Previous Next

Good Cop, Bad Cop, And Worse Cop

Posted on Aug 13, 2019 @ 5:28am by Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Edited on on Aug 13, 2019 @ 5:29am

Mission: Last Days of Empire

"Good Cop, Bad Cop, and Worse Cop"
(Continued from “Repeat That Again”)


Scene: Corridor
Stardate: [2.19] 0811.2127

“Are you ready?” the Counselor asked her partner-in-criminology. Kass was rubbing her stomach and making a sour face. However, despite her discomfort, the Marine wasn’t having any issues keeping up with the taller woman.

“What’s wrong?” Eve asked after a few strides.

Major Thytos shrugged. “Mah Dinner. It’s not settlin’ too well. Iphie’s either tryin’ ta kill me, or make me healthy. Far as I’m concerned, might as well be the same thing.”

“So, what did you have?”

“Some kinda pee salad. With oily green stuff. An’ some lighter crunchy green stuff. On brown bread that was so fibery I might as well’a been chewin’ on a rope.”

Lieutenant Dalziel looked puzzled for a split second before she got the gist of what Kass was saying. “Do you mean a chickpea salad sandwich with avocado?”

Kass glared. “How do ya know ‘bout it?”

The dark-haired woman grinned. “It’s one of her specials.”

“Oh, it’s *special* alright. But all I got outta that was that it meant “beans that make ya fart” and “rabbit food”.”

“Ok, I’m changing the subject.” Eve was still smiling as she handed Kassandra a PADD in preparation for their meeting with Hector Solorzano and his ex-fianceé. “I’m not sure what our boy Heck saw in Joanna Masters, but it wasn’t her squeaky-clean image.”

“These are all kinda petty crimes… nothin’ along the lines of ship-stealin’.” Kass noted the engagement and subsequent broken engagement between Joanna and Hector happened in the year following the Second Dominion War. The War had done a lot of bad things to people, and impaired judgement certainly was among those. “Nothin’ recent, though. Do ya think she’s reformed?”

“Not sure. Maybe she’s just better at not getting caught.”

“That ol’ planetoid may not be big enough taters for Miss Sassy Pants… she needs a bigger piece of the action. It’s like Kane said, she ain’t got no reason to be truthful. And our newbie ain’t got enough sense ta know exactly what she’s been up to this whole time. That’s why we gotta play dirty.”

Eve recognized the tone in Kass’ voice all too well, even though she wasn’t sure of the intent. “Exactly what do you mean by that?”

“Relax, I’m not sayin’ bloodshed.” The Major tapped her temple. “I can tell ya when she’s fibbin’.”

“That’s an excellent idea.” The copper-haired woman’s sensor array was a secret weapon of sorts, and could be used to help ferret out Joanna’s motives.

“One more thing- Lieutenant Yu said somethin’ about Solorzano playin’ the Good Cop. Does that mean yer the Bad Cop?”

Eve smiled. “We could both be the Bad Cop.”

Kass smiled evilly. “Heh. That might be a problem.”

“How so?”

“I always heard it ain’t a Bad Cop routine unless you break the table.”


Scene: Dalziel’s Office

While at first it was a toss-up between the Counselor’s office and one of the conference rooms, Eve decided her space had the most friendly decor and would contribute to a lighter mood overall, than a sterile room much too big for their needs.

Kass stood at the door at a relaxed, silent attention, trying to look anything but imposing. Eve silently offered gratitude that she was several feet away from her desk, which she was quite fond of, as long as it stayed in one piece.

“Ms. Masters, thank you for meeting with us. I trust you’ve had an opportunity to rest?”

She nodded, pouring a glass of water with a slightly shaky hand, and sat down across from Eve and next to Hector, facing away from Kassandra.. “I appreciate what you did, taking me in on your ship. Things were getting… complicated.”

Heck placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “It’s going to be okay, Jo.”

Eve paused to make sure the aOPS' actions were helping to calm the woman. It seemed that despite their penchant for bickering, there were still some genuine feelings between them. “How long were you living there?”

“A little over two years, I think.” At Joanna’s response, Eve glanced at Kass. There was no activity from the MCO, so it appeared the blonde woman was being truthful.

“As you already know, we’re looking for a man connected to the theft of a stolen Luna-Class vessel. It’s rumored that he visited the Bazaar.”

