Rules of Acquisition
Location: Ferenginar - Marine Forward Camp
Joe's hair rustled in the wind as he stared up at Ferengi Enforcement Bureau gunboat above him, his hands raised and an innocent smile on his face.
"Identify yourself. Immediately." Boomed the loud speaker.
"Uhm..." Joe stammered.
Silence hung in the air like a fat, lazy, flying pig. A voice broke the silence, but it wasn't Joe's, and it wasn't a Ferengi's...
"This is the Pork Chop, with a load of free Thux..."
The voice rang true from behind the F.E.B. gunboat, as another craft came into view, though this one was slightly less impressive to look at, though it was a little bigger. The gunboat was in a pretty bad spot.
"Now just remember what ol' Cordale does when the earth quakes, when the disruptor bolts fall from the sky, and the pillars of commerce shake. Yeah, Cor Cordale looks that big ol' storm right SQUARE in the eye and says..." a pause in the monologue as a disruptor pulse sails across the F.E.B. gunship's cockpit, a warning shot if nothing less. It was enough to get the turning gunboat to pause in its motion.
"Give it your best shot, pal. I can take it."
The gunboat's crew flustered a bit, but then tried to scramble for authority, "You are ordered to..." but another disruptor bolt across the cockpit window silenced their attempt to control the situation.
"I don't take orders from Ferengi. Not anymore. You have ten seconds to clear out, before your untimely retirement."
Out of what was left of the hovercar emerged MuRiel's bruised and battered mech, hefting its longrifle and aiming it at the Ferengi as well. Normally vehicle-mounted and way overpowered as anti-personnel weapon, it was still more than capable of hurting Ferengi gunboats. Or, it woul've been, if it had any shots left. "If there isn't yet a rule of acquisition about living to make a profit another day, there should be." sounded the Qwi's PA.
Faced with the prospect of more damage and potential loss of partner capital, the F.E.B. gunboat turned to leave the scene. "This isn't over! It just isn't worth it..." was their grumbling 'parting shot' at the scene. Once their gunboat was clear of the region, the other craft landed. From the hatch walked not one, not two, but THREE Thux, only one of whom was recognizable immediately with his mechanical limb. A second sported a bright blue patch of fur around an eye, while the third was rather plain... as far as a Thux could be called plain.
"Phew, I'm glad they bought that. Our disruptor coil fused after that second shot." the plainer of the two unidentified Thux accompanying Cordale mentioned. Then gave the chief engineer a stern glare, "And her name isn't the Pork Chop!"
"Well it should be. Debtor's Vengeance is a silly name."
"Oh like Pork Chop's dignified?"
Then the third one spoke up, "Stop guys. I'm getting hungry."
"Cor .. " The mech spoke. Smoke was rising from its battered, partially melted and fused armor plates. It looked like something out of a sci fi horror holovid. "And - .. brothers?!" she exclaimed. And next thing Cor would know was that the mech's cockpit had folded open and the diminuitive Qwi bounded over to him to leap up and climb up his natural arm.
"Well, I'll be damned..." Joe stammered, looking at the trio of Thux with a fair deal of fascination.
Cor gave a smirk to his two brothers as MuRiel scampered up his arm. He held still enough for her to scale up without any additional difficulty. Once she was on his shoulder, he would dare to move. "Yeah, it's them."
The one without the patch turned to the Qwi, curiously regarding her. Perhaps the first time he had ever seen something so small and sapient before. "Cor, you aren't going to introduce us?" he said with a chuckle. "You haven't changed a bit."
Cor, for his credit, gave a smirk, "Well then, let's see. Everyone, this is... possibly the worst place to make introductions. Everyone, this is Sil, and this is Patch. My brothers, from another life, who have been apparently running mine workers on and off world to something better. Sil, Patch, these are my friends. We live on a spaceship, and I'm the engineer."
"You can't be serious for one moment in your life, can you Cordale?" Sil said with a smirk. "Though, regardless, it's good to meet you all, and it's damn good to be back together. The Three Amigos... whatever the hell that means."
