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Escorts and Interviews

Posted on 01 Aug 2014 @ 10:15pm by Lieutenant JG Ivan Dash & Captain Harvey Geisler & Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant JG Noxa

Mission: Pursuit

Mackenzie had just left Sickbay, and likely a freshly angered Dr. Quint. She passed by several crew members going about their regular business and she exchanged pleasantries with them. She was naturally a outgoing person and was always flashing a friendly smile at passers-by. Many people had told her that her smile was something special, but she generally dismissed that as simple politeness, not fact.

"Kos to Noxa."

Lieutenant Noxa had actually been stopping by to meet with a Counselor in regards to scheduling an appointment. She was with the Counselor when the call from Lieutenant Commander Kos came in. Noxa tapped her comm badge "Go ahead, Commander Kos." replied Noxa.

Kos approached the turbolift and touched the call control. "I'd like you to report to Sickbay to escort our guests to their temporary quarters. The assignments are in the computer."

Noxa listened to the Commander, taking in every little bit that she was saying.

"I also want you start interviewing them. We need to understand what was happening on the X'annon," she said, stepping into the turbolift car that had arrived. "Bridge," she muttered quietly to the computer in the lift.

"Aye, Commander. However, by interview them... how fine is the line between interview and interrogate?" asked Noxa. She was hoping that Kenzie would allow her some wiggle room to press the hard questions for some answers.

Kos smiled. "Interview. Aggressive interview, maybe, but no more. We have no reason to think these people are anything other than innocent."

Noxa too smiled at the Commander's response. "Aggressive interviews are my specialty, Commander. However, I work best with a partner" replied Noxa. "These people may be innocent. However, you did just have a weapon pointed at you not too long ago" said Noxa with a small reminder.

"That is true. But that was not one of these people. Remember, we found these people locked in a small cargo hold," Kos responded. "If you want some assistance, have someone from Counseling join you. They would help smooth out your rougher edges." Kos felt the turbolift slow. "Computer, halt."

"What rougher edges?" replied Noxa with a smirk. "No thank you, Commander. Counselors are all well and good but I have someone else in mind. I'll keep you updated, Noxa Out."

Mackenzie shook her head. Though only on the Black Hawk for a short time, she had already started forming a friendly bond with the Ferengi Security Chief. She also felt extremely comfortable with Commander Geisler-- Harvey. Who she was on her way to see. "Computer, resume lift."

Noxa then tapped her comm badge. "Lieutenant Noxa to Ensign Dash. Are you available, Ensign?"

Ivan was walking out of engineering when his com badge chirped to life with Noxa's voice. He was taking a moment to look around the ship while he had a moment too. He taped his badge "For you Lieutenant, always. How can I help?" He hoped that this might be regarding the tactics with the shields they had talked about a few days ago.

"I am on my way to interview some of our guests. I would like you to accompany me and perhaps assist in the interviews."

Ivan blinked in shock but nodded as he spoke " Sure thing Lieutenant, where can I meet you?"

Noxa thought for a moment where the best place to find their guests and then proceeded, adjusting her personal course. "Where one would go to be social of course. The Observation lounge on Deck Five, Ensign. We will politely mingle with those people that scumbag D'rimo calls his cargo" said the Ferengi bitterly.

Dash turned on his heals and walked to the turbo lift. He could hear the note in Noxa's voice and decided to try and lighten the mood before they got to the lounge " Lieutenant...are you asking me out for drinks?" He chuckled a little at his own joke.

"I'd be careful, Ensign. I punch hard. You can ask D'rimo or the good Doctor. However, I could go for a round of drinks after this is all said and done with."

Ivan stepped into the turbo lift and and said " Deck 5" quietly while Noxa was talking. He nodded with a grin listening to her "I would never doubt your ability to lay someone out with your bare hands." Ivan leaned back against the wall of the lift as it moved threw the ship " Is the lounge the best place on the ship for a drink or do you know of someplace better?"

Noxa shook her head. "If I didn't know any better, Ensign, I would say that you are flirting with me."

"Flirting?!?" Ivan declared with mock shock. "I guess it's a good thing you know better. I would hate for us to have any miss-communication, especially considering how hard you claim to hit people."