Jo huffed a little. “And you think *I* know him? You’ve seen how large that place is. Contrary to Stann’s interest in me, I wasn’t the most popular person down there.”

“Try to relax. It’s really important that we find him,” Heck said, trying to remind Joanna of the overall goal, trying to take her attention away from the fact they were looking at her past.

“Heck’s right. It may be a long shot, but I’m going to show you some pictures. Let me know if any of them looks familiar.” Eve had created a lineup, placing Book’s image in the fourth position. The other four men’s holopics were pulled from areas of Starfleet that she shouldn’t have had a connection with, and the images were modified to show the men in plain clothes.

The Counselor lingered on each image for several seconds until she saw a response from Masters. She shook her head or said ‘no’ to each of the pics, but Kass motioned at the image of Book that there was an unseen reaction to his picture. Her sensor nets could pick up changes in blood pressure and other minutae that would have been impossible otherwise, unless the reluctant witness had been strapped to an archaic machine.

Eve made a mental note of this and moved forward. “What is your relationship with Mistress Zhiva? Are you her employee?”

“Not exactly. The market is divided between those loyal to Zhiva and those loyal to J’Hora. I rented the booth from Zhiva. I guess you could say she was my landlord.”

There was no action from Kass, so Eve took that to be a non-deceptive statement. “What made you decide to place your allegiance with her?”

Joanna shifted in her seat. “I guessed that there would be more business opportunities with someone who has connections to the Orion Syndicate, than someone who was only concerned with her own House.”

Heck became agitated. “What? Those people are dangerous. They’re criminals.”

“Lieutenant,” Eve said sternly, but it was too late.

Jo fidgeted, almost spilling her water before she could place it on the side table. “Con artist. Fraudster. Thief. I believe that’s what *you* called *me* earlier, so why are you so surprised?”

He stroked his neatly trimmed goatee, still visibly upset. He didn’t take any of his words back, but tried to better voice his concern. “There’s a difference between what you used to do, and what the Syndicate does.”

“News flash, Heck, I *still* do those things!”

“But you don’t *have* to. If you had just married me…” He rubbed his face. “I would have taken care of you.”

“I can take care of myself,” she shot back. “And that’s what I was busy doing, when you decided to show up and make a mess out of things.”

Kass shook her head as Lieutenant Dalziel realized Heck had spoiled the baseline they had on Ms. Masters. Eve shifted gears. “*Ms. Masters*, *Lieutenant*, If you want couples’ counseling, you’ll have to make a separate appointment. Is that clear?”

“I’m sorry, Jo,” Heck offered. “I-”

Eve cut him off. “I think that’s one thing we both can agree on, *Lieutenant*. Ms. Masters, I need to know why you lied about the photos I showed you before.” She brought up Book’s pic. “You met this man, didn’t you?”

Jo looked at him, then averted her eyes. “Yes.”

“Did you help him steal the ship?” Eve knew it was a far-fetched question, as she had said she was already working at the Bazaar before the crime, but it still needed to be asked.

“No, no. I don’t work in vehicles. Statues, rare artifacts, the occasional forgery, and random merch, that’s what I’m into. Even though he never said he wanted to sell hot property. He was just looking for a quiet corner of the galaxy to make a ‘deal’.”

Kass had been continuing to monitor the situation, and indicated the answer was candid.

“What kind of deal?”

“I wish I knew. Maybe I would have told him not to do it. Or offered some of my lesser contacts. But he seemed to want something high stakes. I’ve done too many deals to know when something’s rotten. And this had all the signs.”

Jo couldn’t have been doing this out of the goodness of her heart, even though Eve could tell she was conflicted. “What was he going to pay you?”

“Nothing. I asked for something else.” Again, Kassandra indicated she was being forthcoming.

The Counselor leaned in. “What was that important to you?”

“Because he offered me safe passage off of that rock, okay?. I used up my last favors to get us into J’Hora’s club and scout that location info. He told me he would come back for me once he made his deal, and I believed him.” The blonde turned to face Hector. “But I should have known never to trust a man in a Starfleet uniform.”

NRPG: Shoutout to Alix and Sarah whose amazing ideas I shamelessly used in this post. Seriously, you are the best!

As for the uniform that Book was wearing, I’m not saying he wore it the entire time he was down on TX01-V A, but that he did at one point when meeting Joanna.

Susan Ledbetter
Writing for
Lieutenant Eve Dalziel


Previous Next