"He's not kidding. I'm the chief science, he's the chief engineer." she thumbed at Cor's face. "But we'd better get out of here, those ferengi will likely be back in force." and at that she scampered down again, making a bee-line for her suit.
As if on cue, another skimmer swung around a nearby corner and blasted the group with a bright spot light. A Ferengi voice boomed over a loud speaker, "Captain Joseph Michael Rhimer, you are conducting an illegal, unsolicited Federation operation on Ferenginar. Stand down and surrender, immediately."
There was a clatter of weapons being brought to the ready behind him, but Joe waved them down. "Why don't we have a little chat." He called to the skimmer.
There was a pregnant moment of silence until finally the voice returned, "Have your men drop their weapons if you want to talk." The voice returned.
"Do you get arrested often?" one of Cor's brothers asked out of the corner of his muzzle. "Hey, it's not a party until it gets moved to the brig." Cor replied.
MuRiel skidded to a half about halfway between Cor and her mech, when the Ferengi reinforcements came along with their spotlight and demands. She glanced over at her mech, then cringed. It stood there, rifle in hand, at the ready. Motionless, without its pilot. The only way it was going to lower its weapon is if MuRiel made it. But that would mean hopping over and into her mech. Which the Ferengi were bound to protest. "Uh ... " She blinked relatively large golden eyes at the Ferengi.
Cor looked at the mech, then the Ferengi, then the mech, "Damn second hand piece of... I TOLD you never buy from a Cardassian!" Cor said, making a scene of sorts to cover for MuReil. He turned to the Ferengi who seemed to be doing most of the speaking, "Blew a converter in the damp air. It's stuck. Give me a second to patch it up, return it to reset." and Cor slowly made the move to head to MuReil's mech, to 'patch it up'.
"Stand down," Joe barked at both of them. He turned back to the Ferengi, "Captain Joe Rhimer, CO USS Nicholson out Pegasus Fleet. We're on a covert mission to--"
"You're on an unapproved, unsolicited mission, with no foresight given to Ferengi authority, Captain Rhimer. I'm going to have Starfleet Brass so far up your ass you'll be TASTING feces! You have some nerve, coming here without telling us anything of it. Do you understand the level of damage you've caused to our warehouses and cargo district?" The little Ferengi shrieked as he approached.
"Yes, that cargo containment failure was a shame, that's for sure," Joe replied, calmly giving the Ferengi a cool smile.
"You... but... Containment failure?! It was NO containment failure! You and your people blasted your way through our warehouses and blew up millions of bars of latinum's worth of goods!" The Ferengi barked back.
"Oh," Joe said, resting his chin and tapping his lips with his index finger as if trying hard to remember details, "Oh, yes... that's right... Why were we in those yards... oh that's right," He said, suddenly leaning forward into the shorter creatures face, "I was there trying to discretely infiltrate an underground black market that's been dealing in stolen Federation technology and selling it to the highest bidder. And golly gee, I think I saw a bunch of really important people from the Ferengi government there. People that I'll have to mention in the report you're going to make me file now that you're going to get me in trouble."
Joe spun back to his crew behind him, his hands covering his mouth for a moment before he continued, "Guys! I bet when the Federation hears about all of this, they'll cut ties with the Ferengi! Maybe even go to war, depending on who they've been selling to! Lordy, that'll be real bad for profits!" He said, in mock upset, before turning back to the Ferengi accosting him.
"Real. Damn. Bad." He said, getting back in the little mans face.
"You can't prove--"
"Oh, I sure can." Joe replied, flatly.
The Ferengi stared at him for a long moment in silence before speaking again, "I trust none of your people were harmed in the containment failure we suffered in the warehouse yards this evening," He said, his tone cold and angry.
"Not a one, thanks for asking." Joe replied cheerily.
"Will you be leaving? Soon?" The Ferengi bit back.
"Oh yes, absolutely. We're already on our way to the docks."
"Good." With that, the Ferengi turned, re-entered his skimmer and they departed.
Joe stood silent for a moment more, until they were gone, "Let's get out of here."