STF

The Not So Odd Couple

Posted May 16, 2022, 10:25 p.m. by Civilian Eryn Romanov (Colonial Intelligence Agent) (Jennifer Ward)

Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in The Not So Odd Couple

Posted by Civilian Eryn Romanov (Colonial Intelligence Agent) in The Not So Odd Couple

Posted by Civilian Kodek Vonn (Clandestine Associate) in The Not So Odd Couple
Posted by… suppressed (4) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)
Eryn gave the man plenty of room as he made his escape. She nodded to Vonn and allowed Davivica to proceed them into the bank. A very quick but serious discussion between Davivica and a well dressed professional woman behind the main desk, had them quickly seated in a private conference room. A woman entered with a serving tray of tea and iced water. “No thank you. My clients are not here to socialize, but to conduct business in a swift and professional manner,” and she shooed the woman out. The approach of the bank manager, a Rigelian man, and his confusion over the arrival of Mr Holk and then subsequently a disappearing Mr Holk and demands for a special client had him quick stepping to the conference room and then pausing outside the door and straigtening his suit jacket. He entered with a overly charming smile on his face and made the mistake of approaching Eryn directly. “Ms Haley-Smythe informed me you have some significant business with Colonial Bank and Trust today. I’m Mr. Rotaalr,” and he turned what he assumed was a very charming smile on Eryn attempting to take her hand.

Inside Eryn was laughing more than she should, this was going to be beautiful.

Eryn

As the bank manager’s hand went to take Eryn’s, someone cast a magical spell. That could be the only explanation for how the reaching hand ended up twisted and pinned behind the Rigelian’s back as Vonn moved him bodily to a wall. “Back away!” the voice said sharply and the manager was pinned to the wall. Davivica smiled slightly and stepped forward. “Cru’hl, this is the client’s personal security and chief aid. They are… particular… about who approaches the client. I would suggest a quick apology and to direct all further discussion through them.” she said with a warm tone dripping with inflexibility.

Eryn simply stayed where she was, as if the sudden inexplicable speed of her body guard was an every day thing and nothing out of the ordinary. The was barely there nod of satisfaction at Davivica’s explanation of the situation. Eryn watched on bored and sighed heavily at the whole situation. Almost as if she accepted it must be Vonn’s way, but couldn’t they just get on with it already.

The manager simply nodded twice and and said “Understood. Apologies.” and Vonn released him. It was impressive… the man seemed only mildly flustered as he straightened himself for a moment and then looked at Vonn. “Your attention to your client’s security is most impressive. So we can expedite things, what do I call you?” he asked as he tugged his shirt cuffs back into place. “Kashir Gran.” the voice said.

It was like someone fired a phaser set on stun directly at the bank manager. “Ka-ka-ka-shir Gran? The, um… the same Kashir Gran who worked for Ardel Bekks?” he asked softly. Ardel Bekks was a name most who dealt in the criminal underworld knew. Syndicate Boss with ties across entire systems. Ruthless. Violent. Connected. And wholly reclusive. But many knew the name of Bekks’ Chief Enforcer, Kashir Gran. “The same. Now are we doing business? Or…” and the voice trailed off.

Now, after all her work and time she’d spent doing what she did, she of course had heard the name, but she did not know it was Kodek. It was nice to know there were still some secrets to be discovered. How boring would life be without surprises. Rather than showing her surprise she looked like she was the cat who caught the canary in procuring such a person for her own personal security.

The Rigelian broke into a sweat and said “Yes yes yes… of course. Yes. Please. If you will ask you client to be seated we can address the um… the…” and he looked at Davivica. “Purchase of seven select properties under the holding company of the anonymous client. Transaction will be made in currency, not transfers. And they wish all documentation completed today before close of business.” The last had never been said, but Vonn approved.

