Obsidian Command

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Data Gathering

Posted on 01 Jul 2023 @ 5:49am by Brek - Timeless Treasures Art Gallery
Edited on on 06 Feb 2024 @ 10:43pm

Mission: M3 - Into the Deep
Location: O.C. Station - Timeless Treasures Art Gallery
Timeline: M3 D11 - Evening, Following previous Station Post: "Not Part Of The Picture"
1525 words - 3.1 OF Standard Post Measure

A loud knock at the door alerted Brek to the fact that it was 2100 and that he should have closed the gallery two hours ago. He had not because there was something definitely wrong with him. Whilst he should only be focusing on his own interests (they were numerous enough after all), he couldn’t help thinking about Mrs Moreau and her former husband. No amount of black rum had changed the fact that he cared for her wellbeing. As a Ferengi, this wasn’t something to be proud of, so he had turned this weakness into a strength: he would find out who Mr Moreau was, and he would make him pay for being such a gadfly.

To investigate the career of a person in public office is like falling into a rabbit hole. There is so much dirt to dig up. Mr Moreau, (first name Etienne, a word easy enough to write but he didn’t have a clue how to pronounce it) had done well in this area. He had creditors everywhere and the man seemed to live from promises to promises. An authentic walking and talking promissory note, that man was. Also, no less than five colonies had collapsed because of him. Yet, that hewmon had so far avoided full responsibility. Worse still, everywhere he showed his pretty face, people were inclined to trust him. This man was a mystery. Con artists like him were usually bumped off in no time. Yet that guy was alive and kicking.

Was this by pure luck, or because he was quite clever? Brek opted for luck, because Mr E. Moreau seemed to have plenty of it. He looked like the kind of guy who went from scrap to scrap, unharmed. Sadly, he was in the habit of leaving a trail of victims behind him.

This had to stop.

There was another loud knock at the door, and this time Brek decided to see what it was. He found his bodyguard, Glutik, looking down at him with concern. The Tellarite was renowned for being allergic to overtime, even when he wasn’t the one doing it.

“Ah, boss, I am so glad you look all right. We were concerned something had happened to you. Staying in your office for hours like that, with all that stale air. We don’t think it’s safe.”

“We?” Brek asked as he walked to the gallery. There he saw Nyasha at the reception desk, where she was consulting a file on a PaDD. “You should have switched her off two hours ago, Glutik. Do you know how much it costs to run a holo-assistant all day? Do you think I’m made of latinum??”

Glutik shrugged. “She asked me to keep her programme on, Brek. I think she enjoys reading the news, as ghastly as they are. As she can’t take part in any of the stuff that’s happening out there, I guess that for her, everything she sees is like a long holo novel.”

Nysha looked up with bright eyes, but Brek wasn’t going to be manipulated so easily. “This is a high-cost activity I’d rather not pay for.” He added as he switched off his holo assistant.

Glutik stared at him with round eyes, looking like he couldn’t believe what had just happened. “That was rude.”

“By all that is precious. She is just a program. More than that, it is my program. And I do what I pretty please with it. Besides, didn’t I ask you to leave the gallery earlier on?”

“You sure did, but I came back as soon as the coast was clear, and I’m glad I did. Because I swear, about 30 minutes ago, I caught a clown - I mean, a potential customer - who was about to draw graffiti on one of your Romulan space views. The one about Nequencia and the Borg attack. A philistine with no manners.”

Brek grumbled something incomprehensible, for it was also difficult to find any manners in Glutik.

“So of course, I did my job, and I threw him out.” Glutik added, very pleased with himself, towering above the Ferengi, with his fingers under his armpits. “He will know not to come back.”

“Right,” Brek sighed. “Hopefully he wasn’t a genuine customer, looking more closely at a painting. If I receive complaints, you will hear from me, my dear Glutik.”

“Oh, I can recognize a wrong ‘un when I see one, boss,” Glutik continued. “This young Terran was offensive. He even told me a lame joke about Ferengi. I must have been five the first time I heard it.”

“Which joke?” Brek asked out of curiosity. He was now behind the reception desk, checking how many paintings he had sold today. Three was the number. Far from perfect, but on this station he still had to prove that he wasn’t a low-life-latinum-grabbing-swindler.

“The one that asks how you can tell when a Ferengi is lying.”


“The answer is: when his mouth is moving.”

“So typical... And so obviously not true, I’m not even offended,” Brek mumbled, He was now consulting what files Nyasha had been reading and he got a surprise. Fresh news wasn’t what she was after, The page she had opened concerned his past. The cheeky holo-assistant had been, for all intents and purposes, running a background check on him. Who did she think she was? He read about his first year at Starfleet Academy. How he had flunked everything, dazzled as he had been by this new-found freedom. Most cadets were too centred on their fantastic future career to mind the presence of a Ferengi in their midst. He had felt accepted by them and had gone to each and every party under the sun - with disastrous effects, obviously.

“What the heck?” Brek said aloud. He put Nyasha back online and shoved the PaDD with his file on it, right in front of her face. She looked at it with her usual smile. She was not programmed to show negative emotions. “What made you think you could read up on me?”

“This is a public file, Mr Brek, everyone can read it.”

“Oh my,” Glutik muttered in the background. He had the superior air of someone who’s going to enjoy an argument, which, for a change, had nothing to do with him.

“You are not a member of the ‘everyone’ community, Nyasha,” Brek said coldly. There was, at the back of his mind, a tentative voice trying to tell him that he was talking nonsense. That he should stop before he sounded like a proper ass. Sadly, at this point, it wasn’t within him to stop his main train of thought. “You are a holo-assistant, with two functions only: to be pleasant and to sell art. What made you think that this extended to consulting my profile?”

She blinked, perhaps shocked, but of course she still looked agreeable. “I only aim to serve you as best as I can, Mr Brek,” she explained. “This is why I wanted to know you better. You may remember that, not long ago, you gave me more initiative.”

“My ‘ma used to say that when you allow technology to speak, “Glutik commented with blatant glee, “you are in deep trouble. Of course, she never used such polite terms. She always swore like a Klingon.”

Brek glared at him, and he did his best not to think how Glutik’s Moogie might look like. “Am I the only one with a brain in this gallery?”

“I was just saying,” the Tellarite continued.

“Keep your trap shut, Glutik. As for you, Nyasha, stick to art matters from now on. No diversions allowed. Art is your only vista, The only reason why you’ve been created. Anything else is a waste of energy. And energy costs latinum.”

“As you wish, Mr Brek,” Nyasha said dutifully. “And yet, my power of analysis is so vast, I believe that I could be of great use to you. I could, for instance, try to trace ‘The Fall of Freljord’ painting, which you so dearly want to find. In fact, I feel sure I could find any information that would be beneficial to you.”

“Unbelievable,” Glutik added. “Those holo-characters, they sure like to brag.”

“I only speak with honesty,” Nyasha defended herself, her voice as soft as ever. “I could do so much more to help you Mr Brek.”

“Now I like the sound of that!” Glutik went on. “I could do with some help too. You wouldn’t believe how lonely I’ve been since we landed on this Station. What I’d ....”

“Ah, do shut up, Glutik. She is not talking about favours, but data. And now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve got the perfect task for her. We are going to plot the downfall of a lousy Terran. Bring us some coffee, Nyasha, the night is going to be long.”

Of course, Glutik produced a long sigh, for he was never too keen on using his brain too much.


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