wasn’t aware of the classic economic strategy of balancing guns and butter, any person in command knew that the butter of a deal dealt with keeping people safe, healthy, and productive while the guns, for obvious reasons, kept them safe. Right now Kelly was only interested in the butter portion of sharing thier technology.
“What of your energy deflectors… they are butterish are they not?” Alfo questioned hopefully. “If weapons are frowned upon, you could not be opposed of to sharing a means so that we aren’t victimized.”
“Unless you want to join us in some privateering,” Alfo paused.... “I imagine, you have a number of gadgets that would have value… your weapons, that energy beam you used to pull the asteroids, your warp power generators, and teleportation device are things that I can tell already has value to us. Perhaps there are other things, that I am unaware of that you might also offer.”
Mardusk waited by Kelly, but leaned down and said softly so only she could hear “If they are ‘privateers’, then they are beholden to some governing authority… might want to make sure you are treading on toes that aren’t on this ship, Ma’am. He wouldn’t be the first ship captain to want to make a name for himself… even at the expense of his employer.”
“You are not picking my ship apart…” Jacen said with a loud Irish grunt. “Captain, this is insane. I can get us out of this place if you just give me some time… what was it that Ian said, anything can be fixed with chicken wire and duct tape… whatever that means.”
“Or bubble gum and spit,” D’vash added quietly
“Your ship is powerful, but once she’s locked into a space dock she’s vulnerable and your crew is a fragile as mine. Even in space, you can beat my ship like an egg, but three perhaps four state of the art cruisers from any of the top races in the sector would be a relatively fair fight and they have hundreds… maybe thousands. How long before one of those races decide your tech is too valuable to let you just walk away?” Alfo seemed as if he were speaking to someone who didn’t understand. “Yes you have me at a disadvantage… perhaps you should make a fair deal while you have a trading partner you can… persuade.”
River finally spoke up “That’s why I’m here Sir. I’m a marine, it’s my job is to beat the hell out of anyone who even thinks of trying it Sir, and I’ve faced far worse odds then those you just described” She said respectfully. She wasn’t trying too start a fight she was just trying to inform their ‘host’ what would happen if he got any ideas. Sure if the ship was docked it was vulnerable but if anyone thought it would be a walk in the park to take such a ship then they where very much mistaken, River would make sure of it.
Lieut Styxx (OIC Marines)
Mardusk cocked an eyebrow at River. So we are back to you are the savior of the ship, are we? And my department is there to what… sweep the floors? he thought to himself, although his face remained expressionless.
Shade smirked, “A thousand to one…” he nodded. “You’ve defeated those odds?”
“If we do trade then I might show you” River said simply. Her circumstances where the extreme but hey if it had an effect it would be worth it.
Alfo head turned slowly, “These are our guests, if the female says she’s defeated worse odds, then certainly she has....” He nodded to River… “One does not have to be covered with scars and two meters tall to be fearsome warriors.”
River shook her head “No and you don’t have to be silently walking behind a group of people, carrying rifles either.” she said simply.
Shade frowned, then smirked as if whatever annoyed him changed as suddenly amused. “Warriors show their intent…”
The CIO continued to observe and listen. Privateers meant they had some kind of governing or patron backing. Weapons appeared military grade and many members of the crew did appear to have some kind of military background. He was beginning to think his assumptions had been correct
He decided to play a hunch. “Captain Alfo, you suggested a possible partnership in privateering. That would indicate you were given a Letter or Marque. I would assume that if Captain Bordeau agrees to a ‘partnership, we would also be given a Letter as well. By whose authority was the Letter of Marque granted?”
Alfo paused, “Perhaps that was an error in translation. Pirate, sounds so… illegal.” He eyed the Chief of Intelligence. “We are not authorized by any power to do raids. We have black market contacts who purchase our items at a nice rate. We keep the casualties low, we take mimimal damage, and don’t hit the races that could really deploy massive forces to the area.”
“So hit and run tactics against unarmed civilians then. that’s still piracy well at least how our races define it” River added.
Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)
Mardusk stepped in front of River and blocked the view from Alfo. “Enough. The Captain is negotiating this. Pipe up again and I send you back to theAtlantis.” and he looked at Styxx with a look that said he meant every word.
River looked Mardusk dead in the eyes “Yes Sir. I’ll keep my mouth shut. Just worried about the situation Sir” River said respectfully.
Lieut Styxx (OIC Marines)
Kelly gave her people wide berth in many matters but especially when the doors were closed. She never wanted her officers to hold their tongues or select words meant to placate one. She wanted to hear how they looked at a situation and explain how they felt about it. Engineering staff always were the ones to make it work. They tended to not worry so much about form and devoted a huge amount of energy into function. In the end, they were the ones that jury-rigged pipes and conduits to get what needed to be in a place that needed place. Jacen could probably get the ship home with what they had on board given enough time, yet time was always of the essence.
Security and Marines were always about safety. They were the ones that looked at everyone as if they were a possible threat because second-guessing a situation or individual could result in the injury or death of many. It was a hard line they toed between keeping the peace so to speak and reigning all levels of holy hell onto something. At times this decision could change back and forth within minutes between the two options. Right now watching Mardusk and River, Kelly could see the dynamic. River was keenly processing all the ways the situation could bring harm to the ship and its occupants. River was processing the reigning levels of holy hell, while Mardusk was alert but processing any way not to pop a phaser into someone. Kelly was relieved the two officers were tackling the problem this way. The more people taking in the facts meant security and marines could handle anything that was thrown at them.
Intelligence was intelligence. At times Kelly had no freaking clue what they were planning because it always seemed to be ten steps of where she was. She had learned to either trust them, take a deep breath and let it happen or fight it. Right now she was in the take a deep breath and let it happen frame of mind. Odinson would keep her apprised of his plan when he was doing it or about it.
In the end, all of it was her and the XO’s decision how things went down. The fact that Kelly did let her crew vocalize their opinions however instill a sense of loyalty and respect between her and her officers. It was why when she took a leap of faith they all jumped after her or after the mission put up an eight-by ten color glossy photo of her and played darts. Either way, it solidified the crew.
Looking her crew and then Alfo, Kelly spoke up. “Right now what if you can tell us what you can give us and we can start negotiations from there.” Looking at Jacen she signaled for him to share with Alfo the items needed for their repairs. He would have carefully crafted the list to ensure they did not seem defenseless but allow the ability to get what he did need.
Captain Kelly Bordeaux
Alfo glanced at the list, “We have enough diuranium, 2 kilometer of high power conduit.” He glanced at an item, isolinear chips… The engineer didn’t even bother with asking for bio-electronics. “I have no idea what that is. I believe i have or I can get 80% of those item within 2 weeks.”
“We want your weapons… which your refuse.” He paused, “Secondarily, trades of value would be your energy defenses… teleportation device… how you get so much power from such a small engine.” He looked about. “However I don’t know what else you might have to offer… but I will emphasize, I’m not interested in things I could get myself in this quadrant.”
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