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Ferengi, Tramps, and Theives

Posted on Wed Sep 20th, 2017 @ 7:36am by Lieutenant K'Laus & Ensign Vecon Fick

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: SS Prime - Captain's Yacht | Ferenginar

The Talaraian raised Klingon sat in his seat behind one of the consoles in the shuttlecraft's cockpit as the young ensign piloted the small yet rather luxurious shuttle that had been remodeled and refitted. The SS Prime was more than just an ordinary Yellowstone class. It was the Captain's personal Yacht. Nobody except for the Pandora's Commanding Officer was supposed to touch the Captain's Yacht, but this had not stopped K'Laus from seizing the opportunity to make Captain Temple 'pay up' for a poker match in which the Captain had lost. Lieutenant K'Laus had also needed the shuttle with the most space for cargo, and that happened to be the SS Prime. So, the Pandora's Chief Supply Officer had been packed and ready to go. He had waited for a pilot to become available, but at the last minute, Captain Temple threw a wrench into K'Laus' plans.

Vecon Fick. The Captain was not pleased with having to hand over his yacht to the Klingon but willing to agree to it under one small but very annoying condition. There was only one person suited and qualified to pilot a shuttle that the Captain trusted with his yacht: Ensign Vecon Fick, the Pandora's Chief Flight Controller. Of course it would have to be you thought the Klingon as he glared and glowered, grumbling and trying to make it through the whole trip without strangling the annoying little Fick. Surprisingly, they had made it all the way to Ferengi space without coming to blows. However, it was not the least bit pleasant for Lieutenant K'Laus.

The shuttle was rocking and shaking as they approached Ferenginar and began their decent into the atmosphere. However, conditions were all but ideal. It was the one point and probably the only point in this mission that K'Laus was at least somewhat grateful for Fick being assigned at the Prime's pilot. Ferenginar was known for its rain, and this was monsoon season to top it all off. An intense thunder and lightening storm had moved in and was causing significant turbulence. The Klingon was monitoring the screen on his console. The Klingon slammed his fist down at his small station. "This is an outrage!" he shouted not shying away from showing his anger and frustration. "The landing coordinates they provided are not going to work. There's a mudslide right where we are supposed to touch down. If we attempt to land there, we will be swept away," reported the Klingon, chewing on his bottom lip.

Ensign Fick jumped when K'Laus slammed his fist down and looked over at the larger Klingon. "Don't hurt yourself... we'll just land somewhere else. I'm sure there's somewhere suitable close by. Or you could get on that thing and ask them if there's somewhere else they'd rather we land." He jabbed a finger at the communication panel. It wasn't easy to keep the shuttle in one place at all with the tropical winds and rain pounding at them. Fick actually growled at the Klingon. "Your shouting isn't really all that useful." He had heard that Klingon's liked growling. He wanted to give it a try.

The Klingon snarled back "WHAT THE HELL DO THINK I HAVE BEEN DOING!" before letting up a rather ferocious growl. Breathing heavily, he tried his damnedest to keep his temper under control, but so help me Kahless or whomever the Klingons swear themselves to cursed civilization that kills their own gods leaves very little to swear to in times like these thought K'Laus. "In case you haven't realized...we AREN'T in Risa anymore," groaned the Klingon shaking his head. "I have been trying to find a place for you to land this damn thing, but those greedy little PetaQ keep trying to charge us for a landing space," reported K'Laus.

He let out a hot breathy sigh. "And I'm not shouting!" he said clearly shouting. "This is my pleasant tone of voice...soothing isn't it?" he added sarcastically.

"Then tell the little PetaQ that I'll give them 5 slips of latinum to find us a place to land. Don't go higher then 7 slips and don't you dare say strips... it's SLIPS and STOP YELLING at me!" Fick growled right back. "What does Risa have to do with anything anyway?" Fick looked up at the Klingon and the wind shook the shuttle a little.

The Klingon let out a bellyful chuckle. "You are cute when you growl," said K'Laus though he reply was not intended to be spoken. In the heat of the moment, a barrier between his innermost thoughts and his vocalized expressions broke. Fantasy and reality collided and he was unsure what to do to recover from what he had mistakenly said to the man. "For a child," he added, looking away from Fick and focusing on his console. "Slips, strips, bars, bricks... it does not matter. It is still what the Earthers call 'highway robbery'," added Lieutenant K'Laus.

