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Scum And Villainy (Chapter Three)

Posted on Jan 15, 2019 @ 7:01pm by Raxl Dreyton
Edited on on Jan 15, 2019 @ 7:02pm

Mission: Section 31

= Scum And Villainy, Chapter 3 =


STARDATE: [2.19] 0114.2320

The Ferengi's eyes narrowed as he looked at Rax, then seemed to brighten a bit when he noticed the large black case that Rax had set down on the table.

"Ah," said Brass, flashing an ugly smile full of jagged yellow teeth. "You must be Brak's contact."

"In the flesh," Rax said. He let his gaze drift casually to one of the two dabo girls on either side of Brass. "Didn't think we were going to have an audience for this."

"Jealous?" Brass asked. "I'd be happy to lend you one."

"I'm all set," Rax said. "You mind asking your friends to leave while we talk?"

Brass gave an exaggerated sigh, but he snapped his fingers and pointed away from the table with his thumb. The dabo girls rose in unison, walking away. One of them traced a slender forefinger up one of Brass' earlobes as she passed him, causing the Ferengi to give a little shudder. Rax did his best not to feel repulsed, but it didn't help much.

When the dabo girls were out of earshot, Rax sat forward in his chair.

"Now that's better," he said, trying on a smile and finding that it didn't quite fit. "Now we can have our discussion in private."

"What's to discuss?" Brass asked, leaning back in his chair. "You brought what I asked for. Leave it on the table and go."

"There's the matter of payment."

"I don't tip," Brass said. He gave another toothy grin, and Rax thought the Ferengi must have meant is as a joke. Rax didn't think it was funny.

"You're a courier," Brass said, his smile fading. "You get whatever your employer agreed to pay you, and you get it from him."

"It's not my payday I'm worried about," Rax said. He rested a hand on top of the black case. Brass's eyes lit on this gesture at once, and the Ferengi's nostrils flared slightly.

"Brak knows me," Brass said. "We have an arrangement. Payment will be transmitted in the usual fashion."

"Brak's instructions were very specific," Rax shrugged. "Cash on delivery. I think maybe he knows you a little too well."

Now Brass's mouth twisted into a snarl. "This isn't a negotiation."

"On that we agree," Rax said. "No cash, no goods. Pretty straightforward if you ask me."

Rax and Brass locked eyes across the table, while Rax's hand tightened slightly on the black case. Around them, the noise from the bar seemed to swell. Rax thought he could see murder in the Ferengi's beady eyes, but he also saw hesitation. It wasn't just the contents of the case; Brass could probably have Rax shot in the back and simply take it, it's not as though anyone on Mira V would be interested in opening a murder investigation. But whatever was in the case was rare and valuable, and Rax had an idea that there weren't many in the galaxy who could lay their hands on it easily. Killing Rax would mean losing Brak as a contact, and Rax was willing to bet that Brass didn't want to burn bridges with anyone who could deliver rare and valuable.

So, feeling about as sure of his hand as he was going to get, Rax decided to bluff.

"I think maybe we don't do this deal after all," Rax said. He started to slide the black case slowly towards himself, away from Brass. Brass's eyes shifted from Rax's to the case, following its progress along the table.

"I didn't come alone, hu-mahn," Brass said, flicking his eyes back up to Rax. "You wouldn't make it to the door."

"Thought of that," Rax said. "Don't think you really want to play it that way, but I've been wrong before. Guess I'll have to take my chance."

Now Brass actually growled. "I don't have the money with me."

"Shame," Rax shrugged. The case had reached the edge of the table now, and Rax started to pick it up.

"Who *are* you, hu-mahn?" Brass asked.

"Just a dedicated employee," Rax shrugged. He lifted the case off the table and set it in his lap.

"You look familiar," Brass said. "Have we met before?"

"I think I'd remember," Rax said. "Now, if there won't be anything else--"

"Dreyton," Brass said, his eyes widening. "Raxl Dreyton."

Rax was halfway out of his seat, but now he froze. He frowned at Brass. He didn't like the way the Ferengi was looking at him now; it was almost as if he'd forgotten about the black case altogether.

"*Have* we met before?" Rax asked.

"No," Brass said. The Ferengi was smiling again, which Rax liked even less than his snarl. "I know you by reputation only. A respected bounty hunter in your time, weren't you? What are you doing running packages for someone like Brak?"

"It's a real nice package," Rax said.

"Whatever he's paying you, I could double it," said Brass. "I have my own ship. A few hired hands, but I could use someone with real experience."

"I'm not here to discuss my career prospects," Rax said. He finished standing. "If you don't have the money, we don't have anything left to talk about, Brass."

Rax turned to leave, but behind him, the Ferengi began to laugh.

"Alright, alright," said Brass. "You win, hu-mahn."

Rax turned to look back at Brass. "I do?"

"Yes," Brass said. He started to slowly applaud, still laughing. "Well played. Of course I'll need some time to get the money from my ship. I can bring it by your shuttle within the hour."

"No," Rax said, shaking his head. "We'll meet back here. I'd like to do this in public."

"Suit yourself," said Bras. "One hour, then. I'll even buy you a drink for your trouble."

"You're too kind," Rax said. He turned to leave, not waiting to see if Brass would reply.


Crichton watched as the courier left, then picked his way through the crowd to where Brass was still seated. He took the seat that the courier had formerly occupied, and fixed Brass with his single blue eye.

"I notice he took the case with him," Crichton frowned.

"Yes," Brass nodded. "He did."

"What the hell happened, Brass? This thing was paint-by-numbers. How did you manage to screw it up?"

"You can't talk to me that way," Brass frowned. "I'm your captain."

"That means you get to wear the biggest hat," Crichton said. "We both know I don't take orders from you. We're in this 50/50 or I walk."

"Rainner always said you were more trouble than you're worth," Brass said.

"Every boss I've ever had said the same thing," Crichton said. "None of them have spaced me yet, so I figure their calculations must be off. The *case*, Brass."

"'The case'," the Ferengi repeated in a high-pitched whine. "'The case, oh the precious case.'"

"That's our payday," Crichton said. "More than that, it's our job security. Riss isn't going to like it if we come back to him empty-handed, whether your his favorite nephew or not."

"Don't worry about Riss," Brass smiled. "And don't worry about our payday either. I just double it."

Crichton raised an eyebrow. "What the hell are you talking--"

"Do you know who that was?" Brass said, glancing in the direction that the courier had gone.

"No," Crichton said. "Should I?"

"Raxl Dreyton," Brass said. "Bounty hunter, general scum, not usually worth a second look... but he also happens to have a very large price on his head, and Riss is the one who put it there."

Crichton turned to look in the direction the courier had gone. The man had already left the bar, so Crichton turned to look back at Brass.

"Seriously?" he asked. "That guy?"

"He confirmed it," Brass said. "He thinks we'll meet back here in one hour to complete the exchange. Instead, I say you hack into the shipyard's security and figure out where his shuttle is docked. Then we all go and pay him a little visit. We get Dreyton, and the case, and Riss gives us what we're owed plus the bounty. And I think he might even throw in a little extra, to show his appreciation."

Crichton considered Brass's plan, and he had to admit it sounded good. He started to smile.

"I have to admit, Brass," he said. "You have your moments."


Shawn Putnam
Raxl Dreyton
Former Bounty Hunter


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