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Posted on Sat Dec 11th, 2021 @ 4:09pm by Captain Dirk Taggart & Major Naomi Sylan Griffiths & Lieutenant Shri'Rao Sh'veqan & Lieutenant Commander James Trallos MD & Lieutenant Adora (Addie) Hart & Lieutenant JG Elliot Light & Lieutenant JG Vespa Kale & Lieutenant JG Camille Lévesque PhD

Mission: Buyer's Beware


Captain Taggart paced the bridge, occasionally looking over the shoulders of his Science and Engineering Officers. The away team was ten minutes late for their check-in, Taggart planned on giving them 5 more minutes before he attempted to contact or sent a second away team.

The work had been difficult, but progress was being made. Passive sensors were just that -- passive. No signals were sent out; the only things that were detected were things that emitted something, whether light, sound, radiation, or some other kind of energy. The ship's passive sensors detected much around the Pennsylvania, like Ketram, other planets and moons in the system which blocked or reflected sunlight, and ships and stations emitting power signatures and IFF signals.

The commbadges of the away team members also contained passive sensors. Alongside Lieutenant Light, a man with whom she had never worked before but so far found cheerful and calm, Camille Lévesque worked to boost the sensitivity and range of those commbadge-based detectors and transmit any collected data up to the ship.

"Try it now," she suggested to the chief engineer.

"Trying it now." Elliot hit a few buttons on his screen. Unlike previous attempts, some input values on his screen changed, but he wasn't familiar enough with these sensors yet to tell whether those values were changing in a good or bad direction. "How does that look?" He asked the scientist. He still had yet to get to know her, but she seemed nice enough. Light always enjoyed having cheerful coworkers.

"It's working," Camille reported. "I'm picking up additional data from the planet, through our active comm channels. It isn't much, but it might be usable." As information poured in, pictures were beginning to form. The tunnel map they had prepared earlier was expanding. Signals from power sources and comm towers were being detected and processed. "Looking now for any sign of our missing people. Stand by."

"If someone activates their comms badge we can get a line of bearing on the signal. If we can get a second line of bearing from a different location we can triangulate the signal," Captain Taggart suggested.

Elliot nodded. He had a vague idea of how triangulation worked, but beyond what he needed to know for engineering he didn't really know all the theory behind it. The passive sensors were set up - now this was in the scientist's hands.

"If our away team has split up, then we should get that triangulation," Camille said. "Now, all we can do is wait."

[Ketram - Sunset Pleasure]

Gai Elle Yure drank his drink slowly and scanned the room, Sayzar had tipped him off to a possible payday and he waited anxiously for their arrival.

As the away team walked in, the doctor mumbled in earshot of the Major. "Major, before we seal the deal to get our people, we need to see them and I want to be able to do full scans to confirm it's our people and not a trick." The doctor stated. He was having a bad feeling about all of this and a Cardassian in the mix made him extra on edge.

Looking a little puzzled she nodded "scan away Mr Yure, I assume?" Griffiths asked the fidgety looking guy that approached them...

"I am Yure, who are you?" The man asked the woman who addressed him.

Looking at the guy "I am Major Griffiths First Officer of the USS Pennsylvania, we are here to get our comrades back" Griffiths responded to Yure's question.

"Your comrades eh?" Yure replied, "You're a long way from Federation space Major. I don't care what kind of ship you come from, all I care about is your currency. Do you have units? I can't remember anything about your comrades at the moment."

"Currency we have its information we don't Mr Yure," Shri'Rao said.

"I only deal in digital currency Missy, show me your digital currency and I will answer your questions," Yure said before turning away to drink something blue and steaming from his mug.

Shri'Rao passed her digital currency card over to him. She was loaded.

Yure pulled a device from his pocket, and inserted the card, with a swipe and the press of a button he emptied the account before returning the card. "That was a great down payment and I remember hearing something about people who wore your uniform but my memory is a bit hazy."

Naomi was looking at Yure feeling that they had just been swindled, she just hoped that they actually found their crew after paying so much .

"Hazy or not, I've paid so lead on Mr Yure. Where to next"? Shri'Rao said.

"Why don't you return to your ship, and come back with some money equivalent to my services," Yure said before turning his back on the three.