Fick's eyebrows shot up and he looked sidelong at the Lieutenant. Had the Klingon really just said he was cute when he growled? Fick was fairly certain that was what he heard. He didn't want to make it awkward for the Klingon though. He wanted him to keep thinking Fick was cute so he didn't take the opportunity to embarrass K'Laus by bringing it up again. "Yeah, but they're Ferengi. They only exist for highway robbery. Hope you don't have to pee when we land. We have to pay for that too."

K'Laus smirked as the shuttle started to stabilize for the time being. "Seven strips of gold pressed latinum and you have yourself a landing pad, Ensign," reported K'Laus. "A Daimon is willing to allow us to land on the rooftop of his building. The Calrissian Tower in the center of the Capital city," explained the Lieutenant.

Fick grinned. "A Daimon? How nice of him. He must be making some good profit to let us land for so cheap. I know the tower he means." He took the shuttle back up and headed it toward the center part of the Capital city. He found the tower and the landing pad with a little bit of help and sat the shuttle down gently. Once the shuttle was down he powered it down and snagged his pack he had brought with him. He searched the contents for a moment and then pulled out a small stack of latinum slips. He counted out eight of them and put the rest back in his pack and grinned at the Klingon. "Ready to go?"

The Klingon nodded as he grabbed his gear and exited the shuttle. The temperature outside was interesting, somewhat humid and it was pouring rain from the sky above. Monsoon season indeed. "Lovely weather we're having," he muttered under his breath as he proceeded to walk over to the edge of the rooftop and have a look over. That's a very long way down he thought to himself before looking back at his pilot. "I can barely see the ground below. We must be on top of one of the tallest buildings on this planet. Hundred or more stories up by the looks of it," he assessed.

Rain just kept on falling and soaking his uniform and wetting his long hair. He looked like a victim of a drowning, the water knocking his bangs over his eyes. He had to pull his wet hair back into a ponytail just to see somewhat more clearly. "I HATE rain. This is like bathing."

"Which you also hate!" Fick couldn't resist teasing just a little. He was also soaked, his pale hair plastered to his head and dripping into his eyes. He looked around for some sort of entrance into the building, using one hand to shield his eyes from the rain. "Let's see if we can get down without jumping from the roof." He started to lead the way to what he thought might be a low entrance.

The Klingon did not take too kindly to the reminder of how much he hated to bathe. Klingon typically did not like to, and Talarians only bathed from time to time. It was a luxury. "No need to jump," said K'Laus. "I can just throw you off and I'll find myself a lift to take down. Maybe if you are lucky, you won't feel a thing... much like your 'guests' on Risa."

Fick thought briefly about defending himself. The rain and the yelling and wind and the cold all made him a little grouchy. It frustrated him that the Klingon had so many hangups about Fick being from Risa. Like just being from the planet made you some sort of sex addict. "I hope I wouldn't feel anything from this height," was all he could manage. He reached out and pushed the buzzer on the door in the low opening. He didn't hear anything happen when he pushed the buzzer though, so he pushed it again several times. "You did tell them that we were accepting their offer? Right?"

The Klingon nodded as he impatiently waited for some sort of response. "Your Ferenginese needs work," he said shaking his head. "That is not communications panel. It is the control panel for a lift... and it looks like it is coming," said the Klingon looking up at an illuminated panel across the doorway.

Fick looked up at the illuminated panel he hadn't noticed at all. Of course K'Laus had a height advantage. The panel was probably right in his face. "Sorry... all I saw was a button... thought it might have been a doorbell. Usually they have these doors with the slots in them so they can look out.... take payment... tell you to..."

When the lift got closer, the Klingon's eyes widened as something caught his well sharpened warrior senses. "Ensign shut up," said the Klingon as he quickly grabbed Fick and pulled him close to his Klingon body and quickly scooted aside from the door, taking refuse out of sight. "That may have been an offer we should have refused," said the Klingon in a hushed growl. "Our welcoming party will be here in a moment and they are charging up some sort of energy weapons. I suspect Ferengi energy whips... don't get too excited." The Klingon readied his phaser and had hoped his companion would do likewise.

Fick yelped softly in surprise when the Klingon grabbed him and squeezed him and pulled him to the side. Fick struggled a little, cause K'Laus was squeezing him pretty hard for a moment, but let up so he could breathe again. "They might just be being cautious..." he whispered, but he also pulled his phaser and checked its setting, going for a stun and not an obliterate. "Please don't shoot first..."

