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Trouble Part 2 [Backpost]

Posted on Mon Aug 25th, 2014 @ 7:59am by Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele & Commander Khelev ch'Koro [Halan]

Mission: C.O.I.L.
Location: Planet
Timeline: after "Planet of Sand and Sun"

CONTINUED:

Khelev and Vanora left the bar arm in arm, it wasn't a bad place but he was feeling a little more adventurous and he hoped she didn't mind going on it with him. On every planet there was a space port or a station or a city that looked right, smelled right and seemed fine but underneath was a hive of criminal activity.

There were always gangs, fighting for turf but this was always a little more elegant. Where just about anything could be bought and where smuggling was a way of life. It just so happened Khelev knew the particular spot where this all tended to happen and he happened to know the spot well.

It was a quick flight from where they were to a sleepy little village named Rada at the base of a mountain in one of the largest ranges on the planet. It served as a mining town, meaning a lot of traffic in and out as well as plenty of underground space to play with.

After landing the shuttle in the port, Khelev got them a ride on one of the passenger trains that took them deep into the mountain. It made several stops for the workers as they got on and off again with one final stop.

The two of them headed off and he took her out into a promenade of sorts and half grinned as he took a deep breath, "Welcome to the black market on this dirt ball. You can find anything and everything down here."

"Why, Mr. ch'Koro, it seems you know me even better than I thought you did," Vanora said, wide-eyed as a child on Christmas morning, as she was drawn magnetically and quickly to the stalls of junk and contraband that lined the promenade. She picked through one shelf and waved Khelev over. "Regalian liquid crystal," she pointed at a bottle as she whispered. "Can you believe it? This stuff is even more dangerous than my tears," she made a playful, mocking face before moving on.

"Hey, I know what the ladies like. Also, from where I'm standing," Khelev's eyes, and one of his hands, moved over her backside slowly. "You don't need tears to make a man sit up and beg."

Vanora laughed, gave Khelev a look, and swatted his hand away. "With lines like that, you're lucky you're so good looking. Help me look through this junk, and let me know if you see any Skagaran whiskey," she said with a smack on Khelev's rear before laughing again and wandering off.

Khelev just laughed as she sauntered off and he started heading through the stalls, looking for anything interesting. Sometimes it was tough being the child of merchants and a Starfleet officer, he knew the law and found that there were times when he had to ignore it, like now. At least the products were mildly interesting so far, but nothing that jumped out at him.

She kept looking through the stalls, looking as though she was checking for something in particular, and eventually stopped. She attempted to nonchalantly walk back to Khelev, though her eyes betrayed some concern. "We have a problem," she frowned. "The weapons dealer three stalls behind me on the right. I'm not one to disrupt normal commerce, but he has bio-mimetic gel. A lot of it."

Khelev furrowed his brow, that was not exactly a compound one could get a hold of easily and to have it openly displayed in an open black market like this was beyond words. It was so highly controlled by the federation, he'd only heard of a sale once and it wasn't in the open. Not to mention if the stuff wasn't handled properly it could become dangerous.

"Are... it can't be real," Khelev raised one of his brows. "I've never seen that in a place like this."

Vanora shook her head. "Me neither. And just out and obvious like this, I've never seen anything so brazen. We have to look into it, but in a way that won't disrupt the market too much. If others here find out we're Fleet, things will go downhill fast, regardless of what it is that we're concerned about."

"I've go enough friends about I think we'll be all right," Khelev winked at her. "Come on, let's have a look. Maybe get into a fight and knock some of the gel off the counter, see if it's the real stuff that way. That or we could con him out of it."

"Pretend you don't know me, the element of surprise might help." Vanora strolled back to the weapons dealer's stall, which occupied a darker corner of the promenade. The man appeared human, though it was sometimes difficult to tell.

"Pretty bold of you to leave all that bio-mimetic gel just sitting here out in the open," Vanora said to the man as she handled a multi-function Ferengi disruptor rifle, looking it over as if she was genuinely interested.

"Yeah, you interested?" Andesky the shop keeper arched one of his brows and looked at the woman. She didn't look stupid, nor did he think she was a slouch. "I've got all the paperwork on it, perfect if you've got a cloning project in mind."

Khelev has stopped at another stand and picked up a couple of odds and ends. A power pack, a bottle of cheep whiskey and a phase modulater in bad shape. He tucked them away before heading into the weapons dealer. He purposely shoved by Vanora with a grunt.

"Watch it lady," Khelev grumped. The guy was pretty well stocked and he took a second to look around before spotting the gel. He picked one of the canisters up and looked into it. It was the right color.

"Watch it yourself, punk," Vanora growled back at Khelev.

"Careful with that," Andesky said. "It's Biomemetic Gel."

"It's what?" Khelev asked, turning towards the guy.

"Biomemetic gel, expensive and really illegal," The shop keeper replied.

Khelev let out a laugh, and tossed the canister back and forth between his hands, "You mean that stuff they make organic bombs out of? Naw this aint the stuff. You wouldn't be leaving it out like this if it were."

"I can assure you that's the stuff, please put that down," Andesky reached under the counter for his gun.

Khelev set the canister down a little hard and turned towards Vanora. "Can you believe this guy? What a con artist!"

"No one invited you," she glared at Khelev, before turning back to Andesky and doing her best to appear newly suspicious. "You said you had all the paperwork. Let me see it."

