Finding the Black
Rules of Acquisition
Location: Latinum Lounge - Ferenginar City
Joe sat at the bar next to Ila, their covers firmly in tact, chatting whatever struck his fancy with the bartender while trying to figure out if he could make his upcoming questions... profitable enough for the bartender. He had a little of everything in his pocket to offer the bartender, from gold-pressed latinum to Romulan Ale.
The bartender walked off to tend to another customer and he leaned over to Ila, "I think he might know the info that we need." He replied.
Ila bumped into Joe's shoulder playfully, enough that anyone watching wouldn't think much of their shared words. "So I know he's a he, but work your magic. You're good at this kind of thing. I'm just here to make sure that no one jumps you."
"Violent help is better than no help at all," Joe replied with a chuckle.
"Would you like another, friend?" The Ferengi bartender asked as he returned, already lifting the decanter of amber liquid from its berth on the bar.
"Sure," Joe said, adding a bit of slur to his voice. The truth was, he could drink much more than this before starting to truly feel the effects, but folks tended to trust a drunk man more than a sober one.
"Hey listen," Joe said, motioning the bar tender toward him. "I need to unload some... less than normal cargo. I hear there's a place to do that uhm... you know... discreetly here on Ferenginar. You heard anyone talking about that?"
The bartender looked around and showed Joe a pointed-tooth smile, "What's it worth to you?" He asked, leaning in well.
Joe's answer was the *clink-clink-clink* of gold pressed latinum on the counter.
"Down near the spaceport there's a man named Larry. Talk to him and tell him Moe sent you. He'll take you to Curly who'll take you to the happy black market it in the sky, my overly drunk friend," He replied, deftly swiping the latinum bars into his apron before Joe could take them back or anyone else at the bar could see them.
Joe's next response was a cold ring of plastisteel jammed into the bartender's neck. The small calibur slug thrower wouldn't do much in a firefight, but at point blank range, there'd be grey matter on the wall.
"I'm not as drunk as you think, friend," Joe replied, his slur gone now. "Don't you bullshit me again, and don't you try and set me up. I deal in illegal merchandise on a regular basis, what makes you think I'm some sort of nice guy?" He growled.
The Ferengi's eyes went wide, but to his credit, he kept their exchange discreet, "Cargo bay eighty-seven, near the back, there's an access tunnel to a drainage tunnel. Go down into that tunnel, turn right, head down the tunnel 80 paces and wait. Someone will come and take you to the black market. Just tell 'em Gert sent you," The bartender blurted out.
With a practiced deftness, the holdout pistol was away in Joe's jacket again and a friendly smile was on his face as he tossed another couple bars of latinum on the bartop for Gert, "Thanks, _friend_."
As soon as Joe went for the pistol, Ila did a quick scan of the room to see if anyone was investing a little too much attention their way, before fluffing her hair over her shoulders and leaning over to rest her head on the edge of her captain's shoulder. "I think we're done," she told him with a yawn. "Leave a nice tip. We're going to be leaving a mess."
The Ferengi heard that and the fake smile faltered, seeing a burly male and female Ferengi approaching from the rear, "Oh.. boy... that's Ranans and Ruick Dalon... I'd suggest you leave now." He said, urgently.
"Why?" Joe asked.
"You might say... they don't like Humans," Gert explained.
"Oh... how much do they not like--" Joe was cut off by a flurry of stars as the male of the two - Ruick - clocked him in the back of the head with no warning or flourish.
"Get out of my bar, human." He spat.
It was one of the last things he said as Joe's left hook connected with his lobe.
Ila missed catching the punch- which she cursed about under her breath- as she slid off the bar stool, hooking it in her ankle to swivel just a tad, then kicked it up into the attacker's gal pal's mid section feet first. It wasn't by any means clean, sweet Fleetie style. No, this was the back room Tijuana brawling that Ila had grown up with.
"Step off, bitch," she warned, feinting another blow from the chair. "Or you'll have no trouble finding a seat- it'll be permanently wedged up your ass."
Two blasters were suddenly out, not keen, smooth firing, easily controlled Federation phasers. No, these were ugly, coherent-light-energy barking guns that could tear a man's head clean off. Conveniently, they only came with the "head clean off setting".
Joe held one, Ruick held the other. Joe saw the tension in Ruick's hand and butted his arm out of the way just in time for the blast to go wide and disintegrate a dozen bottles of liquor on the wall into vapor.
"No blasters! NO BLASTERS!" Gert cried as he lept behind the bar for safety.
Joe followed up his narrow avoidance of the blast with a punch to Ruick's face that sent him reeling backwards and his gun clattering to the floor.
Ranans kicked Ila's stool from her hand and dove toward the woman, and feral rage in her eyes. Other patrons were staring, some starting to move toward the fight as if they meant to get involved... probably to the highest bidder.
Instead of wrestling for the stool, Ila let the woman dive at her- and eat the bar top with a resounding thud. Just for good measure Ila grabbed the ferengi by the.. loose skin for lack of a better word.. on the back of her head and slammed it into the bar twice more for good measure.
Ruick was about to get back up when Joe grabbed him by the lobes and twisted. The ferengi gave a howling shriek and frantically tried to get away, which only made the pain worse as Joe's grip tightened. He finally stopped and looked up at Joe with pleading eyes.
Behind them, Joe heard the crowd slowly fall into a very calm and official pattern of wager taking and side picking. Gorram Ferengi.
With his Ferengi subdued, he looked over to Ila to see if she had her's under control.
"So.." Ila said, very calmly keeping the woman's nose pressed tightly to the bar top. "Fight's over," she more demanded than suggested. "Go find a hole to crawl into."
Joe grinned and tossed Ruick to the side where he laid on the floor, cradling his ears. A few Ferengi groaned and handed bars of latinum over to other Ferengi, but just like that... business as usual. There was no profit in standing around gawking.
Joe straightened his jacket and flipped a few more bars of latinum to the barkeep, "Thanks for the swell evening, Gert. Let's do it again sometime."
And with that, he and Ila waltzed out of the bar without another issue.