“Of course, of course. Now, as far as currency is concerned, what kind of currency and we can begin to look at the exchange rate for-“ “No exchange rates.” Vonn said and began to unload the big bars of latinum onto the table. The manager’s eyes went wide and then he said “Um… I see. Yes. Well, latinum is the standard, is it not?” “The remainder after the purchase will put into an account under the name Carol Danvers.” Vonn said. “You will tie the biometrics to my client. And the commission for the sales will be deducted from the realty office’s holdings and given to Ms. Hayden-Smythe in a manner of her choosing. I’m sure the firm will not object when you contact them. Is that acceptable?” The manager thought for a moment and then smiled.

“As this is a cash transaction, I’m sure we can be accomodating.”

Vonn

Eryn sat leaning back at her ease. She listened back and forth and then when the man stated that latinum was the standard, something in his tone caught her attention.
She let her senses stretch out carefully and she watched him carefully without appearing to do so. Eryn leaned over to whisper to Vonn. She ‘spoke’ with her hands, waving at Davivica and then with some contempt at the bank manager. The man was willing to be accommodating but he was also greedy and the bars of latinum were more than he could resist. He was also willing to forget their ‘anonymity’ for the right price. While she whispered there was a quick 3, 2, 1 pattern against his glove. Another left over RTF signal, for trouble. They really needed to get their own set of codes.

Eryn

The arm of her ‘bodyguard’ raised the wrist computer on their left wrist and a few commands were typed before the display was shown to Ery…

it was an old Earth symbol called an ‘emoji’… and it was a winking happy face.

Eryn could see Vonn actually giving her that look, and of course he’d already taken care of it. She glanced at the wrist computer and after a moment she appeared to be appeased by whatever Gran had shown her. She patted his arm indulgently, nodded and sat back, staring out the window.

The bank manager busied himself reviewing the property particulars and assessing the value of the bars stacked neatly on the desk. After a few moments, he smiled and said “I see no reason why we cannot continue with the finalization of the transfers immediately, Mr. Gran. Please let your client know that this should take just an hour or so. Vonn inclined their head and the voice said “My client closes all sales and purchases with a celebratory drink. Wine, please. Terran. Chateau Lafite, nothing past younger than ten years. You will be joining us.” The manager simply nodded and said “I think I know where we can get a bottle. Please, excuse me momentarily.” and he stood and left.

Vonn

Wine? Ugh…she’d drink it, but that didn’t mean she liked it. After the manager left Davivica glanced at Eryn and then turned her attention to Vonn. “Is there something wrong, Mr. Gran?” Keeping to her own advice of only addressing Vonn. Eryn approved, as they had determined earlier Davivica was smart. Eryn got up and wandered aimlessly toward the window. She glanced out at the people on the street. Her mind was following the bank manager. He really had a very undisciplined mind. He was eager to share the information, but was far too busy making sure he finalized the transaction first and find the requested wine.

The helmet looked at Davivica. “The bank manager. Tell me everything you know about him.” Davivica responded immediately. “Cru’hl Rotaalr, Rigelian, age 34 standard years. Has worked here for five years. He’s new to the manager spot, being promoted six months ago. He’s competent and stingy… everything the bank and lenders love, and realtors and buyers hate. He likes to flirt with attractive women of any species and considers himself a lady-killer. We went out once or twice. He’s arrogant and pretentious, treats restaurant staff like garbage. He likes to live like his far more well-off than he really is. He is more interested in appearance than substance. He’s conniving but not really clever. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.”

The helmet nodded and the voice said “Good. I can work with that.”

After a few moments she returned to her chair, quietly and waited for the manager to return with the biometric reader to secure the accounts.

Eryn

A few minutes passed before Rotaalr returned. Another employee, a Bolian woman, carried a tray in with four glasses and a bottle of wine on it. She set it down on the table and walked out. Rotaalr smiled and said “the wine…” and pulled out a PADD with a flourish, “… and the documents. All that is needed is a buyer’s approval and we can toast to a truly wonderful transaction.” Vonn took the PaDD and ‘reviewed’ the details before handing it off to Eryn and the Davivica.

