Location: Pangaea, Western Continent
Timeline: MD3 0200
Draxx stuffed a bite of his donut into his mouth as he started his descent through the atmosphere.
"Captain," Biggs stated on the comm, "how are things looking?"
"So far, so good, Biggs," Draxx muttered, dusting crumbs off his shirt. "No one seems to have noticed me slip through. Good call on masking our signals to look like they are coming from their own satellites. The cloak’s holding up nicely as well."
"I've nearly got that perfect. Just the odd twitch of background radiation can illuminate things for a split second," Biggs stated flatly. He was still against this, but Draxx could not be stopped. "Captain, are you dropping crumbs all over that control panel I spent three hours rewiring and cleaning?"
"To be fair, Biggs, it’s premium crumbs. These donuts weren't cheap. I got them from a little Bajoran bakery on the Prom. In case I run into any natives down there, I figured a gift of food can't harm in any sort of negotiations," Draxx replied.
"Captain, I showed you the Starfleet files. The indigenous species exist in other dimensions and have decided to have nothing to do with that planet." The other Human shook his head. "That’s why everyone's trying to get down there and get its secrets first.”
"Bollocks," Draxx laughed. "A planet just appear, go to all of the trouble of opening portals and sending personnel back and forth. They’re not gone. They’re watching things."
An alarm rang off as he hit the lower atmosphere. Biggs started to crackle up and disappear. It seemed something was interfering with communications. "Oh well," Draxx muttered. "Onwards and downwards."
Since hearing about the number of people wanting to get down to the planet and the delicate and dangerous nature of many parts of it, Alanna had set up some of the detection programs she'd used on a number of worlds to protect archaeological sites. Many were simple modifications of ones others had used, but they'd proven quite effective.
An alarm sounded on her computer, and she went over to see what had triggered it. When she noticed the ship, she swore. Then she tapped her combadge. "Wells to Ryan. We have a ship trying to sneak onto the planet."
“Ryan here,” Caleb said from his station in Ops, wheeling his chair around to his sensor screen. “Open a channel!”
“Channel open, sir,” came the reply from comms.
“Unauthorized vessel. This is Commander Caleb Ryan from Deep Space 9. You are in violation of the planetary quarantine. Turn back now, or forceful measures will be taken,” he ordered.
Muting the comm, Caleb turned to his tactical console. “Damn. Too far out fer tractor beams an’ transporters. An’ nearly at the edge of phaser range. How in the blasted hell did it get so close to the planet before we detected it?” he demanded.
"Oh damn," Draxx said as he heard the security chief’s voice. "I'm so close."
"Captain, turn back," Biggs said. "Clearly my cloak needs further tweaking for the conditions of this planet."
"Nope," Draxx said, defiant. "I'm going in. They can’t transport me now, and I'll have landed before they get someone anywhere near me."
"Biggs, I'm terminating this and wiping everything. No point there being a connection to both of us."
The line went dead and Draxx wiped his hard drives on the remainder of the trip down. Once down, he took a bite of another donut, cursing that Yolanthe was right. Opening the door, he sauntered out and held the donut box out ready to greet the Texan when he got his arse in gear.
“Fire phasers,” Caleb ordered. “Target engines!” They needed to be sure that others knew they were taking this quarantine seriously. “Flight, get me a runabout ready with a security team.” He had a few designated Security runabouts equipped with weapons lockers and containment areas in the rear module.
Caleb watched as the phaser fire lanced out, missing the ship.
“Ship is out of range, Commander.”
Caleb fumed. “You have the station, Ensign,” he told the relief officer, spinning away from his station and heading for the turbolift. “Ah’m goin’ down ta that planet.”
Caleb's combadge chirped again. "Wells to Ryan. If you're going after the ship, I'd like to come along. I want to have a good look at it.”
“Meet me at the runabout, then. Ah’m not waitin’ too long,” Caleb said crisply.
The runabout landed a bit away from the ship. The rear hatch opened and the security team fanned out, phaser rifles ready as they encircled it, half of them aiming at Draxx, the other half going to the ship to clear it.
