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Lingering questions

Posted on Thu Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:00am by Jillian Forst & Ryan Horgan & Lieutenant Helen Shire

Mission: All Souls Descend. Season 2, Episode 6
Location: Docking ring


The Ferengi stood next to the port hole, grinning at the long line of people waiting to board the transport shuttle. A Lurian stepped up to the Ferengi and handed a ticket over with a strip of latinum underneath.

"Ohh right this way right this way!" The Ferengi put his hand on the Lurian's back and gently pushed him into the airlock. "Make sure he gets one of the better seats!" The Ferengi yelled into the hole.

Several different species were queued, Bolians, Vulcan's, a rather angry looking Klingon, two Trill who were debating the finer points of Parrises squares defensive strategy, and Jill and Ryan.

"Do you think we should "Tip" the Ferengi or risk sitting in the cargo hold?" Jill looked back at Ryan as the line inched forward.

"You always tip a Ferengi that way if anything goes wrong he may even show you where the escape pods are." Ryan joked but deep down he did wonder how far a Ferengi's lust for latinum would take them, perhaps he'd finally take time on this rather long trip to read the Rules of Acquisition.

The line slowly moved forward as the Ferengi pushed the people onto the shuttle like cattle. "Yeah, I hear you, I had a Ferengi landlord once who tried to charge me three slips for lift usage and 1 slip for the stairs." She readied her ticket to hand to the Ferengi. "I made sure he became familiar with those damn stairs."

"I can assure you there are no stairs where we will be going," A strange, cold tone interrupted the conversation.

Jill started to reach for her slug thrower as she spun around and saw a haughty looking Lieutenant Commander wearing a gold bar uniform. She took her hand off of the grip looked over at Ryan before turning back to the security officer. "Well I'm sure our destination has ample lifts to get us to where we need to go" she paused for a moment. "And who are you that you have such a keen affinity for structural engineering?"

Lieutenant Commander Mason, chief of security," she introduced herself with the same stiff manner. "I'd like you ask you some questions in private."

Glancing to Jill, Ryan wondered if he could still go and let her catch up but after recent events he thought better of it, instead sticking by her as the two women eyed each other.

"Both of you," Mason added without further hesitation. She lead the two away from the bustling queue and into a side room where her assistant Lieutenant Shire stood waiting.

Falling into step alongside Jill the pair followed Mason out of the airlock and down the corridor, they had been so close to covering their tracks but now with them detained their options would be limited not to mention the latinum they were now out of pocket.

Jill just wanted to get this over, fleet types tended to ask too many questions and take things too personally. They seemed to care about things like jurisdiction and rule of law.

"Alright Commander." Jill sat down on one of the chairs in the stark room and stared at the commander. "You've made us miss our flight, I doubt that bastard Ferengi is going to honor our tickets. What are you on about?" The indignation in her voice pointed her state of mind.

Mason immediately propped herself upon the edge of the desk that dominated the small room: "I want to ask you some questions regarding two decent deaths."

"Ryan, do you get this?" She nudged her partner. "What do you want to know?" She tipped her hat back a bit and grinned at Krissy.

"Your whereabouts last night between the hours of 1900 and 2300 hours, and the night before last." Mason crossed her arms and waited for the two to respond.

"If you must know, I was investigating a crime scene... one that it seems your security forces were either unwilling or incapable of doing for themselves. Might as well leave it to the pro's sugar." Replied with as much of a sanctimonious tone in her voice as she could muster.

As a former law man himself Horgan knew Jill's tone was going to go down like a lead balloon but still he couldn't help but wait to see what fireworks erupted.

From her rear guard at the door Lieutenant Shire could overhear the discussion and could not resist the temptation to watch Mason's reaction to the tone provided. Knowing the Commanders full force of her temper Helen was glad indeed she was out of arms reach.

Mason's frame tensed visibly and a muscle in her jaw twitched involuntarily. "I will not be spoken on in that manner," she snapped rising from the table with a start. "Who do you think you are?"

