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The First Rule of Dabo

Posted on 16 Aug 2017 @ 4:40am by Lieutenant JG Felix Langston

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Timeline: MD 6 || 1800 hours

Lt. Felix Langston found himself seated at the bar on the Promenade of DS15. The day's events had trudged forward at a glacial pace for him, his eyes almost permanently crossing at the amount if information he had to sift through earlier in the day. Star charts, telemetry data, fight records, it was all starting to blend and blur together in one massive mix of lines and spreadsheets.

Looking down at his root beer, Felix was thankful for the bit of sugar that he allowed himself to have sitting next to the massive cheeseburger and French fries on the plate nearby. The Ferengi behind the bar wasn't looking, just using a towel to polish up one of the many glasses from the washing rack.

Felix raised his glass. "To cheat days," he said, to no one in particular.

He then took a big swig from the root beer, burping after it had gone down. The Ferengi looked at him with a peculiar stare.

"Um, sorry," Felix said with a sheepish grin.

The Ferengi rolled his eyes. "Disgusting hoo-mons," he muttered under his breath as he went back to polishing and restocking the many glasses behind the bar.

Felix shrugged his shoulders and went about eating the food on the plate nearby. He took his time savoring every bit of the cheeseburger and fries in front of him. It may have been replicated, but Felix swore it tasted like it was fresh off the grill. He swallowed and popped in a couple fries while looking to the end of the bar. He noticed a Rakhari man with his head face-down on the bar, one of his arms propping up his head and the other clutching an almost-empty glass of bright purple liquid.

"Pour!" the man at the end of the bar yelled, his voice muffled by his arm.

The Ferengi rolled his eyes once again as he grabbed a bottle of the matching color from the well of the bar. He slowly walked over to the Rakhari patron.

"Don't you think you've had enough, Gardran?" the Ferengi asked the Rakhari.

The Rakhari looked up. "Since...hic w-when does a Ferengi turn down a...hic...paying customer?"

The Ferengi glared at him. "A customer who is too drunk to pay should be no customer of yours, Rule of Acquisition number one hundred ninety-one."

"That's not a rule, Worzel," Gardran said, slightly slurring his words. "Pour!"

"Oh, what would you know?" Worzel the Ferengi muttered as he poured the man's drink. He took a PADD from his pocket and made a small note. "Your bar tab will be worth a small fortune by the end of the night at this rate." He walked back towards where he was washing glasses earlier.

Felix waved at Worzel to get his attention. The Ferengi paused his ritual of polishing the glasses and glared back. "Sorry," Felix said, "I couldn't help but overhear. What's going on with that man at the end of the bar?"

Worzel looked back at Gardran and shook his head. "That man is Gardran, a former manufacturing baron on Finnea Prime. Unfortunately for him, he's the last man I know who's not played one single game of Dabo in his life. The house took him to the cleaners, he lost nearly all of his holdings after he tried to continue his 'hot streak.'"

"How is he paying for his drinks?" Felix asked.

"I don't know how, but I can't turn him away," Worzel said. "He's usually one of my best customers. And if I turn him away, what's to stop other patrons from showing up to my establishment at all? I'm barely hanging on at this frontier station as it is."

Felix put a hand to his chin and thought a moment. "So you're saying if he won some of his money back, he'd at least be able to pay his bar tab, right?"

Worzel nodded.

Felix continued. "And you say he lost all his money because he thought he was on a 'hot streak?'"

"That's what the Dabo girl told him, anyway," Worzel said, smirking.

"Well," Felix said, "I'll go talk to him. In the meantime, since he's one of your best customers, why not give him a couple of free spins?"

"Are you crazy?!" Worzel said, trying to keep his composure. His earlobes throbbed with anger as his brow furrowed. "What kind of Ferengi would I be if I gave a patron a couple of 'free spins' at the Dabo wheel?!"

"Just do it," Felix said. "And brew him some coffee while you're at it. The coffee's on me."

Felix walked over to the Rakhari man, his head still buried in his arm. "Go away," he said, his voice muffled.

"Are you Gardran?" Felix asked.

"I said go away," Gardran said, not moving his arms or head in any way. Worzel came over and poured Gardran a cup of coffee.

Felix feigned looking around the bar. "So, I heard from a mutual friend that you need a little help playing Dabo."

Gardran looked up, his eyes meeting Felix's. He sniffed and a few tears came streaming out of his eyes. "Y-y-eh-eh-es," he said pathetically, his voice cracking as he turned a simple response into a five-syllable word. "It all...it all just happened so...so...fast..." His hands shaking, he managed to take a sip of the coffee in front of him. His face scrunched as he tasted the hot, bitter liquid. He powered through the taste and continued his story. "That girl just said she'd take care of everything after I won the first couple of rounds. She was so beautiful..." his voice trailed off as he sniffed again and took another sip of coffee, his face betraying his disgust at the taste.

Felix looked over at the woman Gardran indicated, a busty Bajoran woman with big, blue eyes, a blonde updo, and a smile that lit up the room. A sleek blue leotard left little to the imagination as she cheered on the men around the table. Her long legs were held up by a pair of six inch black stiletto heels.

"I can see how one would get distracted," Felix said.

Gardran started to become agitated. "What exactly are you doing over here?" he asked Felix.

"Well," Felix said, "our friend Worzel has agreed to help you out so you can help him out in return." Upon that, Worzel arrived with a credit chit, handing it over to Gardran with a scowl on his face. Worzel pressed the button on the chit and it lit up with gaudy rainbow-colored font as it read "CONGRATS TO OUR BEST CUSTOMER AT WORZEL'S! HERE'S THREE FREE SPINS ON THE HOUSE." Digital confetti rained down the screen as it faded to black again.

"What am I supposed to do with this?" Gardran asked.

"Exactly what you did on your first couple rounds," Felix said. "Just remember the first rule of Dabo."

"What's that?" Gardran asked.

"Watch the wheel, not the girl," Felix said, looking Gardran dead in the eye. "Got it?"

Gardran took a big swig of coffee and looked at Felix, his eyes having regained some of their focus. "Watch...the wheel...not the girl..." he said, as if learning a mantra for the first time.

"That's it," Felix said as he slapped the Rakhari man on the back. "Now, go get 'em, and remember who you have to pay back at the end of this."

Gardran's eyes lit up. "Oh absolutely!" he said excitedly as he set down his finished mug of coffee. He took the chit from the bar and jogged over to the Dabo table.

Worzel came back over to Felix, who had turned around to face the bar once more. "I hope you're right about this," Worzel said to Felix, his voice thick with uncertainty. "If he screws this up, I'm not going to have a pot to spit in."

Felix thought about interjecting to correct the Ferengi's phrase, but was interrupted by a huge cry of "DABO!" erupting throughout the bar.

Felix chuckled. "Oh I think you'll do just fine."

 

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