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The High Black Water, a Devil's Daughter

Posted on Tue Nov 9th, 2021 @ 8:15pm by Staff Warrant Officer Conchobar Breathnacht & Commander Sayuri Onaga

Mission: Mission 0: Everybody Has A Story
Location: Fiddler's Green, Mary's
Timeline: Fall 2389

With a sigh, the fidgety Irishman slipped into a table near the back of the small café that he seemed to do an inordinate amount meeting people in. Well, sue him. It was one of the few places that specialized in human food and drink, and did it reasonably well. It wasn't long before a waitress came up to him. "Hi luv," he said. "Bring me a coffee and Ms. Mary's special plate." He paused for a moment. "And do me a favour, when Ms. Sayuri Onaga arrives, don't toss her out. She's meeting me and I have her tab for today," he added, the last bit grudgingly. It wasn't like he was exactly rolling in wealth, but he was able to at least pick up a fair amount on the side instead of being indebted to, what he was fairly certain was Satan incarnate, or draining the non-existent balance of the Chimaera's line of credit. He sighed. That was partially why he was stuck here. He was pretty sure ole copperhead wasn't going to like what he had to say, but she'd made her bed and he had no intention of following her on her path to hell. Paying work was paying work, and she didn't have it and someone else did. Tough shit for her. He took a sip of the coffee that was set down on his table after a few moments and settled in to wait for the woman.

The black longcoat flared out due to the pressurization of the bar. When the hem came back to rest, it fell to Sayuri's knees. Her cybernetic eyes flashed lavender in search of her appointment. A weaselly smartass who was as scummy as they came, but he did good work regardless. That he was meeting her away from the Chimaera's harborage meant that he wanted witnesses in the event she delivered him another beating. What a koshinuke.

"Con," she said, sitting down across from him. No greeting until she knew he was worthy of one.

"Ms. Onaga," he returned motioning her to wait a moment as the less than thrilled waitress returned and deposited a plate of black pudding, bubble and squeak, and toast on the table. With a noticeable down her nose stare she turned to the Lagashi. "Tea or coffee?" she demanded, not bothering to offer a menu.

"Privacy," Sayuri snapped.

"You sit, you drink," came the equally waspish retort as the waitress stalked off only to return to a scant moment later with a cup and an entire pot of coffee which she just short of slammed on the table.

Con waited until the waitress left again. He might not be stupid enough to meat Sayuri on her own turf, but he would try to keep their business from becoming everyone else's. Satisfied, he decided to go for direct. "I trust you remember our original agreement. As a courtesy I'm telling you I will be off station with someone who pays from tomorrow for approximately five days." He decided to forestall commentary until he was done. "And before you say anything, no I don't care if it inconveniences you or you wanted something else done. It's not like you can afford the parts for me to do anything useful, much less pay me for the time," he added. Technically, he was supposed to ask her something else for his new "employer" but depending on how much a gasket she blew, he may or may not bother feeling generous enough to pass that part along.

The side of Sayuri's head tilted as she regarded the man. This was not as bad as she expected, but then few things were. Planning for the worst had kept her alive. Even so, if her plans did not go her way, then she would have to go to ground. Better to know now who was with her and who wasn't. "I see. I don't believe I will have any use for you in the next week anyway. Permission granted." Did he know? That question was what kept the smirk off her face.

"Not that I'm complaining," the Irishman said, "but you're taking that rather better than I expected. Not even a vague reference to your favourite neural truncheon." He paused for a moment, actually eating as well. "In the spirit of agreeableness, then, the job is just a run out to one of the resource outposts for supplies," he said. "The skipper also is a little, well, who cares. To get to the point, if you're willing to make the trade, he wants about half of the spare bio-neural gel packs we have on hand and is willing to trade phaser coils for 'em. I said I'd pass along the offer, 'cause, truthfully, I've no clue what possible use he could have for either item."

Sayuri's eyes narrowed to slits. Did he know? Would he have passed on the offer if he'd known? "My answer is no," she said at length. It was plainly a shit trade, and she didn't have to tell a fixer like Con that. Nobody would accept unless they were in dire need of phaser coils for some stupid reason. "Does your boss have any other offers to waste my time, or can we skip to the part where I'm supposed to ask to which outpost you're headed so we can discuss the angles?"

The Irishman laughed. "I did tell him it'd be a cold day in hell before you agreed," he said bemused. "As for the latter, you can ask. I'll even tell you. The Rish enclave. As for angles, you're on your own on that. I have a strict don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue policy on my employers' motives. Much safer that way, all things considered."

As the mention of the Rish enclave, Sayuri couldn't help but scoff. They were spaceborne gypsy folk who wandered from star to star in search of salvage, whether legal or illegal, and generally any other resource that wasn't nailed down or protected by a patrol. Some were violent, most were peaceful, but all of them were scurrilous. The Lagashi fleet had a standing order to interdict any Rish vessel attempting to enter the Pentad with any force necessary, yet still somehow they managed to slip through. Some parasites were just too small and persistent to stop entirely. It was little surprise, then, that Max tolerated an enclave of the pathetic wretches within the Limbo system.

"Of course."

Perhaps this could be beneficial after all. Not for spare parts or other material trades, but useful in a more transcendent way...

"When you arrive at the enclave, you will deliver this to whoever is in charge." She slid a nearly translucent data chit no larger than a thumbnail that was as much silicon composite as it was metallic.

Con did his best to hide his reaction. Could the woman really be that ignorant of the ecosystem of the Green? Not his problem. He took the chit, having every intention of checking its contents before deciding what to do with it. After all, his policy applied to employers, and in the current state of affairs, Onaga was neither his employer nor his friend. He made a mental note to do so at the first available opportunity. "I'll see what I can do," he lied easily.

"I'll know if anyone tampers with it," Sayuri warned with a low tone. "Fuck around and find out."

The Irishman shrugged. He had every intention of subjecting it to a full strip-down before passing it on. He was in enough shit thanks to Sayuri, and had no intention of digging that hole deeper. In fact, he rather considered seeing if the powers that be were interested in the chit instead, but little point in telling the Lagashi that. "Anything else, Ms. Onaga?" he asked, smiling. "I think the waitress is about to come back and I'd rather just avoid that unpleasantness altogether if possible."

"Just one thing..." Sayuri leaned forward and smiled mirthlessly. "If you betray me, Con, then I will have nothing to lose and everything to gain by tracking you down to repay you with interest." Her eyes flashed violet. "Sayounara."


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