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Disruptions in distractions

Posted on Thu Jan 7th, 2016 @ 6:25am by Cassius Lincoln

Mission: Moving in
Location: The Starfire Bar and Grill

Cassius chatted with a couple of customers at the bar minutes after having wrapped up the after dinner books. There was a light after dinner crowd tonight, which was usual for what was the middle of the station week. In fact it was the slowest night of the week.

After a hearty laugh, he thanked the two and bid them a good night before they got up and headed for the door. The busser on duty cleared the spot and Cass started wiping it down watching the bar with casual ease as usual. It was a habit of his mainly because he liked knowing what was going on as well as enjoying being aware of opportunities.

Tori liked to do rounds in the evening, make sure everything was doing well and there wasn't any trouble going on in the Promenade when people were most likely to be intoxicated and troublesome. She headed into the Starfire Bar and Grill, looking around the place. "Looks like you're having a slow night tonight, Mr. Lincoln." She said cordially.

Cass looked up and smiled, "Yeah it is. I like to give as much of my crew as I can a regular night for time with family, friends, or whatever...Its the best night for it so some of the usual games and entertainment are offline so it's more family and quiet dining night. Gives us another side to show off as it were."

"I do like quiet evenings too. Could I get a tea? Lapsang, two sugars." Tori asked the barkeep, wondering if they had tea. She didn't drink alcohol, though. "No one causing any trouble?"

"Imagine that....I just got a small shipment of that kind of tea, and a few others, earlier this week. I'll be happy to make you some though. You'd not happen to be interested in a bite to eat too would ya? Something quick and easy maybe?"

Tori shrugged a little. "I try not to eat too late at night, gives me indigestion. I'm afraid age has caught up with my digestive system. Although sometimes a fat juicy burger for midrats sounds perfect."

Cassius smiled, "Yeah...The years tend to sneak up on ya when you're not looking don't they? Hold tight for a minute or two and I'll get that tea ready for you. Honey, sugar, milk or anything in that? I've noticed that people tend to have preferences almost more varied than they are."

"Just two lumps of sugar. The tea tastes a bit like boiled shoe leather due to the smoking, and milk just ruins that entirely. Save the milk for the Earl Grey or the Irish Breakfast." Tori said, taking a seat on one of the stools. She rubbed her ear for a moment as the buzzing that rarely seemed to go away continued. "Business been going well? No issues with anything?"

"Nothing too major aside from the occasional creek and groan most would consider normal in a not very new space station. Then again we've not been up very long and people are still filing in since the Federation's move in. So far so good though," the restaurateur said with a smile as he started the tea seeping.

Tori chuckled and shook her head. "I can't do anything with creaks, only creeps. The Ops department would kindly like me to not try fixing anything lest I set the entire place on fire. Or to self destruct."

"You'd not have liked the Cetlik III salvage crews then. Even the rocks groaned without any winds blowing. It was boggling to see a Fergengi run so fast in the opposite direction of a latinum rich scrap dump," Cassius said, laughing a little at the end with the memory.

He finished prepping the tea, sliding the sugar cubes in before heading over to the security officer and slipping it onto the bar before her and said with an amiable smile, "Hope ya like."

"Oh, no, it's not the creaking that's the problem. It's me trying to fix things. Not too good at the fixing part." She said, rubbing her ear as it started to ring. She stopped and took the tea, taking a sip of the old smoky flavor that for some reason always reminded her of shoe leather.

"Some times it's a bit of good humor as much as elbow grease," Cass said with a friendly tone among the cryptic humor.

Seconds later, a couple of the patrons toward the far end of the room started arguing over what appeared to be over a card game. Cass exhaled as he looked at the two.

"Those two love arguing as much as playing those cards. Last couple of times, they stopped after I threatened to cut them off drink wise let alone admission to the place. Apparently they still don't know when to stop. Third time is the charm so they say," he said as he came out from behind the bar.

He stopped short a few steps out, the short stun baton swinging as he did so. The sudden temperature drop was felt by himself as well as the security chief.

Cass suddenly let out an angry hiss and barked, "What did you not understand the last time out?"

The two card players stopped arguing a half a heartbeat later and looked very stupefied. He had a good idea of what was going on as he approached but continued on.

He slowed down about a yard from the two and said, "Boys, if it's going to be like this every time we're going to have to talk. For right now, beat it. Take off. I know you are good for the tab."

They couldn't seem to help but accept and race off and out. He shook his head and wandered back to the bar, and said, "Sorry about that. Some folks don't know how to handle spirits."

"Cass, put the billy club down." Tori said carefully, her hand against the phaser that stayed at her hip. "Do you have a permit to keep a stun baton? And you realize that I, as a security officer, could have taken care of that."

Cass gave Victoria a sidelong glance before nodding and saying, "Sorry. I've had to deal with being a lowly human for a long time. Besides...Even the Cardassians tend to be a bit scared of things around here."

The temperature dropped another degree or two as he turned to take an empty drink back to get recycled. If looks could kill the glance he gave at empty air would have done so.