"I don't claim anything, Ensign. If you would like to be on the receiving end of my anger on a bad day, keep pushing it" replied Noxa, though she was only half-serious. "Don't be startled if I press these people a little hard."

In the Mess Hall, twelve of the refugees awaited those who would speak with them. Each person stood apart, minding their own individual business. Several gazed out the viewport at the floating X'annon. Several stared at the strange markings in purple and yellow above the replicators, trying to decipher the language. Others sat on the furniture, and others...

Each one quietly reviewed what they would say. Their words would have to be chosen carefully.

Ivan laughed as he stepped out of the turbo lift and leaned up against the wall just out side the Observation Lounge while he waited for Noxa to join him. "I think we have established that the last place I would want to be is on the receiving end of your anger. I like the idea of a drink and a friendly game of cards or something much better...though I bet I could learn a lot from you in a sparing match."

Having joined Ivan, Noxa took a look around the Observation Lounge. It was easy to distinguish who were members of Black Hawk's crew and who didn't quite belong. "There's nothing friendly about gambling, Ensign. I've spent too many years on Ferenginar to ever wager another bet. The odds are never in your favor" said Noxa with a huff and sigh. I'll never go back she thought to herself.

She proceeded to table where a lone man sat. "Easy pickings" muttered Noxa. She looked at Ivan and nodded. "There's two of us and one of him. Why isn't he socializing with the others or with our crew? It tells me that he is either very introverted or nobody really likes him. Perfect person to get answers from."

Ivan was not a stupid man, and the last thing he would ever do is get into a gambling situation with a Ferengi. In hind sight a card game may have not been the best suggestion, but he let the topic drop. It might have been entertaining to flirt with Noxa, but they had a job to do.

Dash nodded as he took in the observations Noxa was making, all business now. " So, want to do a good cop bad cop thing here?" Ivan was sure regardless of her small stature that Noxa could intimidate just about anyone.

"You learn fast for a hU-Mon" she said snidely with a smirk. She was up playing her Ferengi heritage, mispronouncing the name of his species as Ferengi typically did when it came to humans. Though Noxa was fairly certain that Ferengi were not quite that stupid. They knew how to say human, most chose not to and said it the way that they often did as a degrading method.

"Come, Ensign. Let's go learn what these people have to say or rather what they have to hide. The Commander and Captain may see these people as innocent refuges, and they very well may be. However, everyone has something to hide" added Noxa. "You are the good cop... obviously. Perhaps if you weren't so baby faced, I'd let you try to be bad cop" she quipped, taking another small playful jab.

The Karemma looked up to see two Starfleet officers had entered the room. He could tell they were looking at him, or at least in his direction. Instantly he broke eye contact. He wasn't interested in talking, and hopefully his actions would project that.

Dash had an idea. "Why don't you go get started, Ill be over in a second." Ivan turned too one of the replicators instead.

Noxa said nothing to Ivan. She simply nodded and proceeded to the lone Karemma. She saw him look away from her and Ivan. Yes, hide yourself and hang your head. Like that is going to deter me from doing my job thought Noxa as she pulled out the chair across from the man, turned it around and straddled it, gazing at the Karemma after she settled.

"Why were you aboard the X'annon, why were you being held like cargo?" asked Lieutenant Noxa bluntly. She was not afraid to get right down to business.

Startled, the Karemma's focus shifted from looking away to the woman. He'd heard of the Ferengi before, and seen a couple from a distance. All of them were male. In fact, he'd heard Ferengi women were not permitted to have jobs, wear clothing, or much less leave the home. The Federation clearly knew how to inspire or force change in no matter who they encountered.

"Leave me alone, Ferengi," he snapped, then looking away yet again.

"Kiss my waxy lobes" countered Noxa scrunching her nose a bit. "I'm Chief of Security on this starship, a starship which correct me if I am wrong but just saved your ungrateful ass. Now, I'll ask again. Why were you on the X'annon and why were you being held like cargo?" she asked in a forceful tone.

"Saved my ass?" the Karemma retorted, deliberately not redirecting his gaze. "Death would've been better than dying aboard the X'annon or with the Golden Stars. You did not do me a favor."

Now we are getting somewhere thought Noxa. "Fortunately, you didn't have to die aboard the X'annon" said the Ferengi, her gaze not shifting even in the slightest. "What about the Golden Stars? Tell me about them" she added.

