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Making Contact (Part 1)

Posted on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 @ 5:54pm by Captain Mikoto Misaka & Lieutenant Shandro

1,834 words; about a 9 minute read

Mission: The Search
Location: DS9, Quarks Bar

Mikoto stepped out of the airlock doors of the upper pylon. It wasn't anything special, however the Cardassian architecture was evident from the moment you arrived. In front of them was one of the oval open turbolifts.

"Have you been on Deep Space Nine before lieutenant?" she asked curiously as she made her way over to the turbolift.

Shandro walked alongside the Captain, his arms at his side, while his eyes darted around slightly. "Officially or unofficially?"

Mikoto raised an eyebrow. She wasn't quite sure what he meant when he had asked that. "Either I guess. You seem to know the station, its my first time here" she explained.

"I've come onboard three times. Twice to meet a contact. It was supposed to be a secret meeting, so as not to alert his government, so we came here under an alias. Another time I came here was as a layover before going onto a new ship for a temporary assignment." Shandro replied softly, his eyes never glancing over to the Captain as the walked. "So... as you can see. I've been here officially and unofficially."

"Uh huh" Mikoto responded as they walked. "So, where are you taking me?" she asked. She wasn't aware of the layout of the station, and no doubt that Commander Sisko would be expecting her to come and visit. "I should also mention that I should pop up at some point and meet Commander Sisko. He's had experience with the Maquis"

"A bar." Shandro replied. "Run by a local Ferengi. Shifty fellow. Natural for a Ferengi but this one in particular, I hear, will sell you his own family members if it meant he made a profit." He continued walking with her, yet to make eye contact. It was as if he was watching out for someone or just being cautious of everyone. "It's normally filled with a mixture of races and personnel. Crowded and usually noisy due to their dabo table being in use. So you can imagine how a location like that will prompt many secret meetings. We're headed to the upper level of the bar. His choice."

"I see" Mikoto said as she stepped into the turbolift alongside Shandro. "A public place will always be a good place for such a meeting. Especially if this contact isn't wanting to draw attention to himself. Very well, take me there"

Shandro raised a brow, a bit confused by the suggestion, before saying. "That's where we are going. Did you think I was taking you somewhere else? I came with you to bring you to speak to my contact. Once its done, and you approve, I'll return to the ship and see to it he's given quarters under a different name. Would you like me to escort you to meet Commander Sisko to get his experience with the Maquis?"

"I was agreeing with you" Mikoto clarified. "And yes, I believe you accompanying me to see Sisko would be a good idea. You are my Intelligence officer after all"

"If the Captain insists." Shandro replied, a slight yet hidden smirk formed on his face, as they entered the meeting location.

[Quarks Bar]

Shandro walked with the Captain up to the third level of the bar that overlooked the ground floor. It was perfect for privacy and people watching, and the occasional secret meeting, which Shan imagined why it was used mainly. He stopped for a moment, looking around at each of the tables, before spotting his contact at the very end. He walked over and gestured to the Captain to take a seat in one of the only two seats available as his contact, a Cardassian in a Gul uniform, observed ground floor from his position.

The Gul took a sip of his kanar and kept his eyes focused on the floor as he spoke softly, but with a cold tone. "I thought you said you weren't going to contact me after our last encounter, Shan?"

"Things changed, my friend." Shandro replied as he sat down.

"So I have been told." The Gul replied before turning to face them both. "Drink?"

Mikoto stepped forward. "A drink would be nice yes," she said simply.

The Gul raised his hand and motioned to one of the Ferengi servers. He took a few seconds to look at Shan, than to Mikoto, before clearing his throat as the server approached the table. He peered over the side of the rail, looking down to the ground floor. The Gul didn't look at the Ferengi. Almost like he was beneath him, as he should be. "Ferengi." He said in a firm voice. "Bring these two Starfleet Officers whatever they want. They will be paying their own tab."

"Y-y-yes, Sir." The Ferengi replied before nodding. He than turned to Shan and Mikoto to ask. "W-w-what may I get you?"

"I'll take a black tea" Mikoto said simply.

"Nothing for me, please." Shandro replied.

As the Ferengi began to leave the table, The Gul shouted. "And bring me another bottle of Kanar, worm!"

Shandro looked back slightly, as he saw the server scurry away in fear. He turned back to the Gul and asked softly. "I thought you hated Kanar?"

