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Solicitations and first meetings

Posted on Mon May 23rd, 2016 @ 1:53am by Cassius Lincoln & Deng Tan

Mission: Trouble on the frontier

Cass rubbed his eyes as he put the padd down that he'd been using to balance the numbers and to figure out what to set aside for the cause. He was done with the latter and needed to give his eyes a rest.

After a sip of cold, unsweetened tea, he realized he needed to talk to more shop keepers about donations. After turning the store over to the assistant manager for a bit, he went into the Promenade and looked around. The Dim Sum place looked interesting. Modestly nice traffic and interesting idea.

Before he headed over he tied his hair into a loose ponytail before heading over. Once inside he paused to look for the Mr. Tan that he'd heard mentioned.

Tan was busy hustling noodles into a bowl for a Klingon, and pouring a bit of warm blood of a targ into it for good measure. He wasn't going to tell the Klingon that it was three weeks old.

The old man looked up and saw Cass. "Come! Sit! I've got an open seat here!" Tan cleaned off a spot at the noodle counter and beckoned him over.

Cass smiled and mentally shrugged. He figured that his business and the Asian business was competition but different enough to be not as much as it might be. Besides, what he was going to ask may need some sweet talking....Or at least some good will.

The Starfire owner took a seat and said, "Thank ya kindly."

The noodle slinger threw a menu down in front of Cass and stared at him. "Tea, coffee, Sake?"

"Tea sounds fine," the blonde, long haired businessman said.

"Coming right up." Deng moved over to the counter, ignored the mess the Klingon was making and brought back a tiny tea cup with an ancient looking pot of tea. "

"I don't think I've seen you before, new here? Passing through?" The old man poured the hot liquid into the cup.

"Pretty new. I've got a shop that just opened down the way. I've been meaning to check out more of my neighbor's places and it's been a while since I've been in a place catering to this style of food. It seemed like a good excuse to come by, especially since my stomach was growling at me earlier," Cass said with a sincere smile.

The old man narrowed his eyes and leaned his hands against the counter. "Has Jill talked to you about the merchants guild yet?" He paused for a moment and got a sad look on his face. "Sorry, what I mean is Jill's dead she used to run the detective agency." he motioned the the Private Investigators office next to the shop "I can get you the documentation for it." He took the pot of teat and poured himself a cup. "Well, anyways, what are you having?".

After a moment, Cass said replied with, "I was introduced to Zhajiangmian a few years ago and have been rather fond of it since."

"Coming right up." The old man wandered over to the food prep area and got to work up the requested meal. It was normally on the menu but he had made it a hundred times before and knew the dish by heart.

The fellow shop owner watched Mr. Tan go. While the other man put things together, he watched and thought about how he'd broach the subject he'd come here to ask. That didn't stop him from admiring the scent of the food however.

Tan brought the bowl back over to Cass and sat it down in front of him. The noodles steamed from the bottom up through the beef. "Three slips, the tea is on the house."

"That's a pretty good deal. Looks great too," Lincoln said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out some strips of latinum. He pulled 3 and put the remaining two back in his pocket.

Handing the payment over to Mr. Tan, Cassius asked, "Pretty big news about the events at Gaspar ain't it?"

"I" he grabbed his cup of tea and sat down on a wobbly stool, hidden from where the patrons could see it. "To be honest I haven't been paying much attention. Too many customers, a lot of people come through here and not too much time to pay attention to them. Why what what happened?" Tan looked over to the Klingon who slurped the last of the broth from the bottle of his bowl, nodded his head and disappeared into the crowd on the promenade leaving Tan and Cass alone.

"According to Dr. Delrisa and Lt. Stills in addition to a number of other sources that the planet is in great need of help. Supplies of any kind. I know that the Starfire Bar and Grill will be contributing some food and staff volunteers. The are a few other places sending camping supplies, basic items, and clothing. It's.....Rough out there," Cass said thoughtfully after decimating a mouth full of food.