Caleb strode down the ramp, only limping slightly, and glowered at Draxx. “You again?” he said. His phaser whipped into his hand, the energy beam lanced out to blast the box of donuts, and then it was holstered again before Draxx could blink, leaving bits of smouldering crumbs all over the pirate.
“Jus’ what the hell d’ya think yer doin’?” Caleb demanded, stepping up to Draxx.
"Hey, Tex." Draxx smiled. "Well, a friend bet me I couldn't slip past you. It was too delicious not to try. But, hey, I got planetside. Almost, eh. You know," he licked his fingers, savouring the last of the donuts, "you missed out. Those were delicious."
“Ya risked gettin’ blown outta the sky fer a bet?” Caleb asked with a scowl. “Are ya crazy, or just stupid?”
Draxx was about to antagonise the cowboy more when he caught sight of the blonde female exit the other craft that landed. It seemed they deemed him important enough to send two to apprehend him. He wolf whistled. She was hotter than the bio picture Biggs had shown him. "Can she slap the cuffs on me?" he asked. "I'd enjoy that."
Alanna heard the comment as she left the shuttle. She'd be happy to slap cuffs on him. If they were too tight, she could simply use the excuse that she wasn't a security officer. He made her feel dirty.
Caleb’s eyes narrowed. “Now that ain’t a way ta talk ta a lady,” he said. “Mebbe I’ll just stun ya an’ be done with it.” He nodded to a big, beefy Efrosian, how tossed Draxx against the ship and started to pat him down while the others kept their weapons trained.
Caleb looked back to Alanna. “Ah’ll leave some heah with ya so you can take the ship inta impound, look it over, figure out how they got past us.”
"You'll need me, blondie. My biology is required to make it, and the majority of systems work, so unless you're planning on cutting my thumb off,” Draxx stated, "you won't get far. And you," he turned back to Caleb, "seriously, do you come from a time a thousand years ago? The lady can talk for and look after herself. She is strong, she is independent, she is woman. Hear her roar, Cowboy. If she wants to tell me where to go, it's her business. Secretly, she's loving it though. Won't admit it, but all women like being made aware they are attractive, and, madam, you are. Put that in the official record. I insist. Oh, and that the chief here wasted phaser fire on a very dangerous box of confectionery."
Alanna couldn't help grinning at his outrageous comment. Did he seriously think this would work? Not on her, anyway.
Caleb merely stared at Draax. “Hold out his thumb. Anyone got a knife?”
"And you call yourself a gentleman," Draxx quipped, with an air of the theatrical.
Alanna walked up to Caleb and pulled out her belt knife. "This should work." She smiled sweetly at Draxx. "Medical can always grow a new thumb. I really don't want to have to use a neural paralyzer or a knee to the groin to keep you in line. This is easier."
Draxx didn't flinch. In fact his, smile grew. "I like the spunk. It's hard to resist a blonde bombshell wanting to engage in some knife play. But I know my rights, and the Federation is all about the safety of their citizens. In fact, there's a whole charter on this station on citizen welfare, and I'm pretty sure I can end your career if you try that move. I adore you, but not that much. I do adore the spunk though, blondie.
“How about you take a look at my baby here, and determine you need me, which you will. You won't get too far. No one ever has. You can then file the appropriate paperwork to have me extradited from the cowboy here's cell for a field trip to help you get what you need. I'll only speak to you, and he has to replace my donuts. That's the only deal I'm cutting."
Interesting. Alanna wondered what his game was. She didn't trust him as far as she could throw him, but he was probably right about the ship. And she did want to learn about his ship, but only with a big, beefy security officer beside her. Male or female, she didn't care. She was pretty sure she could come up with a reason to take his thumb, but she didn't want to unless there was no other way. "There are always ways," she replied airily.