The Klingon checked his phaser to make sure it was not on kill. A habit he had gotten used to since sliding into a Starfleet uniform and using Federation weapons which were considerate enough to have a non fatal setting. He blushed a bit and looked at Fick. "Is that what you ask all the guys, Ensign?" he quickly replied in a question. "Don't let a little performance anxiety get us killed, Fick. These may be just Ferengi, but they have killed for less. This is not a time for you to be shy. If they flick and crackle those whips at us, you return fire. That is an order, Ensign," said K'Laus sternly.

"Yes, sir," Fick replied seriously. He knew that it was possible that they were in dire straights, but if K'Laus hadn't guessed by now, Fick was anything but shy. He wasn't about to get killed by a bunch of money grubbing lobes. He raised his phaser and held it in a more ready position and nodded to K'Laus to let him know it was on, if necessary.

The lift came to a stop and several Ferengi filed out of the lift and started to spread out. The rain was making it difficult to see them. So, in theory it was difficult for the Ferengi to see the two Starfleet officers. The Ferengi were armed with their whips. One of them pointed to the landed shuttle. "The Hu-Mons must be inside," the Ferengi taking point said to the others.

Lieutenant K'Laus extended his arm pushed down on Fick's hand, lowering the other man's phaser. Ferengi ears were good. K'Laus knew if he so much as grunted or tried to say something to Fick, there would be whips being flicked in their direction. They needed to get into the lift and take it down. I need a distraction thought the Klingon who momentarily traded his phaser for a tricorder. He quickly took action. The Klingon programmed his tricorder to emit a repetitive sound in an ultrasonic range, a frequency too high to be heard by him or Fick, but would drive the Ferengi to drop their whips and grab their lobes in pain.

The Klingon looked at Fick. "Ensign, get inside the lift" he said to Fick. He knew he was kind of barking orders at the younger man, but that was rather natural for the Klingon.

Fick didn't even question. He did what the Klingon told him to do, ducking around the corner and slipping into the lift. He kept his phaser at the ready though and ducked to the side to use what cover the doors of the lift could offer him. He was actually good at being totally silent, since he'd practiced so many different kinds of martial arts. He didn't know what K'Laus had planned, but he had complete faith in the Klingon and his abilities.

"I hope you remembered to properly secure the shuttle before you got off of it," said the Klingon as the doors to the slid shut and he pressed the button for the lowest level. "The Captain will not be pleased if his yacht is stolen by the Ferengi. That's not just Federation property up there, that's the Captain's," he said shaking his head. "There's no way we are making it to the lower level. This lift will be stopped soon either with us stuck inside of it or these doors will open to some very unhappy Ferengi."

"Of course I secured it... I even took extra measures because we're on Ferenginar..." He held up what looked like a bolt. "They're not getting anywhere without this. Believe me, I know Ferengi." He looked up at the Klingon. "We're gonna have to get down out of this tower somehow... what do you suggest?" Fick asked in all seriousness.

The Klingon knew how to assess situations. He also knew that sometimes, you did not have the luxury of time nor the materials needed to fully come up with a solid plan. This was a situation that called for improvising and adjusting accordingly. He shot look at Fick. "My rank is provisionally assigned. You have more actual Starfleet training than me. You've done the whole Academy course and then some," commented K'Laus. "I may be able to get us out of here, but I cannot do it alone nor without you as terrible as that sounds," added Lieutenant K'Laus.

Time was running out. This lift was going to eventually stop and not where these two intended it to. K'Laus snarled as he punched a command into the panel. "69," announced the Klingon. "Our lucky number perhaps," he said noting that he was sending them to the 69th floor.

"I have a plan. I do not like it, but it is a plan nonetheless," grunted the Klingon. "This is the only time I will say this to you, Ensign, but we need to take our uniforms off," commanded the lieutenant. "They were expecting humans, not a strong Klingon and scrawny mutt. Our uniforms make us a target, but without them we can blend in as tourists," explained K'Laus.

Fick nodded. "Sounds like a plan to me. We should get off the lift first. I have extra clothing... civilian clothing." He snorted suddenly in humor and put a finger to his nose to try and stifle the laughter. "69..." and then seemed to get himself under control. "You know... you're not so bad when you're not yelling..." he joked. "You know I do know Mok'bara... and some other types of fighting. I'm not totally without any fighting skills. My size makes me quick. Did you bring civilian clothing?"

The Klingon glowered and looked at the young ensign. "We were here on business, not pleasure. I did not pack such luxuries," replied Lieutenant K'Laus. "We will find clothes on the 69th floor. Ferengi clothes may fit you just fine, but they will not fit me. Fortunately, this place probably has it's share of Nausicaans guarding latinum. We will just have to find one and knock them out," explained K'Laus as the lift came to a stop at the 69th floor. The doors slid open and the two exited cautiously. The Klingon gestured towards a display along the wall. "According to this the Daimon's private art gallery is on this floor just ahead. It should be decently guarded. Let's have a look."