Tan had grabbed a ladle while Cass had been talking to stir a pot of noodles. The stool he was sitting on creaked and groaned as he reached across to the burner. The ancient pot was charred black from years of use. "Ohhh, I see why you are here. Rumor has it we caused a lot of the grief on that planet." Tan sat the ladle down on the stove. "I hope none of the rumors are true, but it sure does seem pretty suspicious if you ask me."

"I've gotten some pretty good sources who've told me it was pirates. I'd bet my life on a few of these people's information. I have in fact....Back during the war," Lincoln said before pausing for another mouthful.

"The Federation's Security office and The Cardassians both really want them bad. It's not often that someone goes after a Federation marshal with the rank of Lt. Colonel and his deputy," Cass' face fell as he added, "That would've been Ms. Forst. I was sorry to hear about her. She sounded like someone I would have liked to have met."

Deng turned back to his pot of noodles momentarily, the delicate rice noodles had started turning to mush. He spooned some water out of the pot and tossed it in a bucket on the floor."While I feel for those people, the Federation has replicators and supplies, I pay a stipend, just as much as you probably do to operate on this hulk. I barely get support here when a drunken Klingon comes and throws up on my counter." He turned back to Cass with the ladle in his hand. "What kind of help should I give? Ten Percent Discount for a bowl of Noodles?"

"Well, that'll be up to you really. I've got some stock that I brought with me and won't last forever even in stasis. I'm also calling in a coupla markers with helping with supplies. Even running all the replicators at full capacity won't bring in enough...And running at that capacity would be problematic with what is needed. Even a little bit can mean a lot," Cass said diplomatically.

The old man leaned on the counter looked out onto the promenade. "I have some condensed noodles in crates, bay seventeen flat eight. Probably about five hundred pounds of them. I got them when one of my suppliers sent me the wrong order. I only serve them to the Klingons because they can't tell the difference in a quality product or a mass produced one. You can have those."

Cass smiled and said, "This'll be a big help. It sounds like these folks are going pretty hungry which generally means that top notch is not required."

He used the pause to grab another mouthful of food before he pulled a small padd out of his pocket then punched in some data. Once done he replaced the padd and nodded toward Mr. Tan saying, "That's very good stuff by the way. I've had it a few times over the years and I think that's seriously the best."

"Thank you, ancient family recipe." Tan sat back down with his cup of tea. "It is a mess, this whole place, this whole situation, if it hadn't been for Jill talking me into it, I probably wouldn't have come here."

"I'm glad she did," Cass said before looking around then adding, "Looks like I am not alone."

"Alone at what?" Teng's eyes scrunched, like a small dog would if it didn't understand.

"Looks like you do have a small crowd. Other places are church mouse quiet compared to this. I've also heard people say good things about it....In fact mentioning it's a favorite has been something I've overheard more than once in the past 2 days actually," Cass said with sincerity.

"Oh, why thank you, I try. Little sliver of heaven this far out in the boonies." Deng sipped the last of his tea. "As long as I can keep the Klingons under heel. And any of these refugees, I don't want them scaring away the regulars." The tea cup clanked with an dim ring as it hit the counter top. "

Cass raised his glass in salute and said, "Here's to regulars and to gold pressed latinum then."

Tan poured a bit of sake into his empty tea cup and did the same. "You going to the meeting about the nonsense going up stairs?"

Lincoln nodded and gave a smile that had at least some of his usual panache as he said, "Yeah. I think I will. Information can sometimes be as good as money and, usually, getting it first hand is a bit more reliable not to mention accurate."

"Let's head up there now, I think it is starting soon." Tan finished his sake and put the cup in the sink.

The other businessman nodded and finished his meal pausing long enough to show genuine appreciation before neatly putting his dishes in order. He had spent too much time as a restaurateur not to be somewhat conscientious about it.

"I might make this a regular stop Mr. Tan. I wasn't joking when I said that those are the best I've had in some time and there's not a place in the sector that can match it I suspect. Anyhow, shall we," the long haired and bearded businessman asked.


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