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Have I Got a Deal For You

Posted on Fri Jul 28th, 2017 @ 12:48am by Capt. Michael Braylin & Brigadier General Christopher Mitchell
Edited on on Fri Jul 28th, 2017 @ 12:50am

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: FOB - CO's Office

Braylin checked in at the XO’s office and found Knight wasn’t in so with a shrug he headed for the CO’s office. He poked his head in the outer office door and saw that the Yeoman wasn’t at her desk so he mosied over to the other office door and peeked in. It, too, was empty, but a steaming cup of coffee sat on the General’s desk and that told Braylin that its owner would be returning. He strolled over to the small sofa and plopped down, taking a fat cigar out of his pocket and rolling it between his fingers to loosen the tobacco then he stuck it between his teeth and dug out a lighter. Propping his feet up on the small coffee table he lit the cigar, took a drag and blew a couple of smoke rings toward the ceiling.

Christopher had been meeting with Command Master Chief Tomaszewski for lunch when he realized that he was running behind and bid the Master Chief adieu. Heading back to his office on the other section of the ring, he smelled something sweet and musky in the corridor the closer he got to his office. Picking up his pace, he reached the outside of his office and walked through just as the doors slid open for him. Stopping for a moment, he noticed a man sitting on the sofa, smoking a large cigar that was slowly graying at the tip as it turned to ash.

“You know, that’s my Denegarian leather couch you’re sitting on. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t get your ash all over it. It’ll take forever to get the smell out.” Christopher said, nonplussed at the man sitting on his couch but rather annoyed that he felt the need to invade one of the few unadulterated spaces that he had.

Reaching in his vest Braylin pulled out another cigar and held it up to Mitchell. “Best in the quadrant,” he said.

Chris held up his hand in protest. “I don’t smoke and I’d appreciate if you’d put that out in my office.” he was immediately suspicious of this man with his slightly crooked smile and his twinkling eye.

“I always come bearing gifts,” Braylin laughed as he took a puff from his cigar and blew a smoke ring. “And...this time….I bring a proposition that will benefit everyone involved...especially you and me.” Emphasis on the me part, he thought to himself.

Christopher raised his eyebrow, catching the nuance in this man’s tone. “And what, pray tell, is the catch?” he asked as he walked to his chair and took a seat.

Braylin shrugged, took one last puff off of his cigar and smashed the end of it on the heel of his boot, then put both cigars back in his vest. “I am prepared to offer you the same deal I offered Commander Knight. I provide you with some resources you need to keep this place running and keep your people fed and I am provided with free repair services for my ship and safe harbor for me and my partner whenever we’re in the neighborhood. No questions asked about the where and how,” he said, clasping his hands behind his head and leaning back against the cushions of of couch.

Christopher leaned forward. “So you’re the pirate I’ve heard so much about.”

“Captain Michael Braylin at your service,” Braylin said, making a mock salute with two fingers.

“You should know that the Federation doesn’t deal with pirates or criminals. We cannot afford to bring the Federation into disrepute. So why are you trying to strike a deal? Have you decided to become a legitimate businessman, Captain?“ he asked, a slight bit of sarcasm in his voice.

“Ah,General. You wound me,” Braylin said, holding his hand over his heart. “I am a legitimate businessman. You have needs. I have contacts. I have needs. I provide you with what you need...you provide me with what I need. Is that not a legitimate form of business?” he asked, innocently.

“Only if I know where what I need is coming from. People like you steal what you need from those who have nothing and give it to those who can pay. You are the very definition of what the Federation rejects. So please understand if I decline your request.” he said, the edge in his voice growing as the conversation went longer.


“I assure you, General Mitchell, I am no thief,” Braylin said, still smiling his most charming smirk/smile. “A gambler, yes. A womanizer, most definitely. A con man, most likely. But I never steal. I don’t need to. I provide a service.” He pulled his feet off of the coffee table and sat forward, resting his elbows on his knees and clasping his hands , his index fingers pointing at Mitchell. “How long have you been in the Delta Quadrant, General? Six months? Things work a little differently out here than they do where...as you put it...legitimate resources can be had around every corner.” He stood up. “I had a line on 100 units of Cypzite Crystals which can be turned into a power supply. Enough to power this base for the next 25 years. But if you aren’t interested….” He moved to walk toward the door.


“Wait.” Christopher ordered. “What do you want for those crystals?” he asked, leaning forward on his desk. It was no secret that the base was running low on power and these crystals would benefit them immensely, especially until they could get the geothermal core running again.

With his back to Mitchell, Braylin’s smirk grew for a second. Then he turned, looking straight faced. “The Arnev sustained some damage to her inertial dampeners and her nav computer is offline. I need someone with the knowledge to help me repair it and the dampeners. My partner and I also need a shower and a home cooked meal. An actual Earth meal. Not some alien version of steak that isn’t even meat and a real bed for a few nights. For that I will get you your crystals,” he said, looking directly at the General.


“Head to Surface Repair Bay Three. I’ll advise Lieutenant Byrnes and Lieutenant Matthews that you’re coming and they’ll arrange your repairs along with your lodging in the VIP quarters. If you want a meal, I’ll talk to the cook. Now if there’s nothing else that you need, you can leave before I change my mind or have you arrested for attempting to bribe me.”

Braylin stepped over to the desk and extended his hand. With a smile he said, “Pleasure doing business with you, General.”

Christopher reluctantly extended his hand, almost as if he was about to touch something toxic. This man had him in a corner and he knew that he had no choice but to oblige him.

Braylin clicked his heels together as a form of salute, spun around and marched out of the General’s office, a victorious smirk on his face.

Christopher lowered his hand slowly, wiping it on his pant leg. He felt a sense of uncleanliness that pervaded to the very fiber of hs being.

“God help the virtuous.” he said as he sighed and turned to the viewport to stare at the stars.

 

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