Obsidian Command

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Steiner: Don't you draw the Queen of Diamonds boy

Posted on 07 Apr 2022 @ 5:01pm by Chief Deputy Marshal: Ridge Steiner - FMS & An-Hank-Atha - Hanks Casino

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: Promenade - Hanks Casino & Bar
Timeline: MD 2 2205hrs
2517 words - 5 OF Standard Post Measure

Continued...

There was scream from the waitress behind him and Steiner whirled around. The other Marklain, face covered in blood from his ruined nose, was swinging a chair directly at Steiner’s head. He threw his arm up to try and take some of the impact, expecting to get it broken in the process.

There was a flash from his right side and the Markalian crumpled, his hands still clamped tight around the chair, which then landed on top of him.

Steiner swung to his right, to be confronted by the business end of a weapon.

The other end pf the weapon was being held, by a tall, lithe woman, short, brown hair, wearing some kind of snakeskin looking dress. He was not sure of her species, she was Humanoid, but not Human and had some small purple marks or tattoos across her forehead.

Her large dark eyes were locked on his, the sheer strength of the gaze, confidence and expressiveness let him know she would not hesitate to press the trigger.

He slowly moved his hands out to his sides, palms outward and tried to look harmless.

“Don’t try anything, or you’ll be out, just like your friend there” she said levelly.

“You ok Telvo?” She called to the waitress, not taking those eyes off Steiner ”What happened?’

“I’m alright Hank” The waitress replied, coming to stand by the woman. “I was getting Mister Ridge’s order when these two came to his table and started the commotion. That one started the fight”

She pointed to the other Marklain, who was still sprawled on the floor covered in the remains of fresh fruit salad, chocolate gateau and some kind of orange mousse, clutching his chest where Steiner had kicked him.

“This one didn’t hurt you?” The woman asked, the eyes narrowed slightly, the barrel of the weapon twitched a little but remained focused on Steiner's head.

“No Hank, the other one charged him and that’s what knocked me over” The waitress confirmed.

“Alright, make sure the aunts are coming up:” The woman said. The waitress nodded and left.

“Why did they pick a fight with you?” The woman asked Steiner, her eyes questioning now.

“They made a mistake; they think I’m somebody else” Steiner explained, still keeping his hands in view, working out if he could close the distance and drive the weapon aside if needed. Probably not he concluded.

“So, who are you?” She asked, still not lowering the weapon

“Me? My name is Ridge Steiner. I can show you my identification if that helps” Steiner offered. “It’s in my pocket, can I get it?”

The woman nodded. “Just make sure that’s the only thing coming out of the pocket”

Steiner reached into his pants pocket and withdrew his identification, keeping his hand over the Marshal’s badge on the back of it, not wanting the rest of the clientele to see it.

The woman held out her hand, “Pass it over, slowly” not being drawn in to moving closer to him

He leaned forward, extended his arm and handed it over. She looked at it, both sides and nodded, keeping him in sight while she did so, but still not lowering the weapon.

Then she looked over his shoulder and said “Ok ladies, you can take out the trash. See they get to the Promenade Clinic, would you”

Steiner turned around, the two Gorn were there. They each lifted up a Markalain, a large clawed hand around the back of each neck and frogged marched them out of the restaurant. One tried to struggle but got a hiss and snap of the jaws and wisely decided against it.

The woman finally lowered the weapon and looked around at the other diners. Her smile wide, eyes flashing “Sorry about the interruption folks, we’re all done now. Please, enjoy your meals and since they wrecked the desert trolley, I guess a round of after dinner liquors is on the house!”

That got a cheer and the tension broke, people got back to enjoying themselves while a couple of staff cleaned up the mess.

The woman gave a Steiner a good long look, with eyes that missed little, then said “Come with me”

She turned and led the way off to the back of the restaurant, the weapon had vanished, he wasn’t sure where. Steiner followed on, she had quite the walk and the snakeskin dress did not leave a lot to the imagination.

“Raise your eyes Steiner” She said with a husky chuckle, not looking back. Steiner felt himself blush.

