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Through the Rabbit Hole

Posted on Monday July 3, 2017 @ 12:07am by Captain Charles Lancaster & Lieutenant Anna Johnson

Mission: A Day In The Life...
Location: Promenade "This and That"
Timeline: Current

:: ON ::

Anna's assistant had arrived and once that had id happened the store got into order in no time. She did after all need someone to run things when she had to go out on a supply run. Letting out a deep breath she poured herself another cup of coffee, added creamer and took a sip. She leaned back on the counter a sigh of contentment crossing her face. It was good to be back on a starbase even if it was as a civilian. Her private ship let her get time in space as well so she did on occasion still get to see the stars.

She looked up and saw the Ferengi from a few days earlier approaching. She set down her mug and moved over and set a box on the counter. "Is that my merchandise?" He asked.
Anna nodded and opened the container, "Everything is here." He reached in and picked up a few of the pieces and nodded. "The matter of that file?" He said, "Let me see the latinum first." Anna said. The smile on the Ferengi's face grew larger and he looked over his shoulder. Another Ferengi came in with a box and opened it. The bars of latinum were inside. Satisfied Anna nodded showed the invoice and deleted it. The bars were handed to Anna and the supplies were taken in their place." If you ever need anything again please let me know. Feel free to contact me ahead of time if need to" Anna said.

As the two customers left Anna turned and retrieved her coffee. The aroma of amplified by the fact she had coffee beans for sale behind the counter. From her spot she was watching people as they moved through the promenade wondering what their stories were.

"You keep that stuff around and you'll likely have a parade in and out of here." Lanc said with a smile. "I haven't smelled real coffee in a long time."

"It's one of my guilty pleasures." Anna said, "Would you like a free sample?" She asked pointing to the carafe beside her.

He laughed and said, "I never say no to a cup of coffee."

Anna grabbed a mug and poured a cup, "How do you take yours?" she asked setting the mug on the counter in front of him.

"Black's fine." he said. "I'm Lanc by the way."

"I'm Anna, tinkerer and procurer of hard to find items." She said with a smile.

"That's not what I heard. A little birdy told me you were an engineer of great talents and a strong sense of doing what needs to be done, damn the consequences."

Anna blinked, "I'm not suppose to talk about that." She said then watched Lanc over the rim of her cup.

"Well, we all have things we're not 'supposed' to talk about, and yet somehow people still hear things anyway." he said, cryptically, then took a long sip of his rapidly cooling coffee.

"What exactly do you need from me mister Lanc?" Anna asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I'm not sure yet." he answered, placing his mug on the counter and beginning to wander around the shop, stopping to look at various items. "See, there's a question I want to ask you, but I'm not sure I can trust you. And even if I can trust you, I'm not sure you're ready to hear it."

"I can understand that." Anna said, "In my business I have to be careful who I obtain certain supplies for as well as who I get supplies from." She smiled, "There are things that can sometimes be considered questionable if put into the wrong hands. I have to trust my clients completely before I will agree to such exchanges." Anna added, "But trust goes both ways. So I have to know, what exactly is involved in what you are needing before I can decide if I trust you."

"Well, that's a very good point. I guess what I need is an engineer who is a good shot with a phaser rifle and can field strip an impulse engine and rebuild it in the middle of combat, without get spooked. Someone who understands that sometimes "right" and "wrong" look a lot different in the real world than they do in the chambers of the Federation Counsel or Starfleet headquarters."

Anna looked deep in thought for a moment after all she was told not to talk about this. but they had already kicked her our so what else could they do? "I might know someone who can do that." She said, "What's the catch?"

"Well, hypothetically, if there were a catch, this imaginary engineer would have to keep it a secret from literally everyone, because anyone finding out could cause a war across the Alpha and Beta quadrants."

"Would I have to be on the 'ship' full time?" Anna asked using air quotes as she said the word ship.

"No. You would be welcome to keep your shop open. It would make a good cover story."

"And why exactly is a cover story needed and who would I working for exactly?" Anna asked crossing her arms.

"Well, those are the 5,000 credit questions aren't they?" he teased.

"And you could tell me but you would have to kill me right?" Anna said with a raised brow.

"Well, maybe not kill you, but the view from a solitary confinement cell in New Zealand is not very picturesque, or so they tell me."

"So if I say yes to this I'm in it for life but you can't give me anymore details unless I say yes?" Anna asked, she wasn't sure if she liked the deal here or not she was still rolling everything over in her mind.

"It will be the adventure of a lifetime, and I think you'd be perfectly suited for it, but yes, you have to agree here and now, with no more information. If you say 'no' however, I will walk out of here, and you will never see me again."

"So I don't even get the chance to think about?" Anna said. She moved around the shop not really focusing on anything. She had to admit she was curious about the offer. He knew stuff he shouldn't have access to which meant he was either high up in Starfleet or had a REALLY good hacker. Anna turned back to face him, "Fine I'm in." She said hoping she didn't regret her decision.

"Excellent." he said with a genuine and enthusiastic smile. He walked over and handed her a 'bracelet' of sorts. "Wear this at all times. When the light on the top turns red, run to the nearest turbolift and give the order "Once more into the breach." Without this bracelet the computer will ignore you.

His tone then turned serious, "And when I say run to the turbolift, I mean like your ass is on fire and your life depends on it, because it will."

Anna took the bracelet, looked at it a moment, then put it on her wrist. "Is there any kind of rank system with this group? So I know pecking order if nothing else." Anna asked.

"Yes. I am Captain Lancaster, and as of this moment you are Lieutenant Green." he answered, pulling a grey, black, blue and red emblem from his pocket. Only wear this when your with the team, but never, EVER be without it."

Anna took the patch nodded and placed it in the pouch that she always kept on her belt.

"I'm guessing you are the only one who will know the crew's real identities?" Anna said.

Before he could answer Anna's assistant had come into the shop. "Watch the front for me while I talk business with this customer in my office." Daniel nodded and Anna motioned toward her office.

Making sure he had followed her once the door shut she pressed a button that put up a field, "Now we know Daniel can't hear us, so back to my question. the crew won't know each other's true identities I'm guessing. What if we end up working with someone we know though."

"The crew knows each other, but you need to get used to answering to Lieutenant Green, as we *never* use names off-site."

"I guess I need to come up with a similar system for my assistant so that if I disappear without notice he will know I'm working on something. He doesn't ask a lot of questions and if I give him a pager of sorts and tell him if it goes off I have to leave suddenly and will be gone for an unknown amount of time. A new opportunity requires it but it anyone ask I'm off on business." Anna said, "I'll hire someone else to help him but they won't know even that much." Anna said thinking through things out loud to see if the captain approved of the idea.

"That works." Lancaster agreed.

"I'm guessing the ship is docked here somewhere?" Anna asked, "Is it in good shape at the moment?"

"Ships, plural, and no, not really. There's a Nova Class, a D'Deridex, and a Bird-of-Prey, and they have all seen better days."

"Do I need to schedule some time to come work on them?" Anna asked.

"If they're in the dock, you're welcome to work on them whenever the mood strikes."

"Great I would love to, I'll get the info on where they are docked and schedule some time to at least check on progress and work where needed." Anna said. "Anything else you need from me for now?" she added.

"Yes, a steady supply of coffee." he said with a laugh, making his way to the door.

:: END ::


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