Fick followed cautiously, his head on a swivel. "All this and you want to look at art? Did you research the whole place before we landed?" He was teasing the Klingon, but he was actually rather impressed. "How do you suggest knocking the Nausicaan out? Aside from a phaser set on stun. I think it would be quieter if we didn't use the phasers, but dang." He kept his voice soft and low.

K'Laus scoffed at Fick's remarks. "Just because I am a Klingon raised in the Talarians Republic does not mean I am not civilized. I like and appreciate art just fine," rebuffed the Klingon. "However, I am not here for the artwork. I just do not think the Ferengi will be looking for us up here. It gives me a few moments to think," explained K'Laus. He looked at Fick "I agree. Phasers will be troublesome. They will draw attention. I'll just have to do this the barbaric way," he added with a grunt.

"You know... it's not just on you. I can help. And just because I was raised on Risa doesn't mean I'm a slut... so there." He chuckled.

The Klingon looked at the helmsmen in a way that was unKlingon and nearly foreign to a Talarians; anapology? The look was apologetic, but K'Laus did not know what to say nor how to craft his words. He would have to just let his words go. "I do not underestimate your abilities as a Starfleet Officer, Ensign. I know your training has taught you well. I just simply cannot allow you to get hurt or worse. I have grown accustom to your annoyances," said K'Laus "This mission falls on me. I am responsible for everything and I am responsible for you as well," continued the Klingon.

The Lieutenant placed a hand on Fick's shoulder "I would never use such a word to describe you. Do not mistake my words or actions for what they are not. You are extraordinarily annoying. The sound of your voice is worse than the dreadful tones of a dozen dying Targs and your personality is more putrid that Bolians are blue, but if there is one thing I cannot do, it is use any word that would hurt you," said the Klingon. "Now, let's find ourselves a Nausicaan," added K'Laus not wanting to dwell on their brief sincere moment.

Fick started to correct the Klingon, as to the fact that he just called him other names in place of the 'whore' word, but he also acknowledged that now might not be the time to argue with Klingons, especially ones that seemed concerned for his wellbeing. Instead Fick nodded in agreement. "All right, but you do know that I swore my life to starfleet so if today is a good day to die, don't hold yourself responsible." He followed the Klingon down the hallway, weapon still at the ready. "Do you think Ferengi let Nausicaans guard art? I can't imagine that Nausicaans even like art."

The Klingon cleared his throat. "Three words: Nausicaan Tusk Opera," replied the Klingon with a grunt. "Even Nausicaans have an appreciation for art and a dedicated form. Theirs just happens to be music," said K'Laus. "Besides, it's not about appreciating the art so much it is about being paid to guard the fortune. Doesn't matter if it's bricks of latinum or Mintaken tapestries," he reasoned.

Fick couldn't agrue cause K'Laus was right. He shrugged and nodded. "I hadn't thought about the music." He slipped up on the edge of an open doorway and carefully and cautiously looked around the corner and into the room.

"Holy crap!" he said about the room he was viewing and lowered his weapon since there was no one in there, but there was plenty of art and the cold draft from the room suggested preservative techniques. Some of it was astoundingly beautiful. He wanted to go inside but knew they weren't here to look at art.

He made his way to the next room, leading the way. When he peeped around the doorway he spotted what they were looking for. At the end of the room beyond were Nausicaans. There were two of them. They were tall, like most of their species and ugly, also like most of their species. One of the guards was obviously patrolling as he made his way around the room. The other was standing still. Behind him, the Klingon made some sort of sound, perhaps to suggest that Fick should get out of the way, but the ensign was determined to show the Klingon he could fight, so he put his phaser away and snuck into the room, staying low.

K'Laus quietly observed as Fick snuck into the room. It was not something the Klingon necessarily approved of. Fick taking point. He's going to get himself killed thought the Klingon. Having served in Security for about two years aboard a starship, his training and natural instincts were kicking him in his ass for allowing Fick to enter the room before him.

Fick's size was an advantage. It was something that he'd noticed about most people that were taller than him. A lot of them never looked down, so attacks from underneath were often unexpected. The room was much larger then it looked from the doorway and actually spanned several rooms that were open to each other. Fick waited for the patrolling guard to move out of his sight before he made any moves, slipping closer and closer to the guard and using art kiosks staggered in the middle of the room for his cover.