The Bolian woman was jovial enough. She thought the wine and glasses to toast the business deal was just ‘so fancy’ and silly. Save it for when they got to their property. Her thoughts seemed to echo Davivica’s with the clear assertion that she wouldn’t toast with Rotaalr if he had the only water under the dome. Eryn took the PaDD and read over it, slowly, carefully. She was certain Vonn would have caught anything that was out of place, but still she read it. The man was oily and it didn’t hurt to check again. When she was done she nodded curtly to Vonn while handing it to Davivica. Davivica made sure to look over each part of the contract, for her clients, as well as herself, and of course the realty company. She didn’t think Rotaalr would risk ruining this transaction by messing up the contracts. There was no interest to miscalculate since it was a ‘cash’ transaction. She didn’t see anything amiss and she passed the PaDD back to Vonn.

Once both women had approved the details, Vonn approved the purchase and then slid the PaDD to Rotaalr a bit too hard and it slid off the table. As the bank manager bent over to pick it up, Vonn reached over and subtly moved one of the glasses from it’s original position… just enough to be noticable. As Rotaalr stood up, Vonn said “The wine, then. And that will conclude our current business.” They reached over and took the bottle, looked at he label, and then deftly opened the bottle. Vonn poured the four glasses half-full and handed each person a glass… making a point to take the shifted glass from Davivica and giving it to Rotaalr. “To our continued success in business.” and they raised the glass. As the other three took a drink, Vonn’s helmet stayed fixed on Rotaalr, who looked at Vonn quizzically as he took a long drink. Setting the wine to the side, Vonn said “Good. One last item of business. Mr. Rotaalr, you have just ingested a Breen nanovirus which is programmed to attack your body’s red blood cells, depriving you of oxygen and thus killing you very slowly and painfully.” The Rigellian sputtered and went pale as Vonn continued. “Even as we speak, the virus is replicating and attaching itself to your DNA. There is good news, however. The virus does have an antidote of sorts… a substance that will keep it in check and thus allowing you to live a long and prosperous life. And you will need to take that antidote once every week in order to keep the virus from spreading. Now, I will give you a choice here… which I am sure you know by my reputation is not normal. Choice one. I will give you a week to get your affairs in order and then I will ensure your ending is painless and quick. Choice two is that you can alert the authorities, tell then what has happened, and hope they can counteract a custom nanovirus from a species that has no references in modern Federation Medical studies to save you. Choice three is that you keep your mouth shut about my client and her affairs, you discuss us under no circumstances or conditions, and you will receive the treatment every six days wherever you are for the rest of your life… or until such time as I deem you trustworthy and give you the actual cure… or until I even think you have betrayed our trust and stop the shipments. Now I want you to consider the choice carefully. Because we can always go and do business with another bank. Banks are not uncommon. Your life, however, is unique. Quite possibly the only one you will have… who knows? So you should weigh what we have to lose against what you have to lose. We lose some convenience. You? You lose everything.”

Vonn

Eryn raised the glass in Davivica’s direction and sipped the wine. Not too much, she was beginning to tell it had been a very very long first day out of her convalescence. As Vonn began to talk she watched and ‘listened’ to Rotaalr. Scared, panicked, and…now that was perhaps not unexpected but said a lot about the quality of the man…pouting. He wanted to be able to use their transaction and information to give himself some more luxury. That was short lived though when he realized the people he would have sold the information to, would be very disappointed if they ever found out. Perhaps, given Gran’s reputation, he should do as he asked. There would be a certain safety in that? Eryn spoke for the first time, her eyes holding a dark sense of humor. “Could ve not change option one and add a veek?” she asked softly, but clearly, to Vonn. “It has been so long since I have had a pet.” Rotaalr stared at the woman and reached for the wine to clear his throat, then thought better of it and coughed.