"The sector of space or the station in general? I can imagine if it's the latter. This portion of the station got emptied of air before it got evacuated before the Cardassians abandoned it. It sometimes gives me the willies when I let myself think about it." Cass said with a look that was far away for a moment before covering with a bit of a grin.

"I try not to think about things like that. And I don't believe in ghosts, ghouls or gremlins, so this station doesn't exactly give me the willies." Tori said, returning to her tea. "Well. No. Maybe gremlins."

"The one bad thing about having a question answered in this universe is that afterwards at least two more questions pop up to take it's place. It's about as infallible as Murphy's Law....But hey, life has to have some challenges from to time to be interesting I always thought," Cass said with a bit of a grin.

"That is true enough." Tori said, tilting her head a little.

Just then, Victoria's badge chirped followed by, "Bannister to Svardberg...."

The Security Lieutenant sighed and hit her combadge. "Svardberg here."

"Sorry to bother you Lieutenant...There is a message from Starfleet Security that came in for us. It's not classified as being urgent but I figured you'd like to know," the Federation Marshal's disembodied voice said.

While the conversation went on, Cassius tactfully made himself occupied a little farther away obviously intent to give the security officer some privacy. He was the curious type but some things tended to take a back seat to customer service.

Tori shot a look to Cass, then around the deserted joint. "Go ahead, sir. Unless you want me to meet you to discuss it."

"It's nothing classified. Ms. Forst has been remanded to my custody, charges to be held until the end of the current crisis at which point the ranking JAG qualified officer will reassess based on her conduct," the disembodied voice said.

After a pause, the voice continued sounding a little apologetic as he said, "She's got mission specific skills that no one else in sector has ---- That's pretty much the only reason why the idea was even considered by Starfleet Security let alone approved."

Tori swore vehemently under her breath, then stopped and composed herself. "A plea deal like that will look an awful lot like Starfleet playing favorites, Colonel, no matter what skills she has."

"796.....That's how many people that the pirates murdered in the 6 months they've been operating. It would have been 797 except a little girl named Victoria Marie managed to dodge them until she got away in an escape pod. She watched them murder her parents....She passed dead crew members," the other law officer said before pausing, his voice betraying a bit of emotion toward the end.

"I'll be damned if I don't snap up every resource I can to bring those creatures in. A nice long term in a rehab facility or five is likely too good for them but it's my job to put them there. Unless you would like me to borrow someone from the Obsidian Order to pull the hacks into the pirate systems and other magic of course," he added.

Tori grunted, "Our pirate friends are also playing a game of public relations, pitting Starfleet against civilian colonies. Last thing we want is a Maquis against us. I can't fight orders from Starfleet Security, but I will be putting in a statement of protest."

"We're taking steps to rectify and counteract their propaganda. That's another reason I need to borrow Deputy Forst, actually. I can promise you this Lieutenant. We will be back. The only things that will stop us is if we're captured or dead....I don't intend to run with either of those options honestly," the colonel said with a gentler tone toward the end.

"Steps. I will be looking forward to seeing your return. Try not to damage my prisoner, Colonel, it would make me look bad." Tori said a little sarcastically.

With an amiable chuckle, the Colonel replied, "I'll try to remember that. Thanks Lieutenant.....Bannister out."

Cassius continued to polish glasses, seemingly out of earshot. He was watching the bar attentively, not bothering to hide the the occasional glance over toward Tori trying to gauge when it would be appropriate to check back with her.

Tori honestly felt like throwing something. Instead she kicked the bar hard enough to hurt her foot, but not hard enough to damage the metal bar. She cringed, then muttered under her breath where the only intelligible word was 'airlock'.

The barkeep/owner put up the glass he was working on and sauntered back, fixing her with a sympathetically friendly look as he asked, "Bad news I take it?"

"Worst type. Politics. Can't do an honest day's job without having it get in the way, once you're an officer at least. Makes me long for the days of being a crewman." Tori said, crossing her arms across her chest.

"Yeah. I've run into that with some of my business ventures. A store selling baubles and oddities or a joint like this runs into political considerations or surprises more often than someone might think who doesn't do my sort of thing. I've had some surprises I'd have preferred to go without. Once in a while it turned out to have benefits I didn't expect I have to admit," the barkeep and businessman said with a shrug.

Tori grunted, shaking her head. "I don't have any faith in this giving me benefits I don't expect. It's going to end up in disaster, as much as politics always do. And I'm not the politically correct type, and when I say that, there's a problem."

"That's not quite the worst thing I have ever heard of. Far from it. From what I've heard about this Bannister, he doesn't seem the type to go in for political reasons though. Subtlety, yeah...Kinda hard to be a cop otherwise. Political...." the bartender said with a bit of a shrug at the end.

"Oh you don't go in for political reasons as a cop. That's what prosecutors are for. You just take advantage of politics when it suits your goals." Tori replied with no loss of cynicism.

"Would you like a refill on that tea? It looks like you're running a bit low," Cass said with a lopsided smile.

"Yeah, sure. Then, I guess, I need to get paperwork together to release someone."

 

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