"I do." The Gul replied softly, turning back to the others, as he leaned forward a bit. "But like most things, it's a necessary evil." He leaned back against the chair, his eyes shifted back to over the rail, before adding. "I take it you are here about the Bismarck that's attacking Cardassian ships in the Badlands?"

"Yes" Mikoto replied to the Cardassian. "I need to know what's been going on out there. I'm under orders to either retake the ship or destroy her"

The Cardassian chuckled slightly as he reached for his glass of kanar again. "Cardassian Ships that a currently hunting the ship have orders just to destroy it. They consider her a threat. Mainly due to the embarrassment, to be fair. We build out ships to be formidable and intimidating, so when a Starfleet ship takes one down, there is a lot of anger to go around." He brought the glass to his lips and took a ship before adding softly. "That's probably why they send three ships just for her. After they shoot her enough so that she is disabled and no longer capable of putting up a fight, they will board her and execute the crew, than take anything of use. After that, they'll board their ships and destroy the Bismarck with weapons fire to make it look like it was done during the battle."

"Starfleet believe that the Bismarck is under control of the Maquis" Mikoto replied. "We are unsure what happened to the Starfleet crew at the time. I need to know where the Bismarck is" .

The Gul looked over to Mikoto, as the server returned with her tea and another bottle of Kanar. The server placed the tea down in front of Mikoto and then placed the bottle down by the Cardassian. Before they could walk away, the Gul said in a firm voice. "Stop." His eyes lingered on Mikoto for a moment before shifting to the server. "Do you think I am an idiot?"

"N-n-no sir." The Ferengi replied.

The Cardassian took the bottle of Kanar an brought it close, examining the bottle, before looking back to the server. "This bottle as been resealed. Poorly at that." He slammed it back onto the table. "Return it to your master and tell him, if I do not get a genuine bottle of Kanar that is sealed in aged to my liking, I will go down there and rip his lobes from his miserable skull! Do you understand?"

The Ferengi nodded quickly before walking off.

"Where the hell are you going, worm?!!" The Gull shouted before taking a hold of the bottle again. As the Ferengi turned around he tossed it at him, watching as the server juggled with it slightly before finally getting a grasp of it. "Take that trash with you."

"O-o-of course, S-s-sir."

The Gul looked at Mikoto again before adjusting his gaze back over the railing towards the ground floor at a particular table of patrons. "I am sure the Maquis are involved, and if the crew is still onboard they are imprisoned, but hopes is not going to get the Cardassian ships off their back and completing their objective." He took his glass of Kanar and brought it close. "The Gul's of those ships have been promised big things should they complete their tasks and they are an eager bunch of sociopaths. Eager to please their masters for a taste of power." He took a sip from his glass before smirking. "Little do they know those big things will only go to one of them."

"And the others?" Shandro asked.

"Depends on their worth." The Gul replied softly as he placed the glass back down on the table. "They will either be given another opportunity to prove their loyalty to Central Command or they will find themselves a memory and their crew will be led to believe their former leader was transferred somewhere else. At which time, another Gul will take command and the cycle repeats. Like one of those Earth rides... with the horses and the music."

"Carousel?" Shandro answered.

"Yes... that." The Gul replied, a small smile formed on his face, before quickly disappearing. "I can get you to where you have to be, Captain, but how will your crew enjoy taking orders from a Cardassian?" He looked back to Mikoto with a smirk. "I imagine there are many officers on your ship that will take one look at me and be tempted to draw their phasers because of all the bad memories my kind brings with them. How can you ensure my safety and that of other Cardassian's that come on board?"

"I can assure you, if I give them orders to follow you they will" Mikoto replied simply. "I don't want another war, and I'm pretty sure you don't either." She paused as she took a sip of her tea. "However, I don't have to remind you that it's my ship and my rules. If I don't like it, it won't be happening." She told him sternly. "Shandro here has told me I can trust you and that's good enough for me".

"You think I would lead you and your crew astray?!" The Gul replied softly with a raised brow as he looked back over the railing to the ground floor of the bar, his eyes focused on the same table. The table with Bajorians. "What little you know." He replied softly. "You think that loyalties comes with the uniform you wear and the ship you command? You are sadly mistaken, Captain." He looked over to Shandro, their eyes locked, before focusing back over the railing at the table again. "Come here, Captain. Tell me what you see."

To be continued...


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