Fick was one kiosk away from the guard when the patrol slipped out of sight finally. He didn't hesitate. With the patrol gone, Fick popped out around the edge of the display and punched the Nausicaan square in his privates before sweeping his feet out from under him with a rather impressive kick. The Nausicaan went down, totally caught off guard by his much smaller assaillant. Fick didn't back off the attack either, just because the Nausicaan was on the ground. He stepped forward quickly and put on foot on the Nausicaan's throat and started to press down hard. He had good balance, so even when the target started to struggle and grab at him, his beady eyes looking up at Fick with hatred, Fick continued to kick his hands away and the Nausicaan was starting to turn a little blue. He couldn't make a sound to alert his comrade because Fick was standing on his windpipe and vocal cords.

Needless to say this was rather amusing for K'Laus to watch. He quite enjoyed spectator combative sports and watching Fick with his kicks was quite impressive. However, watching him stand on the Nausicaan's windpipe and seeing the Nausicaan begin to turn blue triggered K'Laus to come forward and yank Fick's back off the Nausicaan by the collar of his Starfleet uniform. The Klingon looked at the ensign and grunted. "You have proven yourself a worthy fighter, Fick. You are applying too much pressure. Any further and you will crush his windpipe and kill him. Do not make yourself a murderer nor grant this PetaQ the glory of a warrior's death," said K'Laus as he took his phaser and whipped the Nausicaan across the face. The Nausicaan was knocked out cold and lay motionless.

Perhaps it was peculiar for a Klingon to be showing such restraint, odd that he did not allow Fick to kill the Nausicaan nor kill it himself. "Help me drag him behind those folding screens. I'll take his clothing and we can get out of here before his ugly friend returns," instructed the Klingon.

Fick was confused for a moment. He was pretty sure they were going to kill these, but he was also impressed at K'Laus' speech. It made Fick think that K'Laus wasn't just the typical hard-core, kill 'em all, Klingon. It was sort of refreshing. He took the Nausicaan's feet and helped K'Laus haul the unconscious man behind the screens. Once there, he knelt and pulled civilian clothing out of his own pack and started to strip quickly. He made no effort to hide himself or turn his back while he dressed.

Lieutenant K'Laus was not as open about it. While he did get undressed near the ensign, he did not look at the younger officer. Instead, the Klingon turned his back to face Fick and went about changing out of his uniform and into the Nausicaan's clothing, trying his best to offer Fick privacy while doing so. He found it to be the most respectful thing he could do in the moment, not that he was at all embarrassed or nervous about seeing another officer changing. This was a usual occurrence, especially when K'Laus was aboard Klingon ships. Those were not built for comfort and no matter where you went you walked in on something.

When they were both finished changing, the lieutenant turned and grunted at the ensign. "I smell like a Nausicaan," said K'Laus scrunching his nose, making the ridges look more profound. The Klingon looked at the younger officer. They had been wise enough to bring a small tool kit with them. "Grab me whatever looks close enough to extraction forceps," said the Klingon.

"Well... I do think that looks better on you then it did him." Fick went into the toolkit and pulled out a folded pair of pliers and began to open them. He wasn't really questioning what K'Laus was doing, he was too distracted by what had been a very nice view of the Klingon's muscled backside. He handed the pliers to K'Laus, grinning. "I do agree that he didn't smell all that good though."

"Crude yet effective," replied Lieutenant K'Laus as he accepted the tool. It was not quite what he was hoping for, but in a pinch it would do the job. He crouched down beside the Nausicaan who was out cold and stuck the tool near his mouth. Grabbing hold of one of the tusks and giving it a good yank until it became loose and was torn from the man's mouth. With a smirk, K'Laus then placed the Nausicaan's tusk into his pocket and handed the somewhat bloodied tool back to Fick. "Cannot leave here completely empty handed," he added.

Fick put the tool away with his mouth hanging open. The Klingon didn't want to kill the Nausicaan, but he was gonna pull his teeth? K'Laus was definitely unlike any Klingon Fick had ever met. Yes, he knew they were known for taking trophies, but usually those came from people they killed. He managed to close his mouth, but he still found himself a little speechless and a little more than curious as to what K'Laus had in mind for the tooth. Fick knelt down and rolled up his uniform, stuffing it back in his pack and then standing again. "Where are we headed now? Out of here I hope. We need to do it quickly. I'm not sure how we're gonna get the Captain's Yacht back to him."