He sighed, desiring to give just enough information so perhaps the Ferengi would leave. "A necessary evil. We're all here because of them."

"Who are 'we'?" she continued, pressing lightly and trying to be careful with how much pressure she applied and when she applied it. "I take the Golden Stars are a pretty nasty bunch?"

"The crew of the X'annon." The Karemma then gestured to the others in the room, all of whom were trying to act like they weren't listening to the conversation. "And us. The Stars control several sectors, and nearly every action within them. Were it not for them, none of us would be alive."

"So, do you like the 'Stars' or do you just deal with them in order to continue your life?"

"No one likes the Stars." The Karemma maintained his frown and added, "Look, Ferengi, we can sit here and dance all day. I can tell you why I'm here, but I can't tell you why the X'annon was attacked. You asked why we were treated like cargo. We are cargo. Want a good story? Try K'rana over there." He subtly pointed to a woman near the window.

Noxa glared at the man. "Aren't you a sweetheart" she said flatly. Satisfied enough, Noxa departed from the table and moved over towards a the woman named K'rana.

"I hear you're a woman with a story to tell. If you haven't noticed, I'm all ears" Noxa said with a small smirk.

K'rana was standing at one of the four viewports in the mess hall, and though the Ferengi woman was now standing beside her, she chose not to turn. Like her fellow Karemma, she didn't want to open up immediately. The journey so far had been hard, and she was eager to finish it.

"Why waste my time?" she asked softly, her tone weakened by fatigue. "You wouldn't be able to do anything anyway."

Noxa snorted, she was agitated. "Look at me. I don't give a damn about these Golden Stars people. I'll deal with them if they come after us, I'll do my best to keep this ship and everyone aboard safe, that includes you and your friends. Don't ever tell me that I can't do something" replied Noxa a bit bitterly. She had grown up on Ferenginar where she was told what she would never be able to do.

K'rana turned, her expression bordering on shock. She quickly regained her composure once she realized that Noxa could perhaps possess a spirit that was kindred enough to her own. "Do you have kids?" she asked plainly.

Lieutenant Noxa was stopped cold. Kids thought Noxa. She wanted to turn away and leave the woman, leave everyone and get herself out of the Observation Lounge. However, she could not. Noxa had to stay and she had to get answers. She looked at the woman and gave a very subtle nod. "Why, are you a mother?"

K'rana looked back out the viewport, subtly looking for her lost home. "Before I became one, my mate and I came out here with a mining corporation, looking for dilitihium. The corporation found some, and business boomed. Jem'hadar, Dosi, Karemma, Wadi... so many traded for our dilithium. It was only after the war that we were hard-pressed to find buyers. The mine suffered, until the Golden Stars came. They gained control of the mine, but we didn't care. We were happy for the work."

K'rana bit her lip, fighting back her emotions. "They didn't change anything, at first. But, they were quick to remind us who was in charge. We keep mining, and they provide protection and buyers, albeit few. Supplies became short, and life became tough."

She looked back to Noxa. "My mate was in a mining accident. Unable to work for a year. My family was in danger of losing rations, shelter... so much. Too much. My oldest is eight cycles, not ready to work in the mines. To save my family, I volunteered."

Noxa shook her head. "That's... barbaric. You should not have to work in mines so that your children do not get forced into labor so young. These Golden Stars, do they have many ships? Why were being treated like cargo on the vessel we removed you from?"

"When you're indentured, you are cargo," K'rana explained. "And they don't let women into the mines. I'm not sure where I'm going, but I don't get a say in the matter."

"You are not cargo. You are a person. What about now? You do not have to be indentured."

K'rana fought back tears. "It's my life, or my lives of my loved ones. The same goes for most of everyone else here. In some cases, being indentured is a way of survival, insurance against famine and disease. My family won't get what they need until I get to where I belong. The longer I am here, the longer my children go without food." She looked at Noxa. "You must help us to get where we are going."

Ivan quietly made his way up behind Noxa and stood behind her listening to the woman. He had tried to speak with a few other but most were not willing to open up to Dash.

K'rana looked at the male human who joined them. She wasn't quite sure to make of him. "Please," she pleaded to them. "You must let us go."