"Wait," Shri'Rao said pulling out a bladed weapon, I've paid fifty times your price. You will render services paid for or I will have your head."

Yure laughed, "I just doubled my take for this one, I've been paid to stall you here while Sayzar rescues your crew. These credits will help us rescue more in the future. Thanks" he said dismissively ignoring the woman's weapon.

[Ketram - Evening Pain]

Sayzar watched the ladies and the doctor left, before sneaking off. He had dealt in the flesh before though it was not his preferred method of making income. His ultimate goal was to unseat the Kingpin Dravick, an odd reptilian man from somewhere in the Delta Quadrant though he knew not where. Twenty minutes later he entered the elevator inside the cavern that led to Evening Pain. It was a club that sold creatures as well as forced fighting. He knew of the individuals that were taken and had made it his mission to find them. He had always had honest dealings with the Dalacari and their friends and he did not want to ruin a good business deal.

He nodded as he slipped some coins to several guards as he worked his way deeper into the Underground, it was normal practice to bribe your way through the guards to preview the merchandise; enough 76 could also get you a pre-sale on the flesh. It took him a while but he eventually got to their cells. "Hello," he said simply.

Since their relocation to the new holding cell, Addie had spent most of her time huddled between the two forms of Vespa in a vain attempt to keep warm. The cell they were currently being held in felt infinitely colder than being underground, perhaps a way to break them into compliance? She looked up, hands instinctively reaching for each form of Vespa, gripping tightly. "What do you want?" she asked cautiously.

He leaned down gorilla-like and looked into their cell closely, "I wanted to see if you were the Federation officers we've heard rumours about. I'm called Sayzar."

Vespa's ears perked up a bit at the new noise. She grumbled and tried to get to her feet, or at least to a seated position. She didn't want to disturb Addie or expose her to the colder environment this room had to offer. "I don't think we should answer that." she said to Addie softly, before speaking up a bit, "Why do you want to know?"

He offered his name, or at least something to address him by, so there was a modicum of trust. But still, better safe than... half-naked and imprisoned underground and far from rescue and cold and wet and starving and half groggy.

Sayzar looked at the guard and handed him a sackful of Units, "I just bought you, and if you come with me we will get you out of here." He reached into his backpack and pulled out three long wool-like robes. "Put these on now and let's go. We will be using a different exit than the way we came in."

Vespa gave a pair of dry chuckles, "Do you know how embarrassing it is to be paid for in flaking Unit?" a pause, "Sorry, I don't normally use that kind of language." she started to stand, as did the rest of her. "Sorry I'm..."

"... a little unsteady. I think I'm half-grogged. Maybe half a concussion." she admitted. "I've been quizzing myself in my head on facts and trivia to try to..."

"... stay awake." She helped Addie to her feet. This whole 'being kidnapped' ordeal really solidified their friendship it seemed. Or taught Addie how dependent on social media, and socializing, and social connections the Dalacari really were.

Sayzar assisted them out of their cell and began to lead them out of the underground prison. The guard followed behind them lending a small modicum of legitimacy to their movement. "I have a transportation waiting outside that will take us to my ship, and off of this planet," he explained while walking slowly to match the officers' pace.

"Whoa whoa, I mean okay... thank you." Vespa started, "But, we have friends, looking for us. We have a ship, a crew, a ... we can't just leave with you." she offered, in the most stunning display of Dalacari opposition: The verbal disagreement.

"You're Welcome, and you really don't think you are the only ones with friends looking for them. If you wish I can return you to your cell. I just purchased you, someone not as nice as me may come along next time. Now then let's get a move on, we haven't much time. Besides I just used Units from a woman called May Jor who paid me the money to find her a guide to get you. Ironically it seems I will have the better end of this deal," Sayzar said with a flourish as he continued up the long stone corridor.

Remaining close to Vespa as they walked, Addie kept her voice soft as she spoke, not quite sure if this was some kind of trick or not. "We have a ship in orbit," she finally said softly. "Are you able to help us contact them? If you can they can come to get us, and repay you whatever you spent."

Vespa gave a nod, "You know, you said you paid for us in Units?" she asked, "Get us to our ship, and we can pay you back in something a little more stable than Units: eBits." Vespa decided to try to sweeten the deal.