They reached a black leather studded door. She tapped in a code and it slid open, Steiner followed her in. It was a large and well appointed office, the right side wall was floor to ceiling one-way transparent aluminum and looked out over the gaming floor and bar.

On another wall there were banks of monitors covering the various tables and games. There were several columns of numbers on each screen, the numbers constantly changing; some kind of accounting system for the betting Steiner reasoned. There were other monitors covering the bar, cocktail bar and restaurant, all with similar accounting figures displayed. The other two walls were hung with pieces of art, expensive looking art, one wall had another door.

The was a large desk in the middle of the room; some kind of exotic inlayed wood by the look of it, with several leather chairs around it. A couple of couches and a bar were in one corner.

“Sit” The woman pointed at one of the chairs before the desk, the tone of one used to giving instructions and having them obeyed. She put his identification down on the desk and continued over to the bar and returned a moment later with a tray, there was a glass of scotch, with two ice cubes, a bucket of ice, a napkin and a small med kit.

She handed him the drink. “Laiphroiag, on the rocks, splash of water”

Steiner took it. He went to sip it but winced, his jaw was sore form the Markalian’s punch.

She wrapped some ice in the napkin and handed that to him. “This is for the jaw”

He put the glass down and held the ice pack to his chin with his left.

She sat down on the edge of the desk “Give me your other hand” she said opening the med kit.

He held his right hand out. She opened a tube of salve and put some on a pad. “This is going to sting but those barbs can cause infections”

She pressed the pad to his knuckles. He pushed the ice pack hard into his chin, and bit his lip, damn it did sting too!

She changed the pad over and secured a fresh one with a strip of tape. “That will do for now, but you’ll need to get that checked out, so it doesn’t fester. I’m sure Major Mazur and her staff can handle it”

“Major Mazur?” Steiner asked, a little unsure of the name.

“The Starbase Doctor. You didn’t check in with Medical yet Chief Deputy Marshal, Ridge Klaus Steiner, Assistant Chief of Security, Obsidian Command Starbase?” She tossed back his identification and went to sit behind the desk, legs crossed, hands on the arms of the chair, her gaze focused on him.

“You didn’t get all that from the ID”

“No, that just confirmed what I’d already heard. In my business, it’s prudent to stay informed” The eyes flashed

“Your business.… Miss? You’er... er… you’re called Hank?”

The woman leaned back in her chair and smiled “It’s An-Hank-Atha”

“And this is your place?”

“This is my place” She nodded, a challenge in the eyes now.

“And just what is your business?”

“Exactly what it says on the door Casino, Bar, Restaurant and Holosuites.” She smiled again “The games are straight, I don’t need rigged tables to make money. The drinks are real, not watered down and the barstaff don’t rob you or me.

The food’s real too and the holosuites… well, let’s just say adult fun is ok, but I don’t allow anything sordid”

There was a knock on the door. Hank pressed a button on her desk and it slid open. Tilvo entered with a covered tray and set it down on the desk.

“Hope you’re ok Mister Ridge” She smiled “Enjoy your meal” She lifted the top off the tray to reveal a steak sandwich and a side of fries.

“Thanks Tivlo” Hank said to the waitress “Mister Steiner’s tab is on the house tonight”

“Yes Hank, goodnight Mister Ridge, hope to see you again” The waitress smiled to him and made her way out. ”Oh, the Aunts are back too Hank” she called from the door

“Have them come up” An-Hank-Atha said, then turned back to Steiner “I figured a sandwich might be easier after your excitement” she said wryly. “Go ahead, don’t mind me”

Steiner lowered the icepack and took a bite of the sandwich. It was good, the steak thinly sliced and rare, just the way he liked it. He chewed carefully, his jaw still tender.

There was another knock at the door and this time the pair of Gorn entered. “You see our friends safely to the clinic?” An-Hank-Atha asked them

“eSSSs Hankz” One answered “But Izzz zzthinks they notz goezz in”

“Well, that would be their choice. They won’t be welcome here in future.” She replied. The two Gorn nodded

“Ladies, this is Marshal Steiner, he’s the new Assistant Chief of Station Security” She introduced him.

“Marshal, this is Doris and Edith, they take care of my security”

The Gorn gave Steiner toothy smiles “Pleezzed tu meetz yuz Marzhalz”.