The Klingon looked at Fick and chuckled as he pointed upward. "We are taking that shuttle, Ensign. I am not leaving Federation property in the greedy hands of the Ferengi Alliance" said K'Laus. He saw that Fick was looking as though he was going to head for the lift which they had taken. "If you are thinking of calling for the lift, you are... I believe I heard the Captain say SOL to accurately describe the current situation. They have undoubtedly cut the power to the lift by now," said K'Laus. "And don't try the stairs. They will be swarming with security ready to cut off our exit," stated the Klingon.

"What about what we came here to do?" Fick asked. "And remember, we're not Starfleet anymore... not that you were, but that's beside the point... we're tourists! Remember? Sure the stairwell might be swarming with security in a little bit, but they won't be looking for us. They'll be looking for Hoo-mons." He grinned and hooked his hands into the straps of his backpack.

The Klingon let out a gleeful deep gut grabbing chuckle before smacking the flat of his palm to his ridges. "Fick! You make a PetaQ out of me today. Brilliant reasoning and suavely thought," said K'Laus. "My Klingon blood is flowing hot and strong. It has clouded my better judgement. You are correct, they will be looking for humans in Starfleet uniforms, not us," said the Klingon his eyes wide.

"Come," he said almost barking it like an order as he swept the young helmsmen off his feet and scooped him up into his Klingon arms, carrying him towards the nearest stairwell.

Fick eeped in surprised when he was lifted off his feet and clung to the Klingon for a moment before relaxing again. His arms loosened from around K'Laus' neck and he sort of leaned against the larger man's chest. He had no idea that being carried was so nice. No one had ever picked him up before he met K'Laus. Since then he was starting to enjoy it.

They were met by a small group of Ferengi and two burly Nausicaans who came rushing down the stairs. The lead Ferengi stopped them and looked at the peculiar sight of the Klingon carrying the blond younger man.

K'Laus snarled at the Ferengi. "nuqneH?!," basically Klingon for 'what do you want' and K'Laus did not break from his sternness. "Did a horta clog your lobes? My Par'mach'kai and I are here for pleasure. You are in our way!"

Fick's throat tightened when the Klingon said he was his Par'mach'kai, even though it was a lie and Fick knew it. He still blushed like a schoolgirl and kicked his feet a little. Not enough to disrupt being carried, but just enough put on a good show of being a happy couple. He grinned and giggled a little, waiting for the Ferengi to be on their way.

The Ferengi did not prevent them much longer. "You let him wear clothes?" the Ferengi asked shaking his head in disgust.

Lieutenant K'Laus growled back in response. "Not for much longer if you continue to stand in our way." This seemed to do the job just fine as the Ferengi quickly moved aside and continued down the stairwell. K'Laus looked down at Fick who was evidentially blushing a bit, and the Klingon rolled his eyes as they reached a squared landing in the stairwell. Without much of a warning, K'Laus retracted his arms and let the young helmsmen tumble out from his hold and fall the couple of feet.

"The honeymoon is cancelled due to monsoon season," announced the Klingon, a subtle jab of humor and sarcastically even. "I cannot carry you the whole way. You are capable of walking," assessed the Klingon bluntly as he continued onward up the stairs. "I do not know what to expect when we reach the top, but be prepared for a quick take off," added the Klingon.

Fick eeped again as he rolled out of the Klingon's arms and landed hard on the floor with a grunt. He sat there a moment, trying to get his bearings and pretend his feelings didn't hurt as bad as his rump. He got up slowly, watching the Klingon walk away from him and couldn't come up with anything clever to say in retort. He was confused as to why his feelings were hurt. It's not like the Klingon had ever made any indication that he might be as interested in Fick as Fick was in him. He took a deep breath and followed the Klingon up the stairs.

When they did reach the top of the penthouse where they had left the shuttle, it looked like a bit of a mess. Clearly the Ferengi had tried to tamper with it as two of them lay unconscious on the ground. They apparently were met with the anti-theft system of the shuttle and it was not very kind to them. Lieutenant K'Laus looked down at the Ferengi and shook his head "Federation Technology 2 - Ferengi 0," teased the Klingon with a chuckle.

K'Laus gave the shuttle a quick exterior examination. "Well, I don't know how they managed it, but they fried the anti-theft system and scratched the Captain's yacht, but she looks space worthy. Though Apparently it went out fighting and they were in over their lobes," assessed Lieutenant K'Laus. "She's all yours Ensign," added the Chief Supply Officer, gesturing for the helmsmen to enter the shuttle and get things powered up.

