Obsidian Command

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Living a Little

Posted on 16 Nov 2023 @ 7:05am by Brek - Timeless Treasures Art Gallery
Edited on on 01 Dec 2023 @ 2:32am

Mission: Ongoing Mission - Station Life
Location: Brek’s Quarters
Timeline: M4 D3 0600
1256 words - 2.5 OF Standard Post Measure




Brek awoke early this morning, with one objective in mind: he would have breakfast with Ara and Kreca, make a gigantic fuss over everything, and by the end of the day it would become clear that there was not the slightest spark of appreciation between him and the artist. He would have to act carefully, of course, as he didn’t want Ara to remove his name from her will. Everything in moderation and all that.

First, to set the mood, he would impose a Terran breakfast on them. Something horribly exotic. Fermented shark meat with a pungent cheese. The sort of thing that smells so bad, it’s bound to get on everyone’s nerves. The perfect ground for arguments. He was about to order those ‘calamities’ from the replicator, when there was a call at his door. It was barely 06.20. Never too early for business, of course, but all the same...

Reluctantly, he opened the door, and he stood there, speechless, staring at the last person he had expected to find. Romulan Senator Thitur was there, as austere as an empty wallet. He was wearing a grey robe with silver patterns, a perfect match to his hair. This gave him the allure of a monk. Dead serious, and quite remote from the daily worries of common mortals, but nonetheless scary. Certain Romulans, they sure knew how to use people’s fear. In their hands, it becomes a weapon. A weapon of self-deprecation and blunder. Ferengis, on the other hand, are lured by curiosity and the riches that might lurk behind an opportunity. Which is why the door didn’t shut in the face of the venerable Romulan.

“Senator?” Brek finally said, unable to hide his surprise.

“Are you not going to invite me into your quarters, Mister Brek? I have something important to tell you.”

There had been a touch of irony in the Romulan’s voice, Brek had heard it. The man was amused and he had descended all the way down from his higher sphere to share the ‘joke’ with him. How impressive. He was about to hear a Romulan joke.

“If you feel it is necessary, Senator.”

Thitur discovered a room that resembled a warehouse, with paintings, wooden crates and plastic boxes of all sizes stored everywhere. Not a pleasant sight for the senator, Brek expected. He probably thought that a cluttered place like this one was a sure sign of a cluttered mind. Chaos everywhere. A scarcity of order. Despite this, he might have wanted to sit somewhere; to make himself comfortable; but there were no empty chairs, and Brek was too miffed to clear one for him.

“Hum... your lifestyle, my dear friend, I don’t think I will ever understand,” Thitur said. “Still you look happy. Happy as the day is long, yes? And of course, you are faring well, surrounded as you are with many cherished possessions. Living the blessed life of a Ferengi.” He observed the painting of an iconic space view, the Pillars of Creation, and then he stared at him. “I wanted to let you know that I have eyes everywhere, and that those eyes saw something interesting yesterday.”

“I never doubted your efficiency, Senator. What is it that you saw, then?” Curiosity, in Brek’s book, always had to be encouraged.

“I saw you conferring with a Vulcan diplomat. In your gallery. Are you denying it?” The tone of Thitur’s voice was as intense as his gaze.

“Why should I? Only I didn’t confer with her, as you put it. Cmdr T’Sheng passed by, thinking she would find Terran art in my gallery. She left an unhappy woman. I can never satisfy those Vulcan forbidding types.”

“You admit, then, that you did talk to her.”

“Is it a bigger offence than you surveilling my gallery day and night, by the look of it? A perfect waste of time, by the way. I’m a perfectly honest art dealer.”

Thitur smiled, ever so briefly. “Mr Brek, your levity is always stupendous. Without fail it will put a smile on my face. More seriously, what type of information did you exchange? I hear that the Commander, a servile follower of Admiral Harshman, is passionately against my people. What sort of hints might she have given you, I wonder?”

“You wonder in the wrong direction,” Brek continued, vexed that the Romulan had disputed his integrity. “As I said, she went to my gallery as a potential customer. She didn’t say a word about what brought her to O.C.”

“No hint, at all?”

“Do you expect hints from Vulcans, really, Senator?” Brek asked, genuinely puzzled. “We are talking about Admiral Harshman’s aide, not one of those rare Vulcan troubadours who tour the galaxy and don’t begrudge a cordial discussion. She belittled me at every opportunity.”

“An easy thing to do, I suspect, and you should think nothing of it, my dear Brek.” Thitur said, deep in thought. “It troubles me greatly, though, to know that Harshman is here, on this very station, so close to Obsidian. What if she were to focus some of her attention on our affairs? That would be disastrous. She might manage to ruin what projects exist to help my people.”

“Our affairs, Senator?”

“Romulan affairs. You do support them, don’t you?”

“Absolutely.”

“Good. Then maybe we should create a diversion, so that neither Harshman nor T’Sheng can focus properly on their elected tasks. It shouldn’t be too difficult to conjure up a plan of action. Something which at first glance is meaningless, but will act on their minds. Something that will distract them. We could even...”

“Are we playing that game again, Senator?” Brek said, repressing a sigh. “I’m used to your ‘we plans’. They usually mean that you want to send me to perform some difficult task, on my own. I may look young to you, but I’m not so naïve that I’ll accept to be used as cannon fodder, especially not with Harshman in the vicinity! You want something, you do it yourself.”

“Why, I was merely...”

For a moment there the Senator looked lost, perhaps even offended; and it dawned on Brek that the Romulan might be making weird and wonderful plans because he was bored. After all, who in their right mind found themselves at 06.20 wasting their time with a Ferengi, when nothing obliged them to be out there in the wild world?

“Why don’t you live a little, instead, Senator? Do something you like.” Brek suggested. “Play chess games with your friends or....” Or what? What does someone with Thitur’s temper enjoy doing? Stargazing? Too genteel. Travelling? Too disruptive. “What about helping me for a change? Let me be the one to give you instructions. I’m heading to my grandmother’s quarters for Breakfast. Be my guest.”

“You have a grandmother?”

The way Thitur said those words, it sounded as if Brek had announced that he possessed the only stuffed snailosaurus that existed in the whole of Ferengi space.

“Why shouldn’t I have one?”

“If you put it that way, young man, you may even have two.”

“Right.” Thitur was smiling again, and Brek frowned. “So, she is unpleasant, but she is mine. Follow me, and I’ll explain to you what you need to do. If you’re game, that is?”

“Oh, absolutely, Mr Brek. This is one experience I’m sure I will not forget.”


 

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