Andesky removed his hand from his gun, happy that the sale looked possible again. "Sure thing," he agreed, "Just a second." He turned around to a large file cabinet to pull out the appropriate data crystal.

Khelev was a big walking blue hulk, but he was quick on his feet and he always had been. Slipping between the two, he snatch the data crystal out of the man's hand and had his own custom built datapad that he stuck it in and started scanning it.

"These tests make it look like the real deal, how did a theft like this get pulled off and not get spread galaxy wide? You've got twenty liters of this stuff, I doubt there's a hundred liters in this entire sector," Khelev said with a grunt. They'd have heard about a theft like this for sure.

"I got it off a man named Stratford, he always has the best stuff," The merchant was annoyed by the Andorian. He held out his hand wanting the data crystal back. "It's quality stuff. You want in or not?"

"Reggie Stratford?" Khelev asked, narrowing his eyes. "The name of the supposed "Ghoststroke" assassin? You're full of shit."

"I am not! I fence for him all the time, my weapons are the reason he's so damn good!" Andesky hissed. "Now give me back the crystal."

Khelev pulled it out and tossed it at him carelessly, which annoyed the man more. "These are fake as hell and you're a damn con."

He dropped the canister he'd been holding on to the counter top and headed out, his datapad and copied the crystal as well as scanned the canister he'd been holding.

Andesky growled at the retreating Andorian, before putting his best smile back on and inserting the crystal into his own reader, handing it to Vanora. "That blue bastard doesn't know his head from his arse," he tried his best to laugh off his anger. "You, on the other hand, are clearly a woman of exquisite taste. You will appreciate what I have here, I am sure."

Vanora began studying that reader, and saw immediately what Khelev had seen. There was a con here, but it was still a dangerous one. This weapons dealer had someone acquired a small amount of bio-mimetic gel, perhaps as much as 400 mL. He had then used the authenticity of the real gel to fake documentation for the remainder, which was clearly fake. There was no way to know what was real and what was fake, however, without purchasing the whole of the stock and then testing the tubes individually for potency. It also had the added benefit that he could just plead that all of it had been fake, and ditch the real stuff, if authorities came after him. She had to tread carefully; playing the rube would make Andesky as suspicious as declaring the entire cargo fake. She had to anticipate that Khelev had a plan, or was bringing back reinforcements. All she could do now was stall.

"I see what you're doing here. I'm no idiot like that boomer was. I'm a professional, understand," she stared Andesky down as she tapped her knife belt, and the weapons dealer nodded slowly and carefully, understanding that she knew what he was up to. "Name me a fair price and I'll take the whole lot off your hands before it gets too hot."

"One million..." he began, but stopped when Vanora started making a growling noise. "Okay, okay... two hundred thousand bars gold-pressed latinum."

Vanora laughed. "I said a fair price, weapons dealer. With the additional cost of testing and sorting out your crap, no more than fifty." She didn't dare look over her shoulder for Khelev, in case it tipped Andesky off that that the two were together.

This is were things always got interesting, Khelev and Vanora might be a force to be reckoned with but they'd never be able to fight their way out of this place. It might be a bunch of criminals, but stealing usually got one shot by the security in this place.

The big Andorian took a deep breath, took a second to calm his mind as quickly worked through his options. Stealing was out of the question, as was brute force, they'd pulled what they could to gather information.

After pulling up his contact list, he placed a call on his datapad. It was answered fairly quickly and an older Lethean appeared on screen. He had dark brown skin, beady little eyes and a bone ridge that ran down the middle of his face.

"You've got a vendor selling bio mimetic gel. It's fake," Khelev said. "Send a couple of your goons Vezor."

"I know about Andesky," Vezor said with a grunt. "The fool could bring the whole operation down with that kind of contraband. I've got a better idea."

The channel closed a moment later and was followed by the pick up of a PA system. "I have a brief announcement, it seems one of our shopkeepers have stocked a highly controlled substance that is quite fake. While we have few rules, stocking bio memetic gel is a line we must hold. A Federation raid would cripple us. Therefor I'm declaring a bounty of five bars of gold pressed latinum for the first to bring me Andesky's head. It's open season boys."

Khelev swore in Andorian before drawing his phaser and bolting for the shop. That was not what he was expecting at all and he snapped off several shots as he jumped into the shop and found Vanora with her gun already out and Andesky looking terrified.

"We should go, now," Khelev said.

Vanora looked up at Khelev, and over his shoulder. She saw the mass of bounty hunters and mercs closing in on their position fast. This was going to get really, really messy. "Agreed. But not without taking care of the gel first," Vanora said, before tapping commands into the disruptor Andesky had been hiding under his table and throwing it under his cargo hold. "Have a good day," she winked at the weapons dealer. "Oh, and you have about fifteen seconds to clear the area. Try not to get yourself killed."

With that, Vanora grabbed Khelev's arm and the two took off running toward the entrance, pushing their way through the mercs running in the opposite direction after the fleeing Andesky. They cleared the area just as the disruptor exploded, knocking some mercs to the floor, but generally doing little more damage than incinerating the dealer's merchandise and the area immediately around it.

Khelev let out a whoop as they turned a corner and several more heavy boots passed by them, heading for the shop to get the Andresky. He slid his gun back into it's holster, his arm around Vanora as he half smiled. "Care to continue shopping? I've been in the market for a shoulder fire micro torpedo launcher for some time now."

Vanora nodded in assent, and then rested her head against Khelev as they walked. "Now that's what I call a proper date," she smiled.

~fin~

 

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