"Promises," Sayzar laughed as he walked without turning to speak, "The merchandise always makes promises of more profits, or merchandise, or even favours. I have my reasons for doing what I do and I will explain why shortly."

About thirty minutes later they exited the tunnel, after a few more bribes to guards, and took a quick ride to the landing pad where the various craft was parked. He led them to a small beat-up craft, "Get in, she's not as bad as she looks'" Sayzar said as he opened the doors on his craft.

Addie hesitated, looking toward Vespa. They could run now, not that they would get far, but they could still run. Once they got in that craft any chance of escape was gone, they would have no choice but to trust him. "What do you think?" she asked Vespa quietly.

Vespa gave Addie a worried pair of looks, "I think we have to see this to the end. Maybe we can get him to contact Pennsylvania and arrange a deal?" she offered, worried. The notion of rushing him and knocking him out never even entered into the Dalacari's mind. Guess violence never was trendy back home. Oh, what she'd give for a drone or six right about now.

"Let's hope Dia is on our side" Addie whispered to Vespa as she drew in a deep breath. "It is Dia, right?" She asked, casting one last hopeful glance toward the Dalacari before she stepped into the shuttle.

Vespa gave a pair of nods, "Dia. The last vestige of religion for a people of science and luxury." and she followed Addie. "They watch over their children, even if they aren't quite as faithful as..."

"... they were. Don't worry, I'll put in the good word for you."

Sayzar took off quickly from the planet's surface, his small sleek craft functioned better than it looked, the controls and the seats were odd-shaped, designed for his peculiar body shape, once they reached orbit he turned to the prisoners he had purchased. "I will open the frequency in a moment and contact whichever ship you choose, as long as you do not attack me in response. I have worked as an informant to the Dalacari, as well as for other groups who secretly oppose the Syndicate's reach," he looked ad Addie, "You can thank your friend here that you were taken together if you were with anyone else you'd probably still be down there or on someone else's ship already."

At this revelation, Vespa's forms visibly relaxed. "Attack you? Please, the worst I could do right now is mix a drink wrong." while it was true that Dalacari came from high gravity worlds, and when pushed to the conflict could hold their own by virtue of such, truth be told they just really hated getting hurt.

"The ship in question is the USS Pennsylvania. And, thank you again." and Vespa's forms turned to Addie, "We're going home. Okay so..."

"... you're going home, cause my home is Dalacar but, oh you know what screw it. We're going home."


Sayzar opened his comms channel and attempted to hail Pennsylvania, "USS Pennsylvania, This is Sayzar of the Dusk Raider requesting comms."

"Captain, I'm reading a small craft coming from the surface," Camille reported. "That's the source of the incoming hail."

"Open the hailing frequencies," Taggart said as he sat down in his chair at the center of the bridge. He was a bit surprised to see an ape looking humanoid in the chair, even more, shocking he saw his lieutenants in the background. "What do you want?" he said coldly.

"My name is Sayzar, I work as an informant for several Federation friendly entities and I found these two, If you would please beam them over so I can leave the solar system," Sayzar explained.

Captain Taggart was stunned, he had an away team on the planet looking for them and here they were brought to him. 'Thank the gods' he thought before turning to the engineer. "Lieutenant Light, beam them aboard."

Elliot nodded, stepping away from the science station that he had been looking at with Camille and towards his engineering station. "Getting a lock on them now, then beaming them right up."

"Excellent we'll get the Doc back and the rest of the team immediately," Captain Taggart replied.

=/\=Major Griffiths, this is Captain Taggart, return to base immediately=/\= Captain Taggart radioed to the team.

After getting to a safe area and in response she tapped her Commbadge =/\= Affirmative Captain, we are on our way home =/\= she said

Camille let out a breath that she had been unconsciously holding. “So is every planet we visit this exciting?” she asked.

"I hope not Lieutenant, Let's get away from this planet and see to our crew," Captain Taggart took a deep breath and settled into his chair. Two of the Lieutenants were kidnapped and rescued before the ship's own Away Team could get to them. It was a strange turn of events but nothing was ever boring in the Delta Quadrant.

Captain Dirk Taggart & Crew
USS Pennsylvania


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