Davivica was certain that she would never ever cross the pair sitting across from her. She wanted to believe that the Breen was making it all up, very convincingly, but she was wise enough to realize that she better not test that idea. And a part of her was enjoying watching him book the bank manager and her boss in their places. For the most part she thought she would enjoy working for these two.

Eryn’s gaze turned dark and hard. Rotaalr’s eyes had dilated and his nose flared, and his respiration went up as his chest heaved, and the vein in his temple pulsed wildly. Then there was a deep breath. Eryn laid a delicate hand on Vonn’s arm. “Zhere it is my dear Mr. Gran. He vill do as ve ask.”

Eryn

The helmet nodded once and then turned back to Rotaalr. “I am glad we have reached agreement. And do not fret too much. You will still be able to make a great deal of money. Just do as your told, keep your mouth shut, and you will be just fine. Now then…” and they turned to the two women. “It is time to go. Davivica, please arrange for a car to take us to your office and them to the Park residence.”

Davivica nodded once and moved out of the room. Vonn looked at Eryn and said “Madame, if you have no further business, I am sure the Manager has things to attend to.”

Vonn

Eryn pushed the chair back and then rose from her seat. She took a long glance of the room, eyes back to that slightly unfocused contemplation and then turned, with a slight quirk, to Vonn. “I have no more business here.” Eryn made her way to the door and waited on the other side for her body guard to join her.

They made their way directly to the car that Davivica had already had waiting. Same car, same driver. She had made certain the driver was at their disposal for the day. Once Eryn and Vonn had slid into the ground car, Davivica joined them and leaned toward the front seat, “To the office.” The driver nodded and the car began to move.

It was a short drive and soon the car had stopped outside a tall building, modern, expensive architecture and the top 4 floors all had large windows, bit there were only two with corner panaramic views. As Davivica stepped out there was a bit of commotion, all centered around her boss. He was much cleaner than the last time they had seen him. His expression alone was enough to tell that he was both anxious to appease Davivica and throttle her from embarrassment and jealousy. But a second glance at the car as Vonn and then Eryn emerged had him deciding that Davivica was a wonderful asset and had done an excellent job and he would need to mentor her to her full potential.

Davivica waved them toward the door, only pausing to nod at the man. She’d warned him before she wasn’t going to a second time. “If you would come with me. We will get all your paperwork and your keys.” She led them toward the back, past smaller offices to an elevator and then off on the 3rd floor where a sleek black box was waiting on the table of a well appointed conference room. Eryn stood expecting this part to go very quickly.

Eryn

Bump

And quickly it did. Inside of a few minutes everything was finalized and access protocols to the various properties had been implemented. Vonn stood silently in the back as Davivica and her former-boss- now-partner smiled and exchanged compliments. But as they were about to leave, Vonn finally spoke up and the helmet said “I wish to see our property agent’s new office… now.” The older man cleared his throat and said “Y-y-y-yes. Of course. This way.” and he led them to the lift, to the top floor, and then to a corner office showcasing the view of the city. Vonn moved to the window and looked out for a moment, unmoving. They then turned and the helmet looked at the older man. “There are twenty-nine positions I can shoot you from, as your office is next to this one. Twenty-nine positions. I want you to remember that number. Twenty-nine. Because if our associate here -” and they gestured slightly at Davivica, “- gets so much as a paper cut that you don’t help her with, I will pick one of those positions and put it to use. She works for us and only us. And we will be most generous with our purchasing powers. You stand to make a lot of money… as long as she -” and another gesture to Davivica, “- is taken care of appropriately. I hope you understand. Good day.” and the Breen walked past the man and into the hall, leading his ‘client’ away and out of the building.

Vonn

The ever distracted artist followed the large Breen out, as a very Mona Lisa-esc smile spread across her face. She took the PaDD containing the legal forms and tucked it into a pocked of her jacket. She followed Vonn out and to the car, slipping into the seat before Vonn joined her and shut the door. She let herself slump into the seat as the car took off. This had been a long first day out after the surgery. She was lucky the vet knew how to operate on mongrel dogs, but she was feeling it. Eryn hit the button to close the divider between the front and the back of the car. “Davivica should have a list of contractors for us soon. And by the way, forgive the obvious statement, but you are scary. That’s the most fun I’ve had in years.”