Fick climbed into the shuttle. "Didn't we have business to take care of here? We didn't really get anything done." He sounded slightly disappointed, but he took his seat and started a systems check anyway. K'Laus was right, they had fried the anti-theft device completely. It didn't even respond to diagnostic requests, the computer simply refusing to act like it was there at all. Fick bent down and replaced the stem bolt he had removed earlier and fired up the engines. His feelings were still hurt. It was a strange experience for Fick. "All systems... aside from the anti-theft device are a go..." he said flatly as his system check wrapped up with a chirp.

The Klingon snarled "I KNOW why we are here, Ensign. This did not go how I wanted. We are not leaving Ferenginar until we get what we came here for," hissed Lieutenant K'Laus. With Fick's quick inspection, the Klingon nodded. "We do not have time to waste sitting here. Take us up, Ensign, but do not leave the planet," ordered the Klingon. "I will locate our 'package'... we will take it with us even if we need to rip it from the hands of the Ferengi," growled K'Laus.

"You're yelling again." Fick guided the shuttle smoothly up into the air. Of course this still being Feringinar, it was still pouring rain, but the wind was better, allowing Fick to hold the shuttle still when he felt he was high enough to be out of any sort of range of the roof. He waited for K'Laus to tell him where he needed to go. "Did you have to drop me so hard... my tailbone hurts."

K'Laus laughed and shook his head as he continued to work at his console. "I would have thought you would be used to your ass hurting you after a long day's worth of work," replied the Klingon. "Proceed north, Ensign. I have located what we are here for," stated the Klingon. "I am sending you the coordinates now. It is a Ferengi warehouse," added K'Laus.

Fick turned the shuttle and headed north, waiting for K'Laus coordinates. When he received them he corrected his course. "It's not my ass that hurts... it's my tailbone. There's a difference. Besides, I wouldn't be complaining if only my ass hurt. At least I would have known that I worked for that." He winked at the Klingon, teasing him just a little. "They're not going to try and jump us at the warehouse are they? Are we sneaking in or... and what are we after again?"

"Classified. Need to know," replied Lieutenant K'Laus as the red tape went up. The Klingon tapped away at his console. "We are not going to risk going down. Lock us onto the exact coordinates of the warehouse and standby," ordered the Klingon.

K'Laus fell silent as he quickly moved about the work console he was sitting behind. He was clearly up to something, but what exactly would remain uncertain for the time being until he gave the helmsmen more orders. "Arm micro-torpedo, lock onto the target, Ensign. Prepare to fire micro-torpedo on my mark."

Fick locked on to the location, but he couldn't tell exactly what it was that he was locked on to, but when K'Laus told him to prepare the micro-torpedo he was a little surprised. He did what he was told, but looked sidelong at K'Laus. "We're just going to blow it up? I mean, I guess I don't need to know, but still. I guess we are sort of winging it from the original plan, whatever that was."

The Klingon grunted and gave the order. "Fire," he said almost gently as he observed the Ensign.

Fick tapped the button without hesitation. Regardless of what came out of his mouth he'd never seen K'Laus do anything to hurt anyone besides the Nausicaan. He also didn't view K'Laus as a rule-breaker. So he had a little bit of faith that whatever they were blowing up was okay to get blown up.

The torpedo launched from the shuttle and in a matter of moments it exploded causing a bluish glow that triggered a flash that illuminated the now darkening purple twilight sky of the Ferengi homeworld. When the flash was gone, the structure they had targeted remained perfectly intact. Fick was clearly expecting an explanation and some orders.

"Woah!" Fick said in surprise. "That was not what I was expecting. What did you do? Cause that was no micro-torpedo..."

Lieutenant K'Laus nodded, "I do not kill innocent civilians, Ensign. I modified the torpedo to cause an electromagnetic pulse once it detonated above the facility. It has rendered their shielding inoperative. We may now locate the exact location of our intended cargo and transport it aboard... stand by," said K'Laus as he used the shuttle's sensors to penetrate the building. "Found it," he said simply. "Ensign, Energize," ordered the lieutenant.

"Okay... but I never thought you were gonna kill people. Why would I think that? And you're brilliant." He set the transporter and transported whatever it was aboard the shuttle. "Transfer complete, sir. I think we should get out of here now."

K'Laus actually blushed when Fick called him brilliant. "Thank you, Ensign. I think sometimes people just see me as a Klingon and they tend to forget I am in the Operations Department," added the lieutenant. "I concur with your recommendation, Fick. I believe the Earth saying is... FLOOR IT!" ordered K'Laus with a deep chuckle from his Klingon gut.

