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The Ferengi Encounter

Posted on Wed Aug 30th, 2023 @ 10:14pm by Lieutenant Xavier Leiko & Ensign Charlotte (Charlie) Washington

Mission: Wrath of the People
Location: Pirate Support Ship: Cells
Timeline: MD08
1856 words - 3.7 OF Standard Post Measure

"Lieutenant Leiko," Charlie shook the unconscious operations officer and sighed, exasperated that he showed no signs of coming to. She got up from the floor and walked around, looking for anything that might help them. The cell itself was decently lit, enough to see that the walls were scuffed and the floor looked as though it hadn't been cleaned in quite some time. For as much as their prison left to be desired, the area outside of the cell seemed to be in decent shape. The panel which Charlie was fairly sure supplied the power to the energy field keeping them from freedom, looked like an earlier edition of something from a Klingon ship. Perhaps a piece of technology the pirates had plundered from another unfortunate vessel.

It wasn't much longer before Xavier finally started to stir. Charlie rushed to his side to help him into a sitting position. "Lieutenant Leiko? How do you feel?" She asked.

"Like I got hit really hard in the head," Xavier answered groggily as he awkwardly moved himself into a sitting position on the cold, damp floor. He raised his hand tentatively to feel the spot where the phaser rifle had struck him. Pain shot through his head at the mere brush of his fingertips, he didn't dare risk probing further. "How long was I out?" He asked as he tried to focus on Charlie's face.

"Well, you did get hit really hard in the head, so that checks out," Charlie smiled. "You were out for about an hour. I've been searching the cell hoping to find some sort of weakness that we could exploit to escape and haven't come up with much. There's a guard outside the main door, but I haven't seen anyone else yet. What do you think they'll do with us?" She asked.

An hour? Damn, that can't be good! Xavier thought as he slowly pulled himself to his feet. He instantly regretted it as the small cell started to spin and he grabbed the wall for support. Seeing Charlie heading over to assist him, he held up his hand in her direction in a stop motion. He tentatively moved from the wall, standing on his own two feet and swayed a little as he tried to find his centre of gravity. "Hold us for ransom more than likely," he answered as he studied the cell. "Slave trade, sex trade, either way, nothing good," he added, matter-of-factly.

"Well, I guess they picked a good couple of Starfleet officers for ransom anyway. I think we'd collect a good penny, we're pretty valuable," Charlie smiled. "Any ideas on how we get ourselves out of this predicament?"

Xavier smiled at Charlie's joke but didn't reply, even smiling sent a pain shooting across his head, reminding him of the assault he had endured. He tried to mentally feel for the guard that Charlie had said was right outside of the room, but he couldn't sense anything, either the place had psi-dampeners or the blow had done more damage than he realised. He looked around the room again, trying to find some kind of advantage, but it was locked down tight. "We might have to wait for Fenn and Conrad," he said, not sounding too thrilled about that plan.

"No offense Lieutenant, but that's a terrible plan," Charlie looked around for anything that might help when suddenly an idea struck. They had some sort of panel in their cell, it looked to be an old replicator of sorts, but maybe..."Can you help me remove the cover from this panel?" She asked, unsure of what Xavier even felt capable of in his current condition. It was a long shot that they could do anything with these clearly dead electronics but doing anything was better than nothing.

"You don't have faith that your Trill friend will come for us?" Xavier asked as he made his way over to her. "No, I don't either," he added as he helped pull the panel free. He looked inside the dead replicator unit and as suspected, all of the parts were burnt out of fused together. "Wait..." he said as he reached inside the unit. He had seen something that had caught his eye and after a minute or so of twisting, pulling, and swearing he managed to pull the thing free.

He stood back, holding a cylinder-shaped piece of metal in his hands. It was the size of a tricorder and a bronze colour that looked like rust. "This is a transition capacitor," he said with a broad grin on his unshaven face. "It's dead now, but if there are enough residual ions, it might disrupt the force field," he said as he handed the metal chunk to Charlie.

"Perfect!" She took the piece and then squeezed Xavier into a hug before noticing him wince at the pressure. "Oh, sorry, I just really appreciate your brain," she smiled before turning towards the forcefield. "Ok, let's try..." She placed the device at the power junction for the field and jammed it in. "YES!" Charlie's face lit up with excitement as the field diminished. She was good at this whole escaping thing.

"Come on! The guard outside in the hall is just a small Ferengi, he shouldn't pose a challenge," Charlie threw Xavier's arm over her shoulder to help him walk straight and led them towards the exit.