He returned his eyes to Tex, completely ignoring that response. When Ricardo Draxx offered a deal, you only got one. "You gotta keep this one around, Tex. She's interesting. Far more than that pretty doc and delicious redhead you have been hanging round with. Yes," he grinned at the man’s eyes suddenly making a connection. "The scum of the station you think you’re keeping in place, keep an eye on you, too. How's your cute daughter?" he asked. "Still going to meetings she shouldn't? Best have a word with her, you don't want her getting on Raddon’s radar now."
Caleb glowered and pushed Draxx against the ship. He took the knife from Alanna, but didn’t put it to Draxx’s thumb. “Are you threatenin’ mah daughter?” He asked, the knife blade nicking his throat enough to leave a line of red. “Or anyone else Ah care about?”
The security officers shifted nervously, glancing at each other and back to their chief.
Alanna filed that information away for later. This Draxx knew a lot about what was going on. Too much information for her liking. She'd met Zandra, but she didn't know who Raddon was. She wondered if there was anything she could do to help the girl. She wasn't going to think about the father. "So if he pays for the donuts and you let me look at your ship, does that mean he comes along?"
Caleb gave Draxx another violent shove and backed away. He wiped Alanna’s blade off on Draxx’s shirt before handing it back to her. “Cuff him up tight,” he said. “We’ll see how he enjoys sittin’ in mah brig for the rest of his life.”
Turning back to Alanna, he said, “Do what ya can with the ship. If we have ta, we’ll cut it apart fer scrap. Man like this would sell his own mama ta keep his ship safe. We’ll study the sensor data for what we need.”
"Cut it apart, blondie. You'll only learn about it seeing it in action. It's a waste, and will annoy the crap out of you. I've got two more, so I'll live and threaten your daughter. Seriously. I'm giving you a friendly warning that your child is hanging out in places and situations she ought not to be. Start being a decent father and keeping an eye on her before she does something stupid and gets hurt, you big oaf," Draxx told him straight. He ran a finger over his throat. "But I guess you're just the sort of man who shoots and attacks first, thinks later."
He shook his head sadly. "I was offering to fully cooperate with blondie there. This station sure could use a few more tricks and cloak abilities. More so with those Cardassians plotting against you. Ah well, never mind. I'll rest up in your cell until my lawyer gets there and I show him this and tell him how you threatened to cut my thumb off."
Caleb clenched his fist and rounded on Draxx. “Talk about mah daughter again,” Caleb warned, grabbing the front of Draxx’s flight suit and cocking back his fist, his dark eyes alight with danger.
"To say you’re head of security, you really don't have a clue what's happening under your watch, do you? Fine, don't do anything, let the girl continue on her dangerous path," Draxx continued to provoke the man. "Go on, hit me. I'm not resisting arrest. I've already said I'll cooperate with blondie over there. No way I'm cooperating with you if you’re going to treat me in this manner. Blondie, you might want to pull this model example of a Starfleet officer off me before he does something he regrets, and I can get him fired for it. Like I said, I know my rights."
Alanna put a hand on Caleb's arm. "He has a point. We need to see how the ship works. I'll work with him, but only if I have security with me. And I get our arrangement in writing with your signature on the bottom."
She smiled at Draxx. "Forgive me if I don't want to be alone with you."
Alanna needed to find out more about what Zandra was into. What Draxx said had a ring of truth to it. She didn't think Caleb was ready to listen to him about his daughter, but she wasn't a parent and might be able to get some answers he couldn't--or wouldn't.
Draxx shook his head. "The deal is I cooperate with you, and you alone, blondie. And he replaces my donuts. Take it or leave it," he told her. She was a Betaziod, so should be able to sense he wasn't planning on hurting her or causing any trouble. Stepping away from the rash Chief, he held his hands up for one of the other security officers to cuff him before freely following him to one of the Starfleet transports.
She looked at him intently. He wasn't lying. And she wanted to see that ship. She turned to Caleb. "I want to take him up on his offer."
Commander Caleb Ryan
Chief of Security/Tactical
Lieutenant JG Alanna Wells
Chief Science Officer