Fick laughed and did just that, sending the shuttle shooting back out of the atmosphere and into space. Fick had noticed the blushing but he didn't want to make K'Laus feel any more self conscious, even though the blushing was incredibly attractive on the Klingon. He set course back to the ship at the fastest speed the shuttle could go.

The Klingon carefully stood up and proceeded towards the back of the Captain's yacht to inspect the cargo. "I am going to check on our cargo," said K'Laus. However, as soon as he got within a several feet of the cargo container it was as though the container came to life. It let out shrieks and chilling sounds that could only be described as an alien orchestra hitting the devil's chord.

Lieutenant K'Laus immediately backed away from the cargo container. "I must confess something... I do not know what we just picked up, only that we were sent to pick this container up, Ensign. I believe are cargo is... alive," said K'Laus, turning to Fick. As he backed away the noise seemed to stop but his Klingon ears could still hear cooing and the sound of over a dozen tiny heart beats pitter pattering fast.

Fick looked over his shoulder several times while K'Laus was behind him looking at the cargo, in alarm. "That... that doesn't sound all that great. It kinda sounds like there might be more than one alive thing in there. Apparently, they don't like Klingons either," he joked.

"Apparently not," replied the Klingon. "Ensign, when we are out of orbit put us on autopilot and come here. We need to open this thing and see what is inside," stated K'Laus somewhat worried as to what may be inside.

"Leave it to Ferengi to have screaming, racist animals..." He set the computer on autopilot and got up, heading back to join K'Laus. "So what are we doing? We're going to open this?" He stepped closer to the box and just like it had been for K'Laus the eerie sounds started up again. Fick blinked. At this distance he knew exactly what was in that box. "Oh crap..." he said softly, backing away from the box slowly. "I think we should rethink opening this..."

K'Laus looked at the ensign curiously. "Ensign?" asked the Klingon unsure what would cause the helmsmen to back away.

"Tribbles..."

"Truffles?" asked the Klingon, unsure what word the helmsmen had just used.

"A Tribble is a small, fluffy, ball of fluffers, purring, adorable, horrifying thing. Did I say it was fluffy? They are considered vermin on some planets because they breed like crazy... like within hours... So you can imagine how quickly they can reach epic numbers, but they are freaking cute, so it's really hard to resist them. They can be spayed and neutered, but it's hard to keep the population in check while you deal with that. They're making that noise because they want us to pet them, but there are so many that it's... crazy loud. This crate might become a Tribble bomb if we open it."

Lieutenant K'Laus nodded "I understand. So we should keep this container securely closed," said the Chief Supply Officer as he reached to his tricorder. "I am reading over a dozen life signs inside of that container, Ensign Fick... and... Ensign?" added K'Laus as he handed over the tricorder to show the reading to Fick. "Do these...Tribbles. Are they supposed to read as technological with circuitry?"

"Uh no... I've never heard of them being technological in any way. I was pretty sure they were lifeforms. Are you sure it's the Tribbles and not something in there with the Tribbles?" Fick heads back to his console to pick up another tricorder. He returned back to the cargo container. Sure enough, there were a whole bunch of technological signatures in the box of Tribbles. "Well then... I don't know what to say."

"Medical Kit," replied the Klingon, deadpanning.

"Medical kit? That's all you have to say? Medical kit..." He watched K'Laus go for the medical kit with curiosity.

Pulling out a portable medical device that performed modernized versions of 'X-Rays,' Lieutenant K'Laus used the device. "There are small isoliner chips... inside those Tribbles," said K'Laus closing the device, putting it away and heading back to his seat. "Ensign, keep on course to Pandora inform them we will be arriving with cargo. Prepare to transport this container straight to deck 20... that's where I was instructed to store it for Lieutenant Griffin and Lieutenant Commander Nash."

The Klingon stood up and went over to the food and beverage replicator, ordering two raktajinos. He then headed towards the cockpit and handed one to Fick. "It's been a long day. You did well, Ensign. I will be sure to inform the Executive Officer," said K'Laus, patting Fick's shoulder and giving a small squeeze before the lieutenant returned to his seat with his beverage.

Fick stared at the cup of raktajino. There was obviously parts of this story that he was missing, but at this point he didn't feel comfortable asking or demanding answers to his questions about what they had just done. He was immensely flattered that K'Laus thought he did a good job. It was funny to him that what mattered the most was the Klingon's praise and shoulder squeeze and not the possibility of a commendation. "Thanks," he replied for several of the things K'Laus had said and the cup of coffee.

=END POINT=

Ensign Vecon Fick
Chief Flight Controller - USS Pandora

Lieutenant K'Laus
Chief Supply Officer - USS Pandora

 

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