Ivan nodded slight to the woman, but he kept quiet. Ivan knew he can learn a lot from Noxa and regardless of the friendly banter earlier Ivan was determined to show Noxa that he had a lot of respect for her. Clearly his own investigation methods had proven less then useful. Time to shut up and learn something.

Noxa felt comforted by Ivan's presence by her side. Though she could not nor would not allow herself to be softened. She was Chief of Security right now and in the middle of an investigation of a sort. She looked at the woman. "Why" she said flatly. "Why must we let you go? You are safer here on Black Hawk" added Noxa.

"Alas, my family is not." K'rana looked at Ivan, imagining for a moment that he was her mate. "Not unless you can convince your captain to bring them into safety."

She looked back to Noxa and added, "I do not know where we are going, but I know with as many times as I've been passed around, I'm two sectors away from my home. If I'm not -- if we're not -- at our destination in two days, all of our loved ones suffer."

Dash watched the woman but still said nothing. It was times like this that he was very glad that he was not the one in charge and didn't have to make the call that Commander Geisler would have to make in this situation. Let the people go off the be enslaved or put everyone's family at risk to liberate the few, neither choice was ideal.

Noxa nodded at the woman. She had a better understanding now. "Ma'am, Ensign" said Noxa in attempt to excuse herself from their presence. She walked away to find a place of privacy.

The Ferengi used her communications badge to contact the Captain. "Lieutenant Noxa to the Captain."

Harvey had resigned himself to his ready room waiting for either team to report in. Pacing the bridge hadn't helped, nor did the constant looks from his bridge crew. His terminal continued to replay the showdown with the attacking vessels as Harvey tried to analyze their particular differences. He nearly jumped out of his chair when he heard Noxa's voice over the comm. Harvey practically slapped his badge and replied, "Geisler here."

"Sir, I've been socializing with our guests and have turned up some information" said Noxa.

Harvey deactivated the desk terminal. "Go on," he pressed.

"These people apparently are some sort of indentured servants. They sure the hell do not like to talk about it, but I was able to find one woman who would open up about everything. I've learned more about the Golden Stars, Sir... but you may not like what I have to say. I think that we more or less caused the rise of the Golden Stars by inflicting damage on the Dominion during the war" Noxa rambled off.

Harvey frowned. There was no way anyone could have known what would've happened if the Alpha Quadrant hadn't pushed back against the Dominion. "Meet me in my Ready Room. You and whoever's with you. We might need to change our strategy."

"Agreed" said Noxa with a nod even though her Commanding Officer could not see her. "This changes everything, Sir. I'm with Ensign Dash. We'll join you momentarily."

Ivan watched Noxa walk to a quiet corner by her self, then turned his attention back to the woman before him. " Are you finding your accommodations comfortable for the mean time? I understand your stress in your current situation, but if there is anything I can do to help you be more comfortable during your stay here on the Black Hawk please don't hesitate to ask." He smiled warmly to her.

"Thank you," she said cautiously. K'rana could tell the human meant well. What she didn't feel was peace in the offer of becoming comfortable. She simply couldn't enjoy a soft bed or a warm shower while her little boys were struggling with their father. "I'll consider it," she added, looking back out to the window.

Ivan glanced out the window with the woman " Noxa might be a little rough around the edges but its just because she has a lot to prove to Starfleet. Please don't think your story has been lost on her. When shes not playing the big bad security chief she actually a very nice and fun person. I know that deep down she feels very concerned for you and your family."

"Thank you," she softly replied, still looking out the window. "I hope, for all our sakes, that you're right."

Noticing that Noxa had stepped away, but the male human was still with her, she quietly added, "The X'annon crew have fallen on hard times too. D'rimo, though he doesn't seem like it, is trustworthy. I hear there is a member of his crew that isn't. I think that is why we were attacked."

Noxa approached the ensign and smiled at him. "I'm sorry to interrupt" said Noxa carefully. "However, the Captain has requested to see us, Ensign."

Ivan turned and nodded to Noxa, then turned back to the lady he was talking to. "My name is Ensign Ivan Dash, if you or anyone else here needs anything and it is with in my power to make it happen I will. Just ask for me." He smiled at her again and turned to Noxa. "Ok, I'm ready."

 

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