Romanov

“I work hard at scary. I’m happy that the effort is noticed.” the helmet said even though the figure under it didn’t move. The car drove them back to the park property and dropped them off. Vonn exchanged a few words with the driver, slipped him something that made him grin and nod his head vigorously, and he drove away. Vonn walked up to the door and it unlocked. The Breen turned and looked at Eryn.

“Welcome home.”

Vonn

Well Eryn had to admit if she was going to pick a property to make home, it was this one. Presidio, though ideal for the eccentric artist, was so…ostentatious and overkill. This one though, was simpler, quieter, easier to hide in. Easier to defend and easier to get out of. Eryn walked up the steps slowly studying the façade of the house again, the grounds around it. She stopped at the door and looked at him, and for a moment the woman who had sat blindfolded, wrapped in furs, across the warming stones from him, looked out from Eryn’s eyes. “Come on Vonn, I’m not home unless you are.”

Breathe it in
Let the fear consume you
Then force it out
Remember that it’s not true
The higher you climb
The farther you fall
But don’t be ashamed
Of wanting it all
Cause the view from the top
Is beautiful but fleeting
The world seems to stop
But looks can be deceiving
You’re surrounded
But you’ll always be alone
So pick a place, pretend it’s home
Take control
Be strong in your conviction
Embrace the pain
A dangerous addiction
Once you make a choice
There’s no turning back
Trust only yourself
When you’re under attack
Cause the view from the top
Is beautiful but fleeting
The world seems to stop
But looks can be deceiving
You’re surrounded
But you’ll always be alone
So pick a place, pretend it’s home
I’m a secret, I’m a lie
I’m the weakness I despise
I am selfish, I am brave
I’ll prove to you that I am not afraid
That I am not afraid
Cause the view from the top
Is beautiful but fleeting
The world seems to stop
But looks can be deceiving
You’re surrounded
But you’ll always be alone
So pick a place, pretend it’s home
So pick a place, pretend it’s home

Eryn Romanov (Special Thanks to Beth Crowley, Pretend It’s Home) https://youtu.be/Yx39-jnpZH8

The helmet inclined slightly and the Breen walked in. They stood a moment in the entry way and didn’t move. After a few long moments, they said “No surveillance that I can find on a cursory scan. Tomorrow I will set up the new security system and we can begin to make this into more of what we need. For now, you should rest. I’m sure the bed they used for dressing the house will be fine for you.”

Vonn

Eryn shook her head and let out an exasperated sigh, but her mouth quirked at the corners, “Yes mother.” Eryn moved further into the house, scanning the entry way making note of entry and exit points and view points from other areas. “After the security system, a set of rooms designed for your needs. You can’t stay in the suit forever.” She turned to look at Vonn, “Find somewhere to plug in and rest. The study looked like it had plenty of power outlets, and the windows give a decent view.” And it looked like it had a couch large enough for his suited bulk. She moved off slowly, taking in details, floor boards that creaked, what she could and could not see. She glanced out windows, creating a more detailed mental map than she had earlier in the day.

The bed in the master bedroom was, as Vonn predicted, just fine. Eryn wasn’t too concerned with comfort and luxury. She’d been on the go for a long time and such things stopped being a concern a long time ago. She set the bag down she’d been carrying since they went to the marketplace that morning. With quick efficiency she went through everything in the bag and unpacked it. Not because she felt the need to ‘move in’ but to make sure all her weapons and tricks weren’t in a single bag. Two hypos, anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories, and a full bottle of water later Eryn laid on the bed focusing on the sounds inside and immediately outside the house and then let her mind stretch out to get the feel of the area around her.

Romanov


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