"A Ferengi? Really?" Xavier asked as he allowed Charlie to help him. He was insulted, being kidnapped was one thing, but to think that they weren't even worth being guarded by a Breen or even a Vulcan was just plain rude. They reached the door and as Charlie had said, their exit was blocked by a Ferengi, who was even shorter than most of the other Ferengis Xavier had met. "Take us back to our ship," Xavier ordered as though the brown alien wore a Starfleet uniform.

The Ferengi looked stunned, because the pair had escaped or because of Xavier's tone the Betazoid couldn't be sure. He looked on the verge of screaming for help or crying, another thing the Betazoid couldn't be sure of. "You will not pass hew-mon!" He reached behind his back, determination in his eyes.

"I mean, we don't really want to hurt you and no one has to know," Charlie suggested. "Besides, he needs medical attention and you don't want him dying on your watch right? That would be more trouble than it's worth. Maybe we can make it worth your while," she gave a sly smile hoping some amount of negotiation might work before they resorted to more violent measures.

Charlie seemed to have a hypnotising effect on the Ferengi who paused mid-action and seemed to forget what he was doing. "I don't care if he dies," the Ferengi said, pointing a stumpy finger in Xavier's direction. "But you, you-" he said, turning towards Charlie and running a hungry tongue over his sharp and uneven teeth, "can definitely make it worth my while." He used the same pointing finger to stroke one of his lobes, his eyes fixated on the female ops officer. "You know oo-mox, yes?"

Charlie feigned offense with a slight gasp. "Of course, I know the magnificent art of oo-mox. I would be derelict in my duty if I didn't understand a variety of valuable and well-thought-of cultural traditions." She reached cautiously for his ear while also leaning to see what he held behind his back.

Xavier's eyes widened, not quite believing what they were witnessing. He wanted to pull her back from the Ferengi but knew he would only hinder her escape attempt, or maybe she was really into this, who was to say? Instead, he buried his head in his chest, whatever was going to happen next, he didn't want to see it.

The whip behind the Ferengi's back revealed itself as Charlie leaned backwards, but that was no matter. Surely she could acquire it from his grip, she thought as she slid one hand over his ear in a tantalizing fashion while gearing her knee to shove into his stomach. A second later and the Ferengi was doubled over in pain and surprise, but luck had not been on Charlie's side and the whip remained in the Ferengi's hand.

"Stew-pid hew-mon!" He said, anger flashing through his eyes. He quickly recovered and lashed the whip out at Charlie, throwing out an energy burst with it and throwing her entire body back in the direction of the cell. "Get back in there!" He motioned Xavier towards the cell. "Or you'll be next, and I don't think you can take as much as she can right now."

Xavier considered his options but he knew the Ferengi was right, and had the upper hand. He made his way over to Charlie and half-carried, half-dragged her back into the cell. Once they were safely back inside he slumped to the floor, breathless and aching. "I hope you have another plan?" He said to the stirring human.

"Besides waiting for Fenn?" Charlie shook her head. She thought for sure they'd get past the little Ferengi, but he had proved more challenging than she could have imagined. "I'm out of ideas."

"Me too," Xavier said with a heavy sigh. "I can't wait to tell everyone a Ferengi knocked you on your ass. Tey is gonna have a field day." He said, trying to lighten the mood.

Charlie chuckled. "That's fine, just don't tell Henry. He'll accidentally let it slip to his mother and then she'll give me a whole lecture about how being captured and physically harmed isn't good for her future grandchildren or something like that," she rolled her eyes and laughed.

Xavier was about to reply when the ship rocked, violently. "Did that feel like phaser fire to you?" He asked Charlie. He didn't want to get his hopes up that they were about to be rescued but the odds were looking good.

"Yea, it was either phaser fire or we're both losing it," Charlie replied.

A few minutes later Xavier could hear a commotion coming from just beyond their room. He put his finger on his lips, indicating Charlie to stay quiet. The pair of them were in no fit state to join the fight and even if it weren't Starfleet, he had to think whoever was firing was no friend of the Pirates that had taken them captive. He was about to move into a more tactical position when he recognised the voice and felt a sense of pure relief.

Teyo bounded into the room, clearly talking to Zora on the comm, another reason to be elated. As relieved as he was that the two Ensigns had managed to rescue them, knowing that the Commander was nearby made Xavier feel much more confident in their chances of escape and survival.

"We hustling or are you still enjoying your vacation?" Teyo asked with that stupid smile of his.

Xavier looked at Charlie, her face echoing his. "I think we'd like to check out now," he said turning back to the two ensigns. "Let's go!"


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