"Detective Jillian Frost, licensed and registered private detective with the Federation number" She paused for a moment recalling her number "Registration 30117." Noting that she had perhaps pushed the commander a little far she pulled back a bit. "As I've said, we are investing a rather unfortunate series of events that are now leading us off station. Isn't that right Ryan?"

"Yeah pretty much, well except I am still vested with the powers of Federation law under article forty two of the Federation marshals code, you know what they say Commander, once a marshal always a marshal." With a cheeky smile Horgan moved in his chair to a more relaxed position, "we need to track down a Vulcan separatist movement, just give us some time and we'll get you all the answers you need." It was his ace card, one that had got him out of many a holding cell but with all the posturing he knew there wasn't time for the subtleties of the usual dance of misinformation only releasing morsels of information as needed, they needed to get on that ship.

Mason wasn't convinced. "Lieutenant Shire," she called to the second officer at the door. "See if you can validate Miss Forst and Mr Horgan's registation and claims."

The second woman nodded and slipped outside the room.

Mason returned her glare to the two so called investigators undetermined by their story and potential standing that vasts out weighed her own jurisdiction. "And hunting this Vulcan separatist movement give you the right to kill freely?"

"Kill, Lieutenant? I hope you got some evidence to back up that supposition!" Ryan's tone firmed in an instant, the stories about Mason hadn't filled him with confidence but he was never one to buy into such tittle tattle, now though he suddenly realized why she had been demoted if this was her usual tact.

"You're not denying the accusation not have answered my initial question. I know of your kind, if you claim to be whom you say." Mason lent forward a fraction. "You think you're above everyone else and don't care how you accomplish your goal. Bringing fictional characters like James Bond to life in a dangerous fashion."

"Please, I'd put us closer to a Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall..." Jill looked at Ryan. "When..." she lingered on it for a moment "When our story checks out, I'm sure we could bring you in on some aspect of our operation." Jill continued to look at the security officer, who reminded her of herself once upon a time. "Besides, I like you, you've got a spunk there, how much are they paying you?"

"Don't pertend," Mason chorted. "You know very well Starfleet don't acutally pay its officers with a wage. You seem very certain that your stories will check out, perhaps I should consider whom you've paid to cover you both."

"Look!" Horgan's voice raised enough to get everyone's attention, "if you have a case to make then make it, if not release us. There's a murderer out there and while you're busy playing detective he, she or they are getting away!" It took a lot to annoy him but something about Mason's attitude really irked him, not to mention the fact that her pointless questioning prolonged their stay making them more of a target.

The eyes of the security chief seemed to narrow dangerously at the tone. Fortunate Lieutenant Shire returned and gestured that Mason joined her at the doorway. With a slight sneer Mason rose and crossed toward her assistant.

"What did you find?" she questioned the younger woman in a quite tone.

"Their stories check out," Shire explained passing Mason a padd with the two individuals brief personal information she'd been able to whip together at short notice.

"They genuine?" Mason probed thumping through the information handed to her and glanced up toward the couple.

"As genuine as it comes sir. A project called prophet eye investigations, its all above board. I guess these aren't the ones we're looking for."

"Obviously so," Mason sighed handing Shire back the data padd. "Have all the available information sent to my office, there's something here I still don't like."

"I thought you'd say that, its already been done." Shire half smiled.

The Commander sighed wearily then turned striding across the room toward the two deceives. "Lucky for you everything checks out, you're free to go."

"Luck had nothing to do with it!" As Horgan stood he couldn't help but wonder what sort of criminal activity was going on underneath the Mason's nose. "Let us know if you need a hand getting things sorted out around here, I'm sure we can squeeze you in once we wrap up this case."

Jill stood up and adjusted her hat, looking at Mason and the other security officer. "And we have reasonable rates." She smiled as she stepped next to Ryan. "And hopefully we haven't missed our shuttle."

As the two figures moved away Mason's gaze remained narrow and suspicious: "Never rains, but pours," she muttered lowly to Shire whom seemed to share her misgivings.


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