Steiner nodded back “Ladies”

Once the Gorn had left, he asked “Doris and Edith? Really? And why do you call then the Aunts?

“Well, they are both female and most people can’t pronounce their real names, hence Doris and Edith, which apparently sounds like the names of peoples aunts. And they really are sweethearts, not like male Gorn at all”

“Yeah, I’ll take your word for it” Steiner replied, trying some of the fries.

“So, you seem to know all about me. Care to tell me, about you?” He asked

“What would you like to know, or is this an official interview Marshal, do I need my lawyer?” She asked him, a gleam in those eyes now, both challenging and playful.

“Of course not, I’m just curious, since you saved my skull from getting thumped with a chair. And I’m sure you’ve got a permit for the stun gun” He tried

She tapped her desk. “It’s right here in the drawer, wanna see?”

He waved his handful of sandwich. “No, no, I trust you and besides I can just check your file in the morning”

She snorted. “Of course. So, what do you want to know? How I ended up running a Casino?”

“Sure, that’s a start. Oh, and not to be rude, but what species are you?”

“I’m Wadi. We are from the Gamma quadrant, we come here through the Bajoran Wormhole. I came on a trading ship before the Dominion War. When the war began, we were unable to return home, as the time went by, and the war dragged on, some of us decided to settle here.

My people are fond of games and gambling, casinos are a natural business for us. This is my third business venture. I sold the other two to buy this place, about three months ago. Sank the rest in to fix it up, this is our first week. Like I said, I run a straight operation and I keep my business interests totally legitimate”

“But you knew I was coming to Obsidian?” Steiner asked, which should not have been common knowledge. “Who told you about me?”

“Oh, now Marshal, allow a lady to have some secrets” She flashed those eyes at him again. “Let’s just say, I keep my eyes and ears open, so do my staff”

“And what else do you see and hear?”

She tilted her head to the side and looked him straight in the eye. “Word is you are not too popular with certain parties. Probably happens fairly often in your line of word, mmm?”

Steiner nodded “Care to tell me where you heard that?”

She shook her head “No”

“Or who from?”

She shook her head again “No. I’m not an informant, or… what’s the term? A snitch?”

“But you’re a legitimate businesswoman?”

“Yes, totally legitimate. I never knowingly buy illegal goods and I don’t go prying into other people’s business, what others do when they are not dealing with me is none of my concern.”

“That sounds pretty cold” Steiner commented, noting the knowingly caveat, proving that was always hard.

“No, just good business. Look Marshal, I don’t want to see you, or anyone, get hurt but you’re a big boy, you’re career law enforcement, you know the game and, besides, you already made trouble for me…”

“Those two Markalians?”

“I assume they know you professionally?”

Steiner nodded “Yeah, I met them while I was undercover on a case. But they don’t actually know that, yet”

“Oh, I’m sure they will find out”

He nodded again “Probably”

“Like I said, I keep out of other people’s business. I don’t need you, or anyone else, bringing trouble to mine”

“Yeah, it wasn’t intentional. I can arrange for Security patrols to start checking in if you want?”

“No, I handle my own security. I don’t need you and a bunch of uniforms making my customers uncomfortable” The eyes narrowed.

The conversation had taken a downward turn and Steiner could see he was starting to annoy the woman.

“Alright, I apologize. Thank you for, everything, I should probably go now” He stood up.

An-Hank-Atha nodded “Probably” echoing his own earlier reply and watched him head for the door.

Before he stepped through, she called out. “Steiner, you’re welcome here anytime, just don't make a habit of wrecking my dessert trolley and if I hear something specific, I’ll let you know...”

Steiner nodded. “Thank you”

The door slid closed behind him.

He made his way downstairs and towards the foyer, aware that he was drawing glances and comments from people watching him leave.

As he left, the two Gorn nodded to him, and the one with the nose ring, possibly Doris, gave him a wink.

Out on the Promenade Steiner found his way to the nearest turbolift and made his way back to his quarters.

His hand hurt, his jaw hurt and he needed some rest. It had been a long day and he had work to do tomorrow.

 

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